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December 31, 2018

Orange County pastor arrested on suspicion of child molestation

ESCONDIDO (CA)
CBS News 8 (KFMB-TV)

December 28, 2018

By Abbie Alford

An Orange County pastor faces charges stemming from the alleged abuse of at least one child, police said.

Escondido police arrested John Rodgers McFarland, 66, December 18 on suspicion of child molestation. Escondido police said they arrested McFarland at his Fullerton home for molesting a relative under the age of 14 while visiting family in Escondido several years ago.

Escondido police say they started the child molestation investigation against the pastor, who is also a police chaplain, in November 2018. Fullerton and Fountain Valley police served a search warrant at McFarland’s Fullerton home, his place of employment and Fountain Valley United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh Catholic diocese disputes grand jury claim

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

December 28, 2018

By Dillon Carr

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is disputing a state grand jury’s claim that Catholic Charities Fund money was used to cover parochial school bills for the children of a clergy sex abuse victim.

An alleged victim of former priest William Yockey received payments totaling nearly $55,000 that went toward his children’s Catholic school educations from 2012 to 2017. A grand jury report released in August detailing decades of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses said the money came from various diocesan funds, including a “Catholic Charities Fund.”

The Tribune-Review cited the payments in a Dec. 17 article about a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of Yockey’s that accuses the diocese of covering up Yockey’s sexual abuse while he served at St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville in the 1980s.

Leader of seminary under investigation now to lead cathedral

WORCESTER (MA)
Associated Press via Crux

December 30, 2018

The head of a Boston seminary that the Catholic Church is investigating following allegations of misconduct has been tapped to lead a cathedral in Worcester.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester announced Friday that Monsignor James Moroney will become interim rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul starting Jan. 1.

Moroney said in the announcement he’s “deeply grateful” for tenure at the Boston theological school and looked forward to serving his home diocese.

Friday’s announcement didn’t mention the status of the investigation but Moroney said in a blog post he looks forward to the results of the inquiry.

Sexual abuse survivor Darryl Smith to share his story at the Vatican

NEW ZEALAND
stuff.co.nz

December 29, 2018

By Adele Redmond

A survivor of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church will share his story at the Vatican.

Dunedin man Darryl Smith will meet with Catholic bishops, and potentially Pope Francis, during a global summit on clergy sexual abuse in Rome in February.

Smith claims he was first abused as a 6-year-old at Christchurch's Marylands School, a Catholic institution for children with learning difficulties, in 1971.

"The Pope has stated publicly that he wants the bishops to meet the survivors," Smith said on Saturday.

"The trick is to talk about the other survivors of Marylands and get some help with them too."

Es el peor momento en la historia de la Iglesia”

["This is the worst moment in history of the Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 30, 2018

By Carla Pía Ruiz Pereira

La visita del Papa a Chile debía ser un éxito, pero fue todo lo contrario. Varios episodios detonaron un huracán que apuntaba a un solo motivo: las denuncias por abusos sexuales en contra de sacerdotes. Reportajes reunió a cuatro de ellos -un exobispo, un Schoenstatt y dos jesuitas- para hablar de la crisis y sus repercusiones. Esto es lo que discutieron.

“Me sugirió que no hablara porque me iba a destruir”: el brutal recuerdo de José Andrés Murillo a 20 años de su primera denuncia por los abusos de Karadima

["He suggested that I not speak because he would destroy me:" the brutal memory of José Andrés Murillo 20 years after his first complaint about Karadima's abuses]

CHILE
Publimetro

December 30, 2018

By Camilo Henríquez

“Así se cierra un ciclo”, escribió en su cuenta de Twitter.

José Andrés Murillo, una de las víctimas y denunciantes de Fernando Karadima, señaló que se “cierra un ciclo” luego de que se cumplieron 20 años de su primera denuncia.

Viaje de obispo Ramos a reunión con el Papa desata críticas: "No es la persona idónea"

[Bishop Ramos' trip to meet with Pope unleashes criticism: "He is not the right person"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

December 29, 2018

By Juan Peña and Pía Larrondo

Juan Carlos Cruz y los laicos de Osorno salieron al paso del anuncio de la Conferencia Episcopal. En tanto, vaticanista dice que decisión no evitará los cuestionamientos a la Iglesia chilena.

El anuncio de que el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Santiago Silva, no irá a la reunión que convocó el Papa Francisco en Roma para febrero y que en su reemplazo asistirá el obispo Fernando Ramos, no fue bien recibida por los cercanos a las víctimas de abusos sexuales ocurridos al interior de la Iglesia.

Tildan de "hipócrita" a Fernando Ramos por asistir al Vaticano a encuentro sobre protección de menores

[Fernando Ramos branded a "hypocrite" for attending Vatican meeting on child protection]

CHILE
Publimetro

December 29, 2018

By Aton Chile (news agency)

El secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, Fernando Ramos, asistirá a una reunión para analizar cómo proteger a niños. Las críticas no tardaron en llegar.

Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante de los abusos del ex sacerdote Fernando Karadima, trató de "hipócrita" al secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, Fernando Ramos, quien en febrero asistirá a un encuentro en el Vaticano sobre protección de menores.

Vatican spokespersons resign in latest comms shake-up

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

December 31, 2018

By Elise Harris

On Monday the Vatican announced that papal spokespersons Greg Burke and Paloma Garcia Ovejero have resigned - a move that comes just over two years after their 2016 appointments, and just weeks after two other key personnel changes in the Vatican’s communications operation.

Taking the reins in the interim will be Alessandro Gisotti, until now Coordinator of Social Media for the Vatican office for communications and a longtime veteran of Vatican Radio.

Both Burke and Garcia Ovejero made Vatican history when they stepped on board as the Director and Vice Director, respectively, of the Holy See Press Office in August 2016, marking the first time the papal spokespersons were both non-clergy, and included a woman.

Obispo Fernando Ramos irá a cita con el Papa en representación de Iglesia chilena

[Bishop Fernando Ramos will meet with the Pope on behalf of the Chilean Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 29, 2018

By EFE (news agency)

Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante de los abusos del exsacerdote Fernando Karadima, trató de "hipócrita" al obispo Ramos al aceptar reemplazar a Silva en el encuentro en el Vaticano sobre protección de menores.

El obispo Fernando Ramos confirmó hoy que será él quien represente a la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (CECh), en el encuentro con el Papa Francisco en el Vaticano, el próximo 21 de febrero.

Vatican hears testimony from alleged McCarrick abuse victim

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via Crux

December 28, 2018

The Vatican has taken testimony from a man who says ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, evidence that the initial case against the retired archbishop has expanded to include serious allegations of sexual misconduct, including in the confessional.

James Grein testified Thursday in New York before the judicial vicar for the New York City archdiocese, who was asked by the Holy See to take his statement, said Grein’s civil attorney Patrick Noaker.

The testimony, which lasted about an hour, was difficult and stressful but Grein was proud to have done it, Noaker said.

“He wants his church back. He felt that in order to accomplish that end, he had to go in and testify here and tell them what happened, and give the church itself the chance to do the right thing,” Noaker said in a telephone interview Friday.

Grein initially came forward in July after the New York archdiocese announced that a church investigation determined that an allegation that McCarrick had groped another teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible.

Diocese responds to accusation against 'Dancing Priest'

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 29, 2018

By Peter Smith

The Rev. Thomas Smith, known as the “Singing and Dancing Priest” for his Broadway-seasoned “theatrical evangelism,” is now among the latest subjects of allegations of sexual misconduct in the Catholic Church.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh sent letters this month to various parishes where the late Father Smith served, informing them of an allegation of sexual abuse against the priest, who died in 2015 at age 90.

During one of the listening sessions held by Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik in early December in response to the grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic priests, one of the attendees who spoke identified him as her abuser.

She said the abuse happened in 1967, when she was about 15 or 16 years old and a student at St. Anselm High School in Swissvale, where Father Smith worked as a priest.

Vatican spokesman and his deputy resign unexpectedly

ROME (ITALY)
Washington Post

December 31, 2018

By Chico Harlan

The Vatican capped a tumultuous year Monday by announcing the unexpected resignations of its head spokesman, Greg Burke, and his deputy, the figures most responsible for day-to-day dealings with the media.

The statement provided no reason for the departures of Burke and Paloma Garcia Ovejero, but the moves follow the Vatican’s overhaul this year of much of its communications office. Earlier this month, Pope Francis named Andrea Tornielli, a veteran Italian journalist, as the editorial director for Vatican communications.

On Twitter, Burke said the resignations would be effective Jan. 1.

“At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team,” Burke wrote.

The head of the Vatican’s communications office, Paolo Ruffini, who was also appointed to his job this year, said the resignations were “autonomous” and of “free choice.”

Vatican spokesman and his deputy resign suddenly

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

December 31, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, and his deputy resigned suddenly Monday amid an overhaul of the Vatican’s communications operations that coincides with a troubled period in Pope Francis’ papacy.

In a tweet, Burke said he and his deputy, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, had resigned effective Jan. 1. Francis accepted the resignation Monday, the Vatican said in a statement.

“At this time of transition in Vatican communications, we think it’s best the Holy Father is completely free to assemble a new team,” Burke wrote.

He and Garcia both thanked the pope. “A stage is ending. Thank you for these two and a half years,” Garcia tweeted.

Francis named a longtime member of the Vatican’s communications operations, Alessandro Gisotti, as an interim replacement.

Revived abuse crisis, newfangled simony dominated the church's 2018

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

December 31, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

If the year 2018 in politics was dominated by Donald Trump, the life of the Catholic Church in this country in 2018 was marked by two major stories, one a reprise and the other just beginning, and one story that did not happen, the ecclesial dog that did not bark.

In the event, Pope Francis addressed both major stories in his address to the Roman Curia just before Christmas: the clergy sex abuse crisis and the newfangled simony afflicting the church. I shall consider those comments in their proper place.

When I ventured my predictions for the year last January, I did not predict that the clergy sex abuse crisis would return, and return with a vengeance, but it did. Beginning with the removal from ministry of, and subsequent resignation of his cardinalate by, Theodore McCarrick, followed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report, on through the November meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the issue sucked all the air out of the sanctuary.

December 30, 2018

Remembering local folks we lost in 2018

NASHUA (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

December 30, 2018

By Dean Shalhoup

Carolyn Ann Disco, a small-town newspaper editor and Merrimack school board member who played an active role in Voice of the Faithful and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, passed Sept. 5.

The Catholic Church's response to sexual abuse allegations

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Daniel Burke

December 29, 2018

A prominent cardinal resigned in disgrace. Grand jurors accused hundreds of Catholic clerics of secretly abusing children. A former Vatican ambassador urged the Pope himself to step down.

It was enough for New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan to call it the Catholic Church's "summer of hell."

The cardinal may have been overly optimistic.

In fact, the church's hellish year began in January, when Pope Francis forcefully defended a Chilean bishop he had promoted. He later had to apologize and accept the bishop's resignation.

But the clergy sex abuse scandal shows no signs of abating, with a federal investigation and probes in 12 states and the District of Columbia in the works.

Brighton rector in misconduct allegations at St. John’s Seminary to go to Worcester

BOSTON (MA)
The Boston Globe

December 28, 2018

By Kay Lazar

The rector of a Brighton seminary who has been on sabbatical during an investigation of alleged misconduct there will be returned to his home diocese in Worcester, according to an announcement Friday by church officials.

Monsignor James P. Moroney, who was placed on sabbatical in August by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, will become interim rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Worcester Diocese Office for Divine Worship, the announcement said.

Moroney had been rector at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton for the past six years.

The announcement did not say whether the investigation has been completed or what, if anything, has been concluded.

In August, O’Malley said he launched the investigation after learning that two former St. John’s seminarians posted allegations on social media that during their time at the seminary “they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.”

Former seminarians alleged a panoply of unpriestly behavior at the 134-year-old institution including heavy drinking, sexual harassment, bullying, and intimidation.

Victim fund payouts don't cover non-clergy sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Review

December 29, 2018

By Jamie Martines

Brother Frank Meder gave the Troy Hill neighborhood kids candy and soda when the old North Catholic High School cafeteria was closed on Saturdays. Sometimes he invited them to look at the stamp collection in his office.

But first, he would molest them, according to one woman and four men whose accounts are detailed in the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Brother John Keegan, also a member of the Marianist religious order who worked at North Catholic, was accused of asking male students if he could "examine" their genitals.

He allegedly read the minors explicit scripts and molested them.

Abuse at the hands of these individuals — along with abuse committed by other members of religious orders named throughout the grand jury report — could go unacknowledged and uncompensated as the Diocese of Pittsburgh and other dioceses across the state set up and administer victim compensation programs.

Survivors of abuse committed by members of religious orders like the Marianists, as well as by laypeople including teachers, janitors or other adults working in diocesan schools and parishes, will not be eligible to submit claims, according to details of the Pittsburgh program released this month by the diocese and the Washington-based law firm led by Kenneth Feinberg. The dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg hired Feinberg's firm to design and administer the program.

Priest accused of child sex abuse AWOL from religious order

ILLINOIS
TheHill.com

By Tal Axelrod

December 29, 2018

The former president of an Illinois Catholic high school who is under investigation for allegations of sexually abusing a male student in the 1990s is missing from the Augustinian order to which he belongs, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Sister Mary Ann Hamer, assistant treasurer for the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, which operates Providence Catholic High School, told the Tribune Friday that Rev. Richard McGrath, 72, was “absent without leave” after having moved out of the St. John Stone Friary. Hamer added that he had left in the last couple of months on his own accord.

But Rev. Anthony B. Pizzo, prior provincial of the Midwest Augustinians, sent a statement to the Tribune Friday that McGrath was “illegitimately” absent, which means he is no longer affiliated with the Augustinian order. While he remains a priest, he lacks the canonical authority to fulfill a priest’s duties.

Two Lawsuits Name the Vatican. Perhaps Justice At Last.

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle

December 16, 2018

By Betty Clermont

In October, two sexual abuse survivors sued the Vatican in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco for failing to prevent and covering up the abuse of them and other children by priests.

In November, a class-action lawsuit on behalf of six sexual assault victims was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit accuses the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican of “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others by members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) establishes the limitations as to whether a foreign sovereign nation (or its political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities) may be sued in U.S. courts. Under that law, a foreign state shall be liable for personal injury or death occurring in the United States and caused by the foreign state or any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment. (I am not a lawyer, so I hope anyone wanting exact information will click on these links for the specifics.)

Catholic abuse victims advocate says Sioux City parishioners need to stand against abuse

SIOUX CITY (IA)
Sioux City Journal

December 30, 2018

By Mason Dockter

Tim Lennon, the president of the board of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), brought an emotional message to Sioux City Catholic parishioners Saturday afternoon: parishioners need to take control of their churches and the churches' response to sexual abuse.

Lennon, now 71 and living in Arizona, said he was raped by the Rev. Peter B. Murphy when he lived in Sioux City in 1960. Memories of the abuse left him with years of depression, anxiety, anger and nightmares. Lennon held a news conference Saturday at the Stoney Creek Inn to call attention to the issue. Approximately 15 people were in attendance.

Minneapolis attorney seeks justice for victims of Catholic church sexual abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Fox9.com

December 29, 2018

By Alex Lehnert

[Video]

A Minneapolis attorney has found himself on the world stage in a case he believes is a first of its kind.

Patrick Noaker is currently fighting Vatican City and the Catholic Church in the hopes of justice for victims of sexual abuse.

It’s a Vatican trial set to determine the punishment for a former high-ranking Cardinal within the church.

Noaker says his client, James Grime, was sexually abused by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The testimony happened this week and those documents will be taken straight to Vatican City.

Noaker has been practicing law for years, routinely defending victims of sexual abuse. He says this trial is unlike anything he’s ever experienced.

“It’s very formal, there is a lot of paperwork that goes with it,” Noaker said. “It has testimony like every other trial.”

His client, Grime, says he was sexually abused by the now ex-Cardinal when he was just 11 years old.

“So, McCarrick used to take him into another room, and the first thing he would have him do as part of the confession is he would touch him, improperly… sexually,” Noaker said.

Grime testified Thursday in front of a representative for the Vatican in New York. He recounted moments Noaker says have haunted him for years.

December 29, 2018

Dioceses have gone bankrupt after opening window to sex abuse lawsuits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 29, 2018

By Aaron Aupperlee

Like dominoes falling one after another, dioceses across Minnesota declared bankruptcy in the wake of the state passing a law that gave victims of sexual assault a three-year window to file civil lawsuits regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Five of the six Catholic dioceses in Minnesota, home to about 1.2 million Catholics, have turned to Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection to settle hundreds of claims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

The bankruptcies will allow the dioceses to settle mounting claims of sexual abuse without going before a jury, but victims will often receive a fraction of what juries might award and strip them of their day in court.

Bankruptcies don't wipe out dioceses. They don't dissolve them. They don't disappear. Dioceses file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reorganize and emerge as leaner operations.

The bankruptcies set up funds to pay victims who have filed claims of sexual abuse against the dioceses. Those victims are paid, along with other creditors who claim the diocese owes them money.

Can victim funds help heal wounds of Pa. church sex abuse scandal?

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 29, 2018

By Aaron Aupperlee

The 15-page packet of information John Delaney received in the mail weighed heavily on him.

Inside was information about a fund set up by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to compensate victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and an application to apply.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do. It's a hard pill to swallow," Delaney, 48, said in a telephone interview from his Sevierville, Tenn., home.

Delaney, the first victim of sexual abuse to testify before the Philadelphia grand jury in 2005, could soon face a choice: Accept money from a compensation program that has paid out $25,000 to $500,000 to victims of clergy sexual abuse elsewhere — a tacit acknowledgment from the church that abuse occurred — but give up any chance of ever taking his claim against the church to court. Or he could wait on the Pennsylvania legislature to perhaps, one day, open a legal window for him to sue the church, to have his day in court, and potentially win millions.

The compensation programs offer a chance to heal, bishops across Pennsylvania have said. But attorneys who have shepherded victims through similar funds elsewhere say the funds allow the church to settle claims of sexual abuse for less money and with less public exposure than if it went to court. They say the funds can insulate the church both politically and legally should lawmakers change the statute of limitations and allow old claims.

Suspected Pedophile Priest, Fr. McGrath, Goes AWOLSuspected Pedophile Priest, Fr. McGrath, Goes AWOL

CHICAGO (IL)
Patch Staff |

December 29, 2018

By John Ferak

Father Richard McGrath, the disgraced Catholic priest who served as principal and president of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox for several years until his forced resignation one year ago, has now gone missing in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The Chicago newspaper has been tracking Father McGrath's whereabouts ever since the Joliet Patch and New Lenox Patch broke an important news story in July revealing that the well-known Augustinian priest, who is a suspected pedophile, was now taking up residence at the Augustinian Order's St. John Stone Friary in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

In recent days, The Sun-Times published a story headlined, "Priest accused of child rape, porn, now AWOL from his religious community."

According to The Sun-Times, the Rev. Richie Mercado, secretary of the Augustinians' Midwest province, told the newspaper that McGrath "is unlawfully absent from the community." McGrath hasn't been seen at the Hyde Park friary for the Augustinians for weeks.

The Sun-Times article also included the following information: "Augustinian officials would not answer questions about whether they know where McGrath is now living and, if so, whether he's in a supervised setting, away from children."

In December 2017, McGrath was booted out of Providence in New Lenox after school staff members notified New Lenox Police that a female high school student saw photographs of naked boys on Father McGrath's cellphone. At the time of the incident, McGrath was sitting in the high school bleachers, all by himself, at a Providence High School wrestling meet.

Patch has previously reported that McGrath refused to cooperate with New Lenox Police, and he refused to give the cellphone with the suspected child pornography back to the Providence staff. He retained a criminal defense attorney and police were unable to interview him.

Six Jesuits Formerly Associated With GU Accused of Sexual Abuse, Reports Say

WASHINGTON (DC)
Georgetown Hoya

December 29, 2018

By Mason Mandell

Six Jesuit priests who were at one point associated with Georgetown University have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, as determined by the Maryland, Midwest and West Provinces of the Society of Jesus in reports released this month.

None of the allegations specify incidents of abuse at Georgetown, although estimated periods of abuse overlap with on-campus assignments, according to the reports.

The Maryland Province’s Dec. 17 report lists priests who face credible accusations of sexual abuse — classified as allegations with “a preponderance of evidence that the allegation is more likely true than not” — as well as priests who were accused of committing abuse, but were not investigated. The Maryland Province did not investigate the credibility of an allegation in cases involving the death of an alleged abuser or incomplete historical information, according to the report.

SUBUL MALIK/THE HOYA Credible allegations of sexual abuse toward minors were filed against six Jesuit priests formerly associated with Georgetown, according to reports released by the Maryland, Midwest and West Provinces of the Society of Jesus.
University President John J. DeGioia supported the disclosure by the Maryland Province and said Georgetown is dedicated to taking action against sexual abuse in a universitywide email Dec. 17.

“Our University is deeply committed to preventing and responding to sexual assault and misconduct and to protecting the most vulnerable among us,” DeGioia wrote. “Let us all take part in this responsibility.”

El cardenal Carles firmó la carta que permitió huir a Ecuador al cura acusado de abusos en 1990

[Cardinal Carles signed letter allowing priest accused of abuses in 1990 to flee to Ecuador]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 22, 2018

By Íñigo Domínguez

Su sucesor, Martínez Sistach, era el obispo auxiliar. El clérigo imputado, localizado por EL PAÍS, declara que “todo es un montaje de la alcaldesa comunista” de Barcelona

El arzobispado de Barcelona ayudó a huir de la justicia y salir del país a Jordi Senabre, un cura acusado de abuso de menores en 1990, tal como reveló EL PAÍS, que ha localizado en Ecuador al sacerdote, donde ha ejercido todos estos años. Sin embargo, no estaba claro quién tomó la decisión de enviarlo de misiones a una diócesis extranjera, pues ese año cambió el arzobispo de Barcelona y la archidiócesis catalana tampoco ha querido aclararlo. Ahora la diócesis de Santo Domingo de los Colorados, en el país sudamericano, ha confirmado a este periódico que recibió una carta firmada por el entonces arzobispo y luego cardenal, Ricard Maria Carles, ya fallecido. La fecha de la misiva es el 4 de diciembre de 1990, según ha informado el vicario judicial de esa provincia ecuatoriana, Jorge Apolo.

Los delitos sexuales contra menores no prescribirán hasta que la víctima cumpla al menos los 40

[Sexual offenses against minors will not expire until the victim reaches at least 40]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 28, 2018

By María Sosa

El Gobierno eleva la edad en que empiezan a extinguirse los abusos de los 18 a los 30 años. Los menores de 14 no declararán más de una vez en el proceso judicial

El plazo de prescripción de los abusos sexuales a menores comenzará a correr cuando la víctima cumpla 30 años, y no 18, como sucede ahora. Este es uno de los principales cambios que contempla el anteproyecto de Ley Orgánica para la Protección Integral de la Infancia y la Adolescencia frente a la Violencia, que el Consejo de Ministros tiene previsto aprobar este viernes en primera lectura. La medida responde a una de las principales peticiones de las víctimas de delitos sexuales, aunque las organizaciones de infancia habían solicitado que el tiempo comenzara a correr a los 50.

Víctimas de Karadima confían en que autoridades de la Iglesia sean encarceladas por encubrir abusos

[Karadima victims trust that Church authorities will be imprisoned for covering up abuses]

CHILE
BioBioChile

December 28, 2018

By Alberto González and Nicole Martínez

Víctimas de Fernando Karadima se manifestaron confiados en que altas autoridades de la Iglesia Católica en nuestro país, sean encarceladas por encubrir abusos sexuales. Por cerca de cuatro horas, dos de las víctimas del exsacerdote Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, prestaron declaración en la causa de encubrimiento de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia Católica, en contra de Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati.

Diputado UDI pide a obispos católicos centrar su mensaje de Navidad en "los niños y jóvenes abusados"

[UDI Deputy asks Catholic bishops to focus their Christmas message on "abused children and youth"]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

December 21, 2018

Álvaro Carter lamentó que la Conferencia Espicopal no abordara "el sufrimiento de quienes han sido abusados por sacerdotes".

El diputado de la UDI, Álvaro Carter, lamentó que el mensaje de Navidad de la Conferencia Episcopal de los obispos chilenos no abordara en profundidad los casos de abusos a menores cometidos por miembros de la Iglesia Católica.

Obispo Fernando Ramos: “Esta no es la misma Iglesia Católica chilena de hace un año”

[Bishop Fernando Ramos: "This is not the same Chilean Catholic Church as one year ago"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 29, 2018

By María José Navarrete

En su balance del complejo año 2018, el prelado también anuncia que reemplazará al presidente del Episcopado, Santiago Silva -quien en octubre declaró ante la fiscalía por presunto encubrimiento de abusos- en la reunión extraordinaria de febrero convocada por el Papa.

“Decrecimiento”. Así lo asume -y reconoce- el obispo Fernando Ramos, secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal y administrador apostólico de Rancagua. El prelado se refiere específicamente a los resultados de la encuesta CEP, dada conocer poco antes de Navidad y que muestra la baja de católicos en el país durante los últimos 20 años. Confronta sus razones y proyecciones. Y, junto a ese escenario, analiza también lo ocurrido durante este complejo 2018, que comenzó con la visita del Papa Francisco, pero que estuvo marcado por la investigación de casos de abusos en el clero.

A GetReligionista looks back on some of his — and his colleagues' — most-clicked posts of 2018

GET RELIGION

December 29, 2018

By Bobby Ross Jr.

I write more than 200 posts a year for GetReligion.

My pieces range from our bread-and-butter critiques of mainstream news media coverage of religion to our weekly Friday Five columns highlighting each week’s major (or just plain quirky) developments on the Godbeat.

At the end of each year, I’m always curious to see which posts caught the attention of the most readers.

What makes a GetReligion post go viral? In 2017, key ingredients included Joel Osteen, same-sex wedding cakes and the Mark of the Beast. The previous year — 2016 — Donald Trump’s “Two Corinthians,” Merle Haggard’s Church of Christ mama and a rare opening of a Chick-fil-A on Sunday were in the mix.

2018? Well, let’s check out the top five posts for GetReligionista Julia Duin, GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly and myself.

We’ll start with Julia, for reasons that will become obvious:

5. How journalists can nail down the rest of the Cardinal McCarrick story – for good

4. Cardinal Ted McCarrick, Part II: The New York Times takes a stab at this old story

3. Catholic News Agency pulls off investigative coup in the 'Uncle Ted' McCarrick saga

2. Another #ChurchToo: The Chicago Tribune investigates Bill Hybels in 6,000 words

1. The scandal of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and why no major media outed him

He Was a Gay Man on Staff at a Catholic Parish. Then the Threats Began Coming In.

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

December 29, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

When Antonio Aaron Bianco arrived for work at his Roman Catholic church office on a recent Monday morning, he was rattled to discover that someone had broken into the conference room and spray-painted a message in large yellow letters on the wall. It said “No Fags.”

For Mr. Bianco, a layman in charge of managing St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, the break-in was just another terrifying omen. Two weeks earlier, someone tried to set the sanctuary doors on fire before the early Sunday Mass. Before that, a stranger swung a punch at Mr. Bianco after Mass one day. For months he had received anonymous phone calls and letters with messages like “Sodomites not welcome in the church.”

Located in the heart of San Diego’s largest gay neighborhood, St. John the Evangelist is one of about 300 Catholic parishes around the country that quietly welcome gay Catholics. Although the Catholic church teaches that same-sex relationships are sinful, growing pockets of the church have accepted openly gay parishioners, staff members and even priests.

But since this summer, when the church faced renewed allegations of clergy sexual abuse, these gay-friendly parishes and church workers have been facing a hostile backlash. Some bishops and conservative Catholic media outlets immediately blamed the crisis on homosexuality, fueling a campaign to purge the church of gay clergy members and church workers.

More than 1,700 people signed a petition started in August demanding that the archbishop of Atlanta “remove priests who promote the L.G.B.T. agenda from public ministry” and stop supporting parishes known to welcome gay people. In Chicago, a priest burned a rainbow flag and led parishioners in a “prayer of exorcism.” For the first time, protesters showed up outside an annual spiritual retreat of gay priests in Wisconsin in October. In November, bishops attending a conference in Baltimore were greeted by Catholics holding signs saying “All Homosexual Cardinals, Bishops and Priests MUST RESIGN!”

Illinois dioceses have no excuse for keeping priest sex abuse secret

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun Times

December 28, 2018

I was born, raised and educated as a Catholic. I am appalled at the stance taken by church leaders with regard to the possible cases of sexual abuse by a large number of practicing priests in Illinois.

No matter what Archbishop Cupich or any of his aides declare, there is simply no defense for the current state of affairs. The Catholic Church has failed to obey its own precepts. The alleged abuses go back as far as 1992, and what has the church done to combat them? Removed the priests from their parishes, put

With the latest report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, it is hard to believe that the church has reported all the incidents of abuse in the Chicago diocese. As a Catholic, it is hard for me to consider adhering to the guidance and direction of people who fail to follow their own advice. And instead of trying to get their own affairs in order, they spend their time trying to defend their actions and position. No matter what they proclaim, one case of abuse, reported or not, is one too many. When the numbers soar into triple digits, it is inexcusable.

It is now time for the state to step in and investigate, punish those who have committed these crimes and incarcerate offenders as they would anyone not protected by a collar.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park

Letter: Female abuse victims exist in surprising numbers

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 28, 2018

The writer of the Dec. 23 letter, “Allowing priests to marry does not solve the problem” is accurate in her opinion that neither celibacy nor homosexuality causes a person to be a pedophile. Pedophilia is an issue that needs addressing as to cause and effect.

I would like to address the question in the reader’s letter as to why 90 percent or more of all children abused by priests are mostly male. It is estimated that about 40 percent of victims of priest abuse are female.

Female victims have a much more difficult time revealing their story. Some have been blamed by their abuser or the organization that has protected the perpetrator. Some have been brainwashed by Catholic guilt.

Some continue to hold guilt as if the crime done to them as a child is their fault and not that of the adult who violated a child.

Women reporting the crime are interviewed by men. These men interviewers have been priests until most recently.


Excavation of Tuam babies mass grave will begin in 2019

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Irish Post

December 29, 2018

By Gerard Donaghy

THE EXCAVATION of a mass grave in Tuam, Co. Galway that contains the remains of hundreds of young children is to begin in 2019.

The grave at the site of the former mother and baby home is estimated to contain the remains of 796 children.

It is believed the infants were aged from 35 foetal weeks to three years.

The excavation is due to commence in the latter half of 2019, once legislation has been passed to allow the government to carry out the operation.

“So we’ll have to pass that legislation in the New Year, and we’d envisage carrying out the first excavations in the second half of 2019,” said the Taoiseach, according to RTÉ News.

“In the meantime though, we can start appointing the experts and the ground team who’ll be doing the actual work.”

INVESTIGATION
The Tuam home was in operation from 1925 to 1961 and was run by Sisters of the Bon Secours.

Five years ago, local historian Catherine Corless discovered official records showing that 796 infants and children had died at the home.

Southern Babtoys Corporation: a satirical look at the pervasive problem of clergy sexual abuse

WINSTON SALEM (NC)
Baptist News Global

December 28, 2018

By Christa Brown

As you pack away the ornaments and the special Christmas dinnerware, imagine a story about a company called Southern Babtoys Corporation, which markets a toy with a pervasive problem.

According to conservative estimates, at least 3 out of every 100 babtoys, and probably more, will blow up in a kid’s hands, hurling tiny fragments far and wide. Typically, the exploding babtoy causes serious injuries, but the pieces are so minuscule that the child often doesn’t realize his injury at the time. He may see only a scratch on his forehead and doesn’t know that some of the pieces have actually penetrated his skull.

To make matters worse, the tiny pieces contain a radioactive compound that releases slowly in continuing ripples of destruction. Over time, the damage in the brain grows worse, but though the damage is real, it manifests so slowly that most people don’t immediately trace it back to the babtoy.

Kids play with babtoys in groups. So a single babtoy will often harm a whole bunch of kids.

Officials at Southern Babtoys Corporation know this is happening, but they don’t do anything about it. They don’t institute quality control measures to prevent the problem, and they don’t even keep records on babtoys that exploded. In fact, when these babtoys are returned, they are often restored and remarketed, but without fixing the problem and without putting even so much as printing a warning on the label. So the same babtoys can explode again and injure still more kids.

You might have one of these warning-never-included, defective babtoys without even knowing it. They look just like all the other babtoys.

“The ‘babtoys’ are Baptist pastors, and the ‘explosions’ are the predatory sexual abuses committed by a percentage of those pastors.”

When someone complains about risky babtoys, SBC officials make minimizing statements, chalk the problem up to other things and blame the complainers. They might say that the kid wore the wrong kind of clothes while playing with the babtoy, or that the parents didn’t properly supervise or that the complainers are just “opportunists.”

The SBC almost never acknowledges the seriousness of its quality control issue, how widespread the problem really is or how devastating the damage is for children. And it certainly doesn’t take any responsibility. In fact, the SBC has been successfully ducking responsibility for so long that it can scarcely imagine any other way to do business. Institutionally, it has simply accommodated to accepting wounded kids as the collateral damage of its business model.

Occasionally, when media reports about exploding babtoys crop up, SBC officials will make such nice-sounding public statements that few can believe such a caring company would ever be remiss for safety. Their official statements reference “precious children” and how terrible the “isolated cases” are.

SBC officials have obviously been well-coached by a whole slew of well-paid public relations professionals and attorneys. They’ve got the talk-thing down. Talk is what they’re good at. But preventive action? Not so much.

The Vatican’s investigation into Theodore McCarrick’s alleged crimes is underway

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 28, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer and Chico Harlan

The Vatican has begun its long-promised investigation into the crimes allegedly committed by disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, with the intent of determining a punishment for the former high-ranking church leader.

McCarrick, who retired as archbishop of Washington in 2006 but remained a globe-trotting diplomat representing the Catholic Church and occasionally the U.S. State Department, was removed from ministry when the church determined in June that he had groped a teenager at a New York church almost 50 years ago.

Then more allegations came to light: The church had twice settled hushed cases brought by men who said McCarrick harassed them when they were seminarians or young priests. A Virginia man, James Grein, said McCarrick abused him for years, starting when he was 11.

In July, McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals, retaining the lower title archbishop, and the Vatican promised that he would stand trial in its internal court system. Then, for months, silence.

On Thursday, Grein said that the Vatican’s judicial process is now underway. He testified before an investigator representing the church, in an office of the Archdiocese of New York, on Thursday morning.

“I had one of the best days of my entire life today. I changed how people are going to think about the Catholic church today,” Grein said to The Washington Post afterward. He expressed confidence that the priest who interviewed him, the Rev. Richard L. Welch, will share the transcript of his testimony about being abused by McCarrick with church leaders at the highest levels, all the way up to Pope Francis. “Francis knows who I am — he can see me and hear me and listen to my voice and hear my emotions. ... It’s about time.”

Former Sedalia priest one of 35 removed for misconduct

SEDALIA (MO)
Sedalia Democrat

December 29 2018

By Nuria Martinez-Keel

An allegation of inappropriate behavior toward a teenager in Sedalia led to the expulsion of a priest from the Catholic Community of Pettis County.

Deusdedit Mulokozi was one of 35 priests removed from the Diocese of Jefferson City, according to a November announcement from Bishop Shawn McKnight.

In 2015, the diocese deemed Mulokozi “unsuitable for ministry out of concern for the safety of our youth,” according to the announcement. Former Bishop John Gaydos expelled him from the diocese, forcing his removal from ministry in Pettis County.

Mulokozi, known familiarly as Father Deo, served at Sacred Heart Church and St. Patrick Church in Sedalia and St. John the Evangelist in Bahner from 2014 until the allegation emerged in May 2015. He came to Pettis County from Tanzania as a member of the religious order Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

A 15-year-old girl reported to the Sedalia Police Department that Mulokozi had insisted on hugging her after a one-on-one counseling session at the Sacred Heart Church rectory. Before she left the room, he gave her “not a normal hug but a dirty hug,” according to SPD documents.

Detectives investigated her report and later requested the priest be charged with third-degree assault in Pettis County Circuit Court.

Third-degree assault in 2015 involved offensive contact or touching. Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer said his office chose not to file the charge against Mulokozi because evidence in the case didn’t prove criminal conduct.

The girl disclosed details of her encounter with Mulokozi during an interview at Child Safe of Central Missouri.

She said she had been seeing Mulokozi for counseling once every two weeks at the rectory. The girl described the priest as her guidance counselor and a person she trusted, according to police documents.

On May 10, 2015, they stood up to leave at the end of a session, and the girl put out her hand for a handshake. Mulokozi pulled her in for an embrace, saying, “No, I want a hug,” according to SPD documents.

The girl said in her interview that Mulokozi had hugged her before but “not like that.”

“At that point in the interview, (the girl) started crying,” according to police documents. “(She) then exclaimed, ‘Why did he hug me that way? It was dirty.’”

Spain Moves to Extend Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse

The Globe Post

December 29, 2018

Spain’s cabinet approved a draft law on Friday which will extend the statute of limitations for cases of physical or sexual abuse of children.

Under the bill the statute of limitations for these types of crimes would begin when the victim turns 30, instead of 18 as it currently stands under Spanish law, the government said in a statement.

The proposed change to the criminal code, which still has to be approved by parliament, would affect sexual crimes, physical abuse, human trafficking and attempted murder.

Why This Matters
Campaigners have long argued that many victims take years to digest the abuse they have suffered and report it, meaning that in many cases the offenders cannot be prosecuted.

The bill also includes “a broad definition of violence that encompasses any type of physical, emotional or psychological abuse, including corporal punishment or neglect,” the statement added.

The proposed law also includes new crimes committed online such as incitement to commit suicide, commit sexual crimes or encourage bulimia or other eating disorders.

The government also said it plans to tighten the rules granting conditional release or temporary exit permits from jail for people serving time for sexual assaults against minors.

Lawsuit: Former Cobb priest sexually abused boy during previous church assignment

MARIETTA (GA)
Marietta Daily Journal

December 28, 2019

By Jon Gargis

A former altar boy is suing the Cobb-based Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta alleging that church officials remained silent over the sexual abuse he and others suffered over the span of several decades.

The suit filed by a man using the placeholder name “Phillip Doe” claims that he had been sexually molested by his priest, Father J. Douglas Edwards, in the 1970s. While Edwards’ long career in the archdiocese saw him last serve at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Kennesaw from 1987 to 1989, the alleged acts of molestation occurred while Edwards was the priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dalton.

Edwards had a house on Lake Allatoona in Acworth, to which “he took groups of boys” from the Dalton church, the suit alleges, including the complainant, who claims to have been molested by Edwards about eight to 10 times from at least 1976 through 1978 during his service as an altar boy from about age 12 to 15.

“As a result of the sexual abuse, Plaintiff has throughout his life suffered from a variety of emotional and psychological problems including but not limited to embarrassment, shame, anger and depression. Plaintiff also experienced a loss of faith and spirituality which were bedrocks of his life prior to the abuse,” the lawsuit states.

Edwards died in 1997, the archdiocese previously announced.

The suit goes on to allege that St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the archdiocese and its chief executive, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, have known about priests such as Edwards but “actively concealed the identities of sexual predators and allowed them to remain in unsuspecting communities, exposed to innocent children, for decades.”

Time Is Up To Revoke Honorary Degrees Given To McCarrick And Wuerl

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Georgetown Voice

December 28, 2018

As a prominent Catholic institution, Georgetown has the capability and responsibility to take public, tangible action to address the clerical sex abuse crisis; yet the university has failed to use its power to do so. On Sept. 10, we published an editorial that called for Georgetown to revoke the honorary degrees of Cardinals Donald Wuerl and Theodore McCarrick, two former archbishops of Washington, D.C., who are closely implicated in the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis. Three months after this editorial and despite determined student activism, the university has neither stripped the men of their degrees nor communicated with students on any decision around this subject. With the recent report from the Maryland Province Society of Jesus revealing more connections between Georgetown and this crisis, the university has run out of time to take clear and visible action denouncing predator priests and those who cover them and must immediately revoke Wuerl and McCarrick’s honorary degrees.

In an email to the student body on Dec. 17, university President John DeGioia wrote that four Jesuits who had been accused of sexual abuse of minors in the aforementioned report spent time at Georgetown, although none of the incidents occurred on campus. In that email, DeGioia also wrote: “Our community will continue our work to respond to this moment through dialogue, reflection, and action.” With varying degrees of success, the university has engaged students in dialogue and reflection in its “Dahlgren Dialogue” series and “Liturgy of Music and Prayer for Repentance” events. Action, the most crucial part of the three steps DeGioia outlined, is sorely lacking.

Last summer, allegations became public that McCarrick, archbishop of D.C. in the early 2000s, had abused men and boys for decades. The Vatican removed him from public ministry and the pope accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals in July. Within two months of McCarrick’s resignation, six of Georgetown’s Catholic peer institutions, Fordham University, Catholic University, University of Portland, St. Bonaventure University, College of New Rochelle, and Siena College all revoked their honorary degrees they granted to McCarrick. Notre Dame did not rescind theirs, but their university president sent an email within one month of McCarrick’s resignation explaining that the university would wait for the Vatican’s trial to conclude to make their decision about the degree.

A report released by the Pennsylvania Attorney General a month later revealed that Cardinal Wuerl, then the bishop of Pittsburgh, had protected abusers by re-assigning them to new parishes and covering up allegations. Pope Francis accepted his resignation as D.C.’s archbishop on Oct. 12. The university has now had months to discuss and reflect on these revelations, but has shown no true action.

The GUSA senate passed a unanimous resolution urging for the revocation of the degrees on Oct. 28. Throughout the semester, student activists have met with university administrators to share concerns and receive updates about Georgetown’s discussions surrounding the degrees. Grace Laria (SFS ’19), one of these students, said the group has been informed that the university’s board of directors is actively debating the issue, but that it has not yet come to a conclusion. One of the reasons given was that Georgetown had never revoked a degree before. However, neither had our neighbor Catholic University until they rescinded the one given to McCarrick, who was a student and later chancellor of the university while he was archbishop of D.C.

Catholic abuse victims face new obstacle

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

December 28, 2018

It is hard to imagine how the Catholic Church and its many individual dioceses would find a way to add insult to the injuries of victims of predator priests beyond what they have already accomplished through their decades of covering up and mishandling the scandal. But they have.

Last month, after the bombshell grand jury report in August about widespread abuse across the state, several dioceses announced they have set up victim compensation funds. These “reconciliation and reparation funds” are intended to compensate those whose claims do not fall within the civil statute of limitations.

These funds have been debated for years, and many see the church’s insistence on them as a way to avoid the true reform that’s needed: allowing a window of time to allow older victims of abuse to sue, and eliminating the criminal and civil statutes of limitations going forward. These reforms have been a hot political potato since 2006, when District Attorney Lynne Abraham released another grand jury report focused on abuses in Philadelphia. State lawmakers ultimately dropped that potato, failing to enact these necessary reforms before leaving Harrisburg for a long break.

Last month, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced it had opened a victim compensation fund and would being making settlements. But according to an Inquirer report last week, about a quarter of those filing claims of being abused were told they were not entitled to compensation because the priests in question were from independent religious orders, such as Franciscans or Jesuits — not the diocese. Even though these priests were in the schools and parishes where abuse happened, performing their ministries under the auspices of the church and diocese, they do not fall under the “administrative umbrella” of parish priests.

Various online forums attempt to explain the difference between the two kinds of priests. The major difference is the kind of vows they take, and geography: A diocesan priest is committed to live attached to a parish, and the other doesn’t. Both, notably, take vows of chastity or celibacy. If you’re a child who is taught that all priests carry moral and spiritual authority, these are differences without a distinction.

Most tragically, both kinds of priests are capable of abuse.

This Pope needs a reality check in 2019

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

December 29th, 2018

By Diane Dimond

During this holiest of Christian seasons, who could ignore the latest statements of Pope Francis speaking about the festering child sex abuse scandal within his church? In a Christmas address, he spoke of priests who “prey like wolves on their flock” and a clergy “ready to devour innocent souls.”

“To those who abuse minors, I would say this,” the Pope declared. “Convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”

Some saw the Pope’s words as stern and definitive. I saw them as a public relations move and a mealy-mouthed response to criminals who have been protected by the Catholic Church for way too long. Does the Pope truly think offending priests are going to suddenly march themselves down to the closest cop-shop and confess everything? Get real.

As Anne Doyle, of BishopAccountablilty.org – a group that tracks clergy sex abuse cases – put it, “In commanding child molesters to turn themselves in, Francis is pretending. He’s pretending that sick men can suddenly see the light.”

Priestly sex crimes against children are documented to have occurred for countless decades. Prosecutors in the U.S. and countries around the world have unmasked the felonious behavior of innumerable of these so-called “shepherds of Christ.” Yet, still, there are victims who are disbelieved or simply ignored by the very church in which they had worshipped.

Naturally, the Vatican isn’t asking for suggestions, but I’ve got some for the Pope if he’s interested in slowing America’s 60-year slide in Catholic church attendance.

Instead of shipping off predatory pedophilic priests to far-flung retreats in, say, New Mexico or Michigan – only to shuffle them off to other unsuspecting parishes after their “self-reflection” – how about the Pope order his cardinals, archbishops and bishops to gather up all the known clergy sinners and turn them in to authorities? That would finally put the imprimatur of the Church on the right side of this tragedy.

NY archdiocese issued suitability letter for priest under abuse investigation

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
Catholic News Agency

December 28, 2018

By Ed Condon

The Archdiocese of New York told a California college this month that a local priest had never been accused of sexual abuse, even while the priest was being investigated by the archdiocese for several abuse charges. An administrator at the college called the letter “a lie,” and said she can no longer trust assurances from the archdiocese.

On Dec. 4, the New York archdiocese issued a letter stating “without qualification” that Fr. Donald Timone had “never been accused of any act of sexual abuse or misconduct involving a minor.”

In fact the archdiocese first received in 2003 an allegation that the priest had sexually abused minors, and it reached settlements with alleged victims in 2017.

The archdiocesan letter was received Dec. 13 by John Paul the Great University in Escondido, California, where Timone served. According to the university, the letter was not rescinded until after university officials contacted the Archdiocese of New York, following a Dec. 20 New York Times report on the history of allegations against Timone.

Allegations were first made against Timone in 2003 but they were dismissed as “unsubstantiated” by the archdiocese following an investigation by the archdiocesan review board. New allegations were made against the priest during a 2017 investigation by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program of the Archdiocese of New York.

Last week, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that the archdiocesan review board had reopened its formal investigation into Timone in early autumn 2018.

Pope Francis failed to handle the sex abuse crisis in 2018. Let’s hope 2019 is different.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 28, 2019

By Elizabeth Bruenig

Pope Francis did not have the year he thought he was going to have.

It began this way: marked by sniping about his reform tendencies, especially where Catholic Church teaching on the family is concerned. As the Vatican geared up for its 2018 synod assembly — a meeting of bishops from around the world who gather in Rome to advise the pope on different issues, this year on youth and vocations — talk that the 2014 and 2015 synod meetings on the family had been rigged in favor of a reformist agenda circulated among anti-Francis factions. Perhaps the Francis skeptics assumed they would get to press their case against the pope again when the October synod on youth came to pass. But even they couldn’t have predicted what sort of opportunities would present themselves in the meantime.

There have been plenty of those. Today, Francis’s pontificate wavers in the wake of the explosive reemergence of the sex abuse crisis. His popularity has dropped sharply among Americans at large. And though Catholics’ views of the pope are steadier, the faithful are suffering. The pope has been called upon to resign and likewise advised strongly against it.

Pope Francis has — for the most part, though with notable exceptions — said the right things about the crisis. But saying the right things about it is easy, and despite all the encouraging remarks, Francis has taken little action so far. In February he will convene a worldwide meeting of key bishops in Rome to generate actionable solutions to the disaster facing the church. Will it change anything?

A brief recap: After an investigation led by the Archdiocese of New York found accusations of minor sexual abuse against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick to be credible, McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals and Pope Francis ordered him into a life of prayer and penance, effectively banishing him from public life. A few weeks later, an explosive grand jury report from Pennsylvania revealed the disgusting, almost unthinkable extent of clergy sexual abuse and its coverup in the state, implicating several prelates, including then-archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Roughly a week later, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano released a long testimonial accusing Francis himself of having known of McCarrick’s abuses and permitting him to continue in public ministry anyhow, loosening restrictions placed on him by Pope Benedict XVI in the process.

Scandal impacts priestly ambition

SANDUSKY (OH)
Sandusky Register

December 29, 2018

ByTyler Boyd

Deliver us from evil. This should be our prayer as the Church endures the ongoing scandal resulting from clerical sex abuse. I never grew up in the Church not effected by the clerical sex abuse scandal. As I began discerning priesthood several years ago, I became the target of jokes, whispers and disapproval. I never thought, however, that in the years of my priestly formation the scandal could grow to what it is today. Revelations of clerical sex abuse have now reached the highest echelons of the Church. Even seminarians, young men discerning God’s will for their lives, were victims of abuse by the very men they trusted with their futures. Who could I trust?

One afternoon, after reading article after article about the extensive abuse, I asked myself why I was still studying to be a priest. The clerical collar, the badge of the Catholic priesthood, no longer looked noble but dirty. The parish no longer sounded like an oasis of prayer but a crime scene. I began to ask myself why I wanted to become a priest. What was my intention? Did I want the benefits of a priestly life? Did I want to escape the world that was seemingly falling apart around me? Did I have something to hide? Then in an illuminating moment, all of my fears and anxiety faded away.

I was reminded why I wanted to become a priest; I wanted to serve Jesus Christ and his Church. I wanted to be a medic on the battlefield of life, binding the wounds left by sin, carrying my brothers and sisters into the safety of the Father’s arms. This was my vocation, and no sin of any priest or bishop could stop me from pursuing that purpose that God had created me for. Today I look at this crisis and I see the pain and suffering, but I recognize it as a call to arms. As a man studying for priesthood I must “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11) because as an earthy ambassador of Jesus Christ “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

December 28, 2018

Editorial: Investigar los abusos

[Editorial: Investigate church abuses]

SPAIN
El País

December 22, 2018

La Conferencia Episcopal Española debería seguir el camino marcado por el Papa y acabar con la impunidad

Con mucha más lentitud de lo que la gravedad de los hechos exige y de forma aún parcial e insuficiente, comienzan a verse signos de rectificación en la Iglesia católica española en relación al escándalo de los abusos de menores. El más importante es la decisión de la orden de los jesuitas en Cataluña de abrir una investigación interna que permita depurar los casos de abusos a menores en sus instituciones. La Compañía de Jesús y Jesuitas Educación han respondido así a las informaciones publicadas por este diario que afectaban a la orden, en particular el caso de un profesor del colegio de Sant Ignasi de Barcelona que en 1992 fue condenado a dos años de cárcel, que no llegó a cumplir, por haber abusado de una niña y murió en Bolivia en 2017 sin que se hubiera abierto un proceso canónico. La orden no solo salió en defensa del sacerdote cuando fue condenado, sino que al enviarlo a misiones le despidió con un homenaje. El encubrimiento fue la conducta habitual en la Iglesia en los casos que salían a la luz. Los jesuitas catalanes admiten ahora que no se valoró adecuadamente la gravedad de los hechos y piden perdón por ello.

"Fue un año que la Iglesia dificilmente olvidará": Conferencia Episcopal resume el 2018 marcado por casos de abusos"

["It was a year that the Church will hardly forget:" Episcopal Conference sums up 2018 marked by abuse cases]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

December 27, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Expresiones repetidas de dolor y vergüenza, inéditas escenas de incautaciones y sanciones drásticas a obispos y sacerdotes chilenos", fueron parte de los acontecimientos de los que dio cuenta el organismo religioso.

"Fue un año que la Iglesia en Chile difícilmente olvidará". Así lo sostuvo la Conferencia Episcopal, organismo que publicó en su página web un resumen con los principales acontecimientos vividos por el clero durante un 2018 marcado por las investigaciones a los abusos sexuales a menores por parte de religiosos y la visita del Papa Francisco al país.

Juan Carlos Cruz tras declarar casi 4 horas en la Fiscalía: "No me extrañaría que Ezzati o Errázuriz terminen en la cárcel"

[Juan Carlos Cruz after testifying for almost 4 hours in prosecutor's office: "I would not be surprised if Ezzati or Errázuriz end up in jail"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

December 27, 2018

Junto a José Andrés Murillo, aportaron a la Fiscalía de Rancagua una serie de antecedentes sobre el “patrón de conducta” de los cardenales Ricardo Ezzati y Francisco Javier Errázuriz. La investigación del encubrimiento montado en la plana mayor de la Iglesia católica se mantuvo por años bajo la alfombra, pero un hito que reveló cómo operaba esta maquinaria fue develado por El Mostrador en 2015, con un reportaje que mostró el intercambio de correos secretos entre Ezzati y Errázuriz y las operaciones que ambos urdían en conjunto.

Por casi 4 horas declararon en la Fiscalía de Rancagua Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, dos de las víctimas del Fernando Karadima, en el marco de la investigación que lleva adelante el Ministerio Público por encubrimiento de abusos sexuales que involucra a los cardenales Ricardo Ezzati y Francisco Javier Errázuriz.

Obispo emérito de Ancud: “Muchos no le hallan sentido a la Iglesia dentro de la realidad”

[Bishop emeritus of Ancud: "Many do not find meaning in the Church in their real lives"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 22, 2018

By María José Navarrete

El prelado Juan Luis Ysern acaba de ser designado por los jesuitas para investigar los eventuales nuevos delitos del sacerdote Jaime Guzmán.

“Mi papel, como delegado del superior general de la Compañía de Jesús, P. Arturo Sosa SJ, es investigar sobre la posibilidad de otros delitos”. Así, directo, se expresa el obispo emérito de Ancud, Juan Luis Ysern, respecto del encargo que asumió esta semana, en relación con el jesuita Jaime Guzmán.

La semana que remeció a la Iglesia chilena

[The week that shook the Chilean Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 28, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias, Editor in Chief

“Este Papa acostumbra a hacer cosas imprevistas”. Cuando habló tras aterrizar en el aeropuerto Fuimicino de Roma, el 12 de mayo, había cierto desconcierto en el tono del cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz. Inicialmente no tenía previsto asistir a la convocatoria hecha por el Papa a todos los obispos chilenos. En su calidad de emérito, parecía considerar innecesaria su presencia. Pero un llamado de último minuto lo obligó a embarcarse de urgencia. El Papa quería que estuviera todo el episcopado chileno. Errázuriz, como varios obispos, no parecían entender por qué. “Esto que llame a todos los obispos es muy raro”, comentó algo más relajado al llegar a Roma. “Da la idea de que la Iglesia chilena está muy mal”.

Opinión: No los abandonemos

[Opinion: Let's not abandon them]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 28, 2018

By Vinka Jackson and James Hamilton

La visita papal marcó un comienzo de 2018 desde las voces de una sociedad civil que expresó su indignación ante abusos sexuales masivos de niños y jóvenes perpetrados y encubiertos por la iglesia católica. La demanda por verdad, justicia y reparación ya no provenía sólo de víctimas y sobrevivientes, sino también de miles de familias, ciudadanos de distintas edades, y también de sacerdotes y religiosas no agresores. El abuso sexual infantil es transversal y del mismo modo necesita ser enfrentado por todos, juntos.

Catholic Dioceses of Michigan Under Investigation

MICHIGAN
The Legal Examiner

December 28, 2018

By David Mittleman

The Michigan Attorney General’s office announced earlier this year it was joining several other states in investigating allegations of sexual abuse and assault of children and others by Catholic priests from the 1950s till today. All 7 Michigan Catholic Dioceses are being investigated. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Lansing Diocese welcomed the investigation. Church members formed a coalition, and asked the Lansing Bishop for transparency during the investigation. As of October, more than 150 tips were called into a hotline. I don’t know when the final report will be published, but I predict that it will not paint the Michigan Catholic Dioceses as a very pretty picture. Will it be as bad or worse than Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, California? Probably.

This prediction is not made on any inside information. But I have seen the movie. In 2010 Greg Guggemos retained me to represent him against the Lansing Diocese to hold them accountable because of what a priest did to him 50 years earlier when he was 5 years old at St. Vincent Orphanage. Greg explained the reason he went public after settling his case with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing for 2 reasons, “One, he hopes if there are other victims, they will have the courage to come forward. Secondly, he hopes Michigan law will change and the statute of limitations will increase so other victims will have their day in court.” Greg has been published in many newspapers and encourages everyone to watch the movie Spotlight.

I couldn’t agree more with Greg. His bravery and courage to come forward, remembering the unthinkable, and the settlement led to me interviewing almost 50 people, mostly men, who all had similar stories to tell me. So I know. I am willing to help. It is part of the process.

Priest abuse is top religion story of 2018

ABILENE (TX)
Abilene Reporter News

December 28, 2018

By Doug Mendenhall

When weighing the size of a story, journalists consider how big a change it represents.

Like, a year ago, both the Religion News Association collectively and me – a single RNA member – voted that the top religion story should be the support of evangelical Christians for President Trump, because that represented a huge change within both American political and religious landscapes.

Which is also why I voted this year that the top story should be the opposition of many religious leaders to Trump's policies about immigration – because I saw that as just as huge a swing in the opposite direction.

RNA overall, though, went in a different direction, giving its top spot to a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report that accused 301 Catholic priests of abusing at least a thousand minors.

Boy’s ‘extraordinary courage’ helps unmask man of cloth in sexual abuse case

NAVAL, BILIRAN (PHILIPPINES)
Inquirer.net

December 28, 2018

By Danny Petilla

After years of being sexually abused by an American Roman Catholic priest, a 12-year-old boy is leading the fight against pedophilia in a remote village here where his older brother and many of their friends are also victims.

Police officials here said JVA (the boy’s alias in the criminal complaint) convinced his 22-year-old brother, known in the same complaint as CV, and several other former altar boys who are now of legal age to come out and charge the 77-year-old priest, Kenneth Bernard Pius Hendricks, of sexually abusing them for many years.

“The courage and bravery of this boy is extraordinary. He is the reason why we have this case,” said SPO3 Venus Abrigo, chief of the Women and Children Protection (WCP) desk of the Naval Police Station.

The boy, who is now in Grade 6 here, is said to idolize Coco Martin’s character in the popular television series “Ang Probinsyano.”

Priest faces child abuse raps; Palma makes a public apology for priest’s ‘unkind’ behavior

PHILIPPINES
Cebu Daily News

December 28,2018

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio

The parish priest of the Nativity of Mary Parish in Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City, who has been jailed for hitting his household cook’s daughter will not be able to get away from the charges of child abuse despite the mother backing off from the case.

The mother of the 15-year-old victim, who could not be named being the mother of a minor, told Cebu Daily News that she would no longer pursue the charges against Rev. Fr. Decoroso Olmilla, as the situation has been aggravated by the spread of “false” rumors online.

“Dili man unta ko ganahan makahibawo ang daghang tawo. Apan daghan na kaayo ninggawas sa Facebook nga mga storya-storya (I did not want a lot of people to know. However, many stories have spread on Facebook),” she said on a phone call.

She clarified that the situation was not as grave as has been reported and that her daughter was not “beaten” by the priest but was “only hit a few times.”

PO1 Jinelyn Formentera of the Women’s and Child Welfare Desk of the Canduman Police Station said the 15-year-old daughter of Olmilla’s cook has accused the priest of physical and verbal abuse.

33 Alaska clergy & volunteers named in sexual abuse report

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

December 27, 2018

By Kalinda Kindle

Decades of past abuse were published in a December 7th report 'Credible Claims of Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult.' by the Jesuits West Province. In that report, 33 of the claims identify Alaska clergy and volunteers as perpetrators of sexually abusing children.

Jesuits West said its list is the province’s ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability. Many of the claims were made after an accused priest was deceased. Those cases were not able to be investigated, according to the Jesuit West Providence.

Monsignor Murrough Wallace facing accusations of sexual abuse

TAHOE (CA)
South Tahoe Now

December 27, 2018

By Paula Peterson

Monsignor Murrough Wallace, who served the South Lake Tahoe community at the St. Theresa Parish from 1993 to 2003, has been accused by a man who said Wallace and another priest sexually abused him in 1985 when he was 17.

The accuser, known as John Doe in court documents, said he was volunteering at Camp Pendola when the alleged abuse took place.

Due to the allegations, Wallace, who is now 82 and retired, had to withdraw from ministry until more facts could be gathered, according to Bishop Soto of the Sacramento Diocese.

Mr. Doe has also accused the late Monsignor Vito Mistretta of sexually assaulting him while rehearsing for prayer at Holy Family two months after the initial allegation at the camp. Mistretta died in 2009.

The Diocese has asked Mr. Doe and his attorney for additional information so that they can investigate the situation.

Father Michael Vaughan, vicar general at the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, released this statement:

Your thoughts on the difference between 'church' and 'hierarchy'

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

December 27, 2018

Reader responses were in support of making a clear distinction between the word "church" and the word "hierarchy." First read the original argument from Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese. The following letters to the editor have been edited for length and clarity.

***

Thank you, Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese, for a somewhat clarifying article about the use of the word church. It has to be used carefully.

The same is true of the word father. No priest is officially a father in the Catholic Church unless he came into the Roman Catholic Church from the Episcopalian church. Let us do it like some other countries and use the word Reverend or just Mr. or by first name.

It is time to change.

ELIZABETH AVERILL
Madison, Wisconsin

***

I write to support Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese acknowledging that he and too many others too often use the word "church" when they ought to be using the word "hierarchy." For a long time, I have been preaching and teaching that the major problems in our church are problems of the hierarchy and not of the "People of God," including all the baptized.

The recent highlighting of the coverup of the sex abuse in the church reaffirmed my conviction about this. A bishop was proposing that the church needs to ask forgiveness for our failings. I said "No, it is not the church, it is the hierarchy of our church that needs to ask forgiveness. Do not lump the failings and sins of bishops and priests with the rest of the church."

Another example is the "church's teaching on birth control." No, it is the hierarchy's teaching on birth control. A long time ago the vast majority of lay members of the church came to a different understanding of the place of birth control.

I hope that NCR and your writers will be careful to make that distinction. It may even help to encourage some lay people to see their rightful place in the church.

(Fr.) LOUIS ARCENEAUX, CM
New Orleans, Louisiana

***

Thank you. This is immensely important not just for writers but for lay people. I will do my best to follow his advice. Old habits die hard. Blessings to all

ADDIE STREETER
Portland Oregon

***

Catholic Church Used Bankruptcy for Sexual-Assault Cases. Now Others Are Following Suit.

NEW YORK (NY)
The Wall Street Journal

December 27, 2018

By Tom Corrigan

USA Gymnastics, Boy Scouts of America explore chapter 11 to handle victims’ claims

The Archdiocese of Portland was the first to do it. Three months later the Roman Catholic Diocese in Tucson, Ariz., followed suit and three months after that the diocese in Spokane, Wash., did it, too.

They all filed for bankruptcy and since then more than 15 other Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy to seek protection from lawsuits by sexual-assault victims, resulting in about 4,000 claims seeking compensation for past wrongdoing.

Spacey attorney challenges Nantucket accuser’s credibility

NANTUCKET (MA)
Cape Cod Times

December 27, 2018

By Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Recording of court hearing shows questions focused on teen’s behavior.

The video that allegedly shows Kevin Spacey sexually assaulting a teenager on Nantucket in 2016 lasts only a second or less, according to testimony at the show-cause hearing where the actor was charged with indecent assault and battery.

The Dec. 20 hearing in front of Clerk-Magistrate Ryan Kearney featured testimony solely from state police Trooper Gerald Donovan.

The accuser, who was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, appeared in the courtroom but was asked to leave, in keeping with court procedures, according to a recording of the hearing created by Nantucket District Court staff.

During the hearing, Spacey, 59, also referred to by his real name of Kevin Fowler, was represented by Boston attorney Juliane Balliro and Los Angeles attorney Alan Jackson. The prosecution was represented by Donovan, and no prosecutors with the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office appear on the recording.

Jackson did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Here's where several high profile Lansing court cases stand in the justice system

LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

December 27, 2018

By Kara Berg

2018 has been a busy year in the Lansing-area courts. With disgraced former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar's January sentencing hearing, and the whirlwind of chaos that followed his case, it's easy to get lost.

Here's some cases you may have forgotten about, and where they stand in the justice system.

Rev. Jonathan Wehrle
The trial for a retired priest accused of stealing more than $5 million from an Okemos church is on hold as the priest's attorneys appeal a decision Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk made.

Rev. Jonathan Wehrle is charged with six felony counts of embezzlement of $100,000 or more. Draganchuk pushed his trial back to at least January after Wehrle's original attorney withdrew in July. It's not clear when his trial will begin. He has no pending court dates.

ABUSE VICTIM TESTIFIES AGAINST MCCARRICK IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK (NY)
ChurchMilitant.com

December 27, 2018

By Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

James Grein: 'I cried, worse than I've ever cried before'

(caution: graphic content)
James Grein, the victim on whom Abp. Theodore McCarrick preyed for 18 years, gave his sworn testimony of abuse in the archdiocese of New York Thursday.

In emotional testimony that lasted just under 45 minutes, Grein met with Fr. Richard L. Welch, judicial vicar for the archdiocese, at the chancery office on 1011 First Avenue Thursday morning. Although Grein's attorney was present as well as two canon lawyers in Albany representing McCarrick, no one was allowed to speak but Grein and Welch, who had been assigned directly by the Holy See to take down the testimony. An unnamed priest was also present at the meeting to ensure the session was conducted fairly and properly.

"He was there to listen, and not to twist and turn anything," Grein told Church Militant, speaking of Welch. "He was there to gather information for the Holy See. Period."

During the session, Welch told Grein he'd been following him ever since he went public with his testimony in The New York Times, reading about him and watching him at the Silence Stops Now rally and in other interviews. He told Grein he believed him.

Church scandals that left SA shooketh in 2018

SOUTH AFRICA
Times Live

December 27, 2018

By Ntokozo Miya

WARNING: Graphic content. Not for sensitive readers

The rise of unregulated charismatic churches in South Africa has resulted in people being exposed to preachers who often dominate the headlines. And it’s not always good news.

Some problematic church practices led the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) to conclude that "there must be a regulatory framework”" to curb undignified and sometimes criminal activities in houses of God.

Americans Trust Clergy Less Than Ever, Gallup Poll Finds

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

December 26, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Americans’ confidence in religious leaders’ honesty and ethical standards has been tanking in recent years.

The level of trust Americans have in clergy members has dropped to a record low, a recent Gallup survey suggests.

The polling organization found that only 37 percent of 1,025 respondents had a “very high” or “high” opinion of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy, according to a report published on Thursday. Forty-three percent rated clergy’s honesty and ethics as “average,” while 15 percent had low or very low opinions.

The 37 percent positive rating is the lowest Gallup has recorded for clergy since it began examining views about religious leaders’ ethical standards in 1977.

Currently, only 31 percent of Catholics and 48 percent of Protestants rate the clergy positively, according to Gallup.

Pennsylvania priest sent to prison after guilty plea in abuse case

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

December 27, 2018

By Dennis Sadowski

A priest who once served in the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to prison for sexually molesting a boy in the 1990s.

Father John T. Sweeney, 76, received a sentence of 11 months to five years in state prison and must register as a sex offender for 10 years, a judge in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, said Dec. 21.

The priest pled guilty in July to misdemeanor indecent assault on a minor after he was accused of abusing a 10-year-old boy while counseling him about misbehaving on a school bus.

Fr. Sweeney, who retired in 2016, is the first priest convicted of charges stemming from a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that focused on allegations of abuse. He was arrested in July 2017 for the incident that occurred during the 1991-92 school year at St. Margaret Mary School in Lower Burrell, about 25 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Amid church's abuse crisis, music can unite the faithful, says composer

IJAMSVILLE (MD)
Catholic News Service

December 27, 2018

By Emily Rosenthal

"How can we pray when we feel betrayed?"

The song continues, offering more questions, but no answers.

"How Can We Pray?" was written by Zachary Stachowski, director of music ministry at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Ijamsville, Maryland, moved by the anger he felt immediately after the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse was released in mid-August.

After posting the sheet music to his personal Facebook page, nearly 300 people reacted, 67 commented and 80 shared, including the pages of national music organizations such as the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Clergy abuse claims

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

December 28, 2018

Plain­tiff at­tor­neys like Rich­ard Serbin have ev­ery bit as much vested in­ter­est in how clergy abuse claims are dealt with as does the church hi­er­ar­chy (Dec. 21 op-ed, “Church Pay­off Plans Don’t Pass the Smell Test”). But both sides claim to be think­ing pri­mar­ily of vic­tims’ wel­fare.

Law­suits are a huge cash cow for plain­tiff at­tor­neys. The bish­ops are con­cerned about scan­dal, pos­si­ble crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity and the spec­ter of bank­ruptcy. Nei­ther in­ter­est group points out that there is no rea­son both op­tions should not be open to vic­tims, who could choose which bet­ter suits their needs — court pro­ceed­ings or di­rect rep­a­ra­tion pay­ments — both with­out non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments, leav­ing the par­ties free to pub­lish what they wish about what has tran­spired.

There should be two ro­bust paths for vic­tims to seek rep­a­ra­tions for the dam­age in­flicted upon them. It’s the least we can do.

LINDA HALLER
Mt. Leb­a­non

Pope's response to sex abuse imperils legacy

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

December 27, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Analysis: Francis' early missteps weakened his moral authority

It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times.

The latest development — a high-profile verdict in a faraway country — cements the impression that Francis simply didn't "get it" when he first became pope in 2013 and began leading the church.

Early missteps included associating with compromised cardinals and bishops and downplaying or dismissing rumors of abuse and cover-up. Francis finally came around in 2018, when he publicly admitted he was wrong about a case in Chile, made amends, and laid the groundwork for the future by calling an abuse prevention summit next year.

Opinion: A Radical Response to Church Sex Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

December 25, 2018

A reader says the Catholic church belongs to the faithful, not the hierarchy.

To the Editor:

Re “Dioceses Across U.S. Are Releasing Lists of Priests Accused of Sex Abuse” (news article, Dec. 15):

Let’s call it what it is: The bishops and cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church for decades have been aiding and abetting the rapists of children, rapists who are in their ranks and among the priests who report to them. Let’s not talk of sin and canon law.

These are crimes punishable by law, including potential prison time. Thank God for the attorneys general of several states who are now in pursuit of those responsible for these heinous crimes against young people and those who have covered up for them.

The church belongs to the faithful, not to the hierarchy. If the Catholic Church were a secular organization, a board would have kicked management out and turned over all of its records to law firms and the authorities to prosecute every wrongdoer.

Keep the pressure on: Civil authorities must vigilantly investigate church sex scandal

WATERTOWN (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

December 28, 2018

Information released last week by the attorney general of Illinois should guide officials in other states, including New York, as they investigate the sexual abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Church.

“A scathing report from Attorney General Lisa Madigan finds the number of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse against children in Illinois is much higher than previously acknowledged. The report said accusations have been leveled against 690 priests while Catholic officials have publicly identified only 185 clergy with credible allegations against them,” according to a story published Dec. 20 by the Chicago Tribune. “The determination is part of a preliminary report made public Wednesday by Madigan’s office, which has been investigating Catholic clergy sexual abuse of minors following revelations during the summer of widespread abuse and cover-ups by Catholic officials in Pennsylvania. The report was critical of the six Catholic dioceses that govern parishes across Illinois for their lack of transparency and flawed investigations. Although the report says that ‘Clergy sexual abuse of minors in Illinois is significantly more extensive than the Illinois dioceses previously reported,’ it does not estimate how many of the allegations against the 690 clergy should have been deemed credible. Some of the allegations go back decades.”

A report released in August revealed numerous incidents of abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania. The report, issued by a grand jury, covers six dioceses — which represent 54 of the state’s 67 counties. Pennsylvania’s other two dioceses were previously investigated by other grand juries.

Letters To The Editor: End statute of limitations and report church involvement in sex abuse

NEW LONDON (CT)
The Day

December 27, 2018

I’m a retired New Haven detective with 27 years of service following Army military police duty.

The perpetrator of sexual abuse of a child was pursued by my colleagues and me with the intent of putting the felon away for years so another child would not become a victim. I and most did not know the influence of the Catholic Church to make prosecution disappear. It's taken the likes of The Day reporter Joe Wojtas, “Norwich diocese will release names of priests accused of sexual assault” (Dec. 21), and others to continue to educate the public to the extent of these vicious criminals and the responsible organization and individuals.

What is needed is for Connecticut legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations when it comes to the sexual abuse of a child and provide the tools and support for the prosecution of these offenders. The defensive posture of the Catholic Church on this issue must be exposed.

I called to initiate a one-year digital subscription of The Day.

Keep up the good work.

Tom Morrissey, Jr.
Cheshire

The Catholic Church scandal casts a shadow over the season. But Christmas is a time for hope.

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 27, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly described the scope of a recent report by the Illinois attorney general into child sex abuse by Catholic priests. The report covered allegations that had gone unreported in Illinois, not just in the archdiocese of Chicago. This version has been updated.

Somehow it doesn’t come as a surprise that the allegations of sexual misconduct that finally brought down former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, happened at Christmastime. When he was removed from ministry in June, McCarrick stood accused of molesting a teenage boy while measuring him for a cassock for a special Christmas service in 1971, according to the victim, and then again in 1972, during preparations for that year’s Christmas service. Was there ever a faith for McCarrick other than opportunity?

Once the archdiocese of New York declared those allegations credible, other claims poured forth: The portrait that has emerged suggests McCarrick had been perpetrating sexual abuse against boys and young men for years, without a hitch in his rise through the ranks of the church. Shortly thereafter, McCarrick was moved to a friary on the lonely plains of Kansas.

It was around that time I started receiving emails from despondent Catholics in the D.C. area. McCarrick hadn’t been an anonymous priest, after all; he had been a major public figure, and the revelations about him were as shocking as they were plentiful. Some of the messages I received spoke of a loss of faith, despair, feelings of anger, confusion, emptiness. “There is little encouragement in the constant drama,” one wrote. “They have forgotten the quote, ‘What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?’ ” And another: “To say that my faith is being tested is an understatement. I’m trying my best now to just work and dedicate myself to truth.” And yet another: “The silence from the Vatican is deafening.” There were so many more. I printed a packet of them and took them along with me when I interviewed former close associates of McCarrick, so I could read some of them aloud. None of those conversations yielded anything, not even a hint of guilt.

Year in review: US bishops take on abuse, cover-ups

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

December 27, 2018

By Carol Zimmermann

2018 will no doubt be remembered as a dark time for the U.S. Catholic Church.

Catholics felt betrayed by church leaders accused of sexual misconduct and cover-up revealed this summer and this cloud still hung over the church at the year's end.

In June, allegations were made against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, accused of sexually abusing a minor almost 50 years ago and having sexual contact with seminarians while he was a bishop in New Jersey.

A month later, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation from College of Cardinals and suspended him from public ministry, ordering him to a "life of prayer and penance" until the accusations against him were examined in a canonical trial.

The archbishop, who has denied the allegations, now lives in a Capuchin Franciscan friary in Victoria, Kansas.

Since these allegations came to light, Catholic laity and church leaders, including bishops, have been asking who knew about the archbishop's alleged misconduct and how was it possible for him to move up the ranks in church leadership.

Cardinal Cupich visits Cook County Jail on Christmas, addresses church sex abuse scandal in Midnight Mass

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

December 25, 2018

By Alexis McAdams

Cardinal Blase Cupich visited with inmates at the Cook County Jail and led a special mass there on Christmas Day.

The mass and visit was meant to give inmates hope and faith during the holiday season, even as they are locked up and away from their families.

The cardinal assured each inmate they are never too small or unimportant to make a difference.

"It is an opportunity to make sure that we widen the circle of human life and have more room at the table," he said.

Each inmate had the chance to receive communion as Cardinal Cupich spoke about making small changes to better yourself and the world.

Variety of intercourse abuse lawsuits towards Guam church nears 200

GUAM
Infosurhoy

December 27, 2018

By Denis Bedoya

Two more Catholic priests on Guam have been accused of sexual abuse, according to a 10 million dollar lawsuit filed this week.

Father Louis Brouillard and Antonio Cruz are accused of abusing the same boy in the 1970s.

Both priests are now dead.

Jesuit list includes 33 priests accused of Alaska sexual abuse

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTVA News

December 26, 2018

By Chris Klint

A regional Jesuit organization has cataloged dozens of priests with Alaska service accused of committing sexual abuse, many of them in cases which occurred during their time in the state.

A Dec. 7 listing from Jesuits West includes the names of 33 priests with Alaska service, 29 of whom are accused of sexually abusing minors. All but two of those men allegedly committed that abuse during their Alaska service; another four priests who served in Alaska faced unspecified allegations of abuse at some point during their careers.

Almost all of the listed priests have died, according to Jesuits West.

The list, compiled from records and bankruptcy filings of the Jesuits’ West Province and its former California and Oregon provinces, incorporates what it describes as “credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult, dating to 1950.” The group published the list, which includes many priests previously named in public sources, as “part of our province’s ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability.”

Elizabeth Bruenig: 'Amid the darkness of Church abuse, one shining star still gives us hope'

IRELAND
Independent

December 27, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

Somehow it doesn't come as a surprise that the allegations of sexual misconduct that finally brought down the former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, happened at Christmastime.

When he was removed from ministry in June, McCarrick stood accused of molesting a teenage boy while measuring him for a cassock for a special Christmas service in 1971, the victim alleged, and then again in 1972, during preparations for that year's Christmas service. Was there ever a faith for McCarrick other than opportunity?

Once the archdiocese of New York declared those allegations credible, other claims poured forth: The portrait that has emerged suggests McCarrick had been perpetrating sexual abuse against boys and young men for years, without a hitch in his rise through the ranks of the Church. Shortly thereafter, McCarrick was moved to a friary on the lonely plains of Kansas.

Editorial: The Guardian view on Catholic abuse: repent and confess

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian

December 23, 2018

Pope Francis has excoriated his enemies in the church. Is this a sign of weakness, or of strength?

Pope Francis gives an annual Christmas speech to his civil service in the Vatican and he wastes none of it on praising them. From his very first condemnation of their gossip, pride, and “spiritual Alzheimer’s” in 2014 he has found faults to pick with parts of the Roman Catholic church. This year, it was the turn of sexual abuse, a subject on which he has himself been squarely in the wrong before. As if making up for lost time, he gave one of the most ferocious denunciations of his own church’s past, and promised concrete measures and a new start. He even praised the journalists who brought these scandals to light, in the teeth of ecclesiastical denial and obstruction. He demanded that any priests guilty of abuse hand themselves over to the civil authorities, and prepare to face the justice of God as well. This is all excellent stuff and only about 20 years late.

The great problem for the church this century has not been the exposure of contemporary abuse so much as the exposure of the cover-ups of past abusers. Francis himself has been accused by his enemies of protecting a notorious abuser, Theodore McCarrick, once a powerful figure in the US church, whom he sacked as a cardinal in the summer. In fact, Mr McCarrick was the beneficiary of a long-standing Vatican policy of promoting effective fundraisers, and owed most of his rise to the sainted John Paul II. But several US states have published lists of hundreds of men credibly suspected of historic offences, but protected by bishops in the past; Francis’s own order, the Jesuits, is to engage in a similar reckoning with its past.

THE LIST: These are the priests who were ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse across Alaska

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

December 27, 2018

By Kyle Hopkins

Below is the full list of priests who were stationed in Alaska and have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, according to Jesuits West. This list has been supplemented with a report by the Diocese of Fairbanks that lists “all known individuals, including priests, religious, lay employees and volunteers against whom a complaint of sexual abuse has been filed by one or more individuals” and against whom the abuse has been proven, admitted or “credibly accused.”

December 27, 2018

Alleged victim of Spacey sexual assault filmed part of incident

NEW YORK (NY)
AFP

December 26, 2018

A young man who accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him at a seaside restaurant near Boston in 2016 filmed part of the incident, according to court filings obtained by AFP.

The 59-year-old star of the "House of Cards" series, who has won two Oscars, is due to be formally charged on January 7 on the island of Nantucket with "indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years of age."

If found guilty, Spacey could face up to five years in jail.

The young man, identified as William Little and aged 18 at the time of the alleged assault in July 2016, told police he had sent messages, including a video, to his girlfriend via the Snapchat app from the "Club Car" restaurant in Nantucket, where he was working as a bus boy for the summer, according to the court filing.

He had remained in the bar after his shift had finished to see Spacey, of whom he was a fan.

What's next for Kevin Spacey? Perp walk awaits him on Nantucket next month

BOSTON (MA)
USA TODAY

December 26, 2018

By Maria Puente

Kevin Spacey has probably walked the last red carpet of his Oscar-winning career, but next month he'll be doing a "perp walk" to a Massachusetts courthouse to face a sex-crime charge on Nantucket.

Spacey, 59, is due to be arraigned on Jan. 7 on a felony charge of indecent assault and battery in which he is accused of groping the then-18-year-old son of a Boston TV anchorwoman in a Nantucket restaurant bar in the summer of 2016.

Kevin Spacey Fowler (his real last name) will thus be forced to come out from wherever he's been hiding since October 2017, when a string of men began coming forward to publicly accuse him of various kinds of sexual misconduct dating back decades and crossing jurisdictions from London to Los Angeles.

There’s Video Evidence In Sexual Assault Case Against Kevin Spacey

BOSTON (MA)
The Huffington Post

December 26, 2018

By Andy Campbell

The felony sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey will include video evidence showing he attacked a young man at a bar in Nantucket in July 2016, according to a police report.

A Massachusetts State Police investigative report, obtained by MassLive.com, states that the victim in the case, the then-18-year-old son of Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, took a Snapchat video at the time that may prove Spacey groped him.

“[Unruh’s son] said the whole thing was embarrassing and has not had a ‘profound emotional effect’ on him,” Trooper Gerald F. Donovan wrote in the report. “[He] called the police because he doesn’t want what happened to him to happen to anyone else.”

Exclusive: Former papal abuse commissioners want re-evaluation of group

ROME (ITALY)
National Catholic Reporter

December 27, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Three former members of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse are calling on the pontiff's February Vatican summit on child protection to reevaluate the structure of the group in order to make it more effective in pursuing policy reforms.

In separate NCR interviews, the former papal advisors emphasized the need for the commission to reassert its independence from the Vatican's bureaucracy, to oversee implementation of its own recommendations, and to meet regularly with Francis.

Several outside experts with long histories in confronting clergy abuse echoed their concerns, and highlighted a lack of clarity and transparency over the purpose and objectives of the now four-year-old group.

Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor who resigned from the commission in 2017, said the role of the commission might merit special discussion at the February summit because the frustrations over its work exemplify how the Catholic Church has struggled for decades to address the abuse crisis.

"The commission itself is sort of a microcosm of the global issue ... that work that's being done doesn't seem to produce results," she said.

"We need clarity now about the commission, its purpose, its powers, its future, and exactly where it is going and what we can expect from it," said Collins, who left the group in mid-2017 due to frustration with Vatican officials.

"People put a lot of hope into it, and it has failed to live up to the hope," she added. "There should be some examination as to why."

Related: Marie Collins: With Irish survivors, Francis said he's not considering new accountability tribunal
Krysten Winter-Green, one of six commission members not reappointed by Francis in early 2018 after the end of the group's first three-year term, said she doubted the summit would have the role of the commission on its agenda, but added: "As far as I am concerned, it really should be."

PBS NEWS HOUR

UNITED STATES
PBS

December 26, 2018

[Note: Church in Crisis segment begins around the 24 minute mark]

PBS NewsHour full episode

Airing: 12/27/18
Length: 53m 42s
Expires: 01/25/19
Rating: NR

Letter: Leising did not waver, even under great pressure

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 26, 2018

I want to extend – on behalf of many – a warm and heartfelt welcome back to Msg. Frederick Leising, fondly known as Father Fred. In November of this year, the Buffalo Diocese placed Father Fred on administrative leave as a priest, due to an allegation of sexual misconduct that had been made against him. At the time, this seemed abundantly false and totally out of character for a man who has served so many so faithfully as a priest for 47 years, in his roles as teacher, pastor, celebrant, counselor and consoler. Thankfully, the diocese has expeditiously and fairly reviewed the case, and this week has removed him from administrative leave.

As a Catholic, I am appalled and heartsick over the predatory actions of those priests who abused their positions of authority and trust. It is shameful that bishops acted to protect the institutional church rather the innocents to whom such incalculable harm has been done.

Yet, in an effort to finally atone for the actions of pedophile priests, I am afraid that the Diocese of Buffalo may be erring on the side of caution in a way that can destroy the careers and reputations of good priests who may turn out to be innocent of charges made against them. If we really believe that someone in this country is innocent until proven guilty, we need to fully accept back into the community those who turned out to have been falsely charged.

For the US church, 2018 was a story of both shame and sparkle

NEW YORK (NY)
Crux

December 27, 2018

By Christopher White

In what has been one of the darkest years in the history of the American Catholic Church, it may sound strange to speak of highlights.

Yet, as the storm clouds of the clerical sexual abuse crisis overshadowed much of 2018, and lingers into 2019, looking back on the past year reveals that while there were moments of shame and showdowns with the government, there were also a few moments in which a beleaguered Church managed to sparkle that are worth recounting, too.

1. “A Summer of Shame”
What began in June - when the archdiocese of New York revealed that then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been credibly accused of a sexual abuse of a minor - has now erupted into a full-blown crisis.

The following month, further reports would emerge, revealing that McCarrick had serially abused seminarians during his years in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey. Pope Francis would take the nearly unprecedented action of removing McCarrick from public ministry and accepting his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals.

When a Pennsylvania grand jury report was released in August - chronicling seven decades of abuse of over 1,000 minors at the hands of more than 300 predator priests, it would prompt over a dozen states to announce they would begin similar undertakings, with federal authorities hinting that a national investigation may soon be announced.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., one of the most powerful members of the U.S. hierarchy, would have his resignation accepted by Francis in October as a continuing part of the fallout from the Pennsylvania report from his time as bishop of Pittsburgh in the late 1980s and 1990s.

In November, the U.S. bishops gathered in Baltimore hoping to pass new standards and protocols for the accountability of bishops accused in sexual abuse or its cover-up. Their plans, however, were put on hold after a last minute intervention from the Vatican requesting that they wait until after a global summit on the topic in February to be held at the Vatican - extending a long summer of shame over sexual abuse, into what is looking to be a bleak winter.

Proposed laws in Virginia and D.C. would require clergy to report sexual abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 26, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

In response to recent Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandals, lawmakers in the District of Columbia and Virginia say they will soon propose legislation that adds clergy to the list of people mandated by law to report child abuse or neglect.

Both efforts address the hot-button intersection of child protection and religious liberty, but lawmakers are expected to give them an open reception at a time when recent sexual abuse scandals in churches and others involving athletes have prompted conversation about broadening legal responsibility to extend beyond positions such as teachers and doctors.

The ideas under consideration by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine include not exempting confidential conversations for any mandatory reporters, possibly including those that occur in the Catholic Church's confessional. Texas, West Virginia and a few other states do not exclude the confessional in mandatory reporting laws, but it has been a stumbling block in many other places.

Under D.C. law, anyone 18 or over who knows or has reason to believe that a child under age 16 is a victim of sexual abuse is required to report it to civil officials. But the requirements of mandated reporters are more extensive, and Racine is considering taking them much further.

An eight-page presentation of key goals shared in recent weeks by Racine's office with some D.C. faith groups proposed expanding the law to say mandated reporters must report suspected abuse, even if they don't know the child themselves, or even if the child is now an adult. It also suggested requiring mandated reporters to tell their own boards of directors so their institutions become responsible, increases the penalties for people who don't report and requests funding for training so mandatory reporters understand what that term obliges.

A few weeks after circulating the presentation, which was obtained by The Washington Post, Racine's office emailed some faith leaders to say that the proposal was still a work in process and that a final version would be introduced for consideration by the D.C. Council early in 2019.

Pope Francis’ early blind spot on sex abuse threatens legacy

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 27, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times.

The latest development — a high-profile verdict in a far-away country — cements the impression that Francis simply didn’t “get it” when he first became pope in 2013 and began leading the church.

Early missteps included associating with compromised cardinals and bishops and downplaying or dismissing rumors of abuse and cover-up. Francis finally came around in 2018, when he publicly admitted he was wrong about a case in Chile, made amends, and laid the groundwork for the future by calling an abuse prevention summit next year.

But damage to his moral authority on the issue has been done. Before his eyes were opened, Francis showed that he was a product of the very clerical culture he so often denounces, ever ready to take the word of the clerical class over victims.

The year started off well enough: Francis dedicated his annual Jan. 1 peace message to the plight of migrants and refugees. Soon thereafter, he baptized 34 cooing babies in the Sistine Chapel and urged their mothers to nurse, a typical Franciscan show of informal practicality amid the splendor of Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment.”

Then came Chile .

Francis’ January visit was dominated by the clergy abuse scandal there, and featured unprecedented protests against a papal visit: churches were firebombed and riot police used water cannons to quell demonstrations.

Chilean opposition to Francis had actually begun three years prior, when the Argentine-born pope appointed Juan Barros as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Francis had dismissed allegations that Barros ignored and covered up abuse by Chile’s most prominent predator priest, imposing him on a diocese that wanted nothing to do with him.

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said on his final day in Chile. “There is not one shed of proof against him. It’s all slander. Is that clear?”

Cupich aide gives ‘talking points’ to priests to counter AG report on sex abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun-Times

December 26, 2018

By Robert Herguth

After Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich caught heat in August for making remarks regarded as insensitive about the clergy sex abuse crisis, he took the unusual step of ordering Chicago-area Catholic priests to read a prepared statement during weekend masses defending him and insisting his comments had been twisted by the media.

With church officials again under fire — this time for a withering report from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that found the Catholic church in Illinois received hundreds more accusations of priests molesting kids than was previously known — Cupich has again sought to steer messaging from his priests on the topic.

Just before Christmas, one of Cupich’s auxiliary bishops, Ronald Hicks, distributed a letter to priests suggesting ways to address the Madigan report and the overall sex abuse scandal during holiday masses. The letter suggests language the priests could use that acknowledges the church’s failures but also pushes back against some of Madigan’s findings.

The letter, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, also provides “talking points” priests can use when discussing the crisis with friends, family and parishioners over the holidays.

Speaking Truth With Love: An Interview With Siobhan O’Connor

Patheos blog

December 26, 2018

By Jeannine Pitas

2018 has not been an easy year for Catholics around the world as more and more cases of sexual abuse of children have come to light. One particularly hard-hit community was my own native Diocese of Buffalo, NY. In October of this year I was shocked to learn that Siobhan O’Connor – former assistant to Bishop of Buffalo Richard Malone – had leaked documents to a local news station revealing that the Catholic Church’s leader in Western New York had allowed known criminals to remain on the job. While first preferring to remain anonymous, in October O’Connor chose to go public, sharing her story on CBS 60 Minutes and thus revealing her identity. Becoming a whistleblower has naturally changed O’Connor’s life, but for her it felt like a necessary leap of faith.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to interview O’Connor. Incidentally, we share a personal connection – we are the same age and as high school students had the same piano teacher, so we would regularly perform together in recitals and other events. I am grateful to Siobhan for taking the time to speak with me and share her story of becoming a whistleblower and speaker of truth.

Q: You’ve not had a Facebook account for nearly ten years. I get the sense that you’re a rather private person. Now, you’ve had a kind of instant fame. How has it been going from being a private person to a public person?

Amid more revelations of Catholic Church abuse and cover-up, survivors galvanize

WASHINGTON (DC)
PBS Newshour

December 26, 2018

Now to one of the more difficult stories that resonated throughout this past year.

The Catholic Church, along with its larger community around the world, has been rocked by the church's long history of sexual abuse. This year, the tragic revelations kept coming, and they exposed even more just how long many dioceses covered up the abuse.

In this very frank conversation, Judy explores what the cover-ups have meant for survivors and for the faithful at large.

But she begins with some background.

Diocese of Springfield has been and will be vigilant

EFFINGHAM (IL)
Effingham Daily News

December 27, 2018

By Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

The sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is a disgrace. It demands, and the Diocese of Springfield pledges, continued efforts to bring healing to the victims of these grave sins. The report issued on December 19 by the Illinois Attorney General’s office is, however, highly misleading. Factual clarification is imperative.

Here are the facts specific to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois:

1) The majority of abuse cases occurred over 30 years ago, and only one has occurred since 2002.

2) Of the approximately 650 diocesan priests who have served here since 1923, 41 (6.3 percent) have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Nineteen of those were deemed to be substantiated (2.9 percent of all diocesan priests), of whom all have been publicly identified (www.promise.dio.org); 12 are deceased; four are laicized; and three are removed from ministry.

Priest works to help victims of sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KOAT TV

December 26, 2018

By Kay Dimanche

An Albuquerque Catholic priest opens up about blowing whistle on church sexual abuse scandal.

Watch the video above for more on how Vincent Paul Chavez has helped more than 20 victims of clergy sex abuse.

Child Sex Abuse Bill Top Priority for New NY Senate Judiciary Chair

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Law Journal

December 26, 2018

By Dan M. Clark

State Sen. Brad Hoylman is set to be the first Democrat to chair the New York State Senate Judiciary Committee in nearly a decade when the new legislative session opens in January, and he said he is preparing to hit the ground running with legislation addressing the statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse and a closer look at federal immigration agents in the state’s courtrooms.

Catholic Seminary Abuse Victim Awaits Action From Denver Archdiocese

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Public Radio

December 26, 2018

By Allison Sherry

The ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal goes beyond parish churches — it also includes seminaries, the schools that train priests. Allison Sherry (@AllisonSherry) of Colorado Public Radio reports on one former seminarian who, two decades after being abused by a priest, is still waiting for church leaders to give him closure.

US bishops face pressure amid new sex assault revelations

CHICAGO (IL)
AFP

December 21, 2018

US bishops preparing for a meeting to address the sexual abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes credibility test following a damning report accusing them of underplaying the crisis.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued an explosive report accusing the states Catholic dioceses of not releasing the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

The timing of the report, which said accusations have been leveled against 690 priests, while Catholic officials have publicly identified only 185, was no coincidence.

The Midwestern state’s top prosecutor said it was intended to be “a critical document for discussion” for the bishops as they prepare to meet for a spiritual retreat in Jan at a seminary in suburban Chicago.

The sex abuse crisis is to be the main topic of discussion ahead of a summit in Rome convened for Feb next year by Pope Francis and organized with the help of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.

“The Catholic Church itself has yet to undertake policies to ensure accountability of its bishops for their part in covering up clergy sex abuse against minors,“ Madigan’s report said.

Mathew Schmalz, an expert on the Church and religious studies professor at the College of The Holy Cross in Massachusetts, said the Church faced a Herculean task undoing its mistakes.

“Certainly, the bishops will face further pressure to follow through on transparency and reporting requirements,“ Schmalz told AFP.

“But their credibility has been so weakened that they are also facing the possibility that any effort they make will have little to no credibility.”

The increased public spotlight on the Church comes at a time when officials are facing ever more pressure from law enforcement to be more forthcoming.

Attorneys general in around a dozen states have opened criminal investigations.

Earlier this month, officials of the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church overseeing at least 40 US states released the names of more than 240 members accused of abuse dating back to the 1950s.

Report ‘not fair’

“There’s an unprecedented amount of public pressure and legal pressure on the Catholic Church,“ Anne Doyle, co-director of the abuse tracking site Bishop Accountability, told AFP.

Cuomo signs law creating 'bill of rights' for sexual assault survivors

ALBANY (NY)
New York Daily News

December 21, 2018

By Kenneth Lovett

Sexual assault victims have a new “bill of rights” in New York that will spell out the services they are entitled to after an attack.

Gov. Cuomo, who signed the measure into law on Friday, said letting survivors know their legal rights will help ensure they request and receive the information needed to navigate both the medical and criminal justice systems.

Under the law, victims will be alerted that they can consult with a rape-crisis or victim assistance organization, are entitled to health care services at no cost, and receive updates on the status of their rape kits and cases.

Law enforcement agencies, under the law, will be required to come up with policies to ensure they effectively communicate those rights to survivors.

"As the federal government shamefully ignores the voices of sexual assault survivors, New York is doing everything in our power to empower survivors and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will support our work to combat the scourge of sexual harassment and assault, help deliver justice to survivors and make New York a safer state for all."

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Queens) and Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-L.I.).

Selena Bennett-Chambers, of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, praised the new law, noting that the state Attorney General’s Office recently found that seven New York hospitals had been illegally billing rape victims for their forensic exams.

Year in review: For pope, it was year to come to terms with abuse crisis

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

December 27, 2018

By Cindy Wooden

Pope Francis marked the fifth anniversary of his election in March in the midst of a firestorm over his handling of clerical sexual abuse and bishops' accountability in Chile.

He soon apologized for his slow response and invited Chilean abuse survivors to the Vatican and then all the country's bishops to meet with him in May. By mid-October, the pope had dismissed two Chilean bishops from the priesthood and accepted the resignations of seven others.

The firestorm began when Francis visited Chile and Peru in January, but the trip also included a meeting with the region's indigenous peoples, marking an important stage in the preparation for the 2019 special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, which will focus on safeguarding creation and on the pastoral care of the people who live in the region.

Also during 2018, Francis traveled to the Geneva headquarters of the World Council of Churches to celebrate the ecumenical body's 70th anniversary; he went to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families; and he visited the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Former pastor and owner of Dojo Pizza found guilty on 8 counts of sex crimes against children

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV TV 4

December 26, 2018

The former owner of a south St. Louis pizza shop has been found guilty of eight separate counts of sex crimes against underage girls.

A federal judge announced the verdict in the trial of Loren Copp, who is also a former pastor, Wednesday in the U.S. District Court.

According to court documents, Copp rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 15 years. He could now face up to life in prison when he is sentenced April 5.

Copp is the former youth pastor and owner of Dojo Pizza, and at trial, claimed to be a trusted member of the community.

Prosecutors argued he used his position as a business owner, martial arts instructor and community activist to gain the trust of parents and gain access to their children.

He was arrested in April 2016, accused of possessing child pornography and attempting to produce it over a six-year period.

According to prosecutors, several underage girls lived at Dojo Pizza, which is located on Morganford in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. Copp either had sole custody or care of the girls because their parents were incarcerated or homeless, authorities said.

Copp allegedly forced the girls to work at the pizza shop and did not pay them appropriately or provide consistent food. He is also accused of threatening to kick the girls out when they didn’t work, which would leave them homeless.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Copp "groomed" the girls for abuse beginning in 2009.

December 26, 2018

$5M lawsuit: Former altar boy remains a 'tortured soul'

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

December 26, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

The death of a Catholic priest was the "happiest moment" of B.C.D.'s life after years of dealing with the pain of being repeatedly sexually abused when he was 9 years old, according to a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana.

B.C.D., who used initials to protect his identity, alleges he was sexually molested and abused by the late Monsignor Zoilo Camacho.

The plaintiff, now 55, alleges he was sexually abused once or twice a week for six months in the early 1970s while serving as an altar boy at San Vicente/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada, where Camacho served as parish priest.

Owen Labrie reports to jail

BOSCAWEN (NH)
The Associated Press

December 26, 2018

A New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old classmate reported to jail Wednesday to begin serving the remaining 10 months of his jail sentence.

Owen Labrie, 23, turned himself in to the Merrimack County jail Wednesday morning, more than a week after a judge refused to shorten his sentence. Reporters waiting outside the jail did not see him enter.

Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, was acquitted in 2015 of raping a 15-year-old classmate Chessy Prout as part of ‘‘Senior Salute,’’ a game of sexual conquest, at St. Paul’s School. But a jury found him guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault charges and endangering the welfare of a child. He also was convicted of using a computer to lure an underage student for sex, requiring him to register as a sex offender.

Labrie had been free pending appeals, other than the two months he served for curfew violations in 2016.

Merrimack County jail Supt. Ross Cunningham said Labrie was undergoing a medical checkup and other assessments and would move to the general population when that is completed. He said there have been ‘‘no issues’’ so far with Labrie. ‘‘Over time, he will transition to general housing unless something comes up,’’ he said.

Two Jesuit VPs resign from Gonzaga after reports on how leaders handled abusive priests on campus

SPOKANE (WA)
The Spokesman-Review

December 26, 2018

By Chad Sokol

Two Jesuit priests, the Revs. Frank Case and Pat Lee, have resigned as vice presidents of Gonzaga University amid questions about the handling of sexual abuse allegations against other clergy.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh made the announcement Friday afternoon in a brief letter to students, faculty and staff.

A school spokesman declined to explain the reasons for the departures, saying he could not discuss the details of personnel matters. But a news report recently revealed that Case recommended a pedophile priest for a job at a Tacoma hospital three decades ago.

It was less clear what had prompted Lee’s resignation. He had served as Gonzaga’s vice president for mission from 2005 to 2008 before being appointed vice president of mission and ministry in 2016.

Jesuits identify 33 Alaska clergy and volunteers ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing children

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

December 26, 2018

By Kyle Hopkins

The Rev. Rene Astruc died a hero. Awarded a humanitarian prize by the governor and lionized in portraits and biographies, the French-born priest spent a lifetime celebrated as an advocate for Yup’ik culture.

What Alaskans didn’t know at the time of his death in 2002 is that Astruc also sexually abused teenage girls over three decades, according to a newly published list of 33 Jesuit priests and volunteers who face “credible claims” of crimes committed in Alaska. Created by Jesuits West, the Dec. 7 report puts names, places and dates to generations of sexual abuse inflicted by ordained priests, church volunteers and employees in 35 villages and cities across the state.

Many, like Father Astruc, worked in remote Alaska Native schools and orphanages with unfettered access to children.

$5M lawsuit: Boy scolded, spanked by own grandmother for revealing priest's sex abuses

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

December 27, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

A boy confided in his own grandmother on several occasions that a priest at San Vicente and San Roque Church in Barrigada was sexually abusing him, only to be scolded, spanked and told to stop spreading lies about the clergy in the early 1970s, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in local court.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as B.C.D. to protect his privacy, said Father Zoilo Camacho sexually abused him for about six months around 1972 to 1973.

The abuses and molestation included rape, and happened once or twice weekly, according to the $5 million lawsuit.

The boy was about 9 or 10 years old at the time, the complaint says.

B.C.D., represented by Attorney David Lujan, said on several occasions, he told his grandmother about Camacho's sexual abuses.

Cardinal Wuerl presides over grand basilica Christmas Mass despite cloud hanging overhead

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 25, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

Two months ago, Cardinal Donald Wuerl stepped down early from his position as archbishop of Washington, faced with a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that condemned him for his mixed record on handling abusive priests under his supervision.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl was robed in the majestic symbols of the Catholic Church regardless, sitting on a seat designed to resemble a throne with his ceremonial head-covering shaped like a crown.

Pope Francis praised Wuerl in October even as he accepted the cardinal’s early retirement over the abuse scandal and offered him a soft landing by keeping him on as administrator leading the Archdiocese of Washington until his successor is named, which has not happened yet.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl made his return, celebrating Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as his first major public event after months of staying somewhat away from the limelight.

“We can truly have peace and goodwill and harmony in this world,” Wuerl preached in a homily that stuck to an optimistic message about the power of the Christian faith to heal all ills.

Many in the crowd at the basilica’s noon Mass, who filled every pew and spilled into the aisles, praised Wuerl’s message as well as the soaring orchestral works that filled the glittering shrine. “This is the best Mass I’ve ever been to in my whole 35 years of Catholicism,” Melissa Escobar gushed.

Others said they were bothered to see Wuerl leading the ornate Christmas service. The cardinal had skipped other major events since the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released in August, including the annual back-to-school Mass and the annual Red Mass for the Supreme Court. Both of those are events he would ordinarily have led; at both, protesters outside demanded that Wuerl resign.

For The Catholic Church, A Year Of Unending Clergy Abuse Revelations

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio/Heard on Morning Edition

December 26, 2018

By Virginia Alvino Young

Length: 4:33

2018 has been an explosive year for the Catholic Church, with renewed revelations of clergy sexual abuse and cover up from one coast to the other. Dioceses across the country continue to deal with the fallout of a stunning grand jury report that detailed decades of abuse in Pennsylvania. For some parishioners and reform advocates, the church as a whole isn't taking the crisis seriously enough.

At her brick home in a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, Stephanie Pennock spends weekdays entertaining her youngest son Bennott while her older two boys are at school.

Growing up in Erie, Pa., Pennock attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and mass every week. "There was a series of priests that we went through very quickly," she said. "There were rumors about what actually happened. Nothing ever much came to light about that."

In August, the grand jury report was released, detailing decades worth of widespread childhood sexual abuse and cover ups in dioceses across Pennsylvania. When Pennock read through it, she saw some familiar names. One of her childhood pastors and a deacon who taught at her school both faced accusations of sexual misconduct.

Cardinal Blase Cupich celebrates Midnight Mass, discusses church sex scandal [Video]

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

December 25, 2018

During Midnight Mass Cardinal Cupich briefly addressed the clergy sex scandal rocking the Church.

Erklärung zur heutigen Mitteilung, dass in dem Verfahren gegen den Ex-Jesuiten Peter Riedel ein Urteil des Kirchengerichts Berlin ergangen ist

[Statement on today's statement that in the proceedings against the ex-Jesuit Peter Riedel, a judgment of the Church Court of Berlin has been issue]

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Eckiger Tisch

December 21, 2018

By Kobayashi

Dies ist eine wichtige Nachricht für die vielen Opfer dieses Mannes: In Berlin, im Bistum Hildesheim, in Südamerika. Als Sprecher der Betroffeneninitiative ECKIGER TISCH, als Betroffener und als Kläger bin ich persönlich erleichtert, dass dieses Verfahren nach acht Jahren nun endlich abgeschlossen ist.

Bitter ist jedoch die Erkenntnis, dass es nicht zu einem weltlichen Urteil kommen wird. Das hätte ganz andere Auswirkungen gehabt. Auch wenn das Strafmaß noch nicht öffentlich bekannt ist, so ist dieses Ergebnis wohl das Beste, was im Rahmen eines kirchliches Verfahren überhaupt erreicht werden konnte. Insofern haben sich die enormen Anstrengungen der Betroffenen, die an dem Verfahren mitgewirkt haben, gelohnt. Zugleich sind wir traurig, weil nicht alle Opfer dieses Serientäters diesen Tag mehr erleben können.

Wütend sind wir aber darüber, dass der Vatikan nach monatelanger Beratung unser Anliegen abge­lehnt hat, als Nebenkläger Teil des Verfahrens zu sein und einen − wenn auch symbolischen − Schadenersatz vom Täter selbst einklagen zu kön­nen. Diese Genugtuung wird uns ausgerechnet mit Hinweis auf die kirchlichen Verjährungsfristen verweigert, nachdem die kirchlichen Vorgesetzten durch ihre Praxis des Verdeckens und Versetzens über Jahrzehnte hinweg dafür gesorgt haben, dass die Taten nach weltlichem wie nach kirchlichem Recht verjähren.

Canisius-Skandal: Kirche verurteilt den Haupttäter

[Canisius scandal: Church condemns the main culprit]

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Berliner Morgenpost

December 22, 2018

By Uta Keseling

Der einstige Lehrer und Priester Peter R. (77) wird aus dem Klerikerstand entlassen und verliert seine Pensionsberechtigung.

Neun Jahre nach Bekanntwerden des Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg hat die katholische Kirche in Berlin ein Urteil gegen einen der beiden Haupttäter verhängt. Der einstige Lehrer und Priester Peter R. (77) wird aus dem Klerikerstand entlassen und verliert seine Pensionsberechtigung. Dass ein Urteil in den vergangenen Tagen gefallen sei, bestätigt Stefan Förner, Sprecher des Erzbistums Berlin. Nach dem gängigen Verfahren muss der Vatikan in Rom das Urteil noch bestätigen. R. hat zwei Wochen Zeit, in Berufung zu gehen.

Es ist bereits das zweite Kirchen-Urteil gegen R., jedoch das erste, das sich auch auf die Taten am Canisius-Kolleg bezieht. Dort sollen R. und ein weiterer Lehrer in den 70er- und 80er-Jahren bis zu 100 Schüler sexuell missbraucht haben. Strafrechtlich wurde R. nie belangt, weil die Taten, als sie ans Licht kamen, bereits verjährt waren.

2009 hatten sich betroffene ehemalige Schüler des katholischen Gymnasiums dem damaligen Rektor der Schule offenbart. Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes machte den Skandal öffentlich. In dessen Folge sowie weiterer Fälle in ganz Deutschland wurden 2013 die Verjährungsfristen für Missbrauchstaten an Minderjährigen verlängert.

Rape kids. Cover it up. Avoid responsibility. Lie. That’s the Catholic Church.

LAS CRUCES (NM)
NMPolitics.net

December 21, 2018

By Heath Haussamen

Warning: This column plainly discusses sexual assault and related issues.

COMMENTARY: I remember a Christian Brother who taught at my high school taking us outside to show off a mountain he identified as “Tetilla Peak.” He described, to a group of underage teens in the 1990s, how much he loved tetas — in English, breasts, or more crudely but accurately, tits.

He often told us how much he loved women’s bodies. If he wasn’t a Christian Brother he would have 10 wives and 10 children with each wife, he said.

I had many creepy experiences at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe. Another was the reverence with which basketball coaches spoke about the legendary coach Brother Abdon, with no mention of the rape allegations.

Pädophiler Priester muss erneut vor Gericht

[Pedophile priest must return to court]

GERMANY
Wochenblatt/ABC Color

December 22, 2018

Encarnación: Ein Berufungsgericht hob die Strafe von Pater Felix Miranda wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Kindes teilweise auf. Es dürfte spannend werden, ob das neue Urteil härter ausfällt.

Die Haftstrafe war auf zwei Jahre zur Bewährung ausgesetzt worden und er musste fünf Millionen Gs. an das Krankenhaus von Encarnación bezahlen.

Das Berufungsgericht hob die im Distrikt Edelira (Itapúa) verhängte Strafe des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern durch den Priester Félix Miranda teilweise auf und verwies auf die Bestimmung einer Aussetzung für die Vollstreckung der Strafe. Auf diese Weise wird die Staatsanwaltschaft in die Pflicht genommen, neue Beweise zu präsentieren, damit es zu einem weiteren Prozess in dem Fall kommt.

What are survivors and Springfield doing about accused priests?

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Riverbender

December 26 2018

By Cory Davenport

During a Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, announcement, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called a press conference to detail five priests with “substantiated” claims of abuse not previously named from the Springfield Diocese – one of whom served in Alton.

The Priests

SNAP named Thomas G. Meyer, who formerly served at the pastor for Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Alton from 1990-1998, as one of the priests with what SNAP describes as “substantiated” abuse allegations stemming from his previous work at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese. SNAP noted no such allegations arose from Meyer's time as a priest in Illinois, but added the organization “fears he may have hurt Central Illinois children.”

Outside of Alton and Minnesota, Meyer also worked in the Belleville Diocese at St. Henry's Seminary (1971-1977 with a small gap between 1972-72), King's House of Retreats (1982-1983) and St. Henry's Oblate Residence (2007-2012). Meyer died in 2012.

In a release from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese, Meyer was in fact named as one of 19 priests acknowledged to have “substantial abuse claims.” He was on the list from the Oblates and Diocese of Duluth as early as 2015 after the diocese was sued under the Child Victims Act in May and June of 2013 – just after Meyers's death. The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in 2015.

Also named in the Dec. 21 announcement from SNAP was Father Henry Willenborg who was accused of abuse stemming from his time at Our Lady of Angels Franciscan Seminary in Quincy. He is formerly accused of sexually abusing a high school girl and even impregnating an adult parishioner who allegedly came to him for counseling. He moved from Quincy to a treatment center for troubled priests.

Unlike Meyer, Willenborg is still alive, and SNAP believes him to still be a priest somewhere.

SNAP's Pursuit of Accountability

“Both clerics, along with Fr. Downey, who is also missing from the list, belong to Catholic religious orders who were given permission to work in the Springfield Diocese by Springfield's bishops,” the announcement stated. “For that reason, SNAP maintains that the current head of the diocese, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, can and must include religious order clerics on his list of accused wrongdoers, as several other bishops have done. These men may have hurt Central Illinois kids and may still work, visit or live in Central Illinois.”

Kevin Spacey breaks silence in bizarre video, faces charge for alleged sexual assault

LANSDALE (PA)
Bucks Local News

December 24, 2018

By Anika Reed

Kevin Spacey is breaking his silence with a bizarre video, and he seemed to time its release to right when news broke that he will face a felony charge tied to a sexual assault allegation.

Spacey posted a video on YouTube Monday, titled "Let Me Be Frank," which appeared to criticize the #MeToo movement in a "House of Cards"-inspired monologue as his former character Frank Underwood.

"Conclusions can be so deceiving," he says in the video. "Miss me?"

Spacey will face a criminal charge for an alleged assault that took place in July 2016, District Attorney Michael O'Keefe's office told USA TODAY in a statement. The actor will be arraigned Jan. 7 at Nantucket District Court.

According to The Boston Globe, which first reported the charge, the incident involved the teenage son of Heather Unruh, a former Boston TV news anchor. Unruh said in a press conference in November 2017 that the Oscar-winning actor was inappropriate with her son, who was 18 at the time, at a Nantucket bar in July 2016 .

Kevin Spacey Charged With Felony Sexual Assault

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
The Hollywood Reporter

December 24, 2018

By Ryan Parker

The actor — who posted a bizarre 'House of Cards'-style video address Monday — will be arraigned in Massachusetts on Jan. 7.

The Cape and Islands, Mass., district attorney announced Monday that Kevin Spacey will face a charge of felony sexual assault, authorities told The Hollywood Reporter.

A public show-cause hearing was held for the case Dec. 20 where Clerk Magistrate Ryan Kearney issued a criminal complaint for the charge “against Kevin S. Fowler, also known as Kevin Spacey," THR confirmed.

The actor will be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery at Nantucket District Court on Jan. 7, 2019.

The alleged assault on a male victim took place at a Nantucket bar in July 2016.

Last year, former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh held a press conference to share her son's allegation of sexual assault against Spacey. Her then 18-year-old son she said was sexually assaulted by Spacey inside the Club Car Restaurant on Nantucket. Unruh says her son, who was not of legal drinking age, told Spacey he was and that the actor "bought him drink after drink after drink."

Kevin Spacey Faces Felony Charge in Misconduct Case

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

December 24, 2018

By Sopan Deb

Kevin Spacey will be charged with a felony following an accusation of sexual assault made public last year, the authorities in Nantucket said on Monday.

The charge, first reported by The Boston Globe, is in connection with an accusation of misconduct that was made by a former television anchor, Heather Unruh, who said that Mr. Spacey sexually assaulted her 18-year-old son in July 2016 at a bar in Nantucket.

Michael O’Keefe, the Cape and Islands district attorney in Massachusetts, said in a statement that Mr. Spacey would be arraigned on Jan. 7 for one charge of indecent assault and battery, the first criminal charge levied against him as a result of sexual misconduct allegations. The statement also said there was a public show cause hearing in Nantucket District Court last Thursday, after which Clerk Magistrate Brian Kearney issued the criminal complaint.

A representative for Mr. Spacey did not respond to a request for comment. But the actor has apologized for one incident and denied at least one other accusation of wrongdoing.

Ehemaliger Erzbischof Zollitsch äußert sich zu Missbrauchsskandal

[Former Archbishop Zollitsch comments on abuse scandal]

GERMANY
hpd

December 21, 2018

By Florian Meer

"Wir waren alle beteiligt"

In einem bisher unveröffentlichten, vor kurzem aufgenommenen Interview soll sich der ehemalige Freiburger Erzbischof und Vorsitzende der Bischofskonferenz zu Anschuldigungen geäußert haben, die ihm eine wesentliche Mitschuld an der Vertuschung des Missbrauchsskandals in Oberharmersbach vorwerfen.

Während seiner Amtszeit von 1968 bis 1991 missbrauchte der Pfarrer der Gemeinde Oberharmersbach in Baden-Württemberg dutzende Jugendliche und Kinder sexuell. Robert Zollitsch, zu der Zeit Pressereferent in der Region, machte den Fall weder publik, noch wandte er sich an die Staatsanwaltschaft, als er 1991 von den Missbrauchsfällen erfuhr. Stattdessen wurde der Pfarrer in den Ruhestand versetzt, ehe sich Opfer zu Wort meldeten und die Staatsanwaltschaft schließlich doch noch aktiv wurde. Der Pfarrer nahm sich daraufhin das Leben. Dieser Vorfall trug unter anderem dazu bei, dass die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz selbst eine Studie zu sexuellem Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche initiierte.

Half Angela Merkel bei der Vertuschung des Missbrauchsskandals?

[Did Angela Merkel help cover up the abuse scandal?]

GERMANY
hpd

December 21, 2018

By Michael Schmidt-Salomon

"Wir waren alle beteiligt!", sagte unlängst der ehemalige Vorsitzende der Katholischen Bischofskonferenz Zollitsch im Hinblick auf die Vertuschung des katholischen Missbrauchsskandals. Meinte er damit auch Kanzlerin Angela Merkel? Das Institut für Weltanschauungsrecht – ifw verlangt nun Aufklärung über die diesbezüglichen Gespräche zwischen der katholischen Kirche und dem Bundeskanzleramt.

Fakt ist: Am 23. Februar 2010 sprach Erzbischof Zollitsch in Sachen Missbrauchsskandal mit Angela Merkel. Über das Gespräch wurde "Stillschweigen" vereinbart. Die FAZ berichtete anschließend, die Bundeskanzlerin habe sich im Streit des DBK-Vorsitzenden Erzbischof Zollitsch mit der damaligen Bundesjustizministerin Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger um die staatlichen Ermittlungsbemühungen "hinter Bischof Zollitsch gestellt."

Let me be Frank: Facing sexual assault charges, Kevin Spacey posts cryptic video

BOSTON (MA)
The Associated Press

December 25, 2018

Kevin Spacey is due in court on January 7 on the resort island of Nantucket to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery. Spacey could get up to five years in prison if convicted.

Kevin Spacey has been charged with groping the 18-year-old son of a Boston TV anchor in 2016 — the first criminal case brought against the Oscar-winning actor since his career collapsed amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations over a year ago.

Spacey, 59, is due in court on January 7 on the resort island of Nantucket to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in a statement Monday. Spacey could get up to five years in prison if convicted.

A criminal complaint was issued by a clerk magistrate at a hearing on Thursday, O’Keefe said.

Shortly after the charge became public, Spacey posted a video on YouTube titled “Let Me Be Frank,” breaking a public silence of more than a year.

Kevin Spacey is charged with groping a young man

BOSTON (MA)
The Associated Press

December 24, 2018

By Mark Pratt and Andrew Dalton 

Kevin Spacey has been charged with groping the 18-year-old son of a Boston TV anchor in 2016 — the first criminal case brought against the Oscar-winning actor since his career collapsed amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations over a year ago.

Spacey, 59, is due in court Jan. 7 on the resort island of Nantucket to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said in a statement Monday. Spacey could get up to five years in prison if convicted.

A criminal complaint was issued by a clerk magistrate at a hearing Thursday, O’Keefe said.

Shortly after the charge became public, Spacey posted a video on YouTube titled “Let Me Be Frank,” breaking a public silence of more than a year.

In a monologue delivered in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix’s “House of Cards” who was killed off after the sexual misconduct allegations emerged, he said: “Of course some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all; they’re just dying to have me declare that everything they said is true and I got what I deserved. ... I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

5 things to know about Dallas Catholic Diocese's tough year and plan to name 'credibly accused' clergy

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

December 26, 2018

By David Tarrant

This year brought heavy criticism of the Catholic Church over its handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

And in 2019, the church faces a critical challenge as it seeks to restore faith in its future as it divulges the sins of its past.

In Texas, all 15 Catholic dioceses in the state announced plans to — by the end of January — release the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of children since 1950. The goal is to restore trust to 8.5 million Catholics in 1,320 parishes across the state.

Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns said at a news conference in October that the lists will be updated as new information becomes available.

“My brother bishops and I recognize that this type of transparency and accountability is what the Catholic faithful want and need,” Burns said.

Burns, whose diocese alone counts 1.3 million Catholics in 74 parishes, said the church needs its Dallas congregants to help rebuild the church. “This can’t be left to the hierarchy of the church to handle alone,” he said in his October news conference.

For some Catholics, the transparency measure is too little, too late. “I’m probably jaded and cynical because there’s been so much of this,” said Lety Martinez Ramirez, a former parishioner at St. Ceclia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff, where the longtime pastor was credibly accused in August of molesting three teenage boys in the parish more than a decade ago.

Ramirez said she is “sickened by the repeated reports of thousands of children being sexually abused by hundreds of priests all over the world.”

“With all that we believe, why is it that when it comes to protecting children we can’t do the right thing?”

Ahead of the name-and-shame efforts, here are five things you should know about the clergy sex abuse crisis and how the Catholic Church is responding to it.

Against orders, priest leaves diocese, treatment program after pleading guilty to theft

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

December 26, 2018

By Arielle Zionts

A former Rapid City priest who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of dollars of church donations has left a treatment program and the diocese, going against instructions from the bishop, according to the diocese's December newsletter.

Marcin Garbacz was suspended from his ministry duties in May after church officials caught him stealing and sent to a six-month treatment program in St. Louis.

In July, he was charged with first-degree embezzlement of property received in trust and first-degree petty theft in the alternative, which means he could only be convicted on one of the counts. Garbacz pleaded guilty to the theft charge on Oct. 26.

He received a suspended imposition of sentence — which means his record will be sealed from the public, but not the courts or police — from Judge Bernard Schuchmann on Oct 31. Garbacz paid $334 in fines and costs, and $620 in restitution to the church, a clerk said.

While Garbacz appears to have complied with the court system, the diocese says he's not following church orders.

Americans' trust in honesty, ethics of clergy hits all-time low in Gallup ranking of professions

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Post

December 25, 2018

By Stoyan Zaimov

Americans' view of the honesty and ethics of clergy has fallen to an all-time low in a ranking of different professions released by Gallup.

The Gallup poll, conducted between Dec. 3-12 of 1,025 U.S. adults, found that only 37 percent of respondents had a "very high" or "high” opinion of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy. Forty-three percent of people gave them an average rating, while 15 percent said they had a “low” or “very low” opinion, according to the poll that was released on Dec. 21.

The margin of sampling error for the survey was identified as plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Gallup noted that the 37 percent "very high" or "high" score for clergy is the lowest since it began asking the question in 1977. The historical high of 67 percent occurred back in 1985, and the score has been dropping below the overall average positive rating of 54 percent since 2009.

"The public's views of the honesty and ethics of the clergy continue to decline after the Catholic Church was rocked again this year by more abuse scandals,” Gallup noted in its observations.

Sexual abuse claims, involving both children and adults, have rocked churches across the U.S., South America and Europe this year, affecting both Protestant and Catholic congregations.

One of the biggest scandals occurred in August when a Pennsylvania grand jury released a 1,300-page report, revealing that at least 301 priests had abused over 1,000 children in the past several decades. What is more, it was found that many of the perpetrators were protected by the church's hierarchy and moved to other churches.

Looking Back: The Kerala Nun Rape Case That Challenged an Entire Faith

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
News18.com

December 26, 2018

By Aishwarya Kumar

New Delhi: In June this year, a senior nun alleged rape by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the head of the Latin diocese of Jalandhar. What followed was a vortex of the worst crisis that the church had encountered in recent times.

The nun alleged that she was sexually assaulted multiple times since May 2014 at the church’s guest house in Kuruvilangad. She further said that she had approached the church hierarchy but her repeated pleas were ignored, after which she decided to go the police.

As the country split its opinion on whether to believe the survivor, her fellow nuns took to the streets, staged protests, thus forming what was possibly the biggest rebellion that India’s church had seen from the inside. The nuns called out the male hegemony that existed in the church and demanded Mulakkal be stripped off his position and power. The protesting nuns said they knew of many other cases where women were exploited and yet the higher authorities decided to remain mum.

From sex abuse to money, 2018 tested Pope Francis on reform

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

December 26, 2018

By Inés San Martín

[Editors note: This is part two of Crux Rome Bureau Chief Inés San Martín’s look back at Pope Francis in 2018.]

When he was elected to the papacy in March 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio knew he was chosen on a “reform” mandate. However, it’s been unclear what reform means for Pope Francis: revitalizing the public image of the Church, addressing the global clerical sexual abuse crisis, reforming the Vatican itself or leading Catholics around the world into a “pastoral conversion.”

Francis was forced to address reform on multiple fronts during the past 12 months, all testing him in different ways.

Sex abuse

Long gone are the days in which Pope Francis was elected person of the year by virtually every major news outlet in the world. In fact, for the first time since he was elected to the papacy in 2013, this year marked the first in which his name generated little to no buzz when the Nobel Peace Prize was approaching.

That’s at least partly because 2018 was a year in which the Church had many unfortunate headlines, most of which turned around the clerical sexual abuse crisis: the Pennsylvania report; the case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of sexually abusing at least three minors in addition to dozens of seminarians; Chile, where the May resignation of all the bishops was only the tip of the iceberg; and Australian Cardinal George Pell, a former member of the pope’s council of cardinal advisors, facing two trials over historical clerical sexual abuse.

All these scandals meant that this year, much of the pope’s political capital collected over the past four years was squandered. His calls for defense of migrants and protection of the environment, for instance, went largely unheeded.

Cardinal Wuerl, despite stepping down due to abuse scandal, presides over grand Basilica Christmas Mass

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 25, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

Two months ago, Cardinal Donald Wuerl stepped down early from his position as archbishop of Washington, faced with a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that condemned him for his mixed record on handling abusive priests under his supervision.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl was robed in the majestic symbols of the Catholic church regardless, sitting on a seat designed to resemble a throne with his ceremonial head-covering shaped like a crown.

Pope Francis praised Wuerl in October even as he accepted the cardinal’s early retirement due to the abuse scandal, and offered him a soft landing by keeping him on as administrator leading the Archdiocese of Washington until his successor is named, which has not happened yet.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl made his return, celebrating Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as his first major public event after months of staying somewhat away from the limelight.

Pope Francis Calls For Fraternity In Christmas Day Address

ROME (ITALY)
National Public Radio

December 25, 2018

By Francesca Paris

Delivering his Christmas Day address to tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis appealed for fraternity and peace, especially in violent conflicts around the world.

The pope emerged on the balcony of the nearly 400-year-old St. Peter's Basilica to cheers and trumpets.

"We are all brothers," he said. "Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness."

It was a message of compassion and unity, delivered at a time of rising nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe.

In his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and to the World") address, Francis urged the embrace of fraternity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Syria and Yemen, the "clash of arms" in Africa and the conflicts in Korea and Ukraine.

The first Latin American pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church also offered prayers for two Central and South American countries, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

He called on the international community to find a political solution in Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people have died during seven years of civil war — "so that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country," he said.

He also talked about Yemen, urging the international community again to "finally bring relief to all the children, and the peoples, exhausted from war and famine."

Speaking to "dear" Nicaragua, where the United Nations has reported repression, torture and abuse of protesters by the government, Pope Francis prayed for "reconciliation" and unification toward the "construction of the future of the country."

He also sent a message of hope for minority Christian communities living in "hostile environments."

The address came as a moment of respite for a pope whose standing has fallen in recent years, in part because of his response to a widespread sex abuse crisis in the church. Three years ago, 7 out of 10 Americans had a favorable view of the pope. That number has dropped to just half of the U.S. public, according to a Pew Research Center study.

December 25, 2018

Diocese of Salt Lake City posts list of all credible local clergy abuse allegations since 1950

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City

December 21, 2018

[Note: The list, reported here to have been posted on 12/17/18, is dated 12/4/18, and the PDF was created 12/13/18.]

The Diocese of Salt Lake City seeks to shed some light on clergy abuse allegations within the Diocese with the hope that it may further the healing process for those betrayed by men they believed they could trust.

As of Dec. 17, the Diocese has posted on its website, www.dioslc.org, the complete list of all priests against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse involving minors have been reported since 1950.

Bishop Oscar A. Solis first authorized the planned release of the names in August. Before the names could be released, a review by legal counsel was required to ensure victims were not further harmed and to be sure all legal requirements were appropriately met. That review is now complete.

With the release of information, Bishop Solis stated, “The list of credible allegations is one step toward providing the transparency that will help repair at least some of the wounds left by the wrongful actions of priests who abused their sacred trust. We continue to pray for the victims and their families and ask their forgiveness for our failure to protect them.”

Greg Burke comments on Pope Francis’ message to Curia

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

December 21, 2018

Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office commented on Pope Francis’ Christmas message to the Roman Curia on Friday. He called it “a kind of preparation for the February meeting on the protection of minors”.

Burke said Pope Francis “did not mince words” in speaking to the Curia about sex abuse.

“The Pope said abuser priests are part of a web of corruption... vicious wolves who devour innocent souls.”

The Catholic Church scandal casts a shadow over the season. But Christmas is a time for hope

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 24, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-catholic-church-scandal-casts-a-shadow-over-the-season-but-christmas-is-a-time-for-hope/2018/12/24/61bce5ce-0795-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html

Somehow it doesn’t come as a surprise that the allegations of sexual misconduct that finally brought down former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, happened at Christmastime. When he was removed from ministry in June, McCarrick stood accused of molesting a teenage boy while measuring him for a cassock for a special Christmas service in 1971, according to the victim, and then again in 1972, during preparations for that year’s Christmas service. Was there ever a faith for McCarrick other than opportunity?

Once the archdiocese of New York declared those allegations credible, other claims poured forth: The portrait that has emerged suggests McCarrick had been perpetrating sexual abuse against boys and young men for years, without a hitch in his rise through the ranks of the church. Shortly thereafter, McCarrick was moved to a friary on the lonely plains of Kansas.

It was around that time I started receiving emails from despondent Catholics in the D.C. area. McCarrick hadn’t been an anonymous priest, after all; he had been a major public figure, and the revelations about him were as shocking as they were plentiful. Some of the messages I received spoke of a loss of faith, despair, feelings of anger, confusion, emptiness. “There is little encouragement in the constant drama,” one wrote. “They have forgotten the quote, ‘What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?’ ” And another: “To say that my faith is being tested is an understatement. I’m trying my best now to just work and dedicate myself to truth.” And yet another: “The silence from the Vatican is deafening.” There were so many more. I printed a packet of them and took them along with me when I interviewed former close associates of McCarrick, so I could read some of them aloud. None of those conversations yielded anything, not even a hint of guilt.

The notes still come. (“It’s just so bad, and every time I think we’ve hit bottom, we break through and start falling again,” one said recently. “I just put my kids to bed and am just sitting in the dark weeping and furious and sad.”) I understand why. Since this summer’s Pennsylvania grand jury report and the unmasking of McCarrick, there have been more disturbing revelations. Within the past three months, a whistleblower came forward with evidence that the diocese of Buffalo’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse was woefully short, and that allegedly abusive priests had been allowed to remain in ministry for years; the Vatican commanded a convention of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to vote on resolutions intended to respond to the sex-abuse crisis; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan accused the archdiocese of Chicago of failing to investigate or publicly name more than 500 priests accused of sexual abuse; and several Jesuit priests accused of sexual abuse were found to be housed on Gonzaga University’s campus, unbeknownst to the campus community.

Catholic Church pushes PR overhaul in wake of priest abuse scandals

MONTPELIER (Vt)
VTDigger

December 24, 2018

By Kevin O'Connor

Vermont Catholic leaders had talked for hours about the rise in priest misconduct headlines and fall in parishioner attendance when a woman, listening to the recent strategy session to forge a better future, asked a question: Why weren’t they spending more time proclaiming the good news?

The 72 parishes of the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese support more than 170 nonprofit organizations that serve the hungry, poor, sick, homeless or imprisoned, a new survey reveals, with many churches also offering their own emergency aid, soup kitchens, food shelves and thrift shops.

Members of the state’s largest religious denomination, understanding yet weary of seemingly nonstop coverage of child-abuse claims against past personnel, fear the public is forgetting the church has a good side.

“The stories we’ve given the media have been bad ones,” Vermont Catholic Bishop Christopher Coyne says.

Just this past week, the church settled yet another lawsuit involving a former priest, bringing the total number of publicized cases to more than 40 over the past two decades.

In response, Coyne, who just stepped down as communications chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is stepping up his statewide public relations efforts. Visit a parish anywhere from Burlington to Brattleboro, for example, and you’ll find copies of the new quarterly Vermont Catholic Magazine, with 80 glossy pages spotlighting parishioners’ charitable efforts.

North Texas pastor charged with sexual assault of children

DALLAS (TX)
WFAA

December 21, 2018

By Lauren Zakalik

An affidavit says one victim was just 13 when Darrell Yancey started abusing her and she conceived three children with him

Pastor Darrell Maurice Yancey, 59, was booked into the Arlington jail Thursday for sexual crimes against children that police say happened in the 1990s and 2000s.

The pastor has since been moved to the Tarrant County Jail.

Arlington Police have charged Yancey with seven counts of sexual assault of a child, three of which are aggravated because of the age of the victim.

Fears loom that sexual assault cases involving Massage Envy will remain private

OAKLAND (CA)
KTVU Fox 2

December 21, 2018

By: Brooks Jarosz

A national massage chain sued for hundreds of alleged sexual assaults by therapists is now being accused of trying to cover things up and prevent cases from being made public.

Massage Envy is facing lawsuits in a handful of states, including California, where the number of women who claim to have been sexually assaulted tops 50 and the case continues to expand.

“This stuff is still happening within the company even though there are all these lawsuits against them,” attorney Bobby Thompson said.

There are fears new cases, or even existing ones, may never become public because buried in the terms and conditions is an arbitration clause that explains customers must agree to take up problems or concerns with a mediator. It’s a way to keep cases out of court and under wraps.

Illinois Catholic Diocese Didn’t Investigate 500 Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Rolling Stone

December 20, 2018

By Lilly Dancyger

A preliminary report from the state’s attorney general is part of a new wave of sexual-assault investigations by law enforcement into the Catholic Church

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a damning preliminary report Wednesday on her office’s findings that the Catholic dioceses in the state had withheld the names of over 500 priests accused of sexually abusing minors. The investigation is ongoing, though the report says “the Office has reviewed enough information to conclude that the Illinois Dioceses will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

The report found that Illinois dioceses received reports of abuse by approximately 690 clergy, but only reported 185 as having been “credibly” accused, meaning that approximately 75 percent of all reports they received were not investigated. The dioceses often did not investigate if the accused priest was deceased or retired, or if only one victim had come forward, and often “sought to discredit a survivor’s allegations based upon the survivor’s personal life.”

“While the Illinois Dioceses have touted their ‘independent audits’ as evidence that they are adequately responding to clergy sexual abuse allegations,” the report concludes, “the audits are seemingly not designed to discover clergy abuse, but rather are perfunctory.”

“The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself,” Madigan said in a press release about her office’s report. “Allegations of sexual abuse of minors, even if they stem from conduct that occurred many years ago, cannot be treated as internal personnel matters.”

December 24, 2018

Cardinal Wuerl, despite stepping down due to abuse scandal, presides over grand Basilica Christmas Mass

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 25, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

Two months ago, Cardinal Donald Wuerl stepped down early from his position as archbishop of Washington, faced with a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that condemned him for his mixed record on handling abusive priests under his supervision.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl was robed in the majestic symbols of the Catholic church regardless, sitting on a seat designed to resemble a throne with his ceremonial head-covering shaped like a crown.

Pope Francis praised Wuerl in October even as he accepted the cardinal’s early retirement due to the abuse scandal, and offered him a soft landing by keeping him on as administrator leading the Archdiocese of Washington until his successor is named, which has not happened yet.

On Christmas Day, Wuerl made his return, celebrating Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as his first major public event after months of staying somewhat away from the limelight.

In major shift, lay Catholics are organizing to push bishops on reform

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 21

By Michelle Boorstein '

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther of Wittenberg circulated his 95 theses, critiquing the Catholic Church and launching the Protestant Reformation. Liz McCloskey of Falls Church has five.

Fed up with the way Catholic bishops have handled clergy sexual abuse of children, the 54-year-old academic’s group from Holy Trinity parish in the District has joined recently with groups from parishes in places such as Seattle and New York City on a project. They are affixing fliers with five demands to the doors of cathedrals and parish churches — meant to conjure a famous (if unconfirmed) tale about Luther nailing his demands to a German church door, an image that has come to embody grass-roots folks rising up for religious reform.

Among the details on the list of five: Stop qualifying their actions or lack thereof and just cooperate fully with civil prosecutors who are investigating abuse in the church. Stop wearing fancy royalty-like garb and dress and live simply. Give space in every edition of every church newspaper to abuse survivors.

Jesuits protected themselves

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman Review

December 23, 2018

A recent independent investigation shows that Jesuit officials repeatedly put Gonzaga students and staff in harm’s way by quietly moving known or suspected predator priests to the campus. Shame on them.

One high-ranking Jesuit claims the Jesuit building at Gonzaga was, according to the Associated Press, “the only facility” where offenders “could be contained effectively while also receiving necessary medical care.” Baloney. The church has dozens if not hundreds of such places, most of which aren’t on or near a school attended by thousands of potentially vulnerable teens and young adults.

The Jesuits knowingly, repeatedly and recklessly endangered others to protect themselves, their colleagues, their reputations and their money. I hope parents remember this when pondering where to send their kids for further education and Catholics will ponder this when Jesuits come asking for donations.

Mary Dispenza

Bellevue

AMERICAN CATHOLICS GIVE POPE POOR MARKS ON HANDLING ABUSE BY PRIESTS

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS News

December 24, 2018

As more allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests surfaced, most U.S. Catholics said the Pope and the Vatican were doing a poor job handling these reports, and about a quarter of Catholics said the reports made them question whether they should remain in the Church. Favorable views of Pope Francis dropped sharply in the wake of the scandal from 63 percent in 2016 to 48 percent in 2018.

A Different Story When a Bishop, Not a Priest, Is Accused (LA Auxiliary)

Patheos blog

December 20, 2018

By Fr. Matthew P. Schneider

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was aware of accusations against Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar since 2005. The Vatican investigated around that time and decided to give him secret restrictions on his ministry. However, he was only barred from public ministry this week. How would have this case gone down were he a priest? It would have been quite different. I will quote the story then relevant norms.

The Case of the LA Auxiliary Bishop
CNS reported: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of 69-year-old Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar of Los Angeles after the archdiocese’s independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board recommended he not be allowed to minister because of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the 1990s. […]

In a letter to the people of the archdiocese, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said, “I regret to inform you that in 2005, a year after he had been ordained a bishop, the archdiocese was made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor.”

Churchgoers, cut the ‘Chreasters’ some slack

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

December 23, 2018

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Christmas remains wondrous, but it arrives at a difficult moment for Christianity in the United States.

We still see Christmas trees strapped to the tops of cars, neighbors lighting up their homes and kids getting as excited as ever. And the churches will be unusually full.

This last point is revealing: A relative decline of religious observance has brought forth the “Chreasters,” Christians who attend services only on Christmas and Easter.

Regular worshipers can be disdainful of the Chreasters. They make it hard for the loyalists to find seats in the pews and are, in a sense, free riding on those who, week in and week out, keep the institutions going.

The Chreasters’ participation on special days is often written off as little more than a gush of sentiment inspired by warm childhood memories or an affection for the Christmas story and the songs and ceremonies we have developed around it.

But these twice-a-year visitors deserve our attention and, I’d argue, our respect.

The Catholic Church in 2018: ‘Year of the Clergy’ turns challenging

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Bulletin

December 24, 2018

By Leslie Ann Aquino

The Year 2018 is indeed the “Year of the Clergy” in view of the different challenges that the Church and its leaders faced this year.

Among these challenges was the killing of a number of priests in the country. Father Mark Ventura was killed in Gattaran, Cagayan on April 29 only four months after Father Marcelito Paez was killed in Nueva Ecija. In June, Father Richmond Nilo was also killed by unknown gunmen in Cabanatuan.

On the same month, Father Rey Urmeneta of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Calamba, Laguna, was wounded after being shot by unidentified suspects.

Despite these, Catholic prelates rejected the idea of arming their priests.

The Church and bishops were also often the subject of President Duterte’s tirades.

At a public event, Duterte accused Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, a vocal critic of his ruthless campaign against illegal drugs, of stealing church donations to give it to his family.

Letter: Lock up the priests who have sexually abused children

CRYSTAL LAKE (IL)
Northwest Herald

December 24, 2018

To The Editor:

I believe that the Catholic Church needs to stop investigating the childhood sexual abuse committed by some of their priests.

Please stop and just call it what it is!

These people are sexual predators who have chosen to willfully, and repeatedly, violate our precious children. They belong in jail along with other sexual predators.

The Catholic Church’s solution of foisting these criminals to other parts of the country or even out of the country (South America) is abhorrent!

Statement on Father Timone

TRUMBULL (CT)
Courage

December 21, 2018

Dear Courage and EnCourage Family,

I last wrote to you in September to share information with you regarding priests who were associated with the Courage Apostolate who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors; Father Harvey’s work with priests who had been so accused; and other connections between the apostolate and the sexual abuse crisis. At that time, I promised that I would keep you updated about new information that I received.

I am writing today about two articles that have appeared in recent weeks, one about long-time Courage chaplain Father Donald Timone, and the other about Father Harvey.

I want to begin by acknowledging that, whenever the topic of sexual abuse by clergy comes up, it can be a particularly painful experience for people who have survived such abuse, and for their loved ones. Some have described it as feeling like one has to endure the original trauma of the abuse over again. It is also a source of distress for members of the apostolate and of the Catholic faithful in general, as each new revelation threatens the trust that they have placed in the clergy who are called to serve as spiritual fathers and models. I deeply regret the pain that this letter may cause for you, but I believe that honest discussion of these issues is the best way to achieve healing, for the individual and for the Church.

Handling of Allegations of Sexual Abuse Against Father Donald Timone

On December 20, the New York Times ran an article by Sharon Otterman, under the headline, “The Church Settled Sexual Abuse Cases Against This Priest. Why Is He Still Saying Mass?” The article states that two allegations of sexual abuse were made against Father Donald Timone, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York, to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) created by the Archdiocese of New York, in 2016, for which the IRCP authorized settlement payments. The article goes on to describe the distressing details of the alleged abuse, which it says took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The article notes that the allegations were brought to the attention of the Archdiocese of New York (and in one of the cases, to law enforcement) in 2002 and 2003, at which time Father Timone was suspended from ministry and an investigation was conducted by the Archdiocesan Review Board.

According to the spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, quoted in the article, only one of those allegations was brought to the Review Board. As a result of its investigation, the Review Board determined that the allegation was not credible, and accordingly Father Timone was returned to ministry in 2003. He has continued to assist in a parish in the archdiocese to this day, even after his retirement from active ministry in 2009, when he reached the age of 75. The Archdiocese of New York recently began a new investigation of the allegations brought to the IRCP against Father Timone, which is ongoing. As of the time of my writing to you, the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has not suspended Father Timone from ministry while the investigation is pending.

Cardinal Dolan: The Catholic church has been in a season of darkness as we deal with this sexual abuse scandal

NEW YORK (NY)
Fox News

December 23, 2018

Arch Bishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan weighs in on the reforms the Catholic church is making.

Priest Who Was Still Saying Mass After Abuse Settlements Is Suspended

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

December 23, 2018

By Sharon Otterman

The Archdiocese of New York has suspended a priest who had continued his clerical duties despite two settlements paid for allegations of sexual abuse of teenage boys.

The Rev. Donald G. Timone, 84, is the subject of an internal investigation by the archdiocese, but had continued to celebrate Mass in New York and California, more than a year and a half after an archdiocesan compensation program paid settlements to the two men, as detailed last week by The New York Times.

A spokesman for the archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling, said on Friday that the archdiocese would no longer allow Father Timone to remain in ministry while it weighed permanently removing him.

One of the men who came forward with claims of abuse by Father Timone committed suicide in 2015 after what his widow said was a decades-long struggle to come to terms with the abuse.

Father Timone, who formally retired in 2009, is a priest in residence at St. Joseph’s Church in Middletown, N.Y., and had celebrated Mass there as recently as Dec. 2.

But Father Timone, Mr. Zwilling said in an email, has “been instructed that he is not to exercise his ministry at all until the review board has again examined his case and the matter has been resolved.”

The two settlements were awarded in the spring of 2017 by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, founded by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, to compensate victims of clergy abuse, provided they release the archdiocese from future legal claims.

Those settlements did not trigger Father Timone's removal from the ministry despite the archdiocese’s “zero-tolerance” policy on child sexual abuse, Mr. Zwilling said, because the compensation program functioned separately from the archdiocese’s own internal process for substantiating abuse allegations.

Supporters of the two men who had received settlements said that they were relieved Father Timone was now being pulled from the pulpit, at least temporarily, but that did not excuse how the archdiocese had handled his case.

December 23, 2018

After more than a bad year, will Pope Francis right the ship?

TORNOTO (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail

December 21, 2018

By Michael W. Higgins

Every modern pope appears to have had an annus horribilis at some point in his pontificate. For Pope Francis, such times of tumult and catastrophe are not bound to a 12-month cycle with a longed-for terminus: They are the norm, not the exception.

For the current Pope, internal chaos, open rebellion by dissident clerics, dubious professions of loyalty by high-ranking prelates and a cascade of sex-abuse scandals and episcopal cover-ups all make for an unhealthy state of affairs.

It is irregular to have a former papal ambassador, Carlo Maria Viganò, complain publicly about his boss (they do so robustly, but in private), flinging allegations of misconduct against the Pope himself in the public arena and calling for his resignation because he, and his like-minded corruptors, promoted the now disgraced former cardinal of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, with the full knowledge that his behaviour fell well below accepted standards. Indeed, Viganò argues the Pope was remiss in not enforcing sanctions against the errant cleric – sanctions initially applied by Benedict XVI.

The Guardian view on Catholic abuse: repent and confess

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

Decebmer 23, 2018

Pope Francis gives an annual Christmas speech to his civil service in the Vatican and he wastes none of it on praising them. From his very first condemnation of their gossip, pride, and “spiritual Alzheimer’s” in 2014 he has found faults to pick with parts of the Roman Catholic church. This year, it was the turn of sexual abuse, a subject on which he has himself been squarely in the wrong before. As if making up for lost time, he gave one of the most ferocious denunciations of his own church’s past, and promised concrete measures and a new start. He even praised the journalists who brought these scandals to light, in the teeth of ecclesiastical denial and obstruction. He demanded that any priests guilty of abuse hand themselves over to the civil authorities, and prepare to face the justice of God as well. This is all excellent stuff and only about 20 years late.

The great problem for the church this century has not been the exposure of contemporary abuse so much as the exposure of the cover-ups of past abusers. Francis himself has been accused by his enemies of protecting a notorious abuser, Theodore McCarrick, once a powerful figure in the US church, whom he sacked as a cardinal in the summer. In fact, Mr McCarrick was the beneficiary of a long-standing Vatican policy of promoting effective fundraisers, and owed most of his rise to the sainted John Paul II. But several US states have published lists of hundreds of men credibly suspected of historic offences, but protected by bishops in the past; Francis’s own order, the Jesuits, is to engage in a similar reckoning with its past.

Crux’s Rundown of the Top Ten Vatican Stories of 2018

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

December 23, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

There hasn’t been a dull moment in the Catholic Church since Pope Francis was elected in March 2013, but even by his activist and high-octane standards, 2018 was a turbulent year.

The past 12 months have been full of drama, both great highs - the joy of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August, for instance - and tremendous lows, above all the stupefying spectacle of a former papal ambassador in America publicly accusing the pope himself of a sex abuse cover-up.

Herewith, the official Crux list of the Top Ten Vatican Stories of 2018, ranked in terms of their relative significance for the life of the Church. This is an entirely subjective enterprise, and others doubtless will assess the major events of the past year differently, but however one puts the pieces together, it’s definitely been a year worth a look back.

Priest named in church sex abuse probe jailed

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Times Leader

December 23, 2018

A Roman Catholic priest on Friday became the first person sentenced to prison as a result of a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that found hundreds of clergy had abused children over seven decades.

The Rev. John Thomas Sweeney, 76, received 11¢ months to five years in state prison and will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He pleaded guilty in July to misdemeanor indecent assault on a minor after being accused of forcing a 10-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him while counseling the fourth-grader about misbehaving on a school bus.

“I want the public to know that he’s profoundly remorseful for any pain, anguish and discomfort that the victim has suffered as a result of his actions,” said Sweeney’s lawyer, Fran Murrman, after the sentencing in Westmoreland County.

Vermont’s Catholic Church settles priest misconduct lawsuit

MONTPELIER (VT)
VTDigger

December 22 2018

By Kevin O'Connor

The Vermont Catholic Church suddenly and surprisingly has settled a priest misconduct lawsuit filed just this month that threatened to spur a jury trial and potential multimillion-dollar verdict.

Lawyer Jerome O’Neill submitted civil papers Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in Burlington on behalf of a former Vermont man now living in Texas who alleges he was sexually abused as a child by Alfred Willis, a former priest for the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese from 1975 until his dismissal in 1985.

The accuser, who asked not to be named, was an altar boy at Milton’s St. Ann parish when the claims took place four decades ago. But the Vermonter, who went on to move out of state, didn’t learn until last year that the diocese had tried to cover up its role and therefore could be legally liable.

The state’s largest religious denomination had hoped to have heard the last of such lawsuits in 2013 after paying more than $30 million in settlements to cap a near-bankrupting 11-year string of 40 headline-grabbing cases.

Addressing the moral bankruptcy of the Catholic Church

WINONA (MN)
Winona Daily News

December 22, 2018

By David Girod

Good column Jerome! ("Can this debt ever be repaid? Perhaps," Winona Daily News, Nov. 21). I suppose the Christian thing to do is show compassion. Maybe Christ will upon each individual's demise. Priests, and bishops. Except when he warned those who "make a young child stumble," you'd be "better off to have a weight around your neck and fall into the ocean."

In a perfect world, every case that has occurred, if brought to the attention of civil authorities (not church officials, obviously), it would have been investigated. And, if credible, prosecuted, hopefully with prison time. No cover-ups or shuffling priests around. How ever high up you must go to catch all guilty priests.

As Jerome's column said, they may be able to pay off any monetary damages. But they must address the "moral bankruptcy" and find the root cause of the priests' behavior.

And, no, I don't believe that those priests are pedophiles. In all this, I was surprised to read that Pope Francis is considering changing the rules to allow priests to marry due to the shortage of priests and also the years of abuse of children by priests. That, my friends, is a wise man. It's what I've said all along. And I assume, he being the head of the church, with a pen, could make that happen. That rule of celibacy for priests is not a rule for any of the world's other religions. What an archaic rule.


Providence Catholic bishop promises to list abusive priests

NEWPORT (RI)
Newport Daily News

December 22, 2018

By Brian Amaral

An announcement Friday that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence would release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse was met with questions and some skepticism from victims, advocates and lawyers who have battled the church.

“How do we know whether they’re giving us names that aren’t already known to the public and police?” said Carl DeLuca, a Rhode Island lawyer who represented children abused by Providence diocese priests. “It’s kind of a question of faith. The history is not such that they’re really entitled to that kind of faith.”

On Friday, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said in a WPRI Newsmakers interview that the diocese would release the names of credibly accused priests sometime in the next year, following in the steps of other dioceses in the country.

He told WPRI’s Tim White and Ted Nesi in the interview released Friday that he did not expect many people would be surprised at the priests on the list, because most of them will have already been publicized. Tobin defined “credible” as allegations where “it seems like it could have happened and probably did happen,” but did not say how far back in the files the church would go.

“The first focus has to be on the victims themselves,” Tobin said.

The diocese did not respond to The Providence Journal’s request for an interview on Saturday. Tobin said he has removed five priests over credible allegations in his 13 years as bishop.

Timothy Conlon, a lawyer who represented people abused by Providence diocese priests when they were children, said he’d need to see the names released before knowing whether the diocese was breaking with what he sees as its history of hiding the truth.

Norwich Diocese should follow Hartford’s lead on releasing predatory priest names

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

December 22. 2018

It appears the Diocese of Norwich, after decades of refusing to be fully transparent and frank, is ready to come to grips with the scandal of predatory sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

Or maybe not.

Last week the diocese issued a brief statement that it plans to release the names of priests and deacons who were credibly accused of sexual abuse. This will occur sometime near the end of January, according to the release.

Only by coming clean about who was involved and how these cases were dealt with can the diocese specifically and the greater church generally begin slowly and painstakingly to rebuild confidence among parishioners and the public.

The Catholic Church has made corrections since the outrageous behavior by some priests − the cover-ups, the lack of any help for victims, and the transferring of predatory priests from one parish to the next − was uncovered by the press about two decades ago. Since then training requirements have been put in place for clergy, laypersons and volunteers who work with children about recognizing the signs of abuse. Under those rules, suspicion of misconduct is to be reported to police.

But victims of past predatory behaviors should not have to live with the knowledge that their assailants and those who enabled them remain protected by the church. People have a right to know who in the hierarchy of the church made decisions that allowed the conduct to continue and whether those persons still hold positions of authority.

What the church can do to regain trust

SANTA FE (NM)
New Mexican

December 21, 2018

By Dan Thibault and Robert Fontana

We were at the 10 a.m. Mass for the second Sunday of Advent at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The music, readings, rituals with the incensing of the altar and the scriptures, and the homily by Archbishop John Wester were at the same time both beautiful and painful to experience.

We could not help but think, as Wester led us in worship, of the great crisis that our church faces because of clergy who have raped minors and vulnerable adults and of bishops who concealed these crimes. We grieve for the victims in their pain and suffering; it is church leadership’s cover-up of these crimes that we find most offensive.

And now, through the revelations of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misbehavior with seminarians and priests, we have a window into why cover-up has been so pervasive within the Catholic Church.

What was being protected was not simply a few isolated instances of abuse, but an entire subculture of sexually active priests, most who are gay but some not, who live a public life of pious prayer and ministry while privately betraying their vows of celibacy and service. As we all know, the scandal has encompassed the entire church, including in New Mexico. Yet Wester made no mention of the sex abuse crisis in his homily, prayers of the faithful or announcements at the end of Mass.

These omissions came in the very week the diocese declared bankruptcy to protect its assets as it tries to pay abuse claims and the Santa Fe New Mexican editorial condemned the moral failure of the Santa Fe Catholic leadership in response to the crisis (“Catholic Church has work ahead to rebuild trust,” Our View, Dec. 9). (Editor’s note: Wester did preach on the crisis on the Third Sunday of Advent. His comments can be viewed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi’s Facebook page.)

As we struggled through the Mass, our eyes were drawn to the San Damiano crucifix that hangs above the altar. It was from such a cross that the future St. Francis, a layman, heard Jesus speak to him the words, “Go and rebuild my church for as you see it is in ruins.”

Editorial: Clergy abuse probe should be top priority for Missouri's next attorney general

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post Dispatch

December 23, 2018

An investigation by the Illinois attorney general into child sexual assault in the Catholic Church echoes what’s been found in other states: a widespread, decades-long pattern of abuse and coverup involving hundreds of priests.

Missouri’s own investigation continues, with victims’ advocates complaining that outgoing Attorney General Josh Hawley hasn’t been aggressive enough. With Hawley heading to the U.S. Senate, his replacement, Eric Schmitt, has an opportunity to start on the right foot by making the investigation a top priority.

America was stunned this year when an investigation in Pennsylvania determined that some 300 priests had abused roughly 1,000 children over a 70-year period, as the church actively covered the abusers’ tracks. Those findings spawned similar investigations in other states, including Missouri and Illinois.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office’s findings last week, and it was, again, stunning. As the Post-Dispatch’s Nassim Benchaabane reported, Madigan’s investigators uncovered allegations of sexual abuse against at least 500 clergy that the church knew about but never made public.

In many cases, they found, the church declined to even investigate allegations. Some abuse survivors weren’t told that others had been victimized by the same clergy members. There were also instances in which church officials used details of the victims’ personal lives to discredit them.

Judgment for Predatory Priests, Here and in the Hereafter

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

December 22, 2018

Pope Francis had grim tidings for predatory priests, in this life and the next.

“Hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” the pope said in a Christmas address at the Vatican, making clear that the church will no longer protect them, “hush up or not take seriously any case.”

The warning came after the release of the latest catalog of church horrors, a scathing report by the Illinois attorney general, Lisa Madigan, finding that nearly 700 priests had been accused of abusing children over the years, while the names of only 185 were made public. It’s terrible, and terribly familiar. Earlier this year, a grand jury report in Pennsylvania accused bishops of covering up seven decades of widespread clerical abuse of children, and at least 16 state attorneys general have opened similar investigations.

The words of the pope and the authorities — about justice, divine and human — should be of deep concern at two major gatherings that the Catholic Church hopes will initiate genuine change in an institution almost brought to ruin by cascading revelations of clerics’ sexual abuse of minors, and systematic cover-ups by their bishops.

Action at the meetings — first a gathering of all American bishops outside Chicago in early January, then a summit meeting of the heads of all the national bishops’ conferences in the Vatican in late February — will be crucial if the church is to overcome broad skepticism after years of denial, obstruction of justice and callousness toward victims of predatory priests.

The depth of the problem was revealed nearly 17 years ago when The Boston Globe published its pioneering report on abuse in the Boston diocese.

Anglican liaison at Vatican out after sex misconduct charge

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 22, 2018

The Anglican Church’s representative to the Holy See has resigned following an allegation of sexual misconduct.

A statement from the Anglican Centre in Rome, an ecumenical study center and headquarters for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy to the Holy See, announced the resignation Friday.

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, former Anglican primate of Burundi, was appointed in 2017. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Details of the alleged misconduct weren’t released. A brief statement issued by the center said Ntahoturi was suspended last week and that the governors of the center had accepted his resignation.

Anglicans split from Catholicism in 1534, after England’s King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment. The two churches have forged closer ties in the last few decades.

Somehow, the Catholic Church Is Still Getting Worse

Vice
|
December 21 2018

By Alex Norcia

The latest horrific revelations of sexual abuse unpunished show, yet again, that the Church's first tactic is to make excuses and hide.

On Thursday, the New York Times published yet another damning report about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the latest in an endless series of horror stories about a broken institution that has long provided predators with access to children. In this case, Reverend Donald G. Timone, a priest repeatedly accused of sexual abuse, was revealed to have administered mass in New York as recently as earlier this month. This despite the Archdiocese of New York, the second-largest in the United States, being under immense pressure to hold abusers to account, with the Church at large embroiled in a global scandal that shows no signs of relenting. To that end, in September, Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced a sex-abuse review board, headed by a former federal judge, to look into how crimes and other wrongdoing have been dealt with in the past, and how investigations might be improved on going forward.

According to the Times, Timone was already involved with another entity, the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, a Church-sponsored panel created by Cardinal Dolan that sounds like something Winston Smith might stumble upon in 1984. That body paid settlements in cases involving at least two Timone accusers last year, one of whom committed suicide in 2015. The logical follow-up to would seem to be the priest's defrocking, but no, actually: The archdiocese, which previously suspended Timone in 2002, never made a definitive ruling on his "fitness"—though it has since reopened his case—which left him free to operate in an official capacity around vulnerable members of the faith.

Southern Baptist leader indicted on charge of sexually abusing teenager in 1997

FT. WORTH (TX)
Star Telegram

December 19, 2018

By Nichole Manna

A Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate who resigned over the summer from the South Carolina Baptist Convention has been indicted on a charge of sexually assaulting a teenager in Arlington more than two decades ago.

Mark Edwin Aderholt, 47, was originally arrested on July 3 in South Carolina on a warrant issued in the Tarrant County case. Court records in Tarrant County show an indictment was handed up in the case on Tuesday for sexual assault of a child under the age of 17.

Aderholt has been out on bond since his arrest.

The indictments — four of them in total — brought relief to Aderholt’s accuser, Anne Marie Miller.

She was 16 when the alleged assault happened in 1997.

“I’m glad that truth is being heard and justice is being served and it is my hope that Mr. Aderholt will see this as another opportunity to confess and admit what he did,” she said Wednesday.

Minister on leave from IHOP in KC dropped from sexual abuse claim in California case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

By Judy L. Thomas

December 20, 2018

A former California youth pastor now on leave from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City has been dropped as a defendant in a sexual abuse claim against his former church.

Jennifer Roach says Brad Tebbutt, who in recent years had been running a ministry at IHOP for people in their 50s, is cooperating in her lawsuit against CrossPoint Community Church, formerly First Baptist Church of Modesto, Calif. Tebbutt was youth pastor at First Baptist in the 1980s when the abuse occurred, the lawsuit alleges.

Roach, now 47, filed the lawsuit in May against CrossPoint, First Baptist and Tebbutt, alleging that Tebbutt sexually abused her for 2½ years in the 1980s, starting when she was 15.

Roach, an ordained Anglican minister and therapist in Washington state whose clients include sexual abuse victims, also alleged in the lawsuit that church officials at First Baptist Church of Modesto covered up the abuse.

“I always knew First Baptist/CrossPoint mishandled my situation,” Roach told The Star on Thursday. “What I didn’t know was how many other adult men were also preying on teenagers at that church. They knew about the situation, did nothing, and sent those men off to do the same thing at other churches.

Spokane Diocese Told Seven Accused Jesuit Priests Once Lived at Gonzaga University

SPOKANE (WA)
Catholic News Agency

December 21, 2018

The Diocese of Spokane said Thursday it was unacceptable that Jesuit priests credibly accused of sexual abuse were unsupervised on the campus of Gonzaga University. While Spokane’s current bishop had no knowledge the priests had been living at the university, the diocese said its prior bishop was informed of their presence in 2011.

“The Diocese of Spokane shares the concern of those who are angry and saddened to learn that the Oregon Province of Jesuits — now part of the Jesuits West Province — placed Jesuits credibly accused of sexual abuse at the Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga University’s campus without informing the Gonzaga community,” a Dec. 20 statement from the diocese read.

In June 2011, “the Jesuit provincial, Father Patrick Lee, informed then-Bishop Blase Cupich that seven priests with safety plans in place were living at Bea House,” the diocesan statement added.

“Bishop Thomas Daly — who was installed in 2015 — was not informed by the Jesuits or Gonzaga University that these men were living at Cardinal Bea House.”

Catholic Bishops Won’t Discuss Sexual Abuse At Upcoming Spiritual Retreat

Chicago (IL)
CBS TV

December 22, 2018

A recent investigation by the Illinois attorney general finds the Catholic Church failed to publicly identify the names of more than 500 priests accused of sexual abuse.

However, the Archdiocese of Chicago says this report will not be talked about when bishops from around the United States gather in the north suburbs next month.

Cardinal Blase Cupich is hosting 300 bishops at a spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary Jan. 2-8.

An archdiocese spokeswoman says during this time, clergy sex abuse will not be discussed.

The gathering is strictly for prayer, fasting and spiritual lectures.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan calls it absurd not to discuss the findings.

December 22, 2018

A Statement from the KNOM Radio Mission Board of Directors on the Offenses of Fr. James Poole

NOME (AK)
KNOM Radio

December 21, 2018

Several stories have entered the media recently concerning the offenses of KNOM founder Fr. James Poole, SJ.

First, former KNOM volunteer Helene Stapinski wrote a column for Commonweal magazine as part of its “Why We Came. Why We Left. Why We Stayed” series, documenting different reactions to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Poole was no longer working at the radio station in the early 1990s when Stapinski was on staff, but insofar as his name was still affixed to KNOM correspondence at that time, and recordings of his voice occasionally sent over the airwaves, she indicates that she came to feel like an unwitting accomplice to Poole’s abuse and deception.

Then, a lengthy story by the Center for Investigative Reporting highlights Poole in a broader effort to show how clergy sex abuse in the former Oregon province of the Jesuit order was ignored or covered up by Jesuit superiors. This was packaged as a print story and picked up by the Associated Press, and also presented as an audio documentary, reported by former KNOM employee Emily Schwing. She served as KNOM News Director for three months in early 2016. Additional stories about Poole’s crimes have since appeared.

This is not the first time that Poole’s numerous acts of sexual abuse against minors have been documented publicly. The PBS investigative series Frontline told Poole’s story in 2011 as part of a program on clergy sex abuse in rural Alaska, and numerous TV, radio, and print stories covered the allegations against Poole as they became public in 2004 and 2005.

First and foremost, it is crucial to reiterate that Poole’s actions are indefensible and inexcusable. He brought pain and humiliation to his victims, and shame even to those of us who never knew him, but are forced to deal with his reprehensible legacy. The lawsuits against Poole and other priests and religious sent the Diocese of Fairbanks into bankruptcy in 2008, and nearly ended KNOM. But the station emerged in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, remaining faithfully Catholic in its identity, and with a volunteer board of directors serving as owner in place of the diocese.

Ongoing Catholic abuse scandals made big headlines in 2018

KNOXVILLE (TN)
Knoxville News

December 22, 2018

By Terry Mattingly

It was in 1983 that parents told leaders of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, west of New Orleans, that Father Gilbert Gauthe had molested their sons.

Dominoes started falling. The bishop offered secret settlements to nine families -- but one refused to remain silent.

The rest is a long, long story. Scandals about priests abusing children -- the vast majority of cases involve teenage males -- have been making news ever since, including the firestorm unleashed by The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" series that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

This old, tragic story flared up again in 2018, and Religion News Association members selected the release of a sweeping Pennsylvania grand jury report -- with 301 Catholic priests, in six dioceses, accused of abusing at least 1,000 minors over seven decades -- as the year's top religion story.

"The allegations contained in this report are horrific, and there are important lessons to take away from it," said Michael Plachy, a partner at Lewis, Roca, Rothgerber, Christie, a national law firm that emphasizes religious liberty cases. However, "to be candid, much of what's in this report has been known for years. ... It's important, but it's mostly old news."

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia -- a diocese not included in the grand jury report -- requested an analysis of the 884-page document focusing on the impact of the church's 2002 Charter for the Protection Children and Young People. Among the law firm's findings: Of 680 victims whose claims mentioned specific years, 23 cited abuse after the charter -- 3 percent of claims in the grand jury report. The average year of each alleged incident was 1979.

Another abuse scandal in the Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Post

December 21, 2018

By John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera

Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. That’s certainly true “out there” in the world. But it’s just as true “in here” in the church.

Last week, the Fort Worth Star Telegram released a series of articles reminiscent of the Pennsylvania grand jury report from earlier this year. You remember—the report that outlined rampant sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. I say “reminiscent” because of the similar details: clergy who used their position to harm the vulnerable, decades of intentional coverup of the crimes by those in authority, reassigning perpetrators to other churches and allowing them to harm more victims, and the emotional manipulation and even shaming of victims to protect the institution.

Even so, the Fort Worth report differed from the Pennsylvania report in one significant detail: The churches and clergy being exposed this time were on the opposite end of the ecclesiastical spectrum. One hundred sixty-eight leaders of independent fundamental Baptist churches, known as the IFBC, have been accused of a litany of crimes, including rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault. The victims included young children and teens, and stories included some of the most prominent IFBC leaders and churches in America.

This Fort Worth report hit me hard, maybe because I grew up on the outskirts of the IFBC movement. What I mean by “outskirts” is that my church followed Jerry Falwell out of the IFBC when he founded the Moral Majority and built a large university. Still, we had a bus ministry run by a group of really good men and women, who would get up extra early on Sunday mornings and pick up hundreds of mostly women and children who did not have a ride to church.

Persico's journey turned small-town pastor into bishop at center of controversy

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 22, 2018

By Deb Erdley

When it snowed, Betty Nemchik always knew the sidewalks outside St. James Roman Catholic Church would be shoveled in time for morning Mass.

The now-retired church secretary said her boss, Monsignor Lawrence Persico, personally cleared a path to the New Alexandria church, where he served from 1998 to 2012.

Those who remember him recall a self-effacing cleric whose serious, gaunt demeanor masked a dry sense of humor that came to the surface when he joined congregants for coffee after morning Mass.

Jeffrey Rouse, an internationally-known art conservator, attended morning services just down the road from his studio. He came to call Persico a friend.

“We just loved him. We had so much fun,” Rouse said.

But Persico, who would become bishop of the Erie Diocese, also played another role in the church — serving as vicar general of the Greensburg Diocese. Responsibilities of that position included investigating claims of horrific clergy sexual abuse.

A searing statewide grand jury report, released in August, detailed rampant claims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse across Pennsylvania. The 900-page document included several cases Persico was a assigned to investigate.

The Pope Didn’t Go Far Enough in Urging Predatory Priests to Turn Themselves In

Patheos blog

December 21, 2018

By Hemant Mehta

In a speech made this morning to Vatican administrators, Pope Francis urged priests to do what the Catholic Church has proved incompetent at doing: Weed out the abusers in their midst. He told predatory priests to “convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”

That might be great advice if anyone actually took the threat seriously. But if the priests didn’t follow the “Don’t rape kids” rule, it’s hard to imagine they’re going to fall in line with the whole “Turn yourselves in” approach.

It didn’t help that the pope also used his speech to go after critics of the Church who called out the abuse beyond merely reporting on it.

The pontiff also suggested that some critics of the Church are taking advantage of the scandals to inflict additional damage on it.

“Others, out of fear, personal interest or other aims, have sought to attack [the Church] and aggravate her wounds,” he said. “Others do not conceal their glee at seeing her hard hit.”

Priests who sexually abused children sent to Holland Landing's Southdown

ONTARIO (CANADA)
East Gwillimbury Express

December 21, 2018

By Lisa Queen

Once located in Aurora and now in Holland Landing, the Catholic Church’s Southdown Institute, which treats clergy with addictions and mental health struggles, has operated behind a shroud of secrecy since its 1966 founding.

But an explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report released in mid-August shone a light on how the church sent priests who sexually abused children to the facility before reassigning them to unsuspecting parishes.

Tim Lennon, president of the board of directors of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called church treatment centres like Southdown a “dumping ground” for abusive priests.

Seven predatory priests from Pennsylvania alone were sent to Southdown, the grand jury report said.

That included Father John S. Hoehl, who sodomized two teenaged boys who agreed to change places with a girl the priest intended to rape.

Archdiocese faces questions over accused New York priest

NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Agency

December 21, 2018

By Ed Condon

The Archdiocese of New York is facing questions about the sequence of events which led to the recent removal from ministry of one of its retired priests, Fr. Donald Timone. Fr. Timone is accused of sexually abusing two teenage boys during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In a story published by the New York Times on Dec. 20, it was reported that Timone was allowed to continue to publicly minister as a priest despite allegations first being made against him in 2003 and an independent commission paying compensation to two of Timone’s alleged victims last year.

The awards were made by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), a body established by Cardinal Timothy Dolan in 2016 to compensate victims of clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New York.

Timone, 84, retired from full-time ministry in 2009 but has continued to say Mass in parishes and a Catholic university.

Initial media coverage of the case suggested that the handling of the allegations against Timone showed a failure in archdiocesan procedures. But a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that the Timone case was “an example of the effectiveness of the Church’s procedures” and that the archdiocese had removed Fr. Timone from ministry in 2003 when the first allegation against him was received, and again this month following new complaints and more information becoming available.

“Sixteen years ago, after conducting their own investigation, the Dutchess County District Attorney referred to the Archdiocese of New York an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against Fr. Timone,” Joseph Zwilling told CNA.

Buffalo Diocese accused of mishandling sexual harassment at Alden parish

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

December 21, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Kathy Wagner and Debbie Pirog have been parishioners at St. John the Baptist Church in Alden for decades.

But never have they seen a controversy like the one that’s been brewing for months in their country parish.

In February, Bishop Richard J. Malone appointed Deborah Brown as the first lay woman parish administrator. St. John’s has functioned this year without a priest and has been a test case for a new model to deal with a shortage of men in the clergy.

“I assure you, you will be very well shepherded,” Malone told parishioners at the time.

But Brown now faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The allegations -- while not as serious as those leveled against abusive priests -- have caused controversy in the parish and have called into question how the diocese deals with complaints.

‘It was a very sexual kiss’

“I went out of Mass at 4 o’clock, and she hugged me real tight, and kissed me on the mouth,” said Wagner, adding that Brown held her body uncomfortably tight during the kiss.

The 87-year-old grandmother said Brown did it again weeks later, and then a third time. Wagner wrote a letter to Bishop Malone in October saying Brown “hugged me closely and kissed me firmly on the mouth.”

“Another woman wouldn’t kiss me like that, even my own sisters,” Wagner said. “My children would never kiss me like that. It was a very sexual kiss.”

Pirog had a similar experience, except she said Brown came up to her in the parish rectory, approached her from behind and “put her body against mine and her head on my shoulder,” according to an August letter she wrote to Bishop Malone.

Diocese adds to list of accused

SCRANTON (PA)
Citizens Voice

December 22, 2018

BY David Singleton

The Diocese of Scranton has added a nun from Exeter who taught school for many years in Dunmore and 10 other people to its still-evolving list of individuals accused of sexually abusing children.

The additions bring to 81 the number of names on the list of “credibly accused individuals” the diocese originally disclosed Aug. 14 to coincide with the release of a statewide investigating grand jury report exposing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and steps taken by the church to cover it up in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Scranton.

Of the 11 new individuals on the list the diocese maintains on its website, six have already been named by The Citizens’ Voice — three Jesuit priests whose identities were disclosed Monday by the religious order’s Maryland Province and three diocesan lay employees the newspaper determined in August were omitted from the diocese’s original list.

The other five include two diocesan priests who were not on the list released in August and three previously unidentified members of religious orders not directly associated with the diocese.

According to the diocese, the priests, religious and lay people on its credibly accused list have either served or resided in the Diocese of Scranton.

“This list is updated as the diocese is made aware of substantiated allegations,” diocesan spokesman William Genello said in an emailed response to questions about the fluidity of the online list and the process for adding names.

On its website, the diocese says allegations against the individuals were corroborated “by secular legal proceedings, canon law proceedings, self-admission by the individual, and/or other evidence.”

Two former Jesuit officials resign from Gonzaga University after revelations about abusive priests on campus

SPOKANE (WA)
Reveal

December 21, 2018

By Emily Schwing, Michael Corey and Aaron Sankin

Two priests in high-level positions at Gonzaga University resigned today. Both previously held leadership roles in the Jesuits’ Oregon Province while it sent Jesuits accused of sexual abuse to live in a home on campus.

President Thayne McCulloh announced the resignations of Father Frank Case, university vice president and men’s basketball chaplain, and Father Pat Lee, vice president for mission and ministry, in a brief statement emailed to the Gonzaga community. Both men served on the University President’s cabinet.

Case was named in an investigation by the Northwest News Network and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting about sexually abusive Jesuits whose victims were predominantly Native girls, boys and women in Alaska and the Northwest. A Jesuit home on Gonzaga’s campus, Cardinal Bea House, became a retirement repository for at least 20 Jesuit priests accused of such sexual misconduct dating back as far as 1986.

Victims Group: Springfield Diocese Tight-Lipped On Several Priests

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
NPR Illinois

December 22, 2018

By Sam Dunklau

In the wake of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Catholic Church investigation, a victim’s advocacy group is accusing the Catholic Diocese of Springfield of intentionally leaving the names of two predator priests off its public list. They say those names are part of the group of 500 Madigan uncovered.

Members of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood across the street from Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. They held up signs that had names like Father Henry Willenborg and Father Thomas Meyer on them. Both were priests in the Springfield diocese, both have well-documented abuse allegations against them.

John Freml was one of the demonstrators. He says he’s disappointed with how Bishop Thomas Paprocki has handled the scandal.

“I think the Bishop has just lost all moral credibility in this Diocese, given how he has postured himself in relation to this issue.”

SNAP representative David Clohessy demonstrated alongside Freml on Friday. He says the Church can’t be trusted to handle the matter.

Deceased Alton priest accused of sex misconduct has same name as current Jacksonville priest — totally different people, group clarifies

ALTON (IL)
Alton Telegraph

December 22, 2018

By Nathan Woodside

A deceased former Alton priest named in a continued wave of sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church unfortunately shares very-nearly the same name as a current priest in Jacksonville. The two are in no way related.

During a press event held Friday in Springfield, David Clohessy, a spokesman and former national director of the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) invoked Fr. Thomas G. Meyer, who served as a pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Paul Parish in Alton from 1990 to 1998.

Last year, Meyer was included in a list of “substantiated” accusations of sexual abuse toward minors issued by the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese.

SNAP resurfaced Meyer’s name, along with several others, as it was revealed the former Catholic cleric had also served in the Springfield diocese and had “attracted no discernible public attention before.”

Earlier Friday, Pope Francis ordered priests who’d committed sexual misconduct toward children to confess, and asked victims to come forward.

Clohessy said Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki had done the “bare minimum” in the wake of Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s investigation of Illinois dioceses’ handling of abuse allegations.

Later Friday, SNAP issued the following statement importantly clarifying that the accused, now deceased, Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is not the current Fr. Thomas C. Meyer serving in Jacksonville:

“This is a clarification regarding the SNAP press event held in Springfield, IL on December 21. It is important to note that there have been two priests in the Springfield Diocese with the same name.

“Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is a now deceased publicly accused abusive cleric and was a religious order cleric who worked in Alton.

“Fr. Thomas C. Meyer is alive, is NOT accused of abuse, is a diocesan cleric who now works in Jacksonville IL.

December 21, 2018

Boise priest who lived in ‘world of Satanism and pornography’ sentenced to 25 years in prison

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

December 20, 2018

BY Katy Moeller and Ruth Brown

The Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, a longtime priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise who pleaded guilty to five felony crimes, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Faucher, 73, was accused of amassing thousands of child porn images and videos on his home computer — and pleaded guilty in September to sharing some of those images online. He apologized in the courtroom ahead of his sentencing at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise on Thursday.

“This is the crime that has the potential for both immediate and long-lasting consequences,” 4th District Court Judge Jason Scott said. “... I think there is a legitimate risk to the community.”

Resignation of Catholic bishop too little, too late, say Southern California priest abuse victims

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Register

December 20, 2018

By Scott Schwebkeand Deepa Bharath

Pope Francis’ decision to accept the resignation of an auxiliary Los Angeles bishop amid accusations of misconduct with a minor does little to erase decades of cover-up by the Vatican, some Southern California victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests said Wednesday.

One victim, Lee Bashforth, said Monsignor Alexander Salazar’s resignation, many years after his alleged offense, is “disappointing and upsetting” for survivors.

“This is a problem the Catholic Church had an opportunity to fix,” he said. “They shoveled it under the rug. And 16 years later, we’re still having the curtain pulled back to reveal they are doing the same stuff they’ve been doing for centuries — covering up for pedophile priests.”

Appallingly, sexual assaults by priests most often have not been treated as crimes, said Bashforth, who was abused as a boy by Michael Wempe, a priest with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the time.

Providence Diocese to publish names of priests 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI TV

December 21, 2018

By Tim White

The leader of the Catholic church in Rhode Island announced Friday that they will publicly name all priests who have been "credibly accused" of sexual assault.

Bishop Thomas Tobin said the church has "started the process of putting the list together of those who have been credibly accused both living and deceased."

"I think my expectation that after the first of the year, sometime after the new year, we will be publicizing that list as many other dioceses have done," Tobin said during a taping of WPRI 12's Newsmakers. "I think about half the dioceses in the country have released that list."

Tobin said he didn't think any of the names on the list would surprise the public because most of the names have been publicized already in news reports or when a priest is removed from service.

"In my 13 years here I have publicly removed from office five priests who were credibly accused," he said.

Group criticizes Springfield diocese handling of abuse

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WJBC Radio

December 21, 2018

By Dave Dahl

John Freml of Springfield is still part of the Catholic church, even though he’s a supporter of SNAP – Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

“I still identify as a Catholic; it’s a very contentious relationship, obviously,” Freml said during a news conference and protest outside Springfield’s downtown Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. “The church is not just the hierarchy; it’s the people of God, it’s the people in the pews, it’s the laity. The church can be and is so much better than this. I stay to help reform the church.”

He does say church leadership, including Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has lost all moral credibility in the priest sex abuse scandal, which exploded again this week with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s contention that the Illinois Catholic leadership underreported the number of priests facing credible accusations by 500.

David Clohessy, one of the early organizers of SNAP, said Madigan should be out front on this, holding news conferences all over the state. And he wants the state to drop the statute of limitations in cases of priest sex abuse.

Rape kids. Cover it up. Avoid responsibility. Lie. That’s the Catholic Church.

SANTA FE (NM)
NMPolitics.net

December 21, 2018

By Heath Haussamen

I remember a Christian Brother who taught at my high school taking us outside to show off a mountain he identified as “Tetilla Peak.” He described, to a group of underage teens in the 1990s, how much he loved tetas — in English, breasts, or more crudely but accurately, tits.

He often told us how much he loved women’s bodies. If he wasn’t a Christian Brother he would have 10 wives and 10 children with each wife, he said.

I had many creepy experiences at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe. Another was the reverence with which basketball coaches spoke about the legendary coach Brother Abdon, with no mention of the rape allegations.

More than two decades later, I’m processing all we’ve learned in 2018 from a grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania, our attorney general’s probe in New Mexico, and investigative journalism about how the Roman Catholic Church has systematically enabled and intentionally covered up the sexual assault of countless children and adults worldwide by its clergy, then shielded its assets from victims to protect its land and money.

Priest with Huntsville ties among those accused of child molestation

HUNTSVILLE (AL)
WHNT TV

December 21, 2018

By Patrick Ary

A Catholic priest who had north Alabama ties is on the Diocese of Birmingham’s list of clergy that were accused of committing acts of child abuse while working in the diocese.

Charles V. Cross, who died in 2010, is one of six clergy members the diocese identified. He began his clergy career as an assistant at Holy Spirit Church in Huntsville in 1967, according to the Diocese of Birmingham. Cross was at Holy Spirit for a little over a year before becoming a chaplain at St. Margaret Hospital in Montgomery.

Cross’s other work during his time with the diocese included:

Sept. 15, 1970 – Director of Catholic Charities, resident at St. Peter the Apostle
April 2, 1973 – Temporary administrator of St. Mark Church
July 1, 1975 – Associate pastor, St. Paul’s Cathedral
Oct. 15, 1976 – Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Gardendale
Dec. 1976-1988 – Served in the Diocesan Tribunal office

Cross was removed from ministry in parishes in 1985 and was forced to retire without privileges in 2002. Other details about allegations made against him were not disclosed by the diocese.

Three of the five other priests listed by the diocese also are dead. The two that are still alive, Kevin Cooke and John J. “Jack” Ventura, are not in service in any diocese, officials said. Cooke was removed from ministry in 2002, and Ventura was removed after allegations were made in 1985.

CLARIFICATION

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

This is a clarification regarding the SNAP press event held in Springfield, MO on December 21. It is important to note that there have been two priests in the Springfield Diocese with the same name.

Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is a now deceased publicly accused abusive cleric and was a religious order cleric who worked in Alton.

Fr. Thomas C. Meyer is alive, is NOT accused of abuse, is a diocesan cleric who now works in Jacksonville IL.

We urge the public and the news media to make this distinction clear and apologize for any potential confusion.

Lawrence Co. Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse, Placed On Leave

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA-TV:

A priest who recently served as a pastor in Lawrence County has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Bishop David Zubik says the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh learned of allegations made against 74-year-old Father James Downs on Thursday.

Downs is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the early ’90s when he served as the chaplain to the former Youth Development Center in New Castle. The allegation has been reported to law enforcement and according to the Diocese, no prior victim has ever come forward against Downs.

The Diocese says Downs denies the allegation.

Downs served as pastor of Christ the King Parish in Bessemer/Hillsville and Saint James the Apostle Parish in Pulaski until he retired in July 2018.

Priests on administrative leave may not engage in public ministry, dress as priests or otherwise present themselves as priests in good standing.

Así se financia la defensa de sacerdotes imputados

[Here is how the defense of accused priests is financed]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 21, 2018

By M.J. Navarrete and L. Zapata

La mayoría de los abogados que representan a los presbíteros vinculados a abusos sexuales en la Iglesia no cobra honorarios.

Según el último catastro del Ministerio Público, actualmente hay 124 investigaciones vigentes relacionadas con abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica. En estas causas se investiga a 178 personas, de las cuales 105 son sacerdotes y ocho obispos. Todos ellos se encuentran en calidad de imputados.

‘Hand yourself over to human justice’: Pope Francis tells priests guilty of abuse the church won’t shield them

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 21, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer and Michelle Boorstein

Pope Francis used one of his major annual Christmas speeches to offer some of his strongest words about this year’s heightened sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church, telling guilty priests the church will not protect them and they should turn themselves in.

“To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Francis said in a speech at the Vatican on Friday.

Speaking to the Roman Curia — the central governing leadership of the Vatican — Francis described at length the sinfulness of priests who prey on children. “Often behind their boundless amiability, impeccable activity and angelic faces, they shamelessly conceal a vicious wolf ready to devour innocent souls,” he said, in remarks that drew often on the example of the sinful biblical King David. “Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case.”

Survivor advocates slammed Francis for focusing on priest-abusers rather than the leaders and system that protect them, while other Vatican observers praised his comments as a dramatic acknowledgment of the scope of the problem.

Francis’s call for abusers to turn themselves in “is silly. To command psychologically sick people to do the right thing? It’s also deceptive,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of Bishop Accountability, which documents abuse. “This speech represents a regression to the defense we heard from John Paul II, that the problem was with the perpetrators. We now know the more fundamental problem is with the complicit and deceptive hierarchy.”

Catholic Church underestimated sex abuse allegations and failed to investigate, state attorney general says

CHICAGO (IL)
The Independent

December 20, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

Top Illinois official argues investigators found hundreds more accusations to those deemed credible

Illinois' attorney general's office on Wednesday accused the Catholic Church of dramatically low-balling the scope of allegations of clergy sex abuse, saying her investigators found at least 500 additional accusations against priests and clergy - compared with the 185 cases the church has found credible.

Lisa Madigan's office acknowledged on Wednesday that a charge that has been found credible is not the same thing as a simple accusation. However, she alleged in a statement that a probe her office opened into the Church in August is finding Catholic leaders are failing to dig deep into the guilt of their clerics. The probe "has revealed that allegations frequently have not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all," the statement said.

Some state Catholic leaders, under siege during a year of global scandal over bishops' handling of abuse cases, pushed back. The crux of Ms Madigan's announcement was unfair and "false", said William Kunkel, counsel for the Chicago archdiocese.

Lawsuit: Catholic church suppressed abuse reports in Georgia

ATLANTA (GA)
The Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By Kate Brumback

Catholic church officials suppressed reports of abuse by a priest in northwest Georgia and failed to inform the community of the danger he posed, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed by a man identified under a pseudonym, Phillip Doe, says he was an altar boy at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Dalton from age 12 to 15 and that he was sexually molested by priest John Douglas Edwards from 1976 to 1978.

The lawsuit filed in Cobb County Superior Court says the failure by the Archdiocese of Atlanta to report the alleged sexual abuse is a public nuisance because it endangered the public. It was filed against the archdiocese, Saint Joseph's and Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, who has presided over the archdiocese since 2005.

The archdiocese had not received the lawsuit Thursday and, therefore, could not comment, spokeswoman Paula Grant said in an email. She added that the archdiocese abhors every instance of abuse and offers support to survivors.

Clergy sex abuse case involving Treme church results in settlement, Catholic officials say

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

December 20, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The allegations date back to the 1980s

Catholic Church officials in New Orleans have settled a lawsuit accusing a priest and a deacon of sexually abusing a boy at a Treme parish in the 1980s.

The priest, Kenneth Hamilton of the Society of the Divine Word religious order, and the now-retired deacon, Lloyd Glapion, both have denied wrongdoing, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said in a statement Thursday.

Nonetheless, the archdiocese said it reached a settlement with the plaintiff for undisclosed terms on Wednesday and announced it to the public “in a spirit of transparency.”

“Our prayers are with all those who have been harmed by church leaders,” the archdiocese said.

The case, filed in 2015, centered on allegations of abuse at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls Street. The church is a separate institution from the high school of the same name in the 7th Ward.

New lawsuit alleges clergy sex abuse by Las Cruces priest

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Church, alleging sexual abuse of a child by a now-deceased priest who once served at Our Lady of Health Parish in Las Cruces.

It’s the latest in a string of legal actions stemming from allegations of clergy sex abuse that span decades and have rocked parishes across the United States.

New Mexico’s largest diocese - the Archdiocese of Santa Fe - has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In neighboring Texas, church officials are preparing next month to release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Attorneys for a victim identified only as Jane Doe N filed a lawsuit Monday, naming the parish and the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, which used to oversee parts of southern New Mexico before the Diocese of Las Cruces was created.

The lawsuit says the victim had been left in the care of the parish pastor, Father Joaquin Resma, and that she was raped on multiple occasions. The girl was about 10 at the time and the abuse was intermittent for about a year during the late 1970s, according to the lawsuit.

Harvey Weinstein judge declines to dismiss charges in rape case, sets pretrial hearing for March

NEW YORK (NY)
CNN

December 20, 2018

By Eric Levenson and Elizabeth Joseph

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose downfall helped launch the #MeToo movement, is due back in New York court on March 7 after a judge Thursday morning ordered a pretrial hearing in the rape case.

The proceedings lasted just 10 minutes, a remarkably quick resolution to a highly anticipated and pivotal appearance that the defense had hoped would end with the charges against Weinstein getting dropped.

"We are obviously disappointed that the court did not dismiss the indictment, but Judge (James) Burke has ruled, and we intend to continue to vigorously defend this case to the best of our ability," Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, said outside the Manhattan courthouse.

How NY's Outdated Rape Shield Law Works To Harvey Weinstein's Advantage

NEW YORK (NY)
Gothamist

December 19, 2018

By JB Nicholas

In the seven months since Harvey Weinstein was led into Manhattan Criminal Court in handcuffs, his defense attorney Benjamin Brafman has been chipping away at the charges against the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

But Brafman’s court filings convey more than dry legal arguments to a judge. He's configured them to broadcast sex-charged allegations attacking the credibility or character of Weinstein's accusers—fully exploiting the mass-media megaphone Weinstein’s celebrity arms him with.

In the latest attack, for example, Brafman alleged that an unnamed third-party thought Weinstein and one of his accusers had been "hooking up." This was breathlessly reported by The Hollywood Reporter to be a fatal blow to the criminal case against Weinstein, while The New York Times called it part of a greater “unraveling.”

Priest with Staten Island ties accused of groping child in Westchester County

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
silive.com

December 21, 2018

By Maura Grunlund

The Rev. Thomas Kreiser, who briefly served on Staten Island, is accused of groping a girl at a Roman Catholic elementary school in Westchester County, according to information provided by a district attorney and the Archdiocese of New York.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino announced that Father Kreiser, 53, of Riverdale in the Bronx, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of felony sexual abuse in the alleged incident.

Father Kreiser has a prior conviction for gambling, according to Catholic New York.

Father Kreiser was a parochial vicar for just under a year in 2010-2011 at St. Ann’s R.C. Church, Dongan Hills, according to Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York.

The Rev. Joy Mampilly, pastor of St. Ann’s, referred the Advance to Zwilling for comment.

Chicago Archdiocese: State report on clergy sexual abuse won't be discussed at U.S. bishop retreat in Mundelein

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

December 21, 2018

By Elyssa Cherney

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan made clear Wednesday that her decision to release a report identifying hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests was supposed to send a message to a contingent of U.S. bishops gathering in the state next month.

But the Archdiocese of Chicago fired back Thursday, saying bishops will not discuss the report or its findings at a historic seven-day spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary in suburban Chicago in January.

The retreat “will strictly be time for prayer, fasting and spiritual lectures,” Anne Maselli, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said in an email. “No one other than bishops are included in the retreat. … It will not be open to the public.”

Editorial: The Catholic priest abuse scandal: Next steps

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune (TNS)

December 21, 2018

Sixteen years into the scandal of clergy sex abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, the horrors of these crimes still shock and disgust Americans. The exploitation of children, adolescents and adults by authority figures they had been taught to trust is reprehensible. We’ve written often of the lax, arguably criminal behavior of some local bishops and other church officials who shrouded grave misconduct in secrecy and didn’t share reports of abuses with civil authorities.

In August a report from Pennsylvania’s attorney general cataloged 70 years of such cases in that state. Attorney General Lisa Madigan responded with a comparable effort in Illinois, and on Wednesday her office issued nine pages of preliminary findings about cases in this state’s six dioceses.

The report is a step toward the transparency that’s been uneven in Illinois. The dioceses have had years to disclose credible allegations of abuse in some standardized way that’s easy to comprehend, and accept. For any church officials who haven’t done so, that’s the urgent Job One.

Pope Francis Urges Predator Priests To Turn Themselves In And Face Justice

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

December 21, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Pope Francis has urged priests who have raped and molested children to turn themselves in and prepare for “divine justice,” in his strongest condemnations yet of the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.

The pope pledged that the church would “never again” cover up or dismiss sexual abuse cases.

“To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Francis said during his Christmas address to the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration, Reuters reported.

The pope admitted that the church had failed to act on this issue in the past, acknowledging that leaders refused to believe victims.

Catholic Dads Must Go to Church to Prevent Sex Abuse By Clergy

UNITED STATES
Fatherly

December 20, 2018

By Patrick A. Coleman

The Catholic community, in America and abroad, is grappling with the horrific details put forth in a new report from the Illinois Attorney General claiming that church officials covered up for over 500 priests accused of abuse, releasing a public document with 185 names on it after compiling a list of 690 priests. The Illinois report followed on the heals of a Pennsylvania grand jury report claiming over 1,000 victims of rape and sexual predation were ignored or actively silenced by church leaders, many of whom sheltered the perpetrators of awful crimes. Though both reports are devastating in their details, neither is shocking. Catholic clergy have a history of raping kids and the church has a history of covering it up.

The practical question the report forces Catholic parents of young children to answer is one parents in the church have faced before: Does my family’s participation in church life jeopardize the safety of my kids? Given that the reports out of Illinois and Pittsburgh follow revelations of a similar nature in Boston, Ireland, Kenya, the Philippines, and Croatia, we must entertain the notion that the answer is “yes.”

As such, many Catholic parents like myself are reconsidering how they engage with churches and religious institutions. Some will walk away. I will not. Instead, I will double down on my involvement in church matters because I’m aware that the presence of a father tremendously diminishes the likelihood of harm befalling a children. Pedophiles disproportionately targeted children with absent fathers. This seems to be particularly true of priests. As such, I see my consistent presence as a prerequisite for my children’s involvement in church life.

The Catholic Church Is a Worldwide Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

NEW YORK (NY)
Esquire

December 20, 2018

By Charles P. Pierce

This story is not going to end.

Let us be plain. The institutional Roman Catholic Church as it currently exists is a prima facie international criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice. Absent the scent of incense, this would be the easiest RICO case any prosecutor ever brought. Consider what we've learned just in the last week.

1) Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan announced that her investigation had discovered that the identities of more than 500 priests against whom charges of sexual abuse had been lodged were still being kept secret by the institutional church in that state. From the Chicago Tribune:

Jesuits named in list alleging sexual abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

December 20, 2018

By Morgan Greene

18 priests with ties to Chicago area included, with instances dating as far back as 1955

Eighteen Jesuit priests with ties to Chicago-area institutions were named on a list released Monday alleging instances of sexual abuse dating back more than six decades, including one defrocked priest who was convicted of sex crimes in federal court.

The Midwest Province Jesuits, part of a Catholic religious order known for its focus on education, released a list of dozens of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse to their names since 1955.

In a Monday evening phone interview, the Rev. Brian Paulson, provincial of the Midwest Province, said the list was a response to the scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for the past two decades — from the 2002 abuse crisis exposed by The Boston Globe to the more than 300 Pennsylvania priests who were found to have sexually abused children, according to an August grand jury report.

“I think in the past, church leaders tried to avoid scandal,” Paulson said. “But I think now we realize the greater scandal is keeping this information in our drawer.”

Larry Antonsen, a Chicago leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said putting the names out there is a start. “I think it’s good that they’re putting out these lists, I really do,” he said. “Whether it’s complete or not, I don’t know. And it’s really hard to trust anybody in the Catholic Church because they’ve been hiding and lying for such a long time.”

Former Bronxville priest charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a child

BRONXVILLE (NY)
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

December 18, 2018

By Michael P. McKinney

A former Bronxville priest was arraigned Tuesday on a felony charge of first-degree sexual abuse charge that prosecutors said involved touching a 10-year-old girl.

The Rev. Thomas Kreiser of Riverdale surrendered to authorities Tuesday afternoon and was arraigned in Bronxville Village Court, the Westchester County District Attorney's office said.

Bail was set at $10,000. Kreiser is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 16.

On Sept. 20, the district attorney alleges, Kreiser engaged in touching a child on an intimate part of her body in Bronxville during the school day.

Kreiser was stationed at St. Joseph’s Parish, which includes a church and elementary school.

His duties included visiting the school at the time of the alleged abuse. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has removed Kreiser from the parish, the prosecutor's office said.

Pope Francis urges predator priests to turn themselves in

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph/Reuters

December 21, 2018

Pope Francis has urged predator priests who have sexually abused minors to turn themselves in, making one of his strongest comments ever on the crisis sweeping the Roman Catholic Church.

While it was not immediately clear if Francis was referring to the Church judicial system, civil justice, or both, Vatican sources believed it was the first time the pope had made such a direct appeal.

"To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice," Francis said in his traditional Christmas address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.

Bronxville priest accused of touching 10-year-old child at school

BRONXVILLE (NY)
WABC

December 18, 2018

A Bronxville priest is under arrest and accused of inappropriately touching a 10-year-old child at school earlier this year.

Thomas Kreiser was arraigned on a charge of sexual abuse after surrendering to authorities on Tuesday.

Officials say Kreiser touched a child on an intimate part of her body while in a school building on Sept. 20.

At the time of the alleged incident, Kreiser was employed as a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of New York and was stationed at St. Joseph's Parish. As part of his duties, he was visiting the school at the time of the incident.

Statement on Father Thomas Kreiser

NEW YORK (NY)
Archdiocese of New York

December 18, 2018

By Joseph Zwilling

Statement of Joseph Zwilling, on behalf of the Archdiocese of New York

As is our practice and our promise, the Archdiocese of New York first reported the allegation from the parents concerning Father Thomas Kreiser to the Westchester District Attorney’s office in September when it came to our attention. Both the archdiocese and the Parish of Saint Joseph, where Father Kreiser was assigned at the time, have been fully cooperating with the DA, and will continue to do so. While we will wait for the justice system to complete its work, due to the serious nature of the allegation, Father Kreiser has not been permitted to exercise his priestly ministry or present himself as a priest since the allegation arose.

We once again encourage anyone who has experienced abuse, no matter the source, to report it to the District Attorney. If anyone has suffered abuse by a priest or deacon of the archdiocese, we ask again that you contact our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, Sister Eileen Clifford, at 646-794-2949, so that we might offer our assistance as well.

Settlement offers made to 13 victims of Buffalo Diocese sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

December 20, 2018

By Jeff Slawson and Charlie Specht

Boston lawyer says payments range from $10,000 to $340,000

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian said Wednesday that 13 of his clients -- all victims of sexual abuse by Buffalo Diocese priests -- have been offered settlements with the diocese.

The settlements deal with priest abuse from about 1959 to 1988 and the amounts range from $10,000 to $340,000, Garabedian said.

"Many victims, in hopes of trying to turn at least one page of the pain, are willing to accept the settlement offers while other victims feel re-victimized by the settlement offers and the impersonal nature of the program set up by Bishop Malone and lack of transparency and will reject the offers," Garabedian said.

He added, "All clergy sexual victims realize that the Catholic Church, in implementing the compensation program, is trying to sweep the clergy sexual abuse matter under the rug, trying to deceptively send a positive message to the court of public opinion and dissuade decision makers from amending the statute of limitations."

State Attorney General Says Illinois Catholic Church Concealed Identities of 500 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Jezebel

December 19, 2018

By Hannah Gold

A preliminary report by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan found that the church failed to publicize more than 500 priests who’d been accused of sexually abusing minors.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Madigan wrote in her findings that the state’s Catholic diocese are not fit to investigate themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.” According to the report, only 185 of a total 690 priests accused of abuse were reported by the church as having credible claims lodged against them. The Chicago Tribute reports that some of these allegations go back decades.

The report also states that 75 percent of the total abuse claims were either not investigated by the diocese, or were investigated but not substantiated. One apparent method by which claims were not substantiated was allegations brought forth by one victim were not advanced. Furthermore, diocese delegitimized claims by “focusing on the survivors’ personal lives.” Again, these are minors we are talking about.

Illinois AG finds 500 more Catholic clergy accused of abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
The Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By Don Babwin and John O'Connor

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued a blistering report about clergy sexual abuse, saying that Catholic dioceses in Illinois has not released the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

The preliminary report found that the church’s six archdioceses have done a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases did not investigate them at all or notify the state’s child welfare agency. Madigan’s office said that while the dioceses have disclosed 45 more names of those credibly accused, the total number of names disclosed is only 185 and raises questions about the church’s response to the crisis.

“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said in a statement. “The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors.”

Full Interview with Father Fabian Maryanski

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

December 10, 2018

Investigative reporter Steve Brown's exclusive interview with Father Fabian Maryanski

Almost 700 Catholic clergy in Illinois accused of sexual abuse: official

CHICAGO (IL)
AFP

December 19, 2018

Almost 700 clergymen in Illinois have been accused of child sexual assault, a far greater number than the Catholic Church had previously disclosed, the Midwestern US state's top prosecutor revealed Wednesday.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the Church's revelations that 185 clergy members were credibly accused of sexual abuse fell short of the number her office has uncovered.

The preliminary results of an investigation that began in August found more than 500 additional priests and clergy members with sexual abuse allegations in the Midwestern state's six dioceses -- a total of at least 685 accused.

In a scathing statement, the attorney general's office criticized the Church's handling of the abuse allegations, saying investigations were lacking, and in many cases law enforcement and child welfare authorities were not notified.

"The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself," Madigan said.

CLARIFICATION

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

This is a clarification regarding the SNAP press event held in Springfield, MO on December 21. It is important to note that there have been two priests in the Springfield Diocese with the same name.

Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is a now deceased publicly accused abusive cleric and was a religious order cleric who worked in Alton.

Fr. Thomas C. Meyer is alive, is NOT accused of abuse, is a diocesan cleric who now works in Jacksonville IL.

We urge the public and the news media to make this distinction clear and apologize for any potential confusion.

Illinois AG says Catholic Church failed to disclose abuse accusations against 500 priests and clergy

ILLINOIS
CNN

December 20, 2018

By Daniel Burke

In yet another blow to the Catholic Church in the United States, Illinois' attorney general says the state's six dioceses have failed to disclose accusations of sexual abuse against at least 500 priests and clergy members.

Illinois' dioceses have released lists publicly identifying 185 clergy members who had been credibly accused of child sex abuse. But state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said preliminary findings in her investigation reveal that the church failed to disclose sexual abuse allegations against at least 500 additional priests and clergy members.

In many cases, the accusations have "not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all," Madigan's office said in a statement Wednesday. What's more, the statement added, the church often failed to notify law enforcement authorities or the state's Department of Children and Family Services about the allegations.

"By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois," Madigan said in the statement.

"The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors."

Eleven Named in Jesuit Abuse Scandal

DALLAS (TX)
Park Cities People

December 18, 2018

By Timothy Glaze

The Jesuits’ Central and Southern Province has named several former Dallas Jesuits in a preliminary list of those credibly accused of inappropriate conduct with minors.

Abuse at the Dallas campus occurred beginning in 1966 and lasted through at least 1994. The JCSP alerted Michael A. Earsing, president of Jesuit College Preparatory School, to the list in December.

The findings name 11 past members with ties to the school who were the subject of “credible allegations of abuse of a minor.”

Four were accused of abuse while at the school, while seven others who served at the Dallas campus were accused of misconduct elsewhere.

Of the four accused of abuse at the Dallas campus, two – Don Dickerson and Thomas Naughton – are dead. Vincent Malatesta and Claude Ory, the other two with direct ties to abuse at the Dallas campus, were removed from the ministry in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Ory lives under supervision, according to officials.

Compensation for abuse: Payouts must not derail legislative action

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 20, 2018

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The funds will serve an important purpose for the church and the victims, but payouts aren’t the end of the story

In creating a new compensation fund for victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese is acknowledging a moral obligation to those who suffered at the hands of men they should have been able to trust.

It’s the latest in a series of administrative and spiritual steps that the diocese is taking to atone for child sexual abuse by priests and reduce the likelihood of future misconduct. Other Pennsylvania dioceses have adopted similar measures following a grand jury report that alleged abuse of more than 1,000 children by more than 300 clergy members over several decades.

Such funds are a welcome admission of the dioceses’ debt to victims. But given the public outrage at the sickening crimes and cover-ups outlined in the report, the dioceses really had no choice. True contrition would have meant coming clean and creating the funds long ago. Not until the grand jury report did the scope of the problem — dozens of victims and at least 90 alleged abusers in the Pittsburgh diocese alone— become clear.

The funds will serve an important purpose for the church and the victims, but payouts aren’t the end of the story.

Sins of the fathers

ALASKA
Reveal/PRX

December 15, 2018

By Emily Schwing at the Northwest News Network, with Reveal’s Michael Corey and Katharine Mieszkowski.

Listeners should know that this episode looks at how the Catholic Church handled cases of children who were sexually abused by Jesuit priests.

The show includes descriptions of abuse and predatory behavior and is not a story for all listeners.

The host gives a listening advisory at the top of each segment.

In Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the Catholic Church had a problem with Jesuit priests sexually abusing children. The church’s first solution was to send the priests to remote Native villages, but there, they continued to abuse. So the church tried something else: hiding them in plain sight.

Richard Serbin: Church payoff plans don’t pass the smell test

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 21, 2018

By Richard Serbin

How does more secrecy protect children, heal victims or reveal the truth?

A few weeks ago, without a very convincing explanation, eight elderly, risk-averse Pennsylvania men made a 180-degree turn. Let’s look deeper at what they did and why they may have done it.

For decades, our state’s Catholic bishops offered abuse victims crumbs. When scores of victims took to the courts, expensive and brutal church defense lawyers almost always helped their bosses keep the crimes hidden by exploiting the statute of limitations, which is based on archaic understandings of child abuse and the difficulties that victims (especially children) face in coming forward. Because of this, Pennsylvania has long been one of the most hostile states toward these deeply betrayed and tormented victims.

But last week, these bishops announced that they would start offering allegedly “substantial” sums of money to victims who come forward. And on Tuesday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it would set aside $25 million for compensating victims, as long as they registered within a brief window of time: before July. Apparently, the Philadelphia Archdiocese has already sent out informational packets to victims whose claims they deemed credible, in an effort to sweep these potential lawsuits under the rug as quickly as possible.

Springfield Catholic bishop challenged on abuse

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 21, 2018

Springfield Catholic bishop is challenged on abuse
He leaves at least two publicly accused molesters off his list
Victims want church to post ALL alleged offenders' names online
SNAP: More details are also needed to better protect the vulnerable
"The real solution," group insists, "is criminal prosecution & legislative reform"

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that six publicly accused priests were left off the list posted by the Diocese of Springfield, including two who worked in the Springfield diocese but have attracted little or no media or public attention before in central Illinois.

They will also call on local Catholic officials to
post names of ALL accused priests on their diocesan website,
include details like their work histories, whereabouts and photos, and
join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like repealing Illinois' "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations" so survivors can do what bishops will not do: expose child molesters in court.

WHEN
Friday, Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

AG Report Should Lead to Legislative Reform

ST. LOUIS (MI)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 20, 2018

The report into clergy sex crimes that was released by AG Lisa Madigan yesterday has revealed a stunning level of secrecy in catholic dioceses throughout Illinois.

Illinois bishops have a key partner in their secrecy: state lawmakers who refuse to fix archaic, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.

If this arbitrary, unfair time limit were temporarily suspended, as several states have done, bishops would be far less able to hide child molesters. Instead, children would be safer and survivors will be helped by being able to bring abusers to justice.

California, Delaware, Hawaii and Minnesota have taken this simple step toward children's safety. It works. It enables our time-tested justice system to determine who is "credibly accused," not church officials who are not trained to investigate or adjudicate crimes.

Priest charged with sex crime released from jail after anonymous person posts bail

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

December 20, 2018

By Arielle Zionts

The former Rapid City priest accused of sexually touching a 13-year-old girl was released from jail Thursday afternoon after someone paid for his recently reduced $10,000 cash-only bond.

John Praveen, 38, was released at 1:49 p.m. from the Pennington County Jail, said Helene Duhamel, spokeswoman for the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

"A woman who has asked to remain anonymous has paid his bond," said Brad Blauvelt, who volunteered to house Praveen at his Nemo Road home.

Blauvelt said he's unsure if the woman paid the entire bond herself, or gathered donations from members of the Catholic community.

He said while some of his neighbors along his rural stretch of road are fine with him housing Praveen, others are "over-the-top angry."

Church will ‘never again’ cover up clergy sex abuse, pledges Pope

UNITED KINGDOM/SPAIN
The Associated Press

December 21, 2018

Pope Francis has vowed that the Catholic Church will “never again” cover up clergy sex abuse and demanded that priests who have raped and molested children turn themselves in.

Francis dedicated his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy to abuse, evidence that a year of devastating revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up has shaken his papacy and caused a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy.

The pope acknowledged that the church in the past had failed to treat the problem seriously, blaming leaders who out of inexperience or short-sightedness acted “irresponsibly” by refusing to believe victims.

But he vowed that going forward the church would never cover up or dismiss cases again.

“Let it be clear that before these abominations the church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes,” he said.

Man Housing Priest Charged With Sex Crime Upsets Neighbors

RAPID CITY (SD)
The Associated Press

December 21, 2018

A man who has agreed to take in a former Rapid City priest accused of sexually touching a 13-year-old girl says some of his neighbors are "over-the-top" angry about the situation.

A man who has agreed to take in a former Rapid City priest accused of sexually touching a 13-year-old girl says some of his neighbors are "over-the-top" angry about the situation.

The Rapid City Journal reports that 38-year-old John Praveen was released from jail Thursday afternoon after someone paid for his recently reduced $10,000 cash-only bond. Brad Blauvelt, who volunteered to house Praveen, says the woman who paid the bond asked to remain anonymous.

Papst an Kurie: Schwerwiegende Skandale in der Kirche, aber das Licht wird obsiegen

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

December 2018

By Christina Höfferer

Seine traditionelle vorweihnachtliche Rede an die römische Kurie begann der Papst mit einer Analyse der Anlässe zur Betrübnis. An erster Stelle nannte er die Einwanderer, die gezwungen sind, ihre Heimat zu verlassen und ihr Leben zu riskieren, woraufhin sie entweder sterben, oder, wenn sie überleben, vor verschlossenen Türen stehen und vor Mitmenschen, denen es nur um politische Erfolge und Macht ginge.

„Wie viel Angst und wie viele Vorurteile! Wie viele Menschen und wie viele Kinder sterben täglich wegen Wasser- und Nahrungsmangel und aufgrund fehlender Medikamente! Wie viel Armut und Elend! Wie viel Gewalt gegen die Schwachen und gegen Frauen!“

Papst Franziskus drückte bei der Audienz an diesem Freitagvormittag im Vatikan sein tiefestes Bedauern aus, über Folter, Krieg, Unmenschlichkeit und Brutalität. Es sei eine neue Epoche der Märtyrer, die wir erlebten. Es fehle an Religions- und Gewissensfreiheit. Als ein heldenhaftes Beispiel nannte der Papst jenes der vielen guten Samariter, junger Menschen, Familien, karitativ und ehrenamtlich tätiger Vereinigungen sowie der vieler Gläubigen und Gottgeweihten. Doch sogleich erinnerte Franziskus auch an die Skandale, ausgelöst von Amtsträgern der Kirche, und prangerte dabei vor allem Missbrauch und Untreue an.

Police officer found guilty of condom 'stealthing' in landmark trial

GERMANY
CNN

December 20, 2018

By Matthew Robinson

A German police officer has been found guilty of sexual assault for removing a condom during sexual intercourse without the consent of his partner, an act known as "stealthing," in what is believed to be the first case of its kind to be prosecuted in Germany.

The defendant, 36, was found guilty at a local court in Berlin on December 11, after carrying out the offense at his apartment in the German capital on November 18, 2017, said Berlin's chief court spokeswoman, Lisa Jani.

He received an eight-month suspended jail sentence from the court and was fined €3,000 ($3,400) in damages, along with a €96 fine to pay for a sexual health test for the female victim.

The victim told the court that she "explicitly requested" the man to wear a condom and gave no consent to sexual intercourse without protection. She added that she realized that the man had not been wearing a condom only when he ejaculated, according to Jani.

The woman subsequently left his flat enraged -- worried that she might have caught a sexually transmitted disease -- and called the police to the defendant's property, but he did not open the door.

Attorney for Buffalo Diocese clergy sex abuse victims says he has received 13 total offers

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

December 19, 2018

On Wednesday, an attorney representing over a dozen Buffalo Diocese clergy sex abuse victims released a list of settlement offers from the Diocese's compensation program.

Mitchell Garabedian says he has received a total of 13 offers, ranging from $10,000 to $340,000.

The list goes into detail, stating which priest from which church was involved, the date of the abuse and the age of the victim.

The earliest dates back to 1959 and goes through 1988.

December 20, 2018

Metro East Pastor Named In Clergy Abuse Scandal

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX Radio

December 21, 2018

By Brian Kelly

A former Metro East pastor is being called out today as survivors demand the Springfield, Illinois Diocese release the names of more allegedly abusive priests.

The Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests says Fr. Thomas Meyer, who was pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Alton for eight years, was on the list of alleged abusers made public by the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese last month, but was left off the list released by Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki. He also worked at St. Henry's Seminary, King's House of Retreats and St. Henry's Oblate Residence in the Belleville Diocese.

The group says Fr. Henry Willenborg, who is accused of sexually abusing a high school girl and impregnating an adult parishoner in Quincy, was also left off Paprocki's list. He also allegedly abandoned his son, who died of cancer at age 22.

Chicago archbishop to have leading role in sex abuse reforms

CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By Jeff Karoub

The Catholic archbishop of Chicago, who was hand-picked by the pope to help organize an upcoming Vatican summit on clergy sex abuse, will have a leading role in the church's effort to seek reforms, including the response to new allegations from the Illinois attorney general.

Cardinal Blase Cupich expressed regret for "our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse" in a statement responding to the attorney general's report, which said the church failed to disclose the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

Still, he said, his archdiocese, the state's largest and long considered a flagship of American Catholicism, has been a leader in dealing with the issue.

Cupich, Francis' first major U.S. appointment , will walk a tightrope as he tries to represent the embattled church, the distressed laity and a public demanding justice. Boston College theology professor Lisa Sowle Cahill said it will "be interesting to see how he negotiates" all of that.

Among the U.S. church hierarchy, Cupich "has certainly been a good example of honesty," Cahill said, citing his willingness to step forward, accept accountability and attempt to enact better policies.

The report released Wednesday by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan concluded that the church's six archdioceses did a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases did not investigate them at all or notify child-welfare officials. It did not say when the allegations were made.

Clergy sex abuse survivor questions Diocese settlement offers

BUFFALO (NY)
WIBV TV

December 20, 2018

By Jenn Schanz

Michael Whalen said he felt revictimized after the Buffalo Diocese offered him less than $50,000 through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP).

The south Buffalo man alleges he was abused as a boy by Father Norbert Orsolits; Whalen was one of the first local survivors to share his story of abuse publicly.

"I don't understand how they go about it. I would like to know how they come to these figures," Whalen said.

According to the IRCP summary, settlement offer amounts are determined by several factors, including the nature, extent, and frequency of the alleged abuse.

Bishop Braxton says Belleville diocese has been upfront about priest abuse

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News Democrat

December 20, 2018

By Joseph Bustos

The Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which covers southern Illinois says it has been up front about sexual abuse by priests, and is disagreeing with an assessment released by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

In a preliminary report released Wednesday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office said the Catholic dioceses in Illinois have not released the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

“The Attorney General’s preliminary report cites combined statistics for all six Illinois dioceses of the Province of Chicago without delineating between them,” the diocese said in a news release on Thursday. “This could give the false impression that a significant number of credibly accused Belleville clergy has not been disclosed. This is incorrect. The Diocese of Belleville has publicly identified all members of its clergy who were credibly accused and removed from ministry, and the Attorney General’s Office has not advised the Diocese of any perceived omissions or errors in its public listing.”

The Belleville diocese formed a review board in 1993 to investigate allegations childhood sexual abuse, and removed 17 members of the clergy from ministry. The removals were publicly announced when they occurred and the names were posted on the diocese’s website.

Pope accepts resignation of L.A. bishop, Alexander Salazar, accused of misconduct

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

December 19, 2018

Salazar's resignation is the latest in a string of cases of alleged misconduct against bishops to come to light this year.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Monsignor Alexander Salazar, following allegations of misconduct with a minor in the 1990s.

The Vatican announced the resignation in a statement Wednesday. It was the latest in a string of cases of alleged misconduct against bishops to come to light this year, following the scandal of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles, Most Rev. Jose Gomez, said the archdiocese was made aware of the claim in 2005, which law enforcement had declined to prosecute, but that the archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases.

Los Angeles bishop resigns after allegations of misconduct with a minor

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

December 19, 2018

By Hada Messia

A Los Angeles bishop has resigned after allegations of past misconduct with a minor, the local archbishop said.

Pope Francis accepted Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar's resignation Wednesday, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a statement.

Salazar most recently was vicar for the Office of Ethnic Ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Gomez said.

"I regret to inform you that in 2005, a year after he had been ordained a bishop, the Archdiocese was made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor," Gomez said in the statement.

Gomez said the accusation against Salazar stemmed from alleged misconduct in the 1990s when he was a parish priest and not an ordained bishop.

16 Jesuits with Ohio connections named in list of those accused of sexual abuse

OHIO
Akron Beacon Journal, GateHouse Media Ohio

December 19, 2018

The Roman Catholic Jesuit province serving 12 Midwest states released the names of Jesuit priests who face “credible or established” accusations of sexual abuse of minors dating to 1955, including 16 with a connection to Ohio.

None of the priests named was listed as serving in central Ohio.

In a letter, the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus Provincial Rev. Brian G. Paulson wrote that the group released the names “in the spirit of transparency and reconciliation.”

Diocese Can't Say if It'll Name Priests Accused of Sex Abuse

NORWICH (CT)
U.S. News & World Report

December 19, 2018

The Diocese of Norwich says it has no information on whether or not it will release the names of priests accused of abuse.

The Diocese of Norwich says it has no information on whether or not it will release the names of priests accused of abuse.

The Day of New London reports Norwich Diocese spokesman Wayne Gignac said Tuesday parishioners will be informed directly if a decision is made.

The Hartford Archdiocese plans to publish the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse and report how much it has spent to settle lawsuits.

New Lawsuit Alleges Clergy Sex Abuse by New Mexico Priest

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
U.S. News & World Report

December 19, 2018

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Church, alleging sexual abuse of a minor by a now-deceased priest who once served at Our Lady of Health Parish in Las Cruces.

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Church, alleging sexual abuse of a child by a now-deceased priest who once served at Our Lady of Health Parish in Las Cruces.

It's the latest in a string of legal actions stemming from allegations of clergy sex abuse that span decades and have rocked parishes across the U.S.

New Mexico's largest diocese — the Archdiocese of Santa Fe — has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In neighboring Texas, church officials are preparing next month to release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Drugged, raped, fired: How flight attendants' claims are fueling a #MeToo movement in the airline industry

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Lifestyle

December 18, 2018

By Mandalena Lewis

When I was a 25-year-old flight attendant, I was sexually assaulted by a male pilot. I was in Maui, on a layover, working for the Canadian airline WestJet, when, following a typical post-shift gathering for drinks in the pilot’s hotel room, he attacked me repeatedly and attempted to rape me.

Somehow, through sheer adrenaline-fueled strength, I was able to escape.

I reported the incident to my company, the police, and my family — an embarrassing process that helped me understand right away why so many women don’t report their own assaults. But the experience turned me into a pre-#MeToo movement advocate who has made it her mission to break the silence around sexual harassment in the airline industry, and to help those who have been assaulted bring their attackers to justice.

Just like in the entertainment industry, I have since learned, the cover-up of rape and sexual assault by powerful airline corporations has a long, dark history. It’s rooted in the fact that the industry has historically profited from the sexualization and dehumanization of female flight attendants, for whom, up until the ’70s, the courts deemed “female sex appeal” to be a “bona fide occupational qualification.”

Airlines are not oblivious to the harassment of flight attendants and have recently become focused on flight attendant harassment by passengers, often with the vocal support of politicians — a vital effort, as a recent FBI report found that sexual assaults on commercial airline flights are on the rise, from 38 in 2014 to 63 in 2017. (The actual figures could be higher, because sexual assaults are generally underreported.)

The Latest: Ex-archbishop denies claim, welcomes probe

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

December 17, 2018

The Latest on a U.S. archbishop's request to address sexual misconduct allegations against former St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

Former St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt says he would welcome an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct that he claims is untrue.

In a Monday email to The Associated Press, Nienstedt says it's difficult to defend himself against the claims because it's his word against the accusers' and he doesn't want to harm them.

Los Angeles bishop resigns over sex abuse as crisis spreads

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

December 19, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a bishop in Los Angeles accused of sexually abusing a minor, the Vatican said on Wednesday, in the latest case of clergy misconduct to shake the U.S. Catholic Church.

A brief Vatican statement said Alexander Salazar, 69, an assistant bishop in Los Angeles, was stepping down. It also distributed a letter on the Salazar case written by the current Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez.

The U.S. Catholic Church is still reeling from a U.S. grand jury report that found that 301 priests in the state of Pennsylvania had sexually abused minors over a 70-year period.

Michael Weatherly’s Former Co-Stars Want You to Know He’s a Nice Guy, Really

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

December 17, 2018

By Lisa Weidenfeld

Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander decided to speak up in defense of the actor.

We’ve now reached one of the more tedious parts of the #MeToo news cycle: That Man Accused of Harassment Has Always Been Nice to ME. After the New York Times published a report indicating Watertown native Eliza Dushku won a $9.5 million settlement from CBS after Michael Weatherly harassed her on the set of the show Bull, some of his former NCIS co-stars took it upon themselves to speak up in the actor’s defense.

“This man…I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW,” tweeted Pauley Perrette alongside a picture of herself with Weatherly, a man who was filmed saying that “he would take Ms. Dushku to his ‘rape van,'” per the Times report.

But Perrette wasn’t the only actress to suddenly be inspired to speak up in defense of a man who called his coworker “Legs.” Rizzoli & Isles star Sasha Alexander was also struck by the need to defend Weatherly publicly. “I have been in trenches w/my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend and [heart emoji] as big as they come,” she tweeted above a picture of herself with Weatherly, who was politely confronted about making a threesome joke about his work colleague and then complained in a text message to the president of CBS Television Studios about her sense of humor, and then somehow for (allegedly) unrelated reasons she lost an opportunity for a series regular gig.

Former Burnie Marist College priest Thomas Fulcher sentenced to four years' prison over historical sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

December 19, 2018

By Edith Bevin

A priest who worked at the Marist College in northern Tasmania in the 1960s has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to historical sex crimes.

He will serve a minimum non-parole period of two years.

Thomas Fulcher pleaded guilty in the Burnie Supreme Court earlier this month to three counts of indecent assault.

The court heard there were two complainants, both students at the school during the time Fulcher was the Marist College priest between 1960 and 1967.

Fulcher's victims, now aged in their 60s, came forward and reported the abuse during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Fulcher, now aged 84, admitted he had made one boy perform a sex act in front of him and had also touched him on the genitals.

The priest then put on his confessional robes and took the boy's confession about what had just happened.

Brighton police say they can't charge accused priest due to statute of limitations

BRIGHTON (NY)
WROC TV

December 20, 2018

By Howard Thompson

A priest accused of having inappropriate conduct with another man won't face charges, Brighton police announced Thursday.

Chief Mark Henderson says investigators received a report in September from a man who said he was subjected to unwanted contact by Father Erick Viloria in 2013, when the victim was 23.

Police investigated and say they found the alleged conduct was criminal, but -- after consultation with the district attorney -- they determined the accusations were outside the Statute of Limitations. As a result, the case against Viloria has been closed.

The chief says the victim initially reported the conduct to the Diocese of Rochester who directed the victim to police.

Viloria, who most recently served at a church in Geneva, was removed from the public ministry earlier this month along with another priest: Father Thomas Valenti.

Illinois AG Releases Horrifying Preliminary Report into Clergy Sex Abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 19, 2018

Today, Illinois’ attorney general has released a preliminary report into clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in Illinois. The details within the report will no doubt be shocking to the public, but sadly, sound all too familiar to us.

According to AG Lisa Madigan’s report, dioceses in Illinois have, for decades, kept hundreds of names of abusive priests secret . Despite telling the public that there have been, in total, 185 priests “credibly” accused of abuse, the AG's office concluded that there are many as 690. Making matters worse, when informed of allegations of abuse, the Illinois Dioceses have at best done token investigations and at worst outright ignored the accusations.

Ignoring allegations would be awful even if it only happened once, but AG Madigan’s report shows that Illinois Dioceses have ignored or minimized nearly ¾ of all allegations reported. And, when they do investigate, the AG makes the damning claim that “they frequently found reasons not to deem an allegation ‘credible.’”

The Church Settled a Sexual Abuse Case Against This Priest. Why Is He Still Saying Mass?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

December 20, 2018

By Sharon Otterman

The Rev. Donald G. Timone, cloaked in the purple and gold robes of Advent, led the procession down the central aisle of St. Joseph’s Church here on the first Sunday of December.

Celebrating the 11:30 a.m. Mass, he preached of the need to open one’s heart to Jesus in these days before Christmas. “He understands we are not perfect,” he said, “but he will not give up on us.”

But Father Timone, by the Catholic Church’s own apparent standards, should not be presiding at the altar. Two settlements were paid by the Archdiocese of New York for substantiated allegations that Father Timone had sexually abused teenage boys he was counseling, one of whom committed suicide after what his widow said was decades of struggling with what had happened to him.

As the clergy abuse scandal continues to roil the Catholic Church, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, has been under tremendous pressure to prove he has brought accountability to how his diocese, the second-largest in the country, handles the issue of child sexual abuse.

But the archdiocese is essentially allowing Father Timone to continue serving as a priest because of a bureaucratic technicality — a position that seems to fly in the face of the cardinal’s pledge to aggressively handle sexual abuse accusations.

The archdiocese maintains that Father Timone has been allowed to remain because the church itself did not rule on his fitness; that judgment was made by a separate, church-sponsored panel, the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. The settlements were paid in 2017 through that program, which Cardinal Dolan established the previous year to provide closure and a measure of justice to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Evidence suggesting sexual abuse offenses by Father Cullen is flimsy

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

December 20, 2018

I am writing to defend the reputation of the late Jesuit priest, Robert B. Cullen. According to a story in The Sun, Father Cullen is alleged to have abused a child during his tenure at Loyola Blakefield from 1952 to 2002 (“Maryland Jesuits release list of about 30 men 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse of children,” Dec. 17).

I have no knowledge of the alleged offense or offenses in this situation. No details were included in the story. But I am dismayed to see Father Cullen placed in the disgraceful category of child abuser because Jesuit officials have concluded there was a “reasonable possibility" that he committed the alleged offense.

This strikes me as an absurdly flimsy basis for such a terribly damaging blow to the reputation of a man whom my classmates and I respect for his integrity and dedication to his responsibilities as our guidance counselor.

Whenever any of us needed help through the tumult and confusion of adolescence, or through the stresses of a competitive academic environment, Father Cullen was there. He prodded us, encouraged us, challenged us to persevere, to have faith in ourselves and in each other, to honor the Jesuit motto: "Men for Others." We will never forget him. That is why it is so painful to see his memory tarnished because of what appears to be a reckless, ill-advised effort to show a commitment to accountability.

Illinois sex abuse investigation finds Catholic Church withheld names of at least 500 accused priests

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

December 19, 2018

By Chuck Goudie, Eric Horng and Barb Markoff and Ross Weidner

A stunning new report on sexual abuse by priests in Illinois has determined that Catholic Church officials knowingly withheld from the public the names of at least 500 clergymen accused of misconduct.

Preliminary findings of an ongoing investigation by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released Wednesday are the most scathing assessment yet of how the state's six Roman Catholic dioceses have handled sexual abuse allegations against priests and other clergy.

Madigan's highly critical report states that the Church has "failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois." The attorney general's statement comes even as Catholic Church officials have touted their renewed transparency and freshly updated lists of priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

Madigan's preliminary report found that Illinois' six Roman Catholic dioceses "often disregarded allegations by not investigating the allegations, or finding reasons not to substantiate the allegations." The Attorney General's investigators wrote that the "dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors' stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors' personal lives" and that "based upon its review, the Office believes that additional allegations" of clergy sexual abuse "should be deemed 'credible' or 'substantiated' by the Illinois Dioceses."

Some Catholic clergy abuse victims shut out of new compensation funds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

December 20, 2018

By Julia Terruso and Angela Couloumbis

Last month, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia launched a compensation fund program that would, in the words of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, begin to acknowledge the "evil done” to scores, if not hundreds, of victims who were abused as children by Catholic clergy.

The fund, and others like it statewide, were established in part as a preemptive measure in the wake of an unsuccessful but hotly contested legislative proposal to change the statute of limitations and let victims sue for decades-old abuse. Church officials and some advocates have hailed the new efforts to acknowledge and compensate victims.

Yet an entire class of victims is being shut out of Philadelphia’s program because their assailants belonged to independent Catholic religious orders, even in cases where the abuse occurred at diocesan parishes or schools. Nearly a fourth of the abuse claims submitted so far to the archdiocese have been rejected because they allege abuse by members of religious orders, such as the Franciscans, Augustinians, or Jesuits.

One woman who filed such a claim this fall said it was the first time she ever told anyone about the Spiritan order priest she said repeatedly pulled her from her first-grade class in the 1950s to grope her at Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament school in the city’s Fairmount section.

When she was told she was ineligible for compensation, she said, "I felt like I was being violated all over again.”

The Philadelphia Archdiocese was the first diocese statewide to launch its compensation fund, formally known as the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP), and already has fielded 42 applications. The other dioceses are expected to have their funds up and running early next year.

Philadelphia’s program is open to any person who was a child victim of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon within its jurisdiction, which beyond the city includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. Claims can be submitted through Sept. 30, 2019.

Gonzaga Prep points out error in Jesuit list of accused priests

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman Review

December. 19, 2018

By Chad Sokol

The president of Gonzaga Prep says a widely circulated list of priests accused of sexual abuse contains at least one inaccuracy about a priest who worked at the Catholic school for 45 years.

Discrepancies in the list have some at the school concerned that “an instance of misidentification” may have tarnished the legacy of the Rev. John F. Hurley, who worked at the school from 1947 to 1992. Hurley died in 1998 and has a Gonzaga Prep scholarship fund named after him.

The Jesuits West Province published the list earlier this month, naming more than 60 accused priests with ties to the Inland Northwest.

Gonzaga Prep President Michael Dougherty said the list includes many names that became public when the former Oregon Province went bankrupt in 2011. Jesuits from the Oregon and California provinces, both of which dissolved, later reorganized as Jesuits West.

Catholic Church in Illinois Withheld Names of at Least 500 Priests Accused of Abuse, Attorney General Says

CHICAGO (IL)
New York Times

By Laurie Goodstein and Monica Davey

December 19, 2018

The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations.

The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

The report said that 690 priests were accused of abuse, and only 185 names were made public by the dioceses as having been found credibly accused of abuse.

“The number of allegations above what was already public is shocking,” said Ms. Madigan in an interview.

The Illinois report is only the latest effort by state prosecutors to hold the Catholic Church accountable by scrutinizing the church’s own records. At least 16 state attorneys general have initiated investigations of varying scope since August, after a devastating grand jury report in Pennsylvania accused more than 300 priests of sexual abuse over 50 years, and accused bishops of covering up.

Unlike Pennsylvania’s voluminous grand jury report, the nine-page report in Illinois does not name accused priests or call out particular bishops for negligence.

Former counselor at Seton-LaSalle High School accused of sexual abuse

WASHINGTON COUNTY (PA)
Observer-Reporter

December 20, 2018

By Mike Jones

A former counselor who worked at Seton-LaSalle High School has been accused of sexually abusing a student at the South Hills school in the mid-1980s, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday.

The diocese said it recently received an allegation of abuse against Christian Brother David Trichtinger and sent letters to alumni who attended the Catholic school in Mt. Lebanon while Trichtinger was there from 1985 to 1987.

Similar letters were also sent alumni at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, where Trichtinger was academic assistant principal from 1991 to 1995. Trichtinger has not served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh since 1995, officials said.

Diocesan officials said they contacted the Allegheny County district attorney’s office upon learning of the allegations. They also informed the Brothers of the Christian Schools in the District of Eastern North America, where Trichtinger serves.

The diocese did not release details on the abuse or when officials learned of the allegations. No charges had been filed against Trichtinger as of Wednesday afternoon.

Gonzaga President denies knowing accused priests were sent to university's campus

SPOKANE (WA)
The Inlander

December 20, 2018

By Wilson Criscione

Situated on Gonzaga’s campus, between the university’s business school and the St. Aloysius Rectory, Cardinal Bea House played host to at least 20 Jesuit priests accused of sexual abuse.
Over the weekend, Reveal published an investigative report explaining how serial sexual predator Father James Poole and at least 20 other Jesuit priests accused of sexual misconduct were sent to a building on Gonzaga University's campus to live out their remaining years.

Poole's sexual abuse of young girls in Alaska and his relocation to Gonzaga has been documented in the news before, including in a Spokesman-Review story on a victim of his abuse receiving a $1 million settlement in 2005. According to the Reveal story, the last priest accused of sexual misconduct lived at the Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga's campus in 2016.

But Thayne McCulloh, in a statement Monday responding to the story, says he did not know of Poole or his history in Alaska until the investigative report this week.

New lawsuit alleges clergy sex abuse by priest in Las Cruces

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

December 19, 2018

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Church, alleging sexual abuse of a child by a now-deceased priest who once served at Our Lady of Health Parish in Las Cruces.

It’s the latest in a string of legal actions stemming from allegations of clergy sex abuse that span decades and have rocked parishes across the U.S.

New Mexico’s largest diocese — the Archdiocese of Santa Fe — has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In neighboring Texas, church officials are preparing next month to release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Attorneys for a victim identified only as Jane Doe N filed a lawsuit Monday, naming the parish and the Diocese of El Paso, which used to oversee parts of Southern New Mexico before the Diocese of Las Cruces was created.

Bill to amend NJ statute of limitations for sex abuse victims gains backing

BERGEN (NJ)
North Jersey Record

December 20, 2018

By Deena Yellin

For nearly 20 years, state Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, has been pushing a bill that would offer victims of sexual abuse more time to bring civil claims against their abusers and the institution that may have enabled the abuse.

His proposed measure, S-477, would amend the statute of limitations on filing charges against child sex abusers and would raise the age threshold for filing civil suits to 55, or a seven-year discovery rule, whichever is longer.

Current laws demand that civil action be filed within two years after a victim turns 18.

"For a lot of victims, it takes many years to come to terms with the abuse," Vitale said. "My legislation would allow victims to file a claim regardless of when they were abused."

The bill would also allow lawsuits that were dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired to be revived.

The legislation has previously stalled because of a lack of support and, Vitale said, protests from church lobbyists.

Now, in the aftermath of the explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report, his bill has gained enough traction to win approval in the Senate and Assembly, Vitale said.

Attorney Representing Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Calls Some Settlement Offers "Insulting"

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV

December 20, 2018

An attorney representing 13 clergy sex abuse victims is calling on Bishop Richard Malone to release documents related to pedophile priests and those who tried to cover up the scandal — and then he wants Malone to resign.

Mitchell Garabedian will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday to talk about proposed settlement offers for his clients.

He said some of the victims find the offers acceptable. He called some other offers insulting and says they re-victimize abuse victims/survivors.

Garabedian said the victim compensation program isn't transparent or consistent and added that some settlement offers don't have an acceptable explanation.

Garabedian will be joined by three clergy sex abuse victims, two of whom are former priests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

LA bishop resigns 13 years after church learned of sex claim

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By John Antczak and NIicole Winfield


Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Alexander Salazar, following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a child in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday.

The Vatican announced the resignation in a one-line statement. It was the latest in a string of misconduct allegations against bishops to come to light this year, following the scandal of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington that exposed how bishops have largely avoided punishment for improper behavior.

Pasadena police recommended in 2002 that Salazar be charged with committing a lewd act on a child, but prosecutors declined to bring charges over a lack of evidence, Lt. Jesse Carrillo said. He had no further information.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Rev. Jose Gomez, said the archdiocese learned of the claim in 2005. Gomez said the archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office handling sex abuse cases.

December 19, 2018

Vaticano ordena a jesuitas abrir un "proceso administrativo penal" a cura denunciado por abuso a menores

[Vatican orders Jesuits to open a "criminal administrative process" into priest accused of child abuse]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

December 19, 2018

La Compañía de Jesús aseguró que el padre Leonel Ibacache "se encuentra impedido del ejercicio del ministerio sacerdotal".

La Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe encomendó al superior general de la Compañía de Jesús, Arturo Sosa, abrir un proceso administrativo penal al sacerdote Leonel Ibacache por las denuncias recibidas por abuso de menores. Lo anterior, "sobre la base de la investigación previa realizada en Santiago por el abogado Waldo Bown", designado en abril de este año instructor a cargo de investigar las acusaciones recibidas contra el cura.

Expertos desmenuzan caída del catolicismo en la CEP: "Esto no se explica solamente por los abusos"

[Experts analyze the fall of Catholicism in the CEP: "The abuses alone do not explain this"]

CHILE
Emol

December 18, 2018

By Consuelo Ferrer

A juicio de los analistas, se trataría de un proceso que viven las sociedades cuando "alcanzan ciertos niveles de desarrollo" y un mayor grado de educación. "Lo que hacen los escándalos de abusos sexuales es acelerar el proceso", aseguran.

Es un antiguo dicho que viene de la tradición campestre chilena: "comulgar con ruedas de carreta". Se trata, en simple, de la obligación de creer en algo inverosímil, contrastando de manera exagerada la figura de la hostia con la pieza del vehículo rural, que no podría caber en la boca. Eso es lo que dice Cristóbal Bellolio —doctor en Filosofía Política, académico de la Escuela de Gobierno de la U. Adolfo Ibáñez y autor del libro "Ateos fuera del clóset"— que ha pasado con la sociedad chilena: "Las personas ya no comulgan con ruedas de carreta", asegura.

Sergio Cobo, sacerdote de la Iglesia de Santiago: “Faltan gestos de reparación con los que sufrieron”

[Santiago priest Sergio Cobo on diminished trust in Church: "They lack gestures of reparation with those who suffered"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 19, 2018

By María José Blanco

En encuesta CEP. el ítem de “confianza” que se percibe ante la institucionalidad religiosa general bajó de 51% a 13% en un plazo de 20 años.

Sergio Cobo es uno de los principales sacerdotes denunciantes del expárroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima. En junio de este año se reunió, junto a un grupo de presbíteros, con el Papa Francisco en el Vaticano.

Ocho de cada 10 personas cree en Dios y solo una, en las Iglesias

[Eight out of 10 people believe in God and only one in churches]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 18, 2018

By M. J. Blanco and M. J. Navarrete

Según la encuesta del Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP), las personas que se reconocen como católicas han caído de un 73% en 1998 a un 55% en 2018.

Un 80% de las personas afirma “creer en Dios y que siempre ha creído”, pero solo un 13% dice tener confianza en las Iglesias y las organizaciones religiosas. Esa es una de las conclusiones que se pueden extraer de la encuesta sobre religión en Chile, que este martes dio a conocer el Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP).

Bill to amend NJ statute of limitations for sex abuse victims gains backing

BERGEN (NJ)
North Jersey Record

December 20, 2018

By Deena Yellin

For nearly 20 years, state Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, has been pushing a bill that would offer victims of sexual abuse more time to bring civil claims against their abusers and the institution that may have enabled the abuse.

His proposed measure, S-477, would amend the statute of limitations on filing charges against child sex abusersand would raise the age threshold for filing civil suits to 55, or a seven-year discovery rule, whichever is longer.

Current laws demand that civil action be filed within two years after a victim turns 18.

"For a lot of victims, it takes many years to come to terms with the abuse," Vitale said. "My legislation would allow victims to file a claim regardless of when they were abused."

The bill would also allow lawsuits that were dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired to be revived.

The legislation has previously stalled because of a lack of support and, Vitale said, protests from church lobbyists.

Now, in the aftermath of the explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report, his bill has gained enough traction to win approval in the Senate and Assembly, Vitale said.

SHAWN VESTAL: HEY BEN SHAPIRO, YOU THINK MEDIA EXAGGERATE ABUSE BY PRIESTS? TAKE A STROLL TO THE BEA HOUSE AT GONZAGA.

SAND POINT (ID)
Bonnor County Daily Bee

December 18, 2018

Here’s an idea. Gonzaga University could invite professional conservative martyr Ben Shapiro to reprise the topic of one of his recent Daily Wire podcasts: Has Catholic Church Sex Abuse Been Exaggerated?

Shapiro could conduct an interview much like that one – which he had Sunday with Bishop Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – in which the bishop said, essentially, yes. The abuse and the widespread cover-ups were bad, the bishop said, they were awful and horrible and inexcusable and the church should pay. But, the bishop said, there’s some truth that the media, as Shapiro phrased it, “are basically picking on the Catholic Church” for a problem that is universal to all organizations and societies.

So, Shapiro could come to Gonzaga, put on that show, and afterward someone could walk him across campus and tell him the story of Cardinal Bea House.

Because – as shown in a great piece of reporting by Emily Schwing of the Northwest News Network – the story of the Bea House and its use as a final stop for at least 20 priests accused of sexual assault and abuse is another example of the ways in which the church’s sex abuse scandal was not at all like the sex abuse scandals of other organizations, but which flourished in the particular culture of Catholic clergy and which was forgiven and ignored and covered up by church leaders in such a way that the tendrils of the thing are still woven into the institutions.

Schwing’s reporting shows the Bea House, right in the middle of the campus, was used specifically, though not solely, as a place where abuser priests – even priests believed to be certain to reoffend – could be kept and monitored in secrecy.

Sexual abuse survivor to visit Vatican

DUNEDIN (NEW ZEALAND)
Otago Daily Times

December 19, 2018

By Chris Morris

A Dunedin survivor of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is heading to the Vatican in the hope of meeting the Pope, helped by the Catholic Bishop of Dunedin.

Darryl Smith yesterday told ODT Insight he would fly to Rome in February to spend six days at the Vatican, coinciding with a gathering of the leaders of bishops' conferences from around the world.

The gathering had been called by Pope Francis to discuss the international sexual abuse crisis engulfing the church, and would run from February 21-24 next year.

Cardinal John Dew, of Wellington, would be New Zealand's official representative at the gathering, but Mr Smith would also be there, joining other survivors from around the world at the Vatican.

Mr Smith said his trip had been partly funded by Dunedin Bishop the Most Rev Michael Dooley, who had offered ''several thousand'' dollars towards his costs.

Investigative team unmasks Gonzaga University as retirement spot for predator priests

Get Religion

December 19, 2018

By Julia Duin

This has not been a good week for the Jesuits, what with two U.S. Jesuit provinces releasing a list of 84 clergy credibly accused of sex abuse. Including those on another list released Dec. 7, that’s about 230 Jesuits credibly accused of abusing a child since the 1950s.

Where did some of these Jesuits go once they were accused? To a Catholic university in Spokane, we learned on Monday. A team of three reporters from Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting tell us that Gonzaga University served as a retirement center for 20-some priests who were accused of sexual misconduct in Alaska or on Indian reservations.

This is a depressingly familiar pattern: Hide the erring priests in places attended by minorities or in the middle of nowhere. Tmatt wrote in November about how Hispanic parishes in the 1980s were increasingly on the receiving end for shady priests.

Alaska has been a dumping ground for predators for years. PBS had a huge story called “The Silence” on this back in 2011 by Mark Trahant, a Native American journalist. It talks about how 80 percent of the youth in one Alaska village were molested by someone in the church and has pretty amazing video of Natives talking about their abuse. Read the transcript here if you don’t have time for the 28-minute documentary.

Clergy sex abuse support group reacts to Archdiocese of Hartford decision to name pedophile priests

WATERBURY (CT)
WTNH News

December 18, 2018

By LaSalle Blanks

The Archdiocese of Hartford's decision to name priests next month that it says are credibly accused of offenses is getting a lot of reaction in Connecticut and today, a support group that helps victims of abuse by clergy shared its reaction to News8. The women who run the group, called SNAP (short for "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"), were abused by priests outside of Connecticut when they were minors.

Beth McCabe tells News8 she was abused by a priest on Long Island, NY when she was 12 years old. Memories came flooding back while she looked at an old picture of herself at church at that age.

"I see a young girl, who despite this white robe, was in a lot of pain," Beth said.

Her SNAP co-leader, Gail Howard, says when she was 17, she was sexually abused by a priest in Oak Park, Illinois, where she grew up.

Full text: Letter regarding Auxiliary Bishop Salazar’s retirement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Archdiocese

December 19, 2018

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

On December 19, 2018, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar. Archbishop José H. Gomez issued the following letter to the faithful of Los Angeles.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, the Holy Father Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar, who most recently served as Vicar for the Office of Ethnic Ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

I regret to inform you that in 2005, a year after he had been ordained a bishop, the Archdiocese was made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor. Although the allegation was never directly reported to the Archdiocese, it was investigated by law enforcement in 2002 and the District Attorney did not prosecute.

The accusation against Bishop Salazar stemmed from alleged misconduct that was said to have occurred in the 1990s, before he was ordained a bishop, when he was serving as a parish priest. Since he was a bishop at the time the allegation was received, the Archdiocese referred the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See, which conducted an investigation and imposed certain precautionary measures on the ministry of Bishop Salazar.

Since the allegation was first brought forward, Bishop Salazar has consistently denied any wrongdoing. In the interest of due process, I requested and received permission from the Congregation for Bishops at the Holy See to submit the allegation to the Archdiocese’s independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board. The Board found the allegation to be credible and I submitted its findings and recommendations along with my own votum to the Holy See to make its final determination as to Bishop Salazar’s status.

Pope accepts resignation of LA bishop accused of misconduct

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 19, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Alexander Salazar, following allegations of misconduct with a minor in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday.

The Vatican announced the resignation in a one-line statement. It was the latest in a string of cases of alleged misconduct against bishops to come to light this year, following the scandal of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick that exposed how bishops have largely avoided sanction for improper behavior.

The current archbishop of Los Angeles, Most Rev. Jose Gomez, said the archdiocese was made aware of the claim in 2005. Gomez said prosecutors declined to bring charges, but that the archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases.

Gomez said that office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, imposed precautionary measures against Salazar and that a further investigation by the archdiocese's independent review board found the allegation to be credible.

SEVEN FORMER LOYOLA-AFFILIATED JESUITS NAMED WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Greyhound News

December 19, 2018

Posted by Rodlyn-Mae Banting

Seven former Loyola-affiliated Jesuits named with credible allegations of child sexual abuse
On Dec. 17, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus released a complete list of Jesuits with credible allegations of child sexual abuse since 1950. Seven of the Jesuits included on the list were previously affiliated with the university or Loyola’s Jesuit Community. This list includes John F. X. Bellwoar, Louis A. Bonacci, Francis C. Bourbon, H. Cornell Bradley, Arthur J. Long, Garrett D. Orr, and Claude L. Ory.

According to a letter that prefaced the list, the Maryland Province asserts a “strict zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse and reports to civil authorities accusations of sexual abuse involving a minor” and views this disclosure of their “shameful history as part of [their] commitment now to preventing abuse.” This policy has only been enforced by the Province since 2002.

As a Jesuit institution, the resurgence of the Catholic Church in the child sexual abuse limelight has caused much pain and change-oriented action within the Loyola community. In mid-October, Campus Ministry, the Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ), and the Women’s Center hosted a day of prayer for survivors of sexual abuse. The day culminated in a vigil that allowed for the community to gather and confront their feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration towards the issue.

“Not only was the vigil an important part of the healing process for those directly involved in the sexual assault crisis in the Catholic church, but it was also insightful for those who may not know about the recent allegations,” Kaitlyn Quigley ‘22 said. Quigley attended the vigil and also serves as a writer for The Greyhound. “Holding the vigil was an important step for Loyola to take and I’m glad they did.”

Additionally, earlier this month, professors Dr. Frederick Bauerschmidt and Dr. Angela Russell Christman of the theology department hosted a panel discussion in the Alumni Chapel entitled “The Sex Abuse Catastrophe in the Catholic Church: Seeking a Way Forward.”

Woman abused by Priest who retired to home on Gonzaga Campus says more should have been done

SPOKANE (WA)
Fox 28 News

December 18, 2018

One day after Gonzaga University President Dr. Thayne McCulloh issued a statement apologizing for the University’s role in hosting priests accused of sex crimes, KHQ has interviewed one of those priest’s victims.

Elsie Boudreau says she was sexually abused by Father James Poole in the 1970s. Poole lived out his remaining years in Spokane, retiring to a home called the Cardinal Bea House right in the middle of Gonzaga University’s campus.

Despite the Catholic Church settling with Boudreau, Father Poole never faced any criminal charges.

Boudreau says as she went through the process of speaking up and making her allegations “it became very clear that the Catholic church didn’t care about what happened to me. It was clear they were more concerned with the church and their reputation.” She says that’s ultimately what prompted her to file a lawsuit.

Father Poole left the Cardinal Bea House in 2005, but he’s just one of at least 20 priests accused of sex abuse that have lived in the home, as recently as 2016.

Catholic Bishops Told to Take Responsibility for Sex-Abuse Crisis or Risk Church Losing Credibility

NEW YORK (NY)
National Review

December 18, 2018

By Mairead McArcle

A committee of Catholic Church leaders and sexual-abuse experts has chastised Catholic bishops worldwide to take responsibility for the Church’s sex-abuse crisis and to speak personally to victims in their areas — or risk losing the Church’s credibility.

“Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world,” wrote the steering committee of the Vatican’s upcoming February conference on the Church’s sex-abuse epidemic, in a letter to attendees.

The committee is comprised of cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican’s top sex-abuse investigator, and father Hans Zollner, an abuse expert in Rome.

“But each of us needs to own this challenge, coming together in solidarity, humility, and penitence to repair the damage done, sharing a common commitment to transparency, and holding everyone in the Church accountable,” they wrote.

JESUITS PLEDGE TO STOP SENDING ACCUSED PRIESTS TO GONZAGA

SEATTLE (WA)
Associated Press

December 17, 2018

By Chad Sokol

Jesuit leaders promised Tuesday they will never again send a priest to live at Gonzaga University if they are aware of any “credible allegation” that the priest has sexually abused a minor.

The announcement from the Jesuits West Province followed a request for assurance by Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh in the wake of a story about predator priests being sent to a retirement home on the school’s campus near downtown Spokane.

The last known abusive priest was moved out of Cardinal Bea House in 2016, Jesuit records show.

“Jesuits West guarantees that no Jesuit with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is currently or will ever be knowingly assigned to Gonzaga University or the Jesuit community on its campus, nor to any Jesuit work of the Province,” the province said in a statement Tuesday.

Jesuits with credible allegations are on “safety plans” and “reside at the province’s senior health care facility, Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, in Los Gatos, California,” the province said, adding the 250-acre facility is on a hill three-quarters of a mile above the city’s downtown area.

“It is supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the province said.

A “safety plan” is a series of restrictions the Jesuits impose on priests accused of sexual abuse. Such plans generally include restrictions on travel, public ministry and contact with minors, as well as mandatory monthly compliance meetings with a “delegate” or former parole officer, the province said.

According to a story published over the weekend by the Northwest News Network and the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Jesuits sent at least 20 such priests to live out their lives at Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga’s campus.

NCAC responds to accusations of child molestation confirmed by Catholic Diocese of Birmingham

HUNTSVILLE (AL)
WHNT TV

December 18, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Birmingham released a startling list last Friday, naming six priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

While the release did include the dates they were removed from the ministry, it did not include where the priests served or what exactly they are accused of.

We have repeatedly asked the Diocese of Birmingham to provide that information, and they acknowledged our request on Friday.

By Monday, a spokesman told us they would get it to us "ASAP," but as of Tuesday, WHNT News 19 still hadn't received the information.

WHNT News 19 has called a handful of local Catholic churches to confirm whether or not any of the accused priests served locally, but we've been unable to confirm that information at this time.

Four on Jesuit list of predator priests have New Jersey ties

BERGEN (NJ)
North Jersey Record

December 19, 2018

By Deena Yellin

Four Jesuit priests who have served in New Jersey institutions were named by the religious order Monday on a roster of leaders who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus — which encompasses eight states plus southern New Jersey — released a list of 29 priests who have been accused of abusing minors since 1950 while serving in schools, churches and colleges.

It was the third Jesuit province to release such a list.

"With all that is going on in the church today, we want to be transparent with something that has caused so much pain," spokesman Mike Gabriel of the Maryland Province said in an interview Tuesday.

Most of the incidents occurred many years ago, and the majority of the people on the list are deceased, Gabriel said, adding that the living Jesuits who were accused are not serving in active ministry and must live in supervised housing.


This publication follows the summer release of the explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed decades of child sexual abuse by hundreds of Catholic priests.

Jesuits are a Roman Catholic order of priests comprising about 16,000 men internationally who take three vows: poverty, chastity and obedience. They are not part of a diocese.

Attorneys to determine if Lexington Diocese handled abusive priests appropriately

LEXINGTON (KY)
Lexington Herald Leader

December 19, 2018

By Mike Stunson

A pair of attorneys will review priest personnel files and reports of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Diocese of Lexington since it was formed in 1988, according to Bishop John Stowe.

The attorneys -- Allison Connelly and Andrew Sparks -- will be free to report findings to civil authorities while they compile a comprehensive report for the diocese, according to an announcement in the diocese newsletter.

"Because of the history of abuse in the Church, there is not much trust in what the bishops self report; I hope that having independent attorneys conduct a review for the diocese can help with the credibility of such a report," Stowe said Monday. "If these attorneys find that we in the Catholic Diocese of Lexington have been deficient in our reporting or response to allegations of abuse, I want to be able to correct that."

Stowe added the the church is "striving for greater transparency to assure people that accusations of abuse are taken with utmost seriousness." The diocese serves 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Norwich diocese can’t say if it will release names of priests accused of abuse

NEW LONDON (CT)
The Day

December 18. 2018

By Joe Wojtas

Following the Hartford Archdiocese's Dec. 8 announcement that it will publish the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse and report how much it has spent to settle lawsuits prompted by their actions, Diocese of Norwich spokesman Wayne Gignac said Tuesday he has no information about whether the diocese here would take the same steps.

“Parishioners will be informed directly, if and when such a decision is made,” Gignac said.

This weekend, Hartford Archbishop the Most Rev. Leonard Blair announced that in January the archdiocese would publish the names of its clergy members who have been involved in lawsuits and legal settlements or otherwise “credibly accused” along with the names of priests from other religious orders and dioceses who had been credibly accused of an offense that took place in the archdiocese.

He said the archdiocese will also contract for an independent review of all clergy files to identify any additional names dating back to 1953 when the archdiocese was formed. The list of names would be updated as any new information becomes available.

“Finally, the archdiocese will be publishing the financial outlay that has been made as a result of the abuse of minors by clergy and the sources of these funds,” Blair wrote.

Gail Howard, one of the leaders of the Connecticut chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said she had to give credit to Blair for publishing such a list.

“But every diocese should have done this 10 years ago,” she said, adding that she questions whether the names of all accused priests will appear on the list.

She said there are examples across the country in which people who have made complaints against priests say the names of those priests were not contained in similar lists released by their diocese.

Mass Attendance And Donations Down, But Diocese Relieved It’s Not Worse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

December 19, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

It’s a diocese racked with scandal, and, at the same time, undergoing a radical reorganization. You’d expect to see a drop off in attendance, and there has been, but not as much as you might expect.

“People may be upset, repulsed if you will, with the actions of some priests, but their faith is in something deeper,” said Fr. Nick Vaskov.

Mass attendance varies from parish to parish. In some, it’s down sharply; in others, not much at all. But, on average, the diocese says participation is down nine percent.

Given the lurid details of clergy sex abuse, and reduction in the number of masses as part of the “On Mission for the Church Alive” reorganization, the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese is relieved the numbers aren’t far worse.
While parishioners are struggling, the vast majority have not voted with their feet.

“I have conversations with people very often who say that, ‘I need to continue to struggle with what has happened, and what we can do about it, but my faith is in Jesus Christ, and that’s something deeper and I cannot leave that,'” said Fr. Vaskov.

Donations are also down, but the diocese says it can offer no figures on just how much. But, KDKA has heard from some parishioners who still attend mass but are withholding their donations.

While many parishes depend upon an uptick in Christmas and year-end donations to make ends meet, Bishop David Zubik took pains to assure parishioners that they’re contribution would not be going to a newly-established compensation funds for victims of clergy sex abuse.

Two decades into crisis, no consensus on what ‘credibly accused’ means

DENVER (CO)
December 19, 2018

By Christopher White

In a recent interview with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), DiNardo was asked about a pledge that all dioceses in Texas would release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

“‘Credibly accused’ is being worked out in terms of our lawyers even now as we speak,” DiNardo said, adding that independent auditors were also reviewing archdiocesan files.

As the U.S. Catholic Church has attempted to reckon with a mounting crisis of clerical sexual abuse, dioceses throughout the country have begun to release the names of accused priests.

While the first lists of accused priests were published in 2002, the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August has spurred an immediate surge of other dioceses beginning to follow suit - with more than 70 dioceses and numerous religious orders throughout the country having done so.

Yet despite the increasing trend to release names - an initiative widely demanded by sex abuse survivors and praised by watchdog organizations - the practice also raises new questions, most notably being what “credibly accused” actually means and who gets to decide.

December 18, 2018

Pope accepts resignation of Los Angeles auxiliary accused of abuse

VATICAN CITY (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

December 19, 2018

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of 69-year-old Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar of Los Angeles after the archdiocese's independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board recommended he not be allowed to minister because of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the 1990s.

The Vatican announced Dec. 19 that Pope Francis had accepted his resignation, although the Vatican did not explain the reason for his stepping down.

In a letter to the people of the archdiocese, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said, "I regret to inform you that in 2005, a year after he had been ordained a bishop, the archdiocese was made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor."

The allegation "was never directly reported to the archdiocese," he said, but "it was investigated by law enforcement in 2002 and the district attorney did not prosecute."

The case against Pell; new details emerge

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

December 17, 2018

By Ed Condon

Following the conviction of Cardinal George Pell in the Australian state of Victoria last week, new details have emerged about the nature of the crimes for which he has been found guilty.

Pell was found guilty Dec. 11 on five charges of sexual abuse of minors, following accusations that he sexually assaulted two former members of the Melbourne cathedral choir.

A sweeping court injunction prevents the nature of the accusations, the progress of the case, or the even the result of the trial from being discussed by the media in Australia.

Despite the gag order, CNA has spoken to several individuals who attended Pell’s trial in person, as well as others present for pre-trial hearings in early 2018.

Some names of area priests accused of abuse released

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WSOC TV

December 18, 2018

We've learned some names of former priests with the Charlotte diocese, who have been accused of abuse.

The Roman Catholic Jesuit Province that is over the east coast released a list of 13 priests, and one served in our area.

H. Cornwell Bradley worked at the Jesuit Community of Saint Theresa in Mooresville in 1988 and 1989.

He worked at Saint Elizabeth of the Hill Country Church in Boone from 1989 to 1993.

There were several allegations against him in the 1970s and 1980s when he worked in the Washington, D.C. area.

He was removed from ministry in 2006.

The Charlotte diocese said Tuesday that this is the first they heard about the allegations.

Another priest is accused of abuse while working in the Asheville area.

The allegations stem from 1982.

Jesuit Sex Offenders Must Be Prosecuted

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Urban Milwaukee

December 18, 2018

By Peter Isely .

This week the Midwest Province of the Jesuit order released a list of names of known clerical child sex offenders, including those who were working in Wisconsin.

The release of names comes after months of revelations throughout the United States related to the ongoing crisis of clergy sex abuse and cover up by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church – including its religious orders – who have remained for too long the hidden dimension of this still unfolding story.

This is only a list of names. Those names were compiled by the organization that was responsible for both the abuse and the cover up of child sex crimes. This list does not supply even the most basic information such as the assignment history of the offender or the date the allegation was received.

With every new “name dump” that has been occurring throughout the United States, there has been evidence from justice officials and victims’ organizations that these lists are not complete. Now that this latest list has been released, the attorney general in each state where Jesuits have had offenders should vet these lists for the public. In states where attorneys general have already begun such investigations, such as Illinois, dozens of names have been determined to have been left off lists released by church officials.

More importantly, each name of an offender priest should be accompanied by its church file, which will reveal how that case was handled by church officials. Those names — the names of religious order provincials and bishops who covered up these crimes — are as essential to a full accounting of these crimes as is the name of the offender.

6 priests with Kansas City ties on Catholic Jesuits province list of accused abusers

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV TV

December 7, 2018

By Chris Oberholtz

A Roman Catholic Jesuit province that covers 13 Midwestern and Southern states, Puerto Rico and Belize said Friday that it has found "credible allegations" of sexual abuse involving 42 priests and other ministry leaders dating back to 1955.

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province, which is based in St. Louis, also released the men's names. Most are deceased and others are no longer Jesuits. A spokeswoman said four are still members of the province but are not active in ministry and live in supervised housing.

The list names mostly priests, but it also names some brothers, who serve some ministry functions but who are not ordained, and "scholastics," which are men training to become priests.

Six priests on the list had pastoral connections at some point to either Rockhurst High School or Rockhurst University. Click here for the full list.

Rockhurst High School President David Laughlin sent the following statement to the entire Rockhurst community:

On December 7, 2018 the United States Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus released the names of Jesuits who ever belonged to the Province or served in any ministry within the Province against whom “credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor have been made”. Five of these Jesuits were assigned to Rockhurst High School at some point in their ministry. The last year in which any of these five individuals served at Rockhurst was 1984.

All three reports of alleged misconduct related to any Jesuit’s time at Rockhurst were immediately reported to the Province. No Jesuit with a credible accusation currently serves in public ministry.

Rockhurst High School prays for all victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Diocese sued again over alleged abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 17, 2018

By Peter Smith

A man who said he was sexually abused by a priest in the early 1980s in Monroeville is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and its two most recent bishops, alleging they covered up for the abuser and failed to report him to authorities.

The lawsuit by Richard Bieranowski alleges fraud, conspiracy and constructive conspiracy on the part of the diocese, current Bishop David Zubik and his predecessor, now-Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

It said former priest William Yockey sexually abused him in 1981 and 1982 while he was assigned to St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville. It said then-Father Yockey exploited the boy’s trust in him as a mentor and sexually abused him in settings including the church rectory.

The lawsuit said Mr. Bieranowski only learned of the extent of the diocese’s alleged cover-up with the August release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of abuse and coverup within Pittsburgh’s and five other dioceses.

3 Jesuits formerly missioned in Indianapolis accused of sexually abusing minors

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

December 17, 2018

By Andrew Clark

Three Jesuits formerly missioned at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis have been accused of sexually abusing minors during their time at the school.

On Monday, the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus released the names of Jesuits against whom there has been at least one "established allegation" of sexual abuse of a minor since 1955. The organization defines an "established allegation" as a case in which "there is a reasonable certainty that the sexual abuse of a minor occurred."

"The Midwest Jesuits take this step in the spirit of transparency and reconciliation," the Rev. Brian G. Paulson, S.J., said in a letter on the organization's website. "As we look back at our history, the failures of the Society of Jesus and the Church to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame. On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured."

Five of the priests on the list had ties to Indiana, three of whom were once missioned at Brebeuf.

2 Anonymous Priests: Silence Regarding Priestly Misconduct Is a Problem

NEW YORK (NY)
Patheos blog

December 18, 2018

By Fr. Matthew P. Schneider

Too often, the modus operandi in the Church continues to be ignoring problems priests have. So often we look at them and assume as long as they aren’t minors or major PR disasters, we can ignore them. This silence is a disaster! When we ignore serious misconduct in other spheres, we keep these priests from getting help and we open up to ignoring bigger problems.

I want to go through two anonymous examples of priests I’ve spoken with who feel obliged to remain silent regarding other priests’ immoral acts. Also, between the two I ill quote two prominent priests who’ve written about the reasons that priests don’t talk about his.

Anonymous Priest on Homosexuality
A few months back, a priest contacted me with a tale of actively homosexual priests and further sexual misconduct by priests. He hoped I could get his words published but since he wanted no names or even dioceses included, what he said would remain rumors. I won’t publish such rumors. I will, however, post his options regarding this silence, remembering they are only opinions.

This Anonymous Testimony
This priest feels silence on this topic is his only option. He said, “I am not permitted to discuss the homosexual nature of these incidents.” And, he followed up, “I don’t know how I can get beyond this until clergy homosexuality is accepted as a legitimate topic for deliberation and effective resolution.”

Serbian Church May Face UK Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

THE BALKANS
BIRN

December 17, 2018

By Maja Zivanovic

The Serbian Orthodox Church, which wields considerable influence in the Balkan state, has long been accused of covering up sexual abuse within its ranks.

A London-based lawyer says he is preparing to file a lawsuit in the UK against the Serbian Orthodox Church, seeking damages on behalf of six claimants over alleged sexual abuse by its priests.

Mladen Kesar told BIRN the alleged abuse occurred in Serbia and ethnic Serb areas of Bosnia and Croatia, but that due to strong ties between the state and the Serbian Orthodox Church the claimants were unlikely to find justice in local courts.

“We are in the process of finalising this claim, which we are hoping to file within the next few days, subject to counsel’s advice and availability,” Kesar told BIRN on December 12.

Catholic bishops told to act on sex abuse or lose all credibility

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

December 18, 2018

By Philip Pullella

The Roman Catholic Church's leading experts on sexual abuse told bishops on Tuesday finally to take responsibility for a global clerical abuse scandal and go and speak personally to victims, or risk seeing the Church lose its credibility worldwide.

Pope Francis has summoned the heads of some 110 national Catholic bishops' conferences and dozens of experts and leaders of religious orders to the Vatican on Feb. 21-24 for an extraordinary gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis.

Victims of clergy sexual abuse are hoping that the meeting will finally come up with a clear policy to make bishops themselves accountable for the mishandling of abuse cases.

"Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world," the conference's steering committee said in a letter to all participants.

Colorado police investigating “possible criminal activity” at Shambhala Mountain Center

COLORADO
Lion's Roar

December 10, 2018

The Sheriff’s Department in Larimer County, Colorado, has confirmed that it is investigating possible criminal activity alleged to have taken place at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.

David Moore, a spokesman for the department, told Lion’s Roar, “The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office received information involving possible criminal activity involving Shambhala Mountain Center. Investigators are currently sorting through to see where that information leads.”

This follows a report today published by ThinkProgress that says Colorado police have opened a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of Shambhala International, and other members of the organization.

Author Joshua Eaton says that the investigation by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has been confirmed by four sources who have spoken to investigators, as well as emails that ThinkProgress has seen.

Colorado police set sights on Shambhala Buddhist leaders over alleged sex crimes

COLORADO
Religion News Service

December 10, 2018

By Aysha Khan

Colorado police have opened a criminal probe into sexual assault allegations against the leader of Shambhala International, one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, according to a news report.

The progressive news website ThinkProgress reported Dec. 9 that the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office had launched the investigation, attributing the story to four sources who have spoken to investigators and to emails it had obtained.

Shambhala International denied the probe in a statement to ThinkProgress. “At this time, it is our understanding that there is no open criminal investigation in Larimer County,” the organization said.

The reported investigation follows mounting sexual assault allegations against religious leader Mipham Rinpoche, known as the Sakyong or the “king.” Since July, Mipham has temporarily stepped down from his duties after bombshell reports by Buddhist Project Sunshine, a survivors’ support group. Shambhala’s entire governing council resigned the same day.

Buddhist Project Sunshine, which describes itself as “a grassroots independent healing initiative,” was founded by second-generation Shambhala member Andrea Winn. It has published three reports over the past year detailing its unofficial investigation into Shambhala’s sexual abuse crisis. The reports included incidents as recent as 2011 and claimed extensive sexual violence in the Shambhala community, accusing Mipham of sexual assault, rape and sex abuse against minors, and and alleging serious cover-ups by Shambhala officials.

A Brazilian Celebrity Faith Healer Accused of Sexual Abuse Has Turned Himself in to Authorities [Video]

BRAZIL
Meredith Videos

December 17, 2018

An internationally famous Brazilian “spiritual healer” has turned himself into authorities after being accused by hundreds of women of sexual abuse last week, police said.

Jesuits sent abusive priests to retire on Gonzaga’s campus

ALASKA
The Associated Press

December 17, 2018

By Aaron Sankin, Emily Schwing and Michael Corey

An investigation has found that, for more than three decades, Cardinal Bea House on the Spokane campus served as a retirement repository for at least 20 Jesuit priests accused of sexual misconduct, most of which took place in Alaska Native villages and on Indian reservations across the Northwest.

On the surface, Father James Poole seemed like the cool priest in Nome, Alaska. He founded a Catholic mission radio station that broadcast his Jesuit sermons alongside contemporary pop hits. A 1978 story in People magazine called Poole “Western Alaska’s Hippest DJ . Comin’ at Ya with Rock’n’Roll ‘n’ Religion.”

Behind the radio station’s closed doors, Poole was a serial sexual predator. He abused at least 20 women and girls, according to court documents. At least one was 6 years old. One Alaska Native woman says he impregnated her when she was 16, then forced her to get an abortion and blame her father for raping her. Her father went to prison.

Four Jesuits who served in Pittsburgh accused

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 17, 2018

By Peter Smith

Four priests who served in Pittsburgh, including the founding headmaster of the former Bishop’s Latin School, are among Jesuits accused of past sexual abuse whose names were listed Monday by the Maryland Province of their order.

The province is the latest of numerous Catholic jurisdictions around the country to list the names of accused priests in the wake of the Aug. 14 release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report into sexual abuse here.

Those listed include two Bishop’s Latin staff members from the 1960s and two others who served at Pittsburgh parishes into the 1990s, one of whom also served earlier at Bishop’s Latin.

The province listed 13 Jesuits, including current, former and deceased members, against whom credible or established accusations were made.

It listed another eight Jesuits who were subjects of accusations considered to have a semblance of truth. Four other Jesuits who served in different provinces and were accused there also served at some point in the Maryland Province.

Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City Releases List of All Clergy Who Faced Credible Child Sex Abuse Allegations Since 1950 [Video]

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KSTU

December 17, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has published a list of all priests who have faced credible allegations of sexual abuse involving minors dating back to 1950.

Jesuit provinces release names of accused priests; three former local priests named

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF

December 17, 2018

By Sam Coniglio

The Maryland Province of the Jesuits has released the names of Jesuits who have faced "credible or established" accusations of sexual abuse of minors. Three of the names on the list are priests who have served in the Ohio Valley, specifically at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The report states that most cases date back decades and the most recent incident occurred in 2002. None of the allegations stem from their time in the Ohio Valley.

"Although this list is exhaustive and comprehensive as it relates to the Charter at this time and in its present form, the Diocese reserves the right to update the list should more information become available as time goes on," said the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in a statement.

The three names in question, their allegations, and the years in which they were in the Ohio Valley:

Louis A. Bonacci (Wheeling Jesuit, 1999-2003) - "Multiple accusations of unwanted touching under and over clothes."

SMILF Creator Frankie Shaw Is Under Scrutiny for On-Set Behavior

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

December 18, 2018

By Spencer Buell

She's accused of inappropriate conduct behind the scenes of her Boston-set TV show.

Frankie Shaw, creator and star of the Boston-set Showtime drama SMILF, is under the microscope this week after reports of alleged inappropriate behavior on set.

Shaw’s conduct, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was the subject of an investigation by Disney’s ABC Signature Studios and a star has quit, citing a breach of contract over sex scenes. Sources told the Reporter that actress Samara Weaving will not return to the show, and described her distress at being pressured by Shaw to film scenes in the nude despite a no-nudity clause in her contract. It also detailed apparent violations of what is known in the industry as a “closed set”—in which actors’ exposure to other crew members is limited—while sex scenes were shot. Employees on set have also complained about a hostile environment, and that “writers of color were put in different rooms from Caucasian writers and felt that their ideas were exploited without pay or credit.”

Variety reports that the investigation is over, and that ABC Studios has “concluded that there had been no wrongdoing on Shaw’s part.”

Kardinal wegen Missbrauchs verurteilt – doch die Medien dürfen nicht darüber berichten

[Cardinal convicted of abuse - but the media can not report it]

AUSTRALIA
hpd Video

December 17, 2018

By Daniela Wakonigg

Stellen Sie sich vor, einer der ranghöchsten Kardinäle des Vatikan wird von einem weltlichen Gericht des Kindesmissbrauchs für schuldig befunden und die Medien dürfen nicht darüber berichten. Was sich nach dem reißerischen Plot eines Krimis anhört, ist vergangene Woche in Australien tatsächlich geschehen.

Kardinal George Pell hat eine beachtliche Karriere in der katholischen Kirche vorzuweisen. Lange war der heute 77-Jährige der ranghöchste katholische Würdenträger Australiens. Von 1996 bis 2001 war er Erzbischof von Melbourne, von 2001 bis 2014 Erzbischof von Sydney. 2014 wurde er Präfekt des vatikanischen Wirtschaftssekretariats und damit Nummer drei in der inoffiziellen vatikanischen Kirchenhierarchie. Außerdem machte Papst Franziskus Pell zum Mitglied des neunköpfigen Kardinalsrates, eines 2013 neu geschaffenen päpstlichen Beratergremiums.

Null-Toleranz-Linie bei Missbrauch

[zero tolerance line in case of abuse]

GERMANY
Dom Radio

December 17, 2018

Kölner Erzbistum übergibt Akten an Staatsanwaltschaften

Es ist der nächste Schritt der Aufarbeitung von sexuellem Missbrauch im Erzbistum Köln: Den Staatsanwaltschaften wurden nun Originalakten übergeben. Eine Rechtsanwaltskanzlei wurde zudem mit der unabhängigen Untersuchung beauftragt.

Das Erzbistum Köln arbeitet aktiv mit den zuständigen Staatsanwaltschaften bei der Aufarbeitung von Verdachtsfällen sexuellen Missbrauchs zusammen. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Köln hatte dem Erzbistum in einem Gespräch ihren Bedarf an Aktenmaterial im Zusammenhang mit der MHG-Studie aufgezeigt.

Am Montag wurden die entsprechenden Originalakten übergeben. Bereits am Freitag sind auch den zuständigen Staatsanwaltschaften in Düsseldorf und Bonn Originalakten zugestellt worden. "Damit sind nun komplett alle bekannten Fälle aus der Vergangenheit zur Prüfung und weiteren Ermittlung übergeben", erklärte der Interventionsbeauftragte des Erzbistums Oliver Vogt.

Priester soll Messdienern unangemessene SMS geschickt haben

[Priests should have sent Messdienern inappropriate SMS]

GERMANY
RP Online

December 17, 2018

By Peter Janssen

Gemeinde in Bedburg-Hau

Bedburg-Hau Ein Pfarrer aus Bedburg-Hau ist von seinem Amt entpflichtet worden. Grund für seine Freistellung sollen zahlreiche SMS-Nachrichten sein, die er unter anderem auch an einen Minderjährigen verschickt haben soll. Der Mann soll die Taten eingeräumt haben.

Die katholische Kirchengemeinde Heiliger Johannes der Täufer in Bedburg-Hau ist eine Vorzeigepfarrei. Ein Seelsorgeteam mit einer Pastoralreferentin und vier Pastoren, bemerkenswerte 257 Messdiener, stets genug Freiwillige, um die Gremien zu besetzen und sieben schöne Gotteshäuser. Bis vergangene Woche. Am Sonntag, 9\. Dezember, las ein Pfarrer noch die Messe. Einen Tag später war er nicht mehr da. Der Bischof von Münster, Felix Genn, hatte den Geistlichen von allen priesterlichen Ämtern freigestellt.

Die Nachricht traf die Gläubigen wie aus heiterem Himmel. Kurzfristig wurde am selben Tag eine Sitzung des Pfarreirats und des Kirchenvorstands einberufen. An der nahmen überraschend auch der Xantener Weihbischof Rolf Lohmann und der Generalvikar des Bistums, Klaus Winterkamp, teil. Den Gremien wurde vage mitgeteilt, warum der ehemalige Pfarrer freigestellt wurde. Details wollte das Bistum nicht preisgeben, da es sich um ein laufendes Verfahren handle. Um 10 Uhr war der Pfarrer entpflichtet worden, um 11 Uhr hatte er seine Sachen gepackt und die Kirchengemeinde verlassen. Bis heute ist von der Diözese nichts offiziell zu dem Vorfall veröffentlicht worden.

Erzbistum zeigt Seelsorger wegen Betrugs an

[Archbishopric reports to pastors for fraud]

GERMANY
WDR

December 16, 2018

- Ex-Pfarrer arbeitete im Rheinland
- Mann wegen Missbrauch entlassen
- Falsche Dokumente vorgelegt

Ein wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs aus dem Klerikerstand entlassener Pfarrer aus Kamerun hat unter falschen Angaben als Seelsorger in katholischen Gemeinden des Erzbistums Köln gearbeitet. Gegen den 2013 in seinem Heimatland in den Laienstand versetzten Pfarrer sei Strafanzeige wegen Betrugs erstattet worden, teilte das Erzbistum am Sonntag (16.12.2018) in Köln mit.

Missbrauch im Bistum Osnabrück: Wer ist Hermann H. und was wusste die Kirche?

[Abuse in the diocese of Osnabrück: Who is Hermann H. and what did the church know?]

GERMANY
Neue OZ

December 16, 2018

By Stefanie Witte

SEXUELLE ÜBERGRIFFE IN MERZEN

Merzen. Beliebt, geachtet, verehrt – der Pfarrer Hermann H. galt vielen als Musterbeispiel des guten Hirten. Jetzt stoßen drei Männer den Priester vom Sockel. Sie werfen ihm vor, sie sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Es ist der dritte Adventssonntag, kurz nach dem Familiengottesdienst. Gerade hat es aufgehört zu schneien. Im Pfarrheim von Merzen ist es totenstill. Keine Kaffetasse wird angerührt. „Es geht um sexuelle Vergehen Ihres ehemaligen Pfarrers Hermann H. an Kindern und Jugendlichen Ihrer Gemeinde“, liest der Personalchef des Bistums, Ulrich Beckwermert mit fester Stimme. Rund 150 Gemeindemitglieder hören den Brief von Bischof Franz-Josef Bode.

Gerüchte gab es immer. Aber der Pfarrer galt als ehrbarer Mann. Ehrenpräses der örtlichen Kolpingsfamilie. Einer, der Zeltlager organisierte, mit Jugendlichen durch den Landkreis fuhr. Zur Geburtstagsfeier des Ruheständlers reisten Gläubige aus Merzen eigens mit einem Bus an. Der Bischof sandte ein Grußwort. Nun verdichten sich Hinweise darauf, dass Pfarrer H. Kinder sexuell missbraucht hat. Drei Opfer haben sich beim Bistum gemeldet. Öffentlich auftreten wollen die Männer nicht. Aber das Bild des guten Hirten wollen sie auch nicht länger ertragen. Auf Basis ihrer Aussagen zieht das Bistum nun Konsequenzen.

18 religiosos españoles acusados de abuso de menores que han salido al extranjero

[List of 18 Spanish clergy members accused of child abuse who were sent abroad]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 9, 2018

By Julio Núñez and Iñigo Domínguez

Esta es la lista de religiosos españoles acusados de abusos sexuales que residen en el extranjero que EL PAÍS ha podido confirmar. Varios de ellos han sido incriminados o detenidos en su país de residencia; otros han sido acusados o condenados en España y después han sido trasladados o han huido. Algunos casos tuvieron repercusión mediática en su día, pero luego se ignoraba el paradero de los acusados y que habían salido del país. Otros, que han sido noticia en otros países, han tenido escasa o nula difusión en España. Y, por último, otros son inéditos, descubiertos y contados por EL PAÍS.

Greensburg Diocese sued in second case involving Monessen priest's alleged sexual misconduct

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 18, 2018

By Rich Cholodofsky

A second lawsuit has been filed against the Greensburg Catholic Diocese alleging it was aware of ongoing and repeated sexual conduct of its priests and failed to protect a teenage boy who claimed he was a victim of that abuse.

Identified in the lawsuit only as John Doe 2, the now 55-year-old Allegheny County man said he was repeatedly subjected to sexual contact from the Rev. John Tamilowski while attending St. Hyacinth Church in Monessen during the late 1970s.

According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Westmoreland County, the man claims he served as an alter boy at the church from the age of 14 to 18 when Tamilowski plied him with gifts, took him out for expensive dinners, gave him alcohol and traveled together on several overnight trips.

Tamilowski engaged him in sexually explicit conversations and later had improper sexual contact with the teenager “at least 25 times,” according to the lawsuit.

The court action filed by Pittsburgh lawyer Alan Perer also described sexual incidents in a Pittsburgh park and another at a “European” health spa.

The Greensburg diocese has not yet responded to a request for comment about the allegations raised in the new lawsuit.

Tamilowski served as a priest in several parishes for more than 40 years before he died in 1994.

He was named in a grand jury report released last summer in which Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro identified more than 300 predator priests suspected of having sexual contact with children.

That statewide investigation found that the Greensburg diocese knew of similar complaints against Tamilowski dating back to the 1960s but continued to allow him to serve as a priest and have contact with children.

Syracuse clergy abuse scandal: Priest cleared in life, blacklisted in death

SYRACUSE (NY)
Syracuse.com

December 18, 2018

By Julie McMahon

The Catholic church fought John Zumpano when he tried in 2003 to prove a priest sexually abused him as a child.

Zumpano went to court armed with statements from a former teacher and ex-classmates who went on to illustrious careers. He had hospital reports and therapy notes. Sworn affidavits told of the boy’s regular overnight presence at the rectory of the Utica church, of shared hotel rooms between the teen and the Rev. James F. Quinn.

The Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese defeated Zumpano. A judge reluctantly threw out the case on procedural grounds. Too much time -- 30 years -- had passed between the alleged abuse and the lawsuit.

And then, two weeks ago, Quinn’s name showed up on the list.

After 15 years, the diocese appeared to finally admit it was wrong. It acknowledged Quinn likely abused Zumpano by offering his family compensation through a program for victims. It placed Quinn on a list of “priests permanently removed from ministry” in accordance with church rules designed to protect children. The diocese reached that conclusion using evidence that surfaced in the victim’s failed lawsuit.

But the reversal comes too late.

Priests accused of child sex abuse living in Baltimore Jesuit community

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

December 18, 2018

By Joshua Eaton

At least four Catholic priests the church believes are guilty of child sex abuse are living at a home for retired clergy in Baltimore, Maryland, ThinkProgress has learned.

The Maryland Province Jesuits, a Catholic religious order, declined to say where the men now live after it published their names Monday in a list of five current priests with “credible or established” accusations of child sex abuse. It said only that they are “in a restricted environment on a safety plan.”

But a database of public records shows that four of the five priests live at the Colombiere Jesuit Community, a home for retired priests in Baltimore’s North Roland Park neighborhood. Information compiled by a victims group also places the fifth priest at Colombiere.

A number of schools are within about a mile radius of Colombiere: Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Friends School of Baltimore, The Bryn Mawr School, Gilman School, West Towson Elementary, Roland Park, and Redeemer Parish Day School.

“Jesuit officials at Colombiere owe the community and the public an explanation of their safety protocols and practices,” Zach Hiner, executive director of the victim rights group SNAP, told ThinkProgress by email. “They should also confirm that the accused priests are not being permitted to perform any priestly functions that may bring them closer to children or vulnerable adults. To do any less is to do a disservice to the community.”

Encuesta CEP: Confianza en la Iglesia sufre importante caída y baja del 51% al 13% en 20 años

[CEP survey finds confidence in the Church suffers significant fall from 51% to 13% in 20 years]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 18, 2018

By Claudia Soto

La confianza en las instituciones religiosas disminuyeron de manera considerable, acercándose a niveles de otras entidades que tienen una baja evaluación, como la industria, el sistema judicial y el Congreso.

Durante esta jornada el Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP) reveló su encuesta sobre religiones donde se indica que la cantidad de católicos bajó de manera considerable en los últimos diez años. Pero además, se señala que de manera conjunta, la confianza en las instituciones religiosas también sufrieron una importante caída.

Felipe Berríos y el bajón católico en la CEP: “La gente requiere una religión más madura, no basada en la amenaza del infierno”

[Felipe Berríos and the Catholic survey downturn: "People require a more mature religion, not based on the threat of hell"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 18, 2018

By Sebastián Minay

"No nos imaginamos el tamaño de los abusos" cometidos por religiosos, dice sacerdote jesuita, quien recalca que eso dañó hasta las confianzas de los sacerdotes, y con mayor razón de la gente. Para él, la caída en quienes se declaran católicos y en la confianza en las iglesias -según el sondeo conocido hoy- era al menos de esperar.

“La religión debería ser un camino para encontrarse con el Evangelio. Pero hasta ahora ha sido un estorbo para llegar al Evangelio”, es una de las conclusiones que el sacerdote jesuita Felipe Berríos saca a los pocos minutos de conocer algunos números de la encuesta sobre religión que mostró esta mañana el Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP). La caída en quienes se declaran católicos y en quienes confían en las iglesias son para él, en parte, consecuencia del descrédito ganado tras tantos abusos sexuales cometidos por religiosos, pero también de la relación entre la institución y los creyentes.

Defensa de cardenal Ezzati: “No hay ningún antecedente de encubrimiento”

[Cardinal Ezzati's defense: "There is no record of cover-up"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 17, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez

El 30 de enero, en el 13° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago, se discutirá posible sobreseimiento.

“No existe antecedente alguno que permita imputar al señor cardenal la calidad de encubridor de abuso sexual, siendo ésta la razón por la cual le aconsejé ejercer su derecho a guardar silencio, máxime si se iba a discutir el sobreseimiento definitivo en dos días más”.

Gonzaga University president denies knowledge of harboring sexually abusive priests

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

December 18, 2018

By Asia Fields

Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh has denied knowing that priests who had retired on campus had histories of sexual abuse, calling the revelations in an investigation published Monday “deeply disturbing.”

The investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Northwest News Network found that at least 20 priests had been sent to retire at the Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga’s campus, despite supervisors knowing they had sexually abused children. While the house is on the campus, it’s owned and operated by the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church.

In a statement some alumni received Tuesday around 2 a.m., McCulloh said the school was not notified of the priests’ past abuse. McCulloh said he learned that some priests living in the Cardinal Bea House were under “supervised safety plans” following the 2011 Oregon Province bankruptcy, but said he did not know any were Jesuits until 2016.

“I had relied upon the Province to inform us of any Jesuit whose history might pose a threat to our students or campus community,” he said. “I deeply regret that I was not informed of the presence of Fr. Poole, nor any other Jesuit who might pose such a danger, at Cardinal Bea House.”

Reveal and Northwest News Network’s investigation identified Father James Poole as a serial sexual predator whose abuse of young, mostly Alaska Native girls was known to his supervisors. He lived at the Bea House from 2003 to 2015. The former head of the Oregon Province who sent him there, Father John Whitney, told reporters it was the only facility in the province where abusive priests could be monitored.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh responds to report on Jesuits sending abusive priests to live next to campus

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman-Review

December 18, 2018

By Chad Sokol

In a statement Monday, Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh said the school “has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct of any form” and encouraged victims to file confidential reports at gonzaga.edu/report.

“It is university policy to cooperate fully with any and all investigations of abuse and to take swift action when warranted,” McCulloh wrote.

He said students might also find help at Gonzaga’s Center for Cura Personalis, Health and Counseling Services and Office of Mission and Ministry, while school employees can try the confidential Employee Assistance Program.

McCulloh wrote that “anyone who has been victimized by a Jesuit” should contact law enforcement, child protective services and Mary Pat Panighetti, the advocacy coordinator for Jesuits West, at (408) 893-8398 or mppanighetti@jesuits.org.

Gonzaga University’s president responded late Monday to an investigative report detailing how Jesuit priests accused of sexually abusing children were sent to live in a retirement home on the school’s campus near downtown Spokane.

In a forcefully worded statement, President Thayne McCulloh said he was disturbed by accounts published over the weekend by the Northwest News Network and the Emeryville, California-based Center for Investigative Reporting. He said no priests accused of sexual abuse are currently living in Jesuit retirement homes on or near campus, and he demanded guarantees that no such priests would be assigned there again.

The news story, which appeared in print and on the center’s popular podcast “Reveal,” covers many aspects of the Catholic abuse scandal previously reported by The Spokesman-Review. But it adds new details to the story of the Rev. James Poole, a priest who admitted under oath that he molested indigenous women and girls during his time with a radio station in Nome, Alaska.

Three women accuse priest of attempted seduction

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union Tribune

December 18, 2018

By Peter Rowe Encinitas

At least three women say the former associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Encinitas tried to seduce them.

The allegations rocked the congregation Sunday, Dec. 16, when parishioners opened the church bulletin to find an apology from Bishop Robert McElroy “to all who were subjected to this terrible mistreatment…

“There is no room in the Church or the priesthood for this reprehensible type of misconduct,” McElroy wrote.

This message was a startling departure from the usual church bulletin fare, such as the Christmas Mass schedule and a notice about an upcoming marriage encounter retreat. McElroy, who this fall held a series of “listening sessions” for churchgoers disturbed by an ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis, has preached the need to be more open about these scandals.

The Rev. Ben Vincent Awongo, 55, left St. John’s on Sept. 1 after the diocese received the second allegation. The first was anonymous and its author could not be found. The second came in August, and led to Awongo’s dismissal.

A member of the Missionary Order of the Apostles of Jesus, a group composed primarily of African priests, Awongo was born in Uganda. He had been working in the San Diego diocese since December 2014.

List names 5 Jesuits with Indiana ties accused of sexually abusing minors

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
CBS 4 News

December 18, 2018

Five priests with ties to Indiana, including three formerly with Indianapolis’ Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, face allegations of sexual abuse.

The Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus released their names this week. The group said those appearing on the list have had at least one “established allegation” of sexual abuse of a minor since 1955. The organization defined an “established allegation” as a case in which there is “a reasonable certainty that the sexual abuse of a minor occurred.”

Here’s the list of priests with ties to Indiana:

Michael E. Dorrier had at least one incident with a minor while at Brebeuf in 1990. He has been permanently removed from public ministry.

Benard P. Knoth had at least one incident with a minor while at Brebeuf, where he was missioned from 1986 to 1988. He was dismissed and laicized in August 2009. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis said in October that Knoth was accused of abuse in 1978.

Donald O’Shaughnessy faces at least one allegation of sexual abuse. He was at Brebeuf in the 1960s and Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, in the 1970s. He died in 2013. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis said O’Shaughnessy was accused of sexually abusing two minors in 1965.

Thomas Gannon is accused of multiple abuse cases in Gary as well as Cleveland and Chicago. He died in 2001.

Charles Sullivan faces a single abuse allegation at Our Lady of the Springs Church in French Lick that happened between 1958 and 1959. He died in 1996.

Sexual-abuse crisis puts Catholic Church’s credibility at risk, Vatican committee warns

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 18, 2018

By Nicole Wiinfield

Organizers of an upcoming Vatican summit on sex abuse prevention are warning that the credibility of the Catholic Church is in jeopardy over the abuse scandal and are urging participants to meet with victims personally before coming to Rome.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide, organizers said the church must develop a “comprehensive and communal response” to the crisis, and that the first step is “acknowledging the truth of what has happened.”

Pope Francis invited the church leaders to the Feb. 21-24 summit to respond to what has become the gravest threat to his papacy, as the sex abuse and cover-up scandal erupted in the U.S., Chile and elsewhere this year.

In revealing the first details of the preparations for the meeting, the Vatican said the summit would focus on three main areas: responsibility, accountability and transparency.

“Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world,” the organizers wrote.

“Each of us needs to own this challenge, coming together in solidarity, humility, and penitence to repair the damage done, sharing a common commitment to transparency, and holding everyone in the church accountable,” they said.

8 Wisconsin Priests On Jesuits' Latest List Of More Than 60 Accused Abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin Public Radio

December 18, 2018

By Ximena Conde

At least eight Wisconsin priests and one brother are among more than 60 alleged abusers named Monday on a list by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus.

The list is not a legal judgment but bears the names of people where the province deemed there was "reasonable certainty" abuse of a minor had taken place.

The Midwest Province is the fourth in the country to release such a list of names. The names are for investigations run by the province that have ended across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A person can see by each name if there were single or multiple allegations against the priest and when the alleged abuse occurred.

Places where Wisconsin priests were accused include Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Marquette University High School in Milwaukee and St. Eugene Parish in Fox Point.

The Rev. Glenn Chun helped publish the information, which was put together from "established allegations" submitted to the province. He said the hope in publishing the names is to help past victims in the healing process.

"As well as to help those (who) may have not reported abuse, to help them to be ready to report what has occurred to them," Chun said, adding that the plan is to keep the list up to date as ongoing investigations close.

Chun said the province has heard the public’s demands to release assignment records of these priests suspected of abuse, and officials are working on compiling those records with a plan to make them public.

Ten Cleveland-area Jesuit priests credibly accused of sexual assault in the past

NORWALK (OH)
Norwalk Reflector

December 18, 2018

By Cory Shaffer

The Midwestern region of the Jesuit church on Monday released the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in two regions, including one covering Northeast Ohio.

The list includes 10 former Jesuits who were accused while either serving in or visiting Northeast Ohio at the time the sexual abuse occurred, according to the Midwest U.S. Jesuit Provinces.

The majority of the abuse occurred between the 1950s and 1970s, and many of the accused priests are now dead.

The release comes after similar releases by Catholic Dioceses across the country. The Cleveland Diocese has published a list of credibly accused priests since a sweeping grand jury inquiry in the early 2000s. The grand jury results have been kept under wraps in keeping with grand jury secrecy laws in Ohio.

"As we look back at our history, the failures of the Society of Jesus and the Church to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame,” the Rev. Brian Paulson, provincial of the Midwest Jesuits, wrote in a letter coinciding with the release. “On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured. Many of you have suffered in silence for decades.”

The church also hired an investigative service out of Chicago to conduct an independent review of the church’s records in 2019 and will update the list if the service turns up credible allegations against any other priests.

The Rev. Henry A. Brockman faced multiple allegations during the 1950s and 1960s while he served at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Brockman died in 1973.

Jesuits Release List of Accused Priests, Including Three Who Served in Wheeling

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 18, 2018

Three priests who once served in the Northern Panhandle are on a list of those who face “credible or established” accusations of sexual abuse of minors that a Roman Catholic Jesuit province released Monday.

Among the names released by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus are Robert B. Cullen, who served at Central Catholic High School from 1982-1983 and Wheeling Jesuit College (now Wheeling Jesuit University) from 1983-1990; Louis A. Bonacci, who served at WJU from 1999-2003; and Francis C. Bourbon, who served at WJU from 1992-1993 and 1996-2003 as well as St. Paul’s Church in Weirton from 1993-1994.

None of the allegations occurred when the priests served here.

Bourbon’s occurred in Virginia, while both Cullen and Bonacci’s occurred in Maryland. Cullen and Bourbon have died. Bonacci, who is the only one of the three that also appears on a similar list released Nov. 29 by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, was removed from active ministry in 2011. He then left the Jesuits in 2014.

Tim Bishop, spokesman for the Wheeling diocese, said Monday night he could not speak to the method used by the Jesuits to determine what constituted a credible allegation. He said the province could have had additional information about its priests that the diocese did not have.

“They would have access to the files for their priests,” he said.

Ex-archbishop denies abuse claim, welcomes probe

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 18, 2018

Former St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt says he would welcome an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct that he claims is untrue.

In a Monday email to The Associated Press, Nienstedt says it’s difficult to defend himself against the claims because it’s his word against the accusers’ and he doesn’t want to harm them.

Nienstedt was responding to a letter his successor, Archbishop Bernard Hebda, sent to the faithful on Friday in which he said Nienstedt was accused of inviting two minors to a hotel room in 2005 at a Vatican-organized youth rally in Germany to change out of wet clothes. Hebda said he forwarded that allegation to a Vatican official in 2016, after Nienstedt resigned.

Hebda said the allegation needs to be fully addressed before Nienstedt’s suitability for ministry can be determined and that Nienstedt won’t serve in public ministry in the archdiocese.

Nienstedt resigned as archbishop in 2015 after Minnesota prosecutors charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect children from a predator priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys.

5 states looking to pursue Catholic church for documents on abuse by priests, Pennsylvania attorney general says

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA Today

December 17, 2018

By Kevin Johnson

Law enforcement officials from up to 45 states have sought assistance from Pennsylvania authorities in pursuit of alleged misconduct by Catholic priests and related efforts to conceal that abuse by the church, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Shapiro, in an interview with USA TODAY, said the surge of outside inquiries has come just in the past four months since a landmark state grand jury investigation found that more than 300 "predator" priests had abused at least 1,000 victims across six decades.

Since August, the attorney general said, Pennsylvania authorities have joined forces with their counterparts across the country, helping them craft search warrant applications and grand jury subpoenas.

Fourteen state attorneys general so far have publicly acknowledged that they have launched separate clergy abuse inquiries, while the U.S. Justice Department is in the midst of a broader review disclosed in October by church officials who had received demands for documents.

Lawsuit accuses former priest of abuse in Monroeville parish

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 17, 2018

By Dillon Carr

A lawsuit filed Monday accuses the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of a teenage boy in a Monroeville parish.

The complaint filed by Downtown Pittsburgh attorney George Kontos on behalf of Richard Bieranowski of Connellsville said diocesan officials knew of former priest William Yockey’s “sexual interest in male children” and “repeatedly failed to take any action to investigate, discipline or report Yockey as a sexual predator.”

The Pittsburgh diocese, Bishop David Zubik and his predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, are named as defendants.

Diocesan spokesman the Rev. Nick Vascov said the diocese is reviewing the case and declined to comment on the litigation.

Yockey, 66, did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Yockey served at Monroeville’s St. Bernadette parish from October 1978 to June 1983. It was his second of 10 assignments before he was withdrawn from active ministry in 1991. He was ordained in 1977.

According to the complaint filed Monday, Bieranowski, now 53, met Yockey in 1981 while participating in the church’s youth group. In addition to his priestly duties, Yockey also served as a youth counselor at the church.

The complaint alleges that Yockey sexually abused Biernowski on numerous occasions from 1981 to 1982, starting when Bieranowski was 15 or 16.

Bieranowski reported the abuse to his parents and a member of the church in 1985, the complaint said.

New priest named in church sex abuse scandal

SCRANTON (PA)
Citizens Voice

December 18, 2018

By Kathleen Bolus and David Singleton

A Jesuit organization released a list Monday detailing allegations of sexual abuse within the order that includes a priest with local ties who was previously not reported.

The Rev. Francis C. Bourbon, S.J., who was not identified in the state grand jury report or by the Diocese of Scranton, served at Scranton Prep from 1969-77 and 1978-81. Bourbon appeared Monday — alongside five other priests who at one point served locally — on a list of Jesuits Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. The information dates back to 1950 and was released by the Maryland Province Jesuits, a Catholic religious order with priests serving across eight states including Pennsylvania.

Bourbon was accused of a “single allegation of unwanted kiss” in Buckingham, Virginia, around 1985, according the list. His last assignment was at the Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, from 1996-2003. He died in 2007.

“We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused to victims and their families,” a release on the providence’s website states. “We hope that this disclosure of names will contribute to reconciliation and healing.”

Pope shakes up Vatican communications operations

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 18, 2018

Pope Francis announced Tuesday a shakeup of the Vatican's communications operations, replacing the longtime editor of the Holy See newspaper and naming a prominent Italian journalist to coordinate the editorial line of all Vatican media.

Andrea Tornielli, Vatican reporter for Turin daily La Stampa, was named to the new position of editorial director for the Dicastery of Communications, responsible for coordinating the Vatican's editorial operations.

In addition, the Vatican named an Italian writer and professor, Andrea Monda, to become editor of L'Osservatore Romano newspaper. He replaces Giovanni Maria Vian, a church historian and journalist who has headed the daily since 2007.

The Vatican's media operations have been undergoing a problematic reform process aimed at reducing redundancies and improving coordination. Among its victims was Vatican Radio and its vast multilingual broadcasts.

The first head of the revamped umbrella communications office, which gathered all Vatican media under one department, was forced to resign earlier this year after he misrepresented a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI and released a doctored photo of it.

Francis named Paolo Ruffini, who had led the broadcaster of the Italian bishops' conference, to replace him — the first time a layman had been named to head a Holy See department. In a statement Tuesday, Ruffini said both Tornielli and Monda were bridge-builders who know how to speak to various generations and develop new means of communications.

Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron breaks with Vatican in letter addressing abuse scandal

DETROIT (MI)
Channel 4 News

December 17, 2018

By Rod Meloni

Archbishop Allen Vigneron shocked some Catholics when he addressed the priest sex abuse scandal and disagreed with the Vatican.

Vigneron's Advent letter to parishioners expressed his concerns about the sex abuse scandal. It's highly unusual to see this type of public rift between Rome and its bishops, and the controversy is deeply upsetting to some Catholics.

"I am tempted to discouragement in the face of the ongoing abuse crisis," Vigneron said in the letter.

He was discouraged by Pope Francis after he gave an order to American bishops at a recent Baltimore meeting.

"I was among many who were surprised and concerned that the Holy See instructed the bishops not to vote on any of our abuse-related proposals," Vigneron said in the letter.

He further elaborated on the radio.

"I think, unfortunately, we weren't able to vote, but again, in God's providence I can see he can bring good out of that," Vigneron said.

Vatican urged to reveal status of ousted US archbishop

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

December 18, 2018

A prominent US archbishop is asking the Vatican for answers about the status of an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by his predecessor, who was forced to resign in 2015.

St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote a remarkable letter to his flock on Friday in which he revealed he sent the Vatican in 2016 a new allegation of improprieties with minors against retired Archbishop John Nienstedt.

County prosecutors informed Hebda of the allegation, he said. It accused Nienstedt of inviting two minors to his hotel room in 2005 at a Vatican-organised youth rally in Germany to change out of wet clothes, the archbishop wrote.

Hebda said Nienstedt "then proceeded to undress in front of them and invited them to do the same". He noted that Nienstedt denied the allegation.

Nienstedt was forced to resign as archbishop after Minnesota prosecutors charged the Twin Cities archdiocese with failing to protect children from a predator priest who was later convicted of molesting two boys.

Nienstedt was one of the first US bishops known to have been forced from office for botching sex abuse investigations. He also faced allegations of engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with adults. He denied misconduct, and the archdiocese hired two law firms to investigate, but the results were never made public.

Hebda said as far as he knew, the Vatican suspended the 2014 investigation when Nienstedt resigned in June 2015. He called for a resolution to that probe, and for information about the alleged World Youth Day incident.

"My opinion is this allegation needs to be fully addressed before a definitive resolution of Archbishop Nienstedt's suitability for ministry can be made," Hebda wrote.

The Vatican didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Nienstedt, who was bishop of New Ulm at the time of the alleged incident in Germany, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But he denied it in an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and welcomed an investigation.

"I do deny the veracity of this allegation," he said. "That being said, I don't want to speak poorly of the men making these accusations. I welcome an impartial look at the facts and the opportunity to defend myself."

U.S. Jesuit groups release names of priests accused of abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

December 17, 2018

By Jack Jenkins

All U.S.-based provinces of the Society of Jesus are releasing the names of clerics they say are credibly accused of child sex abuse, joining other Catholic institutions that are embracing increased transparency as they rush to respond to the resurgence of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

The revelations are seen as an important step by the Society of Jesus, the Catholic church’s largest male religious order of priests, commonly referred to as Jesuits, which claims more than 16,000 members worldwide, including the pope. Although it does not represent the whole of Catholicism, the group is deeply influential both inside and outside the church: Jesuits operate or are affiliated with several U.S. colleges and universities, including Boston College, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Santa Clara University in Northern California.

On Monday, the society’s Midwest province in the U.S. published the names of 65 priests it says have an “established allegation” of sexual abuse of children since 1955.

The accused priests were broken down into three categories: 37 accused of sexual abuse of a minor who were investigated while the Jesuit was living or against whom multiple established allegations were received after his death; 18 with a single established allegation received after his death; and 10 whose names have already been published in another place.

Diocese of Erie to launch Survivors’ Reparation Fund in February

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

December 18, 2018

Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees or lay volunteers in the Diocese of Erie will be eligible to file financial claims with a new compensation fund.

The Survivors’ Reparation Fund will launch in February and was described as an option for abuse survivors who are prevented from seeking compensation through the courts under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations regarding sexual assault.

Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico announced the establishment of the fund Dec. 14 in a news release, saying it would be independently administered by a leading expert who has overseen other compensation funds established in response to high-profile cases.

“It is my sincere hope that the establishment of the Diocese of Erie’s Survivors’ Reparation Fund will provide some measure of justice, closure and validation for the terrible acts that victims endured,” Persico said.

Catholic Churches Are Releasing Names of Accused Priests, But It’s Not Enough

NEW YORK (NY)
Patheos blog

December 17, 2018

By Rick Snedeker.

There’s good news and bad regarding the Catholic Church’s continuing clergy sex-abuse scandal.

The good news is that American bishops are beginning, independent of papal direction, to publicly release lists of priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse crimes, particularly against children.

The bad news is that it’s not as simple as it sounds.

As the Catholic Church faces a wave of federal and state attorney general investigations into its handling of sex abuse, bishops around the country have struggled with how to react. Some have locked down defensively. Others are waiting on guidance from the Vatican, which instructed American bishops last month to wait on taking any collective action until the new year.

But dozens of bishops have decided to take action by releasing lists of the priests in their dioceses who were credibly accused of abuse. And they are being released at an unprecedented pace.

December 17, 2018

NCR Connections: The crisis and the role of the laity

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

December 17, 2018

By Tom Roberts

In the Catholic universe, time doesn't provide any barriers from the ongoing fallout from the sex abuse scandal. Perhaps time will eventually bring healing, but in this moment the crisis slides from the year gone by to the next, seemingly gaining momentum by the month as bishops finally open the files and provide lists of abusers. It's only taken 33 years. The moves are not a sign that the episcopacy suddenly became aware of how utterly corrupt its culture had become. They are more a measure of how great the pressure from the outside has become..

Most of it is old stuff, true, but old stuff newly revealed and the scope of the crime and the cover-up overwhelms. Some, like Fr. David Knight of Memphis, in responding to Melinda Henneberger, who's had enough and has left, say sin has always been a part of the deal, so "hang in there." But systemic (and increasingly global) cover-up of child rape and molestation by the leadership of the church?

Between those polls, some newly outraged have decided to stay and fight and one of the high-profile Catholics in that endeavor is Timothy Roemer, who served as a Democrat in Congress from Indiana's 3rd District (1991-2003) and as ambassador to India (2009-2011).

Recently he had a column published in USA Today which he begins by describing the scene in August where, after a homily he heard at St. Thomas à Becket Catholic Church in Reston, Virginia, he shouted, "Justice in the name of Christ. Justice for our children."

That justice, he believes, demands action of the people in the pews who should "suspend institutional giving" and send funds instead to such groups as Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services and other local agencies serving the poor and marginalized.

Laity should also demand that bishops send all records relating to sex abuse to state attorneys general, he said, and be involved in clergy assignments where the safety of children is in question.

"What pushed me to write the piece was my faith in God colliding with the inaction and the negligence of the church," he told me in a recent phone conversation. "I've never seen in my lifetime the amount of percolating anger and frustration from practicing Catholics every Sunday going to church now feeling as though they have been gutted."

Dojo Pizza's Loren Copp Scheduled for Verdict in Child Porn Case

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

December 17, 2018

By Doyle Murphy

Former Dojo Pizza owner Loren Copp is scheduled to learn his fate the day after Christmas.

The 49-year-old is facing nine felony charges, including producing, attempting to produce and possessing child porn. The alleged victims included underage girls who stayed with him while their parents struggled with poverty and addiction.

He was the subject of an RFT cover story in December 2015.

An ex-pastor, Copp ran a karate studio, community center, rooming house and pizza restaurant out of a converted church in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. He represented himself in April during a bench trial in federal court, personally cross-examining girls who claim he took illicit photos and sexually abused them.

Diocese of Jefferson City adds two names to list of accused priests

COLUMBIA (MO)
Columbia Missourian

December 17, 2018

By Emily Johnson

Two names were added to the list of priests and religious leaders accused of abuse and released by the Diocese of Jefferson City over the weekend.

The original list, released on Nov. 8 by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight, contained 33 names. The two additions brought the total to 35.

The two names added are Don Greene and Mel Lahr, and the status of Robert Duesdieker was changed. Greene is no longer living. Lahr was removed from the ministry along with Duesdieker. Lahr's removal was due to a “credible allegation of violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” the diocese said via a statement on its website. Duesdieker was also removed for a violation of the charter.

Duesdieker's status was changed, as Bishop W. Shawn McKnight believed the standards for the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People were now applicable. Previously, Duesdieker was "unsuitable for ministry out of concern for the safety of our youth," according to the diocese's website.

On December 5, the Diocesan Review Board recommended the two names be added and one status be changed, which Bishop W. Shawn McKnight approved.

Helen Osman, director of diocesan communications, said the two additional allegations were reviewed after the release of the initial list on Nov. 8, thus delaying their additions to the list of accused.

The diocese has said the last case of abuse occurred in 1997. After that, the diocese said it received two credible allegations of violations of the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. One of the violations was inappropriate use of social media, and the other involved internet pornography depicting minors.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a support group for individuals harmed by religious authorities, has been critical of the diocese's efforts at transparency about abuse within the church.

18 Chicago area Jesuit priests — including Donald McGuire — linked to abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun Times

December 17, 2018

A report released Monday by the Midwest Province of Jesuits shows that 18 Jesuit priests assigned to schools and churches in the Chicago area were accused of engaging in sexual abuse between 1944 and 2005.

In all, 65 Jesuit priests and brothers were named in the order’s report. The Midwest Province of Jesuits — a subsection of the religious order within the Catholic Church — operates in 12 states from as far east as Ohio to as far west as Wyoming. The full list of accused Jesuits can be found here.

“On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured,” the Rev. Brian G. Paulson, SJ Provincial of the Midwest Jesuits said in a statement. “We recognize that our feelings on this day are nothing compared to the depth of suffering endured by those who have been abused, especially by one as trusted as a priest or vowed religious.”

Loyola Academy, the North Shore high school operated by the Jesuits, saw six priests accused of sexual abuse between 1964 and 1988.

Among that half dozen was the now deceased Donald McGuire, the defrocked former priest who was convicted by a Wisconsin jury in 2006 of molesting two Loyola Academy students while on a retreat near Lake Geneva in the 1960s.

In 2008, he was convicted in Chicago on federal charges that he brought a minor across state lines to engage in sex.

Utah’s Catholic diocese releases names of 19 clergymen accused of sexually abusing minors, says one priest with recent allegations will retire

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Salt Lake City Tribune

December 17, 2018

By Jessica Miller

In its most detailed account to date, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City released the names Monday of every priest in Utah who has faced “credible allegations” of sexual misconduct with minors since 1950.

The diocese, which oversees Utah’s 300,000-plus Catholics, also announced the retirement of one priest who had been on leave after allegations surfaced earlier this year.

The diocese received three complaints this year about the Rev. David R. Gaeta, who was serving as pastor at St. Peter Parish in American Fork.

A report from June accused Gaeta of being in bed with a minor in 1982, according to the diocese. Another report was received in August that the priest had offered alcohol to four minors in 1982 and suggested they undress. A third report came in July alleging Gaeta touched a child’s buttocks while pushing a swing sometime this year.

The Division of Child and Family Services investigated this most recent allegation, according to the diocese, but no criminal charges were filed

Jesuits release lists of clergy accused of abusing minors

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

December 17, 2018

By Daniel Burke

Two Jesuit provinces in the United States released lists of 84 clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, the latest revelations in the Catholic Church's long-running and morally damaging sexual abuse crisis.

The two lists, released separately on Monday by the provinces of Maryland and the Midwest, follow two lists released December 7 by the Jesuits' West and Central/Southern provinces. A fifth North American province, the Northeast, plans to release its list of accused clergy on January 15, according to a spokesman.

Combining the four public lists, more than 230 Jesuits have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor in the United States since the 1950s, according to the provinces. Most of the alleged abuse occurred decades ago, before many parts of the Catholic Church in the United States instituted new safeguards after the last major sexual abuse scandal in 2002-2003.

Letter: Priesthood celibacy requirement must go

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 17, 2018

During the past few months, I have heard it argued that there is no connection between celibacy and the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church.

Declarations that “celibacy doesn’t cause pedophilia” may be true, but don’t mean that there is no connection.

In my opinion, the celibacy requirement has contributed to the severe shortage of priests.

This, I believe, has not only caused the church to be less than selective when accepting candidates for the priesthood, but is also the reason that predatory priests have been moved from place to place, hidden, and has persuaded church officials to ignore their moral and civic duties.

In the distant past, when parochial schools flourished, the church had fertile grounds from which to recruit both boys and girls to religious vocations. Children often went directly from the eighth grade to the seminary or convent.

4 Jesuit priests who served in Pittsburgh among those accused of sexual abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 17, 2018

By Jamie Martines

Jesuits who served in Pittsburgh were among the 24 priests accused of sexual abuse since 1950 named by the order’s Maryland Province on Monday.

No reports of abuse originated in Pittsburgh, according to the province, but four of the Jesuits on the list served in Pittsburgh, including William J. Walsh, the first headmaster of the former Bishop’s Latin School, and two others who worked at the school in the 1960s.

After opening in Homewood in 1961, the school moved to East Liberty and finally the South Side before closing in 1973. It has served as the pre-seminary high school of the diocese, according to the school’s alumni page.

The Society of Jesus is the largest male religious order in the Roman Catholic church with about 17,000 members. The Maryland Province oversees Jesuits assigned throughout the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Priests who are members of religious orders are typically not considered diocesan personnel.

Jesuits release list of 89 US priests accused of sex abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Agence-France Presse

December 17, 2018

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne (L) and Indiana Bishop Timothy Doherty, chair of the committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, at November's US Conference of Catholic Bishops which took place amid fallout from pedophile priests scandal
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Jesuit authorities for 20 US states on Monday released the names of 89 priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse dating as far back as 1950.

The disclosures by the Jesuit provinces of Maryland and USA Midwest are the latest chapter in the ongoing sexual abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church and come after 153 Jesuits were publicly identified by two other provinces earlier this month.

Maryland released 24 names with allegations dating back to 1950 and USA Midwest released 65 names dating back to 1955. Many of the individuals are deceased, and some were previously publicly known to be accused of sexual assault.

"On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured. Many of you have suffered in silence for decades," Brian Paulson, head of the province headquartered in Chicago, said in an open letter.

Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church, with some 16,000 members worldwide. They operate 30 colleges and 81 schools in the United States and Canada.

The names made public Monday included dozens of priests with multiple allegations of abuse who served in educational institutions.

The priest with the most recent allegations was Donald McGuire who died in federal prison in 2017 while serving a 25-year sentence. His was among the names that had been previously publicized.

Numerous men have accused McGuire of molesting them when they were boys. The first allegations dated to the 1950s, when he worked at a Jesuit private high school in Chicago, and went as late as 2005.

Catholic Diocese of SLC releases list of all priests who faced credible child sex abuse allegations since 1950

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Fox 13 News

December 17, 2018

By Mark Green

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has released a list of all priests who have faced credible allegations of sexual abuse involving minors since 1950.

The diocese posted the complete list on their website Monday.

Bishop Oscar A. Solis first approved the release of the list in August, but the diocese conferred with legal counsel prior to making the list public.

“The list of credible allegations is one step toward providing the transparency that will help repair at least some of the wounds left by the wrongful actions of priests who abused their sacred trust,” Bishop Solis stated. “We continue to pray for the victims and their families and ask their forgiveness for our failure to protect them.”

The list reflects all “credible allegations” made since 1950, which the diocese defined as allegations in which the accuser and accused were in the same area around the same time of the reported abuse.

The dioceses states that credible allegations do not necessarily mean there was a final determination of guilt.

In addition to allegations from years past, the dioceses states a more recent investigation means Fr. David Gaeta will retire from active ministry with no faculties for further public ministry. That retirement will be effective January 1.

Midwest Jesuits Province releases names of 65 accused of sexually abusing minors

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

December 17, 2018

By Ross Weidner

The Chicago-based Roman Catholic Jesuit Midwest Province released the names of 65 accused Jesuits who they say have had an "established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor" since 1955. Forty-three of the names on the list are dead.

Since 1955, Jesuit officials say approximately 4000 Jesuits have served the province which is comprised of most of northern and eastern Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Ohio. The Midwest Province currently has 510 Jesuit members.

Fr. M. Lawrence Reuter is the only named priest listed as being from Chicago who is still alive. Reuter was President of Loyola Academy in Wilmette from 1975 to 1990. The Midwest Jesuit Province's list says that Reuter's "established allegations of sexual abuse of a minor" took place from 1986-1988. He also worked at Loyola University until 2002 and Loyola University Medical Center until 2010 when he was removed from active ministry.

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ released a letter with the list today writing that he is "confident that God's Spirit is leading us forward into the light."

"As we look back at our history, the failures of the Society of Jesus and the Church to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame," Fr. Paulson wrote.

Jefferson City Diocese adds names to list of clergy accused of abuse

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KOMU 8 TV

December 15, 2018

By: Nikki Ogle and Spencer Humphrey

The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of abuse.

In a bulletin passed out at the end of its Saturday mass, the diocese included a statement adding the names of Robert Duesdieker, Don Greene and Mel Lahr to its list of clergy accused and/or removed from ministry in the Diocese of Jefferson City.

According to the statement, Duesdieker and Lahr were removed from ministry and Greene is deceased. It did not specify what year Duesdieker and Lahr were removed from ministry or when Greene died.

It also did not indicate when any suspected abuse took place, nor how many victims they may have had.

Saturday's release comes more than a month after the diocese first released a list containing 33 names of clergy accused of abuse.

In the statement from the Jefferson City diocese, Bishop Shawn McKnight wrote, “This update is a result of information we received after our November 8 release and recent action by the Diocesan Review Board.”

James Offutt, a Centralia priest who recently retired, said the names on the list seem to be only of those accused of abusive acts. He said the diocese's transparency should be "full and entire," and include names of those who cover up abuse.

"It seems to me if you’re going to be people that are going to present the idea of transparency, compassion and integrity and honor, you ought to go all the way. Not just those who commit the immediate things, but those who cover them up, facilitate them, do whatever," he said.

Diocese of Buffalo finds two priests guilty, clears two others after internal reviews

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

December 14, 2018

By Anthony Reyes and Charlie Specht

Maryanski, Wolski remain barred from ministry

The Diocese of Buffalo has cleared two priests of sexual misconduct allegations and found two others guilty of the allegations after an internal review.

Allegations of child sexual abuse against the Revs. Fabian J. Maryanski and Mark J. Wolski have been substantiated and they will remain on administrative leave, the diocese said Friday in a written statement.

But allegations against the Rev. Roy Herberger and Msgr. Frederick R. Leising "have not been substantiated," the diocese said, and the two priests have been returned to active ministry, diocesan officials said, although Leising is retired.

The decisions follow an internal diocese investigation and a review by the Diocesan Review Board, which reviews cases involving sexual abuse and misconduct against clergymen and religious sisters.

The results of the diocesan investigation continue to be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith at the Vatican in Rome, which will make the final determination, the diocese said.

Iowa is one of many states looking to Pennsylvania for answers on clergy sex abuse

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

December 17, 2018

By Shelby Fleig

Up to 45 states, including Iowa, have sought assistance from Pennsylvania authorities regarding alleged misconduct by Catholic priests in the months since a bombshell grand jury report was made public.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in an interview with USA TODAY, said there's been a surge of inquiries since the August report found that at least 300 priests are accused of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

The result of a two-year grand jury investigation, the report is one of the most comprehensive looks into such abuse by the Catholic church in history.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller "considers this an important issue, and we want to learn from Pennsylvania and other states," said Lynn Hicks, the attorney general’s communications director.

The Iowa attorney general's office has participated in "several" briefings, hosted by Shapiro, to ask questions regarding the investigation in that state, Hicks said in an email.

He said he was unsure whether other Iowa law enforcement agencies have contacted Pennsylvania authorities.

Shapiro ordered the grand jury investigation that led to the historic report, which also accuses the church of a “systematic cover-up’’ by moving abusive priests from one parish to another.

More than a dozen attorneys general have since publicly acknowledged that they have launched separate clergy abuse inquiries. The U.S. Justice Department is also conducting a wide-ranging review, disclosed in October by church officials who said they received demand for documents.

Maryland Jesuits Release Names of Abusive Clerics, SNAP Responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 17, 2018

Today, officials from the Maryland region of the Jesuit order have released the names of proven, admitted and “credibly accused” child molesting clerics.

We are glad that Jesuit officials are taking this first step towards transparency and healing. Releasing these names publicly is crucial not only for the healing of survivors, but also to encourage victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and to deter future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. Still, the fact remains that Jesuit officials have held these names in secret for years: today’s move is long-overdue and prompted only by pressure from prosecutors, parishioners and the public. That is why the release of these names is only the first step.

If they are confident in the veracity of their lists and are truly committed to full transparency and healing for survivors, then Jesuit officials should follow up on this release by imploring attorneys general and law enforcement officials that serve the states in the Jesuit Maryland territory to launch independent investigations into their files. Several of the states within the Maryland province have already begun independent investigations by their state attorney general. We believe Jesuit officials should ask those attorneys to expand the investigation to cover their order, especially given that oversight for religious order priests is often separate from diocesan priests.

The inexplicable conviction of Cardinal Pell

MANASSAS (VA)
Catholic Culture

December 17, 2018

Catholic By Phil Lawler

Through bitter experience over the years, I have learned never to proclaim that some trusted figure couldn’t possibly be guilty of sexual abuse. I have learned to wait, to weigh the evidence, and if a court finds the man guilty, to accept that finding.

Since I don’t know the facts, I cannot guarantee that Cardinal George Pell is innocent of the offenses of which he has been convicted in a secret trial. But I can say that a grave injustice has been done, for several reasons.

First, because in a proper legal system, not only is justice done, but justice is seen to be done. The trial of Cardinal Pell, conducted under a court-ordered media blackout, has prevented the world from knowing what evidence was presented against him, what defense was offered. We have only leaked reports: hearsay evidence. If the court had its way, we wouldn’t know that the cardinal had been convicted. To this day we don’t even know what charges were brought against him.

Jesuits name priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children, including in D.C. area

WASHINGTON D.C.
The Washington Post

December 17, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

The Maryland Province Jesuits, a Catholic religious order with priests serving throughout the Washington area and across eight states, released a list Monday of priests in the order who have been credibly accused of abusing children since the 1950s.

The list includes five living Jesuits, three who left the order, and five who have died.

“We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused to victims and their families. We also apologize for participating in the harm that abuse has done to our Church, a Church that we love and that preaches God’s care for all, especially the most vulnerable among us,” the Rev. Robert M. Hussey, leader of the Maryland Province Jesuits, wrote in a letter accompanying the detailed list of names and accusations. “The People of God have suffered, and they rightly demand transparency and accountability. We hope that this disclosure of names will contribute to reconciliation and healing."

The men accused of abusing minors served in high schools, including Gonzaga College High School in the District; in colleges, including St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, Wake Forest University in North Carolina and several more; at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; at churches in the District and Baltimore; and other institutions.

Embattled Bishop backs out of Starkville visit

STARKVILLE, MS
Daily News

December 17, 2018

By Ryan Phillips

Parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville were notified over the weekend that the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson will not attend the church’s Reconciliation Service on Wednesday as originally planned.

Multiple parishioners confirmed to the Starkville Daily News that Bishop Joseph Kopacz, who has been accused of covering up alleged illegal activity by a former priest, would not be attending the regular service as one of several visiting priests.

The announcement was made after mass on Sunday, with parishioners being told during the general announcements portion of the service that the decision was made for Bishop Kopacz not to attend in order for parishioners to be able to focus on the Sacrament.

The Reconciliation Service, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is held multiple times a year and features outside priests coming for confession. Reconciliation Services are typically held close to Christian holidays, as is also the case with Easter.

Michael Nadorff has been a parishioner since he moved to Starkville in 2012.

On Sunday, he told the Starkville Daily News that he agreed with the decision for Bishop Kopacz not to attend the Wednesday service, calling his presence a “distraction.”

Sorry doesn’t do it

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

December 17, 2018

Back in the 1970s, when I was a student at St. Augustine’s in Hartford, we had an active pedophile in Daniel McSheffrey, who was a priest there. McSheffrey was loved by parents and school officials but feared by my classmates, as he should have been. Once you were summoned to his office, you were his next victim. McSheffrey had a lot of victims.

Now the archdiocese, after almost fifty years, wants to say “sorry about that” [Dec. 16, courant.com, “Archdiocese of Hartford announces it will release names of accused pedophile priests, conduct probe into decades of abuse cases”].

Where in their vocabulary does one find the phrase “a little too late”? Is it when their pews are empty? Does it happen when contributions are down? How about when the mass schedule has gone from five masses on a Sunday down to two or fewer?

Some will say that we must forgive and let go of our anger. There will be hordes of people who will say we need to heal. I say put them out of business. As unrealistic as that sounds, it’s really not a bad idea at all.

Response to the release of names of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Jesuit Province

December 17, 2018

By Rev. Brian F. Linnane

Earlier today, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus released a list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950.

It is with great remorse and pain that I share with you that seven Jesuits who have been previously affiliated with Loyola University Maryland or Loyola’s Jesuit Community are among those on the list: John F. X. Bellwoar, Louis A. Bonacci, Francis C. Bourbon, H. Cornell Bradley, Arthur J. Long, Garrett D. Orr, and Claude L. Ory. None of these individuals are still associated with Loyola, and none of the allegations occurred while they were on campus. You can find more information on each of those individuals and their time at Loyola in the report.

The Province’s decision to release the names is a welcome and essential step as we work toward healing within the Catholic Church. Only through transparency can we find justice and help build a stronger, better future as a Church and as a community. As a university that works to ensure a safe environment for every member of our community, we have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and a commitment to report any allegations immediately to authorities.

This news is deeply troubling for all of us to hear, particularly for those members of our community—including alumni—who may recall interactions with these individuals. I hope you will join me not just in prayer but also in support for all survivors of clerical sexual abuse.

If you believe that you, or someone you know, has been abused by a Jesuit or a Province employee, I urge you to contact the Maryland Province by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 443-370-6357, MARadvocacy@jesuits.org, or in writing to the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, 8600 LaSalle Rd, Suite 620, Towson, Md. 21286. If the Province’s Victim Assistance Coordinator receives an accusation involving a minor, she is required to inform law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the abuse occurred.

Férrea defensa de fieles a curas acusados de abusos: "Aunque los declaren culpables, los apoyaremos"

[Some fiercely defend priests accused of abuses: "Even if they are found guilty, we will support them"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

December 17, 2018

By Felipe Díaz and Robinson Cardenas

“Aunque los declaren culpables los apoyaremos”. Ese es el planteamiento de quienes defienden a dos sacerdotes investigados por presuntos abusos sexuales y malversación de fondos en la Iglesia Católica de Puerto Montt.

Names of Jesuits credibly accused of sex abuse released by Md. Roman Catholic group

WASHINGTON (DC)
WJLA TV

December 17, 2018

By Courtney Pomeroy

The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus released the names Monday of Jesuits from the province, and others who have served the province, who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors since 1950.

"We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused to victims and their families," reads a letter accompanying the list of names. "We also apologize for participating in the harm that abuse has done to our Church, a Church that we love and that preaches God’s care for all, especially the most vulnerable among us."

Five of the men, the group says, are current Maryland Province Jesuits or are current Jesuits from another Province whose offense took place in the Maryland Province.

Judge to review Jesuit abuser

NEW SOUTH WALES
The Australian

December 16, 2018

By John Ferguson

A former chief justice will investigate how a sadistic Catholic pedophile was shifted from South Australia to NSW, where he wreaked havoc at one of the faith’s finest schools.

Former Victorian Supreme Court chief justice Marilyn ­Warren has been engaged by the Jesuits to investigate how serial offender and former brother ­Victor Higgs was able to offend in two states.

Higgs has been convicted of molesting boys from Sydney’s St Ignatius College Riverview and St Ignatius in Adelaide and was moved interstate after offending the first time.

The Australian Province of the Society of Jesus will open its books to Ms Warren to determine what the schools knew and when about Higgs’s offending.

Her findings will be published.

Judge Rules that Parish Cannot Be Trusted To Watch Over Accused Abusive Priest, SNAP Responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 14, 2018

An accused DC priest will remain in jail awaiting trial despite a Pennsylvania colleague's pleas on his behalf. We applaud the DC judge who denied this request.

According to reports, the attorney for Fr. Urbano Vazquez argued that he should be allowed to return to the “secluded parish outside of Pittsburgh where he had been staying” and said that Fr. Vazquez would be watched over by other priests living at the parish. The lawyer called one of these priests, Fr. Frank Yacobi, to so testify for the defense. Yet the judge assigned to the case ruled otherwise, harshly criticizing the request by saying “to release [Fr. Vazquez] now back in the supervision of colleagues who had been informed of such alleged behavior is troubling to me."

We applaud this move by D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna. Given that church officials were allegedly notified of the accusations against Fr. Vazquez in 2015, it stands to reason that they are as incapable of watching over Fr. Vazquez now as they were in adequately responding to the allegations then.

Largely Unknown Allegedly Abusive Clerics who Spent Time in the two KC Area Dioceses

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

December 14, 2018

Each of these priests is listed in a data base of accused clerics maintained by the most credible on-line source on information on the Catholic abuse and cover up crisis, BishopAccountability.org. All have been sued, “outed” by Catholic officials, or mentioned in mainstream secular and/or religious news media, but usually in other states. Their presence in the Kansas City area is confirmed through the same sources.

A victim of one of these clerics (Fr. Coury) was represented by St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes (314 872 8420, 314 369 3902 cell, kchackes@cch-law.com). Victims of some of the accused have been represented by KC MO attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell, Rebecca@randlesmatalaw.com)

Jesuits
Fr. John G. O’Flaherty worked at St. Francis Xavier Church and Rockhurst College, He was named as an abuser in a March 2011 civil complaint filed in Pueblo, CO.

Fr. Eugene Maio was a priest in the KC, KS, archdiocese. He was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing one person at Marymount High School in Los Angeles.

These priests abused in Native villages for years. They retired on Gonzaga’s campus

SPOKANE (WA)
Reveal

December 17, 2018

This story was produced in partnership with the Northwest News Network

By Emily Schwing, Aaron Sankin and Michael Corey

On the surface, Father James Poole seemed like the cool priest in Nome, Alaska. He founded a Catholic mission radio station that broadcast his Jesuit sermons alongside contemporary pop hits. A 1978 story in People magazine called Poole “Western Alaska’s Hippest DJ … Comin’ at Ya with Rock’n’Roll ’n’ Religion.”

Behind the radio station’s closed doors, Poole was a serial sexual predator. He abused at least 20 women and girls, according to court documents. At least one was 6 years old. One Alaska Native woman says he impregnated her when she was 16, then forced her to get an abortion and blame her father for raping her. Her father went to prison.

Like so many other Catholic priests around the country, Poole’s inappropriate conduct with young girls was well-known to his superiors. A Jesuit supervisor once warned a church official that Poole “has a fixation on sex; an obsession; some sort of mental aberration that makes him see sex everywhere.”

But the last chapter in his story reveals a new twist in the Catholic abuse scandal: Poole was sent to live out his retirement years on Gonzaga University’s campus in Spokane, Washington.

For more than three decades, Cardinal Bea House on Gonzaga’s campus served as a retirement repository for at least 20 Jesuit priests accused of sexual misconduct that predominantly took place in small, isolated Alaska Native villages and on Indian reservations across the Northwest, an investigation by the Northwest News Network and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Letter from Archbishop Hebda Regarding Bishop Accountability, Survivor Outreach

ST. PAUL (MN)
Archdiocese of St. Paul

December 14, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many of you have reminded me that our Church needs to face today’s challenges with more direct action. Changes must be made that will prevent regression to old ways. I am taking additional steps in this Archdiocese to change the culture that fostered the clergy abuse crisis.

A new position has been created in the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment to ensure that the voice of survivors of clergy sexual abuse will be regularly heard within Archdiocesan leadership. To strengthen that voice, I want to say again today that any survivor who at any time entered into a settlement agreement containing a confidentiality provision is released from that provision. I also reiterate my pledge to meet with any survivors who would like to do so. I am leaving open all Friday afternoons in February, March and April for that purpose. Meetings at other times and places will still be available as well. Planning for spiritual outreach in 2019 is also underway. It will include opportunities, both at the parish and Archdiocesan levels, for reparation, spiritual renewal, and prayers for healing.

I also want to share a few thoughts regarding bishop accountability. This was a major topic at the recent meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As mentioned before, I strongly favor the creation of a lay-led mechanism for investigating and assessing any allegations made against me or any other bishop. It is clear to me that expanding meaningful lay involvement is essential for us to accomplish cultural change and put in place a credible and lasting process. In order to fully address bishop accountability, the Church needs a national or regional board empowered to act, much as our well-respected Ministerial Review Board has been empowered to address allegations involving our priests and deacons. The Church cannot fulfill its mission without public trust.

I remain troubled by the failure to bring closure to the 2014 investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with adult males leveled against my predecessor, Archbishop John Nienstedt. You will recall that Archbishop Nienstedt had delegated the investigation to his senior auxiliary bishop, who in turn sought the assistance of two separate law firms. In 2015, the investigative materials were submitted to the then-Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Also in 2015, the investigation’s underlying allegations were provided by the Archdiocese to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. As far as I know, any effort by the Vatican to further address the allegations was suspended in June 2015 when Archbishop Nienstedt resigned his office. Thus, the matter remains unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public. I share the frustration that is felt by them, and believe this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations made against bishops.

More Wisconsin priests to be named in Jesuits' next list of accused abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

December 17, 2018

By Annysa Johnson

More Catholic priests with ties to Wisconsin will be among those identified Monday in an ongoing effort by the Jesuit religious order to make public the names of priests and brothers with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

Monday's announcement by the Society of Jesus' USA Midwest Province follows the release of more than 150 names by the west and south-central provinces Dec. 7. Eight of those individuals had ties to Wisconsin, including five who had worked at Marquette University or Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.

Monday's list also is expected to include two additional Chicago priests supervised by former Marquette University President Robert Wild, who pulled his name from a new $108 million residence hall this fall, saying he mishandled allegations against three priests when he led that province from 1985 to 1991.

The Jesuits are the latest Catholic institution to divulge the names of known or suspected offenders in the wake of an August report by a Pennsylvania grand jury, which identified more than 300 abusive priests believed to have molested at least 1,000 children and prompted at least a dozen criminal investigations of church activities across the country.

Catholic clergy sex abuse: Pennsylvania attorney general says 45 states have sought help; 'a lot more horrors to unearth'

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA Today

December 17, 2018

By Kevin Johnson

Law enforcement officials from up to 45 states have sought assistance from Pennsylvania authorities in pursuit of alleged misconduct by Catholic priests and related efforts to conceal that abuse by the church, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Shapiro, in an interview with USA TODAY, said the surge of outside inquiries has come just in the past four months since a landmark state grand jury investigation found that more than 300 "predator" priests had abused at least 1,000 victims across six decades.

Since August, the attorney general said, Pennsylvania authorities have joined forces with their counterparts across the country, helping them craft search warrant applications and grand jury subpoenas.

Fourteen state attorneys general so far have publicly acknowledged that they have launched separate clergy abuse inquiries, while the U.S. Justice Department is in the midst of a broader review disclosed in October by church officials who had received demands for documents.

At the same time, Shapiro said, 1,450 calls have poured into a Pennsylvania hotline, with many of the contacts providing information not previously known to state investigators during its two-year inquiry.

"We are learning a lot of new information that we and other law enforcement agencies are investigating," Shapiro said. "Law enforcement, in many ways, is just getting started. I think we're probably in the third or fourth inning, meaning that we still have a good ways to go and a lot more horrors to unearth."

Purcellville priest cleared in Loudoun sheriff's office investigation

LOUDOUN COUNTY (VA)
Times Mirror

December 14, 2018

By Trevor Baratko

A Loudoun County Sheriff's Office investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct by a Purcellville priest has concluded with no criminal charges being sought, authorities said Friday.

Father Ronald S. Escalante, a pastor at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville, had been placed on leave during the investigation. He was accused of “boundary violations” involving a minor and adults, according to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, which announced Escalante's leave on Dec. 7.

Escalante denied the accusations and cooperated with the investigation, according to the diocese.

The Loudoun sheriff's office released the following statement Friday: “On Nov. 21, 2018, the LCSO was contacted by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington regarding potential inappropriate contact by a member of their clergy in Purcellville. The investigation has concluded, and there are no criminal charges.”

Reaction to release of list of accused priests: ‘too little, too late’

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican American

December 17, 2018

Area Catholics on Sunday expressed cautious hope for more transparency and a thorough investigation by church officials upon learning the Archdiocese of Hartford will next month publish the names of clergy members who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abusing minors over its more than 60-year history. Meanwhile, victims of that abuse expressed skepticism over […]

A Nun In India Accuses A Bishop Of Rape, And Divides The Country's Christians

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Public Radio

December 17, 2018

By Lauren Frayer

The narrow lane that leads to what may be India's most infamous convent winds past spindly coconut palms and fat banana leaves flapping in the breeze. Tropical bird calls break through the muffled drone of female voices praying inside a house with pink stucco columns.

The bucolic setting, in the jungle of India's southwestern Kerala state, is home to about a dozen Roman Catholic nuns who belong to the Missionaries of Jesus order. But their peace has been shattered by what allegedly happened here between 2014 and 2016.

One of the nuns says she was raped by a bishop more than a dozen times. The bishop, Franco Mulakkal, denies the nun's accusations, and is out on bail. The Vatican has temporarily relieved him of his duties while he defends himself in court.

The alleged victim is huddled upstairs, under police guard in the convent. She has received death threats.

Meanwhile, her fellow nuns have become activists, staging street protests in her defense — a rebellion against India's church leadership from within.

Bishop on petition: ‘I’m not a dictator ... I just ask that people worship in peace.’

FT. WORTH (TX)
Star Telegram

December 15, 2018

By Bill Hanna and Nichole Manna

Bishop Michael Olson says he has been as transparent as possible in dealing with the departures of priests and other decisions affecting parishes under his supervision in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

In a meeting with the Star-Telegram on Friday, Olson also addressed criticism from parishioners who say they fear retribution if they speak out against him.

“People have a right to be critical,” Olson said. “I don’t think people have a right to slander or be destructive or say untrue things.”

Olson agreed to the interview to address concerns raised in an online petition that calls for an investigation by the Catholic Church into Olson and his operations of the diocese.

How Will Church Attone for Pedophile Priests?

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 16, 2018

By Charles Rogerson

In a slow bleed, the Catholic Church is prying open secret files and releasing the names of “credibly accused” pedophile priests. The sheer numbers are staggering. Last summer, the report out of Pennsylvania listed 300 predator priests, with a number of names redacted. That eye-popping list didn’t include priests who had been named earlier.

The Wheeling-Charleston diocese listed 31 names. If nothing else, the revelations put the kibosh on the few-bad-apples excuse the church had lamely offered while still actively covering up the scandal.

And a coverup it was, of monumental proportions, conceived at the highest levels of the church hierarchy. The basic strategy was a cynical transgression of justice and decency: First, take advantage of the unassailable status of the priest to repress victims’ accusations. We’ll never know how many victims there were, because, to this day, may of them have never breathed a word about the crimes perpetrated upon them, body and soul.

Even on the family level, some parents have traditionally (and still do) send a sinister message to their children: Don’t make trouble. Don’t cause a problem. If a child victim hurdled these formidable obstacles and made the complaint, bishops and the police would often conspire to sweep the mess under the rug. Protecting the church’s reputation was always paramount. All too often, lay Catholics persecuted what few victims had the nerve to speak out.

If a particular case continued to fester, the lawyers stepped in with cash settlements, always with a non-disclosure gag-clause fastened to them. Afterward, they simply waited it out, and one could almost hear the sigh of relief which emanated from the clergy each time a specific statute-of-limitations date was reached. Meanwhile, the church would transfer the offending Father Can’t Help Himself to another parish — and not tell anyone about his penchant for molestation.

Priest cleared of abuse allegation: 'I hold no animosity'

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 15, 2018

By Lou Michel

One of two priests cleared of sexual misconduct allegations and returned to active ministry by the Buffalo Diocese said he holds no ill will toward Bishop Richard J. Malone or the woman who accused him of forcibly kissing her 30 years ago when she was 19.

"I'm happy with the way things turned out," Monsignor Frederick R. Leising, 73, said Saturday. "And I really hold no animosity, not for the Bishop or the woman who made the allegations."

Rev. Roy Herberger, 76, the other priest, expressed concern that his name was publicly released when the allegation was made against him with no evidence.

"I still don't understand why the diocese went public and put me on administrative leave, even though there was no evidence," Herberger said Saturday. "Anyone can make a phone call or have a lawyer write a letter."

More is required from the Catholic Church hierarchy

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

December 14, 2018

By Tim O’Malley and Tom Johnson

Along with other lay people, we have devoted much effort over the past four years trying to help the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reground itself as an institution worthy of public trust. Achieving cultural change is difficult. Disappointingly, past church leaders too often failed to fulfill their most basic moral obligations, leaving victims to endure ongoing pain and eroding trust in the church.

Nevertheless, despite tragic wrongdoings, we see the work the Catholic Church does for our community, including providing schools for children of all means, meals and shelter for homeless people of all faiths, as well as other services. Our communities also benefit in many ways from the efforts of honorable priests and laity. It is worthy of the effort needed to right the ship.

Like the Catholic Church nationally, this archdiocese has had its share of tragedies linked to clergy abuse, resulting in civil lawsuits, bankruptcy and even criminal prosecution. In the last few years, steps have been taken to earn back the trust of victim-survivors and the public. Lay people with suitable skills are in place to help create safe environments and to objectively address allegations of clergy misconduct. Other archdiocesan initiatives make clear the necessity of tapping into lay expertise. We need these demonstrable actions.

Pastor who sexually preyed on girl now helps her case against prominent Modesto church

MODESTO (CA)
Modesto Bee

December 14, 2018

By Garth Stapley

A former youth pastor who sexually abused a girl three decades ago is cooperating now with her attorneys in a lawsuit against Modesto’s CrossPoint Church, formerly First Baptist Church.

In return for his help, Brad Tebbutt was dropped as a defendant in the lawsuit brought by Jennifer Roach, now 47 and living in Washington state.

“During the course of discovery, Jennifer realized that Brad did make a genuine apology and she has genuinely forgiven him. And, he has cooperated with the litigation,” her Sacramento lawyer, Joseph George, said Friday in a telephone interview.

Syracuse Catholic Bishop was right to reveal names of accused priests

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post Standard

December 16, 2018

At last, the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has released the names of 57 priests, alive and dead, who were credibly accused of sexual abuse since 1950. For the first time, we can begin to see the scale of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in our midst. It is horrifying.

Two weeks ago, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham wisely reversed his previous stance of keeping the names of accused priests secret unless the victims went public first. Cunningham, who is nearing retirement, said he changed his mind after concluding that "this practice has become a roadblock to moving our local Church forward."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse today released a list of priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

Indeed, trust in the church and its leadership has been damaged, perhaps irreparably, by their past failures to protect children from predator priests, a lack of transparency and accountability to parents and parishioners, and hostility to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Sixteen years after the Boston Globe first exposed the clergy sex abuse crisis in the church, the scandals keep on coming. Just this week, an Australian cardinal was convicted of molesting two children in the 1990s. In July, an American cardinal resigned after being accused of improper sexual behavior toward seminarians. Pope Francis has called bishops to a meeting in February at the Vatican to address it.

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS (TX)
Associated Press

December 15, 2018

By Ryan Tarinelli

The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a former Baylor University student accused of rape to avoid jail time holds three degrees from Baylor. The criminal district attorney overseeing the case holds two. The prosecutor who agreed to the plea agreement graduated from Baylor law school.

Local leaders say those connections to the world's largest Baptist university cast doubt on the handling of the criminal case against ex-Phi Delta Theta president Jacob Walter Anderson, who was accused of repeatedly raping a woman outside a 2016 fraternity party.

Anderson was indicted on sexual assault charges, but the agreement allowed him to plead no contest to unlawful restraint. He must seek counseling and pay a $400 fine but will not have to register as a sex offender. His lawyers say a statement from the woman, which she read in court, is riddled with misrepresentations and distortions. Prosecutors have defended the plea deal.

Archdiocese of Hartford announces it will release names of accused pedophile priests, conduct probe into decades of abuse cases

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

December 16, 2018

By Dave Altimari

Following the path of many Catholic Church leaders across the country, Archbishop Leonard Blair announced this weekend that he will release next month the names of all clergy from the Archdiocese of Hartford credibly accused of sexual abuse and hire an independent party to review the church’s personnel files going back to 1953.

“I wish to announce in January the Archdiocese of Hartford will be publishing the names of archdiocesan clergy who have been the object of lawsuits and legal settlements, or otherwise credibly accused, and the names of religious order priests and priests from other dioceses who have been credibly accused of an offense that took place in the Archdiocese,” Blair wrote in a seven-paragraph statement.

Blair went on to say that the archdiocese will be hiring someone to do an “independent review of all our clergy files to identify any additional names from the present going back to 1953,” which is the year the Archdiocese of Hartford was established.

“The publication of names will be updated as any new information becomes available. Finally, the Archdiocese will be publishing the financial outlay that has been made as a result of the abuse of minors by clergy and the sources of these funds,” Blair wrote.

Catholic Church: Religious orders kept reports of child sex abuse secret for years

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA Today

December 16, 2018

By Lindsay Schnell

Bill Reidy says he remembers every detail about the office where he was repeatedly raped by the Jesuit priest who served as his academic adviser at Loyola Academy, a private Catholic school just outside Chicago.

A ficus tree in one corner, a desk chair in another. The credenza covered in photos. The door that opened inward and stayed locked.

While other students learned about literature or chemistry, Reidy says, he was called “every single day” into the private quarters of the Rev. Donald J. O’Shaughnessy, a bedroom that doubled as his office. Each meeting ended with the same nauseating ritual, Reidy says.

“He would always make sure he had a soda in his fridge, and he’d give it to me and say, ‘I want you to drink this and get the taste out of your mouth,’ ” says Reidy, 57, who lives in a Chicago suburb. “Then he’d send me back to class.”

Reidy was hurt and confused. Did other students know? Were other priests at Loyola Academy – a school his father insisted on sending him to because he believed a Catholic education was the best education – aware? Were they laughing at him?

On the weekends, when his parents forced him to go to church with his family, Reidy had to sit in an aisle seat, so he could make an immediate exit. When he walked into Mass, Reidy’s palms went sweaty, and his body shook. He says he flashed back to the time he was gang-raped by O’Shaughnessy and other men at Loyola’s school chapel.

He begged his parents to put him back in public school. When they asked why, Reidy always had the same tortured reply: “I can’t tell you.”

Beyond the horror and panic, Reidy was even more terrified at the consequences O’Shaughnessy allegedly threatened.

Priest admits being a whistle-blower

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

December 17, 2018

By Colleen Heild

A longtime New Mexico Catholic priest announced to parishioners on Sunday that, despite his “vow of loyalty” to the church, he has been a “whistle-blower” who has privately assisted victims of clergy sex abuse and their attorneys “seek justice” for more than two decades.

Most recently, Father Vincent Paul Chávez said he has been assisting two agents with the state Attorney General’s office in their investigation of clergy sex abuse and how the church has responded to it.

Chávez, pastor of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish and Catholic school in Albuquerque, said during his homily at Sunday Mass that it was time to “talk about the elephant in the room” after learning on Saturday that the planned construction of a new cafeteria for his St. Therese school would have to be postponed indefinitely because of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy action filed by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in late November.

Archdiocese officials, in citing the financial burden of priest sex abuse litigation, said in late November that parishes likely wouldn’t be impacted by the bankruptcy reorganization.

Chávez told more than 100 people who attended the 10 a.m. Mass Sunday morning, “I felt the Chapter 11 would not affect the day-to-day operation of our parishes and schools.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram receives hundreds of responses after publishing "Spirit of Fear"

FT. WORTH (TX)
Star Telegram

December 15, 2018

By Neil Nakahodot

After the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a series of stories about sexual misconduct at independent fundamental Baptist churches, the paper received hundreds of responses

Postwar orphans were victims of German clergy abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

December 14, 2018

By Zita Ballinger Fletcher

An investigation by the Diocese of Hildesheim, Germany, is shedding new light on child sex abuse in Catholic children’s homes in the country in the 1950s. A central figure in the inquiry is an esteemed and controversial figure, Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen, a former priest in Nazi-occupied Poland awarded Germany’s highest federal decoration in 1966 for postwar charity work.

Volker Bauerfeld, a spokesman for the diocese, told Catholic News Service the allegations against Janssen have “deeply shaken many people” in the diocese, due to Janssen’s status as “one of the most renowned Hildesheim bishops of modern times.”

Although Janssen and his alleged accomplices are long dead, Bishop Heiner Wilmer, the current bishop, is investigating the matter fully to “bring more light into the darkness.” Wilmer is launching a vigorous inquiry to investigate sexual abuse allegedly committed by Janssen and Catholic orphanage chaplains, with the aim of revealing the truth behind a possible local pedophile ring.

Spain grapples with legacy of clerical sexual abuse crisis

DENVER (CO)
Crux

December 17, 2018

By Inés San Martín

As the clerical sexual abuse scandals continue to work their way through the global church, bishops and religious superiors in Spain are showing similar but also contrasting reactions both to the crime of abuse and the public reactions to it.

During his first remarks as bishop of Avila during his ordination, Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, former secretary and spokesman of the bishops’ conference, said on Saturday that there’s an attempt to “extend an unfair veil of suspicion over the immense multitude of priests.”

He was referring to the recent publication, in several local newspapers, of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and subsequent silence and cover-up. Seeing this “veil of suspicion,” Gil Tamayo said he wanted to offer some words of “encouragement” and “support” for the local clergy, whom he thanked for their service.

“Especially in these moments in which, seeing the sins and crimes that have been committed by the ecclesial community and for which we apologize and work towards their eradication and prevention,” there’s an attempt to discredit the many good priests “who serve God and the people in a faithful, self-denying and exemplary way,” he said, to a cheering crowd.

$10M lawsuit: 2 priests sexually abused same Yona boy in '70s

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

December 17, 2018

Bt Haidee V. Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard and Father Antonio A. Cruz sexually abused the same Yona boy on separate occasions in the early 1970s, according to a $10 million lawsuit filed in local court on Monday.

The two priests were assigned to different parishes on Guam in the 1970s, but on various occasions were assigned to conduct Mass at the Saint Francis Church in Yona. Both priests are now deceased.

More: Religious order Carmelites added as defendant in Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits

More: Lawsuit: Father Antonio C. Cruz, 2 others told altar boy he would go to hell if he told of sex abuse

The two priests, on separate occasions, sexually abused and molested the boy in their individual cars after offering the boy a ride home. Cruz also tried to rape the boy in the car, after abusing him, according to the lawsuit.

The boy, identified in court documents only as J.C.G. to protect his privacy, was a young parishioner who helped clean the Yona church after Mass at his mother's instructions.

How Should the Church Address Clerical Misconduct With Adults?

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

December 14, 2018

By Peter Jesserer Smith

Standing at a payphone in Rome, calling his wife in tears, was not how the newly ordained Catholic deacon planned to end a 10-day pilgrimage in Rome.

On a misty night in February 2006, Deacon Mark King called his wife, Susan, to explain he had just escaped a drunken sexual attack from their pastor, who had subjected him to days of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances, at a restaurant.

Upon his return to the United States, Deacon King and his wife met with diocesan officials the next morning, where chancery officials prepared his statement, witnessed by the diocesan investigator and notarized by the chancellor of the diocese, documenting the aggressive sexual harassment, sexual advances and propositioning he had received from Father Greg Mullaney, then-pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Groton, Connecticut, during that trip.

Speaking to the Register more than 12 years later, Deacon King said he was very concerned that he might not be the only person targeted by the priest for sex. According to the deacon’s statement, the priest had made many immoral, suggestive and sexually disparaging comments about fellow clergy and laity, including parish employees.

December 16, 2018

Autores de libro sobre crisis de Iglesia chilena: la jerarquía falló

[Book authors on Chilean Church crisis: the hierarchy failed]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 15, 2018

By M. J. Navarrete

“Católicos y perplejos”, la primera publicación sobre el tema, será lanzado esta semana en la U. Católica.

Joaquín García Huidobro, académico de la Universidad de los Andes: “No se resuelve cambiando un par de personas” ¿Cree que una de las “piedras de tope” para que se resuelva la crisis son los cardenales Ezzati y Errázuriz?

"Juzguen ustedes": las primeras palabras de John O'Reilly tras llegar a Roma luego de ser expulsado del país

["You judge": John O'Reilly's first words after arriving in Rome following his expulsion from Chile]

CHILE
El Mostrador

December 15, 2018

"Dejo todo en las manos de Dios", alcanzó a decir antes de ser retirado del aeropuerto.

El sacerdote John O'Reilly arribó a Roma tras ser expulsado de Chile luego de cometer abusos sexuales contra menores. A su arribo a Europa, tuvo escuetas palabras, las que fueron captadas por el noticiero de Canal 13. O'Reilly indicó que "juzguen ustedes" ante la pregunta de si es un pedófilo.

Red de sobrevivientes y expulsión de O’Reilly: “No es un final feliz. Para nada”.

[Network of survivors on O'Reilly's expulsion: "It's not a happy ending. No way".]

CHILE
The Clinic

December 14, 2018

Esta mañana, el sacerdote John O’Reilly dejó Chile. Lo hizo después de cumplir la pena de cuatro años de libertad vigilada dictada por un tribunal civil, el cual en 2014 lo halló culpable de abusos sexuales en contra de una alumna del colegio Cumbres. Pero para la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico de Chile, su salida no es suficiente: exigen una justicia a tiempo.

December 15, 2018

SNAP wants KC diocese to post names of priests accused of sexual abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

December 15, 2018

By Jill Toyoshiba

A group that represents survivors of clergy sex abuse called on the dioceses of Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., to post online the names of religious leaders credibly accused of abuse. Some dioceses already are.

A group that represents survivors of clergy sex abuse called on the dioceses of Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., to post online the names of religious leaders credibly accused of abuse.

David Clohessy, the St. Louis volunteer director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said some dioceses have already done so, including two in Missouri. But not nearly enough.

“Most bishops say as little as possible,” Clohessy said at a news conference Saturday in downtown Kansas City outside the Catholic chancery offices. “Most bishops post these lists only in the face of intense public pressure.”

He said some only post the lists when forced to as part of the terms of legal judgments or settlements.

Catholic Diocese of Birmingham releases names of 6 priests accused of child sex abuse

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
WVTM 13 Digital

December 14, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Birmingham today released the names of priests accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Robert Wilford said one of the priests, Charles Cross, abused him as a teenager in Birmingham in the 1960s. "You don't forget about it. You never will. I don't really think about it in detail every day. There's not a day in my life that some thought doesn't pop up in my head," he said.

Wilford said he suffered from depression, alcoholism, and post traumatic stress disorder and came forward decades later. "I was just very irate and decided to go ahead and make it my mission to force Cross out of the priesthood, so that's why I came forward in 2002," he said.

Accomplished victim advocates picked for NJ Catholic Church sex abuse survivors fund

NEW JERSEY
North Jersey Record

December 14, 2018

By Joshua Jongsma

Two advocates who have set up compensation funds for Sept. 11 and Boston Marathon bombing victims will lead up the efforts for survivors of sex abuse by the Catholic Church in New Jersey.

Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros put together similar funds in New York and Pennsylvania. Together they will design and run the program in the state, the Roman Catholic Bishops of New Jersey stated Friday. They were also administrators for the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund.

The program will be funded by the five Catholic dioceses of New Jersey: Newark, Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Metuchen. The Catholic Church of New Jersey has paid $50 million so far in settlements to abuse survivors.

Catholic Diocese of Birmingham names North Alabama priests accused of sexually abusing minors

BIRMINGHAM (AL)
WHNT-TV

December 14, 2018

By Chelsea Brentzel

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham released a list of names of priests accused of sexually abusing minors. The press release is asking anyone with new information to come forward.

The list does not include where the accused clergy served or the allegations against them.

Charles V. Cross
Ordained in 1960, removed from ministry in 1985, forced to retire without privileges in 2002

John J. (Jack) Ventura
Ordained in 1968, transferred to Diocese of Birmingham in 1974, removed from ministry after allegations received in 1985

Charles Bordenca (died 2017)
Ordained in 1955, removed from ministry in Diocese of Birmingham in 1989

Kevin Cooke

Ordained in 1978, removed from ministry in 2002

Jonathan (John) Franklin
Ordained in 1956, removed from ministry in the mid 1980s

Roger Lott
Ordained in 1954, removed from ministry in 1997

Priest abuse investigation: Shredded documents, hundreds of files seized

HOUSTON (TX)
KHOU-TV

December 14, 2018

By Jeremy Rogalski and Tina Macias

Most files are only identified by a last name, but among the few full names listed, at least six are priests who have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

Bags of shredded documents, electronics and hundreds of files were among the items investigators seized from a Montgomery County treatment center as part of its sexual assault investigation into a local priest.

Listed among the items taken from the Shalom Center in Splendora in September are files for at least 200 people, according to an evidence log filed in the case and obtained by KHOU. The vast majority of the files are only identified by a last name, but among the few full names listed, at least six are priests who have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

It’s unclear how many of the other people listed are priests or why they were seeking treatment. The Shalom Center offers residential, sabbatical and outpatient programs for priests, deacons and male and female members of a religious order.

The center has 20 residential beds and treats more than 400 people a year, according to the Official Catholic Directory. It offers treatment for, “psychological difficulties, interpersonal conflicts, emotional or sexual problems, grief and loss issues, stress and exhaustion, transitional trauma, sexual abuse, addictions,” according to its website.

Former Conroe priest Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, who’s facing four counts of indecency with a child, was treated at the Shalom Center in 2001, and documents about the center found in La Rosa-Lopez’s bedroom reference one of his accusers, according to the search warrant.

El obispo de Salamanca mantuvo tres años a un cura pederasta confeso que el Vaticano pedía apartar

[The bishop of Salamanca allowed accused priest to keep working for three years despite Vatican request]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 15, 2018

By Íñigo Domínguez

En la web de la parroquia el sacerdote aparece concelebrando misa con el jefe de la diócesis y rodeado de niños recibiendo a los Reyes Magos

El obispo de Salamanca mantuvo tres años, entre 2011 y 2014, a Isidro López Santos, un cura denunciado canónicamente por abuso de menores en 2011, que ya había confesado su culpabilidad y contra el que el Vaticano había ordenado dos veces actuar de forma cautelar hasta la sentencia del proceso eclesiástico. Pero el obispo Carlos López no hizo nada, tan solo le jubiló al cabo de un año y medio, para colocarle en otra parroquia como ayudante de un cura amigo suyo donde continuó con su labor y en contacto con menores. Era la parroquia de La Anunciación-San Mateo, y el blog de esta iglesia demuestra que durante esos dos años, hasta que fue condenado, ejerció como sacerdote a todos los efectos. Es más, en mayo de 2013 aparece en una fotografía concelebrando una confirmación con el propio obispo de Salamanca, que por tanto no podía ignorar que seguía con su actividad. Se ve al cura en celebraciones, comuniones, bautizos, unciones de enfermos, y hasta recibiendo a los Reyes Magos con los niños del barrio. Hay al menos una docena de fechas documentadas con fotografías en el periodo en el que se le suponía apartado. El obispado de Salamanca se ha negado a responder a las preguntas sobre este caso.

Commentary: Cardinal Pell’s Conviction

Church Militant

December 15, 2018

By Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.

Can't fight Vatican's financial corruption or liberal agenda anymore

Cardinal George Pell is appealing the verdict from the Australian jury that found him guilty of actually committing sex abuse. Even if the verdict of guilty is subsequently overturned, it seems certain that Pell will no longer be able to fight financial corruption in the Vatican or the liberal agenda pushing reception of Holy Communion to those living contrary to Christ's teachings.

It's worth recalling Pell's dire warning he gave in 2014 concerning the extreme goals of liberal prelates at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

"Communion for the divorced and remarried," Pell said, "is only a tip of the iceberg. It's a stalking horse. They want wider changes, recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions."

Las órdenes religiosas se citan para buscar justicia contra la pederastia

[Spain's religious orders are urged to seek justice against pedophilia]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 15, 2018

By Julio Núñez

La Conferencia Española de Religiosos reconoce la “gravedad” y la “ocultación” de los delitos y trata con los superiores de las congregaciones la evaluación psicológica de los curas

La Conferencia Española de Religiosos (Confer) ha llamado a los superiores mayores de todas las órdenes y congregaciones religiosas del país para tratar los abusos sexuales a menores en la Iglesia católica, un escándalo que está socavando la imagen de la institución en todo el mundo. El primer encuentro se celebró el pasado miércoles, según un comunicado hecho público este viernes por la institución, en el que la entidad reconoce la “gravedad y la culpabilidad” de estos delitos, “el tratamiento de ocultación que se les ha dado” y se solidariza con las víctimas “en su dolor y reclamo de justicia”. La publicación del documento llegó un día después de que los jesuitas de Cataluña confirmasen que van a investigar los abusos sexuales cometidos en colegios de la orden los últimos 60 años, tras la reciente difusión por EL PAÍS de varios casos que afectan a su orden. La mayoría de denuncias de pederastia que han llegado a este periódico atañen a congregaciones religiosas.

Cardinal Pell Felled by Abuse Claims — But Are They Credible?

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Church Militant

December 14, 2018

By an Australian correspondent in Sydney

Cardinal George Pell, formerly the Pope's right-hand man for Vatican finances and the face of the Catholic Church in Australia, has been convicted of abusing two choir boys when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

Pell has categorically denied the allegations.

Although this is the biggest news story in Australia, it is not on the front page of a single newspaper here. The state of Victoria, where Pell was tried, has imposed a suppression order that bans all reporting and comment. So Australians are resorting to overseas websites and Twitter for news.

The full-page headline in The Daily Telegraph, of Sydney, one of Australia's biggest newspapers, was "It's the Nation's Biggest Story" — "yet we can't publish it." So there are no facts to discuss — other than the brutal fact that a cardinal has been convicted in a court of law for abusing boys. Who, when, where, how, why are all matters of surmise.

Column: With his treatment of Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis shows his clericalism

National Catholic Reporter

December 15, 2018

by Jamie Manson

About two weeks into his pontificate in March 2013, Pope Francis uttered a phrase that would quickly become one of his greatest hits in his canon of quotes: "This I ask you: be shepherds, with the 'odor of the sheep.' "

Francis spoke those words to thousands of clerics who had gathered at the Vatican for the annual chrism Mass, a liturgy traditionally held on the morning of Holy Thursday that celebrates the holiness of the priesthood.

The phrase became a common refrain for any progressive Catholic testifying to the promise of Francis' pontificate.

But the metaphor never sat well with me. Sure, Francis was suggesting that members of the clergy not stay aloof and removed from the people they serve. But what did it say about the laity? Are we a lost, unwashed and simple herd who were utterly dependent on our priests and bishops for guidance?

El obispo de Ávila afirma que se quiere extender “un velo de sospecha” por los casos de pederastia

[New bishop of Ávila thanks innocent priests for their service, assures them church is working to curb abuse]

MADRID (SPAIN)

December 15, 2018
El País

By Julio Núñez

Gil Tamayo, exsecretario de la Conferencia Episcopal, estima que desde la comunidad eclesial se ha pedido perdón y se trabaja para erradicar los abusos

Durante su primera alocución como obispo de Ávila este sábado, José María Gil Tamayo, ex secretario general y exportavoz de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, ha afirmado que “se quiere extender injustamente un velo de sospecha sobre la multitud inmensa de sacerdotes” con las recientes publicaciones sobre los casos de pederastia que se han cometido y silenciado dentro de la Iglesia en las últimas décadas. Por este motivo, Gil Tamayo ha querido dirigir en la catedral de Ávila unas palabras de “aliento” y “apoyo” a todos los curas inocentes que puedan sentirse afectados. “¡Gracias, hermanos sacerdotes por vuestro servicio!”, ha exclamado. El exsecretario de la Conferencia Episcopal también ha subrayado que, desde la comunidad eclesial, piden perdón por los casos de pederastia y ha asegurado que “están trabajando en su erradicación y prevención”.

Sobreseimiento definitivo de Ricardo Ezzati se discutirá el 30 de enero

[Definitive dismissal of Ricardo Ezzati will be discussed on January 30]

CHILE
Soy Chile

December 15, 2018

La defensa había solicitado el procedimiento el pasado 30 de octubre, pero aún no se había fijado la fecha de la audiencia. El arzobispo de Santiago es investigado por eventuales delitos de encubrimiento en casos de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia.

El próximo 30 de enero se discutirá si el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, será sobreseído o no de manera definitiva en la causa donde es investigado por eventuales encubrimientos de delitos de abuso sexual, cometidos por miembros de la iglesia catolica.

John O’Reilly: luego de 34 años, el legionario de Cristo abandona Chile

[John O'Reilly: after 34 years, the Legionaries of Christ priest leaves Chile]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 15, 2018

By M.J. Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

Tras cumplir su condena por abuso y ante el inminente decreto de expulsión que emitiría el Ministerio del Interior, el sacerdote dejó hoy el país y viajó a Italia. Llega a una residencia de su congregación en Vía Aurelia, Roma. Como tiene antecedentes penales, su defensa trabajará para que en el futuro pueda regresar.

A las 12.40 horas de este sábado, en el vuelo de ALItalia 689 que despegó rumbo a Roma, Italia, el sacerdote John O’Reilly abandonó Chile desde el Aeropuerto de Santiago, 34 años después de que llegó. Lo acompañaba el superior de los Legionarios de Cristo para Chile y Argentina, el presbítero Gabriel Bárcena.

December 14, 2018

Un “depredador” en un piso con menores y en dos colegios públicos en Salamanca

["Predator" priest expelled from Miami worked with teens in Spain for years]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

December 14, 2018

By Íñigo Domínguez

El cura expulsado de Miami tras una denuncia vivió años con adolescentes e invitaba a los estudiantes a su casa

El obispado de Salamanca no solo movió de pueblo en pueblo durante dos décadas a Francisco Carreras, el sacerdote español expulsado de la archidiócesis de Miami en 1981 tras una denuncia de abusos y enviado de vuelta a su provincia, sino que también lo asignó como profesor a dos colegios públicos de la ciudad. Carreras, de cuyos antecedentes fue informado el obispado desde EE UU y que en una de las denuncias posteriores fue definido como "depredador sexual", ha sido acusado por tres víctimas localizadas por EL PAÍS en Sequeros y Calzada de Valdunciel. Ahora sale a la luz, según confirman cinco antiguos alumnos y un exprofesor, que también fue docente de religión en el colegio Campo Charro, entre los ochenta y los noventa, y el Rufino Blanco, en la década de los noventa y hasta 2000. Hasta ahora solo constaba su paso por el centro privado Lorenzo Milani.

Laicos de Osorno llaman a visibilizar trabajo de comisión que investiga abusos en Iglesia Católica

[Lay people of Osorno ask for visibility into commission investigating abuses in Catholic Church]

CHILE
BioBioChile

December 14, 2018

By Nicole Briones and Eduardo Palacios

La Agrupación de Laicos de Osorno llamó a visibilizar el trabajo de la comisión que recepciona denuncias de posibles abusos dentro de la Iglesia Católica. El vocero de la agrupación, Mario Vargas, sostuvo que la instancia se transforma en el único instrumento válido para reconciliar a los fieles católicos, entendiendo que existen casos que fueron reportados y puestos en conocimiento de las autoridades eclesiásticas.

Abogado de John O’Reilly afirma que realizará acciones legales para que el sacerdote pueda volver a Chile

[O'Reilly's lawyer plans legal action so the priest can return to Chile]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 14, 2018

By Sebastián Rivas

Cristián Muga señaló que "no existió decreto de expulsión" y que la idea es que en un futuro quede habilitado para regresar al país.

“Se nos encomendó acciones legales que le permitan en el futuro volver al país. No existió decreto de expulsión”. Con esas palabras, el abogado del sacerdote John O’Reilly, Cristián Muga, explicó a radio Universo la lógica que seguirán sus acciones luego de que el religioso abandonara Chile este viernes rumbo a Roma, tras cumplir una condena por abusos sexuales contra una menor de edad.

“Les ruego que no me dejen abandonado”: El mensaje de despedida de O’Reilly a sus cercanos antes de abandonar Chile

[Priest O'Reilly leaves Chile for Rome, asking friends: "I beg you not to abandon me"]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 14, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez

El sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo envió un texto a sus amigos en el que también señala que, "con el corazón detrozado, muy confundido y con una salud debilitada, me despido con inmensa gratitud". El religioso debió salir del país tras una resolución dando cuenta del cumplimiento de una condena por abuso.

“Amigos: con el corazón destrozado y muy confundido y una salud debilitada me despido con inmensa gratitud, aprecio y admiración. La Fe y la Esperanza en el Señor quedan intactas, a pesar del inmenso dolor que oprime la mente y corazón, casi hasta la muerte”.

Priest heads to Rome after serving sentence for child abuse in Chile

CHILE/ROME
Reuters

December 14, 2018

By Antonio De la Jara

An Irish-born priest, who was convicted of sexually abusing a girl in his care at a religious school in Santiago but served no jail time for the offense, left Chile on Friday for Rome after serving a four-year sentence.

Critics have long pointed to the case of the Rev. John O’Reilly as an example of leniency in a country where the Roman Catholic church has long held powerful sway in politics and society.

A judge in 2014 sentenced O’Reilly, a leader of the Legionaries of Christ religious order, to four years of “supervised liberty” for abusing a preteen girl at the private Colegio Cumbres in the affluent neighborhood of Las Condes between 2007 and 2009.

O’Reilly completed his sentence on Dec. 10, according to a statement issued by the Legionaries of Christ on Friday, and Chilean courts subsequently expelled him from the country.

Max Lucado Reveals Past Sexual Abuse at Evangelical #MeToo Summit

CAROL STREAM (IL)
Christianity Today

December 13, 2018

By Morgan Lee

(UPDATED) Beth Moore and other leading Christian survivors don’t just want to take the church to task. They also believe it plays a key role in helping victims heal.

[Editor’s note: This post has been updated with comments from afternoon speakers, including Max Lucado, Nancy Beach, and Ed Stetzer.]

“I am a survivor. My home was my unsafe place. My church was my harbor.”

Growing up as a victim of abuse, Bible teacher Beth Moore was grateful that she could escape to her church. But in retrospect, she wished it could have done more.

“I have often wondered what a difference it would have made if that same harbor had not only been a place to hide, but a place to heal,” Moore said during a summit held Thursday at Wheaton College to address the evangelical church’s response to abuse in the wake of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements.

The Southern Baptist ministry leader has repeatedly spoken out on the issue over the past year, joining a wave of evangelicals calling on churches to more explicitly condemn, prevent, and help the victims of sexism, harassment, and abuse.

'We are here to gather our courage': Wheaton College summit addresses sex abuse in evangelical churches

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

December 14, 2018

By Katlyn Smith

It's been a year of pain, fear and strained relationships for Nancy Beach.

The first female teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, Beach was one of the women whose allegations of sexual misconduct against founder Bill Hybels led to his early retirement, the resignations of the entire elder board and the ongoing turmoil at the South Barrington-based megachurch.

"I had no idea, no way to foresee what would happen when I joined my voice with the voices of eventually nine other women in calling out the abuse of power and sexual sin in the life of our pastor," she said.

Beach joined her voice Thursday with some of the most high-profile figures in evangelicalism at a summit convened by Wheaton College. The Billy Graham Center held the one-day gathering to address sexual abuse and harassment within the church.

"We are here to gather our courage. We are here to face that some of our systems have created susceptibility and unanswered culpability," said Beth Moore, a prominent Bible teacher and author. "We are here to face that, without clarity of teaching and due diligence in training, we have on our hands environments where victimization thrives."

Even before the opening of the GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Violence, the event faced criticism from activists behind the #ChurchToo movement, an offshoot of the #MeToo movement that toppled figures in Hollywood and politics.

Cardinal George Pell Reportedly Convicted Of Sex Abuse Amid Gag Order In Australia

AUSTRALIA
National Public Radio

December 13, 2018

By Bill Chappell

Australian news outlets are grappling with how to handle one of the country's biggest news stories of the year — even though a judge has barred them from reporting the details. The story revolves around Cardinal George Pell, a Vatican insider who was reportedly convicted of sexually abusing minors this week, and public interest in the case has been intense.

A jury in the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne where Pell, 77, was once archbishop, is said to have found the cardinal guilty of "five charges of 'historical child sexual offenses' that go back decades," according to the Jesuit magazine America. Both that outlet and the Catholic News Agency say they have confirmed the initial report of Pell's conviction that was published by the Daily Beast. All of the outlets are citing sources who either have knowledge of the case or are "close to the cardinal."

Australian journalists have been forced to either ignore reports of a verdict or refer to it in only the broadest terms. News Corp Australia, which owns a number of print and online outlets in the country, has said it will challenge the court's suppression order.

Former Miss. priest blogged about sex abuse coverups. Now he’s been ‘credibly accused.’

BILOXI (MS)
Sun Herald

December 13, 2018

By Anita Lee

The first principal at Mercy Cross High School in Biloxi, a Jesuit priest named Francis Landwermeyer, in later years railed against the coverup of pedophilia in the Catholic church but did not live to see himself publicly identified as a priest who abused minors.

Landwermeyer’s name was on a list of 42 Jesuit priests, scholastics and brothers whom the religious order identified as having been credibly accused of abusing minors or vulnerable adults.

His name appeared with those facing more than one credible allegation of abuse.

Landwermeyer is accused of abusing minors in the 60s and 70s. No allegations surfaced during the short year he spent at Mercy Cross, the inaugural 1981-82 year of the former co-ed school lost to Hurricane Katrina on Biloxi’s Back Bay.

The Jesuits’ Central and Southern Province, which released the list, said it is trying to protect victims’ identities by keeping private the specific dates and locations of the abuse to protect victims.

Landwermeyer came to Biloxi from Loyola University in New Orleans, where he was a visiting professor. But he didn’t stay long. Accounts from the Sun Herald say the board had some reservations about Landwermeyer’s performance at the end of his first year, but rather than work to improve, he chose to resign.

“There is no confidence in my ability or trust in my integrity among the persons most significant for my effectiveness,” Landwermeyer wrote in his resignation letter in May 1982.

Vermont Catholic Church faces new priest misconduct lawsuit

VERMONT
VT Digger

December 11, 2018

By Kevin O'Connor

A lawyer who has secured more than $30 million in priest misconduct settlements from Vermont’s Catholic Church has found a decades-old case he believes can be tried under the state’s narrow statute of limitations.

Jerome O’Neill has filed civil papers in U.S. District Court in Burlington on behalf of a former Vermont man now living in Texas who alleges he was sexually abused as a child by Alfred Willis, a former priest for the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese from 1975 until his dismissal in 1985.

Winter Garden Massage Envy target of lawsuit alleging sexual assault by massage therapist

TAMPA (FL)
WFLA

December 10, 2018

By Mark Douglas

Massage Envy is the target of yet another lawsuit involving allegations of sexual assault by a massage therapist.

This lawsuit involves a Winter Garden franchise where a previous therapist recently pleaded guilty in another assault case. That therapist, Cesar Guerrero, received 15 years of probation.

“Lightning doesn’t strike twice in one place often. What are the odds of that happening,” said Tampa attorney Joseph Alvarez, who filed the Massage Envy lawsuit in Hillsborough Circuit court on behalf of his unnamed client.

Alvarez sued Massage Envy a few year ago due to another massage therapist who was simply fired from a franchise in Clearwater when allegations arose and went on to assault other women while working for unrelated massage businesses.

“They’re synonymous with the Catholic Church,” Alvarez said. “It’s a head in the sand approach. ‘We don't know what’s going on, we can’t control this,’ but the reality is they control everything that happens in and around that business.”

Earlier this year, Sarasota police arrested a Massage Envy massage therapist following several allegations of sexual misconduct.

Source Of Settlements On Sex Abuse/ Fee For 'nullity'

ALBANY (NY)
Catholic News Service

December 13, 2018

By Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. The news reports of settlements made in the millions of dollars to victims of clergy sex abuse trouble me. Were there secret assets from wills and estates on reserve for that purpose? Where did all that money come from? (Metuchen, New Jersey)
A. National Public Radio reported in August 2018 that dioceses and religious orders in the United States had thus far paid settlements totaling more than $3 billion to victims of clergy sexual abuse. The settlements have come, not from any "secret assets," but from a combination of cash, proceeds from the sale of land and buildings, and from insurance payments.
What must be said first, though, is that no financial amount is sufficient to compensate victims for their suffering. As Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in May 2018 when announcing a settlement of $210 million in restitution to several hundred survivors, "I recognize that the abuse stole so much from you -- your childhood, your innocence, your safety, your ability to trust and, in many cases, your faith. ... The church let you down, and I'm very sorry."
That settlement fund came from approximately $170 million from insurance carriers as well as the sale of diocesan assets, including its three chancery buildings on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul. The plan stipulates that a minimum of $50,000 be awarded to each claimant. In 2010, when the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, settled 26 lawsuits for nearly $18 million, it put its diocesan administration building and a former Catholic summer camp on the real estate market to help cover the cost.

NEW ORLEANS DEACON FACES THREE NEW LAWSUITS FOR SEX ABUSE

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
ChurchMilitant.com

December 13, 2018

By Anita Carey

Three new victims are suing over abuse they suffered as young boys at the hands of a suspected serial pedophile.

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday is the fourth one alleging homosexual abuse by the former archdiocese of New Orleans deacon, George F. Brignac. All four cases stemmed from Brignac's tenure at Holy Rosary School in New Orleans, Lousiana. The first suit was settled by the archdiocese for $500,000 in May.

The three new allegations date from the 1980s, and Brignac's attorney, Martin Regan, told The New Orleans Advocate that his client "has denied the allegations and he's not been charged or convicted of any criminal offense."

While two of the victims have not come forward publicly, Morris Daniels told his story to The New Orleans Advocate to showcase the Church's failure to stop the abuse. Daniels said, "They could've done something about it but they didn't."

"They didn't take care of us as kids. They just let it happen," he added.

Lawsuit: Teen raped by Salesian priest in 1970s

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

December 12, 2018

In a new lawsuit, a man claims a Salesian priest in Marrero raped him. The suit was filed Wednesday at Orleans Parish Civil Court against the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Archbishop Gregory Aymond.

The alleged victim in the new lawsuit says he was 17 at the time of the crime. The suit doesn’t identify the man but names him as “CJ Doe.” He says he met the priest, Salvatore Isgro or “Father Sam,” in 1979 while working at a local hospital to save money for a class ring. That summer, he says Father Sam asked him to care for a Salesian Brother, a double amputee who lived at the Salesians’ residence at Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero.

At the end of each day, the man says he would pick up a check signed by Father Sam. The lawsuit claims that in November of that year, as the alleged victim went to pick up his check, Father Sam came from behind and put a vial filled with what smelled like ammonia under his nose. The suit claims CJ Doe became dizzy and disoriented, and that’s when the priest pulled down the alleged victim’s pants and raped him.

According to the suit, that was the last time CJ Doe visited at the Salesians’ residence.

Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep right to shed light on secret sin

TACOMA (WA)
The News Tribune

December 13, 2018

Editorial Board

Bellarmine Preparatory School, a Tacoma institution since 1928, turned a harsh but necessary spotlight on itself last Friday when it shared information on 23 disgraced Catholic priests and non-ordained brothers previously assigned to the Bellarmine community. All were “credibly accused” of sexual abuse at some point in their Jesuit careers.

Publicly identifying these alleged offenders was the right thing to do. In fact, it was long overdue. Silence and secrecy should no longer be an option. As Bellarmine President Robert Modarelli said in a statement, for too long this scandal has been allowed to “fester unchecked.”

The private school just off South Union Avenue took a lesson from its own Jesuit catechism: Covering up sin only invites more of it.

To date, there is no information tying these men to crimes in the Bellarmine community, and Modarelli says no victims had come forward as of Thursday. It’s unclear how many of the men worked on campus versus serving in other local Jesuit ministries, but all lived within proximity of thousands of area children.

Deposition of LDS Church president sought in sex abuse lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
FOX 13

December 13, 2018

By Ben Winslow

The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being sought for a deposition in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse involving his daughter and son-in-law.

In a motion filed in federal court, an attorney representing six unnamed plaintiffs is demanding an early deposition of LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson.

"Russell N. Nelson is simply a witness," Craig Vernon, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told FOX 13 on Thursday.

The lawsuit accuses President Nelson's daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Richard Miles, of participating in the abuse of children in a Bountiful ward in the 1980s. The allegations claim a number of people were involved in the abuse and suggests it was covered up.

St. Xavier, XU and other schools get list Monday of Jesuit priests accused of abusing kid

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

December 12, 2018

By Dan Horn

St. Xavier High School, Xavier University and other Jesuit institutions in the Midwest will find out next week if they've employed Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The Midwest Province of Jesuits said Wednesday it would release a list naming every priest in the order who has faced a credible accusation of abuse since 1955.

The decision to make the list public comes as the church is under increasing scrutiny from lay Catholics, abuse survivors and criminal prosecutors to resolve a problem that has plagued it for years.

"It's a step in the spirit of transparency and reconciliation," said Mike McGrath, a spokesman for the Midwest Jesuits. "There's been a lot of discussion and debate in the church about this question."

Jesuit churches and schools were notified this week that the list was coming out on Monday, Dec. 17. The list will be posted on the religious order's website at jesuitsmidwest.org, and will include the names of the accused priests, the locations and the dates of the alleged abuse.

Ex-Utah church leader charged with sex abuse, lewdness involving boys

DRAPER (UT)
Deseret News

December 12, 2018

By Pat Reavy

A Draper man described in court documents as a "leader" in a local church was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing a boy in his congregation and being lewd around other boys.

Jeffrey Byron Head, 54, a former bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor.

In May of 2016, Head went to a boy's house unannounced, asking him about a recent surgery to his genitals, according to charging documents. After asking "to see the surgery," the boy pull his pants down and Head inappropriately touched him, the charges state.

A church spokesman said Head was removed from his position after the allegations surfaced.

Judge rules 2 additional women can testify against former youth pastor accused of sexual abuse

MANASSAS (VA)
FOX 5 DC

December 13, 2018

By Lindsay Watts

A former youth pastor accused of sexually abusing a teenager from his Northern Virginia megachurch appeared in court Thursday.

A judge ruled that two additional women can testify in Jordan Baird’s trial – a young woman who Baird was convicted of sexually abusing when she was 16 years old and a third woman who prosecutors say had a sexual relationship with Baird that began when she was underage.

Two additional women who say Baird pursued a sexual relationship with them through the church were not allowed to testify. Those women were not minors at the time.

D.C. judge orders Catholic priest to remain in jail after new abuse allegations

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 13, 2018

By Keith L. Alexander

A D.C. judge on Thursday ordered a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting three parishioners to remain in jail until trial and said it was troubling that church leaders did not take action when complaints against the defendant were raised several years ago, possibly allowing additional incidents of alleged abuse.

Prosecutors said leaders at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Northwest Washington were initially notified in mid-June 2015 of allegations that Urbano Vazquez, an assistant pastor, may have sexually assaulted a teenage girl who was a member of the parish. Alleged assaults involving two other victims occurred between June 2016 and December 2017.

In a hearing before D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet J. McKenna, Vazquez’s attorney argued that his client should be allowed to return to the secluded parish outside of Pittsburgh where he had been staying, saying he would be watched by priests there as he awaited trial. But McKenna rejected the proposal as she questioned the church’s supervision.

England’s most senior Catholic cleric apologises for withholding evidence of child abuse allegations

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

December 13, 2018

By Jack Hardy

The country’s most senior Catholic cleric apologised for withholding evidence of abuse allegations made against JRR Tolkien’s son during his priesthood.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols told an inquiry on Thursday he was focused on settling legal action against the church quickly when, in 2002, he chose not to disclose a key document to a complainant.

The note showed that accusations against Father John Tolkien had been made to the church in 1968 - the only evidence of a contemporaneous complaint made about his behaviour.

But despite lawyers telling Cardinal Nichols - then Archbishop of Birmingham - that the findings supported already credible claims by Birmingham man Christopher Carrie, a briefing paper recorded him saying: “The Archdiocese would prefer not to disclose this document even if it means settling the action.”

On Thursday, the clergyman expressed remorse about his actions as he appeared before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is investigating child protection failings within the Catholic church.

Victim's mom speaks out about daughter's sexual abuse by megachurch youth pastor, aspiring pop star

MANASSAS (VA)
FOX 5 DC

December 12 2018

By Lindsay Watts

For the first time, a Virginia mother is speaking about the sexual abuse her daughter endured at the hands of her church youth pastor.

Earlier this year, Jordan Baird, 27, was convicted on five felony counts of indecent liberties with a minor. He later pleaded no contest to electronic solicitation of a minor. He was sentenced to eight months behind bars and forced to register as a sex offender.

Gloria Harding says her family had attended The Life Church in Manassas for a decade and considered Baird a close family friend. Baird’s parents are the head pastors at the church and employ many members of their family, including Baird’s brothers and his wife.

Church must show solidarity with victims of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
La Croix International

December 14, 2018

Jesuit priest says it is naive to think it is just a Western problem as Pope Francis’ convocation of bishops looms

The Jesuit priest who directed the Holy See Press Office for a decade published an article on Dec. 15 anticipating Pope Francis’ convention of bishops at the Vatican in February on the subject of tackling clerical sex abuse of minors

Father Federico Lombardi, who stepped down from press office post in 2016, titled the story, “In the run-up to the meeting of bishops on the protection of minors.” It ran in La Civilta Cattolica, a biweekly Jesuit magazine.

“The entire Church must feel in solidarity, above all with the victims, with their families, and with their church communities that have been wounded by the [recent clerical sex abuse] scandals,” he wrote in the article, excerpts from which were relayed by Catholic News Service.

Father Lombardi, one of the journal’s contributing writers, also serves as president of the board of directors of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation.

He wrote that attendees at the Feb. 21-24 summit need to share their experiences and best practices to tackle this scourge but also acknowledge that many countries have yet to make significant inroads in preventing the abuse of minors by clergy.

CBS Paid the Actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Harassment Claims

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

December 13, 2018

By Rachel Abrams and John Koblin

In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.

Her time on the set began promisingly. The show’s star, Michael Weatherly — a mainstay of CBS’s prime-time lineup for 15 years — seemed friendly. And a producer and writer on “Bull,” Glenn Gordon Caron, told Ms. Dushku she would be more than a love interest.

Then came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on “Bull” came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation.

After she went through mediation with CBS, the company agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.

Catholic church still breaking its own laws, 16 years after priest abuse scandal exposed

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

December 13, 2018

By Candy Woodall

Attempts to solve many problems found in the Catholic church today can be traced back to a meeting among U.S. bishops in June 2002.

It was five months after the Boston Globe had exposed widespread child sexual abuse by priests and a pattern of cover-ups by the church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gathered in Dallas to vote on a new set of policies.

Those policies gave bishops the power to ban from ministry any priest who abused a child. They also made it a requirement for bishops to report all allegations of sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement and check the backgrounds of all staff in contact with kids.

Additionally, the priests removed from ministry would not be allowed to celebrate Mass publicly, wear clerical uniforms or be known as a priest.

Gone were the confidentiality agreements that had silenced victims and protected abusers.

How the Star-Telegram investigated sex abuse in fundamental Baptist churches

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

December 9, 2018

The Star-Telegram began its investigation into abuse at independent fundamental Baptist churches after two men were arrested in February and March on sexual abuse charges at a Mesquite, Texas, church.

Then the church’s pastor, Bob Ross, was arrested in April on a charge of failure to report child abuse. People who had known Ross from his days as youth director at Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma said he’d ignored their own abuse allegations and worked for a pastor who wielded absolute control over his congregation by telling members that they would die if they left the church or disobeyed him.

As more and more ex-members of the independent fundamental Baptist movement came forward to the Star-Telegram, a pattern emerged: Despite their use of the word independent, many of the churches were connected with other independent fundamental Baptist churches through colleges and pastoral friendships. And those connections, as well as the church culture, allowed abuse to flourish and abusers to move around the country without consequence.

Ex-members connected reporter Sarah Smith to other members on Facebook and through text messages. The Star-Telegram started a Facebook group of ex-members for informal Q&As and for the ex-members to bring up questions and concerns of their own. The newspaper invited former members to submit videos detailing their experiences in their own words.

‘My earliest memory of being molested was when I was 4 years old. It was Sunday school’

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

December 9, 2018

They were terrorized, trapped and even sexually abused. Now, these former members of independent fundamental Baptist churches share how their experiences will affect the rest of their lives.

‘It’s ruined me.’ Former independent fundamental Baptists describe life in the church

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

December 9, 2018

By Sarah Smith

Former members of independent fundamental Baptist churches describe a culture and teachings that affect the rest of their lives. The following quotes are taken from interviews.

GETTING IN

Independent fundamental Baptist church members are either born into the movement and grow up knowing nothing else or are brought into the churches through evangelism. The tight-knit community of motivated people is appealing, especially to vulnerable people.

These ‘men of God’ sexually abused children. Then they found refuge at other churches

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star-Telegram

December 9, 2018

By Sarah Smith

Pastor Bruce Goddard acted immediately when he learned the principal at Faith Baptist Church’s school in Wildomar, California, had been intimately involved with a 17-year-old student.

He rented the 35-year-old principal a U-Haul and shipped him out of state. He did not call the police.

The accused wound up at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, a church affiliated with Goddard’s alma mater, working again with teenagers. The abused girl was later told that church officials in Indiana were aware of his involvement with her when he arrived.

An eight-month investigation by the Star-Telegram shows that what happened at Faith Baptist is just one example in a nationwide pattern of cover-ups and shuffling of suspected abusers among churches and universities that, like Faith Baptist, are part of the independent fundamental Baptist movement.

The cover-ups are reminiscent of the scandals of the Roman Catholic Church, but distinctly different.

Cardinal George Pell Convicted Of Sexually Abusing Choir Boys

AUSTRALIA
Inquisitr

December 12, 2018

By Manuella Libardi

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third most powerful official, was found guilty on Tuesday of sexually abusing two choir boys in the late 1990s, a decision that makes him the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to face criminal convictions.

According to The Daily Beast, a jury in Australia returned a unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for more than three days on the case. The judge ordered the criminal trial to be conducted under a gag order that prevented any details of the trial being made public, the report continues.

The judge placed a suppression order on all press coverage in Australia right before trial proceedings were set to begin in June, according to the judge’s orders reviewed by The Daily Beast. The order was requested by prosecutors and granted to “prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice,” the order reads, according to the report.

Pell, 77, who is the Vatican’s finance chief and the highest Vatican official to ever go stand trial on sex abuse charges, left Rome in June 2017 to stand trial in Melbourne, the report continues.

Vatican No. 3 Official Found Guilty Of Sexually Abusing Two Choir Boys

AUSTRALIA
Radar

December 11, 2018

Cardinal George Pell convicted in Australia of child assault.

The Vatican’s third highest ranking official was found guilty of sexually abusing two choir boys in the late 90s.

Cardinal George Pell was convicted by a jury in Australia after a jury deliberated for three days, The Daily Beast reported.

The judge placed a gag order on the Catholic Church official’s trial to prevent details being released during the proceedings. The guilty verdict decision was reportedly unanimous.

Cardinal Pell Convicted Of Child Sexual Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Concise News

December 12, 2018

By Olugbenga Ige

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third highest ranking official, was found guilty of sexually abusing two choir boys in the late 90s.

Cardinal Pell was convicted by a jury in Australia after a jury deliberated for three days, the Daily Beast reports.

The judge placed a gag order on the Catholic Church official’s trial to prevent details being released during the proceedings. The guilty verdict decision was reportedly unanimous.

Cardinal Pell was the finance chief at the Vatican and reportedly left Rome in June 2017 to stand trail in Melbourne, where he was accused of sexually abusing the choir boys when he was the archbishop.

Prominent Vatican official, Cardinal Pell, is found guilty of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
the free thinker

December 12, 2018

By Barry Duke

At the end of a trial believed to have cost him millions, the Vatican’s third most powerful official – George Pell – was convicted yesterday (Tuesday) in Australia of all charges relating to the abuse of two choir boys in the late 1990s.

A unanimous jury returned its verdict after more than three days of deliberations

His trial was trial conducted under a gag order by the judge that prevented any details of the case being made public.

Pell, the Vatican’s finance chief and the highest Vatican official to ever go on trial for sex abuse, left Rome in June 2017 to stand trial in Melbourne.

As that trial was about to get underway in June, a judge placed a suppression order on all press coverage in Australia. Prosecutors applied for the order and it was granted to:

Vatican No. 3 Cardinal George Pell Convicted on Charges He Sexually Abused Choir Boys

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Beast

December 11, 2018

By Lachlan Cartwright

The highest-ranking Catholic Church official to face such criminal charges.

The Vatican’s third most powerful official has been convicted in Australia on all charges he sexually abused two choir boys there in the late '90s, according to two sources with knowledge of the case.

A unanimous jury returned its verdict for Cardinal George Pell on Tuesday (Australian time) after more than three days of deliberations, the sources said, in a trial conducted under a gag order by the judge that prevented any details of the trial being made public.

Priest abuse: Five things federal investigators should look for in nationwide probe

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

December 12, 2018

By Candy Woodall

If they can prove torture, there are no statute of limitations laws to keep child abusers safe.

The days of the Roman Catholic Church policing itself are coming to an end.

Federal prosecutors are digging in to the largest investigation of priest abuse ever conducted in the United States, and the effort starts in Pennsylvania.

The investigation began in Pennsylvania, not Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., court filings show.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain in October launched a case from the Eastern District federal court in Philadelphia. First, he subpoenaed all eight Pennsylvania dioceses. Then, he put every bishop in the U.S. on notice not to destroy any records or evidence.

The federal investigation stems from a Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August that reveals a cover-up of systemic child sex abuse that dates back to 1947. Since that time, 301 priests were found to have abused more than 1,000 victims.

Victim of Ted Hall tells of anger after learning Catholic church falsely told him abuser was dead

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

December 13, 2018

By Giselle Wakatama

A survivor of sexual abuse says he was shocked and appalled to learn a paedophile teacher who abused him was still alive decades after Catholic education officials assured him he was dead.

In October, Edward Smith Hall, 68, known as Ted Hall was found guilty of 21 sexual and indecent assault offences in relation to nine boys between 1973 and 1986.

Today several victim impact statements were read in Newcastle District Court, while others were read in a closed court, where media was not allowed.

A top cardinal’s sex-abuse conviction is huge news in Australia. But the media can’t report it there.

AUSTRALIA
The Washington Post

December 12, 2018

By Margaret Sullivan

The front page of Thursday’s Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, capital of the Australian state of Victoria, is dominated by a single word in huge white type, all caps, on a black background: CENSORED.

“The world is reading a very important story that is relevant to Victorians,” reads the subhead. “The Herald Sun is prevented from publishing details of this significant news. But trust us. It’s a story you deserve to read.”

The story is, indeed, a blockbuster, especially for Australian citizens: Cardinal George Pell, sometimes described as the third-most-powerful Vatican official, was convicted of all charges that he sexually molested two choirboys in Australia in the late 1990s. (Pell, 77, has been the Vatican’s chief financial officer in recent years; he earlier was the archbishop of Sydney and of Melbourne.)

But because of a court-issued gag order intended to preserve impartiality, the news media has been forbidden from publishing news in Australia on the details of the Melbourne trial, and now on the unanimous decision of the jury.

George Pell removed from Pope Francis's cardinal advisory body

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

December 12, 2018

George Pell is one of three "more elderly cardinals" who have been removed by Pope Francis from his advisory body following a Vatican meeting this week.

A Vatican News report on a meeting of the Pope's Council of Cardinal Advisers this week said 77-year-old Cardinal Pell would no longer sit on the council.

"In October, the Pope had written to three of the more elderly cardinals: Cardinal Pell from Australia, Cardinal Errazuriz from Chile and Cardinal Monsengwo of Congo thanking them for their work," Holy See press office director Greg Burke said.

"After a five-year term, these three have passed out for the moment."

Mr Burke said the Pope had not named new cardinals to replace them on the advisory council, which was established in 2013 to help lead reform in the Vatican's bureaucracy.

I thought sexual abuse only happened to other people's children. Then I woke up.

UNITED STATES
USA TODAY

December 10, 2018

Nearly 17 years ago, I woke up from a nightmare I didn’t realize I was in. If you’re a parent whose child has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of someone you know and trust, you will understand what I mean. Sitting in a family counselor’s office, the world as I knew it came crashing down as I learned that my eldest daughter, Lauren, had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused nearly every day from the ages of 12 to 16.

I worked hard to provide my family with a wonderful life and to create a loving and safe environment for my children to grow. I made sure to get references and background checks on everyone interacting with my daughters or son. But I was unable to protect Lauren from the monster living in my own home.

It never occurred to me that sexual abuse could happen to my family, let alone to my children. That is the message I want to send to every other parent out there: Don’t think this can’t happen to you or your children. Child sexual abuse happens in every ZIP code, in every religion and at every socioeconomic level.

Pope cuts 2 cardinals from cabinet named in abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

December 12, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has removed two cardinals from his informal cabinet after they were implicated in the Catholic Church's sex abuse and cover-up scandal, shedding embarrassing advisers ahead of a high-stakes Vatican summit on abuse early next year.

The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis in October had written to Chilean Cardinal Javier Errazuriz and Australian Cardinal George Pell thanking them for their five years of service on the so-called Group of Nine, or C-9.

Francis also bid farewell to Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, who hasn't been implicated in the scandal but at age 79 recently retired as archbishop of Kinshasa.

New list of abusive Jesuit priests raises question: How many more are out there?

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

December 7, 2018

By Candy Woodall

The cascade of reports that we know about might be just the tip of the iceberg.

Until Friday morning, Terry McKiernan had 178 Jesuit priests on a list of abusive clergy members in the U.S.

His list grew after Catholic Jesuit provinces released the names of 153 priests and brothers credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The Jesuits' U.S. Central and Southern, and West provinces posted the names on their websites Friday, and the Chicago-based Midwest province plans to post its names Dec. 17.

St. Xavier High School to release names of priests accused of sexual abuse

CINCINNATI (OH)
WCPO

December 13, 2018

Organization releasing report on Jesuit priests

Some school officials will soon learn if they’ve employed priests or others who have faced "established accusations" of sexually abusing children.

The Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus will release a report Monday to Jesuit institutions, including St. Xavier High School and Xavier University, naming every priest who has been accused of sexual abuse since 1955.

St. Xavier's president has promised to release the names associated with St. X when they get them.

"This isn't something we're trying to hide, this isn't something we're proud of, but our goal is to build trust," president Tim Reilly said Thursday.

Reilly said there is the distinct possibility that priests associated with the school will be on the list.

Lists of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Are Spilling Out Across the Country

PITTSBURGH (PA)
The New York Times

December 14, 2018

By Campbell Robertson

It was a list Charles L. Bailey Jr. had wanted to see for years: the names of the priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Mr. Bailey, 67, a longtime local advocate for survivors of abuse by priests, had heard excuses for why such a list was impossible to release. The last bishop said naming accused priests would be a violation of the Ten Commandments. The current bishop said he would not disclose the names, citing the request of unnamed victims.

But then on Dec. 3, Mr. Bailey got a call from a local reporter. It was up, on the diocesan website. Fifty-seven priests. None were still in ministry and most were deceased, including, there on Page 4, the priest who had repeatedly raped Mr. Bailey when he was not yet a teenager.

As the Catholic Church faces a wave of federal and state attorney general investigations into its handling of sex abuse, bishops around the country have struggled with how to react. Some have locked down defensively. Others are waiting on guidance from the Vatican, which instructed American bishops last month to wait on taking any collective action until the new year.

Spain grapples with legacy of clerical sexual abuse crisis

DENVER (CO)
Crux

December 17, 2018

By Inés San Martín

As the clerical sexual abuse scandals continue to work their way through the global church, bishops and religious superiors in Spain are showing similar but also contrasting reactions both to the crime of abuse and the public reactions to it.

During his first remarks as bishop of Avila during his ordination, Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, former secretary and spokesman of the bishops’ conference, said on Saturday that there’s an attempt to “extend an unfair veil of suspicion over the immense multitude of priests.”

He was referring to the recent publication, in several local newspapers, of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and subsequent silence and cover-up. Seeing this “veil of suspicion,” Gil Tamayo said he wanted to offer some words of “encouragement” and “support” for the local clergy, whom he thanked for their service.

“Especially in these moments in which, seeing the sins and crimes that have been committed by the ecclesial community and for which we apologize and work towards their eradication and prevention,” there’s an attempt to discredit the many good priests “who serve God and the people in a faithful, self-denying and exemplary way,” he said, to a cheering crowd.

Cheap grace, shattered witness: clergy sexual abuse among Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches sounds another alarm for us all

WINSTON-SALEM (NC)
Baptist News Global

December 14, 2018

By Bill Leonard

In our better moments of spiritual self-awareness, we Christians are forced to acknowledge our capacity for actions and ideas that shatter an individual and collective “witness” as followers of Jesus. It’s been like that from the start. Judas Iscariot betrayed him with a kiss. After declaring absolute loyalty, Simon Peter denied Jesus three times: “I never knew the man.” The brothers James and John, perhaps anticipating the Prosperity Gospel, demanded “the best seats” in the coming kingdom. In every era of its history, certain Christian individuals and institutions have compelled an “orthodoxy” from others they refused to require of themselves. Dietrich Bonhoeffer called that kind of gospel cheap grace.

In The Cost of Discipleship (1937), Bonhoeffer called us all to account, warning:

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace. . . . Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian “conception” of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to remission of sins. The Church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, ipso facto, a part in that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God (emphasis mine).

I returned to Bonhoeffer’s admonition after reading a heartrending series of articles recently published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram regarding years of sexual abuse perpetrated by various “Independent Fundamentalist Baptist” ministers, individuals often protected and “moved on” by their pastoral supervisors or church constituencies.

“Underneath it all is a powerful emphasis on ministerial authority, with pastor-figures as ‘God’s anointed’ whose leadership is not to be questioned.”

After months of research, a group of Star-Telegram investigative reporters documented “at least 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions” based in 40 states and Canada. Their study suggests that some 168 “church leaders” were accused or convicted of sex crimes against children, with as many as 45 of them continuing in ministry after being identified. The articles detail occasions when women and children were sexually molested by pastoral figures who were then moved on to other churches or church-related ministries. The accusers, almost all females, were often ignored, doubted or blamed for enticing the men.

Pa. parish can’t be trusted to watch priest charged with sexual assault, judge says

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

December 14, 2018

A D.C. judge on Thursday ordered a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting three parishioners to remain in jail until trial and said it was troubling that church leaders did not take action when complaints against the defendant were raised several years ago, possibly allowing additional instances of alleged abuse.

Prosecutors said leaders at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Northwest Washington were initially notified in mid-June 2015 of allegations that Urbano Vazquez, an assistant pastor, may have sexually assaulted a teenage girl who was a member of the parish. Alleged assaults involving two other victims occurred between June 2016 and December 2017.

In a hearing before D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna, Vazquez's attorney argued that his client should be allowed to return to the secluded parish outside of Pittsburgh where he had been staying, saying he would be watched by priests there as he awaited trial. But McKenna rejected the proposal as she questioned the church's supervision.

"He was in a position of trust and authority," the judge said of Vazquez. "I am troubled by the number of alleged victims over a number of years of alleged sexual abuse of young girls. And to release him now back in the supervision of colleagues who had been informed of such alleged behavior is troubling to me."

Clergy Abuse in Dana Point

By Dana Point Times

December 14, 2018

By Lillian Boyd

Scandal and allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have spread across the globe—and Dana Point is no exception.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Minnesota-based law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates released a report on clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Orange, which contained information, photographs and assignment histories on 72 clergy accused of sexual misconduct. A spokesperson for the Diocese of Orange says that list is erroneous and overinflated. Of those 72, eight men were found to be, at least at one point, affiliated with Dana Point or St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church.

Mike Reck, an attorney with Jeff Anderson & Associates, led a press conference the day the report was released at Doubletree by Hilton in Orange, alongside Patrick Wall, a former Roman Catholic priest and Dana Point resident, and three survivors of abuse.

“We’re doing this because the Diocese of Orange is not,” Reck said. “It’s important because the release of these identities sends a message to survivors of abuse that they are not alone, that this matters and that healing can begin. Because we know only with the acknowledgment that this happened, that this was wrong and that this was not the survivor’s fault can the healing begin.”

The list of 72 names was compiled from public records, documents, letters and archives from churches and witness testimony, according to the firm. But the firm’s associates say the list is incomplete, just as it believes lists released by the church in 2004 and 2016 were incomplete.

“The public and the survivors deserve two things. They deserve a complete list, which is full and honest and transparent. And they deserve a full disclosure of what is known and when it was known. This is what allows the healing to start and allows for accountability,” Reck said.

Investigation Unearths Hundreds Of Abuse Allegations In Independent Baptist Churches

NEW YORK (NY)
Huffington Post

December 14, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

An investigation has uncovered hundreds of abuse allegations against leaders of a conservative, loosely affiliated network of evangelical Christian churches.

The report, published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Sunday, identified 412 abuse allegations in 187 independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches and institutions across 40 states and Canada, with some cases reaching as far back as the 1970s.

The Star-Telegram spoke to more than 200 current or former IFB church members who shared stories about “rape, assault, humiliation and fear.” Many of the stories have already been made public through criminal cases, lawsuits and news reports. However, the newspaper said its reporters uncovered 21 new abuse allegations in the course of its eight-month investigation.

In total, the newspaper said it found that 168 IFB church leaders were accused or have been convicted of sexually abusing children.

Some of the women interviewed suggested that the patriarchal theology preached in IFB churches protects its male pastors from criticism and helps create a pattern of abuse and cover-up.

Interviewees told the Star-Telegram that pastors in IFB churches were treated as if they were chosen by God and beyond reproach. Abusers used their power and position to psychologically manipulate and silence their victims, the women said. And often, even when victims spoke up, the accused pastors would manage to avoid criminal charges and use informal pastoral networks to relocate to another church.

Arrested in Minneapolis, ex-priest to face trial for alleged 1980s abuse in Wisconsin

HAYWARD (WI)
Associated Press

December 13, 2018

A former priest accused of sexually abusing at least three boys in Wisconsin decades ago has been bound over for trial.

Seventy-one-year-old Thomas Ericksen was arrested Nov. 16 at his Minneapolis home. He faces child sexual assault charges for alleged abuse between June 1982 and April 1983, while he was at St. Peter’s Church in Winter, Wis.

The Wausau Daily Herald reported that Ericksen appeared in court Wednesday and his attorney argued that credibility of purported victims had to be called into question due to the amount of time since the alleged crimes. The judge disagreed and bound the case over for trial.

Prosecutors haven’t said why so much time elapsed before charges were filed.

Accused priests identified in records seized at Shalom Center in Montgomery County

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

December 13, 2018

By Nicole Hensley

The investigation of a Houston area priest on sexual assault allegations led law enforcement to a cache of files on more than 20 clergy members who faced claims of misconduct over the past decade, including some criminal allegations, according to court records.

The files seized from the Shalom Center in Splendora include details on at least five priests publicly accused of sexual misconduct in Texas, California and Missouri, a Houston Chronicle review found.

The files were listed in an exhaustive inventory stemming from a search warrant executed in September on the Shalom property by Montgomery County law enforcement and Texas Rangers. The files identified priests treated at the center, according to Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Tyler Dunman.

A.G. Madigan: "Prosecution May Be Warranted" in Clergy Abuse Investigation

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WJCT Radio

December 12, 2018

By San Dunklau

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is continuing her investigation of the state’s six Roman Catholic dioceses, and now says criminal prosecution is a potential.

Listen Listening...
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Madigan launched an investigation in August, after a Pennsylvania grand jury report contained “credible” accounts of child sexual abuse incidents committed by over 300 Catholic priests.

The attorney general has been seeking records from Illinois dioceses. She says they should make public the names of priests who have “credible allegations” against them. So far, four of the six dioceses in Illinois have complied, while the other two already had names of priests published.

Madigan says there’s still a lot of information to review.

“It’s become clear that the Catholic Church cannot handle these matters internally. They can’t handle these matters as personnel matters. Crimes were committed.”

Source Of Settlements On Sex Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

December 13, 2018

By Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. The news reports of settlements made in the millions of dollars to victims of clergy sex abuse trouble me. Were there secret assets from wills and estates on reserve for that purpose? Where did all that money come from? (Metuchen, New Jersey)

A. National Public Radio reported in August 2018 that dioceses and religious orders in the United States had thus far paid settlements totaling more than $3 billion to victims of clergy sexual abuse. The settlements have come, not from any "secret assets," but from a combination of cash, proceeds from the sale of land and buildings, and from insurance payments.
What must be said first, though, is that no financial amount is sufficient to compensate victims for their suffering. As Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in May 2018 when announcing a settlement of $210 million in restitution to several hundred survivors, "I recognize that the abuse stole so much from you -- your childhood, your innocence, your safety, your ability to trust and, in many cases, your faith. ... The church let you down, and I'm very sorry."

FBI agents working probe of Buffalo Diocese busy interviewing clients of noted Boston attorney

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ TV
.
December 14, 2018

By Steve Brown

Mitchell Garabedian is not hesitant about sharing his feelings on the Roman Catholic Church.

“The Catholic Church is drunk with power. Take away their robes, take away their religion as Catholic priests and they’re just criminals,” said Garabedian.

Garabedian has spent decades representing victims of clergy sex abuse.

Wednesday, in an interview in his Boston office, Garabedian disclosed a number of his clients claiming clergy sex abuse in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese have been interviewed by the FBI.

"Approximately ten", said Garabedian.

The Buffalo Diocese has been the focus of a federal criminal investigation for months. Diocesan official reports receiving a pair of subpoenas, but little else is known about the probe. Neither the Buffalo FBI office or the US Attorney's office will even acknowledge there is an investigation.

Ask what agents might have asked his clients about Garabedians said, "I can tell you right now they’re interested in crime of sexual abuse and the cover-up of those crimes.”

But Garabedian would not get into specifics.

The Boston attorney also represents Siobhan O'Connor, the whistle-blower who leaked internal documents while she worked as Bishop Richard Malone's executive assistant.

When asked if O'Connor had been interviewed by the feds, Garabedian said, "I cannot comment."

Nashville deacon removed from ministry for speaking out about sex abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

December 14, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf

A Nashville deacon who has raised questions about the completeness of the diocese's recently published list of priests accused of sexual abuse has been removed from ministry for "carrying on a public disagreement with the Diocese," according to a letter from his pastor.

n the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, more and more dioceses are moving to publish such lists, raising questions about who is — and is not — on them. Deacon Ron Deal first raised concerns in October, after an email to priests and deacons indicated the list would contain only nine names.

The Nashville Diocese eventually released a list of 13 names on Nov. 2; which was updated and corrected on Nov. 8, mentioning three more priests, including two Nashville priests accused of abuse in other dioceses as well as one religious order priest.

Deal and other victims and victims' advocates believe the list is still incomplete and are calling on state law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Herbert Slatery, to open an investigation into cover-up in all three dioceses in Tennessee.

"We need an independent set of eyes," said Deal, an attorney who formerly worked for the Nashville Diocese as a construction project development manager and headed the diaconate program.

Diocesan spokesperson Rick Musacchio said the October email to clergy was part of "an effort to make [the list] as complete as possible." The voluntary release of names indicates the diocese's "ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability and pastoral care," he told NCR.

Detroit Archdiocese transfers assets; critics say it's a shell game

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

December 14, 2018

By Robert Allen

The Archdiocese of Detroit transferred hundreds of parishes this year to a separate real estate corporation, a move critics say is similar to attempts across the country by the Catholic Church to shield assets from lawsuits filed by victims of clergy sex abuse.

For the six-county archdiocese, which includes 313 parishes, this is a first step toward creating an individual corporation for each parish, archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said Thursday. He said U.S. dioceses had been encouraged by church leadership to make such a change since 1911, and timing has nothing to do with concerns over lawsuits, which have already cost the church billions of dollars.

Terry McKiernan, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks the abuse crisis, said this is a shell game to protect those assets from seizure through lawsuits regarding child sex abuse. He compared it to several other cases, such as a fund the Archdiocese of Milwaukee used to try to protect tens of millions of dollars in assets when it entered bankruptcy.

"I don't know if Detroit will go in that direction," McKiernan said. "But clearly, they're bracing for something."

Across the United States, about 20 dioceses and other religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, the Associated Press reported last week. As a result, victims' advocates say they are seeing trends across the country that include shifting of assets to other funds or parishes, a tactic previously used in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Southern California.

"This is not an unusual step," said James Stang, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented more than 13 creditors' committees involving survivors of sexual abuse and now represents victims of former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. "They will tell you that the transfer of the property to a trust or away from the archdiocese actually reflects their canon law concepts. I look at it as club rules."

December 13, 2018

Trial begins for priest accused of assaulting San Diego seminarian

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Catholic News Agency

December 13, 2018

A trial began Tuesday for the San Diego priest accused of sexually assaulting a seminarian in February. The alleged victim testified Wednesday that the priest groped him in a restaurant bathroom.

The seminarian told the court that he and another seminarian had drinks with Fr. Juan Garcia Castillo at a bar and restaurant on Feb. 3, after an event at St. Patrick’s Parish in Carlsbad, where Castillo served as parochial vicar. He said they had several drinks, and that the priest encouraged him to drink to excess.

The seminarian testified that he went to the bathroom sick after midnight. While he was in the restroom, Castillo allegedly approached him from behind and groped his genitals, twice.

The seminarian said he told the priest to “get away.”

“I walked out of the stall, and I look at myself in the mirror and I said, ‘Oh my God, what has happened to me?’” the seminarian said, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.