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January 20, 2019

Sin dar declaraciones llega enviado papal a Puerto Montt

[Papal envoy arrives in Puerto Montt without comment]


January 20, 2019

By Yessenia Márquez and Diego Barría

Durante horas de esta tarde de este sábado llegó a Puerto Montt el sacerdote mexicano Jorge Carlos Patrón. El visitador apostólico fue enviado por el papa Francisco para investigar la arquidiócesis de la zona.

Victims of jailed abuser who remains a priest feel betrayed by Church

The Sunday Post

January 20, 2019

By Marion Scott & Janet Boyle

A Catholic churchman jailed last year for abusing boys as young as five has yet to be stripped of his priesthood.

Father Paul Moore was jailed for nine years last April after he was found guilty of abusing three young boys and indecently assaulting a trainee priest.

But the Bishop of Galloway has revealed that the process of laicisation – removing a priest from the church – has not been completed.

Bishop William Nolan said the process had been held up by Moore refusing to admit his guilt.

One of his victims said he felt “betrayed all over again” by the Church.

Moore was twice sent for “treatment” after confessing to his bishop he had a “desire to abuse minors.”

Letter to the editor: Church has dealt with its sex assault problem

Press Herald

January 20, 2019

The narrative that there is an ongoing widespread and unaddressed rape culture in the Catholic Church in the United States is false. This is not today’s Catholic Church.

In 2002, Catholic bishops passed the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in the wake of revelations by The Boston Globe about sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

‘Impossible contradiction’ besets Erie-area priest case

Erie Times

January 20, 2019

By Ed Palattella and Madeleine O’Neill

Parishioners, others reveal shock, dismay in letters of support for Rev. David Poulson, sentenced to up to 14 years in state prison.

Faith was at the center of the Rev. David L. Poulson’s sentencing hearing for sexually abusing two boys while in ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

The judge told Poulson he “weaponized” the boys’ faith and abused his authority as a priest when he molested them.

Poulson, 65, said at his sentencing earlier in January that he prays for the victims every day and offers penance for his actions.

It was Poulson’s expressions of faith and reverence over his 39-year career as a cleric that made the crimes so shocking in the traditional Catholic communities he served in northwestern Pennsylvania.

A series of character letters submitted by the defense at the sentencing highlight Poulson’s double life — and the difficult questions the faithful must confront when a spiritual leader is revealed as a predator.

A prison sentence was the final step in Poulson’s fall from grace. He received two and a half to 14 years in state prison from Jefferson County Judge John H. Foradora at the sentencing on Jan. 11.

The defense filed the 19 character letters, sent by Poulson’s friends and former parishioners, with a sentencing memorandum that asked Foradora to issue a much shorter sentence. The Erie Times-News received a copy of the sentencing memorandum, which was filed publicly at the Jefferson County Courthouse, last week.

“We have been crushed by what has come to light since February,” wrote one former parishioner, who said Poulson baptized his children.


Associated Press

January 20, 2019

By Almudena Caltrava, Natacha Pisarenko and Nicole Winfield

The Vatican received information in 2015 and 2017 that an Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis had taken naked selfies, exhibited "obscene" behavior and had been accused of misconduct with seminarians, his former vicar general told The Associated Press, undermining Vatican claims that allegations of sexual abuse were only made a few months ago.

Francis accepted Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta's resignation in August 2017, after priests in the remote northern Argentine diocese of Oran complained about his authoritarian rule and a former vicar, seminary rector and another prelate provided reports to the Vatican alleging abuses of power, inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment of adult seminarians, said the former vicar, the Rev. Juan Jose Manzano.

The scandal over Zanchetta, 54, is the latest to implicate Francis as he and the Catholic hierarchy as a whole face an unprecedented crisis of confidence over their mishandling of cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors and misconduct with adults. Francis has summoned church leaders to a summit next month to chart the course forward for the universal church, but his own actions in individual cases are increasingly in the spotlight.

The pope's decision to allow Zanchetta to resign quietly, and then promote him to the No. 2 position in one of the Vatican's most sensitive offices, has raised questions again about whether Francis turned a blind eye to misconduct of his allies and dismissed allegations against them as ideological attacks.

Manzano, Oran's vicar general under Zanchetta who is now a parish priest, said he was one of the diocesan officials who raised the alarm about his boss in 2015 and sent the digital selfies to the Vatican.


Associated Press

January 20, 2019

By Almudena Caltrava, Natacha Pisarenko and Nicole Winfield

The Vatican received information in 2015 and 2017 that an Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis had taken naked selfies, exhibited "obscene" behavior and had been accused of misconduct with seminarians, his former vicar general told The Associated Press, undermining Vatican claims that allegations of sexual abuse were only made a few months ago.

Francis accepted Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta's resignation in August 2017, after priests in the remote northern Argentine diocese of Oran complained about his authoritarian rule and a former vicar, seminary rector and another prelate provided reports to the Vatican alleging abuses of power, inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment of adult seminarians, said the former vicar, the Rev. Juan Jose Manzano.

The scandal over Zanchetta, 54, is the latest to implicate Francis as he and the Catholic hierarchy as a whole face an unprecedented crisis of confidence over their mishandling of cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors and misconduct with adults. Francis has summoned church leaders to a summit next month to chart the course forward for the universal church, but his own actions in individual cases are increasingly in the spotlight.

The pope's decision to allow Zanchetta to resign quietly, and then promote him to the No. 2 position in one of the Vatican's most sensitive offices, has raised questions again about whether Francis turned a blind eye to misconduct of his allies and dismissed allegations against them as ideological attacks.

Manzano, Oran's vicar general under Zanchetta who is now a parish priest, said he was one of the diocesan officials who raised the alarm about his boss in 2015 and sent the digital selfies to the Vatican.

Benito Baranda, ex director del Hogar de Cristo: “Siento rabia, tristeza, dolor… La imagen de Renato Poblete va a quedar más afectada cuando hable la víctima”

[Benito Baranda, former director of Hogar de Cristo: "I feel anger, sadness, pain ... The image of Renato Poblete will be more affected when the victim speaks"]

La Tercera

January 20, 2019

By Carla Pía Ruiz Pereira

El exdirector del Hogar de Cristo dice que lo sorprendió la denuncia por abuso sexual en contra de Renato Poblete, y a un año de la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile, quien también fue el coordinador de Estado para ese viaje, señala que “hubo mucha desilusión”.

“En lo primero que pensé fue en la víctima, en la persona que fue abusada. Y en el sufrimiento que vive hasta hoy”. Benito Baranda acaba de llegar a Chile desde Haití, por una visita de América Solidaria. Baranda, antes de aterrizar en Chile, hizo una escala en Miami. Allí, ya conectado a internet, antes de embarcar, antes de apagar su celular, se enteró.

Mácula en el ‘Vaticano catalán’

[Stain on the 'Catalan Vatican']

El País

January 20, 2019

By Francesc Valls

Ver el monasterio a merced de los vientos de la pederastia que azotan a la Iglesia es una mácula difícil de sobrellevar para los monjes

Es muy difícil mantener el secreto en una comunidad monástica integrada por unas decenas de personas. Sin embargo, durante años apenas ha trascendido nada de lo que sucedía intramuros en Montserrat. Mano de hierro. Cualquier información crítica era negada; los sospechosos de haberla facilitado,castigados con el destierro; y los medios de comunicación vehículo de tal denuncia, tachados de enemigos de la Iglesia y de la patria, no en vano Montserrat mantuvo la llama de la catalanidad durante la larga noche franquista y supo ser de puertas afuera suficientemente montiniana. Por eso cobra importancia el testimonio de Miguel Hurtado, que sufrió abusos cuando tenía 16 años por parte del monje Andreu Soler, responsable durante 40 años del grupo scout de Montserrat.

INVESTIGATION: Sacked Scots priest Father Joseph Dunne denies abuse allegations as he’s tracked down in Ireland

The Sunday Post

January 20, 2019

By Marion Scott & Janet Boyle

A Catholic priest who disappeared after being accused of abuse in Scotland and California has been tracked down in rural Ireland.

Father Joseph Dunne was found living with his sister in a bungalow just outside the village of Geashill, in County Offaly.

Asked about the allegations against him, the 77-year-old denied any wrong-doing, saying: “I’ve done nothing wrong. My conscience is clear.”

Last week we told how Dunne was sacked from his Glasgow parish in 1988 by the late Cardinal Thomas Winning, after complaints about inappropriate behaviour towards young girls.

But the police and other Catholic churches were not told and Dunne found a new church in Los Angeles before being accused again.

Ex-Carlsbad Priest Sentenced to Jail for Groping Seminary Student


January 18, 2019

A former associate pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlsbad was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and three years probation after being found guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery last month.

Rev. Juan Garcia Castillo will also be required to register as a sex offender, the District Attorney's office said. He was convicted Dec. 17 of groping a seminary student in a Carlsbad restaurant on Feb. 4, 2018.

An attorney and former U.S. Naval officer who was studying to become a priest accused Castillo of grabbing his genitals after a night of drinking in a Carlsbad restaurant and bar.

Surveillance video showing the three men drinking in the restaurant was submitted as evidence.

Locals Unite for 3rd Annual Women's March in San Diego
The victim said all the drinking eventually made him sick so he went to the bathroom where he vomited.

"All of the sudden I feel him behind me," the man, who did not want to be identified, said. He testified that Castillo began touching him around his thighs and waist as he stood over a toilet.

"All of the sudden the hand very quickly goes directly to my crotch and grabs my [genitals]," he said.

January 19, 2019

A weekend to forget: A Mount Carmel altar boy's story of clergy abuse

The Berkshire Eagle

January 19, 2019

By Larry Parnass

It was dusk when the car reached the hotel. A priest got out and went in to register and get a room key.

Another priest waited in the car. He wasn't alone. With him were two boys in their early teens who sported 1970s moptops. After a long drive from their homes in Pittsfield, they had no idea where they were.

Forty-six years later, one of them can close his eyes and put himself in those uncertain moments. In that car. In that hotel room. In that bed.

"The movie that I play in my head is what happened that night, with infinite detail," said Michael Carpino, who was 13 at the time. He's now 59 and lives in Colorado. "It doesn't leave you. It's a sentence for life."

On Feb. 10, the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, bishop of the Springfield diocese, will come to Pittsfield to hear concerns about the Catholic Church's handling of clergy abuse, amid renewed and growing attention to the problem worldwide.

The bishop will settle into a seat blocks from the former Mount Carmel Church, where Carpino served as an altar boy for the Rev. Richard J. Ahern, a priest who spent six years in Pittsfield and was named as an abuser by multiple victims around New England.

Carpino won't be around to tell his story to the bishop. He moved to Colorado soon after graduating from the University of Massachusetts in the 1980s and has worked there in the high-tech field.

But he detailed his abuse in phone interviews with The Eagle this past week, nearly three years after he first posted on social media about his abuse.

Los dos últimos abades de Montserrat encubrieron los abusos de un monje denunciado en 1999

[Last two abbots of Montserrat covered up the abuses of monk accused in 1999]

El País

January 19, 2019

By Íñigo Domínguez

Un menor acusó a Andreu Soler, director de los 'boys scout' del monasterio durante 40 años, y recibió una compensación de 7.200 euros. La única medida fue apartar al fraile un año más tarde

Los dos últimos abades del monasterio de Montserrat, Sebastià Bardolet y el actual, Josep Maria Soler, conocieron desde 1999 la denuncia de abusos de un menor contra un monje, Andreu Soler, y no tomaron ninguna medida. Solo en 2000 el acusado fue trasladado a otro centro de la orden, El Miracle, en Lleida, pero la abadía reconoce, a través de su portavoz, Bernat Juliol, que no lo denunció a la policía, ni abrió ningún procedimiento canónico, según las reglas de la Iglesia, ni lo notificó al Vaticano. Ello a pesar de que la Santa Sede obligó desde 2001 a comunicar a Roma las denuncias de abusos. Tampoco se informó de los motivos del traslado al resto de los frailes. Este monje, fallecido en 2008, era una personalidad muy conocida en Cataluña, pues fue el fundador en 1959 del grupo scout católico de Montserrat, los Escoltes de Servei, o Els Nois de Servei, y su director durante 40 años. Tampoco se explicó a las familias y miembros de la organización los motivos de su marcha. La víctima, Miguel Hurtado, que sufrió los abusos cuando tenía 16 años y el fraile contaba con 65, ha revelado por primera vez su historia a EL PAÍS. También aparecerá en el documental Examen de conciencia, de Albert Solé, que Netflix estrenará el próximo viernes. El monasterio de Montserrat, a raíz de las preguntas de este periódico y un medio catalán, ha decidido divulgar una nota reconociendo los hechos esta tarde.

Abuse victim launches case against pope and ‘criminal’ Catholic church

Dutch News

January 19, 2019

A 74-year-old Dutchman has made a formal complaint against the pope and the Catholic church for the sexual abuse he suffered as a boy in a seminary in Helmond, describing the institution as a criminal organisation.

Theo Bruyns has received financial compensation from the church because of the abuse but says he still believes justice has not been done.

‘If you want to start something against this church, you have to make sure it is branded a criminal organisation,’ Bruyns told RTL Nieuws.

In his formal police complaint, Bruyns alleges that the pope and other church leaders are members of a criminal organisation which aims to ‘make it difficult to hinder or trace sexual abuse, as well as the rape of minors’. ‘

Con agenda desconocida llegará este sábado a Puerto Montt el enviado apostólico del papa Francisco

[Pope Francis' apostolic envoy will arrive Saturday in Puerto Montt but his agenda is unknown]


January 19, 2019

By Emilio Lara and Diego Barría

Con agenda desconocida llegará este sábado a Puerto Montt el enviado apostólico del papa Francisco, el sacerdote mexicano Jorge Carlos Patrón. Lo anterior debido a que la Iglesia Católica todavía no entrega detalles ni ha dado cuenta de las reuniones que sostendrá, tampoco con quienes se reunirá Patrón.

'Please forgive me': A prominent priest's grovelling response to a teenage sex complaint

Manchester Evening News

January 19, 2019

By Damon Wilkinson

A prominent Salford priest has pleaded for forgiveness from a woman who he had 'sexual activity' with when she was a teenager.

Father Peter Conniffe, formerly priest at Our Lady of Dolours in Salford, apologises to the woman in a letter seen by the M.E.N.

He was investigated by police after the woman - who met him after going to confession as a schoolgirl - made a complaint of historic sexual abuse.

The case was not pursued to criminal action, and Fr Conniffe denies 'any accusation of sexual assault'.

However, the woman has been compensated by the religious order he belongs to, the Servite Order.

Following an investigation by the Roman Catholic church, the priest has stepped down from duties at Our Lady's and from his role as chair of governors at St Philip's RC Primary School.

Felipe Berríos por acusación contra sacerdote jesuita Renato Poblete: "Estoy tremendamente impactado"

[Felipe Berríos on accusation against Jesuit priest Renato Poblete: "I am tremendously impacted"]


January 17, 2019

By F. Fernández

El también religioso aseguró que es el momento de "tomar en serio la denuncia y dar la garantía que se va a hacer una investigación seria y abierta".

"Tremendamente impactado", aseguró estar el sacerdote Felipe Berríos respecto a la información que este jueves dio a conocer la Compañía de Jesús, sobre una denuncia por "delitos y situaciones abusivas" en contra del ex capellán del Hogar de Cristo, Renato Poblete. "Estoy muy golpeado. Este fue un segundo golpe fuerte, el primero fue con Cristián Precht. Le tengo mucho cariño a Renato, le tenía mucho cariño a él. Era una persona que me apoyaba mucho. Nunca viví con él, no compartí tampoco el trabajo, pero sí era una persona que me llamaba para explicarme o apoyarme", aseguró el jesuita a CNN Chile.

Madison Diocese considering investigation that will lead to naming clergy members accused of sexual abuse of children

Green Bay Press Gazette

January 19, 2019

By Rob Schultz

The Madison Diocese is considering an investigation to learn how many substantiated sexual abuse allegations there have been against clergy after the Green Bay Diocese announced Thursday that more than 40 clergy members had abused minors.

Madison Diocese staff members were taking steps toward launching an investigation and had begun interviewing consultants for a potential review of files but the unexpected death of Bishop Robert Morlino from a cardiac event in November put those plans on hold, spokesman Brent King said Friday.

"In recent months, and even in the days immediately preceding (Morlino's) death, we have had numerous conversations weighing our options in this very regard," Diocese spokesman Brent King said. "The abuse scandal is something Bishop Morlino took very seriously."

The Madison Diocese was notified by the Green Bay Diocese ahead of its public announcement Thursday that 46 of its clergy members had substantiated allegations they sexually abused a minor, according to King. The Green Bay Diocese posted the names of the clergy on its website Thursday.

Papa respaldó a obispos de la Iglesia chilena y provocó descontento en las víctimas de abuso

[Pope supported bishops of the Chilean Church and provoked discontent among abuse victims]

The Clinic

January 15, 2019

En el encuentro no se tocó el tema respecto al envío del informe de Scicluna y aún es esperado por la Justicia chilena, para poder regularizar de forma concreta los casos de abusos, y según Ramos, tampoco se tocó el tema de una posible aceptación de la renuncia de Ezzati.

El Pontífice respaldó a los obispos chilenos que aún están ejerciendo cargos, luego de su reunión en el Vaticano con el Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena, y las víctimas de abusos tildaron de arrogantes a los jerarcas de la Iglesia por defender la caducidad de sus renuncias.


The Economist

January 16, 2019


Out of the shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation - a 40-country benchmarking index examines how countries are responding to the threat of sexual violence against children.

It explores the environment in which the issue occurs and is addressed; the degree to which a country’s legal framework provide protections for children from sexual violence; whether government commitment and capacity is being deployed to equip institutions and personnel to respond appropriately; and the engagement of industry, civil society and media in efforts to tackle the problem.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Proves Once Again the Church Will Never Reform Itself


January 18, 2019

By Marci Hamilton

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Child Victims Act, for which we have been fighting for 15 years, will pass this year with his full support. With both houses controlled by Democrats, the leadership of Sen. Brad Hoylman, now Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, he is surely correct. The barrier to passage until now has been Republican lawmakers kneeling to the Catholic bishops and in particular New York City Archdiocese’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The latter is not going down, though he is decidedly going down on this issue, without a final whining tour about justice for child sex abuse victims.

Dolan’s latest volley was an op-ed in the New York Daily News that is filled with misstatements and ugly implications. He tries two “Hail Mary” passes. First, he says that the governor’s bill will not treat public schools the same as private institutions. This is simply not true, but even if it were, there is no question the intent is to put private and public entities on the same footing and any additional language Dolan wants to further nail home this point can be easily added. The Democratic leadership in New York is 100% on board in wanting to protect children from sex abuse in every arena. Therefore, at least from Dolan’s rhetoric, he should be on board with the CVA. Not so fast.

Anti-Catholic bigotry is alive in the U.S. Senate

Washington Post

January 18, 2019

By Michael Gerson

Those who want to understand how Democrats manage to scare the hell out of vast sections of the country need look no further than the story of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and the Knights of Columbus.

In considering the confirmation of Brian Buescher to a federal judgeship last month, Harris and Hirono submitted written questions that raised alarms about his membership in “an all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men.” “Were you aware,” Harris asked, “that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” And: “Have you ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights?” And: “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when you joined the organization?”

Chicago priest removed from ministry during review of abuse allegations

National Catholic Reporter

January 18, 2019

By Heidi Schlumpf

A prominent and popular Chicago priest, who for more than three decades headed a five-campus child services organization, has been removed from ministry while the Chicago Archdiocese reviews allegations of sexual abuse of minors against him.

Allegations against Fr. John P. Smyth have been reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Cook County State's Attorney, according to a Jan. 18 statement from the archdiocese.

Smyth, who is now retired, was superintendent of Maryville Academy from 1970 to 2003, after serving as assistant superintendent for eight years before that. The allegations date to his time at Maryville's suburban Des Plaines campus, in 2002-2003, the archdiocese's statement said.

Maryville was originally founded as an orphanage in 1883 and still includes some residential programs. It also provides emergency shelter, substance abuse treatment and mental health services.

Known for his fundraising prowess, Smyth often mentioned his years as an All-American basketball player at the University of Notre Dame, in his pitches. He raised millions over his tenure at Maryville, according to a profile from Notre Dame's athletic department.

But the suicide of a 14-year-old girl and reports of physical and sexual assaults perpetrated by residents on other residents prompted the State of Illinois to call Maryville unsafe and remove the children under its care in the early 2000s, according to the archdiocesan newspaper, The New World. Smyth was ousted, and Maryville eventually reopened under new leadership.

Breda O’Brien: The Benedict Option – or how to save Christianity

Irish Times

January 18, 2019

By Breda O'Brien

Lots of Christians wonder how it will be possible to raise their children in the faith in a wider culture that often actively undermines their values. Rod Dreher, who is speaking in Dublin this coming Monday at the Newman Centre for Faith and Reason, believes he has an answer, one which he calls the Benedict Option. He is an American writer, editor and prolific blogger – his blog averages more than 1.3 million page views per month.

He is a hard man to pigeonhole. He writes for the American Conservative and thinks that Trump has been a disaster for America. He started life as a Methodist, became an agnostic and then converted to Catholicism.

Covering the abuse scandals in the American church alienated him from the Catholic Church to the extent that he felt he had to resign his membership. He eventually became an Orthodox Christian, not a very common religious journey, even for an American.

He first came to public attention with his 2006 book Crunchy Cons, which articulates a mix of social conservatism and environmentalism. It also has a healthy dose of scepticism about market capitalism, seeing it as a driver for socially corrosive cultural change.

Papal preacher's good news for US bishops raises doubt about reform

National Catholic Reporter

January 18, 2019

by Ken Briggs

Pope Francis' personal preacher had good news for American bishops on retreat in preparation for the upcoming papal summit on church sex offenses: Despite the church being "overwhelmed" by the clergy sex abuse scandals, "and rightly so," he declared that they had emerged into a "golden age" in comparison to past times when bishops placed territorial needs over pastoral care.

That success was largely due to the refining fires of the crisis itself, said Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, who spoke 11 times to the retreat at Mundelein Seminary earlier this month. At the beginning of his talks, Cantalamessa suggested it was "time for taking a break" from that preoccupation, in order to ponder "root issues" which were "both different and deeper than the issues that usually come to mind."

The ones that usually pop to mind include the continuing scourge of accusations, sanctions against hierarchical cover-up and, perhaps the toughest, a searching critique of clericalism. Cantalamessa promptly declared himself unqualified from talking about those main elements of the uproar still convulsing American Catholics. But it seems he did. Tom Roberts adroitly shows in his NCR review that all 11 messages, Cantalamessa took indirect aim, choosing to reassure bishops that nothing needed urgent repair or re-examination.

He felt their pain. The scandal had damaged their standing, reducing the bishopric from an "honor" to a "burden." He likened their suffering to that of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, innocent victims of the world's sins. His listeners could take comfort that their burden was inflicted by outsiders and that taking on those sins, however agonizing, served the cause of redemption.

Smyth, one-time Maryville leader, accused of child sex abuse

Daily Herald

January 18, 2019

By Christopher Placek and Steve Zalusky

The Rev. John P. Smyth, a well-known Chicago-area priest and one-time leader of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, faces allegations of sexual abuse of minors, Archdiocese of Chicago officials said Friday.

The allegations, which pertain to the 2002-2003 span during the end of Smyth's tenure at the academy, were received by the archdiocese's Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review, according to a statement from the archdiocese.

Jeanine Stevens, the attorney who represents the two men making the allegations, said one was 13 and the other was 14 when they were molested.

One of the boys came forward shortly after the molestation occurred, Stevens said.

"Nobody believed him and nobody did anything about it," she said.

Both boys had been placed at Maryville's Scott Nolan Center by a judge, she said.

"They were permanently harmed," she said. "Both of these men came from unstable households. This significantly compounded issues they already had to deal with."

Vatican summit to help nations lagging on abuse policies, moderator says

Catholic News Service

January 17, 2019

Only about half of the national bishops' conferences in the world have adopted complete, Vatican-approved guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and promoting child protection, said the Jesuit named to moderate the Vatican's February summit on abuse.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said about one-quarter of the bishops' conferences have received feedback on their proposed guidelines from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and are working on the final versions. That leaves 25 percent of conferences "behind for various reasons, among which are different cultural contexts and a scarcity of available competence."

The doctrinal congregation in 2011 had asked every bishops' conference in the world to develop guidelines for handling accusations of abuse and to submit them for approval by mid-2012.

Writing for the Jan. 19 edition of La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal reviewed by the Vatican before publication, Father Lombardi said the February meeting would be an important occasion for bishops to share best practices and to assist conferences that, because of a lack of funds or expertise, have not launched protection and prevention programs.

Pope Francis appointed Father Lombardi to serve as moderator of the general sessions of the meeting Feb. 21-24 of the presidents of the world's bishops' conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men's and women's religious orders to address the abuse crisis.

Retired Priest, Former Superintendent Of Maryville Academy Accused Of Sexual Abuse

CBS 2 News

January 18, 2019

Father John Smyth has been accused of sexually abusing minors from 2002 to 2003 while he was superintendent at Maryville Academy.

Advocates call for priest abuse list to also include names of those who helped with cover-ups


January 18, 2019

By Kevin Foster

In January of 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge is expected to join more than 70 dioceses and Catholic religious organizations across the country, which have released the names of priests who face credible accusations of sexual abuse involving children, including both the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana. However, noticeably nonexistent lists would contain the names of leaders in the clergy who participated in “covering up” those allegations.

The first list shows a horrifying number of predatory priests operated within the clergy. The second would potentially show direct actions willfully taken by leaders within the Catholic Church contributed to systemic and systematic sexual abuse of juveniles and vulnerable adults within the church.

According to one advocacy organization, it’s important for accountability to find out who knew what, when they knew it, and what they chose to do with that information.

“[Lists] should include every single proven, admitted, or accused church employee: bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, nuns, and lay people, no matter who supervised or ordained them and no matter where they originated," the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said in a statement.

Make it safe for abuse, assault survivors to speak out

Daily News Miner

January 19, 2019

By Helen Renfrew

When it comes to fighting Alaska’s epidemic of child abuse and sexual assault, silence isn’t the answer. Webs of secrets trap survivors and protect perpetrators. Let me be clear: Survivors get to decide when, how and to whom they tell their stories. They went through an experience where they were unable to control what happened to their bodies, but they should be in complete control over how their story is told. As a society we are responsible for creating an environment where it is safe for survivors’ stories to be told, one that doesn’t blame them for what someone else did to them.

We need to believe them.

National and local media reported on numerous perpetrators over the last year: Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Larry Nassar, Catholic Jesuit priests throughout Alaska and Peter Wilson, who has been accused in Kotzebue to name a few. All of these cases have silence, sometimes decades of silence, in common. Victims feel embarrassed, ashamed and guilty; if they don’t talk about it, they can try to pretend it didn’t happen. Quite often the surrounding community knows what’s going on, but it’s an uncomfortable topic, and no one wants to be the first to mention it. Silence allows offenders to continue assaulting and abusing victims.

A family member raped me when I was 10. He raped a close relative 20 years later. He was arrested five years after that. I was not his first victim. The family knew — after all, most of them had been abused by their father, my grandfather. Keeping silent was a family tradition. How many dozens of children did my uncle victimize over those 25 years? How much damage did he cause? To this day, there are still members of my family who use coercion and guilt to try to keep the secrets hidden.

Weekend sermons will focus on abusive Catholic priests list

Door Co. Daily News

January 18, 2019

By Terry Kovarik

This Sunday Catholics in Door and Kewaunee counties and throughout the Diocese of Green Bay will hear more about the list naming priests involved with sexual abuse of children.

They'll also learn what's being done to help assault victims and their families.

The list of 46 former priests, some living and others dead, was released Thursday. Diocese Communication Director Justine Lodl says the diocese has sent out information to help pastors and church staff reach out to their parishioners.

January 18, 2019

Metro advocacy organization calls for name change of Catholic center, names accused priests

Fox 4 TV

January 18, 2019

By Sherae Honeycutt

A group bringing awareness to victims of priest abuse is asking for a local organization to change its name. It's a well-known center serving the poor, named in honor of a former bishop, but critics say that bishop was in charge during a time of priest sexual abuse.

"Whenever we hear another name coming out, or another hiding of someone, that just sends another dagger into our heart," said abuse survivor Tom Viviano.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, is calling for the Bishop Sullivan Centers to change its name. There are three locations in the metro area. Two in KCMO and one in KCK.

"They do excellent work," said SNAP advocate David Biersmith. "Bishop Sullivan Center is a food pantry, and basically, and that neighborhood needs it."

SNAP Letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 18, 2019

We are writing to you as survivors of clergy sexual assault in Wisconsin. Our organization of survivors and the survivors associated with us encompass three generations of victims. Recent developments over the past year in the clergy sexual abuse and cover up crisis has once again engulfed the Catholic church, not only in the United States but around the world. Next month, Pope Francis is convening, for the first time in the history of the church, a global gathering of bishops to address this crisis.

The horror of clerical sexual violence and the failure of the hierarchy to adequately respond to or, worse, actively assist in the continuation of these crimes, is voluminously documented. In the United States, as you probably know, a devastating Grand Jury Report released last summer in Pennsylvania revealed and confirmed the widespread, systematic and institutional complicity in this violence. Since then, fifteen states and the U.S. Department of Justice are now actively investigating sexual abuse and the institutional response by bishops and religious order provincials.

We believe it is long overdue that the State of Wisconsin launch such an investigation, particularly since Wisconsin, unlike many of these other states, already has a large body of evidence of these crimes and cover ups. Of particular concern in Wisconsin is the evidence that has been amassed through a five-year bankruptcy action with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Although concluded, the court record shows that at least 100 never-before identified alleged clerical offenders, who were reported by victims to the court, have not been investigated or named by church officials.

Priest is first charged by state task force launched to investigate clergy sex abuse

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

January 17, 2019

By Ted Sherman

In the first criminal case filed by a state task force set up to investigate allegations of clergy abuse, a well-known Phillipsburg priest has been arrested on sexual assault charges involving a teenager in Middlesex County more than two decades ago.

The Rev. Thomas P. Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge when the alleged assaults occurred, from 1990 through 1994, state prosecutors said in announcing the arrest late Thursday. He is currently assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg.

Ganley was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, according to state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending a detention hearing on Friday.

Woodbridge Priest Charged With Sexually Assaulting Teen In '90s

The Patch

January 17, 2019

By Carly Baldwin

Father Thomas Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Iselin. He is charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl from 1990-1994.

A priest who worked for years at a well-known Catholic parish in Iselin was arrested Thursday, Jan. 17 and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the 1990s.

Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, who now lives in Phillipsburg, N.J., was arrested today at his home and charged with multiple criminal counts; the Middlesex County prosecutor says the sexual assault happened when the girl was between the ages of 14 and 17.

Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge when the alleged criminal acts occurred from 1990 through 1994. He is currently assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg.

Former Catholic priest in Woodbridge charged with sexual assault of a child

Bridgewater Courier

January 17, 2019

By Susan Loyer

A priest who served at St. Cecelia Church in the Iselin section has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child between the ages of 14 and 17 in the 1990s, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced Thursday.

Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.


New Jersey 101.5

January 17, 2019

By Erin Vogt

A Catholic priest who lives in Warren County has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of a teen girl over several years at his former church in Woodbridge.

Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Ganley was a priest at St. Cecelia Church in the Iselin section when the criminal acts occurred from 1990 through 1994, prosecutors said.

Catholic Priests Keep Saying They Forgot About Sex Abuse

Vice News

January 16, 2019

The Catholic Church might have trouble remembering, but rank-and-file Catholics don't.

The only difficulty one might reasonably claim when it comes to remembering sex abuse by priests in America is the sheer amount there is to recollect. Close your eyes, and go back no further than 2018, perhaps the most spectacularly disastrous year—and certainly summer—for the Church in recent history. In June, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became the highest-ranking clergyman ever removed from the Catholic ministry in the US over child sex abuse allegations.

A month later, McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, DC, and confidant to Pope Francis, resigned from the College of Cardinals, the 224-person body that, among its other holy duties, votes on the next pope.

According to a bombshell article in the New York Times that highlighted McCarrick's decades of alleged sexual abuse against both minors and seminarians, he declined to comment but said in a previous statement that he had no recollection of the abuse and believed in his own innocence. (Such statements have become a trope for powerful people accused of sexual violence in the era of #MeToo.)

Meanwhile, in August, a Pennsylvania grand jury reported that at least 300 priests had abused 1,000-plus children in a 70-year span in just some of that state's dioceses. The months since have seen the Church scrambling to address allegation after allegation of abuse, cover-up, and despair.

Yet somehow, even as the Vatican has shown the occasional sign of finally taking this nightmare seriously, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick's successor as the archbishop of Washington, has decided to play the bad memory card, too.

The Catholic Church needs to do more than apologize over residential schools

The Star

January 17, 2019

By Tanya Talaga

Evelyn Korkmaz is not waiting to see if she’ll receive an official invitation from the Vatican to attend the historic Papal Summit on sexual abuse.

While Pope Francis and the world’s Catholic bishops meet inside Vatican City walls from Feb. 21 to 24, Korkmaz, a survivor of the notorious St. Anne’s Indian Residential School, will join other global survivors in Rome as they hold an alternate “Ending Clergy Abuse” event.

Now 61, Korkmaz spent the most horrific years of her life as a student at St. Anne’s, which was run by Oblate Catholic nuns. Children who attended the school, which opened in 1906, were routinely abused, beaten and malnourished. Students lived in fear of the homemade electric chair used to punish them.

Korkmaz was sexually assaulted at the school, which was one of 139 Indian Residential Schools in Canada that existed from the mid-1800s to 1996. Nearly 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken away from their families, homes and communities and placed in government-funded, church-run schools meant to erase their identities and to assimilate them into colonized, Christian Canada.

Pope Francis has refused to apologize for Canada’s residential school experience, even though many of the schools were Catholic. Last year, he acknowledged the abuse suffered at the hands of the clergy in Chile but still Indigenous people in Canada wait. “What have the Aboriginal people done that we don’t have the same respect as those in the other countries?” Korkmaz asks.

Defending the church from Cuomo

New York Daily News

January 17, 2019

I watched Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address, and it unfortunately confirmed what many had warned me but I was unwilling to believe.

For years, I’ve disagreed with those who have observed that certain politicians are using the proposed Child Victims Act, which would extend statutes of limitation for child sex abuse, as a cudgel to attack the Catholic Church. I tried to reason that while there are sadly some who want to single out the church and weaken its ministry, most of our responsible elected officials, Cuomo included, realize the issue of abuse is hardly just a “Catholic problem.”

The governor has proven me wrong. “I am fully aware of the position of the Catholic Church and the opposition of the Catholic Church,” he said, before talking about how he had been an altar boy and how child sex abuse is an offense so dire it demands justice.

I took this as an attack on New York’s Catholic family — singling us out as opponents of legislation that others object to for many reasons.

Bill to Extend Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Claims Is Set to Pass in NY, But Timeline Is Unclear

New York Law Journal

January 18, 2019

By Dan M. Clark

With major reforms already underway in the new session of the New York Legislature, and with both houses now controlled by the Democrats, it’s still unclear when a long-sought-after bill to change the statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse will be considered by lawmakers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state lawmakers and advocates for the bill all agree on one thing: the legislation will pass at some point during this year’s legislative session. The question, for now, is when.

This year’s executive budget proposal, presented Tuesday by Cuomo, includes a nearly identical version of the bill pushed by state lawmakers last year.

It would raise the criminal and civil statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse to ages 28 and 50, respectively. It would also enact a one-year lookback window for victims over the age of 50 to bring civil claims against their alleged abusers. That window would start after the bill becomes law.

“The Child Victims Act has been too long denied,” Cuomo said. “If you believe in justice for all, then you believe in passing the Child Victims Act.”

A spokesman for Cuomo said if a bill makes it to his desk outside the state budget, which is due at the end of March, he will sign it.

Dolan raps Cuomo for singling out Church over child sexual abuse


January 18, 2019

In a Friday essay for the New York Daily News, Cardinal Timothy Dolan argued that Governor Andrew Cuomo, himself a Catholic, unfairly attacked the Church in his Jan. 15 “State of the State” speech with rhetoric regarding proposals to extend civil statutes of limitation for child sex abuse.

In his speech, Cuomo backed the “Child Victims Act,” which, among other things, would open up a one-time-only, one-year window for victims to file civil claims regardless of when the abuse happened. In its most recent form, the measure would also extend or eliminate the statute of limitations for future criminal cases involving a child under the age of 18, and it would extend the general time limit for victims to sue in civil court to the time they turn 50.

Since the bill was proposed, New York’s Catholic Conference has objected on the grounds that it covers only private institutions such as the Church and not public institutions such as taxpayer-financed schools, orphanages and social service providers.

Judge who guided Pennsylvania grand jury investigations into abuse by priests knew impact ‘would be huge’

Tribune Democrat

January 18, 2019

By Jocelyn Brumbaugh

Judge Norman Krumenacker recalls Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asking him what kind of attention the statewide investigation into allegations of abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church would bring.

“I told him to get a new tie and suit because he was going to be on '60 Minutes,’” Krumenacker said.

Cambria County's president judge directed the grand jury investigations into priest abuse that led to reports targeting the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese in 2016, and then six more dioceses across the state in 2018.

The two reports combined found sexual abuse by 350 priests or other church officials and involved more than 1,300 children – with accounts dating back decades – and extensive efforts by church officials to cover up the abuse.

Krumenacker said that during a 2014 investigation into reported sexual abuse by a former athletic trainer at a Catholic high school in Johnstown, he began to understand the magnitude of a looming grand jury investigation for the church institution and its members.

"I realized the gravity of what was going to happen," Krumenacker said during an interview in his chambers at the Cambria courthouse.

In his role as supervising judge of the 37th statewide investigative grand jury, Krumenacker first was tasked with deciding whether attorney-client privilege would be jeopardized if files were turned over to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

That meant reading through “tens of thousands” of documents from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown concerning Bishop McCort Catholic High School and Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar from the Third Order Regular accused of violating more than 100 children.

The Cambria County District Attorney's Office referred the Baker case to the state attorney general in early 2014, after Baker died of a reported self-inflicted knife wound to the heart.

Lincoln priest accused of giving alcohol to teen in 2017

Lincoln Journal Star

January 18, 2019

By Peter Salter

The Lincoln priest removed last year from St. Peter’s Catholic Church was charged last week with giving alcohol to a minor -- in July 2017.

Charles Townsend is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 23 on the misdemeanor charge.

The 57-year-old was placed on administrative leave in August, a year after Bishop James Conley learned the priest had an “inappropriate, nonsexual relationship” with a 19-year-old altar server that involved alcohol.

At the time, the bishop sent Townsend to Texas for treatment, though priests and parishioners were told he left for health reasons, and the teen’s parents weren’t told about the incident, according to a statement from Conley on the diocese website.

Townsend returned and served St. Peter’s until Conley removed him, asked the server’s parents for forgiveness and alerted the Lincoln Police Department.

Witnesses ultimately told officers Townsend provided alcohol to the 19-year-old at a Lincoln home in July 2017, and the priest had to drive the intoxicated teen home, according to a statement Friday from Officer Angela Sands. Townsend was cited Jan. 9.



January 18, 2019

The Tri-City area learned last week that seven former priests who served in Morgan City or Amelia had been the targets of sexual misconduct allegations. More revelations may be ahead for priests who served on the west side of the Atchafalaya River.

Friday’s release of names, all of former priests who have faced criminal or civil action or are targets of charges deemed credible, came from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, which extends as far west as Morgan City. St. Mary Parish west of the Atchafalaya is part of the Diocese of Lafayette, which has yet to release a complete list of priests accused or convicted of sexual misconduct.

But the diocese is committed to releasing a list, according to the frequently asked questions posted on its website.

“After prayer and discussion, Bishop (Douglas) Deshotel, along with bishops of other dioceses in Louisiana, have decided that the positive reasons outweigh the negative ones, and so he has committed to releasing a list of priests and deacons removed from ministry because of sexual abuse of a minor.

“The compilation of the list will seek to be done in a way that is as complete and as accurate as possible. …”

A search of media accounts, court records, victim advocacy websites and other sources led to the names of four clergymen accused of sexual misconduct and who served in Lafayette Diocese assignments in St. Mary as far back as the 1950s and as recently as 1998. None of the publicly released allegations involve crimes believed to have been committed in St. Mary.

Former Superintendent of Maryville Academy Faces Sexual Abuse Allegations

NBC Channel 5

January 18, 2019

A retired Chicago priest has been asked to step aside from the ministry after allegations of sexual abuse were levied against him.

Father John P. Smyth, who was the superintendent of the Maryville Academy in suburban Desplaines for over 30 years, was accused of sexual abuse while he was in charge of that facility. The accusations date back to 2002 and 2003, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Father Smyth will be asked to reside away from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe grounds while the allegations are investigated.

In accordance with policy, the Archdiocese reported the allegations to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney.

Maryville Academy is described as an institution that provides “therapeutic and educational services to students with emotional, behavioural, and learning disabilities” on the group’s website.

Bishop Sullivan Center should be renamed, priest victims’ advocacy groups says

Kansas City Star

January 18, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

A victims’ advocacy group on Friday called on the Bishop Sullivan Center to change its name, saying it honors a bishop who oversaw the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese during a period when most priest sex abuse cases occurred.

“Honoring wrongdoers makes already-suffering abuse victims suffer more, and that makes them less apt to speak up in the future, thus endangering more kids,” said David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“It also makes witnesses and whistleblowers more apt to stay silent. ‘Why stick my neck out,’ they ask themselves, ‘when even those who are clearly guilty are still held out as model clerics by the church hierarchy?’”

The Bishop Sullivan Center indicated Friday that it had no plans to take any action.

“We are not aware of any misconduct by Bishop Sullivan,” said director Tom Turner in an email to The Star. “On the contrary, we knew him as a man committed to helping people in poverty, which was why the center was named after him. Many people we help are victims of abuse, so we are sympathetic to that pain.”

Bishop John J. Sullivan was head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from 1977 to 1993. He died in 2001 at 80.

In an email to The Star, the diocese said that the Bishop Sullivan Center “is an independent charity in Kansas City which serves the poor.”

Accused of Abuse, Schools Rush to Reassure

New York Times

January 16, 2019

By Rick Rojas

Hours after the Jesuits this week released the names of dozens of priests who faced accusations of sexual abuse, schools in the Northeast rushed to dispel any notion that they still employed suspected abusers.

Stricter policies are in place, school officials said, and the understanding of sexual misconduct had evolved. Fordham Prep in the Bronx noted that accused priests were no longer living in a nursing home nearby.

Most of the 50 men who were identified on Tuesday by the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuit order is known, are dead. Many of the rest have not worked in Jesuit-run schools for years or had been pulled from public ministry.

Still, one was teaching at the prestigious Masters School just north of New York City, prompting officials there to initiate an investigation and force him to resign. The private prep school has no religious affiliation.

Michigan priest legal defense group ousts two officials amid AG deal

Detroit News

January 18, 2019

By Beth LeBlanc

The president and treasurer of a Michigan group that provides legal and moral support for accused priests across the globe are out following state concerns about the oversight of the tax-exempt nonprofit.

Former Attorney General Bill Schuette reached a settlement with Opus Bono Sacerdotii in December, five months after he filed a July cease-and-desist order against the Lapeer County group for alleged violations of Michigan’s nonprofit and charitable solicitation laws.

Prompted by a 2017 complaint from a former employee, Schuette's 2018 cease-and-desist order came about a month before he launched a far-reaching probe into Michigan's seven dioceses, essentially an investigation into the clergy Opus Bono assists.

Obus Bono Sacerdotii, whose Latin name means “work for the good of the priesthood,” focuses on helping priests who are "experiencing acute difficulties” and was started by founder and president Joe Maher in 2002. According to the group's website, Maher helped fund the defense of a parish priest after he was arrested by Detroit police on a sexual abuse allegation. The priest eventually was acquitted

SNAP calls on Diocese to release additional priest names


January 18, 2019

By Tia Johnson

A national clergy abuse survivor group is urging Wisconsin's Attorney General to investigate the Diocese of Green Bay after the church released names of 46 priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

On Friday, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) held a press conference in front of the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier on Madison Street in Green Bay.

SNAP is urging Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul to initiate a statewide investigation of church sexual abuse and cover up.

"There are 15 states now and the US Department of Justice that have open investigations of Diocese like this one where there has been demonstrable evidence and proof that there has been a history of decades of covering up child sex crimes," says Peter Isely, founding member of SNAP.

SNAP is asking for Bishop David Ricken to name "additional abusive priests known by church officials to have operated within his diocese."

"That list is partial, it is biased and it is incomplete," Isely says.

First Female Victim Of Clergy Sex Abuse Sues Pittsburgh Diocese

KDKA Radio

January 18, 2019

By Joe Destio

The first female survivor of clergy sex abuse has sued the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese.

The plaintiff’s attorney George Kontos tells KDKA Radio's Joe DeStio

“Not unlike a lot of the abuse that we have already filed complains for it involves a known predator priest in this instance a Father Paul Pindel who was at St. Genevieve church in Canonsburg in addition to various other places. We believe he was transferred about 12 times,” says Kontos

Pindel is named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

The lawsuit alleges the abuse occurred in 1982 when the plaintiff was 15 or 16-years-old while Pindel was counseling her.

Letter to the editor: Jesuits offer lame excuse for handling of priests accused of sex abuse

Press Herald

January 8, 2019

The USA Northeast Province of Jesuits released a list of 50 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse that includes seven priests who worked at Cheverus High School in Portland.

In his statement announcing the release of the names, the Northeast Jesuit provincial, the Rev. John Cecero, S.J., tries to convince us that if he and his fellow Jesuits had known better, they’d have done better.

That is, known better about not letting a pedophile rape a kid a second, third or fourth time.

Here’s what Father Cecero wrote in part in his statement: “We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way.”

New Attorneys General to Continue Investigating Clergy Abuse

Associated Press

January 18, 2019

Newly inaugurated state attorneys general said they plan to continue investigations of clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic church as thousands of victims reach out to state hotlines and online systems to report past abuse.

At least 14 attorneys general around the country have confirmed investigations or reviews of clergy abuse in the wake of a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. Six of those offices — New York, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Florida and Delaware — are helmed by newly elected attorneys general, including three of the states reporting the largest numbers of victims contacting them.

Almost 3,000 calls, emails and online reports of clergy abuse have been made in the last five months. Nearly half of those calls were made to the Pennsylvania attorney general's office after its investigation was released.

That number doesn't account for reports made to seven states that declined to disclose numbers from their reporting systems to The Associated Press, including states with large Catholic populations like New Jersey and California with a dozen dioceses. The number could be much higher with those included. Several states are seeing lower responses; Delaware reported only five victim contacts as of the beginning of the year.

"We have an entire team of people dedicated to investigating the allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Michigan's seven Catholic dioceses," said new Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, whose office had received more than 300 victim calls and emails in just a few months. "I am committed to ensuring we leave no stone unturned as we continue to receive additional information on our tip line and review the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents obtained in search warrants executed last fall."

Inician investigación contra fallecido capellán del Hogar de Cristo Renato Poblete tras denuncia

[Jesuits open abuse investigation against Renato Poblete, deceased chaplain of Hogar de Cristo]


January 17, 2019

By Alberto González and Sebastián Cáceres

La Compañía de Jesús en Chile anunció una investigación canónica previa en contra del excapellán del Hogar de Cristo, el fallecido sacerdote Renato Poblete, por una acusación de abusos sexuales, de poder y conciencia, que habrían ocurrido entre 1985 y 1993. A través de un comunicado, la organización religiosa informó que a comienzos de enero recibió una denuncia de abusos sexuales, de poder y conciencia, cometidos por el sacerdote Renato Poblete Barth, quien murió en febrero de 2010 producto de un ataque cardíaco, a los 85 años de edad.

Jesuits release list of priests credibly accused of abuse, including 22 with Mass. ties

Boston Globe

January 15, 2018

By Laura Crimaldi and Michael Levenson
The governing body for Jesuit priests in eight Northeastern states released a list Tuesday of 50 clergy who were credibly accused of sexual abuse against children dating back to 1950, including 22 who were affiliated with high schools, hospitals, churches, and colleges in Massachusetts.

The list includes 16 Jesuits who worked at Boston College High School in Dorchester, and one priest who ministered in Fall River and Gloucester, but was only stripped of his duties in the last two weeks as officials at the USA Northeast Jesuit Province prepared to publicize his name.

All but five of the Jesuits with Massachusetts ties are listed as deceased. Among the living is James Talbot, who was defrocked in 2013 and jailed last year for sexually assaulting a boy in Freeport, Maine, during the 1990s, according to The Portland Press Herald.

Syracuse bishop supports state law giving sex abuse victims more powers to sue


January 18, 2019

By Julie McMahon

Syracuse Catholic Bishop Robert Cunningham said today he would support a proposed law in New York state giving victims of child sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits.

Cunningham publicly shared his personal views on the Child Victims Act for the first time in a letter to The Post-Standard. He is part of the New York Catholic Conference, which has historically opposed the bill. Cunningham said today it was time for the New York State Legislature to pass and strengthen the proposed law.

The law in previous years failed to pass in the Republican-controlled state Senate. With Democrats in control of both houses in New York state, the Child Victims Act is expected to pass this year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo included it in his budget proposal during his State of the State address earlier this week.

The law would expand the statute of limitation in all criminal felony sex abuse cases involving children. It would allow prosecutors to pursue charges against abusers until the victim turns 28 years old.

Scholarships named for Jesuits with Mass. ties discontinued after order identifies clergy credibly accused of child molestation

Boston Globe

January 16, 2018

By Laura Crimaldi

Scholarships were given in their names, and Catholic institutions in Massachusetts tapped them as leaders.

But after the publication this week of the names of 50 Jesuit priests who were credibly accused of molesting children since 1950, organizations statewide have stripped the men of honors bestowed upon them years earlier. Twenty-two of the Jesuits had local ties, including five who are living.

On Wednesday, Boston College High School in Dorchester said it had discontinued a scholarship named for the late Rev. Leo Pollard, a German teacher and longtime hockey coach who molested children, according to the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.

Colleen Carter, a spokeswoman for the school, said BC High suspended the scholarship on Jan. 9 when the Jesuits provided its list of accused clergy.

SNAP accuses diocese of concealing names of additional offending priests

Green Bay Press-Gazette

January 18, 2019

By Paul Srubas

An activist group for victims of priest abuse is claiming the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay remains in cover-up mode despite Thursday’s release of suspects’ names by the diocese.

Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is holding a press conference on the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral steps this morning. He plans to call for Bishop David Ricken to name additional abusive priests who he claims were omitted from the list Ricken released Tuesday.

He also will call for Attorney General Josh Kaul to launch a statewide investigation of clerical sexual abuse and cover-up and to investigate the destruction of personnel records ordered in the Green Bay diocese by its former Bishop David Zubik in 2007.

Green Bay Diocese releases names of clergy in sex abuse investigation


January 17, 2019

By Sarah Thomsen

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay says an investigation has found 47 clergy members with "substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor."

There are 98 victims.

The names of 46 of the 47 priests were released on the Diocese website. One name is being withheld by the Diocese pending further review.

"It is important to state that there are currently no known priests serving in active ministry in the Diocese of Green Bay who have had a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them," says Rev. John Girotti, Vicar for Canonical Services.

Green Bay diocese releases list of 46 priests it knows to have sexually abused minors since 1906

Green Bay Press-Gazette

January 17, 2019

By Paul Srubas

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay on Thursday morning released 46 names of clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

At a press conference on the diocesan campus, Bishop David Ricken apologized to the 98 known victims of sexual abuse by the clergy in the diocese since 1906 and called for other victims, if any, to come forward, to help make sure no abusers remain in the clergy.

"We believe you," Ricken said of the victims, survivors and families, whom he called "my greatest concern."

Diocesan Chancellor Tammy Basten and the Rev. John Girotti, vicar for canonical services, also spoke about the internal investigation conducted at the diocese since September to identify the clergy members.

Disgraced U.S. ex-cardinal could be defrocked soon: Vatican sources


January 16, 2019

By Philip Pullella

Disgraced former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick is almost certain to be defrocked in the next few weeks over allegations against him, including sexual abuse of minors, two Vatican sources said.

Last July, McCarrick became the first Catholic prelate in nearly 100 years to lose the title of cardinal. The allegations against him date back to decades ago when he was still rising to the top of the U.S. Church hierarchy.

McCarrick, 88, has responded publicly to only one of the allegations, saying he has “absolutely no recollection” of an alleged case of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy more than 50 years ago.

Diocese of Green Bay Releases List of Clerics Accused of Abuse

SNAP Network

January 17, 2019

For immediate release, January 17, 2019

Today the Diocese of Green Bay has released a list of clerics that have been accused of abuse.

It is always helpful for survivors when these lists are posted, especially for those who may be suffering in silence. Seeing that they are not alone helps victims heal and could also compel others who were abused – whether by the same person or in the same place – to come forward.

What is not helpful for survivors is when church officials carefully curate these lists, leaving off names of priests who are accused because they do not meet the diocese’s ever-changing and nebulous definition of “credible.”

There has been at least some curation in this case as the list released today contains only diocesan priests, eschewing the names of religious order priests that served in the Green Bay area. For example, Bishop Accountability lists the following order priests who have been accused of abuse and spent time in Green Bay but are not disclosed in today’s release: Fr. Angelo Feldkamp, Fr. Camillus Frigo, Fr. Eric Middlecamp, Fr. Rudolph Nocinski, Fr. Loren Nys, Fr. James Stein,

We call on Bishop David Ricken to expand the list to include any religious order priests who have spent time in Green Bay, even if they offended elsewhere. We also encourage Bishop Ricken to release the names of any nuns, deacons or other church staff who may have allegations against them, as we know that abusers can be anyone, not just priests.

Michigan State names new interim president

The Associated Press Videos

January 17, 2019

Michigan State University’s board says interim president John Engler’s resignation is effective immediately. The board acted a day after Engler announced his resignation amid fallout from the case of convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar (Jan. 17)

Michigan State to hire interim leader after Engler resigns

The Associated Press

January 17, 2019

By Corey Williams and David Eggert

Michigan State University is poised to name a new interim president Thursday after the former governor who was brought in to help it recover from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal resigned under pressure, amid backlash over his comments about some of the ex-sports doctor's victims.

John Engler - who had resisted calls to step down in the past - quit in an 11-page letter to Dianne Byrum, chairwoman of Michigan State's Board of Trustees, effective Jan. 23. It makes no mention of recent criticism of his recent remarks and instead lists what he considers to be his accomplishments in nearly one year of service, saying the university is a ''dramatically better, stronger institution.''

''It has been an honor to serve my beloved university,'' wrote Engler, who is in Texas attending a burial service for his late father-in-law.

With his sudden reversal, Engler joins a long list of people - including his predecessor as president - who have been fired, forced out of their jobs or charged with crimes amid fallout from the school's handling of the once-renowned sports physician stretching back decades.

The final straw for the university's governing board came last week when Engler told The Detroit News that Nassar's victims had been in the ''spotlight'' and are ''still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition.''

Nassar is now serving decades-long prison sentences for sexually assaulting patients and possessing child pornography.

List of Jesuits accused of abuse includes many with Massachusetts connections

The Associated Press

January 16, 2019

By Karen Matthews

The governing body for the Jesuit order in the northeastern United States has released a list of 50 priests under its jurisdiction who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

All but 15 of the Roman Catholic priests on the list released Tuesday by the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus are dead, and all of the alleged abuse all took place before 1997.

Two former priests are incarcerated, one for possession of child pornography and one for abuse charges.

“At the heart of this crisis is the painful, sinful and illegal harm done to children by those whom they should have been able to trust,” the Rev. John J. Cecero, the top official for the province, said in a statement, adding, “We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way.”

The list includes priests who served in Jesuit high schools and colleges throughout New England, New York and northern New Jersey. Of the 50, 22 have Massachusetts connections.

Top Mass. Lawmaker Accused of Groping a Female Colleague

Boston Magazine

January 17, 2019

By Spencer Buell

State Rep. Paul McMurtry allegedly grabbed a woman's behind at an event.

As Beacon Hill continues to grapple with what women have described as a culture that looked the other way in the face of harassment and inappropriate behavior, a high-ranking state rep is now accused of groping a female colleague.

According to a bombshell report in the Boston Globe, a woman in state government alleges that Rep. Paul McMurtry of Dedham grabbed her behind at an orientation event. An ad hoc committee is investigating whether to pursue the allegations further, McMurtry, who served at the time of the alleged incident as head of the House Committee on Personnel and Administration and is considered part of House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s inner circle, denies the allegations, calling them “absolutely, positively, unequivocally not true” and said he would “participate in any review” of the incident.

Two lawmakers tell the Globe that the woman, who has not been identified publicly, told them McMurtry grabbed her during a cocktail reception at UMass Amherst. A third lawmaker claims she witnessed the alleged groping.

Les Moonves to Pursue Arbitration for $120 Million Severance Denied by CBS

The Wrap

January 17, 2019

By Jennifer Maas and Tony Maglio

Former CBS chief Les Moonves will be pursuing arbitration to fight CBS for the $120 million severance pay he was denied last month when he was fired by the board of directors for cause.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday, CBS stated that Moonves has informed the company of his plan: “On January 16, 2019, Mr. Moonves notified the Company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter. The Company does not intend to comment further on this matter during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings.”

The investigation into Moonves — who was ousted in September, after multiple women came forward with sexual misconduct accusations — concluded Dec. 17, with the CBS board announcing at that time the former chairman and CEO “will not receive any severance payment.”

Five reasons the pope's clergy sex abuse meeting in Rome will fail

Religion News Service

January 18, 2019

By Thomas Reese

Next month's meeting in Rome, called by Pope Francis to deal with the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, may well be a failure before it even starts.

The stakes for the meeting have been ratcheted up, at least for the American church, as the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse has summoned up new scrutiny of the church's response, from the pews and from government officials; then, in November, the Vatican squelched a vote at the U.S. bishops' fall meeting on measures designed to hold the hierarchy accountable for not dealing with abuse.

Now, more than 100 presidents of episcopal conferences from all over the world, plus a dozen or so other participants, are headed to Rome for a four-day conference beginning Feb. 21. According to the Vatican, the meeting will focus on three main themes: responsibility, accountability and transparency.

There are five reasons this meeting will fail.

Larry Nassar’s First Known Victim Is A Mother Figure To Hundreds Of Young Survivors

Huffington Post

January 17, 2019

By Alanna Vagianos

This article is part of “One Year Later: Larry Nassar And The Women Who Made Us Listen,” a seven-part series that commemorates the seven days women stood in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom last year and faced their abuser, former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State trainer Larry Nassar. Read more here.

By all appearances, Sarah Klein leads a relatively ordinary life.

The 39-year-old lives outside Philadelphia with her 3-year-old daughter, Genevieve. A former attorney, she travels a lot for her work as a consultant for a firm based in Florida. She’s driven and passionate, but has a relaxed way about her that would make anyone feel at home.

What most don’t know is how Klein’s life has been shaped, especially in the past few years, by the scandal of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University trainer now serving a life sentence for child sexual abuse. Klein is Nassar’s first known victim. She says he began sexually abusing her in 1988. She was only 8 years old.

Up until this past summer, Klein was only known in court documents as “Victim 125.” Her choice to keep her identity private through Nassar’s various trials and sentence hearings was a “deliberate decision” to maintain privacy while she sifted through and unpacked years of trauma.

Over three decades after the abuse began, Klein tells me these last few years have been a complicated mix of sadness, anger and exhaustion.

“It’s so sad to find out that somebody you loved so much was capable of harming so many people and breaking so many lives,” she said.

Editorial: Reality check was missing at US bishops' retreat

National Catholic Reporter

January 18, 2019

It was a highly unusual event when most of the bishops in the United States gathered for a weeklong retreat earlier in January at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago. The event was driven by a most unusual and debilitating problem, the clergy sex abuse crisis, which has bedeviled the church in the United States for nearly 34 years.

The event itself may have been the primary goal — gathering a group of men publicly divided over a host of issues for prayer and meditation away from daily pressures. Only time will tell if there are long-term benefits.

More immediately, however, the point of the gathering as it relates to the abuse scandal remains quite puzzling, particularly in light of the 11 talks delivered by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, official preacher of the papal household.

He began by announcing that the charge he received from Pope Francis was that he "lead a week of spiritual exercises for the bishop conference so that the bishops, far from their daily commitments, in a climate of prayer and silence and in a personal encounter with the Lord, may receive the strength and light of the Holy Spirit to find the right solution for the problems that afflict the church of the United States today."

In that regard, he said, "I am not going to talk about pedophilia or give advice about eventual solutions. That is not my task and I would not have the competence to do it."

It is beyond our competence and the space here to deal authoritatively with Cantalamessa's outpouring of erudition, a river of words that took bishops through discourses on the kerygma, Christian asceticism, prayer, spirituality, conversion, the centrality of the person of Jesus, all laced through with biblical scholarship, modern-era theologians, the work of Francis, references to pop culture, and an unremittingly bleak analysis of contemporary culture.

Attorney general: Phillipsburg priest arrested and charged with sexual assault of teen

Morning Call

January 18, 2019

By Kayla Dwyer

A Catholic priest from Phillipsburg has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of an underage girl in the early 1990s, authorities announced.

Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 16 — the first criminal case filed by the New Jersey Clergy Abuse Task Force since its formation in September 2018.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced the charges against him in a news release Thursday: one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree.


NBC News

January 18, 2019

By Doha Madani

New Jersey authorities announced Thursday that a priest has been charged with sexual assault based on allegations stemming from the 1990s in the first criminal case by the state’s new Clergy Abuse Task Force.

Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested Wednesday on allegations that he sexually abused a minor between 1990 and 1994, while he worked at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge, according to a press release from the state Attorney General’s Office.

The girl was between the age of 14 and 17 when the alleged assaults occurred.

Ganley, whose current assignment is Saint Philip and Saint James Church in Phillipsburg, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree.

Ganley is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center and has a court appearance scheduled for Friday.

The task force that filed charges against Ganley was announced by state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in September 2018, weeks after a bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report concluded that about 300 priests in the state had sexually abused more than 1,000 children, stretching back 70 years.

Ganley is the first priest to be arrested under the task force’s purview.

“This case illustrates that we are prepared to move swiftly to investigate allegations, and where there are viable criminal charges, to pursue those charges,” Grewal said in a press release.

SNAP to hold a news conference Friday

FOX 11 News

January 18th 2019

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, will hold a news conference Friday.

The group sent a letter to state Attorney General Josh Kaul, to launch a statewide investigation of clergy sex abuse and alleged cover-up.

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is revealing results of its third-party investigation into its files on priests and deacons. The investigation was focused on finding any incidents of sexual abuse against minors by priests or deacons.

The news conference is at 11:30 a.m. We hope to stream it on fox11online.com.

PD Editorial: Welcome candor and transparency from Santa Rosa’s Catholic bishop

Press Democrat

January 18, 2019

North Coast Catholics waited a long time for their church to name all of the local priests who sexually abused children.

A list was finally released last weekend, and to his credit, Bishop Robert F. Vasa went a step further. His list of 39 priests and deacons with ties to the Diocese of Santa Rosa includes known abusers, others who were credibly accused and two former bishops who are still under review.

Vasa said about 100 children have been sexually abused since the diocese was founded in 1962, with the most recent incidents reported in 2006 and 2008.

This is unprecedented transparency for local church leaders.

Vasa followed up with a public apology for the “evil actions” and a promise to be vigilant.

“Even when I’m fairly certain that nothing untoward had occurred, I will report it to the police because that’s the route I need to take,” he said at a Monday news conference.

That is, of course, the legal standard in California.

Hamburg clergy rape victim's powerful Facebook post: 'The Church didn’t really care'

Buffalo News

January 17, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Harry King, 55, first told a Buffalo Diocese administrator in 2002 that the Rev. Donald Becker sexually abused him when King was a teenager in the late 1970s. He spoke to The Buffalo News this past spring, on the condition that his name be kept out of the story.

Now, King is telling the world, with his name attached.

King posted on Facebook this week a raw and powerful 3,800-word essay about the alleged abuse and its effect on his life. In the essay, King reveals his battles with depression and his multiple attempts to kill himself. He discusses what it was like to meet with two retired judges who are determining how much clergy sex abuse victims receive under a diocesan program to compensate victims.

In March, Becker told The News he had not molested any children, although Buffalo Diocese officials said Becker had been removed from ministry in 2003 because of abuse allegations. Days later the diocese said the allegations against Becker were credible.

Please be warned: King’s story is disturbing and includes graphic accounts of the rape of a teenager. We publish King’s story because it gives a rare look at how sexual abuse — and the church’s response — wounded one person, as a teen and for decades.

January 17, 2019

New Jersey priest arrested in first criminal case from state's clergy abuse task force

NBC News

January 17, 2019

By Doha Madani

New Jersey authorities announced Thursday that a priest has been charged with sexual assault based on allegations stemming from the 1990s in the first criminal case by the state's new Clergy Abuse Task Force.

Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested Wednesday on allegations that he sexually abused a minor between 1990 and 1994, while he worked at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge, according to a press release from the state Attorney General's Office.

The girl was between the age of 14 and 17 when the alleged assaults occurred.

Ganley, whose current assignment is Saint Philip and Saint James Church in Phillipsburg, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree.

SNAP wants Archbishop to name credibly accused priests

WAVE 3 News

January 17, 2019

By Connie Leonard

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, in Louisville and across the country, called on the Louisville Archbishop Thursday to protect children and release all names of priests who are credibly accused, as he has pledged, ASAP.

“Secrecy is the same,” said St. Louis SNAP volunteer David Clohessy, “the pattern of doing nothing until forced is the same.”

From Chicago to St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is asking Archbishop Kurtz to add the names of priests, who they said were shuffled into Louisville after being accused--and in some cases, admitted to abuse in other cities.

Some of the priests have already passed away, but SNAP believes if the Archbishop puts the names out there, victims may come forward and parents will at least know about those still around.

“At least one of them is accused of molesting five Louisville kids, and all of them spent some time in this area,” Clohessy said.

Five priests, SNAP contends, who deserve to be outed.

“If you asked 100 Louisville Catholics about these five names, 98 or 99 of them would not know who they are,” Clohessy said.

They said the accused priests are quietly moved around from other areas.

SNAP demonstrators push Archdiocese of Louisville to release list of accused priests


January 17, 2019

By Chris Sutter

Armed with signs, umbrellas and a message, a group from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests refused to allow rain to dampen the passion behind the reason they posted up outside the headquarters for the Archdiocese of Louisville.

"We're here today to draw attention to five credibly accused child molesting priests," SNAP volunteer leader David Clohessy said.

Some members of the group are survivors of priest abuse in Kentucky and elsewhere.

"I was abused, and we need to get the word out," Larry Anthonsen said.

Each name the group wrote on their signs, they said, is an abusive member of the clergy that spent time in Louisville. They want Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to put out his list of credibly accused priests.

"Every single day that he hides these names, he's putting kids at risk," Clohessy said.

They also want detailed information on those that are still alive, like where the priests are now, their work histories and photos. Similar lists have been shared across the country but not everywhere.

"Bishops never like to acknowledge this crisis," Clohessy said. "They want victims and whistleblowers to stay trapped in silence and shame and self-blame."

SNAP members said that has to change for the survivors, some of whom have overcome what they describe as one of the worst moments of their lives, to advocate for those still suffering the same pain.

Sexual abuse survivors call for list of Louisville priests accused of assault to be released now


January 17, 2019

By Caray Grace

A group of sexual abuse survivors with the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) stood outside the Archdiocese of Louisville with one message, release their names.

"It should have happened a long time ago. It should happen tomorrow. There's no reason why you can't release a partial list today," said David Clohessy, volunteer director of SNAP.

Four survivors are calling for Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to release the list of priests who have been accused of sexual assault in Louisville. They want him to go a step further, by adding the names of those who didn't always work in Louisville.

"These are five priests who mostly were ordained elsewhere, mostly worked elsewhere, mostly accused of abusing elsewhere but they all were in Louisville," said Clohessy.

We sat down with Archbishop Kurtz in November. He told us they would release a full list of priests in December, but according to a recent leadership briefing, the expected publication date is now late January. In a statement from the Archdiocese regarding SNAP's demands they said:

SNAP survivors call for list, transparency from Archdiocese of Louisville


January 17, 2019

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are calling on the Archdiocese of Louisville to release a list of the names of clergy and others affiliated with the archdiocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

"Their world has been shattered because their spirituality and their soul has been shattered," Jeanette Westbrook, a volunteer with SNAP, said.

"If my standing here and somebody hearing my story helps someone else come up with a memory or bring back a memory, then that makes it worthwhile for me because we can't live with this and keep it inside of us forever," Larry Anthonsen with SNAP said.

Anthonsen and other survivors have been traveling around the Midwest to cities like St. Louis and Evansville to call on the local archdioceses to be more transparent by releasing names.

"I was abused and we need to get the word out," Anthonsen said. "It doesn't matter where it happened."

Members of SNAP held a demonstration outside the Archdiocese of Louisville's pastoral building on Poplar Level Road Thursday morning, calling on Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and the archdiocese to follow in the steps of other archdioceses in cities like Indianapolis and Philadelphia.

"Archbishop Kurtz's very first moral duty is to tell parents and parishioners and police, 'Here are all the names of the dangerous men. Don't let them babysit your kids. Don't hire them to be substitute teachers,'" SNAP volunteer Daniel Clohessy said.

Two Days After Asking for “Understanding,” Cardinal Wuerl Offers an Apology

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 16, 2019

Two days after asking for understanding for his role in covering up abuse allegations, Cardinal Donald Wuerl is finally “apologizing.”

We cannot help but feel that this apology is little more than a lame justification for his actions. To attempt to excuse himself by saying he “forgot” about the allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is neither believable nor a sign that Cardinal Wuerl feels real shame for his role in covering up allegations of sexual abuse. Rather, it is yet another example of a high-ranking church official minimizing his role in cover-ups and excusing his lack of action.

In his letter, the Cardinal states that it is “important for [him] to accept personal responsibility.” We agree. If Cardinal Wuerl is truly sorry, he should offer a genuine apology, one that is free of excuses and is backed up by a plan to make amends for his wrongdoing.

For example, Cardinal Wuerl should use his influence to encourage his brother bishops and cardinals to come forward and publish lists of accused priests, nuns, deacons, brothers, bishops, or any other church employees who may have hurt a child or a vulnerable adult. He should petition Pope Francis to ensure that survivor voices and experiences are front and center at next month’s papal abuse summit. He should work with other summit attendees to determine new protocols for prevention of future sex crimes and cover-ups, as well as punishments for any current or future prelate who is accused of doing so.

As administrator of the DC Archdiocese, Cardinal Wuerl should immediately turn over all documents and personnel files to the D.C. attorney general, who has opened an investigation into clergy abuse. By turning over these files and laying his history bare, the Cardinal can begin to show that his apology is sincere.

Bronxville priest accused of inappropriate behavior returns to court

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

January 17, 2019

By Frank Esposito

A Bronxville priest returned to court on Wednesday night on allegations that he inappropriately touched a young girl.

Rev. Thomas Kreiser was serving at St. Joseph's Parish during the time of the alleged incident.

His next court date is set for February 6, 2019.

Kreiser previously worked at St. Patrick's Church in Yorktown and St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville.

Women strive for larger roles in male-dominated religions

Associated Press

January 17, 2019

By David Crary

Women have been elected heads of national governments on six continents. They have flown into space, served in elite combat units and won every category of Nobel Prize. The global #MeToo movement, in 15 months, has toppled a multitude of powerful men linked to sexual misconduct.

Yet in most of the world’s major religions, women remain relegated to a second-tier status. Women in several faiths are still barred from ordination. Some are banned from praying alongside men and forbidden from stepping foot in some houses of worship altogether. Their attire, from headwear down to the length of their skirts in church, is often restricted.

But women around the world in recent months have been finding new ways to chip away at centuries of male-dominated traditions and barriers, with many of them emboldened by the surge of social media activism that’s spread globally in the #MeToo era.

Millions of women in India this month formed a human wall nearly 400 miles long in support of women who defied conservative Hindu leaders and entered an important temple that has long been off-limits to women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50.

In Israel, where Orthodox Judaism has long restricted women’s roles, one Jerusalem congregation has allowed women to lead Friday evening prayers. Roman Catholic bishops, under pressure from women’s-rights activists, concluded a recent Vatican meeting by declaring that women, as an urgent “duty of justice,” should have a greater role in church decision-making.

Green Bay diocese releases list of priests it knows to have sexually abused minors

Green Bay Press-Gazette

January 17, 2019

By Paul Srubas

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay this morning is publicly releasing the names of clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

A press conference is happening now at Bona Hall on the diocesan campus, with Bishop David Ricken, Diocesan Chancellor Tammy Basten, and Rev. John Girotti, vicar for canonical services, set to speak.

Ricken said the names would be posted on the diocese's website at noon. The website appeared to have crashed less than a minute after noon.

Fact Sheet: Accused Louisville Priests ‘Under the Radar’

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
January 16, 2019

-- Fr. Michael (a.k.a. “Miguel”) Baca
He was included in the Gallup diocese's 12/14 list of clergy having credible allegations of sexual misconduct made against them. The diocese provided a partial list of assignments for Fr. Baca, which showed him at St Joseph the Worker in San Fidel NM in 1961. But the Official Catholic Directory lists him as assigned there as Retreat Director for the decade 1961-1970. Baca's 18 years of missionary work took him throughout the US, and he also worked among the Otomi Indians of central Mexico. Besides Gallup, Fr. Baca worked in at least one other diocese (Peoria) and two archdioceses (Louisville and Santa Fe). He also worked at Immaculate Conception Parish in Cuba NM in 1953 and Our Lady of Fatima Parish inChinle AZ in 1978. For 12 years, Fr. Baca wrote the "Life Is for Living" column for the national magazine St Anthony Messenger. He is deceased.




-- Fr. Crispin Butz
He was named among Franciscan alleged clergy perpetrators of sexual abuse in a 12/14 court documents related to Gallup NM diocese's bankruptcy case. Early in his career, he worked in Batesville, IN and Louisville, KY, then was moved to Sacred Heart Parish in Gallup NM. He reportedly abused during 1960-63 when he was at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Gallup. Other assignments included the Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe where he was rector in 1984-94. He also pastored parishes in Albuquerque, Bloomfield, Cuba and Grants NM.

Visitador apostólico llegará a Puerto Montt ante graves denuncias contra el clero

[Apostolic visitor will go to Puerto Montt due to serious allegations against clergy]


January 17, 2019

By Alberto González, Jonathan Flores and Nicole Martínez.

El papa Francisco enviará un visitador apostólico a Puerto Montt, para informar al Vaticano sobre la situación de la iglesia local, tras denuncias de abuso, tráfico y apropiación indebida. Acogiendo una solicitud del administrador apostólico Ricardo Morales, este sábado llegará hasta Puerto Montt el obispo mexicano Jorge Patrón, quien permanecerá en la capital de la región de Los Lagos hasta el 24 de enero, por instrucción del Papa.

Papa Francisco determina enviar un visitador apostólico a Puerto Montt

[Pope Francis will send an apostolic visitor to Puerto Montt]

La Tercera

January 16, 2019

By Carlos Reyes

"El objetivo del visitador -agregan- será valorar e informar a la Santa Sede sobre el estado de la vida, el ministerio y la disciplina del clero, animará la pastoral de los presbíteros y sugerirá iniciativas para el acompañamiento de los sacerdotes", informó la diócesis mediante un comunicado.

A través de un comunicado, el arzobispado de Puerto Montt informó que el Papa Francisco decidió enviar a la ciudad un visitador apostólico. “El Papa Francisco ha nombrado como visitador apostólico a monseñor Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, secretario de seminarios de la Congregación para el Clero, quien propiciará un espacio de encuentro y escucha, en que puedan expresarse con libertad todos los sacerdotes, miembros representativos de la vida consagrada y del laicado de Puerto Montt”, indica el texto de la diócesis.

[VIDEO] Rector Sánchez evalúa las medidas y avances en medio de crisis de la iglesia católica

[VIDEO: Rector Sánchez evaluates the measures and advances in the midst of the Catholic Church crisis]

Emol TV

January 16, 2019

El rector de la Universidad Católica, Ignacio Sánchez, analizó los avances tras los abusos cometidos por sacerdotes. Reiteró que hay que "escuchar a las víctimas". La entrevista completa la puedes revisar en el siguiente link.

El “puzle maldito” de la diócesis de Arica

[The "damn puzzle" of the diocese of Arica]

The Clinic

January 16, 2019

By Camila Magnet and Jonás Romero

Abusos a menores, relaciones amorosas entre sacerdotes, protección de obispos prófugos y hasta curas en fuga. La llegada de Julio Barahona a Arica en 1991 es sólo uno de los ejemplos de lo que sobrevivientes han descrito como una “zona de penitencia”. “Arica siempre ha sido el lugar donde algunos van a pagar sus castigos, o a esconderse”, explica el teólogo Paul Endre, quien tuvo un breve paso como seminarista en la zona. Aquí, un vistazo de la desconcertada diócesis nortina.

Another alarm sounds on clergy sex abuse: Will Southern Baptist leaders just hit snooze again?

Baptist News Global

January 17, 2019

By Crista Brown

An exposé by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on clergy sex abuse in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches blared yet another wake-up call to America’s religious leaders, including those of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Baptist News Global columnist Bill Leonard rightly observed that the IFB cases “sound strikingly like predatory acts committed against children by Catholic priests.” They also sound a lot like clergy sex abuse and church cover-up cases in the SBC.

I know because between 2006 and 2012 I maintained a website on which I logged hundreds of news articles about sexual abuse in all types of Baptist churches. The articles implicated 167 pastors, deacons, denominational officials and missionaries affiliated with the SBC.

If I had plotted these cases on a map (they covered 29 states), it would have looked much like the map published by the Star-Telegram in its series on clergy sexual abuse in IFB churches.

Abuse victims want Louisville accused cleric list ASAP

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 17, 2019

Abuse victims want Louisville accused cleric list ASAP
Archbishop should make it “thorough & detailed,” group says
Five clerics who largely abused elsewhere should be added, victims claim
SNAP: They’re almost completely ‘under the radar’ and may have hurt local kids”
Group wants victims, witnesses and witnesses to call KY state attorney general”

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will
--publicly disclose for the first time that five credibly accused predator priests worked in the Louisville ar but have attracted no public attention there, and
--prod Louisville’s Catholic archbishop to add their names to his “accused” clergy list, and
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Kentucky to contact the attorney general who is conducting a statewide investigation into this crisis.

Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 a.m.

Outside the Louisville archdiocesan headquarters (aka the chancery or “pastoral center”), 3940 Poplar Level Rd. in Louisville KY

Two abuse victims: a Missouri man who is the St. Louis volunteer leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (and the organization's former long time executive director) and an Illinois man who is the group’s Chicago volunteer leader, and at least two KY area victims

1) These publicly accused priests worked in Louisville, abused mostly outside of Kentucky, but have attracted virtually no local attention. They should be put on the archdiocesan list of alleged predators that Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has pledged to release, SNAP says.

Italian bishops refine anti-abuse guidelines without victim input


January 17, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

As the Vatican prepares to host an international summit of bishops in February on clerical sex abuse, the Italian bishops are preparing by fine-tuning new guidelines for the protection of minors.

“It’s an initial suggestion to imagine a future course of action,” said Father Stefano Russo, Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) during a press event Jan. 16.

“We want to promote attention toward the protection of the most vulnerable,” he added.

Russo spoke at the conclusion of the January meeting of the permanent council of CEI, Jan. 14-16, which took place under the direction of its president, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia.

During the meeting, “ample space,” an official communique reads, was dedicated to addressing and discussing guidelines for the protection of minors requested by Pope Francis.

While the guidelines won’t be made public until May, the bishops approved the creation of a national framework to advise clergy and bishops on best practices regarding sexual abuse and nominated Bishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni, president of CEI’s commission for the protection of minors, as its head.

The scandals that brought down the Bakkers, once among US's most famous televangelists

ABC News

January 17, 2019

By Lauren Effron, Andres Paparella and Jeca Taudte

Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were among the most famous televangelists in America, living a life of luxury with multiple houses, expensive cars and more money than God, when their empire all came crashing down amid sex and financial scandals.

But in the years following the demise of their ministry, the Bakkers didn't let a prison sentence, the loss of their massively popular multimillion-dollar TV network, the closure of their "Christian version of Disneyland" theme park, financial ruin, a divorce and being the butt of many "Saturday Night Live" jokes keep them down - or away from the spotlight.

Watch the full story on "20/20" FRIDAY, Jan. 18 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

Looking to Rome won’t provide all the answers

Irish Central

January 17, 2019

BY Michael Kelly

All eyes will be in Rome next month for an unprecedented meeting of bishops to discuss the devastating issues of clerical abuse scandals in the universal Church. While the Church in Ireland has been grappling with such revelations for some 25 years, fresh controversy in the US, Australia and Poland have focused attention on the Vatican and the need for a comprehensive response from the universal Church.

Just this week, prominent abuse campaigner Marie Collins told a meeting in Dublin that she was not optimistic.

“My fear is that what we will hear is that there has been a great deal of prayer, reflection, and ‘fruitful discussion,’” she said.

“We will be assured that things are moving forward and there will be promises for the future, but we will see little in the way of on-paper, concrete, committed action plans,” she said.

Pewaukee priest accused of groping teen in confessional pleads not guilty

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

January 16, 2019

By Steven Martinez

he 61-year-old Pewaukee priest accused of groping a teenage congregant while she was in a confessional with him has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the girl.

The Rev. Chuck Hanel entered his plea Jan. 15 during his arraignment in Waukesha County Circuit Court, court records show. He stands accused of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

A 14-year-old girl reported to police in April that Hanel touched her breast and leg in a confessional at Queen of Apostles Church in December 2017, when she was 13.

She also said in a criminal complaint that when she entered the confessional, Hanel closed the door behind her — something she said he did not do with anyone else, including her father, who entered the confessional before her.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee placed Hanel on administrative leave earlier this year after the girl's accusation surfaced. He will remain on administrative leave until the charge is resolved.

If convicted, Hanel could face up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Top Headlines Around the Comm

Survivor network criticizes Evansville Bishop


January 16, 2019

By Kate O'Rourke and Jill Lyman

The network “SNAP” is criticizing the Evansville Bishop because a list of priests names accused of wrongdoing has still not been released.

“We would beg you to come forward, get help, and start healing,” says victim and SNAP advocate David Clohessy.

The Diocese said in September the list would be released, but said again Wednesday the inspection of records continues. They say it will be released within the next several weeks.

“It’s a horrible trauma to endure. People recover in different ways, and the pain is never totally gone, but this we do know, you can get better. You can get better, but the first step is breaking your silence and telling somebody you know and you trust,” says Clohessy.

The list will include the names of priests with credible allegations of abuse.

SNAP is an independent, peer network of survivors of institutional sexual abuse and their supporters.

Members held signs and childhood photos outside of the Diocese headquarters Wednesday afternoon.

They say they are pushing Catholic officials to reveal the names now, and they are asking the attorney general to do an investigation.

“Disclosing the truth is the best way to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and help the church move forward,” said SNAP members.

Evansville is one of five dioceses in Indiana. The other four have released their lists.

Multiple Jesuits on child sex abuse list are still priests today


January 16, 2019

By Charlie Specht

The Jesuit religious order released a list Tuesday of 50 priests who it said credibly abused children -- including eight men assigned to schools or churches in Buffalo.

But 7 Eyewitness News has discovered some of the abusive priests are still wearing a collar and acting as priests, raising questions about whether the Catholic Church continues to withhold information from the public.

The Rev. J. Peter Conroy worked at Canisius College until 2002, when two women -- Colleen O’Hara Carney and Molly O’Hara Ewing -- came forward to say Fr. Conroy inappropriately touched and groped them when they were in seventh grade in the 1970s.

“It was very inappropriate behavior for anybody,” O’Hara Carney said. “He just pulled me down on his lap and the hand drifted under the school uniform.”

The Jesuits said Conroy admitted to the abuse in 2002 and they removed him from Canisius and “impeded” him from ministry that year.

The Jesuits’ Northeast province listed no assignments for Conroy after 2002 in the documents it released Tuesday, but the church’s own records show Conroy is still very much a priest -- and he’s not the only one.

Other Buffalo Jesuits who abused minors were never “defrocked” or stripped of their status as Roman Catholic priests. Instead, some were quietly sent to retreat centers and other destinations where they serve to this day -- even after they have been placed on the Jesuits’ abuse list.

“Even today, they cannot tell the truth,” Patrick Wall said of religious orders like the Jesuits.

List of Jesuits with credible abuse allegations shows some shuffled through schools for years after accusations

ABC News

January 16, 2019

By Meghan Keneally

A list of 50 Jesuits who were found by their organization to have been credibly accused of abusing minors was released this week, revealing that some of the alleged abusers circled through various institutions, sometimes for years, after the alleged abuse took place.

The list, released by the Northeast Province of Jesuits on Tuesday, shows that much of the abuse was reported years after it allegedly took place, meaning that officials may not have known about the wrongdoing when they transferred priests from one institution to the next.

However, nine priests the list states, continued to be transferred from schools to parishes, retreats or other works projects after reports were made about their alleged abuse.

"We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way," Fr. John Cecero, the head of the Northeast Province of Jesuits, said in a statement that was released along with the list.

One example is John Farrand, who was reported for allegedly abusing minors in 1961, the same year that he worked at Regis High School in New York, according to the Northeast Province of Jesuits.

The nature or exact dates of the alleged abuse was not detailed.

Regis High School confirmed yesterday that Farrand is one of four priests listed who have had credible allegations of abuse made against them pertaining to their time at the school.

Victim support group urges Evansville Catholic Diocese to release names

Evansville Courier & Press

January 16, 2019

By Noah Stubbs

It's been four months since Bishop Joseph M. Siegel announced the Catholic Diocese of Evansville will collect and release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

But that's too long for a group protesting in front of the Diocese's administration building Wednesday afternoon.

Four members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) pleaded in front of the building's sign for the bishop to release the names.

The organization is a nationwide nonprofit support group for men and women who have been abused by religious and institutional authorities.

The group appealed for sexual abuse victims to come forward and get help.

"To anyone who has been affected by this: come forward, get help and start healing," SNAP volunteer David Clohessy said. "The pain is never totally gone, but you can get better."

The members also asked Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to open up a statewide investigation into priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Moments before the news conference, a statement released from the diocese said the inspection and review of clergy records is ongoing, and the release of names will occur within the next several weeks.

"Why won't (Bishop Siegel) release the names today?" Clohessy asked upon hearing the diocese's statement. "He and his predecessors have had decades to do this"

Advocate group names accused sexual predator priests who worked in Southern Illinois

The Southern Illinoisan

January 16, 2019

By Gabriel Neely-Streit

Victims and advocates are calling on the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which covers Southern Illinois, to provide a fuller view of the sexual offenders who have served as priests in the Southern Illinois area.

The Diocese’s list publicly names 17 priests who are “currently removed from ministry after credibly substantiated allegations of the sexual abuse of minors, or serious sexual misconduct with adults.”

But David Clohessy and Larry Antonsen, of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believe names need to be added to that list, starting with nine clerics who worked in downstate Illinois, and have been accused of molesting children in other parts of the state or country, by other factions of the Catholic church.

“These are priests who, for the most part, were ordained somewhere else, worked a lot of their career somewhere else, molested somewhere else, but also spent time in Southern Illinois,” Clohessy said.

Six of those clergymen worked in the Belleville area: Thomas Meyer, Emil Twardochleb, Michael Charland, Orville Munie, Paul Kabat and James Vincent Fitzgerald.

SNAP demands Evansville diocese release names of accused priests


January 16, 2019

The catholic church of Evansville says a list of accused priests is coming, but it's not soon enough for a small group protesting Wednesday.

The group is demanding Bishop Joseph Siegel unveil names of priests facing sexual abuse allegations.

Not only does the group want names to be revealed, they also want Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to open an investigation.

Four men representing SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood in front of the Evansville diocese office tonight.

Last year, the Evansville Catholic Diocese announced a project to collect the names of local priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse over the decades and then make it public.

SNAP says it has been long enough and is now demanding the release of that list.

“Why won't he release the names today?” asks David Clohessy. “He and his predecessors have literally had decades to do this.”

Evansville has one priest on administrative leave. He faces allegations of sexual abuse.

The group also wants to ensure Bishop Siegel includes the work histories, photos, and current whereabouts of the accused.

As recently as last month, the diocese announced its inspection of clergy records dating back to 1944 is ongoing with the results expected to be made public in the first few months of the year.

Advocacy group asking Illinois priest abuse victims, witnesses to come forward


January 16, 2019

By Logan Gay

A victims advocacy group has a list of eight Catholic priests who it says were credibly accused of sexual assault in other states, and there’s evidence that some of them may have made their way through southern Illinois.

Now, the group — Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or S.N.A.P. — is calling on the bishop of southern Illinois to put their names on the church’s accused priest list.

Two men from S.N.A.P. are trying to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. They’re asking the public to come forward with any information about the priests written on a board you can see in the photos within this story.

“These priests, for the most part, were ordained somewhere else. They worked a lot of their career somewhere else, but also spent time in southern Illinois. So, we are afraid one or more of these priests could still be living in the area or returning to the area to visit,” said S.N.A.P. volunteer David Clohessy.

The issue is personal for both of them, because they were both sexually abused by someone within the Catholic Church.

“My life just really went downhill after this happened. Everything about my life changed, everything,” said S.N.A.P. volunteer Larry Antonsen.

There’s another name they’re telling us that isn’t on the list: Father Larry Lorenzoni. There is not much information available about Lorenzoni’s days in southern Illinois ,except that he may have been employed by Southern Illinois University. He’s included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Abuse victims blast Indianapolis archbishop

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 16, 2019

SNAP discloses an Indy priest facing three pending lawsuits for child sexual abuse

Yet he was left off recent archdiocesan “credibly accused” list, group points out

Archbishop should add the clergyman to his list, as well as expand it

“Victims, witnesses & whistle blowers should call attorney general,” SNAP says

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will publicly disclose for the first time that two credibly accused predator priests (including one who faces three pending abuse lawsuits) have been left off the archdiocese's 'accused' list.

They will also
--prod Indianapolis’ Catholic archbishop to explain this omission, add the priests, and other alleged predators, to his “accused” clergy list, and

--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general who they say should be conducting an investigation into this crisis.

Thursday, January 17 at 2:45 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Indianapolis archdiocese headquarters (“chancery”), 1400 N. Meridian Street, (corner of W 14th Street) in Indianapolis,IN

At least two abuse victims: a Missouri man who is the St. Louis volunteer leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (and the organization's former long time executive director) and an Illinois man who is the group’s Chicago volunteer leader, along with possibly 1-3 Indianapolis SNAP members

Abuse survivors urge diocese to add seven priests to credibly accused list

Southeast Missourian

January 17, 2019

By Mark Bliss

Two members of a priest-abuse survivors group called Wednesday for the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese to place an additional seven priests on its list of those credibly accused of molesting children.

The plea came from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) members David Clohessy of St. Louis and Larry Antonsen of Chicago as they stood outside St. Mary Cathedral in Cape Girardeau, holding signs listing the names of the seven priests.

"These are all priests who were ordained elsewhere, worked mostly elsewhere, but spent some time in southern Missouri," Clohessy said. "They have been publicly named as accused child molesters, either through criminal action or lawsuits or by church officials themselves who have deemed them credibly accused."

The seven identified include priests John Edward Ruhl, John "Jack" Farris, Thomas Gregory Meyer, James Vincent Fitzgerald, Michael Charland, John O'Flaherty and Monsignor Thomas J. O'Brien.

Only two of the seven -- Ruhl and Charland -- are still living, Clohessy said.

Two of the seven priests -- Ruhl and Farris -- served the Catholic Church in Cape Girardeau and Perryville, Missouri.

January 16, 2019

Ten accused 'predator priests' on Jesuit list served in New Jersey

North Jersey Record

January 15, 2019

By Deena Yellin

Ten Jesuit priests who worked in New Jersey institutions were among a list published by the Roman Catholic religious order Tuesday of members who were credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The USA Northeast Province Jesuits, which encompasses New England, New York and northern New Jersey, unveiled the roster of 50 priests accused of abusing minors between 1950 and 1996.

Nine of the Jesuits who served in New Jersey worked at St. Peter's Prep High School, St. Peter's University or St. Peter's Parish, all in Jersey City.

Pope wants bishops to punish sex abusers, not cover up cases

Associated Press

January 16, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis is insisting that bishops attending his high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit will learn the laws to use against predators, how to care for victims and will make sure that no cleric abuse cases are covered up again.

The Vatican on Wednesday provided details about the Feb. 21-24 meeting, saying its main aim is to guarantee that bishops around the world "clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors."

Francis will attend the full summit, which includes plenary meetings, working groups, witness testimony, a penitential service and a final Mass on Feb. 24.

The pope appointed the Rev. Federico Lombardi to moderate the plenary meetings. The Italian Jesuit was Vatican spokesman during the last big explosion of sex cases in 2010 and recently penned a lengthy article in a Jesuit magazine about the Catholic Church's response to the scandal to date.

Francis announced in September that he was inviting presidents of bishops' conferences around the world to attend the summit amid a crisis in his papacy over his own botched handling of sex abuse cases and a new explosion of the scandal in the U.S., Chile and beyond.

Francis has a blemished record on handling sex abuse cases.

4 nuns who protested against rape-accused Jalandhar bishop transferred

Deccan Chronicle

Jan 16, 2019

Four of the five nuns who led an agitation against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal in Kerala have been directed to leave their convent in Kottayam district in compliance with a transfer order issued last year, sources said here on Wednesday.

Their congregation --Missionaries of Jesus under Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic Church – has directed the nuns to join the convents they were assigned previously as per the transfer orders issued between March and May in 2018.

However, the nuns, who have been staying with their colleague, allegedly subjected to rape and unnatural sex by Mulakkal, stated they would not leave the convent in Kuravialangad.

The protest led by the nuns and Catholic reformist forums in Kochi, in September had led to a public outrage and demands for action against the bishop.

Bishop Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India, was arrested in September last following allegations by the nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her in the convent at Kuravialangad between 2014 and 2016, a charge denied by him.

Spiritual Abuse: Stop Being so Bitter

Spiritual Sounding Board

January 16, 2019

This is the fifth blog post referring to an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here, and give people the opportunity to share their experiences.

I am working through all six of Hollingsworth’s statements/questions of what not to say to someone who has been hurt by spiritual abuse. The posts are as follows:

Spiritual Abuse: No Church is Perfect
Spiritual Abuse: When People Ask You, “Are You Working Toward Reconciliation?
Spiritual Abuse: It’s Not Gossip to Talk about Abuse.
Spiritual Abuse: What Are Nonbelievers Going to Think?
Here is the fifth question on what not to say to someone harmed by spiritual abuse, followed by Jonathan Hollingsworth explaining why it is not helpful:

“Stop Being So Bitter.”

People who have been hurt by a church have a right to be angry. Not only is anger an appropriate response to injustice, it’s a healthy response if it’s channeled the right ways.

So why do Christians have such a hard time letting each other express negative emotions? Why do we always have to fish for some deeper spiritual problem like a root of bitterness or unforgiveness?

The other day I heard someone put it this way: “Religion will molest you, then accuse you of being bitter about it.” Do you see the double standard? When victims react to being hurt by someone in a church, we treat them as though there’s something’s wrong with them. This is why abusers are so often exonerated. It’s easier to justify letting the abuser off the hook if both parties are “in the wrong.” Source

Police issue arrest warrant for Dallas priest after new accuser comes forward

Dallas Morning News

January 15, 2019

By David Tarrant

Dallas police have issued an arrest warrant for an Oak Cliff priest previously accused of molesting three teenagers after a new accuser reached out to investigators.

Edmundo Paredes, the former longtime pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, had been accused of sexually assaulting three teenage boys more than a decade ago and stealing from his parish. The Dallas Catholic Diocese, amid a worldwide sex-abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, made the allegations public in August.

Those victims didn't want to pursue criminal charges against the priest, said Dallas police spokeswoman Tamika Dameron, in an emailed statement. But, she said, the announcement prompted another victim to come forward.

The new alleged victim contacted the department's Child Exploitation Unit, which initiated a criminal investigation. That investigation then led to the arrest warrant for Paredes issued for the offense of sexual assault of a child, police said.

Paredes, 70, could not be reached for comment. He is believed to have fled the Dallas area last year, and his whereabouts are unknown. Dallas Catholic Diocese officials have said they thought he may have returned to his native Philippines.

Dallas County Sheriff's spokesman Raul Reyna said police obtained the warrant last week.

Police have a detective -- David Clark of the child exploitation unit -- assigned to investigate sex-abuse allegations with minors within the Catholic diocese.

Kerala: Four nuns who protested against rape-accused bishop transferred by church

Express News

January 16, 2019

The Catholic Church in Kerala Wednesday transferred four nuns from its Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad who had participated in protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese. Sr Alphy Pallasseril, Sr Anupama Kelamangalathuveliyil, Sr Josephine Villoonnickal and Sr Ancitta Urumbil, who held an indefinite strike near the Kerala High Court premises in Kochi last year demanding the arrest of the rape-accused bishop, have been given transfer orders back to the convents they were previously assigned by the Church.

The development comes a few days after the church had sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was at the forefront of protests against Mulakkal, for “attending channel discussions”, writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers” and “making false accusations” against the Catholic leadership.

Sr Anupama has been given marching orders to go back to Punjab, Sr Ancitta to Kannur, Kerala, Sr Alphy to Bihar and Sr Josephine to Jharkhand. Since June last year, these four nuns and a fifth one have been staying at the Kuravilangad convent as an act of solidarity with the victim, who also resides here.

Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun belonging to the order of Missionaries of Jesus several times between 2014 and 2016, and spent three weeks in the sub-jail at Pala before he got bail.

List of Jesuits accused of abuse includes many with Mass. ties

Associated Press

January 16, 2019

By Karen Matthews

The governing body for the Jesuit order in the northeastern United States has released a list of 50 priests under its jurisdiction who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

All but 15 of the Roman Catholic priests on the list released Tuesday by the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus are dead, and all of the alleged abuse all took place before 1997.

Two former priests are incarcerated, one for possession of child pornography and one for abuse charges.

“At the heart of this crisis is the painful, sinful and illegal harm done to children by those whom they should have been able to trust,” the Rev. John J. Cecero, the top official for the province, said in a statement, adding, “We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way.”

The list includes priests who served in Jesuit high schools and colleges throughout New England, New York and northern New Jersey. Of the 50, 22 have Massachusetts connections.

Among them is James Talbot, 81, a former priest who is serving a three-year sentence in Maine for sexually abusing a 9-year-old boy at a church in the 1990s. His accuser said in court in September, “To this day, I remember the steps leading inside the church as if they were guiding me to hell.”

Vatican: Abuse summit to help bishops know 'what they need to do'

Catholic News Agency

January 16, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

Just over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summit’s goal is for bishops to leave the meeting knowing clearly what it is they need to do to stop the abuse of minors.

According to a statement by papal spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti Jan. 16, the February meeting “has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of the bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors.”

“It is fundamental for the Holy Father,” Gisotti said, that the bishops of the February gathering, when they have returned home, “understand the laws to be applied and that they take the necessary steps to prevent abuse, to care for the victims, and to make sure that no case is covered up or buried.”

It was also stated that Pope Francis wants the summit of bishops to be “an assembly of Pastors, not an academic conference,” and that he knows “a global problem can only be resolved with a global response.”

It will be a meeting “characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering,” the statement read.

It concluded by drawing attention to the high expectations surrounding the summit, recalling that the Church is “not at the beginning of the fight against abuse,” but that the meeting is just one step along a “painful journey” the Church has “decisively undertaken” for the last 15 years.

Cuomo supports Child Victims Act

Times Herald-Record

January 15, 2019

By Chris McKenna

Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoked Pope Francis in his budget speech on Tuesday as he proclaimed his support for a bill to help victims of child sexual abuse that New York’s Catholic Church has opposed and that is headed for approval after a dozen years in limbo.

Cuomo, identifying himself as a Catholic and former altar boy, said he valued his relationship to the church and found “painful” his political differences with its leaders. But he then read aloud a quote condemning child sexual abuse that turned out to have come from the pope, and said, “I say we stand with Pope Francis and we pass the Child Victims Act.”

Cuomo included a bill version in his budget that would extend New York’s statutes of limitations for future criminal or civil cases against abusers. It also opens a one-year window in which all past victims can sue their abusers and culpable institutions, a provision that the Catholic Church and other institutions have opposed and that led Senate Republicans to block the bill for years.

Democrats ousted Republicans from power in the Senate in November’s elections, clearing the way for passage of the legislation this year.

Los maristas, en el punto de mira del Vaticano por los abusos

[Vatican opens exceptional investigation into abuse by Marists in Chile]

El País

January 16, 2019

La Santa Sede abre una investigación excepcional a la congregación en Chile por graves acusaciones que podría conducir a una intervención general

El Vaticano se ha hartado de los escándalos que sacuden a la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas en todo el mundo y ha abierto un proceso de investigación excepcional en su rama chilena, donde la la gravedad de los escándalos está fuera de duda y se han acreditado decenas de casos. La Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe no tiene competencias normalmente para investigar cuando los implicados son sacerdotes (los maristas son religiosos), pero la profundidad y verosimilitud de los hechos propició que el Papa francisco firmase un decreto recientmente para que así fuera.

Aún hay seis sacerdotes españoles imputados por el Caso Maristas: este es el relato de las víctimas

[There are still six Spanish priests accused in the Marist Case: this is the story of the victims]


January 15, 2019

By Ariela Muñoz

De los imputados que maneja la Fiscalía por los casos de abusos y violación pederasta dentro de la iglesia, hay siete españoles de la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas en Chile, cuyas víctimas relataron la cruda versión de los hechos. Pope Francis ordered the opening of a criminal case before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for not having imposed any sanction in the first stage of the investigation, says El País.

Papa apoyó a cúpula de la Iglesia en Chile: víctimas de abusos acusaron "arrogancia" de obispos

[Pope supported the leadership of Chile's Church: abuse victims accused bishops of "arrogance"]


January 15, 2019

By Alberto González, Nicole Martínez and Patricia Mayorga

El Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena se reunió este lunes con el papa Francisco en el Vaticano, cita en la que el Pontífice respaldó a los obispos que están en ejercicio. Víctimas de abusos en la iglesia acusaron arrogancia de los jerarcas de la Iglesia por defender la caducidad de sus renuncia

Julio Barahona: El abusador que los jesuitas no denunciaron a tiempo

[Julio Barahona: The abuser that the Jesuits did not report on time]

The Clinic

January 15, 2019

By Jonás Romero and Camila Magnet

Este 5 de enero, el educador Julio Barahona fue detenido por posesión de pornografía infantil en Rancagua, la cual obtenía de adolescentes de un colegio en el que trabajó por casi 10 años. Pero no era la primera vez que lo hacía: su macabro registro comenzó en 1987, cuando alumnos del San Ignacio El Bosque sufrieron abusos por parte de Barahona. En 1989, el entonces aspirante a cura llegó a otro colegio fundado por jesuitas en Arica, donde abusó de al menos otros cuatro niños. Dos años más tarde, la Iglesia lo expulsó por “perversiones graves” y le perdió la pista, permitiéndole estar en contacto con niños hasta hoy. La pregunta que ronda a los investigadores, partiendo por el fiscal Emiliano Arias, es: ¿Qué habría pasado si lo hubiesen denunciado a tiempo?

Reunión con el Papa: Tres horas estuvieron reunidos los obispos chilenos con el Sumo Pontífice

[Pope spends three hours meeting with Chilean bishops in Rome]


January 14, 2019

By Consuelo Rehbein

Según señalan desde la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, el diálogo giró en torno a la situación que vive la Iglesia Católica en Chile y las perspectivas a futuro.

Este lunes se desarrolló la reunión entre el Papa Francisco, y los máximos representantes de la Iglesia católica de Chile. En la reunión participaron los obispos Santiago Silva, presidente de la CECh; René Rebolledo, vicepresidente; Fernando Ramos, secretario general; cardenal Ricardo Ezzati y Juan Ignacio González.

La pregunta del Papa a los obispos: “¿Cómo anda Goic?”

[Pope asks Chilean bishops: "How is Goic doing?"]

La Tercera

January 15, 2019

By María José Navarrete

La consulta del líder de la Iglesia Católica aludía al obispo emérito de Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, cuya renuncia aceptó el 28 de junio pasado, en medio de denuncias por conductas impropias y abusos sexuales que habrían cometido sacerdotes de su diócesis.

“¿Cómo anda Goic?”. Eso fue lo primero que le preguntó el Papa Francisco a Fernando Ramos, administrador apostólico de Rancagua y secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal (Cech), cuando ambos se saludaron al inicio de la audiencia del comité permanente de la Cech realizada el lunes en Roma. “Bien, pero con sus cosas”, fue lo que le respondió el prelado.

Cardinal Wuerl apologizes to priests, McCarrick victim, says he forgot he knew about harassment allegations

Washington Post

January 16 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

D.C.'s embattled Catholic leader, Donald Wuerl, under fire in recent days for untruthful statements regarding what he knew about the alleged sexual misconduct of his predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, apologized late Tuesday, saying he forgot he knew about the allegations and that it was “never the intention to provide false information.”

Wuerl apologized to former priest Robert Ciolek in the evening and then sent a letter to the priests of the archdiocese, where Wuerl is the acting administrator. Pope Francis received Wuerl’s retirement as archbishop earlier than expected last fall as the cardinal was being pummeled by criticism over his handling of abuse cases when he was the Pittsburgh bishop, and also by suspicions that he was not being fully honest about what he knew of the McCarrick scandal.

In the letter, Wuerl said he forgot he was told in 2004 about Ciolek’s complaint against McCarrick. He said he had reported the issue to the Vatican. The ex-priest, in testimony then to the Pittsburgh Diocese’s Review Board, said McCarrick pressured seminarians to sleep in double beds with him, requested and gave the subordinate unwanted back-rubs and caused Ciolek trauma because he knew that Ciolek had been abused by clergy as a teen.

Why victims of Catholic priests need to hear more than confessions

The Conversation

January 16, 2019

By Joan M. Cook and Jennifer J. Freyd

Pope Francis has criticized U.S. Catholic bishops for how they handled the pervasive sexual abuse of children by predatory priests. He even called for a new management method and mindset in dealing with this crisis. Most recently, the pope summoned presidents of every bishops’ conference from around the world to come to the Vatican on Feb. 21 through 24 for a meeting on how to respond to the pervasive scandals.

As trauma psychologists who have collectively spent nearly 60 years investigating and treating the devastating effects of violation and assault, we have concrete suggestions based on clinical experience and research for such change.

People have been talking for years about the need for the Catholic Church to treat survivors of clerical sexual abuse with respect and dignity, to remove perpetrating priests, and to have real accountability for bishops who facilitated and enabled the abuse. But, when the key Catholic bishops gather for their February meeting, they need to address the dark cloud that overhangs the Synod – something called institutional betrayal.

Wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon which individuals are dependent can be as devastating as familial abuse. Up until now, the Catholic Church’s failure to prevent sexual assault or respond supportively to survivors has been a tremendous violation of trust and confidence, and produced fountains of reverberating harm.

Because institutional betrayal is so serious and its effects so deep, something called institutional courage will be needed to put into place tangible turnarounds for meaningful correction and future prevention.

Trauma on a different level

Girls line up for to receive communion from a Catholic priest. wideonet/Shutterstock.com
Research on betrayal trauma can help to illustrate the damage the Church has done. Betrayal trauma, or trauma perpetrated by trusted people, such as familial rape, childhood abuse perpetrated by a caregiver and domestic violence, are especially toxic. The brain appears to remember and process betrayal trauma differently than other traumas. Likely the impact on the heart and soul is different as well. When a victim is dependent upon a perpetrator for survival and sustenance, the foundation of their very existence is at stake. Everything they believe about themselves, other people and the world can be unreliable, distorted and harmful, like a carnival fun-house mirror. Except there is no walking away, no easy escape and no validation that the images are warped.

List of accused priests in Lafayette diocese grows to 42

Lafayette Daily Advertiser

January 15, 2019

By Claire Taylor

The number of priests accused of sexually abusing children may be much higher than the 15 previously acknowledged by the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette.

As early as 2014, former Diocese of Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell acknowledged at least 15 priests had been accused of sexual abuse.

Some were deceased, one was no longer a priest and none were still serving in ministry, Jarrell said.

Neither Jarrell nor his successor, Bishop Douglas Deshotel, would release the list of names, despite repeated requests from The Daily Advertiser and other

10 priests with NJ ties named

The Jersey Journal

January 16, 2019

By Patrick Villanova

Ten priests who spent part of their careers in New Jersey are on a new list of 50 Jesuits who have been "credibly" accused of child sexual abuse.

The USA Northeast Province Jesuits, an organization representing the Roman Catholic order of priests in north Jersey and several other states, released its list yesterday. The order is the last of the regional Jesuit organizations to publicly name all priests credibly accused of abuse.

Nine of the 10 Jesuits on the list with New Jersey ties served at either St. Peter's Prep, Saint Peter's University or in St. Peter's Parish in Jersey City -- one of the centers of Jesuit life and training in New Jersey. Most were at St. Peter's briefly early in their careers.

"Many Jesuits on this list have not been found guilty of a crime or liable for any civil claim," the organization said in a statement accompanying the list. "Many accusations were made decades after the abuse allegedly took place, and often after the accused Jesuit had died.

Jesuits with allegations currently under investigation are not included on this list."

Seven of the priests who appear on the list spent time at Prep, Jesuit high school in Downtown Jersey City.

"In none of the cases did the alleged or verified abuse take place at St. Peter's Prep. In every case it took place after the individual priest had left St. Peter's," said Jim Horan, a spokesman for St. Peter's Prep.

French cardinal to be acquitted of covering sex abuses in Lyon

National Catholic Reporter

January 16, 2019

by Elisabeth Auvillain

One of France's most prominent bishops, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, is likely to be acquitted of charges of not denouncing a priest who sexually abused children between 1971 and 1991.

At the end of his four-day trial, Jan. 7-10, in Lyon, public prosecutor Charlotte Trabaut announced she would not ask for his conviction. Even though the president of the tribunal is not bound by the prosecutor's stand, it seems likely that the cardinal will be acquitted.

French judicial authorities opened a case against Barbarin in 2016, in the name of the French state. The court closed it, invoking statute of limitation.

Then the group named La Parole Libérée ("the word made free"), brought the charges in a private prosecution, in their own name, as parties civiles — private victims — after discovering, in 2015, that Fr. Bernard Preynat was still working with young boys. They thought this personal action could convince a court of the prejudice they suffered, knowing most facts fell under the statute of limitation.

Stern and slightly stooped, Barbarin, 68, said he was not guilty of anything: "I never tried to hide and certainly not cover anything." He then kept quiet, letting his lawyers speak for him during the whole procedure and explain he only made mistakes in managing the case and would act differently today.

VIEWPOINT: For Georgetown, Protest O’Connor Conference

The Hoya

January 16, 2019

by Elianna Schiffrik

On Jan. 19, Georgetown will host the 20th Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life. Student awareness of the event remains surprisingly low despite its self-proclaimed status as the “largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation,” the controversial speakers it invites and the alarmingly consistent presence of high-profile Georgetown administrators at the conference. As this year’s conference approached, I mentioned it to many peers, but it seems very few students know it exists.

Given the administrators in attendance — Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, Dean of Students Jeanne Lorde and Assistant Vice President Erika Cohen are all regular attendees — clearly the conference has institutional support. However, as a community of students, it shouldn’t have ours. Hoyas need to know that it exists and fight its shameful, consistent and unchallenged presence on our campus.

Occurring annually on the heels of the March for Life, the world’s largest pro-life rally, the conference attracts speakers and attendees largely from high school and collegiate groups attending the march. So like it or not, this conference matters — hundreds of people who attend each year leave with a distorted impression of Georgetown students, our community, and our values.

The namesake of the conference, Cardinal John O’Connor (GRD ’70), is a stain on Georgetown’s legacy and a disgrace to our community’s values. A notorious homophobe, O’Connor actively worked against the LGBTQ+ community through his efforts to overturn New York’s ordinance against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, block AIDS education programs and prevent the distribution of condoms as the AIDS epidemic decimated the gay community.

O’Connor also had heavily misogynistic inclinations, claiming abortion is immoral in the case of rape or incest because rape is a “legally lesser evil” than abortion. Moreover, he brushed aside the deaths of thousands of women forced to resort to unsafe abortion prior to legalization with the comment that “the mothers involved could have chosen not to abort.”

Some accused priests on Jesuits’ list played key roles at Cheverus

Press Herald

January 15, 2019

By Eric Russell and Megan Gray

Included in Tuesday’s release by the USA Northeast Province of Jesuits of credibly accused priests are eight with ties to Maine. Information in this list was drawn from publicly available records, news reports and information provided by the Jesuits:


Cahill was a priest and teacher at Cheverus High School from 1950-1960. He also served as the school’s athletic director for part of that time.

Before his time in Maine, he worked at schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut. After he left Cheverus, Cahill had 10 additional placements, including at Boston College High School, and later as chaplain for Boston City Hospital.

Documents released in 2005 by the Maine Attorney General’s Office revealed that Cahill was accused of abusing at least three Cheverus students between 1950 and 1960.

It’s not known when those allegations were first made. He was never charged and died in 1986.

Accused retired priests cleared of criminal charges, returned to limited ministry

Mankato Free Press

January 15, 2019

By Kristine Goodrich

Two retired priests in the Diocese of New Ulm have been cleared of decades-old sexual abuse claims and returned to limited ministry.

The Brown County Attorney's Office also had decided not to pursue criminal charges against a third accused priest who has since died.

A St. Paul law firm that represents alleged victims of clergy sex abuse announced in early 2016 it was filing lawsuits against the Diocese of New Ulm and three retired priests.

The announcement from Jeff Anderson and Associates accused Revs. Bernard Steiner, Richard Gross and Edward Ardolf of sexually assaulting juveniles. The abuse allegedly occurred when Steiner was a priest at Church of St. Paul in Comfrey from about 1971-72, when Gross was at the Church of St. Mary in New Ulm from about 1965-66 and when Ardolf was at the Church of St. Raphael in Springfield from 1978-80.

The priests were already retired from active ministry. The diocese revoked their remaining privileges in response to the allegations.

Gross, who now lives south of St. Cloud, contacted The Free Press after recently receiving a letter from the diocese informing him his expulsion was over.

A diocese spokeswoman confirmed that an independent diocesan review board recommended Gross be returned to limited ministry after it reviewed a single civil allegation.

January 15, 2019

Local Philadelphia Abuse Survivor Calls for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to “Correct Misinformation”

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 15, 2019

On Sunday, January 13, 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement regarding the removal of three priests, Fr Raymond W. Smart, Msgr. Joseph Logrip, and Fr. John F. Meyers.

However, clear and concise information is not being relayed to the faith community concerning these “loose ends,” according to SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

In its statement, the Archdiocese said that Fr. Smart "has not served in any parish or school since 1995 due to poor health. He has been retired and living in a private residence since 2002.”

However, volunteer Philadelphia SNAP leader Michael McDonnell, along with Catholics 4 Change (C4C) co-founder, Kathy O'Neill Kane, have identified this as a very misleading statement. Thorough research shows that Fr. Smart was, in fact, not always living in a private residence, but resided in a parish setting for many years following 2002, and as recently as 2015. In addition, several parishioners from neighboring parishes informed Mike and C4C that Fr. Smart often assisted at masses for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Limerick, Pa. and St. Eleanors, Collegeville, Pa.

Why don’t Catholic leaders who screw up just say they’re sorry?

Washington Post

January 15, 2019

By Mike Goggin

Recent days have seen calls for greater accountability from top-ranked U.S. Catholic clerics. First, a former priest revealed that D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl has been untruthful about what he knew of sexual misconduct allegations against his predecessor as archbishop, Theodore McCarrick. Then on Monday, there were new calls for McCarrick himself to publicly repent for alleged abuse of youths and adults.

These past few days have prompted a basic question: Why can’t these clerics just say they’re sorry?

It’s a particular conundrum for those of us who are Catholic. The sacrament of reconciliation provides us with the opportunity to confess our sins to a priest, apologize for them, make amends and resolve to do better. When many of us prepared to practice the sacrament for the first time as children just reaching the age of reason, we were taught that lying was a sin. As we moved into adolescence, we learned that any sexual activity outside of marriage was likewise a sin. So why are our confessors finding it so hard to apologize for these very same basic sins?

Having worked for the Roman Catholic Church for the past 25 years, I think it may have something to do with the dramatic change in the status of religious leaders in my lifetime.

Growing up in the Boston of the 1970s and early 1980s, where neighborhoods were still divided along the parish boundary lines despite a growing presence of non-Catholic immigrants from around the world, great respect and even reverence were directed toward the parish priest and his assistant clergymen. These men could do no wrong. They were arbiters of grace, and their Sunday evening visits for family dinners demanded the use of the best china. The church itself taught that the members of the clergy are in their very being different because of their ordination (in the church we use the term “ontological”). While they look like any layperson, there is a fundamental difference in their being. The church still teaches this today.

Baltimore archbishop takes steps to increase reporting of abuse, seeks to move archdiocese ahead on reform

Baltimore Sun

January 15, 2019

Archbishop William Lori encouraged the more than 500,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Tuesday to report wrongdoing by clergy at all levels as part of an effort to regain public trust as church leaders worldwide confront a sexual abuse crisis.

Lori outlined the expansion of a reporting system to cover himself and his three auxiliary bishops, as well as a code of conduct the bishops will sign, as steps he is taking to address any abuse up to the highest levels.

Reports of abuse — sexual, financial or otherwise — can be filed anonymously online and are collected by a private contractor, which shares them with a board that does not contain any archdiocesean officials.

In addition, Lori said the archdiocese plans to incorporate more lay people in church affairs and update its child protection policies.

50 Jesuits Are Named as Abusers, Including Some From Top-Ranked N.Y. Catholic Schools

New York Times

January 15, 2019

By Rick Rojas

The schools are among the most recognizable Catholic institutions in New York, with reputations extending far beyond the church’s followers and the city’s borders: Xavier, Regis, Brooklyn Prep, Fordham Prep. They educated many in the city’s Catholic elite, producing politicians, authors, academics and at least one Supreme Court justice. They regularly appear on lists of New York’s best Catholic schools.

But on Tuesday, the schools’ names popped up again and again on a different kind of list: One naming Jesuit priests who were identified by the Society of Jesus as having a history of sexual abuse found to be “more likely true than not after investigation.”

In some cases, the priests passed through the schools in careers that spanned as many as 30 years.

The lists of accused priests were published by the Jesuit order one after the other in recent weeks, creating rosters of several hundred names. The Society of Jesus, as the Jesuit order is known, is an influential force in the global church; it has more than 16,000 members, including Pope Francis.

The latest list names priests who served in the order’s province covering the Northeastern United States, most of whom served in Jesuit schools.

Borre: Jesuits join the confession rush

Boston Herald

January 15, 2019

By Peter Borre

The Northeast Province of the Jesuit order — the pope’s own special ops forces — has released the names of 50 priests “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct with minors.

This follows the lead of the order’s West Province, which released the names of more than 120 priests and brothers in the order last December.

But why now, 17 years almost to the day of the Boston scandal, and what does it mean for the church?

In soccer, an “own-goal” occurs when a member of the team puts the ball in his own net.

Pope Francis — himself a Jesuit — managed an own-goal last November by blocking U.S. bishops from devising their own solution to the spiraling abuse problem, and instead ordered the heads of the more than 100 national Catholic bishops conferences to Rome for a Come-to-Jesus meeting next month.

This has had the possibly unintended consequence of globalizing the clergy sex abuse scandal. It’s created a rush of ranking prelates to the media confessional box — with nearly 50 American dioceses and religious orders publishing their own lists since the Pennsylvania attorney general’s report of last August.

The often secretive Jesuits are now in the position of having to play catch-up … and avoid embarrassing one of their own.

Evansville bishop pledged to post accused priests’ names

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Evansville bishop pledged to post accused priests’ names

SNAP: “But it’s been 3+ months of reckless delay & secrecy”

Support group also prods attorney general to do investigation

And they beg other victims, witnesses and whistle blowers to speak up

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will
--push the top local Catholic official to honor his pledge and reveal accused priests’ name now,
--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact law enforcement or groups like his, and
--urge the Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to join his colleagues in 16 states and launch an investigation into all five of the state’s dioceses

Wednesday, January 16 at 2:45 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside Evansville Diocese headquarters (“chancery”) 4200 N. Kentucky Avenue (corner of Hesmer) in Evansville (812 424 5536)

Victims blast Spgfld-Cape Girardeau diocese

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Victims blast southern MO bishop

Seven accused clerics missing from its list, group says

SNAP begs those who “saw, suspected or suffered abuse” to speak up

It specifically urges victims, witnesses & whistleblowers to call MO AG

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will prod southern Missouri Catholic officials to

--add seven more names to their official list of “credibly accused” priests and

--blast them for their secrecy about abuse and cover ups.

They’ll also urge those who “saw suspected or suffered” abuse to “call police and get help.”

Wednesday, January 16 at 10 a.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation, 615 William Street in Cape Girardeau

Abuse victims blast southern IL bishop

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 16, 2019

Abuse victims blast southern IL bishop

He should add 9 clerics to his “accused” list, group says

One worked in Carbondale & the Vatican press office in 1990s

SNAP: “Victims, witnesses & witnesses should call attorney general”

Among them, an accused CA priest who also worked in Carbondale


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will

--publicly disclose for the first time that an accused California priest also worked in Carbondale,

--prod southern Illinois’ Catholic bishop to add more names to his “credibly accused” clergy list, and

--beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Illinois to contact the attorney general who is conducting a statewide investigation into this crisis.


Wednesday, January 16 at 11:45 a.m.


On the sidewalk outside St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 303 S. Poplar (corner of W. Walnut St.) in Carbondale

Calif. diocese releases names of alleged abusers [Video]


January 14, 2019

A San Francisco Bay-area Roman Catholic diocese has released a list of 39 priests and deacons who church leaders say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Bishop Robert Vasa of the Santa Rosa Diocese commented on the list Monday. (Jan. 14)

Former World Series MVP John Wetteland arrested on child sex abuse charge

Yahoo Sports

January 15, 2019

By Liz Roscher

John Wetteland, former MLB pitcher and member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, was arrested Monday on a charge of child sex abuse.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the 52-year-old Wetteland, who currently resides in Trophy Club, Texas, has been accused of continuously sexually abusing a child under the age of 14.

Wetteland pitched in the majors from 1989 to 2000, moving from starter to closer in 1990 and finding success with the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. He was named the World Series MVP in 1996 with the Yankees, but the team allowed him to become a free agent weeks later due to the emergence of Marino Rivera. He signed with the Rangers and spent four seasons in Arlington, retiring at 33 after becoming the team’s all-time saves leader with 150 — a record he still holds.

He moved to coaching after that, and was hired as pitching coach by the Washington Nationals in 2006. But Wetteland was fired after six months due to persistent practical jokes and failing to listen to manager Frank Robinson, who asked him to stop multiple times. He was the pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and 2010, but that stint wasn’t without incident. In November 2009, Wetteland was hospitalized after police were called to his home to respond to a possible suicide threat. The incident was blamed on elevated blood pressure and heart rate issues in a statement released by Wetteland and the Mariners.

Advocates, survivors seek immediate passage of Child Victims Act

Times Union

January 14, 2019

By Brendan J. Lyons

Advocates seeking passage of the Child Victims Act are calling on state legislators and the governor to swiftly pass the legislation, which for years was blocked by Senate Republicans who lost control of the chamber in November's elections.

With Democrats now in control of both legislative houses, supporters of the CVA held an emotionally charged press conference on Monday at the Capitol, recounting harrowing stories of the abuse they suffered as children and urging lawmakers not to let the issue get caught up in the budget process.

"Here we are in a new Senate, in a new day, where we are speaking loudly and clearly," said Sen. James Skoufis, a freshman Democrat who won the seat formerly held by Republican Bill Larkin. "I'm committed with my colleagues here in making this a top priority — not in March when we're negotiating a budget, but now."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently indicated he would again include the Child Victims Act in his executive budget this year. But with Senate Democrats supportive of the measure, the advocates said there is no reason to wait. A spokesman for Cuomo on Monday agreed with that position, saying the governor would include it in the budget as a backstop but is ready to sign the bill if it passes the Legislature.

Former Catholic priest Allen Mithen avoids jail over Wandering mission 1960s sex assault

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

January 14, 2019

By Joanna Menagh

A retired Catholic priest has avoided being sent to jail for sexually abusing a teenage girl more than 50 years ago when he was in charge of a WA home for Aboriginal children taken from their families.

Allan John Mithen, 80, pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting the girl when she 15 and 16 in 1965 at the Wandering mission, about 120 kilometres south of Perth.

She had been removed from her family when she was four years old and taken to the mission, where the District Court was told she was sexually, physically, emotionally and psychologically abused.

Mithen's crimes happened just after he was appointed as the superintendent of the home when he was aged about 26.

Chilean bishops meet Francis year after disastrous pope trip

The Associated Press

January 14, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

A delegation of Chilean bishops met Monday with Pope Francis a year after he threw his papacy into turmoil by defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering for a notorious sexual predator.

The five-member permanent committee of the Chilean bishops' conference requested Monday's meeting to brief Francis on its efforts to address the clergy sex abuse crisis in the South American country and chart a future course.

"It's a long process," the secretary-general of the bishops' conference, Bishop Fernando Ramos, told reporters after the meeting, which included lunch and lasted for nearly three hours. "All institutions in Chile have lost a lot of credibility, the church included, not just for cultural reasons but because of our own sins and crimes that were committed inside the church."

The pope's January 2018 trip to Chile fueled a crisis of confidence in the Chilean Church and the Vatican hierarchy, given the mounting claims of sex abuse and cover-up that were dismissed for years.

Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa releases names of 39 accused of child sexual abuse [Video]

KGO – San Francisco

January 13, 2019

PRIEST SEX ABUSE: The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa released the names of 39 members of the clergy who church leaders say sexually abused children - or faced credible accusations of abuse.

Vatican considering defrocking

Otago Daily Times

January 11, 2019

By Chris Morris

A former Dunedin priest convicted of abusing four boys - and alleged to have targeted many more - finally faces the possibility of being defrocked by the Vatican.
The defrocking - or laicisation - of Fr Magnus Murray has been referred to the Vatican, where it is being considered under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ODT Insight understands.

The process is believed to have started late last year, and it is understood any outcome is likely to be weeks or months away.

The matter is understood to have been referred to the Vatican by Hamilton Bishop Steve Lowe, as Fr Murray - now aged in his early 90s - remained part of the Hamilton diocese despite now living in Auckland.

Bishop Lowe would not comment when contacted this week, saying he was prevented from doing so by the church's "judicial process".

The Barbarin affair: a trial of silences

La Croix International

January 9, 2019

By Béatrice Bouniol and Céline Hoyeau

'Conspiracy of silence' over a French priest's sexual abuse even extends to the courtroom
A trial of silences. By day two, this seems to be the best description of the proceedings that have brought Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and his entourage against nine victims of Father Bernard Preynat's sexual abuse.

Silence is at the heart of the accusations brought by the civil parties against Diocese of Lyon officials. The victims had been locked in silence for decades, incapable even as adults to testify to the abuse they suffered as children.

Why Didn’t Cardinal Wuerl Come Clean?

National Catholic Register

January 15, 2019

By Joan Desmond

Last week, U.S. Catholics learned that Cardinal Wuerl knew that his disgraced predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, had faced allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians back in 2004.

And when Cardinal Wuerl was accused of lying about his knowledge of McCarrick’s misbehavior, his spokesman argued last week that his public comments had been misunderstood: He had only denied prior knowledge of the allegations against McCarrick that involved minors.


Here’s what Cardinal Wuerl told the National Catholic Reporter back in Aug. 6, in an “exclusive” interview:

Although Wuerl said he had not personally been aware of rumors about McCarrick's alleged abuse of young men during the former cardinal's time as a priest and bishop, he acknowledged that others have now brought forward earlier existence of such rumors.

‘If there were [rumors], and if people heard them, there needs to be some mechanism by which there can be at least an evaluation and review of them,’ said Wuerl, speaking in a phone conversation.

So let’s state the obvious: Based on the evidence at hand, Cardinal Wuerl knew about McCarrick’s sexual misconduct with adults at least 14 years ago, and lied about it.

That said, Wuerl’s refusal to acknowledge the truth is even more puzzling, given his past effort to flag McCarrick’s misbehavior. Back in 2004, when Wuerl served as Bishop of Pittsburgh, he informed the papal nuncio about a claim against McCarrick filed by a former New Jersey seminarian.

Opus Dei settles misconduct claim against US priest Molested woman is paid $977,000 after being groped during pastoral counseling

La Croix International with Catholic News Service

January 10, 2019

The Catholic personal prelature Opus Dei has paid US$977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against one of its priests in Washington, D.C.

Father C. John McCloskey was accused of groping a woman several times while she was undergoing pastoral counseling because of a troubled marriage and serious depression.

The incidents were said to have taken place in meetings between Father McCloskey and the unnamed woman at the Catholic Information Center in Washington.


NBC News

January 11, 2019

By Corky Siemaszko

A Pennsylvania priest who sexually abused two boys over many years — and made them give confession to him after he molested them — is heading to prison.

The Rev. David Poulson, 65, was sentenced to at least two years and six months and up to 14 years as a group of survivors of sex abuse by other priests.

“I am sorry for the actions I committed,” Poulson told the court in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, Erie News Now reported. “They were both criminal and sins. I am ashamed for what I did.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the victims were 8 and 15 years old when Poulson molested them. “It was a powerful moment to see justice brought down on that predator priest,” he said after the sentencing at the courthouse in Brookville.

“Poulson assaulted one of his victims more than 20 times in church rectories. He made that victim go to confession and confess the abuse – to Poulson. He used the tools of the priesthood to further his abuse,” the attorney general said.

Tangazo Episode #22. Tangazo! with SNAP founder David Clohessy

Apple itunes

Released January 15, 2019

By Hank Thompson

To begin the new year, SNAP (Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests) founder David Clohessy joins host Hank Thompson for a very special and intense episode of Tangazo. Clohessy breaks down the purpose and benefits of his organization, while extending a helping hand to those in need and encouraging them to join. He also gives us a bit of his personal experience, background, how he overcame his personal obstacles and advice to those who are victims of abuse.

Cardinal Barbarin accused of lying over priest's sex abuse

La Croix International

January 10, 2019

By Béatrice Bouniol and Céline Hoyeau

Lawyer tells a Lyon court that the cardinal knew of Bernard Preynat's attacks on children in 2010, not 2014

Lawyers tried to convince a Lyon court on Jan. 9 that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and his associates failed to inform the law about the sexual abuse of more than 70 children by priest Bernard Preynat from 1970 to 1980.

The place of the priesthood

The Boston Globe

January 14, 2019

This criticism is nothing new

Garry Wills’s analysis of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is unrevealing (“Celibacy isn’t the problem; the priesthood is,” Opinion, Jan. 4).

Rather than offer an original insight, Wills recycles a historically Protestant, rejectionist view of Catholic ecclesiology, leavened with a bit of modernist skepticism. The assertion that chronic sexual abuse is intrinsic to the priesthood and Catholic religious life is at least two centuries old. We have heard it all before.

Five accusers have settled with Catholic Church in abuse cases, lawyer says

North Jersey Record

January 14, 2019

By Deena Yellin

A former Montclair woman who has settled with the Catholic Church over sex abuse allegations spoke out Monday about her alleged abuse by her family's priest, saying the response by the Newark Archdiocese was "despicable."

Danielle Polemeni said she was sexually abused by the Rev. Mitch Walters at ages 13 and 14 in her Upper Montclair home and on an eighth-grade class trip to the Poconos, while she was a part of St. Cassian's Parish and the school in Upper Montclair.

She was among five plaintiffs who won a total of $400,000 in in a July settlement that was announced Monday by their attorney, Mitch Garabedian. A sixth case is still in court, he said.

Defendants included the Newark Archdiocese, Walters, St. Cassian's Parish and St. Cassian's School in Montclair, and, in one lawsuit, St. John Nepomucene Church in Guttenberg, where Walters also served.

Now a mother and educator living in Ohio, Polemeni said she wants victims to know "you are not alone and this is not your fault. It's never too late to speak your voice and to get support and look for healing."

New list of abusive priests identifies seven former McQuaid staffers

Democrat and Chronicle

January 15, 2019

By Sean Lahman and Steve Orr, Rochester

Seven former McQuaid Jesuit High School teachers were identified Tuesday as having been accused of sexually abusing minors during their careers. At least one of the priests engaged in sexual misconduct while on faculty at the Brighton secondary school in the mid-1960's.

The revelation came in a list of accused priests released Tuesday morning by the Jesuit province that covers the northeastern United States.

A list of the accused abusers and their tenure at McQuaid:

Cornelius Carr, 1960-1964
Thomas Denny, 1978-1979
Roy Drake, 1957-1960
John Farrand, 1955-1957
Leonard Riforgiato, 1964-1966
William Scanlon, 1964-1967
Robert Voelkle, 1962-1969
Two of the priests, Carr and Drake, had been previously identified as having been accused of abuse at other schools. Carr was principal of the school. Drake was a math and science teacher.

But the Jesuit list Tuesday included five more names of priests who spent time at McQuaid and engaged in abusive behavior. None of the five appear to have been publicly identified as abusers before Tuesday.


News Tribune

January 15, 2019

By Brett Herrmann

It was last month when Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan unveiled that the Catholic Church in Illinois had received allegations against at least 500 unnamed priests and clergy members. That’s 500 more than the already identified 185 clergy members that have been “credibly” accused of sexual abuse against children as determined by the six dioceses in the state of Illinois.

Peoria Diocese fast stats
144,669 — Total Catholics
162 — Catholic parishes
298 — Total priests
11,872 — Total students in Catholic schools
21,778 — Total students under Catholic instruction
26 — Illinois counties in the Diocese
1,492,335 — Total population in Diocese
Source: Catholic Diocese of Peoria

“Because I know that the Church has too often ignored survivors of clergy sexual assault, I want to share the initial findings from our work,” Madigan said. “While the findings are preliminary, they demonstrate the need for and importance of continuing this investigation.”

The Illinois Attorney General’s office began its investigation into the Catholic Church in August following the news of the child sexual abuse scandal in Pennsylvania. The four month investigation resulted in each Illinois diocese — Chicago, Joliet, Rockford, Peoria, Springfield and Belleville — publishing a list of the priests that have been “credibly” accused of sexual abuse in their respective diocese. Two of the diocese already had lists available before the investigation.

But there are still hundreds of priests yet to be identified through accusations spanning decades.

“The investigation has revealed that allegations frequently have not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all. In many cases, the Church failed to notify law enforcement authorities or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of allegations of child sexual abuse,” the Attorney General’s office stated in a press release. “Among the common reasons the dioceses have provided for not investigating an allegation is that the priest or clergy member was deceased or had already resigned at the time the allegation of child sexual abuse was first reported to the diocese.”

Northeast Province Releases Names of Jesuits Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Northeast Jesuit Province

January 15, 2019

Dear Friends in the Lord,

Hoping to contribute to healing from the pain and anger caused by clergy sex abuse and the lack of accountability and transparency on the part of church leadership, I am making public a list of any Jesuit in the USA Northeast Province who has had a credible allegation of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult since 1950. The USA Northeast Province is composed of what were separate Provinces at various periods over the past seventy years: Buffalo in the 1960s; New England and New York separately until 2014. This list includes Jesuits who belonged to any of those Provinces.

El obispo de Astorga investiga al cura recluido por haber abusado en dos colegios por un nuevo caso

[Bishop of Astorga investigates new case against priest imprisoned for having abused in two schools]

El País

January 14, 2019

By Julio Núñez

El sacerdote Ramos Gordón ya cumple una condena de 10 años de apartamiento en un monasterio por pederastia en dos centros de León y Zamora en los años ochenta

El sacerdote José Manuel Ramos Gordón volverá a ser investigado por tercera vez por un supuesto delito de abusos sexuales a un menor en el colegio Juan XXIII de Puebla de Sanabria (Zamora) entre 1979 y 1985. Así lo ha confirmado este lunes la diócesis de Astorga después de que este domingo EL PAÍS y varios medios locales publicasen que una nueva supuesta víctima había escrito una carta al obispo de Astorga y presidente de la comisión antipederastia de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, José Antonio Menéndez, denunciando los hechos. Ramos Gordón ya fue investigado, juzgado y condenado entre 2015 y 2018 en dos ocasiones: la primera por abusar de tres menores en el seminario menor de La Bañeza (León) entre 1989 y 1990 y la segunda por agredir sexualmente de otro menor en el colegio Juan XXIII en los años ochenta, centro donde también estudió el nuevo denunciante.

Siete religiosos españoles, imputados en la gran causa de pederastia en Chile

[Pope opens criminal trial against 7 Spanish clergy members accused in Chile's abuse scandal]

El País

January 15, 2019

By Rocío Montes

El Papa abre un proceso penal en el Vaticano contra los maristas chilenos, que desembolsaron partidas millonarias para silenciar a sus víctimas

La Fiscalía chilena tiene a siete españoles imputados por abusos y violación a menores en la mayor causa de pederastia que se investiga dentro de la Iglesia chilena —la de los hermanos maristas—, un proceso que está en el centro de las preocupaciones del Vaticano. El papa Francisco ha ordenado abrir una “causa penal” ante la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe en el Vaticano por inacción de la orden, que no ha impuesto ninguna sanción desde que concluyó la primera parte de sus indagaciones sobre las décadas de pederastia en su seno.

Pewaukee priest accused of inappropriately touching girl due in court

FOX 6 News

January 15, 2019

Father Charles "Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, the pastor facing a felony charge of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age, is due in court Tuesday, Jan. 15. Father Chuck Hanel served at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Pewaukee. He's accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl during confession.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged crime in this case happened on Dec. 17, 2017. The alleged victim, who was 13 years old at the time, told authorities that while attending Reconciliation at Queen of Apostles, Father Hanel had inappropriate contact with her in a confessional. The girl told investigators that "she feels Fr. Hanel looks at her in a different way than the other girls...making her feel uncomfortable."

The complaint indicates Father Hanel had been on a scheduled church sabbatical from January through April of this year. When hearing of the priest's return to the parish, the alleged victim expressed outward anxiety. She eventually told her parents what had happened in December. She said "Father Hanel was 'creepy' and 'weird'" -- and "I want to go to a different church."

The girl's parents immediately informed a visiting priest at the parish about the accusations. That priest reported the matter to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and Waukesha County's Child Protective Services Unit.

Woman in viral video alleges Brooklyn pastor raped 14-year old girl at church

The Grio blog

January 14, 2019

By Blue Telusma

A Brooklyn women broke down in tears while telling local reporters about the alleged sexual abuse of her 14-year-old granddaughter.

According to PIX11 News, Thursday, 44-year old Matthew Gibson, pastor of the Progressive Baptist Church of Brownsville and son of the church’s bishop, was arrested and charged with incest and sex abuse.

“He should rot in hell,” the victim’s grandmother, Josephine Maples, said to news outlet.

The family doesn’t believe this is an isolated incident and is also alleging that sexual abuse of young girls has been going on for years at the church involving other sexual predators besides Gibson. The list of suspected offenders includes other male leaders in the church who are rumored to have preyed on young female parishioners for years and allegedly even impregnated a few.

Another woman related to the victim blew the whistle on this scandal says she only became aware of what was going on this past Wednesday after she took notice that the alleged victim was acting out of character. The abuse allegedly began just after the victim’s mother died, according to law-enforcement sources.

Ozarks-based televangelist Jim Bakker will be focus of new ABC '20/20' report

Springfield News-Leader

January 14, 2019

By Gregory J. Holman

Jim Bakker is again in the news.

Late last week, ABC News announced that the disgraced '80s-era televangelist — who in recent years has been broadcasting and selling dehydrated food buckets from a church and condo development near Branson — would be the subject of a special two-hour episode of its "20/20" broadcast.

The Bakker episode is set to air Friday at 8 p.m. Springfield time.

In a promotional trailer posted to Facebook and Twitter late Jan. 11, ABC showcased what appears to be a sensational report promising new information about Bakker's activities three decades ago.

An unidentified voice on the trailer calls Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye, "the Kardashians of the gospel."

Another unidentified voice states, "The fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker was a huge story."

Church response to modern abuse scandals ‘same as 30 years ago’

Irish Times

January 14, 2019

By Patsy McGarry

As the scandal of clerical child sex abuse emerges in other countries across the world the Catholic Church response in each has been exactly as it was in Ireland decades ago, Dublin abuse survivor Marie Collins has said.

“The church reaction is a mirror image of what we were hearing here in Ireland 30 years ago. I spoke recently with someone from Poland where the crisis is just now breaking. There the bishops are saying it is ‘enemies of the church’ who are behind it. It is an aggressive ‘media with an anti-church agenda’, all very familiar and an absolutely disgraceful attitude in 2019,” she said.

“The experience from those countries where the abuse crisis has been faced is not being used to bring universal policies into place for the countries where it has yet to occur,” she said.

Dear Ma: I'm Lutheran now - Catholic Church scandals did me in

Irish Central

January 15, 2019

By Mike Farragher

"For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel."

I guess this quote from my new homeboy Martin Luther is as good a place as any to break the news to my parents that I’ve left the Roman Catholic Church, at the ripe old age of 52, in favor of a faith often nicknamed “Catholic lite.”

Even the most fervent patron of the Holy See must give the devil his due: he has built a basilica rivaling St. Peter’s on church property in recent months. Cardinals and bishops are falling faster than Halloween candy prices in November after almost weekly revelations that they presided over the practice of pedophile priests raping countless children in their care for decades.

It has become impossible to see the church I grew up in through the lenses of rage and disgust that I’ve been wearing into His house lately..

Man convicted in church sex scandal accused of being in contact with victim

News 4 Jax

January 14, 2019

By Erik Avanier

A Jacksonville man who was convicted seven years ago in a high-profile church sex scandal will once again go before a judge.

Authorities say 53-year-old Darrell Moore may have violated his sex-offender probation by being in contact with one of his victims, who is now an adult, at the Greater Refuge Temple, where records show he originally committed inappropriate acts with victims when they were still minors.

Moore is the son-in-law of the pastor of the church, which News4Jax was told has welcomed Moore since his release from prison.

But when Moore, who is still on probation, allegedly showed up at Greater Refuge Temple one day when one of the victims was already present, it may have violated his probation.

Shirly Roberts is the whistleblower who in 2010 reported allegations of inappropriate behavior against Moore toward children inside Greater Refuge Temple. She is now a former church member and a retired state probation officer who is speaking out on behalf of one of the victims.

Preventing sex abuse a 'global issue' for the church

Catholic News Service

January 15, 2019

By Carol Glatz

By summoning the leaders of the world's bishops' conferences and top representatives of religious orders to the Vatican in February to address the sex abuse crisis and the protection of minors, Pope Francis is sending a message that the need for safeguarding young people is a global issue.

Even though the media attention and public fallout for the church's failings have focused on a small group of nations, abuse experts and victims know that does not mean the rest of the world is immune from the scandal of abuse or can delay taking action to ensure the safety of all church members.

While Catholic leaders in some countries might not recognize it as a global issue, Vatican offices that receive abuse allegations have a "clear idea about what is the situation now because allegations come from all parts of the world," said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

He also serves as president of the Center for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a member of the organizing committee for the February meeting.=

In brief: NDG fire, Saudi teen and Congo elections

The Concordian

January 15, 2019

By Mia Anhoury And Ian Down

Former Town of Mount Royal priest, Brian Boucher, was found guilty of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual touching on Tuesday, according to The Montreal Gazette. Judge Patricia Compagnone said Boucher’s testimony lacked credibility while the victim’s testimony was believable. He will be sentenced in March.

Curb the crisis: 10 essential lessons for investigating church leaders

National Catholic Reporter

January 15, 2019

By Hank Shea

The Catholic Church is in serious and deepening crisis, primarily as a result of grave sins and failed leadership involving clergy sexual misconduct. This tragedy is most recently exemplified by the alleged abusive, long-standing behavior of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In order for the church in the United States to determine and learn from how it failed to address McCarrick's decades of alleged misconduct, new guidelines and procedures must be established and implemented for investigating him and any high-ranking church leader.

For the last five years, the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese has grappled with this challenge, having had to investigate its former Archbishop John Nienstedt for alleged personal sexual misconduct and failed leadership involving abuse by other clergy.

Many painful lessons were learned from that investigation, which was prematurely terminated and never resumed. Egregious clergy abuse by an archdiocesan priest and the failed leadership that permitted that abuse to occur ultimately led to criminal charges being filed against the archdiocese and Nienstedt's abrupt resignation. Those lessons should be examined and heeded by every American cardinal, archbishop and bishop to avoid their repetition elsewhere.

I write as a lifelong, faithful Catholic who was raised by devout parents and educated in parochial schools for 12 years and benefited from a Jesuit college education; I also raised four children in the Catholic faith. For 20 years, I served as a federal prosecutor in Minnesota, specializing in white collar crime, and supervising hundreds of investigations of alleged misconduct, abuse of power, and/or concealment of wrongdoing by business leaders, government officials, lawyers and other professionals. For the past 10 years, I have taught at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, starting with ethical leadership courses and more recently, teaching courses on how to conduct investigations.

Based on my many years of supervising and teaching how to do complex investigations, and having closely followed the investigation of Nienstedt and conduct related to it, I have identified 10 of the most important lessons to be learned from the initial success and then ultimate failures surrounding that investigation.

Santa Rosa Bishop: ‘Grief And Shame’ Over New List Of Priests Involved In Child Sex Abuse


January 14, 2019

By Emily Turner

Santa Rosa has became the fourth Bay Area diocese to release a list of names of priests involved in child sexual abuse or credibly accused of such crimes.

Bishop Robert Vasa spoke at a press conference Monday following Saturday’s release of its list of clergy involved in the scandal that has rocked not just the Bay Area, but the country. “I feel tremendous sadness and grief and shame,” said Vasa.

Vasa vowed to prevent sexual abuse moving forward.”This is a wakeup call that says, ‘No, we need to redouble our efforts re-inform the people in the pews that we continue to be serious about this,'” he said.

Santa Rosa is now the fourth of six Bay Area dioceses to release its list of abusers and accused abusers. That now leaves San Francisco and Sacramento as the only one ones that haven’t. Both dioceses say they’ve hired an outside investigator to go through documents before releasing names – or anything at all.

It’s a move that has many upset, including attorney Mike Reck who represents victims of clergy sex abuse. Beck is suing for the release of what the San Francisco Archdiocese knows about sex abuse among its ranks. Launching its own investigation, he says, falls far short.

Vatican editor says Pope must face questions on women, sex abuse


January 15, 2019

By Inés San Martín

According to an Italian historian who presides over a monthly Vatican magazine on women, both women and clerical sexual abuse are problems that will continue to dog Pope Francis until they’re resolved.

“[A] question arises, that of women who are nonexistent and invisible in the eyes of ecclesiastical hierarchies, accustomed to taking their service for granted,” Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in a recent op-ed for the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “Today religious [women] no longer accept shameful conditions of exploitation and humiliation.”

According to Scaraffia, during the first years of his pontificate, Francis led a revolution in the life of the Church, which in previous years had focused too much on bioethics. She called those issues “difficult and risky to face, and before which the Church, whose position always seemed very rigid, didn’t always succeed in presenting herself as a defender of the weak.”

In the piece published on Monday, Scaraffia also wrote that Francis put the poor back at the center of the Church’s core concerns, represented mainly by migrants, but also the “inhabitants of the most miserable areas of the third world, oppressed by misery and ecological disasters.”

He also extended the “mercy of the Church to those who, after [the end of their first] marriage, had formed a new family, as well as women who asked for forgiveness for the sin of abortion, and who until [the pope’s] providential intervention had to go to a bishop to obtain absolution.”

Sex-ed critics fear that it may ‘give kids ideas.’ But that would be a good thing

Globe and Mail

January 15, 2019

By André Picard

Plans to update the sex education curriculum in both Ontario and Quebec are sparking backlashes and making headlines.

But while Doug Ford and François Legault are both newly elected premiers, and ones with socially conservative proclivities at that, the response of their respective governments to the caterwauling of a prudish minority has been markedly different.

In Ontario, Mr. Ford has vowed to scrap the 2015 curriculum and return to the 1958 – oh, sorry, 1998 – edition, a move that has sparked lawsuits by teachers and parents alike.

Meanwhile, in Quebec, Catholic clergy and parents have threatened to boycott classes, but Mr. Legault has dismissed their complaints out-of-hand: “Sex education,” he said, "is mandatory for everyone.”

The divergence in their responses is especially notable because the sex-ed curriculum in Ontario and Quebec are quite similar. Kids still get the basic lectures about the body’s plumbing, but there has been a welcome attempt to do away with euphemisms as scare tactics and teach about sexuality in a more straightforward, scientific manner.

The List: Were promises kept?


January 15, 2019

By Jim Hummel

*This is part 2 of a special report on accusations of abuse in the Diocese of Lafayette.

he existence of a list of accused priests was first confirmed in 2004 by then-Bishop Michael Jarrell, as the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis gained national attention.

“We’re dealing with it in a forthright manner and admitting our faults and mistakes,” Jarrell said in a 2004 interview with KATC. “We’re striving to do all that we can in the future.”

Jarrell’s tenure began at a time when the church promised reform on clergy sex abuse, but under his leadership, there are questions if that promise was kept.

In uncovering our list, KATC found at least three cases in Jarrell’s time as bishop, where the diocese was aware of complaints against living priests; there is no record police were notified, until only recently in one of them.

Gerard Smit was accused of sexual abuse in Lafayette, Calcasieu and St. Landry parishes. Records obtained by KATC, including his personnel file with the diocese, show one of his accusers, Roy Touchet, complained at least three times.

“No one believed us, because the priests were almighty, the bishops were almighty, the cardinals knew about it,” Touchet said. “They just didn’t want to do anything. They just covered them up.”

Louisiana State Police only got involved in 2015, when Touchet filed a formal complaint.

Next, a lawsuit against Father Marshall Larriviere in 2003. Larriviere was accused of sexual abuse in the 1960’s at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville. The case was settled in 2004. There is no record law enforcement was notified.

Msgr. Robie Robichaux was placed on leave in October 2018, after two women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers; the initial accuser went to the diocese in both 1994 and 2004. Despite her accusations, Robichaux was allowed to stay in ministry, work in schools, and was even promoted within the diocese to the post of judicial vicar.

Catholic Priest Accused Of Abuse At Santa Clarita Church After Transfer From Scotland

KHTS Radio

January 14, 2019

By Devon Miller

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles confirmed Monday that Father Joseph Dunne was accused of sexual misconduct of a female minor in January 1993 while he was still at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) in Newhall.

“Her parents immediately reported the matter to the school, Archdiocese and law enforcement,” said a statement from the Archdiocese.

Dunne was employed by OLPH “without permission from or notification to the Archdiocese” from summer of 1992 until the allegations arose in January 1993, when he was removed from the parish.

“Fr. Dunne was instructed to remain in residence without ministering during the law enforcement investigation. The Archdiocese also reported the incident to law enforcement and cooperated in the investigation,” said the statement.

Law enforcement did not press charges, according to the Archdiocese.

After receiving the allegation in 1993, church officials contacted the Archdiocese of Glasgow and learned that there had been previous allegations of misconduct.

Dunne was expected to return to Glasgow, but Archdiocese files contain no information concerning his departure.

The current whereabouts of Dunne is unknown, according to church officials.

These allegations have been brought to light months after similar sexual abuse accusations of four other priests at OLPH.

21 priests, 7 others linked to church in 200 clergy sex abuse complaints

Pacific Daily News

January 15, 2019

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Twenty-one people affiliated with the Catholic Church, including two archbishops, one bishop, priests and others, have been accused in the nearly 200 child sex abuse lawsuits filed since 2016 in local and federal courts on Guam.

The local church, however, has not yet released its list of clergy members with "credible allegations" of child sex abuse.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes in late 2017 said the archdiocese would work on such a list as an important part of the Archdioces of Agana's policy of protecting children, but no timeline was given.

Concerned Catholics of Guam President David Sablan said releasing that list would help rebuild trust in the church.

Case of Opus Dei priest raises fresh questions about clerical abuse crisis


January 15

By Christopher White

Opus Dei has a reputation as perhaps the most buttoned-down, by-the-book group in the Catholic Church, so when the Washington Post reported last week that it had paid nearly a million dollars to settle a sexual misconduct allegation against one of its most prominent priests, it set off shockwaves and raised new questions about the Church’s response to the clerical abuse crisis.

From his post at the influential Catholic Information Center (CIC) on K Street in the early 2000s, Father C.J. McCloskey was responsible for bringing some of the country’s most prominent conservatives into the Catholic Church, among them now Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback; Larry Kudlow, who currently serves as the Director of the National Economic Council; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; and one-time Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork.

Parishes where ousted priests worked identified by London lawyer


January 15, 2019

A London lawyer wants the public to know where two ousted priests worked and faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the Diocese of London. Both Fr. Moe Charbonneau and Fr. Andy Dwyer have since been banned from ministering in the diocese but the organization has refused to divulge where the allegations were made.

"If they're going to be transparent as has been the almost global demand upon the Catholic church then they need to give these details," said Rob Talach, partner at Beckett Personal Injuries Lawyers in London.

But, the diocese maintains to reveal the locations of the allegations could lead to identifying the victims.

"We can only follow our own policy which is in place to safeguard the privacy of the people involved," said Nelson Couto, communications officer with the Diocese of London.

He said, the diocese has released the list of where the priests served over the years, but not the specifics of where or when "...because those sorts of things can lead to people jumping to conclusions."

January 14, 2019

Raped and impregnated by Canisius Jesuit priest, abuse survivor rebuilds her life


January 14, 2019

By Charlie Specht

The woman still remembers the staircase leading to the Rev. Vincent P. Mooney’s office at Canisius High School.

She first climbed those stairs nearly 60 years ago when she was a young schoolgirl at the old Mount St. Joseph’s Academy.

“It was after my father’s death and I wasn’t handling it very well, and a nun at the school was sympathetic and she wanted to help me,” the woman said. “So she hooked me up with this Jesuit priest at Canisius High School.”

But Mooney was no ordinary priest. He was the Canisius president for most of the 1960s and 1970s and was a member of the well-known Jesuit religious order that runs Canisius high school and college.

His second-floor office where the 16-year-old poured her heart out doubled as a confessional, where after years of grooming, Fr. Mooney invited the young woman to confess her sins.

“He heard my confession, and as I got up from the kneeler and he came around from the other side, he attacked me,” she said. “He was over 6 feet tall, a large man, and I was only 5-foot-3 and completely shocked and not comprehending what was going on.”

Our Opinion: Diocese still dodging issue of clergy abuse

Berkshire Eagle

January 14, 2019

The Catholic Church will never succeed in putting its clergy abuse scandals behind it as long as it insists on finding ways to avoid full responsibility. The latest example is the absence of The Rev. Richard J. Ahern on the Springfield Diocese's list of clergy who sexually abused young people even though he clearly belongs there.

The Rev. Ahern served churches all over the Diocese, including Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Fenn Street in Pittsfield, a church that was closed about a decade ago. Court records document his abuse of children in the diocese and a long list of allegations against him were unresolved when he died in 2001. In 1986, he was banned from the diocese in its entirety, as is documented in a letter from the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers in May of 1986, according to a report by Larry Parnass in Sunday's Eagle.

According to Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont, an accused priest may not have made the diocese's list if he died before credible allegations were made against him. The Rev. Ahern died well after those allegations were made, as the letter banning him from the diocese because of his actions 15 years before he died attests. Another reason would be if the priest worked for a religious order rather than the diocese itself.

The Rev. Ahern was indeed a member of the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers, but as a member of that order he served churches of the Springfield Diocese, including one in Pittsfield. Attempting to evade full responsibility for the behavior of priests through technicalities or semantics — what clergy abuse survivor and victim advocate Olan Horne of Chester called "the walnut game" in The Eagle — has been a Catholic Church strategy for decades and it has arguably done as much or more harm to the church than have the actions of pedophile priests.

It is clear from documents uncovered by Mr. Parnass that the Stigmatines followed a familiar Catholic Church pattern in its dealings with the Reverend Ahern. He was sent for therapy, shuttled from parish to parish and assigned duties that would limit his involvement with children. Nothing in the correspondence included in The Eagle story indicates any concern or compassion on the part of the Stigmatines for his young victims. He was eventually welcomed into retirement — in a message accompanied by the warning that he steer clear of the Springfield Diocese.


The Catholic Globe

January 14, 2019

Editor’s note: The Diocese of Sioux City issued the following statement on Jan. 4 in response to abuse allegations from a victims survivor group.

The Diocese of Sioux City would first like to apologize to all victims of abuse by members of the clergy. We are working to do everything we can to help victims who come forward. We want to help them feel a sense of justice and healing. The Diocese of Sioux City continues to express sorrow for and to apologize to the victims of sexual misconduct by members of our clergy. We again encourage all victims, if you have not reported past or present abuse, to please come forward. The Victims Assistance hotline number is (866) 435-4397 or (712) 279-5610.

As an update to all victims and our community at large, we are diligently working on the release of a list of clergy, who have substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against them. We sincerely hope this will help victims in their healing. Coordinating this list has taken longer than we expected as we review all our records carefully. Taking into account advice received in our meeting with the Attorney General for the State of Iowa in early December and counsel provided by dioceses that have already released lists, we have made progress on our list and have a draft.

While we initially indicated that the list would be released in 2018, completing the list is requiring additional time for our research to be thorough and reporting to be correct. Our Diocesan Review Board and its subcommittees are having ongoing meetings to complete and release the list. We appreciate your patience.

Diocese of Santa Rosa releases names of priests accused of sexual misconduct

KRON Channel 4

January 14, 2019

By Maureen Kelly

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has released the names of priests accused of abusing children.

Bishop Robert F. Vasa on Saturday said the goal in releasing the names of accused priests and deacons who served in Santa Rosa is "to give to all the victims of clerical sexual abuse the assurance that they have been heard and the Church is very much concerned for their well-being and healing."

The bishop said Monday he hopes this weekend's release of names of nearly 40 priests accused of sexual abuse brings healing to their victims.

Monday's news conference started with a prayer.

"Lead us not into temptation.”

It comes two days after the Santa Rosa Diocese released this list of 39 names of priests considered credibly accused of sexual abuse.

SNAP blasts Cardinal Donald Wuerl


January 14, 2019

The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a group representing survivors of Catholic priest sexual abuse, is blasting Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

He asked for "understanding" this weekend after a Washington Post report exposed that he lied about knowing about abuse while he was Pittsburgh's bishop.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Wuerl wrote a letter to priests in Washington, D.C., this weekend, saying that he approrpriately handled sexual misconduct allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick in 2004, while both men served in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Recent practices lead to disenchantment with Catholic Church

St. Cloud Times

January 14, 2019

By Peter Donohue

I have been a very strong Catholic, active in the parishes I belonged to — two parishes for a total of 70 years.

Not too long after Vatican II, I had what I thought was a crisis of faith and faltered in active participation. I remained infrequent in participation for several years, but slowly found my way back with the help of an associate priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

I became an integral part of my parish and a strong advocate of Catholic education because of the incredible experience my children had primarily at Cathedral High School. I will remain forever grateful for my education and that of my children.

Several months ago, my active participation in the church came to a sudden end.

At first, I thought I was experiencing another crisis of faith. As time passed and as I struggled with the void created by the end of active participation, I sorted through this latest estrangement and began to recognize that it was not a crisis of faith. I also began to appreciate that years ago it was not a crisis of faith. My faith remains strong, vibrant and an essential part of my being.

Editorial: Church shines spotlight on own darkness

Sonoma Index Tribune

January 14, 2019

Bt Jason Walsh

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” – Ephesians 5:11

The Diocese of Santa Rosa made public Saturday the names of 39 Catholic clergy believed to have sexually abused about 100 children since the diocese founding in 1962.

Bishop Robert F. Vasa, writing extensively in this month’s issue of the North Coast Catholic newsletter, published Jan. 12, described the abuse as “very real trauma which the evil actions of priests and bishops have caused in the lives of thousands of young people in our nation.”

In most cases involving the Santa Rosa diocese, he points out, the abuses occurred decades ago, though the most recent were as late as 2006 and 2008. Fourteen of the 39 names were accused of crimes prior to joining the Santa Rosa diocese; 25 are now deceased; and none currently serve the diocese.

'Spotlight' lawyer says Newark archdiocese blamed victims to defend predator priest

NBC News

January 14, 2019

By Corky Siemaszko

The lawyer celebrated for going after predatory Roman Catholic clergymen in Boston accused the Archdiocese of Newark on Monday of using a blame-the-victim strategy to protect a New Jersey priest who allegedly abused five boys and a girl decades ago.

Mitchell Garabedian, whose efforts were dramatized in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” launched the broadside after announcing that five of the alleged victims of the Rev. Michael "Mitch" Walters had settled their civil lawsuits against the Catholic Church for $400,000. The sixth case against Walters is still in court, he said.

Archdiocesan lawyers cited the “doctrine of contributory negligence” to argue that “these children were at fault when they were sexually abused,” Garabedian said at a press conference in West Orange, New Jersey.

Santa Fe archbishop pledges to open priest abuse records

Associated Press

January 14, 2019

The head of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in New Mexico has pledged to open sealed records related to priest child sexual abuse cases as victims, attorneys and others push for more transparency.

Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester agreed to the disclosure as he and two other top church officials were questioned last week under oath as part of bankruptcy court proceedings. The Albuquerque Journal reports the public meeting included victims whose claims are now intertwined with the archdiocese’s pending bankruptcy reorganization.

While the archdiocese already has paid more than $50 million to settle sex abuse claims, Wester contends it cannot sustain the financial impact of continued litigation.

Most of the questions posed by three members of the creditors’ committee at the meeting focused on illuminating what has historically been a dark, secret legal reckoning of child sexual abuse inflicted for decades by dozens of clergy members in New Mexico.

Monseñor Ramos tras encuentro del Papa con Conferencia Episcopal: “Nos hizo varias sugerencias”

[Monsignor Ramos after Pope's meeting with Episcopal Conference: "He made several suggestions"]

La Tercera

January 14, 2019

La representación estuvo encabezada por Ricardo Ezzati y el motivo era dar a conocer a Francisco "el caminar recorrido por la Iglesia en Chile" desde el encuentro que se tuvo en mayo de 2018.

En la ciudad del Vaticano, el Papa Francisco sostuvo una audiencia que duró cerca de una hora, con un grupo de integrantes de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, encabezados por el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati.

Las dudas que deja el encuentro de los obispos con el Papa en Roma

[Doubts left by the Chilean bishops' meeting with the Pope in Rome]

La Tercera

January 14, 2019

By María José Navarrete

La cita se llevó a cabo este lunes y asistieron los cinco miembros del comité permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal.

A las 11.00 horas de este lunes en Roma (7.00 de la mañana en Chile), los cinco obispos que conforman el comité permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal (Cech), compuesto por su presidente, Santiago Silva; el vicepresidente, René Rebolledo; el secretario general, Fernando Ramos; el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, y el obispo de San Bernardo, Juan Ignacio González, ingresaron a la biblioteca privada del Palacio Apostólico.

De las renuncias al nuevo viaje al Vaticano: Los últimos ocho meses de crisis en la Iglesia católica chilena

[After a new trip to the Vatican: a timeline of the last eight months in the Chilean Catholic Church crisis]


January 14, 2019

By José Manuel Vilches and Tomás Molina

Los obispos fueron recibidos esta jornada por el Papa y dieron cuenta del "caminar recorrido" desde el encuentro de mayo, con la incertidumbre sobre el futuro de Ricardo Ezzati como telón de fondo.

Los últimos ocho meses de crisis en la Iglesia chilena

[VIDEO] Obispos chilenos tras reunión con el Papa: "Fue un diálogo preciso"

[VIDEO Chilean Bishops after meeting with Pope: "It was a necessary dialogue"]


January 14, 2019

El Papa Francisco recibió a los miembros de la Conferencia Episcopal en su biblioteca privada, y luego almorzó con ellos para concluir el diálogo.

Asegurando que fue "un diálogo preciso", el secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, Fernando Ramos, se refirió a la reunión privada que sostuvieron los miembros permanentes de la conferencia con el Papa Francisco este lunes en Roma.

Cardinal Wuerl knew about Theodore McCarrick. And he lied about it.

The Washington Post

January 13, 2018

By the Editorial Board

WHEN ALLEGATIONS came to light last year of sexual abuse and inappropriate conduct involving children and seminarians by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who succeeded Mr. McCarrick as leader of the Washington archdiocese, expressed shock and denied prior knowledge. Now it turns out Mr. Wuerl was presented in 2004 with an account of Mr. McCarrick’s alleged misconduct, which he relayed to the Vatican. Then: nothing.

In the ongoing tsunami of revelations about the Catholic Church’s willful blindness, conspiracy of silence and moral bankruptcy on clergy sex abuse, this particular revelation may count as little more than a droplet — although it does involve two of the highest-ranking and most prominent American prelates. However, it also encapsulates characteristics that continue to dog the church nearly two decades after the scandal burst into the open: callousness directed at victims; an insistence on denial and hairsplitting; and the hierarchy’s preference for treating allegations as internal matters, as if the world’s 1.2 billion lay Catholics were an irrelevance.

In response to the revelation that Mr. Wuerl was fully aware of, and handled, an allegation from a former priest about Mr. McCarrick’s misconduct more than 14 years ago, the Washington archdiocese issued a statement suggesting that his previous flat denials were merely “imprecise.” Those previous statements referred only to sexual abuse of a minor, the archdiocese said.

In fact, the cardinal’s comments last summer were unequivocal. In response to a broad question about “long-standing rumors or innuendos” posed by a reporter for the archdiocesan newspaper Catholic Standard, he said, “I had not heard them” before or during his tenure in Washington. That was untrue.

As it happens, Mr. Wuerl, then-bishop of Pittsburgh, not only was presented with allegations of Mr. McCarrick’s misconduct by a former priest named Robert Ciolek. To his credit, he also swiftly brought that information to the Vatican’s attention in a meeting with the pope’s ambassador in Washington at the time, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo.

Yet Mr. McCarrick remained as archbishop of Washington for nearly two more years and suffered no discipline until last year, when the allegations against him were reported. At that point, the Holy See removed him from ministry; his final punishment is now being weighed in Rome.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wuerl, though forced to resign as archbishop last fall following revelations by a Pennsylvania grand jury that he had mishandled numerous clergy sex abuse cases in Pittsburgh, continues to oversee the Washington archdiocese pending appointment of a successor.

Understandably, Mr. Ciolek is outraged that Mr. Wuerl, having known of his allegations for years, denied knowledge of them last year. “It’s as if I don’t exist,” he told The Post’s Michelle Boorstein.

Pope Francis himself has displayed a gaping blind spot on the issue of clergy sex abuse, at times condemning it and taking resolute action, at other times directing contempt and lip service at victims. He has convened a meeting of top bishops in Rome next month. Actions and policies, not ringing declarations, will be the measure of the church’s success in grappling with a scandal that has shamed it.

INTERVIEW: Bishop Vasa Of The Diocese Of Santa Rosa Releases Names Of Priests Accused Of Child Abuse

KSRO Radio

January 14, 2019

Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa describes the statement he released over the weekend of the thirty-eight names accused of abuse of children, the articles of what the church has done over the past few decades in relation to these cases, and the invitation to victims to come forward. He also speaks to the status of the Catholic Church today, whether he has heard from any of the people from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and how they can prevent these types of abuse in the future:

The List: Accusations of Abuse in The Diocese of Lafayette


January 13, 2019

Fifteen years after acknowledging it exists, and months after promising its release, the Diocese of Lafayette still has not released a list of priests who have faced credible accusations of sexual abuse involving children. KATC Investigates is breaking that silence, and releasing its own list.

In Louisiana, both the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux have followed through on a pledge of transparency, joining more than 70 dioceses and Catholic religious organizations across the country who have released their lists.

Just last week the Diocese in Lafayette said they are still examining the past 50 years of files and will release their list when they’re finished.

The “list” was first acknowledged by the Diocese of Lafayette in February 2004 by former Bishop Michael Jarrell; our reporters have been requesting the diocese disclose those names since then. They refused until last fall, when Bishop Douglas Deshotel joined other dioceses in the state in making the pledge to release them.

KATC believes the public has waited long enough, and has a right to know, so we are releasing the list of priests with credible accusations we’ve assembled following years of pouring over public records and media reports, using all the investigative techniques we know.

KATC Investigates started by putting together a list of priests and church employees who have been accused of sexual abuse. Our producers and reporters then scoured thousands of pages of documents – all public records – to find support for these accusations in the form of criminal charges, civil suit settlements, diocese statements and court case evidence. Some of those records are recent, some decades old.

Former St. Ignatius Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse: Archdiocese


January 14, 2019

By Kara Seymour

A reverend who once served at Saint Ignatius in Yardley has been placed on administrative leave following new allegations he sexually abused a minor several decades ago, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced this week.

Reverend Monsignor Joseph L. Logrip, 73, served at Saint Ignatius 1972-1974. Law enforcement is now involved in the investigation, and the Archdiocese said it will cooperate fully with authorities.

While on administrative leave he will not be able to exercise his ministry public, present himself publicly as a priest, or be present in any parishes or schools, the Archdiocese said.

Logrip is one of three priests whose status was recently reviewed by The Archdiocesan Office of Investigations, which conducts internal investigations following allegations of misconduct.

In 2014, the same board recommended that Monsignor Logrip was suitable for ministry based on an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Since that time, he has served as a Chaplain at Camilla Hall retirement home, and as a weekend assistant at Saint Peter Parish in West Brandwyine.

Catholic Church settles for $400K in five sex abuse lawsuits against N.J. priest, attorney says

Newark Star Ledger

January 14, 2019

By Kelly Heyboer

Five alleged victims who say they were sexually abused by a New Jersey priest settled their lawsuits against the Catholic Church for a total of $400,000 -- and a sixth cases against him is still in court, an attorney said.

The Rev. Michael “Mitch” Walters was accused of molesting both boys and girls at St. Cassian Church and school in Montclair and St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg in the 1980s and 1990s. He denied the accusations and was removed from ministry in 2016.

Five lawsuits against Walters were settled in July after the cases went to mediation, said Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston-based attorney for the alleged victims. Garabedian, who was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the 2015 film “Spotlight,” is known for representing victims in cases against the Catholic Church.

Whistleblower Bishop Calls on McCarrick to Publicly Repent of Alleged Sex-Abuse

Catholic News Agency

January 14, 2019

By Michael W. Chapman |

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican's former top diplomat to the United States, released a public letter on Sunday calling on accused sex-abuser Archbishop Theodore McCarrick -- a power player in the U.S. church -- to "confess and repent" of his "sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly" because "your eternal salvation is at stake."

"As has been reported as news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure," said Archbishop Vigano in his Jan. 13 letter.

"No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance," wrote Vigano. "I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church."

How to teach a university course on the abuse crisis?

La Croix International

January 14, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

The clergy sex abuse crisis is redefining the role and position of many people in the “locus” of the faith that is the Church — hierarchical leaders, clergy and laity, activists, journalists, the police, lawyers, judges and politicians.

Also included are theologians and all those who work on behalf of the Church as professional intellectuals, even those who are not technically on its payroll.

So, after the terrible summer of 2018 (from revelations in June about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick to the release in August of the Pennsylvania grand jury report) I decided to begin 2019 with a new theology course for university undergraduates titled, “History and ecclesiology of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.”

The easy part was putting together the reading list and course assignments. Thanks to the individual and collective efforts of scholars, a “canon” of texts is starting to emerge, such as one published in Daily Theology.

The more difficult task was to prepare for all the expected and unexpected questions that are likely to be raised by a course that deals with a developing and disturbing story — or stories — such as the abuse crisis in the Church.I have come up with ten questions or issues that are characteristics of the present crisis. Surely there are more, but this is a start. I hope they help provide some perspective on what it means to do scholarship on this phenomenon.The first question concerns methodology: what kind of sources are to be used in this course?

Why making clergy mandatory reporters won’t solve the Catholic abuse crisis

Religion News Service

January 14, 2019

By Fr. Thomas Reese

The desire to protect children from abuse, both sexual and physical, has led many states to designate certain classes of people as mandatory reporters, even threatening them with jail time if they fail to report abuse.

These laws vary from state to state in terms of who are listed as mandatory reporters and what they are required to report. Mandatory reporters have included teachers, nurses, doctors, child welfare officials and police. Even psychologists and psychiatrists, who normally must respect the confidentiality of what they are told by their patients, have sometimes been covered.

Because of the failure of Catholic bishops in the past to report abusive priests to authorities, states are now also including Catholic clergy as mandatory reporters.

Church envoy begs McCarrick to repent as abuse verdict nears

Associated Press

January 14, 2019

By Nicole Wiinfield

The retired Vatican diplomat who accused Pope Francis of turning a blind eye to the alleged sexual misconduct of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is begging the American to publicly repent for his crimes for the good of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrote a letter to McCarrick that was published Monday on an Italian blog, Vigano's way of communicating after he went into hiding following his bombshell accusations against the pope in August.

In the letter, Vigano noted the Vatican is expected to shortly deliver its verdict against McCarrick after gathering testimony from at least three men who accused him of misconduct.

The McCarrick scandal has thrown the U.S. and Vatican hierarchy into crisis since it was apparently an open secret that the powerful retired archbishop of Washington slept with seminarians.

Vigano wrote that a public show of repentance would be a "gift" to the church to help it heal from the sex abuse crisis.

"Time is running out but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly," Vigano wrote. While saying McCarrick's own eternal salvation was at stake, Vigano also said the credibility of the church was also in the balance.

"A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering church," Vigano wrote. "Are you willing to offer her that gift?"

The McCarrick scandal erupted just before a grand jury in Pennsylvania accused some 300 priests of abusing more than 1,000 children over seven decades, while superiors largely stood by. The combined scandal, plus Francis' own missteps in handling abuse cases, has created a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy.

El sacerdote Ramos Gordón recibe una nueva denuncia por abusos

[New abuse complaint lodged against priest Ramos Gordón]

El País

January 13, 2019

By Julio Núñez

Una supuesta víctima acusa al clérigo pederasta por hechos ocurridos en los años ochenta en el colegio Juan XXIII de Puebla de Sanabria, en Zamora

Una nueva víctima ha denunciado al sacerdote José Manuel Ramos Gordón por abusos sexuales entre 1979 y 1985, cuando el exalumno tenía entre 11 y 16 años. Los hechos tenían lugar en el colegio zamorano Juan XXIII de Puebla de Sanabria, de noche, cuando los niños ya estaban durmiendo. La acusación llegó a través de una carta certificada el pasado jueves al obispo de Astorga y presidente de la comisión antipederastia de la Conferencia Episcopal Española José Antonio Menéndez. Sin embargo, la diócesis todavía no ha hecho ninguna declaración al respecto.

Front Page News Today in Charlotte, North Carolina: "PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE — The Charlotte Diocese Has Not Released Lists"


January 13, 2019

By William Lindsey

On the front page of today's Charlotte Observer: a headline reading, "PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE," with a notice that the Catholic diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, still has not released names of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse. The headline points readers to an article inside the front section of the paper that appeared several days ago in the online copy of the paper, but is being published in the print-media copy for the first time for today's Sunday edition.

The article, entitled "Why hasn’t Charlotte Catholic diocese released list of priests accused of sex abuse?," by Tim Funk, reports a series of evasive statements by diocesan spokesman David Hains, one of which is that survivors would be harmed by having this information in the public sphere. To which SNAP's David Clohessy replies, in a word, "Baloney":

As for Hains' claim that releasing a list might "re-traumatize" victims, the former leader of a national group that represents the victims of clergy sex abuse had a one-word reaction: "Baloney."
"The overwhelming majority of survivors WANT this info out there," David Clohessy, who is still active in the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, wrote in an email to the Observer.

Una hora duró reunión del Papa con delegación de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile

[Pope meets with Chilean bishops for one hour]

La Tercera

January 14, 2019

La representación estuvo encabezada por Ricardo Ezzati y el motivo era dar a conocer a Francisco "el caminar recorrido por la Iglesia en Chile" desde el encuentro que se tuvo en mayo de 2018.

En la ciudad del Vaticano, el Papa Francisco sostuvo una audiencia que duró cerca de una hora, con un grupo de integrantes de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, encabezados por el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati.

Desde "lobby" hasta "actitud proactiva": Opiniones divididas genera reunión entre el Papa y obispos chilenos en el Vaticano este lunes

[Today's meeting between Pope and Chilean bishops generates split opinions among church observers]


January 13, 2019

By Pía Larrondo

La audiencia, que fue solicitada por los prelados en noviembre, será a puertas cerradas y se enmarcará dentro de la próxima cita que se va a realizar en febrero en Roma con los presidentes de las conferencias episcopales.

Hoy se reunirán los obispos chilenos que forman parte del comité permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal con el Papa Francisco en Roma. La finalidad de la cita, según los obispos, es "dar a conocer al pontífice el caminar recorrido por la Iglesia en Chile desde el encuentro que conferencia episcopal sostuvo con él en mayo, en el vaticano".

Papa recibe a cúpula de la Iglesia chilena: Ezzati y Silva llegaron imputados por encubrimiento

[Pope receives Chilean Church leaders, Ezzati and Silva arrive accused of cover up]


January 14, 2019

By Matías Vega and Patricia Mayorga

Este lunes los 5 obispos del Consejo Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal (Cech), entre ellos el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, se reunieron de manera privada con el papa Francisco en el Vaticano. Dos de los religiosos llegaron a Roma en medio de casos en los que son imputados por encubrimiento, particularmente el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Santiago Silva (quien declaró el 29 de octubre ante tribunales) y el mismo Ezzati (quien declaró el 3 de octubre). Junto a ellos llegaron también el vicepresidente René Rebolledo, el obispo de San Bernardo, Juan Ignacio González y el secretario general, Fernando Ramos.

Chile bishops visit Rome in bid to rebuild ties with Pope Francis


January 14, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Almost a year to the day since Pope Francis’s troubled January 2018 visit to Chile, a group of Chilean bishops is returning the favor, visiting Rome on Monday to try to “strengthen communion” with the pontiff after a series of clashes that included Francis accusing Chilean prelates of covering up clerical sexual abuse and of destroying evidence.

One of the bishops who worked to make Monday’s meeting happen told Crux the encounter was requested by the Chileans, to “bring him up to date on what we’ve done since his visit,” and to try to “rebuild the relationship between the Chilean bishops’ conference and the Holy See, making it more formal and structured.”

Requesting to remain unnamed, he said Saturday that the objective is to once again have “formal ties” between the government of the global Church and that of Chile, because the structural bond “is broken.”

“Each bishop, when they go to Rome, meets with the pope, some of them with the various Vatican dicasteries, but there’s no formal conversation, the ordinary relationship with the Apostolic See is broken” the bishop said. “This needs to be addressed to strengthen communion.”

James Hamilton: “Ezzati debe, y probablemente, va a caer en la cárcel”

[James Hamilton: "Ezzati must, and probably, will be in jail"]

La Tercera

January 13, 2019

El médico, víctima del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, indicó no tener muchas expectativas sobre la reunión de este lunes de los Obispos chilenos con el Papa Francisco.

Esta noche, en entrevista con CNN, el médico James Hamilton, víctima de abusos del sacerdote Fernando Karadima se refirió a la situación que atraviesa la Iglesia Católica chilena, a propósito de la reunión que sostendrán este lunes miembros del comité permanente de la Conferencia episcopal con el Papa Francisco. En este sentido, Hamilton señaló no tener demasiadas expectativas.

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, Bishop Zubik, Cardinal Wuerl Face New Lawsuit


January 14, 2019

By Meghan Schiller

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop David Zubik and the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese are facing new accusations in the form of a newly-filed lawsuits.

The two suits were filed last Friday against all three, according to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The lawsuits allege that both Wuerl and Zubik knew about the abuse allegations against two priests, but did nothing.

The first priest is identified as Fr. Thomas O’Donnell.

Child abuse inquiry refuses to publish evidence on Gove phone call claim

The Guardian

January 14, 2019

By Owen Bowcott and Rob Evans

A public inquiry has refused to publish evidence that could shed light on an allegation that Michael Gove intervened in a child sexual abuse investigation.

He has been accused of trying, during his time as education secretary, to find out about an investigation into a priest suspected of abusing a boy at a boarding school.

The accusation has been made by two witnesses who have testified to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

The environment secretary has denied the allegation, saying it was inconceivable that he would have done so. IICSA has looked at the allegation, but said there was insufficient evidence to come to a conclusion about its veracity.

The inquiry has refused a request from the Guardian to make public the evidence, such as witness statements that it had gathered about the allegation. It has published some of the evidence, but not all.

In a statement, IICSA said : “All witness statements and evidence relied upon by the panel were published on the inquiry’s website.” Asked why some witness statements were published, and others were not, the inquiry said: “Evidence which is not relevant is not used or published”.

Vt.’s Catholic Bishop Holding Public Meetings

Associated Press

January 13, 2019

Vermont’s Catholic Bishop is holding town hall meetings at churches throughout the state this month in an effort to increase transparency amid mounting pressure on the church to respond to sexual abuse claims around the country.

Bishop Christopher Coyne said the goal is to listen to people and to discuss how to regain trust among parishioners when attendance is declining.

“As many people that are leaving, it is going to take even longer to get them back,” Coyne said at the first meeting at St. Mary’s Church in St. Albans on Thursday.

The other meetings planned include on Jan. 22 at Holy Family Church in Essex Junction; Jan 23 at St. Theresa’s Church in Orleans; Jan 29 at Christ the King Church in Rutland; and Jan. 31 at St. John Vianney Church in South Burlington.

Vigano to McCarrick: Repent, for the sake of your soul

Catholic News Agency

January 14, 2019

A former papal representative to the U.S. has written an open letter to Archbishop Theodore McCarrick that urges the archbishop to repent publicly of the sexual abuse and misconduct of which he stands accused.

“You, paradoxically, have at your disposal an immense offer of great hope for you from the Lord Jesus; you are in a position to do great good for the Church. In fact, you are now in a position to do something that has become more important for the Church than all of the good things you did for her throughout your entire life,” wrote Archbishop Carlo Vigano in a Jan. 13 letter to McCarrick.

“A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church. Are you willing to offer her that gift? Christ died for us all when we were still sinners (Rom. 5: 8). He only asks that we respond by repenting and doing the good that we are given to do.”

McCarrick, 88, has been accused in recent months of sexually abusing at least two adolescent boys, and of engaging for decades in coercive sexual behavior toward priests and seminarians. The allegations were first made public in June 2018, when the Archdiocese of New York reported that it deemed credible an allegation that McCarrick sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1970s, while serving as a New York priest.

In July 2018, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals.

After sex abuse allegations, archdiocese takes action on 3 Philly priests

Philadelpphia Inquirer

January 13, 2019

By Juliana Feliciano Reyes

Two Philadelphia-area priests, the Rev. John F. Meyers and the Rev. Raymond W. Smart, have been found to be “not suitable for ministry" after church officials investigated claims that they had sexually abused a minor in the 1980s, the Philadelphia Archdiocese announced Sunday.

And a third priest, Msgr. Joseph L. Logrip, who had been cleared of sexual-abuse allegations in a high-profile investigation following a 2011 grand jury report, has been placed on administrative leave following a new claim that he, too, sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s. The archdiocese has referred that allegation to law enforcement.

The news comes six months after a damning Pennsylvania grand jury report found that Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania had covered up decades of child sex abuse dating to the 1940s involving hundreds of priests and more than 1,000 victims. The U.S. Justice Department has launched its own investigation.

17 years ago, NH kicked off now-national clergy sex abuse scandal

Union Leader

Jan 13, 2019

By Kevin Landrigan

Nearly 10 years after a precedent-setting agreement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester ended, state prosecutors report few recent incidents of clergy sex abuse in New Hampshire.

“We have not seen a flood of complaints that other jurisdictions have seen since we had our own settlement agreements and the audits that went on,” said Deputy Attorney General Jane Young.

“This could be because we’ve already gone through this process before; it’s hard to know.”

The past year has been a devastating one for the Catholic Church in America, with a federal investigation and probes in at least 14 states and the District of Columbia.

Nearly all of this sprang from a grand jury in Pennsylvania last August that produced an 800-page report alleging 1,000 incidents of sexual molestation by more than 300 priests in six different dioceses.

Following those allegations, attorneys general in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C., launched their own criminal investigations into the church.

At the dawn of 2019, Pope Francis issued a stern message to U.S. Catholic leaders while they were gathering for a spiritual retreat on the topic at the Mundelein Seminary in Illinois.

“The church’s credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them,” Francis wrote in a letter that mixed compassionate encouragement and blunt criticism.

Pope Francis wrote that blame-shifting by church leaders had led to mistrust and pain among the church’s followers.

Vatican named as defendant in sex abuse case against Apuron

Pacific Daily News

January 14, 2019

By Haidee V Eugenio

The Holy See, or the Vatican, has been named as a defendant in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed on Monday in local court against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron by his own nephew.

Mark Mafnas Apuron's Jan. 14, 2019 lawsuit in the Superior Court of Guam is similar to the lawsuit he filed in federal court last year against his uncle.

Mark Apuron's two lawsuits accuse Archbishop Apuron of raping him when he was a teen, about 15 or 16 years old, around 1989 or 1990, in the bathroom of the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery Office.

Previous lawsuits against the archbishop alleged that he raped or sexually abused minor altar boys when he was still the parish priest in Agat in the 1970s.

January 13, 2019

Santa Fe archbishop agrees to open lawsuit records

Albuquerque Journal

January 14, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester agreed to open sealed state court lawsuits in priest child sexual abuse cases and pay therapy bills for survivors during an extraordinary public meeting with several victims whose claims are now intertwined with the archdiocese’s pending bankruptcy reorganization.

It was also revealed during the meeting last week that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe continues to pay thousands of dollars a year to assist two priests who have been credibly accused of molesting children.

Most of the questions posed by three members of the creditors’ committee at the meeting focused on shedding light on what has historically been a dark, secret legal reckoning of the child sexual abuse inflicted for decades by at least 79 current or former Catholic priests in the archdiocese.

Wester has said the archdiocese has paid millions of dollars in settlements to victims so far, but cannot sustain the financial impact of continued litigation.

The meeting Thursday in Albuquerque provided an initial forum for the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, abuse survivors on the creditors’ committee and a lawyer for the three dozen victims who have pending lawsuits against the diocese to ask about the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 petition filed Dec. 3.

Wester and two other top archdiocesan officials were questioned under oath for about three hours.

Savannah pastor mistaken for accused child molester, priest with same name


January 13, 2019

By Kelly Antonacci

A Catholic priest says hundreds across Savannah believe he's accused of sexually abusing children. Now Pastor Joseph Smith (Father Joe) -- who serves at Saint Joseph's Hospital -- wants to set the record straight.

Pastor Joseph Smith was one of 16 clergymen named by the Bishop as someone with credible accusations against them. According to a release from November, the clergymen are accused of sexually abusing children.

The named Pastor Smith served in Savannah from 1924 until his death in 1952. It's not the same Pastor Smith serving now.

"I was ready to retire. I was ready to hang it up," said Father Joe in Savannah. "I'd rather be remembered for what I have done and not for what I haven't."

That's why people gathered Sunday to remember Father Joe's two decades of service and to take a picture, so you know his face is not a criminal one.

Sisters’ plea to the Catholic Church: ‘I want the truth to be known’


January 13, 2019

By Jeremy Rogalski and Tina Macias

This story is part of KHOU 11 Investigates' series “Unforgivable.” Parts may contain graphic descriptions of sexual assault. If you or a loved one have experienced sexual abuse, get help through the free and confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE).

There was a time when Monica Deanda Baez was a little girl that she prayed to God to let her die.

In her family’s modest home in northeast Houston, she would climb on top of the toilet and scream out the bathroom window to God, to whomever — to whatever — would listen.

“I would beg God,” Baez said. “Please let me die, ‘cause I don’t want him to do this to me anymore.”

Baez, now 53, said for years she was sexually abused by her family’s priest. It was only later she learned that her older sister, Elodia Flores, and three of their siblings also said they suffered the same abuse by the same priest.

Confer Column: Child abuse training should be mandated by law

Daily News

January 13, 2019

By Bob Confer

The disclosure of sex abuse scandals that besieged the Buffalo Diocese and its parishioners for decades has dominated water cooler talk and reporting in Western New York for almost a year now.

The issue has hit home for a lot of people as the Diocese, under pressure, has released the names of 80 confirmed abusers and the press reports that the real number of accused priests and nuns is 111. With numbers that great, names that well-known, and abuses having taken place in communities large and small, everyone in WNY, it seems, has some sort of connection to an accuser, an accused, or a church where it happened.

There’s been a lot of handwringing over this. Everyone has wondered the following: How did the community not know this was happening? How could trusted and beloved people and churches hide, even allow, this? How does the Church attempt to make the abused whole again?

It’s been rare, though, that I’ve heard this question posed: How do we prevent this from happening again?

The scandals should be a wakeup call not only for the Catholic Church, but every Church and every organization that serves youth — as well the parents who entrust their sons and daughters to them. That would run the gamut from paid to volunteer, schools to day cares, little leagues to varsity sports teams, theme parks to summer camps, and music clubs to scout troops.

Jefferson County family wants to add clergy as mandated abuse reporters

Capitol Journal

January 13, 2019

By Katie Moore

A Jefferson County family wants to introduce a bill during the 2019 legislative session, which begins Monday, making clergy mandated reporters of child abuse.

Lori Cook said she was called to action after learning her son had been sexually abused by two other boys. The abuse started in October 2017 and continued until her son, who is now 12, came forward about two months later.

“As a mother you don’t know how to prepare yourself to deal with a situation like this and to see the fear in my son’s eyes,” she said.

The Cook family alleges the abuse began at Eagle Rock Church in Lawrence and that they brought it to the church’s attention as soon as they found out.

“We decided our best course, because we trusted them, was to go to our pastor,” Cook said. “So we called him immediately and said we needed to come in.”

A mother’s mission to fight the Catholic Church and find justice for her son


January 13, 2019

By Jeremy Rogalski and Tina Macias

With the sun dipping below the trees on a late November afternoon, Carol LaBonte stood outside the black wrought-iron gates of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Spring with a sign that read “Jesus Weeps.”

Although her seven children left the nest decades ago, she still finds herself protecting them. That’s what she was doing on this afternoon, joined by a group of others gathered outside the church with signs reading “Your pastor has secrets” and “Protect children not abusers.”

“It’s been all these years that the truth has not come out,” LaBonte said, now silver-haired and a cane resting by her side. “The pastor is still the pastor and abuser of my son.”

The priest, Rev. John Keller, has been at Prince of Peace for nearly 20 years. But there was a time in the mid-1980s he was the associate pastor at another church just a few miles away, Christ the Good Shepherd, where the LaBontes were parishioners and heavily involved in the church. LaBonte’s late husband, Stephen, was a deacon.

Philadelphia Archdiocese places priest on leave over sex abuse allegations

WHYY Radio

January 13, 2019

A priest has been put on administrative leave after new allegations surfaced he sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s, the Philadelphia Archdiocese announced Sunday.

Church officials also announced that it had found two other priests unsuitable for ministry “based on substantiated allegations that they sexually abused minors in the early 1980s.”

The announcements come amid increased scrutiny of the Roman Catholic church’s handling of abuse allegations, after the release of a grand jury report in August 2018 detailing more than 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse at the hands of 301 clergy in six other Pennsylvania archdioceses. That grand jury report did not cover the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The Rev. Msgr. Joseph Logrip, 73, was previously investigated by the archdiocese following a 2011 grand jury report. The allegations against him were never made public, and local prosecutors declined to press charges.

Earthly Justice Is in Order for Incidents of Abuse

National Catholic Register

January 13, 2019

By Michael Warsaw

The U.S. bishops, having completed their weeklong retreat outside Chicago, now have some urgent business to attend to as they prepare for the meetings at the Vatican next month — meetings that will draw the heads of Catholic bishops’ conferences from around the world.

Our hope and prayer is that our Church leaders are now able to view the tumultuous events of 2018, which are sure to proceed to their next phase in 2019, with clarity, purpose and the determination to act decisively.

Justice demands it.

Pope Francis, in his letter of exhortation, and St. John Paul, in Pastores Gregis (The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World), have provided them a road map. Clarity and purpose are both vital to begin the renewal and purification of the Church.

I believe a great good can come from this tragic chapter in the Church’s history, as long as our leaders believe the Church is Christ’s visible instrument on earth and publicly acknowledge and repent of their own shortcomings. In this, they will stand tall as shepherds with a will and heart for guiding their flocks through these turbulent times.

Church files reveal Scots Catholic priests have been accused of abuse 126 times but never reported

The Sunday Post

January 13, 2019

By Marion Scott and Stacey Mullen

ALLEGATIONS of abuse have been made 126 times against Catholic priests in Scotland over the last 70 years, according to church documents.

However, the vast majority were not reported to police for years and only a fraction of those cases have ever been prosecuted.

Now campaigners are calling on Catholic Church leaders to publicly name all those who have had allegations made against them following the lead of the church leaders in the United States.

They have spoken out as we reveal how a Catholic priest accused of abuse in Scotland, where he had been moved around five parishes, was sacked only to find a new post in Los Angeles where he was later accused again.

The allegations made against Joseph Dunne in Scotland in 1988 were only reported to police in 2013 – 25 years after he was sacked.

Diocese, Zubik, Wuerl sued in latest round of accusations

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 12, 2019

By Andrew Goldstein

In 1976, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh took a 13-year-old boy on a trip to Super Bowl X in Miami.

Instead of enjoying a fun trip to watch the Steelers play the Cowboys for the NFL championship, the boy endured what he later described as a “week of hell.”

The priest, the Rev. Thomas M. O’Donnell, forced the boy, Martin Nasiadka, now 56, to share a bed with him and repeatedly sexually assaulted him over several days.

Mr. Nasiadka made those allegations against Father O’Donnell in one of two lawsuits filed Friday by attorney George Kontos in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Both lawsuits name the Pittsburgh diocese, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former Pittsburgh bishop, as defendants, alleging that diocesan officials knew about predator priests and covered for them instead of protecting their victims. State law prohibits people from suing individual priests, the lawsuit says.

A spokesman for Cardinal Wuerl in Washington, D.C., said he could not comment “as we are not aware of the filings.” The Pittsburgh diocese did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Nasiadka met Father O’Donnell in 1975 at Annunciation Catholic School/Church in Perry South when he was 12 years old, according to the lawsuit

Locals react to list of priests accused of sexual misconduct


January 12, 2019

By Rebeca Marroquin

The names of 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct involving children have been released by the Diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux.

News 10 spoke to local residents about what they think of this recently released list.

One person, who wished to remain anonymous, said they believe other dioceses should follow suit, "I think for the damage that's been done to these people's lives, you know, the church should cooperate as much as it can and release those names as well."

Another resident, Adrian King, believes it's the public's right to know, "That's something that should be a matter of public record. Especially for all of the Catholic parishioners to just be aware. I mean, we have a predator list for when someone non-clergy is convicted of a crime, then it's published. So I think we have a right to know, just in general."

EDITORIAL: Pennsylvania grand jury report spurs nationwide action


January 13, 2019

The grand jury report that was released last summer detailing decades of child sexual abuse by priests in six of Pennsylvania’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses was shocking, to be sure, but it was also a necessary spur for justice to be delivered to hundreds of victims around the commonwealth, and a victory for openness and transparency – one area where the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has decidedly fallen short for many years.

The grand jury investigation has been beneficial to Pennsylvania and, as a report earlier this month by the Associated Press found, it has had a salutary effect across the United States. In the five months since the grand jury findings came to light, 105 of the nation’s 187 dioceses have said that they will identify priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children. In addition, close to 20 civil or criminal investigations have been set in motion.

Alas, in some cases it is far too late for justice to be rendered. The AP found that more than 60 percent of the accused priests have died, and the statute of limitations has run out in many of the cases where priests are still alive. This largely repeats the state of play in Pennsylvania, where only two of the 301 priests identified have been charged, and some of the incidents that filled the grand jury report happened decades ago.

Still, victim advocates point to many positive outcomes, even if a guilty verdict against an abuser is not one of them. Dioceses either have set up compensation funds or will face increasing demands to do so. Priests who had been removed from the ministry but were allowed to take on other jobs where they could have contact with children could now lose those positions.

Northeast province of Jesuits to release list of credibly accused priests

Press Herald

January 12, 2019

By Eric Russell

The Jesuit governing body that oversees the Northeast, including Maine, will release on Tuesday a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 1950.

The list from the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church commonly referred to as the Jesuits, is likely to include names that already have been public, such as priests who have been criminally charged. But it also could include the names of priests who have never been named publicly.

“I think for a number of reasons, this province is going to have particular interest from many people because of the influence of the Jesuits on the East Coast, from New York up through New England,” said Robert Hoatson, a former priest who now runs a New Jersey-based nonprofit called Road to Recovery that advocates for church abuse victims.

Last month, the other four U.S. provinces released their own lists of credibly accused priests – defined as instances where a preponderance of evidence suggested that the allegation is more likely true than not. Those lists totaled 237 names and included information about whether the priests had one or multiple victims, where they were assigned when the alleged abuse occurred and where they are now. Many are deceased.

Priest removed from Lake View church following sex abuse accusation from 1979

Sun Times

January 12, 2019

By David Struett

A longtime Chicago-area priest was removed from his Lake View church on Saturday after being accused of sexually abusing a minor nearly 40 years ago while serving at a south suburban parish.

Cardinal Blase Cupich asked the Rev. Patrick Lee, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, to “step aside” as authorities investigate the claim made against him this week, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The alleged abuse happened in 1979 while Lee was assigned to St. Christopher Parish in Midlothian, Cupich said in the statement.

Church leaders have forwarded the complaint to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, Cupich said.

Accused priest not on the list

The Berkshire Eagle

January 13, 2019

By Larry Parnass

The Rev. Richard J. Ahern isn't on the Springfield diocese's list of clergy who sexually abused young people. But the priest, who served in Pittsfield, died in 2001 with a stack of allegations against him.

A decade after Ahern ended his ministry in Berkshire County, the priest's own religious order prohibited him from hearing confessions from children, sent him to weekly therapy sessions and barred him from the diocese that includes Pittsfield and is now overseen by The Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski.

"This means, then, Dick — that you are not to visit the diocese of Springfield at all," an official with the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers wrote in a private letter to Ahern in May 1986.

But Ahern's sexual assaults, further documented in court filings and media accounts, did not lead the Springfield diocese to publish his name as an abusive cleric on its website.

Though Ahern served churches in Pittsfield, Agawam, Feeding Hills and West Springfield, the diocese says that, technically, he wasn't their priest.

January 12, 2019

Accuser speaks to D.A. about cover-up

Associated Press

January 12, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

The key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors, evidence that the scandal that has convulsed the papacy is now part of the broader U.S. law enforcement investigation into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church.

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James Grein gave testimony last month to Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Sara Sullivan, who is investigating a broad range of issues related to clergy abuse and the systematic cover-up by church superiors, Grein's attorney, Patrick Noaker, told The Associated Press.

The development is significant, given that the Vatican investigation against McCarrick has already created a credibility crisis for the Catholic hierarchy including Pope Francis, since it was apparently an open secret that McCarrick slept with adult seminarians. Grein's testimony, however, includes allegations that McCarrick, a former family friend, also groomed and abused him starting when he was 11.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office launched a hotline last year and invited victims to report even decades-old sex abuse, saying it would pursue "any and all investigative leads" to ensure justice.

Grein met with Sullivan before Christmas after filing a compensation claim with the New York City archdiocese alleging that McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, first exposed himself when Grein was 11 and continued abusing him for some two decades, including during confession, Noaker said. The church's compensation procedures require that victims notify the district attorney of their allegations, which Grein did on Nov. 1.

Diocese of Santa Rosa Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

NBC Bay Area

January 12, 2019

By Kiki Intarasuwan

Diocese of Santa Rosa Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
The Diocese of Santa Rosa on Saturday released a list of priests and bishops who have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct.

In a news release, Bishop Robert F. Vasa said he wants to express "sincere sorrow that so many have been subjected to the evil actions of priests and bishops." His primary goal in releasing the names is to give victims of sexual abuse the assurance that they have been heard in the church, he said.

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"It is my deepest prayer and hope that this release of names in a consolidated fashion says to any of you who are victims, we have heard you, we believe you, we affirm you in your trauma and we want to help with a healing process," Vasa said.

The majority of the accusations occured decades ago, the bishop said, but some incidents occured as late as 2006 and 2008.

Media Scripts about Catholic Bishops and Clergy Sex Abuse Are Bad Cartoons

National Review

January 12, 2019

By Nicholas Frankovich

Peter Steinfels at Commonweal has a long article that needed to be written. It’s 11,700 words (none are wasted) on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — specifically, on the Pennsylvania grand-jury report released last summer. The heinousness of the sexual crimes and misconduct described therein has been amply noted by just about everyone who has commented on the report. It was noted by the authors of the report itself, and not just noted but drummed loudly, while they glossed over masses of detail that didn’t fit their story about Catholic bishops. The sum of the evidence in their 1,356-page document belies their broad-brush, monochromatic characterization of the problem, Steinfels contends:

I believe that the grand jury could have reached precise, accurate, informing, and hard-hitting findings about what different church leaders did and did not do, what was regularly done in some places and some decades and not in others. . . .

Instead the report chose a tack more suited to our hyperbolic, bumper-sticker, post-truth environment. . . . Imagine, at least for a moment, that a declamation like “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all” came from one of our elected or televised demagogues. Would one really dismiss any fact-finding as uncalled for?

Only a third of US Catholics think priests are honest or ethical

The Guardian

Jan 12, 2019

By Harriet Sherwood

The proportion of US Catholics who regard priests as honest and ethical has plummeted to a record low of fewer than one in three, according to a survey.

The fall of 18 percentage points between 2017 and 2018 is attributed to the last year’s scandals over clerical sexual abuse.

Fewer than half of the Catholics surveyed by Gallup said they had confidence in organised religion, a drop of eight percentage points over the period.

The poll was conducted four months after the publication of a scathing grand jury report into sexual abuse and its cover-up by Catholic priests and bishops in Pennsylvania.

An investigation found that at least 300 priests had abused about 1,000 children and vulnerable adults over 70 years, and that their superiors had either stood by or in some cases actively covered up criminal acts.

Since the publication of the Pennsylvania report, at least 13 US states have opened formal investigations and some senior Catholics, including the archbishop of Washington, have resigned.

Positive views about the honest and ethical standards of clergy have almost halved in a decade, from 61% to 31%, but the most recent figures show the largest annual fall.

This week's podcast: What's better for Catholic leaders, silence or hanging your own lantern?

Get Religion

January 12, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

The body blows just keep coming.

That’s how many Catholics — on both left and right — have to feel right now, after the daily meteor shower of news about falling stars in their church. All of this was, logically enough, the backdrop to the very open-ended, wide-ranging discussions in this week’s “Crossroads” podcast” (click here to tune that in).

One minute, and it’s new revelations linked to the wide, wide world of ex-cardinal Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick. In the latest chapter of this drama, there were revelations at the Catholic News Agency and in the Washington Post that — forget all of his previous denials — Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl did know about the rumors swirling around McCarrick and his abusive relationships with boys and seminarians.

Want to guess which of these newsrooms dared to note that this fact was a key element of the infamous expose letters released by the Vatican’s former U.S. ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano? You got it. It was a branch of the alternative Catholic press (must-read Clemente Lisi post here) connecting those controversial dots — again.

Then, on the other doctrinal side of the fence, there were the revelations about Father C.J. McCloskey, a popular conservative apologist from Opus Dei. Here’s how Phil Lawler of CatholicCulture.org opened a post entitled “A bad day’s lament.”

French Church shaken by Cardinal Barbarin's trial

La Croix International

January 11, 2019

The trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and five other senior Catholic officials ended in Lyon on Jan. 10 after four days that shook the French Church.“Thanks to Alexandre [Hezez] for having been the first to lodge a complaint, thanks for having freed the spoken word and for having allowed me to hear Christian [Burdet]. This was overwhelming for me. I am not the same man as I was before. Thanks for having shaken the Church. Changes must be made. This must not stop here.”These were the serious words spoken by Bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard as he looked into the eyes of François Devaux, a plaintiff and founder of La Parole Libérée (Freed Speech) association, during a break in proceedings.

Your Turn: Sen. Tom O’Mara must support New York's Child Victims Act

Ithaca Journal

Jan. 11, 2019

By Ann Sullivan

Congratulations and best wishes to Sen. Tom O’Mara as he begins his fifth term as state senator from the New York 58th. We wish him the very best for a successful and productive legislation session.

We also urge him to right a great wrong. Senator O’Mara must end his opposition against and vote for a Child Victims Act that would extend the statute of limitations for actions against child molesters to age 28 in criminal cases and age 50 for civil suits, including a one-year window for victims to sue for restitution for acts that have passed the statute of limitations. Under the current law, victims can press charges only up to the age of 23.

The sordid history of powerful institutions covering up the actions of child molesters is well known. In 2004, an official Catholic Church commission reported that 4,000 priests had sexually assaulted at least 10,000 children over five decades in the U.S. Bishop Salvatore Matano needs to release the names of pedophile priests who served in the Diocese of Rochester, which includes Elmira and Ithaca, but clergy in the Catholic Church are not the only authorities dealing with incidents of abuse. Over 30 now-adult victims of the Horace Mann School located in the Bronx reported incidents of molestation when they were enrolled at the elite private academy. Numerous other New York state institutions whose employees came into unlawful contact with children also need to come clean about any history of molestation.

To its credit, the NY state assembly has responded vigorously to the revelations. For the past several sessions, it has passed a version of the Child Victims Act. The Republican-led State Senate, however, bowed to the demands of the NY state Catholic Conference and refused to advance the bill in its house. In one debate, held in Ithaca in 2016, Senator O’Mara unapologetically stated that the Catholic Church’s position on the bill explained his opposition to it. https://ithacavoice.com/2016/10/state-senate-candidates-omara-danks-burke-debate-issues-ithaca/

"Es una buena noticia": Maristas valoran intervención del Vaticano en casos por abuso

["It's good news:" Marists welcome Vatican involvement in abuse investigation]


January 12, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

Las autoridades de la Congregación en Roma solicitaron una reunión para tener más detalles del proceso y alcances de la decisión del Papa Francisco.

A través de un comunicado, la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas valoró la decisión del Papa Francisco de intervenir en las indagatorias por abuso que llevaban adelante. Ayer, el vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, Jaime Coiro, confirmó la decisión de Sumo Pontífice de promover un proceso penal en la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe en relación a las denuncias presentadas contra algunos religiosos.

Conferencia Episcopal revela los temas que se tratarán durante la reservada cita con el Papa

[Chile's Episcopal Conference reveals what's on the agenda for reserved appointment with the Pope]


January 11, 2019

By Matías Vega

La Conferencia Episcopal dio luces este viernes sobre los temas que serán tratados en la reunión que sostendrán los 5 obispos que conforman el comité permanente de dicha organización clerical y el papa Francisco.

Obispos chilenos se preparan para reunión con el Papa: cuestionan presencia de dos que son indagados

[Chilean bishops prepare for meeting with Pope and question the presence of two who are under investigation]


January 11, 2019

By María José Villarroel and Nicole Martínez

El lunes los obispos del Consejo Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal (Cech) se reunirán -en un encuentro reservado- con el Papa Francisco, para entregar avances sobre el manejo de los casos de abusos sexuales. Primero, eso sí, el fin de semana llegarán a Portugal a la Fundación Acton, instancia para el estudio de la religión, la libertad y la economía donde realizarían un curso.

Caso Maristas: Papa Francisco informa a denunciantes chilenos que se abrirá proceso penal eclesiástico

[Marist Case: Pope Francisco informs Chilean whistleblowers that ecclesiastical criminal proceedings will be opened]

La Tercera

January 11, 2019

By Angelica Baeza

Isaac Givovich, uno de los denunciantes en el caso, se mostró satisfecho y contento por la decisión adoptada por el Vaticano. La información fue confirmada por el portavoz de la Conferencia Episcopal.

La Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe dispuso acompañar pastoralmente a las víctimas del llamado “Caso Maristas”, pero además, el mismo Papa Francisco dispuso que se promueva un proceso penal ante la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, una vez terminadas las investigaciones generadas a partir de las denuncias por abuso sexual.

Netflix estrenará una serie documental sobre los abusos en la Iglesia española

[Netflix will premiere documentary series about abuses in the Spanish Church]

El País

January 10, 2019

El periodista Albert Solé es el creador de 'Examen de conciencia', disponible a partir del 25 de enero

Netflix estrenará el 25 de enero la serie documental de tres episodios Examen de conciencia, sobre los abusos en la Iglesia española. La serie está dirigida por el periodita Albert Solé, ganador de un premio Goya por el documental Bucarest, la memoria perdida. La serie explora a través de testimonios de víctimas, periodistas, expertos y religiosos, casos de abusos sexuales en instituciones de la Iglesia católica española.

Así se unieron las víctimas ante la pederastia en Francia

[Film will recount how clergy abuse victims came together in France]

El País

January 11, 2019

By Silvia Ayuso

Una película contará próximamente la historia de esta organización que ha sentado a un cardenal en el banquillo

“Me decía mon garçon, mi niño, esto es un secreto, no hay que contárselo a nadie. Luego me quitaba el pantalón y me acariciaba”. “Me decía que le siguiera al último piso. Cada vez, yo iba dócilmente. Sentía su respiración jadeante. En mi cerebro de niño, el interruptor se apagaba. Duró tres años”. Los testimonios de los tocamientos, felaciones o masturbaciones a los que les sometió el cura Bernard Preynat desde finales de los años 70 hasta 1990, cuando eran chavales de 10 o 12 años que pertenecían al grupo scout de ese sacerdote, enmudecieron a la abarrotada sala del tribunal de Lyon donde ocho de sus víctimas declararon en un juicio con el que reclaman responsabilidades a la Iglesia que protegió a ese religioso durante décadas.

In troubling abuse case, Catholics must act

Sedalia Democrat

January 12, 2019

By David Clohessy

This is a heartfelt appeal to Sedalia area Catholics and citizens who have information or suspicions about a priest who was expelled by mid-Missouri church officials and accused of sexually inappropriate actions with a girl.

While his church supervisors claim he’s no threat to kids, we are highly skeptical.

Following a familiar pattern in these cases, since the allegations against Fr. Deusdedit Mulokozi (or Fr. Deo, as he’s known) were reported to Sedalia law enforcement, he’s been moved three times.

First, he was sent to Kansas City, then to a Catholic treatment center in Texas and then to Tanzania where he is now working among the even more vulnerable people: unsuspecting Catholics in a developing nation with a less vigorous criminal system and an even more secretive church hierarchy.

To be fair, in our criminal justice system, everyone’s entitled to be presumed innocent. But to be honest and prudent, reasonable people should not assume Fr. Deo is innocent.

First, even Catholic officials admit that very few allegations of sexual misconduct against priests are false. A Boston-based research and archive group, BishopAccountability, says that fewer than 2 percent of sexual abuse allegations appear to be false. And a report commissioned by U.S. bishops and conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice concluded that 2.5 percent are false.

Wuerl knew of McCarrick accusation in 2004


January 11, 2019

By Peter Smith

A 14-year-old document in the archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh contradicts Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s claim to have known nothing until last year of rumored sexual misconduct claims against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — the man he would replace as archbishop of Washington.

In fact, then-Bishop Wuerl knew of more than rumors.

In November 2004, a former priest came to Pittsburgh from New Jersey and presented a formal statement to the independent review board that handles accusations against the diocese’s priests. In it, he identified then-Cardinal McCarrick as having committed sexual misconduct against him as an adult.

Then-Bishop Wuerl learned about the allegation immediately and, within days, reported it directly to the Vatican ambassador to the United States, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has confirmed.

The former priest, Robert Ciolek, said by phone Friday that when he saw the 2004 Wuerl memo in a December 2018 review of his case file at the Pittsburgh diocese, his first reaction was: “My God, he actually did share this with the papal nuncio. He did the right thing.”

But Mr. Ciolek said Cardinal Wuerl is undercutting that record by “lying” since then about what he knew and when.

“All that is diminished by the fact that he spent the last five months denying any knowledge” of allegations against Archbishop McCarrick, he said.

Mr. Ciolek also questioned whether Cardinal Wuerl, after becoming Washington archbishop in 2006, ever followed up with the Vatican about the status of any investigation, or took any steps to safeguard other seminarians in the proximity of his predecessor.

“Now that we know you knew, what did you do about it?” Mr. Ciolek asked rhetorically.

Donal McKeown: 'Belief is not without times of crisis, but challenges are a chance for us all to grow'

Belfast Telegram

January 12, 2019

By Alf McCreary

Donal McKeown (68) grew up in Randalstown. He has a brother, James, and sisters Mary and Teresa. As children, they played with neighbours from other Churches.

His first 11 years were spent in a house with a water pump in the yard, and there was no electricity until he was 10.

His father, James, was a watchmaker, and his mother, Rose, a primary school teacher, though she could not work always, because she was married and had four small children.

There was a strong sense of community and of being part of a large family network - his father was one of 13 children and his mother was one of eight. As a young man, Donal McKeown played Gaelic football and hurling with Creggan Kickhams, near Randalstown.

He has run a number of marathons, one in 1982 as part of a 48-strong parish team raising funds for a new church building, and another in 2001 to raise money for a new minibus for St Malachy's College, where he had been principal in Belfast. He also took part in the Belfast-Dublin Maracycle in 1996.

"My studies at Queen's University in German and Italian gave me a chance to travel in Germany from 1970 to 71. In my last two years at Queen's, I was the Belfast correspondent for a German news agency," he says.

Church in India must confront ‘indifference to spirituality,’ bishop says


January 12, 2019

By Nirmala Carvalho

In a “dynamic and fast-changing” society, the Church in India must embrace “flexibility” in pastoral ministry, according to one bishop in the country.

“Evangelization demands creativity and innovation. God is ever new and ancient,” said Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona at the beginning of this week’s plenary meeting of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).

(The CCBI is the National Episcopal Conference for the Latin rite Catholics, while the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, or CBCI, is the national conference including all the country’s bishops, including those belonging to the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara eastern rites.)

The theme of the Jan. 7-14 meeting in Chennai is “The Joy of the Gospel” based on Pope Francis’s 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. They have been looking at developing action plans to revitalize the outreach of the Church in India at the diocesan and parish level.

Although considered one of the most religious countries in the world, Dabre said the same secularizing tendency which has affected Western countries is also happening in India.

The grandiloquence of Church rhetoric

Kitsap Sun

January 11, 2019

By Ed Palm

Readers may recall that I wrote a couple columns in 2018 about the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal. As a Catholic school survivor of the late 1950s and early 1960s, I wasn’t surprised to learn that most of the abuses occurred between 1960 and 1980. I suspect that many — if not most — of the priests and bishops involved in these scandals came up through the largely-discarded high-school seminary system of the past.

Thinking they had — or may have had — a vocation, these 13- or 14-year-old boys agreed to be semi-cloistered at a time when many young boys are still unsure about their sexuality. Some may have thought that their disinterest in the opposite sex, or disinterest in sex in general, was a sign of their election — an indication that they had been called to the celibate life. Others probably overestimated their ability to suppress the sex drive as they matured. And some, as we now know, later realized they were sexually attracted to children. The high-school seminaries were schools for scandal, and I am still waiting for an enterprising investigative journalist to determine how many of the abusers did begin to prepare for the priesthood at high-school seminaries.

What brought this to mind was an AP report reprinted recently in the Sun (Jan. 2) about how the Vatican stepped in at the 11th hour to stop the U.S. Conference of American Bishops from voting at their November meeting on a “code of conduct for bishops” and on the creation of a lay-led sex-abuse commission. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a Vatican official, ordered the American bishops to await the guidance that will presumably come out of a “global summit” Pope Francis intends to hold next month on “preventing sex abuse by priests.”

I can understand why the Vatican would not want American bishops to preempt the Pope on this issue. I can further understand that the Church needs to formulate a set of consistent and coherent policies regarding sex abuse. And for better or worse, as the article reminded readers, “The Holy See alone has exclusive authority to investigate and discipline problem bishops.” But, aside from disregarding abuse survivors’ demands for decisive and swift action, what bothers me about the Vatican’s delay is something that has bothered me from my earliest experience with the Church — the tendency to couch controversial decisions, doctrines, and dogmas in grandiloquent language.

Charlotte diocese undecided about naming accused priests

Associated Press

January 11, 2019

As dozens of Catholic dioceses across the country have released lists of priests who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse, the Charlotte diocese remains undecided about whether to join what its spokesman calls the “stampede.”

But North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein tells The Charlotte Observer the Charlotte diocese should follow the lead of others, for transparency’s sake. The Raleigh diocese published its list in October.

Charlotte diocese spokesman David Hains says publishing a list might further harm victims. David Clohessy with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called that claim “baloney.”

Stein doesn’t have the same powers as attorney generals in states like Pennsylvania where investigations of the Catholic Church are underway. He hopes to convince the legislature to broaden the investigative grand jury statute.

Former Louisville priest convicted of inappropriately touching a child denied appeal


January 11, 2019

By Sara Rivest

A former Louisville priest found guilty of sexual abuse has been denied an appeal.

In 2016, Father Joseph Hemmerle was convicted in Meade County on one count of inappropriate touching. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The charge comes from an incident in 1973 where Hemmerle molested a 10-year-old boy at the summer camp he was attending, Camp Tall Tree.

Hemmerle was the camp’s director. According to the appeal, Hemmerle routinely treated campers with poison ivy reactions.

The victim, Michael Norris, testified at Hemmerle’s trial that he was exposed to poison ivy when playing in the woods. He developed an extensive skin rash and sought treatment from Hemmerle.

"I’m now 56 so I live with this every single day, it’s something that never goes away,” Norris said. “Child sexual abuse is a horrible thing but at the hands of the clergy it’s even worse.”

Hemmerle allegedly demanded Norris undress inside his private cabin. He was accused of molesting and performing oral sex on the victim.

Brother of accused priest responds after Houma-Thibodeaux list published of credibly accused


January 11, 2019

By Amanda Roberts

Houma-Thibodeaux is the third diocese across South Louisiana to release a list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse. Bishop Shelton Fabre released the list with 14 names on Jan. 11.

In the Houma-Thibodaux area, Allyce Himel said there was always rumors running throughout the Catholic schools about inappropriate behavior.

“There was a lot of talk about it, but nothing really was done,” she said.

She says now that there’s a list of 14 names released to the public of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse, she’s glad the truth is getting out there.

“It’s horrible. It’s horrible, and like we were saying glad their names are out because it should be known,” said Himel.

Of the 14 names, none are currently in ministry. Eight are still alive: Lawrence Cavell, Alexander Francisco, Etienne LeBlanc, Gerald Prinz, Gerard Kinane, Ramon Luce and Daniel Poche. The eighth living priest, Patrick Kujawa, is incarcerated.

The whereabouts of two other priests, Dac Nguyen and Carlos Melendez, are unknown.

FOX 8 tried to reach those on the list, either by phone or in person, but was unsuccessful.

Gerald Prinz is not a new name. He was also included on the Archdiocese of New Orleans' list of credibly accused released in November. According to our partners at NOLA.com | The Times Picayune, an anonymous plaintiff sued Prinz in 1995, claiming the priest abused him in the 1970s at St. Gregory Barbarigo Parish in Houma and St. Louis Parish in Bayou Blue.

When reached at his home, a man who identified himself as Prinz’s brother answered the door.

Victim advocates question bishop's apology after Louisiana diocese releases list of abusive priests

The Advocate

January 11, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, John Simerman and Della Hasselle

The Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on Friday identified 14 priests who have admitted or are suspected by church officials of a wide range of sexual misconduct with minors, from possession of child pornography to rape.

Bishop Shelton Fabre’s disclosure marked the third time in as many months that a diocese or religious order has published what amounts to an official church roster of alleged abusers in Louisiana ministries.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans released a similar list of 57 disgraced clergymen in early November, while the Jesuit order that oversees priests and other order members in Louisiana released its own list of 42 names last month, including 19 who worked in the New Orleans area.

The disclosures are part of a nationwide reckoning by Catholic leaders attempting to restore trust with parishioners whose faith in the church has been strained by a sexual abuse scandal well into its second decade.

The latest wave of the scandal hit the U.S. with the July release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that identified hundreds of credibly accused Catholic priests and thousands of victims there — revealing a problem many times larger in scope than previously documented.

Four of the names revealed Friday by the Houma-Thibodaux diocese had previously appeared on the list published by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Several other priests named on Friday’s list were subjects of earlier news accounts about their alleged crimes against children and teens.

Cuomo says Child Victims Act will be in his budget plan; lawmakers say they may act on it sooner

New York Daily News

By Kenneth Lovett

Finally, child victims of pedophile priests, rabbis and scoutmasters will be allowed to seek justice.

Gov. Cuomo announced Friday he will for the second year in a row include language to create the Child Victims Act in the state budget he will propose on Tuesday.

But unlike last year, the Republicans are no longer in control of the Senate to block the measure and the Democrats in each chamber have made the issue a top priority.

“There has been a degradation of justice for childhood sexual assault survivors who have suffered for decades by the authority figures they trusted most,” Cuomo said. “That ends this year with the enactment of the Child Victims Act to provide survivors with a long-overdue path to justice.”

Legislative bill sponsors, including in the Assembly, which passed similar bills the past two years, say it could be taken up by the Legislature even before the budget is finalized in the spring.

“It’s not a matter of if we pass the Child Victims Act, it’s when we pass the Child Victims Act, said Senate bill sponsor Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). “It’s possible the Legislature could act before the budget.”

Assembly bill sponsor Linda Rosenthal agrees, noting the budget isn’t due to be adopted until the end of March.

Pope John Paul refused to shake hand of Ireland’s female president, she reveals

Irish Central

January 11, 2019

By James O'Shea

Former Irish president Mary McAleese has revealed how Pope John Paul refused to shake her hand when they met and shook her husband’s hand, instead, asking him “would you not prefer to be the president of Ireland instead of your wife?”

McAleese recalled she quickly interjected: “You would never have done that to a male president. I’m the elected president of Ireland whether you like it or not.”

McAleese was speaking at an event hosted by the Irish American Partnership in Boston.

Disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law also tried to intimidate her stating, “I’m sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as president,” she recalled when they met.

Law brought her to a room where a female right-wing lawyer and theologian Mary Ann Glendon was waiting and tried to brief her on why only men should have positions of power in the Catholic Church.

Read more: Former Irish president Mary McAleese brands Catholic Church “empire of misogyny”

Pope Benedict XVI meets U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon during a private audience at the Vatican on February 29, 2008. (OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)4
Pope Benedict XVI meets U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon during a private audience at the Vatican on February 29, 2008. (OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)

She said: “His remarks were utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.

January 11, 2019

Collingswood priest resigns over decades-old sex-abuse allegation

Philadelphia Inquirer

January 8, 2019

By Jeremy Roebuck

A priest at a Catholic parish in Collingswood, Camden County, abruptly announced his retirement this week and revealed that he had asked to be removed from ministry due to an accusation of sexual abuse — one that a diocesan review board deemed to be credible more than 15 years ago.

The Rev. John D. Bohrer’s decision to resign as administrator of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish appears to have been prompted by the Camden Diocese’s plan to release a list this year of all its priests who have ever been credibly accused of abuse.

But questions remained as to how Bohrer, 74, had retained his post for years after his accusers’ claims were substantiated in a diocese that has a zero-tolerance policy for clergy misconduct.

Expert: Here’s One Way The Catholic Church Can Regain Some Of Its Credibility

KUHT Public Radio

January 11, 2019

By Abner Fletcher

Next month, more than a hundred Catholic bishops are expected to meet in Rome for a gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis. In a letter released by the Vatican from the conference’s steering committee, bishops were urged to meet with survivors of abuse. Committee members say the Church’s credibility is at stake.

The upcoming conference comes as the Catholic Church continues to grapple with the fallout of the crisis.

Some bishops have released names of priests in their dioceses who’ve been credibly accused of child abuse. Dr. Anastasiya Zavyalova says it’s a small step in the right direction. She’s an expert on reputation management from Rice University and has been studying allegations against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than a decade.

In 2005, a grand jury issued a report finding leaders concealed sexual abuse by priests there for four decades. Zavayalova has been examining how parishioners reacted to the archdiocese releasing names of the priests involved.

Episcopal Church to victims of clergy abuse: Come forward

Seattle Post Intelligencer

January 11, 2019

By Joel Connelly

The Episcopal Church, lifting a statute of limitations on reporting sexual abuse by clerics, has created a three-year window when any allegation of misconduct at any time can be brought forward to church authorities.

"In short, you do not have to wonder if the allegation comes from long ago," the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal Bishop of Olympia, has written in a pastoral letter to be read in parishes and missions across Western Washington.

The General Convention of the church, meeting in Austin, Texas, last summer, passed a resolution amending church canons (laws) and suspending the statute of limitations on reporting misconduct. It created a three-year period, starting Jan. 1, 2019 and lasting through Dec. 31, 2021.

Ex-Erie diocese priest gets up to 14 years for abuse


January 11, 2019

By Madeleine O’Neill

“You used your position as a man of the cloth to deceive young boys,” victim says of Rev. David Poulson, sentenced in Jefferson County Court.

Rev. David L. Poulson, a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys, was ordered to spend up to 14 years in state prison Friday at his sentencing in Jefferson County Court.

Poulson, 65, received the sentence of two and one half to 14 years of incarceration from Jefferson County President Judge John H. Foradora. The sentence was more than what the prosecution requested.

“These were children who trusted you,” Foradora told Poulson. “These were faithful parents who thought their children would be safe with a priest.”

Foradora quoted from Mark 10:13-16, in which Jesus says the kingdom of God belongs “to the little children.” Fordora also quoted from the Gospel verses in which Jesus said that anyone who would cause a child to stumble would be better off being thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck.

Fordora also criticized retired Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman, whom the judge said left Poulson in ministry. Poulson was forced to resign in February under Bishop Lawrence Persico, who took over as bishop of the 13-county diocese in October 2012.

“I just can’t figure out how anyone in a position of authority would have done that,” Foradora said. “The public was potentially at risk for eight years because of the bishop’s actions.”

What next on the Catholic sexual abuse crisis?

Patheos blog

January 11, 2019

By Jane the Actuary

Oh, man, I started the day with the firm resolve to figure out the liability and asset reconciliations in the 2009 Chicago Municipal Employees’ pension report which were defeating me yesterday. (Yes, I spent December writing about multiemployer plans and am spending January with Chicago pension plans and wish there was profit somewhere in it but in the short term figure that as a silver lining I won’t be at risk of having my credibility questioned by being deemed a tool for some interest group or another.) But then I end up writing about the shut-down and immigration, and then came to the conclusions that I really will get back to the original project for the day as soon as I finish up this older draft article that feels newly relevant with the latest news, that is, that Cardinal Wuerl KNEW about McCarrick, or, rather, that his knowledge, that we all pretty much suspected to be the case, is now documented, as reported by the Catholic News Agency yesterday.

And it’s infuriating, as is much of the news about the topic, though I don’t want to recite it all right now; one certainly has the feeling that the upcoming February meeting that’s supposed to formulate a response will be more a matter of defensiveness and bishop/pope-protection and spin than genuine efforts at a solution.

But I’ve tried to slow myself down.

I still gripe about it, yes. I have also come to the conclusion that a meaningful next step I can take at the parish level is either finding a booklet on the existing policies and make efforts to promote it, or else put together such a booklet myself, as an equivalent to what the BSA does, because it seems to me that this should be the norm.

But as to the rest? This is where I hesitate.

Documents Show Cardinal Wuerl Knew About Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Predecessor

WAMU Radio

January 11, 2019

By Natalie Delgadillo

The Archdiocese of Washington has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl was aware of allegations of abuse and improper conduct by his predecessor, former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, as early as 2004, despite Wuerl’s public denials that he knew about the accusations.

The Washington Post first reported on the discrepancy from Weurl’s past statements. Robert Ciolek, one of McCarrick’s alleged victims, told the Post that he has reviewed documents that showed Wuerl knew about his allegations of improper conduct and took them to the Vatican in 2004. But after the allegations came to light in 2018, Wuerl publicly said he “had not heard” about them during his years in Washington or “even before that.”

Wuerl was pressured over the summer to step down from his position as Archbishop of Washington after a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed that he had sometimes worked to reassign alleged abusers in the clergy to different parishes during his time as Bishop of Pittsburgh. The Vatican accepted his resignation, but asked him to remain on the job until his successor is appointed.

The Vatican suspended McCarrick from his position as a cardinal last June after receiving a credible allegation that he had abused a 16-year-old altar boy in New York in 1971 and 1972. McCarrick was the archbishop of Washington—popular, well-respected, and well-liked in the region—from 2001 to 2006. Several new allegations arose against McCarrick in the weeks following, both from men who were minors and adult seminarians when the alleged abuse or harassment took place. One of those men was Ciolek, a former priest himself, who said McCarrick forced him and other young seminarians to sleep in the same bed with him and to exchange backrubs, according to the Post.

Takeaways From the Revelations on Father McCloskey

National Catholic Register

January 11, 2019

The revelation that in 2005 Opus Dei made a nearly $1-million settlement for sexual misconduct with an adult victim of Father C. John McCloskey left many of his admirers shocked and shaken.

Those admirers include many readers of the Register and viewers of EWTN, as Father McCloskey appeared in both venues with considerable frequency. I myself spoke at conferences alongside him. Given his very high profile, the news has affected the many who followed his work without ever meeting him.

Readers of the Register and EWTN viewers have been through this sadness and anger before, in regard to Father John Corapi of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and Legionary Father Thomas Williams, though there is no suggestion that Father McCloskey was engaged in living an ongoing double life, nor that he will leave the priesthood. While important details of the story are still emerging, there are a number of points that Father McCloskey’s case underscores.

Sexual sin is a widespread scourge in society at large, and this “filth” — to use the term of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — is far too prevalent in the clergy. The purification of the clergy is a task in every age of the Church and is now the urgent long-term response to the crisis at hand. Purification is always painful, and part of that pain is the bringing of past sins to light.

Pa. priest abuse: Bishop Gainer says children will be taught to report suspicious actions

York Daily Record

January 11, 2019

By Candy Woodall

Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer stood in front of an altar still decorated for Christmas and apologized to priest abuse survivors, and other parishioners, for the Catholic church's sins of the past.

The abuses and cover-ups that have been publicly reported extend from about 1940 through last year, but the diocese's safety plans raise questions about whether there are enough protections in place today to ensure children are never sexually abused again.

Gainer spoke Thursday night to about 250 people at Saint Catherine Laboure Parish in Swatara Township near Harrisburg, leading the first of nine listening sessions that will be held throughout the diocese. The final session is the only one that will be held in York County, and it will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 950 West Market Street.

Priest who abused boys, made 1 confess, due to be sentenced

Associated Press

January 11, 2019

A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and making one of them say confession after the assaults is set to be sentenced in Pennsylvania court.

David Lee Poulson is one of two priests charged as a result of a damning Pennsylvania grand jury report that named almost 300 predator priests accused of abusing more than 1,000 victims in six of the state's dioceses.

Court records show 65-year-old Poulson is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Friday after pleading guilty in October to corruption of minors and child endangerment.

Jason Berry’s spiritual counter-narrative

Religion News Service

January 11, 2019

By Mark Silk

Jason Berry is sipping an Old Fashioned in La Petite Grocery, talking about City of a Million Dreams, the splendid soup-to-nuts history that he’s written to mark the 300th birthday of his beloved home town. The deep theme of the book, he says, is “spirit versus law,” and it’s a theme exemplified nowhere more than in the religion of the place.

Take Padre Antonio de Sedella, the Spanish Capuchin known as Père Antoine to the French speakers who dominated La Nouvelle-Orléans in its first century. He arrived as an agent of the Spanish Inquisition and ended up as the city’s leading advocate for the poor and enslaved. Kicked out of the city by the powers-that-be, he returned to the city in triumph, becoming rector of St. Louis Cathedral and running off any bishop who got in his way.

“He was a megalomanic who wanted to be loved by the people at the margins,” Berry says.

Then there was Mother Catherine Seal, a spiritualist healer whose beliefs harked back to the Great Mother cults of prehistory and whose followers came from every race and class. In the 1920s, she established a sprawling complex in the Lower Ninth Ward that took in unwed mothers, abused women.

And Sister Gertrude Morgan, a mystic who believed herself to be both bride of Christ and bride of God the Father. After World War II, she became one of the city’s celebrated folk artists.

Ezzati y obispos clave de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena acuden a Roma para reservada cumbre con el Papa Francisco

[Ezzati and key bishops of the Chilean Episcopal Conference head to Rome to meet with Pope Francis]

La Tercera

January 11, 2019

By Carla Pía Ruiz

Desde el Vaticano confirmaron a La Tercera PM el encuentro, que, según informó este viernes la CECh, se realizará este lunes 14.

Será una reunión en el Vaticano a un año exacto de que Francisco visitara tierra chilena. Un grupo de obispos clave de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena (CECh) se reunirá el lunes 14 de enero con el Papa en Roma.

Obispado de Chillán amplía investigación contra sacerdote por denuncia de abuso sexual contra una menor de edad

[Chillán diocese extends investigation against priest accused of sexually abusing a minor]

La Tercera

January 9, 2019

By Carlos Reyes

El religioso ya enfrentaba una indagatoria por presuntas "conductas impropias al sexto mandamiento". La diócesis local determinó aplicar las medidas cautelares de "prohibición del ejercicio de todo ministerio público por parte del sacerdote, además de la fijación de domicilio. Asimismo, se le ha apartado de su rol de párroco de Cobquecura". Además, la información fue remitida a la Fiscalía Nacional.

El obispado de Chillán informó que decidió ampliar la investigación previa que existe contra el sacerdote Jaime San Martín Solís a raíz de una denuncia por presunto abuso sexual contra una menor de edad.

Exclusivo: Vaticano decide intervenir a los Maristas

[Exclusive: Vatican opens criminal process in Marists' case]

The Clinic

January 11, 2019

By Alejandra Carmona López

Una vez terminada la primera etapa de la investigación previa, que concluyó en septiembre, los “hermanos” debieron mandar la información al encargado provincial y después tomar una decisión frente a los numerosos testimonios recibidos sobre abusos sexuales cometidos por miembros de la congregación. Sin embargo, aun no hay sanciones. En una fuerte señal desde Roma, que fue notificada ayer a los Maristas, el Papa ordenó promover un proceso penal ante la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe.

Marista Abel Pérez confiesa: “Respecto a niños y adolescentes que yo haya tocado, pueden ser 20 o 30 entre todos los colegios donde estuve”

[Marist Abel Pérez confesses to sexually touching 20 - 30 children in different schools]

The Clinic

December 6, 2018

By Jonah Romero Sánchez

En su declaración ante la justicia canónica, el religioso Abel Pérez reveló que las más altas autoridades maristas sabían de su “problemática”, que por años recibió terapia sicológica y que nunca quiso ser religioso. The Clinic accedió al informe canónico –especie de “investigación previa”- que busca acreditar la verosimilitud de las denuncias en contra de éste, el primer religioso marista en ser denunciado en Chile. El informe -que recoge la voz de sobrevivientes, testigos, y la del propio acusado- entrega pistas sobre la formación de una de las redes de pederastía infantil más grandes en la historia del país.

Houma-Thibodaux names 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct involving children, including rape

The Advocate

January 11, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on Friday named six Catholic priests who admitted or were convicted of sexual misconduct with children as well as three others who faced civil litigation credibly accusing them of molesting minors.

Another five were credibly accused outside of a court setting of "serious and unacceptable conduct with minors, ranging from inappropriate physical contact ... to molestation," bringing the total number of names on Friday's list to 14, officials said.

The Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, Shelton Fabre, has sent parishioners a letter offering an apology "for the egregious sins that have taken place."

"Let me be clear: the abuse of a child by anyone is sinful, abhorrent and evil, particularly when perpetrated by one vested with the sacred trust of God’s children," Fabre's letter read. "Furthermore, any attempt to cover up these sins is even more disturbing. I apologize to all who have been harmed. It is with deep respect and profound reverence that I humbly extend this apology."

Priests Alexander Francisco and Carlos Melendez admitted to inappropriate physical contact with a minor, and Robert Melancon was convicted of raping a child, the diocese said.

Dale Guidry and Lawrence Cavell solicited children for sex, while Guidry was also accused of molesting a minor. Patrick Kujawa was convicted of child pornography possession.

Three other priests were sued over sexual abuse allegations that the church deemed credible: Etienne LeBlanc, Gerald Prinz and Bernard Schmaltz.

U.S. Catholics' Faith in Clergy Is Shaken


January 11, 2019

By Megan Brenan

Amid turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church in the ongoing fallout from priest sex abuse scandals, a record-low 31% of U.S. Catholics rate the honesty and ethical standards of the clergy as "very high" or "high." This marks an 18-percentage-point drop between 2017 and 2018, when more sexual abuse allegations against priests surfaced and questions arose about the Vatican's response.

Gallup has measured the public's views about the clergy's ethical standards since 1977 as part of its broader "honesty and ethics of professions" poll. Initially high ratings of the clergy have been declining steadily among all adults since 2012.

The latest findings, from a Dec. 3-12 Gallup poll, come after a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report in August detailed accusations of sexual abuse involving more than 300 Catholic priests over 70 years. The report indicated that Catholic bishops and other high-ranking church leaders covered up these incidents.

The latest drop in Catholics' positive views of the clergy's ethics, from 49% to 31%, is the second double-digit drop since 2004. Both declines were clearly associated with scandals in the Catholic Church even though the question about clergy does not specify a denomination.

Between 2004 and 2014, a majority of Catholics rated the clergy's ethics highly, but opinions fell sharply between 2014 and 2015. That 13-point drop from 57% to 44% followed the release of a study by the Catholic Church that found more than 4,000 priests had faced sexual abuse accusations in the prior 50 years.

Although Protestants' ratings of the clergy have dropped since 2004, the decline has not been as sharp, and the latest 48% positive rating of the clergy is much higher than Catholics'. Still, it is the first reading that falls below the majority level among Protestants.

Lawyer for accused Houston area priest believes slow-going sex abuse case will go to trial

Houston Chronicle

January 10, 2019

By Nicole Hensley

The criminal probe into a Houston-area priest is on pace to go to trial, which could become the region’s highest-profile clergy sex abuse case in more than two decades.

The priest’s lawyer, Wendell Odom, made the prediction Thursday afternoon after his client, Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, was rushed out of the Montgomery County courthouse through a back door after a status hearing.

“This is such a high-publicity case, in all probability, I think this case is going to go to trial,” Odom said.

The clergy investigation, which expanded last fall with a fourth search warrant at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston headquarters in downtown Houston, has produced a hefty load of evidence for authorities to examine. The three prior searches happened at the Shalom Center in Splendora, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe and La Rosa-Lopez’s most recent assignment at St. John Fisher Church in Richmond.

La Rosa-Lopez last appeared in court in October. He was arrested Sept. 11 on four counts of indecency with a child for claims that he molested a boy and a girl at the Conroe parish from 1998 to 2000.

Harrisburg Catholics seeking answers after clergy sex abuse scandal pack ‘listening session’

Patriot News

January 11, 2019

By Christine Vendel

About 250 people attended a town-hall style meeting at a Harrisburg Catholic parish night to hear what their church was doing differently after revelations that thousands of children were molested by priests over decades.

Parishioners asked tough questions at the 7 p.m. meeting at the Saint Catherine Laboure Parish at 4000 Derry Street. It was the first in a series of planned “listening sessions” by Bishop Ronald W. Gainer across the Harrisburg Diocese, which covers 89 parishes.

The Harrisburg Diocese last year was one of six at the center of a grand jury investigation led by Attorney General Josh Shapiro that unearthed widespread clergy sex abuse spanning seven decades, as bishops and church officials turned a blind eye to the crimes.

Some parishioners said they planned to withhold their financial offerings to the church until they felt more trust and saw more transparency from the diocese, said Carolyn Fortney, one of five sisters who were sexually abused as children by the same priest in Dauphin County. All five sisters attended the two-hour meeting.

Patty Fortney-Julius said she thought Gainer spoke from his heart at the meeting but that he remained “disconnected” and still “doesn’t get it.”

Reports: Cardinal Wuerl Knew of Allegations Against McCarrick in 2004

NBC Channel 4

January 10, 2019

By Gina Cook

According to new reports, Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual abuse allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick more than a decade ago — despite Wuerl's statement last summer that he had no knowledge of the allegations.

The Washington Post reports Wuerl reported an allegation of misconduct by McCarrick to the Vatican in 2004.

Robert Ciolek, a former priest who reached a settlement with the church in 2005 for alleged abuse involving McCarrick and other clerics, told the Post the Pittsburgh Diocese has a file that shows Wuerl brought his complaint to a Vatican ambassador.

In a statement to NBC News, the Archdiocese of Washington confirmed that Ciolek "was allowed to review the file regarding his Pittsburgh complaint" and that the "Diocese of Pittsburgh and then-Bishop Wuerl acted appropriately in addressing his complaints."

"Cardinal Wuerl has attempted to be accurate in addressing questions about Archbishop McCarrick. His statements previously referred to claims of sexual abuse of a minor by Archbishop McCarrick, as well as rumors of such behavior," the archdiocese said. "The Cardinal stands by those statements, which were not intended to be imprecise."

Wuerl resigned as archbishop in October amid a storm of criticism after a Pennsylvania grand jury report said he allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated when he was the bishop of Pittsburgh.

Pope's preacher goes back to basics in talks to bishops

National Catholic Reporter

January 11, 2019

by Tom Roberts

Editor's note: The text of the talks delivered by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, to the U.S. bishops during their Jan. 2-8 retreat at Mundelein Seminary, outside of Chicago, are available at this link.

Texts of the 11 talks delivered to the U.S. bishops who gathered for a week's retreat at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago show a heavy emphasis on traditional themes, a robust defense of celibacy, a severe criticism of attachment to money and an endorsement of new lay movements as a replacement for declining numbers of clerics.

Franciscan Fr. Daniel P. Horan writes about politics, culture and theology in his new column, Faith Seeking Understanding.

NCR obtained the texts, 84 single-spaced pages, and they can be seen in their entirety here. They were delivered during the Jan. 2-8 retreat by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household.

The talks contain only passing reference to the sex abuse scandal that was the reason behind the unusual retreat, suggested by Pope Francis, and the omission was intentional.

January 10, 2019

For Dallas police detective, investigating Catholic sex-abuse cases a full-time job

Dallas Morning News

January 11, 2019

David Tarrant

Dallas police detective David Clark has spent eight years investigating the horrors of child exploitation — a job that still motivates him because he gets to catch abusers, even if it takes years.

“What really gets me is somebody is living their life and thinking they got away with something,” he said.

Now, Clark’s full-time focus at the Dallas Police Department is on investigating sex-abuse allegations — including many that are decades-old — by Catholic clergy members.

The Catholic Church worldwide has been rocked by the latest spate of sex-abuse scandals, prompting dioceses to take new transparency measures. Victims’ advocates, however, still don’t trust the church, and say outside law enforcement officers, like Clark, need to take the lead on the cases.

Clark — the son of a 41-year veteran Dallas officer and detective who retired in 2012 — joined the department in 1998 after graduating from the University of North Texas. His supervisor, Sgt. Rene Sigala, said Clark is “relentless,” and “will not stop until he solves the cases assigned to him.”

Clark said he’s driven to help adults who have survived child abuse.

Despite past denials, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Washington Post

January 10, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and reported them to the Vatican in 2004 despite denying knowledge of McCarrick complaints since last summer, church officials confirmed Thursday evening.

Robert Ciolek, a former priest who reached a settlement with the church in 2005 after reporting abuse and misconduct by clerics including McCarrick, told The Post he recently learned that the Pittsburgh Diocese has a file that shows Wuerl’s initials next to a first-hand account of Wuerl bringing Ciolek’s complaint to the then-Vatican ambassador, Gabriel Montalvo. At the time, Wuel was the bishop in Pittsburgh.

The document Ciolek told the Post he saw in December clashes sharply with Wuerl’s public statements about McCarrick since the older cleric was suspended in June due to a complaint he groped an altar boy decades ago.

As the American Catholic Church since summer has erupted into a full-blown clergy sex abuse scandal, Wuerl has largely rejected charges that he played a role in it, portraying himself as unaware about the allegations against McCarrick that set off the crisis.

McCarrick’s case, which includes allegations of youth abuse and harassment of seminarians, is reportedly now about to be decided in one of the highest-profile clergy clergy sex abuse trial processes to come before Rome.

Both the archdiocese of D.C. and the Pittsburgh diocese Thursday night acknowledged Wuerl knew and told the Vatican, and said they were simply trying to protect Ciolek’s confidentiality.

Ciolek dismissed that Thursday. “There was nothing that precluded them from talking to anyone” about his case. Wuerl at worst could have said: ‘I am aware but I can’t name that person.

French court to rule in March on cardinal's alleged abuse cover-up

Associated Press

January 10, 2019

A court trying a French cardinal on charges he covered up the sexual abuse of minors by one of his priests will render its verdict on March 7, the judge in the case said yesterday.

Lawyers representing nine adult plaintiffs — former boy scouts allegedly abused by Bernard Preynat, a 73-year-old priest — led the charge against the archbishop, since prosecutors declined to press charges because of the statute of limitations.

The abuse relates to acts committed before 1991.

Maryland attorney general: Hotline for clergy abuse victims

Associated Press

January 10, 2019

By David McFadden

Maryland’s top law enforcement official on Thursday announced a phone hotline for victims to report child sex abuse associated with a place of worship or school across the U.S. state, which is steeped in Catholicism like few others.

Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the creation of the hotline in Baltimore, home to the country’s first bishop, first cathedral, first diocese and first archdiocese. Unlike counterparts in other states that have formally announced probes into clergy sex abuse, Frosh’s office has only publicly called for victims of abusers linked to schools or places of worship to come forward.

But last year, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori wrote priests and deacons in the archdiocese advising them that Frosh’s office was delving into church records as part of an investigation into child sex abuse. He has pledged full cooperation throughout the process.

Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, praised the launch of the hotline, saying it gives abuse victims a “new avenue to come forward” and name their abusers.

But he said Frosh and Maryland lawmakers needed to do more. Attorneys general have launched investigations in states including New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Florida and Delaware, and in cities where local prosecutors are looking into individual priests. Frosh’s office does not confirm or deny the existence of any investigations.

“We hope that this hotline will not only lead to more survivors coming forward, but also provide an impetus for the attorney general to open a full investigation and for Maryland’s state legislature to begin reforming their statutes of limitations and opening civil windows for old cases to be brought forward,” Hiner said Thursday.

Liz McCloskey, part of a coalition of Catholics called the 5 Theses movement that has posted its proposals for reform on church doors in Baltimore and other cities, said “allowing the full scope of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church to come to light in every diocese in every state will make room for a measure of healing for its survivors.”

A global response to abuse: Work already underway, Jesuit says

Catholic News Service

January. 10, 2019

By Carol Glatz

By summoning leaders of the world's bishops' conferences and top representatives of religious orders to the Vatican in February to address the abuse crisis and the protection of minors, Pope Francis is sending the message that the need for safeguarding is a global issue.

Even though media attention and public fallout for the Church's failings have focused on a small group of nations, abuse experts and victims know that does not mean the rest of the world is immune from the scandal of abuse or can delay taking action to ensure the safety of all its members.

While Catholic leaders in some countries might not recognize it as a global issue, Vatican offices that receive abuse allegations have a "clear idea about what is the situation now because allegations come from all parts of the world," said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, president of the Center for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a member of the organizing committee for the February meeting.

Because the Catholic Church mandates that all credible allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy must be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, "we have one office that has to deal with all of this so, for the time being, we know what are the allegations that come from different parts of the world," he said.

Fr. C. John McCloskey, Opus Dei, and me

Patheos blog

January 10, 2019

By Sean P. Dailey

In late January, 2009, I made a retreat at Opus Dei’s Shellbourne Conference Center, outside of Valparaiso, Indiana. This was a supernumerary-only retreat (I was still in Opus Dei then) and, being in a dark place at the time, I needed the extra intensity of a members-only retreat. The priest who lead the retreat reverently celebrated Mass, gave compelling meditations each day, and dispensed expert spiritual advice in confession and in one-on-one spiritual direction outside of confession. His advice to me was especially helpful.

Monday, the news broke that the priest, Fr. C. John McCloskey, had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with a woman in the early 2000s, and that Opus Dei paid out $977,000 to settle her lawsuit against him. Investigations of additional alleged abuses of women by him are still pending.

Fr. C. John (as he is colloquially known) was in the early 2000s a genuine media star. He’d had a couple of series on EWTN, the Catholic satellite network. As director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., he offered spiritual direction to hundreds, if not thousands, and was responsible for bringing to the Catholic Church prominent conservatives such as Newt Gingrich and Sam Brownback, as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America founder Dr. Bernard Nathanson, and others.

Then suddenly, he disappeared. He was no longer director of the Catholic Information Center; was doing no more series EWTN. Now, we know why.

'Working' on new name for Kavanagh

Otago Daily Times

January 10, 2019

By Chris Morris

The Catholic Bishop of Dunedin is still not ready to decide on a name change for Kavanagh College, but insists he is ‘‘working quite hard’’ on the issue.

Bishop Michael Dooley was commenting as ODT Insight yesterday asked him for updates on the issues of historic abuse being tackled within the Dunedin diocese and nationally.

Among those issues was a push by survivors, their supporters and a group of former Kavanagh College pupils to rename the Dunedin Catholic college.

Bishop Dooley had delayed a decision in November, despite months of revelations about historic abuse within the Dunedin diocese — much of it under then-Bishop John Kavanagh — a public meeting and a petition.

Instead, he would only say at the time he was ‘‘seriously’’ considering a name change, without giving a timeline.

He declined to give a time-line again yesterday, saying he was still listening to arguments on both sides.

Second audit finds archdiocese remains ‘substantially compliant’ with clergy abuse settlement terms

Pioneer Press

January 10, 2019

By Sarah Horner

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continues to meet terms of the settlement agreement it reached with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office over its handling of clergy sex-abuse, according to court findings.

Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner Thursday signed off on the findings of the second of three court-ordered independent audits to monitor the archdiocese’s adherence with the agreement.

The audit, conducted by Stonebridge Business Partners, found the archdiocese to be in “substantial compliance” with the terms of the deal, according to the report released Thursday.

The audit covered the archdiocese’s conduct between July of 2017 and June 30 of last year. The archdiocese was also found in substantial compliance in its first audit report, which was released early last year.

During a court hearing on the second report Thursday, Warner asked the archdiocese’s director of ministerial standards, Timothy O’Malley, if the archdiocese was pushing itself beyond the court’s orders and truly working toward a change in culture.

Why hasn’t Charlotte Catholic diocese released list of priests accused of sex abuse

Charlotte Observer

January 10, 2019

By Tim Funk

Dozens of Catholic dioceses and religious orders across the country have, in recent months, released lists of priests who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse over the years.

In North Carolina, the 54-county Raleigh diocese published its list in October. But the Charlotte diocese, which includes the rest of the state, hasn’t yet.

The state’s attorney general, Josh Stein, says the Charlotte diocese should follow the lead of the others. “I believe that transparency is important,” Stein told the Observer, “not only for families that came into contact with the named priest, but to restore confidence in the institution itself.”

The Charlotte diocese remains undecided about whether to join that “stampede,” as its spokesman called the big increase in such lists since August. That’s when a Pennsylvania grand jury report shocked many Catholics by identifying nearly 300 “predator priests” in that state going back decades.

Why no list so far from Charlotte?

For starters, said David Hains, who speaks for Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis, there’s concern that a list might further hurt victims.

“There is no empirical evidence that publishing a list brings comfort or aid to a victim,” he said. “(Some Catholic priests) have obviously done a lot to harm victims. We don’t want to pile on and do more.”

The diocese is also torn about what should and should not be on such a list. “There is no standardized approach,” said Hains.

Should the list include, for example, any deceased priest who was accused after he died? “There’s no way that he can defend himself,” Hains said.

But about 60 percent of the 1,000-plus priests named in lists released since August are dead, according to an examination by the Associated Press.

Time’s Up!


January 7, 2019

By Tom Barrett

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” -Buddha

In a basketball game if you’re still holding the ball when the shot clock expires, the most jarring noise in the arena, the buzzer, sounds off loud and clear. Known as a turnover, the ball goes over to the other team.

The Catholic Church in New Jersey is losing their match with the faithful. They’ve had more than ample time, decades actually, to do what is right for victims of sexual abuse. Having failed to police itself, the Church must know their time on the shot clock is about to expire.

Otherwise, there is little recourse other than to send in the cops. The same can be said of the New Jersey Legislature.

The New Jersey Attorney General has formed a task force to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members as well as alleged efforts by church leaders to cover up. To aid their efforts, the abuse cases should be well documented both by the church and the local prosecutors.

The credit for the task force, however, belongs to the Governor, not the Legislature. Legislative leaders, like the Church hierarchy, have had more than ample time to do what’s right.

But, due to the glacial pace of bureaucracies, investigative agencies and legislative bodies the need for justice wears thin.

While it’s now known that New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses have shelled out more than $50 million dollars in the last ten years to settle abuse cases, that figure doesn’t tell the whole story. That huge sum does not accurately reflect the large amount of money spent by the Church on lawyers and lobbyists to stall legislation and thwart remedies for the abused.

It bears repeating that for the Church it’s no longer about protecting children because that responsibility they clearly know can be ceded to the courts. As for protecting priests, they are now pointing fingers at each other.

The justifiable and high profile case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is a classic example of directing attention to one case while ignoring hundreds of other circumstances of priests and Church leaders gone rogue.

With bankruptcy end, fresh opportunities to help abuse survivors

The Catholic Spirit

January 9, 2019

By Maria Wiering

Frank Meuers and Tim O’Malley meet every month or so, often for breakfast, to talk about the Church and clergy sex abuse. Meuers is the southwest Minnesota chapter director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, aka SNAP, and O’Malley directs the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

Since its founding, SNAP has often positioned itself as an adversary of the institutional Church, which is why these meetings — and the men’s resulting collegiality — is so extraordinary. Meuers said he knows of no other SNAP leader with a similar relationship to a Church official.

Meuers, 79, is one of more than a dozen clergy sexual abuse survivors in regular — sometimes daily — contact with O’Malley and his office. O’Malley looks to them for advice and insight into improving and expanding the archdiocese’s outreach to survivors, and he expects that collaboration will broaden and deepen now that the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is complete.

During the bankruptcy proceedings, more than 450 survivors filed abuse claims against the archdiocese. While some of those claimants worked with O’Malley’s office during the four-year reorganization process, he had heard that others might be newly open to connecting with the archdiocese after the end of litigation.

Cardinals Sean O’Malley and Timothy Dolan Spar Over New York Abuse Case

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 10, 2019

The highest ranking Catholic prelates in New York and Boston are in an apparent rift over clergy sex abuse and cover ups, according to a Catholic news source. We are encouraged by this dispute and hope other bishops will emulate the Boston Cardinal.

Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley wrote the Vatican’s US nuncio to the US about a credibly accused abusive cleric who was kept on the job in New York for years despite a large settlement paid to one of his victims. In reality, Cardinal O’Malley was really pointing out the misconduct of New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

The accused cleric in question, Fr. Donald Timone, taught for years at John Paul the Great University in California. Officials there had never been told about the allegations against Fr. Timone in New York, but had been deceptively reassured by the Archdiocese of New York that the priest was “suitable” for ministry.

French Sexual Abuse Trial Casts New Cloud on Catholic Church

VOA News

January 7, 2019

By Lisa Bryant

Lyon's archbishop, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and five other figures are on trial on charges of failing to act against sexual abuse allegations targeting a priest in his diocese. This is the latest pedophilia scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church before a key Vatican conference on sexual abuse.

The sexual abuse allegations date back to the 1980s and 1990s. They involve Father Bernard Preynat, a priest in France's Lyon diocese, who has admitted to wrongdoing and is due to go on trial later this year.

But one of country's most prominent clerics, Lyon's archbishop Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, is accused of covering up the abuse. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in jail and a $54,000 fine.

Barbarin denies the charges. He says he took action as soon as he found out about the sexual abuse allegations — many years later.

Where Catholic abuse brings division and hatred

Reuters Videos

January 6, 2019

Poland's rural east is one of the most devoutly Catholic regions in Europe. When the Church's global sexual abuse crisis struck clergy here, it divided towns into camps of denial, fury, and loathing. Marcin Goclowski reports.

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

The Washington Post

December 26, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

In response to recent Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandals, lawmakers in the District 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 hit at 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 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.

New book hits out at French bishops over sexual abuse

La Croix International

January 8, 2019

By Gauthier Vaillant

Maverick priest Pierre Vignon strongly criticizes the Church hierarchy but praises the pope's desire for reform

After years spent investigating sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church, Father Pierre Vignon of Vercors in the Diocese of Valence made headlines across France last August by launching a petition calling for the resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon.

Clearly, it was no accident that his new book, Plus jamais ça! (Never again!), co-authored by journalist François Jourdain, was published on Jan. 2, less than a week before the start of Cardinal Barbarin’s trial in Lyon on Jan. 7.

Music director's downfall serves as cautionary tale

Times Union

January 3, 2019

By Joseph Dalton

In April 2016, the management and board of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra were unable to reach their music director, Nathan Madsen. The ensemble, which was renamed the Woodstock Symphony Orchestra last fall, plays just four concerts a year and its final appearance of the season was coming up in May at the Quimby Theater on the campus of SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge.

When Madsen was hired for the part-time position in 2012, he was working as assistant conductor of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra in Texas. In 2014 he relocated to Florida, where he was a visiting professor of music and doctoral candidate at the University of Tampa.

Soon enough the Woodstock orchestra leadership found out why they'd lost touch with Madsen. In March 2016 in Tampa, he was arrested on charges of child trafficking and child pornography.

Save your prayers: Arthur Baselice Jr. wants justice for his late son, not empty words from Pope Francis

Philadelphia Weekly

January 10, 2019

By Andrea Cantor

Pope Francis chastised American Bishops in a complete mishandling of sex abuse by the clergy in a letter penned earlier this month.

“The Church’s credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them,” Francis wrote. “This has led to a growing sense of uncertainty, distrust and vulnerability among the faithful.”

Many outlets and critics were quick to note Pope Francis excluded any mention of punishment for those guilty of molestation, including the 301 members of the clergy in Pennsylvania an explosive court filing cited for more than 1,000 incidences of child abuse. Instead, the pope urged the church to internally strengthen and repair itself.

“Let us try to break the vicious circle of recrimination, undercutting and discrediting, by avoiding gossip and slander in the pursuit of a path of prayerful and contrite acceptance of our limitations and sins,” Francis wrote.

One of the people not buying into the words from the pope is Arthur Baselice Jr. He is a father who speaks on behalf of his son, Arthur III, silenced by a fatal heroin overdose in 2006 after years of mental anguish stemming from repeated clergy abuse.

In the mid-1990s, Arthur III was sexually abused by two Franciscan clergyman at Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia. The perpetrators included the principal Rev. Charles Newman and Brother Regis Howitz, then a maintenance worker at the school.

Diocese of Monterey releases names of Clergymen accused of sexual misconduct


January 2, 2019

By Brandon Castillo and Drew Andre

The Diocese of Monterey has released the names of 30 Clergymen who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a child.

According to the Diocese, the assaults go back to the 1950's.

There have been two allegations received since the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People was put into effect in 2002 and implemented in the Diocese of Monterey in 2003.

The Diocese hired an outside law firm, Paul Gaspari of Weintraub Tobin, to review allegations against church workers.

“The Monterey diocese wants to ensure their people, there is no priest actively administrating in the diocese against whom there is a credible allegation of child abuse,” lawyer Paul Gaspari said.

None of the Clergymen on the list are currently with the Diocese.

The Diocese of Monterey said there have been no credible sexual misconduct allegations raised against a Clergyman since 2009.

Monterey Diocese IDs clergy accused of abuse since 1950s

Salinas Californian

January 2, 2019

By Joe Szydlowski

The Catholic Diocese of Monterey has identified 30 priests and other church officials accused of sexual misconduct with children, including a dozen previously undisclosed names.

The diocese has listed the names of its "priests, deacons, religious men and candidates for ordination (seminarians)" accused since the 1950s in a report on its website to "promote transparency and trust."

The report notes that the number of allegations fell from six in the 1990s to two in the 2000s. The most recent alleged abuse occurred 10 years ago, the report says.

It points to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People — a new set of procedures implemented in 2003 to prevent abuse, improve the investigation process and help victims — for that drop.

Some sins deserve more secrecy? Compare and contrast cases of McCloskey and McCarrick

Get Religion

January 10, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

The tragic (viewed from the right) and spectacular (viewed from the left) fall of Father C. John McCloskey, a popular Catholic apologist, from Opus Dei, continues to get quite a bit of ink.

Let me stress: As it should.

Before I get to a fascinating update at The Washington Post, let me pause and make an observation, or two.

No. 1: Consider this question: Looking at the American Catholic church over the past two or three decades (and at Catholic life in Washington, D.C., in particular), who was the more powerful and significant player — Father McCloskey or former cardinal Theodore McCarrick?

That’s a bit of a slam dunk, isn’t it?

Now, in terms of doing basic journalism, it appears that it has been easier to crack into the heart of the McCloskey case than it has the McCarrick case. Why is that? Is it accurate to state that Catholic officials linked to the McCloskey case have been a bit more forthcoming than those in the powerful networks linked to the former cardinal? Hold that thought.

No. 2: Over and over, people ask me why clergy sexual abuse stories in Protestant settings — evangelical flocks, in particular — receive so much less mainstream ink than Catholic scandals. There are several reasons for this:

Cardinal Barbarin starts three days in the spotlight

La Croix International

January 8, 2019

By Béatrice Bouniol and Céline Hoyeau

Victims of French priest's sexual abuse accuse six defendants of failing to report him to authorities

On one side of the courtroom, the victims’ faces are lit up by the lights of the cameras. On the other side, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and his entourage painfully await, shoulders bent, the start of a trial that has attracted the attention of the world’s media.

The confrontation with Diocese of Lyon officials had been long awaited by victims of Father Bernard Preynat, the former scout almoner of Sainte-Foy-Lès-Lyon (Rhône) accused of abusing at least 70 children in the 1970s and 1980s and kept on in his post until 2015. They made it happen through a rare procedure of private prosecution.

Argentine bishop accused of sexual abuse

La Croix International

January 7, 2019

Prelate involved in managing Vatican property faces diocesan investigation

Allegations of sexual abuse against a bishop from Argentina involved in managing Vatican property and investments are to be handed over to a special commission if credible evidence is uncovered by a preliminary diocesan investigation.

The highly symbolic trial of Cardinal Barbarin

La Croix

January 7, 2019

By Béatrice Bouniol and Céline Hoyeau

Civil plaintiffs aim to prove that the archbishop and his entourage failed in their obligation to report a priest’s sexual abuse

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and five others will appear before the criminal court of Lyon from Jan. 7.

Over and above the case against Cardinal Barbarin, the victims of Father Bernard Preynat, accused of having abused at least 70 boy scouts from 1970-80, are hoping to advance the debate on the reporting of the sexual abuse of minors.

Archbishop of Lyon since 20002, Cardinal Barbarin is the third bishop in France to answer to the charge of “failure to report the sexual abuse of minors” before a court. Found guilty of the same charges in 2001 and 2018, Cardinal Pierre Pican and Cardinal André Fort were given suspended prison sentences of three and eight months respectively.

Chilean church abuse victims launch fresh attack on bishops


January 2, 2019

By Aislinn Laing

Two victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic Church priest in Chile launched a fresh attack on the country's bishops on Wednesday, accusing them of failing to reform or learn from the crisis.

Juan Carlos Cruz and Jose Andres Murillo, two prominent victims of the abuse who gave evidence of their ordeal to Pope Francis in Rome, said the pontiff had also acted to slowly in handling the crisis.

Cruz said the Chilean church's leaders, several of whom face criminal investigation for their roles in allegedly covering up abuse, had failed to follow through on their promises to institute reform.

"What we have in Chile is a veritable band of criminal bishops," he said. "After visiting the pope, after everything that's happened, that is happening with civil justice, they have learned nothing."

Church officials declined to comment.

Pope Francis criticizes U.S. bishops over abuse scandal, demands unity


January 3, 2019

By Crispian Balmer

Pope Francis accused U.S. bishops on Thursday of failing to show unity in the face of a sexual abuse crisis, saying internal bickering had to end over a scandal that has shredded the Church's credibility.

In a long and highly unusual letter sent to U.S. bishops as they embarked on a week-long retreat, Francis said the handling of the scandal showed the urgent need for a new approach to management and mindset within the Roman Catholic Church.

"God's faithful people and the Church's mission continue to suffer greatly as a result of abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse, and the poor way that they were handled," the pope wrote, adding that bishops had "concentrated more on pointing fingers than on seeking paths of reconciliation".

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 now global 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.

"The secret not yet told": Women describe alleged abuse by nuns


January 2, 2019

Catholic bishops from across the U.S. are gathering Wednesday for a weeklong retreat on the clergy sex abuse crisis at a seminary near Chicago. Organizers said the retreat, which was requested by Pope Francis, will focus on prayer and spiritual reflection and not policy-making.

The gathering comes as CBS News has also learned of several cases involving nuns accused of sexual misconduct. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – or SNAP – said it doesn't keep count of sexual abuse allegations, but CBS News' Nikki Battiste has spoken with several women who recently reported misconduct, ranging from forceful kissing to molestation, all carried out by nuns.

When Trish Cahill was 15 years old she said she confided in Sister Eileen Shaw at a convent in New Jersey. Cahill said she told Shaw things she'd never revealed to anyone about her now-deceased uncle – a priest – whom she claims sexually abused her, starting at age five.

"I would have done anything for her. I would have died for her," Cahill said. "She gave me everything that was lacking that I didn't even know I was lacking. I was so broken. She filled in all those pieces."

Nuns in India tell AP of enduring abuse in Catholic church

The Associated Press

January 2, 2019

By Tim Sullivan

The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. They spill out in church meeting halls bathed in fluorescent lights, and over cups of cheap instant coffee in convent kitchens. Always, the stories come haltingly, quietly. Sometimes, the nuns speak at little more than a whisper.

Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ.

"He was drunk," said one nun, beginning her story. "You don't know how to say no," said another.

At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them.

The Vatican has long been aware of nuns sexually abused by priests and bishops in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, but it has done very little to stop it, The Associated Press reported last year.

Now, the AP has investigated the situation in a single country — India — and uncovered a decades-long history of nuns enduring sexual abuse from within the church. Nuns described in detail the sexual pressure they endured from priests, and nearly two dozen other people — nuns, former nuns and priests, and others — said they had direct knowledge of such incidents.

One-time top-ranking NYC priest accused of sexually abusing underage sisters over five years

New York Daily News

January 9, 2019

By Marco Poggio and Larry McShane

Two Bronx sisters accused a high-ranking Catholic Church official of sexually assaulting them across five years after he was welcomed into their neighborhood as a parish priest.

The allegations were made public Wednesday outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a charity assisting abuse victims and their families.

The older girl was in her early teens and her kid sister just age 7 when the abuse by Msgr. Charles McDonagh began in their home in 1972, according to Hoatson.

McDonagh had just arrived at Our Lady of Refuge, a heavily Irish parish in the Bronx. The priest, who died in 1999, was later promoted to serve as secretary to Terence Cardinal Cooke and his successor John Cardinal O’Connor, spending about six years in the position.

New Details on Cover-Up Emerge in Case of Fr. C. John McCloskey

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 10, 2019

Earlier this week we learned that Catholic officials in New York and Chicago quietly moved an abusive priest and let him keep working around unsuspecting and vulnerable parishioners, even after paying nearly a million dollars to one of his victims. Making matters worse, those same officials had promised the victim that her abuser, Father C. John McCloskey would be kept away from others.

Yet the Washington Post reports today that, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago, “McCloskey was in fact allowed to minister with no restrictions for years afterward.” In this way, church officials both lied to the victim who they promised to help and then put others in harms way.

For almost 15 years, virtually no one was warned about Fr. McCloskey and the Church lied to at least one of his victims. Apologies are not enough. If these cover ups are to be stopped, complicit clerics must be held accountable. That should start with Fr. Peter Armenio, the man who was responsible for vouching for Fr. McCloskey after settling his abuse claim.

Diocese of Santa Rosa To Release List of Clergymen Accused of Abuse

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 9, 2019

Another diocese has announced that they will release a list of names of clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse.

It is always helpful for survivors when these lists are posted, especially for those who may be suffering in silence. Seeing that they are not alone helps victims heal and could also compel others who were abused – whether by the same person or in the same place – to come forward.

What is not helpful for survivors is when church officials carefully curate these lists, leaving off names of priests who are accused because they do not meet the diocese’s ever-changing and nebulous definition of “credible.” For an example of the problem with church officials using “credible” as a metric, one needs to look no further than this case from San Diego. We hope that when the Diocese of Santa Rosa releases this list on Saturday, that no such curation has occurred.

For the sake of not only survivors, but also the truth and the public’s right to know it, we encourage California’s attorney general to look closely at this disclosure by the Diocese of Santa Rosa and compare it to records and files seized through the course of an independent investigation.

Former New York Times reporter slams grand jury report on clerical abuse

Religion News Service

January 10, 2019

By Fr. Thomas Reese

“Grossly misleading, irresponsible, inaccurate, and unjust” is how former New York Times religion reporter Peter Steinfels describes last August’s Pennsylvania grand jury report in its sweeping accusation that Catholic bishops refused to protect children from sexual abuse.

The report from a grand jury impaneled by the Pennsylvania attorney general to investigate child sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses has revived the furor over the abuse scandal, causing the resignation of the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and inspiring similar investigations in other states.

Steinfels argues that it is an oversimplification to assert, as does the report, that “all” victims “were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect abusers and their institutions above all.”

Writing in the Catholic journal Commonweal, Steinfels acknowledges the horror of clerical abuse and the terrible damage done to children, but he complains that no distinctions have been made in the grand jury report from diocese to diocese, or from one bishop’s tenure to another. All are tarred with the same brush.

Steinfels’ article will be published in the magazine’s Jan. 25 issue and is currently available on its website.

A major fault with the report, according to Steinfels, is its failure to acknowledge the impact of the 2002 Dallas Charter, which changed dramatically how the church responded to abuse. The charter required reporting credible accusations to police, the establishment of lay review boards and the removal of any priest guilty of abuse.

Conroe priest accused of sex abuse of teens to appear in court


January 9, 2019

By Chauncy Glover

A Conroe priest who is accused of abusing two parishioners when they were teenagers is expected to appear in court Thursday.

Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez was charged with four counts of indecency with a child.

La Rosa-Lopez turned himself in to authorities at the Montgomery County Jail in September 2018.

One of the alleged victims, who is only going by "Ann," spoke exclusively to ABC13 in September about coming forward about the alleged abuse, which happened nearly two decades ago.

"I can't believe it's happening," she said. "I'm kinda in shock right now and very numb."

Allentown Catholic Diocese creates new position to oversee child protection

The Morning Call

January 10, 2019

By Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Continuing its response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, the Catholic Diocese of Allentown has created a cabinet-level position to oversee child protection services and is bringing back a longtime employee to fill the post.

Pamela Russo, former director of Catholic Charities in the diocese, has been heading Catholic Charities of Tennessee in Nashville since 2016.

Russo, a licensed social worker, “will be responsible for overseeing and improving all aspects of abuse prevention and child safety,” the diocese said in a news release Thursday. That will include reviewing all current policies on child protection, safe environments and victim assistance to determine their effectiveness.

Breaking ranks: why Boston’s cardinal intervened in an abuse case in New York

Catholic Herald

January 10, 2019

By Jordan Bloom

While many were enjoying the Christmas season at home with their families and away from a frantic news climate of daily revelations about pub­lic figures, both religious and secular, a rift seemed to open between two of America’s most prominent clergymen. Despite the best efforts of the US bishops’ conference convening in Illinois in the first week of January, the hierarchy is not presenting a united front.

Just before Christmas, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston sent a letter to Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, calling his attention to a New York Times report about a priest, Fr Donald Timone, in the Archdiocese of New York. Fr Timone had been allowed to remain in ministry despite several settlements with people who had accused him of sexual misconduct. Church-watchers quickly concluded that O’Malley was, in effect, reporting New York archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan to the nuncio.

The letter, from which names are redacted, makes reference to correspondence sent to O’Malley from someone in New York. O’Malley wrote: “I note the seriousness of the allegations [redacted] presents with regard to Rev Timone and that today the New York Times has published an extensive report concerning the allegations against Rev Timone.” It is not clear whether the person whose correspondence is being forwarded was one of the people discussed in the New York Times article.

Diplomatic immunity protects Vatican big-wig from going on trial

Patheos blog

January 10, 2019

By Barry Duke

This week saw the start of a high-profile trial in France of six people accused of covering up clerical sexual abuse. But a seventh – Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer – is not among the defendants because the Vatican last year played the diplomatic immunity card and refused to hand the cardinal a summons issued by a French court.

They argued that Ferrer had advised the Diocese of Lyon not to involve the French justice system in the case.

It’s quite understandable why Ferrer is being protected. He is a Vatican high muckety-muck. In 2017 he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) – formerly the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition – and 2018 Pope Francis made him a cardinal named him the Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Ignazio Loyola in Campo Marzio.

In 2010 a British barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC argued that the Vatican isn’t deserving of diplomatic recognition, that its claims to statehood are risible, and that it uses its status as a state to take refuge from international law and to cover up clerical sex abuse crimes.
According to Catholic website Crux, the case was brought to court by nine people who said Preynat abused them in the 1970s and 1980s. The victims say top clergy were aware of Preynat’s actions for years, but allowed him to be in contact with children until his 2015 retirement.


KLAQ Radio

January 9, 2019

By Veronica Gonzalez

Since the movie Spotlight was released a lot of El Pasoan's were in store for a rude awakening. It was towards the end of the movie that we felt our stomachs turn after reading the credits. There were major abuse scandals that were reported from El Paso, Texas.
After discovering the ugly truth about El Paso being a part of the list put some fear into me. Before my son was old enough we had planned to put him in a Catholic private school. The movie Spotlight was released in 2016 which happened to be the first year my son attended a private school.

This kind of movie would raise all kinds of concern especially after El Paso was one of the cities named. El Paso was featured on the first list, second column, and right dab in the middle. It was Rev. David A. Holley that abused over 32 boys and was a part of the El Paso Catholic Diocese. If that ever happened to my son I can guarantee I would earn myself a front row seat in hell for harming a Priest.

Opus Dei priest in major settlement was never officially restricted from ministry, Chicago archdiocese says

Washington Post

January 10, 2019

By Julie Zauzmer and Michelle Boorstein

When a woman who was groped by the priest she turned to for counseling reached a $977,000 settlement with the Catholic community Opus Dei in 2005, she was promised that the priest she claimed harassed her — the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a star in the Catholic world who converted prominent politicians to the faith — would be prevented from doing it again to someone else.

On Wednesday night, two days after Opus Dei publicly acknowledged the huge settlement for the first time, the Archdiocese of Chicago said that at least on paper, McCloskey was in fact allowed to minister with no restrictions for years afterward.

The archdiocese disputed some of the account provided by Opus Dei this week about how the conservative Catholic community handled McCloskey, and provided a 2005 letter from an Opus Dei leader that shows the leader vouched for McCloskey even though he knew about the settlement.

What emerges, from conflicting accounts, is a picture of Catholic leadership in both the archdiocese and Opus Dei who told the woman they would restrict McCloskey’s actions — and then left a paper trail describing him as having an unblemished record.

Will upstate Catholic legislators support the Child Victims Act?

City & State NY

January 10, 2019

By Justin Sondel

For as long as Catholics have been filling the pews in Western New York, church leadership has exerted great power in the neighborhoods and in the halls of government. “Growing up, there was a clear deference to whatever the priests wanted,” said Burke, himself a practicing Catholic. “They sort of controlled everything that was part of that social life.”

As has been the case in so many Catholic communities, the Buffalo Diocese’s response to allegations of sexual abuse has shaken the church to its core. New documents, obtained from a whistleblower by investigative reporter Charlie Specht and reported throughout 2018, showed a pattern of accused priests returning to the ministry in Western New York that was previously unknown. That has contributed to a new political dynamic: Democrats from South Buffalo are engaging in public battles with the church rarely seen before the sex abuse scandals became public, and they are planning to vote with their party for the Child Victims Act, potentially clearing the bill’s path to passage.

The PA Grand-Jury Report: Not What It Seems


January 9, 2019

By Peter Steinfels

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption, a “holy day of obligation,” when Catholics are expected to attend Mass. This year millions of Catholics went to church sick at heart. I was among them.

The day before, the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had released a grand-jury report declaring that hundreds of Catholic priests had sexually abused minors. The grand jury’s conclusions were summarized in reports that landed on the front pages of the New York Times and other newspapers around the world, as well as lead stories on all sorts of television news programs. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke on The Today Show and nightly news broadcasts. No Catholics serious about their faith, indeed no one of any sensitivity, could have read about the report without feeling horror and shame. And anger. It was bad enough to read graphic accounts of anal and oral rape, sometimes combined with sacrilegious perversities; it was doubly appalling to be told that church leaders had systematically covered up these crimes and allowed abusers to go unchecked.

Within hours, the Pennsylvania grand-jury report was propelled to international status. The Vatican expressed “shame and sorrow.” Adjectives piled up from Catholic and secular sources: abominable, revolting, reprehensible, nauseating, diabolical. The New York Times editorialized on “The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain.”

Months have passed but the report’s impact has not. At least a dozen states have announced they would follow Pennsylvania in conducting their own investigations (Illinois issued a preliminary report in December); the Justice Department has suggested that it, too, might get into the act. Pope Francis has called for bishops from around the world to address the sex-abuse scandal at the Vatican in February, where the Pennsylvania report will undoubtedly be a chief exhibit—as it currently is for Catholics both on the right and the left writing farewells to the church.

In fact, the report makes not one but two distinct charges. The first one concerns predator priests, their many victims, and their unspeakable acts. That charge is, as far as can be determined, dreadfully true. Appalling as is this first charge, it is in fact the second one that has had the greatest reverberations. “All” of these victims, the report declares, “were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.” Or as the introduction to the report sums it up, “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all.”

]Syro-Malabar Church to set up internal committees

Press Trust of India

January 10, 2019

Hit by controversies, including sexual abuse involving priests, the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has decided to set up internal committees at the diocesan level to create a “safe environment” for all, including children and vulnerable adults.

The decision to implement the “Safe Environment Policy” was taken at the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Archiespicoal Church being held here.

This policy is being implemented to ensure safety and security for all, especially children and vulnerable adults, a Church official said.

Claiming that the safety and security for all have already been ensured in parishes, diocese, religious congregations and institutions of the Syro-Malabar church, the official said that the implementation of new “Safe Environment Policy” would further strengthen it.

According to the policy, representation of the laity should be ensured in the committees being set up in the diocesan level to solve the complaints.

Town hall meetings with Bishop Coyne kick off in St. Albans


January 10, 2019

By Connor Cyrus

Aseries of public meetings with Bishop Christopher Coyne seek to improve communication and transparency within Vermont's Catholic Church.

Catholic Church leaders say they are ready and listening.

Thursday marks the first of six town hall meetings across the state where Bishop Christopher Coyne will be listening to what people have to say. It's part of an effort to improve communication and transparency within Vermont's Catholic Church. The Church says The Diocese of Burlington is seeing the fruits of its effort to be more transparent and to improve communication.

Bishop Coyne says the clergy has met to discuss the future of the Catholic Church. They looked at things like, who they are as a church, how they are living their lives and what they are doing in terms of their mission in Burlington and around the state.

One of the big topics and the inspiration for the meetings is communication. Bishop Coyne says he feels that communication needs to be two ways and the meetings are a way to make sure people are heard.

He says the Catholic Church has changed in many ways over the years, most notably the way it retains its parishioners.

“Now in many ways we are a missionary church, we have to go out and encourage people to come. We can't just open our doors and expect people to come. It used to be you'd open your doors and the church would be full, you open your doors now people leave,” Bishop Coyne said.

Ex-priest fired from CWLP will appeal termination

Journal Register

January 9, 2019

By Crystal Thomas

A former City Water, Light and Power employee, who was fired by the city after his name appeared on a list of ex-priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, is appealing his termination.

Joseph D. Cernich, 62, was fired as a technical support specialist in CWLP’s information systems division Dec. 28 after the city’s Office of Human Resources conducted an investigation into his employment and hiring.

The review began after his name appeared on a list put out by the Diocese of Springfield in November of all of its priests that have had substantiated claims of child sexual abuse, as determined by a diocesan review board mostly made up of lay people with expertise in law enforcement, psychology and education.

Cernich informed the city Tuesday he will appeal the termination through arbitration. As part of a newly certified bargaining unit organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 193, the union will be representing Cernich through the appeal.

Chad Vacek, assistant business manager of IBEW Local 193, said Cernich was told why he was fired. Vacek would not comment on the cause, nor would the city.

Vacek said both sides agreed to skip the grievance process and go straight to arbitration. Once a panel of seven arbitrators provided by the American Arbitration Association is culled to one, a hearing will be held where both sides can present the arguments. The arbitrator’s decision would be final.

Vacek said Cernich’s arbitration case would be “unique.”

Camden priest retires amid renewed abuse allegations

WHYY Radio

January 9, 2019

By Kyrie Greenberg

A South Jersey priest announced his retirement over the holidays, following renewed allegations of child abuse.

In 2002, a man filed a claim with church officials and police alleging Reverend John D. Bohrer abused him as a child at Saint Pius X in Cherry Hill in the 1980s. After a suspension, Bohrer was reinstated by the Vatican and most recently served as an administrator at St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Mark Crawford is the director of the New Jersey branch of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP. He says the diocese knew about Bohrer and did nothing. “These are well-educated men,” said Crawford. “These are not mistakes, they are not accidents, they are not ‘oops’ a file got lost. This is somebody who is accused of molesting a child, so it cannot be wiped away or forgotten about.”

In a statement, the Diocese of Camden said the allegation came to light once again after a recent independent review of personnel files by a law firm. Crawford said Bohrer’s case shows the weakness of the Catholic Church’s zero-tolerance policy, which has been on the books since 2002. “The man was accused. They know it. They kept him in the ministry all these years. And they claimed that they had cleared him, but now they are revisiting it?” he said.

Cardinal pushes Church change as Germans debate priest celibacy

Irish Catholic

January 10, 2019

Cardinal pushes Church change as Germans debate priest celibacy Cardinal Reinhard Marx
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising has called for change in long-standing Church tradition as the German bishops’ conference prepares for a workshop debate to “review” the issue of celibacy for priests.

In his homily at New Year’s Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady in Munich, Cardinal Marx said the Church must, “in light of the failure” surrounding the clergy sex abuse crisis, modify tradition in response to changing modern times.

“I believe the hour has come to deeply commit ourselves to open the way of the Church to renewal and reform,” Cardinal Marx said, according to a text of the homily posted on the archdiocesan website. “Evolution in society and historical demands have made tasks and urgent need for renewal clear to see.”

The cardinal, who is president of the German bishops’ conference, said that current measures to address sex abuse are not enough without adapting Church teachings.

“Yes, matters are about development and improvement and prevention and independent reviews – but more is also demanded,” he said. “I am certain that the great renewal impulse of the Second Vatican Council is not being truly led forward and understood in its depth. We must further work on that,” he said. “Further adaptations of Church teachings are required.”

First Harrisburg Catholic Diocese Clergy Abuse Town Hall held Thursday

ABC 27 News

January 10, 2019

By Christine McLarty

Anyone with questions can get answers regarding the Harrisburg Catholic Diocese clergy sex abuse.

Thursday bishop gainer will host the first of nine seminars, addressing and answering questions about the grand jury report.

The nine sessions will be held in nine different counties over the next two months. Those counties include Cumberland, Lebanon, Lancaster, and York.

During each meeting, Bishop Ronald Gainer will offer opening remarks and then the floor will be open and to ask him questions about clergy sex abuse.

The grand jury report released in August uncovered sexual misconduct allegations against more than 300 priests.

Historians take 'long view' on Catholic sex abuse crisis

National Catholic Reporter

January 10, 2019

by Heidi Schlumpf

While the U.S. bishops were on retreat at Mundelein Seminary north of Chicago, a group of Catholic historians were gathering in the city's downtown for their annual academic conference. In both places, the sex abuse crisis was on people's minds.

Franciscan Fr. Daniel P. Horan writes about politics, culture and theology in his new column, Faith Seeking Understanding.

Although the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA) meeting included presentations on various things like the great Chicago Fire of 1871 and Pope Pius IX, the attendees — who by definition are usually focused on the past — were very much thinking and talking about the present crisis and what the future might bring for the church.

"I think it dominates many Catholic historians' minds these days," said Brian Clites, associate director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he also teaches religious studies.

French cardinal likely to be cleared in abuse cover-up trial

Associated Press

January 10, 2019

By Nicolas Vaux-Montagny

France's most important church sex abuse trial to date is likely to end in acquittal for a cardinal and other senior Catholic officials accused of protecting a pedophile priest, despite years of efforts by his victims to seek justice.

The Rev. Bernard Preynat confessed to abusing Boy Scouts, and his victims say church hierarchy covered up for him for years, allowing him to work with children right up until his 2015 retirement.

But by the time the cover-up trial reached court in Lyon this week, the statute of limitations had expired on some charges. And even the prosecutor argued Wednesday against convicting Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and other church officials, saying there were no grounds to prove legal wrongdoing.

Victims' lawyers seemed to have little hope for a conviction, despite an emotional trial in which grown men recounted their childhood fear and shame after alleged abuse by a respected priest.

"That was no surprise," lawyer Yves Sauvayre said after the prosecutor's unusual request.

January 9, 2019

Chilean Attorney's Office Investigates 148 Cases of Sexual abuses

Prensa Latina

Jan 8, 2019

Today, the number of sexual abuse cases handled by the Chilean Public Prosecutor''s Office involving the Catholic Church has risen to 148, with eight bishops on target, according to the latest report from the Public Prosecutor''s Office.

In a balance sheet submitted by the national prosecutor, Jorge Abbott, on these processes, it is realized that in total there are 255 victims of sexual crimes committed by members of the clergy, 10 more than in a previous report presented in the second half of 2018.

The scandals of that court that shook the Chilean Church last year removed the social fabric of the country and, according to different polls, were decisive in a notable reduction in the number of faithful of the Catholic Church.

The crisis reached such a point that the Pope had to intervene in the matter by sending to Chile the special investigator Charles Scicluna, who interviewed many of the victims, and to summon to the Vatican the Chilean ecclesiastical leadership in full, to which he asked for the resignation.

However, according to Abott, the Vatican has only given the Chilean Prosecutor's Office partial information and not all the information requested to carry out the processes, as promised by Scicluna.

As U.S. Catholic Churches Struggle, Their Foundations' Investments Thrive


January 9, 2019

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

Assets managed by U.S. Catholic foundations have more than doubled over the last three years, propelled by increased donations and stable market performance, according to a study by wealth advisory firm Wilmington Trust.

The study showed U.S. Catholic foundations, set up by archdioceses and dioceses across the country, managed $9.5 billion as of the end of 2018, up 106 percent from $4.6 billion in 2016 when Wilmington Trust released its first report on the sector.

The Catholic Church has come under intense scrutiny following settlements on sexual abuse scandals that have plagued it for years. Due to the enormous costs of settling sexual abuse claims, many dioceses have been in dire financial straits resulting in 19 Catholic Church bankruptcies in the last 14 years, according to watchdog group bishopsaccountability.org.

However, Catholic foundations are flourishing as they sought to separate themselves from the shadow of the embattled churches that created them.

Bishops’ body lax on Vatican directive

Indian Express

January 9, 2019

By Arun Lakshman

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the top body of the congregation of bishops, has not acted on a directive from the Vatican to meet sex abuse victims abused by the clergy before attending a summit in Rome on clerical sex abuse and child protection between February 21 and 24.

The directive released by the Vatican on December 18 states, “The first step must be to acknowledge what has happened and we urge each episcopal conference president to reach out and visit victim survivors of clergy sex abuse in your respective countries prior to the meeting in Rome to learn first-hand what they have endured.”

Interestingly, one of the four signatories of the letter is Oswald Gracious, Bishop of Mumbai and the current president of the CBCI.There are more than 25 clergy-related sex abuse cases in Kerala which have come out in the open over the past 10 to 15 years.

There are several high-profile cases involving priests in the state; some of the accused faced trial and are behind bars, some are out on bail and some are based abroad in cases involving the rape of minors, young women and nuns.

One-time top-ranking NYC priest accused of sexually abusing underaged sisters over five years

Daily News

January 9, 2019

By Marco Poggio and Larry McShane

Two Bronx sisters accused a high-ranking Catholic Church official of sexually assaulting them across five years after he was welcomed into their neighborhood as a parish priest.

The allegations were made public Wednesday outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a charity assisting abuse victims and their families.

The older girl was in her early teens and her kid sister just age 7 when the abuse by Monsignor Charles McDonagh began inside their home back in 1972, according to Hoatson.

McDonagh had just arrived at Our Lady of Refuge, a heavily Irish parish in the Bronx. The priest was later promoted to serve as secretary to Terence Cardinal Cooke and his successor John Cardinal O’Connor, spending about six years in the position.

The two targeted siblings “worshiped their parish priest,” charged Hoatson. “And, as a result of that, Monsignor Charles McDonagh inserted himself into their family and abused two of the girls in that family.”

The bishops’ retreat and a new ecclesial season

Chicago Catholic

January 9, 2019

By Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

I am writing this as the retreat held for the Catholic bishops of the United States at our seminary in Mundelein concludes. The weeklong retreat was the idea of Pope Francis.

He recognized that the crisis of clerical sexual abuse had created a great deal of anger and confusion in our church and among the bishops. It is in such moments, he observed in his letter to us before the retreat, that “we need to be attentive and discerning, to free our hearts of compromises and false certainties, in order to hear what the Lord asks of us in the mission he has given us.”

The Holy Father sent us his personal preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa. The 84-year-old priest told us that he had received lots of letters telling him what he should say to the bishops. While respecting the wisdom of the voice of the people, he agreed with the pope that in moments like this we need to discern what God is saying to us.

Massimo Faggioli: Electing bishops will not solve the church’s problems

America Magazine

January 9, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

This essay by Professor Massimo Faggioli on the problems and possibilities of electing bishops in the Catholic Church is part of a conversation with Professor Daniel E. Burns, whose response can be read here.

The systemic failure of leadership shown by the bishops in the clerical sexual abuse crisis has revived the centuries-old debate on the procedures for the recommendation and appointment of bishops in the Catholic Church.

Remembering a few historical realities can help us frame the issue. The first is that the power of the pope alone to appoint bishops is a quite recent development in church history. The appointment of bishops has been for most of the history of the church in the hands of no one person only but of a quite diverse typology of actors (local clergy and laity, brothers in the episcopate from the same province, canons of the cathedral, Catholic emperors and kings, and local aristocracy). These players in the institutional life of the church took part in the selection of bishops in different forms that were often unwritten and shaped by customs—and distinct from what we mean by “democratic election.”

The most important element in the appointment of a bishop was not the prelate being chosen by the pope but being in communion with the pope. This is why the recent agreement between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China about the process of bishops’ appointments there has many precedents in history.

Vatican sources say McCarrick case not handled by full judicial process

Catholic News Agency

January 8, 2019

By Ed Condon

While recent media reports suggest that a trial of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick is underway, Vatican sources have told CNA that his case is not being handled by a full judicial process.

Sources at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have confirmed that allegations against McCarrick are being considered through an abbreviated approach called an “administrative penal process.”

That decision gives insight into the strength of evidence against McCarrick, and suggests that resolving sexual abuse allegations against the archbishop is a top priority for Pope Francis and other senior Vatican officials.

Canon law outlines specific processes for handling allegations of sexual abuse by clerics. All of these are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. When the charges involve a bishop, the CDF requires specially delegated authority from the pope to handle the case.

A full canonical trial is a lengthy affair. Depositions of witnesses and alleged victims are taken by the court at which a prosecutor, called the “promoter of justice” in canon law, and lawyers for the defense are present. Written argumentation is exchanged through a panel of judges, with precise timelines, manners of proceeding, and legal minutiae that must be observed at each step of the way, in order to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected.

In previous sexual abuse cases against bishops, full and formal trials have taken years, and include the possibility of appeals by both the prosecution and defense. But this is not happening with McCarrick.

A bad day’s lament

Catholic Culture

January 9, 2019

By Phil Lawler

Yesterday was “one of those days”—a day that found me hating my work, wishing I had some other sort of job.

The first blow, and by far the worst, came with the news, released by the Washington Post Monday evening, that an old friend, Father C. J. McCloskey, had been disciplined for sexual misconduct involving a married woman, and that Opus Dei, of which I was once a member, had (not to put too fine a point on it) botched the handling of his case.

Father McCloskey has done great things for the Catholic Church, drawing many converts to the faith and encouraging many cradle Catholics like myself to deepen their spiritual lives. The charges against him, however, reinforce my fear that every “celebrity priest” is vulnerable to special temptations, and just one misstep away from scandal.

It’s painful to see a friend exposed to public obloquoy. It’s painful, too, to watch the Washington Post—which has shown only a tepid interest in the charges raised by Archbishop Vigano—in headlong pursuit of a priest who never wielded a fraction of McCarrick’s influence. But long ago I resolved that I want to hear all the truth, good and bad. It will be a painful process, exposing all the rot within our Church. But it’s the only way to begin the necessary process of reform.

Then I happened across several more news stories about the two US Senators (Senators Kamala Harris of California and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii) who cross-examined a judicial nominee about his membership in the Knights of Columbus.

Child-sex abuse victims advocate and Australian of the year nominee Chrissie Foster

The Australian

January 10, 2019

By Rachel Baxendale

It was in 1995 that Chrissie Foster first learnt that two of her three daughters had been abused by a priest at their Catholic primary school in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs.

Twenty-three years and three family tragedies later, Ms Foster’s story moved Scott Morrison to tears as he gave a national apology to child-sex abuse victims.

Side by side with her late husband Anthony, the 63-year-old has been a fierce advocate for child-sex abuse victims, playing an instrumental role in the establishment of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry and national royal commission into the issue.

It is for this tireless work in the face of unfathomable adversity that Ms Foster has been nominated for The Australian’s Australian of the Year award.

In 1999, the Fosters’ daughter, Emma, was hit by a drunk driver, leaving her physically and mentally disabled and requiring constant care.

Struggling to deal with the abuse she and her sister Katie had suffered at the hands of pedophile priest Kevin O’Donnell as children, Emma had become a binge drinker.

Less than a decade later, in 2008, Katie took her own life.

Victims of Abuse by Religious Order Priests Say Their Claims Fall Through the Cracks

New York Times

January 9, 2019

By Jack Healy

When Larry Antonsen decided to report a priest who sexually abused him during high school, he believed the Archdiocese of Chicago was the right place to go.

Mr. Antonsen and his wife were lifelong churchgoers who sent their children to Sunday school and counted themselves as members of a parish in the archdiocese. The priest Mr. Antonsen was accusing had spent 14 years working at Chicago-area Catholic high schools.

But Mr. Antonsen, who is now 72, said reporting the allegations dropped him into a maze of church bureaucracy, in which his accusations were passed from one office to another before being quietly set aside.

The reason: The priest in question happened to be an Augustinian — one of dozens of religious orders that are overseen not by bishops, but by religious superiors in regions around the country and in Rome. Mr. Antonsen said archdiocesan officials told him to take his complaint to the Augustinians.

“They said because it was a religious order, they didn’t handle it,” Mr. Antonsen said.

Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines, Augustinians: the names are iconic, their founders immortalized by sainthood, their members often bound together by vows of poverty and obedience.

But when a priest or brother in a religious order is accused of abuse, victims and advocacy groups say their accusations are often mishandled because they are caught between separate institutions within the church: the dioceses that say it is not their responsibility to investigate, and religious orders that then fail to handle the claims.

Catholic Church’s Santa Rosa Diocese to name priests accused of sex abuse

Press Democrat

January 9, 2019

By Mary Callahan

Santa Rosa Bishop Robert F. Vasa has chosen this weekend to release the names of Catholic priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse during the local diocese’s 57-year history in hopes of turning a corner on a scourge that has wounded the faithful, drained church coffers and deeply injured survivors whose innocence was exploited by men they trusted.

But how far the move will go in making up for sins of the past remains in question amid a resurgent global crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, whose leadership is often viewed as having turned a blind eye to clergy abuse and even enabling it by quietly reassigning many accused priests rather than discharging them.

Recent attempts by U.S. bishops at transparency have been greeted with some skepticism among critics and survivors whose ingrained distrust may not easily be tempered, particularly given explosive revelations contained in a Pennsylvania grand jury report last year that renewed the drumbeat for greater scrutiny of church leadership.

Syracuse Catholic Diocese should support the Child Victims Act

Post Standard

January 8, 2019

To the Editor:

The Catholic Diocese of Syracuse is at a crossroads. It can show that victims of sex abuse are worth more than 30 pieces of silver or continue to block the Child Victims Act.

The Child Victims Act would lift the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases. It also would allow a one-year period during which adults who were abused as children could file civil claims against their abuser or an institution.

The last part of this legislation is extremely important for victims of child abuse who seek justice. The Catholic Church was successful in covering up sexual abuse acts by priests for decades. This meant the statue of limitations for criminal cases had expired for most of the victims. Criminal prosecution of sex abusers, no matter how horrific the crimes, was not an option.

Opus Dei settles sexual misconduct claim against prominent U.S. priest

Catholic News Service

January 9, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

Opus Dei, a well-known international Catholic organization, paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim in 2005 against a one-time high-profile priest in the nation’s capital.

The payment was made to an adult woman who said Father C. John McCloskey groped her several times while she was undergoing pastoral counseling because of a troubled marriage and serious depression, The Washington Post reported.

The incidents were described as occurring in meetings between Father McCloskey and the unnamed woman at the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington.

The newspaper said it does not name the victims of sexual assault without their consent.

Msgr. Thomas Bohlin, U.S. vicar of Opus Dei, said in a Jan. 7 statement that the settlement was reached in 2005. He described the priest’s actions as “deeply painful for the woman and we are very sorry for all she suffered.”

Opus Dei learned of the sexual misconduct from the woman in November 2002, according to the statement. Father McCloskey was removed from his role at the center 13 months later after the complaint was found to be credible, Msgr. Bohlin said.

The woman, who is now in her mid-50s and was 40 when she met with Father McCloskey, has remained involved in Opus Dei spiritual activities since.

She told The Washington Post that she was pleased by how Opus Dei handled her case.

Msgr. Bohlin said Father McCloskey’s “priestly activities with women have been very limited” since his reassignment from the Catholic Information Center and the restrictions placed upon him. The priest “had very few assignments in our activities for women” and that “his contact with individual women was limited to the confessional,” where priest and penitent are physically separated,” the vicar said.

The organization has separate activities for men and women.

Minneapolis attorney: Desire to help sexual abuse survivors fuels work

The Catholic Spirit

January 8, 2019

By Joe Ruff

A desire to help sexual abuse survivors fuels the work of a Minneapolis-based attorney representing two men who have accused former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of sexual abuse.
The men Patrick Noaker of Noaker Law Firm is representing found his firm through referrals from other attorneys, he said. One of the men is a former altar boy whose credible abuse accusation resulted in Archbishop McCarrick’s removal from public ministry last year; the other is James Grein of Virginia, who testified Dec. 27 to Church officials in New York.

A former public defender who has practiced law for 28 years and dealt with the gamut of criminal cases, including the death penalty, Noaker said victims of sexual abuse who are not heard and who don’t get help can suffer from depression, turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain, or themselves become perpetrators of sexual abuse or other crimes.

“The whole system is checkered with people who have been abused as kids,” Noaker said. “They try to numb the pain. Then things spiral on them.”

Noaker said he wanted to catch people at the “top of the cliff” to help them seek justice and encourage them to get therapy and counseling, rather than at the “bottom of the cliff” facing criminal charges of their own. So he joined the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates of St. Paul about 18 years ago, and he formed his own firm about six years ago. Both firms specialize in representing survivors of sexual abuse and assault.

“If you get help to them early, everyone is better off,” Noaker said. “The person is better off, and there are no other victims.”

Ministerio Público contabilizó 255 víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes de la Iglesia

[Public Ministry tallies 255 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests]


January 8, 2019

By Ariela Muñoz and Nicole Martínez

Un total de 148 casos de abusos sexual en la Iglesia Católica, con 8 obispos involucrados, investiga el Ministerio Público, según el último reporte entregado por el fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott. Las víctimas valoraron el aumento de las denuncias. Son 255 las víctimas de delitos sexuales por parte de integrantes del clero las que tiene en carpeta el Ministerio Público, 10 más que el balance anterior.

Abbott acusa que Vaticano ha dado respuestas “parciales” a requerimientos

[Chile's prosecutor Abbott says Vatican has given only "partial" responses]

La Tercera

January 8, 2019

By María José Navarrete

En la cuenta pública de la Fiscalía Regional de O’Higgins, el persecutor Emiliano Arias señaló que “de aquí a marzo” presentarán nuevas acusaciones.

“Hemos tenido respuestas parciales, no las que hubiéramos querido y tampoco con toda la información que hemos querido, pero estamos insistiendo ante el Vaticano, cuyas autoridades han comprometido el apoyo a nuestra investigación”. Así lo reveló el fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott, al participar en la cuenta pública de la Fiscalía Regional de O’Higgins, y en relación a los requerimientos de información que el Ministerio Público ha hecho a Roma, en el marco de las investigaciones a sacerdotes por abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica chilena.

Lay collaboration and episcopal authority

Denver Catholic

January 9, 2019

By George Weigel

The Vatican is a hotbed of rumor, gossip, and speculation at the best of times — and these times are not those times. The Roman atmosphere at the beginning of 2019 is typically fetid and sometimes poisonous, with a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around. That smog of fallacy and fiction could damage February’s global gathering of bishops, called by the Pope to address the abuse crisis that is impeding the Church’s evangelical mission virtually everywhere.

Great expectations surround that meeting; those expectations should be lowered. In four days, the presidents of over 100 bishops conferences and the leaders of a dysfunctional Roman Curia are not going to devise a universal template for the reform of the priesthood and the episcopate. What the February meeting can do is set a broad agenda for reform, beginning with a ringing affirmation of the Church’s perennial teaching on chastity as the integrity of love. In a diverse world Church, that teaching applies in every ecclesial situation. And it is the baseline of any authentically Catholic response to the abuse crisis.

Day One for new legislative session in Albany


January 8, 2019

By Ron Plants

A new year means a new legislative session starting in Albany on Wednesday morning. And with Democrats taking control for the first time in 70 years, there are a lot of proposals that might have more of a chance to become reality here in New York.

One of the primary measures right of out the gate could be legalization of recreational marijuana. And with State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples Stokes as majority leader we have an idea of how they might proceed to set it up just like some other states. She says, "I think the model they use in Massachusetts and some other places across the country would be the one most favorable, and that's a combination of state taxation, state liquor authority, and state health department that would come up with the regulations and actual implementation."

The Child Victims Act has been effectively blocked in the past but it may have even more momentum now in the legislature following the explosive revelations. and the increasing list of Catholic priests cited for alleged abuse.

The measure would extend the statute of limitation regarding child sex abuise crimes so that any victim up to age 50 could file a lawsuit against the abuser and any institution which enabled them. That raises the current age limit of 23 and a a one-year lookback window. Governor Cuomo has told us he is on board "If you were abused by a member of the clergy, or someone else, you deserve to have that acknowledged. And that's what the child victims act is all about."

Predator priests, silent nuns and the secrecy of suppression

Goa Chronicle

January 9, 2019

KERALA campaign spearheaded by Indianexpose.com against predator priests and religious leaders across religions who use their influences to sexually dominate women including nuns has found resonance in the highest levels of international media.

The Associated Press in a major story has included the case of Bishop Mulakkal accused of raping a nun in Kerala, in its list of incidents of sexual violence committed by priests. This was a campaign initiated, researched and followed by Indianexpose.com. IndianExpose.com relatively new website dedicated to unearthing truth through investigative reportage, has hashtagged its campaign #ArrestBIshopFranco – the campaign on the newsportal and on social media, especially twitter, finally led to the Bishops arrest.

The Associated Press, in a story by Tim Sullivan, was published in the world’s leading news papers. The Washington Post headlined “AP Exclusive: For decades, nuns in India have faced abuse” and published from Kuravilangad, began the piece as follows:

“The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. They spill out in church meeting halls bathed in fluorescent lights, and over cups of cheap instant coffee in convent kitchens. Always, the stories come haltingly, quietly. Sometimes, the nuns speak at little more than a whisper.
Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ.“He was drunk,” said one nun, beginning her story. “You don’t know how to say no,” said another.At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them.

Catholic Church Threatens To Expel Sister Lucy For Spearheading Protests Against Rape Accused Kerala Priest Franco


January 9, 2019

In what is seen as a highly vindictive move, Sister Lucy Kalapura, the nun from the Syro Malabar Church, who spearheaded the protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has been slapped with a notice by the Church in Kerala.

Sister Lucy has been asked by her Mother Superior, Ann Joseph FCC, Superior General of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), to explain her activities in relation to the protest against Bishop. Sister Lucy and a few other nuns had staged a hunger strike near the High Court premises in Kochi for weeks last year demanding the immediate arrest of Mulakkal.

The notice claimed that Sister Lucy’s action amounted to a serious breach of discipline and damaged the reputation of the congregation. This is not the first time that Church authorities have acted against Sister Lucy. The Mananthavady diocese expelled her from the parish duties after she became vociferous in her protest against the Bishop.

However, the church had to backtrack the disciplinary actions following a huge backlash and number of common citizens expressing solidarity with the nun for outing the predatory priest.

The Catholic Church warned Sister Lucy for her media articles, penning articles in non-Christian publications and resorting to making false accusations against the Catholic leadership to tarnish their image.

Cardinal on trial in France's biggest church sex abuse trial

Associated Press

January 7, 2019

By Nicholas Vaux-Montangy

A Catholic cardinal and five other people went on trial Monday accused of covering up for a pedophile priest who abused Boy Scouts — France's most important church sex abuse case to date.

The case poses a new challenge to the Vatican, amid growing demands in overwhelmingly Catholic France for a reckoning with decades of sexual abuse by the clergy.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 68, appeared in a Lyon court Monday along with other senior church officials accused of failing to protect children from alleged abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat. The top Vatican official in charge of sex abuse cases, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, is among the accused — but won't appear in court because the Vatican invoked his diplomatic immunity.

Nine people who said the priest abused them in the 1970s and 1980s brought the case to court, and hope it marks a turning point in efforts to hold the French church hierarchy accountable for hushing up abuse. The victims say top clergy were aware of Preynat's actions for years, but allowed him to be in contact with children until his 2015 retirement.

Despite nationwide attention on the case, it may fall apart for legal reasons. Prosecutors initially threw out it out for insufficient evidence. Barbarin's lawyer says his client never obstructed justice because the statute of limitations had passed on the acts in question by the time Barbarin was informed.

Ex-priest named as child abuser fired by city of Springfield

The Associated Press

January 8, 2019

The city of Springfield has fired a City Water, Light and Power employee whose name appeared on a list of Catholic priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

The State Journal-Register reports 62-year-old Joseph D. Cernich was stripped of his priestly title in June 2003 and began working for the city five months later.

The Diocese of Springfield has refused to say which parishes Cernich had been assigned to as a priest or what he was accused of doing.

Human Resources Director Jim Kuizin says Cernich was dismissed in December after an investigation into his hiring and employment. Kuizin declined to reveal the reasons for Cernich's firing. The State Journal-Register reports there is no record of complaints or disciplinary action.

A request for comment from Cernich wasn't answered. He can appeal the city's decision to dismiss him through the Springfield Civil Service Commission or arbitration.

The response to Fr. McCloskey illustrates the failure of the conservative Catholic approach…

Patheos blog

January 8, 2019

By Mark Shea

…to the sexual abuse crisis.

For a brief moment this past summer things began to come into focus for us concerning sexual abuse in the Church. When the PA report came out, the focus was where it should be: on victims. It didn’t matter whether the victim was male or female, or whether the abuser was gay or straight or his protecter and enabler conservative or liberal. What mattered was the victim and getting justice for the victim.

Then, never letting a crisis go to waste when it could be exploited, the Right Wing Lie Machine moved in with a huge ginned up panic from Abp. Vigano and the focus was ripped away from victims, never to return. It all became a Culture War narrative in which propaganda organs like EWTN, the Register, Lifesite News, One Peter Five and others locked in rigid ideological combat with a “liberal” pope they have hated and sought to destroy for years promoted the lie that the one man–Francis–who actually did something about sexual abuser McCarrick was guilty of lifting non-existent “sanctions” asserted to exist by the one man on US soil who could have acted against McCarrick from 2011-2016 and did who did nothing. In a massive and coordinated shock and awe assault that cared nothing for victims or the good of the Church only for power, that media screamed for Francis to “RESIGN!!!!!!”

When that power grab and palace coup fell to pieces and Vigano was shown to be sucking up to and feting McCarrick during the time he was supposedly enforcing “sanctions” again McCarrick…

Prominent Catholic Official Sent to Chicago Following Sexual Abuse Complaint

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 8, 2019

A prominent Opus Dei priest was sent to Chicago following a sexual abuse settlement in another diocese. Now, survivors and advocates are asking Chicago’s top catholic official to disclose if any other priests, nuns or brothers have been transferred into Chicago following abuse complaints.

Prior to his transfer to Chicago, Fr. C. John McCloskey was allowed to continue ministering to women in the D.C. area for at least a year after the complaint against him were made. While Opus Dei spokespeople minimize the abuse by pointing out that there has only been one settlement, those same spokespeople acknowledge that at least three allegations have been made.

Abusers often continue to hurt people until they are stopped. We believe it was irresponsible of Cardinal George to have allowed Fr. McCloskey to work in Chicago. In an effort to prevent this from happening in the future, we believe that Cardinal Cupich should disclose if any other priests, nuns, or brothers have been transferred into Chicago following allegations of misconduct.

January 8, 2019

In emotional interview, Opus Dei spokesman said he ‘hated’ how prominent priest’s sexual misconduct case was handled

Washington Post

January 8, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

A day after announcing that the global Catholic community Opus Dei had paid nearly $1 million to settle a 2005 sexual misconduct suit against a big-name D.C. priest, a spokesman for the ultraconservative institution Tuesday expressed regret that the Rev. C. John McCloskey had been allowed to remain in ministry after the allegations came to light.

“It’s an argument that is no longer tenable — this ‘Let’s quiet things over so priests can continue to do good,’ ” said Brian Finnerty, choking back tears as he spoke with unusual frankness.

Catholics in the region were stunned by the news that McCloskey, a high-profile media presence and adviser to Washington’s Catholic elite who prepared Republicans Newt Gingrich and Sam Brownback for conversion, was responsible for the $977,000 payout. An eloquent and intellectual priest, McCloskey for many years ran the Catholic Information Center, a bookstore, chapel and meeting center on K Street NW — a hub of Catholic life in the city.

“The reality is that there are many people out there who felt Father [McCloskey] was instrumental in bringing them closer to God. And whatever he did, that is true,” said Finnerty, adding that McCloskey had introduced him to Opus Dei. “But there is also the reality at the same time that he behaved in a way that was deeply wounding. If we were to handle the situation today, we would likely do it differently. Today is different — there is a deeper recognition that if something like this happens, you can’t keep it quiet.”

Finnerty said among his regrets was that the complaint came to Opus Dei in November 2002 but the community did not remove McCloskey from the Catholic Information Center until December 2003. He said he personally “hated” that decision. “The reality is he was around for a year after we were informed,” Finnerty said. “That’s the reality. It’s not good. But we may as well own it.”

Victims of former Fenwick priest tell their stories


January 8, 2019

By Timothy Inklebarger

It's been nearly a half century since the late Rev. William P. Farrell walked the hallways of Fenwick High School as a teacher, counselor and spiritual guide, but the damage the ordained Dominican priest left behind persists.

Decades after the alleged abuse took place, two victims from Fenwick and another young man from Minnesota targeted by Farrell have made their stories known.

Farrell, who died in 1989, is one of many hundreds of priests in various Catholic orders now accused of sexually abusing minors.

He was ordained into the priesthood on June 5, 1965 and taught at Bishop Lynch in Dallas prior to transferring to Fenwick, where he worked from 1967 to 1970.

He was an associate pastor at Our Lady of God Parish in Edina, Minnesota, beginning in 1971 and also served at St. Albert the Great Parish in Minneapolis, before being transferred to Hammond, Louisiana, in 1973, where he served as chaplain at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Farrell moved to St. Dominic's Priory in New Orleans in 1975, where he worked part-time at Mount Carmel Academy and was a chaplain at Dominican College in New Orleans from 1976 to 1978.

Prominent Opus Dei priest was sent to Chicago after sexual misconduct complaint

Sun Times

January 8, 2019

By Robert Herguth

A Catholic priest and author who belongs to the tradition-minded Opus Dei organization and once tended to the conservative elite in Washington, D.C., later became a fixture in the Chicago area, where he lived and worked for almost nine years, until late 2013.

Why the Rev. C. John McCloskey left Washington and later was sent to Chicago in early 2005 is only now coming to light: Opus Dei confirmed Tuesday that he faced a “credible” allegation of sexual misconduct against a woman while working in Washington, and Chicago was considered a more structured environment for him.

McCloskey reportedly groped a woman he was counseling at the Catholic Information Center, described by The Washington Post as “a K Street hub of Catholic life in downtown Washington.”

Opus Dei settled a legal claim by the woman for just under $1 million in 2005, around the time he started working in Chicago, Opus Dei spokesman Brian Finnerty said. He said Opus Dei is speaking about the case now because the woman recently asked the organization to publicize it.

This is the only misconduct-related legal settlement paid by Opus Dei in the United States, according to Finnerty, who said the payout was covered by a donor who wants to stay anonymous.

A complaint from the woman came to light in November 2002, according to a written statement from the Rev. Thomas Bohlin, vicar of Opus Dei in the United States. That complaint was investigated by the organization, and McCloskey was removed from his position at the center a year later, according to the statement.

Kerala: Nun who took part in protests against bishop gets warning from church

The Indian Express

January 9, 2019

By Express News Service

The Catholic Church in Kerala has sent a warning to Sister Lucy Kalapura, a nun who was at the forefront of protests against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, for “attending channel discussions”, writing articles in “non-Christian newspapers” and “making false accusations” against the Catholic leadership.

The warning, with the threat of dismissal from the congregation, has been issued by Sr. Ann Joseph FCC, Superior General of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC).

Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun belonging to the order of Missionaries of Jesus several times between 2014 and 2016, and spent three weeks in the sub-jail at Pala before he got bail. Kalapura and some other nuns of the order had staged a hunger strike near the High Court premises in Kochi for weeks last year demanding Mulakkal’s arrest.

Abuse' Served In More Than A Dozen Y-K Delta Communities

KYUK Radio

January 8, 2019

By Anna Rose Macarthur

A recent report offers details on Roman Catholic Jesuit priests, deacons, and laypeople accused of sexual abuse in dozens of communities across Alaska. Those communities include 13 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The region has a long history with the Roman Catholic Church, dating back to the late 1800s. Most of the church officials accused of abuse in the report are deceased. Jesuits West issued the recent report listing the perpetrators in December. Anchorage Daily News editor Kyle Hopkins has been following the story and talked with KYUK about his reporting on the issue.

Listen Listening...11:44 Listen to the interview with KYUK and ADN's Kyle Hopkins here.

KYUK: "Jesuits West calls these 33 church personnel 'credibly accused of sexual abuse.' Eight of them were in Bethel. Do we know why Jesuits West chose this moment to release this information?"

Hopkins: "I spoke to a spokesperson for Jesuits West, and she was relatively new to that organization, which represents churches all in a 10-state area which includes, of course, Alaska. And it's the organization that encompasses what used to be the Oregon diocese, which went bankrupt. And in that bankruptcy in Oregon, that led to a release of names of priests who had been accused, and there were a round of dioceses that went bankrupt when these civil lawsuits were filed in the mid to late 2000s after the abuse and the cover up were exposed in 2002 in Boston. In the subsequent years, you had many, many civil lawsuits that were filed, including a really big one in Alaska which involved the 300 plus people who were abused, or victims who were abused by priests. Many, many in western Alaska. And that lawsuit led to the bankruptcy of the Fairbanks diocese, and it was that lawsuit way back in 2013 that actually first revealed a lot of these names that many of us are seeing for the first time because the Jesuits then dug up those names, along with a whole slew of other names all across the West Coast, and put them all together for what might have been the first time, and then publicized that list, not in response to any kind of a legal requirement. But that effort did come after there was a really scathing report that came out of Pennsylvania that reignited interest and outrage at priest abuse all over the country."

Prominent Opus Dei Priest Faces Multiple Allegations of Abuse

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 8, 2019

The case of Fr. C. John McCloskey is a perfect example of how a person in a position of power can use that power to manipulate and abuse a person during a vulnerable moment in their lives. It can sometimes be difficult for others to empathize with adults who have been abused, but most adult victims go to clergy for help because they are already struggling. However, this challenge of empathy is irrelevant to the facts: a woman was abused and we are now learning that she was not the only one who may have been hurt by Fr. McCloskey.

Fr. McCloskey was allowed to continue ministering to women in the D.C. area for at least a year after the complaint against him were made. During this time, Opus Dei was “investigating” the “credibility” of the claim, something that should be first reported to law enforcement. Church officials have shown, time and time again, that their definition of “credible” is nebulous and unevenly applied.

In cases of abuse, there are three pathways for justice and prevention: criminal, civil, and occupational. While the first two are, ostensibly at least, available to survivors, the third pathway is one that can only be taken by officials and superiors within that occupation. For example, if a physician were to abuse an adult patient, the complaint would be turned over to police and the abuser would likely lose his license to practice from the AMA. If a professor were to abuse an adult student, the complaint would be turned over to police and that professor would likely lose their tenure with their university.

Archbishop Gomez: From a new year’s retreat


January 8, 2019

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

I am writing to you from Chicago, where the bishops of the United States are finishing a weeklong spiritual retreat recommended to us by Pope Francis.

The retreat has been led by the preacher of the papal household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., who is focusing our attention on the vocation and responsibility of bishops in this moment in the Church.

We are praying together as a visible sign of our unity as bishops and our communion with the Holy Father. There is a collegial spirit here and a firm commitment to address the causes of the abuse crisis we face and continue the work of renewing the Church.

On the first day of the retreat, Francis sent the bishops a long and challenging letter. He concluded with a quote from St. Mother Teresa. I want to share it with you:

“Yes, I have many human faults and failures. … But God bends down and uses us, you and me, to be his love and his compassion in the world; he bears our sins, our troubles and our faults. He depends on us to love the world and to show how much he loves it. If we are too concerned with ourselves, we will have no time left for others.”

As we begin a new year, I think this is an important point for all of us to reflect on — and especially those of us who hold leadership positions.

French evangelicals take action to prevent sexual abuse

Evangelical Focus

January 8 2019 1

Evangelical churches should not look to cases of abuse in the Roman Catholic Church with some sort of contempt, the President of the National Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF) told pastors and other leaders during the entity’s General Assembly in December.

“We are all appalled by the recent revelations and we sympathise with the victims of these abject crimes”, said Etienne Lhermenault. “But it could be that many of us do not feel concerned, because [the Catholic Church] is the neighbouring church, and is usually very criticised in our ranks”.

Evangelicals, he said, would be “wrong not to take this issue seriously”. The crimes that are been brought to the court cast a shadow “on all of Christianity”, Lhermenault said. “And it is not just a question of Christian reputation that is in question, but a bad testimony to the One who saved us”.

Evangelical Christians should not fall into the temptation of “giving lessons” to Catholics, the head of the CNEF said, because there have been “scandals of adultery uncovered by the #metoo movement among prominent pastors” in countries like the United States. Some “partial informations unfortunately let me think that in our evangelical churches, there are also pastors and leaders who are not free from serious failings. And although I’m not aware of proven facts of paedophilia, I’ve heard of sexual harassment and immorality”, Lhermenault said in his discours.

This Is How Cults Work, Not Religions


January 8, 2019

By Charles P. Pierce

Back in 2003, when I was writing for The Boston Globe Magazine, I wrote a cover story about how the conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church were organizing themselves in the lengthening shadow of the crisis springing from the revelations of sexual crimes committed by members of the Church's clergy. There was a conscious effort to prevent more liberal elements among American Catholics from using the exploding scandal to change the institutional Church from within in ways that the conservatives found contrary to what they believed to be unchanging Church doctrine.

Central to the story was an Opus Dei priest in Washington named John McCloskey, whose office literally was on K Street. It was McCloskey who baptized Beltway power brokers like Newt Gingrich, the late Bob Novak, current White House budget director Larry Kudlow, and former Kansas senator and governor Sam Brownback. McCloskey, whose first career was as a trader with Merrill Lynch, had some ideas that were...interesting. From our 2003 interview:

He is talking about a futuristic essay he wrote that rosily describes the aftermath of a "relatively bloodless" civil war that resulted in a Catholic Church purified of all dissent and the religious dismemberment of the United States of America.

Cardinal Dolan: Law Helping Abuse Survivors Should Avoid “Breaking” the Church

Patheos blog
January 8, 2019

By Sarah Beth Caplin

As more victims of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church come forward with threats to sue, one cardinal is requesting measures that will avoid “breaking” the Church.

Because we wouldn’t want to hurt the Church’s reputation by exposing child sexual abuse, would we…?

Someone should tell Cardinal Timothy Dolan it’s far too late for that.

His comments came during discussion of a possible bill in New York that would lower the statute of limitations for victims of abuse. As it stands, once you turn 23 in New York, you can’t file a child sexual abuse claim. That would likely change under the new bill, which would also create a one-year window for victims who couldn’t sue in the past for any number of reasons.

If the bill passes, obviously, the Catholic Church would be in a heap of trouble. That’s what worries Dolan, as he wrote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News:

I believe it is important to strengthen the Child Victims Act to ensure that all victim-survivors are the center of this much-needed legislation. The emphasis must be on helping them heal, not breaking government, educational, health, welfare, or religious organizations and institutions.

Way to sneak “religious organizations” in the middle there. If those institutions deserve to be broken for permitting the abuse of children, then break ’em.) Part of that healing process means bringing the offenders to justice, wherever they reside.

When the Victim is Female

Patheos blog
January 8, 2019

By Mary Pezzulo

It was only a matter of time before the defenses started.

Yesterday it was brought to light that Father C. John McCloskey, the famous Opus Dei priest who brough Newt Gingrich and others into the Catholic Church, groped woman who came to him for spiritual direction several times in 2005. Opus Dei quietly paid the woman $977,000 and “curtailed” his ministry, telling him to only give spiritual direction to women in a confessional with a physical barrier between himself and his directee. Words cannot express how inadequate this response was.

And right on queue, people began defending the priest’s misconduct. It did not escape my notice that two public Catholics who defended and coddled McCloskey are known for condemnation of “effeminacy” in the Church and fixation on conspiracies involving homosexuals in the priesthood. But when a priest’s victim is female, they rise to his defense.

Father Dwight Longenecker, who thinks the Works of Mercy are pelagianism and that the Fruit of the Holy Ghost known as gentleness is for sissies, has risen to the pervert’s defense. Today he tweeted, “Fr. McCloskey was a good priest who befriended, helped and encouraged me when I was very down. He prophesied my future and helped me move forward to the priesthood. When someone stumbles may we have the grace and mercy to remember the good we did not just their weakness.”

Molesting a woman, is a “stumble.”

Montreal Catholic priest found guilty of sexually assaulting former altar boy

CBC News ·

January 8, 2019

A Quebec court judge has found Father Brian Boucher guilty of all charges in a case involving the harassment and sexual assault of a former altar boy, starting when the youth was 12 years old.

Quebec court Judge Patricia Campagnone said Boucher asked the court to "believe the unbelievable" when he testified in his own defence in the case, finding the priest guilty of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching for incidents dating back more than a decade.

In the trial before a judge alone, the complainant, now in his 20s, gave detailed testimony of the alleged assaults that he said continued for three years, escalating in their severity over time.

The judge called the victim's testimony straightforward, frank and convincing.

The victim's identity is protected by a publication ban.

The priest's sentencing hearing has been set for March 25.

Crown prosecutor Annabelle Sheppard said she will be seeking "a substantial period of penitentiary time" for Boucher.

Wisconsin priest abuse case: Sawyer County sheriff says two more victims came forward

Wausau Daily Herald

January 8, 2019

By Laura Schulte

Investigators are looking into two new cases of alleged sexual abuse by a former Wisconsin priest charged in November with three assaults dating to the early 1980s.

Sawyer County Sheriff Douglas Mrotek said Tuesday that the department is investigating the new allegations against Thomas Ericksen.

Ericksen, 71, was arrested Nov. 16 in Minneapolis after the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department issued a warrant. He was accused of sexually abusing at least three boys between June 1982 and April 1983 while he was stationed at St. Peter's Church in Winter, Wis.

He was charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child, one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim. He was extradited from Minnesota to Wisconsin on Nov. 30.

The Catholic priest served in Rice Lake, Rhinelander and Merrill before being sent to Winter, and left the priesthood in 1989 after a civil case against the Superior Diocese led to a $3 million settlement with two victims.

N.J. priest steps down after old sex abuse allegation resurfaces


January 8, 2019

By Kelly Heyboer

A veteran Camden County priest has stepped down from ministry after a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse was rediscovered during a review of personnel files, church officials said.

The Rev. John Bohrer wrote a letter to parishioners at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Collingswood saying he was retiring as parish administrator Dec. 31 for health reasons -- and due to an accusation of sexual abuse, the Diocese of Camden said in a statement.

The accusation, made in 2002, said Bohrer sexually abused an alleged victim while he worked at Saint Pius X Parish in Cherry Hill in the mid-1980s, diocese officials said.

The paperwork detailing the accusation resurfaced during an independent review of the Diocese of Camden’s personnel files as all five of New Jersey’s Catholic dioceses prepare to release the names later this year of all clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse in the past.

The Archdiocese of Newark received what it expected to be one of many subpoenas in the attorney general's probe into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

In Bohrer’s case, the accusations against him were reviewed in 2002 and he was allowed to return to the ministry seven years later.

“It was reported to the diocese in October 2002 and subsequently reported to law enforcement, even though the criminal statute of limitations had expired,” the diocese’s statement said. “Shortly thereafter, Father Bohrer was removed from ministry and the allegation was investigated by the diocese, and subsequently reviewed by the Vatican.”

What Catholics can learn from protests of the past

Religion News Service

January 8, 2019

By Mara Willard

Pope Francis started the new year criticizing some Catholic bishops for their role in the church’s sexual abuse crisis. In a letter to bishops gathered at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois for a spiritual retreat, the pope said that the “disparaging, discrediting, playing the victim” had greatly undermined the Catholic Church. This followed the pope’s earlier remarks asking clergy guilty of sexual assault to turn themselves over to law enforcement.

Stories of clergy sex abuse have continued to increase. Among the more recent revelations, a Catholic diocese recently released the names of Jesuit priests who face “credible or established” accusations of abuse of minors. Church members learned that many priests accused of sexual abuse on Indian reservations were retired on the Gonzaga University campus in Spokane. And another external investigation has revealed that the Catholic Church failed to disclose abuse accusations against 500 priests and clergy.

Church attendance has been on the decline for some time, with the steepest fall of an average 45 percent, between 2005 to 2008. And with these latest scandals, as a theologian recently wrote, the Catholic Church is in the midst of its “biggest crisis since the Reformation.”

But what many do not realize is that staying in the church does not mean agreeing with its policies. In the past, Catholics have challenged the church through multiple forms of resistance – at times discreet and at other times quite dramatic.

Kevin Spacey appears in Nantucket courtroom in sexual assault case

The Associated Press

January 7, 2019

By Alanna Durkin Richer

Kevin Spacey must stay away from the young man who accused him of groping him at a Massachusetts bar in 2016, a judge ordered Monday.

The disgraced actor was arraigned on a charge of felony indecent assault and battery during a hearing at Nantucket District Court. He did not enter a plea. The judge set another hearing for March 4. Spacey does not have to appear, the judge ruled, but said he needs to be available by phone.

The Latest: Kevin Spacey's lawyers enter not guilty plea

The Associate Press

January 7, 2019

The Latest on the arraignment of Kevin Spacey (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Kevin Spacey's legal team has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to charges the actor groped an 18-year-old busboy in a Massachusetts bar in 2016.

Spacey was arraigned on a charge of felony indecent assault and battery during a hearing Monday at Nantucket District Court. The judge ordered the disgraced actor must stay away from the young man.

Another hearing is set for March 4. Spacey does not have to appear.

Spacey's lawyer has questioned the evidence against him. The judge granted a request by Spacey's lawyer to preserve the young man's cellphone data for the six months following the alleged assault.

It's the first criminal case brought against the 59-year-old after a string of sexual misconduct allegations crippled his career in 2017.

Kevin Spacey attends court in Nantucket on indecent assault charge

The Guardian

January 8, 2019

By Josh Wood

Actor will face a maximum of five years in prison if convicted over groping incident that allegedly took place at a bar in 2016

At a minutes-long arraignment on the ritzy Massachusetts island of Nantucket on Monday, Kevin Spacey did not appear to utter a word.

The 59-year-old Oscar-winning actor appeared before a judge, alongside his lawyers. He was accused of groping a then 18-year-old man at the Club Car restaurant and bar on the island in 2016.

The charge, of indecent assault and battery, is a felony. If convicted, Spacey will face a maximum of five years in prison and registration as a sex offender.

His lawyers entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf and a pre-trial hearing was set for 4 March. Judge Thomas S Barrett said Spacey would not have to appear then, but must be available by phone. Spacey was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim and his family.

Barrett granted a request by Spacey’s attorneys to preserve the alleged victim’s cellphone data for six months after the date of the alleged assault. Spacey attorney Alan Jackson said there was data within that would be “likely exculpatory”.

Kevin Spacey goes to court on charge of groping young man

The Associated Press

January 7, 2019

By Alanna Durkin Richer

Kevin Spacey arrived at a courthouse on a resort island Monday to answer accusations that he groped a young man in a bar there in 2016.

The two-time Oscar winner has said he will plead not guilty in Nantucket District Court to felony indecent assault and battery.

The hearing comes more than a year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the former "House of Cards" star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teen worked as a busboy.

Spacey's lawyer, Alan Jackson, has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager didn't immediately report the allegations. If convicted, Spacey faces as many as five years in prison.

The civil attorney for the accuser said in a statement ahead of the hearing that his client is "leading by example."

Kevin Spacey's lawyers enter not-guilty plea, question sex assault allegation at Nantucket bar

CBS News

January 7, 2019

Kevin Spacey appeared in court Monday to answer a sexual assault charge as his lawyers filed new court documents calling into question allegations he groped a young man in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016.

Spacey's arraignment comes more than a year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the former "House of Cards" star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teen worked as a busboy.

The actor's lawyers entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf to a charge of felony indecent assault and battery. The two-time Oscar winner smiled and chuckled with his lawyer before the proceeding began, but otherwise didn't speak, reports CBS News' Jericka Duncan, who was seated behind him in the courtroom.

A judge granted a prosecutor's request that Spacey, 59, be ordered to stay away from the accuser and have no contact with him. Spacey nodded slightly when a judge asked if he understood.

A judge had previously denied Spacey's bid to avoid appearing in person Monday at Nantucket District Court. Spacey had argued his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated" by the case. On Monday, the judge granted a defense request to preserve cellphone evidence and set a preliminary hearing date for March 4. Spacey will not have to appear at the March hearing, but he must be available by phone.

Spacey Smiles Walking into Courtroom, Judge Rules Actor Must Stay Away from Accuser

The Western Journal

January 8, 2019

By Jack Davis

Former “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty on Monday to a felony sexual assault charge stemming from a 2016 incident.

Spacey was seen smiling as he entered the courtroom, The Boston Globe reported. After the 10-minute hearing in Nantucket District Court, Spacey was released on his own recognizance by Judge Thomas Barrett.

Spacey did not speak to the media at any time before or after the hearing.

Kevin Spacey Pleads Not Guilty To Groping Young Man At Bar

Associated Press

January 7, 2019

By Alanna Durkin Richer

Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty Monday to groping an 18-year-old busboy in 2016 in the first criminal case brought against the disgraced actor following a string of sexual misconduct allegations that crippled his career.

Spacey’s court appearance came more than a year after former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh accused the former “House of Cards” star of sexually assaulting her son in a bar on the Massachusetts resort island of Nantucket.

Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett ordered Spacey to stay away from his accuser and the man’s family. Spacey will not have to appear at his next hearing on March 4, but he must be available by phone, Barrett said.

The judge also ordered Spacey’s accuser and the man’s then-girlfriend to preserve text messages and other data on their cellphones from the day of the alleged assault
and six months after. Spacey’s attorney Alan Jackson told the judge they believe the cellphones contain information that is “likely exculpatory” for Spacey.

Collingswood priest leaves ministry over sex-abuse allegation

Cherry Hill Courier-Post

January 8, 2019

By Jim Walsh

A Catholic priest here has been removed from ministry due to a past allegation of sexual abuse, the Diocese of Camden has said in a statement.

The Rev. John Bohrer, administrator for St. Teresea of Calcutta Parish in Collingswood and Haddon Township, was accused of sexual misconduct during the mid-1980s, the statement said.

The alleged abuse occurred while Bohrer was assigned to St. Pius X Parish in Cherry Hill, the diocese said.

According to the statement, Bohrer, 74, announced his retirement for health reasons over the weekend in a letter to St. Teresa of Calcutta parishioners.

“El ‘ertzaina’ me contó que él también fue abusado por Chemi”

[Clergy abuse victim: "The police officer told me that he was abused by the same man"]

El País

January 5, 2019

By Julio Núñez

Dos víctimas denuncian haber sufrido abusos sexuales en el colegio salesiano de Deusto, en Bilbao, hace décadas

Cuando José Antonio Pérez acudió hace 12 años a denunciar ante la Ertzaintza que su antiguo profesor salesiano José Miguel San Martin abusó sexualmente de él en el colegio de Deusto (Bilbao) durante los ochenta, no podía creer lo que le dijo el ertzaina que le atendió. “Me contó que don Chemi —así le conocían en el colegio— también había abusado de él y de varios conocidos suyos”. Pérez cuenta que los abusos comenzaron cuando él tenía unos 10 años y que nunca se atrevió a contárselo a los superiores salesianos. En la comisaría le dijeron que el delito había prescrito y que “no se podía hacer nada”. La orden de los salesianos asegura que nunca tuvieron noticia de dichos delitos y que San Martin —profesor laico del centro— abandonó la orden en los años noventa.

Ezzati a un paso de perder la nacionalidad: víctimas de abusos de la Iglesia esperan que Congreso confirme la decisión

[Ezzati one step away from losing nationality: victims of Church abuses expect Congress to confirm the decision]

El Mostrador

January 8, 2019

La organización Laicos de Santiago y las víctimas de abusos de la Congregación Marista valoraron la votación en la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Senado y apuestan a que la sala de la Cámara Alta y la Cámara de Diputados aprueben la revocación de la nacionalidad por gracia, concedida en el 2006 al cardenal imputado por encubrimiento. “Se supone que alguien que tiene nacionalidad por gracia es alguien que contribuye al bienestar, a lo positivo de la sociedad chilena, y no ha sido el caso”, aseguraron.

La decisión de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Senado de revocar la nacionalidad por gracia al arzobispo de Santiago, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, fue celebrada por víctimas de abusos sexuales y la organización Laicos de Santiago.

Detienen a orientador de colegio de Rancagua por pornografía infantil: 708 imágenes y al menos 13 niños afectados

[Former deacon in Rancagua arrested for child pornography: 708 images and at least 13 children affected]

La Tercera

January 7, 2019

By Ivonne Toro

Julio César Barahona Rosales (58), exdiácono, fue denunciado a la Fiscalía Regional de O'Higgins por una antigua víctima.

Fue una antigua víctima del profesor y orientador del colegio Don Bosco de Rancagua, Julio César Barahona Rosales (58) quien dio la alerta respecto de que el personero no debía estar en contacto con niños.

Sin senadores oficialistas: Comisión de DD.HH. aprueba revocar nacionalidad por gracia a Ezzati

[Without pro-government senators, Human Rights Commission approves revoking Ezzati's Chilean nationality by grace]


January 7, 2019

By Consuelo Ferrer and Verónica Marín

Tras obtener apoyo unánime de los parlamentarios Alejandro Navarro, Juan Ignacio Latorre y Adriana Muñoz, el proyecto de ley pasará a la Sala y posteriormente a la Cámara.

El proyecto de ley que buscaba revocar la nacionalidad por gracia otorgada al arzobispo de Santiago, el italiano Ricardo Ezzati, fue presentado en julio pasado por las senadores Adriana Muñoz y Ximena Rincón, y este lunes, tras casi siete meses, la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía lo aprobó por unanimidad.

Opus Dei Reveals It Paid Nearly $1 Million to Settle Suit vs. D.C. Superstar Priest John McCloskey: Questions We Should Ask

Get Religion

January 8, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

One of today's big stories: Opus Dei has revealed that it paid nearly $1 million in 2005 to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against the superstar Opus Dei priest John McCloskey. Michelle Boorstein broke this story in Washington Post last evening. As she reports, McCloskey has been well-known in religious and political circles due to his close association with such luminaries of the political right as Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, and Larry Kudlow, all of whom he ushered into the Catholic church.

After the woman who came forward with claims that McCloskey groped her during pastoral counseling sessions made her report to Opus Dei officials in 2002, the group investigated the claims and removed McCloskey from his high-profile position at Catholic Information Center in D.C. in 2003. As Michelle Boorstein reports,

The guilt and shame over the interactions sent her into a tailspin and, combined with her existing depression, made it impossible for her to work in her high-level job, she said. She spoke to him about her "misperceived guilt over the interaction" in confession and he absolved her, she said.
"I love Opus Dei but I was caught up in this coverup — I went to confession, thinking I did something to tempt this holy man to cross boundaries," she said. The Post does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

Lawsuit: Rev. William Yockey, named in grand jury report

Penn Record

January 8, 2019

By Nicholas Malfitano

Reverend William B. Yockey, one of the accused predator priests whose names were listed in a grand jury report that alleges decades of protection for pedophiles working for the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, molested a Connellsville man when he was a teenager, according to new litigation filed in Pittsburgh.

That grand jury report, released in August, alleges there were 301 priests in six dioceses who were allowed by the church to abuse children. Yockey’s name was listed among their ranks. Furthermore, the state Supreme Court recently sided with the requests of additional priests to keep 19 names permanently redacted from the report, over the request of Attorney General Josh Shapiro to make them public.

Besides the instant case, several lawsuits have been filed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, targeting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, its Bishop David A. Zubik and Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, all of Pittsburgh, as defendants.

Richard Bieranowski, a 53-year-old man who now resides in Connellsville, says he was between the ages of 16 and 17 when he was first sexually assaulted by Yockey, a priest who served throughout the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1977 to 1991. His name appears in the grand jury report as a clergy member accused of child abuse.

Yockey is not named as a defendant in the case because Pennsylvania law currently prohibits that from happening – but the suit states should the law be amended, Yockey would be added to the list of defendants.

From October 1978 to June 1983, Yockey was assigned to St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Monroeville, where he served in ministry, as a youth counselor and assisted in mentoring children through the youth group program.

Bieranowski was a member of that program.

Opus Dei paid $977,000 to settle sexual misconduct claim against prominent Catholic priest

Washington Post

January 7, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

The global Catholic community Opus Dei in 2005 paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct suit against the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a priest well-known for preparing for conversion big-name conservatives — Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow and Sam Brownback, among others.

The woman who filed the complaint is a D.C.-area Catholic who was among the many who received spiritual direction from McCloskey through the Catholic Information Center, a K Street hub of Catholic life in downtown Washington. She told The Washington Post that McCloskey groped her several times while she was going to pastoral counseling with him to discuss marital troubles and serious depression.

The guilt and shame over the interactions sent her into a tailspin and, combined with her existing depression, made it impossible for her to work in her high-level job, she said. She spoke to him about her “misperceived guilt over the interaction” in confession and he absolved her, she said.

“I love Opus Dei but I was caught up in this coverup — I went to confession, thinking I did something to tempt this holy man to cross boundaries,” she said. The Post does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

The disclosure of the complaint and settlement were not made public by Opus Dei until Monday but behind the scenes, the ministry of the well-known priest had been sharply curtailed. Many Washington-area Catholics have wondered for years what happened to McCloskey, who was the closest thing to a celebrity the Catholic Church had in the region.

One other woman told Opus Dei that “she was made uncomfortable by how he was hugging her,” Brian Finnerty, an Opus Dei spokesman said Monday night. He said Opus Dei is also investigating a third claim — so far unsubstantiated — that he called potentially “serious.” He declined to provide details but said the woman “may have also suffered from misconduct by Father McCloskey” at the D.C. center, which is a bookstore, chapel and gathering place for conservative Catholics in particular.

In a statement, Opus Dei Vicar Monsignor Thomas Bohlin said McCloskey’s actions at the center were “deeply painful for the woman” who made the initial complaint “and we are very sorry for all she suffered.”

Analysis: Their retreat accomplished, the U.S. bishops remain under siege

Catholic News Agency

January 7, 2019

by JD Flynn

When their seven-day retreat at Mundelein ends Jan. 8, some of the U.S. bishops may be reluctant to leave the seminary. But if they are not eager to go home, it will not be because of the setting.

When they depart, many bishops will find their retreat was not an end to the siege under which they find themselves.

Once home, they will face the same questions, the same investigations, the same demand for answers that they left behind. And they will face the same impatience from Catholics across the country.

The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, for example, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, will likely face questions about his dealings with the Vatican in the lead-up to the bishops’ meeting: he will be asked whether he knew earlier than he let on that the conference would not be permitted to vote on a reform package of policies that he championed.

Back in Houston, DiNardo will also face questions from county prosecutors who have accused the archdiocese of withholding evidence during a police investigation.

DiNardo will not be the only U.S. cardinal with problems when the retreat comes to an end.

Opus Dei details 2005 sex claim settlement against DC priest

Associated Press

January 7, 2019

The Catholic organization Opus Dei paid $977,000 in 2005 to settle a sexual misconduct complaint against a once prominent Washington, D.C.-area priest.

In a statement Monday, Opus Dei Vicar Monsignor Thomas Bohlin said they received a complaint of sexual misconduct against Rev. C. John McCloskey in 2002 from a woman who was receiving counselling at the Catholic Information Center in downtown D.C.

After an investigation, Bohlin said McCloskey was removed from his job in 2003. He said McCloskey’s actions were “deeply painful for the woman” and they “are very sorry for all she suffered.”

Since his removal, Bohlin said McCloskey’s priestly activities with women were restricted. It wasn’t clear if McCloskey could comment. An Opus Dei spokesman said he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and was incapacitated.

Bohlin said they’re investigating a possible complaint against McCloskey from another woman

Catholic Church Sex Abuse Survivors: 19 to Watch in 2019


January 8, 2019

In 2018, Bishop Tobin with the Diocese of Providence landed on GoLocal's “18 to Watch” as the Catholic Church was — and continues to remain — at the center of lawsuits pertaining to the collapse of the St. Joseph pension fund.

He’ll remain squarely in the spotlight — and not for good — in 2019, when he has pledged to release a list of names of abusive priests “credibly accused” over the years in the Diocese, as pressure mounts nationally for how sexual abuse claims were handled around the country — including a U.S. Department of Investigation into Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Church.

A poll conducted in 2018 by GoLocalProv in conjunction with Harvard’s John Della Volpe found that 89% of Rhode Islanders believe the Rhode Island Attorney General should investigate the Diocese over its handling of sex abuse claims.

As U.S. bishops meet, Vatican may be deciding fate of Archbishop McCarrick

My Catholic Standard

January 8, 2019

By Rhina Guidos

As U.S. bishops gathered in early January at a seminary in Illinois to pray and reflect about the Church's sex abuse crisis, reports trickled out about the possible fate of one their own being decided overseas.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Jan. 5 that a decision on whether to laicize former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who is facing accusations that he sexually abused minors, could come as soon as mid-January because Vatican officials don't want the decision to overshadow a gathering the pope has called for, seeking to meet Feb. 21-24 with prelates from around the world about protecting minors.

Pope Francis accepted the prelate's resignation from the College of Cardinals last July, 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.

In September, the Archdiocese of Washington, to which he last belonged, announced that Archbishop McCarrick had been sent to live among a small community of Capuchin Franciscan friars in rural Kansas. The Vatican, meanwhile, has been investigating the accusations in order to make a decision about whether the 88-year-old archbishop will return to the lay state.

On Jan. 5, the online Catholic news outlet Crux reported that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles clergy sex abuse claims among some of its responsibilities, is reviewing a third case involving Archbishop McCarrick and a minor, one more case than previously reported.

Ex-priest accused of child abuse fired from CWLP

State Journal Register

January 7, 2019

By Crystal Thomas

The city of Springfield has fired a City Water, Light and Power employee whose name appeared on a list of Catholic priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

Joseph D. Cernich, 62, had been a technical support specialist in CWLP’s information systems division. He was laicized, or stripped of his priestly title, in June 2003 and began working for the city five months later.

After an investigation into his hiring and employment, the city mailed Cernich notice he was no longer employed, according to Human Resources Director Jim Kuizin. Cernich was on paid administrative leave during the investigation, and his “day of separation” from the city was Dec. 28.

Kuizin declined comment when asked for the cause of Cernich’s firing.

Cernich’s annual salary had been $57,000. He did not receive severance pay but was paid for unused vacation and compensatory time, Kuizin said.

According to city policy, if an HR investigation yields a recommendation for disciplinary action, the mayor decides whether the recommendation should be followed. Mayor Jim Langfelder did not have a comment on the matter.

Cernich has until the 10th day after receiving his termination notice to decide whether to appeal the city’s decision through the Springfield Civil Service Commission or arbitration. A request for comment from Cernich was not answered.

Disclosures bring clergy abuse issue to top of bishop's agenda

The Berkshire Eagle

January 7, 2019

By Larry Parnass

Mounting revelations that Catholic leaders concealed or engaged in clergy sexual abuse around the world is bringing the issue back to the forefront in Berkshire County.

The Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, leader of the region's Catholics, is inviting parishioners to speak out about abuse at sessions across the diocese, including one Feb. 10 in Pittsfield.

This past week, Rozanski joined other U.S. bishops in a Chicago suburb for prayer and reflection about the clergy abuse crisis, at the urging of Pope Francis.

On Feb. 6, Rozanski will hold the first of four events billed as "listening and dialogue sessions."

The topic: the sex abuse crisis in the church, which gathered steam in 2018 with the fall of several cardinals, including Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, and actions by attorneys general in at least two states.

"These sessions will allow the faithful to make their concerns known, offer observations and ask questions of the Bishop and diocesan officials who will join him," the Springfield Diocese said in a post on its news website.

January 7, 2019

Area Catholic diocese responds to ‘cover up’ claim


January 7, 2019

By Daba Larsen

The Diocese of Sioux City on Friday issued a statement of apology to victims of sexual abuse by members of its clergy, including George McFadden, who served at Storm Lake St. Mary’s in the 1950s and faced a litany of abuse allegations.

Much of the statement responded to allegations made at a recent small rally by a victim’s organization, and defended the diocese’s record in dealing with abuse allegations.

The diocese “would first like to apologize to all victims of abuse by members of the clergy. We are working to do everything we can to help victims who come forward. We want to help them feel a sense of justice and healing,” the statement reads. “We again encourage all victims, if you have not reported past or present abuse, to please come forward.”

A victim’s assistance hotline is available by calling 712-279-5610.

“We are diligently working on the release of a list of clergy who have substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors against them. We sincerely hope this will help victims in their healing,” said Susan O’Brien, Director of Communications and Development. “Coordinating this list has taken longer than we expected as we review all of our records carefully. Taking into account advice received in our meeting with the Attorney General for the State of Iowa in early December and counsel provided by dioceses that have already released lists, we have made progress on our list and have a draft.”

Other dioceses had released such lists earlier as awareness of abuse by priests grew.

2 testify in preliminary hearing for priest accused of criminal sexual conduct

St. Cloud Times

January 7, 2019

By Stephanie Dickrell

A St. Cloud priest was the subject of a preliminary hearing in a criminal sexual conduct case Monday morning.

The Rev. Anthony Oelrich is charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree after he was accused of violating a state law that forbids clergy from engaging in sexual contact with anyone they are spiritually counseling.

The hearing will help Stearns County Judge Sarah Hennesy decide whether evidence of alleged instances of inappropriate sexual contact with other women could be used in the case.

Oelrich's former parishioner and her husband testified about what they say was an ongoing sexual relationship Oelrich had with the woman. They contend the relationship started when Oelrich was an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids, where the woman and her previous husband were parishioners.

The woman testified she frequently sought spiritual counsel and advice from Oelrich regarding her marriage. She said she and Oelrich engaged in sexual contact numerous times for more than a decade, from the early 1990s into the 2000s. It continued through her divorce and into her second marriage.

She filed a report with St. Cloud police in 2016 regarding the relationship.

Her husband, who has known Oelrich since he and Oelrich attended college together, gave corroborating testimony to the ongoing relationship between his wife and Oelrich.

German Cardinal Under Fire For Saying Gay Priests Created Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

Daily Wire

January 7, 2019

By Paul Bois

A German Catholic Cardinal is taking heavy fire for blaming the preponderance of male-on-male sexual abuse in the Catholic Church on homosexual priests and bishops.

Speaking to Germany's DPA news agency just a few days prior to his 90th birthday, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller said the homosexual nature of the Catholic sex abuse crisis has been "statistically proven."

"What has happened in the church is no different from what is happening in society as a whole," Cardinal Walter Brandmüller said. "The real scandal is that the Catholic church hasn’t distinguished itself from the rest of society."

The Cardinal added that society "forgets or covers up the fact that 80% of cases of sexual assault in the church involved male youths not children" while noting that only a "vanishingly small number" of Catholic clergy had committed abuse between the 1940's up until the 2000s.

According to The Telegraph, Cardinal Brandmüller's comments were immediately and harshly condemned across the social media sphere and on homosexual news outlets, accusing the Catholic clergyman of inciting hatred against LGBT people.

"What a shameful way for the Catholic Church to relativise guilt and defame homosexuals. Disgraceful," Ulf Poschardt, the editor of Welt newspaper, wrote on Twitter.

Buffalo Diocese adds two priests to sex abuser list; total now at 80

Buffalo News

January 7, 2019

ByJay Tokasz

The Buffalo Diocese has added the names of two priests to its list of clergy that it says have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

The Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski and the Rev. Mark J. Wolski are now included with 78 other diocesan and religious order priests that diocese officials acknowledged in 2018 had “substantiated claims” against them.

The diocese announced the update in a tweet late Monday morning.

A woman who said Maryanski repeatedly sexually abused her beginning in the 1980s when she was 15 had been urging the diocese for months to add Maryanski to its list of abusive priests. The diocese put out its first list of offending priests last March, with 42 names.

Maryanski, 77, was removed in May from active ministry, but the diocese didn’t add his name in November when it last released an updated list of 36 more offending priests.

The list now stands at 80 priests, and diocese officials have said that more names could be added.

Stephanie McIntyre, who said Maryanski abused her for years when she was a teenage parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Barker, received a $400,000 settlement offer in December from the diocese as compensation for the alleged abuse.

Following the diocese's announcement Monday, she encouraged any other victims of Maryanski to come forward.

'Time Of Light?' Or 'Darkness?': Boston-Area Catholics Struggle With Resurgence Of Sex Abuse Crisis

WBUR Radio

January 7, 2019

By Lisa Mullins and Lynn Jolicoeur

On Sunday, Christians around the world marked the Epiphany — the end of the Christmas season. It's a time that's especially profound right now for many Catholics.

On the Epiphany 17 years ago, The Boston Globe published the first articles of its explosive expose about priests in the Archdiocese of Boston sexually abusing children and church leaders covering it up. In perhaps the worst year since the crisis erupted, 2018 saw a stream of painful revelations across the U.S. that highlighted the pervasive nature of the problem and the failure of the church to properly respond.

In July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick — effectively stripping McCarrick of his title as cardinal — because of sexual abuse allegations against him.

A few weeks later, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a grand jury had accused more than 300 priests in the sex abuse of at least 1,000 children.

Also in August, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley launched an inquiry after two seminarians made allegations of a toxic culture at St. John's Seminary in Brighton. The men cited sexual misconduct and intimidation among faculty and seminarians. The cardinal was criticized for assigning insiders to conduct the investigation. He later hired a former U.S. attorney to lead it.

Activists Urge Pope to Sack Some Polish Bishops for Not Reporting Sex Abuse Cases


January 6, 2019

Some Polish bishops should lose their jobs after Pope Francis receives a report next month that will accuse them of failing in their duty to report pedophile cases inside the country's powerful Catholic Church, activists said on Monday.

The Roman Catholic Church worldwide is reeling from crises involving sexual abuse of minors in a number of countries including Chile, the United States, Australia and Ireland.

In devoutly Catholic Poland, debate on the issue has barely begun, but the anti-pedophilia foundation "Have no fear" is compiling a report on abuse and said it would soon inform Polish prosecutors of 20 previously unreported sexual crimes.

"By the end of January we will have a report documenting Polish bishops' negligence which will be presented in February at the Vatican," Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, an activist and lawmaker from the small opposition party "Now", told a news conference.

Pope: Vatican meeting aims to 'shed full light' on sex abuse

Associated Press

January 7, 2019

Pope Francis says next month's meeting of bishops from around the world aims to "shed full light" on clergy sex abuse and covers-ups.

Speaking to diplomats Monday at the Vatican, Francis called the abuse of minors "one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable." He said the church was working to combat and prevent abuse and its concealment, to uncover church hierarchy's involvement and to deliver justice to minors who have "suffered sexual violence aggravated by the abuse of power and conscience."

The Catholic Church's credibility has been eroded by sex abuse by clergy and bishops and its often systematic concealment.

Francis called February's meeting "a further step in the Church's efforts to shed full light on the facts."

His own handling of some cases has drawn criticism.

Two more priests accused of sex abuse added to list


January 7, 2019

Two more priests within in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese have been added to the list of priests accused of child sexual abuse.

Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski and Rev. Mark J. Wolski were added to the list following an investigation by the diocese.

They say the allegations were substantiated enough to be added to the list.

There are now 80 priests within the diocese accused of abuse on the list.

Old Cases of Abuse in Myanmar’s Catholic Church Come to Light, Prompting Guidelines for Clergy

Radio Free Asia

January 4, 2019

A handful of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Myanmar that have been covered up for decades with victims choosing not to report the crime in the country’s “culturally closed” society have come to light, a respected priest said on Wednesday.

“We didn't have a significant number of cases in Myanmar," said Rev. Soe Naing. "We only heard one or two old cases that happened about 10, 15 years."

He did not provide any details about the two cases or about any other findings of abuse. He said the victims were laypersons.

“Like similar allegations that came out around the world, some have accused the senior leaders of not taking action, protecting those who committed the abuses,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service. “The cases came to light after so many years and the accused had given pledges not to make the same mistakes.”

Los salesianos ignoraron tres años las acusaciones a un misionero en Benín

[The Salesians ignored abuse accusations against a missionary in Benin for three years]

El País

January 6, 2019

By Julio Núñez and Íñigo Domínguez

Dos voluntarios alertaron en un informe en 2013 de que en el centro de acogida que dirigía Juan José Gómez se cometían abusos sexuales entre menores

Los salesianos españoles desoyeron durante tres años las primeras acusaciones contra su misionero Juan José Gómez, denunciado por abusos de menores en su centro de niños de la calle en Benín, como informó EL PAÍS. Dos voluntarios que habían trabajado allí con una ONG salesiana presentaron un duro informe en 2013 en el que señalaban que los menores sufrían maltrato físico, recibían comida en malas condiciones, los de mayor edad abusaban sexualmente de los más pequeños y vivían todos en un ambiente de violencia constante. En el dossier, Gómez es acusado de dirigir prácticamente una “red mafiosa” que le servía para controlar todo lo que pasaba a su alrededor. Pero la orden no hizo nada. Portavoces de los salesianos justifican que “no consta” el informe y afirman no haberlo conocido ni recibido.

El Vaticano ordena investigar a un sacerdote español por abusos cometidos en Francia en los 70

[Vatican orders investigation of Spanish priest accused of abuses in France in 1970's]

El País

January 7, 2019

By Oriol Güell

El Obispado de Terrassa abre el proceso después de que una víctima denunciara haber sido agredida sexualmente por el religioso

El Obispado de Terrassa investiga a uno de sus sacerdotes por un supuesto caso de abusos sexuales cometido en la diócesis de Beauvais, situada al norte de Francia. Aunque los hechos sucedieron hace más de tres décadas, entre los años 1974 y 1977, la víctima ha dado ahora el paso de denunciarlo ante las autoridades eclesiásticas.

Laicos se reúnen y llaman a terminar con encubrimientos de abusos sexuales en Iglesia Católica

[Lay people meet, call for end to sexual abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church]


January 5, 2019

By Manuel Cabrera and Mario Vera

Un llamado a terminar con el encubrimiento de abusos sexuales realizaron los laicos de Chile, quienes esta sábado y domingo se encuentran realizando el primer Sínodo Laical en Santiago. Bajo el lema “Otra Iglesia es Posible”, más de 350 delegados laicos de Arica a Punta Arenas, se están dando cita en el Santuario del Padre Hurtado para reflexionar en torno a la crisis de la Iglesia.

Denunciante de Luis Felipe Egaña cuestionó su renuncia al sacerdocio: "Parece un lavado de imagen"

[Man who accused Luis Felipe Egaña questions his resignation from the priesthood: "It seems like a wash of image"]


January 6, 2019

By Felipe Delgado

Con dejo de molestia por la respuesta entregada por la Diócesis de Talca, el denunciante de abuso sexual del excapellán de Carabineros Luis Felipe Egaña, rompió el silencio y se manifestó contrario a la explicación entregada para justificar la salida del sacerdote, quien habría cometido actos impropios contra su persona en el año 1985.

The Irish Times view on changes in the Catholic church: a chance to renew

Irish Times

January 7, 2019

Major change at Catholic Church leadership level in Ireland is imminent as almost a third of the 26 dioceses on the island are scheduled to have new bishops appointed over the next year or two. This is due to incumbents reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Among the eight dioceses concerned are some of the most influential in the Irish church, including in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley is already 79, four years past retirement. In Galway Bishop Brendan Kelly will be 73 next May.

But it is in Dublin where the starkest change is likely as its two auxiliary bishops will both be 75 this year: Bishop Ray Field in May and Bishop Eamonn Walsh in September.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will be 74 in April. If precedence is followed he too could be replaced this year by a coadjutor archbishop (with right to succeed) as happened when he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin in 2003, succeeding Cardinal Desmond Connell in 2004.

In Ferns Bishop Denis Brennan will be 75 in June; the dioceses of Achonry, Kilmore, and Dromore remain vacant; and 80-year-old Bishop John Kirby is still on duty in Clonfert.

As the average age of the Irish Catholic priest is 70 (for current Irish bishops it is 66), Church authorities now have an age factor to consider as well as a talent issue when it comes to appointing new bishops from a diminishing pool.

It probably means a further reaching to the religious congregations, as with the appointment of Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian (65) in 2017, the first Jesuit appointed to the Irish Episcopal Conference, and Archbishop of Cashel Kieran O’Reilly (66), a member of the Society of African Missions.

He was appointed Bishop of Killaloe in 2010 and moved to Cashel and Emly in 2015.

Straightforward message from pope

News Gazette

January 7, 2019

U.S. Catholic bishops, meeting as a group in suburban Chicago, get what could be described as a severe scolding from the pope. His message seemed directed particularly at bishops in Illinois who recently were content to blame their predecessors for the clergy abuse scandal in the church.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall as the Catholic bishops of the U.S., meeting in Mundelein, read through a highly critical letter sent to them last week by Pope Francis. His key message was that without personal humility and Gospel-inspired ways of responding to clergy abuse victims, "everything we do risks being tainted by self-referentiality, self-preservation and defensiveness."

Indeed, that self-preservation instinct came through clearly from many of the bishops in Illinois after Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a preliminary report in December that said that the church had seriously understated the number of priests in Illinois who had been accused of abuse.

Madigan's report said the six Illinois dioceses "have lost sight of both a key tenet" of policies laid out by the church as well as "the most obvious human need as a result of these abhorrent acts of abuse: the healing and reconciliation of survivors."

Soon after Madigan's report was released, the local dioceses each issued statements that solemnly apologized for the past abuse but uniformly threw past bishops, priests and administrators under the bus.

Michael K. Smith: Catholics in a quandary


January 6, 2019

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael K. Smith, a practicing Catholic who was the secretary of administration and secretary of human services in Vermont under former Gov. Jim Douglas.

This past year has been a tumultuous time for the American Catholic Church.

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury alleges that over the course of the last 70 years the leaders of the Catholic Church covered up the sexual abuse of 1,000 children, and possibly a thousand more. The attorneys general in several more states are now investigating abuse by Catholic priests in their states.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., called on Pope Francis to resign. He accused the pontiff, and other high-ranking church officials, of covering up the sexual misconduct of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C.

And recently, just before U.S. bishops were to vote on a package of reforms aimed at increasing transparency to curb sexual abuse in the church, an edict from the Vatican halted any action. There are two schools of thought as to why the Vatican intervened. Most observers thought it was done to prevent an action that went beyond reforms the Vatican felt comfortable with. But to others, it was a way for the Vatican to prevent actions that did not go far enough.

To most Catholics their leaders are sending mixed messages. On the one hand, they are promising to come clean and take further steps to curb sex abuse in the church, but then on the other hand, they are seemingly taking small steps to achieve that goal.

NY Archdiocese Looks To Expand Eligibility For Clergy Compensation

WCBS Radio 880

January 6, 2019

The New York Archdiocese is looking at expanding who might be eligible for clergy abuse compensation.

As of today, only those abused at the hands of clergy ordained in the diocese were eligible to apply for compensation under the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation programs, but an expansion could be coming.

“We heard from enough during the first two phases of the IRCP program that we realize there could well be a pressing need for this,” New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.

Zwilling says they’re in talks with several other religious orders, including the Jesuits, Dominicans and Franciscans to include clergy not ordained in the diocese as well.

“Cardinal Dolan has required that we take a very careful look at this,” Zwilling said. “That we discuss it with the heads of the religious orders and see if there is some way that we’d be able to expand the IRCP.”

Pope Francis Monday labelled paedophilia one of the 'vilest' crimes in existence

Daily Mail

January 7, 2019

By George Martin

Pope Francis vowed justice for victims of clerical sex abuse Monday, describing paedophilia as one of the 'vilest' crimes ahead of a historic global meet on the crisis embroiling the church.

'I cannot refrain from speaking of one of the plagues of our time, which sadly has also involved some members of the clergy,' he said in his annual address to ambassadors to the Holy See.

'The abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable. Such abuse inexorably sweeps away the best of what human life holds out for innocent children, and causes irreparable and lifelong damage,' he said.

Francis swore to 'render justice to minors', and said a meeting of the world's bishops in February was 'meant to be a further step in the church's efforts to shed full light on the facts and to alleviate the wounds caused by such crimes'.

A litany of child sexual abuse scandals has rocked the Catholic church, which has 1.3 billion followers around the world.

In December the pontiff had vowed the church would never again treat abuse allegations without 'seriousness and promptness', calling on abusers to hand themselves in to police.

Facing rising nationalist and populist tide, Pope extols multilateral diplomacy


January 7, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

At a time when the US under President Donald Trump is pursuing an aggressive “America first” approach to foreign policy and populist forces elsewhere are likewise urging a primary focus on national interests, Pope Francis on Monday delivered a stirring defense of a “multilateral” approach to diplomacy seeking the collective common good.

“An indispensable condition for the success of multilateral diplomacy is the good will and good faith of the parties, their readiness to deal with one another fairly and honestly, and their openness to accepting the inevitable compromises arising from disputes,” the pope said.

“Whenever even one of these elements is missing, the result is a search for unilateral solutions and, in the end, the domination of the powerful over the weak,” Francis said.

At the same time, Francis also acknowledged the clerical sexual abuse scandals currently rocking the Catholic Church around the world, expressing determination to pursue a path of reform.

“The abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable,” the pope said. “Such abuse inexorably sweeps away the best of what human life holds out for innocent children and causes irreparable and lifelong damage.”

Cuddalore rape case: Church priest sentenced to 30 years in prison

Express News Service

January 7, 2019

By Nirupa Sampath

The Cuddalore District Mahila Court on Monday sentenced church priest to 30 years in prison and nine others to life in prison for their roles in the horrifying 2014 Tittakudi rape case, involving two minor girls from the district and trafficking gangs from across Tamil Nadu.

On Friday, the court had found 16 of the accused guilty of various charges such as abduction and under provisions of the POCSO Act. One of the 17 accused had been acquitted. Mahila Court Judge T Lingeshwaran sentenced the church priest Aruldoss, who sexually assaulted the children, to a jail term of 30 years and fine of Rs 5 lakh. Anbazhagan, the gang's kingpin from Salem was sentenced to life in prison and a fine of Rs 3.21 lakh, while Anandaraj was sentenced to four life terms in prison and a fine of Rs 2.1 lakh. Selvaraj, another accused, was sentenced to three life terms and fine of Rs 30,000. Mohan Raj and Mathivanan both were sentenced to two life terms each and fines of Rs 2 lakh.

Fathima was also sentenced to two life terms with a fine of Rs 4.4 lakh. Sridhar, the driver who took the children to different places in the state, was sentenced to two life terms and fine of Rs 4.4 lakh. Kala and Lakshmi were awarded two life terms and a fine of Rs 4.2lakh

Giving the background to the case, Special Public Prosecutor K Selvapriya, said victim 1, aged 13 at the time, was studying in school at Tittakudi. A woman who ran an idly shop befriended her and, during Pongal in 2014, coerced her into sexual intercourse with her husband and other men.

The child was later told she would be let off if she brought another child to them. The child brought victim 2, a 14-year-old girl from her neighbourhood, to the woman. Both girls were sexually assaulted by the men. In the months that followed, they were trafficked to various places in the State including Salem, Panruti, Vadalur, Virudachalam and Ulundurpet and were sexually assaulted by several men

Cardinal's trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal


January 2019

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to act on historical allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest-profile cleric to be caught up in the paedophile scandal inside the Catholic Church in France, and will stand trial alongside five others from his diocese.

While most of the recent focus in the Church's global abuse crisis has been on Australia and Chile, Barbarin's trial puts the spotlight on Europe's senior clergy again, just as Pope Francis prepares to host a meeting of senior bishops from around the world in Rome next month to discuss the protection of minors.

Barbarin is accused of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s by Father Bernard Preynat – a priest who has admitted sexual abuse, according to his lawyer, and is due to go on trial later this year.

The charges carry a potential three-year prison sentence and fines of up to about $50,000.

Barbarin told the newspaper Le Monde in August 2017 that he had never concealed allegations against Preynat, but acknowledged shortcomings in his handling of them.

'I myself realise that my response at the time was inadequate,' he said.

January 6, 2019

Abuse allegations at famed monastery rock pope’s native Argentina


January 7, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Speaking on background, a Vatican official told Crux in early December that when the crisis of clerical sexual abuse explodes in Pope Francis’s native Argentina, the situation would be dramatic.

Odds are he wasn’t referring to the recently disclosed allegations of abuse against two priests from the Monasterio del Cristo Orante, or the Monastery of the Praying Christ in the province of Mendoza, some 700 miles from Buenos Aires, closer to Chile than to the Argentine capital, but that doesn’t make it any less dramatic.

Of a clear traditionalist tint, with daily Mass in Latin and the monastic tradition of silence firmly upheld, pilgrims and the merely curious are greeted with a sign describing the place not as a “touristic destination, a camping site nor a place for a picnic,” but as a “house of prayer.”

Yet as of Thursday, the monastery is no longer primarily a place of quiet contemplation. Instead, it’s become a closed-off structure resembling a medieval fortress, as the archbishop of Mendoza deemed the accusations to be credible enough to merit further investigation. The prelate, Marcelo Daniel Colombo, said the measure was “preventive” and “temporary.”

Two priests are currently in prison and awaiting trial, accused of sexually abusing a former student of the community who was a minor at the time and tried to enter the community in 2009. The alleged abuses are said to have continued until 2015, when the young man was 23. The two accused are today over 50.

Protesters target Catholic bishops' prayer retreat in Mundelein after revelation of sex abuse cover-up

Chicago Tribune

January 6. 2019

By Rick Kambic

In the final day of a weeklong retreat intended for U.S.-based Roman Catholic bishops to pray and reflect at a Mundelein seminary, small groups of protestors lined up outside the front gate to protest church officials’ handling of sexual abuse allegations.

Two groups took different actions Saturday afternoon, but police said officers stationed in the neighborhood issued no warnings and made no arrests.

First was a group of about 50 who said they were from Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chicago, according to Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther. He said the group mostly prayed on the grass for two hours before leaving in the early afternoon.

A second group arrived later and was led by Dakotah Norton, a former Mundelein trustee who resigned amid crisis in 2017. The protesters wielded colorful signs that prompted drivers to honk in support or yell criticism at the group of about 13.

“This is an entity that’s supposed to be trusted,” said Topacio Hernandez, who said she lives in Waukegan but grew up in Mundelein, of the Catholic Church. “I have a child now, and I read these articles and I’m appalled by the inactivity.”

Police said a third group traveled to Mundelein but Guenther said its leaders decided to hold a conference inside a local hotel and promised not to approach the seminary without first applying for a permit.

'We are witches' - Clerical abuse scandal divides parishes and politics in Poland


January 6, 2019

By Marcin Goclowski and Andrew R.C. Marshall

The former Catholic priest of the Polish village of Kalinowka is serving three years in jail for molesting five schoolgirls. But Marta Zezula, a mother whose testimony helped convict him, says the priest's victims are the ones made to feel guilty.

"We are witches ... because we have pointed at the priest," Zezula fumed as she shoveled straw into a chaff cutter in her barn in the tiny settlement in eastern Poland.

Many parishioners believe she and other mothers of those molested "simply convicted an innocent man", she said.

Home to about 170 people, Kalinowka is a short drive from the main road, but feels more remote. The Holy Cross church, built in 1880, sits on a hill overlooking rolling farmland and forests full of deer.

Krystyna Kluzniak, hurrying into the well-kept church on a chilly November evening, said people should give the jailed priest a break. "The priest was cool and we miss him," she said.

The priest, who cannot be named under Polish law, is now on trial again, charged with molesting another child. His lawyer, Marek Tokarczyk, said he denies the allegations. "We need a fair trial," Tokarczyk said.

Similar scandals have shaken the Catholic Church and split communities in the United States, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere.

But Poland is one of Europe's most devout nations, where most people identify as Catholics and the Church is widely revered. Priests were active in the fight against communism and in 1989, led by a Polish pope, John Paul II, the Church helped overthrow Communist rule.

Grand Island priest formally charged with sexual assault.


January 6, 2019

By Danielle Davis
According to a statement on the Grand Island Diocese web site, the patrol arrested Fr. John Kakkuzhiyil for first degree sexual assault on an adult.

In the statement, Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt said he informed parishioners in Ord and Burwell December First that the priest was struggling with alcoholism and depression.

On December 6th, Kakkuzhiyil entered a drug and alcohol treatment program at CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island. Hanefeldt put Kakkuzhiyil on administrative leave December 15th when the bishop learned that the State Patrol was investigating the priest. Kakkuzhiyil was dismissed from the treatment program on Wednesday, January 2nd. Hanefeldt then learned that the priest had been arrested by the State Patrol.

This is the full statement from the Grand Island Diocese:

"Bishop Hanefeldt has learned today, January 2, 2019, that Fr. John Kakkuzhiyil, a priest of the Diocese of Grand Island, has been placed under arrest by the Nebraska State Patrol in Grand Island and charged with first-degree sexual assault of an adult.

Most recently Fr. Kakkuzhiyil served as pastor of our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ord and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burwell. On December 1, 2018, Bishop Hanefeldt offered Mass in Ord and Burwell asking the parishioners to pray for Father Kakkuzhiyil for his continuing struggles with depression and alcoholism.

Time for our lawmakers to declare: Do they support sex abuse victims or child predators?


January 6, 2019

New Jersey has an archaic, soul-mangling law that prevents most victims of sex abuse from seeking justice in civil court – no matter what their age, without regard to whether their assailant was a clergyman, a Little League coach, or Uncle Fred.

Many states have fixed this problem. But a half-dozen proposed solutions have failed in New Jersey since 2002, and when lawmakers fail in this particular area, they effectively protect child predators rather than the abuse victims.

It’s time our legislative leaders acknowledge that choosing rapists and their enablers over children is a lamentable departure from decency. They must learn from the tragedy that exploded in Pennsylvania last summer, when a grand jury found that 1,000 children had been sexually abused by more than 300 priests in six Roman Catholic dioceses over 70 years, and that the crimes were concealed by church officials.

EDITORIAL: Silver lining in Pa. priests report

York Dispatch

January 6, 2019

It’s been more than four months since Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a stunning grand jury report that documented decades of abusive behavior against children by Catholic priests.

The allegations were astounding: An estimated 300 assailants were alleged to have accosted more than a thousand young victims over a span of some 60 years. Seemingly no part of the state, including York County, was left unscathed.

Even decades into the ongoing shame that is the Roman Catholic Church’s continued failure to adequately acknowledge and atone for the sins of its fathers, the details of the 1,356-page report were shocking.

They have also been motivating.

As the Associated Press reported last week, churches across the country have followed Pennsylvania’s lead and are engaged in what the story called “an unprecedented public reckoning.”

Pope Francis denounces American bishops regarding child sex abuse crisis


January 6, 2019

By Matthew Rozsa

Last week Pope Francis sent a letter to American bishops who met for a spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois in order to urge them to address the child sex abuse crisis among priests.

"The church's credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them," Pope Francis explained in his letter, according to CNN. He also denounced clergymen who have responded to child sex abuse accusations against their colleagues with "a modus operandi of disparaging, discrediting, playing the victim or the scold in our relationships, and instead to make room for the gentle breeze that the Gospel alone can offer."

At one point in his letter, Pope Francis wrote that "God's faithful people and the Church's mission continue to suffer greatly as a result of abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse, and the poor way that they were handled, as well as the pain of seeing an episcopate (body of bishops) lacking in unity and concentrated more on pointing fingers than than on seeking paths of reconciliation."

Pope Francis' letter was well-received by Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi, who was sexually abused by a priest as a child and has spent much of his political career fighting for reforms that will protect child sex abuse victims everywhere, whether they were harmed by priests from the Catholic Church or other individuals and institutions.

"It seems like he wants to hold these priests and bishops accountable, and now he's saying that this will never happen again in our church. And we've been waiting to hear those words for 30, 40, 50, 60 years," Rozzi told Salon. "And we're just hoping that there's some action behind those words, that he's really meaning what he's saying and that for victims, we want this to end. We don't want anybody else to be hurt by this."

Catholic Bishops Still Don’t Get It

The Globe Post

January 1, 2019

By Timothy D. Lytton

Recent revelations that U.S. bishops are still concealing allegations of clergy sexual abuse made headlines this past summer and again this Christmas season. A grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania found that bishops in that state failed to report abuse committed by 300 priests against 1,000 children. A report by the Illinois attorney general concluded that bishops in the state withheld the names of more than 500 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The U.S. Catholic hierarchy is once again asking forgiveness and promising reforms to earn back the trust of parishioners and the American public. Bishops from across the country are meeting north of Chicago during the first week of January for a spiritual retreat of quiet reflection to “seek wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit” and to “pray for the survivors of sexual abuse.” A few weeks later, in February, the presidents of bishops’ conferences around the world will gather in Rome for a Vatican summit on the crisis to launch “a worldwide reform.”

Archdiocese accused of withholding documents in priest sex case


January 4, 2019

By Shelley Childers

More than two months after Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez walked out of the Montgomery County Jail, investigators walked into the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston offices to collect evidence in their case against the Catholic priest.

In his first interview since that November raid, Montgomery County's Special Crimes Bureau Chief Tyler Dunman said they found evidence to suggest the church was withholding information when their investigation began.

"We've sent several subpoenas for documents related to La Rosa-Lopez that we believed were at the Archdiocese and we received some small amount of documents back. After the search warrant, what we found was there were a great deal of more documents that were still there that they had not turned over to us," said Dunman.

He tells ABC13 Eyewitness News they collected 15-20 boxes of documents, including paperwork from the church's secret vault.

"It's frustrating, because what we've heard is that 'We're going to fully cooperate and disclose,' and all that sort of thing. That's what we've heard from the church and that's just not been our experience thus far," Chief Dunman said.

La Rosa-Lopez is charged with four counts of indecency with a child involving two separate children while he was working at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe. Both alleged victims are now adults.

The criminal investigation began after each victim filed a report with the Conroe Police Department in August 2018.

Bishops need to redeem themselves

Citizen Voice

January 6, 2019

Editor: During my formative years of education at Catholic schools, whenever a student was in trouble, the sisters would say, “Now how are you going to redeem yourself?”

They didn’t want a lip service response. They wanted an action plan, written down, attested to and signed.

Since the clergy sex abuse scandal has eroded the credibility of the Catholic Church, the U.S. bishops need to redeem themselves.

Pope Francis says the cause of the sexual abuse crisis is clericalism. Clericalism is the political power of the clergy. It subverts Christianity, which holds that priests are servants of the laity and not the other way around.

Un ancien prêtre condamné à six mois ferme pour agressions sexuelles à Saint-Etienne

[Former priest sentenced to six months for sexual assault in Saint-Etienne]

Le Monde

December 21, 2019

L’octogénaire a abusé de jeunes garçons pendant des années lors de camps de vacances d’été qu’il organisait en Savoie.

Un ancien prêtre de 85 ans a été condamné, vendredi 21 décembre, par le tribunal correctionnel de Saint-Etienne à dix-huit mois de prison, dont six mois ferme, pour des agressions sexuelles sur un mineur dans les années 1990.

Priests weather the abuse crisis

OSV Newsweekly

January 6, 2019

By Paul Senz

During the summer of 2018, the Church in the United States was devastated by revelations of sexual abuse and the subsequent deluge of allegations, the likes of which had not been seen since the “Long Lent” of 2002 in the wake of the Boston Globe’s investigations.

Between the report of “credible and substantiated” accusations made against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, as well as the many claims that would be made in the following weeks, and the report of the Pennsylvania grand jury regarding the handling of abuse accusations by dioceses across the state, the Church was drowning with this millstone hanging about its neck.

It is no secret, nor any surprise, that the laity have felt betrayed by these revelations. Many are asking questions such as: “How did this happen? How did McCarrick advance so far and become so influential, when ‘everybody knew’? How did these bishops continue to move around and enable serial abusers? Why, Lord, did you let this happen?”

Some commentators have (in broad terms) observed that the scandals that broke in 2002 were largely issues of misbehavior by priests, whereas the 2018 scandals are more markedly betrayals on the part of bishops. This has also left many faithful priests feeling abandoned, betrayed and heartbroken. But, by a great grace, it has also strengthened the resolve of many priests to be holy — and for this we give thanks. For it’s more obvious than ever before that the Church needs holy and faithful priests.

The Epiphany of Celibacy

National Catholic Register

Janauary 6, 2019

By Father Paul Scalia

Over the past six months the Church has suffered horrid revelations of clergy sexual abuse, homosexual activity, and attendant cover-up. These scandals have understandably prompted some to call for an end to celibacy in the Catholic Church. It would seem that the discipline no longer serves us well, and indeed might be the source of our woes. Of course, we should not quickly jettison a practice so deep in the Church’s history and so strongly recommended by our Lord and his Apostles (see Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; Revelation 14:4). Perhaps in this season, in the light of Christ’s Epiphany, we can reflect upon this sacred discipline, which the Church has always referred to as a treasure, not a burden.

The Feast of the Epiphany is about God’s sudden self-manifestation or, from another perspective, our sudden perception about him. To borrow from the Christmas Preface, with Christ’s birth “a new light of [his] glory has shown upon the eyes of our minds.” The Word made flesh is revealed as a light to the nations, present in the Magi: “On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage” (Matthew 2:11).

Celibacy and the Epiphany

Celibacy itself is something of an epiphany – that is, a sudden manifestation or revelation. Until Jesus Christ, it was virtually unknown. Some, but few, of the prophets appear to have been celibate (and Hosea might have desired to be). These men are significant not so much as exceptions that prove the rule but as types of the One to come. The chaste, celibate Christ is a new way of God manifesting himself. The Child in the manger will be celibate, not as an accidental feature of His life but to reveal something essential about Himself and His mission; to manifest Himself as the Bridegroom of the Church.

Our Lord’s birth is also the epiphany of spiritual generation in the world. Prior to his coming, abstaining from marriage and therefore from procreation made no sense because the Messiah was to be born of Jewish blood. Thus, every man desired to have descendants. In Bethlehem, something new appears. The new light of Christ has revealed a new kind of birth, that of the “children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Of greater importance now is not physical generation but spiritual. The essential thing is to be born anew, or “from above” (John 3:3).

Obispo Jorge Concha, administrador apostólico de Osorno: “Es poco el contacto que he tenido con Juan Barros, un par de llamadas telefónicas”

[Bishop Jorge Concha, apostolic administrator of Osorno: "There is little contact with Juan Barros, a couple of phone calls"]

La Tercera

January 6, 2019

By María José Navarrete

El prelado cuenta que en esta diócesis ya no se habla mucho de Juan Barros, pero que de todos modos su huella sigue presente.

Entre días agitados de actividad pastoral y visitas a comunidades más lejanas, Jorge Concha Cayuqueo, obispo auxiliar de Santiago y actual administrador apostólico de Osorno, reflexiona sobre lo que han sido sus siete meses en el cargo. De hecho, una de sus principales tareas, asegura, continúa siendo disipar la “tensión” de la diócesis, luego de que el 11 de junio de 2018 el Papa Francisco aceptara la renuncia del obispo Juan Barros y lo pusiera a él al frente.

Laicos de Osorno por caso Barros: “Lo ocurrido movió a los católicos”

[Osorno lay people on Barros case: "What happened moved Catholics"]

La Tercera

January 6, 2019

By MJ Navarrete

Fieles de La Serena y Santiago afirman que a raíz de este caso ahora hay organizaciones en todo Chile.

“Fue gracias a los laicos de Osorno, quienes desde el primer día se opusieron al nombramiento de Barros, que finalmente se logró que él saliera”, afirma categórico el vocero de los Laicos de Santiago, Osvaldo Aravena.

Entre Rengo y María Pinto: la nueva vida del controvertido obispo Juan Barros

[Between Rengo and María Pinto: the new life of the controversial Bishop Juan Barros]

La Tercera

January 6, 2019

By MJ Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

Tras su salida de Osorno, hace siete meses, solo se le ha visto dos veces en público. Hoy el prelado, quien hace un año se mostraba junto al Papa y que terminó gatillando la crisis de la Iglesia chilena, pasa sus días entre su familia y visitas a un monasterio.

En el fundo San Emilio, ubicado en un sector rural de Curacaví, aún recuerdan cuando el obispo Juan Barros Madrid celebraba misa en la pequeña capilla del lugar. Es un templo ubicado en un camino polvoriento, entre plantaciones de choclos, un colegio -el único del sector- y un par de casas. Pero eso fue hace años. Ya no se le ve por esos rumbos. Dicen que ahora frecuenta la vecina localidad de María Pinto, donde reside su papá, a una hora de Santiago.

Actions speak louder than words

Record Eagle

January 6, 2019

The Catholic Church and its practice of protecting pedophile priests are again in the public forefront. The pope announced that all pedophile priests are to turn themselves in. Why has it taken the pope so long to order this? The church officials know the identities of all the pedophile priests.

The pope’s proclamation is part of a public relations effort to try and reestablish the church’s credibility. The church continues to cover up the conduct of pedophile priests and ignore the suffering of victims.

The church is using the playbook used by officials of the Trump organization — now that the church has been caught, it will cooperate to mitigate the punishment for its conduct. The church is attempting to say it is accepting its moral and legal responsibility for the cover-up of pedophile priests. In yet another form of hypocrisy, the pope “thanks” the victims for coming forward. The church knows who the victims are and is unwilling to extend anything to them resembling sympathy.

Defrocked Boston Priest Convicted Of Sex Abuse Sentenced In March

The Associated Press

January 5, 2019

A former Boston priest who was convicted of sexually abusing an altar boy on trips to Maine years ago has been scheduled for sentencing late this winter.

Seventy-six-year-old Ronald Paquin was found guilty of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct in November. The Journal Tribune reports Paquin is scheduled to be sentenced at York County Superior Court in Alfred, Maine, on March 5 with a tentative time of 1 p.m.

Two men testified during Paquin's trial that they were altar boys when Paquin invited them on trips in the 1980s and repeatedly assaulted them.

‘Ellis defence’ will no longer block victims from suing churches, other organisations for child sex offences


January 1, 2019

By Tom Rabe and Phoebe Loomes

Victims of child sex abuse in NSW can now sue the church after the state government removed a legal roadblock used by institutions to avoid compensating survivors.

From January 1 churches will no longer be able to use the “Ellis defence” as a way of avoiding paying compensation to victims.

In 2007 former altar boy John Ellis lost a landmark civil action against the Catholic Church over child sex abuse after it successfully argued it had no “legal personality” and was not a proper defendant.

Mr Ellis is relieved survivors will now be able to “hold institutions to account”.

“We are now going to see a pathway to justice for survivors of abuse that they haven’t had in the past,” Mr Ellis told AAP.

“It’s been a long, long battle,” Mr Ellis said.

Removing the legal defence was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the changes to the law meant all survivors of child sex abuse had the same access to compensation through civil litigation — no matter the organisation responsible.

General Assembly needs to act this year for the sake of child victims of sexual abuse


January 6, 2019

An Associated Press review found that over “the past four months, Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. have released the names of more than 1,000 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children in an unprecedented public reckoning spurred at least in part by a shocking grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania.” Nearly 50 dioceses and religious orders “have publicly identified child-molesting priests in the wake of the Pennsylvania report issued in mid-August, and 55 more have announced plans to do the same over the next few months, the AP found.” That represents more than half of the nation’s 187 dioceses.

The grand jury report on child sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania has had a powerful impact across the United States.

It’s a bit ironic then — and very sad — that we continue to wait for our own General Assembly to act in a meaningful way on the grand jury’s recommendations.

The report was seismic, revealing that 301 “predator priests” in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses had abused more than 1,000 children over seven decades.

It triggered a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, and more than 1,450 calls to the state clergy abuse hotline.

And beyond Pennsylvania, as the AP found, “nearly 20 local, state or federal investigations, either criminal or civil, have been launched since the release of the grand jury findings. Those investigations could lead to more names and more damning accusations, as well as fines against dioceses and court-ordered safety measures.”

January 5, 2019

Vatican investigating third accusation of abuse against ex-Cardinal McCarrick


January 5, 2019

By Christopher White

Six months after the scandal surrounding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick first came to light - wherein accusations of sexual abuse from a former altar boy prompted subsequent revelations of abuse and misconduct - Crux has learned that the Vatican is now investigating a total of three cases of abuse against the former archbishop of Washington, one of which has yet to be publicly reported.

In June 2018, the Archdiocese of New York announced that a review board had substantiated claims of abuse against McCarrick by a former altar boy at Saint Patrick’s who reported two incidents of abuse dating back to 1971 and 1972.

In response, the Vatican suspended McCarrick from public ministry pending an investigation by the Holy See.

The following month, the New York Times first reported the case of James Grein, the child of close family friends of McCarrick, who alleged the then-priest commenced years of abuse against him beginning in the 1970s when he was 11 years old.

Since then, multiple accusations of abuse and misconduct against adult seminarians have been reported, and on July 28, Pope Francis took the highly unusual step of accepting McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals.

Pederastia patriarcal, patriarcado homófobo

[Analysis: Patriarchal pederasty, homophobic patriarchy]

El País

January 5, 2019

By Juan José Tomayo

El silencio episcopal ante las agresiones sexuales de sacerdotes durante 40 años contrasta con su locuacidad contra el colectivo LGTBI

A pesar de los numerosos casos de sacerdotes y religiosos pederastas que aparecen a diario en los medios de comunicación y de las reiteradas denuncias de las víctimas por la inacción de los obispos españoles ante tamaño y extendido crimen, estos siguen minusvalorando la gravedad del problema. El último en restarle importancia ha sido el nuevo obispo de Ávila, ex secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal Española y miembro del Opus Dei, José María Gil Tamayo, con motivo del ocultamiento durante 63 años, por parte del Vaticano, de las agresiones sexuales de Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo.

La Iglesia mexicana encara la cumbre del Papa sobre pederastia alejada de las víctimas de Maciel

[Mexican Church faces the Pope's summit on pedophilia while fending off victims of Maciel]

El País

January 4, 2019

By Georgina Zeregaj and Martín Cullell

La Legión de Cristo enfrenta una denuncia por daños morales de algunos afectados mientras negocia la reparación con otros

José Barba, exlegionario de Cristo y víctima de Marcial Maciel, depredador sexual y fundador de la orden, pasó varios años sin ir a comulgar. Unos meses atrás, en pleno torbellino por los abusos en la Iglesia chilena, volvió a asistir a una misa en Ciudad de México y salió indignado: "El sacerdote no pronunció ni una palabra sobre los casos de pederastia". Hace quince días regresó a esa misma iglesia y esta vez el sacerdote sí mencionó algo sobre el tema: "Dijo que solo era un granito negro dentro del arroz", recuerda.

Laicos piden modernización de la iglesia y esperan audiencia con el Papa [VIDEO]

[Laity ask for modernization of the church and await audience with Pope - VIDEO]

Emol TV

January 4, 2019

Trinidad Castro, presidenta y fundadora del movimiento "Todos Somos Iglesia" entregó su mirada de la crisis de la institución y las acciones tomadas para generar cambios desde el mundo laical.

Papa excluye del sacerdocio a presbítero que abusó de menor en 1985

[Pope expels a priest who abused a minor in 1985]


January 4, 2019

By Emilio Lara

La tarde de este viernes, la Diócesis de Talca anunció que el Papa excluyó del estado clerical y de las obligaciones propias del sacerdocio al presbítero Luis Felipe Egaña Baraona. El exreligioso supo el 2 de enero que Francisco había aceptado su solicitud de dejar el ministerio, petición que realizó a través de una carta.

Insunza y Ortega, especialistas en Legionarios: “En Chile actuaron con O’Reilly tal como lo hicieron con Maciel”

[Insunza and Ortega, specialists in Legionaries: "In Chile they acted with O'Reilly as they did with Maciel"]

La Tercera

January 4, 2019

By Sebastián Minay

"Maciel fue sancionado porque Ratzinger tuvo la voluntad que Wojtyla no", subrayan los periodistas y autores de "Legionarios de Cristo en Chile. Dios, dinero y poder" (2008) luego que El Vaticano reconociera tardíamente que tenía papeles sobre la historia pederasta del fundador de la Legión desde los '40. "Para Juan Pablo II, además, los abusos sexuales eran antes un pecado que un delito", explican. Y apuntan que el recientemente expulsado irlandés de nacimiento aún es visto como inocente por algunos, pese a su condena por abusos sexuales.

Hace 21 días, el 14 de diciembre, John O’Reilly debió salir del país, expulsado tras cumplir una pena por abus0 sexual contra una alumna del Colegio Cumbres. La escena final de la caída de una de las piezas principales de Los Legionarios de Cristo -que en la cúspide su era de gloria gozaba de fuertes redes entre empresarios y políticos- fue sucedida a los pocos días de otra, vinculada a numerosos escándalos de pederastía protagonizados por el fundador de la orden, Marcial Maciel Degollado: El Vaticano reconocía recién que existían documentos sobre ello desde la década de 1940, que se habían ocultado.

More sex abuse victims could be eligible for Catholic reconciliation cash

Daily News

January 6, 2019

By Michael Gartland

Two Catholic dioceses in New York are considering expanding the criteria that allow victims of clergy sexual abuse to seek compensation from the church.

Under the proposed changes, the Archdiocese of New York and the Rockville Centre Diocese would allow for molestation at the hands of clergy not ordained in those dioceses to be covered under their Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs.

As it now stands, only clergy ordained within each respective diocese can be held liable for accusations.

“There is some serious movement toward including the religious order priests,” a source familiar with the discussions said.

Vatican: Argentine bishop at Holy See under investigation for sexual abuse claims

Buenos Aires Times

January 5, 2019

Officials from the Vatican confirmed yesterday that an Argentine bishop who resigned suddenly in 2017 and then landed a top administrative job at the Holy See, is under preliminary investigation after priests at his former diocese in Salta province accused him of sexual abuse and other misconduct charges, including abuse of power.

The case could become yet another problem for Pope Francis, who is already battling to gain trust from the Catholic flock over his handling of sex abuse and sexual misconduct.

In a statement to The Associated Press news agency yesterday, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti stressed that the allegations against Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta had only emerged in recent months, nearly a year after Francis created the new position for him as “assessor” of the Holy See’s office of financial administration.

Local outlets this week pointed to a bombshell report by the El Tribuno de Salta newspaper, which raised serious questions about the bishop’s conduct.

At the time of his resignation, Zanchetta had only asked Francis to let him leave the northern Argentine diocese of Orán because he had difficult relations with its priests and was “unable to govern the clergy,” Gisotti said

Lawmaker aims to extend time limit on child sex abuse suits

Associated Press

January 2, 2019

By Jennifer McDermott

A state lawmaker will try to extend the time limit for filing child sex abuse lawsuits in Rhode Island, with support from the House speaker.

Democratic Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee said Wednesday that she'll introduce a bill next week to extend the limit for filing civil suits to 35 years, from seven years.

"It gives people time to come to grips with what happened to them and muster the strength to file a lawsuit," she said. "Seven years is not long enough."

Democrat Nicholas Mattiello announced Tuesday after he was re-elected House speaker that he'll work with McEntee on her proposal.

"I hope and expect that we will pass legislation this year that will benefit the victims of sexual assault," Mattiello said in a statement Wednesday. "I have had discussions with Rep. McEntee in the off-session and we have agreed to work together to achieve a resolution to this important issue."

Mattiello said he'll look closely at the approach used in Massachusetts, which has a 35-year limit for civil actions.

McEntee proposed eliminating the statute of limitations altogether last year for child sex abuse civil suits. Her sister, in testifying for that bill, said she was abused by a priest as a child.

The Catholic Diocese of Providence said then that any change should apply only to cases taking place after the new law is passed, and not retroactively. McEntee said she won't agree to that.

16 accused found guilty in Cuddalore rape case

Express News Service

January 5, 2019

By Nirupa Sampath

Delivering its verdict in the sensational 2014 rape case involving two minor girls from Cuddalore and several prostitution gangs from across the State, the District Mahila Court on Friday found 16 people guilty under various charges including abduction, sexual assault and rape. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Monday.

According to Special Public Prosecutor K Selvapriya, one of the victims, then aged 13, was studying in a government school at Tittakudi. She used to visit an idly shop nearby and developed friendship with the woman who owned the shop. In 2014 during Pongal, the minor girl casually visited the woman’s house where she saw the woman having sex with an unknown man. Shocked over this, the girl tried to immediately leave the place but was caught by the woman. The woman then manipulated the girl into having sex with the unknown man.

Subsequently, the woman forced the girl to have sex with her husband and three other men. When the girl started protesting, the woman asked her to bring another girl if she was to be let off. Agreeing to this, the victim brought a minor girl, then aged 14, from her neighbourhood, to the woman’s house, only to be raped and sexually assaulted by the men of Tittakudi gang.

In the following months, the girls were trafficked to various places in the State such as Salem, Panruti, Vadalur, Virudachalam and Ulundurpet, and were abused by several men.

The police investigation had also revealed that the girls were forced to watch pornography and raped by a church priest when they were under the custody of the Tittakudi gang.

Sentencing date set for ex-priest convicted of sexually abusing altar boy in Maine

Kennebec Journal

January 5, 2019

By Liz Gotthelf

A former Massachusetts priest found guilty of sexually abusing a young altar boy on trips to Maine in the late 1980s has been scheduled to be sentenced on March 5.

Ronald Paquin, 76, was convicted in York County Superior Court on 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct on Nov. 28.

Keith Townsend, 44, of Seabrook, New Hampshire, the victim in the incidents related to the charges, has spoken publicly about the abuse. Townsend testified in court in November that Paquin befriended him by giving him alcohol and letting him drive his car without a license.

Townsend said the first incident of sexual abuse occurred when he was 8 or 9 years old, and he was repeatedly sexually abused by Paquin during trips with the then priest to a Kennebunkport campground where Paquin had a trailer.

Gooditis to introduce four bills to combat child abuse

The Winchester Star

January 5, 2019

By Josh Janney

Del. Wendy Gooditis, D-Clarke County, said she will introduce legislation to combat child sexual abuse when the 2019 General Assembly legislative session begins Wednesday.

During a press conference in Leesburg on Friday, Gooditis said she will introduce four bills that would:

• expand the definition of sexual abuse,

• require the clergy to report suspected abuse,

• retain records of complaints about child sexual abuse for a longer period of time,

• enforce a harsher penalty for those who commit domestic violence in the presence of a minor.

Gooditis said her brother, at the age of 11, was raped multiple times by the leader of a children’s activity. Her brother later attempted suicide multiple times, and suffered from PTSD and alcoholism. He was found dead in March 2017, shortly after she announced her candidacy for the House of Delegates. Gooditis hopes to protect other children from a similar fate.

How one sexual-abuse survivor found healing by helping offenders

The Globe and Mail

January 4, 2019

By Zosia Bielski

Marianne Zettel’s devout Catholic mother told her she could trust a priest if she was in trouble.

Ms. Zettel was in trouble. Starting at the age of 9, she’d been sexually abused by a member of her extended family. Feeling overwhelming shame about the abusive encounters, the girl turned to the church, joining altar service.

“I wanted to redeem myself with God," said Ms. Zettel, now 56. "I was so mixed up, guilt ridden and worried what God thought of me.”

During that time frame, two priests molested her, Ms. Zettel said. The abuse continued until she was 13 and left her with a painful question: Why would three adults do this to her?

Today, Ms. Zettel has found answers through an unlikely avenue: helping men who sexually offend. Ms. Zettel volunteers with Community Justice Initiatives (CJI), a Kitchener, Ont.-based organization that facilitates dialogue between victims and offenders – part of a delicate process known as restorative justice.

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Set To Launch Compensation Fund


January 4, 2019

By Andy Sheehan

Before the end the month, the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be launching a website for its compensation fund, allowing victims with credible allegations of clergy sex abuse to submit claims and get quick approval of settlements.

“The bishop and the church are eager, as part of this healing process, for survivors of abuse to be of support for them in so many ways, especially through this compensation program,” said Fr. Nicholas Vaskov, executive director of communications for the diocese.

The fund will be in the several millions of dollars, but the question has been, who will pay?

In announcing the program last month, Bishop David Zubik said it will not come from the collection basket.

“No funds for this program will come from our campaign for The church Alive, nor from Catholic Charities, nor from parishes, schools or any other funds designated for specific use,” Bishop Zubik said.

Sisters of Mercy settle with 6 Guam clergy sex abuse plaintiffs

Pacific Daily News

January 5, 2019

By Haidee V Eugenio

Religious order Sisters of Mercy settled with six Guam clergy sex abuse plaintiffs, who filed separate notices of voluntary dismissal of claims in federal court on Friday.

Attorney Delia S. Lujan Wolff, counsel for the plaintiffs, said the filing of notices was a result of a settlement between the six plaintiffs and defendants Sisters of Mercy.

More: Concerned Catholics hopes Apuron sentence will be upheld

More: Religious order Carmelites added as defendant in Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits

More: Louis Brouillard dies at 97

More: A few settlements in nearly 200 clergy sex abuse cases

Wolff would not say the type of settlement reached, including whether it's monetary or not.

January 4, 2019

Cardinal Kasper is far from controversies for a change, and happily so

Religion News Service

January 5, 2019

By David Gibson

Walter Kasper practically bounds down Borgo Pio as he heads to lunch at a favorite trattoria a few blocks from the Vatican, a broad smile on his face. The 85-year-old German churchman appears to be irrepressibly happy, even when he is dodging clueless tourists and annoying motorbikes. (At one point he does have a few words of reproval for the guy on a motorino who suddenly pulls in front of him, parks and walks away — this is, after all, Rome.)

Such cheeriness is not necessarily what one expects from Kasper, who for the past few years has been blasted by church conservatives for his close association with Pope Francis and the pontiff's more inclusive, pastoral and compassionate approach to Catholics and, indeed, to the world.

Kasper is certainly used to the jostle of Vatican debates. He is one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the past generation — a rival for the title might be his more famous countryman, erstwhile sparring partner and colleague in the Roman Curia, Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

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But Kasper has endured a different kind of criticism since becoming so closely identified with Francis, Benedict's successor.

Sioux City Diocese Addresses Allegations Made At SNAP Rally

KCIM Radio

January 4, 2019

The president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Tim Lennon, led a meeting in Sioux City last weekend that urged victims to come forward to report abuse. He also called for the resignation of now Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Lennon said while DiNardo was Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese, he covered up sexual abuse allegations there and in Houston.

Lennon came forward over 30 years after being raped by Peter Murphy in 1960. He claims he received only a vague letter of apology. The Sioux City Diocese has since distributed a press release, saying there is much more to the story than Mr. Lennon detailed.

They expressed deep regret over what he had to go through at the hands of Murphy, but also point out that a settlement was reached with Lennon in August of 2016. In addition, Lennon penned two letters to the Diocese, in the first saying, “[I am] pleased to receive your offer of support and compensation. I accept with thanks to you and the review board. […] I also appreciate your apology. Your expression and apology are meaningful and important to me.”

In the second, he again wrote of his gratitude for the monetary award and what it could do to further his healing as well as the apology, even though he was also feeling sadness at reliving his suffering. Bishop R. Walker Nickless responded to Lennon, saying even though the settlement cannot undo the harm, they pray he will find a sense of resolution, restitution and justice.

Preparing for the global Catholic sex-abuse summit: What would 'Uncle Ted' McCarrick do?


Janury 4, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

Has anyone heard from Archbishop Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick lately?

Actually, the fallen cardinal has been in the news in recent days. But some may ask if this new news about the old McCarrick news breaks new ground. The bottom line: With the world’s Catholic bishops poised for a headline-grabbing February summit focusing on the sexual abuse of children, does it matter what is happening with McCarrick?

I would argue that McCarrick still matters, in part because of the ties that bind him to key Catholic leaders steering efforts to solve the abuse puzzle. That’s a key theme in this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in). Another question: Did the silence that surrounds the McCarrick scandal (Hello Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano) play any role in the sudden exit of Vatican press maestro Greg Burke? Hold that thought.

Let’s start with the Associated Press report from those relatively dead news days last week: “Lawyer: McCarrick repeatedly touched youth during confession.” Did anyone see that headline in their local newspapers a few days after Christmas? Here are key parts of the overture:

The Vatican’s sexual abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has expanded significantly after a man testified that the retired American archbishop sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, including during confession.

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

Grein initially came forward in July after the New York archdiocese announced that a church investigation determined an allegation that McCarrick had groped another teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible. Grein’s claims, first reported by The New York Times, are more serious.

A crucial new claim is that some of the abuse took place during the sacrament of confession. What, pray tell, does Catholic canon law say about that?

Let’s keep reading, before we return to material addressed in this week’s podcast.

Archdiocese of Hartford announces ‘Masses of reparation’ for priest sex abuse

Hartford Courant

January 4, 2019

By Jenna Carlesso

As the Archdiocese of Hartford prepares to release the names of clergy members accused of sexual abuse, Archbishop Leonard Blair has arranged a series of Masses dedicated to the hot-button subject.

Three “Masses of reparation” have been scheduled for the coming months, with the first set for Jan. 27 at St. Bartholomew Church in Manchester. In the Catholic tradition, an act of reparation is a prayer for pardon and forgiveness, not only for one’s own misdeeds, but for others’ offenses as well.

The mass at St. Bartholomew will begin at 2 p.m. A second service is scheduled for 11 a.m. at St. George Church in Guilford on Feb. 16, and a third for 7 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Harwinton on March 26.

“It is certainly true that offering a Mass is not of itself sufficient to address the grievous suffering and betrayal experienced by victims,” Blair said in a statement Friday. “Our archdiocese is committed to doing everything humanly possible to heal their wounds. That includes efforts like public acknowledgement and apology, counseling and support groups, and a renewed invitation on my part to meet personally with the victims.”

Pope Francis’ Argentinean Protegé Accused of Sex Abuse

The Daily Beast

January 4, 2019

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

When 53-year-old Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta abruptly left his post as bishop of Orán in Argentina in July 2017, he cited “health reasons” and a need for “treatment.” Many were concerned that he might have a terminal disease, according to local press reports at the time. After all, the popular bishop didn’t even seem well enough to hold a farewell mass.

Zanchetta tendered his resignation to Pope Francis, who often sits on such matters for months. Instead, the pope granted it within three days, according to the Associated Press, which broke the story, and soon Zanchetta was on his way to Rome, first spending time at an undisclosed location in Spain.

Now safely in Vatican City where he enjoys diplomatic immunity, the bishop stands credibly accused of sexually harassing young seminarians in the home country he shares with Francis.

Not long after resigning, Zanchetta showed up on Pope Francis’ doorstep in Rome, apparently miraculously cured. Francis, who had made his fellow countryman a bishop right after becoming pope in 2013, naturally helped him out. Francis, back when he was Cardinal Jose Bergoglio and archbishop of Argentina, apparently knew Zanchetta well. He gave the younger man a high-ranking position in the Argentinean Bishops Conference when he was president of the organization. It made sense that he would find a place for a fellow Argentine in the Curia in Rome.

The woes of Pope Francis

The Economist

January 4, 2019

ON DECEMBER 31ST Pope Francis’s spokesman, Greg Burke, announced that he and his deputy, Paloma García Ovejero, had both resigned. It was the latest in a string of upheavals and mishaps in the Vatican’s PR operations at a time when Francis’s increasingly embattled papacy needs to get its messages across in an effective manner. Next month bishops from around the world are to assemble in Rome for a crucial summit on the clerical sex-abuse crisis which is tearing at the Catholic church and alienating many believers.

As Lady Bracknell would doubtless comment, to lose one spokesperson may be regarded as a misfortune, but to lose both looks like carelessness. By slipping out the news on the last day of the year, Mr Burke and Ms García Ovejero tried to minimise the effect of their resignations, but their departures were nevertheless embarrassing for Francis. He was already under fire from three directions. Many Catholics question whether their leader understands the degree of public outrage over clerical sex abuse, and particularly over the efforts of some high-ranking prelates to protect predatory priests. Traditionalists abhor his doctrinal flexibility. And there is hostility in parts of the Vatican to the pope’s plans for a shake-up of the central administration of the Catholic church, which could involve moving some operations away from Rome. In part, the opposition is down to bureaucratic inertia and the safeguarding by Vatican bigwigs of their powers and privileges. But some officials appear to have legitimate grouses over a lack of consultation and information.

Argentine bishop at Holy See financial office investigated for sex abuse

Catholic News Agency

January 4, 2019

Bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, an Argentine native appointed to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See in 2017, was accused last autumn of sexual abuse, the Holy See announced Friday.

Bishop Zanchetta had resigned as Bishop of Orán Aug. 1, 2017, slightly more than four years after his appointment there.

Alessandro Gisotti, interim Holy See press officer, said Jan. 4 that “at the time of his resignation there had been against [Bishop Zanchetta] accusations of authoritarianism, but there had been against him no accusation of sexual abuse … the accusations of sexual abuse date to this autumn.”

Bishop Zanchetta, 54, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Quilmes in 1991. He remained there until his 2013 appointment by Pope Francis as Bishop of Orán.

Gisotti noted that the bishop was not removed from Orán, but that he himself chose to resign, saying the decision was “linked to his difficulty in managing relations with the diocesan clergy and in very tense relations with the priests of the diocese,” and that he had “an incapacity to govern the clergy.”

Reform Begins with Repentance


January 4, 2019

By John Gehring

Confronting the most profound crisis the Catholic Church has faced in centuries, U.S. bishops are meeting for a week-long spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago to grapple with how clergy sexual abuse and a culture of cover-up have damaged their moral credibility. Pope Francis came up with the idea, urging bishops to go on retreat when he met with a delegation from the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican in September. In a sign of how important the pope considers this unusual gathering, he sent Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, to direct it.

I’m not completely unsympathetic to those who argue we could use less prayer and more action from church leaders. Lay Catholics have every right to be angry and impatient with the episcopal malpractice, the sins, and the crimes committed by those who are supposed to be shepherds. I’ve also grown weary of the incompetence, the ugly scapegoating of gay priests, and the tone-deafness of bishops who seem to cast blame on everyone but themselves for the wreckage at their feet. But any authentic reform and renewal, whether personal or institutional, has to start with discernment, repentance, and conversion of heart. Dismantling a clerical culture that leads to abuse of power can’t simply be a technocratic endeavor, a managerial shuffling of the deck. In a lengthy letter he sent to the bishops on retreat, Pope Francis describes a “crisis of credibility,” calls for a “new ecclesial season,” and underscores core themes that have characterized his papacy since the beginning.

Charges unclear in sexual assault accusation for Valley County priest

Associated Press

January 4, 2019

A central Nebraska prosecutor says she intends to charge a Roman Catholic priest who's been accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Valley County Attorney Kayla Clark said Friday that she didn't yet know which charges the Rev. John Kakkuzhiyil (kah-kuh-ree-AL') will face because she hasn't reviewed all the investigation reports. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in custody. It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

The woman who accused him has obtained a protection order against the 63-year-old cleric. She says he assaulted her in November. She says she went to his Ord home on business and blacked out after having a couple drinks with him.

The Grand Island Diocese says Kakkuzhiyil has been serving as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ord and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Burwell. The diocese says Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt placed Kakkuzhiyil on leave Dec. 15 upon learning that the Nebraska State Patrol was investigating the allegations.


Daily Caller

January 4, 2019

By Joshua Gill

A German cardinal lambasted the furor over the Catholic Church’s global sex abuse crisis as hypocritical, saying society perpetuates the same crimes outside the church.

Cardinal Walter Brandmueller’s comments, published Friday, come in the wake of a church-commissioned report that revealed German clergy abused no less than 3,677 people from 1964 to 2014. The report prompted an apology from one of Germany’s leading bishops, but Brandmueller was quoted Friday as telling reporters that “society is behaving pretty hypocritically” in response to the sex abuse crisis.

“What happened in the church in terms of abuse is nothing different from what happens in society in general,” Brandmueller said, according to The Associated Press.

Brandmueller also stated that society overlooks what he believes to be the true cause of the abuse crisis: homosexuality among the clergy.

Cruz y el intenso chequeo para elegir al sucesor de Ezzati: “El Papa no se va a equivocar en nombrar a alguien en Santiago”

[Cruz and the intense vetting to choose Ezzati's successor: "The Pope is not going to make a mistake in naming someone in Santiago"]

El Mostrador

January 2, 2019

El periodista, y una de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, explicó la tardanza en el relevo de Ezzati al mando del arzobispado de Santiago, argumentando que el Vaticano está chequeando a fondo los antecedentes de los posibles reemplazantes, por lo que el cardenal “va a salir luego, pero no tan luego como quisiéramos”. Además, destacó que junto al “imputado” Ezzati, otros obispos tiene sus días contados en la jerarquía de la Iglesia católica chilena y “que no sorprenda que algunos terminen en la cárcel”.

Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, se refirió al futuro arzobispo de Santiago señalando que el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati “va a salir luego, pero no tan luego como quisiéramos”.

Buffalo diocese nears sale of bishop’s mansion to raise money for abuse victims


January 4, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo says the sale of the bishop's mansion is moving forward as part of efforts to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The money will go to the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Fund, which Bishop Richard Malone set up in March to benefit victims of past sexual abuse by priests.

The diocese expects to pay at least $11 million.

Malone's former mansion is under contract to be sold, but the diocese would not disclose any information on the buyer or sale price. A source told the Buffalo News the buyer is local.

AP tells how nuns in India go after predator bishop as sex abuse crisis reaches Asia

Get Religion
January 4, 2019

By Julia Duin

With all the sex abuse scandals among Catholic hierarchy that have been in the news since June, there’s been a quiet wondering as to how bad the situation really is outside the West. Have Catholics in Asia and Africa been spared these horrors?

Now there is a story out this week from the Associated Press about nuns in India, it appears the problem has been bad over there as well — but with a twist. In this story, the victims are nuns.

My first trip to India in 1994 landed me in Kerala, where much of the AP story was based and where the first Catholic diocese was established in 1329. About one-fifth of the population in this southern state is Catholic and churches are visible everywhere.

The major city in Kerala is Cochi and the story opens in a small town just southeast of there.

KURAVILANGAD, India (AP) — The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. They spill out in church meeting halls bathed in fluorescent lights, and over cups of cheap instant coffee in convent kitchens. Always, the stories come haltingly, quietly. Sometimes, the nuns speak at little more than a whisper.

Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ.

“He was drunk,” said one nun, beginning her story. “You don’t know how to say no,” said another.

At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them.

Depressingly, the story begins to sound like ones we’ve already heard.

"Se drogaba, robaba y abusaba de sus propios hijos": las denuncias contra el fundador de Los Legionarios de Cristo que hace más de 70 años conocía el Vaticano

["He drugged, robbed, and abused his own children:" accusations against the founder of The Legionaries of Christ were known by the Vatican more than 70 years ago]


January 2, 2019

By Irene Ayuso

Por primera vez el Vaticano reconoce que sabía los abusos cometidos por Marcial Maciel pero no hizo nada

El prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada, João Braz, reconoció en una entrevista realizada por la revista católica Vida Nueva, que el Vaticano estaba en conocimiento desde 1943 de los archivos sobre abusos sexuales cometidos por Marcial Maciel, líder de los Legionarios de Cristo. El hombre expresó que quienes encubrieron la pederastia era “una mafia, ellos no eran Iglesia”. También señaló que “tengo la impresión de que las denuncias de abusos crecerán, porque solo estamos en el inicio. Llevamos 70 años encubriendo, y esto ha sido un tremendo error”.

Vatican press office shuffle could mean the age of a ‘papal spokesman’ is over