References cont. (63) — Clergy Child Molesters

• Suits alleging clergy abuse flood courts.  United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   CALIFORNIA: What began earlier in 2003 as a slow and steady trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against Roman Catholic priests across California came to an end yesterday with a flood of lawsuits. When the filing deadline passed yesterday, it marked the end of a difficult year for the church, accused in a numbing litany of suits of harboring pedophiles and ignoring problem priests.
   As trying as last year had been, the new year may prove more challenging as dioceses prepare to defend themselves or reach settlements with hundreds of plaintiffs, lawyers said.
   A count of lawsuits filed against dioceses in the state is not yet known. Plaintiffs had until 5 p.m. yesterday to file suits, and it will take several days to tally the paperwork.
   -- Union-Tribune, (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/thu/news/news_1n1church.html) By Greg Moran, Staff Writer, January 1, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw, kashaw@peoplepc.com , at 04:03 PM) (This is the first of the Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker edition for Thursday, January 1, 2004.)
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FOR GOOD TEACHINGS TO BE HEEDED, A BIG CLEAN-UP IS NEEDED
References series starts: www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethicscontents.htm
Most newsitems are from http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46
and after January 1, 2004, from http://www.ncrnews.org/abuse
   INCOMPLETE LINKS: Refer back to "References 61" for methods of obtaining the URLs.
• Beware of pedophile: police. CANADA: Local News - Greater Sudbury Police are warning the public that a convicted pedophile who has the potential to re-offend has been released and is living in the city. Donald Holmes is currently living in a home located on Highway 69 North in Val Caron. A former parish priest, he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault and 14 counts of indecent assault involving young female victims. In August 2002, Holmes was sentenced to two years less a day in prison after he was found guilty on charges of indecent assault by a Sudbury jury earlier that May. Those offences involved 12 young girls in the 1970s and 1980s at Sturgeon Falls and Sudbury parishes. The incidents involved inappropriate touching, fondling, groping, kissing and hugging. Holmes denied any wrongdoing. -- The Sudbury Star, www.thesudburystar.com , By Laura Stradiotto.
• Sale may open last chapter for 1920s mansion. MILTON (MA): From her window, Leslie Anderson occasionally would see a priest wandering the grounds of Our Lady's Hall with a golf club in hand. "It would always be the same one, putting around," she said. In the 20 years she has lived in Milton next to the elegant estate on Highland Street, Anderson said, she seldom saw its other residents, many of them priests who suffered from alcoholism and some who had been removed from their parishes following accusations of sexual abuse. "If the place was loaded with priests who were child abusers, we never had a clue," she said. "I don't know what went on there." Other Highland Street residents said they have paid little attention to the goings-on at the mansion, built in the late 1920s by Philip L. Spalding, president of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Even the 1997 revelation that the house was used by the Archdiocese of Boston as a transitional home for priests accused of sexual misconduct did not generate shock waves in the affluent neighborhood. -- Boston Globe, "Sale may open last chapter for 1920s mansion," www.boston.com , By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff, Jan 1, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:25 AM)
• Sexual misdeed catches up with local priest. INDIANA: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary relieved a priest of his duties Dec. 20 after information surfaced about the priest's sexual misconduct with a minor. Monsignor Don Grass, who served as pastor of at St. Mary Parish in Crown Point since 1983, admitted the allegations made by the victim were true. The Gary police will launch a criminal investigation into the matter, because the sexual misconduct Grass admitted committing occurred more than 30 years ago, while Grass was an associate pastor at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary in the late 1960s. Grass, 67, told diocesan officials there were no other victims. Grass made the admission to the Diocesan Response Team as he was recovering, in a hospital, from cancer treatment. -- Post-Tribune, www.post-trib.com , Jan. 1, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:22 AM)
• Alleged victim sues diocese [Vincent Dwyer affair]. MONTEREY (CA): A Monterey woman who previously settled out-of-court with a priest who allegedly molested her more than 30 years ago has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Monterey. Sarah Wilgress was a high school sophomore at Santa Catalina School when she met Vincent Dwyer, then a 40-year-old Trappist monk from Massachusetts who was leading a spiritual retreat. Wilgress, now 50, has since confronted Dwyer and reached an out-of-court settlement with his abbey for $75,000 in 1995. But the pair's 12-year on-again, off-again affair could have and should have been prevented by the protection of the diocese, according to a suit filed Dec. 19 in Monterey County Superior Court. Wilgress on Wednesday deferred comment to her San Diego attorneys, who were unavailable. -- Monterey Herald, "Alleged victim sues diocese," www.montereyherald.com , By VICTORIA MANLEY, vmanley@montereyherald.com
• American priest has child-sex problem during Irish visit. NORTHERN IRELAND: An American priest has appeared at Newry Magistrates Court to face two counts of alleged sexual abuse. Patrick Francis Magee, (63), of Main Avenue in the Bay Head of New Jersey, spoke only once during a brief court appearance to confirm his name. Father Magee is charged with committing an act of gross indecency on or towards a child on a date unknown between January 1, 1965 and December 31, 1969, in the Armagh and South Down area. The American was also charged with indecently assaulting a child in the same area on a date unknown between January 1, 1965 and December 31, 1969. A police officer from Banbridge PSNI's CARE Unit told the court yesterday that when charged with both counts, the priest made no reply. He was released on his own bail of £600, ordered to surrender his passport and to report to Newry police station twice a week. -- Belfast Telegraph, American priest facing child sex charges, (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=477311) By Ashleigh Wallace, awallace@belfasttelegraph.co.uk , January 01 2004.
• Former Diocesan priest accused of abusive practices. CHEYENNE (WO): Bishop David Ricken, Bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne, stated he was saddened to recently learn that approximately 20 years ago a former priest of this Diocese engaged in unacceptable and abusive "penitential practices." The priest, Father Anthony Jablonowski, has been a priest of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio for the past several years. He has not been associated with the Diocese of Cheyenne since 1991. Bishop Ricken states that he was recently advised by the Diocese of Steubenville that Anthony Jablonowski may no longer function publicly as a priest, as a result of the recent disclosures of sexually abusive practices. Jablonowski has been in Steubenville, Ohio since 1997 pursuing the establishment of a religious community of men called the Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. The community consisted of four members who resided in a monastery near Steubenville, Ohio. He will, also, no longer be associated with this community. He served as pastor of St. Anthony's in Guernsey from 1980 to 1983 and Holy Rosary in Lander from 1988 to 1991. He was also involved in mission parishes in Glendo and Lusk. -- R.C. Diocese of Cheyene, (http://www.dioceseofcheyenne.org/FormerDiocesanpriest.htm) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:13 AM)
• Report: Sexual abuse removes 9 priests. LAFAYETTE (IN): A report released Wednesday by the Lafayette Catholic Diocese details that 18 priests have been accused of sexually abusing 26 minors since 1950. Accusations were deemed credible against nine of the diocesan priests, who were removed from ministry, the diocese reported. No criminal charges were ever filed, according to the report, which focused solely on cases prior to 1986. "I cannot begin to explain the ache in my heart for those who have been abused," Bishop William L. Higi said in a written statement posted Wednesday on the diocese's Web site. "I hold them up to the Lord in my daily prayers, begging God to bring them to healing. I pray also for those who have perpetrated these horrific acts, that they will recognize what they have done and accept the penance demanded of them. "I pray, too, for the priests who have suffered through false accusations, as well as those who are tortured by the shame thrust upon priesthood and the church by those who have perpetrated sexual abuse." The report, which was prepared by diocesan officials and will be published in the Jan. 4 Catholic Moment, was timed to the Jan. 6 release of a national audit of sexual abuse in Roman Catholic dioceses by the Gavin Group of Winthrop, Mass. Two more national reports are scheduled to be released Feb. 27. -- Journal and Courier, Report: Sexual abuse took place in diocese, www.lafayettejc.com , By Bob Scott. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:06 AM)
• Locals say report does enough; expert says more frankness needed. LAFAYETTE (IN): Those dealing with claims of sexual abuse on minors by Roman Catholic priests say parishioners need to know more about how church officials deal with cases. But some parishioners have little or no desire to know many details. The split comes as Bishop William Higi released on Wednesday a new report highlighting claims on sexual abuse of minors by priests in the Diocese of Lafayette. Higi said he released the information so Catholics across the diocese will know what has happened in their churches. "I am sharing this information because national studies soon to be released are bound to receive media attention," Higi wrote in his weekly column in The Catholic Moment. "The figures reported will be in aggregate. You need to know the experience of this diocese." Few of the more than one dozen Catholics contacted for this story wanted to discuss the issue at all. But Joe Bumbleburg, a St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral parishioner, said he needs to know only generalities. And he feels comfortable with what he knows. "I guess what I need to know is not so much the experience of the diocese but that my grandchildren are safe in the Catholic schools, and I think they are," said Bumbleburg, who has one grandchild in the local Catholic schools. -- Journal and Courier, (http://www.lafayettejc.com/news20040101/200401018local_news1072933819.shtml) By Joe Thomas and Bob Scott. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:05 AM)
• Church of England sex vicars in new RC-style secret courts. BRITAIN: Bishops and vicars accused of sexual misconduct and bullying are to be tried by new courts held in secrecy by the Church of England. The disciplinary system for dealing with errant vicars will bring the Church's ministers in line with other professionals such as doctors and lawyers. A proposed code, guidelines for the professional conduct of the clergy, will also set out standards of behaviour for vicars when they come into contact with their congregations. Clergy found guilty of serious misconduct will be defrocked or suspended from office while those found guilty of less serious penalties face a rebuke or a conditional discharge. The new bishops' disciplinary tribunals will replace the 900-year-old system of consistory courts which hear misconduct complaints. Tribunals will be set up in each of the Church's 43 dioceses and meet in private. A spokesman for the Church of England said the bishops expected a greater number of disciplinary cases to be heard. But he added that the administration of justice would be "much quicker" and cases where there was an overriding public interest would be heard in public. -- Independent, Sex case vicars will be tried in new, secret courts, (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/story.jsp?story=477239) By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent, 01 January 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:21 AM)
• Man alleges he was molested at Vallejo church. FAIRFIELD (CA): On the final day for filing molestation lawsuits against employers for past actions of employees, a 57-year-old man identified in court records only as Jeffrey Doe sued unidentified staff at Saint Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Vallejo. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges the man was the victim of repeated sexual abuse starting at the age of 11 during a three-year period beginning in 1958 when he turned to the abuser, identified as Defendant Brother, for spiritual counseling. Defendant Brother allegedly molested the boy repeatedly in the church, during church-related trips and during overnight stays in motels between 1958 and 1960, according to the lawsuit. The abuse and exploitation was concealed by Defendant Brother, but "numerous members of the Dominican Order and the Dioceses employees observed excessive and inappropriate attention Defendant Brother paid to (the boy)," according to the lawsuit. -- Daily Republic, (http://www.dailyrepublic.com/articles/2004/01/01/news/news3.txt) By Jess Sullivan, Jan 1 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:17 AM)
• Nuns do deal with abuse victims. NEW ZEALAND: A Catholic order of nuns has done a deal with 17 people alleging abuse at its Christchurch orphanages. The men and women complained to the Sisters of Nazareth about their time at Nazareth House and St Joseph's Home between the 1930s and 1960s. The Catholic church has now apologised to the alleged victims and given away thousands of dollars in gifts. Helen, 64, was just five when her parents sent her to live at Nazareth House. "We thought we were going to be taken care of by loving nuns and they just turned out to be monsters," Helen told ONE News. "They belted us whenever they got the chance." -- Nzoom.com , (http://onenews.nzoom.com/onenews_detail/0,1227,245075-1-7,00.html) (Posted by Kathy Shaw, kashaw@peoplepc.com at 03:12 AM
!!!: Anglican Church hails judgement that Church child abusers were government employees! SOLANGE DE SANTIS, CANADA: The British Columbia Court of Appeal in mid-December ruled that the federal government is fully liable for abuse suffered by students at Indian residential schools - a decision that could have significant implications for the churches that helped manage the schools. The five-member court overturned a 1998 ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court that found the federal government 75 per cent liable and the United Church of Canada 25 per cent liable for sexual abuse committed by a dormitory supervisor at the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island.
   "It's an incredibly important decision. We don't know yet what this judgment fully means and of course we'll have to wait to see if the feds or any of the plaintiffs appeal, but it certainly seems significant," Keith Howard, a spokesman for the B.C. Conference of the United Church , told the Globe and Mail newspaper. The appeal court rejected an earlier judgment by Mr. Justice Donald Brenner that "the church … acted as the agent of Canada in providing supervision and management" of the school.
   The court referred to a 1966 decision of the Canada Labour Relations Board concerning a school operated by the Roman Catholic Oblate brothers in which the board ruled that school staff were federal employees, not church workers. Therefore, it said, "the government of Canada is admittedly liable for the wrongs done by (the dormitory supervisor at the Alberni school) … the church should not, in this case, have been held liable." -- Anglican Journal, Anglican church eyes B.C. schools judgment, (http://www.anglicanjournal.com/130/01/canada06.html) By a STAFF WRITER. (Posted by Kathy Shaw (mailto:kashaw@peoplepc.com) at 03:09 AM)
• 26 allege sex abuse in diocese. INDIANA: Twenty-six people have accused 18 priests serving in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana of sexual abuse since 1950, the diocese reported Wednesday. Allegations against 11 of the priests were found to be credible, the diocese acknowledged on Wednesday. None of the 11 priests involved in the allegations deemed credible is in active ministry, and three are deceased, the report said. It did not say when the priests left active ministry. The report did not identify the priests and did not cite the exact number of minors who were abused. Lafayette Bishop William L. Higi was not available for comment Wednesday but said in a statement posted on the diocese's Web site: "A single case of child sexual abuse would stain the Church. We know there have been multiple offenses." -- Indianapolis Star, (http://www.indystar.com/articles/8/107565-1278-009.html) By Abe Aamidor abe.aamidor@indystar.com , January 1, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw kashaw@peoplepc.com at 03:06 AM)
• Clergy-abuse lawsuits pile up. CALIFORNIA: Faced with a New Year's Eve deadline, hundreds of people who say they were molested by Roman Catholic priests in past decades have filed a flurry of lawsuits across Southern California. Dozens of cases name clerics who have served in San Bernardino, Riverside or San Diego counties. Since last week, Los Angeles attorney Anthony De Marco said his office filed more than 200 new lawsuits alleging clergy abuse, some naming multiple priests and victims. He estimated more than 40 complaints target the Diocese of San Bernardino, the Diocese of San Diego or both. "This was certainly a major rush," said De Marco, part of a group of lawyers overseeing 316 clergy-abuse lawsuits statewide. Attorneys were trying to beat Wednesday's deadline in a state law that had temporarily suspended the statute of limitations to allow molestation victims to sue their abusers' employers. The avalanche of lawsuits did not surprise leaders of the million-member Diocese of San Bernardino, said the Rev. Howard Lincoln, the diocese's spokesman. -- The Press-Enterprise, (http://www.pe.com/localnews/sanbernardino/stories/PE_News_Local_priest01.a11bc.html) By MICHAEL FISHER. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:04 AM)
• Priest, suspended twice, opposes accusers [1970s & 80s]. MIAMI (FL): For half his 34 years in the priesthood, the Rev. Alvaro Guichard has been dogged by suspicions that he is a child molester. Guichard has fought hard to stay behind the pulpit at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Miami Beach, despite persistent allegations that he abused teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s -- and decisions by the Archdiocese of Miami to suspend him twice. For much of his career, Guichard was successful, but his latest suspension has kept him from active ministry since Dec. 8. Now the 63-year old priest is going on the offensive, breaking with the Miami archdiocese and his fellow clergy. "I am speaking out for all the other priests," he said. "We need a charter to protect the priests under false allegations. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty." -- Sun-Sentinel, Priest speaks out against accusers, (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pdpriest01jan01,0,7677344,print.story?coll=sfla-news-palm) By Noaki Schwartz, Miami Bureau, January 1, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:00 AM)
• California with 800 complainants may rival Boston as special law spurred flood of sex abuse suits. CALIFORNIA: California's yearlong experiment designed to provide justice to victims of childhood sexual abuse drew to a close Wednesday, with hundreds of lawsuits having been filed against churches, charities and youth organizations across the state. As many as 800 claims - filed over the last year by adults who said they had been molested decades ago as children - name Roman Catholic dioceses in California as defendants. An estimated 500 are aimed at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, shifting the focus of the church sex scandal in the United States from its origins in Boston to the West Coast. "If Boston was the beginning and the cornerstone of the scandal, California is going to be the capstone of the crisis," said Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and national expert on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church who acts as a consultant to plaintiffs' attorneys. Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said that, although many of the claims are true, most allegations are so old that proving or disproving them is difficult.
   -- Los Angeles Times, Law Spurred Flood of Sex Abuse Suits, (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/valley/la-me-abuse1jan01,1,737180.story?coll=la-editions-valley) By Jean Guccione and William Lobdell, Times Staff Writers. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 02:57 AM)
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• Abuse Tracker Now at NCR News. ST. PETERSBURG, Florida, UNITED STATES of AMERICA, Thursday, January 1, 2004: Beginning today, you'll find the Tracker at www.ncrnews.org/abuse , hosted by the National Catholic Reporter on its website. You'll find a detailed announcement of the switch here, http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46&aid=58415 .
   Archived pages of the Tracker back to March 2002 will continue to be accessible via this page. The archives include thousands of Feedback comments contributed by users and attached to articles through [to] Dec. 31, 2003. Poynter will not be archiving either articles or feedback posted after that date. Poynter will send the final e-mail edition of the Tracker today. You can sign up for a daily e-mail reminder of new Tracker posts from NCR: www.ncrnews.org/abuse/signup.php.
   The Abuse Tracker has been an interesting, valuable undertaking for Poynter, a non-profit school for journalists. We hope we've been of service. And we thank all of you for your loyal readership and helpful suggestions over the past 22 months. -- Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school of 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA, Tel (888) 769-6837, "Tracker Now at NCRNews.org/abuse," http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46 , Posted by Bill Mitchell http://www.poynter.org/profile/profile.asp?user=1249 , 12:01:00 AM, Thursday, January 1, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, January 02, 2004 edition follows:-
• Bishops' Audit: Diocese Meeting Abuse Protection Rules. LONG ISLAND (NY): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has been found "in full compliance" with new regulations to protect children from sexual abuse by priests, a spokeswoman said Friday. That determination, in an audit commissioned by the nation's bishops, reportedly commends the Long Island diocese for its progress in implementing new sexual abuse prevention programs in the last year, particularly for its assistance to victims of sex abuse. But it urged Roman Catholic officials to accelerate criminal background checks for anyone who deals with children, and to translate its policies into languages other than English, according to diocesan spokeswoman Joanne Novarro. "We have done that and gone further than that," Novarro said. She said background checks for all priests and deacons are underway. In addition, she said that all paid and unpaid workers are now being checked, regardless of whether they work with children. -- Newsday, "Bishops' Audit: Diocese Meeting Abuse Protection Rules," www.newsday.com , By Carol Eisenberg, January 2, 2004, 7:16 PM EST (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:57 PM )
• Bishops Said to Follow Discipline Plan. UNITED STATES: An upcoming report on whether Roman Catholic bishops are implementing their new mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests will say most dioceses are complying, but "there is still a lot that needs to be done," the official overseeing the audit said Friday. Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the sheer size of some of the largest dioceses slowed their progress, while others lacked the personnel or financing for quick compliance. The plan not only dictates how bishops should respond to abuse claims, but also requires them to take steps to prevent molestation, such as conducting background checks on all clergy and lay workers in the diocese and training them to identify abuse. The largest archdioceses employ more than a thousand priests alone, McChesney said. "Considering it's only been about a year since people have been working on it, there's been a lot of progress, but nobody is going to tell you that it's all been done," McChesney said, in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "What you're going to find is that most of them are (complying), but there is still a lot that needs to be done." The report, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday in Washington, is based on audits of all 195 U.S. dioceses conducted by the Gavin Group, a Boston consulting firm led by former FBI official Bill Gavin. -- ABC News, (http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040102_1076.html) The Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:19 PM)
• Gary diocese says 7 priests accused of abusing minors since 1957. GARY (IN): Thirteen people have accused seven Roman Catholic priests from the northwestern Indiana's Gary Diocese of sexually abusing minors since the four-county diocese was created in 1957, church officials said Friday. The diocese said it found credible charges of sexual abuse against two priests, both of whom have since died. Bishop Dale Melczek said the charges against the two priests involved three minors. "I certainly apologize for myself and the church for the anguish it has caused the victims. I would say one victim is too many victims," Melczek said. "I deeply regret this tragedy in terms of the enormous costs to the victims as well as the scandal to the church." Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the disclosures by dioceses throughout the nation was good, but not enough. "The problem is there is no mechanism to determine whether this is full, accurate or complete," she said. -- WHAS, (http://www.whas11.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D7VQVM780.html) By TOM COYNE / Associated Press, Jan 02, 2004.
• Brooklyn lagging in three points of sex-abuse battle. BROOKLYN (NY): The Diocese of Brooklyn has made progress in implementing its sexual abuse prevention program, but an audit sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops finds it lags in three areas - a written code of conduct for priests, background checks for employees and volunteers, and a training program to help children identify sexual abuse. Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's office released a summary report of the audit Friday and promised to immediately rectify two of the deficiencies. DeMarzio plans to communicate with diocesan priests next week about the written code of conduct and background checks, according to diocesan spokesman Frank DeRosa. Details of DiMarzio's plans were not available Friday, DeRosa said. The audit of the Brooklyn diocese's performance is part of a national review to determine how the 195 Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States are complying with anti-sexual abuse standards adopted in June 2002 by the Conference of Catholic Bishops. -- Newsday, Church Winning Sex-Abuse Battle, (http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/brooklyn/nyc-church0103,0,3872550.story?coll=nyc-topheadlines-left) By Stephanie Saul, January 2, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:07 PM)
• State clergy abuse lawsuits filed on Wednesday deadline [to 1991]. CALIFORNIA: Courthouses throughout California were filled with attorneys filing clergy abuse lawsuits Wednesday, the last day alleged child molestation cases -- some of them dating back decades -- could be filed. The Stockton Diocese has been named in six to eight cases, said Larry Drivon, a Morada attorney who has filed some 300 clergy abuse lawsuits. One or two newer cases may involve Oliver O'Grady, a former priest at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Lodi. O'Grady was at St. Anne's from 1971 to 1978 and later transferred to four parishes in the Stockton Diocese. He served seven years in state prison for sexual abuse that took place in 1990 and 1991 in Calaveras County before being deported to his native Ireland in late 2000. It won't be known for several days how many clergy abuse cases have been filed this week in San Joaquin County Superior Court, said court spokeswoman Leanne Kozak. -- Lodi News-Sentinel, (http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2004/01/02/news/06_clergy_040102.txt) By Ross Farrow, Jan 02, 04 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:02 PM)
• Child abuse claim 22 years old leads to priest's suspension. LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (AP): The Rev. Richard Delahunty of St. Nicholas Church has been placed on administrative leave because of a child abuse claim that dates back 22 years. Bishop Tod Brown stood in the St. Nicholas pulpit on Thursday and told the congregation he had relieved their pastor. "I have been notified of a civil lawsuit filed against the diocese alleging sexual abuse of a minor by your pastor. Father Delahunty categorically denies this charge," Brown told the parishioners during services. Delahunty could not be reached for comment. Placing Delahunty on administrative leave "does not in any way imply guilt," Brown said. "It simply begins our procedures for due process when charges like these are made," the bishop said. -- Mercury News, News briefs from Southern California, (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7620503.htm), AP (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:00 PM)
• Audit of Gary Diocese reveals sexual abuse by four more former priests . MERRILLVILLE (IN): Bishop Dale J. Melczek of the Diocese of Gary today released findings of two audits, conducted as part of a national effort, that deal with the issue of sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church. One study, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, revealed that 13 allegations of sexual abuse of minors were received by the Diocese of Gary since its inception in 1957. Of those 13 allegations, abuse by at least four priests was substantiated by members of the Diocesan Response Team because those allegations had supporting evidence, Melczek said. Two additional priests were named in allegations that the response team found to be lacking sufficient evidence for credibility, and three more priests were named in allegations that family members said they wanted to report but not have investigated, Melczek said. The audit did not include the status of one defrocked diocesan priest, as it had been completed before the Dec. 20 announcement by Melczek that Monsignor Don Grass was removed from public ministry. Melczek said Grass, who had been pastor of St. Mary Church in Crown Point since 1983, was removed from ministry after admitting to Melczek he had sexually abused a 10- or 11-year-old girl in the late 1960s when serving at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary. Today's release said five of the "credible" allegations centered on two priests from religious orders run independently from the diocese but ministering within the diocese. Those allegations were reported to the respective superiors of both religious orders, the report says. In one of those two cases, the diocese reports, "both the priest and his provincial are outside of the U.S." -- Times, (http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2004/01/02/updates/updates/4d160f995fa0b1d986256e0f0061352e.txt) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:00 PM)
• Plunkett freed on recognizance bond. ILLINOIS: Former Mercer County priest Gregory J. Plunkett, charged with a Class 4 felony count of sexual abuse, was released from custody Friday on a $150,000 recognizance bond. He was ordered to stay away from his alleged victim, a boy under the age of 17 who lives within viewing distance of Mr. Plunkett's New Windsor home. According to court records, he fondled the boy through his clothing around Nov.29, "knowing (the victim) was unable to give knowing consent." Mr. Plunkett's trial was scheduled for April 26. Mr. Plunkett, 58, had been in custody at the Mercer County jail since turning himself in Dec. 17. He was lead into court Friday in a jail jumpsuit. Judge Walter Braud made the bond ruling after an hour-long hearing at which Mr. Plunkett asked that he be freed to take care of his pet birds and fish at his New Windsor home. -- Quad-Cities Online, (http://www.qconline.com/archives/qco/sections.cgi?prcss=display&id=179099) By Dustin Lemmon (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:57 PM)
• Colorado Prepares For Release Of Church Abuse Audit. DENVER (CO): Beginning this weekend, thousands of Colorado parishioners will get an outline of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church's look into the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Archbishop Charles Chaput said a letter will be read at all Saturday and Sunday Masses to explain an audit conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston in each of the 194 U.S. dioceses, including Denver's. The report is the first of three to examine how each diocese has responded to the scandal involving hundreds of priests across the nation. The second study examines the causes and prevention of abuse. The third section, due in late February, will include a detailed list of sex abuse cases in every diocese from 1950 through 2002. The Denver archdiocese includes 380,000 members. Chaput's letter won't discuss the results of the Denver audit, spokesman Sergio Gutierrez said. Those details will be included in a national report that will be released Tuesday in Washington. -- TheDenverChannel.com , (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2737992/detail.html) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:55 PM )
• Altoona diocese challenges abuse suits. HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa.: The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese has asked a judge to dismiss 13 civil lawsuits filed on behalf of people who claim they were sexually abused by priests, because it believes the suits violate the church's constitutionally protected freedom to discipline and assign priests. Blair County Judge Hiram Carpenter has delayed ruling on the church's motion, saying it is too early in the legal process. "Religious communities ... have the right not to be hindered by legislation or administrative action on the part of the civil authority in the selection, training, appointment and transfer of their own ministers," the Rev. John D. Byrnes, a canon lawyer, said in an affidavit filed last week. The new lawsuits involve allegations of abuse that go back 20 years or more, well beyond the state's statute of limitations. -- Post-Gazette, (http://www.post-gazette.com/localnews/20040102churchabuse0102p5.asp) By The Associated Press, Friday, January 02, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM)
• Californians face deadline for filing molestation suits. CALIFORNIA: Californians are rushing to file hundreds of lawsuits against the Catholic Church before the year-end deadline. Attorneys handling the cases predict that up to 750 people will sue statewide and that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, will pay a colossal sum to settle as many as 500 cases. Ray Boucher, who represents 300 plaintiffs, said such a settlement could surpass the record-breaking $85 million the Archdiocese of Boston is paying. "I think the settlements in other states will pale in comparison to what should happen in Southern California," he said. "If you just do the math, you're talking about 25 to 30 years of trials, which will never happen." CNN's Charles Feldman reports (December 31) -- CNN, (http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/12/30/abuse.lawsuits.ap/index.html) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:35 AM)
• Diocese compliant according to audit. JUNEAU (AK): The Catholic Diocese of Juneau is observing the spirit and letter of the church's efforts to protect young people from sexual abuse by clergy, according to an independent audit. Bishop Michael Warfel said the church established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the audits to strive to restore people's trust. "I think it does that," he said. "We don't want one single child hurt." A report scheduled to be released Tuesday in Washington, D.C., shows how well Catholic diocese are implementing steps adopted by the United States Conference of Bishops in June 2002. The charter was established to provide a framework for the church to deal with allegations of abuse as well as set up a safe environment. The full national report on the church's implementation for the charter will be available online at www.usccb.org after 6 a.m. Tuesday. -- Juneau Empire, (http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/010204/loc_diocese.shtml) By TONY CARROLL, Jan 02, 04 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 04:44 AM)
• Diocese sex audit complete . DENVER (CO): Archbishop Charles Chaput is alerting his 380,000-member flock at Masses this weekend that a sex abuse audit of the Denver archdiocese will be released Tuesday. A letter will be read at all Saturday and Sunday Masses to explain the audit. It was conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston in each of the 194 U.S. dioceses and headed by William Gavin, a former FBI investigator. The report is the first of three to examine how well each diocese is responding to a clergy sex abuse scandal that has ensnared hundreds of priests around the nation. The second study examines the causes and prevention of abuse. The most-awaited portion, due in late February, is the release of a detailed list of sex abuse cases in every diocese from 1950 through 2002. Chaput's letter won't discuss the results of the local audit, spokesman Sergio Gutierrez said. Those details will be included in a 600-page national report that will be released Tuesday in Washington. But Fran Maier, archdiocesan chancellor, said in November that preliminary results showed the diocese in a good light. In 1991, it was one of the nation's first dioceses to develop a comprehensive sex abuse policy. -- Rocky Mountain News, (http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/religion/article/0,1299,DRMN_61_2547134,00.html) By Jean Torkelson, January 2, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 02:46 AM)
• Diocese getting 'C'. PHILADELPHIA (PA): In a national report to be released Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is expected to get passing grades, with some recommendations for improvement, in its efforts to combat child sexual abuse by priests. The report, to include audits of all 195 U.S. dioceses, was ordered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to monitor compliance with its charter, adopted in Dallas in June 2002, to protect children. Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the bishops conference, will announce the results at a press conference in Washington. The audit's main categories are commendations for specific or longstanding programs, recommendations for improvement, and instructions for problem areas that require change to comply with the charter. Details of the Philadelphia audit were not available. Sources have indicated the five-county archdiocese will receive mid-range grades, with some changes recomended but no serious problems cited. -- Philadelphia Daily News, (http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/7616999.htm) By RON GOLDWYN, goldwyr@phillynews.com (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 02:42 AM)
• One judge to handle diocese abuse cases. IOWA: A district judge who has already ordered the Catholic Diocese of Davenport to provide records of sexual abuse allegations against priests in one civil lawsuit will be assigned to preside over that case and five others from the Quad-City area. District Judge C.H. Pelton will be specially assigned to the six civil lawsuits filed against the diocese and several priests in Scott and Clinton counties, said David Schoenthaler, the newly appointed chief judge of the Iowa judicial district that includes those counties. Having one judge hear motions on the four lawsuits filed in Clinton County and the two lawsuits filed in Scott County will make consistent rulings more likely across all the cases, Schoenthaler said Wednesday. The lawsuits should move through the system more efficiently together due to their similar nature, the common defendant and their complex and high-profile nature, he said. -- Quad-City Times, (http://www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1022394&t=Local+News&c=2,1022394) By Todd Ruger (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 AM)
!!!: Judges rule that Churches that molested Amerindians not responsible! CANADA: Officials of churches embroiled in the ongoing residential schools scandal have been encouraged by a recent legal decision which has serious implications for future court cases. In a unanimous decision announced December 10, the five judges of the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned a key 1998 ruling. They declared that the Canadian government is totally liable for the sexual assault of students at the Alberni Indian residential school which once operated on Vancouver Island. The United Church, which helped run the school, had previously been held to be "vicariously liable" for the abuse of students by one of the school's supervisors. With this new ruling, however, the church will not be penalized for its involvement in the administration of the school. In clarifying the judgement, Justice William Esson wrote: "It appears that the fact that the church is in the category of a non-profit charitable organization is one which weights in favour of not imposing vicarious liability upon it in circumstances where, as in this case, the injured party can make full recovery from [the government of] Canada." "It's an incredibly important decision," stated Keith Howard, a spokesperson for the B.C. Conference of the United Church. Speaking to the Globe and Mail, he added: "We don't know yet what this judgment fully means -- and of course we'll have to wait to see if the feds or any of the plaintiffs appeal -- but it certainly seems significant." -- Canadian Christianity, Residential schools decision encouraging, (http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/040101residential) By David F. Dawes, Jan 01, 04 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 AM)
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , formerly Poynter, January 02, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, January 03, 2004 edition follows:-
• National Catholic Reporter, The Independent Newsweekly, NCRonline.org http://ncronline.org . Established 1964; General Excellence Award - Catholic Press Assoc.
   ABUSE TRACKER -- A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. You are invited to REGISTER FOR DAILY E-MAIL at www.ncrnews.org/abuse/signup.php.
• High marks for local archdiocese. DENVER (CO): The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver was found to be fully compliant with new national standards established to minimize the risk of child sexual abuse, Denver's Catholic bishops said in a letter to parishioners this weekend. Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Jose Gomez, Chaput's assistant, also announced the archdiocese will begin training programs this year to help people identify, prevent and report child sex abuse. With the letter read at Masses today and Sunday, the bishops were giving 368,000 Catholics in 24 northern Colorado counties advance notice of how the archdiocese performed in a national audit conducted last year. Teams of investigators visited U.S. dioceses to check their compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by U.S. bishops in June 2002 in the wake of an unprecedented clergy abuse scandal. -- Denver Post, (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~1869090,00.html) By Eric Gorski, Denver Post Religion Writer (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:37 PM)
• Bay Head pastor charged in 1960s sex assault in Ireland. BAY HEAD, N.J.: Authorities in Ireland have arrested the pastor of a Catholic church in Bay Head on charges he sexually abused a child more than 30 years ago, a spokesman for the Diocese of Trenton said. The Rev. Patrick Francis Magee was arrested Wednesday while on vacation in Ireland. He was charged with "committing an act of gross indecency on or towards a child" sometime between 1965 and 1969. Magee, who will turn 63 on Wednesday, was a seminary student in Ireland during that period. He appeared in court on New Year's Eve and was ordered to surrender his passport and report to police twice a week. He has another hearing scheduled for Feb. 25, according to published reports. Diocese of Trenton spokesman Steven Emery said Magee will face the Diocesan Review Board when he returns to the United States. Emery said a recent two-year review of Diocese of Trenton documents going back 50 years found no allegations of misconduct involving Magee. -- Newsday, (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-nj--pastor-sexcharges0103jan03,0,7825473.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:01 PM)
• Hit-run case completes bishop's fall from grace [CURRENT]. PHOENIX (AZ): For more than two decades, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien has made local religious history as the spiritual leader for Phoenix-area parishioners. During his tenure, there was a celebrated trip by Pope John Paul II, an event that touched Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Mother Teresa came here to see the plight of the homeless and wound up opening a home for people living on the streets of Phoenix. And Bishop O'Brien presided over a period that saw the church witness unprecedented growth. But these days, he has more on his mind than church matters and religious life. On Jan. 12, Bishop O'Brien, who resigned as head of the 460,000-member diocese amid stunning scandal in June, is due at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix to face a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident that claimed a pedestrian's life. He could receive up to three years and nine months in prison. -- WFAA, (http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dallas/tsw/stories/010404dntexbishop.35895.html) By DAVID SCHWARTZ, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:54 PM)
• Payouts nearly $1m in Spokane diocese, 87 accusations. SPOKANE (WA): The Catholic Diocese of Spokane has spent nearly $1 million in settlements, legal fees and counseling for victims of clergy sex abuse, Bishop William Skylstad wrote in a letter to parishioners last week. And the costs are likely to rise. Skylstad wrote that he believes there are "more alleged victims who have not come forward, but at some point in the future will." The bishop said there have been 87 accusations of sexual abuse by Spokane priests. In September, the second of 10 lawsuits filed against the Spokane diocese at that time was settled for $50,000. Also at that time, it was reported that about 30 victims were alleging sex abuse by Spokane priests. That number has now more than doubled. "To the best of our knowledge, we have credible claims of abuse against 12 Spokane diocesan priests, five of whom are deceased," Skylstad wrote. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Payouts, accusations growing at diocese," http://seattlepi.nwsource.com , THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:51 PM)
• Brandt: New position 'surprise'. PENNSYLVANIA: Greensburg Bishop Anthony G. Bosco's moving van has been put on hold, sort of. Shortly after introducing his successor, Monsignor Lawrence E. Brandt, to the media Friday morning, Bosco was elected as administrator, and will run the diocese until Brandt can wrap up his affairs in his home diocese of Erie. Bosco, 76, was elected to the post by diocesan consultors - a group of priests who serve as advisers in administrative matters. As administrator, Bosco can maintain operations but will not undertake any new initiatives. ... While Bosco has been up-front about disciplining five priests in the diocese, Erie Bishop Donald W. Trautman has not been as forthcoming. He acknowledged removing "a couple of priests" from active duty following a 25-year review of church records. Bosco banned five priests from practicing ministry for life as a result of sexual abuse allegations. Bosco urged Brandt to be "open" about what is going on in the diocese. -- Tribune-Review, (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_172931.html) By Craig Smith, Saturday, January 3, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:49 PM)
Amchurch Comes Out, by Paul Likoudas. -- Book Review by Father Joseph Wilson.
   UNITED STATES: "I would like you to read my book, let me know what you think." It was a brief phone call, and a simple request. I must tell you, I did not see what was coming at all. Here, a caveat to the reader. When I had finished, I phoned Paul and told him that I had liked it very much, and what I had liked about it.
   When I was done, he said, "Good. Glad to hear it. Write the Foreword." And, after a moment of silence, I said, "Well, I never really wanted to be a monsignor anyway." And -- not for the first time, by any means -- he and I shared a long, ironic laugh. The reader is forewarned, therefore: this is not a proper book review, as I've already done the Foreword and am not an unbiased reviewer. It's just one of my usual rants.
   -- Catholic Citizens, (http://catholiccitizens.org/platform/platformview.asp?c=1400) by Fr Joseph F. Wilson.
   Likoudis, Paul. Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda. Petersburg, IL: The Roman Catholic Faithful, 2002. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 01:47 PM)
• Mapping the Matrix of Clerical Sex. A culture of liberalism has undermined the moral voice of the Church.
   UNITED STATES: New York Times religion editor Peter Steinfels has complained that imprecise and incomplete reporting of sex abuse by Catholic clergy has led to a "free-floating outrage" among Americans, including most Catholics. According to Steinfels, the American conception of the sex scandal blowup of 2002 is grossly exaggerated in respect to both the root causes of the abuse and the way the scandals have been handled by the U.S. bishops. We Americans just don't get it, he says.
   But just who doesn't get it? ...
   To help us understand the connection between the "lavenderization" of the Catholic clergy and the priestly sex abuse crisis, Paul A. Likoudis, longtime news editor for The Wanderer, has produced a timely compendium that maps the matrix. Most importantly, AmChurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda diagnoses the pathological denial of the Catholic hierarchy that has allowed such grave problems to persist to the ultimate detriment of both individual victims and the entire Catholic Church. -- Crux News, (http://www.cruxnews.com/rose/matrix.html) Posted by Kathy Shaw (mailto:kashaw@peoplepc.com) at 01:40 PM
• Book Review: Amchurch Comes Out, by Paul Likoudis. UNITED STATES: For confused Catholics in the pew who wonder why we're in the mess we're in, veteran reporter Paul Likoudis offers the answers in Amchurch Comes Out. From sex-ed in the parochial schools, to abuse of ecclesial authority to persecution of the orthodox, to promotion of the gay agenda, to the hijacking of the Vatican II liturgical renewal — it's all there. Likoudis names names and lays out the proof in black and white in this well-documented survey." In many ways this is a horrifying book to read because it reveals so clearly the culpability and betrayal of many of those called to shepherd the flock. Chapter 3, "Raising the Kids, or Making the Pubic Public" relates how Bishop Manuel Moreno, a protégé of Roger Cardinal Mahony, turned 2500 Catholic elementary and high school children in his diocese into guinea pigs for a one and a quarter million dollar government sex study. It is chilling to read the grant application by Dr. William Crano. "Consider the possibilities...that effects on children's AIDS knowledge/attitudes might impact on their parents. . . ." -- The Truth, Newsletter of Les Femmes, (http://www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org/v73book.htm) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 01:36 PM)
• Child atrocities in the Church. UNITED STATES: Paul Likoudis' fastidious, fully indexed, "Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda," is written in pain and love by a deeply devoted Catholic journalist. As news editor of The Wanderer, an orthodox Catholic newspaper, Likoudis spent 15 years researching, recording and writing about how sexual libertinism and "queer theology" taught in Catholic colleges and seminaries is "deconstructing" heterosexuality. Bob Dornan, the fighting Irishman and former California congressman, minced no words in endorsing Amchurch: Every American of good will must read this book. The U.S. bishops and their bureaucrats can no longer suppress the truth that the Catholic Church in this country has been penetrated by an aggressive homosexual network. -- WorldNetDaily.com, (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30419) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 01:33 PM)
• Blunt words from Cardinal Dulles. UNITED STATES: If we were asked to name someone who is a model of tact, understatement, and restraint, Avery Cardinal Dulles would be the first person to come to mind. So we were pleasantly taken aback by an article by Cardinal Dulles in First Things (Aug.-Sept.) on the question of reform in the Church. What is authentic reform? It is, says the Cardinal, "to give new and better form to a preexistent reality, while preserving the essentials. Unlike innovation, reform implies organic continuity; it does not add something foreign or extrinsic…. The goal is to make persons or institutions more faithful to an ideal already accepted." Does the Church in the U.S. need such reform? Dulles answers that the Church needs "far-reaching" reform. Well! Great balls of fire! ... "The immoral behavior of Catholics, both lay and clergy, is a cause of scandal and defections…. The morality of Catholics all too often sinks below the standards commonly observed by Protestants and unbelievers." These are blunt words. And Cardinal Dulles goes on: "Reforms ought to be undertaken under the leadership of the bishops. Unfortunately, however, the prestige of the bishops is today at a new low." But it's worse even than that. Dulles says: "According to the job description in the official documents, the bishop ought to be a man of high culture, firm in faith, solid in orthodoxy, a paragon of holiness, graciously winning in personality, able to assess the talents and weaknesses of others, skilled at managing large corporations and conducting fiscal policy, eloquent in the pulpit, fearless under criticism, indefatigable, and always self-possessed." However, says Dulles, "Many of the candidates being elevated to the episcopate, it would seem, are men of ordinary abilities…." Ouch! It is highly unusual for a member of the hierarchy to say any such thing. Blunt words indeed! --Crux News, (http://www.cruxnews.com/NORNotes/nor-12nov03.html) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM)
• Insurance costs soar for diocese. SPRINGFIELD (MA): Insurance costs have risen 171 percent in the past four years for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, but church officials say little of it is attributable to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. In a recent two-page letter to priests, diocesan comptroller William F. LaBroad said parishes will face steep increases in insurance costs as a result of insurance industry market conditions, a revaluation of diocesan properties for insurance purposes and two substantial claim settlements. Those and other factors contributed to the diocese's insurance bill rising from $1.5 million to $4.1 million between fiscal years 2000 and 2004. Sexual misconduct coverage increased from $39,715 to $80,000, according to the letter. -- Republican, (http://masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1073119718152411.xml?nntn) By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com , Jan 03, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM)
• Orange diocese evidence of 47 children by 16 priests in 27 years, $4.6m spent. SANTA ANA, Calif.: Forty-seven children were molested over a 27-year period by 16 Orange County priests, according to figures released by Roman Catholic officials as part of a nationwide accounting by the church. Church officials did not name any of the abusive priests and victims advocates contend the church undercounted the number of sexually abusive priests and victims. The 16 priests represent less than 3 percent of the 589 clergymen who served in the county from 1976 to 2002, the study said. The report, which starts with the year the Diocese of Orange split from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, was produced for a study commissioned by U.S. bishops that will be the first comprehensive measure of sexual abuse within the American church. The report also said the diocese has paid $4.6 million to victims and $66,000 for counseling to victims and family members over the period. -- The Mercury News, Diocese of Orange releases sex abuse figures covering 27-year period, (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7626618.htm) Associated Press (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM)
• Preventing Sex Abuse Audit: Diocese lags in 3 areas. BROOKLYN (NY): The Diocese of Brooklyn has made progress in implementing its sexual abuse prevention program, but an audit sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops finds it lags in three areas - a written code of conduct for priests, background checks for employees and volunteers, and a training program to help children identify sexual abuse. Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's office released a summary report of the audit Friday and promised to immediately rectify two of the deficiencies. DeMarzio plans to communicate with diocesan priests next week about the written code of conduct and background checks, according to diocesan spokesman Frank DeRosa. Details of DiMarzio's plans were not available Friday, DeRosa said. The audit of the Brooklyn diocese's performance is part of a national review to determine how the 195 Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States are complying with anti-sexual abuse standards adopted in June 2002 by the Conference of Catholic Bishops. -- Newsday, (http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/ny-nychur033609282jan03,0,3351655.story) By Stephanie Saul, January 3, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:53 AM)
• Group loves Church, but seeks change. LOUISVILLE (KY): Members of the Louisville chapter of Voice of the Faithful [VOTF], an organization of Catholics formed in response to the recent sex abuse scandals that have rocked Catholic dioceses across the country, are quick to make a couple of things clear. First, they love their church: It would be a lot easier to simply leave than to work for change within the church. Second, they are deeply saddened by the course the church has taken in dealing with the abuse problem. More than 250 sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the Archdiocese of Louisville over the last two years, most of which were recently settled by the church for more than $25million. Members of the local group said the church kept quiet about the problems that were reported to it for years, and continued to deny the allegations of abuse even after the initial lawsuits were filed — until later admitting it under the weight of the numerous accusations. -- The Courier Journal, Group seeks change in Catholic Church, www.courier-journal.com , By CHRISTOPHER HALL, Special to The Courier-Journal. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:38 AM)
• Baptist youth pastor/coach robbed girl of faith [1998-99]. SOUTHINGTON (CT): A Central Christian Academy graduate is seeking monetary compensation from the school, Central Baptist Church and a former youth pastor and basketball coach who allegedly carried on a six-month sexual relationship with her resulting in lasting "psychological scarring." In a lawsuit filed Dec. 18, a former Central Christian Academy student is requesting the court award her $15,000 to help alleviate the cost of psychological counseling she needed after allegedly being sexually "abused and assaulted" by former youth pastor and coach James J. McCoy. According to the suit, the victim, listed as Jane Doe based on her minor status at the time of the alleged assaults, suffers from "severe emotional injuries" including anxiety, post traumatic stress and loss of religion following a sexual relationship with McCoy from November 1998 to May 1999, while she was a student at Central Christian Academy, 1505 West St. It is against state law for a teacher or coach to engage in sexual activity with a student or player, even those who are no longer minors. -- New Britain Herald, Woman alleges sex abuse in suit, (http://www.newbritainherald.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10746253&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=10110&rfi=6) By MEGAN CLAIR, Jan 03, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw)
• Parish learns how to answer children's questions. CROWN POINT (IN): At least 90 people attended counseling sessions Friday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown Point to learn how best to talk to children about sexual abuse. There were three sessions to help parishioners deal with the recent news that the church's pastor, Monsignor Don Grass, admitted last month he molested a preteen more than 30 years ago when he was associate pastor at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary. The Rev. Pat Kalich, administrator of St. Mary Church, said he sent a letter to members of the church community to notify them about the three sessions. Teachers and parents wanted to learn how best to talk to children about the recent situation. "We're going to listen to people as they work through this sadness," Kalich said. "We're going to try to respond to their needs." Carroll Cradock, a clinical psychologist with Chicago-based Cradock, Gardner & Associates, spoke to those in attendance at each 90-minute session and offered tips for answering children's questions honestly. Cradock said she has spoken to between five and 10 congregations each year since 1988. -- Times, (http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2004/01/03/news/region_and_state/6576757e489253f786256e10000ded38.txt) BY OLIVIA CLARKE (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:26 AM)
• Diocese of Gary says 13 victims accuse 7 priests. GARY (IN): Since 1957, 13 people have alleged sexual abuse as children by seven priests serving the Diocese of Gary, Bishop Dale J. Melczek said Friday. Six of the complaints were made against three diocesan priests. Five complaints were made against two priests who served the diocese but worked for religious orders. The diocesan response team dismissed two of the allegations against two priests as not being credible. The Gary Diocese was the fourth in Indiana to report sexual abuse charges from the 1950s. Last year, Melczek said in a Post-Tribune interview that there may have been as many as five priests involved in sexual misconduct with children. Friday's findings were part of two reports required of dioceses across the country in response to the priest pedophilia scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church. Details of the nationwide study, which will include the Gary Diocese, will be released Feb. 27. -- Post-Tribune, Diocese reveals history of abuse, (http://www.post-trib.com/cgi-bin/pto-story/news/z1/01-03-04_z1_news_03.html) By Carole Carlson, Jan 03, 04 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:21 AM)
• Lafayette Diocese releases abuse findings. LAFAYETTE (IN): Eleven Roman Catholic priests who served in Indiana's Diocese of Lafayette have been removed from their ministries since 1950 after the church found credible evidence of sexual abuse involving minors, Bishop William L. Higi said Wednesday. "I cannot begin to explain the ache in my heart for those who have been abused. I hold them up to the Lord in my daily prayers, begging God to bring them to healing," Higi said in a written statement posted Wednesday on the diocese's Web site.
   Dawn Grimes, a spokeswoman for Voice of the Faithful [VOTF], a Catholic reform group formed in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, called Wednesday's announcement a good first step but said more needs to be done. "The names of these priests really ought to be made public," said Grimes, regional coordinator for Voice of the Faithful for the Lafayette diocese. In a report released Wednesday in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Moment, the diocese reported that 18 priests have been accused of sexually abusing 26 minors since 1950. Accusations against seven of the priests were found not credible, the diocese said. -- Courier & Press, (http://www.courierpress.com/ecp/religion/article/0,1626,ECP_782_2548214,00.html) By TOM COYNE, Associated Press writer, January 3, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:20 AM)
• Religious Spin. UNITED STATES: Spin operates in religion as well as in politics. Consider two stories that will break in the near future. On Tuesday and on Feb. 27, the Roman Catholic bishops will release major reports about how the church has or has not addressed sexual abuse of minors by priests. On Feb. 25, Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of Christ" will hit the screens. Efforts to shape the public's reception to these developments have been under way for the better part of a year. In September, in a talk at the annual meeting of the Religion Newswriters Association, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, began setting the stage for the release of the reports on abuse. The report next week will record how well Catholic dioceses have carried out the measures to prevent abuse that the bishops pledged to take at their meeting in Dallas in June 2002. On Feb. 27, the more explosive report will try to tally how many abuse cases the church has faced since 1950 and how it has dealt with them, including the amount of money spent on settlements and treatment. It will also offer a preliminary analysis of the "causes and contexts" of the scandals. Speaking on Sept. 5 to the religion reporters assembled in Seattle, Bishop Gregory asked, "How do we engage in a serious public self-examination of our past on the issue of sexual abuse without engendering a type of sensationalist coverage of past misconduct that obscures present achievements in eliminating that misconduct?" -- The New York Times, Religious Spin, www.nytimes.com/ 2004/01/03/national/ 03BELI.html?ex=10737 10800&en=ded6d746f1 7d5a91&ei=5062& partner=GOOGLE ; By PETER STEINFELS, January 3, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw (mailto:kashaw@peoplepc.com) at 05:14 AM)
• A Vow to Victims Of 'Father Tony'. CALIFORNIA: It's been 27 years, and Margaret Schettler cannot remember the boy's name. But she cannot forget his face. He had brown hair and brown eyes -- bright, eager eyes. He always rode his bike to the parish rectory, and he always asked for Father Tony. She tried to shoo him away. "Father Tony isn't here," she would say. But the 10-year-old often stood his ground. "He promised to take me for ice cream," the boy would insist. That was the summer of 1976, and Schettler had just graduated from Jesuit-run Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She was 22 and in love with the Roman Catholic Church's ministry to the poor. She was thrilled to be working for room, board and pocket change at Our Lady of Soledad, a Latino parish in Coachella, Calif. -- until a priest let her in on the secret about Father Tony. "I was told he was a temporary guest in the parish because he had been molesting little boys in the parish he came from," she says. "I was told he was to be kept away from kids, but I wasn't told how that was to happen or what, specifically, I was to do." Because she agonizes over what she should have done then, Schettler is fiercely determined about what she is doing now: blowing the whistle on her superiors in the church for what she believes is their reluctance, even today, to retrace the movements of a notorious pedophile and reach out to his many victims. -- Washington Post, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50971-2004Jan2.html) By Alan Cooperman, Page C01, Saturday, January 3, 2004. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:11 AM)
• Gary Diocese releases report on sexual abuse by clergy. GARY (IN): Credible evidence shows that at least seven minors in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary suffered sexual abuse at the hands of at least four priests since 1957, a report issued Friday by Bishop Dale Melczek states. The seven allegations deemed credible by the diocese were part of 13 total allegations of sexual abuse made against nine different priests that are said to have occurred within that time period, Melczek said. Friday's report is part of a larger national study being conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York following an edict from the U.S. bishops' national review board on sexual abuse. The edict, brought about by rising reports of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, followed a June 2002 meeting of the bishops in Dallas. -- Times, www.thetimesonline.com , BY MARC CHASE, Jan 03, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:10 AM)
• Report: Diocese complying with sex abuse rules. NORWICH (CT): Leaders of the Diocese of Norwich announced Friday they are meeting their new responsibilities to help combat the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church. The U.S. Conference of Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People has issued a report showing the Norwich Diocese is in compliance with its charter. The charter was created last year at the annual Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist churches in implementing safe environment programs to ensure safety and security for children participating in church activities. "It was drafted in part to encourage healing for victims of child sexual abuse ... an effort to regain trust between the hierarchy of the church and the people of the church." the Rev. Ted F. Tumicki, the Norwich Bishop's Delegate for Safe Environments, said Friday. Tumicki's position was created by Norwich Bishop Michael R. Cote in November to cope with the expanding scope of duties and programs, most associated with education and awareness relating to sexual abuse issues. -- Norwich Bulletin, (http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/stories/20040103/localnews/154787.html) By GREG SMITH, Jan 03, 2004 (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:07 AM)
• 27-Year Abuse Tally Released by O.C. Church. CALIFORNIA: Sixteen Orange County priests molested 47 children from 1976 through 2002, according to figures released Friday by Roman Catholic officials as part of a nationwide accounting by the church. But victim advocates say the numbers understate the problem. The 16 priests for which the diocese believes there is credible evidence of abuse represent 2.7% of the 589 clergymen who served in the county during that period, which starts with the year the Diocese of Orange split from the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The report also concluded the diocese has paid $4.6 million to victims and $66,000 for counseling to victims and family members over those 27 years. Church officials did not name any of the abusive priests. They said 12 have been removed from active ministry, two remain on administrative leave until their cases are adjudicated, one is deceased and one left the diocese to serve as a military chaplain for 22 years before the allegations were made against him. The statistics were produced for a study commissioned by U.S. bishops that will be the first comprehensive measure of the severity of sexual abuse within the American church. -- Los Angeles Times, (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ocpriests3jan03,1,1725933.story?coll=la-home-local) By William Lobdell. (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:05 AM)
• Archdiocese sets steps to comply with abuse rules. PHILADELPHIA (PA): The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has tightened policies on priest sexual abuse and reached "full compliance" with the U.S. bishops' charter to protect children, it was announced yesterday. Cardinal Justin Rigali, in a letter published in the Catholic Standard and Times, said the archdiocese had implemented three specific steps recommended by a national compliance audit team this fall. It agreed:
• To keep track of the residences of "offenders who have been removed from ministry" but retain "priestly status," and to make sure those priests conform to provisions of the bishops' charter to protect children.
• To offer training and translate documents related to combatting sexual abuse "in the various languages of parishioners."
• To resolve procedural snags at the Archdiocesan Review Board to satisfy the archdiocese's "commitment to bring prompt and just closure to outstanding allegations." -- Philadelphia Daily News, (http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/7624518.htm) By RON GOLDWYN goldwyr@phillynews.com (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:00 AM)
• Sex claims listed by Gary Diocese. GARY (IN): Thirteen allegations of sexual abuse by six priests and a nun since 1957 were acknowledged in a report issued by the Diocese of Gary on Friday. Allegations against two diocesan priests were deemed "credible" in that time frame; each priest faced multiple allegations. The abuse occurred in the late 1960s and early '70s, and both priests are deceased, said diocesan spokesman Brian T. Olszewski. The diocese would not identify the priests. "We feel that since they are deceased, and that those who came forward felt that their concerns were addressed, there is no need to say any more," said Olszewski. Allegations against two other diocesan priests were not deemed credible, and an accusation against a fifth priest, now deceased, was not investigated further after the putative victim said he only wanted to express his "heaviness of heart." -- Indianapolis Star, (http://www.indystar.com/articles/4/108130-1464-009.html) By Abe Aamidor, abe.aamidor@indystar.com , January 3, 2004, Posted by Kathy Shaw (mailto:kashaw@peoplepc.com) at 04:59 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse, formerly Poynter, January 03, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, January 04, 2004 edition follows:-
National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly  
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ABUSE TRACKER
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First of Catholic scandal reports due this week
   USA Today, By Cathy Lynn Grossman.
   UNITED STATES: U.S. Catholic bishops on Tuesday will release the first of three major reports promised after the child sexual abuse scandal erupted two years ago. It's expected to account, diocese by diocese, for the church's reform efforts. The reports are required by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' policy, which was adopted at an emotional meeting in June 2002 in Dallas. Speakers excoriated the bishops for failing to protect children and teens from sexual predators in clerical collars.
   "It will show the American people that the bishops have kept our word," Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill, head of the bishops' group, said Sunday on ABC News' This Week With George Stephanopoulos.
   The bishops have had 18 months to take steps to remove any credibly accused priests, reach out to victims and establish Safe Environment Programs for preventing abuse and for reporting offenses.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:53 PM
Only Catholic Church Has Clergy Shortage
   FutureChurch
   UNITED STATES: Contrary to recent statements made by several Bishops, including U.S. Bishops' Conference president Bishop Wilton Gregory, only the Catholic Church is experiencing a clergy shortage. Gregory has said that a married priesthood will not help the Catholic priest shortage because the Protestant church, which allows a married clergy, also has a shortage. A Purdue University study by James D. Davidson, reported in the December 1, 2003 issue of America magazine, found that since 1981 all Protestant denominations registered an increase in clergy of 3 to 35 %. Only the Catholic Church registered a hefty 22% decrease.
Cardinal Sodano praises Legionaries' founder despite nine credible accusations of sex abuse.
   FutureChurch
   UNITED STATES: On November 11 the second most powerful figure in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Angelo Sodano publicly praised Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. In 1997, nine former Legionaries members, all highly regarded professional people, accused Maciel of sexual abuse and brought a canonical complaint against him. The complaint was never adjudicated by the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Optional Celibacy Campaign Takes Off
   FutureChurch
   UNITED STATES: A FutureChurch organized press conference at the November U.S. Bishops meeting yielded rich fruit. For the first time, two bishops, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George and Bishop Michael Pfeifer of San Angelo, TX publicly supported the Milwaukee priests' call for discussion of optional celibacy. Our delegation to Washington also delivered 7000 letters asking for open discussion of the issue as the "first installment" in an eighteen month Corpus Christi Campaign for Optional Celibacy. 1700 of the letters were collected just four days earlier at the annual meeting of Call to Action.
   Sr. Christine Schenk (FutureChurch), Crystal Chan and Dan Daley (CTA National), Anne Harter (FOSIL), Jim and Sally Orgren (CTA Buffalo) and Fr. Jack O'Malley (Association of Pittsburgh Priests) gave public statements about the Corpus Christi Campaign for Optional Celibacy. The group later met for over 30 minutes with two U.S. Bishops Conference staff members who told them: "you are clearly concerned people who love the Church."
Syracuse Diocese's release sex abuse information
   News 10 Now, by: News 10 Now Staff
   SYRACUSE (NY): The Syracuse Diocese handed out a letter to the church over the weekend with information on sexual abuse allegations dating back to 1950.
   The letter says 16 priests have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor and were removed from the ministry permanently.
   Since 1950, nearly 100 people have filed allegations against the Syracuse Diocese for sexual abuse.
   Of all the priests who have served the diocese since 1950, 49 have been accused of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church.
Report To Be Issued On Catholic Church
   COLORADO, KRDO
   A report scheduled for release on Tuesday, grades how well the Roman Catholic church has responded to its far-reaching sex scandal.
   An independent firm evaluated every diocese in the country for the report.
   The firm used a charter adopted by Catholic bishops in June of 2002, establishing guidelines for protecting children.
   The report rates how well each diocese including those in Southern Colorado complied with the charter.
   Spokesman Ed Gaffney says the springs catholic church already knows its grade in Tuesday's report.
   He says it's good partly because there hasn't been a proven case of sexual abuse in ten years.
   But the Springs diocese didn't get a perfect score.
Syracuse Catholic Diocese Releases Number of Sex Abuse Allegations
   SYRACUSE (NY), WTVH
   During masses on Sunday, Bishop James Moynihan issued a report to all parishioners about the sexual abuse of minors in the Syracuse Diocese. That letter addressed many unanswered questions about the scandal in the church for more than half a century. A summary of the reports is as follows:
• A total of 96 individuals alleged sexual abuse by clergy affiliated with the Syracuse Diocese since 1950.
• Among 734 priests who have served in the diocese since that time, 49 have been accused.
• 16 diocesan priests have been permanently removed from the ministry.
• 5 priests have been cleared of allegations.
• 13 of the priests accused are deceased.
• 2 clergy were laicized (voluntarily dispensed from the clerical state) prior to the diocese receiving allegations.
Bishops' president: Audit will show dioceses implementing abuse prevention plan
   WBZ 4, Sunday January 04, 2004
   UNITED STATES: The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says an upcoming report on whether dioceses are implementing a mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests will show "the bishops have kept our word" to punish offenders and protect children.
   The audit found that dioceses "are either in full compliance or in the process of working toward compliance," Bishop Wilton Gregory said in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
   But he also said some of the 195 dioceses did not participate in the review. He would say only that the number was "minuscule" and their reasons will be included in the report, which is to be released Tuesday, two years after the abuse crisis began.
   "The bishops have kept our word, that we intended to implement a protocol which we would follow in each diocese," he said. "And that, I believe, is an important step forward."
   The bishops adopted the plan in June 2002, at the height of the scandal, which began two years ago this week with revelations about a single predatory priest in the Archdiocese of Boston and spread to every American diocese.
Oakland diocese faces barrage of sex abuse lawsuits
   The Mercury News
   OAKLAND, Calif.: Church leaders are bracing for long legal battles as dozens of lawsuits were filed in the San Francisco Bay area last week, beating a Wednesday deadline on claims alleging decades-old molestation by priests.
   "We definitely have seen a surge in the last two weeks," said Sister Barbara Flannery, the Diocese of Oakland chancellor who has worked on sexual abuse issues.
   The surge of litigation is the result of a California law that took effect Jan. 1, 2003, lifting for one year the statute of limitations for molestation lawsuits. Previously, alleged victims could sue only until their 26th birthday, or within three years of discovering they had emotional problems linked to the molestation.
Eden or evil?
   MySA.com , By Dane Schiller, Express-News Mexico City Bureau
   SAN ISIDRO DE GRECIA, Costa Rica: On the edge of a lush coffee plantation, San Antonio Catholics with careers ranging from law to biochemistry invest their faith in a shaggy, black-haired prophet who never made it past third grade.
   Drawn to this hilly compound by the belief that Juan Pablo Delgado is God's messenger, the pilgrims reject three bishops' warnings not to be tricked by the enigmatic 24-year-old, who shares with them daily messages from a Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary only he hears and sees.
   They follow what they feel in their hearts and sniff from Delgado's socks - which they smell in praise for the sweet scent that's said to come from wounds on his feet similar to those of the crucified Christ.
   And they laugh at outsiders who compare them to doomsday cultists like Jim Jones' People's Temple followers, who committed mass suicide in Guyana in 1978, or David Koresh's Branch Davidians, who perished in an inferno ending a federal siege of their compound near Waco in 1993.
   "We are engineers, lawyers, doctors - we are not crazy people," said Guadalupe Nypaver, 64, of San Antonio.
   But leaders of the Catholic Church, who admit to having laymen spies, paint a far different picture of this Eden in Central America.
   Delgado's spiritual adviser is Father Alfredo Prado, 73, who recently was dismissed from his Oblate order and accused of sexually molesting two San Antonio teenagers more than 30 years ago, when he served at St. Timothy's Catholic Church.
Masses of Torts
   Religion in the News, by Marc Stern
   UNITED STATES: Not so long ago, it was a common complaint that reporters covering controversies involving religion and law understood the law but knew little about religion. Coverage of the recent sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church indicates that there are now many journalists who can write knowledgeably about religion but few of them appear to be at home with legal affairs.
   Of course, journalists cannot be experts in everything. Without an understanding of the legal context, however, the Catholic church's response to sexual abuse litigation seems like nothing more than an evasion of moral responsibility.
   Increasingly the Catholic crisis resembles one of those mass tort cases like tobacco or asbestos in which a relative handful of illegal acts are alleged to violate the rights of hundreds or thousands of individuals. In April the diocese of San Bernardino even filed suit against the archdiocese of Boston over transferring a priest who allegedly committed abuse, exactly as companies involved in other mass tort litigation sue one another to shift blame and responsibility.*
   But the Catholic crisis has been written about with barely a reference to the larger issue of mass torts - as if elected officials throughout the country were not currently wrestling with it under the politically partisan rubric of "tort reform." In mass tort cases the tort system is often unfair to defendants. But without it, many wrongs would go without legal redress.
Philadelphia archdiocese says it is in 'full compliance'
   Penn Live, The Associated Press, Jan 1, 2004, 11:57 a.m. ET
   PHILADELPHIA (PA) (AP): The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia said it is now in "full compliance" with recommendations issued by American bishops in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. Cardinal Justin Rigali said the archdiocese has addressed concerns raised by an audit team during a September visit.
   Auditors had recommended that Philadelphia keep track of priests who have been removed from ministry, provide sex-abuse training and materials "in the various languages of parishioners," and work with a seven-member board "to expedite resolution of remaining procedural issues to satisfy its commitment to bring prompt and just closure to outstanding allegations."
   In a pastoral letter Thursday, Rigali said the archdiocese "immediately initiated steps to fulfill the recommendations."
   Rigali said investigators initially found the archdiocese to be in "basic compliance" with the charter's provisions that dioceses have sex-abuse review boards, formal procedures for responding to abuse complaints, background checks on clergy and lay workers, and staff training on identifying abuse.
Troubled ex-S.A. clergyman still with group in C. America
   MySA.com, By Dane Schiller, Express-News Mexico City Bureau
   SAN ISIDRO DE GRECIA, Costa Rica: Father Alfredo Prado has a new life here, a reinvigorated purpose and circumstances as unusual as his protégé, self-proclaimed visionary Juan Pablo Delgado.
   The 73-year-old Austin-born clergyman has proclaimed the Gospel for decades in Texas, Mississippi, Arizona and villages in Mexico, where he used a bullhorn to preach under the stars.
   Because of problems in his past - the exact nature of which neither he nor Catholic Church officials would describe - he doesn't have the church's permission to be in Costa Rica or to function as a priest. He says he needn't answer to church officials on that subject - just to the Virgin Mary.
   And so he prays, counsels, advises and even celebrates Mass with pilgrims who come here to listen to Delgado, who says he receives messages from Jesus Christ, the Virgin and St. Michael.
   Prado said he is Delgado's spiritual adviser and that he was called here by the Virgin.
   He said the Oblates turned their backs on him despite his having preached the Gospel for so long.
Unrestrained Authority: Secrecy's Toxic Companion
   Christifedelis, By Charles M. Wilson
   UNITED STATES: The distinguished Italian canonist, Count Capponi, once said that our Lord entrusted the care of his most precious possession on this earth, his Church, to the care of us sinners and for two thousand years she has had to suffer the effects of human malice and human error. Count Capponi's observation is especially relevant in view of the present difficulties confronting the Church. I might add that whenever men act foolishly or maliciously, they naturally seek to hide their follies and misdeeds from others and they do not hesitate to use whatever means are available to accomplish this end.
   As we have seen in a special way over the last six months, the obsession with secrecy in the governance of the Church acts like a narcotic upon those who use it. It dulls the senses and, over time, it takes more and more of the substance to produce the same effect. A natural companion to this narcotic is the exercise of power - unrestrained by the objections of those who are governed by that power and unchecked by the intervention of external forces.
   Most CHRISTIFIDELIS readers live in countries where the political structures generally respect the civil rights of their citizens and their legal systems provide some means of redress when these rights are violated. Even though our legal systems are by no means perfect, it is arguable that in general our civil rights are better protected by the state than our ecclesial rights are recognized and protected by the Church. At times this leads us to entertain the notion that the Church might be much better off if she would only incorporate within her own system of governance more elements of our secular political structures and legal systems. Whether this would really help the Church and assist her carrying out the mission given her by Christ is another question.
The Narcotic of Secrecy
   Christifedelis, http://www.st-joseph-foundation.org/newsletter/2002/cfd20-2.htm , By Charles M. Wilson and R. Michael Dunnigan
   UNITED STATES: An ecclesiastical Enron. The Church's Watergate. A cancer on the Church. Observers have fixed on these three images to describe the widespread seduction of young boys by Catholic priests in dioceses across America. The observers who use these images no doubt wish to shock the public into appreciating the magnitude of the scandal. In fact, however, these metaphors are inadequate. Unsettling though they may be, the problem with these images is not that they go too far, but rather that they do not go far enough. Images of disease and institutional corruption may be apt to describe the strictly sexual portion of the current scandal, but they fail to do justice to the scandal beneath the scandal.
   As the secular press has made clear, the scandal beneath the sex scandal is the American bishops' culture of obsessive secrecy. What the press has not made clear, however, is just how deep and extensive the roots of this culture are. The roots are deep enough to give the culture of secrecy a firmly entrenched position in American dioceses, and they are extensive enough to influence virtually every question that the U.S. bishops address.
   To describe accurately this arch-scandal of the American bishops, one requires images of an entirely different order of magnitude. Thus, if pedophilia is the Watergate of the American bishops, then the culture of secrecy is their Chernobyl. If the seduction of adolescent boys (ephebophilia) by predatory homosexual priests is another Enron, then the culture of secrecy that coddles these priests is another stock market crash. And if active homosexuality among American priests and seminarians is a cancer on the Church, then the culture of secrecy that conceals and excuses their behavior is another Plague, another Black Death.
Plaintiffs victimized by terms of church's abuse settlement
   Boston Herald, As you were saying/Joseph E. Gallagher Jr, Sunday, January 4, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): The question, asked facetiously, is "What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?" The answer, "A good start," and as victims of clergy sex abuse and their advocates review the grim elements of the archdiocesan settlement agreement, we can see why.
   This is a profoundly flawed agreement, so flawed it serves no one's interest adequately. On the one hand, the church is hurt because it has lost yet another opportunity for genuine redemption. It needed to help craft a settlement of compassion, and instead it forged a hard bargain, battering victims into a no-win situation. On the other hand, victims are disappointed once again because the agreement manifests a total sense of disconnect between what victims wanted and what the church was willing to give. To the church, it was all about money, and offering as little as possible. To victims, it was about so much more than money. Sadly, some victims have said plaintiffs feel almost like prostitutes now that they've been compensated financially for having been sexually violated.
   Many victims and advocates feel that a healing settlement offer would have addressed the following issues:
   Full disclosure: We know who the victims are. But who are the sexually abusive priests and where are they? And how can Archbishop Sean O'Malley be certain they will abuse no more? O'Malley has a history of refusing to cooperate with authorities on this issue. Just ask Bristol County District Attorney Paul Walsh. O'Malley refused to release the names of 22 abusive priests in the Fall River Diocese for more than 10 years.
Study of diocese to withhold names
   Reporter-News, By Loretta Fulton, January 4, 2004
   TEXAS: No one involved in allegations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy will be identified, even when a national report becomes public in early February.
   Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of the Diocese of San Angelo released preliminary findings Friday that revealed "credible allegations" that four priests abused minors.
   The allegations were made by six people. The report also showed one credible allegation against a candidate for the seminary, and no credible allegations against deacons.
   The seminary candidate never entered seminary, and the priests are no longer assigned to churches in the diocese, which includes Abilene's four parishes, Pfeifer said.
   Pfeifer said he is forbidden from identifying victims, accusers or clergy cited in a report done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Report to show most dioceses following abuse plan
   Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Published January 4, 2004
   UNITED STATES: An upcoming report on whether Roman Catholic bishops are implementing their new mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests will say most dioceses are complying, but "there is still a lot that needs to be done," the official overseeing the audit said Friday.
   Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the size of some of the largest dioceses slowed their progress, while others lacked the personnel or financing for quick compliance.
   The plan not only dictates how bishops should respond to abuse claims, but also requires them to take steps to prevent molestation, such as conducting background checks on all clergy and lay workers in the diocese and training them to identify abuse. The largest archdioceses employ more than a thousand priests, McChesney said.
   "Considering it's only been about a year since people have been working on it, there's been a lot of progress, but nobody is going to tell you that it's all been done," McChesney said in a phone interview. "What you're going to find is that most of them are [complying], but there is still a lot that needs to be done."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:58 AM
Archbishop says Denver Archdiocese compliant with sexual abuse charter
   Casper Star-Tribune, By BEN KIECKHEFER, Associated Press Writer
   DENVER (CO) (AP): The Archdiocese of Denver is fully compliant with a national charter enacted in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church, parishioners heard Saturday.
   That news came in a letter from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput that churches throughout the diocese were instructed to read at all Masses over the weekend.
   Last summer the Gavin Group of Boston audited the Denver Archdiocese as part of a national examination of each diocese's policies about and response to the scandal involving hundreds of priests across the country.
   "The investigation team commended the archdiocese in several key areas, including proactive conduct policies that began in the early 1990s," the letter reads.
   The full report will be released Tuesday.
   Several parishioners at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver Saturday evening said they were happy with the church's openness about the scandal and the release of the report.
Church searches for right words on clergy abuse
   Star-Ledger, Sunday, January 04, 2004, BY JEFF DIAMANT
   MENDHAM (NJ): No one knows whether James Kelly's suicide last October in front of an NJ Transit train in Morristown stemmed from the childhood sexual abuse he endured by a Mendham priest or from other personal problems.
   Still, while gathered after his funeral on the grounds of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Mendham -- where the abuse occurred more than two decades ago -- people who were abused by the same priest discussed naming their support group chapter after Kelly, a 37-year-old telecommunications salesman from Morristown who had recently been laid off.
   "We were just kind of having an open table discussion," recalled Bill Crane, who, like Kelly, was sexually abused by former Rev. James Hanley. "And it dawned on me that something really needs to take place that is tangible, to bring to light the seriousness of what we endured as children, so it won't be forgotten."
   Crane suggested erecting a small monument, and received approval from the group and the church's pastor, the Rev. Kenneth Lasch. When dedicated in April outside the church's Pax Christi Center, the 400-pound basalt monument -- shaped like a millstone -- will evoke a biblical saying that is meaningful to Christians who were sexually abused as children.
Local dioceses await national abuse report
   Daily Herald, By Sara Burnett, Posted January 04, 2004
   CHICAGO (IL): Local Catholic dioceses tweaked their policies for handling clergy sex abuse amid revelations in 2002 that some Catholic Church leaders had covered up abuse for decades.
   On Tuesday, a national audit will reveal whether the dioceses - and the 192 others across the country - are following the directives set by the nation's bishops during their historic meeting in Dallas in June 2002.
   The review was conducted by a team of 50 auditors who spent about a week at each of the nation's dioceses. The team is led by a former FBI investigator.
   The auditors worked in teams of two between June and October, interviewing staff and checking to see that the dioceses are following "The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Phila. archdiocese in 'full compliance'
   Philadelphia Inquirer, By Jim Remsen, Inquirer Faith Life Editor
   PHILADELPHIA (PA): The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports that it has achieved "full compliance" with the U.S. bishops' sex-abuse protection charter after addressing several concerns raised by investigators auditing dioceses' policies.
   Full results of the audit of all 195 American dioceses are to be released Tuesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The review, commissioned in 2002 at the height of the priest sex-abuse scandal, was conducted by audit teams consisting mostly of former law-enforcement agents.
   Philadelphia joins a number of dioceses in providing advance summaries of their audit results. Others, including the Camden diocese, are expected to release their reports Tuesday as requested by the conference.
   Yesterday, Andrew Walton, spokesman for the Diocese of Camden, said: "We have received a very, very positive audit report which commends the Diocese of Camden for adopting measures which go above and beyond the requirements of the bishops' charter."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:26 AM
Letters oppose probation for priest
   The Courier Journal, By JASON RILEY, jriley@courier-journal.com
   LOUISVILLE (KY): The letters have come from the Rev. Louis Miller's victims and their families, from Catholics who are struggling to find their faith in the wake of the church's sexual-abuse scandal and even from a pastor who grew up with Miller and has known him for decades.
   Their message to Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann O'Malley Shake is overwhelmingly one-sided: Miller is a danger to the community who must pay for his crimes and should not be granted shock probation after serving only six months of a 20-year sentence.
   "I know he is old, but releasing him on the basis of 'shock probation' opens again the wounds of so many people," wrote the Rev. Joseph Fowler, a pastor at St. Cecilia's who said he has known and served with Miller for more than 40 years.
   "He has harmed so many people in so many places throughout our community that so short a time served in jail mocks any sense of justice the court (might) have meted out," Fowler said.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw kashaw@peoplepc.com at 07:25 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse (formerly on Poynter website), January 04, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Monday, January 05, 2004 edition follows:-
Bishops' audits called 'baby step' by abuse victims
   WSTM
   WASHINGTON (DC) AP: The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] says America's Roman Catholic bishops have only taken "a baby step toward accountability."
   SNAP leader Barbara Blaine spoke on the eve of the release of audits gauging how U-S dioceses have complied with a mandatory policy to protect youths and punish their molesters.
   She says most bishops are only "making belated and begrudging and bare-minimum progress."
   Blaine says the review board that conducted the audits interviewed only three of SNAP's 46-hundred members and offered little encouragement for abuse victims to come forward.
   She and other leaders of the victims' advocacy group said bishops are still concealing the names of abusers, allowing some to continue working around children.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 09:26 PM
Group Unhappy With Bishop's Report on Sex Abuse
   KSDK
   ST. LOUIS (MO) (KSDK): A national group representing priest abuse survivors say they're upset with a new report out by the Catholic Church.
   Sunday, Bishop Wilton Gregory said the new report shows bishops have kept their word about punishing sex abusers in the Catholic Church and protecting children. Gregory spoke during and interview with ABC News. Gregory says one flaw in the report is that not all 195 Catholic dioceses took part.
   The sex abuse plan was adopted a year and a half ago at the height of the scandal that rocked the church.
   SNAP says the church has not made enough progress. "In essence the bishops created the game, they made up the rules, picked the players hired the umpires and then declared themselves the winner," said SNAP activist Barbara Dorris.
   SNAP members say only a select group of victims were questioned. They didn't even know auditors were in town, until they left.
Bishop says audit finds compliance
   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, By JOHN BLAKE
   ATLANTA (GA): The leader of Roman Catholics in Atlanta said Monday that a long-awaited report will show that the city's archdiocese is in "full compliance" with new sex abuse reforms.
   The audit, prepared by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be released this morning and will detail which Catholic dioceses across the nation are complying with the new reforms.
   "I am very pleased that the . . . audit verifies that the Archdiocese fully complies with the commitment to eliminating or preventing such abuse, and to responding quickly and effectively if it should occur," Archbishop John F. Donoghue wrote in a statement read to parishioners in Atlanta during church services Sunday.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to Release U.S. Catholic Church Compliance Audit
   U.S. Newswire
   UNITED STATES: News Advisory:
   WHAT: U.S. Catholic Church Compliance Audit
   WHEN: Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10 a.m. ET
   WHERE: National Press Club Holeman Lounge 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor Washington, DC 20045
   The Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is issuing this Report based on an audit of U.S. dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches) to assess their compliance with the "Charter." The compliance audit was performed by the Gavin Group, Inc., Boston, Mass.
About 800 cases filed against Catholic church statewide
   The Mercury News, by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press
   LOS ANGELES (CA) (AP): About 800 people statewide took advantage of a one-year window in 2003 to file molestation lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.
   The lawyers say negotiations over the claims could yield one of the largest clergy abuse settlements in the nation's history.
   The initial estimate came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prepared to release the results of an audit Tuesday identifying how well the nation's 195 dioceses have complied with the church's two-year-old charter addressing the clergy sex abuse scandal.
   About 500 of the cases are against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, while another 175 are spread among the dioceses of Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino, said attorney Ray Boucher, whose office is handling filings for 320 plaintiffs in Southern California. About another 125 are against dioceses in Northern California, including the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
   In some cases, the dioceses aren't yet sure of the total number of lawsuits they face. At least one diocese was still being served with new lawsuits Monday, five days after the official filing deadline of Dec. 31, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was still sorting through its cases. The Diocese of Monterey sent paralegals to a number of counties Monday to try to tally the lawsuits against it, a spokesman said.
Reno, Las Vegas dioceses in 'full compliance'
   Las Vegas Sun, By BRENDAN RILEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS
   CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP): Roman Catholic dioceses in Reno and Las Vegas said Monday that they're in full compliance with recommendations issued by American bishops in efforts to deal with a nationwide sex-abuse scandal involving clergy members.
   Bishop Phillip Straling in Reno and the Very Rev. Bob Stoeckig, representing Bishop Joseph Pepe in Las Vegas, said the two dioceses that cover the state were advised they met terms of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
   The charter was adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002 to prevent sexual abuse by clergy or church employees and to ensure that cases of abuse are dealt with promptly and openly.
Abuse Survivors Slam Bishops' Report
   Newsday, By Carol Eisenberg
   UNITED STATES: Victims of sexual abuse by priests blasted a report due out Tuesday by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops, saying that auditors assessing how the bishops implemented new sexual abuse policies talked only to a small and skewed group of victims.
   "This is largely glorified, voluntary self-reporting," Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, said in an interview Monday. "The bishops defined the rules of the game. They figured out who was going to play. They hired the umpires. And now, surprise, they're claiming victory."
   The comments by critics like Blaine on the eve of the report's release follow numerous laudatory statements by bishops, including all three New York-area prelates, previewing positive reviews from investigators.
   The intensity of the competing rhetoric -- even before the report is released -- speaks to the huge stakes in the battle for the hearts and minds of American Catholics as three major reports promised at the height of the sexual abuse scandal in June 2002 are published.
Mother's faith lasts despite scandal
   The Orange County Register, By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
   ANAHEIM (CA): Kneeling, Sherida Ruiz clasps her hands together to pray, and gazes up at the wooden crucifix hanging in St. Justin Martyr Church in Anaheim.
   It was here that her two children, now adults, were baptized. It was here that Ruiz mourned her first husband's death.
   And it was here where Rev. Sigfried Widera met Ruiz's son, who says Widera molested him at the family's home when he was 10.
   Christopher Huicochea, 34, of Santa Ana is suing the Catholic Church. Widera, who was removed as a priest in 1985, committed suicide last year as he faced criminal prosecution on accusations that he molested Huicochea and three other preteen boys.
   "Sometimes I have a hard time concentrating on the Mass," said Ruiz, who remains Catholic. "This place reminds me of what happened (to Christopher).
   "But I need my faith. I know when I receive the body and blood of Christ, that's he's there, helping me," she added.
Diocese works for children's safety
   Ironwood Daily Globe
   MARQUETTE (MI): The Catholic Diocese of Marquette took steps this fall to help ensure a safe environment for children in its churches and schools, but more remains to be done.
   During the initial phase of the Protecting God's Children Program, approximately 1,165 people attended one of the 13 awareness sessions that were held in communities across the Upper Peninsula from September to November.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:36 PM
Advocates Unhappy with Audit of Knoxville's Catholic Diocese
   WATE, By YVONNE NAVA, 6 News Anchor/Reporter
   KNOXVILLE (TN) (WATE): Catholic churches in Knoxville want to make sure a sex scandal doesn't hit home again, by having an internal audit. But a group of victim advocates are unhappy with the findings.
   Nearly two years ago, former Knoxville Bishop Anthony O'Connell resigned as a bishop in Florida. It happened after he admitted to sexual contact with a teenage seminary student in Missouri back in the 1970's.
   The church audit on the Knoxville diocese will be released Tuesday morning. But Bishop Joseph Kurtz read a letter at Sunday mass that gave people a prelude to the report.
   And members of a local group for clergy abuse victims called SNAP are outraged by the findings. "I thought, what are they thinking when the diocese is so cavalierly saying we have one credible allegation?" Susan Vance said. "And to my knowledge, that was because it was in the press."
   As Vance puts it, according to the bishop's letter the Knoxville diocese will report one allegation of sexual abuse. And the report will only cover what happened from 1988 to now.
New Hampshire Diocese Earns Praise For Abuse Response
   TheWMURChannel.com
   CONCORD, N.H.: New Hampshire's Roman Catholic diocese is being praised for facing up to and dealing with sexual abuse by its priests, according to a national report.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops report being released Tuesday -- two years after the abuse rose to a national crisis -- outlines whether dioceses are implementing a mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests.
   The Gavin Group, an independent firm, reviewed implementation of the plan.
   Regarding New Hampshire, the Gavin audit found "that we are not only in complete compliance ... but also that two particular aspects of our pastoral response warrant national commendation," Bishop John McCormack said in a statement.
   Diane Murphy Quinlan, a spokeswoman for the Manchester Diocese, said the New Hampshire church was singled out for "its open communication policy" and its "Bethany" support group for adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
Church Sexual Abuse Report
   WBNG, by Grant Loomis, Jan 5, 2004, 17:54
   BINGHAMTON (NY): Greater Binghamton's Catholic churches are a part of the Syracuse Diocese.
   As part of its new church reporting system, the Diocese says 49 priests have been accused.
   16 have been permanently removed from the ministry. The Diocese is now encouraging other organizations that deal with children to come clean about sex abuse.
Changes are welcome, but more are still needed
   Miami Herald, BY EILEEN P. FLYNN, eileenpflynn@aol.com
   MIAMI: Tomorrow the Catholic Church's Office of Youth and Child Protection is due to release a report on the compliance of U.S. dioceses to the procedures that they adopted in 2002. Most Catholics expect that the bishops will receive high marks for compliance. They will also probably apologize again for the suffering of victims and pledge themselves to better management of the church.
   The bishops, however, will be making a big mistake if they think that this will be enough. Catholics will not agree to simply let them get back to business as usual. This New Year does not represent a chance to just move on; important steps remain to be taken. Two of these are of great significance: structuring financial reform and tackling the issue of the priest shortage.
   Recent bishops statements about how much money dioceses have paid in settlements declare that monies paid have not come from annual appeals or Sunday collections. Bishops suggest that diocesan self-insurance, payments from insurance carriers and "other" sources of revenue, such as interest on investments or sales of properties, have been used.
   This is disingenuous. No one has four wallets. In many cases, annual appeals would not have been necessary if diocesan funds were not used to settle claims.
Names of accused remain concealed
   Post-Standard, By Renee K. Gadoua, Staff writer
   SYRACUSE (NY): Bishop James Moynihan said Sunday he released a report on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse's history of clergy sexual abuse in an effort to rebuild trust.
   But he remains firm in his refusal to reveal the names of priests accused of - or found guilty of - sexually abusing minors. "You'll never have names," he said, during an interview at the diocese office, 240 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse.
   Moynihan cited the Eighth Commandment [Ninth in other faiths] - "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" - to explain his refusal to reveal names. The moral code that commonly refers to lying also forbids revealing a person's hidden faults or making a false statement that hurts a person's reputation, he said.
   "Please, God, I'm not going to be guilty of either of those sins," he said.
Editor of NC Catholic fired for publishing an article with criticism of the church
   Independent Weekly, http://indyweek.com/durham/2003-12-31/news2.html , by Patrick O'Neill, December 31, 2003
   RALEIGH (NC): Some argue that the Catholic Church is broken and wounded and in need of healing. John Strange found out there can be severe consequences for saying so in print--especially if you're the editor of the NC Catholic, the semi-monthly newspaper published by the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. December 31, 2003
   Diocese of Raleigh Bishop Joseph Gossman, who also is publisher of NC Catholic, walked into Strange's Catholic Center office a week before Christmas and notified his editor he was being immediately terminated from the position he'd held for almost a decade.
   Strange's demise was the result of criticism of the church expressed in an interview with Chapel Hill author William Powers that Strange wrote for the Dec. 14 issue. The story was about Powers' new book, Tar Heel Catholics: A History of Catholicism in North Carolina (University Press of America).
Mediator reportedly hired by diocese
   Republican, By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com
   SPRINGFIELD: A mediator has been hired to try to settle clergy sexual abuse lawsuits in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, and March 15 is the target date for settlement, according to two alleged clergy sexual abuse victims.
   Paul A. Finn, the mediator who helped settle 552 suits in the Archdiocese of Boston, has been hired in the past month or so by the Springfield Diocese, according to the mother of a man who has sued the diocese on the complaint of clergy sexual abuse and two other plaintiffs, who spoke on condition that their identities be kept secret.
   Sandra L. Tessier, the mother of Andre Tessier of Hartford, said diocesan outreach worker Laura F. Reilly told her several weeks ago that Finn had been hired. Reilly said her comments were misunderstood.
   Finn, diocesan lawyer John J. Egan and plaintiffs' lawyers Carmen L. Durso, Raipher D. Pellegrino and John J. Stobierski all refused comment.
• Editor fired from Catholic newspaper
   News Observer, http://newsobserver.com/news/story/3178530p-2863418c.html , By Vicki Lee Parker
   RALEIGH (NC):The longtime editor of the N.C. Catholic, a semimonthly newspaper published by the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, has been fired after the publication printed an article that included criticism of the church.
   John Strange, who was the editor of the N.C. Catholic for nearly a decade, said he was "surprised and saddened" by the decision of Bishop Joseph Gossman. Gossman declined to say exactly why he dismissed Strange in the week before Christmas. ...
   But Strange said the firing came after an interview with Chapel Hill author William Powers, who wrote the book "Tar Heel Catholics: A History of Catholicism in North Carolina," which was published in October. In the article, Strange included unflattering comments that Powers made about the church.
   Powers said Strange asked him during an interview about the future of the Catholic Church. Powers said that the church was having trouble recruiting priests, and that it should consider allowing women and married men to become priests.
   Strange quoted Powers as saying, "No organization has trouble finding key workers unless there is something wrong with it."
Church to defrock clergymen: Archdiocese targets accused priests
   Boston Herald, By Robin Washington
   BOSTON, Massachusetts: The Archdiocese of Boston has begun the defrocking process against at least two priests in the sexual molestation scandal and is likely to pursue removing dozens of clergymen from the priesthood before the church's abuse policy is reviewed at the end of the year, the Herald has learned. Archdiocese spokesman the Rev. Christopher Coyne confirmed yesterday that church officials recently asked some accused clergy to voluntarily leave the priesthood. "That would be the first way to go," he said of the voluntary removals, adding, "I haven't heard anything about any number." Yet multiple sources told the Herald two priests named in the recent $85 million settlement were directly approached by church leaders within the past month asking for their removal, and a third is facing trial by a church tribunal that could result in laicization. ... Among those are the Rev. Robert Kelley, who ran a Back Bay flower shop until his imprisonment last year, and the Rev. Robert Morrisette, now a concierge at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Defrocked priest Hugh Behan of Missouri was later employed as a greeter at Disney World. "If they just laicize them, they can become school teachers, soccer coaches or Boy Scout leaders," Durso said. "They've got to find a medium security monastery and put them in a place where they can't offend."
Gregory: Dioceses working on plan
   Belleville News-Democrat, Associated Press
   BELLEVILLE: Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says an upcoming report on whether dioceses are implementing a mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests will show "the bishops have kept our word" to punish offenders and protect children.
   The audit found that dioceses "are either in full compliance or in the process of working toward compliance," Gregory said in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
   But he also said some of the 195 dioceses did not participate in the review. He would say only that the number was "minuscule" and their reasons will be included in the report, which is to be released Tuesday, two years after the abuse crisis began.
   "The bishops have kept our word, that we intended to implement a protocol which we would follow in each diocese," he said. "And that, I believe, is an important step forward."
Ex-pastor slated for court in sex case: Alliance Church [2003]
   Al.com
   VESTAVIA HILLS (AL): A former Vestavia Hills pastor indicted on sex-related charges has a February court date in Jefferson County Circuit Court.
   Richard Drew Barker, 44, is scheduled to appear in court in connection with three charges - first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sodomy and second-degree sodomy. The case is to be heard by Judge Gloria Bahakel at 9 a.m. Feb. 17 in Room 405 of the Mel Bailey Criminal Justice Center, 801 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North.
   Barker, former pastor of Vestavia Alliance Church, was indicted Dec. 5 on the charges. Vestavia Hills police began the investigation in November. Barker surrendered to authorities Dec. 11 and later was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
   Barker, who was on paid leave of absence since November, resigned from his pastoral position Dec. 12, said David Ball, a church elder. Ball said the church has not replaced Barker, who had been the pastor for seven years.
Laity must get involved
   Times-Picayune
   NEW ORLEANS (LA): Since the initial revelations of sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests, there have been many letters on the editorial page. These letters have expressed outrage, cynicism, skepticism and heartache. Such emotions are understandable. After only a short existence in New Orleans, the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful, is thriving. We have heard and shared the same emotions. The Catholic community is concerned for its church but unsure of a proactive option for the laity.
   The sexual-abuse scandal is only a symptom of the real crisis, which is the lack of communication and involvement between the laity and hierarchy. Accountability is a must on all levels. Recently, the Archdiocese of New Orleans held several "listening" meetings. The last meeting at Notre Dame Seminary exposed a disconnected faith community. Parishes are unfamiliar with one another. We felt as if we had just discovered a brother we never knew, living on the other side of town, a brother with problems.
   New Orleans is a unique place, and Catholicism is a large part of what makes it special. We love our church, but Catholics of New Orleans have got to take responsibility for our church.
SR Diocese passes abuse audit
   The Press Democrat, By GUY KOVNER
   SANTA ROSA (CA): The Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese was found in a nationwide audit to be complying with U.S. bishops' standards for preventing child sexual abuse, a diocese official said.
   The diocese, however, failed to receive the highest rating, a commendation for fully addressing the problem of sex abuse or for "exceptional transparency and openness."
   Instead, it received at least two recommendations, calling on the 140,000-member diocese to complete an educational program for parents and volunteers on recognizing sex abuse, and to produce more preventive materials in Spanish.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:21 AM
Audit lauds diocese's policy
   The News Journal, By BETH MILLER
   DELAWARE: A team of auditors, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, found the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has complied with the bishops' mandate to protect children and youths from sexual abuse.
   Some victim advocates, however, fear the auditors' report will be given too much credence, and that people will assume the audit means a thorough examination of past and present practices.
   The Wilmington diocese, which serves the approximately 220,000 Catholics in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, released the auditors' two-page report for publication today. A complete report on all 195 dioceses will be released Tuesday.
Catholic bishops to report on abuse
   The Dallas Morning News, By SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH
   DALLAS (TX): Six months ago, retired FBI investigators began quietly visiting the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses. Their goal was to see how well bishops were complying with the sexual abuse charter adopted in Dallas in the summer of 2002.
   The results of the unprecedented audit, paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be released on Tuesday. The audit was conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston, which dispersed 54 investigators to see whether bishops were fulfilling the 17 promises they made in the charter.
   Bishops say the report card will provide a measure of accountability that American Catholics have demanded in the face of a scandal that has led to the removal of more than 400 priests and bishops over the last two years.
   But advocates for sexual abuse victims are wary. Some say the auditors only had access to information provided by bishops - the very church leaders whose secrecy allowed the scandal to mushroom in the first place.
   "The bishops think this is going to exonerate them," said the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a priest, canon lawyer and victims' advocate based in North Carolina. "But everybody knows the audits are self-reporting by the bishops, and because of that, the problems will be understated."
Reaction mixed on Diocese report
   Observer-Dispatch, MELISSA A. CHADWICK
   UTICA (NY): Local priests say the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse is moving in the right direction in reporting abuse to its parishioners, but an alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse says there still is a long way to go.
   In the wake of a diocese report released over the weekend that stated 16 priests have been removed from ministry in the last two years, local Catholic leaders and alleged sexual abuse victims are divided.
   The report, which was given to churchgoers over the weekend, comes before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is to release its report on whether dioceses are implementing a mandatory discipline plan for sexually abusive priests.
   That report is to be released Tuesday.
   "This (reporting) is nothing new. We have been trying to let our people know about what is going on," said the Rev. Arthur Hapanowicz of Holy Trinity in Utica. "Obviously honesty is always going to be the right thing."
Archbishop: Audit goes well
   San Antonio Express, By J. Michael Parker, Express-News Religion Writer
   SAN ANTONIO (TX): A national audit will commend the Archdiocese of San Antonio for having most of the provisions in place for a new mandatory plan to deal with complaints about child sexual abuse, Archbishop Patrick Flores said. But a victim's mother and the archbishop both said improvement is still needed.
   Kathleen McChesney, director of the U.S. Catholic bishops' national office for Protection of Children and Young People, will announce comprehensive results for the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses Tuesday.
   That is also when Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Zurek, Monsignor Lawrence Stuebben and victim assistance director Judy Perillo will announce San Antonio's results at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Paul's Community Center.
   "The audit team gave us a very good grade," Flores said last week. "The only thing (still to be completed) was that we should have a police clearance for everyone who works for the archdiocese - including volunteers."
Gregory renews call for healing from abuse scandal
   St. Louis Post-Dispatch, By AISHA SULTAN
   UNITED STATES: Bishop Wilton Gregory reiterated his message of healing within the Roman Catholic church and reaffirmed his support for celibacy for priests, in a televised interview Sunday morning.
   The interview on "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos aired two days before the church releases its first report on how American dioceses have handled the sexual abuse of children since passing a policy 18 months ago to better protect children.
   Gregory is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He did not reveal any details of the pending report, except to say, "It will show the American people that the bishops have kept our word" about changing how the church handles allegations of sexual abuse.
   He added that nearly all dioceses have fully put in place the policy, or are working toward complying with it. The few exceptions are due to specific circumstances that will be noted in the report, he said.
Reporting child abuse not optional
   Dayton Daily News
   OHIO: In the category of important, unfinished legislative business: The Catholic Church's child sexual-abuse scandal brought to light a possible crack in Ohio law about who must report known or suspected child abuse.
   Some lawyers for the Catholic Church hinted to prosecutors who were investigating which priests and officials knew about abuse allegations that if anyone was indicted, the lawyers might argue that priests don't have a legal obligation to report such suspected crimes. Even the prospect is amazing.
   After all the evidence that's come out about church officials turning a blind eye to criminal offenses against children, imagine a priest's lawyer standing in court arguing that his client was exempt from the law that applies to teachers, social workers, nurses and all manner of people who are mandated to alert police if they think a child is being hurt. You have to hope that it never would have come to that.
Churches comply with 2002 charter
   Greeley Tribune, Story by Annie P. Hundley
   COLORADO: Weld County Catholic churches are following guidelines established in 2002 to protect children from sexual abuse, according to a letter from Archbishop Charles Chaput read at all Masses this weekend.
   Chaput's letter said an audit conducted last summer found the Archdiocese of Denver in compliance with the 2002 charter. The audit praises the church for its proactive sexual misconduct policy put in place in 1991. The full report will be released Tuesday.
   "Sexual misconduct is a serious sin," Deacon Joe Meilinger read at Sunday's noon Mass at Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Greeley. "When it occurs in a church-related setting, it wounds innocent children and families, betrays the believing community and undermines the discipleship of thousands of good priests and layworkers."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:05 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , January 05, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, January 06, 2004 edition follows:-
Report cites Indy deficiency, commends Lafayette, FW-SB Dioceses
   WHAS, By KEN KUSMER / Associated Press
   INDIANA: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis did not meet all of the U.S. church's guidelines for protecting children from sexual abuse until after auditors pointed out a deficiency, a report said.
   After being audited by an outside group of investigators Aug. 4-8, the archdiocese began training clergy, employees, volunteers and others on providing safe environments for children. The additional training brought it into compliance with child safety standards adopted in June 2002, said the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   The report also commended the Fort Wayne-South Bend and Lafayette Diocese for noteworthy programs. It said all five Indiana dioceses - which also include the dioceses of Evansville and Gary - now comply fully with the national standards.
   Some lay Catholic groups critical of bishops said the audits did not go far enough in investigating the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the U.S. church the past two years, and that bishops manipulated the report by hand-picking those interviewed by auditors.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:02 PM
Five of Six Illinois Dioceses Comply With Sex Abuse Recommendations
   WBBM
   CHICAGO (AP): Five of Illinois' six Catholic dioceses are doing all that church officials and outside investigators have recommended to prevent the sexual abuse of children by priests, according to church audits released Tuesday.
   Only the Diocese of Peoria failed to comply with one of its audit's recommendations under a new national policy set up by the Catholic Church in the wake of a wave of sexual abuse allegations against priests. Officials there said they were working to correct the issue.
   But critics said the audits measure only whether the dioceses had written policies in place to prevent abuse -- and not necessarily whether they were following them.
   "I don't want to throw water on their efforts here. I just think they should be billed for what they are: a minimum," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
   Blaine also said any praise seems disingenuous as some Catholic organizations in Illinois fight a new state law that grants more time for lawsuits over sexual abuse cases. The groups have said the legal challenges are based on constitutional issues that have nothing to do with their efforts to prevent sexual abuse.
Local Diocese Audited for Compliance with Church Policy
   WTOC
   SAVANNAH (GA): In the midst of several shocking sex scandals, the Catholic church enacted a new charter last June on how it would handle sexual abuse cases involving the clergy. In the months that followed, 54 auditors visited more than 100 diocese, including Savannah's, to find out if they are in compliance. WTOC spoke with officials at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to find out how they did.
   Auditors were looking to see if the church was cooperative and if they had anything to hide. What used to be handled strictly within the Catholic church is now being dealt with in other ways. "Anyone who has any concern, we are encouraging to call law enforcement," said diocese spokesperson Barbara King.
   With the church working to clear its name, many policies have been put into place to help deal with any sexual abuse head on. "Anything that reaches the level that law enforcement should be told, we are working very closely with any legitimate law enforcement agency in Georgia," said King.
Upper Peninsula Briefs
   MLive.com
   MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP): The Diocese of Marquette is complying with rules and procedures on child sexual abuse established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a report said. The Office of Child and Youth Protection, a church agency that oversees compliance with the policy, issued the report Tuesday.
   It was based on audits of all 195 U.S. Catholic dioceses by Gavin Group of Boston, an independent investigative firm established by former FBI official William Gavin.
   "This problem is really being taken seriously," Bishop James Garland of the Marquette diocese told The Mining Journal. "We feel ... our bishops have been very straightforward."
Church responds to abuse suit
   Napa Valley Register, By DAVID RYAN
   CALIFORNIA: More than two weeks after claims of sexual abuse surfaced against Monsignor Joseph Alzugaray of St. Apollinaris Catholic Church, his lawyer and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa are fighting back, saying the priest was cleared of wrongdoing in previous inquiries initiated by church officials in Santa Rosa and Los Angeles.
   Santa Rosa Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak said an investigation performed in 2002 by a diocese independent review board found no evidence he sexually abused a Southern California girl. The diocese oversees St. Apollinaris and other Catholic churches in Napa County.
   A Dec. 17 lawsuit, Romo v. Doe, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Erin Brady and 16 other alleged victims of sexual abuse. The complaint names Alzugaray and 26 other priests, alleging the clerics used their positions in the church hierarchy to create an environment that protected child molesters. Brady was the only one to level claims against Alzugaray.
   Church officials in Los Angeles did not respond to requests for comment.
Toledo's Priests and Sexual Abuse Policy
   WTVG
   TOLEDO (OH):Two auditors came to Toledo this summer. They looked over records and policy and interviewed people in the diocese. Here's how Toledo complied with the Dallas charter and how critics are responding. The Toledo diocese feels Tuesday's announcement out of Washington, D.C., means it's doing the right things to combat sexual abuse by priests. Sally Oberski of the Toledo diocese says, "That means we're taking care of business here. We're getting to the serious process of healing for the victims. "
   The audit gave Toledo one recommendation and two commendations. The recommendation is that it revise the sexual abuse policy to incorporate a provision that calls for the permanent removal of clergy after even one act of sexual abuse against a minor. Oberski said, "We have to remove a priest immediately when the allegations are made. We've done that and it's literally in publication process right now." The commendations are for developing that sexual conduct policy in 1988 and revising it in 1995 and for using three retired police detectives to investigate abuse.
Washington dioceses in compliance with national policy
   By JOHN K. WILEY / Associated Press
   WASHINGTON: Washington state's three Roman Catholic dioceses are in compliance with a new mandatory policy adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday.
   Critics immediately criticized the study, saying it was flawed because auditors were not given access to bishops' personnel files.
   The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, the Diocese of Spokane and the Diocese of Yakima each was found to be in compliance with 18 articles for protecting children mandated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last year.
Audit: California dioceses in compliance with sex abuse charter
   Mercury News, GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press
   LOS ANGELES (CA): A national audit released Tuesday found that California's 12 Roman Catholic dioceses have complied with a 2-year-old charter designed to address the church's sexual abuse scandal.
   But the Archdiocese of Los Angeles - the nation's largest - must still make improvements in the way it reports allegations of sexual abuse to authorities and improve its cooperation with prosecutors during sexual abuse investigations, the audit said.
   The Archdiocese of Los Angeles currently faces about 500 molestation lawsuits and is in mediation to try to settle cases. It is also the subject of a grand jury investigation.
Priests Accused Of Abuse Removed From Upstate Dioceses -- 44 since 2002
   Newsday, By BEN DOBBIN, Associated Press Writer
   ROCHESTER, N.Y.: At least 44 priests suspected of sexually abusing children have resigned or been removed from ministry in upstate New York's Roman Catholic dioceses since 2002, when clergy abuse became a national crisis for the church.
   All five dioceses have carried out a new mandatory church policy to prevent sex abuse by priests, and their leaders offered fresh apologies Tuesday to victims and their families.
   In Rochester, Bishop Matthew Clark promised that "everything within our power will be done to ensure that we will work tirelessly to prevent such incidents now and in the future."
   "I cannot express enough my sorrow that even one child was subjected to sexual abuse by a member of the clergy," Monsignor Robert Lawler said in a letter to parishioners in the Ogdensburg diocese in northern New York. "It simply should never happen, and is a grave violation of the sacred trust placed in us by the Lord and by the faithful."
L.A. Archdiocese Adheres To New Mandatory Policy
   NBC 4
   LOS ANGELES (CA): The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is adhering to the new mandatory policy U.S. Catholic bishops adopted in an effort to crack down on sexual abuse committed by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday.
   Church reviewers commended Cardinal Roger Mahony and his staff for the "adoption of a strong policy on sexual abuse and (the) creation of a review board long before implementation of the charter."
   The archdiocese was found "to be compliant with all articles of the 'Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,' adopted by the Catholic bishops of the United States at their meeting in Dallas in June 2002," according to a statement from the Los Angeles archdiocese.
   But the review did not satisfy some local sexual abuse victims.
   "We're basically telling people to view the audit with a lot of skepticism," Mary Grant of SNAP -- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests -- said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
Clergy Sex Abuse Report Says Orlando Diocese In Full Compliance
   WFTV
   ORLANDO, Fla.: The Roman Catholic Church released a key report Tuesday on the clergy sex abuse scandal. This report included Orlando, where the local diocese was also investigated. Auditors have determined the Orlando diocese has complied with all of the policies in the 2002 charter designed to protect young people. The local diocese was also commended for its prevention programs put in place even before the charter was created. And yet, since the charter went into effect, there was still a local case in which a minor accused a priest of sexual abuse.
   "One case of child sexual abuse is one too many," says Sister Lucy Vazquez.
Summary Reports of Dioceses and Eparchies
   WASHINGTON (DC) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
   Alphabetically by State | By Dioceses
http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/audit2003/state.htm
Statement Regarding Upcoming USCCB Audit Report
   Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SMAP], Statement by Barbara A Blaine, MSW of Chicago
   UNITED STATES: "In the days ahead you will be hearing a good deal from America's Catholic bishops about their so-called audits.
   We believe, however, that these so-called audits are fundamentally flawed. They are a small step forward. But they are already being mischaracterized and oversold by self-congratulatory bishops.
   Essentially, bishops have defined the rules of the game, decided who plays, paid the umpires, and are now declaring themselves the winners.
   They defined the rules, by writing up the Dallas charter themselves, a very weak and vague document. They've decided who plays, by determining who the interview teams got to speak to. They paid the umpires, by appointing the National Review Boards. Now, all across the country, bishops are using these upcoming reports to proclaim "We're doing all we should be doing."
Detroit's Roman Catholic archdiocese meets protection guidelines, audit says
   MLive.com, By SARAH FREEMAN, The Associated Press
   DETROIT (MI) (AP): The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Detroit is carrying out a new mandatory policy adopted by bishops nationwide to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday.
   The archdiocese received four commendations in the national audit, that determined that 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children.
Providence Diocese Commended In Church Audit
   turnto10.com
   PROVIDENCE (RI): Nearly all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are carrying out a new mandatory policy they adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday. Critics said the study was fundamentally flawed.
   The review found 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children. Among the 20 considered out of compliance are the archdioceses of New York; Anchorage, Alaska; and Omaha, Neb. Four dioceses were not audited.
   The Diocese of Providence is listed as compliant with the plan and was commended for Bishop Robert Mulvee's support of a settlement with 37 abuse victims. It was also commended for outreach to victims.
   "The audit experience was a good one. It was very helpful to us in terms of reviewing our policies and our efforts to create a safe environment and avoid any of these problems in the future," Monsignor Paul Theroux told News Channel 10. "But I think the audit report affirmed what we're doing, and helped us to sort of look ahead and to continue to build on what we're doing as having a good foundation and being in compliance with the bishops' charter."
2 Northeast Ohio Churches Not Carrying Out New Policy
   NewsNet5
   UNITED STATES: An audit ordered by a Roman Catholic Church agency finds most bishops are carrying out a new mandatory policy on child sex abuse prevention.
   Two of the 20 dioceses which auditors say are out of compliance are in northeast Ohio.
   They are the Diocese of Steubenville and the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Saint Josephat in Parma.
   Steubenville Bishop R. Daniel Conlon says the church is working to improve the areas cited in the audit, including the need for background checks of adults who work with children.
Buffalo diocese gets positive marks for abuse policy
   Buffalo Business First
   BUFFALO (NY): The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is complying with a national policy to prevent sexual abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that Buffalo is among 171 U.S. dioceses that are in full compliance with guidelines that require churches to punish guilty priests and to protect children from being abused.
   Twenty dioceses, including the archdiocese of New York, were cited for failing to fully implement the policy. Four dioceses were not audited.
   The Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned the report from the Gavin Group, a Boston firm headed by William Gavin, a former FBI official. Advocates for victims' groups charged that the audit was unreliable because the bishops exercised too much control over it.
   Gavin's auditors visited the nation's dioceses between June and October. They interviewed bishops, priests, prosecutors and victims.
   Diocesan officials in Buffalo were commended for developing what the report called "an exemplary code of conduct" for Western New York priests and church officials.
Audit shows diocese is in compliance
   News Observer, By YONAT SHIMRON
   RALEIGH (NC): The Diocese of Raleigh has taken steps to combat sexual abuse by priests and is in compliance with reforms called for by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, an independent auditor has found. Those reforms include establishing lay review boards, conducting background checks for employees, offering victims assistance offices and setting up detailed policies on handling abuse allegations. The Raleigh diocese was audited by an independent company, The Gavin Group of Boston. In its report, released today, the auditors found that the diocese demonstrated a policy of openness and transparency and that the bishop had met personally with parishioners directly affected by reports of clergy misconduct. Three priests in the 54-county diocese were removed in 2002 for allegations they contributed to sexual abuse.
Richmond Diocese "not fully complying" with reforms to prevent clergy sex abuse
   WVEC, Associated Press & WVEC.com
   RICHMOND (VA): The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is among 20 dioceses identified by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection as failing to fully comply with a policy adopted to prevent sexual abuse by priests.
   On August 11, 2003, two auditors came to the Diocese of Richmond. At that time, then Bishop Walter Sullivan said, "I am glad to have the audit take place because we are so very proud of our Review Board and the thorough and effective way we've been addressing the tragedy of sexual abuse."
   Two weeks after that, on the heels of the US Bishops meeting in Dallas, the Diocese announced it had a newly- established diocesan sexual abuse Review Board.
   Nearly a half dozen priests in the Richmond Diocese were forced to retire from the clergy in the wake of the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.
Report: Boston archdiocese in compliance with sex abuse policy
   Providence Journal, By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press Writer
   BOSTON (MA) (AP): Two years after the clergy sex abuse scandal erupted here, the Boston Archdiocese is complying with reforms put in place by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but still needs to do a better job of documenting abuse allegations, according to a report released Tuesday.
   A national audit measuring compliance with a policy established by the bishops in June 2002 found that 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying. The policy requires bishops to take steps to protect children and lays out a policy for punishing guilty priests.
   The audit praised the Boston Archdiocese for an aggressive outreach program, which has included sponsoring a national conference of mental health professionals to deal with issues related to sex abuse by priests.
   Investigators also commended Boston for its efforts to give 200,000 church and school workers "safe environment" training to identify and prevent abuse, and for establishing a support group for the parents of people who have been abused by priests.
Church Abuse Audit: List
   WALB
   Here www.walb.com/Global/story.asp?S=1589140 is the list of dioceses identified by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection as failing to fully comply with a policy adopted to prevent sexual abuse by priests.
   Those identified as "eparchies" are geographic districts for Catholics who accept the authority of the pope, but follow different rituals.
New York Archdiocese Falls Short in Sex Abuse Review
   ABC 7, By Art McFarland
   NEW YORK (New York-WABC, January 6, 2004) - The Archdiocese of New York is under fire for not complying with a new policy to prevent sex abuse by priests. It is just one of handful of dioceses nationwide that's not following the rules.
   There has been 90 percent compliance with the anti-sex abuse guidelines. The fact that New York is not included in that compliance may be troubling for some area Roman Catholics.
   The intent of U.S. Catholic officials was very clear.
   Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President, USCCB: "During established meetings, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops adopted the charter for the protection of children and young people, which stipulated that each diocese would implement specific policies and procedures."
   But still, the nation's most important archdiocese here in New York is on the short list for non-compliance. The rules were adopted in June of 2002 when the sex abuse scandals were at their height, grabbing almost daily headlines. Cases such as that of former Catholic priest and convicted child molester John Geoghan sent a shockwave through the Catholic Church in the U.S.
N.Y. Archdiocese: Abuse Prevention Program Planned
   Newsday, By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer
   NEW YORK: A child abuse prevention program will be implemented by the end of the school year in the Archdiocese of New York, bringing it into compliance with national efforts by the Catholic Church to respond to allegations of priest sex abuse, a church official said Tuesday.
   The New York Archdiocese was among 20 of 195 dioceses nationwide found to be not fully compliant with the new sex abuse policies, according to a church audit released Tuesday.
   The review, conducted last year by investigators, including former FBI agents, was meant to help enforce church reforms and will be conducted annually. The auditors interviewed bishops, diocesan personnel, victims, abusive priests, prosecutors and lay people.
   The audit found the archdiocese had yet to complete its implementation of a Safe Environment Program, which provides church personnel with training and education on the prevention of sexual abuse of minors.
A scandal hits home
   Los Angeles Times, by Deepa Bharath, Daily Pilot
   NEWPORT-MESA (CA): For Joelle Casteix, going to church is not the same as it was when she was a little girl.
   The 33-year-old Corona del Mar woman says her faith in the Catholic Church, an institution she revered throughout her childhood and part of her adolescence, was shattered after she was sexually abused by her own high school teacher, a Catholic priest.
   Casteix is among the thousands of Americans who have claimed they were sexually abused by priests, leading to a scandal that has raged for the last year.
   As many as 800 claims were filed statewide over the last year by people who said they had been molested years ago as children. The civil cases grew in number last year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California law that had permitted the retroactive criminal prosecution of old child molestation cases.
First 'Charter' Implementation Report Issued by Catholic Bishops Conference
   U.S. Newswire
   WASHINGTON (DC), Jan. 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- All dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches) have been found "to be compliant with some or all articles" of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," adopted by the Catholic bishops of the United States at their meeting in Dallas in June 2002.
   This is the conclusion of the Report on the Implementation of the `Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,' issued by the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
   The Report is based on an independent compliance audit conducted by the Gavin Group, Inc., of Boston Massachusetts, headed by William Gavin, a former official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was in charge of FBI offices in New York, Miami, and Denver.
Priest's nephew files suit
   San Mateo County Times, By Jason Dearen
   CALIFORNIA: After more than 40 years, the nephew of a deceased Junipero Serra High School priest is seeking damages for sexual abuse allegedly committed by the priest in the late 1950s.
   The civil suit, filed in December by the 57-year-old nephew of the Rev. Joseph Pritchard, claims that on two or more occasions, the priest took the boy back to his living quarters on the Serra High campus after family holiday parties and molested him.
   "Commencing in approximately 1956, on at least two or more occasions, after family holiday parties in which Fr. Pritchard had been drinking alcohol for several hours, Fr. Pritchard chose to bring plaintiff to his living quarters at Serra High School to spend the night with him," the lawsuit claims.
   Pritchard died of cancer in 1988.
   The nephew's suit is one of 19 filed against Pritchard by alleged victims of molestation, said the plaintiff's attorney, Michael Zimmer. The other suits were filed early in 2003 by people who attended St. Martin of Tours parish in San Jose, where Pritchard served as pastor after leaving Serra High.
Connecticut dioceses in compliance with child protection plan
   Newsday
   HARTFORD, Conn. (AP): All three Roman Catholic dioceses in Connecticut are in compliance with the sweeping changes triggered by a nationwide child abuse scandal, church officials said Tuesday.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced results of an audit under the church's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The church audit found that 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children.
Minister cuts One in Four funding by 25%
   One in Four
   IRELAND: The One in Four service, which assists people who were sexually abused as children, will receive 25 per cent less funding from the Department of Health this year than they did in 2003. Patsy McGarry reports in The Irish Times.
   The service, which is run by people who themselves were sexually abused as children, employs therapists who are qualified to the highest professional standards and who are accredited to relevant profession bodies, One in Four director, Mr Colm O'Gorman said last night.
   He also said he is writing to the Minister for Health, Mr Martin, seeking clarification of his Department's understanding of services provided by One in Four. Mr O'Gorman was responding to a report in yesterday's Sunday Tribune which, based on Department of Health records, indicated directors of the National Counselling Service had questioned the ethics of "the abused counselling the abused", as at One in Four.
Report Card On Priest Abuse
   CBS News
   UNITED STATES: (CBS/AP) Nearly all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are carrying out a new mandatory policy they adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday. Critics said the study was fundamentally flawed.
   The review found 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children. Among those considered out of compliance are the archdioceses of New York; Anchorage, Alaska; and Omaha, Neb.
   The prelates commissioned the report from the Gavin Group of Boston, a firm led by a former FBI official, and the investigation was overseen by Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' watchdog Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Audit: Nearly all bishops adopting reforms
   Baltimore Sun, The Associated Press
   WASHINGTON (DC): Nearly all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are carrying out a new mandatory policy they adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released today. Critics said the study was fundamentally flawed.
   The review found 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children. Among those considered out of compliance are the archdioceses of New York; Anchorage, Alaska; and Omaha, Neb. The prelates commissioned the report from the Gavin Group of Boston, a firm led by a former FBI official, and the investigation was overseen by Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' watchdog Office of Child and Youth Protection.
   Victim advocates said bishops had too much control of how the audit was conducted, so it should be viewed skeptically.
Lawyers say archdiocese could defrock some priests
   Boston Globe, By Ralph Ranalli
   BOSTON (MA): Following the $85 million settlement with victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Boston appears to be gearing up an effort to defrock or otherwise discipline some accused priests, according to lawyers for abuse victims.
   The lawyers said yesterday that they have received an increased number of requests lately from the archdiocese for their clients to participate in canonical court proceedings, the church's internal forum for disciplining priests.
   "The topic has come up during our discussions with the archdiocese," said Boston lawyer Roderick MacLeish Jr., whose firm, Greenberg Traurig, represented more than 200 abuse victims who last month received settlement checks from the archdiocese. "We are seeing lots and lots of letters coming in . . . saying they want to see our clients at some point."
   MacLeish declined to say which priests archdiocesan officials inquired about, but Carmen L. Durso, a Boston lawyer who represented more than 40 abuse victims, said he had recently received numerous similar letters regarding several priests who had been accused as part of the massive clergy sexual abuse litigation.
   Durso said those priests included the Rev. Bernard J. Lane, who lawyers for victims claim molested at least 17 boys, many of them when he was director of Alpha-Omega House, a now-closed Littleton home for troubled adolescents. Lane has denied the allegations through his lawyer.
Diocese's new abuse rules late for many, but welcome
   Portsmouth Herald
   NEW HAMPSHIRE: When institutions get too big, ethics can lapse and corruption often sets in. We've seen it in big government, big business and, lately, we've seen it all too closely in big religion.
   We've been tough on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. With good reason. The diocese has spent upward of $20 million to settle 227 cases of child sexual abuse by clergy members. This scandal will forever remain a horrific blotch on the church's history.
   But, just as we have been tough when we thought it was necessary, we'll also offer praise when appropriate. So we congratulate the church for its new policy on child sexual abuse. The new policy includes criminal background checks for all New Hampshire priests, mandatory reporting of suspected incidents of child sexual abuse, and comprehensive definitions of "inappropriate behavior" to leave no stone unturned.
Victims fault Catholics' audit
   Arizona Daily Star
   ARIZONA: At least one victims group already is critical of a new national audit gauging Roman Catholic dioceses' responses to the sexual abuse crisis. The audit is scheduled to be released today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Paul N. Duckro, director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson's Office of Child, Adolescent & Adult Protection, expects the audit to be a positive reflection of changes the local diocese has made since reaching a multimillion-dollar settlement with 10 sexual abuse victims and their families in 2002. "We think it was very thorough," Duckro said. "We've made a lot of progress and we have to continue working at the parish level. We're really trying to get a culture change." The national Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, SNAP, issued a press release Monday criticizing the audit as largely "glorified, voluntary self-reporting" and as showing little substantial progress by bishops.
Church/Sex Abuse
   Fox 40
   SYRACUSE (NY): An audit of 190 Catholic Diocese across the country show that most Bishops are complying with tougher sex abuse standards, but that more needs to be done to council victims. The next phase of the audit could be the most controversial. It will reveal the number of victims of abuse it can identify. Locally, the Syracuse Diocese is releasing its numbers about clergy sexual abuse in hopes of repairing its relationships with parishioners. Bishop James Moynihan of the Syracuse Diocese, which includes Broome and Chenango Counties, released data on sex abuse involving Diocese's clergy since 1950 on the Diocese's website.
Diocese report card due today
   Cincinnati Post, From staff and wire reports
   CINCINNATI (OH): After years in which Catholics seemingly have learned more about their church in courtrooms than at Sunday services, a national bishops panel is to release a report today assessing whether each of the nation's 195 dioceses is complying with new guidelines concerning sexual abuse by priests. Although spokesmen for the archdiocese of Cincinnati and the diocese of Covington declined to comment prior to the report's release, other jurisdictions, including the archdiocese of Louisville, have said in advance that the audit shows they have complied with the policies approved by bishops at a national convention in June 2002.
   Today's report card from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops comes two months after the Cincinnati Archdiocese reached a historic agreement with Hamilton County prosecutors in November, in which the archdiocese was convicted of five counts of failing to report allegations of priest sex abuse of minors to authorities in the 1970s and 1980s. The archdiocese agreed to set up a $3 million compensation fund.
US Catholic bishops face scrutiny
   BBC News, By Jane Little, BBC Religious Affairs correspondent
   UNITED STATES: Results of an unprecedented audit of how America's Roman Catholic bishops handled accusations of clergy sexual abuse are to be published shortly. The report is expected to show that most bishops have kept promises made 18 months ago to better protect children.
   The US Church has been rocked by a wave of sexual abuse scandals.
   Victim support groups have already rejected the results of Tuesday's report, accusing bishops of still covering up the truth.
Austin Diocese releases sex abuse report
   American-Statesman, By Eileen E. Flynn
   AUSTIN (TX): Six priests who are accused of sexually abusing at least 15 children in the Diocese of Austin during the 1970s, '80s and '90s either have died or are no longer in ministry, according to a report church officials will send to Catholics in the 25-county region this week.
   But the diocese will withhold the priests' names and the places they served, Bishop Gregory Aymond said Monday.
   Providing details about the accused, he said, would "not be appropriate."
   "Just because we say there is a credible allegation is not a court of law saying it happened," Aymond said, "though in today's world, we take action and go the extra 10 miles and make sure they are not in ministry."
AS BISHOPS RELEASE AUDITS, THIS WARNING: 'THE SEASON OF JUDGMENT HAS BEGUN'
   Spirit Daily, www.spiritdaily.com/crisisasbad.htm
   UNITED STATES: As the bishops release a major report on compliance of American dioceses with new abuse standards, there is good news and not-so-good news at this time when the Church continues to grapple with one of its biggest crises since the Reformation.
   The good news is that, at least in many dioceses, the incidence of sexual abuse and especially pedophilia appears to have been lower than what the media -- and a number of in-church critics -- have portrayed. One case of abusing a youngster among the entire clergy is too many -- and a terrible tragedy; it remains difficult to believe that a priest would compromise a young person in such a way. In larger dioceses like those of Los Angeles and Boston, the raw numbers are jarring. Eight hundred lawsuits in just California!
   But let's start putting this -- and the sacred priesthood -- in perspective. In Albany, one of the nation's most modernistic dioceses, the bishop asserts that only two percent of 814 priests who have served since 1950 had "credible" sexual allegations of any kind against them. We're not naive: we know there could be more, perhaps even substantially more. But the diocese has cleared 11 of 15 current or former priests. None of the accused are now active.
Audit finds diocese abuse policy sound
   Sacramento Bee, By Jennifer Garza
   SACRAMENTO (CA): After addressing concerns raised by an independent auditor, the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento is in "full compliance" with the national policy on dealing with clergy sexual abuse, according to a report that will be released today.
   "I'm happy about our good news. I found the process reassuring to me as a bishop," said William K. Weigand, the spiritual leader of the Sacramento area's 500,000 Catholics.
   The policies of 195 dioceses were reviewed over a six-month period by the Gavin Group, a Boston-area consultant hired by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. National results also will be announced today.
Former priest abused 18 boys [1971-83]
   Evening Press, by Evening Press reporter
   BRITAIN: A retired Roman Catholic priest from York sexually abused 18 young boys over a period of 12 years, a court has heard.
   Noel Barrett, 61, of Lawrence Street, admitted 31 charges of indecent assault on boys aged nine to 13 when he worked at churches in Middlesbrough, Hull and Ireland.
   Barrett, who became a priest at the age of 28 but is now retired, pleaded guilty to 15 indecent assaults on two boys aged nine and 11 between 1973 and 1976, when he worked at St Joseph's Church in Marton Road, Middlesbrough.
   Barrett also asked for 16 indecent assaults, each on a different boy in Middlesbrough, Hull, County Kerry, Stradbally and Dublin between 1971 and 1983, to be taken into consideration at Teesside Crown Court.
Church sex abuse audit due today
   Star-Ledger, BY JEFF DIAMANT
   NEW JERSEY: A new report to be issued today by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops assessing the response of 195 dioceses to the clergy sex abuse scandal is expected to be the most complete account yet of the bishops' efforts to prevent sex abuse.
   The long-awaited release has been billed as the bishops' main attempt to show they have learned from the sex abuse crisis that has shaken the church since January 2002. The diocese audits being made public today -- almost exactly two years since reports emerged that many bishops knowingly shuffled priests who sexually abused children to other parishes -- will include summaries on each diocese's compliance with rules the bishops adopted in July 2002, as well as an overall analysis by the auditors and related recommendations.
   Many diocesan officials, including those for New Jersey's five dioceses, already have said in general terms that the audit judged their dioceses favorably but have withheld specific results until today's scheduled news conference in Washington.
Report Tracks Bishops' Response to Claims
   The Ledger, By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer
   WASHINGTON (DC): Roman Catholic bishops in America are carrying out the policy they adopted to stamp out sex abuse by priests, but more needs to be done, a new report finds.
   A group representing victims said the report lacks credibility because church leaders had too much control over how it would be conducted.
   The report, to be released Tuesday, is based on audits the bishops commissioned of all 195 U.S. dioceses to see if they have been following the reforms.
   Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, oversaw the review and said most bishops are complying with the reforms, "but there is still a lot that needs to be done."
   "Considering it's only been about a year since people have been working on it, there's been a lot of progress, but nobody is going to tell you that it's all been done," McChesney told The Associated Press last week.
Area dioceses comply with new policy
   Post-Dispatch, By Patricia Rice
   ST. LOUIS (MO): The Gavin Group of Winthrop, Mass., will release its audit today in Washington on the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses and eparchies.
   The bishops' policy, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, was passed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002. It came as a result of the clergy sex-abuse scandal and some bishops' failure to address criminal behavior. Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, in his role as the elected conference president, will participate in the announcement with William A. Gavin, president of the Gavin Group, a secular investigative group. The company sent teams of two or more investigators to each diocese for in-person interviews and to audit records. This is the first major public report on the charter implementation. Audits will be done annually.
   Receiving letters showing that they were in compliance were the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the dioceses of Belleville and Springfield, Ill.; Kansas City-St. Joseph and Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Jefferson City; and the 34-state Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, based downtown.
Catholic dioceses to get audit reports
   Indianapolis Star, By John J. Shaughnessy, john.shaughnessy@indystar.com
   INDIANAPOLIS (IN): All five Catholic dioceses in Indiana expect to receive final notice today that they have complied with the U.S. Catholic bishops' efforts to end the church's sexual abuse scandal.
   The dioceses of Evansville, Gary, Lafayette and Fort Wayne-South Bend all confirmed Monday that they were already found to be in compliance with the reform charter that was adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002.
   The Archdiocese of Indianapolis will wait until this morning when the Catholic bishops release their report to comment on the evaluation of its measures to prevent abuse. Still, archdiocese spokesperson Susan Borcherts noted Monday, "We believe our archdiocese is in full compliance."
Syracuse Dioceses reveals 16 priests removed
   Ithaca Journal, By RYAN DEUEL and GEORGE BASLER, Gannett News Service
   The complete report can be viewed on the Syracuse Diocese Web site at: www.syracusediocese.org
   SYRACUSE (NY): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has removed 16 priests from permanent ministry in the last two years, according to a report released Sunday by the diocese.
   Danielle Cummings, spokeswoman for the diocese, said a letter written by Bishop James M. Moynihan was distributed at all weekend Masses in the seven-county diocese, which includes Broome and Chenango counties. This is the first time the diocese has gathered numbers.
   The diocese will not identify specific priests who have been removed, or cleared of allegations. Tompkins County is part of the neighboring Diocese of Rochester.
   "In an effort to help restore the bonds of trust and to be reconciled with you, I believe it is necessary to share what we have learned over the past two years," Moynihan wrote in the letter. "Like you, I am shamed by the harm done by so many, and I extend to those who have suffered abuse from anyone representing the Church and to their families, my most sincere apologies."
Audit: Diocese follows rules to prevent abuse
   Seattle Times, By Janet I. Tu
   SEATTLE (WA): The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle is complying with the standards put forth more than a year ago by the nation's bishops to prevent sexual abuse of minors by clergy, according to a national report to be released today.
   The report, conducted by an independent auditing firm, the Boston-based Gavin Group, on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, surveys how well the nation's 195 dioceses are complying with the standards passed by the bishops and approved by the Vatican in 2002.
   Victims' groups, however, said the Gavin report is being "mischaracterized and oversold."
   The auditors interviewed church officials, civil authorities, some victims and members of review boards composed primarily of lay experts. They also evaluated whether each diocese was complying, such as establishing liaisons with civil authorities; having an outreach program to victims; and conducting background checks of employees.
Diocese to release abuse report
   Valley Morning Star, By SARAH OVASKA, The Monitor
   McALLEN, TEXAS - The number of priests accused of sexually abusing minors will be released today by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, along with the number of child victims and monies paid out in settlements.
   The count of abusive priests and church workers will go back to 1965, when the diocese was created. No names of accused church workers or victims will be released.
   Today's release will be the most extensive information offered by the Brownsville Diocese in connection with church workers accused of past sexual misconduct.
   The information will be available at 8 a.m. on the diocese's Web site, www.cdob.org .
   Parishes within the four counties in the Brownsville Diocese - Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy - were part of the Corpus Christi Diocese before 1965. The Corpus Christi Diocese had seven priests accused of sexual misconduct, 13 victims and $1.3 million paid out in settlements since 1950, said Marty Wind, spokesman for the Corpus Christi Diocese. It is not clear when those incidents occurred and if any abuse involved parishes that are now part of the Brownsville Diocese.
Catholic Church Releasing New Report
   KXAN
   AUSTIN (TX): Almost two years after the sex abuse scandal rocked the Catholic church, a new audit details how dioceses around the country are handling abuse.
   U.S. Catholic bishops mandated the report in their 2002 meeting in Dallas. It won't be officially released until Tuesday.
   Two former FBI investigators along with a national review committee audited the Austin Diocese back in August.
   For a week they studied detailed reports and interviewed people within the church before essentially grading Central Texas Catholic churches on how they handle and prevent sexual abuse.
   "A copy of this report will be sent to every catholic household in the diocese this week," Bishop Gregory Aymond with Austin Diocese said.
Victims' group hits church audit
   The Washington Times, By Julia Duin
   WASHINGTON (DC): Clergy sex-abuse victims were not properly interviewed nor were Catholic dioceses forthcoming in an audit to be released today, a survivors group said yesterday. "These so-called audits are fundamentally flawed," said Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "Essentially, bishops have defined the rules of the game, decided who plays, paid the umpires and are now declaring themselves the winners." Results of the 400-page audit, expected to be revealed today at the National Press Club, will detail how well the 195 U.S. Catholic dioceses are implementing the rules of a mandatory plan to locate and remove abusive priests. It was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Report due on bishops' response
   GoErie.com , By Ed Palattella, ed.palattella@timesnews.com
   ERIE (PA) More details will come to light today on what the Catholic Diocese of Erie has done to protect children from sexual abuse.
   The evaluation of the Erie diocese - which already was found to be in "full compliance" with new rules aimed at protecting children - is included in a study of all 195 Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States.
   The study, to be released nationwide at 10 a.m., will provide a diocese-by-diocese look at how thoroughly bishops have complied with a child-protection charter that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted in Dallas in June 2002.
   The nations' bishops have "kept our word" by carrying out the audits on which today's study is based, said Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., who heads the bishops' conference.
   A prominent victims'-rights group is criticizing the process behind the study as being too dependent on the bishops' oversight.
Audit finds diocese complies with policy on abuse
   The Gleaner, By Gleaner staff
   KENTUCKY: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro has been found to be in compliance with an audit conducted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assessing cooperation with a national sexual abuse policy.
   The audit was conducted to determine if the Diocese of Owensboro -- which includes Henderson, Madisonville, Hopkinsville, Paducah and other areas -- has met guidelines set by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, church law and the diocesan sexual abuse policy. "I was very happy that the auditors found us doing all that we had promised to do and that we have every intention of doing what is expected of us in the future," Bishop John J. McRaith said in a press release. "Not only did they find us in full compliance, they even gave this diocese several commendations on various steps we have taken for prevention of abuse."
Clerics' Sex Abuse Victims Say Lay Boards Ignore Them
   New York Times, By PATRICK HEALY
   NEW YORK: The review boards that hear allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic priests tread over terrain where emotions are raw, facts are often in dispute and people's lives hang in the balance. Set up in the wake of the church's sexual-abuse crisis, the lay boards listen to accusations and then try to decide if the stories are credible.
   People who serve on the volunteer boards say they are dedicated to the work, but a national victims-advocacy group says that many abuse victims feel shut out after taking their cases to the boards. Sexual-abuse victims in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Iowa have said that the experience left them cold.
   Some were able to tell their stories directly to the boards, while others said they were not allowed to. Some received letters telling them about the disposition of their case; others, like Juliann Bortz of Allentown, Pa., said they were told to expect a phone call and are still waiting.
   "I never heard anything again," said Ms. Bortz, 54, who said she told her story of abuse to the Allentown Diocese in September 2002. "I just kind of waited for the phone call. After two years you start thinking, I guess I'm not going to hear."
Officials say Reno diocese in compliance with national charter
   Reno Gazette-Journal, by Carla Roccapriore
   RENO (NV): The Catholic Diocese of Reno is in compliance with a newly adopted national charter that addresses how the church will handle allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, diocesan officials said.
   Adopted in June 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People required the nation's 193 dioceses to detail procedures for addressing allegations of staff misconduct.
   "Many things aren't new, and many things the charter is requiring, we're already doing," said Brother Matthew Cunningham, diocese spokesman. "If an allegation is made, we have published numbers in the parish bulletins on how an alleged victim can contact me.
   "Once a report is received, if it involved a person currently a minor, I would report it to child protective services immediately, and I'd ask anyone who reported it to me to also call child protective services," he said.
Officials respond to audit on abuse
   St. Joseph News-Press, By HEATHER HOEFER, heatherhoefer@npgco.com
   MISSOURI: The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph received a clean bill of health and a commendation from a national audit released today on how the local Catholic community has handled sex-abuse allegations.
   The Gavin Audit Report, completed in September, investigated the response and reporting of allegations to authorities, background screenings of employees and volunteers, and the reassignment of accused clergy, according to a news release issued by the Catholic Chancery.
   "We were found to be in full compliance," said the Rev. Patrick Rush, the local diocese's vicar general. "… We did make mistakes along the way. I regret, certainly my colleagues regret, the pain that was caused."
Audit: Sex allegations credible
   News-Democrat, BY PATRICK J. POWERS, ppowers@bnd.com
   BELLEVILLE: Charges of sexual abuse against 17 priests and one permanent deacon have been found credible since 1950, according to a recent audit of the Catholic Diocese of Belleville.
   The voluntary audit is conducted as part of a national study released today on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It examined all allegations made against priests in the Belleville Diocese from 1950 until 2002. Some of its findings include:
   • 46 people made allegations of sexual abuse as a minor by a priest or deacon.
   • 25 of 350 priests were accused of sexual abuse, 22 from within the Belleville Diocese and three from another diocese or religious order.
   • Allegations against eight priests were either unfounded, anonymous or so vague that a full and fair investigation was deemed impossible.
Victims: Abuse Report Not a Fair Picture
   Newsday, By Carol Eisenberg
   UNITED STATES: Victims of sexual abuse by priests blasted a report due out today, saying that auditors assessing how the nation's Roman Catholic bishops implemented new sexual abuse policies talked to a too small and skewed group of victims.
   "This is largely glorified, voluntary self-reporting," Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, said in an interview yesterday. "The bishops defined the rules of the game. They figured out who was going to play. They hired the umpires. And now, surprise, they're claiming victory."
   Criticism by Blaine and others, on the eve of the report's release, follows numerous laudatory statements by bishops, including all three New York-area prelates, who have touted positive reviews from auditors.
   The intensity of the competing rhetoric even before the report is released speaks to the huge stakes in the battle for the hearts and minds of American Catholics as three major reports promised at the height of the sexual abuse scandal in June 2002 are published.
Archdiocese gets good audit grade
   The Courier-Journal, By PETER SMITH, psmith@courier-journal.com
   LOUISVILLE (KY): A national audit to be released today shows that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville has complied with sexual-abuse policies approved by bishops in Dallas in June 2002, the archdiocese says.
   Contained in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the policies require that all abusive priests be removed, set new guidelines for handling allegations and mandate safe-environment programs to prevent abuse.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to release the audit, including a report card on each of the nation's 195 dioceses, this morning. The release comes on the second anniversary of media revelations in Boston that ignited the national crisis over sexual abuse by priests.
   The Diocese of Owensboro, Ky., also has complied with the policies, according to a portion of the report provided yesterday. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis says it also expects to be found in "full compliance," although it didn't provide a report.
Fort Worth Diocese says it passed evaluation
   Star-Telegram, By Darren Barbee
   FORT WORTH (TX): An audit of the nation's Roman Catholic dioceses will show that Fort Worth's complies with a sexual-abuse charter adopted by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops about 18 months ago in Dallas, diocesan officials said.
   The audit and a report by the conference to be released today detail efforts in the nation's 195 dioceses to institute reforms ranging from setting up a toll-free victims' hot line to removing abusive priests.
   "We got a good commendation at the end of it," said the Rev. Joe Schumacher, the Fort Worth Diocese's vicar general. "They said, 'Everything that was asked at the Dallas meeting of the bishops has been done by you people since 1991.' "
   National victims' groups called the audit smoke-and-mirrors public relations -- a review of implementation and not practices, carefully controlled and manipulated by bishops.
Diocese faulted in audit
   Honolulu Advertiser, By Jim Dooley
   HONOLULU (HI): An audit of the Diocese of Honolulu, part of a nationwide effort to quantify sexual abuse by priests and analyze efforts to assist victims, faulted local church leaders for only recently developing an outreach program for victims and being late in developing "clear standards of behavior" required of priests and other church officials in regular contact with minors.
   The audit also ordered the diocese to develop a "safe environment" training program for clergy, educators, parents, employees and volunteers working with children and to make sure that background checks be performed for all personnel in regular contact with children.
   The diocese said it recently developed its training program and is working with the city prosecutor's office and its own legal personnel in finalizing the background check program. It also has started an outreach program with Catholic Charities Hawaii and has adopted a code of conduct for priests and other church personnel.
   In 10 other areas, the audit found the diocese to be in compliance with directives adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 after a devastating clergy sex-abuse scandal shook the church. The diocese was praised for establishing a policy on alleged sexual misconduct within the church in 1990 and for establishing a standing committee to advise the bishop on misconduct allegations.
Catholic diocese lauded in audit
   The Patriot-News, BY MARY WARNER
   HARRISBURG (PA): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg said yesterday it is in "full compliance" with get-tough rules drafted 18 months ago by U.S. bishops to protect minors from predatory priests.
   The diocese also said the auditors gave Harrisburg "special recognition for the efficiency, thoroughness and open handling of allegations." The full audit, to be released today in Washington, will provide the first glimpse of steps taken around the country, diocese by diocese, in response to a sexual abuse scandal that broke in Boston two years ago.
   Some dioceses, including Harrisburg, announced in advance how they fared in the audit, conducted by investigators from the Boston-based Gavin Group.
2nd Suit Targets Ex-Priest
   Los Angeles Times, By Tracy Wilson
   CALIFORNIA: A second lawsuit has been filed against a former Catholic priest accused of molesting boys while he served as a pastor at a Camarillo church.
   The suit was filed late last month in Ventura County Superior Court by a former altar boy, now 43, who alleges he was sexually abused by the priest between 1971 and 1973 after the pastor was transferred to St. Mary Magdalen Church in Camarillo. The suit alleges that the priest abused two boys at another Southern California parish before he was transferred. Because of rules imposed by the state Legislature, the former priest and other defendants were not identified by name in the suit, but generally referred to as Father John Doe and Doe Archdiocese. Attorneys must get authorization from a judge before identifying the defendants in the suit.
   However, attorney Philip Erickson, whose firm has now filed two lawsuits against the priest, identified him as Father Carl Sutphin.
90% of Dioceses Meet New Rules
   Los Angeles Times, By Larry B. Stammer and Richard Winton
   UNITED STATES: All but 10% of the nation's 194 Roman Catholic dioceses have fully complied with rules and safeguards to prevent sexual abuse of minors by priests, the church's watchdog office will report today in the aftermath of a scandal that has rocked the U.S. church for the last two years.
   The much-anticipated report said that bishops have made significant progress in implementing "zero tolerance" regulations as required under a national church charter on sexual abuse adopted in June 2002. But the document, a copy of which was obtained by The Times in advance of its official release in Washington, declared that 20 Catholic dioceses and Eastern Rite Catholic districts, all outside of California, had not made enough changes, and urged the nation's bishops to take corrective action there.
   In most cases, those 20 dioceses, including Anchorage, Honolulu, Omaha and New York, had not established formal codes of conduct, not developed classes for parents on how to spot signs of sexual abuse, or not properly started background checks for priests and other church employees, according to the report.
   Leaders of sexual abuse victims' support groups said they were skeptical about what they believed would be the report's mainly upbeat conclusions, although they had not yet seen it.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:19 AM
Audit cites La Crosse diocese
   Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, By MEG KISSINGER, mkissinger@journalsentinel.com
   WISCONSIN: An audit released Tuesday found that 90% of the nation's Roman Catholic dioceses are complying with regulations to guard against sexual abuse of children by clergy - with a few exceptions, including the Diocese of La Crosse.
   The audit cites the La Crosse diocese for failing to develop, implement and publicize standards of conduct and a safe environment program.
   "We were shocked and very disappointed to see our name on that list," said Rose Hammes, communications director for the Diocese of La Crosse.
   La Crosse Bishop Raymond Burke, who is leaving La Crosse at the end of the month to be installed as archbishop of St. Louis, was not available for comment. However, Father Lawrence Dunklee, vicar for priests for the La Crosse Diocese, said Burke would be sending the auditors a "strong letter expressing our disappointment and concern and asking for a clarification and an apology."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 PM
Statement Regarding Bishops' Audit
   Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
   SNAP leader Mary Grant of Long Beach CA
   CALIFORNIA: "Church leaders had more than 18 months to be fair and inclusive with this report, and by their own admission, they were not. They refuse to say how many victims were interviewed. That's because there were few. And church leaders admit that bishops "handpicked" (Dallas Morning News) the few victims who were included.
   They also admit, according to today's LA Times, that interviewers were "unable to view personnel files to verify that every diocese was following" the Charter. Instead, auditors "relied primarily on the information provided by the diocese."
   It's no surprise, then, that bishops are now patting themselves on the back. Bishops' misleading depiction of this report is little more than shameful PR posturing."
Two years later, one diocese's efforts to heal
   The Christian Science Monitor, By Jane Lampman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
   TUCSON, ARIZ.: When the Catholic sex-abuse crisis broke open in Boston two years ago, Tucson, Ariz., was already struggling with its own scandal. The local bishop, Manuel Moreno - so popular in the heavily Hispanic diocese that his photo could be found on restaurant walls - struggled to respond. Under fire, he reached a major settlement with victims for an estimated $16 million. Then, he and his appointed successor, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, held open forums with angry parishioners. One of Bishop Kicanas's first steps when assuming the top job was a forthright public apology. Despite the efforts, however, the Tucson diocese still faces at least 17 lawsuits over priest abuse, and some critics think church officials aren't doing enough to aid victims.
   In many ways, Tucson's experience typifies the progress and pressures still confronting bishops and their flocks as they seek to prevent abuse in the future and restore trust within the church.
Archdiocese Fails Sex Abuse Audit
   KTVA, By Heidi Loranger
   ANCHORAGE (AK): The Archdiocese of Anchorage is not fully complying with new standards imposed on catholic churches to prevent sexually abuse by priests. The results of a country-wide audit show the Archdiocese is within the nation's ten percent that is failing to fully comply.
   The Archdiocese of Anchorage, which covers South Central Alaska, failed in four sections of the audit. Of the 195 diocese around the country, Anchorage is one of 20 that does not have all the safety precautions in place. Officials here say they're on the right track, but staffing is everything and they don't have enough of it.
   The Archdiocese of Anchorage began in 1966. Since then church leaders say 16 priests who committed sexual misconduct have worked here. All of this came to light last year after the United State's Conference of Catholic Bishops ordered policies in place to protect against clergy misconduct within the church.
Sexual Abuse Audit
   WCAX
   BURLINGTON, Vermont: The head of the independent audit firm says their mission was to make sure individual dioceses are in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
   "From June to November of 2003, 54 auditors visited 191 Catholic Dioceses in the United States," said William Gavin of the Gavin Group. "We reviewed Diocesan policies of dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors."
   Father Wendell Searles says the two auditors spent a week in Vermont, and made six recommendations to the diocese to better deal with allegations of sexual abuse. "The process on handling a complaint was not completely clear," he said. "They suggested that we re-write that."
Panel Audits Catholic Diocese of Tucson
   KOLD
   TUCSON (AZ): The Tucson Diocese is one of nearly 200 nationwide audited to determine how the Roman Catholic Church in America is responding to the sex abuse scandal. An independent panel, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Bishops, released it's findings Tuesday. Overall the panel says the U.S. Catholic Church has done a good job dealing with the accusations against priests. They did not rank individual parishes, that is to come later. The Diocese of Tucson says it's working hard to prevent sexual abuse.
Most Of Wisconsin's Catholic Dioceses Following Sexual Abuse Policy
   TheMilwaukeeChannel.com
   MILWAUKEE (WI): Four of Wisconsin's five dioceses have been found to be following a new mandatory policy adopted to prevent sexual abuse by priests.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found the Diocese of La Crosse is among 20 dioceses across the country which have failed to fully comply with the policy.
   The audit on La Crosse says it has not published standards of conduct for priests and deacons, as well as diocesan employees, volunteers and other church personnel who have regular contact with children.
   The audit also found La Crosse hasn't developed training seminars for adults and clergy who have contact with kids. And, it hasn't completed background investigations on members of the clergy and others who have ar contact with minors, except teachers.
   It also found the diocese doesn't have a policy to provide immediate pastoral care for victims and their families.
   But since the September audit, the report notes the La Crosse Diocese complied with most of the requirements, but still hasn't published standards of conduct or a safe environment program.
San Diego Diocese Gets Graded
   TheSanDiegoChannel.com
   SAN DIEGO (CA): The San Diego Catholic Diocese is getting high marks for its reform efforts in light of the abuse by some of its priests, 10News reported.
   An independent investigative panel issued the good grade.
   But 10News pointed out why some believe the diocese still isn't doing enough.
   The report -- part of a three-part report -- will be made public over the next couple of months. The diocese handpicked the panel to look into whether the church was doing enough to put an end to sexual abuse and to help victims who have been molested by priests.
   Rod Valdivia, from the San Diego Catholic Diocese, said, "We're very happy again with the results of the audit. We hope to continue whatever we can to provide safe environments both at our churches and our schools."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:52 PM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , January 06, 2004

• Kathy Shaw thanks Faith Purification Programme for kind words and support. UNITED STATES (Jan 6, 2004): Thanks so much for your kind words and support! I realize that tracking these stories is important not only to me and other journalists but to many others as well. The tracker is devastating in its ability to put a lot of small items together from far-out places so people can see the pattern of abuse and deceit. If you find any articles I miss, please send me the URL. Thanks again, Kathy, January 06, 2004
AUSTRALIA (Jan 5, 2004): ----- Original Message ----- Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 7:34 AM Subject: Thanks from Western Australia
Dear Ms Shaw,
THANK you very much for the amazing amount of work you put in to expose the corrupters of the nicest of our young people. I say nicest, because most of the youngsters the clergy corrupt are the most "Christian" and have the most loving and trusting parents. I took this battle on in February 2002, and want to congratulate you and thank you. Your work is part of a global struggle to awaken any of the "sheep" who are wakeable, and to keep the law enforcement officers honest in their job of stamping out this heinous heresy -- preaching perfect purity and so inculcating guilt, and then causing young people to feel guilty. Season's Greetings!
Kathy Shaw's answer: January 06, 2004

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, January 07, 2004 edition follows:-
Church sued again in abuse scandal -- Church for all Nations [1998-99]
   The News-Tribune, by KAREN HUCKS
   TACOMA (WA): A man who says he and his two brothers were molested during the 1990s by the same Tacoma youth pastor is suing the Church for All Nations, two pastors, several church elders and the youth pastor.
   The man alleges he suffered substantial psychological trauma because the youth pastor, Herman Glenn Jr., molested him from 1998, when he was 15, through June 1999.
   The suit contends the church and the named pastors and elders were negligent in hiring, supervising, training and investigating Glenn. They either knew or should have known he would harm children, the suit alleges.
   A lawyer for the church could not be reached for comment.
   Glenn, 38, was the youth pastor for the nondenominational church from 1993 to 1999. He was sentenced in October to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to raping three boys from the church.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:40 PM
Feeney faces civil suit in California [1978]
   Post-Crescent, By Dan Wilson
   WISCONSIN: Former priest John Patrick Feeney, facing a February trial on sexual assault charges in Outagamie County, is the target of a civil suit in California for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old boy there in 1967.
   Feeney, 76, is charged in Outagamie County with four counts of attempted sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault of a child for the alleged assaults of two brothers, ages 12 and 14, while he was the parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom in 1978.
   The civil suit, filed Dec. 2 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges the assaults of the boy occurred while Feeney was still technically assigned to a parish in Wisconsin.
   However, according to Los Angeles attorney John Manley, who filed the suit, Feeney made extended visits to the Los Angeles area between 1967 and 1972 to see relatives and was assigned duties by the Los Angeles Archdiocese while he stayed there, including duties at a church and school in Simi Valley. That parish is also named in the lawsuit.
Five more people beat deadline, file suit against Sacramento diocese
   Sacramento Bee
   SACRAMENTO (CA): In the past two weeks, five people have filed suit against the Sacramento Catholic diocese, beating a year-end deadline that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations in molestation cases. The five new suits brings the total of claims in the past year accusing priests in the Sacramento diocese to 33, said James Sweeney, diocesan counsel.
   "These are the only new ones we know about at this time. More may have been filed, but we haven't heard about any," Sweeney said.
   He added that the final number of lawsuits filed against the diocese before the deadline may not be known for several weeks.
   So far, a total of 10 priests have been accused of sexual misconduct in the Sacramento region - none of whom currently serve in the diocese. Two are deceased, three have fled the country, one is a priest in a religious order and no longer in the diocese, three are no longer in active ministry and one is a schismatic priest.
   That priest, the Rev. Mario Blanco, is now working in Tacoma, Wash., as a "traditionalist" priest. He does not recognize papal authority or post Vatican II teachings. Blanco, who served in the diocese in the early 1970's, faces more allegations than any other priest. Seventeen men have accused Blanco of sexually abusing them.
Prosecutor: Former Rev. Miller Withdraws Early-Release Request ($25.7m cost)
   TheLouisvilleChannel.com
   LOUISVILLE (KY): A prosecutor said that a retired Catholic priest serving a 20-year sentence for sexually abusing children has withdrawn his request for early release.
   Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Carol Cobb said she was informed Tuesday night that the Rev. Louis Miller's attorney would file a motion withdrawing a request for shock probation.
   Last month, a judge said she would consider releasing the 73-year-old priest, who was also sentenced to a consecutive 10-year prison term on charges in neighboring Oldham County. His attorney had one month, until Thursday, to file letters supporting Miller's early release.
   At the start of the week, all but two of 20 letters filed with the court urged the judge to keep Miller in prison.
   More than 100 people have publicly accused Miller of molesting them. He was a key figure in a series of lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Louisville that resulted in a $25.7 million settlement.
Local diocese gets passing grade
   Napa Valley News, By DAVID RYAN, Register Staff Writer
   SANTA ROSA (CA): A nationwide church audit revealed Tuesday the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa -- which oversees churches in the Napa Valley -- is following guidelines set out by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct. But the audit also gave the diocese the lowest marks in the Bay Area.
   The Boston-based Gavin Group released the results of its 2003 audit of diocese practices to determine which ones followed instructions issued by Catholic Bishops in June 2002. The Catholic Bishops' edict sought to make the diocese more responsive to allegations of sexual abuse and work to prevent abuse in the future.
   The review found 90 percent of the 195 U.S. diocese were fully complying with the plan, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children. Among the 20 considered out of compliance are the archdioceses of New York, Anchorage, Alaska, and Omaha, Neb.
Diocese Responds to Audit
   WREG
   MEMPHIS (TN): An audit ordered by a Roman Catholic Church agency finds most U.S. Diocese have are following policies to prevent sexual abuse.
   A spokesman for the Diocese says most of the new reforms for the church are in place but the Memphis organization still needs to finish background checks on employees and work on its safe environment program for children.
   Background checks on some employees were already mandatory. The new policies require checks on all church employees.
   "So now they becoming are a regular part background check for pretty much anyone who has any contact with children, training will be mandatory for people to go through to recognize this. There will be publicity just to make people aware. Just to be on the safe side, " John Morris, spokesman for the Diocese, says.
The two Roman Catholic dioceses in South Dakota received high marks...
   Aberdeen News, Associated Press
   SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota: The two Roman Catholic dioceses in South Dakota received high marks in a church audit of policies designed to prevent sex abuse by priests and others.
   Almost all of the nation's Catholic bishops are carrying out a new mandatory policy they adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to the church audit released Tuesday.
   Both South Dakota dioceses were awarded at least one commendation in the audit.
   "We're certainly in full compliance and continuing to work hard to assist anyone who needs help," said Jerry Klein, chancellor of the Sioux Falls Diocese.
   Bishop Robert Carlson, leader of the Sioux Falls diocese, was commended for his initiative in responding to allegations of sexual abuse of minors and "his pastoral outreach to victims-survivors of clergy abuse."
Dioceses pass tests
   Sun Chronicle, BY GLORIA LaBOUNTY
   ATTLEBORO (MA): The Archdiocese of Boston and the Diocese of Fall River are in compliance with a new national policy on sexual abuse, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   The audit conducted for the bishops by the Gavin Group of Boston made several recommendations for the two dioceses that have since been carried out, the report said.
Davenport Diocese not part of abuse audit
   WQAD
   DAVENPORT (IA): Allegations of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church won't be swept under the rug anymore, according to church leaders who say there's a new doctrine being followed.
   "I believe these findings show we bishops are keeping our word."
   A new report released today in Washington by the Council of Catholic Bishops says 90% of the 195 dioceses in this country, including the one overseeing Illinois Quad City area churches, are complying with the new rules and regulations aimed at safeguarding against abuse.
   But the Davenport Diocese is specifically cited in the report, for not giving auditors free reign. Meanwhile, some sex abuse survivors say they don't buy any of the report, accusing the bishops of grading themselves..
Wyoming diocese complies with sexual misconduct policy
   Casper Star-Tribune
   CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP): - A U.S. Roman Catholic church audit found the Diocese of Cheyenne in full compliance with the new mandatory policy to prevent sex abuse by priests.
   Nearly all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are carrying out the policy they adopted. But critics said the study was fundamentally flawed.
   The Diocese of Cheyenne was praised for its proactive leadership on the issue, following a 2003 audit.
Diocese complied with guidelines, says report
   Kentucky Post, Post staff report
   KENTUCKY: Although gratified to be found in compliance with new church guidelines dealing with sexual abuse by priests, the diocese of Covington recognizes that the finding is only one step toward healing the wounds of the past, officials said Tuesday.
   "We recognize that restoring trust in local and national church leadership is a long and difficult process requiring our dedicated attention in the years to come," said Covington diocese spokesman Tim Fitzgerald.
   A comprehensive report released Tuesday found that the Covington diocese and the Cincinnati archdiocese, like most dioceses nationwide, had complied with the new guidelines adopted by bishops in June 2002.
Iowa's Roman Catholic Church Spends More than $2 Million on Sex Abuse Cases
   KCRG, From The KCRG-TV9 Dubuque Newsroom
   IOWA: Three of Iowa's four Roman Catholic dioceses have spent more than two million dollars to settle sex-abuse cases and pay for victim treatment.
   The Dubuque Archdiocese received 67 credible allegations against 26 priests. The Sioux City diocese received 33 allegations against ten priests and deacons and in Des Moines, 30 people made allegations against ten priests and deacons.
Diocese Speaks About Report Findings
   Team 4 News, Reported By: April Norris
   BROWNSVILLE (TX) JANUARY 6: The trail of alleged abusive priests goes back all the way to 1965.
   "Our report basically is the investigation of our archives of our personnel files to see how many priests have actually been accused of sexual abuse of minors," said Father Diaz.
   The Brownsville Diocese claims out of about two hundred, only seven priests have sexually abused one or more minors since 1965.
   "Diocese of Brownsville, Bishop Pena and all of us are very sorry because seven is too many."
   It's all in black and white. From 1978 to today, the Brownsville Diocese paid out around $432,000 to victims.
Abuse audit compliance pleases local Catholic leaders
   Herald-Whig, By Steve Eighinger
   ILLINOIS: The Rev. Mike Kuse of St. Mary's Parish in Quincy believes steps taken 10 years ago have allowed the Diocese of Springfield to be one of the leaders in preventing sexual abuse of children by priests.
   The Diocese of Springfield, which oversees most of the parishes in the Quincy area, was one of five dioceses in Illinois to receive a positive report Tuesday from outside investigators for its efforts in preventing abuse, strengthening the networks to help victims, conducting criminal background checks and improving training to recognize signs of improper activity.
   "I think it's a start, but as a church we have a long way to go," Kuse said. "This was an earthquake within the church, and I do not view (these kinds of programs) as an option ... they are a necessity. It will be an ongoing process."
   The Rev. Bob Jallas of All Saints Parish in Quincy agrees.
   "This is definitely a step in the right direction, but just one in a series of steps," Jallas said. "All of this needs to be up front. If we are going to be a church of any integrity it has to be done. It is long overdue." Over the past two years, Catholic dioceses from coast to coast have been rocked with charges of child abuse by church leaders, some from decades earlier.
Area diocese found in compliance with plan
   The Garden City Telegram, By KATHY HANKS, hanks@gctelegram.com
   KANSAS: St. Mary and St. Dominic Catholic churches can boast everyone in their parishes who are working with children are in compliance with a mandatory discipline plan. And that puts St. Mary Father James E. Baker's mind at ease.
   "It means not only the clergy, but all volunteers, all employees, all teachers, everyone who has contact with children (at both parishes) are in compliance," Baker said. "That makes me feel good."
   Baker said between 38 to 40 people at St. Mary, 509 St. John, went through the background checks, and participated in a training forum. Sister Katherine Therese of St. Dominic, 615 JC St. said about 60 people from that parish received a clearance.
LC Diocese Responds to Report
   KPLC
   LOUISIANA: Audit teams from the Gavin Group visited Dioceses from August to October and interviewed church leadership, lay workers, some local law enforcement officials and asked to see new reform policies and procedures. Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux passed on the first try. Elsewhere, auditors issued instructions where they found a mandated reform was not in place, or recommendations when a reform was nearly in place or could be improved.
   They also issued a number of commendations. The auditors commended the Archdiocese of New Orleans for its outreach to parishes on sexual-abuse issues and the Archdiocese's coordination with religious orders in enacting changes. Alexandria was among a handful of Dioceses in the nation found to be "significantly behind" putting reforms in place. Auditors commended the Diocese of Lake Charles for its communications policy. But the report says the Diocese still had work to do on background checks and the implementation of a safe environment program.
   KPLC contacted the Diocese of Lake Charles today. They say there are inaccuracies in the report. Despite what the report claims, officials say the code of conduct for priests, deacons and others who have regular contact with children have already taken place.
   They add, the safe environment program
Exhibit in lawsuit alleges lack of action by diocese. Moved molesters from place to place
   KVIA
   EL PASO (TX): Were priests who were accused of sexually abusing children, moved from parish to parish by the Diocese of El Paso?
   Attorneys representing an alleged victim said if the diocese had taken action, their client may not have been molested by former Cathedral High School Principal Brother Sam Martinez.
   ABC-7 has obtained an exhibit from a lawsuit that attorneys claim prove a pattern of the diocese sweeping problems under the rug; one of the problems being, moving priests to different locations after being accused of sexual abuse at a prior location.
   The exhibit is in the form of a letter allegedly sent to the bishop. The writer of the letter is referring to a priest named David Holley. Although the current suit names Martinez as the alleged abuser, attorneys are using what they are saying is a similar situation that took place years ago involving David Holley.
   The background of Father Holley in relation to this lawsuit began in 1972. Father Holley was accepted to serve in Alamogordo under the Diocese of El Paso after receiving treatment for sexually abusing children. Alamogordo was under the Diocese of El Paso back then; it no longer is.
Panel Recommends Settlement Plan For Abuse Allegations
   Turnto10.com
   PROVIDENCE (RI): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence would settle decades-old cases of alleged clergy abuse by offering lifetime counseling and $25,000 to each victim, under a proposal from an advisory committee.
   Alleged victims would also have the chance to instead collect up to $90,000 through arbitration.
   Dennis Roberts II, chairman of the seven-member lay diocesan advisory panel, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Most Rev. Robert Mulvee has accepted the recommendation. There was no immediate response from the Diocese of Providence.
   Roberts said cases covered would be those the diocese believes it could not be sued for, due to statute-of-limitations laws.
   "We are dealing with cases for which there appears to be no legal justification," said Roberts, a former state attorney general. "We're kind of extending the (diocese's) hand to these people."
   Attorney Tim Conlon, part of a legal team that represents about 40 alleged victims, welcomed the proposal, which he said is better than an earlier offer. He said he thinks a settlement for many of the alleged victims he represents can be worked out.
Some dioceses cited in national audit for exemplary practices
   Catholic News Service, By Jerry Filteau
   WASHINGTON (DC) (CNS): Besides listing flaws and weaknesses, the national report on the sexual abuse response audits of U.S. dioceses also highlighted exemplary policies, personnel and practices that auditors found in many dioceses.
   The 418-page report -- the first in what is intended to be a series of annual audit reports -- was released at a press conference in Washington Jan. 6. The audits were conducted last June to November by investigators of the Boston-based Gavin Group, composed mainly of former FBI agents.
   In conjunction with the report's release the bishops' national Office for Child and Youth Protection released three lists of dioceses which the auditors considered particularly notable for their overall sex abuse and prevention program, their safe environment programs or the quality of their victims' assistance coordinators.
Victims step up call for Boston archdiocese to supervise suspended priests
   Herald Tribune, By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press Writer
   BOSTON (MA): Advocates for clergy sex abuse victims in Boston have made tracking abusive priests one of their priorities, but some say such monitoring may prove impossible.
   In a report released Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Boston and most dioceses across the country received high marks for complying with a national policy to prevent clergy sex abuse. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, however, said the church still needs to find a way to locate and supervise priests who have been suspended or removed from the priesthood for abusing children.
   Suggestions from victims groups include asking the church to set up a kind of sex offender registry for priests, much like registries for sex offenders convicted in criminal courts.
   In such a system, priests who have been defrocked or voluntarily left the priesthood because of abuse allegations could be identified by potential employers or neighbors who want to make sure their children don't have contact with them.
Former S.F. priest pleads guilty to embezzlement
   San Francisco Chronicle, by Jaxon Van Derbeken
   SAN FRANCISCO (CA): A former San Francisco Catholic priest -- freed from jail in 2002 on multiple child molestation charges -- pleaded guilty Tuesday to state tax evasion and embezzlement of church funds.
   But Patrick O'Shea, the former monsignor of St. Cecilia's parish in San Francisco who spent two years behind bars, will most likely not serve any further time in jail, under the plea agreement.
   He is expected to be sentenced on Feb. 23 to time already served. He also will be ordered to pay $187,000 in restitution to the church.
   "The archdiocese gets its money back, he has served a sufficient time in jail, and now can get on with his life," said his attorney James Collins.
   Assistant District Attorney David Pfeifer said the plea was favorable, saying that O'Shea would be on parole for at least four more years.
Calling Church Leaders to Task
   Valley Advocate, by Maureen Turner
   MASSACHUSETTS: Like many Catholics, Terence McKiernan was shocked when story after story began to emerge of priests who had sexually abused children in their parishes. "But, arguably, what the bishops did was much, much worse," McKiernan said last week from his home in Newton.
   For decades, many bishops simply covered up abuse cases, moving abusive priests from parish to parish, sometimes even sending them off to other dioceses, with no warning to parishioners -- all with the apparent intent of protecting the church as an institution, not its members.
   "I have no idea what goes on in the head of a guy like [convicted child molester Father John] Geoghan -- it's kind of its own category of pathology," said McKiernan. "But when you have guys sitting in an office in a chancery knowingly moving a guy like that into a parish where they know he's going to do it again -- I don't know what goes on in the head of a guy like that."
   That history is what inspired McKiernan and two other activists to start www.Bishop-Accountability.org, a website that chronicles the role of church leaders in the scandals through thousands of church documents, news reports and legal papers.
Maine diocese abides by new rules
   MaineToday.com
   PORTLAND, Maine: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has complied with church rules adopted in 2002 to prevent sexual abuse of minors by priests, according to a church audit.
   The report released this week gave the Portland diocese one "instruction," or order, to improve and two "recommendations" to improve. It also issued two commendations.
Suspended Priest Returns to Class
   WOKR
   BRIGHTON (NY) Jan 07: Management at McQuaid High School Wednesday announced the return of a priest teacher from a suspension that followed a claim he had abused a student 24 years ago when he worked at a New York City school.
   Father John Costello was welcomed back earlier in the day by students at the Catholic school. The school says the popular teacher was given a standing ovation.
   Priests at McQuaid are part of the Provincial of New York Jesuits. That religious order tells NewsSource 13 that the person who accused Costello of sexual abuse has recanted his story, claiming the abuse came from another former priest at the Regis High School. That claim is under investigation. The priest involved left the priesthood and is retired.
• Bishop fires diocesan editor
   National Catholic Reporter, http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004a/010904/010904f.htm , By PATRICK O'NEILL
   RALEIGH (NC): Some people argue that the Catholic church is broken and wounded and in need of some healing. John Strange found out there can be severe consequences for saying so in print -- especially if you're the editor of the NC Catholic, the bimonthly newspaper of the Raleigh diocese.
   Raleigh Bishop Joseph Gossman, who is publisher of NC Catholic, walked into Strange's Catholic Center office a week before Christmas and notified his editor he was being immediately terminated from the position he has held for almost a decade.
   The decision was the result of an interview with Chapel Hill, N.C., author William Powers that Strange wrote and published in the Dec. 14 issue. The story was mostly about Powers' new book, Tar Heel Catholics: A History of Catholicism in North Carolina.
   A retired sociology professor who served as a priest in New York before leaving the active priesthood, Powers approached Gossman in 1997 about writing the history. Gossman authorized the book and gave Powers full access to diocesan archives to do his research. The book was published in October.
Long Island and New York priests call for summit meetings
   National Catholic Reporter, By Dick Ryan
   NEW YORK: Speaking of "sadness" and "desperation," priests in two New York dioceses have asked for urgent meetings with their episcopal bosses to address "widespread dissatisfaction" and hurtful leadership.
   In an October letter sent to Bishop William Murphy of the Rockville Centre diocese, on Long Island, N.Y., 52 of his priests implored the bishop to meet with them and discuss "a general malaise and even an abiding anger within our beloved diocese."
   Murphy agreed to meet his clergy and a Jan. 19 summit is scheduled.
   Seventy-four priests of the New York archdiocese asked to meet with Cardinal Edward Egan to discuss a number of troubling issues "that cause pain and difficulty," particularly the cardinal's treatment of priests accused of sexual abuse. They asked to meet before the end of the year, but as of Dec. 19 the cardinal had not received the letter of invitation, according to the archdiocese's information director.
Diocese lauded for abuse outreach
   Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, By Matt O'Brien
   WORCESTER (MA): An audit found the Worcester Catholic Diocese in full compliance with the 2002 Dallas Charter on clergy sexual abuse, a set of mandatory guidelines set forth by the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
   Church leaders in Worcester County celebrated the Tuesday findings, which praised the diocese for its outreach work to protect children from sexual abuse, while critics lambasted the assessment as superficial.
   "They gave themselves a good report card," said Ann Hagan Webb, a New England coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, as she learned about the national results. "They hired auditors that they picked."
Combining clergy suits hailed
   Republican, By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): The consolidation of all the pending clergy sexual abuse suits against the Springfield diocese and their assignment to one judge is a good thing - even if it means rearguing pending motions in the cases, according to some alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.
   "It makes a great deal of sense to have the cases combined and all the issues surrounding these cases in front of one judge. It should have been done a long time ago," said Stephen J. Block of Springfield who filed suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield 20 months ago accusing the Rev. Richard R. Lavigne of sexually abusing him when Block was a minor.
   Hampden Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini announced several weeks ago that he will be presiding over the now consolidated cases. Diocesan officials did not respond to a request for comment.
   "In the end, I think things will move along faster. I'm pleased. This could have been done six months ago," said Thomas M. Martin of Springfield who, like Block, filed suit 20 months ago accusing convicted child molester Lavigne of sexually abusing him as a minor.
Vatican orders trial for N-J priest accused of sex abuse
   WKYT
   PATERSON New Jersey (AP): Separate rulings from the Vatican involving alleged sex abuse by priests in New Jersey.
   The Vatican says a 72-year-old priest accused of abusing a teen-age boy more than 40 years ago must face a church trial.
   But it also says an 87-year-old priest who's also facing sex abuse allegations is too old to face a tribunal.
   The two priests both serve in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, which announced the rulings.
Isle diocese fails to meet all directives
   Star-Bulletin, By Mary Adamski, madamski@starbulletin.com
   HONOLULU (HI): Although several Catholic priests here have been removed from public ministry after sexual abuse accusations, an audit found the church in Hawaii has failed to reach out to the victims with spiritual and psychological support.
   The diocese of Honolulu was instructed to "develop an outreach program for victims of sexual abuse" and to develop clear standards of behavior for priests and other employees who have contact with children and youth, educate employees on maintaining a safe environment and set a procedure for background checks of all diocesan and parish employees who will deal with children.
   The local diocese was found to be in noncompliance with four of 14 directives adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to address the scandal of sexual predator priests in many American cities. The conference yesterday released results of the first audit, conducted in 191 dioceses by the Gavin Group Inc. of Boston, headed by former FBI agent William Gavin. The audit left dioceses with "instructions" about noncompliance, recommendations and some commendations.
Review gives diocese OK
   Republican, By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is among 90 percent of U.S. dioceses that are in compliance with the church's new policy to protect children from clergy sexual abuse, according to a church audit released yesterday.
   The extent of abuse in the Springfield diocese since 1950 won't be released for at least another week in connection with a different study.
   The review of the 195 U.S. dioceses found 20 dioceses not in compliance, including the archdiocese of New York. Four dioceses were not audited. The plan, adopted by bishops in 2002, dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to protect children.
   Skepticism with the report was voiced by Peter Pollard, the coordinator of the Springfield affiliate of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
   "These regulations and intentions are fine, but they were created by the same people who dropped the ball all along," Pollard said.
Audit praises diocese
   Desert Morning News, Utah, By Lee Davidson
   WASHINGTON - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City is among 82 percent of dioceses nationally that are fully complying with new guidelines designed to prevent sexual abuse by priests and other leaders, according to an audit completed Tuesday.
   However, victims groups said the audit and guidelines are flawed and merely amount to "long overdue minimal steps certainly not worthy of praise."
   U.S. Catholic bishops two years ago, while meeting in Dallas to address widespread revelations of sexual abuse by priests, adopted new guidelines designed to help prevent such problems and to aid victims.
Dioceses Are Moving Ahead on Abuse, Audit Finds
   New York Times, By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
   WASHINGTON (DC), Jan. 6: Auditors for the Roman Catholic Church have concluded that while most bishops have instituted the sexual abuse prevention measures they agreed to in 2002 they are still only beginning to respond appropriately to the problem of sexual abuse by priests and church employees.
   The auditors' report, released on Tuesday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is the result of an unprecedented decision by the bishops to hire outside auditors to go into each diocese and scrutinize church procedures. Most of the auditors were former F.B.I. agents, and many were not Catholic, said William A. Gavin, a former F.B.I. official whose consulting firm conducted the study.
   The study was largely based on interviews with church officials and appointees, although auditors also talked to local prosecutors and some victims, Mr. Gavin said. Victims' advocates immediately criticized the report as failing to take adequate account of the experiences of victims and laypeople and as basing the conclusions on superficial indicators.
Trenton Diocese in compliance
   The Times, By LISA CORYELL
   TRENTON (NJ): Parishes in the Diocese of Trenton are among many Roman Catholic churches in New Jersey taking steps to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released yesterday.
   The diocese has been found in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People developed in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   "We are pleased that the independent audit has found us to be in compliance with the charter developed by the U.S. Bishops at our June 2002 meeting," said the Most Rev. John M. Smith, bishop of Trenton.
Most Catholic Dioceses Pass Sex Abuse Audits
   Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59392-2004Jan6.html , By Alan Cooperman
   WASHINGTON (DC): Nearly 90 percent of the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States have fully complied with the rules set by the nation's bishops 18 months ago to prevent sexual abuse of children, auditors hired by the church reported yesterday.
   But the other 10 percent -- including the archdiocese of New York and the dioceses of Richmond and Arlington -- have not yet fulfilled instructions from the auditors to address specific shortcomings, such as delays in conducting criminal background checks on church employees.
   The president of the U.S. bishops conference, Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., hailed the report as evidence of "solid progress" toward ending the scandal that has rocked the church for two years. "I believe that these findings show that we bishops are keeping our word," he said.
Diocese gets passing grade in abuse audit
   News-Chronicle, By Ray Barrington
   GREEN BAY (WI) The Green Bay Catholic Diocese is in full compliance with a national charter for protection of young people against sexual abuse by church leaders, Bishop David Zubik said Tuesday.
   The national report from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops covers an audit last year on how diocesan policies were being changed after the sexual abuse cases nationwide came to light in recent years.
   The audit was conducted Oct. 20-24 by the Gavin Group, run by a former FBI official, William Gavin.
Arlington Diocese Is Slow to Adopt Rules
   Washington Post, By Caryle Murphy
   ARLINGTON (VA): The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has failed to implement two key portions of the child protection policy adopted in 2002 by U.S. Catholic bishops, according to a national report card issued yesterday.
   The Washington and Baltimore archdioceses got higher marks in the report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both were rated as fully compliant with the new policy and commended for actions they took, in some cases before 2002, to protect children from sexual predators in the clergy.
   Of the 191 U.S. dioceses studied, Arlington was one of 20 found not to have fully complied with the child protection regulations, which the U.S. bishops approved after the church was rocked by a child abuse scandal in early 2002. The Arlington diocese includes 21 Northern Virginia jurisdictions. The Richmond diocese, which covers the rest of Virginia, was also rated not fully compliant.
Church says N.Y. Archdiocese falls short on child safeguards
   The Journal News, By GARY STERN
   NEW YORK: About 90 percent of the country's 195 Roman Catholic dioceses are fully complying with a much-publicized, 19-month-old national policy to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released yesterday.
   The Archdiocese of New York was among only 20 dioceses deemed not in compliance, although the audit said that the archdiocese is very close to the mark and has taken several steps to strengthen its program to stop abuse.
   As expected, critics of the church's past efforts to deal with abuse called the audit a near whitewash that was orchestrated by the nation's bishops. Many noted that the bishops recommended whom auditors should interview in each diocese.
   "The audits are flawed," said David Cerulli, the New York area leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "The bishops set up the whole procedure, picked all the players and declared themselves the winner. I'm not surprised they're going to say that everything is fine."
Diocese passes test in abuse audit
   Albany Times Union, By BRIAN NEARING
   ALBANY (NY): The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese is following nationwide rules to protect children from sexual abuse by priests and deal with past victims, according to an audit of 191 dioceses released Tuesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   That was welcomed by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, who has been under fire from some victims advocates who say he has not done enough to help victims over the years and get pedophile priests out of the ministry.
   "The results of this independent audit reflect the diligence and commitment of the diocese to respond properly to allegations of misconduct and to prevent any minor from becoming a victim of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon in our diocese again," Hubbard said.
Jackson, Biloxi commended in sex abuse prevention audit of Miss. Catholic dioceses
   The Clarion-Ledger, By Matt Volz, The Associated Press
   MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi's Roman Catholic dioceses are in line with a church policy meant to keep priests from sexually abusing children, audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops show.
   The Jackson and Biloxi dioceses were each commended for their policies and practices in the audits conducted last year and released Tuesday.
   The Jackson diocese has at least eight sex abuse lawsuits pending against it, including a $48 million suit brought by three brothers - Kenneth, Thomas and Francis Morrison - who say they were abused by a priest in the 1970s.
Dioceses complying, audit shows
   San Francisco Chronicle, by Elizabeth Fernandez, Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writers
   SAN FRANCISCO: An 18-month audit of American Catholic dioceses shows that the vast majority have complied with new, stricter measures designed to prevent sexual abuse of children, a U.S. Catholic Bishops group said on Tuesday.
   The audit was ordered after a national church scandal - first centered in Boston - erupted in early 2002 over priests accused of sexual abuse.
   The report's major finding: Out of 191 dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of Eastern Catholic Churches), 171 had complied with new guidelines to protect children and monitor clergy. The three major regional dioceses -- San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose -- were awarded high marks in the audit.
Area diocese faulted for anti-abuse policy
   Marshfield News Herald, The Associated Press and Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
   WISCONSIN: Like nearly all the nation's Roman Catholic dioceses, four of Wisconsin's five dioceses are following a new mandatory policy adopted to prevent sexual abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday.
   But the Diocese of La Crosse was among about 20 identified nationally by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection as failing to fully comply with the policy to prevent sexual abuse by priests, adopted in June 2002.
   "The diocese has not published standards of conduct for priests and deacons, as well as diocesan employees, volunteers, and any other church personnel (except teachers) in positions of trust who have regular contact with children and young people," the La Crosse report said.
Audit: Diocese complying with reforms
   Amarillo.com , By BRANDI DEAN, brandi.dean@amarillo.com
   AMARILLO (TX): Two years ago this week, a scandal began that rocked America's Roman Catholic Church. Tuesday an audit was released that said the church is making a solid effort to fix the problem.
   After an audit performed between Aug. 18 and 22, the Diocese of Amarillo received a commendation for removing offending clergy from ministry, and a recommendation that printed, bilingual complaint forms be developed and made available.
   The diocese took care of the recommendation by Dec. 1 and was declared compliant with the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." U.S. bishops adopted the charter in their 2002 Dallas meeting to deal with sexual abuse by clergy.
Diocese gets 3 awards in complying
   The Journal Gazette, By Rebecca S. Green
   FORT WAYNE (IN): The local diocese received a commendation by auditors gauging compliance with guidelines developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the clergy abuse scandal. As part of a report released Tuesday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend was found to be in compliance with the Charter For the Protection of Children and Young People and was praised for its early-established policies.
   Bishop John M. D'Arcy was lauded for his "open and transparent communication policies and efforts," according to the report.
Audit credits diocese for abuse fixes
   Portland Press Herald, By JOSHUA L. WEINSTEIN
   PORTLAND (ME): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has complied with rules that U.S. bishops instituted in June 2002 to prevent sexual abuse, according to a report issued Tuesday by auditors hired by the church.
   The report offered the Portland Diocese one "instruction," or order, to improve and two "recommendations" to improve. It also issued two commendations.
   Before the report was officially released Tuesday, the Portland Diocese had addressed the instruction and recommendations.
Victim sues to recoup therapy cost
   Portland Press Herald, By GREGORY D. KESICH
   MAINE: One victim of sexual abuse by a Maine priest says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is not living up to the promises made in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal, and he has taken his case to small claims court.
   David Gagnon of Ottawa, Ontario, has filed a $700 claim against Bishop Joseph Gerry of Portland for failing to pay therapy bills, as Gerry promised to do several times, including in an open letter published in newspapers two years ago.
   Church officials say they never refused Gagnon, but only asked for more information about the alternative treatment he was receiving called Jin Shin Do, which uses the Japanese technique of acupressure to resolve physical manifestations of mental trauma.
Cleveland, 90% of dioceses comply on abuse reform
   Plain Dealer, Karen R. Long
   CLEVELAND (OH): Almost 90 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses have embraced sterner national policies to combat child sexual abuse, says an audit the national bishops conference released Tuesday.
   Two independent auditors, both former FBI agents, found the Cleveland Catholic Diocese in full compliance with the standards the bishops crafted in Dallas 18 months ago. The audit gave Cleveland a commendation for identifying the problem of clergy sexual abuse relatively early, with a written policy in 1989.
   "We see it as a major step to regain the trust of the people," said diocesan spokesman Bob Tayek.
Rochester diocese given good grades in abuse audit
   Ithaca Journal, By MARKETTA GREGORY, Gannett News Service; mgregory@DemocratandChronicle.com
   ROCHESTER (NY): Most Roman Catholic dioceses -- including Rochester's -- are following a policy adopted by U.S. bishops to prevent sexual abuse in the church, according to a nationwide church audit released Tuesday.
   "I'm pleased, gratified that we've come to this significant moment," Rochester Bishop Matthew H. Clark said. But compliance with the policy doesn't automatically heal the wounds of the victims, he added.
   In fact, the audit irritated some victims who believe it was slanted in favor of the church.
Audit: Church Sex Abuse Policy Has Holes
   phillyBurbs.com , By RACHEL ZOLL, The Associated Press
   WASHINGTON (DC): Inconsistent record-keeping and inadequate tracking of accused priests are among factors keeping the U.S. Roman Catholic church from complying fully with a directive designed to stop priestly sexual misconduct.
   An internal audit did show that 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were honoring their pledge to stamp out sexual abuse. But it also demonstrated that the reforms they enacted are not adequate on their own.
   The bishops adopted the policy to protect children and restore trust in the church's shattered leadership after a scandal over prelates who sheltered guilty priests.
   Bishops will spend the coming months reviewing the policy, which was meant to be revised after two years. The audit said bishops largely were strictly following the current plan, which dictates how priests who molest children should be punished and requires bishops to enact safeguards against abuse.
• "Lawsuits filed in county allege childhood sex abuse." Seminary, Adventist school (URL missing) [1964-89]
   Santa Cruz Sentinel, By CATHY REDFERN
   SANTA CRUZ (CA): Two lawsuits filed in the county allege painful childhood sexual abuse by teachers and a priest at two religious-oriented high schools and claim school officials failed to prevent the abuse.
   The suits were filed last week in Santa Cruz County Superior Court as attorneys scrambled to meet a Dec. 31 deadline on a one-year extension of the statute of limitations for certain child molestation lawsuits.
   One suit claims abuse by a now-deceased priest in 1964 at a former seminary in Santa Cruz.
   In the other suit, Reinhold Tilstra of Susanville claims he was sexually abused by a teacher at Monterey Bay Academy in La Selva Beach in 1985, when he was a 15-year-old freshman. The boarding school is operated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
   Tilstra claims Ronald E. Wittlake and a fellow teacher, Lowell E. Nelson, habitually molested male students. The suit claims that Wittlake, who taught at the school from 1981-1989, gave alcohol and marijuana to teen boys, plus other "special favors" - trips to movies and concerts - and then sexually assaulted and raped them in his office, and other places.
Audit finds progress in local diocese
   BY DAVE MUNDAY, Of The Post and Courier Staff
   CHARLESTON: Most U.S. Catholic dioceses, including the Diocese of Charleston, are making progress toward appropriately responding to allegations of sexual abuse by church workers, according to an independent audit released Tuesday.
   It was the first report since American bishops in June 2002 adopted stricter policies for dealing with priests and deacons who sexually abuse children. The audit was conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston, led by retired FBI investigator William Gavin, an experienced compliance auditor.
   The audit found 90 percent of the nation's dioceses, including the Diocese of Charleston, complied with all the provisions laid down by the bishops.
2 Delayed on Policy Audit: NY dioceses fall short
   Newsday, By Carol Eisenberg
   NEW YORK: The Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn have made strides in removing sexually abusive priests from ministry and protecting children from abuse, but neither is in full compliance with the landmark sex abuse policy enacted by the nation's bishops, according to an independent audit.
   The Diocese of Rockville Centre, however, was found in full compliance with the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, passed by the bishops 18 months ago. So were the overwhelming majority of the nation's 195 dioceses.
   Rockville Centre was also commended for its outreach to victims.
   "I believe these findings show that we bishops are keeping our word," Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said at a news conference yesterday. "However, the completion of the audit and this report does not tempt us to be complacent. ... In the memorable words of history's most eloquent statesman, we have not reached the end, or even the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning," he said, quoting Winston Churchill.
High marks: Church lauded on anti-abuse policy efforts
   Boston Herald, By Robin Washington, Wednesday, January 7, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): The Archdiocese of Boston and other Catholic dioceses are largely abiding by the U.S. church's measures to stop clergy sexual abuse, a national church panel said in releasing an audit of compliance with the rules yesterday.
   "The audit results represent solid progress," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   But he acknowledged a point made in the report that: "Neither this audit process or the full and complete implementation of the Charter will provide a total guarantee that there will never be another case of child or youth sexual abuse committed by a member of the Catholic clergy."
   Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley, whose diocese was among 191 of 195 found to be in compliance, also noted that following the norms alone would not end molestation.
Archbishop to address BC conference
   Boston Globe
   BOSTON (MA): Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley will speak at Boston College next Wednesday as part of a conference, sponsored by the school and the Boston Archdiocese, on clergy sexual abuse and its effects on victims' mental health.
   Jack Dunn, a college spokesman, said yesterday that more than 200 mental health workers from around the country will meet to discuss "victim needs and best practices" during the daylong conference.
   The conference is part of a series of events from the school's "Church in the 21st Century" program. This is the first time Boston College has collaborated with the archdiocese after more than 100 events.
Boston's internal inquiry presses on
   Boston Globe, By Ralph Ranalli, Jan 7, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): A top aide to Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said yesterday that the archdiocese is moving forward with its internal investigations of priests suspended for alleged abuse and that church officials planned to have all the cases resolved by the end of the year.
   Over the last two years, the archdiocese has placed more than 30 priests on administrative leave, pending internal church investigations and possible canon law proceedings. While a small number have been reinstated, more than two dozen remain in limbo -- unable to say Mass or perform other duties, but technically remaining priests -- while the church investigations continue.
   While offering no specifics, the Rev. John J. Connolly, O'Malley's special liaison for sexual abuse matters, said the church hoped to have all outstanding cases resolved by the end of 2004.
   Under church law, priests can either choose to be laicized or can be removed from the priesthood involuntarily after a lengthy process governed by canon law.
Audit finds safeguards working in US dioceses
   Boston Globe, By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, Jan 7, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): The Catholic bishops of the United States, whose credibility tumbled after revelations that many of them repeatedly failed to protect children from sexually abusive priests, are honoring a promise to report all allegations of abuse to civil authorities and to remove abusive priests from ministry, according to an unprecedented audit of the nation's largest religious denomination. The audit, funded and coordinated by the church but conducted by a team made up largely of retired FBI agents, found that about 90 percent of the nation's 195 Roman Catholic and Eastern Rite dioceses are complying with the provisions of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," the church's plan for preventing future abuse of minors and responding to abuse complaints.
   Church officials released the audit yesterday, exactly two years after a report in the Globe about the Archdiocese of Boston's repeated reassignment of abusive priest John J. Geoghan set off a nationwide scandal that led to the ouster of several hundred priests. The crisis also led to lawsuits that have cost the church tens of millions of dollars and to changes in civil and church law aimed at protecting children.
Diocese program against abuse wins high praise
   San Bernardino Sun, By EMILY SACHS
   SAN BERNARDINO (CA): The San Bernardino Diocese has one of the Roman Catholic Church's eight best programs for preventing sexual abuse of children and young people, a national audit has found.
   The audit grew out of the sex scandal that has rocked the church for more than a year.
   It found that the diocese, which covers San Bernardino and Riverside counties, in full compliance with a June 2002 charter on protecting children. The charter was drawn up by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Of the 195 dioceses studied in the first-ever audit, 20 failed the review.
   A spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the bishops may consider it an honest investigation, but they were also the ones who picked the auditing firm, gave it guidelines and provided information.
Report praises state's Catholic dioceses
   SGVTribune.com , By Marianne Love, Staff Writer
   CALIFORNIA: A national audit released Tuesday found California's 12 Roman Catholic dioceses have complied with a 2-year-old charter designed to address the church's sexual abuse scandal.
   The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a glowing report about its efforts to comply with the audit that measured how it implemented a self-imposed charter, but not the number of priests accused of molesting children from 1976 through 2003.
   Orange County reported Friday that 16 priests molested 47 children from 1976 through 2002, and that it paid $4.6 million to victims and $66,000 for counseling to victims and family members over those years.
   Los Angeles has indicated it will release its numbers Feb. 27, as part of a nationwide push toward accountability. The second and potentially more important study, also commissioned by the bishops, will tally every church abuse case since 1950.
   In a written statement, Cardinal Roger Mahony said he was pleased with the report's results.
   "Our first commitment is, of course, to the protection of children and that involves among other things making sure that our policies and procedures are effective and up-to- date,' Mahony said.
New Allegations Of Abuse
   KRGV
   TEXAS: The Catholic Church makes a promise today to stop sexual abuse by priests. On the same day the church opens up, NEWSCHANNEL 5 uncovers a new allegation. The victim spoke only NEWSCHANNEL 5's Lisa Cortez, who agreed to conceal his identity.
   A grown man recalls the fear of an 11-year old boy. The victim was an altar boy at Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Sebastian. He says he spent the night with other altar boys at the home of a trusted priest. He explains to NEWSCHANNEL 5 that the priest took him into another room. He then asked the young boy to get something behind the desk. It was at that moment that the man says the priest attacked him.
   He tells NEWSCHANNEL 5 that the priest grabbed him and he raped him. The man says it happened continuously for six more years and he was paid to keep quiet. The victim says he never told anyone while it was going on for fear he would bring shame on his family.
Catholics release audit on preventing abuse
   Washington Times, By Julia Duin
   ARLINGTON (VA): An audit of America's Roman Catholic bishops yesterday said the Catholic Church is following the reforms it had adopted to prevent sex abuse by clergy, but 20 of the 194 dioceses, including the Diocese of Arlington, are behind on setting up safeguards for children.
   Arlington, it said, had no method - other than self-reporting - of checking the credentials of diocesan priests, employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children. It was ordered to begin criminal background checks for all such employees and to update its "safe environment" program for children and translate it into Spanish.
   In response, the Arlington diocese said it had conducted criminal background checks on its 157 priests after a September visit by investigators.
Sexual abuse claimed in D.C. archdiocese
   Washington Time, By Julia Duin
   WASHINGTON (DC): A Washington law firm that helped win an $85 million sex-abuse settlement from the Roman Catholic Church in Boston has told the Archdiocese of Washington that it represents at least 10 sexual-abuse victims for which the church must "accept responsibility."
   While the letter to the archdiocese from the firm Greenberg Traurig does not use the word "lawsuit" or make any direct threats, it demands that Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick meet with the abuse victims and discuss eight requested actions including paying for outside therapy for victims and the public naming of priests accused of abuse.
   The letter tells the Washington Archdiocese that "our investigation to date reveals a history of abuse and negligent supervision comparable to that of Boston."
   The letter, distributed to reporters last night, tells church officials that several firm clients were victimized by a sex ring in a Prince George's County parish over a 20-year period and presents the archdiocese with eight demands.
Findings are start in easing abuse crisis, leaders say
   St. Louis Post-Dispatch, By Jon Sawyer, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief WASHINGTON (DC): An outside audit finding general compliance with safeguards against sexual abuse by Catholic priests was described by church leaders Tuesday as important but only a start in addressing one of the worst crises ever for the Catholic Church in America.
   The audit was commissioned by the Office of Child and Youth Protection, an internal watchdog group established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops after its enactment of a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
   The audit, released Tuesday, found that 171, or 90 percent, of the 195 dioceses and eparchies - Eastern Rite divisions of the church - were in compliance with the reporting and procedural safeguards required under the charter, approved by the bishops at their meeting in Dallas in June 2002.
Church finds diocese follows the rules
   The Union Leader, By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
   NEW HAMPSHIRE: A church-commissioned audit of the nation's Roman Catholic dioceses found the Manchester diocese in full compliance with the Catholic bishops' child protection policies and commended it for creating a support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse and an open communications policy.
   The Manchester diocese was among 191 dioceses visited by members of an independent auditing firm last year to assess how well they implemented policies adopted by the nation's bishops in Dallas in June, 2002 to prevent child sexual abuse by clergy.
   The review found 90 percent of the nation's dioceses were in full compliance with the policies. The audit and a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' watchdog Office of Child and Youth Protection were made public yesterday.
   "I am gratified to learn that our continuing efforts to protect children and young people and promote a safe environment in our parishes, schools, and other ministries are considered by an independent audit to be on target," Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack said in a statement.
Church's efforts to stop abuse criticised
   iafrica.com , by Ken Dermota
   UNITED STATES of AMERICA: US Roman Catholic bishops said they are doing what they can to stop priests from sexually abusing children, but victims decried a church audit of the effort released on Tuesday as flawed.
   A report on efforts to purge sexual predators from church ranks said abusers had been removed from possible contact with children, but did not say how many or what had happened to them.
   "How many? Where are they? Is there a backlog? Is there? - I don't know," Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said at the release of the audit in Washington.
Survey indicates how well Catholic dioceses help victims heal
   Gazette-Times, By Carol Reeves
   OREGON: A national survey of how well Catholic dioceses are complying with new guidelines to prevent sex abuse among priests shows the Archdiocese of Portland is on track in promoting healing and reconciliation among victims/ survivors and protecting its children. ...
   The only criticisms lodged against the Portland archdiocese were the lack of a system to monitor who receives "safe environment" training and the need to develop and implement such training programs among Catholic youths who attend public schools rather than parish schools. Both recommendations have already been resolved.
   "For more than 15 years the Archdiocese of Portland has operated with clear policies for the protection of our children and for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse by pastoral ministers and church employees. The directives offered by the bishops' charter have strengthened our policies and renewed our commitment to this important task," said the Most Rev. John G. Vlazny, Portland's archbishop.
   "There was never a question about our decision to be in full compliance with the charter. I am grateful to all our pastoral ministers and people who have shared my resolve and taken this matter seriously," he said.
Critics of guidelines say audit is flawed
   Gazette-Times, By The Associated Press
   UNITED STATES: Critics of the way the Catholic Church has responded to sexual abuses against children by priests say the audit of church efforts to prevent future problems is flawed.
   The independent review of the 195 U.S. dioceses indicated 90 percent of them are in compliance with new guidelines established in 2002 by bishops in the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."
   The prelates commissioned the report from the Gavin Group of Boston, a firm led by former FBI official William Gavin, and the investigation was overseen by Kathleen McChesney, a former top FBI agent and head of the bishops' watchdog Office of Child and Youth Protection.
   But victim advocates said bishops had too much control of how the audit was conducted, so it should be viewed skeptically.
   The bishops recommended whom the auditors should interview. And according to the report, auditors were unable to view personnel files that would verify whether bishops were complying with the policy's ban on transferring offenders from one diocese to another.
   "This is the bishops grading themselves based on a test they devised," said Peter Isely, of the Midwest chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "I don't think anyone is going to be too surprised that after years of chronic failure they are now going to tell us they have miraculously become star performers."
Richmond diocese falls shy of full compliance
   The Virginian-Pilot, By STEVEN G. VEGH
   RICHMOND (VA): The Catholic Diocese of Richmond still lacks educational programs to raise awareness about sexual abuse of children, but it meets all other requirements set by the nation's bishops for preventing such abuse by clergy and church workers, according to a national audit released on Tuesday.
   The review found that 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the bishops' charter on sexual abuse, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires dioceses to take steps to protect children.
   The Richmond diocese, which encompasses South Hampton Roads, was among the 20 dioceses considered out of compliance.
Some Catholics feel audit falls short
   Courier & Press, By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Courier & Press staff writer 461-0783 or elliottp@courierpress.com
   KENTUCKY: Family members of a man molested by a Catholic priest say a report released Tuesday does not reflect frustrations of Catholics who feel church officials misled them.
   Dennis Kurzendoerfer, whose brother was a priest and abused his son, said the national audit of diocesan practices falls short of the promised resolution. Yet despite the feelings of betrayal at the hands of church and brother, Kurzendoerfer and his immediate family returned to a Catholic service for the first time in 18 months on Christmas Eve. Kurzendoerfer said church officials played too prominent a role in providing documents to the independent auditors, headed by a former FBI agent.
   "The bishop is in a big position of authority," Kurzendoerfer said. "When it comes to No. 1, the bishop is going to cover (himself) first."
Victim: Board is 'all show and no go'
   GoErie.com , By Ed Palattella, ed.palattella@timesnews.com
   ERIE (PA): The Catholic Diocese of Erie has declined to let victims meet directly with the diocese's lay review board on clergy sexual abuse.
   But a nationwide auditors' report released Tuesday recommends ways for that situation to change in the Erie diocese and in dioceses elsewhere throughout the United States.
   Auditors who examined the nation's 195 Roman Catholic dioceses want the dioceses to consider letting the lay review boards meet with victims, accused priests and others connected to clergy sexual abuse.
Victim: Board is 'all show and no go'
   GoErie.com , By Ed Palattella, ed.palattella@timesnews.com
   ERIE (PA): The Catholic Diocese of Erie has declined to let victims meet directly with the diocese's lay review board on clergy sexual abuse.
   But a nationwide auditors' report released Tuesday recommends ways for that situation to change in the Erie diocese and in dioceses elsewhere throughout the United States.
   Auditors who examined the nation's 195 Roman Catholic dioceses want the dioceses to consider letting the lay review boards meet with victims, accused priests and others connected to clergy sexual abuse.
Indianapolis archdiocese is in compliance
   Indianapolis Star, By John J. Shaughnessy, john.shaughnessy@indystar.com
   INDIANAPOLIS (IN): The Archdiocese of Indianapolis earned a passing grade Tuesday as Catholic dioceses across the United States received their first report cards concerning efforts to end the church's sexual abuse scandal.
   An independent audit of the country's dioceses also revealed that the Indiana dioceses of Evansville, Gary, Lafayette and Fort Wayne-South Bend also complied with the U.S. Catholic bishops' reform efforts.
   The independent audits represented "an unprecedented step for the Catholic Church" to confront "the tragic and terrible problem of sexual abuse of children and young people by clergy," said the Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Area dioceses praised for efforts to prevent sex abuse by priests
   Providence Journal, BY RICHARD C. DUJARDIN, Journal Religion Writer
   PROVIDENCE (RI): The first national audit of how well Catholic bishops are implementing the church's new national policy on preventing sex abuse by clergy gave the Diocese of Providence high marks yesterday, though lawyers representing some 40 alleged victims who recently came forward said much still had to be done.
   The widely anticipated report was drafted at the request of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, based on extensive interviews conducted by former FBI agents working for the Gavin Group of Boston.
   It commended the Providence Diocese for initiating a "progressive outreach policy" in response to allegations of sexual abuse as early as 1992, and praised Bishop Robert E. Mulvee for his support of a legal settlement with 37 people who had filed sexual-abuse claims during the last decade, and for meeting with the "victim/survivors" individually and collectively.
   Lawyers Carl DeLuca and Timothy Conlon said that the Providence Diocese had made great strides during the past two years to heal the wounds that their clients had suffered as a result of misconduct by priests. However, they said they thought the diocese was beginning to retreat "a little bit" in the way it was responding to allegations from their new clients, whose cases date back many years but who came forward during the last couple of years.
Lansing Diocese complies with rules
   Lansing State Journal, Staff and Wire Reports
   LANSING (MI): Ninety percent of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops - including those in the Diocese of Lansing - are following a mandatory policy to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released Tuesday. Critics said the study was fundamentally flawed.
   The review found most of the 195 U.S. dioceses were fully complying with the plan established in June 2002, which dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children.
   Among the 20 judged not fully compliant are the archdioceses of New York; Anchorage, Alaska; and Omaha, Neb. Four dioceses were not audited for various reasons.
Audit finds local diocese in compliance
   The Advertiser, by Trevis R. Badeaux, tbadeaux@theadvertiser.com
   LAFAYETTE (LA): The juvenile sex abuse scandal that rocked the U.S. Roman Catholic Church in 2001 and 2002 left Lafayette Diocesan officials with no other choice but to "do the right thing," one local church official said on Tuesday.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops earlier in the day made public the findings of independent audit of the church's 195 dioceses. The audits sought to check diocesan compliance with a revamped discipline policy regarding sex abuse of minors adopted in June 2002 by the conference.
   "The task was not to just be in compliance with what the Bishops' Conference had recommended, but to do the right thing," said Monsignor Russell Harrington, chancellor and clergy vicar for the Lafayette Diocese.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:23 AM
Audit hails efforts to bar abuse by priests
   Philadelphia Daily News, By GLORIA CAMPISI, campisg@phillynews.com
   PHILADELPHIA (PA): Nearly all of the nation's Roman Catholic dioceses, including Philadelphia's, are carrying out a new mandatory policy that U.S. bishops adopted to prevent sex abuse by priests, according to a church audit released yesterday.
   Victim advocates charged that the audit was flawed because the bishops had too much control over how it was conducted.
   "They hired the umpires and then they declared victory," said John Salveson, local spokesman for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
Audit: Church Complying With Abuse Policy
   Dayton Daily News, By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer
   WASHINGTON (DC) (AP): An audit of whether U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are keeping their pledge to prevent clergy sex abuse found most church leaders are complying, but the reforms they enacted are not adequate on their own.
   The bishops adopted the policy to protect children and restore trust in the church's shattered leadership after a scandal over prelates who sheltered guilty priests.
   Bishops will spend the coming months reviewing the policy, which was meant to be revised after two years.
   An audit released Tuesday found 90 percent of the 195 U.S. dioceses were complying fully with the current plan, which dictates how priests who molest children should be punished and requires bishops to enact safeguards against abuse.
Diocese wins bishops' praise
   St. Cloud Times, By Sarah Colburn, scolburn@stcloudtimes.com
   ST. CLOUD (MN): The St. Cloud Diocese received three commendations in the two-page report released Tuesday that relates specifically to the local diocese.
   A total of 297 recommendations for improvement were issued during the 191 audits. About 65 percent of the dioceses and eparchies audited received recommendations, according to the audit report. The Diocese of St. Cloud received no recommendations.
   It did, however, receive commendations. Overall, 68 percent of the dioceses and eparchies received from one to six commendations.
Ex-agents faced reluctant aides
   Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/01/07/ex_agents_faced_reluctant_aides/ , By Thanassis Cambanis, Globe Staff, Jan 7, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): It only took a day in the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, for a team of seasoned former FBI agents to declare defeat. The Roman Catholic Church had sent them as part of a nationwide audit to examine whether the diocese had implemented a new policy to deal with sexual abuse by priests.
   But church leaders and priests refused to talk to the auditors without their lawyers present. The former agents left town in frustration.
   "That's not a legitimate audit," recalled former FBI counterterrorism specialist William A. Gavin, a Winthrop resident and 28-year bureau veteran.
   Gavin's company, which included 50 retired FBI agents, was hired to audit 191 of the 195 Catholic dioceses nationwide and question top church officials about their compliance with the sweeping new policy, which mandates reporting, clear procedures, and effective response to allegations of child sex abuse by clergy.
   The former agents confronted a reluctant clerical culture, with many priests unaccustomed to persistent questioning by lay people and still adjusting to the new expectations of accountability that resulted from the clergy sex abuse scandal. While Davenport was the most extreme case, the team of former agents met varying degrees of anxiety and initial resistance as they swept through the dioceses over a four-month period beginning in June.
Bishops lauded for child safety
   Baltimore Sun, By Frank Langfitt
   WASHINGTON (DC): The vast majority of Roman Catholic bishops have complied with orders to implement safeguards designed to protect children from sexual abuse, according to an audit released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   Some sexual abuse victims' groups, however, criticized the audit as narrow and cursory, saying it relied too much on the candor of church employees and too little on independent verification.
   The Archdiocese Of Baltimore was among 175 Roman Catholic and Eastern Rite dioceses found in compliance.
Diocese lauded for sex-abuse measures
   The Press of Atlantic City, By THOMAS BARLAS, (609) 272-7201
   NEW JERSEY: An audit authorized by the nation's bishops commends the Diocese of Camden, the target of numerous sexual-abuse allegations, for its measures to protect youthful victims of such abuse.
   A summary of the audit released Tuesday by the diocese states that the diocese fully complies with a plan approved by the church hierarchy that dictates how guilty priests should be punished and requires bishops to take steps to protect children.
   While diocese officials were lauding the report, representatives of victims and victims groups had concerns with the audit.
Diocese reports sex abuse allegations
   Sioux City Journal
   SIOUX CITY (IA): The Diocese of Sioux City has released data that provides specific details on the issue of sexual abuse of minors dating back to 1950.
   Catholic parishioners in Northwest Iowa were given the information last week in a letter that was sent to some 36,000 households from the Most Rev. Daniel N. DiNardo, bishop of Sioux City.
   Release of the information is consistent with a mandate from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that dioceses be "transparent" in communication about the issue of abuse of minors, said Jim Wharton, director of communications for the diocese. The data indicate that the Diocese of Sioux City has received 33 allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against 10 priests of the diocese during the past 53 years.
Diocese fulfills charter
   The Arizona Republic, by Michael Clancy
   PHOENIX (AZ): Sean Drolet of Scottsdale says the training he received from the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix helps him understand some of the more difficult situations that could lead to allegations of sexual abuse.
   The training program was one of the criteria the diocese implemented to comply with the national bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. A report on how dioceses performed nationwide was released Tuesday.
   Drolet, 35, who teaches religion to children at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Scottsdale, said the best part of the training was the role-playing that took place in small groups. It enabled participants to gain a deeper understanding of how problems can develop.
   "I'd like to see the feedback from the sessions given to priests," Drolet said. "But I was glad that they asked for advice on how to improve the training, and a lot of good ideas were volunteered."
Report praises diocese
   The Press-Enterprise, By MICHAEL FISHER, BETTYE WELLS MILLER and CLAIRE VITUCCI
   SAN BERNARDINO (CA): The Diocese of San Bernardino is complying with reforms to protect children from sexual abuse by priests, earning praise in a national report released Tuesday that critics called self-serving and skewed.
   Overall, the audit commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found 90 percent of the nation's 194 Roman Catholic dioceses are meeting goals outlined in a sweeping charter approved in June 2002 by the bishops as they sought to cope with the clergy sex-abuse scandal gripping the church.
   The charter for reform requires dioceses to remove sexually abusive priests permanently, designate a person to assist molestation victims and create a confidential review board of mostly lay people to advise bishops on abuse allegations. Dioceses must report sexual-abuse accusations to authorities and not transfer any accused cleric to another diocese without disclosing the priest's background.
Audit notes Catholic reforms in N.O.
   NEW ORLEAN (LA) Times-Picayune
   By Bruce Nolan Staff writer
   A team of corporate auditors announced Tuesday that 82 percent of the nation's Catholic dioceses, including the Archdiocese of New Orleans, have enacted all the internal reforms bishops promised after a sexual abuse scandal rocked the church two years ago -- evidence that "we bishops are keeping our word," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, a spokesman for the national church.
   The audit of 194 Catholic dioceses by the Gavin Group Inc., a private firm staffed largely by former FBI agents, shows "solid progress on the journey toward fulfilling the vision" to rid the church of sexual abuse of children and reach out to past victims, Gregory said. The audit measured the bishops' performance in enacting local reforms promised in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted at a June 2002 gathering of the U.S. Catholic leadership in Dallas.
Archdiocese Told To Check Retired Priests
   Hartford Courant, By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR
   HARTFORD (CT): The Hartford Archdiocese has been told it should contact the dioceses where two priests accused of sexual abuse now live to determine whether restrictions placed on them are being enforced.
   The recommendation was included in Tuesday's report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the audit of 195 U.S. dioceses, conducted in response to the sexual abuse scandal. The audit found that 90 percent of dioceses had complied with mandates adopted by the bishops in June 2002.
   Each of Connecticut's three dioceses - Hartford, Bridgeport and Norwich - was found to be in compliance with the Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and "had not transferred any priests or deacons who had credible allegations of sexual abuse lodged against them to any other diocese for ministerial assignment or residence since June 2002."
Audit lauds archdiocese's abuse policy
   Seattle Post-Intelligencer, By KATHY GEORGE
   SEATTLE (WA): Even as a new national audit praised Seattle's Catholic Archdiocese for a model abuse-prevention program, local alleged victims stepped up their own efforts to address past wrongs.
   Today, lawyer Michael Pfau will sue on behalf of three men alleging that they were physically and sexually abused as children at the hands of local Catholic-run institutions. His firm already handles the cases of 70 people who have sued or are planning to sue over abuse by priests.
   Meanwhile, Jim Biteman, director of the Seattle Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called for better communication with the victims of priest abuse and more compassion from church leaders.
   The victims "need to be apologized to. They need to be taken seriously," he said.
Most dioceses taking steps to stop sex abuse, audit finds
   Denver Post, By Eric Gorski, Denver Post Religion Writer
   DENVER (CO): Nearly 90 percent of U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses, including all three in Colorado, are carrying out mandatory guidelines adopted 19 months ago to help prevent child sexual abuse, according to a major church-sponsored report issued Tuesday.
   The Denver Archdiocese won extensive praise for its efforts, including hiring a full-time staff person to work on the issue and ensure the diocese's compliance.
   The head of the independent audit commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called it "an extraordinary report card" that for the first time gave laypeople access to information about how church officials dealt with abuse allegations.
Area youths are protected, diocese review finds
   El Paso Times, by Leonard Martinez and Erica Molina
   EL PASO (TX): The Catholic Diocese of El Paso encourages anyone who has been abused by a member of the clergy to call its chancellor, Susan Martinez, at 872-8407. The El Paso and Las Cruces Catholic dioceses have complied with rules adopted in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops after allegations of child sexual abuse were made against priests in various parts of the country, an audit shows.
   "I'm grateful that the diocese has been seen as in compliance," said the Rev. Carmen Mele of the El Paso Catholic Diocese's Peace and Justice Ministry. "This confirms something I have felt for a long time. We have been very serious in handling these cases. It's a priority for Bishop (Armando X.) Ochoa."
   Audits of both dioceses were released Tuesday and show that they follow the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which was passed in Dallas in June 2002. The conference of bishops called for an independent audit of dioceses to assess the level of compliance with the charter.
Fall River Diocese passes muster
   Herald News, by KATHLEEN DURAND
   FALL RIVER (MA): A report issued Tuesday by the U.S. bishops' Office for Child and Youth Protection shows that the Diocese of Fall River is in compliance with the new Catholic Church anti-abuse charter.
   "The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" was adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 in response to the widespread scandal of sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere.
82% of U.S. dioceses met audit request
   El Paso Times, http://www.borderlandnews.com/stories/borderland/20040107-65515.shtml , by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today, January 7, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): U.S. leaders of the Catholic Church, rocked for two years by a child sexual abuse scandal, Tuesday announced that 82 percent of dioceses have complied with a national policy designed to oust predatory priests and keep children safe.
   Wilton Gregory, bishop of the Belleville, Ill., diocese and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a diocese-by-diocese audit report that he says proves bishops are keeping promises of reform.
   But victims' advocates called the $1.8 million audit report inadequate, vague and unlikely to restore the church's damaged credibility.
   "The bishops wrote their own test, graded it themselves and now they are announcing that they have passed," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SNAP].
Allentown Diocese gets auditors' nod
   The Morning Call, By Kathleen Parrish
   ALLENTOWN (PA): The Diocese of Allentown and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are complying with the U.S. Catholic bishops' charter on sexual abuse prevention after addressing concerns raised by church auditors.
   The Diocese of Scranton earlier met conditions of the policy, adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.
   In addition, the Allentown Diocese received a commendation for expanding a program that helps parishioners and clergy work through the church's sexual abuse scandal.
   Called Healing the Body of Christ, the program ran during the six weeks of Lent last year in Roman Catholic churches in Lehigh, Berks, Carbon, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 02:43 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , January 07, 2004
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