References cont. (70) — Clergy Child Molesters

Whistleblower priest becomes another victim of the system [1970s Dupre] - Roman Catholic Church. Rev. James Scahill sacrificed. U.S.A. flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/opinion/opinion.bg?articleid=326 , By Warren E. Mason, "As you were saying ", Saturday, February 21, 2004
   MASSACHUSETTS: We've become numb to the stories, sick of the accusations, as the Catholic Church gropes to find a semblance of truth and dignity.
   Nevertheless, the latest episode is a compelling lesson in simple truths, and grave deceit:
   Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre resigns within hours of being confronted with accusations that he molested 9- and 13-year-old boys beginning in the 1970s.
   After years of trumpeting family values, leading the charge against gay marriage, and coddling abusers, Dupre finds himself on the hot seat. More than a week after the revelations first surfaced, Dupre tellingly has nothing to say. It appears he has lived a lie - a 40-year lie!
   Rather than expressing outrage at the potential abuse by one of its own leaders, the Archdiocese of Boston gives us a slight of hand, designed to protect the image of Archbishop Sean O'Malley, while sacrificing the Rev. James Scahill of St. Michael's Parish in East Longmeadow - the priest who blew the whistle on Dupre. [continued]
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INTENTION: A challenge to RELIGIONS to PROTECT CHILDREN
Series starts: www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethicscontents.htm   Visit http://www.ncrnews.org/abuse
   INCOMPLETE LINKS: Refer back to "References 61" for methods of obtaining the URLs.
   Three people were present when Scahill told the archbishop's personal secretary it was extremely urgent that the archbishop gets back to him concerning a "dire" problem in the Springfield Diocese.
   The Rev. Christopher Coyne, spokesman for the archbishop, told The Associated Press, however, that Scahill should have gone through proper channels, adding, "An unsolicited phone call of such an ambiguous nature is not the way you handle serious matters such as this."
   He made it sound as if Scahill were a telemarketer pestering the archbishop to buy a set of Ginzou knives. How could the call from Scahill have been anything but "unsolicited"?
   It would seem reasonable that the archbishop, or one of his aides could have found time to check out what Scahill thought to be so "dire." Scahill has yet to hear from the Archdiocese of Boston.
   There continues to be a huge void between concern for victims, and the "let's circle the wagons" mentality that pervades Catholic hierarchical thought.
   If you're not a member of the Catholic fraternity, you're treated as a second-class citizen; expected to accept the pabulum that is doled out, and to accept it with a smile.
   You are indeed the ultimate fraternity pledge!
   Scahill attempted to report the allegations against Bishop Dupre in the prescribed manner, while ministering to one of the alleged victims and his mother.
   Rather than castigating Scahill, the archbishop would be better served to emulate his ministry, and to praise Scahill for his vigilance in the protection of children.
   St. Michael's has grown by 250 families in one year, drawing from Connecticut and surrounding Massachusetts towns. Contributions are up 30 percent, while the parish has 40 altar servers, boys and girls.
   How can this be, when the Catholic Church is shrinking faster than the Wicked Witch of the West?
   Quite simply, Scahill has stepped out of the insular clerical box. He chooses to see the world as a parent, a friend, a caregiver and an equal.
   David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said, "Father Scahill is the most courageous priest in the U.S."
   On the other side is the Catholic hierarchy. They make the simple seem impossible; the truth seem a vague conception; and storytelling a twisted art form.
   They attempt to stand the world on its head, when we thirst for simple truth, honest compassion and moral outrage.
   ( Warren Mason is a Massachusetts-based writer. As You Were Saying is a Herald feature. We invite our readers to contribute pieces of no more than 600 words. Mail to the Boston Herald, P.O. Box 2096, Boston, MA 02106-2096, fax to 617-542-1315 or e-mail) (Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM.)
   [COMMENT: The claim that Dupre resigned the day after the recent confrontation needs a qualifying statement. Bishop Dupre DID get reported months ago as saying that he was considering retirement soon. -- FPP, 28 Feb 2004. COMMENT ENDS.] (This is the first of the Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse , for Sunday, February 22, 2004.)
• Church sex scandal not an easy story to tell - RCC. Boys 12 and 13.
   'To have forces of goodness, justice and equity turn out to be no better than Enron is highly destructive of our hope.'
   The Republican, "Church sex scandal not an easy story to tell," http://masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1077353123211601.xml?cnlm , by Larry McDermott, Feb/22/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Our report this week detailing sexual assault allegations against the bishop of the Springfield Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church tested our ability to remain the dispassionate messenger.
   The two men alleged that Bishop Thomas L. Dupre sexually assaulted them when he was a parish priest and they were 12- and 13-year-old boys. The men, now 39 and 40, said Dupre introduced them to homosexual sex and pornography after taking them under his wing.
   The latest local developments increased the scope of a scandal that has enveloped the church and sent shock waves throughout the region among Catholics and non-Catholics.
   We live in a world that already is disillusioned and frightened, but to have forces of goodness, justice and equity turn out to be no better than Enron is highly destructive of our hope.
   More than the shock, there is a deep sense of sadness and pain on many levels. [...]
   ... we wrestle with questions that include:
   If the allegations are true, who knew but failed to speak out? How will the church restore confidence and trust? When can the faithful expect a return to normalcy?
   We have noticed a huge change in the attitudes of our readers toward coverage of the sex abuse scandals in the church since we broke the local news to them more than a decade ago.
   "When we first reported alleged abuses by then-Father Richard Lavigne, who subsequently pleaded guilty to several counts, the newspaper was attacked as being anti-Catholic," recalls Executive Editor Wayne E. Phaneuf.
   "We have received only a handful of calls concerning our latest coverage and most have been from thoughtful readers who would like the story to go away, but know we have to cover it."
   Phaneuf said the church also has become more responsive over time, including in its effort to report abuse cases.
   Managing Editor Marie P. Grady, who guided reporter Bill Zajac and City Editor Jim Gillen as Zajac developed the story over the past year, noted that this was extraordinarily difficult to execute. As often is the case, our work on this story began with an anonymous tip to the reporter. Zajac over time was able to track down the mother of one of the alleged victims, who was shocked by the allegations.
   The mother confronted her son, who ultimately acknowledged the alleged abuse. However, neither the son nor the other alleged victim had decided to go public. Zajac continued to investigate the credibility of the charges while keeping in touch with the family.
   Meanwhile, because of the highly sensitive nature of the project, only a handful of people at The Republican were aware of our investigation.
   Ultimately, Grady gave the go-ahead for Zajac to confront the bishop with detailed allegations. Dupre abruptly retired and disappeared from public view.
   Talking with a friend who's a retired bishop, I immediately sensed his anguish and sadness. "This simply adds fuel to the fire," he said. "It leads people to think that leaders of religion are hypocrites, that they are liars, that they are untruthful about their real lives, and that religion is hypocritical. That they stand on principles that they don't follow."
   For us, the story also has a personal dimension. The editors directly involved as well as the reporter were all reared in the Catholic faith. Grady, whose large Irish family tree includes both priests and nuns abroad, is proud of the "outstanding journalism" involved even though the results are painful.
   "So many involved with the Catholic church have done tremendous good in the world, and I am sure they are ashamed and saddened by these developments," she said. "But no institution of faith can last for long if it is not based on truth."
   Nor can a good newspaper.
Ex-bishop close to immigrants - RCC.
   The Republican, www.masslive.com/news/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077439534117020.xml , By CHRIS HAMEL, chamel@repub.com , Feb/22/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): On a cold, gray Saturday afternoon in February 1996, less than a year into his tenure as bishop of Springfield's Catholic diocese, the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre celebrated Mass in familiar company, surrounded by a fervent sea of immigrants and refugees.
   The service at Holy Name Church preceded the Vietnamese community's marking of the Lunar New Year with an annual party in the parish social center, an event at which Dupre was to become a revered guest.
   For Dupre, 70, who speaks three languages and was the diocese's first bishop of French-Canadian ancestry, participation in such ceremonies was part of a personal history of outreach to newcomers, who came here from geographic points as diverse as Europe, Canada, South and Central America, the Caribbean and Asia.
   But that history took a jolting twist last week, when a man said the retired bishop plied him with gay pornography and Thomas L. Dupre sexually abused him after he arrived in America as a 12-year-old refugee almost 30 years ago.
Covington Diocese reports 47 more sex-abuse victims - RCC. $US 14.3m spent; ~ 48 MORE victims.
   The Courier-Journal, www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2004/02/22ky/met-5-abuse02220-2991.html , Associated Press, Sunday, February 22, 2004
   COVINGTON, Ky.: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington has told its members that about four dozen more people were abused by priests than the church had previously reported.
   The diocese also said in its newspaper that it added $10million to the total paid to settle abuse claims. The publication was mailed Friday to 27,000 families in 14 counties and is the first update to parishioners since August.
   "I made a pledge to keep the faithful of the diocese informed," Bishop Roger J. Foys said in a statement Friday. "Updating these figures at this time is part of that pledge."
   The new report added 47 victims of sexual abuse, which brought the total to 205 victims since 1950. The report says 35 diocesan priests were involved in the abuse. The diocese also reported that it has now paid $14.3million in claim settlements - $4.9million from its own coffers and $9.4million from insurance companies - since 1989.[...]
   Attorneys for the victims said the church is still underestimating the number of victims. "I think it's clear from Covington's pronouncement that they underestimated (the number of victims) when they first made their announcement," said Bob Steinberg, a lawyer in a class-action sex abuse case against the Diocese of Covington. "It was 158 then. Now it's over 200. We have always estimated that the number of victims was over 500 and we still feel that way."
• Group wants to put an end to abuse - RCC.
   Capital News 9, www.capital news9.com/ content/head lines/?ArID= 60694& SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, 10:58 AM, Feb/22/2004
   ALBANY (NY): One group is making it their mission to end abuse in the Catholic Church.
   Stephen Brady heads up a conservative Catholic group called Roman Catholic Faithful.
   According to this morning's Times Union, Brady made headlines back in 1999 when he exposed a website where Catholic priests swapped stories of their sexual exploits with children.
   The 53-year-old pizza parlor owner from Illinois is coming to Albany today upon hearing about the investigation into the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese -- in particular, Bishop Howard Hubbard.
   Brady claims his efforts have forced the resignations of six priests and two bishops in dioceses from Dallas to South Africa.
Attorney, DA raise questions about Springfield report on abuse - RCC.
   Providence Journal, www.projo. com/ap/ma/ 1077394191.htm , The Associated Press, 3:12 P.M., Feb.21.2004
   SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP): The Hampden County district attorney and a lawyer for sex abuse victims questioned the reliability of clergy abuse statistics from the Springfield Diocese, saying church officials may have underreported the number of abusive priests.
   The diocese released a report Friday saying that 30 priests have been accused of sexually abusing 70 youths in the Springfield Diocese in the last 50 years.
   The diocese has been reeling from recent allegations that its outgoing bishop, Thomas Dupre, molested two boys when he was a parish priest.
   Attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., a Boston lawyer who represents hundreds of alleged victims, including the two men who say Dupre abused them when they were boys, said Springfield's figures "are ridiculously low."
   "I don't accept their credibility, nor do I believe this represents even a fraction of the people who have been abused in the Springfield Diocese," MacLeish told The Boston Globe. "The data is only as good as the people supplying it, and look who was providing it."
   Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett, whose office is investigating the allegations of sexual abuse against Dupre, also questioned the report.
   "In light of the recent allegations, legitimate questions have to be asked whether or not the information provided thus far is reliable," he said.
   Asked if his office has considered obtaining a warrant to search diocesan records, Bennett said, "We're proceeding, but I can't go into the specifics of that."
Still no clergy abuse law - RCC.
   Newsday, www.nynewsday. com/news/local/ crime/ny-bc- ny--clergy- sexabuse0221 feb21,0,3181 587.story?coll= nyc-manhead lines-crime , By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer, 1:21 PM EST, February 21, 2004,
   ALBANY, N.Y.: It was after 9 p.m. in the closing days of the legislative session when the word in the darkened Capitol hallways was that one of Albany's thorniest issues was settled: A law would compel religious leaders to report to authorities any child sex abuse by priests and other clergy.
   Two years later as the clergy abuse scandal and cover-ups played out nationally, there still is no law in New York -- not even a two-house proposal -- despite the handshake agreement and bills printed that night in June 2002. Even in often contentious Albany, a deal falling apart so completely is rare, said Sen. Steven Saland.
   Now the Poughkeepsie Republican and Albany Democratic Assemblyman John McEneny are down to one disputed section of the two versions of the bill, which have unanimous support in their chambers.
   Saland and McEneny would require religious leaders to be added to the list of 30 professions including teachers and physicians that are "mandated reporters" of child abuse by colleagues. Clergy would then be required by law to report child sexual abuse by priests and other clergy.
• Diocese gives training on spotting sex abuse - RCC.
   Quad-City Times, www.qctimes. com/internal. php?story_ id=1024573& l=1&t=Local+ News&c= 2,1024573 , By Kay Luna, ~ Feb 22, 2004
   IOWA: Joni Bruecken shook her head in sympathy, watching the young man struggle on camera to tell his haunting story of growing up a victim of sex abuse.
   What she heard next was more disturbing.
   The Bettendorf mother of five cringed as two straight-laced men appeared on the movie screen set up at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport, describing in detail how they gained the trust of young children and sexually abused them over and over.
   The lesson learned: Sex abuse can happen anywhere, to anyone's children, if adults aren't watching for warning signs in each other - even those they trust the most.
   "The abuser is going to look like any one of us," said Catholic Schools Superintendent Mary Wieser of the Diocese of Davenport. "The fact is, most sex offenders are known and trusted by kids and their parents."
Brace for 'upsetting' news, Catholics told - RCC.
   Fox 11, www.fox11az.com/news/state/stories/022104ccktFox11Catholics.16c792d1.html , By Stephanie Innes, of ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 10:30 PM MST, Saturday, February 21, 2004
   TUCSON (AZ): The Tucson Roman Catholic Diocese is warning parishioners to prepare themselves for some "upsetting" news next week when a nationwide study of sexual abuse inflicted on children by American priests is released.
   The much-anticipated survey on the toll of clergy abuse in the United States will be released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A national board of prominent laypeople appointed by the bishops group commissioned researchers from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to collect self-reported data from the country's 194 Roman Catholic dioceses and Eastern rite eparchies, which are dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Church that report to the Vatican. They are also part of the bishops conference.
   "The results of the John Jay study are likely to be upsetting, even shocking," Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas wrote in a letter to be released to parishioners this weekend.
   A report from CNN earlier this week that cited a leaked early draft of the study said 4,450 priests out of 110,000 who have served since 1950 have been accused of sexually abusing minors. If those numbers are accurate and the accusations credible, that would mean 4 percent of priests are accused of being molesters - far more than the 1 percent church officials had previously thought. Kicanas said he could not comment on the CNN numbers because he hasn't seen the study.
Accused priest from N.J. loses post [? 1990s Littleton] - RCC.
   Star-Ledger, www.nj.com/ news/ledger/ jersey/index. ssf?/base/ news-5/1077 43404736240. xml , BY JUNE KIM, Sunday, February 22, 2004
   NEW JERSEY: A Catholic priest assigned to three Diocese of Metuchen parishes in the 1990s was removed Friday from his post in Charlotte, N.C., over allegations of sexual abuse during his tenure in New Jersey.
   The Rev. Gregory Littleton left Our Lady of Assumption Roman Catholic Church after officials from the Diocese of Charlotte, long aware of the accusations of abuse, were notified by the Metuchen Diocese that Littleton's case would appear in a nationwide list of credible abuse allegations due to be released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   "The Charter for Protection of Young People basically says you can't be in ministry if your name is on this list," said David Hains, acting spokesman of the Charlotte Diocese. "In effect, this man has to be removed," said Hains.
   Littleton, 42, could not be reached yesterday at his Charlotte home. A story in the Charlotte Observer quoted him as saying he was unaware until Friday of any allegations that he sexually abused minors, and he rebutted them.
   Littleton worked in parishes in Sayreville, Metuchen and the Peapack/Far Hills area before moving to North Carolina in 1997.
Accuser removes cloak of silence [1970s] -- RCC. Boys.
   Press-Telegram, www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_jacob22.ea5d.html , By MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise, 09:58 PM PST, Saturday, February 21, 2004
   CALIFORNIA: To Jacob Olivas, a 7-year-old whose devout Catholic parents raised him to revere priests as God, Father Tony felt safe.
   Friendly and fatherly, the Rev. Edward Anthony Rodrigue wore a perpetual, pleasant grin while he wrestled and joked with children in the playground at St. George Catholic Church and School in Ontario in 1978.
   "I trusted him, and I can still feel that trust I had in him. I was just another piece of meat to him," Olivas, now 34, said as he sat in his family's modest Ontario home, just a few feet from the spot where he claims Rodrigue first molested him on a living room couch. "I didn't even know what the word 'sex' was ... I didn't know it was wrong. I didn't know what it was."
   Olivas is one of five men suing the San Diego and San Bernardino dioceses, alleging that Rodrigue molested them at St. George in the late 1970s. At least 10 other men have filed suit over allegations of abuse by Rodrigue elsewhere.
   Rodrigue, 67, sent a letter to The Press-Enterprise saying he was declining to comment. Removed from the priesthood at his own request in 1992, Rodrigue is serving 10 years in state prison after pleading no contest in 1998 to molesting a Highland boy. He had also pleaded no contest to charges in 1979.
A church divided: Conservatives, liberals vie for changes - RCC.
   Troy Record, www.troyrecord.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11007203&BRD=1170&PAG=461&dept_id=7021&rfi=6 , By James V. Franco, Feb/22/2004
   ALBANY (NY): As the sexual abuse scandal continues to rock the Catholic Church, there is another crisis that has been simmering for decades.
   The "conservative," or orthodox, Catholics have been at odds with the "liberal" Catholics since the church "renewed" itself after the Second Vatican Council enacted reforms in 1965. Now both sides seem to be using the scandal to promote their own agendas.
   The more conservative Catholics say that if the church returns to how it looked in 1950, the scandal would not have happened. Liberals are using it to promote the increasingly popular notion of allowing priests to marry and the ordination of women.
   "Both sides are using the sex abuse scandal to hop on the hobby horse to push their own agenda. They are both wrong," said Thomas Reese, the editor of the Jesuit magazine America the National Catholic Weekly. "I don't see what saying the Mass in English has to do with sex abuse."
   Tonight, two of the more vocal conservatives will be in Albany to give their take on the explosive allegations against Bishop Howard Hubbard.
   Stephen Brady, founder of the Roman Catholic Faithful, of Illinois, and Paul Likoudis, editor of The Wanderer, a longtime ultra-conservative newspaper ...
   The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is known for being one of the more liberal, and Hubbard is known as one of the more liberal bishops. But it is not just that reputation they are coming to criticize. Recently allegations were made that Hubbard had homosexual relations with two men.
   Then a letter, purportedly written by a conservative priest, Rev. John Minkler, surfaced alleging that Hubbard had a homosexual relationship with two other priests.
   Minkler, an orthodox priest suspected of leaking information to The Wanderer, was found dead in his Watervliet home two days after he signed an affidavit disavowing he was the author of the letter. At least one other priest and Brady say that he was the author.
Men feel lost in the shuffle [1967-79] - RCC.
   Press-Telegram, www.pe.com/breakingnews/local/stories/PE_News_Local_rod22.eae5.html , By MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise, 12:21 AM PST, Sunday, February 22, 2004
   CALIFORNIA: Despite complaints that the Rev. Edward Anthony Rodrigue molested boys, Catholic leaders allowed the troubled priest to work at unsuspecting churches in Ontario, Loma Linda, El Centro and elsewhere for more than 14 years, according to a series of recently filed lawsuits.
   During the past year, at least 15 men have sued the dioceses of San Diego and San Bernardino charging that they failed to protect them from Rodrigue, whom they accuse of sexually abusing them as young boys between 1967 and 1979. Rodrigue, who told authorities he molested as many as 120 boys as a priest, remains in prison over a 1998 conviction, and his own brother says he would testify against his release.
   The accusers, former altar boys, claim diocesan leaders shuffled Rodrigue among at least 11 churches and several psychological treatment centers in 17 years, even after Rodrigue pleaded no contest in 1979 to misdemeanor child-molestation charges. They say Rodrigue exemplifies how Catholic leaders nationwide now face claims that they shifted sexually abusive clerics among parishes.
   "I can't think of any other word than betrayal," said Jacob Olivas, 34, who says Rodrigue repeatedly molested him when he was a 7-year-old at St. George Catholic Church and School in Ontario.
Dicoese tallies abuse toll [35 abused 59] - RCC.
   News-Chronicle, www.gogreen bay.com/page. html?article=124489 , By Ray Barrington, ~ Feb 22, 2004
   GREEN BAY (WI): In advance of a national study of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, the Diocese of Green Bay released its numbers of victims, priests involved and the cost over a 52-year period.
   The numbers, covering the period from 1950 to 2002, are part of a study being conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with the national figures to be released Feb. 27. 7
   Green Bay Bishop David Zubik said the diocese did not have to release numbers, as the study will only release totals, not breakdowns by region or diocese. He said his diocese wanted to be "transparent" in handling the issue.
   The numbers, Zubik said, are these: Over the period 1950-2002, 59 people have made allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against 35 priests in the diocese out of 819 who served during those years. In five other cases, charges were dropped either by authorities or the alleged victims.
Ex-priest on trial this week for abuse [1978 Feeney] - RCC. 2 boys.
   Post-Crescent, www.wisinfo. com/postcres cent/news/ archive/ local_ 14827193.shtml , By Dan Wilson, ~ Feb 22, 2004
   APPLETON (WI): Amid the release of several reports on sexual abuse by clergy, a 76-year-old former priest goes on trial Tuesday in Outagamie County for allegedly molesting two brothers in 1978.
   John Patrick Feeney is charged with four counts of attempted sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault of a child stemming from alleged incidents that occurred  while he was the parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom.
   Because of the publicity surrounding the case, a pool of 73 potential jurors-double the usual number-have been called for a trial that is scheduled to last three days, with jury selection taking up most of Tuesday.
   The case rests almost entirely on the testimony of the brothers, ages 38 and 40, who were 12 and 14 when Feeney allegedly molested, or attempted to molest them.
   Special prosecutor Vince Biskupic has filed a witness list with 20 names, although not all of those will actually testify.
Study: About 4% of Catholic priests have faced sex charge - RCC.
   Contra Costa Times, www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/8014040.htm , By Alan Cooperman, WASHINGTON POST, ~ Feb 22, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): The nation's Roman Catholic bishops will hand ammunition to their critics this week by releasing a nationwide study of sex abuse in the church, but they hope that doing so will lead other organizations that care for children to conduct similar research, the president of the bishops' conference said Friday.
   "I would like to believe that the Catholic Church is taking a bold step not only because of the seriousness of this issue for us, but the seriousness of this issue for all of society," said Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill.
   The report will reveal what church records show about the number of U.S. priests who have been accused of child sexual abuse, the age and gender of their victims and the legal settlements that helped keep many cases out of the public eye.
   CNN reported last week that a draft of the study said 4,450 priests have been accused of molesting more than 11,000 minors since 1950.
• Accusations against Hubbard fuel a mission - RCC.
   Albany Times Union, www.timesunion.com/ AspStories/story.asp? storyID=221293&category= REGIONOTHER&BCCode= HOME& newsdate= 2/22/2004 ; By BRIAN NEARING, Sunday, February 22, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): A former federal prosecutor starting an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Bishop Howard Hubbard may find herself crossing paths with the owner of a Illinois pizza parlor who has long been looking to oust the bishop.
   Stephen Brady heads Roman Catholic Faithful, a group he started in 1996 after he became convinced the Catholic church was being overtaken by homosexuals, feminists and others who he claims stray from traditional church doctrine. Brady said his group started out small, but that it represents the concerns of a growing number of Catholics who have been shocked by the nationwide clergy sexual abuse scandal that erupted in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002.
   "Child abuse by priests is just the tip of the iceberg," said Brady, who points to biblical injunctions that condemn homosexuality. "No homosexual should be a priest. This is a showdown, and we want our day in court."
Suits cost archdiocese millions [$US 53 m] - RCC.
   The Oregonian, www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1077454591252960.xml , by ASHBEL S. GREEN, Feb/22/04
   PORTLAND (OR): The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland and its insurers have paid $53 million, mostly in the past few years, to settle priest sex abuse claims dating back to 1950, according to a letter by Archbishop John G. Vlazny that was quietly made available in some churches after Saturday evening Masses.
   The letter is part of a national unveiling of more than 50 years of priest sex abuse statistics. A national, diocese-by-diocese report is due for release Friday.
   Portland's $53 million total settlement amount is to date the second-largest reported in the nation behind the $95 million the Boston Archdiocese has paid. Not all dioceses around the country have announced their sex abuse settlements.
   Portland's average settlement, nearly $400,000 for 133 people, was more than twice as big as Boston's -- about $150,000 for 638 people. An archdiocesan insurance fund covered just over half of those costs, Vlazny wrote, with the remainder coming from other church resources or loans.
   In his letter, Vlazny said Oregon law makes it easy to sue over conduct that church officials may not have known about.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Sunday, February 22, 2004
   Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Monday, February 23, 2004 edition follows:-
Conservative Catholics take on church in Albany - RCC.
   Ithaca Journal, www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/20040223/localnews/458482.html , By MICHAEL GORMLEY, The Associated Press, Feb 23, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): A tolerance of homosexuality, feminism and liberal doctrine has led to the scandals nationwide and claims of a gay den of priests led by the Albany bishop, said conservative Catholics on Sunday.
   "It's a matter that has to be handled within the church -- unfortunately the hierarchy does not seem to be willing to chop the head of a bishop off," Stephen Brady, founder of the Illinois-based Roman Catholic Faithful, said at a meeting in Albany. "So the only thing left is for the faithful to rise and stand up and let their voices be heard."
   Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard has denied two recent allegations of improper homosexual relationships in the 1970s and others raised in a recently uncovered letter written in 1995. The confidential letter raised concerns about alleged homosexual affairs Hubbard had with Albany priests. The bishop said he has kept his vow of celibacy and has dismissed several priests from the 14-county diocese for credible sex abuse claims.
   One hundred Brady supporters attended the event at an Albany hotel, while more than 50 protesters filled the back of the meeting room. Protesters speaking in support of Hubbard were drowned out by members of Roman Catholic Faithful reciting the Lord's Prayer and "Hail Mary."
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:07 PM
Bishop's foes, backers clash at forum - RCC.
   Albany Times Union, www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=221524&category=REGION&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=2/23/2004 , By MIKE GOODWIN, Monday, February 23, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): The author of a series of 1991 articles critical of Bishop Howard Hubbard's leadership of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese identified a priest, who died Feb. 15 under unclear circumstances after being linked to allegations of homosexuality against the bishop, as a "close collaborator" for his stories.
   "He became my guide for 'Agony in Albany'," Paul Likoudis said Sunday, describing the Rev. John Minkler as a primary source for his series in The Wanderer, a Minnesota-based weekly Catholic newspaper that questioned Hubbard's leadership.
   "That work had my name on it," Likoudis said. "But it really was his work." Likoudis said that as he prepared articles, he would frequently read passages over the phone to Minkler for approval.
   Likoudis made his comments at a contentious meeting of the Illinois-based Roman Catholic Faithful, a conservative theological group, at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Albany.
   Minkler, 57, was found dead at his 2319 Seventh St. home in Watervliet by his sister just days after he was publicly identified as the author of a 1995 letter to then-New York Archbishop John O'Connor that accused Hubbard of homosexual behavior and theological transgressions.
Hubbard Critic Meets with Mary Jo White - RCC.
   Fox 23, WXXA-TV, Albany, NY, www.fox23news. com/news/local/ story.aspx?content_ id=A6CB01B1- A6A2-4910-8D08- 52EF53F927FA , ~ Feb 23, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): Stephen Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful has been investigating the Albany Diocese and Bishop Howard Hubbard since 1996. Today he passed some of his knowledge on to Mary Jo White.
   "If she's true to her word and at this point I believe she is -- I think she and I are working to the same end to a degree," said Brady.
   Stephen Brady told Mary Jo White she needs to go straight to the clergy for the information she needs. "The priests know. If they don't know the details first-hand they know the people that do."
   But Brady believes they won't talk -- unless Bishop Hubbard says it's okay. "I basically told her I felt if the bishop would come out with a statement promising not to take any retribution against any priest who comes forward with information it might be helpful."
   Brady also told White about his contact with Father John Minkler.
• Clergy Sex Abuse Victim Found Dead - RCC. Whistleblower Patrick McSorley dead.
   TheBostonChannel.com ; www.theboston channel.com/ news/2868080/ detail.html , 5:36 pm EST, February 23, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): One of the most public faces of the Boston Archdiocese's most infamous sex abuse scandal has died.
   NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that Patrick McSorley, who was victimized by defrocked priest John Geoghan, was found dead in a friend's apartment in the North End Monday morning.
   McSorley's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, reacted with surprise. He described McSorley as a young man who should be admired for his commitment to ending clergy sexual abuse.
More Counts Of Abuse? - RCC. 14 accused.
   Week.com ; http://week.com/morenews/morenews-read.asp?id=3647 , 4:28pm, Posted February 23, 2004
   ILLINOIS: The Piatt County man who filed a civil sex abuse case against three former Priests and the Peoria Catholic Diocese is planning to add more counts to his lawsuit.
   Daniel Koenigs is accusing the late William Harbert, Francis Engels and Gregory Plunkett of battery and child sexual abuse. Koenigs is accusing the Peoria Diocese of Conspiracy.
   Koenig's attorney, Joe Klest, would not go into details about the additional counts, but says he plans to file them some time within the next few weeks.
   This, as the Peoria Catholic Diocese releases the figures of a new study about priests accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned the nationwide study to find the nature and scope of clerical abuse of minors.
   The study shows fourteen priests in the Peoria Catholic Diocese have been accused of sexual misconduct. Five of the fourteen priests are dead.
Boston Church Sex Victim Found Dead [Geoghan] - RCC.
   Reuters, www.reuters. com/newsArt icle.jhtml? type=domestic News&storyID= 4419377 , By Greg Frost, 05:57 PM ET, Mon February 23, 2004
   BOSTON (MA) (Reuters) - Patrick McSorley, a victim of defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan who spoke openly of the deep scars left by clergy sexual abuse, has been found dead, his lawyer said on Monday.
   Mitchell Garabedian, who represented McSorley and dozens of others who said they had been abused by Geoghan, confirmed reports that McSorley's body had been found in downtown Boston, but declined further comment on the cause of death.
   Boston police declined to comment, but said they had responded to a report of a "sudden death" in that neighborhood early on Monday.
   "He was a loving father, a caring son, and a hero to all survivors of clergy abuse," Garabedian said. He said he had spoken with McSorley on Friday and that he seemed "fine" at the time.
Church Abuse Victim McSorley Found Dead [Geoghan] - RCC.
   Phillyburbs.com ; www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-02232004-251559.html , By DENISE LAVOIE, The Associated Press, Feb 23, 2004
   BOSTON (MA) - Patrick McSorley, who said he had been molested by defrocked priest John Geoghan and was one of the most outspoken Boston clergy sex abuse victims, was found dead early Monday, his lawyer said.
   The cause of the death was not immediately announced. McSorley, 29, nearly drowned in a river last year but denied he had attempted suicide.
   Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said Boston police called him early Monday and told him McSorley had died.
   Garabedian would not comment on the cause of death, saying all members of McSorley's family hadn't been notified. He said McSorley was found in a friend's apartment in Boston's North End.
   Police would not immediately confirm McSorley's death, but a spokesman said officers did investigate a report of a body found in the neighborhood.
Vatican to consider scientific assessment of sex abuse by clergy - RCC.
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/dailynews/054/world/Vatican_to_consider_scientific:.shtml , By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, 11:23, Feb/23/2004
   VATICAN CITY (AP): The Vatican said Monday its guidelines to deal with sex abuse by priests would take into account new scientific reports including criticism of the U.S. Church policy of permanently defrocking guilty priests.
   The new reports were commissioned by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life and presented to a Vatican conference last April. They were written by non-Catholic psychiatrists, psychologists and other leading international experts to give the Vatican scientific advice on dealing with a problem that has scandalized the Roman Catholic Church.
   The Vatican released a compendium of the reports and summaries of the conference discussions on Monday, saying neither it nor any expert had drawn final conclusions. The Church said, however, there were some areas of general agreement, in particular the view that the "zero-tolerance" policy adopted by U.S. bishops in 2002 is mistaken.
   "This text, these scientific results, will be taken into consideration by the Vatican offices, and will serve as a scientific base of information for the guidelines," said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, the deputy Vatican spokesman. "It's a point of reference for the offices."
   Many American dioceses say they are aggressively pursuing "zero-tolerance" after being stung by charges that church hierarchy was trying to protect abusive priests, often by shuffling them from parish to parish. The policy says an offending priest can be permanently removed from ministry and possibly from the priesthood itself for even a single act of abuse.
   However, as The Associated Press reported last week, many experts criticized the program, saying it sends a message that the offenders can't be rehabilitated. Several said that such a policy can in fact increase the chances that offenders might abuse again by removing them from their jobs and supervision. They said the offenders need treatment, as well as whatever criminal penalties would be imposed by civil authorities.
   Zero-tolerance "does not function to prevent these crimes," Dr. Hans-Ludwig Kroeber, head of the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Berlin, was quoted as telling the conference. "It is better to domesticate the dragon; if all you do is cut off its head, it will grow another."
   Dr. Karl Hanson, a Canadian psychologist, called for better screening of candidates for the priesthood, such as in-depth interviews and reference and criminal background checks. Hanson also supported taking complete psycho-sexual histories of applicants, although others said that would be too invasive.
   "The structure of the formative process in Catholic seminaries would seem to offer a good opportunity to identify risk factors among the candidates, with its community life extended over several years, the contact with various (superiors), the regular talks and the various opportunities for supervised fieldwork," Hanson was quoted as saying.
   The compendium, "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Scientific and Legal Prospectives," will be sent to bishops' conferences around the world as well as Vatican councils and congregations.
   One Vatican participant at the conference, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, a prosecutor in the department that deals with abuse cases, said the church was looking for such scientific assessments.
   In an introduction to the book, he acknowledged that the church's responses to sex abuse in the past were now undergoing scrutiny in many countries and may cause the church "untold embarrassment."
   "It is however, a good opportunity to own up to past mistakes and learn for the future," he wrote. "To this end, the screening of candidates to the priesthood should ensure that persons who would pose a threat to minors are never ordained to Holy Orders."
   [COMMENT: The Vatican, which has been over-turning defrockings for centuries, is expected to contradict the US bishops' decisions. It will be interesting to see if the US bishops will have the courage to see the blind alley they are in.
   Regretably, most of the RC leadership, it seems, will continue to conduct "the screening of candidates" by ANY OTHER WAY except follow the rules followed for centuries, as laid down in the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:5-9, in the light of Matthew 19:4-6 and 1 Corinthians 7:2-9. COMMENT ENDS.]

Clergy Sex Abuse Victim Found Dead - RCC.
   TheBostonChannel.com ; www.thebostonchannel.com/news/2866861/detail.html , Feb 23, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): Patrick McSorley, 29, one of the most outspoken victims of clergy sex abuse, was reportedly found dead inside a North End apartment early Monday morning, according to McSorley's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.
   Police have not yet confirmed McSorley's death, but Garabedian said their is an ongoing police investigation.
   "I received a phone call from the Boston Police Department at 4:45 a.m. telling me that Patrick McSorley had passed away. That's all I know at this point in time," Garabedian said.
   He said he was unaware if there was any indication of foul play and he said he does not believe the apartment in which McSorley was found was his home address.
   Garabedian said he last spoke to McSorley at about 3:30 p.m. Friday and they were scheduled to meet Monday.
Rape prosecution possible - RCC. Boys.
   Republican, www.masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077526116163210.xml?nncic , By BEA O'QUINN DEWBERRY, bdewberry@repub.com , Feb/23/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): As the Hampden County District Attorney's office widens its investigation into accusations former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre raped two boys in the 1970s and 1980s, questions remain about how and if the case can ever be criminally prosecuted.
   So far, neither of the alleged victims has filed charges, and the alleged crimes may be too old to fall within the statute of limitations. But legal analysts say it still may be possible to bring a criminal case.
   Dupre, who retired abruptly Feb. 11 after The Republican confronted him with the sexual abuse allegations, checked himself into an undisclosed medical center and has been advised by his lawyer, Michael O. Jennings, not to make any statements. A lawyer for the men said the bishop is at St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., which has treated pedophile priests.
   Lawyers for the two men issued a statement last week saying the bishop introduced the two boys, one of whom was a 12-year-old refugee, to homosexual sex and gay pornography after taking one under his wing when he was a parish priest about 28 years ago.
   Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett said he is actively pursuing an investigation and will meet with one of the men this week to hear his story. There have been cases when the district attorney's office has chosen to go forward with charges even if a victim does not want to come forward, such as those involving domestic violence, Bennett said.
Losing faith in probe of clergy sex scandal - RCC.
   Republican, www.masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077353333211600.xml?oned , Feb/23/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Danny Croteau's body was found by a fisherman under a bridge in Chicopee on April 15, 1972. He was buried several days later following a funeral Mass celebrated by the Rev. Richard R. Lavigne, a close friend of Danny's family.
   The family learned later that Lavigne was the prime suspect in the boy's death, but Hampden County District Attorney Matthew Ryan didn't pursue the case aggressively because he didn't think a jury would ever convict a priest of murder.
   A new district attorney, William M. Bennett, reopened the case nearly 20 years later, after Lavigne was arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting three minors.
   After reopening the case, not much has happened with the investigation, and no one has been charged in Danny's death.
   Given the local prosecutors' track record in the Lavigne case, we find it difficult to muster confidence in this new investigation of sexual abuse allegations within the Springfield diocese.
Diocese removes priest for sexual abuse claims - RCC.
   Republican, www.masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077526040163210.xml?nncic , By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com , Feb/23/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): A priest who served two bishops of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield as their secretary has been permanently removed from ministry for sexual abuse.
   The Rev. Francis P. Lavelle, who has been accused by three men of sexually abusing them when they were minors, was notified last week that he can no longer present himself publicly as a priest, according to Laura F. Reilly, who heads the Springfield Diocese's victim outreach program. The decision to permanently remove Lavelle from ministry was made by former bishop Thomas L. Dupre upon the recommendation of the diocese's Review Board, Reilly said yesterday.
   The Review Board met with Lavelle in December after meeting with two of Lavelle's accusers several months earlier about their accusations against Lavelle.
Priests' abuse toll 'startling' - RCC. 145 clergy abusers in Cleveland.
   The Beacon Journal, Akron, www.ohio.com/ mld/beaconjour nal/8018783.htm , By Colette M. Jenkins, Beacon Journal religion writer, Feb 23, 2004
   UNITED STATES: Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has already warned that the findings of a long-awaited survey on the cumulative toll of sexual abuse inflicted on children by priests during the past 50 years will be "startling."
   But folks in the Diocese of Cleveland may not be surprised when the local statistics are released later this week on the number of priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors and the number of victims that have come forward since 1950. Those figures are likely to mirror the findings of a seven-month investigation of the diocese by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason.
   Mason's investigation, which was concluded in December 2002, showed that more than 1,000 people claimed they had been sexually abused by nearly 500 alleged sex offenders, of whom 145 were priests. His investigation did not include data on the amount of money paid to cover settlements, counseling and related costs -- information that will be part of the local report and national survey that is released on Friday.
The bishops' opportunity - RCC.
   Journal News, www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/022304/23edbishopsrepor.html , February 23, 2004
   UNITED STATES: Even as the public awaits an important study on the breadth of sex-abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests nationally, another American bishop finds himself squirming under the glare of accusation, this time in upstate New York.
   The fallout of, and pain inflicted by, the Catholic Church scandal only grows - all the more reason why the institution and its leaders must fulfill their pledge of full transparency as they search for the causes of decades of crimes against youth and its tolerance.
   Yet will they? This week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to release an independent report on the number of abuse claims since 1950 by minors against clergy in the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses. Additionally, a lay watchdog panel overseeing the study is expected to issue its own assessment of why the allegations and acts were ignored, avoided or hushed up for so long.
   The survey, being conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York at the bishops' behest, is expected to provide startling numbers of abuse claims - more than 11,000, early reports say; numbers of clergy involved - at least 4,450; and the amount of money - already known to be in the tens of millions of dollars - paid by the Catholic Church to settle claims against it, its leaders and priests.
   The report is scheduled for release Friday and will be based on information provided by individual dioceses. That has victims' advocates suspicious that the case numbers will be underreported because of the involvement of the bishops themselves - itself an indication of how thin the trust is.
Parishioners get reminder of steps taken against abuse - RCC.
   Buffalo News, www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040223/1006405.asp , By DALE ANDERSON, Feb/23/2004
   BUFFALO (NY): Days before the release of what is expected to be an earthshaking report on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy across the nation, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo over the weekend reaffirmed measures that it has already taken to deal with abuse and prevent it in the future.
   In a letter to the parishes included in the weekend's church bulletins, Monsignor Robert J. Cunningham, diocesan administrator, wrote, "Sadly, we cannot change history, but we can make sure we do not repeat it."
   The report, ordered by U.S. Catholic bishops and drawn up by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, will detail 50 years of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. It will be made public Friday.
   Diocesan spokesman Kevin A. Keenan said Sunday that the report will include new local revelations.
   In September, then-Buffalo Bishop Henry J. Mansell reported that he had removed "various priests" from their duties because of allegations but did not name names or discuss incidents.
Hartford Archdiocese: 24 priests accused of sex abuse since 1950 - RCC. 1960s onwards; 56 victims; $US2.045m.
   Eyewitness news, http://www.wfsb.com/Global/story.asp?S=1660940 , February 24, 2004
   HARTFORD (AP): The Archdiocese of Hartford says its records show that 20 priests have been accused of sexual abuse of children over the past half century.
   The statistics are based on records dating back to 1950.
   The figures are part of the national reporting by each Roman Catholic Diocese in the wake of the scandal involving sexual abuse by priests.
   The Hartford figures shows that more than 14-hundred priests have served in the archdiocese since 1950 and those accused represent just slightly over one percent.
   The archdiocese says there have been 56 victims, with the allegations dating to the 1960s and 1970s. More than $2 million has been paid to compensate the victims or to pay for counseling for them. [...]
   The Hartford archdiocese paid $2.045 million to compensate and provide counseling to victims, church officials said. Of that total, $1.4 million, or 69 percent, was paid by insurance and $626,410, or 31 percent, was paid by the archdiocese through a self-funded insurance reserve.
   Earlier this year, the Norwich Diocese reported allegations against 19 priests, or 1.4 percent of that diocese's priests, since 1953. The Bridgeport Diocese reported allegations against 32 priests, or 2.5 percent of the priests in that diocese.
   The report from the Hartford Archdiocese contains allegations against 20 priests. But the reports runs only through 2002, the period covered by the survey. Since then, the archdiocese said it has received 23 additional accusations of abuse against the priests covered in the survey and four other priests.
Report Says 11 Priests Accused of Abuse Between 1950-1980's - RCC.
   KATV, www.katv.com/news/stories/0204/128175.html , 11:51am, Monday February 23, 2004
   LITTLE ROCK (AK): According to a report from the Diocese of Little Rock, complaints alleging sexual abuse of minors were made against 11 Catholic priests between 1950 and the 1980s, but none since then.
   In a report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and compiled by John Jay College, Bishop J. Peter Sartain said there were 18 victims associated with the allegations.
   Sartain said most of the accused priests are now dead; none of those still living are in an active ministry now, Sartain said.
   Sartain said that even one case of sexual abuse of a child or young person is too many.
   The report was published Saturday in Arkansas Catholic, the diocese's weekly newspaper.
Parishioners React to Lansing's Sexual Abuse Report - RCC.
   WILX, www.wilx.com/ news/headlines/ 618396.html , Lori Dougovito, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   LANSING (MI): While the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City of New York prepares to release it's national study, parishioners belonging to the Diocese of Lansing are reacting to mid-Michigan' s sexual abuse report.
   The Diocese released its findings last Friday in the form of a letter from Bishop Carl Mengeling.
   Twenty-one allegations were made since 1950, 13 were found to be credible and substantiated, four are said to be false and two were withdrawn. James Hahn, a Lansing parishioner, says he supports the way the Church is informing its followers and he believes that being open about the abuse is the only way to overcome the scandal that's been rocking Catholic Churches across America for the last two years.
   But, some don't feel the Catholic Church is doing enough to make amends. Mark Powell, a former Catholic parishioner, says he was abused by a clergy member and he thinks more could be done to provide healing for victims. Powell hopes to soon meet with the Bishop of Lansing and the Governor's staff to work toward a solution.
Diocese hit with 99 abuse suits last year -- RCC. 145 complainants.
   Union-Tribune, www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20040223-9999-1m23clergy.html , By Greg Moran, February 23, 2004
   SAN DIEGO (CA): The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego was named in 99 lawsuits last year from 145 people who alleged they had been sexually abused by church personnel.
   The data was compiled by plaintiffs' lawyers who brought the suits under a special law that expired Dec. 31. That law opened a one-year window for people who claim they were abused years ago - long after the legal deadline for filing suits had expired - to bring a case to court.
   Plaintiffs' lawyers said the number of alleged victims suing the diocese is the second highest in the state, trailing only the massive Los Angeles archdiocese.
   In all, 55 people are named in the lawsuits, plaintiffs' lawyer Irwin Zalkin said. That includes diocesan priests, members of religious orders working in the diocese, nonclergy church workers and nuns. The vast majority of those named are either deceased or no longer in the priesthood.
   Rodrigo Valdivia, chancellor of the San Diego diocese, said Friday that the diocese is still compiling its own tally of litigation filed last year. The diocese has not yet been formally served with all the suits, but he said the plaintiffs' numbers are "somewhat similar to ours."
Ky. diocese revises abuse tally - RCC. 35 accused, 205 complain, > $US14m.
   Cincinnati Post, www.cincypost.com/2004/02/23/pay022304.html , Post staff report, Feb 23, 2004
   COVINGTON (KY): The Diocese of Covington says more of its priests sexually abused more people from 1950 to 1990 than what it reported six months ago. And, the diocese announced in its Messenger newspaper this weekend, the amount paid in settlements to victims is now more than $14 million.
   In August, the diocese reported that 30 priests had abused 158 people and noted that $4.2 million had been spent to settle claims by victims.
   Since then, "news reports about this situation have encouraged previously reluctant victims to come forward," said diocese spokesman Tim Fitzgerald.
   "Also, Bishop (Roger) Foys is very active in reaching out in a pastoral way to victims and that, too, has encouraged victims to come forward."
   As a result, the number of diocesan priests who were abusive from 1950 to 1990 has increased from 30, the number reported six months ago, to 35 and the number of victims has increased from 158 to 205, according to the diocese.
Church reveals abuse numbers - RCC.
   The Flint Journal, www.mlive.com/news/fljournal/index.ssf?/base/news-19/1077553693199750.xml , By Melissa Burden and Robert Snell, Monday, February 23, 2004
   LANSING (MI): The Diocese of Lansing substantiated 13 instances of sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the past 52 years and paid $473,533 in compensation and therapeutic care to victims and their families, according to a letter released by Bishop Carl F. Mengeling.
   Mengeling's letter to parishioners, posted on the diocese Web site today, details the findings of an independent study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York that was commissioned by U.S. bishops.
Charlotte priest removed over sex abuse allegations
   WCNC, www.wcnc.com/ news/topstories/ stories/wcnc- 022304-ds-charl ottepriest. 1e3bcb43.html , By 6NEWS / Associated Press, 11:25 AM EST, Monday, February 23, 2004
   CHARLOTTE (NC): A priest removed from a Charlotte ministry over allegations he sexually abused minors in New Jersey denied he has done anything wrong and said he didn't even know he'd been accused.
   6NEWS talked to one parishioner at the church where Rev. Gregory Littleton, 42, resigned from Friday, and the man says the news has him in shock.
   "You could have bowled me over with a feather," he says. "It's impossible. I don't think anyone would believe it ... on top of being my priest, he's my friend, my family. I love him."
   Littleton resigned Friday from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church after officials in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte found the accusations "credible," acting diocese spokesman David Hains said.
Diocese reports on sexual abuse findings
   The Daily Reporter, www.thedailyreporter.com/articles/2004/02/22/news/news1.txt , By Roland Stoy, Feb 22, 2004
   KALAMAZOO (MI): With a national report on sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic church due next week, Bishop James Murray of the Diocese of Kalamazoo has addressed the matter in a letter published in the February edition of the diocesan newspaper.
   One priest, unidentified, from the diocese has been dismissed as a result of the investigation.
   Deacon Al Provot, of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Coldwater, said that, not only are the people of this diocese fortunate in having such a low percentage of priests involved, the parishioners of Branch County are blessed with their leadership.
   "We have such good priests in Father (Brian) Stanley and Father Richard Fritz. They are far, far above that type of behavior. This has been an embarrassment for them, for all of us."
  Other local churches in the diocese are Our Lady of Fatima in Union City and Fritz's St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bronson.
Former Roman Catholic Priest Set to Go to Trial This Week [1970s]
   CBS 58, www.cbs58. com/cbsdata. cgi?_dhweb= form&_lt23r= home&kv=head linenews.head linenew_id=5010 , ~ Feb 23, 2004
   APPLETON (WI): A former Roman Catholic Priest from Wisconsin is set to go to trial Tuesday. John Patrick Feeney is accused of molesting two boys. The abuse allegedly took place in the late 70's when Feeney was a parish priest in Freedom, WI. He's charged with one count of sexual assault of a child and four counts of attempted sexual assault.
Bishops' sex abuse report due Friday
   Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, www.post-gazette.com/pg/04054/276479.stm , By Ann Rodgers, Monday, February 23, 2004
   UNITED STATES: When the U.S. Catholic bishops release a report Friday on every accusation of a priest molesting a minor between 1950 and 2003, it will be the first comprehensive, long-term study of child sexual abuse among any group of adults.
   While that makes the report important, it won't tell anyone whether Catholic priests are more or less likely to molest minors than are public school teachers, sports coaches or Protestant ministers, said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
   Although it's not a model scientific study, the bishops have the only statistics, he said. Large organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Big Brothers-Big Sisters have been compiling reports over the years, "but they have never released that data."
   "The truth is there really are no valid estimates of the number of abusers in the general population, or in some other profession or in some other denomination," he said.
Bishop details past, present abuse claims - 19 abused 29; $US 795,000
   Star-Ledger, www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1077520280112750.xml , BY JEFF DIAMANT, Monday, February 23, 2004
   METUCHEN (NJ): Saying the Diocese of Metuchen has "taken real steps to address this problem," Bishop Paul Bootkoski released new details this weekend about clergy sex abuse in the diocese.
   Bootkoski last week reported that from 1950 through 2002, 1 percent of the diocese's 990 clergy and seminarians were credibly accused of sex abuse involving minors. The accusations, he said, came from 29 people against 18 priests and one deacon. The diocese determined accusations against 10 of the clergy were credible, and paid $795,000 in related settlements and legal and medical fees, the bishop said. In a two-page letter published in church bulletins this weekend, Bootkoski provided additional information, including:
   Three of the priests who were credibly accused either admitted to the abuse or were convicted and sentenced to jail. The jailed priest, though not identified by name in the letter, is the former Rev. John Banko, who was sentenced last year to 18 years in prison after he was convicted of molesting an 11-year-old altar boy about a decade ago.
Catholics clash during discussions of bishop
   Troy Record, www.troyrecord.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11009562&BRD=1170&PAG=461&dept_id=7021&rfi=6 , By Kate Perry, Feb/23/2004
   ALBANY (NY): A rift among local Catholics precipitated by the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and recent allegations against Bishop Howard Hubbard was seen in living color Sunday night as two women screamed in each other's face.
   The shouting match took place at the Crowne Plaza hotel, where The Roman Catholic Faithful, a non-profit organization that claims it promotes orthodox Catholic teaching and fights corruption in the church's hierarchy, held a meeting to discuss its investigation into the Albany Diocese.
   More than 100 people attended, many hoping to get some answers about the diocese's crisis, including the newest development, the Feb. 15 apparent suicide of Rev. John Minkler, a Watervliet priest who some say wrote a letter in 1995 detailing homosexual behavior and liturgical abuses in the diocese.
   Minkler's death came one day after a meeting with diocese officials at which he signed a statement saying he did not author the letter.
   Stephen Brady president of RCF, and Paul Likoudis, editor of The Wanderer, a Catholic watchdog publication, who were the speakers at Sunday's event, both said Minkler had called them just prior to his death distressed about the situation with Hubbard.
   Brady, who along with Likoudis brought the letter into the public light without Minkler's name, said Sunday that he was very sorry for Minkler's death and the stress that he underwent because of the letter's eventual publication, but Brady steadfastly denied that he ever revealed Minkler's name.
'Credible' abuse claims top 100 in Joliet diocese [100 accuse 27]
   Chicago Sun-Times, www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-priests23.html , BY ROBERT C. HERGUTH AND CATHLEEN FALSANI, February 23, 2004
   JOLIET (IL): Since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet was founded in 1949, more than 100 "credible allegations" of priests engaging in sexual misconduct with children have been made against 27 diocesan clerics, according to church figures released Sunday.
   Seven more priests were accused of inappropriate sexual behavior during that period, but those accusations weren't sustained, said John Cullen, spokesman for the Joliet Diocese.
   Cullen called the overall numbers "horrible -- I think one is way too many."
   "Nobody with a credible allegation is serving in ministry" at present, he added.
Catholics bracing for 2 national studies on abuse -- News since 1994 here, Monsignor Patrick O'Shea.
   San Francisco Chronicle, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/02/23/MNG70562RV1.DTL , Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer, Monday, February 23, 2004
   UNITED STATES: For weeks, Catholic bishops in Northern California and across the country have been putting price tags on the sexual abuse scandal in their cities and towns, adding up the human toll, issuing new apologies and getting ready for the next wave of bad news.
   They are preparing the faithful for two new national studies -- both scheduled to be released this Friday -- on the causes and costs of five decades of priestly sex abuse and subsequent church cover-ups.
   "These reports will be very sobering," warns Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   In Northern California, the sexual abuse of children and teenagers by Catholic priests has been a major story and persistent scandal since 1994, when a leading San Francisco priest, Monsignor Patrick O'Shea, and two other Catholic clergyman were sued by nine molestation victims.
Catholics clash at meeting ['Forced me to lie']
   Capital News 9, www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=60793&SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, 6:13 AM, Feb/23/2004
   ALBANY (NY): More than 100 Catholics gathered to listen to two men calling for the resignation of Bishop Howard Hubbard. This comes in the wake of sexual allegations made the leader of the Albany diocese.
   Stephen Brady and Paul Likoudis are conservative Catholics activists who believe the Catholic Church is too tolerant of homosexuality and has not done enough to combat sex abuse in the church. And they say Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard is part of the problem.
   Likoudis said recently deceased priest John Minkler was forced by Hubbard to sign a statement saying he did not write a 1995 letter outlining sexual misconduct by Hubbard, a claim the church denies.
   Paul Likoudis, Author said, "Father Doyle handed him a statement and said 'sign it.' And Father Minkler told me 'I signed it with mental reservations.' And then as he went on in the conversation, he said 'I can't believe Hubbard forced me to lie'."
   The Diocese continues to maintain that Father Minkler signed the statement about the letter voluntarily. Diocese spokesperson Ken Goldfarb said the meeting between the Bishop and Father Minkler was at the request of Minkler.
Priest Placed On Permanent Suspension
   TheBostonChannel.com ; www.thebostonchannel.com/news/2865889/detail.html , POSTED: 6:56 am EST, February 23, 2004
   BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: A Roman Catholic priest has been placed on permanent suspension after allegations of sexual abuse made against him were ruled credible by a review board for the Springfield Diocese.
   The Rev. Francis Lavelle, who stepped down as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Longmeadow, Mass., when abuse allegations first surfaced in 2002, may not function as a priest in any capacity and cannot present himself as a priest, diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said Sunday.
   Lavelle, ordained in 1970, was informed of the decision last week, Dupont said. Lavelle has denied the accusations, and his lawyer, C.J. Moriarty II, had no comment on the suspension.
Experts Question U.S. Catholic Priest Abuse Policy
   Reuters, www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4416855 , By Shasta Darlington, 11:18 AM ET, Mon February 23, 2004
   VATICAN CITY (Reuters): The U.S. Catholic Church's "zero tolerance" on sexual abuse by priests could pose a danger to society because it could deter some clerics from seeking help, medical experts said in a study Monday.
   The "zero tolerance" charter was adopted by the Catholic Church in the United States after a crisis sparked by revelations of sexual abuse by priests exploded in 2002.
   The study, commissioned by the Vatican, said the U.S. policy, aimed at dealing with abuse allegations and preventing further cases, could deter sex offenders from seeking and receiving treatment and leave them without supervision.
   [COMMENT: Rubbish! -- FPP, 28 Feb 2004, COMMENT ENDS.]
Calls for Hubbard's resignation
   Capital News 9, www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=60796&SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, 7:59 AM, Feb/23/2004
  ALBANY (NY): Stephen Brady and Paul Likoudis are conservative Catholic activists who believe the Catholic Church is too tolerant of homosexuality, and has not done enough to combat sex abuse in the church. And they said Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard is part of the problem.
   Likoudis said recently deceased Priest John Minkler was forced by Hubbard to sign a statement saying he did not write a 1995 letter outlining sexual misconduct by Hubbard, a claim the church denies.
   Likoudis said, "Father Doyle handed him a statement and said 'sign it.' And Father Minkler told me 'I signed it with mental reservations.' And then as he went on in the conversation, he said 'I can't believe Hubbard forced me to lie.'"
   The diocese continues to maintain that Father Minkler signed the statement about the letter voluntarily. Diocese spokesperson Ken Goldfarb said the meeting between the bishop and Father Minkler was at the request of Minkler.
Claims' cost surprises Catholics [$US 53m]
   The Oregonian, www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1077541030169720.xml , By MAYA BLACKMUN, Feb/23/04
   PORTLAND (OR): Catholic parishioners expressed surprise, and men who say they were sexually abused by priests reacted with anger Sunday to the Portland archbishop's most recent comments about what the claims have cost the Archdiocese of Portland so far.
   During the weekend, churches began providing copies of a letter in which Archbishop John G. Vlazny said the archdiocese and its insurers have paid $53 million to settle priest sex-abuse claims dating from 1950 to 2003.
   The update from Vlazny comes as information about more than 50 years of priest sex-abuse statistics is being revealed nationally, with a diocese-by-diocese report covering the nation expected to be released Friday.
   Doris Gibson of Southwest Portland, a parishioner at St. Clare Catholic Church since 1959, was startled by the magnitude of the settlements. She at first thought the $53 million represented a national total, not just for the Western half of Oregon covered by the Portland archdiocese.
Diocese says it paid $1.9 million for abuse claims since 1950 [35 allegations]
   NEPA News, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11010197&BRD=2212&PAG=461&dept_id=465812&rfi=6 , The Associated Press, February 23, 2004
   HARRISBURG (PA): The Diocese of Harrisburg paid $1.9 million to address 35 credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against 22 priests over a half century, the diocese said. Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo released the figures on Sunday in advance of an upcoming release of a national survey of priest sexual abuse claims from 1950 and 2002.
   The figure includes $1.58 million in settlements, $300,000 for victims' legal fees, $235,000 for the inpatient treatment for clerics, $110,000 for diocesan legal fees and $57,000 for outpatient victim counseling, the diocese said.
   The figures are higher than those the diocese previously reported because they include legal and counseling fees requested for the survey and they reflect a more accurate accounting of costs based on records from diocesan offices and insurers.
When Relativism Becomes Theology
   National Review, www.nationalreview.com/comment/thomas200402230853.asp , By Andrew Peyton Thomas, Feb 23, 2004
   PHOENIX (AZ): Depending on one's view of the world, the stunning fall of Thomas J. O'Brien, erstwhile Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese of Phoenix, was either an instance of divine justice meted out promptly on earth or a truly bizarre chain of events that precipitated his resignation and, now, conviction for felony hit-and-run. Beyond interpretation are the root and broader meaning of O'Brien's undoing.
   The same relativism O'Brien displayed in harboring pedophile priests for two decades governed his passions, and it was those passions that sealed his fate the night he struck a pedestrian with his vehicle and then fled. The self-service and atrocious judgment that marked O'Brien's actions as both man and bishop are perhaps the most striking example to date of the moral confusion that characterizes so many of the leaders implicated by the pedophile-priest scandal.
   Convicted by a jury last Tuesday of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, O'Brien became the first Catholic bishop in recorded U.S. history to be found guilty of a felony. The case arose from an accident that occurred on the evening of June 14, 2003. O'Brien was driving home from a church function when an intoxicated pedestrian jaywalked in front of his vehicle. O'Brien's vehicle struck the victim, Jim Reed, with such force that Reed's body left an enormous crater in the right side of the windshield. Reed died at the scene. Had O'Brien stopped to render assistance, he almost certainly would not have faced any legal repercussions. But he did not. Instead, by his own account, O'Brien sped on home, ate some leftover pizza, and went to bed.
   To be sure, O'Brien had a lot on his mind that night. Two weeks before, news had leaked that O'Brien had cut a deal with county prosecutors to avoid criminal prosecution for knowingly shuttling pedophile priests among different parishes under his authority. A flurry of lawsuits and a grand jury investigation turned up evidence that over the prior three decades (two-thirds of which were O'Brien's tenure), at least 50 priests, former priests, and church employees throughout the diocese had been accused of sexual misconduct with children.
   Just as shocking was O'Brien's own behavior. On more than one occasion, O'Brien personally scolded victims and witnesses for telling others of the molestation they or others had suffered. One priest went to O'Brien to relate that he suspected another priest of molesting a young man he had come to know.
   In a response that seemed to capture impeccably the collective mindset of liberal bishops across the country then excusing the child molesters in their employ, O'Brien exploded that the complaining priest should get beyond his obsession with "gay pedophile priests."
[Emphasis added]
Former Adams priest suspended [by bishop facing similar accusations]
   Capital News 9, www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=60808&SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, 9:31 AM, Feb/23/2004
   ADAMS (MA): A Roman Catholic priest in the Springfield Diocese was placed on permanent suspension.
   Father Francis Lavelle stepped down as pastor of St. Mary's Church in 2002 -- that's when allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. He was later suspended by former Bishop Thomas Dupre, after a review board found the abuse claims to be credible.
   Sunday's announcement means Lavelle may no longer function as a priest. He's also forbidden to present himself as one.
   Lavelle, a former priest at Notre Dame in Adams, has denied accusations against him. He is being sued by two men.
   And the bishop who enacted Lavalle's initial suspension stepped down last week, citing health problems. Bishop Dupre's departure came just one day after allegations he sexually molested two boys in the 70s.
• Monsignor says church didn't recognize damage of abuse
   Providence Journal, www.projo. com/ap/ma/ 1077549368.htm , The Associated Press, ~ Feb 22, 2004
   SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP): The interim head of the Diocese of Springfield said the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years stems from a belief once held by some priests that having sex with young men was acceptable.
   Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk will head the diocese until the Vatican names a replacement for Bishop Thomas Dupre, who resigned Feb. 11 amid allegations he abused two boys while a parish priest in the 1970s.
   Sniezyk told The Boston Globe in an interview Sunday that as a seminarian and a young priest in the 1950s and early 1960s he heard of priests who had sex with young men, but "no one thought much about it."
   "They did good ministry, they were good to their people, they were kind, compassionate, but they had no idea what they were doing to these young men that they were abusing," Sniezyk said. "It was that era of the '60s - most of it took place from the mid-'60s to the early-'80s - and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do.
Study Finds More Than 100 'Credible' Allegations In Joliet Diocese -- RCC. 27 accused; $US 2m
   NBC 5, www.nbc5.com/ news/2866506/ detail.html? z=dp&dpswid= 2265994&dp pid=65172 , ~ Feb 23, 2004
   JOLIET, Ill.: A study has found more than 100 "credible" allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet since it was founded in 1949.
   The church figures indicate the allegations involved 27 different clerics.
   Joliet Diocese spokesman John Cullen called the tally "horrible" and says even one allegation is too many.
   The diocese has paid almost $2 million in court settlements with victims during the past 54 years. Of the 27 priests, 14 are on administrative leave, eight are no longer priests and five are dead.
• Monsignor says harm of abuse wasn't recognized -- Priests no longer hold such a permissive view, he says
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ news/local/massachusetts/ articles/2004/02/23/monsignor_ says_harm_of_abuse_ wasnt_recognized , By John McElhenny, Globe Correspondent, February 23, 2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): The temporary leader of the Diocese of Springfield, appointed after its bishop resigned amid sexual abuse allegations, said in an interview yesterday that the scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church stems from a belief among some priests during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s that sex with young men was acceptable.
   Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, 66, the leader of the Springfield Diocese until the Vatican names a bishop to replace Thomas L. Dupre, said that as a seminarian and then a young priest in the 1950s and early 1960s he heard of priests who had sex with young men, but "no one thought much about it" because priests didn't recognize how mentally and emotionally damaging their behavior was.
   "They did good ministry, they were good to their people, they were kind, compassionate, but they had no idea what they were doing to these young men that they were abusing," Sniezyk said. "It was that era of the '60s -- most of it took place from the mid-'60s to the early-'80s -- and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do."
   Catholic priests no longer hold such a permissive view toward sex with young men, Sniezyk said. "Certainly that atmosphere is not present in the church today," he said.
   Sniezyk's leadership comes at a critical time for the Springfield Diocese. On Feb. 11, Dupre resigned a day after allegations that he had sexually abused two boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s were forwarded to the diocese by The Republican newspaper. On Friday, the diocese issued a report that said 30 of the 1,003 priests who served in its parishes during the last 50 years had been accused of sexually abusing 70 minors.
   The Rev. James J. Scahill, a priest at St. Michael's Parish in East Longmeadow who has criticized the diocese for being too lenient with abusive priests, rejected Sniezyk's comments about priests' attitudes toward the abuse of minors.
   "He's saying priests were that lame in the brain not to know this was wrong?" said Scahill, a priest since 1974. "Any sensible person would know this is evil." Scahill said he was aware of homosexuality and consensual heterosexual sex involving priests, but had never been aware of any priests abusing minors. [Emphasis added]
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM
   [COMMENT: "6. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6, and see Mark 9:42, Douay)
   Jesus said: "And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matthew, last verse, 28:20, Douay.)
   Monsignor Sniezyk has actually told the truth! Naturally, to actually accept this would be quite depressing to many decent religious people of various sects. But telling the truth was not wise from a corporate point of view. Yet, the organisation he is in is so short of competent people that he was put in temporary charge of a multi-million dollar branch of it! COMMENT ENDS.]

//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Monday, February 23, 2004
• Evangelist sentenced to 20 years [McCoy] - Evangelist. Girls.
   The State, www.sunherald. com/mld/state/ 8023383.htm , Information from: Anderson Independent-Mail, Associated Press, Posted on Mon, Feb. 23, 2004 [Source is CSAT 008622 of Jan 18, 05]
   WALHALLA, S.C. - A traveling evangelist was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Monday to charges of committing lewd acts on children.
   James Wesley McCoy, 32, will have to serve at least 18 years of the sentence, the Anderson Independent-Mail reported.
   McCoy was charged with four counts of committing a lewd act on a child and five charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Aiken, Laurens, Pickens and Oconee counties. He has been held in the Oconee County Detention Center since his arrest May 12.
   "I have wept bitter tears for 10 months, tears of true grief and sorrow and I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive and don't live in a prison of hatred. It will be worse for you than for me," said McCoy, whose wife and parents were in the courtroom.
   Prosecutors said McCoy used his McCoy Ministries to travel around the state luring girls ages 8 to 13 into his camper, often parked next to the church where he was preaching.
   One mother said McCoy had taken half her daughter's childhood. "He groomed our family, gained our trust and then went in for the kill," she said.# [Feb. 23, 2004]
   Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Tuesday, February 24, 2004 edition follows:-
Accused clergy serve in L.A. area [Loomis, who handled complaints, stood aside] - RCC.
   National Catholic Reporter, http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004a/022704/022704h.htm , By ARTHUR JONES, Los Angeles, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   LOS ANGELES (CA): The Los Angeles monsignor who at one point oversaw priest sexual misconduct allegations for the archdiocese has stepped down as pastor following two accusations of molestation.
   Two weeks ago, Msgr. Richard A. Loomis, pastor at Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua parish in San Marino, was one of 11 priests referred to by the archdiocese as priests remaining "in active service because there is a lack of sufficient or credible evidence to remove them from ministry."
   When a second allegation against Loomis subsequently surfaced, he was placed on administrative leave.
   In a letter to archdiocesan clergy in early February regarding the 11 priests, Msgr. Craig Cox, the archdiocese's vicar for clergy, said that "being named in a lawsuit is not itself proof of misconduct. Therefore, among those named are a number of priests who, for many different and weighty reasons, continue in their assignments and remain in good standing. [Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:42 PM]
Vatican report criticizes U.S. policy - RCC. Banned priests might abuse again because of lack of monitoring.
   Telegram & Gazette, http://telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040224/NEWS/402240408/1025 , Frank Bruni, The New York Times, Feb 24, 2004
   VATICAN CITY: A report on child sexual abuse that the Vatican released yesterday found fault with American bishops' zero-tolerance policy of seeking to remove from ministry any Roman Catholic priest who has abused a child.
   The 219-page report, titled "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Scientific and Legal Perspectives," cast that policy as an overreaction to a public outcry and as a potentially counterproductive way to keep children safe from sexual abuse.
   The report included expressions of concern that sexually abusive priests who are cast out of ministry and pushed away from the church might be more likely to abuse again because of their isolation and a lack of monitoring of their behavior.
   "Although until now the phenomenon of abuse was not always taken seriously enough, at present there is a tendency to overreact and rob accused priests of even legitimate support," wrote one of the editors of the report, Dr. Manfred Luetz, in its conclusion. Luetz, a German psychiatrist, is a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
   The other two editors are not connected to the Vatican, and the report mainly presents the perspectives of those two scientists and six others. None of the eight are Catholic; all are experts in the study or treatment of sexual abuse.
   [COMMENT: "Experts" who think that the RCC can monitor priests ! Or bishops, for that matter !!! COMMENT ENDS.]
New bishop urges faithful to forgive
   The Arizona Republic, www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0223forgive23.html , by Emily Bittner, Feb. 23, 2004
   PHOENIX (AZ): Catholic priests around the Phoenix Diocese read a letter to parishioners over the weekend from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted that preached hope, reconciliation and forgiveness after the conviction of retired Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien.
   Before the service at SS Simon and Jude Cathedral, Monsignor Michael O'Grady read the letter to "set the tone" for Mass, during which Bible passages emphasizing forgiveness were read.
   Olmsted's letter told parishioners about the verdict and told them that O'Brien would face "further profound effects" that would "compound the grief" in coming weeks.
   "Facing this crisis with hope is what the Father is asking us to do now," O'Grady read. The events shouldn't be used to create more cynicism, but rather to strengthen believers' faith, "like gold is tested in fire," the letter said.
Bishop Reads Letter Of Apology
   TheNewMexicoChannel.com ; www.thenewmexicochannel.com/news/2867338/detail.html , 11:45 am MST, February 23, 2004
   PHOENIX (AZ): Catholics who attended mass in Phoenix over the weekend heard a letter from Bishop Thomas Olmsted asking for forgiveness.
   Last week, a jury found Bishop Thomas O'Brien guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident.
   Olmsted is O'Brien's successor as the diocese's spiritual leader. O'Brien could get three years in prison.
Diocese cites 'mistake' regarding priest ['Sound' to keep accused 16 months in temptation's way]
   The Charlotte Observer, www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/8025356.htm , by KEN GARFIELD, Religion Editor, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   CHARLOTTE (NC): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte said Monday it made a mistake in allowing a priest to stay on the job for 16 months after learning he had been investigated following accusations of sexually molesting minors.
   The Rev. Gregory Littleton, 42, was removed from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church on Friday after diocese officials found accusations against him "credible," according to acting diocese spokesman David Hains.
   On Oct. 2, 2002, the Charlotte diocese was notified in writing that Catholic leaders in Metuchen, N.J., had turned over information on accusations of sexual misconduct by Littleton to the local prosecutor's office.
   "Based on what we know now, we made a mistake in 2002," Hains told the Observer. "Of course we regret a mistake. ... We made what we felt was a sound decision (in 2002). The rules have changed."
Man's $20 million lawsuit accuses priest of abuse [Oblate who fled sued; $20m lawsuit]
   Houston Chronicle, www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2416736 , By EVAN MOORE, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   TEXAS: A $20 million lawsuit has been brought against the Oblate Fathers and Father Alfredo Prado, the fugitive Oblate who fled his order and joined a doomsday cult in Costa Rica.
   Ricardo Salinas, a former San Antonio resident who said Prado sexually molested him in 1967, filed the suit in state court in California.
   Salinas, 50, a former parishioner of Prado's at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in San Antonio, said the attack occurred when he was 14 and had approached Prado for counseling about problems with his father.
   "He got me drunk and raped me," Salinas said. "When I tried to tell my mother, she wouldn't believe me."
   Salinas' complaint was never reported. Prado, 73, was later stripped of his priestly authority by the Oblates over undisclosed actions and ordered into a church psychiatric treatment facility.
   He fled the order last year and appeared in Costa Rica, where he has become the chief priest for the Reina y Senora de Todo lo Creado, a cult whose name translates loosely to "The Queen and Lady of All Creation."
• Statement from Msgr. Richard Sniezyk; he didn't mean it was acceptable.
   Iobserve ; "Statement from Msgr. Richard Sniezyk," www.iobserve.org/rn0224a.html , February 23, 2004
   SPRINGFIELD, MA: "I would like to clarify comments I made which appeared in today's Boston Globe newspaper and subsequently in other news media.
   In recent weeks, I have been asked to comment on how our Church finds itself in such a difficult and painful time. I have tried to reflect honestly on these questions, recognizing the need for people to have answers.
   During my conversation with the reporter from the Boston Globe, I did offer some reflections on the historical context of the abuse crisis with regard to a small number of clergy/abusers.
   Let me be clear and unequivocal, I did not mean to suggest, nor do I believe to be true, that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable. Clearly, those who have preyed upon our children have justified their actions in many different ways, including the delusion that they, the abusers, were not harming the children, when in fact they were causing great and long-term harm.
   They clearly benefited from a society that set the priesthood apart and allowed abusers to go unchallenged in a behavior, which today clearly would be recognized as wrong.
   While it is important to note how abusers acted and how they may have escaped notice, it is more important to condemn the result of their actions - the terrible and sickening violation of children and the long-term horrific results. I wish to be clear that these abusers represent a very small minority of priests.
Accusers to meet with DA
   The Republican, http://masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077612490202510.xml?nncic , By BILL ZAJAC Staff writer, wzajac@repub.com , Feb/24/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Both men who say they were sexually abused as boys by the retired Catholic bishop will meet with the district attorney today even as controversy continues over statements by the diocese's interim leader about the history of clergy abuse.
   The interim administrator, Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, last night clarified a report in the Boston Globe that quoted him as saying some priests in the past thought it was OK to have sex with young men. Last week Sniezyk told The Republican the diocese had to "come clean" about "an old boy network" that allowed abuse to go unchecked.
   His latest comments caused an uproar.
   "Let me be clear and unequivocal. I did not mean to suggest, nor do I believe to be true, that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable," he said. "I am deeply sorry if my comments, as well intended as they may have been ... caused distress to the faithful, or unnecessary and unfounded suspicion of the priests of my diocese."
   While lay people expressed outrage about the comments yesterday, priests gathered and expressed concerns about the clergy's own psychological free-fall from recent events.
• Former Presbyterian Youth Counselor Held For Alleged Abuse [1998] - Presbyterian. Boys.
   KFDX, Former Youth Counselor Jailed For Alleged Abuse www.kfdx.com/news/default.asp?mode=shownews&id=4611 , Monday, February 23, 2004
   GRAHAM (TX): The former youth director for First Presbyterian Church in Graham remains in the Young County jail this evening, on bonds totaling $400,000 for alleged sexual assaults of boys. 39 year old Mason Quick was arrested after an investigation by Texas Rangers.
   He is alleged to have provided alcohol and cigarettes to church youth and allowed them to watch pornographic movies in a church home. One 15 year old boy told investigators Quick began forcing him to have sex in 1998. Some of the alleged assaults took place in a cabin at Possum Kingdom Lake. Young County Sheriff Carey Pettus says the investigation is continuing.
Man sues former nun, alleges sexual abuse 35 years ago [1969; She has been indicted]
   The Virginian-Pilot, http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=66498&ran=123768 , By JON FRANK, for February 24, 2004 | Last updated 9:40 PM Feb. 23, 2004
   VIRGINIA BEACH (VA) - A man who claims he was sexually abused by a nun 35 years ago at a Virginia Beach Catholic school filed suit Monday against the former nun, her diocese and the convent to which she belonged.
   The man, now in his 40s, seeks $5 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.
   The lawsuit, filed in Norfolk Circuit Court, names as defendants the former nun, Eileen M. Rhoads, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and the Convent of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
   Rhoads, now 64, was indicted this month by a Virginia Beach grand jury on felony counts of enticing a child to fondle or feel her genitals and taking indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14.
Monsignor Apologises for 'Era of 60s' Sex Abuse Comments
   The Scotsman, http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2567911 , ~ Feb 23, 2004
   UNITED STATES: The temporary head of Massachusetts' Roman Catholic diocese has apologised for saying the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church in recent years stemmed from a belief once held by some priests that having sex with young men was acceptable.
   Monsignor Richard Sniezyk said that as a seminarian and a young priest in the 1950s and early 1960s, he heard of priests who had sex with young men, but "no one thought much about it".
   "They did good ministry, they were good to their people, they were kind, compassionate, but they had no idea what they were doing to these young men that they were abusing," Sniezyk told The Boston Globe on Sunday.
   "It was that era of the 60s - most of it took place from the mid-60s to the early-80s - and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do.
   "Certainly that atmosphere is not present in the church today."
Report Criticizes U.S. Catholic Church's Policy on Child Abuse by Priests
   Washington Post, www.washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn/articles/ A595-2004Feb23.html , By Daniel Williams and Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Foreign Service, for Page A22, Tuesday, February 24, 2004
   VATICAN CITY, Feb. 23: A draft report released Monday by scientists commissioned by the Vatican harshly criticized as potentially dangerous the U.S. Catholic Church's policy of removing priests from the ministry for committing one act of child abuse.
   The report, the result of a conference held here last April that featured eight non-Catholic experts, recommended that the so-called zero-tolerance policy be reconsidered. A Canadian expert, William Marshall, described the policy as an "abdication of responsibility" that could discourage offending clerics from seeking treatment. Moreover, he wrote, "Such a policy is certain to have disastrous consequences, including the clergy sex offender committing suicide or re-offending.
   "All offending clerics should be offered treatment and then reintegrated as much as possible into the normal aspects of life."
   Zero tolerance "does not function to prevent these crimes," Hans-Ludwig Kroeber, director of Berlin's Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, said at the symposium. "It is better to domesticate the dragon. If all you do is cut off its head, it will grow another."
Church readies for release of sex abuse report
   Pantagraph, www.pantagraph.com/stories/022404/new_20040224051.shtml , By Steve Arney, sarney@pantagraph.com , Feb 24, 2004
   UNITED STATES: The U.S. Conference of Bishops on Friday will release a report it commissioned to document, in totality, allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests since 1950.
   Like a tornado, it will bring a devastation, notes sex abuse researcher Thomas Plante, but also an opportunity.
   "It's also an opportunity to redesign the town -- to build new buildings -- into something better and stronger," he said Monday during an interview with The Pantagraph.
   In March, Plante will release his second book on the Catholic sexual abuse scandal. He is a professor of psychology for Santa Clara University in California. He counsels sex offenders and victims in private practice and conducts psychological screening for clergy candidates.
Priest Abuse Report Issued [24 abused 79; $US 2.05m]
   Hartford Courant, www.ctnow.com/news/local/hc-archdiocese0224.artfeb24,1,6211184.story?coll=hc-headlines-local , By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, February 24, 2004
   HARTFORD (CT): Since 1950, 24 priests in the Hartford archdiocese have had "substantial" sexual abuse allegations against them, involving 79 victims, according to figures released Monday. The Roman Catholic archdiocese also said it had paid $2.05 million to compensate victims and settle claims.
   The archdiocese collected the statistics for a national study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York that was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The survey of 195 Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States is being conducted in an effort to determine the scope and cost of the priest sexual abuse crisis.
   The survey asked the bishops to report known cases that occurred or were reported between 1950 and 2002. The Hartford archdiocese said Monday that 20 priests have had "substantial allegations of the sexual abuse of children." Since January 2003, the archdiocese received 23 additional accusations - 19 against priests involved in earlier cases, and four against priests who had not been accused before. A total of 1,413 priests have served the archdiocese since 1953.
Peoria diocese: 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct [$US 900,000]
   The Dispatch, www.qconline.com/archives/qco/sections.cgi?prcss=display&id=185098 , By Stephen Elliott, Staff writer, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   PEORIA (IL): The Catholic Diocese of Peoria has paid more than $900,000 in settlements and at least 14 diocesan priests were accused of sexual misconduct during the past 50 years.
   The 26-county diocese participated in the John Jay Institute's research study. Release of the study's full report to the public is expected Friday.
   In a statement issued Monday, the diocese said about 700 priests have served since 1950.
   "To our knowledge, the total number of our diocesan priests accused of sexual misconduct with a minor over the past 50 years is 14," the statement said. "Of that number, five are deceased."
   When Bishop Janiel R. Jenky was installed in April 2002, he said eight priests were asked to step down from public ministry because of "credible" allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. [...]
   Staff writer Stephen Elliott can be reached at 786-6441, ext. 247, or by e-mail at selliott@qconline.com
Axing abusive priests risky, church told [Over-reaction, say experts]
   Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/02/24/1077594832223.html , for February 25, 2004
   UNITED STATES: The US Catholic Church's "zero tolerance" on sexual abuse by priests is an overreaction to a public outcry and can increase the chances that offenders might abuse again, a report released by the Vatican has found.
   Many US dioceses say they are aggressively pursuing zero-tolerance policies after being stung by charges that church hierarchy was trying to protect abusive priests, often by shuffling them from parish to parish.
   But the 219-page report included expressions of concern that sexually abusive priests who are cast out of ministry and pushed away from the church might be more likely to abuse again because they would be isolated and their behaviour would be less likely to be monitored.
Non-Catholic report blasts removal of abusive priests
   The Post and Courier, www.charleston.net/stories/022404/wor_24vatican.shtml , Associated Press, Feb 24, 2004
   VATICAN CITY: The Vatican issued a report Monday by non-Catholic sex abuse experts who criticized the policy adopted by U.S. bishops of removing abusive priests from the ministry, saying it was overly harsh and would not protect the young.
   The report was released days before U.S. bishops issue their own national survey on sex abuse by clergy, which is expected to find more than 4,000 American priests have been accused of molesting minors since 1950 -- far more than previously estimated.
   Still, the U.S. study may also show the number of cases has declined dramatically since the 1990s, and victims fear it could lead U.S. bishops to ease off on discipline.
   The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said last week the American church remains committed to keeping offenders out of ministry.
   Monday's report, published by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, may fuel victims' concerns because it compiles assessments by independent, non-Catholic psychiatrists and psychologists, who say the U.S. "zero-tolerance" policy is mistaken.
   [COMMENT: RCs, your choice is easy; either follow psychiatry and psychology, or Jesus' teachings about people who cause children to fall, and the relevant but "unpreached" New Testament writings. COMMENT ENDS.]
Vatican reinstates accused Navy chaplain [OK then, not OK now]
   Seattle Post-Intelligencer, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=BRF%20Church%20Abuse%20Chaplain , The Associated Press, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   DETROIT (MI): The Vatican has reinstated a U.S. Navy chaplain as an active priest after he was placed on administrative leave amid sex abuse allegations, Detroit Roman Catholic leaders said.
   The Rev. Brian Bjorklund, 64, was suspended last summer over allegations he molested a 17-year-old boy in his early years in the ministry. He was ordained in 1966.
   Vatican leaders say the alleged contact was not a violation of church law at the time, though it is now.
   News of Bjorklund's reinstatement comes four days before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops releases a national report on sexual abuse against minors over the past 50 years.
   [COMMENT: Not a violation of church law at the time, though it is now. Contrast that with: "8. Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever." (Hebrews 13:8, NJB). COMMENT ENDS.]
Abuse reduces vibrant faith to a relic
   The Express-Times, www.pennlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/news/expresstimes/stories/molesters3_bortz.html , By LINDA LISANTI, Tuesday, February 24, 2004
   ALLENTOWN (PA) Juliann Bortz grew up a devout Catholic.
   Her family never missed Mass, her home was always open to members of the clergy and both her brothers studied at the seminary.
   God was at the center of her existence. She loved Him, revered Him and feared Him.
   She still does. But the faith Bortz thought was unbreakable has not only cracked, it's shattered. And the blow has crushed everything she thought she was.
   Bortz can't remember when the abuse started or when it ended. The Allentown woman has tried hard to forget it ever even happened.
Church Leader's Comments on Abuse Draw Criticism
   The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2004/02/24/national/24PRIE.html , By KATIE ZEZIMA, February 24, 2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA), BOSTON, Feb. 23: - Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, the temporary leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Mass., said Sunday that some priests once thought sexual relationships with young men were acceptable and had no idea they would cause any harm.
   But on Monday night, he released a statement apologizing for possibly distressing Catholics or intensifying scrutiny of priests. "I did not mean to suggest, nor do I believe to be true, that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable," the statement said. "While it is important to note how abusers acted and how they may have escaped notice, it is more important to condemn the result of their actions, the terrible and sickening violation of children and the long-term horrific results."
   In an interview with The Boston Globe published Monday, Monsignor Sniezyk said that while a seminarian and young priest in the 1950's and 1960's he heard of priests who had relationships with young men, but no one gave the practice a second thought.
   Monsignor Sniezyk said the priests were "kind" and "compassionate," and did well by their parishioners, according to the article, but they "had no idea what they were doing to these young men that they were abusing."
Sniezyk seeks to clarify remarks
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/02/24/sniezyk_seeks_to_clarify_remarks , By Globe Staff, Feb/24/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Denying that sexual misconduct by priests was ever acceptable, Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk apologized yesterday for comments he made during the weekend that suggested otherwise.
   Sniezyk, who was appointed temporary leader of the Diocese of Springfield after its bishop resigned amid sexual abuse allegations, said in an interview with the Globe on Sunday the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church stemmed from a belief among some priests during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s that sex with young men was OK.
   Yesterday, Sniezyk sought to clarify the comments. "Let me be clear and unequivocal, I did not mean to suggest, nor do I believe to be true, that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable. Clearly, those who have preyed upon our children have justified their actions in many different ways, including the delusion that they, the abusers, were not harming the children, when in fact they were causing great and long-term harm.
Activist priest, Shanley pal dies in Thailand retirement
   Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2168 , By Robin Washington, Tuesday, February 24, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): A longtime Boston priest who once ran a quixotic campaign for Congress and later became embroiled in the clergy sexual abuse scandal for his friendship with the Rev. Paul Shanley has died, a church spokesman said.
   The Rev. John Joseph White, 72, died a week ago in Thailand, friends said, where he retired last year in part to escape attention around child sex charges against Shanley, with whom he shared Stoneham and Roxbury ministries and later ran a Palm Springs inn.
   Boston archdiocese spokesman the Rev. Chris Coyne confirmed the death but declined comment. Friends, including the Rev. Bruce Teague, said White had been ill.
   Teague recalled White as "a highly idealistic priest" who entered the 1970 9th Congressional District race on an impulse while attending a forum.
   "All of a sudden, Jack jumped up and said 'I'm running for Congress'," Teague said.
Victim's tragic end: McSorley found dead in friend's North End home
   Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2176 , By Robin Washington, Tuesday, February 24, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): The man whose frequently broadcast face became the personification of Boston's clergy sexual abuse victims died in the home of a friend early yesterday.
   Patrick McSorley, 29, one of 86 plaintiffs in the 2002 Archdiocese of Boston's $10 million settlement with alleged victims of the late defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, was watching TV in the living room of a North End apartment, his friend Alan Brini said.
   Brini went into another room and returned to his bedroom an hour later at about 2 a.m. and found McSorley lying on the bed. "He seemed so cold. I didn't know what happened, and I turned the heat up," Brini said.
   Brini, 63, who had opened his home to his friend off and on over the years, did not offer a cause of death for McSorley, who leaves two children, Patrick Jr., 4, and Joanne, 2, and their mother, Kristin Carter. He is also survived by his mother, a brother and sister.
   Boston police spokesman David Estrada said it could be several weeks before the medical examiner rules on a cause of death.
Parishes' proceeds to benefit diocese
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/055/metro/Parishes_proceeds_to_benefit_diocese+.shtml , By Stephen Kurkjian, Feb/24/2004
   BOSTON (MA): Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has decided that proceeds from church properties sold under his plan to reduce the number of parishes in the archdiocese will go to the central fund of the Boston Archdiocese and not to the parishes left to take on Catholics displaced by the cutbacks.
   In a Feb. 13 letter to all Boston priests, Bishop Richard G. Lennon, O'Malley's top deputy, wrote that the archbishop had decided to close the parishes through a canonical procedure known as suppression, which allows the sale proceeds to pay off the debts of the archdiocese.
   Instead of formally closing, or suppressing, the parishes, Lennon said, O'Malley could have decided, under canon law, to merge them with a neighboring parish. That would have resulted in the proceeds from the sale of assets going to the new, merged parish.
   "The archbishop has deliberately chosen the canonical procedure of suppression rather than that of merger," Lennon wrote in his letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe.
   O'Malley has set a March 8 deadline for leaders from about 80 regional clusters of parishes to recommend which parishes should be shut down under the consolidation plan. Those recommendations will then be considered by two groups of higher church officials before they are submitted to O'Malley for his review.
• Vocal critic of abuse by clergy found dead
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ news/local/mass achusetts/articles/ 2004/02/24/vocal_ critic_of_abuse_ by_clergy_ found_dead , By Brian MacQuarrie, Feb/24/2004
   BOSTON (MA): Patrick McSorley, a victim of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan who became one of the most visible critics of clergy sexual abuse, was discovered dead early yesterday in a North End apartment, his lawyer said yesterday.
   Boston police would not provide details about McSorley's death, except to say that authorities arrived at the apartment shortly after 1 a.m. yesterday. A close friend said McSorley, 29, occasionally went to the apartment to take drugs owing to a chronic substance-abuse problem that had plagued him for several years.
   "To think he had come this far and just to have it end so abruptly -- it's a tragic ending," said the friend, Alexa MacPherson, 29, also a victim of clergy sex abuse. "Many of us try to forget the memories. His choice of action was to drink and to use drugs to try to escape the pains that he felt and the memories that he had."
   MacPherson said she brought McSorley to many drug-rehabilitation centers and hospitals in a long-running, unsuccessful attempt to help him overcome his substance abuse. However, McSorley could not shed the troubling aftereffects of Geoghan's sexual abuse, she said.
Sexual abuse addressed in diocese study -- RCC. 19 abusers cost $US 473,533.
   The State News, www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=22503 , By STEVE EDER, ~ Feb 23, 2004
   LANSING (MI): An internal investigation of the Diocese of Lansing has revealed that 21 allegations of child sexual abuse were lodged against 19 Catholic priests and deacons in the region between 1950 and 2002.
   In a letter to his parishioners on Monday, Lansing Bishop Carl F. Mengeling said 13 of those claims have been substantiated. Abuse has cost the diocese $473,533 in compensation and care for victims, most of which was paid by insurance, according to the bishop.
   Results of the Lansing Diocese's audit precede the release of a study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, a nationwide report on abuse expected Friday.
   "The number of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the United States will be disturbing," Mengeling wrote. "Understanding the tragedy of sexual abuse will help protect children in the future."
   The letter to parishioners in the Lansing Diocese said four of the initial accusations were deemed false and two others were withdrawn. There were 780 priests and 107 deacons in the Diocese of Lansing during the audit period.
Detroit priest accused of sex abuse is allowed to return [Bjorklund] -- RCC. Vatican reinstates clergyman.
   Detroit Free Press, www.freep.com/news/locway/priest24_20040224.htm , BY DAVID CRUMM AND PATRICIA MONTEMURRI, for February 24, 2004
   DETROIT (MI): The Rev. Brian Bjorklund, a Catholic priest from Detroit and U.S. Navy chaplain who was removed from ministry last year for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, has been reinstated as an active priest by the Vatican, Detroit Catholic leaders said Monday.
   Bjorklund's legal victory under church law comes before a national report due out Friday that will reveal the extent of sexual abuse of minors by priests during the last 50 years in the United States.
   At the same time, Vatican officials are signaling their hesitancy to carry out the strict zero-tolerance policy on the sexual abuse of minors that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved in 2002.
   On Monday, a Vatican task force called the Pontifical Academy for Life criticized the U.S. bishops' policy in a 220-page report, based on a summary of scientific research into sexual abuse of minors. The report calls for treatment and criminal penalties but said it may be possible to change the behavior of men who may have been involved in a single, long-ago incident.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 09:44 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Tuesday, February 24, 2004
• Police to explain porn case
   The West Australian, "Police to explain porn case," p 7, Wednesday February 25, 2004
   PERTH, W. Australia: Police prosecutors have been given more time to provide details of the alleged criminal conduct of former Wesley College headmaster John Bednall.
   Mr Bednall, 56, of Mosman Park, resigned as headmaster of the exclusive South Perth school after allegations he logged on to hundreds of child pornography websites.
   In Perth Magistrate's Court, Mr Bednall is facing one charge under the Censorship Act of using his work computer to obtain an objectionable article.
   Magistrate Vicky Stewart has heard legal argument and was expected to make a final ruling yesterday.
   Instead, she gave police another two weeks to provide particulars. She said if the order was not complied with she would have to dismiss the case.
   [COMMENT: What a topsy-turvy world! The school, a previous article said, had allowed other work to be done on the work computer that the defendant had allegedly used to download the pornography websites. The school leaders evidently doesn't know that any tool used for a crime is supposed to be kept inviolate for police investigation. Yet, they teach our children!!!
   He had supposedly resigned, the news media and the Uniting Church's own newspaper reported; then he was reported as saying he had not resigned.
   The school and Church authorities ought to ponder Luke 16:8.
   This court evidently won't accept the evidence gathered so far, and it looks as if the case might be dismissed. Meanwhile, in Guantanamo Bay, more than 600 prisoners of war have not been repatriated, nor charged and put on trial, and have been deprived of civil rights for more than two years. "Some are more equal than others," as is said in the book 1984 -- FPP 25 Feb 04. COMMENT ENDS.] [Article: Feb 25, 04]

   Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Wednesday, February 25, 2004 edition follows:-
New Allegations Surface In Joliet Diocese [2000s] - RCC. Boy.
   NBC 5, www.nbc5.com/news/2873328/detail.html , UPDATED: 11:35 am CST February 25, 2004
   CHICAGO (IL): Throughout past year, many adults have come forward to detail allegations of abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests.
   On Tuesday, one young man in the Diocese of Joliet came forward to tell his story about possible misconduct by one if its priests.
   "It isn't often a child speaks on this sensitive issue," NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern reported. "But this young man wants his story told."
   Later this week, the first national report on sexual abuse among priests in the Roman Catholic Church will be released, Ahern reported. What is not included in the report, though, are allegations of misconduct.
   Neither the boy nor the priest was identified because no criminal charges or civil lawsuits have been filed, Ahern reported. The boy, who was identified in the report as "Steve," was in the sixth grade two years ago when he was a new student at a suburban Catholic school. He said an assistant pastor at the school took an interest in him.
   "They just said he was a nice guy," the boy said. "He kept following me down there and asking me for my phone number -- calling and asking me if I wanted to go to the movies."
   Steve said at first he liked the attention, but he said the priest soon began calling him frequently at home, followed him to the bus stop and repeatedly pulled him out of class.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 01:36 PM
Abuse tally: 49 priests
   The Cincinnati Post, www.nbc5.com/news/2873328/detail.html , By Peggy Kreimer, Feb 25, 2004
   CINCINNATI (OH): The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has released a report that shows 49 priests were accused of 188 instances of child abuse from 1950 through 2003. That represents about 6 percent of the 827 priests who have served in the archdiocese since 1950.
   The archdiocese has forwarded the figures encompassing the years 1950 to 2002 to a national review board that will release a national study of child abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church on Friday. The 2003 numbers were not part of that report.
   The local numbers for the 1950 to 2002 time period show 33 priests accused of 87 instances of abuse.
   Another 101 new complaints were brought in 2003. Twenty of them were against 16 priests previously not accused, and 81 were against previously accused priests.
Lexington reports abuse allegations [7 abused 32]
   The Kentucky Post, www.kypost.com/2004/02/25/lex022504.html , From staff and wire reports, Feb 25 2004
   LEXINGTON (KY): Since its creation in 1988, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington has received reports from 32 people of sexual abuse by seven priests.
   But all of those took place when the 50-county diocese and its priests were part of the Diocese of Covington.
   Lexington Bishop Ronald W. Gainer mailed a letter to 15,500 households in the diocese's 50 counties in central and eastern Kentucky that detailed that information, which was provided for a national survey to be released on Friday. Seven of the Lexington diocese's 129 priests were accused, Gainer said. That includes one priest who became a bishop, four diocesan priests and two priests from an outside diocese or religious order.
   Twenty-four of the 32 claims were against the Rev. Leonard Nienaber, who has been ordered to spend the rest of his life at a Catholic treatment center in Missouri for his 1994 conviction on 10 counts of child sex abuse.
Davenport Diocese seeks to have five priests defrocked
   Quad-City Times, www.qconline.com/archives/qco/sections.cgi?prcss=display&id=185321 , ~ Feb 25, 2004
   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has asked the Vatican to defrock four priests accused of sexual abuse and a fifth who recently was convicted of downloading child pornography from the Internet.
   Bishop William Franklin said Wednesday that the request is an attempt to deal with the crisis facing the Catholic Church over abuse allegations. His comments came in a report detailing abuse allegations in the diocese over the past 50 years.
   The four priests in question were accused of abusing children between 1956 and 1986.
   "I am sorry for any pain, agony and suffering caused by any action of any priest you trusted and wanted to trust," Franklin said in remarks directed at victims. "Whatever happened should never have happened. It was not your fault."
Albany bishop denies sex allegations
   National Catholic Reporter, http://ncrnews.org/cgi-bin/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=4 , By NCR Staff, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): The Albany, N.Y., diocese announced Feb. 17 it had hired a former U.S. attorney and criminal lawyer to investigate charges of sexual misconduct against Bishop Howard J. Hubbard. Hubbard, 65, has strenuously denied allegations that he had a homosexual affair with a man who later killed himself, and that he had sexual encounters with a teenage street hustler.
   The allegations of events that were supposed to have happened in the 1970s surfaced in early February at news conferences called by attorney John Aretakis, who has repeatedly sued the diocese over clerical sex abuse cases.
   Complicating the situation is the Feb. 15 death of an Albany priest, Fr. John Minkler, who had been linked by news reports to a nine-year-old letter that denounced the bishop, accusing him of homosexual affairs, tolerating gay activity in the priesthood and departing from church teachings.
   The Albany County coroner has said the autopsy on Minkler's body was inconclusive, and more tests are needed to determine exactly how he died. Media accounts have speculated that Minkler, 57, committed suicide. Minkler was a chaplain in a Veterans Administration hospital.
   Hubbard met with Minkler two days before the priest was found dead. Diocesan officials told NCR that Minkler came to them to deny having written the letter.
   However, Stephen Brady, the director of Roman Catholic Faithful, an Illinois-based group that investigates clergy corruption allegations, and Paul Likoudis, editor of The Wanderer, a conservative Catholic weekly published in Minnesota, have told Albany media that Minkler has been a source of information about problems in the Albany diocese for years.
   Likoudis told WXXA-TV Fox News 23 in Albany that Minkler told him he was called into the diocesan offices and asked to sign an affidavit that he never wrote to Cardinal John O'Connor, then archbishop of New York, citing improprieties by Hubbard.
Reports will tell only part of the story
   National Catholic Reporter, http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004a/022704/022704v.php , By TOM ROBERTS, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   UNITED STATES: The day before the figures were leaked from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, I was standing on a lawn in City Park in New Orleans, attending a memorial service for 50 victims of sexual abuse by priests.
   The victims, from across the country, had all committed suicide. Many if not most of them committed suicide at a young age, in their 20s and 30s. No one, as abuse survivor Barbara Blain made clear at the service, was drawing absolute connections between the suicides and earlier abuse. "But we have to ask the questions," she said.
   As the candlelight service continued in the chilly evening air, couples strolled by. A group of young men, yelling in friendly competition, played a game of volleyball on another lawn. All around, life went on. Few noticed as the candles were lit. Few could hear the small public address system beyond the circle of families and friends, beyond the members of SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests) and Voice of the Faithful, the cosponsors of the event.
   They prayed, they sang, they remembered.
Church urged to open up on abuse issue
   Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/state/040225churchside.shtml , By JOHN RICHARDSON, Wednesday, February 25, 2004
   MAINE: The end of a two-year state investigation will not be the end of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal in Maine, according to victims and church reformers.
   Instead, they said, the report released Tuesday should add pressure for a more open discussion of the crisis within the church.
   "The parishioners need to step forward and say, 'What happened in our parish?' " said Michael Sweatt, a leader of the Voice of the Faithful reform group and a victim of sexual abuse as a boy. More openness by church leaders will help more victims come forward and begin healing, and will restore faith in church leadership, he said.
   Attorney General Steven Rowe released a report Tuesday saying there have been sexual abuse allegations against 63 priests and church employees in the past 75 years. All of the allegations are too old to prosecute under Maine law, he said.
   The report identifies five priests who already had been charged with crimes, but not the 58 other accused priests and church employees. Rowe said state law prevents him from revealing the identities of those men.
Some priests can't handle power Philippines flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   ABS-CBN, www.abs-cbnnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?section=Opinion&OID=45622 , by Bob Garon, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   PHILIPPINES: The priests who will repeatedly cross into the forbidden zone to satisfy his perceived needs, is often a man with deep-seated insecurities. His misconduct is the result of sexual and power needs that he cannot control. He might have some unresolved sexual matters. And, yes, he might be addicted to sex and powerless to keep his addiction in check.
   There are some priests who cannot handle the power that is vested in them. Because of their insecurities, power goes to their heads and they abuse in many ways. They have this feeling of entitlement. They believe that they have the right to cross into the forbidden zone. Of course this is twisted thinking, but the abuse of power not only corrupts, it distorts one's thinking.
   He plunges into materialism. If he comes from a very poor family and has suffered deprivation in the past, the temptation to over­indulge is great. This is why some priests live way beyond the people they serve and scandalize them with their inappropriate lifestyle. Priests who live the high life have this feeling of entitlement. When they get to his level, the I-can-do-no-wrong syndrome isn't far behind. The priests now can almost feel the power rushing through his veins and soon to his head. He feels like a minigod who can do no wrong. What he doesn't know is that the seeds of his destruction have been sown and it is only a matter of time before he falls.
   Then there is the priest who is at the other extreme. He feels totally inadequate be­ cause of very low self-esteem. There is a growing feeling that he is incapable of functioning well as a priest or as a man. He is vulnerable to relationships with those even more vulnerable and needy than he is. The temptation to get into relationships that provide gratification is great since he finds little meaning in his ministry. It is this dryness of gratification. Usually, he finds it in the embrace of a woman, or in his reflection in a glass of alcohol, or both.
Franklin County residents gather to pray for 'Perseverance in a Time of Crisis' [Dupre] - RCC.
   Iobserve ; www.iobserve.org/rn0224b.html , By Cori Fugere Urban, Observer correspondent, Feb 24, 2004
   TURNERS FALLS (MA): A service of "Prayer for Perseverance in a Time of Crisis" drew about 65 persons to St. Mary of the Assumption Church here Feb. 18, a week after allegations were made public that now-retired Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupre sexually abused two boys three decades ago.
   "We want the truth. Bring it out now," said Mary Jane Garbiel, a parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption Church, during one of several small group discussions during the 80-minute service.
   Asked to write on an index card what they were longing for, participants wrote words like truth, peace, justice and healing. Some said they longed for a more pure and enlightened church, to be able to trust their priests, to know priests and bishops are doing "what they are telling us to do" and for the "strength to do what we are taught to do."
   When asked to write words that described how they felt in the wake of the allegations against the bishop and the clergy sexual abuse scandal, participants wrote words including loss, hurt, embarrassed, betrayed, sad and angry.
   The cards were placed on the altar at the end of the service.
Sexual abuse scandal behind veil of secrecy
   The Republican, www.masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077698892315380.xml?oned , Feb/25/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): The sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church could have been avoided decades ago if church leaders had publicly confessed that the abuse existed and taken steps to stop it.
   The refusal of church leaders to admit the extent of the abuse invited suspicion of a coverup, undermined the church's moral standing and unfairly cast doubt on the work of those priests who have never violated their vows or abused their positions of trust.
   Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk made an awkward attempt to put the church's denial and complicity into a historical context. During an interview with The Boston Globe published Monday, Sniezyk said the scandal resulted from the belief among some priests in the 1960s, '70s and '80s that sex with "young men" was acceptable behavior.
   His comment was astounding. Priests who have sex with "young men" are engaging in homosexual sex while sex with boys is pedophelia.
   The temporary administrator of the Springfield diocese sought to clarify his comments the next day by saying, "Let me be clear and unequivocal, I did not mean to suggest, nor do I believe to be true, that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable."
Diocese talks of settlements with victims
   The Republican, www.masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077699106315380.xml?nncic , By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com , Feb/25/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Clergy sexual abuse settlement negotiations could take a major step this week as monetary figures could be discussed with about half of those who filed suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, according to two alleged victims.
   "We were told that we should stay near a phone starting Friday," said one of two alleged victims who spoke on condition they not be identified.
   The settlement discussions are taking place at a time when the diocese is still reeling from sexual abuse allegations leveled at former bishop Thomas L. Dupre. He retired Feb. 11, a day after he was confronted by The Republican with allegations that he sexually abused two boys beginning more than 20 years ago.
   The two men who accused Dupre are not involved in the settlement negotiations. They were scheduled to be interviewed by investigators attached to the Hampden County district attorney's office yesterday.
   Alleged victims as well as other settlement participants have been asked not to discuss the meetings in an attempt to keep them secret. Lawyers have consistently refused comment.
   The people who have filed suits against the diocese have been broken into two groups during negotiations. One consists of the 14 people who have accused defrocked priest Richard R. Lavigne of abusing them when they were minors. The second group includes people with claims against other clergy.
   The alleged victims of Lavigne have been meeting one by one with negotiators this week.
Local attorney reaches out to Pope
   Capital News 9, www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=61089&SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, Updated 10:46 PM, Feb/24/2004
   ALBANY (NY): The attorney who represents numerous victims of clergy sex abuse is calling on the Pope to step in regarding the on-going controversy surrounding Bishop Howard Hubbard.
   Attorney John Aretakis has written a formal letter to Pope John Paul II. Aretakis is asking the Vatican to acknowledge a letter, he said was written back in 1995, which questions some of the practices of Bishop Hubbard.
   The late Father John Minkler's name had been linked to the letter. Minkler's body was found last week in his Watervliet home.
   Aretakis said Minkler sent the letter to Cardinal John O'Connor, who then forwarded it to the Vatican.
   Officials from the Roman Catholic Diocese said Father Minkler requested a meeting with them shortly before his death to deny authorship of the letter in question.
   Aretakis is not asking the Pope to concede the allegations in the letter. He is, however, asking the pontiff to acknowledge its existence.
Full Report on Priest Sexual Abuse [33 accused]
   Ohio News Network, www.onnnews.com/story.php?record=29124 , February 25, 2004
   CINCINNATI (OH): The Archdiocese of Cincinnati today released a comprehensive accounting of allegations that its priests sexually abused children. The 19-county archdiocese said 33 of its priests were accused of 87 instances of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2002. That included one case in which the sole accusation against former Cincinnati Archbishop Joseph Bernardin was later withdrawn.
   Of the accused priests, 12 were placed on administrative leave pending possible permanent removal from the ministry. An addition 11 of the priests have died, two voluntarily sought return to lay status, one was defrocked and seven were investigated and cleared of the allegations.
   The Cincinnati archdiocese made the report as its response to the Roman Catholic Church's request for a nationwide accounting of accusations of clergy sexual abuse of children.
Ex-youth pastor faces sex charges -- Presbyterian. Boys.
   Times Record News, www.timesrecordnews.com/trn/local_news/article/0,1891,TRN_5784_2678492,00.html , By Trish Choate, February 24, 2004
   GRAHAM (TX): Authorities suspect more accusations of child sexual assault could surface against a former Graham youth minister already facing charges, officials said.
   A probe is ongoing into allegations involving a one-time First Presbyterian Church of Graham youth director, Mason Limberg Quick, 33, of Austin, officials said.
   Quick is accused of molesting two boys, beginning when they were 15, in Young and Palo Pinto counties - as well as providing alcohol and cigarettes and showing pornographic videos, according to an affidavit filed in Young County.
   Quick has been charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child by a clergyman in connection with incidents from 1998 to 2001, Young County Sheriff Carey Pettus said. He is being held on $400,000 total bond, $100,000 for each charge, in Young County Jail.
   If convicted, he faces two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for each second-degree felony, Young County District Stephen Bristow said.
   Quick was once the church's director of youth and children's ministries but has not been employed there for three years, according to a statement released by Pastor Randy Branson.
Pastors split on requiring reports of child abuse
   The Advocate, www.newarkadvocate.com/news/stories/20040224/localnews/11472.html , Staff and wire reports, Feb 24, 2004
   NEWARK (NJ): Several fundamentalist churches oppose a bill that would require members of the clergy to report child abuse, saying the legislation is an unnecessary intrusion into the separation of church and state.
   The bill, supported by mainstream churches including Roman Catholics and Methodists, easily passed the Senate last year but is stalled in a House committee due to ministers' concerns.
   Pastors of independent Baptist churches and evangelical congregations around Ohio say the requirement raises privacy concerns about pastors' approach to counseling and even church teachings on corporal punishment.
   "If corporal discipline is considered abuse and the pastor preaches that the Bible teaches corporal discipline, what should the pastor do if the parishioners follow his preaching?" said Daniel Whisner, pastor of the Church at Chapel Hill in Mount Vernon. "Should he then turn them into the state for abuse?"
   Other pastors are more supportive.
   "It certainly would not trouble me if such a law were in place because I think child abuse needs to be addressed," said Bill Rauch, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, in Newark. "If someone came to me and told me they were abusing a child, I would urge them to turn themselves in. I would just tell the person that this is not something that I can keep in confidence," Rauch said.
Holcomb denies all sexual abuse charges [Holcomb] - Church of God.
   Roanoke Times, www.roanoke.com/roatimes/news/story163179.html , By Shay Wessol, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   PEARISBURG (VA): Roger Holcomb denied all allegations that he fondled and sexually abused several Pembroke children but did tell jurors Tuesday that one of the girls touched his "private area" three times this past summer.
   "It really wasn't a touch. It was more of a punch thing," Holcomb, 52, testified during the fourth day of his trial in Giles County Circuit Court.
   Giles County Commonwealth's Attorney Phillip Steele and defense attorney Thomas DeBusk are expected to begin their closing arguments at 9 a.m. today and send the case to the jury.
   Holcomb, the former pastor of the Pembroke Church of God, is now charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
   Five children, now ages 7 to 10, came forward in September and accused Holcomb of molesting them between January and September 2003 at the church's parsonage in Pembroke. All charges involving two of the five have been dropped during the course of the trial, which started a week ago, because of inconsistent testimony from those children.
Pope urges protection of children
   CNN, http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/02/25/pope.lent.reut , Posted 1309 GMT (9:09 PM HKT), Wednesday, February 25, 2004
   VATICAN CITY (Reuters): Pope John Paul urged Catholics on the first day of Lent to reflect on the protection of children, speaking at a time when the problem of sexual abuse of minors overshadows the church itself in the United States.
   "I wanted to draw particular attention to the difficult conditions that so many children in the world face," the 83-year-old pontiff told thousands of pilgrims gathered in St.
   Peter's Basilica for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a 40-day period of abstinence.
   The pope, whose Church is still recovering from a sexual abuse scandal in the United States, announced last month that the theme for Catholic reflection during Lent would be the protection of children against all forms of violence and exploitation by adults.
   "There are young people who have been profoundly hurt by the violence of adults: sexual abuse, forced prostitution (and) involvement in the sale and use of drugs," he said.
The True Scope Of Abuse [75 abused 200]
   Hartford Courant, www.ctnow.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-abuse.artfeb25,1,2852900.story?coll=hc-headlines-editorials , February 25, 2004
  CONNECTICUT: Connecticut's three Roman Catholic dioceses reported recently that 75 priests sexually abused about 200 youths over the past half century. To date, the dioceses have paid about $40 million to settle claims.
   Numbers alone don't tell the story of the tragedy, which has left a trail of drug abuse, broken marriages, mental breakdowns and suicide among victims. For decades, dioceses across the nation were fixated on protecting accused priests instead of reaching out to victims.
   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is scheduled to release a nationwide tally of abuse Friday. Preliminary figures indicate that the scope of the abuse was worse than previously believed - about 4 percent of priests may have molested children.
   Each diocese was asked to provide figures for the nationwide survey, but there's no way to determine the accuracy of the self-reporting. For starters, new allegations surface regularly. The bishop of Springfield, Mass., resigned recently, one day after he was confronted with allegations that he had molested two youths years ago.
   Church officials in Hartford, Bridgeport and Norwich say that none of the accused priests in the three dioceses remain in active ministry. It would be more reassuring if they released the names of the priests and disclosed where they are living. The tragedy is compounded if abusers are moved to another community, with no guarantee that they will be kept away from children.
Former area priests among those previously prosecuted [1984]
   MaineToday.com ; www.centralmaine.com/news/local/441868.shtml , ~ Feb 25, 2004
   AUGUSTA (ME): Two priests who served in central Maine were among five Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland employees prosecuted in the past two decades on criminal charges involving sexual abuse of minors.
   Details of the charges and their outcomes are listed in a 25-page report released Tuesday by Maine Attorney General G. Stephen Rowe.
   The report, "On the Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Children by Priests and Other Clergy Members Associated with the Roman Catholic Church in Maine," relies on the diocese's own records of allegations as well as information received by district attorneys.
   The Rev. Raymond Lauzon was indicted in 1984 in Cumberland on two charges of gross sexual misconduct involving a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old male. Those charges were dismissed in exchange for Lauzon pleading guilty to witness tampering. He was sentenced to a year in prison, with all but six months suspended, and one-year of probation. He is now in a monastery in Lithuania.
Archdiocese to release abuse figures
   The Journal News, www.nyjournalnews.com/newsroom/022404/a01p24catholicsurvey.html , By GARY STERN, February 24, 2004
   NEW YORK: The 10-county Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York plans to release historical data on sexual abuse on Friday, the same day that the nation's Catholic bishops will reveal the long-awaited results of a national study on the abuse of minors by clergy.
   The national survey, which will compile sexual-abuse claims, settlement costs and other figures going back to 1950, will not include diocese-by-diocese information. But at least 112 of the nation's 195 dioceses have voluntarily made their figures public.
   Those 112 dioceses have reported 4,757 abuse claims against 2,258 clergy, according to The Associated Press, which has been tracking the figures.
   The Archdiocese of New York, which serves an estimated 2.5 million Catholics, has not faced the large scale sex-abuse scandals that have staggered the church in Boston, Dallas, Louisville and elsewhere. But more than a dozen priests facing accusations of abuse have been removed from ministry during the past two years. And at least several priests are known to have been removed during the last decade.
   Dioceses have submitted detailed figures to researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, who were commissioned by the U.S. bishops conference to conduct the survey.
Diocese releases sex case numbers - RCC. 22 complainants.
   Washington Times-Herald, www.washtimesherald.com/articles/2004/02/24/news/news01.txt , By Patricia Morrison, News Editor, Feb 24, 2004
   EVANSVILLE (IN): By personally welcoming the "ongoing lifetime effort to protect children and young people," Bishop Gerald Gettlefinger began a discussion Monday of the Evansville Diocese plans for prevention of child abuse within the church and its schools.
   The meeting foreshadowed a national report to be released Friday by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York that will detail the extent of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests and deacons since 1950. Also being released is a report by the National Review Board compiled from interviews with bishops, priests-abusers, victims and a wide array of professionals regarding the "causes and context" of the abuse crisis.
   While the Evansville Diocese has not had a reported incident of sexual child abuse by a priest since 1983, Gettlefinger pointed out "there is no comfort in low numbers as even one is too many."
   From 1944 to 2003, 324 priests have served in the diocese. There are currently 91 ministering, 28 of those retired. Twenty-two people have reported allegations, four of those admitted by priests; four in which the priests were not found guilty, and 14 in which the priests are now deceased. Seven priests have been accused of sexual abuse of minors, one of whom is deceased. Four priests have been removed for sexual abuse of minors. Two were not found guilty.
   The Evansville Diocese, which includes Daviess, Martin, Pike, Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Dubois, Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick and Spencer counties, has completed a required audit of compliance with meeting standards set up by a task force formed by the U.S. Council of Bishops in June 2002.
Diocese releases abuse figures
   Lincoln Courier, www.lincolncourier.com/news/04/02/23/b.ASP , BY MICHAEL MILLER, Copley News Service, Feb 23 2004
   PEORIA (IL): Since 1950, 14 priests of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria "to our knowledge" have been accused of sexual misconduct involving minors, the diocese told parishioners this weekend.
   The diocese didn't name the priests, but said five of the 14 are dead. Spokeswoman Kate Kenny cited legal reasons and consideration of the dead priests' families for not releasing names.
   Diocesan priests who have been publicly removed from ministry because of accusations of sexual misconduct are former Lincoln monsignor Norman Goodman, Francis Engels, William Harbert, Walter Breuning, Edward Bush, Robert Creager, , Richard Slavish, Gregory Plunkett, John Anderson and Michael Van Acker. Harbert is dead.
   Kenny said accusations weren't made against some priests until they already were dead.
Survey of nation's dioceses tackles disturbing questions
   Cleveland Plain Dealer, www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1077625844170850.xml , by James F. McCarty, Feb/24/04
   UNITED STATES: All of the horrible things that priests have done to children the past 50 years are covered in graphic detail on a survey sent to every diocese in the country.
   Parts of the questionnaire were so disturbing that special arrangements were made to provide counseling for church officials who became overly distressed while filling it out. A sample of some of the least-offensive questions:
   Was there sexual touching over the clothes or under the clothes of the victim?
   Were photos taken while the victim was disrobed?
   Was the victim threatened by the cleric in any way?
   Did the victim receive any gifts or other enticements from the cleric? Money? A car? Alcohol or drugs?
   Over the past several months, thousands of 12-page surveys, each with more that 100 questions, have been filled out by the 190 Catholic dioceses across the country and mailed to an auditor in Washington, D.C.
AG: No priest abuse cases can be prosecuted
   WMTW, www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=1665826&nav=7k6rL3Xj , ~ Feb 25, 2004
   AUGUSTA (ME) (AP): Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe Tuesday afternoon released a report on sexual abuse of children by priests and other clergy members, and said that of dozens of cases reviewed, none can be prosecuted.
   The cases came from files from the Catholic Diocese of Portland spanning the last 75 years.
   Rowe says Maine's statute of limitations in effect at the time of the alleged offenses prevents the state from prosecuting.
   In presenting the report, Rowe thanked victims who had come forward to report abuse they had suffered as children and called child sexual abuse "one of the most despicable acts" which almost always leave permanent emotional scars on victims.
   Rowe says state law bars him from releasing identities of the alleged perpetrators in his report. Five priests or clergy members have been prosecuted since 1984.
   Rowe's report makes reference to other cases involving 20 living and 15 deceased priests from the diocese, seven church or school employees, and six living and five deceased priests or brothers not associated directly with the diocese.
Leaked numbers provoke dispute
   National Catholic Reporter, http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004a/022704/022704c.php , By JOE FEUERHERD, Washington, Feb 27 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): Plans for a carefully orchestrated release of the most comprehensive data yet gathered on the extent of the clergy sex abuse crisis fell apart last week as an early draft of the report was leaked to CNN.
   The cable network reported Feb. 16 that, based on its review of the study, 4,450 priests were found to have been "credibly accused" of abusing approximately 11,000 children in the United States over the past half-century.
   Whether those numbers are high, low or about what might be expected was a matter of some contention among experts and advocates familiar with the crisis. And whether the prematurely released numbers will be deemed accurate when the report is officially made public Feb. 27 is also an open question.
   "The numbers reported in the media were apparently taken from a preliminary report completed in January 2004," officials at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, authors of the study, said Feb. 17, a day after the initial CNN report.
   "The college has received additional data," which, said the statement, "includes corrections to earlier drafts of the report." John Jay said it would have no further comments until the report is released.
Man testifies that as a 14-year-old, he tried to warn about abusive priest [1957-59; Janssen] - RCC. "Purity string"
   Quad-City Times, www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024704&l=1&t=Gateway&c=30,1024704 , By Kay Luna, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   IOWA: In 1960, when Ed Thomas was about 14 years old, he needed help dealing with his priest's inappropriate advances. He went to another priest in a neighboring Davenport parish, who happened to be Rev. James Janssen, who also is now accused of sexual abuse.
   Thomas, 58, of Des Moines, testified Tuesday in Clinton County District Court that he met the Rev. Francis Bass in about 1957 and knew him about three years, during which he experienced several incidents of inappropriate behavior with the priest, but never was sexually abused.
   He said the priest often wrestled with the boys in such a way that made Thomas uncomfortable, and one time coaxed a group of them to swim without their swimming trunks.
   A trip to Chicago to stay overnight with Bass' aunt and uncle was the last time Thomas spent any time with the priest, who he claims called him to his bedroom and made him tie a "purity string" around his waist to "prevent me from sexual disorders or misconduct," he said.
'Come home,' Tucson diocese says in invitation to 'alienated' Catholics
   Arizona Daily Star, www.dailystar.com/dailystar/dailystar/11331.php , By Stephanie Innes, ~ Feb 25, 2004
   TUCSON (AZ): As the scandal over priests abusing children continues to plague the Roman Catholic Church, the Diocese of Tucson is taking a bold move: inviting "alienated" Catholics to come back to the faith.
   Whether it's the sexual abuse crisis, memories of "mean nuns" at Catholic school or feelings of alienation because of the church's moral code, Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas is asking disillusioned Catholics to give the church another try. Kicanas decided to make alienated Catholics the focus of Lent this year, asking local parishioners to pray for their fellow Catholics to "come home."
   Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, begins today - Ash Wednesday. Reliable statistics on alienated Catholics are difficult to come by, but the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University recently did a random national poll that showed 30 percent of self-identified Catholics - about 20 million Americans - are not active in their faith.
   "People's alienation from the church is something that needs to be listened to, but they need an invitation. Lent is a time of coming back home," Kicanas said. "It's a very important liturgical season - a season that encourages us to ponder our own mortality and how we are living our lives."
   Kicanas admits he's taking a risk, especially since a much-anticipated study tallying the number of priests accused of abusing children in the United States will be released Friday. The study is expected to show that over the past 50 years as much as 5 percent of American clergy were accused of molesting minors.
• Two sides argue over dismissed suit against priest [1968 on]
   St. Louis Post-Dispatch, www.stltoday.com/ stltoday/news/stories. nsf/0/932DB75D07CD2 E1486256E450016B9DA? OpenDocument& Headline=Two+sides+ argue+over+dismissed+ suit+against+priest ; By Tim O'Neil, Feb/24/2004
   MISSOURI: A man who says a Catholic priest began sexually abusing him when he was a seminarian in 1968 should get his day in court, a lawyer argued Tuesday in trying to revive a lawsuit on appeal.
   But a lawyer for the Diocese of Jefferson City said a judge in St. Louis County was correct in dismissing the case because the man had waited too long to file it under Missouri law.
   The suit before the Missouri Court of Appeals downtown is one of three alleging sexual misconduct by the Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell, who resigned as bishop of Palm Beach, Fla., in March 2002 after he admitted that he molested another seminarian in the 1970s.
   O'Connell was rector of the former St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, near Hannibal, Mo., until he was appointed bishop of Knoxville, Tenn., in 1988. The Hannibal area is part of the Jefferson City Diocese. He became bishop of Palm Beach in 1999.
Reclaim faith [19 abusers]
   The State News, www.statenews.com/op_article.phtml?pk=22506 , ~ Feb 25, 2004
   MICHIGAN: Across the globe today, Christians are observing Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season of abstinence from temptation. Christians have blessed ashes touched to their foreheads to signify their belief in Jesus Christ. The Lenten season ends on Easter Sunday, and those who have abstained from temptation hope for atonement from their sins.
   As observed by Catholics, however, Ash Wednesday is not a day of outright obligation. It isn't spread out to the Christmas-and-Easter mass crowd with the similar sense of Catholic duty to attend. Basically, Ash Wednesday is for the believers, the unwaveringly faithful.
   While the Diocese of Lansing prepares and makes this year's Ash Wednesday, they'll have much to mull over aside from parishioners' ashen foreheads. An internal investigation has reported that 21 allegations of child sexual abuse were lodged against 19 Lansing-area priests and deacons in 52 years. Furthermore, the diocese is anticipating the release of a nationwide report on abuse on Feb. 27, certain to give clergy even more problematic allegations.
   While four of the Lansing-area allegations revealed by the diocese have been unsubstantiated - according to Lansing clergy - it still equates to 17 allegations too many. The abuse of a child, in any form, by any person, is entirely and thoroughly reprehensible. A public censure of guilty clergy and deacons at this point, though, would be not only untimely, but also redundant to our prior opinion of clergy abuse.
Lexington diocese airs reports of sexual abuse - 7 abused 32
   The Courier-Journal, www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2004/02/25ky/met-3-abuse02250-3842.html , By ELLEN R. STAPLETON, Associated Press, Feb 25 2004
   LEXINGTON, Ky.: Since its creation in 1988, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington has received reports of sexual abuse by seven priests.
   Bishop Ronald W. Gainer mailed a letter to 15,500 households in the diocese's 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky that said the reports came from 32 people. The information was provided for a national survey to be released Friday.
   Seven of the diocese's 129 priests were accused, Gainer said. One of those priests eventually became a bishop, four were diocesan priests and two were priests from an outside diocese or religious order.
   Twenty-four of the 32 claims were against the Rev. Leonard Nienaber, who has been ordered to spend the rest of his life at a Catholic treatment center in Missouri for his 1994 conviction on 10 counts of child sex abuse.
   One accused priest is dead and the rest are no longer in active ministry, diocesan spokesman Thomas Shaughnessy said.
By speaking up, abuse survivors keep case open
   Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/nemitz/040225nemitz.shtml , by Bill Nemitz, Feb 25 2004
   AUGUSTA (ME): There was a time, not too long ago, when Michael Doherty would not have been caught dead in this situation. Telling the authorities that a priest molested you is one thing, telling the world is quite another.
   Yet there he stood Tuesday in the office of Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe, facing the cameras and microphones for the first time ever. Sure he was nervous, he later admitted, but in the end he had no choice.
   "When you get out of a hole," Doherty, 35, said with a smile, "you have an obligation to help the next guy behind you get out of the hole."
   In other words, for Doherty and the dozens of others scarred by priests who could not control their sexual demons, Maine's so-called "church scandal" did not end with the release of Rowe's report explaining what happened and why nobody can do anything about it. Doherty knows better than most that for many survivors - he no longer calls himself a "victim" - this is only the beginning.
Priest was a potential witness in Shanley affair
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/02/25/priest_was_a_potential_witness , By Ralph Ranalli, Feb/25/2004
   BOSTON (MA): When the Rev. John J. White, known to many as "Father Jack," died in Thailand last week, he probably took with him many secrets of a friend, the Rev. Paul Shanley, a lawyer for Shanley's alleged victims said yesterday.
   A close associate, housemate, business partner, and confidant of Shanley's for decades, White was a potential witness in both the criminal and civil cases involving the priest, who is alleged to be one of the most egregious abusers in the scandal involving Boston clergy, said Roderick MacLeish Jr. MacLeish is a lawyer for the Boston firm Greenberg Traurig, which represented hundreds of alleged clergy sexual abuse victims in claims against the Archdiocese of Boston.
   Because he was so close to Shanley, who is free on bail awaiting trial on multiple counts of child rape in Middlesex County and whose alleged abuse is the subject of several civil cases expected to go to trial this year, White may have been the most tantalizing potential witness against the priest, MacLeish said.
   After White relocated to Thailand from Billerica two years ago, the chance of forcing him to testify became extremely remote, MacLeish said.
   Even if he could have been forced back to the United States to be a witness, MacLeish said, lawyers in the case thought it likely that White would refuse to testify and claim his right against self-incrimination.
   That possibility became almost a certainty last September, when the first alleged victim to accuse White of sexual abuse stepped forward, MacLeish said.
Maine diocese hid abuse [> 60 accused]
   Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/state/040225church.shtml , By JOHN RICHARDSON, Feb 25, 2004
   AUGUSTA (ME): A review of allegations of sexual abuse by more than 60 Catholic priests and church employees going back 75 years showed that Maine church officials placed children at risk by keeping the charges secret and reassigning some of the accused priests, Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe said Tuesday.
   In one case, according to Rowe, a priest accused of molesting a child was reassigned to another Maine parish and was later accused of abusing at least 10 more young girls. He would not name the priest or the parishes.
   Rowe's report, released after a two-year statewide investigation, also said that no Maine priest, employee or church official faces criminal charges in the cases because the allegations are too old for prosecution under Maine's statute of limitations. Investigators found no accusations of sexual abuse occurring after 1996, he said.
   The report also confirms that children in the church are better protected today because of recent changes in law and church policy. The Diocese of Portland now reports all abuse allegations to law enforcement agencies as required by a 1997 law, and it removes priests from ministry whenever there are credible allegations of abuse against them.
Timeline of events
   Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/state/040225timeline.shtml , Feb 25, 2004
   AUGUSTA (ME): 2001
   Dec. 24: A Massachusetts Appeals Court judge denies an appeal by the Archdiocese of Boston, which sought to overturn a Superior Court order requiring pretrial documents to be made public in 86 sexual molestation lawsuits against former priest John Geoghan. The decision sets the stage for the public disclosure in January of thousands of pages of documents, including the pretrial depositions of church leaders who supervised Geoghan for more than three decades, and results in a nationwide scandal.
   2002
   Jan. 24: Cardinal Bernard Law announces that the Archdiocese of Boston will give state officials the names of every priest who sexually abused a minor, reversing his previous opposition to retroactive reporting of clergy misconduct. Law says he now realizes that pedophiles, even though no longer working as priests, may still pose a danger to children.
   Feb. 4: Police charge the Rev. Joseph Rinaldi, 60, of Newbury, Vt., with five counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Rinaldi declines to comment on the allegations, referring questions to his attorney. Rinaldi gave up his preaching job a year earlier amid a six-month investigation by state police into allegations that he had sexual contact with children.
   Feb. 10: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announces it will begin disclosing the names of priests serving in Maine who have been accused of sexually abusing minors. The Rev. Michael Doucette of St. Agatha and the Rev. John Audibert of Madawaska are the first priests named.
   Feb. 19: The Catholic Church says it will turn over to Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson the personnel files of inactive priests accused of sexual misconduct with children.
   March 5: The Rev. James Talbot, who taught and coached soccer at Cheverus High School in the 1980s and 1990s, is accused of sexually abusing several students at Boston College High School in the 1970s. Talbot was removed from the priesthood in 1998 after being accused of sexually abusing a Cheverus student in the mid-1980s.
   March 6: The Rev. Stephen Dawber, Cheverus principal from 1979 to 1984, is accused of sexual abuse at Boston College High School in the 1970s. A Cheverus official says Dawber was never accused of sexual abuse here.
   March 6: Andrew Levesque of Caribou says that beginning in 1985, Doucette pursued him sexually for two years while Doucette was a priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Caribou. Levesque says he resisted the advances but did not report Doucette.
   March 8: The diocese places Doucette and Audibert on administrative leave.
   April 27: Bishop Joseph Gerry of the Portland Diocese announces he has removed the Rev. Leo James Michaud from St. Joseph's Parish in Ellsworth for alleged sexual abuse of a minor about 25 years earlier.
   May 1: Documents released by an Augusta attorney show that Gerry twice transferred a priest after receiving a letter accusing the priest of child sex abuse. Gerry moved the Rev. Raymond Melville from Rumford to Lewiston and Machias after March 1990, when a man wrote Gerry and accused Melville of sexual abuse committed over a five-year period beginning when the man was 14.
   May 9: Two dozen Mainers who say they were molested as children by priests gather at the Roman Catholic Chancery in Portland to demand that Gerry publicly name those clergymen accused of sexually assaulting children.
   May 16: The diocese decides it will not provide space for the meetings of Voice of the Faithful [VOTF], a group advocating structural changes in the Catholic Church.
   May 28: Prosecutors complete their review of diocesan records and announce preliminary findings that show nearly one in eight of Maine's inactive living priests has been accused of molesting children.
   May 29: Prosecutors say 33 living priests who served in Maine's diocese have been accused of molesting children, a number that a church spokeswoman calls "humiliating."
   June 12: About 25 men and women, sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic priests, meet with bishops and cardinals on the eve of a historic three-day conference aimed at containing the crisis in the American church and restoring faith in its leadership.
   June 14: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops votes overwhelmingly to adopt a new national policy on the sexual abuse of minors. It would remove all offenders from any church job but would not necessarily force them out of the priesthood.
   June 26: The state Attorney General's Office says it does not plan to prosecute the Portland Diocese after an initial review of sex-abuse allegations against priests and church employees.
   July 9: In a 4-2 decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upholds a legal barrier that makes it nearly impossible to sue religious institutions for the actions of clergy.
   July 16: The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram asks a Superior Court judge to order the release of information about 18 deceased Maine priests accused of molesting children or other sexual misconduct.
   Aug. 23: Kennebec and Somerset County District Attorney David Crook says no criminal charges are likely to result from his review of allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
   Sept. 6: Allegations of sexual molestation against Catholic priests from Maine do not point to a widespread problem, says a state prosecutor who has reviewed secret files.
   Sept. 6: The diocese announces that Gerry plans to submit his resignation on his 75th birthday, a year from this date.
   Sept. 10: Members of South Portland's two Roman Catholic churches collect signatures on a letter asking Gerry to open the diocese's financial records and allow parishes to elect a lay advisory board.
   Sept. 13: The state does not have to immediately release records of allegations of sexual abuse involving Catholic priests who have since died, a judge rules. Kennebec County Superior Court Justice S. Kirk Studstrup says that in six months he will reconsider whether the records should remain confidential.
   Sept. 16: Prosecutors in most of Maine's 16 counties say they do not expect to bring sex assault charges against any of the priests whose names were contained in documents from the diocese. Earlier in 2002, investigators for Attorney General Steven Rowe and Cumberland County DA Anderson reviewed church records that contained allegations against priests going back 75 years.
   Dec. 10: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, N.H., reaches an unusual settlement with prosecutors, avoiding criminal charges and admitting that it probably would have been convicted of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.
   Dec. 13: Cardinal Bernard Law resigns as head of the Boston Archdiocese. He becomes the highest-ranking U.S. clergy member to resign because of the priest sex abuse scandal. The Most Rev. Richard Lennon is appointed as interim head of the diocese.
   Dec. 16: America's Roman Catholic bishops win Vatican approval for their revised sex abuse policy, requiring every diocese to bar priests who molest children from working in the church. Vatican authorization makes the plan church law for the United States and, therefore, binding on Catholic officials.
   2003
   Jan. 10: Fourteen alleged victims of the Rev. James Talbot, including two former Cheverus students and 10 former Boston College High School students, are awarded $5.8 million.
   Feb. 28: The Portland Diocese announces that Daniel Wathen, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, will head a new 10-person review board that will investigate allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
   May 21: Prosecutors ask a judge for a two-month delay of a court-ordered deadline for the issuing of a report on their yearlong investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Maine.
   June 17: The Portland Diocese releases a code of ethics for church personnel that attempts to prevent abuse. The code also calls for background checks on about 3,800 volunteers who work with children and on all 1,200 employees.
   2004
   Jan. 6: Auditors hired by the church credit the Portland Diocese for abuse fixes. Maine's diocese complies with the bishops' "charter" for changes, the report says.
   Feb. 10: Church leaders announce that Bishop Gerry will be replaced by Richard J. Malone, auxiliary bishop in the Boston Archdiocese. He will be installed March 31.
   Feb. 12: Gerry releases statistics about sexual abuse by priests in Maine in a letter mailed to 82,000 homes around the state. The statistics were compiled as part of a national survey of the abuse scandal. The national report is due out Feb. 27.
   - Compiled by staff researchers Susan Butler and Beth Murphy
February 25, 2004
Lawyers Propose Plan For Settling Priest Sex-Abuse Cases
   NewsNet5, www.newsnet5.com/news/2872678/detail.html , ~ Feb 25, 2004
   CLEVELAND (OH): Attorneys for alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests have offered to drop lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in exchange for mediation and a $350,000 cap on victims' awards, one attorney said.
   Jay Milano, who represents six plaintiffs in a sex-abuse lawsuit pending against the diocese, said Tuesday that Bishop Anthony M. Pilla would have to meet with each of the alleged victims as part of the proposed settlement.
   "How can the bishop turn it down?" Milano said. "All he has to do is sit down with the victims, say he's sorry ... and it's over. The bishop looks like a hero."
   Milano said 16 total sex-abuse lawsuits are pending against the eight-county diocese, which represents about 800,000 Catholics.
   "I don't know what we would say on a matter like that," said Bob Tayek, spokesman for the diocese. "We'll check into it with our lawyers."
   Robert Ducatman, an attorney for the diocese, declined to comment on the proposed settlement.
Diocese says it has paid millions in settlements [42 abused 128]
   Union-Tribune, www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20040225-9999-1m25priests.html , By Sandi Dolbee, February 25, 2004
   SAN DIEGO (CA): Two percent to 3 percent of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego over the past half-century have been accused of sexually abusing minors, costing millions of dollars in settlements in the past decade alone.
   Sixty local priests have been accused of sexual abuse since 1950, according to statistics released yesterday by the diocese. The diocese said 18 of those priests were either falsely accused or the claims against them could not be substantiated.
   That left 42 priests with accusations from 128 people that have been "substantiated or are credible," wrote Bishop Robert Brom in a two-page letter to local priests.
   There were about 2,000 priests in ministry here over those years.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 09:25 AM
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Wednesday, February 25, 2004
• Abuse findings
   The Record (W. Australian RC newspaper), "Abuse findings," p 15, February 26, 2004
   UNITED STATES: A study of how the church has handled sexual abuse cases may be painful, but it's a necessary part of moving ahead, said the president of the U.S. bishops' conference in an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal.
   The study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York being released on February 27 will analyse the extent of sexual abuse of minors by U.S. Catholic Clergy since 1950.
   "While its focus is not on individuals, it will contain a portrait in aggregate of the pain and the suffering, the crimes and the sins, encompassed in this outrageous misconduct," said Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the article in the February 19 Wall Street Journal.
   He wrote that more than one person has asked him why the bishops requested this study -- "Won't it just be another wound?"
   Despite being painful, "the church in the United States needs to shine a light on the past to gather as much information as possible about how this dreadful chapter in our history came about," wrote Bishop Gregory, who heads the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois.
   "We cannot change history; but greater and more accurate knowledge will help assure that it is not repeated."
   He explained that Catholics believe one must overcome sin and repent before being able to "go forth and sin no more."
   Acknowledging the extent of abuse is one step towards moving ahead, he said. An audit release in January showed 90 percent of Catholic dioceses in complete compliance with elements of the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," Bishop Gregory said.
February 26, 2004
   [COMMENT: Last sentence, note the use of the clever term "elements." One early report said that 82% complied, but most reports said about 90% had complied. Reuter said that 3% did not fill in the survey forms. The religious orders, about 33% of US RC clergy, did not even take part. Contrast: Matthew 5:48 COMMENT ENDS.]
   Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Thursday, February 26, 2004 edition follows:-
Archbishop O'Malley's conclusion
   Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2237 , By Associated Press, Thursday, February 26, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): The conclusion from Archbishop Sean O'Malley's statement on the Boston Archdiocese's release of a detailed report of sexual abuse by priests between 1950 and 2003: "One incident of child abuse is too many, one child hurt too much. We must all do everything that we can to make sure that the scourge of child abuse not only within the Church but in the wider society as well is wiped clean from our midst. The numbers are truly horrific, but they are also telling both in terms of extent of the problem and the time frame in which the magnitude of the problem became known.
   "I extend to all the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston and to all people of good will my sorrow at what has taken place. I take some consolation in the fact that the number of incidents of abuse occurring within the last 20 years seems to have dropped so precipitously.
   "I find consolation in the ongoing witness and ministry of the vast majority of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston who have remained committed to the ministry of Church and the witness of Christ's love for all in their manner of life. These past few years have not been easy for you, my brothers. The criminal and immoral actions against children by some of our brother priests has tarnished us all. Yet, hundreds of you have faithfully served and continue to serve the people of God in selfless love for others.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:15 PM
Victims call church abuse report 'absurd' [162 corrupted 815]
   Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2238 , By Associated Press, Thursday, February 26, 2004
  BOSTON (MA): Victims of clergy sex abuse are reacting angrily to a Boston Archdiocese report showing that 162 of its priests have been accused of molesting 815 minors since 1950.
   Victims and their lawyers say the numbers of priests and victims are much, much higher.
   Alexa MacPherson of Boston calls the report "absolutely absurd," and claims the archdiocese is trying to sweep away the problem.
   Methuen resident John King points to an earlier estimate by Attorney General Tom Reilly that priests and other church workers in the archdiocese had likely molested more than one-thousand people from 1940 to 2000.
   Victims' attorney Mitchell Garabedian says today's report is "insulting to victims everywhere."
Boston archdiocese releases abuse report [7%]
   Boston.com ; www.boston.com/dailynews/057/region/Boston_archdiocese_releases_ab:.shtml , By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, Feb/26/2004
   BOSTON (MA) (AP): The Boston Archdiocese, epicenter of the clergy sex abuse crisis that has shaken the Catholic Church, released a report Thursday showing that 815 children were abused by 162 of its priests since 1950.
   The number of accused priests is about 7 percent of the 2,324 priests who served in the archdiocese between 1950 and 2003. Of the 815 victims, more than half were abused by just seven priests.
   Abuse victims and their advocates immediately assailed the report, saying the numbers were remarkably low, given the hundreds of victims who have come forward since the scandal first exploded in Boston two years ago.
   "These numbers need to be taken with a mountain of salt," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
   "We'll never know the full truth because victims don't tell, and only the most naive would assume that church officials have done a complete 180-degree turn and are now telling everything they know."
Blessed by the Times; Inside one of the newsroom deals to go soft on the man in the red robe [Baker, Henry, Llanos, O'Grady] - RCC. Bullying alleged.
   LA Weekly, www.laweekly.com/ink/04/14/features-anderson2.php , by Jeffrey Anderson, Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2004
   LOS ANGELES (CA): Journalists covering the clergy sex-abuse scandal have dogged the Catholic hierarchy from Boston to Phoenix, but the Los Angeles Times has skirted around Cardinal Roger Mahony and helped him craft his own public image. With the criminal and civil justice system favoring secrecy in examining charges that Mahony has concealed pedophiles, critics accuse the Times of caving to pressure from Mahony, at times acting as his platform to urge the public to look forward, not back, at what he's done.
   Media experts and observers of the clergy scandal point to a history of deference to the Catholic Church on the part of the Times. Under these circumstances one might look to Times media critic Tim Rutten, but he's not supposed to write about his own newspaper. Any stories openly critical of the cardinal are by columnist Steve Lopez. Meanwhile, Mahony has cultivated an exclusive relationship with Times religion reporter Larry Stammer, who, sources say, shaves the rough edges off stories by his own colleagues. And recent accusations against 10 priests that went unreported by the Times when the paper had exclusive access to Mahony call to question the value of horse-trading with a man under investigation.
   The most blatant attempt by Mahony to bully the Times came in July 2002 at the height of the national scandal. Mahony, attorney J. Michael Hennigan and PR mogul Michael Sitrick met in private with Times editors to head off an investigative effort led by reporter Glenn Bunting. They complained about what they considered negative coverage. (Egged on by the now-defunct New Times, the Times could not ignore that Mahony allowed former priest Michael Baker and numerous others to remain in ministry despite knowledge of child molestation.) The cardinal agreed to cooperate with the Times on the investigative story, providing information and sitting for interviews with Bunting and others. [...]
   Throughout the 1990s, as serial predators Richard Henry and Ted Llanos were exposed, the Times never got close to challenging the church hierarchy. In 1998, Mahony testified at a trial in Stockton that while bishop there in the early 1980s, he had no reason to believe former priest and serial molester Oliver O'Grady posed a threat to children. Jurors returned a $26 million verdict against the diocese, and some later said they thought Mahony lied. Yet the Times ignored the story.
   Larry Drivon, the lawyer who cross-examined Mahony, has never let Times reporters hear the end of it. "How can the most powerful cardinal in the country lie on the stand and that not be a story?" Drivon frequently says. In October, Times reporter William Lobdell publicly apologized on behalf of his newspaper at a gathering of sex-abuse survivors in Los Angeles. "Every time I see Larry Drivon, I feel guilty the Times never covered his trial verdict in Stockton," Lobdell told a room of 100 or so people.
How the Catholic Church, legal community and PR machine are conspiring to protect Roger Mahony [Rucker] - RCC. Girl.
   LA Weekly, www.laweekly.com/ink/04/14/features-anderson.php , ~ Feb 26, 2004
   LOS ANGELES (CA): If she had never met the Rev. George Neville Rucker - had her mother never welcomed the priest into the family's home - Jackie Dennis might still be singing in the choir at St. Agatha's parish. Instead, on the rare Sunday she attends Mass, she sits alone in the balcony, estranged from her former classmates and friends, revisiting moments she wishes she could forget.
   As she prays and sings along with the choir one Sunday last November, the 42-year-old Dennis recalls being in the fifth grade, intrigued by the Communion. She sees herself carrying the Eucharist for Rucker, the priest she once adored. After all these years, Dennis still remembers being the luckiest girl in her class, lucky to have the body and blood of Christ entrusted to her by someone so close to God. "I was the first girl in this choir," Dennis whispers, as the choir sings "This Little Light."
   When the visions come, however, they are unsparing in detail, she says after Mass, as she waits in front of St. Agatha's for her husband to pick her up. Dennis sees herself naked behind the altar at St. Agatha's. She remembers Rucker's fingers inside her while looking up at the church ceiling and hearing a voice telling her to be a good girl. She envisions not just Rucker but vicars and bishops as serpents or beasts with horns. "They stole my education, my youth," Dennis says of the men who allowed Rucker to remain a priest.
   Dennis' focus on the Catholic hierarchy is justified. Last week, when Cardinal Roger Mahony turned to the Los Angeles Times - and the Times only - to release the names of 244 priests accused of molestation since 1931, along with a self-serving mea culpa, Dennis went looking for him in anger. "That report didn't mean sh*t to me," she says. "There's no accountability in it, just a bunch of PR bullsh*t." Dennis has spoken to Mahony before. He knows who she is, and he knows what Rucker did to her. Which might explain the kid-glove treatment Dennis gets from Mahony spokesman Tod Tamberg, who frequently e-mails Dennis to engage her in friendly dialogue, despite her charges that Mahony has harbored pedophiles.
LA Weekly Exposes Institutional Collusion to Protect the Catholic Church's Highest Hats [1970s Rucker] - RCC.
   Yahoo! News, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040226/lath025_1.html , 12:38 pm ET, Thursday February 26, 2004
   LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/: Three decades after being sexually abused by the Rev. George Neville Rucker, Jackie Dennis is still waiting for the church officials who allowed Rucker to remain a priest and molest dozens of girls from the late 1940s to the 1980s to be held accountable. In particular, Dennis is pointing to Cardinal Roger Mahoney of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
   Mahoney's history has been to deny new allegations until they are undeniable and then sacrifice others in order to protect his own name.
   Jeffrey Anderson reports on how, through a series of behind-closed-doors agreements, nearly 500 claims of abuse have been shuffled away to the backrooms of the courts, where the cardinal, the church, the judges and even the victim's own lawyers move toward quick settlements, keeping discussions and, more importantly, potentially incriminating documents under a shroud of secrecy. "Mahoney believes he can get away with anything," Dennis says. "The church thinks it is above the law."
Statement of Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley - RCC.
   Newsday, www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usomalley0227,0,6487299.story?coll=ny-top-span-headlines, Feb 27 2004
   BOSTON (MA): In June 2002, in response to the crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States brought on by allegations of clergy sexual abuse of children, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In this document, the bishops sought to address not only the crimes and sins committed by priests against children, but also the ways bishops responded to allegations made by victims against clergy.
   The Charter acknowledges that in "the past, secrecy has created an atmosphere that has inhibited the healing process and, in some cases, enabled sexually abusive behavior to be repeated."
   A National Review Board was established by the USCCB with the task, among others, of producing two reports: [1] a descriptive study, with the full cooperation of our dioceses/eparchies, of the nature and scope of the problem within the Catholic Church in the United States, including such data as statistics on perpetrators and victims and [2] a comprehensive study of the causes and context of the current crisis.
   Both the first study, undertaken at the request of the Review Board by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the second report are scheduled to be made public on February 27, 2004.
   The fact the USCCB instituted and participated in these two national studies is itself evidence of positive and hopeful development. Unless and until the scope, causes, and context of the sexual abuse of children by clergy are understood in all their devastating detail, attempts to address it will remain insufficient.
   Studies such as these, and the attention they engender, serve to help not only our Church but other institutions and the wider society to confront the evil of sexual abuse of children and to work toward ensuring our children's safety. The studies to be released tomorrow demonstrate that the Church is finally and unflinchingly committed to facing this scandal head on and doing all in our power to prevent anything like it from ever happening again.
   Since neither of these two national studies will give specifics on any particular dioceses, it is important that we make public to the members of the Church of the Archdiocese of Boston, as well as the wider community, the scope of the issue of sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston that has come to light over the past two years by making public the numbers and statistics relative to the issue from 1950-2003.
Clergy sex abuse survey is about much more than numbers - RCC.
   Catholic News Service, www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/20040226.htm , By Jerry Filteau, Feb 26 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC) (CNS): The national study of more than 50 years of sexual abuse of minors by U.S. Catholic clergy covers much more than the number and ages of victims, the number of allegedly abusive priests or deacons and the years the abuse occurred.
   The researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice -- which conducted the study with the cooperation of nearly all U.S. dioceses and most male religious orders -- also sought to uncover how clerics first met their victims, what kind of abuse was inflicted, how often and how long it occurred.
   They asked the age and gender of each victim, the number of victims accusing each alleged abuser, who first made the allegation, what church official was first contacted, and how the diocese or religious order responded.
   They asked if the abuser had problems with alcohol or drugs or both and if he plied the victim with alcohol, drugs, pornography or other inducements.
   Numerous other questions sought to draw out patterns of abuse and many other aspects to paint a thorough picture of the nature and scope of U.S. Catholic clerical sexual abuse of minors from 1950 through 2002.
Pittsburgh, Philadelphia dioceses release priest abuse statistics - RCC. 45 abusers, 1.9%, $US 2m; 44, 2%.
   NEPA News, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11032099&BRD=2212&PAG=461&dept_id=465812&rfi=6 , The Associated Press, February 26, 2004
   PENNSYLVANIA: Roman Catholic dioceses in the state's two largest cities released information Thursday about the number of priests accused of sexual abuse, a day before a national audit of every diocese in the country is to be made public.
   In Pittsburgh, 51 of the 2,280 priests who served in the diocese over the last five decades were accused of abuse, including six who were found to have been falsely accused, the diocese said. Excluding those, the 45 priests accused of abuse represent 1.9 percent of the 2,349 priests and deacons who have served in the diocese from 1950 to 2002, church officials said. Of the 45, all have either died, been removed from active ministry or withdrawn from the priesthood, according to the diocese.
   The diocese reported it had paid $841,000 from its own diocesan insurance fund to assist victims during that time, and an additional $1.2 million was paid by the diocese's insurance carriers. All the money went toward paying legal settlements, counseling and other things, though the diocese didn't specify exact amounts for specific categories.
   "We will continue to reach out to any victims of abuse, encouraging any of those hurt in this way to seek healing and reconciliation through counseling, treatment and prayer," Bishop Donald Wuerl said.
   In Philadelphia, allegations against 44 priests between 1950 and 2003 were found to be credible _ 2 percent of the 2,204 priests that served during that time, the archdiocese said.
   Cardinal Justin Rigali said the archdiocese is now providing 41 sex abuse victims with counseling, which the church has spent an average of $125,000 on between 1994 and 2003.
   "With profound sorrow, I offer deep apologies to the victims of sexual abuse by any cleric or church employee," Rigali said in a written statement.
Seven Percent of Boston Priests Accused of Abuse, Report Says - RCC. 162 accused, 7%
   The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2004/02/26/national/26CND-PRIE.html , By PAM BELLUCK and CARLA BARANAUCKAS, February 26, 2004
   BOSTON (MA): About 7 percent of the ordained priests who served in the Archdiocese of Boston from 1950 through 2003 have been accused of sexual abuse of children, according to a new report issued today by the archbishop.
   The archdiocese, at the center of the sex abuse reports that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church, said that 162 priests were accused of sexually abusing 815 minors in the five-decade period studied. "Slightly more than half" of the accusations involved "just seven archdiocesan priests," the report said.
   The report dealt only with accusations, regardless of the outcome of the cases.
   In addition to the archdiocesan priests who were accused, 3 deacons, 10 priests living in the archdiocese but not under its supervision and 44 priests from religious orders were accused.
   In making the report public, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said in a statement, "Unless and until the scope, causes and context of the sexual abuse of children by clergy are understood in all their devastating detail, attempts to address it will remain insufficient."
   Two national reports on the scope of the problem, one a statistical study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, are scheduled to be released on Friday. The other report, on the causes, is based on more than 100 interviews conducted by a subcommittee of the national review board of prominent laypeople that was appointed by the bishops in response to the scandal.
Charge dismissed against man who said priest sexually abused him - Steven Hall case.
   Herald Tribune, www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040226/APN/402260790 , The Associated Press, Feb 26 2004
   GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y.: A charge has been dismissed against a man accused of trying to extort $75,000 from an upstate priest he claims sexually abused him.
   Fulton County Court Judge Polly Hoye on Wednesday threw out the single felony count of second-degree attempted grand larceny against Steven Hall, saying no money was extorted and the priest didn't want to testify.
   Hoye wrote the evidence was not overwhelming, and even if Hall were convicted, the verdict "very likely" would have been set aside.
   "To reach this conclusion at the end of a long and circus-like trial would clearly not be in the interests of justice," she wrote.
   The 33-year-old Hall was indicted in October, accused of threatening to go public with allegations against the Rev. David Tressic unless he was paid off.
• Pastor Sentenced For Stealing From Church [2002 onwards Kucharski] -- RCC. $US 8000 to repay.
   TheWMURChannel.com ; www.thewmurchannel.com/ news/2876413/detail.html? treets=man&tid=2652227206813 &tml= man_ 12pm&tmi= man_12pm_3674_110000 02262004&ts=H ; Feb 26 2004
   NASHUA, N.H.: A former Merrimack, N.H., pastor who pleaded guilty to stealing from his church's collection plate will spend four months in jail, after being sentenced in Merrimack County court Thursday.
   The Rev. Steven Kucharski confessed to pocketing about $500 in parishioner donations at St. John Neumann Church between October 2002 and last January.
   Kucharski will also repay the church $8,000. That's the amount church officials say they lost during Kucharski's tenure there. It includes more than $5,000 stolen last Christmas Eve, although Kucharski was not charged with that theft.
   Kucharski was also sentenced to 500 hours of community service.
Ash Wednesday celebrated
   Republican, http://masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-4/107778514227510.xml?nnae , By MARY ELLEN O'SHEA moshea@repub.com , Feb/26/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): Their faith unshaken, Roman Catholics yesterday gathered in churches across Western Massachusetts to celebrate Ash Wednesday, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar.
   At St. Michael's Cathedral on State Street, the hub of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, about 200 gathered for a Mass and to receive the traditional mark of a cross on their foreheads in ashes and oil, a symbol of the biblical reminder of mortality: "For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return."
   Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten season, the 40 days of reflection and repentance ending Easter Sunday, which marks the day that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead after being killed on the cross.
   Yesterday, Catholics, still reeling from the abrupt retirement of their bishop amid sexual abuse allegations, were called upon to pray and seek forgiveness for their own sins.
   Those at St. Michael's said the scandal has, if anything, strengthened their faith in God.
   "We know it's going to get better. My faith is as strong as ever," said Maureen Shea, a retired Red Cross nurse from Chicopee.
   Her friend Ann McGowan of Springfield agreed. "The healing has already begun," she said.
Alleged victims support DA in bishop probe -- RCC. Boys.
   The Republican, http://masslive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/107778534627510.xml?nncic , By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com , Feb/26/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): One of the two men who say they were sexually abused as boys by the retired Catholic bishop fully supports a criminal investigation, while the other alleged victim is poised to support the probe of the Rev. Thomas L. Dupre.
   Meanwhile, both men expressed frustration with the inability of church officials in both the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and the Archdiocese of Boston to launch their own investigations. Local church officials last night admitted their own confusion, apologized to victims and promised to clarify the direction of the investigation within days.
   Also, the men's lawyer, Roderick MacLeish Jr., said the diocese ignored three communications that alleged abuse by Dupre. He is urging the diocese not to destroy evidence, including two letters last year and an e-mail sent to the bishop in 2002 that alleged abuse.
   Tuesday night, two weeks after the unexpected, immediate resignation of Dupre as bishop, the first of the two men met for four hours with law enforcement investigators.
   The man whose mother was the main source of information about the abuse reported by The Republican at the time of the bishop's resignation was interviewed by Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett in Boston. The mother told The Republican she had sent the bishop two angry letters about the alleged abuse last year, but diocesan officials said they did not find the letters in the bishop's office after he left.
• Priest pleads guilty to stealing $250,000 from Fitchburg parish [2001-03 Ouellette] - RCC.
   Portsmouth Herald, www.seacoaston line.com/news/ 02252004/south_ of/1883.htm , Associated Press, February 25, 2004
   WORCESTER, Mass.: A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $250,000 from his Fitchburg parish.
   The Rev. Donald Ouellette, 49, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Worcester Superior Court to 18 counts of larceny between March 2001 to Jan 2003. Prosecutors said he stole $254,834 from the Immaculate Conception Church by writing checks to himself from three separate church accounts and cashing them at local banks.
   The funds stolen by Ouellette were raised by parishioners for an elevator at the church.
   Judge Peter Agnes Jr. postponed sentencing until May 5, telling Ouellette he wanted a written narrative that outlined generally what he did with the money.
   "I have not heard an explanation, let alone a satisfactory explanation, of what happened to the funds," Agnes said.
   Diocesan officials have said they expect to be fully reimbursed by their insurer.
   Ouellette was placed on administrative leave by the Worcester Diocese after his indictment in September.
Ouellette pleads guilty to theft of $250,000 - RCC.
   Telegram & Gazette, www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040225/NEWS/402250323/0/FRONTPAGE , by Gary V. Murray, gmurray@telegram.com , Feb 25, 2004
   WORCESTER (MA): A Catholic priest pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $250,000 from the Fitchburg parish where he was pastor, and agreed to write an account of what he did with the money before his sentencing.
   The Rev. Donald C. Ouellette, 49, admitted in Worcester Superior Court that he stole $254,834 from Immaculate Conception Church in Fitchburg by writing checks to himself from three separate church accounts and cashing them at local banks.
   The money stolen had been raised by parishioners for an elevator at the church.
   Rev. Ouellette pleaded guilty before Judge Peter W. Agnes Jr. to 18 counts of larceny of more than $250 in thefts that occurred from March 15, 2001, to Jan. 2, 2003. He has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Worcester.
   Judge Agnes postponed sentencing until May 5, telling Rev. Ouellette he wanted a written "narrative" explaining what he did with the money at that time.
   "I have not heard an explanation, let alone a satisfactory explanation, of what happened to the funds," Judge Agnes said, adding that Immaculate Conception parishioners and diocesan officials "should know something beyond that there has been a theft."
   Assistant District Attorney Richard L. Greco told the judge he did not know what Rev. Ouellette did with the stolen money.
Pastor guilty of stealing $250K
   Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stories/0,1413,106~4992~1978739,00.html , By Matt O'Brien, Feb 25, 2004
   WORCESTER (MA): The former pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fitchburg pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing $250,000 from the church.
   The Rev. Donald Ouellette, 49, the former pastor of the Catholic parish on Walnut Street, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of larceny in Worcester County Superior Court.
   Superior Court Judge Peter Agnes set a May 5 sentencing date for Ouellette.
   Ouellette, who has not offered an explanation for the crimes, could potentially face up to five years in prison for each one of the 18 convictions, said the priest's lawyer, Michael McEvilly of Leominster.
   Ouellette was accused of writing more than 207 checks to himself from a parish bank account while pastor at the Fitchburg church since 2001, prosecutors have said.
   The priest's unscheduled change of plea in Worcester Superior Court happened two months after a convicted child rapist, William Lamontagne, told the Sentinel & Enterprise that Ouellette funneled some of the stolen money to him in prison.
NC bishop calls for healing as diocese prepares to release abuse report
   Star News, www.wilmington star.com/apps/ pbcs.dll/article? AID=/20040226/ APN/402260772 &cachetime=5 , The Associated Press, Feb 26, 2004
   CHARLOTTE (NC): All church members have been victimized by the sexual abuse of children by priests, the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte said during a packed Ash Wednesday Mass.
   "Some clergy did not live up to their calling to be an image of Christ the good shepherd," Bishop Peter Jugis said at St. Patrick Cathedral. "And this has had a profound effect on our entire church community.
   "St. Paul wrote that when one member of the body suffers, all the members suffer with it," Jugis said. "And we all are suffering with those who have been the victims of this immoral behavior."
   Jugis noted in his homily that Pope John Paul II has asked Roman Catholics to reflect on children this season.
   "Welcoming children," Jugis said, "is a way of welcoming Christ."
   Jugis, the spiritual leader of 140,000 Catholics in 46 western North Carolina counties, said U.S. bishops will release their much-anticipated report Friday detailing claims of sexual misconduct since 1950.
Church focuses on atonement
   York Daily Record, http://ydr.com/story/main/19380 , By JOSEPH MALDONADO, Daily Record correspondent, Thursday, February 26, 2004
   PENNSYLVANIA: Near the warmly lit altar of St. Joseph Church in Springettsbury Township, four lines of parishioners waited for their ashes to mark Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
   One of the prayers offered by the church's pastor, the Rev. Louis Petruha, during his sermon was for victims of abuse, including those sexually abused by some Catholic church leaders. The Ash Wednesday attention to abuse came at the request of the Diocese of Harrisburg.
   Petruha said God is merciful and loving and forgives over and over again. He forgives not just for the sins of individuals, but also for the sins of the church and its clergy.
   "And so we ask for God's forgiveness for the perpetrators and reconciliation for victims," he said.
   Lynn Ruppel, who led the Mass procession, said reconciliation might not be easily achieved.
   "The abusers need to pray and seek forgiveness from their victims," she said. "And the victims will have to pray for strength to forgive those who abused them."
• Former Church of God pastor indicted on sexual abuse charges [Holcomb 2003] -- Church of God. Girl.
   WVEC, "Former pastor indicted on sexual abuse charges," www.wvec.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D80V0QTO2.html , Associated Press, Feb/26/2004
   VIRGINIA: Jurors convicted a former Pembroke pastor of molesting a young girl and recommended a sentence of 10 1/2 years in prison.
   The jury took seven hours Wednesday to convict Roger Holcomb, 52, of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor, a girl who is now 7 years old, last summer. The maximum sentence could have been 45 years in prison and a $225,000 fine.
   A formal sentencing hearing will be scheduled before Circuit Judge Colin Gibb in about four months.
   The jury found the former pastor of the Pembroke Church of God not guilty on three other sex charges involving two more children.
   Originally, five children came forward in September and accused Holcomb of molesting them between January and September 2003 at the church's parsonage in Pembroke.
Archdiocese lays off 20 to balance budget
   The Cincinnati Enquirer, www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/02/26/loc_layoffs26.html , By Dan Horn, Feb 26, 2004
   CINCINNATI (OH): The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will lay off 20 employees this month because of a drop in donations that church officials blame on a bad economy and anger over the clergy abuse scandal.
   The layoffs are the first for the archdiocese in 15 years and will reduce the total number of full-time employees from 167 to 147. That total does not include the archdiocese's 207 priests.
   Church officials said the cuts are necessary because donations have dipped over the past two years, leading to a budget shortfall of about $1 million.
   Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk's annual fund-raising drive, which usually meets its goal, has raised about 92 percent of the $4.84 million target set last year.
   Although they say they cannot know for certain, church officials suspect tougher economic times and dissatisfaction with the archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse cases are to blame.
Another letter surfaces
   Capital News 9, www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=61242&SecID=33 , By Capital News 9 web staff, Updated 0:21 PM, Feb/25/2004
  ALBANY (NY): Another letter has surfaced, purportedly written by the late Reverend John Minkler.
   A faxed copy of the letter was sent to area news media by attorney John Aretakis, who has represented several victims of clergy sex abuse. It was allegedly sent to the conservative Catholic activist Stephen Brady three years ago.
   The handwritten letter contains the names of Albany Diocese priests, and describes allegations of sexual misconduct and other transgressions.
   Minkler's signature is similar to the one released by the diocese on a statement Minkler signed disavowing knowledge of a letter to then Cardinal John O'Connor, citing alleged sexual misconduct by Bishop Howard Hubbard.
   Aretakis said, "The Albany Diocese is still denying that Fr. Minkler wrote the June 1995 letter and in fact this letter not only refutes that, but it corroborates many of the things that are in the first letter."
Prelate's alleged victim to aid probe [1970s-80s]
   The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/02/26/prelates_alleged_victim_to_aid_probe , By Kevin Cullen, Feb/26/2004
   SPRINGFIELD (MA): One of the two men who claim the former Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield, Thomas L. Dupre, sexually abused them when they were teenagers has agreed to help Hampden County authorities if they try to prosecute Dupre, the alleged victim's lawyer said yesterday.
   If charged, Dupre, 70, would be the first American Catholic bishop to face criminal charges of sexually abusing minors. Officials were scheduled to speak to the second alleged victim last night, the lawyer said.
   The decision by one of the men to cooperate with authorities targeting Dupre followed an emotional meeting Tuesday night between the alleged victim and William M. Bennett, the Hampden district attorney.
   Bennett and two State Police detectives assigned to his office drove from Springfield to the Boston offices of Greenberg Traurig, the law firm representing the two men who say Dupre sexually abused them in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
   "The district attorney showed great compassion and met with my client for two hours," said Roderick MacLeish Jr., the alleged victims' lawyer. "The fact that he did it personally says something about the seriousness that the district attorney's office is taking this. My client was very heartened by the meeting with the district attorney."
   MacLeish said his client gave Bennett and the two detectives "substantial corroborating information," including the names of witnesses, credit card receipts, and phone records to support the allegations against Dupre. He said his client, 40, of Massachusetts, is aware of how much the case will be scrutinized.
1 in 20 EP priests accused of abuse - RCC. 2.5%.
   El Paso Times, www.borderlandnews.com/stories/borderland/20040226-85869.shtml , by Tammy Fonce-Olivas, Feb 26, 2004
   EL PASO (TX): One of every 20 priests who served in the Catholic Diocese of El Paso in the past half century has been accused of molesting children, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa said on Ash Wednesday.
   Ochoa said he made the announcement on one of Catholicism's holiest days in the Lenten spirit of repentance.
   "Over the past two years or so the church in the United States and here in El Paso has focused on the grave sin and crime of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. Regrettably, some members of the clergy assigned to this diocese were involved in the sexual abuse of minors," Ochoa said.
   This is the first full disclosure by the diocese of the problem, which the church has been reluctant to discuss openly until recent years. The full national report examining the sexual misconduct of priests will be released Friday.
   CNN reported Wednesday that a preliminary draft of the national survey indicates 4 percent of priests have been accused of molesting children.
50 priests in Arizona in scandal - RCC. 51 abusers.
   The Arizona Republic, www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0226report26.html , by Michael Clancy, Feb. 26, 2004
   ARIZONA: More than 50 Catholic priests in Arizona have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of children since 1950, according to the Catholic dioceses that cover Arizona.
   The number is the first comprehensive tally of abusive priests who have served in Arizona. The total was developed in advance of a national report on the nature and scope of clergy abuse in the United States, which is expected to indicate at least 5,000 priests abused 12,000 victims.
   That report, based on numbers calculated by each diocese, will be released Friday.
   In Arizona, the Diocese of Tucson reported 27 accused priests and the Diocese of Phoenix reported 18. The Diocese of Gallup, N.M., had six abusive priests who served in Apache and Navajo counties in Arizona.
   The Byzantine Eparchy of Van Nuys, a branch of the Catholic Church that evolved in the Orthodox tradition, reported no allegations. It is based in Phoenix.
Archbishop's letter: Sexual abuse claims involved 21 minors [7 abusers]
   The Daily Camera, www.bouldernews.com/bdc/state_news/article/0,1713,BDC_2419_2684521,00.html , By Lisa Marshall, February 26, 2004
   DENVER (CO): Between 1950 and 2003, at least seven priests in the Archdiocese of Denver were the subject of "substantiated or admitted" allegations of sexual abuse involving 21 minors, according to a letter by Archbishop Charles Chaput published Wednesday in the Denver Catholic Register.
   In the Diocese of Pueblo, 12 priests were accused of abusing 16 people over the past 50 years, according to a letter issued by Pueblo Bishop Arthur Tafoya. In the Diocese of Colorado Springs, one priest has been removed from the ministry for abusing a minor in the past half-century.
   The revelations by Colorado clergy come in anticipation of Friday's release of a national survey of sex abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests. A leaked copy viewed by CNN earlier this month said 11,000 abuse claims have been made against 4,450 clergy since 1950.
   Chaput's letter says the church is going through a "national moment of self-examination."
Bishop opens Lenten season with call for healing prayers
   Charlotte Observer, www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/8043048.htm , by KEN GARFIELD, Religion Editor, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   CHARLOTTE (NC): The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte marked Ash Wednesday by expressing sorrow for victims who were sexually abused by priests.
   Speaking to a packed sanctuary at St. Patrick Cathedral, Bishop Peter Jugis called on the faithful to pray for God's grace to bring healing to the victims and to the church.
   "Some clergy did not live up to their calling to be an image of Christ the good shepherd," Jugis preached from a prepared text at the Mass. "And this has had a profound effect on our entire church community. St. Paul wrote that when one member of the body suffers, all the members suffer with it.
   "And we all are suffering with those who have been the victims of this immoral behavior."
   Christians on Wednesday marked the start of the Lenten season leading to Easter by dedicating the next 40 days to prayer and reflection, and by having the sign of the cross made on their forehead with ash.
Boston archdiocese to release abuse report today [250 abused 1000]
   Providence Journal, www.projo.com/ap/ma/1077804664.htm , The Associated Press, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   BOSTON (MA) (AP): A detailed report expected Thursday afternoon from the Boston Archdiocese will show the number of priests accused of molesting minors over the past half-century.
   The statistics were compiled as part of a national survey of clergy sex abuse conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, due out Friday.
   The archdiocese sent a fax to all priests Wednesday telling them of the report's release, said the Rev. Christopher Coyne, the archdiocese's spokesman. The numbers will be released by early afternoon, Coyne said.
   Boston's numbers will be current through December 2003, which is more extensive than the Boston numbers in the John Jay report, which includes statistics through June 2003.
   "We said if we're going to get them out, let's get them out through December," Coyne said.
   An earlier investigation by Attorney General Thomas Reilly found that priests and other church workers in the Boston area had likely molested more than 1,000 people over six decades, from 1940 to 2000.
   Reilly, who called those numbers "staggering," said the Boston Archdiocese itself had documented 789 allegations of sexual abuse against 237 priests and 13 other church workers. When evidence from other sources was included, the number of victims rose to at least 1,000, Reilly said.
Davenport Diocese releases internal review of sex abuse by priests - RCC.
   Quad-City Times, www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024728&t=Local+News&c=2,1024728 , By Times wire services, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   DAVENPORT (IA): The Catholic Diocese of Davenport released Wednesday morning its internal investigation into reports of sex abuse involving priests dating back as much as 50 years.
   During a news conference, Bishop William Franklin said, "I apologize for any harm resulting from sexual abuse by clergy."
   "I truly pray for the victims and families who have been so sadly hurt," he added.
   Also, it was announced that the process to defrock five priests is under way. The five include the Rev. James Janssen, who has been named as a defendant more than any other member of the diocesan clergy in civil lawsuits filed against the diocese during 2003 and 2004.
Cincinnati Church Leaders Call Study "Unparalleled"
   WCPO, www.wcpo.com/news/2004/local/02/25/church_eve.html , Reported by Deb Silverman, Web produced by Stacy Puzo, Photographed by 9News, 4:21:05 PM, Feb/25/04
   CINCINNATI (OH): The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is coming clean about the number of priest sexual abuse cases in the area.
   The archdiocese was required to release the information after the United States Conference of Bishops ordered a study on abuse.
   The information about past abuse allegations came out Wednesday in the newspaper "The Catholic Telegraph" which is published by the archdioceses.
   The report talked not only about past abuse but how the church will deal with future allegations.
   As Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk lead [led] a Ash Wednesday Mass many Catholics were just learning about his letter in Wednesday's Catholic Telegraph.
Report to the People of the Diocese of Davenport
   Quad-City Times, www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024744&t=Local+News&c=2,1024744 , By Most Rev. William E. Franklin, Bishop of Davenport; ~ Feb 26, 2004
   DAVENPORT (IA): To the People of the Diocese of Davenport: The Catholic Church is in the midst of a crisis that must be dealt with compassionately, fairly and honorably. The Davenport Diocese is attempting to do so; and, in this report, I will attempt to apprise you of our efforts in this regard.
   This is a painful and difficult communication but one that must occur in the interest of transparency and openness. Today's situation across the country is sad and sorrowful.
   My presentation is incomplete because I cannot speak for the victims as I do not have personal knowledge of each allegation and as each individual has separate wounds and pain.
Attorneys: Too early to predict the impact of report
   Quad-City Times, www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024760&t=Local+News&c=2,1024760 , By Todd Ruger, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   DAVENPORT (IA): Attorneys for the Catholic Diocese of Davenport said Wednesday they could not immediately predict how a report citing credible sexual assault allegations in the diocese might affect 12 civil lawsuits filed in three eastern Iowa counties alleging sexual abuse of boys by priests between 20 and 50 years ago.
   The plaintiffs, nine of whom have been identified only as "John Doe," claim church leaders failed to take action against the priests even though they were aware inappropriate sexual contact had taken place.
   A diocese report released Wednesday details allegations of abuse by priests named as defendants in civil lawsuits and stated that it was "clearly a mistake" for one priest to have been reassigned to public ministry after 1956.
   The diocese and the priests named in the lawsuits have denied plaintiffs' claims in court records. They also have made motions to dismiss some of the cases, arguing that the claims are too old.
Sioux City child abuse victims want their day in court [1967]
   Sioux City Journal, www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2004/02/26/news/local/1d61a638c1a7bf1986256e460018fe46.txt , Feb 26, 2004
   DES MOINES, IOWA (AP): A man who said he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest when he was 8 years old asked state lawmakers Wednesday to give victims of childhood sexual abuse their day in court.
   The Sioux City man, now 45, is preparing to go to trial next year. Like other adults seeking damages for sexual abuse suffered as children, he said, he has faced challenges in his lawsuit against the Sioux City Diocese because of the state's statute of limitations.
   The law says lawsuits must be filed within four years after the victim discovers the abuse and a connection between it and damage to their lives.
Denver abuse total: 7 priests - RCC. 21 victims; ~ $US 1m
   Denver Post, www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~11741~1979694,00.html , By Eric Gorski, Denver Post Religion Writer, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   DENVER (CO): For the first time, the Denver Roman Catholic Archdiocese produced a public accounting Wednesday of clergy sexual abuse of minors in northern Colorado: seven confirmed perpetrator priests, 21 victims and nearly $1 million spent on settlements and counseling over the past five decades.
   The disclosures, made in a letter from the archdiocese's two bishops to the 368,000 Catholics in their charge, came two days before the release of a national study that will provide the most comprehensive data ever on priest sex abuse in America.
   One Denver priest, Monsignor Ed Buelt of Our Lady of Loreto church in Foxfield, expressed relief that the numbers were low compared with the devastating reports that have emerged in Boston, Chicago and elsewhere. He gave thanks for strong leadership, laity and policies in place since the early 1990s to deter abuse.
Archdiocese gives figures on sex abuse [~6%]
   The Courier-Journal, www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2004/02/26ky/wir-front-abuse0226-13534.html , By PETER SMITH, psmith@courier-journal.com , Feb 26, 2004
   LOUISVILLE (KY): Nearly 6 percent of the almost 700 priests who have served the Archdiocese of Louisville since 1950 have been accused of sexual abuse, according to figures being released today by the archdiocese.
   Archbishop Thomas Kelly outlines the statistics in a report today in the archdiocesan newspaper, The Record - in advance of tomorrow's release of two nationwide reports on the extent and causes of clergy abuse in the church since 1950.
   "These figures are shocking," Kelly acknowledged in his Record column. "I feel tremendous sorrow for the pain of those who were abused, the betrayal of their families, and the loss of trust within our faith communities."
   Kelly also said the statistics on the number of priests accused - about 40, or 5.7 percent of the total - are not final. "We continue to investigate and to hear from people about the past," he said. "Even now, I do not believe we have heard it all."
2nd Prosecution in Priest Shooting
   Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7271-2004Feb25.html , By Eric Rich, Page B05, Thursday, February 26, 2004;
   BALTIMORE (MD): A Baltimore man who shot a Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting him will be prosecuted again on gun charges after his convictions were overturned on appeal last week, authorities said yesterday.
   Dontee Stokes, 28, who was acquitted of attempted murder in the case in December 2002, was convicted of three gun charges. He was sentenced to home detention, which ended in November. Maryland's Court of Appeals threw out the convictions, saying jury deliberations had been flawed.
   Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy said yesterday that her office will prosecute Stokes again, even though he cannot be confined. The attempted murder acquittal is permanent and no longer a part of the case.
   "She reviewed this case very thoroughly, and she had to consider the seriousness of the charge and what is a deterrent for future criminal activity," said Jessamy's spokeswoman, Margaret T. Burns. "It's the significance of that conviction on someone's record and the implications that that conviction holds for the future."
   With guilty verdicts on the gun charges, Stokes would be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Diocese wants to defrock priests
   Iowa City Press, www.press-citizen.com/news/022604priests.htm , Staff and wire reports, Feb 26, 2004
   IOWA: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has asked the Vatican to defrock four priests accused of sexual abuse and a fifth who served at an Iowa City church in the early 1990s and was recently convicted of downloading child pornography from the Internet.
   In August 2003, Richard Poster, 39, of Blue Grass, pleaded guilty to a federal count of possession of child pornography. While at a church in Oxford Junction in December 2002, 270 computer files containing child pornography were discovered on Poster's computer.
   He was sentenced Jan. 22 to one year in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
   Poster was ordained Dec. 5, 1992. From Dec. 22, 1992 to Aug. 8, 1995, Poster worked as a parochial vicar at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 302 E. Jefferson St. From there he moved to Keokuk, Bettendorf, Davenport, Lost Nation, Toronto and Oxford Junction.
   The Rev. Ken Kuntz of St. Mary's Church said he knew Poster but declined to comment.
   Several parishioners who exited the church after the evening Ash Wednesday service declined comment, spoke well of Poster but did not want to be identified, or said they did not know him.
   Bishop William Franklin said Wednesday that the request is an attempt to deal with the crisis facing the Catholic Church during abuse allegations.
Wisconsin Roman Catholic Church Investigation: Dioceses release sexual-abuse data
   Pioneer Press, www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/local/states/wisconsin/8041525.htm , BY JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   MILWAUKEE (WI): More than 100 Catholic clergy members in Wisconsin have had proven claims they sexually abused children since 1950, according to figures released by the state's five dioceses.
   The reports from dioceses in Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Superior show at least 112 priests or clergy members have had substantiated allegations of child abuse against them. The dioceses said they have identified at least 323 claims of abuse, including at some of the state's religious orders.
   The dioceses released the numbers before a comprehensive report due Friday that will detail such allegations nationwide from 1950 to 2002.
   The study, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will tally the number of victims and perpetrators in dioceses nationwide.
   In Wisconsin, however, not all dioceses included figures for religious orders that serve independently within their areas, so the numbers are incomplete. The religious orders will be reported separately in the national study.
Principal's death believed suicide [1982]
   Anchorage Daily News, www.adn.com/front/story/4784735p-4728062c.html , By RICH MAUER, NICOLE TSONG and JOEL GAY, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   ANCHORAGE (AK): A year after breaking the silence of his sexual abuse by a Catholic priest and exposing the shameful secrets of the Archdiocese of Anchorage in a dramatic television interview, Service High School principal Pat Podvin has apparently killed himself. Anchorage police said they found his body Wednesday morning and his death appeared to be self-inflicted.
   Podvin was 40 and is survived by his wife and two sons in Chugiak. His body was found in a separate townhome they own in Eagle River about 8 a.m. after a relative called police to say Podvin had missed an appointment. With their investigation still open, police declined to say how and when he died or whether he left behind a note or some other explanation of why he took his own life.
   Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said Podvin had been on medical leave since calling in from an Anchorage hospital over Christmas break and leaving the state for treatment. But he planned to return to work full time March 1 and over the past few weeks had been spending time at Service talking with staff and catching up with work, Comeau said. She most recently met with him on Feb. 17 and he seemed upbeat and happy about getting back.
   "We just had a great meeting -- that's why I was just so stunned this morning," Comeau told reporters at a press conference at district headquarters Wednesday. "It's just a tragedy this has occurred."
   On Feb. 6, 2003, Podvin appeared in a televised interview with Channel 2's Maria Downey and declared he had been sexually abused as an 18-year-old by Monsignor Frank Murphy, a priest who worked in parishes around Anchorage from 1960 to 1985. Podvin said he was going public because the Anchorage Archdiocese had failed to acknowledge that any local priest had sexually abused youngsters here, and he was also critical of retired Archbishop Francis Hurley, to whom he complained about Murphy in 1982 but who never personally responded afterward until after he went public.
Bishop reacts to report on sexual abuse
   WMTW, www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=1670728&nav=7k6rL6qd , ~ Feb 26, 2004
   PORTLAND (ME) (AP): Bishop Joseph Gerry says the state's report on sexual abuse of children by priests and other clergy members was thorough and impartial.
   In a written response to the state's reports, Gerry says different decisions would have been made today based on what the church has learned.
   Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe this week released a report on sexual abuse of children by priests and other clergy members, and said that of dozens of cases reviewed, none can be prosecuted.
   The cases came from files from the Catholic Diocese of Portland spanning the last 75 years.
Bishop Gerry apologizes to abuse victims
   Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/state/040226agreport.shtml , By JOHN RICHARDSON, Feb 26, 2004
   PORTLAND (ME): Portland Bishop Joseph Gerry apologized Wednesday for past reassignments of priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children, and especially for the "immeasurable suffering" caused by one of those priests after he was placed back in an unsuspecting parish.
   Gerry issued the unusual statement a day after Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe released a report saying that 63 priests and employees have been accused in the past 75 years, and that at least six of them were counseled and assigned to new parishes after church leaders were made aware of the abuse. In at least one case, according to the report, a priest allegedly abused at least 10 more young girls after he had been accused and transferred.
   "That reassignment took place in 1958 and the church learned of the subsequent abuse after his death (in 1990). On behalf of the church, I apologize to the victims for their immeasurable suffering and for the six reassignments of the past. Clearly, different decisions would be made today based on what we have learned about child abuse," the statement said.
   Neither Rowe nor church officials would name the priest or identify the parishes involved, citing privacy rights.
   The diocese now removes priests from the ministry after receiving allegations, and says no acting priests are the subject of credible accusations.
Man who claims Dupre abuse meets with DA
   Telegram & Gazette, www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040226/APN/402260745&cachetime=5 , The Associated Press, Feb 26, 2004
   SPRINGFIELD, Mass.: One of two men who say they were sexually abused by retired Bishop Thomas Dupre has offered to cooperate with a criminal investigation, according to his lawyer.
   Roderick MacLeish, who represents the two men who say Dupre abused them while he was a parish priest in the 1970s, said Wednesday that one of his clients met with Hampden District Attorney William Bennett for about four hours on Tuesday.
   Bennett has said it's too early to know if criminal charges will be filed, but the assistance of the victims would be important.
   "In cases like these that are old and involve sexual abuse and involve privacy issues, we would not want to proceed with out the support of the victims," he told The Republican of Springfield on Wednesday.
   MacLeish also said an e-mail and two letters had been sent to Dupre alleging he had molested his clients.
   MacLeish did not say who sent the e-mail and letters between 2002 and 2003, but is asking the diocese to preserve all pieces of correspondence Dupre may have received while bishop.
Holy Cross issues report on pedophiles [8 abusers]
   South Bend Tribune, www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2004/02/26/local.20040226-sbt-MARS-A1-Holy_Cross_issues.sto , By JESSICA TROBAUGH TEMPLE, Feb 26, 2004
   SOUTH BEND (IN): Eight priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, committed sexual abuse against children between 1950 and 2003, according to a document written by the province's superior for an investigation by the nation's bishops.
   Of the eight priests, four are deceased, two have left the religious order and two have been removed from ministry, the document states.
   The eight priests represent about 1 percent of the priests who were members of the province between 1950 and 2003, according to a document written by the provincial superior, the Rev. David T. Tyson.
   Tyson was not available for comment Wednesday.
   The letter indicates the information was voluntarily provided to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board, which in 2003 launched an investigation into the nature and scope of sexual abuse against minors in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church from 1950 to 2002.
Man Charged In Priest's Murder Faces Arraignment
   WKYT, www.wkyt.com/Global/story.asp?S=1671027&nav=4CALL6zH , ~ Feb 26, 2004
   LEXINGTON (KY): An Ohio man charged with the murder of a retired Catholic priest and sex offender will be arraigned Thursday.
   27-year-old Jason Anthony Russell has been indicted for the killing and on charges of burglary, theft and being a persistent felon.
   Police say Russell, of Ironton, Ohio, killed 78-year-old Joseph Pilger whose body was found Dec. 5 at his southeast Lexington home.
   The Fayette County Coroner's office ruled Pilger died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries. Russell also was convicted of robbery in Fayette County in 1997. He is being held without bond in the Fayette County jail, but a bond could be set at his court appearance Thursday.
   Pilger had shared his home with Russell, but Russell "unlawfully entered or remained unlawfully in the home" intending to commit a crime, the indictment says. Russell was arrested in Ironton in December. He waived extradition.
Ex-priest says just be honest
   Cincinnati Post, www.cincypost.com/2004/02/26/wall022604.html , By Kevin Eigelbach, Feb 26, 2004
   CINCINNATI (OH) - Former priest Patrick J. Wall says the Catholic Church needs to do three things to put the sexual abuse scandal behind it: get rid of the perpetrators, take care of the victims and be honest with people.
   For five years in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn., the then-Rev. Wall stepped in for priests removed from parishes for sexual misconduct. Now, he works for a law firm, Manley and McGuire in Costa Mesa, Calif., which represents 100 victims of priest sex abuse in three states.
   The numbers Cincinnati and other dioceses are releasing are less than transparent because they lack details such as names of priests, names of parishes where the abuse happened, the sex of the victim and other information, he said.
   "God is in the details," he said. "The only way we can come to any understanding of this horrific tragedy that came down is if we know the whole story. That's why priest personnel records need to be made public."
   If the Archdiocese of Cincinnati did that, it would bring to light false accusations, too, which would tarnish the reputation of innocent priests, spokesman Dan Andriacco said.
Abuse numbers questioned
   Cincinnati Post, www.cincypost.com/2004/02/26/priests022604.html , By Kevin Eigelbach, Feb 26, 2004
   CINCINNATI (OH): Advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests say numbers released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati probably underestimate the problem.
   "I do not trust the figures coming from the Cincinnati archdiocese," said Mason attorney Konrad Kircher, who represents 74 victims in lawsuits against the archdiocese. "They have never disclosed their records to any public view. In all my cases, they have resisted my attempts to look at their records.
   "This organization has been criminally convicted for failure to report crimes, but now they want (us) to trust their numbers without seeing their records. I don't buy it."
   The archdiocese reported Wednesday that as many as 49 priests were accused of 188 instances of child abuse from 1950 through 2003. That means about 6 percent of the 833 priests who served in the archdiocese over those years were accused.
Parish grills bishop
   Baraboo News Republic, http://baraboo.scwn.com/articles/2004/02/26/news/news3.txt , By Brian Bridgeford, Feb 26, 2004
   BARABOO (MI): None of the victims in alleged cases of sexual abuse by Baraboo priest Father Gerald Vosen has demanded payment, a Madison bishop said Wednesday, and local parishioners should continue to pray for him.
   Bishop Robert Morlino spent Ash Wednesday with the congregation of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He answered questions about Vosen's situation and the allegations against him from a large crowd early that evening.
   Morlino said he had to refer the case to higher authorities for further examination because a church committee determined the abuse could have happened.
   "If it could have happened, I have to refer it to Rome," said Morlino.
   Church officials have not determined Vosen is guilty of any wrong doing, he added. Vosen has maintained he is innocent.
Cardinal Asks For Prayerful Consideration Of Forthcoming Abuse Report [41, 2%]
   WBBM, www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=34789 , By WBBM Newsradio 780, 7:30 a.m., Thursday, February 26, 2004
   CHICAGO (IL): The statistics about to be released in a nationwide study of sexual abuse accusations involving Catholic priests over the last 54 years will be distasteful. But Francis Cardinal George says they won't be a surprise.
   Cardinal George says the Archdiocese has already warned Chicago-area Catholics that the statistics, compiled by the John Jay College of New York for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, show credible accusations against about two per cent of the priests who have served in the Archdiocese over the past 50 years.
   Earlier this week, the Joliet diocese, which encompasses DuPage, Will, Grundy, Kendall, Kankakee, Ford, and Iroquois counties, reported that 113 credible accusations have been made against 27 priests. Of that number, 14 are on administrative leave, eight have left the priesthood and five are dead.
   In the Peoria diocese downstate, credible accusations have been made against 14 priests, five of whom are dead.
3 Men Sue Former Priest for Alleged Abuse [1978-86]
   WBBM, www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=34791 , 7:30 a.m., Thursday, February 26, 2004
   CHICAGO (IL): Three men on Wednesday filed the latest lawsuits against a former priest who they claimed sexually abused them while he served at a Far Northwest Side parish during the 1970s and 1980s.
   Attorneys for Timothy Nockels and two men identified only as "E.M." and "J.D." filed the separate suits against John Baptist Ormechea, claiming their clients were molested as children attending Immaculate Conception Church, at 7211 W. Talcott Av., beginning as early as 1978 and continuing until 1986.
   The suits named Ormechea, his order, the Chicago-based Congregation of the Passion, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago as defendants.
   It was not until December 2002, when the Cook County state's attorney's office informed the religious order that four males reported being victims of Ormechea, did the order inform parishioners of allegations of sexual misconduct against the priest, the suits contend.
   The archdiocese should have informed parishioners that Ormechea was being assessed to determine whether he was a danger to children, the suit stated.
Pope asked to search bishop's files
   Albany Times Union, www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=222413&category=REGIONOTHER&BCCode=&newsdate=2/25/2004 , By BRIAN NEARING, Wednesday, February 25, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): A lawyer is asking Pope John Paul II to help him prove that church leaders knew about a 1995 letter from a local priest that accused Bishop Howard Hubbard of homosexuality -- allegations the bishop denies. John Aretakis wants the Pope to search Hubbard's confidential files in Rome for a letter purportedly written by the Rev. John Minkler, which said the bishop was an active homosexual and guilty of theological transgressions.
   Aretakis, who maintains that homosexual behavior would mean the bishop cannot fairly deal with victims of clergy sexual abuse, made the request in a letter sent Tuesday via the Pope's U.S. ambassador, Papal Nuncio Gabriel Montalvo.
   Aretakis represents clergy abuse victims and has unsuccessfully sued Hubbard and the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, claiming the church tried to keep victims from coming forward and mistreating those who do seek help.
   Earlier this month, Aretakis circulated the 1995 letter to local news media and identified Minkler as its author. Minkler, the longtime chaplain at the Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, sent the letter to the late Cardinal John O'Connor, Aretakis said.
Opinion: Keep the wolves away from the flock
   Paragould Daily Press, www.paragoulddailypress.com/articles/2004/02/26/news/opinion1.txt , Feb 26, 2004
   UNITED STATES: Call Scooby in for supper.
   The mystery's already been solved.
   According to a report -- prepared by a couple of experts and released on Monday by the Vatican -- the reason so many young boys have been sexually molested by Roman Catholic priests in the United States is the zero-tolerance policy toward such behavior that has been adopted by American bishops.
   No ... I'm not kidding.
   Quoting an article which appeared in Tuesday's edition of The New York Times:
   "The 219-page report, titled 'Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Scientific and Legal Perspectives,' casts that policy (zero-tolerance for child-molesting perverts of the cloth, I'm assuming) as an overreaction to the public outcry over the issue by Catholic Church leaders in the United States and as potentially counterproductive in trying to keep children safe from sexual abuse."
   That's only the second paragraph of the article, and already, I'm having serious misgivings as to the expertise of these "experts." Granted, I'm basically nothing more than an ignorant farm boy who went and got himself a little book learnin', but I really don't understand how exposing and defrocking a child-molesting priest could possibly be "counterproductive" to the goal of keeping children safe from sexual predation.
   But it gets even better. . . .
Can church handle truth?
   USA Today, www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-02-25-church-report-usat_x.htm , By Cathy Lynn Grossman, Feb 25, 2004
   UNITED STATES: On Friday, a lay board of prominent U.S. Catholics will release its accounting of the church's explosive child sexual abuse scandal, laden with numbers higher than any predictions. It also will issue a second report analyzing 50 years of church secrecy and mismanagement underlying the crisis. Yet the reports baring the details of the scandal will be, ultimately, "good news," the interim chairman of the group said Wednesday.
   The reports will steer bishops toward solutions and prompt them "to call in (their) people and put us to work" on urgent issues in Catholic life beyond the crisis, says Illinois Appellate Court Judge Anne Burke, head of the National Review Board.
   That rallying cry to the laity may be news to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which established the board at the apex of the scandal in June 2002. Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., president of the group, said last week that the lessons of Friday's reports are specific to the abuse crisis and the level of lay involvement will likely not "mutate" over to other issues.
   The painful numbers and sharp critique the bishops expect on Friday will show their forthright effort to address the abuse tragedy, prevent recurrence, and restore bishops' credibility with the nation's 65 million Catholics, he said.
The Church's Challenge [Negligence of bishops]
   New York Post, www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/16520.htm , By EILEEN P. FLYNN, February 26, 2004
   UNITED STATES: Catholics and all Americans will get sobering data tomorrow: The National Review Board will tell us what it has learned about how many priests sexually abused children in the 195 U.S. dioceses over the last half-century.
   The report also covers how many credible charges were brought by minors and how much money was paid in settlements.
   When I was going to Catholic schools from the 1940s to the '60s, and taking my children to Sunday Mass in the '70s and '80s, I never imagined that the Church in America would be contending with such a hideous pile of muck. But, here we are, finally about to face the full extent of what has happened and wondering how we can move on.
   It is not easy to envision how the Church will emerge from this crisis. Everyone realizes that significant hurdles remain to be cleared:
   First comes the need to correct flaws in church governance. Those of us who watched as the scandal played out know that the crisis is less about a small percentage of criminal priests and more about the egregious negligence of the bishops who supervised these priests and let them continue in ministry.
Priestly pedophilia: Soul murderers or "incidents"?
   Cruxnews.com ; www.cruxnews.com/NORNotes/nor-27feb04.html , for Feb 27, 2004
   NEW YORK: An intriguing op/ed piece showed up in The Post-Standard of Syracuse, NY, by Marianne Trent and Charles Bailey Jr. (Oct. 23, 2003).
   Both authors are local representatives of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests).
   The authors quote Bishop James Moynihan of the Diocese of Syracuse as recently saying, "It has been difficult to learn the diocese has not been immune to incidents of child abuse" (our italics). Moynihan has been the Ordinary of Syracuse since May 1995. Are we to believe that the priestly sex scandals in his Diocese have come as a bolt out of the blue? That he knew nothing about them?
   The authors zero in on the Bishop's gentle term "incidents." They say: "The definition of 'incident' is, 'liable to happen, an event, an episode.' An incident would be a shouting match, a blackout, a fender-bender, a shooting star, the emptying of a dugout during a baseball brawl." Rather, the authors say, priestly pedophilia is "better defined by words like 'sexual assaults,' 'ritual abuse,' 'horrors,' 'terrorism,' 'murders of the soul.'"
   Incidents! Your Freudian slip is showing, Bishop Moynihan.
   There's also Bishop Moynihan's gentle term "difficult." Why couldn't he say, "It has been outrageous to learn ... ." Maybe because he doesn't consider it outrageous.
Father Minkler's Letter and Notes
   Cruxnews.com ; http://dc711.tripod.com/letter , ~ Feb 26, 2004
   ALBANY (NY): This letter was personally given to Cardinal O'Connor by Father Minkler concerning the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY. It also contains Father Minkler's notes in the margins and at the end of the letter.
Priest's mysterious death complicates Albany bishop's quest to clear his name
   Cruxnews.com ; www.cruxnews.com/rose/rose-27feb04.html , by Michael S. Rose, for 27 February 2004
   ALBANY (NY): Two separate accusations that Bishop Howard Hubbard had homosexual relations, including paying for sex with a 16-year-old minor, have left the leader of the Albany diocese embarrassed and humiliated. At press conferences, in public statements, and on talk radio he has steadfastly refuted both allegations, saying that he has "never had sexual relations with anyone."
   But it is the death of Fr. John Minkler that has severely complicated matters for the accused bishop. Fr. Minkler, 57, was found dead in his home on Sunday, February 15. Three days before, the deceased priest was identified in a television news report as the author of a 1995 report addressed to New York's Cardinal John J. O'Connor. Among other things, the letter detailed "a ring of homosexual Albany priests" including Bishop Howard Hubbard's alleged long-term homosexual relationships with two younger priests.
   Police won't say how Fr. Minkler died, only that the circumstances surrounding his death are not yet clear. The coroner has yet to release his report of the autopsy.
   But that's only the beginning. Bishop Hubbard appears to be caught in a lie, and according to sources close to the late priest, the bishop may also have forced Fr. Minkler to lie.
Priest Abuse Survivors Doubt Church Report Will Show True Scope Of Abuse [1970s]
   WBBM, www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=34788 , By Steve Grzanich, WBBM Newsradio 780, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   CHICAGO (IL): One day before the expected release of a Roman Catholic Church report on priest abuse, victims of that abuse are making their voices heard. WBBM's Steve Grzanich sat in on a support group meeting Wednesday night here in Chicago.
   The priest abuse survivors say the report will not show the true scope of the problem.
   Brad who was abused by a priest in Chicago when he was a teenager in the 70's says it appears the church is still unwilling to let all the facts be known.
   "They're doing just to make it look like they're doing something not to really come clean."
   The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the report will list 11-thousand victims and 44-hundred offending clergy nationwide. The report scratches the surface the victims say. Many of those at the meeting claim they went uncounted and are not included in the data. The victims want more from church leaders.
   This victim says…"We want her protection. Every child wants the protection of their mother and mother church owes us that."
Priests are not the only abusers
   Mercury News, www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/8045118.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp , By Thomas G. Plante, ~ Feb 26, 2004
   UNITED STATES: On Friday, the John Jay Report on clergy sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church will be released to the public. It is an independent audit conducted by John Jay College in New York of all of the cases of clergy sexual misconduct of minors in the approximately 200 Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the United States. The report does not include priests or religious brothers who are members of the various religious orders such as the Jesuits, Dominicans, or Franciscans.
   While we do not yet know exactly what the study will conclude, many of us who have long been closely involved with research and clinical practice in this area believe that the project will conclude that approximately 5,000 priests (about 4 percent of the priests who served during the past 52 years) have sexually victimized approximately 20,000 minors (with an average of about four victims per abusive priest) during that time.
   Findings from the report will likely not come as a surprise.
   What will likely be missed by the media are some of the important and well-established facts regarding child sexual abuse in America that can help us keep the problem of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in perspective.
   Research from a variety of reliable sources suggest that about 20 percent of American women and about 15 percent of American men claim that they were sexually abused as children. This means that about 45 million of the 281 million Americans have (or will be) sexually victimized as children.
   About 80 percent of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members. Available research also suggests that other groups who have access to and unsupervised power over children (e.g., school teachers, Scout leaders, coaches and male clergy from other religious tradition) victimize children at percentages similar to those of Catholic priests during the same 52-year time period.
   The frequency of sexual abuse by others does not excuse priests or anyone from this horrific and immoral behavior; it underscores that sexual victimization of children is tragically not a rare occurrence. This has been true in the past and is sadly true today. That about 4 percent of priests have engaged in this behavior underscores that some moral and religious leaders (as well as some of their religious superiors) are not immune from very bad behavior. [Emphasis added] [Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:50 AM]
//////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Thursday, February 26, 2004

• Violent molester lives just 500m from school

  [Abuse not religion-based, but repeat offender was housed after release by Uniting Church.]
   The West Australian, Internet: "Molester lives near school;" Newspaper: "Molester lives just 500m from school," http://www.thewest.com.au/20040227/news/general/tw-news-general-home-sto120578.html , By Pamela Magill, p 1, Friday February 27, 2004
   PERTH: A convicted child molester has allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-boy after being allowed to live in a Uniting Church half-way house located just 500m from a primary school.
   The alleged assault has outraged residents in the Willagee area, who said yesterday they should have been made aware of the man's presence.
   The residents have started a petition in a bid to force authorities to tell them when paedophiles live in their area, which has another primary school and a high school nearby.
   The convicted child molester was released from jail just two months ago after serving less than five years of a 7½-year sentence for grievous bodily harm.
   He served an earlier sentence for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy after bashing him unconscious in 1991.
   The West Australian understands he has a long history of sexual and violent offences committed in WA and Victoria.
   The 34-year-old allegedly struck again at the weekend, assaulting the 12-year-old boy, who is understood to be recovering in hospital.
   Police believe he lured the boy to his home and used threats against the boy to abuse him over a period of hours.
   The man has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual penetration of a child under 13, one count of deprivation of liberty and threats to kill.
   He has been remanded in custody to appear in Fremantle Magistrate's Court on March 15.
   Local residents are devastated by the crime. Fiona Cox, who lives nearby, said that at the very least schools should have been told the paedophile lived nearby.
   "There are a lot of parents who are outraged in the community that this has happened," she said. "None of us knew this bloke was there in the first place, so close to a school."
   "If you know someone is like that you know not to go near them; we might have prevented it."
   The man was not subject to any conditions or restrictions when he was released from prison because he had not been eligible for parole.
   This meant he was, in effect, free to live where he wanted and did not have to complete any programs or rehabilitation.
   If he had been on parole, the Department of Justice would have had to assess and approve his living arrangements before he was given permission to move in.
   The Uniting Church said yesterday it regretted a person had been affected by someone living in an outreach house.
   The outreach program helped house people released from prison and helped reintegrate them into society.
   "Experience has shown that it has been a very successful program to help ex-prisoners to find their feet again in society and is an important contribution to help our society accept back these people," Uniting Church general secretary Rev Dr John Evans said.
   "We regret greatly that someone may have been affected by a person who has been housed in one of these houses.
   "We are not responsible for their behaviour, they are free to be in the community."
   Outreach Program coordinator Keith Larner said the house was reasonably placed from the local primary schools and in the past the Department of Justice had not precluded people from living there.
   He said he sought to have a fair knowledge of the people staying in the houses but they would not necessarily be excluded from a house because of past convictions. [Feb 27, 04]
• Catholic Priests Abused 10,600 Children -- Study calls it 'epidemic' - 4%
   Reuters, "Catholic Priests Abused 10,600 Children -- Study," http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4457831 , By Deborah Zabarenko, 02:25 PM ET, Fri Feb 27, 2004.
   UNITED STATES: Two studies of the United States Roman Catholic Church said that 10,667 children said they were molested by priests from 1950 to 2002. One report, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, revealed that the child sexual abuse involved 4,392 priests or 4 percent of U.S. RC clergy, and was probably an undercount.
   This study found reports of abuse peaked with the ordination class of 1970, from which one in 10 priests was eventually accused of abuse. Most victims were male, mainly boys 11 to 14 years old. $572 million had been paid in damages to abuse victims, including $85m from the Archdiocese of Boston, which announced it had 7% of its clergy accused.
   The statistic of at least 4% nationally differs markedly from the figure of "less than 1 percent" offered in 2002 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
   A second report said that much of the blame must be placed on the higher-ups. And, Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SNAP], said in a statement: "They want us to think it's all about a tiny group of bad-apple priests long ago. But it's not. It's about the bishops, not the priests. It's about the enablers, not the abusers." The recommendations included greater accountability of Church leaders, better interaction with civil authorities, and more meaningful participation by Church members
    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4457831

Catholic Priests Abused 10,600 Children - Study


Fri Feb 27, 2004 02:25 PM ET   (Page 1 of 2) By Deborah Zabarenko
   WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 10,600 children said they were molested by priests since 1950 in an epidemic of child sexual abuse involving at least 4 percent of U.S. Roman Catholic clergy, two studies reported on Friday.
   The reports' release brought an apology from Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and complaints from victims that the reports focus on the actual abusers but not on the bishops who failed to stop them.
   One of the reports, written by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, revealed that 10,667 children were allegedly abused by 4,392 priests from 1950 to 2002. But the report said the figures depend on self-reporting by American bishops and were probably an undercount.
   This study found reports of abuse peaked with the ordination class of 1970, from which one in 10 priests was eventually accused of abuse.
   Most victims were male, and of those, the largest single age group was boys 11 to 14 years old. Alleged abuses ranged from touching, with or without clothing, to oral sex and sexual intercourse.
   Some $572 million has been paid in damages to abuse victims, the report said, but noted this did not include $85 million paid by the Archdiocese of Boston, where the sex abuse scandal first grabbed headlines two years ago, and that 14 percent of dioceses who were not able to provide figures.
   The finding that at least 4 percent of American Roman Catholic priests were involved in child sexual abuse differs markedly from the figure of "less than 1 percent" offered in 2002 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
   The second report, a 145-page examination of the causes and context of the priestly sexual abuse crisis, was crafted by a panel of prominent Catholics who found systemic problems in the way candidates for the priesthood are chosen and guided. This report did not dispute the hard numbers of abusive priests and their victims reached by the John Jay researchers.
'HIGHER-UPS' TO BLAME
   "It's always bad when a child is abused, but when the abuser wears a collar, it's worse," said attorney Robert Bennett, a member of a panel. "Much of the blame, unfortunately ... must be placed on the higher-ups."
   The panel found two main factors contributing to priestly child sexual abuse, Bennett said at a news conference: dioceses failed to keep "dysfunctional and psycho-sexually immature men" out of the priesthood, and candidates for the priesthood were ill-prepared for lives of celibacy in a highly sexualized age.

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4457831&pageNumber=1   (Page 2 of 2)

   "At heart, what we are talking about is not only a ... personnel crisis; it's the age-old question of right and wrong, good and evil," Bennett said.
   This panel used interviews with 85 bishops and cardinals, Vatican officials, experts and a handful of victims to look at the culture in Catholic seminaries, where priests are trained, and chanceries, or church offices, that it said tolerated moral laxity and a gay subculture.
   "The picture that emerges, sadly, is one of those who broke faith with their people, their priesthood and their religious values to use their sacred position to prey on the young and the vulnerable, instead of safeguarding them with the tender love of Christ himself," Gregory said at a news conference.
   "On behalf of the bishops and the entire church in the United States, I restate and reaffirm our apologies to all of you have been harmed by those among us who violated your trust and the promises they made at their ordination," he said.
   But Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in a statement: "They want us to think it's all about a tiny group of bad-apple priests long ago. But it's not. It's about the bishops, not the priests. It's about the enablers, not the abusers."
   The John Jay researchers said 97 percent of the dioceses filled out their surveys, and called this an historically high response rate. They noted that pains were taken to ensure anonymity.
   The Archdiocese of Boston on Thursday released local figures from the reports, saying 7 percent of its priests were accused of abuse in the last 50 years.
   The report recommended: further study and analysis of the problem; better screening and oversight of candidates for the priesthood; more sensitivity and effectiveness in responding to allegations of abuse; greater accountability of bishops and other church leaders; better interaction with civil authorities, and meaningful participation by church members.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/ethics/ethcont70.htm#reuters270204
[Fri Feb 27, 2004]

Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Friday, February 27, 2004 edition follows:-
Archbishop of Washington Responds to Reports on Clergy Abuse [Picked on the males, mainly 11- to 14- y-o]
   ABC 7, www.wjla.com/news/stories/0204/129387.html , 2:59pm, Friday February 27, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC) (AP): The archbishop of Washington is responding to Friday's release of two reports on clergy abuse.
   Cardinal Theodore McCarrick says it's his prayer that the reports bring healing and assist in ensuring the "crisis" never happens again.
   A panel of prominent Roman Catholics rebuked U.S. bishops Friday for failing to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the last half-century.
   The exchange came as the National Review Board - a lay watchdog panel - issued two studies documenting the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002.
   One report is the first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases. It indicates there have been 10,667 abuse claims over 52 years. It also says more than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male, and over half said they were between ages eleven and 14 when they were assaulted.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 03:10 PM
Review board report cites unfit priests, negligent bishops for abuse crisis
   National Catholic Reporter, http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/bn022704.htm , By Joe Feuerherd, Washington, Posted at 2:27 p.m. CST, Friday, February 27, 2004
   WASHINGTON (DC): More than 10,000 children were abused by priests over the past half-century because the church failed to weed out candidates unfit for the priesthood while too many bishops put other priorities, such as "fear of scandal," ahead of protecting minors.
   Those are some of the central findings of the 145-page report on the causes of the sexual abuse crisis released Feb. 27 by the independent review board established by the bishops in June 2002 to investigate the crisis.
   The report did not spare the church hierarchy -- casting considerable blame for the crisis at the feet of bishops who were all-too-ready to excuse the abusive behavior of priests in their dioceses. Bishops failed to act against abusive priests, said the report, because they "treated allegations as sporadic and isolated," while the "fear of scandal caused them to practice secrecy and concealment."
The complete reports prepared by the U.S. bishops' National Review Board can be found online:
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research Study Website, http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/churchstudy/main.asp
  • The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Research Study Website, http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy
  • The Catholic Review Board Research Study Website, http://www.catholicreviewboard.com

  • Note: The documents are large and in PDF format. You may need to install Acrobat® Reader™, http://www.adobe.com , on your machine.
    New Orleans Archdiocese reports five new abuse cases
       Herald Tribune, www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040227/APN/402270882 , By DOUG SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer, Feb 27, 2004
       NEW ORLEANS (LA) Five new credible allegations of sex abuse by priests have been reported in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, bringing the total number to 41 since 1950, an archdiocese spokesman said Friday.
       The total does not include Catholic religious orders, which account for 75 percent of the church's active clergy in the archdiocese, Rev. William Maestri said. Those cases remain under investigation and Maestri said he did not know when those figures would be released.
       The new cases were reported since the Archdiocese last released figures on church sex abuse, on Jan. 24. The five cases involve two priests who had been removed from the priesthood before the allegations were made, Maestri said. The alleged abuses took place between the early 1970s and 1983; all the alleged victims are now adults.
       Maestri said he thought more victims have come forward recently because of a 2002 shift in church policy. He said the church now focuses less on protecting priests and the church from scandal, and more on helping both victims and priests in the aftermath of abuse allegations.
       "As more and more of this is discussed, more and more people see the response of the church to being forthright, to dealing with these in a calm and forthright fashion, I think people are coming forward," Maestri said.
    Archdiocese cites 142 abuse cases [55, 142, $US 39m]
       Chicago Tribune, www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-040227catholics,1,148338.story?coll=chi-news-hed , Tribune staff reports, Published 12:50 PM CST, February 27, 2004
       CHICAGO (IL): The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has spent nearly $39 million in the last 53 years dealing with sexual abuse by clergy, church officials disclosed today.
       Officials said they found reasonable cause to suspect sexual misconduct with minors had occurred in 142 cases involving 55 archdiocesan priests from 1950 to 2003, the period covered by the study released today. Most of the incidents occurred between 1970 and 1985, officials said.
       None of the accused priests currently are in ministry, Cardinal Francis George said at a news conference in Chicago to release the findings. The report also has been posted on the Archdiocesan Web site.
       Of the priests accused of abuse, 13 are deceased, 20 withdrew from ministry and 22 resigned from the priesthood, officials said. They made up about 2 percent of the 2,513 men who served in the local priesthood since 1950.
       "There is no priest in public ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago against whom there is credible reason to believe that the sexual abuse of minor marked his past," George said. "I believe what I can say for Chicago is true for other dioceses around the country."
       The dollar cost of clerical abuse to the Archdiocese has totaled $38.7 million, officials said. About $26.9 million went toward settlements and assistance to victims; $5.9 million to legal fees and $5.9 million to treating and monitoring accused priests.
    Local victims say clergy abuse numbers low [1960s]
       Courier, www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2004/02/27/news/top_news/42b9a8e3d586d66f86256e4700534e98.txt , By PAT KINNEY, Assistant City Editor, Feb 27, 2004
       WATERLOO (IA): Two Cedar Valley area victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church say a new church-commissioned study by an outside agency on the incidence of abuse nationwide severely underestimates the numbers of abusers and victims, and the extent to which church hierarchy ignored or covered up the crimes.
       Both local victims spoke on condition of anonymity.
       "To me, it doesn't matter if it's 11,000, 1,100, 11, or one," one victim said. "The real tragedy is that there were always priests who knew (of the abuse) and stood idly by and did nothing. The church from the deanery level, to the archdiocese, to Rome, knew this was a problem, and they did nothing. And for their silence, they should be ashamed."
       "My response is that the numbers are still low," said a second victim. "The study's not clear, but I'm almost positive they're only counting the diocesan priests. They're not counting monks that have abused, they're not counting nuns that have abused. They're not counting the vulnerable adults, who in times of crisis have gone to a priest or nun who, because of their authority, took advantage of them."
       Both local victims were abused about 40 years ago within the Archdiocese of Dubuque. One of the victims was abused in the Waterloo area; the other was abused outside the area but now lives within the Cedar Valley. Both have reported their incidents to archdiocesan authorities. Both believe they have been psychologically damaged by the incidents. One is still a practicing Catholic; the other, while still professing religious faith, is not.
    Archdiocese releases study on abuse in the church [21 abused 58]
       News 9, http://news9sanantonio.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=9596 , By James Lozada, News 9 San Antonio, Updated 2:13 PM, Feb/27/2004
       SAN ANTONIO (TX): One priest has been removed from the ministry after accusations of abuse.
       Earlier today, the Archdiocese of San Antonio released statistics about the sexual abuse of minors in the church today.
       The report shows since 1950 21 priests in the archdiocese have been accused of abusing minors. In all, 58 people make up the list of victims.
       One priest was removed from the clerical state and the 20 others were removed from ministry, archdiocese officials said.
       The statistics are in cooperation with two long-awaited studies on sexual abuse by priests across the nation.
       The American Catholic Bishops commissioned the studies; 97 percent of U.S. dioceses cooperated with the request.
       [COMMENT: Contrast the 97% co-operated with a previous report that 82% had fully complied, and other reports that 90% had. COMMENT ENDS.]
    Baltimore archdiocese reports 226 abuse victims [83 abused 226]
       Baltimore Sun, www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-localchurch0227,0,5194604.story?coll=bal-local-headlines , The Associated Press, 2:44 PM EST, February 27, 2004
       BALTIMORE (MD): Priests sexually abused 226 children in the Archdiocese of Baltimore over a period of more than 50 years, the archdiocese said today.
       The archdiocese also said it knew of 83 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse. None is still in ministry.
       The numbers of victims and accused priests were in the archdiocese's submission to two national studies of the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002. The studies were released today by the National Review Board, a lay panel formed by Catholic bishops. The first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases found 10,667 abuse claims nationwide over 52 years.
       Baltimore Cardinal William Keeler described the studies as another step in the church's healing process.
    Victims of church abuse still coming forward in Alabama
       AL.com ; www.al.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-6/10779131467201.xml , By JAY REEVES, The Associated Press, 2:09 p.m. CT, Feb/27/2004
       BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP): Donald Hearn is positive the Roman Catholic church understated the number of children who were sexually abused by Alabama priests, because his case isn't on the list.
       Hearn is one of two people who have come forward publicly in recent days to allege widespread molestation at the Catholic Boys' Home in Mobile, where he lived with dozens of other youths from 1955 to about 1961.
       While the church released figures on Friday showing it knows of 10,667 abuse claims nationally since 1950, Hearn's allegations weren't included.
       That's because Hearn, now 57, said he gave up trying to report molestation by two Catholic "brothers" at the home after the priest in whom he confided as a boy also fondled him. He said he was telling his story publicly now in hopes others will step forward.
       Physical abuse and sexual molestation were common at the home, Hearn said in an interview Friday as the national report was released.
       "The Catholic church is still not coming forward and telling the truth," he said. "They're still hiding under the cloth."
    • Excerpts From Catholic Board Report
       News Journal, www.news-journal.com/news/ content/news/ap_story. html/National/AP.V6361. AP-Church-Abuse- Ex.html;COXnetJSession ID=A1sZha117VDGh 5tzG9ueeRuRn59 ZPizXz3e1EXV1t BgqLrbRHrHm!- 169744124?urac= n&urvf=1077914 7774664.34996968 3384858E-4 ; The Associated Press, AP-NY, 1527EST, Feb 27, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Excerpts from the "causes and context" report on the clerical sex abuse crisis in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church. The report was issued Friday by the National Review Board, a panel of prominent lay Catholics:
    THE KEY ISSUES:
       "First, why did individuals with a disposition to prey sexually upon minors gain admission to the priesthood? Second, how did they manage to remain in the priesthood even after allegations and evidence of such abuse became known?"
    THE BISHOPS' SHORTCOMINGS:
       "1) A failure to grasp the gravity of the problem ... 2) deficiencies in the response to victims; 3) unwarranted presumptions in favor of accused priests; 4) reliance on secrecy and an undue emphasis on the avoidance of scandal; 5) excessive reliance on the therapeutic model in dealing with priest offenders; 6) undue reliance upon legal advice ... 7) a failure to hold themselves and other bishops accountable."
    U.S. Bishops Faulted over Sex Abuse
       NPR, http://news.npr.org/top.html
       UNITED STATES: A lay panel of prominent Roman Catholics issues two reports strongly criticizing U.S. bishops for failing to stop sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. One report finds that, since 1950, 4 percent of priests have been accused of sexually abusing minors. A companion study blames bishops for keeping allegations of abuse secret. Hear NPR News. Feb. 27, 2004
    Allegations Made Against Monsignor Nicolau
       KGBT, www.team4news.com/Global/story.asp?S=1672794 , February 26, 2004
       TEXAS: Shocking, powerful allegations are being flung against the Catholic diocese and Monsignor Juan Nicolau.
       Four ex-employees of the San Juan Basilica say they reported the monsignor for several alleged wrong doings and then were fired, or forced to quit as retaliation.
       "He would go to the shop and for no reason say 'estos animales, ustedes son animales,' (you animals, you all are animals)."
       "Well to me this person is a very evil person."
       These are hardly the descriptions that come to mind when referring to Monsignor Juan Nicolau - one of the highest ranking priests within the Brownsville catholic diocese.
       But four ex-workers of the basilica are now firing harsh allegations against him.
    Bishop Wilton D. Gregory on abuse report
       Newsday, www.nynewsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-gregoryremarks,0,853767.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines , February 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): Bishop Gregory's Remarks at USCCB News Conference, Feb. 27, 2004
       Remarks by Belleville Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the release of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Study on "The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002" and the National Review Board's "Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States," USCCB news conference, February 27, 2004.
       First of all, I want to thank my brothers for joining me on this panel: Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse; and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, chairman of the Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry.
       These bishops not only hold important posts in the Bishops' Conference; but, even more important, as pastoral leaders, in their own ministry, they have faced up to the terrible problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
    Chronology of major events in abuse crisis
       Newsday, www.nynewsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/sns-law-chronology,0,5865521.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines , The Associated Press, December 13, 2002
       UNITED STATES: Here are some key dates in the abuse crisis in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church:
    1984: Bernard Law appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston. Elevated to cardinal the next year.
    1985: Louisiana priest Gilbert Gauthe pleads guilty to molestation charges involving 11 boys. Draws national attention to clerical sex abuse for the first time.
    1985: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets behind closed doors in Collegeville, Minn., to discuss sex abuse by priests.
    1992: Allegations surface that the Rev. James Porter of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., molested children in five states in the 1960s and 1970s. The next year, he pleads guilty to 41 sex assault counts.
    Church abuse victim laid to rest
       Providence Journal, www.projo.com/ap/ma/1077901954.htm , The Associated Press , February 27, 2004
       MILTON, Mass. (AP): An outspoken victim of clergy sexual abuse was mourned Friday by friends and family who praised his courage in being one of the first Boston victims to go public.
       Patrick McSorley, 29, a victim of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, was found dead Monday in a friend's apartment in Boston's North End. The cause of death has not yet been released by the state medical examiner's office.
       About 300 people attended a funeral Mass for McSorley Friday at the St. Pius X church in Milton. There was no mention of the clergy sex abuse scandal during the service.
       McSorley's lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said afterward that McSorley will be remembered for being a strong voice for victims of sexual abuse by priests.
       "His pain will never be forgotten and will serve as a reminder for all those who have suffered at the hands of pedophiles," Garabedian said.
    U.S. officials at Vatican welcome release of sex abuse studies
       Catholic News Service http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0401123.htm , By John Thavis, of Catholic News Service, Story of the day: Transmitted Feb 27 2004
       VATICAN CITY (CNS): Two top U.S. officials at the Vatican welcomed the release of new studies on clergy sexual abuse in the United States, saying they will help the church address the root causes of the scandal.
       Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, formerly archbishop of Denver, said the 145-page report on the causes of sex abuse, carried out by the exclusively lay National Review Board, represented a courageous step by U.S. bishops and should serve as a model for other institutions. He said it had highlighted a "crisis" in understanding and appreciating priestly celibacy.
       Archbishop John P. Foley, formerly a Catholic newspaper editor in Philadelphia, said that although it was very disappointing to learn that 4 percent of priests have been accused of sexual abuse the commissioning of the studies by U.S. bishops was "a very good corporate examination of conscience."
    Sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church
       WOOD TV, www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1674177&nav=0RceL92B , 11:46 a.m., February 27, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Blame the bishops, at least in part. That is one of the findings in part two of a series examining the Catholic church sex scandal.
       A group commissioned by a group of American bishops found four percent of Catholic clergy have been accused of abuse. Since 1950, nearly 11,000 children, most of them boys, have accused Catholic clergymen of sexual abuse. They released the report today in Washington, D.C.
       The group blames what it calls "moral laxity" on the part of the bishops for failing to discipline priests accused of rape. There have been 35 substantiated cases of abuse including eight different priests in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. The diocese has dealt with the cases accordingly and since then have implemented new policies and programs to prevent abuse from happening again.
       Bishops from West Michigan attended a conference in Dallas in 2002 where they addressed the crisis in the church. The report released today says some bishops realized what was happening in the church and tried to get the Vatican to change church law to act against abusers, but to no avail.
       Today, Bishop Kevin Britt of the Diocese of Grand Rapids said he would do whatever it takes to end sexual abuse of children. In a statement to 24 Hour News 8, Bishop Britt said, "on behalf of the diocese, I apologize for the crimes of sexual abuse of minors that has occurred in the past. I extend heartfelt apologies to the victims and their families for any failures in addressing this matter."
    26 priests, 96 children listed in Tucson Diocese abuse report [2%]
       AZCentral.com ; www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0227churchabuse-ON.html , Associated Press, 07:50 AM, Feb. 27, 2004
       TUCSON (AZ): The Diocese of Tucson released its own report on sex abuse by clergy today, stating that credible accusations of sex abuse have been made against 26 priests since the 1950s. The allegations involved 96 children.
       Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas says the figures represent two percent of the priest who have served in the Tucson diocese since 1950.
       The diocese says three of the priests accused are in prison for sexual abuse convictions. Ten of the accused are dead. Seven have retired and are banned from ministering. Nine of the accused have been suspended from the ministry.
    Saginaw Diocese numbers are 'on the unusually low end' [5]
       SAGINAW (MI): The Saginaw News, www.mlive.com/news/sanews/index.ssf?/base/news-9/1077897272208951.xml , by DENISE FORD-MITCHELL, Friday, February 27, 2004
       Catholic Diocese of Saginaw officials today reported they received nine accusations of child sex abuse involving four priests and one permanent deacon during a 52-year period.
       Two of the priests have since died and the remaining three men no longer serve in ministry, the diocese's Office of Communication said in an unsigned press release.
       In addition, the diocese did not pay any money to resolve the cases, nor has it paid or loaned money to other diocese to help pay costs for sexual abuse claims, the press release said. The diocese did not name the priests or deacon.
       "I apologize to anyone who has been victimized by a trusted member of the church," Bishop Kenneth E. Untener, head of the 139,825-member diocese, said in the release.
       "We need to use this opportunity to open up awareness of child abuse. This is not only a church issue, but a tragic reality that exists throughout society. Our public failures, embarrassing as they are, could produce the good effects of more openness across all of society in dealing with this problem."
    McDowell labelled a 'hypocrite' over Investigations Bill Ireland, Republic of / Eire, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       IRELAND: Politics.ie ; www.politics.ie/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3719 , Friday, February 27, 2004
    More news from Justice
       The Labour spokesperson on Justice, Deputy Joe Costello has welcomed the second stage reading of the Commissions of Investigations Bill 2003 which is due to be tabled in the Dail next week. He made his comments after tabling a question to Minister McDowell, which asked when an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse in the Dublin Diocese would take place.
       "At last following pressure to bring this legislation to the Dail, we will have the chance to debate it next week. While this is certainly a welcome move, it is long overdue having been first announced in October 2002.
       "The Minister has been telling the media and the One in Four group that the problem in the past has been because the Opposition would not cooperate. We have made it clear on more than one occasion that we wish to facilitate his proposals on this matter. However, he is deliberately misleading the public and as a result nothing has happened on the Bill.
    New York-area dioceses reveal history of clergy sex abuse [49, 136, $US 6.22m; + +]
       NEW YORK: Newsday, www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ny--churchabuse-metro0227feb27,0,934989.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire , 11:23 AM EST, February 27, 2004,
       A review of a half century of complaints by the metropolitan area's three Roman Catholic dioceses found 456 victims had accused 202 priests of sexual abuse, according to statistics released by the church on Friday.
       Here is a breakdown of the reports filed by the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre:
    NEW YORK:
       Between 1950 and 2002, the archdiocese has recorded complaints by 136 people against 49 priests. Thirty-eight were assigned to the archdiocese, seven were priests from other jurisdictions who were serving in New York, and four others were cleared of sexual abuse allegations.
       The archdiocese paid $6,222,357 for counseling and settlements for those who were abused, $1,105,846 for counseling and treatment of clerics, and $1,229,098 in legal fees. [...]
    Bishop disputes liability for sex abuse [1960s] New Zealand flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       NEW ZEALAND: The New Zealand Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3551920&thesection=news&thesubsection=general , By EUGENE BINGHAM, Feb 28, 2004
       The Catholic Bishop of Auckland told three brothers sexually abused by a priest that the church was not legally responsible for his actions.
       Bishop Patrick Dunn's comments have stunned the three men and surprised lawyers, who say the church is liable - regardless of whether it knew about the offending at the time.
       The three brothers, Mike, Gerry and Chris Ledingham, have reached a $150,000 settlement over abuse they suffered in an Auckland parish 40 years ago. But they remain horrified by the church's approach to handling sexual abuse complaints.
       In an email to one of the brothers, Bishop Dunn said he was willing to make an ex gratia payment to express sorrow although he had reservations about how responsible the church was for the actions of Father Frank Green decades ago.
    Report says clergy sexual abuse brought 'smoke of Satan' into church ["sinfulness"]
       Catholic News Service, www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0401120.htm , By Jerry Filteau, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC) (CNS): In its report Feb. 27 on the causes of the U.S. clergy sexual abuse crisis, the National Review Board said "grievously sinful" acts of priests and inaction by bishops let "the smoke of Satan" enter the church.
       "As a result the church itself has been deeply wounded. Its ability to speak clearly and credibly on moral issues has been seriously impaired," said the all-lay board, which the bishops established in 2002 to monitor their efforts to bring an end to sexual abuse of minors by priests.
       Among the many ways the crisis can be viewed, it said, "the board believes that the overriding paradigm that characterizes the crisis is one of sinfulness" -- priests committing grave sins against children and bishops committing grave sins of failing "to protect their people from predators."
       The often scathing report was an unprecedented lay critique of Catholic hierarchical policies and practices, written at the behest of the bishops themselves.
       In their "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" adopted at their June 2002 meeting in Dallas, the bishops established the review board. Part of the mandate they gave it was to develop two separate studies on the clergy sexual abuse crisis -- one on its nature and scope and another on its context and causes.
    National sex abuse study holds insights on causes, prevention [> 4400 accused]
       iobserve ; www.iobserve.org/nn0224b.html , By Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC) (CNS): Statistics tied to a national study of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy focus on peak periods of abuse from the late 1960s through the 1980s, an abundance of single-incidence abusers, and an overwhelming majority of teenage victims.
       Such data covering the 1950-2002 period provides information about the nature and scope of the situation. It also gives church leaders and child-care specialists key insights in understanding causes of abuse and in judging methods of prevention.
       Preliminary figures showed that more than 4,400 clergymen were accused of child sex abuse.
       "The large number is sobering" but in keeping with "ballpark figures" developed by specialists, said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
       More important than the numbers is what measures are needed to prevent child sex abuse, he told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.
    Men who claim abuse by Bishop Dupré
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): iobserve ; www.iobserve.org/rn0226c.html , By Father Bill Pomerleau, Observer staff, Feb. 26 2004
       Two men alleging that they had been abused by retired Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupré indirectly told their stories to the public through their attorney, and directly talked to a prosecutor this week.
       By late afternoon Feb. 26, a preliminary church investigation of the charges against the bishop was also underway.
       According to the "Statement of Episcopal Commitment" adopted by the U.S. bishops' at the same time as their "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Persons," the metropolitan, or archbishop in an ecclesiastical province is informed of allegations of abuse against a bishop. In the case of the Diocese of Springfield, that is Boston Archbishop Séan O'Malley.
       However, the actual investigation is conducted by the Vatican itself, according to a Feb. 26 statement by the diocese.
       Mark E. Dupont, spokesman for the diocese, told The Catholic Observer that a planned meeting between at least one of the alleged victims and Boston archdiocesan victim advocate Barbara Thorpe will take place Friday. Springfield's victim advocate Laura Failla Reilly has been invited to also attend the meeting, designed to allow the victims to "tell their stories" to the church.
    Reflections On A Press Conference And Agony In Albany
       ALBANY (NY): The Wanderer, http://thewandererpress.com/b2-26-2004.htm , By PAUL LIKOUDIS (anti-paedophile journalist), Feb 26, 2004
       Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany held a press conference on February 16. This was one day after Fr. John Minkler was found dead in his home in Watervliet, two days after Minkler was reportedly directed to sign an affidavit denying he wrote a letter to John Cardinal O'Connor, detailing sexual immorality and other problems in the Diocese of Albany. Bishop Hubbard explained, as reported by WNYT-TV's John Allen that evening:
       "Fr. Minkler made an appointment to see me and he told me that he did not author the letter, and he wanted to be with me face to face and to assure me that he had not written anything to Cardinal O'Connor about me. . . . He did not know the priests that were named in the letter, and he did not know how his name got associated with the letter."
       In that June 10, 1995 letter to Cardinal O'Connor, Fr. Minkler provided background information on more than a dozen priests he claimed were homosexual. (See accompanying news story for more background about Fr. Minkler and the letter.)
       More than four years earlier than that, Fr. Minkler provided that same information and other material to this reporter for part IX of The Wanderer's ten-part series Agony in Albany, "The Bishop and His Circle," which appeared 13 years ago, beginning on March 7, 1991.
    Mystery Surrounds Death Of Priest
       The Wanderer, http://thewandererpress.com/a2-26-2004.htm , By PAUL LIKOUDIS (anti-abuse writer), Feb 26, 2004
       ALBANY, N.Y.: Fr. John Minkler, 57, was found dead Sunday, February 15. This was 48 hours after he was directed by the Diocese of Albany, N.Y. - according to what he told this reporter - to sign a statement denying he ever wrote a letter nearly nine years ago to the late John Cardinal O'Connor. That letter, in part, mentioned "a ring of homosexual Albany priests which also included Bishop Howard Hubbard.
       Refreshed after a week-long retreat at a Trappist monastery in Spencer, Mass., Fr. Minkler returned to his home in Watervliet on the morning of Friday, February 13, and found a message on his telephone answering machine requesting him to come to the chancery to discuss the letter, which surfaced at a February 12 press conference at which Hubbard was denying public accusations he had been involved in homosexual relationships.
       That telephone call from Fr. Kenneth Doyle, diocesan spokesman and both a civil and canon lawyer, and an old friend of Minkler's since the time they both served as altar boys at the same parish church in Troy, ordered Minkler to come to the chancery at once.
       At the meeting, at which Hubbard was not present - as Fr. Minkler told this reporter and other close friends immediately afterward - Fr. Doyle presented Minkler with an affidavit declaring that he never wrote the letter to O'Connor; that he had never spoken with attorney John Aretakis (who handed out two copies of the letter to reporters, some of whom already had it) - which was true; that he had never made such allegations against Hubbard; and that he had "never, in writing or otherwise, communicated with the Archdiocese of New York regarding such allegations."
       The affidavit concluded: "I make this statement of my own free will and I know that making a false statement is a crime."
    10,667 Children Report Abuse by Priests - Study
       Reuters, www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4455997§ion=news , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC) (Reuters): More than 10,600 children said they were molested by priests since 1950 in an epidemic of child sexual abuse involving at least 4 percent of U.S. Roman Catholic priests, two studies reported on Friday.
       The two studies, which were commissioned by U.S. Catholic bishops in 2002, said the abuse peaked with the ordination class of 1970, from which one in 10 priests was eventually accused of abuse.
       The report revealed that 10,667 children were allegedly victimized by 4,392 priests from 1950 to 2002, but said the figures depend on self-reporting by American bishops and were probably an undercount.
       The Archdiocese of Boston on Thursday released local figures from the reports, saying 7 percent of its priests were accused of abuse in the last 50 years.
       A group of academics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York conducted one of the reports. It said 97 percent of the dioceses filled out its surveys.
       The other report, on the causes and context of the crisis, was written by a team of prominent Catholic lawyers, judges, business people and bishop-appointed professionals on a national review board.
    Statement Regarding John Jay Self-Survey Numbers
       UNITED STATES: Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SNAP], http://snapnetwork.org/snap_statements/022704_john_jay_numbers.htm , February 27, 2004
       "It's clear what American bishops want. They want us to think it's all about a tiny group of bad apple priests long ago.
       But it's not. [...]
    National Review Board, John Jay & Audit Reports
       WASHINGTON (DC): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb. org/nrb/ johnjaystudy/ index.htm , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States
       A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
       In June 2002 the full body of Catholic bishops of the United States in their General Meeting in Dallas approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter created a National Review Board, which was assigned responsibility to commission a descriptive study, with the full cooperation of the dioceses/eparchies, of the nature and scope of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The National Review Board engaged the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York to conduct research, summarize the collected data and issue a summary report to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops of its findings. This report by the John Jay College is authorized for publication by the undersigned. [...]
    Catholic Panel Rebukes Bishops for Abuse
       Idaho State Journal, www.journalnet.com/articles/2004/02/26/ap/Headlines/d80vln500.txt , By RACHEL ZOLL, Feb 26, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): A panel of prominent Roman Catholics rebuked U.S. bishops Friday for failing to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the last half-century, calling the leaders' performance "shameful to the church."
       The comments came as the National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the bishops, issued two highly anticipated studies documenting the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002.
       One report is the first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases: It found there have been 10,667 abuse claims over those 52 years. More than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and over half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were assaulted.
       About 4 percent of all American clerics who served during the years studied -- 4,392 of the 109,694 priests and others under vows to the church -- were accused of abuse.
       The second report examines the causes of the molestation crisis and puts much of the blame on American bishops for not cracking down on errant priests.
    Vatican to decide Dupre's fate
       Republican, http://masslive.com/news/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-1/107787190265930.xml , By BILL ZAJAC, wzajac@repub.com , Feb/27/2004
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield will lead the investigation into the allegations that former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre sexually abused two minors, but the Vatican will decide any possible action against him.
       A day after apologizing to the alleged victims for confusion surrounding a potential investigation, the Springfield diocese announced yesterday the process for the investigation.
       Officials from both the Springfield diocese and the Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday the confusion was related to the unique task before them. Dupre is the first bishop in New England accused of sexual abuse of minors and could be the first in the United States criminally prosecuted if the district attorney presses charges.
       In following the 2002 U.S. bishops' policy on clergy sexual abuse, all allegations other than those against a bishop are investigated by local diocesan review boards.
       "This is an odd situation. I don't think anyone anticipated this situation arising when the policy was established," said the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston.
    Parishioners ask why priest stole money
       FITCHBURG (MA) Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, www.sentinelandenterprise.com/Stories/0,1413,106~4992~1981307,00.html , By Matt O'Brien, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       Many members of the Immaculate Conception Church said they spent Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, with the same question on their mind:
       Why did the Rev. Donald Ouellette, who pleaded guilty to 18 counts of larceny Tuesday, steal more than $250,000 of parish money from the church where he was pastor?
       "I think a lot of the people would just like to forget about it, but I think it would be nice to get an explanation," said lifelong church member Denise Barber of Fitchburg. "I feel sorry, and a lot of people feel sorry for his family -- his mother and his family."
       With churchgoers like Barber in mind, Superior Court Judge Peter Agnes on Tuesday accepted Ouellette's guilty plea in Worcester Superior Court but told the priest to explain where he sent or spent the stolen money before Agnes sentences him in May.
       "He was very trusted; everybody loved him. To do what he did was absolutely devastating," Barber said Wednesday. "I wonder why he waited so long to say he was guilty."
    National abuse study includes 5 isle priests
       HONOLULU (HI) Star-Bulletin, http://starbulletin.com/2004/02/27/news/story2.html , By Mary Adamski, madamski@starbulletin.com , Feb 27, 2004
       Five Hawaii Catholic priests removed from duty for allegedly sexually assaulting minors are among the thousands of cases counted in a nationwide study being released today by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
       The Honolulu diocese provided information for the study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to determine the nature and scope of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons since 1950. The report was to be released this morning in Washington, D.C., by Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the American bishops conference.
       The Associated Press reported that the church-sanctioned study found that 4,392, or about 4 percent, of the 109,694 clergy who served since 1950 have faced allegations of abuse.
       Honolulu diocese spokesman Patrick Downes said that of about 530 priests who served in Hawaii since 1950, fewer than 1 percent have been removed because of substantiated accusations of sexual abuse of a minor.
       Honolulu Bishop Francis DiLorenzo pulled two priests from public ministry since the national scandal of sexual predator priests arose in January 2002, but one of those was not counted in the survey because the alleged abuse occurred in the Philippines.
    Checking the past [1998-99 Frederick; 2001 White] - Covenant Community, Calvary Church, Mennonite Church. Girls; boys
       The Reporter, www.thereporteronline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11034379&BRD=2275&PAG=461&dept_id=466404&rfi=6 , By BETH COHEN, Feb/27/2004
       PENNSYLVANIA - Though it's not mandated by state law‚ local churches‚ synagogues and other religious institutions are conducting criminal background checks on any employee or volunteer who works with children.
       "I think it's unfortunate that we live in a day and age when this has to be a must‚ but any organization when you have people working with children they must be above board‚" said Susan Kasper‚ executive director of Tiferet Bet Israel synagogue in Blue Bell.
       Recent high-profile criminal cases have brought attention to religious organizations when staff members or volunteers were caught abusing children in their care.
       Thomas Lee Frederick‚ 26‚ of Franconia‚ a former youth group leader with the Covenant Community Fellowship in Lansdale and Franconia‚ was sentenced in January 2001 to one to 23 months in Montgomery County prison for indecently assaulting two young girls during incidents at his house in 1998 and 1999.
       And Howard Earl White Jr.‚ a former volunteer youth minister with the Calvary Church in Hilltown‚ and later with the East Swamp Mennonite Church in Milford‚ is serving [?] to 7 years in state prison for inappropriate sexual conduct involving 20 young boys.
       White‚ 42‚ of Perkasie‚ initially had been arrested for videotaping four boys simulating sexual acts in February 2001‚ and later was re-arrested for making home videos of 16 other boys who were sexually abused.
    Daytona Beach Methodist Pastor Sued For Allegedly Molesting Teenager [1998-2003 Frazier] - Methodist. Girl.
       WFTV, "Daytona Beach Pastor Sued For Allegedly Molesting Teen Girl," www.wftv.com/news/2879458/detail.html , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: A prominent pastor and chaplain at Bethune-Cookman College has been sued for allegedly molesting a teenage girl who sought his guidance.
       The woman, now an adult, accuses the Rev. Michael A. Frazier of molesting her during a six-year period, beginning in 1998, when she was 14.
       Frazier, a pastor of Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church, is also an adjunct professor and chaplain at Bethune-Cookman.
       Frazier referred requests for comment to his attorney, Grady Irvin, who said he had not reviewed the lawsuit late Thursday.
       Irvin also represented Frazier in a sexual abuse investigation by Ormond Beach police last summer. No criminal charges have been filed in the case, Irvin said.
    Priest accused of getting child porn [2004 Ingalls] - RCC.
       BUFFALO (NY) Buffalo News, www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040227/1016563.asp , By JAY TOKASZ, DAN HERBECK and ELMER PLOETZ, Feb/27/2004
       The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo suspended a veteran priest Thursday after he was charged by federal authorities with receiving child pornography.
       The Rev. Fred D. Ingalls, 56, was arrested after a search of the rectory at St. Joseph Parish in Varysburg, where investigators with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they found a computer upstairs with about 100 images of child pornography.
       Investigators were led to Ingalls when they matched his credit card number and e-mail address with a subscription to eight Web sites that contained child pornography, according to court papers.
       The priest was in handcuffs and nonclerical attire as federal agents led him into the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio for an afternoon arraignment.
       "These are serious charges," Foschio said. "Yes, I know," said Ingalls, who was ordained a priest in 1974 and has served at several parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo.
    Catholic Church releasing sex abuse reports
       CNN, http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/02/27/church.abuse , Posted: 1431 GMT (10:31 PM HKT), Friday, February 27, 2004
       NEW YORK (CNN): More than 11,000 sexual abuse allegations involving minors were leveled against more than 4,000 priests between 1950 and 2002, according to one of two studies the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will release Friday.
       Two national studies on the scandal are set for release. One study will list statistics on perpetrators and victims, and another deals with the causes and context of the scandal.
       CNN reviewed a draft of the report on the nature and scope of sex abuse, compiled from a nationwide survey of church records conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York for the bishops' conference. Officials said the report may contain minor changes before its release.
       According to the draft report, more than half of 4,450 accused priests had a single allegation against them, 25 percent had two or three allegations, and 13 percent had four to nine allegations.
    L.A. to Disclose Clergy Abuse [244 abused 656]
       Newsday, www.nynewsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-priests17feb17,0,3932498.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines , By Larry B. Stammer, February 17, 2004
       LOS ANGELES (CA): In an unprecedented accounting of church sexual abuse over three-quarters of a century, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony plans to report today that 244 priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians have been accused of molesting 656 minors in the Los Angeles archdiocese since 1931.
       Not all of the allegations are truthful - indeed, the report lists some accusations that have been discredited. But the number of false accusations is outweighed by the number of abuse cases that have never been reported, church officials and victims advocates agreed.
       Over the years, sexual abuse was "woefully underreported," the report acknowledges.
       Of the 656 individuals who said they were sexually abused as minors, 519 were boys and 137 were girls. All of the reported molestations took place before 2000, with eight alleged to have taken place since 1995. The lion's share of the allegations, however, were reported after 2000, when many long-silent victims, emboldened by a burgeoning national scandal, stepped forward.
       In issuing its report, the archdiocese said the time had come for the church to leave its "cocoon of silence." The history of abuse is "a sorrowful story" in the life of the Los Angeles church, the report says.
    Fresno diocese finds abuse below average [8, $US 90,000]
       Fresno Bee, www.fresnobee.com/local/story/8198122p-9048665c.html , By Ron Orozco, Updated 5:36 AM, Friday, February 27, 2004
       FRESNO (CA) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno had eight substantiated reports of child abuse by priests from 1950-2002 and settled with two victims, both for $45,000, in the same time period, a diocesan official said Thursday.
       The statistics were compiled as part of a national report on clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The report, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will be made public today.
       The Diocese of Fresno's eight substantiated cases is equivalent to fewer than 2% of the 487 priests who served in the eight-county diocese during that time, said Bill Lucido, communications director for the diocese.
      The Diocese of Fresno findings apparently are below the national average, which is expected to be 7% in the national report.
       The Associated Press reported Thursday that the national report is expected to say more than 4,000 priests have been accused nationwide since 1950. None of the priests is named in the report, which includes Fresno.
       The Boston Archdiocese, center of the clergy sex-abuse crisis, is reporting that 162 priests have been accused of molesting minors, or 7% of the 2,324 priests who served during that time. Bishop John T. Steinbock of the Diocese of Fresno was unavailable Thursday to comment.
    Rev. James Janssen -- Records reveal a life on the move [1950s Janssen] - RCC. Allowed to prey 32 more years.
       Quad-City Times, www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024854&t=Local+News&c=2,1024854 , By Todd Ruger
       DAVENPORT (IA) - A black-and-white photo from the late 1950s shows two brothers standing in the arms of the Rev. James Janssen, their uncle and a Catholic priest, at their family home in Davenport.
       It recalls a time of youthful innocence, of Lone Ranger and Davy Crockett costumes and unquestioning respect for men of the cloth.
       It was less than two years after a bishop placed Janssen on indefinite leave from a Newton, Iowa, church for apparent sexual misconduct.
       And it was a time when sexual misconduct and pedophilia were viewed as a spiritual matter, allowing Janssen to be cleared to serve other churches for 32 more years, the Catholic Diocese of Davenport said.
       More than 33 years after that photograph was taken, a psychologist connected depression suffered by the nephew pictured to Janssen's right, his namesake, James Wells, to nine years of sexual abuse by Janssen, Wells said in court documents.
    4 percent of priests are linked to sex-abuse crisis
       Washington Times, http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040226-113733-1928r.htm , By Julia Duin, Feb 26, 2004
       UNITED STATES - Four percent of the about 110,000 men who served as priests from 1950 to 2003 were involved in the sexual-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church - three percentage points higher than originally cited by church officials, says a study to be released by U.S. Catholic leaders at the National Press Club today.
       The sexual-abuse crisis involved about 4,400 priests and 11,000 children, according to diocesan reports compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The diocese of Yakima, Wash., last night said in a news release that 4,392 of the 109,694 clergy who served over that five-decade period were accused of abuse.
       No conclusive study exists chronicling the total number of pedophiles in America.
       Detractors say, however, that the findings should be broken down by diocese and that the names of the offending priests should be reported. To date, only three out of 194 dioceses, Tucson, Los Angeles and Baltimore, have released names.
    • Sex-abuse cost to diocese: $16.3 million and counting [162 victims]
       PROVIDENCE (RI) Providence Journal, "Sex-abuse cost to diocese," www.projo.com/news/content/projo_20040227_abuse27.2868d3.html , BY RICHARD C. DUJARDIN, Journal Religion Writer, 01:00 AM EST on Friday, February 27, 2004
       On the eve of a long-awaited national survey on the extent of the sexual-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Providence offered some new numbers yesterday on the cost of the scandal to the local church over the last several decades.
       In a published insert in The Providence Journal and Providence Visitor, the diocese said it had paid out about $15.6 million in settlements to people who filed sexual-abuse claims, and an additional $764,000 thus far to cover their out-of-pocket expenses for therapy.
       But Monsignor Paul D. Theroux, the diocesan moderator of the curia, said the $16.3-million total doesn't represent the full cost of the scandal, since it does not include the significant legal fees paid to lawyers who worked to defend the diocese against lawsuits.
       Michael F. Sabatino, the diocese's finance officer, said the diocese is still sorting through its bills and records to determine what legal costs are associated with sexual-abuse cases, in hopes of being reimbursed by insurance companies.
       "We haven't come to a final figure yet, but I'm comfortable in saying that [the legal bills associated with sexual abuse] are in the millions of dollars," Sabatino said.
       Yesterday's disclosures came a week after the Providence Diocese disclosed, for the first time, that it had received what it considered to be credible reports that 162 minors had been sexually abused by priests here since 1950.
    In Newark Archdiocese, 51 cases deemed credible
       NEWARK (NJ): Star-Ledger, www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1077866351292990.xml , BY JEFF DIAMANT, Friday, February 27, 2004
       The Archdiocese of Newark reported yesterday that 1.6 percent of its priests and deacons faced credible accusations of sexually abusing minors from 1950 through 2002, Archbishop John J. Myers said yesterday.
       During that same period, the archdiocese paid $2.2 million for settlements, legal fees, counseling for victims, treatment of offenders and contributions to victims and their families, he said.
       Overall, 91 allegations were made against 71 of the 3,130 clergymen who served in the archdiocese during those years. Accusations were deemed credible against 51 of the 71, Myers said.
       "We can only eliminate the sin of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church if we understand the scope and beginnings of the problem," Myers wrote in today's edition of the Catholic Advocate, the archdiocesan newspaper, where the Newark numbers were released. "As difficult and painful as it is, we must confront the actual cases, the causes and results, and the costs."
       The Newark Archdiocese serves 1.3 million Catholics in Essex, Union, Hudson and Bergen counties.
       Other dioceses across the country released similar figures yesterday. And last night, the Diocese of Yakima, Wash., issued a news release in which it said a national, church-sanctioned study on clergy sex abuse found that about 4 percent of clerics have been accused of molesting minors since 1950.
    Abuse report details sins of James Porter [32 accused, 216]
       FALL RIVER (MA) Pawtucket Times, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11034235&BRD=1713&PAG=461&dept_id=24491&rfi=6 , For The Times, Feb/27/2004
       There have been 216 allegations of sexual abuse of minors by 32 priests in the Fall River Diocese in the last 50 years and 131, or 60.65 percent, of those accusations were against former priest James R. Porter.
       That is one of the statistics in "A Time to Heal," a report being released to diocesan parishes this weekend by Bishop George W. Coleman.
       Porter pleaded guilty in 1993 to 41 charges of sexual abuse, involving 28 children in the diocese in the 1960s and 1970s. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but although he is due to be let go, he still has not been released. He is awaiting a hearing on March 2 in New Bedford Superior Court to determine if he is a sexually dangerous person.
       District Attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr. filed for the hearing when he was notified that Porter was due to be released from jail at the end of January. Porter is being held at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater.
       Walsh was not in his office Friday afternoon. First Assistant District Attorney Gerald FitzGerald said Walsh had not seen the bishop's report and would not have a comment on it.
    New report: Yakima Diocese spent $1 million resolving clergy sex abuse allegations [6 corrupters, $US 1.02m]
       KGW, www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D80VG0GG1.html , By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press, Feb/27/2004
       YAKIMA (WA) - The Catholic Diocese of Yakima has spent $1.02 million to resolve allegations that six priests sexually abused minors since 1950, the diocese says in a new report.
       The numbers came from the diocese's contribution to a national, church-sanctioned study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
       Two unprecedented national studies found that nearly 11,000 minors have claimed they were molested by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy since 1950, and that bishops bear much of the responsibility for the crisis.
       The abuse claims were filed against 4,392 of the 109,694 clergy who served over the last half-century - or about 4 percent of the clerics.
       A companion study examines the causes of the abuse troubles.
       The National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the U.S. Catholic bishops, was scheduled to release the reports Friday at a news conference in Washington, D.C.
    Wisconsin priest convicted of abusing two brothers in 1978
       Fox 23, www.fox23news.com/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=03BC9B9D-3F30-453F-B309-4A6256549507 , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       APPLETON, Wis. (AP): A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing two brothers at their home in 1978 was convicted Thursday.
       A jury found John Patrick Feeney, 76, guilty of three counts of attempted sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault of a child.
       The brothers, now in their late 30s, testified Feeney, on a visit to the family's home, caressed them as they lay in their bedrooms.
       The boys' mother testified she went to church authorities, and that nothing was done. She also talked to a sheriff's deputy though the case was never prosecuted, she said.
       Feeney did not testify. His defense attorney, Gerald Boyle, argued the facts did not support a conviction, though he said of the accusers: "I am not going to say they are bad or evil or making things up."
       Feeney, who lives in Los Angeles and has been barred from performing priestly functions, faces up to 65 years at sentencing April 30.
    Bitterness has deep roots in victims
       Post-Crescent, www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/news/archive/local_14926810.shtml , By Dan Wilson and Meena Thiruvengadam, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       APPLETON (WI): The trial may be over, but it still will take time for the two young victims of a sexually abusive priest to set aside their baggage.
       Feeney's trial and conviction certainly were therapeutic for Troy, 38, Suffolk, Va., and Todd Merryfield, 39, Cedarburg. Although the former Freedom residents have gone on with their lives, pursued successful careers and raised families of their own, there still is that black hole.
       Events also have taken their toll on the Merryfields as a family. The Catholic religion still means a lot to their parents, but for the two sons it means something else altogether.
       Troy Merryfield said he still is unable to set foot in a Catholic church. "A cousin got married about two years ago in a church, and I went in and walked out into the vestibule (lobby) until it was all over," he said.
       Troy said he holds the church responsible for inaction in his case and in the cases of numerous other nameless victims of priest sexual abuse.
    SR Diocese says abuse declining [16, 59, $US 8.6m]
       The Press Democrat, www.pressdemocrat.com/local/news/27priests_a1.html , By GUY KOVNER, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       SANTA ROSA (CA) - Key local Catholics who have been dealing with allegations of sex abuse by priests over four decades point to declining sex abuse reports on the North Coast and nationwide as evidence the scandal may be subsiding.
       Their hopeful note, disputed by critics, comes as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is scheduled to release today a first-ever national accounting of the scandal that had simmered in dioceses like Santa Rosa since the mid-1990s and erupted nationwide in 2002.
       Bishops have acknowledged the survey's findings will be a shock to the nation's largest church, with 65 million members, but also unprecedented in that no other national institution has publicly documented child abuse within its ranks.
       The report found more than 4,000 priests in the church's 195 dioceses have been accused of sexual misconduct since 1950 and that abuse-related costs exceed $500 million, according to The Associated Press.
       Some dioceses, including Santa Rosa, already have released their findings included in the national survey. Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh reported in the diocese newsletter in December that 16 priests had molested 59 children and the church had paid settlements of $8.6 million.
    Merrimack priest sentenced [Thefts to 2002]
       The Union Leader, www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=33792 , By DAN McLEAN, Union Leader Correspondent, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       MERRIMACK (NH): The priest who admitted stealing collection-plate funds from St. John Neumann parish will spend four months in jail.
       Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Bernard Hampsey also said yesterday that the Rev. Steven Kucharski must complete 500 hours of community service within the next year and is barred from the grounds of the Merrimack church.
       Kucharski's jail term will begin on March 12 at 9 a.m.
       Before the judge sentenced him, Kucharski apologized to the packed courtroom for "having made irresponsible and foolish choices."
       Kucharski served as the parish's pastor from June 2002 to January 2003. He resigned after being named as a suspect in seven thefts from the collection receipts, including Christmas Eve 2002.
    3 accused priests served in Iowa City [1964, 1998, 2002]
       Iowa City Press-Citizen, www.press-citizen.com/news/022704priests.htm , By Mike McWilliams, Feb 27, 2004
       IOWA - Three out of the five priests accused of sex-related charges have served in Iowa City parishes, according to a report from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport.
       On Wednesday, the Diocese asked the Vatican to defrock Richard Poster, 39, James Jansenn, 81, Francis Bass, 81, Frank R. Martinez Jr., 54, and William F. Wiebler, 76.
       Poster served as a parochial vicar from December 1992 to August 1995 at St. Mary's Church, 302 E. Jefferson St. Wiebler, 76, served as an assistant pastor from August 1967 to August 1969 at St. Mary's, and Bass worked as the lead pastor at St. Patrick's Church, 228 E. Court St., from January 1978 to August 1981.
       In August 2003, Poster pleaded guilty to a federal count of possession of child pornography. While at an Oxford Junction church in December 2002, 270 computer files containing child pornography were discovered on Poster's computer. He was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
       Records show the Diocese received a report in 1992 showing that Bass had sexually abused a minor in 1964. In 1998, the Diocese received another report that Bass had abused another minor in the 1960s. Additional allegations of abuse against Bass have recently been received by the Diocese. Bass retired in October 1992 and lives in Davenport.
    Attorney says trial might have put Hubbard on stand
       Troy Record, www.troyrecord.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11034670&BRD=1170&PAG=461&dept_id=7021&rfi=6 , By Robert Cristo, Feb/27/2004
       GLOVERSVILLE (NY): A priest on leave from the Sacred Heart Church expressed unwillingness to go forward with extortion charges he filed against a man he helped conquer struggles with drug addiction, prostitution and homelessness in the late 1990s.
       Rev. David Tressic, 60, agreed to dismiss allegations this week against 33-year-old Steven Hall, the man who Tressic claimed threatened to go public about alleged sexual relations that went on between the two if the priest didn't hand over $75,000.
       Hall was indicted for attempted grand larceny in October, which was around the same time Tressic voluntarily left his ministry at Sacred Heart Church in Gloversville, reportedly in part due to the cloud of suspicion raised by the defendant.
       The ruling to dismiss the case came late Wednesday from Fulton County Judge Polly Hoye, who based her decision to drop the charges on sealed grand jury testimonies.
       "The victim's aversion to a public trial on this matter is rational and sensible in every regard," said Hoye in a five-page court decision order dismissal of the indictment.
       "The people's reluctance to prosecute this matter is occasioned by certain weak points in the case ... and the aversion of Father Tressic to testify at trial," she added.
       [COMMENT: It is his duty to testify. COMMENT ENDS.]
    Ex-prosecutor promises full independent probe of N.Y. bishop
       Washington Blade, www.washblade.com/2004/2-27/news/police/pibs.cfm , AP, Feb 27, 2004
       ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A former federal prosecutor promised a thorough independent investigation of sex abuse allegations against Roman Catholic Bishop Howard Hubbard, while establishing e-mail and voice mail sites for anyone to provide information in the case. At a news conference last week, Mary Jo White, hired by the Albany diocese's review board, said several attorneys and investigators from her New York City law firm were already at work.
    Painful step necessary to address abuse
       Seattle Post-Intelligencer, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/162274_abuse27.html , By ALEX J. BRUNETT, GUEST COLUMNIST, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON: The national report on sexual abuse of minors released by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops today is certain to evoke a wide range of reactions.
       Many will be shocked by the scope of the problem within the church over the past 50 years. This unprecedented accounting can be expected to produce a sense of shame and guilt among many Catholics, and it should surprise no one if critics use the report to condemn the Catholic Church and its handling of the crisis.
       As archbishop to nearly 1 million Catholics in Western Washington, what weighs most heavily on my heart and mind is the effect of these disclosures on victims. The study requested by the bishops and produced independently by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York was a necessary step to promote healing. It will, however, unquestionably become an occasion for victims and their families to experience their personal pain yet again.
       I know personally the emotions that these revelations will awaken. As bishop of the Seattle Archdiocese for the past six years, I have met privately to offer my apology on behalf of our church to more than 20 victims and their families. These meetings are never easy for the victims and invariably stir old memories that give rise to powerful feelings ranging from anger to grief.
    Catholic group asks more say for laity
       Democrat and Chronicle, www.democratandchronicle.com/news/0227DU3DU41_news.shtml , By Marketta Gregory, February 27, 2004
       ROCHESTER (NY): James Williams believes Rochester has a terrific Roman Catholic bishop.
       But the former priest also believes that without structural change in the church, "the next bishop could be as bad as this one is good."
       "The laypeople should have more say in governance," he said.
       His thoughts are echoed by a newly formed local chapter of Voice of the Faithful [VOTF], a worldwide organization formed in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal.
       The local group is among many across the country awaiting the release today of a national study showing the scope and effect of the scandals that surfaced a couple of years ago when documents about a former priest in the Boston Archdiocese were released.
       Voice of the Faithful - which supports survivors of clergy sexual abuse, priests of integrity and structural change within the church - started in Massachusetts and has spread to 40 states.
       Williams' wife, Elizabeth "Bizza" Williams, said fewer people would have been victimized by sexual abuse had the people in the pews been given more say-so, more watchdog power. So all three goals are tied together for those who have joined the local group, which has a mailing list of 300.
    Diocese alters conduct code [1.9%]
       Pensacola News Journal, www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/news/022704/Local/ST005.shtml , by Michael Stewart, @PensacolaNewsJournal.com , Feb 27, 2004
       PENSACOLA (FL) - More than 4,000 priests have been accused of molesting minors since 1950 in the United States, according to a report to be released today by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
       The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee was audited as part of the study, and - as a result - has revised its code of conduct for priests and deacons. Since its establishment in 1975, the local diocese, consisting of 62 parishes in 18 counties, has removed six priests accused of molesting minors, said the Rev. Michael Mooney, diocese spokesman. Two of those priests are dead.
       "This represents 1.9 percent of the priests who have served in the diocese over 28 years," he said.
       As a result of the known abuses, the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese of the Catholic Church has identified 17 victims and paid out $456,761 in settlements, medical/counseling and legal fees. Since 1997, there have been 21 allegations of sexual abuse, said the Rev. Michael Reed, chancellor for the diocese.
       "Most were 10, 15, 20 years ago," Reed said. "A few were 30 years old."
    Foley calls abuse survey 'careful and responsible' [4, 11]
       Birmingham News, www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1077876979315970.xml , by GREG GARRISON, Feb/27/04
       BIRMINGHAM (AL) - Bishop David E. Foley, head of the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, described a survey of sexual abuse by priests in the U.S. Catholic Church that will be released today as a "careful and responsible presentation" about "a disturbing period of our history."
       Draft reports of the survey by John Jay College of Criminal Justice showed that 4,450 clergy have been accused of molesting minors since 1950, with a total of 11,000 abuse claims.
       The Diocese of Birmingham released its report for the survey last month, saying that since the diocese was established in 1969, there have been four priests who had 11 sex-abuse allegations lodged against them. One case involved a $45,000 settlement paid to a victim by the insurance company for the diocese. All of the priests have been retired or removed from service.
       A report from a National Review Board of lay Catholics will also be issued today, with findings on the church's mishandling of cases and recommendations of how to prevent abuse.
       Foley was in Washington for the official release of the reports and was unavailable for comment Thursday but issued a written statement after looking over the more than 250 pages of documents in the reports.
    New report: Yakima Diocese spent $1 million resolving clergy sex abuse allegations [6]
       Seattle Post-Intelligencer, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20Church%20Abuse%20Washington , By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       SPOKANE, Wash.: The Catholic Diocese of Yakima has spent $1.02 million to resolve allegations that six priests sexually abused minors since 1950, the diocese says in a new report.
       The numbers came from the diocese's contribution to a national, church-sanctioned study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
       Two unprecedented national studies found that nearly 11,000 minors have claimed they were molested by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy since 1950, and that bishops bear much of the responsibility for the crisis.
       The abuse claims were filed against 4,392 of the 109,694 clergy who served over the last half-century - or about 4 percent of the clerics.
       A companion study examines the causes of the abuse troubles.
    162 Boston priests accused of abuse [162 + 57, 815 + 150]
       Newsday, www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-uscath273687891feb27,0,6629607.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines , The Associated Press, February 27, 2004
       BOSTON (MA): The Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday that 162 of its priests had been accused of sex abuse since 1950 - about 7 percent of all the priests serving in the archdiocese during that time.
       Boston priests were alleged to have molested 815 minors, with more than half of the incidents linked to just seven churchmen, according to a report released by Archbishop Sean O'Malley.
       In addition to priests ordained by the archdiocese, the church said, 44 members of religious orders, 10 visiting priests and three deacons were accused of sexually abusing a total of 150 people during the same time period.
       Victims' advocates immediately decried the numbers as an undercount for the epicenter of the nationwide Catholic abuse crisis - a place where hundreds of victims have come forward since the scandal erupted two years ago.
       "We'll never know the full truth, because victims don't tell," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP]. "Only the most naive would assume that church officials have done a complete 180-degree turn and are now telling everything they know."
       O'Malley called the numbers "truly horrific."
       "It's still very painful to look at these numbers and to realize the great pain inflicted on so many youngsters, and all that this represents," O'Malley said in an interview. "It's alarming and very discouraging."
    High school principal found dead in his car
       Juneau Empire, www.juneauempire.com/stories/022704/sta_akdigest.shtml , Feb 27, 2004
       ANCHORAGE (AK) The high school principal who died in an apparent suicide left a note for his family, police said Thursday.
       Service High School Principal Pat Podvin, 40, was found dead Wednesday at his home.
       Anchorage police released a few details Thursday about the death, including that Podvin's body was found in his car, which was parked in the garage.
       Police found Podvin after his relatives asked that police check on him because they hadn't heard from him for more than 24 hours. Officers arrived at Podvin's Eagle River home at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
       Police said Thursday they know from e-mails that he sent that Podvin's death occurred some time after 11:56 a.m. Tuesday. Police said the note and other personal property were returned to Podvin's family.
    Archdiocese releases sex abuse stats [44 (~2%)]
       Philadelphia Daily News, www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/8053831.htm , By RON GOLDWYN, goldwyr@phillynews.com , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       PHILADELPHIA (PA) - Forty-four diocesan priests - about 2 percent of the 2,204 who have served since 1950 - have been credibly charged with sexually abusing minors, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday.
       The total - revealed on the eve of today's release of national priest-abuse data by U.S. bishops - includes four priests' cases not previously disclosed.
       Those four priests have been removed from active ministry since February 2002, spokeswoman Catherine Rossi said last night. She would not provide names, former assignments, or details of allegations against the men.
       Cardinal Justin Rigali, in yesterday's Catholic Standard and Times, referred to all 44 and stated, "I wish to assure you none of these priests are in active ministry today."
       That repeats a pledge made by his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, two years ago when the archdiocese first reported about 50 "credible" allegations against 35 priests. Since then, five priests have been named and removed.
    Suicide probe points to car exhaust [2004 Podvin]
       Anchorage Daily News, www.adn.com/alaska/story/4788564p-4731384c.html , By NICOLE TSONG, February 27, 2004
       ANCHORAGE (AK) - Though remaining tightfisted overall with the details of Pat Podvin's death, Anchorage police did reveal Thursday that officers found the popular high school principal dead in his car, which was parked in the garage of his Eagle River home.
       They also said Podvin left a suicide note with personal information for his family.
       A police spokesman said Thursday that the case is closed, pending a medical examiner's toxicology report.
       Podvin's apparent suicide took place after 11:56 a.m. Tuesday, based on e-mails he sent, police said. And Dr. Franc Fallico, the state medical examiner, said that an autopsy showed Podvin likely died after he inhaled toxic fumes, and Fallico suspected carbon monoxide.
       He said tests revealing the level of carbon monoxide probably would be back early next week.
       Podvin, 40, died a year after publicly announcing his sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in a television interview. Podvin had been on medical leave from Service High School, where he was principal, since January but had planned to return full-time to his work Monday, said Superintendent Carol Comeau of the Anchorage School District.
    Suit: 11 N.Y. priests [11, 15]
       New York Daily News, www.nydailynews.com/front/story/168531p-147239c.html , By HELEN PETERSON, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       NEW YORK - Eleven New York priests, including three monsignors, sexually assaulted as many as 15 children from 1944 to 1981, attorneys will charge today.
       As the Catholic Church continues to reel from the abuse scandal, a new report is expected to reveal that more than 4,000 priests nationwide have been accused of molesting children since 1950.
       The local lawsuit, which accuses the Archdiocese of New York of tolerating and concealing the sexual abuse of children by priests, is expected to be filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
       "We are arguing that there was a massive fraud conducted by the Catholic hierarchy over decades," said Michael Dowd, attorney for the 12 male and three female victims.
       "A lot of these people have been hurt rather severely," he added.
    Diocese's sex-abuse figures low
       GoErie.com ; http://goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040227/FRONTPAGE/102270588 , By Ed Palattella, ed.palattella@timesnews.com , Feb 27, 2004
       ERIE (PA) - The Catholic Diocese of Erie will report today it had a lower percentage of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse compared with the average in dioceses nationwide.
       The Erie diocese's percentage is less than 4 percent, the figure expected to be established by an unprecedented nationwide survey of Roman Catholic dioceses that will be released today.
       "It appears that the Erie diocese's statistics, both in terms of the percentage of priests credibly accused and the amount of monies spent on legal and counseling fees, will be significantly lower than the projected national average," Monsignor Tom McSweeney, spokesman for the Erie diocese, said Thursday.
       McSweeney said Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman today will disclose the exact local percentage of abusive priests. That percentage, like the national figure, will be based on the number of priests accused of child sexual abuse from 1950 to 2002.
    Priest abuse rates average [13, 3.9%; 48]
       Mankato Free Press, www.mankatofreepress.com/news/story.php?storyid=69302 , By Tim Krohn, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       MINNESOTA - In the past 50 years, 3.9 percent of priests in the New Ulm diocese and 2.6 percent of priests in the Winona diocese have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
       Those figures are within the rate of 2 percent to 6 percent found in dioceses across the nation. The national figures are being released today. The New Ulm diocese reported that in the past 50 years there have been 25 allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving 12 of the 305 priests who have served in the diocese during that time.
       The financial costs related to the cases for the New Ulm diocese totaled $500,000, covering legal settlements and therapy costs.
       The Winona diocese reported 48 allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving 13 of the 493 priests who have served in the past five decades. Financial information was not immediately available.
    • Judge dismisses extortion charges
       Albany Times Union, www.timesunion.com/ AspStories/story.asp? storyID=223212&category= REGIONOTHER&BCCode= HOME&newsdate= 2/27/2004 ; By BRIAN NEARING, Friday, February 27, 2004
       ALBANY (NY): A Fulton County judge has tossed out extortion charges against a former homeless man accused of trying to get $75,000 from a Gloversville priest as the price of silence about their alleged homosexual relationship.
       An indictment for grand larceny against Steven Hall, 33, was dismissed in County Court Wednesday by Judge Polly A. Hoye with the support of both District Attorney Louise K. Sira and Hall's attorney, Robert Abdella.
       In her ruling, Hoye wrote she dismissed charges because prosecution or conviction of Hall could "result in an injustice." Hall was indicted on Oct. 6 allegedly trying to obtain money from the Rev. David Tressic at Sacred Heart Church in Gloversville.
       The judge also said Sira was reluctant to prosecute based on "certain weak points in the case ... and the aversion of Father Tressic to testify at trial."
       Tressic, 60, has denied he had an intimate relationship with Hall, who lived in the rectory as a handyman for the parish. The priest has been on leave from the diocese since Hall made his accusations in August, said diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb.
       The district attorney said she supported dismissal of the indictment because she was not convinced a crime had taken place. Proving extortion could be difficult, the district attorney said, because the diocese and Bishop Howard Hubbard initially tried to mediate the dispute between Hall and Tressic before Hall leveled public accusations, which led Tressic to file the criminal complaint.
    APPLETON: Priest decides not to testify in abuse trial [~ 1978 Feeney] - RCC.
       Pioneer Press, www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/local/states/wisconsin/8051116.htm , Associated Press, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       APPLETON, Wis.: - An Outagamie County jury on Thursday found a priest guilty of four charges related to the sexual abuse of two brothers 25 years ago.
       John Patrick Feeney, 76, of Los Angeles, was found guilty of three counts of attempted sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault of a child. The jury found him not guilty on one other charge of attempted sexual assault.
       At the time of the crimes, Feeney was the parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom.
       The mother of the boys testified Wednesday that she tried to go to church authorities in 1978 to report Feeney's behavior.
       She said she was referred to another priest and referred again until she finally reached one who asked her to file a written report. "And he said he would take it up with the bishop," she said.
    APPLETON: Priest decides not to testify in abuse trial
       Pioneer Press, www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/local/states/wisconsin/8051116.htm , Associated Press, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       APPLETON, Wis.: An Outagamie County jury on Thursday found a priest guilty of four charges related to the sexual abuse of two brothers 25 years ago.
       John Patrick Feeney, 76, of Los Angeles, was found guilty of three counts of attempted sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault of a child. The jury found him not guilty on one other charge of attempted sexual assault.
       At the time of the crimes, Feeney was the parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom.
       The mother of the boys testified Wednesday that she tried to go to church authorities in 1978 to report Feeney's behavior.
       She said she was referred to another priest and referred again until she finally reached one who asked her to file a written report. "And he said he would take it up with the bishop," she said.
    • Reports reveal scope of clergy's sex abuses
       Contra Costa Times, www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/8055046.htm , By Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): Two long-awaited studies have found that the Roman Catholic Church suffered an epidemic of child sexual abuse that involved at least 4 percent of priests over 52 years and peaked with the ordination class of 1970, in which one of every 10 priests was eventually accused of abuse.
       The human toll amounted to 10,667 children allegedly victimized by 4,392 priests between 1950 and 2002, but the studies caution that even these numbers represent an undercount.
       These totals depend on self-reporting by American bishops, the studies note, and many victims have never come forward out of fear or shame.
       The studies were commissioned by the American Catholic bishops in 2002 in response to accusations of a massive cover-up of sexual abuse by priests.
       They will undoubtedly provide fodder for controversies between left and right in the church about hot-button issues like homosexuality in the priesthood and whether the celibacy requirement for priests should be revoked.
    Archdiocese: 44 Philly priests were abusers
       The Daily Times, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1675&dept_id=18171&newsid=11035022&PAG=461&rfi=9 , By JENNIFER C. YATES , of The Associated Press, Feb/27/2004
       PENNSYLVANIA: Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania's two largest cities released information Thursday about the number of priests accused of sexual abuse, a day before a national audit of every diocese in the country is to be made public.
       In Philadelphia, allegations against 44 priests between 1950 and 2003 were found to be credible - 2 percent of the 2,204 priests that served during that time, the archdiocese said.
       Cardinal Justin Rigali said the archdiocese is now providing 41 sex abuse victims with counseling, which the church has spent an average of $125,000 on between 1994 and 2003.
       "With profound sorrow, I offer deep apologies to the victims of sexual abuse by any cleric or church employee," Rigali said in a written statement.
       When asked for the names and parishes of those from Delaware County, Archdiocese spokewoman Catherine Rossi said, "The diocese is not prepared to give out that information."
    Boston archdiocese releases abuse report RCC. ~ 7%.
       Portsmouth Herald, www.seacoastonline.com/news/02272004/south_of/2208.htm , By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Writer, Feb 27 2004
       BOSTON (MA): Archbishop Sean O'Malley said the findings in the Boston Archdiocese report on clergy sex abuse were "truly horrific." But advocates for victims in Boston said the figures released as part of a nationwide accounting of clergy sex abuse accusations were unbelievably low.
       The figures provided in Boston, the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse crisis that shook the Roman Catholic Church, showed about 7 percent of its priests were accused of misconduct between 1950 and 2003. The report showed that 815 children were abused by 162 of its priests since 1950.
       That was a higher percentage than national figures released by another diocese late Thursday. The national church-sanctioned study documenting sex abuse by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy found that about 4 percent of clerics have been accused of molesting minors since 1950.
       The Diocese of Yakima, Wash., said in a news release that the survey compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found 4,392 of the 109,694 clergy who served over that five-decade period faced allegations of abuse.
    'This study is unparalleled'
       The Catholic Telegraph, www.catholiccincinnati.org/tct/feb2704/022704study.html , Feb 27 2004
       CINCINNATI (OH) - My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
       Over the past two years we have all become more aware of the sad reality that sexual abuse of children and young people is a significant problem in the church, just as it is in society as a whole. I am sorry that any priest has ever abused anyone and equally sorry that we did not deal with these priests in ways that we now believe appropriate.
       In July 2002, I joined with other bishops of the United States in voting for new church law that requires the removal from ministry of any priest against whom there is a credible allegation of abuse and makes that removal permanent if that accusation is substantiated. I have enforced that law in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
    Our Opinion: Kicanas leads post-abuse church healing [26, 2%, 100]
       Tucson Citizen, www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=opinion&story_id=022704b4_edits , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       TUCSON (AZ) - American Catholics will undoubtedly be shocked by figures released today in a comprehensive national report examining five decades of sexual abuse by priests.
       That shock will also be felt by local Catholics who today learned that there have been 100 credible allegations of child sexual abuse against 26 priests who served with the Diocese of Tucson since 1950.
       The local figures show 2 percent of the priests assigned to the diocese over the past 53 years were accused of abuse.
       And although that is obviously an unacceptably high number, it is slightly comforting to know it is below the national average. About 4 percent of Catholic priests nationwide have been accused of molesting minors, according to preliminary figures from the national study.
       To his substantial credit, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, head of the Diocese of Tucson, has worked hard to rebuild the diocese's credibility. For more than a decade before Kicanas' arrival, the diocese was slow to respond to allegations of abuse.
    Thousands of priests accused of sex abuse in last 50 years, study says
       Tribnet.com ; www.tribnet.com/24hour/nation/story/1159689p-8080951c.html , By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer, 4:58 a.m. PST, February 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC) (AP): Two unprecedented studies that document pervasive sex abuse by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy found nearly 11,000 minors have claimed they were molested since 1950, and that bishops bear much of the responsibility for the crisis. One document says their failure to stop predators let the "smoke of Satan" into the church.
       The studies - commissioned by America's bishops - found that 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and that just over half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were assaulted, a source who read the reports told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
       The abuse claims were filed against 4,392 of the 109,694 clergy who served over the last half-century - or about 4 percent of all clerics.
       The National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the bishops, was scheduled to release the reports Friday in Washington. One is the church's first national accounting of molestation claims and was conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The other is the board's own investigation into how the crisis developed.
       The John Jay findings are based on information provided by most of the 195 American dioceses. Victims said any study by the church is bound to underestimate the number of abuse cases and that many of those who were hurt still haven't come forward.
    4% of U.S. Priests Since 1950 May Have Abused - RCC. $US 533.4m.
       Newsday, www.nynewsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-church27feb27,0,4537221.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines , By William Lobdell and Larry B. Stammer, February 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): In an extensive nationwide accounting of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, a committee of U.S. bishops will report today that 4,392 priests - 4% of all clerics - had allegedly abused as many as 10,000 minors since 1950.
       The report by the bishops' National Review Board placed some of the blame on bishops who, in trying to protect the reputation of the church, failed to root out known abusers. The inquiry also found that dioceses around the country spent $533.4 million on settlements and other abuse-related costs over five decades.
       The findings mark the first time the church has made such an accounting of alleged sexual abuse within its ranks.
       Bishops hope that the release of the study will mark a turning point in the scandal that began in Boston more than two years ago and quickly spread across the country, prompting demands for a full investigation.
    O'Malley: U.S. priest policies likely to stand
       Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2258 , By Eric Convey, Friday, February 27, 2004
       BOSTON (MA) - Vatican officials and U.S. church leaders who will review the country's policies for dealing with sexually abusive priests later this year are unlikely to water them down, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said yesterday.
       "I'm convinced that there will not be any revisions in the immediate future," he said. "I don't think the norms have been in place long enough to give them a fair assessment."
       "Norms" is the formal word for the policies that govern the way U.S. dioceses deal with abusive priests. The rules were adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. They got Vatican approval, but with the condition they be reviewed later this year.
       Asked whether he discussed revisions during a trip to the Vatican earlier this month, O'Malley said: "I did raise it over there, yes."
       Some critics of the church have charged that the policy known as "one strike you're out" or "zero tolerance" will be scuttled. O'Malley said he would be "surprised if there were substantial changes."
    Foes slam church abuse report [162 accused; 815 victims]
       Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2259 , By Eric Convey, Friday, February 27, 2004
       BOSTON (MA) - Over the past five decades, one in 14 Archdiocese of Boston priests were accused of sexually molesting minors, according to a long-anticipated church report released yesterday.
       "I was surprised by that, and of course very saddened," Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said in an interview.
       "I don't know how to explain that. Of course just one case of child abuse is a tragedy, but to see that our numbers are so high is particularly painful," he said.
       Some 162 priests were the target of allegations, according to the report, which covered the years 1950 through 2003. During the same period, 2,324 archdiocesan priests were in ministry. A third of the accused are dead.
       In Boston, there were 815 minors connected to the allegations, the local report states. Seven unnamed priests were responsible for more than half the victims.
    Former priest admits fondling teenager [1977-81]
       The Boston Globe, www.boston. com/dailyglobe2/ 058/metro/Former_ priest_admits_ fondling_ teenager+.shtml , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       BOSTON (MA) (AP): A former priest accused of raping three altar boys pleaded guilty yesterday to repeatedly fondling a teenager in the early 1980s. Joseph T. Maguire, 72, was charged with abusing the three boys at St. Joseph's Church from 1977 to 1981.
       He pleaded guilty to two out of 36 indictments. The pleas detail eight separate crimes. The remaining 34 indictments will be addressed at a bench trial Wednesday. (AP)
    'One incident of child abuse is too many'
       The Boston Globe, www.boston. com/dailyglobe2/ 058/metro/_One_incident_ of_child_abuse_ is_too_many_+. shtml
       BOSTON (MA): Following are excerpts from the statement of Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley about the archdiocese's report on clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston from 1950 to 2003.
       As I present this information to the people of the Archdiocese of Boston, I apologize once again to all who have been hurt so grievously by priests and the bishops who were responsible for supervising them. We thank the victim-survivors and their families for courageously coming forward and telling their stories to us and to others.
       The recent settlements that have been made by the Archdiocese of Boston and the continuing efforts of the persons and agencies of the Archdiocese to seek to assist the survivors and their families in their journey towards healing are concrete acts that express our sincere contrition and repentance for what has happened. While progress has been made, more needs to be done.
       The Archdiocese is committed to doing everything humanly possible in order to ensure that this never happens again. As Archbishop of Boston, I make that commitment once again, on behalf of myself and on behalf of the Church of Boston.
       One incident of child abuse is too many; one child hurt, too much. We must all do everything that we can to make sure that the scourge of child abuse not only within the Church but in the wider society as well is wiped clean from our midst. The numbers are truly horrific, but they are also telling, both in terms of extent of the problem and the time frame in which the magnitude of the problem became known.
    No consensus on why abuse peaked in '60s
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ dailyglobe2/ 058/metro/No_ consensus_on_ why_abuse_ peaked_in_ 60s+.shtml , By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff, Feb/27/2004
       BOSTON (MA) - Most of the sexual abuse reported to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston over the last half century took place between 1965 and 1982, and more than one-third of the archdiocesan priests accused of sexual abuse in that period were ordained between 1960 and 1969, raising more questions than answers about how and why the abuse peaked in that era.
       Among the priests, victims, advocates, and clinicians interviewed, some suggest that the priests responsible for the bulk of abuse came of age in a more permissive era, when authority was being challenged at all levels and when the sexual revolution emboldened those who were attracted to children and teenagers.
       Others say that seminaries -- especially St. John Seminary in Brighton, which is run by the Boston Archdiocese -- did a poor job of screening out potential abusers.
       Still others say it was a simply a matter of demographics: The numbers of priests who sexually abused minors were highest when the total number of priests serving in the archdiocese was highest, and the number dwindled with the drop in priests and the growing awareness in the wider society of the dangers of the sexual abuse of children.
       In its report issued yesterday, the archdiocese said that 216 priests who worked in the archdiocese were accused of sexually abusing minors between 1950 and 2003. Of that number, 162 were archdiocesan priests, rather than members of religious orders, and 59 of those 162 were ordained between 1960 and 1969.
       The Rev. John Allan Loftus -- a Jesuit priest at Boston College who is a clinical psychologist and former director of Southdown, a facility in Auror, Ontario, that treats abusive priests -- cautioned against drawing conclusions about the apparent peak in the data released yesterday.
       [COMMENT: The Rev Loftus is right. Sizeable numbers of victims of the 1970s onwards have not come forward yet. COMMENT ENDS.]
    Diocese gives abuse data - RCC. 162, 7% abusers; 815 complainants
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/058/metro/Diocese_gives_abuse_data+.shtml , By Michael Paulson, Feb/27/2004
       BOSTON (MA): The Archdiocese of Boston yesterday said that 7 percent of its priests were accused of abusing minors from 1950 to 2003, a figure that appears to be substantially higher than the percentage in many other dioceses around the nation.
       After more than two years of disclosures in newspaper articles, court documents, and a sweeping report by the state attorney general, the archdiocese for the first time offered its own report on the scope of abuse by priests in the 144 cities and towns that make up the archdiocese.
       The archdiocese said that 162, or 7 percent, of 2,324 archdiocesan priests were accused of abusing 815 minors during the 53-year period examined. An additional 57 priests and deacons, most of them priests affiliated with a religious order, but some ordained by other dioceses and stationed in Boston, were accused of abusing 150 minors in the archdiocese during that same period.
       "We've been aware that the numbers were high here ever since the attorney general's report . . . [but] it's still alarming and sad to see that they are so high," Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said in an interview. "One case of child abuse is a tragedy, but certainly these kinds of figures are very disturbing."
       The archdiocese also disclosed that it had spent $120.6 million through December 2003 settling abuse cases. O'Malley believes that most settlement costs are now complete, but said the archdiocese is still paying for a variety of abuse-related costs, including therapy for more than 400 people.
    2d man agrees to aid case against bishop [Dupre] - RCC.
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ dailyglobe2/058/ metro/2d_man_ agrees_to_aid_ case_against_ bishop+.shtml , By Michael S. Rosenwald and Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff, Feb/27/2004
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): The second of two men who assert they were sexually abused as teenagers by the former Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield has agreed to help Hampden County prosecutors, if they should decide to prosecute Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, a lawyer said yesterday.
       Roderick MacLeish, who represents the alleged victims, said yesterday both men say they are willing to help authorities build a case against Dupre.
       One man decided to offer assistance after an emotional meeting Tuesday with Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett. MacLeish said yesterday that the other man had a long conversation with Bennett on Wednesday night. The alleged victim told Bennett that, like the first man, he had phone records, letters, and cards showing a relationship between him and Dupre, MacLeish said.
       If he is charged, Dupre, 70, would become the first Catholic bishop in the United States to face criminal charges of sexually abusing minors. He retired two weeks ago after The Republican newspaper of Springfield told him about the allegations.
       Dupre is a patient at St. Luke Institute, a Maryland medical facility that treats priests with emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems, including those who have sexually abused people.
    Local Priest Charged With Receiving Child Pornography [2002-04]
       WGRZ, www.wgrz.com/storyfull.asp?id=19258 , ~ Feb 27, 2004
       NEW YORK: - A Western New York priest is under arrest, charged with receiving and viewing child pornography on a computer located in the residence of his church.
       Father Fred Ingalls, administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Varysburg and St. Cecilia Parish in Sheldon, both in Wyoming County, faces a single count of receipt of child pornography. If convicted, he could face between five and 20 years in prison.
       "We believed that his computer would contain images or depictions of young children in sexually exploitative positions and conditions," said U.S. Attorney Mike Battle.
       The complaint charges Father Ingalls knowingly received more than 100 images of child pornography over the Internet beginning on or about July 30, 2002.
       Federal officials obtained a search warrant earlier today and seized a computer from his living quarters in the church rectory on Attica Road.
       "Whether he's a priest or not is irrelevant in terms of our charges. What's important is that this individual is charged with this crime. And we have good evidence in support of these allegations," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Littlefield.
    • The real moral danger is consensual sex between priests with other priests or other adult males
       Catholic Online, "The Real Moral Panic," www.catholic.org/featured/print_news.php?ID=739 , by Barbara Kralis, ~ Feb 27, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The Pontifical Academy for Life has recently published their new book "Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Scientific and Legal Perspectives." It is a compendium of works and findings with the other offices of the Holy See on the abuse of children and young people by Catholic priests and religious. Nothing, however, was mentioned in the excerpts and press releases that address the real scandal in the Church and that is the Catholic Priesthood has become a thriving and luxuriating profession for objectively disordered men. Where is the shock and awe?
       The John Jay College has also released their survey, requested by the USCCB's National Review Board, on the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, revealing that 4% of all Catholic priests have, for the past 52 years, been found to abuse children. The study further states that 80-90% of these priests had sodomy or perverted sex with adolescent boys (ephebophilia), not prepubescent boys (pedophilia).
       Penn State Professor of History and Religion, Phil Jenkins, a non-Catholic and non-lover of Catholicism, states in his book "Pedophiles and Priests" that it is less than 2% of Catholic priests who are pedophiles.
       The real problem is consensual sex between priests with other priests or adult males. Donald Cozzens, the rector of one of the largest U.S. seminaries, St. Mary's in Cleveland, Ohio, writes that the problem is homosexuality instead of pedophilia, and that at least 40% of Catholic priests suffer from this evil disorder.
       Is this not one of the reasons why our pulpits are mostly silent on the immense number of infallible Church teachings on life of the unborn and the disabled, on chastity, on homosexuality, adultery, fornication, contraception? Has the Catholic Priesthood long been a 'Gay Profession' and are these priests causing the loss of faith in millions?
       Does God's divine call to His Holy Priesthood include these disordered men or are they entering the seminaries because of other reasons? Are these objectively disordered men's Holy Masses valid? Is the Eucharist truly Confected? Confection, of course, meaning the complete action consisting of words, movements and intention, of bringing about a valid administration of the Eucharist by a 'proper' minister. Does God consider the sodomite priest a proper minister of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? How many of our Holy Sacrifices of the Mass have had insufficient action for complete Confection? The Catholic laity can be deceived, but God cannot.
    Alleged Second Letter from Late Father Minkler [Hubbard] - RCC.
       WTEN, www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?s=1669809 , posted 7:45pm, February 25th 2004
       ALBANY (NY): Another letter claiming sexual misconduct by Bishop Howard Hubbard has surfaced and this one is also purportedly written by Father John Minkler. The same priest who allegedly committed suicide last week. The diocese calls the letter's release both "despicable and disgraceful".
       This new letter alleges that Bishop Hubbard engaged in sexual misconduct with "three" priests. This letter, unlike the first typewritten letter, is said to be entirely in the handwriting of Father John Minkler.
       John Aretakis, the attorney who produced individuals claiming the bishop engaged in gay sex, claims the new letter shows that Father Minkler did author the first letter, even though Minkler signed a denial for the diocese.
       The Bishop presided at Ash Wednesday services and before this new letter was released, he once again declared his total innocence to his parishioners.
    Accuser: Priest's return a mistake [Pope overrides US bishops in case of Rev. Brian Bjorklund]
       Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com/news/religion/cath27x_20040227.htm , BY JIM SCHAEFER, DAVID CRUMM AND PATRICIA MONTEMURRI, February 27, 2004
       DETROIT (MI): He admits he was at least 16. He agrees the sex was consensual.
       But in light of the Catholic Church's zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse by clergy, John Jaruzel can't understand why it's OK for the priest he says abused him to return to work.
       The Rev. Brian Bjorklund's reinstatement to active ministry this week apparently is the first case in which the Vatican has overruled the U.S. bishops' promise to remove any priest who ever had sexual contact with boys or girls under age 18.
       Even as Catholic bishops across the United States brace for today's release of a report on the extent of 50 years of abuse -- which was supposed to have been a milestone in moving on from the crisis -- Vatican officials are making it clear that the Americans' zero-tolerance policy, approved by the bishops in 2002, doesn't really mean zero anymore.
       It is a turning point in the crisis, said Dr. A.W. Richard Sipe, the pioneering Catholic therapist, researcher and author now based in California who began studying clergy sexual activity decades ago.
       "The case is very important because it shows how the church is going to operate in these cases," Sipe said.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:05 AM
    Emphasis added.
    //////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Friday, February 27, 2004
    Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Saturday, February 28, 2004 edition follows:-
    Study Tallies Allegations at St. Cloud Diocese, St. John's Abbey - RCC. $US 3.26m paid out.
       KARE, www.kare11.com/news/news-article.asp?NEWS_ID=60172 , 11:19:14 AM, Feb/28/2004
       MINNESOTA: There's some insight into abuse allegations in the St. Cloud Diocese and St. John's Abbey.
       According to a study released Friday, the diocese and abbey have paid at least $3.26 million since 1991 for costs associated with sexual abuse allegations.
       The numbers were included in an 11-month study of the scope of clergy abuse conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
       The national study includes data dating back to 1950.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM
    Iowa bishops keeping positive through allegations, lawsuits
       Quad-City Times www.qctimes.com/internal.php?story_id=1024953&l=1&t=Iowa+%2F+Illinois&c=24,1024953 , By Associated Press, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       DES MOINES, Iowa (AP): Iowa's Roman Catholic bishops say the release of a report on child molesters among priests is "a sad day" for everyone in the church, but marks another step in addressing the problem.
       "We have to be hopeful that we are taking the needed steps to assure that the sexual abuse of minors by clergy doesn't happen in the future," Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus said.
       A total of 2.6 percent of Iowa priests who served Iowa Catholics over the past 50 years allegedly sexually abused children, according to reports from the state's Catholic dioceses. The national average in a report released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is 4 percent of clerics.
       "Today marks another step in the accountability of the church in addressing the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy," said Bishop Joseph Charron of Des Moines. "We cannot change history; we know there are many people hurting as the result of multiple mistakes of the church."
    It's time to take a stand
       The Porterville Recorder, www.portervillerecorder.com/articles/2004/02/28/news/local_state/news03.txt , By Roger Phelps, The Porterville Recorder, Feb 28 2004
       CALIFORNIA: A group of parishioners from Porterville's St. Anne's Church met Friday to talk over where the church stands in the wake of a disturbing report on molestation of children by priests.
       The report, released Friday, was made by the National Review Board, a lay watchdog group formed by American Catholic bishops. It reports that since 1950, more than 10,000 people have accused priests of molestation. The report comes as the Catholic Church has moved in recent months to gauge the extent and to cure the molestation problem.
       A main theme emerging from the discussion by St. Anne's parishioners was worry over what is the best way for the Catholic Church to treat a convicted priest. Outright dismissal and cutting of ties with convicted priests seems uncaring and careless, some said.
       "Eighty priests have committed suicide since this began," said Father Scott Daugherty of St. Anne's. "What is the Church's obligation for a 70-year-old priest? Is this a death sentence?"
       Said parishioner Pam Avila, "It seems most logical for the Church to know where they are, with prayer and help. It's not just saying, 'They're outta here.' That's not what the Church is about. Our youth doesn't get the message of praying for souls."
       [COMMENT: "Praying for souls." That's seems to be the opposite of what 1 John 5:16 says to do! And Pam ought to check Hebrews 6:4-6, Matthew 12:32, John 14:24, and 1 Corinthians 16:22. Yes, Jesus DID have a backbone! Most Churches were misled into the "forgiveness" road, but that is unlikely to be the balanced message that the real Jesus delivered.
       It's so sad that 80 priests have suicided. That's a sin, and it arose from their crimes against the victims, some of whom, also, commit suicide. COMMENT ENDS.]

    Bishops Face Decision on 'Zero Tolerance'
       Atlanta Journal-Constitution, www.ajc.com/news/content/news/ap/ap_story.html/National/AP.V8189.AP-Church-Abuse.html , By RICHARD N. OSTLING, AP Religion Writer, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The dismaying national reports on molesters among Roman Catholic clergy add a new layer of complexity for U.S. bishops as they look ahead to their next major decision in fighting sex abuse--whether to renew what's known as their "zero tolerance" policy for abusers.
       The bishops commissioned a study released Friday that found 4,392 priests were accused of abuse from 1950 to 2002, and plan to debate at their June meeting either keeping or revising the toughened abuse policy they adopted at the height of the crisis two years ago.
       The chief matter is "zero tolerance," the rule that priests guilty of even one abusive act with a minor must be permanently removed from active ministry and, in most instances, eventually dismissed from the clergy.
       While pressure from the public and victims to keep the policy in place is intense, some in the church want changes. Priests and bishops have argued that kicking out abusers without rehabilitation is too harsh, and merely cuts an untreated abuser loose on society.
    Lives of pedophile priest and victim both end tragically
       Providence Journal, www.projo.com/ap/ma/1077997487.htm , By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press Writer, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       BOSTON (MA) (AP): John Geoghan, a frail, hunched-over man who shuffled when he walked, became the most recognizable image of pedophile priests after his case ignited the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese two years ago.
       Patrick McSorley, a troubled young man who friends said struggled with drug addiction and alcohol abuse, was the public voice for Geoghan's victims who worked to help others escape the demons that plagued him.
       Within six months of one another, both men are dead, victims of a crisis that affected thousands of children across the country, including nearly 1,000 in Boston between 1950 and 2003, according to a tally released by the archdiocese last week.
       Geoghan, 68, was beaten and strangled in prison, allegedly by a fellow inmate enraged by Geoghan's molestation of children. The defrocked priest, who was convicted of fondling a 10-year-old boy, was accused in civil lawsuits of molesting nearly 150 Boston-area children over three decades.
       McSorley, 29, who said Geoghan molested him on a trip to get ice cream when he was 12, was found dead Monday at a friend's apartment in Boston's North End. The cause of death has not yet been released by the state medical examiner's office.
    State bishops say they are accountable
       Anchorage Daily News, www.adn.com/front/story/4792304p-4734891c.html , By NICOLE TSONG, February 28, 2004
       ALASKA: At a press conference marking the official release of the national reports, Alaska's sitting bishops, joined by retired Anchorage Archbishop Francis Hurley, said the days of bishops behaving as if they didn't answer to anyone but the pope are gone. They are now as accountable to the public and their faithful as to the Holy See, they said, with increasing oversight by lay boards and committees in the parishes and dioceses.
       Fairbanks Bishop Donald Kettler said his mostly lay committee that hears allegations of sexual misconduct has taught him how to better handle the issue of clergy sexual abuse. The committee includes people who are outside the church and thus have a different perspective.
       "We're going to do so much better than if I do it all by myself," he said. "That's the greatest lesson I've learned."
       Hurley said as he read the report, the word that came to him was accountability.
       "You will hear us apologizing often, and I hope you will understand that, at least as I say it, it's more a reminder to myself of what has happened and my particular part in it," he said. "This document, and particularly that of the National Review Board, is a demand that the bishops be called to accountability and that the bishops at times call others to accountability. ... We have to be publicly accountable."
    Catholic Church tries to come clean on sex abuse scandal
       News 24, www.news24houston.com/content/headlines/?ArID=24637&SecID=2 , Associated Press, 2:57 PM, Feb/28/2004
       WASHINGTON (DC) (AP): The Catholic Church says it wants to know if there are more people out there who have been abused by priests.
       As part of the release of two reports on the sexual abuse scandal that's rocked the church, the head of the U.S. Conference of Bishops urged such people to come forward -- if they want to.
       Bishop Wilton Gregory says the truth cannot hurt the church if it learns from it.
       One of the reports released says the number of sexual abuse claims involving priests averaged more than 200 a year since 1950. The other report points a finger at bishops for not training priests better.
    Bishop D'Arcy and alleged victim respond to priest abuse reports - RCC. 11,000 victims accuse nearly 4400 clergy.
       WNDU, www.wndu.com/news/022004/news_24301.php , by Michelle Relerford, 05:53 pm, last updated 10:34 pm, Feb/28/2004
       INDIANA: Across the country people are in disbelief after 11,000 victims accuse nearly 4400 priest of sexual abuse in the last century.
       The independent study on sexual abuse in the priesthood released on Friday by John Jay College provides startling information to Catholics and lay people alike.
       Bishop D'Arcy responds to the reports
       Bishop D'Arcy was an auxiliary bishop in the Boston Archdiocese before coming to the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.
       In Boston he urged the cardinal and other auxiliary bishops to do something about priests who preyed on children.
       "It was a crisis of faith and evil, moral evil, doing right and doing wrong," says D'Arcy.
    • Lay board takes pivotal role
       St. Louis Post-Dispatch, www.stltoday.com/ stltoday/news/stories. nsf/News/Nation/ 5E12F76D7C2EF5D 086256E48 003BDBDB? OpenDocument&Headline= Lay+board+takes+ pivotal+role ; By Jon Sawyer, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief, Feb/28/2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): The only thing ecclesiastical about Washington super-lawyer Robert Bennett on Friday was the royal purple tie he wore.
       Yet, as Bennett spoke at a news conference, it became clear that he and other Catholic lay people were demanding as never before an active role in the governance of their church.
       Bennett was summarizing the conclusions of a 12-member board of lay Catholics, appointed by American bishops to address the "causes and context" of the scandal over sexual abuse by priests that has rocked the church.
       To the disappointment of some critics, the board declined to say that homosexuality or celibacy was at the root of the sexual-abuse crisis, although it did call for much more focus on the demands and discipline of a celibate life, especially for priests and students with homosexual orientation.
    Priest Abuse Allegations Cost Wichita Diocese $1 Million [9 accused; > $US 1m] - RCC.
       WIBW, www.wibw.com/home/headlines/621456.html , AP, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       WICHITA (KS) (AP): A new report says Wichita's Roman Catholic Diocese -- Kansas' largest -- spent more than $1 million on the priest-sex scandal from 1950 to 2002.
       The money went for settlements, legal fees and therapy for victims of sexual abuse by priests, and for priests facing allegations of abuse.
       The figures are in a report by the U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops. It says dioceses nation-wide fielded nearly 11,000 abuse claims, with 6,700 substantiated.
       Nine priests were accused in the Wichita diocese during the 50-year period. The other Kansas dioceses also reported allegations at or below national rates. [Emphasis added.]
    Church sex abuse hits home -- and doesn't
       The Daily News, www.tdn.com/articles/2004/02/28/area_news/news04.txt , By Eric Apalategui, Feb 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, which includes Southwest Washington, has spent $13.5 million to deal with allegations of sexual abuse of minors made against 49 priests since 1950, the organization said Friday.
       Local Catholic leaders are aware of no local cases among the 153 abuse allegations from western Washington over the past half century, but the national scandal still hits home.
       "I think some people have been profoundly hurt by this in a place they thought could be trusted," said The Rev. Mike Wright of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Kelso, who called the abuses "a great tragedy."
       Nationwide, the Catholic church estimates it had paid $533 million for expenses through 2002, and millions more since then. Those costs include settlements with victims, legal costs and counseling for victims and priests.
       Wright, anticipating Friday's announcement, told his Kelso parishioners last weekend that "our number one priority is to make sure our children are safe."
    Bishop: Sheltering sex abusers over
       The Clarion-Ledger, www.clarionledger.com/news/0402/28/m06.html , From staff and wire reports, Feb 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: America's top bishop declared Friday that the days of sheltering sex abusers in the Roman Catholic priesthood were "history," as two reports showed how pervasive assaults on minors have been in the last half-century - and that church leaders bore much of the blame.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Victims of molestation countered they remain skeptical of church leaders' good faith.
       The reports represent an unprecedented look at the abuse crisis, partly because they were done with the cooperation of church leaders. They're certain to lead to months of debate on such hot-button issues as whether gays should be screened from the priesthood.
       A panel of Catholic lay people charged by the prelates with investigating the abuse crisis, the National Review Board, issued both a survey tallying molestation claims and costs from 1950 to 2002 and a companion study explaining how the problem happened.
    • Report is 'a wake-up call'
       The Orange County Register, http://www2.ocregister.com/ ocrweb/ocr/article. do?id=83198 §ion=NEWS&subsection= FOCUS_IN_DEPTH&year= 2004&month=2&day=28 ; By ANN PEPPER, Feb 28, 2004
       CALIFORNIA: A national study released Friday showed more than 10,000 claims of abuse against priests nationwide over the past five decades. Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange called the numbers "shocking" shortly after the report was made public.
       "This report will serve as a wake-up call, not only for us but for the larger society," Brown said. "The numbers are shocking for people, shocking for me. Now we have to accept it and respond to it."
       The lay panel excoriated the nation's bishops, calling the church's long lack of response to the "epidemic" of abuse "shameful" and "a crisis of trust and faith." Members of victims groups called the report a "very strong statement" and urged the church to initiate greater outreach to those who have been hurt.
    Reactions to the priest report
       The Orange County Register, http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/article.do?id=83209§ion=NEWS&subsection=FOCUS_IN_DEPTH , By ANN PEPPER, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       CALIFORNIA - "This is a very serious report to clarify for all concerned exactly what this problem is and the extent of it. I hadn't really seen the figures before, and of course they are shocking. What we want to do now is proceed with the programs we've proposed and go forward with our covenant with the faithful. There is quite a bit to be done."
       Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange
       "The main thing I want is public disclosure of the personnel documents. The public really needs to know the gravity of the abuse that took place. Apologies are fine. They are appreciated. But now there needs to be accountability."
       Joelle Casteix who has accused a former Mater Dei High School choir director of abusing her while she was a student there during the 1980s.
       "The long-term damage to victims is in relational functioning. It could be difficult for them to have sexual relations because of post-traumatic flashbacks to abuse. It could be you would engage in abuse yourself - all types of long-term sexual problems."
    Richmond Diocese had 24 allegations
       Daily Press, www.dailypress.com/news/dp-66748sy0feb28,0,7704021.story?coll=dp-headlines-topnews , By Michael D. Wamble, February 28, 2004
       RICHMOND (VA) - The Catholic Diocese of Richmond reported that 24 people made allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic priests between 1950 and 2002.
       Data from the Richmond Diocese, which includes all of Hampton Roads, is part of a report released Friday by the National Review Board, a lay group formed by U.S. Catholic bishops to examine church policy on clergy sexual abuse. A second report, also released Friday from the review board, castigated bishops for permitting abuse to continue for decades.
       Friday, local Catholics talked about how this painful report could help bring about renewal and redemption in their shared faith.
       Fifteen priests from the Diocese of Richmond have been accused of abuse between 1950 and 2002. On a national scale, 109,694 priests served during that 52-year period. Of them, 4,392 have been accused of sexual abuse.
    Findings aired on abusive priests [~ 2%]
       Asbury Park Press, www.app.com/app/story/0,21625,915620,00.html , By JOSEPH SAPIA, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       NEW JERSEY - The Roman Catholic diocese covering Monmouth, Ocean and two other counties yesterday reported 43 children were sexually abused by priests from 1950 to June 2002, resulting in the diocese paying almost $1 million to the victims.
       Twenty-five priests out of about 1,400 who served in the diocese during that time -- or not quite 2 percent -- were responsible, according to the Diocese of Trenton. The $926,000 paid to victims was in the form of settlements or payment for counseling, the diocese said.
       The diocese's statement coincided with two national studies released yesterday by the National Review Board, a lay watchdog group created by American bishops in 2002.
    Norwich diocese not immediately releasing sex abuse statistics
       Newsday, www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-ct--churchabuse0228feb28,0,2321524.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire , February 28, 2004
       NORWICH, Conn.: The Diocese of Norwich will not immediately release sex abuse statistics for the diocese, officials said.
       Jacqueline Keller, a diocesan spokeswoman, said Norwich Bishop Michael R. Cote was not certain of the number, and wanted it to be accurate.
       In January, Cote told parishioners in a church bulletin that 19 priests, or 1.4 percent of those who have served in the diocese since 1953, have faced substantial allegations of sex abuse.
       The Archdiocese of Hartford and the Diocese of Bridgeport have released information about the number of allegations levied against priests, and the number of child sex abuse victims.
       "It's very important to know how many accusations there are, that is, how many children claim to be abused," said Robert Marrion of East Lyme, a co-founder of Voices of the Faithful of Eastern Connecticut.
    Church-molestations study revives call for bishops' removal
       Portsmouth Herald, www.seacoastonline.com/news/02282004/news/2449.htm , By Karen Dandurant, kdandurant@seacoastonline.com , Feb 28, 2004
       PORTSMOUTH (NH): New Hampshire Catholics issued scathing responses to a study of the abuse allegedly perpetrated by members of the clergy over the past 50 years and continue to call for the removal of Bishop John McCormack.
       The report demonstrates the failed leadership of the bishops, on both a managerial and a pastoral level.
       "I am calling on Bishop John McCormack and Bishop Francis Christian to hold themselves accountable by resigning their positions for actions specified in two attorney general reports and the reports of survivors who dealt directly with them," said Carolyn Disco, the survivor support chairwoman for the New Hampshire chapter of the Voice of the Faithful clergy abuse victims advocacy group.
       "As the National Review Board releases its report this week on sexual abuse, Bishop John McCormack insists that, 'I did not lie, I did not deceive, I did not cover up.'
       "That statement last Saturday by a leader at the epicenter of the church scandal is partly why this Catholic cannot move on to healing until he and Bishop Francis Christian are removed from office."
    Culture change [1980s]
       Cincinnati Post, www.cincypost.com/2004/02/28/sem02-28-2004.html , Post staff report, Feb 28, 2004
       CINCINNATI (OH) - Rev. Bill Hinds of Maysville attended Catholic seminary in Cincinnati in the 1980s as the social and sexual liberation revolution that began in the 1960s was winding down.
       Seminaries, supposedly a bastion of celibacy and high morality, had not been immune to the revolution, Hinds was shocked to learn. He said he observed sexual activity at the seminary.
       Among students, faculty and administrators, "some were ignorant of it, some condoned it and some encouraged it," Hinds said. "Some felt it was OK to act out things sexually and that you had to be sexually active to discover something about yourself. I felt that was not the right experience to produce the kind of priests we want to have and need to have."
       Could it have helped produce priests who sexually abused children?
    Report Falls Short, Whistleblower Says - Fr Tom Doyle speaks.
       Hartford Courant, www.ctnow.com/news/local/hc-doyle.artfeb28,1,3074535.story?coll=hc-headlines-local , By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, February 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES - The Rev. Thomas Doyle, an early whistleblower in the priest sex abuse scandal, said Friday that if any bishop thinks the John Jay report ends this chapter in church history, he is fooling himself.
       "It's not over with," Doyle said. "The heart of the matter is: Why was there this massive betrayal? Why did they move [abusers] around for years, when they knew what they were doing? Why have they continued to re-victimize the victims by stonewalling, and why they have never turned in any of these known pedophiles?"
       Nearly 20 years ago, Doyle warned the church hierarchy that sexual abuse by priests was a time bomb.
       He was a canon lawyer at the Vatican embassy in Washington in the 1980s when stories about a Louisiana priest accused of molesting dozens of children first appeared in newspapers.
       In 1985, Doyle wrote a report, sent to every bishop, warning that they needed to reach out to help the victims of sexual abuse. The response was the termination of Doyle's embassy position.
    Mahony Criticized by National Review Panel
       Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-catholic28feb28,1,3855193.story?coll=la-headlines-california , By William Lobdell and Larry B. Stammer, Feb 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): A national independent panel investigating sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church criticized Los Angeles' Cardinal Roger M. Mahony on Friday for refusing to turn over documents to a grand jury probe.
       The review board of prominent Catholic laypeople chastised Mahony, who has portrayed himself as a reformer during the national scandal, for arguing that the priests' personnel files and other documents must remain private and out of the hands of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley. "This argument did little to enhance the reputation of the church in the United States for transparency and cooperation," the report said, calling the Archdiocese of Los Angeles "troubled."
       The board was scathing in its analysis of how American bishops in general had handled the sexual abuse of as many as 10,667 children over five decades.
       "The inaction of those bishops who failed to protect their people from predators was … grievously sinful," the report states. "Somehow, the 'smoke of Satan' was allowed to enter the church, and as a result the church itself has been deeply wounded."
       The report also raised concerns about the role of homosexuality and celibacy in the scandal.
    Gay candidates for priesthood need scrutiny, church panel says
       Baltimore Sun, www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.priests28feb28,0,7020714.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines , By Frank Langfitt and Dennis O'Brien, February 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): Responding to data showing that more than 80 percent of clerical sex abuse occurred between males, a lay Catholic board recommended yesterday that the church increase scrutiny of homosexuals seeking to join the priesthood. While emphasizing that the ultimate issue is the celibacy of priests - not their sexual orientation - the board said the same-sex character of the church's abuse scandal suggested that homosexuals be screened more carefully. The recommendation came yesterday as the church released two documents detailing the nature and scope of its sex-abuse problem for the first time.
       A statistical study, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, indicated that more than 4,000 priests - 4 percent of the priesthood - had been accused of sexually abusing children in 1950 through 2002. The number was greater than some had predicted.
    Priest abuse investigation stays sealed [Secret: 145 accused clergy]
       Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/local/8064186.htm , Beacon Journal staff report, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       OHIO: A prosecutor's investigation into allegations of sex abuse made against employees of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will not see the light of day.
       Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan ruled Friday that Ohio law prohibits him from releasing the sealed evidence that was presented to a grand jury.
       He said there are only two situations that would allow a trial judge to disclose grand jury materials: when directed by a court in connection with a judicial proceeding, or when a defendant needs it to prove grounds for dismissal of an indictment.
       Corrigan said the case before him did not meet either of those tests.
       Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason was seeking to release some of the information he had collected for a 2002 grand jury that considered claims of sexual abuse made against 145 priests.
    Lawmakers again look at immunity
       Gloucester County Times, www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1077959749165340.xml ,
       By Terrence Dopp, gcnews@sjnewsco.com , Saturday, February 28, 2004
       TRENTON (NJ): After delaying action earlier this year on a bill to strip the Catholic Church of immunity in sexual abuse lawsuits, the state Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to revisit the matter Monday.
       The panel stalled this January on a proposal to lift New Jersey's ban on suing non-profit organizations, a law known as the Charitable Immunity Act. The law essentially exempts institutions such as religious groups and charities from being sued over the behavior of their employees.
       Some lawmakers, spurred by the abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, are looking to amend the code in cases involving sex abuse of minors.
       Like other states in the U.S. the New Jersey Church has been hit by the scandal. So far, state dioceses in the state have paid $12.7 million to settle abuse allegation.
       Officials at the New Jersey churches emphasized that almost all the alleged abuse took place more than 20 years ago.
    Archdiocese releases abuse figures - RCC. 45, 1.19%, 136, $US 12.7]
       The Journal News, www.nyjournalnews.com/newsroom/022804/a0128scandalsurvey.html , By GARY STERN, February 28, 2004
       NEW YORK: Forty-five metropolitan-area priests committed at least one act of sexually abusing a minor between 1950 and 2002, representing only 1.19 percent of all priests who served during that time, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York reported yesterday.
       The priests were accused by 136 individuals, some of whom were abused more than once. The archdiocese and its insurance companies spent $12.7 million on settlements with victims, counseling for victims and priests, and legal fees.
       Only four additional priests who were accused of abuse during the half-century period were cleared by the archdiocese and returned to ministry.
       While the numbers in aggregate may be startling, they suggest that the sexual abuse of minors by priests has been on a much smaller scale in New York than in other major archdioceses such as Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas. Nationally, a much-anticipated study released yesterday on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found that 4,392 priests, or about 4 percent of all clerics who have served since 1950, had been accused of abuse.
    Clergy abuse report cites 'homo-erotic culture' - RCC.
       San Francisco Chronicle, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/02/28/MNGD25AMH81.DTL , Saturday, February 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The 145-page "Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States" was released Friday by the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Among the staggering findings, 4,392 priests were accused of molesting 10,667 minor victims from 1950 to 2002.
       The majority of the victims were males between the ages of 11 and 17.
       More staggering is the fact that bishops and homosexual priests who serve under them in the Roman Catholic Church are given special attention on the causes of the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church over the past two decades.
       It comes just two days after Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the church's 40 days of Lent, the period of repentance leading up to Easter Sunday.
       Catholic bishops can find plenty of reasons to repent in the detailed report, which looks at both the sexual abuse by priests and the coverup of those crimes by many bishops.
       "These leadership failings have been shameful to the church as both a central institution in the lives of the faithful and a moral force in the secular world," the 12-member board concludes.
    Woman alleges priest's sexual advances
       Mobile Register, www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/1077963384278600.xml , By STEVE MYERS, Feb/28/04
       MOBILE (AL) - A former parishioner at St. Mary's Catholic Church has sued the Archdiocese of Mobile, claiming that the Rev. Paul Zoghby attempted to sexually assault her over several years and threatened to destroy her family if she didn't keep quiet.
       Linda Ledet, 46, claims that she reported the priest's actions to the archdiocese, which agreed to pay for her counseling, to send him away for counseling and to place him somewhere where he wouldn't be a harm to others.
       The church broke that agreement, the lawsuit claims, by not placing Zoghby in counseling and by transferring him to another church.
       Zoghby, a high-profile priest in the archdiocese who headed the Catholic Charities fund drive, was associate pastor of St. Mary's in 2003 when he went on what was described as a sabbatical.
       When he returned last fall, he was appointed pastor at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland in Foley and was replaced as the head of Catholic Charities.
       The Most Rev. Oscar H. Lipscomb, archbishop of Mobile, said he had just received the lawsuit and it would be inappropriate to comment because he was closely involved in the case. The civil action was filed Wednesday in Mobile County Circuit Court.
    Sexual Abuse Crisis - RCC. 118, 4.6%.
       Plain Dealer, www.cleveland.com/living/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/living/107796461439511.xml , by Karen R. Long, Feb/28/04
       CLEVELAND (OH) - The Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland announced Friday that 117 priests and one deacon were accused of sexually abusing children in his diocese over the last 53 years.
       Admitting he made managerial mistakes, a grim-faced Bishop Anthony Pilla said he was overwhelmed and saddened by the tabulation, part of a national assessment of the prevalence and causes of clergy sex abuse. Just hours earlier, a national review board of Catholic laity laid much of the blame at the feet of American bishops.
       Pilla disclosed that since 1989, he transferred "about three" diocesan priests to new pastoral assignments after he learned they faced abuse allegations, a practice he has discontinued. Over the past half-century, 2,515 priests served the Cleveland diocese, making the abuse accusation rate 4.6 percent.
       As the American church gauges the damage of sex predators in Roman collars, many Catholics have found themselves questioning their faith, Pilla said. He described a flood of emotions: "outrage, heartbreak, disbelief and disgust."
    Bishop calls sex abuse 'history'
       Star-Telegram, www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/8065205.htm , By Darren Barbee, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       FORT WORTH (TX): Roman Catholic bishops said a report issued Friday showing 4 percent of U.S. priests have been accused of sexually abusing children since 1950 is one more chapter in a tragic story, but new safeguards have put the problem in the past.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
       But Barbara Blaine, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said she is concerned that bishops are giving the impression that the crisis is over, which may lead to complacency.
       "This is not about individual men who molested children," she said. "They are the bad apples. What we're talking about is the barrel, and the barrel is bad."
    Critic: Bishop made changes to protect kids [26, 96]
       Tucson Citizen, www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=local&story_id=022804b1_churchabuse , by BLAKE MORLOCK, Feb 28 2004
       ARIZONA - The Tucson Diocese estimates that 1,222 priests, externs (priests from other dioceses) and religious order priests have served in the diocese since 1950.
       Twenty-six priests - about one in 47 - molested 96 children here since 1950, the report said.
       The Tucson Diocese has been battered by the scandal that Greeley said he began warning church leaders about 19 years ago. In 2002, the church settled 11 lawsuits alleging sex abuse and faces more litigation.
       The suits sparked changes that Bishop Gerald Kicanas, head of the Tucson Diocese, has pursued with vigor, Greeley said.
    Alleged victim interviewed
       The Republican, http://masslive.com/news/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-1/107795803427200.xml , By STEPHANIE BARRY, sbarry@repub.com , Feb/28/2004
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): One of two alleged victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre met with officials at the Boston Archdiocese yesterday, according to the man's lawyer.
       The second accuser will dial in from California today for a conference call with the same church officials, said Boston lawyer Roderick MacLeish Jr. The lawyer said he requested that church officials make some public statement about the credibility of the men's allegations that followed Dupre's abrupt resignation earlier this month, but was denied.
       "The great antiseptic to scandal is the truth. ... The people of Springfield deserve some answers. I get 10 calls a day from members of that diocese. People love this man and they want to know the truth," MacLeish said.
       But the Rev. Christopher Coyne, the archdiocese's spokesman, said officials wouldn't comment on the allegations.
       "We only agreed to meet with the alleged victim," he said. "We don't have jurisdiction over this matter. We wouldn't draw any conclusions and issue a statement."
    Hubbard calls reports of abuse 'troubling'
       Troy Record, www.troyrecord.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11040404&BRD=1170&PAG=461&dept_id=7021&rfi=6 , By Robert Cristo, Feb/28/2004
       ALBANY (NY) - Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard expressed shock and remorse Friday over two studies that found nationwide nearly 11,000 minors have claimed they were molested by priests since 1950.
       The studies determine that more than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and over half of the alleged assaults occurred between the ages of 11 and 14.
       One of the reports places a majority of the blame on bishops failing to take action against priests who sexually abused minors.
       "We bishops failed to address properly the sexual abuse problem within the church," said Hubbard in a written statement. "We cannot change this tragic history, but we can make sure it does not repeat itself."
       Both studies were commissioned by America's bishops and were conducted by the National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
       The national reports follow Hubbard's releasing a historical accounting of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the Albany Diocese almost three months ago.
       In it, 121 individuals alleged sexual abuse by clergy affiliated with the Albany Diocese since 1950, of which 53 clergy ended up being accused.
       The Albany Diocese also found reasonable cause to believe allegations against 18 clergy, which is about 2 percent of the 814 in service over the past 53 years. According to the diocese, none of those 18 remain in ministry positions.
       To put the Albany numbers in perspective, the John Jay report shows the Diocese of Buffalo had 93 sex abuse complaints against 53 clergy members since 1950. Numbers on those who were found guilty of sexual abuse were not available on the Diocese of Buffalo's Web site.
    • Abuse claims exceed U.S. average - RCC. 6.5%
       Albany Times Union, www.timesunion.com/ AspStories/story.asp? storyID=223457& category= REGION OTHER& BCCode=HOME &newsdate=2/28/2004 ; By BRIAN NEARING, Saturday, February 28, 2004
       ALBANY (NY) - Priests in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese were accused of sexually abusing children more often than the national average, according to an unprecedented study of clergy sexual abuse released Friday.
       The study found 6.5 percent of the diocese's priests from 1950 to 2002 had been accused, while 4 percent of all Catholic priests were accused in the same time period. Albany's rate is close to the 7 percent figure for the Boston Archdiocese, where the nationwide scandal erupted two years ago.
       On Friday, Bishop Howard Hubbard, who is waging a high-profile battle against allegations of homosexual behavior, called the findings of two studies on the crisis in the church "disturbing and painful."
       One study, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, tallied abuse claims from 1950 to 2002 and include responses from 97 percent of the nation's 195 dioceses, along with 142 religious communities.
       Of nearly 110,000 priests who worked during that period, about 4,400 - or 4 percent - were accused of abuse, the report found.
       In December, Albany was the first of New York's seven dioceses to issue its report ahead of the national study. Albany's figures revealed that 53 -- or 6.5 percent -- of its 814 priests were accused. In Boston, 162 priests -- or about 7 percent -- were accused during the 52-year period.
    Clergy abuse report sparks mixed feelings for Catholics
       Modesto Bee, www.modbee.com/local/story/8203516p-9053690c.html , By AMY WHITE, February 28, 2004
       MODESTO (CA) - Local Catholics responded with feelings of hope and sadness to a national report on clergy abuse released Friday.
       "What is happening is a sad page in the history of the church," said the Most Rev. Stephen Blaire bishop of the Diocese of Stockton. But, he added, the church is committed to ensuring it doesn't happen again.
       "Our children are safe," he said. "We will make every effort to reach out to victims. … Even one case is one case too many."
       The survey of 195 dioceses across the country reported the number of accused priests was 4,392 -- about 4 percent of all priests in the ministry from 1950 to 2002.
       According to the survey, $572 million was paid for victim compensation, treatment of victims and priests, and legal expenses. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
       The Rev. Dean McFalls, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Lathrop, said he was discouraged and distressed by the figures.
    St. Apollinaris priest accused of sexual abuse sues accuser for defamation [1960s]
       Napa Valley Register, www.napanews.com/templates/index.cfm?template=story_full&id=0440A86D-3478-492D-8544-1031FBD24287 , By DAVID RYAN, Saturday, February 28, 2004
       CALIFORNIA - A Napa priest accused of sexually abusing a Southern California girl in the 1960s went on the offensive this week, suing his accuser for defamation.
       Monsignor Joseph Alzugaray, head of St. Apollinaris Catholic Church, claims in court papers filed Monday in Los Angeles that Pasadena resident Erin Brady's memories of sexual abuse are based on erroneous and controversial repressed memory flashbacks 26 years after the alleged abuse occurred. He also claims the now 44-year-old Brady has a history of psychiatric problems and emotional instability. Alzugaray is seeking unspecified damages.
       Also named in the suit is the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SNAP], Brady's attorney, Beverly Hills-based Raymond Boucher, and his law firm, Kiesel Boucher & Larson.
       Brady filed a civil suit against Alzugaray in December as one of 17 alleged victims of child abuse by various clerics of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The case claims Alzugaray and 26 other priests used their positions in the church hierarchy to create an environment that protected child molesters.
       In a December interview, Brady said Alzugaray molested her during a three-year period starting in 1967, when she was an 8-year-old student attending the Immaculate Conception School in Monrovia. She is the only one to make a claim against Alzugaray. She said she repressed memories of the abuse for decades, despite repeated "triggers" like the sight of men with curly, dark hair or men smoking pipes that still send her into panic attacks.
    John Jay Sex Abuse Report
       Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week726/perspectives.html , ~ Feb 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES - BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Two reports this week to the U.S. Catholic Bishops confirmed and assessed the extent of sexual abuse of children by priests over the last 50 years.
       According to a comprehensive study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, from 1950 to 2002, 4,392 priests were accused of sexual abuse -- about four percent of the total number of priests serving in those years; 10,667 individuals made the allegations.
       The crisis has already cost the Church more than $572 million, and that figure does not include the recent $85 million settlement to victims in Boston or in other pending cases. Most of the victims were boys between the ages of 11 and 14.
       In a second study, the bishops' National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel, examined the causes of the crisis. That report minced no words in stressing that the bishops' own "shameful" actions were a major contributing factor.
       ROBERT BENNETT (National Review Board): Many bishops, certainly not all, breached their responsibilities as pastors, breached their responsibility as shepherds of the flock, and put their head in the sand.
    A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States.
       Catholic Review Board, www.catholicreviewboard.com/report01.html , February 27, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People Established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. [Visit webpage indicated above for the report.]
    Accused priests totaled 1.7 percent of diocese
       Scranton Times, www.scrantontimes.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11040263&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6 , BY CHRISTOPHER J. KELLY, Feb/28/2004
       SCRANTON (PA) - A pair of reports on the scope and causes of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church reveal that 25 priests in the Diocese of Scranton were accused of sexually abusing minors over a 52-year period.
       The allegations were founded in 15 cases, the diocese said in a prepared statement issued Friday. The statement from Bishop Joseph F. Martino came about an hour before the National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by U.S. bishops, released two studies documenting the widespread molestation problem in the Catholic church from 1950 to 2002.
       One report is the first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases. It found there were 10,667 abuse claims over those 52 years. More than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and over half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were assaulted.
       About 4 percent of all American clerics who served during the years studied -- 4,392 of the 109,694 priests and others under vows to the church -- were accused of abuse.
    Church sex abuse did 'immense damage'
       Boston Herald, By Eric Convey, Saturday, February 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES - The country's Roman Catholic bishops said yesterday that one priest out of every two dozen - far more than church leaders had predicted - was accused of sexually molesting a minor at some point during the past five decades.
       "What is no longer debatable is the immense damage that has been done to the lives of thousands of innocent children," a group of victims of late Massachusetts priest Joseph Birmingham said in a statement after the numbers were released in Washington, D.C.
       Many victims' advocates questioned the accuracy of the figures, but U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops head Wilton Gregory said they were as accurate as possible.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," he said.
    Outspoken victim buried as hero - McSorley's death.
       Boston Herald, http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/localRegional.bg?articleid=2271 , By Dave Wedge, Saturday, February 28, 2004
       MILTON (MA) - The Hyde Park clergy abuse victim who became the public face of the Boston church sex scandal was buried in Taunton yesterday and was recalled as a hero to the hundreds of victims.
       "His pain will never be forgotten and will serve as a reminder for all those who have suffered at the hands of pedophiles," attorney Mitchell Garabedian said of 29-year-old Patrick McSorley.
       McSorley, a former cable TV installer who most recently lived in Taunton, was one of 86 victims of deceased pedophile ex-priest John J. Geoghan who shared in a $10 million settlement. The father of a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, McSorley was found dead last week in a friend's North End flat.
       One of the most outspoken Boston victims, McSorley had reportedly struggled with heroin addiction and nearly drowned last June in the Neponset River. Police haven't released his cause of death, and Garabedian, who was McSorley's lawyer, said it's unknown what caused his death.
       "He will be missed so much. It's so sad," his longtime girlfriend, Kristin Carter, said during a somber eulogy in St. Pius X Church in Milton. "He was so handsome and so young."
    Man, officials meet in case vs. bishop - RCC.
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/059/metro/Man_officials_meet_in_case_vs_bishop+.shtml , Associated Press, Feb/28/2004
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): One of two men claiming to have been abused by retired Bishop Thomas L. Dupre met yesterday with officials from the Catholic Diocese of Springfield and the Boston Archdiocese.
       Roderick MacLeish Jr., the man's lawyer, said church officials will prepare a report based on the three-hour-long meeting and send it to Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett and the Vatican.
       Both alleged victims said this week they will cooperate with Bennett's investigation, and officials of the diocese and archdiocese said the Vatican has the sole church authority to handle the allegations. MacLeish said his other client will also probably meet with church officials.
       MacLeish said he was disappointed that Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley had not issued a public statement saying whether he felt the men's claims were credible.
       "If the church thinks this is credible and serious, they have an obligation to speak and say something," MacLeish said. "Silence and secrecy is what got this church in trouble in the first place."
       But the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne, the archdiocese's spokesman, said officials would not comment on the allegations.
    Fix the church in the name of hope - RCC.
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ dailyglobe2/ 059/oped/Fix_ the_church_i n_the_name_ of_hope+.shtml , By JAMES E. POST, [Voice of the Faithful leader] Feb/28/2004
       BOSTON (MA) - The publication of the study of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church by the National Review Board, a group of Catholic lay leaders appointed by the nation's bishops, is a staggering indictment of a cancerous culture.
       The cost of the clericalism that characterizes the modern Catholic Church has now been measured in the lives of children who were abused (10,667), in the perpetrators of abuse (more than 4,392), and in the dollars spent to settle cases and conceal the facts (three-quarters of a billion dollars). In the face of these statistics, we are right to ask whether reform of the Catholic Church is still possible or whether it is a lost cause?
       Being a hope-filled people, we are inclined to view our bishops as a group of shellshocked men, who are now resolved to do the right thing by cleaning up the mess they created and perpetuated. But hope is not a method, and a method to fix the Catholic Church is desperately needed.
       Ultimately, the Vatican must be called to account for the sins of "our fathers," as author David France has so aptly named them in his new book. There are ample signs that Vatican officials have known and tolerated such scandal. The Vatican must act now.
       The Catholic Church is a lost cause if the pope or his successor fails to act on this issue. What, then, is to be done?
       The pope must meet with an international delegation of survivors of sexual abuse. Clergy sexual abuse is found throughout the universal church; it must be acknowledged by the pontiff, as he has acknowledged other "sins of the church" regarding intolerance toward Jews. Nothing less than a face-to-face meeting with abuse victims will send the message that the church is ready to atone for its past sins.
    More than 80 percent of victims since 1950 were male, report says - RCC.
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/02/28/more_than_80_percent_of_victims_since_1950_were_male_report_says , By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff, Feb/28/2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): More than 80 percent of minors under the age of 18 who were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests in the United States since 1950 were male, a report released yesterday found, raising questions about what role homosexuality played in the crisis and whether the Catholic Church will try to limit or prevent gay men from joining the priesthood.
       Neither homosexual priests nor celibacy were root causes of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, said Robert S. Bennett, the Washington lawyer who headed the research committee of the National Review Board that prepared a report detailing the "causes and context" of the crisis. But, he added, "an understanding of the crisis is not possible without reference to these issues."
       Bennett said there were "two overarching contributing factors" to why so many priests abused minors: Dioceses and orders did not screen candidates for the priesthood properly, allowing many sexually dysfunctional and "immature" men into seminaries; and seminaries did not adequately prepare students for the priesthood, particularly for the challenge of remaining celibate.
    Church hierarchy faulted by lay panel on abuse
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/02/28/church_hierarchy_faulted_by_lay_panel_on_abuse , By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, Feb/28/2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): The Catholic bishops of the United States have removed about 700 allegedly abusive priests and deacons from ministry over the last two years, a dramatic housecleaning at the end of a half-century in which 4,392 priests allegedly abused 10,667 minors.
       A panel of 12 lay people chosen by the bishops yesterday sharply criticized the church hierarchy for what the panel called "the multitude of preventable acts of abuse." The lay panel, called the National Review Board, said that dioceses had failed to properly screen and train candidates for the priesthood, and that some bishops had failed to respond effectively to allegations of abuse.
       "These leadership failings have been shameful to the church, both as a central institution in the lives of the faithful and a moral force in the secular world, and have aggravated the harm suffered by victims and their families," the board said.
       The board released two studies sought by the bishops, one a quantitative study examining the nature and scope of abuse from 1950 to 2002 prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the other the National Review Board's report examining causes of the abuse.
    Chicago archdiocese lists 142 cases as 'credible' - RCC. 55, 142, $US 38.7m.
       Chicago Tribune, www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0402280211feb28,1,5333638.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed , By James Janega, February 28, 2004
       CHICAGO (IL) - Fifty-five Chicago priests have been involved in 142 credible cases of sexual abuse since 1950, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday as dioceses across the county reported similar failings.
       Those accusations have required the archdiocese to pay out $38.7 million in settlements, legal fees and treatment costs, the highest price tag for the scandal yet provided by the archdiocese.
       The archdiocese report implicated 2 percent of the 2,513 priests who have served over the last five decades. Nationally, about 4 percent of priests have had credible accusations leveled against them, according to separate reports released Friday.
       The Chicago report is the fullest accounting to date of the scope of the scandal here. The archdiocese has issued similar, though less complete, reports since the early 1990s.
    Church's day of reckoning
       Chicago Tribune, www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0402280191feb28,1,413618.story?coll=chi-news-hed , By Geneive Abdo, Tribune religion reporter. Tribune staff reporter James Janega contributed to this report. February 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES - The U.S. Catholic Church failed to screen candidates effectively for the ministry and was "shameful" in its handling of abuse allegations leveled at more than 4,000 priests over the last half-century, according to most comprehensive analyses to date of the sexual abuse scandal.
       The two long-awaited studies released Friday, designed to quantify and explain the abuse problem, represent the church's efforts to show it is confronting the scandal openly and taking measures to prevent future abuse.
       But advocacy groups representing the victims said the figures were too low and criticized the reports for failing to identify the priests who were accused or the dioceses that had the greatest number of offenders.
       In all, 10,667 people reported they had been abused as minors by a total of 4,392 priests and deacons from 1950 to 2002, according to one of the reports. That figure represents 4 percent of the 109,694 priests in ministry at some point during those years.
       "There is absolutely no excuse for what occurred in the Catholic Church," said Robert Bennett, a member of the National Review Board, a watchdog group of lawyers, judges and other professionals that was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to analyze the scandal.
    Let healing begin, parishioners say
       The Saginaw News, www.mlive.com/news/sanews/index.ssf?/base/news-9/1077967387124420.xml , by DENISE FORD-MITCHELL, Saturday, February 28, 2004
      SAGINAW (MI): It's time to move on, say parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.
       Diocese officials reported Friday they received nine accusations of child sex abuse involving four priests and one deacon during a 52-year period.
       Saginaw church leaders released the information in anticipation of the publication of the New York-based John Jay College of Criminal Justice's year-long study on the number of cases filed against American priests and permanent deacons in 190 dioceses from 1950 through 2002.
       "It has been discussed and ramifications have been established," said Noreen Harkins, a pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12157 Church, Birch Run.
       "So it's time to let it heal. What better time than Lent to let the Resurrected Christ heal this."
    Diocese will give names of accused; Toledo's bishop says deceased won't be ID'd - RCC.
       Toledo Blade, www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040228/NEWS10/102280175/-1/NEWS , By DAVID YONKE, Feb 28, 2004
       TOLEDO (OH) - Reversing a longstanding policy, the Toledo Catholic Diocese said yesterday that it plans to release the names and status of priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.
       The move would make Toledo one of a handful of U.S. dioceses that have released such information. Bishop Leonard Blair, who took over leadership of the 325,000-member diocese in December, said two weeks ago that 35 priests and one deacon in the Toledo diocese have faced such allegations since 1950.
       At a news conference to discuss two national reports on clerical sexual abuse, Bishop Blair said yesterday that he "appreciated the concern" of those who want more than numbers and said he was prepared to provide a status report of the priests, by name, "as soon as we can reasonably put it together."
       He had no specific timetable for releasing the report but added that he would not include the names of priests who are "long deceased ... and cannot defend themselves."
       David Clohessy, national director of the victims' advocacy group SNAP, said he knows of only three of the 195 U.S. dioceses that have released names of priests accused of sexual abuse.
    'A sacred trust has been broken'; Local Catholic officials say sex abuse study does not put issue to rest
       Kalamazoo Gazette, www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1077967498124480.xml , By Chris Meehan, cmeehan@kalamazoogazette.com , 388-8412, Saturday, February 28, 2004
       KALAMAZOO (MI) - Local Catholic officials say they were deeply disturbed by the findings of a report released Friday that details the extent of clergy sex abuse in the church.
       They also said the study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice does not put the issue to rest.
       In fact, the study is only the latest development in an unprecedented and painful process of self-examination, they said.
       At a Friday afternoon press conference, Bishop James Murray said the study puts "to an end unnecessary and harmful secrecy," which means the church can now move forward to "arrive at the truth, and the truth will set us free."
       The John Jay study found that about four percent of clergy -- some 4,392 priests -- were credibly accused of abusing more than 10,500 minors between 1950 and 2002.
       "This process has been very stressful but necessary for our church," said Murray, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo.
    Diocese releases abuse data
       The Trentonian, www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11040601&BRD=1697&PAG=461&dept_id=44551&rfi=6 , by ANDRIA Y. CARTER, Associated Press, Feb/28/2004
      TRENTON (NJ) - The Diocese of Trenton took an important step in the national healing process yesterday by releasing its part of a nationwide study reviewing charges of sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests over the past 50 years.
       The National Review Board established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the results of two reports conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The review panel rebuked the bishops for failing to stop widespread sexual abuse of minors, calling the leaders' performance "shameful" to the church.
       "We are truly sorry for all the victims of abuse in the Diocese of Trenton and profoundly saddened for those who have been irreparably harmed because of these terrible acts perpetrated by members of the clergy over the past 50 years," the Most Rev. John Smith, of Trenton, said in a released statement.
       Smith is the religious leader for the Diocese of Trenton, which is the 20th largest diocese in the United States, serving more than 750,000 Catholics in Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
    Abuse report blames bishops - RCC. 700 removed since January 2002.
       Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/abusereport28.htm , By ANDREW MOLLISON, Cox News Service, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): The nation's Catholic bishops received a passionate scolding yesterday from their own national review board of prominent lay Catholics for their "shameful" handling of more than 10,000 "substantiated allegations" of sexual abuse against minors.
       "This is a failing not simply on the part of the priests who sexually abused minors, but also on the part of those bishops and other church leaders who did not act effectively to preclude that abuse in the first instance or respond appropriately when it occurred," said the 12-member National Review Board headed by Anne Burke, an Illinois Court of Appeals judge.
       While accepting the verdict, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said recent reforms - including the removal of 700 men from the priesthood since January 2002 - had made today's children safer.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," Gregory said at a news conference. In an aside to the nation's 63 million Catholics, he added, "As far as it is humanly possible to know such things, I assure you that known offenders are not in the ministry, (and) bishops now have in place the means of responding immediately to allegations, assisting victims and removing offenders from ministry."
    Panetta weighs in on abuse panel
       Monterey Herald, www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/local/8065249.htm , By ALEX FRIEDRICH, afriedrich@montereyherald.com , ~ Feb 28, 2004
       CALIFORNIA - After helping issue a national report on the Catholic sexual abuse crisis Friday, former Carmel Valley congressman and White House official Leon Panetta said he was "angry and ashamed" of the scandal, but said the Diocese of Monterey had been more open about abuse issues than many of its counterparts across the country.
       Panetta was one of a dozen members of the National Review Board, a Catholic lay committee established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to examine the "causes and context" of the abuse as well as the church's response.
       It was released along with a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice into the nature and scope of priestly sexual abuse of minors.
       "I'm angered and ashamed about what has happened in my church," said Panetta, a practicing Catholic. "My hope is that the church learns from this terrible scandal."
       How much influence the report will have is unclear. The National Review Board cannot impose its suggestions on the church, a fact Panetta considered a problem.
    D'Arcy's calls for action cited
       The Journal Gazette, www.fortwayne.com/mld/fortwayne/news/local/8065373.htm , By Rebecca S. Green, ~ Feb 28, 2004
       AltFORT WAYNE (IN) - hough much of the reports detailing the scope of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church offers scathing criticism of church officials, one report cites the efforts of Bishop John M. D'Arcy to bring the conduct of abusive priests to light.
       D'Arcy, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, first served with the Boston Archdiocese until 1984.
       On Friday night, D'Arcy appeared with other bishops, priests, theologians and members of the National Lay Review Board on the Eternal Word Television Network to discuss the reports released Friday morning.
       The report describing the context and causes twice mentions D'Arcy and his efforts while in Boston to bring the conduct of abusive priests to light.
    S.A. archdiocese cites payments
       Express-News, www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA28.12A.SAarchdiocesereport0228.159c8fbd.html , J. Michael Parker, Express-News Religion Writer, Web Posted Feb/28/2004
       SAN ANTONIO (TX) - Archdiocese of San Antonio officials said Friday that more than $5.2 million was paid from 1950 to 2002 in settlements and counseling connected with sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy.
       But victims and an attorney who won a multimillion-dollar settlement from the archdiocese in 1998 disputed the figures.
       The announcement came as officials of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a report on the extent of the sexual abuse crisis throughout the nation and a second report on the causes and effects of the crisis.
       San Antonio's reported cases involved substantiated allegations against 20 priests made by 58 victims. During those years, 2,113 archdiocesan and religious-order priests ministered in the archdiocese.
    The toll of church abuse [~ 7%]
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2004/02/28/the_toll_of_church_abuse , Feb/28/2004
       UNITED STATES: A report commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the most comprehensive survey of sexual abuse by any professional group. The great pity is that it came decades too late to spare thousands of young people from sexual predators.
       The report detailing the number of cases was done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. It is accompanied by another report from the National Review Board, also set up by the bishops, which recommends policies to prevent recurrences. Had the bishops created this board 20 years ago, when the issue first came to the attention of the conference, they could have averted a devastating scandal.
       In Boston the number of Catholic clergy accused of abuse approached 7 percent, far above the 4 percent national figure. Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley says he does not understand the discrepancy. He is being overly kind to his predecessors. Their "Prince of the Church" leadership style sustained a culture that protected abusers.
       O'Malley, in office seven months, is showing evidence of greater accessibility. The recommendations of the National Review Board, which call for strengthening the lay and clerical councils that advise the archbishop, mesh with his more open style.
    • 'Board is deeply disturbed by the situation in Boston' [Vatican re Geoghan and Shanley, abusing ~1978 onwards]
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com /news/local/ massachusetts/ articles/2004/02/ 28/board_is_deeply_ disturbed_by_the_ situation_in_boston , Feb/28/2004
       BOSTON (MA): Yesterday's reports released by the National Review Board included a passage focusing on the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston. Following are excerpts from the report.
       In early 2002 news accounts revealed that the Archdiocese of Boston had transferred a serial pedophile, Father John Geoghan, from parish to parish decades earlier, despite numerous complaints that he had molested young children. The Archdiocese first received a complaint that Geoghan had sexually abused a boy in 1979. Additional reports came in to the Archdiocese in the 1980s and 1990s.
       In 1989, law enforcement officials asked one of Cardinal Law's auxiliary bishops about reports that Geoghan had molested young boys. The Archdiocese informed the law enforcement authorities that Geoghan was undergoing treatment but did not disclose prior abuse allegations that had been levied against Geoghan. Geoghan continued in various positions in the Archdiocese for another decade until he was charged with sexual molestation of a ten-year-old boy. Geoghan was not laicized until 1998.
       Public scrutiny later focused on another priest in the Boston Archdiocese, Father Paul Shanley. As early as 1978, the Vatican had written to Cardinal [Humberto] Medeiros, then-Archbishop of Boston, expressing concern about Shanley's public statements seemingly in support of homosexual conduct with minors.
    Notable Cases [Hopwood, Condon] - RCC.
       The Post and Courier, www.charleston.net/stories/022804/sta_28priest.shtml , Feb 28 2004
       SOUTH CAROLINA: Some notable sex abuse cases involving the Catholic Diocese of Charleston:
       Monsignor Frederick J. Hopwood taught at Bishop England High School in the 1950s, served as The Citadel's chaplain and worked his way up the church hierarchy to monsignor and rector of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. In the early 1990s, the church removed Hopwood from his parish in Greenville after a man said he had been abused. At least nine other men contacted prosecutors with the same story; one pressed charges.
       Hopwood pleaded guilty in 1994 to one count of a lewd act upon a minor and was given statewide immunity from further prosecution. During the plea hearing, Hopwood told the court, "I have a deep sense of sorrow for what I have done and an even deeper sense of hurt for what I have done has caused to others."
       The Rev. Eugene Condon, another popular Charleston priest, pleaded guilty to four criminal abuse charges in 1998. During their investigation, authorities arrested Condon and found a trunk containing about 150 photographs of naked adolescent boys taken in the rectory of Stella Maris on Sullivan's Island, said Debbie Herring-Lash, an assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case. The photographs showed the boys from the shoulders down. Condon, like Hopwood, received a probationary sentence.
    45 Priest abuse cases in S.C. [$US 2.5 m]
       The Post and Courier, www.charleston.net/stories/022804/sta_28catholic.shtml , BY DAVE MUNDAY AND TONY BARTELME, Feb 28, 2004
       SOUTH CAROLINA: An unprecedented look at child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church shows that at least 45 children in South Carolina said they were molested by priests and deacons since 1950.
       Another highly anticipated report released Friday said the bishops' failure to stop sexual predators allowed the "smoke of Satan" into the church.
       The South Carolina numbers were in the first study, a massive 11-month assessment of the extent of sexual abuse in the church and its human and financial costs.
       Key findings:
       -- Nationwide, at least 4,392 clergymen, or 4 percent, were accused of sexual misconduct between 1950 and 2002. More than 10,600 children said they were abused.
       -- In South Carolina, 23 clergy members, or 2.7 percent, were accused of sexual abuse.
       -- The church has paid more than half a billion dollars nationwide, including $2.5 million in South Carolina, to settle legal cases and pay for counseling of sex abuse victims.
    Reports On Priestly Sexual Abuse Welcomed
       The Catholic League, www.catholicleague.org/04press_releases/quarter1/040227_reports.htm , Feb 27, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following remarks today on the two studies that were released regarding the problem of priestly sexual abuse:
       "The researchers at John Jay did a fine job. But it is the men and women of the National Review Board that deserve the plaudits of all Catholics: they had the courage to speak honesty about the scandal.
       "In many ways, the National Review Board's report vindicates what we have been saying for the past two years. The report notes that the scandal began in the late 1960s and trailed off considerably after 1984. This coincides with the onset of the sexual revolution and its waning after AIDS was discovered in 1981.
    Abuse issue not limited to Catholics - Insurance companies want cleaner Churches.
       The Post and Courier, www.charleston.net/stories/022804/sta_28others.shtml , Staff report, Feb 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The sexual abuse of minors by church workers is not just a Catholic problem.
       "Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers," according to a 2002 survey by Christian Ministry Resources, which advises churches on legal and tax issues.
       Churches in every denomination are worried about child sexual abuse. For instance, many larger churches require background checks and fingerprinting before adults can volunteer for the nursery.
       The trend is being driven largely by insurance companies, who are demanding stricter standards before issuing coverage against lawsuits.
       Many of the mainline denominations, such as Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist, came up with strict policies on avoiding and reporting child sexual abuse in the 1990s.
       A Web site called www.reformation.com documents allegations of 838 Protestant clergy. The largest category came from independent Bible churches. [However, Reformation.com's e-mail was returned around 02 Mar 04]
    Report: 44 Ariz. priests named in abuse allegations
       Arizona Daily Sun, www.azdailysun.com/non_sec/nav_includes/story.cfm?storyID=82875 , By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN and MICHELLE RUSHLO, Associated Press Writers, Feb/28/2004
       ARIZONA: Disclosing that 44 Arizona priests have been accused of sexually abusing children is an important step toward learning from the past and preventing future abuse, the leaders of the Tucson and Phoenix Catholic dioceses said Friday.
       "We feel humiliation in the public disclosure of our sinfulness and remorse for what we have done as sinners," Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted said. "The devastating impact of sin stands out starkly in cases of child abuse."
       On Friday, a study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was released, showing that 4,392, or 4 percent, of all U.S. Catholic clerics have been accused of abuse since 1950.
       Olmsted said the report needed to be done so that the church could make changes based on facts. He said further analysis would make the church more effective in correcting past mistakes.
       In the Phoenix diocese, 19 priests have been accused of abuse since the diocese was formed in 1969; all but one were reported for the national study. Allegations against one priest didn't surface until after the Dec. 31, 2002, cutoff date for the national study, church officials said.
    Hard look at sins of the fathers [> 10,000 substantiated]
       The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/02/28/1077677014181.html , from New York, February 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES: America's Catholic bishops accepted a severe scolding on Friday from their own national review board of prominent lay Catholics for their "shameful" handling of more than 10,000 "substantiated allegations" of sexual abuse against minors by 4392 priests and deacons - about 4 per cent of those who served between 1950 and 2002.
       "This is a failing not simply on the part of the priests who sexually abused minors, but also on the part of those bishops and other church leaders who did not act effectively to preclude that abuse in the first instance or respond appropriately when it occurred," said the National Review Board.
       While accepting the verdict, Louisiana Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said recent reforms - including the removal of 700 men from the priesthood since January 2002 - had made life safer for children.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," Bishop Gregory said at a news conference. In an aside to the country's 63 million Catholics, he added: "As far as it is humanly possible to know such things, I assure you that known offenders are not in the ministry. Bishops now have in place the means of responding immediately to allegations, assisting victims and removing offenders from ministry."
    Walsh: Church not alone in abuse
       The Press Democrat, www.pressdemocrat.com/local/news/28catholic_a1empirea.html , By GUY KOVNER, February 28, 2004
       SANTA ROSA (CA) - Calling it a "crime and outrage," Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh said Friday that child sexual abuse is a societal problem and the Catholic Church's exhaustive report on priest misconduct can help the nation deal with the issue.
       "Hopefully, it will open the eyes of society to this very grave problem," Walsh said as U.S. bishops released a nationwide survey documenting accusations against more than 4,000 priests -- a far higher number than all previous estimates.
       "We have certainly taken this to heart," said Walsh, the spiritual leader of 150,000 North Coast Catholics who attend 43 churches from Petaluma to the Oregon border.
       While the church has "scientifically studied" child sex abuse and taken steps to "prevent it from ever happening again," Walsh said other institutions, including schools and child welfare agencies, should do the same.
       "I think that's the challenge to society," he said.
       Rick Sautter, parish council president at St. Eugene's Cathedral in Santa Rosa, said the North Coast diocese -- buffeted by allegations of sex abuse and official cover-ups since the mid-1990s -- has changed.
    Cleveland diocese wins fight to keep abuse files secret
       Plain Dealer, www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1077975018236480.xml , James F. McCarty, FEb/28/04
       CLEVELAND (OH) - Voluminous investigative files documenting half a century of child sex abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland should not be released to the public, a judge ruled Friday.
       The media had asked Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason to release the roomful of documents at the end of his seven-month investigation in December 2002. Mason had sought a legal ruling on the media's requests.
       Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan, in a 16-page opinion, said the files must remain secret.
       "It is necessary that the [media] cite a particularized need for the information," Corrigan wrote. The media could not make a case strong enough to reach that standard, he ruled.
       Mason also had asked for permission to release the 50,000 documents to "appropriate public-service agencies" such as the Department of Children and Family Services. The judge denied that request, also.
    Clergy sex abuse detailed - RCC. 53, 2.6%, $US 670,000.
       Buffalo News, www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040228/1005228.asp , By JAY TOKASZ. Feb/28/2004
       BUFFALO (NY) - More than half of the 93 complaints of clergy sexual abuse received by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo were voiced within the past two years, when the abuse scandal flared in Boston and spread across the country.
       Most complaints were related to incidents alleged to have occurred more than two decades ago, Monsignor Robert Cunningham, diocesan administrator, said in an interview Friday.
       "I'm sure that because of all the attention, some people have come forward that would not have previously come forward," said Cunningham.
       Earlier in the day, a letter written by Cunningham was sent to all the diocese parishes revealing data he provided for a national study of the abuse crisis.
       Since 1950, 53 clerics in the local diocese have been accused of sexual abuse, and the diocese has spent $670,000 on counseling and "associated costs" related to the accusations, according to Cunningham's letter.
       The release of the local numbers - which diocesan officials previously refused to make public - came in tandem with the results of a national survey on the scope of the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
       In the Buffalo Diocese, the 53 accused clergy, which includes priests and deacons, represented 2.6 percent of the 2,046 clerics who served in the diocese between 1950 and 2002.
    Added task for Maine's next bishop - RCC.
       Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com/news/state/040228bishop.shtml , By JOHN RICHARDSON, Feb 28, 2004
       PORTLAND (ME) - Maine's next Roman Catholic bishop said Friday he has been as surprised and horrified as anyone by the extent of child sexual abuse by his fellow priests.
       Bishop-designee Richard J. Malone said he remains hopeful and eager to take over the helm of the Maine church, even as he feels the added responsibility to reach out to victims of abuse and distrustful parishioners.
       "I was as devastated and, really to be honest with you, shocked by the volume of these horrible cases," he said Friday. "Almost all of my ministry had been in education and teaching. I really, to be honest with you, never heard references to (abuse cases). My work has not brought me up close to this whole miserable aspect of the church's life."
       Malone's perspective is about to change. He will be installed as the bishop of the Portland Diocese on March 31 and will become the spiritual leader of 234,000 Maine Catholics at a time of pain and sadness in the church.
       "Even under the best of circumstances, taking over the helm of a diocese is daunting because it's such a sacred trust," he said. "You're responsible to God and the people for so much. Coming to a new diocese with this stuff to deal with . . . certainly adds another level. But I go in trusting in the Lord. I've been called to this."
    In state, 268 alleged victims of 68 priests - RCC. 60, 268, $US 15.5m.
       The Olympian, www.theolympian.com/home/news/20040228/frontpage/3621.shtml , Olympian Staff, News Services, Feb 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON - The Catholic Church has spent $15.5 million in the state dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests, the church revealed Friday.
       More than half of that amount was used to settle cases dealing with a priest who spent five years of his 40-year career at Saint Michael Catholic Church in Olympia.
       The report by the Archdiocese of Seattle said 68 Roman Catholic priests in Washington are accused of sexually abusing 268 children from 1950 to 2002.
       The majority of the abuse cases occurred years ago, according to the Washington state contributions to a national, church-sanctioned study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
       "To our knowledge, there has not been one instance of abuse by a priest or a deacon in this diocese since 1991," Bishop William Skylstad of the Spokane Diocese said at a news conference Friday.
       The largest settlements deal with James McGreal, now 80, who was a priest at Saint Michael from 1966 to 1971.
    Abuse Scandal Is Now 'History,' Top Bishop Says
       Star Banner, www.starbanner.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040228/ZNYT02/402280311/1009/BUSINESS , New York Times, for February 28, 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC), Feb. 27: Just after the release on Friday of two long-awaited studies on the sexual abuse of children by more than 4,000 priests, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared with emphatic finality in a news conference that the bishops had faced the problem, come clean and swept the church of abusers.
       "I assure you that known offenders are not in ministry," the leader, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., said as he punched out his words. "The terrible history recorded here today is history."
       One report said that "there must be consequences" for the leaders who failed to stop the abuses and that the bishops should hold one another accountable in the future. That did not satisfy critics, who said the church was continuing to sidestep the most sensitive and intractable issues that the scandal had raised.
       In reacting to the reports, advocacy groups and reporters peppered the bishops with a host of questions like, Should not bad bishops be removed? Should the celibacy requirement for priests be abandoned? Should seminaries bar gay men?
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 09:22 AM
    //////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Saturday, February 28, 2004
    • 10,000 abuse claims against Church; 4%; 'These leadership failings have been shameful to the church.'
       The Sunday Times, Perth, W. Australia, "10,000 abuse claims against church," www.sundaytimes. news.com.au/ common/story_ page/0,7034,8814 996%255E401,00. html , From Rachel Zoll in Washington, Feb 28 2004
       WASHINGTON (DC): A panel of prominent Roman Catholics rebuked US bishops today for failing to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the last half-century, calling the leaders' performance "shameful to the church".
       The comments came as the National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the bishops, issued two highly anticipated studies documenting the molestation problem from 1950 to 2002.
       One report provided the first church-sanctioned tally of abuse cases.
       It found there have been 10,667 abuse claims over the 52 years. More than 80 per cent of the alleged victims were male and more than half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were assaulted.
       About 4 per cent or 1 in 25 of all American clerics who served during the years studied - 4392 of the 109,694 priests and others under vows to the church - were accused of abuse.
       The second report examined the causes of the molestation crisis and put much of the blame on American bishops for not cracking down on errant priests.
       "This is a failing not simply on the part of the priests who sexually abused minors but also on the part of those bishops and other church leaders who did not act effectively to preclude that abuse in the first instance or respond appropriately when it occurred," the review board said in a summary of its findings.
       "These leadership failings have been shameful to the church."
       The John Jay College of Criminal Justice conducted the tally of abuse claims for the review board, receiving survey responses from 97 per cent of the nation's 195 dioceses, plus 142 religious communities.
       It found that of the 10,667 reports of assaults on minors, more than 10 per cent were unsubstantiated and roughly 20 per cent were not investigated because the priest accused was dead or inactive when the allegation was received.
       The Diocese of Yakima, Washington, said in a news release about 6700 claims or 63 per cent were substantiated. [Feb 28, 04]
    • Study of Catholic Priests and Child Abuse: The Boy Scouts Were Right about the Risks of Homosexual Youth Leaders .
       Snippets from JeffLindsay.com , www.jefflindsay.com/ snippets/gay- priests.shtml , by Jeff Lindsay, Feb. 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Feb. 28, 2004: With the skill and determination of a modern-day Houdini, the mainstream media has been struggling to escape what appears to be an inescapable conclusion from the national scandal of sexual abuse among Catholic priests. Sadly, those chains just won't come off, but with enough misdirection, maybe we won't notice they are there. Maybe we'll overlook the inescapable conclusion that the Boy Scouts of America were right. They have been vindicated in their cautious policies that make it difficult for gay men to serve as respected leaders of young boys and young men. Based on what we now know about the scandal with priests, the concern that some homosexual men might seek access to young victims has been entirely borne out with tragic experience.
       My state of Wisconsin and many other states have been rocked by the scandal of child molestation among Catholic priests. The scandal, however, is far larger than most people have imagined or could have imagined. We've been told that the molesting priests represent a few scattered pedophiles--that's the preferred term, one that conjures up an image of rare sickos with no particular relationship to the gay community, mentally ill creatures going for tiny little kids. Some journalists have even claimed that a majority of the victims were girls, and that homosexuality was not an issue in the scandal. When was the last time a major media outlet dared to say that the molesters were homosexual men or that the victims were typically teenage boys? And how often has the press dared to say that large numbers of homosexual men have naturally been drawn to the Catholic clergy, where they can use their positions of authority to gain sexual access to youths? [...]
       Part of the Houdini-like efforts in the media involve the claim that the problem of child molestation not a homosexual problem, and that homosexuals are no more likely to pose a risk than anybody else. That's another assertion that doesn't necessarily fit reality. Again, most homosexuals are not molesters, no question! And many molesters are heterosexual. But if you look at those who are convicted for child molestation, the number of men who abuse boys relative to those who abuse girls is far too high if homosexuality did not increase the likelihood of child molestation. In fact, there are several other types of evidence that point to a much higher that homosexual men will be child molesters. See "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse" by Timothy J. Dailey, Ph.D., "Homosexuality and Pedophilia," and "How Pedophiles Have Targeted the Boy Scouts of America." [...] [Feb 28, 04]
    Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, www.ncrnews.org/abuse, Sunday, February 29, 2004 edition follows:-
    National Abuse reports; bishops 'kept their promises'
       The Catholic New World, http://catholicnewworld.com/cnw/issue/abuse_022904.html , By Michelle Martin, Staff writer, Feb 29 2004
       CHICAGO (IL): As Catholics around the country got their first look at the extent of clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago were updating information on clerical sexual misconduct here since 1950.
       Based on a draft report obtained by CNN, a national study including nearly all the 195 dioceses and eparchies in the United States was expected to show that 4,450 clergymen-or about 4 percent of those who served from 1950 to 2002-were accused of child sex abuse during that period.
       The official report, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, was to be released Feb. 27, after The Catholic New World went to press. Full details will be in the March 14-27 edition.
       The John Jay report was commissioned by the National Review Board, a lay group chaired by Illinois Appellate Court Justice Anne M. Burke, and created by the U.S. bishops' conference under the terms of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People first approved in Dallas in 2002.
       The board was also to release its own study about the "how and why" of the U.S. abuse crisis. Both reports were part of the bishops' mandate to the review board.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:09 PM
    Catholic abuse reports paint disturbing picture [149 repeat-offender priests among 4392]
       USA Today, www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-02-29-abuse-reports-usat_x.htm , Feb 29 2004
       UNITED STATES - America's Catholic leaders have confronted the clergy sexual abuse scandal in two new reports. One is a statistical study - how many abusers since 1950, how many victims and the financial costs of abuse - conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The other, an analysis of the causes and context of abuse and the church's failure to face and correct it, was conducted by a national review board of prominent lay Catholics. USA TODAY's Cathy Lynn Grossman looks at the reports' findings:
       How extensive was the abuse?
       The John Jay report found 4,392 priests allegedly abused 10,667 children and teens between 1950 and 2002. While most accused priests had only one allegation in church records (source of the data), 149 predator priests accounted for one in four of all victims.
       The January 2002 trial of one such predator, the late ex-priest John Geoghan, triggered the nationwide scandal when Boston records revealed archdiocesan officials shuffled known pedophiles among unsuspecting parishes. (Related story: So 'history' doesn't repeat)
    Priests, Abuse: Scary Numbers [4%]
       The News Record, http://newsrecord.tuc.uc.edu/read.asp?ID=14747 , by Brian Phillips, ~ Feb 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES - It's been a big week in numbers for the Catholic Church.
       Four percent of American priests were accused by children of sexual abuse from 1950 to 2003, according to a recently-released report commissioned by Catholic bishops.
       In Cincinnati, the numbers were higher. Here, 5.9 percent of priests were accused. That's about one out of 17.
       If you were a kid hanging out with a priest during those years, the chance of the priest being an accused sexual offender would be the same as the possibility of you being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
       About six percent of kids are diagnosed with ADD. That's not a huge number, really. It's one in 17 priests. [sic]
    Church Abuse Goes From Scandal to Sermon
       Kansas City Star, www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/8073435.htm , By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press, Posted on Mon, Mar. 01, 2004
       BOSTON, UNITED STATES - Roman Catholics confronted the problem of clergy sex abuse from pulpits, at protests and in parishes on Sunday, two days after the release of reports outlining the scandal's scope and the church's failure to protect children.
       While some victims took to the streets in protest, claiming the church hierarchy was trying to whitewash the problem, others said they felt relieved the church is coming to terms with the issue.
       "I don't want it to go away," said Maurice Smith, 52, a Boston resident who attended Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. "The more we address it, the more we can feel it's not going to be swept under a rug or covered up."
       Two church-sanctioned studies were released Friday by the National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by church bishops. One, compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, found there had been more than 10,000 abuse claims against nearly 4,400 priests from 1950 to 2002.
       "We must pray ourselves out of this wilderness," said Monsignor Richard Sniezyk, who was installed administrator of the Springfield Diocese in February after Bishop Thomas Dupre resigned in the face of abuse allegations. "We need not panic. We need to pray."
       Nancy Fitzpatrick, 44, a registered nurse who attended a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, called the report's numbers "shocking."
       "But I do think the church is doing its best to address this," she said. "Releasing these figures means they're acknowledging how big a problem this is, and that's a good step."
       Others feared the church might not have given a full account of the abuse claims.
       "It's just staggering the numbers of people who were abused," said Joan Smola, 59, of Hadley, Mass., who attended a vigil for victims in Springfield. "Do we know whether all of the dioceses were honest in what they put in their reports? I'm sure there are many victims who have not come forward."
       About 100 victims and their supporters marched Sunday in Boston from Holy Cross to the Statehouse to urge Gov. Mitt Romney to appoint a clergy abuse task force to oversee the church in Massachusetts, where the sex abuse scandal erupted with reports in the Boston archdiocese.
       Organizers said the church should reveal information about priests who are no longer in ministry and live in the community, but acknowledged there may be legal roadblocks because most accused priests were not convicted.
       "The solution can't be merely to respect the civil liberties of these men and let kids get raped," said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors. "We can do better than that."
       Romney spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman said Sunday that the Republican governor would consider the group's request, but wouldn't elaborate.
       Along with the John Jay College report, the second report examines the causes of the molestation crisis, putting much of the blame on American bishops for not cracking down on errant priests.
       In that report, the National Review Board pointed out the evolution of the crisis in the Boston archdiocese, where the crisis exploded following the revelation that the late defrocked priest John Geoghan had been shuffled among parishes despite allegations of abuse.
       "The picture that emerged was that of a diocese with a cadre of predator priests and a hierarchy that simply refused to confront them and stop them," the report said.
       Robert Bennett, the lay person who oversaw the study, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he thinks bishops who sheltered guilty priests should resign.
       The lay reform group Voice of the Faithful, which was created in response to the abuse scandal, took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times urging Pope John Paul II to seek resignations from bishops who "knowingly transferred sexually abusive clergy."
       Cardinal Bernard Law, who was archbishop of Boston when the crisis erupted in his archdiocese, is the only church leader who has stepped down over transferring predator clergy from parish to parish.
       During Mass at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony talked about the sex-abuse crisis without referring to the John Jay report.
       "In my own life, the last couple of years have been very difficult because of the sexual conduct problems of some clergy," Mahony said. "Very often I (say) 'Anything but that, Lord. Change this cross to something easier to bear, change this cross for me.'"
       The report found that the Los Angeles Archdiocese had California's highest number of sexual abuse claims, 656, and highest number of accused clerics, 244. The National Review Board study found the Los Angeles diocese to be "troubled" and singled out Mahony for resisting subpoenas seeking priest personnel files.
       During Mass at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, head of the Archdiocese of San Antonio for 25 years, asked for personal forgiveness for not doing more in the past to protect children.#
    • Woman Tells NEWS 9 Report Of Priest Abuse Doesn't Tell The Whole Story; Report Shows Child Sexual Abuse Charges Brought Against Seven Wheeling-Charleston Priests. [Frobas] - RCC. Boys.
       WTOV News 9, www.wtov9.com/ news/2884218/ detail.html , by Ashlea Kosikowski, POSTED 5:30 p.m. EST, February 29, 2004
       WEIRTON, WV -- "Linda" has lived with the pain of knowing victims of child molestation for over twenty years. "Those boys were like my own children," she told NEWS 9's Ashlea Kosikowski. "It hurt me deeply these boys were being used the way they were."
       (Graphic - "Sex abuse".)
       Linda -- who wants to remain anonymous -- worked as a teacher at the Saint Paul Parish school when Father Victor Frobas, who has since died, was the priest at the Catholic church. Some boys confided in Linda and another teacher. "They were being molested -- the priest was successful with some, others he frightened away," she says. The boys told stories about the ways the priest would allegedly lure them. He got close to his alleged victims by starting a boy scout troop. She says Frobas preyed on devout Catholic families, who thought a holy man could do no wrong. Linda, another teacher, the school principal and some parents met with the bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. She was shocked by what he said.
       "He knew about it," Linda said. "He brought out a file. He told us the number of times this priest received rehabilitation for this. His words were, 'Any priest is better than no priest at all.'"
       Soon after the meeting, Linda says Frobas was abruptly transferred. Friday, a national study reported about a dozen victims accused seven priests in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston of sexual abuse. But Linda says the numbers don't tell the whole truth. Those statistics only come from victims who were brave enough to tell their story.
       She says she knows of 12 victims of Frobas who went to Saint Paul's -- even though only three victims sued the priest. But Frobas also taught at Wheeling Central and Saint John in Wellsburg. Linda says she knows there are many other victims out there living with a dark secret inflicted upon them by a man of God.
       Frobas eventually served prison time after sexual assault convictions in Missouri in 1988. He died shortly before allegations of his involvement in a child sexual abuse ring went to trial in Worcester, Massachusets.# [Emphasis added]
    • Mahony calls sex abuse scandal his "cross"
       Herald Tribune, www.herald tribune.com/ apps/pbcs.dll/ article? AID=/20040229/ APN/402290854 , Feb 29, 2004 [Can't access on 21 Jan 2005]
    • Sex abuse in church, beyond - RCC.
       Christian Science Monitor, www.csmonitor. com/2004/03 01/p03s02- ussc.html , for March 1, 2004
    RESPONDING: Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, talks about a new report on the causes and scope of abuse. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS
       USA > Society & Culture from the March 01, 2004 edition
       RESPONDING: Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, talks about a new report on the causes and scope of abuse. JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS Sex abuse in church, beyond Catholic Church becomes first group in US society to report on scope of alleged abuse. By Jane Lampman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
       As Roman Catholics faced this weekend the staggering realities of their long-running sexual abuse crisis, the church's effort to set things right raised compelling questions for other American institutions. The largest US denomination became the first group ever to publicly document the amount of alleged abuse of children under its care, or to describe the managerial failings that lay behind it.
       On Friday a lay board set up by Roman Catholic bishops to help restore trust in the church reported that over the past five decades 4 percent of priests, or about 4,400, were accused of abusing 10,667 minors. The unfolding tragedy has shocked Americans over the past two years, causing other religious groups to scurry to shore up their procedures, but it may not have brought any deeper attention to the challenge abuse poses to the whole society. An estimated 100,000 children are abused in the US each year, whether at home, school, or other places. While efforts to address the problem have grown in recent years, it remains unresolved. One expert on sexual abuse suggests that within the US school system, the number of students affected is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests. "About 6 percent of kids say they have experienced some physical sexual behavior by someone employed by the school during their school career," says Charol Shakeshaft of Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who studies abuse in schools. The same faulty behavior exhibited by bishops occurs in school districts, she adds. In a study of 225 New York abuse cases, including rapes, all had gone through the school's system and some action been taken against a teacher, but none had been reported to the police or district attorney. As Catholics now wait to see how the bishops respond to the recommendations in the reports, some professionals in other settings wonder if the crisis will spur more widespread reforms. "So far, I've seen no effect of this crisis on the education system," Dr. Shakeshaft says. Others see some benefits from greater public awareness. James Cobble, founder of Christian Ministry Resources, which provides materials to Protestant and Catholic churches to help reduce the risk of abuse, says the public is now more comfortable with the idea of screening people for employment or volunteer work in churches. Insurance companies are also demanding training and screening procedures for churches to get higher levels of coverage.
    The fear factor
       Dee Miller, a psychosocial nurse who works with many denominations on the problem, says, "We have made progress in public awareness, but unfortunately, the fear seems to be as great as ever as far as the institutions go." Their first fear, she says, is that they'll be sued not by the victims but by the perpetrators. "In the late '80s, the Protestants were ahead of Catholics in getting policies and procedures together; that's just the first step, but people think it's the last," she says. "Some Protestant groups are doing training, but it's mostly larger churches, and the majority are small ones." Sue Archibald, president of The Linkup, a group for survivors of clergy abuse of all denominations, says that in many Protestant denominations "the more common problem is sexual misconduct with adult congregants rather than child abuse." Child abuse cases tend to get handled more swiftly in Protestant churches, where the employment of a minister often rests with a local congregation rather than a hierarchy.
       Still, in some denominations, there is a tendency "to minimize the problem and a desire to push it under the rug," Ms. Miller says. "Most of the survivors are women and children, and what it comes down to is the status of women and children within the denominations." In the Catholic case, however, 81 percent of the abuse victims were male and 86 percent were between the ages of 11 and 17, according to the report, prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice using data supplied by dioceses. Some groups challenged the statistics because they were based on self-reporting by bishops, rather than material from plaintiff attorneys, for example. Roots of priestly abuse
       But survivor groups are less concerned with the data and more with what happens next. The Linkup commended the board for its simultaneous separate report on the causes of the crisis, calling it "thorough and unvarnished." The high-profile body of prominent Catholics had strong words for the bishops and the church's seminaries, criticizing the failure to screen candidates properly or to adequately prepare students for the celibate life. The report called for greater study of celibacy nor homosexuality, while not labeling them root causes. More important, the report said, was the response of some bishops, in effect cooperating with evil. It identified several reasons, including the view of priests as the representatives of Christ on earth, the bishop-priest relationship of father to son, the bishops' failure to discuss the problem seriously, and putting institutional concerns above the pastoral.
    The search for solutions
       While the board called for greater lay involvement, including in the process for selecting bishops, and for greater direct communication with survivors, it did not take a stand on whether bishops should resign. It is up to individual bishops what they do with the recommendations. Bishop Wilton Gregory, head of the bishops conference, said that no priest with an allegation remained in ministry. But the names of removed priests have not been made public, and survivor groups point to a few accused priests still in their jobs. One response many are looking for in is an effort to deal with survivors' needs.The Linkup is establishing a healing center for victims, set to open in Kentucky in April, to which 25 bishops have contributed. In education, Shakeshaft calls for revising federal laws affecting liability and state laws for teacher credentialing. "Superintendents and principals need to ... put this on a priority list." #
    • NZ bishop disputes liability for sex abuse New Zealand flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       CathNews (from Church Resources, Australia), www.cathnews. com/news/ 403/2.php , ~ 29 Feb 2004
       NEW ZEALAND: Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland has reached a $A133,229 settlement with three brothers sexually abused by a priest, but told the brothers that the Church was not legally responsible.
       The three brothers, Mike, Gerry and Chris Ledingham, reached the settlement over abuse they suffered in an Auckland parish 40 years ago. Bishop Dunn (pictured) said he was willing to make an ex gratia payment to express sorrow although he had reservations about how responsible the church was for the actions of Father Frank Green decades ago.
       The Church is standing by Bishop Dunn´s comments, although spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer is stressing its continuing moral and spiritual obligation to its members.
       Expressing confidence that the Church has handled the case properly, she said money is not necessarily the only part of the healing process, and that any cases of abuse are to the church´s "great shame".
       Meanwhile the US Catholic Church´s National Review Board has released a major report on sex abuse. The 145-page report, released at a press conference in Washington on Friday, attributed the country´s clergy sex abuse crisis to "grievously sinful" acts of priests and inaction by bishops that let "the smoke of Satan" enter the church.
       "As a result the church itself has been deeply wounded. Its ability to speak clearly and credibly on moral issues has been seriously impaired," said the all-lay board, which the bishops established in 2002 to monitor their efforts to bring an end to sexual abuse of minors by priests.
       The often scathing report was an unprecedented lay critique of Catholic hierarchical policies and practices, written at the request of the bishops themselves.
       The report insisted that seminaries "must deal with issues of sexual conduct more openly and more forthrightly".
       "It is vital that bishops, provincials (religious-order superiors) and seminary rectors ensure that seminaries create a climate and a culture conducive to chastity," it said.
       "Although the discipline of celibacy is not itself a cause of the current crisis, a failure properly to explain celibacy and prepare seminarians for a celibate life has contributed to it," it said.
       The review board´s report, known as the John Jay study, is titled A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States.
       It revealed a higher than expected number of incidents and accused priests. Victims’ groups expressed skepticism, suggesting that because the data is self-reported, it may actually understate the true dimensions of the problem. The study asked dioceses to report every accusation in their files, regardless of credibility.
       The National Catholic Reporter´s John Allen comments that the fact that the study concludes that 4392 priests have been accused does not necessarily mean that 4392 priests are guilty of sexual abuse.
       SOURCE
    Bishop disputes liability for sex abuse (NZ Herald 28/2/04)
    Bishop´s Comments Defended (XtraMSN/Newstalk ZB 29/2/04)
    Report says clergy sexual abuse brought ´smoke of Satan´ into church (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    ´The Passion´ and ´liturgy wars´; A tour of Denver; Annual Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles; Canadian talk show TV; The John Jay report (National Catholic Reporter 26/2/04)
       LINKS
    Catholic Review Board
    US Conference of Catholic Bishops: National Review Board, John Jay & Audit Reports | The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States: A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    Experts Question U.S. Catholic Priest Abuse Policy (Reuters 23/2/04)s
    Vatican Weighs Reports for Abuse Rules (Associated Press/Guardian 23/2/04)
    Vatican seminar questions "zero tolerance" on abuse (Catholic World News 23/2/04)
    Vatican to consider scientific assessment of sex abuse by clergy (boston.com/Associated Press 23/2/04)
    Axing abusive priests risky, church told (Sydney Morning Herald 25/2/04)
    Clergy abuse victim found dead (The Australian 24/2/04)
    Vatican turns to science on abuse (Herald-Sun 24/2/04)
    Understanding of child sex abuse has evolved in last 50 years (Catholic News Service 23/2/04)
    Vatican seminar questions "zero tolerance" on abuse (Catholic World News 23/2/04)
    Priests abused 10,000 children (Sunday Mail 29/2/04)
    Bishops blasted in abuse report (Sun-Herald 29/2/04)
    Pressure remains on the church (Newsday 29/2/04)
    Grappling with abuse (Baltimore Sun 29/2/04)
    4% of Catholic priesthood abused kids in their care (Reuters/Taipei Times 29/2/04)
    700 Priests Removed Since January 2002 (US Conference of Catholic Bishops 27/2/04)
    Church in America braces itself for sex abuse surveys (The Tablet 28/2/04)
    Vatican publishes study on sexual abuse (Independent Catholic News 26/2/04)
    Sermons, Protests Target Church Abuse (Herald-Sun.com 29/2/04)
    U.S. officials at Vatican welcome release of sex abuse studies (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    Four percent of priests serving over last 50 years accused of abuse (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    Bishops say reports show sad reality of priests who preyed on young (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    Boston says 7 percent of its priests accused of sex abuse since 1950 (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    U.S. seminarians work to ensure they are not part of abuse problem (Catholic News Service 27/2/04)
    The Forum: Why the Sex-Abuse Crisis Continues (Catholic World News 28/2/04)
    Study shows scope of US sex-abuse scandal (Catholic World News 27/2/04)
      HAVE YOUR SAY   Click here   
       [COMMENT: The NZ RCs pay $A133,229, but a leader "told the brothers that the Church was not legally responsible.". Pull the other leg, your Lordship! COMMENT ENDS.]
    • Meet the Press United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       MSNBC News, http://msnbc. msn.com/id/ 4400303 , ~ Feb 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Transcript for Feb. 29th; Guests: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Robert Bennett, David Broder, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Novak and William Safire This is a rush transcript provided for the information and convenience of the press. Accuracy is not guaranteed. In case of doubt, please check with MEET THE PRESS - NBC NEWS(202)885-4598 (Sundays: (202)885-4200)
       Meet the Press (NBC News) - Sunday, February 29, 2004
       MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: Devastating charges. More than 4,000 Catholic priests sexually abused more than 10,000 children. The Catholic hierarchy severely chastised:
       (Videotape):
       MR. ROBERT BENNETT: As a nation, we should hold our heads in shame. Much blame on, unfortunately, at least as to the church, must be placed on the higher-ups. There is simply no question about it.
       (End videotape)
       MR. RUSSERT: With us, the research committee chairman of the Bishops National Review Board, Robert Bennett, and the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Bennett and McCarrick on the crisis in the Catholic Church only on MEET THE PRESS. [***]
       And when we come back, the author of this report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Robert Bennett, and the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Robert Bennett, Cardinal McCarrick together coming up on MEET THE PRESS.
       (Announcements)
       MR. RUSSERT: Child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Cardinal McCarrick and Bob Bennett, after this brief station break.
       (Announcements)
       MR. RUSSERT: And we are back.
       With us now, the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the principal author of the new report analyzing the causes of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, attorney Bob Bennett.
       Welcome both.
       CARD. THEODORE McCARRICK: Thank you very much.
       MR. BENNETT: Thank you, Tim.
       MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Bennett, in your mind, what is the most important thing in this document?
       MR. BENNETT: I think there are two things, that bishops have to know their priests, and, secondly, that governance has got to be worked on by the bishops because I think many of these problems were failures of appropriate governance.
       MR. RUSSERT: Ten thousand children abused by 4,300 priests. How could that have happened?
       MR. BENNETT: Well, I think as the report shows, it's a very complex nuance problem, but in a nutshell, sometime back, the church took in seminarians and later ordained them as priests, men who were sexually dysfunctional and were psychologically immature. There was a lack of proper formation of them, helping them to live with the requirements of celibacy and spirituality. And then finally, when incidents occurred, they were not dealt with appropriately and finally I think there was such lack of communication between the bishops, that they did not realize as a group the epidemic proportions of this crisis.
       MR. RUSSERT: Cardinal McCarrick, let me read from some of the report and then give you a chance to respond: "While there are many ways to view the current crisis, as a crisis of priestly identify or a crisis of episcopal leadership, the Board believes that the over-riding paradigm that characterizes the crisis is one of sinfulness. The actions of priests who sexually abused minors were grievously sinful. The inaction of those bishops who failed to protect their people from predators was also grievously sinful. Somehow, the `smoke of Satan' was allowed to enter the Church, and as a result, the Church itself has been deeply wounded. Its ability to speak clearly and credibly on moral issues has been seriously impaired."
       Do you disagree with any of that?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, I think basically it is a good summary of what happened in the past. Basically, it demonstrates that the church is made of saints and sinners and sometimes the sinners find their way into the clergy. And, well, since we're all sinners, we can see how that can happen. I think the point that the report makes about the lack of seminary supervision, the lack of seminary screening in those days is true. Perhaps, we didn't know at that time exactly how you had to screen, how you had to test. Now, we do. I think it is important to consider that so many of these, the vast majority of these happened by men ordained before we began to do this screening, before we began to look at this, but basically not to excuse. It is a question of holiness and of sinfulness. And this is what has happened.
       MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe there's a special place in hell for men who represent Christ on Earth and abuse their flock?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, whether there's a special place in hell or not, there is certainly a special, terrible judgment on someone who would abuse the trust that a priest must have, that a priest does have. And that's all part of our religion, that the priest is supposed to be father and brother and friend and guide. And if that is destroyed, and if it's destroyed with young people, with children, it becomes all the more horrible.
       MR. RUSSERT: Let me read another section of the report: "Most fundamentally, some bishops in the United States did not appreciate the gravity of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Until recently, these bishops all too often treated victims of clerical sexual abuse as adversaries and threats to the well-being of the church, not as injured parishioners in need of healing. Far too frequently, they treated predator priests as misdirected individuals in need of psychological treatment or a simple change in environment, rather than as criminal offenders to be removed from ministry and reported to civil authorities for possible prosecution and appropriate punishment. These approaches did not solve any problem but rather served to exacerbate them."
       Mr. Bennett, that sounds like a cover-up.
       MR. BENNETT: Well, I think that's a fair statement. It certainly doesn't apply to all bishops now. I mean, there were many who were voices in the wilderness. But, you know, cover-up takes on a lot of different, harsh meanings. There was such a fear of bringing scandal to the church that I think the irony is is that they planted the seeds long ago for the scandal that we are now facing. I think too many bishops, certainly not all, acted more like risk-assessment managers of an insurance company. They listened too often to lawyers who were saying, you know, "Gee, if you meet the victim, if you talk to the victim, if you say you're sorry to the victim, that could hurt you from a liability perspective."
       In short, Tim, too many bishops did not act like pastors and shepherds of their flock. We're very fortunate here in Washington to have a true pastor and shepherd as our leader in Cardinal McCarrick. But that was a big failing with many, many bishops--not all, but many.
       MR. RUSSERT: The laity across the country has suggested over the last few days that the 10,000 priests be named, so that they know whether or not those priests are in their parishes and counseled or taught their children, or if they left the priesthood, they could now be counselors or coaches in some other capacity. Should these priests be named publicly?
       MR. BENNETT: I think the answer to that is yes. Now, if a priest is deceased or if the allegations against the priest are not--have no merit to them, then that--I don't think that should be the case. But otherwise, I think--look, this is the time for openness and transparency. But as sure as we are talking about this problem today, there is some diocesan lawyer telling his bishop, "Don't release the names because it will just engender more lawsuits." And it's my view and the view of the board that bishops are pastors and shepherds of their flock and they will never get this problem behind them unless they make disclosures, such as you ask in your question.
       MR. RUSSERT: Cardinal, will these priests be named?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, obviously--three things about that. First of all, in Washington, the names are out, because we have always in the last 10 years and more--my predecessor, Cardinal Hickey, who was a great pastor and a great man to do the right thing, always when these things happened, the civil authorities were named--were informed, the media got to know it. Those names appeared in the press. So those names are out.
       I think one point that Bob makes is a valid one, though. Some are dead, and I think we sort of feel that they're not going to be any danger in the future. And they don't have a chance to defend themselves. So the ones who have passed away, I don't think we do name. But basically, I think in this diocese we've done that. Now, I can't...
       MR. RUSSERT: Should it be done nationally?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, it's hard for me to say because I don't know the circumstances in every diocese. I think, for us in Washington, it was important to do, but some bishops may have other considerations that are very valid, and because of that, they may feel that the allegations may be suspect or something like that, and therefore they don't want to do it. I leave it at that. We've done it here, but I'm loath to say that throughout the whole United States every situation is like mine.
       MR. RUSSERT: What about bishops who simply reassign predators or tried to cover it up? Now, we know there has been 4,000 priests, 10,000 children, only one bishop has resigned. Should more bishops resign?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, let me go back and say three things. Number one, very often, as Bob indicated, bishops took the word of the psychological community, bishops took the word of psychiatrists, of the therapeutic institutions. And the therapeutic institutions said to a bishop--this is not in the last 10 years, but many years ago--said, "This man is OK. You can put him back." The bishop says, "Well, OK, if he's OK, I'll put him back." And that was a terrible mistake. We didn't know it because we took that word. And then often the--in later times, when bishops have had this kind of a situation, they haven't known what to do. Now, we know what to do. Now, we have made it so clear.
       I said to you a couple years ago that I was not happy with the one strike and you're out. But our people wanted that. And we had to listen. The Catholic community of the United States said, "No, this has to be what you do." And we've done it. So that now--from now on, this is what we do. And I think as we look to the future, the church in the United States has done an extraordinarily difficult, painful work, but we've done it. And, please, God, children are going to be safe from now on.
       MR. BENNETT: Tim, could I mention one thing the cardinal just said. This report, as you noted, is very critical. But the bishops did get together, did create the board, and did do the study. Child sexual abuse is a national health problem outside the church. Most of it we believe occurs in the family setting. It is a national crisis. And I hope through programs like yours people will do what the church had the courage to do: study the problem and reveal the results.
       MR. RUSSERT: Based on your study, however, do you believe that other Catholic bishops should resign?
       MR. BENNETT: You know, our board did not take an individual bishop with that view in mind. But I think the answer to the question is yes, that there are bishops who totally failed as pastors and as shepherds of their flocks.
       MR. RUSSERT: The laity is organizing and speaking out. This is the Voice of the Faithful, a group that started in Boston. It has now spread around the country. A full-page ad in today's New York Times: "Our trust has been violated but not our faith." And, Cardinal McCarrick, what they ask for is for the pope, John Paul II, to meet with the delegations of victims and survivors of sexual abuse to begin the reconciliation. Would that be a good idea?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, I think--of the--let me talk about meeting. This is an interesting group that was started in Boston because they felt the pain of what they had gone through. Throughout the United States, we have archdiocesan pastoral councils. Every parish has a pastoral council. We're talking to our lay people constantly. And the victims are talking to our lay people constantly. To see the Holy Father--the Holy Father knows what's happened. The Holy Father spoke to the cardinals two years ago and made that very strong statement. There is no place in the Catholic priesthood for any priest who would harm a child. Now, that--he knows where we're talking to.
       MR. RUSSERT: But symbolically for him to meet victims would send a message that the Vatican gets it.
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, it's certainly an idea. Of course, the Holy Father has so many problems from all over the world that he handles. Would it be good for him to do this? Well, I'm sure if the Holy Father were--had the opportunity, he would love to do something like this. He would want to. You see him with children, and how much he loves children, how much this has upset him, how much this has hurt him, that his own brothers in the priesthood were not doing what he would want us all to do.
       MR. RUSSERT: The concern amongst the laity, the Voice of the Faithful and others, is that whether or not the Vatican really does recognize the seriousness of this. Joseph Cardinal Ratziger, the "prefect of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation, said"--in 2002 that the--"media coverage of U.S. clerical sex abuse"--"distorted and was an `intentional' effort to"--distort--"the church. `In the United States, there's constant news on this topic, but less than 1 percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type. ...The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information or the statistical objectivity of the facts.'"
       We now learn that Cardinal Ratzinger was wrong, dead wrong, that it was at least four times that. And then this report on Monday from the Vatican. "A draft report released by scientists commissioned by the Vatican harshly criticized as potentially dangerous the U.S. Catholic Church's policy of removing priests from the ministry for committing one act of child abuse. The report...recommend"--"the so-called zero-tolerance policy be reconsidered."
       It said the "public opinion had put the church under pressure to move with `destructive severity.'"
       "`Although until now, the phenomenon of abuse was not always taken seriously enough, at present there is a tendency to overreact and rob accused priests of even legitimate support.'"
       Will the Catholic bishops say to the Vatican, "Excuse us, we believe zero tolerance, one strike and you are out, and leave us alone"?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Tim, the Vatican has already approved the norms and the charter which we voted on. That's a very strict interpretation. It's a very strict rule for us. We're required to do that now. The Holy See knows that and the Holy See has accepted that. So that where we are now is where we should be. It's a tough road, but we have to make sure that our people know that we're serious. We have to know--we have to make sure that our people know that we're turning the page with them.
       MR. RUSSERT: If credible allegations are made about a priest now in 2004, you will be--you will report it to...
       CARD. McCARRICK: Immediately.
       MR. RUSSERT: The authorities?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Immediately.
       MR. RUSSERT: Remove from ministry?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Immediately. Yeah.
       MR. BENNETT: Tim, following up on something you asked the cardinal. And I don't know what the future will bring. But Ann Burke, the chairman of our board, and Bill Burley, the head of communications, and I went to the Vatican and met with several of the hierarchy, including a two-hour meeting with Cardinal Ratzinger. And he is quite concerned, and he was very responsive to us. I hope that continues in the future.
       Secondly, zero tolerance, Tim, is a very difficult issue because do you treat the penetration of a child the same way you treat something else? And, you know, you do have to have individualized justice in situations. The problem is that the bishops have so lost credibility throughout this crisis that the public and the laity just don't trust them to exercise their discretion carefully or correctly. And I do think that we have to be sure we understand what we mean by zero tolerance and over the next few years to see that it's a concept that is applied fairly and with equal justice to all of those as to whom it's applied to.
       MR. RUSSERT: Nearly 20 years ago, a young priest, a canon lawyer named Thomas Doyle, wrote a report, a warning to the bishops in effect, which said, "We have a crisis upon us with sexual abuse, and if we don't do something about it, we're going to pay probably a billion dollars in terms of outpayments and settlements." He was eerily prescient and largely ignored.
       He now has responded to this report with this statement: "The hardest questions provoked by these studies are the very questions that the church's governmental structure and clerical elite refuse to face. These are the questions that will not go away no matter how much effort the papacy and the bishops fight to keep them hidden.
       "These questions cut to the heart of the matter and they are about two fundamental issues: the governmental structure of the Catholic Church and the obsession of its incumbents with their power and the relevance and authenticity of mandatory celibacy. Until these questions are honestly faced, these studies and any others that may follow remain far from complete."
       Cardinal, will the church now be more open, more receptive to input from the laity? And, two, will the church rethink celibacy and allow married priests to serve or perhaps even women or married women to serve as priests?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Well, that's a multi-sided question. Let me begin by saying I'm not sure I agree with everything that Father Doyle says, obviously. In fact, I am sure that I agree that the church has not-- is not this totally monolithic structure that he portrays it to be. It seems to me that since the Second Vatican Council, we have so many structures in the church. We have archdiocesan pastoral councils. I mentioned before we have pastoral councils in every parish in the world. Archdiocesan finance councils that we involve the laypeople. The National Review Board, which was so important in our coming to a solution to this, a resolution of this problem. We immediately turned to laypeople, so that I don't think that what he is portraying is true in the church today. So that's number one.
       MR. RUSSERT: Celibacy?
       CARD. McCARRICK: Celibacy--you know, I think--Mr. Bennett will be able to say to you, as he says in the report, celibacy is not the issue. Celibacy has to be lived properly. Celibacy has to be accepted generously. Celibacy has to be formed in the seminary in a man's heart, in a man's personality. But when celibacy is lived properly, is lived generously, is lived spiritually, with--in the presence of the Lord, it is a great and beautiful gift. And to knock it out because of 4 percent of your priests over 53 or 54 years would seem to me to be throwing out the baby with the bath water.
       MR. BENNETT: Well, I think celibacy has to be studied for different reasons because I agree with the cardinal that it's a great gift of some but it is an albatross to other. It causes--some men are not prepared for it. It's loneliness, alcoholism, the crossing of boundaries. But I don't think it's fair to say that celibacy is a cause of this crisis. I concluded that if a man is going to breach his commitment to celibacy, if he's homosexually oriented, he's going to find an adult mate. If he's heterosexually oriented, he's going to find the appropriate mate. But I do think it's something that has to be looked at, focused upon and studied. I mean, celibacy is no more a cause of this problem and doing away with it than you would say because of divorce you do away with marriage. But it's something that you have to work on, you have to train priests to honor.
       Now, celibacy is a more legitimately discussed issue in a different context. We learned as part of our study that there were many more instances of priests having adult relationships in violation of their commitment to celibacy which did not involve children. There I think celibacy is much more directly related to a behavior situation than the molestation of children.
       CARD. McCARRICK: If I may just piggyback on that. What Bob is saying I think is so true. Celibacy has to be accepted generously and it has to be accepted by those who are screened psychologically and who indicate after that screening that they truly are able to live a celibate life. This has been the problem in the past. Celibacy itself is not the problem. The acceptance of celibacy by people who aren't able to handle it, that's where the problem is.
       MR. BENNETT: One bishop told us when they were talking about celibacy and sex as it relates to celibacy, they talked in Latin and everything else was in English, which says a lot I think.
       MR. RUSSERT: Before we go, Cardinal, what would you say to young Catholic parents with children who are afraid to allow their children to be in the company of a priest?
       CARD. McCARRICK: I would say to them that the church has now given them the right to be confident in their priest, that the church has now through the suffering of the last few years has now seen the need to do what it probably should have done years ago, make sure that the training of priests was done properly. Make sure that the formation was done properly. Make sure that only those who can handle the priesthood are going to be part of it. The church, I believe, has now done that.
       And I say to them, to our young families, love your priests. Know that they are there for you. Know that they have given their lives for only the cause of taking care of the people of God. And realize that the church continues to do all the great things that it's done before. We continue to feed the hungry. We continue to take care of the poor. We continue to educate hundreds of thousands of people. We continue to call our people to holiness even while this is going on. Let them be proud of the church and let them be confident that it's not going to hurt them.
       MR. RUSSERT: We thank you for joining us with your views, Cardinal McCarrick, Bob Bennett, and we'll be covering this story I'm sure for some time to come.[...]
    • Prayers of penitence offered for sexual abuse
       Star Telegram, www.dfw.com/ mld/startel egram/news/ state/8072 717.htm , By BOBBY ROSS JR., Associated Press, Posted on Sun, Feb. 29, 2004
       SAN ANTONIO - The Rev. David Garcia, rector of San Fernando Cathedral, put aside his usual homily Sunday as his historic downtown church sought God's forgiveness and reconciliation for sins of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
       At the cathedral and parishes throughout the San Antonio Archdiocese, special prayers of penitence were offered on the first Sunday of Lent - two days after the release of a national study that tallied molestation claims against nearly 4,400 U.S. priests from 1950 to 2002.
       "This past week, we had the report which outlined the terrible tragedy of sexual abuse of children in the church over the last 50 years by members of the clergy and others," Garcia told the 700 parishioners who attended a Mass conducted mostly in Spanish. "So, breaking from our traditional homily, we will be conducting our service of penitence and sorrow for sin."
       Lent is a time of penance, asking forgiveness for sin and making a commitment to do better, Garcia said.
       "So that was what it was all about, to publicly in front of everybody have the whole church together pray," he said.
       Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, who has headed the Archdiocese of San Antonio for 25 years, attended the Mass and asked for personal forgiveness for not doing more in the past to protect children against sexual abuse in the church. Garcia said Flores has apologized many times.
       "He's gone to parishes, for example, where a case happened ... and dialogued with people," Garcia said. "He's cried with people and he's asked for forgiveness. The archbishop is not one who's afraid of saying, 'I'm sorry.'"
       Parishioners said after the Mass they were stunned by the abuse scandal but remained firm in their faith.
       "It's hard for me to believe that it was such a huge number of priests involved in this thing," said Louis Gloria, 81, who was baptized as an infant at San Fernando Cathedral, which dates to the 1730s, when San Antonio was a tiny village called San Fernando.
       "I still believe what I believe," Gloria said. "We're all human, and I think it's a reflection of our society. There's crime in every group."
       Janie Valdez, 38, a mother of three girls, said she can't understand why so many abuse cases went unreported for so long. But she said she's confident the church has dealt with the problem and can move forward.
       Officials in some other Texas dioceses, including Austin and Dallas, said they had no plans to address the issue Sunday.
    • Church abuse scandal the subject of sermons, protest on Sunday
       The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/ dailynews/060/ region/Church_ abuse_scandal_ the_subje:. shtml , ~ Feb 29, 2004 [Can't display 21 Jan 05]
    • Catholic educator hired to teach others to spot abuse and neglect
       The Charlotte Observer, www.charlotte. com/mld/observer/ news/local/ 8072299.htm , Associated Press, Posted on Sun, Feb. 29, 2004
       RALEIGH, N.C. - John Pendergrass grew up the son of a Durham police officer and a nurse in a house where his parents handled crises large and small.
       "If anything went wrong in our neighborhood, ours was the house you went to," said Pendergrass, 41. "I grew up in that mode."
       Now, he has been called into duty by the Catholic church. Pendergrass was hired in September as director of the Program for Child and Youth Protection at the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, part of the evolving response of the church to its sexual-abuse scandal.
       A report released Friday tallied the damage. More than 10,000 children have been abused by about 4,400 Catholic priests from 1950 to 2002. That's 4 percent of the nation's priests over the past half-century. The report, conducted by a group of academics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, also tallies the cost. The church spent $657 million on lawyers' fees, settlements and therapy for the victims and their alleged abusers. That does not include settlements made last year, such as the $85 million the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay to 552 victims in September.
       Thirteen of the abusive priests worked in the Diocese of Raleigh, which covered the entire state until 1972 and now spans 54 counties from Chatham to Dare. The diocese paid $292,388 in settlements, lawyers' fees and therapy during the years covered by the report, and an additional $28,750 in settlement costs last year, for a total of $321,138. ...
    • Transcript: Church Sex Abuse on 'FNS'
       Fox News Channel, www.foxnews. com/story/0,2 933,112849, 00.html , Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004.
       UNITED STATES: CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: This week, an independent panel set up by Catholic bishops released two studies on sexual abuse in the church. Here are some of the startling findings. Since 1950, 4 percent of U.S. priests, that's more than 4,000, have been accused of sexually abusing minors. There have been almost 11,000 alleged victims. Eighty-one percent were boys, mostly between the ages of 11 and 14. And the sex abuses cases peaked in the 1970s. So what's next for the Catholic Church? For answers, we turn to Illinois Justice Anne Burke, head of the National Review Board that released the studies. She joins us from Chicago. And the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Wilton Gregory, who's in St. Louis. And welcome to both of you. Good to have you here. ANNE BURKE, ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT JUSTICE: Good morning, Chris. WALLACE: Bishop Gregory, I want to start with you and with something that you said when the studies was released. Let me put it up on the screen. You said, "The terrible history recorded here today is history." Are you suggesting that the church has cleaned its house? BISHOP WILTON GREGORY, PRESIDENT OF THE CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: Chris, the bishops of the United States, acting on the promises that we made in Dallas, have taken every conceivable step to make sure that there is no cleric who has an accusation of sexual abuse of minors in public office. We have been true to our word. There is more work to be done.
       WALLACE: But let me ask you, the report also said that there must be consequences for bishops and church leaders who abuse their role. Do you, in fact, believe that all of the church officials have faced the consequences? GREGORY: Well, one of the things that we need to do as a body of bishops is to receive and to discuss the recommendations. Obviously, the question of responsibility is an important one. It's important to the community of the church, and it's important to the bishops. So we need to look at that, to see and to study, as Mr. Bennett himself said in releasing the report last Friday, we need to look at all of the circumstances in each of the individual cases. WALLACE: Justice Burke, do you believe that all that you uncovered in these two reports is history? Basically, the same questions I asked Bishop Gregory: Do you, in fact, feel that all church leaders have faced the consequences of their actions? And given the limits of the report that you conducted, do you, in fact, believe that all the abusive priests have been found and ousted from the church? BURKE: Well, that's one of the reasons, Chris, we had the audits in January. Dr. Kathleen McChesney's office, which was started under the Office of Child and Youth Protection under Article 9 of the charter that the bishops enacted in June, Dallas, 2002, we've gone around the country to 195 dioceses trying to assure that. However, nothing is perfect. We still have to do more audits, and we still have to make sure that the procedures are in place throughout the country so it won't happen again, so there will be no more victims.
       BURKE: There have to be lay review boards. There has to be background checks. There has to be accountability throughout the country, and standardized programs so that environments will be safe for children. And hopefully, there will be no priest in ministry now that has been accused, with allegations against minors. WALLACE: Leaders of the main victims' groups, there's an organization called SNAP, which is Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have a lot of problems with the studies and also with the church's response, and this may be the biggest one. Let's listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (UNKNOWN): The information that Catholics need, that the public needs, is not a number. It's names. These are known sex offenders. We need to know their names. We have a right to know their names. Catholics have a right to know their names. And they need to know if they've been in their parish or their school. (END VIDEO CLIP)
       WALLACE: Let me ask you both, and starting with you, Justice Burke, why not give out the names? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who would like to know where these abusive priests have gone and, in fact, whether they may have become teachers or camp counselors. BURKE: Well, that is something, I think, for the local diocese, and I think SNAP is correct in suggesting that on a local level that they could encourage the bishop to do that. However, the confines of this particular research was under the auspices of the charter. And the bishops wanted to know the nature and the scope of this problem in the United States. So that is a descriptive study. That means numbers. And, clearly, the next step could be the release of the names. But we have to start somewhere. And just needing to know how broad of a problem this has been since 1950 to the present was in a very important historic moment in the Catholic Church. It was a self-audit by its own nature. That means that the information comes from the diocese themselves. And over a period of time, with 195 diocese, you have to understand that there might have been poor record-keeping or no record-keeping. So what we do know from this study is the information that's in the diocese, to the best of their knowledge, of who has been accused. And this is a beginning point. And of course, we already know that there may be more out that have not come forward, the victims have not come forward. The study clearly shows that it takes 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 30 years down the line for them to feel ready to come forward. And that has been the pattern. So we still don't know yet how many more victims there are out there, and we're hoping that this study might even suggest to them when they're ready to come forward.
       WALLACE: Bishop Gregory, let me ask you about what Justice Burke just said. Would you, as the head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, would you call on local church leaders to release the names of these priests so people in the local communities can know, can try to check out where these abusive priests have gone? GREGORY: Chris, in my capacity as president of the Conference, I don't have the authority to command an individual bishop to release the names. I do know that a number of dioceses have done just that, that they have released all of the names of those who have been accused. And in many locations, the news media itself, journalists, have released the names, based on their own surveys and their own following of bishops.
       WALLACE: Bishop, I'm not asking if you can command it, but I'm asking you right now: Do you can call on local church leaders to release the names of all these 4,000-plus priests so people in communities can check out where they are? GREGORY: I call on the body of bishops to discuss that together, because it is a decision that we have to pursue together. And once we've come to a decision, it is up to the local bishop to enact that decision. WALLACE: But isn't there the danger, sir, if you don't do that -- and all you're saying now is you're going to discuss it -- couldn't this be one more case where church leaders are protecting the priests or protecting the institution rather than worrying about the children? GREGORY: It could be one more case, Chris, where individual bishops who have names and have been in conversation with victims are being sensitive to victims who have asked specifically that a name not be released. It could be the case, Chris, that an individual bishop is responding to the legal limitations that he must follow. And, after all, one of the things that the body of bishops has been accused is not obeying laws, and there are laws in place in local jurisdictions that prohibit the release of information from personnel files. So bishops have to grapple with both what must be done to protect children, but also what must be done to follow the legal limitations and restrictions under which we work.
       WALLACE: Justice Burke, does the church -- because there's certainly talk about this in your report -- and briefly, do you believe the church needs to change its policies and practices with regard to celibacy and with regard to allowing gay priests into the ministry? BURKE: Our report does touch on that, and it does not conclude that either one of those is a cause for the current crisis. And I think it's a subject for further study. The board has to commission another study, which is a much larger epidemiological study, for the causes and context of that. And I think it is ripe for a discussion. And I think that the board's recommendations for further study on that issue is the beginning point for that discussion. WALLACE: Bishop Gregory, do you think there needs to be a change in either the church's policies or practices with regards to gays and celibacy? GREGORY: Well, first of all, I believe that the study recommended that we give serious consideration of examining potential candidates for the seminary who may have homosexual orientation. That is certainly something that the body of bishops is already considering. And in fact, most seminaries do do a very careful job of screening and reviewing those factors before admitting a seminarian. What the celibacy issue seems to suggest is that celibacy itself is a source of child abuse, or a factor. And we simply don't know that, Chris. As a matter of fact, what we do know is that, at least anecdotally, because right now the only scientific study that's out there is the study that has been commissioned by the Catholic Church -- what we don't know is what is the percentage of child abuse among the broader segment of society, which includes men and women who are married or certainly not celibate.
       WALLACE: Bishop Gregory, we have about a minute left, and I can't let you go without asking you about the movie "The Passion." One, are you concerned about the violence in the movie? And two, are you concerned about the portrayal of Jews? GREGORY: Well, first of all, Chris, I must confess I have not seen it. And the other day, a few Catholics asked me, do I plan to see it? At this point, I haven't had a lot of time to go to the movies. However, it seems to me that it's a significant movie. It seems that it invites serious conversation. And if young people are to see it, people under 17, I strongly urge that their parents watch it with them so that they can exercise their parental care for those children for whom this might be disturbing. WALLACE: From what you've read -- and obviously the vast majority of Americans are not going to actually see it -- are you concerned with is portrayal of Jews and their responsibility for the death of Christ? Bishop Gregory?
       GREGORY: The Catholic Church has worked very, very hard, especially under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, to make sure that we do not fall victims to anti-Semitism. So if there is the hint of anti-Semitism within the movie -- and I don't know because I haven't seen it -- it certainly runs counter to what we as Catholics believe should be our position in the public arena. WALLACE: Justice Burke, Bishop Gregory, we're going to have to leave it there. We want to thank you both very much for coming in today to discuss this very important issue. BURKE: Thank you. GREGORY: Thank you.#
    • Suburban Detroit priest ousted in sex abuse case
       www.foxnews. com/story/0, 2933,1128 49,00.html , [MISSING - This URL is the same as the preceding newsitem's; no time to search for news story today. - jcm 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Picturing a victim and a scapegoat as a man
       www.azcentral. com/news/columns/ articles/0229 montini29.html , [MISSING - Sorry, we can't find that page - 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Forgiveness from a father touched by abuse [Lavigne] - RCC.
       The Republican, http://masslive. com/search/ index.ssf?/base/ news-0/1078044 391128891. xml?cnts , by Tom Shea, tshea@repub.com , Sunday, February 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES: It's Ash Wednesday.
       (Picture: Writer Tom Shea. Click here.
       Charlie Shattuck asks the waitress if the restaurant has any meatless soups. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. She recommends the spinach soup.
       He orders a bowl and a cup of coffee. We haven't seen each other in about 10 years. There is no shortage of things to talk about.
       Charlie is 59. He has a passing resemblance to Springfield Bishop-Emeritus Joseph F. Maguire. He says he has been told that before.
       Charlie, the father of 12, is a grandfather now - five boys and one girl. Two more of his children will be getting married in the next couple of months. He doesn't plan to see Mel Gibson's film about Jesus Christ. He can't wait for spring. His golf game has gotten better since the last time we talked.
       Yes, he still has visions of Jesus and Mary, but is reluctant to talk about them. During Lent, Charlie, the spiritual director of about 40 families in the Heath-based Holy Trinity Lay Community, hopes to attend Mass every day.
       If the name Shattuck sounds familiar, it is because in October 1991 Charlie went to the state police with the information two of his sons had been molested by their friend and pastor, a Roman Catholic priest, Richard R. Lavigne. The priest was arrested.
       Two days later on newspaper front pages and television newscasts, Lavigne's name surfaced as a suspect in the 1972 unsolved slaying of Springfield altar boy Danny Croteau.
       A Richter scale could have measured the effect among the faithful. Shock and disbelief took the early lead. It was just the beginning.
       Earlier this month, Bishop Thomas L. Dupre resigned after The Republican asked about allegations of sexual abuse.
       In the course of an Ash Wednesday lunch, as his spinach soup and coffee got cold, Charlie talked about the past and what he and his family endured at the epicenter. But mostly, he talked about the need for forgiveness and healing.
       "We have to rise above the present and look to the future," he says. "I know we've been let down hard by the actions of some of our priests and bishops. I believe we are in a time of church purification, and not just in this diocese. And, it is the responsibility of every baptized Catholic to reflect Christ in the world.
       "Which means a life of compassion, forgiveness and mercy. Every day that is our calling. Every day this is our challenge. Some days it is not easy at all. I know that. It doesn't change the fact that is what we are called to do."
       The diocese put up a vigorous defense of Lavigne, and in some quarters, this included a none-too-subtle campaign against Charlie Shattuck - spreading the word that he was a cult leader.
       A priest friend took out a full-page newspaper ad defending Charlie.
       "I've heard all the words, 'kook,' 'wacko'," Charlie says. "I'm not. I forgive all the words and the people who said them. They don't know me. Or the people in this community."
       The irony: Lavigne did. His impression of Charlie, included in a letter he once sent to Bishop Maguire, was: "I found him to a be a gentle, ordinary, and sincere man, devoted to the Church, the Virgin Mary, and to common prayer with his neighbor. Frankly, I'm very impressed by the piety, genuine goodness, and traditional, albeit conservative values of the group. And, I am not easily impressed."
       In June 1992 before a judge who thought stories about a priest molesting children belonged behind tire ads in the back of the newspaper, Lavigne pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation. He avoided jail time. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation. Last month, it was announced that Lavigne had been defrocked.
       Charlie Shattuck feels only compassion for him. He has long-since forgiven his one-time pastor.
       "Believe it or not, that doesn't mean I don't think people have to face the consequence of their actions. There are God's laws and civil laws. And we have to answer to both. Justice should be served. But the church should reach out to the victims with the same energy they defend accused priests. We all hurt when this happens," Charlie says.
       Charlie's two sons are now grown.
       How are they doing?
       "They are good kids," he says. "They have good jobs. They never lost their faith." #
    • Church guilty of double standard in scandal
       The Republican, http://masslive. com/search/index. ssf?/base/news- 0/1077957944 27200.xml?cnlm , by Larry McDermott, Sunday, February 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Almost no one should be surprised by our Page 1 report today that some Catholic priests in the Springfield Diocese are gay, but we expect some readers to be distressed by revelations of a double standard created by some church leaders.
       (Picture: Columnist Larry McDermott.)
       The vast majority of priests are horrified and saddened by what has happened. They feel the good work they do for the church and the people is tarnished because of the sins of a few priests. Those priests who have sexually abused boys are more likely to be homosexual than heterosexual. They entered the priesthood as homosexuals and turned to boys in the church for sexual gratification because they could wield extraordinary power over them. A few priests, as our story notes, decided to make public their homosexuality and have never been charged with any crime. But others attempted to keep the burning light of their sexuality under a basket. Today's story is yet another example of the tightrope we walk in reporting on the church scandal story. We are beyond exposing the element of obvious hypocrisy by church leaders who condemned homosexuality and waged an all-out war against gay marriage, but we have not crossed the boundary line of "outing" someone who is gay but doesn't want the public - sometimes even their family - to know that.
       (Note: In a story published yesterday, we for the first time noted that state Rep. Cheryl Rivera of Springfield is gay. We weren't "outing" her. While Rivera never sought to keep her sexual preference a secret, we had not included the information in stories about her because it was not germane until the gay marriage issue surfaced at the Statehouse.)
       The line separating good from evil has been crossed, however, by priests, some of whom rise to higher positions in the church, and who satisfy sexual urges by luring boys into their beds.
       Many gay priests, like heterosexual priests, maintain their vow of celibacy and are beloved by parishioners who couldn't imagine their sexual orientation. Many nationwide were steered toward the priesthood at such a young age they were not even fully aware of their orientation. One of the biggest heroes and one of the casualties of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack was, in fact, a gay priest who was also a Fire Department chaplain loved by many. Others, however, like some of their heterosexual counterparts, have used their position of authority to prey on innocents. Some of the clergy abuse cases locally and nationwide involve very young children, or victims of pedophiles, who satisfy their abhorrent desires with children. The great majority of pedophiles nationwide are heterosexual men, not gay priests.
       But the majority of clergy abuse victims, locally and nationwide, are pubescent or post-pubescent boys, preyed upon by a small number of homosexual priests who are using the cloth as a cover for both their sexuality and their crimes. For the newspaper, the overarching issue is to maintain high standards when deciding what is fit or fair to publish. We have proven in recent years those standards can be maintained while we are aggressively uncovering and exposing local problems. We also know that the high road we have taken is not the easiest one to travel.
       When Bishop Thomas L. Dupre resigned and left the city overnight, he did so because we were asking him questions no one else was asking, and he knew we weren't going to be dismissed with a wave of the hand. We soon received anonymous tips that he had gone to St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., a facility known for treating pedophiles, but that didn't appear in our newspaper until our Washington correspondent, Jo-Ann Moriarty, went to the hospital and actually saw Dupre. Managing Editor Marie P. Grady said Moriarty had made a request through an intercom to speak to a hospital administrator. When a nun stepped outside of the locked, glass-enclosed foyer, Moriarty identified herself as a reporter for The Republican and said she also wanted to speak to Dupre. The nun said she could not confirm Dupre was there under Maryland law, at which point Moriarty persisted, saying she knew Dupre because she was herself the niece of a bishop and wanted him to know people needed to hear from him.
       As she reached into her purse for her business card, she heard the rustle of clothing and looked up to see that the nun was looking in the direction of a man Moriarty recognized as Dupre. Moriarty believes the nun had motioned to Dupre not to come that way. He quickly turned around and disappeared behind a door.
       One of Dupre's accusers said he was moved to make the allegations public only after reading that Dupre was on a mission against gay marriage in Massachusetts. The man, who is gay, said he was angered by the bishop's hypocrisy. That is one of the reasons we decided to report on the incidence of homosexuality in the priesthood. Some inside and outside the church are saying that it is homosexuality itself that is to blame for the current church crisis. We hope readers take away from our story something more than that limited view. We hope the story will cause readers to reflect upon the institution itself, and how it screens candidates for the priesthood - and how it reacts when one is accused of abusing his power.#
    • Gay priests in a barely closed closet
       http://masslive. com/news/repub lican/index.ssf?/ base/news-1/10780444 33128890.xml , [MISSING; Can't find 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Some want law updated on abuse at private schools
       Salisbury Post (Serving historic Rowan County, North Carolina since 1905) , http://salisbury post.townnews. com/articles/ 2004/02/29/news/ 29-unity_place- state_law.txt , By Scott Jenkins, 704-797-4248 or sjenkins@salisburypost.com , Feb 29, 2004
       CONCORD, USA -- Cabarrus County's chief prosecutor says she may ask state lawmakers to consider requiring private-school administrators to report suspected abuse in their schools or face a criminal penalty. District Attorney Roxanne Vaneekhoven's comments come after a Kannapolis Christian-school principal acknowledged to the Post she was aware of sexual-abuse allegations against one of her teachers but didn't report them. One local legislator said he believes the law could be changed. And the head of the state's largest association of Christian schools says he doesn't see any reason it shouldn't be. Kenneth Herring, a 40-year-old former music and history teacher at Unity Place Academy, faces charges of statutory rape, sex offense with a student and taking indecent liberties with a student.
       The charges against Herring center on his relationship with a 14-year-old student. He was arrested Nov. 6 after the student and her stepgrandmother went to police with the allegations. After Herring's arrest, Principal Sherry Connell acknowledged to the Post that another teacher had told her about the alleged relationship between Herring and the student five days before his arrest. Connell said she didn't go to police because she wanted to conduct her own investigation into the charges and because the school's chorus, led by Herring, was scheduled to perform a few days later and she didn't want to upset the students. Another student at the school later told police that on the night of the concert, Nov. 4, he caught Herring and the student engaged in inappropriate contact in Herring's office.
       If Connell was principal at a public school, state law would have required her to report the allegations to police as soon as she knew of them. If she didn't, the principal could have been charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense.
       The law governing private schools in North Carolina does not include that provision. [...]
       Dr. Joe Haas, executive director of the Goldsboro-based N.C. Christian School Association, said he wasn't aware of the difference in the law for public and private schools. "I don't see why there should be any difference," he said.#
    • Orlando Diocese Removed 12 Priests Accused of Sex Violations
       The Ledger, www.theledger. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20040228/ NEWS/402280394/1004 , By Cary McMullen, Ledger Religion Editor, Feb 28, 2004
       ORLANDO, USA - The Diocese of Orlando reported earlier this month that 12 priests had been removed after being accused of sexual misconduct from the time the diocese was created in 1968 to June 2002. The diocese released its report on abuse cases in a letter from Bishop Norbert Dorsey that published in the Feb. 5 edition of The Florida Catholic Magazine. The diocese includes a dozen parishes and missions in Polk County. According to the letter, 36 people claimed they were molested. The totals do not include an incident involving Peter Uniowski, who was removed as pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Lakeland in March 2003 over allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 12-year-old girl.
       According to Dorsey's letter, the diocese paid more than $3.4 million in settlements in 1985. Since he became bishop in 1990, Dorsey stated, the diocese has paid a total of $566,291 in settlements and an additional $293,022 for victim assistance, counseling and medications. A report released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Jan. 6 stated that the diocese has not entered into any confidentiality agreements since June 2002. Dorsey's letter did not say whether there were any confidential settlements before that.
       The report commended the diocese for its compliance with guidelines to prevent and deal with sex abuse cases.#
    • A crime that keeps destroying
       http://seattle times.nwsource. com/html/local news/2001867820 _brodeur29m1.html , Nicole Brodeur / Times staff columnist, 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com , Sunday, February 29, 2004,
       UNITED STATES - For months now, friends have assured me: You don't see anything. The car drives away with the kid in the back. You see him on a bed, then running away.
       It's not so bad.
       (Picture - Click Nicole Brodeur)
       But as the mother of a boy, and the owner of a vivid imagination, I can't bring myself to see "Mystic River," which chronicles how three friends' lives were changed by one's kidnapping and sexual torture by two pedophiles.
       It's almost the same with "Monster," about serial killer Aileen Wuornos -- another Oscar-worthy, hard-to-watch film.
       I know that by not facing the discomfort these two movies present, I am missing what great performances can inspire.
       More importantly, I am missing what these films are teaching a mass audience about the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse.
       Janice Palm is a therapist with Shepherd's Counseling Services, a Seattle nonprofit that helps such victims. This Oscar weekend "is a very pertinent time to speak to an unspeakable issue."
       Abuse of children was in the news just last week, when we learned that there had been nearly 11,000 sex-abuse complaints against Catholic priests, nationally, since 1950; that the Seattle Archdiocese had spent $13.5 million on sex-abuse cases; and that state law-enforcement groups had unveiled a Web site that locates and identify sex offenders.
       "The public consciousness of child sex abuse is remarkable," Palm said.
       Palm went to both "Mystic River" and "Monster" with the eye of someone who knows how abuse can corrode a life. She sees it in individual and group therapy, as well as in a Shepherd's group for the partners of abuse victims.
       "They are accurate," she said of the characters played by Tim Robbins and Charlize Theron. "Both characters really embody the discouragement, pain and low level of trust in self — and the world — with which adults who have been abused live their lives."
       She noted the way Theron, playing Wuornos, carried herself; and how Robbins' character's eyes "darted around."
       "It really rang true for me as a therapist," Palm said.
       She talked about the uncertainty and hesitancy that victims live with every day, and their struggle with intimacy.
       Those around victims, Palm added, struggle with how to help — or don't at all.
       "Monster" shows how Wuornos was repeatedly abused by a friend of her father, who, instead of helping her, told her to get over it.
       "I have to tell you, that's the usual response," Palm said. "It's such an atrocious thing to consider, it's very hard for parents to take in."
       Keeping the issue in the light can only help to kill it like the "vampires" that haunted Robbins.
       "Rage and a shame comes out of victims in violence and in perpetration of abuse," Palm said. "Abuse will continue to make victims until we get a handle on this."
       These painful, profound movies can only help, she said.
       We may squirm in our theater seats, "but it's good for all of us," Palm said. "Because it makes the community safer."
       More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists
    • Diocese confession sets priorities right [Davenport Diocese]
       Quad-City Times, www.qctimes. com/internal. php?story_id= 1024911&l=1&t= Opinion&c= 22,1024911 , By QUAD-CITY TIMES STAFF, Friday, February 27th, 2004
       UNITED STATES: .Confession can be painful, but with it can come redemption. .
       The Davenport Diocese’ confession of complicity in covering up years of sexual abuse by a handful of priests is wrenching to read. Can it lead to redemption?
       That answer is certainly beyond the call of this page.
       The 13-page document purports to lay bare every investigation the diocese initiated in the last 50 years. Many of the cases date to the 1950s and 1960s, when the diocese claims, “sexual misconduct was perceived as a spiritual matter, a sin to be confessed with a penance to be performed. There was a general lack of understanding of pedophilia among professionals during that period.”
       Maybe so. But sex with children was a crime in 1950. 1960, too.
       The Davenport Diocese report, required of all dioceses by the Council of Bishops, shows how church hierarchy created more sexual abuse victims by shuffling priests who sexually abused children from parish to parish.
       The public disclosure we read this week comes under court order and shows the cover-up here continued for years after pedophilia was fully understood as a crime.
       That cover-up in Davenport ended Wednesday.
       The report discloses investigations undertaken at a time when — as the diocese says — pedophlia “was perceived as a spiritual matter.” How many of these “spiritual matters” never were recorded by the dioceses and never became investigations?
       Imagine the power this confession would have had in the 1960s. The diocese reports says 33 percent of the 65 allegations occurred after the 1960s. That represents 21 children who are now adults.
       Even 40 years later, this confession remains powerful because it finally presents this conspiracy of sexual abuse as a church and community issue, not a series of private investigations and cash settlements.
       It can become more powerful because the church has a network of upstanding clergy and lay leaders ready, willing and able to provide the counseling, support and prayer denied by the hierarchy for 50 years.
       The silence for all these years led many outside the faith — and quite a few inside — to conclude the church put sexual predators ahead of their victims.
       That ends, this week, with the Davenport Diocese public confession.#
       [COMMENT: Does the leopard change his spots? The illicit sex, and the cover-ups, ought never to have started in an institution supposedly under divine direction. One of the four chief marks or signs by which people can find the true religion, we were taught, is that it is holy. COMMENT ENDS.]
    • Bishop's change of tone could help local church to heal and move on
       Erie Times-News, http://goerie. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article?AID=/ 20040229/OPINION04/ 102290042 , by Pat Howard, (Last changed: February 28. 2004 6:32PM), Feb 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES - Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman came clean on Friday, by the standards of his world at least. For the first time since the church's sexual-abuse scandal boiled over early in 2002, Trautman acted like a leader willing to go at this thing head-on.
       The bishop released a rundown of how many priests in the Erie diocese had been credibly accused of preying on children and of how much the diocese spent to deal with those accusations. And he fielded all questions, for the most part without ducking them.
       (Picture - Pat Howard)
       The situation Trautman's numbers and words describe is ugly, but his more candid approach certainly is more attractive and effective than the defensive stonewalling that until now defined his response to the scandal.
       The tone the bishop set previously guaranteed a few awkward moments on Friday. Until then, for instance, Trautman had said only that "a couple" of priests in this diocese had been removed from the ministry over sexual abuse allegations. On Friday, a couple became 16.
       And the bishop still gets fuzzy when asked about when those priests were removed. He said he believes he removed most of them during his 14-year tenure, but couldn't offer specifics about when.
       It seems curious that such key information wouldn't be top of mind for a man in his position. But if Trautman is in the same boat as many of his brothers, as the circumstantial evidence suggests, his reluctance to get specific isn't hard to figure.
       The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says about 700 priests have been removed from ministry nationwide since January 2002, when revelations in Boston lit a fire that spread across the country within weeks. The bishops acted against those priests, in other words, only after the pressures of scandal and press inquiries forced their hands.
       Still, Bishop Trautman deserves credit for his change of course. He shows signs of understanding at last that only acknowledging and confronting the nasty truth in detail will create the conditions that will allow the church and its people to move on.
       Perhaps the nastiest piece of the truth implicit in both the local and national data is that most of these criminals got away with it. And too many got away with it because the children they preyed on were failed by men with the power to protect them and/or seek justice for their suffering.
       No credible claims have surfaced of abuse committed during Bishop Trautman's tenure, and his role has been to manage the damage left by his predecessors. But local victims and their advocates have been tracking the bishop's every move and word, looking for signs he was interested in more than playing for time and hoping all of this would go away.
       Only the bishop knows how much his relatively open performance on Friday reflects a change of heart and how much a willingness to listen to people in a position to save him from his own disastrous sense of public relations. Either way, it adds up to doing the right thing.
       Some victims and their advocates want more. They want Trautman to publicly identify the abusive priests, as some other bishops have done. Because the statute of limitations has long expired on the local cases, the victims see exposure of these predators as the only justice available to them.
       The insidious nature of pedophilia raises a larger issue as well. Sixteen predators from the Erie diocese - and hundreds more around the country - have been cut loose by the church. If people knew who and where they are, at least they could keep an eye on them.
       Trautman indicated Friday he has no intention of naming names. That stance might dog him, and the American bishops collectively. The bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection in January recommended that the bishops develop detailed guidelines on whether to identify abusive priests.
       The most important part of all of this, of course, is for the church to fix what's broken in order to protect today's and tomorrow's children. Trautman is taking a variety of laudable steps to see to that.
       But my sense of it has been that many Catholics have been looking for more - for signs their shepherd is really starting to get it. On Friday, for the first time, Bishop Trautman offered hope that he is. #
    • Bishop sees hard lessons in reports
       Birmingham News (Alabama, USA), www.al.com/news/ birminghamnews/ index.ssf?/base/ news/10780500 93201940.xml , [MISSING - 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Bishops' abuse response 'shameful'; Report: Officials shielded abusers, neglected victims
       The Courier Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), www.courier- journal.com/ localnews/2004/ 02/28ky/wir- front-cath0228- 13357.html , By PETER SMITH, psmith@courier-journal.com , Feb 28, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Roman Catholic bishops did a "shameful" job of dealing with the crisis of sex abuse by priests — protecting the abusers while treating victims with hostility, a new report says.
       And it says bishops, along with seminaries, long failed to adequately screen and prepare candidates for the rigors of the celibate priesthood.
       Those conclusions came in a sharply critical report released yesterday by a board of prominent lay Catholics, who found that "these leadership failings have been shameful to the Church as both a central institution in the lives of the faithful and a moral force in the secular world."
       (Picture: Click for protesters By Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal Sue Archibald, left, and other members of The Linkup gathered for a news conference yesterday outside the Archdiocese of Louisville's headquarters. She said the two reports released yesterday had good points but did not go far enough. "Can we trust the bishops to self-report?" she asked. )
       Even after two years of apologies by bishops and criticisms from many quarters, the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People's criticisms represent a harsh rebuke of Catholic shepherds by members of their flock.
       "Somehow, the `smoke of Satan' was allowed to enter the Church, and as a result the Church itself has been deeply wounded," the report said. "...This is not a public relations battle for the approval of the press or the loyalty of the laity. It is, fundamentally, the age-old issue of good and evil. The Church must be holy."
       The lay board, established by bishops in 2002 at the height of the clergy abuse crisis, released its report in conjunction with a separate study finding that between 1950 and 2002, about 4 percent of all Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing more than 10,000 victims.
       That separate study, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, revealed that 4,392 priests nationally have been accused of abuse between 1950 and 2002, though researchers said they will never be able to tell how many accusations are credible.
       That 4 percent figure is lower than the nearly 6 percent in the Archdiocese of Louisville and the 9 percent in the Diocese of Covington, Ky., according to figures released by those dioceses over the past week.
       A total of 10,667 people said they were abused nationally, according to the John Jay study, which also found that the church paid nearly $573million in settlements and medical and legal expenses. That figure does not include 2003 payouts, such as those by the archdioceses of Louisville ($25.7million) or Boston ($85million).
       Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, accepted the report yesterday with the statement that it "adds to a tragic story" of leaders "who broke faith with their people." He also announced that 700 priests nationwide have been removed from ministry since January 2002, when the current crisis erupted.
    Abusers protected
       Because no other religious denomination or profession has done comparable research, the John Jay researchers said there is no way to tell if priests abused more than others.
       But the church culture of the time enabled abusers to enter the priesthood and stay even after bishops learned of their offenses, according to the National Review Board.
       Bishops "placed the interests of the accused priests above those of the victims and too often declined to hear from victims directly," the board said.
       These factors "ended up creating a subculture that resulted in this kind of tragedy," said Jane Chiles of Lexington, Ky., a member of the lay board, in an interview.
       (Picture: Jane Chiles)
       The board listed several recommendations for changing that culture, including that bishops improve the screening and preparation of priests, respond more sensitively to victims, hold each other accountable for lapses and work better with both lay Catholics and law enforcement.
       But the board stopped short of recommending sanctions against bishops — like Louisville Archbishop Thomas Kelly — who assigned some priests to ministries after knowing of their abusive conduct.
       "If the evidence were presented that a particular bishop or cardinal knowingly allowed a predator do their mischief, that person should ... have action taken against them," said board member Robert Bennett at a Washington news conference.
       He declined to elaborate, but both he and Chiles said bishops need to correct each other, and lay people need to hold their bishops more accountable.
       "We're convinced if a bishop needs to resign, that he needs to feel the pressure of the people in his flock and fraternal correction," Chiles said.
      She said bishops told the group in private interviews that they were upset over some of their colleagues' handling of the crisis.
       Kelly has apologized for his handling of sexual abuse cases but said he would remain in office to help resolve the crisis. The Louisville archdiocese was one of the hardest-hit in the nation, paying a $25.7million settlement last year to 243 victims. The archdiocese reported Thursday that 40 of its priests have been accused since 1950.
       "Archbishop Kelly has acknowledged a number of times over the past two years things that he and more broadly the church should have and could have done better," said Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer of the archdiocese.
       Reynolds said Kelly was unavailable for comment yesterday because he had several appointments and had not yet read the hundreds of pages of reports.
       But Reynolds said the archbishop "remains strong in his conviction that he will lead us as we address this problem of clergy sexual abuse locally, and there's certainly plenty of evidence that is already under way." Reynolds cited, for example, the archdiocese's new lay review board and abuse-prevention programs for employees.
       Sue Archibald, president of the Louisville-based victims' advocacy group The Linkup, said yesterday that there is little that people can do if Kelly chooses not to resign, as the group has called for in the past.
       "Let's make the best of tomorrow," she said at a news conference yesterday with about five Linkup members outside the archdiocese's headquarters on East College Street.
       She called on the archdiocese to take further steps such as releasing the names of all its accused priests, not just those already named in lawsuits. The archdiocese has said it would not release all the names because some charges have not been substantiated.
       Archibald said the two national reports released yesterday had good points but did not go far enough.
       "Can we trust the bishops to self-report?" she added. "What about abuse by nuns? Are all the religious order priests accounted for? Were cases referred to the police? Why isn't abuse of adults included? Why aren't the names of the accused being made public?"
       The lay board's report cited some bishops' concerns about a "gay subculture" in the priesthood.
       But Bennett said during a press conference that many priests with same-sex orientations have lived chaste lives.
       And Archibald said such concerns miss the point that an "abuse of power" was involved.
       "Female child victims saw their pain minimized" by a focus on male victims, she said in a statement.
    Extensive research
       The National Review Board and its staff based its report on the John Jay statistics as well as interviews with more than 85 witnesses, including bishops, Vatican officials, victims, experts and Catholic thinkers. They also studied books, court documents and other records.
       The $500,000 John Jay study was based on numbers provided by dioceses, some of which resisted at first out of fears of violating confidentiality laws. Ninety-eight percent of dioceses ultimately responded, and the researchers processed data such that no individual or diocese is identifiable in the numbers.
       Bishops commissioned both studies in June 2002 in Dallas, when they voted to bar all abusers from ministry.
       The Louisville chapter of the reformist group Voice of the Faithful gave mixed reviews to the reports in a statement yesterday. Vince Grenough, representing the group, said the data has "limited value in that it is based on self-reporting by the very people who orchestrated the cover-up of rampant clergy sex abuse of minors for the past half century."
       Grenough applauded Kelly for "expressing personal regret for his failings and sorrow for those who suffer because of his actions and those of the priests he is responsible for."
       The Rev. Bill Medley, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Bardstown, said yesterday that he found the national statistics staggering but not surprising.
       With most accused priests ordained nationally in the 1960s and 1970s, Medley said he was hopeful that the worst is past. "We have not had a single priest ordained since 1980" to be accused, said Medley, a member of the Priests' Council of the archdiocese. "I hope that means the lesson's been learned" and that the church has fixed "a corrupt system."
       But he acknowledged that many victims take years to come forward.
       "It's my hope if there are others who need to publicly talk about this, that they will come forward, especially if there are priests who have yet to be identified who may be a danger to children," he said.
    Screening criticized
       Much of the National Review Board's criticism on the handling of the crisis focused on the screening and preparation of priests. Seminaries "lost their way" in the 1970s, Bennett said.
       "Many dysfunctional and psychosexually immature men were admitted into seminaries" and the ordination track, Bennett said, citing one veteran bishop who voiced the attitude of the times: "Who were we to call into question a calling from God?"
       Chiles acknowledged seminaries have made improvements, but said more study is needed on whether it's enough.
       Both dioceses and seminaries subject candidates to a battery of psychological tests, interviews and background checks, said the Rev. Justin DuVall, vice rector and provost of St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana. Many priests from Kentucky and Southern Indiana have trained there.
       DuVall said he has not read the reports yet, but said he wasn't surprised by the criticism of the old seminary system. He said his seminary had begun psychologically screening candidates by the time he was a student in the mid-1970s and added other tests later.
       "Gradually, I think most dioceses came to see the value of that, and for issues that went beyond issues of celibacy and sexual maturity," he said. "They wanted to make sure they had men of sound character in lots of different areas and weren't dealing with psychological problems that would show up in a variety of ways." #
    • 10 cases in area diocese; Last complaint was in 1989. [Gaylord Diocese] - RCC. 10 predators.
       Traverse City Record-Eagle (Northern Michigan's Newspaper), www.record- eagle.com/ 2004/feb/28 abuse.htm , By VANESSA McCRAY vmccray@record-eagle.com and Associated Press , Feb 28, 2004
       TRAVERSE CITY - The Diocese of Gaylord said it welcomed the chance to participate in two studies and an audit examining the number and nature of complaints made against Catholic priests.
       "Credible" complaints have been filed against 10 out of the 260 priests that served in the 21-county diocese since its 1971 formation, said Candace Neff, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Gaylord.
       None of those 10 accused priests are in active ministry, Neff said. Four are dead and the others have resigned or been removed.
       The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned two reports. Their findings were made public in aggregate Friday but did not include a breakdown, leaving that to individual dioceses to make public.
       Figures from church officials in Michigan showed that the Archdiocese of Detroit and the state's six dioceses show credible accusations of sexual misconduct against as many as 114 priests and deacons since 1950.
       "What we have here is a terrible chapter of church history," said Cardinal Adam Maida, leader of the Archdiocese of Detroit. "We wish it never had happened. But it is our history. ... We learn from our history ... and we must move forward."
       The count for Michigan could overstate the number of priests accused if the same priest was accused in different dioceses, since not every report listed priests by name. Not all reports said how many minors were abused.
       The Gaylord diocese also took part last year in an audit to check compliance with a charter passed by American bishops.
       Neff said the diocese volunteered information in 2002, when it disclosed records to area prosecutors of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to the diocese's formation. The Gaylord diocese was one of the first in the nation to submit its data for the two studies, Neff said.
       A total of 20 individuals reported to the diocese that "they were victims" of misconduct, Neff said. The most recent allegation occurred in 1989. Most of the reported occurrences of abuse happened in the 1970's, Neff said.
       Since 1971, the diocese has entered into one $50,000 settlement agreement resulting from an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Insurance reimbursed that amount. The diocese has also spent $8,260 to assist victims with counseling.
       "The whole study is about ... finding out what happened, and that is why we did the review two years ago," Neff said. "We can't change history, we can't change what happened, but we can certainly learn from it and do what we can to prevent it."
       Corinna Weber, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Detroit, said each Michigan diocese cooperated with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the National Review Board studies.
       Nationally, Meghan Dotter of the U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops said 97 percent of the dioceses participated in the two studies.
       Bishop Patrick R. Cooney of the Gaylord Diocese said in a prepared statement that he was amazed by the extent of the abuse reported nationally.
       "It has been and is just a terrible experience; obviously, I have tremendous sorrow for the pain suffered by the victims of this abuse...," he said. "We as a church must continue to do the things that will limit anything like this from ever happening again."#
    • Finger-pointing at the top
       www.nynewsday. com/news/nation world/nation/nyc- uscath0229,0,3993 426.story?coll= ny-nationalnews- headlines , [NOT FOUND 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • KWWL Exclusive: Eastern Iowa Man Allegedly Abused
       www.kwwl.com/ Global/story. asp?S=1675446 , [NOT FOUND 21 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Catholic activists set sights on bishops; Lecture by national authority on priest abuse vies with rally for greater accountability. - RCC. Rev. Donald Cozzens speaks.
       Naples Daily News, www.naplesnews. com/npdn/news/ article/0,2071, NPDN_14940_ 2691772, 00.html , By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, aszagier@naplesnews.com, February 29, 2004
       EAST NAPLES, USA - Local Catholics who gathered Saturday night in East Naples to hear a scholarly analysis on the historical underpinnings of the priest abuse scandal departed with more than just newfound knowledge.
       On the heels of a national report that tallied 10,667 sexual abuse claims since 1950, they left the session at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church with a call to arms ringing in their ears.
       "It's time for the laity to call for zero tolerance for the bishops," said Peg Clark, president of Voice of the Faithful Southwest Florida, the local chapter of a national group formed two years ago to promote greater public involvement in church decisions.
       "The crisis is no longer a crisis in the priesthood, it's a crisis in the hierarchy. The bishops have been inept, negligent, they've allowed this conduct to continue by moving (abusive) priests from parish to parish."
       Today's New York Times includes a full-page ad in which VOTF asks its supporters to petition Rome for a meeting of victim advocates and Pope John Paul II. The open letter also urges the pope to root out U.S. bishops known to have allowed abusive priests to continue in the clergy.
       More than 200 people came to the local group's second annual speakers' forum to hear the Rev. Donald Cozzens, a theologian from Cleveland and author of two books on contemporary challenges to the priesthood.
       While not directly discussing the survey released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cozzens left no doubt that the report of 4,392 American priests accused of sex abuse was a scar on modern Catholicism.
       "A number of us priests would like to pull the covers up over our head and stay where it's warm," he said. "Telling the truth isn't easy. Sometimes telling the truth to power is the most difficult thing of all."
       Cozzens spoke of the "small treasons" that have compounded the sins of sex abuse. Treasons such as denial, deference and deflation.
       "Our small treasons are wounding the body of Christ and seriously weakening the moral body of the Catholic Church," he said. "So many of us are not feeling at home in our own church. It's as if we are exiles in place."
       The roots of the current scandal can be traced to the Catholic Church's origins in feudalism, Cozzens suggested. It's a system driven by blind, unquestioned loyalty that is belatedly starting to crumble from within, he said.
       "We are witnessing the unraveling of the last feudal system in the West," said Cozzens.
       Feudal vestiges can still be found in today's Catholic Church. Among the examples:
  • kissing the rings of bishops;
  • the continuation of "courtly" titles such as "your excellency" and "your eminence;"
  • maintaining a high-ranking position in some dioceses known as monsignor -- literally, "my Lord."
       "I am not at all critical of the need for loyalty, adult obedience and respect as essential for the life of the church," Cozzens said. "There will always be some form of ordered structure. ... But a healthy church insists on an authority that is ... not authoritative."
       Like his hosts with Voice of the Faithful, Cozzens urged the gathered laity to demand change and make their voices heard.
       "This is the laity's moment," he said. "You need to help bring about a new consciousness."
       The abuse survey conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice also prompted stern words from Bishop John J. Nevins of the Diocese of Venice, which supervises parishes in Collier, Lee, Sarasota and seven other Southwest Florida counties.
       Noting that he was "horrified and saddened" by the scope of abuse outlined in the study, Nevins also urged his flock to move toward healing.
       "Some may wonder when this difficult chapter in the Church's life will be closed. In one sense it never will be, because we have experienced a sinful and predatory aspect of human nature against which we have to be permanently on guard," Nevins said in a statement issued Friday.
       "However, in the sense that the Church is fully alert to the problem and committed to preventing it again, as far as humanly possible, a page has been turned and a new chapter begun." #
    • Clergy abuse at peak in 1970s; Report says several factors contributed to rise in cases.
       Erie Times News (Pennsylvania's daily newspaper), http://goerie. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article?AID=/ 20040229/FRONT PAGE/102290052 , By Ed Palattella ed.palattella@timesnews.com or 870-1813, Feb 29, 2004
       UNITED STATES: The year 2002 will always mark the signature moment for the Roman Catholic Church's clergy child sexual-abuse crisis in the United States.
       That was when the allegations of past abuse flooded the public consciousness.
       But the year 1970 was a critical moment as well. That was when the church says the actual instances of abuse peaked.
       According to the unprecedented study the nation's bishops released Friday, the number of children abused by priests from 1950 to 2002 was greatest in the 1970s, with the data showing "a peak in the year 1970."
       The survey, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, also showed that the most common year of ordination for priests accused of abuse was 1970.
       The abuse that occurred in the Catholic Diocese of Erie bears out the trend. Based on the diocese's data, 20 priests were credibly accused of sexually abusing a total of 38 minors in the 13-county diocese from 1950 to 2002. Seventeen of those minors were victimized in the 1970s, the largest number for any of the decades studied. The second-highest number of minors, 10, were victimized in the 1960s, nine in the 1980s and 2 in the 1950s.
       The diocese said it has recorded no instances of clergy sexual abuse of minors occurring in the 1990s or so far this decade.
       The 1970s stand out.
       That decade already had been a period of interest in the abuse scandal nationwide. Even before the release of the data on Friday, media accounts of abuse in Boston and elsewhere indicated a large amount of the abuse occurred in the 1970s. The effects of Vatican II, the explosion of the personal freedom of the 1960s, the increase in sexual expression — those are among the factors commentators have mentioned in trying to figure out why so many clerics abused so many young people in the 1970s.
       Another study released Friday provides more insights into why clergy abuse was so prevalent during that decade. That 168-page report, by the National Review Board, a panel set up by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, analyzed the root causes of the clergy abuse scandal.
       Among other things, the board looked in depth at the Catholic seminaries, and concluded the seminaries of the past, including those of the 1970s, erred in accepting candidates who might have had psychological problems that would predispose them to abusing minors.
       According to the report: "As vocations declined in the 1970s and 1980s and thousands of men left the priesthood to marry, the pressure to ordain a certain number of priests may have contributed to a reluctance to determine that a particular individual was not well-suited to the priesthood for psychological reasons."
       The review board recommended that dioceses today, more than 30 years later, rely more than ever on psychological screenings and background checks to evaluate would-be seminarians. The Catholic Diocese of Erie has confidence in its screening process, which employs those methods, a top aide to Bishop Donald W. Trautman said.
       "You don't want someone with any type of problem, whatever that problem may be, that would affect, adversely, their ministry to the people or in any way put anyone in danger," said Monsignor Michael T. Gaines, the Erie diocese's director of clergy personnel. "So whatever those issues might be — psychological issues, personal issues, faith issues — we want to try to have a mature, well-adjusted, properly screened, properly trained person being ordained."
       As the National Review Board study repeatedly points out, the causes of the clergy abuse crisis are innumerable. How the seminaries operated in Erie and elsewhere during the tumultuous 1970s is just one element in an enormously complex crisis.
       But, as Friday's reports also suggest, what happened in the Catholic Church in the 1970s still bears studying, if only to keep the troubling developments of that decade — crucial safeguards struggling to keep up with rapid social change — from occurring again.
       That the 1970s stood out in the clergy abuse studies "didn't surprise me, because I know that we had a lot of upheaval there," said Gaines, who was ordained in 1987. "We live in the context of our society. The upheaval of the society would say there is going to be upheaval in persons."
       @For more information on the studies on the clergy abuse crisis, go to USCCB.
    • Abuse report just the beginning - RCC.
       The Express News, www.mysanan tonio.com/news/ metro/stories/ MYSA29.01B. Archdiocese_Folo_ 0229.1a7a 9777.html , by J. Michael Parker and Ron Wilson, Feb 29, 2004
       SAN ANTONIO, USA - The Archdiocese of San Antonio's participation in a recent healing service with clergy sex-abuse victims was an uncommon gesture for a U.S. diocese.
       The event, co-hosted by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, drew a mix of victims and clergy, and seemed to mark the archdiocese as a rare, progressive force in dealing with the scandal.
       But one person was conspicuous by his absence: Archbishop Patrick Flores.
       Local SNAP director Barbara Garcia Boehland said he was specifically disinvited.
       "He's known about these abusive priests but has done nothing. The church has a lot of power, but it hasn't been very good to the people."
       That friction, and the fallout amid Friday's release of reports on the national scope and costs of the scandal, indicate the healing here and across the country is far from over.
       Concerns about bishops' roles in the scandal; how well new policies will protect minors; the issues of celibacy and homosexuality in the priesthood; and naming guilty priests will be discussed for months in the wake of Friday's reports.
       The reports showed 10,667 claims of abuse between 1950 and 2002, with about 4 percent of all American clergy who served during that period — 4,392 of the 109,694 priests — accused.
       Abuse costs such as litigation and counseling were $572 million. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board had the study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
       In San Antonio, the numbers were 58 victims, 20 priests and more than $5.2 million in costs.
       Although the percentage of known abusive priests in the San Antonio archdiocese was about one-quarter of the national percentage reported, nobody was rejoicing.
       For one thing, the revelations do nothing to relieve the anger many victims feel personally toward Flores for not doing more to stop the abuse before it started or to reach out to victims when they made allegations.
       Flores has apologized often and publicly for the damage abusive priests have done. He has shed many tears over what he has called "the heaviest burden I've ever carried as a bishop."
       But victims say he has questioned their veracity, told them it's their word against the priests', and accused them of greedily seeking money.
       Flores has denied the accusations repeatedly and has emphasized that he has followed and steadily improved the archdiocese's sexual misconduct policy.
       He also says he has followed the recommendations of the crisis intervention committee.
       "We are committed to do all we can to prevent this abuse and respond to allegations in a respectful, responsible and timely fashion," he said in a statement issued Friday. "We have implemented or improved many new strategies that will assure people that our churches, schools and other institutions are safe places for them and their children.
       "We have reached out to victims' groups and individuals to let them know that we love them and want to walk their painful journey with them."
       But he has angered victims by asking why many have waited 20 years or more to come forward. They said it's difficult even to tell their families of sexual abuse by a priest because they're embarrassed and fear they won't be believed.
    'Serious failings'
       The animosity toward Flores is not unique. One of Friday's reports cited the "serious failings" of bishops, which added to the suffering of the victims.
       Victims aren't the only ones upset with the bishops.
       A pastor of a well-to-do North Side parish who's been a priest for more than 30 years said the scandal has made good priests easy targets of suspicion and has jeopardized the traditional father-son relationship between a priest and his bishop.
       "If I ever abused anyone, I wouldn't expect to be helped by the bishop. But along with all the true allegations, the zero-tolerance policy (bishops) approved in Dallas (in 2002) makes it easy for anyone with a vendetta against a priest to make an allegation against him.
       "Once an allegation is out there, it's out there for good and it's not going to go away. And if I'm accused, do you think I'm going to go to the bishop about it? No, because he's too busy trying to save himself."
    Every case is different
       The Vatican also recently has said actions by U.S. bishops to remove offending priests were too harsh. Russell Shaw, a writer and former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says one rule simply can't govern all cases of abuse, because the incidents are too different.
       The San Antonio Archdiocese is acutely aware of that now. After receiving an allegation last August against Father Joe Aviles, pastor of St. Joseph's South San Parish, the archdiocese had trouble deciding how to proceed.
       The alleged sexual abuse of a minor took place in 1985, before Aviles was a priest. So the archdiocese didn't know how church law would apply to him, and left him in place for more than six months while it figured things out, even while it reported him as one of 20 problem priests to the review board.
       He was removed Friday, and the revelation during the weekend left parishioners and victim advocates angrily questioning the new safe environment policy.
       Archdiocesan school Superintendent Dale Hoyt and safe environment coordinator Judy Perillo met with about 50 parents at St. Joseph's School on Thursday night.
       "Whenever a police officer is accused of something, he's immediately put on administrative leave before any investigation begins," parent Thomas Voight said.
       Perillo and Hoyt were sympathetic, especially because they didn't know about the allegation until the weekend, either.
       "We need a crisis team to be prepared for things like this," Perillo told the parents.
       Monsignor Lawrence Stuebben, in charge of administration at the archdiocese, acknowledged Friday that mistakes had been made and the process needs to be improved.
       "We missed some things, and we're going to learn from this," he said. "When the first case of sexual abuse of a minor came up in 1985, we knew nothing about the scope of the problem or how to deal with it. We've been learning all along, and we're going to learn from the Aviles case, too."
    Other problems
       The procedures in place have other problems. Friday's reports say church law "made it too difficult to remove a predator priest from ministry."
       And the North Side pastor said bishops, who allowed the sins of troubled priests to turn into a national scandal by failing to remove the priests from ministry, still have no accountability process to assure they do the right thing.
       One policy Friday's reports did not fault was celibacy for priests. Even though Pope John Paul II is an ardent advocate of celibacy among priests, some observers have made efforts to link the scandal with that policy.
       Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Baptists acknowledge their problems with sexual misconduct, but Protestants never will have the problem with child abuse that Catholics are having.
       "You want to know why?" he asked rhetorically. "Because in Protestant churches, people in decision-making positions are parents. Parents are not going to allow a child abuser to have access to children.
       "Can you imagine parents doing what Cardinal Law (in Boston) did, sending a child abuser to another church? Parents would never do that," Land said,  adding he applauded recommendations to give the laity a greater voice on the diocesan level.
       A report earlier this month by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights cites research by various groups showing abuse is not uncommon in professions where adults are in a power role over others.
       It shows most churches hit with sexual abuse charges are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy but church volunteers.
       "Celibacy did not cause the crisis," according to Friday's reports. Instead, the church has failed to weed out "many sexually dysfunctional and immature" priests and seminarians.
       The reports also refused to point fingers at homosexuality among priests, which falls in line with recent studies that show homosexuality and pedophilia are not related.
       The report did say, though, that "the overwhelming majority" of abuse victims are young boys.
       "We do not place the blame for the sexual abuse crisis on the presence of homosexual individuals in the priesthood as there are many chaste and holy homosexual priests," the report said.
       In some places, though, "the large number of homosexual priests or candidates had the effect of discouraging heterosexual men from seeking to enter the priesthood."
       Sexuality was at the center of another cause cited Friday.
    Sexual revolution
       In San Antonio, the number of priests involved in sexual abuse of minors peaked in the 1970s. Catholics have pointed out that statistics indicate sexual abuse of children peaked nationally in the 1980s.
       According to published reports, Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, acting bishop in Springfield, Mass., said Feb. 22 that most abusive priests took seminary training in the mid-1960s to the early '80s.
       "It was that era of the '60s — most of it took place from the mid-'60s to the early '80s — and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do. Certainly that atmosphere is not present in the church today," he was quoted as saying.
       The next day, Sniezyk withdrew his remarks, saying he "did not mean to suggest ... that sexual misconduct in any context is ever acceptable."
       Friday's report also mentioned problems in Catholic seminaries during the sexual revolution of the '70s and '80s.
       During that time, according to the report, some seminaries yielded to a culture of sexual permissiveness and moral relativism.
       Shaw said problems like those put the seminaries in turmoil. The situation was worsened, he added, by the inability of the bishops to deal effectively with them.
       The current generation of bishops is answering for what their predecessors failed to do, he said.
       Some of those bishops, the reports said, "placed the interests of the accused priests above those of the victims."
       Proof of that, some victims' advocates claim, is a refusal to release the names of guilty priests.
       The San Antonio archdiocese refuses to release the names of 12 of its 20 problem priests because they are retired or dead.
      "We need to change the law, get the names out and become transparent," Houston SNAP member Madeleine Manning said.
       In fact, Manning said, now is the time to take the abuse issue out of the church and into state legislatures.
       "We have to eliminate the statute of limitations (on clergy child abuse)," said Manning, who said she was abused by a priest when she was between the ages of 5 and 10.
       "We have to create an atmosphere where victims are not afraid to speak out," regardless of how long ago the abuse took place.
       At their June conference in Denver, bishops will review in closed session several new initiatives, Shaw said.
       Though no one knows just what the new initiatives are, most likely they will include discussion of some of the problems facing the church.
       "The sexual abuse crisis has metastasized through the church," Shaw said.
       "It is part of the wider crisis ... bigger than the sex abuse by priests and failures of bishops. It deals with sexual behavior, credibility of bishops and priests, the authority of the bishops, the role of the laity, decisions made in closed session, secrecy."
       In November, the bishops will meet in Washington and may adopt specific plans with profound effects, he said.
       Manning, an artist and writer and a leader in her Lutheran church, said the full story about abuse must come out in public.
       "I don't think all the numbers are out," she said, referring to Friday's report.
       "What Catholics want to know is, was there abuse in my church or in my school? We still don't know that." # [Emphasis added]
    • Victims criticize priest report
       The Star Ledger, www.nj.com/ news/ledger/ index.ssf?/ base/news-13/ 1078037840 10110.xml , [MISSING. Chargeable now - 22 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Victim's mother says church abuse figures low - RCC.
       Alamo Gordo Daily News, www.alamogordo news.com/artman/ publish/article_ 3254.shtml , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • They know not what they do?
       The Times-Picayune, www.nola.com/ entertainment/ t-p/index.ssf?/ base/living- 0/10780402 9485390.xml , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Gay priests defended in wake of study
       www.nola.com/ news/t-p/index. ssf?/base/news- 0/1078041400 3700.xml , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • Diocese has state's top percentage of sex offenders
       The Advocate, www.stamford advocate.com/ news/local/scn- sa-nor.percentages 2feb29,0,734 0389.story? coll=stam- news-local- headlines , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] Feb 29, 2004
    • Priests' names to be released; Toledo Diocese to give information on those accused of sexual abuse. - RCC.
       Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), www.ohio.com/ mld/ohio/news/ 8070269.htm , Associated Press, Posted on Sun, Feb. 29, 2004
       TOLEDO - The Toledo Diocese will release the names and statuses of several Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors, the bishop said, making it one of a few dioceses nationwide to do so.
       The nation's bishops released tallies of abuse allegations on Friday, giving many victims the recognition they've long sought. Ohio's nine dioceses and eparchies reported that accusations have been made against 240 priests from 1950 to 2002.
       Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair said he would begin preparing a status report of the priests by name, adding he did not yet know when it would be released. The report will not include the names of nine accused priests who have died, he said.
       Blair reported two weeks ago that 28 of the diocese's priests, seven nondiocesan priests and a deacon have been accused of abuse since 1950. Two were cleared and 24 have been barred from ministry. One remains under investigation. There are 19 lawsuits pending.
       The allegations involved about 2 percent of the 1,753 clerics who have worked over the past half century in the 330,000-member diocese covering 19 northwest Ohio counties.
       David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he knew of only three of 195 U.S. dioceses that have released priests' names.
       "The question is whether he will provide any new information or just take information that has already been reported and compile it into one report,'' he said.
       In Cuyahoga County, Common Pleas Judge John Corrigan ruled files of the Cleveland investigation should remain secret.
       Local news organizations sought to compel Prosecutor Bill Mason to release the 50,000 documents compiled by the grand jury. The diocese opposed their release, citing state laws against grand jury evidence disclosure.
       Corrigan said media outlets did not present a strong enough case to show a "particularized need for the information.''
       One priest and six diocesan workers were indicted because of the investigation, which reported more than 1,000 victims were abused by 145 priests and 351 other sexual offenders. Most cases were too old to prosecute.
       The diocese on Friday reported that 285 people had made abuse claims against 118 of the 2,515 priests and deacons who served since 1950 in the eight-county diocese, which serves about 813,000 parishioners.
       "We don't know the criteria that the grand jury used,'' Bishop Anthony Pilla said of the discrepancy.# [Bolding added]
    • Pressure remains on the church
       Newsday, www.nynewsday. com/news/nation world/nation/ny- uscath293690535 feb29,0,1310846. story?coll=ny- nationalnews- headlines , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] Feb 29, 2004
    • Sex abuse cases; Diocese will give names of accused; Toledo's bishop says deceased won't be ID'd
       Toledo Blade, www.toledoblade. com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20040228/ NEWS10/10228 0175/0/NEWS , By DAVID YONKE, yonke@theblade.com, BLADE RELIGION EDITOR, Published Saturday, February 28, 2004
       TOLEDO, Ohio, USA - Reversing a longstanding policy, the Toledo Catholic Diocese said yesterday that it plans to release the names and status of priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.
       The move would make Toledo one of a handful of U.S. dioceses that have released such information. Bishop Leonard Blair, who took over leadership of the 325,000-member diocese in December, said two weeks ago that 35 priests and one deacon in the Toledo diocese have faced such allegations since 1950.
       (Pictures: Go to source page. 1. Bishop Leonard Blair. 2. Tony Comes, Claudia Vercellotti, and John Schoonmaker use play money to show what the church has paid lawyers. THE BLADE/ALLAN DETRICH)

       At a news conference to discuss two national reports on clerical sexual abuse, Bishop Blair said yesterday that he "appreciated the concern" of those who want more than numbers and said he was prepared to provide a status report of the priests, by name, "as soon as we can reasonably put it together."
       He had no specific timetable for releasing the report but added that he would not include the names of priests who are "long deceased ... and cannot defend themselves."
       David Clohessy, national director of the victims’ advocacy group SNAP, said he knows of only three of the 195 U.S. dioceses that have released names of priests accused of sexual abuse.
       "The question is whether he will provide any new information or just take information that has already been reported elsewhere and compile it into one report," Mr. Clohessy said from St. Louis.
       Claudia Vercellotti of the local SNAP chapter said Bishop Blair’s announcement was "definitely a step," but she called for area Catholics to withhold donations until church leaders provide "full disclosure without exception."
       At the diocese’s news conference in the Catholic Center in downtown Toledo, Bishop Blair said it was "painful to hear" the results of the two national reports - one giving the numbers of allegations since 1950 and the other looking into the causes and context that led to the crisis.
       The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned the study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which reported that 4 percent of the 109,694 priests, or 4,392, who served since 1950, have faced credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The figure in the 19-county Toledo diocese was 2 percent of the 1,753 clerics who served during that time.
       A separate report by the church’s National Review Board was highly critical of bishops’ handling of the sexual abuse crisis. Bishops failed "to grasp the gravity of the problem," the NRB said.
       It also said "the fear of scandal" caused some church leaders "to practice secrecy and concealment" and that "the threat of litigation caused some bishops to disregard their pastoral role and adopt an adversarial stance not worthy of the church."
       Bishop Blair said he agreed with the NRB’s conclusions and said the two reports called to mind the sacrament of penance - "namely contrition, which is heartfelt sorrow for sins committed." He said the studies were a form of confession "by which we squarely face what has been done and take responsibility for it."
       Bishop Blair said he recently mailed letters to victims of sexual abuse offering to meet with them but added the work "has only begun" for the church to do all it can to repair the harm.
       Ms. Vercellotti and Jon Schoonmaker, heads of the local chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference across the street from the Catholic Center yesterday.
       They urged area Catholics to stop contributing to the diocese until it releases the names and the status of all priests and other church employees accused of sexual abuse, whether the alleged abusers are alive or dead and whether the victims were children or adults.
       "No truth, no money," the SNAP leaders said.
       Withholding names of any alleged abusers affiliated with the church excludes some victims from healing, Ms. Vercellotti said.
       "Jesus never said, ‘I’ll protect only some of the lost sheep.’ Jesus protected all of the lost sheep. He didn’t pick and choose," she said. #
    • Former Port Angeles priests make up one third of sex abuse allegations [McGreal, Conn] - RCC. 153 survivors..
       Peninsula Daily News, www.peninsula dailynews.com/ sited/story/ html/157428 , by BRIAN GAWLEY, Feb 29, 2004
       PORT ANGELES, USA - The Rev. James McGreal and the Rev. Paul Conn, Roman Catholic priests who once served in Port Angeles, were responsible for more than one-third of the 153 sexual abuse allegations reported to the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese between 1950 and last year.
       The archdiocese released that and other statistics as its part of a national, church-sanctioned study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and released Friday.
       McGreal served at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Port Angeles in 1986-87.
       Conn also served as a priest at Queen of Angels in the late 1980s.
       The Seattle Archdiocese paid $7.87 million in September 2003 to settle 15 sexual-abuse cases involving McGreal, although he was never charged with a crime.
       Court records say McGreal told his therapist that he had molested hundreds of young boys in 10 parishes, including Port Angeles, and in two hospitals over a 40-year period.
       In 1988, Conn pleaded guilty to molesting at least six altar boys at Queen of Angels and was sentenced to four years in prison.
       Those two are the only Roman Catholic Church officials on the North Olympic Peninsula to be connected to sexual abuse charges.#
    • Grappling with abuse
       The Baltimore Sun (Maryland), www.baltimore sun.com/news /opinion/pers pective/bal-pe. church29feb29,0, 5830733.story , [MISSING - 22 Jan 05] ~ Feb 29, 2004
    • D'Arcy praises abuse findings
       South Bend Tribune, www.southbend tribune.com/ stories/2004/02/ 29/local.200402 29-sbt-FULL-A1-D_ Arcy.sto , [ACCESS FEE $US1.95 now - 22 Jan 05] Feb 29, 2004
    • Diocese has paid $630,000 in cases - RCC. 15. 1.7%. 36
       Times-Leader (North-eastern Pennsylvania, USA), www.timesleader. com/mld/times leader/8061 777.htm , By KALEN CHURCHER, kchurcher@leader.net , Feb 29, 2004
       SCRANTON - More than $600,000 has been paid by the Diocese of Scranton in connection with 36 sexual misconduct allegations involving priests serving sometime between 1950 and 2002.
       According to the diocese, $629,652 has been spent on legal expenses, compensation, and the medical treatment and counseling of victims. Money spent came from the diocese and its insurance. The diocese released its figures Friday in conjunction with a nationwide diocese survey.
       Twenty-five diocesan priests were initially implicated in misconduct allegations, according to the release. "Credible allegations" were found against 15 priests by 36 victims. That number equals 1.7 percent of the 873 priests serving between 1950 and 2002.
       "Although the number of priests who have committed sexual abuse of minors is a small fraction of those who have so faithfully served this diocese, we have historically taken this problem very seriously and will continue to do so," said Bishop Joseph F. Martino in a prepared statement. "The Diocese of Scranton established a policy on sexual misconduct in 1993, long before the current public attention was focused on this issue. The policy included the formation of a review board to assess the allegations and advise the bishop."
       The diocese also follows the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchical Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons." Both documents were issued in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
       The 15 priests involved were removed from the ministry and cannot present themselves as priests in public. Of the 15, four have died and three are no longer living in the diocese, Martino said.
       The diocese did not give specific dates of the misconduct allegations.
       There also are four cases pending, Martino continued. Two are being heard in civil court and two are being investigated within the diocese. The four men have been removed from the ministry, pending the outcomes. The diocese declined to release their names, and information on only a few other priests has been made public.
  • The Revs. Eric Ensey and Carlos Urrutigoity were removed from duty in January 2002 after being accused of misconduct with a minor while they resided at St. Gregory's Academy, an all-boys school. The two priests belonged to the St. John Society, now located in Shohola, Pike County.
  • Also in January 2002, the Rev. Christopher Clay was removed from duty as chaplain at Bishop Hafey High School in Hazle Township. Clay denied allegations of misconduct. The accusations did not come from the Bishop Hafey community.
  • In April 2002, the Rev. Thomas Skotek was relieved of his duties after decades-old misconduct allegations surfaced. A diocese statement said Skotek admitted to "some improper conduct."
       The Diocese of Scranton serves more than 350,000 Catholics in Luzerne, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Bradford, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wayne counties.
       "The overwhelming majority of priests, throughout the world and here in the Diocese of Scranton, are good, holy, dedicated men of integrity, " Martino said.
       According to a survey summary, 10,667 allegations of priest misconduct have been made nationwide. Of those alleging abuse, 17.2 percent had siblings who also claimed to have been abused. Based on 109,694 priests in the ministry between 1950 and 2002, the study indicated abuse allegations had been made against 4 percent of the priests.
       The survey was conducted by New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The college was commissioned by the national Review Board, a lay panel picked by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The panel reviews allegations of priest sex abuse with minors.
       "This has been a dark chapter in the history of the Church," Martino said. "We cannot change this history, but we can make certain that it is not repeated."
       Kalen Churcher, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 831-7329.
       ON THE NET: Survey results are available at www.catholicreviewboard.com .#
    • Priest victims want more information; Audit's release has critics seeking abusers' names, sanctions for bishops.
       Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, USA), www.jsonline. com/news/gen/ feb04/210965. asp , By TOM HEINEN and MARY ZAHN theinen@journalsentinel.com , Posted: Feb. 27, 2004
       WASHINGTON - The Catholic hierarchy and the church's lay leaders alike hoped that the agony of the sexual abuse crisis would ease with the release Friday of a landmark study that counted the human toll and a report that attributed much of the cause to bishops and seminaries.
       But the cup offered by the clerical and lay leadership was only half full from the perspective of some victims and reform groups - and even a national priests organization - even though church leaders said more needed to be done and would be done.
       Those groups called for something that the 145-page study on the crisis by the church's lay-led National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People did not - that bishops who knowingly kept abusive priests in ministry be removed from their positions, that they resign, or that they otherwise be held accountable.
       Both the national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful issued that call in back-to-back news conferences. SNAP also reiterated its call for all of the names of the 4,392 diocesan and religious priests who allegedly victimized children and youths from 1950 to 2002 to be released publicly. Only a few dioceses have done that.
       In all, a team from John Jay College of Criminal Justice found 10,667 "substantiated allegations" of abuse by priests from 1950 through 2002.
       The National Federation of Priests' Councils said it planned to carry the issue of episcopal responsibility to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committee that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan will begin chairing in March. That panel, on priestly life and ministry, is one of the chief conduits priests have to communicate with the bishops as a whole, even though it won't have authority to deal with the issue.
       Priest federation President Father Robert J. Silva said bishops and others "who allowed these guys to be transferred around the country" should be held accountable. His organization represents about 27,000 priests and about 125 priest councils nationwide - including Milwaukee. ...
    • Churches react to sexual abuse report - RCC. Capuchin-Franciscans 17. Wisconsin overall > 100.
       The Green Bay News Chronicle, www.greenbay newschron.com/ page.html?artic le=124615 , By XIAO ZHANG, Associated Press Writer, ~ Feb 29, 2004
       MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Rev. John Celichowski decided Friday he would discuss the clergy sexual abuse issue with his parishioners.
       "Obviously today's a very somber day in the history of the church, particularly in the United States," said Celichowski, pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Milwaukee.
       His comments came after the release Friday of a national report showing 4,392 members of the Catholic clergy were accused of abuse from 1950-2002, and the accusations were made by 10,667 individuals, most of them under the age of 15.
       The study was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
       "There is deep regret that any child or young person was ever harmed by a clergy member or by anyone serving on behalf of the Church," said Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
       He said healing the suffering associated with the abuse is a priority of the church.
       Wisconsin's five dioceses based in Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Superior each released similar reports Wednesday.
       More than 100 Catholic clergy members in Wisconsin have had proven claims they sexually abused children since 1950, according to the reports.
       Capuchin-Franciscans, as a religious order, were not required to report cases of sexual abuse for the national study. But Celichowski said the Province of St. Joseph, which covers the Upper Midwest states, participated in the report.
       The province has 17 credible allegations of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct since 1950, he said. Most friars involved have either died or left the order, he said, and the province is developing two prevention programs.
       Another religious order, St. Norbert Abbey in Green Bay, also released the number of clergy offenders.
       While the issue will be addressed during services by some priests, others do not see the need.
       The Rev. Dean Buttrick of St. Anthony Catholic churches in Superior and Lake Nebagamon said people in his parishes haven't asked to discuss the issue. The sexual abuse scandals haven't shaken people's faith, he said.
       Bill Brophy, spokesman for the Madison diocese, said he can't predict whether priests will talk about the sexual abuse problem in services, and the diocese doesn't "send out directives on what to say."
       The diocese set up a program called Virtus, which gives four-hour training to Sunday school teachers, coaches and other volunteers at Catholic schools to raise awareness, he said.
       The Rev. Philip Heslin at the Diocese of Superior said it would be difficult to include the message in Sunday's service because homilies are about the scripture.
       Friday's report is considered incomplete but a starting point by victims of clergy abuse.
       Peter Isely, spokesman for the victims group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the dioceses need to release names and the whereabouts of the perpetrators.
      "That's far more important and far more usable information - by parents and others to make sure their kids are safe," he said.
       He also criticized the reports for offering little help on how to reform the structure.
       But John Huebscher, executive director of Wisconsin Catholic Conference, said the study was never intended to include everything.
       "The John Jay report is only the latest word on this issue," he said. "It's not the last word. I think all of us in the church know we still have a lot of work to do."
       On the Net - Bishops' conference: http://www.usccb.org , Wisconsin Catholic Conference: http://www.wisconsincatholic.org/ #
    • Editorial: The church's accounting - RCC. 20% not included.
       Journal-Sentinel (Milwaukee), www.jsonline. com/news/edit orials/feb04/ 210810.asp , Posted Feb 27, published Feb 28, 2004
       WISCONSIN, USA - Studies show that sexual abuse in this country is vastly underreported. Some estimates are that only 5% to 10% of sexual-abuse incidents get reported. So when readers see headlines saying "4% of U.S. priests accused of abuse" and read articles alleging that 10,667 children were victimized by 4,392 priests between 1950 and 2002, they need to remember that what's under discussion is only reported abuse, and that the incidence of actual abuse is likely to be higher.
       For their part, Roman Catholic Church officials - who deserve credit for commissioning two reports on the clergy sexual-abuse scandal, which were released this week - need to understand that providing these numbers is only a first step toward re-establishing the credibility of the church hierarchy among many believers. They also need to realize that much remains to be done, including the naming of pedophile priests and the disciplining of bishops who covered for those priests.
       Finally, the reports also should spur Wisconsin lawmakers to act on a clergy sexual-abuse bill before the Legislature adjourns for the year on March 11.
       The numbers released this week were horrific, even to the bishops who commissioned the reports. One of the reports concluded that many bishops were guilty of neglect and insensitivity toward victims that allowed the "smoke of Satan" to enter the church. Bishops responding to the report said the shameful history would never be repeated.
       "The terrible history recorded here today is history," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has apologized for the scandal and initiated reforms to deal with the crisis.
       But given the history of the Catholic Church and sexual abuse, remorse, no matter how genuine, isn't enough. A little more discipline and justice are necessary, too.
       Achieving justice will first require a fuller picture of the crisis that, in its latest incarnation, broke about two years ago in Boston. The numbers come from reports submitted by American dioceses and religious communities to a group of academics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. This is self-reporting, not an outside audit. Furthermore, responses were submitted by 195 dioceses and 140 communities representing about 80% of all religious priests, obviously leaving another 20% unaccounted for.
       Justice also requires that the church be more forthcoming about who was doing the abusing, and do more to determine why it occurred in the first place and why some bishops had so little sympathy for victimized children. According to the reports, much of the abuse seems to have come from priest classes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and about 80% of the victims were boys. Some say the sexual revolution of those years and a culture of homosexuality in the church were the prime movers behind the abuse.
       Maybe, but since we have only a partial picture of what went on, it's hard to know for sure. That's why releasing the names of legitimately accused priests - which could in turn bring forth more victims - is important. Such naming of names should result in a more accurate picture of who was engaging in these terrible crimes. It's also critical that bishops who allowed this "smoke of Satan" into the church be disciplined.
       Pope John Paul II ushered in the Lenten season this week by calling on the faithful to pay particular attention to the plight of children, who, more than others, "need to be defended and protected." The words come a little late for a relative handful of priests and bishops, but if the rest take those words to heart and do what's right for victims, they can help restore faith in the church's leadership.# [Bolding added] [Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:13 AM]
    //////////////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.ncrnews.org/abuse , Sunday, February 29, 2004
    • Breakfast radio man had been molested by a Brother.
       The Sunday Times STM magazine, Perth, WA, "Arise King Cameron," by Gail Williams, page 8, column 3, February 29, 2004.
       PERTH, Western Australia:
       *** The memoirs have a darker side when he touches on his treatment -- including sexual abuse -- by the Brothers at the Marist Brothers College in Mt Gambia [South Australia] where he attended boarding school until he was 14. [...]
       He hated school anyway -- the canings, humiliation, the sports days -- but it was his treatment at the hands of Brother Bertinus that forms his worst memories. The hook-nosed lay teacher would call him into his office just before lights out to give him a physical examination to see if he was "developing properly". [...]
       All of this belies the jocular persona he presents; the outspoken larrikin with an acerbic wit, strong views, a black sense of humour, a love of food and old American cars, and a loathing of sport -- but, most of all, his eternal devotion to his wife Wendy ... their three children and four grandchildren.
    • US Catholic clergy seduced 6700 / 10,600 children, and counting
       To some newspapers, "Catholic clergy seduced 6700 / 10,600 children," Sunday February 29, 2004
    LETTER TO EDITOR / COMMENT
       Anyone firmly believing RC doctrine will be tempted to refuse to remember last Friday's US report by the RC bishops that nearly 4400 priests sexually corrupted 6700 / 10,667 children, mainly boys, in the past half century.
       $US 657 million had been spent as a result of this, according to Reuters report. More figures are being collected.
       How can RCs, believing they belong to a Church dating back to the apostles and having an infallible earthly leader, accept that so much sinning was organised by clergy whom the faithful pay, and be criminally facilitated by bishops?
       I would challenge the 82 per cent of Australian Catholics who have given up regular church attendance to consider if they have a part to play in saving the clergy from themselves.
       You who are "voting with your feet" ought to buy modern bible translations such as New Jerusalem and Good News, just to compare critical texts and to read the footnotes, which hint that spurious additions and changes have been made to the traditional bibles.
       The famous incident of Peter being told to feed the lambs and the sheep is one of the forgeries, inserted to change the Church from making decisions by consensus, to the monarchical structure many have to this day.
       I challenge these "straying sheep" to start writing letters to their local clergy and schools asking if celibacy is really the way of Jesus, if married clergy wouldn't be safer, and if Jesus really wanted his followers to believe themselves beyond making mistakes.
       The sex abuse news from Ireland, Malta, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, and the Philippines show us that something is seriously wrong with Church practices. For the sake of the good teachings of Christianity, we ought to try to save RC clergy from their bad habits.
       Amazingly, the Howard Government last week announced more funding for the RC and other religions' schools system, without even waiting for the facts and figures to sink in.
       With even a Perth radio star Eoin Cameron* announcing he was interfered with by a Marist Brother as a boarder at Mt Gambier, South Australia, and the bad overseas reports, it is quite likely that Australia has a similar problem of 4 per cent of RC clergy corrupting boys and girls.
       Most Australians despise child sex abusers, so why are we spending public funds for this?
       FOOTNOTES: "Seduced 6700 / 10,667 children." The earliest versions went out as 10,667, but one later one had the lower figure. The main news reports say words such as: "It found there have been 10,667 abuse claims over the 52 years." (Reuters, 3rd par, Feb 27) The lower figure of 6700 children was quoted in some editions of this response because of a statement "The Diocese of Yakima, Washington, said in a news release about 6700 claims or 63 per cent were substantiated."(The Sunday Times, Perth, W. Australia, "10,000 abuse claims against church," http://www.sundaytimes.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,8814996%255E401,00.html , From Rachel Zoll in Washington, Feb 28 2004)
       Feeding lambs, sheep; Bible, John 21:15-17. Many commentators believe that none of Chapter 21 was written by John the Evangelist. See F.Davidson, A.M.Stibbs, E.F.Kevan (eds), The New Bible Commentary, 1959 (2nd edition), Inter-Varsity Fellowship, London, p 895 b. Also see John L. McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible, 1968, Geoffrey Chapman, London, p 447 a. And see New Jerusalem Bible, (footnotes © 1990), footnote on page 1272.
       * Eoin Cameron accusation: The Sunday Times STM magazine, Perth, WA, page 8, column 3, February 29, 2004. FOOTNOTES END.

    Feb 29, 2004
    FOR GOOD TEACHINGS TO BE HEEDED, A BIG CLEAN-UP IS NEEDED
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    * Reuters 270204 = Reuters, "Catholic Priests Abused 10,600 Children -- Study," By Deborah Zabarenko, 02:25 PM ET, Fri Feb 27, 2004
    * Substantiated = The Sunday Times, Perth, W. Australia, "10,000 abuse claims against church," From Rachel Zoll in Washington, Feb 28 2004. QUOTE: "The Diocese of Yakima, Washington, said in a news release about 6700 claims or 63 per cent were substantiated."

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