References cont. (8) — Clergy Child Molesters
If a NEWSITEM HEADLINE or TITLE below has been CHANGED to amplify the meaning, the original headline is shown elsewhere.
• [Raping altarboy brings 12 years gaol.] [Paquin] -- Roman Catholic Church.
The Boston Globe,
www.boston.com , "Priest Pleads Guilty To Raping Altar Boy,"
(article 1125 words, Globe Spotlight),
by Sacha Pfeiffer, January 1, 2003
BOSTON (Massachusetts): The Rev. Ronald H. Paquin pleaded guilty yesterday to three counts of child rape and was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison, becoming the first Boston Archdiocese priest to admit guilt in a criminal molestation case since the sex abuse scandal exploded in January.
Boston attorney Jeffrey A. Newman, who represents the victim in the case, described the turn of events as a "major step" in resolving an estimated 500 pending abuse claims against the archdiocese, since Paquin has ...
FOR GOOD TEACHINGS TO BE HEEDED, A BIG CLEAN-UP IS NEEDED
• Broken Rites Newsletter - informative items on sad subject
Broken Rites Newsletter,
Rosanna, Victoria, Australia, 20 pages,
Nos 21 and 22, January 2003
Front page headline: "82 Catholic priests and brothers sentenced"
At least 82 Catholic Church leaders (50 priests and 32 religious brothers) have been sentenced in Australian courts since 1993 for sexual offences (see our Black-collar Crime list on pages 10 and 11).
The real number is much higher than 82 ... a number of priests and brothers are currently before the courts or awaiting hearings. ... "the tip of the iceberg" ... some victims ... tell ... the church ... handles internally ... avoiding ... police ... may even "tip off" the accused, so that he can establish a defence (or leave Australia) ... [The whole article is well worth reading for its other insights.]
"End of 20-year cover-up" page 2: A 67-year-old priest had told the Brisbane Courier Mail in June 2002 that he had fondled and masturbated altar boys in regional Queensland in the 1970s. The bishop knew about the abuse! The newsitem gives the numbers of complaints that this bishop, and the next one, dealt with. Then that bishop told the newspaper the priest had disappeared. In July 2002 the priest was charged. By September 2002 there were 370 child-sex charges. [The name was withheld in the article at that time. He is Michael McArdle, whose admission he confessed child sex 1500 times caused a national uproar in January 2004.]
• [Evidence has been conflated with gossip!] -- RCC.
LONDON: (R.C.) British writer Tom Utley has joined apologists attacking News Media for the Churches' problems with Child Sex-Abuse! The heading hints that it is the News Media that has the "obsession" with paedophilia -- not the guilty clergy! He wrote in the British newspaper The Telegraph of November 30, 2002, that both The Times and Today programme on Radio 4 had conflated hard evidence with malicious gossip. The Today programme, he wrote, had subjected Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster to dreadful abuse, founded on little more than tittle-tattle. Murphy-O'Connor, while a bishop in another diocese, had given a serial child-abuser, Fr Michael Hill, a job as industrial chaplain at Gatwick Airport. There he sexually abused a disabled minor.
-- The Record, Perth, "Paedophile obsession can't kill trust in the Church," p 4, Jan 2, 2003
[COMMENT: Is this the "tittle-tattle" that was the foundation of the verbal abuse? What about the REAL abuse, that is, the sex-abuse of the youngsters whom Fr Hill molested? And the harm to the faith of their families? Not to mention other people who read or hear such newsitems with sickening regularity! How long can the bishops' apologists go on pretending that someone else has caused these sordid newsitems to appear? END of COMMENT.]
(See The Telegraph's Nov 30 2002 internet version entitled "Paedophile obsession is killing trust in the Church" at www.telegraph.co.uk/ opinion/ main.jhtml?xml=/ opinion/ 2002/11/30/ do3001.xml, or click "obsession.htm")
[Jan 2, 03]
• "Mississippi bishop retires as two abuse lawsuits against diocese are pending;" -- RCC. $US 123m writs.
VATICAN CITY - The pope has accepted, for reasons of age, the resignation of Bishop William Houck of the Jackson, Miss., diocese, which was recently slapped with two lawsuits seeking a total of $75 million in connection with the church abuse scandal.
In June, three brothers -- Kenneth, Thomas and Francis Morrison -- filed a $48 million lawsuit against the Jackson diocese, accusing it of having ignored sexual abuse by a priest -- Rev. George Broussard -- they say took place between 1969-74, when the boys were about 5 to 14 years old.
The suit named the diocese as well as clergymen including Houck and the diocese's former vicar-general, (now Cardinal) Bernard Law, accusing them of civil contempt and fraud for failure to report the alleged abuse.
-- Tucson Citizen, (AP),
The Associated Press, Jan 3, 2003
!!!: [Doorstep passion denied by Anglican clergyman.]
LONDON: Rev. Harry Brown denies he bounded towards a married woman parishioner at her own front door in 1996, overpowered her, and gave her a French kiss. Other provocative behaviour has been alleged. He denies sexual harassment and intimidation, and is appealing to a Church of England ecclesiastical court against the Archbishop of York's revocation of his priest's licence.
-- The West Australian, "Priest fights passion claims," (The Telegraph Group, London), Sat Jan 4 2003, p 27
[COMMENT; The doorstep incident is alleged to have occurred in 1996. Why then is Mr Brown still wasting the time of the Church and the lady involved?]
• [English parishes oppose active homosexual clergy.]
SYDNEY: The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, could become spiritual leader of more than 100 British parishes because of a split developing in the Church of Englan over homosexuality. Two evangelical groups in the Church of England have become angered by the views on homosexuality held by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. He has ordained a practising gay main in the priesthood. The Rev George Curry, chairman, Church Society, said Dr Williams's views were heretical and condoned sin. Dr Jensen told the Sydney Morning Herald it was "another meeting entirely" for Sydney to become involved in Church of England affairs.
-- The Sunday Times, Perth, "Gay row could split Anglicans,"
Sun Jan 5 2003 p 29
[40% of U.S. nuns sexually abused: report.] WASHINGTON: Forty per cent of United States nuns have been sexually abused, according to an independent study conducted by researchers at St Louis University.
-- The West Australian, "Nuns sexually abused: report," Monday January 6 2003, p 21
Power in the Pews: Voice Of The Faithful, U.S. lay Catholics speaking out. -- RCC.
BOSTON: The sex-abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church caused grassroots organisations to spring up. One of these is Voice of the Faithful. What began in Wellesley, Massachusetts, as a discussion group in a church basement quickly grew to 25,000 members and 100 chapters from San Francisco to Nashville. Members say they will no longer accept the old model of "pay, pray and obey," and want nothing less than structural reform of the church.
At least 10 bishops -- worried that the group is a divisive force -- banned VOTF from meeting on church property. But donations keep pouring in. People from as far away as Ireland and Australia are discovering VOTF's Web site www.votf.org and starting new chapters.
"Our agenda is what we say it is," says Jim Post, VOTF's president. "To support survivors, to support priests of integrity, and to work on changes to ensure that this never happens again." -- Newsweek, U.S.A., www.msnbc.com/news/850631.asp , "Power in the Pews," By Julie Scelfo, Jan 6, 2003
• Tolkien son accused of sex abuse.
LONDON: The eldest son of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, has been questioned by police over allegations that he sexually abused boys while working as a priest.
Following a wide-reaching investigation into Father John Tolkien, West Midlands police have sent their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Officials will assess whether to press formal charges against the retired Roman Catholic priest.
The alleged offences were said to have been carried out against a number of boys during his ecclesiastical career. Father Tolkien, now 84, was a serving priest at churches in Oxford, Birmingham, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
(Poynter Institute email@example.com of
Thu, 30 Jan 2003)
-- The Age, Melbourne, "Tolkien son accused of sex abuse,"
www.theage.com.au/news/ world/ 2002/01/07/ FFXATFIP3WC. html ,
Monday 7 January 2002
[AFTERMATH: See -- The West Australian, "Payout in Tolkien abuse case," Tue Jul 22 03, p 23 AFTERMATH ENDS]
Article date: 7 Jan 02
!!!: [No punishment: Clinch took place three years ago!]  -- RCC.
MEXICO CITY: R.C. priest videoed his clinch with lady secretary! Bishop Juan Lopez said he was not going to punish Father Salomon Palma, 60, whose self-videoed image in a clinch with his secretary, 28, was shown on TV, "since the actions took place three years ago." The stolen video, shown on Mexican TV, has sparked outrage among some Catholic circles there. Last year a film about a sexual relationship between a priest and a young Church member outraged the Catholic leadership.
-- The West Australian, "Anger over priest in a clinch," (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), Wed Jan 8 2003, p 29
[COMMENT: The bishop isn't even going to punish the "perfect chastity celibate" priest for the STUPIDITY of videoing himself in a compromising situation!]
• Even in death, parish stands by its loved priest. WESTCHESTER (MI): Father Jose Nickse, a dead Miami archdiocesan priest who had denied accusations of sexual misconduct, was eulogised by Auxiliary Bishop Agustin Roman of Miami as a "joyful priest who kept his joy even in the midst of the cross of defamation."
Supporters at an overflow funeral Mass at St Brendan Parish on December 31 in Westchester, a Miami suburb, rose with sustained applaus when the bishop said to his dead friend, "We believe you." Father Nickse was pastor there for 21 years. He had died of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in the Bahamas on December 24. He had been suspended from priestly duties in 2002 because of allegations he had molested three teenagers in the 1980s.
One of the accusers, Richard Fiallo, 31, said he was disappointed the priest would not have to face him in court. Many parishioners refused to believe the allegations.
A photo of him was surrounded by Christmas flowers was in the parish office. A refugee from Cuba, he spoke Spanish, English and French, and had been archdiocesan director of radio and television.
-- The Record, Perth, "Even in death, parish stands by its loved priest,"
by Robert O. Steen, CNS,
Jan 9 2003, p 5
• [Law change gives rights to 500 accusers.] [Servites] -- RCC.
CALIFORNIA: A new State law took effect on January 1, giving alleged clergy abuse victims a one-year window to sue Church institutions, regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. The first lawsuits filed under the new Californian law were filed on January 2 against the San Francisco Archdioces, the Oakland and San Jose Dioceses, and the Order of Friar Servants of Mary (Servites). The next day lawyer John Manley, who had represented a client in a $5.2 million settlement with the Los Angelese Archdioces and Orange Diocese, filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to have a single judge hear all or nearly all lawsuits filed statewide under the new law. Stockton attorney David Drivon, whose firm is representing about 250 alleged victims, has predicted that about 500 will be filed this year.
-- The Record, "Californian law change opens floodgate,"
Jan 9 03, p 5
• [Ratzinger and Pell are amongst his "heroes"!] I loved Mark Baumgarten's reminder (The Record, December 12) that we Christians are heirs to a wonderful Jesus message, and that we ought be promoting it. The Catholic media in WA fulfils one important role by its pugnacious and protective defence of what it sees as the Faith. It makes no secret that its heroes are people like John Paul II, Ratzinger, Pell, most Vatican officials and the recently-canonised. All of these are heroes for many because they represent the Church as it was and as it still should be. But they aren't everybody's heroes. There may well be only one Catholic Church, but there are a squillion different Church persons.
Some of us love the Liturgy, some of us tirade against it, some of us say the Rosary or kiss statues during Mass. But we are all Church. We'll surely have a happier new year if we accept each other's differences more, and have a good listen to each other more.
-- The Record, "Heirs to the message," letter from Harry Mithen, Tuart Hill, WA,
Jan 9 03, p 7
[COMMENT: A search of these Reference pages will show reasons for doubting his praise of Vatican official Cardinal Ratzinger who (denied a Church trial to victims of the Legion of Christ founder, reported Jan 20 02), and Sydney Archbishop George Pell (his 60 Minutes
admission he paid "gag" money, then denied it for 10 days, reported from May 30 02 to Jun 11 02).
[Jan 9 03]
• Six per cent molesters in some U.S. dioceses; 1205 R.C. priests harmed 4268 youngsters. NEW YORK: There are 1205 U.S. priests who have molested 4268
minors during the past 60 years, according to a New York Times survey of documented cases only.
Priests secretly violated vulnerable youth long before the first victims sued the church and went public in 1984 in Louisiana. Some offences date from the 1930's.
"This has been going on for decades, probably centuries," said Richard K. O'Connor, a former Dominican priest who says he was one of 10 boys sexually assaulted by three priests in a South Bronx parish in 1940, when he was 10. "It's just that all of a sudden, they got caught."
Accusations so far had been made in all but 16 of the 177 Latin Rite dioceses in the United States. [The R.C. Church also has independent dioceses of the Oriental Rites, overlapping the majority Latin Rite dioceses.]
Sexual abuse was deeply embedded in the culture of the Catholic priesthood. Many priests began seminary training as young as 13, and all of them spent years being groomed in an insular world in which sexual secrets and transgressions were considered a matter for the confessional, not the criminal courts.
In Baltimore, an estimated 6.2 percent of priests ordained in the last half-century have been implicated in the abuse of minors. In Manchester, N.H., the percentage is 7.7, and in Boston it is 5.3.
-- New York Times,
www.nytimes.com/ 2003/01/12/ national/ 12PRIE.html
"Decades of Damage; Trail of Pain in Church Crisis Leads to Nearly Every Diocese,"
by Laurie Goodstein, Jan 12 03
!!!: [Leaflets at churches, and archbishop suddenly has time to see victims!] ST PAUL (U.S.A.): A day after a sex-abuse victims' group distributed leaflets at Catholic churches asking parishioners to support their three-month effort to meet with Archbishop Harry Flynn, the archbishop agreed Monday to a meeting. [...]
Members of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) handed out leaflets Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Paul and other churches in the Twin Cities and in St. Cloud. The leaflets said members were told repeatedly that Flynn was too busy to meet. ... SNAP said: "I mean, here's the guy who helped put together the new national sex-abuse policy for the Catholic Church, a candidate to replace Cardinal Law in Boston."
--Star Tribune, St Paul, Minnesota, USA, "Archbishop Flynn to meet with sex-abuse victims group" (at last!),
by Warren Wolfe , www.startribune.com/ stories/ 1697/ 3589807.html ,
Jan 14 2003
!!!: [Sex "Hush money" denier appointed to deal with sex!] SYDNEY: The Vatican has appointed Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell, who in 2002 vainly denied that the Church included a silence order in agreements sworn when compensating sex-abuse victims, to a Vatican Curia position dealing with sex education, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, genetic engineering, AIDS, the defence of human life and the pastoral care of the family.
-- The West Australian, "Pell appointed to Vatican body," p 11, Wed Jan 15, 2003
• "New appointment for Archbishop Pell," ROME: Australian to the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family, part of the Catholic Church's central doctrinal apparatus. The presidential committee has 9 cardinals, 9 archbishops and bishops, 19 lay members, 39 consultors, and 7 officials.
[Observers with an irreverent mind would enjoy the fact that both the disgraced Cardinal Law of Boston, and the "never, never, no hush money" Archbishop Pell, have been involved in studying "inclusive language" in liturgical and scripture translations -- discussing if it is to be exclusively all "hes" and "hims", or not! They are both on the Vox Clara ("clear voice") committee to rewrite the translations!]
-- The Record, Perth, p 2, Jan 16, 2003
• [Sex abuse scandals lead to only 42% of U.S. Catholics believing in the Church's organisation.]
UNITED STATES: Pollster George Gallup Jr said a 30-point plunge last year in American [U.S.A.] religious attitudes and practices plainly reflected "the 2002 Catholic sexual abuse scandals."
The 641 points on the 2002 Gallup Index of Leading Religious Indicators marked the lowest level in the 51-year history of the annual index. The 30-point drop in one year was a record.
Gallup said, "The two specific items driving the index's drop clearly speak to the impact of the sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church.
In 2002, 52 percent of Americans gave very high or high ratings to ethical standards of clergy versus the 64 percent who did so in 2001.
Americans' confidence in organised religion declined significantly as well; 45 percent of Americans had 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' of confidence in organised religion in 2002, versus 60 percent in 2001."
He said the significance of the scandal could be seen in the wide gap in feelings of confidence in organised religion between Catholics, only 42 percent, and Protestants, 59 percent.
-- The Record, Perth, "Popularity plunge," (Catholic News Service),
Jan 16 03, p 12
[Australian Catholics, if they have any sense, would have the same level of doubt, judging by the insensitivity of the December appointment of a sex abuse denier to a Vatican group in charge of sex policy!]
• [Women left adrift by priests and/or the Church system, organise in Scotland.]
EDINBURGH: A support group for women who have affairs with Catholic priests is opening a branch in Scotland because its English headquarters cannot cope with the number of calls received from Scottish women.
Sonflowers says women from north of the Border have contacted them for support after having children with Scottish priests or long-term affairs with supposedly celibate clergymen.
Adrianna Alsworth, the founder of Sonflowers, also revealed that two Scottish women who contacted them discovered they were having an affair with the same priest. ...
Alsworth, who refuses to reveal the identity of priests or give further information about the calls she receives, wants to set up a base in Scotland.
She says the move is necessary because the Catholic Church in Scotland refuses to acknowledge the scale of the problem among Scotland's clergy.
-- Scotland on Sunday, "Silent mistresses find voice against priests,"
www.thelinkup. com/abuse-women/ scotland.html [Seek elsewhere],
by Paul Barker, James Hastings, and Stephen Fraser,
sfraser@scotland onsunday.com ,
Jan 16 2003
• [Repeat offender Hart to appeal against record 34-year gaol.] [Not arising from misuse of religion] PERTH: Lawyers representing convicted rapist Ashley Craig Hart are preparing an appeal against the 34-year jail sentence he received in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Criminal Lawyers' Association Mr Hylton Quali said the sentence was the biggest for that type of crime anyone was aware of. The actual sentences were more than 150 years but the judge had made many of the terms concurrent. (In Sydney a 55-year sentence was being appealed by a Lebanese Muslim, 20, who led a gang-rape attack on Caucasian women.)
-- The West Australian, "Rapist fights 34-year term," by Roy Gibson,
Fri Jan 17 03
• Rockville Centre Diocese blasted by Grand Jury; SUFFOLK COUNTY (NY), U.S.A.:
• The law should ban confidentiality agreements arising from the sexual abuse of a child.
[Also refer to newspaper comments on this, one titled "Diocese of Lies Exposed," of Feb 11 03. The report is 182 pages in Acrobat PDF, or more than 80 pages in an HTML version. Busy people, please just read from page 159 to 171, then 172 "Conclusions" to the end.]
• Churches should be compelled by law to report child abusers.
• The Diocese of Rockville Centre deprived plaintiffs of their rights.
• Victims were deceived.
• Even priest victims were treated shamefully!
• Church officials bragged about their success in shielding mechanisms.
• The system left thousands of children exposed to predatory, serial, child molesters.
• The depravity was unchecked by the priests in charge and unchecked by the bishops.
• Pastoral policy was a sham.
-- Suffolk County Supreme Court Special Grand Jury, at
www.newsday.com/ news/local/long island/ ny-suffolkreport 0210,0,2290700. acrobat?coll=ny%2Dtop%2 Dspan%2Dheadlines ,
Grand Jury Report CPL § 190.85(1)(C), "Priest child sex abuse in Diocese of Rockville Centre," (released 10 Feb 03) dated Jan 17 2003
[The name of the Diocese includes the word "Centre" in the originals, evidently being the traditional name of the area, in spite of "center" being the usual North American way of spelling the word]
[Dated Jan 17, 2003]
• Cardinal Law to be interviewed by panel investigating church's abuse crisis [and victims' confidentiality is being destroyed by legal means.]
NEW YORK: A month after resigning as Boston archbishop over his handling of clerical sex abuse cases, Cardinal Bernard Law has agreed to be interviewed by a church panel that is investigating the nationwide crisis.
The National Review Board, a group of 13 lay Catholics charged by the U.S. bishops with monitoring the hierarchy's response to the scandals, said Friday that Law agreed to meet with members in late February or early March.
Board members plan to interview as many as 100 people, including other bishops, and issue a report next year on what caused the crisis. The report is one segment of an effort to make a thorough accounting of the sex abuse situation, past and present. ***
Paul R. McHugh, former head of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, heads a board subcommittee that will commission the psychological research. He said there was an "epidemic" of molestation, and stressed that whatever therapy abusers receive, they are criminals who must be punished.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the Boston Archdiocese, which offered to pay for counseling for people who say they were abused by priests, have begun issuing subpoenas to the therapists to get details about the sessions.
The subpoenas issued this week require therapists to answer questions under oath about the counseling, a move that has outraged alleged victims and their lawyers.
"As a moral institution, the church has touted how much it wants to take care of the victims," said Roderick MacLeish Jr., an attorney who represents more than 200 alleged victims. "Well, don't be touting your pastoral mission of how you're helping victims and then destroy the key element of treatment, which is confidentiality."
-- Star Tribune, (AP), St Paul, Minnesota, USA,
"Cardinal Law to be interviewed by panel investigating church's abuse crisis,"
www.startribune.com/ stories/484/ 3599561.html ,
by Paul Barker, James Hastings, and Stephen Fraser, Jan 18, 2003
• [Wesley censorship of Internet. Freedom of inquiry being hobbled at boys' college.]
PERTH, Western Australia: The Uniting Church's Wesley College is trying to provide a safe area for internet use, by signing up for Perth technical company Fast Scout's Virtual Web service. Wesley is the first school to do so. General manager William Johnson said it was a significant deal (probably costing between $4 and $8 per user per month.)
The system creates a cache of suitable internet sites, rather than, like net nanny services, listing inappropriate sites as they are found.
Wesley educational technology manager Stephen Finch said the school realised the importance of filtering the websites accessible to its 1200 students after internet use soared following its broadband connection through Western Power early last year.
The West Australian, "Wesley boys join Scout," by Allison Bennett, p 29,
Tue Jan 21, 2003
[COMMENT: 1. Wesley College and all concerned did the right thing quickly about the allegation that the principal had been accessing "inappropriate" Internet material. They checked, then told the police. He resigned.
2. Responsible adults believe that the students at Wesley ought to be protected from the scum-like material that the Internet makes available, in fact sometimes pushes onto monitor screens! The morally corrupting and/or financially harmful material includes political la-la sites, religious and other suicide sects, sexually explicit, gambling deceits, get-rich-quick, computer to earn profits, and give your bank details to a Nigerian notable.
3. However, a filtering system that only allows what some person/s agree/s is suitable is unnecessary censorship. Would webpages like this which expose clergy child-abuse be listed as "inappropriate" on this system? See what harm follows irresponsible actions by people in high places! Refer to series beginning
"The facts about Wesley College" of September 2002.
[Jan 21 03]
END of COMMENT]
!!!: [Sliding naked around oily floor with five children under 13!]  In February 2002. In Western Australia, ex Holland and NSW.
BUNBURY, Western Australia: A 60-year-old Dutch-born Catholic priest from New South Wales had abused his position of trust when he indecently dealt with five children under 13, and could expect to go to jail, a judge said today.
Adrian Richard van Klooster, a former parish priest at Australind, 180km south of Perth, pleaded guilty today to indecently dealing with the children, from two families, at his church house in February last year.
The District Court in Bunbury has been told that some of the indecent dealing charges relate to the priest allegedly sliding around on the floor naked with the children, in olive oil and shampoo.
Van Klooster allegedly took digital photographs of the children and also took 37 images after placing the naked children on a photocopy machine.
He is due to reappear in the court on May 12.
-- The Sunday Times Online, (can't find it in the Jan 26 printed issue!)
www.sundaytimes. news.com.au/ common/story_page/0,7034,5870079%255E2761,00.html ,
"Catholic priest admits indecent dealing," by Selina Day, (not a Sunday) Jan 21 03
[NOTE: Name variants appear in reports. His name was given as Adrian Richard Peter John Van Klooster in The West Australian of April 16 2002, p 14. END of NOTE]
• [Priest betrayed children of sex-abuse victims.]
BUNBURY: Catholic priest Adrian John Van Klooster, 60, formerly of Leschenault, Western Australia, pleaded guilty in Bunbury yesterday to 17 charges regarding indecent dealing and indecent recording of boys and girls under 13, and one charge of possessing child pornography. The prosecution dropped 12 other charges so that the children did not have to give evidence in court. The mother told the court that she and her mother had been sexually abused as a child, and he had promised that the cycle would be broken and knew the lifelong effect this would have on the children. "Anyone who attended that church should question their children," she said. He was remanded in custody to be sentenced in May. The judge said he intended to impose a gaol sentence.
-- The West Australian,
www.thewest. com.au/ 20030122/ news/state/ tw-news-state-home-sto85383.html ,
"Priest admits abuse," and "Our trust was betrayed: mother," by Eloise Dortch,
Wed Jan 22 03 p 3
• [Western Australian priest admits child sex abuse.] BUNBURY: Father Adrian Van Klooster pleaded guilty in Bunbury Court this week to charges of having abused children. Bishop Gerard Holohan of Bunbury said he and the priests were saddened and shocked. Before his arrest, the Church had no hint of this kind of behaviour, the bishop said.
-- The Record, Perth, "Priest pleads guilty to abuse," p 2, Jan 23, 2003
"Bishop Holohan avoids word 'sin" when discussing travelling paedophile Van Klooster". PERTH: On January 25 a response to the above article was written, pointing out it is strange that a Church claiming to be 2000 years old, and heir to an even older tradition, would require a man-made "document" Integrity in Ministry to improve its practices in this matter. The bishop's statement that bishops from other dioceses had no suggestion he was a paedophile had to be weighed up with similar statements by the U.S. pastors and bishops, later proven to have been untrue. (Another news medium reported Fr Van Klooster had worked in NSW and had been born in Holland.) A riposte is included against Bishop Holohan's September 5 2002 statement that the Church and others had lacked "insight" in the past, and the public revelations and "reforms" of 1985 were quoted to scotch that claim. END of COMMENT]
[Article, Jan 23 03]
• [Crises: Bishops had failed in leadership, and clergy sex abuse: R.C. theologian.]
UNITED STATES: George Weigel, author of papal biography Witness to Hope, has published a new book which attempts to give reasons for the unwillingness of bishops to fix what was manifestly wrong with seminaries and Catholic universities in the 1970s and 80s, and also failed to come to grips with the scandal of clergy sexual abuse. The three main parts of the crisis are: (1) Clergy sexual abuse, the most prevalent of which is homosexual abuse of teen-age boys and young men, (2) The crisis of failed episcopal leaderhip, (3) The crisis of discipleship. "Sexually abusive priests and timid or malfeasant bishops are inadequately converted Christian disciples," Mr Weigel said. "And it's not a media-created crisis." (These are just a few sections of the article, reporting an interview conducted by Zenit with Mr Weigel, 51, at his Maryland home. His new book is The Courage to be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church.)
-- The Record, Perth, "New study cites a culture of dissent... and more,"
Jan 23 03 p 14
• [Stop dragging therapists into court, says Boston R.C. vicar.]
BOSTON: An influential priest appealed yesterday to the (temporary) leader of the Boston archdiocese to stop its lawyers from deposing [taking legal statements from] therapists of sexual abuse victims, while victim advocates condemned the church's healing office for failing to speak out against the practice.
In a letter to Bishop Richard G. Lennon, the Rev. Robert J. Carr, parochial vicar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, called the depositions "counter-productive" and in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Already one victim had withdrawn from the therapy, which was part of the healing process, he alleged.
Ann Hagan Webb, co-coordinator of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests New England chapter and one of 83 therapists and advocates penning a letter against the depositions, praised Carr. "He's absolutely right," she said. "They have an obligation to do something moral."
-- Boston Herald,
http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/local_ regional/ depo01232003. htm ,
"Cathedral vicar asks church to stop deposing therapists,"
by Robin Washington, Thursday, January 23, 2003
• [Special collections for hush money?] [2000s Ruggeri]
BOSTON: A Lowell priest is suspected of passing the collection plate to raise hush money to silence a Western Massachusetts pair who were threatening to expose his Internet-fueled sexual indiscretions.
The Rev. Joseph Ruggeri of St. Margaret's Church refused last night to discuss the matter.
"I have an emergency, a hospital emergency. I have to go out," he said when telephoned by the Herald.
A source said $1,500 from one or more collections is at issue and that Ruggeri may have raised the money with the express purpose of giving it to two people threatening to publicize his indiscretions.
-- Boston Herald,
http:// www2. bostonherald. com/news/local_ regional/prie 01242003.htm ,
"Priest may have taken collection for hush $,"
by Eric Convey, Robin Washington, Marie Szaniszlo, and Tom Mashberg,
Friday, January 24, 2003
• Bishop Watchdog Praises Boston Programs. [somewhat early?]
BOSTON (MA): A former FBI official serving as a watchdog for Roman Catholic bishops on their new national sex abuse policy praised programs developed in Boston in the past year and urged victims to step forward.
Kathleen L. McChesney spoke at a news conference Friday, a day after observing the programs that were implemented after the clergy sex abuse scandal erupted a year ago and are designed to train 400,000 parents, teachers and children to prevent child abuse.
The programs, called "Talking about Touching" and "Protecting God's Children," are mandatory for church workers in all of the diocese's 372 parishes. ...
James Post, president of the reformist group Voice of the Faithful, had a get-acquainted session with McChesney, said group spokesman Michael Emerton. They will meet again.
-- Star Tribune, (AP), St Paul, Minnesota, USA,
www.startribune. com/ stories/ 670/3611973.html ,
by Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Writer, Jan 24, 2003
• "Bishop Holohan avoids word 'sin' when discussing travelling paedophile Van Klooster." PERTH: This is a response to the reported statement of Catholic Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan regarding the admission by one of his priests, formerly of Holland and New South Wales, that he had dealt indecently with five children under 13. It points out that it is strange that a Church claiming to be 2000 years old, and heir to an even older tradition, would require a man-made "document" Integrity in Ministry to improve its practices in this matter.
Is there any other reason for having a "low confidence" in His Lordship's protestations? Yes, because on September 5 2002 his statement was published, including: "The Church like other authorities lacked insight in earlier times in the effect of sex abuse on victims, and the psychology of offenders. Mistakes then were because of that lack of insight." ("A hurt and betrayal felt by all Catholics," The Record, September 5 2002, p 2.) Mistakes? What mistakes? Is it possible that the withdrawal of 12 charges was of more importance than a casual observer might think? And much more in its 1 1/2 pages.
[COMMENT: Our reply ought to have asked people to take a hold of the word "integrity", and read Barry M. Coldrey's 2001 book Religious Life Without Integrity, exposing sexual problems in the seminary, gay priests and the sexual underworld, the problems of celibacy, the "Inquisition" alive and well, priests who "spill the beans" marginalised, "hush money," and the art of covering up. He is a historian, who has lived in Western Australia etc., and now lives in Victoria. Excellent value for $17.95 Australian. COMMENT ENDS.]
-- Faith Purification Programme, Jan 25 03
• Poynteronline Abuse Tracker,
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46 , of ST PETERSBURG, Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org ,
e-mails daily lists of newsitems about clergy sex abuse. Following are summaries of the 7 A4 pages for Sunday, January 26, 2003
• Ousted priest lives lavishly on a hill in Southern Illinois
http://www.belleville. com/ ,
GOLCONDA, ILLINOIS - From the balcony of a sprawling Mediterranean-style villa high
above the Ohio River, ousted Belleville Diocese priest Robert Vonnahmen
has a breathtaking view.
He allegedly sexually abusing minors at a church-run summer camp years ago.
• Testing the Church's Influence in Politics
Jan 26 2003,
The New York Times:
WASHINGTON (DC) - In many ways, this should be a moment of peak political
influence for the American Catholic Church.
The abortion-related issues it has championed for so long are once again
front and center in the new Republican Congress.
• San Bernardino Diocese Publishes Victim's Story of Abuse by Priest
The New York Times:
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Jan. 25: The Roman Catholic Diocese of San
Bernardino responded to the church sexual abuse scandal with an unusual
step this week, publishing a victim's account and producing a video to
raise awareness of abuse.
The newsletter and video will be distributed from the pulpit throughout
the diocese's 110 churches this weekend.
• Laymen say bishop cut deal in '97 to go
DALLAS (TX), Jan 26 2003,
The Dallas Morning News:
Five and a half years ago, reeling from weeks of embarrassing testimony
about cover-ups and the largest clergy abuse judgment in history, Dallas
Catholic Bishop Charles Grahmann cut a secret deal to resign.
It wasn't Pope John Paul II forcing his hand, however. It was a group of
influential laymen threatening to publicly denounce him - a group that
today, concerned about resurgent scandal in the diocese and the bishop's
refusal to yield to his Vatican-appointed successor, is finally talking.
• Catholics fear future priest shortage
Sunday, January 26, 2003:
The Archdiocese of Boston faces a sudden worsening of its priest shortage
over the next few years as the clergy molestation scandal takes its toll.
More than two dozen priests were removed from parishes in 2002.
• Abuse cases hit snag: Victims' lawyer cut out of mediation talks
Sunday, January 26, 2003:
A key attorney representing 110 alleged clergy victims expressed anger
yesterday at being excluded from recent mediation talks with the church.
• DA dropped '88 abuse case: Clergyman given treatment, not jail
Sunday, January 26, 2003:
MARLBORO - Files revealed that the Rev. Paul Tivnan, a former Sudbury, Needham
and Marlboro priest accused of molesting a boy for several years, was not prosecuted by the district attorney, after an agreement made in February 1988.
• Priest lauded for 1985 report on abuse
BOSTON (MA), Jan 26 2003,
The 1985 report was almost 100 pages and its conclusions were
stunning: Crisis intervention should begin across the country to stop the
damage being done by child-abusing priests.
The report was prepared by the Rev. Thomas Doyle, then a canon lawyer
at the Vatican's Washington embassy, and two colleagues. It was ignored by Catholic leaders, and he lost his Vatican position.
Yesterday, though, Doyle received the 2003 Isaac
Hecker Award for Social Justice
• A matter of choice
BOSTON (MA), Jan 26 2003,
The leadership of the church has sought credit for hiring
therapists for parishioners raped by priests, while insisting on its right
to use those counseling sessions against the victims in court.
• Bishop often sided with priests in abuse cases
BOSTON (MA), Jan 26 2003,
A decade ago, when Cardinal Bernard F. Law wanted to reassure Boston
Catholics with a new policy requiring that abusive priests be removed from
duty, it seemed natural to call on the Rev. John B. McCormack to help
But, six weeks after its adoption, he was
seeking an exemption for the Rev. Raymond C. Plourde.
• Archdiocese welcomes 3 as new auxiliary bishops.
CHICAGO (IL): In a jovial mood after a year of trying news, Cardinal Francis George on
Friday announced the appointment of three auxiliary bishops for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Three auxiliary bishops are retiring.
-- Chicago Tribune, www.chicagotribune.com/ ,
Sat Jan 25 03
• Five to 8% of priests child-abusers! UNITED STATES:
During the last 50 years, according to Baltimore church officials (who
took considerable flack for posting the information on their Web site),
more than 6 percent of that archdiocese's priests were guilty of such
conduct; the figure is just over 5 percent in Boston and nearly 8 percent
-- National Catholic Reporter, http://natcath.org/ , "Facts upset conjecture"
• Molest charges against SFPD chaplain
SAN FRANCISCO (CA), Jan 24 2003,
San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco -- Monsignor John P. Heaney, 75, the longtime senior Roman Catholic chaplain for the San Francisco Police Department was indicted Thursday on charges that he
molested two brothers 40 years ago.
• Ex-Chaplain Faces Molestation Charges
SAN FRANCISCO (CA), Jan 25 2003,
Los Angeles Times:
Msgr. John P. Heaney, longtime chaplain for the San Francisco Police
Department, faces felony charges that he molested two brothers 40 years
• Bill Would Lift Time Limits on Abuse Suits
LOUISVILLE (KY), Jan 25 2003,
Los Angeles Times:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A bill pending in the Kentucky Senate's Judiciary
Committee would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse
lawsuits, allowing plaintiffs to sue decades after alleged molestation.
• Lay groups set sights on city
Telegram & Gazette,
Saturday, January 25 2003,
By Kathleen A. Shaw and Richard Nangle:
Lay Catholic groups are turning their attention to the Worcester Catholic
Diocese, calling for Bishop Daniel P. Reilly to open personnel records and
apologize for reassigning priests accused of sexual misconduct.
An e-mail address -- email@example.com -- has been set up
for people interested in signing up for a demonstration. Meanwhile, members of STTOP -- Speak Truth to Power -- will
begin picketing the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Masses at St. Paul's Cathedral in
Worcester, beginning Feb. 2, with a demand that all records and personnel
files of the diocese be opened to the public.
In addition, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has
begun organizing and supporting local victims of clergy sexual abuse.
• Lawyers agree to moratorium on clergy abuse trial preparations
BOSTON (MA), Jan 25 2003,
The Associated Press,
1/25/03 5:13 AM:
BOSTON (MA): Many of the alleged sexual abuse victims suing the Archdiocese of Boston have agreed to a 90-day moratorium halting pretrial preparations while settlement talks progress.
• Seminarians ready to help archdiocese begin healing
Saturday, January 25, 2003:
Matthew Williams and Brian Flynn were eager to become priests in the
Archdiocese of Boston, before the clergy molestation scandal
rocked the church. Now they're champing at the bit.
• Sex abuse victims' advocate wins honor
by Robin Washington,
Saturday, January 25, 2003:
At the Paulist Center in downtown Boston today, the Rev. Thomas Doyle will
be honored for his role in bringing the clergy sexual abuse scandal to the
And at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Manchester, N.H., tomorrow, he'll make
that cry even louder.
• Bishops' appointee supports depositions
BOSTON (MA), Jan 25 2003,
Kathleen L. McChesney, the former FBI official hired by US Catholic bishops to oversee the church's response to the clergy sex abuse crisis yesterday backed the Archdiocese of Boston in its decision to depose [i.e., take legal depositions from] therapists and praised the Boston church for its new abuse-prevention training programs at Catholic schools and parishes.
She did not meet with victims during her visit to town.
• Bishops blocked bankruptcy idea
BOSTON (MA), Jan 25 2003,
The Vatican gave the Archdiocese of Boston conditional approval to file for
bankruptcy in December, but put the decision on hold after influential US prelates objected that such a step by a major archdiocese would cause grievous damage to the US Catholic Church, The claims of an additional 110 alleged victims have yet to be filed.
• Rape Trial Ends In Acquittal For Price
HARTFORD (CT). Jan 25 2003,
The Rev. Henry L. Price, who had maintained his innocence of the charges for two years, was acquitted of first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping Friday in Hartford Superior Court.
• Victims want bishop to lobby for abuse suits
PHOENIX (AZ), Jan 25 2003,
The Arizona Republic:
Valley victims of sexual abuse by priests want Bishop Thomas O'Brien to support changes in state law that would allow them to file lawsuits for molestations that occurred decades ago.
Paul Pfaffenberger, president of a Valley victims support group, said the changes will be outlined in a pair of petitions his organization will circulate outside St. Mary's Basilica in Phoenix on Monday when O'Brien celebrates an annual Red Mass for legislators, judges and attorneys.
• Overseer of Abuse Plan Lauds Boston
By The New York Times:
BOSTON, Jan. 24 - The head of a new office that is monitoring how well
Roman Catholic dioceses adhere to sexual abuse guidelines praised the
Boston archdiocese's efforts today to care for victims of sexual abuse.
The official is Kathleen L. McChesney, executive director of the Office of
Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic
• Deficit Tripled, Los Angeles Archdiocese Says
LOS ANGELES (CA),
The New York Times:
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which
cut 60 jobs and pared numerous programs last year in an effort to bridge a
$4.3 million budget gap, has released figures showing that the deficit has
more than tripled to $13.4 million. One-time costs, including settlements resulting from sexual abuse
lawsuits, accounted for $7.7 million of the estimated shortfall.
• Poynteronline Abuse Tracker,
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=46 , summarised ABOVE are 7 pages of newsitems distributed by the Poynter's Institute on
Sunday, January 26, 2003
• Former priest in Hong Kong convicted in sex abuse case.
[1991-92 Lau] HONG KONG: Michael Lau, a former Roman Catholic priest, was remanded in custody yesterday after he was convicted of molesting a 15-year-old altar boy. He awaits sentencing in the case, in which a Church coverup was reported.
Lau said nothing in court and showed no emotion as a judge found him guilty on charges of attempted sodomy and gross indecency.
District Court Judge Maggie Poon ordered psychological testing for Lau, 42, before she sentences him on Feb. 17 for the crimes committed in 1991 and 1992.
The victim, now 27, cannot be identified by name. He is said to have suffered from schizophrenia several years after the abuses. Defense lawyers had attacked his credibility on the basis of his mental illness,
saying he probably dreamed up the abuses.
(Poynteronline Jan 28, 2003, posted by Kathy Shaw 9:40:07 AM)
-- Boston Globe,
www.boston.com/ dailyglobe2/028/ nation/Former_ priest_in_Hong_ Kong_convicted_ in_sex_abuse_ case+.shtml ,
by Helen Luk, Associated Press, Tuesday, January 28, 2003
• [Jehovah's Witnesses (all ministers) cover up child abuse.]
HALIFAX, Canada: Tonight's edition of the Fifth Estate (CBC Television at 9 p.m.) is sure to send
shock waves rippling through communities across the country.
The documentary's title, Spiritual Shepherds, refers to the elders in the
Jehovah's Witness Church. Their job is to protect members of their flock.
And indeed they do, vigilantly, we learn. But, as becomes devastatingly
clear, only certain ones.
The story starts with a young woman named Holly, formerly a member of the
Jehovah's community. She was sexually abused by her stepfather from the
age of two onwards, as was the daughter he later had with Holly's mother.
He began beating Holly's mother on the night of their wedding day. Holly
relates that, by age five, she knew how to please her stepfather sexually.
(Poynter's Jan 30 03, posted by Kathy Shaw 8:17:10 PM).
-- Halifax Daily News, Canada, "CBC uncovers surprising revelations,"
www.canada.com/ halifax/ dailynews/story.asp? id=814CBFD5- E790- 446D- BD6D- B405614 A4944 , by Lindsay Brown,
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
• Catholic Church backs 'cure for gays':
MELBOURNE, Australia: A controversial American psychologist who claims homosexuals can be cured will speak in Melbourne tonight with the support of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.
Dr Peter Rudegeair is visiting Australia with Father John Harvey, the founder of Courage, an organisation that helps homosexuals live by the precepts of the Catholic Church.
The Melbourne archdiocese has helped pay the costs of the visit, and Archbishop Hart's endorsement is included in letters to every parish priest by Father Denis Ward, the chaplain for Courage in Melbourne.
Gay Catholics have criticised the official support for tonight's talk at the Catholic Theological College in Fitzroy.
(Poynter's Jan 30 03, Posted by Kathy Shaw 1:16:57 PM.)
-- The Age,
www.theage.com.au/ articles/2003/01/29/ 1043804407659.html ,
by Barney Zwartz, Religious Affairs Writer, January 30 2003
[Bishops must not abstain from the duty of pastoral governance, while guarding individuals' rights.]
VATICAN CITY: The Pope on January 24 urged bishops not to neglect their duty to govern through administrative processes. The revised Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983 had the novelty of emphasis on the duties and rights of all Church members, not just Church hierarchy. The hierarchy had to recognise and safeguard the rights of individuals and the Church community.
The Pope said Church leaders could "neither in theory nor in practice" abstain from exercising their duty of pastoral governance, ... and promoting justice ... all the typical instruments through which the power of jurisdiction is exercised -- laws, administrative acts, trials, canonical sanctions -- are an authentic pastoral service ..."
-- The Record, Perth, "Canon Law avoids injustice," by John Norton (CNS), Jan 30 03 p 13
[COMMENT: Survivors of clergy child abuse and the "whistleblowers" have found that the Church leaders' "governance" has been strong on covering up and paying for silence, but very weak in assisting the survivors and removing the abusing clergy from their "fishing grounds." Revelations that the Vatican has been reinstating priests banned by bishops mean that the legal bills for R.C. abusers may end up in Rome! Insurance companies have woken up that the problem is self-induced! END of COMMENT.]
[Jan 30 03]
!!!: [Catholic leaders pretended that suspect had gone to India, but instead he had shifted to nearby diocese across the East River!]
NEW YORK: Reversing earlier official statements, the diocesan chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn testified in the State Supreme Court yesterday that Brooklyn church officials knew a priest accused of sexual abuse had gotten a job in the Archdiocese of New York.
The chancellor said he was aware that the Rev. Francis Nelson, 39, had a new assignment in Manhattan after his 1999 departure from St. Mary Star of the Sea in Carroll Gardens, where he was accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl.
Vaccari's testimony and a similar statement by St. Mary's pastor contradicted diocesan officials who said last year that they believed Nelson headed back to his home country of India following his banishment from Brooklyn.
(Poynter Institute firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 30 January 2003)
"Changing Church Story; Official: Diocese knew accused priest was still in NY,"
www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-nycath 303109217 jan30.story ,
by Stephanie Saul,
January 30, 2003
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