Clergy and other Child Molesters (182) – References/Archive/Blog

• Church leader charged with molesting women.   [Years; Mr Kevin Gerard Byrne Horgan. Voluntary group. Roman Catholic Church (R.C.C.). 35 devoted women of Bethel group.  ≤ 1994-2008 Archdiocese of Perth. RCC. Failed to strongly order halt to sexy behaviour. ]     

Church leader charged with molesting women

   The West Australian, <>, <letters § wanews com au>, by Sean Cowan, p 9, Thursday, January 19, 2012
   The leader of a Perth Christian group with strong links to the Catholic Church has been charged with molesting several female members of his flock.
   After a four-year campaign by the alleged victims, police from the sex assault squad issued a summons to Kevin Gerard Byrne Horgan yesterday and he is expected to appear in Perth Magistrate's Court next month.
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   The alleged offences occurred when Mr Horgan, 68, was the leader of the Bethel Covenant Community, which closed in 2008 after several women started an internal revolt against him.
   At the time, The West Australian's exclusive reports revealed the complaints about Mr Horgan dated back to the 1990s and were detailed in reports prepared by senior Bethel members.
   The complaints mainly related to inappropriate touching of women's breasts at Bethel functions.
   In subsequent reports, it was revealed that Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey had been warned about Mr Horgan's behaviour in 1994 and again in a report he received in 2000.  Archbishop Hickey later apologised for failing to act sooner.
   Mr Horgan, who founded the ultraconservative Bethel group in 1979 and earned more than $100,000 a year as the group's executive director, sold the West Leederville home he bought with the help of a Church-linked mortgage for $3 million in 2009.
   He no longer owns any property, though he lives in a Mt Lawley home owned by his wife Suellen.
   Bethel sold its West Leederville headquarters for $10.45 million in 2009.
   Some of the money was used to pay for counselling and medical treatment for 35 complainants, including some who had left Bethel years earlier.
   But it is understood a new entity, called the Micah Foundation, then took control of Bethel's funds and paid for a lawyer to examine the women's complaints.  The reports were provided to police about six months ago.
   It is understood the charges relate to complaints by several women, some of whom are considering legal action against Bethel.
   Police would not confirm the details of the charges yesterday.
   Mr Horgan, who twice met Pope John Paul II and is the brother of Leeuwin Estate owner Denis Horgan, has previously refused to comment about the allegations.
   It is also believed he has been ill and may be unable to appear in court. #

   [RECAPITULATION: Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey had been warned about Mr [Kevin] Horgan's behaviour in 1994 and again in a report he received in 2000. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: From 1994 to 2012.  It would never do to hurry these things, would it !  Joking aside, most religious and other leaders hope to hide these misdeeds, in the hope that the problems will go away, and often try to bluff or lie their way out of the disgrace.  Such leaders do about as much harm to their communities as the external opponents. COMMENT ENDS.]
   [2nd RECAPITULATION: At the time, The West Australian's exclusive reports revealed the complaints about Mr Horgan dated back to the 1990s and were detailed in reports prepared by senior Bethel members.
   [2nd COMMENT: Blogs by women victims appeared on the Internet, then the Internet periodical / blog called "Catholica Australia" <http://­www.­> ran an informative feature article about the Bethel Covenant Community Ltd.  It is true that The West Australian performed valiantly in publishing newsitems, and with help presumably from whistleblowers and victims followed up, exposing more and more.  Television and radio followed, with one of the last television interviews highlighted by Archbishop Hickey saying that the older complaints "must have fallen through the cracks." 
   The untruths that emerged made religion-lovers squirm with embarrassment.  First the leader said he had only heard about it a year before, then it was exposed he had received complaints 8 years before, then it was revealed it was 14 years since he had been told by Catholics and in writing by a respected interfaith leader.  As a fervent RC told the Webmaster, "he should not be an archbishop".  ENDS.]
   [3rd RECAPITULATION: But it is understood a new entity, called the Micah Foundation, then took control of Bethel's funds and paid for a lawyer to examine the women's complaints.  The reports were provided to police about six months ago. ENDS.]
   [3rd COMMENT: Were the Bethel members, past and present, allowed to vote on whether the funds should go under the control of the new entity, Micah ?  Who controls Micah ? ENDS.]
   ALSO SEE: "Perth Christian group leader to face court," <http://­­article.­aspx?ae­id=29706>, derived from The West Australian, CathNews, Published: January 18, 2012

   [PAST NEWSITEMS: 2008:  "Disturbing developments at Catholic Covenant community in Perth; News story," Catholica Australia, <http://­­ breakin­gnews/0­15_bn_0­20508.­php>, May 2, 2008, or see <http://­­ethics/e­thcont1­48.htm#d­isturbi­ng_deve­lopments_at_ca­tholic>.
   "How leader 'sent them down the road to hell'," The West Australian, By Sean Cowan, Chief Crime Reporter, Exclusive, pp 6-7, Saturday, May 10, 2008.  [Male whistleblower was sacked from his job.]
   So far as members of the Bethel Covenant Community are concerned, Sunday, March 16, 2008, will forever be known as "Sunday, Bloody Sunday". 
   By that stage, it had been almost a year since sex allegations had first been raised following a talk by elder Pat Callahan about modesty in "speech, behaviour, appetites and dress". 
   In the weeks and months that followed that talk, Mr Callahan confronted Mr Horgan about the allegations and spoke to a priest and Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, who works closely with Archbishop Barry Hickey.
   Bishop Sproxton asked Mr Callahan to compile a report on the allegations.  He then wrote a dossier which detailed dozens of allegations against Mr Horgan. 
   A final report was handed to Bishop Sproxton in September.  On December 3, Mr Callahan was made redundant by the leadership group after more than 15 years as a full-time employee of Bethel.  He was also banned from visiting the community centre he had helped open.
   May 10, 2008 (another item), May 12, 2008, May 19, 2008, May 26, 2008, June 28, 2008 (x 2);
   "Archbishop saw Horgan sex report 8 years ago," The West Australian, By Gary Adshead and Sean Cowan, Exclusive, pages 1 and 3, Saturday, July 5, 2008
   "Church accused of dodging concerns over Bethel sleaze," The West Australian, By Gary Adshead and Sean Cowan, p 3, Saturday, July 5, 2008
   "Calls for Catholic Church to monitor lay organisations," Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), <http://­­news/st­ories/­2008/07/06/­229570­2.htm>, Posted 12:03pm AEST, Sun Jul 6, 2008;
   "Archbishop saw Horgan sex report 8 years ago," The West Australian, 11:15 WST, July 6, 2008;
   "I took Bethel complaint to Hickey in '94: woman," The West Australian, [That is, 14 years before, not 8; and not in 2007, only 1 year ago, as he said originally.] By Sean Cowan, p 9, Monday, July 7, 2008
   "Bethel man’s encounter with Pope," The West Australian, p 2, "Inside Cover," Tuesday, July 8, 2008;
   "Archbishop stays silent on when he knew of sexual misconduct," The West Australian, by Sean Cowan and Gary Adshead, p 7, Tuesday, July 8, 2008;
   "Archbishop apologises for ignoring sex claims," The West Australian, By Gary Adshead and Sean Cowan, Pages One and 10, Wednesday, July 9, 2008
   "Hickey backed Bethel chief despite protests," The West Australian, <http://­­defaul­t.aspx?M­enuID=7­7&Conte­ntID=83­645>, By Gary Adshead and Sean Cowan, p 10, Wednesday, July 9, 2008.  PERTH – Ousted Bethel Covenant Community leader Kevin Horgan was given the full backing of Archbishop Barry Hickey despite complaints that went all the way to the Vatican in Rome.
   "There has been no deceit: Archbishop Hickey," The Record (R.C. Perth, W. Australia, weekly), by RC Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth, Page Vista 4, Wednesday, July 9, 2008
   "2000 Bethel report was 'cauterised'," The Record (W. Australia), By Joanna Lawson, Page Vista 4, Wednesday, July 9, 2008
   "Bethel shuts doors but Archbishop won't resign," The West Australian, By Sean Cowan, Pages One and 6, Thursday, July 10, 2008
   "Bishop Fisher 'passes by on the other side'," "Hopeful Reader," Letter SENT to The Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, and similar to other news outlets, Sent on Thursday, July 17, 2008
   "Archbishop moves to heal harm from Bethel," The West Australian, By Gary Adshead, p 13, Wednesday, September 17, 2008
   PERTH (W. Australia) – The fallout from the Bethel Covenant Community sex scandal continued yesterday when Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey met disgruntled former members to try to bring the damaging affair to a close. 
   Judith Irvine, who was not one of the alleged victims, said "I don't want to criticise my Archbishop, but there seems to have been a breakdown somewhere from 1994 onwards," Mrs Irvine said.  "Kevin Horgan was a powerful man and we never got to hear what the full story was.  He has brought the Church into disrepute."
   "Respecting women, or putting them in a box?" Letter SENT to The West Australian, sent by Faith Enquirer, e-mailed October 12, 2008. 
   Instead of Archbishop Barry Hickey wasting donations by suing the professor for alleged defamation/libel in the criticism of his alleged attitude to women's dignity, he and the whole Catholic Church ought to have a good hard look at itself about why it does not ordain women these days.
   if the Perth Catholic leadership quietly reads The West Australian's coverage of the Bethel Covenant Community Ltd shame, they will notice that in the early newsitems the public was told that the RC leadership did not know of the saucy doings until 2007.
   Then more evidence came forward, and the time-line went back a bit.
   Another witness came forward saying the archdiocese had been told 14 years ago – and to cap all, a reform group leader, Adrian Van Leen, had also sent in evidence to the Church leaders that year.
   "Home is where the hurt is," The West Australian, Inside Cover (edited by Kate Campbell), Tel 9482 3111, Fax 9482 3177, <inside cover ¶ wanews com au>, p 2, Friday, December 26, 2008
   PERTH, W. Australia – [] Another high-profile seller is former Bethel Covenant Community leader Kevin Horgan, who, as The West Australian exposed earlier this year, is at the centre of a litany of sexual harassment claims.  His West Leederville property is on the market for $3.5 million, marked down from $3.9 million.
   2009:  "Archbishop, West Australian, settle legal case," The Record (R.C. Perth, W. Australia, weekly), Page One, Wednesday, April 1, 2009.  [This was about a different matter.]
   2010:  "Archbishop gives job to sex abuse priest," The West Australian, <http://­­thewest/a/-/breaking/­6957135/­archbishop-gives-job-to-sex-abuse-priest>, By Christiana Jones, p 3, Saturday, March 20, 2010.
   [Besides Perth archdiocese (led by Abp Hickey) currently employing Fr Michael Slattery in an administrative role since mid-2008, he had also been employed by the Bunbury R.C. diocese (Bp Holahan) as priest of the Harvey-Brunswick parishes.  In 2007 he had confessed to indecent dealing with a 14-year-old girl at a Sydney girls' school in the 1980s.]
   "Taking no-sex promise is adult abuse," Letter SENT TO The West Australian, Sunday, March 21, 2010
   "Archbishop Barry Hickey retained a convicted priest, Fr Michael Slattery," Broken Rites <http://­>, by a Broken Rites researcher, shown in Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker <> of March 21, 2010
   AUSTRALIA – The West Australian newspaper reported on 20 March 2010 that Perth archbishop Barry Hickey appointed a priest (Father Michael Slattery) to a church job, despite this priest having a conviction for child-sex offences. 
   Archbishop Hickey gave Father Slattery a role in the Lumen Christi Centre for Evangelisation in the Perth archdiocese, the newspaper said. 
   Broken Rites found a public address by Archbishop Hickey, dated 7 January 2010, stating that this Lumen Christi Centre is for "the evangelisation of Catholic families who had drifted away."
   "Priest resigns," The Record (R.C. Perth, W. Australia, weekly), By Bridget Spinks, pp 1 & 8, Wednesday, March 24, 2010. 
   In a statement released as The Record went to press on Tuesday Archbishop Barry Hickey confirmed that a priest who was convicted in 2007 for offences prior to being [sic] entering the seminary and ordination "has resigned from all his duties". 
   His statement followed the publication of details concerning Fr Michael Slattery's conviction in The West Australian of 20 March.
   "Church bars priest over abuse claims," The West Australian, by Colleen Egan, p 19, Saturday, June 12, 2010
   PERTH (WA), Australia – Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has suspended a long-serving priest in one of Perth's parishes and lodged a report over allegations of sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s. 
   Sydney freelance writer Geraldine Willesee says she was abused while at a WA Catholic school and approached the Archbishop last month after seeing the alleged perpetrator's name on a website and realising he still had contact with children. 
   Archbishop Hickey first thought there was no record of complaints against the priest but, after double-checking old files, found a reference to Willesee's allegations.  He suspended the priest immediately and suggested the matter be referred to police. 
   "Geraldine, I am very saddened by what happened to you.  I hope he was severely reprimanded by someone."  He said no record of her allegations existed.  But a week later he sent an urgent email.
   "What I need to tell you urgently is that we have found in the general file of the priest a letter from the late Fr Cyril Stinson written in December 1963, to Archbishop Prendiville, that relates to your allegations," he wrote on June 3.
   "Father, deliver us from evil," The West Australian, "Agenda," by freelance writer Geraldine Willesee (formerly of Perth, now of Sydney), p 46, Saturday, June 12, 2010.  ENDS.]
   [2012:  LATER COMMENT: On Monday 20 February 2012 Pope Benedict XVI announced that Bishop Timothy Costelloe of Melbourne, NOT Bishop Sproxton of Perth (who had checked up on some reports about sexual misbehaviour by well-placed people at Bethel Community), will take over from Archbishop Hickey, who is retiring, having reached the age of 75.
   And Kevin Horgan died, supposedly of cancer, a day or so before his trial was due to begin.  Strange that it took the prosecuting people and the police about four years to bring the case to court, eh? - jcm 02 Mar 2012.  
   But, the RC Church archbishop's behaviour was stranger – he did nothing to stop the ADULT sex abuse, he did not report Bethel leaders to the police, and he did not tell the truth when the brave women's challenge to the Bethel community's main leader became public knowledge.
   He was probably practising "mental reservation," and also obeying the Vatican's secrecy document Crimen Sollicitationis <http://­www.­­resourc­es/reso­urces_c­rimen-sollici­tation­is-1962_en­.html>, of March 16, 1962, or whatever man-made rules the RCC is operating under now.
   Archbishop Hickey's predecessors also were misbehaving, as the Geraldine Willessee case shows, by keeping on their payroll a child sex abuser, with Abp Hickey only removing him years and years later after her bravery in publicising the matter in the news media.
   The RCC in Western Australia was following man-made laws, NOT obeying the Commandment not to bear false witness, and NOT obeying this scripture:  [Jesus said:]  If your brother sins, reprove him if he does not listen take along with you one or two more if he does not listen tell the Church if he does not listen even to the Church, let him be to you as the Gentiles and the tax-collectors. (Matthew 18:15-17).  - jcm 28 July 2012. ENDS.]
[January 19, 2012]

• Church boss dies before sex assault court case.  [Layman leader. RCC.  Wives (females) molested, and husbands (males) coarsened.]     

Church boss dies before sex assault court case

   The West Australian, <http://­­thewest/a/-/newsho­me/1303­1797/ch­urch-boss-dies-before-sex-assault-court-case/>, by Sean Cowan, Updated 2:05 am February 28, 2012
  [Picture of Mr Kevin Horgan]  
   The leader of a Perth Christian group with strong links to the Catholic Church has died days before his first court appearance on sexual molestation charges.
   Kevin Horgan, the brother of Leeuwin Estate owner Denis Horgan, died on Sunday night after a long battle with cancer.
   He was due to appear in Perth Magistrate's Court this morning to face five charges of unlawfully and indecently assaulting several female members of his flock in circumstances of aggravation and two counts of indecent assault.
   The charges were laid by police in January after a four-year campaign by the alleged victims, some of whom had left Mr Horgan's Bethel Covenant Community because of incidents involving their leader.
   Mr Horgan, 68, founded the ultraconservative Bethel group in 1979 and earned more than $100,000 a year as its executive director.
   But he came under intense scrutiny in 2008 when several female members of the congregation made complaints about his inappropriate touching.
   The West Australian's exclusive reports revealed complaints about Mr Horgan dated back to the 1990s and had been detailed in written documents.
   Archbishop Barry Hickey later apologised for not acting sooner after it was also revealed he had been warned about Mr Horgan's behaviour in 1994 and again in 2000. The complaints mainly related to the inappropriate touching of women's breasts at Bethel functions.
   After the collapse of Bethel, the group's assets, including its $10.45 million headquarters in West Leederville, were sold and the money was used to pay for counselling services for 35 women, some of whom had left Bethel several years earlier.
   A new group, Micah Foundation, was formed to look after the money and a lawyer was hired to examine the women's complaints and prepare a report for police. The report was handed over last year.
   Mr Horgan made $3 million when he sold the West Leederville home he bought with the help of a church-linked mortgage.
   Some of the victims had considered suing Mr Horgan or Bethel.
   Mr Horgan, who twice met Pope John Paul II, always refused to comment about the allegations.
   His family is planning a private funeral.

   [COMMENT: Many of the death notices put in the newspaper for several days had references to his alleged piety and being at one with the Lord.  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [LOOK BACK to January 19. ENDS.]
   [OTHER REPORTS: <> January 19 [?], 2012, <> March 02, 2012, <> Feb 28, 2012 12:55pm , ENDS.]
   [OLDER NEWSITEM:  <> January 23, 2012, ENDS.]
[Feb 28, 2012]

• I can't wait for day of reckoning.  [Dennis McKenna.  A State Government hostel, with the "churchy" name of "St Andrew's Hostel."  High school students.]     

I can’t wait for day of reckoning

Man who ended Katanning abuse won’t forgive those who failed him
   The West Australian, <http://­>, <letters § wanews com au>, by Gary Adshead, State Political Editor, Page One, Friday, March 02, 2012
   The man who ended the 15-year reign of evil by serial paedophile Dennis John McKenna says it is time for those in authority who did nothing to face "their day of reckoning".
   Todd Jefferis, 39, gave powerful evidence to the inquiry into child sex abuse at the State-run St Andrew's Hostel soon after it was told yesterday how a "disproportionate" number of boarders had committed suicide in the years after McKenna's crimes.
   The West Australian understands at least seven of McKenna's victims from the 1970s and 1980s have taken their own lives.
   "I can't imagine how the families of these boys feel," Mr Jefferis said after giving his evidence.
   "No one will ever forgive any of these people in authority for not protecting us.
   "I can't wait to see some of these blokes get their day of reckoning."
   Mr Jefferis was 17 in 1990 when McKenna interfered with him, then expelled him from the Katanning hostel when he complained about the abuse.

   Sitting in Katanning yesterday, the inquiry began with an opening statement from Philip Urquhart, the lawyer assisting investigation chief Peter Blaxell.
   "The tentacles of the sexual offending that took place at the hostel have spread beyond the victims and beyond the time frame of the offences," he said.
   "It has caused fractures within this community, divisions within families and what appears tragically to be a disproportionate rate of suicide, particularly among males."
   Mr Urquhart said while McKenna "hid behind a veil of decency", those who tried to blow the whistle on him were "cast as the villains" by community leaders.
   He said that McKenna, now behind bars for the second time for his abuse of St Andrew's boys, was "untouchable" from 1975 to 1990.

  [Picture] Brave: Whistleblower Todd Jefferis in Katanning yesterday.    Picture: Mogens Johansen  

   The inquiry was told that when Mr Jefferis went with his mother to report sexual abuse to then Katanning Senior High School principal lan Murray, Mr Murray dismissed the claims. "It was as though I'd accused him," Mr Jefferis said.
   "He didn't want to know about it."
   Mr Murray told The West Australian last year that he did not think Mr Jefferis was referring to claims of a sexual nature when he came to see him.
   But three members of Mr Jefferis' family told the inquiry it was made clear to the principal and hostel chairman Garth Addis that the allegations were about sexual abuse.
   After McKenna was arrested, a public meeting was held in Katanning and soon after Mr Jefferis' family members received legal threats from the paedophile demanding they apologise to him and Mr Murray.
   Mr Blaxell commended Mr Jefferis for his bravery and said he had saved many people from further devastation. #

   [RECAPITULATION: Todd Jefferis, 39, gave powerful evidence to the inquiry into child sex abuse at the State-run St Andrew's Hostel ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: "St Andrew's" - see how the State hid behind a "Churchy" appearance, and like many of the Churches, pretended the sexual abuse was not occurring. COMMENT ENDS.]
[Mar 02, 2012]

• Catholic Church had boys, men castrated.  [Various RCC instrumentalities. Reported sex seducers, therefore had testicles removed. ≥ 10 males < 21 years.]   

Catholic Church had boys, men castrated

   The West Australian, <letters § wanews com au>, from Telegraph Group, London, p 32, Monday, March 21, 2012
   AMSTERDAM:  At least 10 teenage boys or men aged under 21 were castrated "to get rid of homosexuality" while in the care of the Dutch Catholic Church in the 1950s.
   Evidence of the castrations has emerged amid controversy it was not included in the findings of an official investigation last year into sexual abuse within the church.
   NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis, who was castrated in 1956.  Journalist Joep Dohmen found evidence of at least nine other castrations.
   Mr Heithuis died in a car crash in 1958, two years after castration at the age of 20.  He had reported two priests for abuse at his boarding home and was put in a hospital.
   Court papers confirmed he was castrated there "at his request", despite no submission of written consent.  Sources told Dohmen castration was viewed as a treatment for homosexuality and punishment for accusing clergy of abuse.
   Last December, an investigation received 1800 reports of abuse in Dutch Catholic dioceses since 1945.  Telegraph Group. London #

   [COMMENT: If this is genuine, these castrations add to the horrors done in the name of the teacher from Galilee.
   The above castrations were carried out in some cases to punish victims for reporting the sex penetrations, etc.  Such penetrations can be quite painful, and they harm the emotions etc. of the victims.
   On another aspect, music "buffs" ought to know that the "castrati" in Italy were male choristers who, as boys, had been castrated with their parents' agreement, so that they could earn a life-long living as soprano choir singers in RCC cathedrals and churches.  A recording of the supposed last castrati can be found in the Australian Broadcasting Commission vaults and on the Internet.  The practice went on into the 1900s. (CHECK for exact dates later.)
   To think that the economic injustice in a supposedly Roman Catholic country was so bad that fathers and mothers could have their child castrated, and that the leaders of the "Church" could allow such poor creatures into their choirs, says a lot about how badly the ravening wolves condemned in scripture had invaded that huge sect.  "Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, etc. "  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [LOOK BACK: "Thousands abused in Dutch Catholic institutions: commission," Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), <http://­­news/­2011-12-17/­thousands-abused-in-dutch-Catholic-institutions-commission/3736198>; Posted December 17, 2011.
   "Thousands abused at Catholic institutions," The Weekend West, <http://­­thewest/a/-/world/­1238119­8/dutch-church-sexually-abused-thousands-commission/>, By Sara Webb and Gilbert Kreijger, Reuters, p 38, December 17-18, 2011.  ENDS.]
[Mar 21, 2012]

• Priest's porn Powerpoint stuns parents.  [March 2012. Fr Martin McVeigh -NEW* (very new). Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Parents and a child (8). Later requested money for the Church.]    

Priest’s porn Powerpoint stuns parents

   The West Australian, <http://­>, <letters § wanews com au>, from Associated Press, p 42, Wednesday, April 4, 2012
   DUBLIN - The Catholic Church in Ireland says it is investigating how a priest making a presentation to parents on their children's forthcoming First Confession instead ended up showing them a computer slideshow of gay porn.
   The leader of Ireland's four million Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, said the priest insists he did not know how the explicit images got on the memory stick he intended to use for his Powerpoint presentation to families at St Mary's Primary School in the Northern Ireland village of Pomeroy.
   Cardinal Brady said the priest, Father Martin McVeigh, "has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery" and is helping an internal Church investigation.
   Father McVeigh said other church officials used the memory stick and he wanted an investigation "so that what happened can be legitimately explained".  "I don't know how it happened but I know what happened," Father McVeigh said.
   That is not good enough for St Mary's parents, who are demanding the priest's suspension from parish duties until the church determines who is responsible.  They withdrew their children, mostly aged nine, from a planned Sunday service focused on the children's forthcoming First Confessions and Communions, major sacraments of the Church.
   The parents described how, at a meeting at the school last week, Father McVeigh inserted the memory stick, clicked open a folder and unleashed a cavalcade of sexually explicit pictures of naked men.
   "He was visibly shaken and flustered.  He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room," the parents said.
   Two other school and church officials continued the Communion discussion, they said, "however, the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted".  They said an eight-year-old also was present.
   After about 20 minutes, they said, Father McVeigh rejoined the meeting "and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the Church".
   The parents said they were "enraged that Father McVeigh has been entrusted with the pastoral care of their children."
   Church officials arranged for another priest to oversee the children's Confessions this month but couldn't say whether Father McVeigh would oversee their First Communions next month.  Associated Press #

   [RECAPITULATION: After about 20 minutes, they said, Father McVeigh rejoined the meeting "and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the Church". ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: Money, money, money !  He knows on which side his bread is buttered !  Remember the scripture, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."  : - )  ENDS.]
   [SUGGESTED ACTION: Sign the Petition for Optional Married Clergy for all clergy, nuns, and brothers in all religions, at <>.  One of the petition's points is: "To give Church workers normal family rights, and to relieve them from much loneliness, temptation to sin, and deviation."  ENDS.]
[Apr 04, 2012]

• Urgent need to shine light on church.  [Priests' ring. Many years. RCC. 40 suicide victims at least.]     

Urgent need to shine light on church

   The Age (daily, Melbourne, Vic., Australia, established 1854), <http://­m.­­victori­a/urgent-need-to-shine-light-on-church-20120413-1wz3k.html>, by Barney Zwartz, April 14, 2012
   A HORRIFIC thing about the suicides of 40 victims of a paedophile ring of Catholic clergy in Ballarat is that the toll is surely only the tip of the iceberg.
   Sexual abuse usually has an immediate impact but it can be a time bomb, ticking silently until a victim can endure it no more. Sometimes a family may not recognise a loved one's death - say, in a car crash - as suicide, or they may not know that the underlying cause of a suicide was sexual abuse.
   The Ballarat detective who compiled the list of 40 abuse-related suicides names others outside his investigation, and hints at many others. More were named yesterday.
   The Catholic Church in Melbourne says it has learnt from the mistakes of the past. Today's system, the Melbourne Response, is certainly an improvement. But whether it is good enough we cannot know until an independent inquiry with proper powers has finished its investigation. Unfortunately, we cannot accept the church's own assurances.
   The worldwide church, meanwhile, gets a mixed report. After the Irish were appalled by reports of systematic abuse and cover-ups there, a 2009 inquiry proved a scarifying process for both church and government, but by the same token allowed a measure of closure and a fresh start. In the US, the media and courts have driven the church towards accountability.
   But in Poland - home of Pope John Paul II who insisted paedophilia was merely "an Anglo-Saxon disease" and the backlash just Western media bias – nothing has changed. The independent American National Catholic Reporter (USA), recently described how victims are still bullied and silenced, while paedophile priests are protected by a defiant hierarchy.
   And the scandal has barely reached Asia or Latin America - but it will. A Filipino archbishop warned a Vatican conference on sex abuse in February that Asia would be the next ground zero as the culture of silence broke down.
   Meanwhile, in Melbourne, an inquiry is urgently needed. If it works like the Irish one, it might save lives.
   For help or information visit , call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, or Lifeline on 131 114. #
[Apr 14, 2012]

• Church inquiry 'not enough'.  [Various Christian sects.  Four inquisitors inexperienced politicians.]     

Church inquiry 'not enough'

   The Age (daily, Melbourne, Vic., Australia), <http://­www.­­victori­a/church-inquiry-not-enough-20120417-1x5p7.html>, By Josh Gordon and Barney Zwartz, April 18, 2012
   THE historic decision by the Baillieu government to launch an inquiry into the handling by churches of clergy sex abuse allegations was undermined last night when a key member of the committee appointed to run the inquiry said it was the wrong body for the task.
   Labor MP Frank McGuire, deputy chairman of State Parliament's family and community development committee, said the obvious choice would have been former Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins, who headed the government's recent inquiry into child welfare.
   The committee is inexperienced, with four of its six members having been in Parliament less than 18 months.

   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Posted by Kathy Shaw, Abuse Tracker.)  ENDS.]
[Apr 18, 2012]

• Victoria Police: Catholic Church non-co-operative on sexual abuse.  [Years. Roman Catholic Church. ≤ 40 suicides of seduction victims.]     

Victoria Police: Catholic Church non-co-operative on sexual abuse

   Radio 3AW (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), <http://­www.­­blogs/n­eil-mitchell-blog/victoria-police-Catholic-church-noncoop­erative-on-sexual-abuse/­20120413-1wxm2.h­tml>, Posted by Ellen Feely, 11:05 AM, April 13, 2012
   In an incredible interview on the Neil Mitchell program, Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton has said that the Catholic Church in Victoria has never come to the Victoria Police with knowledge of suicides or sexual offences, despite them being aware of committed offences.
   “I can’t think of a single referral we’ve had from the Catholic Church in the last couple of years I’ve been around,” Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton told Neil Mitchell.
   Mr Ashton said that while it’s possible issues may had previously been referred to the police by the Catholic Church, he was unable to recall any instance in which this had occurred.
   Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said he had personally had meeting with the Catholic Church to urge them to pass any awareness of criminal acts, but they had their own processes in place where they would internally decide upon criminality.
   “Our point is we’re the ones to make the decision around whether things are criminal or not, that’s what investigations do,” he said.
   “We need the opportunity to make those investigations. We can’t just wait for victims of their own volition to come to us.
   “We’ve had victims turn up in different location that appear to have been the subject of the same offender who has moved locations.”
   This morning, The Age revealed Victoria Police have confidential reports detailing the suicides of at least 40 people abused by Catholic clergy, and were urging a new inquiry into these and any other deaths suspected to be linked to church abuse.
   Neil Mitchell said the Catholic Church were effectively frustrating police attempts to investigate and prosecute paedophiles within their system.
   “That they are not coming forward with cases that they know of, they’re dealing with them internally. They’re not helping the police with it, and it’s only when the victims come forward that these paedophiles face the prospect of justice,” Neil Mitchell said.
   “This is an organisation that will get into the pulpit and tell you how to live your life.
   ”It has got the inherent immorality to protect paedophiles within its own system.  Not in the 60s, not in the 70s, now.  Today.”
   Neil Mitchell said if Premier Ted Baillieu and Attorney-General Robert Clark did not react to the police report and the words of the Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner, then they did not deserve to govern.
   Earlier this morning Neil Mitchell spoke with Premier Ted Baillieu, who said he had only been made aware of the police reports detailing suicides as a result of sexual abuse by Catholic Church in Victoria in this morning's paper.
   "I have to say it's very disturbing," Premier Ted Baillieu said.
   "The government and me, speaking personally, take this very seriously."
   Mr Baillieu said while the Attorney-General Robert Clark was working on how to proceed with the report, he would not confirm whether the government would procede with a public inquiry into the matter. #

   [LISTEN to the audio of 3AW presenter Neil Mitchell's reaction to his explosive interview (on 13 April 2012) with Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton re the Catholic Church frustrating the Victoria Police from investigating clergy-abuse crimes: <http://­www.­­display­PopUpPl­ayerAct­ion.act­ion?&ur­l=http:­//media.­mytalk.­­3AW/AUD­IO/1304­12-Neil-Reactio­n.mp3>. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: [A few days later, the govt announced a parliamentary inquiry.]  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Thanks to: Broken Rites (Australia) <brokenritesaustralia § hotmail com> , <http://­brokenrites.­>.  ENDS.]
[Apr 13, 2012]

Abuse Chronology:
For good teachings to be heeded, a big clean-up is needed.

#### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, http://­www.­­Abuse­Tracker/ , Fri April 27, 2012 edition:

Former Cumbrian vicar charged with sex offences

  [Rev. Ronald Johns (74) -NEW*. Church of England (Anglican / Episcopal communion). 4 boys.]   
   Itv, <http://­www.­­news/bo­rder/update/­2012-04-26/­former-cumbrian-vicar-charged-with-sex-offences>, April 26, 2012
   UNITED KINGDOM - A former Cumbrian vicar has been charged with sexual crimes against four boys. 74 year old Ronald Johns is a former rector of Caldbeck and was a canon at Carlisle Cathedral. He now lives in Norwich after retiring 12 years ago. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM, April 27, 2012

In L.A. clergy abuse cases, the wheels of justice move slowly

  [Roman Catholic Church (RCC)]   
   Los Angeles Times, By Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2012
   LOS ANGELES (CA) - Manuel Vega was in the courtroom when the Los Angeles Archdiocese agreed to pay clergy abuse victims a landmark $660-million settlement. The bailiff had to whisk some of the victims out to make room for all the high-fiving lawyers filing in for their payday, he says.
   "Some were even chest-bumping," recalls the retired police officer. "To me, it looked like a frat party."
   Vega, who says he was molested as a boy by a priest in Oxnard, went along with the settlement only because his attorneys assured him the church would turn over confidential personnel files that would reveal the truth about priest abusers, and those who shielded them, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony. Four years and nine months later, Mahony is retired, but not a single page from the files has seen the light of day.
   Complaints about the delay have become a litany trotted out every year, along with accusations the church is stonewalling to protect its own, and Mahony's, legacy. What's different about Vega's complaint is that he blames not only the church but his own lawyers.
   "They took the money and ran," he says. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM, April 27, 2012

Dolan to return Saturday to lead Mass at Holy Hill

   Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel, April 27, 2012
   MILWAUKEE (WI) - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan returns to Wisconsin for the first time since receiving his red cap in Rome for a special Mass of Thanksgiving Saturday at the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill.
   The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is bracing for what could be 2,000 or more worshippers converging at the historic church and basilica to welcome Dolan, whose popularity while archbishop of Milwaukee has only skyrocketed since his move east and onto the international stage.
   "You can just sense the growing anticipation. The energy in the air is just phenomenal," said Julie Wolf, spokeswoman for the archdiocese.
   "I've never experienced anything like it - the closest I can come to it was at the cardinal's consistory in Rome. This man is very special," she said.
   Dolan led the Milwaukee archdiocese from 2002 to 2009, coming at one of the darkest times for the local church as it reeled from revelations of clergy sexual abuse dating back decades and the public fall from grace of his predecessor, the now retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland.
   Dolan's ebullient personality and pastoral presence endeared him to many in the 10-county archdiocese. Still, he had his critics, including sex abuse victims who believe he didn't do enough to address their concerns and others who considered him too theologically conservative.
   The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two years after he left as a way to settle its mounting sex abuse claims. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM, April 27, 2012

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

   Santa Clara University,
   A Conference Examining the Abuse Crisis
   CALIFORNIA - Taking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done – and what it still needs to do – to protect children.
   Conference Details
   Date: Friday May 11, 2012; Location: SCU Benson Memorial Center, California Mission Room; Time: 9am - 5pm
   Register by end of day Friday, May 4, 2012
   Keynote Speakers: Karen J. Terry, PhD; Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
   Conference Hosts Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP Kathleen L. McChesney, PhD.
   Panel Speakers: Barbara Blaine; Judge Terrance Carroll; Rev. Gerald D. Coleman, SS, PhD; Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, JCD, CADC; Rev. Paul Macke, SJ; Gerard J. McGlone, SJ, PhD; Judge Michael Merz; Anson Shupe, PhD; A. W. Richard Sipe; Rev. Richard Vega. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM, April 27, 2012

Struggles Of St. Francis

   Connecticut Law Tribune, By THOMAS B SCHEFFEY,
   CONNECTICUT - There was action on two fronts last week in one of the state's biggest civil cases ever, marked by a new $15 million settlement involving dozens of plaintiffs and state Supreme Court arguments focusing on an earlier trial court verdict.
   The long-running case involves St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, and Dr. George Reardon, who worked there for more than three decades, into the 1990s. Scores of plaintiffs said Reardon molested them as children, when they visited his office as part of a supposed child development study. Reardon died in 1999, but the hospital has been named as a defendant for not providing adequate supervision of Reardon.
   Although not all the settlements have been made public, some estimates put the total damages so far at roughly $50 million.
   At the state Supreme Court last week, lawyers for St. Francis Hospital tried to persuade the court to overturn the one jury verdict reached so far in the case. A man identified in court documents only as Tim Doe was awarded $2.75 million last year following a trial in Waterbury. Defense attorneys argued that there was no evidence at trial that any inkling of Reardon's dangerousness had ever entered the hospital's collective consciousness. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM, April 27, 2012

Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese

    [100 more molesters than admitted. RCC.]   
   SNAP Wisconsin,
   MILWAUKEE (WI) - Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese as Catholics learn more about his cover up of clergy sex crimes
   New Cardinal plans to celebrate his promotion, not explain his stewardship of diocese which led to bankruptcy.  Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director, CONTACT: 414.336.8575
   Former Milwaukee Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will return to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee this weekend to celebrate his promotion to the College of Cardinals. Dolan will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving and attend other celebrations to be held in his honor arranged by himself and church officials from Milwaukee and New York.
   Amid the orchestrated fanfare, however, Dolan is unlikely to address his pivotal role in the clergy sex abuse crisis, which after decades is still unfolding in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Dolan, who promised to Catholics during his tenure here that the church would be transparent and accountable returns to an archdiocese that is suffering the consequences of his failure to do both. (For a fact sheet on Dolan's record handling sex abuse cases click here)
   Dolan, when in Milwaukee, never disclosed to Catholics the true nature and extent of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the archdiocese – the number of crimes committed, who committed those crimes, and which church officials covered them up. Only now as a result of revelations in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed soon after Dolan left, are we learning the magnitude of the rape and sexual assault of children that took place in the Archdiocese.
   At least 8,000 instances of child sexual assault and abuse likely occurred in the archdiocese over the last several decades, according to court records. And the identities and whereabouts of at least 100 child sex offenders employed or ministering in the archdiocese remain unknown to the public – 100 more than the 44 offenders that Dolan claimed was the total number. BOTH copies Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM, April 27, 2012

Irland: Bei Missbrauch soll Beichtgeheimnis ausgesetzt werden

   ORF (Osterreich),
   IRLAND - Die irische Regierung plant eine Verschärfung der Anzeigepflicht für Kindesmissbrauch. Ein gemeinsamer Gesetzesentwurf des Justiz- und des Familienministeriums sieht vor, das Unterlassen entsprechender Hinweise mit bis zu fünf Jahren Haft zu bestrafen, wie irische Medien am Donnerstag berichten. Priester sollten sich dabei nicht auf das Beichtgeheimnis berufen dürfen, betonten Justizminister Alan Shatter und Familienministerin Frances Fitzgerald bei der Vorstellung des Textes am Mittwochabend. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM, April 27, 2012

Wie hieß der Wiener Mißbrauchs-Kardinal noch einmal?

   OSTERREICH - Das Schöne am Mißbrauchs-Hoax ist, daß man ihn mit den Zahlen demaskieren kann, die von den Mißbrauchs-Propagandisten veröffentlicht werden. Von Raymund Spindler.
   ( Der rote Erzbischof von Wien, Franz Kardinal König († 2004), wird von Altliberalen und Kirchenfeinden wie ein Säkularheiliger verehrt.
   Er leitete die Erzdiözese Wien in der Zeit von Juni 1956 bis zum September 1985.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM, April 27, 2012 

Kloster will für Missbrauch nicht haften

   Der Standard, Jutta Berger, 26. April 2012
   OSTERREICH - Gleich zweimal saß der Abt des Zisterzienserklosters Mehrerau, Anselm van der Linde, am Donnerstag vor Gericht. Zwei Opfer sexueller Gewalt fordern vom Kloster zivilrechtlich Schadenersatz
   Feldkirch - Eines hatten die Kläger und der Abt beim Zivilrechtsprozess Missbrauchsopfer kontra Kloster Mehrerau gemeinsam: Alle drei Männer waren angespannt, die Situation war ihnen sichtlich unangenehm. Das war es dann aber auch schon: "Kein Vergleich, wir bleiben bei unserer Haltung", stellte der Anwalt des Klosters, Bertram Grass, klar. Schadenersatzforderungen, im ersten Fall 200.000 Euro, im zweiten 135. 000 Euro, werden wegen Verjährung abgelehnt. Die Opfer sollten sich an die Klasnic-Kommission wenden.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM, April 27, 2012 

Quelle: Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

   Schafsbrief, 2.3.5 Meldungen nach Diözese
   DEUTSCHLAND - Von 474 Klienten der katholischen Hotline für Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch liegen hinsichtlich Meldungen konkrete Angaben zu den zuständigen Diözesen vor.
   Dabei geht es um Personen, die ihren Fall direkt der verantwortlichen Diözese bzw. dem Orden zu melden wünschten und gegenüber dem Täter weitere Maßnahmen zu erwirken suchten, unabhängig davon, ob dieser noch lebte oder nicht (d.h. entweder konkrete dienstaufsichtliche Strafe oder Veränderung der Akte eines verstorbenen Täters).
   Z.T. hatte diese Personengruppe zusätzlich anwaltliche Begleitung bzw. ein Anwalt rief vereinzelt im Namen eines Klienten an.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM, April 27, 2012

Prolific predator priest lives by playground, SNAP calls for action

  [Years. Fr David Sicoli. RCC. ≤ 12 boys.]   
   Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 27, 2012
   PHILADELPHIA (PA) - It is one thing to punish a priest for his crimes and misdeeds he committed while wearing the collar. It is quite another to wash your hands of him, knowing full well what he has done and will likely continue to do, and consider the matter resolved. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia acted irresponsibly with their handling of Fr. David Sicoli in the past. They are acting negligently with regard to Sicoli now.
   Sicoli, who was known to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to have molested at least 12 boys during his career as a priest, was quietly defrocked from the church in 2008. Today, he lives across the street from the largest playground in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Archdiocese has unleashed him on a new hunting ground in a new state. This is outrageous.
   We call on Archbishop Chaput to use all of his resources to warn parents and parishioners in New Jersey of the crimes that Sicoli committed in Philadelphia. He should also provide a dossier on Sicoli to Diocese of Camden Bishop Joseph Galante, and Bishop Galante should take every possible step to ensure that Sicoli has not victimized any more children in his diocese. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM, April 27, 2012


  [Fr Donald McGuire (Mother Teresa's confessor). Children.] 
   Berger's Beat, Author: Jerry Berger | 11:10 am | April 27, 2012
   UNITED STATES - The one-time U.S. head of the Jesuits, Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, has resigned as a board member of Loyola University in Chicago under pressure because of his role in a child sex abuse case. It involves Fr. Donald McGuire who was Mother Teresa's confessor and who is now in prison for sexually violating kids in Wisconsin. McGuire's also accused of molesting in St. Charles, MO in 1999. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM, April 27, 2012

Hearing set for ex-priest seeking to have sexual conduct, rape convictions overturned

  [1970s. Fr William Casey (78). Altar boy.]
   Times-News, By Kacie Breeding, Published April 27th, 2012
   TENNESSEE - A former Kingsport priest convicted last July of raping an altar boy three decades ago is now scheduled for a June 15 hearing in which he is seeking to have his convictions overturned.
   William Casey, 78, 740 Shakerag Road, Greeneville, is seeking a "new trial, arrest of judgment or judgment of acquittal," in a motion filed Dec. 22, 2011. A hearing on the motion was originally set for March 5, but Matthew Spivey, who along with Rick Spivey represented Casey at trial, was unavailable. The new date was not immediately set at that time.
   Casey was sentenced last November to 15 to 20 years on first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two concurrent 20-year terms on two aggravated rape counts. His convictions stemmed from allegations he sexually abused a young altar boy shortly after becoming priest of St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Kingsport in the 1970s. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM, April 27, 2012 

New suit against former St. Louis psychologist filed, SNAP responds

   Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 27, 2012
   MISSOURI - On Monday, here at the St. Louis County courthouse, arguments in a previously-undisclosed sexual exploitation lawsuit will be heard. The case is against a minister, ex- psychologist, ex-St. Louis Cardinals' consultant and ex-KMOX radio talk show host, Rev. William L. Little.
   Little (a.k.a. Billy Lee Little) is being sued (for at least the second time) for inappropriate sexual misconduct against a woman he was counseling. A similar case against him in the 1990s led to his psychologist's license being suspended and to a financial settlement.
   For 17 years, Little had a counseling show on KMOX and reportedly "became the first sports psychologist employed by a major league baseball team when he worked for the St. Louis Cardinals (1978-1982)." For 50 years, he headed Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Cool Valley (which dissolved in 2010). Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM, April 27, 2012 

Fr D'Arcy will continue to speak out on church issues

  [Brave RC Fr Brian D'Arcy will keep speaking out. Wants married clergy, clean-up of sexual abuse.]   
   BBC News,
   IRELAND - Father Brian D'Arcy has said he will continue to speak out on controversial issues affecting the Catholic Church despite being rebuked by the Vatican.
   As a newspaper columnist and a broadcaster, Fr D'Arcy has been a vocal critic of church policy on clerical sex abuse, celibacy and contraception.
   As part of the disciplinary action, he must now get prior approval to cover topics dealing with church doctrine.
   But he said the church has not ordered him to change any of his work since. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM, April 27, 2012 

Fr D'Arcy hits back over year of Vatican censure

   Herald, By Niall O'Connor, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - OUTSPOKEN Fr Brian D'Arcy has spoken of his "disappointment" after being censured by the Vatican for more than a year.
   It has emerged that the popular newspaper columnist has been disciplined by Catholic bosses over the contents of a number of his articles.
   The high-profile priest has admitted that he has been living with the censure for 14 months – meaning all his articles must be submitted to the Vatican for approval.
   Fr D'Arcy, who has previously revealed that he was abused by a priest, has been vocal in his criticism of the Catholic Church and its handling of the child sex-abuse scandal. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM, April 27, 2012 

Fr Brian represents us better than the Vatican

   Herald, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - Bono once told Father Brian D'Arcy: "You're the last one standing."
   Now Pope Benedict is trying to cut him off at the knees.
   After everything the Catholic Church has been found guilty of, you'd have thought it would be open to a bit of self-criticism - but instead it has been revealed that the Vatican is censoring Fr D'Arcy's writings as if they were some 21st Century version of the Da Vinci Code.
   Earlier this week, DJ Ray D'Arcy caused a stir by declaring that the Church has "in many ways, f**ked up this country".
   His namesake uses much more measured language, but the authorities in Rome seem to think that Fr Brian's message is basically the same.
   He has used his newspaper columns to insist that the Church should allow married priests, accept homosexuality and too confess that it broke most of the Ten Commandments by protecting so many paedophiles in dog collars. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM, April 27, 2012 

Notes on the LCWR overhaul

   National Catholic Reporter (USA), All Things Catholic, by John L Allen Jr on Apr. 27, 2012
   VATICAN CITY - By far, the biggest Vatican story at the moment in the American media market is an announced overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella group for superiors of the roughly 400 women's orders in the States. The move has been presented by the Vatican as a "reform" but styled as a "crackdown" in most press coverage.
   As is by now well known, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's powerful doctrinal watchdog agency, has faulted LCWR for silence on issues such as abortion and euthanasia, a climate of "corporate dissent" on matters such as homosexuality and women's ordination, and the inroads of "radical feminism." The congregation appointed Archbishop James Peter Sartain of Seattle as its delegate to oversee reform, with power to do things like reviewing documents before publication and signing off on speakers for LCWR meetings.
   The story has become a cause célèbre, primarily because of the deep fault lines it seems to encapsulate: men vs. women, family values vs. women's issues (especially in a domestic political season in which an alleged "war on women" is in the air), Rome vs. America, left vs. right, authority vs. dissent, the hierarchy vs. the grassroots, and so on. Depending on where one stands vis-à-vis those divides, it's easy to see LCWR as either a hero or a scapegoat. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM, April 27, 2012 

Celebrity priest Fr Brian D'Arcy is latest to be censored by the Vatican

   IRELAND - Irish Central By PATRICK COUNIHAN, IrishCentral Staff Writer, Published Friday, April 27, 2012
   Celebrity priest Fr Brian D'Arcy is the latest member of the Catholic clergy in Ireland to be censored by the Vatican.
   Reports on the BBC website, and in the Tablet news magazine, claim that D'Arcy's Sunday World newspaper columns are vetted by a church censor on a weekly basis.
   D'Arcy has a huge following among young people and was portrayed in the past as "Father Brian Trendy" by famed comedian Dermot Morgan.
   The reports state that D'Arcy sometime outspoken views on the Catholic church have been the target of the Holy See's main theological watchdog. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM, April 27, 2012 

Víctima de Karadima

   La Tercera, por Angélica Baeza Palavecino - 27/Apr/2012
   CHILE - Víctima de Karadima responde a Medina: "Una vez más demuestra la crueldad que lo caracteriza"
   Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, se mostró impactado y dolido ante las declaraciones del cardenal Jorge Medina, quien comparó a una persona homosexual con un niño que nació sin brazo.
   "Las declaraciones de Medina lo único que hacen es demostrar esa mentalidad retrógrada y ofensiva, que no colabora a lo que los católicos esperamos de nuestra Iglesia", dijo a La Tercera.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM, April 27, 2012 

Bishops Crack Down on Nuns: Decisions from a Parallel Universe

   Catholics4Change, by Susan Matthews, April 27, 2012
   Click here to read: "The Inquisition: Vatican issues a knuckle-rap to the nuns," by Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts,, April 26, 2012
   UNITED STATES - Excerpt: "The nuns' silence on gay marriage must be particularly galling to their new inquisitor. Archbishop Sartain has thrown the full force of his office behind a proposed ballot initiative to overturn Washington state's new marriage equality law. His 2010 appointment to the Seattle archdiocese provoked protest from victims of pedophilia, because only a year earlier, Sartain had ordained a molester – later convicted of his crimes – despite warnings from other priests."
   Editor's note: After being cited in Amnesty International's report of human rights violators, this move takes "you know what." They realize they are losing moral authority over the faithful and hope to force women's religious orders to further their agenda. And it's an agenda far removed from what I learned in religion class. It's a power play – pure and simple. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM, April 27, 2012 

The Good Sisters

   National Survivor Advocates Coalition, Editorial,
   UNITED STATES - There has been a great deal of ink, broadcast air, and cyberspace focused in the past week on the Vatican's move against the women religious in the United States as they are organized in the Leadership Conference of Religious Women (LCRW).
   There is great feeling both nostalgic and immediate expressed in the support of the vowed religious women in all approaches: the men are from Mars, women are from Venus theme, the walk with the underprivileged, the marginalized, and the poor versus the disconnected mansion men, or the social justice versus the hard right guide to sexuality.
   We do not raise our voice to condemn, hurt, or deflate the sisters for God knows we have seen, know and sympathize with their plight because of the courage of the survivors of sexual abuse who have informed the Church and the society at large of the dealings of the hierarchy.
   It is because of the survivors and the families of those who committed suicide that we raise our voice in the midst of the discussion about the nuns.
   We raise it to ask the sisters as they pray, reflect, gather and seek to dialogue in their current crisis to come clean with the sexual abuse by nuns and do right by the survivors and their families. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM, April 27, 2012 

Inquisition unleashed to weed out Vatican leakers

   Brisbane Times (Australia), Tom Kington (Rome), April 28, 2012
   VATICAN CITY - VATICAN employees who have been leaking embarrassing letters about corruption and nepotism in the tiny city state are to be hunted down by a crack squad of cardinals led by a senior member of the religious group Opus Dei.
   Irritated by the anonymous release of documents to the press this year, Pope Benedict has named Cardinal Julian Herranz, 82, to lead a three-man team which will haul in members of staff for questioning and rifle through files until they catch the perpetrators of what has been dubbed "Vatileaks".
   A statement on the front page of the Vatican's daily newspaper warned the team had a full "pontifical mandate" to "shed complete light" on whistleblowers, who have lifted the lid on alleged theft and false accounting.
   Cardinal Herranz was a long-time personal secretary to Josemaria Escriva, the canonised founder of Opus Dei, which has been accused of excessive secrecy for its strict control over members and undue influence within the Vatican. Cardinal Herranz has insisted that Opus Dei has "no hidden agenda" and is only interested in "the message of Christ". Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM, April 27, 2012 

Pedophile Across From Playground – Send Thank You to Philly Diocese

   PHILADELPHIA (PA) - Catholics4Change, by Susan Matthews, April 27, 2012
   Click here to read: "At trial, following a defrocked priest's 25-year trial," by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 2012
   Excerpt: "He lives across the street from the largest playground in Sea Isle City," Dougherty replied. The exchange underscored a point prosecutors have been trying to make in their endangerment case against Msgr. William J. Lynn: that he and other leaders at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia waited so long to act on proof or suspicions of misconduct that child sex abusers escaped civil or criminal consequences.
   Editor's note: This isn't a "Catholic" issue, this is a public safety issue. This is why all Pennsylvania citizens need to tell their state reps and senators that they demand the statute of limitations be removed for child sex abuse. Don't accept any excuses. There is no statute of limitations for murder in PA. Child sex abuse is soul murder. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM, April 27, 2012 

Biechtgeheim op de helling

   RKnieuws (Nederland), <http://­www.­­nieuws/­nws.php­?id=710­49>,
   DUBLIN, IERLAND ( - De Ierse priesters zullen voortaan het biechtgeheim niet meer kunnen inroepen in gevallen van seksueel misbruik. De regering wil de wet op de bescherming van minderjarigen verstrengen. In dat kader wil de regering tot vijf jaar celstraf voorzien voor priesters die nalaten gevallen van seksueel misbruik te melden.
   De Kerk herhaalt dat de schending van het biechtgeheim onduldbaar is.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM, April 27, 2012 

Gerald T. Slevin, Philly Predator Priests & Papal Politics

   As this work week ends, another outstanding piece from Jerry Slevin, commenting on the ongoing trial in the archdiocese of Philadelphia, the current political strategy of the Vatican and U.S. Catholic bishops, and the mandate to "reform" American religious women--and how these pieces fit together. This is a rich and detailed posting, and I'm grateful to Jerry for providing this information to all of us who are trying to understand how these various pieces interlock. What follows is Jerry's posting:
   UNITED STATES - The nauseating selected stories oozing out of the Philadelphia Archdiocese sexual swamp are being issued almost daily from a courtroom near Constitution Hall.  The stories, only a fraction of those many uncovered so far, just keep coming, as reported regularly in detail at the website.
   An aerial view of the swamp is available at my previous posting at the Bilgrimage site, and in this Wikipedia article tracking the abuse story in the Philadelphia archdiocese and in the related links cited there.
   The Vatican has faced similar deluges of negative publicity before, for example, in Ireland, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Chile, and even Boston and Los Angeles. But never before has a case apparently carried such implications for the papacy. The steady stream of clerical filth exposed at the current Philly trial has flowed through the leadership periods of three important Cardinals, with extensive papal connections, especially the last one, Cardinal Justin Rigali.
   Rigali's ties to the Vatican are and continue to be extensive. He served several popes closely in Rome and continues on major papal curial committees. Yesterday, a new and important special committee was set up in Rome under the powerful Cardinal Herranz to investigate the unprecedented recent leaks of embarrassing Vatican documents, so-called "Vatileaks," as reported by Reuters. Cardinal Rigali, along with Pope John Paul II, in 1991 was one of the three co-consecrators of Herranz as bishop and still serves with him on a major Vatican committee. Herranz is one of two Opus Dei Cardinals and has recently served on the committee that just directed the unexpected investigation of American nuns discussed below. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM, April 27, 2012 

Fr Brian D'Arcy censured by Vatican

   IRELAND - The Irish Catholic,
   Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican.
   It is understood that his column must now run past a Church censor.
   According to The Tablet, which reported the story, the action against Fr D'Arcy was taken by the CDF last year after an anonymous complaint.
   The disciplining of Fr D'Arcy brings the number of Irish priests silenced by Rome to five. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Former Newcastle Anglican Dean loses appeal

  [Anglican (Church of England / Episcopal communion]     
   AUSTRALIA - Newcastle Herald, JOANNE MCCARTHY, 27 Apr, 2012
   Former Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence and Cardiff priest Graeme Sturt suffered distress after "unseemly" sexual allegations against them at a professional standards hearing, but lost a NSW Supreme Court case to have findings against them quashed.
   Justice John Sackar today found a professional standards board, headed by a retired NSW magistrate, had not acted with bias when it stripped the priests of their holy orders in December 2010 after public hearings of lurid sexual allegations against them.
   The judge found the public airing of group sex allegations involving priests were, "if true or untrue", distressing for Fathers Lawrence and Sturt and had "no doubt been distressing and potentially damaging to others".
   "There also is no doubt that these events have arguably impacted upon the reputation of the Anglican Church of Australia." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM, April 27, 2012 

Sex claim priests lose holy orders bid

  [Rev. Graeme L. Sturt (60), Rev. Graeme R. Lawrence (68). Anglican (Church of England / Episcopal communion.)] 
   AUSTRALIA - Big Pond News, Friday, April 27, 2012
   Two Anglican priests have lost their challenge to moves to strip them of their holy orders after findings of sexual misconduct involving a teenage boy in 1984.
   The suspended rector of Cardiff, the reverend Graeme Leslie Sturt, 60, and the retired dean of Newcastle, Graeme Russell Lawrence, 68, challenged moves to ban them from officiating or acting in any manner as priest and cease to have any rights attached to the position.
   Justice John Sackar on Friday first rejected a claim the NSW Supreme Court could not adjudicate on their grievances and then went on to dismiss their claim.
   The challenge related to findings and recommendations made in December 2010 by the Newcastle Diocese Professional Standards Board (PSB). Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM, April 27, 2012 

Diocese rejects ex-Bonita Springs pastor's resignation

  [Fr Stan Strycharz. RCC. Celibacy, finances.]   
   News-Press, Written by Lindsay Downey, Special to ,
   VENICE (FL) - The Diocese of Venice has rejected a St. Leo Catholic Church former pastor's resignation from the priesthood as it moves forward with a trial that accuses him of violations of obedience, celibacy and financial responsibility.
   "No priest is able to renounce the Sacrament of Holy Orders or depart from the clerical state under his own volition," the diocese Thursday said in a statement.
   The Rev. Stan Strycharz submitted his resignation to the diocese April 20, three days before the start of his trial under canon law, or mandates of the Catholic Church, diocese spokesman Billy Atwell said.
   The former pastor of the Bonita Springs church has not appeared at his trial as requested by the diocese and dismissed a canonical advocate appointed to defend him, Atwell said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM, April 27, 2012 

Irish bishop reaffirms seal of confession amid legal controversy

   Catholic News Agency, 12:03 am (CNA) / Apr 27, 2012
   DUBLIN, Ireland, Dublin's Auxiliary Bishop Raymond W. Field says priests must maintain the confidentiality of the confessional, which may be threatened by a proposed law requiring mandatory reporting of abuse.
   "The seal of the confessional is inviolable as far as I am concerned, and that's the end of the matter," Bishop Field said in comments reported by the Irish Independent newspaper on April 26.
   Remarks made the previous day by Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter suggested that priests could be bound by requirements of the sex abuse reporting bill. Due to be introduced in the legislature later this year, the bill threatens up to ten years in jail for those who fail to report sex crimes.
   "I would expect that if there was someone going to confession who was a serial sex abuser, I don't know how anyone could live with their conscience if they didn't refer that to the gardai (police)," said Shatter. He noted that existing laws already require reporting of other crimes without exempting priests. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM, April 27, 2012 

McVerry criticises Vatican censure of D'Arcy

   Breaking News, 27/Apr/2012
   IRELAND - A Catholic priest is calling the censure of Father Brian D'Arcy by the Vatican "completely unacceptable".
   Father D'Arcy is well known for expressing views contrary to the Church's teachings and is a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes.
   In a statement yesterday, Father D'Arcy confirmed that his writings on morality have been screened for over a year now by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees Catholic Church doctrine.
   Father Peter McVerry - who has worked with Dublin's homeless for the past 30 years - said that unfortunately, such measures are becoming commonplace. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM, April 27, 2012 

Charge sheet error leads to acquittal

  [Priest. Boy.]   
   The Malta Independent,
   MALTA - Another charge sheet error has led to four accused people, who included three policemen, being acquitted yesterday in a case which involved all four of them assaulting a French student.
   Earlier this month, an appeals court acquitted another accused, a priest, of raping a boy who was in his care, because according to the charge sheet the crime had been committed in Marfa, when in fact it occurred in Sta Venera. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM, April 27, 2012 

Prosecutors: Predator Priest Served For 30 Years Despite Abuse Allegations

  [~ 1977 Father David Sicoli. RCC. Boys.]  [Years. Archdiocese of Philadelphia. RCC. Protecting seducers.]   
   CBS Philly, By Tony Hanson,
   PHILADELPHIA (PA), (CBS) – The jury in the clergy abuse case has now heard the very disturbing case of Father David Sicoli, who allegedly abused nearly a dozen boys over decades, starting shortly after he was ordained in 1975. This evidence is alleged to show a pattern of conduct of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of protecting predator priests.
   Evidence from the church's secret archives shows three boys came forward in 1977 and alleged abuse and misconduct by Father David Sicoli, then in his first assignment.
   Another priest found the allegations to be credible, but Sicoli remained in ministry and over the next 25 years he was the subject of countless allegations by other priests, nuns, school staff and parishioners.
   A nun wrote that 'the poor man needs help' and begged the archdiocese to not let him get involved with youth activities to try to keep him from hurting anyone else. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

The silencing of Fr Brian D'Arcy

   Irish Independent, Editorial, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - The news that Father Brian D'Arcy, one of the best-known and most popular priests in the country, has been censured by the Vatican and that his newspaper and magazine articles are now effectively censored in advance of publication by the church authorities will come as a shock to many lay Catholics.
   For the past two decades, as the Catholic Church suffered one hammer blow after another as the full extent of the clerical child sex abuse scandal gradually emerged, Fr D'Arcy held out hope for many ordinary believers that the church would one day emerge strengthened from its ordeal.
   That is why the action that has been taken against Fr D'Arcy will be so disheartening for so many. They will wonder why the Vatican apparently found it impossible to accommodate a priest who patently had the church's best interests at heart and who pointed the way toward a possible future. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM, April 27, 2012 

Nuns deny New Guinea claims

   The Australian, by Verity Edwards, April 24, 2012
   NEW GUINEA / AUSTRALIA - A Catholic order of nuns that allegedly removed up to 10 children of mixed race from their families in New Guinea in the 1960s has denied doing so without permission.
   New Guinean-born Elizabeth Canny came forward last week and said she had been about eight when taken from her family by the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy and flown to Adelaide.
   Mrs Canny, who is about 62 but does not know her birth date, wants the government and the Catholic Church to provide answers as to why children were taken from New Guinea and brought to Australia and how widespread the practice was.
   Mrs Canny first contacted the Catholic Church in 2008 and was told the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy, which authorised the adoption, no longer existed. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM, April 27, 2012 

St. Mary's rectory auctioned; bidder pays $97,900

   The Post-Standard, By Elizabeth Doran / The Post-Standard,
   JAMESVILLE, New York - The rectory of St. Mary's Church in Jamesville and its contents were auctioned this week despite the objections of former St. Mary's parishioners
   The rectory, assessed at $118,000, sold for $89,000 plus $8,900 in commission for a total of $97,900, said Amy Bush, manager of Brzostek's real estate division. There were 17 bidders for the property; Bush would not disclose the buyer. She did say the home needs repairs.
   The 2,652-square-foot rectory, at 6437 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, is a house away from the closed church. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM, April 27, 2012 

Fr Brian D'Arcy: My pain over Vatican censure

   Irish Independent, By Deric Henderson, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - WELL known priest and journalist Fr Brian D'Arcy, who has been censured by the Vatican, today broke his silence to reveal his distress over the disciplinary action.
   The broadcaster and newspaper columnist, declared: "Personally I've been living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life.
   "In these difficult times, it is the price one has to pay when one is committed to the truth, which is the duty of both the priest and the journalist."
   The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and who writes a religious column for Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM, April 27, 2012 

Fr Brian D'Arcy 'disappointed' after being gagged by Vatican censor for 14 months

  [Brave RCs Fr Brian D'Arcy and Fr Tony Flannery.] 
   Irish Independent, By Garry O'Sullivan and Mark Hilliard, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - ONE of the country's most-popular priests has been censored for the last 14 months, it emerged last night.
   Fr Brian D'Arcy, a regular broadcaster who has written a popular column in a Sunday newspaper for more than 30 years, has had to submit his writings for clearance for more than a year.
   The Passionist priest said last night he was "disappointed" that there wasn't more respect for freedom of speech in the church. However, Vatican sources insist Irish clerics are not being targeted.
   Earlier this month, Fr Tony Flannery had to stop contributing to the Redemptorist Order magazine 'Reality' after his column was cancelled on orders from Rome. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM, April 27, 2012 

U.S. nuns group deserves support

   UNITED STATES - San Francisco Chronicle, Brian Cahill, Friday, April 27, 2012
   Led by Cardinal William Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco, the Vatican has initiated a crackdown to control the activities of the largest leadership group of American Catholic nuns. If it were not so tragic and destructive, it would be the height of irony that the leaders of the Catholic Church, who are big fans of religious liberty when it serves their interests, now attempt to curtail the freedom and the good work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
   This group represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States. These are women who do so much of the heavy lifting in our church, especially in education, health care and social services.
   The bishops worry that the conference's positions on homosexuality and the ordination of women will "give scandal," a mystifying position given that these same bishops have presided over the most serious church scandal in the past 500 years, where thousands of children were molested and hundreds of cases have been ignored or covered up. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM, April 27, 2012 

Walking the (Catholic) Plank

   Huffington Post, Sarah O'Leary,
   "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? - New American Standard Bible, © 1995
   UNITED STATES - Growing up in born-again bastion of Wheaton, Illinois, my childhood friends celebrated every type of Christianity. Among the largely Catholic population there were Covenants, Evangelical Frees, Methodists, Lutherans and non-denominational religionists who attended a variety of Christian churches. I found it most extraordinary that many of them actually read the Bible! What kind of craziness is that? Catholics I knew didn't read the Bible. The priest and selected laymen read parts of it on Sunday for us. Other important stuff was picked out and fed to us by nuns in Sunday school. But actually read it on our own? No way. I've never been in a Catholic Church that even had Bibles in the pews, let alone in our hands.
   As an adult, I think I now understand why actually reading the word of God on our own wasn't encouraged in my Catholic Church, or most anyone else's. It was the same reason, I believe, the mass was in Latin for so long. If we truly understood what was going on, we might have actually learned something. We might have empowered ourselves. We might have interpreted the Scriptures on our own, prioritizing God's edicts in a way that the Church might not support. How could we be blind followers if we studied the same Bible as our moral leaders? Isn't that like standing next to the magician when he's performing a trick? It made sense that the Church try to keep us ignorant and in fear (thus solely dependant on the Church for spiritual survival), rather than educated and potentially empowered.
   Today's current state of my Catholic Church's dis-grace has reached a hell-hot fever pitch. As reported in the Huffington Post, we have the Bishop in Peoria, IL preaching politics against the President from the pulpit, risking the Church's tax exempt status and a bishop in Seattle who is trying to overturn gay marriage, while many in his flock (including men of the cloth) opening rebel against him. And, rather than focus on things such as world hunger or disease, the Vatican is trying to reel in a group of "radical" U.S. nuns who comprise 80% of all nuns in the U.S.
   At risk of posing a question of the logically obvious: Why doesn't my Catholic Church get its own house in order first?  Get the plank/log/boulder/semi truck/elephant out of its own eye before it tries to remove a speck from another's eye? Maybe you've heard about the Philadelphia bishop in the middle of the current pedophilia scandal. Or the now almost countless scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church involving priests raping young boys and girls? Or the cover ups of these events by our blessed priests, bishops and higher ups executed around the world to avoid "harming" their precious church? What part of that is the work of true followers of Jesus? None of it. Not one damned bit of it. With millions around the world suffering, starving and in need of spiritual guidance, is homosexuality and birth control the best we can do? Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM, April 27, 2012 

Closed Minds – Closed Doors

  [Brave Australian R.C. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in U.S.A.]     
   Bishop John McCarthy, By Bishop John, April 27, 2012
   UNITED STATES - An outspoken Australian bishop is generating a lot of interest in the discussion of the need for changes in the Church's administrative structure and how it operates, deals with conflict and handles dialogue. I am referring to Bishop Geoffrey Robinson who was removed from office by the Holy See over a year ago for publicly expressing his views that the Church needed to confront and resolve views on certain areas like the shortage of priests and conduct a thorough review on the Church's overall positions on human sexuality. The Vatican then removed him from office! Nevertheless, Bishop Robinson continues to challenge the Church to face some really very difficult issues.
   Bishop Robinson is now on a lecture tour. Speaking in Chicago to a very mixed audience, including about 150 priests, Bishop Robinson stated that the roots of the decades long clergy sex abuse scandal lie not in any set of rules or practices, but are found deep in the culture of the Church itself-
   The "major fault" of the Church in the scandal, Robinson said, is that it "refuses to look at any teaching, law, practice or even attitude of the Church itself as in any way contributing to the crisis. In studying abuse, we must be free to follow the argument wherever it leads rather than impose in advance the limitations that our study must not demand change in any teaching or law." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM, April 27, 2012 

Bring out the religious knuckle-rappers

  [Moral failures moralise.]     
   Slidell Sentry, Another view, By Cokie and Steven Roberts,
   UNITED STATES - Really? Women religious in America will now have a bishop grading their morals?
   Shouldn't it be the other way around? Given the sex-abuse scandals – in which many Roman Catholic bishops looked the other way at best and moved child molesters from parish to parish, perpetrating evil, at worst – you would think that a ruler rap on the hierarchical knuckles would be in order. "Sister" should have stepped in years ago. Instead, the Vatican has assigned a bishop to crack down on the nuns.
   The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, aka the Inquisition, has appointed Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to review and revamp the plans, programs and pronouncements of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of the superiors of religious orders that represents about 57,000 U.S. nuns. What sins have these religious women committed that brought on the wrath of Rome?
   Here's one, according to the Vatican document: "While there's been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church's social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death." Oh, no – while these women are ministering to some poor pregnant girl and giving her the wherewithal to get health care and food for her baby, they are not loudly attacking abortion?
   Another transgression: "The Church's Biblical views of family life and human sexuality are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching."  Translation: The nuns aren't condemning gay marriage as they make their rounds to hospitals and social-service agencies where gay clients and their children await their care. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM, April 27, 2012 

Waco religious commune accused of masking abuse

  [Homestead Heritage.]   
   WACO, Texas - Homestead Heritage, just outside of Waco, has been revered as a model of Christian values. But is it a Utopian commune, or as some suggest, a extreme group of believers putting children at risk?
   Videos posted on the Homestead Heritage web site present to the public the wholesome image, bolstering its perception as a beloved staple of the community for two decades. The estimated 1,000 members, crafting a pristine portrait of communal bliss.
   But many who have left the church and its 500-acre, gated compound, paint a much different picture. One of a secretive and tightly-controlled religious environment. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM, April 27, 2012 

Monsignor Lynn Takes The Witness Stand

  [Monsignor William J. Lynn. RCC.] 
   Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog, Ralph Cipriano,
   PHILADELPHIA (PA) - For more than two hours Thursday, the jury in Courtroom 304 got to hear the defendant, Monsignor William J. Lynn, testify candidly about his bumbling pursuit of a sexually abusive priest on the loose from the archdiocese of Philadelphia.
   Only it wasn't the real monsignor up on the witness stand, just a man who gets paid to play him in court. As he has done several times previously, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Pomeranz took the witness stand Thursday to read another volume of Lynn's 2002 grand jury testimony to the jury in the archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial.
   Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington once again reprised his role as the grand jury prosecutor, asking the questions, while Pomeranz read Lynn's answers into the record. In the past, this prosecutorial play-acting could be dull, as the monsignor pontificated about Catholic tradition and archdiocese protocol, tossing around words like canonical, laicization and Catholocity.
   But the play acting turned serious Thursday as the grand jury testimony focused on what Lynn did and, far more damaging, what he failed to do while pursuing sex abusers in collars. Sadly for the monsignor, the testimony that Pomeranz read into the record did not follow the defense script in this trial, which has been to paint the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua as the man with the ultimate power in the archdiocese, and thus, the real villain of the story. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM, April 27, 2012 

Victim Testifies In Child Sexual Abuse Trial of PA Catholic Monsignor

  [Fr Edward Avery (alleged boy-rape).  Mons. William Lynn. RCC. Boy/s.] 
   Lez Get Real, Posted by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire on April 26, 2012.
   UNITED STATES - The Roman Catholic Church has been waging a war against women lately, thinking that their push to enforce absolute conformity will rebuild [sic] their problems. This has to do with what they are trying to get away from - the child sexual abuse scandal.
   On Wednesday, a young man told a jury about how he was sexually assaulted as an altar boy by two priests in Philadelphia. The young man turned to drugs beginning at age 11 in order to try and deal with the abuse. He has tried drug treatment almost two dozen times in order to deal with the addictions to painkillers, heroin and other drugs. He was the son of a police officer.
   According to the young man, parish priest Edward Avery raped him twice after Mass back in 1999. At the time, he was ten. He is testifying in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, a former secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese. Avery has pled guilty to the crimes leveled against him, but that has not been told to the jurors. Defense lawyers did not cross-examine the accuser. Prior to the trial, the lawyers attacked his account of the attacks. Defense lawyers may have chosen to not cross-examine due to the fact that the judge threatened to allow the jury to find out about Avery's plea. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM, April 27, 2012 

2 men claim previously accused priests molested them

  [Fr John Curran and another. Boys. RCC.] 
   Southtown Star, April 26, 2012
   CHICAGO (IL) - Two men filed separate lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday claiming Chicago Catholic priests molested them as children.
   While the suits make allegations against different priests, they make similar claims against the Archdiocese, which is named as a defendant along with Cardinal Francis George. Both suits accuse the church of not notifying children's parents and authorities about prior sexual abuse accusations against the priests.
   An Archdiocese spokeswoman said she hasn't seen Thursday's suits and could not comment, but she said the Archdiocese acknowledges substantiated sexual abuse allegations against the two priests.
   One suit focuses on the Rev. John Curran, who died in 2000 after more than 50 years serving the church. It claims Curran "fraternized with groups of children" and lured children to his room at St. Christina Parish in the city's Mount Greenwood section, where he served from 1980 to 1993. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM, April 27, 2012 

At trial, following a defrocked priest's 25-year trail

  [25yrs. Fr David Sicoli. Teenage boys.]   
   Philadelphia Inquirer, <http://­www.­­philly/­news/br­eaking/­149175825­.html>, By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER,
   PHILADELPHIA (PA) - For weeks, jurors at the Philadelphia clergy sex-abuse trial have sat through a meticulous paper case, hearing painstaking recitations of every complaint, memo, or interview related to priests suspected, but not charged, with abusing minors over the last half-century.
   Time and again, one question has been left dangling: Where are these priests now?
   On Thursday, a prosecutor and an investigator sought to answer that at the start of their presentation on the Rev. David Sicoli, a former pastor who was transferred eight times in 25 years amid a trail of complaints about his infatuation and misconduct with teen boys.
   Sicoli was removed from ministry in 2004 and defrocked four years later. Church officials ultimately logged at least 11 credible claims against him. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM, April 27, 2012 

Shatter row over priest libel drags on

  [Priest allegedly defamed.]   
   Irish Independent, <http://­www.­­national-news/shatter-row-over-priest-libel-drags-on-3093707.html>, By Mark Hilliard and Fionnan Sheahan, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter remained under pressure last night to apologise for supporting the RTE programme that defamed Fr Kevin Reynolds.
   Mr Shatter made a public statement the morning after the RTE 'Prime Time Investigates' programme last year, which falsely accused the Galway priest of rape and of fathering a daughter with a Kenyan woman.
   The minister said at the time he had watched the programme with a "sense of revulsion" at the unspeakable catalogue of abuse against children it had revealed.
   Mr Shatter also contacted Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan about the programme - saying that people were entitled to be reassured that everything was being done to counteract this "evil". Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM, April 27, 2012 

Garry O'Sullivan: Muzzling of the church's liberal wing is bizarre

   Irish Independent, Friday April 27 2012
   IRELAND - FATHER Brian D'Arcy was the inspiration for the character that would eventually become comedian Dermot Morgan's Fr Trendy, which later morphed into Fr Ted.
   The recent clampdowns on him and other Irish liberal priests can only be described as 'Ted-esque' such is their bizarre nature and timing.
   But there is nothing 'Ted-esque' about Fr D'Arcy, perhaps Ireland's best-known priest, a celebrity in his own right.
   Fr D'Arcy is an intelligent, articulate man and priest, who knows his people and whom his flock know as a warm, caring, loving and, above all, honest and courageous figure.
   This is a priest who physically got sick when he read the Murphy Report on abuse. Posted by Kathy Shaw, April 27, 2012, at 6:27 AM
//////\\\\ END of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker www.­­abuse­tracker , Fri. April 27, 2012
• 'I found McKenna, son in bed'.  [Dennis McKenna (not to be confused with Neil McKenna).  Government-owned hostel.  Boy boarders (but girls figure in other court reports).]    

‘I found McKenna, son in bed’

   The West Australian, <http://­>, <letters § wanews com au>, by Gary Adshead, p 7, Friday, May 11, 2012
   The father of two boys sexually abused by Dennis John McKenna has given dramatic evidence in private about the day he found the hostel warden in bed with one of his sons.
   Details of Keith Stephens' appearance before an inquiry this week were released yesterday and contain one of the most concerning accounts of McKenna's 15-year reign at St Andrew's Hostel in Katanning.
   Mr Stephens, who was also on the hostel board in the 1970s and '80s, said he had gone to see McKenna when he discovered him in bed with his son Kerryn in 1976.
   "Yes, I saw them in bed," he told retired judge Peter Blaxell's inquiry on Wednesday.  "I'm not happy about that, but that was a relief, because it was something I didn't know about otherwise."
   In February, Kerryn Stephens revealed to the inquiry that his father did nothing when told McKenna was abusing him.  "Stop telling lies and get on with it," was how he recounted the time he confronted his father.
   On Wednesday, Keith Stephens said he could not recall that conversation, but clearly remembered what happened after seeing McKenna in bed with his son.
   "He (McKenna) said to me, 'If you say anything about what you saw I will destroy you'," Mr Stephens told the inquiry.
   The warden, who wielded influence over the town, said he would force Mr Stephens off his farm and wreck his marriage.  Now aged 75, Mr Stephens talked about the incident with his wife Shirley and they decided that McKenna was "just good friends" with their son and they would not take the issue further.
   Looking back on the decision and the fact McKenna was charged in 1990 with molesting a number of hostel boys, Mr Stephens said he struggled to cope with it all.
   "Oh, horror," he said. "Absolute horror. Tore me to bits." Lawyer assisting the inquiry, Philip Urquhart, asked:  "Did you ever think you should have done something different when you'd seen your son in bed with Dennis?"
   Mr Stephens: "When we saw Dennis being arrested in Katanning?  Yeah, of course we should.  Oh, gee.  Yeah, Shirley and I sat down and we cried and we cried."
   Blaming his decision on a mix of naivety and concern for his family and his standing in the community, he agreed that when McKenna was charged he did not even know the definition of a paedophile. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  St Andrew's Hostel in Katanning.
   "Yes, I saw them in bed," he told retired judge Peter Blaxell's inquiry on Wednesday. "I'm not happy about that, but that was a relief, because it was something I didn't know about otherwise." ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  I wonder whose idea it was to have the hostel called "St Andrew's".  Making religion a cloak for malice, perhaps ?
   The father saw his own son in bed with a grown-up man, and treats it as gaining a bit of knowledge !  Is humanity really that stupid ?  When his son tells him of the seductions, the father still can't think straight.  With people like him in the world, it is a wonder the world is not in a worse mess !  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [ANOTHER NEWSITEM:  "Brother was born a sex offender", by Gary Adshead and Jayne Rickard, same paper, same issue, same page.  In this, one of the five McKenna brothers is reported as saying he didn't think that when one brother had boys sitting on his lap there was anything much wrong with it, and when his brother made jokes about the size of boys's penises, he thought there was nothing more to it than that.  What planet are these people from ?  ENDS.]
[May 11, 2012]

• Child migrant abuse revealed.  [Fairbridge Farm School, near Pinjarra, W. Australia.  Child migrants forced or tricked into becoming "migrants" to Australia, and some were harmed.  Non-government group in charge.]       

Child migrant abuse revealed

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, <http://­­thewest/a/-/breaki­ng/1378­4175/child-migrant-abuse-revealed/>, Joseph Catanzaro, joseph catanzaro § wanews com au, 2:50 am, Updated May 26, 2012
   The full extent of sexual, physical and psychological abuse suffered by hundreds of child migrants sent forcibly to Fairbridge Farm School in Pinjarra can be revealed for the first time.
   Figures obtained exclusively during a four-month investigation by The Weekend West show that 205 child migrants who were among those sent to the institution between 1930 and 1981 have been awarded more than $1.1 million in ex gratia payments.
   The payments were made under the Redress WA scheme for children abused in State care.
   The staggering number of payouts came to light after child migrants broke decades of silence to expose incidences of paedophilia, pack rape, brutal beatings and slave labour-like conditions that have scarred them for life.
   Emboldened by the figures after years of being afraid to speak out for fear of derision, six victims have shared the truth of their time at the Pinjarra farm school with The Weekend West.
   They say the long-held fallacy has finally been shattered that Fairbridge was "better" than other child migrant institutions.
   The veracity of the accounts from victims has been bolstered by previously sealed documents held in Britain which show authorities ignored warnings from whistleblowers about the abuse.
   And in a further twist, the farm school's 99-year-old registry book, in which the personal details of 1500 child migrants were recorded on their arrival in WA, has turned up decades after it was thought to be lost for ever.
   Inside the pages of the enormous tome is a wad of files no one knew existed which paint a harrowing picture of despair of the first two shiploads of youths sent out to work across WA.
   Marcelle O'Brien, 67, was four years old when she arrived at Fairbridge in 1949.  From the age of six she was beaten and humiliated by the "cottage mother" who had the job of raising her.
   She was called a liar when, as a teenager, she mustered the courage to tell Fairbridge staff she had been pack raped and molested on two occasions while under their care.
   "They said, 'If it did happen you let it happen'," she said.
   "They didn't want to know. It wasn't just me. There were lots of others."
   Ms O'Brien received $45,000 compensation under Redress WA - about $4000 for every year she spent being brutalised at Fairbridge.
   Christopher Pinnegar, 71, who arrived at Fairbridge in 1950 aged nine, said he was sexually molested by an older child migrant.
   He was too afraid to tell his cottage mother, who had earlier bashed him for reporting a bullying incident.
   One child migrant, who did not wished to be named, said there were at least three paedophiles among Fairbridge staff who preyed on children in the 1950s.
   The Weekend West has also obtained a written account from a child migrant who is now dead in which he claimed he and other children were raped by an adult staff member.
   Details will be published in a special report on Monday.
   In a 1949 report provided to the British Home Office, former Fairbridge principal Dallas Patterson warned of rampant abuse at the farm school.
   But his detailed accounts of "exploitation", "slavery" and sexual abuse as far back as the 1930s were ignored and children continued to be sent.
   Child migrant and former Labor MP Mike Barnett said he believed Fairbridge had dodged the same level of scrutiny and subsequent infamy applied to other child migrant institutions because of its patronage from British royalty and a WA board that was stacked with local movers and shakers.
   He said the number of applications accepted under Redress WA had vindicated victims and shattered the illusion Fairbridge was the "role model" child migrant institution.
   "It demonstrates that what we knew occurred in other child migrant establishments like Bindoon, is also the sort of behaviour that occurred in Fairbridge Farm School," he said. "Two-hundred people are impossible to ignore."
   Founded in 1912 by South African Kingsley Fairbridge, about 3500 children were sent to the farm under various migration programs until it closed its doors in 1981.
   Fairbridge WA Inc, the modern-day organisation that operates on part of the old farm school site, is a charitable organisation which formed in 1983.
   Chief executive officer Mark Anderson said it did not have anything to do with child migration.
   Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney, whose office confirmed the number of ex gratia payments made to Fairbridge child migrants, said Redress WA had inadvertently set history straight by providing figures for the levels of abuse at institutions such as Fairbridge.
   Det-Sgt Greg Hill, from the child abuse squad, said police were still reviewing Redress applications involving Fairbridge but were not currently investigating any cases.
   Follow on Twitter #

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[May 26, 2012]

• Paedophile's years of abuse.  [Mr R.E.Excell. Product of Fairbridge Farm School for child migrants, and went back to help. Operated by private beneficent organisation.]     

Paedophile’s years of abuse

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, <http://­­local/­wa/a/-/latest­/13793542/­paedoph­iles-years-of-abuse/>, by Joseph Catanzaro, 7:12 am, May 28, 2012
   One of WA's most notorious paedophiles was secretly preying on boys at Fairbridge Farm School more than a decade before his first arrest on sexual abuse charges, a victim has revealed.
   Robert Ernest Excell, who attained notoriety for spending 37 years in WA prisons after a string of sex crimes against children as young as seven, can now be shown to have begun a lifetime of child rape earlier than ever suspected.
   Revelations about his unpunished, early crimes against young children have emerged along with evidence Excell was himself a victim of sexual abuse at Fairbridge.
   Documentation obtained by The West Australian, including an unpublished manuscript the sex offender wrote in prison, shows Excell was forcibly sent to the Fairbridge Farm School as a child migrant where he says he was sexually abused by staff during the 1950s.
   The serial sex fiend's previously hidden reign of terror at the farm school is the latest bombshell to rock the ailing Fairbridge reputation, after The Weekend West revealed that more than 200 child migrants forcibly sent to the institution have been awarded more than $1.1 million in ex-gratia payments by the WA Government for sexual, psychological and physical abuse they suffered there while in State care.
   A child migrant, who asked not to be named, has spoken out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Excell.
   He said he was one of several children who were molested by Excell in the 1950s when the paedophile was a teenager.
   The child migrant said he was too afraid to report the incident to Fairbridge staff at the time.
   "This bloke (Excell), he threatened us," he said. "I was a young bloke and he was near enough to being as big as a full-sized man. When you've got a bloke like that you just shut up."
   The West Australianhas sighted the Redress WA application in which the victim detailed Excell's abuse.
   The WA Government, which accepted the victim's claim, awarded him just over $10,000.
   Alarmingly, the child migrant said he believed the extent of Excell's sex crimes against Fairbridge children could be much more widespread, because after leaving the institution staff allowed him to return and "help out, with the kids."
   In a 99-year-old registry book - missing for decades until it was anonymously dropped off at the farm school last year - Excell is listed as having arrived at Fairbridge on June 24, 1950, at age 11.
   Excell, who says he was first molested as a boy in Britain, wrote that he was raped by a staff member at Fairbridge.
   In his prison manuscript, Excell wrote that his abuser was still working at Fairbridge and molesting children there when he returned at age 21. He said the children had asked him if he was aware this staff member was a predator.
   "I said I knew that from when I was a kid, they said he had a couple of regulars and kept them in money."
   Excell also chillingly wrote of the sickening thoughts going through his tortured mind when he took children on unsupervised outings.
   "They all went in swimming. In my mind was to ask them if the sex stuff still went on in the cottages - right at that moment I felt like holding one of them."
   He admitted touching at least one child under the guise of "fooling around" and wrote that he wanted the minor to commit sex acts on him.
   One child migrant, who did not wished to be named, said there were at least three paedophiles among the Fairbridge staff that preyed on children in the 1950s.
   Excell was first jailed in 1965 after he sodomised a seven-year-old boy. In 1973, he raped a nine-year-old boy and in 1977, he raped a 13-year-old boy.
   Excell was freed in 1981 but within 18 months was charged with sex crimes against a nine and 10-year-old boy. Excell drove the children to the Fairbridge area where he made them commit indecent acts with each other and with him.
   In July 2005, former attorney-general Jim McGinty deported him to Britain.
   In May 2010, a British tabloid photographed him reportedly "leering" at schoolchildren.
   He died in January last year, aged 72, according to reports in the British press. Fairbridge WA Inc, the modern day organisation that operates on part of the old farm school site, was formed in 1983 and has no links with child migration. #

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[May 28, 2012]

• 'Horrifying' child abuse uncovered.  Secret report.  [Christian Brothers; Sisters of Mercy. Roman Catholic Church (RCC). 26% sexually abused (based on 118 surveyed).  Beltings also.  > 150 surveyed, > 80% harmed.  Child "migrants."] 
[Bindoon Boys Town (a rural place), Clontarf, and Castledare (both metropolitan) feature again.]  [Legal action in U.S.A.]      United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

‘Horrifying’ child abuse uncovered

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, by Joseph Catanzaro, p 11, Wednesday, May 30, 2012
   A damning report that found more than 80 per cent of child migrants at several WA institutions were abused can now be exposed almost 20 years after it was made secret.
   The hidden research came to light after WA child migrants said yesterday they had renewed legal action against Catholic orders the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy for alleged international crimes against children.
   The explosive findings about sexual and physical abuse collated by psychologist Juanita Miller-Berry in 1993 are due to be released in September next year when a 20-year suppression is lifted.
   Ms Miller-Berry surveyed more than 150 child migrants for an honours thesis that Murdoch University embargoed because of factors including that she had received death threats.  But after decades of forced silence, the now 64-year-old psychologist has the university's permission to discuss the full findings of her research.
   Of 118 former child migrants she surveyed who attended Christian Brothers institutions Bindoon Boys Town, Clontarf and Castledare, 81 per cent said they were abused in some way and 26 per cent reported sexual abuse.
   In 40 face-to-face interviews, 89 per cent reported abuse, with 56 per cent saying it was sexual abuse and 32 per cent saying they were "violently sexually abused".
   Ms Miller-Berry said the findings, which include names of alleged abusers and details of paedophile rings, were "horrifying".
   "There was hardly anything I could say at the time, only that the guys had reported being anally penetrated and having their testicles fondled," she said.

   Michael O'Donoghue, 69, was 11 when sent to Clontarf in 1953.
   After being flogged and sexually abused by Christian Brothers, he said Ms Miller-Berry's research "vindicated" child migrants who suffered decades of derision.
   It showed why Catholic orders still needed to account for alleged misdeeds.
   [Legal action in U.S.A.]
   Oliver Cosgrove, 63, who was sent to WA in 1953 to institutions including Castledare, is in a small group to renew legal action against Catholic orders using an old loophole in US law that allows foreigners to sue for "international crimes".
   They seek damages from the Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and 10 other Catholic bodies involved in child migration for alleged child trafficking and slavery.
   The matter was thrown out of the US District Court last year but an appeal is due next month.
   In 1996, the Christian Brothers settled out of court with some 250 child migrants for $5 million.
   Christian Brothers spokesman Brian Brandon said the order had "the utmost concern and respect" for its former wards and offered services to support them.
   The Sisters of Mercy said they were "committed to working with any person" who believed he or she had a complaint against the order.
   Murdoch University declined to comment. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  Juanita Miller-Berry had received death threats. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  I wonder would the death threats have come from Church members with a similar mindset to the person who wrote a letter to an R.C. paper saying that all the Apostles were celibate, or the paper sub-editors who did not insert a footnote to say that the evidence was scanty, but that it was most unlikely.  Such people also believe that the Bible doesn't really mean that Jesus had brothers and sisters (believing the Roman Church's dogma that Mary was ever a virgin), even though it is obvious that Jesus did have four named brothers and some sisters.  In fact, one of His brothers, James, became leader of the Christians in Jerusalem.
   Such unbalanced puritanical views can lead some zealots to have unbalanced opinions on what to do with people who reveal such uncomfortable facts as the harming of children, or even relate the trial of the corpse of Pope Formosus, or the poisonings by the Borgia popes, or the orders to completely destroy the reformed Church people in France, and to burn "heretics" and supposed witches in much of Europe.  COMMENT ENDS.]
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[May 30, 2012]

• Sex accused can work with kids.  Department powerless.  [General community.]     

Sex accused can work with kids

   The West Australian, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, <http://­­thewest/a/-/newsho­me/1383­3063/­sex-accused-can-work-with-kids/>, by Joseph Catanzaro, EXCLUSIVE, The West Australian, Webpage Updated June 1, 2012, 2:40 am, page 5, Friday, June 1, 2012
   Fifteen people accused of child abuse have been found to have accreditation to work with children in WA.
   The allegations against the working with children cardholders were uncovered by sex crime division detectives who are assessing applications made under the Redress WA scheme for children abused in State care.
   But the Department for Child Protection said yesterday it was powerless to act against the 15 "persons of interest" identified by police.
   Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said she was "very concerned" about the allegations but said that under current law her department could only revoke or suspend accreditation as a result of relevant criminal charges.
   Her comments sparked outrage from Labor and the Greens, who both called on Mrs McSweeney to direct her department to immediately investigate the 15 alleged child sex offenders.
   Shadow child protection minister Sue Ellery said the department and minister had a legal obligation to ensure children were not in danger.
   Greens MP Alison Xamon said it was increasingly evident the allegations coming out of the Redress scheme were not just historical and child sex offenders who preyed on children decades ago could still pose a threat.
   "It is absolutely horrifying that people may have been able to get away with working with children and abusing them for decades," Ms Xamon said.
   Hansard shows that the Government has been aware since November of the allegations against at least eight of the alleged child sex offenders.
   Police have confirmed 691 of 2214 accepted Redress applications have been referred to them at the request of people who allege they were sexually and physically abused while child wards of the State.
   A police spokesman said it was "difficult" to say how long it would take to finish their review of allegations of abuse.
   He revealed two new investigations into alleged child sex crimes had been launched as a result of the Redress assessment, which has already provided information that directly led to charges against Neil McKenna from St Andrew's Hostel in Katanning and a 71-year-old man.
   Victims of abuse can call 1800 619795 for support
Follow on Twitter #

   [COMMENT:  Are the politicians really so stupid that in more than a century of Western Australian self-government they have not passed a law or gazetted a regulation to prevent child sexual seducers from working with children ?  No wonder the world is in a big mess !  COMMENT ENDS.]
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[p 5, Jun 1, 2012]

• McKenna appeals.  [Neil McKenna (a brother of Dennis McKenna). A State Government hostel, with the "churchy" name of "St Andrew's Hostel." Schoolgirl boarders.]     

McKenna appeals

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, p 15, Friday, June 1, 2012
   Child molester Neil Vincent McKenna, who was jailed for more than six years for sexually abusing a teenage girl when he was warden at Katanning's St Andrew's Hostel, has launched an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
   District Court Judge Anthony Derrick jailed McKenna, 53, for six years and three months after he found him guilty after a trial without a jury of three offences of molesting and raping a 15-year-old female boarder in 1991.
   In appeal notices this week, McKenna's lawyer Patti Chong argued Judge Derrick did not properly direct himself on the dangers of cases involving long delays in bringing forward an allegation.
   McKenna was acquitted of sexually abusing two other teenage girls. #

   [COMMENT:  Both brothers worked at the same Government-run hostel.  Courts have been told that one homed in on boys, and this brother targeted girls.  COMMENT ENDS.]
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[p 15, Jun 1, 2012]

• Child abuse spectre over 26 institutions.  [Government, private, and Christian Churches.]     

Child abuse spectre over 26 institutions

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, <http://­­thewest/­a/-/newsho­me/1391­7085/ch­ild-abuse-spectre-over-26-institu­tions/>, EXCLUSIVE, By Joseph Catanzaro and Kate Bastians, Pages One and 10-11, Monday, June 11, 2012
  [Picture] Melting pot: Noel Sharp says he was seven when he was used as slave labour at Parkerville orphanage.    Picture: Gary Warner / Geraldton Guardian  
   More than 20 WA institutions have been implicated in cases of child abuse and neglect, The West Australian can reveal.
   Religious orders and government agencies are among the long list of organisations behind the facilities that have been linked to claims including sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
   The institutions involved
   The State Government has confirmed that 22 institutions were named by child victims in successful applications alleging abuse lodged under the Redress WA scheme.
   Ex-gratia payouts of up to $45,000 have since been offered to victims who attended those facilities.
   The latest 22 facilities implicated brings the tally of institutions in WA hit with allegations of child abuse to 26. But the Department for Communities, which was responsible for administering 5345 ex-gratia payments under the Redress WA scheme for children abused in State care, has indicated the taint of the scandal could be more widespread.
   A department spokeswoman admitted the institutions were "some of the facilities" that been implicated in child abuse claims made under Redress WA.
   The list came to light as a victim from one of the newly implicated institutions spoke out about the slave labour-like conditions and sexual abuse he was subjected to.
   Advocates and the Greens, who along with the State Opposition have called on the Government to launch a royal commission into the growing scandal surrounding the mistreatment of youths in State care, said the new list showed the previously hidden abuse inflicted on children in WA was more widespread than has been acknowledged.
   Greens MP Alison Xamon said evidence emerging showed abuse in WA was systemic.
   "Anyone who has any involvement with this knows it is clear that the number of institutions involved is far bigger than what people have previously understood," she said. Noel Sharp, 76, was seven when he was placed in Parkerville Children's Home following the death of his mother. He said between 1946 and 1952, he was used as slave labour at the orphanage, which is on the new list facing allegations.
   Mr Sharp says he was frequently denied schooling and instead forced to perform manual labour for up to seven hours a day.
   Mr Sharp says he was sexually abused between the ages of 12 and 13 by a public servant. He shied away from going into painful detail about his ordeal.
   "It was as bad as it can get," he said. "You're in bed, with an adult man on top of you, and you can't go anywhere. When I complained to the manager I got a belting for lodging a complaint."
   Mr Sharp, who lodged three pages detailing abuse in his Redress WA application, received an ex-gratia payment of $28,000. Ms Xamon said it was important to note that many of the institutions linked to claims of abuse that were still providing services today, including Ngala and Wanslea, had modernised and were now "leaders in the field" in services for children and families.
   Last month, The Weekend West revealed that 205 British child migrants sent to Fairbridge Farm School had been awarded ex-gratia payments under Redress WA.
   The Clan Leavers Australian Network (CLAN), which advocates for former State wards, foster children and children raised in orphanages, said the new list showed the abuse in WA went well beyond child migrants and the stolen generation.
   CLAN executive officer Leonie Sheedy backed a view held by Labor and the Greens that a royal commission could help provide justice to victims and bring perpetrators to account.
   The Department for Communities spokeswoman said a breakdown of the types of abuse alleged to have occurred at the 22 institutions could not be provided because of privacy issues.
   Victims of abuse can call 1800 619 795 for support.
   Follow on Twitter #

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[June 11, 2012]

• Church assisting paedophile priests.  [Years. Roman Catholic Church (RCC)]    

Church assisting paedophile priests

   The Age (daily, Melbourne, Vic., Australia), (established 1854) 250 Spencer St, Melbourne. <http://­www.­­victoria/church-assisting-paedophile-priests-20120614-20d4x.h­tml#ixz­z1yo­ghEfVS>, By Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, June 15, 2012
   Convicted paedophile priests are receiving financial support from Melbourne's Catholic archdiocese. Photo: Michele Mossop
   The archdiocese has disclosed to The Age that it is providing significant financial support to four clergy released from jail after serving sentences for child sex abuse.
   Victim support groups say more clergy found either by police or internal church investigations to have abused children are likely to be receiving financial support from different Catholic orders outside the Melbourne archdiocese's control.
   A spokesman for the Melbourne archdiocese said church law required the bishop to "ensure appropriate financial support is provided to all priests". "The archdiocese contributes to rental support and health insurance for four priests who have had their faculties to function as a priest withdrawn, been convicted of child sex offences and completed any term of imprisonment imposed by the courts."
   Paedophile priest Victor Rubeo was receiving financial support until his death last year.
   A fifth paedophile priest within the Melbourne archdiocese, Victor Rubeo, was also receiving financial support until his death in December last year, on the day he was to face a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court over 30 fresh child sex abuse charges.
   Director of victims support group In Good Faith and Associates, Helen Last, said the generous financial support to paedophile priests was unjust compared with the financial, physical and emotional hardship endured by those who have been abused.
   "This seems to be a weak response in terms of discipline and there should be an examination of the archdiocese's relationship with clerical sexual offenders," she said. "The victims are often left out in the cold with no ongoing financial support and help. The money the {convicted} priests get from the church makes it a very unjust situation and demonstrates no awareness by the church of the seriousness of sexual crime."
   Ms Last called on the archdiocese to disclose how many clergy it had confirmed through its own internal investigations had abused children - but were not reported to police - were also receiving financial support.
   A spokesman for the Broken Rites victim support group said: "If abusive clergy receive ongoing support from the church, this shields the offenders from the harsh reality of the long-term harm that they have done to victims."
   The issue of the handling of child sexual abuse within religious organisations is to be investigated by a Victorian parliamentary inquiry. A state government source has confirmed the inquiry will have the power to override any confidentiality agreements abuse victims have signed to receive compensation from religious organisations. #

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[Jun 15, 2012]

• Call for adverse findings for trio.  Hostel inquiry.  [1970s-1990s. School principal, two board chairmen. State-run students' hostel, with a holy name, but alleged unholy seductions.]     

Call for adverse findings for trio

   The West Australian, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, by Kate Campbell, p 20, Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24, 2012
   Adverse findings should be made against three men accused of inaction and sweeping child sex abuse allegations under the carpet while they were in positions of authority at Katanning's St Andrew's Hostel, an inquiry was told yesterday.
   Former Supreme Court judge Peter Blaxell is heading the inquiry into the State-run hostel where former warden Dennis John McKenna molested boys from 1975 to 1990. McKenna has been jailed for abusing 11 boys.
   Counsel assisting the inquiry Philip Urquhart recommended to Mr Blaxell yesterday that he should make adverse findings against former Katanning Senior High School principal Ian Murray and former chairmen of the St Andrew's board, Keith Stephens and Alan Parks.
   Mr Urquhart said the trio failed in their responsibilities to protect the boarders in the hostel's care.
   He said Mr Murray, who staunchly supported McKenna when he was first charged in 1991, should be condemned for dismissing a complaint made to him by one of McKenna's victims, Todd Jefferis, and his family and for encouraging an "overt public display of support" for the accused warden.
   Another recommended adverse finding involves evidence by school guidance counsellor Nikola MacLennan, who told the inquiry that Mr Murray had ordered her not to have dealings with St Andrew's boarders and if any came to her she was to refer them to McKenna.
   Mr Urquhart said adverse findings should be made against Mr Stephens, a former board member and chairman and father to two hostel boarders, because he did nothing when one of his sons confessed to him McKenna was abusing him and even when he caught his son in bed with McKenna.
   In a short statement by Mr Stephens, read out yesterday, he claimed at no time during his board tenure did he believe any hostel students, including his children, were in danger. "If I could change what happened I would," he said.
   Mr Urquhart also urged Mr Blaxell to consider an adverse finding against Mr Parks for failing to take any action about McKenna despite repeated information, warnings and allegations about inappropriate behaviour.
   Mr Blaxell is due to submit his report by July 18. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  Mr Urquhart said adverse findings should be made against Mr Stephens, a former board member and chairman and father to two hostel boarders, because he did nothing when one of his sons confessed to him McKenna was abusing him and even when he caught his son in bed with McKenna. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  Truth is stranger than fiction !  COMMENT ENDS.]
[June 23-24, 2012]

• Priest guilty of hiding abuse.  [1992 to 2004. Monsignor William Lynn (61). Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Sentencing due August 13.]   

Priest guilty of hiding abuse

   The Age (daily, Melbourne, Vic., Australia), (established 1854) 250 Spencer St, Melbourne, <http://­www.­­world/p­riest-guilty-of-hiding-abuse-20120623-20uxg.­html>, by Jon Hurdle and Erik Eckholm, Sunday, June 24, 2012
   Faces prison: Monsignor William Lynn, the first senior official of the US Catholic Church found to have covered up sexual abuses. Photo: AP
   MONSIGNOR William Lynn, a former archbishop's aide, has been found guilty of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Catholic Church in the United States convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision.
   The 12-member jury acquitted Lynn, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, of conspiracy and a second count of endangerment after a trial that prosecutors and victims rights groups called a turning point in the abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church.
   The single guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney's office, which has been investigating the archdiocese since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes.
   Lynn, 61, sat impassively as the jury foreman announced the verdicts. Judge M. Teresa Sarmina of the Common Pleas Court revoked his bail, and the monsignor stood up, removed his clerical jacket and was led by sheriff's deputies to a holding cell area. His conviction, on the 13th day of deliberations, could result in a prison term of 3½ to seven years; sentencing is set for August 13.
   The three-month trial cast a harsh light on the top leadership of the archdiocese, especially Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, whom Lynn advised. Bevilacqua and his aides, the prosecutors argued, sought to avoid scandal and lawsuits at almost any price.
   Lynn served as secretary for clergy for the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, recommending priest assignments and investigating abuse complaints. Prosecutors presented a flood of evidence that Lynn had not acted strongly to keep suspected molesters away from children, let alone to report them to law enforcement. Lynn's lawyers are expected to appeal.
   □ A US college football coach, Jerry Sandusky, has been convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. A jury on Friday found him guilty of 45 of 48 charges. Sandusky, 68, faces life in prison.
[Jun 24, 2012]

• The Zone: Judy .  Full transcript.  [RCC in Victoria.]     

The Zone: Judy

Full transcript: Judy
   The Age (daily, Melbourne, Vic., Australia), (established 1854) 250 Spencer St, Melbourne, <http://­www.­­nationa­l/full-trans­cript-judy- -20120624-20w4u­.html>, Michael Short interviews Judy , Monday, June 25, 2012
   VIDEO caption: The Zone: Judy . Lawyer Judy speaks on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.
   Michael Short: Judy , thank you for your time, and welcome to The Zone.
   Judy : Thank you, Michael, for inviting me.
   MS: You are you a lawyer doing a PhD on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Can we begin, please Judy, with the size and scope of the issue?
   JC: This is something we don't know. This is one of the very important issues or questions that an inquiry, a properly constituted commission of inquiry, should be doing. So we don't know the prevalence, we don't know the incidence.
   There is one known statistic coming out of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, which says that about 10 per cent of adults who were sexually assaulted as children will ever report to the police. The process called the Melbourne Response – that is, the process set up by the Melbourne Archdiocese to investigate complaints against Catholic clergy, reported about a year ago that about 450 complaints had been lodged since 1996.
   Recently the Archdiocese said they had investigated about 330 complaints. Either way, if that represents that 10 per cent figure, that's a lot; between 3,500 and 4,500. That is just the Melbourne Archdiocese. The Melbourne Archdiocese only deals with diocesan priests. They don't deal with all the religious orders such as the Christian Brothers or Salesians, for example. And the Melbourne Archdiocese is just one geographical area. So, if we have a possible 3,500 to 4,500 victims just from diocesan priests, how many victims are there across the state?
   The breadth of the problem is obviously vast, but we do not know the precise extent. And we are just looking there at the original assaults – the sex crimes and the rapes. We’re not looking, for example, at the incidence of premature death, suicide, alcohol addiction, drug addiction and all the other complications or consequences of these crimes, including the life-long impacts on family members.
   MS: The Victorian Government has recently announced an inquiry into this abuse and the Catholic Church’s response. What is your response to the government's move?
   JC: It is grossly inadequate. The terms of reference and the announcement from the government, has the Catholic Church written all over it.
   The Baillieu government, despite being dragged kicking and screaming all the way, did finally succumb to mounting public pressure and announced a parliamentary inquiry into the way in which religious and other organisations handle sexual abuse complaints.
   The announcement came initially as a relief for victims and their families. It is a first for Australia and is to be applauded. But the applause should not go the government, but to the victims, their families and the many workers behind the scenes who have been pushing for justice in this area for years.
   There are several fundamental inadequacies with this inquiry.
   Firstly, the government is justifying the use of a Parliamentary inquiry on the basis that it is more friendly, less legalistic, less formal and much better for victims. That is sheer nonsense. Victims are neither afraid of, nor concerned about, a Royal Commission. They want a Royal Commission – they want an inquiry that has the requisite legal and forensic teeth to deal with the powerful church.  Victims haven't done anything wrong. They would welcome it. They want the truth to be out.
   The only people that would be concerned about a more legalistic and formal Royal Commission, would be the wrongdoers – the guilty ones. So the rationale behind the government’s position is nonsense. That's number one.
   Secondly, the terms of reference are very broad and the Committee’s task is enormous. This Inquiry includes all religious organisations and NGOs (non-government organisations).
   But I'll stick with the Catholic Church. The terms of reference deal with Towards Healing and Melbourne Response, fundamentally, and what those processes involve; are they covering up crimes; are cases being reported to the police and those sorts of questions. But, they are silent on the vital issue of premature deaths and suicides of people who have a history of clergy sexual assaults.
   These suicides would have already been to the coroner, who would have made a finding at the time of the death. The details of the 50 or more suicides of which we know, need to go back to the coroner, who has the power to re-open these cases, set aside any earlier finding and re-investigate. But this time, the coroner will be re-investigating new facts and information – that is, all of these cases have a history of clergy sexual assaults. The original coroner’s investigations would have been held within a vacuum – this time, the common theme or history connecting these tragedies is the clergy sex crimes.
   Victoria Police has held this information for more than a year. When asked, a few months ago, why they had not made what is called a s.77 Application to the Coroner’s Court, the reply was that these cases were complex and more time was needed. When asked again recently, the official response was that Victoria Police is now waiting until the Parliamentary Inquiry is completed. But the terms of reference for this Inquiry do not address this very important issue. Why is Victoria Police stalling?
   Unless the inquiry is resourced a whole lot better, how's it going to deal with thousands and thousands of documents and files. Melbourne Response and Towards Healing, the Archdiocese and all the different dioceses and parishes around the state – what about all those documents? Who is going to read them? Who is going to have the requisite forensic expertise and experience to deal effectively with these? Who is going to have the forensic expertise and experience to question witnesses?
   Everyone has talked about the six members of the inquiry – four of them being within the first year or 18 months of being in Parliament and there's not a lawyer there. We need an inquiry, a commission of inquiry, that matches equally the might of the church. The church is powerful. It is wealthy. It spends millions on already convicted paedophiles, for example.
   So, it is wealthy, it is powerful and it is incredibly legalistic and adversarial. I have interviewed a lot of lawyers who represent victims – and some of them have hundreds of clients – and, with the exception of one lawyer, all the rest say the Catholic Church, compared with other religious organisations, is more adversarial, legalistic and difficult to deal with.
   The Catholic church is not going to suddenly change its modus operandi, and this sort of inquiry cannot match that might. Also, although the inquiry has the power to compel witnesses and evidence, the sanction for not appearing or for non-production of documents, is lame. The Committee itself cannot do anything about that. The Committee must refer the matter to Parliament for it to find that that person is in contempt. This is rare in Victoria – I think there was one case, back in about 1960, and the sanction was they had to spend one night in the clink. That is the sanction. It's not much of a deterrence.
   The Catholic Church has a history of keeping everything behind closed doors. This leads to another inadequacy with this Inquiry. The committee has a discretionary power to hold some hearings in private. It could be for the benefit of the victims, and that's fine as they have to tell their gruesome story.
   But the terms of reference also say “for any other reasons”. What does that mean? The Catholic Church is very well backed in a legal sense. It may well argue a case to have their hearings in private. That is just more of the same – everything behind closed doors. Such lack of transparency is potentially quite dangerous.
   Funding for Parliamentary Committees was cut in the recent State budget. This places even more pressure on the pressed bipartisan Family and Community Development Committee, which is also working on two other Inquiries: Inquiry into Opportunities for Participation by Victorian Seniors (due to be tabled by 30 June 2012) and an Inquiry into Workforce Participation by People with Mental Illness (to be tabled by 30 September 2012).
   As it is required by law for this committee to complete these two inquiries before it can commence its new inquiry in full, it will not be until October that the Committee can properly dedicate itself to these multiple and profoundly complex issues relating to sexual crimes and the Church’s processes of dealing with them. The Committee is due to hand its report to Parliament in April 2013. This increasingly watered-down inquiry is an insult to the many thousands of people in this state affected by the suicides and premature deaths, the crimes and the church’s ongoing cover-up.
   MS: When you started that answer, Judy, you talked about there being signs of the Catholic Church being all over this. Do you think the Catholic Church has somehow got to the highest levels of power in this state and influenced the outcome in terms of the structure and operation of the inquiry?
   JC: Yes I do. I want to go back a step: I am a mediator. And in mediation the disputing parties are often quite stuck in their positions. We try to look beneath those positions and look at what are called the parties’ interests – the things they are concerned about and find important.
   In coming up with a solution or an outcome, we try and address those interests – those needs and concerns. We dig underneath. Now, if the government was serious about this, they would have taken notice of all the interests of the victims and their families. But, from what I can see, the Catholic Church’s interests have been given paramountcy.
   MS: So is it fair to say that you are saying that the government is incompetent or unduly influenced?
   JC: I think the latter. I was at the press conference, and I asked the Attorney General ‘can you tell me what is it about this issue that is not deserving of a Royal Commission?’. Look at the history of Royal Commissions into disasters in Victoria:  Westgate Bridge collapse, the Esso Longford gas explosion and the bushfires: All of these disasters, tragically, involved deaths. Nobody questioned that they were deserving of a Royal Commission. Also, those three disasters were one-off tragic events. The decades of premature deaths, suicides and life-long harm for victims relating to clergy abuse are ongoing.
   MS: You have got all of those factors, plus it is endemic in this case…
   JC: Correct. And ongoing. We have the deaths, and it is ongoing. There is no end to it.
   MS: So the government really should have called a Royal Commission?
   JC: Absolutely, without any doubt. It should not be negotiable. The question to ask now is not “How can one justify a Royal Commission?”, rather, “How can the government not justify a Royal Commission?”.
   MS: And that is what the victims want.
   JC: They are calling for it. They want that opportunity. The only people who don't want it is the church.
   MS: And you would argue that the morally correct thing to have done would have been to call a Royal Commission?
   JC: Absolutely.
   MS: So the government is intellectually and morally bereft here?
   JC: Yes.
   MS:  And you believe or feel that that is because of the influence of the Catholic Church, but you cannot prove it?
   JC: Where else has the influence come from? If the church was not there, if you take them out of the equation, why would there not be a Royal Commission? They are going to have to put so many resources into this Inquiry anyway, they may as well have announced a Royal Commission in the first place – just as all the other disasters involving deaths so deserved.
   MS: But surely most people feel revolted by what is happening and what has happened. So, there wouldn't have been that much political risk in a Royal Commission.
   JC: None whatsoever. You would think that it would be a vote-winner. There’s a groundswell of support for the victims on this issue. I got a call just the other day from a conservative Catholic, who applauded me for the work that's been done. He said that all of the people in his parish were supporting an inquiry. The support for victims and the support for change is well and truly out there across the community, including some of the more conservative Catholics.
   MS: So, to just to finish this point, you believe the government has made a fundamental political and moral and intellectual error on this issue?
   JC: Correct. It has shown a lack of leadership. The government had the opportunity to display courage and to effectively address the deep-rooted and profound injustices in the state. It has been swayed by the powerful Catholic church.
   I call this Inquiry tertiary abuse for victims. The original crimes were the primary abuse, The ongoing maltreatment by the church and its internal processes is the secondary abuse, and now this final insult, the tertiary abuse.
   The community understands and realises that it is a no-brainer that a Royal Commission is the only vehicle adequately equipped to investigate decades of horrendous sex crimes and associated premature deaths, suicides and wrecked lives and families. And the hierarchy of the church has actively covered up and lied and worked hard to protect the offenders. I just don’t get it – what is it about this issue that the government doesn’t understand?
   Any inquiry that is to comprehensively deal with the Catholic Church must parallel its wealth and its legalist, adversarial and arrogant modus operandi.
   Heads need to roll and prosecutions are needed. The church must be held accountable.
   Victims and their families need and deserve a well-resourced, uncompromising and forensically sound Royal Commission.
   MS: What are the barriers to justice in the existing avenues for victims?
   JC: There are so many. Let's look at the legal options first. I want to say here, too, and it's really important, I use the word ‘victim’ not in the sense that they are disempowered – the opposite is true. All the people I meet, all their families, have extraordinary courage, integrity and tenacity. They are stoic. They are not victims in that sense. I use the word victim as in it happened to them.
   Now, if victims want to look at legal options to find some justice, there is the criminal pathway – the criminal trial. Let’s look at the statistics. If we have 1000 people out in the community who were sexually assaulted or raped as children, a maximum of about 10 per cent will go to the police. So of that 1000, 100 will report it to the police. Of those 100, by the time they go through the justice system, we end up with about 6 or 6.5 convictions.
   When I did my honours thesis in law, I looked at how many convictions of child sexual assault were being appealed. I was shocked. More than half of the convictions were being appealed of which more than half were successful. Such low convictions rates, high successful appeal rates and what is called the ‘secondary legal abuse’ for a victim going through cross examination, provide much disincentive for a victim to go down the criminal pathway to find justice.
   If you compare that percentage with other crimes such as common assault of burglary or murder, you might get 10 per cent to about 20 per cent appeal rate against convictions.
   One of the reasons for a very high appeal rate is the sheer volume of law that a judge and the court must deal with in relation to particularly historical sex offences. It is a very broad, chunky area of the law. There are multiple and lengthy jury directions, for example, which tend to leave room for error.
   The other major problem with the criminal pathway is the inherent delay in reporting. Children do not disclose, most of the time. It takes them sometimes decades, if ever. So that also creates problems with very long delays in terms of sound evidence.
   MS: You mentioned before that the Catholic Church has put a lot of resources into defending convicted paedophiles?
   JC: Previously convicted – so, for example, Robert Best, who was convicted last year: the figures that were thrown around were $1.5 to $2 million. There were 11 trials originally; 6 were completed and then he pleaded guilty. But I know that some of those convictions are now being appealed. Best was convicted back in 1966 and a 1998 conviction was appealed and a new trial ordered. Despite this criminal history, Best was defended to the hilt – money that should have gone to the victims.
   MS: OK, so that is the criminal avenue.
   JC: Then there is the civil pathway. The Catholic Church itself is not a legal entity; it does not exist in a legal sense and cannot be sued. Every diocese, archdioceses or religious order does have a legal entity called a property trust. And that property trust can be sued, but not for the sex crimes of priests and brothers. In 2007 in the case of Ellis in the Court of Appeal in New South Wales, the church successfully argued that, yes, we have a legal entity but it is the wrong one to sue for these types of historical sex offences.
   These trusts, or the trustees, were never in a position, the church argued, of being responsible for the behaviour of the priests. They did not have a pastoral role. Rather, the Trustees were responsible for the assets and property and financial matters of the Church.  So you can’t sue the archdioceses, the dioceses or the religious orders. We can’t sue the archbishop either, for example – unless he was the archbishop at the time. And then you have to prove that the archbishop knew about it and didn't deal with it adequately.
   In the case of Ellis, the plaintiff also tried to sue Archbishop Pell, who wasn't the archbishop back in the 70s when these things happened. In Australia, suing an archbishop directly turns on what is called in law being a ‘corporation sole’. A corporation sole is usually a single person who is liable for the wrongs of their predecessor. But in Australia, bishops and archbishops are not corporations sole, so that is another dead end for victims.
   MS: So you can't really sue anyone.
   JC: No, not really. You can sue the offender. But, being priests, they take a vow of poverty, therefore are indigent. Or they are very elderly and losing capacity, perhaps, or they are dead.
   Having said this, in NSW the Greens have put forward a Bill to amend the Property Trust legislation for the Sydney Archdiocese in such a way that would give victims the option of suing the Property Trust. Such law reform is a very sensible approach to this huge issue of victims not having a legal entity to sue. I encourage everyone to get behind this Bill and pressure the NSW Government to adopt it. Victoria must now follow with its own Bill.
   MS: Before we get on to the third and final avenue, which is the church process, is there any hope on this second, civil avenue, in the case that's being heard in the UK at the moment?
   JC: The other area I did not mention is the area of suing an employer. We call this vicarious liability – where the employer is not directly liable, but they must carry some liability and responsibility for their employee’s actions or negligence. In Australia the law at the moment says that if an employee, particularly in education authorities – schools and boarding schools – sexually assaults a child, that is considered to be outside the normal course of their employment, it's not one of their duties, if you like, and we can not sue the employer.
   MS: Even if they do it within the normal setting?
   JC:  Yes, this is a High-Court case called Lepore. The High Court heard a couple of cases from Queensland and one from New South Wales – all involving state schools. In one case the sexual assaults happened at the back of the classroom or somewhere like that. Although some members of the High Court were basically saying they were persuaded by some overseas cases from Canada and the UK, they ultimately left the case open – basically there was no determination.
   So, in Australia you can’t sue an employer for the sexual assault by an employee. Now, the significance of the vicarious liability avenue, or option, is that it has two main elements to the test. The first one is you have to prove that there was an employment relationship. The second one is that you have to prove that it happened in the course of employment.
   MS: And that is the essence of the case in the UK at the moment?
   JC: Yes. Just going back – in 2010 in the UK, for the very first time in the Commonwealth, a Catholic archdiocese was held vicariously liable for the sexual assaults by one of its priests. It was a case called Maga. That made history. Interestingly in that case, the Catholic Church did not argue the fact that there was not an employment relationship. They said we accept there was an employment relationship, just for the purposes of this case. Why they did that, nobody knows.
   I think they were convinced that they would be successful on the second element, which was that they would successfully argue that it was not in the course of employment. Anyway, that case got up. It was the first time ever for a Catholic Archdiocese in the Commonwealth.
   Another UK case called JGE – this was a pre-trial application in November last year in which the Catholic Church argued that there is no employment relationship between a bishop and a priest. And that is what the Church has been arguing in the UK and here in Australia. The church says no, based on Canon Law, priests are not employed.
   The trial judge in JGE found that the relationship between the offending priest and the Bishop was one to which vicarious liability could be attached – that is, it was a relationship that is akin to employment. That has now been appealed and we are waiting on the judgement. Victims of clergy sex crimes across the common law world are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this very important case. The Catholic Church continues to try and hide behind the protective provisions of Canon Law to avoid their moral and legal responsibilities. Just like it hides behind what is called the Ellis Defence, as we talked about earlier.
   So, where are we in Australia in relation to victims seeking justice through the civil courts ? We have insurmountable legal brick walls.
   MS: Which takes us to the third option, which is through the Catholic Church’s processes that they have set up and that they say are great.
   JC: (Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne) Denis Hart came out in the paper recently saying the Melbourne Response is very fair to victims.  The evidence in my research, though, is indicating otherwise. The evidence in my research is not just dependent on victims’ accounts. I have also interviewed many legal representatives for victims in New South Wales and Victoria.
   Some of them represent up to 150 clients, whom they support through either the Melbourne Response or Towards Healing processes. And except for one barrister and one solicitor, all the others report comprehensively that these internal church processors are abusive and traumatic for victims, many of whom come out the other end with post-traumatic stress disorder.
   Also, the amount of money victims are receiving is insulting and, compared with what the courts could order, paltry. Some victims might be offered as little as $5,000 or $10,000. It is important to say that some bishops and provincials are much more empathetic and generous and genuinely care for the victims and their families and this is reflected in the larger amounts of compensation paid.
   But, because there are no real civil options, or choices, for victims, they have no choice but to go back to the very organisation that abused them in the first place. Some say these internal church processes have a lot to offer. But the flip side is that these processes further buttress the cover-up of, and contain fallout from, paedophilia in the church. The processes and the decisions are “privatised”. The church is not accountable to any civil authority in relation to these protocols and there is no external review process.
   In relation to compensation, even though the Towards Healing protocols say that the Church shall (must) respond to the needs of the victims in such a way as demanded by justice and compassion, the provision of an apology, counselling or compensation is discretionary. But even within these bounds (payment of compensation being discretionary in the first place) there are further substantial discrepancies.
   Each bishop of a diocese or provincial of a religious order has complete discretion in terms of not only whether any money will be paid at all, but also the amount of compensation to be paid. That is, there is no yardstick – eg no table of maims as is used in the medical world – no guidance on what amount to pay. For example, there could be years of abuse and one particular bishop might offer $12,000 but another bishop may offer $80k for a seemingly far less serious case. This individual discretion and resultant inconsistency is obviously problematic.
   In relation to legal representation of victims, many go through the process alone with no legal or other representation. One of the main deficiencies is that victims are not told/advised by Towards Healing or Melbourne Response to get representation. Some lawyers say there is a policy with these internal processes lobbying for victims not to have lawyer representing them and that they can feel threatened if a victim is legally represented.
   If a victim is unrepresented and perhaps unemployed, poor, troubled, perhaps is struggling with alcohol or drug problems, $5000 or $10,000 may seem like a lot of money. This is exploitation.
   If a victim is unrepresented they are most likely going to be uninformed and unfamiliar with the process. They find it daunting; get worse outcomes; must confront the Catholic church (its abuser) all over again and alone and there are marked power discrepancies/imbalances.  There is a need to negotiate effectively (and on equal footing) with the church authorities.
   Typically, victims describe their experiences of both of these processes as frightening, scary, intimidating, a nightmare; felt threatened and more like the instigator of the abuse; felt as though they were the one on trial/like they were the criminal; embarrassing; humiliating; distressing; degrading; humiliating; incredibly painful; disempowering or as bad or worse than the original abuse and more ongoing.
   Very importantly though, these sexual assaults are criminal matters – therefore, they are matters for the state and the police. They are not private matters. The Church is investigating itself. This leads on to the issue of mandatory reporting for the clergy and its employees. This was a recommendation of the Cummins Report from earlier this year.
   My view is that these processes should be shut down. The laws need to be reformed so that victims have equal access to the law and have the choice of litigating. The state should set up a redress scheme that should be paid for entirely by the church – not like in Ireland where the church pays only 10% and the taxpayer, 90%.
   The church should not be able to investigate its own crimes – this reality is so absurd, it is hard to believe it is happening in 2012.
   MS: Without compromising anybody's privacy or putting yourself in legal jeopardy, can you talk a little bit about what these victims have actually endured?
   JC: A lot of the families have endured, sadly, the death of a loved one. The impacts on families are marked and multiple and include depression; grief; loss of faith; guilt; anger; despair; sadness; anguish; disbelief at what had happened and feeling overwhelmed. One mother said she felt a knife went through her heart when she found out about the multiple anal rapes of her 11-year-old son.
   The harm for victims includes suicide; attempted suicide; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder; alcohol and drug addiction; difficulties with forming relationships; a distrust of authority figures; grief, anger; breakdown of families and a destruction of people's faith. The economic and social impact of these problems is immeasurable.
   Many cannot finish their education because they are so distressed, and therefore their employment opportunities are severely compromised. Many cannot form ongoing relationships. The horrifying part for some is that it does not stop. It is ongoing. And it is always, always a struggle.
   They are angry, because so many of them have gone back to the church, time and time again, not necessarily through the internal processes, to try to get some acknowledgement or support or something, and basically the door was shut in their face.
   MS: You are talking here about effects that destroy lives, destroy families.
   JC: Yes, individuals can be destroyed and their families. The next generation can be impacted also. For example, two sisters told me the other day about their younger brother dying of a drug overdose as a young man and he had a history of being sexually assaulted when he was an 11-year old member of the parish choir. They spoke about the troubling impacts on them as mothers of young children – the issue for example of trusting other adult males with their children – they both felt they were over protective of their children, thus impacting on their children also. It is multi-generational. The grief and harm are palpable.
   MS: And the crimes themselves are hideous.
   JC: People talk about child abuse. I don’t like that term, because it's a benign term; it wraps it all up in a pretty little bow. We’re talking about cruel rape; little children as young as 5 and kids in their teens being anally, vaginally, orally raped by a grown man. They must live with that whole experience for the rest of their life. How do they deal with those memories? The smells and the sounds associated with that? How do they deal with all of that? And the perpetrators mess with their little minds; they say ‘you dare not tell anyone and this is all your fault’. This is a little kid, for god’s sake.
   Anyone who has read Chrissie Foster's book, Hell on the Way to Heaven, would know that one of their little girls cried hysterically about going to the dentist and said: ‘The dentist wants me to open my mouth wider and wider and I can’t open it any wider’. This is just horrendous. It is so horrendous people can’t talk about it. It is evil.’’
   But this is reality. And that is why I get upset talking about it. I listen to these people. They don't tell me the details of their assaults - because I do not ask them about that. But they have spent decades, and apart from family or some friends or a counsellor, they cannot talk about it to anybody. The church just says go away, we don’t want to talk about it or you're making it all up.
   MS: You argue that the Catholic Church is deliberately concealing these crimes. Why would anyone actually do that?
   JC: There are probably several reasons. I have this Vatican document from back in the early ‘60s. It is called ‘Instruction on the manner of proceeding in cases of solicitation”. It guided all the bishops around the world on how to deal with clergy sex crimes. It said that if the priests, bishops and archbishops did not keep silent, if they didn't keep the information about these crimes secret, they were threatened with excommunication.
   The culture has been there forever. So, what are they doing? I suppose they are protecting their wealth, and they are protecting their name, the brand name, the company name.
   MS: Were Jesus Christ to reappear, what do you think he would say and do about all of this?
   JC: He would hold an enormous demonstration in the streets. He would whip up people power and he would stand up to the hierarchy of the church. He would stand up to governments and say do the right thing. That is what he would do.
   MS: Do you believe in God?
   JC: No. I was brought up Catholic; nuns all the way through and in boarding school. No, I don't believe in a god.
   MS: Why are you doing this work, this research?
   JC: I am one of seven kids; as I said, I was brought up Catholic. Mum was Catholic; my father was not. We were brought up with very broad social-justice values. Mum always stuck up for the underdog and we were all taught to stand up and not take shit from people. Also, we were taught to not let someone else take shit if they could not look after themselves. Through my childhood we often had extra people living with us as they didn’t have anywhere to live or were in some sort of strife – at one stage we had a young woman and her baby with us – her husband was in prison. So, looking out for others was sort of infused into us over the years. After years working as a health practitioner with a focus on empowering the client/patient, I eventually did my law degree, later in life. I became shocked at the injustices of the law in this area – child sexual assault. Also, at how the Catholic church is able to hide behind legitimate legal defences in order to protect the church's assets. They also safeguard their sex offenders, in order to protect the brand name.
   MS: What is the hardest thing you've ever had to do, Judy?
   JC: Without hesitation, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is manage the grief associated with the loss of my only child to adoption. When my daughter was born I was young and still very Catholic. Sex and pregnancy outside marriage were frowned upon. It was what was called a ‘closed adoption’, which means I knew nothing of her fate or the family she went to. She was taken away immediately after giving birth. No-one, including me, talked about this for many many years. In concert with the times, getting pregnant before marriage was shameful and I felt I had been a bad person.
   The adoption legislation was amended in the 1980’s providing opportunities for adopted people and birth mothers to receive information and/or possibly meet. I did eventually meet with my daughter and her adoptive family is wonderful. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  MS: So is it fair to say that you are saying that the government is incompetent or unduly influenced?
   JC: I think the latter. [***]
   One mother said she felt a knife went through her heart when she found out about the multiple anal rapes of her 11-year-old son. []
   JC: People talk about child abuse. I don’t like that term, because it's a benign term; it wraps it all up in a pretty little bow. We’re talking about cruel rape; little children as young as 5 and kids in their teens being anally, vaginally, orally raped by a grown man. []
   JC: There are probably several reasons. I have this Vatican document from back in the early ‘60s. It is called ‘Instruction on the manner of proceeding in cases of solicitation”. It guided all the bishops around the world on how to deal with clergy sex crimes. It said that if the priests, bishops and archbishops did not keep silent, if they didn't keep the information about these crimes secret, they were threatened with excommunication. [***]  ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  Yes, Church people and politicians have had since 2003 to wake up to the March 16, 1962 secrecy document, Crimen Sollicitationis.  Extracts of "The Crime of Solicitation" in English summarising many of the main points were created on this Website on 11 Aug 2003, and mirrored around the world.  And after Roman Catholic apologists had spent a few years denying or dodging this uncomfortable truth, a Vatican translation appeared, first noticed by the Webmaster in 2010 as a link on another website, elegantly presented at <http://­www.­­resourc­es/reso­urces_c­rimen-sollici­tationis-1962_en.­html>.
   The comfortable politicians and others also ought to know about the "Mental Reservation" trick which allegedly allows Roman Catholic staff to tell lies to protect what they think is "The Church."  Another religion with about 1000 million or so followers also allows release from their oaths, and another smaller monotheistic religion allows the annual private revoking of vows in advance.  It's not what outsiders and the unthinking devotees think these religious leaders are teaching !  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Thanks to: Broken Rites (Australia) <brokenritesaustralia § hotmail com> , <http://­brokenrites.­>.  ENDS.]
[Jun 25, 2012]

• Hell on Earth.  [Roman Catholic Church]     

Hell on Earth

   Sydney Morning Herald, <http://­www.­­nationa­l/hell-on-earth-20120624-20wa8­.html>, By Michael Short, June 25, 2012
   WERE Jesus Christ to reappear today, the first thing he might do is walk into the golden, treasure-gorged edifice that is the Vatican and throw out not money merchants, as he did some 2000 years ago, but the very people purporting to represent him and his ideas.
   The core idea, it seems to me, that this radical man so influentially ventilated is simple and beautiful: treat others as you would wish to be treated, for we are all equal and all deserve and owe decency and kindness.
   It is arguably the most powerful ethical principle possible. It was not invented by Christ, and is shared by many who, like me, are not part of the Christian church or any religion. But he is widely seen to have been its most effective champion.
   The Catholic Church has derived its colossal power and wealth from Christ, yet its hierarchy has trashed its moral authority and betrayed Christ by protecting clergy who have committed sexual crimes against untold thousands of children throughout the world. Many of the victims are here in Australia.
   Incidental victims include not only the families and friends of those who have suffered and continue to suffer the depravity of predatory priests, but also the many decent and dedicated Catholic priests and workers and nuns and teachers and carers. Their efforts, their very lives, have been diminished.
   But it is the victims, of course, who have been damaged most. Many are in a living hell. Others have taken their own lives.
   Today's guest in The Zone, lawyer and doctoral researcher Judy Courtin, is fighting for justice for people who have suffered crimes that almost defy comprehension.
   "People talk about child abuse. I don't like that term, because it's a benign term; it wraps it all up in a pretty little bow. We're talking about cruel rape; little children as young as five being anally, vaginally, orally raped by a grown man. How do they deal with all of that? And the clergy mess with their developing minds; they say 'don't you tell anyone, and this is all your fault'. This is a little kid, for God's sake."
   Courtin cites an example from the book Hell on the Way to Heaven by Chrissie Foster and Paul Kennedy. "One of the little girls cried hysterically about going to the dentist. She said: 'The dentist wants me to open my mouth wider and wider and I can't open it any wider'.
   This is just horrendous. It is so horrendous people can't talk about it. It is evil."
   Chrissie and Anthony Foster's daughters Emma and Katie were victims. Both girls developed self-destructive behaviours as teenagers. At 15, Katie ran on to a road and was brain-damaged when hit by a car. Emma died of a drug overdose at 26.
   Judy Courtin is doggedly doing the work that should be done by a proper inquiry. It is self-evident that a royal commission is the best route to truth and justice on this issue; common sense and logic tell us the Catholic Church cannot be independent when investigating itself. The church has set up a national internal complaints process, "Towards Healing", and the "Melbourne Response", which covers the Melbourne archdiocese. Victims and their lawyers report that both processes can be hugely traumatic.
   In April, the Victorian government, curiously refusing to accept mounting public dismay about the issue, established a woefully inadequate parliamentary inquiry into the handling by churches and other non-government organisations of sex-crime allegations.
   The investigation's terms of reference are limited, and are silent on the issue of premature deaths and suicides. There is too much scope for the church's hearings to be in secret, and it must be completed by next April, despite the committee not fully getting under way until October. The inquiry is further shackled by the fact that it is being conducted by Parliament's six-member family and community development committee, an inexperienced group already juggling two inquiries, one of which has had them on a fact-finding tour of Britain and the Netherlands.
   Courtin is scathing and dismayed. "It is grossly inadequate. The terms of reference and the announcement from the government have the Catholic Church written all over it. The government is justifying the use of a parliamentary inquiry on the basis that it is more friendly, less legalistic, less formal and much better for victims. That is sheer nonsense. Victims are neither afraid of, nor concerned about, a royal commission. They want a royal commission - they want an inquiry that has the requisite legal and forensic teeth to deal with the powerful church and that parallels the extent and seriousness of these crimes.
   "The only people that would be concerned about a more legalistic and formal royal commission would be the wrongdoers - the guilty ones."
   It is also politically bizarre. "If the church was not there, if you take them out of the equation, why would there not be a royal commission? You would think that it would be a vote-winner. The groundswell of support for the victims and for change is well and truly out there across the community."
   The vehicle for Courtin's research is a PhD at Monash University's law faculty. To her knowledge, it is the first time such a comprehensive investigation has happened in Australia. Throughout Victoria and NSW, she is talking not only to primary and secondary victims, but eminent senior counsel, barristers, solicitors and non-legal advocates.
   It is all but impossible to know just how many victims are out there, but it could be tens of thousands across Australia. Only about 10 per cent of adults who were sexually assaulted as children will ever report to the police. The Melbourne archdiocese reported a year ago that 450 complaints have been lodged. It recently said it had investigated about 330 complaints. "Either way, if that represents that 10 per cent figure, that's a lot; between 3300 and 4500. That is just the Melbourne archdiocese. The Melbourne archdiocese only deals with diocesan priests. And the Melbourne archdiocese is just one geographical area. How many victims are there across the state? The breadth of the problem is obviously vast."
   The effects of such crimes are profound and cut across the entire community.
   In Ballarat alone, as many as 35 men have committed suicide, victims of two priests, Robert Best and Gerald Ridsdale. Courtin's yet-to-be-published research is suggesting other suicide clusters.
   "A lot of the families have endured, sadly, the death of a loved one. The impacts on families include depression, grief, loss of faith, guilt; anger, despair, sadness and anguish. One mother said she felt a knife went through her heart when she finally found out about the multiple anal rapes of her 11-year-old son."
   Courtin says the harm for victims includes suicide, attempted suicide, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, difficulties with forming relationships, a distrust of authority figures, grief, anger, breakdown of families and a loss of faith.
   "The economic and social impact of these problems is immeasurable. Many cannot form ongoing relationships. The horrifying part for some is that it does not stop. It is ongoing. And it is always, always a struggle."
   It is a struggle made all the more frustrating by the church's protection of criminal priests.
   Countless documents are being harboured by the church, and a number of convicted paedophile priests are even receiving financial support from the church for rent and health insurance.
   A proper judicial inquiry is all the more necessary as a result of inherent impediments to justice. As it is not a legal entity, the Catholic Church cannot be sued. Dioceses and religious orders cannot be sued. The church and school authorities cannot be held vicariously liable. Offenders can be sued but, as sex crimes are often not reported for decades, the offender might be dead and anyway has made a vow of poverty. Only about 6 per cent of child sex matters reported to police result in conviction and more than half of those are appealed.
   The Catholic Church is relying on these barriers. The government's inquiry is structurally unable to breach them.
   The Catholic Church's leaders have failed to ask one simple question: what would Jesus Christ do? Until they do, and change their position, they invite being seen as sinners and hypocrites.
   Some alternative links to this story on Fairfax Media website: #

   [RECAPITULATION:  In Ballarat alone, as many as 35 men have committed suicide, victims of two priests, Robert Best and Gerald Ridsdale. Courtin's yet-to-be-published research is suggesting other suicide clusters. []
   The Catholic Church's leaders have failed to ask one simple question: what would Jesus Christ do? Until they do, and change their position, they invite being seen as sinners and hypocrites. ENDS.]
   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  Thanks to: Broken Rites (Australia) <brokenritesaustralia § hotmail com> , <http://­brokenrites.­>.  ENDS.]
[June 25, 2012]

• Fight for Fairbridge; "Our hearts cry out for justice."     
   The West Australian, <http://­>, Advertisement 19.5cm x full width, as a group letter from Norm Heslington (and friends), p 39, Wednesday, June 27, 2012


“Our hearts cry out for justice”
An open letter to:
The Premier of Western Australia • The leader of the opposition • The Minister for Heritage • Lottery West • Alcoa Australia • The board of governors Fairbridge W.A. Inc
To whom it may concern.
( and it should concern you all )
As a child migrant who spent 12 years of my childhood at the Fairbridge Farm school Pinjarra, from the time I was 4 years old until I was 16, 1954-1966 I have followed the stories and revelations about the extent of abuse of former child migrants by Joseph Catanzaro and Beatrice Thomas over the past few weeks in the West Australian newspaper with more than a passing interest.  I personally recall waking almost every morning about 6am to the screams of my brother being brutally flailed with a metre length of garden hose until he wet himself (freezing cold from the cold shower and naked).  My older brother would try in vain to protect him and would more often than not cop a belting as well.  This treatment went on for a period of YEARS until like an answered prayer the Alcoholic Beast of a cottage mother was finally dismissed from her employment (not for brutalising the kids but for insubordination towards a senior member of staff).
   We didn't care, we were just so relieved to see the back of her.  My brother and I were transferred to another cottage and into the care of a different cottage mother who proved to be the opposite of our previous one and we discovered kindness perhaps for the first time in our lives.  So I witnessed and experienced the worst and the best at Fairbridge.  I personally know and grew up with some of the people who were featured in those stories, I say to them thank you for having the courage to speak out and expose that which has remained hidden for years.  Your fellow old Fairbridgians are very proud of you indeed.
   The leader of the opposition is quoted as saying "we will call a royal commission into the extent of the abuse if elected" and the premier is quoted as saying "the government will await the findings of an inquiry into abuse at state run boarding hostels which is being headed by retired judge Peter Blaxell and due to report by July 18 2012" and then "we will think about it".  The promise by the leader of the opposition is absolutely meaningless should he not get elected and that seems more likely than not.  As for the Premier's comment, the inquiry into abuse at state-run hostels has absolutely nothing to do with child migrants and he knows this full well, (or should know).  The leader of the opposition should be calling for an inquiry NOW and asking the Premier to either support it or not and if not why not?
And it shouldn't end there
and has done so ever since the Farm school closed in 1981.  In 1983 Fairbridge was sold to ALCOA Aust. with conditions that they maintain both the heritage and history of Fairbridge.  ALCOA Aust. subsequently leased the village back to an Association called Fairbridge W.A. Inc. for $1.00 per year who currently operate a "youth" charity (some as young as 56).  Since 1983 the public have been hoodwinked into supporting this "charity" to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars believing that they are supporting former residents and that we have an active role there.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
   In fact every one of the sixty or so heritage listed buildings are in a state of ruin or dilapidation despite being in receipt of over $26 Million over the past 15 years for redevelopment and maintenance of the village.  For us to have to witness the neglect and decay of the only home we knew is a form of abuse that affects every one of us including the majority of us that escaped the abuses of the past.  The Old Fairbridgians Association are committed to preserving the history and heritage of our home and ensuring that all of our history both good and bad is preserved and presented truthfully.
We implore the Premier of Western Australia to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into Fairbridge W.A. Inc. as a matter of urgency, such inquiry should include but not be limited to:
(a) The current condition of the Heritage listed village and buildings (approx. 60).
(b)The conduct of the board of governors of Fairbridge W.A.Inc. since 1983.
(c) The acquisition of the Old Fairbridgians Assoc. clubhouse by Fairbridge W.A. Inc.
(d) The whereabouts of the funds and the financial records of the Old Fairbridgians grants and loans fund (Approx. $42,000.  Plus interest since 1997.
(e) The whereabouts of the funds and the financial records of the "Chapel Maintenance Fund" since 1983 to which the Old Fairbridgians Assoc. have donated THOUSANDS of dollars .
(f) The suspension of the Old Fairbridgians Assoc. representative to the board of governors of Fairbridge W.A. Inc.
(g) The failure or refusal of the Board of governors of Fairbridge W.A. Inc. to adhere to both its own constitution and the Incorporations act.
(h) The failure of Alcoa Aust. to fulfil their contractual Obligations> in respect to maintaining the history and Heritage of Fairbridge.
(i) The Failure of the Redress scheme to adequately compensate Abused child migrants.
(j) The Sub-standard workmanship on the new buildings including the Ruby Fairbridge centre and other buildings in the Heritage-listed primary school.
(k) The financial records of the spending of over $26 Million of taxpayers' and donors' money over the last twenty years,
Where has all the money gone?
We further call for the immediate resignation or dismissal of the board of governors of Fairbridge W.A. Inc. And for the West Australian Govt. to cease using Fairbridge as a clandestine rehabilitation centre for indigenous prisoners under the guise of supporting youth, ( as young as 56 )
It is an absolute sham and a disgrace to the memory of Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge.
Whose Vision was to help Children in need, and they helped many of us.
Yours sincerely,
Norm Heslington.
an Old Fairbridgian (and friends)

This advertisement was privately funded.

[June 27, 2012]

• Unholy silence.  [Years. Father Fox. Roman Catholic Church. Boys.]       

Unholy silence

   Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television, Four Corners (Australia), Monday, July 2, 2012
   AUSTRALIA and VATICAN CITY – The suicides among male victims of Roman Catholic clergy in the Ballarat area were exposed.
   Among the subjects covered was the case of Father Fox, who was accused of sexually interfering with boys.
   The Church order he belonged to has allowed him to evade Australian justice, by employing him in the Vatican City, which is the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
   It is also a sovereign state.
   The Roman Catholic Church keeps employing clergy who have been shown to be sexually seducing boys.
   Senior clergy are declining to obey the law and report such seductions to the police.
[July 2, 2012]

• Voice for the voiceless; Social Justice advocate   

Voice for the voiceless

  Child migrant, councillor  
  Born: England, 1933  
  Died: Samson, aged 78  

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, by Torrance Mendez, p 38, Tuesday, July 3, 2012
   Laurie Humphreys, who died on May 8, came to Australia as a lone child migrant from England. He survived Bindoon Boys' Town to become an outspoken trade unionist and advocate for those whose early lives were traumatised by removal from their families.
   Laurie refused to bear grudges for his time at Bindoon but was determined to minimise the number of children exposed to a similar experience. He was motivated by social justice both as a councillor in the City of Cockburn and as a voice for those Australians once branded "forgotten" because their case histories were too grim for retelling.
   Their suffering could not be ignored, Laurie concluded, but neither should it deter progress.
   So he enjoyed life. He raised several children and became a great-grandfather atop a family tree of about 70 direct descendants. He found siblings in Europe whom he never knew existed and chronicled his story in a book, A Chip off What Block? A child migrant's tale, currently available free online.  Far from a maudlin tale of child abuse, it is testament to the human spirit in adversity.
   Laurie refused to differentiate between child migrants and children who had endured similar hardship in out-of-homo care. For him, everyone was born equal and everyone deserved an equal chance of happiness.
   One of his last achievements was to establish FACT (Forgotten Australians Coming Together) – a drop-in centre in High Street, Fremantle, for people who have been in care or wards of state.  FACT also aims to prevent children going into care.
   In 1997, he was the City of Cockburn Australia Day Citizen of the Year; in 2009 he was nominated for Australian of the Year and, this year, was nominated for Western Australian of the Year.

   Lawrence Peter Humphreys was born in Uxbridge, West London, on July 4, 1933, the fifth of seven children to engineer William Humphreys and wife Honora (Joyce). At four, he was admitted to an orphanage after Honora died giving birth to twins. During World War II, he lived with other children in a castle; he remembered overhead bombers and American servicemen who took him and others to movies.
   After the war, he was moved to a mansion where boys strapped cloths to their bottoms and dragged each other along corridors to polish the doors. He was excited to be in migrating to Australia only to be disappointed when he arrived at 14 to face the reality of Bindoon and no further schooling. He considered himself an orphan but soon learnt of a brother, Terry, who arrived months later.
   Laurie drove trucks to collect sand and rocks for further construction of Bindoon.  His first paid job was changing light globes in Toodyay streetlights and digging holes for power poles.  He became a grease money in Cottesloe, delivered ice in metropolitan Perth, did farm work, completed National Service in the air force, and, at 19, joined a timber mill where he was elected union secretary.
   He later joined the Labor Party and in Northcliffe he met first wife Dagmar Clarke with whom he had children Debra and Peter. In Corrigin, the family home was half of a hay shed, with hay in the other half.
   After the marriage failed, he wed Eleanor Stanton, and had children Patrick, Brian, Sylvia and Terry, and helped raise her three children from a previous marriage, Alicia, Jimmy and Susan, and foster son Shane.
   Seeking work, he joined the Transport Workers' Union and eventually became a BP tanker driver, until retirement. He was elected shop steward and called BP's first ever strike on a safety issue.
   In 1982 he returned to England, having been traced by a sibling, Nora, whom he sponsored to come to Western Australia. Overseas, he met brothers Billy and Danny and sister Mary, then living in Norway.
   The only sibling he did not meet was one of the twins who had died with his mother at birth. His father had married again and, over time, Laurie located five of seven half-siblings.
   Back in Australia, he quit the Labor Party and stood unsuccessfully against Norm Marlborough for the State seat of Cockburn.
   He served four terms with the City of Cockburn and was disappointed when the councillors were sacked in 2000, after an independent inquiry criticised eight councillors and three stafdf.  Laurie was one of seven members exonerated in the inquiry.
   Laurie Humphreys had prostate cance and died at home in Samson, aged 78.  His second marriage also ended in divorce and he leaves his partner of 20 years, Frankie Atkinson, as well as six children, more than 30 grandchildren and more than 30 great-grandchildren. #
[July 03, 2012]

• [R. C. celibacy leads to seductions?]  Word on the street.     

[R.C. celibacy leads to seductions?]

   The Sunday Times, <>, (Perth, W. Australia), <letters § sundaytimes news ltd com au>, "WORD ON THE STREET" with Greg Thomson, Editor-in-Chief of Community Newspaper Group <http://­www.­>, a subsidiary of News Corporation, p 38, Sunday, July 8, 2012
F RESH claims about the covering-up of sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church in New South Wales adds further pressure on the church to explain its approach to clerical celibacy.
   In insisting on celibacy as a requirement for ordination to the priesthood, the church effectively forces individuals to undertake any expression of sexuality in private or, worse still, in secret.
   This is the backdrop in which abuse of children and vulnerable adults can occur.
   Further, forcing men and women to resist natural impulses is unhealthy and harmful. It distances them from everyday living while excluding a majority of people from serving the church. #

   [COMMENT:  Seems to be a lot of sense in that editor's comment.  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [SCRIPTURE:  By their fruits you shall know them.  SCRIPTURE ENDS.]
[July 08, 2012]

• Victim wants Church inquiry: Sex abuse scandal.  [Years and years. 1992 cover-up. Father "F", AND Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale. Roman Catholic Church, including Cardinal George Pell. Nephew David Ridsdale, AND others.]        

Victim wants Church inquiry

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, by Andrew Tillett, p 27, Tuesday, July 10, 2012
   Canberra – One of the first victims to go public about child sex abuse by a Catholic priest has backed calls for a royal commission after the latest scandal to engulf the Church.
   David Ridsdale says nothing has changed in 20 years in how the Church treats victims and investigates allegations of abuse by clergy.
   ABC's Four Corners program last week revealed claims senior Catholic priests in 1992 covered up allegations that a priest, dubbed Father F, had repeatedly molested young boys in NSW.
   Senior clerics Father Brian Lucas, Monsignor John Usher and Father Wayne Peters confronted Father F in September 1992 but accounts differ about what was said.
   Father Peters wrote days after the meeting that Father F had made admissions and Father F himself admitted in a 2004 court case he told the men he had molested boys.
   But Father Lucas, who is general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, told ABC Radio yesterday the conversation with Father F was "very generalised" and there was no specific allegation they could refer to police.
   "He was certainly very, very cautious not to incriminate himself and very, very careful not to name any names," Father Lucas said.
   "What I'd want to say now of course to those victims, any of those young men, is that I would strongly urge them to take their complaint to the police so.that justice can be done."
   Sydney Archbishop George Pell told Four Corners a file note of the meeting showed Father F made no admissions but the Church had reopened its investigation.
   Victims groups and lawyers say the latest claims strengthen the case for a royal commission.
   Mr Ridsdale, who lives in Britain, said an inquiry should have powers to uncover Church records and hear evidence in secret.
   "None of this will change until the people who call themselves Catholic start to stand up and act on what they claim their beliefs are," he said.
   "The bull covering it up and hiding it continues to this day."
   Mr Ridsdale was abused from about 1977 to 1981 by serial paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale, his uncle.
   Mr Ridsdale is angry at Cardinal Pell over a 1993 phone call about the disgraced priest's behaviour, claiming he was asked what it would take for him to stay silent.
   Cardinal Pell, who was then auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, denies he said this.
   Cardinal Pell was a former flatmate of Father Ridsdale and publicly backed him in court when he faced charges in 1993.
   Father Ridsdale was jailed for 18 years in 1994.
   Mr Ridsdale said he did not believe Cardinal Pell, Australia's top Catholic priest, was able to tackle sex abuse scandals because he was too much of a "ladder climber" in the Church hierarchy and had stayed quiet about his knowledge of other priests. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  "None of this will change until the people who call themselves Catholic start to stand up and act on what they claim their beliefs are," he said.   "The bull covering it up and hiding it continues to this day." ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  Well said, Mr Ridsdale !  The Papal "Bull" is technically an "Instruction," and the 16th March 1962 document "The Crime of Solicitation" was being "diligently stored in the secret archives" of bishops etc.  It was revealed by Kathy Shaw, a journalist of the Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusets, U.S.A.) on July 29, 2003.
   Elements of the RCC denied it, then other RCs started pretending it had been over-ridden by a rewriting of Canon Law, but that was thown into doubt because it was still being used as a reference in other Church studies, for example in footnote 3 of a Papal Epistula of 18 May 2001, and a canon law students' messages.  LATER it was revealed that the 1962 document replaced an even earlier document.
   A few years went by, then an English translation of the 1962 Instruction was spotted in 2010 on the Pope's Vatican website at <http://­www.­­resourc­es/reso­urces_c­rimen-s­ollicit­ationis-1962_en.­html>.  Wonder of wonders !  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [REALITY CHECK:  It is NOT just the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian Churches which practise sex seduction of children, teenagers, and adults.  Nearly every other type of religion has been exposed around the world, and now in Western Australia government-run hostels, posing as "Saint" this or that hostel, have been exposed around 2012 as hotbeds of seduction, and cover-ups by those in positions of power. ENDS.]
[July 10, 2012]

• Ex-ABC host to plead guilty to child porn counts.  [≤ 2012 Mr Andrew Muirhead, former host of "The Collectors" on ABC TV. Alleged child porn on computer.]    

Ex-ABC host to plead guilty to child porn counts

   The Sydney Morning Herald, <http://­www.­­national/exabc-host-to-plead-guilty-to-child-porn-counts-20120723-22j2­8.html>, by Andrew Darby, HOBART CORRESPONDENT FOR FAIRFAX MEDIA, 2:14PM, Monday, July 23, 2012
  [Picture] EX-ABC HOST TO PLEAD GUILTY TO CHILD PORN COUNTS. Former ABC presenter Andrew Muirhead will plead guilty in a long-running child pornography case, a court heard today.  
   Former ABC presenter Andrew Muirhead is to plead guilty in a long-running child pornography case, a court heard today.
   Muirhead, 35, was charged in 2010 with using the internet for child pornography and possessing child-exploitation material.
   The former host of the popular TV series The Collectors entered not guilty pleas, maintained through a series of appearances and preliminary hearings.
  [Picture] Andy Muirhead, pictured walking into court at an earlier hearing.    Photo: Peter Mathew  
   But the Tasmanian Supreme Court today heard his counsel, Kim Baumeler, agree that guilty pleas would be entered after a dispute was resolved over the number of images involved in the case.
   Justice David Porter bailed Muirhead, saying the case was adjourned to July 31 "in the expectation that pleas of guilty will be entered on that date".
   A hearing last year was told that about 4000 images were found in an Apple iMac's newsgroup cache.
   Ms Baumeler said the number of images remained at issue, but Crown prosecutor Maitland Lincoln said there was no possible discussion over the number.
   Mr Lincoln said the matter of a plea had aroused some concern at recent hearings. Justice Porter said he was reluctant to force a plea-taking today.
   "I prefer to avoid a fictitious plea," he said.
   Dressed as usual in dark suit and tie for his appearance, Muirhead left the court without comment.
   Read more:

   [COMMENT:  With a feeling of sadness the Webmaster has followed this story.  COMMENT ENDS.]
   [READ MORE:  <http://­www.­­national/­exabc-host-to-plead-guilty-to-child-porn-counts-20120723-22j28.h­tml#ixz­z21QG0­Qibd>. ENDS.]
[July 23, 2012]

• Philadelphia monsignor imprisoned for covering up child sex abuse.  [1992 - 2004.  Monsignor William J. Lynn (61).  Transferred child seducer/s.  Ex-Fr Edward Avery.  Sexually seduced altar boy (10).  RCC.]   

Philadelphia monsignor imprisoned for covering up child sex abuse, <http://­www.­­id/4830­6335/ns­/us_new­s/t/ph­iladel­phia-mons­ignor-impris­oned-covering-child-sex-abuse>, by Dave Warner, Reuters, updated 3:12:52 PM ET, Tuesday, July 24, 2012
   PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking clergyman convicted in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church scandal, was sentenced on Tuesday to up to six years in prison for covering up child sex abuse by priests in Philadelphia.
   Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told Lynn, 61, the former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, that he protected "monsters in clerical garb who molested children."
   Sentenced to three to six years in prison, Lynn had faced the possibility of a slightly longer maximum sentence of up to seven years behind bars for his conviction on a single count of child endangerment.

  [Picture] Monsignor William Lynn (L) walks to the courthouse to hear the verdict in his sexual abuse trial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 22, 2012.    REUTERS / Tim Shaffer  

   Lynn, who oversaw the work of 800 priests, was convicted of covering up sex-abuse allegations, often by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes. His case, which was closely watched by the Vatican, followed a series of child abuse scandals that hit the church in the United States and in Europe.
   "He was the master of deception," said lead prosecutor Patrick Blessington at the sentencing in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. "We're talking about children being raped."
   Lynn worked for the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, the longtime archbishop of Philadelphia who died in January. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is the nation's sixth largest with 1.5 million members.
   Problems with abusive priests in the Philadelphia diocese had been flagged in a 2003 grand jury report that found church leaders failed to report abuse to the authorities.
   Among Lynn's job responsibilities was investigating sex abuse claims from 1992 to 2004.  "I tried to serve God. I tried to help people," Lynn told the judge before the sentence was handed down.
   Turning to the family of a former altar boy who testified he had been assaulted by a priest assigned to a church by Lynn, the monsignor said: "I hope someday they will accept my apology."
   Lynn, wearing his clerical collar, showed little emotion as he was sentenced but his defense attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, later called the sentence "grossly imbalanced" and said the judge was "absolutely dead-ass wrong."
   "All of a sudden (Lynn) is being held responsible for all of the abuse that occurred over 30 to 40 years, none of which he participated in," Bergstrom said.
   The defense argued that Lynn tried to handle cases of pedophile priests, making a list in 1994 of 35 accused predators and writing memos to suggest treatment and suspensions.
   "He is being punished for things he did and did properly," Bergstrom said.
   Ahead of the sentencing, eight witnesses testified in defense of Lynn's character. One of them, the Reverend Joe Watson, said: "He taught me a lot about how to be a good man. He was always a role model."
   District Attorney Seth Williams praised the sentence.
   "I think you may have heard that he did a lot of good work as a parish priest, and I don't refute that," he said. "The issue for us is what he did as secretary of the clergy, and the scores, the hundreds of thousands of children who were placed in harm's way as a result of a culture, a bureaucracy, that protected pedophile priests instead of protecting children."
   Key to Lynn's conviction on June 22, according to the jury foreman, was the monsignor's own testimony that he had followed the cardinal's orders to attribute priests' moves to health reasons but never to sex abuse accusations.
   Prosecutors used Lynn's list to show the Church was aware of predatory priests and covered up their existence, while the defense said it showed Lynn attempting to stem the problem.
   At his trial, Lynn testified that after a priest named Edward Avery was accused of sexually abusing a boy, Lynn reassigned him to St. Jerome's Church, which also housed an elementary school.
   There, according to a grand jury report describing an epidemic of abuse in Philadelphia, Avery molested the altar boy, then 10, who testified at the trial and whose family attended the sentencing.
   Avery, who is defrocked, was scheduled to go on trial with Lynn but pleaded guilty and is now in jail.
   Slade McLaughlin, an attorney for the victim's family, said they were pleased that Lynn would serve time in prison. "They feel it is some vindication," he said. "They have a sense of relief, a sense that justice has been served."
   But Lynn's defense attorney said his client could not have known what would happen to the altar boy at St. Jerome's. "Every single priest that he investigated never ever abused again, except Avery, and we've dealt with that," Bergstrom said.
   Lynn will be in prison for a minimum of three years, after which a state parole board will decide whether he must serve more time, depending on his behavior and other factors.
   (Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Ellen Wulfhorst and David Storey)
   (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Check for restrictions at:

   [RECAPITULATION:  Key to Lynn's conviction on June 22, according to the jury foreman, was the monsignor's own testimony that he had followed the cardinal's orders to attribute priests' moves to health reasons but never to sex abuse accusations. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  The Cardinal and he were, presumably, following a 1962 Vatican secrecy document called Crimen Sollicitationis ("The Crime of Solicitation"), <http://­www.­­resourc­es/reso­urces_c­rimen-sollici­tationis-1962_en.­html>.  This "Instructio," which ordinary Catholics did not even suspect existed, was brought to public attention after the 2002 Boston sex scandals became public.  It was untraceable on the Vatican website until recent years.  In recent years it was revealed that it replaced an even earlier Papal order to keep child abuse a "Secret of the Holy See."  Cynics wonder if it may have been replaced by a later policy document which has not yet been uncovered by the news media.   COMMENT ENDS.]
   [GREEK SCRIPTURE: "By their fruits you will know them."  "Not everyone who cries Lord, Lord, " SCRIPTURE ENDS.]
   [OTHER REPORTS:  "Monsignor sentenced in US abuse cover-up," The West Australian, <http://­­thewest/a/-/world/1­4357684/­monsignor-sentenced-in-us-abuse-cover-up/>, Maryclaire Dale, AAP, 3:07 am, July 25, 2012.
   Bishop Accountability, Abuse Tracker, <http://­www.­bishop-account­­AbuseTr­acker>, contains a few reports of the imprisonment sentence of Mons. William Lynn.
   "Monsignor William Lynn sentenced to 3-6 years for Catholic sex abuse cover-up," Christian Century, <http://­www.­christia­­article/­2012-07/­monsignor-william-lynn-sentenced-3-6-years-catholic-sex-abuse-cover>, by David Gibson, Jul 25, 2012.
   "Philadelphia promises vigilance after priest sentenced," CathNews (from the RCC Church Resources, Australia), <http://­­articl­e.aspx?­aeid=3­2369>.   ENDS.]
   [2nd COMMENT:  About 1700 years late !   COMMENT ENDS.]
[July 24, 2012]

• Earthly concerns: The Catholic church in America   
The Catholic church in America

Earthly concerns

   The Economist, <http://­www.­­node/21­560536>, Aug 18th 2012
The Catholic church is as big as any company in America. Bankruptcy cases have shed some light on its finances and their mismanagement
   Statue of Jesus, Sacred Heart
BOSTON, NEW YORK AND SAN DIEGO – OF ALL the organisations that serve America’s poor, few do more good work than the Catholic church: its schools and hospitals provide a lifeline for millions. Yet even taking these virtues into account, the finances of the Catholic church in America are an unholy mess. The sins involved in its book-keeping are not as vivid or grotesque as those on display in the various sexual-abuse cases that have cost the American church more than $3 billion so far; but the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution.
   The sexual-abuse scandals of the past 20 years have brought shame to the church around the world. In America they have also brought financial strains. By studying court documents in bankruptcy cases, examining public records, requesting documents from local, state and federal governments, as well as talking to priests and bishops confidentially, The Economist has sought to quantify the damage.
   The picture that emerges is not flattering. The church’s finances look poorly co-ordinated considering (or perhaps because of) their complexity. The management of money is often sloppy. And some parts of the church have indulged in ungainly financial contortions in some cases – it is alleged – both to divert funds away from uses intended by donors and to frustrate creditors with legitimate claims, including its own nuns and priests. The dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy may not be typical of the church as a whole. But given the overall lack of openness there is no way of knowing to what extent they are outliers.
   Thousands of claims for damages following sexual-abuse cases, which typically cost the church over $1m per victim, according to lawyers involved, have led to a liquidity crisis. This seems to have encouraged a pre-existing trend towards replacing dollars from the faithful with publicly raised debt as a way of financing church business. The church is also increasingly keen to defend its access to public health-care subsidies while claiming a right not to provide certain medical services to which it objects, such as contraception. This increased reliance on taxpayers has not been matched by increased openness and accountability. The church, like other religious groups in America, is not subject to the same disclosure requirements as other non-profits or private entities.
   Little is known about the Catholic church’s finances outside America. JPMorgan Chase recently closed the Vatican Bank’s accounts under pressure from the US Treasury. The Holy See has also struggled to get itself placed on lists of jurisdictions that are deemed to have strong anti-money laundering controls. This may reflect bad organisation rather than a concerted attempt to hide anything, though documents leaked by Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler to an Italian journalist suggest that maladministration in the Vatican goes beyond mere negligence. But America, not least thanks to its bankruptcy procedures, provides a slightly clearer window on the church’s finances. And America is so important to the church that it merits particular examination.
   Only three countries – Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines – have larger Catholic populations than America, and nowhere has a larger Catholic minority. Almost 100m Americans, a third of the nation, have been baptised into the faith and 74m identify themselves as Catholic. Discrimination against the Catholic minority, and strong leadership from Rome, encouraged American Catholics to create a sort of parallel society in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the result that there are now over 6,800 Catholic schools (5% of the national total); 630 hospitals (11%) plus a similar number of smaller health facilities; and 244 colleges and universities. Many of these institutions are known for excellence: seven of the leading 25 part-time law school programmes in America are Catholic (five are run by Jesuits). A quarter of the 100 top-ranked hospitals are Catholic. All these institutions are subject to the oversight of a bishop or a religious order.
   The Economist estimates that annual spending by the church and entities owned by the church was around $170 billion in 2010 (the church does not release such figures). We think 57% of this goes on health-care networks, followed by 28% on colleges, with parish and diocesan day-to-day operations accounting for just 6% and national charitable activities just 2.7% (see chart). In total, Catholic institutions employ over 1m people, reckons Fred Gluck, a former McKinsey managing partner and co-founder of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, a lay organisation seeking to improve the way the church is run. For purposes of secular comparison, in 2010 General Electric’s revenue was $150 billion and Walmart employed roughly 2m people. 'Many mansions:' Chart of RCC spending and structure in USA
   The church is the largest single charitable organisation in the country. Catholic Charities USA, its main charity, and its subsidiaries employ over 65,000 paid staff and serve over 10m people. These organisations distributed $4.7 billion to the poor in 2010, of which 62% came from local, state and federal government agencies.
   The American church may account for as much as 60% of the global institution’s wealth. Little surprise, then, that it is the biggest contributor to head office (ahead of Germany, Italy and France). Everything from renovations to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to the Pontifical Gregorian University, the church’s version of West Point, is largely paid for with American money.
   Where that money comes from is hard to say (the church does not release numbers on this either). Some of it is from the offerings of the faithful. Anecdotal evidence suggests that America’s Catholics give about $10 per week on average. Assuming that one-third attend church regularly, that would put the annual offertory income at around $13 billion. More comes from elite groups of large donors such as the Papal Foundation, based in Pennsylvania, whose 138 members pledge to donate at least $1m annually, and Legatus, a group of more than 2,000 Catholic business leaders that was founded by Tom Monaghan of Domino’s Pizza.
   There is also income from investments. Timothy Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Cardinal-Archbishop of New York (a “corporation sole”, meaning a legal entity consisting of a single incorporated office, occupied by a single person), is believed to be Manhattan’s largest landowner, if one includes the parishes and organisations that come under his jurisdiction. Another source of revenue is local and federal government, which bankroll the Medicare and Medicaid of patients in Catholic hospitals, the cost of educating pupils in Catholic schools and loans to students attending Catholic universities.
   Wages and sin
   The molestation and rape of children by priests in America has resulted in more than $3.3 billion of settlements over the past 15 years, $1.3 billion of that in California. The total is likely to increase as more states follow California and Delaware in relaxing the statute of limitations on these crimes, most of which were reported long after they happened. For an organisation with revenues of $170 billion that might seem manageable. But settlements are made by individual dioceses and religious orders, whose pockets are less deep than those of the church as a whole.
   The fact that far fewer Catholics are answering the call to become nuns, monks and priests (the minor seminaries, once the first step of the recruitment process, are almost empty) adds to the pressure. It saves some current costs, but reduces in perpetuity the pool of very cheap labour that the church has relied on. Dioceses increasingly need to pay people market rates to get jobs done that were previously assigned to clergy and members of religious orders. This pushes running costs up.
   On the revenue side, donations from the faithful are thought to have declined by as much as 20%. The scandals probably played a part in this: few people want to donate money that will go to clearing up the damage done by predatory priests. But many in the church also feel that competition for charitable dollars has increased.
   Over the past eight years, a combination of these stresses has driven eight dioceses (including San Diego, Tucson and Milwaukee) to declare bankruptcy, as well as the American arm of the Irish Christian Brothers and a regional branch of the Jesuits. More of America’s 196 dioceses could be forced to do the same. Efforts are under way in the legislatures of Arizona, Illinois, New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California (again) to extend statutes of limitations, according to Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who represents many victims of abuse. If any of these efforts succeeds, the expectation among lawyers like Mr Anderson is that some of the affected dioceses would seek Chapter 11 protection while they attempt to settle the cases. (Troubled dioceses generally settle suits just before the bishop is due in court.) The diocese of Honolulu could be the next to go bankrupt. In May it was hit by a pair of new lawsuits after the extension of Hawaii’s statute of limitations for victims of abuse.
   Various sources say that Cardinal Dolan and other New York bishops are spending a substantial amount – estimates range from $100,000 a year to well over $1m – on lobbying the state assembly to keep the current statute of limitations in place. His office will not comment on these estimates. This is in addition to the soft lobbying of lawmakers by those with pulpits at their disposal. The USCCB, the highest Catholic body in America, also lobbies the federal government on the issue. In April the California Catholic Conference, an organisation that brings the state’s bishops together, sent a letter to California’s Assembly opposing a bill that would extend the statute and require more rigorous background checks on church workers.
   Some dioceses have, in effect, raided priests’ pension funds to cover settlements and other losses. The church regularly collects money in the name of priests’ retirement. But in the dioceses that have gone bust lawyers and judges confirm that those funds are commingled with other investments, which makes them easily diverted to other uses. Under Cardinal Bernard Law, the archdiocese of Boston contributed nothing to its clergy retirement fund between 1986 and 2002, despite receiving an estimated $70m-90m in Easter and Christmas offerings that many parishioners believed would benefit retired priests.
   Church officials denied the money it had collected was improperly diverted. By 2008 the unfunded liability had reached $114m. Joseph D’Arrigo, a benefits specialist, was brought in to turn things round. In 2010 the retirement fund was turned into an independent trust to ensure it could not be used for other purposes – a first for an American diocese, reckons Mr D’Arrigo. Leap of faith
An uncertain route to financial salvation
   The retirement funds for Wilmington, Delaware, were largely lost when it settled sex-abuse claims for $77m in February 2011. Those funds had been tossed into a pooled investment account that also contained parish investments and funds for cemeteries and the education of seminarians. The Eastern United States province of the Passionists, a missionary order, has diverted retirement funds to cover operating expenses. In a bid to stave off bankruptcy it has sold off property, including a 14-acre piece of New York waterfront, and made an unorthodox investment in a Broadway show, “Leap of Faith”. It flopped.
   In a public company, this type of thing would attract regulatory scrutiny. In the church, retirement is still largely in the gift of the bishop. Retirement plans for priests are typically set up as diocesan trusts rather than proper pension funds with structured benefits. They do not fall under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the law that establishes standards for plan trustees and remedies for beneficiaries, including access to federal courts. Priests thus have no recourse to law if they are hard done by. Nor, as a matter of course, can they take their pensions with them if they leave for another diocese.
   Richard Vega, who recently stepped down as president of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, estimates that 75-80% of clergy pension schemes in America are underfunded. He says that only a small minority of priests will have set aside enough of their net average salary of $25,000 a year to cover themselves. Others will be less fortunate.
   The clergy and its creditors
   The principle of separation between church and state in America means that religious groups are not required to file tax returns, list their assets or disclose basic facts about their finances. Some dioceses do publish accounts, but these tend to provide an incomplete picture. Though lawyers for dioceses facing bankruptcy have fought to keep most financially sensitive documents sealed, the process has forced the church to let in unaccustomed light.
   The documents that have been disclosed reveal that some bishops in the bankrupt dioceses presented the diocesan funds of parishes, schools, hospitals and retirement accounts as separate when they were really simply book-keeping entries in the same pooled investment account. The diocese of San Diego, for instance, reported to the bankruptcy court that it had over 500 accounts. But these were merely entries in a “Parish, School Diocese Loan Trust Account”, maintained in a single bank account at Union Bank of California.
   Such pooling saves on administrative costs and allows dioceses to use a surplus in one area to cover shortfalls in another, often a legitimate course of action. But it has presented problems when it comes to working out which assets belong to whom in bankruptcy proceedings.
   The vast majority of parishes that commingled their funds with those dioceses now in bankruptcy lost all their investments. In some cases they were misled into believing that the money would be kept separate from the main diocesan funds, and thus safe in the event of bankruptcy. The judge in the Wilmington bankruptcy, Christopher Sontchi, said parishes that had suffered this fate had grounds to sue the diocese for breach of fiduciary duty. None has – but that is hardly surprising, given that the bishop and the chancellor of the diocese sit on the five-member board of trustees of each parish.
   Some parishes were more careful than others in ensuring their funds were handled properly. According to a document in The Economist’s possession, a parish priest in Wilmington wrote to the diocese: “Find enclosed a cheque for $1,000,000 to be invested in [the parish of] St Thomas’s name in the diocesan account. It is my understanding that if the need arises, this is and always will be available for parish use. If this is not the case, please return it and I will put it under my mattress for safe keeping.” The diocese cashed the cheque, apparently depositing it in a general cash account. The parish lost the money when the diocese struck a sexual-abuse settlement. By contrast St Ann’s parish, also in the Wilmington diocese, wired its deposits directly into a segregated investment account at Mellon Bank rather than to the diocesan cash account at Citizen’s Bank. Its trustees also insisted on drafting a special agreement stipulating that funds provided to the diocese were held in trust.
   Plaintiffs’ lawyers have raised questions about financial transfers in dioceses threatened with bankruptcy. These tend to go the other way – moving money out of diocesan accounts and into parish accounts, trusts of various sorts and any other receptacle at hand. According to an independent report commissioned by a bankruptcy judge, at one point priests in San Diego were taking cash out of accounts and putting it in safes in the rectories because they wanted to keep it out of reach of plaintiffs. Nobody becomes a priest, monk or nun in order to spend their professional life as a financial manager, so no doubt part of this money shuffling is down to innocent incompetence. But the church does shift between considering all assets as part of a single pool when that suits, and claiming that funds have always been separate and ring-fenced when they are exposed to claims.
   Creditors in the Milwaukee bankruptcy case, which is still in progress, have questioned the motives behind a $35m transfer to a trust and a $55.6m transfer from archdiocese coffers to a fund for cemeteries. Cardinal Dolan, who was Archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, authorised both transactions. The creditors think the movement of such large amounts had more to do with shielding cash from sexual-abuse victims than with the maintenance of graves, calling the manoeuvre fraudulent. Cardinal Dolan’s office responded to questions about these allegations by pointing to blog posts in which he described them as “baloney” and defended the transfers as “virtuous, open and in accord with the clear directives of the professionals on our finance council and outside auditors”.
   As “debtors in possession” – entities that have filed for bankruptcy yet retain their assets – bust dioceses have an obligation to enlarge their assets to satisfy their creditors. On the contrary, “we have seen a consistent tactic of Catholic bishops to shrink the size of their assets, which is not only wrong morally but in violation of state and federal law,” says Ken Brown of Pachulski Stang, a California law firm that has represented creditors in eight of the ten Catholic bankruptcy cases.
   In a particularly striking example, the diocese of San Diego listed the value of a whole city block in downtown San Diego at $40,000, the price at which it had been acquired in the 1940s, rather than trying to estimate the current market value, as required. Worse, it altered the forms in which assets had to be listed. The judge in the case, Louise Adler, was so vexed by this and other shenanigans on the part of the diocese that she ordered a special investigation into church finances which was led by Todd Neilson, a former FBI agent and renowned forensic accountant. The diocese ended up settling its sexual-abuse cases for almost $200m. If it had not done so, the bankruptcy would have been thrown out of court and the bishop and chancellor of the diocese and its lawyers might have faced contempt charges.
   Some assets are not listed at all. In a corporate bankruptcy, if insurance is relevant to the reason for the company’s failure then its insurance policy has to be listed as an asset. Not so those of the Catholic Mutual Group (CMG), which stepped up its help for Catholic dioceses in the mid-1980s – a time when liability insurance became too expensive as a result of the increase in sexual-abuse claims. Since the CMG is technically not an insurance company but a voluntary religious “mutual benefit society”, its policies do not have to be disclosed as assets in a bankruptcy proceeding, even though it contributes substantial funds towards settlements.
   One way to reduce costs is to reduce the number of parishes. There are two ways to do this. The first is to merge one parish with another parish and combine their buildings, congregations and finances. The second, more controversial way is to “suppress” the parish, which involves the transfer of all of the assets to the bishop, who reassigns parish priests as he sees fit. The funds in the parish bank accounts are placed in the general treasury of the diocese, as are the proceeds of land sales, none of which is subject to disclosure. Faced with shortfalls in Boston (where he was a temporary administrator) and later in Cleveland, Bishop Richard Lennon suppressed dozens of parishes as part of reorganisation plans for each of the two archdioceses; given the pervasive commingling of accounts, some of the money thus accumulated could have gone to pay operating expenses and, at least in Boston, court settlements.
   The parishioners were unimpressed. Some heckled the bishop when he visited their parish to celebrate mass. One of the Boston parishes, St Frances Cabrini in Scituate, Massachusetts, has been occupied for the past eight years by parishioners who have refused to accept its closure. They have a roster chart to ensure at least one person is at the church at any time, so that the archdiocese can’t change the locks. Some parishes have filed appeals to Rome. In an unusual move in March, the Vatican reversed the closing of 13 of the parishes that Bishop Lennon had suppressed.
   As well as questionable financial management, the church also suffers from fraud and embezzlement, according to Jason Berry, an expert in Catholic finance and author of “Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church”. In March the former chief financial officer of the archdiocese of Philadelphia was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $900,000 between 2005 and 2011. Hundreds of priests have been disciplined for taking more than a little “walking around money” from the collection basket.
   In the corporate world, those who witnessed such malfeasance might alert a higher authority. But priests make unlikely whistle-blowers. It is often hard for them to imagine a life outside holy orders, which could be their fate if they alienated the bishop who has a hold over their salary, pension and private life. Would-be whistle-blowers will also be aware that local and federal authorities are loth to investigate mainstream religious groups for fear of the political consequences. Assistant United States attorneys in two different federal districts have pushed the FBI to investigate concealment, coercion and financial mismanagement in parts of the church but have got nowhere.
   The taxpayer as good Samaritan
   Growing financial pressures have encouraged the church to replace donations from the faithful with debt. According to figures from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board over the past decade, state and local authorities have issued municipal bonds for the benefit of at least 50 dioceses in almost 30 states to pay for the expansion and renovation of facilities that would previously have been largely paid for through donations. Overall church muni debt has increased by an estimated 80% over that period. At least 736 bond issues are currently outstanding.
   California is the biggest borrower. Although funding for religious groups is prohibited under the state’s constitution, a series of court rulings has opened the door to bond issues. Catholic groups there have raised at least $12 billion through muni bonds over the past decade. Of that, some $9 billion went to hospitals. In one case, in San Jose, the money went to buy chancery offices for the bishop.
   The dioceses back their bonds with letters of credit from banks. Among the most active guarantors are Allied Irish Banks (AIB), US Bancorp and Wells Fargo. None of the banks was prepared to discuss the financial terms of these contracts.
   Muni bonds are generally tax-free for investors, so the cost of borrowing is lower than it would be for a taxable investment. In other words, the church enjoys a subsidy more commonly associated with local governments and public-sector projects. If the church has issued more debt in part to meet the financial strains caused by the scandals, then the American taxpayer has indirectly helped mitigate the church’s losses from its settlements. Taxpayers may end up on the hook for other costs, too. For example, settlement of the hundreds of possible abuse cases in New York might cause the closure of Catholic schools across the city. A cardinal
Manhattan’s largest landowner
   It is not wrong for churches to issue bonds. But, like many other aspects of the Catholic church’s finances, this should be more transparent. It is quite possible that church finances are, taken as a whole, not as bad as the details coming out in bankruptcy cases suggest. Dioceses and religious orders that go bankrupt cannot be assumed to be representative. If so, then showing better management in the rest of the church would do a lot to allay concern. And increased openness might have the added benefit of bringing in the acumen of a knowledgeable and concerned laity.
   Some influential Catholics are keen to see better management and more openness and accountability. Leon Panetta, America’s defence secretary, called for outside oversight of church finances when he was a director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, a position he relinquished in 2009 to become director of the CIA. Faced with competition from other churches and disgrace from the behaviour of some of its priests, there has never been a more important time to listen to such calls, and to invite in the help and scrutiny that the church’s finances seem so clearly to need.
   NOTE: For more detail on how we calculated the annual income and spending for the Catholic church in America see here. #

   [COMMENT:  Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world. COMMENT ENDS.]
[Aug 18, 2012]

• Inquiry into sex abuse at school.  [1999-2009. Male teacher (60). Religion not stated. Elite private school. Convicted regarding 5 students (Years 4 and 5).]     

Inquiry into sex abuse at school

   The West Australian, (daily newspaper), <letters ¶ wanews com au>, <http://­­thewest/­a/-/breaki­ng/1467­9603/­inquiry-into-sex-abuse-at-school>, By Colleen Egan and Kate Bastians, Page One, Updated 2:40 am, Tuesday, August 28, 2012
   Education Minister Peter Collier is preparing to launch a "full and thorough investigation" into the way an elite private school handled a series of warnings about a sexual predator among its teaching staff.
   The Weekend West revealed on Saturday the school, which is not named for legal reasons, received detailed reports from other teachers about concerns that their long-time colleague was inappropriately touching boys in his classes.
   He was given three written warnings by headmasters in 1999, 2001 and 2004 about the school policy prohibiting physical contact but was allowed to continue teaching until 2009, when a police investigation was launched following a complaint by a former student.
   The 60-year-old, who has not been identified for legal reasons, was jailed for five years last week after being convicted of 13 sexual offences involving five former Year 4 and 5 students between 1999 and 2009.
   Private schools are not required to make the Education Department aware of police investigations and it is understood Mr Collier was unaware of the school's inaction before Saturday.
   He said yesterday he had asked the Department of Education Services to seek advice from the District Court about identifying the school before launching an inquiry.
   "If the court provides this information, I will be in a position to use my powers under the School Education Act 1999 for the department to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the matter," he said.
   Mr Collier said the case had highlighted some potential inconsistencies between the way allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the appropriate regulators in government and non-government schools.
   "I will instigate changes to the regulations for non-government schools to ensure these types of allegations and incidents are reported directly to the Department of Education Services, similar to requirements in place in the government schools sector," he said.
   "I have also asked this department to investigate a Memorandum of Understanding with WA Police that ensures the regulator of non-government schools is made aware of any allegations or investigations relating to sexual abuse of independent school students.
   "This would be similar to the MOU in place between the Department of Education and WA Police."
   Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said teachers and principals would now handle complaints differently under mandatory reporting requirements.
   "The introduction of mandatory reporting in January 2009 should have made a difference," she said. "Under this scheme, every teacher understands that if they have a reasonable belief of sexual abuse towards a child, they are required by law to report it to the Department for Child Protection's mandatory reporting service."
   Opposition child protection spokeswoman Sue Ellery said that even before mandatory reporting, the school's principals had a "moral obligation" to refer the warnings to teachers to authorities. #

   [COMMENT:  Remember, the present Western Australian Government is made up of Liberal Party and the National Party, formerly called the Country Party.  These supposedly "conservative" type parties have had much of the control of government in W.A. for most of the past 100 years, especially through their control of the Upper House.  Why didn't they pass such a commonsense law requiring reports to the police, years and years ago?  COMMENT ENDS.]
[Aug 28, 2012]

• School abuse case demands wider inquiry: Editorial. 

School abuse case demands wider inquiry

   The West Australian, <http://­www.­>, <letters ¶ wanews com au>, Editorial, p 16, Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I n theory at least, the introduction of laws ensuring the mandatory reporting to authorities of claints of sexual abuse of children should mean that such allegations against schoolteachers are not allowed to gather dust on a principal's shelf.
   That is what happened in the case of a teacher at an exclusive Perth private school who was jailed for five years last week after being convicted of indecently dealing with five children under the age of 13 between 1999 and 2008.
   Fellow teachers made repeated complaints about his behaviour towards several of his primary school aged children over a period of 10 years.
   The school acknowledged its concerns by giving the teacher three written warnings but it was not until a former student turned 18 and went to police in 2009 with allegations of molestation that the matter was taken seriously and charges were laid.
   The case reveals clear failings by the school's leadership in not responding appropriately to serious allegations. But it also highlights the heavy responsibility on principals to make judgments about the merits of such complaints.
   A former headmaster at the school, who dealt with some of the complaints, testified in court that at the time he believed the teacher's behaviour was unprofessional and inappropriate, but not criminal.
   Under the mandatory reporting requirements now in place, he would have had no option but to report the allegations to the Department for Child Protection.
   It is a good thing for that responsibility to be taken out of the hands of principals. The education and welfare of their students must be their primary concern, and they do not need to be burdened with having to assess the worth of complaints about the possible criminal behaviour of teachers. In many cases, they may be too close to those involved to make a reasoned decision.
   The fact that in this case complaints were not acted on by school authorities raises the question of how many other WA schools have allegations on their files against teachers that pre-date mandatory reporting.
   Schools must be accountable to parents and students and this case should provide an example for others to ensure they are meeting expectations. The leaders of the school in question clearly failed their school community and, in particular, the children involved.
   It is fair to ask how many other schools are in the same position. This case should prompt all schools to review their files and ensure any complaints, especially those involving teachers still in the classroom, are treated seriously
   Education Minister Peter Collier should take the lead on this and his move towards ordering the Department of Education Services to inquire into the way the school handled the matter is a good start. But he should be demanding that all public and private school principals assess the status of any existing complaints against staff.
   It should not be left to the young victims to have to take the brave step of going to the police to have their complaints acted on. #

   [RECAPITULATION:  A former headmaster at the school, who dealt with some of the complaints, testified in court that at the time he believed the teacher's behaviour was unprofessional and inappropriate, but not criminal. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT:  Where has this headmaster / principal been these last few years ?  COMMENT ENDS.]
[Aug 28, 2012]

#### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, , Tuesday, September 25, 2012 edition:

Megan cop shock: Police knew about 'relationship' between schoolgirl and maths teacher before pair fled to France

  [Church of England.] 
   The Mirror, By Andy Rudd, 25 September 2012
   UNITED KINGDOM – Police were investigating maths teacher Jeremy Forrest over concerns about his relationship with pupil Megan Stammers BEFORE the pair ran away.
   Sussex Police had already launched a probe and were talking to Megan's parents and her school headteacher, Terry Boatwright, when the pair suddenly fled to France on Friday.
   Bishop Bell head teacher, Terry Boatwright said: "The school, in conjunction with the local authority, Megan's parents and the police, had been addressing and investigating those concerns, in line with procedure, when this happened."
   Do you know Jeremy Forrest? Call us free on 0800 282 591 or email Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Two men with links to missing Megan Stammers' school accused of child sex offences

   The Mirror,
   UNITED KINGDOM – Two men with links to missing Megan Stammers' school have been accused of child sex offences, it was revealed today.
   In 2009, supply teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years at Lewes Crown Court after grooming two Bishop Bell pupils on social networking site Bebo.
   A former chairman of governors, Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, is due to appear at Crown Court next month charged with 38 child sex offences over an 11-year period from 1962.
   The school, in Eastbourne, has previously acknowledged the links but said he was not a member of staff and the allegations were historical and unrelated to the school.
   Child abuse campaigner Marilyn Hawes, a teacher for 25 years, launched a strong condemnation of the school authorities, saying the head teacher should resign. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Schoolgirl who ran away with married teacher 'could be anywhere in Europe'

   The Independent, Kevin Rawlinson, Tuesday 25 September 2012
   UNITED KINGDOM   Megan Stammers, the 15-year-old who is believed to have run off to France with her married maths teacher, could now be "anywhere in Europe", police said tonight.
   Officers plan to ask the teenager's friends if they were given warning that she planned to disappear with Jeremy Forrest, 30.
   Detectives urged Megan's classmates not to be scared to hand over any information.
   Officers also released a security video showing the pair holding hands and walking arm in arm aboard a ferry from Dover to Calais at 9.30pm last Thursday. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Megan Stammers: school knew of concerns over teacher friendship

   The Guardian, Caroline Davies, The Guardian, Tuesday 25 September 2012
   UNITED KINGDOM – Police were informed about concerns of an inappropriate relationship between 15-year-old Megan Stammers and her married maths teacher shortly before the pair fled to France.
   Officers were told last week as Bishop Bell C of E school in Eastbourne investigated suspicions over the closeness of the schoolgirl and Jeremy Forrest, 30.
   Questions have been raised over how education officials dealt with the warnings.
   The school was criticised as Sussex police appealed to Megan's friends to come forward if they knew of the pair's plans.
   Releasing CCTV images of the two walking hand-in-hand aboard the Dover to Calais ferry, Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said he hoped the photographs would help the public recognise the pair. "Although they entered France, it is possible that they are elsewhere now," he said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

A teacher's sacred duty smashed to smithereens

   Daily Mail, By Sandra Parsons,
   UNITED KINGDOM – All children have a right to expect the adults around them to behave responsibly, especially those whose job it is to teach them.
   And Jeremy Forrest, the 30-year-old married maths teacher who has run away to France with 15-year-old Megan Stammers, has not so much broken what should be an inviolable bond of trust as smashed it to smithereens.
   In February – that's an incredible seven months ago – a fellow pupil reported Mr Forrest to another teacher after seeing him and Megan holding hands on the plane back from a school trip to Los Angeles. The school, Bishop Bell C of E in Eastbourne, admits it has been ‘investigating concerns' – and, according to some reports, Mr Forrest was due to be suspended the day after he disappeared with his pupil.
   Whatever the truth, the fact that he was not only allowed to continue teaching Megan but was also giving her extra maths tuition after school, so long after the alarm was first raised, almost beggars belief. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Police release photo of missing British schoolgirl

   New Zealand Herald,
   UNITED KINGDOM – Police have released a CCTV image of a missing British schoolgirl and her 30-year-old maths teacher on board a ferry to France.
   Megan Stammers, 15, boarded the Channel ferry with her maths teacher Jeremy Forrest late last week after he spent months grooming her to escape on an "adventure" with him.
   Her parents have issued a heartfelt plea for her to return, with father Martin Stammers telling media: "It's been hell. We have no idea where she is".
   Sussex Police Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said a photo released today would aid the British and French police hunt for the pair. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Another teacher

  [Church of England.]
   Daily Mail, By Tom Kelly, Claire Ellicott and Inderdeep Bains
   Another teacher at the runaway's school was jailed after grooming two young girls for sex
   UNITED KINGDOM – Parents at Megan Stammers's school demanded an inquiry into its child protection procedures last night as more under-age sex scandals emerged at the Church of England comprehensive.
   Incredibly, another teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne was jailed three years ago for preying on teenage girls after grooming them on a social networking site.
   In addition, a former chairman of governors at the same school is due to stand trial on alleged child sex offences next month. Some parents said their children were too scared to attend class after it was revealed how staff failed to remove married maths teacher Jeremy Forrest despite warnings that he was having a relationship with Megan seven months ago.
   Richard Chapman, who has two children at the school, said: ‘Something needs to be done now, otherwise, where will it stop? And who will be next? The school has let everyone down and it is not like this is the first time it has happened. The school needs to be investigated from the very top levels of management. Something is not right there.' Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Megan Stammers: Bishop Bell School under fire over record

   BBC News,
   UNITED KINGDOM – The school of missing Megan Stammers has come under fire from a charity over its safeguarding record.
   Megan, 15, who goes to Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, and teacher Jeremy Forrest, 30, took a ferry from Dover to Calais, on Thursday.
   In 2009, a teacher from the school was jailed for grooming pupils and in March it emerged a retired priest had been allowed to remain as a governor despite child sex allegations against him.
   The school has defended its record.
   East Sussex County Council and bosses at the school have both confirmed they were investigating the pair's relationship before they disappeared. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

German bishops defend exclusion of Catholics who stop paying tax

   Catholic News Service, By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service, WARSAW, Poland,
   GERMANY (CNS) – The German bishops' conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments.
   "There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree.
   "Clearly, someone withdrawing from the church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member," he said at a Sept. 24 news conference as the bishops began a four-day meeting in Fulda. "We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance."
   The archbishop said each departure was "painful for the church," adding that bishops feared many Catholics were unaware of the consequences and would be "open to other solutions." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Voice of the Faithful honors Hofstra professor

  [Women deacons advocate wins award.] 
   NEW YORK   A Hofstra University religion professor known for advocating in favor of women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church has won an award from Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic group that is highly critical of the church hierarchy and its handling of the sex abuse scandal.
   Phyllis Zagano was given the St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson of the Year Award at the group's 10th annual conference held Sept. 14 in Boston. Zagano is one of only five Catholics to win the award from the group in its 10-year history.
   "I was honored and a little bit overwhelmed," Zagano said yesterday. "It was quite consoling that someone out there is listening." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Ivory Investigation Sparks Coverage and Inquiries in the Philippines

   National Geographic,
   PHILIPPINES – National Geographic's undercover investigation into how the global religious market for ivory is a driving force in the slaughter of thousands of African elephants has prompted extensive media coverage – and calls for an official inquiry – in the Philippines.
   Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the Philippines to understand the country's ivory trade and possibly get a lead on who was behind 5.4 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents in Manila in 2009, 7.7 tons seized there in 2005, and 6.1 tons bound for the Philippines seized by Taiwan in 2006. Assuming an average of 22 pounds of ivory per elephant, these seizures represent about 1,745 elephants, Christy wrote.
   Christy met Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, a senior Catholic cleric and one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, who told Christy that if he wanted to buy an ivory Santo Niño, a carving of the Christ child, he would have to smuggle it to get it into the U.S. "Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it," Garcia said. "So it looks shitty with blood. This is how it is done." International trade in elephant ivory has been banned for the last 22 years. Read Bryan Christy's article ‘Ivory Worship'. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. James E. Gaudreau - Assignment Record,
   MASSACHUSETTS &nash; Summary of Case: A priest of the Boston archdiocese, ordained in 1969, Gaudreau was accused in Sept. 2012 of having sexually abused a minor in 2006. He was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.
   Ordained: 1969 Incardinated: Boston [] Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput talks to parents of victim of clergy abuse during trip to Harrisburg

   The Patriot-News, By IVEY DEJESUS,
   PENNSYLVANIA – Ever since their son killed himself in 2006 after years of enduring sexual abuse at the hands of his priest, Art and Elaine Baselice have been trying to get a private audience with a high-ranking Catholic Church official.
   On Tuesday, they left their New Jersey home at dawn and headed for Harrisburg where Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput was expected to meet with legislators.
   The Baselices stood in the dim hallway of the Capitol's East Rotunda, she holding a framed portrait of their son Arthur; he a poster that included photos of the two abusive priests.
   The Baselices did not leave the state Capitol disappointed: After meeting with lawmakers and shaking hands with state employees who stopped by to greet him, Chaput asked to meet with the couple.
   "He was apologetic. He was understanding. He was sorry," said Elaine Baselice, unable to fight back tears. "He would like to see things changed." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Accused priest in hospital

  [1958-79.Fr John E. Sullivan.]
   North Bay Nugget, By MARIA CALABRESE, Tuesday, September 25, 2012
   NORTH BAY, CANADA – An 87-year-old Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse dating back to 1958 is in hospital, a North Bay court heard Tuesday.
   Charges against John Edward Sullivan were adjourned to Oct. 9 for his lawyer to receive medication information.
   Sullivan, who resides in Montreal, was an ordained priest at the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption when the sexual offences are alleged to have taken place at various times from 1958 to 1979. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Evergreen Park priest removed

   Chicago Tribune, By Manya Brachear, Tribune reporter, September 25, 2012
   ILLINOIS – A Roman Catholic priest in southwest suburban Evergreen Park has been removed from ministry following an allegation that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard parish in Berwyn more than 30 years ago, according to the Chicago Archdiocese.
   This past weekend, the Rev. Gary Miller resigned as pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church, where he has served as pastor since July 2001. Miller could not be reached for comment. The archdiocese did not say in the statement whether he denied the allegation. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Priest who had sex with boys vanishes from public eye

  [Garcia. RCC. > 200 priests avoid court by fleeing overseas.] 
   The Dallas Morning News, By Brooks Egerton, Reporter, , 10:00 am on September 25, 2012
   TEXAS / PHILIPPINES – An internationally prominent Catholic priest has dropped out of sight in the Philippines, years after admitting to me that he had sex with altar boys in the U.S. and supplied them with drugs.
   Monsignor Cristobal Garcia's sudden low profile coincides with a new National Geographic article on the ivory trade. It calls Garcia "one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines" and quotes him as giving advice on how to smuggle ivory into the U.S., in defiance of a 1989 global trade ban.
   The magazine refers to my 2005 investigative piece on the priest, who had fled the U.S. after an altar boy was found in his bedroom. He's one of over 200 Catholic clergymen we found who crossed international borders to escape justice and stay in ministry.
   Filipino church leaders helped Garcia reinvent himself as an authority on worship practices and leader of boys at a rural religious compound. Now he's said to be resting and receiving treatment for hypertension, according to today's Cebu Daily News. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Gov't to prosecute ‘blood' ivory traders

   Philippines Daily Inquirer, By DJ Yap, TJ Burgonio, Nancy C. Carvajal; 12:10 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
   PHILIPPINES – A Cebu priest known for his collection of religious icons carved from ivory may have incriminated himself with his revelations on the illegal trade in an investigative report appearing in the National Geographic and reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
   Msgr. Cristobal Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that his ivory collection was acquired legally, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.
   The NatGeo report, titled "Ivory Worship" and written by Bryan Christy, who visited the country five times for the report, said Garcia had even advised him how to smuggle religious icons made from ivory into the United States.
   Mundita Lim, director of the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), said regional environmental officials launched a probe of the report that the priest was in possession of ivory Sto. Niño figures acquired using questionable means. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Palma: Church doesn't condone trade in ivory

   Sun.Star, Tuesday, September 25, 2012
   CEBU CITY, Philippines (Updated) – Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the Catholic Church does not condone killing animals to make their parts into religious items, like taking the tusks of elephants and carving these into ivory statues.
   "Of course, we are saddened by the news Cebu was identified as a source of the ivory trade," Palma told Sun.Star Cebu.
   He was referring to a National Geographic magazine article, "Blood Ivory", where the writer, Bryan Christy, includes a lengthy interview with Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, the Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman.
   Palma, who is also the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, said he recently signed up with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to transfer an elephant from the Manila Zoo to Thailand, where it can be provided with better care and treatment. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Msgr. Garcia proud of ‘matchless' collection of religious icons

   Inquirer, By Connie E. Fernandez, Inquirer Visayas, 1:20 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
   CEBU CITY, PHILLIPINES –Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has always been proud of his collection of religious icons and paintings.
   He displayed them in exhibits during the weeklong festivities to celebrate the feast day of the Holy Child Jesus every third Sunday of January.
   Some of the religious images can also be seen at the museum inside the compound of the Society of Angels of Peace, a congregation Garcia founded in Talisay City, Cebu.
   His collections range from 300-year-old heirlooms to newly carved pieces, paintings, statues and "stampita" (scapular) bought in and outside the country.
   So far, no one in Cebu can match Garcia's collection. Those who know him say that he can very well afford these expensive art pieces. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Laguna prelate defends priest tagged in ivory smuggling

   Philippine Daily Inquirer, 12:30 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
   PHILIPPINES – A Catholic prelate came to the defense of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, who was caught in a controversy involving ivory smuggling in the Philippines.
   Msgr. Jose Barrion, chairman of the cultural heritage committee of the diocese of San Pablo, Laguna province, said he believed that Garcia's collection of ivory-made religious images, were acquired a long time ago.
   "When you say collection, we're talking here of antique pieces, items that existed hundreds of years ago," Barrion said in an interview.
   "The images in Monsignor Garcia's collection were not recently made, those are antiques, probably made long before the law banning ivory trading was implemented," Barrion said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Having spent 7.5 million fighting victims . .

   SNAP Wisconsin, Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee), CONTACT: 414.429.7259, September 25, 2012
   Having spent 7.5 million fighting victims, Archbishop Listecki appears to be reversing course
   Archdiocese signaling major breakthrough to be announced next week with 570 victims
   MILWAUKEE (WI) – Charles Dickens once wrote that the courts are where lawyers "spin masterly fictions" so judges can "waste their days reading mountains of costly nonsense."
   It is being reported today just how costly this nonsense has been for Catholics of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
   The Archdiocese, which filed for bankruptcy in January of 2011, was ordered into mediation this summer with nearly 570 victim/survivors by Federal Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley. As Dickens might have predicted, Archbishop Listecki has spent an obscene 7.5 million dollars on lawyers and consultants, and not a dime on helping to heal or provide restitution to those harmed.
   And much of that money, all of it incidentally deriving from charitable contributions, has been used by the archdiocese to file and argue endless court motions and legal technicalities to throw out of court most of the 570 victim/survivors who have filed restitution claims. The archdiocese has also used those millions to prevent the release to the public of nearly 60,000 pages of secret church documents and depositions detailing decades of cover-up of child sex crimes by dozens of priests and employees of the archdiocese.
   Ironically, when Archbishop Listecki went into bankruptcy court in January 2011 he claimed that the archdiocese had to file because it was unable to cover more than 4.5 million in mediating abuse claims, yet he has put that amount and 3 million dollars more into the pockets of lawyers in the last 22 months alone. And while Listecki has spent millions on lawyers he has so far only offered $300,000 dollars to victims and even that amount he wants to restrict to an alleged "therapy fund" to be controlled, of course, by the archdiocese. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Report: Fugitive Texas Hindu guru likely in India

  [Hindu. 2 teenagers] United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags   
   Houston Chronicle, AP,
   AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Court documents show that a Hindu guru who became a fugitive after being convicted of molesting two teenagers at his Texas ashram is likely in India.
   The Austin American Statesman ( ) reported Tuesday that Prakashanand Saraswati (prah-KAHSH'-ah-nahnd sah-rah-SWAH'-tee) was apparently able to flee sentencing with the help of followers who are now under investigation by federal prosecutors.
   A Hays County jury convicted the 83-year-old guru in March 2011 on 20 counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. He skipped sentencing after the trial while free on a $1 million bond and hasn't been seen since. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Group Protests Greek Orthodox Church

  [Greek Orthodox Christian. 2 boys.] United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   ABC 6, {with video}
   COLUMBUS (OH) – The group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is protesting out in front of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
   The group says it wants to reach out to other who may have been hurt in light of the recent arrest of Father Patrick Nicholas Hughes last week.
   Hughes was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff's office for trying to meet up for a sexual encounter with two boys, ages 9 and 14.
   He was the acting dean at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Short North. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Kenny checked phone at Pope meeting

   Belfast Telegraph,
   IRELAND – Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope.
   Mr Kenny was accused of behaving discourteously as Pope Benedict XVI made an address in Italy at the weekend.
   A Government spokesman said the Taoiseach would not comment on the video footage that showed him browsing on his touch-screen phone during the event. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Priest Gary Miller ousted after Berwyn abuse allegations

  [RCC] United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   My Suburban Life, By Brett Schweinberg, , Berwyn Life, Posted Sep 25, 2012
   Berwyn, Illinois – A Catholic priest serving in Evergreen Park has been removed from duty by the Archdiocese of Chicago after allegations surfaced that he abused a minor in Berwyn more than 30 years ago.
   According to a statement from the Archdiocese, the church's Independent Review Board determined that there is reasonable cause to suspect Miller had sexually abused a minor while serving at Berwyn's St. Leonard Parish.
   The incident was immediately reported to the Department of Children and Family Services as well as the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops plenary to examine updated guidelines on cleric

   The Catholic Register Written by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News, Tuesday, 25 September 2012
   Ste. ADÈLE, Que., Canada - At their annual plenary Sept. 24-28 the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) are examining the prevention of clerical sexual abuse as part of its packed five-day agenda.
   The 90-plus bishops gathered from across Canada will receive the updated guidelines prepared for submission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, conference president Archbishop Richard Smith said in his annual president's address at the Mont-Gabriel Hotel here Sept. 23.
   "Of course our ongoing response must extend far beyond the articulation of protocols and procedures to an embrace in love and compassion of any person, family or community affected by this scourge," Smith said.
   The reflections will also deal with the impact of the clerical sexual abuse crisis on the ministry of priests and how bishops can provide better support. It will also look at the conditions that increase the risk of sexual abuse with an eye to prevention, according to the CCCB program for the week, most of which is closed to visitors and news media. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM
   [COMMENT: The conditions that increase the risk of sexual abuse are well-covered in the literature.  One of them can be illustrated by reciting one of the three reasons given for being married.  "A remedy for sin," according to the old teachings of the R.C.C..   COMMENT ENDS.]

Woman was suicidal over 'priest abuse'

   NORTHERN IRELAND &NDASH; A woman, who claims she was abused by a Catholic priest as a child, gave tearful evidence about the choices she faced – reporting the alleged abuse or committing suicide.
   The 40-year-old woman told the jury how she "turned to drink" in an effort to block her memories of abuse at the hands of 69-year-old Peter Donnelly.
   The alleged abuse, which happened in the 1980s, was reported to police two years ago.
   Donnelly, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, was curate at St Matthew's Church, Bryson Street, Belfast at the time. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Father Peter Donnelly trial - Witness recounts 'abuse'

   BBC News,
   NORTHERN IRELAND – A woman who claims she was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest in east Belfast has gave tearful evidence at his trial in the city.
   Testifying at Belfast Crown Court over a live TV link up, the 40-year-old woman said she had considered suicide before reporting the alleged abuse.
   The priest, Peter Donnelly from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, faces seven charges of abuse on dates between 31 July 1983 and 1 August 1987.
   The 69 year old denies the charges.
   During her testimony, the woman told the jury how she "turned to drink" in an effort to block her memories of the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the accused. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

I-Team: Parental Contract Absolves Cape Cod Church Of Liability

   CBS Boston, {with video}, By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, September 24, 2012
   CENTERVILLE (MA), (CBS) – When parents bring their children to Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Centerville for religious education, they're asked to sign a document, obtained by the I-Team, which absolves the church of liability, and puts it all on the parents.
   It's called the Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities, and in it parents agree that: "Should we choose to allow another adult to provide supervision to a child, the ultimate supervision and safety of that child is still our responsibility and ours alone."
   And further that: "We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity."
   Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for hundreds of people sexually abused by Catholic priests, was critical of the parental contract. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Jährlich Hunderte Missbrauchs-Diagnosen

   DEUTSCHLAND – Deutsche ärzte diagnostizieren pro Jahr mehr als 4000 Missbrauchsfälle bei Minderjährigen. Oft verschließt das Umfeld der Betroffenen die Augen.
   München. Jedes Jahr wird in deutschen Arztpraxen bei mehr als 4000 Minderjährigen Missbrauch diagnostiziert. Das ergibt sich aus einer hochgerechneten Auswertung von Patientendaten der Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), die am Montag in München veröffentlicht wurde. Missbrauch im medizinischen Sinne umfasst nach Definition der Weltgesundheitsorganisation Vernachlässigung, körperlichen, sexuellen und psychischen Missbrauch. Wie hoch die Dunkelziffer sei, könnten selbst Fachleute nur schwer schätzen, hieß es.
   Die Krankenkasse unterstrich die Bedeutung einer schnellen und zweifelsfreien Diagnose. Nur dann könne sachgerecht reagiert werden. Alle beteiligten Berufsgruppen und Institutionen müssten dafür eng zusammenarbeiten. Denn die Hilfen, die ein misshandeltes Kind benötige, könnten meist nicht von einer Person oder Einrichtung erbracht werden. Auch würden die strengsten Gesetze nichts helfen, wenn die den Kindern nahe stehenden Personen aus Unwissenheit oder Unsicherheit vor Gewalt die Augen verschlössen.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Erzbischof Müller: Die Polarisierungen überwinden

   Radio Vatikan,
   VATIKAN – Erzbischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller will die Polarisierungen in der Kirche überwinden helfen. Das sagte er im Interview mit Radio Vatikan. Mitte September beginnt im Vatikan traditionsgemäß das Arbeitsjahr nach den Ferien, für Erzbischof Müller ist es das erste Jahr in dieser Position in Rom. Er war am 2. Juli zum Präfekten der Glaubenskongregation ernannt worden. Pater Bernd Hagenkord hat mit ihm gesprochen.
   Herr Erzbischof, ganz neu ist Ihnen die Glaubenskongregation ja nicht, sie sind ja bereits Mitglied gewesen, aber seit etwas über 80 Tagen haben Sie das Amt des Präfekten inne. Sind Sie schon in Ihrem neuen Amt und in Rom angekommen?
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Offener Brief von Pfarrer Guido Johannes Ittmann an die Priester im Bistum Trier und die Pfarrangehörigen der Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Püttlingen-Köllerba

   DEUTSCHLAND – Bereits mehrfach wurde in diversen Medien (Spiegel, SWR, Saarbrücker Zeitung) über die Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Püttlingen im Zusammenhang mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger berichtet. Als ehemaliger Pfarrer dieser Pfarrei habe ich im Sommer 2010 drei Sexualstraftäter angezeigt, darunter zwei ehemalige in der traditionalistischen Martingemeinde in Köllerbach tätige Priester sowie einen dort in einflussreicher Stellung tätigen Laien.
   Dies geschah auch auf dem Hintergrund, dass ein Betroffener einen der Täter ermorden wollte und mich darüber in Kenntnis setzte.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch in Australien

   AUSTRALIEN – Das volle Ausmaß des sexuellen Mißbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche Australiens wird deutlicher. Vor einem parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschuß in Victoria erklärte die Kirche, daß 620 Kinder Opfer von sexuellem Mißbrauch durch Priester geworden seien. Die Fällen liegen bis zu 80 Jahren zurück.
   Die beiden Töchter von Chrissie Foster, Emma and Cathy, wurden durch den gleichen Priester mißbraucht und traumatisiert. Emma begann Selbtmord, Cathy verfiel der Trunkenheit und dem Drogenmißbrauch. In einem Verkehrsunfall trug sie erhebliche Hirnverletzungen davon. Die Täter, so Chrissie Foster, haben so viele Leben ruiniert, soviel Todesfälle und Leid verursacht, daß sie aus der Gesellschaft entfernt und bestraft werden müssen.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Bischofskonferenz verteidigt harte Linie

   Fulda (RPO). 126 000 Deutsche sind 2011 aus der katholischen Kirche ausgetreten.
   DEUTSCHLAND – Das schmälert die Kirchensteuer-Einnahmen. Bischöfe wollen damit auch den Zugang zum Kirchenleben versperren. Reformer halten dagegen nichts von "Pay und Pray".
   2011 sind über 120.000 Menschen aus der katholischen Kirche ausgetreten. Ihnen wollen die Bischöfe nun auch die Teilnahme am Kirchenleben untersagen. Foto: dpa, Oliver Berg
   Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz bleibt bei ihrer harten Linie im Umgang mit Kirchenaustritten. Wenn sich Menschen in einem öffentlichen Akt von der Kirche distanzierten, müsse das Konsequenzen haben, sagte Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch (Freiburg) zum Auftakt der Herbst-Vollversammlung am Montag in Fulda. Ein am Donnerstag veröffentlichtes und vom Vatikan bestätigtes Dekret stellt klar, dass es nicht möglich ist, aus der Kirche auszutreten und zugleich gläubiges Mitglied zu bleiben. Damit macht die katholische Kirche die Mitgliedschaft von der Zahlung der Kirchensteuer abhängig.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Ex-Jugendbetreuer räumt alle Taten ein

   Mein Flotwedel,
   LÜNEBURG, DEUTSCHLAND – Mit dürren Worten hat sich der Erzieher, der vom Celler Amtsgericht in erster Instanz wegen schweren sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Kindes und Missbrauchs von Schutzbefohlenen zu zweieinhalb Jahren Haft verurteilt worden war, gestern beim Opfer entschuldigt. Neben zwei Sätzen, in denen sich der Mann persönlich äußerte, erklärte sein Anwalt Ernst-Otto Nolte, dass der 30-Jährige die Taten einräume, die Verantwortung übernehme und für die Schäden eintrete.
   Hätte er das schon zu Prozessbeginn im Februar in Celle gemacht, wären der Hauptzeugin und einer Reihe Jugendlicher intime und belastende Aussagen vor Gericht erspart geblieben. „Ein Geständnis in zweiter Instanz ist nicht so viel wert wie ein Geständnis in erster Instanz, es ist aber immer noch gewichtig", sagte der Vorsitzende Richter der Berufungskammer in der Urteilsbegründung. Zugleich betonte er die schwere Schuld des Angeklagten. Was dem Opfer geschehen sei, „ist in der Lage, die Entwicklung eines jungen Menschen gravierend zu beeinflussen". Das Gericht entschied sich dennoch zu einer vergleichsweise milden Strafe und verurteilte den Angeklagten zu einer Freiheitsstrafe von zwei Jahren auf Bewährung. Die Bewährungszeit beträgt vier Jahre. Dem Täter wird zudem ein Bewährungshelfer an die Seite gestellt.
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Bundestag verhandelt Verjährungsfristen

   [Deutscher Bundestag]
   DEUTSCHLAND – Nach zwei Jahren Untätigkeit der SPD und der übrigen Parteien und einem Runden Tisch von Politik und Institutionen, dessen Ergebnisse den Belangen der Täter und deren Organisationen mehr entgegenkommen als den Interessen der Opfer (z.B. bei Fragen wie Anzeigepflicht und Höhe der Entschädigung), bringt die SPD das Thema Verjährungsfristen im zivilrechtlichen Bereich, als auch im strafrechtlichen Bereich, bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlen, auf die Tagesordnung des Deutschen Bundestages am Donnerstag den 27. September 2012.
   12.) Beratung Ber (6.A) gemäß § 62 Abs.2 GO zum Entwurf SPD Verlängerung der straf- und zivilrechtlichen Verjährungsfristen bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlen - Drs 17/3646, 17/. - (TOP 12, 00:30 Stunden)
Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Un sacerdote argentino, acusado de abusar de medio centenar de seminaristas

   Religion Digital,
   ARGENTINA (RD/Agencias/Valores Religiosos).– El sacerdote argentino Justo José Ilarraz ha sido acusado de abusar sistemáticamente de chicos de entre 12 y 14 años, entre 1984 y 1992. El Arzobispado de Paraná admitió las "faltas gravísimas" del cura, aunque aclaró que fue apartado del ejercicio del sacerdocio "hasta que la Santa Sede resuelva la situación". Lo acusan de haber violado de más de 50 chicos a lo largo de ocho años. Ayer se supo que la Justicia provincial trabaja en el inicio de una causa en la que se investigará la denuncia formulada por el quincenario Análisis de la Actualidad, dando cuenta de que el Arzobispado de Paraná nunca denunció el abuso cometido por el cura Justo José Ilarraz contra no menos de 50 chicos de entre 12 y 14 años, quienes recién comenzaban su carrera religiosa y estaban bajo su tutela en el Seminario Menor de esa capital. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Church watchdog contract to end

   Irish Times, PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent,
   IRELAND – THE CATHOLIC Church's child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), has said the contract of its chief executive, Ian Elliott, will conclude at the end of June 2013. Mr Elliott will be 65 next summer.
   In a statement yesterday the NBSC added that "the board will engage in discussions and examine with Mr Elliott whether and how his work with the board can continue beyond that point".
   It said "we would like to make it clear that the board has not been subject to any pressures in this regard. While those discussions are ongoing, we will not be making any further statements."
   The NBSC is funded by the Irish Catholic bishops, the Conference of Religious of Ireland and the Irish Missionary Union. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

**VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL CONFERENCE** At Aging, Left-Wing Lovefest, Writers From National Catholic Reporter Unleash Nastiness Against Church

   TheMediaReport, Dave Pierre,
   UNITED STATES – The 10th anniversary conference of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) in Boston this month proved to be anything but "faithful" to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.
   Youthful rebellion was there when Jamie L. Manson, a writer for the dissident newspaper National Catholic Reporter, unleashed a vitriolic attack on Catholics who have the audacity to be faithful to the Magisterium.
   The title of Manson's talk was "Church and young Catholics: Is there a future?" but Manson reserved her harshest venom for those young Catholics who have celebrated Church orthodoxy.
   After deriding those who would attend "World Youth Day," Manson unleashed a barrage that can only described as bigoted, condescending, and nasty. According to Manson, orthodox Catholics:
■ "don't want to see women's equality in church or even in society" (!);
■ "do not want to see gays and lesbians and transgendered people treated with dignity";
■ "are in denial about the sex abuse crisis";
■ "are afraid of cultural flux and uncertainty"; and
■ "are afraid of the world." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM
   [COMMENT: It is sad to read this stuff, attacking a newspaper that was early on the scene opposing seduction of children, when the other religious newspapers were just not reporting the seductions.  COMMENT ENDS.]

Departing Catholic Bishop Vann was an asset to the broader North Texas community

   Star-Telegram, Editorial
   FORT WORTH (TX) – If it was true, as some critics said back when, that Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann was too timid in dealing with difficult issues, that won't be his legacy when he leaves the Diocese of Fort Worth in December.
   It's hardly surprising that Pope Benedict XVI assigned Vann to Orange County, Calif., the fastest-growing Catholic diocese in the country. The Fort Worth Diocese grew from 400,000 to 710,000 during Van's seven years here. But that's only one of the many challenges he ably handled.
   Vann, 61, is a former lab technician who spent most of his life in Illinois. He was ordained bishop after his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Delaney, died in July 2005.
   Where Delaney exercised tightly centralized authority, Vann was out in the parishes of the 28-county diocese, affable and approachable, and he reached out to other religions. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

Wanted Hindu guru escaped to India, officials say

   Statesman, By Eric Dexheimer,
   TEXAS – Two days after a Hays County jury convicted Prakashanand Saraswati of 20 counts of indecency with a child for groping two teenagers who lived at the Hindu ashram he'd founded, newly filed court documents say his followers met in a devotee's home a mile up the road in Driftwood to plan how to spirit him out of the country before his sentencing.
   Later that night of March 6, 2011, or early the next morning, at least one of them accompanied the guru, who uses a wheelchair, over the Mexican border to Nuevo Laredo, according to the documents. After secretly moving just south of Tijuana in mid-2011, Prakashanand – who'd shaved his long white beard and cut his shoulder-length hair – then used a fake passport to escape to India in November.
   The information, as well as other details of how Prakashanand's followers in Texas and across the country clandestinely moved the spiritual leader while evading law enforcement, is included in court documents filed in Hays County. An affidavit in support of a search warrant signed last week by a Hays County judge seeks access to Yahoo email accounts of a preacher and close associate of the guru's who lives in India.
   Although many of the assertions in the document came from law enforcement interviews with devotees, much also was obtained from cellphone records and private emails written between Prakashanand's followers. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Priest goes on trial accused of sexually abusing schoolgirl almost 30 years ago<

   Belfast Telegraph,
   NORTHERN IRELAND – A Catholic priest has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago.
   The Belfast Crown Court jury of six men and six women heard claims that when the alleged victim was performing various duties at the parochial house of St Matthew's Church – on Bryson Street in the Short Strand area of east Belfast – she was subjected to numerous bouts of abuse at the hands of 69-year-old clergyman Peter Donnelly.
   The priest, with an address at Drumaroad Hill, Castlewellan, Co Down, was curate at the church at the time and denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency alleged to have occurred on dates between July 31, 1983, and August 1, 1987.
   He stood down from his position in the Drumaroad parish last year when the allegations came to light. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Winnipeg researchers net $500K for residential schools study

   CBC News,
   CANADA – The University of Winnipeg has received a $500,000 grant to study the intergenerational impacts of Canada's residential schools system.
   The university announced on Monday that its Oral History Centre has received the grant from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to produce a digital storytelling project.
   As part of the project, researchers will speak with aboriginal men who were raised by those who were students of residential schools.
   The latest study builds on similar research that was carried out in 2010, when six aboriginal women shared their stories of being raised by mothers who had to attend the schools. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Defrocked priest accused again

   Modesto Bee, Bee Staff Reports, ,
   CALIFORNIA – Another woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in St. Andrew's Parish in San Andreas, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
   The woman, now 51, is identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51," according to the Record of Stockton. She said she was sexually abused by O'Grady when she was 11 and 12. She said the diocese covered up the crimes and has filed suit against it.
   O'Grady, convicted of molesting two boys from Turlock, served seven years of a 14-year sentence before being deported to his native Ireland. He is in prison there on child pornography charges. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims upset Rev. Charles Abdelahad still active

  [Orthodox Church]&nsp;  
   NECN, {with video}
   WORCESTER (MA) –(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is concerned with how the Orthodox Church is handling the release of a convicted abuser.
   Reverend Charles Abdelahad has completed a 90 day jail sentence for abusing a parishioner at St. George's Cathedral in Worcester where he was a pastor. SNAP is concerned he will be reinstated in his role in the Orthodox Church despite the conviction.
   The reverend took a leave of absence from the Worcester cathedral following his arrest. In May, he was found guilty of assaulting a 45-year-old female parishioner during counseling sessions. The assaults allegedly consisted of biting, kicking and beating the woman with a bat. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

German Catholics told to pay income tax or risk excommunication

   GERMANY ABC - The World Today (Australia)
   Mary Gearin reported this story on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:42:00
   ELEANOR HALL: The Catholic Church has suffered from declining numbers in its congregations for decades. This is not helped by the continuing revelations worldwide about sexual abuse within the church. In Germany the declining congregations have led to a loss of cash flow as well. But now German bishops have decreed that any German Catholic who doesn't pay a significant tax to the church will be excommunicated, as Europe correspondent Mary Gearin reports.
   ANDREAS JANKE: I'm very sad, I feel it's a pity.
   MARY GEARIN: Andreas Janke has had to pay his penance for choosing not to pay tax as a Catholic in Bavaria.
   ANDREAS JANKE: I lost all my rights as Catholic. In the bible says nothing written that you have to pay tax and you should pay willingly from your free will.
   MARY GEARIN: Germany's church tax is based on the notion of tithing, and it's the way money flows to all religions in some European countries, including Switzerland and Austria. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Mom Says Church Reacted 'Wickedly' to Rape

   Courthouse News Service, By DAVID LEE
   TULSA (OK), (CN) – An Oklahoma megachurch waited two weeks to inform a mother that her 13-year-old had been raped by one of its employees, then it lied about having contacted the police and blamed the child, the parent says in court.
   n connection to the alleged incident, Victory Christian Center, of Tulsa, admitted last week that its former employee Chris Denman has been charged with first-degree rape.
   The victim, whose name is abbreviated to M.B. in the complaint, sued the church through her mother in Tulsa County Court on Friday. Courthouse News redacted the mother's name from the complaint and its coverage to protect the child.
   M.B. says Denman raped her in a stairwell during a church summer camp on Aug. 13, and that she reported the rape to church officials the next day. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

4th girl comes forward in Victory Christian scandal, 3rd to accuse former employee Chris Denman

   KJRH, Posted: Sep/24/2012
   TULSA (OK) Another possible victim has come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against former Victory Christian Center employee Chris Denman, the fourth involving a former church employee in recent months.
   The 12-year-old girl is the third minor to bring claims of sexual abuse against Denman. Denman, 20, was arrested Sept. 5 for raping a 13-year-old girl at a church event and molesting a 15-year-old girl.
   Counts of lewd proposal to a child and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime were attached to Denman's initial charges of first-degree rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
   The original allegations against the former church intern have ignited a firestorm in recent weeks as six other Victory Christian employees have been arrested – one Israel Castillo for making a lewd proposal to a minor and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and five others for failure to report child abuse. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Money, 'revenge' cited as roots of pastor's sex abuse charge

   The Daily Item, By Thor Jourgensen / The Daily Item,
   LYNN (MA) – Carmen Sierra wept over the Archdiocese of Boston's announcement that the Rev. James Gaudreau, pastor of St. Joseph's Church where Sierra has worshiped for 45 years, faces an allegation of child sexual abuse.
   "I don't believe that. He's the best. Everybody cares about him," Sierra said Monday.
   She lives three blocks away from the brick church on Union Street where another long-time parishioner, Jimmy Gonzalez, said more than 800 people attend 11:30 Mass on Sunday morning. Gonzalez on Monday said he thinks "revenge" motivated the accusation against the stern, sometimes confrontational Gaudreau.
   "During all these years, Rev. Gaudreau has made a lot of enemies," Gonzalez said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

Catholic priest accused of covering up abuse terminally ill

   ABC News,
   AUSTRALIA – A court has been told a New South Wales Catholic priest charged with covering up sex abuse is terminally ill.
   Today was to be Father Tom Brennan's first appearance in court after being charged with covering up buggery and indecent assault offences by a defrocked Hunter Valley priest in the 1970s.
   The charges stem from Brennan's time as a principal at a Newcastle Catholic high school.
   He is also charged with assaulting an eight or nine-year-old boy. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 AM

Australian bishops pledge cooperation with abuse inquiry

   Catholic News Agency, 12:01 am / Sep 25, 2012
   Melbourne, Australia, (CNA).- The Catholic bishops of Australia's Victoria state have said the Catholic Church in Victoria will cooperate "fully" with the Australian state's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.
   "Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community," Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne said Sept. 21. "It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers."
   The Victorian parliament has launched an inquiry into how religious and other non-governmental organizations handled child abuse, following suicides by dozens of people abused by clergy, Agence France Presse reports.
   The Catholic bishops said the incidence of abuse has fallen "dramatically" from the "appalling numbers" in the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 16 years, the Catholic Church in Victoria has upheld about 620 cases of criminal child abuse, with most claims regarding incidents between 30 and 80 years ago. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 AM

Woman says she was victimized at age 11

   The Record, By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore, Record Staff Writer, September 25, 2012
   STOCKTON (CA) – A woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in the St. Andrew's parish in San Andreas.
   Identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51," the woman said O'Grady molested her when she was 11 and 12 years old. She is now in her 30s.
   She filed a civil lawsuit for an unlimited, undetermined amount against the Diocese of Stockton in August at San Joaquin County Superior Court, claiming the diocese failed to protect her by covering up O'Grady's sex crimes and continuing to employ him.
   The civil complaint says Jane Doe 51 comes from a devoutly religious family. She was baptized, confirmed, received the sacraments, went to confession with O'Grady and celebrated weekly Mass at the church. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 AM September 24, 2012

Bishops' Edict Angers Catholics in Germany

  [Religions receive ~ €9 billion a year through Govt. system.] 
   IHT Rendezvous, By ALAN COWELL,
   BERLIN, Germany – Matters of faith have been much on German minds in recent times with debate raging among its Muslim and Jewish minorities over a court's challenge to the practice of infant circumcision and, as I wrote in my latest Page Two column, over the country's response to the contentious, American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad that has stirred anger across the Muslim world.
   But, in a development that has made fewer international headlines, many of Germany's Roman Catholics are becoming increasingly incensed by an effort endorsed by the Vatican to ensure that churchgoers continue to pay a mandatory tax.
   The decades-old church tax, as it is known, earns the country's Protestant and Catholic churches a total of some €9 billion a year. Germans can avoid paying the levy – up to 9 percent of their assessed income tax – if they formally leave the church.
   As of Monday, Germany's Roman Catholic Bishops have decreed, those who leave the church may no longer qualify for religious ceremonies such as a Christian burial and may not partake in confession or communion; become a godfather at baptism or confirmation; or hold office within the church. But it will now be open to them to discuss a return to the fold with their priests. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

German Catholics criticise sanctions for those who opt out of 'church tax'

   GERMANY The Guardian (United Kingdom)
   Reuters, Monday 24 September 2012
   Roman Catholic activists in Germany have criticised a decree that denies sacraments and religious burials to people who opt out of a "church tax".
   Bishops issued the decree on Friday, warning Catholics who stop paying the tax they would be excluded from all religious activities, including working in a church, becoming a godparent or taking part in parish activities.
   "'Pay and pray' is a completely wrong signal at the wrong time," the reformist movement We Are Church said on Monday. The group said the decree "shows the great fear of the German bishops and the Vatican about further serious losses in church tax revenue".
   A conservative group called the Union of Associations, which is loyal to the pope, asked why Catholics who stopped paying the tax would be punished but those it called heretics could stay in its ranks. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

St. Bernadette Priest Steps Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

   By Lorraine Swanson
   Rev. Gary M. Miller, the senior pastor at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, has stepped down from his duties as pastor amid sexual misconduct allegations with minor over 30 years ago.
   The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on its website that Miller resigned as of Sunday, Sept. 23, and has been removed of all ministerial duties.
   The allegation was made to the Archdiocese of Chicago on June 30, 2012, that Miller had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Deal could be near between archdiocese, sex abuse victims

   MILWAUKEE (WI) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
   By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
   Sept. 24, 2012 5:57 p.m.
   The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and victims of sex abuse by priests and others in authority have extended their court-ordered mediation into next week, prompting speculation that one of the Catholic Church's largest bankruptcies could be nearing a close.
   Lawyers for both sides met for another session Monday with the mediator, retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome of San Francisco, in hopes of hammering out a settlement that would compensate victims and allow the archdiocese to continue its mission.
   Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said "much progress" has been made. But neither he nor attorneys representing victims would comment on the substance of the talks, or whether they believed a settlement was imminent.
   "Based on the status of the talks, we thought it was appropriate to continue. But I wouldn't talk about the status beyond that," said James Stang, the lead attorney for the creditors committee. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM


   CANADA Truth and Reconciliation Commission
   September 20, 2012 – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will host hearings in Thompson (September 25 and 26) and at Sagkeeng First Nation (October 2 and 3). The hearings will provide an opportunity for those affected by the Indian Residential School system and its legacy to share their experiences with a TRC Commissioner (Dr. Marie Wilson in Thompson; Chief Wilton Littlechild at Sagkeeng) as well as with community members and anyone else who would like to learn about and bear witness to the schools' legacy. Those who want to make a private statement to the Commission will also be able to do so.
   Thompson: September 25, 26 at River Lodge, 351 Jasper Avenue Sagkeeng: October 2, 3 at Sagkeeng Arena Multiplex Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Bisdom wil dat Simonis spijt betuigt

   [Summary: The Utrecht archdiocese has asked Cardinal Ad Simonis to repent because of his role in covering up sexual abuse.]
   Het aartsbisdom Utrecht roept kardinaal Ad Simonis op om spijt te betuigen omdat hij niet fel genoeg heeft opgetreden tegen seksueel misbruik. Simonis was 'eindverantwoordelijk' voor een misbruikgeval in de jaren '80. . In 1983 werd hij van seksueel misbruik door de Overijsselse pastoor Boonk schriftelijk op de hoogte gesteld. Volgens het aartsbisdom heeft Simonis, die destijds bisschop van Utrecht was, 'onvoldoende adequaat gereageerd'. De bisdomstaf sluit zich aan bij de oproep van een slachtoffergroep. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Australische R.-K. Kerk geeft seksueel misbruik toe

   AUSTRALIE Friesch Dagblad
   Melbourne | De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in de Australische staat Victoria heeft bevestigd dat er sinds de jaren dertig van de vorige eeuw meer dan zeshonderd kinderen seksueel zijn misbruikt. Dat meldde de BBC. De meeste gevallen van misbruik vonden plaats tussen 1960 en 1980. De kerk onderzoekt nog 45 andere gevallen. Er zijn nauwelijks meldingen binnengekomen van misbruik dat na 1990 zou zijn gepleegd, aldus Denis Hart, aartsbisschop van Melbourne. Dat komt volgens hem doordat er sinds de jaren tachtig strenger wordt opgetreden. Hart vindt het misbruik „afschuwelijk en beschamend". In een statement zegt hij dat het belangrijk is om open te zijn over het misbruik. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

New lawsuit filed against Stockton Diocese over alleged abuse by O'Grady

   STOCKTON (CA) The Record
   September 24, 2012 STOCKTON – Another woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in the St. Andrew's parish in San Andreas, according to the SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
   The woman, now 51, is identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51." She said she was sexually abused by O'Grady when she was 11 and 12. She says the diocese covered up the crimes and has filed suit against it.
   O'Grady, convicted of molesting two boys from Turlock, served seven years of a 14-year sentence before being deported his native Ireland. He is serving time in a prison there, having been convicted of child pornography charges. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Rev. Abdelahad may have resumed duties

   WORCESTER (MA) Telegram & Gazette
   By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
   WORCESTER – The Rev. Charles M. Abdelahad, who took a voluntary leave of absence as pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral last year after being charged with sexually assaulting a female parishioner, may have returned to his ministerial duties. Officials with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said today that parishioners of St. George's have told them that they have seen Rev. Abdelahad working with choir members and taking part in worship services at Antiochian churches in Dedham and Norwood.
   "Why take the risk? That's the question that Orthodox Church officials and members must ask themselves about Father Abdelahad," said David O'Regan, an official with the Worcester chapter of SNAP. "Why let him be around vulnerable adults in a church setting, given his conviction on charges of assault and battery."
   Rev. Abdelahad was sentenced to serve 90 days of a two-year jail term at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction after being convicted in May of abusing a 45-year-old woman during counseling sessions held over a three-year period at the Anna Street church. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Catholic Prayer Tax: German Group Slams 'Pay To Pray' Decree

   GERMANY Huffington Post
   BERLIN – A Catholic reform group in Germany criticized the country's bishops Monday for declaring that believers who refuse to pay religious taxes won't be able to receive the sacrament, become godparents or work in church institutions.
   A century-old agreement with the state adds up to nine percent to the income tax bill of Germany's 25 million registered Roman Catholics, earning the church more than (EURO)4 billion ($5.2 billion) annually. The same tax applies to Protestants and Jews.
   The churches use the income to pay employees' salaries and fund social work such as care for the elderly. The churches themselves aren't taxed by the state but instead pay an administrative fee for the collection of religious tax. Donations represent a far smaller share of the churches' income than in the United States.
   The Catholic bishops' decree in Germany last week is part of an attempt to stem the steady flow of people who opt out of paying religious taxes. It declares that they have committed a "grave lapse" and effectively left the church. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Priest linked to sex abuse in US, expelled by Dominicans

   PHILIPPINES Philippine Daily Inquirer
   3:07 am | Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
   Who is Msgr. Cristobal E. Garcia?
   Belonging to the Archdiocese of Cebu, he is the head of the Commission on Worship; the rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus Nazareno in Cansojong, Talisay; and director of the archdiocese publications, "Bag-ong Lungsuranon" and "Mag-ambahan Kita," according to the 2008-2009 Catholic Directory of the Philippines. His high-profile ministry is a far cry from his situation some 20 years ago when he was expelled from the Dominican Order. Garcia then was working in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. His expulsion reportedly came after a nun told police that an altar boy had been found in his bed in a Los Angeles rectory. According to a listing from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles that was reported in the Los Angeles Times, Garcia was accused of "molesting two youths" from 1980 to 1984. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Priest John Taylor accused of rape

   A priest from Margate has denied raping a woman earlier this year. John Taylor appeared at Canterbury Crown Court earlier today to formally enter a plea of not guilty to rape on February 22. The 48-year-old of Canterbury Road used to work at the Old Roman Catholic Church in St Mildred's Road, Westgate, and wore a cross on a chain over his black suit as he sat in the dock. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

MA - SNAP urges Archdiocese to work with police

   LYNN (MA) Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
   Posted by David Clohessy on September 24, 2012
   We are glad that Fr. James Gaudreau has been removed from ministry following this allegation of sexual abuse. However, the Archdiocese of Boston can and should do a lot more in this case.
   According to diocesan spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan, the abuse in question is alleged to have taken place in 2006. The fact that it has happened so recently means it is likely that there could be criminal charges in this matter. If the Archdiocese of Boston wants to prove to its flock that it truly cares about protecting kids and preventing further abuse, church officials should work diligently to help the Boston police uncover the facts of this matter.
   Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley should use all of the resources available to him to reach out to others who may have information on Fr. Gaudreau's alleged crimes. He should also visit each parish where Gaudreau worked and actively seek out victims or witnesses at each location. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

MA - Convicted priest is back in church

   WORCESTER (MA) Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
   WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
  • disclose that a Worcester-area priest is still in active ministry despite a recent criminal conviction,
  • urge his church supervisors to immediately and permanently oust him, and
  • prod anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.
       WHEN Monday, September 24 at 1 p.m.
       WHERE On the sidewalk outside the Worcester District Court House, 225 Main Street (corner of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) in Worcester, MA
       WHO Three victims of sexual abuse and their supporters who are members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

    Lynn priest accused of child sexual abuse

       LYNN (MA) Boston Globe
       By Matt Rocheleau and Gal Tziperman Lotan Globe Correspondents September 23, 2012
       A Roman Catholic priest who has worked at a church in Lynn for the past three decades has been placed on paid administrative leave because of an accusation of sexual abuse of a child, the Archdiocese of Boston announced Sunday. The Rev. James E. Gaudreau, 69, arrived at Saint Joseph Parish in 1984 as the Spanish apostolate for the Lynn area and became the church's pastor in 1993, archdiocese spokeswoman Kellyanne Dignan said by phone. The alleged abuse occurred in 2006, but the archdiocese was notified only recently, Dignan said. Gaudreau was placed on leave Friday. Dignan declined to release the age of the child or other details. Archdiocese officials said they have notified police about the case and have launched an investigation. Lynn police declined to comment. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

    Priest resigns after accusations of sexual misconduct

       ILLINOIS WGN News 10:10 a.m. CDT, September 24, 2012
       EVERGREEN PARK, Ill.– A Catholic priest in Evergreen Park has resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct.
       Reverend Gary Miller has stepped down from his duties as pastor of St. Bernadette parish.
       The Archdiocese of Chicago received a report in June saying Miller was sexually involved with a minor at St. Leonard parish in Berwyn, more than 30-years ago.
       The archdiocese has reported the case to DCFS, and is sending a report to the Vatican. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

    Priest accused of abusing girl in the 1980s

       BBC News,
       NORTHERN IRELAND – A Catholic priest went on trial on Monday accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago.
       Belfast Crown Court heard claims that the alleged victim was abused by 69-year-old Peter Donnelly at the parochial house of St Matthew's Church, Belfast.
       The priest, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, was a curate at the time.
       He denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency between 31 July 1983 and 1 August 1987.
       Opening the case against him prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay warned the jury that although such offences "may raise the hackles" of people, they had to set aside any feelings of sympathy or prejudice in deciding the case. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

    University investigates alleged molester

       Loyolan, Adrien Jarvis, Editor in Chief; Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
       CALIFORNIA – News broke last week that a former 15-year Jesuit employee of LMU, Brother William Farrington, S.J., had been accused of sexual misconduct at two schools where he previously worked. The University has since launched an investigation into Farrington's time at LMU, according to President David W. Burcham. So far, no similar allegations have been made against him during his tenure at the University.
       "As of now, I can say confidently that there's no evidence of any complaint or wrongdoing while he was here – not even rumors," said Burcham.
       However, Northwest Regional Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Joey Piscitelli believes that alleged victims at LMU will come forward.
       "He was in a position [at LMU] in admissions to actually talk to people who are under the age of 18.
       For him to be there for that long, and for him to be a serial molester, the chance that he didn't molest somebody there, I think, is very little," said Piscitelli. He added that since the first alleged victim from Farrington's former place of employment, Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif. came forward on Sept. 11, he has received five calls from others claiming sexual misconduct by Farrington. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

    Belfast priest goes on trial over alleged abuse in 1980s

       RTE News,
       NORTHERN IRELAND – Catholic priest has gone on trial in Belfast accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago. 69-year-old Peter Donnelly from Castlewellan in Co Down, who was a curate at St Mathew's Church in Belfast, denies six charges of indecent assault and one gross of indecency alleged to have occurred between July 1983 and August 1987. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM


       VATICAN CITY Vatican Information Service
       Vatican City, (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
       - Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

    Catholic Church in Australia comes forth with child abuse cases

       AUSTRALIA Catholic Online
       9/24/2012 Catholic Online (
       More than 600 children are estimated to have been sexually abused by priests since the Thirties
       The archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has described the recently revealed statistics as "horrific and shameful." Australia's Roman Catholic Church has finally come forward to admit that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the Thirties in the state of Victoria.
       LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Campaigners say the actual figure could be closer to as many as 10,000 victims. The recent admission came in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse cases.
       The church confirmed that the 620 cases went back 80 years, the majority of the instances taking place between the Sixties and the Eighties. There are an additional 45 cases under investigation.
       Archbishop Hart said it was important to be open "about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere."
       In a written statement, Hart continued, "We look to this inquiry to assist the healing of those who have been abused, to examine the broad context of the church's response, especially over the last 16 years, and to make recommendations to enhance the care for victims and preventative measures that are now in place." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

    Twin priests focus of legal action over sex abuse

       The Chronicle-Herald September 24, 2012, By DAVENE JEFFREY, Staff Reporter
       CANADA - Three men who claim they were sexually assaulted by priests decades ago are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish. In Halifax court documents filed late last week, William Muirhead, 49, of Stellarton, John Parsons, 62, of Bras d'Or and Myles Parsons, 63 of Nanaimo, B.C., all seek damages under $100,000 for assault and emotional harm. The diocese has not yet filed a defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court. However, each claim holds the diocese vicariously liable in negligence and assault. According to the documents filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, twin brothers Clair and Claude Richard were parish priests at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church at Little Bras d'Or in the 1960s. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

    The priest who ‘gambled parish funds in Las Vegas' but has vowed to win back his collar

       UNITED STATES Daily Mail
       By Paul Thompson PUBLISHED:19:10 EST, 22 September 2012
       A priest from Co. Offaly who won infamy by being jailed for using parish funds to finance lavish trips to Las Vegas and presents for his mistress has been let out of prison early – and has vowed to win his collar back. When Fr Francis Guinan was jailed for plundering Church money, he was accused of being involved in the worst case of embezzlement in the US Catholic Church's history. Condemned as a ‘professional money launderer', he was defrocked and banned from setting foot in his former parish. Lurid tales of nights spent gambling in Las Vegas while accompanied by his much younger mistress ensured that his trial garnered headlines around the world. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

    Taoiseach remains silent after meeting with pope

       ROME Irish Times
       TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny's encounter with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo on Saturday passed off without any significant exchange between the two men.
       Mr Kenny had attended the papal audience as part of a delegation from the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) group, which held a two-day meeting in Rome.
       Still tired from his pastoral visit to Lebanon last week, the 85-year-old pontiff kept the audience brief, preferring to pose with the CDI delegation for a group photograph rather than exchange individual greetings with the 100-plus group. Among those who attended the audience along with the Taoiseach were Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras, Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha and the spokesman for the Syrian National Transitional Council, George Sabra.
       The Taoiseach had nothing to say to the waiting Irish media, given that he had had no significant exchange with Pope Benedict. On this, his first meeting with the pontiff since his stinging criticism of the Holy See in the Dáil last summer, many had wondered if there would be any further "dialogue" with the pope on the clerical sex abuse issue. However, in the context of a group meeting, that had never seemed a realistic possibility. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

    Florida Irish priest who embezzled for Las Vegas trips wants his collar back

       UNITED STATES Irish Central
       By DARA KELLY, IrishCentral Staff Writer
       Published Monday, September 24, 2012\
       An Irish priest who used parish funds for trips to Las Vegas and presents for his mistress has vowed to win his status as a priest back after getting out of prison early.
       When Fr Francis Guinan was sentenced for four years in a Florida prison for embezzling the Church's money, he was also defrocked and banned from ever setting foot again in his former parish.
       According to the Irish Mail on Sunday, the 69-year-old priest from Birr, Co. Offaly, insists he is innocent. He hopes that if he is given a chance to explain his story during a Church tribunal review, he will have the opportunity be a priest again.
       "What people heard in the court when I was jailed was not the whole truth. There was a picture that was painted of me that was not true. All I can hope is that when my case is looked at again, people will learn different facts. I want my side of the story to be heard. How I have been portrayed is not right. I am innocent," he told the Daily Mail. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

    Disrupting worship service in MO could mean jail time

       Posted by Brandi Hunter, Video Journalist
       SENATH, MO (KAIT) – A person who intentionally disrupts a house of worship in Missouri could face jail time, according to a newly enacted Missouri law. Senate Bill No. 755, or the House of Worship Protection Act took effect August 28. According to the act, "a person commits the crime of disturbing a house of worship if such person intentionally and unreasonably disturbs a building used for religious purposes by using profanity, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise. A person commits the crime if they engage in such behavior within the house of worship or so close to the building that the services are disturbed." Senath resident Justin Casey believes the Protection Act is necessary. "There's a lot of people that come and disrupt church because some people don't agree with it," he said. "You don't want them to go into your house and disrupt what you got to do and law protects that so why not protect church like that."
       The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and Voice of the Faithful of Kansas City. SNAP and Voice of the Faithful members believe their protests outside Catholic churches in support of sexual abuse victims could be deemed illegal under the House of Worship Protection Act. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

    Lynn pastor accused of sex abuse

       LYNN (MA) The Daily Item
       By Cyrus Moulton / The Daily Item LYNN – The Archdiocese of Boston has placed the Rev. James E. Gaudreau, pastor of St. Joseph's Church, on administrative leave after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, according to an Archdiocese statement Friday.
       "The Archdiocese will work with the parish if there is any help that they need," said Archdiocese spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan in a phone interview Sunday. She declined to give any information on the complaint other than it involved a child, and the conduct in question is alleged to have occurred around 2006. The alleged conduct "was only recently reported to the Archdiocese," the statement said.
       "To protect the privacy of the individual and to protect the integrity of the investigation, I cannot get into any more details of the complaint," Dignan said.
       Gaudreau, 69, has been at the St. Joseph's since 1984 and its pastor since 1993, Dignan said. She said that the Archdiocese provided staff to assist with pastoral care and to celebrate Masses on Saturday and Sunday and informed parishioners. Dignan said Masses will continue as scheduled. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM
    //////\\\\ END of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker ,
       [KORAN (said to be the same book as on tablets kept by Allah):  DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: ENDS.]
       [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: ENDS.] cont23.htm# australia/austchron5.htm# religion/religchron5.htm# submit/subchron11.htm# cont23.htm# australia/austchron5.htm# religion/religchron5.htm# submit/subchron11.htm#
    [Sep 26, 2012]

    #### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, , Wednesday, September 26, 2012 edition:

    Priest's whipped cream initiation ceremony banned at high school

      [2012. White foam on monk's bare knees, licked off by pupils. Salesian -*NEW. RCC. Schoolchildren.] 
       The News,
       POLAND – The Salesian Society has said that pupils licking cream off a monk's bare knees will no longer be part of initiation ceremonies at a high school run by monks in Lubin, southern Poland.
       Father Alfred F. Leja, chief inspector at the society, which supervises educational standards at the St Dominik Salvio high school in Lubin, said that initiation ceremonies involving a priest with white foam on his knees, with first year pupils kneeling before him, "crossed the boundaries of good taste" and would no longer occur.
       Last week it was reported that the school had photographs on its web site of 13 year-old pupils kneeling before a priest, who had what TV Odra said was whipped cream on his knees – the school claims it was shaving foam – during an initiation ceremony for first year students.
       The children appear to be licking the cream off the priest's legs in the photos, which have now been withdrawn from the school web site. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM
       [COMMENT: What sort of Christianity is this?  COMMENT ENDS.]

    Victory Christian Center Abuse Scandal: Chris Denman Charged By 4th Accuser

      [August 2012. Mr Chris Denman*. Victory Christian Centre. Girl (13), Girl (15), and 2 others.]
       Huffington Post By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS,
       TULSA, Okla. – A fourth victim of alleged abuse at a 17,000-member Tulsa megachurch has come forward, and police said Tuesday that there might be a fifth.
       At the same time, members of Victory Christian Center are beginning to speak publicly about the allegations that have shaken the worldwide ministry's foundations and tarnished the reputations of its pastor and her family members.
       Prosecutors added two additional charges Monday against 20-year-old Chris Denman, a former church employee. He was arrested Sept. 5 on a complaint alleging that he raped a 13-year-old girl in a stairwell on the ministry's campus in August and molested a 15-year-old girl. He faces new charges of making a lewd proposal to a child and using a computer to commit a sex crime involving a 12-year-old girl.
       Another ex-church employee, 23-year-old Israel Castillo, was arrested last week and is charged with making a lewd proposal to a 15-year-old girl and using a computer to commit a sex crime. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

    Vatican suspends Cebu priest

      [RCC. Child seduction yers ago, now ivory smuggling.]  United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       Inquirer, By Ador Vincent Mayol, Cebu Daily News, 8:15 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012
       PHILIPPINES – The Cebu-based priest at the center of an ivory smuggling scandal was ordered suspended by the Vatican but it was for another reason – a 20-year-old child abuse case in California involving altar boys.
       Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday said the past case against Msgr. Cristobal Garcia was brought to the Vatican's attention even before the priest's name appeared in the October issue of National Geographic magazine's cover story "Ivory worship".
       "The Church is also aware of the gravity of the crime of pederasty. In recent pronouncements, the Church has stated her regret for the failure to address the problem in a more decisive and effective way," said Palma who read a prepared statement before taking questions.
       "Cultural practices have contributed to the misunderstanding of the problem." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

    Minister Kathleen Lynch says calls for Magdalene apology 'premature'

       RTE News,
       IRELAND – A Government minister has said a Dáil motion calling for an apology and redress for victims of the Magdalene Laundries was "premature".
       Labour TD Kathleen Lynch told the House that an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, will report by the end of the year, allowing for a proper debate and a Government response.
       Proposing the motion, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said time is not on the side of the Magdalene women.
       She said it was not in doubt that there was cruelty against them, and State collusion with religous orders who "enslaved them for commercial gain."
       She said the McAleese committee was quantifying the extent of the collusion, but the existence of collusion and cruelty was established. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

    Magdalene laundries apology motion defeated

       RTE News
       IRELAND - Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to provide redress for survivors of the Magdalene laundries has been defeated in the Dáil by 75 votes to 43.
       Mary Lou McDonald said the motion did not require the Government to pre-empt the findings of the report.
       Fine Gael's Dinny McGinley said the motion was premature as it came ahead of a report by Senator Martin McAleese on the issue, which is due to be completed before the end of the year.
       Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that the women involved in the Magdelene laundries were due a full apology, compensation, and pension rights. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

    Northern Ireland's institutional child abuse inquiry to begin next week

       RTE News,
       NORTHERN IRELAND – An investigation into institutional child abuse is to begin next Monday in Northern Ireland.
       The inquiry will investigate allegations of child abuse in both state and church run institutions.
       The Stormont Executive established the inquiry after intense lobbying by survivors and victims of child abuse.
       The move comes in the wake of the Ryan Report which uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions in the south. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

    Right Wing Catholics and Pedophile Priests

       City of Angels, By Kay Ebeling
       UNITED STATES – It was his Catholic conscience that caused Sargent Shriver* to create the Peace Corps, Job Corps, and Head Start in the 1960s. In 2011 it was his Catholic conscience that moved Paul Ryan** to oppose Social Security and claim a passion for Ayn Rand's Objectivist theories. Republican Newt Gingrich converted to Catholicism so he could marry his third wife and run for president as someone who is prayerful.
       When it comes to pedophile priests, on the right the Catholic League defends the "high number of falsely accused priests," along with David Pierre whose website and books criticize SNAP for its "left wing" politics, as if it's a given that left-wing means something bad.
       What happened to the socially conscious Catholics, the politically compassionate such as the Kennedys? This century Catholics are part of the most extreme elements of the Republican Party in the USA, and somehow siding with the priests in the pedophile crisis got tagged onto this right wing Catholic phenomenon.
       A Self-Perpetuated Authority
       The pedophile priest apologists end up running each other's talking points on each other's websites. They self-publish books, and review each other's self-published books, and give the appearance that Catholics are Republicans who think pedophile priests have gotten a bad rap. A kind of legitimacy results from the redundancy. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

    Former Pastor Of Simsbury Church Found Guilty Of Misdemeanor Sexual Assault

       The Hartford Courant, By DAVID OWENS, , 7:02 p.m. EDT, September 26, 2012
       ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT – The former pastor of a Simsbury church has been found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault for touching an 18-year-old man's pubic area while administering confession.
       The Rev. Edward Warnakulasuriya, 54, was pastor at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury until his removal in July 2011, when the Archdiocese of Hartford learned that Warnakulasuriya was under investigation. The priest was arrested by Simsbury police on Aug. 11, 2011.
       Warnakulasuriya was initially charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, but pleaded no contest Sept. 19 to a single count of fourth-degree sexual assault as part of a plea bargain.
       Senior Assistant State's Attorney Debra Collins sought a 120-day prison sentence and three years of probation, but Superior Court Judge Howard Scheinblum opted for no jail, according to a transcript of the sentencing hearing in Enfield. Warnakulasuriya will be on probation for three years. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

    Pastor spared abuse trial

       Associated Baptist Press, By Bob Allen,
       TEXAS – A Baptist preacher arrested in May will not stand trial for sexual assault of a child after a Texas grand jury found insufficient evidence to prosecute.
       The Ennis Daily News reported Sept. 26 that an Ellis County grand jury returned a "no bill," or refusal to indict, in favor of Mark Allen Green, 41, a cowboy church preacher arrested May 31 after the Ellis County Sheriff's Office received reports he was in an improper relationship with a minor.
       A prosecutor in the county's district attorney's office said that because grand jury proceedings are secret, he could not comment except to say that no indictment has been handed down in the case. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

    Victory Christian Center employees plead not guilty to failing to report abuse

       Tulsa World By JARREL WADE | Published: September 26, 2012
       TULSA (OK) – Five suspended Victory Christian Center employees pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to report child abuse in an initial arraignment Wednesday morning related to a sexual abuse case at the church.
       Paul Howard Willemstein, 32, associate youth pastor; Anna Alisa George, 24, high school outreach program director; Harold Frank Sullivan, 73, human resources director; Charica Dene Daugherty, 27, assistant senior high youth pastor; and John Samuel Daugherty, 28, senior high youth pastor, are scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Oct. 31.
       The Victory Christian staff members, including Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty's son and daughter-in-law, were suspended from their employment pending disciplinary action. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

    Gagliardi: Knowledge of Sex Abuse Since 1950?s

       Behind the Pine Curtain,
       MINNESOTA – According to an upcoming report, Saint John's University football coach John Gagliardi recently admitted that he has been aware of sexual misconduct at Saint John's since the 1950?s.
       In fact, it was Gagliardi's report to Father Dunstan Tucker which led to a perpetrating faculty member's swift exit from Saint John's after a high school recruit (and potentially a minor) from Florida confided in Gagliardi that he had been molested by the faculty member following a tour of the campus.
       According to Gagliardi, the perpetrating faculty member later took a job at high school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is unclear what steps, if any, Gagliardi took to protect the students at that high school. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

    Confusion over Euro hunt for Megan

       The Press Association,
       UNITED KINGDOM – Confusion reigns over how intensely the search for runaway schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her teacher was being conducted on the Continent.
       Sussex police has said it was working with Interpol and the French authorities over the disappearance of the 15-year-old and 30-year-old maths teacher Jeremy Forrest.
       But BBC News reported Interpol was unable to confirm it was working on the case of the missing schoolgirl from Eastbourne in East Sussex.
       Neither she nor Mr Forrest has a profile on the crime agency's website,, under its "yellow notices" section which "help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves". Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

    Sexual Assault Alleged At Wheeling Jesuit

      [2012. 5 male students. RCC. Female student (20)]  
       The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, September 26, 2012
       By TYLER REYNARD Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
       WHEELING (WV) – City police have launched an investigation into a 20-year-old Wheeling Jesuit University student's allegation she was sexually assaulted by five male students in a campus dorm Saturday night.
       According to Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, the woman said she and a male student were together Saturday night at the Rathskeller. Commonly referred to as the "Ratt," the Rathskeller is an on-campus pub that serves beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
       The pair then went back to Thomas More Hall, the woman said, near the Currie Drive entrance to the campus.
       According to the university's website, Thomas More Hall houses male and female students. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

    From Priests to Boy Scouts – It's Time to Lock Up Child Molesters for Good

      [Boy Scouts of America]  
       Huffington Post, Steve Siebold
       UNITED STATES   According to confidential Boy Scouts of America files, hundreds of cases of alleged sex abuse by Scout leaders went unreported to police between 1970 and 1991. What makes the matter even worse is the position that the organization is taking now.
       Boy Scouts Chief Executive Wayne Brock wrote in an open letter to parents that all scouting activities now require at least two adults present, and that all scout leaders and volunteers must submit to a criminal background check and take a mandatory training course on protecting youths from abuse.
       That's all fine and great, but what about the victims? What about all those innocent children who were abused during that 21 year period? Where is the justice for them? Not only was the abuse quietly swept under the table and never reported, but the Scouts have shown no remorse, no regret and don't seem sorry for what happened.
       Just like the Catholic Church that failed to report thousands of allegations of sex abuse against children and transferred church leaders accused of such crimes to new locations, the Boy Scouts promised these individuals who were caught up in an abuse scandal that the information would not be leaked to the public to protect their standing in the community. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

    Hammond pastor pleads guilty in federal sex case

       NWI Times, Marc Chase,, (219) 662-5330
       HAMMOND (IL) – With an orange jail jumpsuit and leg shackles replacing the suit and tie he wore to a previous hearing, disgraced Pastor Jack Schaap admitted Wednesday to having three sexual encounters with a parish girl beginning when she was 16.
       Schaap, 54, formally pleaded guilty in Hammond federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Lozano, admitting to a charge that could bring 10 or more years in prison.
       Schaap, former pastor of Hammond's First Baptist Church, entered the courtroom Wednesday in an orange Porter County Jail jumpsuit and leg irons. Throughout the proceedings, he periodically winked and gave a thumbs up to family members and others gathered in the visitors gallery.
       One man seated in the gallery and holding a Bible whispered a quiet prayer to Jesus when Schaap took his seat in the defendant's chair. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

    Archbishop Palma: NatGeo article biased

       Inquirer, By Connie E. Fernandez, Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas, 4:07 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012
       CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES –Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has ordered an inventory of all ivory pieces owned by Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, whom National Geographic linked to the illegal ivory trade, to determine if these were acquired before 1981, the year the Philippines became a signatory to an international ban on ivory trade.
       Palma on Wednesday said the Archdiocese of Cebu would cooperate in the investigation being conducted by the government and would not condone the illegal trade of ivory.
       But Palma also took exception to the article's alleged bias against Filipinos' religious practices.
       Msgr. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the archdiocese, said the NatGeo article was biased and created the impression that Garcia had benefited from the killing of elephants so he could make ivory pieces. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM
       [COMMENT: Read the National Geographic <http://­­2012/10/­ivory/c­hristy-text> and see if the "religious practices" look more like superstition than Christianity.  COMMENT ENDS.]

    US - Victims group doubts Boy Scouts abuse "reforms"

      [Boy Scouts] 
       Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Posted by David Clohessy on September 26, 2012
       UNITED STATES – According to today's NY Times, Boy Scout officials are ramping up their public relations efforts on child sexual abuse before the release of more damning documents about child sex crimes and cover-ups in the weeks ahead. (Story here).
       At best, it's reckless to assume that recently-enacted abuse policies in scouting are making any impact. At worst, such claims are disingenuous.
       It is important to remember that in the early 1990s virtually every US Catholic diocese similarly tried to reassure the public about predators by touting similar policies, programs and procedures. But of course, there is vast difference between printed words and actual behavior.
       The new youth protection policies the Scouts are talking up look good. But remember how new many of these new policies actually are:
  • Their mandatory reporting policy became effective in 2010.
  • Youth Protection Training only became required in 2010.
  • Background checks for volunteers only became policy in 2008. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

    Boy Scouts claim kids safer with them than at home

       CNN, By Alan Duke, CNN, updated 2:23 PM EDT, Wed September 26, 2012
       Los Angeles, U.S.A. (CNN) – The Boy Scouts of America released a study Wednesday that claims children were safer from sex abuse in the Scouts than when at home or school.
       The report was prepared by a psychiatric expert hired by the Scouts to review so-called "perversion files" kept by the organization from 1970 to 1991.
       A newspaper review of the files published last week said they showed scouting officials "failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public."
       In response, the Boy Scouts released what it said is an "independent review" by a University of Virginia psychiatry professor Wednesday, ahead of the "increased media attention" it expects with the release of more files. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

    Child Protection Still an Afterthought

       Jeff Anderson & Associates, Jared Shepherd
       MASSACHUSETTS - In yet another stunning example that child protection continues to take a backseat to protecting Catholic institutions and the religious, it is reported that the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts requires parents to sign a liability waiver when sending their children for religious education. The Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities rests the ultimate responsibility for supervising a child on the parent even if the child is entrusted to the church for activities and programming. Most importantly, parents must "specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness, or harm that may result from the trip or activity."
       This preemptive focus on eliminating liability indicates that protecting youth from a broad range of harms, including child sexual abuse by clergy, is not the Diocese's first priority. Given the track record of the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of childhood sexual abuse, including the recent tragic failures in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph, this approach should come as no surprise.
       On the one hand, it is a shameful practice for an institution to absolve itself of any and all legal responsibility in the realm of child protection. On the other hand, maybe it is a good thing. Finally, a Diocese is recognizing the inherent danger in parents sending their children to their church under the supervision and care of clergy.
       By signing these waivers, parents are on notice that attendance at a church in the Diocese of Fall River is equally dangerous to their children, if not more so, as bungee jumping, white water rafting, and skydiving. The danger in allowing their children to be supervised by clergy can, therefore, be first in a parent's mind, even if it's an afterthought for the Diocese of Fall River. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

    MN-SNAP urges three dioceses to work with police

       Minnesota SNAP Statement by Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota SNAP Director, Contact: 952-471-3422
       MINNESOTA – We are glad that Fr. Curtis Carl Wehmeyer has been removed from ministry following allegations of molesting one boy and exposing himself to another. However, the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, can and should do a lot more in this case.
       According to reports, Wehmeyer's actions and the abuses with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, are alleged to have taken place in 2009 and 2010. The fact they happened so recently means it is likely that there could be more criminal charges in this matter. If the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants to prove to its flock that it truly cares about protecting kids and preventing further abuse, church officials should work diligently to help law enforcement uncover the facts of this matter.
       Archbishop John C. Nienstedt should use all of the resources available to him to reach out to others who may have information on Fr. Wehmeyer's alleged crimes. Nienstedt should visit each parish where Wehmeyer worked and actively seek out victims or witnesses at each location.
       He should also request the Bishops of the Diocese of Duluth and the Diocese of Winona actively seek out victims or witnesses at each State Park camping trip location and other suggested ‘Abuse Camper – Will Travel' camping locations.
       With reported Wehmeyer statements as: "Wehmeyer stated he cannot get in trouble because he is a Catholic priest and way too many people depend on him" and the report he " told one of his victims not to tell anyone or the "parish would fall apart," The three diocesan leaders should also recognize many, many people are also depending on them and they also do not want their parishes to fall apart. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

    Will a criminal conviction finally get the American bishops' attention?

      [Bishop Robert Finn. RCC. Guilty verdict.. Msrg. Wm Lynn in prison.] , By Phil Lawler , Sep/24/2012
       UNITED STATES – So now an American bishop is a convicted criminal. Do you suppose there's any chance the other bishops will finally get the message?
       Bishop Robert Finn has been convicted in a court of law for doing what scores of other American bishops have done in the recent past. It's true that Bishop Finn will not serve actual jail time, and his criminal record will be erased after he completes a term of probation; but the judge had the authority to put him behind bars for a year.
       In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Msgr. William Lynn is already behind bars, for doing what his cardinal-archbishop apparently told him to do.
       Some intelligent observers argue that Bishop Finn (and Msgr. Lynn, for that matter) should not have been convicted. But I am inclined to accept the judgment of the courts – as Bishop Finn, at least, has apparently done. Any loyal Catholic should also be troubled by the prospect of a secular court passing judgment on a bishop's exercise of episcopal ministry. But in this case there is no doubt in my mind that civil officials are emboldened to police the bishops because the bishops have so calamitously failed to police themselves. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

    Church, State chase leads on ivory traffic

      [Ivory trade.] 
       PHILIPPINES Sun.Star
       By Bernadette A. Parco and Kevin A. Lagunda Thursday, September 27, 2012
       DIFFERENT church and state groups will investigate the trade and collection of religious items made from ivory, following a magazine article that quoted a Cebu priest on the trade.
       The Cebu-based and National Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will conduct separate inquiries.
       Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will tap the Archdiocesan Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church to investigate religious items made from new ivory, including the collection of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

    Vatican suspends Cebu priest

       Sun.Star, Thursday, September 27, 2012
       CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – A high-ranking official of the Archdiocese of Cebu has been suspended from his duties while the Vatican City investigates a child abuse case filed against him in the United States more than two decades ago. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the US case against former Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been elevated to the Holy See or the office of Pope Benedict XVI, which initiated the investigation.
       "The case started before the present controversy (on the ivory trade) erupted," said the archbishop during a press conference Wednesday morning.
       Palma is also president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which apologized in 2002 for the abuses committed by priests but emphasized that errant priests were a minority. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

    Vatican finally suspends priest who admitted sex with boys

      [Altar boys.]
       The Dallas Morning News, By Brooks Egerton / Reporter, , 11:01 am on September 26, 2012
       TEXAS / PHILIPPINES – Roman Catholic Church leaders have changed their story about why an internationally prominent priest dropped out of sight this summer. Now they say that the Vatican ordered Monsignor Cristobal Garcia's suspension from ministry because of sexual abuse allegations, according to the Philippines' leading newspaper.
       Earlier this week, Filipino church officials portrayed Garcia's absence as simply the result of health problems.
       The new announcement coincides with a National Geographic story about the black market in elephant tusks. It quotes Garcia as giving advice on smuggling ivory icons and refers to my 2005 article on him – in which the priest admitted having sex with U.S. altar boys, providing them drugs and fleeing to the Philippines.
       It isn't clear why Garcia stayed in ministry after the admission. He continued to lead a large group of boys at a rural religious compound and oversaw worship practices for the massive Cebu Archdiocese. Among his international credentials: He led his cardinal's advance team in Rome when Pope John Paul II declared a Filipino sainthood candidate to be blessed. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

    The secrets that we keep

       Manila Standard Today, By Jenny Ortuoste | Posted on September 27, 2012
       PHILIPPINES - It took a foreigner to open the Filipino public's eyes to the tragedy of illegal ivory trading in the Philippines.
       Bryan Christy's article on the topic for National Geographic's October 2012 issue was posted online as early as last week, and broke on Twitter when the link to the story was posted by activist Carlos Celdran, who urged authorities to investigate the matter. The story was picked up this week by local newspapers.
       According to Christy, he came to the country five times to "get a lead on who was behind 5.4 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents in Manila in 2009, 7.7 tons seized there in 2005, and 6.1 tons bound for the Philippines seized by Taiwan in 2006. Assuming an average of 22 pounds of ivory per elephant, these seizures represent about 1,745 elephants."
       His search led him to interview Monsignor Cristobal Garcia of Cebu Archdiocese, member of a wealthy family and a collector of religious art, whose extensive collection includes ivory pieces.
       Christy says Garcia gave him tips on how to purchase ivory and smuggle it into the United States, among them this: "Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it," [Garcia] said. "So it looks shitty with blood. This is how it is done." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

    Priest Investigated in Ivory Smuggling Inquiry in Philippines

       The New York Times, By FLOYD WHALEY, Published: September 26, 2012
       MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Philippine law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that they were investigating whether a senior priest in the Roman Catholic Church was involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory to feed the country's passion for religious icons.
       The investigation was prompted by an article in the October issue of National Geographic magazine that quotes Msgr. Cristóbal Garcia, a senior church official on the central Philippine island of Cebu, as telling an American reporter how to smuggle illegal elephant ivory figurines into the United States. "Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it," he is quoted as saying, to deter inspection.
       The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and the country's wildlife protection agency are investigating the claims made in the article, government officials said.
       The Philippines is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a treaty that regulates international trade in plants and animals. The trading of ivory has been banned under the treaty since 1990. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

    Vatican sacked Cebu priest months ahead of ivory scandal, says church exec

      [> 20yrs ago. Msgr Cristobal Garcia. RCC. Altar boys.] 
       Inquirer, By Connie E. Fernandez, Inquirer Visayas, 12:04 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012
       CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been suspended and stripped of all his positions in the Archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican while the Holy See investigates the child abuse case that stemmed from accusations that he molested altar boys more than 20 years ago in the United States.
       Msgr. Achilles Dakay, Cebu archdiocese media liaison officer, said Garcia's suspension happened months before the monsignor was implicated by a National Geographic article on the illegal trade of ivory in the Philippines.
       Dakay's announcement came after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that he legally acquired his huge collection of religious icons made of ivory.
       The National Bureau of Investigation said it was gathering evidence against those involved in the illegal sale of ivory, which an environmentalist lawyer calls the "new blood diamond" in the international trade. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

    UPDATE: German court: Catholics who don't pay religious tax must leave church

       National Catholic Reporter (USA), By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service, Sep. 25, 2012
       About GERMANY; From WARSAW, Poland – The German bishops' conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments.
       "There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree.
       "Clearly, someone withdrawing from the church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member," he said at a news conference Monday as the bishops began a four-day meeting in Fulda. "We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance."
       The archbishop said each departure was "painful for the church," adding that bishops feared many Catholics were unaware of the consequences and would be "open to other solutions." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

    SNAP Director: More Sexual Molestation Victims of Religious Brother Emerge in Carmichael

       Patch, By Joshua Staab,
       CALIFORNIA – In the wake of new sexual molestation accusations lodged against a former Jesuit High School teacher, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says he has letters from at least four more Carmichael locals alleging abuse by Brother William Farrington.
       Joey Piscitelli, Northern California Director of SNAP, said Farrington's purported Carmichael victims contacted him directly within the past 13 days, after a former student at San Jose's Bellarmine College Preparatory School went public with accusations that Farrington molested him there in the 1960s. The Carmichael letter-writers claim they were abused by Farrington while he worked at Jesuit High School, Piscitelli said, though he did not give details of the allegations.
       SNAP is a victim's rights group focused on bringing awareness to past and present cases of sexual misconduct by clergy members.
       "Most of these clergy predators have escaped justice or punishment, as the antiquated statute of limitations has passed for conviction, and the abusers have slid by the radar, and are not posted on Megan's Law database," Piscitelli said in an e-mail. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

    Megan Stammers: school was at centre of grooming scandal three years ago

       The Telegrah, By Telegraph reporters, 12:36PM BST, 25 Sep 2012
       UNITED KINGDOM – In February 2009 Bishop Bell Secondary School teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years after he admitted grooming and sleeping with two girls aged 15 and 16.
       After the court case another female pupil's mother said she would remove her daughter, 12, from the school because she felt the school's leadership team had failed to protect students from the paedophile teacher. The court heard the relationship was known around the school.
       Healy had groomed both girls on the social networking website Bebo which was popular with teenagers. Other pupils at the school knew what was going on before he was caught.
       It was reported today that pupils at Bishop Bell were aware of the closeness of Mr Forrest and Miss Stammers, and had told a teacher seven months ago that they had been seen the pair holding hands on an aeroplane following a school trip. The pair are believed to be in France. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

    Missing Megan not the first scandal at Bishop Bell

       Eastbourne Herald, Published on Tuesday 25 September 2012
       UNITED KINGDOM – SCHOOLGIRL Megan Stammers running away with her maths teacher is not the first time Bishop Bell School has faced a relationship scandal.
       The 15-year-old fled the Channel on Thursday evening (September 24) with Jeremy Forrest and police are now working with French authorities to try and trace them.
       This week it emerged Bishop Bell School was investigating a relationship between the pair before they ran away.
       Terry Boatwright, executive headteacher at Bishop Bell, said, "Because the investigations are on-going we're not going to comment in detail. However, the school and the county council had been addressing and investigating concerns that had been raised, in line with procedure, when this happened. That investigation will continue and we will decide what action to take." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

    Michael Gove warned about Megan Stammers' school several months ago

       The Telegraph, By Victoria Ward, 1:11PM BST, 26 Sep 2012
       UNITED KINGDOM – A child protection campaigner contacted Michael Gove's office to raise "serious concerns" about the school of teenager Megan Stammers several months ago, it has emerged.
       Lucy Duckworth said she wrote to the education secretary, warning that she feared the Bishop Bell School's child protection policies were "inadequate".
       The former consultant for the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the Eastbourne school was "extremely hostile" when she wrote several times asking to see its child protection policy and claimed that staff refused to send her a copy.
       She told the BBC: "I've written to (the school) and several other officials including Michael Gove, and Stephen Lloyd MP, several times since February this year and stated their child protection policies have been inadequate throughout this time." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

    Gove contacted by child abuse campaigner over missing Megan's school concerns

       UNITED KINGDOM – A child abuse campaigner claims she wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove about her concerns over the school of missing 15-year-old Megan Stammers.
       Lucy Duckworth said she has had requests for meetings with Mr Gove turned down. She also wrote to Bishop Bell school asking to see their safeguarding policies and claims staff were hostile to her request.
       When the policy was put online this year, Ms Duckworth alleges it contained a number of inadequacies.
       She said: "What we found was there was a whole section on safe recruiting but very little on how to effectively protect children. I'm convinced that, had that policy been in place, the parents would have been able to make a decision on their prolonged contact and Megan would be with us. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

    Swami Prakashanand Saraswati flees US to escape molestation charge

      [Hindu ?  Bond US $1.2m forfeited.]
       Indian Express,
       UNITED STATES / INDIA – An 83-year-old wheel-chair bound Indian spiritual guru, a fugitive after being convicted of groping two young girls, may have sneaked clandestinely into India, a US court has been told.
       US Marshals, still looking for him, suspect that Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his devotees as Swamiji, may have fled America in connivance with his close associates.
       Just days after a Hays County jury in Texas convicted him in March 2011 on 20 counts of indecency for molesting two teenagers, the self-styled guru has been missing.
       A judge sentenced him in absentia to 14 years in prison on each count and the guru also forfeited USD 1.2 million in bond and promissory notes. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

    Philippine Officials to Prosecute Ivory Smugglers

       National Geographic,
       PHILIPPINES – A Cebu priest known for his collection of religious icons carved from ivory may have incriminated himself with his revelations on the illegal trade in an investigative report appearing in National Geographic and reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine newspaper reported on its front page today.
       Monsignor Cristobal Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that his ivory collection was acquired legally, the Inquirer reported the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.
       Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the Philippines to understand the country's ivory trade. In the town of Cebu he met Garcia, a senior Catholic cleric and one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, who told Christy how to smuggle religious carvings from illegally obtained elephant ivory into the U.S. Trade in ivory is banned by an international treaty signed and verified by both the Philippines and the U.S. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

    Priest suspended on 20-year-old child abuse raps

       Inquirer, By Connie E. Fernandez, Inquirer Visayas Chief of Bureau, 8:15 pm | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
       CEBU CITY, Philippines – Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been suspended and stripped of his positions in the archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican while the Holy See investigates accusations he molested altar boys more than 20 years ago in the United States.
       Msgr. Achilles Dakay, the archdiocese's media liaison officer, said Garcia's suspension came months before the priest was implicated by a National Geographic article in illegal trade of ivory in the Philippines.
       Dakay said Garcia was suspended by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in June on instructions of the Vatican because of the ongoing investigation of the child abuse case filed against him.
       As part of the penalties, Garcia is not allowed to say Mass in public and hear confessions and has been stripped of his positions in the archdiocese, including his chairmanship of the committee on worship. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

    Fr Peter Donnelly trial: Witness 'felt sorry' for priest

       BBC News
       NORTHERN IRELAND – A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest when she was a child has said she "felt sorry" for her alleged abuser at one stage.
       The woman, 40, told the trial of Catholic priest Peter Donnelly, 69, that before she reported her allegations to police in September 2010, "I felt sorry for Fr Donnelly".
       She said she did not go to the police sooner was because she was "afraid".
       "The simple reason being I blamed myself," she added.
       "I thought the blame would come back on me." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

    Church Backs Ivory Ban; Fair Hearing For Bishop Sought

       Manila Bulletin, By PHOEBE JEN INDINO, 6:33pm, September 26, 2012
       ARCHBISHOP PALACE, Cebu City, PHILIPPINES – The Catholic Church Wednesday expressed full support for the ban on ivory but sought a fair and just hearing for a bishop linked to alleged smuggling of ivory.
       Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in a press conference yesterday, stressed that the Catholic Church supports the ban on ivory as it is consistent with the doctrine on stewardship of creation, and the Church respects the laws of the land.
       Ivory is considered a by-product or derivative from elephant tusk but its collection is one of the illegal acts identified in Republic Act 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
       "The Church does not condone ivory smuggling or other illegal activities, although in the past, ivory was one of the materials used in the adornment of liturgical worship," he said.
       "He gave me phone numbers and locations. If I wanted to smuggle an icon that was too large to hide in my suitcase, I might get a certificate from the National Museum of the Philippines declaring my image to be antique, or I could get a carver to issue a paper declaring it to be imitation or alter the carving date to before the ivory ban," Christy narrated in his article, referring to his conversations with Garcia.
       In the same article Christy described Garcia as a fleshy man with a lazy left eye and bad knees where in the mid-1980s, according to a 2005 report in the Dallas Morning News and a related lawsuit, Garcia, while serving as a priest at St. Dominic's of Los Angeles, California, sexually abused an altar boy in his early teens and was dismissed. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

    Konkordat endlich anpassen

       DEUTSCHLAND – „Die Kirche ist doch kein Turnverein“; Leserbriefe 24. September, „Wer austritt, ist kein Katholik mehr“; Politik 21. September, „Scheinheiligkeit schreit zum Himmel“; Leserbrief 24. September
       Es gibt also doch den „deutschen Weg“ in der globalen Kirche: Wenn wir in Deutschland in der Katholischen Kirche sind und bleiben wollen, müssen wir wegen des Konkordates Kirchensteuer zahlen. Wer keine Kirchensteuer zahlen will, wird aus der Kirche ausgeschlossen.
       Wenn aber zahlreiche deutsche Katholiken dringend notwendige Reformen erbeten bzw. fordern, werden sie mit den Worten, die Katholische Kirche muss die gesamte Welt im Blick haben und kann auf Deutschland keine Rücksicht nehmen, abgewimmelt. Wo bleibt hier die Gleichheit der Argumente?
       Bei dem einen geht es ums Geld, bei dem anderen um Lösung von Problemen. Aber anscheinend ist wieder einmal das Geld wichtiger als der gläubige Mensch. Es ist ja auch praktisch, ohne eigene Anstrengung Einnahmen zu erzielen. Es wird Zeit, dass dieses Konkordat endlich der Neuzeit angepasst wird. Theodor Kreis Germering Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

    Blick zurück in eine düstere Zeit

       Neue Zurcher Zeitung,
       SCHWEIZ (sda) – Heimkinder hatten es nicht leicht. Stigmatisierung, behördliche Willkür, Geldmangel, ein repressives Strafwesen und die tabuisierte Sexualität begünstigten in Luzerner Kinder- und Jugendheimen zwischen 1930 und 1970 Misshandlungen und Missbrauch.
       Zwei Studien
       Das geht aus zwei Berichten zur Vergangenheit der Kinder- und Jugendheime im Kanton Luzern hervor, die am Dienstag in Luzern vorgestellt wurden: Die vom Regierungsrat in Auftrag gegebene Studie von Professor Markus Furrer von der Pädagogischen Hochschule Zentralschweiz (PHZ) und die von der Katholischen Kirche des Kantons Luzern initiierte Studie «Hinter Mauern» von Professor Markus Ries.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

    Wer Katholik sein will, muss Kirchensteuer zahlen

       DEUTSCHLAND – Ein Austritt aus der Kirchensteuer, aber nicht aus der katholischen Kirche als Glaubensgemeinschaft ist in Deutschland nicht möglich. Der Freiburger Kirchenrechtler Hartmut Zapp scheiterte mit seiner Klage vor dem Bundesverwaltungsgericht - obwohl er sich auf die Gesetze des Vatikans beruft.
       Im Streit darüber, ob jedes ihrer Mitglieder Kirchensteuer zahlen muss, hat die katholische Kirche vor Gericht einen Erfolg errungen: Ein reiner Austritt aus der Kirchensteuer, aber nicht aus der katholischen Kirche als Glaubensgemeinschaft ist in Deutschland nicht möglich. Das entschied das Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig.
       Verhandelt wurde der Fall des Freiburger Kirchenrechtlers Hartmut Zapp. Der emeritierte Professor für Kirchenrecht hatte 2007 erklärt, aus der Kirche als "Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts" auszutreten - und seither keine Steuern mehr bezahlt.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

    ärzte und Pfarrer sollen Kindesmissbrauch melden

       Essen, Deutschland – Die Zahl der Missbrauchsfälle steigt weiter: Im Jahr 2011 gab es bundesweit 12.444 Anzeigen wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern – 4,9 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr. Seit Jahren streiten Experten über eine gesetzliche Pflicht für ärzte und Geistliche, solche Straftaten bei der Polizei anzuzeigen.
       Die Zahl der Missbrauchsfälle steigt weiter: Im Jahr 2011 gab es bundesweit 12.444 Anzeigen wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern – 4,9 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr. Seit Jahren streiten Experten über eine gesetzliche Pflicht für ärzte und Geistliche, solche Straftaten bei der Polizei anzuzeigen. „Wir lassen die Kinder erbarmungslos im Stich“, kritisiert ein bekannter Fahnder, der frühere Ulmer Inspektionsleiter Manfred Paulus. „Wir müssen darüber reden, ob aus der Schweigepflicht im Strafgesetzbuch nicht eine Anzeigepflicht wird“, sagte er der WAZ.
       Das Gesetz untersage etwa Kinderärzten, Verdachtsfälle ohne Zustimmung der Eltern der Polizei zu melden. Dabei kämen Täter oft aus dem familiären Umfeld. Selbst Jugendämter würden unter Berufung auf den Strafrechts-Paragrafen 203 (Verletzung von Privatgeheimnissen) auf Anzeigen verzichten. Nur die Polizei müsse Verdachtsfälle verfolgen. Doch da kommen die Fälle eben oft erst gar nicht an.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

    Neues Forschungsnetz will Missbrauchsopfern schneller helfen

       Ulm, Deutschland – / sz Rund 50 Wissenschaftler aus ganz Deutschland haben an der Universität Ulm jetzt bei einem zweitägigen Treffen ein Forschungsnetz über Ursachen und Folgen sexuellen Missbrauchs bei Kindern und Jugendlichen gegründet. Das Netzwerk wird vom Bundesforschungsministerium mit insgesamt 20 Millionen Euro gefördert.
       Gut jeder siebte Erwachsene berichtet nach einer aktuellen Studie über schweren emotionalen, körperlichen oder sexuellen Missbrauch oder eine schwere Vernachlässigung in Kindheit und Jugend. „Unsere Gesellschaft hat hier Defizite, denen wir uns auch wissenschaftlich stellen müssen", erläutert Prof. Lutz Goldbeck, Leiter der Sektion Psychotherapieforschung und Verhaltensmedizin an der Ulmer Uni-Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/Psychotherapie.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

    I-Team: Diocese Pulls Parental Contract That Absolved Church Of Liability

       CBS Boston, {with video} By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent, September 25, 2012
       CENTERVILLE (MA), (CBS) – In the wake of an I-Team report, the Catholic Church's Fall River diocese has reversed its policy on a controversial letter distributed to parents that says the church is not responsible for the safety of their children.
       When parents brought their children to Our Lady of Victory Catholic church in Centerville for religious education, they were asked to sign a document absolving the church of any liability for the safety and welfare of their children.
       In that Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities, parents had been asked to state, "We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity."
       Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of people, who in the past were molested by priests and other Catholic church employees, was critical of the parental contract. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

    Parental contract absolving church's liability pulled

       WHDH, {with video}
       CENTERVILLE, Mass. (WHDH) – Our Lady of Victory in Centerville is at the center of a controversial parent contract that the parish pulled Tuesday.
       The contract had parents agree that when another adult supervises their child the "ultimate supervision and safety of that child is still our responsibility and ours alone."
       Parents also had to agree not to hold the "Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accidents, illness or harm"
       "That's extremely troublesome. I wouldn't sign this or send my kids," said Chris Picariello.
       "It's the responsibility of the parent to investigate and check out who they're sending their child to be in the care of, so I would sign it," said Bonnie Scott. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

    Neue Bürgerinitiative für Heimkinder

       Wien, Osterreich (ptp023/25.09.2012/17:05) – Eine neue parlamentarische Bürgerinitiative für Heimkinder setzt sich für die Wiedergutmachung des Unrechts in der Fürsorge- und Heimerziehung ein. Sie sammelt Unterschriften für ihr Anliegen und bringt Vorschläge für Gesetzesänderungen auf Bundesebene ein.
       Seitens der EinbringerInnen wird das Vorliegen einer Bundeskompetenz in folgender Hinsicht angenommen: Da die Unrechtshandlungen, um die es in der vorliegenden Initiative geht, vielfach in Form von strafbaren Körperverletzungen oder Gesundheitsschädigungen erfolgten, betrifft deren Wiedergutmachung die Rechtsmaterie des Verbrechensopfergesetzes (VOG). Es wird angestrebt, dieses Gesetz und das ABGB um einige Regelungen zu ergänzen, die der speziellen Opfersituation von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Erziehungseinrichtungen besser gerecht werden. Dazu ist nur der Bundesgesetzgeber in der Lage.
       Rechtsanwalt Dr. Christian Sailer hat das Anliegen der Initiative in beiliegendem Text formuliert, begründet und erläutert. Den vollständigen Text finden Sie im Anhang "Wiedergutmachung des Unrechts".
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

    German Catholic Church issues ultimatum: No money, no sacraments

       Vatican Insider, Alessandro Speciale, Rome,
       The German Episcopal Conference's decision has sparked a debate within the country's Catholic world, leading to widespread controversy
       GERMANY / VATICAN CITY   It may seem over the top but this is the whole point of the decree issued last week by the German Bishops' Conference, with the approval of the Holy See.
       The decree requires that faithful who declare to a registry office that they are no longer members of the Catholic Church, will no longer be able to actively participate in Church life and there receive the sacraments.
       Essentially, Germans who ask to no longer be registered as Catholics – and therefore no longer pay the country's church tax (8-9% of their annual income tax bill) – will no longer be able to receive the sacraments of confession, communion or confirmation and when they die, they will not be allowed a Catholic funeral. They will also not be able to work as volunteers in Catholic associations, sing in Catholic choirs or even work in Catholic institutions such as schools or hospitals. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM
       [COMMENT: Jesus, son of Mary, ought to take a few lessons from the German Roman Catholic archbishops, bishops, etc. and the Vatican.  He ought to have charged for the cures he did!  COMMENT ENDS.]

    AUS - SNAP blasts promotion for Sydney's Cardinal

       Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Posted by David Clohessy on September 24, 2012
       AUSTRALIA – Today the Pope is promoting Cardinal George Pell to the Congregation for Bishops, a powerful international body within the church. We believe this promotion is hurtful to victims.
       Victims in Pell's diocese of Sydney have reported that the process there for reporting abuse, known as Towards Healing, is more of a smoke-screen for the diocese than a way to help victims. Some have charged Towards Healing as actively lobbying to prevent victims from getting legal representation. According to an article in the Canberra Times, 95% of Australian victims have described the system as "abusive, highly adversarial, legalistic and traumatic."
       We think that by promoting such a Cardinal as Pell who has been this antagonistic to victims is indicative of the fact that, despite lengthy statements and calls by the Pope to "bind up the wounds" of clergy abuse victims, actual church policy is to sweep claims under the rug and avoid embarrassment. When church officials are rewarded for doing more to hinder abuse claims than to actual heal them, we find it hard to imagine that the Vatican is serious about healing, and is more concerned about damage control and avoiding scandal. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

    MA - Victims blast Fall River bishop for parents' legal form

       Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Posted by David Clohessy on September 25, 2012
       {I-Team: Parental Contract Absolves Cape Cod Church Of Liability - CBS Boston}
       CENTERVILLE (MA) – A Boston news outlet reports that the Fall River Catholic officials are requiring parents at one parish to sign a legal form that is apparently designed to help protect the diocese in child sex abuse and cover up cases.
       The contract says: "We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity."
       We are outraged by this legal maneuver. Catholic officials should be focused on protecting innocent kids, not protecting its often corrupt hierarchy.
       It is also another indication that church officials are still unwilling to accept responsibility for putting dangerous clerics around kids. To try and absolve themselves – in advance – of any potential wrongdoing just shows that church officials care more about keeping their reputations clean and their lawyer fees low than they do about protecting kids. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

    Vatican reverses priest's suspension

      [Disobeys Vatican, but Vatican reinstates priest.] 
       St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BY TIM TOWNSEND, > 314-340-8221
       ILLINOIS – An Illinois priest, forced out of his parish by Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton for improvising prayers during Mass, has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican.
       The Vatican decided in favor of the Rev. William Rowe on one of three counts, saying Braxton had not followed the proper procedure. Rowe said an accompanying letter from Braxton informed him that the bishop would appeal that final Vatican decision to a higher church court.
       The Vatican's reversal of Rowe's suspension means the priest can celebrate Mass outside the Belleville diocese, Rowe said, so long as he has the approval of the bishops' governing other dioceses where he would say Mass. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

    Vatican probes priest in alleged ivory smuggling

       PhilStar, By Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star), Updated September 26, 2012
       MANILA, Philippines - A ranking official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the Vatican has already initiated a probe into the alleged involvement of a Cebu church official in ivory smuggling.
       Based on the article by the National Geographic magazine, Msgr. Cristobal Gracias admitted having acquired some of the religious artifacts made of ivory via smuggling.
       "In regard to the matter of Msgr. Garcia's past, the case has been elevated to the Holy See and it has initiated the investigation into it long before the present controversy erupted. I have also fulfilled the Holy See's instructions regarding submission of documents and acting upon related consequences," CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

    Magdalene survivors still held hostage to politics

      [Irish State drags its feet on torture claims regarding laundries.]
       Irish Times, JAMES M SMITH
       IRELAND – OPINION: Dáil Éireann will vote this evening on a motion addressing the Magdalene laundries. Two facts are fundamental to the debate preceding it.
       First is the indisputable fact that three years after Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) circulated an apology and redress scheme for survivors of the laundries, 22 months after the Irish Human Rights Commission called for a statutory inquiry into alleged abuses and provision of redress in appropriate cases, and 15 months after the UN Committee Against Torture obliged the State to ensure that within one year survivors obtained redress, the women at the centre of this debate find themselves in exactly the same position as when this all started.
       No apology, no pension, no lost wages, no redress and no acknowledgement that what happened to them was wrong. A population of Irish women, aging and elderly, living at home and abroad, many vulnerable and marginalised, is left waiting as time slips by.
       Second is that there is overwhelming evidence of State involvement in the Magdalene laundries – sending women to the institutions and ensuring they stayed there; direct and indirect financial support; and failing to regulate the commercial laundries and thereby prevent human rights violations. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

    New O'Grady lawsuit alleges 1990s abuse

      [1991-92. RCC.]
       The Union Democrat, Written by Alexander MacLean, The Union Democrat, September 25, 2012
       CALIFORNIA – A San Andreas woman has filed a lawsuit against the Stockton Catholic Diocese and defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady, claiming she was molested as a child by O'Grady while he served at St. Andrew's Parish two decades ago.
       The alleged victim, now 31, says O'Grady molested her when she was 11 and 12 years old from 1991 to 1992, according to the lawsuit, which was announced to the public Sunday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP.
       The complaint for damages filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court in August also names several parishes under the Stockton Diocese, where it claims criminal allegations against O'Grady were known but not reported to law enforcement.
       A now 25-year-old Bay Area man filed a similar lawsuit in May, saying the former priest abused him in 1992 – one year before O'Grady was convicted of four counts of lewd and lascivious acts against two other boys. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

    Church does not condone ivory smuggling–CBCP

       Philippine Daily Inquirer, By Jocelyn R. Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6:18 pm | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
       MANILA, Philippines – Amid a controversy involving a Cebu priest allegedly connected to illegal ivory trade, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the Catholic Church does not condone ivory smuggling even if in the past it was a main ornament used for liturgical worship.
       In a statement on Wednesday, CBCP President Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma stressed that while ivory artifacts crafted long before the ban were considered the cultural heritage of the Church, it was not encouraging the use of ivory for new implements.
       "Let it be made clear that the Church supports the ban on ivory as it is consistent with her doctrine on stewardship of creation," said Palma, a co-signatory in a petition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) calling for the transfer of Manila Zoo's lone elephant, "Mali" to a sanctuary in Thailand. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

    Catholic Tax! German Catholics lose rights

      [181k RCs leave RCC in Germany.]
       Catholic Online, By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM), Sep/25/2012
       GERMANY – German Catholics have left their churches following priest sex scandals
       If they fail to pay a special tax, Germany's Roman Catholics will be denied the right to Holy Communion or a religious burial. A German bishops' decree has just come into force says that anyone failing to pay the tax, which is an extra eight percent of their income tax bill - they will no longer be considered a Catholic.
       While Catholics make up around 30 percent of Germany's population, the number of the former faithful leaving the church has climbed to 181,000 in 2010. The exodus has been blamed on revelations of sexual abuse by German priests.

       LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bishops say they have been alarmed by the number of Catholics leaving the Church, and such a step would be seen as a serious act against the community.
       All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of eight to nine percent on their annual income tax bill. The levy was introduced in the 19th Century in compensation for the nationalization of religious property.
       "If your tax bill is for 10,000 euros, then 800 euros will go on top of that and your total tax combined will be 10,800 euros," Munich tax accountant Thomas Zitzelsberger says. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

    Exile and mercy: Mass marks 10 years since bishops' charter

       Catholic San Francisco, By Michelle Martin, September 26th, 2012
       CHICAGO (IL) – The Scripture readings at a Chicago Mass celebrated to mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" offered the despair and isolation felt by an exile in the Book of Lamentations and the comfort of God's mercy in the beatitudes.
       Their juxtaposition shows the balance we all need, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said in his homily at a "Mass of Atonement and Hope" celebrated Sept. 15 at Holy Family Church, site of the archdiocese's Healing Garden.
       The garden, dedicated in June 2011, offers healing and reconciliation to all hurt by clergy sex abuse.
       The concelebrants of the Mass were the cardinal and five priests who are involved with the Chicago archdiocese's response to clerical sexual abuse. It included prayers for victims and their families, for those who assist them and for the forgiveness of perpetrators. It ended with a blessing of facilitators of the Virtus program, which trains church workers about the signs of sex abuse, how to recognize adults who are trying to take advantage of children and how to thwart opportunities for abuse. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM
       [COMMENT: Celebrating their failures! COMMENT ENDS.]

    Philippines to question priest in ivory trade

       CBS News,
       MANILA, Philippines – Philippine authorities say they will question a Roman Catholic priest about ivory smuggling after his collection of ivory religious icons was featured in National Geographic magazine.
       Monsignor Cristobal Garcia is quoted in the October issue of the magazine as describing how to bring ivory figurines into the United States.
       National Bureau of Investigation official Sixto Comia said Wednesday that authorities are investigating the origin of ivory icons widely used in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. He said Garcia will be questioned but declined to give further details. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

    Bishop Kinney outlines challenges of long career

       St. Cloud Times,
       ST. CLOUD (MN) – St. Cloud Bishop John F. Kinney talked about the challenges facing his diocese, his career, his retirement plans and victims of sexual abuse during a Rotary of St. Cloud luncheon today .
       The 75-year-old spiritual leader of the Catholic diocese is the longest-serving bishop in the U.S. The ninth bishop of the St. Cloud diocese was a guest speaker at Le St-Germain Suite Hotel.
       Kinney appeared in good humor and good spirits on Tuesday despite the use of a cane. However, he eventually brought up the sex scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.
       "The most difficult committee that I was asked to chair were the first years of the committee on the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church, and I chaired that committee for eight years beginning in the 1990s," said Kinney, who has sat down with the victims.
       "I would want to say that our Safe Environment Program here in the Diocese of St. Cloud is one of the best in the United States and we are a leader internationally as far as how to address the question of the care and protection of young people in our society." Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

    Evergreen Park priest accused of sexual abuse removed from ministry

      [1980s. Miller. RCC.]
       WBEZ, Rebecca Kruth, September 25, 2012
       ILLINOIS – A priest from a southwestern Chicago suburb has been removed from ministry after being accused of sexual abuse.
       The Archdiocese of Chicago says after the allegations surfaced in June, Rev. Gary Miller of St. Bernadette's Parish in Evergreen Park left the church voluntarily. The misconduct allegedly took place more than 30 years ago while Miller was serving at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.
       The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State's Attorney were both made immediately aware of the situation, the archdiocese said in a statement.
       The Independent Review Board found the accusations to be credible and recommended the priest be removed from the ministry, according to the archdiocese. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

    Evergreen Park priest removed from ministry, accused of sexually abusing minor 30 years ago in Berwyn

       WLS, September 25, 2012
       EVERGREEN PARK, ILLINOIS, (WLS) – A Roman Catholic priest in southwest suburban Evergreen Park has been removed from ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct.
       The Chicago Archdiocese says the Reverend Gary Miller resigned from St. Bernadette Catholic Church over the weekend.
       The archdiocese says accusations first surfaced in June that Miller engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor 30 years ago at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

    Priest Charged With Sex Abuse Working On A Plea Deal

      [Greek Orthodox]
       NBC 4, {with video},
       COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bishop Andonis with the Archdiocese of New York says Father Nicholas Hughes will not fight the sex abuse charges against him and is working on a plea deal.
       Hughes has been the interim priest for the past year at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Short North.
       He was arrested on Sept. 19 by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children task force for soliciting sex over the internet.
       Investigators say the 56-year-old thought he was chatting with the parents of a 9-year-old and 14-year-old boy. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM
    //////\\\\ END of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker ,
       [KORAN (said to be the same book as on tablets kept by Allah):  DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: ENDS.]
       [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: ENDS.] cont23.htm# australia/austchron5.htm# religion/religchron5.htm# submit/subchron11.htm# cont23.htm# australia/austchron5.htm# religion/religchron5.htm# submit/subchron11.htm#
    [Sep 26, 2012]

    • Little faith in Church behaviour.  [Years. Anglican Church. Northam, a country town.]     

    Little faith in Church behaviour

       The West Australian, <>, <letters § wanews com au>, by Gary Adshead, Inside State, p 21, Thursday, September 27, 2012
    L inks between child abuse and the Church are so prevalent that new accounts of shattered trust and cover-up no longer shock communities anywhere in the world.
       Staunch Catholics and Anglicans will never lose faith in the greater good argument they use to offset the bad.
       However, the amount of damage their institutions have done to countless lives over many years can never be reconciled.
       Last week, the findings of a report by retired Supreme Court judge Peter Blaxell into the sexual abuse of children in the State's care at boarding hostels in country WA was tabled in Parliament.
       The warden of St Andrew's hostel in Katanning, Dennis John McKenna, consumed most of the report and the preceding inquiry.

       But pages 233 to 261 of the report were reserved for St Christopher's hostel in Northam and how the Anglican Church allowed a sexual predator to go quietly rather than sack him and ensure he never worked within the Church again.
       Roy Wenlock was employed at St Christopher^ between 1963 and 1977.
       During that time he managed to fool the community into believing his dedication to the hostel and its young residents was genuine.
       Many boys who boarded at St Christopher's while attending the town's high school were subjected to the bizarre sexual behaviour of Wenlock, which included having to wrestle him in his underpants and much worse.
       Students summoned to his hostel flat referred to the wrestling sessions as "bruting" and Mr Blaxell concluded there was only one reason they occurred.
      [Picture] Failed to act: Bishop Michael Chalten was criticised by a retired judge. 
       "The bruting always involved the same bizarre and ritualistic form of physical contact which the boys had to perform for Wenlock's sexual pleasure," Mr Blaxell found.
       Evidence from some of the warden's victims was extremely disturbing and raised the spectre of Wenlock's involvement in a paedophile ring.
       "Wenlock asked me to wash his car with him," a victim, who was 13 when he was sent to St Christopher's, told the Blaxell inquiry.
       "Then I went with him to his flat.  There was a knock on the door and a bloke turned up.  Wenlock said this bloke was a friend of his who liked to watch our wrestling matches."
       The victim said he recognised the man at the time because he had addressed his school and knew him to be a high-profile person in the community.
       Wenlock died aged 75 in 2007, but the inquiry was able to scrutinise who in the Anglican Church and on the hostel's board knew what and when about his repeated sexual misconduct.
       The conclusions were damning.

       "During 1976 and 1977 there were three separate instances when an individual student who had undergone bruting sessions with Wenlock made complaints to authority figures either inside or outside the hostel," Mr Blaxell found.
       A key Church figure in the complaints process and the decision-making around it was retired Bishop Michael Challen.
       He was an archdeacon and the chairman of the St Christopher's hostel board when issues surrounding Wenlock came to a head.
       Bishop Challen told the inquiry how he confronted Wenlock in December 1977 and forced him to leave the hostel when Wenlock confessed to the wrestling sessions.
       But Mr Blaxell was clearly disturbed by the Bishop's reasons for demanding Wenlock's resignation rather than sacking him because he "didn't want to prejudice unnecessarily his employment future".
      [Picture] Sexual misconduct: Roy Wenlock  
       "I thought it was a nice way of doing it," the Bishop told the inquiry.
       Furthermore, Mr Blaxell concluded that Bishop Challen knew about Wenlock's sexual misconduct a year before he dealt with him.
       "In late 1976 at a meeting at the house of Ken Mclver, MLA, Bishop Challen heard allegations from one or more students of misconduct by the hostel warden which raised reasonable grounds for a belief that the misconduct was sexual in nature," Mr Blaxell found.
       "Bishop Challen failed to respond to those allegations."
       When further allegations were made, Mr Blaxell found that as a public official the Bishop "failed in his responsibilities to the wider community by allowing Wenlock to resign rather than be dismissed".
       On top of that, Bishop Challen spoke in glowing terms about Wenlock in a report to the Anglican Synod.
       "By these actions Bishop Challen increased the prospects that Wenlock would be able to sexually misconduct himself with young males in a similar fashion again," Mr Blaxell concluded.
       Sure enough, Wenlock left Northam and continued to have an active role in the Anglican Church as the Rector's warden in the Floreat parish.
       He was also employed by the WA Cricket Association and worked with young boys as a development officer.
       "There is ample evidence to show that Wenlock would engage in grooming behaviour with these boys," Mr Blaxell found.

       Despite all that, the Anglican Church responded to the Blaxell report and its findings with the following statement.
       "In respect of the inquiry into retired Bishop Michael Challen, the Church notes that as Archdeacon responsible for the oversight of St Christopher's Hostel he took action in demanding Mr Wenlock's resignation," Archbishop Roger Herft said.
       "Through his long life in the service of the community, Bishop Michael has always strived to act with compassion and as he saw right and fair at the time.
       "He is deeply grieved that Mr Wenlock betrayed his trust and that this has caused hurt to many.  The exposure by the inquiry of the level of depravity in Roy Wenlock's behaviour has left Bishop Challen shocked and deeply concerned for those who were abused."
       It's another example of the Church failing to accept it enabled a paedophile in its ranks to wreak havoc.
    Tuart Place provides support in reporting and discussing child abuse in out-of-home care. Freecall 1800 619 795.

       [RECAPITULATION: he "didn't want to prejudice unnecessarily his employment future".  "I thought it was a nice way of doing it," the Bishop told the inquiry.  ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: The newspaper website, after a search using the headline as the terms, resulted in this appearing:- Sorry, searching for ""Little faith in Church behaviour"" did not yield any results.
       In a world which has an urgent need for clear moral guidance, and exposure of the "false guides" masquerading in religious robes, the casual inquirer outside Western Australia would not even know this thoughtful comment had been written.  The cover-up continues.  COMMENT ENDS.]
       [SCRIPTURE: Anglicans and others who have been misled by the scripture text about forgiving seven times 70 times ought to follow up opposite scriptural viewpoints at <> and <>.   ENDS.]
    [Sep 27, 2012]

    • Ex-priest calls for married clergy.     

    Ex-priest calls for married clergy

       9 News national, <>, 7:32pm, Monday, October 22, 2012
       A former priest has called for the Catholic Church to accept married clergy to help change a culture which has contributed to sexual abuse of children.
       Des Cahill says the Victorian government should amend the Equal Opportunity Act to remove the exemption allowing religious organisations to bar people from serving in the church because of their marital status.
       Professor Cahill told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry the reform would require "major changes" in the church and admitted it would be a long shot.
       But allowing married clergy in the Catholic Church could be the "circuit breaker" needed to change the whole culture of what he called "celibate caste clericalism", he said.
       "Celibacy should be maintained, but there should also be the scope for diversity to include married clergy," he told the inquiry into child abuse by religious and other organisations.
       "To introduce this requires major change, not least of which is the financial implications."
       While a small number of married Anglican ministers have crossed over and been ordained as Catholic priests in Australia in recent years, Prof Cahill is calling for further steps.
       He believes the church should readmit married former priests like himself and allow married men to be ordained.
       Prof Cahill, who served in two Melbourne parishes in the 1970s and is now professor of intercultural studies at RMIT University, said there was general support for change.
       "Around the world, the majority of Catholic lay people support married clergy," he said.
       He said celibacy in a closed community such as the priesthood could contribute to emotional immaturity and lead indirectly to a culture of offending.
       "If a celibate does not receive the emotional support of a close community, such as a marriage, there's a greater likelihood of offending," he said.
       Prof Cahill said figures showed one in 20 priests ordained in Melbourne between 1940 and 1972 were child abusers, but because many cases went unreported, that figure could be as high as one in 15.
       He said 22 of the 452 priests who studied at Corpus Christi College in that time were known child sex offenders, a similar rate to a US analysis which found 4362 of 105,000 priests had abused children.
       He said the figure [sic; ? percentage] may be even higher among Christian Brothers.
       While reported cases have decreased in the past 20 years, he feared sexual abuse in the church may rebound in the coming decades because the "underlying problems have not been addressed".
       The church was incapable of dealing adequately with sexual abuse, he said, as it maintained unrealistic ethical clericalism, lacked openness and transparency, and operated under canon law rather than civil law.
       He said giving lay members of parishes representation on diocesan synods to have their say on policy matters would help the church.
       "Where there's greater openness, there's more likelihood of bringing issues that fester to the surface," he said.
       Prof Cahill also called for the Melbourne Response – the church's internal protocol for dealing with abuse accusations – to be dissolved and all allegations to be sent to police.
       "It (Melbourne Response) is in house, designed to protect the image and reputation of the church and to contain [= ~ restrain] financial liability," he said.
       "All this saga would have been much more easily handled if it was handled in the proper arena – the police and criminal justice system." #
    [Oct 22, 2012]

    • Sex abuse has shamed the Church: Archbishop.  Church shamed by sex abuse: Archbishop [Internet version]    

    Sex abuse has shamed the Church: Archbishop

      [Printed newspaper version]
       The West Australian, <>, <letters § wanews com au>, <­thewest/a/-/news­home/15­212091/church-shamed-by-sex-abuse-archbishop/>, by Kate Emery, Page One, updated 2:10 am, Thursday, October 25, 3012
       Perth's new Catholic Archbishop says the Church's "shameful" history of sexual abuse is to blame for it no longer being "heard or respected" in public debate.
       Timothy Costelloe said there was a growing gap between Catholic values and those accepted in society, with the Church "sidelined, attacked and ridiculed" for expressing its views on everything from abortion and marriage to the treatment of asylum seekers.
       In an unusual move, Archbishop Costelloe, writing in Catholic newspaper The Record, suggested the Church must shoulder some blame for its loss of community standing.
       His comments come amid renewed criticism of the Church's methods for dealing with abuse allegations, which have been aired at Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse.
       "One of the reasons why our voice is not heard or respected when we seek to proclaim our beliefs is the shameful reality of sexual abuse by clergy, religious and other Church personnel," Archbishop Costelloe said.
       "As the new Archbishop of Perth, I would like to express my own horror of these terrible crimes, which have brought so much suffering to so many people. The victims of sexual abuse deserve our compassion, our admiration and our support."
       The Archbishop apologised to victims and their families.
       "I intend to work closely with my collaborators and advisers to deal fully and compassionately with any instances of abuse and to do all we can to . . . minimise the risk of such things ever happening again," he said.
       The president of support group Adults Surviving Child Abuse, Cathy Kezelman, welcomed the comments but said the Church had to change the way it dealt with complaints.
       "Any validation is a positive but obviously words don't make amends for a lost childhood," Dr Kezelman said.
       "What we really do need to see from the Church is full and open transparency, immediate reporting of any child abuse to civil authorities and prioritisation of the needs of victims. We need to see systemic change in the Catholic Church."
       Archbishop Costelloe, who succeeded Barry Hickey this year, weighed into the same-sex marriage debate last month, saying politicians who attempted to change the law to have it recognised were misusing their power. #

       [COMMENT: Archbishop Costelloe comes from Victoria, where an inquiry has been told the RCC hid the sex abuse offences from the police.  COMMENT ENDS.]
       [RESPONSE Letter to newspapers sent Oct 25, 2012
       Well may the new Catholic Archbishop of Perth express horror at the sexual abuse by clergy, brothers and nuns and other Church personnel (reported 25/10).
       However, while his and other Christian Churches defy some basics of the Jesus teachings, what can His Grace Timothy Costelloe do to greatly reduce these sins in his own ranks?
       Although we know that sexual abuse by married and other people occurs independently of faith, and that two huge non-Christian religions hold up as a good example, and practise, child marriages, it is up to the two major branches of Christianity to face reality about normal human urges to have love and to make love.
       The Catholic Eastern Rites and the Orthodox Churches deny the right of bishops to marry, and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church not only denies its clergy of all ranks the right to marry, but like some other sects and the Buddhists also takes promises of celibacy by non-clergy brothers and nuns.
       For Christians the old teachings are "It is better to marry than to burn," and the ministers ought to be "the husband of one wife." The early wisdom of the older religion, Judaism, is "It is not good for the man to be alone."
       The Vatican ought to give up its pretended right to override scripture in this matter, and in the matter of supposedly forgiving sins seven times seventy times. For major offences after baptism, that text is contradicted by three other New Testament texts. But the Roman Catholic clergy kept "forgiving" each other, in many cases for decades.
       Catholics' voices are not being heard or respected in moral matters, partly because their Church's teachings are puritanical on masturbation and family planning, without any clear prohibition of these by their supposed founder, Jesus.
       As Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Cathy Kezelman was reported to have said, "words don't make amends for a lost childhood," and there needs to be systemic change in the Catholic Church.
       Here in Perth, from 1994 to 2008 the Catholic leadership did not put an end to adult sex abuse occurring in the Bethel Covenant Community, and pretended they had not heard of it.  But no sanctions were imposed on the leaders.  A whistleblower was dismissed.
       The current Victorian inquiry has shone a spotlight on the Catholic Church, but other religions, and other bodies such as the US scouting movement, also need to reform themselves. #
       Read Matthew 18:15-17.[<>]  ENDS.]
       [LINK: Adults Surviving Child Abuse (Australia) <>. ENDS.]
    [Oct 25, 3012]

    • Ow!  Father.  [R.C.C.]    


    This is the 80-year-old Perth priest
    accused of
    biting off a fellow priest’s ear
    during a fight over a disputed car space
       The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), by Glenn Cordingley, and Ashlee Mullany, Page One, Sunday, Nov 11, 2012
       TWO elderly priests, one car space and no forgiveness.
       That's the scene that allegedly played out in suburban Dianella that has left one priest in hospital without his right ear and another one in court accused of biting it off.
       Father Thomas Byrne, 80, appeared in court yesterday charged with grievous bodily harm over the unholy incident involving his neighbour, 81-year-old Father Thomas Joseph Cameron Smith.
       The two retired clergymen live next door to each other in the unit complex but, according to police, their peaceful existence turned nasty on Friday afternoon over a disputed car space.
       It's not clear what happened next, but the court heard yesterday that Father Smith left the scene with his detached, bloodied ear wrapped it [sic] in a tea towel. He is now recovering in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital after surgery.
       Father Byrne didn't enter a plea in court and was granted bail, but told not to go within 10m [10 metres, about 33 feet] of the victim.
       Another priest, who also lives in the complex, was stunned when told of the brawl, saying: "I was shocked because we're all in our 80s and retired priests."
       Full story Page 9
      [2 pictures, one of the car space, and one of the accused, sitting forlornly on a very low wall after being released on bail.]   #

       [COMMENT: The headline kept the Webmaster chuckling for a few days.  See the pun?  Remember, it is not just this sect whose ministers are alleged to have committed offences. COMMENT ENDS.]
    [Nov 11, 2012]

    A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
    Click on the headline to read the full story.
       December 29, 2012

    Agressions sexuelles: un autre frère de Sainte-Croix sera arrêté

    CANADA - La Presse, Philippe Teisceira-Lessard, Publié le 29 décembre 2012 à 09h42 | Mis à jour le 29 décembre 2012 à 15h34
       Un deuxième frère de Sainte-Croix sera bientôt arrêté par la police de Montréal pour des agressions sexuelles qu'il pourrait avoir commises au Collège Notre-Dame il y a des décennies, a appris La Presse.
       Olivain Leblanc, 70 ans, fait l'objet d'un mandat d'arrêt daté du 6 décembre dernier. L'ancien professeur d'anglais du réputé collège montréalais devrait être accusé de grossière indécence et d'attentat à la pudeur, en lien avec des actes survenus entre mars 1979 et octobre 1981.
       À cette époque, l'accusation d'agression sexuelle n'existait pas et celle de viol était réservée aux situations impliquant un homme et une femme. Même si les accusations sont déposées en 2012, c'est la version du Code criminel valide à l'époque des actes reprochés qui doit prévaloir dans ce dossier.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

       TRANSLATION by internet Bing Translator, adjusted
       Sexual assault: another brother of Holy Cross will be arrested
       La Presse (The Press), Published December 29, 2012 at 09: 42 | Updated December 29, 2012 at 15: 34
       A second brother of Holy Cross will be soon arrested by Montreal police for sexual assault that he might have committed in the Collège Notre-Dame of decades ago learned the news.
       Olivain Leblanc and Georges Sarrazin... (Photos: National Collection of Quebec)-image 1.0
       Olivain Leblanc, 70, is a warrant of arrest dated December 6. The old English teacher of the renowned Montreal college should be charged with gross indecency and indecent assault, in connection with acts that occurred between March 1979 and October 1981.
       At this time, the charge of sexual assault did not exist and that of rape was reserved for situations involving a man and a woman. Even if the charges are laid in 2012, this is the version of the valid Criminal Code at the time of the impugned acts which must prevail in this folder.
       Yesterday, the press revealed that the former Professor and prefect of discipline Georges Sarrazin was also targeted by a similar mandate. The facts would have occurred between 1966 and 1980 against three victims.
       In addition to a total of eight counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, brother Saleh will have to defend a charge of sodomy.
       Brothers Sarrazin and Leblanc would be among the first of their congregation to face justice. Numerous allegations of sexual assault against minors vitiate the reputation of the brothers of Holy Cross.
       Bad reputation
       Based on matches [?] between the congregation of Holy Cross and his lawyers that the press had written earlier this year, Olivain Leblanc allegedly committed sexual assaults repeatedly on a pupil of the Collège Notre-Dame. He, "Daniel", was then in the third and fourth high school. He allegedly assaulted "80 to 100 times" within two years.
       "Brother Olivain Leblanc stated that the vast majority, if not all holy religious, were homosexual and that there was no damage nor anything repugnant to this issue", said the letter written by Mr. Émile Perrin.
       The victim would have received $ 250,000 in exchange for his silence, according to the daily newspaper The Gazette.
       Joined by the press at the residence of the Grand-Saint-Joseph in Laval, brother Leblanc denied any allegation of sexual assault.
       "I have nothing to reproach myself", he said, adding that he did not want to talk about this issue. It simply confirmed that he was Professor of English at the College Notre-Dame at the time.
       Difficult arrests
       The two arrests under the mandates will be officially held at the beginning of the month of January, said yesterday the SPVM. However, will be a special operation, due to the State of health and the advanced age of the two defendants.
       "The investigators on the record spoke with the lawyer who represents the brothers of Holy Cross and an arrangement has been made," said Danny Richer, from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).
       Georges Sarrazin, for example, harshly accused her 91 years. He suffers from health problems and requires constant care. In addition, the press noted Thursday that he suffers from a serious problem of deafness.
       "Measures will be taken to ensure that the arrest and the appearance is going well. This will be a bit of work on part and on the other, said Danny Richer. The examination may also be complicated." (Translation ends)

    Un deuxième frère fait l'objet d'un mandat d'arrestation

    CANADA - Journal de Montreal
       MONTRÉAL – La police de Montréal a confirmé samedi qu'un deuxième frère de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix devrait être arrêté prochainement pour des agressions sexuelles commises entre 1966 et 1980.
    Un mandat d'arrestation a été émis le 6 décembre contre le frère Olivain Leblanc, âgé de 70 ans, qui pourrait faire face à des accusations de sodomie, de grossière indécence et d'attentat à la pudeur.
    Vendredi, le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) avait déjà révélé que des accusations semblables pourraient être déposées contre le frère Georges Sarrazin, âgé de 91 ans. La police a spécifié que le frère Sarrazin, qui fait également partie de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix, devrait être arrêté en janvier à la suite de plaintes déposées par d'anciens élèves du collège Notre-Dame, à Montréal.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

    Two elderly Quebec priests suspected of sexual assaults

    CANADA - CJAD, Posted By: Luciano, 12/29/2012
       Two elderly Quebec priests are expected to be arrested and charged in the new year.
    Arrest warrants have been issued for 70-year old Olivain Leblanc and 91-year old Georges Sarrazin.
    It's alleged they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame during a 14-year period beginning in the mid 1960's.
    Charges could inlude gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

    Montreal police to arrest two priests accused of abusing students decades ago

    CANADA - CTV, {with video} CTV Montreal, Published Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012
       MONTREAL – With over 200 former students claiming they were abused by priests, the fight against the Congregation of Holy Cross has been ongoing for years. Early in the New Year, two priests will be arrested and charged.
    On Saturday, the Montreal police confirmed that a warrant had been issued to arrest Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91. The two priests face allegations that they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.
    Leblanc and Sarrazin could face charges of gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy – crimes in the Criminal Code at the time they were committed.
    With the warrant issued on Dec. 6, Montreal police worked with the men's lawyers to organize their arrest. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

    Catholic Church to face the music

    AUSTRALIA - Herald Sun,
       Over the coming months it will, rightly, be subjected to extreme scrutiny as a royal commission into the institutionalised abuse of children examines why so many people have had their lives ruined by organisations that were trusted to protect and nurture them as youngsters.
       The church will face searing questions about its past practices, including why, in some cases, it moved priests accused of abuse to other dioceses, meaning more children were victimised.
       And why it did not properly co-operate with many police investigations into paedophile priests.
       The church will need to be open and transparent about disgraceful failings of the past, which have devastated too many lives and shocked Australia.
       The church also needs to be accountable for its future and consider whatever steps are necessary, no matter how radical, to ensure future generations are protected. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

    Some charges against pastor of Church of End Times dropped

    Telegram & Gazette, By Susan Spencer, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF, ,
       UXBRIDGE – The pastor and co-founder of the Church of the End Times, a nondenominational church that has drawn attention for some of its practices, such as purported exorcisms featured on YouTube and late-night gatherings with teenage girls, bid his lawyer farewell Friday at Uxbridge District Court after several charges from the past year were dismissed or continued without a finding.
    Judge Vito A. Virzi dismissed charges against David H. Stanley, 40, of 51 Murphy's Way, related to violation of a restraining order, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace on Oct. 1. Several neighboring police departments were called to assist Uxbridge police in removing David's brother, Dennis H. Stanley, from the home Dennis shared with his wife, Beth Stanley, at 41 Murphy's Way. Mrs. Stanley has since filed for divorce.
    Judge Virzi also dismissed charges stemming from alleged breaking and entering to steal a motorcycle from his brother's home in May.
    Mr. Stanley was found not responsible on three unregistered motor vehicle charges brought after witnesses alleged Mr. Stanley and a child were riding a motorcycle, without helmets, at high speed through their neighborhood last July.
    A charge of driving an uninsured motor vehicle was dismissed. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

    Op-ed: Pa. task force recommendations pave way for stronger abuse laws

       PENNSYLVANIA - The Patriot-News, By Debra Schilling Wolfe,
       The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently released its report calling for sweeping reform in how the state responds to reports of child abuse.
       The numbers tell the story: 11 Pennsylvania professionals, representing all corners of the state and many of the fields that touch the lives of victims of child abuse, released a comprehensive report in excess of 400 pages, after meeting on 17 separate occasions, holding 11 public hearings across the commonwealth and hearing testimony from more than 60 experts.
       With the support of legislative staff, they incorporated research on how every other state addresses the problem.
       While some people were leery about another commission, all appointed by elected officials in a highly partisan environment, the task force was comprised of committed private citizens. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

    Petition to Obama to Act Now to End Group Child Sexual Abuse Advances

       UNITED STATES - Christian Catholicism, (by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)
       The petition that went public a couple of days ago on the White House website has been garnering over hundreds of signatures daily since then from all over the USA. The petition asks President Obama to set up a national investigation commission on organizational child sexual abuse that is increasingly occurring in church, synagogue, school and youth organizational situations.
       State laws and local officials seem incapable of curtailing these crimes sufficiently. The sexual violence against children often involves organizations operating nationally that protect, and at times even facilitate, the sexual predators. Many of these organizations have significant political and economic clout of over local officials and prosecutors that often improperly precludes local prosecutions of the criminal conduct.
    As a grandfather who has been a lawyer (now retired) for over 40 years since graduating from Harvard Law School, it is very clear to me that only a Federal solution can curtail this growing epidemic. That is what the petition seeks. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

    Dolan is No. 1 newsmaker in religion reporters' poll

       UNITED STATES - Rapid City Journal, Mary Garrigan, Journal staff,
       Before the slaughter of innocents in a Newton, Conn., school on Dec. 14 sent a grief-stricken nation into mourning, religion journalists voted the top 10 religion stories of 2012.
       While the No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack that killed 20 first-grade students and six adults, it happened after the Religion Newswriters Association ballot deadline. But the mournful search for meaning that will follow, as religious people discern religion's role in future debates about mental health and gun control, promises to remain an important story in 2013.
       RNA members – professional journalists who cover religion – voted on the year's other significant religious events and put the U.S. Catholic bishops' opposition to national health care legislation that mandated contraception coverage at the top of the list. Related to the top story, the top religion newsmaker was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who became the point man for Catholic objections to required coverage of contraception, sterilization and morning-after drugs in Obamacare.
       The Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year, as chosen by RNA members, are:
       5. Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia becomes the first senior Catholic official in the U.S. to be found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse; later Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., becomes the first bishop to be found guilty of it.
       6. The Vatican criticizes the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group of U.S. nuns, alleging they haven't supported church teaching on abortion, sexuality or women's ordination.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

    Gag orders could hamper abuse royal commission

       AUSTRALIA - Radio Australia, Tom Nightingale,
       Support groups have warned that the upcoming Royal Commission into child sexual abuse could be held back by legal gag orders.
       They say some of the most severe cases of abuse might be restricted by a court order or a confidential legal settlement and there are concerns this could stop some victims sharing their stories.
       At the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse, the Catholic Church waived any confidential legal agreements that had been entered into by victims of abuse and allowed victims to give evidence. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

    Priests told to report child sex abuse

       AUSTRALIA - The Australian, Samantha Maiden, From:The Sunday Telegraph, December 30, 2012
       PRIESTS should be required by law to report cases of suspected child sex abuse - without breaking the seal of the confessional - according to the new chief of the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council.
       Francis Sullivan, a committed Catholic, also believes offering a weekly prayer for victims and a moment's silence during mass could help the church atone for atrocities.
       He has also warned he wants to be an independent voice for victims and their families, not an apologist for the church.
       The Truth, Justice and Healing Council was established by the Catholic Church to co-ordinate its response to next year's royal commission, prompting sceptics to question the new organisation. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

       December 30, 2012

    What would have happened if the LA Times and AP DIDN'T intervene?

       LOS ANGELES (CA) - The Worthy Adversary, Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012
       What would have happened if the LA Times and The Associated Press did not intervene in the court battle over the Los Angeles Archdiocese clergy sex abuse documents?
    My guess? The worst possible outcome.
    What do I mean by that? The document redactions – that would have allowed church officials guilty of covering up for clergy sex offenders to remain unpunished, unexposed and unaccountable for their crimes – would probably have sailed in under the radar. Victims (and their attorneys) who fought for years to get justice and accountability would have been given the proverbial "sand-pounding hammer" and LA criminals similar to Philadelphia's Msgr. William Lynn would be off scot-free.
    Let's hope that more media organizations – as well as Catholic justice and advocacy groups – step up and also demand the accountability that Los Angeles' victims have been fighting for for decades. Let's also hope that Judge Emilie Elias rules for victims and public safety (remember, many of the names that could be redacted belong to people still in positions of power). Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

    Victim-hating quote of the day. Thanks, LA Archdiocese!

       LOS ANGELES (CA) - The Worthy Adversary, Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012
       Remind me to take Los Angeles Archdiocese lawyer J. Michael Hennigan off my Christmas card list.
    From the Los Angeles Times:
       "We agree with Judge Tevrizian that enough time has passed and enough reforms have been made that it's time to get off this and move onto another subject," attorney J. Michael Hennigan said.
    Those other subjects? Two civil sex abuse trials against former priest Michael Baker and the first of what could be many civil sex abuse trials against former priest Nicolás Aguilar Rivera. And that's just the start.
    " enough time has passed?" To run out the statute of limitations for other victims, perhaps
    Gee, those UNREDACTED documents would get in the way, wouldn't they?
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

    Italy: Priest's letter draws women activists to Sunday Mass demo

       ITALY - Euronews, {with video}
       Women staged a protest at Sunday mass after a priest in Italy blamed violence against females committed by men on provocative behaviour and clothing.
       The activists made their opposition to Father Pietro Corsi's views clear at the main church in the Tuscan city of Carrara.
       Father Corsi, priest at a church in nearby Lerici, penned his views in a letter, then posted it on the church noticeboard.
       "We decided to stage this protest because we think that this ideology is basically shared by most of the Catholic Church and society. This ideology has become one of the causes of violence against women, which is actually an emergency in Italy," said Anthropologist and women's rights activist Alessandra Verdini, who organised the protest by using Facebook. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

    Second priest to be arrested in sexual abuse case

       CANADA - Montreal Gazette, By Roberto Rocha, THE GAZETTE, December 30, 2012 12:51 PM
       MONTREAL – Montreal police will arrest a second priest believed to have sexually abused students of a school run by the Congregation of Holy Cross one of Quebec's pre-eminent religious orders.
    The arrest of Olivain Leblanc, 70 follows that of Georges Sarrazin, 91. Both are accused of abusing boys at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.
    Leblanc, like Sarrazin, is also believed to suffer from health problems, which complicates their arrest.
    Police are in discussion with the priests' lawyers, and the arrest warrants will be "executed shortly," Constable Anie Lemieux of the Montreal police said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

    Church protest held after priest says women provoke violence from men by provocative behaviour

       ITALY - RTE News,
       Women in Carrara, Italy attended mass wearing miniskirts and low-necked dresses to protest against an Italian priest's comments.
    Father Pietro Corsi, priest at Saint Terenzio, a church in Lerici, Northern Italy said that women killings and violence against women are caused by provocative women's behaviour.
    Father Corsi hung a notice on the Church's notice board on women dressing which provoked strong reactions and protests among Italian women and also towards the Church. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

    Judge Elias, please release ALL confidential church records of names of vicars, bishops, others who handled reports of child sexual abuse in Los Angeles Archdiocese

       UNITED STATES - Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils , Paris Arrow,
       New Year's plea to the judge of Los Angeles: Reveal the whole truth, the entire truth now
       Dear Judge Emilie H. Elias,
       You are our final hope for the whole truth and nothing but the truthand May the Almighty God help you and give you the courage to do the right thing.
       The crimes against American children systemically covered-up by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must not be hidden in the dust of history nor must it be given the chance to be shredded and forgotten forever into oblivion (five or six banker's boxes of documents).
       We beg you to please release all confidential church records of the names of vicars, bishops and others who handled reports of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the sake of hundreds of victims of sexual abuse that settled their claims in 2007 for $660 million. Money can settle for compromise and silence, but it cannot buy the whole truth and money cannot repair the lives of hundreds of children in Los Angeles that have been destroyed forever by Roman Catholic pedophile priests. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

    Two elderly Que. priests accused of sexual assaults

       CANADA - CNews, By QMI Agency,
       Montreal police have issued arrest warrants for two elderly priests accused of sexual assaults dating back to the 1960s.
       Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91, both brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, could face charges including gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy.
       It is alleged they sexually assaulted students at the College Notre-Dame in Montreal between 1966 and 1980. Police said four people have filed complaints against the two men. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

       December 31, 2012

    Warren Jeffs, Polygamist FLDS Cult Leader, May Be Directing Doomsday Plot (VIDEO)

       UNITED STATES - Huffington Post, Meredith Bennett-Smith, Posted: 12/31/2012
       Infamous polygamist and leader of the break-off Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sect has predicted that the end of times is near, prompting some to worry about violence this New Year's Eve.
       Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for abusing underage girl "brides," but authorities say he has been issuing missives to his 10,000 followers from his prison cell, the New York Daily News notes.
       Sam Brower, a private investigator who represents former FLDS members, told CNN that law enforcement officers will be monitoring known FLDS communities as the new year approaches.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

    Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Investigates Sex Abuse Allegation

       MISSOURI - Ozarks First,
       SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau says it has received a credible complaint of sex abuse of a child involving a priest.
       According to the diocese, the complaint involves Rev. Walter G. Craig and is alleged to have happened in the mid-1960s.
       The church says Rev. Craig was appointed to the diocese in 1956 and the alleged abuse occurred in New Madrid County.
       Rev. Craig was born in 1899 and ordained in 1923 for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He died in 1971. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

    Diocese investigates allegations of child sexual abuse

       MISSOURI - Sikeston Standard Democrat, Monday, December 31, 2012
       SPRINGFIELD - The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has reported allegations of sexual abuse of a child by a priest who once served parishes in Southeast Missouri.
    The Diocese is reporting "a credible complaint" of sexual abuse of a minor involving the Rev. Walter G. Craig. The allegation pertains to a period in the mid-1960s, according to a news release from the Diocese. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

    Montreal deacon facing child porn charges worked with kids before arrest: parishioner

       CANADA - Global Montreal, Monday, December 31, 2012
       MONTREAL – A church member says a West Island deacon facing child-pornography charges worked directly with children at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield.
       Pierre Drolet, whose three children attended catechism classes and volunteered at the popular Catholic parish, said that as a deacon, William Kokesch was involved in a range of children's activities, including organizing bowling parties and other events for altar servers, choir members and children enrolled in liturgy programs.
       Drolet made the comment in response to a statement by church warden Peter Geukers, who said Thursday that Kokesch did not work directly with children, except during mass.
       "That's not true," said Drolet, an active church volunteer for about 10 years, until three years ago.
       "He's a deacon, and the deacons work with kids," he said. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

    Resolutions and hot dogs all around

       WORCESTER (MA) - Telegram & Gazette, Dianne Williamson,
       The mother of one of my oldest friends died of cancer last week. Jacqueline Brunelle Sharry was 86, funny and warm, with a succinct way of expressing herself that led to phrases dubbed "Jackieisms" by her kids.
    She never went to college or worked outside the home. Instead, she raised 10 terrific children, all of whom adored her and were by her side as she passed. Looking back, she never made the raising of such a big, boisterous brood seem anything but effortless.
    Mrs. Sharry was also one of those moms who made her children's friends feel welcome in her home, where she was always quick to set another place at the dinner table. Last week, she was asked by her daughter Nancy how she managed to raise such a large family and still have the energy to host all the neighborhood stragglers.
    She shrugged and seemed puzzled by the question.
       "It was easy," she said. Then she added, "What's another hot dog?"
       I loved this final Jackieism, and believe the world would be a better place if we carried that simple sentiment into the New Year. So with that in mind, I offer the following resolutions for local folks who have appeared in this space in 2012, either voluntarily or under duress:
    Don Peters, the Worcester priest who exposed a fellow cleric, resolves to continue to follow his conscience. And the people who ostracized him for doing so resolve to be ashamed of themselves. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM's Top 10 Posts of 2012 [Part II: The Top 5!]

       UNITED STATES - TheMediaReport,
       We close out our great year at with our Top Five posts of 2012! Again, thank you so much to everyone!
    #5 Minn. Supreme Court Rejects 'Repressed Memory' Junk Science Against Priest, Media Yawns
    For years now, Church-suing lawyers have attempted to use the novel psychological theory of "repressed memory" as a way to circumvent the statutes of limitations in many states in order to file big-money lawsuits against the Catholic Church.
    However, in July, the Minnesota Supreme Court flatly rejected the theory as bogus. The Court declared that scientific studies that have tried to prove the bogus theory have "lacked foundational reliability." Yet – not unexpectedly – the media was nowhere to be found reporting this important story.
    Regular readers of this site have long known that "repressed memory" is a complete sham. Yet once again, when the facts do not fit the accepted media narrative, the facts are ignored. Kudos to the Minnesota Supreme Court, however, for telling the story that the media will not. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

    John Wojnowski

       WASHINGTON (DC) - Minnesota SNAP,
       {Reach out - say THANK YOU to John, on his daily journey he stops at the library and reads comments below}
       The Passion of John Wojnowski
    Haunted by his past, he has stood outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years. His lonely vigil has made him a hero to victims of sexual abuse. But will he ever find peace? Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

    Colombian Jesuit silenced over critical review of Pope's book

       The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland), December 15, 2012
       COLOMBIA - Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J. had learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to critique your boss's writings. Fr. Llano, whose weekly column Un alto en el camino ("A stop along the road") had appeared in the major Colombian newspaper El Tiempo for 30 years, has been told that his writing career has come to an end.
       In a message to the editorial board of the newspaper, Fr. Llano wrote that "Father Adolfo Nicolás, the superior general of the Jesuits, has ordered Father Alfonso Llano to consider his apostolic vocation as a writer to be over, has deprived him of his freedom of speech, and is demanding that he not even say goodbye and that he keep absolute silence."
       The priest columnist earned his silencing for a November 24th column in which he offered his views on Pope Benedict XVI's new book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, and specifically on the doctrine of the virginity of Mary. The column focuses on internal debate about the subject within the theological community and is worth translating in its entirety:

       The Infancy of Jesus. That's the title of the third volume of the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth by theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. It has been published in nine languages, including Spanish, and will be published in a first global edition of one million copies. With a series of articles in the press and interviews on radio and television, I would like to guide readers of this book by the Pope, which offers a special difficulty – the virginity of Mary – which will give theologians and the media a lot to talk about.
    Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM
       Saint Paul, in the letter to the Philippians tells us that Jesus was a common man (Phil 2:6-7). Saint Matthew, the same one who tells us about Jesus' divine conception (1:26), presents Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph (13:53 ff.) and with several brothers and sisters. It's appropriate to clarify that, in the judgment of North American Catholic biblical scholar John Meier, who has studied the problem in depth, in the four Gospels it's about real blood brothers of Jesus (A Marginal Jew, I, 341). It's time to leave behind the fairy tale that they're Jesus' cousins. This assumption is argued to safeguard Mary's corporal virginity. The Pope cites the work of this great biblical scholar several times in his trilogy, without contradicting his interpretation of the corporal non-virginity of Mary.

       [[ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Abuse Tracker,, by Kathie Shaw, U.S.A. ENDS.]
       [RECAPITULATION: in the four Gospels it's about real blood brothers of Jesus (A Marginal Jew, I, 341). It's time to leave behind the fairy tale that they're Jesus' cousins. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: And the lies that Roman Catholic teachers in RC schools told about this.  Where the New Testament testifies that James, the brother of the Lord, was the leader of the congregation in Jerusalem, the brothers and nuns told the children that was a word meaning a relative, because the original Bible language did not have a word for "relative."
       Yet, in a gospel story of Mary being told of Elizabeth's pregnancy (with John the Baptist), we are told Elizabeth was a relative of Mary.  But the translators often wrote "cousin" there, instead of relative.  What mental gymnastics these people perform to cover the fact that Jesus had four brothers and an unknown number of sisters. 
       When Jesus returns to Nazareth (Mark 6:1), the local people ask, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?"  (Copied from a response on the original website by Terry, December 26th, 2012 at 11:16 pm)
       In fact, Mary was the mother of quite a brood, and when the boys were grown up, they feature in bible stories that they came to Jesus's teaching sessions.
       So, the brave writer is supposedly silenced - he's lucky he didn't live in previous ages, when he would have been extinguished.
       Surely the Roman Church could accept that Mary became a normal wife and mother AFTER the birth of her "first-born son," Jesus?  And reform its prayers about "semper virginem."
       Changes to other teachings include the dropped ban on cremations, the dropped prohibition on taking part in religious sessions with non-Catholics, and the sureness that the Limbo of the unbaptised babies exists. COMMENT ENDS.] [Copied to Chronology 6, Relgion Clarity Campaign]

    Irish priest is hit with third abuse lawsuit

       UNITED STATES/IRELAND - Irish Independent, By Eimear Ni Bhraonain, Monday December 31 2012
       A THIRD lawsuit has been filed in the United States against an Irish priest who fled the country where a civil jury found him guilty of molesting an altar boy.
       Fr Michael Kelly (63) insisted on his innocence after he returned to stay with family in Ireland last April.
       The Catholic priest from Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, has rarely been seen since he returned to Ireland.
       The Irish Independent understands that he has not been involved in any priestly duties since he came back to Ireland. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM
       * – NEW*, and in later entries summarising the facts just an asterisk (*), signify predatory clergy whose offences were not known to the public, and probably/possibly not included in previous overall statistics and enumerations of the numbers of seducing etc. clergy.
       means "less than or equal to," and on this website might, in some situations, signify before or during that year or month, or, before or on that date.
       means "greater than or equal to," i.e., "at least," and on this website is also given cognate meanings, such as "on or after".
       < means "less than," and on this website might also signify before a date or time.
       > means "greater than," and on this website might also signify after a date or time.
       < and >, or ( and ).  At times, Internet addresses (URLs) or e-mail addresses in some situations might be marked off with "<" and ">" or with "(" and ")".
       means approximately equal to, but alternatively on this website "~" has often been used, both with an extra meaning of around that period = circa.
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    PARTIAL CONTENTS and ANCHOR LIST (After reading an article, use Browser's "Back" button to return to Anchor List)
    Call for adverse findings for trio. Hostel inquiry.  W. AUSTRALIA: State-run hostel leaders allegedly let staff seduce boy and girl boarders at KATANNING. June 23-24, 2012
    Catholic Church had boys, men castrated. Roman Catholic Church (RCC) NETHERLANDS (= HOLLAND): At least 10 young males, included some who had complained of Church people sexually molesting them, were castrated by the Roman Catholic authorities in the 1950s, it is reported.  Mar 21, 2012
    Child abuse spectre over 26 institutions. W. AUSTRALIA: 22 Government, Church, and private child care centres harmed children with psychological and sexual abuse, work replacing schooling, plus undue beltings. June 11, 2012
    Child migrant abuse revealed. W. AUSTRALIA: Fairbridge Farm School, near Pinjarra, W. A., was not the model child migrant hostel that was thought.  205 child migrants who were among those sent to the institution between 1930 and 1981 have been awarded more than $1.1 million in ex gratia payments. May 26, 2012
    Church inquiry 'not enough'.  RCC.  VICTORIA, Australia: Four out of the six members of a parliamentary team investigating the RCC failing to report child sex and other abuse have been in the Victorian Parliament less than 18 months.  Apr 18, 2012
    Church leader charged with molesting women.  RCC.  PERTH (West. Australia): Years; Bethel Covenant Community leader Mr Kevin Horgan.  Roman Catholic Church (R.C.C.). Devoted women victims, and their menfolk.  Jan 19, 2012
    Church boss dies before sex assault court case.  RCC.  PERTH (W. Australia): Mr Kevin Horgan, of the group that had been allegedly molesting fervent adult women of Bethel Covenant Community, dies.  RCC authorities had known about the allegations since 1994, and the general public had known since 2008, yet it took the crown prosecutors until January 18, 2012 before they issued him with a summons on the charges.  Feb 28, 2012
    Earthly concerns: The Catholic church in America.  UNITED STATES: The Economist states that priests' retirement funds have been raided or stripped, to pay for sex-abuse legal fees, other costs, and compensation.  Aug 18, 2012
    Ex-ABC host to plead guilty to child porn counts. HOBART, Tas., Australia: Andy Muirhead, the former host of "The Collectors" about antiques and other collectibles, on Australian Broadcasting Commission television, will plead guilty to collecting child pornography, a Hobart court was told.  July 23, 2012
    Ex-priest calls for married clergy.  MELBOURNE, Vic., Australia: Professor said celibacy in a closed community such as the priesthood could contribute to emotional immaturity and lead indirectly to a culture of offending.  Oct 22, 2012
    Fight for Fairbridge; "Our hearts cry out for justice."  WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Advertisement by Norm Heslington, an Old Fairbridgian, calling for an Inquiry into how a large mining company is leasing the old child migrant centre for $1 p.a., and someone has removed the Old Fairbridgian representative from a consultative role, and why public money is going into it but the buildings are bad, and instead of youth welfare the centre is being used for indigenous ex-offenders of various ages. Jun 27, 2012
    Hell on Earth. VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Roman Catholic Church hides its sex abuse, whose victims include at least 35 suicides in the Ballarat area, victims of just two clergy. Jun 25, 2012
    'Horrifying' child abuse uncovered. Secret report. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Death threats were made against a psychologist who investigated sex seductions, statutory rapes, and violent beltings suffered by child "migrants" at the hands of RC male and female "celibates." May 30, 2012
    I can't wait for day of reckoning.  Man who ended Katanning abuse won't forgive those who failed him.  General community, Run by State Government.  KATANNING, West. Australia: As lad of 17 he was expelled for reporting sex abuse, but as grown man he was the whistleblower who followed up.  The authorities, at last, followed up and prosecuted school hostel manager Dennis McKenna.  Mar 02, 2012
    'I found McKenna, son in bed'.  Dennis McKenna (brother of another charged with sex offences at the same Government-run hostel).  PERTH and KATANNING (W. Australia): Father couldn't see that was wrong, and when the son reported the seduction he rebuffed him.  May 11, 2012
    Inquiry into sex abuse at school.  PERTH, W. Australia: Teacher was given written warnings in 1999, 2001, and 2004, but elite private school authorities let him keep teaching, only being stopped in 2009 by brave ex-victim. Aug 28, 2012
    Little faith in Church behaviour.   W. AUSTRALIA: Years. Anglican Church at Northam student hostel.. Sep 27, 2012
    McKenna appeals [Neil McKenna (brother of Dennis McKenna) ].  PERTH and KATANNING (W. Australia): He appeals against his conviction for molesting and raping a girl boarder (15) in 1991. Jun 01, 2012
    Ow! Father. [RC clergyman bites off another clergyman's ear.]  PERTH, W. Australia: A dispute over space to park a car triggered this alleged incident. Nov 11, 2012
    Paedophile's years of abuse. W. AUSTRALIA: Mr R.E.Excell. Fairbridge Farm School for child migrants. May 28, 2012
    Philadelphia monsignor imprisoned for covering up child sex abuse. PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, USA: 1992 - 2004. Monsignor William Lynn (61). Transferred child seducer/s. 3-6yr sentence. AND, Ex-Fr Edward Avery. Sexually seduced altar boy (10). RCC. July 24, 2012
    Priest guilty of hiding abuse.  UNITED STATES: Monsignor William Lynn (61), as Philadelphia Roman Catholic diocese executive, failed to report clergy sexual abuse while responsible from 1992-2004.  Sentencing due in August. June 24, 2012
    Priest's porn Powerpoint stuns parents.  NORTHERN IRELAND: The talk about First Confession to the R.C. parents went wrong when the thumb-drive displayed a cavalcade of sexually explicit pictures of naked men.  Apr 04, 2012
    [R. C. celibacy leads to seductions?] Word on the street. AUSTRALIA: An editor-in-chief suggests that the Roman Catholic Church ought to drop celibacy, because it is unhealthy, distances the clergy from everyday living, and excludes the majority of adherents. July 08, 2012
    School abuse case demands wider inquiry: Editorial. PERTH, W. Australia: The leaders of an elite private school failed their school community and the children involved in the seductions from 1999 to 2008. Aug 28, 2012
    Sex abuse has shamed the Church: Archbishop.  PERTH (W. Australia): Costelloe makes the usual apology.  Reformers want RC reform. Oct 25, 2012
    Sex accused can work with kids. Department powerless.  PERTH (W. Australia): General community.  After > 100 years of self-government, the State Government's Department of Child Protection says it is powerless to remove 15 people identifed as probable child seducers from working with children !  Jun 01, 2012
    Unholy silence. AUSTRALIA and VATICAN CITY: Roman Catholic Church keeps employing clergy who have been shown to be sexually seducing boys.  Fr Fox, evading Australian justice, is employed in the Vatican.  Senior clergy are declining to obey the law and report such seductions to the police. July 2, 2012
    Urgent need to shine light on Church.  RCC.  VICTORIA, Australia: From a sex ring, 40 suicides are suspected by a Ballarat detective, all from one religion, the RCC.  Apr 14, 2012
    Victim wants Church inquiry; Sex Abuse Scandal.  CANBERRA: Early victim of Roman Catholic clergy child sex seduction, Mr David Ridsdale now of Britain, backs call for a Royal Commission into Father "F" and the 1992 cover-up by senior RC clergy in New South Wales, Australia. July 10, 2012
    Voice for the voiceless. Social Justice advocate. Obituary, Laurie Humphreys. W. AUSTRALIA and BRITAIN: Child migrant who worked to better the lot of people who, as children, were taken into care or shipped across the seas. July 3, 2012
    • The Zone: Judy.  Full transcript.  MELBOURNE, Vic., Australia. A lawyer doing a Doctor of Philosophy study into clergy child sex abuse says that a Roman Catholic Church helping agency is silent on the vital issue of premature deaths and suicides of people who have a history of clergy sexual assaults. Jun 25, 2012
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