A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
September 1, 2014
SECOND MURDER VICTIM, KILLED FOUR DAYS AFTER “SISTER CATHY,” HAD CLOSE TIES TO PARISH WHERE SEX ABUSE ALSO TOOK PLACE
“After his departure…in 1994 [from a Catholic rectory where he'd been serving as a Baltimore-area parish priest], guns were found in the residence.”
–Sean Caine, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, describing the results of a Church investigation into priestly sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School
By Tom Nugent
September 2014 – More than 44 years after Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik was brutally murdered while reportedly attempting to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse at her Catholic high school in Baltimore, there is startling new evidence to suggest that she was killed to prevent her from speaking out.
The same evidence sheds new light on the murder of a second victim – 20-year-old Joyce Malecki, whose body was found only a few days after the nun died from a blow to the head. Increasingly, investigators believe Malecki may also have been killed in an effort to keep Church-related sex abuse hidden from the public.
Obtained during a two-year investigation by this reporter, the new findings also include testimony indicating that one or more local police officers participated in the sex abuse . . . and that both the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Baltimore-area police officials then orchestrated a cover-up of the two killings that has lasted for more than four decades.
The new evidence shows that the second murder victim had close ties to the same Catholic parish – St. Clements in Lansdowne, located only a few miles from Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore – where two Catholic priests who were later defrocked for rampant sexual abuse lived off and on during the period in which the nun was killed.
One of those later-defrocked priests was serving as the chaplain at Keough when the nun (a beloved English teacher and also the drama coach) was abducted and killed on the evening of November 7, 1969.
The Macomb Daily
By Mitch Hotts, The Macomb Daily
A Mount Clemens priest was “negligent” when he failed to promptly report a sex assault on church property to the police, according to a report by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The archdiocese on Saturday published the findings of its investigation into the 2011 incident where the Rev. Michael Cooney of St. Peter Catholic Church did not vontact police when he learned a 19-year-old usher had sexually abused a 14-year-old female at a church event.
According to the report, a panel of three canonical, or church law, judges concluded Cooney was “negligent in performing his duties as pastor” at St. Peter “by failing to property report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner” and failing to take measures to protect the teen.
Cooney did advise the girl’s family to report the incident to civil authorities, but he also had the responsibility to notify the authorities once he learned of the suspected abuse, the church panel concluded.
Voice of Russia
A hearing into the historic transportation of children from Northern Ireland to Australia opened today, with child rights groups calling for a nationwide inquiry into what campaigners have labeled "the largest child abuse scandal in Britain's history."
Around 50 former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland are set to give evidence in a series of hearings in Banbridge, County Down, about the child migration programme that ran from the 1920s until the 1970s.
Documentary evidence found that around 140 young children from Northern Ireland, who were in the care of voluntary institutions, religious charities or state bodies were sent to Australia as child migrants, with many allegedly sexually abused.
The hearings form the second part of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland.
The inquiry is set to hear evidence from children who were taken away without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
Some mothers whose children became migrants to Australia were told they had died, a public inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard.
Youngsters themselves thought they were going on holiday, but never returned. When their mothers found out the truth they were overcome with guilt and never-ending mourning, an expert witness said.
Dr Margaret Humphreys works with the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.
“Many child migrants did not realise they would not be coming back,” she said. “They thought it was a holiday, hardly preparation for a life the other side of the world, never to return again.”
The Nottinghamshire social worker established the Child Migrants Trust, a charity which helps reunite them with their families.
The “disposal” of children by emigration to Australia produced substantial savings, according to a 1928 report by Northern Ireland’s Government.
Support for the migration schemes was broadly due to concern for the child and concern for the community and the religious and moral welfare of the young person, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry heard.
Removal also allayed the danger posed by remaining at an unsuitable home or in an institution.
Britain and Northern Ireland was over-populated whereas the colonies were under-populated.
Christine Smith QC, lawyer to the inquiry, said: “There was a need to build up the Empire and ensure the Empire was of white common British stock.”
Emigrants would have a chance to better themselves and make room in overcrowded workhouses and orphanages.
Children in institutions in Northern Ireland were exported to Australia like “baby convicts”, a witness has told a public inquiry into historical abuse.
The Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns was responsible for the removal of 111 child migrants aged as young as five before and after the Second World War, some of whom faced grave sexual and physical violence after arrival. Another 20 were sent by other institutions.
In some cases parental consent was not sought, migrants were separated from siblings and some deprived of their real identities by withholding of birth certificates, a lawyer for the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry said.
Reasons for transport included boosting “Catholicisation” or other religious authority in the colonies, propping up the number of white inhabitants of the Empire or saving money and emptying overcrowded workhouses, the investigation heard.
Newstalk (New Zealand)
By: AAP, International News | Tuesday September 2 2014
Horrific details have been given to a public hearing in Northern Ireland about children in institutions who were exported to Australia before and after World War II.
Some were as young as five, and many suffered grave sexual and physical abuse in Australia.
A lawyer has told the inquiry in some cases parental consent was not sought, migrants were separated from siblings and some deprived of their real identities by the withholding of birth certificates.
By Tara Mills
BBC News NI
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) began in January and so far almost 70 people have given evidence.
Thirty-four of those were children who lived in homes.
Some have told the BBC they are unhappy with the structure of the inquiry and feel that their vulnerability has not been appreciated when they have taken the stand.
Allison Diver, 44, went to live in Termonbacca children's home in Londonderry when she was 10.
She said she suffered physical and sexual abuse during her time there, horrors that are still clear in her mind.
"Nights are the worst for me," she said.
"Where other people would be sleeping, I'm walking the floors. You're remembering every last detail - smells, bangs. It's like someone plays a movie and then won't let it stop and hides the remote control."
From my archives of 9/20/12. First posted in the lead-up to Nechemya Weberman’s trial which concluded with a 103-year sentence.
She was a bad girl. Was it because she talked to boys, or she was dressing too fashionably, or she asked too many questions? That didn’t matter. She was bad and the vaad hatznius (modesty committee) of Williamsburg was willing to fix her, for a hefty fee, of course. The alternative was being stuck with a reputation as a nebbish (loser), an oiysvorf (outcast), and a shiksa (gentile). Once you acquired that reputation no decent family would let you marry their son.
Her family’s last hope was a “Torah therapist” who could change her into a good girl. She didn’t know what to expect. But she assumed he would counsel her with words of Torah. He would be a rabbi with a reputation for being zealous about torah and tznius (modesty). That of course meant he would scrupulously observe all the halachos (rules) and minhagim (customs) governing relations between men and women. She was only twelve, just a bat mitzvah, and thus liable for violating any of the halachos applying to a grown woman.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Neither has been publicly accused before
Both victims speak out for the first time
One got a $750,000 settlement last year
SNAP urges archdiocesan outreach now
Catholic officials admit 5 allegations vs. one cleric
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will speak publicly for the first time about their abuse at that hands of two Chicago predator priests who have never been publicly accused before. (One victim received a $750,000 secret settlement last year.)
Advocates for clergy sex abuse victims will also blast Catholic officials for their continued secrecy about clergy sex crimes and will urge two church institutions to
--be more open and transparent about child molesting clerics, and
--post the names of all credibly accused clerics on church websites.
The victims will also
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse, no matter how long ago, to come forward &
– urge parishioners to ask their friends and family if they were ever hurt by these two priests.
Thursday, July 31 at 2:30 p.m.
Outside the Chicago archdiocese headquarters,835 N. Rush St. (corner of Chestnut), Chicago, IL
Two clergy sex abuse victims (one local and one from out-of-state) who have never spoken publicly before and three- four other members of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
1) In 2005, Gail Peloquin Howard reported to Chicago archdiocesan officials that in 1964, as a teenager, she sought guidance from her pastor at Ascension parish in Oak Park, Msgr. John D. Fitzgerald, who sexually attacked her during that meeting and later he offered to pay her for one year of therapy.
That same year (2005), church staffer Leah McCluskey (who has dealt with hundreds of victims) told Howard that her report was “credible” but refused to publicly acknowledge this or publicly admit that Msgr. Fitzgerald had been accused of abuse. The archdiocese has paid for Howard's therapy.
Howard will provide five pages of correspondence between her and archdiocesan officials. She did not come forward until her mother, who worked for her perpetrator, passed away.
2) A Chicago man, who says he was abused by Fr. Donald J. O’Shaughnessy, has reached a $750,000 settlement with the priest's superiors in the Jesuit religious order. The victim is releasing a copy of his two page settlement agreement with church officials and a detailed four page letter from an attorney confirming that five others reported to the archdiocese that they too were abused by Fr. O'Shaughnessy.
Fr. O’Shaughnessy molested the m from 1977-1979 when he was a sophomore at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Fr. O’Shaughnessy was the boy's school advisor and pulled him out of class daily. Fr. O'Shaughnessy also spent time at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston Michigan (in the Detroit Archdiocese) and Brebeuf Prep. School in Indianapolis Indiana.
September 1, 2014
On Saturday past, I reported on my censorship by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) here
On Saturday, NCR posted a notice that new comments would be deferred until Tuesday for the US Labor Day Weekend. Notwithstanding that notice, NCR permitted comments to be posted until this morning (Monday) by all but me, except that yesterday around 3 pm, NCR closed comments on the one article that NCR bloggers were still using to complain about NCR’s censorship policy! Some bloggers earlier yesterday were still posting censorship complaints, until NCR blocked new comments to that article.
This morning (Monday) NCR had apparently blocked access to all NCR comments, at least when I tried to access them . If this applies to others as well, NCR bloggers cannot now EVEN READ their own or others’ prior comments, including the comments made last week by numerous bloggers objecting to NCR’s censorship approach.
Now (Monday afternoon) an NCR notice has been posted on BishopAccountability (just above my remarks here) saying no comments will be permitted on Labor Day Weekend, even though they had already been permitted for the first two days of this three day weekend. It appears NCR is trying to undercut my remarks, but is doing so in an amateurish and misleading way. This is very troubling, but just shows how NCR currently is operating.
Does NCR think it can just duck its censorship critics with gimmicks like this? Will this creeping censorship ever end? At least for today, I may not be alone in being “banned” from expressing my views at NCR. Will you be the next blogger to be banned by NCR?
While I can only guess at present as to NCR’s reasons for banning me, we have had a longstanding disagreement over calling for a US Presidential Commission to investigate institutional child sexual abuse.
Pacific Daily News
Many are probably wondering "What on Earth?" as the fight within the local Catholic Church spills into the streets and onto the pages of newspapers and nightly news. It's a mess by anybody's reckoning. And it's time for an explanation.
The war is not new. It has been 20 years in the making. Twenty years ago, a certain Fr. Pius Sammut arrived on Guam to plant the Neocatechumenal Way -- a particular approach to Christianity started in the 1960s in Spain. Fr. Pius found a warm welcome in Archbishop Apuron and together they set off to plant the Neo flag in Guam.
There are many different groups within the Church, but none have caused such division as the Neocatechumenal Way. The cause of this division is inherent in its structure. For whereas the holy sacrifice of the Mass is the central prayer and unifying act of all Catholics regardless of what group they may or may not belong to, the Neocatechumenal Way celebrates its own version of the Mass apart from the rest of the Church, and usually not even in a church.
It would be difficult to explain the different levels of authority they have or don't have to do this. The bottom line is that regardless of those permissions or lack of them, the Neocatechumenal Way practices have led to the painful division that is now spilling into the street.
National Catholic Reporter
NCR Staff | Aug. 30, 2014 NCR Today
NCR headquarters is closed for the Labor Day holiday. To make the return next week easier on our staff, we have decided to turn off the comments system for the weekend. So write down what you want to say and come back Tuesday morning to share your thoughts on our stories, blogs and columns!
Have a wonderful weekend. We will see you all on Tuesday.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: September 1, 2014
St. Olaf pastor said Rev. John Nienstedt lacks a bond with local Catholics
The Rev. Patrick Kennedy of St. Olaf Catholic Church has called for the resignation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt, saying it would create a “collective sigh of relief” from Twin Cities Catholics.
In the Aug. 31 church newsletter, Kennedy wrote that he reached the conclusion after returning to Minneapolis recently following two years away. It was then that he realized “full effect” of the recent clergy sex abuse scandal on Catholics in the pews.
“There appears to be a pall over the Archdiocese that is affecting the ministry we are trying to be about,” wrote Kennedy, pastor at the downtown Minneapolis church.
“People are leaving our parishes. Some have stopped giving money. Others have stayed but carry a heavy heart …” he wrote.
By James Carroll | GLOBE COLUMNIST SEPTEMBER 01, 2014
A MORAL contradiction casts a shadow on Roman Catholicism, and lately the shadow has lengthened. The church straddles two poles at once, and at times they pull in radically opposite directions. First, it is a community of believers seeking to embody the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet through accidents of history, that community is organizationally centered on Vatican City — a 110-acre territory where the Holy See, the ancient seat of papal authority, is headquartered. The Vatican is a sovereign state. And like every state, alas, politically empowered Catholicism yields now and then to the amoral pressures of realpolitik.
This contradiction was laid bare recently when the Holy See, acting in secret, threw the protective cloak of diplomatic immunity over Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski — the papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic and an alleged serial abuser of minors. In a show of toughness, church officials defrocked Wesolowski and promised to try him according to the laws of Vatican City. In effect, though, church officials once again shielded a predator priest from civil jurisdiction. Victims and officials in the Dominican Republic were left to stew.
The Holy See might have boxed itself into handling the accused diplomat in that odd manner. Before the United Nations last winter, representatives of the Vatican had insisted that it was morally and legally responsible only for abuse perpetrated by Vatican citizens — and not for abuse by thousands of Catholic priests around the world. Both then and now, the Catholic hierarchy has been hiding behind the political prerogatives of a sovereign state, violating broader norms of ethical responsibility. Vatican statehood is part of the problem.
Catholics and others may think of the Vatican as institutionally essential to the church, as if willed by God. But it’s not. Today’s Vatican City is an after-image of the once vast papal states that were lost in 19th-century revolutions. In its present form, this headquarters of world Catholicism was created only in the 20th century. Under the 1929 Lateran Treaty, an agreement with the Mussolini government whose terms ultimately received international recognition, the Holy See began to function from the newly autonomous state of Vatican City.
[Summary: A former pastor from Golega has been accused of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of minors. Antonio Julio Santos was arrested in mid-December by judicial police and the Santarem diocese opened a canonical process.]
01 Set, 2014
O antigo pároco da Golegã foi acusado da prática de dois crimes de abuso sexual de menores na forma agravada, confirmou hoje à Lusa o seu advogado.
Rui Rodrigues disse à Lusa que a acusação foi deduzida em meados de julho, não tendo havido da parte da defesa pedido de abertura de instrução.
António Júlio Santos foi detido em meados de dezembro último pela Polícia Judiciária por ser "presumível autor de dois crimes de abuso sexual de crianças cometidos na forma agravada", tendo a Diocese de Santarém aberto um "processo canónico de averiguações a propósito de suspeitas" sobre o pároco.
The Vatican newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano’s” monthly women’s insert interviews the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “We are not misogynists!” he says, revealing that the number of women in the Congregation will go from two to five or six, at the Pope’s request
The latest issue of the women’s insert published monthly by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reveals the identity of the Pope’s next nomination; more women are going to be joining the international theological Congregation: the number will be rising from two to “five or six”. This is according to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller who was interviewed by historian Lucetta Scaraffia, a prestigious contributor of the newspaper headed by Gian Maria Vian.
The members of the theological commission that assists the Holy See, particularly the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in examining crucial doctrinal questions are nominated for a five-year period and there are currently thirty of them, including two women: Barbara Hallensleben (professor of Dogmatic Theology and Ecumenism at the Faculty of Theology in Fribourg, Switzerland) from Germany and sister Sara Butler (professor of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary – in Chicago, US).
In the article published by the L’Osservatore Romano’s women’s insert, Scaraffia says the cardinal “also informed me that the new international theological Commission the Pope is about to make nominations for will include more women than previously: As far as I understood the number of women will go from two to five or six.” That would be a significant increase.
The interview took place in the cardinal’s apartment and the Vatican newspaper’s reporter was given an informal welcome. During their discussion, Müller underlined that the female presence in the Church needed to be recognized within its own specific context, it should not be an imitation of the male model. He stressed that the Church needs to be like a mother, not an institution, because an institution cannot love but a mother can.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
1 September, 2014
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today published two research reports by the Australian Institute of Criminology:
* History of child sexual abuse offences in Australia
* Brief review of contemporary sexual offence and child sexual abuse legislation in Australia
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the results of this research provide important reference material for the Royal Commission and other organisations carrying out work in this area.
“The first report outlines significant socio-political developments in respect of child sexual abuse which will assist the Royal Commission’s understanding of the way child sexual abuse legislation has developed in Australia. ...
A summary of both reports is available below, the full reports can be read on the Royal Commission website
Key findings of reports
History of child sexual abuse offences in Australia
* The report provides an overview of the socio-political factors and events that have influenced the development of Australia’s child sexual abuse legislation from 1788-2013.
* The AIC concludes that during this period child sexual abuse has been marginalised, denied, ‘discovered’ and ‘rediscovered’.
* The report also provides an overview of the development of legislation during the period 1950-2013 in the nine Australian jurisdictions
* Key developments in relevant legislation during this period which are discussed in detail in the report include:
o the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting males
o the removal of gendered language from legislation to enable the law to deal with matters involving male victims, female offenders and same sex offences
o broadening the definition of sexual intercourse
o introduction of specific legislation relating to child pornography
o introduction of mandatory reporting laws
Source AAP 1 SEP 2014
The crime of child sexual abuse has been denied, marginalised and "discovered and rediscovered" at various stages throughout Australia's history, a new report says.
The report, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, found broader social awareness of child sexual abuse emerged in the 1960s because of the efforts of feminist groups.
Prior to women's rights advocates challenging government responses to sexual violence, psychoanalysts and other theorists downplayed the significance of sexual abuse on children and officials downplayed its prevalence and impact.
Between the late 1800s and 1960s "child sexual abuse was denied or minimised by academics, psychoanalysts and the broader community as the fantasies of disturbed individuals or the result of sexually promiscuous or aggressive children," the report said.
The report, prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology, found that the greatest period of reform in Australia's child abuse laws occurred after the 1970s.
Published Monday, 01 September 2014
Public hearings on child migrants sent from Northern Ireland institutions to Australia have begun on Monday as the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry resumes.
The hearings will last for three weeks, during which evidence will be heard from 50 people who are now living in Australia.
They are all former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland and were sent to the country as part of a child migration programme.
The inquiry is being chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart.
In his opening remarks he said: "In their witness statements, many of those who will give evidence describe their experiences after they arrived in Australia in shocking terms, setting out in graphic detail their descriptions of the severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical violence, to which they say they were subjected as children in the institutions to which they were sent in Australia."
The inquiry is limited to what happened to children in institutions in Northern Ireland and does not have the power to investigate what befell migrants in Australian institutions.
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 1 September 2014
Northern Ireland's orphanages and homes operated a policy of forcibly transporting children to Australia until the 1950s, a long-running inquiry into child abuse at these institutions will hear on Monday.
Sixty-six former residents have given evidence of how they were sent across the world without their consent between 1946 and 1956. Many of those who have come forward will give evidence via video link over what happened to them under the scheme.
The migration scheme to Australia will be examined at the historical institutional abuse inquiry held at Banbridge courthouse in County Down.
The public inquiry is the largest held into such institutions like orphanages anywhere in the UK. Thirteen Catholic and state-run institutions are under scrutiny.
The inquiry will be told that the transport of children from institutions in Northern Ireland mainly to similar homes in western Australia was part of UK government policy at the time.
An Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland has started to hear evidence of the child migration scheme that selected over 100 children from institutions in the North and sent them to Australia.
It is the first time that a judicial inquiry will hear evidence of the practice operated by the UK authorities in the years immediately after World War II.
When the inquiry team went to Australia last year to begin gathering evidence about Northern Irish children who participated in this scheme, they interviewed a 75-year-old man.
He told them: "We were exported to Australia like little baby convicts. I found it hard to show affection to my children when they were young. I have a nightmare every night of my life. I relive my past and I am happy when daylight comes."
The man has since died, but his full statement and the video evidence accounts of over 50 others will be heard in Banbridge over the next three weeks.
One hundred and thirty children from Northern Ireland, some as young as five, were sent to Australia as child migrants, an inquiry has heard.
The experiences of 50 of them will be heard by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) either by oral or written evidence.
It is examining the extent of child abuse in religious and state-run institutions in NI from 1922 to 1995.
A team from the inquiry has already made two trips to Australia.
HIA chairman Sir Anthony Hart said his staff had made the trip for two reasons - to enable those who lived there to have the same opportunity to describe their experiences as others, and to allow the HIA's legal team to gather a considerable amount of information from their witness statements.
The New York Times
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
SEPT. 1, 2014
Roman Catholics and much of the world have been closely watching for evidence that Pope Francis has the wherewithal to buck the resistance to reform from the Vatican’s powerful bureaucracy.
An encouraging sign emerged last week with the announcement that the Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic had been stripped of diplomatic immunity and could be tried there for his alleged soliciting of underage boys for sexual acts. The announcement reversed a devious and secret stratagem engineered by unidentified Vatican officials last year to recall the ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, before Dominican authorities could bring criminal charges of child abuse against him.
The Vatican’s use of immunity to shield the prelate from criminal prosecution outside the Vatican set off a furor, particularly in light of Pope Francis’s promise that in the pedophilia scandal “there are no privileges” for priests or prelates. That diplomatic immunity was suddenly reversed after an article in The Times by Laurie Goodstein detailing numerous cases of the archbishop’s alleged preying on impoverished Dominican shoeshine boys and others who said they were paid for sex. There are suggestions Pope Francis might have had a hand in the reversal; he previously stressed to a colleague that the Wesolowski case felt like “a dagger” in his heart.
The Vatican denied it had attempted a cover-up in recalling the archbishop, pointing out that he was later defrocked after church officials concluded he was indeed guilty of abusing children. Defrocking is hardly adequate punishment for criminal acts, however, and the Vatican maintains the former archbishop might still face criminal charges under its own laws. There are understandable concerns that this could be used to shield him from full justice in the places where he allegedly abused children. However it ends, the case will be followed as an indicator of Pope Francis’s commitment to true church reform.
By The Associated Press
on August 31
HERNANDO, Miss. -- A Mississippi man has filed a complaint alleging that a male teacher at a church-run school sexually abused him in an attempt to change his sexual orientation from homosexuality.
Jeff White, 32, said he realized he had a duty to stand up against people who harmed him in the 1990s because such efforts still hurt others.
The Washington Blade reported that White told it in an interview that a teacher at Bethel Baptist School in Walls when he was a student there repeatedly forced him to have oral and anal sex for three years. White said the teacher scheduled an appointment each Wednesday for the sexual abuse to occur.
His parents enrolled him in the school when he was 14 and in the seventh grade.
"He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change," White said.
Mon, Sep 1, 2014
The Northern Ireland inquiry into historical institutional abuse in the coming weeks will hear “shocking” evidence of alleged abuse against children who were transported to Australia, the inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said today.
In the next three weeks the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry will hear, mostly by video-link, evidence from 50 individuals who are now resident in Australia and were former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland.
Sir Anthony Hart at Banbridge court house today recounted how the 50 men and women were part of a group of approximately 130 children who were sent to Australia as part of a child migration programme between 1922 and 1995.
The inquiry is investigating allegations of child abuse in institutions run by the Catholic Church and Northern Ireland state from 1922 to 1995. This includes allegations by those who were part of the migration scheme.
Sir Anthony Hart explained that the inquiry could not investigate any allegations of abuse in Australia that the witnesses will make in the coming weeks, as the inquiry’s term of reference relates solely to institutions in Northern Ireland. However, this information would not be “swept under the carpet” and the authorities in Australia would be notified of any allegations, he said.
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 1 September 2014
Children as young as five were sent from Northern Ireland to Australian orphanages and other institutions where they were sexually and physically abused, the chairman of an inquiry into institutional child abuse has revealed.
Sir Anthony Hart, who is chairing the historical abuse inquiry, said witness evidence will show "in shocking terms" how children were subjected to "severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical evidence" when they arrived in the country.
The retired judge made his remarks during the latest session of the inquiry, held at Banbridge courthouse in County Down on Monday. This aspect of the largest public investigation into the abuse of children in state- and church-run homes is focusing on the treatment of 130 orphans and young people in care who were sent to Australia between 1946 and 1956.
Sixty-six former residents of these institutions have given evidence of how they were transported across the world without their consent. Many of those who have come forward will give evidence via video link over what happened to them under the scheme.
Children from Northern Ireland who were sent to Australia shortly after the Second World War faced grave sexual and physical violence after arrival in institutions, witnesses have told a public inquiry.
Survivors have given graphic details of their ordeals while aged as young as five, according to the chairman of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry established by ministers in Belfast.
Approximately 130 young children in the care of religious voluntary institutions or state bodies became child migrants, most in the decade after the war.
The experiences of around 50 of them will be examined in person or via video- link and their statements furnished to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia.
Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said: "In their witness statements, many of those who will give evidence describe their experiences after they arrived in Australia in shocking terms, setting out in graphic detail their descriptions of the severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical violence, to which they say they were subjected as children in the institutions to which they were sent in Australia."
August 31, 2014
The Japan Times
When parents of students at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo received a letter earlier this year informing them of an allegation of sexual abuse against a former teacher and elementary school principal at the Catholic boys school, shock waves rippled through the tight-knit school community.
The letter, dated Jan. 31 and signed by the current headmaster, Saburo Kagei, says: “In recent days, it has come to the attention of the school administration that an allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against Brother Lawrence Lambert by a former student. The misconduct allegedly occurred in 1965 when Br. Lawrence was a teacher at the first St. Mary’s campus in Sengakuji.
“After the school administration learned of the situation, we notified the local Japanese police authority and the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Tokyo. Both agencies are conducting investigations with the school’s full cooperation. While the investigation is ongoing, Br. Lawrence Lambert is prohibited from having any contact with students, staff or parents at SMIS.”
The following day, the letter regarding Lambert, who was the elementary school principal for around three decades from 1982, went up on the St. Mary’s International School Labor Dispute website, a blog started by an aggrieved former employee, and the news of a sexual abuse allegation at one of Japan’s most prestigious international schools started to circulate around the school community.
Shortly after, the letter was also posted on Sylvia’s Site, a well-read blog dedicated to exposing sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Canada and elsewhere. St. Mary’s is run by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, a Catholic order founded in France in the 19th century that has schools on every continent.
01 SEPTEMBER 2014
A woman abused while resident at a children's home in Northern Ireland was left suicidal after telling her story before a public inquiry.
Kate Walmsley, 58, was in an institution in Londonderry from 1964 to 1969, having been admitted as a young child. She recalled being targeted aged eight by a priest in a confessional box while under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns.
The UK's largest child abuse inquiry so far is to resume again next week. A retired High Court judge is chairing the probe and took harrowing evidence from Ms Walmsley earlier this year.
She said: "It was reliving a nightmare and then being told horrible things about yourself.
"I just thought that I had spoiled my chance, the only chance in my life to get some sort of healing and they have ruined it.
"I ended up being suicidal and thinking I have wasted that day, the special day."
William D. Lindsey
It's fascinating to see, this morning, that the posting I made Friday reporting on how National Catholic Reporter has treated Jerry Slevin has had ... 1002 reads (and counting)* in a mere two days — and on a holiday weekend at the end of summer at that, when many Americans are out of pocket due to Labor Day and people elsewhere are finishing summer vacations and not spending time online as a result.
It's remarkable to have this report so widely read and so widely distributed on such a weekend. My stats counter for the posting reminds me that Abuse Tracker and the Catholica blog in Australia have both linked to it, and I've noticed it being tweeted by folks to whom I connect on Twitter, too.
I read the interest in this story as a good sign that there are many lay Catholics who are extremely tired of the shoddy way in which many of our Catholic leaders and Catholic institutions play political games to make so many of us voiceless — when many of us, certainly people like Jerry Slevin, have important things to say to the Catholic community, and deserve a hearing. The shoddiness with which NCR has dealt with Jerry Slevin, the lack of transparency about how it censors people making commetns at its blog sites: these mechanisms deserve attention if we really do want to buid a healthy, vibrant, authentically catholic Catholic community.
By Revital Hovel and Yair Ettinger | Aug. 28, 2014
The Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court forced a woman to speak privately with her abusive husband after the judges were allegedly swayed by fixers, or macherim, a complaint filed against the judges by the woman revealed.
According to the complaint, the macherim went to the rabbinical judges’ homes and affected the way the case was handled. The complaint suggests that this was not an isolated case.
The ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, found the complaint justified. Another complaint against an almost identical panel, which alleged that the judges had refused to accept women’s testimony, was also found justified.
The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband used to beat her and her children. He was convicted of assault and sent to prison. When the woman wanted to divorce him, the rabbinical judges told her that macherim had spoken to them and suggested letting her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.
They said that if her husband failed to convince her to take him back, he would grant her the divorce.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The official state Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court reportedly forced a woman to meet privately with her violent and abusive husband against her will. The rabbi-judges apparently made the move after haredi fixers taking the side of the husband visited them privately and convinced them to do it.
According to a complaint filed with the state ombudsman for the judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, the fixers went to at least on rabbi-judge’s home and lobbied him. Ha’aretz reported that the complaint indicates that this was not an isolated incident.
Rivlin found the complaint justified, Ha’aretz reported.
The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband beat her and beat her children. He was convicted of assault and imprisoned.
When the woman filed for divorce, the rabbi-judges told her that the haredi fixers had spoken to them and suggested that they allow her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s state prosecution will soon file a wide-ranging criminal indictment, pending a hearing, against former Ashkenazi haredi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, Arutz Sheva reported based on a report by Israel’s Channel 10 News.
Metzger was arrested in November on fraud, embezzlement bribery, money laundering and breach of public trust charges and stepped down as chief rabbi shortly afterward.
He allegedly took millions of shekels through bribes and embezzlement from charities he controlled or worked with.
Metzger had a long history of sexual abuse and fraud allegations before he was elected chief rabbi 11 years ago in a back room deal orchestrated by the former top Ashkenazi haredi rabbi, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who passed away two years ago. After the election, Elyashiv admitted to Shmarya Rosenberg through a spokesperson that he knew the details of the accusations against Metzger before backing him but backed him anyway in order to “return the glory to the Chief Rabbinate.”
Alison Morrow and Alex Rozier, KING 5 News
On August 22, nine current Mars Hill pastors submitted an accusatory letter to church leadership demanding Mark Driscoll step down from his role as lead pastor.
The letter describes a "lack of transparency" and creating a "culture of fear." It also accuses Mark Driscoll of misrepresenting the condition of the church and his leadership.
One of the pastors who signed the letter, Pastor Mark Dunford, was terminated on August 27, five days after the letter was submitted, sources tell KING 5. Dunford was an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland.
Sources tell KING 5 the reason for his termination was "rebellion against the church."
The other pastors who signed the letter were called into a meeting Thursday with Mars Hill leadership.
In recent months, Driscoll has been embroiled in controversy, including being kicked out of the Acts 29 Network he helped create.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Updated August 31, 2014
To idiot Catholics members and priests of the Legion of Christ,
Below is our added REBUTTAL to the MM analogy between Marcial Maciel and Mary Magdalene – where we analyse sentence by sentence – the two key paragraphs of the booklet for the Magdala project. The Legion of Christ members are very stubborn in trying to justify their religious existence despite the fact that their order was founded by an evil man – thus making their congregation as a “castle built on sand”. And they will try to use this analogy in another shape and form again. This MM analogy reflects their deep-rooted fanaticism in their charismatic founder Marcial Maciel who is akin to Adolf Hitler (but in the Catholic Church). Hitler was so charismatic he convinced the youth and the entire nation of Germany to fight to be the superior race. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is tantamount to having a Hitler project – with Hitler’s Nazis’ looted money – for the purpose of Holocaust victims. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is already – and will be – an exploitation of women.
Staten Island Advance
By Mira Wassef | firstname.lastname@example.org
on August 30, 2014
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- Two female former basketball coaches at Moore Catholic High School are accused of having sexual relationships with students, and the NYPD is investigating the allegations, according to a report Saturday in the New York Post.
Megan Mahoney, 25, who was an assistant basketball coach and gym teacher at the Graniteville school, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student that lasted months, and Moore's athletic director, Richard Postiglione, allegedly failed to report the the accusation, the article states.
The report said Postiglione and the principal, Bob Manisero, both knew about the allegations of faculty-student relationships.
The Post reports that the boy's mother claims she informed the Archdiocese in April, but got no reply. The Archdiocese told the paper it contacted the Staten Island District Attorney's office when it learned of the allegations.
New York Post
By Brad Hamilton
August 30, 2014
Two female basketball coaches turned a Catholic secondary school into Horndog High, bedding students for years under the watch of a skirt-chasing athletic director, according to an alleged victim and three school sources.
The NYPD says it’s now investigating sordid allegations swirling around Moore Catholic HS, a top Staten Island institution founded by nuns in 1962 and charging $8,000 in annual tuition.
Among the claims is that Megan Mahoney, a former assistant women’s basketball coach and gym teacher, had a months-long sexual relationship last year with a 16-year-old student; and that Richard Postiglione, Moore’s athletic director and chief operating officer, failed to report multiple faculty-student affairs to authorities beginning as early as 2006, though he and the principal were told of the randy romps.
The most recent alleged victim, whose name is being withheld by The Post, said he and Mahoney engaged in multiple trysts in her car, beginning last fall after she approached him in the gym and offered to coach him in basketball.
Avantika Mehta , Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 31, 2014
A traumatised eight-year-old, who was raped on Janmashtami by a 70-year-old priest from a temple, says she doesn't want to fall asleep again. "I see Baba’s face every time I close my eyes," she explains.
A fortnight after the incident, she has to relive the trauma over and again — giving her statement to police, identifying her rapist in the Test Identification Parade (TIP), and the unwavering gaze of journalists eager for a story.
The report of her rape has translated into legal proceedings before a magistrate's court in Saket, and this eight-year-old has already had to confront her rapist twice — during identification and when he was sent to judicial custody on August 19.
On Sunday, she laid supine on a chattai, surrounded by her mother, father, neighbours, and acquaintances — but only another seven-year-old friend, sitting quietly by her — the priest’s other victim — could truly empathise.
The incident was discovered on August 18 — Janmashtami day. The priest — a trusted member of the girls’ village near Mehrauli for over a decade who had been repeatedly raping both girls for a week — tried to have penetrative sex with the eight-year-old child. Unable to endure any more traumas, the girl broke down and told her family everything.
By Azzo Rezori, CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2014
Where does misery begin. Where does it end?
In the lives of some people it follows them around like a shadow, always and everywhere, even in the dark where they think they're safe.
"Where does one start?" asked Catherine Dinn in her statement to the court charged with sentencing her for her part in defrauding the Anglican parish of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail of money collected for missionary work, including support for orphans in Uganda.
More than $9,000 went missing between July and November of 2012. Catherine and her husband John Dinn, the parish's former priest, pleaded guilty to stealing it.
The Dinns were sentenced on Friday. He got two months house arrest, she a conditional discharge recognizing that he is out of a job and she is now the only breadwinner in their family of four.
'Many paths to this sad ending'
Not once in her statement did Catherine Dinn take responsibility for what she did. Instead, she presented herself as a victim of life-long misery.
"Looking back at my life from this end, there are many paths that have led me to this sad ending," she wrote.
That ending involved not just the Dinns. It cast a lasting chill over the entire parish.
Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Wesley Young/Winston-Salem Journal
The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte will preside at a memorial Mass in Kernersville for the Rev. Joseph Kelleher, a priest who served in the Triad for a number of years and who was accused of child sex abuse in 2010 for an alleged incident more than 30 years earlier in Albemarle.
Bishop Peter Jugis will lead the service at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Wednesday morning.
Kelleher, 86, died in High Point on Aug. 20, weeks after a criminal charge against him was dismissed because of his poor health.
“The bishop always celebrates memorial Masses for priests,” David Hains, the director of communication for the diocese, said on Saturday. “Father Kelleher is a lifelong Catholic. This is the type of Mass that would be celebrated for the life of any Catholic.”
The Charlotte leader of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), David Fortwengler, called the bishop’s decision “painful.”
“I’m really disappointed and sad for the victims of Father Kelleher,” Fortwengler said. “I’m not shocked. I’m not surprised, but I sure wish they cared about the victims as much as they do about the offending priests. I certainly do not rejoice in his death. But they could certainly do it more low key without the bishop presiding.”
By Simon Danczuk 31 Aug 2014
The ball bounces high in the shadows off the gable end and a handful of kids chase it down the road. Under the stairway to the flats nearby, half a dozen teenage girls lie sprawled on the concrete, sheltering from the slate-grey drizzle. They watch the ball ping back up the street, strung out in the fading evening light, as the acrid smell of cannabis hangs overhead. Further down the road, a group of lads in hoodies mill around the off-licence asking passers-by if they can buy a few cans of strong lager for them.
It’s a scene you’ll find in many parts of northern England and one I’m all too familiar with. Even now, when I see the boredom and despair in kids’ eyes out on the streets, the same feeling comes back to me. Growing up in a single-parent family near Burnley, drinking at 14 and hanging around off-licences asking grown-ups to buy me a drink, just as I see in Rochdale now, I knew about the vulnerability of kids roaming the streets with nothing to do. There were dangers then, but now it’s worse. For gangs of men looking to groom kids to be violently abused, they’re easy prey.
Scenes like this are not far from Rochdale Council’s new £50 million offices. But when I spoke to child-protection bosses in the wake of Rochdale’s grooming scandal a few years ago, where young girls had been continually raped by gangs of men, I may as well have been in a foreign country. Despite talking about a reality that existed a few minutes’ drive from their offices, there was no awareness of what life was like for these kids. No connection, no empathy. The head of the Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board told me they needed to take “a deeper dive into the theory” to understand the problem. The director of children’s services implied to me that young girls who were being raped were “making lifestyle choices”. She later admitted to an incredulous home affairs select committee that she’d never met any of the victims.
The impression I got was that they viewed these girls as an astronomer would look through a telescope at planets. Their lives were so far from the girls’ experiences that to them, they might as well have been a remote dot.
The Rochdale grooming scandal would have never come to light had it not been for the fantastic health care workers who helped these young girls. They listened, they understood and they cared. They were steeped in working-class community values, not remote theory. One of them in particular tried desperately hard to get the police and social services to listen to the girls and take action, but to no avail.
Roger E. Olson
August 30, 2014 by Roger E. Olson
Some Thoughts about Evangelical Superstar Pastors and Evangelists and Why They Fall
In recent weeks and months another American evangelical superstar pastor (also author and popular speaker) has fallen off his pedestal—if not completely at least partially and with a loud noise. As always when this happens, his followers and fans are divided. Some support him almost unconditionally while some accuse him of spiritual abuse, abuse of power and various misdeeds. It has all gone viral. This time, fortunately, the national secular media are not paying attention. I assume that’s because there’s no sex scandal to feast on. (In my opinion America’s secular media exudes a rare combination of prurience and Puritanism.)
I’m not interested in delving into all the charges against the pastor (whom Christianity Today once described as “Pastor Provocateur”). I’m not close enough to the situation even to form an opinion other than to say a significant number of his former friends and colleagues in ministry (elders of his church) have departed and are going public with accusations and charges of misconduct (but not sexual). The situation is severe enough that the pastor in question is taking a leave of absence from the church and ministry he built up to mega-status.
Anyone who has been around in American evangelical life for fifty years (and probably less) can remember so many evangelical superstar pastors and evangelists who fell off their pedestals with a thunderous crash. Sometimes the thunder is only local (as in the case of a pastor I once worked with and knew very well); sometimes its echoes and shock waves spread out nationally and even internationally. But it always leaves behind disillusionment and confusion.
Our tendency is always to point our accusing fingers at the minister who fell. He (it’s almost always a he) let us down, betrayed us, humiliated us (for being his fans), besmirched the reputation of evangelicalism. That’s understandable.
However, my concern is that we evangelicals (and others) take a deeper look into the causes of this pattern. Why does this happen so often? Could we have met the enemy and discovered it’s us—as much as the persons who fell?
Here’s my diagnosis and prescription for this chronic evangelical problem.
I believe we tend to put too much trust in mere mortals once they attain a certain crucial level of evangelical ministry “stardom.” We want to believe there are men who rise above the temptations and sins the rest of us face and fall into. We want to believe in near, if not total, Christian perfection. So we gradually allow, even encourage, lack of accountability. “That person,” we think, “is so close to God he doesn’t need to be accountable to mere mortals like us.” Gradually these evangelical superheroes, with their inevitable feet of clay (that we try to ignore), fall—partly because they are mere mortals and power corrupts mere mortals and unaccountability is power. We set them up for failure.
August 30, 2014
The Post and Courier
Aug 31 2014
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - A court in the Dominican Republic has taken the first steps toward possible sexual abuse charges against a former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country.
An investigative magistrate is examining allegations against Josef Wesolowski to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, the Santo Dominican prosecutor's office announced last week.
The announcement came a day after the Vatican said its former ambassador had lost his diplomatic immunity.
The Vatican recalled Wesolowski in August 2013 after allegations emerged he had sexually molested boys there.
Dominican officials say his presence is not required in the country for authorities to review an investigation of the allegations and decide whether formal charges are warranted.
One of the clear effects of Pope Francis’ strong management style has been an expanded Vatican media “management” effort that includes trying to cultivate more “papal apologists”, while also employing papal apologists to try to curtail Vatican critics.
As a longtime Vatican critic, I have recently experienced what appears to me to be an instance of this curtailment effort. I am being barred without explanation from making future comments on the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) website, after having made around 10,000 NCR comments, plus having written two NCR columns , over the last four and a half years.
Admittedly, as a Harvard Law trained retired Wall Street lawyer, I sometimes write with an “edge”. But the rape of thousands of innocent children by perverted priests protected by ruthless bishops makes a grandfather like me “edgy” sometimes.
This has been picked up by other websites, including Bilgrimage. A quick review of the comments to date to the current Bilgrimage column by theologian, Bill Lindsey, suggests that the NCR censorship efforts may be backfiring. Catholics are waking up! Amen!!
For what I am driving at, please see Bill’s column and the many new comments here:
In thinking about why Catholics are turning off to escalating Vatican spin efforts, the “elephant in the room” is, of course, always the continuing priest child abuse scandal. This is increasingly exacerbated by Pope Francis’ failure after almost a year and a half to address honestly and transparently holding bishops accountable for covering up, as well as for failing effectively to deal with, the continuing scandal.
Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry is to hear evidence about the practice of sending children from homes in the North to institutions in Australia.
Documents examined by the Inquiry have revealed how in the decade up to 1956 the child migration scheme was in place and it has gathered testimony from over 60 people who were sent to Australia.
The Historical Abuse Inquiry was set up by Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive.
It is tasked with investigating what took place at residential institutions, run by the state and religious organisations in the 73 year period up to 1995.
By Ellen Scott
India's streak of making headlines for horrific acts of rape and sexual assault continues this week with the revelation that two young girls, aged seven and eight, were raped in a temple in South Delhi by a 70 year old priest.
The priest, Baba Vishvabandhu, allegedly molested the girls over the course of a week, taking advantage of Janmashtami day, when celebrations were taking place. The eight year old girl broke down and revealed what happened to her mother, after complaining of pain in her abdomen and difficulty passing urine.
The girls said that the man molested them each time they had gone to the temple in the past week. He offered money and food to buy their silence, and threatened them to ensure they told no-one about what he had done.
When the news broke, residents of the area dragged the priest out of the temple and beat him before going to the police. He has been arrested, but there are not yet any details of the length of his sentence.
New York Daily News
BY CAROL KURUVILLA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, August 28, 2014
A Florida youth pastor has been busted for reportedly victimizing the same age group he set out to serve.
Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, was arrested Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed in a statement.
Cops were tipped off to the Titusville pastor's deranged preferences in July after identifying a computer at his home that was reportedly sharing images of young girls involved in sexual activity with men and boys. Some of the victims were as young as 9 years old.
In his arrest affidavit, Brandenburg "stated he has been viewing child pornography for over 10 years," WESH.com reports.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2014
Contact: Maureen Martinez, email@example.com or call 610-296-3264
Justice4PAKids is excited to announce its second annual Motorcycle Ride4PAKids presented by Meridian Bank and held Sept. 20, 2014. This event was created to recognize victims of child sexual abuse and also serve as the group’s only fundraiser. Motorcyclists are meeting at "The Office Bar and Grille" in Malvern, PA between 9:30AM-11AM to register. Motorcycles will be on display and DJ Danny Madonna from Superior Sound will add to the fun.
Register is $25 per bike for a self-guided tour of Northern Chester County from 11am-1pm. At 1pm, riders meet back at The Office with non-riding Justice4pakids supporters for the “After Party” with food, drinks, exciting raffle items and a very special guest speaker, Matt Sandusky. A survivor of abuse, he will deliver a message of the importance of recognizing abuse.
"We need to find ways to leverage community empowerment rather than community destruction. We need to strengthen the connections between people, survivors and non survivors, by breaking down the silence and secrecy that enables abuse and by providing more support and better communication for individuals and families who need help. This event is a step in that direction and I am excited to be part of the effort,” says Matt Sandusky.
“This event is rain or shine. If you are not a bike rider, come out and enjoy the food and festivities and help support our cause,” says Bob Riley, Co-Founder of Justice4pakids.
Justice4PAKids is a 100% volunteer run non-profit dedicated to ending child sexual abuse. Find out more at www.justice4pakids.org.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews who moved from Canada to Guatemalan village to find 'religious freedom' are forced to leave because the locals don't like them
By JENNY AWFORD FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:41 EST, 30 August 2014
A community of Orthodox Jews have been expelled from their homes in a bitter conflict with hostile villagers.
Just a few months after fleeing from Canada amid allegations of child abuse, members of the Lev Tahor community were forced to leave San Juan La Laguna in Guatemala yesterday.
The village Elder's Council voted to kick them out because the group refused to greet or have physical contact with the community, according to a member of the council.
Lev Tahor is a radical strain of Hassidic Judaism that believes television and computers are bad and must be avoided.
The group rejects the state of Israel because it views the Jews as a people who must remain in exile.
Verbal abuse, threats to cut off power and eject them by force were the last straw for the Jews, some of whom have been there for six years.
August 31, 2014
Who can say where Cardinal George Pell gets his lines?
When he drew his recent analogy between church organisations and trucking companies, it was honestly difficult to spot whether he had got the idea from some parchment-shuffler in Vatican PR, or practiced it himself in front of the mirror that morning with a hairbrush.
"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate – because it is contrary to the policy – for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," he told the Royal Commission.
It is not the first time Cardinal Pell has selected an unfortunate transport-related analogy to reinforce his argument that the Catholic Church has been unfairly targeted in the matter of sexual abuse.
"We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated," Cardinal Pell said in November 2012, responding to the establishment of the Royal Commission.
"We object to being described as the only cab on the rank."
In the ongoing titanic struggle between Cardinal Pell and his own mouth, it's become increasingly easy to demonise the church. Crimes against children are unspeakable enough; to complain implicitly that one's own organisation is less free to commit those crimes than another sounds reprehensible principally because it is.
Sydney Morning Herald
August 31, 2014
The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending.
The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which honours an Australian Catholic theologian who became the first woman to serve in an executive role in the Roman Curia.
Professor McAleese had criticised the former Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell for his "boy's club" appointment of a Sydney colleague to a key position in the Vatican.
She had also openly attacked Rome over its refusal to ordain women and said it should rethink it stance on homosexuality, saying the issue was "not so much the elephant in the room but a herd of elephants" for the church.
The Irish Echo, Australia's Irish newspaper, ran The Catholic Weekly's refusal to run the McAleese advertisements as a front-page story this week.
The story claimed the advertisements were refused because Professor McAleese's views did not accord with the Church.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug 30, 2014
For more information contact:
Joe Kohn, Director of Public Relations
In 2011, the Archdiocese of Detroit became aware of the failure of the pastor of St. Peter Parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Father Michael N. Cooney, to report suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner. The incident occurred in the final months of 2011 on St. Peter Parish property in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Initially, Father Cooney was suspended from office from February 10, 2012 to April 22, 2012. Subsequent to that action, as provided by Church law, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron appointed a panel of three canon lawyers/judges to conduct an independent review of the incident. With the panel’s findings now in hand, Archbishop Vigneron has taken the necessary steps to conclude this formal process.
Following a canonical (Church law) trial, a panel of judges has concluded that in a 2011 instance, Father Michael Cooney was negligent in performing his duties as pastor of St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens, by failing to properly report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner and failing to take proper measures to protect an alleged victim. It was the conclusion of the of the judges that although Father Cooney did advise a family member of the alleged victim to report the suspected abuse to civil authorities, he had the responsibility to— and should have— reported what he knew to authorities when he first learned of the suspected abuse.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron takes seriously his responsibilities regarding the protection of minors. He deeply regrets that this matter occurred and apologizes for it. Father Cooney has acknowledged his failure to take proper action in this instance and apologized.
Whenever a crime— as defined in church law— has occurred, some penalty must be given. Archbishop Vigneron has issued a personal rebuke to Father Cooney, required him to make a retreat, and to write letters of apology to the parish and to the family and others affected by the failure to report. There will also be a program to review with Father Cooney the full requirements of civil and ecclesiastical law in these matters. In determining these actions, Archbishop Vigneron has also considered the 24 years of priestly service of Father Cooney at St. Peter’s and the otherwise exemplary program of child protection in place at the parish. For his part, Father Cooney, a Detroit priest in good standing, has cooperated fully in the resolution of this matter.
The Detroit News
Archdioscese of Detroit finds Mount Clemens priest 'negligent' in duties by delaying to report suspected abuse
LAUREN ABDEL-RAZZAQ THE DETROIT NEWS
The Archdioscese of Detroit has concluded an investigation into a Mount Clemens priest accused of not informing police quickly enough when an usher sexually abused a teen at a church event.
The abuse took place in the final months of 2011 on the St. Peter Parish property.
Rev. Michael Cooney was suspended from Feb. – April 2012, and following that, a panel of canon lawyers launched an investigation. More than two years later, the panel’s findings have been reported to Archbishop Allen Vigneron.
The report states that Cooney “was negligent in performing his duties as pastor of St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens, by failing to properly report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner and failing to take proper measures to protect an alleged victim,” according to a press release from the Archdiocese.
The panel determined that although the pastor advised a family member to report the abuse to authorities, he had the responsibility to report the abuse immediately when he learned of it.
Sydney Morning Herald
August 31, 2014
Most of us – if asked – would agree that the sexual abuse of children is about as bad as human behaviour gets.
Most of us would like to think that we would do anything within our power to avert it, if given the opportunity.
But in the real world, people's reasons for looking the other way are many and varied.
In Britain this week, the South Yorkshire city of Rotherham – a regional metropolis just a bit smaller than Canberra – was devastated by the release of a report finding that 1400 young girls had been sexually abused and trafficked in the local area over the past seven years.
Councillors, council staff and police – the report found – had profoundly under-reacted to the widespread abuse of children, which was mainly inflicted by men of Pakistani origin.
"Several councillors interviewed believed that by opening up these issues they could be 'giving oxygen' to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion," the report found.
Former Labour MP for the area, Denis MacShane, confessed that he had failed to inquire deeply enough into what was going on.
"I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural boat, if I may put it like that," he told the BBC.
In Australia at present, the focus is very much on institutions, thanks to the current Royal Commission into sexual abuse.
It's easy to register the failure of an organisation to respond properly to abuse. It's easier still when the leadership of that organisation appears to have difficulty registering – on a human level – exactly where that abuse should rank in terms of its priorities.
When Cardinal George Pell drew his recent analogy between church organisations and trucking companies, it was honestly difficult to spot whether he had got the idea from some parchment-shuffler in Vatican PR, or practised it himself in front of the mirror that morning with a hairbrush.
By Noel Baker
Some 186 survivors of the Magdalene laundries are now receiving payments under the Government’s new redress scheme.
Figures provided by the Department of Social Protection show that since the weekly payments commenced in June, 186 women are now receiving the payment, which is one of the steps recommended in the Magdalene Commission Report, also known as the Quirke Report.
The figures also reveal that in the year to August 19, €387,785 had been paid to Magdalene Survivors living overseas — and €366,826 of that amount was paid in the one month period to August 19.
Recipients living overseas receive a monthly payment, while those living in Ireland receive it weekly.
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion
Boz Tchividjian | Aug 30, 2014
In the past few years, a there has been a growing interest amongst many Americans in raising awareness and combatting the international commercial sexual exploitation of children. This is when an adult solicits or engages in a sexual act with a child in exchange for something of value. Many incredible individuals and organizations are focusing on this global horror and are beginning to make a real difference in the lives of untold numbers of vulnerable children around the world. Only recently are our eyes beginning to open to the ugly fact that this evil also permeates in the small towns and big cities of this nation. This has been clearly evidenced in a report released this past week by SharedHope, a Christian organization that is combating sex trafficking and serving abuse survivors. The Demanding Justice Report is one of the first comprehensive studies of its kind that examines the domestic commercial sexual exploitation of children. The heartbreaking and eye-opening findings of this study are a loud call to action to every American. Especially to those of us who call ourselves Christ followers.
Everyone should take the time to read this report. In this short post, I want to highlight just a small sample of its findings and what they mean for those of us who are a part of a faith community:
Who are the buyers? The age of those who commit these sexual offenses against children ranged from 18-89 years of age, with the average age being 42. Ninety-nine percent of these offenders were male. In the cases where the profession of the perpetrator was available, over 65 percent were in professions of authority such as attorneys, police officers, and ministers. Fifty-six percent were identified as working in occupations that had regular access to children, including teachers, coaches, and youth service organizations.
Who are the victims? Of the cases studied, almost 80 percent of the child victims were female. Approximately 10 percent of the victims were under the age of eleven, while almost 42 percent were between the ages of 11 and 15. The rest were between the ages of 16 and 18. In at least five of the cases reviewed during this study, children who were abused were actually charged with prostitution! Surprisingly, in only a small number of the cases were the young victims identified as being a runaway.
Catholic Church needs to beg for our forgiveness and Cardinal George Pell should be first in line says Angela Mollard
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH AUGUST 30, 2014
SOME stories never leave you. They settle in your bones and you revisit them, year after year, as if time might bring fresh insight or healing.
Such is the case with B’s story. I was lying on her bedroom floor when she told me, feet propped on her bed.
She took a deep breath. During her teenage years, she told me, someone close to her family had sexually abused her. She’d kept it secret but the perpetrator was about to get married. She was concerned: what if he went on to have a daughter?
My friend didn’t want to confide in her parents, to destroy their lives. As a practising Catholic she’d decided to tell the priest at the church she attended.
Priests were dependable, she reasoned. Problem solvers. Conduits to God and wisdom.
The priest said he’d think about how best to handle it. And so she waited. And waited.
“Has he done anything?” I’d ask as we drank tea. She’d shake her head.
What we didn’t know was that the priest had a secret of his own. At the same time he was sexually assaulting a teenager, a girl he’d groomed from the age of 12 and who he’d continue to abuse for six years.
In 1994, seven years after my friend had confided in him, the priest was found guilty of sexual assault and jailed for four years.
Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 30, 2014
Two minor girls, aged seven and eight, were raped in a south Delhi temple by a 70-year-old priest on Janmashtami day, at a time when celebrations were on in full swing.
Baba Vishvabandhu, who is also accused of molesting the girls for over a week, was arrested that very day (August 18) after the girls’ parents lodged a complaint at Mehrauli police station.
The incident, which took place in a village near Mehrauli, came to light after the eight-year-old girl complained to her mother of pain in her lower abdomen and difficulty passing urine before finally breaking down in tears and revealing the truth. The mother went to the house of her daughter’s friend, where she too narrated the same story.
WOODLAND (CBS13) – A Davis priest who pleaded guilty to charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenager was sentenced by a Yolo County Superior Court judge Friday.
CBS13 confronted Fr. Hector Coria about the allegations and sentencing.
“Excuse me father, what do you have to say about the sentencing? What do you have to say about that?” we asked.
“No comment,” Coria said.
“No comment at all? So the allegations are true?” we asked.
Investigators and church officials say Coria admitted to having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his alter girls –- a 16-year-old –- at St. James Parish in Davis.
Insurance News Net
By Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Aug. 30--After more than 19 months, members of St. Thomas More Catholic parish are getting a full-time pastor to formally replace the Rev. Edward Belczak, the Catholic priest charged with embezzling $700,000 from the Troy parish.
This week, Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Msgr. Thomas Rice will become pastor of the large Troy parish, which struggled with attendance and donations in the wake of the accusations against Belczak and former parish manager, Janice Verschuren. Rice, who is now pastor of St. Louise de Marillac in Warren, will take the helm of St. Thomas More on Nov. 29.
Rice, 64, has been pastor of St. Louise for 24 years. From 1999 to 2012, he also served as publisher and editor-in-chief of the archdiocese's newspaper, the Michigan Catholic.
LIVE IN BREVARD COUNTY, MICHELLE MEREDITH, WESH 2 NEWS. FORMAL CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST A WINTER SPRINGS PASTOR ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE. WESH 2'S BOB KEALING REPORTS, AS A RESULT INVESTIGATORS SAY THE ABUSE WENT ON FOR ANOTHER YEAR. SEMINOLE COUNTY PROSECUTORS HAVE FILED FORMAL CHARGES AGAINST WINTER SPRINGS PASTOR CAESAR CHIN OF FAILING TO REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE. A THIRD DEGREE FELONY. INVESTIGATORS SAY CHIN LIED TO THEM TO PROTECT THE ALLEGED ABUSER.
By Philip Jankowski
A Bastrop youth minister has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child after he was caught having sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office.
Isahiah Arellano, 25, was a youth minister with Faith Impact Fellowship in Bastrop County. Arellano had been staying with a family who had taken him in because he said he did not have any place to stay. One of the family members caught him having sex with the girl on April 29, the sheriff’s office said.
Arellano admitted to having sex with the girl and said it was their only sexual encounter. However, the girl said they had engaged in sexual intercourse three times in April, the sheriff’s office said.
Updated: Thursday, August 28 2014
A 25-year-old Bastrop County youth minister is charged with sexual assault of a child.
The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says they were notified of the alleged assault in April. Investigators say a witness saw Isahiah Arellano having sex with a 16-year-old girl.
The incident happened at a Bastrop County family's home Arellano had been allowed to move into last year because he had no electricity in his trailer, the Sheriff's Office says.
The victim told investigators they'd had three other sexual encounters in the past -- which Arellano denied, the Sheriff's Office says.
BASTROP, Texas -- A youth minister in Bastrop has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child.
Isahiah Arellano, 25, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.
According to the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office, a family member saw Arellano and the girl having sex at a friend's house in April. The alleged victim told investigators she and Arellano had sex three times in April. Arellano admitted to having sex with the girl and denied any other sexual encounters.
BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Texas authorities have charged a Bastrop youth minister who they say had sex with a 16-year-old girl.
The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says 25-year-old Isahiah Arellano was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault this week. Authorities say Arellano was a youth minister with the Faith Impact Fellowship in Bastrop County. They say a family member caught him having sex with the teen at a friend's house in April.
Arellano tells authorities he only had sex with the teen once. She tells them it happened three times.
Authorities are working with the church pastor. No other cases have been reported.
The teen's relatives tell KXAN-TV that they stopped attending the church. The pastor says Arellano was fired.
BY TK BARGER
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR
Kristopher Schondelmeyer, 30, is the associate pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Toledo, responsible for youth and small-group ministry and adult education. When he was a teenager, a minister touched him sexually, he alleges, but even so, he became a minister. And though he serves the Presbyterian Church, he is suing it. He claims that repressed memory kept him from realizing until November 2012 that he was a victim of clergy sexual abuse in July 2000.
His attorneys filed a legal petition in Fulton, Mo., on April 14, and an initial hearing was held in Columbia, Mo., Aug. 18, for a lawsuit against Fulton's First Presbyterian Church and the larger bodies that Fulton's church is a part of, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian Foundation, which holds church funds, is also a defendant. And Jack Wayne Rogers, 69, at the time an ordained Presbyterian lay minister, now a federal prison inmate convicted in 2004 of child pornography and obscenity, is named as the abuser and is also being sued. The Rev. Schondelmeyer is asking for “compensatory and punitive damages” and “other and further relief,” the lawsuit says.
Rev. Schondelmeyer's allegations include that Rogers and the Presbyterian Church established a ”trust relationship” with him and, exploiting that, Rogers “engaged in non-consensual sex acts with the plaintiff” on a church trip to a youth conference in Maryland. Rogers had been convicted of child pornography in 1992, and the lawsuit alleges the church knew, yet made him a chaperone for youth, and also that the church was “encouraging [Rogers] to commit the abuse and battery” and “actively concealing the abuse after it occurred.” The Church also violated its own policies and procedures regarding sex abusers, the lawsuit says.
His Toledo congregation is very supportive of Rev. Schondelmeyer, said its pastor, the Rev. Tom Schwartz. “Our governing body, or session, had talked with Kris about it,” and a letter was sent to all members. The alleged abuse, cover-up, and lack of accountability, response, and help by the Church is “out of line. It's why we would agree that his desire to litigate would be something we would be in support of.”
Dubbo Photo News
Saturday, 30 August 2014 13:26 Written by Tony Webber
During his testimony to the royal commission into child sexual abuse Cardinal George Pell compared the church’s situation to that of a trucking company.
In an analogy so clunky that if it was a truck it would be unroadworthy, Pell said the actions of a sex offending truck driver could not be held against the company who employed him/her.
But of course a trucking company would report its errant driver to the police. For decades the church did not.
The trucking company would not relocate the driver to another route in the full knowledge of his/her crimes and therefore the awareness that not only would he/she continue to rape children, but that being an unknown would expose him/her to the children of unsuspecting families whose suspicions had not already been raised.