A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
January 17, 2017
January 16, 2017
It would be a mistake if, in the midst of their crisis, the Moravians of Jamaica were to merely circle their wagons and nurture a grievance of persecution, of which, judging by the remarks of some of their congregants and pastors, there are troubling signs.
In this regard, we repeat our advice to the church to allow the law, unfettered by attempts at stonewalling or cover-up, to take its course in the unfolding allegations of sex abuse against clergy. This approach is likely to lead, in time, to purer healing.
With no more than 20,000 members, the Moravians are not near being a major congregation in Jamaica. But over their more than two and a half centuries in the island, the church's mission has been substantial. They have contributed greatly to education and social welfare. Now, in the face of a deepening sex scandal, the Moravians face questions about moral authority, which, potentially, could lead to a fracturing of the institution.
Earlier this month, Rupert Clarke, 64, a pastor to a congregation in the parish of Manchester, was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old minor in neighbouring St Elizabeth. He is under investigation for a similar, earlier affaire, with an underage girl from the same family.
New York Daily News
A Queens music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her home when she was 12 years old, police said Monday.
Rafael Diaz, 69, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Diaz was music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, where his victim was a student.
Sources said the girl’s family made arrangements for her to receive private lessons at home, where the alleged abuse occurred.
Diaz was charged with sexual conduct against a child less than 13, sexual abuse in the first degree and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17.
The Education Ministry says it will not comment on the latest development involving Principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School, Heather Murray, until next month.
Murray is challenging the education ministry’s decision to send her on two weeks leave.
It's the latest in a string of developments after Murray went to the St Elizabeth Parish Court at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, who is on a sex charge.
She also attempted to block the media from taking his images.
Chris Villani Monday, January 16, 2017
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s recent appointment to a Vatican council tasked with prosecuting sex abuse cases may impact the church’s role in preventing and responding to the crisis, local experts say.
Pope Francis named the head of the Boston Archdiocese to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of a series of appointments the Vatican announced over the weekend.
“Not only is it an area where the cardinal can be useful, but it recognizes the extend to which the pope has trust in O’Malley,” said Richard Gaillardetz, chair of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.
“One of the criticism of Francis that has the most substance is he has been slow in responding to the clerical sexual abuse crisis,” Gaillardetz said. “Cardinal O’Malley is someone he trusts, who has been in his ear to tell him this is a more important and serious issue than he may have realized.”
The Globe and Mail
TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Jan. 16, 2017
Judges have no general right to interfere with compensation decisions involving claims by victims of Canada’s notorious Indian residential schools, Ontario’s Court of Appeal said Monday.
In written reasons for an oral decision rendered in December, the Court of Appeal said a Superior Court justice overstepped his powers by awarding money to a rape victim whose claims were rejected under the independent assessment process known as the IAP.
“The IAP represents a comprehensive, tailor-made scheme for the resolution of claims by trained and experienced adjudicators, selected according to specified criteria and working under the direction of the chief adjudicator,” the Appeal Court said.
“Allowing appeals or judicial review would seriously compromise the finality of the IAP and fail to pay appropriate heed to the distinctive nature of the IAP and the expertise of IAP adjudicators.”
Marlborough – Sister Rose Clarisse (Pauline) Gadoury, 87, a Sister of St. Anne, died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 in UMass Marlborough Hospital.
Born in Dudley, she was the tenth surviving child of Emilien and Rosanna (St. Martin) Gadoury. She attended St. Anne School in Webster and the former St. Anne Academy (Marlborough), earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Anna Maria College (Paxton), an MA from Duquesne University, and a Doctoral degree in ministry from Boston University, School of Theology, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Anna Maria College. ...
She was a member of the Advisory Board for the Vicar for Religious, and the Office of Pastoral Ministries in the Archdiocese of Boston. She served as a member of the Bishop’s Pastoral Care Committee for Sexual Abuse for the Diocese of Worcester.
New York Post
By Tina Moore January 16, 2017
A 69-year-old Catholic school music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her Queens home when she was 11 and 12 years old, police sources said.
Rafael Diaz, music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
The girl, now 15, told investigators Diaz would touch her diaphragm with four fingers and then fondle her breast with his hands over her clothes while making her sing different pitches, the police sources said.
He once asked her if she had started her menstrual cycle and then allegedly put his hand on her private parts over her clothing. The assaults happened four or five times in the girl’s former home between May and June in 2014, the sources said.
National Catholic Register
Joan Frawley Desmond
MENLO PARK, Calif. — Amid calls for the decentralization of the Roman Curia by some Church leaders and theologians, Cardinal William Levada, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), underscored the CDF’s crucial role as the arbiter of faith and morals for the universal Church.
Cardinal Levada also suggested that the CDF was especially qualified to oversee the prosecution of clergy abuse cases, a responsibility given to the congregation by Pope St. John Paul II in his 2001 document Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, issued motu proprio (on the pope’s own initiative).
Over the past month, media outlets have reported on proposals within the Vatican to shift the prosecution of abuse cases to another dicastery. These reports have not been publicly confirmed, and Cardinal Levada did not address them directly. Rather, he reflected on the CDF’s unique expertise in dealing with these often-complicated cases over the past 16 years.
Cardinal Levada, 80, the former archbishop of San Francisco who retired as prefect of the CDF in 2012, offered his comments during a wide-ranging Register interview on Jan. 9 at his residence on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California. The conversation touched on his decades of service to the Church as a theologian, bishop and prefect of the CDF, and he also discussed the legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
January 17, 2017
The nation’s police commissioners are set to make a historic apology to the victims of child-sex abuse in institutional care who were not believed when they reported these crimes or, worse, were returned to their abusers.
The true number of such abuse victims will never be known as records were not kept, have since been lost or were destroyed.
That such an apology is being considered at this level shows both its extent and the damage done are feared to be significant.
More than half a million children are estimated to have spent time in an orphanage, home or foster care over the past century. They represent more than 40 per cent of the 6349 people who have given evidence in private to the child abuse royal commission to date saying they were abused.
In a letter sent last week and seen by The Australian, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says the Australian and New Zealand Police Commissioners Forum met recently to discuss a potential apology to those affected. Writing to the Care Leavers Australasia Network, which represents people who were in institutional care and has campaigned on the issue for several years, Mr Ashton says the other police commissioners “asked me to convey their sincere empathy about the concerns … raised”.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio , email@example.com Jan. 16, 2017
A group of Catholics is raising concerns about a recent decision to send a priest to Canada to study canon law. The priest defied an archbishop’s decision to reassign him to Umatac and has been accused of a string of alleged misconduct throughout the years. Canon law governs the Catholic Church.
The Concerned Catholics of Guam Inc. said Father Adrian Cristobal is “one of the most despicable clerics” in the Archdiocese of Agana for his conduct.
A few days before he was to leave Guam, Cristobal said that his being sent to study canon law is “nothing out of the ordinary.” The Concerned Catholics disagrees.
Priest unhappy with parish shift
“Father Adrian Cristobal should be disciplined, not rewarded, for lies he has perpetrated that has harmed the Church on Guam. He is one of the priests at the center of this division within our Church,” Concerned Catholics president David Sablan said in a Jan. 10 letter to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.
AS the sex scandal surrounding the Moravian church in Jamaica deepens, Dr Paul Gardner, who was head of the organisation up to Thursday, has also quit his chairmanship of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid, in a release late Saturday night, said the resignation was immediate. Gardner was appointed chairman of the commission last year May.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Reid indicated that the resignation was due to the scandal rocking the church organisation. “In discussions he recognised that there are some serious allegations against him which render his continuance untenable and he therefore, in principle, has agreed to step aside to clear his name and his integrity and, having tendered his resignation, I have to accept it. I thank him for his services to the TSC and Jamaica and I wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” he said.
Dr Gardner and vice-president of the church, Rev Jermaine Gibson, quit the executive of the church on Thursday as allegations of sexual misconduct continued to rock the organisation.
By Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli January 16
The Vatican has continued to receive a high number of reports of sexual abuse by clerics during Pope Francis’s papacy, according to a new book that also reexamines allegations against several of the pontiff’s top advisers involving coverups or worse.
The book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi — an advance copy of which was provided to The Washington Post, and which is to be published Thursday — argues that little has changed in the way the church handles sexual abuse cases despite Francis’s creation of a special commission for the protection of minors and a declaration of “zero tolerance” of abuse.
The church “is still afraid of the taboo,” Fittipaldi said in an interview.
Francis has been credited by some with taking more decisive action on abuse cases than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, did. Francis has set down a process for removing bishops for negligence in the handling of abuse cases and ordered the trial before a church tribunal of a Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic after accusations of sexual abuse surfaced. But Francis also has promoted officials who have been tainted by accusations of abuse or coverups, and the Vatican has been accused of still not doing enough.
January 15, 2017
Mon 16 Jan 2017
By Premier Journalist
An Italian author has lashed out at Pope Francis, claiming the Catholic leader has not followed through on his promise to have a zero tolerance approach on clerical sex abuse.
Emiliano Fittipaldi makes the accusations against the Pope in his new book Lussuria ('Lust') which will be released in Italy on Thursday.
Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 complaints of child sex abuse were taken to the Pope in his first three years of papacy. He writes that in Italy, a number of priests have been convicted of abuse but the church did not take any canonical action against them.
The author also suggests that Australian cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of protecting abusers in his archdiocese, has remained in a senior position despite the complaints against him.
Summary of Case: Damion J. Lynch was ordained for the Diocese of Charlotte in 1991. He was assigned to St. Elizabeth's in Boone and was a chaplain at nearby Appalachian State University. In 1995 Lynch disclosed to Bishop Curlin an "indiscretion" on his part involving a St. Elizabeth's altar boy in his early teens. Lynch was placed on leave in November 1995 and sent for psychological testing. The family received settlement money, agreeing to keep quiet and to release the diocese from further damages. Curlin assigned Lynch to another Charlotte parish 1997. In 1998 the same family sued after they said they discovered that their son's twin brother had also been molested by Lynch, and that the abuse of their boys occurred repeatedly and not just once, as they had thought. Lynch then asked for a leave of absence. He was not returned to ministry.
Written by Ernest Owens
The death of Bishop Eddie Long struck a nerve with me that I would have never imaged. Perhaps it was the hypocrisy found in Kim Burrell’s anti-LGBT remarks earlier this month or the fact that I now see more Black clergyman popping up to support President-Elect Donald Trump — who also has a VP that believes in LGBTQ conversion therapy. Maybe it's the deep distrust with faith communities that have given me a bittersweet reaction to Long’s passing.
When I saw the news break on social media, I automatically took to Twitter to see the reactions. Many were celebrating Long as a “spiritual warrior,” a “mentor,” and a “church leader.” No one, in the first few moments his death became public, would dare speak on the allegations surrounding him reportedly coercing young adult men for sex. No one would speak on the congregation members who would denounced and publically attacked these men for speaking to the media. And nobody would talk about the hypocrisy of his church and how they defended a man who has held anti-LGBTQ positions while seemingly living a double life.
This morning, I had enough with allowing church folks on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed fail to recognize their double standards at the expense of my emotional tillage. I called it out, all of it. I went off about the Black church and how it likes to erase LGBTQ folks and our trauma out of the narrative. I explained how “love, grace, and mercy” is only given to those who preach hetrosexism, but not for the same-gender loving and those afflicted by sexual abuse. It was a Sunday, so I gave a social media sermon that went viral. Enough was enough and I wasn’t having it.
BY TRUDY RING
JANUARY 15 2017
Eddie Long, the antigay Georgia megachurch pastor once accused of sexually abusing young men in his congregation, has died at age 63.
Long died Sunday of “an aggressive form of cancer,” said a statement released by his church to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Long, who held the title of bishop, was senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta. In 2010 four men who had been members of the church filed a lawsuit alleging that Long had coerced them into sexual relationships, enticing them with money, trips, and expensive gifts. A court dismissed the suit and the men reached a settlement with Long in 2011.
The bishop did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, and he always denied the allegations, but even after the settlement, his accusers maintained they were telling the truth. Long’s public stance was also consistently antigay; he preached against homosexuality, offered counseling to “cure” people of being gay, and opposed marriage equality.
Following recent scandals involving well-known religious figures, a new ruling determines it is not only permissible, but a duty to report sexual harassment to the police • "There is more common language with police today," prominent rabbi says.
Yehuda Shlezinger and Israel Hayom Staff
In the wake of several recent scandals involving well-known figures from the religious public -- among them former Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris; former head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Davidi Pearl; Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg and others -- a new religious ruling states unequivocally: Sexual harassment or abuse must be reported to the police.
A comprehensive halachic document compiled by the Puah Institute for fertility, medicine, and Jewish law cites five halachic sources and determines that it is not only permissible, but an obligation, to complain about sexual harassment.
The document was drafted ahead of the 17th Puah Institute Conference, which will be held Wednesday.
In attendance will be doctors and rabbis, with the goal of teaching municipal, neighborhood and community rabbis about the latest innovations in the fields of gynecology, fertility, genetics and more. This year, a panel at the conference will specifically examine the religious duty of reporting sexual harassment to the authorities.
Summary of Case: Robert Yurgel was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis in 1996. He was assigned in 1997 to the Diocese of Charlotte NC, where he worked in several area parishes. In October 1999 he was transferred out of the diocese, returning briefly to his order in New York, then assigned to the Diocese of Paterson NJ. He resided at a Passaic parish while working as a hospital chaplain. He occasionally said mass in Hackensack.
In 2008 a 23-year-old man reported to the Charlotte-Meckenburg police that Yurgel sexually abused him beginning in 1999 when he was a 14-year-old altar boy at St. Matthew's in Charlotte, and Yurgel was an assistant priest. The young man said the abuse occurred at St. Matthew's, at Our Lady of Consolation where Yurgel was next assigned, in a car in the parking lot of St. Michael's in Gastonia where Yurgel sometimes presided over a Spanish mass, and at the boy's home when his parents were out. Yurgel was arrested in NJ and extradited to NC; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2009 to at least seven years and eight months in prison, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Yurgel's victim sued the Charlotte diocese and Capuchin Franciscans in 2008, claiming they covered up his case, and that the diocese knew of sexual misconduct by Yurgel in 1999. The diocese and order settled with the man in 2010.
Roma - Sul nuovo numero dell'Espresso, in edicola da domenica 15 gennaio, l'inchiesta di copertina è firmata da Emiliano Fittipaldi ed è dedicata ai 'vizi cardinali', ovvero a come parte della Curia continua a proteggere prelati accusati di pedofilia..
Il giornalista ha scritto un libro, in uscita il 19, sull'argomento e nel video racconta la difficile battaglia di Francesco contro la pedofilia. Fittipaldi spiega come gli alti prelati, alcuni vicini al Papa, hanno continuato a insabbiare le denunce sulle violenze sessuali ai bambini. Nel numero in edicola domenica con Repubblica, anche un'intervista al figlio del criminale nazista Hans Frank, processato a Norimberga.
The Guardian (UK)
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Sunday 15 January 2017
The last time Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote an exposé about corruption at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, it landed him in a Vatican court facing a possible jail sentence on charges that he had illegally obtained confidential church papers in the course of his reporting.
Now, six months after the 42-year-old reporter was cleared of all charges, Fittipaldi is taking on the church again. This time in a new book that accuses Pope Francis of doing “close to nothing” to stop clerical sexual abuse in Italy and around the world, despite the Argentinean pope’s frequent assertions that he has zero tolerance for the abuse of children or those who protect abusers.
In Lussuria (Lust), which will be released in Italian by publisher Feltrinelli on Thursday, Fittipaldi methodically pores over court documents and cites interviews with priests and judicial officials to paint a damning picture of the first three years of Francis’s papacy. Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 plausible complaints of molestation against boys and girls from around the world have been brought to the Vatican’s attention in that period. In some of the twenty cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Italy in 2016, Fittipaldi writes, priests have been convicted of abuse without the church taking any canonical action against them.
Fittipaldi also devotes attention to the case of Australian cardinal George Pell, who was appointed by Francis to reform church finances and has remained in that senior position despite questions over whether Pell protected serial abusers in his archdiocese in Australia decades ago. Pell has denied the allegations against him but a counsel assisting a royal commission looking at child abuse in Australia has argued that there was evidence that Pell should have taken stronger action against one paedophile priest whose case has been examined. ...
“The principle message of the book – the problem – is that the phenomenon of paedophilia is not being fought with sufficient force. Across the world, the church continues to protect the privacy of the paedophiles and also the cardinals [who protect them],” Fittipaldi said in an interview with the Guardian.
“Francis is not directly defending the paedophiles, but he did close to nothing to contrast the phenomenon of paedophilia,” he added.
It is not a new charge against the pope. While Francis is popular, especially for his strong views in support of poor and marginalised people, groups that advocate for survivors of sexual abuse have regularly criticised Francis for failing to take concrete steps to prevent and expose abuse, even though he has used strong words to condemn sexual violence by priests. A papal commission created by Francis early in his papacy has only met three or four times in its history, Fittipaldi said. Separately, a Vatican proposal to create a tribunal to investigate bishops who cover up for abusers, which was celebrated by advocacy groups when it was announced in 2015, has inexplicably been stalled.
BOSTON (CBS) — Pope Francis has appointed Boston’s Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith–a move church officials say will expand his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse.
John Allen, the editor of Catholic news website Crux, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe that O’Malley’s appointment reflects the influential role he’s played in addressing the church sex abuse crisis.
“This appointment is another confirmation that he is essentialy this pope’s, and essentially the entire church’s go-to man in the fight against child sexual abuse,” said Allen. “If you want a signal that you’re serious about something, and you want a signal that you’re serious about reform, you want Cardinal O’Malley to be involved with it.”
Pope Francis created a commission to recommend abuse policy changes in the church, and put O’Malley in charge–but Allen says this appointment gives him more reach.
“It really is the Congregation for the Faith that applies those recommendations in the area of imposing discipline–not merely on priests who abuse, but also on bishops who cover up abuse,” he said.
[The Bishop of San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, announced today that the diocese will now require a criminal record certificate for persons working with children in the diocese. Munilla dedicated his homily at Sunday Mass celebrated at the cathedral to the accusations made against the former vicar-general, Juan Kruz Mendizabal, who was convicted in a church canonical procedure of sexual abuse of a minor.]
El obispo de San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, ha anunciado hoy que exigirá certificado de penales a las personas que trabajen con menores en la diócesis y ha señalado que su "agenda queda disponible para atender de forma prioritaria los casos" de abusos sexuales "que puedan presentarse".
Munilla ha dedicado íntegramente su homilía de la misa dominical que ha celebrado en la catedral del Buen Pastor de la capital guipuzcoana al caso del ex vicario general de Gipúzkoa, el sacerdote Juan Kruz Mendizabal, condenado en un procedimiento canónico por dos casos de abusos sexuales a menores sucedidos en los años 2001 y 2005 y denunciado por una tercera víctima por hechos similares acaecidos en 1994.
Munilla ha trasladado también un mensaje de apoyo a los sacerdotes, de los que ha dicho que "son como los aviones", que "solo son noticia cuando caen".
Paddy Agnew in Rome
Migration, economic austerity, secularism, clerical sex abuse, falling attendance at Mass, the decline in priesthood vocations and the Catholic Church’s mission of mercy to those on the periphery will be just some of the many hot-button issues touched on by Irish bishops during their traditional “ad limina” visit to Pope Francis and the Holy See, beginning on Monday morning.
The “ad limina apostolorum” (to the threshold of the apostles) visit, which usually takes place every five years, in some senses represents an occasion when the local, often far-off branch gets a chance to report in person to head office.
Over the next 10 days, there will be an exchange of views between the visiting bishops and the heads of nearly all the major departments of the Roman curia.
The high point of the visit will come next Friday when the pope receives the almost 30-strong Irish delegation in audience.
By The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s archbishop has been appointed to a top Vatican office that handles cases of clergy sex abuse.
The Vatican’s press office announced Saturday that Pope Francis named Cardinal Sean O’Malley the newest member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces church teachings and also judges sex abuse cases. O’Malley will remain the archbishop of Boston.
The move strengthens O’Malley’s role as a key figure in the church’s work to prevent abuse. In 2014 he was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, an advisory body for the pope.
New York Pos
By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein
January 15, 2017
A Long Island priest has been suspended for allegedly sending sinful selfies.
Father Luke Melackrinos, a married father of three and the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, was called into a Nassau County police station on Jan. 8 to address a complaint involving “inappropriate email exchanges he had with a woman,” according to a letter sent to parishioners by his bishop.
No charges were filed against Melackrinos but he was “immediately placed on a leave of absence” because “there is a certain code of behavior expected of our clergy,” read the letter written by Bishop Andonios Paropoulos, the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States.
Melackrinos “consented to immediately begin seeing a professional for evaluation so we can determine the proper course of action,” the bishop wrote.
I am the unnamed sex-abuse victim of Kevin Gugliotta, the poker-playing priest arrested on Oct. 29 on child pornography charges. mentioned in Mark Meuller's story in The Star-Ledger on Dec. 6.
The article made it clear that the Newark Archdiocese's statement was misleading if not an outright lie: "There are no allegations that he engaged in similar activities in New Jersey,"
In fact, before Gugliotta was ordained, he sexually assaulted and sexually harassed me when I was a teenager. In 2003 - nearly 15 years after I was abused - I came forward to the Archdiocesan Review Board. Archbishop John J. Myers relied on a technicality of canon law to excuse Gugliotta, since my allegations stemmed to years before he was ordained. Worse, the archbishop then assigned him to posts where he had supervision over children.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin is our own Pope Francis. He replaces Myers, whose neglect has left children exposed to sexual abuse.
The church, under Myers, sat on these very serious allegations, right up until they knew the newspaper would shed light on it.
Today, I want to add insight how perpetrators of child sexual abuse take time to build a network of trust and confidence by cultivating love and respect in families and communities, such that their acts, when they come to light, seem unbelievable.
I also want to speak to the culture within the Catholic church that denies and hides the behavior of perpetrators - a culture that fails to protect children and young adults, condemning them to a lifetime of shame and secrecy from which it is very difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to recover.
New York Daily News
BY NIKKI DUBOSE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, January 15, 2017
After failing to change the law last year, New York State is set once again to consider doing away with the statute of limitations on prosecuting sex crimes against children — this time with Gov. Cuomo hopefully leading the reform charge against a likely intransigent state Senate.
Under current statutes, a victim must seek justice in criminal or civil court by her 23rd birthday, or she loses the opportunity to do so forever.
To understand why this is so perverse, you have to try to grasp the psychological impact that child sex abuse has on those subjected to it.
I was sexually abused at age 8 by a male figure, and then again by my mother from the ages of 9 to 13 until the police removed me from my home. There was a lot of domestic violence and physical abuse, but the sexual abuse impacted me the most. I developed eating disorders, depression, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. I dropped out of high school and failed out of college twice.
The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, has issued a statement saying the institution has been left battered and wounded arising from the arrest sex scandal now gripping it.
The statement issued this morning comes two days after the Moravian president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson resigned following damning allegations against them contained in a seven-page email.
The bishops of the church have told the complainant that an independent committee mutually agreed by her will be set up to investigate.
This morning's statement also follows the December 28 arrest of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester.
Gordon Houser is the editor of The Mennonite magazine. Hannah Heinzekehr is the Executive Director of The Mennonite, Inc. This editorial appeared in the October issue of The Mennonite.
It seems that issues arise in the Mennonite church at times that feel like “kairos” moments, moments of opportunity for change and for focus by the broader church.
I felt that happened in the early 1990s, when we were confronted by a growing number of cases of sexual abuse by Mennonite leaders. At the time, I was editor of The Mennonite when it was the magazine of the General Conference Mennonite Church. I was part of a group of Mennonite leaders who attended a conference in February 1992 called “Men Working to End Violence Against Women.”
For most of us who participated, this was a life-changing experience, a time of repentance from ignoring the violence against women that was endemic to our society— even our church.
Around this time, stories emerged of sexual abuse by several prominent Mennonite church leaders, including Urie Bender, Jan Gleysteen, John Howard Yoder and others. At that time, Meetinghouse, a group of Mennonite editors, worked on developing guidelines for reporting these abuses. And we reported those we learned about.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Statement by Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAPNetwork.org, (949) 322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Governor Cuomo is making a bold and victim-friendly move by adding the Child Victim’s Act to his agenda. We applaud him for making child safety a priority—by helping victims in both private and public institutions.
In 2014, the State of Hawaii extended their 2-year civil window for victims of child sexual abuse.
Their original window, enacted in 2012, only applied to victims who had been sexually abused in private institutions. The two-year extension broadened the law and allowed survivors who had been abused in public and private schools and institutions to use the civil justice system to expose their abuser.
The law was very successful, allowing hundreds of victims to come forward, exposing dozens of predators, and keeping Hawaii’s children safer in public and private institutions. Governor Cuomo can do the same for New York.
If Hawaii can write a law that helps survivors and protects children, New York can certainly do the same.
By Felicia Gans GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JANUARY 15, 2017
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was appointed Saturday to a powerful Vatican office that reviews sex abuse cases, expanding his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse, according to church officials.
O’Malley’s appointment to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis was announced by the Vatican press office.
The duties of the Doctrine of Faith office, which is responsible for Catholic teaching, were expanded to include the review and handling of clerical abuse cases in the early 2000s, said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College.
O’Malley’s appointment to the office is a reflection of the influential role he’s played to address the global clergy sex abuse crisis, Groome said. ...
Phil Saviano, a sex abuse survivor, said the appointment is “certainly a step in the right direction” by the Vatican to address the needs of victims. But Saviano said Francis needs to be more transparent regarding both the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“Whether anything significant will come from it, and whether he will be willing to reveal the details of what he does with this committee, so that we can judge if it’s a good thing or another way of stalling for time ... we’ll have to tell,” he said.
Saviano added that he’s been impressed with O’Malley’s outlook regarding the clerical obligation to report sexual abuse cases to civil authorities.
Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of www.bishop-accountability.org, said O’Malley has a reputation of being “the pope’s go-to man for clergy sex abuse,” but she has not been impressed with his work thus far.
“The [Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors] is taking very modest steps and hasn’t achieved anything like real change,” Doyle said. “So I don’t know how he can cause the CDF to change.”
Sunday, January 15, 2017
The Moravian Church in Jamaica has admitted that it was hurting from the allegations of sexual misconduct that have resulted in one of its pastors being arrested and charged, but reiterated its commitment to proclaiming the gospel of Christ for the benefit of mankind.
At the same time, the church said it was re-examining its policies and processes, as it sought to deal with all the allegations made, with the purpose of maintaining the high moral standards that it has always espoused and expected of all its servants and workers.
“As has been done since 1754, we will continue to act with sound governance in a responsible and responsive way. Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy — a matter that is now before the Courts of Jamaica,” acting president of the church, Rev Phyllis Smit-Seymour, said in a statement.
The Moravian Church was plunged into controversy on January 3 when news emerged that 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke was arrested in December by the police ,who said they caught him in “a compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl in his car in St Elizabeth.
The police in St Elizabeth are in possession of a warrant for the arrest of a man who has been accused of sexual touching and ‘grooming’ of an 11-year-old girl in the parish last October.
Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, Superintendent Lansford Salmon, has indicated that the man is Zachariah Wright, popularly known as ‘Brother Zacky’, a member of the Top Hill Church of God of Prophesy in the parish.
Superintendent Salmon is seeking the public’s assistance to get Wright into police custody. He also called for persons to begin to expose more sexual offences
It comes against the background of heavy ongoing national spotlight on the sexual abuse of minors by adult males locally, following the arrest and charge of 64-year-old Moravian Church pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South Central Bureau email@example.com
Sunday, January 15, 2017
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Inevitably, following the recent arrest of a Moravian pastor for alleged rape and sexual intercourse with a minor in Austin, south-eastern St Elizabeth, child abuse took centre stage at last Thursday’s meeting of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation (Parish Council).
Police chief in St Elizabeth Supt Lanford Salmon set the tone during his report on crime when he urged councillors and their constituents to report to the police and the Child Development Agency (CDA) any suspicions they may have of child abuse.
“When offences are suspected people should move away from the ‘hush hush’ mentality … you should tell your constituents to say what they know. Some of these things stay for years and fester and no one says anything,” said Salmon.
He cautioned, however, that even as the police needed the support of the public, everyone should understand that there “are many, many sides to stories”.
The Fresno Bee
BY CARMEN GEORGE
In a residential treatment facility last month, 44 years of anxiety, guilt and shame began to lift off the shoulders of Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko.
Bartko checked himself into Sierra Tucson, which provides rehabilitation services in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 20 with the intent of addressing issues with insomnia and anxiety that began as a child. After some inconclusive tests, a therapist asked Bartko a poignant and terrifying question: “Why did you not sleep when you were 11?”
In that moment, Bartko decided it was time to finally tell someone that he was molested around 35 times in the early 1970s by his childhood Catholic priest and basketball coach, Stephen Kiesle, in the rectory of Saint Joseph Church in Pinole, about 18 miles north of Oakland.
After leaving Sierra Tucson on Jan. 7, Bartko told his story of abuse for the first time to his mother, wife and children. Wednesday, he opened up to his colleagues in an email to the Fresno State athletics department staff.
January 14, 2017
The Pennsylvania Legislature is expected to again consider extending the state’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, a proposal passed in 2016 by the House but watered down in the Senate.
A central issue is whether the lifting of the statute should be retroactive for civil cases – meaning should victims be permitted to sue for damages in cases that might be decades old.
Last year, the House approved retroactivity while the Senate pulled that stipulation from its legislation.
We urge both chambers to pass raising the statute of limitations and making the change retroactive – providing some measure of justice for sexual assault victims.
The Catholic Church and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania oppose the measure. That’s understandable, as they would risk losing millions of dollars either settling old cases or, if required by the courts, paying damages.
Catholic News Agency
Vatican City, Jan 14, 2017 / 10:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday it was announced that Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has yet another reason to come to Rome, with his appointment as the newest member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Already a member of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, O’Malley’s appointment to the CDF, announced in a Jan. 14 communique from the Vatican, adds yet another major role to the list of duties he is accumulating.
Headed by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the CDF is also home to a new judicial section established by the Pope last June to handle cases of “abuse of office” on the part of a bishop or religious superior accused of being negligent in handling instances of child sexual abuse.
Inés San MartínJanuary 14, 2017
ROME- In a move likely to be read as an attempt by Pope Francis to show resolve in the fight against clerical sexual abuse, the pontiff has named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as the “Holy Office,” is headed by German Cardinal Gerhard Muller. Its main responsibility is defending Catholic teaching, but since 2001, it’s also played lead in prosecuting cases under Church law for priests charged with sexual abuse.
Last June, Pope Francis also announced that the congregation would house a new legal section designed to impose accountability not only on abuser priests, but also on bishops and other Catholic superiors who covered up that abuse.
Since then, however, the launch of the new tribunal has been delayed amid legal and administrative wrangling, and O’Malley’s appointment may well reflect a desire by Francis to kick-start the process.
Making O’Malley a member of the doctrinal congregation does not imply a move to Rome, and he will remain the Archbishop of Boston.
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin
The Holy Father has: ...
- appointed Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, United States of America, and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Gerard O'Connell | Jan 14 2017
Move will strengthen link with commission on sexual abuse
The Vatican made the announcement at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, and highlighted the fact that the cardinal-archbishop of Boston also serves as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that Francis instituted in 2014.
The cardinal’s appointment as a member of the C.D.F. means there is now a direct link between the commission and C.D.F., which has the central role is dealing with all cases of the abuse of minors by clergy, as well as bishops who are negligent in their duty to protect children. It ensures that the C.D.F. and the commission will be able to work more closely together, while fully respecting their distinct and very different roles.
Francis set up the commission in March 2014 as an advisory body to him, and asked it to propose “the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church.” He also entrusted it with another important task: “to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults."
Today, I would like to announce a guest post by Dianne Darr Couts, President of MK (Missionary Kid) Safety Net. I met Dianne at the 2016 SNAP conference in Chicago where I was first introduced to the great need for MK advocacy. MKSN does amazing work to protect and support children (adolescent and adult) who were victimized while their parents were on the mission field. The story you are about to read is true and may be triggering to some survivors.
Missionary Kid Safety Net: Hope, Healing, Support and Advocacy
In the predawn hours of a fateful August morning, five-year old Richie was torn screaming from his mother's arms and put in a pickup truck with another child and a man he barely knew. The truck carried him 400 miles away across the dry savannah of Mali, West Africa and into the rain forest of Guinea. After dark on the second day, it pulled up outside a dormitory on the top of a hill. Richie's sister Dianne, barely twelve, heard the truck and flew outside to swoop him up in her arms - only to be reprimanded harshly by the dorm mother and told to go back to bed. The next morning, after a brief, joyful reunion with his brothers David and John, there was a grim warning: "Richie, it's bad here. It's really bad."
By Richie's sixth birthday two weeks later, he knew what his brothers meant. The first grade teacher was vicious and cruel, denying children access to the bathroom until they urinated in their seats, yanking children from their desks by their ears, and going into fits of rage over minor things like a child's inaccurate drawing of a pig. The classrooms opened onto a veranda and her outbursts and the children crying could be heard by everyone - the principal, the other teachers and the older students. But the sounds died in the forest, never reaching the ears of Richie's parents much less the mission board in America that was responsible for the school and the children under its care.
FOR MARY COLLINS and her daughter Laura Stewart, a trip from the UK to Cork this month will be full of difficult memories. Together, they will travel to St Finbarr’s cemetery in Glasheen on the 27th to light candles and remember Angelina Collins, Mary’s mother who died at a Magdalene laundry.
They will remember not just Angelina, who they say died after years of abuse, but the other women and children of Magdalene laundries across Ireland. Mary grew up in an industrial school after being removed from her mother’s care, and said she suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the abuse she suffered there.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the pair underlined how much they believe the Irish State needs to apologise to the children of Magdalene women – a State apology was given to the women themselves in 2013 – and how they feel they have been forgotten by Ireland.
image (1) The Collins family.
It’s understood that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in Irish cemeteries – many in unmarked graves. In 2013, Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to Magdalene women in an emotional speech, saying the laundries “have cast a long shadow over Irish life”.
Collins told TheJournal.ie that her mother, an unmarried Traveller woman, was put into a Magdalene laundry, while Collins was put into an industrial school.
[Catholic lay men and women went to the Osorno cathedral on Friday to state once again their rejection of Bishop Juan Barros as their bishop due to his relationship with abusive priest Fernando Karadima.]
.La organización Comunidad de Laicos y Laicas de Osorno se tomó este viernes la Catedral de la comuna, reiterando su rechazo al obispo Juan Barros y su relación con el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.
Los manifestantes llegaron hasta el recinto cerca de las 11:00 horas y lo tomaron por "la grave e insostenible crisis de división provocada por la llegada del obispo Juan Barros Madrid y su dudosa formación en la disuelta Pía Unión Sacerdotal, que funcionaba en la parroquia del Bosque de Santiago de Chile".
Junto a esto, solicitaron la presencia de Barros en el lugar para realizar una reunión.
[The Catholic Church has condemned the former vicar general of Gipuzkoa, Juan Kruz Mendizabal for two cases of sexual abuse of minors in 2001 and 2002, confirmed the Spanish bishopric of Donostia in a statement.]
En un comunicado, la Diócesis donostiarra ha informado de que el pasado mes de marzo las autoridades diocesanas tuvieron conocimiento de las acusaciones que pesaban contra Mendizabal, en concreto, de «tocamientos deshonestos realizados a dos menores en el año 2001 y en el año 2005».
El Obispado ha decidido relatar los hechos tras constatar que los afectados por los abusos habían decidido hacer público el caso en un escrito al que ha tenido acceso Efe.
En este documento, los afectados explican que los abusos sucedieron cuando Mendizabal ejercía como sacerdote de la parroquia donostiarra de San Vicente de la Parte Vieja de Donostia y era responsable del grupo juvenil de tiempo libre Xirimiri Gazte Taldea.
The National Herald
By Theodoros Kalmoukos - January 13, 2017
BOSTON– Rev. Luke Melackrinos was placed on suspension from all his liturgical and administrative duties as presiding priest at the prestigious St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, NY for his alleged inappropriate contact electronically with an adult female parishioner.
According to sources from within the parish and also the Archdiocese Fr. Melackrinos was sending electronically inappropriate photographs of himself to his female parishioner.
The Press and Journal
A former priest who taught at a Highland school will go on trial in May accused of a string of brutal assaults against his pupils with weapons including a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick.
Father Benedict Seed, 83, was due to go before a jury later this month at Inverness Sheriff Court.
But yesterday, his lawyer Clare Russell told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that she was not yet prepared for trial.
She explained: “I have just today received an 81 page statement by a prosecution witness which I will need to peruse and that will take some time.
“I also wish to look at this witness’s mental health record. In addition, there is a potential defence witness in Italy who will require to be interviewed.” Ms Russell said.
Au Manitoba, quatre nouvelles accusations d'agression et d'exploitation sexuelle ont été déposées contre le prêtre fransaskois Omer Desjardins.
Ces accusations criminelles découlent d'incidents qui se seraient produits en 1988 et 1989, quand la victime était pensionnaire à Credo Home, un centre d'hébergement jeunesse de Winnipeg géré par les Oblats de Marie-Immaculée. Omer Desjardins doit comparaître à Winnipeg le 16 janvier.
Par ailleurs, la présumée victime a décidé de briser le silence après avoir appris que l'homme d'Église a été condamné pour agression sexuelle sur une mineure.
By Caroline Barghout, CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2017
It is a secret he's kept for 28 years. Now Joe is ready to talk about the sexual abuse he said he endured at the hand of a Winnipeg priest.
It was October 1988 when Joe first met Father Omer Desjardins. He was working as the night caregiver at Credo Home, a Winnipeg group home run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community of priests and brothers commonly referred to as the Oblates.
Joe had just turned 15 and didn't want to live with his mother and her boyfriend. He became a ward of Child and Family Services and was placed in the group home.
"We didn't really talk to him much cause he didn't show up for work until 9 or 9:30 p.m., somewhere around there and bedtime for us was 10:30 p.m. on school nights," said Joe, 43, who does not want his last name used.
But within a few weeks Joe said Desjardins started coming into his room to talk.
"It was pretty normal stuff," Joe said. "Within a couple weeks, he was coming into the bedroom every night. It started off he'd be rubbing your back. Eventually his hands would slowly start to move."
By Seth Voorhees
Friday, January 13, 2017
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A proposal which would waive the statute of limitations on prosecutions of people who've abused children, and allow victims to sue abusers up to 50 years after the attack took place, is long overdue, say advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, like Jill Knittle.
Knittle was abused for six years as a child, until she was 13. She didn't tell friends until she was in her 20s, and didnt talk openly about it until her 40s. That's often the case, as victims struggle internally every day.
"It's definitely a grieving process, because you lost your childhood way too early," Knittle said.
"What we really know about sex abuse is one in 10 children, by the time they turn 18, will suffer from some form of sexual abuse, but less than one in 10 report it as a child," said Mary Whittier, executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center.
A middle-aged man has claimed he was sexually assaulted on Catholic church property by a young cleric he met through a gay dating site.
It is understood that Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has been made aware of the allegations.
The gardaí's sexual assault unit has reportedly also been informed but cannot launch an investigation until the alleged victim comes forward to them.
It is alleged that the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on the site which is geared towards those interested in mature men.
In his profile, the young cleric expressed a preference for men aged between 50 and 90.
January 13, 2017
The case of Heather Murray, the beleaguered principal of Hampton High School for Girls, is a perfect example of how we Jamaicans can get so easily distracted from the more important issues.
It is also another example of how religion turns intelligent people into idiots.
The quick back story is that Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is alleged to have been caught by police in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in his car and charged him. He was brought to court and released on $800,000 bail. Murray, who describes herself as a friend of Yvonne Clarke, the pastor's wife, appeared at the court hearing, and went as far as to shield the accused pastor from the media.
In her defence, she said she was only supporting the pastor's wife, but has since apologised and described her actions as inappropriate. She has also been sent on leave by the school?s board, even as people are lobbying for her to be fired.
The bigger issue is, however, that it has distracted us from a serious issue in this country.
The chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels says on Monday, a new guest speaker will be announced for the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast.
It follows the decision of Moravian Bishop Stanley Clarke to withdraw from the event scheduled for the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
A statement from the committee said Clarke, a former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica advised the Breakfast Committee that the current controversy engulfing his denomination could overshadow the message he would wish to deliver to the nation at the breakfast.
There has been intense public attention on the Moravian church since the December 28 arrest and subsequent charging of 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a minor.
John L. Allen Jr. January 13, 2017
ROME - Just to be clear from the beginning, I have no insider information regarding the news now making the rounds about the Knights of Malta, either in terms of the factors that led to the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor, or Pope Francis’s decision to create a committee to look into the situation.
What I can say at a distance, however, is that for anyone familiar with the Vatican over a stretch of time, there are at least a couple of truly juicy ironies at work.
As has been widely reported, Boeselager was suspended Dec. 8 after refusing an order to resign over revelations that the order’s charity branch distributed thousands of condoms in Myanmar on his watch. Boeselager reportedly insisted that he didn’t know about the program, and stopped it when he learned of it.
Boeselager also said that the top Knight, Fra Matthew Festing, in the presence of the order’s patron, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, told him Pope Francis wanted him removed, although the Vatican has denied the pope was involved.
On Dec. 22, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had created a committee to examine the situation. The five members are Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. in Geneva; Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a noted canonist and former rector of the Gregorian University; and laypeople Jacques de Liedekerke, Marc Odendall, and Marwan Sehnaoui.
Amid the Moravian Sex Scandal, one group is appealing for victims of abuse to seek refuge in the church despite the immense backlash after a senior Moravian pastor was charged with a sex charge.
The Christian Brethren Assemblies Jamaica says it notes that the incident has caused many citizens to be experiencing deep feelings of hurt, distrust and betrayal toward the church community.
However, chairman of the group's leadership and education committee, Byron Buckley, says victims of abuse should not be deterred by the actions of a few as they can find refuge in the church.
WENDY MITCHELL firstname.lastname@example.org
VANCEBURG – Attorneys for Vanceburg Christian Church have filed a motion for dismissal, in a lawsuit filed against the church for alleging not take measures to prevent the abuse by a former pastor of an unnamed victim.
In the motion, filed Friday, attorney Michael E. Nitardy requested four parts of the claim to be dismissed, “… for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Nitardy requested the personal injury, intentional infliction of emotional distress or “outrage,” respondeat superior liability, and punitive damages counts of the lawsuit to be dismissed.
He attached past case law to support his request.
Saturday | January 14, 2017
For a culture that prizes secrecy, Jamaica is shaping up to be a different place in 2017 because of the growing nationwide clamour for openness, transparency and accountability.
Rocked by recent allegations of a pastor of the Moravian Church having sex with a 15-year-old girl in his car, the Church and other long-established institutions are being forced to drill deep and confront the difficult issue of sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Based on the mounting pile of charges and countercharges, it is obvious that the drilling has to be deep enough to get beyond the apologists and into the bedrock that enables abusive behaviour by persons who are placed in positions of trust. It is happening now - there are intense feelings of shock, outrage and confusion, with the result that layers of deceit and denial are being peeled away as the nation comes face to face with the scourge of sexual abuse.
It's a welcome step, and it is hoped that the indignation is not reserved for church leaders. Although it is difficult to get solid statistical evidence, it is believed that dozens of little girls and boys have been abused, tortured, used and left broken and mentally battered. Rarely is anyone held criminally liable for the wrong done to these children. Possible prison term for the abuser and shame of the victim are not the only reasons the voices of the abused go unheard; often adult relatives enable the abusers by pretending that it is not happening in exchange for economic gain. And the abusers understand too well that they can buy their way out of justice.
Paula Deen’s brother-in-law has been served with a lawsuit that alleges he preyed upon a child sex victim while serving as a priest, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Henry Groover III – the brother of Deen’s second husband, Michael Groover and a Dominican priest – was served with the bombshell lawsuit in Savannah Georgia, around noon on January 12. And from the looks of it, he was not happy.
As Radar reported, Groover is at the center of a series of lurid claims in the new civil suit brought by Ancil Harvey Gordon III, and his wife, Heather Amanda Gordon.
The couple has claimed in their complaint that Ancil was victimized by Groover as a young child.
“From the years 1983 to present … [Groover] lured and otherwise enticed the minor Ancil Havery Gordon III into the illegial sexual acts,” the document alleges, claiming that Groover even “used LSD, alcohol, MDMA, cocaine and other illicit substances to lure and otherwise attract” the boy.
By Sabra Stafford
Crime Desk email@example.com 209-634-9141, ext. 2002
The Diocese of Stockton announced this week that a judge has approved their bankruptcy plan, including the establishment of a $15 million trust for survivors of sexual abuse committed by church officials.
On Tuesday a judge from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved the Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton’s consensual Plan of Reorganization. The plan provides $15 million through cash contributions and a promissory note to fund a trust for the exclusive benefit of survivors of clergy sexual abuse; provide non-monetary commitments such as therapy and counseling; payment of at least 50 percent of what is owed to general unsecured creditors; and restructuring of secured loans.
The plan received nearly unanimous approval in voting by the sexual abuse survivors and other creditors, according to the Diocese.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2014 after a series of costly sexual abuse settlements left them financially drained. Once the Diocese made the decision to file for bankruptcy they began a notification process that over the course of three months led to 34 new claims of sexual abuse.
By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man who alleges he is one of 38 people sexually abused by a former Albuquerque priest asked a judge this week to order Arthur Perrault to pay $38 million in punitive damages, or $1 million for each of his alleged victims.
Kenneth Wolter, 35, who filed the civil lawsuit last year in 2nd Judicial District Court, testified Wednesday that he wanted to send a message to Perrault on behalf of the 38 known victims “and the silent people who haven’t come forward.”
Perrault, who vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992, turned up last year in Tangier, Morocco, working at an English-lauguage school for children. Perrault, who was absent from a hearing Wednesday, was fired in May when school officials learned of the allegations, the school’s director has said.
District Judge Denise Barela Shepherd did not rule this week on Wolter’s request for damages, but she found that Perrault had failed to properly respond to a civil complaint and summons served to him in Morocco in May. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, which alleges a battery charge against Perrault.