Voice of the Faithful Focus News Roundup


Aug. 24, 2020

TOP STORIES

Explainer: What the church has done to fight clergy sex abuse since 2018’s ‘summer of shame’
“It has been two years since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report was published on Aug. 14, 2018, documenting in at times disturbing detail at least 1,000 cases of abuse by 300 predator priests (link is external) spanning seven decades. Within two months, 13 more states and the District of Columbia had launched similar investigations, and Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, then-archbishop of Washington, who was named in the report as failing to deal adequately with abuse when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.” By Colleen Dulle, America: The Jesuit Review

Francis names six women to group that oversees Vatican’s finances
“Pope Francis named six women to the high-level group that oversees the Vatican’s finances (link is external) Aug. 6, in what may represent the most senior appointments yet of women among the Catholic Church’s exclusively male leadership structure. The six women, all Europeans with backgrounds in finance, will join eight cardinals and one layman as members of the Council for the Economy, which Francis created in 2014 to supervise the financial activities of both the Vatican city-state and the offices of the Holy See.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Editorial: It’s past time for Vatican report on McCarrick’s shameful rise
“As we publish this, it has been one year, 10 months, and six days since Pope Francis ordered a report on the Vatican’s documentation about how Theodore McCarrick was promoted through the ranks of the Catholic hierarchy for decades, despite multiple, then-secret reports of his sexual misconduct (link is external) with seminarians. And it has been six months and six days since a Vatican official last gave a public update on the status of the report, when Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the Reuters news agency that work on the text was done, awaiting only a final ‘go’ order for publication from Francis.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Polish Cleric Retires in Face of Cover-Up Accusations. It’s Not Enough, Critics Say.
“Pope Francis this week accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Gdansk, Poland, who has been accused of protecting priests facing allegations of child abuse (link is external), a step seen as a subtle rebuke but also criticized as inadequate. The archbishop, Slawoj Leszek Glodz, had offered his resignation upon reaching the retirement age of 75, as protocol demands, but bishops are typically allowed to keep their positions past that time. The pope’s decision to accept Archbishop Glodz’s resignation on his birthday was interpreted by many as an admonishment of the church hierarchy in Poland, which has long been accused of putting the institution’s image above the rights of abuse victims.” By Elisabetta Povoledo and Anatol Magdziarz, The New York Times

Report show emergence of child safe culture
“Audits of Catholic dioceses and religious institutes have revealed a ‘consistent commitment of leaders and an emerging and strengthening child-safe culture (link is external),’ according to Catholic Professional Standards Ltd. Since its establishment in 2016, CPSL has developed and rolled out the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, provided safeguarding capacity-building to Church entities through training, support, advice and guidance, and developed an audit framework to measure compliance with the Standards.” By CathNews.com

ACCOUNTABILITY

Slew of church abuse lawsuits hinges on state court decision
“Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses have been hit with about 150 lawsuits from people who say they were sexually abused as children by priests (link is external) and hope a state court decision last year has shown a way around time limits for legal claims. Lawyers involved in the litigation say they were still getting notified about new cases on Aug. 13 and expect dozens more. The rush to the courthouse is tied to a landmark grand jury report issued exactly two years ago in 2018 that documented seven decades of child molestation within the Catholic church in Pennsylvania.” By Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press, in National Catholic Reporter

Questions of abuse cover-up directed at incoming St. Louis archbishop, but details unclear
“Archbishop-designate Mitchell Rozanski is set to take over the Archdiocese of St. Louis, after heading the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts since 2014. Though Rozanski himself backed major changes in the Springfield diocese’s handling of abuse, one unnamed abuse victim has asked for a Church investigation into whether the archbishop-designate was involved in covering up abuse (link is external). By Kevin Jones, Catholic News Agency

McCARRICK INVESTIGATION

Ex-altar boy says he was abused by Cardinal McCarrick — and witnessed more at beach house
“Geoffrey Downs said he was a teenage altar boy in the 1980s when former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick abruptly pinned him to a wall and sexually abused him (link is external) as they prepared for services in Metuchen. McCarrick, who would go on to become one of the most prominent clerics in the U.S. Catholic Church, allegedly said he could arrange for the two to go to a Jersey Shore beach house where they could have ‘alone time.’ Downs, who sued McCarrick and the Metuchen diocese last week, said he knew about that house because he’d been there a few years earlier on a retreat with a group of altar boys. He said he had been awakened by a sound just before dawn, and witnessed a priest sexually abusing a young boy.” By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin, NorthJersey.com

BISHOPS

Questions of abuse cover-up directed at incoming St. Louis archbishop, but details unclear
“Archbishop-designate Mitchell Rozanski is set to take over the Archdiocese of St. Louis, after heading the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts since 2014. Though Rozanski himself backed major changes in the Springfield diocese’s handling of abuse, one unnamed abuse victim has asked for a Church investigation into whether the archbishop-designate was involved in covering up abuse (link is external).” By Catholic News Agency in The Pilot

Fifth lawsuit accuses retired Bishop Hubbard of Albany of alleged abuse
“A fifth lawsuit has accused retired Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany of alleged sexual abuse (link is external). The lawsuit — filed the week of Aug. 10 in the state Supreme Court in Albany on behalf of a 55-year-old man currently living in South Carolina — alleges that Bishop Hubbard sexually abused the man when he was 10 on a church bus trip from St. James Parish, which is now St. Francis of Assisi Parish, to West Point in 1975. The lawsuit also alleges abuse by Bishop Hubbard from 1974-76 when the boy was an altar boy at St. James.” By Mike Matvey, Catholic News Service

WOMEN RELIGIOUS

Both warnings and witness: LCWR’s previous assemblies have been remarkably prescient
“At last week’s virtual Leadership Conference of Women Religious annual assembly, congregational leaders shared the feelings of loss, grief and vulnerability they have experienced since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Yet they also spoke of summoning creativity and spiritual strength to deal with myriad challenges (link is external) in the pandemic and the raw protests against racial injustice that rippled through our nation and the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May.” By Gail DeGeorge, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

WOMEN IN THE CHURCH

After the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, female theologians are calling for changes to leadership
“Sixty per cent of churchgoers in Australia are women, yet in the decision-making ranks of the Catholic Church, female voices are largely absent (link is external). The lack of women in leadership roles is a point of contention for many theologians — not just for equity reasons. According to Robyn Horner, from the Australian Catholic University’s school of theology, the church’s sexual abuse crisis demonstrated the failings of a male-only leadership structure.” By Siobhan Hegarty, ABC Radio National

New appointees to Francis’s financial powerhouse signal progress of women
“Pope Francis has long advocated for a more ‘incisive’ presence of women in positions of authority and leadership in the Vatican, and while some have complained about the pace at which changes are being made, the recent appointment of six women to the Vatican’s chief financial office has jolted things into warp drive (link is external). On Thursday (Aug. 6), the Vatican announced that Francis had named two women each from Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom to his 15-member Council for the Economy.” By Elise Ann Allen, Cruxnow.com

LAITY& THE CHURCH

Let’s use the title ‘co-worker’ for laypeople in parish leadership
“I am frustrated by the Vatican’s recent instruction on ‘The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the church,’ issued on July 20. At first, the document evokes an expansive vision of parish transformation … Then the instruction tantalizes reform-minded Catholics by saying, ‘Parish communities will find herein a call to go out of themselves, offering instruments of reform, even structural, in a spirit of communion and collaboration … for the proclamation of the Gospel.’ But I find no structural instruments of reform here (link is external) … The Congregation for the Clergy’s instruction restates (somewhat defensively) long-standing church rules that mandate a male-celibate-priest-centric and priest-controlled vision of parish community.” By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter

Lay group urges Pittsburgh Diocese to do more to restore broken trust
“The Pittsburgh Diocese is reeling from declining attendance and a massive restructuring program two years after a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report uncovered widespread clerical sexual abuse in six dioceses in the state (link is external). A lay advocacy group now says diocesan leadership has made few concrete steps to restore trust with parishioners. ‘I don’t think they’ve made progress since the grand jury,’ said Jan Hayes, a leader of the advocacy group known as Catholics for Change in Our Church.” By Madeleine Davison, National Catholic Reporter

FUTURE OF THE CHURCH

German-speaking bishops criticise Vatican parish instruction
“The Vatican instruction, The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church, of 20 July continues to be hotly debated in the German-speaking countries. In Switzerland, it has been sharply criticized by the Bishop of Basel, Felix Gmür: ‘That the Vatican sees the parish solely concentrated on the parish priest does not reflect our reality (link is external). It is, moreover, a theologically deficient and too constricted a view,’ Gmür wrote in a letter to church employees in his diocese. The Vatican Instruction left the ‘stale impression’ that in the final instance the Vatican was only interested in the ‘predominance of the clergy.’” By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, The Tablet

VOICES

Column: Times have changed. Or have they?
“We are in the midst of a global pandemic which has changed everybody’s lives, perhaps forever. And yet here we have a Vatican pronouncement that things have not changed (link is external), that the priest is still the parish boss, that we should all get back to playing our traditional passive PPO (‘pray, pay, obey’) roles. Between 2004 and 2016, dozens of parishes and hundreds of parishioners in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) protested Archbishop Sean O’Malley’s (SOM) attempts to close and sell off their parish churches in order to pay off a huge pile of debt incurred from paying out financial settlements to victims of clergy abuse.” By Arthur McCaffrey, MetroWest Daily News

Catholic Church continues to harbor sexual predators
“‘There are rapists in many occupations.’ That was the response I got when I forwarded an article from the New York Times to a friend concerning an alleged serial predator in the Twin Cities. She then reminded me of a time when she felt a doctor squeezed her knee inappropriately. OK. Sure. There are ‘bad guys’ everywhere. But that is not the same as having a systemic problem with men who assault for decades (link is external) and do so in a hierarchy of power that enables, covers up and makes excuses for their behavior.” By Karen Cyson, Times Writers Group, on SCTimes.com

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Review of Statute of Limitations Lookback Window Legislation
“In a recent 2019 summary of changes in statutes of limitation for child sex abuse, written by CHILDUSA, 41 states had either changed their statutes of limitations or had bills pending to do so. In the past two years 15 states have extended or suspended statute of limitations (link is external) to allow child sex abuse claims stretching back decades, unleashing potentially thousands of new lawsuits against the U.S. Roman Catholic Church. More importantly ‘lookback windows’ have been established by eight states and the District of Columbia. These ‘windows’ allow victims of sexual abuse to sue no matter how long ago the alleged abuse took place.” By Joseph H. Saunders, Legal Examiner

CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

FBI says Ohio priest preyed on vulnerable, drug-addicted teens
“An affidavit filed in federal court alleges that a Toledo diocesan priest preyed on vulnerable men while he was a pastor in Mansfield and Van Wert (link is external). The Rev. Michael Zacharias, 53, who served in Fremont until 2017, was arrested Tuesday (Aug. 18) in Findlay and charged with sex trafficking minors, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also faces charges of coercion and enticement and sex trafficking of an adult by force, fraud, or coercion, the FBI said.” By Craig Shoup, Fremont News-Messenger

Deceased Massachusetts bishop accused of sexual abuse had roots in New York Archdiocese
“Archbishop-designate Mitchell Rozanski, who will take over the Archdiocese of St. Louis this month, oversaw an investigation into the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon of Springfield, Mass, a bishop credibly accused of sexually abusing an altar boy (link is external) in the 1960s. Rozanski has faced criticism for some aspects of his handling of the case, which the bishop said had been mishandled for years.” By Catholic News Agency

INDIANA

Diocese, bishop sued over abuse allegations
“Lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg by a Pittsburgh attorney on behalf of alleged victims of two priests, one deceased, the other defrocked by the diocese (link is external) but perhaps still living in Indiana County. Alan H. Perer of the law firm of Swensen & Perer filed those actions this week in Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas against the diocese and Bishop Edward C. Malesic on behalf of a former Blairsville resident now living in White Oak, Allegheny County; and a former Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, resident now living in Pittsburgh.” By Patrick Cloonan, The Indiana Gazette

KANSAS

KBI received 205 reports of priest abuse; opened 120 cases
“The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has received 205 reports of clergy sexual abuse and opened 120 cases (link is external) since it began investigating the state’s Catholic dioceses nearly two years ago, the agency said Friday (Aug. 14). Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked the KBI in November 2018 to investigate Catholic clergy abuse in Kansas. A task force of six agents has been investigating reports of abuse from the public and is reviewing church documents.” By Associated Press

KENTUCKY

Catholic Diocese of Lexington names 20 priests accused of sexually abusing minors
“The Catholic Diocese of Lexington on Friday (Aug. 14) released a list of priests who served in Kentucky who have been accused of sexually abusing minors (link is external). The list names 10 priests against whom allegations of abuse were substantiated; four priests who had ‘credible’ allegations against them, indicating that the allegations were more than likely true; six priests who served in the Lexington diocese but were credibly accused of abuse in another diocese; and one priest against whom allegations were found to be unsubstantiated.” By Karla Ward, Lexington Herald Leader

Diocese of Covington in Kentucky Releases FBI Clergy Abuse Report
“The Diocese of Covington has released a report on sexual abuse that found 59 Catholic priests and 31 others associated with the church have sexually abused children (link is external) since the 1950s. The report was released Friday (Aug. 7) on the diocese website along with a list naming the accused, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. ‘There are no words to adequately express the sorrow and shame I feel,’ Foys wrote in an apology released with the report. ‘I can never apologize enough to those who have been harmed by any representative of the church. I beg your forgiveness in the name of the church.’” By Insurance Journal

LOUISIANA

New Orleans’ archdiocese adds priest to credibly accused list after almost 2 decades of allegations
“When the Archdiocese of New Orleans issued a list two years ago that included dozens of clergymen credibly accused of sexual abuse (link is external), Mike Brandner Sr.’s heart sank. Brandner’s late brother, Scot, had a trove of love letters sent to him by a former New Orleans priest, Brian Highfill, in his desk drawer when he died. The letters started arriving in the early 1980s, when Scot was 17 and in high school, and because Scot had known Highfill since he was 10, Mike Brandner feared for what could have happened when Scot was a minor.” By David Hammer, WWL-TV4 News

MINNESOTA

Hearing to Dismiss Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Waite Park Catholic School Later This Month
“A hearing to dismiss a lawsuit against a private Catholic school in Waite Park is scheduled for later this month. The lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleges sexual abuse at the hands of a priest and a family at Holy Innocents School (link is external). The case calls the school a ‘public nuisance’ and says they are guilty of negligence and negligent supervision. The plaintiff, known as Doe 596 is asking for $50,000 in damages for the school to be closed.” By Jennifer Lewerenz, KNSI Radio, on NorthJersey.com

MISSOURI

Local priest involved in Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph lawsuit
“A priest who served at Holy Cross Catholic Church on St. John Avenue is involved in one of two new sexual abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph (link is external). The lawsuit, filed July 20, 2020 in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges that Rev. Darvin Salazar sexually assaulted the unnamed plaintiff, age 25, in July 2018. The lawsuit alleges that the diocese had received previous reports regarding Salazar from at least five other individuals but chose not to remove him as a priest until the July 2018 allegations.” By Daisy Garcia Montoya, Northeast News

NEW JERSEY

Jersey City Priest Arrested, Faces Sex Crime Charges
“A Jersey City priest has been arrested and charged in connection with alleged sexual crimes (link is external) that occurred in the rectory at St. Paul of the Cross Church earlier this year, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. In a statement Suarez announced that Donato Cabardo was arrested without incident on Saturday after surrendering himself at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Cabardo has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact and one count of Harassment.” By Steve Lenox, Tap Into Jersey City

NEW MEXICO

Lawsuit claims Catholic priests, nuns abused boys at Albuquerque orphanage
“A new lawsuit claims Catholic priests and nuns in Albuquerque abused orphans (link is external). ‘I think St. Anthony’s orphanage has been around forever or was around forever. And then in the 1950s, 1960s, and we’re actually learning even prior to that had a problem with physical and sexual abuse of children who were placed there,’ said Levi Monagle, an attorney representing a man who claims he was abused at the orphanage.” By KOB-TV4 News

NEW YORK.

Bronx priest ‘trafficked’ boy to child molester, lawsuit alleges
“A beloved Bronx priest intentionally steered a boy to a known molester (link is external) in the 1980s, leading to months of sexual abuse, according to a new lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court. It claims Bishop John Jenik was allegedly abusing children himself when he “trafficked” a then-14-year-old Shawn Ganley to ex-con counselor Paul Gruber, whom Jenik knew was abusing other minor students at Our Lady of Refuge School, Ganley claims in court papers.” By Kathianne Boniello, New York Post

Child Victims’ Act lawsuit outlines new sex abuse accusations against former Avon priest
“Another person victim has come forward with accusations that former Catholic priest Joseph E. Larrabee sexually abused him when he was a child (link is external). The victim, whose name the County News is withholding to protect his privacy, is now in his 50s. In a civil complaint filed late last this month in Livingston County Supreme Court, he accused of Larrabee of sexually abusing him ‘on at least four occasions’ in 1982 and 1983 when he was between the ages of 12 and 14. According to the filing, the abuse occurred in the St. Agnes rectory.” By Matt Leader, Livingston County News

Diocese faces several new lawsuits
“Attorneys filed more than two dozen lawsuits against the Diocese of Scranton this week (link is external), just days before the second anniversary of the 2018 state grand jury report that revealed widespread sexual abuse and cover ups among Roman Catholic clergy. Of the 30 lawsuits, nearly all of which were filed between Monday (Aug. 20) and Thursday (Aug. 13), Times-Shamrock Newspapers confirmed at least 24 pertain to sexual abuse. Although the remaining six suits appear to relate to sexual abuse, attempts to reach the attorneys to confirm were unsuccessful.” By Frank Wilkes Lesnefsky and Terri Morgan-Besecker, The Citizens Voice

Buffalo Diocese priest abused boy in 2009, lawsuit states
“From the beginning of the scandal, the Diocese of Buffalo has tried to describe child sex abuse by priests as a problem of the past (link is external). ‘There have been only three diocesan priests against whom there have been substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse since the year 2000,’ the diocese writes on its website. ‘There have been no substantiated claims of child sexual abuse against any diocesan priest ordained in the past 30 years.’ But a lawsuit recently filed in State Supreme Court now threatens to render that statement false.” By Charlie Specht, WKBW-TV7 News

Another lawsuit filed against former Albany bishop Howard Hubbard
“A 55-year-old South Carolina man has accused former Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of raping him while he served as a young altar boy in an Albany Catholic church (link is external) in the mid-1970s, the latest in a string of lawsuits accusing the former longtime bishop of child sexual abuse. The latest claims come in a Child Victims Act lawsuit filed in Albany County court Monday (Aug. 10) by Charles Carr which alleged Hubbard repeatedly abused him when he was an altar boy at St. James Church in Albany between 9- and 11-years-old, abuse that allegedly included instances of sodomy.” By Zachary Matson, The Daily Gazette

Five Priests from Rochester Diocese alleged to have abused 105 victims
“Serial predators inside the Catholic Church: At least 245 lawsuits filed under the Crime Victims Act name the Rochester Catholic Diocese (link is external). Taken together, they allege a stunning abuse of power – some of it involving only a handful of priests. Five of them have been accused by a combined 105 victims. ‘These people hurt you. You don’t forget that,’ said a man who asked to be identified only by his initials: J.O.” By Jane Flasch, WHAM-TV13 News

OHIO

Findlay priest charged with multiple child sex crimes
“The pastor of a Catholic church in Findlay was arrested and is being federally charged with numerous crimes related to sexual conduct with minors (link is external). Michael Zacharias, 53, is charged with coercion and enticement, sex trafficking of a minor, and sex trafficking of an adult by force, fraud, or coercion. Zacharias is the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Findlay. Investigators are aware Zacharias has engaged in sexual conduct with minors since the late 1990s.” By WTVG-TV13 Action News

Judge denies motion to dismiss Hancock County lawsuit over priest abuse allegations
“A request by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to dismiss a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by the Rev. Victor Frobas (link is external) has been denied in Hancock County Circuit Court. The order issued July 31 by Circuit Judge David Sims pertains to a complaint filed May 15 in Hancock County Circuit Court by Michael Pirraglia of Fairfax, Va. The complaint alleges Pirraglia was sexually assaulted over a three-year period by Frobas as a child while attending St. Paul Catholic Church in Weirton.” By Joselyn King, Herald-Star

PENNSYLVANIA

Two years on, grand jury’s impact on diocese lingers
“Two years after a landmark grand jury report told a sordid history of sexual abuse by priests and its cover-up by their superiors (link is external), the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is still coming to terms with its impact. Just this week, 28 people filed lawsuits or notices of intent to sue in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, while a local lay group issued a report sharply critical of the diocese’s response, which it said is marked by “clericalism” and a bunker mentality.” By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on ReadingEagle.com

Erie diocese flooded with lawsuits two years after report
“The Catholic Diocese of Erie is facing the potential of massive legal fallout two years after the release of the state grand jury report on clergy sex abuse statewide (link is external). Prompted by the 884-page report’s allegations, 21 lawsuits had been filed in Erie County Court against the diocese, churches and related entities throughout the 13-county diocese as of the end of the day on Friday (Aug. 14), according to an Erie Times-News’ review of the docket. Statewide, Pennsylvania’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses had been hit with about 150 suits, according to the Associated Press.” By Ed Palattella, GoErie.com

The Catholic Diocese Of Pittsburgh Expects It Will Pay Tens Of Millions To Sexual Abuse Victims, Hopes To Avoid Bankruptcy
“Out of shock and shame that was the grand jury report, Bishop Zubik says the diocese emerged with one clear obligation — to compensate and care for victims of clergy sexual abuse — no matter the cost (link is external). ‘First and foremost to people who are the victim/survivors to help them in every way we can possibly help them,’ he said. To that end, the diocese established the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program — a fund to compensate all victims of clergy sexual abuse. Some 369 people have made claims and to date, most have received compensation including Paul Dorsch.” By Andy Sheehan, KDKA-TV2 News

Rodgers files suit against Erie Diocese, bishops over abuse
“For 30 years, Bradford’s Ed Rodgers has been waiting to see justice for the sexual abuse he says he suffered while attending school (link is external) at Bradford Central Christian. Thanks to a recent change in Pennsylvania law, on Tuesday (Aug. 11), Rodgers was able to file suit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Erie Diocese and Bishops Donald Trautman and Lawrence Persico. A spokesperson for the diocese on Wednesday said only, ‘The Diocese of Erie does not comment on litigation.’” By Marcie Schellhammer, The Bradford Era

Lawsuit against Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh accuses priest of rape
“A man who immigrated to the United States at age 13 from Italy is suing the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, alleging that he was sexually assaulted by a priest at Immaculate Conception Parish (link is external) in Bloomfield twice in 1967. The lawsuit, filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, also names as defendants the church, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and current Bishop David Zubik.” By Paula Reed Ward, TribLive.com

With Little Fanfare, Exton’s Dan Monahan Has Found a Measure of Closure for Survivors of Clergy Abuse
“Now, after more than a decade of disclosure after disclosure involving sexual abuse among the clergy (link is external), Monahan reflects on the cunning, programmatic behavior among those in purple garb. “It was like there was a playbook,” he says. “They picked on kids whose fathers were alcoholics, or whose mothers were overly devoted. They gave boys chores—ways we could help. It was like they were all given a manual on how to groom.” By J.F. Piro, Main Line Today

WEST VIRGINIA

Judge: Lawsuit over alleged clergy abuse can go ahead in Hancock County
“A request by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to dismiss a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by the Rev. Victor Frobas has been denied in Hancock County Circuit Court. The order issued July 31 by Circuit Judge David Sims pertains to a complaint filed May 15 in Hancock County Circuit Court by Michael Pirraglia of Fairfax, Va. The complaint alleges Pirraglia was sexually assaulted over a three-year period by Frobas as a child (link is external) while attending St. Paul Catholic Church in Weirton.” By Joselyn King, The Weirton Daily Times

GREAT BRITAIN, SCOTLAND & WALES

London Catholic diocese taking priest-abuse survivor to Supreme Court over lawsuit
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of London is taking sexual abuse survivor Irene Deschenes to the Supreme Court of Canada (link is external). The diocese is appealing a May decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal that would allow Deschenes to reopen a civil settlement she reached with the church for the abuses she suffered at the hands Father Charles Sylvestre between 1971 and 1973 at St. Ursula School in Chatham. Deschenes was 10 when the abuse started. ‘I’m very disappointed that, once again, the Diocese of London continues to bully victims into submission,’ Deschenes said in a statement.” By London Free Press Staff

GUAM

Church, abuse survivors report ‘considerable progress’
“Nearly 90 properties of the Archdiocese of Agana, excluding any Catholic parish or school, have been discussed between the church and survivors of clergy sex abuse as assets to fund a potential settlement (link is external). A federal judge vacated Friday’s (Aug. 7) scheduling conference on the archdiocese’s bankruptcy, after the parties reported ‘considerable progress’ in their ongoing mediation. Some 300 Guam clergy sex abuse cases could go to trial if there is no settlement outside the court.” By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert, The Guam Daily Post

INDONESIA

‘The Church betrays us’: More Catholic school abuse victims speak up
“Two more victims of childhood sexual abuse at a Catholic school have spoken up following collaborative reports (link is external) between The Jakarta Post and Tirto.id on abuse in the Catholic Church, as the Church continues to remain passive in dealing with sexual assault allegations. Now grown women, the victims, Anna and Vivian, who chose pseudonyms to protect their privacy, said they read the reports of Sisca and Ellen, also pseudonyms, and found similarities between their experiences.” By Ivany Atina Arbi, The Jakarta Post

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