Posts Tagged clergy sexual abuse of minors

Voice of the Faithful Focus News Roundup, June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020


Four new members named to National Review Board
“The National Review Board, the all-lay group that monitors dioceses’ performance in dealing with sexually abusive clergy and creating a safe environment for children(link is external) throughout the church, has four new members. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the appointments June 10. The new members are …” By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter

Vatican investigates Polish bishop for abuse cover-up
“The Vatican has given the go-ahead for an investigation into a Polish bishop suspected of covering up sexual abuse of children by clergy(link is external) — a subject that has long remained taboo in predominantly Catholic Poland. The investigation, which was announced on Tuesday (Jun. 2) by the archdiocese of Poznan, comes just two weeks after the release of a documentary detailing abuse cases that were allegedly covered up by Henryk Janiak, bishop of Kalisz.” By Agence France-Press on

Eyebrows raised as Swiss bishop taps woman for senior job
“A Swiss bishop’s appointment of a lay mother of three to a senior administrative post previously held by a priest has raised eyebrows(link is external) in conservative Catholic circles, at a time when a strengthened role for women in the church is under debate in other European countries. Marianne Pohl-Henzen will serve as an “episcopal delegate” in the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, and will also be joining Bishop Charles Morerod’s episcopal council, the main governance advisory body which is traditionally made up of priests and bishops.” By Nadine Achoui-Lesage and Jamey Keaten, Associated Press, on

Wyoming bishop accused of abuse won’t be charged, prosecutors say
“Following a decision by Wyoming prosecutors not to charge retired Bishop Joseph Hart for sexual abuse against minors, his alleged victims are looking to the Church’s canonical process as a last chance for the 88-year-old prelate to be brought to justice(link is external). As first reported by the Kansas City Star on Tuesday (Jun. 8), and confirmed by Crux on Wednesday, a Wyoming witness coordinator informed one of Hart’s accusers that the prosecutor would not advance the case, citing insufficient evidence. This comes nearly two years after the Diocese of Cheyenne deemed the allegations from the same individual to be credible in 2018.” By Christopher White,

Final version of governance report to be published by mid-August
“The final version of a report into diocesan and parish governance will be published after a series of amendments and clarifications have been made, likely by mid-August(link is external), according to ACBC Media Blog. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge on Friday (Jun. 12) announced a timeline for the report’s release after a draft version was leaked to international Catholic media earlier this month. The report, The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia, was prepared by the Governance Review Project Team, a group of experts assembled by the Implementation Advisory Group.” By


Effort to give Colorado child sex assault survivors unlimited time to sue abusers is rejected
“House Bill 1296, brought in the wake of a damning report on Colorado’s Catholic church, was set aside at the request of one of its prime sponsors in the hopes of bringing future legislation that will also benefit past survivors of abuse(link is external). The decision to sideline the measure drew disappointment. In a stunning reversal on Friday (Jun. 12), a lead sponsor on a bill that would have given future child sexual assault victims in Colorado unlimited time to sue their abusers and those who allowed their abuse to happen asked that the measure be rejected. Instead, state Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat, said she wants to bring legislation that would also allow prior child sex assault victims to sue to their accusers as other states have done — sometimes called a ‘look-back window’ — despite caution from the legislature’s attorneys that doing so may violate the Colorado constitution.” By Jesse Paul, Colorado Sun


Alleged Theodore McCarrick victim says he is helping fact-check abuse dossier
“An anonymous alleged sexual abuse victim of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick says he and other alleged victims have been working with the Vatican to fact-check the comprehensive dossier on McCarrick’s misdeeds(link is external). The alleged victim, writing under the name Nathan Doe, says he was one of several minors that McCarrick abused, and that he had previously collaborated with Church authorities to provide evidence during the canonical penal administrative process which resulted in McCarrick’s 2019 laicization.” By Catholic News Agency


Argentine bishop accused of sexual misconduct returns to work at Vatican central bank
“As the Vatican resumed its activities after the two-month COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, Crux has confirmed an Argentinian bishop suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians quietly went back to work(link is external). Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta was appointed by Francis to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which functions as the Vatican’s central bank, in 2017, where he works as an ‘assessor,’ a position created for the Argentine.” By Inés San Martin,

Catholic bishops need to give up the secrecy
“Australia’s Catholic bishops seem to have learned little from the sexual abuse scandal and its associated cover-ups(link is external). Pushed by a royal commission report to implement reforms, they recently reverted to standard operating procedures of delay and secrecy in suppressing a major report on governance reform. While hoping to delay and control discussion, the bishops were outmanoeuvred by the leaking of the highly significant report. It will now be available to and discussed by all Catholics – as it should be.” By Terry Fewtrell, Canberra Times

Reporting abuse by bishops now easier with new service
“In the United States, accusations of sexual abuse by clergy are to be reported to the local bishop. But what if it’s the bishop himself who is the problem? The answer is the national Catholic Bishop Reporting Service. Begun March 16, the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting (CBAR) is a third-party service that collects and reports to appropriate church authorities bishops who have committed sexual abuse or who have interfered with a civil or church investigation(link is external) into allegations of sexual abuse by another cleric or religious.” By Patrick Downes, Hawaii Catholic Herald

New accuser comes forward in DiMarzio case
“A second man has come forward to accuse Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of sexual abuse(link is external). Samier Tadros, 46, alleges that he was sexually abused between 1979 to 1980, when DiMarzio was assigned as a priest to Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, a part of the Newark Archdiocese. Tadros was around 6 years old at the time. DiMarzio, who is currently under church investigation for a previous allegation of abuse, has denied the charges. The allegations were made in a March 9 letter that Tadros’ attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, sent to the Newark Archdiocese’s attorney, according to The Associated Press.” By Sarah Salvadore, National Catholic Reporter


Archdiocesan priests removed from ministry
Three archdiocesan priests have been removed from ministry(link is external) … In each case, the priest retained the presumption of innocence and was allowed to participate in his defense. As is archdiocesan protocol, the allegations were shared with law enforcement, investigated by outside professionals and the entire matter carefully examined by the archdiocesan Lay Review Board, which concluded that the allegations had been substantiated. Both priests have been permanently removed from ministry, and may not publicly present themselves as priests.” By Catholic New York


Nuns kick off new webinar series on fighting sex abuse
“Members of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) Monday were the protagonists of the first of a series of webinar sessions focusing on child protection(link is external) and how safeguarding efforts have been impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Sister Nuala Kenny, a doctor with a background in pediatrics who has been a member of the ad hoc committee for child sexual abuse for the Canadian Catholic Bishops Conference, was the keynote for the June 8 session, which focused on the Theology of Childhood.” By Elise Ann Allen, National Catholic Reporter


Pope appoints two women to positions in Vatican library and financial authority
“The Holy See Press Office on Friday (Jun. 12) announced papal appointments to two positions in the Vatican(link is external). Pope Francis appointed Dr. Raffaella Vincenti as office head of the Vatican Apostolic Library. Dr. Vincenti had previously served as secretary of the Library.  Pope Francis also named Professor Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi as a Member of the managing board of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF). The AIF works to combat money-laundering and financing of terrorism.” By Vatican News

Abuse scandal linked to status of women in Church
“Cardinal Reinhard Marx has reiterated how urgent it is to appoint more women leaders in the Church(link is external). ‘Changes in this field are really urgent and must be pressed ahead with,’ he warned. ‘We talk a lot about the Church’s new social form and on no other point is this reflected more clearly,’ Marx said last week.” By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt


Vatican frees broker as details emerge of costly London deal
“ The Vatican has released from detention an Italian businessman accused of extortion and fraud(link is external) in a London real estate venture that to date has cost the Vatican more than 350 million euros (nearly $400 million), much of it donations from the faithful. The Vatican said in a statement Monday (Jun. 15) that Gianluigi Torzi, who was jailed in the barracks of the Vatican gendarmes on June 6, was granted provisional release after he wrote a lengthy memorandum for prosecutors about his role in the deal.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press


St. Cloud Diocese declares bankruptcy
“The Diocese of St. Cloud filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday (Jun. 15), just weeks after reaching a $22.5 million settlement with clergy abuse survivors. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing provides a ‘framework for resolution’ of the clergy abuse claims(link is external) filed by 70 individuals against 42 priests dating to the 1950s, the diocese said.” By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune

Former Warwick priest accused of stealing from church
“The former pastor of a Catholic parish in Warwick is accused of stealing church funds for personal use(link is external). Steven Matthew Glover, 42, was charged with credit card fraud, larceny and obtaining money under false pretenses. Glover was a priest from 2004 to 2019, most recently serving as pastor at St. Rose and Clement Parish in Warwick. He left the priesthood in 2019 for personal, unrelated reasons.” By Rachel Nunes,

Diocese of Rockville Centre threatens bankruptcy in face of child sex-abuse lawsuits
“One of the nation’s largest Catholic dioceses is threatening bankruptcy if a Long Island judge doesn’t pause the nearly 100 child sex-abuse lawsuits it faces(link is external). The Diocese of Rockville Centre, which serves more than 1.4 million Catholics in Nassau and Suffolk counties, claims it’s in an “ever-more serious financial situation,” straining under the legal costs of defending itself in court while its income has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to court papers.” By Kathianne Boniello, New York Post


Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announces new training program for those required to work with minors
“The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced a new training program for volunteers, staff members and clergy that will be required before working with minors(link is external) in Catholic churches or schools. The program, which launches July 1 and is called Safe and Sacred Training Program for Catholic Dioceses, provides online training in several areas. A news release states those areas include appropriate and inappropriate interaction with minors, proper boundaries, potential red flags and how to report suspected child abuse.” By KOCO-TV5 News


Record numbers leave Church in Munich archdiocese
“A record number of people left the Church in the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising last year, a local statistical office said Tuesday (May 26). The Munich statistical office told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, May 26 that 10,744 Catholics formally withdrew from the Church in 2019(link is external). It noted that this was a fifth higher than in 2018, when 8,995 people left. Statisticians said this was the first time that annual departures had surpassed the 10,000 mark since records began. Previously, the highest figure was 9,010, set in 1992.” By Catholic News Agency in Catholic World Report


Bishop made progress but didn’t lead
“Bishop Mitchell Rozanski cleared the low bar set by his predecessor when it came to issues of communication and response to clergy abuse(link is external). Opportunities were missed to do so much more. At his introduction as the new Archbishop of the St. Louis diocese, Bishop Rozanski spoke of initiatives he had taken in Springfield as if they were entirely his own. But they came only after pressure was applied by activists like Olan Horne of Chester, an abuse survivor who advocates for other victims, and by The Berkshire Eagle.” By The Berkshire Eagle Editorial Board


Quebec moves to eliminate time limits for filing civil sexual assaiults
“Sexual assault victims in Quebec will soon be able to pursue justice against their abusers regardless of how long ago crimes took place, according to proposed legislation tabled Thursday (Jun. 11). The bill tabled in the provincial legislature by Justice Minister Sonia LeBel would eliminate the 30-year time limit for bringing a civil suit against an alleged assailant(link is external). Quebec and Prince Edward Island are the only two provinces to maintain a time limitation for this type of lawsuit.” By Jocelyne richer, The Canadian Press, on

‘They are mistaken’: AG backs sex-abuse law challenged by Diocese of Providence
“Three alleged priest abuse victims and the state attorney general this week defended the legality of the new deadline to sue over child molestation(link is external) after the Diocese of Providence argued a key feature was unconstitutional. The arguments come in response to the Diocese of Providence’s attempt to have the three alleged victims’ lawsuits dismissed from state court. A 2019 law extended the deadline to sue over childhood sexual abuse from seven years to 35 years after a victim’s 18th birthday.” By Brian Amaral, Providence Journal

New Jersey sexual abuse law survives Catholic school’s challenge
“A Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a New Jersey statute that gives victims of sexual abuse more time to sue(link is external). The 2019 law waived the statue of limitations and allowed victims to file civil suits until they are 55, or seven years after they discover they were abused. Judge Peter Bogaard of Morris County ruled against two arguments submitted by attorneys for Delbarton School, a catholic school in Morristown.” By Associated Press


Review: The continued fight to eradicate clergy sex abuse
“A Canadian pediatrician and woman religious who has worked on issues of sexual abuse for more than three decades(link is external), Nuala Kenny, S.C., offers her diagnoses and prescriptions for treating the ‘sick soul’ and the ‘global septic shock in the Body of Christ’ in ‘Still Unhealed.’ Kenny has been working in this area since she joined the one-of-its-kind, lay-led Archdiocesan Commission of Inquiry on Clergy Sexual Abuse in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1989.” By James F. Keenan, America: The Jesuit Review


Danbury clergy sexual abuse case pushed to July
“The pre-trial hearing of the former local priest accused of sexually assaulting two boys(link is external) has been rescheduled from June 19 to July 24. Jaime Marin-Cardona, 52, is charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to child and three counts of illegal sexual contact. He pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.” By Kendra Baker, New Canaan Advertiser


Former Winter Haven priest accused of sexually abusing teen in Polk facility; lawsuit filed in Polk Circuit Court
“A Sarasota man is suing a former Winter Haven priest on allegations of sexual abuse(link is external) while the man was incarcerated as a teenager at Demilly Correctional Institution near Polk City. In the lawsuit, filed in Polk Circuit Court, the man states that he initially met with the Rev. Fred Ruse, then pastor at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Winter Haven, at the prison to receive communion in 2001 and 2002. They met privately in the chaplain’s office and in classrooms at the prison, the lawsuit states.” By Suzie Schottelkotte,


Springfield Diocese temporarily removes 3 priests from public ministry after sexual abuse allegation
“Three priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield have been temporarily removed from public ministry as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse(link is external), according to Jeffrey J. Trant, director of the diocesan Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance. The priests were not identified. Trant, who was appointed to his position last June, said that 14 new alleged victims have come forward with claims of clerical sexual abuse since July 2019.” By Anne-Gerard Flynn,


Former Franciscan brother living in DeWitt named by second man as sexual abuser
“Two religious orders deny any knowledge of sexual abuse by a former Franciscan brother(link is external) living in DeWitt who is now named in two lawsuits. Martin Rusnak filed a lawsuit in New Jersey earlier this year naming Kurt Munn as an abuser and saying religious leaders enabled Munn for decades. In the legal complaint filed in Mercer County, Rusnak says Munn started abusing him in the 1970s.” By Megan Banta, Lansing State Journal


Additional name added to list of clergy likely to have abused minors
“Bishop Donald Kettler added an additional name to the list of clergy likely to have abused minors(link is external): Father Charles Meyer, a member of the Society of the Precious Blood. Meyer was added to the list following notification by the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, that it added him to its list of “extern clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor,” according to a June 12 news release from the diocese.” By The Central Minnesota Catholic


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests hold protest in response to new St. Louis archbishop
“The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a protest Wednesday (Jun. 10) morning in response to the new St. Louis archbishop-elect. On Wednesday it was announced that Pope Francis had named Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski as the 11th bishop and 10th archbishop of St. Louis. SNAP has criticized Rozanski for refusing to name three priests(link is external) who had been suspended after allegations of sexual abuse in Massachusetts.” By Kayla Wheeler, KSDK-TV5 News


Numerous victims of childhood sex abuse file lawsuits against Diocese of Trenton
“The Diocese of Trenton is facing numerous lawsuits alleging it failed time and again to prevent the sexual abuse of children(link is external). These civil-action complaints in Mercer County Superior Court are a microcosm of the widespread sex abuse scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church worldwide. ‘It’s an epidemic in the Catholic Church, and it has been going on for centuries,’ attorney John W. Baldante told The Trentonian in an interview. ‘The Catholic Church has largely ignored this behavior.’” By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, The Tentonian

Priest worked in North Jersey parishes for decades after being accused of sex abuse
“The Rev. Gerald Sudol, who spent decades serving in North Jersey Catholic parishes, allegedly began abusing children even before he was ordained as a priest(link is external). Later he moved from one church to another, at first injecting new life into parishes where he’d been assigned, befriending families and becoming a spiritual mentor to their sons. Then the man who was fondly known as Father Gerry would allegedly abuse boys sexually — sometimes more than one at a time — and tell them that God would punish them if they told anyone.” By Abbott Koloff,


Servants of the Paraclete seeks dismissal in Catholic priest abuse lawsuit; victim speaks out
“The Servants of the Paraclete, named in a lawsuit over child sexual abuse by Catholic priests(link is external), asked a New Mexico court to dismiss the case in a June 10 response. The Servants of the Paraclete is one of several defendants, including two Alamogordo Catholic parishes, named in the case filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County. The suit was filed by ‘John Doe’ and alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, public nuisance and racketeering.” By Nicole Maxwell, Alamogordo Daily News


38 more people sue Syracuse Catholic Diocese, claiming abuse by priests
“Nearly 40 new lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse(link is external), alleging child sex abuse by priests and a teacher. The suits filed today alleged allegations of abuse that happened at the hands of priests in parishes across Central New York, spanning more than 50 years.” By Marnie Eisenstadt,

52 new suits against Albany Diocese allege sex abuse by priests, nuns
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany was the target Monday (Jun. 15) of 52 new lawsuits alleging sex abuse of children by priests and nuns(link is external) as much as 63 years ago. The Guilderland and Minnesota law firms teaming up to represent the victims in these cases have previously filed 22 such lawsuits and say they are preparing 36 more. Other law firms are separately bringing similar cases.” By John Cropley, Albany Daily Gazette

Late priest from Lake Luzerne parish among those named in child sex abuse lawsuits
“A late priest that served at a church in Lake Luzerne was named in one of 52 sex abuse lawsuits(link is external) filed Monday (Jun. 15) against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The Rev. Charles A. Gaffigan, who retired from Holy Mother and Child Parish in 2011, is accused of sexually abusing a minor from 1992 to about 1994 at what was then Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne, according to a news release from Jeff Anderson & Associates. The law firm has filed a total of 74 lawsuits against the diocese.” By Michael Goot, The Post Star

Child Victims Act attorneys oppose Buffalo Diocese move to shield parishes from lawsuits
“A federal bankruptcy judge will soon decide whether hundreds of lawsuits against Catholic parishes and former parishes, schools and other entities in the Buffalo Diocese should be blocked(link is external) from moving forward in state courts. The diocese’s Chapter 11 filing in February immediately stopped lawsuits against the diocese from advancing as it goes through a reorganization. In May, the diocese asked Chief Judge Carl L. Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York to extend that same protection to more than 400 Catholic parishes, schools and other entities that also have been named as defendants in Child Victims Act cases.” By Jay Tokasz, The Buffalo News


Texas Supreme Court to hear case of former deacon suing diocese for abuse claim
“The Texas Supreme Court will hear the Diocese of Lubbock’s appeal of a legal decision allowing a former deacon to sue the diocese for defamation for including his name on a list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse(link is external). ‘We are committed to transparency for the trust and safety of the members of our parishes,’ Bishop Robert Coerver of Lubbock said June 8. ‘At a time when many religious messages are being shared digitally, courts must protect churches’ ability to communicate effectively with their members.’” By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency


Sexual abuse allegations by former priests in Hampton Roads under investigation
Allegations of sexual abuse of Hampton Roads children(link is external) by four retired or inactive priests are now under review by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. None of the four are currently serving in active ministry, the diocese said Monday (Jun. 8). None have served in the diocese in recent years. The diocese has not reached any conclusions about the allegations, though it has informed civil authorities about them.” By Dave Ress, Daily Press

Richmond Diocese reviews allegations against four ex-priests
“The Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced it has begun reviewing child sexual abuse allegations(link is external) made against four former priests in Virginia. ‘While the alleged incidents are from the past, we recognize the pain is still a deep and present reality for victim survivors of abuse and for their loved ones,’ Bishop Barry C. Knestout said in the statement released Monday (Jun. 8).” By Associated Press on ABC-TV13 News


Church investigations clear DC clergy member a 2nd time on sexual, financial misconduct allegations
“Church investigations into the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. found no credible evidence of sexual and financial impropriety(link is external). Monsignor Walter Rossi has served as rector since 2005 and was accused of sexually assaulting male students at the Catholic University of America. Those allegations reportedly came from Archbishop Carlo Viganò who relayed the accusations during an interview last year with The Washington Post, claiming the Vatican embassy in D.C. received documentation on the matter.” By Ken Duffy, WTOP News


Criminal investigation into Wyoming clergy sexual abuse drags into third year
“The criminal investigation into sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy(link is external) in Wyoming passed its second birthday in April, a prolonged process with no end in sight that has ‘shattered’ an alleged victim’s family’s belief in the criminal justice system. In August, Cheyenne police recommended that retired bishop Joseph Hart, the highest-ranking member of the Catholic church in Wyoming for 25 years, be charged with sexual abuse.” By Seth Klamann, KPVI-TV6 News


Thousands of victims of cheld sex abuse in French Catholic Church, says commission
“At least 3,000 children have fallen victim to sex abuse in the French Catholic Church since 1950(link is external), the president of a commission set up to investigate the claims said today (Jun. 17). Jean-Marc Sauve said preliminary figures suggested some 1,500 clergy and other church officials carried out the abuse. The commission was set up last June at the request of French bishops after a series of paedophilia cases that rocked the Church in France and abroad.” By


Savio Rodrigues on sexual abuse and corruption in the Catholic Church of India
Savio Rodrigues separates the faith from the organization that the Church has become and highlights the corruption that has permeated into it. The faith is under pressure because of the allegations of sexual abuse(link is external) and the harsh treatment meted out to those who highlight them. A must watch!” By Sahil Mishra,


Abuse victim’s advocate was ‘open’ about Catholic church role
“A number of victims’ groups called for Brendan McAllister to stand down, or be removed from his post, after it became apparent he has been officiating at Catholic church services at St Peter’s in Warrenpoint. Spokespersons for Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse said that Mr McAllister’s elevation to a leadership role with the church made his positions as the interim advocate for victims untenable – as around 80% of its members had been abused by members of the Catholic clergy(link is external).” By Mark Rainey, News LetterCatholic Church says data laws ‘detrimental to efforts to safeguard children’
“Current data protection legislation is a threat to the safety of children and has made their welfare difficult to guarantee(link is external), the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog has said. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in 2018. The church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, based at Maynooth, Co Kildare, said the current legislation was ‘detrimental to the efforts to safeguard children.’” By Patsy McGary, The Irish Times


Historic sex abuse: Former Catholic brother sentenced to home detention in Napier
“An 81-year-old Catholic brother and schoolteacher from Napier has been sentenced to a second term of home detention for sexually abusing children(link is external) when he was teaching in Masterton more than 40 years ago. Kevin Peter John Healy was sentenced in Napier District Court today on five charges of indecency in the 1970s, involving a girl aged 8 or 9, and her brother and another boy who were at the time aged 12 and 13.” By Hawkes Bay Today


Pedophile priest found free in Switzerland after conviction in Belgium
“A Swiss priest found guilty of abusing a minor in Belgium has been arrested in Switzerland(link is external), where he was living free despite being sentenced to prison in 2017. The Brussels Court of Appeal sentenced Frédéric Abbet to three years’ imprisonment after finding him guilty of sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy in a Brussels boarding school between 2010 and 2011. Swiss regional daily Le Nouvelliste reported on Friday (Jun. 12) that the priest was found living free in the Swiss canton of Valais, years after he was sentenced.” By The Brussels Times

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Catholic clergy sexual abuse continues to scandalize the Church

Clergy child abuse allegations continue to surface around the world.

Allegations of historic sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy continue to surface around the world.

With National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States having ended yesterday, April 30, we’re reminded that Catholic clergy sexual abuse continues to scandalize the Church and affect its dioceses and that allegations of historic Catholic clergy child abuse are still being made around the world. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Montana Catholic officials say bankruptcy ‘best and only way’ to compensate the sexually abused
    “The recent bankruptcy filing by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings was the ‘best and only way’ it could meet its obligations to all victims with sexual abuse claims and continue its ministry, church officials said … The bankruptcy is likely to be complicated and take time. How it could affect the diocese’s operations, along with parishes, schools and other church programs, is not yet clear.” By Clair Johnson, Billings Gazette
  • Indian Catholics frustrated over clergy sex abuse cases
    “A rash of recent alleged sex abuse cases involving Catholic priests in Southern India have left Christians distraught and frustrated over the local church’s lack of response. More than 100 theologians, women religious, priests and feminists have written to India’s bishops to demand they react quickly in accordance with the pope’s call to end such transgressions. ‘We are trying every way to get the bishops to act. We thought this is a good opportunity,’ says Virginia Saldanha, a theologian who was part of the team that drafted the March 22 letter to the bishops.” By Jose Kavi, National Catholic Reporter
  • Abuse priest failings found
    “Concerns raised about a Catholic priest later jailed for sexual assault were not acted upon or taken seriously by the Church, a review has found. Anthony McSweeney, 70, was jailed for three years in 2015 for abusing a boy at a west London care home. In the wake of the case an independent review was commissioned by the Dioceses of Brentwood and East Anglia. The review said McSweeney was found with videos of adolescent boys in 1998 but this was not reported to police.” By BBC News
  • Scrutiny turns to child abusers among clergy
    “Up to seven foreign clergymen are serving time in Cambodian prisons for child sex crimes, according to the executive director of a child protection NGO, a situation highlighted by the arrest of a Dutch priest who was charged last week with producing child pornography. Evrard-Nicolas Sarot, 53, who was a parish priest in the Netherlands, is accused of paying 19 boys, all under the age of 15, a few dollars each to pose nude for photographs in Siem Reap City.” By Hannah Hawkins, The Cambodian Daily
  • Former Saipan bishop Thomas A. Camacho accused of clergy sex abuse again
    “Former Saipan bishop Tomas A. Camacho stands accused a second time of clergy sex abuse. Filed in the District Court of Guam late Wednesday (Apr. 26), 65-year-old B.C. alleges he was sexually molested by Father Camacho in the early 1960s at Nuestra Senora de las Aguas Parish in Mongmong.” By Krystal Paco, KUAM-TV
  • Old Catholic Church suspends second pastor after abuse claims
    “The Old Catholic church in the Netherlands has suspended a second pastor involved in a child abuse scandal, this time involving a retired priest who abused a young teenage boy in the 1970s.” By

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Bishops Talk Sex Abuse Complacency, Not Accountability at Annual Meeting / National Catholic Reporter

Urged not to get complacent on clergy sexual abuse of minors, the nation’s Catholic bishops spoke little of holding one another accountable for failures in protecting children at their annual spring meeting. The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board, which advises the bishops on child protection policies, told those gathered Wednesday  (June 11) in New Orleans that the church ‘continues to slowly make progress’ on the abuse issue and asked bishops present to ‘resist complacency’ and ‘remain committed’ to the work still ahead of them.”
By Brian Roewe, Joshua J. McElwee — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Other news concerning the U.S. bishops’ 2014 spring assembly, which is taking place in New Orleans:

U.S. Bishops Seek to Match Vatican in Shifting Tone
“Fifteen months into the pontificate of Pope Francis, the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States find themselves unsettled in ways large and small, revisiting both how they live and what they talk about in light of the new pope’s emphasis on personal humility and economic justice. Over the last several days as the bishops gathered here for their semiannual meeting, they grappled with the substantive and stylistic implications of a still-new papacy.” By Michael Paulson, The New York Times

At Spring Assembly, U.S. Bishops Urged to Promote, Support Families
“The U.S. bishops, gathered in New Orleans for their spring general assembly June 11-13, were urged to promote and support Catholic families. At the close of the morning’s session June 11, the bishops were advised to pay close attention to the Vatican’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family Oct. 5-19 and to promote the World Meeting of Families September 2015 in Philadelphia.” By The Catholic Sun

U.S. Bishops Open Assembly by Voting to Stay the Course
“The nation’s Catholic bishops during their annual summer assembly voted to stay the course they have set for themselves over the last several years, focusing on issues of religious liberty, same-sex marriage, and participation in the U.S. political sphere. In one of only three public deliberations at the event, the prelates voted to renew their efforts in addressing concerns over religious liberty, granting another three-year term to a special bishops’ committee organized on the issue. The bishops are gathered in New Orleans until Friday (June 13) for their spring meeting, one of two annual plenary assemblies of the U.S. bishops’ conference.” By Brian Roewe and Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

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Twin Cities Task Force into Prevention of Clergy Child Sexual Abuse Reports ‘Serious Shortcomings’ in Archdiocesan Policies / National Catholic Reporter

Too much power in too few hands. Inadequate oversight. Broken communication channels and compartmentalized information. An outdated record-keeping system, and no meaningful program to audit and monitor compliance.

“Those ‘serious shortcomings’ emerged from a lay task force’s six-month independent review of the policies and organizational structures within the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese related to the prevention of clergy sexual abuse of minors.

“‘The work of the Task Force revealed that, despite Archdiocesan policies and procedures designed to protect against clergy sexual abuse of minors, a flawed organizational structure with little oversight and accountability created opportunities for some priests to harm children, the seven-member Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force said in its 53-page report, released Monday.” (boldface added)

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Rep0rter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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