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Ex-priest on trial in slaying of South Texas beauty queen who vanished after confessing her sins to him

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:25 PM PST

TEXAS Dallas News December 2, 2017 By Marc Ramirez Details shared with a South Texas jury Friday portrayed a former priest who was anything but priest-like in the ongoing trial of John Feit, accused of murdering a 25-year-old beauty queen over a half-century ago. Irene Garza had been raped and bludgeoned to death when she was found in a McAllen canal in 1960, five days after she vanished from church on Easter weekend. A portable photographic slide viewer belonging to Feit was found near the body. On Friday, as the San Antonio Express-News reported, jurors were told of Feit's questionable behavior involving other women.

Rape, murder and harassment: Painful stories shared at MMIWG hearings in Quebec

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:30 PM PST

QUEBEC CTV News Montreal December 1, 2017 The inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls has wrapped up its first week of testimony in Quebec. Dozens of families travelled to the Innu community of Mani-Utenam near Sept-Iles to share their emotional stories, many opening up about allegations of rape, murder, and harassment at the hands of police. Before the hearings got underway Friday, one woman presented commissioners with a gift of moccasins, mittens, and a baby bottle to represent the lost girls of her community. The commission heard testimony from the mother of an Innu teenager who was kidnapped and tortured in 2011. She recounted how police dismissed the disappearance as a runaway case. Commissioners heard from a mother whose five-year-old daughter was taken from her in the early 1080s and given to a family. That girl was raped and murdered. There were also stories of abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest who worked on the north shore for decades.

Child abuse survivor in vigil outside parliament while Kezia Dugdale remains in jungle

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:26 PM PST

SCOTLAND Holyrood Magazine December 1, 2017 By Tom Freeman An adult survivor of child abuse is sleeping rough outside the Scottish Parliament until former Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is voted off reality TV show I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Dave Sharp, who was abused and raped at a Catholic residential school in Scotland as a child, said Dugdale had told him she would do everything she could to help him and other survivors of abuse and that her decision to enter the television show while the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was going on "hurt". He has pledged to remain camped outside the parliament for "the duration of the time she is taking part in a demeaning reality show in Australia for a handsome fee".

Victim of paedophile priest left so traumatised he attempted suicide

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:23 PM PST

LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND) Liverpool Echo December 1, 2017 By Josh Parry Stephen Armstrong-Smith has bravely spoken out about his struggle to live with having been abused A man who endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest was so traumatised he turned to self-harm and extreme suicide attempts. Father John Kevin Murphy, 93, used his position of trust to groom four boys during the 60s and 70s while working as a priest at St Luke's Parish in Whiston, and the attached St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic School. Today Liverpool Crown Court heard how during his 12 years working in the area, Murphy, of St George's Court in Maghull, gained the trust of several families and offered to take boys, aged between 11-16 at the time, for swimming lessons, exercise sessions and even camping trips abroad in order to abuse them.

Seeking new life for the center of Boston Catholicism

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:17 PM PST

BOSTON (MA) Boston Globe December 2, 2017 By Thomas Farragher The roof leaks. The wiring is shot. The heating system is temperamental. And — I'm not afraid to tell you — there are bodies in the basement. And yet when the priest and the builder, the latest caretakers of the 142-year-old puddingstone church on Washington Street, close their eyes, decades of decay and dust suddenly disappear. They see a sparkling jewel. They hear an angelic choir and the tolling of 19th-century bells. They can smell incense — ancient and holy — wafting over a congregation who calls this place their spiritual home. Simply put, they envision a shining, newly remodeled home for the mother church of Boston Catholicism, a home that had grown careworn, even neglected, and needs just about everything — new roofing, new altar, new systems, new floor, plus polish and paint from entrance to apse. In short, new life. "This is going to be our most significant renovation,'' said the Rev. Kevin J. O'Leary, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross's rector. "It'll enrich parish life.'' ** ... Across the years, the old granite-trimmed church has been fraying at its edges, and then some. Fifteen years ago, as the global church was rocked by the clergy abuse scandal, whose epicenter was here in Boston, it didn't seem the time to launch the costly repair work needed. Now, O'Leary said, it feels a right and proper — and joyful — thing to do. "For us, for this diocese, it's going to be a symbol of hope for what we've been through,'' O'Leary said. "The cardinal has been insistent about maintaining a place in the city as a beacon of hope for neighborhood people.''

Rush on abuse deals before scheme: group

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:06 PM PST

AUSTRALIA Australian Associated Press December 3, 2017 By Megan Neil Advocates say some child abuse victims are receiving lower compensation from institutions than they would possibly get under a national redress scheme. Some institutions are rushing to lock child sexual abuse survivors into accepting top-up damages payments before a national redress scheme comes into effect, advocates say. A number of institutions are "herding people through" before the mid-2018 start of the federal government's redress scheme, church abuse victims' advocacy group Broken Rites spokesman Wayne Chamley says. "Individual institutions are rushing to lock people in before national redress can occur," he told AAP. Dr Chamley said institutions like the Salvation Army are renegotiating top-up payments of settlements at amounts below what would be provided under the national redress scheme and locking victims in with a deed of release, stopping them bringing a civil claim in court.

Mahoney Calls for Churches to Lead in Healing of Sexual Abuse and Assault

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 03:03 PM PST

UNITED STATES CBN News (Christian Broadcasting Network) December 2, 2017 The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, the pastor of Church on the Hill and director of the Christian Defense Coalition, has called for faith communities to be a leading voice in confronting sexual abuse and assault and to bring healing to those who have been wounded and impacted. He's encouraging churches all over North America to become involved and to speak out on these issues. On Saturday, the Church on the Hill met near Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., to hear Mahoney present "A Christian Response to Sexual Assault and Rape Culture."

57 años después juzgan al cura que dio la última confesión a la hispana Irene Garza

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 02:59 PM PST

EDINBURGH (TX) Univision December 3, 2017 [Google Translate -- 57 years later, they are judging the priest who gave the last confession to the Latina Irene Garza, murdered in 1960. On April 21, 1960, a man discovered the body of a woman floating in a canal in McAllen, Texas. It turned out to be Irene Garza, of Hispanic origin, who died asphyxiated after being raped. The case remained unsolved for 56 years, until in 2016 they arrested the priest who heard his last confession, John Feit, for his murder.] El 21 de abril de 1960 un hombre descubrió flotando en un canal de McAllen, Texas, el cuerpo de una mujer. Resultó ser Irene Garza, de origen hispano, que murió asfixiada después de ser violada. El caso quedó sin resolver durante 56 años, hasta que en 2016 detuvieron por su asesinato al sacerdote que escuchó su última confesión, John Feit. Crónica del crimen de una reina de belleza en el sur de Texas hace medio siglo Univision El 21 de abril de 1960 W. Arnold descubrió flotando en un canal de la ciudad texana de McAllen el cuerpo de Irene Garza. La mujer, de origen mexicano, había desaparecido días antes. Tenía 25 años. Según la autopsia la mujer fue violada, asfixiada y lanzada al canal. Irene Garza era profesora y solía presentarse a concursos de belleza: dos años antes había sido elegida Miss Sur Texas. Era católica practicante y se confesaba con regularidad. Sus familiares contaron cuando desapareció que había ido a confesarse a la parroquia del Sagrado Corazón en la ciudad texana y nunca regresó. Cinco días después se encontró su cadáver.

Escándalo en Oro Verde con el regreso de Nicola como párroco.

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 02:54 PM PST

ORO VERDE (ENTRE RIOS PROVINCE, ARGENTINA) Analisis Digital December 2, 2017 Está acusado de abuso de menores [Google Translate: Scandal in Oro Verde with the return of Nicola as parish priest. He is accused of abusing minors. Last Wednesday, the parish priest of Oro Verde, Alfredo Nicola, accused of child abuse as revealed in the latest issue of the magazine ANALISIS, returned surprisingly to his position in the church "Jesus Christ Master and Lord of Humanity and Our Lady of Pompeii". "The bishop lifted my license, and asked me to show up in the town and start giving mass. So here I am," was the first thing he said when he arrived. The return of the priest puts in an uncomfortable situation Archbishop Juan Alberto Puiggari, who would be aware of the two complaints of abuse that were presented in the curia and that blame Nicola.] El pasado miércoles, el párroco de Oro Verde, Alfredo Nicola, acusado de abuso de menores según reveló la última edición de la Revista ANALISIS, regresó sorpresivamente a su cargo en la iglesia "Jesucristo Maestro y Señor de la Humanidad y Nuestra Señora de Pompeya". "El obispo me levantó la licencia, y me pidió que me muestre en el pueblo y empiece a dar misas. Así que acá estoy", fue lo primero que dijo cuando llegó. La vuelta del cura pone en situación incómoda al arzobispo Juan Alberto Puiggari, quien estaría al corriente de las dos denuncias por abuso que se presentaron en la curia y que responsabilizan a Nicola. Oficialmente Puiggari no intervino ni dio instrucciones ni tampoco informó si la vuelta del sacerdote es permanente o temporal. La llegada de Nicola creó una situación incómoda: el vicario Daniel Rodríguez, que con la partida apresurada del párroco había quedado como administrador parroquial, volverá a su antigua función.

One-man play chronicles how ‘the force’ saved sexual abuse survivor’s life

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 01:02 PM PST

VANCOUVER (CANADA) Vancouver Courier December 3, 2017 By John Kurucz Creator of How Star Wars Saved My Life found solace and inspiration in 1977 film In an alternate universe, the force has moved mountains, dethroned despots and fine-tuned fighting instincts. For Nicholas Harrison, the force has had a more tangible application — it saved his life. Harrison is at the helm of a one-man show called How Star Wars Saved My Life, an 80-minute long play that debuts at Performance Works on Granville Island Dec. 6. The production hones in on Harrison's experiences as a survivor of sexual and physical abuse and how he reconciled those episodes of abuse as a teenager, and then as an adult. "On the outside, I've got a doctorate, I'm a successful artist and I do all these interesting things," Harrison says. "It sounds great. But underneath that, what people don't see, are these hidden stories that we are taught to supress or to feel shame or guilt about. We are told to keep quiet." The play is set in a fictional northern B.C. town called Hopeless, and the story picks up with Harrison as a five-year-old. He is subjected to four years of rape and physical abuse from priests and others at the Catholic school he attended.

The children of Smyllum tell their heartbreaking stories

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 12:57 PM PST

EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND) Sunday Post December 3, 2017 By Gordon Blackstock After waiting years to be heard, the children of Smyllum tell their heartbreaking stories They had waited a long time to be heard. But in this nondescript office block, as commuters rushed by outside, they would speak at last. And, finally, after all those years, these adults, who were once children in Scotland's care homes, would tell their stories. Stories of neglect, of cruelty, of abuse and of murder. The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry started its second phase in Edinburgh last week as judge Lady Smith, pictured, turned her attention to Smyllum Park children's home in Lanarkshire, the orphanage where, as we revealed in September, up to 400 children are buried in an unmarked grave. The hearings were harrowing for those who gave evidence and those who heard it. It was often heart-breaking. Some in the seats open to the public wept as former child residents – most are now pensioners – described growing up in Smyllum. One former resident of Smyllum Park in Lanark said six-year-old Sammy Carr died days after a nun launched a frenzied attack on him, repeatedly kicking him in the head. In posthumous evidence, another ex-resident said 13-year-old Francis McColl died after a member of staff hit him on the head with a golf club. Deaths were 'covered up' at the institution, run by 'psychopathic' nuns who meted out physical and sexual abuse – and even used crucifixes as 'weapons'.

Former priest pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting child in 1990s

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:54 AM PST

PORTLAND (ME) WMTW-TV December 1, 2017 Former priest James Talbot, 80, pleaded not guilty Friday to gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual touching. A judge set bail at $50,000. Talbot is accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old Freeport boy in 1997 and 1998. He was recently indicted and brought back to Maine. Talbot pleaded guilty in 2005 to molesting two students while he was a wrestling coach at Boston College High School in the 1970s. Talbot was transferred to Cheverus High School in 1980, where he was a coach and teacher for nearly 20 years.

Ex-priest with long history as a sex offender pleads not guilty to new charges in Maine

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:52 AM PST

PORTLAND (ME) Portland Press Herald December 1, 2017 By Eric Russell James Talbot, 80, will face as much as 25 years in prison if convicted of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy in a Freeport church nearly two decades ago. A former Jesuit priest and longtime Cheverus High School teacher pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he sexually abused a 9-year-old boy at a Freeport church nearly 20 years ago. James Francis Talbot, 80, appeared Friday in Unified Criminal Court in Portland. He has been held in the Cumberland County Jail since Wednesday, when he was extradited from Missouri. Bail was set at $50,000 cash. It was unclear where he would go if he were released since he hasn't lived in Maine for many years, but his attorney, Walt McKee, called his client "penniless," suggesting that bail was a long shot. Talbot, dressed in a light brown prison uniform, did not speak. He has been charged with one count of gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, and one count of unlawful sexual contact, a Class C crime. Both involve a victim whose family were members of St. Jude Church in the late 1990s when Talbot was a substitute priest and religious instructor. If convicted, the Class A charge carries a penalty of as many as 25 years in prison.

Photo Gallery: Day 2 of John Feit trial

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:47 AM PST

EDINBURG (TX) CBS 4 News December 1, 2017 Day two of testimony wrapped up in the murder trial of John Feit, former priest accused of killing McAllen beauty queen Irene Garza nearly 60 years ago. Seven witnesses took the stand Friday, including an evidence technician, friend of Garza, and employee of the church. Forensic document examiner Kenneth Crawford took the stand and was asked to examine documents from the case, including a letter Feit allegedly wrote admitting that the viewfinder found at the bottom of the canal where Garza's body was found, was in fact his. Crawford testified that after examining other documents, the letter was signed by Feit.

CRIME HUNTER: Did priest strangle beauty queen in 1960?

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:20 AM PST

TEXAS Toronto Sun December 2, 2017 By Brad Hunter In the dusty, southern tip of Texas that sits on the Mexican border death came calling for a dedicated teacher and one-time beauty queen. Irene Garza was 25 years old that warm April day in 1960. She attended confession at a Catholic church in McAllen in the late afternoon. And then she vanished. Five days later her lifeless body was found in a lonely canal. She'd been sexually assaulted and strangled. People in the tiny Texas town have been haunted for decades by the gruesome killing.