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PEGGY DIVENUTI, Weymouth: Cardinal Law was following orders from Vatican

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:30 AM PST

WEYMOUTH (MA) The Patriot Ledger Jan 2, 2018 TO THE EDITOR: Although the actions of Cardinal Law were reprehensible, I believe he was following direct orders from Rome, just like his predecessors. The transfer, and cover-up, of the deranged clergy extends way back to Cardinal Cushing's reign. If this was not the case, why was Cardinal Law promoted to a more prestigious position, in Rome, after the horrific abuse of power and miscarriage of justice were courageously exposed by The Globe? PEGGY DIVENUTI Weymouth

Bishop defends comic Al Porter against ‘darkness’ visited upon him

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:28 AM PST

IRELAND The Irish Times Jan 1, 2018 By Patsy McGarry A Catholic bishop has called for "balance, proper proportion and fair play" so that comedian Al Porter "may feel free and welcome to make us laugh again". Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin whose area of responsibility includes Tallaght, referred to Mr Porter as "our local comedian". He hoped 2018 would "be the year that we allow justice take its course and not usurp it through public condemnation, humiliation and sentence without trial. May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018." He said "darkness" was visited on comedian "before justice to all could be processed". Last November Mr Porter, who will be 25 on Sunday, resigned from Today FM where he had presented a lunchtime show since February of last year, after four separate complaints from men alleging that he touched them inappropriately in incidents dating back to 2012. Further allegations followed.

‘I Now Feel Free and Can Live My Life.’ Australian Commission Gives Voice to Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:25 AM PST

AUSTRALIA Global Voices January 2, 2018 Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was always certain to stir controversy, particularly with regard to the Catholic Church, and it did just that when it delivered its final report on 15 December 2017. The Royal Commission came about because of, as the report explains, "the sexual and other abuse of children in institutional settings, and the reluctance of those institutions involved to address this problem." Its five years of hearings had already revealed widespread criminality, cover-ups and systemic failures across a wide range of both religious and other organisations. According to the final report, the commission, which cost 500 million Australian dollars (380 million US dollars), was contacted by 16,953 people covered by its terms of reference, heard from 7,981 survivors of child sexual abuse in 8,013 private sessions, received 1,344 written accounts, referred 2,562 matters to police and made 409 recommendations. For many people, its real achievement has been to air the voices of individual survivors who in many cases have waited decades to be heard. A total of 3,956 survivor "Narratives" are on the commission website with this warning: "This story is about child sexual abuse. It may contain graphic descriptions and strong language, and may be confronting and disturbing."

Ireland's Culture Shifts From Being One Of Europe's Most Socially Conservative Countries

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:22 AM PST

IRELAND National Public Radio January 2, 2018 By Frank Langfitt Long considered among Europe's most socially conservative countries, Ireland is holding a referendum next year to legalize abortion. The vote follows another that legalized same-sex marriage, and the election of the country's first, gay prime minister. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Ireland used to be one of the most socially conservative nations in Europe. Lately that's been changing. In 2015, voters legalized same-sex marriage. During last year's election, the country voted in a gay, biracial prime minister. And this summer, the Catholic country will vote on whether to repeal one of the strictest abortion laws in the Western world. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Dublin; there have been calls for this change for many years. (CHEERING, APPLAUSE) FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: They held candles and signs that read never again - some 2,000 people protesting the death of Savita Halappanavar outside government buildings here in 2012. The dentist from India died after doctors refused to perform an abortion while she was miscarrying. Taking the microphone, Sinead Redmond of the group Parents for Choice demanded change. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) SINEAD REDMOND: Savita Halappanavar is dead unnecessarily, and we are all complicit while the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution remains in place. LANGFITT: Now, five years on, Irish citizens will finally have a chance to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the country's constitution which only permits abortion in exceptional cases, such as to save the life of the mother. Ailbhe Smyth, who was among the protesters that night, says Halappanavar's death was a turning point.

Archdiocese reaches settlement with victim of priest who served in Lowell

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:19 AM PST

LOWELL (MA) Lowell Sun January 2, 2018 By Aaron Curtis LOWELL -- The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a five-figure settlement with William Brown, a childhood sexual abuse victim of the Rev. Arnold Kelley, who lived in Lowell for a number of years. A media conference announcing the settlement will be made on the sidewalk outside St. Rita Church at 158 Mammoth Road in Lowell at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. "My client should be proud of himself for coming forward," Brown's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, stated in an email on Tuesday. "In doing so, he is emplowering himself, other sexual abuse victims and making the world a safer place for children. "Sexual abuse victims should not and will not be silenced," he added. As early as 1997, the Archdiocese of Boston was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Kelley at St. Rita's Parish in Lowell. In 2016, Brown came forward and filed a civil complaint in Essex County Superior Court alleging the sexual abuse. From approximately 1966 to 1976, Kelley served as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain. From roughly 1973 to 1976, when Brown was 10- to 13-years-old, he attended masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, participated in the church band and attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes. He was supervised and interacted with Kelley. During that time Kelley "engaged in explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct" with Brown, the complaint states. Brown suffers "severe emotional distress and physical harm manifested by objective symptomatology including but not limited to sadness, anxiety, anger, crying, sleep problems, drug dependence and alcohol dependence," the complaint also states.

Judge orders more mediation to resolve Minn. clergy abuse settlements

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 06:16 AM PST

MINNEAPOLIS (MN) CNA/EWTN News January 3, 2018 Disputes over clergy abuse settlements in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis have led a federal bankruptcy judge to order a return to mediation for all the parties involved. "Judge Kressel's decision bolsters our resolve to move forward in the bankruptcy process," Tom Abood, chairman of the archdiocese's reorganization task force, said Dec. 28. "We are guided by his words from earlier this year, that the longer this process continues, the less money will be available for those who have been harmed." Abood voiced gratitude that the judge has dismissed claims from creditors' attorneys that the archdiocese has acted in bad faith in the reorganization. "We look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution," said Abood. The archdiocese, insurance companies, parishes, a creditors' committee and sex abuse survivors are involved in seeking a settlement for more than 400 victims. The process has lasted more than two years. Judge Robert Kressel's Dec. 28 ruling said the plan presented by abuse survivors required too much time and money to carry out. He said the archdiocese's plan lacked sufficient financial accountability from the parishes involved, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. "Therefore," his order said, "I expect all the parties to return to mediation. And I expect them to mediate in good faith."