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Willow Creek Elders Admit Failure in Holding Bill Hybels 'Accountable,' Will Examine New Allegations

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 07:08 PM PDT

ILLINOIS Christian Post By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter Apr 23, 2018 The elder board of the storied Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago asked for grace this past weekend as they admitted to failing to hold the church's founder, Bill Hybels, "accountable to specific boundaries" as more women alleged he behaved improperly around them. Responding to newer allegations that were not previously investigated, the elder board revealed that they have engaged in deep introspection and now realized how they could have responded better as the claims were first made against Hybels. "Over the last several weeks, we have been in a process of deep learning, seeking clarity, and building a path toward reconciliation. Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of Willow Creek Community Church and its Elders is not done," the elders said in a letter to the Willow Creek church community Saturday. "As a board, we unanimously agree there are several areas where we could have served you better."

Previewing state Senate special elections in the Bronx, Westchester

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 07:04 PM PDT

NEW YORK NY1 By Zack Fink April 23, 2018 After Tuesday, the new makeup of the New York state Senate could pave the way for a Democratic takeover. But the party needs two races to go its way. Democrat Shelley Mayer is running for an open seat in Westchester County, and Luis Sepulveda is the Democrat running for the open seat in the Bronx. "Well, I mean, never too confident. Remember what happened with Hillary Clinton and other electeds? We've worked like we are behind in the polls," Sepulveda said. "We've worked this community for a long time, so it's been a great ride. I love community service." "It's important to me that a lot of issues have been unresolved since the budget passed, things like the Child Victims Act — which is important to me — things like criminal justice reform," Sepulveda said.

End Doesn’t Justify the Means

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 04:40 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA Catholic4Change APRIL 23, 2018 by Susan Matthews Abused by a priest as a kid, Thomas (not his real name) spent much of his adulthood embroiled in a grand jury investigation. The grueling emotional process cut fresh wounds into his already scarred psyche. Suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization made it clear that self preservation meant stepping away from it all. It was the right decision for him and his family. Thomas is working, married and surviving. But now, his hard-won and tenuous stability is threatened. Lawyers prosecuting a civil case against the Philadelphia archdiocese on behalf of another victim asked him to testify. Thomas explained why he couldn't – how it might cost him his life. They responded with a subpoena. Cornered and forced to do something horrific as child, Thomas is once again cornered and being forced to do something terrifying as an adult. The subpoena compels him to appear in court or he'll be held in contempt and fined. Yet, the price he'll pay for testifying is far worse. Civil and criminal cases have been the best means of gaining public awareness, preventing abuse and offering an opportunity for justice. But the end does not justify the means when a survivor is re-victimized.

'Protect Our Children: Sexual Abuse, The Law & Justice'

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 04:36 PM PDT

NEW YORK ABC 7 [videos] Monday, April 23, 2018 0 NEW YORK -- "PROTECT OUR CHILDREN: SEXUAL ABUSE, THE LAW, & JUSTICE" is hosted by Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams and addresses child sexual abuse and alarming statistics that reveal the fact that in this country, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. It is a scourge that is propped up by denial and deficient laws. Watch our special here: Part 1:

Kiwi’s three years on Pope’s commission

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 04:33 PM PDT

NEW ZEALAND NZCatholic Michael Otto April 24, 2018 Bill Kilgallon is looking back on his three years as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors with sense of achievement, alongside a certain sense of frustration. Mr Kilgallon's three years term on the commission came to an end last year, and he was not reappointed to a second term, an outcome he had anticipated. When asked to point to the achievements by the commission in its first term, he pointed first to the establishment of the body itself, which involved the bringing together of people from different professional backgrounds from all around the world to work as a team. The commission did its work by way of working groups and Mr Kilgallon chaired the group dealing with guidelines — starting with those for the prevention of and response to sexual abuse in the Church. He described the completion of templates for guidelines to assist bishops' conferences around the world to use as "a very significant piece of work".

MEDIA RELEASE – APRIL 23, 2018

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 01:24 PM PDT

MASSACHUSETTS Road to Recovery Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800 BOSTON COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE JESUIT PRIESTS AND BROTHERS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE CONTINUE TO IGNORE A CHILDHOOD CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM AND REFUSE TO HELP HIM HEAL, THUS CAUSING HIM TO BE RE-VICTIMIZED A Jesuit priest, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, stationed at Boston College High School from approximately 1951-1967, repeatedly sexually abused a minor child, Ronald Edward Casey, from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 to 13 years of age Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, was not only a Jesuit priest and teacher at Boston College High School, but Fr. Pollard held himself out as a Boy Scout chaplain and took Ronald Edward Casey on Boy Scout trips to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, repeatedly sexually abused minor child Ronald Edward Casey from approximately 1956 through 1957 The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, which includes Boston College High School, continue to re-victimize childhood sexual abuse victim Ronald Edward Casey by not reasonably and fairly settling the claim of sexual abuse of a minor child by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ What A press conference by Ronald Edward Casey, a 73 year-old San Francisco resident and childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest from Boston College High School, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ. Ronald Edward Casey continues to suffer from the effects of sexual abuse by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ When Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 11:30 am Where On the public sidewalk outside Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125 Who Ronald Edward Casey, childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ; and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families Why Ronald Edward Casey was born in 1944 and grew up in a large family in South Boston, MA. His older brother, Bill Casey, was being counseled by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, who was assigned to Boston College High School, and endeared himself to the Casey family which he visited frequently. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, endeared himself in particular to Ronald Edward Casey who was approximately 11 years of age in 1956-1957. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey to Boy Scout Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where he was forced to sleep in the same cabin as Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, and was sexually abused repeatedly between approximately 1956 and 1957. Ronald Edward Casey will describe the sexual abuse he experienced as a child and call on Boston College High School and the Jesuits of the Northeast Province to do the right thing and reasonably and fairly settle his claim Contacts Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA - 617-523-6250 – mgarabedian@garabedianlaw.com (portrayed in the 2016 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, "Spotlight")

Ignored, humiliated: How Japan is accused of failing survivors of sexual abuse

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:42 PM PDT

JAPAN CNN By Anna Stewart, Euan McKirdy and Junko Ogura, CNN n April 22, 2018 Tokyo (CNN)At first, it had seemed to Shiori Ito like a dream opportunity. As an aspiring young reporter, she says a prominent journalist had taken an interest in her career, and invited her out to dinner. The invitation was made while they were both in the US, but it wasn't until they had both returned to Tokyo that the meeting took place. According to Ito, they went for sushi, and at some point in the evening she went to the bathroom. It would be the last thing she remembered from the restaurant. "The last thing I remember is being in the bathroom. I woke up with this intense pain and he was on top of me," she recounted to CNN. "I had no memory how I got there, why, and I (had) never lost my memory like before. "So, yeah, he was raping me."

Bill Cosby won’t take the stand

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:38 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA Page Six NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby will not be taking the stand in his own defense, he told the judge overseeing his sex assault retrial Monday before his lawyers rested their case. Cosby, 80, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the alleged drugging and molestation of former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004. The aged entertainer, wearing a tweed suit, remained seated as he confirmed to Judge Steven O'Neill that he had no intention of testifying, before his lawyers rested their defense. "Yes, your honor," he boomed as O'Neill reminded him of his right to either take or avoid the stand.

Bill Cosby retrial, Day 11: Defense rests; closing arguments to begin Tuesday

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:36 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA CBS 19 Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY April 23, 2018 The defense in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault retrial rested its case Monday. With the two sides set to give closing arguments Tuesday morning, it's possible the jury could be deliberating by lunchtime. As was the case in the first trial, the comedian opted not to take the stand in his own defense; that trial, ended in a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict after five days of deliberation after just over a week of testimony. The retrial, which is in its 11th day, has already outlasted the original. Cosby, 80, is charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a former staffer with the women's basketball team at Temple University, at his house near Philadelphia in 2004. He says it was consensual.

The Latest: Prosecutors downplay Cosby travel records

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:50 AM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA New York Daily News April 23, 2018 NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial (all times local): 12:20 p.m. Prosecutors are highlighting gaps in Bill Cosby's travel records. Defense lawyers say the travel records prove he wasn't at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in January 2004 — the month his chief accuser alleges he drugged and molested her there. But prosecutors say there are multiple stretches of time that month when the comedian wasn't aboard his private jet or performing around the country. And District Attorney Kevin Steele noted in court Monday that the records reflect only jet travel, not other modes of transportation. Roslyn Yarbrough, a former secretary for Cosby's agent, says Cosby spent most of his time at his Massachusetts estate and New York City townhouse, and was "very rarely" at the suburban Philadelphia mansion.

NDP to force debate Thursday on Papal apology for residential schools

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:46 AM PDT

CANADA iPolitics By Rachel Gilmore. Apr 23, 2018 This Thursday, MPs will debate and vote on an NDP motion calling on Parliament to, among other things, request a long-awaited Papal apology for the Catholic Church's role in the residential school system. "This is saying we need to do the right thing here. This is a moral call about moral leadership," said NDP MP Charlie Angus. "We're calling to the church to say it's time to fess up, to close this chapter and be part of the true process of reconciliation." The New Democrats have dedicated their opposition day to the motion, which invites the Pope to issue a formal apology for the Catholic Church's role in residential schools. It also asks the church to pay monies owed to residential school survivors — to the tune of roughly $23 million, according to Angus — and to turn over any relevant documents or historical records dealing with residential schools.

A Pope Given to Apologies Has Nothing for Indigenous Canada

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:44 AM PDT

CANADA New York Times By IAN AUSTEN and JASON HOROWITZ APRIL 23, 2018 OTTAWA — The past three popes have invested deeply in the forgiveness-begging business, offering official apologies for the church's sins against Jews during World War II and Indigenous people in Bolivia, among others. But Canada's Roman Catholic bishops said late last month that Pope Francis would not apologize in the foreseeable future for the boarding schools where, for more than a century and a half, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend in an effort to obliterate their cultures and languages. About 70 percent of children went to schools operated by the church. Now, the Canadian House of Commons is poised to consider a motion to ask those bishops to return to Rome to seek a papal apology, fulfilling a specific recommendation for healing the rift between Canada and its Indigenous people by a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission that documented the abuses at the schools.

2 priests placed on leave by Bishop Malone amid investigation

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:38 AM PDT

NEW YORK WIVB [with video] By: Evan Anstey : Apr 23, 2018 BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On Monday morning, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that Bishop Malone placed two priests on administrative leave. Father Arthur S. Smith, of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew and Father Samuel J. Venne, a retired priest serving at St. Stephen's Parish on Grand Island, were the men named by the diocese. Smith was placed on leave due to an investigation, and Venne was placed on leave following a complaint of abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse in U.S. Costs Up to $1.5 Million Per Child Death

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:10 AM PDT

UNITED STATES Georgia State University MARCH 28, 2018 ATLANTA—Child sexual abuse in the United States is costly, with an average lifetime cost of $1.1 million per death of female victims and $1.5 million per death of male victims, according to a new study. Researchers measured the economic costs of child sexual abuse by calculating health care costs, productivity losses, child welfare costs, violence/crime costs, special education costs and suicide death costs. They estimated the total lifetime economic burden of child sexual abuse in the United States to be $9.3 billion, based on child sexual abuse data from 2015. For nonfatal cases of child sexual abuse, the estimated lifetime cost is $282,734 per female victim. There was insufficient information on productivity losses for male victims, which contributed to a lower estimated lifetime cost of $74,691. The findings are published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect. "This study reveals that the economic burden of child sexual abuse is substantial and signifies recognition that reducing children's vulnerability will positively and directly impact the nation's economic and social well-being and development," said Dr. Xiangming Fang, associate professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. "We hope our research will bring attention to the need for increased prevention efforts for child sexual abuse."

Two priests suspended amid probe of sexual abuse allegations

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:56 AM PDT

NEW YORK Buffalo News By Jay Tokasz April 23, 2018 Two Buffalo-area priests were put on leave this past weekend as the Diocese of Buffalo investigates complaints of childhood sexual abuse. Bishop Richard J. Malone suspended the Rev. Samuel J. Venne and the Rev. Arthur S. Smith from ministry due to allegations that the priests behaved inappropriately with minors. Venne, who is retired, regularly celebrated Masses at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island. His administrative leave was announced to parishioners at Masses this past weekend. Smith was working at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish in Depew. Parishioners there also were informed at Masses this past weekend in a letter from the bishop that was read to them. Diocesan spokesman George Richert confirmed the leaves Monday. Richert did not say when the diocese learned of the allegations. He also wouldn't specify when the alleged incidents involving the priests happened, other than to say they were not recent.