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Cardinal George Pell pleads not guilty to historical sexual offence charges after being committed to stand trial

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:54 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA ABC News May 1, 2018 By court reporter Emma Younger Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell has pleaded not guilty to multiple historical sexual offence charges after being committed to stand trial. Magistrate Belinda Wallington committed Cardinal Pell to stand trial on some counts, but she has discharged more than half the original charges, including the most serious allegations. Cardinal Pell was escorted into the Melbourne Magistrates' Court under police guard. He has strenuously denied the accusations. Today's ruling follows a month-long committal hearing in March.

Cardinal Pell ordered to stand trial on sexual assault charges

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:51 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA BBC News Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will stand trial on historical sexual assault charges, a court has ruled. Cardinal Pell formally pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. An Australian magistrate ruled on Tuesday that there was enough evidence for the case to proceed to a trial on some charges, but not on others. Cardinal Pell is Australia's most senior Catholic and one of the most powerful officials in the Vatican. Magistrate Belinda Wallington read out her decision on each charge individually in a Melbourne court, following a month-long hearing.

Scottsdale church hires private firm to examine sex abuse claims

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:45 PM PDT

ARIZONA AZCentral Uriel J. Garcia, The Republic | azcentral.com April 30, 2018 A Scottsdale church has hired a private firm to investigate sexual misconduct allegations levied against a pastor who has resigned from his most recent post last week, according to a statement on the church's web site. Les Hughey, 64, who is the founder of the Highlands Community Church in north Scottsdale and has since stepped down as executive pastor, has been accused by women of sexual abuse during his time as youth pastor at Scottsdale Bible Church in the 1980s and '90s. Scottsdale Bible Church said in its statement that church leaders hired a firm called Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, also known as GRACE, to conduct an independent investigation.

Why the Cardinal Pell Case Has Been So Secretive

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:49 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA New York Times By DAMIEN CAVE and ADAM BAIDAWI APRIL 30, 2018 Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's third-highest ranking official will stand trial on several charge of sexual abuse from multiple complainants, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday. The slow-moving case — charges were filed in June — has been a test of both Australia's justice system and the Vatican's efforts to hold clerics accountable after decades of abuse scandals. It is occurring in a country where where defamation law favors plaintiffs, where criminal law protects defendants more than it does in many other countries, and where a number of legal standards restrict reporters' ability to publish information related to criminal cases. Here's a guide to why many of the details of Cardinal Pell's case may remain obscured, and to what we know about the cardinal and the case so far. Why can't the public know more? Australian criminal law tends to be more favorable to defendants, and its proceedings more secretive, than in the United States. The country's contempt standards prohibit reporting — after charges have been filed, and before a verdict has been reached — that might be seen as prejudicial against, or for, a defendant.

Cardinal George Pell to stand trial over historical sex offences

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:32 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA news.com.au May 1, 2018 AAP THE most senior Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis has been ordered to stand trial. Cardinal George Pell arrived at Australian court on Tuesday surrounded by police and media to learn whether he must stand trial on charges that he sexually abused multiple victims decades ago. Melbourne magistrate Belinda Wallington found there is evidence of sufficient weight on one of multiple charges against Pope Francis' closest aide for him to stand trial. Some other charges against 76-year-old Pell were struck out. Pell arrived by car in front of the downtown court where more than 40 uniformed police officers were waiting to maintain order as media jostled on the crowded sidewalk to videotape and photograph him. Pell climbed the stairs to court accompanied by his lawyer Robert Richter about 45 minutes before the hearing was to begin. Some protesters shouted as he arrived.

Vatican treasurer Cardinal Pell to face trial on historical abuse charges

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:24 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA CNN By Lucie Morris-Marr and Ben Westcott, CNN April 30, 2018 Melbourne, Australia (CNN)Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will face trial on charges of historical sexual abuse, a Melbourne magistrate announced on Tuesday. While several of the more serious charges against Pell were dropped, Magistrate Belinda Wallington announced the cardinal would still be committed to trial. The 76-year-old cardinal was facing multiple charges of historical sex assault offenses from a number of complainants. He has vigorously denied all charges. The magistrate's decision is still being read with the possibility of additional charges. One of the country's most senior Catholic figures, Pell arrived at Melbourne Magistrate's Court early Tuesday, accompanied by his lead barrister, Robert Richter QC, as dozens of police sought to keep media and protesters at bay.

Cardinal Pell to stand trial on sex abuse, but some charges dismissed

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:21 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA Crux John L. Allen Jr. EDITOR May 1, 2018 Following a four-week committal hearing last month, an Australian magistrate on Tuesday dismissed some of the most serious charges of "historical sexual offenses" against Cardinal George Pell but also ruled that the 76-year-old prelate will stand trial on at least three different complaints. It's not clear at this point when that trial will take place, though sources in Australia say that criminal procedures of this sort often can last one year to 18 months. Pell has denied the charges vigorously since police first filed them last summer. He is expected to face a directions hearing in Melbourne's County Court in the future, when a trial date will be set. Pell is currently on a leave of absence from his post as the Vatican's Secretary for the Economy, and he becomes the most senior Church official ever to face criminal charges of sexual abuse in a civil court of law. His committal hearing is believed to have been one of the longest ever in the Australian state of Victoria, the capital of which is the city of Melbourne where Pell's legal proceedings have unfolded. The first 10 days of the hearing were heard in closed session, when Pell's accusers were questioned.

Cardinal George Pell to Stand Trial on ‘Historical’ Sex Offenses

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 06:15 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA New York Times By ADAM BAIDAWI APRIL 30, 2018 MELBOURNE, Australia — Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's third-highest-ranking official, must stand trial on at least three charges of sexual abuse, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday, promising to prolong a case that has already dragged on for months, and which many see as a moment of reckoning for a church racked by scandal. Belinda Wallington, a Melbourne magistrate, found there was sufficient evidence for prosecutors to bring the cardinal's case to trial, ending a two-month pretrial hearing, in which witnesses described abuse they said took place decades ago. Cardinal Pell, 76, is the most senior Roman Catholic official to be charged with crimes of sexual abuse. As the Vatican's de facto finance chief, he was granted leave by the pope to return to Australia to conduct his defense. The cardinal has been accused of "historical sexual offenses," meaning they took place decades ago, but the details of the criminal complaint, including the identities of his accusers, have not been made public. Such cases are subject to Australia's strict contempt standards, and other legal restrictions, which prohibit journalists from reporting on details of criminal allegations. Robert Richter, the cardinal's lawyer, said last year there was "voluminous" evidence to prove that "what was alleged is impossible."

Richard Garcia, bishop of the Monterey Diocese, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 04:39 PM PDT

CALIFORNIA Mercury County Weekly April 30, 2018 Sara Rubin Since Pope Benedict XI appointed Richard Garcia as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Monterey in 2006, he has been the spiritual leader of tens of thousands of parishioners at dozens of churches in a region that spans from Santa Cruz to Hollister to San Luis Obispo. On April 27, the diocese announced Garcia, 71, has been diagnosed with an early stage of Alzheimer's disease, following several weeks of not feeling well. "This news is difficult to learn, but Bishop Garcia has great faith and a deep spiritual life to assist him in facing this diagnosis," a diocese statement says. "This news has taken some time for bishop to adjust to as it has only been in the last few weeks that signs of this disease have become more pronounced and evident to him." According to the statement, no decisions about future leadership have yet been made. ... Garcia also made news when came under scrutiny for failure to take action against a priest accused of sexually abusing boys despite receiving letters from parents alerting him to the abuse. Instead, Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry was moved from parish to parish, and continued to contact with youth, until he was eventually removed from the priesthood.

Catholic Charities falls behind on Appeal

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 04:28 PM PDT

NEW YORK Buffalo Business First By Tracey Drury – Reporter, Buffalo Business First With two months until the close of its annual fundraising appeal, Catholic Charities of Buffalo is stressing to potential donors that their dollars will not go toward settlements to abuse victims. Although the agency is affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, it remains an independent 501(c)(3) that serves people of all faiths with a range of human services including emergency assistance, mental health counseling and treatment, help with job training and education and specialized services for older adults. The Diocese has been in the spotlight for several months regarding a growing number of priests acknowledged to have sexually abused children and teens in past decades. That's led to the creation of an Independent Reconciliation & Compensation Fund, which the bishop of Buffalo has said will be paid from insurance, self-insurance liability, investment fund reserves and the sale of property - not from the Appeal or the Fund for the Faith, which provides funds to the Diocese at the discretion of the bishop.

Msgr. John C. Allard

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 04:24 PM PDT

RHODE ISLAND Curtis J. Holt's Sons Funeral Home [Patch] [Turn to 10] APRIL 27, 2018 Monsignor John C. Allard, 68, of Lake Washington, Chepachet, a retired priest of the Diocese of Providence, died April 27, 2018, in Landmark Medical Center, surrounded by his family. Born in Woonsocket, son of the late Normand and Laurette (Chevalier) Allard, he attended Holy Family School, Woonsocket, and Our Lady of Providence Preparatory High School in Providence. In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Warwick and St. John Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 19, 1975 at St. Cecilia Church, Pawtucket, by Bishop Louis E. Gelineau. He served as assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, Cranston (1975-84); Assistant Director (1984-86) and Director (1986-96) of the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry; Vicar of the Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Spirituality (1986-2001); pastor of Our Lady of Good Help Parish, Mapleville (1986-96); St. Agatha Parish, Woonsocket (1996-2013); and Precious Blood Parish, Woonsocket (2006-13). Fr. John was appointed Monsignor in 1997, while serving St. Agatha's Parish.

Decision day has arrived for George Pell, as magistrate weighs options

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 11:21 AM PDT

AUSTRALIA Sydney Morning Herald By Adam Cooper 30 April 2018 His has been a path no other Australian Catholic has taken, all the way to the powerful inner workings of the Vatican, until he became the church's most senior leader in modern times to be charged with sexual assault offences. On Tuesday George Pell will learn if he is to forge even more new ground, and be committed to stand trial in front of a jury on allegations of sexual assault dating back more than 20 years. In a ruling that will be heard throughout the religious world, magistrate Belinda Wallington will announce whether Cardinal Pell will stand trial on some or all of the charges, or whether they are to be struck out. If committed to trial it will most likely be in the County Court before a judge and 12 jurors. Three hours have been set aside in Melbourne Magistrates Court for Ms Wallington to deliver her ruling on a number of charges. The hearing will be held in the building's biggest court room, and Cardinal Pell must attend. The 76-year-old faces multiple charges of sexual offences involving multiple accusers. Details of the charges have not been revealed.

First week of major child abuse inquiry will be held at Trent Bridge, it has been confirmed

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 11:16 AM PDT

UNITED KINGDOM Nottingham Post By David Whitfield Digital Content Editor 30 APR 2018 The first five days of a major inquiry into historical child sex abuse in Nottinghamshire will be held at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, it has been confirmed. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will spend three weeks looking into the extent of the sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils. It will also look at how institutions including those councils and the police responded to any abuse claims. The hearing was originally due to take place in Southwark, London, but the Nottinghamshire Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Group has asked for some of the sessions to take place locally.

Clergy abuse survivors grateful after private meetings with pope

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 08:09 AM PDT

VATICAN CITY National Catholic Reporter Apr 30, 2018 by Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — After private meetings with Pope Francis, three survivors of clergy sexual abuse from Chile said they felt they had been heard and were hopeful for changes in the way the Catholic Church handles accusations of abuse. "I spoke for more than two and a half hours alone with Francis. He listened to me with great respect, affection and closeness, like a father. We talked about many subjects. Today, I have more hope in the future of our church. Even though the task is enormous," Juan Carlos Cruz tweeted April 29 after meeting with the pope. Francis had invited Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo to stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he lives, and to meet with him individually April 27-29. The three were to meet with the pope again as a group April 30. Although the three survivors tweeted after their private meetings, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said Francis "expressly wished" that no official statements would be released by the Vatican regarding his discussions with the survivors.

The Justice Principle - Part 2

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 07:31 AM PDT

AUSTRALIA ABC 25 Apr 2018 Concluding the story of Dassi Erlich and her two sisters, who are fighting to extradite their former headmistress from Israel to face sexual abuse charges. After the alleged abuse against the three sisters came to light in 2008, principal Malka Leifer was stood down by the Adass Israel school which facilitated her immediate departure to Israel. Although Australian authorities have been trying to extradite her for several years Malka Leifer convinced the Israeli courts she was too mentally unwell to face a hearing. That prompted an undercover operation to prove her mental fitness which recently resulted in Malka Leifer's return to jail. For Dassi and her two sisters — Nicole and Elly — justice finally seems closer than ever before. Related Links Catch up | Watch 'The Justice Principle' part 1 on ABC News Youtube ABC News article | 'This is a sham': The undercover operation to bring alleged paedophile principal to justice Support information | 1800 Respect National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence counselling service - www.1800respect.org.au 1800 737 732 ABC News feature | Inside the insular Jewish community where school headmistress alleged preyed on girls Producer profile | A brief bio about the producer of The Justice Principle, Belinda Hawkins Transcript INTTRODUCTION,TED BAILLIEU: Hi, I'm Ted Baillieu, former premier of Victoria. Tonight, we continue the dramatic story of Dassi Erlich and her sisters and their long battle to bring their former principal to justice. For the past decade, Dassi, Nicole and Elly have been seeking extradition for Malka Leifer from Israel to face allegations of abuse. Now, Israeli undercover surveillance has brought them one step closer to their goal. But first, a recap. LOOK BACK: DASSI ERLICH: We grew up in Melbourne, in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, called Adass. ELLY SAPPER, YOUNGEST SISTER: It's not like the wider Jewish community. It's very insulated, very close You don't have TV. You don't have internet. NICOLE MEYER, OLDER SISTER: My sisters and I went to the Adass school/the most religious, strictly orthodox school in Melbourne. DASSI ERLICH: When I was in year 8 Malka Leifer became the new principal. SHARON SWIATLO, FORMER ADASS ISRAEL SCHOOL TEACHER: She was a woman who exuded confidence She was well liked. One of the girls was always doing this for Mrs Leifer or that for Mrs Leifer. ELLY SAPPER: We were all hearing, "This is good for you. What I'm doing is helping you and I'm giving you love." DASSI ERLICH: I had no words to describe what was happening or absolutely any understanding of how it wasn't right. NICOLE MEYER: In 2008, Dassi somehow let out to a social worker/therapist, that Malka Leifer had abused her.