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Scotland 'should be ashamed' of childcare system abuse says former orphan who reveals history of beatings and trauma

Posted: 01 May 2018 05:12 PM PDT

SCOTLAND Daily Record By Conor Riordan 1 MAY 2018 Scotland "should be ashamed" for failing to face up to a history of abuse and neglect in the childcare system, a former orphanage resident has said. The witness, who cannot be named, revealed life at Nazareth House in Aberdeen between 1968 and 1972 consisted of routine beatings, sexual assaults and emotional trauma. Speaking at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry yesterday, he said his experiences contributed to him serving time in "many prisons" and having a history of "serious" violence. The man, now in his 50s, said: "Scotland as a country should be ashamed that it's taken this long for this (inquiry) to happen. "The 21 years since I reported this, it's hurt me a lot more than what the care system has."

Protecting Against Abuse At Summer Camps

Posted: 01 May 2018 04:17 PM PDT

UNITED STATES Times of Israel OPINION BY MICHAEL J. SALAMON May 1, 2018 With summer on the horizon and talk about camp plans at a feverish pitch, this time of year is one of excitement for many. But it can be stressful for those of us who work with sexual abuse survivors. Just a few years ago I wrote about a man that I was treating who had been sexually abused by a counselor in a sleepaway camp when he was in his early teens. I never mentioned his name nor the name of the camp. But after the piece was published, I was inundated with letters, e-mails and calls from other men — older and younger than he — telling me about their similar experiences. In all, more than 100 people contacted me. About 30 of them had been to the same camp and were abused by the same counselor who had been promoted over the years to head counselor. It was an open secret that he would select campers to go skinny dipping with him late at night and would abuse them. Still, he was revered by many at the camp. That abusive man has since passed on. But stories like that do not. There are many similar cases, and while there is a significant effort to prevent abuse through stricter policies and more robust vetting, it is a given that abuse will likely continue to occur. Last summer I was informed of two situations at sleepaway camps where abuse occurred. Both of those took place at camps that have anti-harassment and abuse policies – an absolute must. What is most often missing, though, is the necessary supervision of camp employees, the need to believe a person who finally feels strong and comfortable enough to report that he or she was abused, and the proper education of children who go off to camp. While it would be a fool's errand to believe that all abuse can be eradicated, it is these three areas — staff supervision, believing victims and educating children that can provide the most effective buffer against abusers.

Lawsuit against Father Bob, Saginaw Diocese moved to state court

Posted: 01 May 2018 04:12 PM PDT

MICHIGAN MLive May 1, 2018 By Cole Waterman cwaterma@mlive.com SAGINAW, MI -- A lawsuit alleging the Rev. Robert J. "Father Bob" DeLand Jr. had groomed and molested a teenage boy has moved from the federal courts to the state level. The lawsuit against DeLand, Bishop Joseph R. Cistone, and the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw was originally filed in the federal courthouse in downtown Bay City on March 12. The suit was filed by attorney Todd J. Weglarz, of Southfield firm Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Harington, on behalf of a minor identified as John Doe and an adult representative. The lawsuit sought a judgment against the three defendants, jointly and severally, in excess of $75,000.

2018 Catholic Charities Appeal looks to pick up steam

Posted: 01 May 2018 04:18 PM PDT

NEW YORK Buffalo News By Harold McNeil May 1, 201With two months remaining, the 94th annual Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal has reached nearly $8.9 million in cash and pledges, but needs to pick up steam, according to diocese officials. That's just shy of 81 percent of its 2018 goal. An additional $2.1 million has to be raised between now and June 30 in order to reach this year's $11 million goal. Sister Mary McCarrick, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said the organization has seen strong support, particularly after being featured in a recent segment on the Today Show, but the appeal should be closer to 90 percent of its goal or greater at this point. She said the last time the appeal failed to reach its goal was in 2009, when it was at 88 percent of its final goal at this stage of the campaign. Funds raised during the appeal help support the 70 programs and services provided by Catholic Charities at 61 sites throughout Western New York, along with a number of ministries that are part of the Bishop's Fund for the Faith. "If we don't reach our goal, we will need to take a serious look at these services to people in need," McCarrick said in a statement announcing the progress of the campaign. "For example, it costs about $50,000 to fund one food pantry and we currently operate eight pantries; six in Erie County, and one each in Cattaraugus and Allegany County."

House of Commons passes ‘historic’ motion to ask Pope Francis for apology over residential schools

Posted: 01 May 2018 02:34 PM PDT

CANADA Global News May 1, 2018 By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist The Canadian House of Commons will formally ask Pope Francis to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system. In a vote that garnered support across party lines on Tuesday, MPs supported a motion presented by NDP MP Charlie Angus for the House of Commons to ask for a formal apology from the Pope to the Indigenous peoples of Canada for the physical, sexual and emotional abuse suffered by the thousands of children forced to attend the schools. A total of 269 Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green and other MPs voted in favour of the motion. Ten Conservative MPs opposed it but the motion has passed. "I am very, very proud today," said Angus to reporters ahead of the vote. "This is a historic day for our country."

Latin American Millennials Question Pope Francis’s Handling of Sexual Abuse Cases

Posted: 01 May 2018 02:30 PM PDT

LATIN AMERICA The Global Catholic Review MAY 1, 2018 Co-authored by Dr. Kate Kingsbury* and Dr. Andrew Chesnut Recent figures reveal that the Catholic Church is losing followers in Latin America at an accelerated rate. Contrary to pundits' predictions, Pope Francis rather than proving popular and precipitating a proliferation in numbers of the faithful is losing support. What explains the shrinking Latin American flock? And what can the Catholic Church do to conciliate and captivate their congregants in Latin America anew? Bad Publicity Many assumed that a Latin American pope would entail more support within his home region and ensure the future of the Catholic Church there, but this presumption has proved erroneous. Phineas T. Barnum, a 19th century showman, enounced there is no such thing as bad publicity'. Unfortunately this adage has not proved a truism when it comes to the Catholic Church. In an era of mass media, technology has been both a friend and a foe for the Church. What in the past were once rumours or could be controverted as calumnies, have with the advent of the internet and hypercommunications come to comprise front page news stories. The inept and often corrupt handling of sex abuse scandals have tarnished the Church's reputation, especially among Latin American Millennials who are becoming Religious Nones at unprecedented rates. Many Latin Americans, especially Millennials, have lost faith in the Church, even if their parents and grandparents have not. As Carla, a 29 year old Ecuadorian described, 'everybody knows that the Catholic Church cannot be trusted and that some of the clergy are guilty of paedophilia. You see it in the news all the time. I still believe in God but I do not go to church anymore as I just cannot respect the priests and pope after everything I have heard and seen. I pray in my house as does my sister and our children.' Juan, a 23 year old from Venezuela agreed: 'I will always believe in God as does my family, but the Catholic Church is just an institution to me now, nothing more and nothing less. Even if I don't dislike the Pope I think he has done too little to address the many problems that plague the Church. Take Bishop Barros in Chile, for example. But my grandmother still goes to Church.'

Canadian MPs really want the Pope to apologize for residential schools

Posted: 01 May 2018 02:26 PM PDT

CANADA National Post May 1, 2018 /the Canadian Press OTTAWA — MPs have voted overwhelmingly to extend to Pope Francis a formal invitation to apologize in person to Indigenous Peoples for decades of abuse meted out in residential schools across Canada. New Democrat MPs Charlie Angus and residential school survivor Romeo Saganash introduced the motion, which passed today by a margin of 269-10. Cheers erupted for both MPs as they voted; Angus held aloft a feather as his vote was acknowledged. Among the 94 calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to ask for an apology, to be delivered in Canada by the pontiff, for the church's role in the residential school abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Metis children. But in March, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said that while the Pope acknowledged the commission's findings and expressed regret for past wrongs, he "felt he could not personally respond." The motion also calls on the Catholic Church to pay money owed to residential school survivors and to turn over relevant documentation regarding the government-sponsored schools.

Child sexual abuse inquiry to hold hearings in Nottingham

Posted: 01 May 2018 02:22 PM PDT

UNITED KINGDOM West Bridgford Wire May 1, 2018 The Inquiry will come to Trent Bridge Cricket Ground from 1 to 5 October 2018, where the Chair, Professor Alexis Jay OBE, and panel will hear opening statements and evidence from some witnesses. The Inquiry will spend three weeks looking into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire Councils from abuse and exploitation. It will also look at how institutions including those councils and the police responded to any abuse claims. The remaining two weeks of the hearing will take place at the Inquiry's hearing centre in London. Further details will be provided on the Inquiry's website www.iicsa.org.uk and Twitter feed @InquiryCSA Children living in care in residential homes and foster families are amongst the most vulnerable children in society. Allegations of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of children who were in the care of Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Council require detailed public scrutiny.

In a Town of 2,000, Three Consecutive Priests Abused Children for 30 Years

Posted: 01 May 2018 11:56 AM PDT

NEW YORK Friendly Atheist APRIL 30, 2018 BY TERRY FIRMA When the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York recently released a list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse, parishioners in Angola, 20 miles to the south, were in disbelief. Because on that list were four priests who had served their town of just over 2,000 people. What … set Most Precious Blood [the parish church] apart from other parishes was the span in which one accused priest after another worked in the parish for nearly 30 consecutive years. The Rev. Fred G. Fingerle was assigned as an associate pastor there from 1967 to 1977, except for one year at another parish in 1970. Fingerle was succeeded by the Rev. John P. Hajduk from 1977 to 1982. And Hajduk was followed by Monsignor J. Grant Higgins, who served as pastor from 1983 until 1997. I wonder if they traded tips about their victims as they passed the baton. The fourth accused priest was the Rev. James H. Cotter, assigned to Most Precious Blood from 1955 to 1958. A true pioneer, that one. "The sticker shock was the number, not that it had happened," said longtime member Karen A. Erickson. "The sticker shock of so many in your community was what had people talking." Her fellow believers in certain other towns in upper New York state surely feel the same way.

Press Office: Statement on Cardinal George Pell

Posted: 01 May 2018 11:26 AM PDT

VATICAN CITY Vatican News The Holy See releases a press statement after the Australian court orders Cardinal George Pell to stand trial. The Holy See on Tuesday released the following statement regarding Cardinal George Pell. Holy See's Statement "The Holy See has taken note of the decision issued by judicial authorities in Australia regarding His Eminence Cardinal George Pell. Last year, the Holy Father granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations. The leave of absence is still in place." Today's ruling Cardinal George Pell appeared in an Australian court on Tuesday and entered a not guilty plea to the criminal charges against him. At the conclusion of preliminary hearings, a Melbourne magistrate dismissed some of the charges against Cardinal Pell, but decided that others warrant a jury trial. Trial proceedings will begin on Wednesday in Victoria State County Court.

Why Won’t Pope Francis Quit Cardinal Pell, His Sketchy No. 3?

Posted: 01 May 2018 09:34 AM PDT

ROME The Daily Beast BARBIE LATZA NADEAU 05.01.18 ROME—Cardinal George Pell, the 76-year-old head of the Vatican's Secretariat of the Economy, will stand trial in Melbourne, Australia, for criminal sexual abuse he is alleged to have inflicted on young boys in his home country during the 1970s and '90s. Exact details of the charges have not been made public due to victim privacy laws, but one of the alleged incidents apparently took place over a 12-month period with a child from St. Joseph's Boys Home, according to reporters in Australia. Another is purported to have occurred at various times with the same victim in a local swimming pool frequented by a Catholic youth group under Pell's supervision. Pell's alleged behavior has been the focus of a committal hearing in Australia meant to determine if there is enough criminal evidence to support a jury trial. Pell left Vatican City last June to face his accusers, despite initially pleading ill health that would have kept him safe inside the protected Vatican city-state, where he enjoys diplomatic status. After a month of hearings in which the court heard disturbing details of the alleged abuse from a number of victims, including one event that is said to have occurred during the screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Magistrate Belinda Wallington ruled that several of the accusations were to be dismissed due to either lack of or incoherent evidence. Only two of the many allegations against him have enough solid evidence to warrant a trial, she said, though it cannot yet be reported which two those are.

Masses of security, media and protesters at Cardinal George Pell trial

Posted: 01 May 2018 08:11 AM PDT

AUSTRALIA Newstalk ZB 1 May 2018 A mass of security, media and protestors honed in today for a court appearance of Australia's Cardinal George Pell. The 76-year-old pleaded not guilty to historic sex offences dating back to the 1970's and 1990's at a Melbourne magistrate's court. Pell has maintained his innocence since allegations came to light, and taken leave from his position at the Vatican to fight the complaints. Australian correspondent Murray Olds told Larry Williams several more charges were on the table but ultimately thrown out.

The Latest: Cardinal Pell has court appearance Wednesday

Posted: 01 May 2018 08:08 AM PDT

AUSTRALIA Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on Cardinal George Pell (all times local): 3:30 p.m. Cardinal George Pell has been ordered to appear Wednesday in the Victoria state County Court where he will eventually stand trial. Under his bail conditions, Pell cannot leave Australia, contact prosecution witnesses and he must give police notice of any change of address. An Australian magistrate earlier Tuesday ordered the most senior Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis to stand trial. He entered a plea of not guilty. Melbourne Magistrate Belinda Wallington dismissed some charges but decided the prosecution's case on others was strong enough to warrant a trial by jury. Details have not been disclosed about the crimes alleged to have occurred decades ago.

Mikvah-peeping Rabbi Barry Freundel’s jail sentence reduced by over a year due to good behavior

Posted: 01 May 2018 08:02 AM PDT

WASHINGTON (DC) JTA By Josefin Dolsten April 26, 2018 (JTA) — The jail sentence of Rabbi Barry Freundel, a once-prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington, D.C. who secretly filmed women in his synagogue's mikvah, has been shortened by over a year due to good behavior, his lawyer said. Freundel's 6 1/2-year sentence also was reduced because he participated as an instructor in a program to educate other inmates, the attorney, Jeffrey Harris, told JTA on Thursday. A day earlier, the D.C. Department of Corrections had sent an email to Freundel's victims saying the rabbi would be released on Aug. 21. On Thursday, however, the department sent another email saying that Freundel will be released on Aug. 21, 2020. Director Quincy Booth told JTA in a statement that the original email was sent in error. "In the case of Mr. Freundal [sic], the email incorrectly calculated his scheduled release date and sent the email to Mr. Freundal's victims who signed up for the VINE service," Booth said, referring to the department's automated notification system. "DOC has corrected the error that caused the incorrect release calculation and email notification."

Malka Leifer – Alleged Sexual Predator

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:57 AM PDT

ISRAEL/AUSTRALIA Times of Israel May 1, 2918 Shoshana Mael In my lifetime, I've met hundreds of people who've been sexually abused. It's not something I'll ever get used to, although it doesn't shock me in the same way that it once did. Still, hearing stories about children being victimized in the Orthodox community is something that will forever shake me to my core. Maybe it's because I still feel a familial connection to that community, and personal tragedy isn't something you can inoculate yourself against. Whatever the reason, today I feel compelled to write about Malka Leifer, a former high school principal from Australia, and the three sisters who went public with allegations of sexually abusive behavior and are in the process of fighting for justice. I want to focus on three elements of this situation that are unique to Orthodox communities, and make this story all the more painful. 1. The sisters were raised by a mercurial and abusive mother. This made them particularly susceptible to the manipulative tactics of Ms. Leifer, as they were desperate for maternal affection and attention. Ms. Leifer preyed on them, knowing that they were keeping their volatile home situation a secret. To them, this secrecy was necessary because should word get out that they came from a dysfunctional family, their shidduch prospects would be negatively affected. While there are many reasons why children don't disclose parental abuse, fear of not finding a 'suitable' husband should never be one of them. 2. Within the Orthodox community, there exists a lack of boundaries that allows abuse and molestation to fester. The sisters relate how Ms. Leifer would invite girls to her house and and spend time alone with them in her office, with the blinds drawn and the door closed. In the closeness of the Orthodox community, questionable boundaries are allowed to exist because the small size of the community is rife with dual relationships. It's common for your pediatrician to also be your neighbor and also be the person you sit next to in shul. There's a dangerous and naive sense of trust that all such behavior is innocent. Ms. Leifer was able to exploit this fact and crossed boundaries with the three sisters — in public — and later progressed to significantly worse violations. It is a shame that her behavior was chalked up to 'taking girls under her wing' and wasn't recognized for the grooming behavior that it was.