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Earthly Justice Is in Order for Incidents of Abuse

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 10:38 AM PST

IRONDALE (AL) National Catholic Register January 13, 2019 By Michael Warsaw The U.S. bishops, having completed their weeklong retreat outside Chicago, now have some urgent business to attend to as they prepare for the meetings at the Vatican next month — meetings that will draw the heads of Catholic bishops' conferences from around the world. Our hope and prayer is that our Church leaders are now able to view the tumultuous events of 2018, which are sure to proceed to their next phase in 2019, with clarity, purpose and the determination to act decisively. Justice demands it. Pope Francis, in his letter of exhortation, and St. John Paul, in Pastores Gregis (The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World), have provided them a road map. Clarity and purpose are both vital to begin the renewal and purification of the Church. I believe a great good can come from this tragic chapter in the Church's history, as long as our leaders believe the Church is Christ's visible instrument on earth and publicly acknowledge and repent of their own shortcomings. In this, they will stand tall as shepherds with a will and heart for guiding their flocks through these turbulent times.

Church files reveal Scots Catholic priests have been accused of abuse 126 times but never reported

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 10:33 AM PST

DUNDEE (SCOTLAND) The Sunday Post January 13, 2019 By Marion Scott and Stacey Mullen ALLEGATIONS of abuse have been made 126 times against Catholic priests in Scotland over the last 70 years, according to church documents. However, the vast majority were not reported to police for years and only a fraction of those cases have ever been prosecuted. Now campaigners are calling on Catholic Church leaders to publicly name all those who have had allegations made against them following the lead of the church leaders in the United States. They have spoken out as we reveal how a Catholic priest accused of abuse in Scotland, where he had been moved around five parishes, was sacked only to find a new post in Los Angeles where he was later accused again. The allegations made against Joseph Dunne in Scotland in 1988 were only reported to police in 2013 – 25 years after he was sacked.

Diocese, Zubik, Wuerl sued in latest round of accusations

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 06:08 AM PST

PITTSBURGH (PA) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 12, 2019 By Andrew Goldstein In 1976, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh took a 13-year-old boy on a trip to Super Bowl X in Miami. Instead of enjoying a fun trip to watch the Steelers play the Cowboys for the NFL championship, the boy endured what he later described as a "week of hell." The priest, the Rev. Thomas M. O'Donnell, forced the boy, Martin Nasiadka, now 56, to share a bed with him and repeatedly sexually assaulted him over several days. Mr. Nasiadka made those allegations against Father O'Donnell in one of two lawsuits filed Friday by attorney George Kontos in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Both lawsuits name the Pittsburgh diocese, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former Pittsburgh bishop, as defendants, alleging that diocesan officials knew about predator priests and covered for them instead of protecting their victims. State law prohibits people from suing individual priests, the lawsuit says. A spokesman for Cardinal Wuerl in Washington, D.C., said he could not comment "as we are not aware of the filings." The Pittsburgh diocese did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Nasiadka met Father O'Donnell in 1975 at Annunciation Catholic School/Church in Perry South when he was 12 years old, according to the lawsuit

Locals react to list of priests accused of sexual misconduct

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 06:03 AM PST

LAFAYETTE (LA) KLFY TV January 12, 2019 By Rebeca Marroquin The names of 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct involving children have been released by the Diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux. News 10 spoke to local residents about what they think of this recently released list. One person, who wished to remain anonymous, said they believe other dioceses should follow suit, "I think for the damage that's been done to these people's lives, you know, the church should cooperate as much as it can and release those names as well." Another resident, Adrian King, believes it's the public's right to know, "That's something that should be a matter of public record. Especially for all of the Catholic parishioners to just be aware. I mean, we have a predator list for when someone non-clergy is convicted of a crime, then it's published. So I think we have a right to know, just in general."

EDITORIAL: Pennsylvania grand jury report spurs nationwide action

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 06:01 AM PST

WASHINGTON COUNTY (PA) Observer-Reporter January 13, 2019 The grand jury report that was released last summer detailing decades of child sexual abuse by priests in six of Pennsylvania's eight Roman Catholic dioceses was shocking, to be sure, but it was also a necessary spur for justice to be delivered to hundreds of victims around the commonwealth, and a victory for openness and transparency – one area where the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has decidedly fallen short for many years. The grand jury investigation has been beneficial to Pennsylvania and, as a report earlier this month by the Associated Press found, it has had a salutary effect across the United States. In the five months since the grand jury findings came to light, 105 of the nation's 187 dioceses have said that they will identify priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children. In addition, close to 20 civil or criminal investigations have been set in motion. Alas, in some cases it is far too late for justice to be rendered. The AP found that more than 60 percent of the accused priests have died, and the statute of limitations has run out in many of the cases where priests are still alive. This largely repeats the state of play in Pennsylvania, where only two of the 301 priests identified have been charged, and some of the incidents that filled the grand jury report happened decades ago. Still, victim advocates point to many positive outcomes, even if a guilty verdict against an abuser is not one of them. Dioceses either have set up compensation funds or will face increasing demands to do so. Priests who had been removed from the ministry but were allowed to take on other jobs where they could have contact with children could now lose those positions.

Northeast province of Jesuits to release list of credibly accused priests

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 05:59 AM PST

PORTLAND (ME) Press Herald January 12, 2019 By Eric Russell The Jesuit governing body that oversees the Northeast, including Maine, will release on Tuesday a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 1950. The list from the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church commonly referred to as the Jesuits, is likely to include names that already have been public, such as priests who have been criminally charged. But it also could include the names of priests who have never been named publicly. "I think for a number of reasons, this province is going to have particular interest from many people because of the influence of the Jesuits on the East Coast, from New York up through New England," said Robert Hoatson, a former priest who now runs a New Jersey-based nonprofit called Road to Recovery that advocates for church abuse victims. Last month, the other four U.S. provinces released their own lists of credibly accused priests – defined as instances where a preponderance of evidence suggested that the allegation is more likely true than not. Those lists totaled 237 names and included information about whether the priests had one or multiple victims, where they were assigned when the alleged abuse occurred and where they are now. Many are deceased.

Priest removed from Lake View church following sex abuse accusation from 1979

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 05:54 AM PST

CHICAGO (IL) Sun Times January 12, 2019 By David Struett A longtime Chicago-area priest was removed from his Lake View church on Saturday after being accused of sexually abusing a minor nearly 40 years ago while serving at a south suburban parish. Cardinal Blase Cupich asked the Rev. Patrick Lee, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, to "step aside" as authorities investigate the claim made against him this week, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The alleged abuse happened in 1979 while Lee was assigned to St. Christopher Parish in Midlothian, Cupich said in the statement. Church leaders have forwarded the complaint to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State's Attorney's office, Cupich said.

Accused priest not on the list

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 05:51 AM PST

PITTSFIELD (MA) The Berkshire Eagle January 13, 2019 By Larry Parnass The Rev. Richard J. Ahern isn't on the Springfield diocese's list of clergy who sexually abused young people. But the priest, who served in Pittsfield, died in 2001 with a stack of allegations against him. A decade after Ahern ended his ministry in Berkshire County, the priest's own religious order prohibited him from hearing confessions from children, sent him to weekly therapy sessions and barred him from the diocese that includes Pittsfield and is now overseen by The Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski. "This means, then, Dick — that you are not to visit the diocese of Springfield at all," an official with the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers wrote in a private letter to Ahern in May 1986. But Ahern's sexual assaults, further documented in court filings and media accounts, did not lead the Springfield diocese to publish his name as an abusive cleric on its website. Though Ahern served churches in Pittsfield, Agawam, Feeding Hills and West Springfield, the diocese says that, technically, he wasn't their priest.

Accuser speaks to D.A. about cover-up

Posted: 13 Jan 2019 05:46 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Associated Press January 12, 2019 By Nicole Winfield The key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors, evidence that the scandal that has convulsed the papacy is now part of the broader U.S. law enforcement investigation into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. Recommended Video James Grein gave testimony last month to Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Sara Sullivan, who is investigating a broad range of issues related to clergy abuse and the systematic cover-up by church superiors, Grein's attorney, Patrick Noaker, told The Associated Press. The development is significant, given that the Vatican investigation against McCarrick has already created a credibility crisis for the Catholic hierarchy including Pope Francis, since it was apparently an open secret that McCarrick slept with adult seminarians. Grein's testimony, however, includes allegations that McCarrick, a former family friend, also groomed and abused him starting when he was 11. The Manhattan District Attorney's office launched a hotline last year and invited victims to report even decades-old sex abuse, saying it would pursue "any and all investigative leads" to ensure justice. Grein met with Sullivan before Christmas after filing a compensation claim with the New York City archdiocese alleging that McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, first exposed himself when Grein was 11 and continued abusing him for some two decades, including during confession, Noaker said. The church's compensation procedures require that victims notify the district attorney of their allegations, which Grein did on Nov. 1.

Diocese of Santa Rosa Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

Posted: 12 Jan 2019 02:18 PM PST

SANTA ROSA (CA) NBC Bay Area January 12, 2019 By Kiki Intarasuwan Diocese of Santa Rosa Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct The Diocese of Santa Rosa on Saturday released a list of priests and bishops who have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct. In a news release, Bishop Robert F. Vasa said he wants to express "sincere sorrow that so many have been subjected to the evil actions of priests and bishops." His primary goal in releasing the names is to give victims of sexual abuse the assurance that they have been heard in the church, he said. President Again Threatens to Withhold Calif. FEMA Funding Over Forest Management "It is my deepest prayer and hope that this release of names in a consolidated fashion says to any of you who are victims, we have heard you, we believe you, we affirm you in your trauma and we want to help with a healing process," Vasa said. The majority of the accusations occured decades ago, the bishop said, but some incidents occured as late as 2006 and 2008.

Media Scripts about Catholic Bishops and Clergy Sex Abuse Are Bad Cartoons

Posted: 12 Jan 2019 12:36 PM PST

NEW YORK (NY) National Review January 12, 2019 By Nicholas Frankovich Peter Steinfels at Commonweal has a long article that needed to be written. It's 11,700 words (none are wasted) on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — specifically, on the Pennsylvania grand-jury report released last summer. The heinousness of the sexual crimes and misconduct described therein has been amply noted by just about everyone who has commented on the report. It was noted by the authors of the report itself, and not just noted but drummed loudly, while they glossed over masses of detail that didn't fit their story about Catholic bishops. The sum of the evidence in their 1,356-page document belies their broad-brush, monochromatic characterization of the problem, Steinfels contends: I believe that the grand jury could have reached precise, accurate, informing, and hard-hitting findings about what different church leaders did and did not do, what was regularly done in some places and some decades and not in others. . . . Instead the report chose a tack more suited to our hyperbolic, bumper-sticker, post-truth environment. . . . Imagine, at least for a moment, that a declamation like "Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all" came from one of our elected or televised demagogues. Would one really dismiss any fact-finding as uncalled for?