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SNAP Letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 02:30 PM PST

MILWAUKEE (WI) Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests January 18, 2019 We are writing to you as survivors of clergy sexual assault in Wisconsin. Our organization of survivors and the survivors associated with us encompass three generations of victims. Recent developments over the past year in the clergy sexual abuse and cover up crisis has once again engulfed the Catholic church, not only in the United States but around the world. Next month, Pope Francis is convening, for the first time in the history of the church, a global gathering of bishops to address this crisis. The horror of clerical sexual violence and the failure of the hierarchy to adequately respond to or, worse, actively assist in the continuation of these crimes, is voluminously documented. In the United States, as you probably know, a devastating Grand Jury Report released last summer in Pennsylvania revealed and confirmed the widespread, systematic and institutional complicity in this violence. Since then, fifteen states and the U.S. Department of Justice are now actively investigating sexual abuse and the institutional response by bishops and religious order provincials. We believe it is long overdue that the State of Wisconsin launch such an investigation, particularly since Wisconsin, unlike many of these other states, already has a large body of evidence of these crimes and cover ups. Of particular concern in Wisconsin is the evidence that has been amassed through a five-year bankruptcy action with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Although concluded, the court record shows that at least 100 never-before identified alleged clerical offenders, who were reported by victims to the court, have not been investigated or named by church officials.

Priest is first charged by state task force launched to investigate clergy sex abuse

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:56 PM PST

NEW JERSEY NJ Advance Media for NJ.com January 17, 2019 By Ted Sherman In the first criminal case filed by a state task force set up to investigate allegations of clergy abuse, a well-known Phillipsburg priest has been arrested on sexual assault charges involving a teenager in Middlesex County more than two decades ago. The Rev. Thomas P. Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge when the alleged assaults occurred, from 1990 through 1994, state prosecutors said in announcing the arrest late Thursday. He is currently assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg. Ganley was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, according to state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending a detention hearing on Friday.

Woodbridge Priest Charged With Sexually Assaulting Teen In '90s

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:55 PM PST

WOODBRIDGE (NJ) The Patch January 17, 2019 By Carly Baldwin Father Thomas Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Iselin. He is charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl from 1990-1994. A priest who worked for years at a well-known Catholic parish in Iselin was arrested Thursday, Jan. 17 and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the 1990s. Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, who now lives in Phillipsburg, N.J., was arrested today at his home and charged with multiple criminal counts; the Middlesex County prosecutor says the sexual assault happened when the girl was between the ages of 14 and 17. Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge when the alleged criminal acts occurred from 1990 through 1994. He is currently assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg.

Former Catholic priest in Woodbridge charged with sexual assault of a child

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:53 PM PST

WOODBRIDGE (NJ) Bridgewater Courier January 17, 2019 By Susan Loyer A priest who served at St. Cecelia Church in the Iselin section has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child between the ages of 14 and 17 in the 1990s, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced Thursday. Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

PRIEST ACCUSED OF MOLESTING GIRL IS 1ST ARREST BY NJ CLERGY TASK FORCE

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:53 PM PST

NEW JERSEY New Jersey 101.5 January 17, 2019 By Erin Vogt A Catholic priest who lives in Warren County has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of a teen girl over several years at his former church in Woodbridge. Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault. Ganley was a priest at St. Cecelia Church in the Iselin section when the criminal acts occurred from 1990 through 1994, prosecutors said.

Catholic Priests Keep Saying They Forgot About Sex Abuse

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 02:03 PM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Vice News January 16, 2019 The Catholic Church might have trouble remembering, but rank-and-file Catholics don't. The only difficulty one might reasonably claim when it comes to remembering sex abuse by priests in America is the sheer amount there is to recollect. Close your eyes, and go back no further than 2018, perhaps the most spectacularly disastrous year—and certainly summer—for the Church in recent history. In June, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became the highest-ranking clergyman ever removed from the Catholic ministry in the US over child sex abuse allegations. A month later, McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, DC, and confidant to Pope Francis, resigned from the College of Cardinals, the 224-person body that, among its other holy duties, votes on the next pope. According to a bombshell article in the New York Times that highlighted McCarrick's decades of alleged sexual abuse against both minors and seminarians, he declined to comment but said in a previous statement that he had no recollection of the abuse and believed in his own innocence. (Such statements have become a trope for powerful people accused of sexual violence in the era of #MeToo.) Meanwhile, in August, a Pennsylvania grand jury reported that at least 300 priests had abused 1,000-plus children in a 70-year span in just some of that state's dioceses. The months since have seen the Church scrambling to address allegation after allegation of abuse, cover-up, and despair. Yet somehow, even as the Vatican has shown the occasional sign of finally taking this nightmare seriously, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick's successor as the archbishop of Washington, has decided to play the bad memory card, too.

The Catholic Church needs to do more than apologize over residential schools

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:29 PM PST

CANADA The Star January 17, 2019 By Tanya Talaga Evelyn Korkmaz is not waiting to see if she'll receive an official invitation from the Vatican to attend the historic Papal Summit on sexual abuse. While Pope Francis and the world's Catholic bishops meet inside Vatican City walls from Feb. 21 to 24, Korkmaz, a survivor of the notorious St. Anne's Indian Residential School, will join other global survivors in Rome as they hold an alternate "Ending Clergy Abuse" event. Now 61, Korkmaz spent the most horrific years of her life as a student at St. Anne's, which was run by Oblate Catholic nuns. Children who attended the school, which opened in 1906, were routinely abused, beaten and malnourished. Students lived in fear of the homemade electric chair used to punish them. Korkmaz was sexually assaulted at the school, which was one of 139 Indian Residential Schools in Canada that existed from the mid-1800s to 1996. Nearly 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken away from their families, homes and communities and placed in government-funded, church-run schools meant to erase their identities and to assimilate them into colonized, Christian Canada. Pope Francis has refused to apologize for Canada's residential school experience, even though many of the schools were Catholic. Last year, he acknowledged the abuse suffered at the hands of the clergy in Chile but still Indigenous people in Canada wait. "What have the Aboriginal people done that we don't have the same respect as those in the other countries?" Korkmaz asks.

Defending the church from Cuomo

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 01:30 PM PST

NEW YORK (NY) New York Daily News January 17, 2019 I watched Gov. Cuomo's State of the State address, and it unfortunately confirmed what many had warned me but I was unwilling to believe. For years, I've disagreed with those who have observed that certain politicians are using the proposed Child Victims Act, which would extend statutes of limitation for child sex abuse, as a cudgel to attack the Catholic Church. I tried to reason that while there are sadly some who want to single out the church and weaken its ministry, most of our responsible elected officials, Cuomo included, realize the issue of abuse is hardly just a "Catholic problem." The governor has proven me wrong. "I am fully aware of the position of the Catholic Church and the opposition of the Catholic Church," he said, before talking about how he had been an altar boy and how child sex abuse is an offense so dire it demands justice. I took this as an attack on New York's Catholic family — singling us out as opponents of legislation that others object to for many reasons.

Bill to Extend Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Claims Is Set to Pass in NY, But Timeline Is Unclear

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 12:55 PM PST

NEW YORK (NY) New York Law Journal January 18, 2019 By Dan M. Clark With major reforms already underway in the new session of the New York Legislature, and with both houses now controlled by the Democrats, it's still unclear when a long-sought-after bill to change the statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse will be considered by lawmakers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state lawmakers and advocates for the bill all agree on one thing: the legislation will pass at some point during this year's legislative session. The question, for now, is when. This year's executive budget proposal, presented Tuesday by Cuomo, includes a nearly identical version of the bill pushed by state lawmakers last year. It would raise the criminal and civil statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse to ages 28 and 50, respectively. It would also enact a one-year lookback window for victims over the age of 50 to bring civil claims against their alleged abusers. That window would start after the bill becomes law. "The Child Victims Act has been too long denied," Cuomo said. "If you believe in justice for all, then you believe in passing the Child Victims Act." A spokesman for Cuomo said if a bill makes it to his desk outside the state budget, which is due at the end of March, he will sign it.

Dolan raps Cuomo for singling out Church over child sexual abuse

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 12:49 PM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Crux January 18, 2019 In a Friday essay for the New York Daily News, Cardinal Timothy Dolan argued that Governor Andrew Cuomo, himself a Catholic, unfairly attacked the Church in his Jan. 15 "State of the State" speech with rhetoric regarding proposals to extend civil statutes of limitation for child sex abuse. In his speech, Cuomo backed the "Child Victims Act," which, among other things, would open up a one-time-only, one-year window for victims to file civil claims regardless of when the abuse happened. In its most recent form, the measure would also extend or eliminate the statute of limitations for future criminal cases involving a child under the age of 18, and it would extend the general time limit for victims to sue in civil court to the time they turn 50. Since the bill was proposed, New York's Catholic Conference has objected on the grounds that it covers only private institutions such as the Church and not public institutions such as taxpayer-financed schools, orphanages and social service providers.

Judge who guided Pennsylvania grand jury investigations into abuse by priests knew impact ‘would be huge’

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 12:46 PM PST

EBENSBURG (PA) Tribune Democrat January 18, 2019 By Jocelyn Brumbaugh Judge Norman Krumenacker recalls Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asking him what kind of attention the statewide investigation into allegations of abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church would bring. "I told him to get a new tie and suit because he was going to be on '60 Minutes,'" Krumenacker said. Cambria County's president judge directed the grand jury investigations into priest abuse that led to reports targeting the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese in 2016, and then six more dioceses across the state in 2018. The two reports combined found sexual abuse by 350 priests or other church officials and involved more than 1,300 children – with accounts dating back decades – and extensive efforts by church officials to cover up the abuse. Krumenacker said that during a 2014 investigation into reported sexual abuse by a former athletic trainer at a Catholic high school in Johnstown, he began to understand the magnitude of a looming grand jury investigation for the church institution and its members. "I realized the gravity of what was going to happen," Krumenacker said during an interview in his chambers at the Cambria courthouse. In his role as supervising judge of the 37th statewide investigative grand jury, Krumenacker first was tasked with deciding whether attorney-client privilege would be jeopardized if files were turned over to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. That meant reading through "tens of thousands" of documents from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown concerning Bishop McCort Catholic High School and Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar from the Third Order Regular accused of violating more than 100 children. The Cambria County District Attorney's Office referred the Baker case to the state attorney general in early 2014, after Baker died of a reported self-inflicted knife wound to the heart.

Lincoln priest accused of giving alcohol to teen in 2017

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 12:44 PM PST

LINCOLN (NE) Lincoln Journal Star January 18, 2019 By Peter Salter The Lincoln priest removed last year from St. Peter's Catholic Church was charged last week with giving alcohol to a minor -- in July 2017. Charles Townsend is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 23 on the misdemeanor charge. The 57-year-old was placed on administrative leave in August, a year after Bishop James Conley learned the priest had an "inappropriate, nonsexual relationship" with a 19-year-old altar server that involved alcohol. At the time, the bishop sent Townsend to Texas for treatment, though priests and parishioners were told he left for health reasons, and the teen's parents weren't told about the incident, according to a statement from Conley on the diocese website. Townsend returned and served St. Peter's until Conley removed him, asked the server's parents for forgiveness and alerted the Lincoln Police Department. Witnesses ultimately told officers Townsend provided alcohol to the 19-year-old at a Lincoln home in July 2017, and the priest had to drive the intoxicated teen home, according to a statement Friday from Officer Angela Sands. Townsend was cited Jan. 9.

MORE FORMER PRIESTS MAY APPEAR ON ABUSE LIST

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 12:08 PM PST

MORGAN CITY (LA) StMaryNow.com January 18, 2019 The Tri-City area learned last week that seven former priests who served in Morgan City or Amelia had been the targets of sexual misconduct allegations. More revelations may be ahead for priests who served on the west side of the Atchafalaya River. Friday's release of names, all of former priests who have faced criminal or civil action or are targets of charges deemed credible, came from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, which extends as far west as Morgan City. St. Mary Parish west of the Atchafalaya is part of the Diocese of Lafayette, which has yet to release a complete list of priests accused or convicted of sexual misconduct. But the diocese is committed to releasing a list, according to the frequently asked questions posted on its website. "After prayer and discussion, Bishop (Douglas) Deshotel, along with bishops of other dioceses in Louisiana, have decided that the positive reasons outweigh the negative ones, and so he has committed to releasing a list of priests and deacons removed from ministry because of sexual abuse of a minor. "The compilation of the list will seek to be done in a way that is as complete and as accurate as possible. …" A search of media accounts, court records, victim advocacy websites and other sources led to the names of four clergymen accused of sexual misconduct and who served in Lafayette Diocese assignments in St. Mary as far back as the 1950s and as recently as 1998. None of the publicly released allegations involve crimes believed to have been committed in St. Mary.

Former Superintendent of Maryville Academy Faces Sexual Abuse Allegations

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:43 AM PST

CHICAGO (IL) NBC Channel 5 January 18, 2019 A retired Chicago priest has been asked to step aside from the ministry after allegations of sexual abuse were levied against him. Father John P. Smyth, who was the superintendent of the Maryville Academy in suburban Desplaines for over 30 years, was accused of sexual abuse while he was in charge of that facility. The accusations date back to 2002 and 2003, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Father Smyth will be asked to reside away from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe grounds while the allegations are investigated. In accordance with policy, the Archdiocese reported the allegations to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State's Attorney. Maryville Academy is described as an institution that provides "therapeutic and educational services to students with emotional, behavioural, and learning disabilities" on the group's website.

Bishop Sullivan Center should be renamed, priest victims’ advocacy groups says

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:39 AM PST

KANSAS CITY (MO) Kansas City Star January 18, 2019 By Judy L. Thomas A victims' advocacy group on Friday called on the Bishop Sullivan Center to change its name, saying it honors a bishop who oversaw the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese during a period when most priest sex abuse cases occurred. "Honoring wrongdoers makes already-suffering abuse victims suffer more, and that makes them less apt to speak up in the future, thus endangering more kids," said David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It also makes witnesses and whistleblowers more apt to stay silent. 'Why stick my neck out,' they ask themselves, 'when even those who are clearly guilty are still held out as model clerics by the church hierarchy?'" The Bishop Sullivan Center indicated Friday that it had no plans to take any action. "We are not aware of any misconduct by Bishop Sullivan," said director Tom Turner in an email to The Star. "On the contrary, we knew him as a man committed to helping people in poverty, which was why the center was named after him. Many people we help are victims of abuse, so we are sympathetic to that pain." Bishop John J. Sullivan was head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from 1977 to 1993. He died in 2001 at 80. In an email to The Star, the diocese said that the Bishop Sullivan Center "is an independent charity in Kansas City which serves the poor."