Diocese of Providence to name ‘credibly accused’ clergy

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 05:50 PM PDT

PROVIDENCE (RI) Providence Journal June 30, 2019 By Donita Naylor The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will publish a list Monday of clergy, priests and deacons who are "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of minors. The complete list of names as well as other pertinent information will be published at 8 a.m. Monday on the diocesan website: www.dioceseofprovidence.org

Families speak out against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over sex abuse allegations

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 03:20 PM PDT

UNITED STATES ABC News June 29, 2019 By Cho Park, Erin Brady, Juju Chang and Eamon McNiff [PHOTO: These four women and two other families filed a civil lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alleging they failed to warn or protect them from a sexual predator.] The following report was put together by reviewing trial testimony and court documents, and interviewing multiple plaintiffs who were involved in a lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit alleged that the Church and several Church officials failed to take steps to protect the plaintiff's children from a teenager who was ultimately convicted of sexually abusing two young children. The Church told ABC News in a statement, "These allegations are false, offensive, and unsubstantiated. As soon as Church leaders learned of abuse by this individual, they encouraged the parents of the abused children to report to West Virginia police and confirmed the report." The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed payment in 2018.

Legal papers outline alleged sex assaults by 'Father Jerry'

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

ALBANY (NY) Albany Times-Union June 29, 2019 By Paul Grondahl Claims of "unspeakable atrocities" by ex-area priest come as legal window opens In his bedroom upstairs at the Home for Wayward Boys in Knox, the priest had a king-sized waterbed with royal blue satin sheets. The Rev. Gerard R. "Jerry" Miller, a priest of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette order founded in Hartford, Conn., repeatedly sexually assaulted teenage boys in his care on that waterbed for three years beginning in 1984, two of his victims alleged in legal documents their lawyers sent recently to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and the Albany County district attorney's office. In outlining their case in preparation for filing a lawsuit, Martin Smalline and JoAnn Harri, a husband and wife team who run an Albany law firm, laid out allegations of "rape and sexual assault ... but also the trafficking of children across state lines, along with obstruction of justice and concealment of criminal behavior." The victims' accounts in the legal documents allege that in addition to assaulting boys in Albany County, Miller drove teenagers under his care to Agawam, Mass., and Atlanta, Ga., where they were sexually assaulted by Miller and another priest identified only as Father Jim. In the spring of 1986, according to statements attorneys provided to authorities, the two alleged victims who are part of the legal action were sexually assaulted at the same time on the waterbed by Miller and Father Jim when the second priest visited Altamont.

Bishop reinstates three priests accused of inappropriate remarks

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 10:17 AM PDT

BUFFALO (NY) WBFO-FM (NPR affiliate) June 30, 2019 By Mark Scott Three Catholic priests who were placed on leave after making inappropriate remarks during a party with seminarians in April are being reinstated. Bishop Richard Malone is returing Fr. Arthur Mattulke, Fr. Patrick O'Keefe and Fr. Robert Orlowski to active ministry, effective this Friday. Malone said an investigation found no inappropriate physical conduct by the priests. He said corrective measures were taken, including retraining in the Diocesan Code of Conduct. The Bishop praised the seminarians for coming forward.

Rhode Island lawmakers pass bill giving sexual abuse victims 35 years to bring lawsuits

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 10:08 AM PDT

PROVIDENCE (RI) The Boston Globe June 26, 2019 By Amanda Milkovits The Rhode Island General Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation on Wednesday to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue perpetrators and hold institutions and public entities accountable. The legislation heads to the desk of Governor Gina Raimondo, who is expected to sign it into law. It extends the statute of limitations to 35 years after victims reach adulthood. Victims will have 35 years to bring lawsuits against individual perpetrators, regardless of whether the case had been "time-barred" under previous laws. The bill also keeps state law allowing victims to file suits within seven years of "discovering" they'd been abused. They will also have 35 years to bring lawsuits against institutions and organizations, as well as the state, municipalities and quasi-public agencies. Nesslebush said she insisted on adding those agencies, after seeing the widespread abuse by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State and Larry Nassar at Michigan State University. However, the 35-year extension is prospective only against institutions, except under the seven-year "discovery rule." The bill caps a years-long battle brought by survivors of sexual abuse, and in the waning days of this session, appeared that the effort was going to fail when the House and Senate brought forward conflicting bills. Then Wednesday afternoon, Senator Donna Nesselbush, D-Pawtucket, suddenly announced a compromise with the "best parts" of her bill and the bill sponsored by Narragansett Representative Carol Hagan McEntee. The legislators didn't waste time. Within two hours, the compromise legislation flew through the Senate Judiciary Committee, unanimously passed the Senate to applause, and then sailed through the House, 70 to 1. (Representative Brian C. Newberry, R-North Smithfield, was the only nay.) The governor said Wednesday evening that she intended to sign it into law. "Abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated anywhere. As a mother, I find reports of child abuse particularly disturbing," Raimondo said in a statement. "I've long supported efforts to hold abusers accountable and ensure that victims are given the time needed to come forward." The sudden revival of the bill had surprised McEntee, as well as some of the victims who had testified on the legislation and admitted losing hope as time ran down. Nesselbush praised their courage and singled out two victims who were invited to the announcement and the votes — McEntee's sister Dr. Ann Hagan Webb, who'd testified about being molested by the family's parish priest, and Jim Scanlon, whose accusations against a priest at Boston College High School were part of the movie "Spotlight." Scanlon trembled a little after the announcement. "I'm surprised, pleasantly surprised," he said. This was for the victims, who could finally get justice, Scanlon said. In short, victims will be able to sue their alleged abusers, as well as institutions such as the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and other "youth-serving" organizations. Kathryn Robb, executive director of Child USAdvocacy, said the bill was a move in the right direction, but there was still more work needed. "Unfortunately, it still allows institutions to conceal their horrific acts of child abuse and cover-up, and hence many victims are left without any justice," she said in a statement. However, the lobbying arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence announced it supported the bill. "It is now time for the process of achieving justice and healing for victims to move forward," the Rhode Island Catholic Conference said in a statement. McEntee had sponsored the bill in honor of her sister, Dr. Ann Hagan Webb, who had testified in despairing details about being molested starting when she was five. The two sisters hugged each other after the bill passed the Senate. They beamed at each other across the House floor as the vote came through. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who'd backed the legislation, congratulated Webb. Noting that Wednesday was her birthday, he added, "I don't believe in coincidences," and wished her a happy birthday.

Church sex abuse scandal makes newly ordained priests want ‘to be holier’

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 09:28 AM PDT

PITTSBURGH (PA) Tribune Democrat June 30, 2019 By Paul Guggenheimer David Egan is well aware of the stigma attached to priests in the wake of the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal. "I assume that other people assume things about me, that they're very suspicious of me now," Egan said. "If you walk out in public with a collar on, I think people are questioning 'Is this one of the good guys? Or is this someone who has committed some terrible sin among his own flock?' " Egan is one of four area men who were ordained to the priesthood Saturday by Bishop David A. Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh during a Mass of Ordination at St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland. In addition to Egan, 30, of Glenshaw, the new priests are Timothy Deely, 37, of Greenfield, Brendan Dawson, 30, of West Deer and Mingwei Li, 31, who immigrated with his family from China and grew up in the South Hills. "Freedom of religion is limited in China. Coming to the U.S. was part of God's plan," Mingwei said.

Pope Francis or Steve Bannon? Catholics must choose

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 07:59 AM PDT

VATICAN CITY La Croix International June 21, 2019 By Robert Mickens American alt-right leader enlists Catholic allies to turn people against the pope Among all the world's political and social leaders, Pope Francis stands increasingly alone as the most powerful force for global peace and stability. Thank God – and the cardinals who elected him in March 2013 – that the Argentine Jesuit is the current Bishop of Rome. In an age when alt-right populists are masquerading as Christians and using religious symbols to scare believers into embracing racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and ultra-nationalism – all so starkly at odds with the Gospel, by the way – Francis has played an indispensable role in preventing a dangerous spiral into a full-blown clash of civilizations. This is because there are people as crazy as the populists in other currents, as well. Another pope may not have had the courage, fortitude or deep and genuine faith to stand against all this and not allow himself to be co-opted to the Christian sovereigntists' cause. And while the 82-year-old Francis has not been able to convince enough voters to reject the populists, he has kept most bishops, cardinals and other Catholic leaders from publicly endorsing them. This is no small matter. Populists state that their intention is to defend the Judeo-Christian heritage of the Western world. And, unfortunately, this is quite enticing to those for whom Catholicism is, in essence, a Eurocentric philosophical ideology and moral code. Tribal Catholics of the "no salvation outside the Roman Church" type like the message. And the man who has enlisted them is Steve Bannon. The American millionaire populist who rails against the elites Chief architect of Donald Trump's election to the U.S. presidency and co-founder of the far-right Breitbart News, the 65-year-old Bannon is now the most famous ringleader of the alt-right's populist fear-mongering movement.

Cardinal Burke cuts ties with institute, citing its alignment with Bannon

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 06:02 AM PDT

VATICAN CITY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE June 25, 2019 U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke has resigned from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, saying it has become "more and more identified with the political program" of Steve Bannon. In a letter posted on his Twitter feed, Burke said June 25 he had urged the institute to return to its original purpose of promoting the respect of human dignity but "it has not done so," so he was terminating his relationship, including being the institute's honorary president. Eleven other cardinals make up the institute's advisory board and Bannon, former chief strategist at the White House, is a patron and member of the board of trustees. "I have been made aware of a June 24 LifeSiteNews online article — now removed — entitled 'Steve Bannon hints at making film exposing homosexuality in the Vatican,' in which the insinuation is made that somehow, through my association with Mr. Benjamin Harnwell of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, I was involved in a meeting between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Frederic Martel, author of the book, 'In the Closet of the Vatican,' to promote a film version of Mr. Martel's book," Burke said in his letter. "LifeSiteNews made no contact with me to verify my possible involvement," he said. "Given the overall content of the article and given several statements made by Mr. Bannon in the article, I must make the following clear: "I do not, in any way, agree with Mr. Bannon's assessment of the book in question," Burke said. "Furthermore, I am not at all of the mind that the book should be made into a film. I disagree completely with a number of Mr. Bannon's statements regarding the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. "Above all, I find objectionable his statement calling into question the church's discipline of perpetual continence for the clergy, in accord with the example and desire of Christ ..." he said.

It’s Not the Church That Has Let Me Down – It’s the Clergy

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 06:19 AM PDT

UNITED STATES Patheos June 30, 2019 By guest writer William M. Shea James Carroll's recent essay on the priesthood in The Atlantic, the critical responses by Thomas Reese and James Martin, and the tempered comments by Donald Cozzens (NCR) indicate to me that the discussion of reform has taken a significant turn. We seem now to be asking questions about the structure of authority in the Roman Catholic church rather than only about sin and how to counter it. The pope and bishops, for all their admirable attempt to amplify the reporting and handling of changes of abuse and cover-up by bishops, are struggling to keep the reform urges inside the boundaries of the received structures of authority, i.e., there are to be no independent lay bodies to open and review cases. All is to remain under hierarchical control. In my own reading experience it was Garry Wills' book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition (2013) that decisively kicked open the door on the dissolution of the clericalism and hierarchism that, in my view, plague the Catholic church and, one way or another, most of the Christian churches, none of which has found an ideal solution. This intensified discussion in the last decade is fraught with many dangers, I admit. Even I, a retired and increasingly breathless old man, have been accused of apostasy by the renowned archbishop of Philadelphia for my memoir, Judas Was a Bishop (2015).

Vincent Nichols acknowledges safeguarding criticism as he celebrates priests

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 05:33 AM PDT

ENGLAND Premier Christianity June 30, 2019 The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has referred to the abuse inquiry into the Catholic church but swiftly moved on to celebrate priests. Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated a National Mass of thanksgiving and renewal for priests at Westminster Cathedral on Friday lunchtime, welcoming everyone and then saying: "In recent days, in the IICSA Report and in the media, there has been sharp criticism of our work of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church, and of aspects of my ministry in Birmingham. I acknowledge this, of course. "Yet this not the time nor place for those matters. Rather today is about you, my brother priests, about your faithfulness, your steadfast generosity, your ministry of healing, your endurance, not least under the burden of the grievous damage done to innocent victims by just a very few of our brother priests. I thank you for your faithfulness, your generosity, your perseverance. I thank you, as do each of us bishops, and the people of your parishes. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!" He then moved on and did not refer to the topic again in his homily. In June, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls was criticised in the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse for putting the reputation of the Church before welfare of children. He was the Archbishop of Birmingham between 2000 and 2009, the Archdiocese which was looked into thouroughly.

Catholic Religious Sisters Gather for Conference in St. Louis

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 05:30 AM PDT

ST. LOUIS (MO) St. Louis Public Radio June 30, 2019 By Andrea Y. Henderson Giving Voice, a peer-led national organization for nuns and religious sisters under the age of 50, convened for a four-day conference to build bridges between religious life and social justice issues. Eighty of the group's sisters from around the country and other nations worked together at Fontbonne University to push for change within the church and create a cross-generational culture of community and growth. In 2016, Pope Francis wrote a letter to men and women religious calling for the church to become experts in spiritual conversation. And at this year's convention the sisters examined his letter and found ways to "live boldly" in their faith by communicating and witnessing to others who live various lifestyles.

Irish newspapers apologize for fake Rome seminarian sex scandal story

Posted: 30 Jun 2019 05:24 AM PDT

IRELAND Irish Central June 30, 2019 Top Irish newspapers The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, and The Evening Echo have printed formal apologies for a seminarian sex scandal story regarding the Pontifical Irish College in Rome that proved to be fake. In May 2018, The Irish Times published a story claiming that two seminarians were dismissed from the Pontifical Irish College in Rome after being found in bed together. The story was subsequently reported by a number of other media outlets. Claims that the sex scandal occurred after students attended a Mass commemorating Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on artificial birth control also proved to be false. There was no such Mass. Connor Gannon, a former clerical student at the college in Rome, launched High Court proceedings against a total of eight newspapers to clear his name. The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner and the Evening Echo have all issued apologies acknowledging they referred to and identified Gannon. The three newspapers have said there was no truth in and no basis for the allegations made, TheJournal.ie reports. Each publication acknowledged that the article was "false and should not have been published" and have agreed to pay damages to Gannon for the "upset and distress caused to him by the article."