SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

August 4, 2014 Comments Off on SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

By David Gibson Religion News Service July 29, 2014

When victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests first organized into a small band of volunteer activists in the late 1980s, reports of clergy molesting children were still new and relatively few. Most were minimized as anomalies or dismissed altogether — much the way the victims were.

But today, as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, marks its 25th anniversary at a conference in Chicago (Aug. 1-3), its members can take satisfaction in seeing that its claims have been validated, and a few (though hardly all) of its recommendations have been implemented by the church hierarchy.

And instead of facing constant verbal attacks and the occasional angry parishioner spitting on them at a protest, SNAP’s members today are far more likely to receive a handshake and a word of thanks, and maybe even a donation.

SNAP’s advocacy on the Catholic scandal also helped push the reality of sexual abuse into the public consciousness to the point that victims can regularly win in courts and get a hearing in the media, and they are much more likely to come forward to tell their stories, whether they were abused by clergy or by athletic coaches or Boy Scout leaders….

The group began life in the late 1980s, a couple of years after journalists — led by Jason Berry’s reporting on abusive clerics in Louisiana — began to pull back the veil of secrecy on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.

As the reports came to light, Barbara Blaine, a lawyer and social worker who had been molested by a priest when she was growing up in Toledo, Ohio, started contacting as many other victims as she could find, posting ads and asking prosecutors and attorneys to put her in touch with other victims.

SNAP soon developed a core membership of a few thousand people, mainly victims, who met in small support groups while also trying to push the issue onto the public agenda. It was a tough slog in the face of public indifference or outright hostility.

Then in January 2002, The Boston Globe began its groundbreaking series of exposes on the widespread abuse of children by priests in the Boston archdiocese, and the cover-up by bishops. The story caught fire and led to similar revelations across the nation and to an unprecedented level of media coverage, prosecutions, lawsuits and billions in payouts by dioceses….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/snaps-clergy-abuse-victims-mark-25-years-and-eye-new-targets/2014/07/29/6bc92466-1752-11e4-88f7-96ed767bb747_story.html

UK police arrest 660 suspected paedophiles, Cyril Smith: ‘evidence of sex abuse’ was overruled CPS report shows, Santa Rosa diocese pays $3.5 million to settle sex abuse case

July 17, 2014 Comments Off on UK police arrest 660 suspected paedophiles, Cyril Smith: ‘evidence of sex abuse’ was overruled CPS report shows, Santa Rosa diocese pays $3.5 million to settle sex abuse case

UK police arrest 660 suspected paedophiles
National Crime Agency detains suspected child abusers, including doctors and teachers, and takes more than 400 children into care

Josh Halliday and Hatty Collier
theguardian.com, Wednesday 16 July 2014

More than 600 suspected paedophiles, including doctors and teachers, have been arrested across Britain after a six-month investigation led by the National Crime Agency.

The agency, dubbed Britain’s FBI, announced on Wednesday it had arrested 660 suspected child abusers and taken more than 400 children into care in the first nationwide investigation of its kind.

Of the 660 arrested, 39 were registered sex offenders but the vast majority of suspected paedophiles were off the police’s radar. Those arrested include doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers.

The operation, which had remained secret until Wednesday, targeted people accessing indecent images of children online….

One of those arrested and subsequently charged was a doctor who allegedly kept more than 1m images of child abuse on his computers and had arranged to meet boys….
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/16/660-suspected-paedophiles-arrested-uk

Cyril Smith: ‘evidence of sex abuse’ was overruled CPS report shows
Detective told chief constable in 1970 there was prima facie evidence of guilt – but DPP advised against prosecution
Rajeev Syal
theguardian.com, Wednesday 16 July 2014

A senior detective investigating sex abuse claims against Cyril Smith told the force there was prima facie evidence of the late MP’s guilt in 1970 – but this claim was overruled, newly released documents show.

The detective’s report in 1970 to the chief constable of Lancashire said the Liberal MP would have been “at the mercy of a competent counsel”.

The 14-page report also revealed “veiled threats” from a friend of Smith, thought to be a fellow senior Liberal. The director of public prosecution later advised against prosecuting. Smith died in 2010 aged 82.

The documents were released on Wednesday night by the Crown Prosecution Service following a ruling by the information rights tribunal.

Simon Danczuk, the Rochdale Labour MP, who first named Smith as a child abuser, said that the documents were another indication of the cover-up that had protected Smith from being disclosed as a paedophile.

“This shows that police officers were certain of his guilt,” Danczuk said. “If they had been allowed to do their job they would have saved many more boys from being abused. We know that Cyril went on to abuse many more boys at Knowl View residential school, Elm guest house, and other places, during the 70s and 80s.”….
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/16/cyril-smith-sex-abuse-cps-1970-report-lancashire-dpp

Santa Rosa diocese pays $3.5 million to settle sex abuse case
BY JEREMY HAY   THE PRESS DEMOCRAT  July 15, 2014
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa has paid $3.5 million to a teenager who was molested by a Lakeport priest, one of the largest settlements paid out by the North Coast diocese in a series of sexual abuse cases that spanned more than two decades.

An attorney for the victim attributed the settlement’s size partly to the church’s failure to protect children from the Rev. Ted Oswald, even though it was aware he had abused others. Oswald molested the boy, then 12, in 2010, the same year the priest died, with some of the incidents taking place in the Lakeport parish church.

“But for the diocese’s actions, it is entirely possible that this 12-year-old boy would never have been molested,” said Skye Daley, the victim’s attorney.

Bishop Robert F. Vasa, who has led the diocese since 2011, was on vacation Tuesday and unavailable for comment. Diocese spokesman Brian O’Neel rejected Daley’s assertion.

“When the diocese became aware of this most recent allegation, they removed Father Oswald from ministry and reported the situation to civil authorities,” O’Neel said. “The diocese could not do more than the civil authorities could.”….

In a statement, Vasa apologized to the boy and other victims who suffered at the hands of pedophiles in the church.

“I humbly apologize to this young person on behalf of the Church that failed to protect them. I also take this occasion to apologize to all victims for the harm done to them. This perversity, though prevalent in all parts of society, was allowed to persist in the Church for too long,” Vasa said.

The diocese, which serves about 160,000 Catholics from Petaluma to the Oregon border, has paid about $25 million to sex abuse victims since 1990….
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/2394971-181/santa-rosa-diocese-pays-35

Clergy Abuse Victims Criticize Cardinal Dolan’s Lobbying Efforts In Albany, Archdiocese must make priest abuse files public, judge rules, Clergy Abuse Documentary ‘BASTA’ to Premier at Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday

March 21, 2014 Comments Off on Clergy Abuse Victims Criticize Cardinal Dolan’s Lobbying Efforts In Albany, Archdiocese must make priest abuse files public, judge rules, Clergy Abuse Documentary ‘BASTA’ to Premier at Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday

“This is a global epidemic which needs, and deserves, global awareness. There are 60 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the United States alone. Survivors need to know that they are not alone and above all, there is always hope.”

Clergy Abuse Victims Criticize Cardinal Dolan’s Lobbying Efforts In Albany  BY Glenn Blain  March 19, 2014

Victims of clergy sex abuse are criticizing  Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s efforts to boost charitable donations to schools.

Mary Caplan, co-director of the New York City chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement Wednesday blasting Dolan for lobbying Albany lawmakers this week to approve tax credits for those who donate to schools or other education-related groups.

“When they want money for their institutions, Catholic officials lobby hard and say they care deeply about kids,” Caplan said. “But when kids who were abused want a chance for justice, Catholic officials lobby hard to deny those kids their day in court. All across the US, Dolan and his brother bishops use all their political will and power and resources to block moves to reform archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations laws that endanger kids and protect those who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes.”
http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2014/03/clergy-abuse-victims-criticize-cardinal-dolans-lobbying-efforts-in-albany

Archdiocese must make priest abuse files public, judge rules
JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune March 19, 2014

Judge tells the Twin Cities archdiocese to release all info about those credibly accused of sex abuse from 1970 to 1985.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis must reveal hundreds of pages of information on priests accused of sexually abusing children, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North rejected church efforts to keep most of the documents under court seal, ordering that all information on priests who were “credibly accused” of abuse between 1970 and 1985 be filed with the court by March 31.

Information on priests whom the church determined were not “credibly” accused will remain sealed, Van de North ruled….
http://www.startribune.com/local/east/250859931.html

Clergy Abuse Documentary ‘BASTA’ to Premier at Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday
Merrimack Valley Production has announced that BASTA – No pity – No shame – No silence- has been selected to premiere at the Boston International Film Festival on Easter Sunday April 20th at Loews Theatre/AMC Boston Common on Tremont Street.

“This is a global epidemic which needs, and deserves, global awareness. There are 60 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse living in the United States alone. Survivors need to know that they are not alone and above all, there is always hope.”

Boston Massachusetts (PRWEB) March 18, 2014

BASTA, a film documenting the emotional journey taken by simple men detailing their attempts to reach into the Vatican walls in search of help, hope and aid in healing a nation reeling from the effects of the clergy abuse crisis, will premiere at the Boston International Film Festival on Sunday, April 20th.

Attempting to battle the cover-up, shame and silence of clergy sexual abuse, three survivors from Boston Massachusetts, travel to Rome reaching behind the secret walls of The Vatican. Their weeklong effort becomes a decade long mission that exposes mind blowing statistics and unexpected worldwide results.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11674500.htm

Basta is a film documenting the story of the emotional journey taken by simple men detailing their attempts to reach behind and beyond the Vatican walls in search of help, hope and aid in healing a nation reeling from the effects of the clergy abuse scandal.
A decade after starting on a personal journey for justice, one man finds that success isn’t always defined by achieving his goal, sometimes, it’s defined by the attempt itself. And sometimes, in that attempt, you also find out who you are.
http://www.bastathemovie.com/About_The_Film.html

Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests

January 23, 2014 Comments Off on Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests

Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests by David Schaper January 21, 2014

Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims’ attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims’ lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996, and that all were ultimately reported to authorities.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We have new revelations today detailing decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Chicago. Thousands of pages of documents, released by victims’ attorneys, show how the church hierarchy mishandled accusations of abuse.

NPR’s David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: The documents tell one heartbreaking story after another – 6,000 pages detailing not just how children and adult victims were abused by trusted priests, but also how church officials often bungled their responses, failing to turn sexual predators over to criminal authorities and often shuttling the offending priests from parish to parish, where they abused again….

SCHAPER: That deception, says Anderson, came from the cardinal on down. And he says not only were the victims and their families deceived, but so too were parishioners where offending priests were transferred, as well as the police and the public at large. In one case in 1979, a priest raped a 13-year old boy and later warned him at gunpoint not to tell anyone. The documents show the boy’s parents were assured that the priest would get treatment and would be kept away from minors, but he wasn’t. Within a year, that priest was returned to ministry in another parish where he abused again.

In another case, the late Cardinal John Cody tells a priest accused of sexually abusing a girl that the allegations, quote, “should just be forgotten,” adding that no good can come of trying to prove or disprove it. That priest later abused again….

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/21/264576054/documents-reveal-decades-of-child-abuse-among-chicago-priests

Catholic priest ran cult-like ‘Charlie Brown’ group to sexually abuse young girls, royal commission hears

December 10, 2013 Comments Off on Catholic priest ran cult-like ‘Charlie Brown’ group to sexually abuse young girls, royal commission hears

Catholic priest ran cult-like ‘Charlie Brown’ group to sexually abuse young girls, royal commission hears

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS The Daily Telegraph
December 09, 2013

A CATHOLIC priest ran a cult-like group sexually abusing young girls giving them all the surname Brown, as in Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip, the royal commission has been told.

Her voice wavering, one member of the group, Joan Isaacs, said Father Francis Derriman told her he was dying and had to have sex with her first.

He fathered a child with another girl in the group when she was 17.

Ms Isaacs said: “Frank Derriman used the Peanut comic as a platform and used the surname Brown in reference to himself, the other three children and me.”

At the time in 1967 and 1968, Father Derriman was a priest with the Archdiocese of Brisbane and chaplain of Sacred Heart Sandgate in Brisbane, she told the commission.

After two committals and trial, Father Derriman was in 1998 eventually convicted of sexually abusing Mrs Isaacs, now aged 60, and sentenced to one year behind bars, to be suspended after he served just six months.

“Father Derriman created a cult like group which included myself and three other children,” Mrs Isaacs, 60, said….

“I have maintained friendships with the other three children in the Brown group. The two girls out of the group have told me that Frank Derriman also sexually abused them. One of them took steps to have him criminally charged in respect of her sexual abuse and the other girl fathered Frank Derriman’s child at the age 17 years.”….

Mrs Isaacs said she later went through the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing process expecting to be treated with warmth, dignity and respect but later discovered that everything that was said to her during the process, including the apology, had been drafted by a church lawyer beforehand.

Reluctantly she ended up signing a deed of release with the church that banned her from discussing what happened to her, including the Towards Healing process, with anyone including her husband or to make “disparaging remarks” about the church.

She received enough compensation to buy $5000 worth of Coles-Myer shares and a sewing machine….

She said she had felt silenced for the past 12 years since signing the confidentiality agreement with the church. The royal commission has negotiated with the church to lift all those suppression agreements….
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/catholic-priest-ran-cultlike-charlie-brown-group-to-sexually-abuse-young-girls-royal-commission-hears/story-fni0cx4q-1226778813498

Girl sexually assaulted by priest after seeking food: witness, Retired minister from Cambridge found guilty of sexual offences

November 21, 2013 Comments Off on Girl sexually assaulted by priest after seeking food: witness, Retired minister from Cambridge found guilty of sexual offences

Girl sexually assaulted by priest after seeking food: witness
Eric Dejaeger on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges dating to the 1970s and 80s

CBC News Posted: Nov 20, 2013

A witness testifying at the trial of Eric Dejaeger in Iqaluit told the court on Wednesday that the accused sexually assaulted her after she sought food at the church.

The 41-year-old woman said her family in Igloolik, Nunavut, was sometimes hungry for days at a time between 1978 and 1982, the years when Eric Dejaeger was the priest in the remote community.

The Roman Catholic priest, 66, is on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges, relating to incidents alleged to have occurred while Dejaeger was in Igloolik….

The witness this morning testified that she was sexually assaulted numerous times by Dejaeger. She told the court how her grandmother, who was raising her, often sent her to the church for a meal.

The witness said that after one such meal, when she was eight years old, Dejaeger took her upstairs and raped her.

She says she was bleeding after the assault….

The witness says she told her grandmother about the assault, but she says the woman didn’t believe her and beat her.

She says she stopped going to school after the assault so she didn’t have to face Dejaeger during after-class Bible study….
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/girl-sexually-assaulted-by-priest-after-seeking-food-witness-1.2433729

A timeline of events in Nunavut abuse case involving Catholic priest

By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press Nov 17, 2013
A timeline of events in the case against Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger, who faces a trial on 76 historical sex charges in Nunavut
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/a-timeline-of-events-in-nunavut-abuse-case-involving-catholic-priest-1.2429817

Retired minister from Cambridge found guilty of sexual offences
By Catherine Thompson
Nov. 20, 2013

A retired Anglican priest from Cambridge was found guilty Tuesday of sex offences dating back almost 30 years.

Rev. George Ferris, 66, was convicted of two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation in connection with offences that took place in Brant County between 1983 and 1989, when he served at St. James’ Anglican Church in Paris, Ont.

Ferris also faces three other charges of sexual assault against three other complainants, in a second trial scheduled to go ahead in Brantford on Nov. 28….
http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4225058-retired-minister-from-cambridge-found-guilty-of-sexual-offences/

Ariel Castro’s house of horror leveled in Cleveland, Religious order priest admitted abusing 100 boys; new files add to LA clergy abuse picture

August 8, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro’s house of horror leveled in Cleveland, Religious order priest admitted abusing 100 boys; new files add to LA clergy abuse picture

Ariel Castro’s house of horror leveled in Cleveland

Neighbors, victims and family clapped and cheered on the street as the heavy equipment clawed away at the roof and walls of Ariel Castro’s house where he kept three women captive for more than a decade.
Jennifer Lindgren, Doug Stanglin and Yamiche Alcindor,  August 7, 2013

One of his victims brought yellow balloons in memory of other missing children.

CLEVELAND — Demolition crews leveled Ariel Castro’s former house of horror Wednesday not long after one of three young women held captive there for 11 years brought a bundle of yellow balloons in memory of other missing children.

Cheers erupted on Seymour Avenue as the heavy equipment clawed away part of the roof and walls of the rundown house where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued after years of living in chains.

Crews reduced the two-story house to rubble in a little more than an hour. The demolition was carried live online and also drew crowds of neighbors and onlookers.

Castro, 53, pleaded guilty last month to 937 charges including rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder charges in connection with the abduction of the three young women, who were rescued May 6.

Knight, who also spoke at Castro’s sentencing in a moving condemnation of his crimes, made a brief statement and asked God to grant strength to those still missing and told their families to have hope. She says the yellow balloons represented those still out there waiting to be found….
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/07/ariel-castro-cleveland-house-abduction/2626855/

Religious order priest admitted abusing 100 boys; new files add to LA clergy abuse picture
Published August 01, 2013
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES –  In therapy sessions, the priest confessed the shocking details he’d kept hidden for years: He had molested more than 100 boys, including his 5-year-old brother. He had sex with male prostitutes, and frequented gay strip clubs.

The admissions of the Rev. Ruben Martinez are included among nearly 2,000 pages of secret files unsealed Wednesday that were kept on priests, brothers and nuns who belonged to religious orders but were accused of child molestation while working within the Los Angeles archdiocese.

The papers, which were released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007, are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the men and women they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes in the Los Angeles area. The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order this year for its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse, but the full picture of the problem remained elusive without the orders’ records. Several dozen more files are expected to be released by the fall.

The documents cover five different religious orders that employed 10 priests or religious brothers and two nuns who were all accused in civil lawsuits of molesting children. Among them, the accused had 21 alleged victims between the 1950s and the 1980s….
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/01/religious-order-priest-admitted-abusing-100-boys-new-files-add-to-la-clergy/

Witness gives chilling account of ritual murder, Paedophile priest told boy (7) he could get dead grandfather into heaven if he performed sex act

July 6, 2013 Comments Off on Witness gives chilling account of ritual murder, Paedophile priest told boy (7) he could get dead grandfather into heaven if he performed sex act

Witness gives chilling account of ritual murder
July 6, 2013

THE trial of former permanent secretary in the ministry of lands, Frederick Chunga, who is accused of murdering a farmer and severing his genitals for business rituals, continued at the High Court yesterday with one of the State witnesses giving a chilling account of how the murder was allegedly executed.

REPORT BY CHARLES LAITON

Chunga’s former security guard Lovemore Zulu, who was at one point arrested and detained for two weeks over George Nyachumbu’s murder, told the court he was present when the latter’s body was chopped into pieces with an axe and stacked in a fertilizer bag after he was run over by Chunga.

“Before burying the body one Kenias cut his private parts and placed them in a plastic bag which he later gave to our boss (Chunga),” Zulu said….
http://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/07/06/witness-gives-chilling-account-of-ritual-murder/

Paedophile priest told boy (7) he could get dead grandfather into heaven if he performed sex act   02 July 2013
A paedophile priest told a distraught seven-year-old boy that he could get his dead grandfather into heaven if he performed a sex act on him, a court has heard.

Belfast Crown Court heard that the boy was quite distressed about his grandfather being in purgatory but that 55-year-old James Martin Donaghy told the child “he could get him into haven if he helped him” and performed a sex act.

Last month just before his trial was due to begin Donaghy, originally from Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn but now languishing in Magilligan prison, pleaded guilty to four charges of indecently assaulting the boy and one of common assault against the schoolboy on dates between January and May 1989.

Following a lengthy trial at the end of 2011, Donaghy was convicted of a total of 17 sex offences including indecent assault and committing acts of gross indecency against all three victims.

Those charges all happened on various dates between 1983 and 2000….
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/paedophile-priest-told-boy-7-he-could-get-dead-grandfather-into-heaven-if-he-performed-sex-act-29389769.html

Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal, Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show, John Paul II close to sainthood

July 5, 2013 Comments Off on Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal, Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show, John Paul II close to sainthood

– Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal
Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show
– New York Times editorial calls allegations against Cardinal Timothy Dolan “shocking”
– John Paul II close to sainthood

Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD July 3, 2013

Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has denied shielding the funds as an “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.” But newly released court documents make it clear that he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.

“I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability,” Cardinal Dolan wrote rather cynically in his 2007 letter to the Vatican. The letter was released by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as part of a bankruptcy court fight with lawyers in 575 cases of damage claims. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011. The law bars a debtor from transferring funds in a way that protects one class of creditors over another.

The release of about 6,000 pages of documents provided a grim backstage look at the scandal, graphically detailing the patterns of serial abuse by dozens of priests who were systematically rotated to new assignments as church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority….

The documents showed how the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests. Yet the same bureaucracy approved Cardinal Dolan’s $57 million transfer just days after the Wisconsin court allowed victims’ damage suits.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/opinion/cardinal-dolan-and-the-sex-abuse-scandal.html

Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN July 1, 2013

Files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday reveal that in 2007, Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan, then the archbishop there, requested permission from the Vatican to move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has emphatically denied seeking to shield church funds as the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009. He reiterated in a statement Monday that these were “old and discredited attacks.”

However, the files contain a 2007 letter to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, “I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” The Vatican approved the request in five weeks, the files show….

Cardinal Dolan has been regarded by many Catholics as part of the solution. In public appearances, he has expressed personal outrage at the harm done to children, apologized profusely and pledged to help the church and the victims heal.

But the documents lift the curtain on his role as a workaday church functionary concerned with safeguarding assets, persuading abusive priests to leave voluntarily in exchange for continued stipends and benefits, and complying with Rome’s sluggish canonical procedures for dismissing uncooperative priests who he had long concluded were remorseless and a serious risk to children. In one case, the Vatican took five years to remove a convicted sex offender from the priesthood….

In his letter, Archbishop Listecki said the documents showed that 22 priests were “reassigned to parish work after concerns about their behavior were known to the archdiocese,” and that 8 of those “reoffended after being reassigned.”….
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/us/dolan-sought-vatican-permission-to-shield-assets.html

New York Times editorial calls allegations against Cardinal Timothy Dolan “shocking”
Claims “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority” in Milwaukee
By JAMES O’SHEA, IrishCentral Staff Writer Thursday, July 4, 2013

The New York Times has launched a strong attack on Cardinal TImothy Dolan over his alleged shifting of $57 million in funds when he ran the Milwaukee diocese to avoid paying off child abuse victims.

The New York Times editorial called the Cardinal’s actions “shocking” and stated Milwaukee “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority,”citing evidence newly available in 6,000 pages of documents.

The hard hitting editorial states “Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.”

Cardinal Dolan, has denied the allegation and described the charges as “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.”

However The Times says the new documents make clear “he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.”….
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/New-York-Times-editorial-calls-allegations-against-Cardinal-Timothy-Dolan-shocking-214266971.html

John Paul II close to sainthood
Wednesday, July 3, 2013  By Gary J. Remal
Word leaked from the halls of St. Peter yesterday that Pope John Paul II needs only a final OK from current Pope Francis to become a saint, and a Boston College expert said the effort would never have gotten this far unless the pope was ready to sign off….

Although some of the Holy See’s deep-seated problems — clerical sex abuse, dysfunctional governance and financial scandals at the Vatican bank — date from John Paul II’s tenure, his supporters say people are canonized, not pontificates. Bretzke said saints are not expected to be perfect….
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/07/john_paul_ii_close_to_sainthood

 

Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up

June 16, 2013 Comments Off on Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up

Pope Benedict XVI International Criminal Court Investigation Requested By Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Rejected
AP  By RACHEL ZOLL  06/13/2013

NEW YORK — The International Criminal Court has rejected a longshot request by clergy sex abuse victims to investigate former Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity.

The tribunal, based in The Hague, told attorneys for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that “there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis.”

“The matters described in your communication do not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court,” a court official wrote in a May 31 letter to the Center for Constitutional Rights, the nonprofit legal group that represents the victims. The legal organization released the letter Thursday.

Jeffrey Lena, the U.S. attorney for the Vatican, had called the 2011 request to the court a “ludicrous publicity stunt.”

“The common thread running through all these cases is the mistaken idea that ‘everything is controlled by Rome,'” Lena said Thursday.

Pam Spees, senior staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said her group was confident it could collect enough evidence as new abuse victims come forward to press the tribunal to reconsider.

The odds against the court opening an investigation have been enormous. The prosecutor has received more than 9,700 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/pope-benedict-international-criminal-court-_n_3436720.html

Int’l court case against ex-pope fizzles
By RACHEL ZOLL  AP Religion Writer  Thursday, 06.13.13
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/13/3449145/intl-court-case-against-ex-pope.html


Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN June 13, 2013
The International Criminal Court in The Hague has decided not to investigate or prosecute the former pope and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church on allegations of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Victims of sexual abuse filed a complaint in 2011 asking the court to prosecute Benedict XVI, then the pope, and three other Vatican officials for what they called an international and systemic cover-up of sexual abuse that amounted to “crimes against humanity.”

The court responded in a letter dated May 31 that after analyzing the complaint, it had determined that the matters “do not appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the court.” The letter said that “some of the allegations” fell outside the court’s jurisdiction, which is to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In addition, the case did not appear to meet the court’s time limits. For the most part, the court may prosecute only crimes committed after it was constituted in July 2002, and even though the cases submitted by the victims involved more recent allegations, some of the supporting material predated 2002….
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/europe/hague-court-declines-inquiry-into-church-abuse-cover-up.html

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