Fugitives from justice: Roman Catholic priests

March 16, 2012 Comments Off on Fugitives from justice: Roman Catholic priests

Fugitives from justice: Roman Catholic priests

Few clergy who fled the U.S. after being accused of sexual abuse of minors have been returned to face the charges

Web application by David Eads, Katie Nieland, Joe Germuska, Brian Boyer
Research and reporting by David Jackson, Gary Marx, Brian Boyer
March 11, 2012

Since 1985, at least 32 Roman Catholic priests have left the United States for foreign countries while facing criminal charges or a police investigation over allegations that they sexually assaulted or abused minors, according to federal warrants, news reports and law enforcement sources. Only five have been returned to the U.S. to face trial; some died abroad. The number of fugitive priests grows by more than two dozen if it includes those who left the country while facing internal church probes or civil allegations of child sex misconduct, instead of a criminal investigation, and those who were transferred to foreign countries by church authorities before or after allegations surfaced. Many have maintained their innocence. Authorities also have pursued religious leaders from other faith traditions who fled the U.S. amid abuse allegations.
http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/fugitives/priests.html

Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity, PTSD-trauma link

February 24, 2011 Comments Off on Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity, PTSD-trauma link

also: Twin study may quiet doubts over PTSD-trauma link

Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity
TWO GERMAN lawyers have initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court, alleging crimes against humanity. PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent The Irish Times – February 23, 2011

TWO GERMAN lawyers have initiated charges against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court, alleging crimes against humanity. Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel, based at Marktheidenfeld in the Pope’s home state of Bavaria, last week submitted a 16,500-word document to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Dr Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Their charges concern “three worldwide crimes which until now have not been denounced . . . (as) the traditional reverence toward ‘ecclesiastical authority’ has clouded the sense of right and wrong”.

They claim the Pope “is responsible for the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats”. They allege he is also responsible for “the adherence to a fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-Aids infection exists” and for “the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of cover-up of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes”. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0223/1224290630240.html

Criminal Charges against Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on grounds of Crimes against Humanity According to Art. 7 ICC Statute
http://www.kanzlei-sailer.de/pope-lawsuit-2011.pdf

Twin study may quiet doubts over PTSD-trauma link
By Lynne Peeples NEW YORK  Sep 30, 2010 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Trauma really is the trigger of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, suggests a new study that could help settle an ongoing debate.
“It’s been argued by some that PTSD is not a bona fide disorder, that these people are just maladjusted and the trauma doesn’t have anything to with it,” senior researcher Dr. Roger Pitman of Boston’s Harvard University told Reuters Health….

Pitman and colleagues from Harvard and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs looked to 103 pairs of identical male twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry to test whether trauma truly causes PTSD, or if its sufferers would have developed symptoms of the disorder regardless. One brother from each pair had been exposed to combat in the Vietnam War; the other had not. Fifty of the combat-exposed men had PTSD.

The researchers found a substantial difference in mental disorders between the twins: Men exposed to combat and diagnosed with PTSD had three-fold more symptoms than their brothers, as well as compared to the combat veterans without PTSD and their co-twins. Similar patterns appeared when considering only PTSD-related psychiatric symptoms, report the researchers in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. According to Pitman, “If you assume that the identical twin is a representation of what the veteran would have been like had he not been exposed to combat, with the same genes and same family upbringing, then the conclusion is that psychiatric trauma causes substantial psychiatric symptoms in a portion of the population.”

Given the similarities in symptoms between co-twins of combat-exposed brothers that did and did not develop PTSD, the findings also refute the presence of any predisposing genetic or environmental traits that increase vulnerability to trauma-induced PTSD, the authors say.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/30/us-twin-ptsd-idUSTRE68T47B20100930

Is Trauma a Causal Agent of Psychopathologic Symptoms in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? Findings From Identical Twins Discordant for Combat Exposure

Mark W. Gilbertson, PhD; Alexander C. McFarlane, MD; Frank W. Weathers, PhD; Terence M. Keane, PhD; Rachel Yehuda, PhD; Arieh Y. Shalev, MD; Natasha B. Lasko, PhD; Jared M. Goetz, BA; and Roger K. Pitman, MD, for the Harvard/VA PTSD Twin Study Investigators
J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(10):1324–1330
10.4088/JCP.10m06121blu

….Method: A case-control twin study conducted between 1996–2001 examined psychopathologic symptoms in a national convenience sample of 104 identical twin pairs discordant for combat exposure in Vietnam, with (n = 50) or without (n = 54) combat-related PTSD (DSM-IV–diagnosed) in the exposed twin….

Results: Combat veterans with PTSD demonstrated significantly higher scores (P < .0001) on the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised and other psychometric measures of psychopathology than their own combat-unexposed cotwins (and than combat veterans without PTSD and their cotwins).
Conclusions: These results support the conclusion that the majority of psychiatric symptoms reported by combat veterans with PTSD would not have been present were it not for their exposure to traumatic events.
http://article.psychiatrist.com/dao_1-login.asp?ID=10007050&RSID=75635130271135

Study on twins may quiet doubts on PTSD-trauma link
Researchers found major difference in mental disorders in twins if one had seen combat
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39441551/ns/health-mental_health/

The Unspoken Crime (incest), Should the Pope face charges

September 14, 2010 Comments Off on The Unspoken Crime (incest), Should the Pope face charges

The Unspoken Crime By Cara Tabachnick September 13th, 2010
The U.S. justice system is failing victims of incest, a Crime Report investigation shows…. It is hard to find a more serious crime than the rape of a child; yet when a family member is the perpetrator, justice is sometimes hard to achieve.  Child welfare advocates say that the safeguards in place to protect the child usually fail. Research suggests they are right….

according to a 1990 study by University of South Florida criminologist Lorie Fridell, prosecutors tend to defer or divert complex incest cases to child protective services who can provide for an alternative, non-court resolution, such as therapy or community service, in an effort to keep the family together.
Other research has drawn a similar conclusion.  A 1993 report of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, found that more than 90 percent of all child abuse cases do not go forward to prosecution. Moreover, the study showed many suspects are released without further intervention by law enforcement or the justice system….

“If a kid is raped by a neighbor, people call police, but if the same person rapes their own child they call social services. What kind of justice is that?” said Grier Weeks, Executive Director of the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), a national organization based in Tennessee that works on lobbying for child abuse legislation

If a child accuses a caretaker of abuse, CPS has to be involved, but law enforcement does not. So, if a child is raped by his or her parent and goes to the police, CPS has to be notified in all states.  But if CPS is notified, they are not required to tell law enforcement. And herein lies one of the largest conundrums of bringing these cases to justice: too often, experts say, social workers don’t have the training to investigate a sexual abuse allegation. http://thecrimereport.org/2010/09/13/the-unspoken-crime/

Should the Pope face charges? A renowned lawyer makes the case that the Pope should have his day in court for harbouring pedophiles by Brian Bethune September 11, 2010
British lawyer Geoffrey Robertson concedes in The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, a book set to appear just one week before Benedict XVI makes the first-ever papal state visit to Britain. But, Robertson argues, the once unthinkable idea that Benedict or a successor could be charged with obstructing justice or for “harbouring pedophile priests” is now very thinkable, and—given evolving trends in international human rights law—may soon be practical….

So many cases emerged that the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference commissioned an expert study, which concluded in 2004 that, since 1950, 10,667 individuals had made plausible allegations against 4,392 priests, 4.3 per cent of the entire body of clergy in that period. The total bill in settlements with victims is spiralling toward $2 billion and won’t stop, Forbes predicts, this side of $5 billion. Depressingly similar stories from other First World countries, including Canada, soon emerged; the situation in Latin America and Africa, where no investigations have ever been made, can only be imagined….in 1952 Gerald Fitzgerald, the American founder of the Paraclete order, which treats erring priests of all sorts, brought a specific warning to Rome. “Leaving pedophile priests on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese,” he said, was a moral evil and a scandal waiting to break. http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/11/should-the-pope-face-charges/

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