Mexican Catholic order Legion of Christ apologises to victims, Pope Francis must finally root out child abuse
February 8, 2014 Comments Off on Mexican Catholic order Legion of Christ apologises to victims, Pope Francis must finally root out child abuse
Mexican Catholic order Legion of Christ apologises to victims
6 February 2014
Pope John Paul II (right) gives his blessing to Father Maciel (left) in 2004, two years before the Mexican priest was ordered to retire
The Legion of Christ Catholic order has for the first time apologised to the victims of sexual abuse carried out by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
In a statement, the order condemned the “reprehensible and objectively immoral behaviour” of the Mexico-born priest.
Father Maciel led the order from its foundation in 1941 until 2006, when Pope Benedict ordered him to retire.
He abused seminarians as young as 12, and died in 2008 aged 87 without ever being convicted of his crimes.
A Vatican investigation also found out that he had fathered several children by at least two women, and used drugs.
“We want to express our deep sorrow for the abuse of minor seminarians, the immoral acts with men and women who were adults, the arbitrary use of his authority and of material goods,” said the Legion of Christ in a statement….
Father Maciel was disciplined by the Vatican in 2006. Pope Benedict ordered him to stop exercising his ministry in public and to retire to a life of prayer and penitence.
Father Maciel, who was close to the late Pope John Paul II, always denied all the allegations….
Pope Francis must finally root out child abuse
By Mary Dispenza Thu February 6, 2014
Editor’s note: Mary Dispenza, a former nun, was a plaintiff in a successful class action suit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese over child molestation claims. She is the area representative for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, in Bellevue, Washington. She is also the author of “Split: A Child, a Priest and the Catholic Church.”
(CNN) — Finally. Finally. Finally, a strong important voice in the world, the United Nations, speaks out on behalf of the rights of children and condemns the Vatican and the bishops for crimes of violence, rape and sexual abuse against children by transferring pedophile priests from parish to parish, withholding documents for prosecution and perpetuating an institutional culture of secrecy and shame….
As a survivor of rape and violence at the hands of a priest when I was a young girl, I understand that secrecy….
It has taken me more than half a lifetime to piece myself back together. I was 52 years old and still captivated by the Catholic Church when I let the buried “secret” memories emerge. His name was Father Rucker — George Neville Rucker. I must have trusted him when he asked me to crawl up on his lap as he sat watching a movie in an auditorium so long ago. He raped me while my mother was in the lunchroom nearby….
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of files on scores of priests accused of sexually abusing children in 2013. I found out that the pastor of our parish back in 1947 suspected Father Rucker of “touching” little girls. It was the bishop who would not listen and passed Father Rucker on and on until 2002, when he was defrocked. He had become a real liability to Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the archdiocese.
About 33 women accused him of abusing them when they were young. That’s five decades of abuse.
In 2002, he was charged with 29 counts of molesting girls. He was taken off a cruise ship on its way to Russia to face the charges; authorities thought he was trying to flee. But his case was dismissed in 2003 after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the charges were too old….
Australia cardinal apologises over clergy child sex abuse, I took blame, ritual murder accused says, Court orders release of additional priest files
May 29, 2013 Comments Off on Australia cardinal apologises over clergy child sex abuse, I took blame, ritual murder accused says, Court orders release of additional priest files
– I took blame, ritual murder accused says
– Ritual killing application fails
– Sixth Circuit – Dissent Criticizes Limited Restitution Options (child pornography restitution decision)
– Australia cardinal apologises over clergy child sex abuse
– Court orders release of additional priest files
I took blame, ritual murder accused says
Johannesburg – Murder-accused Harvey Isha had to take the blame for an apparent satanic ritual in which teenager Kirsty Theologo died, a Johannesburg court heard on Monday.
Isha told the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court he had been fingered by Theologo’s mother.
“Kirsty’s mom had already mentioned that ‘Harvey and his friends did this to Kirsty’ and so Jeremy [King] said, from what I understood, that because my name was mentioned by Kirsty’s mom, I had to take the blame.”
Isha, 24, is on trial with Robin Harwood, Lindon Wagner, and Courtney Daniels for the murder of Theologo, the attempted murder of her 14-year-old friend, and for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
Two other accused, Jeremy King and Lester Moody, confessed to the crime and were each sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment, five of them suspended.
Ritual killing application fails 2013-05-20
Johannesburg – Moves to have charges dropped against two of the people accused of killing Kirsty Theologo in an apparent satanic ritual, were dismissed on Monday.
Their lawyers argued in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, that the quality of evidence against their clients was suspect.
Judge Geraldine Borchers ruled that the credibility of witnesses was not an issue at this stage of the trial.
“At least 90% of what the witnesses said in court is in their respective statements,” she said.
Sixth Circuit – Dissent Criticizes Limited Restitution Options
By James R. Marsh on May 24, 2013
In a forceful dissent, a judge in the latest child pornography restitution decision proclaimed that “to accomplish the difficult task of assigning financial responsibility to possessors of child pornography for the harm caused by their conduct, district judges should have all the tools provided by law at their disposal and should be permitted broad discretion to fashion an appropriate remedy.”
The case before the Sixth Circuit, United States v. Hargrove, was decided under controlling Circuit precedent which requires “proximate cause” before a district court can award restitution to a victim of child pornography possession.
Australia cardinal apologises over clergy child sex abuse 27 May 2013
Australia’s most senior Catholic official has apologised for decades of child sex abuse by priests. During questioning at a state parliamentary inquiry, Cardinal George Pell said a culture of silence within the church was partly responsible.
The Catholic church in Victoria state confirmed more than 600 cases of child abuse by its clergy since the 1930s. The hearings in Victoria are running alongside a national inquiry into abuse in state and religious institutions.
“I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry,” Cardinal Pell said during the final day of the hearings, which lasted for several hours. He denied being personally involved in the cover-up of paedophile priests, but acknowledged it happened.
“I don’t think many of any persons in the leadership of the Catholic church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on,” he said. He has been accused of wilful blindness and what one parent called a sociopathic lack of empathy towards the victims and their families.
He added that church leaders have previously been reluctant to share information about accused priests.
But he said the number of child abuse cases have significantly dropped since the church started taking stronger action, like better background checks.
He acknowledged, however, that his predecessor as Melbourne archbishop, Frank Little – who died in 2008 – “did cover up” child sex abuse cases. “Archbishop Little did cover up but he inherited a situation where there were no protocols, no procedures. And for some strange reason he never spoke to anybody about it,” he said….
Court orders release of additional priest files
Sharon McNary | May 28th, 2013′
A Superior Court judge on Tuesday set September 10 as the deadline for Catholic religious orders to release confidential personnel files of members who were accused of sexually abusing children. The files are related to lawsuits that have already been settled. Attorney Raymond Boucher said the deadline affects more than 50 religious orders that operate independently from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which has already made public thousands of pages of files.
The order is part of litigation against the Los Angeles Archdiocese that resulted in a $660 million settlement. The archdiocese released personnel files about its priests within the past year, but files of the independent orders that report to the Vatican through a different authority structure had not been released.
The religious orders were defendants in the original lawsuits that alleged victims brought against the archdiocese in 2002 and 2003. The orders agreed to the same 2007 settlement that required the files to be released, but the logistics of the document release were litigated first with the archdiocese, said Raymond Boucher, attorney for the plaintiffs.
With Tuesday’s order, the new files for as many as 100 priests and brothers will be made public as they are provided to the court, but no later than the Sept. 10 deadline, Boucher said….
Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
February 6, 2013 Comments Off on Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and JENNIFER MEDINA February 4, 2013
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of internal files last Thursday on priests accused of sexually abusing children, saying that it was finally abiding by a settlement it signed with victims six years ago to make the painful history public.
But it now appears that the files the church released with much fanfare are incomplete and many are unaccounted for, according to the abuse victims’ lawyers. In addition, on many documents the names of church supervisors informed of abuse allegations were redacted by the archdiocese, in apparent violation of a judge’s order.
At issue is whether the survivors of abuse and the public will ever learn which church officials were responsible for mishandling or covering up allegations of sexual abuse.
Abuse victims had insisted that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles release the records as part of a settlement in 2007, which provided $660 million to more than 500 victims. Other Catholic dioceses that have settled with victims have released similar records.
“We know we have not gotten a complete disclosure,” said Jeff Anderson, who is among the lawyers representing the victims. “They have removed things that should not have been removed, some of which we have seen before, so we know that they exist. It’s more deception, deceit and secrecy.”
But J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said in an interview that while there were probably a few errors, there was no intention to withhold information.
“I would be surprised if we did this job perfectly,” he said. “The team that worked on this worked under pressure sometimes late into the night.”
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought for six years all the way to the State Supreme Court to block the release of the documents. Early in January, Judge Emilie H. Elias overturned a previous decision, and ordered the archdiocese to lift the redactions of the names of certain kinds of officials: archbishops and bishops, vicars for clergy members and directors of treatment facilities, as well as pastors, “church agents” or employees who had supervisory responsibility over an accused priest and were made aware of complaints or suspicions about him.
But on many pages it appears that the names of supervisors, like pastors in parishes or the supervisors of religious orders, are missing.
For example, the file on Carlos Rodriguez, a priest serving in a parish in Central Los Angeles, includes a letter to him from his religious order, the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers, informing him that he is being sent to a treatment center in Maryland. Mr. Rodriguez was accused of molesting several teenage boys over the years. But while the letter makes clear that the writer is the priest’s religious superior, the name is redacted. Other documents in the file are similarly missing names of religious order supervisors….
Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools
Colin Adwent Crime Correspondent Monday, February 4, 2013
THREE former Suffolk schools are now at the centre of criminal investigations into historic child abuse allegations.
The accusations, which relate to alleged physical and sexual assaults, are said to have occurred between the late 1970s and run through to the 1990s.
A solicitor representing ex-pupils of one of the schools – Oakwood School in Stowmarket – has said the number of claimants has reached three figures.
Andrew Grove, who is based in Cambridge, said: “We now have 100 complainants on the civil claim relating to Oakwood School.”
Last week detectives said they were re-opening the 1992 inquiry into alleged abuse at Kesgrave Hall independent school.
The investigation, codenamed Operation Garford, comes after former students’ calls for it to be re-opened were backed by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.
Responding to the new inquiry, Dr Poulter said: “I am pleased that Suffolk Police are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the alleged child abuse at Kesgrave Hall school, following my intervention.
“A number of people have written to me raising concerns about abuse when they or their family members were pupils at the school, and I would again urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk police.”
Four people were suspended in 1992 during the Kesgrave Hall inquiry. No charges were ever brought. The school closed in 1993.
However, a woodwork teacher Alan Stancliffe, was convicted and jailed in 1999 and again in 2007 for indecent assaults on three ex-pupils….
Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
Taoiseach Enda Kenny fails to formally apologise for involvement over female enslavement causing more outrage
Henry McDonald in Dublin The Guardian, Tuesday 5 February 2013
After more than seven decades of exploitation and a 10-year struggle for justice, Ireland on Tuesday admitted its role in the enslavement of thousands of women and girls in the notorious Magdalene Laundry system, but stopped short of issuing a formal apology from the government.
A long-awaited report headed by Senator Martin McAleese said there was “significant state involvement” in how the laundries were run – a reversal of the official state line for years, which insisted the institutions were privately controlled and run by nuns.
But the Irish Premier Enda Kenny’s failure to give the women and their supporters a full, formal, public apology in the Dail on Tuesday afternoon has infuriated the victims and their supporters, who said such an approach risked undermining Ireland’s attempt to right a historic wrong. Instead Kenny stated his “regret” about the stigma hanging over the women.
“The stigma that the branding together of all the residents, all 10,000, in the Magdalene Laundries, needs to be removed, and should have been removed long before this,” Kenny said. “And I really am sorry that that never happened, and I regret that it never happened.”
Claire McGetterick of the Justice For Magdalenes group said last night: “Frankly their country has failed them again”.
Labelled the “Maggies”, the women and girls were stripped of their names and dumped in Irish Catholic church-run laundries where nuns treated them as slaves, simply because they were unmarried mothers, orphans or regarded as somehow morally wayward.
Over 74 years, 30,000 women were put to work in de facto detention, mostly in laundries run by nuns. At least 988 of the women who were buried in laundry grounds are thought to have spent most of their lives inside the institutions….