Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says, Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims

February 11, 2016 Comments Off on Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says, Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says
Vatican guide says ‘not necessarily’ bishop’s duty to report suspects to police despite Pope Francis’s vows to redress Catholic church’s legacy of child abuse

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign over sexual abuse scandals in his Boston archdiocese, where 150 priests were accused of molesting children.

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Wednesday 10 February 2016

The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally.

According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds, the training document states.

The training guidelines were written by a controversial French monsignor and psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, who serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family. The Vatican released the guidelines – which are part of a broader training programme for newly named bishops at a press conference earlier this month and is now seeking feedback.

Details of the Catholic church’s policy were first reported in a column by a veteran Vatican journalist, John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic news site, Cruxnow.com.

Allen noted that a special commission created by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, had appeared to play no role in the training programme, even though it is supposed to be developing “best practices” to prevent and deal with clerical abuse.

Indeed, a church official familiar with the commission on abuse said it was the committee’s position that reporting abuse to civil authorities was a “moral obligation, whether the civil law requires it or not”. The official said the committee would be involved in future training efforts….
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/catholic-bishops-not-obliged-report-clerical-child-abuse-vatican-says

Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims
Todd Melby Feb 10, 2016
Jim McDonough is suing the Boy Scouts of America and its North Star Council claiming he was sexually abused by his scoutmaster….

Many stories like McDonough’s have come to light in the nearly three years since the Legislature passed the Minnesota Child Victims Act. Most have been focused on the hundreds of claims made against priests accused of sexually abusing children.

But the law, which extends the statute of limitations for older abuse claims, wasn’t written to respond exclusively to clergy abuse. And the Catholic Church hasn’t been the only target of lawsuits aimed at shedding light on a hidden past. Boy Scout organizations are also grappling with accusations of child molestation.

McDonough decided to use the law to sue the Boy Scouts of America and one of its local affiliates, the Northern Star Council. At least 16 lawsuits are pending in Minnesota against the Boy Scouts, including McDonough’s civil action. Most target the Northern Star Council. Three other lawsuits list another council as a defendant. At least 12 additional suits are expected to be filed before the law’s May 25 deadline….

McDonough’s suit seeks at least $50,000 from the Scouts. The Northern Star Council, which represent troops in 21 Minnesota counties and four counties in western Wisconsin, declined to talk about abuse suits filed by McDonough and others….

One of McDonough’s lawyers, Peter Janci, won a $19.9 million verdict against the Boy Scouts in 2010 in Portland, Ore. Janci says that when it comes to sexual abuse against children, the Boy Scouts have some things in common with the Roman Catholic Church.

“They both involve organizations that really believe in their mission. At times, that has led to them to make decisions where they put reputation of the organization above safety and health of individuals,” he said.

In the case of the Boy Scouts of America, that included the creation of what it called “ineligible volunteer” files, Janci said. When the Scouts learned that a volunteer had sexually molested or raped a child, it often created a file so it could bar that person from volunteering in another city or state.

Between 1955 and 1984, the Boy Scouts of America created 1,300 of these files. A judge ordered those files released, with some information redacted, after the Portland trial.

A small percentage of the “ineligible volunteer” files were atheists or homosexuals. The Scouts barred gay men and lesbians from the organization until just recently. But the vast majority of files focused on sexual molestation. They became known as the “Perversion Files.”

The Boy Scouts has been keeping secret tabs on suspected abusers since the 1920s, but it didn’t routinely report those people to police. The organization began requiring “mandatory reporting of suspected abuse” in 2011….
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/02/10/ex-boy-scouts-tap-minnesota-sex-abuse-law

‘7th Heaven’ actor under investigation for child abuse, Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public

October 8, 2014 Comments Off on ‘7th Heaven’ actor under investigation for child abuse, Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public

‘7th Heaven’ actor reportedly under investigation for child abuse
– Stephen Collins Network Yanks ‘7th Heaven’ From Schedule
– ‘7th Heaven’ Dad Stephen Collins Confesses on tape to Child Molestation
– Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public
– ‘Terror mixed with homesickness meant I cried myself to sleep, night after night’

‘7th Heaven’ actor reportedly under investigation for child abuse
By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff   October 07, 2014
Actor Stephen Collins, who played the Rev. Eric Camden on the long-running WB family show “7th Heaven,” is reportedly under investigation for child molestation after an alleged recording surfaced of him confessing in couples therapy to exposing himself to young girls and molesting an 11-year-old, according to TMZ and the New York Daily News. (TMZ has posted the alleged audio on its website. The Daily News reports an NYPD investigation has been confirmed with an unnamed department source.)
http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2014/10/07/says-stephen-collins-dropped-out-weeks-ago/1qK9xbya309zOuloQOEllJ/story.html

Stephen Collins Network Yanks ‘7th Heaven’ From Schedule 10/7/2014 BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins’ confession he molested young girls is already causing collateral damage … episodes of his most famous TV show, “7th Heaven” are being yanked off the air.

A rep for TV Guide Network — which airs re-runs of the show — tells TMZ the two episodes remaining on the schedule will not air — nor will any future episodes of “7th Heaven.”

We’re told … programming honchos dropped the hammer on the show … after seeing our story that Collins was recorded during a therapy session … confessing to acts of molestation years ago….
http://www.tmz.com/#Article/2014/10/07/stephen-collins-child-molestation-7th-heaven-audio-tape-nypd-investigation

‘7th Heaven’ Dad Stephen Collins
Confesses on tape to Child Molestation

NYPD Investigating [AUDIO]
BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Stephen Collins — who played the pastor/dad on “7th Heaven” — confessed to his estranged wife he was a child molester, and it’s all on tape … a tape obtained by TMZ. And the New York Police Dept. is now conducting an active criminal investigation involving sexual contact with multiple children.

Collins — who is in the middle of a nasty, prolonged divorce with actress Faye Grant — revealed to her in 2012 he had molested and/or exposed himself to several underage girls years before. Collins and Grant went to a therapist where she peppered him with questions about the incidents … and he not only answered, he was specific.

Here’s what Collins didn’t know at the time. Grant taped the therapy session. We’re told her lawyer advised her it was legal to secretly record the conversation because in California you’re allowed to secretly record conversations to gather evidence the other person committed a violent felony … and molesting a child under the age of 14 qualifies….

TMZ has learned … the NYPD is in possession of the tape, and last Wednesday 2 NYPD detectives from the Special Victims Unit flew to L.A. to interview Grant. We’re told they asked her about the tape and about other potential witnesses….
http://www.tmz.com/2014/10/07/stephen-collins-child-molestation-7th-heaven-audio-tape-nypd-investigation/

Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public
JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune  October 7, 2014
Newly unsealed papers expose child sexual abuse by 14 priests in the Winona Diocese.

Winona Bishop John Quinn said the diocese “has worked diligently” to enforce abuse prevention protocols.

The 14 priests worked in all four high schools in the Diocese of Winona and at 45 parishes across southern Minnesota. But the paper trail exposing their sexual abuse of boys and girls had long been sealed — until Tuesday, when a court order pried open the records.

For the first time, the priests’ mental health reports, sexual abuse complaints and hundreds more documents were made public as part of a groundbreaking lawsuit making its way through Ramsey District Court.

The documents also show that the Winona Diocese “anticipates eventual bankruptcy” as a result of that lawsuit and others being filed under the new Minnesota Child Victims Act.

The files indicate that the diocese did not report claims of child sex abuse to law enforcement, did not remove offenders from ministry, and continued to financially support them even as abuse was known.

The document release comes in response to a lawsuit filed last year by a man who said he was abused by former priest Thomas Adamson in the 1970s. Adamson was accused of molesting boys in the Winona Diocese before being transferred to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where he allegedly abused the man in St. Paul Park….

While many files about Adamson were released in recent months through the archdiocese lawsuit, the Winona documents shed light on a different set of offenders.

The sexual abuse ranged from oral sex to fondling to rape, the documents showed. Emotional abuse often accompanied the physical abuse.

For example, the Rev. Richard Hatch would force one of his boy victims to have oral sex and then make him go to confession and confess it as if he were the cause of it, documents showed.

Like other dioceses, Winona kept the priests on the move, even after serious allegation of abuse….
http://www.startribune.com/local/278388541.html

‘Terror mixed with homesickness meant I cried myself to sleep, night after night’
Ivan Yates Published 05/10/2014

In 1968 – as a very young boy, Ivan Yates was sent to a boarding school in Bray. In the early part of his book he describes his misery there -and the borderline abuse he suffered:

The worst aspect of it was the constant fear. Charles Mansfield, headmaster and owner of the school, flattered himself that he was a disciplinarian. In fact, he was a sadist, liberally administering corporal punishment for any infringement of a forest of rules. Beatings were meted out with a slipper or a hairbrush on bare buttocks.

In my second year, I was in a dormitory adjacent to the headmaster’s office. If we were caught talking at night or early in the morning, he would come in and beat us. It became a familiar ritual. When he came round to each bed, we would turn over, pull down our pyjamas and receive our beating, faces in our pillows, counting the blows. Some boys got punished much worse than I did. One boy was black and blue from constant thrashings. At eight and nine years old, I was out of my depth. It was unremitting torture.

As I grew up, I remembered the beatings, but not the overwhelming sadness. It took therapy for me to recall the day, when I was about 11, when Mr Mansfield asked me to come and see him in the French room.

When I arrived, he was in the room, alone, standing by a table in the corner. He asked me to pull up a chair and sit down in front of him, explaining that as part of his sex education duties, he had individual consultations with the boys. He needed to see that we were developing properly. He asked me to take down my trousers and pants, so that he could examine me. I vividly recall that we were standing so close together that I could see the tiny blood vessels on his cheeks and could smell him. I did as I was told.
http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/terror-mixed-with-homesickness-meant-i-cried-myself-to-sleep-night-after-night-30633240.html

 

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