December 16, 2010 Comments Off on Germany mass child abuse, Knights of Columbus accused of child abuse, porn ring
Germany admits enslaving and abusing a generation of children
Lawsuits accuse Knights of Columbus of child abuse
Federal authorities say they broke up a global child porn ring
Germany admits enslaving and abusing a generation of children
Government agrees up to €120m in compensation for three decades of post-war ‘Nazi-era’ brutality in foster homes By Tony Paterson in Berlin Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Germany has owned up to one of the most disturbing examples of mass child and youth abuse in its post-war history, some 60 years after the first teenagers started being locked away and mistreated by supposedly “caring” foster homes.
The country agreed yesterday to provide a €120m (£101m) compensation fund for the estimated 30,000 victims who were among the 800,000 children in German foster homes in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.
Institutions that for decades meted out inhuman treatment – including ritual beatings, periods of solitary confinement, forced labour and sexual assaults – were not youth remand centres or borstals as might be expected, but homes run by nuns and priests in former West Germany’s Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as state-run homes.
Lawsuits accuse Knights of Columbus of child abuse NEW HAVEN, Connecticut Dec 14, 2010 (Reuters) – The Knights of Columbus was sued on Tuesday by two men who said they were sexually abused as children by a leader of a youth group run by the Roman Catholic fraternal organization. The federal lawsuits allege that Knights of Columbus officials knew a leader of the Columbian Squires youth group in Texas was molesting children but did not make any effort to stop him or remove him from the position.
The suits are believed to be the first child sex abuse claims filed against the Catholic group, said Jeffrey Herman, the attorney representing the two alleged victims….
“We emphatically deny the allegations that have been made,” said Patrick Korten, a spokesman for the Knights of Columbus.
With 1.8 million members worldwide, the Knight of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic mens’ organization and is focused on charity work….
In one of the lawsuits, an unnamed Kansas resident claims the Squires leader abused him from 1978, when he was 10 years old, until 1986.
He claims the leader shared him with other youth counselors in the group and threatened to kill him if he told anyone, the lawsuit said.
The second lawsuit came from Texas resident Jim Dennany, who said he alerted Knights of Columbus officials in 1986 to assaults he said he suffered in the 1970s when he was a young teenager.
He claimed the group took no action, concealed the allegations and told him to keep quiet, according to the lawsuit….
The Knights of Columbus spokesman said the group first became aware of allegations of sexual abuse against Rivera in December 2009.
“We acted immediately, removing him from any responsibility involving youth programs,” Korten said. The group also alerted local authorities in Brownsville, Texas…
Federal authorities say they broke up a global child porn ring By Michael Martinez, CNN December 15, 2010 Los Angeles (CNN) — Federal authorities announced Tuesday they dismantled an international child pornography ring that allowed its 35 male members to trade thousands of images and videos of boys in sexually explicit situations through a website.
The announcement was made in the wake of Monday’s guilty plea by a Georgia man to transporting child pornography using a secret Internet bulletin board called “Lost Boy.” That website operated from September 2007 to January 2009, when authorities shut it down and began investigating the men who operated it, officials said….
The investigation has also led to the identification of 27 victims of child abuse in the United States, including some whose images were posted on the Lost Boy bulletin board, officials said….
The bulletin board also had a “Handbook Project,” where members contributed to a guide on how to find and groom boys to engage in sex and how to move on to other victims when the current victim grows too old to be attractive to the members, authorities said.
May 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest MATT SEDENSKY AP 5/30/10
The future Pope Benedict XVI refused to defrock an American priest who confessed to molesting numerous children and even served prison time for it, simply because the cleric wouldn’t agree to the discipline. The case provides the latest evidence of how changes in church law under Pope John Paul II frustrated and hamstrung U.S. bishops struggling with an abuse crisis that would eventually explode.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press from court filings in the case of the late Rev. Alvin Campbell of Illinois show Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, following church law at the time, turned down a bishop’s plea to remove the priest for no other reason than the abuser’s refusal to go along with it.
“The petition in question cannot be admitted in as much as it lacks the request of Father Campbell himself,” Ratzinger wrote in a July 3, 1989, letter to Bishop Daniel Ryan of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill….
Campbell’s misdeeds date back at least 15 years before his defrocking.
As an Army chaplain, he was reprimanded and ultimately left the service after abusing at least one boy, according to military and church correspondence. An Army letter in his file said he had exploited his rank and position as a chaplain “by engaging in indecent homosexual acts” with a child under 16 who had been under his supervision….
Campbell became a pastor upon his return to the diocese. In at least three instances after returning to diocesan work, he was forced to depart jobs as parish pastor or administrator “for reasons of health,” a euphemism for sexual abuse used within the church that Ryan himself put in quotes.
After workers at a rape crisis center alerted authorities that they were treating one of Campbell’s victims, police found he had been plying boys with video games, bicycles, watches and other gifts to get them to the waterbed in his second-floor rectory bedroom. Ryan sent Campbell to a New Mexico treatment facility after the arrest.
Campbell was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 1985, after admitting to molesting seven boys during his time as pastor of St. Maurice Parish in Morrisonville, Ill. He was released in 1992 after serving about seven years for sexual assault and sexual abuse.
Ryan apparently waited four years after Campbell went to prison, according to church files, before asking for the priest’s defrocking. It’s unclear what accounted for the delay.
describes allegations of abuse
Sex abuse victims say church is still tenaciously fighting claims – Even after convictions, some lawsuits have dragged on for more than a decade; church official blames complexities of judicial system
May 30 2010 …. The pressure Caruso experienced in battling the Catholic Church is not unusual, say those suing Catholic dioceses, priests and nuns over abuse. Despite the church’s pledge to handle victims with compassion — a position repeated this month by Pope Benedict — it too often plays a game of courtroom chicken with stall tactics, hostile discovery sessions and intrusive psychological probes that unnerve vulnerable clients, say victims and their lawyers.
“They don’t want to pay out the money,’’ said Jack Lavers, a Newfoundland lawyer who has worked both sides of the liturgical legal landscape. “There are (cases) that do start and never seem to finish.”
Seemingly relentless legal campaigns — especially against victims like Caruso, whose abuser had been convicted — appear to clash with church reforms adopted two decades ago after the Mount Cashel orphanage sex scandal. Pastoral outreach for victims of clergy abuse was among the recommendations in the 1992 “From Pain to Hope” report commissioned by the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops. Counselling and empathy for the abused were again recommended in a 2007 CCCB task force….
Sharp said each victim’s circumstances are unique and claims of harsh treatment “may very well be” in some cases. But London-area victims are “immediately” offered counselling with a professional of their choice as soon as they report abuse. “In our diocese we are committed to keep these things moving as quickly and fully as we possibly can,” said Sharp, who estimates he still has 20 active Sylvestre cases….
Lavers said courtroom reality is that plaintiffs often get worn down and agree to accept smaller sums or drop their cases completely….
The 65-year-old native of St. John’s, Nfld., is among a group claiming physical and emotional abuse at the Belvedere Orphanage — a female counterpart of Mount Cashel. More than 30 women are suing the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy and the province of Newfoundland. Her case is now 13 years old….
March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
20 priests accused of sex abuse – diocese March 29 2010
Berlin – A German Roman Catholic diocese said on Monday that 20 of its current and former priests had been accused “in recent weeks” of sexual abuse as a scandal embroiling the Church widened….
Ackermann said the diocese was still conferring on how to handle three cases that fell under the criminal statute of limitations.
He said that beyond the new cases that had surfaced, three priests had been convicted of abuse in the 1990s….The Vatican has said it received 3,000 reports between 2001 and 2010 of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy committed over the past 50 years.
U.S. lawyer takes on Vatican over abuse cases
He shared documents with New York Times, sees Ore. lawsuit as critical
by Patrick Condon AP March. 28, 2010 ST. PAUL, Minn. – Jeff Anderson has filed thousands of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests and won tens of millions of dollars for his clients, but he has had a bigger goal in mind for nearly two decades. He wants to bring his career-long legal crusade against misconduct in the Roman Catholic Church right to the top. He would love to question Pope Benedict XVI himself under oath. Though that is extremely unlikely given that the pope is a head of state, documents Anderson has unearthed have the potential to take a scandal that has plagued dozens of dioceses around the world and place it at the doorstep of Vatican leadership.
The documents, which became publicly known in the past week after Anderson shared them with The New York Times, show that a Vatican office led by the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, halted a church trial against a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 boys at a school for the deaf. “This is a tipping point,” Anderson said. He found the documents in handling one of the dozens of lawsuits he has pending against various church officials, and hopes to use them to bolster a separate federal lawsuit against the Vatican itself….
Oregon case could be key
In that case, an unidentified plaintiff claims he was sexually abused as a teenager in 1965 or 1966 by the Rev. Andrew Ronan at St. Albert’s Church in Portland, Ore. According to court documents, Ronan was accused of abusing boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland. He was transferred to Chicago, where he admitted abusing three boys at St. Philip’s High School, and after that was sent to Oregon. The church removed Ronan from the priesthood in 1966. He died in 1982. The lawsuit says the Vatican had to approve the international transfer. The Holy See claims it is protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which prohibits U.S. lawsuits against foreign countries. Several lower courts have produced differing rulings on the suit, and the Holy See has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the question. The high court has not decided whether it will hear the case. Anderson said his legal team will attempt to use documents from the Milwaukee lawsuit to show the Vatican was heavily involved in decisions about how to deal with problem priests.
Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries By Frances Kennedy in Rome 21 March 2001
The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.
Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.
Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.