For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
August 26, 2014 Comments Off on For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
“the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic”
For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN AUG. 23, 2014
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — He was a familiar figure to the skinny shoeshine boys who work along the oceanfront promenade here. Wearing black track pants and a baseball cap pulled low over his balding head, they say, he would stroll along in the late afternoon and bring one of them down to the rocky shoreline or to a deserted monument for a local Catholic hero.
The boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.
It was only after he was spirited out of the country, the boys say, his picture splashed all over the local news media, that they learned his real identity: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic….
The case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II….
Mr. Wesolowski has already faced the harshest penalty possible under the church’s canon law, short of excommunication: on June 27, he was defrocked by the Vatican, reducing him to the status of a layman. The Vatican, which as a city-state has its own judicial system, has also said it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time the Vatican has held a criminal trial for sexual abuse.
But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic….
A Dominican bishop, Victor Masalles, visiting Rome in late June, said in a Twitter message that he was surprised to see Mr. Wesolowski “strolling the Via della Scrofa,” in the city’s picturesque ancient center. He added, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”….
Mr. Wesolowski, 66, was ordained at 23 in Krakow by Archbishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. In 1999, he was appointed papal nuncio to Bolivia, and in 2002, he was reassigned to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan….
Neither the cardinal, nor other church officials, reported the allegations to the local authorities, Dominican officials say. Vatican guidelines say that criminal sexual abuse accusations should be reported in countries where reporting is required….
The case has reverberated in Poland, where prosecutors have sought to extradite Mr. Wesolowski, who holds both Vatican and Polish citizenship. Poland has indicted another Polish priest, the Rev. Wojciech Gil, who fled the Dominican Republic last year amid allegations that he abused altar boys in his rural parish. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that Father Gil and Mr. Wesolowski spent time with young boys at the nuncio’s beach house….
Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
VATICAN CITY Mon Aug 25, 2014
(Reuters) – A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal’s decision to defrock him, the Vatican said on Monday.
Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.
“Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement….
If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case….
May 5, 2014 Comments Off on Vatican to craft sex abuse protocols
Vatican to craft sex abuse protocols
May 3, 2014 VATICAN CITY (AP) – Members of Pope Francis’ sexual abuse advisory board said Saturday they will develop “clear and effective” protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.Victims groups have long blasted the Vatican for refusing to sanction any bishop or superior who covered up for priests who raped and molested children. They have listed accountability as one of the key issues facing Francis and a key test for his new advisory board….
Victims groups have long cited the case of O’Malley’s predecessor in Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as archbishop after the sex abuse scandal exploded publicly there in 2002. But Pope John Paul II then appointed Law to the plum assignment as archpriest of one of the Vatican’s four major basilicas in Rome. Even today, another U.S. bishop remains in office despite having been convicted of misdemeanor failure to report suspected child abuse….
The commission met on the eve of a U.N. committee meeting in Geneva in which the Vatican is expected to come under a second round of criticism for its handling of abuse. A U.N. committee monitoring implementation of a key treaty on children’s rights blasted the Holy See earlier this year, accusing it of systematically placing its own interests over those of victims by enabling priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children through its own policies and code of silence.
It recommended the Vatican immediately remove any priest suspected or known to have abused children, open its archives on abusers and the bishops who covered up for them, and turn the cases over to law enforcement.
‘Magical warlock’ sexually abused girls as young as 3 years old: police, John Paul’s legacy stained by sex abuse scandal
April 23, 2014 Comments Off on ‘Magical warlock’ sexually abused girls as young as 3 years old: police, John Paul’s legacy stained by sex abuse scandal
‘Magical warlock’ sexually abused girls as young as 3 years old: police
James Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, W.Va., told three different girls that performing sex acts would allow him to conduct magical spells. The alleged perv was accused of abuse two decades ago in Texas.
BY Sasha Goldstein NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, April 21, 2014
A sicko calling himself a “magical warlock” allegedly sexually abused several children, authorities in West Virginia said, using his Wiccan religion to trick the youngsters into sexual acts.
James Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, abused children as young as 3, 9 and 13, according to court documents, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported. He was arraigned on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse….
The deviant “warlock” allegedly has struck in the past. Authorities in Texas said Irvin was accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in 1994. He fled to West Virginia before facing charges, according to WVVA…. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/magical-warlock-sexually-abused-girls-young-3-police-article-1.1764248
Bluefield man claiming to be magical warlock arrested for sex crimes against children
Bluefield Daily Telegraph April 21, 2014 BLUEFIELD — A Bluefield man claiming to be a “magical warlock” has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse of juveniles.
James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, was arraigned Monday before Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse. The victims in the case were 9, 3 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.
Adams said the investigation has revealed that Irwin was a practicing pagan and wiccan, and used his religion to allegedly get close to the children and ultimately sexually abuse them http://www.bdtonline.com/local/x1535574442/Bluefield-man-claiming-to-be-magical-warlock-arrested-for-sex-crimes-against-children
John Paul’s legacy stained by sex abuse scandal
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Apr 21, 2014
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium.
But the sexual abuse scandal that festered under his watch remains a stain on his legacy.
John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests….
Yet the Legion’s 2009 admission about the Rev. Marcial Maciel’s double life was by no means news to the Vatican.
Documents from the archives of the Vatican’s then-Sacred Congregation for Religious show how a succession of papacies – including that of John XXIII, also to be canonized Sunday – simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud.
By 1948, seven years after Maciel founded the order, the Holy See had documents from Vatican-appointed envoys and bishops in Mexico and Spain questioning the legitimacy of Maciel’s ordination (by his uncle, after Maciel was expelled by a series of seminaries), noting the questionable legal foundation of his order and flagging his “totalitarian” behavior and spiritual violations of his young seminarians.
The documents show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel’s drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit.
Yet for decades, Rome looked the other way, thanks to Maciel’s ability to keep his own priests quiet, his foresight to place trusted Legion priests in key Vatican offices and his careful cultivation of Vatican cardinals, Mexican bishops and wealthy, powerful lay Catholics. Vatican officials were impressed instead by the orthodoxy of his priests and Maciel’s ability to attract new vocations and donations.
John Paul, who in 1994 praised Maciel as an “efficacious guide to youth,” wasn’t alone in being duped….
(John) Vaca was the Legion’s superior in the U.S. from 1971-1976, when he left the order and joined the diocese of Rockville Center, New York. In 1979, a year after John Paul was elected, Vaca’s bishop sent the Congregation for Religious a bombshell set of documents in which Vaca and another ex-Legion priest detailed the sexual abuse they and some 19 other priests and seminarians had endured at Maciel’s hands.
He later was one of a half-dozen former Legionaries who brought a canonical case against Maciel at the Vatican in 1998. It took eight years – and the death of John Paul – for Pope Benedict XVI to sanction Maciel…. http://www.kiiitv.com/story/25294982/john-pauls-legacy-stained-by-sex-abuse-scandal
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….
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.
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.”….
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.”….
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….
June 28, 2011 Comments Off on New Evidence in the Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Scandal – BBC and Los Angeles
Dan Rather Reports – All Is Not Forgiven – An investigation of shocking new evidence in the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal in Los Angeles.
He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile
– How the scandal of Father Kit Cunningham has made Peter Stanford question his church and his faith
Peter Stanford The Observer, Sunday 19 June 2011
….In Abused: Breaking the Silence, a documentary to be shown on BBC1 on Tuesday, reporter Olenka Frenkiel hears from other former pupils at Soni about how they were subjected to a regime of sexual abuse from which they were powerless to escape.
….There have also been repeated public expressions of regret by the Catholic authorities as these scandals have emerged all round the globe, revealing this as an endemic problem in the church rather than, as Pope John Paul II originally suggested in 2002, a case of a few bad apples.
….Abused: Breaking The Silence is on BBC1 on Tuesday at 21 June, 10.35pm