Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
February 17, 2016 Comments Off on Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel
Will Carless, GlobalPost February 15, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a “token body” exercising in “smoke and mirrors” that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests.
Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.
Meanwhile, new Catholic bishops are still being taught they’re not obliged to report cases of child abuse by priests to the police.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Francis set up with much fanfare in 2014, was supposed to issue guidelines for the Vatican on how to deal with child abuse. But the body was never consulted about the training for new bishops on exactly that topic.
These are just some of the signs that Francis’ reform efforts, and his pledge to clean up the Catholic Church’s most damaging crisis, seem to be unraveling before they’ve even really gotten started.
The problems come as Pope Francis pays a visit to Latin America, a region where, as GlobalPost has reported, the church is accused of reassigning and protecting many alleged predator priests. Among the latest scandals in the region, Chileans are outraged that the pope appointed a bishop accused of shielding the country’s most despised pedophile priest from investigation….
Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
Rift comes amid signs that special commission created by Pope Francis to handle issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome Tuesday 16 February 2016
A battle is being waged within the Vatican over how senior clergy ought to handle accusations of sexual abuse amid signs that a special commission created by Pope Francis to handle the issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome.
The rift was exposed after a report in the Guardian about a training course that was offered to new bishops last year in which a controversial French monsignor instructed them that it was “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of abuse to law enforcement authorities if local laws did not require it.
That stance was rejected this week by Pope Francis’s point man on abuse issues, Boston cardinal Seán O’Malley, who heads a special pontifical commission to protect minors.
“We, the president and the members of the commission, wish to affirm that our obligations under civil law must certainly be followed, but even beyond these civil requirements, we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society,” he said in a statement on Monday.
O’Malley also said that the special commission was committed to “extensive education efforts” within local churches since its founding two years ago, and that its members had reiterated their “willingness to provide this material at courses offered in Rome”, including at the training courses for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia, or bureaucracy.
But it is clear that these offers have not been accepted….
Did Pope Francis really say 2% of Catholic clergy are pedophiles?, Rome- Pope estimates # of predator priests, A woman is raped every 90 minutes in Zimbabwe, Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry
July 15, 2014 Comments Off on Did Pope Francis really say 2% of Catholic clergy are pedophiles?, Rome- Pope estimates # of predator priests, A woman is raped every 90 minutes in Zimbabwe, Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry
Did Pope Francis really say 2% of Catholic clergy are pedophiles?
By Lauren Raab July 13, 2014
An interview that credits Pope Francis as saying about 2% of Roman Catholic clerics are pedophiles stirred controversy Sunday, as the Vatican sought to raise questions about the article’s accuracy and others called on the pope to take more action on the issue.
The interview by Eugenio Scalfari, published Sunday, quotes the pope as calling the rash of sex abuse scandals “a leprosy in our home” and saying the pedophiles include “priests and even bishops and cardinals,” according to a CBS News translation….
Meanwhile, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the “real percentage of predator priests” is much higher than 2% and called on the pope to defrock clerics who participate in cover-ups….
At a United Nations hearing this year, the Vatican said it had defrocked 848 priests over the last decade and ordered 2,572 to “live a life of prayer and penance” because of abuse allegations. There are about 414,000 Roman Catholic priests worldwide, according to the BBC; if 2% are pedophiles, that would be more than 8,000….
Rome- Pope estimates # of predator priests
For immediate release: Sunday, July 13, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
….Finally, “U.S. bishops have reported receiving allegations of abuse by 6,427 priests in 1950-2013, or 5.9% of the 109,694 U.S. priests active 1950-2002, according to the John Jay report. Including the 5,356 priests ordained since 2002 brings the total to 115,050, of whom 5.6% have been accused of abuse,” according to BishopAccountability.org.
Here are more specific numbers, from BishopAccountability.org:
–After the March 2009 release of audit documents by the NH AG, the names of 74 accused Manchester priests are known, or over 8.9% of the 831 diocesan priests, which extrapolates to 9,768 nationally
–Covington diocese states that 9.6% of its priests have been accused, which extrapolates to 10,531 nationally
–Over 10% of Providence RI priests have been accused, which extrapolates to over 10,969 nationally
–Richard Sipe estimates that 9% of U.S. priests have offended, which extrapolates to 9,872 priests nationally….
A woman is raped every 90 minutes in Zimbabwe – ZimStat
by Staff Reporter 13 July 2014
AT least one woman is raped every 90 minutes in the country, preliminary statistics of the first quarter of 2014 leaked from the Zimbabwe National Statistics (ZimStat) office have revealed.The data shows that about 500 women were sexually abused monthly in the first three months of the year, translating to about 16 women being raped daily.
A total of 1 524 cases were reported in the first three months of this year, up from 1 285 recorded in the same period last year.
Of the total cases recorded in the first quarter of this year, 780 are children between the ages of 11 and 16 years while 276 were children aged between five and 10 years….
National Aids Council (NAC) Gender and Workplace co-ordinator, Ms Vimbai Mdege, expressed sadness at the indication that the majority of sexual abuse victims were children under the age of 16….
“….If you look at the figures you will see that the majority of the victims of rape are children under the age of 16. Most of the rape cases are for ritual purposes….”
Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse inquiry 14 July 2014
Retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss has stepped down as head of a probe into child sex abuse saying she was “not the right person” for the job.
Lady Butler-Sloss has been under pressure to quit from MPs and victims concerned about her family links.
Her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, was attorney general in the 1980s….
Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
June 23, 2012 Comments Off on Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges
By the CNN Wire Staff June 22, 2012
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty Friday on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.
Jurors delivered the verdict around 10 p.m. after deliberating for about 21 hours. There were convictions related to all 10 sexual abuse victims, with the three not-guilty verdicts applying to three different individuals….
During closing arguments, prosecutors described the ex-Nittany Lions defensive coordinator as a pedophile who preyed on victims using a charity he founded for troubled children, repeatedly abusing young boys in his care.
Sandusky, 68, had pleaded not guilty to the 48 charges of child sex abuse that spanned a 15-year period….
After a week of testimony, during which time witnesses graphically described sexual encounters with Sandusky that they said occurred durijng their boyhoods, jurors made their decision without ever having heard from Sandusky on the witness stand….
Eight young men testified, often in disturbingly graphic detail, of how Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches’ locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.
One told jurors that Sandusky — whom he met, like many of the accusers, through The Second Mile foundation that the ex-coach founded — had threatened him if he told others about the abuse. Another said Sandusky warned him that he might send him home from a trip to Texas, where they’d gone to watch a Penn State bowl game.
The defense challenged the accusers’ timetable, questioned the various allegations and called multiple character witness to defend Sandusky’s stellar reputation in the community. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/22/justice/pennsylvania-sandusky-trial/index.html
Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
By MARYCLAIRE DALE 06/22/12
PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic church official was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy Friday in a landmark clergy-abuse trial, making him the first U.S. church official branded a felon for covering up abuse claims.
Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said.
Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua….
Lynn had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts he faced – conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment. He was convicted of only a single endangerment count, which carries a possible 3 1/2- to seven-year prison term.
The jury could not reach a verdict for Lynn’s co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1999.
Despite Lynn’s acquittal on the conspiracy charge, the trial exposed how deeply involved the late cardinal was in dealing with accused priests.
Bevilacqua had the final say on what to do with priests accused of abuse, transferred many of them to new parishes and dressed down anyone who complained, according to testimony. He also ordered the shredding of a 1994 list that Lynn prepared, warning that the archdiocese had three diagnosed pedophiles, a dozen confirmed predators and another 20 possible abusers in its midst.
Church lawyers turned over a surviving copy of the list days after Bevilacqua died….
With the verdict, after 13 days of deliberations, jurors concluded that prosecutors failed to show that Lynn was part of a conspiracy to move predator priests around.
The jury, however, did find that Lynn endangered the victim of defrocked priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty before trial to a 1999 sexual assault. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/philadelphia-priest-trial_n_1619355.html
April 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
AP IMPACT: Predator priests shuffled around globe By BRADLEY BROOKS and ALESSANDRA RIZZO (AP) 4/14/10 RIO DE JANEIRO
There he was, five decades later, the priest who had raped Joe Callander in Massachusetts. The photo in the Roman Catholic newsletter showed him with a smile across his wrinkled face, near-naked Amazon Indian children in his arms and at his feet.
The Rev. Mario Pezzotti was working with children and supervising other priests in Brazil.
It’s not an isolated example. In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, The Associated Press found 30 cases of priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad. Some escaped police investigations. Many had access to children in another country, and some abused again. A priest who admitted to abuse in Los Angeles went to the Philippines, where U.S. church officials mailed him checks and advised him not to reveal their source. A priest in Canada was convicted of sexual abuse and then moved to France, where he was convicted of abuse again in 2005. Another priest was moved back and forth between Ireland and England, despite being diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy with boys.
“The pattern is if a priest gets into trouble and it’s close to becoming a scandal or if the law might get involved, they send them to the missions abroad,” said Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and critic of what he says is a practice of international transfers of accused and admitted priest child abusers. “Anything to avoid a scandal.” Church officials say that in some cases, the priests themselves moved to another country and the new parish might not have been aware of past allegations. In other cases, church officials said they did not believe the allegations, or that the priest had served his time and reformed.
$1.4 million awarded in Boy Scout abuse case William McCall, Associated Press April 14, 2010
Portland, Ore. – A jury delivered an embarrassing rebuke to the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday when it found that the organization failed to protect a man who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the early 1980s. Jurors awarded $1.4 million to the former Portland man and decided that the Irving, Texas-based organization was liable for up to $25 million in punitive damages to be decided in a separate phase of the trial. Over the first three weeks of testimony, secret Scout “perversion files” – records of known sex offenders – were used as evidence, though it’s unclear if jurors consulted the documents while deliberating over two days.