Vatican to craft sex abuse protocols

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.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/03/vatican-sexual-abuse/2128958/

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children, Pa. bill expands list of those required to report child abuse

April 12, 2014 Comments Off on Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children, Pa. bill expands list of those required to report child abuse

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children
By Daniel Burke and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Fri April 11, 2014

(CNN) — Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on “men of the church” who harm children.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests — quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests — to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio….

The U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it may be the first time a pope has spoken of sanctioning “complicit bishops.”

“But that is all it is: talk,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director.

“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”

The Pope’s new comments, made Friday to members of a Catholic nongovernmental organization, the International Catholic Child Bureau, represent a shift from his previous statements on sexual abuse….
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/11/world/europe/vatican-pope-sex-abuse/

Pa. bill expands list of those required to report child abuse  By Oscar Gamble 04/11/14

NORRISTOWN — A bill sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens to expand the list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse and increase penalties for those who shirk the obligation has unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Legislature and is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

House Bill 436, the Child Protection Act, is a companion to Senate Bill 21, sponsored by Sen. Kim Ward, R-39th Dist., which includes Stephens’ language expanding and clarifying the list of professionals required to report abuse….

The bill requires child care providers and school personnel at every educational level, religious leaders, doctors and health care professionals, social and emergency service workers, librarians, law enforcement and the lawyers and independent contractors representing all of these entities to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. It also imposes stiffer penalties for noncompliance.“I think the penalties will get people’s attention,” said Stephens. “In some cases, not reporting (child abuse) will be a felony … In every case, it’s in the best interest of organizations that care for children to report instances of child abuse”….
http://www.pottsmerc.com/government-and-politics/20140411/pa-bill-expands-list-of-those-required-to-report-child-abuse

Notorious pedophile priest convicted again, The Shame of the Church

April 10, 2014 Comments Off on Notorious pedophile priest convicted again, The Shame of the Church

Notorious pedophile priest convicted again  8 Apr 2014

More than half a century after he started sexually abusing the sons and daughters of his parishioners, Australia’s worst pedophile priest has learnt he is likely to die in jail.

Gerald Francis Ridsdale, 79, was given an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to 30 new charges against 14 boys and girls between 1961 and 1980, conduct described by the judge as “evil hypocrisy.”

But the notorious pedophile, already serving time for a campaign of abuse dating back to 1961 when he was ordained, will not be eligible for parole until April 2019.

The protection of the Catholic church, which moved him from parish to parish throughout his career, meant his offending spanned three decades.

He abused 53 children in that time.

They included children of parishioners, wards of the state, altar servers, twin brothers and a girl as young as four-years-old.

It wasn’t until 1993 that he was de-frocked.

Two years later, he was jailed for 18 years….

Ridsdale portrayed himself as the “friendly priest”, luring his victims with inducements such as lollies and money to gain their trust.

He befriended victims and set up an after-school boys gathering, which was the setting for crimes against five children.

Many of Ridsdale’s victims were extremely vulnerable – some being wards of the state or from broken homes….

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/04/08/notorious-pedophile-priest-convicted-again

 

The Shame of the Church
By Retro Report March 30th, 2014

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?
http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002794204/the-shame-of-the-church.html

 

Italy’s bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported, Harris pleads not guilty to 2011 murder charge (practiced voodoo), Children of serial killer Robert Pickton’s victims will split $4.9M in compensation fund

April 2, 2014 Comments Off on Italy’s bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported, Harris pleads not guilty to 2011 murder charge (practiced voodoo), Children of serial killer Robert Pickton’s victims will split $4.9M in compensation fund

Italy’s bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported
Kashmira Gander Friday 28 March 2014

Italy’s bishops have adopted a policy, with backing from the Vatican, that states they are not obliged to inform police officers if they suspect a child has been molested.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the guidelines published on Friday reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations.

Victims have denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by moving priests while keeping prosecutors in the dark.

Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law.

Italian guidelines cite a 1985 treaty between the Vatican and Italy stipulating that clergy aren’t obliged to tell magistrates about information obtained through their religious ministry. The guidelines remind bishops, however, they have a ”moral duty“ to contribute to the common good….
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italys-bishops-pass-vaticanbacked-rule-stating-they-do-not-have-to-report-if-a-priest-has-molested-a-child-9222501.html

Harris pleads not guilty to 2011 murder charge
Harris trial in late June could take a week and a half

March 31, 2014

By Steve Fry

LYNDON — A defendant charged with using a garrote to kill an older man in 2011 pleaded not guilty to the murder charge Monday in Osage County District Court.

The trial of James Paul Harris, 29, will start June 23, and is expected to require 11/2 weeks….

A part of the victim’s skull was discovered March 24, 2012, at a house in rural Carbondale in Osage County. Shirley Johnson, who lives with Jeff Harris, the defendant’s father, testified she was searching for mushrooms when she found a “ball” — the top of Gerety’s skull — and took it inside to show Jeff Harris. He called police. Another witness, Topeka police Detective Brian Hill, testified Bobbie Williams, Harris’ girlfriend, told him during questioning that Harris kept the victim’s head nearby so he could talk to it. Harris was into voodoo and practiced it, Hill said Williams told him.
http://cjonline.com/news/2014-03-31/harris-pleads-not-guilty-2011-murder-charge

Children of serial killer Robert Pickton’s victims will split $4.9M in compensation fund
THE CANADIAN PRESS March 18, 2014
VANCOUVER — A man whose mother was the last to be reported missing in connection with serial killer Robert Pickton says $4.9 million in government compensation for the 98 children of women who disappeared provides some recognition for decades of pain.

“It’s been a long battle to get this far,” Troy Boen, 28, said Tuesday after the federal, B.C. and Vancouver governments announced the fund that will provide $50,000 for each of the children of 67 missing and murdered women, mostly Pickton’s victims.

Boen’s mother, Yvonne Marie Boen, went missing on March 16, 2001, soon after they’d planned to spend spring break together. He called her back repeatedly, but there was no answer.

A 2012 report from a public inquiry that outlined years of police failures made 63 recommendations, including compensating the offspring of the women who’d disappeared up to 2002, when Pickton was arrested.

Boen’s DNA was later found on Pickton’s pig farm in Port Coquitlam, where the killer lured vulnerable women from Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside….
http://www.theprovince.com/news/Children+serial+killer+Robert+Pickton+victims+will+split/9631594/story.html

Teachers at 130 UK schools involved in sex crimes, Poland’s Roman Catholic Church faces first abuse lawsuit, Nick Clegg’s ex-headmaster jailed for abusing boys, 70% of shelved child abuse inquiries could be reopened following complaints by victims, Supreme Court Oral Argument Audio and Transcript

February 7, 2014 Comments Off on Teachers at 130 UK schools involved in sex crimes, Poland’s Roman Catholic Church faces first abuse lawsuit, Nick Clegg’s ex-headmaster jailed for abusing boys, 70% of shelved child abuse inquiries could be reopened following complaints by victims, Supreme Court Oral Argument Audio and Transcript

Teachers at 130 UK schools involved in sex crimes
Mon Jan 20, 2014

Teachers at 130 schools in Britain have been involved in sex crimes against hundreds of children, an analysis has revealed.

The analysis by British newspaper The Times indicated that dozens of leading public schools as well as 20 elite preparatory schools in the country are included in the list.

According to the paper, the list features 64 mainstream positive private-sector establishments, most of them boarding schools, where at least one male teacher has been convicted of sexual abuse against young boys, and a further 30 at which a number of staff were sentenced over similar charges.

This comes as dozens of private schools in Britain are already under investigation over child sex abuse allegations, spanning from the 1950s to the 1990s….
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/20/346669/uk-teachers-implicated-in-sex-crimes/

Poland’s Roman Catholic Church faces first abuse lawsuit
6 February 2014

A Polish man who was abused as a child by a priest is suing the country’s Roman Catholic Church – the first such civil case in the country.

The man – who is only identified as 25-year-old Marcin K – is demanding 47,500 euros ($64,500; £39,550) in damages.

The priest has been convicted and is now serving a two-year jail sentence.

The church leadership apologised to all child abuse victims last year, but insisted it would not pay damages for the crimes of individual clergymen.

On Wednesday, the UN said the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who were known or suspected child abusers.

In a report, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child also denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26077572

Nick Clegg’s ex-headmaster jailed for abusing boys
6 February 2014
The former headmaster of a school attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been jailed for eight years for sexually abusing five pupils.

Roland Peter Wright, 83, of Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, abused boys aged between eight and 13 at Caldicott Preparatory School from 1959 to 1970….

Judge Joanna Cutts QC told Wright: “These offences were so serious that it is beyond question that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

“I have to sentence you for multiple offending against each of these victims.

“This was prolonged activity, the boys were groomed by a master at a school responsible for their care.”….

At his trial last year, Amersham Crown Court was told Wright was the centre of a paedophile ring at the school….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26073155

70% of shelved child abuse inquiries could be reopened following complaints by victims
Paul Peachey  Crime Correspondent
Wednesday 05 February 2014
Dozens of historic child abuse inquiries could be restarted following complaints by victims of being let down by the criminal justice system.
Senior police revealed yesterday that 70 per cent of shelved cases so far examined have been sent for review because of flaws in the original investigation.

The figures emerged yesterday after senior police accepted that the “whole system” of investigating child abuse cases had to be improved after bungled investigations into child-grooming cases and the failure to call Jimmy Savile to account while he was alive….

Police training has been overhauled following the failure to identify years of abuse by child grooming gangs who targeted and manipulated vulnerable victims.

Seven men were jailed last year after they were convicted of plying young girls with drink and drugs before forcing them to commit sex acts. Police missed numerous chances to intervene because their stories of extreme depravity were not believed….

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/70-of-shelved-child-abuse-inquiries-could-be-reopened-following-complaints-by-victims-9110066.html

Supreme Court Oral Argument Audio and Transcript

Presented by The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, 02 February 2014.
Facts of the Case

Doyle R. Paroline pled guilty to possession of 150-300 images of child pornography. Included among those files on his computer were two photographs of Amy Unknown, a victim of child pornography. He was sentenced to 24 months of incarceration followed by release under supervision. Under a federal statute that mandates full restitution to victims of child pornography by those convicted of creating, distributing or possessing such material, the Government and Amy sought restitution in the amount of nearly $3.4 million. The district court denied restitution and held that the statute required the Government to prove that Paroline’s possession of the images was the proximate cause of the injuries for which restitution was sought. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and held that Paroline was responsible for restitution for all the victim’s losses even if his criminal acts occurred after the victim’s losses.

Question
To recover restitution, must either the government or the victim establish a causal relationship between the defendant’s conduct and the victim’s harm or damages?
http://www.childlaw.us/supreme-court-oral-argument-audio-and-transcript/

Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection

February 1, 2014 Comments Off on Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection

Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection
Matt Volz, Associated Press January 31, 2014

HELENA, Montana (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena planned to file for bankruptcy protection Friday as part of a proposed settlement of $15 million for hundreds of victims who say clergy members sexually abused them over decades while the church covered it up.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said the bankruptcy reorganization plan comes after confidential mediation sessions with the plaintiffs’ attorneys and insurers, resulting in the deals to resolve the abuse claims.

The settlement details are being worked out, but the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for approving and supervising the disbursement of $15 million to compensate the 362 victims identified in the two lawsuits.

In addition, at least $2.5 million will be set aside for victims who come forward later, Bartleson said….

The Helena diocese is the 11th in the nation to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of sex-abuse claims

The two lawsuits filed in 2011 claim clergy members groomed and then abused the children from the 1940s to the 1970s. They claim the diocese shielded the offenders and knew or should have known the threat they posed to children….

In one of the lawsuits, the plaintiffs said they were repeatedly raped, fondled or forced to perform sexual acts while at school, on the playground, on camping trips or at the victims’ homes.

The second lawsuit, filed a week after the first in 2011, contained similar allegations against priests, but also alleged that nuns at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius abused dozens of Native American children….
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/31/catholic-diocese-files-for-bankruptcy-protection/5078991/

Catholic Whistleblowers Join Forces on Abuse, Ex-swim coach accused of abuse

May 22, 2013 Comments Off on Catholic Whistleblowers Join Forces on Abuse, Ex-swim coach accused of abuse

Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN May 20, 2013

They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.

Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.

The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.

Their aim, they say, is to support both victims and fellow whistle-blowers, and identify shortcomings in church policies….

But the whistle-blowers’ group contends that vigilance is necessary because some bishops are violating the zero-tolerance policies, and abusive clergy (who now number 6,275, according to the bishops’ count of those accusations that they deem credible) still have access to children. They point to the revelations in the last month that a priest in Newark who was a convicted sex offender restricted by a court order from working with children had been ministering in a Catholic parish in Trenton, taking confessions from children and going on weekend youth retreats….

The whistle-blowers’ group plans to hold its first news conference this week in New York, and some members are bracing for the reaction. They said they know priests who spoke up and were removed from their parishes, hustled into retirement or declared “unstable” and sent to treatment centers for clergy with substance-abuse problems or sexual addictions…..
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/catholic-church-whistle-blowers-join-forces-on-abuse.html

Ex-swim coach accused of abuse appears in court
By Peter Schworm    Globe Staff    May 20, 2013

MEDFORD — When the young boy joined the Arlington Boys & Girls Club swim team in the late 1970s, his coach was Paul Collins, who also dated his family’s neighbor and would sometimes fill in as baby sitter.

On those occasions, when the boy went to sleep, Collins would sit at his bedside and “begin rubbing his back and chest,” according to allegations detailed in court documents released Monday. ­Collins would then massage the boy below the waist and tell him he should not talk about it to anyone else.

It was, he told the boy, “our ­little secret.”

The boy, now a middle-aged man, is one of four adults who in recent weeks have accused Collins of sexual assault, part of an expand­ing investigation into child abuse at the youth club. The men came forward after club officials announced in February that another former employee, William Sullivan, had allegedly sexually abused children at the club ­between the 1970s and 1990s. ­Sullivan is deceased.

On Monday, two days after being arrested in his Long Island home, Collins, 62, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on charges of sexually assaulting the boys and ordered held on $250,000 bail. Collins pleaded not guilty to the accusations, but prosecutors said he had admitted to sexual contact with two accusers and told investigators he may also have had contact with the other two….
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/05/20/new-york-man-charged-with-sexually-abusing-children-arlington-boys-girls-club-late/dQnWc6GwgfQDC1WtXq5iMI/story.html

Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions, Abuse survivor demands state inquiry, Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again) (child p_rn victims), Court hears details of satanic ritual, Girl’s satanic horror

April 25, 2013 Comments Off on Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions, Abuse survivor demands state inquiry, Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again) (child p_rn victims), Court hears details of satanic ritual, Girl’s satanic horror

Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions  4/24/13
“I am one of the fortunate survivors to have succeeded in securing a criminal conviction against one of two Spiritan priests who sexually abused me,” writes campaigner Mark Vincent Healy.

THE DIOCESES OF Clogher, Elphin, Killala and Waterford join the infamous group of seven Catholic Church authorities, including Derry, Dramore and Limerick, where not one priest has been convicted for having committed an offence or offences against a child or young person despite numerous allegations since 1 January 1975. From the 16 dioceses reviewed to date by the National Board for Safeguarding Children, there have been 187 allegations made in relation to 98 priests where there have been no convictions. This represents a third of the church authorities examined where not one priest was held to account….

To date there have been four reviews of missionary orders where a total of 113 priests have had 287 allegations raised against them but only seven priests have ever been convicted. The sad reality is that only 6.2 per cent of accused Irish missionaries are ever convicted. I am one of the fortunate survivors to have succeeded in securing a criminal conviction against one of two Spiritan priests who sexually abused me from the ages of nine to 12 and then tried to cover it all up. Forty-seven Spiritans had 142 allegations made against them in the second tranche of audits, and only three were convicted….

Fr Andrew Greely, a professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago believes there could be up to 50 victims per priest. Meanwhile, Richard Sipe a psychotherapist in Maryland, has said 250 victims may suffer over the lifetime of a paedophile. Shockingly, the 106 priests accused in the third tranche could possibly have abused between 5,300 to 26,500 potential victims. Just 271 came forward….
http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/catholic-child-abuse-187-allegations-against-98-priests-have-led-to-zero-convictions-883536-Apr2013/

Abuse survivor demands state inquiry Sarah Stack and David Young – 24 April 2013

AN abuse survivor who alleges an uncle of the former Bishop of Clogher was one of his attackers has demanded a state inquiry into clerical sex crimes in Northern Ireland. The Stormont Executive has established a statutory probe into abuse committed in state and church-run institutions, but its remit does not cover criminal acts committed by priests outside of children’s residential facilities.

Michael Connolly claims he was victimised for five years of his childhood in Donagh, Co Fermanagh, by parish priest Peter Duffy, who was later promoted to canon. The deceased cleric was the uncle of the former Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, who was today heavily criticised for unsatisfactory responses to child abuse allegations and risky behaviour of priests in the diocese….http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abuse-survivor-demands-state-inquiry-29220069.html

Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again)
By James R. Marsh on April 24, 2013

Today, James R. Marsh of the Marsh Law Firm and Paul G. Cassell of the University of Utah College of Law Appellate Legal Clinic, filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court in their latest effort to convince the Court to consider the critical issue of criminal restitution for victims of child pornography.

The case, Doyle Randall Paroline v. Amy Unknown, arises out of a long-fought extensively litigated restitution action which started almost four years ago before Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division. In January, the defendant filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court seeking review of last year’s landmark Fifth Circuit en banc decision which significantly expanded the rights of child pornography victims to receive criminal restitution.
http://www.childlaw.us/2013/04/restitution-returns-to-the-uni.html

Court hears details of satanic ritual
April 24 2013  By Sandy Moeketsi

Johannesburg – Phrases were chanted before Kirsty Theologo and her friend were set alight, the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday. Her alleged murderers stood at the points of a satanic star, where candles burnt. In the middle of the star was a burning Bible, where blood would be shed, Lester Moody told the court. Moody was testifying against four people accused of setting Theologo and her friend alight in an apparent satanic ritual on October 21, 2011….
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/court-hears-details-of-satanic-ritual-1.1505823

Girl’s satanic horror April 24 2013 By SUSAN DU

Johannesburg – Kirsty Theologo thought that she was going to a party with friends she trusted on the night of October 21, 2011.

She brought another girl along.
She had a drink.
She trusted her friends when they told her they needed to stop by a petrol station to get sweets, then again when they said there had been a change of plans and that they would be going into the “mountains of Linmeyer” instead.

The “party” turned out to be a satanic ritual in which Kirsty was drugged, bound, drenched in petrol and burnt so severely that she died later in hospital.  Her friend, now 16, survived. She can’t be named due to her age….

Kirsty and her friend – the only two people not dressed entirely in black – lost consciousness due to the brake fluid that had been secretly added to their drinks.  The two victims were then bound and left to one side while the accused created a “satanic star” in the ground and lit candles at each of its five points, Moody testified….
http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/girl-s-satanic-horror-1.1505350

Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church, Leesburg child p_rn suspect had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home

April 6, 2013 Comments Off on Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church, Leesburg child p_rn suspect had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home

Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church
By Philip Pullella, Reuters  Fri Apr 5, 2013

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to “act decisively” to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished, the Vatican said on Friday.

Francis, in a meeting with the Holy See’s doctrinal chief, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, had declared that combating sexual abuse was important “for the Church and its credibility”, a statement said.

Francis inherited a Church mired in problems and a major scandal over priestly abuse of children. It was believed to be the first time he had taken up the issue of sex abuse with a senior member of his staff since his election on March 13….
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/05/17614945-pope-stopping-child-sexual-abuse-key-to-credibility-of-catholic-church

Judge could order Leesburg child porn suspect to pay for own attorney
Friday, April 5, 2013  LEESBURG, Fla.

A man who the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said downloaded the most child pornography in the state of Florida was denied bail Friday morning.
Officers said John Shearen had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home in Leesburg.

He was arrested Thursday, on his 51st birthday, at his home in the Lakeside Pointe apartment complex, FDLE said. Agents said they identified Shearen last month while monitoring child porn websites, and they caught him at his computer Thursday morning as he was downloading more videos….

“We were able to seize anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million images and videos. They were stored on several computers and external hard drives to actually being transferred from the computers to separate DVDs, and he has a DVD collection of child pornography. So, we have a lot of work to do. Those initial cases will be charged today,” said Special Agent Jeff Duncan.

Agents said Shearen admitted his crimes….
Shearen faces 20 counts each of distribution and possession of child porn, but agents said there may be more charges filed as the investigation continues.

“He is the No. 1 person who can distribute child pornography throughout the world,” said Duncan. “And he’s been doing it.”
http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/fdle-man-who-downloaded-most-child-pornography-sta/nXCb3/

No bond for Leesburgh child porn suspect
A man who the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said downloaded the most child pornography in the state of Florida was denied bail Friday morning.
http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/no-bond-for-leesburgh-child-porn-suspect/vxQyP/

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