2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal, Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial

June 16, 2015 Comments Off on 2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal, Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial

2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal
By MITCH SMITH and LAURIE GOODSTEIN JUNE 15, 2015

CHICAGO — Two bishops in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned their posts Monday, the second time this spring that American church leaders have stepped aside after complaints over their handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.

In Minnesota, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, announced their departures less than two weeks after prosecutors in St. Paul accused the archdiocese of willfully ignoring warning signs of a pedophile priest. Their resignations followed the April exit of Bishop Robert W. Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor for failing to report a priest who took pornographic pictures of girls….

John J. Choi, the prosecutor in Ramsey County, Minn., said the resignations would not affect his office’s criminal and civil cases against the archdiocese, which accused church leaders of failing to intervene against a priest despite repeated complaints of misconduct. That priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, has since been defrocked and imprisoned on sexual abuse charges involving boys in his parish.

“While today’s resignation will be viewed as a positive development by many in our community, the pending criminal action and civil petition and the ongoing investigation will continue,” Mr. Choi said in a statement. “As we have said, the goals of our actions are to hold the Archdiocese accountable, seek justice for the victims and our community, and to take appropriate steps to ensure that what we have alleged and intend to prove about the past conduct of church officials will never be repeated.”….

The Minnesota and Missouri church leaders are hardly the first bishops to resign under scrutiny or accusations that they failed abuse victims. Since the papacy of John Paul II — now St. John Paul — began in 1978, 16 other bishops have resigned or been forced from office under a cloud of accusations that they mishandled abuse cases, according to research by BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group in Waltham, Mass. Archbishop Nienstedt is the 17th, by that group’s count.

Archbishop Nienstedt had become one of the most embattled figures in the American Catholic hierarchy, under fire in the courts, in the pews and on newspaper editorial pages. He had refused to resign about a year ago after coming under sharp criticism from his own former chancellor for canonical affairs, Jennifer M. Haselberger, who charged that the church used a chaotic system of record keeping that helped conceal the backgrounds of guilty priests who remained on assignment….
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/us/archbishop-nienstedt-and-aide-resign-in-minnesota-over-sex-abuse-scandal.html


Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest

By MITCH SMITH JUNE 5, 2015

CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.

The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were under age, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.

The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by American authorities against a Catholic diocese….

Mr. Wehmeyer, 50, who was dismissed as a priest in March, was sentenced to five years in a Minnesota prison in 2013 for criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He also has been charged with sex crimes in Wisconsin.

The six criminal charges filed Friday, misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $3,000 each, accused the archdiocese of failing to protect children. Mr. Choi also filed a civil petition against the archdiocese that he said was intended to provide legal remedies to prevent similar inaction from happening again.

The 44-page criminal complaint states that concerns about Mr. Wehmeyer date to the 1990s, when he was in seminary and supervisors suggested that his past sexual promiscuity and alcohol abuse made him a poor candidate for the priesthood….

The charging documents also say that archdiocese officials knew that Mr. Wehmeyer used a boys’ bathroom at a parish elementary school instead of the staff restroom; tried to give an elementary-age boy a tour of the rectory in violation of policy; and took camping trips with boys where some of the sexual abuse was said to have occurred.

The archdiocese placed Mr. Wehmeyer in a monitoring program for priests facing complaints of abuse or other problems, but prosecutors said in court documents that the supervision and follow-through was “lax or nonexistent.”….
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/06/us/catholic-archdiocese-in-minnesota-charged-over-sex-abuse-by-priest.html

Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial
15 June 2015

The Vatican is to put its former envoy to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, on trial on child sex abuse and child pornography charges.

Pope Francis has also accepted the resignations of a US archbishop and his deputy, accused in Minnesota of having ignored a priest’s child abuse.

Jozef Wesolowski is accused of sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013. He is under house arrest in the Vatican.

The trial is to begin on 11 July.

Wesolowski, 66, is also charged with possession of child pornography, dating from his return to Rome in 2013….

Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, was recalled from the Dominican Republic in 2013, after allegations surfaced accusing him of abusing Dominican boys.

He had spent five years in the Caribbean country as the papal envoy.

He was defrocked in June last year after he was found guilty by a Church tribunal – he is the highest-ranking church official to be defrocked for such abuse.

He will now be tried by a Vatican criminal court….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33136393

Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system

February 6, 2013 Comments Off on Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system

Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and JENNIFER MEDINA February 4, 2013

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of internal files last Thursday on priests accused of sexually abusing children, saying that it was finally abiding by a settlement it signed with victims six years ago to make the painful history public.

But it now appears that the files the church released with much fanfare are incomplete and many are unaccounted for, according to the abuse victims’ lawyers. In addition, on many documents the names of church supervisors informed of abuse allegations were redacted by the archdiocese, in apparent violation of a judge’s order.

At issue is whether the survivors of abuse and the public will ever learn which church officials were responsible for mishandling or covering up allegations of sexual abuse.

Abuse victims had insisted that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles release the records as part of a settlement in 2007, which provided $660 million to more than 500 victims. Other Catholic dioceses that have settled with victims have released similar records.

“We know we have not gotten a complete disclosure,” said Jeff Anderson, who is among the lawyers representing the victims. “They have removed things that should not have been removed, some of which we have seen before, so we know that they exist. It’s more deception, deceit and secrecy.”

But J. Michael Hennigan,  a lawyer for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said in an interview that while there were probably a few errors, there was no intention to withhold information.

“I would be surprised if we did this job perfectly,” he said. “The team that worked on this worked under pressure sometimes late into the night.”

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought for six years all the way to the State Supreme Court to block the release of the documents. Early in January, Judge Emilie H. Elias overturned a previous decision, and ordered the archdiocese to lift the redactions of the names of certain kinds of officials: archbishops and bishops, vicars for clergy members and directors of treatment facilities, as well as pastors, “church agents” or employees who had supervisory responsibility over an accused priest and were made aware of complaints or suspicions about him.

But on many pages it appears that the names of supervisors, like pastors in parishes or the supervisors of religious orders, are missing.

For example, the file on Carlos Rodriguez, a priest serving in a parish in Central Los Angeles, includes a letter to him from his religious order, the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers, informing him that he is being sent to a treatment center in Maryland. Mr. Rodriguez was accused of molesting several teenage boys over the years. But while the letter makes clear that the writer is the priest’s religious superior, the name is redacted. Other documents in the file are similarly missing names of religious order supervisors….
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/us/los-angeles-archdiocese-is-accused-of-failing-to-release-all-priest-abuse-records.html

 

Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools
Colin Adwent Crime Correspondent Monday, February 4, 2013

THREE former Suffolk schools are now at the centre of criminal investigations into historic child abuse allegations.

The accusations, which relate to alleged physical and sexual assaults, are said to have occurred between the late 1970s and run through to the 1990s.

A solicitor representing ex-pupils of one of the schools – Oakwood School in Stowmarket – has said the number of claimants has reached three figures.

Andrew Grove, who is based in Cambridge, said: “We now have 100 complainants on the civil claim relating to Oakwood School.”

Last week detectives said they were re-opening the 1992 inquiry into alleged abuse at Kesgrave Hall independent school.

The investigation, codenamed Operation Garford, comes after former students’ calls for it to be re-opened were backed by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.

Responding to the new inquiry, Dr Poulter said: “I am pleased that Suffolk Police are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the alleged child abuse at Kesgrave Hall school, following my intervention.

“A number of people have written to me raising concerns about abuse when they or their family members were pupils at the school, and I would again urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk police.”

Four people were suspended in 1992 during the Kesgrave Hall inquiry. No charges were ever brought. The school closed in 1993.

However, a woodwork teacher Alan Stancliffe, was convicted and jailed in 1999 and again in 2007 for indecent assaults on three ex-pupils….
http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/kesgrave_stowmarket_inquiries_into_historic_child_abuse_allegations_at_three_former_schools_1_1857903

 

Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system

Taoiseach Enda Kenny fails to formally apologise for involvement over female enslavement causing more outrage
Henry McDonald in Dublin     The Guardian, Tuesday 5 February 2013

After more than seven decades of exploitation and a 10-year struggle for justice, Ireland on Tuesday admitted its role in the enslavement of thousands of women and girls in the notorious Magdalene Laundry system, but stopped short of issuing a formal apology from the government.

A long-awaited report headed by Senator Martin McAleese said there was “significant state involvement” in how the laundries were run – a reversal of the official state line for years, which insisted the institutions were privately controlled and run by nuns.

But the Irish Premier Enda Kenny’s failure to give the women and their supporters a full, formal, public apology in the Dail on Tuesday afternoon has infuriated the victims and their supporters, who said such an approach risked undermining Ireland’s attempt to right a historic wrong. Instead Kenny stated his “regret” about the stigma hanging over the women.

“The stigma that the branding together of all the residents, all 10,000, in the Magdalene Laundries, needs to be removed, and should have been removed long before this,” Kenny said. “And I really am sorry that that never happened, and I regret that it never happened.”

Claire McGetterick of the Justice For Magdalenes group said last night: “Frankly their country has failed them again”.

Labelled the “Maggies”, the women and girls were stripped of their names and dumped in Irish Catholic church-run laundries where nuns treated them as slaves, simply because they were unmarried mothers, orphans or regarded as somehow morally wayward.

Over 74 years, 30,000 women were put to work in de facto detention, mostly in laundries run by nuns. At least 988 of the women who were buried in laundry grounds are thought to have spent most of their lives inside the institutions….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/05/ireland-magdalene-laundry-system-apology

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Roman Catholic Archdiocese at Eassurvey's Weblog.