Reflecting on the human cost of abuse and its prevention By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Reflecting on the human cost of abuse and its prevention
EDITORS NOTE: In July 2012 when Archbishop Chaput’s investigation cleared one accused priest, SNAP reacted with sharp criticism of Chaput’s procedure, saying decisions were “held in secrecy for months or weeks until the archbishop and his public relations staffers deem it’s most advantageous to disclose them. Chaput continues to act recklessly and selfishly … with little or no regard for children’s safety.” At the same time, SNAP also called “again” on Archbishop Chaput to proceed to defrock Lynn after his conviction; and for “eliminating Pennsylvania’s archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statutes of limitations”. In January 2014, the archdiocese, prominently defended by Chaput, posted bail for Lynn. In April 2015 the state supreme court upheld the initial conviction and revoked Lynn’s bail. He was returned to serve the balance of his 3-to-6 year term. PLEASE read the Editors Notes following the end of the story.
The hypocrisy of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in the following story is incredibly revealing.
Now from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s own hypocritical words:
Throughout the weeks of April, our Commonwealth, along with the rest of the country, has been focused on National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.
Here in Pennsylvania, our people have come through a very difficult decade on this issue. But the abuse problem is much wider than any one state, profession or demographic group. It cuts through every level of society. Child abuse is an ugly crime; abusing children sexually compounds the evil. Every year we see many thousands of cases of child sexual abuse across the country in a full range of institutions, public and private, religious and secular.
In response, Pennsylvania legislators have passed 20 new laws aimed at preventing child abuse and providing better support for survivors. In doing so, they’ve offered a model for the nation. We owe them our gratitude for their good work. And it’s important to stress that as a Catholic community, we too are committed — just as everyone should be — to ensuring safe environments for children and young people.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a zero tolerance policy for clergy, lay employees and volunteers who engage in sexual misconduct with children. If an accusation of this nature is made, we take immediate action by reporting the matter to law enforcement and cooperating with authorities fully in the course of their work.
We’re committed to educating all those who work with children, as well as the children in our schools and parish religious education programs, so they can recognize signs of abuse and make a report.
As we come to the end of April, it’s worth highlighting some key archdiocesan statistics:
* More than 280 designated Safe Environment Coordinators are now working in our parishes, schools and youth ministries to ensure compliance with state laws and archdiocesan safety policies.
* More than 92,000 adults have received training to recognize, respond and report child abuse since 2003.
* Nearly 30,000 adults have received mandatory reporter training.
* More than 100,000 children have received age-appropriate abuse prevention education.
* The archdiocese has invested more than $2.4 million in education and training aimed at preventing and reporting sexual abuse since 2006.
In addition, the archdiocesan Victim Assistance Program offers compassionate and substantial assistance to individuals and families every year. During the 2013-14 fiscal year alone, the Church in Philadelphia dedicated more than $1.6 million to various modes of assistance including counseling, medication, and vocational support for survivors and their families.
To put it simply: The Philadelphia Catholic community is, and will remain, fully committed to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their families heal, no matter who committed the crime against them or when the crime occurred.
Evil actions in the past can’t be erased and shouldn’t be forgotten. Over the decades sexual abuse has wounded hundreds of innocent lives, both within and outside the Church in Pennsylvania. But the sins of the past need not determine the present or future.
The Catholic Church in the Greater Philadelphia region is dedicated to protecting our young people and families from sexual predators and the suffering they cause — now and always.
EDITORS NOTE: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia did NOT dedicate itself to protecting young people from sexual predators, nor did they do anything about the suffering of the victims. This is extremely well documented.
Cardinals John Krol and Anthony Bevilacqua covered up for their pedophile priests.
Bishop Joseph Cistone also participated in the cover ups, including silencing a nun who tried to alert parishioners at St. Gabriels parish of an abusive priest. Cistone also covered up for other priests and showed himself he was more concerned with the public relations than the sexual abuse of children.
Bishop William Lynn, who was eventually convicted in his part for covering up for “Father” James J. Brennan among others. “According to a scathing grand jury report, Lynn, as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese, concealed the crimes of accused priests and put them in positions in which they could harm more children.
Lynn figured prominently in a scathing 2005 grand jury report that found 63 priests in the archdiocese had been credibly accused of child sexual assault over several decades while local church officials turned a blind eye..
Some of the pedophile priests they covered up for were:
1. “Father” John McDevitt, a religion teacher at Father Judge High School for Boys, abused Richard Green for six months in 1990 and 1991. At the time, the victim’s uncle, Cardinal John Joseph O’Conner served as Archbishop of New York.
2. “Father” Edward Avery, 69, known for his moonlighting work as a disc jockey, pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child. He was immediately sentenced to 2½ to five years in prison. The charges stem from Avery’s abuse of an altar boy at St. Jerome’s Parish in northeast Pennsylvania in 1999, when Avery was 57 and the boy 10. Avery was at St. Jerome’s despite a credible 1992 complaint that led him to undergo psychological testing at an archdiocesan-run psychiatric hospital, according to a 2005 grand jury report. He was pulled from his parish, put on a so-called “health leave” and then reassigned in 1993, the report said.”
3. “Father” James J. Brennan: Brennan is accused of the 1996 rape of a 14-year-old boy.
The Diocese of Allenstown PA had 22 pedophile priests: Thomas J. Bender, Luis A. Bonilla Margarito, Bernard A. Flanagan, Stephen Forish, Francis (Frank) J. Fromholzer, James F. Gaffney, Edward R. Graff, Richard Gulliani, Leo Houseknecht, William E. Jones, Michael S. Lawrence, James J. McHale, Francis J. McNelis, James J. Mihalak, Gabriel M. Patil, Joseph A. Rock, John Paul Sabas, William J. Shields, David Soderland, A. Gregory Uhrig, Andrew A. Ulincy, Ronald J. Yarrosh.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown PA had 27 pedophile priests: Joseph J. Bender, Harold N. Biller, John J. Boyle, Martin A. Brady, James F. Bunn, Andrew Campbell, Thomas M. Carroll, Athanasius C. Cherry, Dennis E. Coleman, Alvin T. Downey, Elwood F. Figurelle, Joseph Gaborek, Bernard V. Grattan, Leonard Inman, Robert J. Kelly, George D. Koharchik, William Kovach, Thomas M. Lemmon, Anthony B. Little, Francis E. Luddy, Thomas K. Mabon, Joseph D. Maurizzo, Francis Mcaa, Martin D. McCamley, William A. Rosensteel, James F. Skupien, Joseph J. Strittmatter.
The Diocese of of Erie PA had 11 pedophile priests: Michael G. Barletta, Donald Bolton, Robert F. Bower, Chester J. Gawronski, H. Desmond McGee Jr., William F. Presley, Samuel B. Slocum, Thomas E. Smith, Daniel J. Taylor, and two un-named priests.
The Diocese of Greenburg PA had 6 pedophile priests: Dennis Dellamalva, Mark F. X. Gruber, Francis M. Lesniak, Gregory F. Premoshis, Roger A. Sinclair, Roger J. Trott.
The Diocese of Harrisburg PA had 7 pedophile priests: John G. Allen, John R. Bostwick Jr., Augustine Giella, David M. (H?) Luck, Guy D. Marsico, Joseph M. Pease, Patrick J. Shannon.
The Diocese of Philadelphia had 133 pedophile priests: Edward V. Avery, William G. Ayers, Phillip R. Barr, James J. Behan, Michael C. Bolesta, John F. Bowe, H. Cornell Bradley, Michael J. Bransfield, James J. Brennan, Robert L. Brennan, Leonard W. Broughan, Craig F. Brugger, James A. Brzyski, George B. Cadwallader, Raymond J. Cahill, Hugh P. Campbell, John A. Cannon, Paul A. Castellani, Pasquale R. Catullo, Gerard W. Chambers, Michael A. Chapman, Arthur B. Chappell, John A. Close, Richard J. Cochrane, James J. Collins, Michael F. Conroy, James J. Coonan, George A. Costigan, Nicholas V. Cudemo, John J. Delli Carpini, Edward M. DePaoli, Joseph L. DiGregorio, Richard D. Dolan, Michael J. Donofrio, John C. Dougherty, William J. Dougherty, Phillip J. Dowling, Peter J. Dunne, Ernest A. Durante, Thomas J. Durkin, James M. Dux, Charles F. Engelhardt, Francis S. Feret, Mark E. Fernandez, Leonard F. Furmanski, Robert W. Gaghan, Francis J. Gallagher, Joseph J. Gallagher, Joseph P. Gallagher, Stanley M. Gana, Stephen M. Garrity, Mark S. Gaspar, Joseph P. Gausch, Francis A. Giliberti, John E. Gillespie, Charles Ginn Jr., David W. Givey, Joseph M. Glatts, Thomas J. Grumm, David I. Hagen, Steven Harris, James T. Henry, Robert J. Hermley, Gerard J. Hoffman, Daniel J. Hoy, John F. Hummell, James M. Iannarella, Stanley Janowski, Richard G. Jones, William T. Joseph, William N. Killian, John Kline, Thomas M. Kohler, Matthew J. Kornacki, Albert T. Kostelnick, Edward P. Kuczynski, Dexter A. Lancetot, David T. Lawlor, Raymond O. Leneweaver, John R. Liggio, Joseph L. Logrip, Joseph E. Macanga, Nilo C. Martins, George J. Mazzota, Joseph F. McCafferty, Michael J. McCarthy, John F. McCole, Charles P. McColgan, Andrew D. McCormick, James J. McGinness III, Joseph M. McKenzie, Richard J. McLoughlin, Donald J. Mills, Joseph R. Monahan, John H. Mulholland, John J. Murray, Michael G. Murtha, Zachary Navit, Henry “Harry” J. Nawn, Charles Newman, John P. Paul, Stephen B. Perzan, Leonard Peterson, Terrance Pinkowski, Ted (Theodore) Podson, Robert Povish, Richard T. Powers, John D. Reardon, Francis P. Rogers, Thomas Rooney, Gerald J. Royer, Joseph F. Sabadish, William L. Santry, Martin J. Satchell, Charles J. Schaeflein, John P. Schmeer, Thomas F. Shea, David C. Sicoli, Charles J. Siegle, Edward J. Smith, Thomas J. Smith, DePaul Sobotka, Louis M. Steingraber, Michael W. Swierzy, Peter Talocci, Carmen F. Taraborelli, Joseph W. Thomas, Francis X. Trauger, Alyosius M. Vath, David E. Walls, Sylwester Wiejata, Thomas J. Wisniewiski.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh PA had 42 pedophile priests: Alvin J. Adams, Jerome Binder, Robert J. Castelucci, Mauro J. Cautela, Charles J. Chatt, Anthony J. Cipolla, M. Eric Diskin, Jason R. Dolan, Richard J. Dorsch, David F. Dzermejko, Ralph J. Esposito, John P. (Jack) Fitzgerald, Richard Ginder, James G. Ginder, James G. Graham, Bernard Joseph Hartman, William Charles Hildebrand, John (Jack) S. Hoehl, Edward G. Huff, Joseph G. Karabin, John Keegan, William Kiefer, James Kline, Henry R. Krawcyzk, John Lukasik, Julius F. May, William J. McCashin, Francis Meder, Ralph Mrvanitz, Lawrence O’Connell, George J. Parme, Francis Pucci, Edward Smith, James E. Somma Jr., Bartley A. Sorenson, Andrew J. Suran, Daniel J. Tisak, Alberta Veri (nun), John W. Wellinger, Joseph Wichmanowski, George Wilt, Robert G. Wolk, Richard “Sade” Zulu.
The Diocese of Scranton PA had 23 pedophile priests: Phillip A. Altavilla, Robert J. Brague, Francis Brennan, Robert N. Caparelli, Christopher Clay, J. Peter Crynes, Eric Ensey, Robert J. Gibson, Unkown First Name Hazzouri, Albert M. Liberatore Jr., James M McAuliffe, Neil P. McLaughlin, Russell E. Motsay, Father Ned, W. (William) Jeffery Paulish, Edward J. Shoback, Thomas P. Shoback, Thomas D. Skotek, Virgil Bradley Tetherow, Robert M. Timchak, Carlos Urrutigoity, Lawrence P. Weniger, Steven J. Wolpert.
Pope John Paul II and the Sex Abuse Case
The world is not ignorant about the presence of lecherous priests in the world but, who would have guessed that the Catholic Church also hosts a few of these perverts of the highest order. Among the most serious cases are the ones involving Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer an Austrian friend of the Pope. The Cardinal was accused of molesting over 2000 boys and young monks in his overall career span. Even then he sailed through the situation because there were no sanctions placed on him.
The next case was related to Marcial Maciel Degollado, the Mexican founder of the ‘Legion of Christ’. This person was accused of not only molesting young boys but fathering a number of children through innumerable women. The reason why Pope John Paul II was disapproved was for obstructing investigation in both these cases. In fact he had been criticized for promoting those individuals who had sex abuse cases pending against them.
Covering up of these cases have been considered to be worse than the crime itself. Cardinal Ratzinger under the auspices of Pope John Paul II had written a letter stating that all sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church be sent to his department and be subject to pontifical secrecy. He had also tried to persuade the Pope to bring them to book, but his opponents in the Vatican managed to block any further enquiry into the issue. In the words of the Present Pope Benedict XVI, ‘the other side had won’.
When the child abuse cases in the Catholic Church had first come to light, the Pope had an acceptable ‘bad apple’ explanation to provide. He said that even as priests some brothers are afflicted by sins that betray the grace of ordination. It is because of these few bad cases that the other brothers, who are conducting their office in the most virtuous manner, with honesty and integrity which sometimes result in heroic self sacrifice, are also tarnished. Although he showed his concern and sympathy to the victims and their families, he called upon the rest to embrace the ‘mysterium crucis’ and commit more fully to the search of holiness.
While H.H Groer was removed as Arch Bishop of Vienna in 1995, Pope Benedict finally managed to oust Maciel in 2006. Further investigations have proved that Maciel had sent pots of money to buy support in the Vatican.
One can give many reasons as to why Pope John Paul II had brushed all this rubbish under the Vatican carpet. It may be that he did not want the people in general to loose their faith on the Church, or it could also be that he believed that some (not all) of these cases were made to frame people in high Vatican offices. Whatever the excuse may be, people will question him for not dealing with these perverts in strict hands. History will show that it was actually Pope Benedict XVI and not Pope John Paul II who had initiated ‘purification’ of the Church.
‘Beautifully crafted’ 24” bronze statues of Pope John Paul II give out an aura of peace and tranquility. This collector’s item is also considered a very thoughtful gift for loved ones’
But I will be back soon to post more stories of pain and suffering and horror brought onto the world by the freaks of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church
Priest guilty of sex assault
Tuesday February 17, 2015
By Liam Heylin
A girl aged around 10 was picked up in a car and sexually assaulted by a priest who said he was looking for directions in West Cork.
Yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, he confirmed a plea of guilty to the offence and was jailed for a year. The indecent assault happened in the mid-1970s.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin made an order in relation to any publication of the case that John Calnan, aged 76, of The Presbytery, 35 Paul St, Cork, could be identified but that nothing leading to the identification of the victim could be published.
The injured party was 10 or 11 at the time of the incident. The priest was aged in his thirties.
Detective Garda Maurice Shanley said gardaí received a statement of complaint against Calnan of an indecent assault occurring on an unknown date between June 1, 1974, and June 30, 1977.
The injured party recalled in her statement that she had been wearing a summer dress when the priest drove up beside her and asked for directions to a place nearby.
She remembered that she sat in to the passenger seat of the car and, as he drove along, he put his hand on her right thigh. “While he was waiting in the front garden of the house, waiting at the front door he asked if she was ticklish,” Det Garda Shanley told the court.
“He then caught her, her back to him, and put his right hand inside her panties and put his finger inside her vagina. She could not say how long this went on. She could not say if he was aroused.
“On the way back he put his left hand on her right thigh again and did not say anything.”
Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, asked how the victim, who is now in her forties, was getting on. The detective said: “She does not want to make a victim impact statement. She has had a lot of sleepless nights but she has come to terms with it as best she can. She has had counselling on a small scale.”
Det Garda Shanley said Calnan had five previous convictions. He got eight years with the last three years suspended for attempting to rape a young girl and indecently assaulting her three times, and indecently assaulting a boy once.
The detective said Calnan came from a decent family, was ordained in 1964, mostly serving in West Cork.
In 1992, he stopped ministering as a priest and went to the Gracewell clinic in Birmingham to deal with his offending behaviour.
John Devlin, defending, said: “He is out of ministry. He is now aged 76. He did go to Gracewell. He was very co-operative and made full admissions. He is currently in Arbour Hill prison. He is in poor health and had a heart attack last year while in prison.
“He has made good use of his time in prison and has involved himself in courses to deal with that type of offending.”
The judge said Calnan’s guilty plea spared the injured party having to come into a public place and talk about what happened to her, adding that the plea was also a total vindication of her.
Former Norfolk Catholic priest Father Anthony McSweeney ‘abused boy and took photos’, court hears
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
A man has told a court that he was sexually abused at a care home by a Roman Catholic priest who then took photographs of him.
The alleged victim, now in his 40s, was under 16 when he was at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, during the 1980s.
On the second day of Father Anthony McSweeney’s trial at Southwark Crown Court, the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury how the priest performed a sex act on him and then took out a camera, before warning him not to tell anyone what had happened.
The alleged victim said: “When I called an end to it he did mention that it’s not to be broadcast, I weren’t to tell anyone.”
He said the incident took place in a flat at Grafton Close belonging to John Stingemore.
The jury of seven men and five women has been told that he abused boys during his time as the home’s manager.
He was due to appear in the dock alongside McSweeney until he was found dead in his home last month.
When the man who claimed he was abused by McSweeney in Stingemore’s flat was asked why he did not tell anyone at the time what had happened, he replied: “Who would I tell? There was no one else other than the staff. It would only get reported to Stingemore.
“I felt a bit ashamed as well.”
In cross-examination, Stephen Spence, defending, put it to the man that he was not telling the truth.
He said: “You’ve made this up, haven’t you?”
The man replied: “No, absolutely not.”
McSweeney, 68, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, denies four counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child and one of taking indecent images of a child.
The once part-time chaplain at Norwich City FC was leading the congregation at St George’s Church in north Norwich when the claims against him emerged.
The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, was adjourned until 10am tomorrow.
Catholic priest ‘watched as suspected paedophile groped boys in shower’
Father Tony McSweeney is facing eight counts of paedophilia and indecent assault charges against three boys
A former Catholic priest watched as a suspected paedophile groped young boys genitals and forced them to bend over as they washed themselves in a shower, a court has heard.
Father Tony McSweeney is accused of ogling the youngsters while alleged child molester John Stingemore touched the boys during “shower nights” at a care home in the 1980s.
Southwark Crown Court has been told that Stingemore, who died last month before he could be brought to justice, would abuse the boys while McSweeney watched.
One alleged victim told the court the abuse would be “almost all the time” when Father McSweeney stayed at the Grafton Close care home.
The 68-year-old faces eight counts of paedophilia and indecent assault charges against three boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
The alleged victim, now 49, stayed at the home for several months in 1980.
Asked if he knew McSweeney, who sat in the dock listening to proceedings through a hearing loop, he said: “I knew him as the priest. I just remember he was a big bloke.
“I didn’t think he was a member of staff, I just thought he was a mate (of Stingemore’s) who turned up.”
The court heard how the home had “shower nights” when groups of children would be taken to the shower block in groups.
Asked what happened on those occasions, the alleged victim said: “I was watched. Stingemore would watch us but I seem to remember it being more when the priest turned up.
The victim told the court how once they had finished showering, Stingemore would check the boys’ bottoms and genitals “to make sure they were clean”.
He claims McSweeney would watch as Stingemore would make the boys bend down at which point he would part their buttocks and lift their testicles.
Asked by prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes QC if Stingemore had explained why this was necessary, the witness said: “No.”
“You were 15 years old, did you need any assistance with washing?” she asked.
“No,” the witness replied.
Asked how often this abuse would take place over the course of a month, he said: “Maybe four or five times. It didn’t happen very often but when the priest turned up it seemed to be all the time.”
Asked if he had said anything to anyone at the time, he said: “No, it just wasn’t spoken about. I didn’t have a very good relationship with my mum at the time so I had no one to talk to.”
The court heard how he later told his wife in 2012 after reading newspaper reports about serial child abuser Jimmy Savile.
A statement she gave to police, which was read to the court, said: “We had read in the newspaper about Jimmy Savile and he said he thought there had been abuse in the first children’s home he stayed in.”
The case continues.
N.M. diocese releases list of 17 Arizona priests ‘credibly accused’ of child sex abuse
The Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., this week released an updated list of priests, including at least 17 priests who worked in Arizona, who it says were “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors.
Many of the cases date back decades and led to investigations and criminal charges, said Suzanne Hammons, a spokeswoman for the diocese.
“We still feel a sense of responsibility because it happened in our church,” Hammons said.
An Arizona lawyer who represents accusers praised the diocese for its transparency, saying it will help bring “healing” to the Catholic Church. But Robert Pastor also said that “credibly accused” is an arbitrary term.
“In that context, the Catholic Church acts as judge and jury,” he said. “Historically, the Catholic Church and its managers have used the phrase ‘credibly accused’ to justify hiding pedophile priests. … The Catholic Church needs a cultural shift in which no parent, grandparent, teacher or layperson should feel afraid or otherwise second-guess themselves when a child discloses sexual abuse.”
A spokeswoman for a support group said that the list is a step in the right direction but that the church needs to do more.
Founded in 1939, the diocese encompasses Arizona’s Apache, Navajo and Coconino counties as well as counties in northwestern New Mexico.
The 17 priests worked in Arizona as recently as 2013 and as far back as 1951. At least six of the Arizona priests are listed as deceased.
The list of 30 clergy members and one layperson includes the names, places and dates of service of what the diocese said were credibly accused personnel, but it does not outline any criminal charges, sanctions or the number of sexual-abuse accusers.
Hammons said some sanctions were imposed on “a few of the priests,” but she did not have further details.
Some of them were removed by Catholic leadership or later left the priesthood, she said.
Hammons said the details can be difficult to determine because the process for dealing with credibly accused priests “has changed throughout the decades.”
Some of the priests worked in areas now under another diocese, including Prescott, Kingman, Clarksdale, Flagstaff, Seligman and Yarnell, Hammons said.
Bishop James Wall of the Gallup Diocese was not available for comment.
Under Wall, Hammons said, any priest with a credible accusation made against him “is suspended from ministry, and law enforcement is notified, and the priest remains suspended until the investigation concludes.”
“Credibly accused” means an investigation was conducted, particularly by outside law-enforcement authorities, who determined there was a credible accusation, Hammons explained. The diocese does not know how many or which cases were prosecuted by law enforcement, she said.
In some cases, the priests were sent out for rehabilitation, the spokeswoman said.
“Basically, it’s not just someone saying, ‘This person abused me,’ and we immediately put their name up,” Hammons said. “If their name is on there, it means there is evidence.”
Wall wanted to release the names “ever since he became bishop of Gallup” in 2009, Hammons said. Wall previously worked as a parish priest in Phoenix, according to previous reports in The Arizona Republic.
In a statement on the diocese website, Wall said he sent letters to each parish, mission and school within diocese territory where a ministering priest was found to have “credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”
With most of the cases, the accusations are old and not necessarily ongoing anymore, Hammons said.
“What is ongoing is determining if there were any more credible accusations on top of those that are already on the list, and we may add more names in the future,” she said.
Pastor, the attorney for abuse accusers, said the disclosure is “a long time coming.”
“It is a first step that will hopefully help those who were sexually abused by Catholic priests,” he said. “I also hope it will help bring healing to the greater church as a whole.”
The list isa first step in the right direction for the church, said Barbara Dorris, outreach coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
Still, Dorris said, bishops promised in 2002 “to be open, honest and transparent.” She argued that the Catholic Church has not done enough to address the sexual abuse of minors.
“It feels like they only do the bare minimum and only when forced,” Dorris said. “They have had years to do outreach, to try to find those people who have been hurt, to work with law enforcement to get to the truth in these cases, and yet they have done very little.”
The 2002 U.S. bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, known as the Dallas Charter, was an attempt to address the sexual-abuse scandal and protect children from abusive clergy members.
Dorris said many of the priests whose names were on the list are still alive “and, we fear, still have access to children.”
“We feel they have a moral obligation to do everything in their power to warn the community so children will be safe,” she said.
Richard Sipe, a former priest from La Jolla, Calif., who has written books about the practice of religious celibacy, said the release of the list is positive because it can encourage more accusers to step forward.
“The concern is about the victims who have come forward, and the victims who have not come forward, and who are out there suffering,” said Sipe, a certified counselor who was trained to deal with the mental-health problems of priests. “The truth frees us. … It is acknowledged when people have the courage to face the problem.”
‘Goodnight, Sweet Dreams'; Indian Priest Exposes Minor to Child Pornography, Arrested in Florida
- By Mangala Dilip January 8, 2015 14:47 IST
An Indian-origin catholic priest’s hopes of “joy and happiness” in 2015 were thwarted by his arrest in Florida for possession of child pornography and exposing a minor to the same. Reverend Jose Palimattom, 48, a Catholic priest visiting from India, was arrested by Palm Beach County officers on Monday and his bail is set for $10,000.
West Palm Beach Florida division of abc reports that Palimattom had sought the help of a 4-year old boy to delete over 40 pornographic images of young boys from his phone. The tag words in the images included “little boys,” and “young boys 10-18 yoa”, etc.
The father of the minor was informed of the matter and he immediately contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. That night, the priest even sent a text to the victim, “goodnight, sweet dreams.”
Palimattom, a priest of the Franciscan Province of St Thomas the Apostle in India, was serving a two-year residency at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in West Palm Beach from December 2014. He admitted to the officers that back in India he had been reprimanded by his church for being “involved with a minor male”. The incident was not reported to the police.
The native of Angamali in India’s southern state of Kerala was forbidden from keeping any contact with minors in the absence of adults, the head pastor at Holy Name Catholic Church revealed. The diocese claimed to be “greatly concerned” and said they would fully cooperate in the investigation.
The diocese also said that while conducting a background check on Palimattom, no prior misconduct was detected and that the Minister Provincial in India had given him a Certificate of Aptitude.
Catholic sex abuse cases no longer shock especially since their expose in the late 1980s, wherein members of the Catholic hierarchy admitted to not reporting many cases of sexual abuse of minors to the legal authorities.
Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school
A monk and former teacher at a boarding school in the Bavarian alps pleaded not guilty on Thursday at his trial for abusing two pupils and attempted abuse of two more.
Published: 23 Jan 2015 10:19 GMT+01:00
He claims that he did nothing more than stroke the children on their backs and stomachs, saying that his mother did the same thing to him when he came to her for comfort.
“At that time I was in the place of the father and the mother” for the children in his care at the boarding school, he said.
Although he apologized for not maintaining the proper distance from the children, he argues that they came to him to cry on his shoulder due to his position as a “prefect” – the title given to teachers at the Benedictine monastery in the Ammergau Alps.
“Prefects are points of contacts and companions on the way through the school year for every pupil”, the boarding school’s website explains, as well as providing a willing ear for “personal problems”.
But state prosecutors say that the monk, who joined the monastery in 1995, used his position to regularly grope children’s genitals in his room between 2001 and 2005.
They say that he also committed sexual abuse against a 13-year-old boy, who pretended to be asleep during the attack, in a nearby mountain hut.
A special investigator appointed after a series of scandals at boarding schools emerged in the early 2000s presented a report on the humiliations of pupils at the Ettal monastery going back decades.
One victim told him that “there was a reign of absolute terror at the school”.
He found evidence of one case in which a former abbott forced a pupil to eat a live slug.
But most of the cases were already past the statute of limitations by the time the report was published.
One priest acknowledged in his will that he had regularly had sex with pupils at night, and the monastery compensated 70 victims with a total of €700,000.
In an eloquently-presented defence, the accused said that the charges, which had appeared years after the alleged crimes, were an attempt at revenge.
He said that one of his accusers had left the boarding school over a theft and the others felt that he had treated him unfairly.
One of them had been treated for psychiatric problems and was on medication, he said, while another had always been an “awkward customer”.
“What they say is not true”, he said of his former wards.
Catholic church fought sex abuse victim’s claims to deter others, inquiry finds
Royal commission finds church repeatedly failed in its treatment of victims at the hands of its clergy
By Helen Davidson Wednesday 11 February 2015
Cardinal George Pell and the Sydney archdiocese fought a legal claim by an abuse victim, John Ellis, to discourage others from attempting the same, the royal commission has found. It also confirmed the Catholic church repeatedly failed in its dealings with victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.
In reports released on Wednesday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse examined the Catholic church’s widely condemned Towards Healing program in dealing with four people, and the handling of complaints by Ellis. All matters had been examined in public hearings over the past two years,
The church spent more than $1m fighting Ellis despite him asking for just a tenth of that amount in settlement, and put him through “distressing and unnecessary cross-examination” and threatened him with legal costs.
“The archdiocese [of Sydney] wrongly concluded that it had never accepted that Father Duggan had abused Mr Ellis,” the report found.
“This conclusion allowed Cardinal Pell to instruct the archdiocese’s lawyers to maintain the non-admission of Mr Ellis’s abuse. The archdiocese accepted the advice of its lawyers to vigorously defend Mr Ellis’s claim.”
The report confirms statements made by Pell who admitted this motivation in a royal commission public hearing in March last year.
“One reason Cardinal Pell decided to accept this advice was to encourage other prospective plaintiffs not to litigate claims of child sexual abuse against the church.”
The other reason found was that Pell believed Ellis was seeking “exorbitant damages” of millions of dollars.
Pell “explicitly endorsed the major strategies of the defence”, the report said:
- “to defend the proposition that the trustees were not liable;
- that, if an offence had been admitted by the archdiocese, the archdiocese could not later deny that it took place;
- to appoint competent lawyers and substantially leave them to run the case or advise the archdiocese on how the case should be run.”
It found the then director of professional standards, John Devoran, “failed” Ellis and “did not make a compassionate response his first priority, as required by the protocols in Towards Healing”. The archdiocese of Sydney also “fundamentally failed” Ellis.
“Some seven months after the fact of Mr Ellis’s abuse had first been put in dispute, the archdiocese, on behalf of the trustees and the archbishop, sought to put itself in a position where it could maintain a non-admission of Mr Ellis’s abuse because this was in the interests of the church in the litigation,” the commission found.
Among its 34 findings into the Ellis case, the royal commission said it agreed with Pell’s statement during hearings that “the archdiocese, the trustees and he as archbishop did not act fairly from a Christian point of view in the conduct of the litigation against Mr Ellis”.
The royal commission’s report into Towards Healing found a raft of “systemic issues” in the Catholic church.
It said it was “surprised” by the Catholic church’s submission which posited the Towards Healing protocol was a position statement and suggestion of “possible steps” in a “flexible” process
“That approach to the interpretation and implementation of Towards Healing serves … to excuse and justify departures from, or actions inconsistent with, the Towards Healing protocol,” the report found.
In its dealings with abuse victim Joan Isaacs – who was abused by Brisbane priest Frank Derriman and engaged with Towards Healing from 1999 – the Catholic church was unfair, mean and broke its own protocols in several instances, the royal commission found.
“In 1998, the church knew that Father Derriman had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault and the church did nothing until September 2011,” the report said.
Derriman was not dismissed from his church role until November 2013, more than four decades after the abuse and 15 years after his conviction.
“It was not compassionate, fair or just” to require Isaacs to sign a deed of release which effectively silenced her from speaking about the settlement she received or make “disparaging remarks” about the church.
“Confidentiality clauses should never have been included in deeds of release relating to child sexual abuse,” the report said.
“I am deeply grateful to the commission for upholding these two findings,” Isaacs said in a statement released to Guardian Australia. “The silencing seriously affected my ability to heal and had a damaging effect on my emotional wellbeing. It brought about nearly 13 years of additional suffering for me as it held the same power over me as my abuser did when I was a child. I am grateful for having been released from the silence clauses. I have no doubt that these silence clauses would still be in effect to this day had it not been for the work of this royal commission.”
Isaacs thanked the commission for “exposing the true dealings” she had with Towards Healing.
“The royal commission has shown that the Catholic church of the archdiocese of Brisbane departed substantially from the undertakings they gave in their Towards Healing document,” she said.
“It is now public knowledge that the Catholic church invited me into a situation which brought me more pain and suffering.”
In dealing with two cases of abuse by Marist Brothers, taken to Towards Healing in 2009 and 2010, the royal commission found numerous failures, including that the provincial, Alex Turton, did not report complaints made against Brother Raymond Foster. Provincial Michael Hill tried to keep matters which surfaced after Foster’s suicide “out of the public eye”.
Hill also did not pass on information to the victim which should have been, including some that the victim had specifically requested.
In another case the report found that if the Marist Brothers taken the correct steps when told a boy had been sexually abused by Brother Ross Murrin at a Cairns college in the early 1980s, subsequent abuse of children by Murrin could have been prevented. Murrin remains a Marist brother despite his eventual conviction and incarceration.
In acting as a as a facilitator in Towards Healing facilitations, the then NSW director of professional standards, Michael Salmon, “raise[d] a real potential for an actual or perceived conflict of interest given that the director is employed by the Catholic Church”, the report found.
Last week a discussion paper on redress called for a $4.38bn national compensation scheme.
• This article was corrected on 11 February 2015 to remove the reference to Michael Salmon now being communications manager for the Truth, Justice and Healing Council. This was an error, the council’s Michael Salmon is a different man with the same name.