Monthly Archives: July 2013
nternational Arrest Warrant to be issued against Pope Francis /Jorge Bergoglio for Inciting Criminality and Treason
A Global Media Advisory from The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) – Central Office
On July 11, Pope Francis formally and publicly incited criminal behaviour among all Roman Catholics by prohibiting the reporting of child abuse within his church, and threatening excommunication against those who speak about such abuse.
By his action, the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Bergoglio, faces arrest and indictment as the head of a Criminal Organization, under terms of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Criminal Organizations (2000).
“Pope Francis is telling every Catholic in the world to break the laws of their own country and give aid and comfort to child rapists. That’s not simply a grossly immoral act but a war crime, since he’s attacking the laws and sovereignty of other nations, and threatening the safety of their people” commented George Dufort, the Belgian-based Secretary of the International Common Law Court of Justice, which successfully prosecuted former Pope Benedict and other Vatican officials last February.
In response to Bergoglio’s statement, the ITCCS has today released the following plan of action to its affiliates in twenty one countries, including Italy:
1. The ITCCS Central Office has applied for a Bench Warrant from the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Common Law Court of Justice, for the immediate arrest of Jorge Bergoglio and his associates on a charge of high treason, war crimes and a criminal conspiracy against humanity and the Law of Nations. Jorge Bergoglio and his associates are to be immediately detained and brought to public trial for these crimes, under the auspices and authority of the Law of Nations and The International Common Law Court of Justice.
2. On Sunday, August 4, 2013, a Global Proclamation will be issued, declaring the Roman Catholic Church to be a Transnational Criminal Organization under the law, and ordering its active disestablishment, including by seizing its funds and property, and arresting its officers and clergy: actions authorized against criminal bodies by the aforementioned United Nations Convention.
3. Members and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church are hereby ordered to refrain from funding or participating in the Church of Rome, on pain of arrest as associates of a Criminal Organization. The public is encouraged to assist in the seizure of Roman Catholic church wealth and property in accordance with international law.
This Statement is issued in twelve languages and will be enacted in twenty one countries, including in Italy and at the Vatican as part of the International Convergence and Reclamation planned for September 20-22, 2013 in Genoa and Rome.
Issued by ITCCS Central, Brussels
11 July, 2013
Accused priest like the devil, says man who was allegedly drugged and raped at school
Byzantine Catholic priest who made sexually suggestive videos defrocked over abuse claims
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on July 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated July 26, 2013 at 11:08 AM
A Byzantine Catholic priest who once ran a wrestling website that critics likened to child pornography has been laicized — or expelled from the priesthood — following claims that he sexually abused teenage boys in New Jersey.
Glenn Davidowich, 49, had been on leave from ministry since at least 2011, when the Eparchy of Passaic reached a $200,000 settlement with one of his alleged victims. Davidowich now lives in Manitowoc, Wis.
The eparchy, the equivalent of a diocese in the Roman Catholic church, announced in its monthly newspaper, Eastern Catholic Life, that Davidowich was removed from the priesthood April 2. His expulsion was approved in December by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Byzantine Catholic Church is autonomous from the Roman Catholic Church but remains under the auspices of the pope.
Two months after Davidowich’s removal, the eparchy settled with another alleged victim, said Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who represented the accuser.
Garabedian said his client had not authorized him to reveal the exact amount of the June 29 settlement, though he said it was in the six figures.
“Father Glenn Davidowich was a serial pedophile,” said Garabedian, who has handled hundreds of clergy sex abuse cases. “He was open and notorious with his activities involving children. Once again, the question arises: Where were the supervisors? And once again, you have reportedly the most moral institution in the world acting immorally regarding sexual abuse and negligence by supervisors.”
Davidowich was never criminally charged. In both cases, the accusers came forward after the statute of limitations had passed.
The eparchy referred calls about Davidowich to its lawyer, Thomas De Vita, who did not respond to requests for comment. Davidowich has an unlisted phone number in Manitowoc. Efforts to reach him through social media were unsuccessful.
A Bayonne native who grew up in Dunellen, Davidowich served at churches throughout New Jersey and at parishes in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Connecticut.
He made national headlines in 2002, when news outlets identified him as the founder of the Junior Pro Wrestling Association, which produced and sold sexually suggestive videos of teenage boys wrestling in skimpy, bikini-style bottoms.
The teens were given provocative pseudonyms, including “Bad Brad” and the “Hardcore Kid,” and were videotaped in all manner of compromising positions. In several cases, the videos were shot on church property.
Davidowich distanced himself from the company after the revelations, while his partner in the venture, Tony Karl, defended the videos as “sports entertainment.” Karl and Davidowich now live together in Manitowoc, property records show.
It was through wrestling that the former priest groomed his alleged victims, said Garabedian, the Boston lawyer.
“He would stage wrestling matches with them,” Garabedian said. “But they were a facade, a means for him to sexually molest children.”
The accuser who settled with the eparchy in 2011 told The Star-Ledger Davidowich abused him for three years in the 1990s while the former priest was assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Trenton. The second alleged victim knew Davidowich through St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Florence Township, Garabedian said.
In addition to those postings, Davidowich has served at Byzantine Catholic churches in Perth Amboy and Edison.
Lawsuit says St. Louis archbishop knew priest was threat to kids
Editorial: The archbishop should explain actions in case against accused priest
By the Editorial Board
In 2011, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson defended the way the archdiocese here handles child sexual abuse allegations. He promised to cooperate with law enforcement when asked and to remind adults of their right to contact enforcement authorities in cases of suspected abuse.
His remarks, in an interview with the Post-Dispatch, followed charges and a grand jury report lambasting the way the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, led by Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of St. Louis, handled allegations of child sexual abuse in Philadelphia’s Catholic community.
Now comes the case of the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang and suggestions that Archbishop Carlson may not be keeping his pledges.
Father Jiang is a 30-year-old priest in the St. Louis Archdiocese who was charged with criminal child endangerment nearly a year ago after being accused of molesting a teenage girl in Lincoln County.
In a lawsuit filed July 12 by the parents of the girl, now 19, Archbishop Carlson is accused of trying to cover the priest’s tracks. The archbishop has not personally commented on the matter. He should.
The matter is in litigation, and lawyers may have counseled him against speaking out. But the silence only fuels concerns that he may have backed away from strict adherence to his own policies.
The parents allege in their suit that the archbishop tried to tamper with evidence by asking them to return a $20,000 check that Father Jiang left them. The lawsuit alleges that the priest explained to the girl’s mother in a text message he left the check “because of his ‘stupidity.’ ”
Instead, the parents turned the check over to law enforcement officials, as they should have.
A statement on the archdiocese website regarding the parents’ lawsuit says: “The Archdiocese has been made aware of a John and Jane Doe lawsuit recently filed in Lincoln County against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Carlson asserting errors in the supervision of a diocesan priest. These new allegations against the archdiocese and the archbishop are false and will be denied in an answer to the lawsuit filed in court.”
Angela Shelton, community relations specialist for the archdiocese, said Tuesday that there was no further comment. The archdiocese said last year that Father Jiang was placed on administrative leave after officials learned about the allegations, and that none of the alleged abuse had taken place at the Cathedral Basilica or on archdiocesan property. The question of where abuse is alleged to have taken place goes to the issue of failure to supervise.
Archbishop Carlson is also accused in the lawsuit of having known that Father Jiang was a danger to children, although it does not provide details. It further says that the archbishop and Monsignor Joseph Pins, the pastor of Cathedral Basilica, ignored the priest’s request to be reassigned from the Cathedral, where he met the girl, because he was having personal problems.
The parents claim in the lawsuit that they asked the archbishop last year if Father Jiang, who was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Carlson in 2010, would be removed from the priesthood. They say he answered “that he would remove Jiang if he ‘had sex’ with the child, but not for activities other than that.”
The archbishop appears to be have had a long-term mentoring relationship with Father Jiang, a native of Shandong, China. Archbishop Carlson supervised Father Jiang’s pre-priesthood ministry at St. John the Baptist Parish in St. Paul, Minn. After following the archbishop to St. Louis, Father Jiang lived in the archbishop’s official residence, according to the lawsuit.
After Father Jiang was arrested on the criminal charges in Lincoln County, Monsignor Richard Hanneke, archdiocesan vicar for priests, posted a $25,000 bond for his release.
Archbishop Carlson was subpoenaed to answer questions in a deposition in the criminal case. His attorney, Paul D’Agrosa, said Wednesday that the state had postponed depositions in the case. Hopefully the archbishop will share his answers with church members and the community at large so suspicion and fear can be put to rest.
The case of Father Jiang is playing out against the backdrop of Pope Francis’ overhaul this month of the laws governing Vatican City, including listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children.
Archbishop Carlson must follow the pope’s example and show support not just for the priest, but for his alleged victim and her parents. He shouldn’t weigh in on the priest’s guilt or innocence unless he knows the truth of what happened.
But it is incumbent upon the archbishop to live up to his promise to be open and transparent, to erase suspicion and create an atmosphere in which adults and children feel free to share their concerns.
Archbishop Carlson’s flock must not be discouraged from speaking out about any problems they have — whether at the hands of a trusted priest or not — if true healing is to occur within the community.
Gardaí made ‘scurrilous’ comments about clerical abuse victim and tapped his phone
By Niall O’Sullivan on July 26, 2013
A SURVIVOR of clerical sex abuse has slammed crass gardaí who launched a ‘scurrilous’ campaign against him in the 1980s.
Cheshire-based Irishman James Moran revealed how police in Ireland pursued him with allegations of blackmail after he returned to Dublin in 1987 to confront the priest who abused him.
Details of the garda campaign against him were brought to light as the final chapter of the Murphy Report was released earlier this month.
Mr Moran also alleges a teacher abused him during the same period.
Originally from Co. Kildare, he is now demanding to know why officers went to extraordinary lengths to treat him as a “criminal” when he tried to expose the priest who abused him as a schoolboy.
“The gardaí are there to protect and serve, but they did neither of those things for me,” he said. “In fact they did exactly the opposite. They failed me. They failed my family. And who is to say that they have not failed scores of other people?”
Mr Moran spoke to The Irish Post last week following the publication of the Murphy Report passages. While it should have yielded him some peace of mind, instead he says he has suffered “a large jump backwards” in his ongoing recovery.
Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report, which was heavily redacted because of a High Court order to prevent compromising the trial of Mr Moran’s abuser Patrick McCabe, was released in full last week by Ireland’s Justice Minister — four months after the disgraced priest was convicted.
It explains in detail how police pursued Mr Moran, who has been seeking closure for almost 40 years.
It included phone tapping and garda comments about Mr Moran and his relatives, which were deemed “scurrilous” by the Murphy Report’s authors.
Gardaí are also accused of submitting a detailed file to the Director of Public Prosecutions recommending that Mr Moran be prosecuted after he threatened to sell his story to the papers.
The campaign against him even went as high up as the garda commissioner’s office.
“All I wanted was to be heard and I was not being heard so I did whatever I could to be heard,” he said. “But they made me out to be some sort of criminal when in fact I am a victim of sexual abuse.”
The 50-year-old, who has lived in Britain for 30 years, had hoped the final chapter of the Murphy Report would shed light on why his complaint to the Archbishop’s office in 1977, when McCabe abused him at his Dublin school, was ignored.
What he did not expect to discover was that gardaí had launched an “exhaustive and comprehensive investigation” against him. “This has opened up more wounds than it has helped to heal,” he added.
He now says he has a long list of questions he wants answered, including who was responsible for the phone tapping and who signed off on the measure.
His pain at the findings, he adds, has not been helped by the gardaí’s response to the revelations.
Commissioner Martin Callinan issued a statement saying that the DPP has directed no prosecution against current or former gardaí in the light of Chapter 20’s full publication.
Speaking to The Irish Post, Commissioner Callinan said: “It is a matter of regret to me that people did not receive the appropriate attention and action from the Garda Síochána to which they were entitled. The policies and structures now in place are very much victim-focused and designed to ensure that no one has a similar experience today.”
But Mr Moran added: “If there had been a real culture change [at the gardaí], I would have expected that his first comment would be saying they hold their hands up and sincerely apologising for getting it wrong and asking what they can do to help, rather than taking such a defensive litigious stance. I would have expected a little more humanity and a little more humility.”
Patrick McCabe, 77, pleaded guilty earlier this year to abusing Mr Moran and another boy in the late 1970s. The disgraced priest, who had spent 21 months in custody, walked free after the judge backdated his 18-month sentence.
The teacher, who Mr Moran also accused of abusing him, was convicted of multiple assaults on boys, but was never charged with regard to Mr Moran’s allegation.
Accused paedophile priest arrested in US
An accused paedophile priest at the centre of a sex-abuse scandal in Boston that has engulfed Cardinal Bernard Law and the Vatican was arrested on tonight by police in San Diego, prosecutors said.
Father Paul Shanley, who faces three counts of child rape, was arrested at about 10:45 a.m EDT (1445 GMT), according to the Middlesex County District Attorney in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Cardinal Law, the senior U.S. Catholic Church prelate, met secretly with Pope John Paul II last month after documents revealed the cardinal supported Shanley even though he knew the priest was accused of sexually abusing children.
Law told the pope about pressure for his resignation over Shanley and other sex-abuse cases but the cardinal has not resigned.
Between 1983 and 1990, according to authorities, Shanley, now 71, raped the male victim, now 24, when the victim was between 6 and 13 years old. The alleged incident took place at St. Jean’s parish in Newton, outside Boston.
Shanley’s whereabouts have been unknown since revelations about his alleged abuse were made public. The Newton, Massachusetts police department got a warrant for his arrest on Wednesday night, according to prosecutors.
While the archdiocese was under the leadership of the late Humberto Medeiros and Law, Shanley admitted to superiors that he raped and sodomized children, according to documents released in April under a court order.
The documents also showed that Shanley advocated sex between children and adults and that he was an early adherent of a group that later became the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
The documents rocked the Catholic Church in Boston, already reeling from the accusations against another priest, John Geoghan, who is serving a prison sentence for fondling a 10-year-old boy.
Revelations about Geoghan, accused by more than 130 people of abusing them during his 30 years as a Boston priest, triggered the mushrooming clergy sexual abuse scandal in the United States.
Law is at the center of the turmoil roiling the church in the United States for allowing accused pedophile priest to keep assignments that put them near children.
Law and other U.S. cardinals met with the pope in Rome last month in an unprecedented council to discuss the scandal in America and at meeting in Texas next month American Catholic leaders hope to establish national standards for dealing with priests involved in sex abuse.
The sex-abuse scandal, however, has not been confined to the United States and has swept many countries across Europe and Africa.
There have been sex scandals in the Catholic Church from Mexico, to Brazil and even in the pope’s native Poland.
Protests in predominately Catholic Ireland last month forced the resignation of a bishop because of the way he had dealt with allegations of sexual abuse by a priest.
Last year, a French court gave a three-month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was accused of covering up for a priest who has since been jailed for 18 years for the rape of a boy and sexual abuse of 10.
How far is the Vatican willing to go to insure its survival?
By Stephen D Mumford | 17 October 2012
Editor’s note: This piece has been adapted from Chapter 16 of The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a US Population Policy by Stephen D Mumford (Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).
Since I began my study of the Roman Catholic Church, as it relates to population growth control, some 26 years ago, I have been amazed at the intensity of Vatican activity in the U.S. On numerous occasions, I have observed some activity (usually but not always a political activity) that did not seem reasonable. I would be offered explanations which, upon reflection, would not hold water. When I’ve explored these things, I would often find the Church deeply involved, seeking some gain or other.
In the U.S., the Catholic Church is a $200 billion operation, composed of millions of highly organized workers with an intense sense of mission, a long history of political manipulation, and a superb track record of getting their way. Before I began my study, I had a very different idea of what church and religion meant, having been raised as a Methodist. I was completely unprepared for what I found. Many of the tears in America’s social fabric are the result of Vatican attempts to advance its power, control, influence, wealth or security—at the expense of Americans and American institutions. Rarely was there evidence of Vatican involvement in these activities on the surface, but upon probing, the role of the Vatican became evident. Usually it also became evident that considerable effort had been made to mask the fact that the Vatican was a significant actor. But before presenting specific instances of such activities, a question should be considered.
How Far Will the Vatican Go?
How far is the Vatican willing to go to insure its survival? Some readers may be offended, but this is a valid question. In America, we have the freedom of inquiry and we should exercise it or we are sure to lose it. This is one of the most important unknowns Americans now face. If the Vatican will secretly kill the Rockefeller Commission and National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) initiatives which definitively showed that overpopulation threatens the security-survival of every American, what will it not do? Will it manipulate the initiation of U.S. warfare with other countries to divert attention from the overpopulation problem? Will it prompt a civil war in the U.S., fulfilling the prediction of President Grant, in order to undermine America’s capacity to confront the overpopulation problem? Will it promote disintegration of the American social fabric to save the Papacy?
Thus far, the Vatican has had so much success at shutting down all serious efforts to control population growth that draconian actions have not yet been necessary. But what if the NSSM 200 recommendations had been implemented? Most likely, the Vatican would have done whatever it felt necessary to successfully intervene; perhaps, merely conspiring to force the resignation of a president would have been sufficient. Had they not intervened, self-destruction of the Vatican already might have been complete by now.
The Pastoral Plan’s Broad Consequences
Few Americans appreciate how much the bishops’ 1975 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities has changed America. Every community has been changed by it. Every person in America is living his/her life differently from what he/she would have had this plan not been implemented. Many of our elected representatives at all levels of government would have been different. Many positive changes in our lives, that probably would have occurred had the Rockefeller Commission and NSSM 200 recommendations been implemented, did not occur.
For example, almost surely there would be less crime, the welfare burden would be reduced and the drug problem would be smaller if the recommendations had been implemented. Why? Because family planning education would be much more widespread and integrated naturally into our pattern of family values; contraception would be encouraged; and safe, legal abortion would be much more readily available to all women. Unplanned births, about 50 percent of all U.S. births since 1975, would have been reduced dramatically. The number of poverty stricken adolescents, and men and women in their early twenties, would be much less than it is today.
Also, many negative changes in our lives have resulted from the initiatives undertaken by the bishops as a part of their Plan. The costs to us all have been enormous. Throughout the remainder of this chapter, examples of these changes will be offered. My first two books on this topic contain many more.
As Byrnes concluded in his study, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and United States Catholic Conference (USCC) have been consumed by the abortion issue and this Plan since they were created 27 years ago. They have committed an enormous amount of energy, organization, direction and resources to the abortion and other population-related issues. This commitment has brought serious consequences throughout our society.
One of the more profound accomplishments of this Plan is the takeover of the Republican Party by the Vatican. In a July 28, 1994 Los Angeles Times wire service story, Jack Nelson describes the maneuvers of the Religious Right so that this takeover is all but an accomplished fact. According to Nelson, “GOP moderates have remained passive on the sidelines, unwilling to fight…”
On September 11, 1995, author, journalist and broadcaster, Bill Moyers, was given the American Jewish Committee Religious Liberty Award. In his acceptance remarks, “Echoes of the Crusades: The Radical Religious Right’s Holy War on American Freedom,” Moyers gives his assessment of the influence of the Religious Right: “They control the Republican Party, the House of Representatives and the Senate…”
But who are the Religious Right? The Spring 1994 issue of Conscience, the journal of Catholics For a Free Choice, exploded the myth that the Religious Right is a Protestant movement. It was designed, created and controlled by Catholics in response to the Pastoral Plan. These Catholics recruited opportunistic Protestants to give the appearance that Protestants were the instigators. The leadership is Catholic but the followers are often Protestant. The development of the Religious Right is described in some detail in the two books noted above, published 12 and 10 years ago, respectively. Also discussed is the Vatican takeover of the Republican Party already well underway at the time of their publication.
Even when the Pastoral Plan was first approved by the bishops, the National Catholic Reporter recognized that the plan would lead to a Vatican controlled political party in the United States and the newspaper went on record with this prediction. Rather than creating its own political party, the Vatican chose to seize control of the Republican Party.
The Takeover of the Republican Party
The implications of this takeover for American politics at the national, state and local levels are enormous, affecting us all. Thousands of politicians at all levels whose positions have opposed the Vatican have been victims of the plan, significantly changing the American political landscape.
The ultimate objective of the Vatican’s political machine is passage of the Human Life Amendment (HLA). It should be noted that the HLA need not be enforced to meet the needs of the Vatican. The Vatican requires only that the civil law not conflict with canon law. Then papal authority and civil authority are not pitted against one another. It is only legal abortion that threatens Papal authority.
We all have the illusion, carefully crafted by Papal propaganda, that “lives of the unborn” and “morality” are the issues. This is simply not so. It is survival of the Catholic institution and Papal power that is the issue, not the “lives of the unborn” or anything else. All countries in Latin America (all are Catholic) have higher abortion rates than the U.S. Nothing is said by the Church there. If abortion were the real issue, the Church would be speaking out even louder in Latin America than in the U.S. Only in the U.S., where it is legal, is it an important issue for the Church. Of course, few American Protestants are aware of this fact.
Another major accomplishment of the Pastoral Plan has been its effect on Protestantism in America. The Plan has taken the protest out of the Protestant movement. Until the Pastoral Plan, Protestant denominations had no reservations about protesting or criticizing the Catholic Church. The plan specifically targeted the Protestant Churches to silence them. The bishops succeeded.
Column: The Catholic Church owes the women of the Magdalene Laundries
The Catholic Church and the Irish State were both responsible for incarcerating women in the Magdalene Laundries – and so both must pay, writes Anne Ferris TD.
IN APRIL 1955, a Scottish writer researching a book about Ireland talked his way into the Magdalene Laundry in Galway. First he had to obtain the permission of the Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael John Browne, the same man who a decade later would refer to the RTE broadcaster Gay Byrne as “a purveyor of filth” for the sin of discussing the colour of a lady’s nightgown on the Late Late Show.
True to form, Bishop Browne warned the Scotsman “if you write anything wrong it will come back on you” adding as a condition of entry to the laundry that anything intended to be published about the visit would have to be approved in advance by the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Mercy.
The Scotsman, Dr Halliday Sutherland, agreed to abide by the bishop’s stipulation and was granted rare access to a Magdalene laundry. His subsequent account is worked into a single chapter in his 1956 book ‘Irish Journey’. To what extent it was censored by the Mother Superior, we will never know.
An ‘agreed’ year of unpaid domestic service
The day before he visited the laundry in Galway, Dr Sutherland visited the Mother and Baby home in Tuam. He noted that the accepted practice was that unmarried mothers in the Tuam home ‘agreed’ to provide a year of unpaid domestic service to the nuns, and that in addition to this servitude, the home received State support, via Galway County Council, to the tune of £1 per child or mother per week.
Sutherland was told that any child not adopted by the age of seven was sent to work in one of Ireland’s notorious Industrial Schools, no doubt a factor in the decisions of the thousands of Irish women who ‘agreed’ to the export of their children for Catholic adoptions abroad. Women who were re-admitted to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home on a second occasion were automatically sent to work at the Magdalene Home Laundry in Galway. By directing the women to the laundry and the children to the industrial schools the State saved money and the Church made money.
Church and State incarcerated women: both must pay
Today, thanks to the Magdalene survivors groups we know what the women suffered and that the Mother and Baby homes were only one of many routes by which the Church and State incarcerated women in the Magdalene laundries and similarly operated religious institutions. This is why in February of this year, after successive governments failed to engage meaningfully with the Magdalene survivors, the current Taoiseach made a formal apology to the women on behalf of the State.
This week the Government announced a redress fund for the survivors. It remains to be seen if the amount and means of payment will prove sufficient to compensate for the State’s role in this tragedy. No sum of money can take away the pain that these women have endured. In my capacity of Vice Chair of the Oireachtas Committee for Justice, Defence and Equality I personally undertake to closely monitor the progress of any necessary legislation designed to effect the speedy and appropriate distribution of redress to the women concerned. But there can be absolutely no ambiguity regarding the financial contribution to be made by the Church. There is now no hiding from the enormity of what these women suffered in the so called ‘care’ of these religious institutions.
Stripped of personal liberty
On the day in 1955 that Dr Halliday Sutherland visited the Galway Magdalene he met some of its seventy-three unpaid manual workers who lifted and toiled in the heat and wet doing laundry work for businesses, institutions and homes in Galway. One woman told him she had been there for 25 years. He asked another if she liked the laundry. She answered “yes” but according to Sutherland she did not look him in the eye. Later, he said, a nun told him that she was a bold girl.
“On Sundays they’re allowed to use cosmetics”, the sister-in-charge told him.
But…“Are the girls free?” asked Sutherland.
“Yes” said the nun.
“Can a girl leave whenever she chooses?
“No, we are not as lenient as all that.” said the Mother Superior.
Anne Ferris is the Labour Party TD for Wicklow and East Carlow. She is also Vice Chair of the Oireachtas Committee for Justice, Defence and Equality.
Operation Fernbridge: Norfolk priest Tony McSweeney arrested
7 February 2013 Last updated at 09:50 ET
From the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21349730
A Catholic priest has been arrested in connection with alleged child abuse at a London guest house during the early 1980s, his diocese has said.
Operation Fernbridge is looking at claims that senior political figures and others sexually abused boys at the Elm Guest House in Barnes.
The Diocese of East Anglia said one of those arrested is 66-year-old priest Tony McSweeney, from Norfolk.
The other is a 70-year-old man who was arrested in East Sussex.
The Metropolitan Police said both men have been released on bail pending further inquiries until April.
Scotland Yard said the allegations were not connected with current residents of the former guest house, which has been converted into residential flats.
It is also investigating links between the guest house and the nearby former Grafton Close children’s care-home run that was by Richmond Council.
The 70-year-old arrested man, from St Leonards-On-Sea, is understood to be John Stingemore, who used to help run Grafton Close, which closed some years ago.
BBC News home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the police investigation centred on claims that the guest house was used by people to abuse boys from the home.
The allegations were investigated at the time but resurfaced in October after Labour MP Tom Watson raised the case in Parliament and called for further inquiries.
Mr Watson had been passed information by journalists working for the investigative news website Exaro.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime investigations unit, said the “complex multi-agency investigation” was supported by the NSPCC charity, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and Richmond Social Services.
He said anyone affected by, or with information about, activity in the early 1980s at the guest house or care home should contact the NSPCC or police.
Fr Mark Hackeson, of the Diocese of East Anglia, said: “The church diocese takes safeguarding of children very seriously and so we will be co-operating fully in any way with the police investigation.”
In a statement, Richmond Council said it considered “the safeguarding of all children and young people as an utmost priority and we take any allegations of abuse very seriously”.
A spokesman added: “We are offering our full support and co-operation to the police during their investigation. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The Notre Dame High School in Norwich said Fr McSweeney had voluntarily resigned from its governing body and had no further involvement with the school.
A spokesman said: “It must be stressed that no former or current student or member of staff at Notre Dame High School is involved in this investigation [into events] which allegedly took place in London during the 1970s and 80s.”
The NSPCC said its helpline number 0808 800 5000 was staffed by trained counsellors 24 hours a day. People with information could also use the email address email@example.com to contact them.
NSPCC helpline director Peter Watt said: “We will assist the police in gathering evidence and supporting those who come forward.”