Monthly Archives: November 2015

Chilean court asks Vatican for records in abuse case


Chilean court asks Vatican for records in abuse case

Saturday, November 14, 2015

From the link: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/202923/

Pedophile Priest Fernando Karadima

Pedophile Priest Fernando Karadima

Osorno bishop Barros accused of cover-up in child molestation investigation
SANTIAGO — Chile’s Supreme Court on Thursday formally requested that the Vatican hand over all records that Pope Francis has relied upon to defend a Chilean bishop whose alleged knowledge and cover-up of church sex abuse has provoked controversy in the South American nation.

Many politicians, parishioners, and abuse victims say that Bishop Juan Barros knew of and helped cover up abuse by Chilean priest Fernando Karadima over a period of decades.

In 2011, the Vatican sentenced Karadima to “a life of prayer and penitence” for abusing children as far back as the 1950s. A judge later determined the accusations were valid though Karadima was not prosecuted as the statute of limitations had expired.

In March, Francis appointed Barros as the bishop of Osorno, a small city in south-central Chile, provoking raucous protests both there and in the capital, Santiago.

Barros said yesterday that he had no knowledge of the alleged sexual abuses.

He also that he didn’t help Karadima get a trip to France.

Pedophile Pimp Bishop Juan Barros

Pedophile Pimp Bishop Juan Barros

Karadima testified in court this week that Barros helped him get the trip for the 50th anniversary of his priesthood. He also said he had a “very sincere friendship” with Barros.

In the face of strong dissent among many Chileans, Francis has repeatedly defended the appointment, saying the accusations against Barros are unfounded.

During one high-profile incident at the Vatican on May 6, which was broadcast by a Chilean television station in early October, Francis told a group of Chileans in Saint Peters Square that the accusations were cooked up by “lefties.”

Yesterday, Chile’s high court took the unusual step of asking the Vatican to present documents supporting the Pope’s assertion.

“Deliver a complete and accurate copy of all the reports that you have concerning the investigation,” the petition reads, specifically referring to the Pope’s comments during the Saint Peters incident.

Next Friday, Barros, 59, is scheduled to be called to the witness stand as part of a civil suit presented by three men who allege they were sexually abused by Karadima, 85.

Barros has long drawn suspicions from many Chileans because of his close links with Karadima. Both were long-time members of a priestly society in Santiago called El Bosque, and Karadima served as Barros’ mentor during the bishop’s youth.

On Wednesday, Karadima took the witness stand before the Supreme Court in Santiago amid protests and denied having abused any children. His testimony provoked strong condemnations among both citizens and politicians, many of whom are convinced Karadima carried out the sexual abuse.

Herald with Reuters, AP

El Salvadoran church suspends priest in sex abuse case


El Salvadoran church suspends priest in sex abuse case

From the link: http://news.yahoo.com/el-salvadoran-church-suspends-bishop-sex-abuse-case-212643387.html

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2015, file photo, monsignor Jesus Delgado, right, listens to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for Families, during a press conference, at the Vatican. El Salvador's Roman Catholic Church announced Thursday, Nov. 25, that it has suspended the well-known priest, saying he acknowledged sexually abusing a young girl. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2015, file photo, monsignor Jesus Delgado, right, listens to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for Families, during a press conference, at the Vatican. El Salvador’s Roman Catholic Church announced Thursday, Nov. 25, that it has suspended the well-known priest, saying he acknowledged sexually abusing a young girl. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador’s Roman Catholic Church announced Thursday it has suspended a well-known priest, saying he acknowledged sexually abusing a young girl.

Monsignor Jesus Delgado was the vicar general of the Archdiocese of San Salvador and was considered a close associate of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero.

The 77-year-old Delgado is known affectionately as “Father Chus,” the familiar form of the name Jesus. He has written two books about Romero, who was gunned down by a right-wing death squad on March 24, 1980.

The head of external affairs for the archdiocese, Monsignor Rafael Urrutia, said Delgado had acknowledged the abuse and “is willing to meet with the victim to ask her forgiveness.” Urrutia said Delgado has been suspended from all priestly functions, including his role in canonization process for Romero.

The victim, now 42, has not been identified. But Urrutia said she asked “only that he leave the priesthood and apologize.”

Catholics expressed surprise and shock that a respected priest like Delgado had been involved in abuse.

Josefa Castillo, a parishioner at San Salvador’s Immaculate Conception church, said: “I never would have thought it. I know Msgr. Delgado well, I can’t believe it.”

Parishioner Manuela Estrada, said, “I never thought something like this could happen with Father Chus, he seemed like a good man, a good priest.”

But Amilcar Melendez, who is also a Catholic but attends another church, said Delgado should be jailed.

“If he did this to kids, he should be punished, kicked out of the church, and put in jail,” Melendez said.

The strange disconnect between Pope Francis’ words and actions about sex abuse


The strange disconnect between Pope Francis’ words and actions about sex abuse

By  | 

From the Link: http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/strange-disconnect-between-pope-francis-words-and-actions-about-sex-abuse

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

A Commentary:

On his tour of the United States, Pope Francis has forcefully reminded the world about the importance of looking after the planet and the perils of climate change. His criticisms of the world economic system and the plight of the poor are timely and welcome. There is very little that Pope Francis can personally do about either of these things except to do what he has done — warn and exhort.

But there is one thing that he can personally do about child sexual abuse, and that is to change canon law by abolishing the pontifical secret over allegations of the sexual abuse of children by clergy and religious.

In an address to bishops in Philadelphia, Pope Francis said:

“The crimes and sins of sexual abuse of minors cannot be kept secret any longer. I commit myself to the zealous watchfulness of the church to protect minors, and I promise that all those responsible will be held accountable.”

The maintenance of secrecy for these crimes is imposed by Article 25 of Pope John Paul II’s motu proprio, Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela of 2001 and by Article 30 of its revision by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, which impose the pontifical secret on all allegations and proceedings relating to child sexual abuse by clerics. The footnotes to Article 25 and Article 30 apply Article 1(4) of Pope Paul VI’s instruction, Secreta Continere, which defines the pontifical secret as the church’s highest form of secrecy, and like the secret of the confessional, is a permanent silence. Since becoming pope two and a half years ago, Pope Francis has made no attempt to change this maintenance of secrecy, the very thing he condemned in Philadelphia.

Like Pope Benedict XVI in his 2010 pastoral letter to the people of Ireland, Pope Francis ignored the role of canon law in the cover up, and said, “I deeply regret that some bishops failed in their responsibility to protect children.” There was not a word about the fact that in most cases such bishops were complying with the pontifical secret under canon law, and its requirement to try and cure the priest before any attempt was made to dismiss him.

A dispensation to allow reporting to the police where the civil law requires it was granted by the Holy See to the United States in 2002 and to the rest of the world in 2010, but where there are no such civil laws, the pontifical secret still applies. Very few countries have comprehensive reporting laws.

Francis is the Bishop of Rome, but his own Italian Bishops Conference, of which he is the primate, announced in 2014 that Italian bishops would not be reporting these crimes to the police because Italian civil law under the 1929 Lateran Treaty with the dictator, Mussolini, did not require them to do so.

On Jan. 31, 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child requested the Holy See to abolish the pontifical secret over allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy and to impose mandatory reporting. On May 22, 2014, the United Nations Committee against Torture requested the same thing.

On Sept. 26, 2014, The Vatican responded and rejected these requests, stating that mandatory reporting under canon law would interfere with the sovereignty of independent nations. If that were true, the church should not even have a canon law that applies to Catholics all over the world. Canon law only interferes with such sovereignty when it requires Catholics to disobey the civil law. Where there is no conflict between canon and civil law, canon law has no more effect on a nation’s sovereignty than the rules of golf. Mandatory reporting under canon law would only interfere with national sovereignty if the civil law of a country prohibited the reporting of child sexual abuse by clergy. No such country exists.

On March 19, 2014, Pope Francis said that Pope Benedict had supported “zero tolerance” for clergy who sexually abused children. On May 26, 2014, he pledged to apply the same “zero tolerance” standard. But the figures produced by the Holy See’s representative at the United Nations, Archbishop Tomasi, show that the Holy See’s tolerance is not zero but 66 percent.  Less than one third of all priests against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse of children have been made have been dismissed.

Head Pedophile Pimp of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps and Priests His Unholiness Papal Bullshitter, Pope Benedict XVI

Head Pedophile Pimp of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps and Priests His Unholiness Papal Bullshitter, Pope Benedict XVI

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI dismissed Fr. Mauro Inzoli, who was accused of abusing dozens of children over a 10-year period. In 2014, Pope Francis reinstated him and required him to live a life of “prayer and penance”, the same punishment that Pope Benedict XVI handed out to the notorious Fr. Marcial Maciel. When Italian Magistrates asked the Vatican to have access to the evidence submitted to Inzoli’s canonical trial, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith refused, stating, “The procedures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are of a canonical nature and, as such, are not an object for the exchange of information with civil magistrates.” Pope Francis himself maintains the secrecy that this week he condemned.

In matters of child sexual abuse, Pope Francis has no constitution, no Congress, no Senate and no Supreme Court that could restrain him from changing canon law. He has no obligation even to consult anyone. He is the last of the absolute monarchs.

He can take out his pen at breakfast, and write on his napkin an instruction to abolish the pontifical secret in cases of child sexual abuse and to order mandatory reporting everywhere. He can instruct it to be translated into Latin and to have it published on the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. It then becomes canon law.

On Jan. 21, 2014, after the United Nations hearings, Thomas C. Fox, the publisher of this paper, wrote that Pope Francis “does not understand the full magnitude of the related sex abuse issues, or, if he does, is yet unwilling or incapable of responding to it.”

One can only hope that Pope Francis means what he says in his address in Philadelphia, but up to the present time, there is a strange disconnect between what he says and what he, personally, has done. Cardinal Francis George wrote in an article in 2003 that if you want to change a damaging culture, you first have to change the laws which embody it. The buck for maintaining secrecy over the sexual abuse of children within the church truly stops with Pope Francis.

[Kieran Tapsell is the author of Potiphar’s Wife: The Vatican Secret and Child Sexual Abuse (ATF Press 2014).]

 

APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED ‘MOTU PROPRIO’

SACRAMENTORUM SANCTITATIS TUTELA

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
BY WHICH ARE PROMULGATED
NORMS ON MORE GRAVE DELICTS
RESERVED TO THE CONGREGATION
FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH*

 

The Safeguarding of the Sanctity of the Sacraments, especially the Most Holy Eucharist and Penance, and the keeping of the faithful, called to communion with the Lord, in their observance of the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, demand that the Church itself, in her pastoral solicitude, intervene to avert dangers of violation, so as to provide for the salvation of souls “which must always be the supreme law in the Church” (CIC, can. 1752).

Indeed, Our Predecessors already provided for the sanctity of the sacraments, especially penance, through appropriate Apostolic Constitutions such as the Constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae, of Pope Benedict XIV, issued June 1, 1741;1 the same goal was likewise pursued by a number of canons of the Codex Iuris Canonici, promulgated in 1917 with their fontes by which canonical sanctions had been established against delicts of this kind.2

In more recent times, in order to avert these and connected delicts, the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, through the Instruction Crimen sollicitationis, addressed to all Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, and other local Ordinaries “even of the Oriental Rite” on March 16, 1962, established a manner of proceeding in such cases, inasmuch as judicial competence had been attributed exclusively to it, which competence could be exercised either administratively or through a judicial process. It is to be kept in mind that an Instruction of this kind had the force of law since the Supreme Pontiff, according to the norm of can. 247, §1 of the Codex Iuris Canonici promulgated in 1917, presided over the Congregation of the Holy Office, and the Instruction proceeded from his own authority, with the Cardinal at the time only performing the function of Secretary.

The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Paul VI, of happy memory, by the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Regimini Ecclesiae Universae, issued on August 15, 1967,3 confirmed the Congregation’s judicial and administrative competence in proceeding “according to its amended and approved norms.”

Finally, by the authority with which we are invested, in the Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, promulgated on June 28, 1988, we expressly established, “[The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] examines delicts against the faith and more grave delicts whether against morals or committed in the celebration of the sacraments, which have been referred to it and, whenever necessary, proceeds to declare or impose canonical sanctions according to the norm of both common or proper law,”4 thereby further confirming and determining the judicial competence of the same Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as an Apostolic Tribunal.

After we had approved the Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine,5 it was necessary to define more precisely both “the more grave delicts whether against morals or committed in the celebration of the sacraments” for which the competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith remains exclusive, and also the special procedural norms “for declaring or imposing canonical sanctions.”

With this apostolic letter, issued motu proprio, we have completed this work and we hereby promulgate the Norms concerning the more grave delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Norms are divided in two distinct parts, of which the first contains Substantive Norms, and the second Procedural Norms. We therefore enjoin all those concerned to observe them diligently and faithfully. These Norms take effect on the very day when they are promulgated.

All things to the contrary, even those worthy of special mention, notwithstanding.

Give in Rome at St. Peter’s on April 30, 2001, the memorial of Pope St. Pius V, in the twenty-third year of Our Pontificate.

 

POPE JOHN PAUL II


* This unofficial translation is based on a translation of the motu proprio by the USCCB and revised by Joseph R. Punderson and Charles J. Scicluna. The translations of the canons of the CIC and the CCEO are from the translations published by the Canon Law Society of America in 1999 and 2001 respectively.

 

1. Benedict XIV, Constitution Sacramentum Pœnitentiae, June 1, 1741, in Codex Iuris Canonici, prepared at the order of Pius X, Supreme Pontiff, promulgated by the authority of Pope Benedict XV, Documenta, Document V in AAS 9 (1917), Part II, 505-508.

2. Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici anno 1917 promulgatus, cann. 817; 2316; 2320; 2322; 2368, §1; 2369, §1.

3. Cf. Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae, On the Roman Curia, August 15, 1967, n. 36, AAS 59 (1967), p. 898.

4. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, On the Roman Curia, June 28, 1988, art. 52, in AAS 89 (1988), p. 874.

5. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine, June 29, 1997, in AAS 89 (1997), pp. 830-835.

 

© Copyright 2001 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Priest faces 18 more sexual assault charges – OPP


Priest faces 18 more sexual assault charges – OPP

Beatrice Fantoni, Windsor Star

Published on: January 12, 2012 | Last Updated: January 12, 2012 2:37 PM EST

From the Link: http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/priest-faces-18-more-sexual-assault-charges-opp

Linus Bastien, a former Catholic priest in Essex region faces 18 additional charges including sexual assault, OPP said in a statement on Thursday.

Seven victims have come forward and, as a result, Bastien was arrested and charged with counts of indecent assault, sexual assault and sexual interference.

The charges relate to events that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s when Bastien was assigned to St. Paul’s Catholic Church in LaSalle and St. Joachim Parish in Lakeshore.

The 85-year-old man was already charged last fall with counts of indecent assault and gross indecency after two former altar boys from St. Mary’s Parish in Maidstone made complaints to police.

Bastien is scheduled to appear in court on February 14 in Windsor. He has been released on a promise to appear in court.

Pope Francis Concealed His Actions Against Two Prelates. Now Both “Whereabouts are Unknown.”


 Pope Francis Concealed His Actions Against Two Prelates. Now Both “Whereabouts are Unknown.”

A “dossier” accusing papal nuncio Archbishop Josef Wesolowski of sex abuse of minors was sent to Pope Francis sometime in July by Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez. The pope found the information credible enough to dismiss Wesolowski, nuncio to both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, on Aug. 21 via confidential letter N.2706/PR to the bishops of both countries.

Neither the civil authorities nor the public knew about Wesolowski until a local TV program did an expose’ on Aug. 31. The result of a year-long investigation, the broadcast contained testimony from residents of the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo that Wesolowski paid minors for sex.

Three days after the TV broadcast, a local bishop confirmed that Wesolowski had been recalled for sexually abusing minors.

Wesolowski reportedly had left the country only a few days before. There were accusations that the pope allowed his nuncio to escape and speculation that Wesolowski fled to Haiti where children are even more desperately poor.

On Sept. 23, the Dominican Republic’s Justice Ministry confirmed there was evidence of pedophilia against Wesolowski. A deacon confessed to “pimping” minors for the prelate who allegedly waited in his vehicle nearby. The deacon, Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, who is being held in pretrial prison on pedophilia charges, was arrested when one of Wesolowski’s alleged victims alerted a police officer. The deacon said on that occasion Wesolwski left but said nothing because he thought the Church’s influence would get him out of prison.

The Deputy Procurator and the case’s lead investigator, Bolivar Sanchez, noted that Wesolowski cannot be extradited because of his diplomatic status. He said the minors interviewed admitted to masturbating for, and of taking part in oral sex with the bishop as he filmed them with a cell phone. Another witness affirmed seeing child pornography on Wesoloski’s laptop at the Vatican embassy. Sanchez confirmed that when the local Catholic Church submitted the evidence to the Vatican, the Justice Ministry was unaware of the case but has received full cooperation after the investigation was launched.

Wesolowski is a Polish national and the story is receiving wide coverage in that county. An investigative reporter for Poland’s Newsweek confirmed that Wesolowski was well known in the Zona Colonial. The reporter was told that the nuncio paid youths 500 pesos to masturbate in front of him. Occasionally they were paid 3,000 pesos for “full” sex.

“Confidence in the Church has suffered,” the secretary general of the Polish bishops’ conference, Bishop Wojciech Polak, said. He asked for forgiveness. “It’s the least I can do,” he told reporters. Polak, however, rejected the idea of financial compensation for the victims from the Church. Rather, only the person responsible for these acts should make restitution. Also, the Polish hierarchy said there has been no contact with Wesolowski and that his whereabouts remain unknown.

Similarly, Pope Francis sent confidential letter N315/2012 to the bishops in Peru on May 24, 2013, dismissing Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo of Ayacucho, a poor Andean region in southern Peru. According to this newspaper report, no reason was given and there was no public announcement.

Miranda had led the youth ministry of Peru’s bishops’ conference since 2007 and had accompanied the group “to other countries” and to Spain in 2011 for a World Youth Day celebration, the same event recently attended by Pope Francis in Brazil.

Miranda was reported to be an Opus Dei priest. But the group said he had only received “spiritual assistance” from the organization, meaning that while not ordained as an Opus Dei priest, Miranda was a diocesan priest “intrinsically united to Opus Dei.” This would explain how poor kids could have traveled since Opus Dei would have paid for their trips.

On Aug. 21, a Spanish lawyer, Francisco Jose de la Cigona, wrote in his blog that the Vatican “accepted the resignation” of Miranda for “having sex with minors and adults, too” which had been “solicited in confession.” His informant confirmed that Miranda’s name had been removed from the archdiocesan website.

Diego Garcia Sayan, president of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, wrote in his Sept. 19 La Republica newspaper column what had been “said in Church circles for at least a month” – Miranda had been dismissed by the pope for accusations of sexually abusing children. “No official information [from the Church] is available,” however, it is “essential to confirm or disprove what is an open secret.” If true, he wrote, he called for “immediate action by the attorney general.”

Later on Sept. 19, a local bishop publicly stated that “Miranda has not only been removed [for pedophilia], but laicized. He is no longer a priest.”  The bishop said this had not yet been officially communicated by the Vatican.

The next day, Reuters reported that an unnamed “Church official confirmed that Miranda, 53, had resigned but declined to say why.” The attorney general’s office said that it was investigating Miranda and would announce its actions soon. According to an Opus Dei statement, Miranda “denies any crime related to minors.”

Various prelates followed up by confirming the “resignation” of Miranda, or the “removal” of Miranda. The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Ayacucho, said Miranda “departed in July” but did not specify the reason.

On Sept. 22, La Republica’s correspondent in Ayacucho noted that the archbishop of the archdiocese and president of Peru’s bishops’ conference, Salvador Pineiro, had announced to other Peruvian hierarchs that Miranda was dismissed and laicized on Aug. 15 based on evidence and testimony of the victim(s) and their families. The government prosecutor, Garry Chavez, questioned why, having heard the case, the national Church hierarchy had not contacted the civil authority.

The same day, the Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima “minimized” the accusations of child sex abuse against Miranda and blamed the scandal on the media. Cipriani met with Pope Francis on Sept. 24 “for more than an hour” but said that Miranda was not discussed.

Also on Sept. 24, the prosecutor, Chavez, told La Republica that he asked the archbishops of Ayacucho and Lima and the papal nuncio – since the allegations were made directly to the Vatican – for copies of the records upon which the pope based his decision to remove Miranda. According to Chavez, Miranda left the second week in August and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Chavez asked the attorney general’s office, which deals with international crimes, to receive the information requested from the nuncio through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said he hopes there will be a quick response from the Vatican.

On Sept. 26, Reuters reported that Chavez told them Church officials based in Peru and the Vatican had not yet responded to several requests for details about the case. “What we are going to do now is reiterate to them that the law requires their cooperation,” Chavez said. The archbishop of Ayacucho, Salvador Pineiro, who supervised Miranda for two years, said he supports the investigation and hopes it will reveal the truth. He said all he knows about the case is that on July 5 he was notified by Pope Francis that Miranda was being dismissed for “sins against the sixth commandment [Thou shalt not commit adultery] in a process subject to pontifical secret.” (The “sixth commandment” is a euphemism used by Catholic churchmen for any sexual transgression from masturbation to rape.)

However, the online magazine, CARETAS, reported that the accusation against Miranda was for “improper touching” of a 14-year-old altar boy in June 2012 in the confessional. According to the magazine, the victim lodged a formal complaint with the archbishop of Ayacucho’s office. It appears the complaint went unnoticed or ignored for some time. Also, CARETAS reported that Chavez believes there is another complaint against Miranda by a 15-year-old.

Pineiro denied this and said he never received any complaints against Miranda. “That’s a lie. Of course I would have investigated. I am not complicit,” the archbishop protested.

Meanwhile, Miranda’s whereabouts still remain unknown.

While Pope Francis could be praised for dismissing these prelates, the fact that the information he received was credible enough for him to take action also means that he should have immediately alerted the civil authorities so that, if warranted, an arrest could be made or at least an investigation begun as soon as possible. Also, Pope Francis should have made the allegations public so that any other victims would be encouraged to contact a law enforcement agency perhaps making the investigation easier, apprehension quicker or prosecution more certain. Additionally, if made public, people could avoid contact with the accused. The group, Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), defines failure to take these steps as a “cover up.”

How many children have been abused or are in danger until both men are apprehended? Did Wesolowski and Miranda use the time provided by the pope’s silence to escape arrest? At what point should Francis make an apology and offer aid to the victims?

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio did not have a good record regarding child sex abuse before he became pope.

Fr. Julio Cesar Grassi was well known for his work as president of the Fundacion Felices los Niños (the Happy Children Foundation) which he founded in 1993 to rescue street children.

Grassi received donations from fund-raising drives held on numerous television programs. He “won praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” (Bergoglio was elevated to archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and elevated to cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.)

The first legal complaint against the priest was filed anonymously in Juvenile Court in Nov. 2000 accusing Grassi of corrupting minors. Nothing was done until an investigative news program alleged that Grassi abused five boys aged 11 to 17. Two of the alleged victims, using the pseudonyms “Gabriel” and “Ezekiel,” stated that they had been abused by Grassi while in the Happy Children Foundation.

In Oct. 2002, Grassi was arrested and charged with 17 counts of abusing three boys who were 9, 13, and 17 when the alleged incidents occurred. The priest accused those who made complaints of extortion. Grassi was held 28 days and released.

One victim’s attorney, Juan Pablo Gallego, said the harm done by the priest was “irreversible.” “This man was in charge of abandoned kids with family problems,” stated Gallego.

The executive committee of the Argentine bishops’ conference issued a statement denouncing a “campaign” intended to “blur the image” of the Catholic Church and “cause society to lose its trust” in the institution.” The Executive Committee was headed by Archbishop Karlic and his first and second vice-presidents, Msgr. Miras and Cardinal Bergoglio.

Cardinal Bergoglio refused to meet with “Gabriel” in Nov. 2003.

In one of Argentina’s most egregious abuse cases, another priest in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires was assigned to work with children even when Church leaders knew of allegations against him.
After local parishioners accused Fr. Mario Napoleon Sasso of molesting children in a poor, rural province of eastern Argentina in the early 1990s, he was sent to a private rehabilitation center for wayward clergy. He was then reassigned to work in a soup kitchen for poor children in a town outside the capital. There, he went on to sexually abuse girls as young as 3.
The attorney for the victims said that in 2006 the victims’ families asked to see Bergoglio but they never received a response.
Sasso was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. He has since been released on parole.

After years of legal delays, Grassi’s trial began in August 2008. Prosecutors sought 30 years in prison. For nine months, the trial was held behind closed doors. Only the verdict was read to the public on June 10, 2009. The Criminal Court found Grassi guilty of two acts of aggravated sexual assault and corruption of minors and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. He was allowed to remain free during his appeal but the judges imposed a number of restrictions.

On June 20, 2009, 49 priests and 50 laypeople criticized the “silence of ecclesial leaders before this case and others.” The signers said, “We see that other bishops’ conferences like Colombia’s have spoken up in similar cases, and we do not understand your silence, that has the appearance of ‘hushing up’ and ‘tolerance.’”

In a 2009 interview, Grassi claimed that Bergoglio “never let go of my hand….Investigative reports at the time indicate that Bergoglio not only continued protecting Grassi through the Church but was also his confessor – one of the few who came to talk to him.”

The case of Fr. Grassi has been particularly troublesome to children’s advocates in Argentina because “Bergoglio was widely viewed as close to the young priest. [He] was not expelled from the priesthood after the guilty verdict. Instead, Church officials led by Bergoglio commissioned a lengthy private report arguing that Grassi was innocent.”

The report, written by Marcelo Sancinetti, a criminal lawyer, was two volumes exceeding 1000 pages. He argued that a member of the clergy should not necessarily comply with secular court decisions. “He suggests that allegation of sex abuse by Grassi are false and comparable to the witch trials of the Middle Ages.” A copy was given to each judge involved in hearing Grassi’s appeal and was “submitted as part of the legal appeal…Prosecutors say the document has helped Grassi avoid jail time.”

For the next four years, Grassi was allowed to continue living across the street from the foundation. Grassi “violated the conditions for his freedom by calling one of the youngsters whose testimony led to his conviction a ‘liar.’”

On May 8, 2013, the victim known as “Gabriel” and his attorney, Juan Pablo Gallego, went to the Vatican embassy in Buenos Aires to hand deliver a letter addressed to Pope Francis. The letter read, in part, “I would be grateful if you would apply the so-called zero tolerance [as announced by the Vatican towards pedophile priests] for the privileged Grassi sentenced for horrific crimes from which I have suffered and still suffer. Have him reduced to the lay state and issue a clear public sign of respect for the independence of the Argentine judicial system….I beg your compassion and help me regain my faith.”

While the attorney and his client were at the nunciature, “a number of parcels, letters and papers” addressed to the pope were received. After an employee read “Gabriel’s” letter and consulted with someone inside, they were told the letter would not be accepted and they were threatened with a call to the police.

On Sept. 2, the chief justice of the Argentine Supreme Court of Buenos Aires, Héctor Negri, one of the judges who would decide Grassi’s appeal, met in private with Pope Francis. Negri stated that the Grassi case was not discussed, but should a prominent jurist have considered the meeting unseemly just a couple of weeks before a decision was to be handed down on Grassi?

On Sept. 18, Grassi’s conviction for two cases of aggravated sexual abuse and a third for corruption of minors and sentence of 15 years imprisonment was upheld. Other plaintiffs are pushing for the trial against Grassi to continue, saying he still needs to answer to accusations that he abused two other youths. Plaintiffs’ attorney Gallego said the victims are currently between 27 and 28 years old and live “in humble conditions.”

Grassi called the court’s decision “a cross one must know how to bear.” The priest criticized the prosecutor for “wanting to deceive society” and the media for waging a campaign against him.

In a press statement, Bishop Marcelo Cuenca said that Grassi was “totally innocent” and he blamed the media for Grassi’s conviction.

Sergio Piris, an attorney for another of Grassi’s victims, said the priest always felt comfortable because he was protected by the Church. Piris said his client “was never able to close this black chapter on his life” and that “he was still suffering while the abuser was free and spoke on television.” Cuenca’s statement shows that the Church continues to protect him, Piris stated. ”

Considering that Grassi resists detention by “spurious means,” provides a “bizarre spectacle” for the press, and “because he does not stop hurting himself, the Catholic Church, justice and, above all, the victims,” Gallego asked Pope Francis to remove the priest from the Catholic Church.

Bishop Luis Guillermo Eichhorn had defended Grassi as “again acquitted on fifteen charges and convicted on two,” in an earlier statement. But on Sept. 25, the day after Grassi was finally ordered to prison, Eichhorn said that Grassi could no longer say mass in public but could continue doing so in private “pending final resolution of this situation” and that he would be investigated by the Vatican. To which one columnist replied: “This arrangement is the minimum that can be adopted and seems destined to protect the priest and try to lessen the damage to the corporate image of the Church which has been seriously harmed by inaction in many cases of pedophilia tested in various parts of the world.”

….Bergoglio did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the Church and the offending priests were sent to jail.
There is no evidence that Bergoglio played a role in covering up abuse cases. Several prominent rights groups in Argentina say…that Bergoglio’s resolve strengthened as new cases of molestation emerged in the archdiocese and that he eventually instructed bishops to immediately report all abuse allegations to police.
But during most of the 14 years that Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires, rights advocates say, he did not take decisive action to protect children or act swiftly when molestation charges surfaced.
He has been totally silent,” said Ernesto Moreau, a member of Argentina’s U.N.-affiliated Permanent Assembly for Human Rights and a lawyer who has represented victims in a clergy sexual-abuse case. Victims asked to meet with Bergoglio but were turned down, Moreau said. “In that regard, Bergoglio was no different from most of the other bishops in Argentina, or the Vatican itself.”

As pope, Francis has also been silent regarding sexual assaults against children except for acknowledging during an in-flight interview while returning from Brazil that this was a crime.

In April, the Vatican Information Service reported that “the Holy Father recommended that the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith or CDF] continue along the lines set by Benedict XVI.” The press office paraphrased a private conversation between Pope Francis and Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the CDF, yet it has been universally misreported to the present day as a direct quote of a public statement that Francis told Muller to “act decisively against sexual abuse.”

Neither did the pope make any public statement when he made a new law for the employees of the Vatican City State and the Holy See (the name of the worldwide Church government) effective on July 11. The decree “declared sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.”

Perhaps this was not as widely reported because, a week earlier, the Vatican received a list of requests for information from the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child which will evaluate in early 2014 the Holy See’s implementation of the treaty it signed with U.N. protecting children.

One of the requests was “…please clarify the status of the Convention in the Vatican City State and provide information on the measures taken to incorporate its principles and provisions in the domestic legal system of the Vatican City State.”
Another was:    

For all these cases [of  sexual violence against children committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns in numerous countries around the world reported to the Holy See], please provide detailed information on the measures in place to ensure that no member of the clergy currently accused of sexual abuse be allowed to remain in contact with children as well as the specific cases where immediate measures were taken to prevent them from being in continued contact with children as well as the cases where priests were transferred to other parishes or to other States where they continued to have access to and abuse children.

No doubt, the world media will neglect to hold Pope Francis accountable for his failure to comply with the U.N. treaty. Just like, except for victims’ advocates, not one single reporter, journalist or commentator that I am aware of noted that Francis failed to mention the subject of child sex abuse in the 12,000-word interview published on Sept. 22.Francis first action as pope was to name eight cardinals who would advise him on governance of the Church. He showed a callous disregard for survivors of sexual assaults by selecting two cardinals with terrible reputations regarding child sex abuse.

The Australian Cardinal George Pell, when asked what he thought was the root cause of the sex-abuse scandals, Pell replied, “it’s obviously connected with the problem of homosexuality.”

In Australia, the number of reports of clergy child sex abuse became so egregious that the state of Victoria (capital Melbourne) initiated a parliament inquiry, the state of New South Wales (capital Sydney) is investigating complaints that the Catholic Church hampered police investigations, and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the formation of a Royal Commission to study child sex abuse by religious and non-government bodies.

Pell’s response was to complain about a “‘persistent press campaign’ and ‘general smears that we are covering up and moving people around,’ and then capped it off with the claim that abuse by Catholic priests had been singled out and exaggerated.”

Catholic clergy commit six times as much abuse as those in the rest of the Churches combined, ‘and that’s a conservative figure,’” Patrick Parkinson, a Sydney University law professor, told the Victoria inquiry on May 30, 2013. Of thousands of offences, not a single crime was reported by a Church official to the police, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton testified.

On May 24, 2013, Pell appeared as the final witness in the parliamentary inquiry. Like other prelates, Pell made an apology which came across as insincere. “My response to Cardinal Pell’s evidence, being as fair as I can, is that it was to me a rather cynical exercise in damage control,”  Dr. Bryan Keon-Cohen QC, president of community lobby group COIN (Commission of Inquiry Now) said. “He offered a lot of words, offered apologies, expressed remorse, but to me it lacked conviction,” according to Keon-Cohen.

During Pell’s testimony, “Many of his responses about his personal empathy for victims were met with laughter and scoffs from the public gallery, which included victims and victims’ advocates.” Anthony Foster, father of two young daughters repeatedly raped by a priest, said Pell showed a “sociopathic lack of empathy typifying the attitude and response of the Catholic hierarchy.” Ian Lawther, whose son was sexually abused by a priest, described Pell’s apology as “full of criminal clichés….It was a kick to the groin of every Australian Catholic, maybe even Christian.”

Another of Pope Francis’ “gang of eight” is Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, the retired archbishop of Santiago, who made headlines in Chile for protecting Fr. Fernando Karamina, a spiritual leader among Santiago’s most influential families.

Church officials were warned as early as 1984 about Karadima’s “improper conduct.” The first known reports of abuse by Karadima reached Errázuriz in mid-2003. In 2006, a priest appointed by Errázuriz to investigate the claims made his report to the cardinal, stating that he believed “the accusers to be credible.” Errázuriz wrote in a public letter that he did nothing because he thought the allegations were beyond the statute of limitations.

In April 2010, a civil criminal complaint was filed against Karadima for child sex abuse by four men who were once his devoted followers. The claims were dismissed by a court ruling stating there was not enough evidence to charge him. One of the claimants protested, “We would have liked to appeal, but with defense attorneys like his, who have the Appeals and Supreme Court eating out of their hands, and a number of powerful people who continue to protect Karadima, we knew it would be an uphill battle that we were likely to lose.”

In January 2011, a judge ordered that Karadima be interrogated. According to court testimony, Church officials, including Errázuriz, tried to shame accusers into dropping claims, refused to meet with them or failed to carry out formal investigations for years.

The criminal case against Karadima was dismissed in November 2011 because the statute of limitations had expired but the court also determined that the allegations were “truthful and reliable.” The Vatican “sanctioned” Karadima by ordering him to a life of “penitence and prayer,” but he remains a priest in good standing.

Karadima is the “worst scandal” of the Chilean Catholic Church, Chilean political analyst Ascanio Cavallo, Dean of the Journalism School of the Adolfo Ibáñez University, stated. “Power is the true point of the case. The abuses were not possible without a network  of political, social and religious power working for 50 years,” said Cavallo.

When Pope Francis appointed Errázuriz as one of his closest advisers, one of the claimants who had accused the cardinal of covering up Karadima’s crimes called it “a shame and a disgrace.”

On Sept. 15, Errázuriz, referring to the compensation requested by Karadima’s victims from the Archdiocese of Santiago for failing to protect them or to investigate their accusations, said they should be asking for compensation from Karadima. Errázuriz denied that the archdiocese had any responsibility for their “tremendous pain.”

On Sept. 21, Pope Francis reconfirmed Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith even though the archbishop has followed none of the instructions reportedly given him by the pope as described by the Vatican Information Service in April. Müller was told he must promote measures for the protection of minors, offer assistance to those who have suffered abuse, carry out due proceedings against the guilty and help formulate and implement the necessary directives in this area “that is so important for the Church’s witness and credibility.” The press release had ended with “The Holy Father assured that victims of abuse are present in a particular way in his prayers for those who are suffering.”

The institution is not what it appears in its public pronouncements, ritual manifestations, and glorious vesture….Only willful blindness and pathological denial can allow one to overlook the reality that the symptom of clerical abuse reveals a Roman Catholic Church as dysfunctional and corrupt sexually and financially as during the time of the Protestant Reformation.” August 30, 2013 by A. W. Richard Sipe, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, former Benedictine monk and priest, and recognized authority on celibacy and priest sex abuse.

 

Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League shoves his foot down his pig throat over the movie Spotlight


Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League shoves his foot down his pig throat over the movie Spotlight

The Infamous Bill Pig Face Donohue, President of the Catholic League and Defender of the Degenerates of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps, Priests and Nuns

The Infamous Bill Pig Face Donohue, President of the Catholic League and Defender of the Degenerates of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps, Priests and Nuns

Yuppers, got to hand it to Bill Pig Face Donohue, President of the Catholic League and Defender of the Degnerates of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps, Priests, Nuns and the Parishioners who bow down and suck their dicks in unholy love.

1. First posting on Spotlight from Pig Faces Posting on the Catholic League blog, titled

“SPOTLIGHT” EXAMINES ABUSE SCANDAL which then contains a link to a pdf file written by Donohue at the following link: SHINING THE LIGHT ON “SPOTLIGHT” Bill Donohue. Now Bilbo Dildo makes the following statement:

“In the Catholic League‘s 2002 Annual Report, I even defended the media. “The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times covered the story with professionalism,” I wrote”

2. But Bilbo Dildo attacks the Boston Globe in a new posting BOSTON GLOBE REEKS OF BIAS on his Catholic League blog as follows:

“On the front page of the Metro Section in today’s Boston Globe, there is a story about the movie “Spotlight” that smacks of bias and gullibility; the former is driving the latter.”

He goes on to spew his typical bullshit defense of the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult of Pedophiles, as usual:

“Lisa Wangsness relies on Terence McKiernan of Bishop Accountability for her data. She writes that he told her that “the bishops could have agreed to make lists of abusive priests available nationwide.” Referring to him again, she writes that “More than 2,400 abusive priests nationwide have never been named.”

First, McKiernan is known for making up figures on the fly. A few years ago, after he told a sympathetic audience he was going to “stick it” to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, he accused him of “keeping the lid on 55 priests.” That is a lie. Several times I have personally challenged him to name the names and every time he runs.

Second, the term “abusive priests” is meaningless. Were they simply accused or was there a credible accusation made against them? Were the accusations substantiated or unsubstantiated? Was there a finding of guilt? Wangsness never tells us because it obviously doesn’t matter to her.

Third, what institution, including the Boston Globe, publishes the names of employees who have had an accusation made against them?

Fourth, how does McKiernan know there are 2,400 priests who have never been named? Did she ask him for verification?

Fifth, the figures for the Boston Archdiocese undercut the point that she and McKiernan are making. Indeed, there are more unsubstantiated accusations than there are findings of guilt.

Then the disgusting troglodyte Donohue, who couldn’t get laid even if he went into a women’s prison with a fistful of pardons, let along to the local pig farmer to be introduced to the farmers sows, Bilbo Dildo spews even more well worn bullshit from his well used outhouse piehole. From his Catholic League posting LOUSY JOURNALISM ON “SPOTLIGHT”

3. “Bill Donohue comments on the way journalists are handling “Spotlight”:

“Spotlight,” which opens today, is being heralded as an example of solid journalism, the kind of movie that should be shown in college journalism classes. Ironically, many journalists who are touting the movie are proving just how lousy they are at their craft.

Journalists for the following media outlets got their facts wrong:

New York Post; The Daily Commercial; Associated Press; Wall Street Journal; Boston Globe; National Catholic Reporter; Vanity Fair; Los Angeles Daily News; Christianity Today; RogerEbert.com; New Yorker; New York; Observer; Chicago Reader; timesofmalta.com; The Verge; baretnewswire.org; SLANT; Paste; avclub.com; filmcomment.

Whether through laziness or ignorance, all of these sources misrepresented the facts by saying the problem was pedophilia. As the John Jay College of Criminal Justice researchers pointed out, less than 5 percent of the molesting priests were pedophiles. They found that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent of them were postpubescent. That means the abusers were homosexuals.

Not to admit this is an expression of journalistic malfeasance, the kind that ought to be discussed in the classroom.”

So here is the Pig Face, again, trashing the Boston Globe and others, he formerly defended as these news organizations for their professionalism in their reporting on the story, and now here he is trashing them for the same damn thing.

Of course, he then spews his typical bullshit about this being a homosexual and not a pedophile problem, using the John Jay College of Criminal Justice research, but totally ignores what the researchers said to his sorry ass way back in 2010:

“Whether through laziness or ignorance, all of these sources misrepresented the facts by saying the problem was pedophilia. As the John Jay College of Criminal Justice researchers pointed out, less than 5 percent of the molesting priests were pedophiles. They found that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent of them were postpubescent. That means the abusers were homosexuals.”

But in an interview with Media Matters, Margaret Smith — a John Jay College criminologist who worked on the 2004 study — said that while Donohue “quoted the study’s data correctly,” he “drew an unwarranted conclusion” in asserting that most of the abusers were gay.

Explaining that it is an oversimplification to assume to that priests who abuse male victims are gay, Smith said: “The majority of the abusive acts were homosexual in nature. That participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man.”

As an example, Smith pointed to the case of Marcial Maciel Degollado, a prominent Mexican priest who allegedly abused male children and also allegedly carried on affairs with multiple women. Smith noted that while Maciel allegedly abused boys, most people would not think of him as a gay man.

“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.”

Seems Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League will use the John Jay report to make his false assertions that this is a homosexual and not a pedophile problem, but ignore what the very researcher and other researchers on this problem of child rape, pedophiles and other sex crimes against children, said to him.

Bilbo Dildo…to be very honest with you? I do hope that after your next Christmas party, where you are getting all drunk? You get behind the wheel of your car and smash it into a tree or a bridge abutment or drive it off a bridge. You really just need to fucking die you punk assed, low life, piece of shit scumbag trodlodyte…and go burn in hell for all eternity, being gang-raped by the demons of hell.

 

Judge denies former Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre motion to keep video testimony from public


Judge denies former Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre motion to keep video testimony from public

By Stephanie Barry | sbarry@repub.com
on July 15, 2010 at 5:08 PM, updated July 19, 2010 at 9:19 PM

From the link: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/07/judge_denies_former_springfiel.html

The Republican file photo / Dave RobackThe Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, left, former bishop of the Springfield Catholic Diocese, speaks at a press conference in 2003 about a plan to handle abuse by priests. A year later he was accused of molesting two boys in Holyoke.

The Republican file photo / Dave RobackThe Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre, left, former bishop of the Springfield Catholic Diocese, speaks at a press conference in 2003 about a plan to handle abuse by priests. A year later he was accused of molesting two boys in Holyoke.

SPRINGFIELD – As his defense lawyer feared, a videotaped deposition of disgraced Bishop Thomas L. Dupre may soon make the Internet in the wink of a cybereye, after a Hampden Superior Court judge denied his motion to keep the interview from the public.

During a court hearing on Wednesday, lawyers wrangled over whether a three-hour interview taped in connection with a civil lawsuit against Dupre and other church officials should be made available for public consumption.

Dupre’s lawyer, Michael O. Jennings, argued that the interview featured his client asserting his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself for three hours, and that making it public would serve no other purpose than to embarrass him.

“It will only serve to cause him embarrassment, harassment, or perhaps worse. This will be on the Internet by tomorrow night,” Jennings told Judge Bertha D. Josephson, who was apparently unconvinced by the argument and denied the motion on Thursday afternoon.

Dupre was bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield until 2004 when he retired overnight and fled to a Maryland treatment center for priests amid molestation allegations. Two men later sued him for sexually abusing them during the 1970s while they were teens and Dupre was a parish priest. The prelate eventually settled out of court with his accusers for an undisclosed sum.

Dupre was in 2004 charged with child rape in connection with the allegations, but the prosecution stalled because the case was so old.

More recently, the prelate was named in a lawsuit by a Williamstown man who said Dupre and other church officials failed to properly supervise a priest who molested him during the 1980s. Plaintiffs’ lawyer John J. Stobierski conducted a videotaped interview on April 16 in connection with that complaint.

After stating his name and date of birth, Dupre pleaded the fifth in response to three hours of questions, Stobierski said. According to local Catholic officials, he has voluntarily retired from any public ministry.

However, Stobierski said Dupre wore his clerical collar throughout the interview. The lawyer opposed Jennings’ motion to keep the deposition under wraps, and said he was pleased with Josephson’s ruling.

“We think it’s consistent with the law as well as the spirit of openness in these matters,” Stobierski said.

Jennings said he may appeal the ruling. Stobierski said he will give the defense lawyer until Monday to consider that, and will disseminate the video then if he declines to appeal.

Dupre Deposition Transcript

Bishop Indicted For Child Rape


Bishop Indicted For Child Rape

Murder Haunts Catholic Church Charges Of Sexual Abuse Reopens An Old Murder Investigation


Murder Haunts Catholic Church

Charges Of Sexual Abuse Reopens An Old Murder Investigation

Correspondent Rebecca Leung

May 24, 2005

From the link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/murder-haunts-catholic-church/

File photo / The RepublicanCarl and Bernice Croteau stand in front of a portrait of their murdered son, Danny, in their Springfield home in this 2003 photo.

File photo / The RepublicanCarl and Bernice Croteau stand in front of a portrait of their murdered son, Danny, in their Springfield home in this 2003 photo.

Danny Croteau, a 13-year-old altar boy from Springfield, Mass., was murdered — a murder most foul. His body was found bloodied, battered and floating in a river.

A suspect was identified almost immediately. It was someone who knew Danny and his family well. But that suspect was never arrested, and still lives only a few miles away.

What makes all of this remarkable is that Croteau’s murder happened 33 years ago. Now, an investigation has been re-opened into the case that has tortured Springfield, its police force, and Danny’s parents ever since. reports.


“I still hear Danny hailing for help. It’s horrible,” says Danny’s mother, Bunny. She and Danny’s father, Carl, are haunted by their son’s murder.

“It’s just been a nightmare,” says Carl Croteau.

The Croteaus had seven children, including five boys. Danny was their youngest son.

“What did the police tell you when they first came,” asks Rather.

“Well, they said that Danny had been in trouble,” recalls Carl Croteau. “And I say, ‘What do you mean … did he do something wrong?’ And they said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘It’s worse than that.’ He says, ‘We found him, murdered and floating in the Chicopee River.'”

The parents couldn’t imagine who would murder their son, and neither could police. Former State Det. Ed Harrington, who helped investigate the case, took 60 Minutes Wednesday to the spot where Danny’s body was found.

“Adjacent to the body was a rock that we believe was used to smash his head in,” says Harrington, who believes that was the murder instrument.

As soon as they heard the awful news, the Croteaus, devout Roman Catholics, turned to their parish priest, Father Richard Lavigne. Danny had been an altar boy for Father Lavigne.

“He used to come over to the house three, four times a week,” says Carl Croteau. “Wasn’t a weekend passed that Danny wouldn’t be with him.”

Lavigne identified Danny’s body to police and participated in the funeral Mass. But soon after Danny’s burial, the man who had been the family’s comfort and support became something else: a suspect.

“Within five to seven days, information had been developed that a family friend, Richard Lavigne, who was a parish priest, might be involved,” says Harrington.

Was he the only suspect? “The only one that I was ever aware of,” says Harrington. “That was ever investigated.”

Harrington cites circumstantial evidence against Lavigne, including the fact that Lavigne denied ever having been alone with Danny. A police report said officers quickly learned that “Danny and Father Lavigne were often alone.” The report also said the priest asked questions that police believed “were consistent with those that are often asked by the perpetrator of a crime.” But with no witnesses and no firm physical evidence, the district attorney at the time chose not to prosecute Lavigne. Harrington concurred.

“The fear was that if we tried to bring it to trial, we wouldn’t have enough evidence and lose it,” says Harrington. “And then, of course, we’d never be able to bring him to trial again.”

“So you were convinced he did it, but you were convinced you couldn’t get a conviction?” asks Rather.

“Correct,” says Harrington.

At the time, Lavigne insisted he was innocent and still does. While he refused to speak on camera, his lawyers sent 60 Minutes Wednesday a letter listing powerful, concrete evidence of his own, including “the tire tread marks left at the scene of the crime…did not match the tires on Richard Lavigne’s car or his family’s car.” They also point out that a DNA analysis of “blood found at the crime scene…was not Richard Lavigne’s blood.”

And at the time of the crime, Lavigne was a respected figure in the community. Carl Croteau says the district attorney told him, “‘Where could I get 12 jurors to convict a Catholic priest?'”

For two decades after Danny’s murder, Lavigne continued to work quietly in the diocese of Springfield until 1991. That’s when men began coming forward to charge that Lavigne had sexually molested them when they were boys. First, a group of five men made the charges. Later, others followed, 43 in all.

Danny’s friends, Steve Block and Tom Martin, claimed that the parish priest had a motive for the murder, to hide a dark secret that Danny was threatening to tell.

“He told me that he hated Father Lavigne and he hurt him,” says Martin. “And I knew exactly what that meant.”

What that meant, Martin charges, was that Lavigne was sexually abusing Danny, just as he had molested Martin and other boys at the church. “He forced me into oral sex on him twice,” says Martin, when he was 8.

“He actually invited me over to the rectory to make breakfast. And at that point is when he took the initiative to move me into another room, sexually assault me,” adds Block, who says this happened when he was 12. “And told me ‘Christ suffered and so should I?’ Things like that.”

Were they aware that there were other boys being abused?

“The only time that I ever spoke about it was with Steven, and the only thing we ever said to each other was ‘Is he doing the same thing to you?'” says Martin. “And the only other person that ever said anything to me about Father Lavigne was Danny Croteau.”

Danny’s parents say that soon after the murder, three of their other sons admitted that Lavigne had sexually molested them, too. The family did not go public with those allegations at the time. But when some of the other victims did go public years later, Lavigne was charged with criminal sexual abuse. At first, he claimed innocence.

But then, he changed his plea to guilty when he was offered a deal: admit to molesting two boys in return for no jail time, no new prosecutions for sex crimes committed earlier, and 10 years probation, including treatment at Saint Luke’s in Maryland, a hospital specializing in therapy for pedophile priests.

After seven months there, Lavigne returned to the Springfield diocese, where the diocese wrote: “Lavigne would no longer be able to function nor present himself as a priest.” But he was not formally defrocked, despite being listed as a Level 3 sex offender, and designated a high risk to re-offend. He continued to be paid a monthly salary of over $1,000 plus benefits, even as the diocese paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits filed by his abuse victims.

“You know, I was an altar boy myself, and I never had an inkling that a priest would ever abuse anybody, never mind murder anybody,” says Carl Croteau.

The molestation case caused police to look into Danny’s murder again, but they said they still didn’t have enough evidence to bring charges against Lavigne. That didn’t end the outrage in the community, though.

Springfield resident Warren Mason wanted the diocese to take action: “I’m the father of three young, healthy boys. And to see that, I’d look at them and I’d say, ‘How could somebody do this to an innocent child?'”

In 2002, Mason took his concerns to his local parish, St. Michael’s, located less than five miles from Lavigne’s old church. To his surprise, he found a receptive audience.

“Molestation of children is evil and there’s no other name for it,” says Sister Mary McGeer. “When we cover it up, it’s evil. When people cover it up, the people that are covering it up are evil.”

Then, Mason met with the Rev. James Scahill, pastor of St. Michael’s, and made a radical proposal: that the congregation withhold from the Springfield diocese the 6 percent contribution that every parish is required to send up to its bishop, until and unless Father Lavigne was defrocked and removed from the diocese payroll.

“I told him at that meeting that as long as Father Richard Lavigne was receiving any sustenance from the diocese, I wouldn’t give any money to the church, and I flippantly said, ‘Hold back the 6 percent,'” says Mason. “And father looked like he was gonna pass out about that point in time.”

Even so, Scahill agreed to submit that ultimatum to the head of the Springfield diocese, Bishop Thomas Dupre. The bishop’s spokesman characterizes the bishop’s reaction as “disappointed.”

Scahill describes him as furious: “He said what? And I told him again. And he said, ‘You cannot do that.’ He says, ‘There’s no conversation relative to this matter. You absolutely cannot do that.'”

Scahill says that Dupre threatened to suspend him. And McGeer says other local priests treated him as a traitor.

Why isn’t there widespread support? “There’s a very strong silence that goes on in that priesthood,” says McGeer. “As a result, priests are not breaking that silence. They’re staying together with it.”

“The church must become accountable. The church must change,” says Scahill, who spread the message by speaking out for victims of sexual abuse and against Dupre. McGeer encouraged church members to support their cause. Mason bombarded newspapers with letters demanding that the bishop defrock Lavigne.

In January 2003, the Springfield diocese initiated procedures to remove Lavigne. Then in October 2003, Scahill received a phone call from a concerned mother. She had been following the news about his battles with the bishop, and she had something Scahill needed to know.

“[She said] that her son and one of his friends had been abused by Bishop Dupre,” says Scahill.

Scahill met the two men, who repeated the charges. Then reporter Bill Zajac of the Springfield Republic got wind of the allegations. And in February 2004, he asked Dupre to respond.

“The next morning, I woke up and then I heard the news that the bishop had resigned his position and he had checked himself into a hospital the night before,” says Zajac.

Seven months later, Dupre was indicted for statutory rape, the first U.S. Roman Catholic bishop to be charged with sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty, and the charges were later dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.

Shortly before Dupre’s resignation, Lavigne was defrocked and soon afterward his financial support ended. The diocese told 60 Minutes Wednesday the public pressure had nothing to do with it. But McGeer disagrees: “I do believe Richard Lavigne would still be a priest and that Thomas Dupre would still be the bishop in Springfield, had we not taken some action.”

Last summer, Scahill and his congregation celebrated their victory. “We have the belief that what we have done at St. Michael’s has made children safer for all times and victims have been given voice to begin their healing,” says Scahill.

The investigation into Danny Croteau’s murder was reopened two years ago, but some detectives fear that too much time has passed, that not enough new evidence can be found to bring charges. And Lavigne – no longer Father Lavigne — still lives in Springfield. And Carl and Bunny Croteau still attend Catholic Mass every day.

That Dupre is still a Catholic bishop in good standing 15 months after his resignation, his whereabouts unknown, is both troubling and disgraceful. Have the Croteau’s thought about leaving the church?

“No,” says Bunny Croteau.

“You’re convinced that a priest killed one of your sons. He sexually abused three others. The hierarchy of the church covered it up in a conspiracy. You’re convinced,” says Rather. “But you stick in. You stay in.”

“They can’t take God away from us,” says Bunny Croteau. “That’s the one thing they can’t have.”

Court documents reveal altar boy’s ordeal


Court documents reveal altar boy’s ordeal

By The Republican Newsroom  
By STEPHANIE BARRY
sbarry@repub.com
on February 21, 2008 at 8:15 PM, updated February 21, 2008 at 8:32 PM

From the link: http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/2008/02/documents_reveal_altar_boys_or.html

File photo / The RepublicanCarl and Bernice Croteau stand in front of a portrait of their murdered son, Danny, in their Springfield home in this 2003 photo.

File photo / The RepublicanCarl and Bernice Croteau stand in front of a portrait of their murdered son, Danny, in their Springfield home in this 2003 photo.

SPRINGFIELD – About a week before Daniel Croteau’s lifeless body was recovered under a bridge in 1972, he returned home listless and nauseous from an overnight visit with his parish priest.

According to a statement his mother gave to police that year, the 13-year-old had left his house, smartly dressed, one night in April.

“He wore his knit shirt, tie, and herringbone jacket with a fur collar. He said that he was going to go someplace with Father Lavigne,” the statement by Bernice Croteau, taken on Aug. 7, 1972, reads. “That was the last we heard of him that evening until we received a call from Father (Richard) Lavigne, it was around 11:30 p.m. … and the father asked me if (Danny) could stay over that night.”

The statement was among 115 pages of documents released by the Hampden County district attorney’s office this week after a judge ordered the files unsealed. The documents include an overture to investigators from an astrologer, witness statements recounting dream visions and dying wishes, a jailhouse interview with a convicted priest from California, and wrenching accounts of Daniel Croteau’s allegedly volatile relationship with Lavigne.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini that the files be opened came in a civil dispute between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and its insurance carriers, which are resisting paying for settlements with victims of clergy abuse – many of whom say that Lavigne molested them.

The paperwork includes haunting images through witness statements spanning the 30 years since Croteau was killed and as law enforcement officials pursued a thus-far fruitless search for the boy’s killer.

The only suspect ever publicly identified was Lavigne, a now-defrocked priest, whom family members and friends said had a close and complicated relationship with Danny Croteau.

Lawyers for Lavigne have vehemently denied that their client was involved, even sending out a press release earlier this year entitled: “Richard Lavigne did not murder Daniel Croteau.”

The morning after Danny Croteau’s overnight stay with Lavigne in April 1972, Bernice “Bunny” Croteau told police, her son returned home, saying he felt ill.

“He didn’t say too much … he just laid around for a while and complained about his stomach … Towards evening he told me he had vomited several times,” the statement reads.

Several witnesses, including one who said he was Danny Croteau’s best friend, told police that Lavigne tried to ply them with liquor. He gave a statement in 1991, when Lavigne was under investigation for molesting boys in Franklin County.

“After the Mass, Father Lavigne would always offer us wine in the chalice … Father Lavigne would joke around a little and encourage us to drink the wine. I remember this because I didn’t like the wine, but Danny seemed to,” a witness, whose name was redacted from the statement, told police.

Investigators have said that Croteau’s alcohol blood level was .21, twice the legal limit, at the time of his death.

The witness also said that he and Croteau were altar boys for Lavigne at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Sixteen Acres.

“I found it strange that the other two priests never watched us change, but Father Lavigne always did,” the witness said. “In fact, he helped us by assisting us pull off the robes. … We thought Father Lavigne was a cool guy. He didn’t act like a priest. He acted like a playboy, very carefree and never serious outside the church.”

He added that he often spied Lavigne watching their street hockey games from a parked car.

“Danny would say, ‘I have to go,’ and he would run to the car crying with no further explanation. Danny told me that Father Lavigne was his uncle and that’s why I never thought any more about it. This would happen alot (sic) and Danny was with Father Lavigne alot (sic),” the statement reads.

Lavigne pleaded guilty in 1992 to two counts of molesting male parishioners. He was sentenced to 10 years’ probation; Lavigne was defrocked in 2005 after abuse accusations against him persisted and the diocese paid out millions to settle claims against him and other clerics.

The newly released documents show that many witnesses who claimed they had information about the Croteau killing came forward in the early 1990s. They included a woman whose recollections were memorialized in a spidery, handwritten statement in 1992.

She claims that Croteau appeared at her door in Chicopee one cold and windy night, shortly before he was killed.

“He was very polite and he asked me if he could use the phone to call father in Williamansette (sic). He refused a ride he said father would be right there,” said the witness, whose name also was blacked out in the documents. “I didn’t hear the conversation. It wasn’t long before he hung up then went outside. I turned the lights off then went to work.”

In the statement, dated Dec. 1, 1992, the witness said she told police of the encounter 30 years earlier, when she saw Croteau’s picture on the news after his body was found.

The teen was found face-down on the banks of the Chicopee River on April 15, 1972. He had been bludgeoned to death.

The records unsealed after Agostini’s order show Lavigne told certain people he was a suspect in the case, including a fellow priest who gave a statement to police in 1993.

“He was clearly looking for information about what was being said in Chicopee because we shared neighboring parishes,” the unnamed priest said of a flurry of telephone calls from Lavigne in the days following Croteau’s funeral. “(Another priest) also told me that he had a lot of communication with Father Lavigne during this whole time and that is what he agreed with me that (Lavigne) could be having a breakdown.”

Later in the same statement, the priest said, “(We) were confused as to whether or not Father Lavigne was involved in the murder because Father Lavigne had such conflict with members of the Springfield Police Department but we were both very uncertain, unclear and incapable of believing that any priest would be involved in a murder.”

Lawyers for Lavigne have repeatedly maintained that Lavigne passed the second of two lie detector tests administered by police; tire tracks at the scene did not match the tread on the tires of Lavigne’s Ford Mustang; DNA evidence found at the scene did not conclusively link Lavigne; and called into question the credibility and timing of certain witness statements.

Indeed, these records show overtures from the public included offers of help from an astrologer and statements from a woman who told police she resurrected images of Lavigne at the murder scene through hypnosis.

One individual told police in 2004 that she had spotted a boy in a yellow raincoat lying beneath the bridge where Croteau’s body was found.

“He was laying on his stomach with both arms bent over his head on the side. I could only see a left leg, which was bent. He looked like he was asleep. I saw a priest standing over him,” the woman told police of her reported sighting on April 12, 1972. “I remarked to my father that the kid must have fallen asleep and the priest was trying to wake him up. My father commented that if he was tired, the priest should have taken him home. I thought no more of it.”

The four-page statement recounts the witness’s encounters with the then-bishop, the Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon, who is now dead, and then-District Attorney Matthew J. Ryan Jr.

She told police that Weldon threatened to excommunicate her father from the church. Ryan said there was no evidence to support her claim, according to her statement, and told her that he could arrest her for filing a false report if she pursued her claims.

The statement says it was her father’s dying wish that she remain quiet on what she has reported seeing. The final paragraph reads:

“That’s it. I’ll have to live with the guilt that I didn’t come forward sooner, but I was honoring a promise to my father.”

Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett, who fought the release of these files and others related to the Croteau case, was unavailable to discuss the documents today. However, a spokeswoman for him said he would answer questions during a press conference tomorrow.

Before the insurance companies sought the release of these records, The Republican fought a year-long court battle to open 2,000 pages of files related to the Croteau case.

Bernice Croteau’s statement to Chicopee police also details conversations she and her husband had with Lavigne on the night her son disappeared.

“At about 10:30 p.m. I spoke to Father Lavigne on the telephone. I don’t remember if I called him or if he had called me. I told him that (Danny) hadn’t arrived home, and asked if he had heard or had seen him and he said that he didn’t see him,” she told police on Aug. 7, 1972.

She also went to the home of her son’s scoutmaster to see if Danny was there, she said.

“I went home and when I arrived home, my husband told me that he received a call from Father Lavigne, that Father Lavigne asked if (Danny) had been found yet, and when my husband answered no, there was silence at the other end of the line.”

Croteau’s body was recovered the next morning, with a bloody stone, the apparent murder weapon, lying a few feet away.

Greenfield lawyer John J. Stobierski, who represents clergy abuse victims as well as Bernice and Carl E. Croteau, Danny’s parents, said the documents raise new questions about the altar boy’s death.

“There is a significant amount of circumstantial evidence in these statements, though I have yet to see a smoking gun,” Stobierski said. “I’m sure the question for the district attorney is: is there enough circumstantial evidence to gain a conviction.”