Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pope's crimes against humanity
Write Hague Criminal Court Prosecutor by May 11 re Crimes Against Humanity of Pope
A prosecutor at The Hague International Criminal Court will soon decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Joseph Ratzinger (otherwise known as the “Pope”) as a German citizen who is complicit in crimes against humanity.

Persons with evidence of crimes committed by the Catholic Church or The Vatican can now write directly to the prosecutor the International Criminal Court in charge of this case, Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, according to the two German Lawyers who are applying to prosecute Ratzinger, Christian Sailer and Gert Hetzel.

"It is easy to have impact on the overall decision of The Hague prosecutor, as anyone can write directly with evidence of the crimes that this religious organization has committed," according to an email from Axel Cooley received this week by City of Angels Blog.

"It is vital to do this well before his decision date, May 15, 2011, so that he can utilize this evidence to proceed," writes Cooley.

Send your story and evidence to:

The Prosecutor
The International Criminal Court
Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo
Maanweg174 NL-2516 AB Den Haag
The Hague,The Netherlands

Cooley writes: "It is also important to enter your name in one of the websites of these websites demonstrating your approval:" (English) (German)

Murderer priest

Suit tossed against Ohio convicted murderer priest
Published 08:15 a.m., Thursday, April 7, 2011
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of a woman who claims she was sexually abused in satanic rituals by a Roman Catholic priest later convicted of murdering a nun.

The Blade newspaper of Toledo reports the woman said the abuse began when she was a child in the late 1960s and lower courts found that her 2005 lawsuit came too late. The state's highest court on Wednesday declined without comment to review the case.

In a filing with the Supreme Court, an attorney for the Toledo diocese called the allegations against both the Rev. Gerald Robinson and a now deceased Catholic lay teacher "irresponsible," ''untrue" and "tall tales."

Robinson is serving 15 years to life in prison for the 1980 killing of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

Read more:

Abuse as punishment

Authorities claim pastor used sexual abuse as punishment
Tommy Joe Pitts, 51, was charged Wednesday in Major County District Court with nine felony counts in connection with the sexual assault of three girls. He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.

BY ANN KELLEY Oklahoman 0 Published: April 7, 2011

FAIRVIEW — A young girl told authorities a Fairview pastor used sexual abuse as punishment.

Tommy Joe Pitts, 51, was charged Wednesday in Major County District Court with nine felony counts in connection with the sexual assault of three girls ages 8, 9, and 12.

The complaints include two counts of first-degree rape, four counts of lewd molestation and three counts of rape by instrumentation.

Pitts appeared briefly in court Wednesday afternoon with his attorney, Fritz McGee. His bail is set at $1 million.

His wife was in the courtroom. She called the sheriff’s department March 31 to report Pitts molested three girls and was threatening to kill himself. Pitts was arrested after he deliberately drove into the path of a tractor-trailer rig, authorities said. The vehicles did not strike each other and Pitts was not injured, authorities said.

Pitts’ wife said she became suspicious of Pitts when he insisted on spending more time alone with the girls and confronted him about the alleged abuse on March 31.

The 12-year-old girl told authorities when the girls broke a rule Pitts would give them a choice of punishment. He offered the option of getting a spanking or touching his genitals.

Investigators claim they’ve documented more than 70 instances of sexual assault against the three girls.

Pitts, an ordained minster with the Assemblies of God since 2007, was pastor at the Midway Assembly of God in Fairview.

Read more:

Confusion, doubt able to coexist with religion
By Colleen Fontana

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 21:04

Related Articles
Germany: 205 claims of abuse at Jesuit schools
21 Philadelphia priests suspended
Editorial: Church response to abuse not strong enough
The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay $166 million to victims of sexual abuse in one of the largest settlements for abuse within the Catholic Church.

It is a sum long overdue.

For decades the victims have carried their burdens and struggled under the long-term effects of abuse. Though the prospect of a settlement must be a relief after a long struggle, the scars of what occurred will never go away.

Thank you to the Seattle University staff for alerting the students to what happened and for notifying us that, though a Jesuit institution, we are not connected to the Oregon Province and this bankruptcy case will not affect us.

However, I believe that it is precisely the fact that we are a Jesuit institution that this does affect us and it is an issue that needs to be addressed and discussed.

According to a recent New York Times article, more than 500 victims were sexually abused at Indian boarding schools years ago. That being only one location, I am horrified by the numbers that could represent worldwide abuses.

I admit I am more invested in this issue than the average college student. My father lost his job within the Diocese of Yakima for speaking out in defense of victims of sexual abuse by our diocese's priests. I was 12 at the time. Initially, I was overwhelmed and discouraged by the fact that the church I had been a part of and believed in for so long was suddenly revealed to have been harboring this secret. Was everything else I believed in suspect as well? If I couldn't trust the priests of my church then how could I trust the institution they helped to create? For years I have pondered this question, never quite fully grasping a solution and never quite feeling secure in my faith. I still attended weekly Mass and youth group, but the aspects I used to see as beautiful just seemed like a fa├žade to what I now knew about the church.

I became frustrated that no one else my age seemed to know or even care. Coming to Seattle U restored my broken beliefs in religion and in God. Here I was able to find a community of people whom I respected immensely for their deep faith.

Though I admire that faith, I also believe that this problem of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church cannot continue to be ignored or minimized.

I am not at all saying students should leave the church or doubt everything they have ever believed. I am simply asserting the dire need for change, and as the youth of the church, I believe it our duty to hold our leaders accountable to protect children and work for just solutions.

I said I never quite landed on a solution for the confusion I felt after the sex abuse scandals surfaced in Yakima. It has been seven years, and it is still a problem I face everyday. But my love and trust in God continues not despite my doubts, but because of them. I truly believe that faith and doubt can coexist. I challenge all students to not just hear about the sex abuse settlements through a short e-mail sent by Seattle U. Dare to learn more, care more and demand more for the future of the church you belong to.

Priest case
TN Supreme Court Hears Priest Case

The Tennessee Supreme Court is in Jackson, Tenn., Thursday to hear a Memphis civil case involving allegations of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest that could change the criteria for hearing such claims.

In Norman Redwing v The Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis, Redwing alleges he was sexually abused during the 1970s by Rev. Milton Guthrie while Guthrie was pastor of the Holy Names parish in North Memphis. Redwing isn’t suing Guthrie, who died in 2002. No criminal charges were filed against Guthrie.

Redwing is suing the Memphis Catholic Diocese claiming it knew or should have known that Guthrie was “a dangerous sexual predator with a depraved sexual interest in young boys.”

Attorneys for the diocese sought to have the case dismissed claiming the statute of limitations had run on the civil claim. Redwing is not claiming that repressed memories of the abuse surfaced. So, the diocese argues, under Tennessee law he had a year after he turned 18 years old to inquire with the diocese to see if they knew of any sexual abuse by Guthrie and what they did. That’s when the statute of limitations began to run.

Redwing filed his lawsuit in 2008.

The standard has come into play in other lawsuits alleging negligence by the diocese involving priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Attorneys for a 14-year-old boy abused by former priest Juan Carlos Duran in Memphis in late 1999 were mindful of the rule and advised the boy and his family to begin making such inquiries when he turned 18.

The boy, identified as John Doe, filed suit against the diocese and the Dominican religious order four years after the abuse when he turned 18. Both defendants settled the suit for $2 million, the largest settlement in any of the Memphis priest sexual abuse cases in which a figure was disclosed.

In the Redwing case, Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey, since retired, denied the motion to dismiss the case based on the rule. He questioned whether the standard was “harsh” and should be applied in every case.

The diocese appealed.

The state appeals court in June ruled that Bailey was wrong and the statute of limitations had run in the civil case.

“Notwithstanding the flood of allegations currently posited against the Catholic church worldwide, whether the church as a whole engaged in a systematic coverup is not our inquiry here,” Appeals Court Judge David R. Farmer wrote in the majority opinion. “Had Mr. Redwing filed a lawsuit upon reaching the age of majority, discovery in that case would have provided a mechanism for him to learn that the diocese had been negligent.”

But Appeals Court Judge Holly M. Kirby of Memphis dissented, calling the dismissal “premature.”

She said Redwing and his attorneys should have at least been allowed to conduct discovery with a decision on whether or not he had a case to come after that.

“Even if Mr. Redwing had filed a lawsuit against the priest when he reached majority, there is a substantial possibility that he would not have discovered that he had a claim of negligent supervision against the diocese,” Kirby wrote.

The justices are not expected to rule after hearing from both sides Thursday in Jackson. They will probably issue a written ruling at a later date.

The decision could affect several other civil suits filed against the diocese since 2004 alleging child sexual abuse by a priest.

The John Doe civil suit against the diocese naming Rev. Daniel Dupree was also dismissed for the same reason at issue in the Redwing case. The appeals court majority opinion cites the court’s own ruling in that case to back its decision in the Redwing case.

A second John Doe civil suit against the diocese naming Rev. Paul St. Charles was also dismissed for the same reason.

Church fails in its duty
Editorial: Church response to abuse not strong enough
By The Spectator Staff

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 21:04

Related Articles
Editorial: Responsible investment a must for SU
Stories of Jesuit Abuse
US Catholics debate defrocking abusive priests
The Spectator applauds university President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. for his apology to the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers about the abuse some First Nations people suffered at the hands of Jesuits.

As the bankruptcy for the Oregon Province is finalized, past sexual abuse committed by members of the church is once again in the news and it is time to revisit earlier discussions on appropriate measures moving forward. In the article "Claims against two former Jesuits have had huge impact on Seattle U and the larger Catholic community," Fr. Patrick Howell said that the perpetrators of the abuse make up for two to three percent of priests nationwide. The other 97 percent have suffered a major loss of trust with their public.

It is no doubt wrong for the many to suffer from the misdeeds of the few but, even as the abuse cases reach resolution, the Catholic Church as a whole is still not doing enough about these abuse cases. Anyone who sexually abuses a child is a criminal and should be treated as such. Howell said the police should be notified of abuse, so there are clearly some members of the Catholic community who understand the gravity of the situation but other individuals and diocese seem to be trying to protect abusers.

Multiple cases have been reported when a priest who was found to be abusive was reassigned to another position instead of being removed from the priesthood. This is intolerable. Abusive priests should be removed from the priesthood to protect vulnerable populations.

This is the kind of strong action that needs to be taken in order to save the reputation of the majority of priests who are innocent and genuinely concerned for the communities they serve. The church should protect its members who are doing good, forgive the ones who committed crimes, but also ensure they do not commit crimes again.

Priest arraigned
Judge orders priest to trial
Castillo, 57, accused of molesting boy
Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/06/2011 08:30:24 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - After testimony Tuesday during a preliminary hearing, a judge ruled that prosecutors have enough evidence for a priest's molestation case to proceed to trial.
Alejandro Castillo, the 57-year-old former pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario, is accused of molesting a then-12-year-old parishioner in 2008.

Judge Colin J. Bilash ruled Tuesday that Castillo must stand trial on eight counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child. One of the counts alleges the sexual contact was forcible, Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss said.

The judge's ruling in West Valley Superior Court came after testimony from Ontario police Detective Mark Guski.

Castillo, called "Father Alex" by parishioners, is accused of molesting the boy at the church between October and December 2008.

Schmauss said Castillo offered to let the boy to spend the night at the church while he was playing soccer in Ontario. The boy, who is now 15, lives outside the city, Schmauss said.

Castillo was arrested Oct. 25, at a parishioner's home in the 600 block of West Zenia Court in Ontario. Police began investigating the abuse allegations in July.

Castillo, who worked at the church for seven years before his arrest, remains free on $300,000 bail. He is next due in court April 28.