Saturday, October 31, 2009

Legionaries of Christ banned from Miami

Legionaries of Christ banned from Miami
Oct. 30, 2009
By Dennis Coday
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PDF versionThe Miami archdiocese has prohibited members of the Legionaries of Christ from working in the archdiocese. The notice was given in an Oct. 29 memo addressed to "All Priests" from Miami Chancellor Msgr. Michael Souckar.

The prohibition takes effect immediately, the memo says.

Members of the Legionaries' lay group, Regnum Christi are also prohibited from working in the archdiocese, the memo says.

The Legionaries have long been controversial, in part due to allegations of sexual abuse against the order’s late founder, Mexican Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, made by former members. Both Maciel and the Legionaries denied those charges, but in the wake of a lengthy Vatican investigation, Maciel was asked in 2006 to observe a life of “prayer and penance.”

Fr. Maciel died Jan. 30, 2008, at the age of 87.

In March this year, the Legionaries revealed that the Vatican has decided to conduct an apostolic visitation of the embattled order.

The memo from Souckar reads:

The Legionaries of Christ are prohibited from functioning in the Archdiocese of Miami, effective immediately.
In the past their priests were given individual approval by the Vicar General each time they wished to come the Archdiocese of Miami but their ministry was restricted to their own members. Because the Legionnaires of Christ have not abided by these restrictions, Archbishop [John Clement] Favalora has barred them from any ministry in the Archdiocese of Miami.

Furthermore, Regnum Christi is not nor has it ever been approved to work in any parish, school or other Archdiocesan entity. It recently has been discovered that Regnum Christi is to end immediately.

Pastors/Administrators are asked to share this information with school principals and those who coordinate parish events.

Cult member withdraws guilty plea in child's death

Last updated October 30, 2009 10:43 a.m. PT

Cult member withdraws guilty plea in child's death

BALTIMORE -- A former member of a defunct religious cult has backed out of a plea deal and will face trial on charges he and others starved a toddler to death.

Marcus Cobbs had agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of accessory after the fact. But his attorney abruptly withdrew the plea Friday morning after a dispute with prosecutors over the conditions of his release.

Cobbs will now face trial along with three other members of the cult on murder and child abuse charges in the death of 1-year-old Javon Thompson.

According to a statement read in court, Cobbs helped the cult members cover up Javon's death by destroying evidence and stuffing the toddler's body in a suitcase.

Cobbs would have received a five-year suspended sentence under the plea deal.

Vicar to face child porn charges

Vicar to face child porn charges
A Staffordshire vicar has been charged with 16 counts of making indecent photographs of a child.

The Diocese of Lichfield said Rev Dominic Stone, of Marchington, Staffordshire, had been suspended from duty earlier this year.

Mr Stone was the team vicar of Marchington, Marchington Woodlands, Kingstone and Leigh.

Staffordshire Police said a 46-year-old man had been charged and would appear in court on 10 November.

Mr Stone has been released on bail and will appear at Burton-on-Tent Magistrates' Court.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prosecutor: Polygamist sect man assaulted teen

Prosecutor: Polygamist sect man assaulted teen

The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 28, 2009; 8:53 PM

ELDORADO, Texas -- A 38-year-old man from a polygamist sect sexually assaulted a teenager less than half his age at the Yearning For Zion Ranch, a prosecutor charged Wednesday to open the first criminal trial since the ranch was raided.

An attorney for defendant Raymond Jessop disputed the allegation, telling jurors there is no evidence Jessop sexually assaulted the girl in Schleicher County. The location is critical, since prosecutors must prove they have the jurisdiction to prosecute the alleged crimes.

Jessop was one of 12 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints charged after authorities raided the ranch last year and swept 439 children into foster care. The children were later returned to their parents after an appellate court intervened, but documents and DNA seized during the raid resulted in criminal indictments on charges ranging from failure to report child abuse to sexual assault and bigamy.

All the men will be tried separately.

Both sides presented opening statements Wednesday evening in Jessop's case after 12 jurors - seven men and five women - were culled from a pool of 300, the largest ever called in this tiny county 200 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Nichols said Jessop was 33 when he had sex a 16-year-old girl, who later gave birth to a daughter. Under Texas law, generally, no one under 17 can consent to sex with adult. Nichols did not discuss the relationship between the two in his opening statement, but prosecutors have said in court documents the teen is one of Jessop's nine wives. Jessop has also been indicted on a bigamy charge that will be tried later.

"You will see evidence that establishes that this offense - the offense of sexual assault of (the teen) - occurred just down the road from this courthouse at the YFZ Ranch," Nichols told jurors.

Defense attorney Mark Stevens said prosecutors would not be able to show evidence of a crime occurring in Texas, and he urged jurors not to be distracted by the alleged polygamy or the religious beliefs Jessop and the church. Broadcast images of women from the church wearing prairie dresses and distinctive braids were impossible to ignore during the weeklong raid in April 2008.

"We don't try people because of their hairstyles or their clothes. We don't try people because of their religious practices," Stevens said. "We try people based on evidence, facts and proof."

Testimony in the case is scheduled to begin Thursday. Nichols had previously said the trial would take about two weeks. Prosecutors have prepared to call dozens of witnesses, including law enforcement officials, child welfare workers and church members.

The FLDS is a breakaway sect that is not recognized by the Mormon church. It has historically been based along the Arizona-Utah border, but church members bought a 1,700-acre ranch outside Eldorado about six years ago and began building log cabin-style homes and a four-story limestone temple that is visible from the highway that run's through the town of about 2,000 people.

Sect Leader Warren Jeffs was arrested in 2006 and convicted as an accomplice to rape in Utah for arranging an underage marriage there. He awaits trial on similar charges in Arizona before he can be tried for sexual assault of a child and bigamy in Texas.

Fearing possible prosecution for underage marriages, Jeffs allegedly advised Jessop not to take the 16 year old to the hospital even though she was struggling for days in child labor. One of Jeffs' daughters allegedly married Jessop at age 15 and is the focus of the separate bigamy indictment.

The Mormon church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, renounced polygamy more than a century ago.

Leading loyalist charged with raping 13-year-old girl

Leading loyalist charged with raping 13-year-old girl

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Prominent loyalist Mark Harbinson has been remanded in custody after being charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Harbinson (42), from Sheepwalk Road in Stoneyford, faces five charges involving the young girl including possessing indecent photographs of children and sexual touching of a person under 16.

Appearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court yesterday, the court heard Harbinson’s home was searched by police on October 23 and mobile phones were seized.

Harbinson was later arrested on October 26 in his vehicle. The young girl was also in the vehicle.

The court heard that eight mobiles were seized altogether during the two incidents.

After examination by police two indecent images were discovered on the mobile phones, the court was told.

During yesterday’s hearing an investigating officer said he could connect Harbinson to the charges.

During interviews Harbinson had told police the reason he was with the girl was that he had become “paranoid” following police intervention and that he wanted to speak to the girl to tell her to get a new phone.

It is understood the defendant met the girl at Stoneyford Orange hall through his involvement with a band.

The officer said the investigation was “at a very early stage” but objected to an application for bail due to a number of concerns.

He told District Judge Rosie Watters this included a fear the defendant would attempt to contact the victim or abscond.

A defence solicitor told the court his client “vehemently” denied all the charges, adding that a number of conditions could be set, including a ban on the use of mobile phones, to allow bail.

Judge Watters, however, said that would be “impossible to police”. Defence counsel also said he provided the main source of income for his wife and six-month-old son.

An application for bail, however, was denied with Judge Watters describing the charges as “very serious”.

Harbinson was remanded in custody to reappear via videolink on the November 24.

NI child abuse victims seek Ryan-type inquiry

NI child abuse victims seek Ryan-type inquiry

Law For Abuse Victims
Suffered child abuse? Get legal info and help with your claim here.

Thursday October 29 2009

Hundreds of child abuse victims in the North are demanding a full inquiry into the mistreatment they suffered in institutions run by the Catholic Church and the State.

The victims are seeking an investigation similar to that which led to the publication of the Ryan Report in the Republic earlier this year.

Solicitor Joe Rice says he has written to the First and Deputy First Ministers, as well as Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward, to demand an inquiry into sexual, physical and emotional abuse dating back to the 1940s.

He says the abuse was widespread and endemic at a range of institutions run by the Catholic Church and the State.

Georgia diocese agrees to 2nd-largest abuse settlement

Georgia diocese agrees to 2nd-largest abuse settlement
October 29, 2009

The Diocese of Savannah has agreed to the second-largest abuse settlement with an individual victim of clerical sexual abuse. The diocese offered $4.24 million to Allan Ranta in order to “to avoid the expense and burden of a lengthy trial by all parties,” according to a diocesan statement. Mr. Ranta alleged that he was abused repeatedly by ex-priest Wayland Brown from 1978 to 1983.

According to local media reports, Brown had been ordained by Bishop Raymond Lessard in 1977 over the objections of the diocesan vocation director, who was concerned that Brown might be abusing children.

“I am sorry for all the pain and suffering experienced by Mr. Ranta and my prayers go out not only to him, but to all victims of child sexual abuse that each may find the healing they seek,” said Bishop J. Kevin Boland. Mr. Ranta’s attorney called the apology “insufficient.”

Abuse settlement in New Orleans

Abuse settlement in New Orleans a surprise to some
Oct. 29, 2009
By Bruce Nolan, Religion News Service

NEW ORLEANS -- When the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced last week, Oct. 20, it will pay $5 million to an undisclosed number of adults who claimed that as children they were beaten, berated and sexually molested at Catholic orphanages, it took some by surprise.

The archdiocese announced a package settlement of 20 lawsuits, most of them filed by adults alleging that in the 1950s and 1960s they were abused at Madonna Manor and nearby Hope Haven, Catholic group homes on this city's West Bank.

"I hope these mediations and negotiations will bring some peace and reconciliation to those victims and all those involved," Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in announcing the settlements.

But because settlement talks are not complete, the announcement caught plaintiffs' attorneys by surprise.

Roger Stetter, who began filing lawsuits against Madonna Manor in 2005, was deeply critical of the church's performance so far.

"We've had to fight the church tooth and nail for more than four years to get it to acknowledge wrongdoing," he said. He charged the church has tried to suppress evidence of abuse at the institutions and said more suits would be coming.

For decades after their founding in the mid-1930s, the Catholic group homes were designed to shelter children and young adults from dysfunctional family conditions. Some children were sent by the courts as wards of the state; in other cases, desperate families unable to care for their children voluntarily sent them to the residential compound.

Beginning in the spring of 2005, adults who lived at Madonna Manor and Hope Haven in the 1950s and 1960s began to surface with accounts of mistreatment and sexual abuse at the hands of staff members.

Collectively, the lawsuits described a harsh psychological and physical environment in which disobedient children as young as 4 were sometimes told they were worthless and unloved.

They alleged the environment often included harsh beatings at the hands of nuns, including one who allegedly favored a collapsible military shovel. Some plaintiffs said they were sexually humiliated or abused by priests, nuns or staff members at the two Marrero institutions.

Ted Lausche, among the first to file suit, said he ran away from Madonna Manor after eight years of suffering various abuses. He said he has been unable to hold down jobs and has battled alcoholism, drug addiction and gone through multiple divorces.

"How do you learn intimacy after an experience like that?" he asked from his home in Lake Geneva, Wis.

For much of the period covered by the lawsuits, the homes were administered by Associated Catholic Charities, the archdiocese's former charity arm, and staffed by lay employees, as well as the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and Salesian priests and brothers.

Both institutions are still open, serving at-risk youths, but no one lives at either.

Aymond did not describe the few sex abuse cases in the settlement that seem not to be related to the two institutions.

He said a review of records and testimony convinced him and others that the allegations are generally credible.

"From what I've read and heard, both institutions did a tremendous amount of good," he said an interview. "But there were some people who were obviously ill, and they took advantage of their ministry and hurt people.

"It's important that these wrongdoers come to light and that we admit that as far as we can tell, [the claims] are true."

Aymond, who took office as archbishop in August, said the settlements covered actions by eight people -- three priests and several nuns and laypeople.

Aymond did not identify any priests or nuns involved in the settlement. He said all were dead or, if living, out of ministry.

Under a promise made to Catholics during a 2002 meeting in Dallas, bishops pledged to reverse decades of secrecy surrounding sexual abuse by identifying Catholic priests when they were accused of sexually abusing minors, and relieving them of their ministry.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Sarah Comiskey said the church still honors that policy, so it was not clear why the three priests Aymond cited remained unidentified.

In 2003, the archdiocese disclosed that since 1950 it had paid $1.007 million in settlements, therapy and legal fees involving sex abuse cases reaching back to 1950.

Last week's announcement brings the total of sex abuse settlements since 1950 to $13.6 million, Comiskey said.

Aymond said the settlement money would come largely from archdiocesan cash reserves accumulated "mostly through investment income and non-parish-based real estate sales." He said insurance would provide some coverage, but the bulk would come from the church's treasury.

"I want to assure the community that none of the funds are a result of the implementation of the pastoral plan or the closure of parishes" after Hurricane Katrina, he said.

Aymond said the settlement would not affect the operations of any parish or ministry in the local church.

Teacher, 46, at top Catholic school jailed over secret affair with 17-year-old girl student

Teacher, 46, at top Catholic school jailed over secret affair with 17-year-old girl student
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:56 PM on 28th October 2009

Dr Terence Anthony Bell arrives at Blackburn Magistrates court today
A teacher at a top Catholic public school was jailed today after confessing to a secret relationship with a 17-year-old female student.
Married father-of-three Terence Bell, 46, kissed, cuddled and fondled the pupil during the seven-month tryst at the private £22,000 a year, Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
But he was caught last month by another pupil in a classroom with the girl sat astride him and his shirt unbuttoned, Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard.
Bell, head of English at the prestigious college and 29 years older than his victim, later confessed to police: 'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.'
District Judge Peter Ward jailed Bell for 20 weeks, saying parents expected their children not to be taken advantage of while at school.
Philippa White, prosecuting, told the court: 'The behaviour came to light late one evening...when a 16-year-old student was in the school and saw a light on in an English classroom and went to investigate.
'When entering the classroom he saw a female student, aged 17, appeared to be sat astride an English teacher, this defendant.
'His shirt was unbuttoned half way down and he was not wearing his usual spectacles.
'The female student removed herself and walked away towards the corner of the classroom.'
The male student 'excused himself' and was left 'distressed' and went to tell staff who called in police, said Mrs White.

The girl denied any inappropriate behaviour and said the situation had been 'misconstrued', added the prosecutor.

But Mr White said Bell admitted the relationship, telling officers: 'The game's up isn't it? Love is a powerful thing.'
Mrs White added: 'He had fallen deeply in love with her and she felt the same way.
'There had been kissing and cuddling and he had fondled her breasts under her clothes and buttocks on top of her clothes.'
Bell later admitted going to see the girl during the school holidays and buying a separate mobile phone so they could keep in touch in secret.
He had been forced to resign from Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire, in 1993 after he wrote to a 5th form female pupil, 'expressing his feelings of love'.
He was a hard working and well-liked teacher and began working at Stonyhurst after being given a second chance - but started at the school when its admissions policy did not allow female pupils, the court heard.
He rose from an English teacher to head of the department after working at the college, first founded in 1539 by Jesuits, for more than 15 years.
Bell, whose address on court papers was given as Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, told the court he was now estranged from his wife and homeless.
He admitted one count of being in a position of trust, intentionally caused or incited a girl of 17 to engage in sexual activity.
Simon Farnsworth, mitigating, said in any other other setting a relationship with a girl over 16 would not be illegal, but as he was her teacher it amounted to a breach of trust.
Enlarge Terence Bell had a secret tryst with a 17-year-old pupil at Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, Lancashire
'He accepts he's entirely to blame,' he added.
'This has cost him to lose his home, family, job and career, forever.
'He is effectively a broken man. He's got nothing much left in his life.'
Bell was jailed for 20 weeks, ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for seven years and barred from working with children for an unspecified period.
Passing sentence District Judge Peter Ward said the offence carried on for seven months, there had been 'considerable planning and evasion' and he had abused his position of trust.
'You have admitted being in a relationship with a 17-year-old pupil when you were a senior English master at the school,' he told Bell, who kept his head bowed throughout proceedings.
'If any pupil makes approaches to a teacher the duty of a teacher is to actively discourage that approach and stop it happening.
'If a 17-year-old girl has some, or shows some affection for a teacher, that teacher has not got to take advantage of this because 17-year-old pupils need protecting from themselves at times.
'I think one has to consider the expectation of parents when sending their children to school, that they will not be taken advantage of.'
A spokesman for Stonyhurst College said: 'Following the sentencing of former employee Dr Terry Bell, Stonyhurst has now referred the matter to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) after consulting with the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations.
'The college will continue to cooperate with the authorities on this matter.

'Stonyhurst believes in the paramount importance of the safety and well being of young people.'

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Church defrocks popular ex-priest accused of abuse

Church defrocks popular ex-priest accused of abuse

October 28, 2009

Five years after he was removed from public ministry amid allegations of sexual misconduct with children, former Roman Catholic priest John Calicott has been defrocked, the Archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday.

He was officially laicized by the Vatican Monday, the archdiocese said.

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin removed the popular Calicott from ministry in 1994, after two men said he had abused them when they were teenagers. Bernardin reinstated Calicott in 1995 at the urging of parishioners at Holy Angels in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

In 2002, Cardinal Francis George removed him under a new church law that barred priests with past allegations of sexual abuse from public ministry.

Abuse charges force Irish bishop out of ministry

Abuse charges force Irish bishop out of ministry
Oct. 27, 2009
By Cian Molloy, Catholic News Service

PDF versionDUBLIN, Ireland -- An Irish archbishop who serves in Nigeria has withdrawn from active ministry while the Vatican investigates allegations of sexual abuse.

The St. Patrick's Missionary Society, known as the Kiltegan Fathers, said Oct. 25 that the allegations against Archbishop Richard Burke of Benin City, Nigeria, are being investigated by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The charges came from a Nigerian woman, Dolores Atwood, 40, who now lives in Canada, where she is married and has run for public office.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, refused to comment on the issue Oct. 26.

The newspaper Irish Mail on Sunday reported Oct. 25 that Atwood claimed she had been attacked by Burke when she was a 14-year-old hospital patient in Warri in 1983; he is said to have continued to have sexual relations with her until 2003.

Atwood lodged a formal complaint against the archbishop last year, and Kiltegan Fathers Gary Howley and John Marren met with her in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in December. Afterward, in a summary of what was discussed, Marren wrote: "Her allegation was very credible and was supported by corroborative evidence. ... She is a very capable person."

The Irish Mail on Sunday also published a statement from the Kiltegan Fathers expressing "the deep sorrow and regret of the society for the suffering the complainant and her family are going through."

"We affirmed the society's commitment to child protection," the statement said. "We assured her that the society's child protection policy and procedures would be adhered to. The society offered to provide counseling for the complainant."

Kiltegan Fr. Seamus O'Neill met with Burke in Rome in January and wrote Atwood three days later, saying that "the society has accepted your statement as a credible allegation and we are now applying our society's policy and procedures for the protection of children." O'Neill said the archbishop had said he would not make any contact with Atwood while an investigation was taking place.

The Irish Mail on Sunday said Burke reportedly contacted Atwood only hours after his meeting with O'Neill in Rome; the transcript of his phone conversation was published by the newspaper.

"I know that you have been hurt very deeply. And I accept full responsibility," the transcript quoted him as saying.

Burke was named coadjutor bishop of Warri in 1996 and became bishop in 1997; he was transferred to Benin City in 2007.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bankrupt diocese offers $11 million to settle 292 abuse cases

Bankrupt diocese offers $11 million to settle 292 abuse cases

October 27, 2009

The Diocese of Fairbanks, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, has submitted a second reorganization plan in bankruptcy court. Under the terms of the plan, the Alaska diocese would offer $11 million to creditors and alleged victims to settle 292 abuse cases.

The diocese plans to raise $7.5 million by selling its chancery office, schools, and other assets to a legally distinct diocesan endowment fund. “We’ve researched this. We believe it is legal,” said Arizona

Accused Priest Formally Defrocked

Oct 26, 2009 9:19 pm US/Central
Accused Priest Formally Defrocked

Once-Popular Father At Holy Angels Was Accused Of Molesting Boys Reporting

Jay Levine CHICAGO (CBS) ― Click to enlarge1 of 1

Former priest John Calicott (file).


It's is a bittersweet victory for alleged victims of sexual abuse by a Chicago priest.

The Vatican has now formally removed Father John Calicott from the priesthood. Those victims first came to CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine with their story more than five years ago.

It was the priest's denials that drove the victims to despair.

The last time Dave Lasley came to Holy Angels, he was asked to leave by parishioners who supported their former pastor John Calicott's campaign for reinstatement, despite the U.S. bishops' new zero-tolerance policy.

"One guy literally threatened, 'You either leave, or I'm gonna throw you out,'" Lasley said.

Monday, he was embraced by the new pastor, Father John Atoyebi, who hadn't heard that Rome has now severed all ties to Calicott. Calicott said in an interview five years ago that he had gone "to great lengths to show I am not a risk."

Lasley disagrees. He previously recounted how Calicott abused him when he was 11.

"I was assigned to his tent and I was sleeping next to him, only to be awokened in the middle of the night with him performing oral sex on me," Lasley said.

During his fight for reinstatement, Calicott and others who escaped prosecution were sent to a retreat house on the grounds of the Mundelein Seminary.

But their numbers are shrinking. According to the archdiocese of Chicago website, Calicott becomes the sixth Chicago priest laicized, or booted, in less than two years.

The quickened pace of enforcement some say is the result of a new Pope and new American Cardinal calling the shots.

But it's still not quick enough for Dave Lasley.

"There's still people out there suffering because of what they did, and there's still hierarchy in the Archdiocese that still haven't been held accounted for, for their actions, for their inaction, for their silence," he said.

He says he'll be thinking about the victims as he says his own prayers tonight.

"I'm gonna be thankful I even made it today," Lasley said. "You know, there's a lot of victims that don't make it to this day."

CBS 2 was unable to reach Calicott for comment. The Archdiocese of Chicago confirms that he is officially no longer a priest.

Minn. man says teacher sexually abused him in 1977

Minn. man says teacher sexually abused him in 1977
Associated Press Writer

A former student at a local Catholic high school filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his former teacher, the school and the Fargo Roman Catholic Diocese, saying he was sexually assaulted on a school-sponsored trip in 1977.
David Gaffaney, 47, who now lives in Minnesota, is seeking more than $50,000 to cover expenses for medical and psychological help. His lawsuit, filed in state court in Fargo, says he was 14 years old when Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose sexually assaulted him in an Orlando, Fla., hotel during a school trip.

His lawyer, Patrick Noaker of St. Paul, said Gaffaney came forward when he learned about several other lawsuits filed in Minnesota against Rose. No criminal charges have been filed against him.

"Dave Gaffaney does need some help and I'm hopeful he's going to get some help," Noaker said. "But he doesn't need to get rich on this case. That's not what this is about."

The lawsuit names Rose, Shanley High School, the diocese, Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila and the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, a religious order and corporation based in Burr Ridge, Ill. Gaffaney's lawsuit says school officials were negligent by not providing a reasonably safe learning and spiritual environment.

Noaker said Rose is believed to be living in a Christian Brothers residence near a high school for boys in Chicago. Rose didn't have a listed phone number.

"Given our dedication to educating our youth, we are deeply saddened to learn that another complaint has been filed stemming from sexual abuse that occurred in 1977 by Brother Raimond Rose," the Christian Brothers said in a written statement Tuesday. "Brother Raimond Rose is currently in his 70s, and has not been in active ministry since 2002. In that regard, Brother Rose has not had any contact with minors since that time."

The diocese said it's committed to protecting young people and urged people to report incidents of child abuse.

"We regret that the plaintiff in this matter has seen fit to choose to file suit rather than to seek a pastoral resolution," Monsignor Joseph Goering, vicar general of the diocese, said Tuesday night, reading from a written statement.

Goering took no questions.

Officials at Shanley High School did not return phone messages seeking comment. Robert Stich, a Minneapolis attorney who has represented the Christian Brothers in previous cases, said he would likely be retained in this case but could not comment until then. It was not clear if Rose had his own attorney.

The Minnesota lawsuits accuse Rose of sexual abuse while he worked at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis and Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul in the 60s and 70s. Rose spent some time at a retreat center in Stillwater before Christian Brothers moved him to Shanley in 1976, Noaker said.

"The Christian Brothers either knew that he had been in trouble before or should have known by asking," Noaker said.

Noaker said he plans to file two other lawsuits involving sexual assaults that took place while Rose was at Shanley. The lawyer said he will interview administrators who were at the school from 1976 to 1980.

"We're going to have to find them and ask them questions to the extent that they're available," Noaker said. "There's no question that when a decade or two has gone by, there will be some people who won't be available."

Ex-priest wants records sealed in commitment battle

Ex-priest wants records sealed in commitment battle
October 19, 2009 8:05 PM | 21 Comments | UPDATED STORY
Attorneys representing a convicted former priest moved today to keep private most of the court proceedings and seal the records related to an effort to have him committed under a state statute for sex offenders.

Under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, the Illinois attorney general and the Cook County state's attorney filed a joint petition last month to have Daniel McCormack confined to a state treatment facility. The law allows prosecutors to seek continued incarceration if a psychological exam leads them to believe another sex crime is likely if the inmate goes free.

Last month, a forensic psychiatrist diagnosed McCormack with pedophilia and recommended civil commitment, a recommendation attached to the joint petition.

Citing details in that publicized report, defense attorney Daniel Coyne, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, asked Judge Dennis Porter to seal records going forward and hear testimony about McCormack's mental health behind closed doors.

"Continued dissemination of the respondent's past crimes, current mental state, mental health history and psychiatric diagnosis to the Cook County jury pool will pose a serious and imminent threat to the fairness of the commitment proceedings," the motion said.

Prosecutors declined to respond to the motions before the next hearing date Nov. 4.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, objected to the defense team's efforts to keep part of the proceedings private, saying McCormack gave up his claims to privacy "when he chose to molest boys and devastate young lives."

Officials with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago declined to comment on Monday's proceedings but reiterated that McCormack was removed from the priesthood in 2007 by Vatican decree.

Mark Heyrman, clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago, said that if civil commitment is not considered extra punishment for the crimes committed, McCormack has a right to request protection.

"In my view, there aren't any good reasons why this hearing should be open to the public if the defendant doesn't want it open," he said. "Why do we need to know what's going on in the actual hearing? The fact that it's public may affect the outcome."

McCormack, 40, pleaded guilty in July 2007 to abusing five boys and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Matthew Walberg contributed.

--Manya A. Brachear

Therapy group sessions for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry to Sponsor Sessions

Chicago, IL (October 15, 2009) – Therapy group sessions for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are scheduled to meet for twelve consecutive weeks beginning the week of October 26. Sessions for men will be held on Chicago’s South Side, and those for women in Evergreen Park.

The Archdiocese of Chicago through the Office of Assistance Ministry sponsors these sessions. Licensed professionals, who have experience working with victims of sexual abuse, will conduct separate group sessions for women and men at no cost to the participants. Participation in the adult therapy groups is not limited to those who were sexually abused as minors by a priest or deacon. The abuse may have been perpetrated by a family member, friend, or stranger. Support groups for survivors of sexual abuse have been an ongoing service from the Office of Assistance Ministry since its inception in 1992.

Those interested in attending the sessions are asked to call or email Kathleen Leggdas at 312-534-5268, or Matt Hunnicutt at 312-534-8267,

The Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry’s mission is to provide pastoral care, support, and resources to victims-survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones in their efforts to achieve psychological, emotional and spiritual healing. For information about the Office of Assistance Ministry, visit the office’s page on the Archdiocesan web site at

Getting the facts

10/6/2009 10:00:00 PM
Getting the facts
To learn more about sexual assaults, recidivism rates and myths regarding sex offenders, the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Center for Sex Offender Management have lots of info here:
To find a list of registered sex offenders in the community, and to learn how Illinois treats and manages sex offenders, the Illinois State Police has a user-friendly Web site at the following address:

What the labels mean?

In 1998, Illinois began classifying certain sex offenders as "sexually violent." That category is in addition to "sexually dangerous" and "sexual predator." Once released, predators must register annually with local law enforcement for the rest of their life. The violent and the dangerous must register every 90 days for the rest of their life.

The state's definition of a sexually violent person is as follows:

A person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, has been adjudicated delinquent for a sexually violent offense, or has been found not guilty of a sexually violent offense by reason of insanity and who is dangerous because he or she suffers from a mental disorder that makes it substantially probable that the person will engage in acts of sexual violence.

'Sexually violent' priest moves in

'Sexually violent' priest moves in
Convicted pedophile lands in neighborhoodthat’s already home to 8 sex offenders

By Josh Adams

A former priest with the unsavory distinction of being the first man of the cloth in the U.S. deemed to be "sexually violent" was released from state custody late last month and has moved into an apartment on the south side of Forest Park.

Fred Lenczycki, 65, was imprisoned in 2004 after pleading guilty to abusing three boys during the early 1980s while serving at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Hinsdale. Prosecutors, however, have said Lenczycki's abusive behavior most likely involved some 30 victims. In addition to ministering in suburban Chicago, Lenczycki also worked in California and Missouri during the course of a 25-year career.

That he was categorized as a sexually violent person means Lenczycki must follow more stringent protocols than other sex offenders no longer in state custody. A GPS monitoring device will be attached to him, and every three months he must check in with local law enforcement. Currently, Forest Park is home to 18 registered sex offenders, according to the state's online database, but Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas said Lenczycki's case is somewhat exceptional.

"It's the amount of victims," Aftanas said. "There were quite a few victims assaulted by Mr. Lenczycki."

Oddly, 50 percent of the village's registered sex offenders live within a few blocks of one another. Lenczycki's new address puts him squarely in the middle of that cluster. The state does help paroled sex offenders find housing, but that assistance is not offered to convicts who've completed their sentence, according to a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

"I think part of the reason they're concentrated in that area is because it's one of the locations that isn't next to a school, or a park, or a daycare center that would prohibit them from living there," Aftanas said.

Officially, Lenczycki was released last month by the state Department of Human Services. A spokesperson for that office, too, said that discharged offenders are not aided in their search for housing.

Lenczycki was sentenced to serve five years in prison, but in April 2006, when he became eligible for parole, Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued to have him detained at a Rushville facility where he could receive sex offender treatment. At the time, 215 sexually violent offenders had been civilly committed under a law enacted in 1998, according to a statement from Madigan's office.

Lenczycki earned the label of "sexually violent" in 2008 when Madigan convinced a DuPage County jury that it was not safe to release the former priest, and that he should remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services. On Sept. 22, Lenczycki was discharged from that facility and cleared to continue treatment on an outpatient basis.

Of the 18 registered sex offenders in Forest Park, Lenczycki is the third deemed to be sexually violent. One of those offenders, Benjamin Hernandez, may no longer be living in the community. Aftanas said that Hernandez has failed to notify police of his current address. The state lists Hernandez as "non-compliant" with registration guidelines, which is a felony.

Coincidentally, the third sexually violent person registered in Forest Park is living in the exact apartment once occupied by Hernandez.

The neighborhood in which sex offenders in Forest Park are most prevalent is bound by Desplaines Avenue to the west and Hannah Avenue to the east. Along the 1100 block of Lathrop, Dunlop and Hannah are six of the village's registered offenders. Two others reside on the 1000 block of Desplaines and another lives on the 7700 block of Taylor.

A smaller cluster of three registered sex offenders live on the 500 block of Desplaines.

As a matter of course, police officers give extra attention to these parts of town, said Aftanas. The deputy chief could not recall ever taking a registered offender into custody for behaving inappropriately, and only occasionally have offenders failed to comply with the terms of their release.

"It's not often," Aftanas said of cases like Hernandez's. "We have two currently, right now. Most of them know it's part of their sentence."

District 91 Lou Cavallo said he was notified of Lenczycki's arrival in Forest Park, as is required by law. However, news coverage of the pedophile priest's release raised the profile of the case, and Cavallo said he received a phone call from village officials when the Chicago Tribune reported that Lenczycki was headed to Forest Park. Flyers were distributed to building principals and staff.

"To my knowledge, not since I've been here, have we had a problem with registered sex offenders trying to gain access to school grounds or being around school property," Cavallo said.

At the park district campus on Harrison - roughly a half-mile from Lenczycki's apartment - Executive Director Larry Piekarz said that regardless of the nature of any potential threat, local police have protected the area well. Piekarz, too, received notification of Lenczycki's arrival in town, but said he could not recall ever having an incident with any registered sex offender at the park.

Accused, suspended priest worked in Chicago

Accused, suspended priest worked in Chicago
October 6, 2009 5:47 PM | No Comments
The priest accused of abuse in a lawsuit struck down last month by the Illinois Supreme Court gave retreats in Chicago in the 1970s, according to internal church documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Kenneth Roberts, a suspended priest who served in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Archdiocese of Dallas, came to Chicago in October 1973 with permission from the late Cardinal John Cody to conduct a two-day retreat, according to letters between church officials.

But he stayed through early November apparently to promote his autobiography "Playboy to Priest," according to the documents.

In a letter to the then-vice-chancellor of the St. Louis Archdiocese, Cody expressed concern that Roberts was listed in the Catholic Directory as "absent on leave" and overstayed his welcome in Chicago.

"Evidently he has a good publicity setup, but I would like to suggest to this 'Playboy Priest' that faculties, given to him for a particular occasion, do not mean that he can stay here forever," Cody wrote. "There is danger that you might lose his services in St. Louis!!! I am always fearful of these 'wandering minstrels.'"

Roberts returned twice in 1977 to conduct retreats for religious women, according to the records. In a letter to his own bishop, Roberts admitted to spending time in Chicago.

"I have worked in that area quite a bit after obtaining faculties but one of the Sisters said that she thought it might be a good idea to obtain them again since they have been quite strict in the diocese late," he wrote.

In September, the Illinois Supreme Court tried to correct misconceptions about an amendment to the state's statute of limitations in 2003, which gave accusers five years instead of two to file civil suits after they realized they were abused.

The ruling stemmed from allegations against Roberts that he abused a student at St. Mary's Parochial School in Belleville in 1984 when Roberts was a guest lecturer on several topics, including sex education.

Ex-friar had been accused of sex misconduct in previous school

September 26, 2009

School puts teacher on leave

Ex-friar had been accused of sex misconduct with student in Mainland job

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Mainland Catholic order that sanctioned one of its friars for alleged sexual misconduct said Kamehameha Schools did not contact it when the school decided to hire him as a teacher at its Kapalama campus.

Thomas Gardipee, a Kamehameha Schools teacher since 2002, had been suspended from his job as athletic director at St. Lawrence Seminary, a Roman Catholic prep school in Wisconsin, in December 1992.

The Capuchin Province of St. Joseph in Detroit said Gardipee was barred from working with children during the remaining nine years that he remained in the Capuchin order after a former student accused him of exposing himself and intimidation.

Gardipee and the Capuchin province were sued by the former student in Wisconsin in 1993 and the lawsuit was settled out of court. Criminal charges also were filed but were dismissed.

"Mr. Gardipee was suspended from teaching and other ministry in December 1992," said John Celichowski, provincial minister of the the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph. "He was not permitted to return to teaching and did not do so during the remainder of his time in the Capuchin order. In addition, he was prohibited from engaging in any ministry involving minors.

"The province concluded that, while his reported conduct did not result in a criminal conviction, it was inappropriate and unacceptable for a friar — particularly one working with young people. Therefore, he was not permitted to return to teaching."

Gardipee, 52, declined comment when contacted by The Advertiser earlier this week.

His attorney, Dean Choy, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the criminal charges against Gardipee have been dismissed and that his client "is presumed innocent." He also threatened legal action against The Advertiser if his client were defamed.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Choy said he was not aware of any disciplinary actions against Gardipee by the Catholic order.

Kamehameha Schools officials said Gardipee "remains an employee in good standing" but has been placed on leave, pending its investigation into the matter. School officials said they followed the school's normal hiring process and conducted criminal background and reference checks when they hired Gardipee.

Ann Botticelli, the school's vice president of community relations, said Gardipee has been a "valued and well-respected member" of the school's faculty.

"The allegations in question occurred 22 years ago," Botticelli said. "We have not received any questions that indicate there are more recent allegations."

Celichowski said his organization has no records indicating that Kamehameha Schools contacted its offices in Detroit or the rector of St. Lawrence Seminary to inquire about Gardipee's employment history.

"If a school had inquired about Gardipee's background in preparation for hiring him, the province and/or St. Lawrence would have provided the information that we were required and able to provide under the law," he said.

"We also would have encouraged and assumed that the inquirer would have done a background check that would include a review of available public records, including documents available from Wisconsin courts, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, etc."

According to a public database of the Wisconsin court system, Gardipee was charged in January 1993 with enticement of a child and intimidation of a witness.

A 1993 Associated Press story said the case stems from a 1987 incident at the whirlpool room in St. Lawrence Seminary's gym in which the student complained of back pains and Gardipee suggested that he use the school's whirlpool. According to the AP report, the student accused Gardipee of taking off his clothes and performing a sex act.

The boy also accused Gardipee of throwing him against a gym office wall several weeks later after he complained about Gardipee's earlier behavior, according to the AP report.

Another student told police he was aware of incidents in 1985 when Gardipee allegedly would provide seniors with alcohol, show them pornography and ask if they would masturbate with him, the AP reported.

The Chicago Tribune later reported that the criminal case was dismissed in March 1993 due to lack of probable cause. A civil lawsuit associated with the alleged harassment was settled in 1996, and its terms were sealed.

Celichowski said Gardipee "acknowledged the impropriety of some of his actions" but Celichowski would not be more specific.

From his suspension in 1992 to 2001, when he left the order, Gardipee lived at the Capuchin residence at St. Anthony Retreat in Marathon, Wis., where he made and sold pottery.

Gardipee's background came to light following concerns raised recently by Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, a national victims' advocacy group.

In a letter to school president Mike Chun yesterday, Peter Isely, SNAP's Midwest regional director, called on the school to suspend Gardipee and conduct an investigation into the former Capuchin friar's past.

"I am writing specifically to express the alarm and concern from victims of sexual abuse in Wisconsin and especially survivors who were harmed as children by former Capuchin brother Thomas Gardipee," said Isely, a former student at St. Lawrence.

"The children of your storied and famous school deserve as much protection and care, surely, as the children in Wisconsin."

Some parents and students expressed support for Gardipee. Lori Rodriguez, whose daughter is in Gardipee's history course, said she was "saddened and embarrassed" for him but says he is a great teacher.

"The kids love him," said Rodriguez, a Kailua resident. "I am totally supporting him."

Hearing postponed for priest convicted of abuse

Hearing postponed for priest convicted of abuse
Friday, September 25, 2009 | 3:53 PM September 25, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A hearing to determine if a former Roman Catholic priest should be kept in custody indefinitely has been postponed until October 26.
Fr. Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty back in 2007 to molesting two boys while he was pastor at St. Agatha's parish on Chicago's West Wide. He was sentenced to five years in prison but is now up for parole.
Prosecutors want McCormack to remain in custody under the state's Sexual Violent Persons Commitment Act. A spokesperson explained why the attorney general is taking that step.
"In this particular instance, the attorney general felt very strongl, based on the fact, that Mr. McCormack was a serial offender and even did so after his initial that he was likely to recommit these offenses," spokesperson Natalie Bauer said.
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McCormack will remain in a secure treatment facility until next month's hearing.

Sexual-abuse lawsuits: Illinois Supreme Court clarifies statute-of-limitations law

Sexual-abuse lawsuits: Illinois Supreme Court clarifies statute-of-limitations law
Decision shuts the door on some cases, say lawyers for alleged victims
By Manya A. Brachear

Tribune reporter

September 25, 2009

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that sexual-abuse survivors who discovered their emotional scars before July 2001 should have filed lawsuits within two years of the discovery to have their day in court.

The ruling tries to correct misconceptions about an amendment to the state's statute of limitations in 2003, which gave accusers five years instead of two to file civil suits after they realized they were abused. The law also granted accusers 10 years after turning 18 to file civil suits. The previous statute of limitations gave accusers two years.

Victims' lawyers said the ruling "closes the door" on a number of pending civil cases for which the statute of limitations also expired for criminal charges. They say the Supreme Court ruling defies the intent of the law, which was passed in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

"This decision today is a blow," said Jeffrey Anderson, the Minnesota lawyer who argued for the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case. "It knocks the wind out of us."

Thursday's ruling stemmed from allegations against Kenneth Roberts, a suspended priest who at the time of the alleged abuse served in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Christopher Amenn, 39, now a firefighter from O'Fallon, alleged Roberts abused him in 1984 when Amenn was a student at St. Mary Parochial School in Belleville. Roberts was a guest lecturer on several topics.

In 1998, Amenn realized his severe depression stemmed from that alleged abuse and disclosed it to a doctor. At that point, the statute-of-limitations clock began to tick for Amenn. It expired in December 2000.

Thinking the law that passed in July 2003 would apply retroactively to any case between 1998 (five years before the law changed) and 2001, he sued in November 2003. Many others did as well.

Anderson said he now expects to face many motions to dismiss pending cases.

Near the end of the 16-page opinion, justices pointed out that it was the defendants in the case -- Catholic bishops -- who sought the court's opinion. "Defendants in this case have elected to invoke the defense," the justices wrote, "and they alone are responsible for that decision and its impact on plaintiff's ability to seek relief through the courts."

Hearing postponed on freeing pedophile ex-priest

Hearing postponed on freeing pedophile ex-priest
Manya Brashear

WGN News

September 25, 2009


A hearing to determine if a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting several boys in a West Side parish can be kept in custody indefinitely was postponed today until Oct. 26.

Convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack will be held in a secure treatment facility until then, said Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for the Illinois attorney general's office. McCormack had been scheduled to be paroled and released from custody today.

The Cook County state's attorney's and Illinois attorney general's offices filed a petition earlier this week under the state's Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to have McCormack civilly committed and held indefinitely in a treatment facility if a psychologists find it likely he would commit another sex crime if allowed to go free.

McCormack attended today's hearing in Cook County Circuit Court and agreed to the postponement.

In July 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

McCormack fondled five boys between the ages of 8 and 12 inside St. Agatha's rectory, misconduct that dated to 2001. Some victims were members of the basketball team he coached at the nearby Our Lady of the West Side School; others were friends of boys who attended the school, where McCormack also taught algebra.

Two audits commissioned by the Chicago Archdiocese later found a trail of abuse allegations dating to McCormack's seminary days in 1988, all of which the archdiocese had failed to investigate properly. They also found that although a priest had been assigned to monitor McCormack at St. Agatha, he still had contact with children.

Sexually violent priest released from custody

Sexually violent priest released from custody
September 24, 2009 11:49 AM | 17 Comments | UPDATED STORY
A Roman Catholic priest with a history that includes abusing as many as 30 boys, many from Chicago's suburbs, was freed from state custody this morning and will continue treatment as an outpatient.

Fred Lenczycki, 65, the first priest in the country to be declared sexually violent, left the DuPage County courthouse after a judge signed off on a treatment plan. Lenczycki was accompanied by a conditional release supervisor. State officials said that he will be living in Cook County, not with a family member, and that the people in charge of his future treatment will register him at a local police station today as a child sex offender.

The exact details of his treatment plan and his residence were not released this morning. DuPage Judge Bonnie Wheaton impounded the case file last year to protect the identity of the abuse victims.

"There will be a lot of people watching you," Wheaton told Lenczycki this morning. "This case engendered a lot of media attention and you will be closely monitored.

"You have a heavy responsibility," she continued. "The people in (the state treatment facility in) Rushville are counting on you to show how you act. You owe it to the people who were young, the victims, you owe them the responsibility. Don't disappoint them.

"The court is going out on a limb. I decided this case not as a criminal case, but as a mental health case."

Lenczycki, dressed in a sweater and slacks, said "yes" several times and within minutes was released by the security guards of the Department of Human Services who brought him to the courthouse from Rushville. Lenczycki left in a pickup truck driven by a conditional release agent who is to assist him in acclimating to his freedom. All Lenczycki appeared to be carrying was a medium-size gym bag.

According to testimony from a previous court hearing, Lenczycki will be under tight supervision and severe restrictions, including remaining under home confinement for at least 30 days and then be required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet. State officials are to be notified of places he plans to go.

Wheaton also denied a request from Assistant Illinois Attorney General Joelle Marasco to delay his release while an appeal of Wheaton's earlier decision was still being considered. Wheaton is to receive a status update on his progress in six months.

Lenczycki was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three boys from St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Hinsdale in the 1980s.

Lenczycki was due to be released after 2½ years. But he remained in custody after a DuPage jury in 2008 declared him sexually violent under provisions of a decade-old state act.

James Montgomery, Lenczycki's defense attorney, previously told Wheaton, "Fred will be under the total control of the court."

Montgomery has said that of over 300 legally declared sexually violent persons in Illinois, "25 to 27 have been released" from state treatment facilities. The others remain institutionalized. Of those released, only "two to four" have been placed back into the secured treatment facilities, he said.

Lenczycki had been receiving treatment at a state-run facility in Rushville, Ill.

At the 2008 hearing, prosecutors said Lenczycki admitted abusing as many as 30 youths in Hinsdale, Naperville and Romeoville and in California and Missouri.

Doug Delaney, executive assistant for Bishop J. Peter Sartain of the Diocese of Joliet, said Lenczycki was removed from ministry in 2002.

Ex-priest, long tolerated in Chicago archdiocese, deemed too dangerous for parole

Ex-priest, long tolerated in Chicago archdiocese, deemed too dangerous for parole
September 23, 2009

A former priest who was allowed to keep his parish assignments in the Chicago archdiocese despite complaints of sexual abuse is too dangerous to be released on parole, according to Illinois prosecutors.

Daniel McCormack, who was convicted of child molestation in 2007 and later laicized, will be eligible for parole on Friday. But prosecutors are invoking an Illinois state law that allows for keeping "sexually violent persons" in custody if they are judged dangerous to society. The district attorney will argue in a court petition that McCormack fits into that category, citing the fact that he molested a child even while he was under investigation for molesting another. His behavior was "brazen and brash," the district attorney said-- fitting the profile of a predator who is likely to continue molesting children.

The prosecutors' determination to keep McCormack under observation, in a tightly controlled treatment facility, contrasts dramatically with the actions of Chicago archdiocesan officials who were responsible for supervising him before his arrest. McCormack was allowed to continue in parish ministry despite complaints that he had molested children-- and despite the clear provision of the US bishops' "Dallas Charter" that a priest credibly accused of such misconduct should be suspended.

McCormack was admitted to the seminary in spite of prior complaints of sexual misconduct with young men. He was ordained to the priesthood in spite of new complaints, arising while he was at the seminary. (The seminary rector at that time, who championed McCormack's cause, is now the head of the Tucson diocese and vice-president of the US bishops' conference: Bishop Gerald Kicanas.) He was accused of molesting boys in 1999, in 2003, and in 2005-- the later two cases coming after the US bishops adopted the Dallas charter, with which the Chicago archdiocese is theoretically in compliance. In 2006 an archdiocesan review board recommended that he be removed from ministry. But Cardinal Francis George, the president of the US episcopal conference, chose to keep him at work until he was finally suspended after his arrest in 2006.

The Illinois attorney general and the local district attorney agree that McCormack's predatory behavior was so consistent and so brazen that he remains a threat to society. The fact that Church leaders were unable or unwilling to reach the same conclusion demonstrates that the American hierarchy has not yet dug up the roots of the sex-abuse scandal.

Fifth abuse suit filed against brother

Fifth abuse suit filed against brother
This time the Roman Catholic brother is accused of attacking an 18-year-old DeLaSalle High School student.


Last update: September 23, 2009 - 11:54 PM

For the fifth time this year -- and the second time in as many weeks -- a sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against a Roman Catholic brother who taught at Twin Cities high schools in the late 1960s and 1970s. But this suit differs from the others in that it involves an alleged attack.

Christian Brother Charles Anthony (Raimond) Rose faces multiple suits for allegedly abusing students at DeLaSalle in Minneapolis and Cretin in St. Paul. The suit announced Wednesday involves another DeLaSalle student.

"This was not his normal pattern," said Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), in announcing the suit. "In the other cases, he provided alcohol or drugs to the victims before the incident. In this case, he attacked at night while the victim was asleep."

The alleged incident took place at Dunrovin Retreat Center in Marine on the St. Croix. The 18-year-old victim, who no longer lives in the area, was on a retreat organized by the school.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is not a defendant in the suit because it has no institutional control over staff at the schools or retreat center. Nonetheless, Schwiderski called on Archbishop John Neinstedt to assume a moral responsibility for protecting others from Rose, who is retired and living in Chicago.

"We're asking the archbishop to force the Christian Brothers to put Raimond Rose in a treatment center and, in the process, take children out of harm's way," he said.

The archbishop doesn't have the authority to intervene, said spokesman Dennis McGrath.

"Rose is not under the jurisdiction of the archbishop, he's under the jurisdiction of the Christian Brothers," McGrath said. "The archdiocese continues to be sympathetic to any abuse victim and encourages anyone who has been abused or knows of another who has been abused to contact the church."

In all of the suits filed against Rose, the Christian Brothers' district office in Illinois has issued a statement condemning abuse as "an affront to our mission and purpose" adding "we do not and will not tolerate" it.

Fourth suit accuses retired Christian Brother of sex abuse

Fourth suit accuses retired Christian Brother of sex abuse
A Roman Catholic brother already faces abuse charges from incidents in the 1960s and '70s.


Last update: September 15, 2009 - 11:43 PM

A Roman Catholic brother already accused of sexual abuse in three lawsuits this year was named in a fourth suit announced Tuesday.

The suit, filed in Ramsey County Court, says Brother Charles Anthony (Raimond) Rose, a member of the Chicago-based Christian Brothers of the Midwest, "engaged in unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual conduct" with a 15-year-old Cretin High School student on a field trip to Chicago in 1969 or 1970. Rose was a teacher at the St. Paul school at the time.

The suit was announced by Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). With each suit announced, Schwiderski said he hopes the news will spur other victims of the accused to break their silence.

That's "exactly what is happening in this case," he said.

Asked whether he expects more suits against Rose, Schwiderski said, "yes." He would not say how many he expects, but said, "I've talked to literally dozens of people" who either have accused Rose of abuse or know of potential victims.

The first suit, filed in February, accused Rose of molesting a student in 1966, while he was teaching at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis.

A suit filed in May accused him of similar acts while teaching at Cretin in 1970. In June, a second Cretin graduate filed suit, alleging abuse in 1968. A related lawsuit against the Christian Brothers organization accuses Rose's supervisors of allowing him to keep teaching after they learned about his behavior.

The suits followed a 2003 California case against Rose by a former student that was settled out of court for $1.1 million.

Rose is retired and living in Chicago. In addition to DeLaSalle and Cretin, Rose taught at Archbishop Brady High School in West St. Paul and high schools in Fargo, and Stevens Point, Wis. He also worked at the Red Wing Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Schwiderski was joined at the news conference by Suzanne Severson, co-moderator of the Twin Cities steering council of Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic lay group. Rose was a history teacher at Brady when she was a sophomore in the 1973-74 school year. She called on any of her classmates who might have been abused by Rose to report it.

Brother Francis Carr, provincial of the Christian Brothers' district office in Illinois, was out of the office Monday and was not aware of the suit, so he could not comment on it specifically. But he said the organization affirms a statement issued earlier in which it said, "The abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse."

Because the latest suit involved taking a minor across state lines, Schwiderski hopes criminal charges will be filed.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is not a defendant in any of the suits. Although the local high schools operate under the auspices of the archdiocese, it has no institutional control over the faculty.

Schwiderski was joined at the news conference by Suzanne Severson, co-moderator of the Twin Cities steering council of Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic lay group. Rose was a history teacher at Brady when she was a sophomore in the 1973-74 school year. She called on any of her classmates who might have been abused by Rose to report it.
Brother Francis Carr, provincial of the Christian Brothers' district office in Illinois, was out of the office Monday and was not aware of the suit, so he could not comment on it specifically. But he said the organization affirms a statement issued earlier in which it said, "The abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse."
Because the latest suit involved taking a minor across state lines, Schwiderski hopes criminal charges will be filed.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is not a defendant in any of the suits. Although the local high schools operate under the auspices of the archdiocese, it has no institutional control over the faculty.

How common is clergy sex abuse?

How common is clergy sex abuse?
A Baylor University study says the problem is more common—across various denominations—than many people think
U.S. News & Opinion•Thursday, September 10, 2009Comment Print Email
A new study investigates clergy sex abuse. (Jason Horowitz/Corbis)
Best opinion: Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Wash. Post

Sexual abuse by members of the clergy is more common than you might think, said Manya Brachear in the Chicago Tribune. An analysis by Baylor University's School of Social Work found that 3 percent of adult women who worship at least once a month "have been the target of a clergy come-on since turning 18."

The numbers are surprising, said Matthew Hay Brown in the Baltimore Sun. Put another way, in a church with 400 adult members, seven women, on average, "have been victimized at some point in their adult lives." The Baylor team is working on a proposal for a law that would attack the problem by making clergy sexual abuse a crime, much like relationships between mental health professionals and their patients.

And the problem is not isolated to any single denomination, said Jacuqeline L. Salmon in The Washington Post. The Baylor study found that improper sexual conduct is so pervasive, in fact, that it "involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions, and leaders." The researchers couldn't say whether abuse is growing more common—but increasing awareness following the
Catholic clergy abuse scandals has prompted at least 36 denominations to adopt rules for punishing clergy members for sexual contact with people in their congregations.

Catholic brother accused of abuse

Catholic brother accused of abuse
Published 08/22/2009, INFORUM

Support group seeks help of Shanley High, where he once worked, in getting word out to potential victims
A support group for people victimized by religious authority figures wants Shanley High School to “aggressively reach out” to alumni who may have been abused by a Roman Catholic brother who worked at the Fargo school from 1976 to 1980.

Man claims fraud, cover-up by Milwaukee diocese

Man claims fraud, cover-up by Milwaukee diocese
Associated Press
August 13, 2009

MILWAUKEE - A 50-year-old Phoenix man has filed a civil lawsuit in Milwaukee County claiming fraud against the Milwaukee archdiocese and a Catholic school for deaf children.

He claims Father Lawrence Murphy sexually abused him at the former St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis from 1970 to 1972.

Murphy worked there from about 1950 to 1975. He died in 1998.

Attached to the lawsuit are archdiocese evaluations that his lawyer, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., says show Murphy assaulted 200 children and the archdiocese covered it up.

The lawsuit filed Thursday seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

In a statement, archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said the archdiocese has acknowledged for many years that Murphy had substantiated abuse allegations. She says it now has procedures to prevent future abuse.

one of the Jesuit order's most notorious convicted pedophiles

A new lawsuit sheds light on the S.F. years of Mother Teresa's spiritual adviser – who is also one of the Jesuit order's most notorious convicted pedophiles.
By Peter Jamison
published: July 29, 2009
John Doe 129

McGuire at Doe 129’s baptism in 1978.
John Doe 129

McGuire was known for captivating audiences with his talks on theology.
John Doe 129

In 1985, McGuire plays with Doe 129 at the boy’s home.
John Doe 129

McGuire, Doe 129, and Mother Teresa at the Missionaries of Charity convent in San Francisco in 1991.
John Doe 129

Known for his conservatism, McGuire liked women to wear long skirts in his presence.
Justin Page

The Missionaries of Charity convent in Noe Valley as it looks today.
John Doe 129

Father Donald McGuire and John Doe 129 at the boy’s first communion in 1982.
Peter Jamison on pedophile priest Donald McGuireTwo decades ago, an 11-year-old boy from the Bay Area was honored with an invitation most devout Catholics would envy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work among the developing world's poor, was celebrating Mass at her order's convent in Noe Valley. The ceremony was part of a retreat led by one of the famed humanitarian nun's close spiritual advisers, a Jesuit priest and former University of San Francisco professor named Donald McGuire.

It was at McGuire's bidding that the 11-year-old came to serve as an altar boy that morning at St. Paul's Convent, a boxy building of yellow stucco that rises from a tree-lined block near the intersection of 29th and Church streets. (The convent houses local novices in the international Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.) The priest was close to the boy's family: He had baptized the boy, and offered his mother spiritual and psychological counseling over the years. Indeed, within church circles, McGuire was something of a celebrity himself.

Steeped, as are all Jesuits, in the cerebral traditions of Catholicism, McGuire dazzled his many admirers with his command of ancient history and literature. He could speak eloquently about philosophy and theology, and deployed his rhetoric to powerful effect during multiday religious seminars based on the teachings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuits' founder. He had silvering brown hair and a round, red Irish face that often creased into a puckish smile. He liked to give advice. And he liked to hear confession.

On that morning almost 20 years ago, however, McGuire's interests were more profane than sacred. Following a morning Mass, he asked the boy to retire with him to a private chamber reserved for the priest at the convent. While the nuns and Mother Teresa milled about, McGuire closed the door to his room and asked his favored altar boy to join him, in his cot, for a nap. The boy lay down. The priest lay on the outside of the narrow bed and then reached across the boy's body and into his pants.

So said the boy in a recent interview with SF Weekly. Now 30, he is suing the Jesuits for turning a blind eye to McGuire's repeated acts of child molestation. His lawsuit was filed this winter in Cook County, Ill., home of the Chicago Province of the Jesuits, where McGuire kept his primary residence.

The boy — who is identified in court documents only as John Doe 129, and requested that SF Weekly not publish his name or hometown to spare him the stigma attached to childhood sexual abuse — is accusing the Chicago Province of negligence and fraud in failing to keep McGuire away from children. He and his attorneys allege that over a period of about 10 years beginning in 1988, McGuire forced the boy to massage the priest's genitals and watch him masturbate, among other acts of abuse.

Doe 129 is not the first to accuse McGuire, now an ailing 79-year-old, of such misdeeds. In 2006, the priest was convicted in a Wisconsin court of molesting two teenage boys he had taught decades earlier at a prominent Jesuit high school in the Midwest. Earlier this year, a federal judge in Illinois sentenced McGuire to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of traveling abroad with a teenage boy to sexually abuse him. (For his part, McGuire still insists he is innocent and has appealed his latest conviction.)

While the federal case rested on molestation charges involving only one boy, investigators believed McGuire had abused dozens during his career. In fact, Jesuit leaders first received complaints about the priest in 1969, although he was not officially defrocked until last year. Some of the ex-priest's alleged victims — many of them now grown men — and their family members were permitted to address U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer during his sentencing hearing. Their statements, not surprisingly, were emotionally charged. The Arizona father of two boys McGuire allegedly molested said he would like to hand down his own sentence on the ex-priest using a baseball bat.

One of those who traveled to Chicago to speak out was the mother of the altar boy allegedly molested at the Missionaries of Charity convent in San Francisco. "I told the judge that I thought that he deserved the maximum sentence," she said. "Even we, as adults, couldn't stand up to someone who was Mother Teresa's confessor. Can you imagine children that have no voice?"

Doe 129's lawsuit is just one of multiple pending civil cases against McGuire nationwide. But it is the first to draw attention to the strong San Francisco ties of the man who is arguably the most prominent convicted child abuser in the Jesuits' 470-year history. Interviews with McGuire's former colleagues, associates, and admirers cast light on the pivotal phases of his life that took place in this city — it was in San Francisco that he began his working relationship with Mother Teresa — and suggest that the disgraced ex-priest committed acts of abuse here for which neither he nor his superiors have ever been held to account.


In 1976, Father Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit instructor at the University of San Francisco, was busy recruiting students and professors for a new classics program. Called the St. Ignatius Institute, it would focus on a traditional "great books" curriculum, functioning as an autonomous college within the university. As he organized the institute, Fessio got a call from a well-known Jesuit teacher from the Midwest who was interested in joining. His name was Donald McGuire.

Fessio had heard of McGuire. By reputation, he was "very dynamic" and "a very exciting teacher," Fessio recalls, known for his orthodoxy and loyalty to the church. The truth, as documents unearthed in McGuire's subsequent criminal and civil cases would later reveal, was more complicated. As a matter of fact, at the time he came to USF, McGuire's Midwestern superiors had already received complaints that he had sexually molested two boys at Loyola Academy, a Jesuit high school in Illinois. (The same incidents eventually led to McGuire's first criminal conviction in 2006.)

Fessio, now an editor at Ignatius Press, a San Francisco–based publishing house, said in an interview that he didn't know about the skeletons in McGuire's closet back then. But once McGuire moved to San Francisco and began teaching freshman seminars in ancient Greek literature and history, it didn't take long for Fessio to notice that his new colleague had a dark side.

"He loved the classics, and he communicated that to the kids. That was the positive side," Fessio said. "There was a negative side. He seemed like he had to have people around him. He needed to have an audience. ... For all of us, our failings are pretty well interwoven in our personalities. There was a talent, but it was kind of a dangerous talent, and I was always a little bit reserved toward it."

McGuire was mercurial, quick to turn on colleagues or friends, and inclined to nurse grudges. He was also prone to bragging — even about his own piety. "Joe, I can pray circles around you," Fessio recalled McGuire once saying to him. "It was a weird claim."

Father Cornelius Buckley, a former history teacher at the St. Ignatius Institute, said he was troubled by the strangely intense attachments McGuire cultivated among select groups of students. (In contrast to his strained relations with other teachers, McGuire was always wildly popular with those enrolled in his classes, former colleagues say.) Those students who followed the Greek professor's banner "seemed to be more involved with him than they were with the program," Buckley recalled in a telephone interview from Santa Paula, Calif., where he is now chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College.

McGuire taught at the St. Ignatius Institute for four years. Jesuit records from that period show that Buckley wasn't the only one vexed by McGuire's closeness to his students. Father Alfred Naucke, an official at the California Jesuit Province, said his office's files on McGuire indicate that USF officials frowned upon the priest's practice of inviting students into his private room. (Those students were most likely boys, since women would not have been permitted to enter the university's Jesuit residences.)

In May 1981, then-USF Dean David Harnett wrote a letter to California provincial officials, obtained by SF Weekly, explaining that McGuire would not be rehired for the following academic year. Among the reasons Harnett cited for the priest's sacking were "highly questionable acts on his part" and "interactions with a student." Reached by telephone in Philadelphia, where he now lives in retirement, Harnett said he did not recall the letter or the circumstances of McGuire's departure. Father Joseph Angilella, academic vice-president of the university at the time, declined to comment on McGuire's firing or whether it was linked to incidents of abuse involving USF students. "It's unfortunate you have that letter, but I'm not going to add to it," he said. "This material is confidential in terms of the decision that was made. I assure you that nothing that happened during these times has anything to do with the present legal matters that are happening in the Midwest."

Doe 129's attorneys plan to depose California Jesuits, including some formerly associated with USF. However, university records — as opposed to those kept by the California Province — illuminate almost nothing about McGuire's time as a professor in San Francisco. Apparently, that's because they no longer exist. When Doe 129's lawyers requested the school's personnel records on the priest from the four years he taught at the St. Ignatius Institute, they were told that the file on one of the church's most notorious predators had been thrown out.

In an e-mail response to questions about McGuire from SF Weekly, USF spokesman Gary McDonald offered this explanation: "USF retains employee records for seven years after an employee leaves the university, and USF has few employee records dating back 30 years, including those of Donald McGuire."


McGuire's ouster from the university's St. Ignatius Institute did not signal the end of his career. Far from it. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, he took up the life of an itinerant spiritual adviser. Based at a Jesuit residence in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, McGuire trotted the globe, leading the Ignatian spiritual retreats that had become the hallmark of his ministry. The retreats typically involved daylong prayer and ritual interspersed with talks from a priest. During these trips, observers say, McGuire was often accompanied by teenage male attendants who he said helped him manage his diabetes.

It was during this time that McGuire first met Mother Teresa. Fessio said he introduced the pair after the nun had asked him during a visit to San Francisco to recommend a priest who could lead retreats for the nuns of her order. Despite the two men's prickly relationship while academic colleagues in the late 1970s, Fessio suggested she seek out McGuire.

From the beginning, Fessio said, Mother Teresa's opinion of McGuire was "very high." Though he was probably not — as he liked to boast — her most esteemed spiritual adviser and confessor, observers of the pair agree that she respected McGuire, and would occasionally confess her sins to him.

Judie Hockel and her husband, Jack, often hosted McGuire's retreats in Northern California at their Walnut Creek home. The couple met him through their oldest son, who was a student at USF during McGuire's time there. (On his subsequent trips to the Bay Area, McGuire often stayed at a house attached to a Carmelite monastery adjacent to the USF campus.) Even now, Judie Hockel, 70, finds it hard to reconcile McGuire's charisma and intellectual heft with his acts of abuse.

"Everything seemed to combine together to give him a really superhuman ability — it probably was superhuman; Satan is pure intelligence, and maybe that's where it came from — to make you feel that you were liked by God, that you were worthy of being loved by God, that Christ was calling you to be closer to him," she said. "Catholicism is an adult religion. I certainly would not want to deny the significance of faith, but a lot of times people need a grasp of the rational thought. They're not getting the depth or the richness of Catholicism from the pulpit these days, and Donald McGuire filled that need in many people's lives."

In contrast to other Jesuits, who tend to occupy the liberal end of the Catholic spectrum on political and cultural issues, McGuire was a staunch conservative on doctrinal questions, including those involving gender and sexuality. Brigid Crotty, a 40-year-old Napa resident whose family became close to McGuire in the 1980s, recalled that the priest demanded that women wear long skirts in his presence.

Looking back, Hockel said she could pick out "red flags" that signaled an unstable personality. "There was always a chaos that surrounded his presence," she said. Meetings started late; appointments were not kept; people were made to wait, or to indulge McGuire's eccentricities. He was something of a control freak, forcing his hosts to cater to strict demands regarding his schedule, accommodations, and diet.

"He always wanted a salad with his meal," Hockel said. "He always wanted four ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice. I can't believe every time he came I actually made an effort to squeeze orange juice. You look back ..." She paused. "I think deep down inside he enjoyed the coronation that we laypeople gave him, because we felt so lucky that we had this time with this brilliant, devout prophet."

It was this later phase of McGuire's life, as a traveling Jesuit guru, that federal authorities investigated as they built their case against him. They discovered that the priest, while he preached the virtues of intensely orthodox Catholicism to his followers, was subverting the traditions of his calling in startling ways. According to a sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors after McGuire's conviction, one of his primary means of "grooming" young abuse victims was the ritual of confession.

For example, when the primary victim in the case confessed to McGuire at the age of 13 that he masturbated, McGuire "seized on it" and said the boy had an "addiction" that could send him to hell, according to court documents. He then demanded to "inspect" the boy's penis using a magnifying glass and baby oil.

Doe 129 said he was never abused in the confessional. But he does recall other strange twists on McGuire's vocational interests. During a visit to the Jesuit residence in Evanston, Doe 129 said, McGuire began masturbating in front of him in a private upstairs room. The classics scholar had allegedly preceded this exhibition with a discourse on how gay sex was a common practice among the ancient Greeks.

There is reason to believe that Doe 129 was not McGuire's sole local victim during his post-USF decades of world travel. A colleague of McGuire's within the church said in a recent interview that he received a complaint from a Bay Area family that McGuire was molesting their teenage son in the years after the priest left the university. The church official, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from his superiors, said he had passed the complaint on to McGuire's Jesuit higher-ups. (Doe 129 confirmed that he was not the complainant.)

Likewise, Crotty said her father, Fran Crotty, a former administrator at a North Bay Catholic school, was informed "in no uncertain terms" sometime in the last few years by a local man that McGuire had abused his son in the past. Reached by telephone, Fran Crotty declined to comment. "I'm not at liberty to discuss anything concerning McGuire," he said.

Stephen Komie, McGuire's Chicago-based lawyer, said in an interview that his client continues to maintain that the allegations leveled at him are lies intended to wring money from the church — and that his criminal convictions are simply by-products of accusations that drove the civil suits against him. "Father McGuire has always said that these are stories made up for the financial benefit of the persons who are bringing the case," Komie said.


It is true that the interplay among abuse victims, private attorneys, and law-enforcement officials in McGuire's case has at times been complicated. The victim whose complaint led to McGuire's federal conviction — his identity was withheld during the trial, and he is named in court records only as Dominick — originally consulted a private attorney known for representing plaintiffs in priest-pedophilia civil suits in Southern California. That attorney's name is Kevin McGuire, and he is Donald McGuire's nephew.

Kevin McGuire said he urged Dominick to take his allegations to federal authorities, and accompanied him to the U.S. Attorney's office on the day he filed a complaint. "I traveled in the same Catholic circles that a lot of these same victims traveled in," he said. "I realized it was my obligation to turn my uncle in. I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do."

Kevin McGuire is also representing Doe 129, who claims he is motivated by desire to hold the priest's superiors to account, rather than the prospect of financial gain. The litigation "certainly hasn't made my life any easier, and it's certainly not fun, and I certainly question whether there's any justice that can be done," said Doe 129, who still lives in the Bay Area. "I'm just really disgusted and furious about the fact that they knew about this for so goddamn long, and didn't do anything about it. If you had a carpet-cleaning business and a guy was a rapist, you wouldn't let him out and about working for you."

In response to questions from SF Weekly about Doe 129's lawsuit, Chicago Jesuit Provincial Edward Schmidt (the regional head of his order) said in a statement that the province was "aware" of the suit. "Because this matter involves a court action, we do not plan to make any further comment about these particular allegations at this time," he said.

Kevin McGuire said his uncle's time as a professor in San Francisco, and his later trips to the Bay Area and around the world, were encouraged by superiors as a "pass-the-trash" strategy to keep the predator priest far from his home base. "USF was a place where the Chicago Province sent Father McGuire to get him the hell out of their hair," he said. "That's why this guy was allowed to roam around the country. They wanted him everywhere but Chicago."

And he said that while there's no evidence Mother Teresa herself was consciously covering up for the priest whose piety she admired, the nun, who died in 1997, should have known something wasn't right.

"I think Mother Teresa had plenty of evidence in front of her that something was wrong," Kevin McGuire said. "When you see Father McGuire seven to nine times a year at your retreat houses or nunneries around the world, and he's constantly with teenage boys who are essentially his slaves, and to have these boys in your bedroom — yeah, I think that's plenty of notice to anyone with oxygen in your brain. I don't care how holy you think your confessor is. Something's wrong."


While Doe 129's lawsuit moves forward in Illinois, McGuire, who according to his lawyer is legally blind and suffers from diabetes, has begun serving his 25-year prison sentence at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. His federal conviction is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. (In May, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals denied his request for a new trial in that state related to his earlier abuse charges.) Absent a successful appeal, Komie said, his client "is not going to survive this prison sentence."

As the disgraced priest faces his earthly end, he has resolutely declined to embrace a concept at the very core of Catholicism: repentance. McGuire, the great confessor, has never admitted guilt in any of the instances of abuse for which he stands accused or convicted. He has also taken what could be interpreted as a less-than-Christian stance toward the victims who have chosen to speak against him.

"I want my accusers to be sentenced," he said during the postconviction phase of his first trial in Wisconsin in 2006. McGuire took advantage of his opportunity to address the judge prior to sentencing to profess his innocence in a rambling soliloquy in which he compared himself to Socrates, St. Thomas More, and Jesus. "I am humbled when I think of the company of saints I'm called to join here," he said, according to a trial transcript.

Earlier that day, McGuire said, he had meditated on his life. "I plead with the Holy Spirit to enlighten me, show me, in what way am I not living truthfully," he said. He added that he had resolved "to be more truthful, more like Jesus. I don't know how other people live, but that's the only way I can live." He continued, "Your Honor, I did all of this with the image of Christ crucified before me. I've never been closer to the crucified Christ, never in my life. It's a terrible experience, but it's glorious."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Churchman: Black sex abuse survivors treated fairly

Churchman: Black sex abuse survivors treated fairly

(POSTED: 8/27/09) Reacting to criticism that the Archdiocese of Chicago treated black victims of priest sex abuse worse than whites, the church analyzed financial settlements and found "no overall difference" in payouts between races.

That's according to a strongly worded "background" memorandum recently sent to priests and deacons by a top archdiocesan official, the Rev. John Canary. The stated aim of the memo -- obtained by ChicagoCatholicNews -- is to help clergy "prepare to communicate with . . . parishioners about this and other important issues."

"The Archdiocese has never considered race to be a factor in evaluating clerical misconduct claims, so we never compiled the numbers in this fashion," according to the Aug. 21 memo. "Each claim is evaluated individually and the amounts of the settlements vary based on the abuse that took place. Recently, we did an historical review of all the settlements the Archdiocese has reached with sexual abuse survivors. There is no overall difference between the amounts of settlements paid to African American survivors and those paid to others."

The memo from Canary (pictured above) also indicated "the average amount of the settlements reached with the survivors who identified themselves in the recent media coverage was significantly higher than the average settlement amount paid in all the Archdiocesan clerical misconduct claims."

Phillip Aaron, an attorney for black sex abuse victims featured earlier this month in an NBC5 story on alleged racial disparity, called such talk "smoke and mirrors."

"For a comparable injury, [black abuse victims] were paid less," Aaron said in an interview. "If you look at injury to injuries, they were paid less, and not just that, they were demeaned [when they came forward], they were treated bad -- this isn't me saying this, this is the client."

What's more, Aaron claimed he's being pressured by archdiocesan officials to retract the race-related allegations if he wants to proceed with other abuse cases.

"They say they won't mediate or arbitrate unless I make some sort of public statement that my clients are not discriminated against, and I'm not going to do that," he said.

Top church lawyers referred questions to the archdiocese communications office, which did not respond to calls and emails Wednesday and Thursday. Canary also did not respond to calls and emails from ChicagoCatholicNews.

As such, details on the archdiocese's "historical review" were not available.

Also unclear is whether the memo from Canary -- the archdiocese's vicar general -- represents a new public relations strategy by the archdiocese, which includes 2.3 million Catholics in Cook and Lake counties.

Cardinal Francis George's press secretary Colleen Dolan recently authored a similar "talking points" memo on priest sex abuse. Marked confidential, it was distributed to parishes to help priests answer questions from the press and parishioners -- and it somehow made its way to ABC7 reporter Chuck Goudie.

That document was denounced as "spin" by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, whose leaders have long criticized the Catholic Church for its handling of sex abuse claims.

In the new memo, Canary mentions that the Catholic Church for decades has served the black community in the areas of schools and civil rights, among others.

"From the 1960s onward, the Archdiocese remained committed to African American communities, even when other institutions moved out," he wrote.

Two Chicago-area clergymen confirmed to a reporter that they received the document.

Following is a copy:

August 21, 2009
Dear Father:
As you may know, stories have appeared in the media recently about a group of African American survivors of sexual abuse by priests that charged the Archdiocese of Chicago treated them unfairly and differently from others during settlement negotiations. This charge is completely untrue and we believe you should know the facts surrounding this issue. We have a long-standing practice of reaching out to all victims to resolve their claims in a just and compassionate way. Each claim is handled individually and settlements vary based on the abuse that took place and the injury suffered. Race or ethnicity is never considered in evaluating claims.
We are particularly saddened and troubled by these allegations because the Archdiocese of Chicago has long been an advocate of equal rights, non-discrimination and social justice for all people. It has made Catholic education available especially within the inner city of Chicago and today continues this strong commitment. From the 1960s onward, the Archdiocese remained committed to African American communities, even when other institutions moved out.
We are providing you with this background information as part of our ongoing effort to help you prepare to communicate with your parishioners about this and other important issues. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me at my office at 312-534-8271 or
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Very Reverend John F. Canary
Vicar General
cc: Deacons

Information for Pastors Regarding
The Archdiocese of Chicago and the
African American Community
August 2009
You may have seen or heard stories in the media recently that a group of African American survivors of sexual abuse by priests charged that the Archdiocese of Chicago treated them unfairly and differently from others during settlement negotiations. Charges were made that the Archdiocese paid smaller settlement amounts to them because of their race and did not offer counseling and other services that were provided to white survivors.
These allegations are completely untrue. There is no difference in the way the Archdiocese treats African American survivors or in terms of the settlement amounts they receive. The Archdiocese has a long-standing practice of reaching out to all victims to resolve their claims in a prompt, fair and compassionate manner. Each claim is handled individually based on the abuse that took place and injury suffered.
These charges are particularly troubling because the Archdiocese has long been a proponent of equal rights, non-discrimination and social justice for all people regardless of ethnicity, race or culture. There have been many notable and historic occasions where the Archdiocese, working with leaders in the African American community, has taken the lead in equality, civil rights issues and race relations.
This document will focus on the facts about the Archdiocese’s mediation and settlement process and questions that may arise from the recent media coverage.

Key Facts
The Archdiocese does not consider race or ethnicity at any time during the negotiation and mediation process for settling sexual abuse claims. Only because these allegations have been made, we conducted a review of all the clerical sexual misconduct claims that have been settled in the Archdiocese’s history. Here are the facts:

• There is absolutely no evidence that the Archdiocese treats survivors of clerical misconduct differently based on race. Each claim is handled individually based on the abuse that took place and injury suffered.

• There is no difference overall in the amounts of settlements paid to African American survivors of sexual abuse by priests. In fact, the average amount of the settlements reached with the survivors who identified themselves in the recent media coverage was significantly higher than the average settlement amount paid in all the Archdiocesan clerical misconduct claims.

• The Archdiocese always offers counseling and other help to survivors as part of its assistance ministry outreach. Often, survivors rely on the advice of their attorneys in determining whether or not to accept counseling and other assistance from the Archdiocese.

• The Archdiocese has a long-standing practice of reaching out to victims to resolve their claims in a prompt, fair and compassionate manner. We have already successfully resolved a number of claims for African American survivors and hope to continue working to resolve the remaining claims.

• The Archdiocese of Chicago has never turned away anyone with a substantiated claim regardless of when the abuse happened.

• The Archdiocese has long been a proponent of equal rights, non-discrimination and social justice for all people regardless of ethnicity, race or culture.

• The Archdiocese has a long and sustained commitment to African American communities, particularly through its investment in Catholic education and social programs. For example, over the past seven years, the Archdiocese has averaged $17 million per year in grants to schools and parishes that serve African American communities.


Office of Assistance Ministry
The Office of Assistance Ministry works under the umbrella of the Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. The Office of Assistance Ministry has one mission: to make sure survivors are treated with sensitivity, assisted with compassion and accompanied on their healing journey by caring guidance and support. From the moment someone comes forward, the services of the Office of Assistance Ministry are always offered to survivors of sexual abuse by priests, including:

• Providing therapeutic and spiritual counseling

• Accompanying survivors when they report sexual abuse experiences to church personnel

• Arranging meetings with Cardinal George, if requested

• Providing financial support to survivors for clinical services

• Providing consultation and clinical resources for parish communities affected by abuse.

Since its inception in 1992, the Office of Assistance Ministry has provided the following services to those in need:

• Reached out consistently to those affected by clerical sexual abuse through newspapers, radio, television and the Archdiocesan Web site

• Covered the cost of individual counseling for more than 230 survivors of sexual abuse and their families, totaling more than $2 million

• Sponsored eight ongoing support groups for survivors of sexual abuse

• Launched an educational group for family members of survivors of clerical sexual abuse

• Organized three healing retreats for 40 survivors of clerical sexual abuse

• Helped coordinate 32 personal meetings between survivors and Cardinal George.


Does the Archdiocese of Chicago pay smaller settlements for claims from African Americans who are survivors of sexual abuse by priests?
Absolutely not. Each claim is evaluated individually based on the abuse that took place and the injury suffered. Race is never considered in evaluating claims and there is no difference in the amounts paid to African American survivors.
What is the average settlement for victims that are African American compared to victims that are white?
The Archdiocese has never considered race to be a factor in evaluating clerical misconduct claims, so we never compiled the numbers in this fashion. Each claim is evaluated individually and the amounts of the settlements vary based on the abuse that took place. Recently, we did an historical review of all the settlements the Archdiocese has reached with sexual abuse survivors. There is no overall difference between the amounts of settlements paid to African American survivors and those paid to others.
Is it true that African American survivors are not offered counseling and other services that were provided to other survivors?
Absolutely not. The Archdiocese always offers counseling and other help to survivors from the moment they come forward. Often, survivors rely on the advice of their attorneys in determining whether or not to accept counseling and other assistance from the Archdiocese.
Has a lawsuit been filed by this group of survivors charging the Archdiocese with discrimination?
Although the recent media coverage claimed that a lawsuit would be filed, as of now no lawsuit has been filed.