Thursday, April 7, 2011

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

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

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

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

Send your story and evidence to:

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

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

Murderer priest

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

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

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

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

Read more:

Abuse as punishment

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

BY ANN KELLEY Oklahoman 0 Published: April 7, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

Confusion, doubt able to coexist with religion
By Colleen Fontana

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 21:04

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

It is a sum long overdue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priest case
TN Supreme Court Hears Priest Case

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

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

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

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

Redwing filed his lawsuit in 2008.

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

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

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

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

The diocese appealed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 21:04

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Stories of Jesuit Abuse
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The Spectator applauds university President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. for his apology to the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers about the abuse some First Nations people suffered at the hands of Jesuits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Criminal Legacy of American Catholic Bishops
The basic problem here is that the Philadelphia Archdiocese cannot work itself out of its urge to protect priests before children.
By Marci A. Hamilton, April 06, 2011

Last week, Cardinal Rigali of the Philadelphia Archdiocese announced that two retired priests were being put on "administrative leave." That means that child sex abuse victims had made allegations against them. It is a simple fact that abusers abuse well into their elderly years, so these two men could still be a risk to children.

That brings the number of priests in Philadelphia with allegations against them to twenty-eight. Two were indicted following the 2011 Grand Jury Report, three were named in the Report, twenty-one were suspended in the wake of the report, and now two more.

That is all news, but the monumental indifference of Cardinal Rigali persists. The twenty-three most recently suspended were not named by the Archdiocese, for reasons only their lawyers can understand.

God vs GavelThe Criminal Legacy of American Catholic BishopsThe Ministerial Exception Makes It to the Supreme CourtPhiladelphia Is the Ireland of AmericaPhiladelphia Dysfunction and Guam SuccessThe Court, the Preacher, and the MilitaryAuthor Bio »We eventually learned the identities of the twenty-one suspended active duty priests, no thanks to the Archdiocese. Reporters had to compare previous and current Archdiocese web pages to deduce who they were, and then they had to verify those deductions according to which parishes were notified about the removals.

The most recent two were retired, though, and, therefore, no such comparison could be done because non-active priests are not listed on the website. Some have guessed that one is Fr. Givey. No one outside the Archdiocese knows who the other retired priest is. So now in Philadelphia, we have yet another priest who has allegations of child sex abuse against him, and the people have no idea who it is. Speaking solely as a mother here, if you let your child alone with a priest in Philadelphia, shame on you. And victims will tell you that the more charming he is, the more you need to fear.

The basic problem here is that the Philadelphia Archdiocese cannot work itself out of its urge to protect priests before children. Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, speaking at Marquette University this week, urged American bishops to change their ways. He said: "The truth will set us free." No one understands this fact better than the Irish bishops, who have seen their Church all but shrivel away in Ireland in the wake of the abuse crisis there. Good lesson for Philadelphia, where pettiness continues to dominate transparency.

In a moral universe, Philly's suspended priests would have been delivered up to prosecutors the minute there was an inkling that children were at risk. And the message would have come from many of the adults in these children's lives, from teachers to priests to principals. Priests living in rectories with abusers would have spoken to their local policemen about the kids coming to their fellow priests' rooms, and about the summers at the Shore in Religious Order homes where kids visited certain priests in their rooms. And when news trickled to the Cardinal, whether it was Krol, Bevilacqua, or Rigali, he would have personally called the police to urge them to investigate.

For those who are resting more easily at night now that the Archdiocese has removed nearly thirty priests from active ministry, wake up. Last week, in Madison, Wisconsin, a priest was criminally charged with sexually assaulting a girl in 2003 and 2004. Several years earlier, in 1999, he had been removed from active ministry for taking sexual advantage of a woman who had sought him out for counseling.

Removal from active ministry does not protect our children. All it really does is give the priest more free time to commit more crimes.

Germans leave church,,14971010,00.html
German Catholics leave church in droves

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Grand architecture, but empty pews?A record number of Catholics in Germany have turned their backs on the church. They officially cancelled their membership in the wake of child abuse scandals that rocked church institutions across the country.

A record 180,000 German Catholics left their church for good in 2010, and it appears the child abuse scandal was the main reason for the dramatic rise in departures.

Data provided by 24 of Germany's 27 Catholic dioceses and published this week by the newspaper Die Zeit shows that 50,000 more Catholics cancelled their church membership last year than in 2009, an increase of 40 percent.

It was what the church had feared, Alois Glück, head of the lay Central Committee of German Catholics said.

"It's a dramatic signal and a clear message that we have to take the issue seriously; winning back people's trust has to be at the core of our efforts for renewal and dialogue."

Germany has faced revelations over the past year that hundreds of children were physically and sexually abused in church institutions throughout the country. All but a handful run were by the Roman Catholic Church.

It looks likely that this is also the first time in Germany's postwar history that more Catholics officially renounced their church membership than Protestants: Germany's Protestant church estimates that just under 150,000 people left in 2010.

German bishops shocked

The wealthy diocese of Cologne, Germany's largest, saw the biggest drop in membership ever last year. The city's vicar-general, Dominik Schwaderlapp, said the departures were painful for the Catholic church because many people apparently chose to leave the church as "their personal form of protest and of expressing their disgust at the scandal."

Hardest-hit were a handful of dioceses in deeply Catholic Bavaria, which saw up to 70 percent more people leaving the church than the year before.

Matthias Kopp, press spokesman for the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, said that every single person who left was a human loss for the church. "The German bishops won't ignore that, they want to win back lost credibility."

The bishops, who have been criticized for their slow response, have meanwhile offered compensation of up to 5,000 euros ($6,900) to the sexual abuse victims. None of the offenders can be prosecuted because of a three-year statute of limitations. Some of the sexual abuse cases occurred in the 1950s, most of them in the 1970s and 1980s.

In Germany, membership in a religion is more than symbolic - it has a concrete financial significance, as members of a religious group officially recognized by the government in Berlin pay a "church tax" that is automatically deducted from their monthly paychecks.

Family sues archdiocese
Bristol family sues Archdiocese
. Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:08 pm | Updated: 4:22 pm, Wed Apr 6, 2011.

Bristol family sues Archdiocese by JAMES McGINNIS Calkins Media, Inc. | 2 comments

A local woman said her son committed suicide in 2009 after Archdiocese of Philadelphia officials chose not to believe his allegations and "compelling evidence" of sexual abuse in the 1980s by a priest at St. Mark Church in Bristol.

"I am not looking for anything other than for the church to believe me," Daniel Neill's family remembers him saying often before his suicide.

In a wrongful death lawsuit against the archdiocese and Cardinal Justin Rigali filed Wednesday morning in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Neill's mother, Mary Neill of Bristol, and sister, Michelle Forsyth of Middletown, allege he was repeatedly abused by the Rev. Joseph Gallagher.

An archdiocesan spokesman declined to comment Wednesday on the suit.

Gallagher, who later served at St. Thomas Aquinas in Croydon, was suspended in February following the release of a second Philadelphia grand jury report on abuse in the church, according to the archdiocese.

The Neill family lawsuit alleges that church officials failed to protect their son and other children. In 1980, Neill, then age 10, first reported abuse to the school principal who "called him a liar and threatened Daniel that his family would be disgraced if he persisted in making his report of sexual abuse," according to the lawsuit. The principal is not named in the suit.

"Despite compelling evidence of child abuse and other inappropriate behavior by Fr. Gallagher, Cardinal Rigali and his agents took no action to protect children from him," according to the suit. While Rigali was not head of the archdiocese when the abuse against Neill is alleged to have occurred, he was at the helm in 2006, when Neill again tried to get the church to listen to him.

The alleged abuse continued even after Neill complained to the principal, the family said in the court paperwork.

When he reached out to the church again five years ago, Neill relayed his story to an archdiocese victims assistance coordinator, according to the grand jury. He said he was fondled, probed and later punched by Gallagher, according to the report.

His allegations were later detailed in the 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, which identified him under the pseudonym "Ben."

Investigators said Neill provided the church with details about the interior of the priest's mother's house, including a "pink, frilly bedroom," where he allegedly was fondled by Gallagher.

Investigators said that a second boy came forward with allegations of fondling by the same priest.

Church officials contacted Neill in 2008, advising him that his allegations were deemed unsubstantiated and not credible, according to the grand jury.

He committed suicide 11 months later at age 38, the family said.

The lawsuit seeks more than $150,000 in damages for conspiracy to endanger children, fraudulent concealment, and wrongful death.

Through her attorney, Neill's mother released the following statement:

"We carefully and cautiously take this action today hoping that from this loss and from our grief, some good can come, and that the children of this community can be better protected and be believed when they find the will and the way to report abuse of all kinds. It is simply our desire to perhaps get the Archdiocese officials to recognize their obligations and to do a better job of healing the wounded and protecting the children - instead of being concerned about their reputation."

Meanwhile, the allegations in the 2011 grand jury report continue to echo through both the church and the court system.

This is the fourth sexual abuse lawsuit brought against the archdiocese since the grand jury report was released. Attorneys said the report has emboldened their clients to come forward.

The archdiocese suspended 23 priests after the most recent report.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has filed criminal charges against three priests, a former priest, and a teacher. The Rev. James Brennan was arrested and accused of raping a 14-year-old boy he met during his tenure as parochial vicar at St. Andrew Parish in Newtown.

Bernard Shero, a former parochial school teacher from Bristol, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and the defrocked James Avery are accused of sexually assaulting another boy they met during their tenure at St. Jerome's Parish in Philadelphia.

The Msgr. William Lynn, former secretary of the clergy, faces charges of child endangerment for allegedly reassigning priests but not telling anyone of complaints made against them.

No criminal charges came out of the first grand jury report released in 2005 since any statues of limitation expired. The law has since been changed. Victims now have until age 50, instead of age 30, to report their abuse.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

IFB church
April 06, 2011 11:14 AM

SpaceNewsvineRedditDeliciousMixxYahooElizabeth Vargas’ Yearlong Investigation Into The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Airs On “20/20,” Friday, April 8, 10-11 PM ET

Try to imagine the pain and humiliation of a teenage girl, just 15 years old, who says she was forced to stand in front of a New Hampshire church congregation and confess her "sin" of being pregnant. She says not only was she forced to confess her pregnancy, but also to ask for their forgiveness – with no mention of the man she says sexually abused her. After all, she says, the pastor told her it's better than being stoned to death as the bible describes. That is what Tina Anderson alleged happened to her at her ultra conservative Independent Fundamental Baptist, or IFB, Church. The IFB has thousands of congregations across the country, but many people have never heard of it. That was, until another woman, Jocelyn Zichterman, began a public campaign – armed with nothing but a computer and memories of her own alleged abuse that she says church beliefs can foster. And survivors are now coming out of the woodwork, to say she's not alone.

Elizabeth Vargas’ yearlong exclusive investigation into a religious sub-culture that critics claim can foster – even cover up – physical and sexual abuse airs on “20/20” on FRIDAY, APRIL 8 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network. Critics say the church teaches a strict interpretation of the bible including the practice known as breaking the will of the child, with some advocating that it even be applied to infants as young as two weeks old.

“I had a decision to make that either I was going to kind of curl up in the corner and be quiet or I was going to stand up for my family and tell the truth,” says Jocelyn Zichterman.

Pastor Chuck Phelps, the former pastor at Tina Anderson’s New Hampshire church, denies Tina was disciplined by the church or that there was any attempt to cover up a crime. He declined repeated interview requests but provided a statement: “Tina was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Mr. Ernie Willis… Tina lied to her mother and to me about this relationship.” He also said he brought the allegations to the attention of police who failed to investigate further. Ernie Willis, Tina Anderson’s alleged attacker has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault.

Brian Fuller, the current pastor at Tina’s former IFB church, says all IFB Churches operate independently and that his church has nothing to hide. He opened his doors to “20/20” cameras, was critical of how Tina’s case was handled and denounced any abusive disciplinary practices, adding: “The Bible says that I’m supposed to love my children, I’m never supposed to ever do anything out of anger or manipulation. And that’s what our people are taught here,” he told Vargas.

“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. David Sloan is executive producer.

Priest charged

Priest charged in child sex case ordered to trial
The Associated Press
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A Southern California priest has been ordered to stand trial on felony charges he had sex with a 12-year-old boy.

A San Bernardino County judge ruled after a preliminary hearing on Tuesday that there was enough evidence to try the Rev. Alejandro Jose Castillo. He is charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 and one count of forcible lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports Castillo will be arraigned on April 28.

Prosecutors say he was pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Ontario when he molested the boy in late 2008 but has been removed.

Parishioners affiliated with the Coalition to Exonerate Fr. Alex raised $24,000 to bail Castillo out of jail.

Read more:

Hungarian scandal
Hungary's Very Dirty (And Very Hungarian) Dirty Priest Scandal

In February, Julius Janus, a Polish clergyman who had been the longtime Papal nuncio in Hungary, was abruptly transferred out of the country. At the time, the reasons for his leaving were unclear. But according to and other sources, the sudden exit of the Vatican's top representative was related to allegations that he had assisted in the cover-up of homosexual indiscretions involving top Hungarian clerics, and that proof of his malfeasance could be found in confidential letters dispatched under his signature.

While lurid in its own right, Janus's departure - apparently a "transfer" to the Balkans - is only the latest in a series of bombshells to hit Hungary's Catholic Church, some involving not crimes of lust but that most Hungarian of deadly sins, financial fraud.

Accused and accuser: Former Pécs Bishop Mayer and priest Wolf (top), former Papal nuncio Janus (with accordion) and crusading editor Wildmann (below right), whose publication shed light on the dark doings in the Pécs diocese.

At the center of the charges is the former Bishop of Pécs, Mihály Mayer, whose resignation - which may have been forced - was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year. Appointed to his position in the dramatic year of 1989 - on the Friday before the Thursday on which the Berlin Wall fell - Mayer was an outspoken conservative on doctrinal issues, particularly on the importance of clerical celibacy, and during his tenure he frequently weighed in publicly on issues of culture, morality, and history. From early on he was also a powerful advocate for the restitution of church property that had been seized by the communists, which in Pécs was quite considerable.

Mayer's downfall began as a decidedly dull dispute over the financing of a local Catholic elementary school, which had simmered for years in the pages of a left-leaning ecumenically-oriented religious journal, Egyházfórum ("Church Forum"). At the time, the journal's editor, János Wildmann, privately sought to warn church leaders that the Pécs diocese was a "time bomb." Wildmann's advice went unheeded. But it was proven painfully accurate when the Baranya County Prosecutor's Office announced last October an investigation into a close confidant of Bishop Mayer, diocese financial director - and, as it apparently turned out, pederasty enthusiast - Father Gyula Wolf. The investigation of the diocese appears to have been prompted by a 65-page document submitted to the prosecutor allegedly pointing to over 40 different crimes, including embezzlement, document forgery, and - this being Hungary - VAT fraud.

Most of the charges revolve around alleged financial irregularities involving a company called Fény Kft. ("Light Ltd."), the diocese's service administration firm, which was managed by Father Wolf and owned by the Bishop's private foundation, Gaudium Nostrum (literally: "our gaiety.") On top of this, there were also allegations involving the more traditional forms of "white collar" church crime, including sexual abuse of minors.

Hungary's post-Communist educational system provides for state funding of parochial schools via the dioceses, which receive subsidies from the government and then they transfer them to individual schools under their supervision. In 2006, the headmaster of Pécs' Szent Mór elementary school publicly conceded that the reason the school could not pay its teachers and its heating bill promptly was because the Pécs diocese had been routinely transferring the school's allotted state funds six or more months late. When the headmaster was removed from her position by the diocese - which accused her of fiscal incompetence - she and the school's parents argued their case in the pages of Egyházfórum. Three later independent audits of Szent Mór's accounting ultimately vindicated the headmaster's claims. The withholding of state funds and embezzlement of approximately $500,000 would be one of two charges against the diocese made public in November.

This case was followed by an additional charge involving a Catholic school in Paks. According to Index, Mayer had persuaded the school management to sign over their building to Fény Ltd. in exchange for the construction of a new gymnasium. Although the ownership of the school - worth Ft 500 million - was transferred to the company, as of now, the promised athletic facility has not been built.

Further allegations involve the disposal of real estate which residents of diocese-operated retirement homes were said to have turned over to Fény Ltd. - and which were subsequently sold at below market rates to Wolf's circle of friends. A circle of friends that, by the way, our own sources in Pécs say largely consists of Wolf's "boyfriends."

Although the allegations of financial misconduct have dominated much of the local coverage of the Mayer/Wolf scandal, Egyházfórum has continued to push hard on the charges of sexual abuse. In particular, its articles claim that Bishop Mayer had rebuffed "in a strange manner" the entreaties of well-intentioned parents concerned about an unnamed priest who taught religious education classes.

Those issues, however, came to widespread attention last month, when the police announced they had seized the computer of the parish priest of Bóly, a small town within the Pécs diocese, and discovered a large cache of child pornography on it. The investigation had been requested by international anti-crime agency Interpol on the basis of German police monitoring.

Szombathely bishop András Veres has been appointed to lead the Pécs diocese until a permanent replacement for Mayer is selected. Wildmann believes that criminal charges against Mayer are unlikely, given that he holds a knighthood in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which grants him diplomatic immunity in Hungary. Then again, he may not need the immunity, since, when has any bishop or similarly senior Church official been prosecuted for these kind of crimes? And, anyway, this is Hungary.

Editor's Note: The above article was written by Budapest-based scholar Jeffrey Taylor, based on both his original reporting and other media sources. Related articles from the Pestiside archives can be found here (2009), here (2007), here (2006) and here (2004).

New name
Group blasts bishop for school’s new name

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell,

There are thousands of devout Catholic lay people and saints and priests who never once ignored or concealed clergy sex crimes. Name the school after any of them. But not, as Pittsburgh’s Bishop Zubik is doing, after his predecessor, Archbishop Donald Wuerl (now of DC).

Why rub salt into already deep and still fresh wounds of suffering clergy sex abuse victims and disillusioned Catholics by naming it after Wuerl?

In Louisiana, one school, named after a Catholic bishop, had to be re-named when it was discovered that the bishop had molested kids.

That likely won't happen with Wuerl. But who knows what evidence may yet surface showing his complicity in clergy sex crimes and cover ups. (Remember, just last year damning evidence emerged from decades ago that the pope ignored and concealed crimes in his home diocese in Germany.)

Wuerl was a Pittsburgh Catholic official from 1988 to 2006 and a Wash DC church official from 2006 until now. Is there a single person who really believes Wuerl handled each and every clergy sex abuse and cover up case in those two dioceses perfectly?

Somewhere there’s a woman who was raped as a child by a Pittsburgh priest. She feels doubly betrayed because she was treated callously or deceptively by a Pittsburgh church official when she reported the crime to them. How will she feel when she learns that a school will be named in honor of Wuerl? She’ll feel betrayed a third time.

Why would Catholic officials take this risk? How can Zubik be so callous?

Consider just a few aspects of Wuerl’s track record on abuse:
--Just three months ago, we disclosed the names of three credibly accused predator priests who have worked in the DC area but whose identities as molesters had never been publicly disclosed here before. (Fr. Donald Joyce, Fr. Myron F. Bullock and Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury.) We urged Wuerl to aggressively reach out to their victims. We are particularly worried about Salisbury because he has been convicted twice for molesting kids and was found in December living in public housing and serving on a local government board in Maine.

As best we can tell, Wuerl has done nothing to warn his flock about or reach out to other victims of these clerics.
--Roughly 24 US bishops have posted on their websites the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests. Wuerl didn’t do that in Pittsburgh. He’s not doing it in DC. He is, like most of his colleagues, opting for secrecy over openness and making it harder, not easier, for parents to protect their kids from child molesters.
--While in Pittsburgh, Wuerl opposed measures to safeguard Pennsylvania kids through new state laws that would have better enabled victims to expose child predators in court.

Wuerl, like Mahony and Dolan, is one of the most PR-savvy bishops in the world. But he has essentially been just as determined, and even more successful, than his peers in keeping child sex cases quiet.

During his tenure in Pittsburgh, he benefited from some of the nation’s most restrictive and predator-friendly laws which effectively blocked all but a tiny handful of victims from bringing criminal or civil charges against pedophile priests and exposing corrupt church officials. Wuerl is one of a handful of US Catholic prelates who assiduously works at burnishing his public image and has escaped much of the scrutiny on his misdeeds with the church’s on-going clergy sex scandal.

He dodged a bullet when, years ago, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling tossed out dozens of civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits, any of which could have exposed stunning deceit, callousness and recklessness in the Pittsburgh diocese.

In 2004, we said this about Wuerl: “While publicly posturing as a "reformer" on this issue, he allows his PR staff to attack the motives of victims and their attorneys, and refuses to publicly name known and suspected abusive clergy. He bought one half hour of prime time local television to run basically a selr-serving "infomercial" about how well his diocese is handling abuse, but refused to allow a victim on the panel. Wuerl has ignored requests to help warn West Virginia families about an abusive priest from Pittsburgh (Fr. Jack Hoehl) who is now practicing in that state as a counselor.”

Some give Wuerl credit for defrocking a predator priest, Anthony Cipolla, in 2002, claiming Wuerl moved more quickly against Cipolla than some of his brother bishops did against child molesting clerics. That’s the wrong yardstick, however.

One reason we’re in this mess – with hundreds of thousands of kids across the globe molested by tens of thousands of priests – is because bishops cover for one another and refuse to even verbally rebuke their most corrupt colleagues. For bishops, it’s a comfortable and safe culture. For most of the rest of the church and society, it’s dangerous and unhealthy. Rather than fight this sick culture, Zubik is perpetuating it.

There are thousands of devout Catholic lay people and saints and priests who never once ignored or concealed clergy sex crimes. Name the school after any of them. But not after a bishop who, like most of his colleagues, is more concerned with his own reputation than with children’s safety.

Youth leader arraigned
Former church youth leader faces charges of molestationHe allegedly touched teens inappropriately
.By Bob Albrecht
Columbian Staff Reporter

Originally published April 5, 2011 at 6:39 p.m., updated April 5, 2011 at 9:48 p.m.

More like this
Church volunteer’s sex abuse arraignment is delayed

Man gets 7½ years for child sex abuse

Date set for long-delayed child porn trial

Former youth pastor sentenced for molesting boys

Vancouver man pleads guilty to pair of sex crimes
A former volunteer youth leader at a Vancouver church was arraigned Tuesday on allegations he sexually molested two teenage boys during private devotions.

Defense attorney Jon McMullen told the judge that Jason L. Wolk, 25, understood the charges and didn’t need them read aloud. Wolk pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree child molestation and four counts of third-degree child molestation. The sexual abuses allegedly took place between June and December 2010.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Roger Bennett set trial for July 5.

A half-dozen members of the boys’ families sat near the back of the courtroom during the brief hearing. Two women who identified themselves as the mothers of the boys, ages 15 and 16, said they’re upset Wolk remains free to “walk the streets.”

The Columbian is not identifying the women to protect the teens’ identities.

“The two victims aren’t doing as well as I anticipated, especially my son,” said the older boy’s mother. “He’s on suicide watch.”

The other woman described the ordeal as “devastating.”

“I thought of him as a son,” she said of Wolk.

The former volunteer youth leader remains out of police custody. He is under a specialized set of supervised release conditions that, among other things, prohibit him from having any contact with minors and require him to remain employed.

McMullen said afterward he’s still working on obtaining police reports and reviewing evidence. He said after Wolk’s first appearance, there are “two sides to every story.”

The teens’ version is that Wolk, a volunteer at Vancouver Wesleyan Church, inappropriately touched them during private devotions designed to help with their “Christian life walk.”

At least one instance of abuse is alleged to have occurred on a camping trip in Klickitat County. Others were alleged to have taken place in Wolk’s home.

The 15-year-old told detectives he and Wolk read while lying on his bed with Wolk’s arm around the boy’s shoulders, according to court documents. On at least one occasion, the teen said that Wolk made him strip down to his boxers and lie in bed with him. On about five occasions, the boy told detectives, Wolk touched him inappropriately over his clothes.

A restraining order against Wolk was filed by the 16-year-old in December.

The case was investigated by the Children’s Justice Center in Clark County.

The two families continue to attend their church.

“We actually have a lot of support,” one of the mothers said.

Priest returned for trial
Retired priest faces trial for alleged indecent assaults

Wed, Apr 06, 2011

A RETIRED priest has been returned for trial by judge and jury on two counts of indecently assaulting two teenage girls while serving in the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork about 30 years ago.

Fr Daniel Duane (73), the Presbytery, Cecilstown, Mallow, is charged with indecently assaulting one of the girls in Mallow between September 1st, 1980, and April 1st, 1982.

Fr Duane is charged with indecently assaulting the second girl on a separate occasion in Mallow, also between September 1st, 1980, and April 1st, 1982.

At Mallow District Court yesterday, Garda Insp Declan O’Sullivan confirmed that two separate books of evidence relating to the two charges had been served on Fr Duane by Det Garda Colman Murphy of Mallow Garda station.

Garda Insp O’Sullivan said the Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to the matter being dealt with by way of indictment at Circuit Court level and he applied to have Fr Duane sent forward for trial to the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, starting on May 10th.

Judge Eamon O’Brien granted the application and returned Fr Duane for trial at the Washington Street courthouse in Cork on that date.

Learning that gardaí had no objection to bail, Judge O’Brien remanded Fr Duane on continuing bail of €500.

Fr Duane, who recently underwent a hip replacement operation and attended court on crutches, was granted legal aid.

© 2011 The Irish Times

Wrongful death suit
Lawyers to announce wrongful death suit against Archdiocese
April 5, 2011

By Shannon McDonald Rate This: 1 2 3 4 5 (0 votes)

Archdiocese suit announcement canceled
A press conference to announce an abuse suit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was canceled last week, only to be rescheduled for tomorrow. But some details have changed.

A group of lawyers will announce a wrongful death suit against the diocese stemming from the suicide of a former St. Mark's altar boy.

Known as "Ben," the Bucks County man's suicide was detailed in the Philadelphia Grand Jury report that charged a teacher, monsignor and three priests with abuse, and questioned the activity of 37 others.

The attorneys will file the suit with the Court of Common Pleas tomorrow.

Statute of limitations
Belgian bishop will not face criminal charges for abuse
April 05, 2011
A Belgian bishop acknowledged that he had molested a young boy will not face charges, because the abuse, committed in the 1980s, is covered by that country's statute of limitations.

Bishop Roger Vangheluwe resigned his post as Bishop of Brugge in April 2010, as reports surfaced that he had abused his nephew repeatedly over a period of years. Later in 2010, it was revealed that Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels had urged the victim to remain silent until Bishop Vangheluwe had retired quietly. Cardinal Danneels also stepped down in 2010, although in his case the resignation was overdue because he was 76 years old: more than a year beyond the normative retirement age.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

•Belgian bishop cannot be charged (UCAN)
•Belgian cardinal told victim to be silent until bishop who abused him retired (CWN 8/30/10)

NH bishop trying to "out" John Doe victim

NH Voice of the Faithful April 4, 2011
Statement of Carolyn Disco 603-424-3120
Survivor Support Chairman cell 917-620-8172

Bishop John McCormack’s intimidation of clergy abuse survivor unconscionable

We are here today to challenge Bishop John McCormack to honor his pledge to treat clergy abuse survivors with care and concern, not harassment through punitive legal measures.

A survivor filed a lawsuit last July related to abuse as an 11-year old altar boy by Fr. George St. Jean at St. Brendan’s parish in Colebrook, NH. St. Jean, whose name was released by the Attorney General’s Office in 2009, was a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, also a defendant in the case. He died in 1982.

The lawsuit was filed under John Doe, to keep his name confidential from the public up to the point of trial, since anonymous trials are prohibited. However, the survivor’s identity was provided to the Court, the Diocese and the Oblate order. All three know who and where he is.

This arrangement is acceptable to the Oblates who do not object to the survivor proceeding now as a John Doe, according his lawyer’s objection to the Diocese’s motion to dismiss. This is because they have “no desire to cause the Plaintiff (survivor) more pain” by forcing him to disclose his identity publicly in the text of the lawsuit.

Further, “Counsel for the two parties (Oblates and survivor) have agreed to revisit the issue at a later date, should it appear this case will proceed to trial. Sometimes a settlement may be negotiated in the interim, in which case confidentiality is preserved.

The same arrangement was repeatedly offered to the Diocese, hoping McCormack likewise would have “no desire to cause more pain.” Instead, the bishop flat out rejected that approach, and filed a motion to dismiss. Incredibly, the motion includes forcing the survivor to pay the Diocese’s legal bills as well. This is unconscionable.

The case is filled with the usual motions, affidavits, memorandum of law, orders, reconsiderations and objections. But now the outstanding issue is the judge’s ruling on the survivor’s objection to dismissal of the case.

Earlier, the survivor filed an affidavit that described his reasons for not identifying himself publicly. He mentioned the shame, embarrassment, and fears of the consequences of exposure. His wife is aware of

the abuse, but not his children, extended family, and co-workers.

His health is a serious concern, given a history of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide – all subject to being worsened by forced disclosure of his identity. In addition, his wife is currently being treated for breast cancer, with all the stresses that accompany such difficult treatment procedures. He is particularly concerned about burdening her strength at such a vulnerable time.

He outlined his fears of people perhaps blaming his parents, possible retaliation in the community for suing a religious institution, and economic consequences in his employment. The anxiety is simply debilitating.

Trial date set
Trial Date Set for Pastor Accused of Sexual Contact With a Child
Print Story Published: 4/05 12:20 pm Share Updated: 4/05 12:28 pmRochester, N.Y.- The trial for a pastor accused of having sexual contact with a child is scheduled to start in June.

Joe Flowers is the founder of Walk of Life Christian Center in Rochester.

In September, he pleaded not guilty to the charge of course of sexual conduct against a child.

Investigators say the abuse happened for three years.

In court on Tuesday, Judge James Piampiano denied a request by Flowers' defense attorney to lower bail.

If convicted of the charges against him, Flowers could spend seven years in prison.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Priests removed
Church removes guilty priests Barney Zwartz
April 6, 2011

TWO Melbourne Catholic priests guilty of sexual abuse have been removed from the priesthood, Melbourne Vicar-General Bishop Les Tomlinson confirmed yesterday.

The news was sent to Melbourne priests in the Vicar-General's newsletter, but victims - while welcoming the removals - said they were angry they had not been told.

One priest, Paul Pavlou, formerly of Healesville, was defrocked by the Vatican, while the other, Barry Whelan, was laicised - made a layman - at his own request, reportedly so he could get married.

Advertisement: Story continues below In the Magistrates Court two years ago, Pavlou admitted indecent acts against a 14-year-old boy and possessing child pornography, and was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence.

In Whelan's case, the Melbourne Archdiocese has compensated at least three vulnerable women whom it agreed Whelan took advantage of or abused. One woman bore him a child.

Bishop Tomlinson said neither had been acting as a priest in Melbourne for a long time. ''When serious allegations are made against a priest, especially if they involve charges by the police, the priest is stood down,'' he said.

Advocate Helen Last of In Good Faith, who has worked with some Whelan victims, said: ''This is an important decision. Victims have been calling for the defrocking of their clerical offenders for a long time.

''Finally, something has been done, but they have been overlooked and not notified. Again, they are not considered important enough to be kept in the picture.''

A senior Melbourne Catholic who asked not to be named said that after years of inaction about removing sexual abusers from the priesthood, the Vatican had changed tack to remove them as fast as possible.

''The church is running scared. Now they are as keen as mustard to do it as soon as they can because it stops the abusers being a financial liability,'' he said. After they are laicised, the church is not liable for future offences, or for the costs of maintaining the priest.

Asked whether the church was unjustly criticised over the slow pace of the laicisation of abusers, Bishop Tomlinson said: ''It's true that many people view the church and problems with abusers with just what they know, but sometimes obligations are such that it's not possible to divulge everything that is happening, and people jump to inaccurate conclusions.''

Priest charged
Catholic priest from Erie diocese charged in Bradford
By TIM HAHN, Erie Times-News
BRADFORD -- A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie has been relieved of his duties and placed on administrative leave in the wake of charges that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old boy.

The Rev. Samuel B. Slocum, 59, has been relieved of his duties at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bradford and Our Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Lewis Run. Both churches are in McKean County.

Slocum faces six criminal charges, including felony counts of interference with the custody of children and concealment of the whereabouts of a child, for incidents that state police said happened in Lewis Run, south of Bradford, between Jan. 1 and March 29.

The charges were filed on Friday. Slocum had not appeared in court to face them as of Monday, according to court records.

"It is an ongoing investigation," Trooper Bruce Morris, spokesman for state police Troop C in Punxsutawney, said Monday. "There might be more charges coming from this. Then again, there may not be."

Bishop Donald W. Trautman said in a statement issued Monday afternoon that he immediately placed Slocum on a leave of absence and revoked his diocesan faculties.

Slocum is not permitted to exercise any ministry in the church, Trautman said.

"While the charges filed against him at this point are most serious, it is my understanding there is no criminal allegation of inappropriate sexual activity. Nevertheless, I view the conduct described in the criminal complaint as devastating, if true," Trautman said in the release.

Slocum is a former Cathedral Preparatory School teacher and weekend assistant at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Erie.

He is a native of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, Smethport, and was ordained May 16, 1980. He studied for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, N.Y.

The allegations against Slocum were reported to state police on March 29, when Trooper Daniel Woods spoke to the boy's mother at the McKean County Office of Children and Youth.

Woods accused Slocum of allowing the 15-year-old boy to visit his residence after the boy's mother had forbidden it, and of lying to the mother when she asked if her son had gone to his residence.

Woods said the boy's mother sent Slocum a letter informing him of the prohibition on Jan. 18, eight days after the boy had skipped school and spent the day at Slocum's residence.

The boy's mother spoke to Slocum on Feb. 24 and asked him to have no further contact with her son because the boy had recently gone to Slocum's residence after school without permission, according to the affidavit of probable cause that police filed with the charges.

Slocum denied the visit, but the boy admitted to it, according to the affidavit.

The boy's mother also told Slocum during that conversation that she would contact the diocese if Slocum continued to have contact with her son, Woods said.

The boy's mother gave Woods iPhones, an iPod and an Apple laptop computer that she said Slocum had given her son to use in communicating with him via Facebook, e-mail and text messages, according to the affidavit.

Woods said the woman also provided him with printed excerpts from her son's Facebook account of conversations between her son and Slocum.

In one of the conversations, Slocum allegedly told the boy that he didn't think he should let his mother know that he had Slocum's laptop. In another, Slocum allegedly asks the boy how his mother found out that the boy was at Slocum's house, and he tells the boy that "we will have to be more careful in the future," according to the affidavit. In another series of conversations attributed to Slocum that are listed in the affidavit, Slocum talks of sneaking over to the boy's house to leave something for him.

Woods interviewed the 15-year-old boy later on the afternoon of March 29. The boy told Woods that he had been alone with Slocum at Slocum's residence on more than one occasion, and that Slocum had given him several gifts, according to the affidavit.

State police served a search warrant on Slocum's Lewis Run residence on the evening of March 29 and said they seized several computers, a cell phone and a digital camera. They also spoke to Slocum, who admitted to using his computers and his cell phone to chat with the 15-year-old boy and other juveniles through Facebook and e-mail, according to the affidavit.

Police said Slocum also admitted to having contact with the 15-year-old boy after he was forbidden to do so, and to leaving a present on the boy's porch when he knew he wasn't supposed to contact the boy.

Slocum additionally told police that he had taken digital photographs of the boy and of other juveniles, and he stated numerous times that his relationship with the boy and the other juveniles was inappropriate, according to the affidavit.

Police said they served a search warrant on another of Slocum's residences in McKean County on March 30 and seized two Apple computers. They also interviewed three other boys on Wednesday, and were told that Slocum gave the 15-year-old boy several expensive gifts for no reason, according to the affidavit.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie has assigned the Rev. Walter Packard to take over at the two churches where Slocum had served as pastor, the Bradford Era reported. Packard most recently was assigned to Holy Cross Catholic Church in Fairview Township.

Trautman said Monday that his prayers go out to the parishioners of the two churches, and to all who have been hurt in any way by the matter.

"If the allegations are shown to be true, I am doubly saddened not only by the pain of victims but also by the betrayal of confidence and trust on the part of a priest," Trautman said.

Priest sentenced

Priest sentenced for assaulting masseuse
From: AAP April 05, 2011 5:24PM Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these? A PRIEST kept his victim in terror as he held her in a bedroom, slapped her and told her he was going to rape her.

The 36-year-old priest, who cannot be identified, has been sentenced to two and a half years' jail for kidnapping, assaulting and compelling an act of sexual manipulation on a female masseuse.

He'd detained the woman at an Adelaide house and ordered her to perform sexual acts, including sucking on the heel of her own shoe.

South Australian District Court judge Michael Thomas Boylan, during sentencing on Tuesday, said the priest had acted "despicably" when he attacked the woman after she let him in a house in Modbury, in Adelaide's northeast, on July 13, 2009.

"You behaved despicably and took advantage of her vulnerability for your own gratification," he said.

"You have lost your standing in the community ... as a result of your crime."

The victim's occupation involved massaging clients with optional sexual stimulation offered at the conclusion of the service.

The judge said the victim took the priest to one of the bedrooms of the house where the offender requested two female masseuses.

"In my view, you were checking to see if she was alone in the house," the judge said.

The offender then grabbed the victim, dragged her and told her he would rape her.

"I want you to do me for free, I want to rape you," the judge recounted the offender as saying.

The judge said the offender detained the victim in the bedroom, keeping her there in terror, ordering her to perform sexual acts including sucking on the heel of her own shoe.

"You kept her in terror," he said.

"She could not get away from you ... (The victim) begged you to let her go, you slapped her across the face, throughout all that was going on (the victim) continued to cry.

"She feels lucky to be alive ... She is now terrified of any man which resembles you."

The judge said he accepted the priest had done good work in the community and had no prior convictions.

"I accept in your pastoral work and generally you have helped many people," he said.

But, the judge said, the priest's lack of remorse and maintenance of his innocence made it difficult to mitigate his sentence.

Read more:

Priest charged

Susquehanna County priest has charges bound over
BY ROBERT L. BAKER (Staff Writer)Published: April 5, 2011

Article ToolsShare | Font size: [A] [A] [A] Our Social Networks FacebookSign Up Text Alerts | newsletter

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MONTROSE - A monastery priest accused of sexually assaulting a teen boy has been suspended and relieved of duties, according to a statement released by the church Monday, the same day the Susquehanna County cleric had his charges bound over to county court.

The Rev. Phillip Albert Ferrara, 48, of 550 Lake of the Meadows Road, Little Meadows, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Hollister on three counts of indecent assault of a person under the age of 16 and three corruption-of-minor charges stemming from incidents that occurred between Nov. 3 and Jan. 2. All are misdemeanor counts.

According to a police affidavit, the Rev. Ferrara allegedly told a 14-year-old boy his sperm duct was blocked and was causing him intense back pain and a massage would help. The juvenile was on retreat with his family at Our Lady of Solitude monastery, 550 Lake of Meadows Drive, Apolacon Twp., at the time of the alleged incidents.

The victim said he had massaged the Rev. Ferrara's penis with his feet on two occasions, according to the affidavit.

Archbishop Cyril Bustros of the Melkite Eparchy in Newton, Mass., released a statement that upon learning of the credible occurrence of abuse of a minor, the "Rev. Ferrara was immediately suspended and relieved of all priestly duties and placed in a treatment center for evaluation." Archbishop Bustros said the church"is profoundly saddened by this event and offers deep apologies and prayers to the victim and family. The Diocese of Newton is committed to the protection of all God's children and will take swift action in responding to all allegations of abuse."

The Rev. Ferrara is free on $10,000 unsecured bail. His formal arraignment is Tuesday, April 26

Read more:

Priest charged
Priest in court on sex assault charges
Updated: 15:49, Tuesday, 5 April 2011
A retired priest from the Diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork has been sent forward for trial on charges of indecently assaulting two teenage girls in the 1980s.

1 of 1 Diocese of Cloyne - Retired priest appears in court on indecent assault charges A retired priest from the Diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork has been sent forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court on charges of indecently assaulting two teenage girls in the 1980s.

Father Dan Duane, aged 72, of the Presbytery, Cecilstown, Mallow, Co. Cork, was served with the book of evidence in the case at the District Court in Mallow this morning.

He was charged with indecently assaulting the two women in the Mallow area on dates between 1 September 1980 and 1 April 1982.

Fr Duane was arrested and charged in February.

He was granted free legal aid today and was released on continuing bail.

The Silence

The SilenceOn air and online
April 19, 2011 at 9:00pmSUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE examines a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story -- decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska. Through candid interviews with survivors, this FRONTLINE report focuses on the abuse by a number of men who worked for the Church along Alaska's far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. All told, they would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country. As part of FRONTLINE's new magazine program, The Silence airs as the second segment on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS.

The Silence is a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT).

Press Release
The Silence
Segment 2 of FRONTLINE's new multistory magazine hour
Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS
Twitter: @frontlinepbs

FRONTLINE reveals a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska.

In The Silence, the second of two magazine segments airing Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS, FRONTLINE producer Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine the legacy of abuse by a number of men who worked for the Catholic Church along Alaska's far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country.

"I was just a kid," Ben Andrews tells FRONTLINE of the years of abuse he suffered at the hands of Father George Endal and Joseph Lundowski, a layman who was training to be a deacon. "Father Endal and Joseph Lundowski, they couldn't stop molesting me once they started. It was almost an everyday thing. Father Endal kept telling me that it would make me closer to God."

"I'm still having nightmares of Joseph Lundowski molesting, having sex with me," says Peter "Packy" Kobuk. "I get up sweating, angry, feel like I could hurt somebody, but I never meaned [sic] to get angry at my children, but the anger went on my children also."

"This was 1970," says Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa, who represented the Alaska victims against the church. "It was absolutely unthinkable that the Catholic Church could be involved in the sexual abuse of children. There was nowhere for the kids to hide. There was no one they could talk to. The adults believed the abusers over their own children. It was a perfect storm for molestation."

As part of the recent church settlement with the victims, the bishop of Fairbanks, Donald Kettler, was asked to do something that no other bishop in the country had done: return to all of the villages where the abuse occurred and apologize to the victims in person. In December 2010, FRONTLINE gained unique access to Bishop Kettler's visit to the village of St. Michael -- frequently referred to as "ground zero" for the abuse -- where the bishop would come face-to-face with the reality of the abuse that the church had refused to acknowledge for years.

"In St. Michael, we've had a great deal of our sexual abuse happen there," Bishop Kettler tells FRONTLINE. "So I am certainly conscious of the importance of this visit. I'm anxious insofar as I'm wondering how I will be received. What will happen? What I can do?"

In the days before the bishop arrives, Elsie Boudreau, one of the first Alaska survivors to file suit against the church, says: "I've seen how important it would be to have someone from the church say they're sorry. The bishop has that power to reach that little kid and say, 'It wasn't your fault; you did nothing wrong.' And I don't know if he's able to do that."

The Silence is a Lower 48 Films production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT). The writer and producer is Tom Curran. The reporter is Mark Trahant. The executive producer for NAPT is Shirley K. Sneve. The series senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and by Reva and David Logan. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and by the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. Additional funding for FRONTLINE's expanded broadcast season is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

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Chileans believe that the Catholic Church covers up sexual abuseSantiago : Chile | Apr 04, 2011 By faraway 1
0 Views: 40

Rate This PostToo Brief No Substance Poor Grammar & Spelling A survey conducted by the Chilean press pointed out that 88% of Chileans believe that the Catholic Church hid information about alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The survey, sponsored by the newspaper "La Tercera", also indicates that 74% of citizens believe that the Vatican did not respond adequately to complaints of abuses attributed to priests.

The assessment comes after Father Fernando Karadimas, one of the most influential of Chile in the 1980s, became responsible for seven complaints of sexual abuse and bribery of witnesses.

Karadimas denies the charges. He drove the Union of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose goal is "to form a spiritual bond in prayer and charity among the members. "

The survey reveals that only 10% of respondents believe that the Church did not attempt to hide cases.

The auxiliary bishop of Santiago, Cristian Contreras admitted that the Church's credibility is low and added that recognize these facts is a first element to come out "of the crisis.

Contreras declined to comment on statements by Cardinal Jorge Medina, who said, referring to the complainants of abuse allegedly committed by Karadimas, a 17 year old knows what he does.

The research, which has a confidence level of 95%, also questioned the Church's image for the Chileans. In this context, 24% of respondents classified as good, 32% as regular, and 21% as bad.

Furthermore, 59% of people believe that the Catholic Church has worsened over the years and 80% said confidence in the institution declined.

The AssemblyThe Assembly of Bishops of Chile, which begins on Monday, will discuss this topic

Church opposes extension of Statute of limitations
Catholic Church opposes statute change
Updated: Monday, 04 Apr 2011, 7:27 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 04 Apr 2011, 5:51 PM EDT

By: Mark Davis
Hartford, Conn (WTNH) - The Catholic Church in Connecticut has been given very high grades for its response to child abuse within its institutions, but some believe it is continuing its battle against adults who were abused long ago.

The trial for the first of some 90 plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Saint Francis Hospital begin this month. The plaintiffs are victims of the late Doctor George Reardon, who was abusing children for decades while he was working there.

"The goal of this bill is to recognize the heinous nature of crimes against children. Those are the crimes of child sexual abuse, by removing the statute of limitations going forward," said State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford).

Last year the Catholic Church managed to kill a bill that would have removed the statute of limitations retroactively. The statute of limitations expires 30 years after you reach your 18th birthday, but the church is still fighting against the revised bill.

"We clearly had a problem with the retroactiveness of last year's bill. We appreciate the prospectiveness of this bill, but that still is one of a number of issues," Michael Culhane from the Connecticut Catholic Conference said.

Brian Hotchkiss of Branford, is not part of the Reardon case, but says being able to take his child abuser to court, years after the fact, helped him recover.

"My recovery moved forward. I was able to see that I do have more courage. I was able to leave behind the stigma of what had happened to me when I was a child," Hotchkiss said.

But the church has introduced its own bill, that would make public entities, like cities, towns, and the state, open to similar law suits, saying that would only be fair.

"As it relates to this particular heinous crime, we think that the protection of all children are just what the issue is all about," Culhane said.

The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on both of these proposals sometime within the next two weeks.

Verger accused

Newcastle church official in court for sex charges
by Rob Pattinson, The Journal
Apr 5 2011
Colin James Adams verger at Newcastle's St Nicholas CathedralONE of the region's top church officials singled out a young altar server for sexual abuse, a court heard yesterday.

Colin James Adams, verger at Newcastle’s St Nicholas Cathedral, was married with three young children and living in a tied church cottage in Wales at the time offences are said to have been committed in the 1990s.

When he was arrested in January 2010 and questioned about the claims, he said he had been a mentor to the boy and denied there had ever been any sexual activity between them.

In a trial expected to last a week, at Cardiff Crown Court, the 58-year-old has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and one of buggery.

Susan Ferrier, prosecuting, told the court: “The boy was young and vulnerable and Colin James Adams spotted him and targeted him.

“He encouraged the teenager to spend time with him, took him on trips and forged a close relationship with him. It was manipulation and grooming of a young lad so that he could be used sexually.”

Ms Ferrier said the alleged victim had lived with his dreadful memories for years before finally finding the courage to make a complaint to the police.

“In cases of this nature that is not unusual,” she told the jury.

“It is embarrassing to have to talk about such matters.”

Adams was working for the Llandaff diocese at the time of the alleged offences, which the court heard had taken him to other churches outside Cardiff.

Read More

What happened to "zero tolerance"?
What Happened to ‘Zero Tolerance’?Published: April 1, 2011
. A meeting of the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops is scheduled for June. It needs to repair the gaping holes uncovered in their “zero tolerance” mandate for priests suspected of sexually abusing children.

Times Topic: Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse CasesA grand jury report in February found that the Philadelphia archdiocese, for all its announced safeguards, allowed 37 suspect priests to remain in parish work. The indictment of a layman and four church figures — including a monsignor accused of covering up abuse — is proof that the bishops’ system of local and national review boards isn’t strong enough.

Board appointees are supposedly equipped to scrutinize each diocese’s adherence to zero tolerance. But the grand jury in Philadelphia found that the hierarchy there continued to protect accused priests despite repeated scandals and vows for reform.

The leader of the Philadelphia review board pointed to one major weakness: currently, any allegations about rogue priests are first vetted by chancery officials working for the archdiocese. They rightly should go directly to the review boards. This should be a universal no-brainer, along with stronger outside auditing of safeguard programs. Both were initially required, but the bishops subsequently eased that to a policy of “self-reporting” with audits every three years.

The haunting question is how many other Philadelphias may be out there.

A church review panel of laypeople formed in 2002 looked beyond zero tolerance for priests and warned that “there must be consequences” for bishops who engineered cover-ups. More than 700 priests had to be dismissed in a three-year period. But there has been nothing close to an accounting of bishops’ culpability in protecting predatory priests and paying hush money to contain complaints. This is a fact for the bishops to ponder at their June meeting alongside the shocking grand jury report.

Accused priest gets pension
Priest accused of sex abuse gets pension
Monday, 04 April 2011 21:16 JB News .Catholic Church quietly closes sexual abuse case and retires priest with pension; priest’s accusers furious

The priest's accusers accused the church of cowardice for giving the benefit of the doubt to the retired priest (Photo: Colourbox)
The Catholic Church of Denmark is being criticised for secrecy and inaction in its handling of the cases of several priests accused of sexual abuse against young men.

The complaints follow the announcement by the church on Sunday that it had completed its last and most extensive investigation into the case of a priest who was suspended in April 2010 after being accused by five separate people of indecent exposure and sexual abuse.

In a brief statement the church announced that the official investigation into the complaints had been completed and that the priest would retire with pension as a result.

The church declined to reveal what its investigation into the complaints uncovered or why the priest retired.

“Our conclusion is that the case is closed and the suspension is lifted. The priest then asked if he could retire,” church spokesman Rev Niels Engelbrecht told Berlingske newspaper.

The bishop of the Diocese of Copenhagen, Czeslaw Kozon, however wrote in a letter to the people who filed the complaint against the priest that the church had not been able to determine whether the complaints were founded, and therefore chose to give the priest the benefit of the doubt.
Frederik Roed, one of the men who accused the priest of sexual misconduct, was angered by the church’s conclusion.

“I am deeply shocked that the Catholic bishop is choosing to close and conceal the case after five people, independently of one another, complained about the priest.”

He accused the church of cowardice by “letting the priest sneak off into retirement”.

“Doing so lets them avoid having to take up a fight and hold the priest accountable,” Roed said.

See related stories
Catholic Church to investigate priests for sexual assault

Church remained silent about child porn conviction

Civil suit
Donald McGuire: Abusive Priest Had Local Connection "Examining" Boy in St. CharlesBy Chad Garrison, Mon., Apr. 4 2011 @ 2:53PM Comments (3) Categories: Gettin' All Religious Up in Here, News, See You in Court!
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Fr. Donald McGuire
A civil suit filed last week in Chicago captured headlines across the nation and brought up more allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, including an incident occurring in Missouri in 1999.

Eighty-year-old Father Donald McGuire, a popular camp director and former spiritual adviser to Mother Theresa, has been serving a 25-year federal sentence since 2008 on charges of molesting minors over a period spanning four decades. The civil suit filed last Monday includes 65 new documents that plaintiff attorneys believe will show that Jesuit officials in Chicago ignored and kept hidden McGuire's sexual abuse despite dozens of warnings about the priest.

One incident involving McGuire occurred in the summer of 1999 when McGuire allegedly brought a 13-year-old boy with him to St. Charles while recovering from hip surgery. Below is part of an affidavit from a Homeland Security Officer investigating that incident.

Warning: It gets pretty strange.

Victim A stated that one of the early trips was to Missouri, where McGUIRE, Victim A, and some others stayed at the home of a physician who was treating McGUIRE after a surgery. While in Missouri, McGUIRE required Victim A to participate in a "general confession," covering his entire life up to that point.

During Victim A's confession, Victim A stated that he had engaged in masturbation. McGUIRE asked Victim A if he had done any harm to himself, and told Victim A that McGUIRE would have to inspect Victim A's penis in order to determine whether Victim A had harmed himself.

After the confession, McGUIRE took Victim A to McGUIRE's room and locked the door. McGUIRE had Victim A remove Victim A's clothes. McGUIRE told Victim A words to the effect of, he had "developed nicely," and used a magnifying glass to examine Victim A's penis. McGUIRE then sprayed the inside of Victim A's penis with baby oil, telling Victim A that this was so that McGUIRE could better tell if there had been any "damage" from the masturbation.

Victim A stated that after what happened in Missouri, McGUIRE's sexual abuse
continued to escalate. Over time, the sexual abuse included discussion of sexual topics, McGUIRE's purchasing and showing various forms of pornography to Victim A, McGUIRE's "massages" of Victim A's body and genitalia with various oils, McGUIRE's requiring Victim A to "massage" McGUIRE's body and genitalia with various oils, McGUIRE's requiring Victim A to shower with McGUIRE, McGUIRE's digital penetration of Victim A's anus, and McGUIRE's performing oral sex on Victim A. Victim A stated that McGUIRE engaged in some combination of these activities with Victim A practically every night between approximately May or June 1999 and August 2003, when the two were together.

The affidavit continues that after many years of allowing McGuire to stay in his home, the Missouri physician asked him to leave "primarily because he believed that McGUIRE was exercising inappropriate control over Victim A."

Read the entire affidavit here and more about McGuire at the site Bishop Accountability.

Coach pleads guilty
Former New York coach pleads guilty to 1970s sex assault in Boston
E-mail | Print Posted by Martin Finucane April 4, 2011 02:18 PM
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By Michael Rezendes and Scott Allen, Globe Staff

A former high-profile New York City basketball coach was convicted this morning of molesting a teenager while visiting Boston in the 1970s, under a plea deal that will allow him to avoid jail time.

Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Robert Oliva

Robert Oliva, who resigned as basketball coach at Christ the King Regional High School after the abuse allegations surfaced last year, could have faced two life sentences, if convicted of two counts of rape of a child. However, under an agreement with Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, Oliva pled guilty to rape as well as disseminating pornography in exchange for five years of probation, which he will serve while wearing a monitoring device on his ankle.

Oliva also agreed to never coach children again.

"I lost my childhood to Bob Oliva," said tearful victim Jimmy Carlino in a dramatic victim impact statement to Suffolk Superior Judge Carol S. Ball. Carlino has said he was molested more than 100 times by Oliva in several Northeastern states in the 1970s when Carlino was a teenager growing up in the Ozone Park section of Queens.

Carlino's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said today that he has filed a $20 million civil lawsuit in New York against Oliva, the Catholic diocese that oversees Christ the King Regional High School, as well as several other Catholic organizations. He said he wanted to know whether there had been sexual abuse complaints against Oliva that went unheeded.

The New York statute of limitations - the period after a crime during which prosecutors may file charges - for Oliva's alleged crimes expired long ago. But Conley's office was able to present evidence regarding sexual abuse that occurred in 1976 while Carlino -- then 14 -- and Oliva were in Boston to see a Red Sox-Yankees doubleheader. That's because the time limit on filing charges in Massachusetts stopped when Oliva left Massachusetts and returned to New York.

Carlino accepted the plea agreement, but one of the key witnesses in the case said Oliva belongs behind bars.

"Regardless of how long ago the deviant crime committed by Oliva was committed, and regardless that Oliva lives out of the state of Massachusetts, this plea deal is too lenient for the admitted sex offender Oliva," wrote Sam Albano to Judge Ball. "Oliva has continued his deviant ways as a sexual predator on young men, since this particular incident in 1976 and if not incarcerated will continue to be a threat to society." Albano was a former friend of Oliva who testified against him before the grand jury that indicted him.

Assistant District Attorney Leora Joseph said the plea deal achieved the district attorney's major goal, protecting children from abuse. Under the deal, Oliva cannot coach any longer and he will have to wear a monitoring device to track his movements while he's on probation. Oliva will serve his sentence in South Carolina where he now resides.

Assets to be seized
Irish State to seize religious order’s property to pay victim’s comp
Over $300 million in assets to be seized from church
By CATHAL DERVAN, Staff Writer

Published Monday, April 4, 2011, 7:23 AMUpdated Monday, April 4, 2011, 7:23 AM

Irish Education Minister Ruairi Quinn

Read more: US survivors plan to sue Archdiocese of Dublin and pedophile treatment center over clerical abuse

Read more: Irish Minister says religion in schools is a waste of class time

Irish religious orders will have property worth over $300million seized by the State to foot the bill for compensation for the victims of sexual abuse.

New Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has revealed that he will seize land and property from 18 religious orders to honor their financial commitments to victims of residential institutional abuse.

Quinn is to force religious orders to hand schools over to the Department of Education to meet the shortfall of over $300 million due from the 18 orders named in the Ryan Report.

The congregations had agreed to pay €476million as their half of the compensation due to victims which included €128million paid over in 2002.

The Sunday Times reports that of the new funds promised last year by the religious orders, only $35 million has been paid over.

“The religious orders owe us money,” Quinn told the Sunday Times.

“They have promised us some of the costs but they are still shy a couple of hundred million Euro.

“The deal that was originally done with the government was meant to be a 50-50 split of the €1.36billion bill. They are way short of that.

“They have no money but they have assets and I want the Irish taxpayer to get those assets. I want legal ownership of their schools.”

Quinn is to seek meetings with the 18 religious orders to facilitate the transfer of school buildings to the Department of Education but will leave the congregations in charge of the schools.

The Minister added: “I will meet with those religious orders who own substantial chunks of school educational property and I will be looking for the legal transfer of the ownership of their educational structure to the Department of Education and Skills.

“This will be done at no cost in return for equalizing the debt that is due to the state and the taxpayer.

“I am not trying to bankrupt them. I am simply saying to them that I know they don’t have cash but they have assets and to sign over their ownership of those assets to the State.”

Read more: US survivors plan to sue Archdiocese of Dublin and pedophile treatment center over clerical abuse

Read more: Irish Minister says religion in schools is a waste of class time

'Waiting to be counted': One man's story of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest
Published: Monday, April 04, 2011, 12:03 PM
By IVEY DEJESUS, The Patriot-News The Patriot-News

Print A boy is molested by his priest, the transgressions committed in the church rectory and in a car.

Inappropriate touching leads to depraved acts, and the boy, consumed by fear and confusion, tells no one.

Todd Frey says that happened to him in 1982, when he was 13.

View full sizeAnn Foster, The Patriot-NewsTodd Frey talks about his molestation by a Catholic priest when he was in his early teens.
The years have muddied the adolescent memories, but Frey sets them straight with the help of letters from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. The letters are for him as much affirmation that what happened to him was devastating as it was illegal.

In April 1996, then-Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo wrote to Frey to say: “The life of a bishop has many joys and many sorrows. The most profound of sorrows is for a bishop to discover that one of the priests of his diocese has betrayed his office by sexual misconduct.”

No criminal charges were ever leveled on Guy Marsico, a former priest assigned to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Rohrerstown, Lancaster County.

“I’m still struggling with this issue to this day,” said Frey, who lives in Lancaster County.

Now 42, Frey clings to assurances from his mother. Years of therapy have done little to ease his torment.

“I’m still stuck in the anger mode,” he said. “As a man, I should be able to say that happens, get over it. But I can’t.”

Frey puts a human face to the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church, its latest epicenter the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has suspended 23 priests pending investigation into a grand jury report that, over the course of decades, they molested countless minors.

A high-ranking church official also was indicted, charged with covering up years of abuse, the first time that has happened in the U.S.

Over the past two decades, the Catholic Church has paid out billions of dollars in settlements in the scandal — considered the Vatican’s worst crisis since the Reformation — involving parishes in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and others worldwide. Few priests have been criminally charged. The majority have faced civil suits.

Indeed, Frey’s story underscores the dilemma faced by clergy abuse victims in this country: For many, statutes of limitation have simply expired.

Frey and his family reported the abuse allegations to the Harrisburg Diocese in 1994, when he was 25. By then, the statute of limitations had expired. At the time, state law required allegations to be reported within five years after turning 18.

“The problem with Frey is everything happened in the ‘80s,” said Sean McCormack, chief deputy district attorney in the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Tormented for years, Frey last June contacted Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico’s office. The Marsicos are not related.

Diocesan spokesman Joe Aponick said the church, back in 1994, launched an immediate investigation and removed Guy Marsico from the priesthood. The church also paid for Frey’s counseling and medication, and remains willing to work with Frey.

Under the current statute of limitation, sexual abuse victims who were minors when they were assaulted have legal recourse up to the age of 50.

Statutes of limitations, once expired, cannot be re-applied even if the Legislature extends the statute.

“One of the sad things with these abuse situations is everybody is affected differently,” said McCormack, head of the child abuse unit. “It can be a lifetime. It can affect someone for life.”

Guy Marsico now works as a midstate travel agent. The Patriot-News spoke with Guy Marsico for this story, but he declined to comment.

Morally wrong

As a fourth-grader at St. Leo the Great, Todd Frey was a timid boy who often fended off bullying from classmates. He aspired to become a priest and found an ally in Father Guy, a popular confessor and wedding celebrant.

The priest forged a special bond with the boy, and when he was transferred to St. Rose of Lima in York, he invited the boy to spend the weekend at his new parish.

Only Frey provides an account of what he said happened that night — and again several other times. But his words bear weight against the letters the diocese sent him in the wake of their investigation into his allegations.

The letters from the diocese lack details, but they acknowledge that what happened to him was a “source of pain and anguish.” A letter from the Rev. Paul C. Helwig, then-secretary for clergy and religious life, mentions Marsico by name and the investigation that eventually led to his dismissal from the ministry.

“The diocese presented your report to the priest and, after appropriate inquiry, he was relieved of his duties. He is no longer active in priestly ministry,” the letter states.

In a letter, Datillo acknowledged his profound sorrows at learning that one of his priests had betrayed his office by sexual misconduct.

Frey said that, on that night at St. Rose of Lima, after Mass and dinner, the priest led the boy to his rectory bedroom. The room had two beds, but one was covered in boxes. The priest told the boy he could sleep with him. The boy asked if he could have his own bed.

“He said, ‘No. You will sleep with me,’” Frey said.

The priest ordered the boy to bed, then began to fondle the boy, Frey said. Eventually, the priest made the boy fondle him, Frey said.

“He gradually pulled his hands towards his crotch and he put his hands on my crotch,” Frey said.

The boy was confused and frightened.

“He orally manipulated me,” Frey said. “His mouth went down to my crotch area. I should’ve jumped out of bed and gone to the police ... but did not. I felt I was under his control.”

Frey said he passed out and to this day believes the priest drugged him.

After that, the priest began to take the boy on drives, sometimes to nearby places, other times to out-of-state parishes. Frey said Marsico liked to drive around York County, pointing out adult bookstores and bars.

“He’d touch my legs all the time,” he said. “And he would tell off-color jokes. Jokes a priest shouldn’t tell.”

Frey was 16, a student at Lancaster Catholic High School, when he said he told his mother of the abuse. By then, he was failing classes and using drugs. His mother didn’t know what to do and did not call police.

“That’s how things were done back then,” she said. “We knew it was morally wrong, but didn’t know it was legally wrong. There wasn’t anything you could do. You didn’t go to police. You went to the diocese.”

The clergy sex abuse scandal has confirmed what once seemed preposterous to her. But she says she never doubted her son.

“It was such a different time,” she said. “In our lives, the priest was above people.”

At 18, Frey entered a drug rehabilitation center.

Relieved of duties

In 1994, 12 years after the alleged abuse happened, Frey and his parents contacted the Harrisburg Diocese. The diocese launched an immediate investigation.

That August, the family received a letter written on plain paper and dated Aug. 8, 1994:

“I write to you with deepest regret. My words may not be many, but they are heartfelt. ... no words could ever begin to express how sorry I am for having hurt you —— all of you ... I’m a very different person today ... I pray that God will bring you healing. I also pray that with time and His help, He might move you to forgive me. If you were able to look into my heart and soul you would see how regretful I am...”

The letter had no return address and was signed simply: Guy.

The diocese says it has no knowledge of this letter. Frey said he has little doubt the letter was written by his former priest.

A few months later, Helwig wrote a two-page letter to Frey informing him that Marsico had been relieved of his church duties and acknowledging “a pastoral responsibility to assist you in working toward recovery and healing.”

The diocese had arranged for Marsico to pay for Frey’s therapy and medication, Helwig wrote. But Frey’s request for financial compensation — $975,000, a sum he calculated would cover pain and suffering, loss of wages and the educational expenses incurred by his parents — raised serious questions, Helwig wrote.

“Since prior to your report the diocese was not aware of any problems the priest may have had, it was determined that the diocese cannot be responsible for the actions of a priest which are performed for his own ends and which are condemned rather than approved by the Church,” Helwig wrote.

Dattilo was not “at liberty to disburse diocesan funds in cases like this where there is no legal responsibility on the part of the Church,” he wrote. “These funds were contributed by the people of the diocese for the ministries of the Church.”

The diocese had no knowledge of the sexual abuse at the time and, therefore, bore “no legal responsibility for his actions and consequently has no legal obligation to provide financial compensation,” wrote Dattilo, who passed away in 2004.

The church’s Victim Assistance Program tends to the “real needs” of victims, ranging from tuition, therapy and aid for the family, Aponick said. Financial compensation is typically connected to a cost incurred by the victim.

“I trust Bishop Dattilo made the right ministerial judgment on it,” Aponick said.

Aponick said the Diocese eventually lost contact with Frey.

McCormack believes that the Harrisburg Diocese is diligent about contacting law enforcement authorities any time it receives abuse allegations.

“I think they’ve been out in front of this issue more so than many other places in the country,” said McCormack, who has headed the child abuse unit since 1995.

In 2004, Dattilo reported that the Harrisburg Diocese paid out $1.9 million from 1950 through 2002 in connection with 35 credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against 22 priests, according to, a Massachusetts-based online watchdog.

Aponick said in most allegations, the priest has been dead for years.

‘A tremendous betrayal’

Jason Berry, an award-winning writer on the clergy sex abuse scandal, counts Frey among the thousands of “walking wounded.”

“Even though many people tend to be knee-jerk cynical about the culture of victimization, the reality is that there are many people whose lives have been thwarted, harmed, in some cases, deeply damaged,” said Berry, whose latest book, “Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church,” was released last summer. “If there were a fair mechanism by which they could get compensation, it would help them at least get on their feet or have a shot at a happier existence.”

Berry has heard countless victims talk about the trauma of the abuse.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” Berry said. “Most abuse survivors feel a tremendous betrayal, not just from the priest but the church hierarchy. It has a searing affect on their spiritual life. The notion that somehow faith itself abandoned them.”

Barbara Blaine, the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an influential advocacy group for victims of clerical sexual abuse, said the diocese’s refusal to award Frey the $975,000 smacks of insensitivity and loopholes.

“It shows a disregard for the pain and suffering of victims,” said Blaine.

In 1995, Blaine received an $80,000 out-of-court settlement from the Toledo, Ohio diocese after she threatened legal action against the diocese and a priest, she said, sexually abused her for years.

“For a bishop to claim they can’t help because they didn’t know about it is ludicrous and it’s insensitive,” said Blaine, pointing out that Pope Benedict has urged the Catholic church “to do all it can to help victims.”

Bishop Joseph McFadden, who took over the Harrisburg Diocese last summer, said he has reached out to Frey, inviting him to visit and talk, and explore spiritual healing.

McFadden said that throwing money at an injury isn’t going to help victims heal.

“For some people it may be easy to say, ‘Here just take $50,000 and tell them to go away.’ That’s not a proper response for a church,” he said. “The church needs to embrace victims and try to help them put their life back together the best they can. We can’t put it back together perfectly because something has been stolen that cannot be replaced. But I would suggest that the idea that money somehow replaces that, money does not. What replaces it really is care, concern, compassion for the victims, a willingness to hold them and walk the journey with them.”

Blaine said recovery from clergy sex abuse is difficult. Victims commonly abuse drugs and alcohol, or have eating disorders. Many remain marginalized, unable to maintain jobs and relationships.

“We have difficulty with intimacy — that means sexual relationships, but even ordinary relationships,” she said. “Many have strained relationships with family members.”

An issue of trust

Todd Frey’s mother is exhausted with the past.

“It doesn’t mean it’s not important,” she said. “But it’s been 25 years. It’s old. I’m tired of it. It’s disgusting. It’s so aged, I wish it would disappear.”

She has left the Catholic Church.

Frey has been baptized a Mennonite. He struggles to have healthy relationships and has never married nor been in a long-term relationship.

“I don’t trust people. I have a tremendous trust issue,” said Frey, who joined SNAP a few months ago.

He keeps envelopes and folders filled with copies of letters from attorneys and details of interactions over the years with the Harrisburg Diocese.

“I’m looking for validation,” Frey said. “I have people say, ‘Move on.’ I haven’t. I’m still waiting to be counted.”