News Story of the Day

Sex-abuse report looms over Catholic dioceses


PA State Grand Jury Investigates Six Catholic Dioceses: What you need to know

By Joelle Casteix, The Worthy Adversary, April 15, 2018

Cease and desist letters, bully tactics, salacious rumors, lists of accused, Cardinal Roger Mahony and … Bill Cosby? They are all a part of the big picture surrounding the PA state grand jury investigation of six local Catholic dioceses.

If you live in or around Pennsylvania and are concerned with issues anywhere within the state’s borders (or the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal), you’ve probably heard about the statewide grand jury investigation of six Catholic dioceses across the state.

The result of the two-year investigation, which will be issued in report form, should be released in the beginning of May. The report may or may not include the presentation of criminal charges.


The Latest: Cops: Abuse victims should call us, not church

AP News, April 13, 2018

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the hiring of a judge to help the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese deal with allegations of sexual abuse . . .  

Police investigating sexual abuse in the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese say people who believe they’re victims should contact law enforcement agencies — not church representatives.

The task force released a statement Friday after church officials announced the appointment of a judge to handle sexual abuse complaints. Investigators say the hiring of Michael Talbot appears to be a “positive thing.” But they also say the diocese “cannot and should not be used as a clearinghouse for the reporting of crimes.”

 


3 church sex abuse survivors to meet with Pope

By Rosa Flores, CNN, April 13, 2018

(CNN)After apologizing for "grave errors" in the handling of a Chilean sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis will be welcoming three survivors to the Vatican in two weeks, according to survivor Juan Carlos Cruz.

Cruz says the Vatican reached out to him last Saturday, inviting the three Chileans to be the Pope's guests from April 26 to May 1.
The survivors will spend time with Francis as a group on April 28 and 29, Cruz said, plus hold individual meetings with the Pope. He says he wants to make the meetings not just about them but all the survivors of church sex abuse worldwide.

Pope Francis admits 'serious mistakes' in Chile sex abuse case

By Gerard O’Connell, April 11, 2018, America

In what has the appearance of the beginning of an earthquake in the Chilean church, Pope Francis has sent a strong letter to the Chilean bishops in which he speaks of his “pain and shame” on receiving the report on the abuse scandal in Chile from Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta. He had sent Archbishop Scicluna to listen to the victims of abuse last February.

In the three-page letter, he admits his own “serious mistakes” in dealing with this scandal and asks for forgiveness and goes on to take two dramatic steps: He summons the entire Chilean hierarchy to meet him in the Vatican and invites the three main accusers of Bishop Barros to meet him there too at a different time.


East Brunswick rabbi allegedly tied to child sex trafficking case

CentralJersey.com, Apr 10, 2018

Two individuals who allegedly forced a child into commercial sex acts at multiple hotels throughout Middlesex, Bergen and Essex counties appeared in court on April 10 with one of their alleged customers to face federal sex trafficking charges.

Richard Ortiz, 22, and Gabriella Colon, 18, both of the Bronx, New York, are charged by complaint with two counts of sex trafficking of a child and one count of transporting a minor in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Aryeh Goodman, 35, of East Brunswick, is charged in a separate complaint with one count of sex trafficking of a child.


Alabama evangelist charged with sexual abuse of teen boy

By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group, April 11, 2018, AJC.com

An Alabama evangelist, public speaker and author was arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Paul Edward Acton Bowen, 37, of Southside, was booked on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse and enticing a child for immoral purposes, according to Jefferson County Jail records. He was released early Wednesday morning on $90,300 bail. 

AL.com reported that an investigation into Bowen by the Hoover Police Department began about three weeks ago. An arrest warrant was issued on Monday.


Lawsuit alleges sex abuse coverup by Bergen Catholic wrestling program, report says

By Matthew Stanmyre and Patrick Lanni, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A 12-count lawsuit filed Monday in state Superior Court in Bergen County alleges coaches from the powerhouse Bergen Catholic High wrestling team engaged in sexual and verbal harassment of at least one wrestler while the school administration conspired to keep the abuse under wraps.

News of the lawsuit was first reported by northjersey.com.

The lawsuit alleges Bergen Catholic head coach Dave Bell "inappropriately undressed with minors and watched wrestlers, including Plaintiff, change in the locker room, which they were completely nude or partially nude." It also claims assistant coach Dominick "Donnie" Spataro "showed pornographic and nude photographs of himself and others on his mobile phone to Plaintiff and other minor wrestlers, including photographs of his own nude body including his depictions of his penis."


Priest who taught at 2 Buffalo area high schools was target of sex abuse complaint

By

A priest who taught students at two Buffalo-area Catholic high schools for more than a decade was suspended from any public ministry in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor, The Buffalo News confirmed this week.

The Rev. Michael M. Lewandowski, now 71, was suspended after the allegation was made in May 2014, according to the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa.

The Franciscan priest lived in the Buffalo area and taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and at Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda at various times from 1976 to 1991, according to directories published by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. While the complaint made against Lewandowski alleges that the misconduct occurred during the period of time when he was at the two Buffalo area high schools, Buffalo Diocese officials declined to say whether the alleged abuse took place in the Buffalo area.


Vatican arrests diplomat involved in Ontario child porn scandal

By Hamilton Spectator, April 7, 2018, The Hamilton Spectator

Windsor police issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Monsignor Carlo Capella last September

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Saturday arrested a diplomat recalled from Washington last year amid investigations in Canada, the United States and the Vatican for possession of child pornography.

A Vatican statement said that Monsignor Carlo Capella was being held in gendarmerie barracks inside the Vatican, and that his arrest follows a Vatican investigation.

Police in Windsor, Ontario, said Capella allegedly uploaded child porn to a social networking site while visiting a place of worship from over the 2016 Christmas holiday. In the statement, Windsor police accused Capella of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.


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