News Story of the Day

Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms

Published Feb. 10, 2019

First of three parts

Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez's voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders.

She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.


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By Kate Snow, Aliza Nadi and Rich Schapiro

When the clock struck 8 p.m. inside the Aritao boarding school in the Philippines, the children would gather in a common area for their evening routine.


State AGs double down on objections to Church’s handling of sex abuse

NEW YORK - Two state attorneys general that have issued reports on the Catholic Church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases doubled-down on Monday, defending their efforts and saying the Church cannot be responsible for policing itself.


With narrow window to sue, New York abuse survivors must act now

The passage of New York’s Child Victims Act, the result of a long-fought war for childhood sexual abuse survivors and an important precedent for other states to follow, provides a narrow window of opportunity for survivors to come forward. In 2003, I was one of the attorneys who led civil litigation for a precedent-setting case after California opened a one-year window lifting the statute of limitation for claims against private institutions. During that litigation, hundreds of clergy abuse victims came forward, including 25 who united to end decades of child-endangering secrecy by the Roman Catholic religious order known as the Franciscan Friars. The litigation forced the publication of secret files documenting abuse by Franciscan priests and brothers.


Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Encouraged to Speak Out

AUSTIN, Texas — Thursday's public release by the Roman Catholic Church listing almost 300 former Texas priests was a long time coming for clergy sexual abuse survivors like Carol Midboe, who came forward years ago and now volunteers with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.


Catholic Church in Texas Names Nearly 300 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse

By Liam Stack

The Roman Catholic Church in Texas on Thursday released the names of almost 300 priests who it said had been credibly accused of child sex abuse over nearly eight decades.


UN panel probes Italy’s role in Church’s child abuse scandals

ROME - A United Nations Committee for the protection of minors questioned the Italian government last week about clerical sexual abuse in the country, expressing concern over laws that protect predator priests from criminal charges.


$60 million settlement proposed in sex abuse lawsuit against New England Jesuits, others

More than 130 young men who say they were molested at a Haitian school would be paid $60 million under a proposed settlement with a New England-based group of Jesuits, Fairfield University, and others, lawyers for the former students announced Friday.


Accused priest resigns from Vatican's doctrinal congregation

ROME — One of the department heads at the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has resigned from his post, days after an NCR report noted he had been accused of soliciting a woman for sex in the confessional.


‘I’m a mad DA’: Brett Ligon won’t back down from investigating Conroe priest accused of molesting children

Brett Ligon has not been to Mass since the Sept. 11 arrest of Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez. A longtime Catholic, he was married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe in 1993 and moved in recent years to St. Matthias the Apostle in Magnolia.

Now the district attorney of Montgomery County, he can’t bring himself to go back.


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