News Story of the Day

Erie bishop seen as a reformer by some - but not by clergy sex abuse victims

By Ivey DeJesus, May 23, 2018, PennLive

Late last week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie added six names to the list of clergy and staff that have been credibly accused of child sex molestation.

The names joined the list of 51 other names that in April were first made public by the head of the diocese, Bishop Lawrence Persico.

It's become the modus operandi for a cleric fast earning the moniker of a reformer: the idea, that is, of a bishop who offers up a measure of transparency from within an institution known for its historically secretive and guarded confines.

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Archbishop Philip Wilson found guilty of concealing child sex abuse

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been put on notice that he could expect a jail term after he was found guilty on Tuesday of concealing historical child abuse allegations against another priest.

In a landmark decision that could have wide-reaching implications for other high-ranking clergy members, Magistrate Robert Stone found Archbishop Wilson had been told by a 15-year-old boy in 1976 that he had been indecently assaulted by notorious Hunter paedophile priest Father James Fletcher, but chose not to go to the authorities despite believing the allegations were true.

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Two decades later, pastor charged with sexual assault of boy in Evanston hotel

By Nader Issa, Chicago Sun Times, May 21, 2018

A former Catholic priest with Chicago ties is facing criminal charges for the first time, nearly two decades after he resigned from his post amid several allegations of child sex abuse.

The case that eventually landed 56-year-old Kenneth Lewis in the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Saturday in Chicago stems from a decade-old allegation of child molestation in an Evanston hotel room, according to a police source in the northern suburb.

In that incident, “Father Ken,” a former pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy on a trip in late July 2001, in a hotel at 1501 Sherman Ave., the Evanston police source told the Chicago Sun-Times. The hotel at that address is now the Holiday Inn Chicago North.

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[Juan Carlos Cruz on the Resignation Of Bishops: "Let Them Pack Their Suitcases"] Juan Carlos Cruz Por Renuncia De Obispos: "Que Preparen Las Maletas Los Que Se Tienen Que Ir"

CHILE--Rio Bueno Noticias (RBN)  May 19, 2018

[Juan Carlos Cruz on the Resignation Of Bishops: "Let Them Pack Their Suitcases"Translation follows

Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante de los abusos sexuales al interior de la iglesia Católica, conversó con 24 Tarde para entregar sus impresiones respecto a la decisión de los obispos que este viernes pusieron su cargo a disposición del Papa Francisco.

. . .

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Rundown of sex abuse within the Catholic church

By Agence France-Presse, Manila Bulletin, May 19, 2018

All of Chile’s bishops offered to resign Friday over child sex cover-up claims dating back decades, the latest in a series of abuse scandals facing the Catholic Church globally.

Here is a rundown of other notable cases:

 Australia

The third-highest member of the Vatican hierarchy, Australian George Pell was ordered in May to stand trial on “multiple” historical sex charges, which he denies.

His case coincided with an Australian public enquiry that found that seven percent of priests were accused of paedophilic acts between 1950 and 2010.

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Some, not all dioceses, join pledge not to oppose grand jury report release

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Shielding predators: Church leaders oppose measures to benefit sexual abuse victims

May 17, 2018, Watertown Daily Times

In opposing various measures that would benefit victims of child sexual abuse, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are once again circling the wagons.

And Republican members of the state Senate have helped them. They have for years blocked legislation that would eliminate “the statutes of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.

This act also creates a one-year revival period for previously time-barred civil actions which alleged conduct representing the commission of certain sexual offenses committed against a child less than 18 years of age,” according to language in S809, also known as the Child Victims Act.

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'Deeply sorry' Pingry School settles lawsuit with 21 alleged sex abuse victims

One of New Jersey's most elite private schools says it will improve programs to protect students on its campus as part of a settlement reached last week with 21 victims of alleged sexual abuse at the school.

The Pingry School also reached a financial settlement with the victims for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement released Friday.

"We are deeply sorry for the abuse the survivors experienced while at our school and the pain they have endured since. Their courage in coming forward is extraordinary," Jeffrey Edwards, chairman of Pingry's board of trustees, said in the statement.

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Ohio Pastor Had Sex With 2 Underage Girls: DOJ

By Chris Mosby, Toledo Patch, May 14, 2018

TOLEDO, OH — A former Toledo-area pastor had sex with two underage girls, including a victim of sexual abuse, according to a plea agreement released by the Department of Justice. Kenneth Butler will now likely spend the next 17 years of his life in prison.

"This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children."

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PA--Priest case stirs debate over statute of limitations

Opinion by Ed Palattella, May 13, 2018, GoErie.com

In his latest effort, state Rep. Mark Rozzi wants the General Assembly to pass a law that would give the victims retroactive access to the civil courts.

The prosecution of the Rev. David Poulson, the Catholic Diocese of Erie priest charged on Tuesday with child sexual abuse, will take place in Jefferson County, where Poulson owns a hunting camp.

The Jefferson County connection was notable to state Rep. Mark Rozzi.

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