News Story of the Day
HACKENSACK – Newark Archbishop John J. Myers visited the Bergen County Courthouse on Thursday, months after a local priest was arrested on seven counts accusing him of violating a lifetime ban on ministering to children, charges that were referred to a grand jury.
The priest, the Rev. Michael Fugee, a former assistant pastor of a Wyckoff parish, was found guilty in 2003 of groping a teenage boy, but the conviction was overturned three years later because of a judicial error. He and the archdiocese later signed an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that barred him from working with children. He was returned to the ministry in 2009.
Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor.
With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according topolice records.
In the last six months countless thousands, if not millions of words have been written about Pope Francis but this apparently minute scrutiny of the new global superstar seems to be missing at least one detail which is not minor — his opinion of Father Julio César Grassi, whose conviction for child-molesting at a children’s foundation has just been upheld. Or perhaps rather more to the point (since Pope Francis now has a universal Church in his charge), the opinion of Jorge Bergoglio who was the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires during all the 11 years which the saga of the Grassi case have lasted so far without any known views on the issue.
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Archbishop Robert Carlson testified under oath Thursday, giving a deposition in a criminal case involving a subordinate priest accused of witness tampering and sexual misconduct with a minor girl.
The Lincoln County Prosecutor questioned Carlson behind closed doors at the Rigali Center in Shrewsbury, while protestors picketted on the sidewalk urging him to “tell the truth.”
CINCINNATI - Judy Jones says she knows how hard it is for people who are sexually abused by priests to come forward.
“I grew up in southeast Ohio and my brother was sexually abused. My parents wouldn’t even believe their own son,” said Jones, Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “That’s why I’m here.”
Members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is taking news about two abuse case settlements to call on the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to better notify the public when a priest has been accused of sexual misconduct.
The priests in question had both worked in Pittsburgh, though the abuse allegations come from other places they worked.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in Missouri are seeking a 50-year prison term for a Roman Catholic priest who admitted taking pornographic photos of children.
The Rev. Shawn Ratigan faces sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. The 47-year-old priest pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn -- one count for each of five victims.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has announced it will hold a confidential supporting meeting next Wednesday at the downtown library. You can find more details here. The group emphasizes that, though the group name mentions priests, it is open to anyone harmed by a predator in an institutional setting.
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis came under fire from victims groups on Thursday following news that he had quietly sacked the Vatican's envoy to the Dominican Republic over allegations of paedophilia.
"Like all of his predecessors, Pope Francis is acting belatedly, secretively and recklessly," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Three men allegedly abused as boys by prominent priest Fernando Karadima in the 1980s filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Chilean Catholic Church.
In the 450 million peso ($900,000) suit, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo accuse the church of negligence for initially ignoring their complaints about the priest.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.