News Story of the Day
By Jacey Fortin, May 31, 2018, New York Times
In one of the biggest settlements of its kind, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to establish a $210 million trust fund for hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse, the archbishop announced on Thursday.
The plan is the result of a yearslong battle and arduous negotiations in one of the country’s most high-profile cases involving abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
If approved, the settlement will be the largest ever for a sex abuse case involving an archdiocese that has filed for bankruptcy protection and the second largest over all, said Terry McKiernan, co-director and president of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks clergy sex abuse cases. (According to the website, the largest settlement, $660 million, was reached by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 survivors in 2007.)
ST. LOUIS • A Roman Catholic priest twice accused of misconduct involving children will no longer be assigned to a new St. Louis parish after an outpouring of concern from parents, officials with the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced Wednesday.
The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang had recently been appointed associate pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, which is in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood and includes a K-8 school.
The priest was previously charged with statutory sodomy in St. Louis and child endangerment in a Lincoln County case, but charges in both were dropped several years ago. Jiang denied the allegations, and a jury sided with him last year in a civil suit tied to the Lincoln County case.
By, May 27, 2018, The Buffalo News
When a mother complained that the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits propositioned her teenage son in a bar, the Diocese of Buffalo quietly sent him away for mental health therapy and listed him as "on leave" in its official 1979 directory.
Then, within months, the diocese reassigned him to a new parish, where he later was accused of molesting at least two boys.
Orsolits isn't the only Buffalo priest accused of sexual abusing children who had been marked as "on leave" and then put back into a parish.
By Ivey DeJesus, May 29, 2018, PennLive
In the mid-2000s, when then-Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham launched an investigation into clergy sex abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, she was assailed for waging a campaign against the Roman Catholic Church.
It was a virtual repeat of what had played out just a few years prior in 2002 in Boston. That year, officials at the Archdiocese of Boston accused The Boston Globe of mounting an anti-Catholic agenda after the paper published a series of scathing reports detailing decades of molestation of thousands of children by priests and its systemic cover up by church officials.
WTRF.com, May 28, 2018
The Diocese of Steubenville has received what it considers to be credible allegations of sexual abuse against retired diocesan priest Msgr. Mark J. Froehlich.
Due to the allegations, he has been removed from active ministry.
The "Chapter for the Protection of Children and Young People," which are special laws approved by the Holy Father to deal with child abuse, are handling the case.
By Ivey DeJesus, May 23, 2018, PennLive
He has been here before; several times. Each time he has come close to achieving his goal.
Now Pennsylvania's most recognizable advocate for victims of child sexual abuse says the time has come to once and for all reform the law so that all victims can seek legal recourse.
State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, on Wednesday laid out a case as to why his legislative agenda to reform the statute of limitations may finally make it all the way to the governor's desk.
Christine Brennan, USA TODAY Sports, May 23, 2018
WASHINGTON — The new post-Nassar leadership of the U.S. Olympic movement was on full display for all to see Wednesday morning at a Congressional hearing focused on the terrible sex abuse scandals in the nation’s Olympic sports.
Everyone was so calm, so measured, so lawyerly, so sorry — and so full of excuses about how they weren’t around when all the bad stuff happened, but now care very much about what has become the worst scandal in U.S. Olympic history and are doing their best to try to put a stop to it.
As a Teen, Emily Joy Was Abused by a Church Youth Leader. Now She’s Leading a Movement to Change Evangelical America.
MAY. 25, 2018, Mother Jones Magazine
#ChurchToo has opened the floodgates.
The #MeToo stories that were flooding Emily Joy’s social feeds for weeks had been nagging at her. Last November, as her own story played on a loop in her mind, she finally texted a group of close friends: “Do I out my high school abuser? Probably, huh?”
Joy’s story is familiar in all the ways we’ve become intimately acquainted with over the last six-plus months. But while the accused was a man in a position of power over his victim, her story also had a key difference: Joy’s abuser was a trusted member of her evangelical church.
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.
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.
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.