News Story of the Day
May 9, 2018, The Buffalo News
Entering into a fight is sometimes the only way to get what you want. Other times, it just leaves you with a black eye. That’s what is happening to the Catholic Church as it fights to keep some victims of sexual abuse from seeking redress.
A story in Monday’s Buffalo News detailed how the New York State Catholic Conference spent $1.8 million over six years on lobbying in Albany, including a push to stop the Child Victims Act, a bill that would make it easier for victims of child molestation to file lawsuits or bring criminal charges against their abusers.
The bill, which passed the Assembly last week but faces long odds for approval in the state Senate, would create a one-year window in which victims could file civil lawsuits for alleged abuse, bypassing the statute of limitations.
By Rochelle Alleyne, May 8, 2018, Spectrum News Jamestown
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Billboards calling out several local senators for allegedly not supporting the Child Victims Act have popped up along the 190 in South Buffalo.
The woman behind them is Kat Sullivan, a New York City based survivor of childhood sexual abuse that has been following this law for more than a decade.
As early as this month, the findings of a grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse across six Pennsylvania dioceses could be released by the state's Office of Attorney General.
The findings into the abuse of children by priests and church workers in the dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, Allentown, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Eric would mark the latest chapter into the decades-old clergy sex abuse scandal in this country.
May 7, 2018, Buffalo News
The state's Catholic Conference has spent $1.8 million over six years lobbying Albany to, among other things, derail a bill to make it easier for sex abuse victims to sue.
The Democratic-led state Assembly approved the Child Victims Act last week, but its prospects for passage in the Republican-led Senate are less likely.
The act's most controversial provision would open a one-year window in which victims currently blocked by New York's statute of limitations could sue for damages linked to decades-old abuses. But the Catholic Conference says the act would force institutions to defend misconduct "about which they have no knowledge, and in which they had no role."
May 6, 2018, The Buffalo News
Diocese of Buffalo officials assigned the Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski to work in parishes for more than a decade after he was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage girl in a church rectory.
The priest started his sexual advances on the girl when she was a 15-year-old parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Barker, according to a 1995 letter sent by her lawyer to diocese officials.
The letter from Rochester attorney Charles A. West Jr. to then-Bishop Edward D. Head alleged that Maryanski's sexual advances escalated from hugging and kissing to sex. The abuse is alleged to have started in the mid-1980s, when Maryanski was pastor of St. Patrick Church.
BY GARTH STAPLEY, May 04, 2018, Modesto Bee
The same firm is conducting separate clergy sex scandal investigations of two former youth pastors at Modesto's First Baptist Church, both of whom went on to long ministry careers elsewhere after church leaders here covered up their alleged abuse.
Virginia-based GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, has been hired by Scottsdale Bible Church to sort things out in the wake of Les Hughey's recent resignation from Highlands, a church Hughey founded 20 years ago, also in Scottsdale. Hughey, 64, stepped down after The Modesto Bee revealed accusations of him having sex with girls in the Modesto congregation four decades ago.
GRACE also is investigating Brad Tebbutt, who was a youth pastor at First Baptist in Modesto when he sexually abused another girl 30 years ago. Another Modesto pastor said Tebbutt confessed to him, and Tebbutt's current employer, the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, hired GRACE, run by a grandson of the late Billy Graham.
By STEPHEN HUBA, May 4, 2018, TribLive
Two Altoona Franciscan friars will serve five years' probation for their part in covering up the child sexual abuse committed by Brother Stephen Baker in the 1990s, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
The friars, Robert D'Aversa, 70, and Anthony Criscitelli, 63, entered no-contest pleas Friday to endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor, Shapiro said.
They are among the first religious leaders in the United States, and the first members of a Pennsylvania religious order, to be held criminally liable for covering up sexual abuse of children by other clergy.
May 1, 2018, The Buffalo News
It’s not just priests.
It’s also teachers, Scout leaders, Little League coaches and more. Pedophiles know their prey: who the most vulnerable are; where to find them; how to approach them and, critically, how to silence them.
Too often, they move from place to place, finding new targets while the public is left in an ignorance that, in some instances, has been deliberately imposed by institutional leaders. It needs to change.
By Adam Baidawi, April 30, 2018, The New York Times
MELBOURNE, Australia — Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, must stand trial on several charges of sexual abuse, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday, promising to prolong a case that has already dragged on for months, and which many see as a moment of reckoning for a church racked by scandal.
Belinda Wallington, a Melbourne magistrate, found there was sufficient evidence for prosecutors to bring the cardinal’s case to trial, ending a two-month pretrial hearing, in which witnesses described abuse they said took place decades ago.
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.