News Story of the Day

The Record: Children first

A pastor in Oradell allowed a priest to stay in his rectory who had been accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy. The Rev. Thomas Iwanowski and a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said allowing Monsignor Robert Chabak to stay at St. Joseph's rectory was "an act of compassion." We ask: "To whom?"

Certainly not to the boy who was allegedly molested in the 1970s. The archdiocese removed Chabak from ministry in 2004 after it determined there was credible evidence to support the allegations. The statute of limitations had passed, and no criminal charges were filed. In May, the archdiocese was made aware of a second allegation regarding Chabak.

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Mercy, charity lose all meaning amid deafening silence of nuns

SILENCE can build walls, not to protect but exclude. It is not always golden or calming – silence has the capacity to shatter peace and cause pain.

The four congregations who owned the Magdalene Laundries have declined either to contribute to a redress fund for survivors, or to explain why they won't. Their silence injures the mainly elderly victims of laundries, but it is also damaging to the nuns.

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Newark Archdiocese stirs outrage after allowing accused molester to live in parish

Parishioners at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Oradell first noticed the man in November. Each night, he slept in the rectory. Every morning, he attended Mass in the soaring brick church, across the street from the parish’s elementary school.

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Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Press Vatican for Answers

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 2013 (IPS) - Mary Caplan was just 14 years old, and her father was dying of cancer. When she went to the local priest in her hometown of Jersey City to ask for prayers and help, he sexually abused her, and went on to do so for the next two and a half years.

“[The priest] told me there was a way that I could have a miracle for my father,” Caplan told IPS. “If I did certain things to him, because he represented Jesus, my father would have a miracle.”

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Lawsuit says St. Louis archbishop knew priest was threat to kids

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson knew that a priest was a danger to children before that priest was charged last year with molesting a teenage girl, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Lincoln County.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of the girl, who told police last June that the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her. Jiang, 30, eventually was charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The girl had described him as a family friend.

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Catholic Church lobbies to avert sex abuse lawsuits

SB 131 would give some victims of sexual abuse more time to file suit against employers. But church officials argue the bill opens it up to suits that are too old to fight.

At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly.

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Bearing False Witness

You’d think lawyers suing a major religion that proclaims itself to be the guiding authority on moral behavior in every aspect of life would have the easiest job in the world.

Defendants wouldn’t even need to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They’ve already declared themselves the world’s foremost authorities on the truth.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan's smoking gun: Editorial

When New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was in charge of the Catholic Church’s Milwaukee operations, he moved an enormous pot of the church’s cash — $57 million — into a trust fund for cemetery maintenance. Though the archdiocese was in the middle of a gigantic lawsuit over its priests’ sexual abuse of children, Dolan called it routine bookkeeping.

Now the New York Times reports the discovery of a smoking gun: documents including a letter from then-Archbishop Dolan to the Vatican, explaining how the transfer protected the church’s millions in the event it lost in court.

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Church drags feet on punishing sex-assaulting priest, but not on protecting $57M

When then-Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan sounded the alarm on abusive priests, the Roman Catholic Church dragged its feet — but when Dolan needed to protect tens of millions of dollars, the church acted without hesitation, bombshell documents revealed Monday.

The Vatican took only a month to give Dolan the go-ahead in 2007 to move $57 million into a trust in anticipation of an avalanche of sexual abuse lawsuits against the Milwaukee Archdiocese, which Dolan ran from 2002 to 2009.

But it took six years for Dolan to get the Vatican to defrock an out-of-control priest who had been convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy.

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Clergy abuse case filled with silent bystanders

Long before Father Donald Patrick Roemer was charged with molesting a young boy, his behavior had been observed by churchgoers, fellow priests, school officials and police authorities. Yet none of them did anything.

They stared at each other, the detective and the priest. Kelli McIlvain found interrogating him somewhat surreal. She had been raised Catholic and taught that a man in a black clerical shirt and white collar was nothing less than an emissary of God.

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