News Story of the Day

Barbara Blaine, Who Championed Victims of Priests’ Abuse, Dies at 61

Barbara Blaine, who was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager and went on to found the nation’s most potent advocacy group for abuse survivors, died on Sunday in St. George, Utah. She was 61.

The cause was a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, which she sustained on Sept. 18 after going hiking on a vacation, her husband, Howard Rubin, said. She lived in Chicago.

Ms. Blaine, a lawyer with a degree in theology, served for nearly 30 years as president of the group she founded, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. She stepped down this year and had recently started a new international organization to hold the Vatican and church officials overseas accountable for covering up abuse cases.

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SNAP founder Barbara Blaine, who advocated for survivors of clergy sex abuse, dies

ABC7Chicago, September 24, 2017

Blaine, 61, who resigned as SNAP president in February, was surrounded by family and friends when she died, the statement said.

Blaine stepped down after three decades of campaigning to force the Catholic Church to recognize the extent of the scandal and compensate thousands of people affected.

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Out of ‘Spotlight,’ the movie, comes the Spotlight Fellowship

By Globe Staff, September 24, 2017, The Boston Globe

Today’s report started with the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.”

The film told the story of the Globe’s groundbreaking investigation of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. In 2016, the movie’s producers won the Oscar for Best Picture.

But the team at one of the companies behind the film — Participant Media, founded by Jeff Skoll and dedicated to entertainment that inspires social change — wanted to do more to champion the work of investigative journalists. So they created the Spotlight Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

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University report lifts the lid on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The most comprehensive report ever published on the systemic reasons behind child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has recently been released.

The August 2017 report, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, examined 26 commissions of inquiry, scientific research and literature since 1985 to find common features in the culture, history and structures of the church and the psychological, social and theological factors that contributed to the tragedy.

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More than a dozen abusive clergy served local parishes

By Cody Hooks,, September 22, 2017, The Taos News

Armando Martinez grew up in Questa, the village of alfalfa fields and a couple of thousand people at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Martinez didn't look for work at the nearby molybdenum mine, like a lot of young men from the village. Instead, he went into a Catholic seminary, became a priest and headed parishes from Belen to Tucumcari, Springer to El Rito.

In May 1997, Martinez was found naked and dead, his body left in a ditch near Bernalillo. His murderer turned himself in days later.

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Vasek asks court Wednesday in TRF to deny diocese’s attempts to throw out his claims

By Times Report, Crookston Times

Also, three more priests’ names added to list, and two served at the Diocese of Crookston in the 1940s and 1950s.

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San Leandro teen: Catholic school, church diocese failed to prevent sex abuse by counselor

By Matthias Gafni, The Mercury News

SONOMA — A San Leandro teen sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and an embattled school for traumatized boys Tuesday, claiming employees failed to prevent his sexual abuse by a counselor who took advantage of his troubled past.

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Exclusive: Accused Vatican diplomat wrote 2003 dissertation on sex abuse church laws

By Joelle Casteix, September 18, 2017, The Worthy Adversary 

Vatican priest and diplomat under suspicion for violating US child pornography lawswrote his 2003 doctoral dissertation on church laws addressing how the Holy See deals with clerics accused of molesting children.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, recalled by the Vatican last week, wrote The criminal protection of ecclesiastical celibacy in the canonical laws of 1917 and 1983: historical-juridical study to complete his studies in Canon Law. I took screenshots, in case the link “disappears.”

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8 Rabbis Obligate Reporting Abuse

By COLlive reporter, Community News Service, September 18, 2017

8 Chabad Rabbis signed onto a letter stating, "there is no need to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting" all forms of abuse.

A group of Chabad rabbis signed a proclamation addressing abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community, alluding to its effects that have resulted in multiple deaths due to drug overdoses and suicides over the past year alone in Jewish communities.

"The existence of child sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse which occurs in some of our communities, resulting in a number of tragic suicides as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences," they wrote.

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Baltimore archdiocese responds to petition calling for release of 'Keepers' priest Maskell's files

By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun, September 17, 2017

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has responded to the organizer of a petition that urged the release of personnel files of the late priest at the center of “The Keepers” documentary, saying it treated the request “very seriously” but is still declining to make the documents public.

More than 54,000 people have signed the petition, which calls on church officials to release the records of A. Joseph Maskell. The priest worked as chaplain and counselor at Archbishop Keough High School in Southwest Baltimore during the 1960s and 1970s. Multiple people have accused him of sexual abuse. He denied the allegations before his death in 2001.


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