News Story of the Day

Today in Catholic sex abuse disclosures

The seemingly limitless book of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy – and its coverup by a doggedly self-preserving church administration – added yet another new chapter this week. Just one month after Milwaukee released a mind-boggling 6,000 pages of documents revealing the personnel files of over 40 priests with “verified abuse claims against them” and the clever maneuvers the church went through to protect millions of dollars in its funds from lawsuits, on Wednesday five Los Angeles religious orders released 1,700 pages of documents pertaining to“a dozen priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexual misconduct.”

Read more
1 reaction Share

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Purposely Shuttled 57 Million Dollars Away From Sex Abuse Victims

Breaking news out of Milwaukee today as thousands of pages of documents have been released from the Catholic Archdiocese there. The papers show  that Archbishop Timothy Dolan bribed priests to keep them quiet about the child sex abuse scandal, purposely shuttled nearly 57 million dollars out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese before it declared bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying settlements to victims, and was far more concerned with accused priests’ well-being and comfort than with the victims themselves. The papers, published on the Archdiocese website as well as on the website of victims’ lawyers, detail depositions, personnel files and court papers in relation to 42 separate child sexual abuse cases.

Read more
3 reactions Share

Did Catholic watchdog miss child porn? Priest to plead guilty in federal case

There was supposed to be someone from the Archdiocese of Detroit watching Timothy Murray of Novi, a Catholic priest banned from working in the Catholic Church because of sexual misconduct.

But the archdiocese did not know what Murray was doing inside his home. And last year, federal agents investigated him for possession and distribution of child pornography.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.”

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share