News Story of the Day

Should Pennsylvania sex abuse survivors accept half loaf of justice?

Bill White, Contact Reporter, The Morning Call, September 26, 2016

 Is half a loaf better than none?

Not when it comes to this year's emotional and contentious effort to offer justice to many victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania by extending or eliminating statutes of limitations, according to the Legislature's most visible advocate for changing the law.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, told me last week that he has consulted with survivors, advocacy groups and other House members over the question of whether the House should accept the watered down version of House Bill 1947 that passed the Senate in June.


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Lawyers have new tool in clergy abuse cases

By Olivier Uyttebrouck, Albuqerque Journal Staff Writer, Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at 11:43pm

Lawyers representing alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse told a judge last week that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is liable for the actions of its priests because it provides them with “extraordinary power” over parishioners, comparable to that of police and corrections officers.

The legal theory, called “aided-in-agency,” is becoming more common in civil cases and gives attorneys a potent new tool in clerical abuse cases, attorneys in the case said.

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Former Director of Recently Suspended Priest Program in Chicago Arrested on Child Porn Charges

The priest who once led a prominent vocational program for Latino men interested in the priesthood has been arrested on child pornography charges, NBC 5 has learned. 

Father Octavio Munoz, of Casa Jesus, will appear in bond court at noon in Chicago, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Chicago police. 

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Sealed lawsuit alleging St. Louis archbishop knew priest was danger to children set for trial

By Joel Currier,  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept 19, 2016

ST. LOUIS • Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer on Monday set a March 27 trial date for a civil lawsuit in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.

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Disgraced Catholic bishop's estate to go to victims of abuse

By staff, September 6, 2016

The family of a Catholic bishop blamed for allowing the sexual abuse of hundreds of children say they support his decision to leave $2.1m to the church.

Bishop Rodney Mulkearns died in April aged 85 and left almost his entire estate to the Catholic diocese of Ballarat, including a $2m house in Fairhaven.


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SNAP concerned with survivor confidentiality after judge's sanctions

After a St. Louis federal judge levied sanctions last week against the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests for resisting a court order to turn over documents containing victim information, the advocacy group says it worries what such pursuits pose to survivor confidentiality going forward.

The sanctions came in the civil rights suit brought by Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, a Chinese-born priest ordained for the St. Louis archdiocese who has brought conspiracy and defamation charges against SNAP and others in regard to a 2014 criminal charge of child sexual abuse that was eventually dropped. Twice in the last three years, Jiang has been criminally charged with child sexual abuse and twice the charges were dropped. A civil suit remains pending.

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Women abused by priest Brendan Smyth took own lives, says cleric D'Arcy

By Allan Preston, September 1, 2016, Belfast Telegraph

Outspoken priest Brian D'Arcy has claimed a number of women committed suicide after suffering abuse at the hands of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Fr D'Arcy made the comments in an interview with Hot Press magazine published today.

"There have been people, young women, who took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them," the Enniskillen priest said.  "I know this personally. They took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them."

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Pressure Mounts on Jewish Groups to Change Course in Sexual Abuse Cases

JOSEPH TREITOVSKY,  31 AUGUST 2016, The Jewish Voice

Is there a divide in the Orthodox Rabbinate regarding preventing child sexual abuse?

In an unprecedented and crucially positive step forward, 300 Orthodox Rabbis from across the nation signed a proclamation regarding child safety in the Orthodox Jewish community. Synagogues and schools are called upon to adopt certain preventative measures outlined in the document to deter child abuse and child sexual abuse.

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Norwich Diocese, retired bishop sued in priest sex abuse case

By Karen Florin,  Day staff writer, August 29, 2016, theDay

A 37-year-old Woodstock man who says he was sexually assaulted hundreds of times by a Catholic priest while serving as an altar boy at the Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret in the 1990s has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich, retired Bishop Daniel P. Reilly and the church.

The Norwich Diocese previously settled two lawsuits brought by boys who were molested by the priest, Paul Hebert, when he served at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pawcatuck from 1971 to 1981.

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The horror of St. George's

Editorial, Posted Aug. 28, 2016, Providence Journal

There were cries of relief this month after St. George’s School, in Middletown, agreed to a settlement with as many as 30 alumni who claimed they had been sexually abused. Finally, after decades, the victims’ claims had been acknowledged, and validated.

But even if the settlement, which was not made public, eases some of the pain felt by the victims, the story of abuse at this elite Episcopal prep school and the decades-long trail that followed one of the alleged perpetrators presents a clear warning.

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