News Story of the Day

'Spotlight' highlights abusive El Paso priest

Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times10:26 a.m. MST November 23, 2015

Victims of a predatory priest who served in El Paso and Alamogordo helped provide the impetus for the Boston Globe investigation that revealed a widespread cover-up by the Catholic Church highlighted by the movie “Spotlight.”

The film’s all-star cast focuses on the newspaper’s investigation “Spotlight Investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church,” which garnered the daily a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. The new movie by Open Road Films is showing in theaters across El Paso and the nation.

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Prosecutor: Hibbing MN priest aggressively targeted girls

By Tom Olsen on Nov 19, 2015 at 7:23 p.m., Duluth News Tribune

A prosecutor has fired back against a Hibbing priest who is seeking to have his child sexual abuse charges dismissed, alleging that evidence shows the Rev. Brian Michael  Lederer demonstrated a pattern of targeting young girls.

Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Jeff Vlatkovich said in a 13-page letter to 6th Judicial District Judge David Ackerson that allegations of inappropriate touching made by four girls, along along with suspected child pornography recovered from Lederer's computer, point to "an aggressive and/or sexual intent."

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AP Investigation: Child sex crimes in armed forces shielded by opaque military justice system

By RICHARD LARDNER and EILEEN SULLIVAN, 11/18/15, The Republic

WASHINGTON — More inmates are in U.S. military prisons for sex crimes against children than for any other offense, an Associated Press investigation has found, but an opaque justice system prevents the public from knowing the full scope of the crimes or how much time the prisoners spend behind bars.

Of the 1,233 inmates confined in the military's prison network, 61 percent were convicted of sex crimes, according to the latest available data, obtained through the federal open records law. Children were the victims in over half of those cases.

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Duluth bishops were warned about sex abuse, documents show

 on Nov 16, 2015 

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Long Island Family Sues Catholic Order and Diocese in Molestation Case

NOV. 16, 2015, The NY Times

In 2009, Augusto Cortez, a Roman Catholic priest, pleaded guilty to forcible touching of a 12-year-old girl in Brooklyn. He was sentenced to six years of probation but was allowed to remain a member of his religious order.

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Former Navy chaplain pleads guilty to making child porn

 Jessica Masulli Reyes, The News Journal, November 16, 2015

A former U.S. Navy chaplain and Catholic priest from Millsboro has pleaded guilty to taking pornographic pictures of a teen boy and then distributing the images.

John Thomas Matthew Lee, 50, entered the plea before Judge Leonard P. Stark in U.S. District Court in Delaware on Monday morning.

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Children dying roughly every second day in Irish Mother and Baby home

Frances Mulraney  November 10,2015 01:02 AM, Irish Central

The Register of Deaths from Bessborough Mother and Baby home reveals that during certain months in the 1940s the death rate among children living in the home amounted to a child dying roughly every second day.

For many years, Bessborough Mother and Baby Home, in Co. Cork, run by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was an institution where pregnant and unmarried women were referred to before they gave birth as, at the time, having a child outside of marriage was considered a serious sin in Ireland.

 

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Childhood sex abuse victim from Ludlow wins $250,000 civil verdict in US District Court

By Stephanie Barry, sbarry@repub.com, on November 06, MassLive.com

SPRINGFIELD — A jury on Thursday awarded $250,000 to a 53-year-old Ludlow woman who sued her stepfather for raping her as a child after a three-day trial in U.S. District Court.

An eight-member panel found in favor of plaintiff Kathy Picard, who was at the forefront of pushing new legislation in 2014 to extend the statute of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their alleged abusers.

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Review: In ‘Spotlight,’ The Boston Globe Digs Up the Catholic Church’s Dirt

NOV. 5, 2015, NY Times

“The city flourishes when its great institutions work together,” says the cardinal to the newspaper editor during a friendly chat in the rectory. The city in question is Boston. The cardinal is Bernard F. Law and the editor, newly arrived at The Boston Globe from The Miami Herald, is Martin Baron. He politely dissents from the cardinal’s vision of civic harmony, arguing that the paper should stand alone.

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Remaining a Catholic in the face of tragedy

How can you spend your workdays chronicling thousands of cases of Catholic priestly sexual abuse — and still remain a Catholic?

Before the release of “Spotlight,” the movie detailing the massive abuse cover-up in Boston, I asked that of Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan. They’re co-directors of BishopAccountability.org, which documents that abuse from an office in Waltham, Massachusetts practically overrun by floor-to-ceiling files and more than 100,000 pages of Church records, court documents, media reports, letters from mothers of victims, victims themselves, and even abusers detailing their crimes.

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