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Male religious orders may not be accountable to Catholic Church

By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 28, 2016, Virginislandsdailynews.com   

PITTSBURGH — Even as the leadership of a Hollidaysburg, Pa.-based Franciscan province is called to account in criminal court for its handling of a sex offender, the case is raising a broader question:

Just how accountable are male religious orders for following the U.S. Catholic Church’s zero-tolerance policy adopted in 2002?

Such orders are typically authorized by the pope and consist of priests and brothers who make specific vows, typically to poverty, chastity and obedience, with some orders having additional vows.

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Navajo Siblings File Lawsuit Against LDS Church For Alleged Sexual Abuse As Children

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'I only answer to God. Bishops don't bother me.'

by Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer, Philly.com, March 22, 2016

The three veteran investigators were speechless.

For just a few months, they had waded into a probe of clergy sex abuse in central Pennsylvania. They didn't yet know much. But they had heard about a man near Altoona named George Foster.

 

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Victims tell their stories to Australia's royal commission on child sexual abuse

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SYDNEY --  In some respects, the story of the Australian government inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is a story that can be told in numbers.


Since its first hearing three years ago, the inquiry -- the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse -- has received 29,223 telephone calls from victims and other interested parties, as well as 16,171 letters and emails. It has conducted 4,874 sessions in private (to provide, where requested, a safe and confidential environment for those testifying) and made 961 referrals to authorities, including police, many of which have resulted in arrests and charges

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PA--3 Franciscan ex-leaders charged in Pennsylvania abuse case

News 96.5 WDBO, The Associated Press, March 15, 2016

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Three ex-leaders of a Franciscan religious order were charged Tuesday with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs, including a position as a high school athletic trainer, that enabled him to molest more than 100 children. 

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Pope's Abuse Accountability Tribunal Going Nowhere Fast

By NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS, VATICAN CITY — Mar 9, 2016, ABC News

Pope Francis' proposed Vatican tribunal to judge bishops who covered up for pedophile priests is going nowhere fast.

Despite fresh focus from the Oscar-winning film "Spotlight" on how Catholic bishops protected priests who raped children, Francis' most significant sex abuse-related initiative to date has stalled. It's a victim of a premature roll-out, unresolved legal and administrative questions and resistance both inside and outside of the Holy See, church officials and canon lawyers say.a

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Law officers, clergy forged ties stymieing prosecutions

by Caitlin McCabe and Maria Panaritis, March 6, 2016, Philly.com

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - In January, a deputy attorney general and two agents walked into a judge's chambers here with questions. They wanted to discuss a meeting decades earlier that had ended with a "monster" priest being allowed to go free.

Back in 1985, Cambria County Judge Patrick T. Kiniry had been a local prosecutor, and met with Bishop James Hogan to discuss a priest suspected of sexually abusing children. As leader of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, the bishop had outsize influence in the area. Kiniry, a former altar boy, had been excited to meet him.

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‘Payout chart’ for molestation: Secret archive held chilling details of clergy abuse

A Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania announced Thursday that it will post the names online of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children, a decision that came two days after a dramatic grand jury report alleged a decades-long cover-up.

Advocates hope that the grand jury report, which was announced just two days after the movie “Spotlight” focused national attention on child sexual abuse by winning the Oscar for Best Picture, will lead to new legislation permitting more prosecutions of abusive priests and those who supervised them.

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Brazil--‘Spotlight’ abuse scandal didn’t end in Boston. In South America, it’s still unfolding

By Will Carless, GlobalPost, March 2, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — After the hit movie “Spotlight,” the world might be wondering how many predator priests are still members of the clergy.

The Boston Globe’s investigation busted open a massive Catholic Church scandal in the United States 14 years ago. But in remote parts of South America, GlobalPost discovered that the church practice of reassigning child abusers to another parish, instead of defrocking them, has continued.

In 2014 and 2015, GlobalPost tracked down five priests who were accused of child sexual abuse in the United States and Europe, and who had transferred to parishes in South America where they continued to work in the church.

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San Jose: Protestors demand that Catholic dioceses release names of predator priests

SAN JOSE -- As passersby drove by honking their horns or cheering in support, four demonstrators waved signs in front of the Diocese of San Jose headquarters on Saturday as part of a nationwide protest to pressure U.S. Catholic bishops to disclose the names of 2,800 predator priests.

"Today, 30 dioceses in the U.S. have listed those priests in their dioceses that have been credibly accused or convicted or admitted guilt," said Tim Lennon, 68, who said he was molested at age 12 by a Catholic priest in Iowa, then often driven by that priest to another parish to say confession.

 

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