News Story of the Day

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. 

Read more
4 reactions Share

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

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

‘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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

 

Read more
1 reaction Share

Spotlight: Top Vatican Cardinal to Testify About Sex Abuse

By NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS, VATICAN CITY — Feb 27, 2016,

One of the highest-ranking Vatican officials is being compelled to testify in public starting Sunday about clerical sex abuse, an unusual demonstration of holding even the most senior Catholic bishops accountable.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser, will testify in a Rome hotel conference room for three nights running, answering questions via video link from Australia's Royal Commission with his accusers on hand to confront him.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Former seminarian indicted, pleads not guilty to child sex crime charges

By NBC4 Staff, February 25, 2016, NBC4i.com

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Joel Wright, a former student at a Columbus seminary, was formally charged Wednesday in Southern California on charges he attempted to travel out of the country to rape underage children.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Teacher accused of abusing 52 boys now lives in Salt Lake HI

By Keoki Kerr, February 25, 2016,  HawaiiNewsNow

SALT LAKE, OAHU  A longtime Catholic school teacher accused of molesting dozens of boys in three states for decades is living on Oahu, but his name and those of priests accused of sexual misconduct are not listed in the state’s sex offender registry.

Catholic schoolteacher brother Edward Courtney is accused of sexually abusing more than 50 boys from New York to Chicago to Seattle over three decades.

Read more
1 reaction Share

How 'Spotlight' missed the story: Column

William F. Baker,  February 23, 2016, USA Today

It is just a single line of dialogue from Spotlight, up for Best Picture and five other Academy Awards this Sunday, but it could be a movie in itself. It's an allusion to an entire unknown chapter in the history of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals: the role of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) in first uncovering the clerical conspiracy to shield abusing priests.

Read more
1 reaction Share