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Ex-adviser to Monaco’s royal family sentenced to 3 years in Philly child porn case

by Jeremy Roebuck Published an hour ago EASTON — A Roman Catholic priest and former confidant of the royal family of Monaco was sentenced Monday to more than three years in prison for accessing a trove of pornographic images of children while working in the royal palace. https://www.inquirer.com/news/william-mccandless-sentence-monaco-princess-charlene-prince-albert-oblate-order-20230123.html

San Antonio Priest Quietly Removed After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Fr. Duncan Amek, a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been removed from active ministry following an investigation of sexual misconduct involving women and financial impropriety. On May 15, 2019, in St. Ann's Church, where he had been a deacon for the previous year, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, ordained Duncan Amek, a native of Homa Bay, Kenya, to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Amek then went to work for St. Matthew Church and School in San Antonio, Texas. We are worried for the unsuspecting adult women involved who may have fallen for Amek’s predilection and scheme. More importantly, our concern is this. Was Amek’s actions criminal? If so, we hope church officials turn over all the information they have obtained in their investigation to law enforcement. We would also like to know what constitutes sexual misconduct in the eyes of church officials.

SNAP raises concern over former high ranking priest employee, now current parish pastor

**UPDATE REGARDING MSGR PULSKAMP TO REFLECT INFORMATION REPORTED JANUARY 23, 2023 https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-priest-was-accused-of-child-sex-abuse-by-error-plaintiffs-atto/**   (For Immediate Release June 27, 2022)  SNAP raises concern over former high-ranking priest employee, now current parish pastor This past week, NBC Bay Area News (Part 1 and Part 2)  revealed that at least four prominent Catholic priests in the San Francisco Bay Area were accused of child sexual abuse in lawsuits filed under California's look-back window. Yet contrary to the promises of the 2002 Dallas Charter, all four are still working.  While all four clerics are a serious concern to us, it appears that Msgr. James Pulskamp of the Diocese of Santa Rosa -- accused in a current suit of sexually abusing a child at the Hanna Boys Center -- was in the best position to also cover up accusations of abuse, including perhaps any against him. As we have come to expect, Catholic officials attempt to minimize the gravity of the allegations by saying, "we've never received a complaint about Rev. Pulskamp.” Yet it seems to us that this lawsuit is a complaint and it has now been received. The monsignor is still working today as a pastor. Bishop Robert Vasa's apparent excuse for this failure to protect today's children is that the Msgr. Pulskamp was "cleared" by "internal review board" investigations. As advocates for survivors, we know that false allegations are incredibly rare. With the civil window still open, "internal review" seems premature. More lawsuits will no doubt be filed before the window closes on December 31, 2022. Moreover, we also know that internal review boards have "cleared" other accused clergymen only to have additional information lead to the opposite result down the road. One California example is the case of Fr. Eric Swearingen. The priest was placed on leave briefly after he was accused of child sexual abuse in a 2006 lawsuit. However, the Diocese of Fresno subsequently deemed the allegation "not credible" and Fr. Swearingen was allowed to return to ministry. In 2019, Fr. Swearingen was again placed on leave, reportedly based on information that was uncovered during the course of that lawsuit. Ultimately Fr. Swearingen was added to Fresno"s list of accused priests.    

Letter to Kansas Attorney General 'Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names'

(For Immediate Release January 20, 2023)  Dear Attorney General Kobach: Two weeks ago, after four years of investigation, your predecessor released a dreadfully disappointing 21 page report on Catholic officials who committed or concealed horrific child sex crimes. But he refused to name a single wrongdoer. The Nebraska AG issued a similar report, 182 pages, naming 57 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics. https://www.bishop-accountability.org/2021/11/nebraska-clergy-sex-abuse-report-258-victims-57-predators-no-prosecution/ The Missouri AG released a similar report, 329 pages, naming 173 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics. https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2019/catholicchurchclergyabuseinvestigationreport.pdf The Pennsylvania AG issued a similar report, 884 pages, naming 301 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics. https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/attorney-general-shapiro-details-findings-of-2-year-grand-jury-investigation-into-child-sex-abuse-by-catholic-priests-in-six-pennsylvania-dioceses/ The Colorado AG released a similar report, 241 pages, naming 41 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics. https://www.bishop-accountability.org/reports/2019_10_22_Colorado_Special_Masters_Report_FINAL.pdf The Michigan AG released a similar report, 149 pages, naming 44 credibly accused abusive Catholic clerics in just one small diocese (She also criminally charged seven predator priests in just one year). https://www.michigan.gov/ag/news/press-releases/2019/12/27/ag-nessel-seven-priests-charged-in-2019-more-to-comehttps://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252666/michigan-attorney-general-releases-clergy-sex-abuse-report-marquette

Survivors and Advocates in DRC call for Zero Tolerance for Clergy Sex Abuse

  MEDIA ALERT (page 4 en français) [For Immediate Release, January 25, 2023; http://bit.ly/3vSuVnq ]   Current Clergy Sex Abuse Cases in DRC Exposed   Historic Press Conference to be held on Eve of Pope’s visit to the DRC on Clergy Sex Abuse   Clergy sex abuse victims in Kinshasa call on Pope to help   Survivors and Advocates in DRC call for Zero Tolerance for Clergy Sex Abuse   For the first time in Africa, international activists will join with Congolese survivors and advocates in a press conference to highlight the failure of the Catholic Church to protect survivors and whistleblowers.    Pope Francis will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo the week of January 31 to February 3, 2023. On Monday January 30, survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their advocates from the Congo, U.S. and Europe will be in Kinshasa to hold a press conference in order to:   Share information regarding a current case of clergy sex abuse and cover-up in the DRC, including details on how the victim and her family have been silenced and the harm done to her advocates.  The victim and a witness are scheduled to testify by Zoom during the press conference. Expose corruption within the DRC judicial system that has benefitted church officials and perpetrators at the expense of the abused;  Insist Pope Francis enforce his recently enacted "apostolic letter"  by immediately removing and sanctioning abusive priests and their bishop enablers to send an important message to the continent of Africa that there is zero tolerance for clergy sex abuse and coverup.   Press conference details:  WHEN: Monday January 30, 2 PM, West Africa Standard Time (and CET/Paris); 1PM London,  8AM US Eastern Time (New York),  5AM US Pacific Time (Los Angeles). Midnight, Sydney Time.   WHERE: Hotel Leon, 41 avenue Luambo Makiadi, Gombe, Kinshasa (“Délices” room) HOW:  In person and by Zoom (open to all) , link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Bj731M10TXqUVi2EK2IfkA  (contact Marc Artzrouni (address below) for any question).    WHO:    Tim Law Founding/Board Member, ECA [email protected],    Tel: +1-206-412-0165   Denise Buchanan Survivor, Founding/Board Member, ECA [email protected], Tel: +1-310-980-2770 Benjamin Kitobo  Survivor, Founding Member, ECA [email protected], Tel: +1-314-482-0861 Come Musuluku Victims’ lawyer, President, COME, Kinshasa [email protected],  Tel: +243-817779450 Marc Artzrouni (Zoom) SNAP Europe Representative [email protected],  Tel: + 33 - 6 95 73 65 92 LANGUAGE: French with interpretation in English    MORE INFO: In July 2022, the Washington Post published an extensive exposé  of an ongoing case in the DRC of clergy rape of a 14yr-old girl and the retaliation against whistleblowing nuns and a priest. The article shows how Catholic Church officials worked together in violation of recently enacted Church law to protect the accused rapist at the expense of his young victim and of the whistleblowers who are now in hiding in a nearby country in fear of their safety.   BIOS: Tim Law is the co-founder of Ending Clergy Abuse and an attorney in Seattle, Washington, USA. He is a Catholic, and in 2014, he became active at the local level to confront his archdiocese on the issue of clergy abuse. In 2015, he met Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP, and was introduced to the national and international dimensions of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. In 2017, Barbara Blaine, Tim and others conceived what became ECA in Geneva, Switzerland in 2018. ECA is an international association of survivors and advocates from 20+ countries and 6 continents whose mission is to compel the Vatican/Roman Catholic Church to protect children from clergy abuse and to promote justice for survivors. ECA played an important role in Rome at the 2019 Pope’s Summit on Clergy Abuse coordinating the voices of the international survivor/activists before the bishops and the world press promoting Zero Tolerance as an universal law of the Church.   Denise Buchanan Denise Buchanan who is a Jamaican survivor of clergy sexual abuse, is a founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse and a board member.  She is a Psychoneurologist, University Professor, Child Protection Advocate, Sacred Garden Designer, International Speaker and Author. Denise has presented her case before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee Against Torture and was one of a few individuals who met with the Pope’s top Cardinals on the Clergy Sexual Abuse Issue. She is also the co-founder of the Get Business Smart Foundation in Jamaica which was created to train young people to develop a holistic approach to life through integrating mind-body-spirit.   Benjamin Kitobo was born and raised in Likasi, Zaire (now, the DRC). In 1980, at age 13, he began attending the minor seminary in the diocese of Kolwezi, with the hope of becoming a priest. He was raped and sexually assaulted there for four years by his teacher, Fr. Omer Verbeke, a Belgian missionary. In the 1990s, Kitobo emigrated to the USA and became a nurse. In 2002, he discovered that Verbeke, who had been sent back to Belgium, was still working with children. Kitobo filed a lawsuit, the priest admitted to the abuse, and the Belgian diocese of Ghent paid Kitobo a settlement of $25,000. Kitobo lives today with his wife and family in  St. Louis, Missouri.   Come Musuluku is a lawyer in Kinshasa, who defends victims of sexual violence and their families in the DRC.  He is the founder of "Club des Orateurs Majeurs Excellentissimes" ("Club of Major and Outstanding Orators"). COME is a newly established Congolese NGO whose goal is to provide legal and other assistance to victims of sexual abuse regardless of the setting: family, civil society, churches, etc.  Musuluku is working  with  ECA and SNAP  to bring up with the UN Human Rights Commission the case of victims of sexual abuse in the DRC.   Marc Artzrouni is SNAP’s Europe Representative,  based in France. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is the largest, oldest and most active US support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns and others). Marc is a French-American university professor emeritus who works closely with French and Swiss survivors organizations. He is particularly interested in improving the flow of information between such associations in Europe and those in America, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. 

Survivors and Advocates urge others to step forward as New California law has opened a window to justice for those sexually assaulted as adults

    Media Advisory (For Immediate Release January 25, 2023)      New California law has opened a window to justice for those sexually assaulted as adults Survivors and advocates will gather at the State Capitol today to call attention to AB 2777 Whether the abuse occurred in a religious institution or elsewhere, SNAP urges victims to take advantage of this opportunity WHAT: At a sidewalk news conference, abuse survivors and advocates who are part of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will gather to draw public attention to The Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act (Assembly Bill 2777), which went into effect on January 1st. SNAP will urge those who were the victims of sexual assault as adults to consider filing civil lawsuits for damages against those who abused them and the institutions that covered up for the perpetrators. WHEN: January 26, 2023, at 1 PM WHERE: California State Capitol, 1315 10th St (between L and N Streets), Sacramento. We will gather on the lawn to the left of the steps.

'Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names'

(For Immediate Release January 19, 2023)    Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names They blast ex-Kansas AG for 'weak, vague' report Group files "Open Records Act" request to publicly ID abusers Survivors want more time to 'seek justice & expose molesters.’   WHAT Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will ask the Kansas attorney general to protect kids by: --publicly naming dozens of unknown child molesting clerics recently investigated by the KBI, and--releasing the full abuse report, not just a 21-page summary. They will also give out copies of an Open Records Act request they're sending to the new AG to learn the identities of those 'who committed or concealed child sex crimes' and blast his predecessor for issuing a "weak, vague and short abuse report" that "protects wrongdoers, not children." WHEN Friday, Jan. 20 at 1:15 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside the Johnson County Courthouse on Santa Fe Street (north of the administration building and west of city hall) in Olathe Kansas WHO One-two Kansas state legislators, a former Kansas cleric, a Kansas abuse survivor who testified before a panel in Topeka, and three-four abuse survivors (some who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) WHY 1) Earlier this month, then-AG Derek Schmidt refused to publicly name even one proven, admitted, or credibly accused child molesting Catholic cleric when he released what SNAP calls a "short, weak and vague" report into the church's ongoing abuse crisis. (Other state AGs across the country have done far more thorough reports and disclosed names of abusers.) SNAP is asking Schmidt's successor Kris Kobach to voluntarily reveal the names of dozens of Kansas Catholic clergy who have perpetrated, ignored, or hid child sex crimes and release a longer, more detailed report that 'will deter other institutions from similar cover-ups.'And the group is filing a formal Open Records Act request for the names. 2) The victims strongly support a measure, now pending in the Kansas legislature, that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to "expose those who commit or conceal crimes against kids" in civil courts. It is sponsored by Sen. Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park) and Rep. Bob Lewis (R-Garden City) and relaxes the state's "archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly" statute of limitations, SNAP says, which both "helps protect vulnerable children and heal wounded adults." CONTACT: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Tom White  913 927 2859, [email protected] (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)  

SNAP Virtual Mini Conferences

These virtual mini conferences are free to all and will feature opportunities for survivors and advocates to learn about topics like healing, advocacy, and self-care from a variety of different speakers throughout the year. Our next mini conference will be on October 8, 2022 and will feature Kathryn Robb of CHILD USAdvocacy and Mark Crawford of SNAP New Jersey.

We are especially grateful to the Ribera Law Firm of San Francisco, California for being a Gold-level Sponsor for our mini-conferences. Their support is critical to our ability to hold these free events and we are grateful to them for their support. Learn more about the Ribera Law Firm here.

 

Additionally, SNAP is very grateful for the generous support of our 2022 mini conferences that has been provided through a grant from Oak Foundation Children First Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation.

 

Take Action and Stop Child Sexual Abuse

If you see child sexual abuse, or have a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse or your child has been sexually abused, call 911 or your local police immediately. 

If you suspect abuse, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or visit the Child Help Hotline. Trained crisis operators staff the lines 24/7 to answer your questions. If necessary, they will show you how to report in your local area.

Child pornography is a federal crime. If you see or suspect images that may be child pornography, report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Line

 

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