News Story of the Day
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'Spotlight' Oscar campaign screenings: an unconventional support environment for abuse survivors
Amy Kaufman, February 23, 2016, Los Angeles Times
rank and Virginia Zamora were among the last to file out of the movie theater. The couple had seen "Spotlight" before, but still it was a jolt. Especially watching one particular actor with green eyes. He looked a lot like their son, Dominic, who died last year following a battle with alcoholism, an addiction his parents believe began after he was molested at age 8 by a priest in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
"One day, when he was about 12, he told us he didn't want to be an altar boy anymore," recalled Virginia. "He and his dad got into an argument. Frank said, 'It's an honor to be an altar boy.'"
In bankruptcy dealings, Helena diocese sets alternate example
Marie Rohde | Feb. 22, 2016, National Catholic Reporter
Bishop George Thomas admits that when his already struggling diocese in Helena, Mont., was hit with 30 lawsuits because of decades-old sexual abuse by priests, his instincts were to fight.
But that defensive posture fell away after he visited a victim's home for a family dinner, he said.
"I realized how soul-searing this has been for him," said Thomas, who has worked in community mental health. "While the abuse was decades ago, the suffering is in the present."