News Story of the Day
By David Clohessy
An ex-priest in the St. Louis area, who is the most highly ranked and prominent US Catholic official to ever face criminal charges of child sexual abuse is back in a courtroom today.
Very few St. Louisans know that he and dozens of other predators from all across the US are living here. Sure, he’s old. Sure, the church center that houses him is ‘out in the boondocks.’ But that doesn’t mean he’s ‘cured’ and is now safe, nor that we should care less about the safety of rural kids. And virtually none of those predators in Dittmer - who’ve been deemed too dangerous, by their own church supervisors, to live back in their home dioceses - are known to St. Louis parents, police, prosecutors, or parishioners.
The cleric in court today is Theodore McCarrick, the only US Catholic cardinal, current or former, ever to be charged with child sex crimes. We hope his prosecution happens quickly. We hope that his victims feel some measure of relief and validation that he’s finally facing justice. And we hope that Catholic officials in St. Louis finally begin honoring their pledges to be ’open’ about abuse and disclose the names of the hundreds of out-of-state child molesting clerics who’ve been secretly welcomed into our archdiocese for decades.
SOUTH BEND (IN)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]
October 26, 2021
By Flora x. Tang
“I just had the worst confession ever. I confessed a sexual sin, something I haven’t confessed in a long time, and the priest … asked me if I was a toy,” Zuri Davis wrote on Twitter Oct. 17 about her experience of going to confession in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Davis described how the priest, whose name she still does not know, hounded her to ask if she was raped (an inappropriate and invasive question in this setting), and proceeded to tell her to take ownership of her role in the situation.
Within hours, Catholics from different walks of life shared in Davis’ anger about this situation and encouraged her to report the priest for spiritual abuse and misconduct. Davis’ story of the invasive priest and the sheer logistical difficulty she experienced trying to report a nameless priest behind a screen for misconduct sparked countless other Catholics to share similar experiences of harm in the confessional booth in the next several days on social media.
Liberty University threatened to punish students who reported being raped with conduct violations: report
THE HILL -
BY MYCHAEL SCHNELL - 10/25/21 11:30 AM EDT
Liberty University threatened to punish students who came forward with reports of being raped for violating the school’s code of conduct, according to a new report published Monday by ProPublica.
ProPublica spoke to more than 50 former students and staffers at Liberty University and reviewed records from more than a dozen cases, which accused the school of discouraging and dismissing students who came forward with allegations of rape, reporting that in some cases they said they were threatened with punishment for breaking the school’s moral code, known as the Liberty Way.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors publishes a "letter to seminarians" written by a woman who, as a little girl, was sexually abused by a priest
William Casey’s bid for post-conviction relief in connection with the former Catholic priest’s 2011 conviction on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of aggravated rape was denied by the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville.
In a filing Wednesday, the appeals court affirmed the judgment of a post-conviction court denying Casey’s challenges to the convictions for actions committed in 1979 and 1980.
Casey’s bid for a new trial was denied in 2020 by Sullivan County Criminal Court Judge James M. Goodwin. Casey, a Greene County resident, was convicted in 2011 by a Sullivan County Criminal Court jury of the criminal sexual conduct and aggravated rape counts.
In a statement released Monday, Mariella Warney identified herself as 'victim one' in a sexual assault of a minor case against Father David Huneck.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 10, 2021
The founders of Catholics4Change, an online forum dedicated to the prevention of clergy child sex abuse, have launched the Catholics4Change Community. The virtual and global platform allows Catholics, survivors, and advocates to communicate and collaborate virtually.
“We didn’t want the efforts of these amazing people from around the world working to prevent child sex abuse to be limited by chain emails, conference calls and social media,” said co-founder Kathy Kane, a social worker who advocates for policy reform.
“During the pandemic, people have become more comfortable in virtual settings,” says co-founder Susan Matthews, who was an editor at The Catholic Standard and Times in the early 90s under publisher Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. “We’ve built this private membership community to go way beyond a website, Zoom or online meetup group. It’s a fully-equipped international hub that can be customized by the members.
October 11, 2021 (Joint Press Release E.C.A , Nate's Mission, SNAP)
In an open letter to Vatican ambassador nominee Joe Donnelly, leading survivor-activists and advocacy organizations have requested a meeting to discuss actions and solutions to address the ongoing clergy abuse and coverup crisis.
In the letter, survivors express hope that Donnelly’s nomination will open up negotiations between US survivors and the Holy See. Donnelly has placed human rights at the top of his agenda in the US relationship with Pope Francis and the Vatican. The rape and abuse of children and its institutional concealment constitute one of the most serious violations of human rights and religious liberty of children in the United States and around the world. Despite the prevalence of ongoing revelations of abuse and coverup across the country, this issue has never been addressed by a US President or State Department even though there is incontrovertible evidence of a relationship between the coverup of these crimes in the United States and Vatican law, policy, and practice.