News Story of the Day

Case against diocese draws attention

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the past week has received several friend-of-the-court briefs both supporting and challenging a landmark decision made by the court last year in which it allowed an Altoona woman to proceed with a sexual abuse case against a priest, even though the alleged offenses occurred in the mid-1970s.

Child Victims Act plaintiff confronts Bishop Scharfenberger: 'I lost my son'

Kevin Brun, a member of the committee representing childhood survivors of sex abuse in Buffalo Diocese bankruptcy proceedings, told Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger on Wednesday that his son killed himself within 24 hours of reading Brun’s letter of being abused by a priest more than 40 years ago.

FBI: Queens Priest Shared Sexually Explicit Texts, Photos With 15-Year-Old Boy

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A priest in Queens was arrested Wednesday by the FBI for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages and photos to a 15-year-old boy.

Jesuits: Child sex abuse claim 'credible' against former Missoula pastor

Aformer Jesuit pastor at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula has been permanently removed from ministry after officials in the church’s province found claims that he sexually abused a minor girl 40 years ago to be credible, according to a statement from the province.

A flurry of lawsuits alleging child sex abuse are filed as deadline for claims nears

In one lawsuit filed on Thursday, eight men alleged that a longtime Orange County priest sexually abused them when they were children, adding their claims to those of at least three other accusers of the late Rev. George Boxelaar who have sued.

The Heavy Toll of Priest Sex Abuse

Readers share their stories of growing up in the Catholic church and of the culture that allowed the abuse to happen.

To the Editor:

“‘Pray for Your Poor Uncle,’” by Elizabeth Bruenig (Sunday Review, July 19), about the child abuse victims of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, features a conclusion both startling and important.

Ms. Bruenig writes that the main survivor profiled, Francis M., reflects that “he thinks it’s possible to distinguish the church from the people who have for decades debased it.” She adds, “How dearly I wanted to hear that; how crucial it was for me to believe it.” These are sentiments I appreciate as a member of the deeply wounded Catholic Church.

Many people, if not most, may have written it off, but Francis notes that “all throughout the church, and the church’s history, you can see times where there were people who were really living testaments to their faith” at the same time that some church leaders took advantage of the power that they had.

Indeed, a leading example of this faithful witness was also named Francis: the poor friar of Assisi, admired worldwide for his radical love of God and neighbor. And as Dorothy Day, herself under official consideration for sainthood, put it to a fellow Catholic peace activist: “I never expected much of bishops … It is the saints that keep appearing all through history who keep things going.”

Julie Leininger Pycior
Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
The writer, professor emerita of history at Manhattan College, is the author of the forthcoming “Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton and the Greatest Commandment: Radical Love in Times of Crisis.”

To the Editor:

This article shows the insidious way predatory priests weaseled their way into families at a time in history when sexual violation was not on the radar. The psychological abuse is so creepy and deep. The isolation and secrecy are deadly.

I was sexually abused by a charismatic Catholic priest who befriended my dad, drank with him and groomed my family before going on to rape me at 7 and countless other children.

Capturing the raw pain is hard, but the systemic piece is huge: one targeted family, feeling unique yet creeped out, surrounded by Catholics who are wowed by the hierarchy. The family and the victim then have to sort and sift alone. But when support and courage emerge as well as public support and courage, victims speak out.

Multiply this story by thousands, and the truth is revealed once again.

Patricia Gallagher Marchant
Franklin, Wis.

New Orleans priest continued serving 13 years after abuse claim landed him in treatment

NEW ORLEANS — Sixteen years ago, Ricky Monsour spoke up for the first time about how he was groomed and molested in his boyhood by a priest the Catholic Church eventually acknowledged was almost certainly a child predator. But it was only recently that he decided to speak out about the details of the $106,000 payment that the church later gave him to quietly settle his claims of abuse at the hands of Carl Davidson.

Man sues Allentown diocese, Northampton church and school, claiming priest molested him when he was 11

A 57-year-old Pennsylvania man who claims that he was molested by a Catholic priest from a Northampton church starting when he was 11 years old, has filed a lawsuit, one of numerous claims recently made under a potential loophole in the statute of limitations for civil cases involving sexual abuse.

St. Joseph High School sued by Somerset man claiming sexual abuse by priest

METUCHEN – A former St. Joseph High School student is suing the Diocese of Metuchen claiming he was sexually abused and "groomed" for 16 years by a Catholic priest while enrolled at the private school.

Survivor Speaks About Syracuse Catholic Diocese Filing for Bankruptcy

Amy, a sexual abuse survivor, was 11 years old when she was touched inappropriately by a male figure in her church.

“Somebody had brought this up to his wife who was the other person running the meetings and she kind of blew it off like she didn’t want to know," said Amy. "Several times I was told ... no one would believe [my story] anyway,” said Amy.

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