News Story of the Day

Why has South India’s Catholic Church re-inducted a convicted child molester priest?

Dhanya Rajendran| Tuesday, February 16, 2016, The News Minute, Bengaluru, India

On August 24, 2005, the diocese of Crookton in Minnesota received an anonymous complaint stating that an Indian priest, Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, working at the church had sexually assaulted a minor.

A second victim later came forward. Another young girl who had wanted to become a nun had been sexually assaulted by Father Jeyapaul. The man hailing from Tamil Nadu rushed back to India and after almost a decade of legal wrangles, he was convicted by the Minnesota court and sentenced to a year in prison in 2015.

Victims group protests reinstatement of convicted priest in India

Matt Sepic,  Feb 15, 2016, MPR News

Advocates for clergy abuse victims are criticizing a decision by Catholic church officials in India to reinstate a priest convicted of sexual assault in Minnesota.

After he was extradited to the U.S., the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul pleaded guilty last year to assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Greenbush, Minn., in 2005.

Pope Francis’ efforts to stop church child abuse are falling apart

Will Carless, 

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a “token body” exercising in “smoke and mirrors” that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests.

Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.

Indian bishop lifts convicted priest's suspension reporter, Kochi, India, February 11, 2016  

A Catholic bishop in southern India has lifted the suspension of a priest convicted last year of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl in the United States.

The 2010 suspension order imposed on Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61, was lifted on Jan. 16 after consultations with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop Arulappan Amalraj of Ootacamund told Feb. 9.

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, February 10, 2016, The Guardian

The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally.

Lawsuit filed against former St. Mary's priest

By Sydney Smith, February 8, 2016, Central Michigan Life

r nearly two years, St. Mary's University Parish Priest Denis Heames asked a Central Michigan University student to keep his sexual relationship with her a secret, according to a lawsuit filed in Isabella County's 21st Circuit Court.

Senior Megan Winans is asking the court to consider whether she was abused by Heames, who was removed from St. Mary's in June, during her work as a "media intern" at the church from 2012 to 2014. A civil lawsuit was filed Jan. 14 claiming battery, defamation, breach of fidiciary duty, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision and retention. 


Francis heads to Mexico amid Legionaries of Christ disclosures

Jason Berry, Feb. 8, 2016, National Catholic Reporter

On Feb. 12, Pope Francis flies to Mexico, a vast land scarred by barbaric drug cartels and deep poverty that are pushing migrants to America -- all front-burner issues for a papacy advocating mercy and justice.

Amid this, a new book, El Imperior Financierio de Los Legionarios de Cristo was published in December by Grijalbo in Mexico City. There is no English translation as yet. Written by Raúl Olmos, an investigative journalist in Mexico, the book focuses on the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order founded by the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a notorious pedophile dismissed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 to "a life of prayer and penitence." The home base of the order is Mexico City, in the world's second-largest Catholic country (after Brazil).

Clergy sex abuse victims claim church is breaking promises for care, treatment

By , February 6, 2016, WCVB 5

BOSTON —It was one of the promises from the landmark settlement of church sex abuse cases from the Archdiocese of Boston: the church would pay for counseling to try to fix the lives their abusive priests had damaged.

But now, victims and their advocates tell 5 Investigates the Archdiocese has in some cases begun backsliding on that promise, putting up more resistance than ever before to paying for treatments.

The Incredible Story of Spotlight's Phil Saviano: The Child Sex Abuse Survivor Who Refused to Be Silenced by the Catholic Church

BY MIKE MILLER, 02/05/2016, People

He no longer belongs to any sort of organized religion, but Phil Saviano, whose pivotal role in exposing the child sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church is showcased in the Oscar-nominated film Spotlight, appears to have had something almost like divine intervention on his side. 



BY PATRICIA MILLER FEBRUARY 2, 2016, Religion Dispatches

Fast on the heels of the news that a Bavarian boys choir directed by Pope Benedict’s brother was a hotbed of physical and sexual abuse for decades, comes the allegation that Cardinal Gerhard Müller covered up the abuse when he was the bishop of Regensburg.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the allegation is being made by the former head of the lay diocesan council in Regensburg, Germany, who said that Müller and a deputy “systematically” covered up the abuse, disbanded the diocesan council to thwart outside investigation, and installed at least one known abuser priest in a parish who then committed more acts of abuse.

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant