News Story of the Day

Port Arthur priest placed on leave pending investigation by police and Child Protective Services

Dec 16, 2015,

Father David Placette, who's the pastor of St. Catherine Church, is being investigated by Port Arthur police and Child Protective Services, following an allegation made against him.

The Diocese of Beaumont confirmed  this in a statement.

How Jehovah’s Witness leaders are responding to child abuse scrutiny

By Trey Bundy / December 14, 2015, Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting

Besieged by reports that Jehovah’s Witnesses shield child sexual abusers from prosecution, the religion’s top leadership appears to have settled on a strategy: “Let the story die.”

Portuguese news documentary released in October was yet another report from across the globe to detail the Witnesses’ policy of not reporting child abusers to law enforcement. As in other media reports, top officials refused to speak to the journalists who produced it.

Spotlight Takes Place 14 Years Ago, But the Catholic Church Is Still Dealing with Sex Scandals

NJ a safe haven for sexual predators until legislation passes

By  Jersey Journal Guest Columniston December 11, 2015,

The critically acclaimed movie "Spotlight," currently in theaters, is a compelling real life look at the cover up of heinous acts by priests against children in Massachusetts that was unearthed by the Boston Globe. It is a powerful story about the active efforts to hide the truth as well as the harm done to innocent victims. It is time that the spotlight be put on New Jersey.

Victims left reeling from shock Pell decision

Dec. 11, 2015, The Courier (Australia)

CLERGY sex abuse survivors have been left reeling by news Cardinal George Pell will not be appearing at the child sex abuse inquiry next week. Victim and nephew of disgraced priest Gerard Ridsdale said the lives of survivors had been thrown into turmoil again. 

He called for Cardinal Pell to “come and face the music” like the survivors have been forced to do for years. 

Cops: Pastor charged in ‘super felony’ sex assault may have hurt others

By Philip Jankowski - American-Statesman Staff, December 8, 2015

Round Rock police officers arrested an East Austin pastor accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage parishioner.

Henry Lee McGee Sr., 68, is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child after the victim told authorities of numerous sexual encounters with the pastor of First Baptist Church, 4805 Heflin Lane in East Austin. The abuse lasted more than a year, according to an arrest affidavit.

San Diego priest who covered up sex assault placed in charge of sex abuse hotline

TOM BOGGIONI, 07 DEC 2015, Raw Story

A group representing victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests has blasted the San Diego Catholic Diocese for appointing a priest who admitted to destroying documents detailing sexual assaults to oversee their sex abuse hotline.

Likening him to “an admitted embezzler [who] shouldn’t oversee bank accounts,” Melanie Sakoda of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said Fr. Steven Callahan shouldn’t be allowed to “oversee abuse reports.”


Bishop accused of protecting paedophile priests refuses to appear at inquiry

Nino Bucci, December 4, 2015, Sydney Morning Herald

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns​ is set to again evade questioning over his role as an alleged protector of paedophile priests, with the former Ballarat Bishop expected to shun a royal commission hearing despite being compelled to appear as a witness. 

The testimony of Bishop Mulkearns, and the second grilling of Cardinal George Pell, shaped as a crucial piece of the final weeks of the commission's hearings into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. 


The Vatican can’t seem to get out of the secrets business

By John Lloyd, December 1, 2015, Reuters

Leaking is essential to journalism. It is the ethical problem at the heart of the trade — since much leaking depends on the leaker breaking a promise not to leak. The conundrum is “solved” by appealing to the higher cause of holding power to account.

That rationale can vary from having the force of exposing official lies or corporate fraud to the grubbiness of publishing details, usually sexual, of the private life of well-known people. 

Accuser of sex abuse at Aurora church drops anonymity

Susan Sarkauskas, 11/30/2015, Daily Herald

Members of two groups critical of the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse by priests are calling for parishioners to withhold financial donations to an Aurora church.

And the man who sued that church, St. Rita of Cascia, under the name "John Doe" has revealed his identity. He is John Plaschke, who now lives in Maryland, and said he revealed himself to encourage other possible victims to come forward.

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