News Story of the Day

'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."

Paedophile priest convicted in US, now roams free in Ootacamund

The Times of India, February 19, 2016

The Roman Catholic church has lifted the suspension of a Tamil Nadu priest convicted of sexually assaulting a 14 year-old girl in the US more than a decade ago. The suspension of Rev Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was lifted after the bishop of the Ootacamund Diocese in Tamil Nadu consulted with church authorities at the Vatican.

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Indian activists slam Vatican for revoking priest's ban

Children's activists in India on Wednesday criticised the Vatican for revoking the suspension of a Catholic priest who was convicted by a US court of sexually abusing a minor.

Indian priest Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61, was suspended by his local diocese in India five years ago after being accused of sexually abusing two girls during a posting to Minnesota.

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. 


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