News Story of the Day

Defrocked Southern Illinois priest who founded Camp Ondessonk has died

Molly Parker, July 24, 2016, The Southern Illinoisan

LIZABETHTOWN -- A one-time ambitious, popular Southern Illinois priest who spearheaded the creation of Camp Ondessonk in 1959, and nearly 50 years later was defrocked by the Vatican after allegations surfaced he sexually abused youth campers when he was director, has died.

Robert Vonnahmen, 85, was reportedly quietly buried in Elizabethtown in early May. It doesn’t appear that an obituary was written on Vonnahmen’s behalf, at least not one that is available online or otherwise readily accessible.

Documents show Vatican official allegedly stopped Minnesota investigation

(RNS) A Vatican spokesman says the release of documents alleging its former ambassador to the U.S. stopped an investigation of a Minnesota archbishop “is a very complex issue” that will require further study.

“We need more information before we can make any comment,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

The spokesman’s remarks came in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday (July 21), the day after a new collection of documents regarding clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was made public.

Did the Vatican halt an investigation into former Twin Cities Archbishop Nienstedt?

Laura Yuen , Peter Cox ·  · Jul 21, 2016, MPR News

Documents released by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office Wednesday showed the extraordinary measures Catholic officials took to quash a private investigation into former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt himself had ordered the investigation, citing unspecified allegations against himself. He said at the time that the allegations did not "involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior" and "involve events alleged to have occurred at least a decade ago, before I began serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."

One woman's journey out of child sex abuse helps reform Massachusetts child sex crimes law

By Ivey DeJesus | [email protected]  July 18, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated July 18, 2016 at 12:32 PM

A highway exit sign triggered the flood of memories.

Rosanne Sliney was 24 years old when the sight of the exit sign unleashed a tide of memories long repressed: Her uncle sexually abusing her in his car.

She was 5. He was her mother's brother, a beloved member of a large Italian-American family from Massachusetts, her godfather.

Irish Catholic Church ‘trying to dump’ sex abuse priests on State

The Irish Times Mon, Jul 18, 2016 by Patsy McGarry

Two of America’s leading Catholic child protection advocates have strongly opposed suggestions by the church that care of laicised priests convicted of child abuse ought, in certain circumstances, to be a State responsibility.

Sen. Leyva’s bill would protect child victims of sex abuse: Guest commentary

POSTED: 07/14/16, 2:42 PM PDT  

The Justice for Victims Act, which has gained traction by passing the state Senate before the summer recess and is ready to be voted on by the Assembly, gives California the chance to take a strong stance against the Catholic Church’s ongoing cover-up of child sexual abuse.     

Ex-Penn State player won’t give up the fight for Joe Paterno despite latest damning court documents


A week after circulating a petition to have Joe Paterno’s statue and legacy restored in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky horror story, Brian Masella, a former Penn State football player, isn’t relenting in his crusade.

“No, absolutely not,” Masella told the Daily News after a wave of new accusations that Paterno knew about Sandusky’s behavior as far back as 1976 were revealed in unsealed court documents.

Priest sex abuse victim angered by lack of recourse: 'None of them are registered sex offenders'

By Ivey DeJesus, [email protected],  July 09, 2016, PennLive

Shaun Dougherty's story begins on page 66 of the grand jury report into widespread child sexual abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

That page - one of 147 pages in the report detailing accusations against more than 50 religious leaders, priests and teachers - begins the account into the investigation of George Koharchik, a longtime priest, who among other diocesan assignments, was pastor at St. Clement Church in Johnstown for a decade.

Lenexa church opposes young sex crime victims remaining anonymous in civil lawsuit

BY LAURA BAUER, [email protected], July 7, 2016, KC Star

Two girls and their guardian sued Westside Family Church, saying it knowingly let teen sex offender be around kids

The victims’ attorney filed a motion to keep the girls’ identities secret during the civil lawsuit

The church’s attorney opposed that motion and said the case should be dismissed and refiled


Fugitive molester accused of sexually abusing teen while on the run

By Mark Mueller and Enrique Lavin, NJ Advance Media, For, July 05, 2016

An evangelical preacher wanted by authorities in New Jersey for molesting a teenage boy and for allegedly abusing three other young men has been accused by a parishioner of groping a teen in Nicaragua, where the fugitive had been in hiding, according to church officials there.

Gregorio Martinez, whose flight from justice was profiled in a special report by NJ Advance Media in May, allegedly groped a 15-year-old boy in Estelí, Nicaragua, earlier this year, said Pedro Matamoros, the pastor of the church where Martinez lived for about seven months.

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