News Story of the Day

Former seminarian indicted, pleads not guilty to child sex crime charges

By NBC4 Staff, February 25, 2016,

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Joel Wright, a former student at a Columbus seminary, was formally charged Wednesday in Southern California on charges he attempted to travel out of the country to rape underage children.

Teacher accused of abusing 52 boys now lives in Salt Lake HI

By Keoki Kerr, February 25, 2016,  HawaiiNewsNow

SALT LAKE, OAHU  A longtime Catholic school teacher accused of molesting dozens of boys in three states for decades is living on Oahu, but his name and those of priests accused of sexual misconduct are not listed in the state’s sex offender registry.

Catholic schoolteacher brother Edward Courtney is accused of sexually abusing more than 50 boys from New York to Chicago to Seattle over three decades.

How 'Spotlight' missed the story: Column

William F. Baker,  February 23, 2016, USA Today

It is just a single line of dialogue from Spotlight, up for Best Picture and five other Academy Awards this Sunday, but it could be a movie in itself. It's an allusion to an entire unknown chapter in the history of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals: the role of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) in first uncovering the clerical conspiracy to shield abusing priests.

'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.

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