News Story of the Day
News: 'Vos estis lux mundi'; Diocese of BrooklynThe Pillar
A December complaint sent through the U.S. bishops’ abuse reporting system alleges that a now-retired Brooklyn auxiliary bishop put minors at risk, by enabling a priest to be in contact with teenage girls despite allegations of grooming behavior.
Bishop Raymond Chappetto retired last month as auxiliary bishop and vicar general in the Brooklyn diocese. He is now the subject of a Vatican-ordered investigation under the terms of Vos estis lux mundi, the 2019 policy promulgated by Pope Francis on investigating abuse or administrative misconduct allegations against bishops.
- Feb 27, 2022
District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled on Saturday that funds from the Archdiocese of Agaña’s Catholic parishes and schools could be used to help pay survivors of sexual abuse.
In January 2019, the Archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy to allow it to restructure its finances to pay the plaintiffs in about 202 clergy sex abuse claims.
The church listed $22.96 million in assets, with $45.66 million in liabilities, according to PDN news files.
Attorney Edwin Caldie, who represented some of the survivors and other creditors, said that the parties currently are trying to agree on a settlement between what the claimants are asking and what the church can pay without losing its entire community.
“It’s complicated. The church chose to file for bankruptcy and so the bankruptcy code, all of the laws, federal laws, relating to bankruptcy, they’ll guide and they’ll help us figure out what that is,” Caldie said.
Additionally, because the claims against the church are higher than it can pay, those involved have to figure out how to balance what the church can pay through bankruptcy, while ensuring as much as possible is paid to all victims.
According to Caldie, both the Archdiocese and the committee of survivors have proposed plans for reorganization.
Although Caldie believes that the committee’s plan is feasible, the church disagrees.
“That’s going to be the starting point for our discussions now, with our mediator, to see if we can figure out common ground to settle.”
Although the ruling wasn’t in the Archdiocese’s favor, Archbishop of Agaña Michael J. Byrnes said they will work with the creditor’s committee to compensate victims and survivors while still supporting their ministries, schools and parishes.
“We were all inspired by the extraordinary courage of Mr. (Leo) Tudela and his heartfelt call for everyone to work together for the good of those who have suffered excruciatingly from clergy sexual abuse in our Church, “ Byrnes said in a news release. “On behalf of the entire Catholic Church on Guam, I sincerely apologize for the grave harm members of the Church inflicted on you in past years. I pray for each of you every day. Our entire Archdiocese prays for you at all our Masses.”
He told senators in 2016 that he was sexually abused on three separate occasions by three people, including a priest, Father Louis Brouillard, connected to the Archdiocese of Agaña when he came to Guam in 1956, according to PDN files.
Tudela was among four people who testified at an August 2016 legislative public hearing on Sen. Frank Blas Jr.’s measure that eventually became the public law that lifted the time restriction on lawsuits for victims of child abuse.
At the time, criminal prosecution was impossible in most cases because of the statutes of limitations that were in effect.
The deadline to prosecute offenders expired decades prior, but Guam law has since changed to eliminate time limits on prosecuting future offenders.
Contact reporter Julianne Hernandez at [email protected] or 671-488-1439.
Baruch Leifer, 70, was arrested last month but his name barred from publication; suspected of molesting a family member when she was 12; more accusations said too old to prosecute
02/03/22 AT 4:40 AM
They were working for a Catholic bishop and had clear-cut orders from Pope Francis himself -- probe reports of pedophile priests in a city in Colombia.
What these two investigators -- two Catholic women with experience conducting criminal probes -- found was an utter bombshell: a network of predatory clergymen that sexually abused at least 20 people, reportedly taking turns with one of them.
The abuse was committed in Villavicencio, a central Colombian city of half a million people with a cathedral in the town square, and parts of the surrounding area that fall under one archdiocese.
The pope says fighting clergy sex abuse is one of his priorities, and in 2019, he told the bishop of Villavicencio, Oscar Urbina, to investigate alleged abuses by priests.
‘Behind Sacred Walls’ tells one man’s story of being raped by priests
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Michael Roberts comes from a religious Catholic family that never missed Sunday mass. And like hundreds of other boys who have come forward, he was abused by the priest at his church.
But Roberts’ story of abuse by Catholic priests is a little different from others. He was a little older than most victims we’ve heard about; he was 17 when he was first raped. But, Roberts explains, he was a young and naïve 17 with no sexual experience.
The purpose of Roberts’ book, Behind Sacred Walls, is to help other victims of abuse by religious figures, not to expose or punish those who hurt him. In fact, Roberts changes the names of his tormentors and never reveals the parish that protected his rapists.
Father Gregory, as Roberts calls him, began inviting himself to dinner with the family every week. Then he invited Michael on day trips. His parents were delighted that their favorite priest was taking such an interest in their son. They couldn’t imagine he was grooming Michael for years of abuse.
When Roberts at first tried to get Father Gregory to stop, the priest told him, “Your family will never find out.” And rather than distance himself from the family, the priest continued to ingratiate himself to them.
And Roberts thought his family would never believe that this kindly priest, who showed such rage in private, was capable of rape.
Survivor advocacy group delivers Catholic Church whistleblower documents for state investigation into faith leader abuse
On Wednesday, Springfield Bishop William Byrne announced that the new Implementation and Oversight Committee will lead the implementation of recommendations put forward by an independent task force that assessed the diocese’s response to sexual abuse.
Last September, the task force recommended changes to the process of responding to allegations of sexual abuse. Among its findings were that law enforcement should first investigate such accusations, not solely the diocese. The task force also nominated the slate of candidates who will now become members of the oversight committee.
PARMA, Ohio — Local women are breaking their silence about what they say really happened inside a Cleveland area home for children. They claim physical abuse by nuns at the former Parmadale home was well-beyond normal discipline handed out during the 1960s, and it’s all taken a drastic emotional toll.
(View the full news report in the link below)
Parmadale Children’s Village of St. Vincent DePaul in Parma started accepting orphaned children in 1925. In 1964, a 4-year-old Carolyn Foland, now Carolyn Mason, started what she called a living nightmare at the village.
“I was scared. I was scared being in there a lot,” said Mason.
Now in her 60s, she has revisited the former grounds of Parmadale that’s in the process of being demolished, and she’s opening up for the first time publicly about her claims of serious physical abuse at the hands of the nun who was in charge of her.
“Sister Myra was very mean, almost to the point of evil,” said Mason.
She wiped away tears as she described beatings she claims came from Sister Myra Wasikowski.
“If I had bruises, which one time she blacked my eye really, really good so, that Sunday I couldn’t see my grandma and grandpa because it was too bruised and black,” said Mason.
She described the physical abuse as brutal and said Sister Myra, at times, would even enlist some help.
“Sometimes she would have another kid beat you up,” Mason told us.
“She had two faces. One was the devil and one was Sister Myra,” said Debbie Demming. She, too, was at Parmadale in the 1960s. She showed us a picture that she said was her wiggling away from Sister Myra’s lap. Demming was just 10 years old.
“Sister Myra would strip you down, bare naked, have the girls hold you down on a bench that was there by the lockers and beat your butt with whatever she could find,” described Demming.
She showed us a scar that she said she got from the nun. “She cracked me in the back of the head with a hand brush, split my head open,” said Demming.
She told us kneeling on rice and hairbrushes for extended periods of time was all too common. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, she and Mason described even more.
“If you didn’t eat your food or you got sick at the dining table, she would make you eat your vomit,” said Demming.
“Spoon it back (to you),” said Mason.
“She would feed you your own vomit?” we asked.
“Yes,” said Mason.
“My God! How can anybody do anything like this?” questioned Sharon Ponomarenko during a recent interview with News 5 Investigators. She told us she has vivid memories of a different nun at Parmadale when she was there in the early 60s. She said she watched that nun beat her brother there.
“She hit him so hard his knuckles were bleeding to the point where he passed out,” said Ponomarenko.
In fact, we found an online message board through a national group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. There are numerous posts claiming abuse by nuns happened frequently at Parmadale.
“I can recall some awful beatings…” wrote one person.
There are many references to Sister Myra including “I was pushed down the basement stairs got 7 stitches in my chin…”, “terribly abusive…”, and “Sr. Myra, A.K.A. the Antichrist…”