News Story of the Day

As Pennsylvania investigates dioceses, N.Y. prosecutors stay bystanders

By July 1, 2018, Buffalo News

Special agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office used search warrants and subpoenas last year to seize evidence of a massive cover-up of clergy sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses in the state.

But despite growing revelations of sex abuse by priests in the Diocese of Buffalo, law enforcement authorities in New York aren't investigating whether crimes were committed in keeping the abuses hidden for so long.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and a spokeswoman for the state attorney general both said that their offices don't have the authority to investigate a diocese for criminal matters, although district attorneys in Westchester and Suffolk counties used grand juries to do that 16 years ago.

List of Allentown Diocese priests publicly accused of sexual abuse or other offenses

The Morning Call, June 21, 2018

These priests have been accused in court cases or published reports over the past two decades. This listing includes summaries of their cases and their status with the Allentown Diocese.

The Rev. Thomas Bender, former pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament in Bally, was sentenced to seven years' probation in 1988 for molesting a teenage Pottsville boy in the 1980s. A civil case with the boy and his family was settled by the diocese out of court. Bender was laicised, or defrocked.

Monsignor Lawrence J. Bukaty, former pastor of St. Katharine Drexel in Carbon County, was charged with public lewdness after a park ranger saw him fondling himself on a nude New Jersey beach in 2008. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and received probation. The diocese at the time said he was sent for treatment. He is no longer in ministry.


Attorney for church abuse victim says more alleged victims are coming forwardf

Written by: Rob Masson, June 29, 2018, Fox8

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -  The lawyer for a sexual abuse victim who landed a large settlement against the Archdiocese said more potential victims are coming forward. The victim said things should have never gone this far.

Attorney Roger Stetter has litigated nearly 80 cases against the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Last week, Stetter landed a half-million-dollar settlement from the Archdiocese for a man who said teacher and former Deacon George Brignac raped and sexually abused him at Holy Rosary Church.

PA--Catholic priest removed from Bath church amidst sexual misconduct allegations

WFMZ-TV 69, June 28, 2018

Civil lawsuit filed against Allentown Diocese

BATH, Pa. - The Allentown Diocese has removed a Catholic priest from ministry following allegations that he encouraged a teenage boy to masturbate while being counseled online by the priest.

Florida-based attorney Jeffrey Herman filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia Tuesday against Monsignor Francis Nave, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown and Bishop Alfred A. Schlert in connection to the alleged 2012 incidents.

Judicial overreach: State Supreme Court undercuts grand jury process

Pa. Supreme Court explains why it blocked release of clergy sex-abuse report, citing challenges from 'many' people

By by Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil, June 25, 2018, The Philadelphia Inquirer

HARRISBURG — After being criticized for halting the release of a long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday offered the first explanation of its decision, saying it needs to resolve legal challenges by “many individuals” named in the report who fear their reputations will be harmed.

In a five-page unsigned opinion, the justices offered no clues as to the identity of the petitioners, or the specifics about the circumstances of their objections. Instead, they explained that concerns had been raised about the secretive nature of the grand jury process and the ability of some people to address or respond to the allegations contained in the more than 800-page document, which details decades of abuse in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

Could a grand jury find sexual abuse among non-Catholic organizations? Religious leaders say yes

‘We’re Coming for Them’: Survivors Demand Release of 884-Page Pennsylvania Clergy Sex Abuse Report

By VICTORIA ALBERT, June 24, 2018, The Daily Beast

A court just muzzled the ‘damaging’ findings on decades of Catholic clerical abuse. But it’s not over. ‘We are coming for them,’ says a state rep who was raped by a priest at 13.

Mark Rozzi thought he was days away from justice, or at least the beginning of it.

It started when he was 13, and a priest at his school in Hyde Park, Pennsylvania, started grooming him. For months, the Rev. Edward Graff talked with Rozzi about sex, gave him alcohol, and showed him pornography. Then, one fateful day, he raped him in a rectory shower.

Rozzi didn’t report his abuse for 26 years. But he later learned that during that period, Graff was transferred multiple times between parishes, and allegedly abused children in Texas, too. In 2002, Graff was arrested on child-abuse charges after facing dozens of accusations, The Washington Post reports. He later died in jail.

Former priest sexually abused girl for years, including during confession, court documents show

Pa. Supreme Court blocks release of grand jury report into clergy sex abuse

By Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2018

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to indefinitely block the release of a grand jury report detailing decades of clergy sex abuse in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

In a two-paragraph order made public Wednesday, the state’s highest court said it granted requests from unnamed individuals or institutions to prevent the public release of the much-anticipated report.

“The Honorable Norman A. Krumenacker, III, and the Office of the Attorney General are enjoined from releasing Report No. 1 of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury pending further order of this Court,” it read, citing the Cambria County judge who has overseen the panel’s work.

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