News Story of the Day

Catholic leaders named in cover-ups remain active in parish ministries, boards in Baltimore archdiocese

Baltimore Sun [Baltimore MD]

May 11, 2023

By Lee O. Sanderlin and Jonathan M. Pitts

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Monsignor Richard “Rick” Woy is head pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Crofton, Monsignor J. Bruce Jarboe is head pastor at St. Ann in Hagerstown and Monsignor G. Michael Schleupner regularly leads services at Our Lady of Grace in Parkton. All have celebrated Mass since The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday they were part of the hierarchy blamed in a Maryland Attorney General’s Office investigation about how the archdiocese handled abuse cases over decades.

Seminarian booted in Ind. before rape case

Tyler Whetstone


Bishop Richard Stika was told a Diocese of Knoxville seminarian had been kicked out of an Indiana seminary over sexual harassment complaints weeks before the diocese began investigating whether the seminarian had raped a church employee here, Knox News has learned. The dismissal was explained in a letter from the president-rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary to Stika dated March 1, 2021. Nine days later, a Knoxville diocese sexual assault review board member wrote to the victims assistance coordinator about the rape allegation, and the review board began investigating at the end of the month.

Two weeks later, Stika ordered the firing of an independent investigator hired by the review board to dig into the allegation.

And in April 2021, Stika committed the diocese to pay nearly $50,000 for tuition and living expenses for the dismissed seminarian to attend Saint Louis University beginning that fall.

‘Uncomfortable’ behavior detailed

The Very Rev. Denis Robinson, the president-rector of St. Meinard Seminary, included documentation with his letter to Stika detailing the complaints against the dismissed Knoxville seminarian. The letter and supporting documents total 10 pages.

One student said the Knoxville seminarian, who is Polish, invited him to his dorm room, told him his American accent was “sexy,” and tried to hold his hand, prompting the student to immediately leave. Another student

said he was undressing to go to bed when he noticed the Knoxville seminarian gazing at him from his room across a courtyard in the dormitory.

‘They are all still at large:’ Clergy abuse survivors call for suspensions, release of names after investigative articles

Baltimore Banner

Published on: May 08, 2023 1:21 PM EDT|Updated on: May 08, 2023 1:25 PM EDT 

Survivors of priest sexual abuse gathered Monday outside the Archdiocese of Baltimore offices to demand church leaders disclose the names of all accused clergy and suspend the high-ranking priests who handled complaints of abuse.

David Lorenz and other members of Maryland’s chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also called on Baltimore Archbishop William Lori to resign and for parishioners to pressure for changes in the church, including new leadership.

The group held the news conference in response to investigative articles published last week in The Baltimore Sun and The Baltimore Banner that identified church officials and accused priests whose names were redacted from the attorney general’s report on child sex abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Lorenz named all three abusers and five officials whose names have been unmasked. The Rev. Samuel Lupico, the Rev. Joseph O’Meara and the Rev. John Peter Krzyanski are the three priests whose names were made public in a Banner story. “They are all still at large. They are out there. And now that we know those names, children are no longer in harm’s way — in as much harm’s way.” Lorenz said.

Louisiana Supreme Court debates 3-year window for child sex abuse lawsuits

Times-Picayune [New Orleans LA]

May 1, 2023

By John Simerman

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The viability of hundreds of lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and elsewhere hung in the balance as the Louisiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday over a challenge to a recent state law that created a 3-year “lookback” window to sue.

At issue is a law the Legislature first passed in 2021 and revised last year in response to eruptions in a long-running clergy sex abuse scandal in Catholic churches in Louisiana, backed by studies on delayed recognition of abuse by survivors.

The legislation, which passed overwhelmingly, granted victims of childhood sexual abuse until 2024 to sue over their alleged mistreatment regardless of their age. Previously, they had until age 28.

Adults remain vulnerable to clergy abuse, experts say

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

April 25, 2023

By Gina Christian, OSV News

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Catholic Church in the US has made progress in protecting minors but a lot more work needs to be done to safeguard adults

The Catholic Church in the U.S. has made progress over the past two decades in confronting sexual abuse against minors within the church, but has only begun to address the vulnerability of adults to sexual abuse by clergy, religious and lay leaders, experts told OSV News.

“We’ve accomplished a tremendous amount in the area of (creating) safe environments,” said Suzanne Healy, chairwoman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board, a lay-led group that advises the bishops on preventing sexual abuse of minors.

Former Aquinas student sues former Nashville priest, Philadelphia archdiocese over abuse

Tennessean [Nashville TN]

April 20, 2023

By Liam Adams

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Allegations of sexual abuse against former Aquinas College chaplain Kevin B. McGoldrick emerged in 2020 in news report.

Former Aquinas student recently sued McGoldrick and Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, expanding on previously reported revelations about McGoldrick’s case.

Lawsuit alleges Archdiocese of Philadelphia withheld knowledge from Diocese of Nashville of McGoldrick’s history of abuse before McGoldrick transferred to Nashville.

A former student at Nashville’s Aquinas College is suing the college’s former chaplain, Kevin B. McGoldrick, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for McGoldrick’s alleged sexual abuse of the former student.

The lawsuit expands on reporting by the London-based Catholic Herald in 2020 detailing the former Aquinas student’s allegations. The complaint, filed Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, charges the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with negligence and recklessness for allegedly failing to report McGoldrick’s history of abuse when McGoldrick moved from Philadelphia to Nashville.

Lawsuit pins down bishop in abuse case

Tyler Whetstone


Bishop Richard Stika admitted that he told a room full of priests that the man who says he was raped by a seminarian was actually the one who was the predator, not the other way around. The admission was revealed in new court filings in a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville.

The man who filed the suit says the diocese worked to discredit him and that Stika’s comments to the priests back up that claim. The man also says in the suit that church leaders failed to properly investigate when he reported the abuse.

Stika made the comments at a May 2021 meeting at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, according to the lawsuit. The account came from someone who attended the meeting.

The following month, Stika again told a meeting of priests in Gatlinburg that the man groomed the seminarian for sexual abuse, the suit says.

In a filing made April 11, the diocese did not dispute Stika’s comments, saying he “accurately reflected his opinion and understanding of the underlying circumstances and events based upon the information that was available to him at the time.”

Stika declined, via a diocesan spokesperson, to say whether he still thinks – nearly two years later – that John Doe is a predator and someone who groomed the seminarian for abuse.

How we got here

The comments were included in an amended complaint filed earlier this year, when the alleged victim was forced to refile the suit under his legal name instead of using a pseudonym to protect his identity. The requirement was a result of the church convincing a judge to sign off on the order. Church watchers said this was meant to intimidate the victim and could persuade future victims from reporting their abuse.

In the original lawsuit, the man was identified as John Doe to protect his privacy. Knox News will continue to identify him as John Doe because he says he was the victim of sexual assault.


Washington bill takes away confession exception in abuse reporting

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

April 15, 2023

By Kate Scanlon, OSV News

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The Catholic Church strictly forbids priests from divulging what penitents tell them during confession

A bill that would require clergy to report child abuse or neglect in Washington was advanced by the state’s House, prompting concern from some Catholics who are seeking a clergy-penitent exemption to protect the seal of the confessional.

Catholics in the state have expressed concern the House’s version of the bill could force priests to violate the civil law in order to uphold church law regarding the seal of confession.

The bill passed the House on April 11 in a 75-20 vote.

Bangor woman shares story of abuse from former Catholic priest

WPOR [Portland ME]

April 16, 2023


A Bangor woman wants to warn others of the abuse she endured from former Catholic priest Anthony Cipolle, who was a Reverend at St. John’s in Bangor from 2017 until 2020.

Melissa Kearns, who shared her story with the Portland Press Herald, claims Cipolle sexually, emotionally and psychologically abused her in 2018. The Press Herald says it reviewed numerous texts and emails between Cipolle and Kearns that support her claims.

Cipolle was expelled from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in 2020 after a Maine judge accused Cipolle of “inflaming” a situation that led to the murder of Renee Henneberry Clark in 2018, who he was a spiritual adviser for.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Cipolle had gotten into a fight with Clark’s brother-in-law, who shot Clark 10 times hours later.

Commentary: Forsaken again

Times Union [Albany NY]

April 2, 2023

By Daniel Thompson

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For survivors of sex abuse, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese’s bankruptcy filing is just one more betrayal.

On March 15, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany filed for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That day I watched in despair as Bishop Edward Scharfenberger justified his decision as “the best way to protect everyone” while acknowledging “it may cause pain and suffering.”

The public has the right to know exactly what that pain and suffering looks like. Not from the loudest attorney or a diocese spokesperson, but from a victim of clergy sexual abuse.

I was one of over 400 plaintiffs under the New York Child Victims Act seeking civil relief from the Albany diocese. As imperfect as it was, the process was providing tangible justice through early releases of documents and depositions. Most notable to me, the 2021 testimony of Bishop Howard Hubbard admitting to sheltering criminal priests: moving them from parish to parish, never notifying the public of their danger. The legal process under the CVA was a godsend. I was finding answers and learned my sadistic priest wasn’t an aberration; he was protected by the church that raised me. I never really stood a chance. 

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