September 18, 2018
Cristian Precht Bañados, now defrocked after spending so much of his time unfrocked.
(CNN)Pope Francis has expelled the Reverend Cristian Precht Bañados of Chile, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Santiago.
This is the first formal resignation the Pope has decreed since every bishop in Chile offered to step down in May over the country’s sex abuse scandal. The Chilean bishops’ offer was thought to be unprecedented in the modern history of the Catholic Church.
Precht had been suspended in 2012 from practicing within the ministry for five years after the Archbishop of Santiago ordered a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against him.
The Archbishop issued a statement at the time saying that “during the process were established verifiable reports of abusive behavior with adults and minors.”
Precht has not been charged with any crimes by Chilean authorities, but was not allowed to leave the country’s capital, Santiago, pending completion of the church investigation.
In a February 2013 statement, Precht denied “ever forcing anyone’s will, be it an adult or a minor, woman or man.”
He also denied the allegations earlier this year in a letter to the director of the Chilean newspaper La Tercera.
“I absolutely deny participating, in any way, in the acts which I’m slanderously being accused of,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I will defend my personal and clerical honor in every way I can and any time it’s violated.”
Precht was extremely popular in Chile and known for being a fierce defender of human rights during the Chilean dictatorship.
His defrocking comes as the Catholic Church continues to face criticism over its response to myriad allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic clergy over the years.
Pope Francis said last month that “no effort to beg pardon and seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient.” He has called for a meeting of the church’s top officials in February to address the scandal.
They apparently ran out of parishes to move him to.
September 18, 2018
September 15, 2018
The pope doubled down against those who accuse clergymen of sexual abuse during a homily Thursday morning, saying that those who accuse bishops of sexual abuse are like Satan, “the Great Accuser.”
An Argentine woman who says she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a cleric in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires — where Pope Francis once served as the cardinal archbishop — said the pope ignored victims of sexual abuse while welcoming celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio with open arms.
The woman was one of six individuals who said they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and had written letters to Pope Francis — who was then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio — when he was head of the archdiocese to inform him of the abuses.
However, many of the victims said Bergoglio never responded to their complaints.
“I don’t expect anything from him; I don’t believe in him,” another female victim said.
“I suffered a lot and I’m very disappointed … Because the Pope did nothing when he was archbishop here. Everyone told me: ‘Write to him, he’s bound to reply.’ But nothing. I suffered, and now I’m very disappointed,” a third female victim said.
Even with these reports of sexual abuse in Francis’s diocese, the pope claimed in his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth that instances of sexual abuse by clergy members “never occurred in my diocese” and “in the diocese, it never happened to me.”
Around the same time the then-archbishop published his book, he commissioned a study calling victims of sexual abuse “false accusers,” claiming their accusations were just ways of projecting their own sexual desires onto accused priests.
As pope, Francis has not changed his views on victims of sexual abuse. The pope doubled down against those who accuse clergymen of sexual abuse during a homily Thursday morning, saying that those who accuse bishops of sexual abuse are like Satan, “the Great Accuser.”
“He receives all the celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio, and opens his door to them. And for us, not even a quick letter to say he was sorry,” one of the victims told an interviewer with the French news program Cash Investigation in 2017.
September 14, 2018
Donald Wuerl, trying hard to avoid investigation into sex abuse charges
And the beat goes on…
CNN)Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will travel to the Vatican “in the very near future” to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation, a spokesman said.
In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented nearly three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. He said a decision about his future “is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward.”
“Our discernment here, I believe, has indicated the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this church,” Wuerl said.
Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur. A contingent of American bishops is meeting on Thursday with the Pope in Rome, but Wuerl is not among them, according to the Vatican.
At a recent meeting with the Pope in Vatican City, Wuerl said in his letter, the Pope asked him to consider the best course of action “as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight.”
Wuerl is facing increasing scrutiny both over what he may have known about abuse allegations against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington, and how he handled abusive priests while he headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Wuerl has “categorically denied” that any information about accusations against McCarrick was ever brought to him. He has also defended his overall record handling clerical abuse in Pittsburgh, even while acknowledging “errors in judgment.”
In his letter Tuesday, the cardinal wrote, “At issue is how to begin effectively to bring a new level of healing to survivors who have personally suffered so much and to the faithful entrusted to our care who have also been wounded by the shame of these terrible actions and have questions about their bishop’s ability to provide the necessary leadership.”
Francis plans to meet on Thursday at the Vatican with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Pope’s top adviser on clergy sex abuse.
Earlier this month, Wuerl acknowledged the turmoil surrounding his leadership — and the Catholic Church’s leadership — amid a slew of multistate abuse-related investigations.
Wuerl’s record has come under fire in the wake of a damning grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania. Wuerl is portrayed as having a checkered record of protecting predator priests.
In June, McCarrick was removed from public ministrybecause of a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.
McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults “decades ago” while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the current bishops of those cities said then. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.
August 4, 2018
We think silence was the problem to begin with. We call for rage, not silence. And we call for Francis’ resignation.
Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Monday said “silence and prayer” were the answer to those seeking “scandal and division”, amid a barrage of attacks from ultra-conservative Catholics.
The pope has so far refused to respond to allegations made last month that he for years covered up sexual abuse allegations against a prominent US cardinal.
“With people who lack goodwill, with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: (there is nothing but) silence. And prayer,” Francis said during a service at St Martha’s, the boarding house where he stays.
Among some ultra-conservative Catholics, the pope is regarded as a dangerous progressive who is more interested in social issues than traditional Church matters.
His comments came after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, claimed in August that Francis ignored sexual abuse allegations against US cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years.
August 25, 2018
August 25, 2018
Yeah. Nuns. Are you surprised?
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, monsters of the Smyllum Park orphanage
Aug. 23 (UPI) — Scotland police arrested and charged a dozen people, including nuns, in an investigation of alleged child abuse at the now-closed Smyllum Park orphanage.
Eleven women and one man, ages 62 to 85, have been arrested in the case, police said Thursday.
The arrests of the nuns and former staff were based on an investigation into claims of systematic physical and sexual abuse of children over many decades at the orphanage in Lanark.
Another four former staff members at the Catholic-affiliated orphanage were reported to the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service.
Former residents told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry earlier this year about their experiences at the orphanage. They said staff and nuns abused them repeatedly, humiliated them for wetting beds and deprived them of food. They also said some male and female staff sexually abused children.
“Investigating child abuse offenses is highly complex and every care is taken to ensure that enquiries are proportionate, appropriate and that victims’ needs are central to our investigations,” Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor said.
Police would not release any further details in the case.
The orphanage run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was closed in 1981. It had opened in 1864 and had more than 11,000 children placed there over 117 years.
The bodies of approximately 400 children were discovered in grave just a few minutes way from the Smyllum orphanage in 2003.
Two former residents, Frank Docherty and Jim Kane, previously uncovered the burial plot in an unmarked section of St. Mary’s Cemetery, where a third of the bodies belonged to children aged 5 or younger.
Records showed deaths attributed to ailments like tuberculosis, flu and scarlet fever, reported the Sunday Post. Deaths also occurred from accidents and malnutrition.
“It is heartbreaking to discover so many children may have been buried in these unmarked graves. After so many years of silence, we must now know the truth of what happened here,” said Jack McConnell, former first minister of Scotland.
Lady Smith, SCAI chair, is expected to soon release a preliminary investigative report. The full report will come late next year.
August 22, 2018
A US cardinal has pulled out of a keynote speech at the World Meeting of Families, a global event being hosted by the Roman Catholic church in Dublin, after he was criticised for his handling of child sexual abuse in a damning report.
, the archbishop of Washington, concealed abuse and moved known child molesters to new posts when he was bishop of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania from 1988 to 2006, according to the grand jury report.
His withdrawal from the event, which begins on Tuesday and which Pope Francis will attend next weekend, is another indicator that the church is struggling to get on top of a wave of sexual abuse scandals that have engulfed the Vatican this year. Survivors of sexual abuse are expected to protest during the pope’s 36-hour visit to Ireland.
No reason was given for Wuerl’s withdrawal. It follows the cancellation of the appearance another cardinal, Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, whose diocese said he had to personally attend to allegations of sexual harassment and bullying at a seminary.
In his defense the cardinal said, “Hey, I didn’t fuck nearly as many kids as the priests I protected and I never killed and ate any of them, so back the fuck off.”
August 22, 2018
Two days after Pennsylvania bishop David Zubic stated publically that the Catholic Church is “different now”and no longer engaged in systemic sexual abuse, back in the real world this hit the news –
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Roman Catholic priest was charged Tuesday with groping a 17-year-old girl and sending her nude images of himself, just a week after a Pennsylvania grand jury reported the church had covered up decades of priests’ child molestation across the state.
The charges of felony corruption of minors and misdemeanor indecent assault against the Rev. Kevin Lonergan, 30, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania, native who most recently served as pastor at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Siena in Allentown, were not a result of the landmark grand jury investigation but stemmed from a complaint filed in June after the grand jury had finished its work, authorities said.
This is at least the second case of possible priest abuse being investigated in the Allentown Diocese since the grand jury finished its report, which identified 301 “predator priests” in a half dozen Pennsylvania dioceses going back to the 1940s.
Authorities have charged just two priests as a result of the grand jury investigation, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
These Are Just A Few Of The Chilling Stories Of Abuse Covered Up By The Catholic Church In Pennsylvania
August 18, 2018
For decades, stories about clerical sexual abuse committed by Pennsylvania Catholic priests were reportedly locked away in the church’s secret archives.
These old secrets exploded into the light Tuesday with the publication of a grand jury report into six of Pennsylvania’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.
The jurors’ 884-page report allowed Pennsylvania Catholics to finally grasp the extent of the abuse ― and cover-up ― in six dioceses: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. Over the course of two years, jurors identified 301 “predator priests” and more than 1,000 victims.
Jurors heard stories of boys and girls being groped. They heard about cases of kids becoming victims of child pornography, being made to masturbate with assailants, and being raped orally, vaginally and anally.
Underpinning the horrific crimes in the report are hundreds of pages of documents from the church’s secret archives that the jurors claim show that senior church officials knew the abuse was happening and failed to act properly. Catholic leaders, including former bishops, actively worked to protect abusers and the church’s public reputation, while brushing aside victims’ reports, the jurors claim.
The six dioceses and the accused priests were allowed to include their own responses to these claims at the end of the grand jury’s report. Some priests attached rebuttals, saying that the report included inaccuracies. About two dozen people named in the report petitioned to have their names redacted, claiming their right to due process would be violated if they were identified. The state Supreme Court plans to consider these individuals’ claims in September to determine if those redacted names should be revealed.
The majority of the perpetrators may never be brought to justice. Many are dead, while in some cases, the statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges has expired. That’s why the jurors insisted on naming accused priests and their bishops, and describing the abuse in detail.
“We are going to shine a light on their conduct, because that is what the victims deserve,” the report says.
To highlight the scope of the issue and the need for change, here are just some of the shocking cases of abuse and alleged cover-up documented in Tuesday’s landmark investigation.
August 17, 2018
Mark Alan Feeney and David John Croyle accused of sexual assault of a minor
KITTANNING (KDKA) — A church pastor and a fire marshal in Armstrong County are accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
State police say 55-year-old Mark Alan Feeney, of Applewold, Pa., and 60-year-old David John Croyle, of Kittanning, are facing statutory sexual assault charges.
The two men allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy multiple times between April and September of 2016.
Croyle is a church pastor, Kittanning newspaper publisher and the vice president of the Kittanning City Council.
Feeney is a former fire chief and the present fire marshal for two Buffalo Township volunteer fire companies. He has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case. Feeney also was on the Applewold Town Council at one time.
Investigators tell KDKA the victim first met Croyle when he applied for a job at the Kittanning Paper.
Croyle allegedly sexually assaulted the teenager inside his apartment.
Troopers say they have text messages and other digital evidence to back up the victim’s account.
Feeney allegedly assaulted the teenager at his home on Ridge Avenue.
Investigators say Feeney and Croyle are acquaintances and they are not ruling out the possibility that Croyle may have introduced the victim to Feeney. They also say there’s no mistaking that both suspects knew the victim was minor.
“It was no accident. There was no mistake of age. It was an intentional act. They knew what they were doing,” Trooper Robert Rottman said.
Croyle and Feeney are in the Armstrong County Jail, both held on $150,000 bond.
August 16. 2018
Aryeh Cohen, would be child molester
A Minnesota rabbi who works in student outreach was charged in a child sex sting conducted earlier this year.
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen faces two felony counts of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing conduct with a child, the Pioneer Press reported.
Some 17 people have been charged in recent days in the undercover operation.
In most of the cases, the men responded to ads posted on Craigslist by undercover agents posing as young women or men seeking a hook-up.
Cohen, 44, who has no prior record, was arrested in February outside an apartment in North St. Paul, where the federal agent posing as a 15-year-old boy suggested they meet after a week of communicating through a hook-up site, the Forward reported.
Cohen was the director of outreach for the Minneapolis Community Kollel, an Orthodox community center that offers seminars and classes on Jewish texts and religious life. He ran the Kollel’s JWAY program for college students and recent graduates. He and his wife, Adina, also led private text studies with male and female students at the Hillel on the University of Minnesota campus, according to the Forward, though he was not employed by Hillel.
Cohen’s name was removed from the Kollel’s website.
The rabbi will appear in court in September. If convicted, he faces up to six years in prison.