Catholicism

Costa Rica Priest Wanted For Rape Of Minors Arrested In Mexico

August 22, 2019

Image result for Mauricio Víquez Lizano

Costa Rican Catholic priest Mauricio Víquez Lizano, on the run since January of this year, was arrested this Sunday at dawn in San Nicolás de Los Garza, Monterrey, in the Mexican state of Nuevo León.

The priest, 55, was wanted in 194 countries since he fled Costa Rica for alleged sexual abuse, qualified rape and aggravated corruption against minors.

The Attorney General of Mexico confirmed the detention.

Michael Rodríguez and Anthony Venegas, who denounced Víquez Lizano for alleged sexual abuse, traveled to Mexico City in early August to ask the people of that country to notify the authorities if they knew his whereabouts.

“He was arrested in the early hours of the morning, it was confirmed by the boys who I represent, who were invited to Mexico and carried an urgent message that he (the priest) detained,” said Rodolfo Alvarado, the lawyer for two of the men.

Costa Rica has begun its request extradition.

Lawyer Alvarado believes the former Catholic priest, who has been a fugitive from Costa Rican justice since Monday, January 7, when a complaint was filed against him for alleged sexual abuse against a minor, could be back in Costa Rica as early as September 15.

Pennsylvania priest stole nearly $100,000 in church donations to pay men he met on Grindr for sex acts

August 22, 2019

Reverend Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his sleazy habit for at least six years
  • Rev Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his habit for six years
  • On Wednesday, investigators revealed that he opened a secret TD Bank account in 2011 and deposited $98,405 until he was finally investigated in 2018
  • The priest allegedly withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash some of which he spent paying men for sex – including $1,200 to an inmate in a correctional facility
  • He admitted using some of the funds for ‘personal relationships’ with other men

A crooked priest stole nearly $100,000 in church donations to pay men he met on Grindr to perform sex acts on him, prosecutors have alleged.

Reverend Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his sleazy habit for at least six years.

On Wednesday, investigators revealed he opened a secret TD Bank checking account in 2011 and deposited $98,405, which he then used to pay for his illicit activities as well as to pay off his credit card debts.

The disgraced priest allegedly withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash from the undisclosed account in Ocean City, New Jersey, where he owns a beach house.

He admitted using some of the funds for ‘personal relationships’ with men, including $1,200 to an inmate in a New York correctional facility, court files states.

McLoone told investigators that Miller lived in New York City and that he met the inmate via Grindr for a sexual relationship, the complaint shows.

Priest who starred in ‘The Exorcist’ is accused of repeatedly raping one of his students in New York during the 1980s

August 15, 2019

He raped children. That’s how we knew he was really a priest, said the producer of The Exorcist.

Image result for Father William J. O'Malley
  • A priest who starred in the 1973 horror ‘The Exorcist’ is accused of sexually abusing one of his students at a school where he taught in New York
  • Father William O’Malley taught at McQuaid Jesuit High School for 20 years
  • He is accused of sexually abusing one of his students there during the 1980s  
  • The complaint came to light after The Child Victim’s Act came into effect in New York allowing victims of child sex abuse to bring their cases to court 

A real-life priest who starred in ‘The Exorcist’ is accused of sexually abusing one of his students at a school where he taught in New York.

Father William J. O’Malley was a teacher at McQuaid Jesuit High School both before and after he starred as Father Joseph Dyer in the 1973 horror classic.

Father O’Malley joined the McQuaid faculty in 1965 and left the school in the mid-1980s, becoming well-known within the community.

He is now 87 and lives in in the Jesuit community at Fordham University in the Bronx.

O’Malley also wrote more than three dozen books and was a vocal representative Jesuit order and Catholic faith.

A lawsuit seen by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle states that O’Malley is accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old McQuaid student ‘multiple times’ in 1985 and 1986.

Some acts of abuse allegedly happened at the school, in a classroom or in hallways. Some occurred at school-sponsored activities, according to the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the abuse caused the alleged male victim to suffer ‘severe emotional and psychological distress, humiliation, fright, dissociation, anger, depression, anxiety, family turmoil and loss of faith.’

Hundreds Of New York Priests Plead For Sanctuary At St. Patrick’s Cathedral After Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Lifted

August 15, 2019

Illustration for article titled Hundreds Of New York Priests Plead For Sanctuary At St. Patrick’s Cathedral After Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Lifted

Our thanks to theonion.com for this news.alert

Catholic Church, Boy Scouts To Be Slammed With Hundreds Of Lawsuits In New York

August 13, 2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the Child Victims Act in New York on Feb. 14.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the Child Victims Act in New York on Feb. 14.

Thanks to the Child Victims Act, survivors of decades-old abuse cases in New York can now have their day in court.

Years after child abuse survivors in New York started demanding changes to the state’s statutes of limitations, victims are finally getting a chance to have their cases heard in court.

Hundreds of survivors are planning to file lawsuits on Wednesday against their alleged abusers and the institutions they claim covered up sex crimes as the state opens a one-year litigation window for cases that fell outside the previous statutes of limitations.

Michael Pfau, an attorney at Seattle-based Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, told HuffPost that his law firm is filing more than 100 suits Wednesday under the temporary window for instances of child sexual abuse that allegedly occurred between the late 1940s and the early 2000s. About 75 of these cases are against Roman Catholic dioceses across New York, Pfau said. The rest target the Boy Scouts of America and Rockefeller University ― two institutions that have been plagued with allegations that they failed to stop child sexual abuse.

The attorney predicted that Wednesday will be “very emotional” for survivors.

“After feeling like they have no voice in New York state, victims now feel like they have a powerful voice,” Pfau said.

New York once had one of the nation’s most restrictive statutes of limitations on child molestation cases. Survivors in the state had only until age 23 to file civil lawsuits. However, studies suggest it takes much longer for child sexual abuse survivors to realize they were victims of a crime. The average age that victims disclose their abuse is 52. By that time, it was too late for many victims in New York to take legal action.

That changed in February with the passage of the Child Victims Act, which gave victims more time to seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers. Victims in New York now have until the age of 55 to file civil claims.

The temporary litigation window scheduled to open this week was a key part of the Child Victims Act ― and one of the reasons why the measure was blocked for years by Republican lawmakers and fiercely criticized by religious groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic leaders argued that the look-back window could financially cripple the church’s charities, parishes and schools. The church spent close to $3 million from 2011 to 2018 lobbying against statute of limitations reform in New York, according to a study conducted by four law firms that represent survivors of clerical abuse.

Good.

The state’s bishops dropped their opposition to the Child Victims Act in January, after Democrats took control of the state Legislature and the bill’s sponsors adopted language that made it clear the act applied equally to public and private institutions.

“We don’t know exactly what to expect when the window opens,” Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the New York archdiocese, told The Associated Press. “We certainly anticipate that there will be lawsuits filed against the archdiocese, as there will be against many other institutions and public entities as well.”

In Argentina, Catholic priests face trial for deaf children’s sexual abuse

August 12, 2019

Image result for Father Nicola Corradi,

The trial has begun for two Catholic priests and a former employee allegedly involved in sexual abuse of 10 students at an institute that cared for deaf children. Their alleged victims say one abuser should have been exposed seven years before his arrest.

Father Nicola Corradi, an 83-year-old Italian, sat in a wheelchair as his trial began at the Mendoza province’s Palace of Justice on August 5. Father Horacio Corbacho, 59, and Armando Gomez, 63, both of Argentina, are also charged.

Corbacho pleaded not guilty to the charges, while neither Corradi nor Gomez have entered pleas, the AP reports.

The abuse allegedly took place at the now-closed Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired children in Argentina’s Mendoza province. The trial concerns 28 cases in all, including charges of rape, sexual touching, and corruption of minors. The students were allegedly forced to watch pornography or perform sex acts among themselves.

The cases involve 10 students, though about 20 have made abuse accusations. The alleged abusers especially targeted children who spent the night in the institute’s shelters, and the alleged victims said they were afraid to report for fear of living in poverty after being expelled or for fear their parents would be punished.

The students were typically from poor families and had communication limitations. The school did not teach sign language but followed a methodology that aimed to teach children to read and speak like those who could hear, the Washington Post reported in February. Students at the school who used sign language would be smacked.

Some cases have a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail, while others bear a penalty of 50 years in jail. The crimes allegedly took place from 2004 to 2016, when Corradi, Corbacho, and others were arrested and the school shut down.

The plaintiff in the trial is the human rights group Xumek.

Alleged abuse victims and their relatives protested outside the court. One sign referred to sign language, saying “With Our Hands And Our Voices We Break The Silence.”

Italian priest arrested on charges of abusing young men

August 5, 2019

Image result for Father Stefano Segalini

ROME – An Italian priest known for involvement in his community was placed under house arrest by local authorities on Wednesday, on charges of allegedly drugging and sexually abusing adult members of his parish.

“The news of the arrest of Father Stefano Segalini and the precautionary measures applied by the judiciary pain us deeply,” said Father Luigi Chiesa, Vicar General of the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in northern Italy where the events allegedly took place, in an August 1 statement.

“The pain of those who declare themselves to be victims of abuse, as well as the pain of he who finds himself accused of such a great crime, requires first of all our closeness and prayer,” Chiesa said.

Segalini led the church of San Giuseppe Operaio, the most frequented parish in the northern Italian town of Piacenza, until last May when he suddenly retired. An arrest warrant issued by a judge after preliminary investigations claims that Segalini allegedly abused adults not in the parish, but during spiritual retreats and evening activities.

Specifically, the charges involve drugging and giving alcohol to young men who attended events at the parish until they were incapacitated, in order to sexually abuse them.

Local Bishop Gianni Ambrosio suspended Segalini last May following reports to the local church of “behaviors considered morally indmissible for a priest of the Catholic Church.”

In a brief statement before Mass about 20 days after the priests’ suspension, Ambrosio told the congregation during the busiest 10 a.m. Mass that the beloved Segalini had to retire awaiting a “clarification of the facts.”

Following the priest’s unexpected suspension, many members of the parish took to social media to voice their support for Segalini. According to media reports, he was well respected in his community for his efforts to collect funds for victims of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, which collapsed in August 2018.

Once information regarding the resons for his arrest began to emerge, the response on Twitter varied from support to outrage.

“I ask you all to give me a little peace and not to write anymore and to pray,” Segalini wrote in a Facebook post last May. “Don’t comment or like, I know you love me.”

While the local church began an internal investigation, Italian judicial authorities pursued an inquiry that ultimately led to Segalini’s arrest on Wednesday.

In the following days, the accused priest will be questioned by a judge during a formal custodial interrogation. Segalini is currently staying in a church facility far from his diocese for “spiritual reflection” by order of his bishop.

In his statement, Chiesa expressed hope that the facts surrounding the arrest be clarified and understood quickly, adding that due to the sensitive nature of the situation, the local church will not release any further comments.

“We ensure closeness and prayer to all of those who are invoved in this very sad situation and especially to the community of San Giuseppe Operaio,” he said.

“While this news fills us with pain, for this reason we are all more urgently called as Christians to offer a responsible and evangelical witness so that, as it has happened other times in the history of the Church, there may be a rebirth even after these wounds,” he said.

During their general assembly May 20-23, the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) approved a set of “Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons,” which focus on the prevention of abuse, and which are to be added to previously published 2014 guidelines.

The main novelty is a “moral obligation” for clergy to report verified cases of sexual abuse to civil authorities.

The guidelines, which remain “experimental,” require that when members of the clergy are presented with a report of sexual abuse, they immediately have to determine its veracity through a preliminary investigation. If found to be credible, the allegation will be passed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body that handles sexual abuse reports.

Bishops and parishes in Italy can also rely on a newly created network of lay and/or religious experts offering council and best practices to address cases of sexual abuse.

According to local reports, Ambrosio removed Segalini following the accusations and launched an investigation, though it is unclear if he made use of the other tools that the Italian episcopacy has put in place to protect victims and ensure transparency.

Catholic priest, 76, who repeatedly raped two schoolboys leaving one of them praying for death is jailed for 18 years

July 31, 2019

A second victim came forward after seeing the news of Higgingbottom's first trial in 2017 on TV. The priest is pictured during the earlier trial at Liverpool Crown Court
  • Michael Higginbottom was a Catholic priest at St Joseph’s College in Lancashire 
  • The 76-year-old targeted two teenage boys who boarded at the Catholic school
  • Second man came forward after seeing news report of Higginbottom’s first trial
  • Priest, who lived in Newcastle, has been jailed for 18 years, half to be on licence

A priest who sexually abused schoolboys at a Catholic seminary in the 1970s and 1980s in a ‘quite appalling way’ has been jailed for 18 years.

Father Michael Higginbottom, 76, targeted two children separately while they boarded at St Joseph’s College, a school for students aged 12 to 18 in Upholland, Lancashire.

During a two-week trial at Burnley Crown Court, jurors heard that he ‘regularly, systematically and horrifically’ abused the boys.

Prosecutor David Temkin said: ‘They were both threatened with violence and both were struck with a strap or a belt.’

After being convicted of five counts of serious sexual assault and seven of indecent assault, Higginbottom was jailed for 18 years, half in prison and half on licence.

Judge Andrew Woolman, sentencing Higginbottom on Tuesday, told him: ‘You were in the highest position of trust in relation to these boys, who you abused in a quite appalling way.

‘I have no doubt that you specifically targeted these boys.

‘These acts were accompanied, time after time, by threats or actual violence under the guise of a normal school punishment.’

Higginbottom was originally found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court in April 2017 of offences relating to the first complainant, but these convictions were quashed in November last year by the Court of Appeal.

It was ruled then that a retrial would be necessary as jurors had not been given full details of the complainant’s conviction for fraud by false representation, which were not available at the time of the original trial.

During the first trial the victim – who deliberately stole a watch to get himself expelled so the abuse would end – said the ‘evil’ priest ruined his life.

In an emotional statement, he told the court: ‘I was subject to physical, sexual and mental abuse at his hands.

Catholic Church Not About To Be Out-Molested By Goddamn Boy Scouts

July 26, 2019

Illustration for article titled Catholic Church Not About To Be Out-Molested By Goddamn Boy Scouts

VATICAN CITY—Telling the youth organization that if they come for the king they best not miss, the Catholic Church announced Thursday that it was not about to be out-molested by the goddamn Boy Scouts.

“If some pissant organization like the Scouts thinks they can beat us at the molestation game, then they have another fucking thing coming,” said Pope Francis, directing his message to the Scouts’ leaders as he stressed that a couple thousand piddling cases was a drop in the bucket compared to the generations of sexual abuse that had made the Catholic Church number-one in molestation for centuries on end.

“We’re talking hundreds of thousands of parishioners, children, and nuns abused by the people they trust most. Plus, we’re not doing it while hiding out in the woods like a bunch of cowards. We’re just at the back of the church, putting up huge numbers on the board day after day. So don’t come at us with this weak-ass shit, Boy Scouts.

We’re the OG diddlers around here.” At press time, the Catholic Church had offered to send a few dozen priests to the Boy Scouts of America to show them how it’s done. 


Our thanks to theonion.com for this article.

California priest is busted for stealing more than $97,000 in parish donations after he got into a car crash and cops discovered security bags stuffed with money in his vehicle

July 24, 2019

California priest Father Oscar Diaz stole over $97,000 in parish donations during his 25-year career serving seven churches in the state. He was busted when he got into a car crash in June and cops made the shocking discovery of the money in his car
  • California priest Father Oscar Diaz got into a car crash on June 19 and was found with nearly $20,000 of parish donations stuffed in six security bags
  • Responding officers were shocked to find the stash of money
  • When asked about the sum, Diaz claimed that it was his salary 
  • A further investigation revealed he had a whopping stash of $77,000 in cash that he had allegedly took from the various parishes where he served
  • Diaz served as a priest for the last 25 years and had connections to at least seven churches in California
  • In a press release the diocese said that the amount Diaz stole was in excess of $95,000 and the diocese will repay the amount in full   
  • No criminal charges have been filed and Father Diaz has been suspended from priestly ministry

A California priest’s not-so-saintly secret of stealing thousands of dollars from his parishes was exposed when he got into a car crash and police officers found him with six security bags stuffed with nearly $20,000 in parish donations.

Father Oscar Diaz of Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa got into a car accident on June 19 in which he suffered a hip injury. As cops came to his aid they discovered a dizzying $18,305 in stolen parish collections in his car.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

A further investigation revealed he had a whopping stash of $77,000 in cash that he had allegedly taken from the various parishes where he served, according to CBS.

When asked about the sum, Diaz claimed that it was his salary.

Diaz served as a priest for the last 25 years and had connections to at least seven churches in California including Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Clearlake; Queen of the Rosary Mission, Lucerne; Saint Mary Immaculate Parish, Lakeport; Saint Peter Mission, Kelseyville; Saint Mary of the Angels Parish, Ukiah; Saint Elizabeth Seton Mission; and Philo and Saint Francis Mission, Hopland.

In a press release the diocese said that the amount Diaz stole was in excess of $95,000.

However it’s not clear if he’ll face any criminal charges.

‘This money was associated with Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa where Father Oscar was pastor,’ Bishop Robert F. Vasa said in a diocese news release. ‘After an initial investigation and several interviews, the police determined that the protocols surrounding collection accounting would make it difficult to arrive at sufficient proof of theft to pursue criminal prosecution,’ he added.

‘There is also evidence that money was stolen in a variety of ways from each of the Parishes where he had served as pastor.

Former El Paso Catholic priest convicted of six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child sentenced to 18 years

July 17, 2019

A former El Paso Catholic priest, who was convicted Monday of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl more than two decades ago, sat in a courtroom Tuesday listening to the impact the abuse had on three of his victims.

A jury found Miguel Luna. 69, guilty of six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child; three counts of indecency with a child, sexual contact; and three counts of sexual assault of a child.

Luna was sentenced to 18 years in prison and 10 years probation on Tuesday. 

Luna was accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, who was an altar server, at an El Paso church from 1991 to 1998, according to court documents.

Three of Luna’s victims testified during the sentencing portion of the trial, which began Tuesday. The El Paso Times does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

Luna sat feet from the victims as they testified. He stared down at the desk in front of him and never made eye contact with the victims.

One victim said she was shocked when she found out that Luna remained a priest until 2013.

“I couldn’t believe he was up there pretending to be something he is not — preaching the word of the Lord,” the victim said. “He is a monster.”

She added that she suffers depression and pleads for forgiveness after having to abort a baby fathered by Luna.

“I am scared,” she testified. “I ask for forgiveness. It wasn’t the baby’s fault. I really don’t” forgive myself.

A sixth Michigan Catholic priest has been charged with criminal sexual conduct

July 16, 2019

Image result for Joseph (Jack) Baker

Attorney General Dana Nessel charged a sixth priest with criminal sexual conduct on Monday, after he was arrested by special agents from the AG’s office.

Father Joseph (Jack) Baker was arrested in Wayne County and charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct — sexual penetration with a person under 13.

The Archdiocese of Detroit provided a tip to the AG’s clergy abuse team immediately after receiving the original report on Baker. His arrest is part of Nessel’s developing investigation into abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Nessel said in a press release. “Our clergy abuse investigative team is working day and night to review the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and files seized from all seven of Michigan’s dioceses last fall. At the same time, we continue to receive calls daily from victims who know we will listen to them, believe in them, and investigate their allegations. They deserve nothing less than our very best.”

Baker has worked as a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford since 2008; he’s also been a pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne, an associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills, and an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn.

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