February 19, 2019
Vincent Doyle, a psychotherapist in Ireland, was 28 when he learned from his mother that the Roman Catholic priest he had always known as his godfather was in truth his biological father.
The discovery led him to create a global support group to help other children of priests, like him, suffering from the internalized shame that comes with being born from church scandal. When he pressed bishops to acknowledge these children, some church leaders told him that he was the product of the rarest of transgressions.
But one archbishop finally showed him what he was looking for: a document of Vatican guidelines for how to deal with priests who father children, proof that he was hardly alone.
“It’s the next scandal,” said Vincent Doyle, the son of a priest. “There are kids everywhere.”
“Oh my God. This is the answer,” Mr. Doyle recalled having said as he held the document. He asked if he could have a copy, but the archbishop said no — it was secret.
Now, the Vatican has confirmed, apparently for the first time, that its department overseeing the world’s priests has general guidelines for what to do when clerics break celibacy vows and father children.
“I can confirm that these guidelines exist,” the Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti wrote in response to a query from The New York Times. “It is an internal document.”
The issue is becoming harder to ignore.
“It’s the next scandal,” Mr. Doyle said. “There are kids everywhere.”
As the Vatican prepares for an unprecedented meeting with the world’s bishops this week on the devastating child sexual abuse crisis, many people who feel they have been wronged by the church’s culture of secrecy and aversion to scandal will descend on Rome to press their cause.
There will be the victims of clerical child abuse. There will be nuns sexually assaulted by priests. And there will be children of priests, including Mr. Doyle, who is scheduled to meet privately in Rome with several prominent prelates.
The Vatican has confirmed that it has general guidelines for clerics who father children, pressuring them to prioritize the welfare of the child and leave the priesthood.
For the church, stories like Mr. Doyle’s draw uncomfortable attention to the violation of celibacy by priests and, for some former clerics and liberals inside the church, raise the issue of whether it is time to make the requirement optional, as it is in other Christian churches.
The children are sometimes the result of affairs involving priests and laywomen or nuns — others of abuse or rape. There are some, exceedingly rare, high-profile cases, but the overwhelming majority remain out of the public eye.
The longstanding tradition of celibacy among Roman Catholic clergy was broadly codified in the 12th century, but not necessarily adhered to, even in the highest places. Rodrigo Borgia, while a priest, had four children with his mistress before he became Pope Alexander VI, an excess that helped spur Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Luther wrote mockingly that the pope had as much command over celibacy as “the natural movement of the bowels.”
There are no estimates of how many such children exist. But Mr. Doyle said that the website for his support group, Coping International, has 50,000 users in 175 countries.
He said he was first shown the Vatican guidelines in October 2017 by Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva.
“You’re actually called ‘children of the ordained,’” Mr. Doyle recalled Archbishop Jurkovic having said. “I was shocked they had a term for it.”
Archbishop Jurkovic declined a request for an interview.
Mr. Gisotti, the Vatican spokesman, said that the internal 2017 document synthesized a decade’s worth of procedures, and that its “fundamental principle” was the “protection of the child.” He said the guideline “requests” that the father leave the priesthood to “assume his responsibilities as a parent by devoting himself exclusively to the child.”
But another Vatican official said that the “request” was a mere formality. Monsignor Andrea Ripa, the under secretary in the Congregation for the Clergy, which oversees more than 400,000 priests, said in a brief interview that “it is impossible to impose” the dismissal of the priest, and that it “can only be asked.”
He added: “If you don’t ask, you will be dismissed.”
The Irish bishops have their own guidelines, and made them public in 2017. Mr. Doyle, who once studied for the priesthood and has sought to cooperate with church leaders, played a role in developing them, said Martin Long, a spokesman for the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
The Irish church’s principles do not explicitly require clerics to leave the priesthood but state: “A priest as any new father, should face up to his responsibilities — personal, legal, moral and financial.”
Pope Francis’ remarks on the issue are limited. In his 2010 book, “On Heaven and Earth,” which he co-wrote when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis argues that a priest who in a moment of passion violates a vow of celibacy could potentially stay in the ministry, but one who fathers a child could not.
“Natural law comes before his right as a priest,” he writes, adding that a priest’s first responsibility would be to his child, and that “he must leave his priestly ministry and take care of his child.”
Canon lawyers say that there is nothing in church law that forces priests to leave the priesthood for fathering children.
“There is zero, zero, zero,” on the matter, said Laura Sgro, a canon lawyer in Rome. “As it is not a canonical crime, there are no grounds for dismissal.”
Mr. Doyle, along with some other children of priests and some former priests themselves, say they do not believe that dismissal from the priesthood is always in the child’s best interests, and that sometimes it potentially deprives a family of a livelihood.
“I don’t believe unemployment is a response to paternity,” Mr. Doyle said.
Some children of priests, however, wish their fathers were forced out of the ministry.
Rev. Pietro Tosi was 54 when he raped Erik Zattoni’s mother, who was 14, Mr. Zattoni said. Her family tried to force the priest to recognize their son, but he refused. The family was evicted from their parish-owned home in a tiny town outside Ferrara, Italy, where they often bumped into each other.
“He never said anything,” said Mr. Zattoni, now 37.
In 2010, Mr. Zattoni sued Father Tosi, demanding to be recognized. A court-ordered DNA test demonstrated that he was in fact the priest’s son. The Vatican eventually instructed Father Tosi’s bishop to admonish him and remind him of his responsibilities as a father, but did not demand his removal from the priesthood.
After a national news program highlighted his case, hundreds of Italians filled a Ferrara piazza in 2013, to show support for Mr. Zattoni and press Francis to take up his case.
Father Tosi died in 2014, still a priest.
“The justice I got,” Mr. Zattoni said, “came through a court sentence based on DNA.”
The children of priests are increasingly turning to DNA tests to prove that their parents are either priests or nuns.
“It’s a breakthrough, and anybody can do it,” said Linda Lawless, 56, an amateur genealogist in Australia, and herself the daughter of a priest, who has helped members of Coping International.
Her mother kept her paternity secret, but Ms. Lawless remembered noticing as a child that her mother was “absolutely terrified” whenever priests visited the house.
Last year, she used a DNA test and the increasingly comprehensive databases and family trees of the genealogical website Ancestry.com to confirm that her biological father was a priest.
“That’s when the secret came out,” she said.
February 18, 2019
February 18, 2019
It’s the line from scripture that stayed with Cait Finnegan for nearly half a century as she tried to suppress the painful memories of the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her Catholic clergy educator.
“God is Love,” Sister Mary Juanita Barto told Finnegan as she repeatedly raped her in classrooms at Mater Christi High School in Queens in the late 1960s.
The abuse began when Finnegan was 15 and continued throughout her high school years — on school buses to out-of-town sporting events, at religious retreats in upstate New York, at Finnegan’s childhood home in Woodside and at a Long Island convent.
“She was obsessed with me 24 hours a day,” Finnegan, now 67, told The Post. “The woman owned me.”
After graduating high school in 1969, Finnegan struggled to deal with the abuse and tell her story, but her efforts fell on deaf ears.
“Nobody wanted to hear about the Vestal Virgins back then,” she said.
But after Pope Francis recently made the bombshell admission that some nuns were abused by priests and even used as sex slaves, dozens of Catholics have come forward to report a tangential, and just as evil, phenomenon — sexual abuse by nuns.
“This is the next big thing for the church — the biggest untold secret,” Mary Dispenza, a director at Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a St. Louis-based advocacy group.
“In the past, victims were very much ashamed and afraid to tell their stories, but they are starting to come forward and we are expecting that this may be as big as the priest abuse scandal.”
The group has heard from 35 people in the last several days who claim they were physically and sexually abused by nuns, said Dispenza, a former nun who claims she was abused as a young girl by both a priest and a nun. Finnegan told The Post she approached SNAP for support a few years earlier.
Dispenza, 78, has fought for more than two decades for justice for victims of clergy abuse and plans to take her fight to the Vatican on Monday. She and her group are demanding the Pope help victims of nun abuse and fire anyone who has covered up crimes by Catholic clergy.
“We want them gone immediately,” she said.
She also wants the Vatican to require Catholic leaders to contact police right away if they are confronted with abuse, rather than alerting local bishops or other church hierarchy first.
And in states where the statute of limitations has been amended to allow victims of sexual abuse to file complaints, SNAP is urging them — some now in their 60s and 70s — to file claims against their alleged abusers.
“Finally, they will have a chance at justice,” she said.
Last week, New York opened up a window for old cases with the passage of the Child Victims Act. The measure, which had languished in Albany for more than a decade, allows a one-year window for alleged victims to file lawsuits against their attackers, no matter when the abuse occurred.
Before the new law, New York had one of the most restrictive statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Victims now have until age 55 in order to file civil suits and can press for criminal charges until age 28. The old statute capped lawsuits at age 23.
Dispenza, who spent 15 years in a habit before becoming an activist against the Catholic church, is bracing for an onslaught of cases against nuns, who typically run schools and orphanages, and spend exponentially more time with children than priests.
“They are with kids at school every day from nine to three,” she said.
They also far outnumber priests. There are 55,944 nuns in the US and 41,406 priests, according to statistics compiled by SNAP.
Eight years ago, when a handful of victims of nun abuse came forward to SNAP, Dispenza urged the Chicago-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic nuns, to address the issue and reach out to victims of nun abuse. The group refused to put the issue on the agendas of their annual meetings, Dispenza told The Post.
A spokeswoman for LCWR refused to discuss how many victims of nun abuse had reached out to them, and referred to a statement on the group’s web site that reads in part, “We encourage persons with grievances involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman religious to approach the individual religious congregation involved. We believe that it is at this level that true healing can begin.”
In her 2014 memoir, “Split: A Child, a Priest and the Catholic Church,” Dispenza details the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of a Catholic priest in the gritty East Los Angeles neighborhood where she grew up. Despite the childhood rapes by the priest — who was trusted by her family — Dispenza decided to become a nun, only to be faced with similar abuse from a superior sister while she was a novitiate.
“She took my face in her two hands, and kissed me all over my face,” she recalled of the encounter in a convent she would not name. “And then I just remember leaving. I felt the same way I felt as a child. I felt lost, I felt abandoned, I felt confused, I felt alone.”
Finnegan said she also felt alone, and was unable to speak of the abuse she endured by Sister Mary Juanita who “vowed to chastity as she raped me.”
Finnegan, a widow whose husband was a former Catholic priest, now lives in Pennsylvania where she has run a group home for needy children and is the minister of the Celtic Christian Church.
Although her alleged abuser died in 2014, Finnegan said she still cannot bring herself to discuss the abuse openly, even after years of therapy and writing in her “Abuse by nuns” blog.
“Well, the little girl in me wept because that kid had longed for Juanita to be a spiritual mother to me … that’s how I loved her, as a mother,” she wrote. “I remember when I met her I thought she was so smart and holy, oh yeah, and funny. Wrong.”
She said she never told her father — “I was afraid of what he would do to the nun when he found out” — and only summoned up the courage to tell her mother of the trauma just before her death in 2002.
“Sexual abuse leaves scars that last for life,” she wrote on the blog. “Dealing with those wounds and scars, and surviving through daily life is a challenge for many of us. Silence sometimes is a kind of defense which allows victims to hide from the pain (for a while).”
Some of her therapy was paid for by the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Juanita’s religious order that has its origins in 19th century Ireland and now ministers to the poor around the world. The Sisters of Mercy taught the girls at her high school; the boys were taught by the Christian Brothers. In 1981, the school became the co-ed St. John’s Prep.
Finnegan said she has suffered with PTSD and anxiety for most of her adult life and has turned to prayer and research on sexual abuse to try to forgive what was done to her. She will not describe in any detail how she was raped.
“More than 14 percent of nuns have been sexually abused themselves,” said Finnegan. “It’s this unattended rage they live with. It’s going to come out as physical abuse of children and sexual abuse. I believe it’s what turns so many of them into nasty bitches in the convent.”
When Finnegan finally summoned up the courage to confront Sister Mary Juanita in the early 1990s — more than 20 years after graduating high school in 1969 — she found herself tongue-tied.
“I froze and became that 15-year-old kid again,” she said. “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move.”
She was even too nervous to enter her office at a Long Island convent.
“Sorry, I have to go,” she told the nun who had terrified her. And then she left.
February 16, 2019
David J. Marcotte, child molester
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has suspended a priest over the sexual abuse of a minor that allegedly happened in 2016.
The church said Tuesday that it learned of the allegation against Fr. David J. Marcotte last Wednesday and immediately reported it to authorities.
Fr. Marcotte is now prohibited from all public ministry while police and the church investigate the incident.
According to the Archdiocese, Fr. Marcotte was ordained on June 7, 2014 and has been assigned to the following:
2014 – Associate pastor, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood, and Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis
2015 – Associate pastor, St. Malachy Parish, Brownsburg
2016 – Administrator, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Martinsville
2017 – Ahaplain, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis, Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis, and sacramental assistance, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood.
“The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse and misconduct,” said the church in a statement.
If you’re a victim of sexual abuse or misconduct by a person ministering on behalf of the church, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim, you’re asked to contact civil authorities and the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Carla Hill at 317-236-1548 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1548 or email her at [email protected]
Confidential reports can also be made on-line at www.archdioceseofindianapolis.ethicspoint.com or by calling 888-393-6810.
February 16, 2019
And what about those, including Pope Francis, who protected him for the past five decades while his crimes were widely known?
ROME — The Vatican on Saturday said it had stripped ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the rights of the priesthood, leveling a historic penalty against a onetime church power broker and former archbishop of Washington after the church found him guilty of sexual abuse.
The decision marks the first time that a cardinal has been defrocked for sexual abuse.
In a short statement, the Vatican said a canonical process had found McCarrick guilty of several charges, including “sins” with minors and adults, “with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”
The defrocking of McCarrick marks the conclusion of a closed-door Vatican trial and comes just days before Pope Francis plans to gather bishops from around the world for an unpredecented summit on abuse.
McCarrick, accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians, is the most senior church official in modern times to lose his priestly rights. The sentence is considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the most severe form of canonical punishment for a cleric — worse than excommunication, which according to religious dogma is temporary and lasts only as long as a person persists in sin.
McCarrick, 88, likely won’t face criminal prosecution, because the allegations that have been made public relate to crimes that would be beyond statutes of limitations in the U.S. jurisdictions where they are said to have occurred.
And so the Vatican decision all but finalizes the downfall of a figure who entered the priesthood six decades ago, climbed the ranks of the faith and became a public face for efforts to end clergy sexual abuse — before becoming a symbol of the church’s struggle to root out abuse in its highest ranks.
In its statement Saturday, the Vatican said that its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had found McCarrick guilty of the charges on Jan. 11. Then, on Feb. 13, the Vatican “considered the recourse” McCarrick presented but confirmed the original decision — a determination McCarrick was informed of on Friday. Pope Francis has affirmed the ruling, meaning McCarrick has no further recourse.
The accusations against McCarrick, and the notion that they languished for years, have been a central component of a renewed and painful global crisis for the church. To critics of the Vatican and of Pope Francis, McCarrick’s case exemplified a persistent culture of secrecy and coverup and a reluctance to hold church leaders accountable.
February 15, 2019
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – A former Catholic priest on the Santa Fe Archdiocese’s list of clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing children was arrested Friday on charges he kidnapped and raped a 6-year-old boy during the mid-1980s.
Marvin Archuleta, 80, was taken into custody in Albuquerque after the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office filed a criminal complaint against the former priest on child rape and kidnapping charges.
According to court documents, Archuleta raped a 6-year-old boy attending the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, during the mid-1980s. Documents said Archuleta pulled the boy out of class and violently raped the boy.
No attorney was listed for Archuleta.
Celine Radigan, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, did not immediately return an email for comment.
The charges follow the state attorney general’s office serving a pair of search warrants in October on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in October, seeking documents related to Archuleta and other priests accused of sexually abusing children.
The state’s statute of limitations wouldn’t have allowed for charges before 1980, David Carl, a spokesman for Attorney General Hector Balderas, said.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced after the warrant it would file for bankruptcy protection, as the Catholic church in New Mexico has settled numerous claims of sexual abuse by clergy over the years and is close to depleting its reserves.
About 20 dioceses and other religious orders around the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, according to lawyers representing the archdiocese.
Archbishop John Wester said he had been contemplating the action for years but that the archdiocese had reached a tipping point and he wanted to ensure there would be resources to provide compensation for victims.
February 15, 2019
After years of attempting to sell St. Joseph’s, the Diocese of Scranton decided last year to demolish the church building and adjacent rectory.
Eighty per cent of Vatican priests are gay according to explosive new book which claims to uncover double lives of homophobic priests who use male prostitutes
- ‘In the Closet of the Vatican’ claims homophobic priests most likely to be gay
- 570-page expose to be released next week as Pope holds sex abuse summit
- Author Frederic Martel said book exposes double life of some senior clerics
- Found some had discreet relationships with men, while others used prostitutes
Eighty per cent of Vatican priests are gay and living in the closet, according to an explosive new book to be published next week.
The 570-page expose, titled In the Closet of the Vatican, claims that four in five clerics in the Roman Catholic Church are homosexuals – but aren’t necessarily sexually active.
French sociologist and journalist Frederic Martel, who spent four years conducting 1,500 interviews for the book, found that some priests maintained discreet long term relationships, while others lived double lives having casual sex with gay partners and using male prostitutes.
He found that a number of clerics spoke of an unspoken code of the ‘closet’, with one rule of thumb being that the more homophobic they were, the more likely they were gay.
The author, a former adviser to the French government, claims the late Alfonso López Trujillo – a Colombian cardinal who held senior roles in the Vatican – was an arch-defender of the church’s teaching on homosexuality and contraception while using male prostitutes, according to Catholic website the Tablet.
The book is a ‘startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican’, according to British publisher Bloomsbury.
In its marketing material, Bloomsbury claims the book ‘reveals secrets’ about celibacy, misogyny and plots against Pope Francis.
But critics of the book said ‘it is not always easy to tell when Martel is trafficking in fact, rumour, eyewitness accounts or hearsay,’ according to the Tablet.
Aboard the papal plane (CNN)
For the first time, Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops as a “problem” in the Catholic Church, saying that “we’ve been working on this for some time.”
The Pope’s comments, which came during a press conference aboard the papal plane on a return flight to Rome from the United Arab Emirates, come as the Catholic Church is dealing with sexual abuse scandals on several continents.
“There have been priests and also bishops who have done that,” the Pope said of sexually abusing nuns. “And I believe that it may still be being done. It’s not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it’s over. The thing goes forward like this. We’ve been working on this for a long time.”
Francis said the Vatican has “suspended some clerics, sent them away for this” and “dissolved” some orders of nuns “that were very tied up in this, a corruption.”
“Must something more be done? Yes. Do we have the will? Yes,” he said.
Francis mentioned the case of one order of nuns in particular, in France, in which his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had tried to take action but was thwarted by Vatican insiders. At the time, Benedict was a cardinal and head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office.
“But when he became Pope, the first thing (he said was) bring me this from the archives and he began,” Pope Francis said.
“Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a women’s congregation that had a certain level because this slavery of women had entered, even sexual slavery, by clerics or by the founder,” the Pope said.
Last week, Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, ran an article on the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy, saying that “in this last year many new papers have raised the veil on this tragedy, and many religious from third world countries but also more advanced countries, have begun to speak and denounce (it).”
“If we continue to close our eyes in front of this scandal — made even more serious by the fact that abuse of women includes procreation and so imposed abortions and children not recognized by priests — the condition of oppression of women in the church will never change,” said the article, written by Lucetta Scaraffia.
For the first time, Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops as a “problem” in the Catholic Church, saying that “we’ve been working on this for some time.”The Pope’s comments, which came during a press conference aboard the papal plane on a return flight to Rome from the United Arab Emirates, come as the Catholic Church is dealing with sexual abuse scandals on several continents.”There have been priests and also bishops who have done that,” the Pope said of sexually abusing nuns. “And I believe that it may still be being done. It’s not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it’s over. The thing goes forward like this. We’ve been working on this for a long time.”Francis said the Vatican has “suspended some clerics, sent them away for this” and “dissolved” some orders of nuns “that were very tied up in this, a corruption.”
probably an unintentional pun
“Must something more be done? Yes. Do we have the will? Yes,” he said.Francis mentioned the case of one order of nuns in particular, in France, in which his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had tried to take action but was thwarted by Vatican insiders. At the time, Benedict was a cardinal and head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office.
“But when he became Pope, the first thing (he said was) bring me this from the archives and he began,” Pope Francis said.”Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a women’s congregation that had a certain level because this slavery of women had entered, even sexual slavery, by clerics or by the founder,” the Pope said.Last week, Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, ran an article on the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy, saying that “in this last year many new papers have raised the veil on this tragedy, and many religious from third world countries but also more advanced countries, have begun to speak and denounce (it).””If we continue to close our eyes in front of this scandal — made even more serious by the fact that abuse of women includes procreation and so imposed abortions and children not recognized by priests — the condition of oppression of women in the church will never change,” said the article, written by Lucetta Scaraffia.
February 3, 2019
COLMAR, France: A French priest was Friday sentenced to five years, two without parole, for sexually assaulting four young female parishioners, one of whom was just nine when the offenses started, and embezzling 100,000 euros ($115,000) to pay one of his victims.
The trial was held behind closed doors at Colmar Criminal Court, in northeast France, which publicly announced the sentence late Friday.
The 60-year-old cleric, who will have to spend at least two years behind bars and be under restrictions for the rest of his term, could have faced up to 10 years in prison.
The priest will also have to undergo psychological treatment, which he has already started, according to his lawyers.
Under the judgment, he is forbidden from contacting his victims or any activity involving minors. He is also barred from staying in the Alsace region, where the offenses were committed.
His sentence was lighter than that sought by the public prosecutor, who had asked for four years in prison followed by three years under a supervision order.
The trial was held behind closed doors at the request of three of the four victims, who were minors at the start of the offenses, the youngest just nine.
The attacks, which continued after three of the victims were adults, took place between 2001 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2016.
The priest, who was remanded in custody for three months at the start of the case in September 2016, “bitterly regrets the crimes that he has acknowledged (…) and offers his apology to the victims and to people (…) injured by such intolerable acts,” his lawyer Thierry Moser said in a statement.
He had admitted to having diverted more than 100,000 euros in money destined for the Church and transferred it to one of the victims, then an adult, in exchange for sexual favors.
In total, he paid her more than 240,000 euros, including a portion of his personal wealth.
The victim, now 29, had been charged with “concealment of breach of trust” but was released after the court found there was insufficient evidence to prove she knew the source of the money.
France’s Catholic Church has been roiled in recent years by claims against priests which have come to light in the wake of a global move by victims of abuse to come forward with evidence.
February 1, 2019
Here are some of the Texas priests who want to fuck your children
Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, a number that represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania.
Fourteen dioceses in Texas named those credibly accused of abuse. The only diocese not to provide names, Fort Worth, did so more than a decade ago and then provided an updated accounting in October.
There are only a handful of states where every diocese has released names and most of them have only one or two Catholic districts. Arkansas, for instance, is covered by the Diocese of Little Rock, which in September provided a preliminary list of 12 former priests, deacons and others. Oklahoma has two districts: The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is scheduled to publicly identify accused priests on Feb. 28 and the Diocese of Tulsa previously named two former priests accused of predatory behavior.
The move by Texas church leaders follows a shocking Pennsylvania report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. Furthermore, the Illinois attorney general reported last month that at least 500 Catholic clergy in that state had sexually abused children.
In the months after that report, about 50 dioceses and religious provinces have released the names of nearly 1,250 priests and others accused of abuse. Approximately 60 percent of them have died. About 30 other dioceses are investigating or have promised to release names of credibly accused priests in the coming months.
In Texas, the Diocese of Dallas and some others relied on retired police and federal investigators to review church files and other material to substantiate claims of abuse. It’s not clear whether any of the names released Thursday could result in local prosecutors bringing criminal charges. The majority of those identified have since died. Some investigations dated back to 1950 while other reviews, as in the case of the Diocese of Laredo, only went to 2000 because that’s when that diocese was established. Of the 286 men named in Texas, 172 have died, a percentage comparable with the national tally.
“Our office stands ready to assist local law enforcement and any district attorney’s office that asks for our help in dismantling this form of evil and removing the threat of those who threaten Texas children,” said Marc Rylander, spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office. “To date, we have not received any such requests, but we are ready to provide assistance to local prosecutors in accordance with state law and original criminal jurisdiction.”
The head of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, also is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is expected to attend a February summit called by Pope Francis to sensitize church leaders around the globe to the pain of victims, instruct them how to investigate cases and develop general protocols for church hierarchy to use.
DiNardo said in a statement Thursday that, “The Bishops of Texas have decided to release the names of these priests at this time because it is right and just and to offer healing and hope to those who have suffered. On behalf of all who have failed in this regard, I offer my sincerest apology. Our church has been lacerated by this wound and we must take action to heal it.”
In a statement released with the report of the San Antonio archdiocese, which had the longest list of names among Texas dioceses with 56 dating to 1940, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said the abuse allegations and the mishandling of some by bishops “are tearing the church apart Although the release of the report “brings tension and pain,” the archbishop said he was “filled with serenity and peace” by the disclosures.
Victim advocates and those who have been tracking clergy abuse for decades have said the church has a bad record of policing itself and law enforcement investigations into church records of allegations are the only way to ensure real transparency. They argue that there is no uniform definition of credibly accused priests and dioceses use different standards when deciding what names to release.
For example, the San Antonio archdiocese examined decades of allegations made against clergy and religious order priests dating back decades. The Diocese of Laredo released no names after its bishop said staff had examined its records for the 19 years since it was created, shortly before new stricter standards for handling abuse allegations were instituted across the church, and found no credible allegations
January 30, 2019
Hermann Geissler, hitting on nuns as priests are apt to do
Ironic twist – Hermann Geissler worked in the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, which handles discipline for sexual abuse cases.
A top Vatican official has quit his post in the Roman Catholic Church two months after a former nun publicly accused him of sexual harassment.
Hermann Geissler resigned as the chief of staff for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the pope’s office announced Tuesday in a news release. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith includes the Vatican’s discipline office, which also handles sexual abuse cases within the church.
Geissler maintained that the accusation against him was “untrue” but resigned to “limit the damage already done to the Congregation and to his Community,” according to the Vatican.
Geissler reportedly once admitted to the harassment after the nun reported it to the doctrinal congregation, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
Doris Wagner, a former nun originally from Germany, publicly revealed during a November event in Rome highlighting abuse against women that she was sexually harassed by a high-ranking priest in 2009. Wagner did not identify the priest during her speech, but she noted that he was a section head in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Wagner said she reported Geissler to a female superior who said, according to Wagner, “You know, I knew Father has a certain weakness for women, so we kind of have to put up with this.”
She also previously spoke of the alleged harassment to a German news outlet who identified Geissler as “Hermann G.” On Tuesday, Wagner confirmed to Reuters that her allegations were about Geissler.
During the November event, Wagner said a priest tried to kiss and touch her while they were in the confessional. According to Wagner, the priest had told her that he liked her and said he knew that she liked him.
“Even though we couldn’t marry, there would be other ways,” Wagner recalled Geissler as saying.
January 27, 2019
Hugh J. Lang, just another rotten pedophile dressed up as a man of god
Allegheny County police Friday arrested a retired Catholic priest for the alleged assault of a 10-year-old boy in 2001, authorities said.
The Rev. Hugh J. Lang, 88, was a priest at St. Therese in Munhall at the time of the alleged assault, said police Inspector Andrew Schurman.
Schurman said the alleged victim, who he did not identify but lives in another country, saw the media coverage of the statewide grand jury report alleging decades of abuse and cover-ups within six Catholic diocese, including the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Schurman said the individual called the Attorney General’s abuse hotline after seeing the coverage, and the complaint was forwarded first to the Childline program and then to county police.
Lang retired in 2006, and the diocese acknowledged the newfound allegations against him in August, placing him on leave. A diocesan spokesman said at the time it was the first allegation leveled against the clergyman.
The alleged victim told police the abuse happened during alter server training, during which Lang pulled him away from the other boys and took him to a room in the basement of St. Therese, according to the criminal complaint.
He told police Lang called him a troublemaker and told him to take off his clothes, according to the complaint. Lang allegedly took a Polaroid photo and told the victim he would show the photo to others if he didn’t behave.
Police said Lang then allegedly molested the child and forced him to perform a sex act.
Lang is charged with aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with minors, sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors, indecent exposure and two counts of indecent assault.
Schurman said Lang turned himself in to police without incident. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Torkowsky in Munhall and released on non-monetary bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30.