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The criminal conduct of clerics continues unabated 500 years after the Reformation

For those who tell me: These crimes are a thing of the past 

Here is a list of current or former Catholic priests recently arrested and/or charged with sex crimes 

 

Reverend Richard E. Jacklin, Diocese of Joliet, Illinois

His crime: Sexual assault of developmentally disabled

 

Monsignor Harry J. Byrne J.C.D., Archdiocese of New York

His crime: Possession of child pornography

 

Former priest Fernando Christancho, Archdiocese of Baltimore 

His crime: Manufacture of child pornography

 

Monsignor Carlo Capella J.C.D., Canonist to United States Papal Nuncio 

His crime: Accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography in Canada. 

 

Reverend John T. Sweeney, Diocese of Greensburg, PA  

His crime: Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a first-degree felony

 

Cardinal George Pell, Ph.D. – Ballarat, Australia; Holy See 

His crime: Multiple historical sexual assaults

 

 

 

 

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Child Molesters and Child Porn in the Vatican Diplomatic Corps

You may have read recently about how the Holy See withdrew Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella from the Nunciature in Washington D.C. 

One thing Father Colman J. Barry OSB taught us over and over again: the past is prologue to the future.

So with the Capella case I put the thesis to the test: Is there evidence that fallen priests are assigned to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corp with prior notice for offending against minor children?

Low and behold, a simple Google search found Reverend Daniel R. Pater of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Father Pater sexually abused a 14-year-old female in Dayton, Ohio on his first assignment after ordination in 1979.

Fr. Pater admitted to the conduct.

Most civilized countries call this child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk then exercised the geographic solution by sending Fr. Pater out of the jurisdiction to Rome to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corps.

After serving in Burundi, Australia, and Zaire, a survivor sued Pater and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1993.

Pater was sent from Rome to the Maryland Saint Luke Institute in 1995. At the same time, the Archdiocese entered into a confidential settlement with the survivor. After that, Father Daniel Pater returned to Italy, serving at the Holy See’s Office of the Secretary of State and continued at the Nuncio’s Office in New Delhi, India.

In 2003 Reverend Daniel R. Pater resigned from the priesthood and in 2014 the Holy See assigned Fr. Pater to a life of prayer and penance. I do not know the current whereabouts of Pater, or if he returned to Ohio long enough to run out the criminal statute of limitations.

Unless and until the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice opens an investigation, there is no reason for the Holy See to stop the pattern and practice of protecting offenders.

Sadly, when you compare Pater and Capella it appears the past is the prologue to the future and the future is now.

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The legacy of Barbara Blaine (1956-2017)

In remembrance of the tenacious Barbara Blaine and her contribution to child protection, we must not look not to the past, but to the now.

More than 1,000 survivors have come forward in the last three years with civil complaints against their priest perpetrators across Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.

Cardinals, Bishops and Priests are presently facing charges for child sexual abuse, child porn, failure to report child sexual abuse, extortion and murder.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella of the Archdiocese of Milan fled Washington D.C. last month after the U.S. State Department notified the Holy See of possible violations of child pornography.

The child sexual abuse trial for Abbot Laurence Soper O.S.B. is scheduled for October in England.

Capuchin Franciscan Archbishop Anthony Apuron OFM Cap. has been removed from Guam and is in the midst of a secret canonical proceeding in Rome.

The Texas murder trial for former Servant of the Paraclete Fr. John B. Feit s.P. is scheduled for October.

Reverend Jacob Beltran of the Diocese of San Diego faces a trial in January 2018.

Cardinal George Pell, forced out of the Holy See, returned to Australia to face child sexual abuse charges from his home Diocese of Ballarat in 2018.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of the Archdiocese of Lyon is alleged to have failed to report to the French police his knowledge of Father Bernard Preynat. Cardinal Barbarin’s trial is scheduled for April 2018.

Thank you, Barbara. Were it not for your lifetime of work, we may never have known about these men.

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The Archdiocese of Santa Fe List of 74 Accused Priests

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe released a list of 74 priests who have been accused of abuse.

For ease of search, I have reposted the list of names and the order or diocese below.

 

Fr. Augustine Abeywickrema, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Marvin Archuleta, Sons of the Holy Family (SF)
Fr. Paul Baca, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Donald Bean, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Earl Bierman, Diocese of Covington
Fr. Bernard Bissonnette, Diocese of Norwich
Br. Rudy Blea, Benedictines (OSB)
Fr. Wilfred Bombardier, Blessed Sacrament Fathers (SSS)
Fr. Laurence F.X. Brett, Diocese of Bridgeport
Br. Luis Brouseau, Christian Brothers (CSC)
Fr. Ronald Bruckner, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Br. Marr Burach, Benedictines (OSB)
Fr. Walter Cassidy, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Charles Charron, Servants of the Paraclete (sP)
Fr. Johnny Lee Chavez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Br. Andrew Abdon, (aka John Christianson), Christian Brothers (CSC)
Fr. David Clark, Claretian Missionary (CMF)
Fr. Henery Clark, Diocese of Syracuse
Fr. Ovtavio Coggiola, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Leon Corpuz, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Leo Courcy, Diocese of Burlington
Fr. Barry Finbar Coyle, Franciscan (OFM)
Fr. Ed Donelan, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. John Esquibel, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Dan Farris, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Anthony Gallegos, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Deacon Hector Garcia, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Ruben Garcia, Diocese of Boise
Fr. Paul Greenwell, Diocese of Louisville
Fr. Sabine Griego, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. David Holley, Diocese of Worcester
Br. Dennis Huff, Franciscan (OFM)
Fr. Theodore Isaias, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. James Kemper, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Robert Kirsch, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Irving Klister, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Laurier Labreche, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Vincent Lipinski, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Humbertus Lomme, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Clive Lynn, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Robert Malloy, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Phillip Martin/Peralta, Archdiocese of Santa Fe

Fr. Armando Martinez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Luis Martinez, Sons of the Holy Family (SF) no
Fr. Robert Martinez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Roger Martinez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Diego Mazon, Franciscan (OFM) no
Fr. Michael O’Brien, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Don Osgood, Diocese of Manchester
Fr. Ralph Pairon, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. George Pausch, Servants of the Paraclete (sP)
Fr. Vincente Peris, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Arthur Perrault, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Roman Pfalzer, Franciscan (OFM) yes
Fr. James Porter, Diocese of Fall River
Fr. Louis Prefontaine, Blessed Sacrament (SSS)
Fr. John Quinn, Diocese of Manchester
Fr. John Rodriguez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Paul Rodriguiez, Diocese of Richmond
Fr. Ron Roth, Diocese of Peoria
Fr. Charles Rourke, Diocese of Tucson
Fr. Lorenzo Ruiz, Franciscan (OFM)
Fr. Edward Rutowski, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Deacon Julian Sanchez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Clarence Schoeppner, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Br. Fintan Shaffer Little Bros. of the Good Shepherd (BGS) yes
Fr. Frank Sierra, Sons of the Holy Family (SF)
Fr. Jason Sigler, Diocese of Winnipeg
Fr. George Silva, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Robert Smith, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Ignacio Tafoya, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Gordon Wagoner, Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana
Fr. George Weisenborn, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Fr. Thomas Wilkinson, Archdiocese of Santa Fe

You can read their statement and the entire list here.

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The Geographic Solution in the Philippines today

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Commission: All Files Went to Rome

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in Ireland is a grand example of what needs to be done to put kids first.

One of the lessons the commission learned when they investigated the Irish Christian Brothers is that all roads lead to Rome AND all files on child sexual abuse are transported to Rome.  Here is a section of the report and what the archivist found while reviewing the Roman archives of the Irish Christian Brothers:

Consistent with the American experience of Civil and Criminal Court litigation is the finding that the leadership of the Church is lethargic in producing or even making known the location of their files and knowledge of childhood sexual abuse. (emphasis mine)

6.168  The Rome Files make it impossible to contend that the issue of abuse and, in particular, sexual abuse of boys was not an urgent and continuing concern to the Congregation. In circumstances where the issue of abuse in institutions had been the object of so much media attention from 1995 onwards, it is surprising that these files were only discovered to the Committee in 2004.

Rome Files and documentary evidence

6.159In the Emergence hearings in July 2004, Br Gibson described how files, which came to be known as ‘The Rome Files’, came to the attention of the Leadership Team in Ireland.

6.160In 2003, the Leadership Team took the decision to employ an archivist to look at all the documents in the possession of the Congregation. This archivist was asked to go to Rome to look at the files there that related to the Irish Communities for any references to abuse. He explained that, in the early 1960s, a decision was taken to move the Congregation’s headquarters from Dublin to Rome. The management team brought with them the relevant archives for their own work, and left in Ireland the files and records that dealt with the Christian Brothers in Ireland.

6.161Br Gibson explained:

However, when our archivist went to Rome, she came across their minute books of their Council decisions, the General Council decisions. In those, she came across details of allegations of abuse in the institutions in Ireland that did not exist in our files … Yes, all of these dealt with incidents of child abuse in our institutions between, say, 1930 and when they closed.

6.162Br Gibson outlined the number of allegations recorded in respect of residential schools:

… we came across details of incidents of abuse in our institutions in Ireland. We came across eleven incidents of child abuse in Artane, ten in our day schools, three in Letterfrack, two in Tralee, two in the OBI,20 and two in Glin. Now, what we came across was that there had been information given to the Leadership Team at the time when they occurred. These allegations had been investigated. The investigation included getting the boys to write out what had happened to them and the boys had done that in some cases – well, in one case at the moment we have one incident of that. Then they had at the end of what they called a trial, they had a decision made, and the decision was either to give a Canonical Warning to the person, they were dismissed from the Congregation or they were rejected for the application for vows that year. Now, we wouldn’t have the details of all the allegations, but a lot of material has emerged there which we didn’t know about …

It shows that there were individual cases of abuse. It wasn’t, in a sense, systematic or widespread, but over 30 years in Artane there were eleven cases that had been discovered at the time they had occurred.

6.163Br Gibson went on to state that, in 1990, the Leadership Team in Ireland was not aware of the existence of these files at all. He asserted that it was only when he saw these files that he understood the comments that he saw in the Constitutions and Acts of the Congregation emphasizing that a Brother should never be alone with a child. He said:

That makes sense in the light of this discovery of complaints where children were abused in the institutions.

6.164He confirmed that there was no mention of the children in these records:

The focus was on the culpability of the person who did it and I am not sure how much was done for the children who suffered.

6.165The Rome Files were made available to the Committee after the Emergence hearings had been completed. They contained details of applications for dispensations or disciplinary hearings in respect of more than 130 Brothers. At least 40 of these cases referred specifically to improper conduct with boys. In the majority of cases, the actual crime being investigated was not detailed, and phrases such as ‘evidenced unsuitable moral character’ or ‘grave misconduct’ or ‘caused scandal’ were used when recommending a dispensation.

6.166The Rome Files were by no means exhaustive. Brothers who left the Congregation before any allegations came to the attention of the authorities would not appear in the Rome Files.

6.167In addition, the Brothers who left following allegations of abuse did not appear in these files. For example, Mr. Brander21 a former Christian Brother, did not feature although he received a Canonical Warning for sexually abusing boys in 1953 and was ultimately dispensed from his vows in the late 1950s.

6.168The Rome Files make it impossible to contend that the issue of abuse and, in particular, sexual abuse of boys was not an urgent and continuing concern to the Congregation. In circumstances where the issue of abuse in institutions had been the object of so much media attention from 1995 onwards, it is surprising that these files were only discovered to the Committee in 2004.

6.169The scale of the problem as revealed in these documents was very serious. When other features of abuse are taken into account, there is reason to believe that the amount of such abuse was substantially greater than is disclosed in these records. First, there was the recidivistic nature of child abuse; secondly, children were frightened and reluctant to speak about it; and thirdly, many adults experienced difficulty in dealing with it.

6.170In light of the investigations that had taken place in other jurisdictions and the evidence contained in their own archives, together with the complaints received, the Leadership Team in this country could be in no doubt that sexual abuse of children in their care had occurred at an unacceptably high level in their institutions.

6.171In the circumstances, although it was legitimate to protest about exaggerated allegations and false claims, which were undoubtedly made in some instances, it was also the case that an attitude of skepticism and distrust of all complaints was unwarranted and unjustified.

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Pope Francis Dodges, Weaves and Wobbles on Child Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis missed an opportunity to not repeat his predecessors’ failures on the crimes of clerical sexual abuse of minors.

Last month the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child sharply denounced the Vatican’s failure since 2001 to report data to the United Nations on sexual abuse by priests.

pennVatican

“The Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the Church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests…”

“The Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

In response to this harsh critique, the Holy See thought it prudent to correct the UN’s “lack of understanding,” justify its policies, claim the Vatican is “a reality different” than other countries, and complain of moral intervention into “doctrinal positions of the Catholic Church.” This response only served to underscore the Committee’s findings on the Holy See’s conduct- the Vatican places its reputation over concerns for survivors of sexual abuse by priests.

Today Pope Francis again dodged, weaved and wobbled on criticisms of the Vatican’s handling of child sexual abuse and went so far as to defend the Church’s record. In an interview with Corriere della Sera, the Holy Father spoke in defense of the Vatican’s actions in dealing with child sexual abuse, saying “no one has done more” to address the issue. “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility… Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”

La Chiesa cattolica è forse l’unica istituzione pubblica ad essersi mossa con trasparenza e responsabilità. Nessun altro ha fatto di più. Eppure la Chiesa è la sola ad essere attaccata

The Pope is simply practicing revisionist history.  Penn State faced its own Marcial Maciel Degollado or Father Donald McGuire S.J.  In Gerry Sandusky, Penn State as an institution faced serious consequences for their conduct.  To date, the Holy See has not fired anyone, refuses extradition of a Papal Nuncio wanted for child sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic and is on the verge of canonizing John Paul II who allowed Maciel to go unpunished during his reign.

If the Holy See is going to claim moral authority it will be held to a higher standard, if not by the objective measures of the UN Committee, then indeed by public opinion. In turn, if the Holy See fails miserably to address the documented crisis of clerical sexual abuse of minors, fails to follow the rule of law and continues to put children at risk, the Holy See has earned every bit of criticism.  Some simply call that justice.

 

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