Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vatican denies abuse liability, Pope implicated, bishop accused beating orphans

Law firm implicates Vatican, Pope in abuse case By CHRISTINE ARMARIO AP March 31, 2010 MIAMI - A South Florida law firm is implicating the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI in its handling of a priest accused of sexually abusing children. Jessica Arbour, an attorney representing one of the alleged victims, says documents show the Vatican was aware of Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio's misconduct as early as 1968. Thirteen years later, Benedict became head of the Vatican office that received a petition from Garcia-Rubio seeking to leave the priesthood. Arbour says the paperwork was lost. Arbour says they do not have any evidence indicating children were abused during that time. A lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Miami, claiming it was negligent in its supervision and assignment of the reverend. Arbour says it may be amended to include the Vatican.

Vatican offers 3 reasons it's not liable for abuse By NICOLE WINFIELD, AP Mar 30, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Dragged deeper than ever into the clerical sex abuse scandal, the Vatican is launching a legal defense that it hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him answer attorneys' questions under oath. Court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren't employees of the Vatican, and that a 1962 document is not the "smoking gun" that provides proof of a cover-up.

The Holy See is trying to fend off the first U.S. case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children.

The case was filed in 2004 in Kentucky by three men who claim they were abused by priests and claim negligence by the Vatican. Their attorney, William McMurry, is seeking class-action status for the case, saying there are thousands of victims across the country.

"This case is the only case that has been ever been filed against the Vatican which has as its sole objective to hold the Vatican accountable for all the priest sex abuse ever committed in this country," he said in a phone interview. "There is no other defendant. There's no bishop, no priest." The Vatican is seeking to dismiss the suit before Benedict XVI can be questioned or documents subpoenaed.

describes abuse

German bishop accused of beating orphaned girls April 1, 2010 One of the Pope's closest conservative allies in Germany, Bishop Walter Mixa, has been accused of brutally beating and flogging children in his care. The Bishop of Augsburg, 68, denies the claims by five former pupils at a Catholic-run orphanage and care facility. But they will be a source of deep embarrassment and concern in the Vatican: Bishop Mixa is part of a conservative axis in Pope Benedict XVI's native Bavaria that has always backed the pontiff in his most controversial decisions, from criticising the violence of Islam in Regensburg cathedral, to rehabilitating the Holocaust-sceptic Bishop Richard Williamson....The beatings were regular and always brutal.

"At least 50 times Mr Mixa pulled down my trousers and beat me on the bottom with a stick, five or six whacks each time," Mr Tagwerk added....The blows were always administered in places where the bruising could be hidden - high up on the arm or on the bottom. One of the victims, a man who is now 44, reports being flogged with a carpet beater, 35 strokes each time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vatican knew of clergy abuse in Canada, Wisconsin, Miami, child porn investigation

Vatican knew of abuse in Ontario: Victim - Papal embassy officials told in 1993, says man abused by former monsignor

"Prince was appointed to a top Vatican job in Rome in 1991 - the year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke learned of sex abuse allegations - says the victim"

Mar 28 2010 Sandro Contenta - An Ontario victim of a pedophile priest who later became a top Vatican official says the Vatican knew of allegations against the priest years before he was convicted. The priest, former Monsignor Bernard Prince, was convicted in 2008 of molesting 13 young boys between 1964 and 1984. Most of the incidents occurred in the Killaloe area, near Pembroke in eastern Ontario. He was defrocked last year. Prince was appointed to a top Vatican job in Rome in 1991 - the year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke learned of sex abuse allegations - says the victim, who can't be identified because of a court publication ban on identifying him. The victim says in 1993 the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa - the Vatican's embassy - was notified of the allegations.

Yet Prince remained secretary general of the Vatican's Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until his retirement in 2004. "The Apostolic Nuncio in Ottawa was aware of the allegations," says the victim, referring to the Vatican's ambassador at the time, Archbishop Carlo Curis. "They did nothing about it," the victim alleges, referring to Vatican officials. "In fact, they just continued to cover him up." The victim, now 53, is one of several who have filed civil lawsuits seeking damages against Prince and the diocese of Pembroke. Questions surrounding the Vatican's treatment of Prince - now serving a four-year prison sentence in British Columbia - come as the Roman Catholic Church is facing a wave of sex abuse scandals in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands....

In Ontario, Robert Talach, the London-based lawyer for Prince's victim, wants the Vatican to come clean: "What did the Vatican know, and did that factor into how they treated (Prince) when he got to Rome?" he asked. Talach has filed 14 separate civil lawsuits against Prince and the Pembroke diocese. He says six have been resolved. The remaining lawsuits each demand $2 million in damages....

Talach has almost 100 clients alleging sexual abuse by priests in Ontario and the Maritimes. The incidents span from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. The way bishops in almost all cases reacted, Talach says, suggests a Church-wide policy: "Stop the spread of the information, move the perpetrator, and with some sort of religious duress, at least, make your best effort to keep the victims and the family quiet, and back to business as usual."....

"Is that standard procedure - you promote someone who has allegations of sexual abuse against him?" the victim asks....At his trial in 2008, Prince, then 72, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of indecent or sexual assault. He was found guilty on a 13th charge of indecent assault.

Abuse in the Church The Demons of Pope Benedict XVI By Alexander Smoltczyk 03/30/2010
Between 1950 and 1974, Murphy stalked his pupils and molested them in cars, in dormitories and, in some cases, even in the confessional -- a doubly serious offence under Catholic Church law.

Murphy would tell the boys to confess to sexual activities with their peers. .... Murphy pressured the boys to give him the names of other young sinners, whose beds he would then visit at night. There was no need to be quiet about it, because the boys were all deaf.

In 1974, Murphy was removed from the school "for health reasons" and transferred to a parish in northern Wisconsin, where he apparently continued to have contact with children and adolescents. But the civil authorities also did nothing, and all investigations against Murphy were dropped.....In June 1996, the Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, turned to the then chairman of the CDF, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Even though it wasn't until 2001 that the church began requiring that all abuse cases in the global church be reported to the CDF, Ratzinger's office was responsible, because the "sollicitatio," or solicitation to commit carnal sin, occurred in the confessional, one of the holiest places in the church. The severity of the case, Weakland wrote, suggested that an internal church trial would be the right approach, a trial that could end in exclusion from the priesthood. Ratzinger didn't respond. In December 1996, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee informed Murphy of its intention to investigate the abuse cases. Only after a second attempt did Weakland receive a response from the Vatican, in March 1997, in the form of a letter from Tarcisio Bertone, Ratzinger's then deputy at the CDF. Bertone wrote that he recommended an internal church trial based on the laws of 1962, which protects the participants by applying the "Secretum Sancti Officii," or secrecy on penalty of excommunication.

'Kind Assistance'
On Jan. 12, 1998, Murphy appealed directly to Cardinal Ratzinger, asking him to stop the proceedings his archdiocese had initiated. The acts of which he was being accused, he wrote, had occurred 25 years earlier: "I am 72 years of age, your Eminence, and am in poor health. I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood. I ask your kind assistance in this matter."

His wish was fulfilled. In April 1998, Bertone dropped the case against Murphy, in the spirit of forgiveness. In his letter to the Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin, he wrote: "The Congregation invites Your Excellency to give careful consideration to what canon 1341 proposes as pastoral measures destined to obtain the reparation of scandal and the restoration of justice." The letter ends with Bertone's best wishes for "a blessed Easter."
Murphy died five months later, in August 1998. Bertone, for whom this meant that the matter was closed, wrote to the Archbishop of Milwaukee: "This Dicastery commends Father Murphy to the mercy of God and shares with you the hope that the Church will be spared any undue publicity from this matter."

Today, Tarciso Bertone is the Cardinal Secretary of State, which makes him the second-in-command at the Vatican.,1518,686495,00.html

CLERGY ABUSE SCANDAL Suit: Vatican knew about South Florida priest's past Lawyers for refugee boys accusing a local Catholic priest of sexual abuse said the Vatican and Archdiocese of Miami -- for decades -- were aware of his troubled past in Cuba. 3/30/10

BY JAY WEAVER The Archdiocese of Miami, along with top Vatican authorities, knew as far back as 1968 that the Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio, a priest later defrocked amid child sex-abuse allegations, had a troubled past in Cuba before transferring to South Florida, lawyers representing victims claimed Monday. The lawyers say the Vatican's role is similar to what is alleged in the scandal now unfolding in Wisconsin, where top Catholic officials are accused of failing to defrock a priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys in a long career that paralleled the Miami cleric's.

``It was a longstanding and well-known secret that the Vatican and Archdiocese of Miami knew exactly what Ernesto Garcia-Rubio was capable of,'' said Aventura attorney Jessica Arbour who with lawyer Stuart Mermelstein have filed several suits against the archdiocese involving Garcia-Rubio.

But privately Archbishop Edward McCarthy had already insisted that Garcia-Rubio be evaluated for pedophilia, according to investigative records obtained by The Herald. Six months before the paper's November 1988 story ran, the archbishop told Garcia-Rubio, then on sabbatical in Colombia, that he shouldn't return to Miami for a visit to celebrate his 25th year in the priesthood.

``I also must insist that following your sabbatical, but prior to your return, you receive a psychiatric evaluation in a setting determined by the archdiocese,'' McCarthy wrote him on May 11, 1988.... The complaints against Garcia-Rubio -- first lodged at the Sweetwater church -- eventually surfaced in The Herald story, which highlighted four sex-abuse allegations by teenage Nicaraguan and Salvadoran refugees from 1983 to 1988. In late 1988, Miami archdiocese officials sent Garcia-Rubio to St. Luke's Institute in Maryland for a pedophilia evaluation.

Pope accused in new U.S. predator priest case Agence France-Presse March 30, 2010
WASHINGTON - The Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI came under fire in the United States Tuesday for allegedly covering up for another predator priest and doing nothing to remove him from ministry.

Documents sent to AFP by lawyers representing a man who claims he was sexually abused as a teen by Father Ernesto Garcia Rubio claim the Papal Nuncio — the Vatican ambassador to the U.S. — asked the church in Miami to protect Garcia after he moved there from Cuba in 1968 after "serious difficulties of a moral nature." "He was in ministry here in Miami for about 30 years and during that time we know of about a dozen victims that he abused," said Jessica Arbour, an attorney for the unnamed victim and five others who are suing the archdiocese of Miami for alleged abuse between 1977 and 1987.

Toronto-area child porn probe goes global: 73 suspects in 20 countries Mar 30, 2010 By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press BRAMPTON, Ont. - Evidence uncovered in a local child pornography investigation could lead to charges against dozens of people in 20 countries and while it may involve millions of images, Ontario police said Tuesday that's just a drop in the bucket. The investigation began in November with a tip from police in Edmonton that led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man in Brampton, Ont., on child-pornography and sexual-assault charges, police said. That probe went global, culminating in police gathering evidence against 73 people in 20 countries.

Monday, March 29, 2010

20 priests accused of sex abuse (Germany), U.S. lawyer takes on Vatican

20 priests accused of sex abuse - diocese March 29 2010
Berlin - A German Roman Catholic diocese said on Monday that 20 of its current and former priests had been accused "in recent weeks" of sexual abuse as a scandal embroiling the Church widened....
Ackermann said the diocese was still conferring on how to handle three cases that fell under the criminal statute of limitations.
He said that beyond the new cases that had surfaced, three priests had been convicted of abuse in the 1990s....The Vatican has said it received 3,000 reports between 2001 and 2010 of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy committed over the past 50 years.

U.S. lawyer takes on Vatican over abuse cases
He shared documents with New York Times, sees Ore. lawsuit as critical
by Patrick Condon AP March. 28, 2010 ST. PAUL, Minn. - Jeff Anderson has filed thousands of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests and won tens of millions of dollars for his clients, but he has had a bigger goal in mind for nearly two decades. He wants to bring his career-long legal crusade against misconduct in the Roman Catholic Church right to the top. He would love to question Pope Benedict XVI himself under oath. Though that is extremely unlikely given that the pope is a head of state, documents Anderson has unearthed have the potential to take a scandal that has plagued dozens of dioceses around the world and place it at the doorstep of Vatican leadership.
The documents, which became publicly known in the past week after Anderson shared them with The New York Times, show that a Vatican office led by the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, halted a church trial against a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 boys at a school for the deaf. "This is a tipping point," Anderson said. He found the documents in handling one of the dozens of lawsuits he has pending against various church officials, and hopes to use them to bolster a separate federal lawsuit against the Vatican itself....

Oregon case could be key
In that case, an unidentified plaintiff claims he was sexually abused as a teenager in 1965 or 1966 by the Rev. Andrew Ronan at St. Albert's Church in Portland, Ore. According to court documents, Ronan was accused of abusing boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland. He was transferred to Chicago, where he admitted abusing three boys at St. Philip's High School, and after that was sent to Oregon. The church removed Ronan from the priesthood in 1966. He died in 1982. The lawsuit says the Vatican had to approve the international transfer. The Holy See claims it is protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which prohibits U.S. lawsuits against foreign countries. Several lower courts have produced differing rulings on the suit, and the Holy See has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the question. The high court has not decided whether it will hear the case. Anderson said his legal team will attempt to use documents from the Milwaukee lawsuit to show the Vatican was heavily involved in decisions about how to deal with problem priests.

Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries By Frances Kennedy in Rome 21 March 2001
The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.
Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.
Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ritual abuse - Utah/Mormon, Catholic pedophile scandal Italy, Army child abuse


Perhaps the type of child sexual abuse that is hardest for most people to believe is ritual abuse, calling up as it does ill-formed images from the media of black masses, witchcraft trials, and Satan worship. Satan worship, which exists as an organized religion, can occur with or without sexual abuse....This chapter provides:

1. A summary of a chapter on ritual abuse from Confronting Abuse: An LDS Perspective on Understanding and Healing Emotional, Physical, Sexual, Psychological, and Spiritual Abuse, edited by Anne L. Horton, B. Kent Harrison, and Barry L. Johnson (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993).

2. The text of a memo prepared by Elder Glenn L. Pace of the Presiding Bishopric for the Strengthening Church Members Committee in 1990. It describes his experiences counseling with survivors of ritual abuse.

3. A brief summary of the Utah Governor's Task Force on Ritual Abuse, created in March 1990, and a summary of the Attorney General's report in late February 1995 after investigating over 125 cases of alleged ritual crime. No prosecutions resulted.

4. A personal account by Rachel Hopkins, a survivor of ritual abuse. Her case had been investigated by the Attorney General's office but could not be prosecuted due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. She came forward in the wake of media claims that the report failed to show the existence of ritual abuse to confirm, on the contrary, that it did and that she had signed confessions from the perpetrators, her parents.

Catholic pedophile scandal engulfs Italian church Davide Berretta, Agence France-Presse March 26, 2010 ROME - Pedophile priest scandals sweeping Catholic churches around Europe have encouraged more and more victims to speak out, fuelling a storm that now threatens to break over Italy. "Victims' groups will grow exponentially in the next few weeks," predicted Italian anti-pedophilia activist Roberto Mirabile. Fresh Catholic Church investigations in the northern cities of Bolzano and Verona could expose new cases of predatory clergy in Italy, which counts more than 50,000 priests, the highest concentration in the world. And on Friday, the left-leaning Italian weekly L'Espresso published new allegations of child molestation by a monk in Tuscany and by a nun in the northern region of Lombardy.

In an echo of the scandal that rocked the Irish Catholic Church in November, L'Espresso noted that the bishops overseeing the two dioceses were aware of the abuses and covered up the allegations....In Bolzano, revelations of abuse emerged in the local press earlier this month, and the diocese is meeting with victims who have come forward, said spokesman Martin Pezzei.
The Bolzano bishop publicly asked for forgiveness and urged victims to contact the diocese, saying in a statement that in so doing he was dispelling "the impression that the Church wants to hush up or hide something."

Attorney: Army Has No Legal Duty To Report Child Abuse - Schofield Barracks General Says Army Failed To Prevent Child's Death March 25, 2010 HONOLULU - An attorney for the U.S. Army argued in court on Thursday that Army officials have no legal duty to report child abuse to civilian authorities. The attorney said the mother of a 5-year-old girl who was beaten to death at Schofield Barracks is not entitled to damages. The commanding general has said that opportunities were missed that could have prevented Talia Williams' death. Army lawyers said the general fired Schofield Barracks' top child abuse official for not reporting what she knew. However, the Army's lawyer said the Army should still not be held liable for their mistakes....Judge Alan Kay pointed out that the law considers them mandated reports of abuse. However, Helper argued, "It's crucial to limit how far you are going to spread liability."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mind-Control Experiments US, deaf school ex-pupils tell of abuse by priests

Mind-Control Experimentation: A Travesty of Human Rights in the United States - Evangeline Wright (The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice Fall, 2005 Vol 9 Number 1. P. 211)

SUMMARY: ... From the end of World War II through the 1970s, the United States government engaged in mind-control experimentation on human subjects, both adults and children. ... Josef Mengele was a Nazi scientist infamous for his twin experiments on Auschwitz inmates. ... " Feldman went on to state that the LSD testing was done for the purpose of "exploring that drug's potential use "both in interrogation and in provoking erratic behavior. ... Corroborating Evidence of Experimentation on Children There are two avenues through which the reality of mind-control experimentation on children can be examined. ... One problem with using survivor narratives as evidence is the reliability of repressed memory. ... Even if a mind-control survivor could convince a prosecutor that the necessary evidence exists, it is very likely that a statute of limitation would bar prosecution. ... For a survivor, facing the reality of his or her use as an experimentation subject can be an immensely overwhelming experience. ... Every survivor who shares his or her story in any setting is taking a courageous step to publicize government mind-control experimentation....

TEXT: Introduction
Our government, under the auspices of the CIA and U.S. military, has committed severe human rights violations that require a public apology and restitution. From the end of World War II through the 1970s, the United States government engaged in mind-control experimentation on human subjects, both adults and children. n1 These experiments included the use of drugs, hypnosis, electroshock, sexual abuse, and torture. n2 Justice remains elusive for those who have been the victims of these experiments. No one knows how many people were subjected to illegal and inhumane experiments by the U.S. government. n3 Much of the documentation of these experiments has been destroyed. n4 Documentation of other experiments has not been released, ostensibly for national security reasons. n5

An extremely small percentage of mind-control experimentation victims have received settlements under the Federal Tort Claims Act. n6 The majority of victims have received nothing. n7 None of the child victims, now adults, have received compensation for the wrongs they suffered. n8 The names and stories of the survivors are, for the most part, not found in court documents, government documents, or mainstream media reports. Instead, their stories are told in web postings and the notes of mental health workers, the outlets available to the marginalized and ignored. n9

In the past ten years, increasing numbers of mind-control experimentation survivors have begun to tell their stories. n10 As knowledge of these atrocities filters into the public consciousness, hopefully these survivors will begin to receive compensation for the pain they have suffered. Mind-control survivors face many obstacles in their pursuit of justice, obstacles that must be overcome if we as a society hope to maintain our ideal of equal justice for all citizens. Given the difficulty of proving the link between specific mind-control survivors and CIA documentation of mind-control experiments, and the length of time which many victims have needed in order to learn what has been done to them, there are significant legal obstacles to obtaining justice. We as a society are reluctant to look beyond our assumptions of humanity and acknowledge the inhumanity of which we are capable.

The tremendous violation of human rights that these experiments represent demands some form of restitution. Survivors of CIA and military mind-control experiments are entitled to both civil and criminal remedies. They deserve a public apology for what was done to them; their experiences must become an acknowledged part of the history of this country. It is our responsibility, as members of the society that permitted these experiments to take place, to insure that these survivors' needs are met. This Note will examine only the United States government's responsibility for the commission of these experiments. The liability and wrongdoing of private institutions and individuals, a further avenue of justice for survivors of mind-control experiments, is not within the scope of this note. Part II of this Note will discuss the mind-control experiments, including the connection between these experiments and Nazi Germany, and specific experiments performed on adults and children. Part III will address the ways in which mind-control experimentation survivors may seek justice, both through the court system and through legislation....

DID is often a response to severe childhood physical and sexual abuse. n112 An individual with DID is highly hypnotizable and subject to frequent amnesia. n113 Survivor memories indicate that CIA researchers created different personalities in the survivors for purposes including prostitution and assassination. n114 From a military perspective, an individual who could be trained as a military operative and conditioned to carry out orders with no conscious knowledge of such missions would be an ideal agent, impervious to hostile interrogation and utterly obedient.

The children who survived the mind-control experiments of the 1950s- 1970s have now grown to adulthood. Some remember the experiments and have found the courage to speak publicly about their experiences, looking for a vindication of their humanity that has heretofore been denied to them. n115 Others work quietly with their therapists, trying to undo the damage caused in the name of national security, sometimes sharing pieces of their stories on the condition of anonymity. n116 And yet others must exist on the fringes of society, carrying a burden of abuse obscured by the hypnosis and amnesiac drugs used by mind-control researchers to hide their experiments. n117 To request an electronic copy of an individual article The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 186 Boyd Law Building University of Iowa, College of Law, Iowa City, IA 52242 Phone:319-335-9093 Fax: 319-335-8772

article describes crimes

Verona deaf school ex-pupils tell Italian TV of sex abuse by priests Richard Owen, Rome March 27, 2010
The sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church came to the Pope's doorstep last night as a group of victims appeared on Italian television to claim that two dozen priests had for decades abused children at a school for the deaf in Verona. Three former pupils of the Antonio Provolo school who spoke on RAI, the state broadcaster, confirmed allegations made in a signed statement last year by 67 ex-pupils who described a regime of sexual abuse, paedophilia and corporal punishment from the 1950s to the 1980s. They said that 24 priests and lay brothers from the Company of Mary order were involved. The three said that the priests had "fondled and masturbated" them as well as sodomising them in dormitories, bathrooms and the priests' quarters. Among the accused is Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro, Bishop of Verona from 1958-78, who died in 1981 and whom the local diocese has sought to have beatified, a crucial step on the road to sainthood....

The present Bishop of Verona, Mgr Giuseppe Zenti, initially accused the former pupils of "hallucinating". However, the diocese had to open an inquiry after one of the accused lay brothers admitted sexual relations with pupils. Last summer the diocese forwarded its files on the abuse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which took no action until last month when Cardinal William Levada, Pope Benedict's successor as head of the congregation, agreed it was "opportune to proceed" with an inquiry....

1962 The Vatican issued a document to every bishop emphasising the importance of "strictest" secrecy in investigating sex abuse allegations
1975 Cardinal Sean Brady looked into two complaints of abuse against Father Brendan Smyth, with the teenagers sworn to secrecy
1980 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led a meeting examining the case of Father Peter Hullermann. Although known to be a paedophile, the priest was given therapy and transferred
1996 Cardinal Ratzinger received requests from the Archbishop of Wisconsin for Father Lawrence C. Murphy, accused of molesting up to 200 children, to be defrocked. The inquiry was halted after Father Murphy appealed for mercy
2001 Cardinal Ratzinger signed a document suggesting that child abuse cases must be handled in canonical trials behind closed doors
2002 Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Bernard Law as an Archpriest even though he had resigned as Archbishop of Boston over the cover-up of sexual abuse by more than 1,200 priests

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sex abuse scandal taints papacy, Doctor Asserts Church Ignored Abuse Warnings

Sex abuse scandal in US, Italy taints papacy By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP) - 3/26/10 VATICAN CITY - Revelations that the Vatican halted the investigation of a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys have eerie echoes in Italy, where 67 deaf men and women accused two dozen priests of raping and molesting children for years....On Friday, The New York Times reported that the future pope was kept more closely apprised of a German priest's sex abuse case in 1980 than previous church statements have suggested.

The case of the German priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, has acquired fresh relevance because it unfolded at a time when Cardinal Ratzinger, who was later put in charge of handling thousands of abuse cases on behalf of the Vatican, was in a position to refer the priest for prosecution, or at least to stop him from coming into contact with children, the Times said. Cardinal Ratzinger was copied on a memo that told him that a priest, whom he had approved sending to therapy in 1980 to overcome pedophilia, would return to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment, the Times said. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another German parish.

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Munich placed full responsibility for the decision to allow the priest to resume his duties on Cardinal Ratzinger's deputy, the Rev. Gerhard Gruber, the Times said.

But the memo cited by the Times says that the future pope not only led a meeting on Jan. 15, 1980, approving the transfer of the priest, but was also kept informed about the priest's reassignment, the newspaper reported....In a signed statement last year, the 67 former pupils at a school for the deaf in Verona described sexual abuse, pedophilia and corporal punishment from the 1950s to the 1980s. They named 24 priests, brothers and lay religious men at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf. While not all acknowledged being victims, 14 of the 67 wrote sworn statements and made videotapes, detailing abuse, some for years, at the hands of priests and brothers of the Congregation for the Company of Mary.

Doctor Asserts Church Ignored Abuse Warnings By NICHOLAS KULISH and KATRIN BENNHOLD 3/18/10 ESSEN, Germany — The German archdiocese led by the future Pope Benedict XVI ignored repeated warnings in the early 1980s by a psychiatrist treating a priest accused of sexually abusing boys that he should not be allowed to work with children, the psychiatrist said Thursday.

"I said, ‘For God's sake, he desperately has to be kept away from working with children,' " the psychiatrist, Dr. Werner Huth, said in a telephone interview from Munich. "I was very unhappy about the entire story." Dr. Huth said he was concerned enough that he set three conditions for treating the priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann: that he stay away from young people and alcohol and be supervised by another priest at all times. Dr. Huth said he issued the explicit warnings — both written and oral — before the future pope, then Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich and Freising, left Germany for a position in the Vatican in 1982.

In 1980, after abuse complaints from parents in Essen that the priest did not deny, Archbishop Ratzinger approved a decision to move the priest to Munich for therapy. Despite the psychiatrist's warnings, Father Hullermann was allowed to return to parish work almost immediately after his therapy began, interacting with children as well as adults. Less than five years later, he was accused of molesting other boys, and in 1986 he was convicted of sexual abuse in Bavaria....Even after his conviction in 1986, Father Hullermann, now 62, continued working with altar boys for many years.

He was suspended Monday for ignoring a 2008 church order not to work with youths....The court commissioned another psychiatrist, Dr. Johannes Kemper, to examine him and write an expert opinion for the 1986 trial. "Alcohol played a big role," said Dr. Kemper, 66, who had examined Father Hullermann in his practice for half a day. As a prelude to sexual abuse, Dr. Kemper said, "he drank, and then under the influence of alcohol he watched porn videos with the youths."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vatican and Pope warned about priest - 200 victims, documents shredded

S.M.A.R.T.'s Ritual Abuse Page

also : Trial: abuse expert says Scouts put boys at risk

Pope knew about US deaf school predator priest, victim says 3/25/10 ST FRANCIS, Milwaukee — A US man claiming he was abused by a predator priest accused of molesting scores of deaf boys said Thursday Pope Benedict XVI knew about the latest sex scandal to rock the church and should be held accountable for it. "The pope knew about this. He should be held accountable," Arthur Budzinski said outside the Archdiocese of Milwaukee after a New York Times report said Vatican officials, including the future pope, failed to act on warnings that Father Lawrence Murphy was abusing boys at a school for the deaf here.

Murphy is believed to have molested as many as 200 boys at St John's School for the Deaf in Wisconsin between 1950 and 1974. The New York Times published documents Thursday which show that top Vatican officials, including then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- who was elected pope in 2005 -- never took action against Murphy, despite many warnings from US bishops.

Budzinski, who is deaf and attended St John's, said in sign language, which was spoken to reporters by his daughter, that Murphy would come into the boys' dorm at night, take them into a closet and sexually molest them. Budzinski, who is now 62, said he told then archbishop of Milwaukee William Cousins and other officials about the abuse in 1974. The archbishop shouted at him and Budzinski "left the meeting crying," he said.

According to the documents published in the New York Times, in the 1990s -- years after the alleged offenses occurred -- then Archbishop of Milwaukee Rembert Weakland and another Wisconsin bishop wrote "directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope," about Murphy. Ratzinger failed to respond to the letter, and a canonical trial authorized by his deputy was halted after Murphy wrote to Ratzinger begging that the proceedings be stopped, the Times said. "While church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal," the newspaper said. Murphy died in 1998, having never been defrocked.

Vatican warned about Wisconsin priest report 3/25/10 AP Documents charge top Vatican office led by future pope was told of concerns about priest suspected in widespread abuse

Two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — to let them conduct a church trial against a priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys, but the Vatican ordered the process halted, church and Vatican documents show.

Despite the grave allegations, Cardinal Ratzinger's deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled that the alleged molestation had occurred too long ago and the accused priest, Rev. Lawrence Murphy, should instead repent and be restricted from celebrating Mass outside of his diocese....Church and Vatican documents obtained by two lawyers who have filed lawsuits alleging the Archdiocese of Milwaukee didn't take sufficient action against Rev. Murphy show that as many as 200 deaf students had accused him of molesting them, including in the confessional, while he ran the school.

Wis. priest accused of molesting 200 deaf boys By DINESH RAMDE and GRETCHEN EHLKE, Associated Press Writers Dinesh Ramde And Gretchen Ehlke, 3/25/10 ST. FRANCIS, Wis. – Arthur Budzinski says the first time the priest molested him, he was 12 years old, alone and away from home at a school for the deaf. He says he asked the Rev. Lawrence Murphy to hear his confession, and instead the priest took him into a closet under the stairs and sexually assaulted him.

Weakland shredded copies of sex abuse reports, documents say
By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel Dec. 3, 2009
Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County's district attorney on Thursday. In a 1993 deposition, Weakland admitted destroying copies of the reports in his office, according to a partial transcript of the deposition released by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Peter Isely, SNAP's Midwest director, turned over the partial transcript, as well as portions of the logs to which Weakland was referring, to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and asked him to review them for any possible criminal violations. Chisholm accepted the records and promised a thorough review.
The 16-year-old deposition documents have come to light during the discovery process in more than a dozen civil fraud lawsuits filed against the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Trial: abuse expert says Scouts put boys at risk - U.S. news By ABBY HAIGHT AP March. 24, 2010 PORTLAND, Ore. - The Boy Scouts of America showed reckless indifference to protecting young Scouts when it kept confidential two decades worth of files on suspected molesters among its troop leaders, a psychologist testified Wednesday as part of a $14 million lawsuit against the organization.
Despite creating a remarkably in-depth file about sexual abusers, the Boy Scouts failed to warn parents or tell authorities about suspected or confessed pedophiles, said Gary Schoener, a national expert and consultant on sexual misconduct in the clergy, health care and other segments of society.

Some boys may have become victims because of the silence, he told the Multnomah County Circuit Court jury....The Boy Scouts began keeping secret files on suspected molesters among its adult volunteers decades ago. Dubbed the "perversion files" by the organization, the more than 1,100 reports from 1965-84 were released into evidence in the suit last week....

Schoener, who studied hundreds of the formerly confidential files, said the detailed documents showed patterns, including how molesters would groom potential victims, how most pedophiles had many victims and how most re-offended. He said it was the most complete picture of sexual abusers and victims in the country at the time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warned About Abuse, Vatican Failed to Defrock Priest - 200 deaf boys

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN March 24, 2010

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit. The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal....

The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked....

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church's own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities. Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest....
The Vatican's inaction is not unusual. Only 20 percent of the 3,000 accused priests whose cases went to the church's doctrinal office between 2001 and 2010 were given full church trials, and only some of those were defrocked, according to a recent interview in an Italian newspaper with Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the chief internal prosecutor at that office....

But the effort to dismiss Father Murphy came to a sudden halt after the priest appealed to Cardinal Ratzinger for leniency. In an interview, Archbishop Weakland said that he recalled a final meeting at the Vatican in May 1998 in which he failed to persuade Cardinal Bertone and other doctrinal officials to grant a canonical trial to defrock Father Murphy. (In 2002, Archbishop Weakland resigned after it became public that he had an affair with a man and used church money to pay him a settlement.)...."In spite of these difficulties," Archbishop Weakland wrote, "we are still hoping we can avoid undue publicity that would be negative toward the church."

Irish bishop resigns, Germany to set up expert panel on sexual abuse

Shanley recovered memory case

Irish bishop resigns, apologizes to abuse victims By SHAWN POGATCHNIK (AP) – 3/24/10
DUBLIN — Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation Wednesday of Bishop John Magee, a former papal aide who stands accused of endangering children by failing to follow the Irish church's own rules on reporting suspected pedophile priests to police. Magee apologized to victims of any pedophile priests who were kept in parish posts since he took charge of the southwest Irish diocese of Cloyne in 1987....Irish society is still debating the merits of Saturday's unprecedented letter from Benedict apologizing for decades of unchecked child abuse by priests, nuns and other clerics. The letter criticized Irish bishops, promised a Vatican inspection of unspecified dioceses and religious orders in Ireland — but accepted no Vatican responsibility for promoting a culture of cover-up.

Benedict also has yet to accept resignation offers from three other Irish bishops who were linked to cover-ups of child-abuse cases in the Dublin Archdiocese, the subject of a government-ordered investigation that published its findings four months ago. Magee, however, had been expected to resign ever since an Irish church-commissioned investigation into the mishandling of child-abuse reports in Cloyne ruled two years ago that Magee and his senior diocesan aides failed to tell police quickly about two 1990s cases.

The church and government suppressed publication of that report's findings until December 2008, when Magee faced immediate calls to quit from victims' rights activists and some parishioners. They accused him of ignoring an Irish church policy enacted in 1996 requiring all abuse cases to be reported to police....Cardinal Sean Brady, a Vatican-trained canon lawyer, faces his own cover-up accusations. He has admitted collecting evidence in 1975 from two altar-boy victims of a notorious pedophile priest — but had both boys sign confidentiality agreements and never passed his information to police. That priest, Brendan Smyth, wasn't imprisoned until 1994 after molesting scores of children in Ireland and the United States....The church's Cloyne report found that Magee and his diocesan deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two priests from 1995 onward — but told the police nothing until 2003 and little thereafter. The report said Cloyne church authorities appeared solely concerned with helping the two priests, not protecting children of the diocese.

One priest, who was accused of molesting a younger priest when he was a teenager, was encouraged by Magee to resign. But the investigation found that the bishop shielded the abuser's identity from police — and considered such concealment "the normal practice" for the church.

Germany to set up expert panel on sexual abuse 24 Mar 2010 Following recent revelations of sexual abuse in Catholic Church, Germany is setting an expert panel to discuss sex crimes in the country....Merkel has said that the panel should examine past abuse cases and reevaluate Germany's limitations on sex crimes as well as possible compensation for the victims. Since January, several Catholic-run institutions in Germany have been engulfed in a deepening scandal over allegations of sadistic and sexual abuse, with more than 150 pupils coming forward with horrifying tales of mistreatment, mostly during 1970s to 80s. German Catholic Church is dealing with 300 alleged cases of child abuse across the country, many of which were reported in regions where Pope Benedict served as an archbishop. Vatican is accused of building up a "wall of silence" around such issues after it ordered Catholic priests in 2001 to report 'priestly misbehaviors', even the most serious abuse cases, only to the Vatican.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Child sex abuse by US Catholic clergy, Hand of God - Frontline

Child sex abuse by US Catholic clergy down sharply: study Mar 23, 2010 WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pay-outs by the US Roman Catholic church for child abuse cases involving clergy members fell to a six-year low last year but remained in the nine-figure range, an annual US report tracking clergy sex abuse of minors said Tuesday. Nearly 400 new, credible allegations of clergy sex abuse were reported in 2009, said the report, which comes as the Roman Catholic church struggles to deal with thousands of alleged sex offenses by clerics against children in Europe and South America. In the United States, the Roman Catholic church paid out 104,439,629 dollars last year in costs related to sex abuse cases, more than half of the money - 55 million dollars - in settlements for victims, the report showed.

The 193 dioceses around the United States that provided data for the report said they received 398 new credible allegations last year of sexual abuse committed by priests and deacons against children. The vast majority dated from decades ago, but six involved children who were under the age of 18 in 2009.

Hand of God - Frontline 1/6/07 In recent decades, more than 10,000 children were reportedly sexually abused by Catholic priests in the United States. In "Hand of God," filmmaker Joe Cultrera explores just one of those cases, that of his own brother Paul. Paul Cultrera was molested in the 1960s by Father Joseph Birmingham, who allegedly abused nearly 100 other children. "Hand of God" tells the story of faith betrayed, and how Paul and the rest of the Cultrera family fought back against a scandal that continues to afflict scores of churches across the country. Contains frank descriptions of sexual conduct. Viewer discretion is advised.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Irish Bishop secrecy oath, Afghan Boy Sex Slaves, Cambodia Child Sex Trafficking

Bishop admits involvement in secrecy oath for abuse victims By Fergus Black March 22 2010 ANOTHER Irish bishop has admitted being involved in an investigation into clerical abuse claims in which victims were made to sign oaths of secrecy. The Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, said in a statement that he had been been party to at least one civil settlement involving a claim made against the diocese in which a non-disclosure agreement was signed between the diocese and the claimant.

He told a Sunday newspaper that it was to his "regret" he did not pass on the abuse claims to police when he first became aware of the allegations in 1989. Bishop Duffy, who was unavailable for comment last night, told the 'Sunday Business Post' he was bound to secrecy by the victim's parents at the time of the offence, but that he would not now be restricted by such a condition. Last week, a spokesman for Bishop Duffy said he had co-operated fully with the statutory authorities by sharing "all known records with them". Irish Independent

Afghanistan's Boy Sex Slaves By Michael Mechanic Mar. 19, 2010 Say what you will about the Taliban. They're small-minded, repressive, religious zealots who exert their power through fear and intimidation. But certain aspects of Afghan society can make the black turbans look downright righteous. Consider the ancient tradition of Bacha Bazi, which means "boy play." Banned by the Taliban, this illicit activity is on the upswing across Afghanistan. The Guardian reported on it last fall, and on April 20, Frontline is airing a special report with the same title: The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan.
Here's how the Frontline producers describe it: Hundreds of boys, some as young as eleven, street orphans or boys bought from poor families by former warlords and powerful businessmen, are dressed in woman's clothes, taught to sing and dance for the entertainment of male audiences, and then sold to the highest bidder or traded among the men for sex.

With remarkable access inside a Bacha Bazi ring operating in Northern Afghanistan, Najibullah Quraishi, an Afghan journalist, investigates this practice, still illegal under Afghan law, talking with the boys, their families, and their masters, exposing the sexual abuse and even murders of the boys, and documenting how Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.

The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan - On air and online April 20, 2010 at 9:00pm In Afghanistan today, in the midst of war and endemic poverty, an ancient tradition--banned when the Taliban were in power--has re-emerged across the country. It's called Bacha Bazi, translated literally as "boy play."

Hundreds of boys, some as young as eleven, street orphans or boys bought from poor families by former warlords and powerful businessmen, are dressed in woman's clothes, taught to sing and dance for the entertainment of male audiences, and then sold to the highest bidder or traded among the men for sex. With remarkable access inside a Bacha Bazi ring operating in Northern Afghanistan, Najibullah Quraishi, an Afghan journalist, investigates this practice, still illegal under Afghan law, talking with the boys, their families, and their masters, exposing the sexual abuse and even murders of the boys, and documenting how Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.

In Cambodia, American Evangelicals Fight to End Child Sex Trafficking Christian Volunteer: 'There Is a Deep Fulfillment in Laying Your Life Down for Somebody Else' By DAN HARRIS, ALMIN KARAMEHMEDOVIC, AUDE SOICHET and SIDNEY WRIGHT IV - SVAY PAK, Cambodia, March 21, 2010 Butler runs a community center in the village of Svay Pak, the epicenter of Cambodia's raging child sex trafficking epidemic. It's a place where, on any given night, many of the children will be sold - by their own parents - for sex with strangers. He is one of many American Christians who have come to this impoverished, war-ravaged country to protect some of the world's most vulnerable children.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Developmental trauma disorder, Childhood Stress/Autoimmune Diseases, Pope

The Pope, the letter and the child sex claim

Developmental trauma disorder: Towards a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

Developmental trauma disorder: Childhood trauma, including abuse and neglect, is probably our nation's single most important public health challenge, a challenge that has the potential to be largely resolved by appropriate prevention and intervention. Each year over 3,000,000 children are reported to the authorities for abuse and/or neglect in the United States of which about one million are substantiated1. Many thousands more undergo traumatic medical and surgical procedures, and are victims of accidents and of community violence (see Spinazzola et al, this issue). However, most trauma begins at home: the vast majority of people (about 80 %) responsible for child maltreatment are children's own parents. Inquiry into developmental milestones and family medical history is routine in medical and psychiatric examinations. In contrast, social taboos prevent obtaining information about childhood trauma, abuse, neglect and other exposures to violence. Research has shown that traumatic childhood experiences are not only extremely common; they also have a profound impact on many different areas of functioning....

In the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study by Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control2, 17,337 adult HMO members responded to a questionnaire about adverse childhood experiences, including childhood abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. 11.0% reported having been emotionally abused as a child, 30.1% reported physical abuse, 19.9% sexual abuse; 23.5% reported being exposed to
family alcohol abuse, 18.8% to mental illness, 12.5% witnessed their mothers being battered and 4.9% reported family drug abuse.

The ACE study showed that adverse childhood experiences are vastly more common than recognized or acknowledged and that they have a powerful relation to adult health a half-century later. The study unequivocally confirmed earlier investigations that found a highly significant relationship between adverse childhood experiences and
depression, suicide attempts, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, domestic violence, cigarette smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, the more adverse childhood experiences reported, the more likely a erson was to develop heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, skeletal fractures, and liver disease.

Cumulative Childhood Stress and Autoimmune Diseases in Adults Shanta R. Dube, PhD, MPH, DeLisa Fairweather, PhD, William S. Pearson, PhD, MHA, Vincent J. Felitti, MD, Robert F. Anda, MD, MS and Janet B. Croft, PhD....Objective: To examine whether childhood traumatic stress increased the risk of developing autoimmune diseases as an adult.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 15,357 adult health maintenance organization members enrolled in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study from 1995 to 1997 in San Diego, California, and eligible for follow-up through 2005. ACEs included childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; witnessing domestic violence; growing up with household substance abuse, mental illness, parental divorce, and/or an incarcerated household member....

Results: Sixty-four percent reported at least one ACE. The event rate (per 10,000 person-years) for a first hospitalization with any autoimmune disease was 31.4 in women and 34.4 in men. First hospitalizations for any autoimmune disease increased with increasing number of ACEs (p < .05). Compared with persons with no ACEs, persons with 2 ACEs were at a 70% increased risk for hospitalizations with Th1, 80% increased risk for Th2, and 100% increased risk for rheumatic diseases (p < .05).
Conclusions: Childhood traumatic stress increased the likelihood of hospitalization with a diagnosed autoimmune disease decades into adulthood. These findings are consistent with recent biological studies on the impact of early life stress on subsequent inflammatory responses.

The Pope, the letter and the child sex claim - A series of paedophile allegations against a senior papal confidant are haunting Benedict XVI. How he deals with them will be his first major test, writes Jamie Doward....The Observer, 24 April 2005

The story goes back to the Nineties when the new Pope - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for investigating abuse claims.

One of the most high-profile of such claims was made by Professor José Barba Martin, a 68-year-old professor of humanities at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He is one of nine former members of the Rome-based Legion of Christ who allege they were abused by the religious order's powerful founder, Marcial Maciel....
The nine filed their case before the Vatican's courts, and persuaded intermediaries to carry a letter to Ratzinger outlining abuse allegations against Maciel. According to one of the intermediaries, Father Alberto Athie, when confronted with the allegations Ratzinger simply said Maciel had brought many 'benefits' to the church and that it was a 'touchy problem'. The Vatican denies Athie's claim.

On 24 December 1999, Ratzinger's secretary, Father Gianfranco Girotti, wrote to the men saying that their claims - many allegedly corroborated by each other's detailed testimonies - had been examined but, for the time being, the Vatican considered the matter closed. In a last-ditch attempt to persuade Ratzinger to change his mind, another letter was despatched to him in 2002 through an intermediary. It went unanswered.
For support groups campaigning on behalf of abuse victims, Ratzinger's apparent reluctance to investigate the claims against Maciel was a crushing blow, but one that did not surprise critics of the new Pope.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pope 'led cover-up of child abuse by priests'

30.09.06 The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight. In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety. The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ore. lawsuit claims Boy Scouts sex abuse coverup

Mar 19, 2010 By WILLIAM McCALL
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years.

The "perversion files," a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.

The lawyer for a man who was molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show how the Boy Scouts have covered up abuse for decades.

The trial is significant because the files could offer a rare window into how the Boy Scouts have responded to sex abuse by Scout leaders. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.

At the start of the Oregon trial, attorney Kelly Clark recited the Boy Scout oath and the promise to obey Scout law to be "trustworthy." Then he presented six boxes of documents that he said will show "how the Boy Scouts of America broke that oath." He held up file folder after file folder he said contained reports of abuse from around the country, telling the jury the efforts to keep them secret may have actually set back efforts to prevent child abuse nationally.....

Clark is seeking $14 million in damages on behalf of a 37-year-old man who was sexually molested in the early 1980s in Portland by an assistant Scoutmaster, Timur Dykes. Clark said the victim suffered mental health problems, bad grades in school, drug use, anxiety, difficulty maintaining relationships and lost several jobs over the years because of the abuse. Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994
of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts....

The lawsuit also named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the Mormons acted as a charter organization, or sponsor, for the local Boy Scouts troop that included the victim. But the church has settled its portion of the case.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TV Torture Show repeats Milgram, clergy abuse worldwide, boy scouts

Fake TV Torture Show Prepares to Shock France - Theunis Bates 3/18/10
LONDON (March 17) - Would you torture a fellow TV game show contestant just to please the audience? A stunning documentary suggests that most people are willing to inflict extreme pain on an innocent person if it keeps a baying crowd happy.

The makers of the French documentary "The Game of Death" -- to be aired in France tonight -- set up a fake game show called "The Xtreme Zone," complete with a beautiful hostess, a rowdy audience and a flashy set. Some 80 potential contestants were asked to put general-knowledge questions to another participant named Jean-Paul, who was played by an actor. If the actor got the answers wrong, the questioner could pull a lever and punish him with electric shocks.

Although the participants didn't know the contestant was a plant, most were willing to give in to the presenter's and audience's loud demands for "punishment!" whenever an incorrect answer was given. According to director Christophe Nick, 64 of the 80 players zapped the actor with what they were told was the maximum 460 volts, even though no cash prize was offered. Sixteen people quit the quiz in disgust....

Program maker Nick said his crew was "amazed" that so many players were willing to go along with the sadistic whims of the host and crowd, albeit often reluctantly. "They are not equipped to disobey," he told Agence France-Presse. "They don't want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don't manage to."....

Other tests have also shown the ease with which people can be persuaded to do terrible deeds. Almost 50 years ago, Stanley Milgram -- a social psychologist at Yale University -- examined whether ordinary citizens could be persuaded to electrically shock an unseen individual. The experiment sought to understand how accomplices in the Holocaust could have submitted to Nazi orders. Milgram discovered that most of the participants were willing to administer near-fatal zaps.

Nick notes that in the wrong hands, television can be just as dangerous as a persuasive dictator. "When it decides to abuse its power, television can do anything to anybody," he said. "It has an absolutely terrifying power."

French TV contestants made to inflict 'torture' 3/18/10 A French TV documentary features people in a spoof game show administering what they are told are near lethal electric shocks to rival contestants. Those taking part are told to pull levers to inflict shocks - increasing in voltage - upon their opponents. Although unaware that the contestants were actors and there was no electrical current, 82% of participants in the Game of Death agreed to pull the lever.

Programme makers say they wanted to expose the dangers of reality TV shows. They say the documentary shows how many participants in the setting of a TV show will agree to act against their own principles or moral codes when ordered to do something extreme....

Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary, said they were "amazed" that so many participants obeyed the sadistic orders of the game show presenter. "They are not equipped to disobey," he told AFP.
"They don't want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don't manage to."

Yale experiment
The results reflect those of a similar experiment carried out almost 50 years ago at Yale University by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Participants took the role of a teacher, delivering what they believed were shocks to an actor every time they answered a question incorrectly. Mr Nick says that his experiment shows that the TV element further increases people's willingness to obey. "With Milgram, 62% of people obeyed an abject authority. In the setting of television, it's 80%," he told Reuters.

Catholic church sex scandals rock Brazil 3/18/10 RIO DE JANEIRO - The Brazilian authorities are investigating three priests accused of sexually abusing altar boys after a video allegedly showing one case of abuse was broadcast on television, police said on Tuesday.

The case came to light after a network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years.
Other young men appeared on the report saying that they, too, had been abused. The Vatican confirmed that three Brazilian clergymen had been removed in the paedophilia scandal....

The Vatican has also ended a probe into the Legionaries of Christ after revelations that its late founder molested seminarians and fathered children, the ultra-conservative order said on Tuesday. The outcome would be "communicated in the coming months".
Vatican watcher Sandro Magister said the pope, who in 2006 ordered Legionaries of Christ founder Marcial Maciel to renounce all duties and lead a "quiet life of prayer and penitence," should name a commissioner "with full powers" to overhaul the order.
Before Maciel's fall from grace, he and the order were championed by the pope's predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Earlier this month in Mexico, the order asked for forgiveness after two brothers claiming to be Maciel's sons said he had abused them. Maciel, who died aged 87 in January 2008, led the order he founded in Mexico in 1941 with an iron fist.
Last year, the order confirmed that Maciel had secretly fathered a daughter. Maciel was also accused of sexually abusing seminarians, prompting the pope's denunciation.
The order is present in 22 countries, notably Mexico and Spain, and runs 12 universities. It counts 800 priests, 2,500 seminarians and 70,000 lay members.

Irish Catholic church in new child sex abuse allegations - Reports of settlement overseen by bishop of Derry adds to abuse scandals surrounding Catholic churches in Europe Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent 18 March 2010

The Catholic church in Ireland was today embroiled in another child abuse scandal after allegations that a victim was paid to keep quiet in a deal overseen by the bishop of Derry. Bishop Seamus Hegarty was named as a party in a confidential civil settlement after a woman claimed she was abused by a priest for more than a decade, according to a report in today's Belfast Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the claim was settled without admission of liability but with a payment of £12,000 to the alleged victim. The settlement between the archdiocese of Derry and the woman, who was eight when the abuse began, reportedly contained a confidentiality clause preventing her from discussing the case.

Her ordeal allegedly began in 1979 and lasted for a decade before she revealed at her 18th birthday party that she had been repeatedly abused by the priest....
The Derry abuse case allegedly began after the priest was invited into the family home by the alleged victim's parents, who had no idea he was a child abuser. She claims he told the girl that God would punish her if she spoke out about her ordeal. After she did speak out, her family approached the diocese in Derry, and the victim claims the cleric was moved to another parish despite meetings with Hegarty in 1994 during which he told her family he would deal with the problem. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph today, her family described Hegarty as being "totally unsympathetic" during their initial meetings.

Germany and Ireland call on Catholic church to hold child sex abuse inquiries Angela Merkel becomes most senior politician to speak out over abuse by priests as pope to release pastoral letter on subject 17 March 2010

The List: The Catholic Church's Latest Abuse Scandals - FP's guide to the Vatican's spiraling crisis. BY KAYVAN FARZANEH MARCH 16, 2010 The report alleged 2,000 cases of abuse over a 60-year period. A second government investigation, released by the Irish government in November 2009, fanned the flames by revealing the collusion of Irish police in systematically covering up cases of child abuse by Dublin clergymen. For Ireland, this is only the latest part of the clergy abuse saga -- the Associated Press reports that since the mid-1990s there have been nearly 15,000 complaints leveled against the church -- with legal claims topping $1.5 billion....In September 2009, a Vatican official responded to growing criticism by defending the clergy's action, citing statistics that showed only 1.5 to 5 percent of clergy have been involved in cases of child sex abuse -- a leaky argument that acknowledges sexual abuse by up to 20,000 priests worldwide....

In late February, a Dutch radio station and newspaper broke the story of alleged abuse in Dutch Catholic boarding schools in the 1960s and 70s. The last Catholic boarding school may have closed in 1981, but victims have not forgotten their traumatic experiences. Once again, the trickle of a few lone voices surged into a torrent -- nearly 200 allegations surfaced in the weeks following the radio program. Victims told stories of priests who shamed them into thinking they had done something wrong, which accounted for their silence. Even when accusations were leveled, priests tended to brush off evidence....

The latest and most salient crisis is now taking place in Germany, where allegations of abuse have surfaced this year for the first time. At least 300 cases of abuse have emerged, and elite Jesuit boarding schools across the country have been accused of mistreating pupils. Eighteen of the 27 German archdioceses are now being investigated for child abuse while the German Justice Ministry says that Vatican secrecy has hampered investigations for the past decade.

Trial opens in Portland, with Boy Scouts accused of hiding pedophiles By Aimee Green, The Oregonian March 17, 2010, Attorney Kelly Clark, who represents a 37-year-old man who as a boy was sexually abused by an assistant Scoutmaster, told Multnomah County jurors Wednesday: "You will see a different face of the Boy Scouts of America" in coming weeks. A civil trial that opened Wednesday in Portland will show that the Boy Scouts of America knew it had child molesters in its leadership for decades but kept the problem quiet, according to an attorney for one of the victims. The case, expected to attract national attention, centers on a Portland man who confessed to Scout leaders that he had molested 17 Scouts but was allowed to continue joining boys in Scouting activities.

On a broader scale, the case is one of the first to bring into open court hundreds of confidential files that the 100-year-old organization kept on Scout leaders and others suspected of sexually abusing boys. Though the Scouts, based in Texas, have been sued dozens of times over allegations of sexual abuse, most cases have been settled out of court, keeping files from becoming public. Patrick Boyle, the Washington, D.C.-based author of "Scout's Honor: Sexual Abuse in America's Most Trusted Institution," said Wednesday that this case may be only the second time such files have been used in a trial....
Timur Dykes, 53...Confessed to or was convicted of molesting more than 20 boys, most of them Boy Scouts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment, Irish clergy abuse

French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.

Henry Samuel in Paris 11 Mar 2010 .... H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the "secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and explains that it was not "at all" caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.
While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army....

After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.
Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".

Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.

RTE One - Prime Time
Oonagh Smyth reports on the latest major scandal over paedophile priests, which is engulfing the most senior cleric in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Irish Catholic Abuse cover up, Pope Germany concealment, Smyth/McGonigle

Irish Catholic leader won't quit for abuse coverup By SHAWN POGATCHNIK (AP) – 3/15/10

DUBLIN - Ireland's senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, said Monday he would not resign despite admitting he helped the church collect evidence against a child-molesting priest - and never told police about the crimes.

Brady, as a priest and Vatican-trained canon lawyer in 1975, said he interviewed two children about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Rev. Brendan Smyth. He said both children were required to sign oaths promising not to tell anyone outside the church of their allegations.

Smyth went on to molest and rape scores of other children in Ireland, Britain and the United States before British authorities in neighboring Northern Ireland demanded his arrest in 1994. The Irish government of the day collapsed amid acrimony over why Smyth had not been extradited to Belfast....

Smyth abused at least 90 children in Ireland, Britain and in U.S. parishes in Rhode Island and North Dakota from 1948 to 1993.
His Irish religious order, the Norbertines, gave him sanctuary in the Republic of Ireland in 1991 after one Belfast family told Northern Ireland police he had molested four of the family's children.

After his delayed 1994 arrest and extradition north, Smyth pleaded guilty to 17 counts of indecently assaulting five girls and two boys in Belfast and spent three years in a Northern Ireland prison. In 1997 he pleaded guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993 in the Republic of Ireland.

Under-fire pope urges youth to follow 'the call' By Simon Sturdee (AFP) - 3/16/10
Since the first revelations of abuse dating back to the 1970s and 1980s at an elite Jesuit-run school in Berlin emerged in January, former victims have alleged abuse at two-thirds of Germany's 27 dioceses.

One of those implicated is a boarding school attached to Regensburg cathedral's choir. The pope's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, who ran the choir for 30 years, has denied all knowledge.
On Friday the diocese of Munich and Freising said that the pope, when he was archbishop there, had approved in 1980 giving a priest reportedly suspected of abusing an 11-year-old boy Church housing for "therapy".

Two years later, by which time the pope had been transferred to the Vatican, the priest was given pastoral duties in a Bavarian town and convicted of sexual abuse of minors in 1986, according to the diocese....Bishop Stephan Ackerman of Trier, charged with shedding light on the scandal, said in an interview that the Church was guilty of trying to hush up abuse.
"According to our information, there has been concealment," he told the Rhein Zeitung daily.

"In cases where there has not been the will to shed light and where abusers have been simply transferred, we must admit there has been concealment," the daily's online edition quoted him as saying.

Victims recall horror of abuse and call on prelate to resign his post March 16 2010 - THEIR innocence was stolen by the notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth -- but three of Smyth's victims yesterday united to call on Cardinal Sean Brady to take personal responsibility for his role in allowing the serial child abuser to continue on his destructive path.

The youngest victim was just six-years-old, the eldest 13, when they were abused. He sought them out in their family homes, in their schools, and in a care home. Each was left traumatised by their experiences. But now -- as adults -- they are determined that those who covered up for their abuser will be called to account. While the church investigation into Smyth in 1975 came too late for many children, countless more could have been saved. It is for that reason that they believe Cardinal Brady has "blood on his hands" and should resign.

Helen McGonigle
HELEN McGonigle was just six-years-old and preparing for the sacrament of penance when she was abused by Smyth, who led her from her classmates into the sacristy of the church where he molested her.

Her sister, Kathleen, was also abused by the Belfast-born priest in their hometown of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, in the US. Unable to cope with the trauma of her devastated childhood, she took her own life as an adult. Smyth was already known to have sexually molested children when he was sent to the McGonigles' parish in the summer of 1965. Using his usual modus operandi, he befriended the family and they bonded over a shared Irish ancestry. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms McGonigle, who is an attorney living in Connecticut, said: "From 1967 until about 1970 he molested me. He was caught in my parish molesting children as early as 1968.

"It was in the spring of 1967, when myself and a neighbour were going through training to get the sacrament of penance, that he would pick us out one by one and bring us to the sacristy of the church to abuse us." While any intervention by Cardinal Brady in 1975 would have been too late to save the children of East Greenwich, Ms McGonigle said many others could have been protected. "Cardinal Brady has blood on his hands. He came to this with unclean hands. "So many lives and children could have been spared. We know the reports of the number of Brendan Smyth's victims who committed suicide or attempted suicide."

She said Cardinal Brady must resign and he should be charged with obstruction of justice. "He sat on this knowledge for 35 years, from 1975 through to 2010, and Brendan Smith continued to abuse children. It is only because of the lawsuit one of his victims has brought that he has had to show his hand." She added: "How this is unfolding, we're seeing what the real church is. The real church has orchestrated this for decades. People need to take their church back."

German Priest in Church Abuse Case Is Suspended By NICHOLAS KULISH March 15, 2010
MUNICH - The priest at the center of a German sexual-abuse scandal that has embroiled Pope Benedict XVI continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though a German court convicted him of molesting boys.The priest, Peter Hullermann, who had previously been identified only by the first letter of his last name, was suspended from his duties only on Monday. That was three days after the church acknowledged that the pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had responded to early accusations of molestation by allowing the priest to move to Munich for therapy in 1980.
Hundreds of victims have come forward in recent months in Germany with accounts of sexual abuse from decades past. But no case has captured the attention of the nation like that of Father Hullermann, not only because of the involvement of the future pope, but also because of the impunity that allowed a child molester to continue to work with altar boys and girls for decades after his conviction....In June 1986, the priest was convicted of sexually abusing minors and given an 18-month suspended sentence with five years of probation, fined 4,000 marks and ordered to undergo therapy.





August 15, 1999


Monday, March 15, 2010

Priest's victims forced into vow of silence (Ireland), sexual assault statistics

Priest's victims forced into vow of silence 3/15/10

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland resisted calls for his resignation yesterday, despite admitting that he took part in meetings where the victims of a paedophile priest were forced to take a vow of silence.

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, has confirmed he was present at a closed canonical tribunal in 1975 when two child victims of Father Brendan Smyth were ordered to sign agreements under oath that they would not discuss what happened to them with anybody other than an approved priest....He said that three weeks after he submitted a report to the Bishop of Kilmore, Smyth was suspended from practising as a priest in the Diocese of Kilmore and throughout the country.

However, Smyth continued to sexually abuse children and later confessed he had done so until at least 1993....One of the reports found that the Government had colluded with the Church and legal authorities to cover up almost four decades of sexual abuse and beatings by priests and nuns of thousands of children in state care. The other revealed a litany of cover-ups by senior clergy in the Dublin diocese to protect the Church's reputation....Smyth was accused of sexually assaulting a ten-year-old altar boy and a 14-year-old girl. The boy and girl were required to sign affidavits swearing they would not talk to anybody except priests who had been given special permission by the tribunal. The church authorities did not inform police of the allegations. In court, Smyth admitted dozens of counts of sexual abuse of children in nine counties over 35 years to 1993.

Latest Today with Pat Kenny Podcasts - Carindal Sean Brady/Fr. Brendan Smyth Controversy.
Helen McGonigle, was abused by Fr. Smyth, Monsignor Maurice Dooley, Former Professor of Canor Law, Mary Raftery, Journalist, Seamus and Bernie - their children were abused by Fr. Smyth....

The opening lines of Mary Raftery's column in today's Irish Times where she goes on to say that the Nuremberg defence " only following orders" did not work in 1945, and should not be permitted to work now" in relation to the controversy surrounding Cardinal Brady.
The cardinal has once again this morning said that he doesn't intend to resign following weekend revelations about his involvement in a 1975 canonical inquiry into child abuser Brendan Smyth. He admits that he didn't pass the information on to the Gardai.

Older Than America - IFC Entertainment
About Older Than America - A woman"s haunting visions reveal a Catholic priests sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that occurred at a Native American boarding school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide that occurred at Indian boarding schools across the US and Canada.

Rape and Sexual Assault
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were 198,850 rapes and sexual assaults measured in 2003. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2004. Criminal Victimization, 2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Among female victims of rape and sexual assault, 70 percent of the crimes were committed by intimates, other relatives, friends or acquaintances. (Ibid.)....
In 2003, 38.5 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police. (Ibid.)....
More than one in four victims of a juvenile or adult sex offender was a family member. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 2004. Victims of Violent Juvenile Crime. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)....

Only 36 percent of completed rapes were reported to the police during the years 1992 to 2000. Thirty-four percent of the attempted rapes, and 26 percent of the completed and attempted sexual assaults were reported. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2002. Rape and Sexual Assault: Reporting to Police and Medical Attention, 1992-2000. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)
A recently published eight-year study indicates that when perpetrators of completed rape are current or former husbands or boyfriends, the crimes go unreported to the police 77 percent of the time. When the perpetrators are friends or acquaintances, the rapes go unreported 61 percent of the time. When the perpetrators are strangers, the rapes go unreported 54 percent of the time. (Ibid.)

A recent report based on the 1995 National Survey of Adolescents (NSA) found that 13 percent of girls and 3.4 percent of boys surveyed had been sexually assaulted. (National Institute of Justice. 2003. Youth Victimization: Prevalence and Implications. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Of the sexual assault victims in the NSA, 74 percent reported that the assault was committed by someone they knew well. Almost one-third (32.5 percent) of sexual assault cases involved perpetrators who were friends, 21.1 percent were committed by a family member, and 23.2 percent were committed by strangers. (Ibid.)....
The majority of adolescent sexual assaults (86 percent) went unreported. (Ibid.)....

Between 1995 - 2000, 86 percent of all rapes/sexual assaults committed against college students were not reported to police, compared to 12 percent that were reported. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2003. Violent Victimization of College Students. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)