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. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,686495,00.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. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Pope+accused+predator+priest+case/2744898/story.html

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. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100330/national/child_porn_probe

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