Thursday, October 8, 2015
Pope Francis says Chilean protests over alleged child abuse cover-up are ‘dumb’, 'Open Secret' Reveals Hollywood child abuse problem,Japan’s child abuse cases to record high
- Watch: Pope Francis says Chilean protests over alleged child abuse cover-up are ‘dumb’
- Calling Protesters in Chile ‘Dumb,’ Pope Francis Sets Off Uproar
- Controversial 'Open Secret' Reveals Hollywood Child Abuse Problem
- Poverty, isolation push Japan’s child abuse cases to record high
Watch: Pope Francis says Chilean protests over alleged child abuse cover-up are ‘dumb’
By Adam Taylor October 8, 2015
Few global figures have enjoyed a more positive public image recently than Pope Francis, the remarkably popular leader of the Catholic Church. But a newly released video that appears to show the pope calling critics of the church's actions in Chile "dumb" has prompted fresh protests in the Latin American country – and could also harm the pontiff's reputation internationally.
The video, aired by a Chilean TV channel last week, was initially filmed at the Vatican in May. According to Catholic news Web site Crux, the video shows Jaime Coiro, a former spokesman for the Chilean Bishops Conference, greeting Francis in St Peter's Square.
In the video, Francis talks about criticism that the Catholic church in Chile was facing at the time. The appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid to the Osorno, Chile, diocese had drawn protests throughout the country due to accusations that Barros had helped cover up the sexual abuse of minors by his then-superior, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, and may have witnessed some of the abuse himself.
The Vatican found Karadima guilty of sexually abusing minors in 2011 and sentenced him to a "life of prayer and penitence." While Barros spent more than 30 years working with Karadima, he has denied any cover-up, and the Vatican released a short statement offering a defense of the bishop's appointment in March. The newly released video, however, shows Francis going much further – not only angrily defending Barros's appointment, but seemingly insulting the intelligence of protesters.
In the footage, the pope tells a group of tourists that Osorno’s church has “lost its freedom, allowing politicians to fill people’s heads, judging a bishop without any evidence, a man who’s been a bishop for 20 years." Francis goes on to say: "Think with your heads. Don’t let them lead you by the nose, all these fools who have stirred this thing up."
The pope adds that "the only accusation against this bishop was dismissed by the court," drawing out the syllables for emphasis. "Please, don’t lose your calm. Osorno is suffering, yes, but for being dumb," he says in the video....
Notably, while the pope appears to say that the investigation into an alleged cover-up of Karadima's abuses was closed, the New York Times notes that the investigation is, in fact, still ongoing. The pope's reference to politicians in the video appears to be a reference to Chilean members of parliament who had signed a petition opposing Barros's nomination.
The video of Francis's comments was published online Friday and has sparked outrage against the Chilean Catholic Church, with renewed protests in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Osorno over the weekend calling on the Vatican to remove Barros from his post....
Calling Protesters in Chile ‘Dumb,’ Pope Francis Sets Off Uproar
By PASCALE BONNEFOY OCT. 7, 2015
....In the video, Pope Francis asserted that the accusations against Bishop Barros were unfounded and that a Chilean court had dismissed such claims. However, a judicial investigation into the presumed negligence and cover-up of church officials regarding Father Karadima’s abuses is still in progress.
Three of Father Karadima’s victims filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Church in 2012, demanding nearly $660,000 in compensation after a criminal investigation into abuses committed from 1980 to 1995 was dismissed in 2011 because the statute of limitations had expired.
One of the victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, contends that Bishop Barros was frequently present in Father Karadima’s bedroom when he and others were abused; threatened seminarians who dared denounce them; and destroyed letters reporting the abuses to the archbishop of Santiago at the time, Juan Francisco Fresno, when Bishop Barros was the archbishop’s personal secretary in the 1980s.
Bishop Barros is one of two dozen witnesses who the plaintiffs have requested be interrogated as part of the lawsuit.
“The pope’s statements are not surprising, but it is sad,” Mr. Cruz said. “The vision of a pope closer to abuse victims has been unmasked.”
Controversial 'Open Secret' Reveals Hollywood Child Abuse Problem By David A. Patten Thursday, 08 Oct 2015
When actress Ashley Judd recently revealed that an unnamed studio executive tried to "groom" her for sex by using his powerful position, Gabe Hoffman, a film producer and hedge-fund executive, was hardly surprised.
"The casting couch is almost as old as time," he told Newsmax. But he adds, "I think the casting couch has just about run its course in our society. We don't tolerate that stuff anymore. We shouldn't.''
Hoffman is considered an authority on the subject because his documentary film "An Open Secret" reveals an even darker, unrelated predilection that he says plagues the entertainment industry: Sexual exploitation of child actors.
The film's director, Amy Berg, was nominated for an Oscar for "Deliver Us From Evil," her 2006 examination of sex abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church.
Berg deftly wields all the narrative tools of the storyteller's craft – rising action, suspense, plot twists, interludes, surprise endings – to create a documentary that holds together surprisingly well considering the abject subject matter. She offers a gut-wrenching, un-hyped account of the emotional carnage wreaked on children by industry predators.
The documentary introduces five erstwhile child actors identified only by their first names and last initials. Each story follows a predictable arc, how they were discovered, groomed, and ultimately used....
Many of the film's sordid tales involve Marc Collins-Rector, the co-founder of the now-defunct Digital Entertainment Network, an attempt at online video streaming....
According to the film, Collins-Rector would invite high-profile entertainment mavens to join in sybaritic parties at an Encino, California, mansion. There, aspiring child actors would cavort about the pool and powerful adults – who held the power to realize or destroy their dreams of stardom – enticed them into the hot tub. Some of the children had not yet even reached their teens.
In 2004, Collins-Rector pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child sexual abuse. Among other heinous acts, he admitted to luring five minors across state lines for sex. At sentencing, he was credited with the time he'd spent in a Spanish jail prior to his extradition. He later fled the country after a court awarded a $4.5 million judgment to his accusers....
Sexual abuse involving children is hardly new. In 2011, actor Corey Feldman, who starred in the 1980s films "The Goonies" and "Stand By Me," wrote a memoir, "Coreyography," in which he stated he and his late co-star Corey Haim were sexually abused as children....
Poverty, isolation push Japan’s child abuse cases to record high
Kyodo Oct 8, 2015
Child welfare authorities dealt with nearly 90,000 child abuse cases in the fiscal year ending March, a government survey showed Thursday, with experts blaming the record-high figure on increased poverty and the isolation of some families.
Logging the largest-ever increase of 20.5 percent from the previous year’s 73,000, the preliminary survey by the health ministry showed the number of cases handled by 207 child consultation centers across the country in fiscal 2014 reached 88,931, up for the 24th consecutive year since the survey started in 1990.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare attributed the rise to the widened scope of circumstances that can be reported as abuse following an August 2013 notice that instructed the centers to deal with siblings of abused children as they may also be suffering from psychological abuse.
The number of cases reported by police to the centers in which children witnessed abuse of a parent or other family member has also increased, it said....