Showing posts with label Clergy sexual abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clergy sexual abuse. Show all posts

Monday, August 25, 2014

For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican

"the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic"

For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN AUG. 23, 2014

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — He was a familiar figure to the skinny shoeshine boys who work along the oceanfront promenade here. Wearing black track pants and a baseball cap pulled low over his balding head, they say, he would stroll along in the late afternoon and bring one of them down to the rocky shoreline or to a deserted monument for a local Catholic hero.

The boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.

It was only after he was spirited out of the country, the boys say, his picture splashed all over the local news media, that they learned his real identity: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic....

The case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II....

Mr. Wesolowski has already faced the harshest penalty possible under the church’s canon law, short of excommunication: on June 27, he was defrocked by the Vatican, reducing him to the status of a layman. The Vatican, which as a city-state has its own judicial system, has also said it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time the Vatican has held a criminal trial for sexual abuse.

But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic....

A Dominican bishop, Victor Masalles, visiting Rome in late June, said in a Twitter message that he was surprised to see Mr. Wesolowski “strolling the Via della Scrofa,” in the city’s picturesque ancient center. He added, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”....

Mr. Wesolowski, 66, was ordained at 23 in Krakow by Archbishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. In 1999, he was appointed papal nuncio to Bolivia, and in 2002, he was reassigned to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan....

Neither the cardinal, nor other church officials, reported the allegations to the local authorities, Dominican officials say. Vatican guidelines say that criminal sexual abuse accusations should be reported in countries where reporting is required....

The case has reverberated in Poland, where prosecutors have sought to extradite Mr. Wesolowski, who holds both Vatican and Polish citizenship. Poland has indicted another Polish priest, the Rev. Wojciech Gil, who fled the Dominican Republic last year amid allegations that he abused altar boys in his rural parish. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that Father Gil and Mr. Wesolowski spent time with young boys at the nuncio’s beach house....
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/world/americas/whisked-away-vatican-ambassador-accused-of-sexual-abuse-of-minors.html 


Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican

VATICAN CITY Mon Aug 25, 2014
(Reuters) - A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, the Vatican said on Monday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

"Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement....

If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case....
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/25/us-vatican-abuse-archbishop-idUSKBN0GP1QG20140825

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal, Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show, John Paul II close to sainthood

- Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal
- Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show
- New York Times editorial calls allegations against Cardinal Timothy Dolan “shocking”
- John Paul II close to sainthood

Cardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse Scandal

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD July 3, 2013

Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has denied shielding the funds as an “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.” But newly released court documents make it clear that he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.

“I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability,” Cardinal Dolan wrote rather cynically in his 2007 letter to the Vatican. The letter was released by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as part of a bankruptcy court fight with lawyers in 575 cases of damage claims. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011. The law bars a debtor from transferring funds in a way that protects one class of creditors over another.

The release of about 6,000 pages of documents provided a grim backstage look at the scandal, graphically detailing the patterns of serial abuse by dozens of priests who were systematically rotated to new assignments as church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority....

The documents showed how the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests. Yet the same bureaucracy approved Cardinal Dolan’s $57 million transfer just days after the Wisconsin court allowed victims’ damage suits.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/opinion/cardinal-dolan-and-the-sex-abuse-scandal.html

Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN July 1, 2013

Files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday reveal that in 2007, Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan, then the archbishop there, requested permission from the Vatican to move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation.

Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has emphatically denied seeking to shield church funds as the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009. He reiterated in a statement Monday that these were “old and discredited attacks.”

However, the files contain a 2007 letter to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, “I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” The Vatican approved the request in five weeks, the files show....

Cardinal Dolan has been regarded by many Catholics as part of the solution. In public appearances, he has expressed personal outrage at the harm done to children, apologized profusely and pledged to help the church and the victims heal.

But the documents lift the curtain on his role as a workaday church functionary concerned with safeguarding assets, persuading abusive priests to leave voluntarily in exchange for continued stipends and benefits, and complying with Rome’s sluggish canonical procedures for dismissing uncooperative priests who he had long concluded were remorseless and a serious risk to children. In one case, the Vatican took five years to remove a convicted sex offender from the priesthood....

In his letter, Archbishop Listecki said the documents showed that 22 priests were “reassigned to parish work after concerns about their behavior were known to the archdiocese,” and that 8 of those “reoffended after being reassigned.”.... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/us/dolan-sought-vatican-permission-to-shield-assets.html


New York Times editorial calls allegations against Cardinal Timothy Dolan “shocking”
Claims “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority” in Milwaukee
By JAMES O'SHEA, IrishCentral Staff Writer Thursday, July 4, 2013

The New York Times has launched a strong attack on Cardinal TImothy Dolan over his alleged shifting of $57 million in funds when he ran the Milwaukee diocese to avoid paying off child abuse victims.

The New York Times editorial called the Cardinal’s actions “shocking” and stated Milwaukee “church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority,”citing evidence newly available in 6,000 pages of documents.

The hard hitting editorial states “Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.”

Cardinal Dolan, has denied the allegation and described the charges as “old and discredited” allegation and “malarkey.”

However The Times says the new documents make clear “he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.”....
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/New-York-Times-editorial-calls-allegations-against-Cardinal-Timothy-Dolan-shocking-214266971.html


John Paul II close to sainthood
Wednesday, July 3, 2013  By Gary J. Remal
Word leaked from the halls of St. Peter yesterday that Pope John Paul II needs only a final OK from current Pope Francis to become a saint, and a Boston College expert said the effort would never have gotten this far unless the pope was ready to sign off....

Although some of the Holy See’s deep-seated problems — clerical sex abuse, dysfunctional governance and financial scandals at the Vatican bank — date from John Paul II’s tenure, his supporters say people are canonized, not pontificates. Bretzke said saints are not expected to be perfect....
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/07/john_paul_ii_close_to_sainthood


Monday, August 1, 2011

Jewish Communities - Child Sex Scandals, Agencies Failed to Rescue Lilly Manning

Tempest in the Temple - Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals
Amy Neustein, ed.

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life
Brandeis University Press
2009 Sociology / Jewish Studies 978-1-58465-671-5

Tempest in the Temple brings together fifteen practicing rabbis, educators, pastoral counselors, sociologists, mental health professionals, and legal advocates for abuse victims, each of whom offer insights into different facets of the problem.

This book is divided into three sections. The first section, “When the Vow Breaks,” describes rabbis who break their “vows” through active pedophilia. The second section, “Sacrificing Victims,” illuminates the community dynamics surrounding abuse: how a community unwittingly contributes to the cover-up of abuse; why victims of abuse are all too often ignored or cast off by their religious communities; and the mechanisms by which powerful religious institutions protect their own. The third section, “Let Me Know the Way,” addresses how Jewish communities can overcome the ignorance, bias, and corruption associated with clergy sexual abuse. Solutions—some already successful, others yet to be tried—are explored here.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~upne/1-58465-671-9.html


describes severe abuse







California, Texas agencies all failed to rescue Lilly Manning
By Marjie Lundstrom Jul. 31, 2011

Lilly Manning was 15 when she escaped from a cramped closet in south Sacramento, after being stabbed and beaten and shoved into the darkness.
This time, she said, she knew she would have to save herself.

Government documents confirm she was right. Four different agencies visited the family at least 11 times on reports of suspected abuse or neglect in a five-year period but did not move to protect her or her siblings, according to confidential records obtained by The Bee.

"They came, they looked, they left," said Lilly, now 19, reflecting on the parade of visitors from law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the schools, some of whom she had secretly called. "We just gave up." Today, Lilly Manning lives with more than 100 scars etching her 5-foot-3 body, physical reminders of the hammer attacks, beatings, burns and strikes to the head with a 2-by-4 and a padlock swinging from a cord. Earlier this month, her adoptive mother and great-aunt, Lillian Manning-Horvath, was sentenced to up to six years in a mental health facility, followed by consecutive life terms in state prison.

The woman's husband, Joseph Horvath, was convicted by a jury in 2009 and also sentenced to multiple life terms. Documents and interviews with family members also reveal how a domineering matriarch terrified people who witnessed and endured years of her verbal tirades and physical abuse....

Authorities swept in, and the rest of the children were taken into protective custody in the early morning hours of Nov. 6, 2007. The children would never go home again. Help that didn't come

Lilly says she does not remember much about those chaotic first days and has "lots of blank spots" about her childhood. She knows that she and her four siblings were removed from their biological mother in the early 1990s and placed with their great-aunt Lillian, who later adopted them. In 2002, their adoptive mom married Horvath, a felon 18 years her junior.
Lilly wants to know more. She recently sought and received nearly 700 pages of documents from the Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court, which detail the many missteps among government agencies. She shared those records with The Bee. CPS also is preparing to give her her file....

Ann Edwards, director of Sacramento County's Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CPS, said she could not legally comment on Lilly's case for confidentiality reasons. However, she agreed to talk in general terms about issues raised by the case.
"It's not uncommon for siblings to want to remain together," said Edwards. "And it's not uncommon for children to be afraid of the unknown.

"It's quite remarkable that even children who are horribly abused typically still love their parents, or the people who are abusing them."
Lilly says today that their adoptive mom often manipulated the kids into keeping quiet or lying, promising she would stop the abuse.
http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/31/3806037/california-texas-agencies-all.html

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse

"By the Archdiocese’s own account, at least 37 priests remain in ministry despite reports that they have engaged in improper behavior with minors."

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA - CRIMINAL TRIAL DIVISION - IN RE: : MISC. NO. 0009901-2008 COUNTY INVESTIGATING : GRAND JURY XXIII : C-14
REPORT OF THE GRAND JURY - R. SETH WILLIAMS District Attorney of Philadelphia
REPORT TO THE HONORABLE RENÉE CALDWELL HUGHES, SUPERVISING JUDGE:

We, the Twenty-Third County Investigating Jury, were impaneled pursuant to the Investigating Grand Jury Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 4541, et seq., and were charged to investigate the sexual abuse of minors by Archdiocesan clergy and employees. Having obtained knowledge of such matters from physical evidence presented and witnesses sworn by the Court and testifying before us, upon our respective oaths, not fewer than twelve of us concurring, we hereby submit this report to the Court.

Overview
In September 2003, a grand jury of local citizens released a report detailing a sad history of sexual abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

That abuse was known, tolerated, and hidden by high church officials, up to and including the Cardinal himself. The previous grand jury was frustrated that it could not charge either the abusers or their protectors in the church, because the successful cover-up of the abuse resulted in the expiration of the statute of limitations. Now, measures taken in response to the previous report have led to new information about more recent abuse, which this grand jury was empaneled to investigate. The fact that we received that information, and from the church itself, is some sign of progress; and this time there will be charges. The present grand jury, however, is frustrated to report that much has not changed.

The rapist priests we accuse were well known to the Secretary of Clergy, but he cloaked their conduct and put them in place to do it again. The procedures implemented by the Archdiocese to help victims are in fact designed to help the abusers, and the Archdiocese itself.

Worst of all, apparent abusers – dozens of them, we believe – remain on duty in the Archdiocese, today, with open access to new young prey....

We implore Cardinal Rigali and his staff to review all of the old allegations against currently active priests, and to remove from ministry all of the priests with credible allegations against them. By the Archdiocese’s own account, at least 37 priests remain in ministry despite reports that they have engaged in improper behavior with minors. That should not be acceptable to anyone.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/reports/2011_01_21_Philadelphia_Grand_Jury_Final_Report_Clergy_Abuse_2.pdf

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Study: Clergy sexual abuse an ongoing problem

More than 3 percent of adult women who attend religious services at least once a month have been victims of clergy sexual abuse, according to researchers at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. Four percent of respondents said they knew of a close friend or family member who experienced a sexual advance by a clergy member in their congregation, the study said.
Baylor researchers said their report is the largest scientific study into this issue in the U.S. "Because many people are familiar with some of the high-profile cases of sexual misconduct, most people assume that it is just a matter of a few charismatic leaders preying on vulnerable followers," said Diana Garland, dean of Baylor's School of Social Work and lead researcher in the study. "What this research tells us, however, is that clergy sexual misconduct with adults is a widespread problem in congregations of all sizes and occurs across denominations." http://www.thelutheran.org/article/article.cfm?article_id=8572