References cont. (73) — Clergy Child Molesters

2 groups picket outside St. Charles Church against monsignor accused of molesting boy  [1987-89 Mons. Gaffney] - Roman Catholic Church. Altar boy.  
   Staten Island Advance, www.silive. com/news/ advance/ index.ssf?/ base/news/ 107936196 327410.xml , By MELISSA ANELLI, Monday, March 15, 2004
   STATEN ISLAND (NY) -- In plain view of those entering and leaving each Sunday mass, 50 protesters from two sexual abuse victims support groups demanded yesterday outside St. Charles R.C. Church in Oakwood that Monsignor Thomas Gaffney be removed as pastor immediately.
   Monsignor Gaffney, who is accused of abusing an altar boy 17 years ago, was not present. Deacon Stephen Tobon said the 79-year-old priest was hospitalized with liver problems and colitis.
   Among the protesters were the parents, aunt and brother of Daniel O'Dougherty, a 29-year-old man from New Jersey who has accused Monsignor Gaffney of abusing him over a three-year period when he was an altar boy for the parish and a student at the parish school.
   "[Daniel]'s not here. He's too emotional," said Cathy O'Dougherty, Daniel's mother. "Even I can't even look at the church right now." [more]
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   Members of the groups Voice of the Faithful [VOTF] and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] picketed across the street from St. Charles.
   They wore lanyards displaying pictures of victims and waved placards bearing papal statements against sexual abuse within the clergy.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:44 PM (This is the first of the Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker, , for Monday March 15, 2004.)
• Altar boy had told on Jesuit to two priests, to no avail [1980]
   Toledo Blade, "Another shameful revelation," www.toledo apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/ 20040315/ OPINION02/ 403150303 , March 15, 2004
   TOLEDO (OH): The wounds of those who endured sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy are deep and made worse by a lingering distrust of the church hierarchy to aggressively address the suffering of congregants. It does not help, for example, when a Catholic diocese such as Toledo still appears reluctant to part with the full truth about past shames while simultaneously manifesting an unwillingness to openly discuss acceptable catharses.
   Another allegation of sexual abuse by a Jesuit visiting the diocese in 1980 has surfaced. At the time the accuser was a 16-year-old altar boy at St. Joseph in Sylvania who apparently informed two other parish priests about the alleged abuse to no avail. The young man eventually moved to Wisconsin and, in 1993, sought help from church officials there in dealing with the alleged sexual crimes of the Rev. John Gallen.
   Unlike the response in Toledo, the Milwaukee archdiocese offered immediate psychological counseling to the man, who is now married and has a daughter. The archdiocese also reportedly notified the Toledo diocese and the head of the Jesuits' province in New York, where Father Gallen was living, about the allegations against him. Documents from the Archdiocese of New York show law enforcement officials were also informed about the accusations but the statute of limitations for levying criminal charges had expired.
   The Toledo diocese maintains it didn't know anything about the case until the alleged victim contacted diocesan officials in 2002. Kevin says diocesan officials "danced around" taking responsibility for a clergyman who was not a Toledo priest but agreed to start paying for Kevin's counseling nonetheless.
Missing church funds probed [CURRENT]
   FALMOUTH (MA) Boston Globe, , Associated Press, 3/15/2004
   The amount of money missing from a Cape Cod church is far more than the $50,000 original estimate and may be as much as $800,000, parishioners were told yesterday.
   The Rev. Bernard Kelly, former pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, resigned last November about the same time he was sued by the Diocese of Fall River for allegedly misappropriating $50,000. He has not been criminally charged.
   The diocese has increased the lien on Kelly's home to $800,000, although the final amount determined to be missing in all likelihood will be much less than that, according to a letter from Bishop George Coleman read at Mass yesterday by the current pastor.
   The lien ties up Kelly's assets and will help protect the diocese and St. Joseph's from financial loss. An independent audit is being conducted on the finances of the Woods Hole church.
   "The audit hasn't been completed, but from early findings, the diocese was advised to increase the lien," diocese spokesman John Kearns told the Cape Cod Times.
   Kelly declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.
Diocesan abuse efforts scrutinized
   SPRINGFIELD (MA) Republican, , By BILL ZAJAC 03/15/2004
   The Springfield Diocese's handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse over the past several decades is coming under investigative scrutiny by law enforcement officials as accusations of abuse against the former bishop are probed.
   It is unclear how specific the investigation will get. Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett recently said that the "consistent and credible" allegations against the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre raise questions about the diocese's handling of sex abuse while Dupre was in positions to influence decision-making and record-keeping.
   When Bennett announced on March 4 that he was turning Dupre's case over to a grand jury, he stated that matters regarding the reporting of abuse would also be considered by the grand jury.
   "Given the nature of the allegations against Bishop Dupre and given the fact that he was essentially in a position to control records and documents regarding sexual misconduct over a period of a year, legitimate concerns have been raised as to whether or not records were properly preserved and whether or not evidence of misconduct was properly reported as required by law," said Bennett.
Bishop rues 'loss of trust' in priest [to 2003]
   Services at St. Joseph's Church began optimistically yesterday, with a reading from the book of Exodus in which God promises to help Moses lead his people to the land of "milk and honey."
   But the Lenten Mass ended on a somber note, with the latest accusations against their former spiritual leader, the Rev. Bernard Kelly, read to the congregation.
   Under investigation by police in connection with the murder of Jonathan Wessner, 20, of Falmouth, Kelly resigned his position last year and admitted to mishandling church funds.
   Kelly befriended Paul Nolin, a convicted child rapist who worked as a handyman at the church. Nolin is accused of murdering Wessner last fall.
   Last August Kelly named Nolin as a major benefactor to his estate.
   The Rev. Joseph Mauritzen, interim administrator of St. Joseph's Church since Kelly's departure, concluded Mass yesterday by reading a letter from Bishop George Coleman of the Fall River Diocese.
   Citing "mixed feelings of pain, bewilderment, shock and embarrassment," Coleman's letter noted that the "loss of trust in one's parish priest is far more devastating than (the loss of) parish funds."
Salvation Army begins paying compensation [1940s, 50s, etc.]
   NEW ZEALAND: Wairarapa Times-Age,
   The Salvation Army has begun paying compensation to people claiming to have been abused as children while in their care.
   The claims include those made by former residents of the army's Masterton home.
   At least two people from the army's former children homes have had their claims settled and others are considering financial offers. Complainants are believed to have received about $8000. Another woman was offered more than $20,000, but has not accepted the offer.
   The Salvation Army is investigating at least 36 formal complaints of physical or sexual abuse, mostly from the 1940s and 1950s. Some allegations were of older boys abusing younger boys, but most related to staff. Most complaints stemmed from stays at the Hodderville Boys Home in the Waikato town of Putaruru, and another home in Masterton. Several complaints relate to a former home in Temuka, south Canterbury, which closed in the late 1970s.
   Child, Youth and Family is also investigating abuse complaints from 33 people who believed they were state wards when sent to the army's homes. Up to 8000 children were cared for nationwide by the army between 1903 and 1993.
Church abuse takes years to heal [1980s]
   The Observer-Dispatch , By KARI INGERSOLL, March 15 2004
   HERKIMER (NY) -- Victims of sex abuse by priests and the churches and memberships those priests are in contact with share something in common: the need for a healing process.
   That healing may be needed again in the Mohawk Valley after the Rev. Robert Shinos, in his late 60s, of the Church of Saint Anthony and Joseph of Herkimer was removed from the ministry. The action followed accusations of abusing a minor 30 years ago in Al-bany, an allegation diocese officials said was verified.
   Herb Freeman, executive director of Family Services of the Mohawk Valley, said victims of sex abuse can deal with conflicting feelings of betrayal and loyalty by coming together in a supportive way.
   "Victims spend so much energy trying to keep their secret that they often don't have the strength to explore their own dreams," Freeman said.
   A common reason for the long time between abuse and its reporting is the fear of letting family members down, Freeman said. Some feel they must wait until a beloved family member has died to reveal their trauma, as they are too afraid to expose those members to their painful memories.
   Mark Furnish of Albany said he was sexually abused by a priest in the Rochester area in the early 1980s while attending a Catholic school there.
• Sikh sex-molester died of neglect, inmates say
   FRESNO (CA) Los Angeles Times, "Man Died of Neglect, Inmates Say,",1,2469762.story?coll=la-headlines-california , By Mark Arax, Times Staff Writer
   For two months, guards and medical staff at a state prison in Corcoran failed to provide meals or emergency care to an elderly inmate dying of malnutrition, according to inmate accounts given to a state senator.
   In the days before 72-year-old Khem Singh starved to death at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility last month, fellow inmates said, they alerted correctional officers to his grave condition and filed official complaints about his mistreatment.
   But no medical help was provided, even as it became clear to inmates that Singh, a Sikh priest from India who spoke no English and was crippled, had become emaciated and was intent on killing himself.
   One inmate wrote a letter to state Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) pleading that she intervene, but it arrived a few days after Singh's death Feb. 16. The inmate alleged that a guard had brutalized Singh in December, and that Singh was so afraid of a second assault that he hadn't left his cell for meals or medical appointments for nearly 60 days.
   The letter obtained by The Times describes a frail and wheelchair-bound Singh - whose 2001 conviction for sexual molestation in Stanislaus County brought him great shame in the Sikh community - committing slow suicide. His weight had dropped from 110 pounds to 80.
Boost for paedophile's victim [1960s]
   BRITAIN: ic Coventry ; , Mar 15 2004
   A former altar boy from Coventry who is fighting for compensation for horrific sexual abuse he suffered as a child has been told he could get a payout by summer.
   Jonathan Lacey, 49, has suffered a lifetime of psychological trauma after five years as a victim of paedophile priest Father Eric Taylor and another visiting priest, Father David O'Callaghan, at the Father Hudson Homes in Coleshill in the 1960s.
Priest Steps Down Over Abuse Allegations [1980s]
   NORTHERN IRELAND: ic NorthernIreland ; , Mar 15 2004
   A Catholic priest has voluntarily stepped down from the church in the wake of child sex abuse allegations.
   Father Jim Donaghy denied the offences in a statement read to the congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer Church in Bangor this weekend.
   Bishop of Down and Connor the Rt Rev Patrick Walsh read a letter to parishioners and assured them the church's primary concern was child protection.
   "I wish you to know that your parish priest Fr Jim Donaghy has voluntarily stepped down from the ministry," the letter read.
   "His decision follows an allegation of child sexual abuse which allegedly took place some 20 years ago and which is the subject of a police investigation.
   "Fr Donaghy strongly denies the allegation and he will be co-operating fully with the investigation as will the diocese."
Behind a bodyguard of lies
   Boston Globe, , By R. Scott Appleby, 3/14/2004
   CHICAGO: Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal; By David France; Broadway, 656 pp., $26.95
   "Sin: A Cardinal Deposed" opened recently at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in Chicago. The play's unlikely topic is the conflict, played out in 2002, between Cardinal Bernard Law and Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston attorney who represented 86 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of John Geoghan. Law's depositions provided the literary source for playwright Michael Murphy. The play gives the final word to one of Geoghan's victims, Patrick McSorley, who was found dead on Feb. 23 in a friend's Boston apartment. Geoghan himself was strangled to death in prison last year.
   All of which raises the question: Who would choose to spend discretionary time sitting through the depressing tale of predator priests, greedy lawyers, and duplicitous church officials who lied, dissembled, and covered up both serial pedophilia on the part of others and their own criminal negligence, gross mismanagement, sinful cooperation with evil, and astonishing disregard for the victims (some of whom, tragically, were not "survivors")?
   Presumably, the same kind of people who will "sit through" Our Fathers, David France's wrenching, painfully vivid 656-page re-creation of a fraction of the thousands of acts of priestly sexual abuse and lives devastated in the Boston archdiocese over the last 50 years -- the same period covered in the John Jay College survey of priestly abuse across the nation. (While concentrating on Boston, France also profiles representative cases in California and elsewhere.)
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:32 AM
////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Monday March 15, 2004
##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Tuesday March 16 2004 edition follows:-
• Priest-molest victim seeks other victims in Taft diocese. Santa Cruz Sentinel, , By CATHY REDFERN, Sentinel STAFF WRITER, March 16, 2004
   SANTA CRUZ: A Santa Cruz man who says he was molested by a Felton priest decades ago is hoping other victims come forward after he spent the weekend in the priest's former Central Valley parish searching for men who might need help facing the same nightmare. Kim Allyn, 50, now a sheriff's deputy, and six other former altar boys sued the Diocese of Monterey last year over alleged abuse by the Rev. Patrick McHugh, who served at St. John's in Felton from 1963 until his 1979 death. The men say McHugh began molesting them shortly after his arrival at the parish 40 years ago, pulling them into a back room to fondle and molest them, some of them over a period of years. Allyn says he told his father about the abuse, which occurred when Allyn was 10, but that his father believed McHugh's explanation that he was checking Allyn's legs, and did nothing to stop it. "I felt trapped, horrified and scared to death," he said. The suit alleges the diocese knew or should have known of McHugh's pedophilia and should have protected them from him. The priest's behavior had a profound impact on Allyn's life, he said, and he traveled to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Taft in part to help others deal with the trauma such abuse carries, and to confront the Diocese of Fresno for "stonewalling" when Allyn and a private investigator tried to locate those who may have come into contact with McHugh.
   Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:14 AM
• KNOM founder Poole accused of sexual abuse. [1961; 1978-84] Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,,1413,113~7244~2020806,00.html , By MARY BETH SMETZER, Staff Writer, Tuesday, March 16, 2004
   FAIRBANKS (AK): Father Jim Poole, who founded KNOM, an award-winning Catholic radio station in Nome, has been named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a female minor between 1978 and 1984. The unnamed complainant is a Native woman who lived in Western Alaska during the first 18 years of her life. She alleges that Poole began sexually abusing her when she was 10 years old and the abuse continued until she was 16. The complaint states, "On more than 100 occasions, Jane Doe was taken by Father Poole (also known as Father Jim) to a private secluded area where he engaged in kissing, touching and heavy petting with Jane Doe. Father Poole committed hundreds of acts of molestation upon Jane Doe including but not limited to: touching and fondling her body; kissing and tongue kissing; and having her lie atop him in a manner simulating sexual acts."
   Also named in the suit are the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese, the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus and the Alaska Society of Jesus (Alaska Jesuits). Poole first came to Alaska in 1948 as a seminarian. He was ordained a priest in 1952. The complaint also details a 1961 incident in which Francis Gleeson S.J., then bishop of the Fairbanks Diocese, contacted a Jesuit volunteer at St. Marys Mission in the Yukon River village where Poole was the mission superior and asked about any suspicious activity taking place there. The volunteer reported back that there were suspected improprieties because Poole frequently took young girls, ages 12 to 13, to his office and spent hours with them there. The complaint also alleges that Bishop Gleeson failed to investigate the allegation to protect children of the diocese. Shortly afterward, Poole urged the Jesuit volunteer who looked into the allegations to find employment elsewhere, according to the documents. The claims listed against the defendants include sexual abuse of a minor, negligent retention and supervision, fiduciary fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, hindering prosecution and fraud and deceit. Although the Fairbanks Diocese hasn't been officially served with the lawsuit yet, the Rev. Richard Case, Fairbanks Diocese chancellor, forwarded court documents to the News-Miner Monday that he received from the Oregon Province.
• Hartford Courant
   ST LOUIS: [Two book reviews] Twenty years ago, a grand jury in Lafayette, La., indicted a man named Gilbert Gauthe on 34 counts of child sexual abuse. The case was horrific enough - nine little boys had been victimized over at least five years - but what made it truly shocking was the fact that Gilbert Gauthe was a Catholic priest and some of his victims had been altar boys. It is a measure of how far the stain of priest sexual abuse has spread in the last two decades that the Gauthe case no longer is quite so shocking. Indeed, the pattern set in his case would become all too common - shame, confession, cover-up and complicity by church officials in trying to hide the case. Two studies commissioned by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, released last month, revealed that at least 4 percent of the priests serving in America in the past five decades had been accused of sexual abuse. Those 4,397 priests were alleged to have sexually victimized no fewer than 10,667 children. The church paid out at least $572 million in settlements, judgments and therapy costs. Those numbers are conservative. Sexual abuse is a crime that goes under-reported. And until the Boston Globe began shining the spotlight on the problem in January 2002, many church leaders were less than aggressive in pursuing predator priests; some still are. Still, in the past 30 months, more than 700 of the nation's 45,713 priests have been removed from the active ministry because of sex abuse.
Vows of Silence front cover In Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, Jason Berry and Gerald Renner trace the origins of the crisis. Berry, who as a young reporter in Louisiana covered the Gauthe case, is the nation's leading journalistic authority on the sex-abuse crisis. Renner is a veteran religion reporter now retired from the Hartford Courant (Conn.). Vows of Silence is two books in one. Berry's half tells the story of the crisis in the 1980s and 1990s through the eyes of Father Tom Doyle, a canon lawyer who seemed to pop up, like Forrest Gump, whenever a priest was accused of abuse. Perhaps that was because Father Doyle took the matter seriously, sacrificing his career trying to hold the church accountable. Renner's half recounts his coverage for the Courantof the Legion of Christ, a mysterious ultra-conservative order of priests led by a charismatic Mexican priest named Marcial Maciel. Though Father Maciel himself was accused of sex abuse, he dodged punishment, in large part, Renner writes, because the Legion of Christ had become a favorite of church leaders, including Pope John Paul II. Father Doyle's heroic efforts also foundered at the papal doorstep.
   Berry and Renner blame John Paul's "myopia on the church's corruption." Within the Vatican, oaths were sworn to protect the church from scandal. "The paradox is awesome," Berry and Renner write. "The pope who championed freedom from political dictatorships turned a cold shoulder to human rights within the church." This readable account is not the complete story of the abuse crisis, but it sheds valuable light on its early history and the political intrigue that fostered it - and still does. But in telling the story of Father Tom Doyle, Berry and Renner offer reassurance to Catholics that men of integrity still wear the Roman collar.
Priests: A Calling in Crisis front cover In Priests: A Calling in Crisis, Andrew M. Greeley, one of the best-known priests in America, takes up the cause of men like Tom Doyle - men who do a tough job in difficult circumstances. A sociologist, Greeley examines the abuse crisis through the prism of statistics. He concludes that most priests like their work. Celibacy is not a burden to most of them. Dissatisfaction comes in not being appreciated, either by their bishops or a public that now views too many of them with suspicion. Father Greeley deals bluntly with questions about the "gay subculture" within the priesthood, the church's inability to deal with questions of sex and the culpability of bishops in the abuse crisis. Yet for most priests, he says, these questions are tangential. They're working too hard trying to save souls. This dense, number-laden book will not be confused with Father Greeley's semi-steamy popular novels. But it adds an important empirical perspective to discussions of the abuse crisis and should be of comfort to worried Catholics and the men who minister to them.
   Priests: A Calling in Crisis, By Andrew M. Greeley, Published by University of Chicago Press, 156 pages, $19
   Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II, By Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, Published by the Free Press, 353 pages, $26
   Reviewer Kevin Horrigan, E-mail: , Phone: 314-340-8135
• Minister Charged With Sex Assault. ; , POSTED: 3:12 pm CST March 15, 2004, UPDATED: 3:35 pm CST March 15, 2004
   LINCOLN, Neb. -- The former director of the Lincoln Interfaith Council has been charged with third-degree sexual assault. Norman Leach, 63, was arrested last week for allegedly inappropriately touching a teenage boy who spent the night at his house. The charge entered Monday by the Lancaster County Attorney's office is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in prison. It is filed in cases of sexual assault where there is not serious personal injury to the victim. The victim in this case is a Boy Scout who was a member of a troop founded by the Rev Mr Leach. The teenager told investigators that Leach touched him inappropriately at least five times since he joined the scout troop last fall. Leach recently resigned from his Interfaith Council post.
• Suits charge sex abuse by three priests. [1960-64, 1970-72] ; , By RON GOLDWYN, , Posted on Tue, Mar. 16, 2004
   Two more men have charged they were sexually abused as boys by Philadelphia Catholic priests decades ago in lawsuits filed yesterday. Their suits depend on an argument their lawyer admits hasn't worked in any Pennsylvania court to get past the statute of limitations on such allegations, which has long since expired.
   Nicholas Siravo, of Northeast Philadelphia, charges sexual abuse by the Revs. Charles J. Siegele and Harry J. Nawn while Sivaro attended Cardinal Dougherty High School 1960-1964. According to his suit, Siravo said he was abused by Siegele at the school, took his complaint to Nawn, who then assaulted him at St. Peter's Church, in Fishtown.
   Alfred Roberts, of North Philadelphia, charges he was sexually abused by the Rev. Joseph Gausch as an altar boy in St. Bridget's Church 1970 to 1972. Roberts, as the only black altar boy at the East Falls parish during that time, also alleges ethnic intimidation. His suit claims Gausch told him to keep quiet about the assaults and that no one would believe him anyway because he was black. All three priests named in the suits are dead.
   Stewart J. Eisenberg of Philadelphia, lawyer for both plaintiffs, said the separate suits seek unspecified damages in excess of $50,000 against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the priests' estates and the churches and school where the alleged assaults occurred. Six other men have filed suit against Siegele and three other former or deceased priests since December for alleged sexual abuse as boys. All are in the early stages of court activity, with no trial dates set. ... Eisenberg said ... "We intend to file more. A lot of victims have come forward."
• Church considers issues. York Daily Record, , "Church considers issues; Catholics said changes may come with a new bishop;" By KAREN MULLER, Daily Record staff, Monday, March 15, 2004
   [Picture: Julie Utz of North Codorus Township teaches children about the Trinity at St. Patrick Church's Spring Fling on Sunday with the twisting of balloons into crosses. Love ties it together, Utz said.]
   Megan Brant, an eighth-grader at York Catholic High School, doesn't know all the issues and controversies in the Catholic Church that adults talk about. The 14-year-old only knows what worries her about the church she has been raised in -- the shortage of priests. "We won't have anybody saying Mass," she said before the 9 a.m. Mass on Sunday at St. Patrick Church in York. Megan believes women should assume greater leadership roles -- even become priests.
   Her mother, Sandy Taylor, agrees. "Why can't women be deacons?" asked Taylor, whose father is a deacon in another Catholic parish. "I think there are things women can contribute to the church that are being overlooked."
   With the Rev. Nicholas Dattilo's passing earlier this month, some local Catholics are wondering if change may be ahead for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. The Rev. James Lyons will lead the diocese until the pope appoints a bishop, which church officials said could take months. Dattilo died March 5 at the age of 71. He had suffered from kidney failure and heart and respiratory problems. About 1,100 church leaders, family and friends attended his funeral Mass Friday at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Camp Hill. He had led the 15-county diocese, with about 235,000 members, for 14 years.
   On Sunday, several Catholics from different parishes in York County talked about their hopes and goals for the new bishop.
   · Encourage the youth: Sally Thorn, who leads the youth ministry with her husband, Patrick, at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in New Freedom, said she hopes youth will be empowered by the new bishop and made to feel their contributions are valuable. "It's not that they are the future of the church," Thorn said. "They are part of the church now."
   · Address the shortage: Catholics at several York County churches said the church has to involve more lay people in the daily work of the parish and said the celibacy requirement for priests may need to go. "I think the day is coming when they're not going to be able to get priests who are celibate," Taylor said.
   · Ecumenism: The Catholic Church needs to partner more with other denominations and faiths to serve the community, many Catholics said. One example, some said, is the York County Council of Churches' CROP Walk. Last fall, Dattilo urged Catholics not to participate because some of the money raised to stock food pantries would also support programs that distributed condoms. Church doctrine forbids the use of contraceptives. "I hope that we can find solutions for Catholics to walk with Protestant sisters and brothers," said Ryan Sattler, chair of Catholic Harvest food pantry and a member of the peace and justice ministry at St. Joseph Church in Springettsbury Township. "It isn't just raising money for the poor . . . it's to walk as one family that cares about each other, that cares about the poor, that have all been saved by one -- Jesus."
   John Driscoll, parish manager and stewardship director at St. Patrick Church, said churches get too caught up in the finer points of religion and lose perspective. "Religion is a tool for connecting with God," he said. "If you focus on the tool too much, you are missing the relationship."
   · Stewardship: Stewardship, the serving and giving that comes from spirituality, needs to be taught and supported at the diocese level, Driscoll said. The bishop should set up structures at the diocese to help churches in their outreach, he said, and help them address issues of peace and social justice.
   · Clergy abuse: The new bishop will lead in the aftermath of the crisis of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the church. Members said bishops should be held accountable, and trust may need to be re-established between the church, its members and the general public.
   Change may be difficult, some said, for a faith steeped in tradition and layered in hierarchy, with the final authority resting in the pope. But even if nothing radical results from discussions between the diocese and parishioners, the dialogue would be an accomplishment, Sattler said.
   "We have a strong democracy as citizens of our county and our country," he said, "but in the Catholic tradition, we don't have a voice at all. . . . I would hope that someday with a new bishop, and someday a new pope, that someone would look at a new model for the church." Reach Karen Muller at 771-2024 or
• Workshop Helps Keep Children Safe. KIFI Local News 8, , March 15, 2004
   IDAHO FALLS: Catholic churches in Idaho are working to keep kids safe. They're having workshops about sexual child abuse. Christ the King Church in Idaho Falls is bringing in the assistance coordinator for the diocese to teach the class. She says they're getting positive feedback. "We're seeing so many people who say, thank you so much for doing this. I really think this is a subject we need to talk about in our society," says Bobbi Dominick, Assistance for the Idaho Diocese. The classes started about a year ago with church employees. Now, they're training volunteers. "I honestly believe that our children are our strongest asset and they're the future of society," says Heather Nelson, Holy Rosary teacher. The signs of sexual abuse depend on the age of the child. But, they might be aggressive because they're angry, act inappropriately sexually or be depressed.
• Sanford Center provides space, but not backing to abuse rally group. Sioux City Journal, [A charge is made for a view of this newsitem]
• On 'hunger strike', Sikh priest dies in California jail. Indian Express, Bombay, India, , by Mark Arax, March 15 2004
   FRESNO (CALIFORNIA): For two months, guards and medical staff at a California state prison failed to provide meals or emergency care to an imprisoned Sikh priest from India, Khem Singh, dying of malnutrition, according to inmate accounts given to a state senator. In the days before 72-year-old Singh -- who spoke no English and was crippled -- starved to death at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran last month, inmates said, they alerted correctional officers to his condition and filed complaints. But no medical help was provided. While some accounts said Singh was on a hunger strike, others insisted he wanted vegetarian meals but was consistently served meat.
   An inmate wrote a letter to state Senator Gloria Romero, a Los Angeles Democrat, pleading that she intervene, but it arrived a few days after Singh's death on February 16. The inmate alleged that a guard had brutalised Singh in December, and that Singh was afraid of a second assault and hadn't left his cell for meals or medical appointments for nearly 60 days. The letter, obtained by The Los Angeles Times, describes a frail and wheelchair-bound Singh -- whose 2001 conviction for sexual molestation in Stanislaus County brought him shame in the Sikh community -- committing slow suicide. His weight dropped from 110 lbs to 80 lbs.
   "Mr Singh has not left his cell to go to eat -- not once," the inmate wrote to Romero. "They do not bring him any food. I smuggle bread back...Mr Singh is gentle, polite." The guard who supervised the cellblock -- the same one suspected of having assaulted Singh -- is alleged to have told an inmate not to bother speaking out. "Forget it; he (Singh) is going to die," the inmate quoted the guard as telling him, according to Romero. © 2004: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd
• Archdiocese Of Cincinnati Faces New Lawsuit. ; , Reported by: 9News, Web produced by: Stacy Puzo, Photographed by: 9News, 6:31:50 PM, 3/15/04
   CINCINNATI: The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Archbishop Daniel Pilaczyk and another local priest were faced with a new lawsuit Monday. The suit contended the Reverend Thomas Feldhaus served in two different churches along with fathers Strittmatter and Kelley. The suit claimed their sexual abuse, emboldened and helped Father Feldhaus. It said Feldhaus, Strittmatter and Kelley engaged in more than 100 incidents of sexual offenses from the 1970's through the late 80's. The suit seeks up to $5 million in damages.
• Site on accused Catholic priests. p2p Net ; , Tuesday 16th March 2004
   CHICAGO: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has launched a Web site "for the protection of minors and to assist in healing those who have been sexually abused by a priest".
   But, "Victims groups criticized the project, saying it discourages users by requiring them to reveal their names and reasons for their inquiries," says an Associated Press report here.
   To respond to your request, says the site here, it will need:
  • the name of the priest;
  • the name of a parish or ministry where he may serve/have served -- as well as, if possible -- the dates of that service;
  • your name;
  • your complete mailing address; and
  • the reason for your request or other comment.    And, "What the Archdiocese of Chicago will provide in response":
  • Within two weeks, you will receive a written response by mail from the Office of the Chancellor about an individual priest.
  • The overwhelming majority of priests serving in the Archdiocese of Chicago have never been accused of sexually abusing a child - so, only their ordination date and current assignment will be noted in the written response.
  • If you inquire about a priest against whom the archdiocesan process has found reasonable cause to suspect that sexual abuse of a minor occurred, that fact will be described in the written response. The response will also include the priest's current status and the actions taken.
  • The Archdiocese will not respond to anonymous inquiries, to inquiries concerning more than one priest per request, or to inquiries with incomplete information.    But, "This is an effort to appear that they're going to give information when it's actually a ploy to obtain information," Barbara Blaine, an advocate for victims abused by priests, is quoted as saying in the AP story.
  • • Priest seeks lesser charges' dismissal. [1989-92] Baltimore Sun, "Priest seeks lesser charges' dismissal; Statute of limitations up on 3 sex assault counts, Blackwell attorneys say;",0,4703782.story?coll=bal-local-headlines , By Allison Klein, March 16, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Lawyers for the Rev. Maurice Blackwell, the priest charged with sexually assaulting Dontee Stokes more than 15 years ago, filed motions yesterday asking that the majority of the charges against the clergyman be dropped because they are too old to prosecute. Blackwell, who was shot by Stokes three times on a West Baltimore street in 2002, is charged with four counts of sexual child abuse and assault stemming from alleged incidents beginning in 1989 and ending in 1992. The motions do not ask for the dismissal of the most serious charges, sodomy. However, the priest's lawyers argue that the statute of limitations has expired for three lesser charges of inappropriate touching. The Baltimore state's attorney's office declined to comment on the pending case. A hearing on pretrial motions in the case is scheduled Monday before Circuit Judge John M. Glynn, who will decide whether to throw out the lesser charges. If convicted on all four counts, the Roman Catholic priest could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison. Stokes, a West Baltimore barber, was acquitted by a city jury in 2002 of attempted murder and other serious charges in the shooting of Blackwell. Warren Brown, Stokes' lawyer, said the most important charge in Blackwell's case is the sodomy count, which has no time limit for prosecution.
    • Parish's 3rd priest accused of abuse. , the online edition of The Enquirer, , By Dan Horn, , The Cincinnati Enquirer, Tuesday, March 16, 2004
       DELHI TOWNSHIP: A former student at Our Lady of Victory school in Delhi Township claimed in a lawsuit Monday that a parish priest sexually abused him from 1986 to 1991. The allegation against the Rev. Thomas Feldhaus makes him the third priest with ties to Our Lady of Victory to face child-abuse accusations in the past two years. Feldhaus and the other two priests, Lawrence Strittmatter and David Kelley, have been suspended from ministry because of sexual abuse allegations. Feldhaus was suspended last year because of an allegation involving a boy from another parish. All three priests served together at Our Lady of Victory in the mid-1980s, a situation that has some parishioners questioning why three of the 14 Greater Cincinnati priests suspended since 2002 worked at their church. "It's a horrible coincidence," said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. "The tragedy of clerical child abuse has laid a heavy burden on all Catholics, but undeniably some areas seem to have been disproportionately affected." He said several Our Lady of Victory parishioners have raised their concerns in recent months with the archdiocese. Mason lawyer Konrad Kircher, who filed the lawsuit Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on behalf of the unnamed man, said housing the three priests together put children at greater risk. "Here he was with these other notorious pedophiles," Kircher said of Feldhaus. "Being in that environment, (child abuse) is condoned." Kircher also represents about 60 other men who have sued Strittmatter and Kelley, claiming that they were abused in the 1970s and 1980s. Kelley was sent to a treatment facility in 1987 for alcoholism and "sexual issues," and Strittmatter was removed from Our Lady of Victory and sent for treatment in 1988 after he was accused of abuse. Church officials have said they were not aware of abuse allegations against Feldhaus until last year. Feldhaus could not be reached Monday. Andriacco said the allegations against all three priests were not known to church officials when they were assigned to Our Lady of Victory. He said church leaders did not intentionally assign known abusers to work together.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:22 AM
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Tuesday March 16 2004
    • Organisation with perverted priests, unethical bishops, questions the ethics of having designer baby to save life.
       The West Australian, "We disagree," letter from Ray Belcher, Midland, WA, p 19, Tuesday March 16 2004
       How dare Bishop Anthony Fisher question the ethics of the Tasmanian couple who are having a disease-free baby in a desperate attempt to save the life of their child (report, 9/3).
       What of the ethics of perverted Catholic priests who destroyed the lives of thousands of innocent children? What of the ethics of bishops and archbishops who condoned this disgusting behaviour by moving them to other parts of the country instead of reporting them to the police?
       How many more children suffered because of this attempt to keep the image of the Catholic Church squeaky clean?
       I am sure I speak for thousands of caring and compassionate Christian Australians who wish this couple all the good luck for the future.
       As for the few organisations who think this child's life is not worth saving, just ignore them, they are sick. March 16 2004
    ##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Wednesday March 17, 2004 edition follows:-
    Sex abuse suit against former Nome priest stuns KNOM staff
       NOME (AK) News-Miner,1413,113~7244~2023073,00.html , By MARY BETH SMETZER, Staff Writer
       A lawsuit charging the priest who founded Nome Catholic radio station KNOM with sexually abusing a girl came as a shock to staff members.
       KNOM general manager Tom Busch who first met the Rev. Jim Poole in 1970 when Busch worked as a station volunteer, said he and his wife Florence, KNOM business manager, considered Poole a father figure.
       "Florence was one of the girls he had in his quarters and, according to Florence, there was never anything inappropriate," Busch said Tuesday. "We knew these charges were out there, but the lawsuit put a finality to it, and today it feels like our father died for Florence and I."
       The Busches also considered Poole's mother part of their family. She lived and worked as a cook at the KNOM volunteer community from 1966 to 1979.
       "She became my grandma," Busch said. "We just loved her to death."
       On Monday, Poole was charged in a lawsuit with sexually molesting a girl dozens of times between 1978 and 1984.
       The Fairbanks Diocese and the Society of Jesus are named as the co-defendants in the suit filed in Bethel Superior Court by a woman listed as "Jane Doe."
       Tuesday, Fairbanks Catholic Diocese Bishop Donald Kettler said he would like to meet with people who have grievances with the Catholic Church and work toward reconciliation.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:18 PM
    Archbishop describes 'what bishops were thinking' on abuse
       CINCINNATI (OH) The Catholic Telegraph By Alexis McLaughlin
       Labeling clergy sexual abuse a "tragedy" and admitting that "we (the bishops) are all sorry for what is happening, for the inadequacy of our decisions. I am personally sorry and will carry that sorrow with me to the grave," Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk addressed a crowd of about 200 people March 10 at the University of Dayton.
       His talk was part of the ongoing lecture series, "The Wounded Body of Christ: Sexual Abuse in the Church."
       Archbishop Pilarczyk said he could only speak about the thoughts of the bishops whom he's known well throughout the years. He described the emerging awareness of clergy sexual abuse of minors, as well as an evolving knowledge of its effects on the victims since about 1950. He also promised eventual justice for victims and their families.
       Warning against the fallacy of presentism - reacting to past actions as though they are occurring now and judging them based on today's standards rather than on the knowledge of the day - Archbishop Pilarczyk stated that a web of psychological, legal and canonical expertise prior to 1985 created a climate that did little for the victim but much to protect abusive priests.
    Parishioners want photos of pedophile bishop removed
       Kansas City Star , By DUNCAN MANSFIELD, Associated Press
       KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Two years after a Roman Catholic bishop resigned in disgrace, admitting he inappropriately touched at least two teenagers when he headed a Missouri seminary, his pictures still adorn the halls of his former diocese in Knoxville.
       "We have a Catholic population, frankly, that thinks the man is a saint. A sinner turned saint," said Susan Vance, a former nun and teacher who is working with two other mothers to have all images of the Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell removed.
       Vance, whose son attends Knoxville Catholic High School where O'Connell's portrait hangs in a hallway beside the aging photographs of other clergy, blames the leadership of the Diocese of Knoxville, which serves 51,000 Catholics in 44 parishes across eastern Tennessee.
       "They have not really bothered to say to the Catholic people, 'Wait a minute, this man molested children,'" she said.
       The Rev. Vann Johnston, chancellor for the diocese, said retaining O'Connell's portraits, pictures and a near life-size bust in the diocese's schools, youth ministry offices and the main office is not about forgiveness, but history.
    Church is sued over abuses [1971-75]
       ALLEN PARK (MI) The News-Herald , By Lena Khzouz, March 17, 2004
       The state's statute of limitations possibly has saved priests accused of sexually molesting minors from facing charges.
       But one man, with the help of two attorneys, believes he might have found a way to find justice: force a school and the Archdiocese of Detroit to take the fall for neglecting their duties in taking care of his child.
       "If we're right, the church has a big problem," attorney David Steinberg said.
       As a result, St. Frances Cabrini Parish has been sued on behalf of the father of a child who allegedly was molested by the Rev. Alfred Miller.
       The alleged molestation occurred while the man was in high school from 1971 to '75, both on school grounds and during special trips.
       The lawsuit is John Doe and Jane Doe versus the Roman Catholic archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Cabrini and Miller.
       It seeks more than $10 million in damages.
       It alleges breaches of contract and fiduciary relationship, fraudulent concealment, negligence, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, torturous infliction of emotional distress and vicarious liability.
    • Lutheran female teacher accused of molesting female student  [2003] - Lutheran.
       NEW YORK -- New York Newsday "Sex abuse charges vs. teacher,",0,5242996.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-queens , BY HERBERT LOWE, STAFF WRITER, March 17, 2004
       A Queens parochial high school teacher was arraigned yesterday on charges of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who was her student, authorities said.
       Cheryl Reyna, 32, a Spanish teacher at Martin Luther High School in Maspeth, was arrested Monday at her Queens home at 60-17 60th Place, authorities said.
       "The defendant is accused of taking advantage of her friendship with the victim's family, betraying the innocence of the child and endangering her moral welfare," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
       A teacher at the Lutheran parochial school for seven years, Reyna allegedly had sex with her student repeatedly at both of their homes between Aug. 2 and Oct. 7, officials said.
       "She's denying all the charges and we're going to fight it," said Reyna's attorney, Richard Leff.
    Teacher Accused Of Having Affair With Student  [2003] - ? Lutheran.
       WNBC, , POSTED: 7:18 am EST March 17, 2004, UPDATED: 11:55 am EST March 17, 2004
       NEW YORK -- A Queens high school teacher has been arraigned on charges that she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who was her student, authorities said.
       Cheryl Reyna, 32, of the Maspeth section, was charged Tuesday with third-degree sexual act, sexual misconduct, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sexual abuse, Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown said. She faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
       "She's denying all the charges and we're going to fight it," Reyna's attorney, Richard Leff, told Newsday for Wednesday editions.
       Reyna is a Spanish teacher at Martin Luther High School, a Lutheran parochial school on Maspeth Avenue in Queens. She allegedly had a sexual affair with the girl, then 16, between August and October of last year.
    Teach In Sex Shock [2003]
       MASPETH (NY): New York Post , By DOUGLAS MONTERO and ERIC LENKOWITZ, March 17, 2004
       A married high-school teacher has been busted for allegedly engaging in steamy lesbian sex with an underage student - sending shock waves through the halls of their private religious institution in Queens.
       Cheryl Reyna, 32, who teaches Spanish at Martin Luther HS in Maspeth, was arraigned yesterday on a slew of sordid sex charges and a count of endangering the welfare of a child. She was released on $5,000 bail.
       "Obviously, we're shocked," school spokeswoman Kelly Westfal said. "Our main concern is with the welfare and safety of our students."
       Sources said Reyna, a stocky blonde, was a close pal of the mother of the girl, who was 16 at the time their alleged illicit sex trysts took place. The teacher even went on vacation with the family, they said.
       Reyna was the girl's adviser in the school Spanish club, and both went on a class trip to Spain during the 2002-03 school year, according to the school's yearbook.
       But their alleged tryst is believed to have been confined to a three-month period ending last October, law-enforcement sources said.
       The affair came to light after the parents of the girl, who is now 17, grew suspicious, and the girl eventually confessed to the sexual relationship, sources said.
    Clerical Watchdog: We should have had abuse audit 
       A nationwide Church-commissioned audit into clerical sex abuse cases similar to one published recently in the US should have been conducted in Ireland, the head of the Child Protection Service of the Dublin Archdiocese has said.
       The survey in the United States revealed that 4pc of the 100,000-plus diocesan priests who have served the American Church since 1950 have had "credible" allegations of sex abuse made against them.
       It also revealed that more than 80pc of their victims were adolescent males.
       Phil Garland, director of the Archdiocese's Child Protection Service, pointed out in an editorial posted yesterday on his office's website, , that a similar audit had been promised by the Irish bishops, but was later cancelled.
    Some upset over priest's reinstatement [1970s]
       ALBANY (NY) Capital News 9 , By: Capital News 9 web staff, 4:51 PM, 3/17/2004
       Several residents are protesting the reinstatement of a former Albany priest cleared of sexual misconduct allegations.
       Marcia Preusser and Tricia Brace were parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena when Reverend Louis Douglas was a priest there.
       They said he exposed himself to two 13-year-old boys while he was there -- something they said Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard admitted to them.
       Tom Sawicki said Douglas abused him in the 1970s when he was a teenager.
       He said, "He walks out of the bathroom stark naked and pulls the covers off the bed and propositions me to come into bed with him."
    Man Sentenced For Sex Abuse Was not a Mormon Bishop: Church
       UTAH: ABC 4, "Man Sentenced For Sex Abuse Was Never a Bishop," , LAST UPDATE 3:32:39 PM, 3/17/2004
       The man who was sentenced to prison Monday for molesting a developmentally disabled 17-year-old girl has never served as a bishop in the Mormon Church. That's according to a release sent by Church officials.
       A probable cause statement by police had earlier described Lynn Hill as a former Mormon bishop. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says the man has not served as a bishop within the Church.
    The scandal, the coverup, the aftereffects
       UNITED STATES San Francisco Chronicle, , Reviewed by Joseph Di Prisco, Sunday, March 14, 2004
       The Silence We Keep, A Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal By Karol Jackowski, HARMONY; 209 Pages; $23.
       Our Fathers The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal By David France, BROADWAY; 656 Pages; $26.95
       Zhou Enlai, premier of China until 1976, was asked his opinion about the effect of the French Revolution. His verdict: "Too soon to tell." If a cold- blooded tyrant cannot enjoy the long view, who can? As stories keep breaking about the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church and the coverup of crimes against thousands of children, and with the arrival of the exhaustive study by the John Jay School for Criminal Justice late last month, it may also be too soon to assess what has been wrought.
       Even so, soul-searching is under way. Will the church survive? Of course. Will it change and, if so, how? Everyone has a dog in that fight. Only professional deniers can think that this, too, shall pass. Then again, there were those who thought that nutty Martin Luther was a blip on the screen. Readers seeking the one definitive work are out of luck; for now, at least, they should read two: The Silence We Keep by Karol Jackowski, a nun for 40 years, and Our Fathers by David France, Newsweek senior editor. As different as these works are from each other, they illuminate the dark corners and secret life of the church.
    We almost took a break
       National Catholic Reporter . dated as March 19, 2004
       Last week, patient readers, we gave you a rather large dose of coverage of the sexual abuse crisis because of the release of the reports by the National Review Board. This week, we tried to take a break from it, but when the police raided the residence of Bishop Thomas L. Dupre in Springfield, Mass., and developments continued in the case of Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., we couldn't ignore it.
       A significant difference in the two cases bears notice at this point, without judging the merits of either. In the Springfield case, Dupre, once confronted by the local newspaper regarding allegations from two accusers, disappeared without comment and is now in treatment (see story). Hubbard, on the other hand, faced accusations, as our story notes, from "a pair of ghosts and a former prostitute" in league with a group that has been after Hubbard for years. He did not disappear but instead issued an unqualified and absolute denial of the charges (see story). We'll keep you informed.
    Albany bishop faces abuse allegations
       ALBANY (NY) National Catholic Reporter , By ED GRIFFIN-NOLAN Albany, N.Y., dated as March 19, 2004
       A pair of ghosts and a former prostitute have made charges of sexual improprieties against Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard, and in the current climate of sensitivity to clergy sex abuse, this has been enough to keep the 65-year-old bishop in the center of media attention he'd rather avoid.
       Hubbard has been involved on all sides of the clergy sex abuse scandals and now finds himself right in the middle of it. In the wake of a series of allegations against the bishop, the diocese has hired former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to investigate and report to the public.
       The first charge came Feb. 4 when Andrew Zalay of California held a news conference in Albany to charge that his brother, Thomas, before committing suicide in 1978, wrote a note about having an affair with a bishop named Howard. The note was typewritten and unsigned, as well as undated. Hubbard hurried home from Florida to deny the Zalay allegation.
       Two days later, 40-year-old Anthony Bonneau held a news conference and charged that the bishop had paid him for sex nearly 30 years ago when Bonneau was a homeless teenager living in an Albany park adjoining the chancery.
    Ed Griffin-Nolan is a freelance writer in Syracuse, N.Y.
    Bishop Bootkoski addresses removal of diocesan priest from ministry in N.C.
       METUCHEN (NJ) The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Metuchen, , By Charissa M. Carroll, Head Staff Writer, For the week of March 4, 2004
       UNITED STATES: Father Gregory Littleton was removed from his parish in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 20 due to assertions that he sexually abused two minors during his tenure in the Diocese of Metuchen. To address parishioners' concerns, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski recently issued a letter to the three parishes in the diocese in which Father Littleton served in the 1990s.
       The bishop's letter, dated Feb. 26, was sent to Our Lady of Victories Parish, Sayreville; Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish, Middlesex, and St. Elizabeth and St. Brigid Parishes, Far Hills/Peapack.
       According to Bishop Bootkoski, Father Littleton provided information to the diocese in the fall of 1993 implicating himself in the sexual abuse of two minors. The priest, who was ordained in 1990, was immediately removed from ministry and underwent a comprehensive psychological assessment, followed by three years of intensive therapy.
       Toward the end of this period, based on the opinion of his counselor that he posed no threat to anyone in the community, Father Littleton was given permission to occasionally assist in parishes. During this time, the diocese received no allegations of any kind of misconduct on his part, the letter stated.
    Grand jury convened for Dupre case
       SPRINGFIELD (MA) National Catholic Reporter , By CHUCK COLBERT, Issue Date: March 19, 2004
       A grand jury has been convened to investigate the case of Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, who resigned as head of the Springfield, Mass., diocese Feb. 11 after two men accused him of sexually molesting them more than 25 years ago, when they were 13 and 12 years old.
       If the grand jury indicts Dupre, he would become the first prelate with criminal allegations against him to face prosecution in the sex abuse crisis, still rocking the region and nation.
       "I have determined that there is probable cause to support these allegations," Hampden District Attorney William Bennett said March 4 in a two-page press statement. "Therefore, I have decided to present the matter to the grand jury for full and complete review of all evidence." He added, "Today I wanted to state very clearly and plainly that we have completed our preliminary investigation and that investigation convinces me that we need to go forward."
       Dupre abruptly left his post, citing health reasons, just as the allegations became public. According to published reports, Dupre, who had speculated in May that he might retire before the mandatory age of 75 because of health issues, entered St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., a medical facility that treats priests with a variety of emotional, psychological and behavioral disorders, including sex abuse.
    Clergy abuse complaints filed in Pittsburgh [1971-85]
       Washington Times , March 17 2004
       PITTSBURGH (PA) (UPI) -- A series of complaints have been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, alleging sexual abuse by priests who were removed from ministry.
       The suits, however, are not against the former priests alleged to have carried out the abuse, since the two-year statute of limitations on such crimes has expired. But attorneys named the diocese, charging that its clients did not know of the church's alleged conspiracy to cover up the abuses until 2002.
       Five suits were filed on behalf of men who say the diocese tried to cover up allegations of abuse. The men claim that John Hoehl abused them while he was headmaster at Quigley Academy from 1971 to 1985.
       The other suit named Eric Diskin, who allegedly abused an 11-year-old boy in 1976-77.
       Both Hoehl and Diskin have been removed from the ministry and have resigned from the priesthood, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
    Barragan offers victim statement: Priest molestations include SPHS trustee
       SANTA PAULA (CA) Santa Paula Times , By Peggy Kelly March 17, 2004
       Those who knew Eric Barragan in the late 1980s sensed that there was something troubling the boy who was always willing to help and desperately eager to please.
       What they didn't know was that Barragan, now 29, a Santa Paula High School Board Trustee since he was 21, was being repeatedly molested by a close family friend, so trusted he had a key to the Barragan's Santa Paula home where he came and went at will, often even spending the night. . .and, it turns out, taking turns molesting Barragan and his two brothers.
       Barragan stepped forward last week and revealed that he was a victim of former Father Carlos Rene Rodriguez, sentenced on Friday to jail for over eight years.
       Barragan offered a victim's statement during the sentencing on the charges that Rodriguez finally admitted guilt to. So did Barragan's tearful mother, who with her husband had revered the priest they first met through the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church marriage encounter group.
       A firm friendship was soon forged between the Barragans and Father Carlos Rodriguez. . .and the couple's three sons.
       Barragan's brothers have not been as lucky as he has: instead of burying themselves in work, community service and politics, as did Eric, they turned instead to drugs and alcohol.
    Archdiocese accused of sex abuse cover-up
       PHILADELPHIA (PA): Philadelphia Inquirer , By Jacqueline Soteropoulos Inquirer Staff Writer, Wed, Mar. 17, 2004
       In a pair of lawsuits, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and three Catholic priests who have died have been accused of concealing the sexual abuse of two boys.
       The abuse occurred between 1960 and 1964 at Cardinal Dougherty High School, and between 1970 and 1972 at St. Bridget's Church in the East Falls section of the city, according to suits filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court against the archdiocese and the priests' estates.
       In a written statement, archdiocese spokeswoman Catherine L. Rossi said the archdiocese has not had an opportunity to review the litigation, but noted that "the three priests named in the lawsuits are deceased and the allegations are reported to have occurred over 30 years ago."
       Nicholas Siravo of the Wissinoming section of the city says he was abused while a student at Cardinal Dougherty High School.
       Siravo said that the Rev. Charles J. Siegele regularly removed him from classes for "discipline," but instead took him to an empty room and molested him. Siegele threatened to suspend the teen if he told anyone, Siravo says.
       Siravo said that when he reported the incidents in 1962 to the Rev. Harry J. Nawn, Nawn began to molest him in the Old Rectory at St. Peter the Apostle Church.
    Romney names new correction chief
       BOSTON (MA) Boston Globe , By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff, 3/17/2004
       Six weeks after a report found that "major administrative breakdowns" set the stage for the death of a high-profile inmate in the state prison system, Governor Mitt Romney yesterday named one of the system's longest serving managers to become the Department of Correction commissioner with a mandate to sweep out the old ways of doing things.
       Kathleen M. Dennehy, who joined Romney at a State House press conference, pledged to make over the system she has worked in for 28 years.
       "I am committed to a culture that looks to the future, that embraces change and relies on new performance measures and accountability systems," said Dennehy, the first woman to head the state prison system.
       Her appointment as commissioner was probably set in motion Aug. 23, when John J. Geoghan, a defrocked priest whose alleged abuse helped trigger the clergy sexual abuse scandal, was killed in his prison cell, allegedly by an inmate who was known to be among the prison system's most troublesome.
       Geoghan's death prompted state officials to scrutinize a system that, according to the state report released last month, tolerated the abuse and harassment of the defrocked priest by guards. Established policy was disregarded by officials who transferred Geoghan from the medium-security Concord prison to a maximum-security facility in Shirley, according to the report by a three-member panel.
    TCC gets apology from priest
       ALASKA: News-Miner,,1413,113~7244~2023069,00.html , By DIANA CAMPBELL, Staff Writer, Wednesday, March 17, 2004
       The former supervisor of the now-deceased Jesuit priest who has been accused of fondling Alaska Native boys wrote a letter of apology to Tanana Chiefs Conference delegates for comments that appeared recently in news reports.
       The Rev. William Loyens, 77, said the reports that quoted him saying the alleged abuse wouldn't have much effect on the victims because their Native culture was "fairly loose" on sexual matters were taken out of context from a long deposition.
       The letter, though accepted, did little to convince some of the convention attendees of the sincerity of the apology.
       "I read the whole deposition," Sen. Georgianna Lincoln, D-Rampart, said. "I didn't see anything taken out of context. "After reading his letter of apology, I didn't feel better."
       Loyens said in his deposition that he knew mothers in villages who played with their baby boys' testicles "and the little boy was enjoying this immensely."
       Lincoln said she has never heard of such a practice "and I'm 61 years old."
       Loyens is a former Jesuit Superior of Alaska and holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology. The letter was passed out to about 300 people attending the TCC convention here on Tuesday.
       "I am aware that certain remarks made during my recent deposition have received widespread attention and that people found them hurtful," Loyens wrote. "For this I am sorry and I apologize."
    Former LDS Bishop Pleads Guilty of Molestation
       UTAH: KSL, , Mar. 16, 2004
       A former LDS bishop and Boy Scout leader is in prison tonight, for molesting his neighbor.
       Lynn Hill pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a developmentally disabled 17-year-old girl, and was sentenced to up to five years in prison.
       Prosecutors say Hill molested the teen while driving her to a church function and at her home.
    Archdiocese Receives Dozens Of Requests for Priest Abuse
       CHICAGO (IL): WBBM, , By Bernie Tafoya, WBBM Newsradio 780, 3:41 p.m., Tuesday, March 16, 2004,
       The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago says dozens of requests for information have been made about priests and whether they've ever had substantiated sex abuse allegations made against those priests.
       The archdiocese Web site offering people a chance to ask for the information went live on Friday.
       Archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer says more than 40 requests have come in, most of them via the archdiocese Web site.
       Requests can be made by phone and by fax as well.
       -- BY PHONE at 312/751-7740 -- BY FAX to 312/867-8790 -- BY LETTER, Office of the Chancellor, Archdiocese of Chicago, P.O. Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690.
       Priest sex abuse survivors complain the archdiocese doesn't go far enough or make it easy enough to find out the names of molester-priests. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests [SNAP] wants the Chicago archdiocese to put on the archdiocese web site the names of all priests who've had allegations proven against them.
    Sex harassment claims forces out St. Dom's math chief  [2003 Deacon Marino -NEW*] - RCC. Member of diocese marriage tribunal. Woman.
       Newsday, www.newsday. com/news/local/ longisland/ny- lidoms0317,0, 2959654. story?coll= ny-linews- headlines , By Rita Ciolli, March 17, 2004
       OYSTER BAY (NY): The chairman of the math department at St. Dominic High School was dismissed recently after a former teacher filed a federal sexual harassment complaint against the Oyster Bay school and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.
       [Name redacted,] who joined the faculty for the 2002-03 school year as an English teacher and adviser to the student newspaper, filed a sexual harassment complaint last month with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that she was verbally and physically abused by Deacon Salvatore Marino, who was chairman of the math department.  The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and if it has merit, the agency will issue a "right to sue letter" allowing [redacted] to file a lawsuit in federal court.
       In her complaint, [redacted] said the harassment began in November 2003 when both teachers were chaperoning a school dance.  She said the verbal remarks continued, and then in February, Marino "rubbed against me, stroked my back, touched the sides of my breasts, grabbed my knee and squeezed my arm. He would then immediately sit down, take his Bible out and kiss the open pages," she said.
       Marino, who also is an ordained deacon at Blessed Sacrament parish in Valley Stream and a member of the diocese tribunal which processes annulments, declined to comment last Wednesday.  Eric Prusan, his attorney, said the charges "completely lack merit."  Roger Briton, an attorney for the parish and the diocese, declined to comment.  The Rev. James Vlaun, a spokesman for the diocese, said Marino is suspended from all ministry pending an investigation by the diocese.
    The Cardinal's Stone Wall
       LOS ANGELES (CA): Los Angeles Times,,1,3866922.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials , March 17 2004
       When it comes to investigating priests accused of molesting children, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is more aggressive than any other bishop in the country. At shielding priests, that is, not at safeguarding children from sexual abuse.
       For more than a year and a half, Mahony has refused to release communications between him and his priests sought by prosecutors, lawyers for alleged victims and the public. As The Times reported Sunday, his chief lawyer has even invented a name for this stonewalling - "formation privilege" - and argues that to force the cardinal to breach confidentiality would violate state laws that shield communications between a priest and a penitent as well as state and federal guarantees of religious freedom.
       Legal scholars and other attorneys say they doubt that such a privilege applies, even in church law. Courts in Massachusetts, Arizona, Iowa and Kentucky have ordered dioceses to release documents, but the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has so far managed to avoid arguing its case in open court.
       In what is beginning to look like a tactical misstep, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office agreed last year to give the documents to a retired judge to decide whether they should be disclosed. It was supposed to speed things up, but the case drags on behind closed doors while the archdiocese pays the referee $350 an hour for his services.
       What does Mahony have to hide? If the cardinal is deaf to the questions raised by his herculean efforts to withhold information, the National Review Board was not.
    Teacher busted in pupil sex rap  - Lutheran.
       MASPETH (NY): New York Daily News, , By SCOTT SHIFREL, WARREN WOODBERRY Jr. and BILL HUTCHINSON DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS, With Tom Raftery and Tony Sclafani, Originally published on March 17, 2004
       A married teacher at a Queens religious school has been busted for carrying on a seven-month lesbian romance with a teenage student, cops said yesterday.
       Cheryl Reyna, 31, a Spanish teacher at Martin Luther High School in Maspeth, was arraigned yesterday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
       Reyna, who has taught at the Lutheran school for seven years, was suspended with pay on Friday after the girl told her parents about the alleged affair and they complained to the principal.
       "We're shocked, but mainly we're concerned about the well-being of the students, faculty, staff - everybody," said school spokeswoman Kelli Westfal.
       Reyna, who has been married for about three years, was arrested Monday. She was free last night on $1,500 bail.
       Her lawyer, Richard Leff, denied the charges. "It's sad all around," he said. "She knows the girl. ... She's a good teacher."
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:05 AM
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Wednesday March 17, 2004
    ##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Thursday March 18, 2004 edition follows:-
    • Explicit snap C of E vicar set to quit
       BRITAIN: East Anglian Daily Times, "Explicit snap vicar set to quit," , March 18, 2004 23:15
       An Essex vicar who was suspended after allegations an explicit photograph of him had been discovered on the internet has announced he is to quit his parish.
       Last month the East Anglian Daily Times exclusively revealed how the Rev Bob Locke, vicar of St Mary the Church in Burnham-on-Crouch, faced claims his naked portrait had been found on an underground website.
       He was suspended from his position as vicar and also effectively barred from being a governor of the local St Mary's Primary School.
       Father-of-one Mr Locke, formerly a curate in Colchester and an ex-Army chaplain, had already been on sick leave before his suspension, which according to a Diocese of Chelmsford statement followed "unsettling allegations."
       On Sunday the Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Rev Laurie Green, told parishioners that Mr Locke had "indicated his intention to resign as your parish priest."
       He stressed that there was no question Mr Locke had been involved in criminal matters, and that the church was making sure it was sensitive to not only his situation, but also that of his wife and daughter.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 09:58 PM
    In wake of scandal, Vatican enhancing monitoring role of archbishops
       Catholic News Service, , By John Thavis, Catholic News Service, Mar-18-2004
       VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the wake of the clergy sex abuse crisis, the Vatican is enhancing and emphasizing the role of the metropolitan archbishop as a vigilant monitor of "suffragan" -- or dependent -- dioceses.
       Under the policy, each archbishop is being asked to watch carefully for "abuses and errors" in episcopal ministry in the dioceses of his province, to confront the bishop as an "elder brother" when necessary, and to inform the Vatican in serious cases.
       The move is significant for several reasons, Vatican sources said in mid-March.
       It promotes "fraternal correction" when a local bishop mismanages an area of pastoral administration. It relies on a fellow bishop instead of a lay board for episcopal oversight. It establishes the archbishop as a link between smaller dioceses and the Vatican in some situations of controversy.
       The policy was detailed in the Vatican's 301-page "Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops" in early March, under a new section titled "Tasks of the Metropolitan Archbishop."
    Church abuse play to head to Massachusetts in May
       Providence Journal,
       BOSTON (MA) (AP) - A play based on Cardinal Bernard Law's depositions in clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the Boston Archdiocese is coming to Massachusetts.
       The play, "Sin: A Cardinal Deposed," will run for nine performances from May 15 to May 22 at Wellesley College, said David Zak, artistic director of the Bailiwick Repertory Theater.
       Zak said the reception for the play has been "fantastic and emotional and powerful" in Chicago. He said he was thrilled to bring it to the area where the controversy was first ignited.
       Nora Hussey, director of theater and theater studies at Wellesley, said she was looking forward to having a "tough work" and a "very exciting piece of theater" come to the women's college just west of Boston.
       "If we could make it happen, it seemed it made sense to do it," she said.
    Vows of Silence
       UNITED STATES: WBUR, , Aired: Wednesday, March 17, 2004
       Going deep behind the headlines about scandals in the Catholic Church, Jason Berry follows the staggering trail of evasions and deceit that leads directly to the Vatican--and taints the legacy of Pope John Paul II.
       Berry's new book, Vows of Silence is a detailed account of Vatican cover-ups and the tumult they have caused in the church worldwide. It takes you inside the Vatican walls for a hard look at one of the world's largest power structures and examines church's struggle between orthodoxy and reform.
    Prosecutors to recommend sentence for bishop Friday
       PHOENIX (AZ): The Arizona Republic, , Associated Press, Mar. 18, 2004
       Prosecutors were expected to lay out their sentencing recommendations Friday for Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien, convicted last month of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
       O'Brien, believed to be the first Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony, could receive anything from probation to three years and nine months in prison when he is sentenced March 26. Prosecutors declined Thursday to say what kind of sentence they would seek.
       The former head of the Phoenix diocese was convicted Feb. 17 of leaving the scene of the accident that killed pedestrian.
       Last week, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Stephen Gerst heard testimony from Reed's family members and people who say they were victims of sexual abuse by clergy during O'Brien's tenure.
    Priest Arraigned In Hospital On Sex Abuse Charges [2003]
       WNBC, , March 18, 2004
       RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- A Catholic priest was arraigned in his hospital room Thursday on charges he sodomized a 6-year-old Long Island boy last summer, prosecutors said.
       Barry E. Ryan, who is suffering from terminal cancer, was hospitalized last week after allegedly being attacked by another inmate in the Suffolk County Jail. He had been held there on $500,000 bond since his arrest on March 4.
       Ryan, 56, a resident of Palm City, Fla., since 1997, has signed a statement confessing to the sexual assault that occurred between May and October 2003 in a private home of acquaintances on Long Island, District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
       He was initially scheduled to appear before Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo last Friday to answer similar charges in an indictment filed by a grand jury. But Ryan was a no-show because he had been taken to Central Suffolk Hospital; prosecutors decided Thursday to arraign him in his hospital bed.
       The priest was alert and sitting up in bed during the brief proceeding, saying only "not guilty" to the charges, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Spota.
       Ryan's attorney, Joseph Ostrowski, did not immediately return a call for comment. Calls to hospital and jail officials also were not immediately returned.
       The priest, who told police he's suffering from terminal cancer, has not been attached to any parish or performed any priestly duties since 1995, when he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force, the district attorney said.
       Ordained in 1976, Ryan enlisted as a chaplain in the Air Force in 1984. Before that he worked at parishes in the Brooklyn diocese.
    The 'Cool Counselor' [1995-96]
       SANTA ANA (CA): The Arizona Republic, , by Gustavo Arellano, March 12 -18, 2004
       Bernie Balsis was the cool counselor at Santa Ana's Mater Dei High School during the mid-1990s, the counselor who could get students out of any class they despised and would listen to their pubescent worries. At least that's what friends told Camilla Overbeek, then 16 years old, who met Balsis early in the 1995-96 school year. But almost from the start, Balsis showered Overbeek with a different sort of attention.
       "He would always request a hug-full-frontal, chest-to-chest hugs," said Overbeek, now 24 and a student at Cal State Long Beach. "Then he would pull back and allow his hands to caress my breasts just so."
       Sometimes, she claims, Balsis would remark that the teen was "a cute girl." He began pulling Overbeek from classes, no reason offered. On a couple of occasions, according to Overbeek, Balsis would give her a back rub while whispering, "You're mine, mine, mine."
       Overbeek remained quiet about the incidents until January 1996. That's when she says Balsis told her to look at something on his computer screen during one office visit. She walked around Balsis' desk to get a better view. Suddenly, Balsis yanked Overbeek's shirt from her skirt and began kissing the sophomore's exposed back, she alleges.
       "I tried to carry a natural conversation with him, but then Balsis grabbed my butt under the edge of my skirt and told me that he loved me," Overbeek said. "I didn't know what to do, so I tried to leave. But then he stood in front of me, looked me in the eye, and said, 'No, you don't understand. I love you'."
       Overbeek promptly told a coach, who reported the harassment to Mater Dei administrators. According to Mater Dei officials, Balsis left the school a couple of months later.
       Mater Dei officials told The Orange County Register late last year that they filed sexual-abuse reports on Balsis with the appropriate government agencies. Under state law, the Roman Catholic high school should have alerted Santa Ana police or the Orange County Social Services Agency about the alleged abuse. But, contacted by the Weekly, both departments claimed they had no record of such reports.
       Overbeek recently brought a civil lawsuit against Balsis, Mater Dei and the Diocese of Orange, which oversees the school. The grievance, filed Dec. 3 in Orange County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages. It alleges that Balsis engaged in "unlawful sexually related conduct with minors and with students" and that both the diocese and Mater Dei "conspired to and did knowingly fail to report and did hide and conceal . . . true facts and relevant information necessary to bring [Balsis] to justice."
       Overbeek's suit is one of three against Mater Dei and the diocese of Orange involving alleged molestation incidents by former administrators or teachers. In July 2003, Corona del Mar resident Joelle Casteix sued the school for what she says is a cover-up of her abuse at the hands of choir director Tom Hodgman. Her suit alleges that Hodgman impregnated Casteix and gave her a venereal disease when she attended Mater Dei in the late 1980s. Two weeks after Casteix's complaint, 42-year-old Pablo Espinoza came forth with claims that ex-Mater Dei principal Michael Harris, former vice principal John Merino and at least three other school officials masturbated in front of and forced him to fellate Harris repeatedly from 1975 to 1977.
       A couple of months after the Casteix and Espinoza suits, the diocese disclosed that two other Mater Dei officials had left the school besides Balsis for improper sexual conduct with students in the past 10 years: former junior-varsity basketball coach Jeff Andrade in 1997 and another former choir director, Larry Stukenholtz, in 1999.
       Those incidents are enough to tarnish Mater Dei's image as an academic- and athletic-prep powerhouse. But combined with a long string of other cases over the school's 53-year history, one has to wonder how students could ever excel in classrooms and on the field while having to fend off Mater Dei personnel.
       The roll call of infamy includes:
  • Track coach Bob Richardson, arrested in 1984 for allegedly sexually abusing boys on his team during camping trips to the San Bernardino Mountains.
  • Harris, a principal at Mater Dei from 1978 to 1987, who has had at least three lawsuits besides Espinoza's filed against him by former Mater Dei students.
  • The late Bertrand Horvath, a Franciscan who taught at Mater Dei during the 1970s and is accused of molesting a child while at St. Killian's in Mission Viejo during that same time period.
       Honorable mention must also be bestowed upon G. Patrick Zieman, the former Bishop of Santa Rosa who resigned in 1999 after allegations surfaced that he used a Costa Rican priest as a sex toy. In court testimony, Zieman, who taught at Mater Dei during the 1970s, admitted that he did not take any disciplinary action against his protégé Harris after hearing a student complain that Harris was sexually abusing him.
       In none of these cases did the perpetrators face a trial for their transgressions. Richardson escaped trial on a technicality; the statute of limitations ran out on Harris; death saved Horvath from a date in court.
       County Social Services spokeswoman Deborah Kroner said Mater Dei may be subject to penalties if Balsis, Andrade and Stukenholtz are ever found guilty of abuse; no lawsuits have been filed against Andrade and Stukenholtz. The statute of limitations runs out when the alleged victims turn 26 years old.
       "Clergy and teachers are what we call mandated reporters. When they see any evidence of child abuse, they're supposed to report it to us," said Kroner. "We would respond at our level or refer them to the proper police department, depending on whom the call is made about."
       Kroner added that Social Services wouldn't have filed a report if "[the cases were] referred to the police," but Sergeant Mario Corona of the Santa Ana Police Department said their records do not include any complaints filed against Balsis, Andrade or Stukenholtz.
       "If it was provable that a mandated reporter knew about possible child abuse and didn't report it, they would be subject to a misdemeanor," concluded Kroner. "And we have no records of the diocese reporting anything. Nothing was ever filed."
    • Twin Cities priest was abusing women he counselled: charge [? 2004]
       MINNESOTA: Star Tribune, "Twin Cities priest charged with sexual abuse," , Associated Press, March 18, 2004
       A Catholic priest was charged Thursday in Hennepin County with sexually abusing women he was counseling, the county attorney's office said.
       The Rev. John Joseph Bussmann, a priest at Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Rogers, was charged with third-, fourth- and fifth-degree sexual conduct and indecent exposure. He also was charged with theft.
       Authorities said Bussmann had sex several times with a woman he was counseling before she reported the activity to the archdiocese, according to a criminal complaint.
       He also allegedly touched another woman's breasts over her clothing and exposed himself several times to another woman and inappropriately touched her, the complaint said.
       Bussmann, 50, of St. Paul, was a priest at St. Walburga Catholic Church in Hassan and St. Martin's Catholic Church in Rogers. The churches merged to form Mary Queen of Peace in 2002. Bussman also was a priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Robbinsdale.
    Whistleblower priest on trial;critics say bishop exacting revenge
       ARLINGTON (VA): CruxNews, , 19 March 2004
       Bishop Paul S. Loverde is hot under the collar. This week, the leader of the Arlington diocese in northern Virginia is exerting his wrath on a priest he finds particularly troublesome. Fr. James R. Haley was summoned before an ecclesiastical tribunal in Philadelphia on Wednesday to answer to five charges brought against him by his own bishop. If found guilty, these charges could lead to the priest's "defrocking," a penalty that would effectively reduce Fr. Haley to the lay state.
       According to Charles M. Wilson, executive director of the Saint Joseph Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, an ecclesiastical tribunal is "roughly equivalent to a criminal trial brought before a civil court. The offense has to be proven by 'moral certainty,' which is similar to 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'"
       Critics say the Arlington bishop is retaliating against the priest for exposing clerical corruption in three northern Virginia parishes. "Fr. Haley has been attacked, vilified, and deprived of his ability to function as a priest," contended Stephen Brady, president of the Illinois-based Roman Catholic Faithful.
       Several of the bishop's canonical charges are related to testimony given by Fr. Haley in a legal deposition in July of 2002. As a direct consequence of his testimony, Fr. Haley was suspended from the Arlington diocese. Despite the fact that the priest was legally bound to respond to a subpoena, Bishop Loverde informed Fr. Haley in a written decree dated October 28, 2002 that he was guilty of violating an order for him not to publicize priestly wrongdoing. In other words, Fr. Haley was disciplined due to his refusal to participate in an on-going cover-up. He is a classic whistleblower.
    Brooklyn Diocese: Accused priest cleared
       BROOKLYN (NY): Newsday,,0,2252521.story?coll=ny-nynews-headlines , BY STEPHANIE SAUL, STAFF WRITER, March 18, 2004
       The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has absolved a priest of sexual abuse allegations after finding the claims "unsubstantiated and lacking in credibility."
       The diocesan investigation concluded that the Rev. Vincent Gallo was not serving at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bushwick when the alleged abuse occurred, a crucial finding in its decision to exonerate him, according to a letter from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
       "It is my decision that Father Gallo should remain as your pastor," DiMarzio's letter told parishioners at St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale, where Gallo has been pastor for four years.
       The letter clearing Gallo, 69, was read at four St. Pancras Masses last weekend and released yesterday to Newsday.
       "The letter speaks for itself," Gallo said yesterday, also thanking parishioners for their support since October, when he was accused in a lawsuit.
       The suit filed by Manhattan attorneys Michael Dowd and Susan Egan demands $300 million in damages on behalf of 27 plaintiffs who accused 24 current or former priests from the diocese, including Gallo, of sexual misconduct since the 1950s. The case, which also names the diocese as a defendant, is pending in State Supreme Court in Queens.
    Gibsonia man alleges sex abuse by priest [1976-77]
       BUTLER (PA): Butler Eagle, , 3/18/04
       An anonymous Gibsonia man has come forward with sexual abuse allegations against former priest Eric Diskin, who had been at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church on North McKean Street in Butler.
       Richard Serbin, an attorney representing several former abuse victims in a civil suit filed in January against the Diocese of Pittsburgh and two bishops, said the man called him after learning of the suit.
       The man claims Diskin, who was named by one victim in the original suit in January, molested him in 1976 and 1977 when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Paul.
       The unidentified man accused Diskin of sexually abusing him at St. Paul Catholic School, in St. Paul's rectory, in the parish sanctuary, in Diskin's car, at the boy's home and in a swimming pool during those years. Serbin said the victim will testify if needed when the case goes to court.
    Alleged victim: I told church 6 times [1960]
       DES MOINES (IA): Des Moines Register, , By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE, Register Religion Editor, 03/18/2004
       A Des Moines man told a Clinton County judge last month that he tried six times over four decades to report a Davenport Diocese priest's attempt to molest him.
       But the Davenport Diocese's only record of Ed Thomas' complaint is a 1992 memo in which the diocese's vicar general noted that the priest, Rev. Francis Bass, was retiring in four months.
       "I believe no action needs to be taken, but this memo should be sealed and put in Father Bass's file," Monsignor Michael Morrissey wrote to Bishop Gerald Francis O'Keefe. "If something else comes up, I don't think we can deny this telephone call."
       Thomas, a health and physical education consultant for the Iowa Department of Education, is not suing anyone, but he testified at a hearing in another abuse lawsuit last month. He said Bass tried to molest him on an overnight trip in 1960, but he got away. Thomas said he reported the incident in 1960; in 1974; twice in 1992, including a call to the bishop's home; in 2001; and in 2002.
       After winning a rare ruling ordering the diocese to turn over all its records on sexual abuse complaints, a lawyer for several plaintiffs used Thomas' testimony to argue that Clinton County District Court Judge C. H. Pelton should require the diocese to turn over to him the names of people who complained.
       Craig Levein said diocese records are not complete; a better way to assess the extent of sexual abuse would be to contact victims, he contends.
       So far, the diocese has turned over to Levein files on three priests, but the diocese is appealing Pelton's order and is adamant that blacking out the victims' names in the records is critical to protecting their privacy.
       "We have had a number of people contact the diocese reporting abuse who simply want to make the report and be reassured the involved priest no longer is in contact with children," diocese lawyer Rand Wonio said. "Our victims coordinator has been contacted by people seeking help but who wish to remain anonymous. These people have privacy rights."
    3 seek further inquiry into priest's actions [1972-73]
       ALBANY (NY): Albany Times Union, , By MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON, Staff reports, Thursday, March 18, 2004
       Eleven days after the Rev. Louis Douglas was returned to ministry, three people came forward Wednesday and said they want the investigation reopened into sexual abuse allegations against the priest.
       Timothy Sawicki of Schenectady and Pamela Brace and Marcia Preusser of Albany said in a letter made public Wednesday that their concerns about Douglas' sexual misconduct were not heard by the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board that cleared him.
       They asked that the panel meet with them to gather additional information that demonstrates Douglas "is a danger to children."
       Attorney John Aretakis, who represents Sawicki, also released a statement from another client, who said he was sexually abused in 1972 and 1973 in the rectory of St. Clare's in Colonie by the Rev. Mark Haight.
       Haight was previously permanently removed from ministry.
    Bishop's letter to map out future mission of diocese
       NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Union Leader, , By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI, Union Leader Staff, March 18, 2004
       Facing a diverse, growing and shifting Roman Catholic population in New Hampshire with fewer priests to minister to them, Bishop John B. McCormack will lay out a future vision for the diocese in a letter to be distributed in all parishes this weekend, several sources said this week.
       The pastoral letter addresses the church's mission in facing these challenges and asks laity to participate in the process of defining parish life in the future.
       "It lays out in very broad-stroke terms the themes of parish life that we will be discussing . . . through the end of 2005," said a source who saw a draft of the letter.
       But, unlike the reconfiguration in the Boston archdiocese that will involve the closure of a substantial number of parishes, the letter does not recommend closing churches.
    Priests pray for hope
       PALMER (MA): Republican, , By JENNIFER PICARD, , 03/18/2004
       Roman Catholics gathered to celebrate a Mass of "Hope and Healing" at St. Thomas the Apostle Church last night, where priests urged congregants, amidst the clergy abuse crisis, to keep their faith in the church through prayer.
       "What are we to do? How are we to get through our shock, horror, anger, disbelief, mistrust?... How can we heal, and help heal those who have been wounded?" said the Rev John K. Sheaffer, of St. Francis Church of Belchertown, during his homily.
       "The answer is, we have to pray," he said. "We need to pray for the healing of those who have been victimized ... we need to pray for those who have been alienated from the church."
       "And we must pray for the abusers. For many, this last one is the toughest," Sheaffer admitted. "But notice I didn't say forgive and forget ... we forgive, but we remember, so these tragedies will not happen again."
       The service was organized by the Hampden East Deanery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, a diocesan sub-group catering to nine parishes in Belchertown, Palmer, Monson, Brimfield and Ware.
    Hubbard accused of cover-up [1960s]
       ALBANY (NY) Troy Record , By Robert Cristo, 03/18/2004
       Just weeks after retired St. Catherine of Siena pastor Rev. Louis Douglas was cleared of sexual abuse charges, two outraged women with past ties to the Albany parish have alleged that Bishop Howard Hubbard admitted to them that Douglas watched two boys perform an indecent act in front of him in the 1960s.
       Albany residents Marsha Preusser and Trisha Brace went public Wednesday with details of a meeting they had with Hubbard in 1993 about Douglas, who was recently cleared by the Albany Diocesan Review Board of all sexual abuse allegations with minors.
       Both women claim Hubbard told them about an incident that occurred in the 1960s in which Douglas allegedly had two children undress and masturbate in front of him, but did not touch them.
       The women had past ties to St. Catherine of Siena School and parish, but eventually pulled their children out and left the parish because of how the diocese handled the Douglas investigation in the 1990s. The women recently contacted local attorney John Aretakis to get their side of the story to the public.
       The women also say Hubbard, who became bishop in the mid-'70s, "explained away" the incident by allegedly stating that Douglas did it to make the children feel more comfortable with their sexuality.
       "I was appalled, and said to the bishop, 'since when is that an appropriate method of teaching?'" said Preusser, 51, a local real estate dealer. "Why do we let these priests get free passes at the victim's expense?"
    Priest absolved of sex abuse claim
       BROOKLYN (NY): Newsday,,0,1812157.story?coll=ny-nynews-headlines , March 17, 2004
       The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has absolved a priest of sexual abuse allegations after finding the claims "unsubstantiated and lacking in credibility."
       The diocesan investigation concluded that the Rev. Vincent Gallo was not serving at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bushwick when the alleged abuse occurred, a crucial finding in its decision to exonerate him, according to a letter from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
       "It is my decision that Father Gallo should remain as your pastor," DiMarzio's letter told parishioners at St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale, where Gallo has been pastor for four years.
       The letter clearing Gallo, 69, was read at four St. Pancras masses last weekend and released Wednesday to Newsday.
       "The letter speaks for itself," Gallo said Wednesday, also thanking parishioners for their support since October, when he was accused in a lawsuit.
       The suit filed by Manhattan attorneys Michael Dowd and Susan Egan demands $300 million in damages on behalf of 27 plaintiffs who accused 24 current or former priests from the diocese, including Gallo, of sexual misconduct since the 1950s. The case, which also names the diocese as a defendant, is pending in State Supreme Court in Queens.
       Wednesday, Dowd and Egan said the diocesan investigation was flawed: It did not include an interview with Gallo's accuser, a San Antonio man who grew up in Good Counsel parish during the 1950s and 1960s.
    Jailed ex-priest contends, 'I did nothing wrong'
       TEXAS: The Dallas Morning News, , By STEVE McGONIGLE / The Dallas Morning News, Wednesday, March 17, 2004
       John Salazar no longer wants to be addressed as "Father."
       In his opinion, being identified as a Catholic priest is a big part of why he is jailed on a charge of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old male friend in Irving last fall.
       He said Wednesday that he is an innocent man who has been unfairly linked to the sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church over the last two years.
       "I am [angry] that I am here," the former priest said during an hourlong interview at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. "I did nothing wrong."
       A Dallas County grand jury indicted Mr. Salazar, 48, last month after an Amarillo College student complained that the former priest performed oral sex on him in an Irving motel room while he was too intoxicated to resist.
       The indictment has been described by an expert as perhaps the first of its kind to be brought against a priest, because the victim is an adult male.
    6 men sue diocese over sex abuse
       PITTSBURGH (PA): Tribune-Review, , By Glenn May, Thursday, March 18, 2004
       Six more men who say they were sexually abused as youths by priests sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, raising to 13 the number of men who have sued the diocese this year over abuse allegations.
       As with the lawsuits filed in January and February, yesterday's filings do not seek damages from the priests accused of the abuse. Instead, the lawsuits attempt to blame the diocese, Bishop Donald Wuerl and former Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua -- who recently retired as archbishop of Philadelphia -- for hiding priest sexual abuse and for giving known predators access to young men.
       The new suits accuse two of the same priests accused in the earlier suits, John Hoehl, 65, and Eric Diskin, 56.
    • Why remove Father Chris? Is it because he publicly challenged the boss about sex abuse?
       CALIFORNIA: Pasadena Star News,,1413,206~11851~2024001,00.html , Wednesday, March 17, 2004
       We are reticent to comment on personnel disputes involving any private organization because we can't be absolutely sure what is driving them. Still, some cases become so very public that they cry out for dialogue and clarification. So into those choppy waters...
       Still, it is answers, that's what the public is looking for in the situation between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Rev. Chris Cunningham, the now ex-pastor of St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church in Covina.
       Father Chris was removed from the church by Cardinal Roger Mahony, setting off waves of protests from loyal parishioners who spoke of him as an authentic, caring priest who helped breathe new life into the congregation by drawing as many as 1,000 new youths and their families into the church of 5,000 families.
       The parishioners say they will mail 10,000 letters to Mahony and continue their protest all the way to the Pope. Such public displays of outrage more than hint at a parish wounded by a move from headquarters, in this case by Mahony, whom they blame for robbing them of their beloved pastor without providing a reason.
       The archdiocese released a statement, saying Father Chris's removal is not due to any allegation of sexual impropriety, and it is not retribution from his calling out Mahony in a public meeting to face allegations against the cardinal of sexual misconduct.
       Of course, many see it as retribution. Cunningham spoke his mind and criticized his boss. Certainly, others have criticized Mahony's handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the church, but it may sting more coming from within. Still, we will stop short of drawing that conclusion because we just don't know for sure.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 05:42 AM
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Thursday March 18, 2004
    • Former teacher on 19 sex charges. [1977-89]
       The Advertiser, Adelaide,,5936,8998103%5E910,00.html , EXCLUSIVE: By NIGEL HUNT, Mar 18 2004
       ADELAIDE, South Australia:
       A former teacher at one of Adelaide's most respected private schools has been charged with the sexual abuse of six students. The man allegedly sexually abused the Blackfriars Priory School students - some as young as 10 - over a 12-year period. He has been charged with 19 counts of child sex abuse involving the six male students and another boy who was a friend of one of the students.
       The charges range from gross indecency and indecent assault to unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 12 years. Blackfriars Priory School principal Paul Hine was notified on February 5 of the former teacher's arrest and the school has co-operated fully with detectives from the Child Exploitation Investigation Section who are conducting the investigation. The Prospect school yesterday took the unusual step of advising both its teaching staff and 850 students of the police investigation.
       It also sent the parents of each student a two-page letter revealing the child abuse allegations and outlining practices in place to prevent such incidents occurring again. A similar letter also has been sent to about 450 old scholars and the parents of children who are enrolled at Blackfriars from next year. "It is with a sense of sadness and profound regret I convey this information, on the understanding that some Blackfriars students may have suffered as a result of past abuse," Mr Hine says in the letter. [...]
       The alleged offences occurred over a 12-year period from November, 1977 to December, 1989 while the man was a teacher and then involved at Blackfriars in another capacity. The man allegedly befriended the boys at the school and on school camps. He then took them on private camps to various locations around the state where the offences allegedly occurred. Police were alerted to the alleged incidents last year by one of the alleged victims, who is well known in policing and legal circles in Adelaide. [...]
       "This a problem which does not affect Blackfriars alone and it doesn't just affect Catholic education and it doesn't just effect other Christian churches. "It is a social problem and somewhere along the line we have to come to more effective ways of preventing it." . . .
    Mar 18 2004
    ##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Friday March 19, 2004 edition follows:-
    Three men sue former Davenport priest; accused of sexual abuse in '60s
       DAVENPORT (IA): Quad-Cities Online, , By Stephen Elliott, Staff writer, Posted online: March 18, 2004 11:05 PM Print publication date: March 19, 2004
       Three men have sued a retired Davenport priest and the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, claiming sexual abuse and neglect.
       Brothers John and Michael Schal and Jerzy Willus filed the seven-count lawsuit Thursday in Scott County District Court against the diocese and Rev. William F. Wiebler.
       Rev. Wiebler is accused of sexually abusing the three starting in 1965. They were members of St. Mary's Parish in Clinton when the alleged abuse occurred. Rev. Wiebler was an assistant pastor there from 1964 to 1967, according to the lawsuit.
       John Schal and Mr. Willus were abused while Rev. Wiebler was still at St. Mary's; Michael Schal was abused by Rev. Wiebler starting in 1973, when Rev. Wiebler was a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf, according to the lawsuit.
       The diocese, the lawsuit claims, was or should have been aware of the alleged abuse. [...]
       The diocese said Rev. Wiebler took the leave of absence in 1985 to become editor of Sacred Heart League publications in Mississippi.
       He is one of five priests the Diocese of Davenport has asked the Vatican to defrock over allegations of sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.
       Mr. Levien said in recent years 15 people have sued the diocese for alleged sexual misconduct by priests. He represents 13 of them.
       Staff writer Stephen Elliott can be reached at (309) 786-6441, ext. 247, or by e-mail at .
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:11 PM
    Bishop O'Brien apologizes; prosecutors seek jail time in hit-and-run [2003]
       PHOENIX (AZ) Tucson Citizen , The Associated Press, March 19 2004
       Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien apologized in court Friday to the family of the pedestrian he struck and killed in June.
       O'Brien, who spoke during a presentencing hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court, maintained he didn't realize he hit a person, but he apologized to the family of Jim Reed, the 43-year-old pedestrian killed in the hit-and-run.
       "I know there is no one to blame for this but me," O'Brien said.
       In court paperwork, prosecutors asked Judge Stephen Gerst to sentence O'Brien to six months in jail and four years of supervised probation when he is sentenced March 26.
       O'Brien, who resigned last summer as head of the Diocese of Phoenix, asked Gerst to give him probation.
       He could be sentenced to anything from probation to three years and nine months in prison.
       Reed's family, in court for the hearing, declined to comment on O'Brien's apology.
       A jury found O'Brien guilty last month of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The former church leader of Arizona Catholics for 21 years is believed to be the first Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony.
    Cardinal error or doing the right thing?
       MARYLAND National Catholic Reporter , By Joe Feuerherd, March 17 2004
       It is easy to make promises, say critics of the way the U.S. hierarchy has responded to the clergy sex abuse crisis.
       Foremost among the pledges the bishops made in their Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth: the Catholic church will cooperate with civil authorities in reporting cases of suspected child abuse.
       Now comes the hard part.
       Last week, and again today, state legislators in Maryland considered legislation that would add members of the clergy to the list of "mandatory reporters" of suspected child abuse. Currently, teachers, health care workers, police officers and "human service workers" are mandatory reporters under Maryland law.
       The state's Catholic Conference, which represents the Washington and Baltimore archdioceses in Annapolis, is the only vocal opponent of the legislation. Cardinal William Keeler chairs the conference's board, whose members also include Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
    • Ex-nun's flunky admits to sex abuse; beatings to drive out devil at unorthodox commune [1999-2001]
       CANADA: CNews, "Ex-nun's flunky admits to sex abuse," , TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU, March 18 2004
       The Edmonton-area henchman of a former Alberta nun jailed for abusing children at a P.E.I. religious commune yesterday admitted sexually touching a 10-year-old girl. Daniel Ezra Boissonneault, 58, of Spruce Grove, pleaded guilty in provincial court to one count of sexual interference. In exchange for the guilty plea, a charge of sexual assault involving the same victim is to be withdrawn.
       According to agreed facts, Boissonneault committed three acts of sex abuse against the girl between February 1999 and July 2001 when she was between 10 and 12 years old.
       The incidents happened while the girl, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, lived with her parents and one sister at an infamous religious commune - run by religious leader Lucille Poulin, 80 - in Hazel Grove, P.E.I.
       Poulin - a former Roman Catholic nun who in 1995 moved her commune to P.E.I. from Westlock, 84 km northwest of Edmonton - was sentenced to eight months' jail and three years' probation in November 2002 on a conviction of assaulting five children, ranging in age from seven to 12.
       Boissonneault testified at the Charlottetown trial, where court heard Poulin beat children with a wooden paddle to drive out the devil and keep them on the path to heaven.
       Boissonneault is said to have lived on the commune for more than 20 years, first in Alberta and then in P.E.I.; however he left Hazel Grove before Poulin was charged.
    Archbishop of Westminster urges Vatican reform
       Reuters,§ion=news , By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor, 11:41, Fri 19 March, 2004
       PARIS (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church, tightly centralised under Pope John Paul, should open up to share power more among its bishops, priests and people, the Archbishop of Westminster has written in a new book.
       Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor also urged the world's largest church to show more humility with its own flock and take more risks in seeking understanding and unity with other Christians.
       At the Heart of the World, a short volume just published in London that reflects on the challenges facing Catholicism, comes as the 125 cardinals due to elect the next pope look ahead to the era after the ailing Polish pontiff, now 83.
       Some thoughts are openly stated, others posed as questions that hint at critical answers. All show a moderate keen to see his 2,000-year-old church march more in time with the times.
       Citing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), he writes: "We need to discover ways of fostering the effective participation of clergy and lay people in synodical or representative bodies within the Roman Catholic Church."
    Bishop Gerry salutes 'years of blessing'
       PORTLAND (ME): Portland Press Herald, , By GREGORY D. KESICH, March 19 2004
       Bishop Joseph Gerry gives a blessing during Thursday's vespers service, his last official function as the leader of Maine's 234,000 Roman Catholics. He said he will be happy to return to the life of a Benedictine monk.
       Bishop Joseph Gerry quietly said goodbye to his flock Thursday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
       In brief remarks to about 400 people gathered for evening prayers, Gerry, 75, said he will be happy to return to the life of a Benedictine monk after leading the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland for 15 years, the last two tainted by a sexual-abuse scandal from which the church is "still reeling."
       Gerry left with rare public comments about the scandal, which has led to the removal of four diocesan priests and prompted an investigation that documented abuse allegations against 63 priests and other church employees over 75 years.
       "For whatever good I may have had a hand in, I give thanks to God," Gerry said. "For my failures, I ask God's forgiveness and yours. I ask your prayers that . . . God may enable me through the monastic way of life to have some small hand in your being drawn ever closer to his heart."
    Geography tops seniority on archbishop's new council
       BOSTON (MA) Boston Herald, , By Eric Convey Friday, March 19, 2004
       The Archdiocese of Boston yesterday released the makeup of newly reconstituted council that will advise Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley on key issues including parish closings.
       The Presbyteral Council has been in existence for years, but was reconfigured on O'Malley's orders. New members were elected by priests based on geography rather than age.
       The Rev. Robert Bullock, who heads the independent Boston Priests Forum, which has challenged archdiocesan leaders in the past, said yesterday the new selection worked well.
       "I think it's a terrific group . . . I think they'll do splendid work," Bullock said.
    Play based on Cardinal Law's testimony due at Wellesley in May
       BOSTON (MA) Boston Globe, , By Heather Allen and Stephanie Vosk, Globe Correspondents, 3/19/2004
       When the play about testimony that preceded the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law comes to the Boston area in May, at least one alleged clergy sex-abuse victim won't be there -- he says the subject is too painful.
       "It kind of brings up bad feelings, seeing that these people knew about some of these perps and transferred them to different places and looked the other way," said Bryan Smith, 42, of Hubbardston, a leader of a new chapter of SNAP based in Fitchburg.
       In closely watched testimony in 2002, victims' lawyers questioned Cardinal Law on, among other things, the transference of abusive priests to other jurisdictions, where they continued to prey on young people, many of them boys.
       Law was deposed a number of times before he resigned Dec. 13, 2002. The testimony spawned the play "Sin: A Cardinal Deposed," by Michael Murphy, a 46-year-old playwright from California.
       All of the play's dialogue comes directly from testimony or other documents used in the court case.
       The main characters in the play are Law and the lawyers who deposed him. Several other actors portray the archbishop's lawyers, other church officials, family members of friends of victims, and, in the final speech, a victim.
       Smith told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette recently that he had been sexually abused by the Rev. Donald J. Rebokus, late headmaster at Holy Name High School. The attacks allegedly occurred at the high school and at St. Mary's rectory in Uxbridge in the mid-to-late 1970s.
    Mix of priests named to guide archdiocese
       BOSTON (MA) Boston Globe, , By Michael Paulson, 3/19/2004
       In the most visible sign to date of his effort to bring a greater diversity of priests and laypeople into his administration, Roman Catholic Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday announced the names of 41 priests who will assist him in governing the Archdiocese of Boston.
       The new membership of the presbyteral council, about half of which was chosen by elections, appears to represent the theological mix among Boston priests. The panel includes critics of the hierarchy and well-known loyalists; among the membership are three leaders of the Boston Priests Forum, an organization of local priests, as well as two of the priests who publicly called for Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign in 2002.
       O'Malley is also in the process of remaking the archdiocesan pastoral council, which is supposed to be a vehicle for laypeople, as well as clergy, to propose "practical conclusions about those things which pertain to pastoral works in the diocese," according to church law.
       The archbishop's moves to rejuvenate bodies that critics viewed as secretive and ineffectual under Law's administration appear to be a response to the complaints, often expressed during the clergy sexual abuse crisis, that priests and laypeople have had little voice in church administration. Those complaints spawned the creation of two new organizations, Voice of the Faithful, representing laypeople, and the Boston Priests Forum.
    When Confession Is Bad For the Soul
       ClearyWorks , by William Cleary, in a forthcoming issue of "The American Catholic", (William Cleary writes from Burlington, Vermont)
       When Confession Is Bad For the Soul
       Early in 2004, the NCR clergy abuse tracker reported something unprecedented: a pedophile priest who explained how he easily dealt with his crimes against children: the Confessional. He said that after each Confession - he went to 30 different fellow priests over a 20 year period -- he felt "like a magic wand had been waved over me." It happened more than 1500 times, he said.
       The priest, Father Michael McArdle, an Australian, was recently sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting 14 boys and two girls. Earlier the diocese paid out $500,000 to just nine of his male victims.
       It is not easy to identify the many levels of evil and disfunction in this one true story. Placed amid the worldwide catastrophe of the recently disclosed crimes of priests and bishops - our holy men - that now number almost 5000 perpetrators and God knows how many victims, this sad story may be not even noteworthy to historians. But to me, besides being sickeningly factual, it is symbolic also. Unless we are able to deal therapeutically with each of the pathologies involved, we run the risk of bringing into question one of the four "marks of the true church": its very holiness.
       Where to start? With the victims. Most of us cannot begin to imagine the shock and profound trauma to the soul of a youngster when a ritualized and sacralized person - whom everyone has told you to trust totally - defiles you. It must be like death, or worse than death: like the death of holiness itself. Everything sacred may be gone from your world. Parents gasp at the thought of this, become ferocious in outrage.
       Survivors often have no words to describe their anguish, which is often life-long and ruinous. Jesus of Nazareth, that passionate prophetic man, was at his angriest when he spoke of "offending against one of the little ones." "They must be thrown into the depths of the sea!" he said - to a nation culturally in horror of "the sea."
    • Teacher, Southern Baptist choir worker, charged with 10 more instances of molestation [1973-75]
       LOUISVILLE (KY) The Cincinnati Enquirer, "Teacher charged with 10 more instances of molestation," , The Associated Press, March 19 2004
       A Jefferson County grand jury Thursday indicted a former teacher on 10 more molestation charges.
       Bill Maggard Jr., who worked at public and religious schools in Louisville, now faces 10 counts of indecent or immoral practices with a child less than 15.
       Maggard, 56, was indicted in December on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He is accused of molesting seven boys between 1973 and 1975, when he was a fifth-grade teacher at Schaffner Elementary School.
       The new indictment says Maggard molested the boys either at school or at his home.
       Maggard was initially indicted Dec. 17. He pleaded not guilty at his Dec. 22 arraignment and later posted a $5,000 bond.
       Maggard taught 13 years in Jefferson County Public Schools and later worked at a school operated by Highview Baptist Church, where he also volunteered in Sunday school and choir programs until recently.
       The 6,000-member church is one of the state's largest Southern Baptist congregations.
    Ex-priest charged with sexual abuse
       MINNESOTA: Star Tribune, , by Pam Louwagie, March 19, 2004
       He was called upon for religious counseling, but the Rev. John J. Bussmann turned a female parishioner's troubles into a sexual relationship, just as he did or tried to do with some other women he counseled, prosecutors alleged Thursday.
       Bussmann, 50, was charged with criminal sexual conduct, indecent exposure and theft involving incidents while he was a priest at churches in and near Rogers.
       Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said Bussmann had "a pattern of preying on a number of women who are vulnerable."
       He is no longer a priest, and a statement issued by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said the archdiocese deeply regrets that the women were hurt by Bussmann's "duplicity and his betrayal of his priestly vows."
       Bussmann, of St. Paul, was arrested Thursday and jailed in Hennepin County.
    Diocese may reopen investigation
       ALBANY (NY) Capital News 9, , By Capital News 9 web staff, 11:23 PM, 3/18/2004
       The Albany Catholic Diocese said it may reopen an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by a priest.
       The Diocese Sexual Misconduct Review Board is seeking people who claimed to have information of allegations against the Reverend Louis Douglas.
       Some of those people held a news conference on Wednesday and claimed they had such information. Two prior investigations showed no evidence of sexual abuse of a minor against Douglas.
    Another View: Bishops remain unaccountablefor shielding abusive priests
       NEW HAMPSHIRE The Union Leader , By CAROLYN B. DISCO
       The new sexual abuse policy of the Diocese of Manchester, based on the U.S. bishops' 2002 charter adopted in Dallas, goes into effect today. It calls for zero tolerance for priests, but it is silent about the past conduct of bishops.
       However, the recently released National Review Board (NRB) report by prominent lay Catholics is not silent. It states that "any discussion of the charter's zero-tolerance provision would be incomplete without noting that there is no equivalent policy for bishops. . . who allowed a predator priest to remain in or return to ministry despite knowledge of the risks."
       When asked if bishops other than Cardinal Bernard Law should resign, the NRB's research committee head, attorney Robert Bennett, said, "I think the answer to the question is yes, that there are bishops who totally failed as pastors and as shepherds of their flocks."
       Surely, Bishop John McCormack and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian's conduct qualify for that judgment. McCormack's shameful history which is fairly well known. But it is Christian, who handled allegations for 19 years in New Hampshire and has been hugely successful in avoiding the spotlight, whose record needs further exposure.
       He has never been deposed in a lawsuit, and he refused to cooperate in the state's investigation without a grant of immunity, which prompted the assistant attorney general to write, "I fail to understand how considerations of personal risk can impact the duty and willingness of a bishop to tell the truth."
    Q-C diocese hit with 13th sex lawsuit [1960s-70s]
       DAVENPORT (IA) Quad-City Times,,1025853 , By Todd Ruger
       Three men have filed a civil lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Davenport and the Rev. William Wiebler, alleging sexual abuse by him in the 1960s and 1970s in Clinton County.
       John Schal, his brother, Michael Schal, and Jerzy Willus said Wiebler had sexual contact with them while they were minors, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Scott County District Court.
       John Schal and childhood friend Willus allege incidents in 1965, when Wiebler was pastor at St. Mary's Parish in Clinton, and Michael Schal alleges Wiebler molested him on visits to Clinton in 1973, when Wiebler was pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bettendorf.
       The three men were members of St. Mary's at the time, the lawsuit states. It is the 13th lawsuit against the diocese since May 2003 to allege decades-old incidents of sexual abuse.
       It is the first filed since the diocese released information from an internal review of sex abuse in priest personnel records, which led to Bishop William Franklin sending paperwork to the Vatican requesting the defrocking of Wiebler and four other priests.
    Archbishop names mix of priests to governing council
       Providence Journal, , The Associated Press
       BOSTON (MA) (AP) - Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has named 41 priests who will assist him in governing the Boston Archdiocese.
       The new membership of the presbytery council, some of whom are elected and some appointed by the archbishop, appears to represent the theological diversity of the archdiocese's priesthood, and opens up a body that was often criticized as secretive and ineffectual under former Archbishop Bernard F. Law.
       The group consists of many longtime archdiocese loyalists, as well as members of the Boston Priests Forum, an independent organization whose members were sometimes critical of Law's handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
       O'Malley also is in the process of overhauling the pastoral council, which is a way for lay people and clergy to have input on the archdiocese's pastoral responsibilities.
       "There was a feeling among some, whether true or not, that the past presbyterial council and archdiocesan pastoral council were ineffective, because of patterns of behavior and patterns of administration that had not allowed for as much full discussion or input as could have happened," the Rev. Christopher Coyne, the archdiocese's spokesman, said Thursday.
    Former Martin High teacher arraigned in N.Y. ;,1651,TCP_16736_2742188,00.html , March 19, 2004
       RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - A Catholic priest who formerly taught at Martin County High School was arraigned in his hospital room Thursday on charges he sodomized a 6-year-old Long Island boy last summer, prosecutors said.
       Barry E. Ryan, who is suffering from terminal cancer, was hospitalized last week after being attacked by another inmate in the Suffolk County Jail. He had been held on $500,000 bail since his arrest on March 4.
       Ryan, 56, a resident of Palm City since 1997, has signed a statement confessing to the sexual assault that occurred between May and October 2003 in a private home of acquaintances on Long Island, District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
       He was initially scheduled to appear before Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo last Friday to answer similar charges in an indictment filed by a grand jury. But Ryan was a no-show because he had been taken to Central Suffolk Hospital; prosecutors decided Thursday to arraign him in his hospital bed.
       The priest was alert and sitting up in bed during the brief proceeding, saying only "not guilty" to the charges, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Spota.
    Retired Jesuit superior apologizes for comments
       FAIRBANKS (AK) Anchorage Daily News, , The Associated Press, March 19, 2004
       The former supervisor of a Jesuit priest accused of fondling Alaska Native boys has written a letter of apology to the Tanana Chiefs Conference for comments made in a deposition.
       "I am aware that certain remarks made during my recent deposition have received widespread attention and that people have found them hurtful," the Rev. William Loyens wrote in a letter to Harold Brown, president of the conference. "For this I am sorry and I apologize."
       Brown said he was happy that Loyens wrote the letter.
       "He did not necessarily retract his statements," Brown said. "But I'm glad for the apology."
       The conference is a tribal consortium of 42 villages in Interior Alaska promoting unity and self-determination.
       Loyens, 77, who holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology, said in a deposition that he thought the alleged abuse would not have much effect on the victims 30 or 40 years ago because their culture was "fairly loose" on sexual matters. The deposition is part of a lawsuit brought by eight men who claim they were abused as boys in Western Alaska villages.
       "I do not believe I said, nor did I mean to imply, that sexual molestation would have little effect on Native Alaskans because their culture was 'fairly loose' on sexual matters," Loyens said in the March 15 letter.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 04:59 AM
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Friday March 19, 2004
    ##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Saturday March 20, 2004 edition follows:-
    Port Washington priest removed after allegation of sexual abuse
       Author: Associated Press, March 20 2004
       The pastor of a Catholic parish in Port Washington has been removed from his pastoral duties. It's for an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 25 years ago. Although the archdiocese did not give reasons when Father Joseph Haas began his leave in February the priest issued a letter to his parishioners. It said he was taking a medical leave on doctors orders.
       The secrecy angered the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who had the victim speak at a news conference in Madison last week as legislators considered a clergy sexual abuse bill. They also distributed fliers detailing the allegation last weekend in the neighborhood around St. Peter of Alcantra Church in Port Washington and the church in Milwaukee where Haas served at the time of the alleged abuse.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 07:31 PM
    Layman Seeks To Change Church
       EAST LONGMEADOW (MA) Hartford Courant,,0,279545.story , By ROSELYN TANTRAPHOL, Courant Staff Writer,March 20, 2004
       Consider it the 6 percent solution.
       When Warren Mason sought a way to pressure the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese, he felt his salesman's instincts kick in. Why not, he suggested to his parish priest, withhold the portion of funds earmarked to the bishop's office, while leaving the funds for education untouched? Six percent would underscore that this was meant to be a protest move, not an anti-church stance.
       "He looked like he was going to go into a coma," Mason recalls of the man staring back at him.
       But the Rev. James Scahill soon became an ally, and the unusual step that St. Michael's Church in East Longmeadow, Mass., took has drawn national attention since that summer of 2002.
       Until now, Scahill has been the public face of this unlikely duo. But Mason is stepping out of the shadows now to call on his fellow parishioners to rise up. With a new bishop appointed last week to replace recently retired Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, who is now being investigated on molestation allegations, Mason feels the laity in this diocese of about 241,000 has only a narrow window to be the force of change.
       As the scandal over pedophile priests in the Catholic Church widens, scrutiny has been focused on the actions of church leaders. But Mason believes the laity's "fawning deference" to the hierarchy has enabled a culture of absolute power among the clerics, and now is the time to reclaim control.
       "The big part of the problem," he said of the waves of abuse allegations plaguing the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, "is the laity itself."
    Will Rome Tell U.S. Bishops To Stop?
       By PAUL LIKOUDIS [author], Issue date March 25, 2004 (checked on Internet on March 21 2004)
    Will Rome Tell U.S. Bishops To Stop?
    The Wanderer, , By PAUL LIKOUDIS, Issue date March 25, 2004
       Beginning this month, and throughout 2004, the U.S. bishops will be traveling to Rome for their five-year ad limina visits with the Holy Father and his curial officials. Reportedly, the agenda will contain three major concerns for discussion: marriage and family life, war and peace, and the clergy sex abuse scandal.
       According to one bishop The Wanderer spoke with, neither the Holy See nor the U.S. bishops' conference has indicated that a long-anticipated and long-delayed document of the Congregation for Catholic Education barring the ordaining of homosexuals - in the works since at least 1998 - will be on the table for discussion.
       The document in question, it was widely reported in December 2002 at the height of an international debate on whether or not homosexuals should be ordained, was slated to be released "in a few months."
       The accusations against Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard for allegedly paying young men for sex, the recent resignation of Springfield, Mass., Bishop Thomas Dupre for alleged pederasty, and other well-known episcopal resignations following a scandal - such as G. Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, Calif. - should leave little doubt of the wisdom and urgent necessity for such a ban - long overdue.
       And yet, both in the Church and in the major organs of the regnant media and in many so-called Catholic publications, there is a drum roll of dire warnings of what will befall the Catholic Church should it show the temerity to oppose homosexual influence in the Church through its schools, seminaries, clergy, and parishes.
       With so many homosexual priests already ordained, and seminarians in the pipeline, not-too-veiled threats have been floated that any effort by the Vatican, or the American bishops, to counteract this would result in internal rebellion, causing the Church to be deprived of a significant proportion of its pastoral clergy staff. That is, Catholics would be deprived of their "right to the Eucharist" if homosexual priests (and bishops) came out of the closet and went on strike.
       Two recent, widely circulated, warnings -- one by Chicago priest Andrew Greeley in The Chicago Sun Times, and the other by ex-Paulist James Carroll in The Boston Globe -- starkly illustrate this phenomenon.
       In a March 12 column for the Sun Times, Greeley lashes out at the so-called Catholic right, which "wants to blame everything on homosexuals. The sexual abuse crisis resulted from the ordination of large numbers of homosexuals from the easygoing seminaries after the Vatican Council. Homosexuals ran and may still run seminaries. Homosexuals do not preach the traditional Catholic sexual ethic. They are the ones who are demoralizing the Church."
       Then he offers a statistical analysis; ironically, these statistics, if accurate, present a problem more severe than any spokesman of the Catholic "right" has ever claimed: "My own research (reported in Priests: A Calling in Crisis, published recently by the University of Chicago Press) shows that some 16% of priests are gay and three-fifths of them have lived celibate lives (as opposed to four-fifths of heterosexual priests). Mature gay men seek sexual partners among other mature gay men. Immature gays go after junior high school boys. Blaming homosexuals for the sex abuse crisis is part of a larger syndrome in which a certain proportion of American society (and of American Catholics) display their deep-seated hatred for gay men and women."
       Greeley's claims -- which most Catholics would deny -- would mean that about one-sixth of American priests are homosexual, and 40% of homosexual priests are sexually active. In other words, 6.4% of American priests are supposedly active homosexuals. And by admitting that only the immature gay priests go after "junior high school boys" leaves open the reality -- as indicated by high-profile lawsuits such as those filed against Jesuit high schools -- that homosexual priests have a propensity to seek out young men in educational institutions.
       "Scapegoating gays for the problems of the Church (and society)," writes Greeley, "is a sickness not unlike racism and anti-Semitism and anti-Catholic Nativism, and appeals to the same kind of twisted personalities as these other prejudices."
       The Globe's in-house ex-priest, James Carroll, took the opportunity after the release of the John Jay College report on clerical sexual abuse to sidestep the homosexual issue and condemn and ridicule the Church's moral teachings.
       It is not homosexual priests who cause the problems; rather it is the "climate of dishonesty that pollutes the Church's teachings about sex; [by] not making an issue, for example, of the absurd birth control prohibition, we were shoring up, in Garry Wills' phrase, the 'structures of deceit' on which abusive priests depended. When we declined to hold bishops accountable for their excessively autocratic exercise of authority in small matters (forbidding girls from serving at Mass) and large (closing parish schools without consultation), we supported the power system that bishops were protecting in protecting abusers. When we failed to make an issue of the unjust discrimination against women embodied in the male-only priesthood, we were part of what allowed patriarchal clericalism to reach its present state of calcified corruption.
       "When we passively accepted the hierarchy's refusal to implement the Vatican II reforms aimed at empowering the laity, we gave the abusive priests a place to hide and their sponsoring bishops a way to keep them hidden. . . .
       "Meanwhile," Carroll continues in his florid, fervid prose, "on subjects ranging from gay marriage to the closings of parishes, bishops have resumed their old autocratic habit of giving orders from on high. In all of this the bishops show every sign not only of wanting a return to 'normal' but of thinking it is possible.
       "But what if 'normal' is the problem? Are Catholics going to enable this refusal to deal with the Church's real crisis? Are Catholics going to pretend that deep questions of moral teaching, lay empowerment, homophobia, and sexism have not been raised? Are Catholics actually going to allow the avoidance of consequences by the particular bishops who enabled abusers to continue their crime sprees?. . . The issue now squarely belongs to the Catholic people.
       "What are we going to do?"
    Bishops Divided
       A recent report by Religion News Service writer Kevin Eckstrom, following the John Jay College report on clerical sex abuse, highlighted the growing fears in the "gay" Catholic community that homosexual seminarians and priests would be "scapegoated," but also indicated that some important prelates do not favor barring homosexuals from the priesthood.
       "Gay Catholic groups are nervous that the [National Review] Board's report," wrote Eckstrom, "will spark a 'witch hunt' of gay priests. Some estimates have said that between one-quarter and one-half of Catholic priests are gay. The board noted the presence of a 'gay subculture' in many seminaries.
       " 'This is a great way for the bishops to step back from their responsibility of being shepherds,' said Matthew Gallagher, executive director of the gay Catholic group Dignity/USA. 'They blame the crisis on the gay priests, and now they're going to blame the witch hunt on' the review board.
       "Some Catholic leaders, however, cautioned against a rush to blame gay men for the problem. 'Homosexuals are normally, I'm told, attracted to homosexual men. So it's unfair to homosexuals, to the gay community, to scapegoat them,' Chicago Cardinal Francis George said.
       "Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the gay issue is just one of many that needs to be considered.
       " 'We do not wish to disparage or in any way to denigrate the very generous and faithful service of any of our priests who may be homosexually oriented but have been absolutely faithful to the promises they made,' he said."
       Eckstrom also reported that some bishops favor the "Bevilacqua model," after former Philadelphia archbishop Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, who prohibited the admission of homosexuals to his seminary.
       The top three officers of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gregory, Bishop William Skylstad, and Bishop Joseph Galante are all opposed to the ban, which sets them in opposition to John Paul II and most of the prefects of major Vatican congregations.
    The Opposition
       Opposing the admission of homosexuals to seminaries, and the ordination of homosexuals currently in training, are such priests as a professor in Rome (featured in this week's From the Mail column) who warns in part:
       "I believe SSA (Same Sex Attraction) is both a psychological disorder in itself as well as a symptom of some other disorder or disorders. I.e., not only is the attraction to males perverse, but it comes about because of some deeper problem that makes the man less capable than others of overcoming stress, disappointments, loneliness, hostility and the challenges of celibate life with reasonable equanimity. I believe homosexuals have a harder time than normal men not only remaining chaste, but in resisting any temptation qua temptation (sloth, covetousness, envy, mendacity, you name it). . . .
       "Second, and related to the first, homosexuals are almost universally prey to an exaggerated self-pity by which they overdramatize the hardship of their predicament both to others and to themselves. This makes them natural subversives; they are constitutionally predisposed to be sympathetic to any line of argument that presents the Church's sexual teaching as too demanding."
       A similar case was made in September 2002 by Fr. Andrew Baker, an American priest from the Allentown, Pa., Diocese working in the Congregation for Bishops, in America magazine -- where he was opposed by Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton.
       Baker pointed out: "First and foremost among [these problems] is the possible simultaneous manifestation of other serious problems such as substance abuse, sexual addiction, and depression."
       Homosexual men, he said, "may be more familiar with certain patterns and techniques of deception and repression, either conscious or subconscious, which were learned in trying to deal with their tendencies in a largely heterosexual environment."
       At about the same time -- also in September 2002 -- the Holy Father told the Brazilian bishops: "It would be deplorable that, by a mistaken act of tolerance, [a bishop] would ordain young men who are immature or exhibit clear signs of affective disorders, who, as is sadly known, could cause serious confusion in the consciousness of the faithful with obvious harm for the whole Church" (L'Osservatore Romano, September 11, 2002).
       After Baker's essay was published, The National Catholic Reporter's John Allen reported that Baker's view "represents a climate of opinion that is fairly widely held inside the Vatican, and that has gained strength in the wake of the various sexual abuse scandals. Whether that climate will eventually result in an official statement on the inadmissibility of homosexuals remains to be seen."
       But the mystery is: Why can't the Vatican enforce its view?
    Changing Times
       As the homosexual auxiliary bishop of Cape Town, South Africa, Reginald Cawcutt, explained in a 1999 message on the St. Sebastian's Internet web site for homosexual priests, he was aware of the proposed Vatican document forbidding the ordaining of homosexuals because of the opposition to it expressed by some bishops of California during their 1998 ad limina visit.
       "When the Los Angeles bishops, et al., went to Rome for their official visit last fall," wrote Cawcutt, "they came back talking about that very letter. Apparently Ratz's office was very proud of it, and was telling all those who were visiting that the next official letter would in fact ban gays from religious orders and the priesthood. When the LA crew mentioned the letter to the more sympathetic Pio Laghi, he told them not to worry, that the rest of the congregations would never allow such a letter to get through. So, in spite of Pio Laghi's best intentions, it appears though the letter might have made it through."
       In 2004, however, the California bishops, as well as most other American bishops, are in a very different situation, and Los Angeles' Roger Cardinal Mahony is engaged in a struggle, as The Los Angeles Times' William Lobdell and Jean Guccione reported March 14, "to maintain the secrecy of Church documents involving priests accused of molesting children...[and] has adopted a legal strategy more aggressive than that of any other bishop in the country, according to scholars and attorneys.
       "At the center of the fight are thousands of pages from priest personnel files that Mahony has succeeded for more than a year and a half in keeping from prosecutors, lawyers for victims, and the public. . . .
       "[T]he cardinal's opponents say that if all the files became public, they would hobble his leadership of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States."
       What those documents might reveal, as Ron Russell reported for SF Weekly a year ago (March 19, 2003), is that Mahony not only protected pederast priests by shifting them from one parish to another, but that he was aware that resigned Bishop Ziemann of Santa Rosa, earlier a Los Angeles auxiliary, was long known to be a homosexual predator.
       Indeed, as Russell earlier reported (June 2002), the documents that Cardinal Mahony is trying to keep secret could reveal information, not only on the internal workings of his inner circle, but also on a host of his colleagues and former classmates and what they knew about homosexual activity at St. John's Seminary as they rose up the Church's hierarchy.
    +    +    +
    To make your views known to the Roman Curia on the ordaining of homosexuals, write to:
    Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Secretariat of State, Apostolic Palace, 00120, Vatican City State, Europe, Phone:, Fax:
    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193, Rome, Italy, Phone:;, Fax:
    Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, Congregation for Bishops, Piazza Pio XII 10, 00193, Rome, Italy, Phone:, Fax:
    Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Congregation for Clergy, Piazza Pio XII 3, 00193, Rome, Italy, Phone:, Fax:
    Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Congregation for Catholic Education, Piazza Pio XII 3, 00193, Rome, Italy, Phone:, Fax:
    Francis Cardinal Arinze, Congregation for Divine Worship, 10 Piazza Pio XII 10, 00193, Rome, Italy, Phone:, Fax:
    Mirrored on:
    • Vicar was abuser years ago, and he was on the Church's investigation panel [1970s]
       FORT MADISON (IA) Des Moines Register, "Vicar confessed in e-mail to alleged victim," , By ERIN JORDAN, Register Correspondent, 03/20/2004
       The Davenport Catholic diocese's second-ranking official, whose job before he was suspended last summer included investigating abuse complaints against other priests, admitted in an e-mail to his own misdeeds with a teenage boy 30 years ago.
       Part of the e-mail from Monsignor Drake Shafer to the alleged abuse victim was read in court Friday, during a hearing on the diocese's effort to dismiss a lawsuit.
       Shafer, the Davenport Diocese's vicar general, was placed on leave in July until allegations against him are resolved. In his job as vicar general, one of the diocese's top administrative jobs, Shafer was responsible for investigating allegations against other priests.
       Shafer wrote in an April 5, 2002, e-mail to the alleged sexual abuse victim that the incident in the 1970s "was the only time in my priesthood when anything remotely like it happened."
       Shafer acknowledged getting drunk on the night in question and said he had been abused by a priest himself when he was a child.
       "I did not intend to abuse you that night or any other," he wrote. "I hope you know that our friendship at that time meant a lot to me and I would never have wanted to hurt you in any way and I am so sorry that I did."
    Mass. Priest Urges Diocese's Reform [30 molested 70]
       Washington Post, , By Jonathan Finer, Page A03, Saturday, March 20, 2004
       EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- The Rev. James J. Scahill says he can live with the blank stares and cold shoulders from his fellow Catholic priests. He can tolerate losing his elected seat on a church advisory council, as he almost surely will when a vote is held later this year.
       But what he could no longer abide -- what led him to risk the enmity of a religious institution he had served for 30 years -- was his church's continued sponsorship of a pedophile priest who authorities have said might also be a killer.
       So, along with his congregation in this affluent and leafy suburb of Springfield, he began to fight back, withholding donations to the diocese and speaking out against the bishop who led it.
       "I knew damn well what I was stepping into, that this would create a lot of anger and resentment, but I thought the church needed to be challenged," said Scahill, pastor of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church here. "Although, frankly, I had no way of knowing just how deep this went."
       About 90 miles west of Boston, where the nationwide clergy abuse scandal first exploded two years ago, is a gathering storm of allegations, denials and legal action. In the diocese of Springfield, an industrial sprawl that hugs the Connecticut River and is home to about 250,000 Catholics, 30 clergymen have been accused of molesting 70 children since the 1950s, according to a recent study prepared for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
    Conference addresses church at 'Crossroads of Anger and Hope'
       CHICOPEE (MA): iobserve ; , By Terence Hegarty, Catholic Communications staff
       The title was changed at the last minute to reflect the feelings of area participants in the wake of accusations that have hit close to home. "At the Crossroads of Anger and Hope, Parish Social Ministry in Difficult Times" was the theme of a daylong social ministry conference held at Elms College here March 13.
       Scheduled months in advance, organizers were unsure how to proceed with the conference after the Feb. 11 retirement of Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupre and subsequent allegations of abuse made against him.
       "I welcome you to this gathering at a very difficult time in our diocese," said Msgr. Richard Sniezyk, diocesan administrator. "The thought crossed our minds when this all happened (developments surrounding Bishop Dupre's retirement) that maybe we should cancel this, but perhaps this is all the more reason to have a gathering like this.
       "We are certainly, as a diocese, experiencing our Lenten season as we've never experienced it before," Msgr. Sniezyk continued. "Our eyes must constantly be on Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church, and as long as we keep that in mind, we will always have hope."
       Addressing recent events in the Springfield Diocese, keynote speaker Msgr. Ray East of the Archdiocese of Washington told those gathered in the Veritas Auditorium how important it is to keep doing the work of the church.
    Victim of abuse could join panel
       SPRINGFIELD (MA) Republican, , By BILL ZAJAC, , 03/20/2004
       The possibility of a clergy sexual abuse victim joining the panel that investigates complaints about such abuse could be considered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, according to a church official who works closely with the panel.
       In discussing yesterday's announced resignation of the Review Board's chairman, diocesan victim outreach worker Laura F. Reilly said it is possible that a clergy sexual abuse victim will be allowed to fill one of the four openings on the panel. The decision would be up to the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell after his April 1 installation here as bishop of the Springfield Diocese. "It would be up to the new bishop to decide. I don't know his thoughts regarding this," said Reilly, adding that the diocese is accepting applications for the openings on the panel, which is made up of nine lay people. The board reviews complaints against clergy and diocesan workers.
       Alleged victim Susan F. Morris, 47, of East Longmeadow said the addition would add credibility to the diocese's effort to deal with abuse.
       "Throughout the church's dealing with this, it has always been about the church - not the victims or survivors of abuse," said Morris.
    Judge dismisses civil complaint on pastor
       VIRGINIA: Richmond Times-Dispatch,!news&s=1045855934842 , BY TOM CAMPBELL, Mar 20, 2004
       A civil complaint brought by Henrico County based on criminal child-abuse charges against the Rev. Joseph F. Ellison Jr. has been dismissed by a county juvenile court judge.
       However, Ellison has since relinquished custody of the 16-year-old girl he is accused of abusing, according to his lawyer, Michael N. Herring.
       Herring said the allegations involved in the Feb. 23 civil hearing were the same as those on which the criminal charges are based. Assistant County Attorney Ellen R. Fulmer said the civil action was a petition for removal of the girl from Ellison's care.
       But Herring emphasized that the judge dismissed the complaint against Ellison because the Henrico Department of Social Services failed to meet a lower standard of proof than prosecutors would have to meet in the criminal case.
    • Pentecostal preacher thinks bad music worse than his enticement; sent to prison
       WEST CHESTER (PA): Daily Local News, , by Adam Cirucci, 03/20/2004
       An evangelical preacher told a Chester County judge on Friday that "wicked, sick, perverted rap music" was more detrimental to society than he could ever be.
       The Rev. Craig Stephen White, 40, a Pentecostal minister and preacher with the Philadelphia-based Gospel Outreach Center, was sentenced to four to 10 years in state prison, followed by five years probation.
       On Jan. 14, a jury convicted White, a preacher known for inciting controversy at area universities, of trying to lure a 14-year-old West Chester boy into his van for oral sex.
       He was found guilty of all charges, including criminal solicitation to commit involuntary sexual deviate intercourse, criminal attempt at luring a child into a motor vehicle, criminal solicitation to commit prostitution and corruption of minors.
       In handing down the sentence, Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony A. Sarcione said, "What the jury found that you did erodes the sense of security that people have in the West Chester community.
       "Society needs to be protected from you, children need to be protected from you."
    Attorneys feud in abuse case
       KENTUCKY: Cincinnati Post, , By Paul A. Long, Post staff reporter, March 20, 2004
       A Covington attorney who has represented more than a dozen victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has filed a court action accusing Cincinnati attorneys Stan Chesley and Robert Steinberg of harassing and trying to intimidate her clients.
       Barbara Bonar, who until recently was part of the Chesley team suing the Diocese of Covington in a class-action lawsuit, said eight of her clients were never told they could opt out of the larger lawsuit.
       Now, she said, Chesley and Steinberg are demanding to know the details of individual settlements she has reached with the diocese, and say they might be owed a portion of those settlements.
       The firm also wants the names of her clients, all of whom are demanding anonymity, to help it proceed with their case, she said.
       "(My clients) believe that in the last several weeks, each has been targeted by the (Chesley) firm in that firm's attempts to force him into a litigation process of which he wants no part," Bonar said in the court filing Friday in Boone Circuit Court.
    Judge asked to reverse stand on naming plaintiffs
       KANSAS CITY (MO) Kansas City Star, , By KEVIN MURPHY, Mar. 20, 2004
       A Jackson County judge is being asked to reconsider his ruling that plaintiffs cannot remain anonymous in their child molestation lawsuit against three former Kansas City priests.
       Circuit Court Judge J.D. Williamson Jr. overruled a motion last month to allow six men to use pseudo names, generally their initials, in lawsuits against Thomas Reardon, Thomas O'Brien, Joseph Hart and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
       In a renewed motion this week, attorney Rebecca Randles said that "being publicly branded a victim of sexual abuse is humiliating and will likely result in public ostracization of these men." Three of the nine men agreed to use their names.
       Williamson ruled Feb. 25 that Randles did not cite legal authority for using pseudo names.
       "Pseudo names are routinely used in cases involving sexual abuse," Randles wrote this week. "The courts have explicitly held that sexual relations are not a matter of public interest."
       None of the attorneys representing the defendants in the case has filed motions regarding the pseudo names, but Reardon's attorney, Matthew O'Connor, said names should be used. O'Connor said attorneys for the plaintiffs want to protect their clients' identities while making very public allegations.
    Sharing the load with co-workers
       MINNESOTA: Star Tribune, , March 20, 2004
       Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen brought her personal life to work one day, about two years ago. Her very personal life.
       She confided to a colleague that she'd been sexually abused by a parish priest when she was 10 years old. The memory had shuddered back into her days and nights because that priest had just publicly admitted to molesting four other girls, going back 20 years.
       Fuchs-Hoeschen turned to fellow social worker Michelle Bettin. At intense times, the women talked daily.
       "Sometimes she would just disappear at work; she was crying a lot," Bettin said. "It really affected her ability to work."
       Work-life boundaries continue to fade. Thirty years ago, it was a bold move for parents to put their children's photos on their office desks. Later, gays and lesbians came out at work. More recently, working people decided to stop hiding problems of domestic violence, divorce or depression from the people with whom they spend most of their waking hours.
    Priest put on leave is accused of abuse [1970s]
       PORT WASHINGTON (WI): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, , By TOM HEINEN, , Posted: March 19, 2004
       The pastor of a Catholic parish in Port Washington who went on temporary leave last month was removed from pastoral duties as an investigator appointed by the archdiocese looked into an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 25 years ago, church officials acknowledged Friday. Although the archdiocese did not give reasons when Father Joseph Haas began his leave Feb. 13, the priest issued a letter on his own that day to his parishioners, saying he was taking a medical leave on doctors orders "to ensure my good health."
       The secrecy rankled leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who had the victim speak at a news conference in Madison last week as legislators considered a clergy sexual abuse bill and then distributed fliers detailing the allegation last weekend at and in the neighborhood around St. Peter of Alcantra Church in Port Washington and the church in Milwaukee where Haas served at the time of the alleged abuse.
       That action prompted Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan to send a letter Friday to the homes of all registered parishioners from St. Peter acknowledging the allegation against Haas, saying that the archdiocese had been criticized in the past for not sufficiently involving law enforcement officials, and detailing the procedures the archdiocese was following. The letter, which also will be placed in St. Peter's bulletins at all Masses this weekend, says that the actions by the victims group and coverage by some news media necessitated a response.
    Lawmakers look to extend time for child abuse lawsuits
       FLORIDA Naples Daily News,,2071,NPDN_14940_2744595,00.html , By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, , March 20, 2004
       Childhood sex abuse victims stymied by a state law that limits the time to file civil lawsuits could soon have an additional eight years to pursue claims against their abusers.
       Spurred by reports of widespread priest misconduct in Florida and throughout the country, two state legislators have introduced a bill in Tallahassee to significantly extend the statute of limitations for filing civil suits.
       Under current law, victims must lodge legal complaints by age 25 or within four years after discovering a psychological injury or other illness caused by the abuse, whichever is later.
       A proposal introduced earlier this month by Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray Beach, and Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, extends the time limit to age 33, which is 15 years after a victim reaches the age of majority.
       "The statute of limitations sometimes prevents legitimate claims from going forward," said Aronberg, whose district includes a portion of south Lee County.
    Diocese, attorney negotiate
       PENNSYLVANIA: Altoona Mirror, , By Linda Hudkins and Phil Ray
       Attorneys for the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and the 16 adults accusing priests of sexual abuse have entered into discussions that could lead to a settlement of the lawsuits filed during the past 14 months.
       The diocese and Altoona lawyer Richard Serbin issued a joint statement Friday afternoon stating that they hope to "come to a resolution that will best assist the victims and help in their healing."
       "The parties, through counsel and their representatives, hope to amicably resolve all the claims of the various plaintiffs," according to the statement. "A number of factors have to be considered in bringing about a total resolution of these cases, and so negotiations are going to be involved and at times complex."
    Prosecutors recommend jail time for O'Brien
       PHOENIX (AZ): East Valley Tribune, , By Kim Smith, Tribune
       Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien should serve no less than six months in jail for leaving the scene of a collision that killed Jim Reed, 43, last June, prosecutors told a judge Friday.
       In addition, O'Brien, 68, should be placed on probation for four years and have to perform 500 hours of community service.
       "Jim Reed's family must know that their pain has not been ignored and the community must know that regardless of what station one holds in life, there are serious consequences for such irresponsible behavior," deputy Maricopa County attorney Mitchell Rand wrote in recommending O'Brien's sentence.
       Prosecutors arrived at the recommended sentence after studying 75 cases in which a defendant was convicted of the Class 4 felony of leaving the scene of a fatal or serious injury accident.
       The average incarceration time was 8.3 months with an average probationary length of three years.
       Rand formally made his recommendation during a hearing Friday in which O'Brien - for the first time - apologized for leaving the accident scene.
    Altoona-Johnstown diocese, attorneys will try to settle lawsuits
       PennLive, , The Associated Press, 1:07 a.m. ET, 3/20/2004,
       HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania Roman Catholic diocese and the attorney for more than a dozen people who allege that they were sexually abused by priests decades ago announced that they will try to settle the lawsuits.
       In a joint statement released Friday, the Altoona-Johnstown diocese and Richard Serbin, who has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the diocese in the past year, said they had begun talks, hoping to reach a settlement similar to one reached last year by the Archdiocese of Boston and more than 500 alleged victims.
       Both the diocese and Serbin declined further comment, citing the ongoing negotiations.
       The rural diocese, about 80 miles east of Pittsburgh, has been buffeted by 13 lawsuits from 17 people, most alleging that they were molested by priests in the 1970s and 1980s.
    Faithful have their duties
       UNITED STATES Kansas City Star,|Kathleen|Y , By BILL TAMMEUS
       In the wake of the recent national reports on sexual abuse by Catholic priests, this question is relevant for people of any religion: What roles should followers of a faith play?
       The National Review Board, made up of 12 members appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, pointed to that question when it recommended "meaningful participation by the Christian faithful in the church." The panel said church leaders "must listen and be responsive to the concerns of the laity. To accomplish this, the hierarchy must act with less secrecy, more transparency and a greater openness to the gifts that all members of the church bring to her."
       Without an active role for parishioners, the appalling problem of sexual abuse by Catholic priests will never be solved. The same principle applies to other religions. For instance, if ordinary worshippers at mosques around the world don't help, the problem of terrorists who claim to be acting in the name of Islam won't be solved.
       This is in no way to blame all American Catholics for sexual abuse by some of their priests, nor is it to blame all Muslims for terrorism. Rather, it's to say that when deep problems infect religious bodies, the members of those bodies have a duty to help solve them.
       "We have to stop hiding behind the idea that this (sexual abuse) isn't happening in our church, our parish, our community," says Bishop Raymond J. Boland of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. "We must have more and more laypeople getting their two cents worth in and being listened to."
    Priest's sex-abuse case not over yet
       WILMINGTON (DE) The News Journal, , By VICTOR GRETO, Staff reporter, 03/20/2004
       A Catholic Church investigator will interview people claiming to have information about a retired priest in Wilmington whom the board cleared last week of decades-old sex abuse allegations.
       The Rev. Louis E. Douglas moved to Wilmington in 1996 after retiring from the Albany, N.Y., diocese three years earlier.
       On Wednesday, two Albany residents, Marcia Preusser and Patricia Brace, said in a news conference that Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard shared information about Douglas with them more than a decade ago, and they were not interviewed during the church's investigation of the priest. They were joined by Tim Sawicki, of Schenectady, N.Y., who recently identified himself as the man who filed a May lawsuit that prompted a diocesan sexual misconduct review board's investigation of Douglas.
       The lawsuit accused Douglas and three other Albany diocesan priests of sexually molesting, abusing and preying upon a boy between 1975 and 1979. It was dismissed in January.
       Sawicki said the panel never asked him about his relationship with Douglas.
    Religious-order priests' abuses overlooked
       CINCINNATI (OH) Cincinnati Enquirer, , By Dan Horn
       At least eight Catholic priests and brothers affiliated with religious orders have been accused of abusing children in Greater Cincinnati since 1950.
       An Enquirer survey of the 11 religious orders with offices or missions in the area that encompasses the Archdiocese of Cincinnati found that five of the accused clerics are now dead. The remaining three have been removed from the ministry.
       One of them, Franciscan Brother Michael Montgomery, worked for years as an athletic trainer at Roger Bacon High School despite two accusations of inappropriate contact with male students in the 1980s.
       The survey - the first of its kind involving Cincinnati's religious orders - shows that the total number of clerics accused in the archdiocese since 1950 is at least 57.
       A national study released last month estimated that total at 49, but that study only included priests responsible to the archdiocese. The religious orders - which are independent of the archdiocese - include more than 240 priests and brothers from the Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits and other groups.
    Ex-bishop apologises to hit-and-run family
       PHOENIX (AZ): Irish Examiner, , March 20 2004
       The former Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, in the US, has apologised in court to the family of the pedestrian he killed in a hit-and-run accident last year, saying: "I know there is no one to blame for this but me."
       Thomas O'Brien, 68, spoke during a pre-sentencing hearing in Phoenix yesterday. He could get anything from probation to three years and nine months in prison when he is sentenced next Friday over the death last June of Jim Reed.
       Yesterday the judge in the case dismissed a request from O'Brien's lawyers to reverse the conviction and grant him a new trial.
       In court papers, prosecutors sought a sentence of six months behind bars and four years of probation. O'Brien asked for probation and said he can still serve Catholics in Arizona as a priest.
       The former bishop said he had not realised he hit a person at the time of the accident but apologised nevertheless to Mr Reed's family. The victim's family, in court for the hearing, declined to comment on the apology.
    Audit expands to Wellfleet parish
       WELLFLEET (MA): Cape Cod Times, , By AMANDA LEHMERT
       The investigation into the Rev. Bernard Kelly's alleged misuse of funds from St. Joseph's in Woods Hole is expanding to include another Cape church the priest once headed, according to a Fall River Diocese official. Kelly's financial dealings became the subject of a probe by a private accounting firm and the Cape and Islands District Attorney's office last fall, after he admitted to "misappropriating" $50,000 from the Woods Hole church between 1997 and October when he was placed on a leave of absence. He then retired in November.
       Auditors examining St. Joseph's bank records discovered about $800,000 in unexplained expenses written on the church's checking accounts. Diocese officials, in reaction to the discovery, decided to examine financial records at Our Lady of Lourdes in Wellfleet, where Kelly was pastor from 1988 to 1997.
       As auditors continue to figure out how the $800,000 was spent, a Barnstable Probate and Family Court judge allowed the diocese to put a lien on Kelly's Cummaquid estate, which has an assessed value of $1.046 million.
       A closer look at Kelly's private financial dealings reveals that he also owns waterfront property with a house in Otis worth about $300,000.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 08:28 AM
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Saturday March 20, 2004
    ##### Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker,, Sunday March 21, 2004 edition follows:-
    Priest's e-mail read in court [1973 or 74]
       FORT MADISON (IA): The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa 52601; , The Associated Press, March 21 2004
       A West Burlington man who has accused a former high-ranking priest of sexually abusing him 30 years ago received an e-mail confession and apology from the priest nearly two years ago.
       The message from Monsignor Drake Shafer, who is the former second-ranking priest in the Davenport Diocese, to the alleged victim was read in Lee County District Court Friday during a hearing on the diocese's effort to dismiss the lawsuit that alleges abuse.
       The victim, identified in court records as John Doe, contends in his lawsuit that Shafer abused him when he was 14 or 15, in 1973 or 1974. Besides Shafer, the lawsuit names the Davenport Diocese and St. Mary of Assumption Church in Fort Madison where Shafer was a priest.
       Shafer denied the allegation when the lawsuit was filed last year. His e-mail, introduced during Friday's hearing, was written more than a year before the suit was filed.
       Shafer wrote in an April 5, 2002, e-mail to the alleged sexual abuse victim that the incident in the 1970s "was the only time in my priesthood when anything remotely like it happened."
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 02:24 PM
    New priest in Herkimer [1970s]
       HERKIMER (NY): News 10 Now, of Syracuse, , By News 10 Now Web Staff, 10:23 AM, 3/21/2004,
       A new priest is taking over the Church of Saint Anthony's and St. Joseph's in Herkimer.
       Reverend Anthony Ligato will replace Reverend Robert Shinos who was removed from the church due to sex-abuse allegations.
       He's accused of having sex with a minor thirty years ago.
       Ligato will also replace Reverend Charles Celeste at the Holy Family parish.
    'Monstrous' fanatic lures ordinary folks [2000-02]
       BOSTON (MA): Boston Herald, , By Dave Wedge, Sunday, March 21, 2004
       Andrew Wolfe graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2001 with a degree in linguistics and a minor in biblical translation. Carrie Andreson was a standout student at Concord-Carlisle High School who had her pick of colleges and settled on Wheaton College in Illinois - widely viewed as the nation's best Christian liberal arts college. So how did both wind up mental and physical slaves to a power-hungry, egomaniacal cult leader?
       "Nobody joins a cult. You join an interesting organization and over time it changes," Wolfe, 24, explains. Wolfe said he joined Feroze Golwalla's Parsee Ministry Team - also known as Baruch Ha Shem - because he felt Golwalla was a "very earnest, zealous man of prayer." "I know now that it was all a show," he says.
       Andreson said she was initially attracted to Golwalla "in a spiritual, intellectual way" but quickly became brainwashed. "I wanted to be around him. I wanted to be close to him," says Andreson, who fled the group in 2002.
       Wolfe met Golwalla in October 2000 while visiting twin brother Benjamin at Wheaton College. An academic wiz fascinated with religion and ancient languages, Wolfe fell under Golwalla's spell, praying with him for hours on end starting at 5 a.m. every day. Soon though, the intense prayer turned into a brutal "boot camp" as the group, cut off from all outside contact, prepared for a missionary trip to Pakistan.
       "The physical abuse, there were justifications for it. He used scripture to justify it," Wolfe explains. "Your mind in that kind of a situation, there's confusion."
    Students' tale of cult 'evil'
       BOSTON (MA): Boston Herald, , By Dave Wedge, Sunday, March 21, 2004
       The fuming families of three Bay State students are considering legal action against an Illinois Christian college, claiming the school failed to protect their children from an "evil" cult leader who they say lured them into an isolated vortex of ritualistic torture. "I spent hours and hours applying ice to fat lips, cuts. I got whipped so many times that I couldn't feel it anymore," Harvard University grad Andrew Wolfe recalls of the violence he endured in Baruch Ha Shem. "It was just monstrous. It was terrible."
       The cult's leader, Feroze Golwalla, was notorious for recruiting students on the suburban Illinois campus of Wheaton College - a school that counts holy roller Billy Graham among its alumni. Golwalla's controversial tactics had been reported several times to school administrators by parents of students who fled the high-control group, according to ex-members. Yet, not only did the school take no action, it let Golwalla continue as a graduate student and supported his Parsee Missionary Team, a program Golwalla supposedly ran to help the Parsee people of Iran.
       "I'm very disappointed in the way (Wheaton) handled things. They didn't do morally what they should have done," said ex-member Carrie Andreson, a Concord-Carlisle High School graduate who was recruited by Golwalla at Wheaton in 2000. The families of Andreson and Wolfe are considering legal action.
       "They allowed Feroze to be there and they knew he was bad news," said Wolfe's mother, Christina. "The college did nothing." Wheaton spokeswoman Tiffany Self refused comment.
    Mother writes letters, clings to faith
       SPRINGFIELD (MA): Republican, , By BILL ZAJAC, , 03/21/2004
       The first time Sandra L. Tessier viewed the larger than life-sized statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the now defunct Sacred Heart School in Springfield, she immediately knew she was going to devote her faith life to the sacred heart.
       She was 4 years old at the time. "I was in awe at how powerful he looked," she said, recalling the figure with outstretched arms.
       Today, at age 67, she still carries a pamphlet of the Sacred Heart novena in her pocket so that she can recite the prayers daily.
       In her lifetime, she has replaced that pamphlet dozens of times because of use.
       An office manager in downtown Springfield, Tessier has always looked to God for answers. They are harder to come by since she discovered her son was one of more than 30 alleged clergy abuse victims in Springfield. In the sleepless hours since she learned the horrible truth, she has intermittently prayed and vented her anger in letters to church leaders.
       "To know some of the humiliating acts committed against my child is more than I can endure. The church claims immunity? We are the church, Bishop Dupre. The people, we, the people."Letter to then-Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, Dec. 8 Tessier also prays daily to Saint Theresa, the Little Flower, whose life she was introduced to 30 years ago. "She was so pure of heart and loved Jesus so much. I wanted to be just like her and love Jesus so much," Tessier said.
       Tessier's faith has been so alive and her devotion to Catholicism so strong that sometimes she and her husband, Andre, are good-naturedly teased by friends. "They find it funny that we live at 33 Holy Cross St.," said Andre E. Tessier, pointing out that 33 is the age that Christ died. Sandy Tessier believes her husband, a 70-year-old retired mailman, is holier than her.
       "I always say I married him for his goodness," said Tessier. Sandy Tessier remembers a time when she believed just saying a bishop's name was "reverence on the tongue." Back then, she never would have imagined calling for the bishop's resignation at a protest.
       "Your enemy is not me, Bishop Dupre, your enemy is yourself. Are there any morals or integrity left in the leaders of our church?"Letter to Dupre, Dec. 8 Tessier organized a protest Dec. 8, 2003, out of frustration with the diocese's handling of clergy sexual abuse. She believes the diocese has been re-victimizing victims who have sued, including her son, with its hardball legal tactics. She, her husband, friends and other parents of alleged clergy sexual abuse victims held signs seeking prayers for victims and seeking the resignation of then-Bishop Thomas L. Dupre.
       Tessier had no way of knowing that Dupre would resign two months later amid allegations that he sexually abused two minors. Protesting the very institution that had been the centerpiece of her and her family's life was contrary to everything Tessier had lived until Mother's Day 2002.
       That was when she handed her then 43-year-old son Andre some newspaper clippings at her kitchen table while he visited his parents for the weekend. "I'm always clipping things out of the paper that I think he'll be interested in," Tessier recalled.
       For a long while, Andre Tessier pored over an article about an acquaintance and onetime fellow St. Mary's of Springfield parishioner, the Rev. Kevin Sousa. The article described Sousa's realization as a priest that he was allegedly sexually abused many times as a minor by his former parish priest, the now defrocked Richard R. Lavigne, who was the only publicly identified suspect in the 1972 unsolved murder of 13-year-old Springfield altar boy Daniel Croteau. In painfully dealing with the long-repressed memories, Sousa eventually left his post as director of Holyoke Catholic High School and started a new life in another state away from the church. It took him years to reveal publicly why he fled the region without explanation.
       "In this United States of America, our Church is literally in disgrace from the result of the Vatican's ignorance and denial of how widespread the destruction of souls is by over 2,000 ordained men (and still counting). I will never refer to these men as 'priests.' Priests were revered in our home."Letter to Pope John Paul II, March 9 When Andre Tessier finished reading the story, the young man looked up at his mother and said, "That was my story, too." "What are you talking about?" she asked, getting a sinking feeling in her stomach as she recalled former family friend Lavigne taking her son on dozens of camping and fishing trips and overnight stays at St. Mary's Parish rectory in Springfield.
       "I can't talk about it now, but I could have told the same story," he said. "Whenever you're ready to talk, I'm here," she said. Sandy Tessier waited several days before she told her husband. Their life would never be the same.
       "In one of your homilies you spoke of justifiable anger and injustice. I sat there and wondered if you were thinking about the victims of clergy abuse, their anger and the injustice being done at this time (in pursuit of settlements with the diocese)."Letter to Tessier's pastor, the Rev. George A. Farland of Sacred Heart Parish, Oct. 29The Tessiers met Lavigne when he was first assigned to St. Mary's Parish in East Springfield in 1968. The Tessiers were relatively new to the parish themselves. They reluctantly joined the parish when their plea to stay at Sandy's lifelong parish Sacred Heart in Springfield was rejected by then-St. Mary's pastor the Rev. John F. Harrington. The Tessiers were told they needed to belong to the parish in the neighborhood where they lived.
       "On one of his first weekends at St. Mary's, he announced from the pulpit that he was new there and he would welcome any postcards inviting him to a parishioner's home for a beer," Sandy Tessier recalled. Her husband suggested they invite Lavigne to their home, a cozy ranch-style house that is decorated with religious art that includes statues, framed and matted drawings, paintings and lithographs of angels, Christ, St. Mary and St. Theresa.
       "It's not like we had never had priests over before," Tessier said. Lavigne and the Tessiers hit it off immediately. "I told him he never needs an invitation to visit," Sandy Tessier recalled.
       Within a short time, Lavigne was having dinner with Sandy and Andre Tessier and their three children at their home three times a week. He would visit the Tessiers at least once a day. It was not unusual for Lavigne to stop in unannounced and get the Tessiers' grill fired up for the steaks that were planned for dinner, according to Sandy Tessier. Several months into the relationship, Lavigne invited then 10- or 11-year-old Andre P. Tessier on a fishing and camping trip.
       Sandy Tessier recalled Lavigne saying, "I'll take Andy to the rectory overnight so we can get an early start tomorrow." "You stated in the newspaper that you wished for just 10 minutes to feel good about your church. I wish I had just 5 minutes to feel good about my son's life and my Church."Letter to Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, acting diocesan administrator, Feb. 15 In what other alleged victims said was a Lavigne ritual, the priest would have the boy wear a man's white T-shirt - often with no other clothing - to bed. Lavigne also asked that the boy dry him off after showers, son Andre said.
       On several occasions the boy was asked to ride a dirt bike, he said. Lavigne asked the boy to get dirty so he could later clean him, Andre said. Andre Tessier, now 45, has told his parents about some of the things Lavigne allegedly did to him, but says he can't bring himself to tell all the sordid details. Even when he testified during the current clergy sexual abuse settlement talks, Tessier couldn't tell everything to lawyers, insurance company and diocesan representatives.
       "There were several women in the room, and I just couldn't do it," he said several weeks ago. "Whatever happened to church dogma that the body, our bodies, are temples of the Holy Spirit? Well consider the invasion of these 'temples' by your sadistic priests as contradicting our Church's teachings. Behold your heretics, your Holiness!"Letter to Pope John Paul II, March 9 When Andre Tessier told his parents for the first time two years ago that he was a victim of clergy sexual abuse, it set off an emotional chain reaction that affected his entire family.
       He, his parents, his biological sister, an adopted sister and an African American brother (who was raised by the Tessiers but whose drug-addicted mother never allowed him to be adopted), represented a family once envied by others on their street. But suddenly they faced a pain that so far shows little sign of subsiding. They all know it will never disappear. Son Andre suddenly understood a past that included an inability to trust others and his one-time substance abuse. Although in recent years he has run a successful art framing business in West Hartford and has a strong marriage, he has been prone to fits of rage, powerlessness and frustration while facing up to the abuse.
       His mother is often overcome with anger and guilt. His father, who became depressed upon learning about the alleged abuse, remains angry and confused. Since learning about their son, neither parent ever sleeps for more than a few hours at a time at night. Young Andre's sister Renee M. White of Ludlow finds that visits to a close friend - once filled with smiles and laughter - are now often occasions to shed tears. Unlike her parents, White has lost faith in the church and rarely attends services anymore.
       Sandy Tessier said, "My mother used to say, 'Better you be the victim, than the one who commits the crime.' I'm trying to hold on to that, but it's easier to say than to live it," Sandy Tessier said. She recalled trying to comfort her son on one occasion and starting a conversation with, "You should ... Her son angrily interrupted her, saying, "Don't let anyone tell me what I should do. I was told what I should do when I was molested ..."
       "I will digress a little so as to get back to the protest. A few men (on their way into Mass) actually mocked me and two nuns in habits insulted me. I accepted this and did not get angry with them. I just politely asked them to at least pray for the victims."Letter to Sniezyk, Feb. 15 Sandy Tessier is angry. She is angry at herself, the Catholic Church's leadership and abusive priests. She blames herself for allowing her son to be abused.
       "I almost threw him into the monster's arms. There were times he didn't want to go, and we said, 'It's good for you. Go, Andy.' We literally forced him to go," said Sandy Tessier. Most of her anger is directed at the church. She believes church leadership and even some parish priests knew there were abusers within the clerical ranks. She vents her anger at her kitchen table at 2, 3, and 4 o'clock in the morning by writing letters to church leaders. She describes her pain in the hope that they can understand how the abuse of one child affects so many people.
       "For me it's therapeutic. And hopefully it can bring about change," said Tessier, adding she spent $32 to send the letter by express mail to the pope. "I wanted to make sure he got it," she said. Dupre, Sniezyk and Farland all responded with letters or notes to her.
       "We are all harmed when a child is hurt ... It is not my intention to cause the victims and their families more harm," Dupre wrote in a letter dated Dec. 18, 2003. "I am committed to preventing future abuse," wrote Dupre, expressing gratitude for Tessier's painful honesty. Tessier believes all the responses were heartfelt and sincere.
       "I sent my son, Andre Tessier, into the arms of evil. How does one recognize pure evil? The nuns used to tell us in school that evil comes in many forms. How did I know it would come in the form of a priest?"Letter to Dupre, Dec. 8 Learning of her son's abuse hasn't diminished Sandy Tessier's faith. "I have been praying harder since learning what happened to Andy," said Tessier.
       She still sits in the front row of Sacred Heart Church every weekend for Mass, but she recently decided to no longer donate money to weekly collections because she believes some of that money is used to support sexually abusive priests in the diocese who have been taken out of ministry. Instead, she donates to the parish's fund to renovate the church. Although her anger at the church grows when reading things like the recently released John Jay College study into clergy abuse of the past 50 years, Tessier finds comfort in her faith.
       "My favorite scriptural passage is: 'Come to me all who are weary and find life burdensome. I will refresh you,'" said Sandy Tessier, "I say that so many times in my day." Tessier said she doesn't feel abandoned by God. "I've never once said, 'Why me?'" she said.
       Instead, she prays for change. While at work as an office manager at City Opticians in Springfield, she goes into the bathroom every day around 3 p.m., gets on her knees and bows her head. "I beg the Lord to heal the church, heal the priests and heal my son. I do it at 3 p.m. because it is the time of his greatest mercy," said Tessier of the hour Christ died on the cross.
       Tessier believes her prayers are being answered. On some days, she is hopeful the church is changing. On many days though, she thinks "The church still doesn't get it." She is definitely seeing positive signs of a healthier son. "He's made big strides and I know they will continue," she said. "I thank God for all the goodness in my life." [End]
    Diocese attorney: Vicar confession a bit ‘ambiguous’ [1970s]
       DAVENPORT (IA) Quad-City Times,,1025933 , STAFF REPORT
       The attorney representing the Diocese of Davenport’s Review Board said Saturday that a so-called admission of sexual abuse by Monsignor Drake Shafer is a bit "ambiguous" and needs further investigation by the review board.
       Rand Wonio of Davenport said it is "not definitely an admission of sexual abuse," and the review board wants "additional information" in the case involving Shafer, the former second-ranking priest in the diocese.
       Shafer, the diocese’s vicar general, was put on leave in July until allegations of sexual abuse from the 1970s against him are resolved. In his job as vicar general, one of the diocese’s top administrative jobs, He was responsible for investigating abuse allegations against other priests.
       During a court hearing Friday in Fort Madison, Iowa, on the diocese’s effort to dismiss the lawsuit, the e-mail message was read in court and it appears Shafer admits to sexually abusing a teenage boy 30 years ago. Shafer wrote in an April 5, 2002, e-mail to the alleged victim that the incident in the 1970s "was the only time in my priesthood when anything remotely like it happened."
    It's hard to keep tabs on abusive priests
       KENTUCKY: Courier & Press,,1626,ECP_734_2746743,00.html , By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Courier & Press staff writer, 461-0783 or , March 21, 2004
       Almost two years ago, Evansville Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger removed three Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse of minors. Their careers crushed and reputations ruined, the trio left the area and attempted to start new lives.
       One priest had worked as a community outreach official with a private health care agency in Nashville, Tenn. He resigned the post earlier this month after his employer learned of his past.
       Another landed in Kuwait working with a contractor linked to the U.S. military. He has been reported celebrating Mass in Kuwait. The third had worked at a bookstore in suburban Nashville. He shares an address in an apartment building with a Christian ministry.
       They left the diocese, but never the clergy - they were never formally removed from the priesthood. A church mechanism to force them to give up their ordination was issued from the Vatican just last month, almost two years after stories of rampant abuse became public.
       No system is in place to track these priests, despite Gettelfinger's urging to other bishops to develop an internal tracking system. Background checks do not highlight the past allegations, and the priests never were charged in the criminal system because the statute of limitations had expired, evidence was not compelling or the law did not forbid such contact.
    Welsh priest abused boys [1986-90]
       WALES: ic Wales ; , Lucy Ballinger, Wales on Sunday, Mar 21 2004
       A WELSH priest who abused three schoolboys was sent for treatment at a sex addicts' clinic by the Catholic Church, we can reveal.
       Last week John Kinsey, 46, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault at Worcester Crown Court, where a judge warned he faced a long prison sentence.
       While he denied the charges, the trainee monk at Hereford's Belmont Abbey admitted in court he had indulged in gay sexual practices as a priest - which are banned by the Catholic Church.
       And it was revealed that Kinsey - who met the Pope when he was studying theology at Rome University - had suffered a nervous breakdown and was sent by his abbot to a clinic which specialised in treating alcoholics and sex addicts.
       Cardiff-born Kinsey, known as Brother John, attacked his victims - one as young as 13 - in a bell-tower, a church sacristy and an office, when he was training as a Benedictine monk at the abbey between 1986 and 1990.
    Ex-altar boy claiming abuse goes public
       FREMONT (CA): The Argus,,1413,83~1971~2032421,00.html ,
       By Melissa Evans, STAFF WRITER, Sunday, March 21, 2004
       The honor was overwhelming, and the money was tough to turn down.
       The pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Niles had invited Dan McNevin, then a 12-year-old altar boy, to answer phones in the parish office.
       Raised in a blue-collar family in Niles, McNevin was used to earning pocket change delivering papers and mowing lawns. Now, the leader of his spiritual community, the Rev. James Clark, was offering $2 a day for only a few hours of work, McNevin recalled.
       "It felt good to be liked and wanted, particularly by the man who is next in line to God," said McNevin, now 44.
       But McNevin said Clark's generous offer was the first step in what psychologists call "grooming," a process of gaining favor with kids to dissuade them from speaking up about sexual abuse.
       McNevin, a San Francisco real estate developer and former professional soccer player, is one of three men suing the Diocese of Oakland and others over the damage they say was caused by Clark, who died in 1989.
       Ten months after McNevin took the job, Clark fondled him one night in the church rectory, McNevin says in his suit. He and the two other men are asking for an unspecified monetary settle-ment.
       Posted by Kathy Shaw at 06:29 AM
    AND see similar newsitem, same reporter, in Tri-Valley Herald, "Ex-altar boy goes public with abuse allegation; Late Corpus Christi pastor implicated.",1413,86%257E10671%257E2033860,00.html , By Melissa Evans, STAFF WRITER, Article Last Updated: 3:28:34 AM PST, Monday, March 22, 2004
    ////////// End of Clergy Sex Abuse Tracker , Sunday March 21, 2004
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