Voices from Russia

Friday, 12 December 2014

Landmark Catholic Report Admits Celibacy Could Cause Child Abuse

01 child abuse

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A group of Australian archbishops admitted that obligatory celibacy could’ve contributed to child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, becoming the first-ever Catholic institution to acknowledge the potential link publicly. What used to be mostly voiced by the critics of the church has now been, albeit cautiously, formulated by its leaders. The report, released on Friday by the Truth, Justice, and Healing Council, which includes the Archbishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and Adelaide, conceded, “Obligatory celibacy may also have contributed to abuse in some circumstances”. The council based its conclusion on two years of research. It held eight hearings, heard testimony from 50 witnesses, and examined 160,000 church documents. According to The Australian, the council’s chief executive, Francis Sullivan, said, “We’ve got to ask the question about whether celibacy was an added and an unbearable strain for some. It doesn’t mean that celibacy needs to be eradicated… let’s not turn the church on its head… but we’re saying you can’t have an honest and open discussion about the future without having an honest and open discussion about celibacy. We’re placing celibacy on the table”. The report says “psychosexual training” for priests could be enough to prevent child abuse in church.

The Australian study is in sharp contrast to American research in 2011, which found no connection between celibacy and child abuse. That report, commissioned by the American Catholic church and carried out by the New-York based John Jay College of Criminal Justice, stated, “The rise in abuse cases was influenced by social factors in society generally”. Critics then questioned if a study commissioned by the church and based on data provided by the church could actually be trusted. The Australian branch is being overwhelmingly self-critical in its report, which focused on what clerics did wrong to let abuse happen. Sullivan said it was important that the church “had the guts” to acknowledge it abused its power, including in dealing with sex scandals. The Australian report said, “Church leaders, over many decades, seemed to turn a blind eye, either instinctively or deliberately, to the abuse happening within their diocese or religious order, protecting the institution, rather than caring for the child”. Victims of child sexual abuse are sceptical that the report can actually change the church’s attitude to the issue, citing previous difficulties in trying to attain justice. Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests told ABC*, “The redress in a lot of cases was absolutely disgraceful and very very devious, and done in such a way to exploit the vulnerability and the damage that survivors had already suffered”.

* Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Ex-Holy See ambassador faces first Vatican child sex abuse trial

UN committee on torture slams Vatican over child sex abuse

2% of Catholic priests are paedophiles: Pope

12 December 2014

RT

http://rt.com/news/213755-catholic-celibacy-child-abuse/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Catholic Church Lawyer Details Cover-Up Claims on Sex Abuse

01 sweep under rug

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Editor:

This is a read n’ heed… our people act in the same way. I need only mention the names of Gleb Podmoshensky, Panteleimon Metropoulos, Isidore Brittain, Sam Greene, and Seraphim Storheim. The lies issued forth by the institutional church and by the goodthinkers are disgusting and without warrant. Toddler assholes like Rod Dreher should shut up about the Catholics… we do the same exact thing (sadly enough).

Note well that the OCA hasn’t given up on denying Storheim’s guilt… they’re wasting the donations of the faithful in a bootless attempt to clear a perv. You can believe Mr Justice Mainella or you can believe Jeff Gindin (Storheim’s shyster mouthpiece)… I believe the former… he found Storheim and his lawyer “without credibility”. I agree. We have a shit-spattered byre to clean and we have no call to point fingers. This story illustrates a crank institutional culture that we share in its entirety. We’ve fallen and we REFUSE to get up. After all, didn’t the OCA give Peterson a “Get Out of Jail Free” card? ‘Nuff said…

BMD

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A canon lawyer alleging a widespread cover-up of clergy sex misconduct in the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis made her most detailed claims yet, accusing archbishops and their top staff of lying to the public and of ignoring the American bishops’ pledge to have no tolerance of priests who abuse. Jennifer Haselberger, who spent five years as Archbishop John Nienstedt’s archivist and top adviser on Roman Catholic church law, also charged that the church used a chaotic system of record-keeping that helped conceal the backgrounds of guilty priests who remained on assignment. Haselberger said that when she started examining records in 2008 of clergy under restrictions over sex misconduct with adults and children she found “nearly 20” of the 48 men still in ministry.

She said that she repeatedly warned Nienstedt and his aides about the risk of these placements, but they took action only in one case. Because she raised alarms, she said that they eventually shut her out of meetings about clerical misconduct. She resigned last year. Haselberger wrote in an affidavit released Tuesday in a civil lawsuit brought by attorney Jeff Anderson, “Had there been any serious desire to implement change, it could’ve been done quickly and easily with the stroke of a single pen. The archbishop’s administrative authority in his diocese is basically unlimited”.

For years, the archdiocese pledged that it was following the national bishops’ policy, known as the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”, which lays out a series of requirements… from conducting background checks to alerting parishioners about offender priests and barring guilty clergy from parish assignments. Archbishop Harry Flynn, who led the Minneapolis archdiocese until retiring in 2008, was an architect of the 12-year-old plan. However, Haselberger said that she discovered in 2008 that the archdiocese hadn’t conducted background checks on most priests since the early 1990s.

When she drew attention to the lapse, she said that they told her to eliminate references to the date of background checks in a form pledging a priest is suitable for ministry. Haselberger said that she found priests’ records scattered in storage locations throughout the archdiocese, including the history of allegations against them, their compliance with the monitoring programme, and evidence of their misconduct. She said, “The presence of so many files in so many different locations meant that often important information didn’t make its way into the priest’s personnel file”.

She also said the archdiocese gave inaccurate information to auditors hired by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to monitor dioceses’ compliance with the child protection plan. Haselberger noted that the auditors didn’t have access to church files to check whether the archdiocese’s report matched the records. She said, “They would’ve found out that it didn’t”. Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens said in a statement that Haselberger’s “recollections aren’t always shared by others within the archdiocese”. He said that the archdiocese was taking steps toward “greater transparency and accountability”.

Since the clergy abuse scandal began in 1984, then, erupted into a national crisis in 2002, the American church has been flooded with revelations… from civil lawsuits, grand jury inquiries, and the bishops’ own research… about how dioceses consistently put the interests of the church above victims. Still, Haselberger’s accusations stand out because of her credentials and timing. She’s the highest-level official from an American diocese to make claims of a cover-up. A canon lawyer educated at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, she served as a judge on church tribunals in Minnesota and was trained through the US bishops’ conference on child safety and monitoring guilty clergy. In addition, Haselberger is coming forward in what Anderson calls “real time”. The bulk of previous disclosures about American bishops sheltering abusers were made years, if not decades, after the wrongdoing. Haselberger alleges a cover-up is happening now in Minnesota.

When Haselberger’s allegations first became public in a series of reports last September by Minnesota Public Radio, the archdiocese initially defended its record on preventing abuse. Since then, Nienstedt apologised for any mistakes and said in a deposition that he hid some information on accused clergy from police. A task force Nienstedt formed to review how the archdiocese handled abuse claims released a report in April conceding “serious shortcomings” by church officials. Haselberger said that the Rev Kevin McDonough… the archdiocese’s vicar general or top aide for 17 years, and brother of White House chief of staff Denis McDonough… never accepted the discipline plan American bishops adopted in 2002 that streamlined church law so that the dioceses could bar guilty priests from ministry or remove them from the priesthood altogether.

McDonough continued his previous approach of striking agreements with accused offenders to remain priests but stay away, sometimes providing them extra payments to do so. McDonough oversaw clergy misconduct cases until last September. Haselberger wrote, “He explained to me his position that dismissal wasn’t the right solution for the church”. Haselberger said that McDonough called the archdiocese’s monitoring system for priests guilty of sex misconduct “state of the art”. However, she said that the program relied heavily on self-reporting by guilty priests with no verification of what they reported. In one example, she said that Rev Robert Kapoun, accused of molesting several young boys, is enrolled in the monitoring program, but spends the winter months in Florida without oversight. Another priest, just out of prison after his conviction for victimising an adult woman during counselling, was placed in a retired priests’ home where minors worked. Haselberger said that the archdiocese learned of the problem from the priest’s probation officer. She said that when top Nienstedt lieutenant Rev Peter Laird learned about the problem, he said that the young people should be fired. Laird resigned as vicar general last September. He didn’t respond Tuesday to an e-mail request for comment.

Meanwhile, Nienstedt announced on 1 July that allegations were made against him several months ago of inappropriate sexual behaviour and he’d hired a firm to investigate. Nienstedt told the Catholic magazine Commonweal that he’d never engaged in sexual misconduct, nor had he made any sexual advances. Haselberger told Commonweal that the firm interviewed her, and investigators have about 10 sworn statements alleging sexual impropriety by Nienstedt. Last year, Minnesota lawmakers temporarily abolished time limits on civil lawsuits over child sex abuse, for three years. Similar windows for lawsuits in other states have resulted in total payouts by dioceses in the tens of millions of dollars and more.

15 July 2014

Rachel Zoll

Associated Press

http://www.newschannel10.com/story/26024705/church-lawyer-details-cover-up-claims-on-sex-abuse

Editor:

We’ve done all of the above… and more. Look at how Paffhausen defended Ray Velencia… I’d say that the public record of the Koumentakos case speaks eloquently of both of these men. Also, don’t forget how JP allowed Ray, a priest under suspension, to present himself as a priest in good standing at a GOAA parish, and to sue Fr Michael Regan, a priest in good standing. Now, that’s something that’s never occurred amongst the RCs… a suspended priest suing a priest in good standing… that’s special, ain’t it? No, we have NOTHING to chortle about… we’re in WORSE shape than the RCs are, and we won’t get anywhere until we admit it and stop defending the plug-uglies.

However, must we drain the cup to the bottom? I hope not…

BMD

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