Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Voice of the Faithful Focus, Aug. 31, 2017


TOP STORIES

Papal abuse commission considers restructuring, survivors may lose direct role
“Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse is considering whether to restructure itself so that it no longer includes the direct participation of abuse survivors. It is evaluating the possibility of creating instead a separate advisory panel of individuals who have been abused by clergy. A member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors revealed the group's consideration of the idea in an NCR interview Aug. 14, saying that one of the commission's work groups has been tasked with weighing the pros and cons of such a change.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Catholic Church unlikely to change, abuse review head Elizabeth Proust says
“The senior Australian businesswoman appointed to supervise the Catholic Church's response to the sexual abuse crisis says she is ‘pessimistic’ about the Church's willingness to reform. Elizabeth Proust, the head of the Church's own Truth, Justice and Healing Council, fears the institution will emerge from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse only ‘partially cleansed and unreconstructed.’” By Andrew West, ABC News Australia

Australian panel would punish priests who fail to report abuse confessions
“Priests who fail to tell police about suspected child sexual abuse should face criminal charges, even when they learn of abuse during a confidential religious confession, Australia’s most powerful investigative authority recommended on Monday (Aug. 14). Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — the nation’s highest form of inquiry — recommended that all states and territories in Australia introduce legislation that would make it a criminal offense for people to fail to report child sexual abuse in an institutional setting. Clergy who find out about sexual abuse during a religious confession would not be exempt from the law.” By Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe
 -- Australia archbishop rejects sex-abuse exception to the secrecy of Confession, By Jacqueline Williams, The New York Times
 -- Sex abuse and the seal of the confessional, By Kieran Tapsell, Commentary in National Catholic Reporter

Pope invokes ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’
“Although acknowledging that more than fifty years after the Second Vatican Council there are still tensions and unfinished business in terms of implementing its vision for the liturgy, Pope Francis in a session with Italian liturgists on Thursday (Aug. 24) nevertheless invoked his ‘magisterial authority’ to declare, ‘The liturgical reform is irreversible.’” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com
 -- Pope Francis says with magisterial authority: the Vatican II liturgical reform is ‘irreversible,By Gerard O’Connell, America: The Jesuit Review
 -- Five reasons Pope Francis embraces the Vatican II liturgy, By John Baldovin, America: The Jesuit Review
 -- Pope Francis’ comments on the liturgy need to be heard by traditionalists and reformers alike, By Gregory Hillis, America: The Jesuit Review

Responding to priests, Vatican investigates Indonesian bishop
“The Vatican has appointed an apostolic visitor to investigate claims by Indonesian priests that their bishop had a mistress and misappropriated church funds. Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunyamin of Bandung, Indonesia, told ucanews.com August 8 that the Vatican had asked him to look into the accusations against Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng, Indonesia.” By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com

ACCOUNTABILITY

Canonist warns Church oversight of troubled lay groups has ‘no teeth’
“In an effort to respond to cases and allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church over the years, Pope Francis has affirmed a 'zero tolerance' policy and stressed that the Vatican must be committed to enforcing accountability. Yet two recent scandals suggest that while the Church may have developed strong controls over clergy, in cases that involve lay organizations, it sometimes struggles to impose effective oversight.” By Claire Giangrave, Cruxnow.com

Amid Italian abuse scandal, question remains of Church oversight
“A lay Catholic association in southern Italy, under scrutiny after its leader was arrested on charges of sexually abusing up to six underage girls during a span of 25 years, managed to avoid being subjected to the authority of the local diocese -- raising concerns about Church oversight over such groups.” By Claire Giangrave, Cruxnow.com

The Catholic Church must stop blaming victims: children cannot consent to sex
“What has consent got to do with child abuse? A simple question, which should have a simple answer. A child under the age of 16 is in law unable to consent to sexual acts. The age of consent exists for a reason: to protect vulnerable members of society who have not yet developed the emotional or physical maturity to engage in sexual relationships. Yet years of revelations about child sexual abuse have shown that this is not a settled question even within trusted institutions that should know better.” By Nino Nocivelli, Op-Ed in The Guardian

Across the nation, priest sexual abuse cases haunt Catholic parishes
“In recent months, USA TODAY Network reporters at the Pacific Daily News have uncovered scores of allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam, where a former altar boy's accusation last summer that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him in the 1970s has prompted other revelations. Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged.” By USA TODAY Network
 -- Despite allegations elsewhere, no new priest abuse cases here since 2012, By Sean Lahman, Democrat & Chronicle

SNAP’s evolution evident at gathering, in wake of departures
“SNAP, the organization that has become synonymous with uncovering the clergy sex abuse scandal, may be outpacing its acronym. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, established in 1988, has been at the forefront of advocating for victims of clergy abuse and at pressing for accountability by church leadership. However, it was evident at a gathering of 300 victims, advocates and supporters Aug. 11-13 in Alexandria, Virginia, that the organization is in the midst of change.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter

Commission in Australia says priests should report abuse heard in confession
“Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse says the right to practice one’s religious beliefs ‘must accommodate civil society’s obligation to provide for the safety of all and, in particular, children’s safety from sexual abuse.’ Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, said in a statement the inviolability of the seal of confession is a ‘fundamental part of the freedom of religion.’” By Cruxnow.com Staff
 -- Australian bishops oppose forcing priests to reveal details of confession, By Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency
 -- Priests should be charged if they don’t report child sex abuse disclosed in confession, says Australian inquiry, By Conor Gaffey, Newsweek
 -- Judge: Baton rouge diocese, area Catholic priest to remain in suit involving confessional, By Joe Gyan, Jr., The Baton Rouge Advocate

POPE FRANCIS

Pope Francis: Jesus made Peter and his successors, the bishops of Rome, the center of communion in the church
“Pope Francis today reminded the Catholic world that Jesus appointed Peter and his successors —the bishops of Rome—as the ‘visible center of communion in the church.’ Though he makes no direct reference to them, his words would appear to be a gentle but firm reminder especially to that tiny minority of cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful, who are challenging his authority, especially over his post-synod exhortation on the family, ‘The Joy of Love.’” By Gerard O’Connell, America: The Jesuit Review

Pope Francis says sexual abuse by priests is an ‘absolute monstrosity’ in new book
“Pope Francis has branded sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests a ‘monstrosity’ and pledged action against perpetrators and bishops who protected them. The pope made the comments in the foreword of a new book titled Father, I Forgive You: Abused But Not Broken, written by Swiss man Daniel Pittet, who was first raped by a priest when he was eight years old.” By The Guardian

BISHOPS

Archbishop Byrnes fires four Neo priests from Presbyteral Council
“Some major developments happened at the Archdiocese of Agana last month as Archbishop Michael Byrnes has gotten rid of four key players who are a part of the Neocatechumenal Way from his Presbyteral Council. The reason? Insubordination. It’s an unprecedented move for rookie Guam Archbishop Michael Byrnes, but it demonstrates his fortitude and resolve to keep his flock at bay and clean house.” By Janeia Carrera, Pacific News Center News First

Obey the Pope and accept your bishop, Nigerian diocese is urges
“Six Nigerian bishops have appealed to priests, religious and laity of the Diocese of Ahiara to abide by the directive of Pope Francis and prepare for the installation of Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke. The appeal came after bishops from the Church’s Owerri province met in Aba earlier this month. The province includes the Archdiocese of Owerri and the dioceses of Aba, Ahiara, Okigwe, Orlu and Umuahia.” By Peter Ajayi Dada, Catholic Herald

Responding to priests, Vatican investigates Indonesian bishop
“The Vatican has appointed an apostolic visitor to investigate claims by Indonesian priests that their bishop had a mistress and misappropriated church funds. Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunyamin of Bandung, Indonesia, told ucanews.com Aug. 8 that the Vatican had asked him to look into the accusations against Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng, Indonesia … The conflict erupted June 12 when 69 diocesan priests submitted letters of resignation, leaving their positions as episcopal vicars and parish priests and demanding that Bishop Leteng change how the diocese is run.” By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly. com
 -- Vatican investigates bishop’s money, alleged mistress, By Ryan Dagur, Jakarta, Indonesia

PRIESTS

Silence of Vatican’s doctrinal congregation notable under Francis
“While (Redemptorist Fr. Tony) Flannery's conclusion is anecdotal, it conveys an observation being spoken about with more regularity in Rome and around the world. The once all-powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, appears to have gone nearly silent. In past decades, the doctrinal office was known for taking a proactive stance towards theological investigations, hunting out Catholic priests or academics who might be straying over any doctrinal lines. The office was also known for its regular promulgation of official documents.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

WOMEN RELIGIOUS

LCWR looks to the future with openness, communion and contemplation
“Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word Teresa Maya took out a flashing fidget spinner as she closed the annual assembly for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. As the conference's president, she promised the almost 800 sisters gathered before her on Aug. 11 that the presidential triumvirate will be a team that mirrors the trendy gadget: working in unison, producing color. Her new leadership team includes St. Joseph Sr. Mary Pellegrino, now the past-president, and Holy Cross Sr. Sharlet Wagner, president-elect.” By Soli Salgado, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

WOMEN DEACONS

Plan for male-only deacons in Catholic diocese criticized by priests
“The leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has said it fully supports a parish priest in Limerick who has publicly opposed moves in his diocese to have male-only deacons. Fr. Roy Donovan, parish priest of Caheronlish in Co Limerick, has objected to the decision by his Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, of Cashel & Emly, to set up a working group to look at introducing the male-only permanent diaconate in the Catholic archdiocese.” By Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times

FUTURE OF THE CHURCH

Catholic priests from Romania being recruited to serve in Ireland
“An Irish bishop has resorted to going to Romania to recruit priests for his diocese. While the number of priests is dwindling in Ireland, there is a surplus of priests there. Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty visited the east Romanian diocese of Iasi ‘to explore how we might support projects out there in exchange for priests coming to minister in our diocese.’” By Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times

A wake-up call for the Catholic Church
“If there was ever a time to remember Pope Francis’s call for a bold ‘church in the streets,’ the ugly events in Charlottesville this past weekend (Aug. 12) serve as that moment. The Catholic responses to the white supremacists who showed up to intimidate and inflict violence were a mix of encouraging, problematic, and inadequate. The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops released an initial statement on Saturday (Aug. 12) afternoon from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the Conference, that condemned the ‘abhorrent acts of hatred’ and the ‘evil ideology’ that inspires them. The bishops pledged to work with ‘all people of goodwill for an end to racial violence.’ The fact that there was no specific reference to white supremacists sparked some discontent from Catholic commentators on Twitter.” By John Gehring, Commonweal

“AMORIS LAETITIA”

Papal confidante says ‘Amoris’ critics locked in ‘death-trap’ logic
“Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, rector of the Catholic University in Buenos Aires and sometimes described as the pope’s amanuensis, has issued a systematic defense of ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ Francis's controversial document on the family, saying its critics are locked in a ‘death-trap’ logic and their approach risks ‘a betrayal of the heart of the Gospel.’” By Austen Ivereigh, Cruxnow.com

CELIBACY

The Catholic Church can start fixing itself by changing its celibacy rule
“Now that all that pesky Oscar Buzz has died down, it's important to note that my old Boston Phoenix running buddy, Mike Rezendes, is Still On The Case. As part of The Boston Globe's Spotlight team, Mike has written a sad and remarkable series about people who are the sons and daughters of purportedly celibate Roman Catholic clergy, and the shameful abandonment of those people by the institution for which their fathers worked.” By Charles Pierce, Esquire

VOICES

Irish bishops tell priests who father children to ‘face up’ to responsibilities
“The bishops of Ireland say that in the case of a child fathered by a Catholic priest, the priest should not walk away from his responsibilities - legal, moral and financial. The guidelines written by the Irish Bishops' Conference were written as the Vatican faces a deadline to respond to UN recommendations to ‘assess the number of children fathered by Catholic priests, find out who they are and take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights of those children to know and to be cared for by their fathers is respected.’” By Cruxnow.com Staff
 -- Children of Catholic priests live with secrets and sorrow, By Michael Rezendes, The Boston Globe
 -- Children of priests: ‘an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect,’ By Patricia Lefevere, National Catholic Reporter

German Catholicism is rich – but in the wrong ways
“The editor of Catholic News Agency's German edition wrote an opinion article for The Catholic Herald in the U.K. summarizing his view of what has gone wrong for the Catholic Church in his country of Germany. While it is a church rich in terms of money, it is losing members quickly, and those who stay aren't going to Mass.” By Editorial by Catholic News Agency on Cruxnow.com

CHURCH FINANCES

Wisconsin woman embezzles more than $800K from local Catholic church

“A woman in western Wisconsin has admitted to embezzling more than $800,000 from a Catholic church. Barbara Snyder of West Salem pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false income tax return on Friday, Aug. 25. Snyder embezzled $832,210 from St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Onalaska while serving as the church's secretary. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Snyder took the money from church collections and created false accounting records. She used the embezzled money for gambling.” By Hope Kirwan, Wisconsin Public Radio

Archdiocese of Philadelphia warns of stolen donations
“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a letter to donors this week (Aug. 27) that it had learned that some donations to two annual fund-raising appeals had been ‘manually mishandled, misappropriated, or not processed,’ allegedly by a TD Bank employee who has been arrested.” By Frank Kummer, Philadelphia Inquirer

Father Mattingly sentenced for improper use of Newtowne parishioners’ contributions
“Father John S. Mattingly, the former pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Newtowne who pled guilty in May to bank fraud, was sentenced July 31 to three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow ordered that the 71-year-old retired priest serve 18 months of home confinement and pay $400,000 in restitution, which he paid prior to the sentencing hearing.” By Richard Szczepanowski, Catholic Standard

Newark police investigating theft from St. Francis parish
“The Newark Police Department is investigating an alleged felony-level theft of money from the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church parish. Parishioners at the largest Catholic Church in Newark were told Sunday by Father David Sizemore about the investigation. According to a letter sent to parishioners by Sizemore on Monday (Aug. 7), Father Jan Sullivan became aware of ‘numerous discrepancies’ in the financial records in 2016. Sullivan left the parish last month.” By Bethany Bruner, Newark Advocate

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS REFORM

New law removes statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes
“Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes. Rauner signed the measure Friday (Aug. 11). Sponsor state Sen. Michael Hastings of Frankfort says the legislation puts in place ‘best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts a system in place that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready.’ By Associated Press on KWQC.com
 -- Illinois eliminates statutes of limitations on child sex abuse crimes, By eNews Park Forest

CLERGY CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Catholic school teacher convicted of child rape freed early
“A former Catholic school teacher convicted of raping a child was released more than a decade early from prison on Wednesday (Aug. 16) after a judge threw out his conviction amid questions about his accuser’s truthfulness. Rather than face a new trial, however, Bernard Shero, 54, pleaded no contest on Monday (Aug. 14) to less serious child rape and assault charges and was sentenced to the roughly four years in prison he’s already served. He originally was sentenced in 2013 to up to 16 years.” By Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press

Australia church abuse: why priests can’t spill confession secrets
“Priests who suspect child abuse after hearing confession should report it to the authorities - or face criminal charges. That is one of the conclusions reached by Australia's four-year Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse. The proposal applies to the suspicion of child abuse in an institutional context - for example within an organization which provides services to children or cares for them, such as a church or a children's home. But the Roman Catholic Church in Australia is opposed to the proposal, despite saying that outside of the confession it is ‘absolutely committed’ to reporting all offences against children to the authorities.” By Claudia Allen, BBC News

New manual guides church leaders in sexual abuse policies and prevention
“It’s the bugaboo that scares pastors and parishioners alike: child sexual abuse in church. Not only is such abuse terrifying on a human level, it can inflict devastating legal and financial costs on congregations. Basyle ‘Boz’ Tchividjian, a former child abuse prosecutor, has written a book intended to help churches implement policies and procedures to protect children and other vulnerable people under their care.” By Yonat Shimrom

ARIZONA

Judge dismisses several counts in Bishop Thomas O’Brien sexual-abuse case

“The judge overseeing a lawsuit accusing Bishop Emeritus Thomas O'Brien of sexual abuse has ordered that several counts focusing on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix be dropped. The counts related to the former bishop's alleged sexual misconduct still stand.” By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, The Republic

Former Aurora priest agrees to deportation in sex abuse trial
“In attempt to avoid a trial for charges of sexual abuse of two young girls, former Aurora priest Alfredo Pedraza-Arias in June asked a federal judge to remove him from the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Catholic priest is a Columbian citizen and has ties to Costa Rica. He has been charged with sexually abusing two girls under the age of 13 at their home and at his former parish in Aurora, Sacred Heart Church.” By Taylor Hartz, Aurora Patch

GEORGIA

Ex-Savannah Catholic priest indicted for sexual battery of minors

“Former Savannah Roman Catholic priest—and convicted child sex offender—Wayland Yoder Brown has been indicted in Jasper County, S.C., on nine counts of criminal misconduct with a minor—sexual battery—involving two male victims, South Carolina Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone III announced Monday (Aug. 28). Brown, 74, is in custody in Maryland, Stone said. He will be extradited to South Carolina. It’s not known how long that process will take.” By Jan Skutch and DeAnn Komanecky, Savannah Morning News

LOUISIANA

Judge: Baton Rouge diocese, area Catholic priest to remain in suit involving confessional
“A state judge refused Monday (Aug. 21) to dismiss the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and a priest from a 2009 lawsuit by a woman who says that when she was a teenager she told the priest she was being sexually abused by a church parishioner, but he did not stop or report the alleged abuse. District Judge Mike Caldwell said it will be up to an East Baton Rouge Parish jury to decide whether what Rebecca Mayeux allegedly told Father Jeff Bayhi in the confessional was in fact a confession as defined by the Catholic Church, and therefore confidential, or whether she was merely seeking support and guidance instead of confessing sins.” By Joe Gyan, Jr., The Advocate

Diocese has history of sex offenses by priests
“Accusations of sex crimes involving Roman Catholic priests and Acadiana children might date back some seven decades, court records reveal. They also include two notorious court cases in the past few years. The case of the Rev. F. David Broussard, whose scheduled Aug. 14 court appearance has been delayed until Nov. 27 in St. Martin Parish, is the most recent occurrence.” By Ken Stickney, Daily Advertiser

MINNESOTA

Former area priest accused of sexual abuse
“A priest who served at several area churches has been accused of sexual abuse. In a letter sent to parishioners by Bishop John Levoir of the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Levoir says they have received notice of an allegation of sexual abuse against Father James Devorak when he was assigned at St. Pius X parish in Glencoe in the 1990s.” By KDUZ-TV

MONTANA

Montana reservations reportedly ‘dumping grounds’ for predatory priests
“For decades, even lifetimes, the Catholic Church refused to turn in priests with known pasts of sexually abusing children, women and men. The story is known in as many corners of the world as the Catholic Church exists, including Montana's two dioceses. In the Pacific Northwest, however, the Catholic Church and the Jesuit Order have been accused of using Indian Reservations as their ‘dumping grounds’ for the worst recidivist priests accused of sexually abusing children throughout the 1900s. Here, church officials reportedly determined predatory priests could remain undetected. Here, the church acted as an anchor for the communities, and the victims lived with the abuse in silence.” By Seaborn Larson, Great Falls Tribune
 -- Catholic church accused of dumping predatory priests in Montana, Video by Great Fall Tribune
 -- Settlement expected to affect diocesan services, By Seaborn Larson, Great Fall Tribune

NEW JERSEY

Sex abuse victim advocates protest as priest accused of groping NJ girl heads to court
“Protestors are out in full force Wednesday (Aug. 9), as the priest accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl heads to court. Fr. Marcin Nurek is expected in court for a detention hearing. He is accused of groping a teenage girl. ‘It is outrageous that a priest who was ordained for 33 days would be already having the arrogance and the chutzpah, you know, to sexually abuse somebody,’ said Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a nonprofit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.” By Arnold Godoy, Fios1News.com
 -- Priest accused of groping teenage girl is released from jail, By The Press of Atlantic City

NEW MEXICO

Victims, advocates push for Archdiocese of Santa Fe officials to come clean

“Everyone finally believed them. At least that is how they felt. In the days and weeks after the Catholic Diocese of Gallup in 2014 published a list naming 30 priests and a teacher who church executives said had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, Elizabeth Terrill got one phone call after another from survivors whose allegations had been met for years with denial and doubt.” By Andrew Oxford, The New Mexican

Former Utica priest seeks dismissal of child abuse claims
“A defrocked Utica-area priest has joined the Syracuse Catholic Diocese in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from claims that he sexually abused a child several decades ago. Felix Colosimo filed a motion earlier this month to dismiss a lawsuit making its way through federal district court in Connecticut. The suit, submitted by California resident Matthew Strzepek, alleges Colosimo abused the plaintiff between 1987 to 1990.” By Greg Mason, Utica Observer-Dispatch

NORTH DAKOTA

Groping allegations were lodged against uncharged Richland County priest
“Newly released documents from the Richland County Sheriff's Office regarding the investigation of a priest contain references to him grabbing and shaking the alleged victims' breasts and touching them on the behind. The Forum received the documents Monday, Aug. 14, after requesting public records related to the sheriff office's investigation of Father Thomas Feltman, who was not criminally charged in the case.” By Robin Huebner, WDAY-TV
 -- Feltman will not be charged criminally, By Frank Stanko Franks, Wahpeton Daily News

PENNSYLVANIA

Diocese revamps review board; follows pledge in March to make changes
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is overhauling the Diocesan Review Board initially established 15 years ago to help internally investigate abuse allegations. In line with a multistep reform plan outlined in March by the diocese and the United States Attorney’s Office, Bishop Mark Bartchak announced the appointment of an all-new, seven-member review board that will now be comprised of area professionals, one Catholic priest and at least two people representing other Christian faiths – a first for the board.” By David Hurst, The Tribune-Democrat

Group calls on Bishop Malesic to acknowledge link between clergy sexual abuse and opioid epidemic
“A group of Catholic lay people and clergy is calling on Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic and other church hierarchs to acknowledge that the clergy sexual abuse scandal is feeding the opioid epidemic. ‘He's got to take some responsibility,’ said Tom Venditti, founder of Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia. Venditti of Bolivar said he founded FCAP earlier this year to help victims of clergy sexual abuse and encourage them to stay in the Catholic Church.” By Stephen Huba, TribLive.com

No justice in ‘notorious’ Catholic priest abuse
“Described by a Philadelphia grand jury in 2005 as one of the most notorious serial abusers in Philadelphia, Catholic priest Rev. James J. Brzyski was never charged. Now, a man who says he was one of his victims is speaking out. John-Michael Delaney, 46, of Sevierville, Tennessee, grew up in the Fox Chase section of Northeast Philly and attended St. Cecilia's Catholic school where he lived with his mother and stepfather, as well as his little sister, who is now a Philadelphia police detective.” By Metro.us

ARGENTINA

Marist Brothers: school directory admits abusing student
 “The general director of an elite school founded by the Marist Brothers in Argentina has admitted he sexually abused a student 38 years ago, an official for the order said Thursday.” By Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press

Clerical abuse scandal hits Argentine president’s school
“Rufino Varela was a distraught, confused 12-year-old when he went looking for help from the school chaplain to tell him he’d been sexually abused by a mason at his family’s home. Instead of aiding, Varela says, the Rev. Finnlugh Mac Conastair took off the boy’s pants, flogged him and fondled him in a room below the chapel at one of Argentina’s most prestigious schools. Then, the Irish priest known by many as ‘Father Alfredo,’ offered him candy and told him that they should keep it as a secret with God.” By Paul Byrne, Luis Andres Henao and Almudena Calatrava

AUSTRALIA

Catholic brother jailed for abusing boys
“A Catholic brother who inflicted ‘sheer terror’ on vulnerable boys at a Queensland orphanage, sexually abusing nine of them, has been jailed for his historical crimes. ‘Your legacy disgusts me and every right-minded member of society,’ Brisbane District Court Judge William Everson told Francis Brophy on Monday (Aug. 21). The 87-year-old, who was found guilty by a jury of five offences and sentenced for more than 30 counts in total, sexually abused the orphans at BoysTown, near Beaudesert, between 1978 and 1983.” By Australia Associated Press in the Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Sexual abuse: Catholic priests must confess to regain our shaken faith
“Father Michael McArdle was reportedly so distressed by his acts of child sexual abuse in Queensland that he would often seek the succor of the confessional. Over a 25-year period, before he was convicted in 2002, he confessed to sexually assaulting children an estimated 1500 times to 30 different priests. In keeping with Catholic tradition in Australia, the priests did not report his crimes to authorities, but moved him on to different parishes, to greener pastures.” By Nick O’Malley, Sydney Morning Herald

Court hears harrowing accounts of child abuse in diocese linked to Vatican Cardinal George Pell
“An Australian court heard harrowing details of historic child abuse perpetrated by former priest Gerald Ridsdale, one of Australia’s most notorious pedophiles. Ridsdale, 83, pleaded guilty to 23 charges Tuesday (Aug. 15), including two counts of rape and one of buggery, for abusing 12 children, aged 6 to 13, between 1962 and 1988 in the Victoria state city of Ballarat and the surrounding area. Ballarat is considered one of Australia’s worst-affected areas for incidents of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It is named in Vatican Cardinal George Pell’s charges of historic sexual abuse …” By Sofia Lotto Persio, Newsweek

Pedophile priest faces more jail time
“Australia's worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale faces further jail time after already spending more than two decades behind bars for sexually abusing children. The 83-year-old is due to face a pre-sentencing hearing in the Victorian County Court on Tuesday (Aug. 15) after admitting further historical offending against another 11 children. The former Catholic priest has previously been convicted for sexually abusing 53 children between 1961, the year he was ordained, and the late 1980s.” By 9News.com
 -- Priest abused girl on altar, court told, By 9News.com.au

FRANCE

French archbishop admits failings in response to pedophile scandal
“The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon acknowledged shortcomings in his response to a pedophilia scandal in his archdiocese and said more rigorous checks were in place to prevent past errors in the appointment of priests being repeated. In an interview with Le Monde, published ahead of the Aug. 15 Feast of the Assumption celebration, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin reiterated that he had never concealed acts of sexual abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, a priest under his authority.” By Thomson Reuters, on aol.com

GREAT BRITAIN, SCOTLAND & WALES

Catholic Church and local authorities criticized for claiming child sex abuse victims ‘consented’
“The Catholic Church and local authorities have been criticized after trying to claim child sex abuse victims ‘consented’ in a bid to avoid compensation payouts. Lawyers who represent some of the victims have told the Sunday Telegraph that the defense is more frequently being used by private schools, religious groups and local authorities when trying to defend compensation claims.” By Olivia Rudgard, The Sunday Telegraph

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry
“… Now Christopher Jamison is to attempt his most important role: savior of the reputation of his monastic order. At the start of August the monks of the English Benedictine Congregation – an association of 13 Roman Catholic communities of monks and nuns – elected Jamison as their leader. His installation as abbot president came just days after Professor Alexis Jay confirmed that the public inquiry she is chairing into child sexual abuse in England and Wales would focus its hearings during October and November on scandals at Benedictine schools and monasteries. The choice of Jamison was almost certainly no coincidence.” By Catherine Pepinster, The Guardian

Bunbury bishop Gerard Holohan writes to parishioners to reiterate apology to church sexual abuse victims
“Diocese of Bunbury bishop Gerald Holohan has written to parishioners to reiterate his apology to victims who suffered abuse at the hands of Father William Kevin Glover in the 1960s and 70s. Last month, the Mail published documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in February that revealed in 1959, Bunbury bishop John Goody agreed to hire a priest despite knowing he had previously sexually abused a number of boys.” By Andrew Elstermann, Bunbury Mail

GUAM

Apuron’s mentor named in new clergy sex abuse lawsuit
“A now deceased priest, Antonio C. Cruz, allegedly sexually molested and abused a 9-year-old boy around 1964 at a church rectory in Chalan Pago, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday afternoon (Aug. 28). The lawsuit is filed by a man identified in court documents only by his initials, A.J.A., to protect his privacy.” By Haidee Eugenio, Pacific Daily News

Federal judge offers court services for clergy abuse mediation
“U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Friday (Aug. 25) offered the use of a sitting federal judge to mediate the proposed settlement of nearly 100 clergy sex abuse cases, at no cost to the parties. She said the parties should consider reaching a global settlement — one that resolves all of the cases.” By Haidee Eugenio, Pacific Daily News

Apuron: law did not remove time bar for suits
“Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron believes every citizen should be afforded due process and the right to defend against a cause of action that has long expired, according to court documents filed in four civil suits filed against the leader of Guam's Catholic Church. In a motion filed by his attorney, Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje, Apuron contends the District Court of Guam must dismiss the lawsuits filed against him and the Archdiocese of Agana because the victims' claims are time-barred and Public Law 33-187 is ‘inorganic and unconstitutional.’” By Mindy Aguon, The Guam Daily Post

Clergy sex abuse suit says former priest Brouillard swam naked, molested Scouts
“A former Boy Scout accused former priest Louis Brouillard of sexually abusing him around 1977 or 1978 at Lonfit River, according to a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam. The accuser, identified in court documents only by his initials V.Q., filed a $10 million lawsuit Friday (Aug. 18) afternoon against Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council Chamorro District.” By Haidee Eugenio, Pacific Daily News

Accused clergy member teaches at Simon Sanchez High School
“Until the Guam Department of Education's legal counsel is done researching personnel policies and rules, a science teacher who is named in the latest clergy sexual abuse lawsuit will continue his job at Simon Sanchez High School, an education official said. Vernon T. Kamiaz has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, identified in local court documents only as E.M., who was taking confirmation classes between 1989 and 1990.” By Haidee Eugenio, Pacific Daily News

Temporary stay issued in sex abuse cases
“Judge Michael Bordallo of the Superior Court of Guam issued a temporary stay of 20 childhood sex abuse cases that were filed in Superior Court against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America, to see if the parties can agree on the mediation process. Attorney Anthony Perez, who represents several sex abuse victims, advised the court that his clients agreed to mediation but are still working out concerns they had with the protocol. He anticipates those issues being resolved in the next week or two.” By Mindy Aguon, The Guam Daily Post

NEW ZEALAND

Pedophile priest gets 26 months in jail
“A former Catholic priest jailed for molesting boys in the 1970s and 80s has again been jailed for 26 months, on charges against three new historic victims. Before Mark Mannix Brown was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court on Monday (Aug. 21), one of his victims revealed harrowing details of the consequences of his abuse. Brown, 74, had earlier plead guilty to four charges of indecent assault and attempted sodomy. Some of those charges were representative, meaning they cover a variety of incidents.” By Mike Mather, stuff.co.nz