Voice of the Faithful Focus, Jul. 27, 2018


Chile’s two cardinals become focus of clerical abuse investigation
“Pope’s Francis’s recent about-face on Chile’s clerical sexual abuse crisis, pivoting from strongly defending a bishop accused of cover-up to ordering investigations and summoning bishops to Rome to read them the riot act, appears to have been read as a green light to investigate by Chile’s civilian authorities, who in recent months have conducted multiple raids in several dioceses looking for evidence.” By Inés San Martin, Cruxnow.com

U.S. Catholic Church’s former public face on sex abuse faces decades of misconduct allegations
“One of the most recognized faces of the American Catholic Church was removed from the public ministry last month, making Cardinal Theodore McCarrick the highest ranking Catholic official in the nation to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor. Now the New York Times reports that McCarrick touched young adult seminarians. John Yang learns more Rev. James Martin of America magazine.” By Judy Woodruff and John Yang, PBSNewsHour

Catholic priests raise five main objections against grand jury report
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday (Jul. 17) is expected to release the latest salvo in a last-ditch effort to amend what is expected to be a blistering report on the Catholic Church statewide. The court is slated to release the response of state Attorney General Josh Shapiro to efforts by at least two dozen priests seeking to revise the report from the 40th Statewide Grand Jury. The priests, current and former, whose names have been redacted from the report, have petitioned the court seeking to revise or block the release of the forthcoming 800-plus page report.” By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com

Vatican expert: to fight sex abuse, the Catholic Church must invest in women
“One of the church’s experts on protecting children from abuse says that while today ‘there is much more awareness about the issue,’ the church has to invest more resources and include more women, especially where the church is growing fastest. ‘What is still lacking is an understanding that the protection of minors and the justice done to victims is a priority within the church,’ Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told America on Thursday (Jul. 19). He added that some bishops and other church leaders sometimes see combating sexual abuse as ‘one topic among others’ and have not grasped that ‘this has to be a priority for the church.’” By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review


Man says Cardinal McCarrick, his ‘uncle Ted,’ sexually abused him for years
“James was 11 years old when Father Theodore E. McCarrick came into his bedroom in Northern New Jersey, looking for the bathroom. Father McCarrick, then 39 and a rising star in the Roman Catholic church, was a close family friend, whom James and his six siblings called Uncle Teddy. James was changing out of his bathing suit to get ready for dinner.” By Sharon Otterman, The New York times

Addressing abuse, church must address the betrayal of community
“A particularly heart-freezing detail emerges in a 60-year-old man’s account of how he was abused as a boy by then-Fr. Theodore McCarrick … To fully grasp the sense of betrayal ordinary Catholics feel toward their hierarchy, you must fully grasp the horror of this detail: James was abused by the man who baptized him. The man who stood in persona Christiat the baptismal font, at the family dining table, around the backyard family pool, abused a child of God. That fact that this same man would rise to the highest ranks of the Catholic Church only heightens the sense of betrayal.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Ex-chancellor’s arrest spotlights big picture in Chile abuse crisis
“Already the most serious clerical sexual abuse crisis since the United States in 2002-2003 and Ireland in 2009-2010, the unfolding situation in Chile took another turn this week (Jul. 15) when the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago, the national capital, was arrested on seven counts of abuse and rape between 2002 and 2018, involving minors between 11 and 17, five of whom reportedly were his own nephews. The arrest was accompanied by a police raid of archdiocesan offices, which reportedly produced evidence that Church officials were aware of the accusations but did not report them to civil authorities.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

Auxiliary bishop serving top papal aide resigns after sex misconduct allegations
“An auxiliary bishop serving a top advisor to Pope Francis has resigned from office in Honduras after allegations that he sexually abused seminarians. Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle served under Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga in the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital. The cardinal is the coordinator of the C9 Council of Cardinals which advises the pope on the reform of the Vatican curia and the governance of the Church, and he is considered one of Francis’s closest confidantes.” By Charles Collins, Cruxnow.com

Melbourne archbishop-elect says Adelaide archbishop should resign
“Bishop Peter Comensoli, who will soon lead Australia’s largest Catholic diocese, is calling on Archbishop Philip Wilson to resign following his conviction for neglecting to report sexual abuse. Comensoli, who currently leads the diocese of Broken Bay and will be installed as archbishop of Melbourne later this month, adds his voice to the growing number of Australian bishops who believe the disgraced head of the archdiocese of Adelaide should step aside.” By Christopher White, Cruxnow.com

Australia’s bishops are under increasing pressure to make child abuse reports public after nuns, brothers and friars ‘favor’ release
“Australian orders of nuns and brothers have broken from Catholic bishops and called for public release of church-commissioned reports responding to the child abuse royal commission. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will hold an extraordinary meeting in early August to discuss its next move after Catholic Religious Australia, representing 150 orders and a partner with the ACBC in commissioning the Truth Justice and Healing Council reports, said members were ‘in favor of releasing’ them.” By Joanne McCarthy, Newcastle Herald

A Catholic trifecta of disgrace: next step in abuse saga is due
“The Academy Award-winning movie ‘Spotlight’ offered a summary of the first part of what I predict will be a Catholic trifecta of disgrace. ‘Spotlight’ showed priests abusing minors and clerical higher-ups covering for them, making for a grim, ongoing tale of betrayal and corruption. The second aspect came into sharp focus in Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman’s recent Pulitzer-worthy article, ‘He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal’ in which they spell out the dastardly deeds of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The authors made clear that McCarrick’s sexual exploits were many, widely known, and just as widely ignored on his way to a red hat. The third leg of this trifecta remains unexplored, but I predict/believe it will soon explode onto the scene: some priests’ use and abuse of women.” By Mary E. Hunt, National Catholic reporter


How Pope Francis could get back into the game on sex abuse reform
“For many victims of clerical sexual abuse and their advocates, last week offered a stark reminder of how far the Church has to go in cleaning house. Not only did Cardinal Theodore McCarrick face further accusations of abuse, including minors, but the right-hand man of one of Pope Francis’s chief advisers also resigned after accusations he had targeted seminarians for sexual favors in Honduras.” By Charles Collins, Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis hit by triple run of sex scandals
“Sexual abuse scandals and revelations across three countries at the weekend (Jul. 20-22) delivered a blow to the Pope’s zero tolerance for the culture of cover-up. One of the biggest headaches facing Francis is retired Washington archbishop Theodore McCarrick, 88, a leading church liberal. Cardinal McCarrick stood aside from ministry a month ago after a church investigation found an allegation that he abused a teenager 47 years ago in New York was ‘credible and substantiated’ …” By Tess Livingstone, The Australian

After new appointments, will Pope Francis’ stalled curial reform start moving?
“A long-time priority of Pope Francis, curial reform – specifically the overhaul of Vatican finances and communications – has been hanging by a thread for the past few years, and some wonder about the pope’s ability to make any meaningful or lasting changes in the Vatican’s way of doing business.” By Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency

PM Malcolm Turnbull calls on Pope Francis to sack Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson
“Malcolm Turnbull has called on Pope Francis to sack Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who has defied calls to resign his position despite his conviction for concealing child sex abuse. The Prime Minister, who meets with the nation’s most senior Catholics today (Jul. 19), said the head of the church must now intervene to force Wilson from office.” By Ben Packham, The Australian


Amid new sex abuse scandal, O’Malley issues warning to church
“Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said Tuesday (Jul. 20) he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the allegations of sexual abuse by one of the most respected US cardinals, Theodore McCarrick — and laid out steps the Roman Catholic Church needs to take to address its continuing clergy sex abuse problems. McCarrick’s ‘alleged actions, when committed by any person, are morally unacceptable and incompatible with the role of a priest, bishop or cardinal,’ O’Malley said in a statement, warning that the church could lose its ‘already weakened moral authority’ if it doesn’t make changes.” By Martin Finucane and Danny McDonald, The Boston Globe


Pope Francis approves USCCB delegates for October’s Synod of Bishops
“Pope Francis has ratified the members elected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to represent the United States at Synod of Bishops Oct. 3-28. The synod will meet at the Vatican to discuss ‘young people, faith and vocational discernment.’ The USCCB announced July 23 that the U.S. Church’s delegates will be …” By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com


Vatican suspends Chilean deacon accused of child abuse
“The Vatican dismissed a Chilean deacon over sexual abuse accusations in central Chile, the archdiocese of the city of Rancagua said Friday (Jul. 20), amid a widespread abuse scandal gripping the country’s Catholic Church. Luis Rubio was arrested for improper conduct and sexual abuse of minors when he was in charge of a Las Cabras school in 2013.” By Agence France-Press on Yahoo.com


Policy needed to address bishops’ violations of the vows of celibacy
“For the past several days, articles in the national media have reported accusations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual improprieties with several adults and his criminal violations of the sexual abuse of minors … These cases and others require more than apologies. They raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse. While the Church in the United States has adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests we must have clearer procedures for cases involving bishops.” By Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, The Pilot

Priests, celibacy and sex
“Recent news stories about financial settlements with adults who had sexual encounters with a bishop show that the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is not limited to the abuse of minors. When Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was suspended from the priesthood after being credibly accused of abusing an altar boy, it was also revealed that financial settlements for his actions had been made earlier with two adults.” By Religion News Editorial Board


Young women ask difficult questions to challenge church at recent Joan Chittister institute
“Eight female-identifying Catholics in their 20s and 30s, all of them students or recent graduates of programs in theology or divinity, gathered June 17-30 at Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania, for the inaugural Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality: A Feminist Benedictine Option. The institute was a two-week intensive course on the work of author and lecturer Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, especially her writings on monasticism and women in the Catholic Church.” By Breanna Mekuly and Jacqueline Small, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


#MeToo, your excellency
“Can we face the heartbreaking facts? It is time for #MeToo in the Catholic Church. There is too much abusive behavior by — or ignored by — Catholic bishops. Washington, D.C.’s former archbishop, Cardinal Theodore (‘Uncle Ted’) McCarrick, reportedly was overly fond of his seminarians, and was finally punished for abusing a minor 47 years ago. Everybody knew. Nobody did anything … It’s time for the church worldwide to face up to abuse of power by bishops, especially but not only the physical and emotional abuse whispered about in seminaries, chanceries and gay bars. In the U.S., the famous (infamous?) 2002 ‘Dallas Charter’ is all about priests, deacons and minors. Bishops are not under the charter’s jurisdiction. Yet the root of this problem is at the top, not the bottom. The problem is endemic, and the problem is real.” By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter

Melbourne’s new archbishop says promoting the Church as an ‘institution’ allowed ‘great evils’ to happen
“The new Archbishop of Melbourne says that seeing the Church as an institution rather than the ‘people of God’ allowed for ‘great evils’ to be committed and has pledged himself to rebuilding trust in light of the clerical sexual abuse scandal. Archbishop-elect Peter Comensoli, who will take up the leadership of Australia’s largest Catholic diocese on 1 August, said the abuse crisis was ‘paramount’ in everyone’s thinking and required a response at every level in the Church. Devastating findings by a recent royal commission found that 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse against the Church, many of them covered up by bishops who had pursued a strategy of protection of assets against legal claims.” By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet

500 theologians to gather in Sarajevo to talk ethics, action
“Nearly 500 moral theologians and ethicists are to gather at the end of July for a first-of-its-kind meeting focused how they can respond to the shifting global geopolitical environment and address contentious issues such as climate change and migration. Participants from about 80 countries are expected to take part in ‘A Critical Time for Bridge-Building: Catholic Theological Ethics Today,’ a July 26-29 event being held in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


$63K found stashed above the ceiling in priest’s basement
“Police said they found more than $63,000 in cash during a second search of the home of a Catholic priest charged with embezzling more than $5 million from an Okemos parish. The money was found above ceiling tiles in the basement of the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle’s lavish home on Noble Road, Michigan State Police said Wednesday (Jul. 18) in a news release.” By Ken Palmer, Lansing State Journal

Rapid City priest charged with stealing from collection plate
“Prosecutors have formally charged a Rapid City priest who acknowledged he was responsible for stealing from the weekly collection plates. Father Marcin Garbacz is charged with first-degree embezzlement of property and petty theft for taking money from donations at St. Therese Catholic Church in Rapid City.” By Associated Press in Argus Leader

In Minnesota, Catholic Charities sues near-bankrupt diocese
“The fate of a children’s home is the subject of a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., by the diocese’s Catholic Charities affiliate, which fears the diocese’s planned bankruptcy could disrupt services at the facility … After 74 claims related to clergy sex abuse were made, the diocese made a Feb. 28 announcement that it would seek bankruptcy protection, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.” By Kevin Jones, Catholic News Agency


Survivors now have more time to sue for clergy sex abuse
“A new law in Hawai’i now gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to file claims against their abuser. Reforms to the state’s statute of limitations have been key in exposing the extent of child sexual abuse at various institutions, most notably the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Nearly 60 priests associated with Hawaiʻi’s Roman Catholic Church have been accused of child sexual abuse. That’s according to a recent report by attorneys of abuse victims.” By Ku’uwehi Hiraishi, Hawaii Public Radio


Catholic Church finally delivering on promises about clerical abuse
“To even casual observers of recent news about the Catholic Church, it’s clear that a new day has dawned. Finally, after decades of stalling, denials and civil lawsuits, Catholic dioceses seem to recognize their accountability for the criminal behavior of pedophile priests.” By Mary Sanchez, Sun-Sentinel

Leaked letter adds to pressure on Chile cardinal over sex abuse scandals
“Despite repeated attempts to distance himself from his country’s sexual abuse crisis, including recently asserting there’s a climate of ‘slander’ against the Catholic Church, Chilean Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago is facing mounting scrutiny for his role in the scandals both from outside the Church and in. The latest headache for Ezzati, who heads the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile’s capital, has come with the revelation of a letter by a brother archbishop, Alejandro Goic, who until recently led the Archdiocese of Rancagua.” By Inés San Martin, Cruxnow.com


Survivors of childhood abuse urge others to seek justice
“June Johnson Cleghorn, 59, a Kailua mother of two, is urging victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against their abusers. Cleghorn did just that — and reached a court settlement in 2016 — after a teacher allegedly sexually abused her over a six-year period beginning in 1971 when she was a 12-year-old boarding student at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on Hawaii Island. Cleghorn and others spoke at a news conference last week with her attorney, Mark Gallagher, to raise awareness that the state has lifted the statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse until April 24, 2020, to file retroactive civil law suits against their alleged abusers and the organizations that allowed the abuse to continue.” By Denby Fawcett, Honolulu Civil Beat


Defrocked priest committed indefinitely to state facility for sex offenders
“Arguably Chicago’s most notorious figure in the national Roman Catholic priest sex abuse scandal was committed indefinitely Wednesday (Jul. 17) to a state facility for sex offenders. In refusing to release Daniel McCormack under strict monitoring, Cook County Judge Dennis Porter noted that the defrocked priest had never cooperated with treatment or even admitted to a problem.” By Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune


NOPD launches criminal investigation after church sex abuse allegations
“A former Catholic deacon accused of molesting young boys is now the subject of a criminal sexual abuse investigation. The attorney who represented one of the alleged victims in a large settlement with the Archdiocese of New Orleans hopes this will create lasting change. A man who suppressed memories for years claims former Deacon George Brignac raped and sexually abused him at Holy Rosary church.” By Amanda Roberts, F0X8 News


Lawsuit accuses priest of denying aid for sex abuse victim
“A man who says he was sexually assaulted as a child by a Catholic monk in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit accusing a priest of trying to conceal the abuse and refusing to help pay for his mental health treatment. The man said in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday (Jul. 18) that he was raped by Brother Joseph Martin while he worked at Saint Benedict Abbey in Harvard, Massachusetts in the 1970s.” By Alanna Durkin Richer, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com

Catholic order pays $1 million settlement to eight victims of clergy sex abuse dating back decades
“A Catholic order has paid a total of $1 million to eight people who were sexually abused by two Catholic priests in the 1970s and early ’80s in Massachusetts, the victims’ lawyer said Tuesday (Jul. 17). One of the priests, John J. Gallagher, was the subject of a letter written in 1992 by one of the victims to the late Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Boston. The letter, released by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, graphically detailed abuse the woman experienced in Lawrence in the mid-’70s, and serves as further evidence that Law had knowledge of sexual abuse by Catholic priests before it was widely publicized.” By J.D. Capelouto, The Boston Globe


Catholic order says 30 victims have alleged sexual abuse
“Leaders of a Catholic order in New Jersey said in a letter posted on its website that 30 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse by the monks or lay faculty associated with a private school. In a joint letter written to the community on July 20, the head of St. Mary’s Abbey and the Delbarton School headmaster said the order had settled eight lawsuits with alleged victims, while seven others were pending.” By Associated Press in Minneapolis Star Tribune


Sexual assault charge dropped against former Hobbs priest
“The case against a former Hobbs Catholic priest accused of criminal sexual contact has been dismissed. The Hobbs News-Sun reported that the criminal charge against former St. Helena Catholic Church priest Ricardo Bauza was tossed last week just days before he was slated to stand trial.” By Associated Press in Santa Fe New Mexican


Will Buffalo Diocese pay victims of sex abuse by religious order priests?
“Gary Astridge and Robert Swierat are two Buffalo area men in their early 60s who say they were repeatedly raped by Catholic priests decades ago. The two have something else in common – they say the Diocese of Buffalo has so far refused to accept any responsibility for the incidents because the abuser priests were members of religious orders and not ordained by the diocese.” By Dan Herbeck, The Buffalo News

Erie Catholic Diocese adds new names to list of clergy, laypersons credibly accused of sexual abuse
“The Erie Catholic Diocese has released an update to the list of clergy and laypersons who are credibly accused of actions that the Diocese believes disqualifies them from working with children. The new names include Father William A. Rice, who is retired and living in Fryburg, Pa. The Diocese of Erie said it has received sexual harassment allegations concerning Father Rice involving both children and adults.” By Erie News Now

Clergy sex abuse revelations stun, anger Catholics in Buffalo
“Catholics in Buffalo, New York, are undergoing their Boston moment on sex abuse, 16 years removed from the events that rocked the wider church in the United States … On Feb. 27, Michael Whalen, 52, held a press conference at which he accused retired priest Fr. Norbert Orsolits of abuse inflicted when Whalen was a minor … Orsolits’ story was news to Catholics in Buffalo, who were never told that the priest was an accused sex abuser. The diocese was taken to task for a policy of not revealing the names of accused priests. Within weeks, Bishop Richard Malone, who came to the diocese in 2012, revealed the names of 42 accused clergy.” By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter


Abuse accusations against priests, bishops and cardinal reach levels not seen in years
“…But scandals are flaring up in Catholic dioceses throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions, and in countries ranging from Chile to France to Australia to the upper ranks of the Vatican. Pope Francis himself, after initial defensiveness, is now removing bishops in Chile and lamenting a ‘culture of abuse and cover-up.’” By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Clergy abuse survivors finding their voices, and each other
“Jim VanSickle recalls the ‘long walk’ into the room where members the 40th statewide grand jury waited to hear him. ‘I was nervous, I was sweating, thinking, ‘Lord, give me the words that I need,’ recalled Mr. VanSickle, 55, of Coraopolis. He sensed an assurance from that Lord, in whom he has retained faith in spite of the betrayals he felt from its purported ministers: ‘Just be true to yourself and your story.’” By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Supreme Court considers clergy abuse report
“The state Supreme Court continues to weigh whether or how to release a grand jury report detailing allegations of widespread sex abuse by priests in six of Pennsylvania’s dioceses. As arguments come in from both sides, the head of a watchdog group that tracks efforts to hold the Catholic Church accountable for covering up sex abuse by priests said he’s unaware of any previous case where an appeals court intervened to consider whether individuals should be named in such court documents.” By John Finnerty, The Danville News


Bishops to release Catholic Church response to royal commission
“Australia’s Catholic bishops will release the Catholic Church response to the child abuse royal commission ‘as soon as possible’ after an extraordinary meeting in Melbourne next week. Bishops will meet on August 2 and 3 after months of criticism from Catholic reform groups and some politicians about the failure to release a church-commissioned Truth Justice and Healing Council report handed to bishops in March.” By Joanne McCarth, Newcastle Herald

Diocese faces Victoria’s largest abuse group action
“Victoria’s largest ever child sexual abuse group action was set to be launched yesterday against the Sale Diocese … The diocese, named in the recent Royal Commission report as having the highest percentage of alleged pedophile priests in Australia, already has two other major ongoing child sexual abuse group actions underway. These legal actions, against St Patrick’s College/Catholic College Sale, and St Paul’s/Lavalla in Traralgon have bought forward more than 46 new alleged victims since March this year.” By CathNews.com

Catholic priest faces more historical sex charges
“A former Catholic priest is facing more charges of child sexual abuse, relating to incidents dating back to the 1970s. In April, the 83-year-old man from Subiaco was charged with physically and sexually assaulting seven boys and girls aged between six and 12-years-old while he was the priest at a Catholic church in Shenton Park.” By PerthNow.com


Chilean prosecutors probing 36 claims of Catholic Church sex abuse
“The Chilean civil authorities are investigating 36 accusations of sexual abuse against bishops, clerics and lay workers in the Roman Catholic Church, the national prosecutor’s office said on Monday (Jul. 23). The investigations are among 144 reports of sexual abuse implicating 158 Church workers made since 2000, it added in a statement.” By Aislinn Laing and Cassandra Garrison, Reuters

Chilean priest accused of sexually abusing minors is arrested
“Authorities arrested a priest Thursday (Jul. 12) on accusations of sexually abusing minors, the latest turn in a scandal engulfing Chile’s Roman Catholic Church for having covered up abuses for decades. Oscar Munoz Toledo, a priest who was once the chancellor of Santiago’s archbishopric, was arrested by police on the orders of prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who is investigating 14 other suspended priests in the southern diocese of Rancagua for allegedly participating in a network of abuse.” By Associated Press in Star Tribune


Irish sex abuse survivors say Francis should admit to Vatican’s cover-up
“Several prominent Irish clergy sexual abuse survivors are calling on Pope Francis to use his upcoming visit to their country at the end of August to admit to the Vatican’s role for decades in helping cover-up abuse cases on the island. Noting that the pontiff publicly decried a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Chilean Catholic Church in a letter to the people of that country in May, the Irish survivors say they are owed a similar admission about how the church sought to silence them and fellow victims.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


Victim of Catholic priest asks others to come forward
“The Catholic church said Father Michael Shirres, who died in the 1990s, abused at least five children. Annie Hill said she was one of them, abused at five when Shirres was her local parish priest. ‘We think that the worst thing that can happen is what happened to us – but the worst thing I believe the can happen is that we do nothing and it happens to the next generation,’ she said.” By John Boynton and Rowan Quinn, Radio New Zealand