Voice of the Faithful Focus, May 1, 2015

Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church


Bishop Robert Finn to preside over ordinations despite resignation
“Despite announcing his resignation a week ago (Apr. 21), Bishop Robert W. Finn will preside over the priestly ordinations of seven deacons next month in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. A diocese spokesman Monday (Apr. 27) cited a scheduling conflict that prevented the new temporary leader of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, from ordaining the seven men on May 23 …” By Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star
Despite resignation, Bishop Finn will preside at Kansas City ordinations, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

Pennsylvania top court reinstates monsignor’s conviction
“The state’s highest court on Monday (Apr. 28) reinstated the landmark child-endangerment conviction of a Roman Catholic monsignor who was the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted over his handling of sex abuse complaints. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the 2012 felony conviction of Monsignor William Lynn for endangering an altar boy abused by a priest who had been transferred to his parish despite earlier complaints.” By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, on ABCNews.go.com
Monsignor headed back to prison, By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

The CDF vs. the LCWR: postgame analysis
Now that hostilities have ceased between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, it is hard to resist the temptation to declare a winner. Certainly, the conclusion of the whole unfortunate episode, with this week’s release of a brief and anodyne ‘joint final report’ and follow-up meeting between LCWR leadership and the pope, has been as positive an ending, from the sisters’ perspective, as anyone could have hoped for.” By Mollie Wilson O’Reilly, Commonweal

O’Malley urges more accountability in sex-abuse cases
“Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston (who leads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) made a pitch to Pope Francis and his team of cardinal advisers Wednesday (Apr. 15) on the need to hold bishops who fail to report sexual abuse accountable. O’Malley’s talk came three days after two survivors of clerical sexual abuse met with him to protest the pope’s naming of a bishop in Chile linked to a notorious abuser.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com
Vatican: Council of Cardinals has bishop accountability ‘on the table,’ By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Vatican moves towards legal procedures to fight bishops who protect abusers, By Agence France-Press
Pope urged to deal with bishops who fail to protect kids, By Associated Press

‘You are committing a mortal sin’: Royal Commission hears horrific memories
“Queensland women have recalled gut-wrenching memories of abuse at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today. Mary Adams sobbed through her statement, saying she remembered yelling ‘You are committing a mortal sin’ at a priest who abused her as a child. Another woman known only as AYB said she was repeatedly raped as a child by a Catholic priest, who then made her confess to her ‘sin.’” By 9News.com


On April 21, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. Finn was convicted in 2012 of failing to report to civil authorities that a priest of the diocese had child pornography on his computer. Media coverage of the resignation has been considerable and continues. Here are some examples:
Bishop Finn Held to Account, Editorial in Commonweal
U.S. Bishop Finn, symbol of church’s failure on sexual abuse, resigns, By Joshua J. McElwee, Brian Roewe, Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis accepts resignation of KC Bishop Robert Finn, By Associated Press in The Kansas City Star
Robert Finn, Missouri bishop convicted of shielding pedophile priest, resigns, By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Catholic bishop of Kansas City convicted of failure to report child abuse resigns, By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Robert Finn for failing to report abuse, By Jane Onyange-Omara, USA Today, on ReligionNews.com
Abuse watchdogs praise Bishop Robert Finn resignation, but want more, By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com
Vatican accepts resignation of U.S. bishop convicted of sex abuse coverup, By Michele Boorstein and Abby Ohlheiser, The Washington Post
Pope Francis removes Bishop Finn, By Grant Gallicho, Commonweal
Before scandal, Finn was prominent conservative voice in Catholic Church, By Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY
Five lessons from the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, By David Gibson, Religion News Service
Bishop Finn finally pays the price for misusing power and placing church secrecy ahead of the safety of area children, Editorial in The Kansas City Star
Some Kansas City Catholics appear split over bishop’s resignation, By Michael Mahoney, KMBC-TV
Pope accepts resignation of U.S. bishop who failed to report priest suspected of child abuse, By Gerard O’Connell, America
Pope Francis weighs the bishops’ role in the sex abuse scandal, By Francis X. Clines, The New York Times
Next steps for Pope Francis: speak up and fire more bishops, By BishopAccountability.org on Hamilton-Griffin.com
Canon Lawyers: Origins of Bishop Finn’s resignation unclear, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
Reaction to Finn’s resignation: sadness, relief settle on diocese, By Brian Roewe, Soli Salgado, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis is mulling proposal on bishop accountability
“The Vatican’s special commission on clergy sexual abuse has given Pope Francis a proposal on how to punish bishops who failed to protect minors from sexual abuse by clergy under their oversight.” By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com
Clergy sexual abuse survivor Marie Collins heads to Rome in protest over bishop’s appointment before Hartford Talk, By Anne-Gerard Flynn, MassLive.com

Pope’s sex abuse advisors meet in Rome over Chile bishop
“Four members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory commission traveled to Rome on Sunday (Apr. 12) to voice their concerns in person about Francis’ appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious molester. The four met with Francis’ point-man on abuse, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who agreed to relay their concerns to the pope about the appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno in southern Chile, the commission members said in a statement.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press in The Island Packet
Vatican abuse commission members: O’Malley passing concerns to Francis, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Vatican meeting on controversial bishop went ‘very well,’ By Pats McGarry, The Irish Times
Vatican abuse commission members hope to meet with Francis about Chilean bishop, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


Vatican ends controversial three-year oversight of U.S. sisters’ leaders
“A controversial three-year program of Vatican oversight of the main leadership group of U.S. Catholic sisters has come to a curt and unexpected end, with the sisters and the church’s doctrinal office announcing that the goal of the oversight ‘has been accomplished.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concludes mandate regarding LCWR, By LCWR, news release and final report
Vatican ends takeover of U.S. Catholic nuns group, By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Why the Vatican’s crackdown on nuns ended happily, By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com
Vatican ends battle with U.S. nuns, By Sylvia Poggioli, National Public Radio
Reactions of relief as LCWR oversight ends, By Dan Stockman, Dawn Cherie Araujo, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter
Going forward: LCWR after after the ‘doctrinal assessment,’ By Thomas C. Fox, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter
The Vatican reaches positive, amicable conclusion with main leadership of American sisters, By Gerard O’Connell, America
Was end of standoff with Vatican a win for U.S. nuns? More of a draw, By Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times

Global Sisters Report celebrates one-year anniversary
“Global Sisters Report, the groundbreaking project giving greater voice to Catholic sisters around the globe, celebrates its one-year anniversary. As the first reporting initiative dedicated exclusively to Catholic sisters, the project’s website, GlobalSistersReport.org, presents a realistic portrait of Catholic sisters in a changing world.” By Religion News Service


The fear of real Roman Curia reform
“A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. Believe it or not, he said talk of reform was exaggerated. ‘I personally can see no significant reason that would necessitate a reform of the Curia at the moment,’ the official said.” By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter
Curial reform unnecessary, says Ganswein, By CathNews.com


German Catholics: Vatican family survey ‘too fixated on ideals’
“The German bishops’ conference has summarized and commented on the replies of German Catholics to the 46 questions of the second Vatican questionnaire on the family, in an 18-page report published on 20 April. The main criticism, which applies to all parts of the questionnaire, the bishops point out, is that it proceeds from an idealized image of the family which does not adequately relate to the reality of life in German society.” By The Tablet

Kenya and the survey for the synod on the family
“Last month I published a number of articles about the surveys being used to gather information from Catholics all over the world in preparation for next October’s Synod on the Family. Among the comments to my pieces was a letter from Father Joseph G. Healey, M.M. … He wrote with concern that my piece did not mention the process that was ongoing in East Africa.” By Jim McDermott, America

In between synods, bishops keep talking
“With months to go before October’s Synod of Bishops on the family, bishops from around the world are already discussing some of the main topics, including LGBT relationships and divorced and remarried couples. Meanwhile, Pope Francis asked for prayers, “not gossip,” for the upcoming synod at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square March 25.” By Catholic News Service and Religion News Service in National Catholic Reporter


San Francisco archbishop: I expected controversy, but not to this degree
“Many Roman Catholics in this city (San Francisco) named for humble St. Francis are sparring with each other on social media and in letters to the editor over one figure: Their leader in the faith, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com
Prominent Catholics call on pope to oust S.F. archbishop, By Matier & Ross, SFGate.com
The mess in San Francisco, By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
Influential Catholics call for removal of San Francisco archbishop in full-page ad, By Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter

Catholics around the world can’t afford luxury issues and why it took so long for Bishop Finn to resign
“Americans may have lost their dominance in many sectors of the global economy in the early 21st century, but there’s one industry where we still unquestionably lead the pack: the manufacture of controversy. American Catholics are no exception … Now that the story of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph has reached its inevitable denouement with his resignation, the main post-mortem curiosity is why it took so long to get here.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

Lay reform groups discuss equality of women, church governance at international meeting
“The role and full equality of women in church life as well as the governance of the church were the two main issues discussed by delegates at the second international meeting of priest associations and lay reform groups here April 13-17.” By Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter

In California, two bishops strike different chords
A study in contrasts is playing out in California, where the newly installed bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, issued a call to resist the culture wars at the same time that prominent Catholics in San Francisco, just 500 miles up the coast, were calling for the firing of his former boss, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.” By Michael O’Loughlin, National Catholic Reporter

Cleveland Diocese adds detailed “morality clause” to high school teachers, too
“Teachers at the five high schools run by the Cleveland Catholic diocese have agreed to sign the same expanded and detailed ‘morality clause’ that elementary school teachers had to sign a year ago. The new rules, outlined in the recently signed contract between the diocese and the Cleveland High School and Academy Lay Teachers Association (CHALTA), say a teacher can be fired for ‘certain speech or actions that are considered to be contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.’” By Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer

Cardinal to religious: Those who abandon Vatican II are ‘killing themselves’
“The cardinal who leads the Vatican’s congregation for religious life told members of religious orders globally that they must live their vocations ‘inserted’ into the world, not closing themselves off to new things but open to changes of modern life.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Catholic journalist known for Vatican II reporting, activism dies at 84
“Robert Blair Kaiser, whose award-winning coverage of the Second Vatican Council for Time magazine played a significant role in informing Americans about the council, died April 2 in hospice care in Phoenix. He was 84. His funeral Mass was to be celebrated April 10 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Phoenix. Kaiser spent 10 years as a Jesuit seminarian and scholastic, from 1949 to 1959, before leaving the order and turning to journalism.” By Catholic News Service in Catholic Sentinel


The big revolution according to Cardinal Rodriguez
Revolution is stirring, and Pope Francis’ right-hand man is at the helm. ‘There is something new in the church,’ Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga declared on a March visit to the Cincinnati archdiocese. A ‘big revolution’ has begun. As I attended a public lecture, press conference, liturgy and individual meeting with the cardinal, the phrase ‘big revolution’ began to make sense. By the end, I felt, unmistakably, that the church under Pope Francis is being shaped in radical, even unpredictable ways.” By Jennifer Mertens, National Catholic Reporter

Scottish Catholic Church faces major structural change due to unprecedented decline
“The Catholic Church is facing massive structural reorganization in Scotland in the face of unprecedented decline in numbers of priests and parishes, according to a pastoral letter to clergy and laity. Numbers of parishes in one diocese could be cut by nearly two-thirds. The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, the Most Rev Leo Cushley, warns that the archdiocese is becoming financially unsustainable and is at a turning point. He says ‘unpleasant’ change is ahead.” By Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today

At San Francisco school, priests stir parental ire
“Star of the Sea School in the San Francisco archdiocese has become a kind of war zone between the majority of school parents and Star of the Sea Parish’s two priest leaders — Fr. Joseph Illo, administrator, and Fr. Patrick Driscoll, associate pastor.” By Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter


Changing hearts: four was Pope Francis is transforming church life
Catholicism is undergoing an epochal transformation. For more than a millennium dogma has been the hard core of church life, defining who is in and who is out. Partisans have fought over the correct way to define Christian belief; they condemned their opponents and persecuted them as heretics. In this new era, the pertinent standard is the good of souls.” By Drew Christiansen, America

Can Pope Francis reconcile Catholics to the church hierarchy
Millions of Catholics eagerly await Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States this fall. Like no other Christian leader in recent years, this humble, empathetic man has moved the world with simple words and deeds of virtue. Yet whatever pleasant surprises and breakthroughs may be in store during the trip — which includes a stop in Cuba, speeches before Congress and the U.N., and an outdoor mass that will likely draw millions in Philadelphia — joy will be tainted by an unmistakable pall.” By Mary Sanchez, The Kansas City Star

Will Pope Francis Break the Church?
The Church is not yet in the grip of a revolution. The limits, theological and practical, on papal power are still present, and the man who was Jorge Bergoglio has not done anything that explicitly puts them to the test. But his moves and choices (and the media coverage thereof) have generated a revolutionary atmosphere around Catholicism.” By Ross Douthat, The Atlantic

Despite rhetoric, Pope Francis treats cardinals like princes
“In his pre-Christmas talk to the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican Curia, Pope Francis shocked his audience and the world by his scathing words on the failings of those working in the Vatican … News stories of this talk naturally connected it with Pope Francis’ plans to reform the Curia, but the speech notwithstanding, little progress has been seen except in the area of financial reform.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter

The barque of Peter in shark-infested waters
“The seas have suddenly become a lot more agitated for Pope Francis, who up to now has proven to be amazingly unsinkable in the face of any kind of adversity. But in the last few weeks, he has found himself in the midst of several minor crises and controversies that if not resolved well could work to undermine his credibility with many Catholics and deal a blow to his project for reforming the church.” By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis is wildly popular. So what?
“In the days before Easter, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal published the results of a poll finding that most Americans still hold a favorable view of Pope Francis. A few weeks before that, the Pew Research Center released a report showing that the pope remains popular even with non-Catholics. That was an update to a poll from last December demonstrating that Francis was popular around the world, too.” By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com

The disastrous appointment of Bishop Barros could spell trouble for Pope Francis
What on earth is happening in the Diocese of Osorno, Chile? Quite a few observers are bewildered by the recent appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to the diocese. Let us start with what happened when the newly appointed bishop was enthroned in his cathedral this Saturday last (Mar. 28). A fight – yes, you read that correctly – broke out as His Lordship entered the cathedral, between the rival factions in the diocese, those who support the new bishop and those who oppose him.” By Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith, Catholic Herald


Ohio priest resigns amid financial investigation at church
“A Roman Catholic priest has resigned amid an investigation into financial wrongdoing at his suburban Dayton church. The Rev. Earl Simone, who pastored St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights, had a letter distributed to parishioners last weekend saying he was retiring because of medical problems. The 69-year-old Simone also was the administrator of four other Catholic churches in Dayton.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

Jacksonville man accused of stealing $260,000 from priest
“A Jacksonville man is accused of stealing more than a quarter-million dollars from a 91-year-old Catholic priest in Southwest Florida. Detectives found that the man obtained limited power of attorney to one of the victim’s accounts and added himself as a joint account owner on the other, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.” By The Florida Times-Union

San Jose priest indicted on federal fraud, tax charges
“A San Jose priest has been indicted on federal fraud and tax evasion charges, accused of abusing his position by diverting thousands of dollars in donations from parishioners into his personal bank account over a three-year period.” By Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News

George Pell calls the Catholic Church to account
“Not long after being appointed as financial controller of the Holy See, essentially the Vatican’s Treasurer and effectively one of the top four positions of the Catholic Church, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell shocked the ancient ways of the Curia in Rome by announcing he had discovered hundreds of millions of euros in lost funds.” By Dennis Shanahan, The Australian


New ‘springtime’ for women in the Church, forecasts cardinal
“Speaking at a conference in Rome this week on women’s role in conflict resolution, Cardinal Peter Turkson told participants that the next Secretary of the pontifical council that he heads could be a woman, reports The Tablet.” By CathNews.com


In Hartford, woman talks of speaking out about sexual abuse by priest
“ … Marie Collins spoke Saturday (Apr. 18) morning at the 2015 National Assembly of the Voice of the Faithful, a Massachusetts-based group formed after the priest sex abuse scandal broke more than 10 years ago. The group is dedicated to supporting victims of abuse, and also says it supports priests of integrity and structural change within the church.” By Kristin Stoller, Hartford Courant

Child abuse victims to assemble in Albany to ask for new law
“In accordance with Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, D-Maspeth, is inviting advocates for her Child Victims Act (A.2872/S.63) to join her at The Well on Wednesday, April 22, to meet with lawmakers in support of the legislation.” By Matthew D’Onofrio, The Legislative Gazette


Editorial: Catholic Church leaders must be accountable for abuse
“(Monsignor William) Lynn’s transgressions may have been exposed in civil court, but many members of the hierarchy are guilty of the same sins. Holding them accountable should be a top priority of Pope Francis — for the sake of children of all faiths. Editorial by Delaware County Daily Times

Clergy abuse survivors’ open letters to the Pope
“Boston.com asked three sexual abuse survivors — Ann Hagan Webb, Robert Costello, and Bernie McDaid — to write an open letter to Pope Francis about his visit, and whether or not it should include Boston.” By Allison Pohle and Sara Morrison, boston.com

Belgian archbishop ordered to pay church abuse victim
“Belgium’s senior Roman Catholic cleric, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros ($10,900) in damages for failing to act on allegations of sexual abuse in the 1990s. The civil case was brought by Joel Devillet, who was abused by a priest while he was a choirboy in the south of Belgium in the late 1980s, when he was 14 years old.” By Reuters
Belgian bishop: Ruling against archbishop could spur claims for damages, By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis must do more to protect children from Catholic church abuse
“Pope Francis has made international headlines by breaking with a number of church traditions, but there is one that he sadly upholds. For centuries, most high ranking church officials guilty of child abuse or other crimes have been kept on the job, shuffled elsewhere, allowed to quietly retire or even promoted. That hasn’t changed: Vatican officials’ obsession with ‘saving face’ still trumps their concern with saving children.” By David Clohessy, The Guardian

After K.C. bishop’s resignation, what of Nienstedt?
“Pope Francis on Tuesday(Apr. 21) accepted the resignation of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, who had failed to report a priest who had possessed child pornography. Finn was convicted. Is the clergy sex abuse scandal in Kansas City similar to the scandal here.” By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio

Releasing annual audit on compliance on child protection, bishops warn against complacency
“U.S. bishops on April 17 released the results of their annual compliance audit intended to track the U.S. church’s response to the abuse of children by clergy according to guidelines first established by the 2002 Dallas Charter.” By Kevin Clarke, America

Catholic Church must confront legacy of abuse
“As a member of the Catholic Church that I love and as a victim of clerical physical and sexual abuse, I am appalled, embarrassed, but mostly profoundly saddened by the ways priests, bishops, cardinals and even popes deliberately and knowingly have mishandled clerical sexual abuse issues. Instead of being transparent, honest and law-abiding, they consistently have chosen to cover up these crimes, usually only releasing somewhat accurate information and evidence and only when they are dragged into court or forced to do so by laws that bound the rest of us.” By Damien Cronin, Duluth News Tribune

Catholic Church fights push to allow more abuse claims in N.Y.
“The Roman Catholic Church is opposing efforts in New York to allow sex abuse accusers to file lawsuits after the statute of limitations has expired, warning of dire financial consequences if the state allows plaintiffs to sue decades after the purported abuse occurred. Currently in New York, victims of child sex abuse have until five years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. The same statute of limitations applies to most child sex crimes.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com


Rep. Plasencia prepared to call out senate over sex abuse statute of limitations stall
“Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, said he will call out the Senate for stalling and sabotaging his bill to increase the time period to prosecute charges in sexual battery cases. His bill, HB 133, passed by a 115-0 vote on April 9. It passed through the Senate on a 39-0 vote on Friday (Apr.24), but only after tacking on three amendments that were the subjects of other bills, sending it back to the House.” By Gray Rohrer, Orlando Sentinel


Child abuse advocates take to church steps to send a message
Abuse allegations have become all too common in connection with the Catholic Church. One of those priests already convicted once served in our area. Now one advocate group wants Savannah’s Bishop to step up and help his victims. Wayland Brown was assigned to St James School back in 1987. That’s when he’s accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 13 year old boy.” By Andrew Davis, WSAV-TV


Joliet Diocese settles Victims’ abuse claims against ‘savage, scary’ priests for over $4 million
“Savage. Scary. Those are just a few of the words used to describe five Roman Catholic priests named in an out-of-court settlement for $4.137 million by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet. James Nowak, Michael Gibbney, Lawrence Gibbs, Myles White and Fred Lenczycki were once trusted priests who allegedly preyed upon young boys spanning Will and DuPage County parishes from the 1960s to 1980s. None of the accused priests are today involved in active ministry.” By Lorraine Swanson, Patch.com


Sex abuse settlement to uncover priest’s brief tenure in Louisville
“Details in the settlement of a sex abuse lawsuit against a Catholic priest will reveal specific information on the priest’s brief stint as a principal in Louisville said the attorney on the case. Attorneys representing St. John’s Abbey and Father Gilbert Tarlton reached a settlement Monday with lawyers representing the victim known in court records as “Doe 2.” The case was scheduled to go to court May 4.” By Derrick Rose, WHAS-TV


Former Bangor priest found guilty for sexual assault
“A former priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor was sentenced Monday (Apr. 27) to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended for sex crimes involving children. Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Ann Murray at the Penobscot Judicial Center. She also sentenced him to three years of probation when he gets out of prison. He must also register with the Maine Sex Offender Registry for life.” By Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News


St. John’s Abbey settles sex abuse suit
“Saint John’s Abbey has reached a settlement with a man who said he was sexually abused as a teenager by a Benedictine monk. The man, known in court filings as Doe 2, sued Saint John’s Abbey in 2013 for allegedly failing to protect him from sexual abuse by the Rev. Allen Tarlton in the late 1970s.” By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota archdiocese gets earlier deadline for clergy claims
“The judge handling the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case said Thursday (Apr. 16) he would approve its request to set an Aug. 3 deadline for victims of clergy sexual abuse to file claims, despite a state law allowing them until May 25, 2016.” By St. Paul Pioneer Press in Grand Forks Herald

Archdiocese seeks to shorten window for abuse victims
“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which has filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of clergy abuse claims, is asking the court to sidestep a state law and reduce the window for victims’ claims by about nine months.” By Elizabeth Mohr, Pioneer Press, on Twin Cities.com


Diocese of Helena posts names of clergy accused of abuse
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena has posted on its website the names of former priests and other employees who were accused of sexually abusing children. The list, posted Wednesday (Apr. 29), is one of the conditions of settling lawsuits filed by hundreds of people who said they were abused by priests, nuns, and others dating back to the 1940s.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com


Place no limits on child sex abuse suits
“For its victims, child sex abuse is a lifetime sentence, so we support a bill to eliminate New York’s statute of limitations on lawsuits in these situations. Now, victims of child sex abuse can file a lawsuit up until they turn 23. But their anguish doesn’t vanish with their birthday. Their scars don’t go away.” By Editorial by Glens Falls Post-Star

N.Y. Catholics show up in force to lobby for Child Victims Act
“While many folks around the world marked April 22 as Earth Day, in Albany, N.Y., State Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey used the occasion to host a Lobby Day to promote awareness of child sexual abuse.” By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter


Priest case opens ‘incident files’
“A former Cincinnati priest is part of a legal settlement in Minnesota that will open ‘incident files’ about child abuse accusations involving Catholic clergy. The Rev. Gilbert Allen Tarlton, who worked in Cincinnati in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was sued in 2013 by a man who said the priest abused him when he was a freshman at a Minnesota preparatory school in 1977.” By Dan Horn, Cincinnati Enquirer


Sex crimes statute of limitations bill advances
“The Oregon House voted unanimously Wednesday (Apr. 15) to give prosecutors more time to bring criminal charges in some cases of rape and sexual abuse. Researchers say sex crimes are under-reported, and the bill’s proponents said victims shouldn’t be denied justice because too many years passed before they felt comfortable going to police.” By Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press, in The Register-Guard


Priest pleads not guilty to new charges in child sex case
“A suspended Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty before a federal magistrate in western Pennsylvania to additional charges that he traveled to Honduras to have sex with poor street children during missionary trips. The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. has been jailed since last fall when federal prosecutors in Johnstown accused him of molesting one boy, and possessing child pornography.” By New Castle News

No third trial for Catholic priest
“A Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 in the rectory at St. John Cantius Parish in Bridesburg will not have to face a third trial on child sex-abuse charges.” By Julie Shaw, Philadelphia Daily News
Prosecutors add two more victims to Pennsylvania priest’s sexual tourism case, By Associated Press on FOX News


Priest accused of sexual abuse reinstated
“The former director of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch was reinstated as a Catholic priest last week after an internal review found sex abuse claims could not be substantiated. The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, now 82, was removed from the ministry in 2006 amid a growing number of reports from people who said they were abused sexually or physically by Weitensteiner or his staff at the ranch.” By Associated Press in The Columbian


Former NSW priest charged over sex abuse
“A former Catholic priest accused of abusing eight children between 1975 and 1992 has been charged with several counts of sexual and indecent assault. The 70-year-old was on Tuesday (Apr. 28) arrested at a home in Granville, in Sydney’s west, following a year-long investigation which began with allegations he abused a young girl in 1986. Seven more victims were subsequently identified during the investigation.” By news.com.au

Head of Sisters of Mercy apologizes to victims from orphanage
“A senior Sister has apologized to victims of sexual abuse at St Joseph’s Orphanage at Neerkol during her testimony yesterday at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing, reports the ABC. Hundreds of children were beaten, molested, and raped at St Joseph’s over three decades up until the late 1970s.” By CathNews.com

Retired Bishop Brian Heenan kept pedophile priest in parish
“The retired Rockhampton bishop allowed a priest to stay on at a parish even though he knew he was a pedophile, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard. Bishop Brian Heenan also admitted at one point he tried to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church rather than consider the victims of sexual abuse.” By William Rollo and Marina Whop, ABC News Australia

Pedophile priest had gift with youth
“A retired Catholic bishop described a pedophile priest as having a “unique gift with youth” in a character reference for the man’s court sentence. Former head of the Catholic diocese of Rockhampton in Queensland Brian Heenan told a royal commission on Friday (Apr. 17) he regretted parts of the 1999 reference letter in support of the disgraced former member of his clergy, Reginald Durham.” By Australian Associated Press

Orphanage witness describes abuse by priest, beatings by nuns
“A woman has told an inquiry how she was sexually abused by a priest and forced to drink her own urine to stay hydrated at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage at Rockhampton, reports the ABC. Diane Carpenter, who lived at Neerkol intermittently until she turned 17, was giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is holding public hearings in the central Queensland city.” By CathNews.com

Sex abuse victim settles with Catholic Church
“A ten year legal battle has finally come to an end for one sex abuse victim, who has reached a settlement with the Catholic Church. Pedophile bus driver Brian Perkins sexually abused disabled students at St Ann’s School in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was eventually jailed for his crimes for six years but died in prison in 2009.” By 7News Adelaide

Catholic Church abuse claims were anticipated ears before allegations were made
“The Catholic Church had set aside tens of millions of dollars to compensate sexual abuse victims years before it was prepared to publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem and now has up to $150 million set aside to cover existing and future claims.” By Chris Vedelago, Jane Lee, Brisbane Times


Sex abuse allegations kept under wraps at Catholic board
“Peel’s Catholic school board said it is normal practice to keep parents and the community in the dark when a staff member is accused of criminal wrongdoing, such as the sexual assault of a minor.” By Roger Belgrave, The Mississauga News


Guam priest reinstated after investigation clears him
“A Roman Catholic priest has been reinstated after a church investigation cleared him of allegations he molested two boys while serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1970s. The Archdiocese of Agana said Tuesday (Apr. 14) that the Rev. John Howard Wadeson has been fully reinstated to public ministry, the Pacific Daily News reported. The archdiocese didn’t say whether Wadeson would return to Guam.” By Associated Press in Daily Mail


Italian Catholic priest arrested over pedophilia charges
“A Catholic priest in northern Italy has been busted on charges of sexually abusing young boys in his parish, the local archbishop said. Police arrested Father Massimo Luculano on Friday (Apr. 24) on charges of soliciting sex from minors and sexual assault. His three confirmed victims are a 14-year old Italian boy and two 17-year old foreign boys.” By PressTV