Posts Tagged Associated Press

Ex-Catholic bishop of Phoenix accused of sex abuse of boy / Associated Press in The New York Times

The bishop acknowledged in a 2003 immunity deal that he let church employees accused of sex abuse continue to have contact with children. Weeks after the deal, O’Brien resigned as bishop after he was arrested in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian. (Associated Press in The New York Times)

A former bishop who led the Roman Catholic church in metro Phoenix during a worldwide child sexual abuse scandal has been accused of molesting a young boy 35 years ago.

“Retired Bishop Thomas O’Brien is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing the boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982. The Diocese of Phoenix says O’Brien denies the allegation.

“O’Brien, now 81, led the diocese in Phoenix as it became embroiled in a global scandal that rocked the Catholic church after allegations surfaced in Boston about pedophile priests going unpunished.

“The bishop acknowledged in a 2003 immunity deal that he let church employees accused of sex abuse continue to have contact with children. Weeks after the deal, O’Brien resigned as bishop after he was arrested in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian.

“O’Brien’s accuser says the clergyman sexually abused him when he was a child and he had suppressed his memories of it, said Tim Hale, his lawyer.”

By Associated Press in The New York Times — Read more …

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Pope Francis offers mercy to child abusers

clerical-collarOpinions differ over how Pope Francis is handling the Church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal. But setting aside questions of mercy vs. justice as debated in a recent Associated Press story, we think that some of the most problematic comments come in the story’s last paragraph:

“Francis scrapped the commission’s (Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) proposed tribunal for bishops who botch abuse cases following legal objections from the congregation (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). The commission’s other major initiative — a guideline template to help dioceses develop policies to fight abuse and safeguard children — is gathering dust. The Vatican never sent the template to bishops’ conferences, as the commission had sought, or even linked it to its main abuse-resource website.”

You can click here to read the rest of the Associated Press’ story.

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Priest sues diocese alleging persecution for reporting abuse

A Catholic priest filed suit Wednesday (Jan. 11) against his former diocese, saying that the bishop pushed him aside and lied about him because he called law enforcement after another priest showed child pornography to a teenage boy and cooperated with the investigation.

“Father John Gallagher said that Bishop Gerald Barbarito of the Palm Beach Diocese forced him from the church where he worked and publicly called him a liar after he refused to cover up for the other priest. Joseph Palimattom was convicted of showing obscene material to a minor, spent six months in jail and was deported home to India.

“Gallagher told The Associated Press that his case shows the church has not reformed as promised after it became public knowledge that church leaders had covered up sexual abuse by priests for decades around the world.

“‘Any priest could be in this situation,’ Gallagher said. ‘Any priest in this situation should know that if it happened to them, they will not get the support of the church. You will be ostracized.'”

By Terry Spencer, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Dolan program opens gates to dozens of clergy abuse claims / Associated Press

“Yet victims’ advocates are wary, noting that the archdiocese hasn’t given any estimate of the payouts or the total it will spend. Some activists see the program as a church tactic to shield information about the handling of problem priests and counter pressure to let decades-old child sexual abuse cases go to court.”

“It took 30 years for a former student to be ready to report he’d been sexually abused by a respected Roman Catholic priest on high school trips. But it didn’t take long to realize the priest wouldn’t be held accountable in court.

“Though the church said investigators found the allegations credible, the accuser couldn’t sue or press criminal charges, mainly because of the passage of time.

“Instead, he’s looking to a new compensation process set up by the Archdiocese of New York, potentially the most extensive effort of its kind to date. Some 46 people have filed claims in under two months, and the total could at least triple.

“The program lets people take claims, often too old for court, to a noted outside mediator while keeping painful details private.

“Yet victims’ advocates are wary, noting that the archdiocese hasn’t given any estimate of the payouts or the total it will spend. Some activists see the program as a church tactic to shield information about the handling of problem priests and counter pressure to let decades-old child sexual abuse cases go to court.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow. com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Australia court says bishop to face charges he hid sex abuse / Associated Press

A Roman Catholic archbishop in Australia on Friday (Oct. 14) failed for a second time to stop a criminal prosecution against him over allegations he covered up for a pedophile priest in the 1970s.

“Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, 66, was charged in April last year with concealing serious child sexual abuse in 1971. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a potential two-year prison sentence.

“New South Wales state Supreme Court Justice Monika Schmidt on Friday (Oct. 14) rejected Wilson’s bid to have the charge dropped.

“The judge dismissed his appeal against a court decision in February to not stop the proceedings. That decision ruled that elements of the charge may be able to be proved.

“Schmidt rejected the argument of Wilson’s lawyers that the original court erred in finding the charge was valid.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope’s sex abuse panel scores awareness victory in Vatican / Associated Press

Pope Francis’ sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders.

“Commission members praised the development as a breakthrough given that bishops have long been accused of covering up for abusers by moving pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police. For decades, the Vatican too turned a blind eye and failed to take action against problem priests or their bishop enablers.

“Commission members have already addressed the Vatican congregations for priests and religious orders and the Vatican’s diplomatic school. This week, members including Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins and the Vatican’s former sex-crimes prosecutor, Bishop Charles Scicluna, will address the new bishops’ course, which the Vatican hosts for all bishops named in the previous year to teach them how to run their dioceses.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Ex-church official gets bail, prosecutor vows to retry him / Associated Press

Monsignor William Lynn freed from jail

The city’s (Philadelphia) top prosecutor vowed on Tuesday (Aug. 2) to retry a former church official imprisoned for nearly three years over his handling of abuse complaints, even though the monsignor’s conviction has twice been overturned.

“Monsignor William Lynn was the first U.S. Roman Catholic Church official ever charged or convicted of helping to shield child molesters within its ranks.

“A judge on Tuesday agreed to release Lynn from prison days after the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction, concluding the 2012 trial judge allowed too many priest-abuse victims not directly tied to the case to testify. Prosecutors had called the witnesses to show a pattern of behavior at the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

“Lynn was charged with endangering a boy by transferring a suspected predator-priest to his parish in the late 1990s.”

By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story. And this is from Brian Roewe at National Catholic Reporter, “Msgr. Lynn free on bail, Philadelphia DA pledges a retrial.”

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