Posts Tagged Associated Press

Report: Church leaders pressured victims, cops over abuse / Associated Press

According to the document (court filing), the grand jury concluded that victims were “brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.” (Associated Press)

 A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children, in some cases discouraging victims from going to police or pressuring law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations, according to a court filing.

“The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

“But a court filing made public Friday (Aug. 3), resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the grand jury’s findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

“According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were ‘brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.’

“‘The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal,’ the grand jury report says.”

By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press — Read more …

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Vatican convicts ex-diplomat of child porn distribution / Associated Press in The Boston Globe

Prosecutor Gian Piero Milano had asked for a stiffer sentence because of what he called the ‘‘great’’ amount of material accessed, which included 40 to 55 photos, films, and Japanese animation found on his cellphone, in iCloud, and on a Tumblr account, which Capella viewed even after he had been recalled by the Vatican in August 2017. (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)

The Vatican tribunal Saturday convicted a former papal diplomat and sentenced him to five years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in the first such trial of its kind inside the Vatican.

“Monsignor Carlo Capella admitted to viewing the images during what he called a period of ‘fragility’ and interior crisis sparked by a job transfer to the Vatican embassy in Washington.

“He apologized to his family and the Holy See, and appealed for leniency by saying the episode was just a ‘bump in the road’ of a priestly vocation he loved and wanted to continue.

“Tribunal President Giuseppe Dalla Torre read out the verdict after a two-day trial and sentenced Capella to five years in prison and a fine of about $6,000. Capella will serve the sentence in the Vatican barracks, where he has been held since his arrest earlier this year.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe — Read more …

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Australian prelate convicted of covering up sexual abuse / Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

The witness (a former altar boy) alleged (Archbishop Philip) Wilson told him he was telling lies because (Fr. James) Fletcher “was a good bloke.” The witness said Wilson had ordered him out of the confessional and told him to recite 10 Hail Mary prayers as an act of contrition. (AP on Cruxnow.com)

An Australian archbishop who was the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world charged with covering up child sex abuse was convicted Tuesday (May 22) and faces a potential two years in prison.

“Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict against Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson in Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, following a magistrate-only trial.

“Wilson, 67, had pleaded not guilty to knowing of the crimes of a pedophile priest in the 1970s. He denied under oath in court last month that two former altar boys ever told him that they had been sexually abused by a priest.

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Read more …

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French cardinal to stand trial in sex abuse cover-up / Associated Press

The seven defendants, including another archbishop and a bishop, would face up to three years in prison and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine if found guilty of failing to report the priest’s crimes. The penalty would be increased to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($88,000) fine for those convicted of failing to assist a person in danger. (Associated Press)

A French court has set a date in early 2019 for the criminal trial of a French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican prelate suspected of covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the eastern diocese of Lyon.

Victims of a priest who has confessed to preying on them have summoned Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of a powerful office in the Vatican, and five other Catholic Church officials to appear together in court for allegedly being informed of the priest’s past abuses and not reporting them to authorities.

A Lyon court on Wednesday set the trial to January 7-9. The lawsuit is the most prominent church sex abuse case to date in France.

Barbarin and some of the other defendants will also be tried for leaving the priest in contact with children until he retired in 2015, while knowing he had a history of sexual assaults.

The 67-year-old cardinal, one of the highest-ranking figures in the French Catholic Church, has admitted some “mistakes” in the management and nominations of certain priests but denied any attempt to cover up the case. Pope Francis has lent his support to Barbarin, saying he was a “brave” man.

By Philippe Sotto, Associated Press — Read more …

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Over five years, Pope produces major shift in church culture / Associated Press in The Boston Globe

Francis’ first five years have been an introduction to a new kind of pope, one who prizes straight talk over theology, and mercy over moral discussion — all for the sake of making the church a more welcoming place for those who have felt excluded. (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)

Whenever Pope Francis visits prisons, during his whirlwind trips to the world’s peripheries or at a nearby jailhouse in Rome, he always tells inmates that he, too, could have ended up behind bars: ‘Why you and not me?’ he asks.

“That humble empathy and the ease with which he walks in others’ shoes has won Francis admirers around the globe and confirmed his place as a consummate champion of the poor and disenfranchised.

“As he marks the fifth anniversary of his election Tuesday Mar. 13), Francis still faces criticism for both the merciful causes he has embraced and the ones he has neglected.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe — Read more …

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Cardinal to face Australian court on sex abuse charges / Associated Press in The Boston Globe

Pope Francis’s former finance minister was charged in June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the cardinal have yet to be released to the public. (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)

The alleged victims of the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis began giving secret evidence to an Australian court on Monday.

“Australian Cardinal George Pell wore his clerical collar for the first day of the hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate Court to determine whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to put him on trial. The committal hearing is scheduled to take up to a month.The testimony of alleged victims was suppressed from publication and the courtroom was closed to the public and media. Prosecutor Mark Gibson said the complainants would give evidence by a video link.

“Pope Francis’s former finance minister was charged in June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the cardinal have yet to be released to the public.

“Monday’s testimony of alleged victims was suppressed from publication and the courtroom was closed to the public and media.”

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2015 letter belies pope’s claim of ignorance / Associated Press

“When we gave him (Cardinal Sean O’Malley) the letter for the pope, he assured us he would give it to the pope and speak of the concerns,” then-commission member Marie Collins told the AP. “And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.” (Associated Press)

Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has ‘zero tolerance’ for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

“The scandal exploded last month when Francis’ trip to South America was marred by protests over his vigorous defense of Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima. During the trip, Francis callously dismissed accusations against Barros as ‘slander,’ seemingly unaware that victims had placed Barros at the scene of Karadima’s crimes.

“On the plane home, confronted by an AP reporter, the pope said: ‘You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.'”

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara, Associated Press — Read more …

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