Posts Tagged child pornography

Vatican arrests monsignor on suspicion of possessing child pornography / Reuters in The New York Times

If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction. (Reuters in The New York Times)

A monsignor who had been recalled to the Vatican as a diplomat in the Holy See’s Washington Embassy was arrested on Saturday (Apr. 7) on suspicion of possessing child pornography in the United States and Canada.

“Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was arrested by the Vatican police on a warrant issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate, the Vatican said in a statement.

“Monsignor Capella, who was recalled from the Vatican Embassy in August, was arrested according to articles of a 2013 law signed by Pope Francis. The articles cited by the statement related to child pornography.

“If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction.

“The arrest was the latest blow to the Roman Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated cases of sexual abuse among its clergy. The case was also the worst involving a diplomat since that of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who in 2013 faced charges of paying boys for sexual acts and downloading and buying pedophile material while he was the Vatican’s ambassador in the Dominican Republic.”

By Reuters in The New York Times — Read more …

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The shocking case that shows how far the Vatican has to go in child protection / Catholic Herald

If this were an isolated act, it would be one thing. But it suggests a culture in parts of the Church which is still not taking abuse seriously enough. (Catholic Herald)

We canon lawyers, unfortunately, spend a lot of time dealing with tragic, disturbing, sometimes appalling situations. It’s all too easy to become inured. But even among canonists who routinely deal with cases of child sexual abuse, the news that Msgr. Pietro Amenta, a senior Vatican judge, has been convicted of possessing child pornography is shocking.

“Msgr Amenta was not a minor figure: he was a prelate auditor (judge) of the Roman Rota, the Church’s final judicial court of appeal. (It does not, thank God, have jurisdiction over abuse cases.) He also appears to have been well-known to the police, having been reported for alleged obscene acts and harassment in 1991 and 2004 respectively. (He was not charged.)

“If this were an isolated act, it would be one thing. But it suggests a culture in parts of the Church which is still not taking abuse seriously enough. Even a cursory examination would have shown that Msgr. Amenta’s appointment should have at least been delayed until matters were properly investigated.”

By Ed Condon, Catholic Herald — Read more …

Also of interest — Vatican judge accused of possessing child pornography accepts plea deal, By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

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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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Editorial: Finn’s resignation is a bitter but necessary reckoning / National Catholic Reporter

The resignation of Robert Finn as bishop of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., is a bitter but necessary moment of reckoning for leaders of the Catholic church if they hope to begin to deal seriously with their long betrayal of the community’s trust.

“Let’s be clear that this is only a beginning. Finn was removed for cause, we have been told. Finn was criminally convicted for failing to report Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who ultimately pleaded guilty to possessing and producing child pornography. Ratigan received a 50-year prison sentence.

“Finn also violated the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, commonly called the Dallas Charter, which the U.S. bishops themselves wrote to guide their response to the violation of children by clergy.”

Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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Kansas City Catholics divided over Vatican investigation of bishop / National Public Radio

A Catholic bishop normally governs pretty much unchecked in his diocese — only the pope can dislodge a bishop. And each time Catholics celebrate Mass in Kansas City, Mo., they pray for Bishop Robert Finn, right after they pray for Pope Francis.

“But some Catholics here, like Deacon David Biersmith, refuse to go along.

“‘When the priest says that, you know, you’re supposed say it with him, but I just leave that out,’ Biersmith says. ‘I just don’t say it. Because he’s not my bishop, as far as I’m concerned.’

“Much of the discontent in Kansas City has to do with an incident four years ago. A computer technician found hundreds of lewd photos of young girls on a priest’s laptop. The priest was Shawn Ratigan, and it wasn’t the first sign that he was a pedophile.”

By Frank Morris, National Public Radio — Click here to read or listen to the rest of this report.

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Pennsylvania priest accused of abuse was reported five years ago, records show / The New York Times

Details of child sexual abuse that led to charges against a Roman Catholic priest on Thursday (Sept. 25) were reported to his Pennsylvania diocese nearly five years ago, court records show, but the church authorities did not remove him as a pastor.

“The priest, the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., was charged in federal court in Johnstown, Pa., with possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct on trips he made to a boys’ orphanage in Central America. Father Maurizio visited the orphanage over a decade until 2009, when a Virginia-based charity that runs the home uncovered accusations of abuse by “Father Joe,” and passed them on to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, according to a criminal complaint and the group.”

By Trip Gabriel, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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With Impunity for Bishops, the Coverups Continue / National Catholic Reporter

In June 2012, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer was removed as a pastor, after the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese received a complaint of child sexual abuse against him. The archdiocese informed the police, and by November Wehmeyer had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. He is serving a five-year prison sentence.

“Ostensibly, the archdiocese had complied promptly and fully with the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the standards for dealing with priests accused of abusing a minor. The archdiocese certainly spun the story that way. That may have been the final perception, if Minnesota Public Radio had not followed the story to its origins.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter

Read the rest of NCR’s editorial by clicking here.

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