Image captionCardinal George Pell is escorted from the court after the verdict on Wednesday
Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of sexual abuse, has failed in a legal bid to quash his convictions in Australia. Pell was jailed for six years in March after being found guilty of abusing two boys in a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s. He maintains his innocence.
A court of appeal rejected Pell’s argument that the verdict was unfair. The former Vatican treasurer, 78, will now consider a final appeal in the nation’s highest court. Last December, a jury unanimously convicted Pell of sexually abusing the 13-year-old boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Pell challenged the verdict by arguing it was “unreasonable” because there was insufficient evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. The cleric’s lawyers said the jury had relied too heavily on the “uncorroborated evidence” of the sole surviving victim. But his appeal was dismissed 2-1 by a panel of three judges in Victoria’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
“Justice [Chris] Maxwell and I accepted the prosecution’s submission that the complainant was a compelling witness, was clearly not a liar, was not a fantasist and was a witness of truth,” said Chief Justice Anne Ferguson. Video caption’The little people have won’: Activists react to Cardinal Pell appeal decision
Pell’s conviction has rocked the Catholic Church, where he had been one of the Pope’s closest advisers. The Australian cleric will be eligible for parole in October 2022.
What did the trial hear?
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when he found the two boys on cathedral premises and sexually assaulted them. He abused one of the boys again in 1997.
The trial heard testimony from one of the victims. The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.
A jury rejected the defence argument that the allegations were fantasies. It convicted Pell of one charge of sexually penetrating a child, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child. The verdict was kept secret from the public until February , when additional charges of sexual offences against Pell were withdrawn by prosecutors.
What did the court of appeal say?
The two judges who upheld the conviction said that they “did not experience a doubt” about the verdict. “We note that Cardinal Pell did not have to prove anything in the trial. Rather, at all stages of trial, the burden of proof rested with the prosecution,” Justice Ferguson said.
Pell, who was present for the hearing, had faced the prospect of a retrial or being immediately set free if his appeal had been successful.
Phil Mercer, BBC News, Melbourne It took less than five minutes for George Pell to learn his fate. Dressed in black and wearing a clerical collar, the man who was once in the Pope’s inner circle was impassive as Justice Ferguson handed down the decision.
Occasionally, he looked down, his gaunt features betraying no emotion. When the news filtered through to campaigners and survivors of abuse outside, there was a loud cheer.
“Pell looks better in green than black,” one activist told me, referring to the cardinal’s prison uniform.
Campaigners accept, however, that Pell’s fight for freedom probably isn’t over and that a final court challenge could remain.
What’s the reaction?
Pell’s surviving victim, who cannot be named, said he was “grateful for a legal system that everyone can believe in”. “My journey has not been an easy one,” he said in a statement read by his lawyer. “It has been all the more stressful because it involved a high-profile figure.”
Pell’s lawyers said he was “disappointed” with the decision and maintained his innocence. Video captionPell called abuse claims against him ‘disgraceful rubbish’ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters: “My sympathies are with the victims of child sexual abuse. Not just on this day, but on every single day.”
He said Pell was likely to be stripped of his Order of Australia honour.
Will there be another appeal?
Pell’s lawyers said they would “thoroughly examine” the judgement to make a possible last-ditch appeal in the High Court of Australia.
However, there is no guarantee that the court will agree to hear the case.
What does the Church say?
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said it accepted the court’s decision, but added that it would “be distressing to many people”. It reiterated its commitment to tackling abuse.
Cardinal Pell was demoted from the Pope’s inner circle last year. His five-year term as Vatican treasurer elapsed soon afterwards. Pope Francis continues to face calls for Pell to be defrocked.
When I first watched the long TV programme about Pell being accused of abusing children in a swimming pool in the parish where he was based I was persuaded that the victims were telling the truth.
The other victims from Melbourne Cathedral have now been believed by a jury, a criminal judge and the Court of Appeal.
In anybody’s case that is a very high level of legal guilt.
He may appeal to the Australian High Court but that court normally deals with points of law and not details of the crime.
No doubt Pell has all the money he needs to keep his appeal going.
Where is he getting that money?
Is it church money?
Australian and international Catholics are entitled to know where this money is coming from and who decided to pay it.
Pope Francis should now remove him from the College of Cardinals and like McCarrick, dismiss him from the clerical state.
Its not looking well for the higher ups in the RCC – with O’Brien, McCarrick and Pell now in disgrace.
BY MADISON ELLIOTT BUFFALO
UPDATED 7:53 AM ET AUG. 19, 2019
As the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo faces more than 100 lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act, a former seminarian is now accusing the diocese of blackmail.
Stephen Parisi protested in front of Bishop Richard Malone’s home Sunday, demanding his resignation. The move comes just days after Parisi himself resigned from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora.
He alleges diocesan leadership threatened seminarians who spoke out or challenged the church. Specifically he’s referring to a party at Saints Peter and Paul Rectory in Hamburg where they overheard three Hamburg priests making inappropriate comments.
The diocese later suspended all three of those priests, but Parisi said the seminarians were warned not to talk about it or they could face retaliation.
Those seminarians aren’t allowed to work and are mostly dependent on the diocese.
“It hasn’t impacted my faith in God, but it definitely has impacted my faith in the institutional church because the bishops can try to hold some priests accountable, but the check and balance system for bishops still needs some serious work,” Parisi said. “You don’t tell on me, I won’t tell on you. And I think that’s how these abuse cases perpetuate. And that’s why bishops around the country, why there is so much in action.”
Parisi is also calling for an investigation of the seminary and its leadership.
He’s the latest person to call on Malone to resign; Malone said he intends to stay in his position and lead the church through the crisis. Also calling for Malone’s resignation is St. Bonaventure University President Dennis DePerro, Rep. Brian Higgins and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, among others. Malone has reiterated several times that he does not intend to leave.
This is the letter Parisi sent to Bishop Malone and other members of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo:
Dear Bishop Malone, Father Creagh, Clergy and Seminarians at Christ the King Seminary:
“After much prayer, spiritual direction, and reflection, I am writing this letter to notify you of my immediate withdrawal from the Program of Priestly Formation of the Diocese of Buffalo.
Before coming to Christ the King Seminary, I served this diocese for 24 years as a consecrated religious Brother, caring for the poor, the sick and the dying, including many priests of this diocese, many with very troubled histories. I expected to continue my service to the diocese as a diocesan priest, but I cannot ignore the alarming and problematic governance of the Diocese of Buffalo and Christ the King Seminary.
My parents instilled in me a basic sense of faith and morals. I have come to the realization that the values and morals of this seminary and diocese do not correspond to my own.
I realize that my departure may come as a surprise to some, but considering all that the seminarians have endured last semester, including the recent news of the past few weeks concerning a seminarian who was allegedly sexually pursued by his confessor, Father Jeffrey Nowak, I cannot, in conscience, pursue a priestly vocation within this diocese. The manner in which this case has been handled by the diocese, as well as the manner in which so many of the other clerical sexual abuse cases have been handled is disgusting and revolting. I am confident that you understand why I have come to this decision. How could I commit my life to representing a diocese that is suspected of being so corrupt that it is being investigated by the federal government under the R.I.C.O. Act?
To my fellow seminarians, you know that I have tried my best to change some things for the better during my short time at Christ the King. I have tried to improve the seminarian health insurance coverage and I have advocated for improvement in stipends so that seminarians can meet their personal monthly living expenses. As dean of seminarians, I tried to obtain some compassionate understanding from professors regarding the obligation of pre-theology students to submit final assignments for non-credit courses at the end of the extremely difficult and scandalous last semester. In addition, I have tried to improve a sense of pastoral understanding and compassion between professors and seminarian students, especially regarding the rigorous schedule and responsibilities that are placed upon seminarians.
I am sure you will hear stories about a final paper that I submitted for a non-credit pre-theology class. I would like to address this issue myself to prevent any misunderstandings. Before I wrote my paper, a seminarian asked that I proofread his paper. He used the Kindle version of the text and I decided to use the same version. The quotes my classmate used corresponded to the topic I wanted to write about so I used the same quotes, in the same order but used my own thoughts and words to explain the quotes. As you know, my parents have serious health issues and were hospitalized during the summer and all of us had a very chaotic year and semester, so much so that Father Andrew Lauricella, director of vocations and seminarians, informed Bishop Malone that he was concerned for our physical, emotional and spiritual health because of the hostile and chaotic environment of the seminary. I rushed to complete this paper and unfortunately, I forgot to put the opening summary in my own words. This was my fault, and I accept full responsibility for this error. I do not yet know what my penalty will or would have been. Before I leave, I would ask each of you to have the courage to continue to advocate for holiness and positive change by demanding accountability from this seminary and diocese. Remember that YOU are the gift to the diocese during this chaotic time! Continue to call for respect for your basic human rights. Do not settle for less! YOU are the future of the Church and this diocese should be eager to invest in its future by treating each of you accordingly! Seminarians know that Christ the King has a long history of forcing seminarians to repeat courses that a seminarian has already successfully passed for official credit. If you are ever in this situation, please be courageous and speak up. This is fraud and academic abuse. You have a fiduciary responsibility to inform your respective seminarian director and bishop so that your diocese is not paying for you to take a course that you have already successfully received credit for.
All of the seminarians either witnessed or at least heard of the following examples of unacceptable treatment that seminarians have dealt with at Christ the King. I will not name those who committed these offensive behaviors but these examples are certainly not considered Christian or professional behavior, especially in our current Church environment. Demand that formation directors and professors:
STOP with insensitive and sarcastic remarks against a seminarian who had the courage to share his ongoing abuse story with you. A good Father and Formation Director should be sympathetic and should do anything to help and defend someone under his care who has been abused by the Church.
STOP allowing priests to use information obtained in the confessional to blackmail seminarians or anyone else, for that matter.
STOP the power struggles that seminarians see existing between staff members, formation and students.
STOP discouraging seminarians from asking probing questions because they are afraid of being branded as a heretic in their annual review. If a seminarian does not fully understand a concept, how can he grow in his understanding of the faith and adequately answer questions as a priest?
STOP encouraging seminarians to drink fine Scotch so that their minds can loosen up enough to better comprehend philosophy. We know from last semester’s accident that at least one seminarian struggled with alcohol. He was provided with alcohol by the seminary and tragically crashed through a neighbor’s house, causing extensive damage to their house, attracting media attention, incurring a D.W.I., and totaling a seminary car.
STOP breaking federal and state liquor laws by selling alcohol without a license in the seminarian soda bar.
STOP making vulgar remarks to a class about what it sounded like for a female country music star to urinate while in police custody.
STOP encouraging seminarians to shoot or break the kneecaps of protestors and/or the press. This will only cast an even more negative image of the church and diocese which many believe to be suffering the effects of incompetent leadership.
STOP asking for honest reflection papers and then disagree in anger over a seminarian’s honest opinion of the reading. Not only did one professor take personal offense to a student’s reflection, he threatened public humiliation and retaliated by giving an unfair grade for an oral exam.
STOP assigning pointless and tedious papers that do not help students comprehend class material and then not return work with valuable feedback.
STOP harassing seminarians who try to perform their chores responsibly while only receiving a very small stipend which does not nearly cover weekly and monthly expenses.
STOP sending seminarians on seminary appeals without providing gas cards and mileage reimbursement.
STOP sending seminarians on summer assignments when they do not even make minimum wage and still cannot afford basic weekly and monthly living expenses. How can leaders of our Church preach that it is a basic human right for people to make a livable wage, yet fail to provide their own seminarians with enough money to meet monthly expenses?
STOP sending seminarians on summer assignments only to perform menial tasks instead of learning pastoral skills.
STOP neglecting to provide essential spiritual formation such as classes in personal prayer and the Liturgy of the Hours which is so vital to the life of the clergy.
STOP neglecting to provide classes in basic manners, etiquette, and community living skills.
STOP assigning endless papers, so much so that spiritual and human needs are neglected.
STOP disrespecting essential time needed time for rest, prayer, discernment and reflection.
STOP using the seminary as a dumping ground for (some) priests who have problems with their personalities and pastoral skills. Seminarians who are natives of the Buffalo diocese often know the troubled personal history of some individual priests placed on the formation team.
I do not know if the seminary or diocese will ever change for the better. Perhaps it will with your holiness and commitment. But I urge you to remember that if inhumane, harassing or illegal behavior continues, you can file Title IX complaints directly with the State without going through the seminary. Considering how the “leak” interrogations were handled after last semester’s pizza party event, please continue to record any and all conversations and meetings with seminary staff and formation directors. NY State law only requires one party to consent to being recorded and you do not need to disclose that you are recording them. And if all else fails, you can contact Charlie Specht from WKBW Channel 7 at this web address https://www.wkbw.com/about-us/contact-us or by calling (716) 845-6100 or by calling Charlie’s personal cell number (716) 912-6066. Charlie is very sympathetic to what seminarians are going through, especially as his own brother is a Franciscan seminarian. He will keep your name and information in strictest confidence.
Father Andrew Lauricella encouraged many seminarians to reach out to Charlie Specht in the past, and I would encourage you to do this also. Father Andrew also strongly encouraged us to contact law enforcement if we should be subject to or witness clerical abuse while on summer or pastoral assignments. I know of at least one other seminarian who has personally reached out to the F.B.I. after last semester’s scandals.
I close by thanking Bishop Malone and the formation team for my time at Christ the King. The most valuable lessons I have learned at the seminary have not included how to properly write a paper, or even how to nurture a personal prayer life. By observing the behavior of most (not all) priests on the formation staff, I have learned how not to treat people. If there is any doubt regarding the veracity of the examples cited above, documentation, witness testimony and other forms of evidence have been retained.
Bishop Malone, for the love of God and for the sake of the faithful of the Diocese of Buffalo, please step down!
Stephen F. Parisi Dean of Seminarians Seminarian of the Diocese of Buffalo Kathy Spangler, director for the Office of Communications in the Diocese of Buffalo sent this statement on Sunday in response to the events: Earlier today, while many Catholics were attending Sunday Mass, three individuals chose to gather in front of St. Stanislaus Church and Bishop Malone’s residence. These individuals were within their rights, and displayed various poster signs. The Diocese of Buffalo, has responded to these topics previously and it is unfortunate that some have not received or understood the responses. It is necessary that the truth, even if not accepted by some, be shared again:
Bishop Malone has never allowed any priest with a credible allegation of abusing a minor to remain in ministry. He has stated it is his responsibility to lead the Diocese of Buffalo and he will continue to do so by continuing to offer opportunities to bring healing to victim-survivors of abuse and renewed trust to the people of the Diocese.
Mr. Parisi has very publicly announced his withdrawal from the Program of Priestly Formation and educational studies at Christ the King Seminary. Mr. Parisi was under investigation for academic dishonesty at Christ the King Seminary and his departure hinders any further inquiry.
In addition, there has never been an accusation that Bishop Malone violated the seal of the confessional. Mr. Parisi and others make the outrageous and unsupported claim that Bishop Malone has not honored the seal and ignored a complaint that Fr. Jeffrey Nowak violated the seal of the confessional. Bishop Malone has never ignored this complaint. To the contrary, Bishop Malone has initiated an investigation of the complaint. When the individual who made the complaint was first questioned, his response was vague and needed follow up. Fr. Nowak has been removed from ministry while the investigation continues. The Office of Professional Responsibility has tried to contact the individual making this complaint but he has yet to respond. The Diocese will continue to pursue this claim and take additional action if necessary.
Finally, in reference to Mr. Parisi’s recent interview statements regarding seminarian personal finances, students accepted in the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF) for the Diocese of Buffalo sign promissory notes for 0 (zero) percent interest loans for tuition, room and board expenses. Upon ordination to the priesthood, these loans are forgiven. For those without medical insurance, a policy for students is provided. Men discerning the call to enter the PPF are informed of these provisions. Some candidates have chosen to delay their entry into the program so they can be adequately prepared for their time of discernment and study. Seminarians who graduate from Christ the King Seminary graduate with a Master’s Degree and, like their counterparts in the secular world, it is not unimaginable that they will incur student debt which focusing on their studies. The Diocese of Buffalo and Christ the King Seminary has assisted seminarians with emergency funding when possible.
THIS VIDEO WILL SHOCK YOU – CONTINUED MISHANDLING OF ABUSE.
They have been telling us that all is changed on the Catholic abuse front in 2019. They have told us that there are safeguards and procedures in place.
Bishops cover up abusing priests.
Send them back to parishes after been accused.
Allow seminaries to be nests of sexual corruption.
Allow massive financial fraud.
The RCC has not changed and never will.
It needs to be wiped out.
CLOGHER DIOCESAN CHANGES 2019.
Bishop Larry Duffy has made the following appointments, which will take effect from the weekend 30thAugust-1stSeptember 2019.
Very Rev Brian Early PP Tydavnet to be P.E. Tydavnet
Rev Stephen Joyce CC Tydavnet to be PP Tydavnet
Rev Kevin Malcolmson CC Enniskillen to be Priest in Residence in Newtownbutler supporting Pastoral Ministry in the Parishes of Lisnaskea-Maguiresbridge and Newtownbutler (Aghalurcher and Galloon)
Rev Kevin Connolly, newly ordained, to be Priest in Residence in Aghadrumsee supporting Pastoral Ministry in Clones Cluster (Parishes of Clones, Roslea and Killeevan-Currin-Aghabog)
Rev Nicholas Maazo, Kitui Diocese, Kenya, to be Priest in Residence, Castleblayney supporting Pastoral Ministry in Mid Monaghan Pastoral Area (Parishes of Castleblayney, Ballybay, Clontibret, Aughnamullen East, Latton and Rockcorry).
Bishop Duffy wishes every blessing and happiness to priests in their new assignments.
“Bishop Robert Cunningham of the diocese of Syracuse, NY doesn’t think priests should take all ofthe blame for decades, if not centuries, of sexual abuse against young boys.
According to Cunningham, the “age of reason” in the Catholic church is seven, so those boys are culpable for their actions.
The shocking statement came during testimony that wasrecently released from a deposition for a federal lawsuit. Charles Bailey, a survivor of a priest’s abuse, asked then-Bishop JamesMoynihanwhether the church held children victims partly responsible for sexual abuse from priests . “(Bishop)Moynihansaid that right to my face – ‘The age of reason is 7, so if you’re at least 7 you’re culpable for your actions.’ That kind of floored me,” said Bailey.
The “age of reason” may be seven years old, but that in no way makes it the “age it’s the kid’s fault he was raped.” According to church doctrine, seven is the age a child should understand the difference between right and wrong. It’s also the age a child is eligible for communion.
A spokesman for the diocese has been trying to defend the bishop, saying that his statements in a deposition don’t mean he believes children are responsible for being raped and that it was “unfair to use the deposition to characterize his position otherwise.”
“Unfair may not quite cut it where this man is concerned. When pressed on the issue, he said it wasn’t his place to know how much guilt was on the victim’s hands. The simple answer, “none,” became another distorted version of reality that somehow makes it at least partially a child’s fault when a priest abuses him.
“Well, I mean, without knowing the circumstances completely, did the boy encourage, go along with (it) in any way?” Cunningham asked. The lawyer asked Cunningham if he could imagine any circumstance in which a 14- or 15-year-old boy could be held responsible in the eyes of the church when a priest asks him to engage in sex.
“Obviously, what the priest did was wrong,” Cunningham said. “You’re asking me if the young man had any culpability, and I can’t judge that.”
Actually, you can judge that. Anyone can judge that. What happened is priests used their influence and position as “messengers of God” to force children to comply with their perverted sexual desires. In the very least they were forced to make adult decisions they didn’t have the capacity to make. This bishop and all the priests he defended with this mindless argument betrayed the trust of the parishioners and especially the children of the Diocese of Syracuse.
Charles Bailey has circulated a petition he intends to present toPope Francis in Philadelphia during his visit to remove Bishop Cunningham as the head of the church there.”
This crazy US bishop is verbalising what a lot of them really think but are too cute to say.
They will blame everyone else for the church’s woes except themselves.
It is they – the abusers and the cover-uppers who bear responsibility for the current and future state of the church.
But blaming a 7 year old boy for the abuse is a like being a holocaust denier.
These bishops will never get the message until they end up like Pell – in prison.
DERRY DIOCESAN APPOINTMENTS 2019
The Bishop of Derry, Bishop Donal McKeown, has announced the following clerical changes, effective 23rd August 2019:
Rev Paul Fraser, CC Creggan, to be PP Ardstraw West & Castlederg and PP Termonamongan;
Rev Colm O’Doherty, PP Ardstraw West & Castlederg, to be PP Clonleigh and Adm Urney & Castlefin;
Rev Francis Bradley, PP Buncrana and Chancellor of the Diocese of Derry, to be, in addition, PP Burt, Inch & Fahan;
Rev Michael Porter, PP Urney & Castlefin, to have one-year sabbatical before taking up his duties again as PP next year;
Rev Micheál McGavigan, Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, to be, in addition, Adm Banagher;
Rev Patrick Baker, PP Banagher, to be CC pro tem Limavady;
Rev Daniel McFaul, CC Cappagh, to be CC Creggan;
Rev Declan McGeehan, newly ordained, to be CC Cappagh;
Rev Kevin Mulhern, on loan from the Society of African Missions, to be CC Burt, Inch and Fahan in addition to his ministry with the chaplaincy team of HMP Magilligan;
Rev Ciaran Hegarty, on loan from the Diocese of Down & Connor, to be CC pro tem Urney & Castlefin;
Rev John Gilmore, PP Termonamongan, to retire;
Rev Edward Kilpatrick, PP Clonleigh, to retire;
Rev Neil McGoldrick, PP Burt Inch & Fahan, to retire;
Rev John Downey, upon retirement as CC Ballinascreen, to remain in residence in the parish.
By the end of Wednesday 427 lawsuits had been filed across the state – most were against the Catholic Church and its dioceses in New York state.
Dark clouds over the New York skyline Photo: JOHN ANGELILLO/UPI/PA Images
Avalanche of new abuse claims threatens church in New York
by James Roberts
By the end of Wednesday 427 lawsuits had been filed across the state – most were against the Catholic Church and its dioceses in New York state.
A new law came into force in New York State yesterday that is threatening to bring an avalanche of new child abuse claims down on the Catholic Church. In Germany, as abuse cases flooded around the Church in 2010, it spoke of a “tsunami”. Millions have left the Church in disgust since then. In Australia and Ireland, the Church is still reeling from the revelations of how children were treated there, and how the Church sought to hide its culpability. The hierarchies are attempting to chart a path to recovery, but despite all the evident service and self-sacrifice on the part of so many ordinary priests, the Church is held in such low public esteem that the mountain they have to climb is more than daunting. In the United States, the Church has used its vast wealth to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to thousands of victims. But if the Church there thought the reckoning was over, it was profoundly mistaken, as events in New York on Wednesday showed. The New York law, the Child Victims Act, was approved by the state’s Senate and Assembly in January this year, with every senator voting for the bill, and the Assembly passing it with a majority of 130 to 3. It has now come into force. Victims of sexual abuse in New York were previously required to file civil lawsuits by their 23rd birthdays. Under the new law, they have until age 55, and for one year, as from Wednesday 14 August – they can be even older than that. Crucially, by giving plaintiffs the power to subpoena private institutional records, the thousands of lawsuits expected to be filed this year could open a window into how institutions including the Vatican handled the abusers and the abuse claims, casting a searing light on any attempts at cover-up. By the end of Wednesday 427 lawsuits had been filed across the state. Some were against institutions including the Boy Scouts, but most were against the Catholic Church and its dioceses in New York state. One plaintiff speaking to the press on Wednesday was James Grein, 61. Grein told how disgraced ex-cardinal Thedore McCarrick took him to see St Pope John Paul II in 1988. McCarrick was removed from the clerical state in February after being found guilty of sexually abusing children and adults. According to Mr Grein, McCarrick, in 1988 the archbishop of Newark, left the room, leaving him to speak to the Pope. Grein said he knelt before the Pope and revealed, in the presence of several Vatican officials, that then archbishop McCarrick had been sexually abusing him since childhood. “I told him I had been abused as a child by this man, and I need you to stop it,” said Grein. “He put both hands on my head, and told me he would pray for me.” Because his lawsuit claims that he told Pope John Paul II about the abuse, Grein’s legal team will seek to depose Vatican officials and gain access to secret Vatican documents. “The cover-up has ended and now we are going right to the top,” Mitchell Garabedian, Grein’s lawyer, told reporters on Wednesday in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. “We are attempting to show that the Vatican knew that McCarrick was abusing James Grein.” The Catholic Archdiocese of New York said in a statement on Wednesday that it had anticipated facing new lawsuits with the change in the law. It said it would continue to “invite people to consider” a compensation programme created in 2016 for people sexually abused by its clergy. So far, the archdiocese has paid more than $66 million in compensation to 335 victims. The payments are funded by loans secured against its many valuable properties.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols filed formal complaint over 2003 programme, documents show
Harriet Sherwood Religion Correspondent The Guardian.
The most senior Catholic leader in England and Wales went to extraordinary lengths to try to discredit a BBC documentary on child sexual abuse and its cover-up by the church, the Guardian can disclose.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, publicly accused the BBC of bias and malice before the documentary was aired in 2003. Documents seen by the Guardian show he also lobbied the BBC’s director of news, wrote to all priests in his archdiocese urging them not to speak to BBC journalists, and lodged a formal complaint against the programme’s makers.
The BBC’s programme complaints unit (PCU) rejected the complaint, and the BBC governors’ programme complaints committee dismissed his appeal against that decision. Nichols refused to apologise to the programme-makers.
Last month the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) criticised Nichols for putting the church’s reputation before the welfare of abuse survivors. In a report, IICSA said Nichols’s response to the BBC programme was “misplaced and missed the point”.
The documentary, part of the investigative series Kenyon Confronts on BBC One, included interviews with survivors who claimed the church covered up cases of sexual abuse. It tracked down Father James Robinson, a Catholic priest who fled to the US after being accused of sexual abuse and who received financial support from the Catholic archdiocese of Birmingham for seven years before he was extradited, convicted and jailed.
At the time of the documentary, Nichols was archbishop of Birmingham and chair of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
At a press conference before the programme was broadcast, Nichols accused the BBC of “using the licence fee to pay unscrupulous reporters trying to recirculate old news and to broadcast programmes that are biased and hostile”.
He added: “That this programme has been allowed to progress this far shows either malice towards the church or a total lack of judgment or of managerial responsibility.” He demanded the BBC justify the renewal of the licence fee.
While the documentary was being made, Nichols wrote to priests in his archdiocese urging them not to speak to BBC reporters working on it. “If you are approached please remember you are not advised to be cooperative. You may, quite properly, refuse to take part in any questioning or interview. This is my advice,” he wrote.
Before broadcast, Nichols wrote to Richard Sambrook, then the BBC’s director of news, saying a re-examination of historic sexual abuse cases was not in the public interest. He claimed reporters had telephoned a priest at 2am, acted discourteously and inconsiderately to a priest who had just undergone major surgery, and “cornered” a priest in a residential care home to question him.
Sambrook told the Guardian: “My recollection of the difficult meeting and correspondence with Cardinal Nichols is that he was entirely focused on trying to discredit the BBC’s journalism in the hope of diverting criticism of the church. Fortunately the BBC’s journalism was sufficiently robust to see off such attempts. He showed little interest in wider questions about uncovering abuse or the welfare of the survivors.”
After the programme was broadcast on 15 October 2003, Nichols lodged a formal complaint with the PCU, claiming BBC reporters used underhand methods to gain access to elderly and infirm priests.
The PCU rejected Nichols’ complaint, saying there were no grounds for his claim that the Kenyon Confronts team behaved inappropriately. It said the investigation was “conducted properly and in line with BBC producers’ guidelines” and there was no evidence of serious breaches of editorial standards.
Some of the 11 sworn witness statements from nuns and priests provided by Nichols to the PCU contradicted his allegations that reporters had not properly identified themselves. Evidence from recordings of some encounters also showed his claims to be false.
Nichols claimed one priest had been left distressed by a visit from two members of the Kenyon Confronts team, who were alleged to be hectoring and intimidating. However, the priest’s statement said the pair were “well-mannered, polite and had respect for my office, although I was glad when I had finished speaking to them. They were not unpleasant or malicious in the way they spoke to me.”
Nichols appealed to the BBC governors’ programme complaints committee against the PCU’s adjudication, and in May 2005 the committee rejected the appeal.
After the decision, Paul Kenyon, the programme’s presenter, and Paul Woolwich, its executive producer, wrote to Nichols saying the archbishop had tarnished the reputation of those who worked on the documentary. “We believe an apology to set the record straight would now be appropriate.”
Nichols replied: “I see no need for me to offer an apology.”
Last month IICSA said Nichols’ response to the programme should have focused on “recognising the harm caused to the complainants and victims. Instead, [it] led many to think that the church was still more concerned with protecting itself than the protection of children.”
After the report was published, the Tablet, a respected Catholic weekly, said the inquiry’s criticisms raised questions about Nichols’s fitness for office.
In a statement to the Guardian, Nichols apologised for at the time failing to sufficiently acknowledge two positive elements of the programme: giving a platform to abuse survivors and locating Fr Robinson.
He pointed out he had offered to give a live interview to the BBC at the time of the broadcast. Woolwich said it had not been possible to broadcast a live interview immediately after the broadcast of a pre-recorded programme, and Nichols had rejected an offer to appear live on Newsnight the same night or the Today programme the following morning.
Nichols’s statement said: “I was annoyed at the approach of the programme-makers who gave a slanted presentation of the real problems we were seeking to address … I accept that my frustration at the approach of the programme-makers led me not to give sufficient attention to the suffering of the victims of abuse perpetrated by the priest in question, although I had already met with all but one of them.
“A more thorough listening to the experiences of victims and survivors has now become central to the church’s approach and we will continue to adjust our work in safeguarding in light of this victim-centred approach.”
Auld Elsie Nicholls is indeed unfit for office after we read the above account of his bullying misbehaviour.
Here we see an excuse for a man – full of his own importance – with absolute power in his diocese – and believing himself to speak for Almighty God in England and Wales.
He is now IN TOTAL DISGRACE and if there were any decency, morality and manliness in him he would resign immediately.
This is the kind of man the RCC creates.
“It is by their fruits that ye shall know them”.
The tree that produced Fruit Nicholls is a totally corrupt tree and needs to be cut down and thrown on a great big fire.
They have no idea of the ordeal that awaits them when Jesus will say to them: “IF ANYONE CAUSES ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME TO STUMBLE. IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR THEM TO HAVE A LARGE MILLSTONE HUNG AROUND THEIR NECK AND BE DROWNED IN THE DEPTS OF THE SEA”. (Matthew 18:6)
VICTORIA, Australia, August 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The three judges in the Appellate Court of Victoria, Australia, will hand down their verdict in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal on August 21 at 9:30 a.m. local time, according to Australian media. The verdict will be live-streamed, as before, on the Supreme Court’s website.
The appeal was heard over the course of two days in June, with Justices Anne Ferguson, Chris Maxwell, and Mark Winberg presiding. Justices may choose to order a retrial of the case, overturn it, or uphold the guilty verdict.
A synopsis of the appeal Cardinal Pell’s legal team made includes three main points for overturning the conviction. The first was the exclusion, by Judge Peter Kidd, of a 19-minute video that displayed in detail where individuals would have been located in the cathedral during the time of the alleged sexual assaults. The second argument was that Cardinal Pell was not arraigned directly in front of a jury – a “fundamental irregularity” in legal proceedings.
The third cited that the jury itself reached an unreasonable verdict.
A Westminster priest is insisting that Rory Coyle is celebrating Mass on Sundays in a London parish.
I was assured he is not.
Has anyone any information about this?
The appeal verdict on Pell will be very interesting.
On the whole I was persuaded he was guilty.
Others insist it was a mistrial and an injustice.
Pell is also being investigated over an accusation that he released a pastoral letter to his supporters which is against prison rules.
MENDOZA, Argentina (AP) — Downcast and sitting in a wheelchair as his historic trial began Monday in Argentina, the Rev. Nicola Corradi didn’t look like the man former students at an institute for the deaf say was the force behind years of “indescribable” torment through alleged sexual abuse.
The 83-year-old Italian priest, along with the Rev. Horacio Corbacho, 59, and Armando Gómez, 63, are being tried for 28 cases of alleged abuse against ex-students at the Antonio Próvolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Mendoza province. They face prison sentences of up to 20 years in some cases, up to 50 years in others.
The alleged abuse took place between 2004 and 2016, and the case gained world attention when it emerged that Corradi had faced similar accusations at the Antonio Próvolo institute in Verona, Italy, and Pope Francis had been notified the Italian priest was running a similar center in Argentina.
Corbacho has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges, while Corradi and Gómez have not entered pleas. The trial is expected to last more than a month.
As the three accused – Corbacho and Gómez in handcuffs – were led down a long corridor in Mendoza’s Palace of Justice Monday to a court where three judges awaited them, alleged victims and their relatives protested outside, with one sign saying “With Our Hands And Our Voices We Break The Silence,” a reference to sign language.
“I am super-nervous, anxious and I hope for justice; that this ends soon so my son can move on to a new stage because this is very hard,” said Natalia Villalonga, whose 18-year-old son Ezequiel is one of about 20 ex-students at the Próvolo institute who say they were abused.
The AP doesn’t name alleged sexual assault victims unless they make their identities public, which Ezequiel Villalonga did in an interview on the eve of the trial in the headquarters of the human rights group Xumek, which is the plaintiff in the trial.
“Those of us from the Próvolo in Mendoza say: ‘no more fear. We have the power,’” he said.
The first day’s hearing lasted about two hours during which the charges against the men were read. They included rape, sexual touching and corrupting minors since the children were allegedly sometimes forced to watch pornography or perform sex acts among themselves.
It is the first in a series of trials involving other former members of the now-closed school. Others implicated include two nuns who allegedly participated or knew about the abuses, as well as former directors and employees who are accused of knowing about the abuse but taking no action.
Jorge Bordón, an institute employee, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 in the case for rape, sexual touching and corrupting minors. The Vatican has not commented publicly on the trial. The Holy See would be loath to be seen as interfering in a criminal trial, and typically defers all comment, as well as the outcome of its own investigations, until after all investigations by civil law enforcement are completed.
In 2017, it sent two Argentine priests to investigate what happened in Mendoza. Dante Simon, a judicial vicar, told the AP that the acts denounced are “horrible” and “more than plausible.” He said the pontiff expressed his sadness and told him that “he was very worried about this situation and it would be a labor.” In a report submitted to the Vatican in June of that year, Simon requested the application of the maximum penalty to Corradi and Corbacho, that they be made to “resign directly by the Holy Father.” The report must be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The case touches close to the Vatican, which is accused of having disregarded the warnings of the alleged Italian victims of Corradi, when just months earlier the pope had promulgated new rules to combat abuse in the church.
Corradi was singled out for similar abuses committed since the 1950s at the Provolo institute in Verona. His name appeared in a letter addressed to the pope in 2014 in which the Italian accusers mentioned several allegedly abusive priests who continued to exercise the ministry and said that Corradi and three other priests were in Argentina.
The Verona diocese sanctioned four of the 24 defendants, but not Corradi. There was no criminal case because of the elapsed time.
Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, told the AP that she does not expect a response from the Vatican and the pope. Doyle said that when the crimes at the Verona school made world headlines in 2009 and 2010, “the pope was president of the Argentine bishops’ conference. He could have ordered an investigation of the Mendoza and La Plata schools then.” “And certainly, as pope, he could have acted years ago. He was notified by the Verona victims of Corradi’s presence in Argentina.”
Erica, the sister of a plaintiff who asked that her full name not be used, said the trial “gives me a lot of strength, because it could have never happened” because of the vulnerability of the children, who are poor and deaf or hard of hearing.
“I want to tell her that her word, which has been blocked by many social things, has a lot of value today. So much value that it could bring to justice people who were doing disastrous things for a long time,” she said.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò meets Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2013 (CNS screenshot)
Last night I was texting with a Catholic friend, and told him about how the late Father Benedict Groeschel lied to cover himself. Groeschel, trained in psychology, had a lot to do with recycling sexually predatory priests back into the community, via his treatment center. Because he was known to be theologically conservative, and was an EWTN star, he was untouchable among conservatives. I wrote last year, when the McCarrick scandal broke:
I am personally aware of a case in which a conservative superstar priest, the late Father Benedict Groeschel, manipulated the conservative Catholic public’s suspicion of the news media to hide from legitimate questions about his own role in covering up abuse. I wrote about it here. In brief, Groeschel, a psychologist, ran a factory that recycled sexually abusive priests. In 2002, or perhaps early 2003, Brooks Egerton, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, tried to contact Groeschel to ask him about some of these cases, Groeschel refused to speak to him. Egerton called me at National Review, asking me why Groeschel wouldn’t return his calls, and asking if I knew any way to reach him. Eventually, Egerton published a story … which Groeschel promptly denounced as filled with lies and distortions. He said, in particular: Mr. Egerton’s article is a prime example of the hostility, distortion and planned attack on the Catholic Church in the United States by certain segments of the media. Groeschel’s words were disgraceful. Again, Egerton tried multiple times to get Groeschel on the phone to explain his side of the story. Groeschel refused to talk to him, and then when the story came out, denounced it as a “planned attack on the Catholic Church.” It was a lie, but a lot of people wanted to believe that lie. That’s how aiders and abetters of the scandal, like Benedict Groeschel, got away with it.
One of the lasting effects of the church abuse scandal, at least for me, is to learn how eagerly and easily cardinals, bishops, and influential priests will lie for the sake of preserving a false front, and hiding their own guilt. For example, Cardinal Ted McCarrick was named by the Vatican to lead its response to the initial wave of scandal. Here he is from a 2002 interview with theUSA Today editorial board:
If after all we’ve gone through, someone would still violate the kind of relationship we need with children, with young people, that person should be out of the ministry immediately. So looking forward, I think there is no difference of opinion among the cardinals. Or among the bishops. Everyone I’ve spoken to feels anyone who would do this now — after we’ve passed through all this — is either sick, therefore should not be a priest, or defiant, and therefore should not be in the ministry.
Cardinal McCarrick is now Mr. McCarrick. He was defrocked for sex abuse last year. McCarrick was filthy, and there is evidence that high-level people in Rome knew he was filthy before he was made cardinal archbishop of Washington. Last year there was intense controversy over Vatican diplomat Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s allegations that Rome had long known of McCarrick’s behavior — and that Benedict XVI had placed McCarrick on restriction, which the arrogant cardinal ignored with impunity. Viganò said that he personally told Pope Francis about McCarrick, but that made no difference. Francis brought McCarrick, a key ally, out of the cold, and put him to work as an envoy.
Well, newly released correspondence shows that the Vatican had, in fact, put McCarrick on restriction — and McCarrick’s successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, knew about this. Excerpts from the Crux report:
In one letter, McCarrick suggests the Vatican wanted to “avoid publicity” and thus kept the restrictions confidential. The correspondence also shows that despite the restrictions, McCarrick gradually resumed traveling and playing prominent diplomatic roles under both Popes Benedict XVI and, to a greater extent, Francis, including talks with China that may have helped shape a controversial 2018 deal between Rome and Beijing over the appointment of bishops. McCarrick’s activities were not carried on in secret, as he regularly wrote to Pope Francis between 2013 and 2017 to brief him on his trips and activities. In the correspondence, McCarrick denies any sexual misconduct. “I have never had sexual relations with anyone,” he wrote, but he does admit to “an unfortunate lack of judgment” in sharing his bed with seminarians in their twenties and thirties.
From an examination of the correspondence, which involves emails and private letters from McCarrick over the period 2008-2017, it appears that senior Church officials, including the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Congregation for Bishops, and the pope’s ambassador in the U.S., were aware of the informal restrictions, and whatever their response may have been as McCarrick resumed his activities, it did not prevent him from doing so. McCarrick also writes that he discussed the restrictions with Wuerl in 2008, saying Wuerl’s “help and understanding is, as always, a great help and fraternal support to me.” In a 2008 letter to the papal ambassador in the U.S., McCarrick said he had shared a Vatican letter outlining the restrictions with Wuerl. Wuerl, who resigned as McCarrick’s successor as the Archbishop of Washington last October amid criticism in a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report of his handling of abuse cases as the Bishop of Pittsburgh, initially denied knowing of abuse charges against McCarrick until they became public in 2018, though in January he admitted to a “lapse in memory” with regard to one allegation that reached him in 2004.
Read the whole thing. Wuerl is still denying. Here’s the source of that reporting: a website written by McCarrick’s former personal secretary, Msgr Antonio Figueiredo. Crux says it had an expert examine the original correspondence, and determined them to be authentic. The monsignor writes:
In the subsequent sections, I present facts from correspondence that I hold relevant to questions still surrounding McCarrick. These facts show clearly that high-ranking prelates likely had knowledge of McCarrick’s actions and of restrictions imposed upon him during the pontificate of Benedict XVI. They also clearly show that these restrictions were not enforced even before the pontificate of Francis. It is not my place to judge to what extent the fault lies with the failure to impose canonical penalties, instead of mere restrictions, at the start, or with other Church leaders who later failed to expose McCarrick’s behavior and the impropriety of his continued public activity, and indeed may have encouraged it. My intention throughout this report is to present facts – not judgments or condemnation of anyone – for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons, the salvation of souls, and the good of the Church Universal. As a priest ordained by then Archbishop McCarrick and one who served him closely, I reflect often upon how much damage to the physical, psychological and spiritual lives of so many might have been avoided had the restrictions been made public and enforced as soon as they were imposed.
Neither Benedict nor Francis come off looking good here. There is written evidence from McCarrick himself that he was put on informal restriction. When he flouted the restrictions, nothing happened to him. Figueiredo seems to have been motivated by personal repentance. He was arrested in a drunk-driving accident last year, and indicates that he became addicted to alcohol. He has now embraced a life of sobriety. Whatever the monsignor’s motivations, the documents are judged to be authentic. He goes on:
It is clear that for far too long, a culture has existed in the Church that allowed those like McCarrick to continue their public activity after serious and even settled allegations had come to the attention of Church leaders. Moreover, it is all too evident that Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops – in their cover up – until quite recently have enjoyed the propitious benefit of a more “forgiving” and “lenient” standard of evaluation as compared to those applied to lower ranking clerics and religious. A double standard and non-independent accountability harm the credibility of Church leadership and impede efforts to reestablish fundamental trust in the Catholic clergy.
Speaking of re-establishing fundamental trust, the Vatican press office initially released a transcript of Francis’s May 21 interview, omitting the part where he said he’s not sure if he was told about McCarrick. The version the press office put out featured a flat denial by the Pope. Only when reporters questioned the press office did it release a corrected version, in which Francis said he wasn’t sure if Viganò told him about McCarrick, and just forgot about it. Responding to the original, full Spanish language transcript of the interview, Archbishop Viganò pulled no punches:
In comments to LifeSite following the release of the interview, Archbishop Viganò said: “What the Pope said about not knowing anything is a lie. […] He pretends not to remember what I told him about McCarrick, and he pretends that it wasn’t him who asked me about McCarrick in the first place.”
In the May 28 interview, Alazraki presses Pope Francis further on whether or not he knew about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s misdeeds. “I didn’t know anything about McCarrick, obviously, nothing, nothing,” he says. “I’ve said that several times, that I didn’t know, I had no idea.” It’s unclear as to what Pope Francis is referring to when he says that he denied knowledge of McCarrick’s immoral activities on several occasions as his refusal to comment one way or another has been a particularly notable element of the scandal. Pope Francis continues: “When [Archbishop Viganò] says that he spoke to me that day [on June 23, 2013], that he came … I don’t remember if he told me about this, whether it’s true or not, no idea! But you know that I didn’t know anything about McCarrick; otherwise I wouldn’t have kept quiet, right?” Archbishop Viganò observed of this remark: “He tries to be clever, claiming that he doesn’t remember what I told him, when he was the one who asked me about McCarrick.”
Who has more credibility in this matter: Viganò or Francis? At this point, how is this even a serious question?!
All credibility of the RCC disappears when the Pope is proven to be a liar.
From being infallible to being a liar.
Francis has never being home to Argentina because his name is dirt there.
He was a collaborator with the corrupt regime in Argentina.
He also played some role in the disappearance of two of his fellow Jesuits.
What do you do when the pope is a liar and accessory before and after the fact to two killings?
VATICAN CITY (AP) — At first glance, the handwritten postcards and letters look innocuous, even warm, sometimes signed off by “Uncle T.” or “Your uncle, Father Ted.”
But taken in context, the correspondence penned by disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to the young men he is accused of sexually abusing or harassing is a window into the way a predator grooms his prey, according to two abuse prevention experts who reviewed it for The Associated Press.
Full of flattery, familiarity and boasts about his own power, the letters provide visceral evidence of how a globe-trotting bishop made young, vulnerable men feel special — and then allegedly took advantage of them.
The AP is exclusively publishing correspondence McCarrick wrote to three men ahead of the promised release of the Vatican’s own report into who knew what and when about his efforts to bed would-be priests. Access to an archbishop for young men seeking to become priests “is a key piece of the grooming process here,” said one of the experts, Monica Applewhite.
Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick, 89, in February after a church investigation determined he sexually abused minors as well as adult seminarians. The case has created a credibility crisis for the Catholic hierarchy , since McCarrick’s misconduct was reported to some U.S. and Vatican higher-ups, but he nevertheless remained an influential cardinal until his downfall last year.
McCarrick has declined to comment on his case, except to say in an initial statement last year that he was innocent but accepted the Holy See’s decision to remove him from ministry. McCarrick lawyer J. Michael Ritty declined to comment on the correspondence.
The testimony of James Grein, 61, the first child McCarrick baptized, was key to the Vatican case. The son of close family friends, Grein told church investigators that McCarrick began sexually abusing him when he was 11, including during confession and at family weddings and holiday celebrations.
In an interview with AP, Grein said McCarrick’s exalted place in the family over three generations created pressure on him to visit with McCarrick during weekends away from boarding school and visits when he would be molested.
“If I didn’t go to see Theodore I was always going to be asked by my brothers and sisters or my dad, ‘Why didn’t you go see him?’”
That family dynamic is present in the postcards McCarrick sent to Grein — notes without postmarks that were included in letters McCarrick sent to his father.
“Time is getting close for your visit back east,” McCarrick wrote to Grein while he was at boarding school at the Woodside Priory School in California in the 1970s. “I’ll be calling home one of these days to check on arrangements.” He signed the note “Love to all, Your uncle, Fr. Ted.”
Applewhite said the text betrays McCarrick’s clear expectations that Grein would come visit, as well as the involvement of his family in arranging the rendezvous. A postcard visible to the family, she added, is the most open form of communication, and was likely meant to show Grein that what McCarrick was doing wasn’t wrong.
“To send it in a postcard says ‘I have nothing to hide,’” said Applewhite, who has counseled U.S. dioceses and religious orders about child protection programs and training.
In 1981, McCarrick was named the first bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey. Last year, his seminarian victims began speaking out about how their former bishop would refer to them as his “nephews” and insist that they call him “Uncle Ted” — creating an informal family relationship that would make it very difficult for any of them to ever report misconduct, Applewhite said.
Former seminarians recounted how McCarrick would invite groups of young men for weekends fishing or at his beach house, always inviting one extra to force someone to share his bed. McCarrick later denied having ever had sexual relations with anyone but acknowledged an “unfortunate lack of judgment” in sharing a bed with the men, according to a 2008 email to the Vatican.
In correspondence to one Metuchen seminarian after he was named archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, McCarrick detailed his jet-setting ministry in the summer of 1987, when he travelled to Russia and Poland at the height of St. John Paul II’s efforts to bring down communism in Eastern Europe. Later that year, he told the young man how he accompanied John Paul on his U.S. pilgrimage.
“It’s reminding him of his position of power, that he has all this access to special privileges,” said Elizabeth Jeglic, professor of psychology and expert in sexual violence prevention at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She said the message to the seminarian was: “‘You stay with me, you get access to that.’”
The seminarian later wrote to another bishop that he had witnessed McCarrick and other would-be priests engaging in sexual activity during a fishing trip and that McCarrick had groped him during an overnight stay at McCarrick’s Manhattan apartment later that summer. He said he vomited in the bathroom that Friday night because of the trauma.
In a letter soon after , McCarrick wrote: “I just want to say thanks for coming on Friday evening. I really enjoyed our visit.”
In eight letters to the seminarian, McCarrick repeatedly urged the young man to call him collect at his offices in Newark, providing his direct line and the dates of his comings and goings. He also urged him repeatedly to come visit — a frequency of demanding contact that Jeglic said constituted harassment and an attempt to “keep him in the web.”
“We have an almost full house, and by tomorrow the couches and maybe the floor will be taken — but we would have made room even for a big guy like you,” McCarrick wrote him.
In a sign of possible desperation, he added: “P.S. Do you even get my letters?”
McCarrick also referred to an incident where the two met a Mafia-associated businessman who was gunned down shortly after in a mob hit.
“Thank God we didn’t go to dinner on Saturday night!” McCarrick wrote. “We’d have been in the middle of a gangland rub-out.”
In a subsequent letter Aug. 28, 1987, written on Admirals Club letterhead during a flight in Poland, McCarrick referred again to the murder in his trademark small script: “You stick with your uncle and you’ll really meet exciting people.”
Jeglic said the reference to the mob hit was a shared, illicit experience that “bonds you in secrecy.”
Another seminarian, the Rev. Desmond Rossi, was studying for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception seminary in Newark, New Jersey when McCarrick was named archbishop. He said McCarrick had made it a point to greet Rossi’s father at Mass, and wrote to Rossi when the young man took a sabbatical in 1987.
In the letter, McCarrick wrote that he had just been with John Paul during his trip to Miami, and was praying for Rossi to come back.
“You’re still very much part of the family,” McCarrick wrote.
Rossi said he now sees McCarrick was grooming him with the letter, particularly his reference to John Paul and being part of “the family.”
“Here’s an archbishop of the church telling a 25-year-old kid who is interested in priesthood that he just left a meeting with the pope,” Rossi said. “This is a major deal!”
Rossi ultimately moved to another diocese in 1989, after a meeting where he said McCarrick rolled his chair “inappropriately close” and touched Rossi’s leg as he spoke.
“At that moment, pretty much in my mind I thought ‘I’m leaving this diocese,’ because it was that uncomfortable,” Rossi said.
As much as he considers himself a survivor, Rossi acknowledges that McCarrick was a gifted, charismatic pastor. Applewhite said abusers aren’t just monsters — as evidenced by McCarrick’s own correspondence looking out for his seminarians.
“If we’re only looking for demons, we’re not ever going to catch anyone,” she said.
The U.S. victims’ advocacy group SNAP said McCarrick’s correspondence provides “textbook examples of grooming behavior” that should serve as a wakeup call about the subtle ways predators build relationship with their victims and ingratiate themselves into families.
“We hope that the publication of these letters will lead to both healing for the survivors and new opportunities for parents and the public to become educated about grooming,” SNAP said in a statement after the AP report.
McCarrick got away with many decades of outlandship behaviour because he spread millions of dollars bribing people in Rome and the USA.
That means he appropriated millions and millions of dollars donated by ordinary and rich Catholics and organisations.
McCarrick proves that at the top of the RC institution power, sex and money matters a lot more than God or God’s people.
Even innocent children are fair game.
I started off life and priesthood totally ignorant of these realities.
I’m glad I’m not starting again.
I could not go the road I went again.
But I do not regret faith and priesthood.
And I’m sure God used Cahal B Daly to take me out of Babylon and give me the freedom of a son of God.
Since 2016, there have since been at least 223 lawsuits filed accusing 35 clergymen, teachers, and Boy Scout leaders of sexual abuse
Court documents have shown that a systemic pattern of sexual abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church took place on the US territory of Guam for over six decades.
The Associated Press conducted an extensive investigation that found collusion and cover-ups from priests all the way up to the top of the church’s hierarchy had been happening since the 1950s.
Anthony Sablan Apuron served as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam, from 1986 until 2016 when he was convicted in a secret Vatican trial and suspended. In 2018 he was found guilty of sexual abusing minors and finally removed from his post.
There have since been at least 223 lawsuits filed accusing 35 clergymen, teachers, and Boy Scout leaders of sexual abuse. The Guam archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection this year, estimating $45 million in liabilities.
Apuron was named by seven men in lawsuits, including one by his own nephew.
“He believed he was untouchable, more powerful than the governor,” Water Denton, a former US Army sergeant who alleges he was raped by Apuron 40 years ago as an altar boy, told the Associated Press.
Denton reported the rape in August 2015 to Apuron’s superior, the apostolic nuncio for the Pacific. He also wrote a four-page letter to Pope Francis, and the Vatican opened an investigation. In May 2016, a Guam survivor publicly accused Apuron of molesting him. Denton then informed the church that he too was going public. The day before his scheduled press conference, Pope Francis suspended Apuron, Associated Press reports.
In a written statement issued in April, after Pope Francis had rejected his final appeal, Apuron maintained his innocence but compared the decision to a death sentence.
“I lose my homeland, my family, my church, my people, even my language, and I remain alone in complete humiliation, old and in failing health,” Apuron said.
Despite his being removed from public ministry he remains a bishop and receives a monthly $1,500 stipend from the church.
When the Associated Press approached the Guam archdiocese it said it did not know where Apuron is. Among the abuse cases revealed in the documents is that of Rev. Louis Brouillard, who came to Guam after being expelled from the US for allegedly making sexual advances on a boy. He was first reported for abuse on the island in 1956, but moved to another parish. While serving on the island for 30 years, Brouillard is accused of abusing about 132 children, both men and women. He was transferred to Minnesota in 1981 after a complaint against him was lodged with the Guam Police, according to the documents. In 2016, Brouillard signed a statement admitting to abusing at least 20 children. Brouillard died while still a priest in 2018.
No member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has ever been prosecuted for a sex crime, including Apuron and Brouillard.
Documents that could have helped prosecute the abusers are believed to have been destroyed. Apuron’s successor, Michael Jude Byrnes, has said he heard rumours of “a big bonfire” before Apuron departed. Since Apuron’s departure and the subsequent lawsuits, priests in Guam are not permitted to be alone with children, and a committee is reviewing sexual assault claims.
Another country and diocese bites the dust.
60 years of the abuse of minors by the archbishop and priests.
We have not yet dealt with the abuse of children by missionaries, including the Irish, in Africa.