April 18th, 2008 Janet Patterson & Peggy Warren interview with ABC affiliate KAKE news regarding Pope Benedict's visit to
July 25th, 2007 Interview with Toledo Blade - Adult Victims Must Be Recognized! "Although sexual relations between a priest
and an adult is not a crime in Michigan or Ohio, it is illegal in nine states, according to Peggy Warren, founder of an advocacy
group called Educating To End Abuse" "As Catholics, we hold these men of God on pedestals and we lay people can never be on
the same playing field as a celibate, called by God, Roman Catholic priest,"
11/20/2010 THIS IS NOT A PROPOSED SKIT FOR SNL, ALTHOUGH, GOD IT WOULD MAKE A GOOD ONE - Pope: Condoms to stop AIDS may be
OK in some cases Benedict said that condoms are not a moral solution to stopping AIDS. But he said in some cases, such as
for male prostitutes, their use could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility
Sunday, January 17, 2010 10 : 31 AM
Published online 1/15/2010 11:39 PM(Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News)
Bob Voboril, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Wichita Diocese, right, talks with St. Teresa School parent Stephanie
Larsen Friday after the announcement of the school’s closing. There’s more to the story: See hutchnews.com for
St. T's sad farewell
Beloved school's end begets a new chapter: the legacy its parents, students will
carry onDespite four months of tireless campaigning
by parishioners to keep their school open, it was made official Friday afternoon: St. Teresa Catholic Grade School will shut
its doors in May.
Bob Voboril, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, was in Hutchinson
on Friday afternoon to make the announcement.
"Bishop Michael Jackels has accepted
the recommendation from the parishes of St. Teresa and Our Lady of Guadalupe to consolidate St. Teresa Catholic School with
Holy Cross Catholic School on the Holy Cross parish campus, beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year," Voboril said.
Fathers Joe Eckberg, Holy Cross, Brian Nelson, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Nicholas Voelker, St. Teresa, were also
present for the announcement.
Every member of the Catholic community of Hutchinson should receive a letter today
from the bishop announcing the decision.
Many of the students, families and faculty of the parishes have opposed
the closing, but a majority of the two parish councils signed a recommendation to Jackels on Jan. 5 that the school be closed.
"Before all else, I want to acknowledge how this decision will be experienced by many as a loss," Jackels
said in a letter to the priests of the parishes. "It is my prayer that they will be consoled by knowing that the pooling
of resources will strengthen the quality of Catholic school education - both at the newly consolidated elementary school and
at Trinity Catholic Junior/Senior High School - provided to parents to help them in the fulfillment of their responsibility
to form their children as disciples of Jesus."
As word of the announcement spread, about 20 concerned parents
gathered in front of the school on East Fifth Avenue. Voboril, who was inside the building, came outside flanked by the three
priests to answer questions from the crowd. He told them a school is kept open because a parish can fund it. Though fundraising
efforts brought in more than $140,000 in pledges, the concern of the bishop, Voboril said, was whether the parish could keep
up that amount year after year.
He noted the school's 108-year history as a wonderful legacy.
best way to continue that legacy is through consolidating the resources of all three parishes into one school."
Tears ran down the cheeks of Esther Flores Acosta, a St. Teresa alumna, who said she wasn't shocked at Friday's announcement
after the parish council had made its recommendation. Her concern now is whether Holy Cross will have room for the additional
Currently there are 10 to 15 students per class at St. Teresa. Once the schools merge, Holy Cross will
have up to 23 students per room.
The details of the transition still need to be worked out, according to Voboril.
"Work should begin immediately to provide a smooth transition for children and families from St. Teresa Catholic
School," Bishop Jackels wrote. "I am confident that these students will be warmly welcomed in the spirit of Jesus,
and that the special services offered for Spanish-speaking students at St. Teresa will be maintained in that same spirit."
Meanwhile, parents had many questions regarding the closure.
A grim-faced Miguel Reza, who serves
on the parish council of Our Lady of Guadalupe, spoke in Spanish to several women outside the school trying to explain what
"Everybody hurts," Reza said. "We worked hard to try to keep it open. The decision
is done. The door is closed."
SEEMS AS THOUGH VOELKER IS DOING A HELL OF A JOB
Published online 1/8/2010 10:33
Bishop asked to close St. T's
Some say supporters trying to save school did not have voice in decisionEven though friends of St. Teresa's Catholic Grade School
have raised $140,000 in cash and pledges, a majority of two parish councils signed a recommendation that the school be closed,
according to two council members.
Miguel Reza and Deborah Castaneda said they were among three or four council
members who did not sign the recommendation to Bishop Michael Jackels, while about 20 others endorsed it at a joint meeting
of the parish councils Tuesday night.
Amy Pavlacka, a spokeswoman for
the Diocese of Wichita, would not comment on the specifics of the recommendation.
"We're at a point where
we're waiting for the bishop to receive the recommendation, review it and react to it," she said.
was out of town attending a retreat for bishops this week but is expected to return to Wichita for a few days next week before
leaving on another trip.
Teachers, parents of St. Teresa students and friends of the school have known for a little
more than two months that $150,000 to $200,000 was needed to keep the school open. The school, which has 137 students in pre-K
through sixth grade, does not charge tuition for children of active Catholic families. The school is instead supported by
tithing by the members of St. Teresa and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes. Bob Voboril, the superintendent of the diocese's
Catholic schools, said in November that tithing by the two parishes was projected to fall $160,000 short of its goal for the
2009-10 fiscal year.
Castanada said that with the amount friends of the school raised in two months, they had earned
another year to come up with a long-term plan to save the school.
"I felt I had to stand for them and commend
them for their hard work," she said. "I can't turn on them."
Reza, who with his wife, Feliciana,
has raised three children who graduated from Trinity Catholic High School in Hutchinson, said he thought the majority of the
parish councils who wanted to close the school were taking "the easy way out."
"I don't know,"
he said. "Maybe they don't want to work hard."
Reza was upset that many of those who were working hard
to save the school were excluded from the closed council meeting Tuesday.
"This group of about 25 people
are speaking for parishes with approximately 400 and 700 families, respectively," he said, "yet most of their meetings
take place behind closed doors. Their voice never really sought the interest of the people at large.
that the voice of the people, including the students, teachers and families, has been stifled," he said.
said he is trying to contact Bishop Jackels to convey to him that many parishioners do not agree with the recommendation.
"I'm going to keep fighting and working until the bishop says no," Reza said. "I will keep doing it
until the last minute."
In recent weeks, friends of St. Teresa's have conducted rummage sales, bake sales,
done holiday gift wrapping and phone solicitations to raise money to save the school. The campaign also got a major financial
pledge from one donor. The Anchor Inn, a downtown Mexican food restaurant, will be sponsoring a fund-raising breakfast Sunday
in the school gymnasium.
Reza and Castaneda said those who attended the meeting Tuesday were assured that if the
school does close, all the children of St. Teresa will be welcome at Holy Cross Elementary, the city's other Catholic elementary
However, Reza said he fears some will not go there because there are social and geographic barriers.
Castaneda said that parents of St. Teresa students are concerned that Holy Cross is unprepared to deal with the influx
of a large number of students who have learning disabilities or who are learning English as a second language.
questioned the "social justice" of closing the school.
"What is happening here is the closing of
exactly the type of school for which Catholic schools were founded," he said. "The majority of the students at St.
Teresa School are Hispanic. They feel comfortable with the school and the location is fitting for them. The closing of the
school will likely terminate their parochial education."
If the school closes, he said, he will feel like
the diocese has abandoned the Hispanic community of Hutchinson - "Big time."
Received via email from SNAP national director David Clohessy, 9.10.2008.
* * *
While supposedly living with top church official, priest molests
3 year old
After he’s arrested, archdiocese helps him flee to his native South America
Prosecutors then declined to pursue
2006-07 child sex crimes involving young girl
New civil child molestation and cover up case against Catholic hierarchy is filed
In rare move, lawsuit includes
Ecuador diocese as a defendant too
At a news conference, a pre-school victim’s attorneys will announce and discuss
a new child molestation and cover up lawsuit involving recent child sex crimes. It’s against two dioceses (one here,
one in South America ) and a pedophile priest who
– lived with a high ranking Twin Cities Catholic official,
a Minnesota girl,
– was arrested, but
– has since left the country with the help of local church
The predator is now believed
to be living in Ecuador .
Sept. 10, 1:00 p.m.
At the law offices of Jeff Anderson, 336 Jackson (corner of Fifth) in downtown
St. Paul, MN
Two attorneys (and a Spanish-speaking legal assistant) who represent
this young victim and also represent hundreds of other men and women who were abused as kids by teachers, coaches, ministers,
and other authority figures
In 2001, Fr. Francisco Montero a/k/a Fr. Francisco “Fredy” Montero
was assigned to live with Fr. Kevin McDonough, vicar general
of the Archdiocese
of St. Paul and Minneapolis . From 2006 to 2007, Montero, a native of Ecuador , repeatedly
molested a girl when she was three and four years old.
He arrived in Minnesota in February
or March of 2001 and was assigned to Incarnation parish in Minneapolis, where the girl’s family belonged. (It’s
also called Comunidad Sagrado Corazon de Jesus). Montero provided the mom ‘counseling’
while abusing her young daughter. After Montero was arrested for the abuse, McDonough helped Montero
leave the US , the lawsuit says.
A Spanish speaking Twin Cities legal assistant recently called Montero in Ecuador.
He admitted he’s now working in a Catholic
While in Minnesota , Montero, now 31, also said
masses at St. John Newman in Eagan, MN, and started a newspaper and radio show, both in Spanish.
filed late yesterday in Ramsey County
and served on the archdiocese, seeks unspecified damages. Defendants include the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and
the Guaranda Diocese in Ecuador .
St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson (651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990, 612 205 5531 cell), and legal assistant Ivonne Manay (Spanish-speaking, 651 227
Overland Park man sentenced on child porn charge
Not long enough!!!!
He should be in prison the rest of his life! Evil to the core!
Monday August 25, 2008
A federal judge on Monday sentenced Brian D. Harris, 42, of Overland Park to 12 years
and seven months in federal prison for distributing child pornography.
Harris pleaded guilty in June to one count of
distributing child pornography. In his plea, he admitted that he installed file-sharing programs on his computer and used
the programs to download files containing child pornography from other users. He also allowed other uses to download images
of child pornography from his computer.
Among the items found on his computer were more than 60 movie files, including
images of children younger than 3 years old being raped.
For immediate release: Sunday, Aug. 17
SNAP posts Archbishop’s “Ten most reckless & callous actions”
Group blasts Burke for “letting accused
sex offenders work and live here”
Archbishop Raymond Burke celebrates his last mass in St. Louis , leaders of a support group
for clergy sex abuse victims are releasing a list of his ten “most reckless and callous actions in clergy sex cases
The new list is posted at SNAPmidwest.org and is included below.
SNAP criticizes Burke
for paying $500,000 to free a convicted predator priest, for moving a priest who’s been accused of molesting at least
three boys, and for bringing a number of proven, admitted and credibly accused priests from elsewhere to live and/or work
For more information, contact
David Clohessy of St. Louis , SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis , SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home, 503 0003 cell
—————-Burke’s most reckless and callous actions in clergy
sex cases here (posted 8/17/08)
fact cited below, in each case, has appeared in media accounts in at least one credible mainstream news source, and usually,
in several such sources.)
1. On Friday, a Wisconsin judge sentenced
a serial predator priest to six months in jail. Sometime between 2003 and 2006, Burke let that cleric, Fr. Bruce MacArthur,
move to a church
center for pedophile priests in Franklin County , even though MacArthur had been accused of molesting at least seven girls and was
indicted in the attempted rape of a disabled, mute 54-year-old patient at a nursing home.
2. Right now, he’s quietly letting
an admitted pedophile priest work at/near and live on/near St. Louis University .
He’s Fr. Vincent Bryce, who was suspended from
two Michigan parishes in 2002 when he admitted molesting a child. (His direct supervisors have acknowledged the admission
in writing). Bryce works at the Aquinas Institute, directly across the street from SLU and lives in Jesuit Hall, at the northwest
corner of Grand and Lindell.
December, a Chicago area newspaper disclosed that Bryce is here, but no St. Louis media have yet mentioned his name.
3. Right now, he’s quietly letting
Fr. Robert Osborne work at a Kirkwood parish. Osborne left Vianney high school after being accused of molesting a boy. He
later admitted giving liquor to kids and a second alleged sex abuse victim came forward.
Osborne was sued and his victim received a substantial settlement. Osborne’s direct supervisors, a
religious order called the Marianists, refuse to reassign him to any of their dozens of schools
they run across the US . But Burke lets him work in a parish here.
4. In 2006, he quietly let a Yakima priest
at St. Joseph’s in Clayton & St. Ambrose on the HiIl. Back in Washington state, that cleric, Fr. Darell Mitchell,
naked photos of boys on his computer and admitted that he had gone to other websites that showed naked boys. He’d also been accused of giving beer and numerous
gifts to one minor, holding ‘boys-only’ dinners and game nights at his home, letting young men spend the night
at the rectory, taking a minor on a European trip, and letting one boy live at the rectory with the priest for weeks one summer,
introducing that minor to others as his “godson.” (When reports of his admissions & the allegations against him surfaced
in St. Louis , he abruptly resigned.)
2005, he quietly let a Kansas priest live and work at St. Ambrose on the Hill. That cleric, Fr. Nicholas Voelker, had been accused recently
sexually assaulted a parishioner who got a protective order and a substantial settlement from church authorities because of
6. He quietly let eight or nine proven, admitted or credibly accused archdiocesan predator priests live
Cleri (a retirement home with virtually no security) in Shrewsbury . In 2005, when SNAP publicly
disclosed this, Burke told the Post Dispatch the nun overseeing the sex offenders “is very strict - their comings and goings,
everything is monitored. She is right on top of things.”
However, that same nun told the Post Dispatch
priests in question serve as the facility’s “volunteer employees” doing everything from driving older priests
to the hospital or drugstore to fixing computers. She admitted “she does not monitor the men if they go to a movie or
for a walk. ‘I don’t police them like that. I would trust them all. I would.’”
Among the pedophile priests at Regina Cleri: Michael Campbell, Hugh Creason, Alfred Fitzgerald, and
7. In 2004, he let a fugitive Canadian
cleric, move to a church center for pedophile priests in Franklin County . Br. Gerald Chumik after California parishioners demanded
he be moved for the safety of their kids. Media accounts describe him as a fugitive. He’s wanted for felony child molestation in
8. In June 2008, he named Fr. Alex Anderson a pastor in DeSoto. Anderson is accused of molesting three
boys, none of whom know each other. The archdiocese paid one of his victims $22,500. Anderson sued one of his accusers for
slander, and vowed to take his victim to court unless a number of concessions were met (a written retraction of the allegation,
the removing Anderson ’s name from the SNAP website, etc.) None of those conditions were met.
9. In 2005, he “put up a half-million
dollars to keep out of jail a priest convicted of sodomizing a teenage boy,” according to the Post Dispatch. More than
a year later, that cleric, Fr. Thomas Graham, won a reversal of his conviction on a legal technicality
- the statute of limitations. But he would have likely spent a year behind bars (and kids would have been safer) had Burke
not spent $500,000 to free him, despite being convicted by an impartial jury that heard all the evidence.
He repeatedly ignored SNAP’s call for a moratorium on importing proven, admitted, and credibly accused serial predator
priests at two church-run facilities:
- RECON, also known as the Wounded Brothers Project,
near Robertsville in Franklin County &
- St. John
Vianney Renewal Center near Dittmer in Jefferson County.
SNAP estimates that Burke has let literally dozens of sex offender clergy come to these centers,
almost always without warning to neighbors, parishioners or the public. (In some instances, they are convicted, so are put
on the state child molester’s registry.) Some of them are among the most prolific and notorious pedophile priests in
the US (including Fr. James McGreal of Seattle who faced 35 accusers, and Thomas S. Schaefer and Alphonsus Smith, both priests
from Washington who were among four priests who were indicted in 1995 on charges of sexually
abusing nine boys.)
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National
Director 314 566 9790 cell (SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis , SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home (SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Woman fights for bill to prevent clergy abuse
WICHITA, Kansas, Feb.
8, 2007 - A Wichita woman is in a race against time to push a bill on clergy sexual abuse through the Kansas Legislature.
Peggy Warren is contacting everyone she knows to encourage the Federal and State Affairs
Committee to hear House Bill 2206.
is so important to me and my family because of the devastation a priest did to my family," Peggy, sexual assault victim, said.
Peggy claims a priest in the Wichita
Catholic Diocese sexually assaulted her. But Sedgwick County District
Attorney Nola Foulston said after performing a full investigation, her office found no crime was committed.
Peggy says there was never a full investigation.
"I never talked to the district attorney, a detective, never gave them a statement,"
Peggy said. "There was no full investigation. The only information she got was from
the Wichita Diocese.
Now she's fighting back with House Bill 2206.
It would add clergy to the list of professionals including law enforcement and social workers, who
cannot engage in consensual sexual relations with those they counsel.
bill defines clergy as "a currently ordained member of the clergy or religious authority of
any religious denomination or society."
Nile Dillmore, who introduced the bill, is worried it won't be heard since the legislative committee is running out of
He says there are 27 bills before the committee and less than
two weeks to hear them all.
Bishop Michael Jackels of the Wichita Diocese
says he was unaware of the bill and didn't have enough information to comment.
He did issue this statement saying, "The Catholic Church is committed to doing all
that is humanly possible to protect all people from harm, especially from the horrible sin and crime of sexual abuse."
Meanwhile Peggy Warren is hoping Kansas will join 17 other states that
hold clergy accountable.
A blind eye, indeed
I am writing in regard to Bishop Michael
Jackels' commentary "Rule of compassion" (Feb. 10 Opinion) and his statement: "The Catholic Church... does
not turn a blind eye to illegal behavior and would certainly not reward it."
Who does he think he is fooling? Has
he forgotten the countless stories of child abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests since the Boston scandal broke in
2002? Time and time again, the church did not call authorities when it realized its priests were molesting children, but instead
moved the priests to other towns or states.
And if that isn't bad enough, those church leaders who cover up the
abuse or protect the abuser get rewarded for their behavior. Consider a case in Chicago where the Rev. Daniel McCormack was
accused in August 2005 of molesting an 8-year-old boy, but Cardinal Francis George left McCormack in his job to continue to
molest other children. The cardinal has since been elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
and time again, I am contacted by clergy abuse victims who feel violated all over again when their victimizer or the church
leader who mishandled their case is promoted to a higher position.
I hope and pray that someday Jackels' statements
can ring true. But today I can't even hear a faint ding.
Posted on Wed, Feb. 13, 2008
Group looking into removal of female referee by religious school
Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas
activities officials are investigating why a religious school refused to let a female referee call a boys high school basketball
game earlier this month.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association said referees reported that Michelle Campbell
was preparing to officiate at St. Mary's Academy near Topeka, Kan., on Feb. 2 when a school official insisted that Campbell
could not call the game. The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position
of authority over boys because of the academy's beliefs.
Campbell then walked off the court along with Darin Putthoff,
the referee who was to work the game with her.
"I said 'If Michelle has to leave, then I'm leaving with
her,' " Putthoff said on Wednesday. "I was disappointed that it happened to Michelle. I've never heard of
anything like that."
Fred Shockey, who was getting ready to leave the gym after officiating two junior high games,
said he was told there had been an emergency and was asked to stay and officiate two more games.
"When I found
out what the emergency was, I said there was no way I was going to work those games," said Shockey, who spent 12 years
in the Army and became a ref about three years ago. "I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer,
and there was no way I was going to go along with that."
Shockey noted that referees normally don't work Saturday
games, but he agreed to officiate because his daughter's basketball game slated for that day was canceled.
that while he and Putthoff were talking with Campbell, the school's athletic director walked up and gave Campbell the
$50 she would have been paid for working the games, then asked her to leave the gym.
Shockey said he left and went to
a restaurant across the street from the academy, got something to eat, then tipped the waitress $41 - what was left of his
$50 officiating fee after he paid for his meal.
"I wanted to get rid of that money as fast as I could," he
The Activities Association said it is considering whether to take action against the private religious school.
St. Mary's Academy, about 25 miles northwest of Topeka, Kan., is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X, which
follows older Roman Catholic laws. The society's world leader, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was excommunicated
by Pope John Paul II in the late 1980s.
Gary Musselman, the association's executive director, said the organization
will not make a decision until it confirms whether St. Mary's Academy has a policy of not allowing female referees to
work boys basketball games.
If that is indeed the school's written policy, Musselman said, the association could
decide to remove St. Mary's Academy from the list of approved schools and take away its ability to compete against the
association's more than 300 member schools.
St. Mary's Academy officials declined comment when contacted by
The Associated Press on Wednesday.
St. Mary's Academy is among 30 schools on the list that are not full association
members but compete against schools that are. Musselman said St. Mary's Academy plays one or two games per season against
member schools but has no more scheduled this school year.
He said if removed from the approved list for next school
year, St. Mary's Academy still would be able to compete against approved schools that are not members of the association.
said the association hopes to resolve the matter sometime this week. He said he sent a letter to the school's principal,
Vicente A. Griego, the day of the incident but has not heard back from him.
Putthoff and other supporters of Campbell
said they believe state activities officials will handle the situation properly.
Campbell did not return phone calls
seeking comment Wednesday.
However, she told The Kansas City Star that she was "dumbfounded" by the incident
but that she is not angry at the school. She said she does not want the situation to go any further than it already has.
issue was going to come up eventually," said Campbell, 49, a retired Albuquerque, N.M., police officer who now lives
in Ozawkie, Kan. "I just happened to be the person who was there this time.
"It's kind of a sticky situation.
It needs to be looked at carefully, slowly, with all the facts."
But Shockey thinks the slight against his colleague
is something that needed to be brought to the public's attention.
"I believe this has been an unwritten thing
for a long time and either people didn't know or didn't want to know," he said. "Had someone told me about
this, I would never have worked there in the first place."
Putthoff said he has called games at St. Mary's
Academy off and on for 10 or 12 years, but doubts he will officiate at the school again.
"Out of defense to Michelle,
I'm probably going to decline to go back there," he said. "We have to support our fellow officials."
who is one of about five female referees in the Topeka Officials Association, has been officiating games for about two years.
don't support any institutions that would discriminate against any of our officials," said Steve Bradley, president
of the Topeka group. "We support Michelle 100 percent.
"Michelle works hard. She cares about what she does.
She is not a person who's on a crusade. She's a good person. She's a good official. You will not find a person
who's more serious about doing a good job than Michelle."
Musselman said this was his first time dealing with
a situation in which a school turned away a referee because of gender.
"We view officials not as male or female,
Hispanic or African-American or Asian-American. We view officials as officials," Musselman said. "Discrimination
against our officials is something we can't be party to."
Still, he said, the association wants to be fair
to everyone involved and gather all the information before taking action.
Associated Press Writer
Maria Sudekum Fisher contributed to this report.
Employee suspected of taking $270,000 from parish
BY STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle
Savior, the Catholic parish and school serving the highest proportion of low-income students of any school in the Wichita
diocese, has lost nearly $270,000 through apparent "misuse" by a former employee.
The Rev. Pat Malone, Holy
Savior's priest, notified school and parish staff Friday, and sent a letter of explanation to the 275 families that attend
the church at 1425 N. Chautauqua.
An independent review of financial records indicates $269,914 is missing, and a longtime
office manager and bookkeeper is suspected of taking the money, Malone said.
Wichita police were notified of the loss
Thursday, and a detective was assigned to the case Friday, said Gordon Bassham, police spokesman.
"I am truly sorry
that this has happened," Malone's letter states. "I pray to God that we can come together to build a stronger
parish and school for the future. The loss is a devastating blow to our parish family, but such events can also unify us and
make us stronger."
The reaction among Holy Savior staff members was "shock and disbelief," Malone said.
office manager, who has not been named, worked for Holy Savior for about eight years when the loss was discovered in October,
The employee left the church when the loss was discovered. The church conducted an internal investigation
before contacting police.
The money appears to have been taken in smaller amounts over a three-year period.
have told Malone that the person responsible used the money "to help other people," he said. "This person didn't
take it to help themselves."
The loss "won't affect our operations, but it certainly affects our reserve
and any savings we might have," he said.
The parish has insurance, but it could be a while before it finds out
how much of the loss can be reimbursed.
"I'm sure it will not cover all of that (amount)," Malone said.
Savior's parochial school has 175 students, 68 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, said Fred Solis
diocesan spokesman. The school "serves one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city," Solis said.
16 schools in the Wichita school district have at least 90 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches,
spokeswoman Susan Arensman said.
To prevent similar losses in the future, the parish has implemented a series of changes:
• Employees will be subject to full background checks.
signatures will be required for all checks.
• The parish finance committee will
meet monthly to review that month's activity.
• An independent accountant
will review the parish's books annually.
The impact of the loss could be more prominent as the parish ponders its
Holy Savior leases the property for its school and that lease is up, Malone said.
Officials are looking
to move the students to the former Carter Elementary public school building about a mile away, at least until a new school
can be built.
"Ideally, we want to have it here adjacent to the church," Malone said. "It's important
to have the church and school together.
"We're still determining the best course of action."
the meantime, Malone is preaching forgiveness in the letter sent to parishioners, and to those who ask about what happened.
have to acknowledge, if you will, our own capacity for sin and inflicting pain and suffering on others -- and we have to work
toward forgiveness," Malone said.
"Bitterness and anger in this situation does no good for anybody."
Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or email@example.com.
Lawsuits alleging abuse are nearer to trial
The boys called them the party priests.
They held pool and lake galas where drinks were freely
flowing, even for their teenage guests. They let the young boys drive and smoke in their cars, left dirty magazines around
the rectory for them to read, and talked openly in graphic terms about sex.
For boys just entering the awkward stages
of adolescence, nothing seemed cooler than hanging out with Monsignor Thomas O’Brien and Father Thomas Reardon of Kansas
Except for the price that many of the boys — now men — say they paid. They allege that the priests
used their positions of power to prey on the youngsters, plying them with alcohol, groping them and offering them money for
Though the alleged incidents occurred years ago, they are haunting both priests and the diocese today. A dozen
lawsuits against either O’Brien or Reardon are winding their way through the courts, painting a graphic picture of lewd
behavior involving scores of young men spanning several decades.
It included accusations of rape, sodomy, oral sex and
masturbatory acts, according to the lawsuits.
Since January 2004, 12 men have sued O’Brien and 14 have sued Reardon.
The lawsuits, one now settled and others moving toward trial, allege that the priests abused dozens of boys in locations ranging
from the St. Elizabeth’s rectory at 75th and Main streets to a house on Lake Viking, a community about 60 miles northeast
of Kansas City, where O’Brien and Reardon often took the youths for a weekend of swimming and partying.
lawsuits and several involving other priests had been placed on hold pending a decision by the Missouri Supreme Court on whether
too much time had passed for such cases to be filed. However, a ruling last year allowed many of them to proceed, and some
now have tentative trial dates.
The Kansas City Star began documenting the alleged abuse in 2002. Since then,
the newspaper has interviewed dozens of men who, along with the lawsuits, allege a pattern of molestation that began in the
early 1960s with O’Brien and continued unchecked with Reardon throughout the 1980s.
Through their lawyers, both
O’Brien and Reardon have vigorously denied the accusations. Both men are no longer active as priests. O’Brien
told The Star last week that he had never molested anyone.
“I deny that I’ve abused anybody,”
he said. “Some of the accusers, I don’t even know. As far as teenagers, I may have used bad language around them
once in a while, but I absolutely, positively, never physically abused any young men.”
Earlier this year, the
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph agreed to a $60,000 settlement with a Northland man who accused O’Brien and Reardon
of molesting him in 1967.
Then in September the diocese agreed to pay an Independence man $225,000, its biggest settlement
ever in a case of alleged abuse. The retired priest in that case, the Rev. Francis E. McGlynn, also was expected to pay $2,000
to the victim.
But as trial dates in the other lawsuits involving O’Brien and Reardon approach, The Star has
learned that the diocese may have known about O’Brien’s alleged abuse as long ago as 1979.
victims told the newspaper that either they or their parents contacted diocesan officials about O’Brien, yet he remained
an active priest for decades afterward.
However, the diocese disputed that church officials knew about the alleged incidents
but failed to act.
“There isn’t any evidence that is in our files or that we’ve seen that we had notice
of claims and then didn’t do anything about it, or failed to take appropriate steps,” said Jon Haden, the attorney
representing the diocese in the lawsuits.
Next page >
To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
School is bullying
In response to "School
says: Speak English" (Oct. 20 Eagle): It is unfortunate that once again the Catholic Church has to flex its muscles and
hurt children and families. Instead of suppressing cultural identity, the diocese easily could have hired translators to help
ease the problem. The diocese might even have realized that it was in the best interest of everyone at St. Anne Catholic School
to keep the translators on staff permanently, considering the growing Hispanic community.
The Catholic Church is the
true bully in this situation. It is unfortunate that the Silvas and other families have to go through the pain to realize
that the Catholic Church isn't all about executing the teachings of Jesus Christ but in many aspects is just the opposite
-- an entity that thrives off of power, control and money. This is another example of the Catholic Church talking out of both
sides of its mouth. Welcoming Hispanic minorities into this country and then requiring them to leave their native language
at the door just doesn't jibe with the message of "love thy neighbor."
|THE ONE TRUE FAITH
|Coffeyville Journal Readers Views August 26, 2007
Kansas City diocese settles lawsuit in priest abuse case
By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH
Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An Independence man who claims he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in the 1970s
has agreed to end his lawsuit for $227,000 in what his attorneys said Wednesday could be the first in a string of such settlements.
Frank Scheuring, the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and former priest Francis E. McGlynn reached the agreement
Tuesday. It follows a Missouri Supreme Court ruling last year that changed the state deadline for victims to file lawsuits.
"That case opened the door for victims in Missouri," said Rebecca Randles, one of Scheuring's attorneys,
during a news conference Wednesday.
In its June 2006 ruling, the state Supreme Court said that the state deadline
for filing sexual abuse lawsuits is triggered not by when a wrongdoing is committed, but by when victims are capable of realizing
the damage they suffered.
Attorneys for Scheuring, who are handling most of the Kansas City-area abuse claims,
credited the Supreme Court ruling with helping them reach the settlement less than a week before the case was scheduled to
go to trial in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The case is the first of the 26 cases they have filed against the
diocese to be settled. Those cases involve nine priests and about 40 plaintiffs.
The diocese, which agreed to pay
$225,000, said in a written statement that it hoped the settlement would allow "true healing" to begin. The diocese
settled another sexual abuse claim in April for $60,000.
"As people of faith, the Catholic Church deplores
sexual abuse as a profound contradiction of the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ," the diocese said. "In many
ways, the church is a family. When one member of a family suffers, everyone suffers."
McGlynn, who agreed
to pay $2,000 of the settlement, previously denied the abuse charges through his attorney. Steve Mirakian, an attorney for
McGlynn, referred questions to the diocese.
As part of the settlement, Scheuring, now 47, and his family also talked
to members of the diocese about ways to prevent abuse.
Scheuring was 11 years old when he confided during confessional
that a neighbor was sexually abusing him. Instead of intervening, the suit alleged that McGlynn began his own three-year affair
with the boy. Meanwhile, the neighbor continued to abuse Scheuring, his attorneys said.
"He was told during
that time that the abuse perpetrated upon him by the priest was the priest's way of showing the love of God," said
Randles, of Kansas City. "He had been taught that the priest was God's representative here on earth and stood in
the shoes of Jesus Christ and when he was abusing him he was told this was Jesus Chris who was engaging in love."
Randles' co-council, Patrick Noaker, of St. Paul, Minn., said Scheuring initially was confused when news of the
Boston sexual abuse cases began breaking.
"He actually wondered, 'Why don't those guys understand
they are special? They were touched by God just like me,"' Noaker said.
When Scheuring realized in 2002
that he had been abused, he attempted suicide in a bathroom filled with religious icons and was hospitalized, his attorneys
said. He filed the lawsuit in 2003.
"Frank never wants any other child to go through what he went through,"
Randles said. "He never wants any other child to have to question whether or not there is a God, whether or not there
is a supernatural being that is a loving being out there, and whether or not that love is a form of abuse."
Two other plaintiffs -- Teresa White and a woman identified only as Jane I.K. Doe -- also allege McGlynn abused them at
St. Mary's Church in Independence in the 1970s when they were minors.
Deposition reveals abuse allegations against O.C. Bishop Brown
A judge's unsealing of testimony in the Mater
Dei High School case leads to the disclosure.
By Christine Hanley
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
As the Diocese of Orange's written pledge of transparency was burned to ashes by protesters outside
an Orange County courthouse, a judge unsealed testimony Thursday revealing that Bishop Tod Brown had been accused of molesting
a boy early in his priesthood.
The allegation was privately denied by Brown when it was lodged 10 years ago, dismissed
as baseless after an internal investigation by church officials, and a short time later found not credible by police and prosecutors
who looked into the complaint.
42 San Diego sex abuse cases ordered to trial
SAN DIEGO -- A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ruled Friday that 42 lawsuits
filed by people alleging sexual abuse by Catholic priests here can go to trial, which could goad the Catholic Diocese of San
Diego into settling those and other suits.
Andrea Leavitt, lawyer for a group of claimants, called the ruling by
Judge Louise De Carl Adler a victory for victims of sexual abuse, many of whom have spent years seeking damage payments from
"The victims are very encouraged," Leavitt said. "And they are very grateful that the
court has the wisdom to grasp the gamesmanship the victims have been subjected to for years by the diocese."
Adler, in her ruling, said she will decide at a hearing Sept. 6 whether to throw out the diocese's bankruptcy lawsuit.
In February, as the first of the suits was about to go to trial, the San Diego diocese, with 1 million Catholics,
became the largest in the nation to seek protection in Bankruptcy Court.
The Bankruptcy Court blocked the suits
from going to trial. But Adler has been increasingly skeptical of the diocese's assertions that it could become insolvent
if it had to pay damages to the 150-plus claimants. She has also criticized the diocese's financial record-keeping as
being designed to mask the diocese's true worth.
Diocese attorneys have offered a $95-million settlement with
150-plus people who have filed claims. But Adler noted in her ruling that this is "far below the historic statewide average"
of payments when abuse victims sue in state court.
The judge suggested that the diocese was "forum shopping,"
hoping that a settlement reached as part of a bankruptcy filing would cost less than one reached in a trial court.
The 42 lawsuits represent 58 claimants. In all, the diocese faces 127 lawsuits.
Diocese lawyers argued that
Adler does not have the authority to send the 42 lawsuits back to the Superior Court for trial. Adler said there is a compelling
public interest in settling claims involving the sexual abuse of children.
Claimant attorneys have said the diocese
filed for bankruptcy to stop the suits from going to trial and spare Bishop Robert Brom from having to testify.
and his lawyer did not return calls Friday.
A Cardinal’s Shameless Struggle for Survival
By Jason Berry | July 18, 2007
THE RECORD $660 million settlement that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay victims of clergy
sex abuse marks the denouement of a strange legal drama. The litigation turned into a survival struggle for Cardinal Roger
Mahony waged an expensive fight, which he lost at every rung of the ladder, to prevent release of clergy
personnel files. The documents have still not been released. In 2002, church lawyers blocked the Los Angeles district attorney’s
subpoenas for files of priests targeted for criminal investigation.
As the clock ticked on statutes of limitations,
several cases died. Meanwhile, as civil cases mounted, release of the disputed clergy personnel files became a core issue
for survivors, who wanted the truth revealed. What is Mahony hiding?
Mahony’s personal judgment has long
been suspect. Consider Father Carl Sutphin, who shared living quarters with Mahony in two cathedrals over seven years until
a 2002 Los Angeles police investigation of charges that Sutphin molested two sets of brothers. Only then did the cardinal
force his retirement. In 1991, Mahony had sidelined Sutphin, a classmate of his in seminary, when a Phoenix man informed the
cardinal that the priest had abused him and his twin brother years earlier. Sutphin went to St. Luke Institute in Suitland,
Md., for treatment after which he became chaplain in a retirement home. At the time of his suspension, Sutphin was a resident
with Mahony at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral.
Consider also Monsignor Richard A. Loomis, who was for several years
Mahony’s vicar of clergy, responsible for the investigation of sexual abuse allegations. After Loomis was sued civilly
as an abuser himself, Mahony stood by Loomis — until a second victim came forward. One could go on, and on, with accounts
of the cardinal’s support of predators and callous disregard for victims. That pattern of governance was central to
Mahony has made public apologies, while hiding behind the argument that therapists advised him
to reassign repeat offenders. How many children must a priest abuse before a cardinal deems him morally unfit? The cold print
in the priests’ files is Mahony’s nightmare.
Mahony’s lawyers used a First Amendment ruse, arguing
that constitutional freedom of religion cloaked a bishop’s paper trail with pedophile priests. Stiff-arming judges,
plaintiff attorneys, prosecutors, and abuse survivors, Mahony was buying time to protect himself, hoping media coverage would
The news behind the news now centers on Pope Benedict XVI, who used uncommonly strong language as a cardinal
about priest perpetrators, saying that “filth” had crept into the clergy.
In contrast, Pope John Paul
II lavished praise on the notorious Father Marcial Maciel — founder of the Legionaries of Christ, and one of the worst
clergy perpetrators — even after Maciel stood charged in a Vatican court. In May 2006, Pope Benedict banished Maciel
As Catholics, we have no power to remove a bishop who violates the trust. Cardinal Bernard Law resigned
as archbishop of Boston after a sex abuse scandal only after a group of brave priests publicly called for his departure. Even
then, the Vatican rewarded Law by appointing him pastor of a basilica in Rome.
The Los Angeles scandal has dragged
on several years. Mahony’s misconduct summons memory of Nixon in the bowels of Watergate.
By any logic of
decency, Roger Mahony should stop apologizing, and take responsibility for his personal disgrace by resigning. He is unfit
to be archbishop of anywhere.
Yesterday, Father Peter Lombardi, a Jesuit spokesman for the Vatican, said that the
church had “decided to commit itself in every way to avoid a repetition of such wickedness” and now had a “a
policy of prevention and creation of an ever more secure atmosphere for children and young people in all aspects of (its)
There can be no such policy until those who tolerate sexual crimes are themselves removed.
By any logic of Catholic ethics, Roger Mahony should go.
If Pope Benedict XVI is serious about the church’s
so-called policy of prevention, he should remove Mahony immediately — without a cushy post in Rome. Mahony’s ouster
is years overdue.
Jason Berry is author of “Lead Us Not Into Temptation” and coauthor of “Vows
of Silence,” an investigation of the Maciel case, and the subject of a forthcoming documentary film.
A 'window' for victims
Historic legislation from Sacramento allowed abuse victims
to take legal action against the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
By Marci A. Hamilton, MARCI A. HAMILTON is a law professor at Yeshiva University
and author of the forthcoming book "How to Deliver Us From Evil: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children."
July 19, 2007
the bravest souls involved in Los Angeles' $660-million clergy abuse settlement are the victims who came forward to sue
the archdiocese. By now they have traversed more levels of Dante's inferno than anyone should have to experience.
But another heroic group has gone largely unrecognized — the Legislature. It is only because that body passed
historic childhood sexual abuse legislation in 2002 that these lawsuits and settlement happened. That law created a one-year
"window" into the legal system for claims that had been shut down by overly short statutes of limitations —
as little as three years for some victims.
Indeed, in 2003, any California childhood sexual abuse victim could
go to the courthouse and find that the statute-of-limitations lock had been taken off the courtroom door. And in they went
— about 850 Catholic clergy abuse victims and 150 others who sued churches, the Boy Scouts and other institutions for
employing known molesters. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's window for criminal prosecutions, the
window has been held open for civil lawsuits.
In the Boston Archdiocese scandal, victims faced "charitable
immunity" laws that limited the amount of financial damages they could recover. Expired statutes of limitations also
weakened their cases, and as a result, they received much less compensation per victim. With the statute of limitations set
aside, California plaintiffs came to the justice system with much more powerful claims.
The window law is the
sole reason California dioceses and members of the church hierarchy, such as L.A.'s Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, were forced
to face the prospect of truth-revealing trials and substantial damages. Once other California diocese settlements came in
— and showed that plaintiffs had increased legal bargaining power — victims were able to demand release of church
personnel files. The church has resisted releasing such files, but lawsuits filed under the window law revealed the identities
of many perpetrators and their institutional enablers.
California's window legislation has a beneficial ripple
effect across the country as well. Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in John Doe vs. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, for the
first time permitted a clergy abuse case to go forward, and it is highly likely that facts from a California case involving
Father Siegfried Widera made a big difference. Widera had been transferred back and forth between Wisconsin and Southern California,
and his California victims had laid out their horrific stories in court. The church hierarchy knew Widera was a convicted
serial child molester and hid that fact from parishioners in both states.
California may be starting a trend toward
unlocking courthouse doors for childhood sexual abuse victims. Just last week, Delaware became the first state to follow suit
with a window law of its own. Its Child Victims Act creates a two-year window to file suits and abolishes the civil statutes
of limitations on sexual abuse cases going forward. The New York Assembly has passed similar legislation, hearings have been
held by the District of Columbia City Council, and the introduction of window bills is likely in a number of states this fall.
The beneficiaries of such bills extend well beyond clergy abuse victims, and the statistics are sobering. Multiple
studies have concluded that at least 20% of boys and 25% of girls have been sexually abused — the majority by family
or family acquaintances. There is a crying need to give these victims a shot at justice. One incest victim told me that she
didn't come to terms with her abuse until her 40s, and when she did, she told her father she was going to sue him. His
response? Don't be silly — I have the benefit of the statute of limitations. This is a woman who deserves the California-type
window, and there are millions like her across the country.
It is shameful that most states have had such short
statutes of limitations on childhood sexual abuse. Even though states, including California, have been lengthening those limits,
that doesn't help past victims whose claims have expired. These victims have been foreclosed from justice while predators
enjoy a system that protects their interests first and foremost. California has shown the rest of the country a more heroic
and noble path to follow.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Following a weekend of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a public apology,
Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, is due in court today to formalize a record $660 million legal
"It should not have happened, and should not ever
happen again," Cardinal Roger Mahony said Sunday.
is expected to personally attend a hearing before Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholtz.
He will be joined by attorneys
for the archdiocese and lawyers for some of the approximately 500 people who claim they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic
The settlement ends more than five years of litigation. It is by far the Roman Catholic Church's largest payout since the clergy abuse scandal first arose in Boston in 2002.
Mahony apologized Sunday to the plaintiffs,
who claim to have been sexually abused by archdiocese priests. He acknowledged that the settlement will not buy back their
"There really is no way to go back and give them the innocence that was taken from them ... The one
thing I wish I could give the victims, I cannot -- and that is a restoration to where they were originally," Mahony,
who leads the largest U.S. archdiocese, told reporters.
"It should not have happened, and should not ever happen
again," he said.
Plaintiffs talk with CNN’s Larry King.
Tonight, 9 p.m. ET
Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Monday for the
first of more than a dozen clergy abuse trials, and Mahony was to have been among the first witnesses called. Mahony had met
with many of the plaintiffs in sessions he said had "an enormous impact on me."
Steve Sanchez, one of the
plaintiffs, said he was disappointed his case will not be heard in court.
"Whether you give me a check for $10
or $10,000, where can I take that check and cash it at some place to make me 10 years old again?" he told CNN.
a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the settlement should have come years earlier.
cardinal's dragged this on for a good five or six years now," he said. "Where we are at today or tomorrow with
this settlement, could we have been here four, five or six years ago? Yes, we could have been if the cardinal had been outright
and come forward and settled all these claims."
Esther Miller, another alleged victim, said the payout is "just
the beginning of a different fork in the road."
"It doesn't mean I'm fixed ... It just means I will
be able to pay for some of the treatments I should have gotten long ago," she said as she fought back tears. Watch what some plaintiffs have to say about the settlement »
Raymond Boucher, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the settlement, which involves 508 alleged victims,
is expected to be finalized Monday morning.
About $227 million of the $660 settlement will be covered by insurance,
Mahony said. Another $60 million will come from Catholic religious orders named in the complaints.
The archdiocese will
have to sell some property and borrow money to pay its share, the cardinal said. But the deal "effectively ends all of
the litigation involving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles," he said.
As part of the settlement process, the Los Angeles
archdiocese released documents that showed a pattern of denial: Priests accused of sexual misconduct took sick leave, were
sent to therapy or transferred to other parishes, and most were allowed to continue in the ministry for years after the first
Mahony said "almost all" of the priests or brothers involved were eventually convicted of crimes,
and most of the cases took place before he became the archbishop of Los Angeles in 1985. Some of the cases date back to the
acknowledged that not everyone would be satisfied, but he said the complaints have led to reforms within the church and efforts
to protect young parishioners from sexual abuse.
"Even though I can't restore what was lost, there is good
that has come out of this," he said. E-mail to a friend
All About The Roman Catholic Church
A Chabad man serves
as the hazzan of a Chabad synagogue. Several years ago, outside another synagogue after a community event, the Chabad hazzan
sexually assaults a woman who is a member of the Chabad synagogue. He is eventually arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor
charge of lewd conduct. He is sentenced, serves a very brief time, is given probation and community service.
the victim civilly sues Chabad, in part because she claims Chabad sheltered the hazzan. Now Chabad has sought a judgment against
the victim for more than $175,000 in attorneys' fees, and a judge is about to grant that.
Court allows release of clergy personnel
The ruling states that protecting children from abuse outweighs a priest's right to privacy.
By John Spano and Greg Krikorian,
LA Times Staff Writers
June 19, 2007
A judge ruled Monday that confidential personnel files on Roman Catholic clergy accused of molesting children can be
made public even if the clerics were never charged with a crime and legal claims against them were not proven.
rights of privacy must give way to the state's interest in protecting its children from sexual abuse," Los Angeles
County Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman said in his 22-page ruling.
The decision concerns a small number of Franciscan
friars, who will have an opportunity to object to disclosure of specific documents before the files are opened.
the ruling could have dramatic ramifications on more than 500 legal claims pending against the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which
is accused of failing to protect parishioners from sexual victimization over the last 60 years.
In Los Angeles, lawyers
spent years trying to negotiate a settlement, estimated to be as much as $1 billion, without success. The first trials are
set to begin in July.
Now, the church is also facing possible disclosure of how it handled abuse complaints.
think it's very significant," John C. Manly, an attorney who represents plaintiffs in Los Angeles and Orange counties,
said of Lichtman's ruling.
"This sends a message … that if you engage in the concealment of child sexual
abuses, you will not only pay for your misdeeds but the public at large will be able to see what you did," Manly said.
Michael Hennigan, lawyer for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and the L.A. Archdiocese, declined to comment, saying he had not seen
the ruling. Donald Steier, who represents many accused priests in Los Angeles, also declined comment.
Robert G. Howie,
an attorney for the friars, said the ruling misinterpreted California law on privacy rights, which he said were stronger than
in other states.
"You've got officials in Washington who want to do everything they can do to prevent another
9/11. Does that mean they can conduct wiretaps whenever they want to?" Howie asked.
But 1st Amendment lawyers praised
the judge's decision.
"The court properly balanced the constitutional right to privacy against the right of
the public to protect its children and safeguard itself against future harm, and it found that the public's right to know
overwhelmingly won out," said Tom Newton, general counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Assn.
came in the cases of 10 current and former Franciscans who were accused of fondling, masturbating, orally copulating and sodomizing
boys and girls for 30 years starting in the 1950s.
Most of the allegations arose at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa
Barbara, which closed in 1987.
The church in March 2006 agreed to pay more than $28 million to 25 accusers. The victims
asked Lichtman to release the files.
Lawyers for the Franciscan friars objected, contending that because the claims
had been settled, Lichtman had no authority to order the files opened. In 2005, Lichtman released more than 10,000 pages from
the personnel files of 15 priests and teachers as part of a court-approved $100-million settlement between the Diocese of
Orange and 90 alleged molestation victims.
But the judge said at the time that he was "powerless" to pry
open files on eight other priests and teachers who objected because the lawsuits had been settled.
On Monday, however,
in a 22-page ruling, Lichtman stated flatly that California's "compelling interest in protecting children from harm
is present regardless of the stage of the litigation."
"To answer any of the above questions in the affirmative
would be to punish the alleged victims for seeking an early resolution of the cases and needlessly prolong matters through
trial," Lichtman ruled. "It would provide the alleged perpetrators and enablers with a safe haven for settlement.
The defendants' conduct would be forever hidden and safe from scrutiny."
Lichtman noted that all of the priests
whose dossiers were in question had admitted abuse or "show[n] dangerous propensities toward youth."
cited Franklyn Becker, a friar accused of multiple molestations. "In sworn testimony, Becker testified about his attraction
to boys, his interest in the Man-Boy Love Association, his leanings toward being attracted to post pubescent boys, and that
he gave names of people to the Archdiocese that might come forward with allegations," Lichtman wrote.
also said that, according to sworn testimony provided by the plaintiffs, Santa Barbara had one of the highest per-capita concentrations
of clergy pedophiles in the history of clergy abuse cases in the United States, with 41 clergy accused of assaulting 76 children.
opinion gives victims "a tremendously strong argument, thanks to Judge Lichtman," said Timothy C. Hale, who argued
the case for the accusers of the Franciscans.
"Often, it comes down to one simple choice: do we safeguard the
reputations of one powerful adult or the well-being of many powerless kids," said David Clohessy, national director of
the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "The judge made the right call."
Copyright © 2007 Los Angeles Times
Principal who criticized archdiocese
By Karen Jordan
7, 2007 - A Catholic school principal who spoke out against the Chicago archdiocese's handling
of a priest abuse case has been fired from her job.
Barbara Westrick was dismissed
Thursday as head of Our Lady of the Westside School.
Father Daniel McCormack is accused of fondling boys at that school
and its parish, St. Agatha's on Chicago's West Side. Westrick said she did not heed the warnings about repercussions
for criticizing the Chicago archdiocese in the way it handled the Father Daniel McCormack alleged abuse scandal. A few months
ago, a deadline to renew her contract passed and no action was taken.
She said there was no question that the Archdiocese
was waiting for the right time to fire her.
"I just gave up my keys and I haven't said goodbye to my staff
because I'm not supposed to come back," Westrick said.
Westrick said she knew the end was near and it became
official Thursday. The archdiocese delivered the news that afternoon in a closed door meeting with Westrick and her attorney.
"The Cardinal is angry with me because I am the one who blew the whistle on the McCormack thing," Westrick
Westrick said the job termination is payback for criticizing Francis Cardinal George for letting McCormack stay
at the school after he was arrested in August of 2005 and accused of molesting a young male student.
she found out about the alleged abuse when a boy at the school told her in January of 2006 that McCormack molested him.
Cardinal allowed him to abuse them from September to December because he wouldn't take them out of the parish," Westrick
Westrick says she reported the alleged abuse to the Archdiocese and the police. Father McCormack was charged
with several counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
She also criticized the archdiocese and the Cardinal about
the situation and said that is why the school's new priest didn't renew her contract.
Father Larry Dowling
said the termination was not payback but the result of an extensive review of her abilities.
"She was terminated
based on my evaluation of her," Dowling said.
Westrick was principal for four years and left Thursday with only
a picture as a reminder of the 200 students she will leave behind.
She said she is not sorry for speaking out about
a situation that she felt was harmful to her students.
"I would do it again," Westrick said. "I would
do it a hundred times again because these kid are not throwaways."
Father Dowling did not list the reasons he
had for terminating Westrick. He said that the archdiocese does not discuss personnel matters.
Westrick and her attorney
will review the termination letter and determine whether any legal action will be taken.
Meanwhile, Father McCormack
will appear in court again on July 2.
'Pope's pastor' is father of three-year-old child
By John L Allen Jr Daily
Created Jun 1 2007 - 05:07
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
In the wake of revelations that he is the father of a three-year-old girl,
the popular pastor of a parish in Valle d’Aosta in Northern Italy, where both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have spent
their summer vacations, will take a year-long sabbatical to reflect on his future as a Catholic priest.
Curtaz is a well-known figure in Italian Catholicism, the author of several books and a popular spiritual guide who maintains
a web site with homilies and materials for retreats (www.tiraccontolaparola.it/). The Italian bishops’ conference recently used Curtaz in an advertising campaign designed
to encourage Italians to designate a portion of their tax payments for the church.
When Benedict XVI arrived in
Valle d’Aosta for his summer vacation in 2005, Curtaz jokingly welcomed him by saying, “Your Holiness, be careful,
because while you’re here I’m your pastor.” Benedict responded by pledging to be “an obedient parishioner.”
Curtaz exchanged similar words with John Paul II in 2004.
This week, however, news broke that Curtaz had stepped
down as pastor of his parish, and will take a year-long sabbatical to reflect on his future. During this period, according
to the agreement between Curtaz and his bishop, Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta, the priest is not to exercise any public ministry.
The move follows disclosures that Curtaz, 41, is the father of a three-year-old female child. The identity of the
mother has not been revealed, but Italian news reports suggest it’s a local woman in her 40s.
released by the Aosta diocese on May 31 said that Curtaz has not been suspended and that he remains bound by all the obligations
of the priestly office. Further, the statement indicated, his status as a father is not incompatible with his identity as
a priest; living together with the woman involved, on the other hand, or further violations of his obligations of celibacy,
would not be acceptable.
“We well help Fr. Paulo in his journey of thinking and deciding about his priestly
ministry,” the statement said.
The Code of Canon Law does not contain any penalties for priests with children,
but it does provide for sanctions against priests who marry contrary to their vows of celibacy.
In an e-mail sent
on Thursday to around 45,000 subscribers to his web site, Curtaz wrote, “I am a priest, I remain a priest, and I want
to be a priest.”
“For me, what’s under discussion is not celibacy, but how I can live, if possible,
my profound call without abdicating my responsibilities [as a father] which, believe me, I’ve always undertaken with
conviction and effort,” he wrote.
“I want to confirm that I’m serene in my convictions and in
my choices, and that the difficulty, in any case, is being created by this pernicious and insistent violation of privacy,
my own and that of those I love. I’m unhappy that these events may have caused anyone to suffer, and for that I ask
“As you’ve seen, I ended up on the front pages of national newspapers on a wave
of gossip, this time clerical gossip,” Curtaz wrote. “The news of my resignation as pastor, which was confirmed
by the statement of the curia, was something everyone already knew. What’s less known is the fact that, in harmony with
the bishop and following a long and sincere discernment, I have arranged a sabbatical year of reflection.”
Curtaz added that the choice “belongs exclusively to my private sphere as a man and a priest, and all the attempts
to dredge up details surrounding what happened should be named for what they are: gossip.”
that he wanted to “reassure the many persons who have been upset by the frenzy of news that has come out, and to thank
people for their many expressions of esteem.”
“What’s under discussion for me,” Curtaz
wrote, “is what I want to reflect on during this year – how I can exercise my ministry in this church that I have
served, and that I love loyally, and if this church needs what I’m in a position to give.”
else,” Curtaz added, “belongs to the most intimate sphere of conscience that every human being should respect,
and to the interior journey of every believer.”
“I’m going through a difficult moment,”
Curtaz wrote. “Prayer for one another, which is born in the heart and leads to the truth, is a beautiful gift that believers
give to one another.”
Proposals to execute pedophiles make headway in US
Monday, May 28, 2007
Also see: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/offenders.html
The idea of executing child rapists, even when
there in no loss of life, is making headway in the United States.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Louisiana Supreme Court
last week upheld the death sentence for a pedophile, and the governor of Texas is soon to sign into law legislation to that
In 1995, Louisiana was the first state to adopt legislation authorizing the death penalty for child rapists.
Ten years later, the movement to make pedophilia punishable by death really picked up steam after nine-year-old Jessica
Lunsford was raped and buried alive in Florida by a man with a prior conviction for sex crimes.
of the "Jessica Law" sprang up all over in the country, imposing in most cases a minimum 25 year jail sentence and
the wearing of an ankle bracelet for life for raping a child aged 12 or younger.
But in some states, elected officials
amended their versions of the "Jessica Law" by adding the possibility of condemning a pedophile to death.
They include Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and Montana.
An overwhelming majority of lawmakers
in Texas chose to join the list. Texas is responsible for a third of all executions carried out in the United States in the
past 30 years and for two-thirds of those conducted so far this year.
The draft law is now on the desk of Texas
Governor Rick Perry, who has promised to sign it.
The idea seems to go against the grain in the rest of the country,
where the death penalty is losing ground because of grave judicial errors and botched executions.
defending the rights of crime victims have differing views on the proposals.
"We are very concerned that this
may reduce reporting of sexual assault, since most child abuse is made by someone close to the child," said Karen Rugaard,
a spokeswoman for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
"It is already difficult to report about a
father, an uncle, a family friend ... It will be worse when the child knows they can spend a very long time in jail or be
sentenced to death," she said.
"We are worried that legislators did nothing to help prevent the violence,"
Rugaard added, expressing regret that the draft law does not call for any preventive measures.
Moreover, it is
uncertain that executing non-murderers will comply with the US constitutional mandate barring "cruel and unusual"
The only man among more than 3,300 prisoners on death row who stands to lose his life under the new
law is 42-year-old Patrick Kennedy, who was sentenced to death in Louisiana in 2003 for raping his companion's eight-year-old
In 1977, the US Supreme Court invalidated the death sentence of a rapist, arguing the punishment was
disproportionate to the crime.
Later, evoking "evolving standards of decency," the court also rejected
the death penalty for criminals who were minors or mentally retarded at the time they committed their crimes.
on Tuesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for Kennedy.
It argued that "given the appalling
nature of the crime, the severity of the harm inflicted upon the victim, and the harm imposed on society, the death penalty
is not an excessive penalty for the crime of rape when the victim is a child under the age of 12 years old."
The US Supreme Court could rule on the case next year.
Do the Jesuit's "Get It"? Nah, they are just waiting for settlement papers to be signed before
bringing him back to ministry and giving him a big, old, fat...promotion.
Published: Apr 30, 2007 12:30
Modified: Apr 30, 2007 01:22 AM
Pastor's removal stuns flock
An evaluation of the
Rev. Stephen M. Garrity will see whether he misused his influence in sexual relationships 25 years ago
- The removal of the Rev. Stephen M. Garrity as pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church couldn't have come at a worse
Just Saturday, a concrete floor had been poured at the site of the new $2.8 million sanctuary two miles from the
church's current location on the campus of N.C. Central University. The 67-year-old Garrity was the force behind the construction
When he didn't show up for Mass on Sunday morning, members were shocked to hear he had been "recalled"
by his religious order, the Jesuits. According to the order, Garrity confessed to sexual relations with five adults 25 years
ago. One of those people contacted the Maryland province of the order, which whisked Garrity away before he had a chance to
The congregation he left behind put up a strong front.
"This church will survive," said
Bob Cefalo, the vice chairman of the parish council. "There's no question about it."
of Raleigh Diocese Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Msgr. Michael Shugrue, broke the news after 9 a.m. Mass. The diocese provided
several representatives to help people sort through their emotions after the service.
Burbidge will join the church's
250 members for Mass next Sunday, and the Jesuits sent the Rev. Frank O'Connor, a retired priest who had served the church
in the 1970s, to run the church temporarily.
In a statement, Burbidge said the Diocese of Raleigh received no complaints
about Garrity before the one in Maryland. The alleged sexual affairs did not take place in North Carolina. All priests in
the Catholic church take vows of celibacy.
Garrity, who became pastor of Holy Cross in 2001, was beloved by the parish,
the diocese's only mostly black congregation. Many said he was a good pastor and a caring person and suggested they would
be willing to forgive him.
"That was 25 years ago; don't you think he paid the price?" asked Brenda Roventini,
who moved to the area from Washington a year ago. "This church is going through so many changes."
who is not suspected of pedophilia or any criminal activity, will be evaluated at an undisclosed treatment center, said Kate
Pipkin, a spokeswoman for the order, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. She said the order will determine whether
Garrity took advantage of people he was counseling or used his position of power inappropriately.
Before becoming a
parish pastor, Garrity was known as a retreat leader who was schooled in the meditation exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola,
the founder of the Jesuit order.
Staff writer Yonat Shimron can be reached at 829-4891 or email@example.com.
Posted on Mon, Apr. 30, 2007
Friends official arrested in online sex sting
BY TIM POTTER
The Wichita Eagle
A Friends University official has been arrested in an undercover sting in which a Johnson County sheriff's detective
posed online as a 14-year-old girl.
On Saturday, sheriff's detectives arrested Wayne R. Morgan Jr. at an undercover
residence in Johnson County, said Master Deputy Tom Erickson. Morgan traveled to Johnson County from his home in Haven, Erickson
Morgan, 51, is associate vice president of academic affairs at the Wichita university, a Friends spokeswoman said.
5:30 p.m. Saturday, four Reno County sheriff's detectives served a search warrant at Morgan's home and seized two
computer systems and related items.
Morgan was booked into the Johnson County jail on suspicion of indecent solicitation,
the sheriff's office said.
He appeared in Johnson County District Court this afternoon and posted bond.
University issued a statement that read in part: "Dr. Morgan has been placed on administrative leave today pending further
investigation. He has been employed at the main campus of Friends University for less than a year. He was an administrator
and had very little contact with students. His duties included overseeing outcomes assessment, adjunct faculty and university
"We are extremely shocked and saddened by this unfolding event, and as we are informed we will keep the
University community updated. Please join us as we keep the Morgan family in our thoughts and prayers."
Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
typical Catholic Bishop's famous last words "I didn't know"|
he doesn't know value of assets
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
April 21, 2007
JOHN GIBBINS / Union-Tribune
San Diego Bishop Robert
Brom (left) arrived at federal court yesterday for what would be a six-hour hearing.
Bishop Robert Brom and other officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego admitted yesterday that they
understated the value of church property by many millions of dollars in its bankruptcy filings.
But Brom, making a rare
appearance in the four-year-old legal battle over allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy, bristled at plaintiffs'
attorneys who implied he and other diocese officials were not being truthful.
“I don't know who knows what
the net worth of the diocese is, but I don't know,” Brom said under questioning.
The combative bankruptcy
hearing on the diocese's finances was punctuated with several tense exchanges, including when a woman claiming to have
been raped by priests confronted Brom.
U.S. Trustee Steven Katzman led the hearing and started the proceedings off
by questioning Brom and other church officials about diocese finances, noting that much of the property is listed at tax-assessed
values. That can be far lower than true market value – which the bankruptcy court requires.
for the more than 150 people suing the diocese in the sexual-abuse scandal took over.
Before an audience of about 60
of the plaintiffs, church officials admitted the approximately $97 million they list as the sum of diocesan real-estate holdings
is “not accurate.”
Brom acknowledged that he and other officials had failed to provide the court with appraisals
of diocesan real estate.
The hearing: Yesterday's court appearance was the first opportunity for plaintiffs'
attorneys and alleged victims to ask extensive financial questions of Catholic officials since the San Diego Diocese filed
for Chapter 11 reorganization Feb. 27.
Highlights: Church officials said they do not know the fair
market value of diocese property, though they acknowledged it is significantly higher than what is listed on amended financial
What's next: The session on finances will continue May 31 in federal bankruptcy court
in downtown San Diego.
Online: To review the amended financial statements and other documents filed
in bankruptcy court, go to: uniontrib. com/ more/ diocese
am well aware of the concern you have; we share that concern,” Brom told Katzman. “We are willing to do our best
to get you market values.”
Among the voluminous bankruptcy reports asked of the debtor, in this case the diocese,
is current market value for its real estate. But after twice amending its real estate report since filing for Chapter 11 protection
Feb. 27, Katzman noted, the diocese failed to list the market value of 32 of its 34 properties.
“Have any of
these other 32 properties been appraised?” Katzman asked.
“I'm not aware of that,” Brom said.
That answer was repeated by Richard Mirando, director of the diocese's finance office.
Among properties Katzman
cited were lots the diocese owns on Third Avenue in downtown San Diego, leased to ACE Parking, with a tax-assessed value of
“That property was acquired in 1946. Is it fair to say,” Katzman asked, “that market value
for properties such as that is now substantially higher than assessed value?”
Mirando said it was.
also asked whether the diocese initially reported a pending sale for $65 million of 14 acres in Linda Vista, the site of the
now-closed University of San Diego High School, to William Lyon Homes, which plans to build 533 condos there.
was an oversight,” said Susan Boswell, the diocese's lead bankruptcy attorney. “The answer is no.”
diocese will share profits on the condo development, Mirando said. But he could not tell Katzman how much money the diocese
figured it would eventually make on the deal.
Under questioning from Katzman, the bishop said the diocese filed for
Chapter 11 reorganization “because we failed to reach a settlement after a lengthy attempt, and a serious attempt to
Brom said filing for bankruptcy protection
would be the best way to balance a “fair and equitable response to all of the victims while not crippling the ability
of the church to continue its mission.”
The hearing, which lasted more than six hours with no lunch break, got heated
after Katzman turned the questioning over to attorneys representing alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse.
contentious tone, attorney John Manly said the diocese lists the value of Holy Cross Cemetery in southeastern San Diego at
$11.3 million. He then asked if Brom or other diocese officials knew that in a 2005 civil case, the cemetery's manager
valued the property at $40 million.
“I did not know that,” Brom said.
Plaintiffs' attorney Irwin
Zalkin pointed out that the diocese valued the property for Marian High School in the South Bay, which is soon closing, at
$2.8 million. He asked Brom if he knew that Shea Homes had offered $31.5 million for the property in 2006.
do not know the exact amount,” Brom said. “From my recollection, it was somewhere around 20-plus million.”
Zalkin said he was shocked by such answers. “Either they are the Keystone Kops, or they are not being truthful,”
In a series of questions, plaintiffs' attorney Terry Giles asked about the analysis that diocese officials
did to determine how much they could afford to offer during settlement negotiations.
“How could you have done
all that financial planning without knowing the true and real value of your assets?” Giles said.
“I have no answer.”
The bishop insisted that he would tell the value if he knew it. Giles, however, was
not convinced. “That is ridiculous on its face,” the attorney said at one point.
Even before that exchange,
which came toward the end of the day, Brom grew agitated at repeated questions about whether he understood that he signed
the newest financial statements under penalty of perjury.
The bishop said he did not like the insinuation that he was
not being truthful.
“I want to say it clearly that they are true and correct to the best of my information and
belief,” Brom said, reciting the last line of the legal declaration that comes just before his signature.
Boswell, the diocese's lead bankruptcy attorney, interrupted her opponents several times, characterizing their questions
as argumentative and complaining they went beyond the hearing's purpose – to glean information about the diocese's
“The lawyers were giving speeches, they were not asking questions, in my view,” Boswell said
She also criticized attorneys for asking about documents that the diocese didn't have at the hearing,
such as the bonds that were sold several years ago to finance the $80 million Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley.
“I wouldn't expect a CEO of a commercial enterprise to be able to sit in a meeting like that without those
documents in front of them,” she said.
Boswell said Brom is “very sincere” in his desire to compensate
victims and still continue the mission of the church. “This diocese will pay dearly for what happened 20 or 30 years
ago,” she said. The diocese has offered $95 million to settle the sexual-abuse claims.
A woman claiming to have
been raped by priests at Nazareth House, a now-defunct Mission Valley orphanage, was the first of more than a half-dozen alleged
victims who spoke at yesterday's hearing.
Introducing herself as “one of your casualties,” the woman
tearfully told of how she had accepted the diocese's offer to pay for her counseling.
Her nightmares, suicidal
thoughts and panic disorder had lessened after 47 therapy sessions, she said. Then a letter from the Rev. Steven Callahan
arrived notifying her of a policy to cease payments for therapy at 52 weeks. A plea from her therapist that the diocese reconsider
“I lived my rape 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” she said, weeping in the suddenly silent
hearing room as Brom listened intently. “You released the names (of abusive priests) and not one of my perpetrators
was on it.”
Brom said he would personally look into her situation. Callahan, seated near the bishop, said that
in his letter, “I used the word policy, but I did not mean to convey that it was a policy.”
the alleged victims said they were not happy with what they heard during yesterday's hearing. “They're obviously
hiding assets to avoid a settlement,” said one 46-year-old man who said he was abused by a priest, who has since died.
“It just shows that they're not practicing what they preach right now.”
Mark Sauer: (619) 293-2227; email@example.com
Mark Sauer: (619) 293-2227; firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, Apr 13, 2007
Posted on Wed, Apr. 11, 2007
Diocese settles sexual abuse lawsuit
The $60,000 settlement is among the first by the diocese in cases involving local priests.By
JOE LAMBEThe Kansas City Star
A Northland man has settled a lawsuit with
the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and two former priests for alleged sexual abuse in 1967.
The man, now
in his 50s, contends that two priests molested him when he was 14 years old and that the diocese covered up sexual behavior
by the priests for years.
The $60,000 settlement reached earlier this year after mediation with the Platte County man
is among the first by the diocese in a local priest sex case.
The former priests, Thomas Reardon and Thomas O’Brien,
are also named in several other pending sex abuse lawsuits for alleged acts decades ago. In all, about six former or active
priests in the Kansas City area have been sued by more than two dozen plaintiffs in the last few years.
for O’Brien on Tuesday said his client denied any sex acts with children. Neither Reardon nor his attorney could be
reached for comment, but Reardon also has denied any such acts.
Kay Goodnow, a member of the Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests, said at a Tuesday news conference that she hoped the settlement signaled change for a diocese that had
constantly fought such cases in court.
Rebecca Summers, a diocese spokeswoman, said, “We’re not in mediation
on any of the other suits, but there is always a possibility.”
She urged any victims of clergy abuse to come forward
to the diocese, authorities or both.
Goodnow urged any victims or witnesses to contact police. She praised the Platte
County man for the courage to file his lawsuit.
“I think all Roman Catholics have been abused by the secrecy and
conspiracy on these subjects,” she said.
Samuel Wendt, the man’s attorney, said his client suppressed the
abuse but memories of it started coming back three years ago.
“He felt like that time was just a black hole,”
Wendt said. “He didn’t remember things around that particular time.”
The stress of realizing what
happened broke up his marriage and caused emotional problems, Wendt said.
The man’s lawsuit contends that Reardon
sodomized him in the St. Elizabeth rectory and that both priests later took him and other boys to a lake retreat, got them
drunk and molested them.
Reardon resigned in 1989. O’Brien retired in 2002 and has been told he can no longer
work as a priest, Summers said.
Monsignor Robert Murphy, vicar general of the diocese, issued a statement that said
in part: “A written apology rings hollow. I would welcome an opportunity, now this has left the legal arena, to talk
heart-to-heart with this man.”
He, too, urged anyone who has seen or suffered sexual abuse by anyone in the church
to “come forward so that we can begin the healing process.”
The diocese also has paid $10,000 to each of
two victims who sued in other states for acts not committed in Kansas City.
To reach Joe Lambe, call (816) 234-4314
or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Posted on Tue, Apr. 10, 2007
Hutchinson man accused of putting kids in dryer sent to Larned
The Associated Press
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - A Hutchinson man accused of
putting two young children in a clothes dryer will be sent to Larned State Security Hospital after being found incompetent
to stand trial.
Aron Pritchard, 27, was charged with a single count of child abuse and another count of endangering
a child after he placed a 3-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl in a clothes dryer on Nov. 28, 2006. Pritchard pleaded not
guilty in March.
Prosecutors allege Pritchard put the children in the hot dryer to punish them for wetting their pants.
The boy was treated for second-degree burns but the girl was not injured.
Pritchard maintains that he was giving the
children rides in the dryer, and said he even put pillows inside the machine to cushion the children.
After a pretrial
hearing Monday, District Judge Tim Chambers ordered that Pritchard be sent to Larned for treatment.
After Chambers denied
Pritchard's request that his transfer be delayed so he could say goodbye to his family, Pritchard erupted into a profanity-laced
tirade, which continued as officers took him out of the courtroom.
Pritchard will remain in the state hospital until
professionals determine he is fit to stand trial.
Information from: The Hutchinson News, http://www.hutchnews.com
The Scum Always Rises
An embezzlement scandal closes in on top diocese officials.Published: April 4, 2007
For Cleveland Catholics, it's getting harder
to take the words of top priests on faith.
While a $17.5 million embezzlement scandal plays out in court, the fighting has reached the highest ranks
of the diocese -- and appears to be closing in on former Bishop Anthony Pilla and the diocese's former chief accountant,
Father John Wright.
It began in 1997, when ex-CFO Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik are alleged to have begun a massive
kickback scheme. The U.S. Justice Department claims the two men steered $17.5 million in diocese funds to Zgoznik's companies,
which in turn kicked $784,000 back to Smith for "consulting."
Since 2004, when the scandal forced Smith from
his job, Pilla and Wright, the longtime head of the diocesan Financial Office, have generally invoked a "we trusted unscrupulous
individuals" brand of defense. But lawyers for Smith and Zgoznik say their clients were merely following orders from
the two priests.
Now the gloves are coming off.
Defense attorneys want to subpoena financial records from the
diocese and other institutions connected to the case. At issue is whether it was common practice for church leaders to use
off-the-book accounts to reward valued employees. It's an argument at least partially supported by the feds.
indictment refers to a special fund -- created in 1996 by "the then diocesan financial and legal secretary" -- which
paid Smith $270,000 in unreported income in addition to his regular salary. Wright was not only the financial and legal secretary
at that time, but his name was on the account, according to the feds.
Philip Kushner, Smith's lawyer, also asserts
the diocese used creative bookkeeping to pay Wright, his friends, and relatives over $700,000, and that Pilla had his own
secret account in excess of $500,000 that "has never appeared on the [diocese's] books and records." The "Anthony
M. Pilla charitable account," as it was called, was used for large cash withdrawals by the bishop, according to Kushner.
In a church press release, Pilla calls the accusations "scurrilous." Smith and Zgoznik "have resorted
to false statements, half truths, and innuendo against [Pilla and Wright]," says the statement.
The U.S. Attorney's
office has filed motions to halt the release of diocese financial data. Church lawyers are also trying to suppress the request.
But for a church widely stung by the secrecy -- and subsequent payouts -- of its massive pedophile scandal, attempts
to once again bar a public viewing of the diocese's inner workings have a familiar ring.
"I would think that
when you're a large, nonprofit religious organization, that you'd want all your parishioners . . . to know precisely
every detail of the financial transactions you've ever made," says Robert Rotatori, Zgoznik's lawyer.
the meantime, the revelations just keep getting worse for Father Wright. On March 15, Rotatori filed a motion that singles
out Marilyn Ruane, an employee of the Catholic Cemeteries Association. (Church officials refuse to say what Ruane's job
entails.) Wright, who now heads the CCA, described Ruane as a "friend" in a 2005 interview with prosecutors. He
also admitted that he helped the woman get a job at Resultant Corporation, a company that did unexplained business with the
Rotatori asserts that Wright arranged for Resultant to be paid over $290,000 through Zgoznik's companies
between 1997 and 1999, "in large part for [Wright's] personal purposes." The motion seeks Resultant's financial
records to establish how much of that money went to Marilyn Ruane.
According to a Justice Department interview with
Zrino Jukic, an associate of Zgoznik, "Ruane . . . was on the payroll at Resultant Corporation, but didn't work there."
More to the point: "Ruane was Father Wright's girlfriend."
That may explain why, according to
Rotatori, Ruane made $31,500 when she started at Catholic Cemeteries in 1997, but had catapulted to $81,000 by 2004. If the
raises seem a bit outsized for a religious entity funded by the dollar donations of little old ladies, Ruane isn't talking.
"I really don't want to comment about that," she said sweetly when contacted by Scene, "but thanks
so much for calling."
Wright's lawyer, Kevin Spellacy, calls the girlfriend claim "a cheap shot,"
saying it's unfounded. But when asked expressly if the claim is false, he declined comment and refused to put the direct
question to Wright.
In the meantime, Catholics are left to wonder if the same men who ran the pedophile cover-up
were draining the collection basket in their spare time.
Tolerance Of Foley Is Sinful
by Helen Ubiñas
Forgive me, Father, but you have got to be kidding me.
There was Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell
pounding his chest in Wednesday's papers: He's throwing the Rev. Stephen Foley out, and he doesn't care where
the accused child molester lands.
"When the archbishop says something, the archbishop means it," the
diocese spokesperson said.
When he finally gets around to it, that is.
Foley's been living off the
archdiocese for a good 10 years since allegations of his misconduct with teenage boys surfaced. And unless Mansell really
means to get tough - unless he starts the process of having Foley defrocked - the disgraced priest will still collect a stipend
of about $1,400 a month, health benefits and a pension.
So, what's the holdup?
Oh, I was schooled
on that one all day. Boiled down, diocesan spokesperson the Rev. John Gatzak said, the process to strip someone of their priesthood
is a long and arduous one.
Numerous claims of sexual misconduct, a state police investigation, millions in payouts?
That's apparently not nearly enough to present a strong case to the Vatican, which ultimately makes the decision.
No, Gatzak said, the Vatican looks for the accused to be convicted of a crime when it considers laicizing a priest. It also
helps if the accused has admitted to his actions. Without those two key components, he said, it's extremely difficult
to strip someone of their status.
Really? Because just across the border in Springfield, the diocese managed to
defrock three priests in one year for sexual misconduct - and none had been convicted.
"Nothing's a slam
dunk," Springfield diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said when I asked about the difference. Perhaps, he suggested, the Hartford
archdiocese was being more pragmatic.
Nice - so when the Catholic Church's spin doctors aren't covering
for pedophile priests, they're covering for wishy-washy bishops.
It's all part of a pattern: Bury the
problem until it becomes too much of an embarrassment. Mansell reacted only after a story about Foley came out in the paper.
Not that Hartford is alone. There are priests serving time all over this country for sexual offenses who have yet
to be defrocked.
The fact is there's plenty of ammo to cut Foley loose. Clearly, there was enough merit to
claims in the early '90s for the archdiocese to remove Foley from his Glastonbury parish and place him at the St. Thomas
Seminary in Bloomfield, where he's been ever since.
And then there's the $2 million the archdiocese has
paid to settle complaints and lawsuits against Foley. Three lawsuits are still pending.
Gatzak wasn't convinced;
defrocking a priest isn't always the answer, he said.
"The potential loss of control is always a concern."
Control? You mean the kind of control the archdiocese had when Foley, a former state police and fire chaplain,
lured young boys into his tricked-out Crown Victoria, complete with flashing lights, sirens and radios?
even after being stripped of his duties in 1993, Foley continued to drive around in the same kind of car right under their
Chancing eternal damnation, I asked Gatzak: "What control?"
"I think we knew of
his whereabouts as much as is humanly possible without him being in prison," Gatzak said.
Funny - prison seems
just the place to keep track of priests like Foley.
Helen Ubiñas' column appears on Thursdays and Sundays.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2007, Hartford Courant
3/13/07 Southeast Kansas teacher accused of sex with student Associated Press INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - A teacher at a Christian
school in southeast Kansas has been charged with having sex with a 14-year-old girl who was her student, authorities said.
Mote was a teacher at Tyro Community Christian School. Her husband, Kevin, is associate pastor at Tyro Christian Church and
has taken a leave of absence because of the allegations.