Archdiocese appoints confessed sex abuser to high-profile position—UPDATED

Details:   A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to groping a teenage boy 12 years ago has been named to a prestigious post in the Archdiocese of Newark, drawing furious criticism from advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from unsupervised contact with children under a binding agreement with law enforcement [Read More...]

Child abuse? Bad. Sloppy baptismal records? Worse.

That, at least, is the attitude on display in some of the documents released this week in the burgeoning Los Angeles abuse scandal.  The Los Angeles Times explains:  In some cases, the behavior that drew the greatest ire of the hierarchy involved breaking church rather than criminal laws. After first learning of Michael Baker’s abuse [Read More...]

The cardinal strikes back: Mahony publishes private letter to Gomez

This afternoon, Cardinal Roger Mahony posted the following on his blog:  Friends in Christ, This morning I sent this letter to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez giving the history and context of what we have been through since the mid-1980s.  There is nothing confidential in my letter.   I have been encouraged by others to publish it, [Read More...]

“Cardinal Mahony’s La Cosa Nostra”

That’s the stinging title of this piece from Real Clear Religion by George Neumayr (h/t New Advent) that bears reading this morning, as the aftershocks of yesterday’s temblor continue to shake Los Angeles. A snip: Referring to [Boston's Cardinal] Law, Cardinal Mahony piously told the press that “he would find it difficult to walk down [Read More...]

BREAKING: Archbishop Gomez removes Cardinal Mahony from public duties, accepts resignation of Bishop Curry

Breaking news from Los Angeles, and Patheos’ West Coast maven, Joanne McPortland, who notes that Archbishop Jose Gomez has taken decisive action against two key figures in archdiocesan sex abuse scandal: Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that Cardinal Roger Mahony would have a reduced role in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop [Read More...]

Accused friar commits suicide in Pennsylvania

Details:  Franciscan friar Stephen Baker, who faced brewing litigation for alleged abuse, died Saturday at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg. His death was ruled a suicide by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross. Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said the cause of death was a self-inflicted knife wound. He said the investigation into Baker’s death [Read More...]

Bombshell: Los Angeles church records reveal efforts to conceal abuse

People knew this was coming, and here it is, from the Los Angeles Times:  Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor discussed ways to conceal the molestation of children from law enforcement, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday. The archdiocese’s failure to purge [Read More...]

Philly stunner: convicted priest at center of Lynn case recants

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:  Ten months ago, defrocked Catholic priest Edward V. Avery began serving a sentence of 21/2 to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a 10-year-old altar boy from the Northeast. On Thursday, Avery, 70, returned to a Philadelphia courtroom and recanted his guilty plea – denying any contact [Read More...]

German church drops sex abuse investigation; independent researcher claims church interference

Details, from AP:  Germany’s Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday it has called off an independent institute’s investigation into sexual abuse by clergy over several decades. The lead researcher complained that the church wanted too much control over his work. In 2011, the church asked Prof. Christian Pfeiffer’s Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute to analyze data [Read More...]

Montreal deacon charged with producing child porn

Details, from the Toronto Sun: A well-known Montreal-area Deacon who once spoke on behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been charged with production and distribution of child pornography. William Kokesch, 65, appeared in a Montreal courtroom Saturday afternoon via videoconference. The day prior, based on a tip from the public, Montreal police [Read More...]


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