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JUN 22 2015

One of the most common questions we are asked in child protection is how many minors does a child molester sexually abuse in their lifetime? In the case of Norbertine Father Reverend Brendan Smyth O. Praem, we have a glimpse into the mind, methods and devastating results from a Priest who was allowed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to decimate children in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the United States.  “Mr. Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against ...


JUN 5 2015

It appears that its ‘business as usual’ for Bishop Paul Sirba in the Diocese of Duluth these days and we are deeply concerned about the all-too-familiar circumstances playing out there. As has been widely reported, Father Brian Lederer of Blessed Sacrament in Hibbing was arrested on May 5th and charged with the sexual assault of multiple young girls at his parish school. Father Lederer is a pastor at Blessed Sacrament who was also a teacher there at one point. Then, in the face of an ongoing criminal investigation, Bishop Paul Sirba made the decision to place the Diocese’s Chancellor, Judicial...


MAY 7 2015

We are deeply troubled to learn of the arrest of a priest in the Diocese of Duluth, Fr. Brian M. Lederer, Hibbing, Minn., on expected charges of sexual abuse of children.  The sexual abuse of children among clergy is a real and present danger.  Although the Catholic Church may argue that the scourge of clerical childhood sexual abuse is a thing of the past, the arrest of Lederer and more recent cases such as Curtis Wehmeyer in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Shawn Ratigan in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph tell us otherwise...


MAY 7 2015

Former Lindwood Arts School Janitor Walter Happel was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for sexually abusing numerous children over the course of 30 years.  We applaud the courageous survivors who came forward and spoke the truth in order to see justice done.  Happel was convicted of three counts of criminal sexual conduct for his sexual abuse of minors.  We are alarmed and saddened whenever students are sexually abused by a school employee.   When serial predators work with unsupervised access to children in an elementary school, a very dangerous risk is posed...


APR 21 2015

Finally, Pope Francis did something about one of the world’s most notorious and noxious examples of clergy pedophilia cover up: he accepted the resignation of criminally convicted Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn today. It’s a step in the right direction. But we will watch to see if it leads to more Vatican action to hold complicit bishops accountable. Because much more needs to be done.In September 2012, Finn was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse, a misdemeanor, after he learned of child pornography found on the computer of a priest, Shawn Ratigan. ...


MAR 26 2015

Last week, Bishop John LeVoir and the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota released an online video discussing, and apologizing to Survivors for, the terrible harm caused by clergy sexual abuse. LeVoir said in the video that he has learned from listening to Survivors that sexual abuse by clergy results in a “hurt so great that it never goes away.” Unfortunately, LeVoir follows up what appears to be a sincere, heartfelt apology to Survivors with an invitation to them to return to the church.