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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.


JAN 7 2015

The Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph has announced that Father Robert Harrison OFM cap has admitted to sexually abusing minors under his care.  The fact that a Roman Catholic priest has sexually violated a child while standing in loco parentis is not new.What is new is that Father Robert Harrison OFM cap went undetected for half a century.  Ordained in 1964, Father Harrison was well trained by the Hierarchy.  Father Robert studied philosophy, theology, social work and law.  Harrison was given the tools to detect weaknesses, select a vulnerable child and conceal...


OCT 16 2014

While details regarding allegations of child sexual abuse by actor Stephen Collins are still emerging, his portrayal of a sexually abusive priest in the short film “Penance” eerily foreshadows the allegations he now faces off screen and also touches on a misconception still held by some.  According to a report in the Los Angeles Times the film was made in 2013 before the secret audio recording obtained by his wife was released to the public.  The secret audio recording allegedly includes admissions by Collins of sexual impropriety with minors.  Some have alleged that Collins use...