2011 May

May 26, 2011: Reform State Statutes of Limitations

State statutes of limitations provide a substantial barrier for priest sex abuse survivors seeking justice and truth after what is often decades of silence and suffering. Even more important than monetary gains, civil lawsuits give survivors an opportunity for closure and healing.State Senator Thomas Duane introduced window legislation in New York and outlined his plan in an editorial published yesterday. His proposal provides a one year window for otherwise time-barred survivors to file a lawsuit.

May 26, 2011: Lawsuit: Spring Lake Park church failed to protect children against sex abuse

A 21 year-old Blaine man who says he was sexually abused at the age of 15 by
his youth group leader at a Spring Lake Park church is suing its religious
leaders.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Hennepin County District Court on the man’s
behalf by attorneys with Jeff Anderson & Associates, names defendants
Emmanuel Christian Center of the Assemblies of God in Spring Lake Park, its
former youth group leader, Paul Alan Brandon, and the Minnesota District Council
of the Assemblies of God.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff, referred to in the complaint as John Doe
169, was sexuall…

May 25, 2011: A Long Hard Road to Justice for Clergy Abuse Survivor

In 2008, a southern Illinois jury heard substantial evidence of a heinous, years-long diocesan cover-up of heart-breaking child sex crimes by Father Raymond Kownacki. Jurors awarded $5 million to one of the priest’s victims. Three years later, Belleville Diocese’s Bishop Braxton keeps battling relentlessly to avoid honoring the jury’s judgment and helping the priest’s victims heal.

May 20, 2011: Cartoon Captures Essence of John Jay Report on Catholic Clergy Abuse

As I pointed out in my blog, the John Jay study released earlier this week is nothing more than another misleading effort by U.S. Bishops and the Vatican to promote its self-image. The report, which is at most a review as opposed to a study, is a shameless attempt to quiet the tireless survivors and advocates who continue to demand a change in practices that imperil children.

Artist Tony Auth’s depiction that was published in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer captures the true meaning behind the John Jay report.

May 19, 2011: Defrocked O’Grady accused of possessing child pornography

A defrocked priest accused of possessing thousands of pornographic images of children was served with a book of evidence today and sent forward for trial before a judge and jury.Oliver O’Grady (aged 65), formerly of Charlemont Street, in Dublin 2, but who is now residing at an address in Ranelagh Village, in Dublin, had been arrested on December 10 last and charged with possessing child pornography.

May 19, 2011: The Vatican Comes Up Short

The Vatican’s long overdue guidelines for fighting sexual abuse of children
are, unfortunately, just that — flimsy guidelines for a global problem that
requires an unequivocal mandate for church officials to work with secular
authorities in prosecuting rogue priests.
Instead, the Vatican has
issued nonbinding guidance that punts the scandal back to the authority of
local bishops, who still will not face firm oversight or punishment for
cover-ups that recycled hundreds of abusive priests.

May 18, 2011: The Vatican Infomercial

The Vatican today released what it is calling a “study” on the causes and context of sex abuse of minors by Catholic priests.  This “study” is in fact a self-serving report using information fed to the investigators by the Bishops in the U.S.  The investigators interviewed none of the survivors of abuse with whom we have worked for so many years, nor did they interview anyone outside of those working with the Bishops.

May 18, 2011: The Vatican Infomercial

The Vatican today released what it is calling a “study” on the causes and context of sex abuse of minors by Catholic priests.  This “study” is in fact a self-serving report using information fed to the investigators by the Bishops in the U.S.  The investigators interviewed none of the survivors of abuse with whom we have worked for so many years, nor did they interview anyone outside of those working with the Bishops.   The Bishops certainly gave limited information to the investigators, as they did not give access to their secret files, which reflect the internal cover up …

May 16, 2011: Nothing much new in “new” Vatican guidelines for handling clergy sex abuse

The new “guidelines” issued today by the Vatican that aim to make changes within the church regarding the handling of child sex abuse cases are misleading, toothless and timid.   They are misleading because they are labeled as “changes” but in reality, as even Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi concedes, the guidelines are merely a disingenuous attempt to reinforce the current protocols, rather than make any fundamental changes to the norm.  They are toothless because they give no new rules that require any meaningful change or any real action by church officials…