2013 April

Apr 30, 2013: Furor grows over Newark archbishop’s stance on priest banned from ministry with children

Amid calls for a Vatican investigation, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers came under fierce criticism Monday for his handling of a priest who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a lifetime ban on ministry to children.At the Monmouth County church where the Rev. Michael Fugee had been spending time with a youth group, angry parishioners said they were never told about Fugee’s background and they questioned Myers’ defense of the priest, the subject of a lengthy story in the Sunday Star-Ledger.”It’s complete craziness that the church can let this happen,” said J…

Apr 26, 2013: Statute Prevents Pursuit of Horace Mann Abuse

The Bronx district attorney’s office said Friday it could not pursue any cases of alleged sexual abuse at Horace Mann, an elite private school in the Bronx, because the statute of limitations had been exceeded. A 10-month investigation by the district attorney, prompted by an article in The New York Times Magazine in June, identified at least 12 possible abusers, more than had previously been accused. The alleged abuse took place over four decades, with the most recent case occurring in 1996, the district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, said in a statement. New York’s statute of limitations requi…

Apr 24, 2013: St. Louis priest indicted on federal child porn charge

ST. LOUIS • A Roman Catholic priest from St. Louis, the Rev. William F. Vatterott, was indicted Wednesday on one federal child pornography charge, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The indictment says Vatterott, 36, possessed at least two images of an unidentified nude boy on his computer between June 2010 and June 2011. He is expected to appear in federal court late this week or early next week. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison. His attorney could not be reached for comment. Vatterott was ordained in 2003. He was associate pastor at Holy Infant Church in Ballwin, then be…

Apr 24, 2013: St. Louis priest indicted on federal child porn charge

ST. LOUIS • A Roman Catholic priest from St. Louis, the Rev. William F. Vatterott, was indicted Wednesday on one federal child pornography charge, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The indictment says Vatterott, 36, possessed at least two images of an unidentified nude boy on his computer between June 2010 and June 2011. He is expected to appear in federal court late this week or early next week. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison. His attorney could not be reached for comment. Vatterott was ordained in 2003. He was associate pastor at Holy Infant Church in Ballwin, then be…

Apr 24, 2013: Philly judge defends church official’s trial, landmark conviction for child endangerment

PHILADELPHIA — A judge is defending her decisions in the trial of the first Catholic Church official in the United States to be charged and convicted in the cover-up of the priest abuse scandal. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina concluded in a recent opinion that Monsignor William Lynn lied to perpetuate a church cover-up of child sexual abuse. “The defendant learned that his predecessors handled clergy sex abuse in a way that prioritized shielding the church from scandal and … perpetuated the same system during his tenure,” she wrote in the 243-page decision, which summari…

Apr 23, 2013: Making A Difference: The World of Giving – Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse is a topic many find challenging to discuss or even think about, but it’s necessary, especially with the alarming statistics reported annually in this country. According to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 3.4 million reports of child abuse were filed in 2011 in the United States, which actually affects nearly 6 million children. However, it is estimated the actual number of incidents of abuse and neglect could be three times more than what is actually reported by professionals (police officers, social workers, attorneys, etc….

Apr 22, 2013: Alumni ask Bronx school to probe sex abuse claims

NEW YORK — A group of Horace Mann alumni who say they were sexually abused while students there are calling on the elite New York City school to appoint an independent investigator. The four men, along with attorney Gloria Allred, also called on the state Legislature on Monday to pass a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations on sex abuse cases. The men, now in their 40s and 50s, said they were abused as teens. A woman who says she was an abused student was also at the event, but was not identified and did not speak. Allegations that the students in the school were abused over d…

Apr 17, 2013: Milwaukee Catholic officials knew of California sex abuse allegations against priest

Catholic Church officials in Milwaukee had known for 10 months that Father Robert Marsicek was under investigation on suspicion of molesting two children in California, according to the Sacramento diocese. But they did not move to suspend him from his duties at two local parishes and schools until a new allegation surfaced at a Wauwatosa school last month. Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sacramento, said officials there notified the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Marsicek’s Milwaukee-based religious order, the Society of the Divine Savior; and attorneys for both of the organizations …

Apr 12, 2013: Child Victims Act supporters Plan Rally to Persuade New York State Lawmakers

  Save the date: Supporters of the Child Victims Act will gather in Albany next week to push New York State lawmakers to pass the bill inspired by sex-abuse scandals at Poly Prep Country Day School, Syracuse and other institutions. Current state law requires survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a case by the time they are 23 years old. The bill by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth) would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations on sex-abuse cases. “I wanted to remind everyone about the Rally and Lobby Days for the Child Victims Act of New York that will tak…

Apr 08, 2013: Philadelphia archdiocese finds two priests unsuitable for ministry

(CNN) — Two Catholic priests accused of wrongdoing have been declared unfit for service by the Philadelphia archdiocese and will no longer be allowed to minister. Joseph J. Gallagher, 78, and Mark S. Gaspar, 43, are two of the 26 priests who were suspended by the archdiocese after a 2011 grand jury investigation into the archdiocese’s handling of child sex abuse allegations. They were placed on administrative leave while the church looked into allegations of abuse and misconduct. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said the investigations of Gallagher and Gaspar found substantiated violations of t…