News & Events

Jun 10, 2011: The Latest Disappointment from Kansas City

Last week Attorney Pat Noaker and I held a press conference in Kansas City announcing a lawsuit against the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph and Father Shawn Ratigan.  The lawsuit accuses Fr. Ratigan and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph of violating federal child pornography laws after the Diocese discovered child pornography on Ratigan’s computer and did nothing for months.  Pat Noaker wrote more about the case in his blog last week.

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 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 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…

May 13, 2011: Amnesty International Accuses Vatican of Human Rights Violations

Today, Amnesty International issued its annual global report on the state of human rights and named the Vatican in its list of countries with human rights violations.
In its report, Amnesty International specifically cited the Vatican for its failure to remove priests accused of sexual abuse from ministry, not co-operating  with authorities, and not giving victims the proper relief, saying “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children.” 
We are encouraged to see an internationally-known organization like Amnest…

May 13, 2011: Amnesty International Accuses Vatican of Human Rights Violations

Today, Amnesty International issued its annual global report on the state of human rights and named the Vatican in its list of countries with human rights violations. In its report, Amnesty International specifically cited the Vatican for its failure to remove priests accused of sexual abuse from ministry, not co-operating  with authorities, and not giving victims the proper relief, saying “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children.”

May 13, 2011: Reflections from Chicago

On Wednesday our law firm filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the Vatican. The lawsuit is an attempt to hold Vatican officials accountable for their direct role in covering up the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by Fr. Daniel McCormack. Some wonder why we filed this suit. After all, didn’t the Archdiocese of Chicago settle with this survivor?

Apr 12, 2011: Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s questionable transfers of money leading up to bankruptcy

Yesterday the Creditors’ Committee in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Bankruptcy
proceedings asked the Court to hire a forensic accounting firm to scrutinize the
Archdiocese and Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s transfer of millions of dollars in
the years leading up to the bankruptcy. The forensic accountants the
Creditor’s Committee is recommending are experts in reviewing financial affairs
of organizations, including transfers of money by the organization.