All 34 Chilean bishops offer resignation over sex abuse scandal


Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and coverup scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church’s long-running abuse saga.

The bishops announced at the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones in Rome had signed a document offering to resign and putting their fate in the hands of the pope. Francis can accept the resignations one by one, reject them or delay a decision.

READ MORE: Pope sends sex crimes expert to investigate Chilean bishop accused of child abuse cover up

It marked the first known time in history that an entire national bishops conference had offered to resign en masse over the scandal, and laid bare the devastation that the abuse crisis has caused the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond.

Calls had mounted for the resignations after details emerged of the contents of a 2,300-page Vatican report into the Chilean scandal leaked early Friday. Francis had accused the bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring investigators to minimize abuse accusations and showing “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophile priests.

WATCH: Pope Francis address Catholic sex abuse scandal to U.S. bishops

In one of the most damning documents from the Vatican on the issue, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has suffered.

“No one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others,” Francis wrote in the document, which was published by Chilean T13 television and confirmed as accurate Friday by the Vatican.

In a statement in response, the Chilean bishops said the contents of the document were “absolutely deplorable” and showed an “unacceptable abuse of power and conscience,” as well as sexual abuse.

They asked forgiveness to the victims, the pope and all Catholics and vowed to repair the damage.

READ MORE: Pope accuses sexual assault victims in Chile of slander

Francis summoned the entire bishops’ conference to Rome after admitting that he had made “grave errors in judgment” in the case of Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of Chilean priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.

But the scandal grew beyond the Barros case after Francis received the report written by two Vatican sex crimes experts sent to Chile to get a handle on the scope of the problem. Their report hasn’t been made public, but Francis cited its core findings in the footnotes of the document that he handed over to the bishops at the start of their summit this week.

And those findings are damning.

Francis said the investigation showed there were “grave defects” in the way abuse cases were handled, with superficial investigations or no investigation at all of allegations that contained obvious evidence of crimes. The result, he said, “created a scandal for those who denounced them and all those who know the alleged victims.”

WATCH: Priest claims church did nothing after learning he was a pedophile

In other cases, there was “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophiles by bishops and religious superiors – a reference to the many cases of sexual abuse that have arisen in recent years within Chilean religious orders, including the Salesians, Franciscans and the Marist Brothers community.

Some of these religious order priests and brothers were expelled from their congregations because of immoral conduct, but had their cases “minimized of the absolute gravity of their criminal acts, attributing to them mere weakness or moral lapses,” Francis wrote.

But those same people “were then welcomed into other dioceses, in an obviously imprudent way, and given diocesan or parish jobs that gave them daily contact with minors,” he said.

READ MORE: Vatican sex crimes investigator meeting with Chilean abuse victim in New York

Such behaviour has been the hallmark of the clerical sex abuse crisis worldwide, with bishops and religious superiors shuttling abusers from parish to parish or dioceses rather than reporting them to police or launching canonical investigations and removing them from ministry.

Francis said he was also “perplexed and ashamed” by the report’s evidence that there were “pressures exercised” on church officials tasked with investigating sex crimes “including the destruction of compromising documents on the part of those in charge of ecclesiastic archives.”

He said such behaviour showed “an absolute lack of respect for the canonical process and worse, reprehensible practices that must be avoided in the future.”

He said the problem wasn’t limited to a group of people, but can be traced to the training Chilean priests receive in seminary, blaming the “profound fracture” within the church on the seminaries themselves. The Vatican investigation, he said, contained “grave accusations against some bishops and superiors who sent to these educational institutions priests suspected of active homosexuality.”

The harsh assessment of the quality of seminaries suggests that a possible next step might be a full-on Vatican investigation of Chilean schools of priestly training. Pope Benedict XVI ordered such an investigation into Irish seminaries after he convened the entire Irish bishops’ conference for a similar dressing-down in 2010 over their dismal handling of abuse cases.

WATCH: Fired gay priest says homophobia exists in church’s ranks

“The problems inside the church community can’t be solved just by dealing with individual cases and reducing them to the removal of people, though this – and I say so clearly – has to be done,” Francis wrote. “But it’s not enough, we have to go beyond that. It would be irresponsible on our part to not look deeply into the roots and the structures that allowed these concrete events to occur and perpetuate.”

For years, sex abuse victims have blasted the Chilean hierarchy for discrediting their claims, protecting abusers and moving them around rather than reporting them to police and then handing out light sentences when church sanctions were imposed.

Based on Francis’ footnotes, the Vatican investigation compiled by the Catholic Church’s top abuse prosecutor, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and his aide, Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu, gave full credibility to the victims.

Francis, though, has also been implicated in the scandal, and in his document saying all Chilean bishops bore blame he added “and me first of all.”

READ MORE: Pope Francis sorry for insisting sexual abuse victims need to show ‘proof’

Francis first drew scorn from victims, ordinary Chileans and even members of his sex abuse advisory board by appointing Barros bishop of Osorno, Chile, in 2015.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Francis did so over the objections of other Chilean bishops who knew Barros’ past was problematic and had recommended he and other Karadima-trained bishops resign and take a sabbatical.

The AP subsequently reported that Francis had received a letter in 2015 from one of Karadima’s most vocal accusers, Juan Carlos Cruz, detailing Barros’ misdeeds. That letter undercut Francis’ claim to have never heard from victims about Barros.

Francis further enraged Chileans and drew sharp rebuke from his top abuse adviser when, during a January trip to Chile, he said the accusations against Barros were “calumny” and said he was “certain” he was innocent.

After receiving the Scicluna-Bertomeu report, though, Francis did an about-face. Blaming a “lack of truthful and balanced information” about the case for his missteps, Francis invited the three main whistleblowers to the Vatican hotel he calls home so he could apologize in person.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Dominique on Thursday 31 May 2018 - 11:39:49

Prêtres pédophiles : les évêques chiliens et la colère de François


En janvier dernier, le pape s’est rendu au Chili pour un voyage apostolique. Habituellement, pour le Saint-Siège, ce sont des moments de bonheur avec des images d’un pape souriant et partout des foules en liesse. Cette fois, ce fut l’enfer.

Au Chili, le pape François s’est retrouvé en présence de Mgr Barros, soupçonné depuis des années d’avoir protégé le père Karadima, reconnu pour avoir agressé des mineurs.

Pourtant, des victimes de prêtres pédophiles avaient prévenu François. « Il n’y a aucune preuve contre Mgr Barros », leur a répondu le pape, avant de leur dire que « tout cela est de la calomnie ». Le pape allait bientôt regretter ses paroles.

Enquête au Chili
Quelques jours après être revenu à Rome, François mandate Mgr Scicluna pour faire enquête au Chili. Ce que découvre le pape dans le rapport de Mgr Scicluna le renverse.

Il est question de « gravissimes négligences dans la protection des enfants vulnérables de la part d’évêques et de supérieurs religieux », selon la télévision chilienne, citée par le quotidien Le Monde. On parle aussi de comportements immoraux, d’enquêtes qui n’ont pas été effectuées et même de documents compromettants qui ont été détruits.

« Maintenant, après une lecture attentive des actes de cette "mission spéciale", je crois pouvoir affirmer que tous les témoignages recueillis parlent d’eux-mêmes d’une manière dure, sans additifs ni édulcorants […] des nombreuses vies crucifiées et j’avoue que cela me cause beaucoup de douleur et de honte », affirme le pape.

Convocations à Rome
Du 27 au 29 avril, il convoque au Vatican trois victimes avec qui il va longuement s’entretenir. Cela se termine par des excuses sans retenue et une demande de pardon.

Et puis, geste rare, sont convoqués à leur tour à Rome tous les évêques chiliens : 32 évêques actifs et 2 émérites. Ils sont convoqués pour trois jours de discernement, de méditations et de réunions qu’ils n’oublieront jamais.

Le pape François se doute bien que ce n’est pas uniquement la crédibilité et l’autorité morale de l’Église chilienne qui sont touchées. C’est toute l’Église et même son pontificat.

« Je reconnais […] que j’ai commis de graves erreurs dans l’évaluation et la perception de la situation, notamment en raison du manque d’informations », dit François.

On ne doit jamais placer publiquement son patron dans l’embarras. Encore moins un pape. Aujourd’hui, donc, coup de théâtre, les 34 évêques chiliens ont présenté leur démission au pape François.

Pour le moment, on ne sait trop si c’est le pape qui a exigé leur démission ou si, devant l’ampleur de la crise, ce sont les évêques qui n’ont trouvé d’autre solution que de démissionner. La reconstruction de l’Église chilienne doit-elle passer par leur départ?

Un message clair
Quoi qu’il en soit, il y a un message clair. François, le pape charismatique et souriant, n’arrivait pas jusqu'ici à offrir une réponse crédible et satisfaisante aux trop nombreux scandales de prêtres criminels qui ont agressé des mineurs.

Même la commission qu’il a mise sur pied pour venir à bout de ce fléau semblait se perdre dans l’insignifiance.

Ce qui vient de se produire au Vatican ne s’est jamais vu. Peut-être une page d’histoire est-elle en train de s’écrire? Peut-être verrons-nous ce pape demander pardon au nom de l’Église catholique pour toutes les vies brisées aux mains de prêtres qui ont abusé de leur statut et de leur pouvoir?

Enfin, certains se demanderont ce que pense et ce que fera le cardinal Marc Ouellet qui, après tout, est le grand patron de la Congrégation pour les évêques. On imagine le malaise.

Dominique on Thursday 31 May 2018 - 10:07:15

Le pape exprime sa «honte» pour les actes pédophiles du clergé


Le pape François, au chevet d'une Eglise discréditée par des scandales de pédophilie au Chili, a exprimé mardi "sa honte" et sa "douleur" pour ces abus, au cours d'une visite marquée par des manifestations et une cinquantaine d'arrestations.

"Je ne peux m'empêcher de manifester la douleur et la honte que je ressens face au mal irréparable fait à des enfants par des ministres de l'Eglise", a-t-il dit devant les autorités politiques et civiles réunies au palais présidentiel de La Moneda.

Devant des écrans géants dans l'attente de la célébration d'une messe, des fidèles ont acclamé cette déclaration.

Au cours de la journée, une cinquantaine de personnes ont été arrêtées lors d'une manifestation contre la visite du pape. Les forces anti-émeute ont dispersé le cortège de plusieurs centaines de personnes à l'aide de canons à eau.

"François complice de crimes pédophiles", pouvait-on lire sur une des banderoles qui avait été déployée à un balcon où est apparu un manifestant déguisé en pape au côté de deux fausses bonnes soeurs.

Pour les victimes, demander pardon "n'est pas suffisant". "Nous avons besoin d'actes concrets que le pape ne prend pas au sein de l'Eglise chilienne", a réagi Juan Carlos Claret, porte-parole de l'association des laïcs d'Osorno (sud du Chili), qui lutte notamment pour l'expulsion de l'évêque Juan Barros.

En janvier 2015, le pape François avait pris la décision très controversée de nommer ce prélat à la tête du diocèse d'Osorno, bien qu'il soit soupçonné d'avoir tu les agissements pédophiles d'un vieux prêtre.

- 'Suspicion' générale -
L'octogénaire père Fernando Karadima, un ancien formateur charismatique de prêtres, a été reconnu coupable en 2011 par un tribunal du Vatican d'avoir commis des actes pédophiles dans les années 1980 et 1990. Il a été contraint à se retirer pour une vie de pénitence.

En avril 2011, l'Eglise catholique du Chili avait demandé formellement pardon pour tous les abus sexuels sur des enfants commis par des membres du clergé, et pour son manque de réactivité.

Au cours d'une rencontre très attendue en fin d'après-midi dans la cathédrale de Santiago avec des prêtres, religieux et consacrés, le pape a souligné être très attentif à l'avenir.

"Je connais la douleur qu'ont provoqués les cas d'abus commis sur des mineurs et je suis de très près ce que l'on fait pour surmonter ce grave et douloureux mal", a-t-il assuré.

François a évoqué avant tout la douleur des victimes et leurs familles "qui ont vu trahie la confiance qu'elles avaient placée dans les ministres de l'Eglise".

Mais il a tenu également à parler de "la souffrance des communautés ecclésiales" sous le coup d'une "suspicion" générale.

"Je sais que parfois vous avez essuyé des insultes dans le métro ou en marchant dans la rue, qu'être +habillé en prêtre+ dans beaucoup d'endroits +se paie cher+", a-t-il noté.

Le pape leur a spécifiquement demandé "d'avoir le courage de demander pardon".

Sous la dictature de Pinochet, l'Eglise était admirée pour son rôle en faveur des droits de l'Homme. Aujourd'hui, le Chili est le pays le plus critique d'Amérique latine contre l'Eglise catholique.

- Droits des indigènes -
Au palais présidentiel de La Moneda, où périt le président socialiste Salvador Allende en 1973 lors du coup d'Etat d'Augusto Pinochet, le pape avait tenu plus tôt à s'exprimer devant le gouvernement sur les populations indigènes, thème phare de son voyage au Chili, puis à partir de jeudi au Pérou.

Il faut "écouter" les peuples autochtones, "souvent oubliés et dont les droits ont besoin d'être pris en compte et la culture protégée, pour que ne se perde pas une partie de l'identité et de la richesse de cette nation", a plaidé François.

A Temuco, à plus de 600 km au sud de Santiago du Chili, le pape s'adressera mercredi aux indiens Mapuche (7% de la population chilienne), qui occupaient un vaste territoire à l'arrivée des conquistadors espagnols au Chili en 1541. Cette région, l'Auracania, est aujourd'hui le foyer d'actions violentes d'une minorité radicalisée, qui se bat pour "récupérer" des terres ancestrales.

Trois nouvelles attaques ont été enregistrées contre des églises du pays mardi, dans la capitale et dans la région Araucanía (sud), qui s'ajoutent à cinq autres ces derniers jours.

François est le deuxième pape de l'Histoire à se rendre au Chili, après Jean Paul II en avril 1987.

A l'époque, la venue du pape polonais avait déclenché une bataille rangée entre policiers et opposants à Pinochet, dans le parc public O'Higgins. Quelque 600 personnes avaient été blessées.

Le pape François a célébré mardi une messe plus sereine dans ce même lieu, devant environ 400.000 personnes, dont des femmes Mapuche en habit traditionnel.

Dominique on Monday 29 January 2018 - 20:18:26

Pallasca: 1 millón perdido en construcción del “Coso taurino” de Conchucos.


La plaza de toros del distrito de Conchucos, en la provincia de Pallasca, Áncash, se encuentra sin uso, pese a que se invirtió un millón de soles, para supuestamente  brindar a los pobladores un espacio físico para realizar las anuales “tardes taurinas” del mes de setiembre.

En efecto esta obra, considerada “un elefante blanco”, fue concebida y ejecutada durante el mandato del exalcalde conchucano (2007-2010) Juan Sinecio Miranda Tirapo, más conocido como “Shine”.La edificación ocupa un área de 2,250 mt2 y se utilizó por única vez en el año 2009, donde los asistentes comprobaron la inseguridad del coso y la pésima construcción.

Carece zonas de seguridad y escape, la mala construcción (paredes y columnas agrietadas), la pésima concepción (graderías sin medidas recomendables), entre otras, son las razones que invalidan el uso de esta obra. Esporádicamente,  solo sirve como corral de los toros que serán sacrificados en las corridas.

La obra aparece abandonada con algunos sectores aún por  concluir, mudo testigo de la desidia, incapacidad e irresponsabilidad de la autoridad que la construyó. Eran los tiempos del movimiento “Cuenta Conmigo” en Pallasca.

Entre los profesionales que participaron en esta obra figuran el Marcos Benítez Guevara ex alcalde del Santa, Juan Carlos Gallo Zegarra (ex gerente de la Sub Región Pacífico) y Heiner Miñano Chávez (excandidato a la consejería de Pallasca por “Siempre Unidos” en el 2014).

Pese a la denuncia presentada, hasta  la fecha las autoridades correspondientes no se han pronunciado, mucho menos se  ha sancionado a los responsables.

Los pobladores, se preguntan: ¿Quién responde por los miles de soles mal gastados de los dineros públicos de los conchucanos? ¿Qué se está haciendo al respecto?

Dominique on Monday 15 January 2018 - 20:57:36

Chimbote: Ubican a sacerdote involucrado en escándalo de pedofilia en EE.UU.


El programa de televisión “Cuarto Poder” reveló la noche de ayer domingo, que en Chimbote se encuentra un sacerdote involucrado en un escándalo de pedofilia en EE.UU.
Se trata del sacerdote Horacio Edgardo Jiménez Arrunátegui, quien recientemente fue designado capellán del hospital Regional, por el obispo de la ciudad, Ángel Francisco Simón Piorno, quien ha negado la existencia de esta acusación.

La Diócesis de Orange reportó al John Jay College Of Criminal Justice que 16 sacerdotes fueron acusados por 47 personas, ellos son: Franklin Buckman, Michael Pecharich y Edgardo Arrunategui Jiménez…”, esta lista de curas, acusados por pedofilia, fue parte de la investigación que el prestigioso diario estadounidense “Boston Globe” hiciera pública en el 2002 y que inspirara la película “Spotlight”.

En este destape, la unidad de investigación del diario logra recabar evidencia, testimonios y documentos que situaban a cientos de sacerdotes de diversas diócesis del país frente a graves acusaciones de abuso sexual contra menores. No hubo sanción para los curas a pesar de los más de mil testimonios de personas que aseguraron haber sido abusados sexualmente durante la década de los ochenta.

Por el contrario, muchos de ellos con ayuda de la misma Iglesia salieron de Norte América con distintos destinos para no enfrentar las investigaciones. Fue el caso del padre Edgardo Jiménez Arrunátegui, diocesano tumbesino ordenado por la iglesia católica en 1983.

El informe señala que tràs el escándalo Jiménez Arrunátegui, quien en Estados Unidos se identificó con su segundo nombre y su apellido materno, es decir, Edgardo Arrunátegui, viajó a varios países y recaló en España, de donde llegó a Chimbote el año 2010.

El programa periodístico dominical, recogió la denuncia del ex capellán del mencionado nosocomio, Luis del Carpio, quien fue el que investigó e identifico a Jiménez Arrunátegui.

El programa entrevista al sacerdote en su domicilio de El trapecio, en el cual se negó a responder y pidió que le pregunten al Obispo, que fue lo que hizo el periodista recibiendo la negativa de la autoridad eclesiástica.

El Obispo declara que se comunicó con la Conferencia Episcopal de Estados Unidos y allí le informaron que no existe denuncia alguna contra el sacerdote, sin embargo, el periodista observa que el error del Obispo es haber pedido información sobre Horacio Edgardo Jiménez Arrunátegui, cuando en Estados Unidos se hizo la denuncia contra “Edgardo Arrunaetegui” como se identificaba.

Al consultar en la lista de los sacerdotes acusados por abuso sexual agregando la letra “a” a su apellido, aparece Edgardo Jiménez Arrunataegui, misma foto, misma nacionalidad, mismo delito.

Dominique on Monday 15 January 2018 - 20:49:58

Vatican's 3rd most powerful figure, Cardinal Pell, charged with multiple sex assaults


Australia’s highest-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman, Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell, has been charged by Australian police over sex allegations from "multiple complainants." The Vatican has released a statement of support for Pell, citing his "honesty."

"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences," Victoria state police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told the media in Melbourne on Thursday.

The extent of the charges the senior Vatican cardinal is facing has not been revealed by police. However, according to Patton, "there are multiple complainants relating to those charges."

There might be up to 10 alleged victims, Australian news website reports, adding that they were minors at the time of the alleged assaults and are now aged from their late 20s to their early 50s.

The allegations are believed to stretch from the time that Pell was a priest in the Australian town of Ballarat to when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. It is alleged that the cardinal groomed boys at a swimming pool in Ballarat in the 1970s and committed sexual assaults at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, according to The Australian.

The cardinal, who did not admit to any of the alleged offences and has denied reports that have been circulating in the media for months, was charged by summons to appear before a Melbourne court on July 18.

Since 2014, Pell has lived in the Vatican, with which Australia has no extradition treaty, meaning the cardinal could potentially avoid prosecution if he chose not to return to his home country.

However, the Australian Catholic Church said in a statement Thursday that the cardinal "will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name."

READ MORE: Pope Francis vows to remove pedophile cover-up bishops with new church law

He said he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously," the statement added.

The Vatican has released its own statement, stressing that Pope Francis has respect for Pell's "honesty" and "energetic dedication" to his work on Church financial reform.

It went on to state that Pell has "openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors; has cooperated in the past with Australian authorities...has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and finally, as a diocesan bishop in Australia, has introduced systems and procedures both for the protection of minors and to provide assistance to victims of abuse."

Pell, 76, was promoted to cardinal in 2003 and three years ago he was appointed to serve as the Vatican treasurer, considered to be the third most powerful post behind the Pope.

While it is the first time that formal charges are brought against Pell, he was subject of an investigation in the early 2000s after claims emerged that he had molested an altar boy back in the 1960s, The Age reported

At the time, Pell denied the allegations against him, dubbing them "lies."

In February, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released report stating that more than 4,000 children, mostly boys, have been allegedly sexually abused by Catholic priests in Australia over a period of decades.

According to the investigation , since the 1950s some 7 percent of priests in the country were alleged perpetrators. The commission also said that since the 1980s, the Catholic Church has paid over $200 million to victims of alleged sex abuse committed by priests in Australia over decades.

Dominique on Monday 31 July 2017 - 00:45:55

Catholic Church to fingerprint priests, other workers: reports


Catholic priests and church workers in Quebec will be fingerprinted before being allowed to work with minors, the elderly and the sick by 2020, according to several news outlets.

This new rule is part of larger pilot project initiated by the Montreal Catholic Church in the fall of 2016. It aims to protect anyone considered to be at-risk or vulnerable. The 10-part process includes obligatory background checks on all personnel and having more than one adult present with minors.

Ten parishes, such as St-Luke’s Parish in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, have participated in the project that will ultimately affect 194 churches and ministries in Montreal, Laval and such off-island suburbs of Montreal as Repentigny and L’Assomption.

Dominique on Friday 23 June 2017 - 17:32:24

Pedophile Priest With HIV who Raped 30 Children Forgiven by Church


Catholic Church absolved priest after who faces no criminal charges for raping young girls under 10

A Catholic Priest has been acquitted by the church after he admitted to raping almost 30 young girls aged between 5 and 10-years-old.

The priest, Jose Garcia Ataulfo, was cleared of any wrong-doing and won't face any criminal charges, despite the fact that he knew he was infected with HIV when he sexually abused all the children he admitted to raping.

The mother of one of the priest's victims wrote a letter to The Pope asking to meet with him in Rome to discuss the case, but was shunned by the Vatican who declared that "the matter is closed".

Ataulfo admitted to sexually assaulting well over two dozen children, many of whom were indigenous young girls from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico known for its large indigenous population.

Due to the significant influence that the Catholic Church wields in Mexico, the priest won't face any criminal charges, particularly for his crimes in areas populated by indigenous ethnic groups.

The report which first appeared on the Spanish-language news site, says the priest, was absolved of any wrongdoing by the Archdiocese of Mexico.

According to, only two out of the thirty rape victims have come forward to denounce the acquittal.

The website Anonymous Mexico reported that the mother of one of the victims asked to meet with Pope Francis in Rome, but she was rebuffed by the Vatican which wrote a letter stating that it considered the matter closed.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced that the church would be reducing penalties for pedophile priests by relocating them to a different church and offering them support rather than punishing them.

The Pope said that the controversial measures were designed to create a "more merciful church".

According to The Daily Mail, sexual abuse of minors by priests – and the subsequent cover-ups by bishops and other Church officials - have been widespread in many countries, including the United States.

The issue was thrust into the national spotlight in 2002 when the Boston Globe revealed the extent to which the local archdiocese shielded abusive priests from being exposed to the public even though it knew they posed a danger to young parishioners.

The Globe exposé, which detailed abuse cases that numbered in the thousands over a span of several decades, inspired other victims to come forward, leading to an avalanche of lawsuits and criminal prosecutions.

Not only did the floodgates open in the US, but the Catholic Church was also forced to confront cases in other countries, including Mexico.

In 2004, the Vatican re-opened a prior investigation against Marcial Maciel, who was accused of sexually abusing minors as well as fathering six children by three different women.

Though the allegations spanned decades and the extent of his crimes was known to church officials, it was only in 2006 that the Vatican forced Maciel, one of its most powerful clergymen, to retire from active ministry.

Dominique on Tuesday 02 May 2017 - 22:29:06

Late Ottawa Catholic bishop who managed sex abuse complaints now accused of sex abuse


An Ottawa man says he was sexually abused in August 1979 by Bishop John Beahan, who was then one of the most powerful figures in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

The man, now 52, has launched a $2-million lawsuit against the Catholic archdiocese. It represents the first time that Beahan, once the second-highest-ranking member of the Ottawa clergy, has been named in a sex abuse lawsuit.

The allegations also raise a potential motive for Beahan to dismiss sex abuse claims made against fellow clergy members in the 1970s and 80s.

Appointed auxiliary bishop in May 1977, Beahan also served for 12 years as vicar general — essentially, the archdiocese’s chief administrative officer — until he suffered a fatal stroke in March 1988. In his role as vicar general, Beahan would have been responsible for managing complaints lodged against abusive priests.

In a statement of claim filed earlier this month, the man — identified only as M.D. — says he was an altar boy at Nepean’s St. Maurice Parish in the late 1970s, when Rev. Dale Crampton was pastor.

Crampton is the most notorious perpetrator in Ottawa’s clergy sexual abuse scandal, a pedophile with more than 10 known victims. He killed himself in October 2010 by jumping from an Ottawa highrise.

M.D. claims that Crampton sexually abused him for two years from time he was 13 years old.

In an interview with the Citizen, M.D. said Crampton invited him to a West Carleton cottage in August 1979. M.D. said he agreed to go because he didn’t want to explain to his parents why he was reluctant to spend time alone with the priest.

Bishop Beahan appeared at the cottage unannounced on Saturday afternoon. “I sat down beside him, we were kind of introduced, and then I remember Father Crampton said he had to go into town to do groceries or something,” M.D. said. “He left me and Bishop Beahan alone.”

They talked for a while, M.D. said, until Beahan began to flatter him, touch, kiss and fondle him. The bishop, he said, asked, “Does Father Dale do this, too?” They moved to Crampton’s bedroom, M.D. said, where the abuse escalated to masturbation and simulated sex acts.

“I remember thinking, ‘Man, I’ve been set up here,” he said. “I was nervous, scared, confused, all three.”

At one point, he heard Crampon return from his errand, but the priest did not intervene. “I wanted to go home,” he said. “I was so concerned they’d come into my room (that night), but they never did. They did drink quite a bit.”

Beahan was gone the next morning.

The lawsuit’s allegations are still to be tested in court. A spokesman for the diocese, Deacon Gilles Ouellette, said it does not comment on matters before the courts.

M.D. said he didn’t deal with the emotional turmoil caused by his abuse for decades, and relied on alcohol to numb the pain: He developed a stutter, was uncertain of his sexuality, found intimacy difficult, and was often suicidal. It was only after reading about Crampton’s history of abuse in the Citizen last year that he resolved to confront his past.

He told his therapist, then his wife, children, siblings and parents about what happened. A father of three, M.D. said all of his most important relationships have been damaged by it. “My children deserved a more attentive, loving father,” said M.D., who works in the funeral services industry.

M.D.’s lawyer, Rob Talach, said his client’s allegations support the notion that there existed in the 1970s and 80s a close-knit circle of child abusers in the Ottawa clergy, and that Beahan — the senior diocesan official responsible for managing abuse complaints — was part of it. “When the shepherd is the wolf,” he said, “it’s pretty hard to protect the flock.”

In June 1986, Crampton was charged after a group of parents from St. Maurice Parish went to the police with sex abuse allegations. The parents approached police in March after becoming frustrated by the inaction of then Archbishop Joseph-Aurèle Plourde and Bishop Beahan.

Crampton was at the hub of the archdiocese’s small circle of child abusers.

He was a longtime friend of Rev. Barry McGrory, who was convicted in 1993 of sexual assault, and now faces charges in connection with three other alleged victims. Crampton and McGrory were friends while students at St. Patrick’s High School in Ottawa, and later attended the seminary together.

As a young priest, Crampton travelled with Beahan to New York City for the visit of Pope Paul VI in October 1965, and worked with him at St. Elizabeth Parish.

In 1974, Crampton became one of two priests elected to the Ottawa Catholic School Board. His Catholic board colleague, Rev. Kenneth Keeler, would be charged with abusing three boys in the 1970s and 80s.

Keeler’s criminal trial was halted by his sudden guilty plea. During early testimony, court heard that the priest would select young boys to share his bed at St. Brigid’s Summer Camp for needy children in Low, Quebec. One witness also testified that he saw what appeared to be Keeler masturbating Beahan on a cottage balcony at the camp. Keeler denied the incident took place.

Dominique on Wednesday 19 April 2017 - 20:56:00

Canada - Nunavut court approves legal funding for pedophile priest Eric Dejaeger


IQALUIT, Nunavut - A Nunavut court says public money should pay for a lawyer to argue the appeal of a former priest serving a 19-year sentence for sexually abusing dozens of Inuit children.

Eric Dejaeger was convicted on 32 counts of sexually abuse 22 Inuit children stemming from his time in Igloolik, Nunavut, as an Oblate priest and missionary more than 35 years ago.

"I am of the view that Mr. Dejaeger could not effectively present his appeal in an organized and coherent fashion without the assistance of counsel," wrote Justice Neil Sharkey of the Nunavut Court of Appeal.

Dejaeger has said he's too broke to pay for a lawyer and legal aid in Nunavut has turned him down.

Sharkey's written ruling said Dejaeger has not entered specific grounds for his appeal or referred to any errors of law he feels were made during his trial.

The trial went ahead in early 2015 after he was returned from Belgium. The defrocked priest was initially slated to face his accusers from Igloolik in 1995, but instead left Canada for his Belgian homeland.

Oblate officials have said that Canadian justice officials turned a blind eye to his leaving the country. He was eventually returned to Canada when Belgian officials realized he was living in that country illegally.

Testimony was often disturbing and marked by tears and outcries from the witnesses and observers. It stirred old ghosts in Igloolik and territorial officials sent extra mental-health workers to the community to help people deal with the memories.

Before he was sentenced, Dejaeger addressed the court and apologized to his victims for his actions.

Within weeks of the verdict, he filed a so-called "prisoner's appeal" of his conviction and his sentence.

Later that fall, Dejaeger pleaded guilty to four additional counts of indecent assault and gross indecency related to his time living in Edmonton.

- By Bob Weber in Edmonton

Dominique on Wednesday 15 March 2017 - 23:39:54

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