Child abuse, ‘Roman Catholic ecclesiastical law not working’

Pope Francis I and child abuse survivor Peter Saunders when he joined papal commission in 2014

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Although the Roman Catholic Church has its own legal system, it is “unsuitable to prosecute suspects of sexual violence“, says Peter Saunders. He was one of the two victims of abuse who took part in the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, set up by Pope Francis.

Last year he and the other victim resigned, partly because they got obstruction from the Vatican. “Ecclesiastical courts do not take the victims into account, and if they come to a conviction, then they impose far too light penalties, eg, a life of repentance“, says Saunders. A prison term is not an option. …

In Pennsylvania, for the first time in history, from outside the church the seriousness and extent of ecclesiastical abuse has been established in a United States American state. It is only one of the fifty states, but it is a beginning. …

Soon, the powerful cardinal George Pell will also have to stand trial in Melbourne. Recently, the Australian was the number three man in the Vatican, and he seemed untouchable. …

Many Chilean clergy are accused of absuse and the covering up of it. Recently, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of five Chilean bishops for an abuse scandal. But one of the protagonists in the cover-up, Cardinal Ezzati, is still at his post as Archbishop of Santiago. He will soon have to testify before a judge about the long-term cover-up of abuse. The parliament is considering annulling his Chilean citizenship, which the Italian born in 2006 received because of his “good works for the country”.


Priests using children’s faith to abuse them

This video from the USA says about itself:

Victim of priest abuse: Church teaches morality but has none

15 August 2018

Shaun Dougherty talks to CNN’s New Day about being sexually abused by a parish priest who was also a teacher at his school, saying the church has a morality problem.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, August 17, 2018

‘Predator’ priests abused more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania

“PREDATOR” priests weaponised victims’ faith to groom, abuse and rape more than a thousand children over decades in the US state of Pennsylvania, a grand jury investigation has found.

An 884-page report detailed horrors including a priest who tied up a victim with rope in the “praying position” and then sexually assaulted him with a seven-inch crucifix.

At one rectory, four priests made a boy strip “and pose as Jesus on the cross while they took photos.” Altar boys were told to serve naked beneath their cassocks as “God did not want any man-made clothes during Mass”, while a seven-year-old gang-rape victim who went to a priest for help was informed he needed to provide sex in order to get to heaven and was then abused for three years before the abusive priest was transferred to another parish.

The most extensive investigation into abuse by Catholic clergy in US history looked into six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses, an area inhabited by 1.7 million Catholics, with the other two excluded because they have already been the subject of grand jury investigations which found widespread abuse in both.

Attorney-general Josh Shapiro said “predators in every diocese weaponised the Catholic faith and used it as a tool of their abuse.”

Threats of eternal damnation were found to be “common” if children did not co-operate and priests often warned victims that their word would not be believed over a “man of God’s” if they reported what had happened.

Even where bishops took action against priests a cloak of silence was cast over the crimes, investigators found. One bishop who informed the Vatican of a priest who “invoked the name of God to justify his actions against his victims” secured the abuser’s removal in 2006, but parishioners were kept in the dark as to why he had left.

Cases investigated stretched back to the 1940s and involved over 300 priests, more than 100 of whom are now dead. Several have been prosecuted in the past, but just two face prosecution for crimes uncovered in the investigation.

Scottish neonazi bomb terrorist convicted

Explosives found at nazi Peter Morgan's house

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Scottish neonazi caught preparing bomb jailed for 12 years

FAR-RIGHT extremist Peter Morgan, who was caught preparing a bomb with the potential to cause “horrific” injuries, was jailed for 12 years today.

The 35-year-old had already started to assemble the explosive device when he was caught with bomb-making equipment and manuals at his Edinburgh home.

He had also been collecting neonazi, anti-Muslim, anti-semitic and racist material over a five-year period.

Prosecutors said police found explosive substances, propellants, containers, a model rocket initiator and a large quantity of fireworks at Mr Morgan’s home.

A forensic examination of his computer also revealed that he had been downloading bomb manuals, information on how to remove DNA from a dead body and the best way to dispose of a dead body.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Boyd said yesterday that Mr Morgan had been convicted of offences that “threaten the safety of the public, our values as a democracy and strike at the dignity and respect which all members of our community are entitled to expect whatever their race or religion.”

Scotland: Teen jailed for racially aggravated knife attack on Syrian refugee: here.

Pennsylvanian bishop neglected Belgian child abuse alarm

This 9 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Victims of sex abuse by Pennsylvania priests share their stories

The first Pennsylvania statewide investigation into abuses by Catholic priests is expected to be released any day now. The grand jury report details allegations against more than 300 predator priests in six diocese covering more than 1.7 million parishioners. Nikki Battiste sits down with several victims who are speaking out together for the first time.

Translated from Belgian (Roman Catholic) daily De Standaard today:

American bishop did nothing with Leuven‘s warning about abuse

The American College in Leuven warned a bishop in 2002 about possible abuse by one of his priests. The bishop did nothing. Only two years later the priest was arrested for other facts.

In Pennsylvania, 300 priests abused more than a thousand children since 1940. An investigative jury published a devastating report on the extent of the abuse covered up by the Catholic Church.

In that report is also the name of Albert M. Liberatore, a priest who had studied at the American College in Leuven in the 1990s and who came to visit there afterwards. In that American College United States American seminarians were trained to become priests, until the school closed in 2011.

In December 2002, the bishop of Scranton, a city in Pennsylvania, received a letter from the American College in Leuven with a warning about Liberatore. While the priest was visiting in Leuven, he was said to have been caught while, obviously drunk, he took an American seminarian, “in his teens or early twenties”, to his room.

Liberatore had to justify himself to his bishop. During that conversation he admitted the facts, but he said that the boy was no longer at school. No action was taken because of the facts.

Altar boy

It was not his first transgression, however. Already in 1996 another priest reported to the same bishop about an inappropriate relationship of Liberatore with a young man “who was not yet old enough to drink“. In March 1997 a new warning note about the priest was written. The bishop never did anything, not even after the letter from the seminary in Leuven.

Two years later, in 2004, the diocese received a complaint about Liberatore from two young men who declared that they had been abused by the priest. One of the boys was 14 and an altar boy when the abuse began. The facts lasted until he was 17.

The disclosure led to a trial against Liberatore. He pleaded guilty. The diocese compensated the victims for 3 million dollars. In 2006, the priest was reduced to layman status.

Catholics on Twitter are calling for drastic reform after a damning Pennsylvania report detailed decades of child sexual abuse.

Clerical child abuse in Pennsylvania, USA

This 15 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Bombshell Report Exposes Catholic Priest Pedophile Ring

Will these victims ever receive justice? Ana Kasparian and Brett Erlich hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“Pennsylvania grand jury report spanning over 1,300 pages was released on Tuesday, detailing various sexual abuses that occurred in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including one instance in which a priest received a letter of reference for a job at Walt Disney World after he quit following abuse claims.

The report included abuse charges against Father Edward George Ganster, who began his career with the church in 1971 as an assistant pastor at the Notre Dame of Bethlehem Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 2002, a victim who was then age 37 contacted the diocese and said that when he was a 14-year-old altar boy at St. Joseph in Frackville, Pennsylvania, Ganster fondled and groped him. “On one occasion, Ganster dragged the boy across a living room floor, pulling him by the underwear. Ganster also beat the victim repeatedly, once using a metal cross”, the report states. “The abuse at the hands of Ganster lasted for over one-and-a-half years and all happened in St. Joseph’s Rectory.”

Read more here.

This 16 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Catholic Church Cover-up: 300 Priests Sexually Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania

A shocking new Pennsylvania grand jury report has revealed that more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused 1,000 children, and possibly thousands more, over a span of seven decades.

The church leadership covered up the abuse, lying to communities, transferring predator priests rather than firing them, and locking abuse complaints away in what the church called a “secret archive”.

For more, we speak with Shaun Dougherty, a survivor of sexual abuse by a Pennsylvania priest. His story was included in Tuesday’s grand jury report. He was molested by a priest from the Altoona-Johnstown diocese in Pennsylvania for three years, starting when he was 10 years old. George Koharchick, the priest responsible, has been defrocked. Even though the FBI determined he was a child predator, Koharchick cannot be tried as such because of an expired statute of limitations.

We also speak with Bob Hoatson, a former Catholic priest and the co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, which assists victims of sexual abuse.

This 16 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Shocking Investigation Reveals Pennsylvania Priests Abused 1,000 Children and Covered Up the Abuse

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury report has revealed that more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused 1,000 children, and possibly thousands more, over seven decades, and that church leadership covered up the abuse. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro described harrowing accounts of priests raping young girls and boys, including one priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out.

Another priest impregnated a young girl and then arranged for her to have an abortion. The report reveals that the church orchestrated a massive, systematic cover-up to conceal the abuse, including lying to the community about why a priest was removed from a parish, transferring predator priests rather than firing them, and locking abuse complaints away in what the church called a “secret archive.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ child abuse survivor speaks

Dutch Ms Hadassah Wiersma was abused for years by her Jehovah's Witnesses uncle and aunt. Photo: NOS

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses: ‘They treat us, the victims, as perpetrators

Thirty years ago, Hadassah Wiersma first filed a complaint against relatives for sexual abuse. Her uncle and aunt, who are members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses church, were never prosecuted because there was too little evidence. A few years later she tried again, but again without success.

Now Wiersma is more hopeful, because the Public Prosecutor is going to investigate nine cases of sexual violence within the denomination. Wiersma is one of those nine. “I was alone before, we now have a larger group around us, and as a group we hope to achieve the same goal that I wanted to achieve as a small individual thirty years ago”, says Wiersma.

Watch the story of Hadassah in the 16 August 2018 video below:

When Wiersma was 8 years old, she regularly had to sleep with her uncle and aunt in one bed. “Without clothes on, I’ve been through incest for almost ten years.”

But that was not the only thing. Wiersma’s uncle wanted to take pictures of her. “At that moment I was 13, so I thought: ‘nice, I’m going to be a photo model.’ And it started nicely too, my uncle gave me three pictures, but on those pictures you can see the nice clothed version.”

The three photos which Hadassah got from her uncle

Because the photo shoot was on a hot summer day, her uncle told Wiersma to take off her clothes. “He said: ‘It’s hot, isn’t it, with all those lamps too.’ So the nice photos started to change into nude photos.”

Wiersma herself has never seen the nude photos. “He said that I was too young, when I would be old enough then he would show me them. The elders of the church and a former childhood friend did see the photos.” Later, Wiersma realized that these were pornographic photographs. “I was afraid for years that the photos would turn up somewhere, and I looked in kiosks to see if I saw my photos in books or magazines.”

Investigation into faith community

Although Wiersma is pleased that the Public Prosecution Service is now going to investigate the nine charges, she is also only moderately positive. “The investigation focuses on individual reports, which are therefore investigated and not the faith community of Jehovah’s Witnesses as an organization.” Wiersma would have liked that differently. “After our individual investigations will have been completed, it is possible that an investigation into the church will take place, which will take a long time.”

In the previous two reports by Wiersma she asked the elders who saw her nude photos to testify. Both times they did not show up. “That is the way the Jehovah’s Witnesses deal with this: covering it up, not taking it seriously, treating us, the victims, more like perpetrators. I have even been excommunicated from the church, so they won’t have to worry about it anymore. That way, they give the perpetrators free rein to continue.”

Wiersma’s fear is that her nude photos are still around somewhere. “My uncle and aunt are still members of the denomination, so I want a thorough investigation into where those photos are now and I want them to be destroyed.” That’s just one reason why they can be charged. “It’s just child pornography what happened.”

Furthermore, Wiersma hopes that more victims will start reporting. “At the moment we have about 300 reports, but I’m sure that there will be a lot more. I hope they will get the strength to come out with their stories.” My perpetrators are still walking around free and other children should not become victims of it.”

Murder for a parking spot, legal in Florida, USA?

This video from the USA says about itself:

‘Stand your ground’ shooter charged with manslaughter

14 August 2018

Michael Drejka, 48, was arrested in the fatal July shooting of Markeis McGlockton, an incident that was caught on video.

By Andrew Gillum in the USA today:

My name is Andrew Gillum, and I’m the Mayor of Tallahassee, and a candidate for governor in Florida.

And the so-called “stand your ground” laws in my state have let vigilantes become the judge, jury and executioner.

After an argument over a parking space, Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed by a white man. His family had to wait nearly a month before his killer was charged — all because of the “stand your ground” law.

Let’s be clear: stand your ground has no place in a civilized society.

This is a license to kill, plain and simple — will you add your name to our petition calling for the repeal of “stand your ground” laws in America?

“Stand your ground” laws allow anyone who feels afraid to murder under the label of “self-defense”. But we know how that works in practice — studies show that it is disproportionately used against people of color.

But we have a chance to make a difference — I just joined community leaders, faith leaders, and some of Markeis McGlockton’s family members at a sit-in in the governor’s office to protest these unjust and racist laws and fight back against one of Trump’s loyalists, Governor Rick Scott. And our protest WORKED — his killer has now been charged with manslaughter. We can change things if we speak up.

Our sit-in worked, and we have the momentum — will you stand with our protest and sign our petition to repeal stand your ground laws today?

Thank you for taking a stand with me.

Andrew Gillum
Mayor of Tallahassee