Clerical sexual abuse and papal visit in Chile

This video says about itself:

Catholic bishop heckled by opponents of child sex abuse

22 March 2015

Newly named bishop of Osorno in Chile Juan Barros was pushed and shoved by demonstrators carrying black balloons as he squeezed through the crowd in Saint Matthew’s Church.

Many Chilean Catholics say Barros covered up the sexual abuse of children committed by his superior Fr. Fernando Karadima Farina in the 1980s and ’90s.

Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican.

Read more here.

By Lucia Newman in Chile today:

Crisis of faith in Chile as pope visits amid sexual abuse scandal

Santiago, Chile – The last time a pope visited Chile was in 1987, when the then staunchly Catholic South American country was in the midst of military rule.

Even communists embraced John Paul II, because of the Chilean Church’s outspoken defence of human rights.

But 31 years on, the arrival of the first Latin American pope is not provoking the same euphoria.

Chile has suffered some of the worst cases of ecclesiastic sex abuse in the region, and the Catholic Church is paying the price.

When the former archbishop of Buenos Aires became Pope Francis in 2013, his charisma and above all his promises to reform some of the darkest practices of the Vatican, captured the imagination and admiration of much of the world, especially in his region.

He vowed that there would be zero tolerance for sex abuse within the Catholic Church and formed a special commission to investigate the issue, inviting two victims to take part.

Five years later, growing unhappiness over the Vatican’s follow up on zero tolerance is casting a shadow on the papal visit here.

The pontiff’s controversial decision to name Father Juan Barros as Bishop of Osorno, even though he was accused of facilitating and covering up abuses for Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest, Fernando Karadima, left many stupefied.

And when Pope Francis was caught on video telling a pilgrim in Rome that Osorno parishioners were suffering because they were “dumb” and “twisted by the left”, there was outrage.

Silvana Gonzalez is one of dozens of Catholics who protested on the steps of Osorno’s Cathedral on the eve of the Pope’s arrival.

“We are not happy to receive him, because he says one thing and does another. The Church continues covering up abuses and the pope rewards the culprits. And calling us dumb is an insolent offence that we cannot tolerate”, Gonzalez told Al Jazeera.

Just days before the pope’s arrival, the Boston-based research group published a database listing some 70 Chilean priests, deacons, religious brothers and even a nun who have been accused of molesting children. Some remain in active ministry.

‘Millions of Catholics have lost faith’

Some 30 of Osorno’s parishioners are coming to Santiago for the Pope’s arrival. They will be joining other protesters who say they want to hold the pope accountable.

Among them is Juan Carlos Cruz, one of three of Karadima’s victims. He says the pope has betrayed Chile by defending the institution and re-victimising the survivors.

“The pope has great headlines but no follow up. Apart from Bishop Barros, we have Cardinal Errazuriz, who was rewarded by being named to the committee of eight cardinals that counsel him, along with George Pell, another abuser from Sydney”, says Cruz. “And the current Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, has been named a cardinal, when he has covered up not only our abuses but those of many others.”

Pope Francis knows that in Chile and in Peru, where he will also stop, millions of Catholics have lost faith.

Just ahead of his trip, the pope ordered the Vatican to take over an elite Catholic group in Peru, after years of charges that its founder sexually abused scores of children and adult members .

And after saying that there was no room on the pope’s schedule to meet with abuse victims during his trip to Chile and Peru, the Vatican is now indicating that it won’t rule it out.

These are important gestures. But Pope Francis will have to do more to inspire trust in the Catholic Church, which in Chile is now the lowest in Latin America.

“In many countries but especially in Chile, sex abuses within the church have been and continue to be very painful. Cases are still being revealed. The pope’s visit here is an opportunity to tell him about these issues. What we need is an open heart to listen to what he has to say”, says Javier Peralta, director of the National Commission for the Papal Visit.


Korean president criticizes sex slave deal with Japan

 A statue of a Korean ‘comfort woman’ in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Yun Ho Lee

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, December 29, 2017

South Korean president criticises ‘seriously flawed’ sex slave deal with Japan

Government panel reports on problems with content and process of ‘comfort women’ agreement

SOUTH KOREAN president Moon Jae In condemned the 2015 deal with Japan over reparations for wartime sex slaves yesterday as “seriously flawed, both in process and content.”

“Once again [I] firmly state that this agreement does not resolve the issue over comfort women”, Mr Moon said in a statement, using the euphemism for women and girls forced into sexual slavery in Japanese military brothels in the 1930s and ’40s during the country’s conquest and occupation of east Asia.

Mr Moon’s criticism followed Wednesday’s report of a commission set up to study the deal, agreed two years ago yesterday, by which Japan was to pay less than £6 million into a fund to support former sex slaves.

Parts had been kept secret, the panel said, including a Japanese demand that South Korea not use the term “sexual slavery” and that it remove a bronze statue commemorating the sex slaves from outside Japan’s embassy in Seoul.

The South Koreans agreed to the first but didn’t give a clear answer to the second.

The panel also said the government hadn’t properly consulted surviving victims before reaching the deal.

The agreement was negotiated by the government of Mr Moon’s right-wing predecessor Park Geun Hye, who was removed from office and arrested for corruption in March.

Mr Moon vowed during his presidential campaign to renegotiate the agreement.

A government spokesman said only that it would take “sincere and practical” measures to do right by the sex slaves and consult victims and experts before pursuing any changes.

However, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Wednesday that Japan stands by it and that any attempt at revision would make relations between the countries “unmanageable” and “unacceptable.”

The Japanese military forced between 200,000 and 400,000 women into organised sexual slavery, beginning in Shanghai, China, in 1932. Most of the women were from China and Korea but also several other countries, including the Philippines and Indonesia.

As with other states such as Britain, Japan has been extremely reluctant to acknowledge its imperialist past.

Along with its refusal to fully apologise and pay reparations for its taking of sex slaves, leading politicians often visit a shrine commemorating war criminals and rightwingers have repeatedly and successfully campaigned against accurate history textbooks.

Sexual abuse, other crimes in Dutch army

This 2011 Dutch Ministry of War …, sorry, Defence video says about itself (translated):

With the completion of the 25-kilometer-long final march, 17-year-old Savannah Zimmerman can now call herself the youngest female red beret ever. A total of 199 soldiers began the 6-month training for the airmobile military. Of these, 121 passed the gate of the Orange Barracks in Schaarsbergen, home of the 11 Airmobile Brigade.

This propaganda video does not say what may happen to 17-year-old girls or 17-year-old boys in the Schaarsbergen barracks.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio:

‘Misconduct in Schaarsbergen more extensive than expected’

Today, 4:45

The abuses at the Orange barracks in Schaarsbergen are much bigger than previously assumed. The Volkskrant reports this on the basis of a confidential report from the Ministry of Defense from 2015, which the newspaper has received.

The report states that soldiers used alcohol and drugs on a large scale. In addition, they are said to have taken outside women to the barracks, who also continued to sleep there. In some cases, according to the Volkskrant, these were prostitutes. Furthermore, the report states that substantial amounts of Defense Department material were destroyed and stolen. …

According to the trade union for civilian and military defense personnel, there are still abuses in the barracks in Schaarsbergen. Chairman Jean Debie of the union calls conditions there poignant. People are still being humiliated and discriminated against there, Debie said in the NOS Radio 1 news. Debie received reports of abuse, assaults and humiliations that took place this year and last year.

Thus the ‘beating helmet’ is still used. In some cases, someone who has made a mistake must put such a helmet on. They are then beaten on their heads. …

Some members of the airmobile brigade look down on other military personnel. …

He also reported an incident at the barracks of the airmobile brigade in Assen. A woman is said to have been abused there by soldiers using XTC.


At the beginning of last month, the Volkskrant announced that three soldiers had left their unit in Schaarsbergen in 2014, after they had been victims of, among other things, sexual assault, rape and extortion. Some of the abuses are said to have happened in the context of hazing.

Debie in the Volkskrant interview tells, eg, about a soldier into whose anus an item was pushed.

The airmobile brigade is especially for neocolonial wars overseas, like in Mali in Africa. If there is sexual and other abuse of their own soldiers, and contempt for non-airmobile brigade soldiers, then one can imagine how, eg, African civilians in a neocolonial war context are treated.

United States child abuse scandal Cardinal Law dies

This video from the USA says about itself:

The True Story Behind the Film “Spotlight” (2003)

7 March 2016

Spotlight has been critically acclaimed, and has been included in many critics’ Top Ten Films of 2015 lists. The film has received over 100 industry and critics awards and nominations. About the book: here.

The American Film Institute selected Spotlight as one of the Top Ten Films of the year. The film garnered three Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director for McCarthy, and Best Screenplay for McCarthy and Josh Singer. It was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay for Singer, Best Editing for Tom McArdle and Honorary Robert Altman Award for the cast. Rachel McAdams and the ensemble cast received Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, respectively.

The New York Film Critics Circle awarded Michael Keaton Best Actor award, while it won the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Ensemble cast at New York Film Critics Online Awards. Spotlight won the Best Film and Best Screenplay from Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It received eight nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Score. It won the Best Cast in a Motion Picture at Satellite Awards and was nominated for six other awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

The Spotlight Team

Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes
Michael Keaton as Walter “Robby” Robinson
Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer
Liev Schreiber as Marty Baron
John Slattery as Ben Bradlee Jr.
Brian d’Arcy James as Matt Carroll

Additional characters

Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian, attorney
Gene Amoroso as Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe general investigative reporter
Jamey Sheridan as Jim Sullivan, an attorney representing the Church
Billy Crudup as Eric MacLeish, an attorney
Maureen Keiller as Eileen McNamara, Boston Globe columnist
Richard Jenkins as Richard Sipe, psychotherapist (telephone voice, uncredited)
Paul Guilfoyle as Peter Conley Len Cariou as Cardinal Bernard Law
Neal Huff as Phil Saviano
Michael Cyril Creighton as Joe Crowley
Laurie Heineman as Judge Constance Sweeney

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Cardinal Bernard Law, Boston archbishop at center of church sex-abuse scandal, dies at 86

By Emily Langer, December 20 at 1:55 AM

Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the Boston archbishop who became one of the most influential Catholic leaders in the United States before resigning in 2002 amid revelations that he and other prelates had known for years of rampant child molestation by parish priests, a scandal that has been called the church’s darkest crisis of the modern era, has died at 86.

The Vatican announced in a statement that Cardinal Law died “after a long illness,” without offering further details. He had been recently hospitalized in Rome.

For more than half a century, Cardinal Law dedicated himself to the church, an institution that became his home after his itinerant upbringing as the son of a commercial and military aviator. As he rose from parish priest to Boston archbishop — the steward of one of the most Catholic American cities — he promoted traditional Catholic doctrine

On matters of theology, he shared John Paul’s doctrinal conservatism. He became one of the pope’s “point men” in the United States, said David Gibson, an authority on the Catholic Church, as John Paul sought to reshape its ranks by identifying like-minded priests and installing them as bishops, archbishops and cardinals.

But controversy engulfed Cardinal Law in the early 2000s, when a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe, later dramatized in the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight,” led to revelations that church officials had covered up sexual abuse in the priesthood for decades by shuffling alleged offenders among parishes.

Cardinal Law was never accused of committing sexual abuse, and he denounced the offense as a “terrible evil.” But for many Catholics as well as non-Catholics, he became a symbol of the church’s failure to protect the young from priests who exploited the trust that traditionally accompanies their role.

“While I would hope that it would be understood that I never intended to place a priest in a position where I felt he would be a risk to children”, Cardinal Law said in an apology in November 2002, “the fact of the matter remains that I did assign priests who had committed sexual abuse.”

In the course of legal proceedings arising from the scandal, Cardinal Law was called to give depositions in several civil cases and, in February 2003, appeared before a criminal grand jury considering potential indictments of him and other high-ranking ­Boston-area prelates.

Later that year, then-Massachusetts attorney general Thomas F. Reilly concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the Boston archdiocese or its leaders. But his office released a report on the matter, declaring that “the mistreatment of children was so massive and so prolonged that it borders on the unbelievable.”

Although not bearing sole responsibility for the wrongdoing, Cardinal Law, the report found, “had direct knowledge of the scope, duration and severity of the crisis experienced by children in the Archdiocese; he participated directly in crucial decisions concerning the assignment of abusive priests, decisions that typically increased the risk to children.”

Among the most notorious offenders in the Boston area was Father John J. Geoghan. Church documents unearthed as the scandal was uncovered showed that Cardinal Law had known of accusations against Geoghan and still permitted the priest to continue his pastoral work. In all, Geoghan would be accused of abusing 150 children, mainly boys, over decades and in numerous parishes.

Another priest, Peter J. Frost, was removed from active ministry in 1992 and later described himself in a letter to Cardinal Law as a “sex addict”, also revealing that one of his victims had committed suicide.

In later correspondence, Cardinal Law told Frost he hoped the priest would one day “return to an appropriate ministry, bringing with [him] the wisdom which emerges from difficult experience.” Frost was ultimately removed from the clerical state.

In a 2002 civil deposition related to the case of Paul R. Shanley, a priest who was later defrocked and then convicted in 2005 of child rape and other charges, Cardinal Law presented himself as a leader who had delegated many personnel matters to his subordinates.

He attributed the shroud of secrecy about abusive priests to concern for victims and their privacy. A victims’ lawyer pressed him on the point, suggesting that “there have been other focuses, have there not, Cardinal Law?”

“There have been and there are,” he replied, according to an account in the Globe.

“One of those has been to avoid scandal in the church?” the lawyer asked.

“That’s correct”, Cardinal Law said.

As reports mounted of coverups in dioceses around the world, some church leaders argued that they had been ignorant of the trauma of sexual abuse and that they had treated offending priests not as criminals, but as sinners deserving of mercy. That defense was insufficient for many victims and other critics, who charged that church officials — exemplified by Cardinal Law — had guarded their ranks at the expense of children.

“Many could read his career as a cautionary tale about the perils of power in the church”, said Gibson, a national reporter for the Religion News Service and author of “The Coming Catholic Church” (2003). “He became a creature of and a victim of the clerical culture. . . . There were bishops right, left and center who did the same things that he did.”

Cardinal Law stepped down as archbishop on Dec. 13, 2002, and later moved to Rome, where he served, until shortly before his 80th birthday, as archpriest of a basilica. …

He urged voters to make abortion, which the Catholic Church opposes, “the critical issue” in elections. Politically well-connected, he spoke as frequently as once a month with George H.W. Bush during his presidency, the Globe reported. …

Cardinal Law’s public response to sexual abuse within the clergy could be traced at least to 1992, when he was confronted by claims that a former Massachusetts priest, James R. Porter, had molested dozens of children in the 1960s. Cardinal Law decried “the tragedy of a priest betraying the sacred trust of priestly service” but described abusive clergy as “the rare exception.”

In 1993, Porter was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison. Three years later, a Waltham, Mass., woman filed the first in what would be a raft of lawsuits against another priest — Geoghan — whom she said had abused her three sons.

Through a lawyer, Cardinal Law admitted that, as archbishop in September 1984, he was advised of accusations that Geoghan had molested seven boys. Geoghan nonetheless was transferred to another parish, where he was permitted to lead altar boys. Reports of abuse continued.

“It is most heartening to know that things have gone well for you and that you are ready to resume your efforts with a renewed zeal and enthusiasm”, Cardinal Law wrote to Geoghan in 1989, as reported by the Globe, after moving the priest to his new parish. Church records showed that Geoghan had been medically cleared for work. …

Cardinal Law later was a chaplain at the Sisters of Mercy of Alma convent in Clinton, Md., and maintained posts on Vatican committees, including the one that nominates bishops.

He assumed his post at the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major in 2004. After John Paul’s death in the next year, Cardinal Law participated in the conclave that selected Joseph Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, as the new pope.

Cardinal Law had no known immediate survivors.

In his apology at the Boston cathedral, he reflected on the priests whom he had known in his youth, and who had made an enduring impact on his life.

“They represented all that was good to me,” said Cardinal Law. “Like countless others, I placed great trust in them.”

Frans Timmermans, European Commission member, was when he was 13 years old abused by a US American priest.

United States military sexual abuse

This video says about itself:

4 December 2017

It’s not just Hollywood that has a sexual assault problemthe U.S. military is one of the biggest culprits across the globe.

Vatican child abuse cover-up

This video says about itself:

26 July 2012

A former Vatican insider shares details of the sex-abuse epidemic.

Having reached extraordinary heights in the Catholic Church and served in the Vatican embassy during the sexual abuse epidemic, Fr. Thomas Doyle turned away from the religious order in response to the spiraling and far-reaching cover-up. Privy to some of the most sensitive dealings of the church, Fr. Thomas provides us with a very rare perspective on the abuse, response and cultural framework that allowed it to happen …

Fr. Thomas names names as to who he feels are directly responsible, and shares with us how the sordid affair has changed his own spiritual relationship to the church.


Thomas Doyle was ordained a Dominican priest in 1970 in Dubuque, Iowa. He did graduate studies in philosophy, and theology at the Aquinas Institute of Philosophy and Theology and political science and Soviet Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He pursued further graduate work in Canon Law at the Gregorian University, Rome, Catholic University of America, the University of Ottawa and St. Paul’s University, Ottawa. He was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law in 1978.

In addition Father Doyle studied addictions therapy at the Naval School of Health Sciences and is a fully certified Alcohol, Drug and Addictions therapist. He holds MA degrees in philosophy, theology, administration, Canon Law and political science as well as his doctorate in Canon Law.

He has served as a consultant and expert witness on several hundred clergy abuse cases before the civil courts in nearly every state in the US as well as in Ireland, Israel and Canada. He has been involved with support groups for clergy sexual abuse victims and as a legal consultant for cases in Belgium, England, Mexico, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. He has appeared before eight State legislatures and has been a consultant and expert witness for several Grand Juries in the U.S.

He has written several books and articles on a variety of subjects related to Church law and practice. Included among these are one book and twelve articles on the clergy abuse crisis. He co-authored Sex, Priests and Secret Codes with Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall. Tom Doyle has lectured extensively throughout the U.S., in Canada and in Europe on the clergy abuse issue.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Vatican threat to sue altar boys who allege abuse

Saturday 25th November 2017

THE Roman Catholic church has threatened to sue former Vatican altar boys over their allegations of sexual abuse.

Lawyers for the Italian diocese of Como have also warned Italian investigative news programme Le Iene (Hyenas) not to broadcast the boys’ claims and have purportedly pressed a church official to recant his suggestion of a cover-up.

The Associated Press agency reported yesterday that it had seen a letter from Opera Don Folci association lawyer Riccardo Rolando Riccardi to one of the alleged victims.

Mr Riccardi said he was preparing a criminal defamation case in Rome’s tribunal “for the alleged crime committed by the divulgation of news to the press about alleged acts of sexual assault that allegedly occurred.”

He demanded that the former student submit to questioning or face interrogation by Rome prosecutors.

The association runs the St Pius X preseminary in the Vatican, where accusers allege that a former student — ordained as priest this year — demanded sexual favours for years from boys as young as 13.

Reporter Gaetano Pecoraro interviewed an ex-student — identified a “Marco” — who said the seminarian, who was a year older than him and in a position of authority, started abusing him from when he was 13 and continued until he was 18.

Marco’s roommate Kamil Jarzembowski said he had witnessed dozens of incidents. He first reported them to seminary officials, and then in writing to cardinals and finally to the Pope in 2014.

Internal church investigations, which initially did not interview the boys in question, declared the claims to be false.

The former students, including another who reported a groping incident when the seminarian was 20 and he was 15, have gone public with their allegations to Le Iene and in a book.

Dutch tantra massage sexual abuse

Massage oil

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports (translated):

Being sexually abused during tantra massage and then having to pay for it

Dozens of women have reported sexual abuse by tantra masseurs and ‘intimacy coaches’. Two of them are willing to tell what happened to them because they consider it important to warn women. Both have reported to the police. …

“Those sessions are very expensive, I have lost thousands of euros on them.”

Petra speaks to the masseur about the abuse, but he denies all responsibility. “He even suggested that I had asked for this myself.”

USA: CHARLIE ROSE HAS BEEN FIRED By CBS and PBS. Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell spoke movingly about the horror of the allegations against him while co-hosting the “CBS This Morning” broadcast without Rose. And a HuffPost reporter speaks out about her own experience with the legendary journalist’s blurred lines. [HuffPost]

THE LATEST WAVE OF NEW ALLEGATIONS SPAN MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND THE OLYPMICS The head of animation for Disney and Pixar has taken a leave of absence amid sexual harassment complaints. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas says team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her, too. And Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has been accused of rape. [HuffPost]

INSIDE CONGRESS’ OWN SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROBLEM Matt Fuller and Amanda Terkel report on a scourge in Washington. And here’s why it’s harder to take down sex abusers in Washington than in Hollywood. [HuffPost]