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March 3. 2010

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RIGHTS-GERMANY: 'Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests'
By Julio Godoy

BERLIN, Feb 28, 2010 (IPS) - The Catholic Church has for decades protected paedophile priests and clerics who sexually abused children from judiciary prosecution, according to German theologians, law experts, and internal church documents.

The church hierarchy's complicity was confirmed recently through thousands of denouncements against numerous priests in Germany. In practically all the cases, the abusers were only transferred from one jurisdiction to another and never legally prosecuted.

Similar cases of sexual abuse of children within Catholic schools and other institutions, with impunity for the abusers, have been documented in such countries as Austria, Australia, France, Italy, the Philippines, Spain, and the United States.

German archbishop says 'no' to roundtable on Catholic sex abuse

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference has rejected calls for a roundtable discussion on the child-abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church in Germany.

"Sexual abuse of children is not a problem specific the Catholic Church," Robert Zollitsch told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag on Sunday, February 28.

He went on to say that sexual molestation had nothing to do with celibacy, homosexuality, or the Catholic teaching.

"Therefore, we do not need a round table specifically for the Catholic Church," the Archbishop of Freiburg said.
read more:,,5298277,00.html?maca=en-newsletter_en_bulletin-2097-txt-nl

Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants sent abroad

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.

He expressed regret for the "misguided" Child Migrant Programme, telling the Commons he was "truly sorry".

He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart.

The scheme sent poor children for a "better life" to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to.

'Deportation of innocents'

Sexual abuse: eclipse of the soul

The trauma of childhood sexual abuse is almost incomprehensible. Here, Michael Corry and Aine Tubridy explain some of the consequences

I've come to realise that sexual assault is an imposed death experience for the victim. That is, the victim experiences her life as having been taken by someone else.
Evangeline Kane
The emerging self, with its inherent potential, needs to be protected, and like a seedling, nurtured in fertile ground. Sexual abuse, like no other trauma, eclipses this natural unfolding with an impact of such magnitude that is rarely appreciated. Upwards of 150,000 adult women and men in Ireland have experienced statutory rape in childhood. Five times that figure experienced other forms of sexual abuse, ranging from inappropriate touching to the forced witnessing of exposure.

Pope ‘obstructed’ sex abuse inquiry

Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret

Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had ‘obstructed justice’ after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret.


German bishops apologize to child sex abuse victims

The chairman of the German Bishops Conference has said he was "deeply shocked" by a child sex abuse scandal in Roman Catholic schools and asked for forgiveness from the victims.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch told the conference's annual meeting of German bishops in Freiburg on Monday that he apologizes in the name of the Church to the victims of sex abuse at Catholic schools.

"Sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime. I want to associate myself with this statement from Pope Benedict and apologize to all those who were victims of such crimes," he said.

more: The DW-WORLD Article

Germany urges Catholic Church to come clean on child abuse

The German government has called on the Catholic Church to play a proactive role in clarifying the widening allegations of clerical sex abuse at Catholic schools throughout the country.

"I expect concrete information from the Catholic Church on measures taken for a complete clarification (of this matter)," German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told newsmagazine Der Spiegel in an interview which will be published on Monday, February 22.

The minister called for an ombudsman to investigate the case, and proposed a meeting between representatives from Germany's 16 states, the church and victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Such a gathering would be "a good way to clear up the numerous abuse cases and to offer the opportunity to the Catholic Church to discuss voluntary compensation with victims," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said.

The German politician leveled criticism at the Bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, who she said was "hiding behind polemic excuses instead of contributing to clearing up" the matter.

The controversial bishop had previously told a local newspaper that the media and the "so-called sexual revolution" were partly to blame for the problem of child abuse in society.

Damaging allegations

The minister's comments come to a backdrop of a widening scandal involving allegations of sexual molestation at Catholic schools throughout Germany dating back to the 1960s. According to media reports, at least six schools were implicated in the claim.

Included are two former children's homes of the Catholic order the Salesians of Don Bosco in Berlin and the Bavarian town of Augsburg, as well as institutions run by Marists, Vincentians and Franciscans.

The most prominent of these involves as many as 115 alleged cases of child abuse at a Berlin Jesuit school. The matter is currently under investigation.

Hamburg Archbishop Werner Thissen said the scandal was the result of "structural problems" in the church. Thissen added it was in the church's interests to do everything it could to help clear up the abuse allegations.

An association of Catholic lay people, "We are the Church", has also called on bishops to come clean, and admit that cases that have come to light are not isolated.

Association spokeswoman Sigrid Grabmeier said German Pope Benedict XVI should make a statement urgently.

dfm/afpd/dpa Editor: Toma Tasovac:,,5270497,00.html?maca=en-newsletter_en_bulletin-2097-txt-nl

There was no apology to the survivors, nor to the Irish State for years of delay and denial

Saturday February 20 2010

The tangled web of Church-State relations was rarely so knotted as this week, when two events conspired to tease it further. Pope Benedict met Irish Bishops in Rome to discuss the child abuse scandals, especially after the Murphy report.

But the survivors are ignored, reduced to statistics and denied a voice where it matters. Their suffering is voiced, if at all, by representatives of the hierarchies who frustrated them for so long.

Vatican's child abuse summit is a charade, say victims

Victims of clerical sex abuse last night accused the Pope of “washing his hands” of the scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Abuse survivors condemned the Pope Benedict XVI for not acknowledging that senior clergy covered up decades of sickening

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 Read more:

Vatican picks over Irish paedophile priest scandal

16 February 2010
Pope Benedict spent two days in one of the Vatican's sumptuous marble audience halls closeted with 24 Irish bishops who both individually and collectively confessed to him their shortcomings and omissions in the paedophile clergy scandal which has shocked the entire Catholic world.

'Heinous crime'

The bishops promised the Pope that they were committed to co-operating with the civil authorities over the paedophilia scandal.

Pope Benedict did not spare his words in addressing his Irish bishops. He said that child abuse was a "heinous crime" as well as a "grave sin".
read all:

BBC: Pope meets Irish bishops on child abuse scandal

Pope Benedict XVI has opened two days of talks with Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops to discuss their response to a child sex abuse scandal.

'Enormous injustice'

Before the meeting began on Monday, the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone held a Mass attended by the Irish bishops.

He called the sexual acts committed against children "particularly abominable".

Paddy Doyle, Author of “The God Squad”
” I was asked to meet the Archbishop of Dublin on Friday last. I did that and told him that I would not sign a letter inviting the Pope to Ireland to meet with and apologise to survivors of abuse.

I made it absolutely clear that I saw the Pope as the guy who covered up abuse for many years before he became Pope. I couldn't bare to have him within miles of me.”

Andrew Madden: Mary Kenny says I am to be pitied? Give me strength

IN her column in this newspaper last Saturday, Mary Kenny chose to make reference to my spiritual life. She pitied me for having no spiritual element in my life, assuming it consisted only of the material and was therefore bland and unimaginative.

Mary Kenny has, of course, never met me, never phoned me, never asked for a meeting or an interview over coffee, never tried to contact me in any way to ask me about anything. Until now I have made little or no reference in public to what spiritual life I do have, so she had absolutely no information on which to base her opinion. What she did have was the most contemptible arrogance to assume to know enough to write about it anyway. A more ignorant, condescending pouring out of sanctimonious drivel I have not read in a long time.
read it all:

German Church Faces Child Abuse Charges

By NICHOLAS KULISH Published: February 9, 2010

BERLIN — The Roman Catholic Church faces yet another child abuse scandal, this time in Pope Benedict XVI’s native Germany.

The widening public scandal began last month with allegations that three priests at the elite Canisius Jesuit high school in Berlin had sexually abused students in the 1970s and ’80s. In the midst of a steadily growing uproar over the handling of that case, the German magazine Der Spiegel published an article last weekend that said nearly 100 clerics and laypeople had been suspected of abusing children and teenagers nationwide since 1995.

The rector of Aloisiuskolleg, a high school in Bad Godesberg, an affluent neighborhood in the former capital of Bonn where diplomats and leading politicians lived, resigned Monday over accusations that he was aware of sexual misconduct by teachers at the school. And on Tuesday a local newspaper, the Aachener Zeitung, reported new accusations of sexual abuse against two priests in the diocese in Aachen.


Dear Pope Benedict,

As the Irish bishops gather in Rome for their meeting with you, we are writing to ensure that the voices of the survivors of abuse by Catholic priests have a place in your deliberations.

The distress, anger and frustration experienced by survivors since the publication of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin (the Murphy Report) is enormous. Many who have suffered throughout their lives from the impact of sexual abuse by priests in childhood now realise, having read the Report, that their pain and suffering could have been avoided if senior churchmen and the civil authorities had acted properly in response to complaints received from earlier victims.

Shame and Fear
Inside Germany's Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal

The Catholic Church in Germany has been shaken in recent days by revelations of a series of sexual abuse cases. Close to 100 priests and members of the laity have been suspected of abuse in recent years. After years of suppression, the wall of silence appears to be crumbling. By SPIEGEL Staff.

This is what it looks like, the document of a conspiracy: 24 pages, with appendix, in Latin, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. A "norma interna," or confidential set of guidelines for all bishops, who were required to keep it a secret for all eternity, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The Spiegel Magazine-Cover fits the subject perfectly:

comments: It was just a matter of time until the inevitable truth will find its way out from under the covering cloak of the Vatican.
The ball is rolling - worldwide the damage is too big - too many people are damaged for life.

Assault on the Senses

There have been so many novels about abuse that they seem glib compared with real life, writes Mick Heaney.

His experience had damaged him but, for a long time, Paddy Doyle resisted writing about it. In the late 1980s, Doyle was a budding scriptwriter who had tackled disability in his early works but had never faced up to the horrors that left him disabled. Institutionalised as a child after the death of his parents in the 1950s, Doyle had suffered such physical and sexual abuse at the hands of nuns that he ended up requiring brain surgery. Confined to a wheelchair, he had been unable to escape the legacy of his childhood, yet he tried to avoid the ghosts of the past.

Pope Says Some Priests ‘Violated’ Rights of Children

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI, poised to write an open letter to Irish Roman Catholics addressing sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the church, said some clergy violated the rights of children.

While the church’s mission was to protect minors, “unfortunately, in different instances, certain of its members went against this commitment and violated rights,” the pontiff said in a speech to members of the Pontifical Council for the Family that was posted on the Vatican Web site today. “The Church will continue to deplore and condemn such behavior”

Vt. Roman Catholic diocese to sell headquarters, kids' camp to pay priest sex abuse judgments
JOHN CURRAN Associated Press Writer February 3, 2010

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Buffeted by priest sex abuse lawsuits, Vermont's Catholic church says it will sell its headquarters building and a children's camp to raise money for settlements to alleged abuse victims.

If it does, the 118,000-member Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington would become the latest U.S. diocese to resort to selling off assets to satisfy claims stemming from sexual abuse by priests.

Jesuit leader issues apology as sex abuse scandal widens

The head of the Catholic Jesuit order in Germany on Monday asked for forgiveness for mounting cases of child sex abuse cases that allegedly took place at a Berlin school in the 1970s and 80s.

Jesuit sexual abuse scandal widens

Berlin - A scandal over sexual abuse by Jesuit priests in Germany in the 1970s and 80s snowballed on Wednesday as a third teacher confessed, more victims came forward and further schools were implicated.

Earlier this week, the elite Canisius school in Berlin admitted systematic sexual abuse by at least two Roman Catholic priests, named in media reports as Peter R and Wolfgang S, who both left the order in the 1980s.

Germany Jesuit head apologises for child sex abuse

The head of a Catholic order in Germany has apologised for the systematic sex abuse apparently committed by two priests at a prestigious Berlin school.

Fr Stefan Dartmann said students at the Jesuit-run Canisius College had complained in 1981, much earlier than the order had previously admitted.

The Jesuit said he was ashamed that the college and the order had left the complaint unanswered.
More at BBC:

Comments to: “Germany Jesuit head apologises for child sex abuse”

Ireland: Article says indemnity was unconstitutional

2002 AGREEMENT: THE INDEMNITY element of the 2002 agreement between the State and the 18 religious congregations which ran institutions for children was unconstitutional, according to an article in the latest edition of the Irish Law Times.
Titled The Congregational Indemnity Agreement: An Unconstitutional Endowment of Religion , it is written by Eoin Daly, a PhD candidate at the faculty of law in UCC and a Government of Ireland research scholar in the humanities and social sciences.

He writes that the indemnity offended Article 44.2.2 of the Constitution, which states that “the State guarantees not to endow any religion”.

Clarksvillians fighting for closure from alleged abuse at German orphanages

In silence, Ziska's denim blue eyes stared at the faded black and white picture as if she'd slipped back to the moment the photo was snapped.

She was 4 years old and with her brother, Rudolph, 12, wearing nice dress clothes and holding hands as they stood in the court of an Euskirchen, Germany, Catholic orphanage waiting to visit their "opa," or grandfather.

n the picture Ziska held, if you could see beneath their clothes you'd find swollen bellies because of malnutrition and dark bruises from severe beatings, she said.

"We looked horrible," Ziska said, shaking her head. "It wasn't a children's home but a prison for children."

The picture is the only keepsake she has from spending 18 years as a ward of the state in Germany, but the memories torment her.

"I've been abused, tortured and raped by people who were supposed to take care of me," She said, tears welling in her eyes. "It's so hard to talk about ... I don't want to remember."
Continue reading:

Part Two:
Orphanage survivors confront German leadership
International effort to connect those who claim they were abused as children
Continue reading:

Church blames Devil-inspired children over sex abuse

Tue, Jan 19, 2010

RITE AND REASON: “Paul”, who suffered clerical sex abuse, explains why he believes the Catholic Church has failed properly to deal with the problem in its midst.

Excerpt: At one point he suggested Cardinal Ó Fiaich should be canonised, I rejected the idea, pointing out he was involved in the cover-up of abuse.

The old priest said: “People should forgive him, after all we are prepared to forgive the children.” I asked: “Forgive the children what?”
He replied: “Their share of the blame.” Of course in that moment I realised he was himself an abuser, hidden away there.
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Sex abuse hurt me deeply, says actor Byrne

HOLLYWOOD star Gabriel Byrne has revealed how he was “deeply hurt” by sexual abuse inflicted on him as a child by the Christian Brothers.
The actor talked frankly about his battles with alcoholism and depression in the past and expressed shock at the drinking culture among Ireland’s young people.

Byrne was an altar boy during his childhood in Dublin and went at the age of 11 to train as a priest in England.
Continue reading:

Madden leaves Church over failure of bishops to resign

The Irish Times – Monday, January 18, 2010

THE FIRST person in Ireland to have gone public – in 1995 – about his abuse by a Catholic priest has formally left the Catholic Church.

Andrew Madden, who was abused when an altar boy in Cabra parish in Dublin by Ivan Payne, wrote to the Dublin archdiocese before Christmas saying he wished to leave the Church. He received notice of his “cessation of church membership by formal act of defection. . .” from church authorities last week.

He also received a letter, dated January 11th, from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin expressing sadness at the decision to leave and saying it made him wonder whether the church could learn from it.

In a response to Archbishop Martin at the weekend, Mr Madden said that following publication of the Murphy report, he was “appalled, as I believe you may have been, by the behaviour of your fellow bishops as they did everything to try and hold onto office, four of them failing”.
Continue reading:

How Childhood Trauma Can Cause Adult Obesity

By Maia Szalavitz Tuesday, Jan. 05, 2010

Dr. Vincent Felitti, founder of Kaiser Permanente's Department of Preventive Medicine and director of its obesity-treatment program, was seeing some good results. His patients were losing 50, 80, even hundreds of pounds. He might have considered the program a success, if not for the fact that the participants who were doing the best — those who were both the most obese and losing the most weight — kept dropping out.

Felitti was baffled. Why, invariably, did so many patients quit just as they approached their healthy goal weight? Ella, for instance, a middle-aged woman who entered the program in the mid-1980s morbidly obese at 295 lb., had managed to whittle her frame by 150 lb. over six months. "Instead of being happy, she was having anxiety attacks and was terrified," Felitti says. (See "The Year in Health 2009: From A to Z.")

He asked Ella what she thought was going on. "Finally, the story comes out," he says. "She had been molested as a child, both within her family and outside it. She tried to escape by marrying at 15, at her mother's urging. It was a disastrous marriage — her husband was crazy jealous. They divorced in two years. She remarried. Her new husband was also jealous. He was convinced that when she was out hanging the laundry, she was sexually posturing to attract the neighbors." (A)

Catholic Church Vitims

Catholic Church accused of denying justice to Blacks abused by priests:

Victims of sexual abuse by priests share shocking stories:

Vatican has questions to answer on abuse scandals

The Irish Times – Thursday, December 31, 2009 DAVID ADAMS
BY ANY reckoning, 2009 has not been a good year, North or South.

In Northern Ireland, it seemed at times as though the bad old days were rising up again like a malign spectre to mock our optimism and complacency.
Overshadowing everything, and what will define 2009 after all else is forgotten, was the publication of the Ryan and Murphy reports, detailing decades of sexual and physical abuse of children by priests and nuns of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The litany of abuse was horrifying enough, but how far the church went, often in collusion with agencies of the State, to cover up crimes, protect perpetrators and disparage the claims of victims was also truly shocking.

Jan and Feb. news

More in archive 2009

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