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Wounds that May Never Heal

Sunday, July 25, 2010 Priest Abuse: By Leslie Linthicum Journal Staff Writer

Jason Sigler, one of New Mexico's most notorious pedophile priests, went before the Michigan parole board last month. He was asking to be let out of prison after serving seven years ...


Child abuse link to heart disease risk

25/07/2010 by Deborah Condon -

Children who are physically abused are significantly more likely to develop heart disease later in life, the results of a new study indicate.

The Canadian study involved 13,000 people, 7% of whom had been physically abused as children and 4% of whom had been diagnosed with heart disease.


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Sex-abuse case against rabbi raises larger issues

Two years ago, Michael Brecher came to prosecutors in Boston with a disturbing allegation: In the 1970s, he said, he had been molested by a rabbi who was teaching sixth grade at one of the region’s most prestigious Jewish day schools, the Maimonides School.

One of Brecher’s classmates came forward at the same time. And last year, after reading news accounts of indecent sexual assault and battery charges filed against Stanley Z. Levitt, a third person said that he, too, was abused by Levitt.

Former priest admits abuse of three boys

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Roman Catholic priest acknowledged sexually abusing three boys in the 1980s, spurring a multimillion-dollar settlement in Wisconsin two decades ago.

Tom Ericksen told the Associated Press on Monday that he fondled three boys but denied having contact with a fourth child involved in the 1989 settlement with the Superior Diocese that he said totaled about $5 million. Previously, citing settlement records, the News Tribune reported the now-defrocked priest and the diocese settled with two individuals for $3 million.

“I just fondled and stuff like that,” Ericksen said during the interview in the lobby of his Kansas City apartment building.


Convicted priest Jason Sigler up for parole, family of alleged victims, Diocese of Lansing oppose release
FLUSHING, Michigan — A priest who admitted to molesting two Flushing boys will be up for parole in July.

Jason E. Sigler is serving a seven- to 15-year term in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2003 for molesting Anthony Otero while he was a priest in the mid-1970s at St. Robert Catholic Church.

Sigler, 71, is set to get out in December 2011 but could be paroled in late July if approved by the parole board, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. Sigler’s sentence was reduced for good behavior, a representative for the corrections department said.

John Antos, father of another alleged victim, is speaking out against any early release after he received a letter from the Department of Corrections alerting him that Sigler was up for parole. He said he plans to write to the parole board opposing Sigler’s release.

“I want to see him stay in that 15 years and even longer,” Antos said.
The Diocese of Lansing also opposes Sigler’s early release.

AAaCWorld asks ALL victims to write to the Flint Parole Office expressing their few on the release of this despicable abuser Jason E. Sigler.

Flint Parole Office
David Gruenberg and Melissa Brandt, Supervisors
Carman Plaza
G3310 Corunna Road
Flint, MI 48532
Phone: (810) 767-0630
FAX 810) 767-3066

BBC: Vatican 'speeds up' abuse cases

The Vatican has issued new instructions to speed up the handling of the "most urgent" cases of sex abuse by priests, after a series of abuse scandals.
The rules contain "more rapid procedures", it said.

Priests who sexually abuse a mentally ill adult will now be treated in the same way as those who abuse minors.
The new 20-year limit will continue to be extended on a case-by-case basis, the Vatican said.

HP: Priest Sex Abuse: Daniel McCormack Faces New Accusations Of Abusing Boys In Lawsuit

The Chicago priest who confessed in 2007 to sexually abusing five boys has been named in a new lawsuit by four other alleged victims.

Daniel McCormack served two and a half years of a five-year sentence for abuse during his tenure as teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of the Westside School (which has since been changed to St. Agatha Academy.) Nine new abuse allegations have surfaced since that conviction.

A child safety review completed after McCormack was arrested revealed the original abuse investigation conducted by the Archdiocese was mishandled.


Factbox: Sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church

Here are some details of major scandals in the Roman Catholic church around the world.

-- A Belgian Catholic Church commission monitoring complaints about sexual abuse of children by priests disbanded on June 28 after police seized all its files and a computer.
-- The unprecedented raids on the commission's office in Leuven and a Church center and former archbishop's home in Mechelen prompted a sharp reaction from Pope Benedict. -- The raids embarrassed the Belgian Church still reeling from the resignation of Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe in April. Vangheluwe had admitted he had sexually abused a boy. That prompted a wave of abuse complaints to the commission.

-- Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Germany's top Catholic bishop, apologized in March for mistakes he made in failing to report to authorities one case of suspected abuse by a priest in the Freiburg diocese nearly 20 years ago.
-- Prosecutors in Freiburg said on June 2 charges of aiding and abetting sexual abuse had been filed against Zollitsch.
-- A Jesuit investigation, commissioned in January, last month cited 205 allegations of sexual abuse against priests at Jesuit schools in Germany, revealing decades of systematic abuse and attempts at a cover-up by the Roman Catholic order.
-- Since January, media reports have documented more than 250 cases of abuse in Catholic schools, prompting the government to set up a round table to address abuse in Germany. -- Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Mixa of Augsburg in Bavaria on May 8. Mixa became the first bishop to quit in the pope's native Germany over church scandals.

-- May 2009 - The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse issued a five-volume report saying that priests abused children for decades in Catholic-run institutions.
-- Nov 2009 - The government-commissioned Murphy report into abuse in Dublin from 1975 to 2004 said Church authorities covered up cases of child sexual abuse until the mid-1990s.
-- Feb 2010 - Benedict held crisis talks with 24 Irish bishops at the Vatican. The bishops promised him they were committed to cooperating with authorities.
-- March 2010 - Benedict apologized to victims of child sex abuse by Irish clergy, saying he felt "shame and remorse." He also announced a formal Vatican investigation of Irish dioceses, seminaries and religious orders. Irish victims accused the pope of evading the question of Vatican responsibility.
-- The pope accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee of Cloyne, accused of mishandling reports of sexual abuse in his diocese on March 24. He later accepted the resignation of two other Irish bishops.
-- The Vatican on May 31 named two cardinals and three archbishops from England, the U.S. and Canada to lead its inquiry into sexual abuse by clergy in Ireland that is to begin in the autumn.

-- June 2002 - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to bar pedophile priests from ever again acting as clerics, but not necessarily to expel them from the priesthood.
-- Feb 2004 - Independent researchers said 10,667 people accused U.S. priests of child sex abuse from 1950 to 2002. More than 17 percent of accusers had siblings who were also abused.
-- July 2007 - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1940s, the largest compensation deal of its kind.
-- March 2010 - The Vatican criticized The New York Times for its coverage of the scandals. The Vatican denied any cover-up in the abuse of 200 deaf boys by Reverend Lawrence Murphy from the 1950s to 1960s after the newspaper reported he was not defrocked despite warnings sent to the Vatican and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then the church's top doctrinal official, now Pope Benedict.

-- The Swiss bishops' conference said on June 2 that between January and May 2010 it had received reports of 72 perpetrators abusing 104 victims, up from 14 perpetrators and 15 victims in 2009.

-- A rash of reports of child sexual abuse in Austrian Catholic institutions was triggered by the resignation of the arch-abbot of Salzburg's St Peter's monastery in March after admitting to sexually abusing a boy 40 years ago.

-- July 2008 - On a visit to Australia, Pope Benedict apologized for sex abuse by clergy. At that time there had been 107 convictions for abuse in the Australian Catholic church.

-- July 2000 - London Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor acknowledged making a mistake in a previous post in the 1980s by allowing a pedophile priest to continue working. The priest was jailed in 1997 for abusing nine boys.

- In March 2009 Pope Benedict ordered an inquiry into the Legionaries of Christ priestly order, whose founder was discovered to be a sexual molester. In 2006, the pope told the founder, Father Marcial Maciel, to retire to a life of "prayer and penitence." Maciel died in 2008.
-- His order acknowledged in 2009 that he had fathered at least one child with a mistress, and it formally apologized to his victims in March 2010.
Sources: Reuters/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;

Vatican set to revise rules on sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY | Thu Jul 8, 2010 9:28am EDT
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican next week will revise Church law on sexual abuse of children by priests, doubling a statute of limitations and introducing penalties for child pornography, Catholic Church sources said on Thursday.
The changes come as Pope Benedict struggles to control the damage a sexual abuse scandal in the United States and several European countries, including his native Germany, has done to the Catholic Church's image.
The revisions will effectively make legal procedures about abuse cases known as "special faculties," which were so far allowed only under exceptional circumstances, the global norms.

Vatican says not liable in U.S. sexual abuse case

(Reuters) - The Vatican, struggling to control the damage to its image from a sexual abuse scandal, said Tuesday it would prove it cannot be held legally responsible for a predatory priest in a pivotal U.S. lawsuit.

AP Exclusive: Priests who abuse impaired targeted

By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP) – 6 hours ago

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is cracking down on priests who sexually abuse mentally impaired adults, sanctioning them with the same set of punishments meted out for clerics who rape and molest children, The Associated Press has learned.

A church source close to the Vatican told the AP on Thursday that a soon-to-be-released Vatican document on handling clerical abuse of minors under age 18 would also refer to adults with an "imperfect use of reason."

Such particularly vulnerable victims will now have their cases handled directly by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under a special set of norms that can result in a priest being quickly defrocked without a canonical trial.

The source asked that his name not be used because the document has not yet been released to the public.


'Sadistic' Catholic priest jailed for abusing boys in Australia

An Australian Catholic priest has been jailed for almost 20 years for "sadistic" sex attacks on young boys that spanned more than 18 years.
John Sidney Denham, 67, was sentenced to 19 years and 10 months after pleading guilty to a range of charges, including multiple counts of indecent assault against boys aged five to 16.

Denham was found guilty of abusing 39 boys at schools in Sydney and elsewhere in New South Wales between 1968 and 1986.

In sentencing, judge Helen Syme said that the abuse had been ignored by school authorities for many years, allowing it to continue.

"The indecent assaults involved multiple children, often significant planning, were frequently sadistic and overall persistent, objectively serious, criminal courses of conduct," Judge Syme said, according to Australian news agency AAP.

"The offender's actions contributed to a culture of fear and depravity, especially at the school, which allowed these disturbing offences to occur and then remain unpunished for years."


Australia priest jailed for child sex attacks

A Catholic priest in Australia has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in jail for sex attacks on 25 children over nearly two decades.

John Sidney Denham, 67, pleaded guilty to a range of charges relating to attacks on boys at schools in New South Wales between 1968 and 1986.

The judge said his actions "contributed to a culture of fear and depravity".


German Bishop Walter Mixa 'could return to work'

A German bishop who resigned after claims he hit children could be allowed to return to work, it has emerged.

Pope Benedict XVI told Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg that he must take time off for treatment and reconciliation if he wanted to return to pastoral work.

He had been accused of financial misconduct as well as physically abusing children in his care.

The case has caused controversy in Germany amid the sexual scandals which have hit the Catholic Church recently.

The Pope received the bishop in private audience at the Vatican during which - according to a Vatican statement - the bishop admitted he had made mistakes, but asked that the good he had done as a pastor not be forgotten.


Irish children 'still failed by state'
Only a year since an official report revealed decades of abuse at Irish institutions, the murder of a boy under state care has again cast a spotlight on the country's ability to care for its vulnerable children.

Judge Sean Ryan's report of last year exposed the scale of the physical and sexual abuse of children by priests, nuns and religious brothers over a period of 40 years.

The children had been sent to an austere network of industrial schools, reformatories and orphanages because of some petty crime they had committed, or because they came from so-called dysfunctional families - which often meant just having an unmarried mother.


The latest Mayo-Clinic study conclusion to:

“Sexual Abuse and Lifetime Diagnosis of Psychiatric Disorders: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”

OBJECTIVE: To systematically assess the evidence for an association between sexual abuse and a lifetime diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.

There was a statistically significant association between sexual abuse and a lifetime diagnosis of anxiety disorder (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 2.43-3.94), depression (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 2.14-3.30), eating disorders (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 2.04-3.63), posttraumatic stress disorder (OR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.59-3.43), sleep disorders (OR, 16.17; 95% CI, 2.06-126.76), and suicide attempts (OR, 4.14; 95% CI, 2.98-5.76). Associations persisted regardless of the victim's sex or the age at which abuse occurred.
There was no statistically significant association between sexual abuse and a diagnosis of schizophrenia or somatoform disorders. No longitudinal studies that assessed bipolar disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder were found.
Associations between sexual abuse and depression, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder were strengthened by a history of rape.

CONCLUSION: A history of sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of a lifetime diagnosis of multiple psychiatric disorders.

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