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March 31. 2010

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Childhood physical abuse linked to later migraines

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Adults and teenagers who suffered physical abuse as children may have a heightened risk of migraines, two new studies suggest.

In one study, Canadian researchers found that migraines were twice as common among adults with a history of childhood physical abuse compared to those who reported no such abuse.

Similarly, the second study, of nearly 4,000 Taiwanese teenagers, found a higher prevalence of migraine among those who said they had ever been beaten by a family member. And the more frequent the abuse, the greater the chances of suffering migraines.

Both studies, which appear in the journal Headache, point to an association between childhood physical abuse and migraine, but do not prove that abuse itself causes migraines in some people.

The exact reasons for the connection are not clear. The Canadian study found that factors such as chronic stress and mood disorders like depression seemed to partly explain the relationship, but did not fully account for it.


BBC: Abuse scandal shakes faith in Pope's birthplace

If there is one place you would expect Pope Benedict to receive strong support, it is Traunstein.

He grew up in this picture-postcard town in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. The Holy Father is Traunstein's most famous son.

In the town centre, groups of tourists have their photographs taken next to Benedict's bust. There is even a "Benedict Trail" which passes by some of the landmarks associated with Joseph Ratzinger.
The child sex abuse scandal battering the Catholic Church has led to accusations that Pope Benedict covered up cases of abuse.
Even in Traunstein, there is growing disappointment with the Pope. "We were proud to have a German Pope," one woman tells me, "but that pride has gone."

"The abuse scandal comes as a shock," says another. "Now people are leaving the Church."

Vatican attacks media on 'Pope role' in sex abuse cases

The Vatican has attacked the media over charges that the Pope failed to act against a US priest accused of abusing up to 200 deaf boys two decades ago.

A Vatican newspaper editorial said the claims were an "ignoble" attack on the Pope and that there was no "cover-up".

The head of the UK Catholic church said the Pope had made important changes to the way abuse was dealt with.

The Catholic church has been hit by a series of allegations in Europe and the US over the past months.

The latest allegations stem from the US, after it emerged that Archbishops had complained in 1996 about a priest, Fr Lawrence Murphy. Their complaints went to a Vatican office led by the future Pope Benedict XVI, but apparently received no response.

BBC: Wisconsin's Catholic child abuse anguish

What must it feel like to have lost 50 years of your life? For that is what 61-year old Arthur Budzinski has endured.

Five long decades of personal pain. And he has to rely on others to speak of his anguish.
It is made worse by the fact that no-one has been held to account for the sexual abuse he says he suffered as a child while at the Roman Catholic St John's School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin.

That is despite the fact that as a youngster he told adults around him what was happening. Despite the fact that later - as an adult himself - he has continued to fight for justice. All to no avail.

Arthur and around 200 other boys are said to have been sexually abused at the school by Father Lawrence Murphy, a Catholic priest.

He says he and others told members of the clergy back then that they were being watched, touched and exploited by Fr Murphy. No-one listened.

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

BBC News: Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop John Magee

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop found to have mishandled allegations of clerical sex abuse in his County Cork diocese.

Bishop John Magee stepped aside in March 2009 after an independent report found his Cloyne Diocese had put children at risk of harm.

"I take full responsibility for the criticism of our management of issues in that report," he said on Wednesday.

Anger and disappointment in Ireland as the Pope's letter fails to heal

Victims of abuse at the hands of priests in Ireland are not satisfied by the Pope's letter of apology.
Marie Collins is still a practising Catholic despite years of pain and frustration fighting the Irish Catholic hierarchy.

In 1960, when she was 13, she was sexually abused by a chaplain at Crumlin Hospital Dublin - but didn't report the abuse until 1995.

Then, she said, "All I got was lies and deceit from the archdiocese (of Dublin). I was bullied and threatened."

Last year she discovered from a report by Judge Yvonne Murphy into the Dublin dioscese's handling of sex abuse allegations that the archbishop at the time knew of complaints about her abuser - and so did the Irish police. But nothing was done and the priest continued abusing children in his care.

A softly-spoken woman of 63, Mrs Collins was not expecting much of the Pope's long-awaited apology yesterday. But even so, she was visibly disappointed.

"I had no great hope for this letter but there's still a sense of let-down," she said. "The Pope blames it all on the secularisation of Irish society and the misinterpretation of canon law. He takes no responsibility at all for the Vatican's role in the cover up of abuse. There's no acknowledgement that it's a worldwide problem for the Church, or that victims weren't just ignored, they were bullied into silence."

German archbishop says Church covered up sex abuse for decades

The head of the German Bishops Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, has admitted that the Roman Catholic Church consciously covered up cases of sexual abuse for decades.

The weekly German news magazine Focus reported on Sunday that Archbishop Zollitsch, the leader of the German Roman Catholic Church, admitted during an interview with the publication that cases of child sex abuse were known and covered up. "Yes, we did have that," he said, but denied allegations that he personally had suppressed information.

While most cases happened outside the Church, "assaults that took place in such numbers within our institutions shame and frighten me," Zollitsch told Focus. "Every single case darkens the face of the entire Church," he said.

Churchgoers should protest against Pope’s letter

Letters to the Editor. Irish Examiner. Saturday, March 20, 2010

WITH the publication of the Pope’s letter concerning abuse by religious orders in Ireland imminent, may I ask people who have been so supportive of survivors of abuse in the past once again to show their solidarity with us by engaging in some form of protest in their church as the pontiff’s letter is being read.

For many years, vulnerable children were raped, buggered and punished in a most brutal way. Many remain emotionally and psychologically damaged, fragile people ignored by the hierarchical ladder of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger, prior to his election as Pope, instructed all bishops around the world to treat reports of child sexual abuse with the “utmost secrecy”.

The perpetrators of what Pope Benedict has described as “heinous crimes” were priests, Christian brothers and nuns. The victims were children.

Pope Offers Apology, Not Penalty, for Sex Abuse Scandal

VATICAN CITY — Faced with a church sexual abuse scandal spreading across Europe, Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday apologized directly to victims and their families in Ireland, expressing “shame and remorse” for what he called “sinful and criminal” acts committed by clergy.

But the pope did not require that Roman Catholic leaders be disciplined for past mistakes as some victims were hoping, nor did he clarify what critics see as contradictory Vatican rules they fear allow abuse to continue unpunished.

“You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry,” the pope said in a long-awaited, eight-page pastoral letter to Irish Catholics. “Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.”

Pope's apology also a warning for Germany: archbishop

In a letter to the Irish Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI apologized to sexual abuse victims. Germany's top archbishop said the letter was also relevant to the crisis in his church.

The head of Germany's Roman Catholic Church said on Saturday that Pope Benedict's apology to victims of sexual abuse was also a warning to his country's church.

"The scandal of sexual abuse is not just an Irish problem. It's a church scandal in many places and it is a church scandal in Germany," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch in a statement after the release of the Pope's letter covering sexual abuse of minors by clergy in Ireland.

Pope apology for Irish church sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI apologises to victims of child sex abuse by priests in Ireland and says bishops made "serious mistakes".

"You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.

"Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen. Those of you who were abused in residential institutions must have felt that there was no escape from your sufferings.

"It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel."

Click here to read the letter in full.

Paddy Doyle
"The Pope's letter is just a lot of rubbish and should be treated accordingly.

Sieglinde Alexander: and
I agree.
Nothing but empty words to preserve the Catholic Empire.
The Pope protects the perpetrators and the victims remain collateral damage.
Sieglinde Alexander
New Mexico USA


Bruce Arnold Irish Independent 20th March 2010

The silence of our politicians is as shameful as Cardinal Brady professes himself to be. They have had nothing whatever to say about their part in the abuse of children and their responsibility for the inadequacies in the law, or for the failure of the law to be implemented. This has happened time and time again, and has been referred to, time and time again, without lifting the pall of silence in which politicians look the other way. We have been lectured by the media on the punishment of abuse and questioned over what to do about the criminal concealment of abuse by senior clerics. Yet, with a few commendable exceptions, both personal and party, the politicians have generally subscribed to that ultimate piece of hypocrisy – Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, See no Evil.

Revealed: the oath Brady, Smyth and the children swore
By Breda Heffernan -Thursday March 18 2010

"I will never directly or indirectly, by means of a nod, or of a word, by writing, or in any other way, and under whatever type of pretext, even for the most urgent and most serious cause (even) for the purpose of a greater good, commit anything against this fidelity to the secret, unless a...dispensation has been expressly given to me by the Supreme Pontiff."

THIS is the oath of secrecy the child victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth were told to sign during their meetings with Cardinal Sean Brady 35 years ago.

Celibacy and child abuse

Many people blame celibacy for Catholic sexual abuse. But it's much more likely to have played a role in the cover-up

What role did celibacy play in the Catholic crisis? The most popular argument seems to be that it played a simple and direct part, by producing sexual frustration which then found inappropriate outlets. But that has to be wrong. If paedophilia and the abuse of adolescents were solely a response to sexual frustration, it wouldn't be perpetrated mostly people who are free to find sexual gratification elsewhere. And even in Ireland, it mostly was. The best figures I can find for this come from a 2002 government-sponsored report which says that 5.8% of all boys sexually abused were abused by clergy or religious. The corresponding figure for girls was 1.4%. So the overwhelming majority of child abuse in Ireland was carried out by people who were not bound to celibacy.

Merkel calls for efforts to shed more light on child abuse

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants more openness about child abuse by Catholic priests in Germany, but ruled out a specific inquiry into the Church. Meanwhile, the pope is to address Irish Catholics on similar issues.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for more details to be made public about the sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church, but insisted that any crimes that have taken place reflect a wider problem in society.

In a speech to parliament Merkel ruled out the idea of a specific investigation into the clergy. She agreed with clerics such as the head of Germany's Catholic Church, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, that abuse should be treated as a wider issue.

Pope writes open letter in attempt to quell paedophile row

Benedict uses St Patrick's Day address to urge Irish people to read message with 'an open heart and in a spirit of faith'

The pope attempted to defuse growing anger in the Irish Republic over the sex abuse scandal today by urging people to read an open letter on the crisis "with an open heart and in a spirit of faith".

Pope Benedict took the opportunity of St Patrick's Day to address Irish members of his general audience, acknowledging the church had been "severely shaken" and that he was deeply concerned.

Could I Raise My Children In The Catholic Church?

This morning my stomach turned when I heard NPR's story about more child rapes and cover-ups by priests in Ireland, and about the growing abuse scandal involving the Pope in Germany. I wondered to myself, "When we have kids, could I still raise them in the Church after what I just heard?" (along with many other outlets) also reported on the Irish story: "In 1975, Cardinal Sean Brady spoke with children abused by a priest named Brendan Smyth. Instead of reporting the abuse to the police, the Bishop asked the children to take a vow of silence. A child abuse advocate said the priest continued to rape and abuse children." On the German front: "Fanther Hullermann was first accused of sexually abusing young boys in 1980, but Church officials, including the future Pope, allowed him to stay in the church for thirty years (and have contact with children), even after a 1986 conviction of sexually abusing children." There goes my breakfast.

Is he the right man to lead the diocese?

A NORTHEAST victim of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth has called for Cardinal Sean Brady to resign from his position as head of the Irish Catholic Church.

'Samantha' spoke on the LMFM programme Loosetalk about the horrific rape and abuse she suffered at the hands of Fr. Smyth in the 1970s.

' This guy (Smyth) raped and abused me, he took everything that should have been precious to me.'

She said that the fact Cardinal Brady knew in 1975 about the claims of abuse meant he was 'directly involved' in the trauma that she and other children had suffered.

'He was the adult, we were the children in this. He had information about a man who was going around raping and abusing children, and he did nothing to stop it.'

She said that her abuse began in 1974, and for five years after that suffered the most brutal forms of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

German priest who abused children in Pope's diocese is suspended

A German priest who was accused of molesting children when the Pope was archbishop of Munich has been suspended - three decades after the incident.

The diocese of Munich and Freising said he had been relieved of his duties after it emerged he had recently been on a camping trip with children.

A statement said he had been "banned from working with children and young people (but) broke this restriction".

In 1980, Father Peter Hullermann, 62, was moved from Essen in western Germany after being accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy.

Pope Benedict XVI, then known as Joseph Ratzinger, was the archbishop of Munich at the time and agreed to let the priest stay in a rectory so that he could receive "therapy".

Two years later, Hullermann was given pastoral duties in Bavaria but in 1986 was fined and given an 18-month suspended jail sentence after being convicted of molesting other children.

UTV News: Hundreds abused after Church 'cover-up'

Over 100 children could have been saved from paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth had the sex abuse scandal been dealt with properly by the Catholic Church at the time, UTV was told.

"It's difficult to put an accurate figure on that but we do know that there were scores of people that were involved in court cases after that time period and had been abused after that. We haven't learned everything about Brendan Smyth's abuse and there may have been hundreds more because he was very active in his abuse," Mr Moore told UTV Live.
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BBC: German sex abuser priest suspended for breaching ban

A German priest convicted of molesting boys in 1986 has been suspended from his duties after breaching a ban on working with children.

Father Peter Hullermann abused children during his time in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, when the current Pope was the archbishop there.

The archdiocese said he was "forbidden from any work with children", but did not specify how he breached the ban.

BBC: Alleged abuse victims speak

German Catholics criticize pope's silence on child sex abuse scandal

Politicians and Catholic groups have criticized Pope Benedict XVI for his continuing silence on the widening sexual abuse scandal in Germany. They have rejected allegations of a campaign to discredit the pope.
The Catholic reform organization "We are Church" has strongly criticized Pope Benedict XVI for failing to speak out on the child sex abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.

"We are disappointed the pope has not even mentioned the scandal so far. A few words of compassion with the victims is the least we would have expected," Christian Weisner of "We are Church" told Deutsche Welle.

In the past, Benedict XVI strongly condemned pedophilia and abuse; and on Monday March 15 the Vatican announced the pope was going to send a letter to Irish bishops detailing new measures to crack down on pedophile priests. Ireland was rocked by child sex abuse cases in 2009.

But the pope has yet to comment directly on the scandal rocking his home country, Germany.

Germany's Catholic youth organization has also called for a statement from the pope. Chairman Dirk Taenzler told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that the "Catholic Church is in one of its worst crises since 1945."

Cardinal Brady will not resign over abuse 'cover-up'

The Catholic church's most senior cleric in Ireland has rejected calls to resign over claims he helped cover up sex abuse investigations in the 1970s.

Cardinal Sean Brady, primate of all-Ireland, admitted he was present at meetings where two abused teenagers were made to sign vows of silence.

The meetings followed complaints of abuse against Fr Brendan Smyth, jailed in the 1990s for serial child abuse.

"Frankly I don't believe that this is a resigning matter," the cardinal said.

Cardinal Brady said he had been following church orders and that there were no guidelines for him to follow.

Cardinal Brady is sued by victim of serial abuse priest

Cardinal Sean Brady is being sued in his personal capacity by a victim of serial paedophile rapist, Fr Brendan Smyth, who is claiming the primate was one of three priests who interviewed her in 1975 about her five-year long ordeal and then failed to ensure it was reported to the civil authorities, including the gardai.

The cardinal was present at two meetings at which clergy interviewed victims of Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975. At both meetings the victims, a young woman who Smyth had abused for five years and a boy who was also abused, were made to sign oaths saying they would not discuss their meetings with anyone other than authorised clergy.


Irish cardinal urged to quit amid court case over paedophilia 'cover-up'

Victims' group says Sean Brady should consider resigning as head of Irish Catholic church over role in Brendan Smyth tribunal
Ireland's most senior Catholic cleric is under pressure to resign after revealing that he was at a secret tribunal where sex abuse victims were made to take an oath of silence. Cardinal Sean Brady said he attended two meetings about Father Brendan Smyth, a notorious paedophile, where two of Smyth's victims signed an affidavit promising to discuss their claims only with a specified priest.

BBC World News:
Vatican defends Pope Benedict in German abuse scandal

The Vatican has denounced attempts to link Pope Benedict XVI to a child abuse scandal in his native Germany.

Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said there had been "aggressive" efforts to involve the Pope, but added: "It's clear that these attempts have failed."

The Holy See's prosecutor meanwhile said that "to accuse the current Pope of hiding [cases of abuse] is false".
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Reuters via Yahoo! Vatican says bid to link pope to abuse issue failed
New York Times Vatican Sees Campaign Against the Pope Pope being set up over Munich sex abuse case, says Vatican
BusinessWeek Vatican to Drop Statute of Limitations for Pedophile Priests
MSNBC Vatican officials defend pope on abuse

German Sex Abuse Scandal Includes The Pope

A growing scandal in Europe over child sexual abuse by priests now extends to the Vatican and Pope Benedict. Friday, the Pope's former archdiocese in Germany acknowledged that while he was archbishop, a priest who was suspected of abusing children was transferred to another job — where he committed more abuses. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks to Peter Wensierski of Der Spiegel about the sex abuse scandal.
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Our laws still allow for the protection of child abusers

THE Irish State has connived in the concealment of abuse and has consistently failed to regulate state institutions and the church. Historically, it has done so on a massive scale in respect of industrial school abuse and has allowed a climate of uncontrolled abuse to prevail within diocesan systems.

The latest example, following the failures revealed last week in the case of Tracey Fay, shows that the current fosterage and care system in the State is largely unregulated and has involved abuse by foster parents who have not been vetted.

Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican

Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”, according to the Holy See’s chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon”.

Vatican says bid to link pope to abuse has failed

The Vatican has dismissed attempts to link Pope Benedict XVI to a raft of child sex abuse revelations in Germany, denying accusations that he had once tried to cover up the actions of pedophile priests.
In a reaction to the widening pedophile scandal in Germany, the Vatican has rallied around the pontiff, claiming that "certain elements" had launched a targeted campaign to discredit the Catholic Church.

"It is clearly evident that in the past few days there have been some in Regensburg and Munich who, with a certain dogged determination, have sought details to personally implicate the Holy Father in the abuse issues," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

German Catholic abuse scandal prompts papal talks

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Pope Benedict defends celibacy rule

Pope Benedict today praised celibacy as "the sign of full devotion ... an expression of giving oneself to God and to others", making it clear that there no prospect of change.

Amid calls within the Church for a discussion of celibacy, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference, said the German Church was taking steps to investigate numerous allegations of abuse in Catholic institutions, to counsel victims and to prevent a recurrence.

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn had called for the Church to discuss taboo issues such as celibacy, priestly training and changed social attitudes to sex.

Germany pushes for trial in Catholic abuse cases

n Germany, political debate over extending the statute of limitations for civil and criminal prosecution is gaining momentum after revelations of sexual abuse in Catholic schools dating back to the 60s.

Since January, several Catholic-run institutions in Germany have been engulfed in a deepening scandal over allegations of sadistic and sexual abuse, with more than 150 pupils coming forward with horrifying tales of mistreatment, mostly during 1970s to 80s.

However, as their complaints were ignored for decades, in most cases the statute of limitations has passed, meaning those involved could no longer be tried and brought to justice.

Now members of German Chancellor's coalition government as well as other parities are calling for an expansion of the amount of time when an alleged victim can sue for punitive damages and for pain and suffering until up to 20-30 years after the crime occurred.

German archbishop renews abuse apology after meeting with pope

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch renewed his apology on behalf of the German church following a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. The pope has yet to speak on the scandal.

The head of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch, met with the pope in the Vatican to inform him of the abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic church in Germany.

"I want to repeat here in Rome the apology that I made two weeks ago," Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg said at a news conference following the meeting.

The pope has not commented himself on the allegation of both sexual and physical abuse that are to have taken place at Catholic schools across Germany in the 1970s and 1980s.

The church has come under heavy criticism after an elite Jesuit school in Berlin admitted to the systematic sexual abuse of its pupils by two Roman Catholic priests. More alleged victims have since come forward, including a former member of the prestigious all-boys choir in Regensburg led from 1964-1994 by the pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger.

Catholic child abuse in proportion

Many Catholic priests and religious have abused children in their care. But is the church's record worse than the world's?

There seems to be no end to the scandals buffeting the Roman Catholic church about the abuse of children; most recently in Germany, where the headmaster a school associated with a choir once run by the pope's elder brother Georg Ratzinger has been exposed as an abuser. And there is no doubt that a lot of children were damaged for life by priests, and that this was mostly covered up by the hierarchy until recently. But was the Catholic church unfairly singled out? Aren't all children vulnerable to exploitation, especially when they are poor and unwanted?

Vatican forced to defend itself over abuse cases

By Robert Pigott - BBC News religious affairs correspondent

As accusations of historic sexual abuse by Roman Catholics emerge in another European country, the Vatican has insisted it has dealt with "the very serious issue" promptly and decisively.

After recent revelations of widespread abuse in Ireland, and claims of similar mistreatment of children by priests in Austria and Germany, Catholic bishops in the Netherlands have now set up an independent inquiry to look into allegations there.

More than 200 reports of abuse have been made to a victims' support organisation in the last few days.

Dutch bishops have offered their apologies to those who were abused.

Germany debates extending the statute of limitations for sexual abuse

As more and more allegations of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions come to light, German politicians debate whether to extend the statute of limitations for civil and criminal prosecution.
A rash of reported cases of sexual abuse and molestation in schools and other institutions run by the Catholic Church in Germany has led to a discussion about whether the country's time limit on civil and criminal prosecution of abuse cases should be raised.

Most of the alleged abuse now being reported occurred decades ago. Experts say it often takes years for victims to gather the courage to come forward and deal with what happened to them. German law allows for criminal prosecution only within 10 years of the alleged victim turning 18. The statute of limitations for pursuing financial compensation through a civil suit is three years.

How paedophile priest was allowed to evade justice

Former priest Bill Carney was named as one of the worst cases in Dublin's Catholic diocese in the Murphy report into clerical abuse there. However, for the last 10 years he has been free to live quietly in Britain.

Newsnight's Olenka Frenkiel has investigated his case and tracked him down in the Canary Islands.

Irish Catholic church child protection gap 'remains'

Gaps remain in the Catholic church in Ireland's procedures for protecting children, the man in charge of child protection for the church has said.
Ian Elliott, CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children, said there were too many policies at local level.
He said that changes were needed in a number of areas.
In last year's Murphy report it was stated that church leaders in the Dublin Archdiocese knew that children were being sexually abused by priests for decades but did not act to prevent it.

Abuse at pope's brother's choir, more German schools

(Reuters) - Germany's Roman Catholic Church revealed charges of priests beating and sexually abusing boys in at least three schools in Pope Benedict's native Bavaria on Friday, one linked to a renowned choir once led by his brother.
The charges at the cathedral choir in Regensburg, the Benedictine monastery school at Ettal and a Capucian school in Burghausen came to light after abuse cases revealed at Jesuit schools around the country shocked the country last month.

Rev Georg Ratzinger, 86, who led the choir from 1964 to 1994, told Bavarian Radio he knew nothing of any abuse at the "Regensburger Domspatzen" (Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows) choir, which regularly performs on tours in Germany and abroad.

Vatican hit by gay sex scandal

Vatican chorister sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for papal gentleman-in-waiting

The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict's household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

Vatican chorister Thomas Eheim hired male escorts for papal attendant Angelo Balducci - report

A SINGER in the Vatican choir had sex with one of the Pope's gentlemen-in-waiting and procured male escorts on his behalf, the Italian weekly Panorama says.

Telephone intercepts collected as part of an extensive corruption probe into Angelo Balducci showed that 40-year-old Nigerian Chinedu Thomas Ehiem would find men on the "Pianeta Escort" (Planet Escort) website and set up encounters between them and Balducci in his apartment in Rome, the weekly said on Friday.

Pope’s usher let go in gay prostitution ring claims

One of Pope Benedict’s ceremonial ushers and a member of an elite choir in St Peter’s Basilica has been implicated in a gay prostitution ring, in the latest sexual scandal to taint the Vatican.

Legion of Christ responds to founder's alleged children

Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 4, 2010 / 06:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Legionaries of Christ released two statements today responding to the dramatic revelations by a woman and her three sons who claim to be the wife and children of Fr. Marcial Maciel. During an interview in front of a large television audience in Mexico, Blanca Estela Lara Gutiérrez and her sons charged that Fr. Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, led a parallel life.

The interview coincided with a visit to Mexico made by Father Álvaro Corcuera L.C., currently the director of the Legion of Christ.

During the interview, Lara Gutiérrez said that she met Fr. Maciel in 1970, when she was 19 years old. Maciel was 56 at the time. He told her that his name was “Raúl Rivas” and that he was a widower.

...the three children gave intensely dramatic details about how they were sexually abused as children by “Raúl Rivas. ...

German sex probe widens

Berlin - A sexual abuse scandal rocking Germany's Catholic Church widened on Friday to include a thousand-year-old boys' choir led for three decades by Pope Benedict XVI's brother.

A report into alleged abuse at a monastic school in Ettal, meanwhile, said that minors "were massively abused over decades, sexually, physically and psychologically" by several monks in the past.

Sinead O’Connor speaks out on abuse.

Please allow me to express my astonishment upon reading the statement made on the evening of March 1st by the bishop of Ferns, Denis Brennan.

His statement attempts to dictate to us in the same way the inquisition did, how Christians should behave. Saying directly that it would be anti-christian of us to feel the church should pay its own bills for its own abuse with its own billions which it throttled from our grandparents, whom they also abused, physically, emotionally, psychologically and sexually.

Evidence of sexual abuse by clergy, according to the Murphy report, can be traced as far back as 320 a.d. and the first treatment centres for paedophile priests were created in 1940, named servants of the Paracletes. These centres were opened all over the world.

California sex abuse trial spurs Hub queries
Child psychiatrist was here in ’60s

Joel Silver can still remember his private sessions with child psychiatrist William H. Ayres at a renowned Boston guidance center decades ago. Ayres, then a freshly minted therapist affiliated with Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, would puff on a Sherlock Holmes-style pipe and ask what seemed like the strangest questions.

At their very first meeting, Silver recalled, Ayres asked him to describe an explicit sex act, a request the 17-year-old Silver refused but one that would set the tone for future sessions.

Today, nearly 50 years later, Ayres is awaiting trial in the San Francisco Bay area on charges he sexually molested six boys, ranging in age from 9 to 13, while giving them physical exams in his West Coast psychiatric office.

March 2010

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