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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Basta! And Still Not Enough!

2 trips to Vatican since 2002
Still no communication with Pope 
So Birmingham victim makes documentary 

Basta. Bernie and guard
In a memorable segment of the film, Basta, Bernie McDaid tries to deliver a letter to a Vatican office. Dozens of other people enter as the Guards nod them in, but Bernie is left gesturing and pointing to papers in his hands. The caption reads “for 45 minutes, while negotiating, Bernie watches as people simply walk in.”  On screen the guards look like Punch and Judy dolls as they keep blocking Bernie from entering the building.

"Basta! No Pity, No Shame, No Silence" documents years of Vatican runaround experienced by two survivors of pedophile priest Joseph Birmingham of Boston trying to communicate with The Vatican about the extent of the pedophile priest crisis.  The film covers two trips to Rome in their effort to talk to a Pope. 

“At the second screening a survivor in his fifties stood up, talked about his life briefly, then mentioned for the first time in public that he was a survivor,” said Gary Bergeron who put together the film.  “I still meet Birmingham survivors who I knew personally who I didn't know were Birmingham survivors, they had never come forward before.”

“And we're just talking about one priest.”

After realizing there were dozens of other victims of Birmingham, then hundreds of victims of other priests in Boston, Bergeron and McDaid made their first trip to Rome, documented almost by accident on footage then used in the film.  By 2010 the world knew that around the United States there were tens of thousands of victims of thousands of priests, so McDaid and Bergeron went again to the Vatican.  

Both times all they wanted was to talk to the Pope or someone close to him about the crisis. 

Both times were met with arrogant disinterest.

So in 2013 Bergeron started going to his local cable public access station and taught himself editing, for which he shows real talent in this first documentary.  “I was at that facility from February until August five to six days a week, full time, 10 to 7 during the week, Saturdays half days.”

The result is “Basta, No Pity, No Shame, No Silence,” which portrays the frustration of these two pedophile priest victims experienced trying to communicate with Catholic hierarchy, which many others of us will be able to identify.  Bergeron used an inherent storytelling skill and produced a DVD that makes me want to watch it over and over again, if for nothing else just to look at the faces. 

In the film, in the first 30 seconds we catch a cardinal in a lie.  Footage shows Roger Mahony of L.A. saying, “This handful of priests that we had to deal with wouldn't fill up half of one of those pews.” Then Gary uses a graphic to type out the fact that 508 priests were identified in L.A. alone during the one year window in the SOL for lawsuits in California in 2003.

Right off the bat in the film we catch a cardinal in a lie. 

Cardinal Ratzinger wouldn't see them

Bergeron’s voiceover on the film says,

“A form letter from Cardinal Ratzinger said they were aware of the situation and they were doing everything that they could. It's irony to me that one of the men who wouldn't see us, Cardinal Ratzinger, would be the next pope.  We had no idea."
As we lead up to the scene where McDaid can’t get past the guards, we see Bernie on the phone over and over again calling and calling, on pay phones and emailing from a local computer café, to set up a meeting.

We see Gary trying to send a fax:  “This is about the tenth time they've given me the wrong number.”

Bernie: “It was that brother guy.  No wonder you can’t meet the pope, he's completely hidden.” 

Then we see the Swiss Guard in their colorful garb keep blocking Bernie McDaid from entering at the same time as they're nodding and waving the tourists and any others to go on and enter.


One part of the pedophile priest phenomenon that fascinates me is the similarity in how the experience affected the victims.  Gary Bergeron says at the beginning of his film Basta:

“At 39 I realized that I had moved 22 times in 21 years,”

( Me: I just moved the fourth time in three years and am anchoring myself down with heavy furniture to keep from moving again right now in 2014 )

Bergeron continues: “Running. Running to find something or running to hide from something.” 

Back to 2002, trying to get in to a Vatican office building.


Gary:  The Vatican Press agent is saying they're unaware that we're here.  That's after they've been notified by the U.S. Embassy.

Bernie: And we're here every day.

Gary:  Every day, five six times we've been at that door. 

Then we cut to Gary in what appears to be news clip from 2002

“So he could see my face, remember my face.”

From Gary in a sit down interview that is woven through the film.

“If the average person sitting in the pew took the time to read the documents that I've read, they’d be taking the churches down brick by brick.  Because we're not talking about a child accusing a priest, we're talking about a child accusing a priest, a priest being brought in, and admitting it on paper.  They first knew about Joe Birmingham in 1962, the year I was born, and they had opportunity after opportunity to change course and they didn't.  And it affected my life and it affected hundreds of lives.”
There it is again, the survivor face, that thing I see on each of us in news clips and in person interviews.  

It's almost gotten to the point where the face is a way to tell if a person is telling the truth about being molested by a pedophile priest; if they are telling the truth, they will have The Face. 


The pedophile priest survivor face has got tears entrenched in every line, every expression exposes held back emotion, even if just for an instant. The survivor face, even when smiling, has a sadness underneath because the damage is so internal. It wasn’t just child molestation, tack on the extra fact that the perpetrator was religious.  The result is this quizzical dichotomy of emotions on each of our faces.  Happy, joyous to still be alive, but forever that thing inside shining its sad light.

Oh my god I am going on and on, back to the video.

Bergeron in film clip: “I had the opportunity to meet with Cardinal Law in July,” Bergeron says in the film.  “For my own reasons I needed to face him.”

(Again. Faces)

“I asked him to do the right thing.  I had met with him five or six times over the summer whenever I had the opportunity,  So he could see my face, remember my face,

(Again. Faces)

“And remember there are fifty-four other men behind me.  This has gotten so enormous, this has affected so many lives. My family is still in pain and the church is still letting lawyers do the talking. They still don't get it.”

Then Bergeron and McDaid are off to Rome, the first time, no appointment, just faith, says the voice over.

Bernie: “Anything is possible here.”



CofA:  How did you get the footage from the trip to Rome the first time?  It looks like real news footage, were you planning the documentary that far back?

Gary B: There was a Birmingham survivor who worked for a major New York magazine. He’s a John Doe who heard we were going in 2002 and asked to come and have a camera follow him, because at some point he knew he’d want it.  So when we landed in Rome the second day, we hired one camera guy from Italy, and it was all shot shotgun style, one camera following us around, no sound crew.

For footage of the second trip to The Vatican in 2010:

Gary B: I hadn’t seen that footage until a year ago.  I reached out to all the news agencies who had covered our second trip, and most had taped over it.  But there was one reporter from a Swiss television station, a French reporter, and she still had all her raw footage.

In the sit-down interview on film, Bergeron says about attempts to sit down with the Pope and talk:

GARY:  Our goal was to open up dialogue with the Vatican.  You don't have to agree with someone, you don't have to like someone, to sit across the table and have a conversation.  The reality is, every conflict that society has ever had eventually got resolved through a conversation.  Whether it was Gorbachev and Reagan, whether it was Kennedy and Khrushchev, it was dialogue that got the problem solved.  And we've been trying to engage them in dialogue for the better part of ten years.”


On that first trip to The Vatican, they do finally end up meeting with Monsignor Green for about ninety minutes.  They talked about the impact this had had on the families. 


“The problem has always been one thing, honesty. 

“If they had told us the truth from the beginning, we could have dealt with it.  If somebody had told us the truth this week, we could have dealt with it.  But the fact is we knocked on door after door after door, we had meeting after meeting after meeting and got nowhere until last night.  Did we meet the Pope, no, but I told them last night that we would be back.”

Gary’s message to the Pope was that the Bishops in the United States were not doing their jobs. 

As if The Pope didn't know. 

The mistreatment was so massive and so prolonged that it bordered on the unbelievable.  They were in effect sacrificing children to protect their reputation.”
- Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly, in the Grand Jury Report, quoted in Basta after they return from Rome… the first time. 

Bergeron and McDaid came back from the first trip to Rome and the Massachusetts Attorney General Report came out, sparking them to do more. The film includes incredibly emotional scenes from 2010 when they meet up with survivors in Europe and hold a candlelight ceremony. 

“After Rome I was going to come home and get back to normal life.  But there really was no normal for me,” says the voiceover, and then continues:

“It was shocking to me that we had passed two election cycles and yet thousands of survivors had spoken publicly, and we hadn’t had one politician, one senator, one congressman, stand up and take on the issue of Catholic clergy abuse.”

In the United States according to archdiocese internal numbers, and internal audits, the number of predator priests identified is just shy of seven thousand

(Note, I emailed bishop accountability about most current numbers and Anne Barett Doyle emailed back:)

"The current cumulative total of accused clerics acknowledged by US bishops is more than 6,400."

On the film, a graphic states there are 714,455 children who are now adult survivors of Catholic pedophile priest crimes in the USA.  

(So why do I still feel so alone?)

To find out more about Basta, buy the DVD here:


Raw Notes 
from Fall 2013 Bergeron Interview:
(I interviewed Gary after watching the film and here is what he said:)

At each screening someone has come forward whose family or friends had committed suicide and nobody put the pieces together until this story broke in Boston.

I still meet Birmingham survivors who I knew personally who I didn't know were Birmingham survivors, they “had never come forward before.

At the second screening a survivor stood up and talked about his life briefly and then mentioned he was a survivor and it was the first time he had ever spoken.

He was in his fifties. 

For me it was validation in wanting to get the story out, because I really want to get the story out for a couple of reasons but mainly to educate the public

To help understand what it was like twelve years ago

For survivors to understand they're not alone.

Stressing it's never too late to make a change if change is necessary. 

On teaching himself editing

It's called Lowell Public Access Station.  I became a member. They have full production and editing facilities and I self-taught the programs I needed to do the production work, that needed to be done.

I taught myself how to do it. 

I started in February 2013

I had been working on the video, thinking about getting it done for quite a while, but to do a quality production piece it's extremely expensive.  Raising funds for a survivor based project, is always a challenge.  I toured the facility and realized if I took some time and learned.  

I was at that facility from February until August five to six days a week, full time, during the week, 10 to 7 Saturdays half days.

I hadn’t used a Mac since 1986, which was what they used for all the editing.  So I had to refresh my memory about the difference between a Mac and a PC.

I had a story board, so I had a clear idea of what I wanted as a finished product, the challenge was learning the software to get there.

It was extremely difficult, but now having gone through it, I enjoyed the creative process, I enjoyed learning the techniques, sound equipment, camera

My wife and I run a small antique and consignment store, so she took care of the business end of the store and I did what I need to do at the time.

First private screening was mid-October 2013.

I spent from October to December re-editing.  There’s always a little bit of tweaking I want to do. Showed it again in November.  On a forty-foot screen a totally different feel, so I made adjustments.

My hope is having it shown in cinema as well as televisions. 


CUT PARAGRAPH from this post:

Here we have the A--hole Catholic sequence of the film, where John Allen is convincing Bernie McDaid that people come all the time to try and see the Pope and they're no different from anyone else.  I mean, wait a minute, they're representing victims of Joseph Birmingham, one of the worst predators among the pedophile priests in Boston.  That's not quite the same as, “I want to meet with the pope to have him bless my daughter’s ballet shoes,” this is serious business. 

Here is the conversation

John A:  It's a long shot you'll get in to see the Pope, let me tell ya. 

Bernie McD:  I feel we should meet the Pope.

John A:  I'm not saying you shouldn't. 

Bernie McD: I'm not out in left field in thinking that we can, I don't even want to go there, I don't know if you understand my-

John A:  I do but I'm just trying to give you the sort of realistic lay of the land, which is people come into Rome every day. 

Bernie McD: I understand-

John A:  Dozens of them every day and every one of them is convinced that they have something that's urgently important for our Pope.

Bernie McD:  Really? 


“The first time we went to Rome it was the week the U.S. invaded Iraq,” Bergeron said in a recent interview.  “A year after the date I went public March 2002." The second trip was October 29, 2010, where Survivors Voice International held the first Reformation Day event in St. Peter’s Square, in moving footage from the film.

I highly recommend the DVD of Basta to anyone who wonders what they can do to help get out to the public information about this epidemic of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, even if it means just showing it to one small group of friends at a time.  If we don't take publicizing of these crimes into our own hands, the Church is going to get away with decades of felonious aiding and abetting of pedophilia, resulting in hundreds of thousands of victims all over the world.  If we don't start getting aggressive with telling our stories, The Vatican will escape any repercussions, other than nasty jokes in comedy routines.  Bergeron’s tenacity in producing this film is an example for all of us.  Keep trying, keep producing, don't let the obstacles keep you from keeping on.

Posted by Kay Ebeling

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My Words Are My Only Asset


One of 56 publicly known survivors of Joseph Fr. Joseph Birmingham of Boston, Gary Bergeron keeps going on, one foot in front of the other, an example to the rest of us pedophile priest victims that no matter what they do to us, we should work as hard as we can to get the truth about these crimes out to the public. 

You'll laugh when you see McDaid trying to get past the Vatican guards, you'll cry when you see the candlelight ceremony as the group McDaid and Bergeron formed, Survivors Voice, went international at a session outside yet another Vatican building ( always on the outside while the golden garbed inside dine on pigeon )

Note: Get across Gary's tenacity, the way his work motivates me to keep going, even after down times, to get back up and keep going.

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From post on Basta published May 29

They first knew about Joe Birmingham in 1962, the year I was born, and they had opportunity after opportunity to change course and they didn't.  And it affected my life and it affected hundreds of lives.


The problem has always been one thing, honesty. If they had told us the truth from the beginning, we could have dealt with it. 


[Learning editing] was extremely difficult, but now having gone through it, I enjoyed the creative process, I enjoyed learning the techniques, sound equipment, camera 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Background on Basta

(For May 29 post  re Bergeron film) 

Background:  We covered the Survivors Voice second trip to the Vatican, which is part of the film, at CofA Blog in late 2010.


“Lombardi seemed uncomfortable during the whole meeting," said Gary Bergeron of Survivors Voice. "I think that fear surrounds this subject from both sides, a fear so real and so visceral that it's tough for people to sit down and just have a conversation about it. And I honestly think the only way that progress is going to be made is for those conversations to be had."

Bergeron said there were “41 thousand news articles in 24 hours" about the the Survivors Voice march in Rome last October that led to the meeting with Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. Survivors Voice organized Reformation Day in St. Peter's Square to bring attention to hundreds of thousands of victims of pedophile Catholic priests worldwide who continue to seek justice. “Every major news outlet in every major country had an article about this event,” Bergeron added. “They told us this was the first time any event like this was being covered in Rome. The European press are much more aggressive than the U.S. press to begin with.”

City of Angels Blog interviewed Bergeron this week about the Reformation Day event, which will be repeated next year on the last Sunday in October, the 30th.


GB: Well, we're going to apply for the same permit and see where they put us.”


GB: When he issued his statement saying he was speaking for himself and not The Vatican* that set the tone for the meeting later. However, I don't know how quickly he could have been moved spontaneously when he had a one-page statement ready to go. My goal in that meeting was to get him to agree to a future meeting of substance.


GB: He said he was not in a position to speak for The Vatican about that. At first during the meeting I let everyone else speak, and they all had their own peace they wanted to say. Then at the end I said, we're extending an olive branch, giving you an opportunity to address this at a humane level. If you can’t accept this offer, please pass it along to anyone who can. But know this, we were here in 2003 and extended the same invitation and it was denied. We're here again, and if it's not accepted this time, we'll be back. We're not going to go away and this issue isn't going to go away as long as you people don't engage in dialogue.


GB: Honestly we worked, four people, myself, Bernie McDaid, my brother Joe and a gentleman from Holland, for three or four months, we were on the phone, speaking to agencies, speaking to the press. It was all grass roots,
(Continue reading here )

OTHER COVERAGE of Survivors Voice trip to Europe:


Reuters Coverage of Reformation Day 2010 Vatican Oct 31, also AP

Excerpt from Reuters:

Some 75 victims and their supporters from the United States and several European countries had wanted to march to the Vatican with candles but were blocked by police because they did not have a permit.

"This is about responsibility," Gary Bergeron, one of the organisers of a group called Survivors Voice told the rally at Castel Sant' Angelo in the heart of Rome within sight of Saint Peter's Basilica some 500 metres away.

After negotiations with police, Bergeron and a woman were allowed to walk to the Vatican holding candles and enter St Peter's Square while the others were forced to stay behind... (Here is Reuters Coverage: Victims of priest sex abuse protest near Vatican)

Police Block Vatican Boulevard, Protester Led Into Private Meeting

Associated Press reports: ROME — Italian paramilitary police blocked a boulevard leading to the Vatican to prevent a march Sunday by some 100 survivors of clergy sex abuse from reaching St. Peter's Square but later allowed two protesters to approach Vatican soil they could leave letters from the abused at the Holy See's doorstep.

The pair, including one of the organizers, Gary Bergeron of Boston, were escorted by police as they carried thick, lit candles to the edge of the square. Then, after the two were told to put out the candles, Vatican security guards accompanied them to the foot of the staircase leading to the Apostolic Palace's bronze entrance doors.

Hard Realization to Make at Forty Years Old- Gary Bergeron talks to Al Jazeera, Oct 31 2010 at Vatican VIDEO

I get chills when I hear other victims of pedophile priests say things like Gary Bergeron quoted by Al Jazeera

He says: "I have brothers that are presidents of companies, they've been married for 35-40 years, in stable relationships. And yet I had one after the other after the other, job after job after job. I lived in one city after another city after another city. And I had to admit to myself, okay, I was a victim of sexual abuse (By a Catholic priest taking him out of class in elementary school for three years), my life wasn't alright. And that's a very-very hard realization to make at forty years old." -Gary Bergeron talking to Al Jazeera during October 31, 2010, Reformation Day Rally at the Vatican.

More TK

*C of A style is The Vatican.
The Tao is in charge of timing. 
In about 24 hours I'll be finished with a CofA post about the film Basta which chronicles Birmingham victims' in Boston attempts to communicate with the Pope in two (2!) trips to the Vatican and getting nothing but a runaround. Should be done with it by Thursday. . . same week as Pope claims he's communicating with the victims, hello, my phone ain't ringing. 

"The Pope plans to meet with six victims early next month and attend Mass with them." per Time ( Pope Declares ‘Zero Tolerance’ Sex-Abuse Policy )

Ick, forget it, I don't want to go to Mass, don't call me I'll call you.

Story coming on Basta Wed May 29 unless I get too slammed at work to finish it as I am right now (May 28) 

Monday, May 26, 2014

"A lot of 'survivors' are either uber religious or adamant atheists, either way it's a reaction to child sex abuse by a priest, just in a different direction.  I was barely raised catholic, so the church stuff drives me nuts. Before I started CofA Blog I did not know the difference between a monsignor and a bishop. When someone said, 'the religious,' I said, the religious what, so I agree with you. I wish the clergy sex abuse issue did not end up in discussion of The Vatican and the Catholic Church, but it's inevitable, considering who the bad guys are."
(Response to an email from a friend who wishes some of us would stop talking about the Pope and all. . . )
-la de dah, happy Holidays to those of you who have family lives so celebrate holidays 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Note

Notice after the Vatican is called out for non compliance in TWO (2) treaties on safety of children at the UN last Friday that the Pope takes off on a trip to the Middle East, so no one dares criticize him now, it might destroy his Peace efforts. Bleechhhh
Kay Ebeling
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

UN Everywhere Where?

While the world yawns, survivors hear crickets

I think what they accomplished at the UN yesterday, so twice this year, was amazing, yet not one mainstream paper has reported it with any significance and now the Pope is visiting the Middle East. Forget that the UN torture / clergy sex abuse announcement came out on the Friday before Memorial Day, it's astonishing that SNAP doesn't have every one of its local groups doing significant events locally to spread word about the UN committee decision yesterday.  

I'm ready to mend fences, I emailed a couple L.A. SNAP people saying, why don't we do something to publicize this and I got . . . crickets, nothing, no one has anything planned, they say they haven't heard anything. 

BUT I also just put the idea on my Facebook page and a SNAP volunteer in the Philippines thinks it's a good idea. Maybe we should just spontaneously on our own say, hey, the UN is citing the Pope for the way bishops aided and abetted pedophiles, according to analysis at several news sources -- best at Bishop Accountability -- just like we've been saying in the "survivor movement" on our own for more than twenty years.  

I'd go to a SNAP event in L.A. even though it will cost me to get there, as I think the thing at the UN yesterday was amazing.  I don't get why it isn't being used as a rallying cry to reignite us and publicize it publicize it publicize it.  

ALSO, I plan to read the whole thing which you can find here
before saying what it says or does not say

Friday, May 23, 2014

Four More Years

"The Vatican's next report to the UN committee 
is due in May 2018." 
U.N. board urges Vatican to punish bishops who mishandle abuse claims 
at Catholic News dot com

FROM Committee against Torture  Concluding observations
"24. The State party is invited to submit its next report, which will be the second periodic report, by 23 May 2018. For that purpose, the Committee invites the State party to accept, by 23 May 2015, to report under its optional reporting procedure, consisting in the transmittal, by the Committee to the State party, of a list of issues prior to the submission of the report. The State party's response to this list of issues will constitute, under article 19 of the Convention, its next periodic report."


Funny, these 2 posts showed up at Abuse Tracker one after the other

God has a sense of humor 
Or maybe it's Kathy Shaw

First this ran on the Tracker

U.N. Panel Says Vatican Is Lax Over Abusive Priests

The New York Times
MAY 23, 2014
GENEVA — The Vatican on Friday faced criticism from a United Nations panel for the second time this year over failures to report priests accused of sexually abusing children to civil authorities or to ensure redress for victims. Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

When this was posted 
Just before it
So ran right after it

Pope Francis 'Not Pleased' About Scandalous Canonization Banquet

Friday, 23 May 2014 By Drew MacKenzie
Pope Francis has expressed displeasure at a sumptuous banquet held on a Vatican veranda during the recent dual canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, according to reports in Italy.
The pontiff, who leads a life of austerity and humility, was "not pleased" when alleged photos of the extravagant feast appeared in the Italian website Dagospia, according to the Catholic News Agency quoting a Vatican official.
The photos appeared to depict 150 guests, including businessmen, leading journalists and Italian religious leaders, gathered on the veranda of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs during the April 27 canonization ceremony. . . Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Vatican Prefecture for Economic Affairs, told Italia 1 television network, "I can’t reveal what he (Francis) said. . . Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

I think that's funny, 
does The Pope have any idea 
what is going on 
even in his own little principality?
Comic timing of the Universe
Happy Weekend, 
new Post By Kay Ebeling 
coming early next week

Ref: Abuse Tracker 


UN Critiques the Holy See

Statement by Terence McKiernan
May 23, 2014
The Concluding Observations of the U.N. Committee against Torture bring some additional accountability to an institution that was for years a law unto itself. (See also the Holy See's Initial Report.) This is a valuable development, somewhat too diplomatically implemented in the report released today. Significantly, the Committee insisted on a broad standard for accountability. Against the objections of the Holy See, the Concluding Observations state (para. 10) that the Holy See must be held accountable for torture committed by persons under its “effective control.” The Committee cited (para. 10) the Holy See’s own statistics, showing that 848 priests outside the Vatican City State have been removed from the priesthood in the last decade by the Holy See – surely an example of effective control -- and that 2,572 priests have been disciplined by Rome.
Transparency: The Committee should have pushed more strongly for detailed disclosure of names and documents, instead of urging disclosure of “statistical data.” In the hard work of transparency, statistics are not even half a loaf. The Holy See maintains the world’s largest archive on child abuse and its mismanagement; it should have been told to release the names and detailed case files of every priest defrocked or disciplined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and by the other dicasteries responsible for those cases before the Holy See’s organizational consolidation in 2001. Merely counting the cases is not nearly enough, particularly since such counts cannot be verified apart from the files on which they are based.
Redress: The Committee urges the Holy See to apply the redress provision of the Convention against Torture in the case of the Magdalene laundries, so that the religious orders responsible will contribute to the compensation of their victims. Those orders, unnamed in the Concluding Observations, are the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity. Even more important, the Committee alluded to the Holy See’s acquiescence and authorization (para. 16) of the Milwaukee archdiocese’s protection of assets prior to its bankruptcy. The Committee was referring to the exchange of letters between then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee and Cardinal Cláudio Hummes at the Holy See.
The Holy See’s action in Milwaukee and its inaction in Ireland are evidence of a fundamental opposition to compensating victims. This stance was articulated by Bishop Charles Scicluna during the Holy See's testimony to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in January 2014. He said that it is the obligation of the individual abuser, not the church, to compensate victims. "We promote personal responsibility. The person causing the damage has the duty to compensate," Scicluna said. In a 2012 interview, Scicluna called civil court rulings that the Church is liable "unfair." We wish the Committee against Torture had challenged the Holy See more sharply on its resistance to redress.

Now we need to make sure the world hears about this development. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

News Roundup

"The Courier told on Saturday how a Scot who says he was subjected to abuse at St Ninians during the 1970s is demanding a public inquiry into institutional abuse in Scotland.
David Sharp, who has described the catalogue of abuse as “Scotland’s shame”, has also told how he was trafficked to Ireland to be raped by up to five men.  Mr Sharp, 55, originally from Glasgow and now living in England, said a now deceased man he knew as Christian Brother Ryan began preying on him when he was 10 and residing at St Ninian’s School in Falkland.  Mr Sharp said the abuse started when he had been at the Falkland school for less than a month — and it left him terrified to wake up each day.  In addition to Ryan’s sinister “love”, he said there was also violence carried out in a basement that had been converted into showers.  Mr Sharp says he was trafficked to Ireland when he had to spend his holidays at St Ninian’s and the other boys went home." (Read story here: Six arrested in investigation into alleged abuse at Fife school )
From Abuse Tracker this evening

Former Priest Daniel McCormack Taken Into Police Custody On Abuse Charge

CBS Chicago
May 21, 2014 7:05 PM
(CBS) — A former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to numerous cases of child molestation is back in police custody.
Chicago Police News Affairs has confirmed to Newsradio that officers took Daniel McCormack into custody Wednesday on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Police say the arrest stems from a complaint back in 2005.
McCormack was being held in a state facility after doing time in connection with incidents that happened when he led two Chicago churches.


Former Chicopee priest faces accusation of sexual misconduct

The Republican
By Jeanette DeForge |
on May 21, 2014
CHICOPEE — A Franciscan priest who served at St. Stanislaus Basilica and St. Anthony of Padua parishes during the 1990s has been suspended from active ministry in Pennsylvania after an allegation of sexual misconduct was filed against him.
Rev. Michael Lewandowski was removed from active ministry this we


From Abuse Tracker this morning

Priest listed for court in western Sydney re an altar boy

Broken Rites
By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated on 21 May 2014)
Child-sex charges against a retired senior Catholic priest, Father Richard Cattell, 73, are being scheduled now for the Parramatta Local Court in western Sydney later in 2014. The offences were allegedly committed against an altar boy between 1984 and 1987. In the early 1990s, Father Cattell became the vicar-general assisting a bishop in the administration of western Sydney's parishes.
Cattell is now living in retirement on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The matter had its first mention on 24 March 2014 in Tweed Heads Local Court, which is the New South Wales court that is nearest to the Queensland border. This court hearing was a brief administrative procedure, to enable the matter to be officially filed.
Richard St John Cattell was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent acts.
Cattell was not required to enter a plea in this initial court appearance,


Assignment Record – Rev. Segundo Llorente, s.j.

Summary of Case: A native of Spain, Llorente was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1934. He spent the next 40 years in remote Alaskan villages, which were served by Jesuits' Oregon Province. (He wasn't an official member of the Oregon Province until he requested that status in 1981.) In 1960 Llorente was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives, serving two terms. He also became a well-known writer. Llorente was transferred in 1975 to the Yakima, Washington diocese, and then to


Australian Survivors 6 - To Hell and Back

An abuse survivor now living in London, UK, has used all photos in his possession to produced this video which runs for about 24 minutes.


We deeply regret any maltreatment ...

Belfast Telegraph
We deeply regret any maltreatment and hurt to children at Sisters of Nazareth, says Sister Brenda McCall
For several weeks Sister Brenda McCall quietly listened to stories of the horrific abuse of young children placed in the care of the Sisters of Nazareth.
Yesterday she described the evidence of alleged victims to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry as shocking and harrowing.
As she left the witness box after her second day of evidence to the inquiry, Sister Brenda, a member of the Sisters of Nazareth Congregational Group, apologised to those who were abused while in their care.


Sex abuse survivors will give evidence at RC in Brisbane

The Satellite
SURVIVORS of sexual abuse will for the next two weeks give evidence to the Royal Commission in seven private sessions being held in Brisbane.
Although these seven sittings are full, Royal Commission chief Janette Dines said those who want to share their experiences can phone 1800 099 340.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has had more than 2000 phone calls from people in Queensland, with about 60 to tell their story in this round of sessions.


Six arrested in investigation into alleged abuse at Fife school

The Courier
Six men with links to a notorious Irish Catholic brotherhood have been arrested and charged in connection with multiple allegations of child abuse at a residential school in Fife during the 1970s and 1980s.
The six men, now aged between 60 and 76, were spoken to by police as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse, beatings and mental torture at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland.


Former Bishop of Derry Dr Edward Daly defends Sisters ...

Belfast Telegraph
Former Bishop of Derry Dr Edward Daly defends Sisters of Nazareth nuns accused of abusing children
The former Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly, has defended the work of the religious order at the centre of child abuse allegations at two children's homes.
Dr Daly said that the Sisters of Nazareth had been "grossly overworked and underfunded" and had cared for children during extremely difficult periods in Northern Ireland's history.

AND, And, and. . . 

With much gratitude for Abuse Tracker 
produced by Kathy Shaw