The fresh allegations come months after Catholic leaders gathered for an unprecedented summit at the Vatican to tackle widespread pedophilia within the church.
Two priests allegedly abused boys in Vatican’s youth seminary in 1980s and 1990s
Three more former altar boys have claimed they were sexually abused by two priests in the Vatican, as the child abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church zeroed in for a second time on its headquarters.
The allegations of abuse in the Vatican’s youth seminary, to be set out in an Italian TV show on Sunday, date back to the 1980s and 1990s when the boys were aged between 10 and 14.
The accusations come two months after the Vatican said it would seek to indict Fr Gabriele Martinelli (28) for allegedly abusing several altar boys in 2012 when he trained at the St Pius X youth seminary. That move was prompted by the Italian show Le Iene’s first investigation into the school in 2017.
The Vatican said in September that an indictment was also being sought against a former director at the youth seminary, Fr Enrico Radice, who was accused of aiding and abetting the alleged crimes.
The Catholic church has faced thousands of child sexual abuse allegations from around the world but Le Iene’s investigation in 2017 was the first time claims of pedophilia within the Vatican’s walls were exposed.
“We decided to keep digging as we had the feeling that the previous cases were not isolated,” said Gaetano Pecoraro, one of the two authors of the investigation. “There were more victims and more priests involved in sexual abuse within the Vatican.”
In the latest investigation, three former altar boys who served at papal masses claimed they were sexual abused by two priests, one a teacher.
One of the victims alleges that one of the priests, who was managing the school’s communal showers, tried to remove his bathrobe. “He wanted to undress me,” the victim alleges. “I tried to wriggle away. I was 13 years old. I fell to the ground and asked him ‘what are you doing?’ I then got up and ran away.”
All three boarded at the youth seminary. The second victim alleges he was abused at the Casa Santa Marta, where many priests stay, by a priest at the youth seminary when he was 10 or 11 years old. “He asked me to go upstairs to his room, made me sit on his legs, began to stroke my thigh and then put a hand on my private parts,” he told Le Iene. The priest allegedly persisted with the abuse and after the boy refused the advances he stopped.
The victims, now aged between 37 and 40, came together a few years ago to share their stories. The third victim made similar allegations but chose not to go into detail for the programme. The three claimed that a fourth former altar boy suffered worse sexual abuse than they did, but when he was contacted by Le Iene he refused to talk.
The allegations were corroborated by several people who claimed to have witnessed some of the abuse.
Le Iene managed to trace one of the accused priests. The man, whose face is blurred in the programme, appears to be frightened by the journalists’ visit. After he hears the accusations made against him in the audio interviews, he responds: “No, it’s not possible. I can’t remember ? I’m not saying they’re lying, I’m saying they have misunderstood.”
The Vatican said in a statement that if new elements emerged during the judicial proceedings it had begun in the Martinelli case “involving further offences by the accused or by others, the judicial authorities of the state of the Vatican City will proceed with the opening of a new file of documents and, following preliminary investigation, with a new request for a trial.”
The fresh allegations come months after Catholic leaders gathered for an unprecedented summit at the Vatican to tackle widespread paedophilia within the church. At the close of the summit in February, Pope Francis promised the church would “spare no effort” in bringing abusers to justice and would not cover up or underestimate abuse.
Anyone can be a church leader in Babylon today, Episcopal priest Reverend Katherine Ragsdale in a prime example of that!
Episcopal priest Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, with her organization National Abortion Federation, will hand out pre-paid gas cards for women seeking abortions, according to FaithWire.
“Since there are a limited number of providers and states continue to impose additional restrictions, many women have to travel long distances to reach the closest provider who can help them,” NAF said in a statement. “And this situation will only worsen as the political environment continues to become more hostile toward abortion rights.”
Ragsdale, who is the Interim President and CEO of NAF, believes the initiative will provide more support for women “so that they can make, and act on, the best decisions for themselves and their families.”
The pilot program will run for three months and start in states that have waiting periods or other abortion restrictions, LifeNews reports.
The response comes in light of several states furthering restrictive abortion limits. States such as Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana have nearly abolished terminations and several other states are poised to do the same.
As the first lesbian to become a leader of an Episcopal seminary, Ragsdale has been no stranger to controversy. World Magazine reportedRagsdale’s allegiance lies not only with pro-choice causes, but pro-abortion.
“Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done,” she said at a pro-abortion rally. “Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
She continued: “The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply [a] blessing.”
Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, the largest pro-life legal organization in the country, believes the pilot program doesn’t help women but abortion centers.
“This is a half-baked publicity stunt by NAF meant to create the impression that there is even a need for this,” she said. “Why doesn’t the abortion industry—dominated by a ‘non-profit’ that has over a hundred million in the bank—lower its prices instead? Because it’s all about profit for them.”
~ Original Post Written By Mikaela Mathews | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor
women from the isolated Innu communities of Unamen Shipu and Pakua Shipu, on Quebec’s Lower North Shore, described how they were sexually assaulted by an Oblate priest who worked in their territory for four decades, until his death in 1992.
Sexual abuse of Innu, Atikamekw children at hands of missionaries was rampant
This story is based on a report by Anne Panasuk of the investigative program, Enquête. Watch Enquête’s full report here, in French.
“He’d let us drive. He knew how to do everything. We were impressed to see a priest act that way,” recalls Jason Petiquay.
Petiquay was 11 when he was sexually abused by Raynald Couture, an Oblate missionary who worked in Wemotaci, Que., from 1981 to 1991.
The Atikamekw community 285 kilometres north of Trois-Rivières was one of many remote First Nations communities in Quebec where priests belonging to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) were spiritual leaders and authority figures for generations.
Petiquay described how Couture would lure young boys to his cabin by inviting them for a ride on his all-terrain vehicle or in his pick-up truck.
His story of abuse is one of dozens Atikamekw and Innu people in Quebec told Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête.
It paints of bleak portrait of widespread sexual abuse at the hands of at least 10 Oblate priests in eight different communities served by the missionary order, which began its evangelization work among Inuit and First Nations in Canada in 1841.
MMIWG shines light on decades-old secret
It has been almost a year since women from the isolated Innu communities of Unamen Shipu and Pakua Shipu, on Quebec’s Lower North Shore, described how they were sexually assaulted by an Oblate priest who worked in their territory for four decades, until his death in 1992.
One after another, alleged victims of the Belgian native, Father Alexis Joveneau, told the federal inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIWG) how the charismatic and much-admired priest had abused them as children.
But the allegations in the Enquête report suggest the religious order’s superiors long knew about allegations against Joveneau.
Francis Mark, an Innu man from Unamen Shipu who said he was assaulted by Joveneau, said many years ago, he turned for help to the late Archbishop Peter Sutton, an Oblate who was made bishop of the Labrador City-Schefferville diocese in 1974.
“He let me down,” said Mark. “He didn’t guide me. Was there justice? No.”
Devout elders kept silence
In some instances which Enquête looked into, when Oblate superiors or church officials were told about the abuse, the priests were simply sent to neighboring communities, where other Indigenous children were abused in turn.
In other cases, as in that of Father Raynald Couture in Wemotaci, deeply religious elders in the community insisted on silence.
“The mushums, the kookums [grandmothers and grandfathers], they asked him to stay in the community,” said Charles Coocoo, a Wemotaci man who once demanded that Couture leave.
Mary Coon, a social worker at the time, went straight to the religious order to ask them to intervene, but without an official police complaint, the Oblates refused.
“The boys wouldn’t file a complaint,” said Coon. “We wanted to get him out of here, but how could we? There was no complaint. We had nothing.”
In 1991, Couture was sent to France, where he remained until eight of his victims pressed charges. In 2004, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail, a punishment another victim, Alex Coocoo, called so light as to be “ridiculous.”
‘A sin to talk’
Claude Niquay said he was a seven-year-old altar boy when he alleges he was first molested by Father Clément Couture, another Oblate missionary who was posted in Manawan, an Atikamekw community southwest of Wemotaci, until 1996.
Niquay was forced to see his alleged abuser every day, when he delivered meals cooked by his grandmother to the priest.
When he tried to tell his grandmother about the assaults, he was punished.
“She’d tell me to go sit in a corner, that it was a sin to talk about those things,” he said.
Before Couture’s arrival, the community had been served by two other Oblate priests, Édouard Meilleur, and later, Jean-Marc Houle, whose alleged victims — elderly now — still recall their assaults vividly.
Antoine Quitish was just five when Meilleur allegedly stripped off his cloak and forced himself on him, “poking” Quitish’s chest with his penis.
“I’m happy that [the story] is out now,” said Quitish, now 75.
Other Atikamekw elders described Meilleur as an exhibitionist who would slip his hands under girls’ dresses during confession.
Enquête heard how Houle, who was posted in Manawan from 1953 to 1970, was drawn to pregnant women: he’s alleged to have spread holy oil over the stomachs, the breasts and the genitals of his victims, explaining he was warding off the devil in their unborn children. The stories got out.
“I told the archdiocese, ‘If you don’t get that guy out of there, tomorrow morning it will be on the front page of the newspapers’,” recalls Huron-Wendat leader Max Gros-Louis, then the head of the Association of Indians of Quebec.
Houle was removed, said Gros-Louis — only to be sent to the Innu community of Pessamit, on Quebec’s North Shore.
Community warned of priest’s behaviours
Robert Dominique, then a band councillor in Pessamit, said his Atikamekw friends warned him about Houle, but the culture of the time ensured his silence.
“For elders, their faith is deeply rooted,” Dominique said. “Religion is sacred.”
Saying out loud that a priest was violating women and children was inconceivable, Gros-Louis agreed.
“You wouldn’t be allowed to go out anymore. You’d be banished, excommunicated,” he said.
There is no evidence Houle’s alleged assaults continued in Pessamit. However, people in that community recall abuse by three Oblate priests who preceded him.
Dominique’s sister, Rachelle, alleges she was first assaulted by Father Sylvio Lesage in the 1960s, and when Father Roméo Archambault replaced him in the 1970s, for her, things got worse.
He would take her into the church basement, she remembers.
“He was behind me, holding my little breasts,” she alleges, “and after I had to masturbate him in the dark.” She described feeling “broken, vilified.”
Jean-Yves Rousselot also recounted being sexually assaulted by Archambault — alleged assaults that continued when that Oblate missionary was replaced by Father René Lapointe. The young altar boy told his grandfather what had happened and was beaten.
“I had to go to confession, to confess that I had committed blasphemy,” Rousselot said.
Lapointe was his confessor.
The priest would later be relocated to another Innu community, Nutashkuan, where he remained for 30 years, allegedly paying children to masturbate him.
In 2003, provincial police launched an investigation following a complaint, but charges were never laid.
Class action suit awaits Oblates
In the Innu community of Mani-Utenam, Gérard Michel recalls community elders sending him, along with another young man, to Baie-Comeau in 1970 to ask the archbishop to remove Father Omer Provencher, who is alleged to have been sexually assaulting girls in the community.
Nothing was done.
“Nothing, nothing, nothing,” said Michel, now an elder himself.
Provencher, who left the priesthood to live with an Innu woman years ago, told Enquête he will not answer any questions until he is formally charged with a crime.
Father René Lapointe, the priest who spent three decades in Nutashkuan, denies he ever sexually assaulted children.
Now at the Oblates’ retirement home in Richelieu, he told Enquête there is absolutely no truth in any of it.
“Nothing is true in that story. These are all inventions,” he said.
Raynald Couture, the Oblate priest who was found guilty of sexually assaulting children in Wemotaci, lives in the same retirement home.
He admits his past crimes.
“I drank like a bastard, and that’s when those things happened,” he told Enquête. He called his assaults “a weakness” and then a “game with the children,” and said he sought help from his superiors, asking to see the Oblates’ psychologist.
“They never even came,” he said.
Most of the priests accused of having assaulted so many Innu and Atikamekw people as children are dead now; Father Alexis Joveneau, who died in 1992, is buried in the cemetery in Unamen Shipu, where he spent so many years.
In late March, just days after the Oblates issued their apology and set up a hotline for Joveneau’s alleged victims, a class action suit was launched in Quebec for all victims of sexual assault at the hands of Oblate priests.
Lawyer Alain Arsenault says to date, 48 victims have come forward, alleging they were assaulted by 14 different Oblate missionaries.
With the court case pending, the head of the Oblates’ Quebec office, Father Superior Luc Tardif, turned down a request to be interviewed for this story.
Regardless of the results of that lawsuit, people in Unamen Shipu are asking that Joveneau’s remains, buried next to their Innu loved ones, be exhumed and taken away.
– Based on a report by Anne Panasuk of Radio-Canada’s Enquête
“The fact that they are priests is above and beyond shocking,” “They’re supposed to be leading good example and they’re doing exactly the opposite.”
According to MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — On September 04, 2018 two Chicago-area priests were charged Monday with Lewd and Lascivious behavior and Indecent Exposure after being caught performing a sexual act inside a car parked on a Miami Beach street.
According to Miami Beach Police, 39-year-old Diego Berrio and 30-year-old Edwin Giraldo Cortez were in the front seat of a car performing oral sex.
Police got a 911 call about a lewd and lascivious incident taking place in the 1300 block of Ocean Drive.
When officers arrived, the police report states, the two were performing sex acts on each other “in full view of the public passing by on Ocean Drive and the sidewalk.”
It was 3:20 in the afternoon.
“Yesterday, we received a call indicating that two men were performing a sex act inside of a car. This is in broad daylight, 13th Street and Ocean Drive. There are no tints on the window,” explained Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
When police arrived, it was still going on.
Police said Berrio and Giraldo Cortez were so engaged, they didn’t even notice that police were there.
“We observed the two males performing the sex act, the officer had to tap on the window to get their attention,” said Rodriguez.
Both men were placed under arrest without incident.
Candice Parker was with her son at the playground.
“The fact that they are priests is above and beyond shocking,” she said. “I don’t understandthis kind of behavior. They’re supposed to be leading good example and they’re doing exactly the opposite.”
The arrest reports state both men are priests from Arlington Heights, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago.
The address they gave comes back to the Mission San Juan Diego Parish in Arlington Heights.
“Their profession is irrelevant, in fact our trouble with this is that this is broad daylight, for anyone to see including children. There’s a time and a place for everything and this certainly was not the time and place,” said Rodriguez.
Police point out there is a children’s playground near the intersection of 13th and Ocean Drive.
Berrio was charged with a misdemeanor charge of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior and Giraldo Cortez was also charged with a misdemeanor charge of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior plus Indecent Exposure.
Late Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement regarding the two priests.
“We were informed this morning that Rev. Diego Berrio, pastor of Misión San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Rev. Edwin Giraldo Cortes, an extern priest from Soacha, Colombia who served at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for one month, August 1 to August 31, 2018, were arrested in Miami on September 3, 2018.
“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective immediately. The archdiocese will appoint an administrator for the Misión San Juan Diego as soon as possible.
“Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry. We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available.”
The two men have since bonded out of jail but had nothing to say as they left.
… his focus was on a stupid material item- a stupid chalice, an item that doesn’t even have life in it!
In Maryland, Rev. Michael Briese was caught on camera last week in an unbelievable confrontation with relatives of the late Agnes Hicks at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall, news station WTTG reported.
The feud began when someone accidentally knocked over the church’s sacred chalice before the start of the Wednesday morning service. The chalice looked something like the below photo.
“That’s when all hell broke loose,” Hicks’ daughter, Shanice Chisely said. “[Briese] literally got on the mic and said, ‘there will be no funeral, there will be no mass, no repass, everyone get the hell out of my church.”
Briese could be seen in a very disturbing cellphone video near the casket chastising loved ones over the incident. The family contacted police who escorted them to a funeral home willing to perform the service.
Relatives, however, were devastated that Hicks’ service was not at the church where she was baptized as a young girl.
“This was uncalled for and it really hurt me,” her brother, Larry Hicks said. “It really did, to see your loved one come there to rest and to be shut down like that.”
“I uttered words I never use, and treated people I have lived with and committed my life to serve in an unacceptable manner,” he said. “Instead of care and compassion for the grieving family and friends, my focus turned to anger.”
Editors Note: No, his focus was on a stupid material item- a stupid chalice, an item that doesn’t even have life in it! His true nature came out, he spoke to the black family as if they were animals because that’s what he really thinks of them and most likely of all people of color. I’m sure that his apology wasn’t volunteered but suggested by his overseer. Besides all of the children who have been and are most likely still being sexually molested in the Catholic church, this has to be one of the most disturbing things that I’ve ever heard. May the soul of Ms. Agnes Hicks rest in peace, and I pray that her family will find solace- somehow.
Why didn’t the Pope just say, “Denounce homosexuality because it’s evil and against God.” God said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come* from the presence of the Lord
According to Rome (CNN), A victim of clerical sexual abuse stated that Pope Francis told him that God made him gay and that his sexuality “does not matter.”
Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse, spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, in which he discussed his sexuality and the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest.
Juan Carlos Cruz, a key whistle-blower in Chile’s most famous case of clerical sex abuse describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN, Cruz said: “You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”
The Pope’s words would amount to a significant departure from the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, which considers homosexuality “objectively disordered” and contrary to God’s law.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told CNN on Monday: “We do not normally comment on the Pope’s private conversations.”
The Roman Catholic Church's Official Teaching on Homosexuality
Excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [Cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10], tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”[Cf. Persona Humana] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/2002/01/the-roman-catholic-churchs-official-teaching-on-homosexuality.aspx#8I1zEPmHkciDHkFH.99
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Mr Stennett Kirby, whose brother is a minister, can be seen snorting coke…
The Church of England is said to be investigating after a newspaper published a video appearing to show a vicar from East London taking cocaine and watching explicit videos from his church owned home.
He is seen staring at a TV, apparently watching porn, and adds: “It f***ing turns me on when I have this and I watch that.” Stennett Kirby, vicar of West Ham Parish Church in East London since 2007, then makes a crude mouth action reference and refers to women in a lewd way.
The vicar and his pal also discuss hiring a follow and he says: “I wish I could. If I had money, I would. I’ve only got £10 left.” When his friend tells him he prefers prostitutes to having a relationship, unmarried Mr Kirby — on sick leave from work — agrees.
In a video released by the Sun on Sunday, the footage also apparently showed Rev Stennett Kirby talking about buying poppers which gives users a head rush from a shop in Soho.
(Purchasing poppers – a liquid which induces a head-rush high – is not a crime.)
Clear footage showed the 64-year-old priest sitting on his sofa, saying “I feel really good now” after reportedly taking cocaine.
The video also shows Rev Kirby, who has been a vicar of West Ham Parish Church since 2007, watching [allegedly] pornography with a friend.
The Church of England told the Sun on Sunday it was investigating the footage, while a spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We take this matter very seriously.”
In other footage Mr Stennett Kirby, whose brother is a minister, can be seen snorting coke. His pal says taking it off the back of his hand is easier. Seconds later Mr Kirby says approvingly: “That is good.” Our revelations bear similarities to the case of “Crystal Methodist” Paul Flowers. The shamed minister and former Co-op Bank boss was suspended from the church in 2017 after he was filmed in a car counting out £300 to buy cocaine and crystal meth in a drug deal. Mr Kirby lives in a £1.5million house owned by the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Rev Kirby, who is unmarried, has reportedly been placed on sick leave.
A spokesman for the Church of England said: “We are taking this matter very seriously.
“Revd Stennett Kirby has withdrawn from all ministerial duties and a disciplinary investigation is already under way.”
The victim described how he was made to feel like he was passed between the pair like a “toy borrowed from a friend”.
A former Church of England priest who sexually abused boys has been put behind bars for a second time.
Colin Pritchard changed his name to Ifor Whittaker after he was handed a five-year sentence at Northampton Crown Court in 2008 after admitting abusing two children in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, between 1979 to 1983.
The 73-year-old was jailed for 16 years at Hove Crown Court in February 2018 after being found guilty of abusing a third boy between 1987 and 1991 while he was the vicar of Sedlescombe in East Sussex, police said.
He was convicted of seven offences including inciting the child, aged between 10 and 14, to commit gross indecency and buggery.
A jury also found him guilty of conspiring with fellow vicar, close friend and convicted pedophile Roy Cotton to commit acts of indecency.
The pair had already been arrested by Sussex Police in 1997 on suspicion of sexually abusing children and were released on bail.
Cotton retired in 1999 and the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case. He died in 2006.
These details emerged in a critical independent report by Roger Meekings in 2012 which revealed how Cotton had been convicted of indecent behaviour with a child in 1954 while training for the priesthood.
He was thrown out of theological college but then readmitted and ordained in 1966 – the same year he attended with Pritchard.
It was also in 2012 that the force began investigating this latest case, after the victim said he was sexually assaulted by Cotton when he was the vicar in the nearby Sussex village of Brede.
The victim settled a civil claim with the Diocese of Chichester over Cotton that year.
Officers only learned he was also abused by Whittaker when they revisited the investigation in 2014, the force said.
The victim told how he believed Whittaker watched while Cotton carried out his assaults because he would appear in the room immediately after.
He said he was then taken to Whittaker’s vicarage by Cotton to do gardening but was actually plied with drinks of coke laced with alcohol.
Whittaker would sexually assault him and say no-one would believe him if he spoke out.
The victim described how he was made to feel like he was passed between the pair like a “toy borrowed from a friend”.
Whittaker was arrested in 2015 and questioned again in January 2016.
A video statement given by the victim in 2014 had to be taken again in November 2016 when the recording was found to be faulty. He disclosed more details of the abuse during the second statement.
Whittaker, of Sutton, is already a registered sex offender for life.
Judge Paul Tain ordered him to serve 15 years in custody and one year on extended licence. He cannot apply for parole for 10 years.
“To date, clerical abuse victims here have been let down, not just by the church, but also by the authorities.”
According to Press Association, a Catholic bishop in Northern Ireland has resigned following claims he celebrated Mass alongside a priest he knew was a pedophile.
Dr John McAreavey was Bishop of Dromore. Diocesan secretary Fr Gerald Powell said he had resigned with “immediate effect”.
Fr Malachy Finnegan has been accused of sexual abuse by 12 people.
The bishop said: “Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the diocese and further afield, I have decided to resign with immediate effect.
“I shall make further comment in due course.”
The former teacher at St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 is also allegedly linked to a catalog of physical and emotional abuse against pupils. He died in 2002.
Amnesty International has called for a public inquiry into clerical sex abuse.
Amnesty’s Northern Ireland director Patrick Corrigan said: “To date, clerical abuse victims here have been let down, not just by the church, but also by the authorities.”
Solicitor Claire McKeegan, of KRW Law, who represents a number of Fr Finnegan’s alleged victims, said she had received calls from numerous further witnesses since a settlement by one of her clients was made public recently.
She added: “The message is clear: victims demand a public inquiry into clerical abuse in Northern Ireland without any further delay.
“The victims and survivors deserve to speak about the horrific abuse that took place and be heard in a public forum tasked with sufficient powers to get to the truth.
“This case has brought to the surface yet another pedophile priest who was never investigated or exposed by the church or the police.”
Since the announcement, Cano’s information has been scrubbed from the church’s website as parishioners were left to grapple with the news.
LOS ANGELES — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese has removed a priest from a Los Angeles church on suspicion of having inappropriate conduct with multiple female parishioners — one of whom is an underage girl.
Officer Drake Madison tells the Daily News that police are investigating a child annoyance allegation against Father Juan Cano, who served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace church in Encino. Cano could not be reached for comment.
The Archdiocese announced his removal at Masses over the weekend.
The Archdiocese says it has a zero tolerance policy for any type of allegation relating to sexual misconduct relating to a child.
Cano 34, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, started at Our Lady of Grace in July 2015 with an announcement from the archdiocese about his miraculous life.
“When I was born, I had a tumor in my head which had no cure. … My parents and grandparents prayed to God for a miracle. … As I grew in the faith at the parish via my family’s involvement in the charismatic renewal, Bible study and religious education, I felt very drawn to the Eucharist, both in and outside of mass. In addition, I had daily contact with the parish priests. … It was such things that I know fed my priestly vocation,” Cano said at the time.
“It was surprising because the father was a really good man and he treated us like anybody else. I was surprised,” parishioner Giovanni Rios told ABC 7.
Rios, who has only been attending Our Lady of Grace for five months, said he felt church officials did the right thing in removing Cano.
“They did the right thing. They have to be really responsible, especially when we’re talking about kids,” he said.
The Archdiocese told ABC 7 that it has a zero-tolerance policy for any misconduct involving a child.
Clergy abuse survivors advocate Joelle Casteixquestioned why it took the archdiocese more than a week to inform members of the parish about why Cano was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 19.
“Was there a written notice in the bulletin? No. Did they put a notice in the bulletin at St. James Parish in Redondo Beach where Cano worked before he became a priest? No. In fact, unless you were sitting in church this past Sunday, you would have no idea that you may need to talk to your children, sisters, wives, cousins, or friends about the abuse of power and sexual assault,” Casteix wrote in a blog post.
“But the Archdiocese WAS busy doing something: They were busy erasing Fr. Juan Cano from their websites. They didn’t have time to post a notice that he may have abused someone you love. But they had time to erase him, just like Stalin did to his enemies.”
Since the announcement, Cano’s information has been scrubbed from the church’s website as parishioners were left to grapple with the news.
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