Bishop Henry Lee Porter Sr. Accused of Sexually Abusing Children For 4 Decades

According to the affidavit, the current investigation, along with the two prior investigations, demonstrated four decades of children and adults suffering from sexual abuse by Porter

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SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota police arrested a 72-year-old bishop/song writer accused of sexually abusing children and young adults for four decades.

On Oct. 29, Sarasota police received information of a video being viewed on a social media app regarding alleged sexual abuse, according to the affidavit.

The accuser said he had been sexually abused as a child by a bishop at Westcoast Center for Human Development.

 

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Henry Lee Porter during his coronation ceremony .

After identifying and locating the accuser, police were able to speak with him. He told them his first memory of the abuse started around age 15 and continued until he was 21 years old. The sexual abuse involved “fondling, masturbation, oral and anal sex” with guidance from the bishop, 72-year-old Henry Lee Porter Sr.

The victim said the sexual acts occurred in Henry Lee Porter’s Inner Office and were committed on him and by him from Porter, according to the affidavit.

Police said during their interview with the victim, additional victims were identified. According to the victim, those victims had reached out to him for support.

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Police interviewed several other victims and conducted interviews with them, as well. They all provided statements to law enforcement outlining the abuse.

Police said aside from the recent investigations, they also wanted to bring to the court’s attention two other criminal investigations made in 1990 and 2001-02.

In the 2001-02 investigation, an anonymous letter was obtained that identified 40 named individuals that had allegedly been victims of sexual abuse by Porter. The prior investigations also provided more than 20 similar “fact” victims who provided statements to law enforcement outlining the abuse.

Police said they found that the alleged sexual abuse happened while they were attending the Westcoast Center for Human Development, on mission trips throughout America and abroad on church-sponsored trips.

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The victims were boys and girls with ages between 14 years old to young adults of various ages.

According to the affidavit, the current investigation, along with the two prior investigations, demonstrated four decades of children and adults suffering from sexual abuse by Porter.

Porter is charged with sexual battery with a child under 12 years of age.

 

Three Former Alter Boys Claim Abuse in Vatican

The fresh allegations come months after Catholic leaders gathered for an unprecedented summit at the Vatican to tackle widespread pedophilia within the church.

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Vatican City

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.

Inside of the Vatican

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.”

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A papal mass

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.”

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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.

(Originally written in The Irish Times)

395 Catholic Church Illinois Priests and Deacons Accused of Sexual Misconduct

“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,”

CHICAGO – Nearly 400 Catholic clergy members in Illinois have been accused of sexual misconduct, but church officials have only informed congregants of a fraction of those who have faced allegations, according to attorneys who represented clergy sex abuse victims across the USA.

St. Hedwig Church

A 182-page report, published by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, includes the names, background information, photos and assignment histories of each accused clergy member. 

“The danger of sexual abuse in Illinois is clearly a problem of today, not just the past,” the report concludes. “This will continue to be a danger until the identities and histories of sexually abusive clerics, religious employees and seminarians are made public.”

Anderson said he hopes the report will push church leaders to publicly identify hundreds more clergy who faced allegations.

The men named in the report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield. Dioceses’ officials pushed back on the report’s findings.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves about 2.1 million Catholics, said it “does not “police itself.”

“It reports all allegations to the civil authorities, regardless of the date of the alleged abuse, whether the priest is a diocesan priest or religious order priest, and whether the priest is alive or dead,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

Andrew Hansen, a spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, dismissed the report as “an impressive professional marketing brochure.”

Church-Pews

He noted one of the priests listed in the report, Rev. Frank Martinez, had spent about six weeks in 1985 working as a hospital chaplain in the central Illinois diocese before resigning his position.

The following year Martinez, who was assigned to a parish in Buffalo, Iowa, was accused of propositioning a 15-year-old boy in an Iowa motel room. Martinez was removed from the ministry in 2004. In 2008, he was included on a list by the Davenport Diocese of 24 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

“(The report) does not represent, as Mr. Anderson suggests, a thorough and diligent review of the publicly available facts, and it is highly misleading and irresponsible,” Hansen said.

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 The Diocese of Joliet in Chicago, Illinois

The Rockford Diocese said in a statement it has not disclosed allegations against many of the clergy on Anderson’s list “because the accusations either have not been substantiated or are completely without merit.”Joliet Diocese officials also said that allegations against some named on Anderson’s list have not been substantiated.

“The list includes a number of priests, living and deceased who, at one time or another provided some ministry within the Diocese of Joliet at some point during their priesthood, but are not priests of the Diocese of Joliet,” the Joliet Diocese said in a statement.

Rockford Diocese officials said they were unaware that one former priest named on the list, Rev. Ivan Rovira, had been found to have committed sexual abuse of a child after he left Northern Illinois in the early 1970s. The Brownsville, Texas Diocese earlier this year placed Rovira on its list of “clergy with credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”

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Rovira admitted to Brownsville Diocese officials in 2002 that he had sexually abused a boy during his time working in Texas. He was forced to leave the ministry, and later fled to Mexico, according to the Anderson report.

“Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list, and the list covers the time frame of 1908, when this diocese was established, to the present,” the Rockford Diocese said in its statement. “An allegation against a priest who had an assignment in this diocese but belongs to a religious order or other diocese is referred to the religious order or other diocese to which the priest belongs and is under its jurisdiction.”

Keep the faith?: Sex abuse scandals prompt more to personally question ties to Church, poll finds

Pope weighs in: Francis vows to address scandal, says priests must be guided by ‘holy fear of God’

Attorneys culled the names of the clergy named in the report from legal settlements and news reports detailing claims of child sexual abuse. Although lawsuits were filed involving many of the alleged perpetrators, the majority of the claims against the individuals were settled, according to the report.

“We’ve chosen to reveal this information, because the Catholic bishops and religious orders who are in charge and have this information . . . have chosen to conceal it,” Anderson said. 

The six Catholic dioceses of Illinois released the names of 185 clergy members who church officials determined were credibly accused of sexual abuse. The Anderson list includes those who were identified by the Illinois dioceses and more than 200 additional priests and deacons.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who left office in January, issued a preliminary report in December that found there are at least 500 clergy from Illinois’ dioceses who have faced allegations of abuse. The church has not publicly acknowledged or thoroughly investigated those claims, Madigan’s report found. She did not name those accused of misconduct.

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Madigan launched her investigation in August after a landmark Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed claims against more than 300 “predator priests” who had abused at least 1,000 victims over roughly six decades. The former Illinois attorney general said her office was flooded with hundreds of emails and calls from people alleging they were victims of abuse by clergy in Illinois in the aftermath of the Pennsylvania report.

Clergy abuse investigation: Illinois Catholic Church allegedly failed to investigate 500 priest sex abuse allegations

Predator priests: States ask for assistance to pursue Catholic Church for documents on abuse by priests, Pennsylvania attorney general says

Madigan is one of at least 14 state attorney generals who have confirmed investigations or reviews after the Pennsylvania report. Madigan’s successor, Kwame Raoul, said before he took office in January that he was committed to continuing the investigation.

“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said.

Weeks after Madigan released her report, Anderson, along with other attorneys and clergy sex abuse survivors, launched the “Fight for 500” initiative calling on the Illinois dioceses to release the names of clergy.

The list published Wednesday includes priests and deacons whose affiliations in some cases date back decades. Many of the accused have died.

The report notes the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled a civil lawsuit in 2007 alleging the Rev. Robert Boley accosted a young girl in the 1980s. Boley moved to a Chicago parish in 1989 and also served at parishes in Darien, Ill., Englewood, N.J., and Louisville, Ky.

“As of 2007, it was believed that Fr. Boley was residing at the Carmelite House in Joliet, Illinois, and working in their archives,” the report says. “Fr. Boley’s current whereabouts, status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.”

In another case, the report says David Stalzer, an ordained priest in the Joliet diocese, faced a civil lawsuit in 1993, in which he was accused of child sexual abuse while he was working at a diocese parish.

“It is believed that Fr. Stalzer returned to active duty later that year under supervision and purportedly with limited contact with children,” according to the report.

The suit was dismissed in 1994 after the accuser dropped out of sight, according to the Joliet Herald-News. Stalzer died in 2001.

The list includes one priest who is in active ministry, Anderson said.

Bad men

The priest, who is assigned to a parish on Chicago’s North Side, was temporarily removed from his position in December 2013 after the archdiocese received reports of him molesting a child at another Chicago-area parish where he worked 20 years earlier.

The Chicago Archdiocese reinstated the priest into active ministry months later, after law enforcement found insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Days after he was reinstated, another man came forward and said he saw the same priest molest a teenage boy at a suburban fitness center. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation, but the claim was never substantiated no charges were filed.

Anderson defended putting the priest on the list even though authorities had not corroborated the allegations.

“(He) may be innocent, but given the fact that are two public allegations that have been made against him, we feel and believe that it needs to be publicly disclosed as somebody who has been publicly accused and not adjudicated,” Anderson said.

New York passes bill allowing abortion up to birth, for any reason

The most shameful part of all of this is the number women who are in support of this abominable bill. Women- the only givers of life are in support of baby murder, we are certainly living in the last days! It would be better for a woman to use birth control instead of murdering a baby! 

The most shameful part of all of this is the number women who are in support of this abominable bill. Women- the only givers of life are in support of baby murder, we are certainly living in the last days! It would be better for a woman to use birth control instead of murdering a baby! 

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After an intense debate for and against the proposal, the New York state Legislature passed a bill that makes it legal for doctors and other health care professionals, such as midwives and physician assistants, to perform abortions up until birth for any reason in the state. This really shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone. Once the bill was passed allowing men to change their sex from male to female, and women from female to male this act (which wont be the final act) was inevitable. 

The so-called Reproductive Health Act that abortion advocates have been trying to get passed for 12 years and has been vehemently opposed by religious and conservative groups, passed with a 38-28 vote and thunderous applause in the state Senate chamber. The bill codifies federal abortion rights guaranteed under the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and removes abortion from the state’s criminal code. Which means the American “church” is a useless entity that “goes with the flow” so that their checks will continue to roll in from the government! 

“We have a president who’s made it very, very clear that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade,”  state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said at a news conference ahead of the vote, according to the Albany Times Union. “Today, here in New York, we are saying no. We are saying no, not here in New York. And we’re not just saying no. We’re saying that here in New York, women’s health matters. We’re saying here in New York, women’s lives matter. We’re saying here in New York, women’s decisions matter.”

Abortion was legalized in New York some three years before the Roe v. Wade decision, but remained on the state’s criminal code, making it a felony to perform late-term abortions according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

The law defined homicide as “conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than 24 weeks.”

The Reproductive Health Act removes abortion from the penal code, and further notes in part that: “Every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization. Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion, pursuant to this article.”

NYS Catholic Conference

The New York State Catholic Conference said in a statement on Facebook that Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was expected to sign the controversial bill at a reception in the Executive Mansion immediately after legislators voted to approve it. And Cuomo appeared ready as he celebrated Sarah Weddington, the lawyer nationally known for successfully arguing the winning side of the Roe v. Wade case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Weddington was recognized in the chamber during the vote.

“Sarah Weddington made history in 1973 when she won the Roe v. Wade case at the age of 27. I am so thrilled that this incredible woman is joining us at the bill signing of the #ReproductiveHealthAct, which will protect Roe v. Wade in the State of New York,” Cuomo tweeted before the vote Tuesday.

As the debate over the bill was underway Tuesday, supporters chanted, “Free abortion on demand, can we do it, yes we can.” Those who opposed the proposal chanted back while holding posters with images of babies and signs reading messages such as “I regret my abortion.”

Religious groups such as the Office of Adult Faith Formation of the Archdiocese of New York, called on the faithful Tuesday to pray in anticipation of the bill’s passage.

“New Yorkers, join us tonight, it is important more than ever to pray as we expect that the Reproductive Health Act – Abortion Expansion will become law in the state of NY making late-term abortion legal in NY,” the group noted in a tweet

Today, I am ASHAMED to say that I am an American! 

Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Split From Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow has called the leaders of the Ukrainian Church charlatans and schismatics, and President Vladimir Putin has warned of possible bloodshed.  

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Clergymen and officials attend a service marking Orthodox Christmas and celebrating the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine at the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

The eastern Orthodox church has over 250 million members around the world, with its spiritual leader based in Istanbul.

But for followers in Ukraine, there’s a new found independence.

Churches there have officially cut ties with the Russian branch of the church – accusing it of what they call ‘pro-Moscow propaganda’.

But the decision has angered Russian leaders, with Moscow warning of serious consequences for what it calls political maneuvering. 

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Ukraine’s Orthodox Christian Church celebrated its first Christmas on Monday outside Russian control and President Petro Poroshenko said the document enshrining its newly gained independence had broken “the last fetters tying us to Moscow”.

Hundreds of Ukrainians queued in the snow after the lavish two-hour liturgy at Kiev’s St Sophia Cathedral to view the document, known as a “Tomos”, which was only handed to the head of the new Church Metropolitan Epifaniy on Sunday.

Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, not Dec. 25, as they follow a different calendar.

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Accompanied by Poroshenko, Epifaniy processed into the cathedral on Monday carrying the decree, a scrolled white parchment. White-robed clergy then unfurled it and placed it in front of the iconostasis, a richly decorated screen that separates the sanctuary from the nave in Orthodox churches.

 

“For the first time, we celebrate Christmas with an independent autocephalous church,” said Poroshenko after the service. “It is the basis of our spiritual freedom, we broke the last fetters tying us to Moscow,” said the president, who faces a tough re-election battle this year.

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Russia bitterly opposes the move to grant the Ukrainian Church autocephalous, or self-governing, status, comparing it to the Great Schism of 1054 that divided western and eastern Christianity.

The Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow has called the leaders of the Ukrainian Church charlatans and schismatics, and President Vladimir Putin has warned of possible bloodshed.  

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Despite the snowy weather, hundreds of people watched Monday’s service on a big screen outside because there was not enough space in the packed cathedral to accommodate them.

 

“This is the most happy day in the life of every Ukrainian. And I understand that every soul desires to be here,” Oksana Pasenok, a university professor, told Reuters.

People formed a long queue after the service to see the decree, which will remain on public display.

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“Today the words of those holy fathers who died for Ukraine, for our freedom, for our liberty, come true,” said Oleksandr Sydoruk, engineer, standing in the queue to see the document.

Priest Admits Urinating in Sacrificial Wine During Child Porn Sentencing

Reverend Father Faucher shared his fantasies with other pedophiles online. He spoke of wanting to sexually abuse altar boys and babies. Faucher recalled enjoying a video of a boy being beaten to death

A retired Catholic priest who was caught with thousands of pornographic images and videos of children and boasted about urinating in the wine he blessed for parishioners described himself as a “sick puppy” in court on Thursday before an Idaho judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

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 The Reverend W. Thomas Faucher

Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, 73, pleaded guilty in September to five felony counts, and must register as a sex offender upon his release. He will serve the full 25 years, as the judge denied him the possibility of parole.

The sentencing “brings to a close one of the most difficult cases the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit has ever investigated,” said Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in a statement. “The nature of the evidence uncovered was extremely disturbing.”

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 Rev. W. Thomas on trial 

Investigators first began looking into Faucher late last year, after receiving an anonymous online tip about two sexual images involving children that had been sent from the priest’s email account.

According to evidence presented in court Thursday, police waded through hundreds of emails and online chats Faucher had with someone named “Bruno.” In them, the priest, who retired in 2015 after serving for decades at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Boise, was “actively seeking interests with gay men, satanic interests” and the rape and killing of minors.

More than 2,500 illegal files containing violent child pornography were recovered from Faucher’s computer, cell phone, and Dropbox account. In some videos, the child victims wept as they were abused.

The Idaho Statesmen reports police presented evidence Thursday from online interactions that showed Faucher had expressed a desire to have sex with boys, had “satanic desires,” and that “the thought of killing someone” was exciting to him.

Authorities also revealed the priest shared his fantasies with other pedophiles online. He spoke of wanting to sexually abuse altar boys and babies. In one exchange, he recalled enjoying a video of a boy being beaten to death.

“I was one really sick puppy,” Faucher said during his sentencing, according to the Statesmen. “I screwed up big time … I feel so much remorse and anger.”

Other evidence showed Faucher also used racist language in his chats, and once bragged about urinating into the sacrificial wine. Police also recovered images of Faucher urinating on a cross and a canon law book. Before being sentenced, Faucher argued he would be more useful as a free man.

“There are many people who will benefit if I am no longer in jail,” Faucher said, noting he wants to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse. “There are no people who will benefit if I am in jail or in prison.”

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But Judge Jason Scott said he disagreed, citing the conclusion of analysts: that Faucher would likely re-offend if freed.

“This is the crime that has the potential for both immediate and long-lasting consequences,” Scott said, according to the Statesmen. “I think there is a legitimate risk to the community.”

The priest was initially charged with 21 counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child, one count of felony possession of a controlled substance for having LSD and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance for having marijuana and ecstasy. He pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of sexually exploitative material, two counts of possession of sexually exploitative materials and one count of drug possession.

“I am deeply sorry that I was and have been connected to that in any way,” Faucher told the judge.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise is moving to defrock Faucher, and allegedly had the man’s former residence exorcised before putting it on the market.

“The volumes of shocking information that the law enforcement investigation uncovered reveal the heinous nature of child pornography and the tragic impact upon its victims,” a statement from the diocese reads. “While we cannot begin to fathom what brought Faucher to the point that he was able to enter into this evil and dark world, we are thankful for the efforts of the law enforcement community in doing what it can to protect our children from these crimes.”

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 Reverend Father Faucher being escorted to court