Priest Jailed For Second Time For Sexually Abusing Boys

The victim described how he was made to feel like he was passed between the pair like a “toy borrowed from a friend”.

Ifor Whittaker court case

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.

Catholic perveersion

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.

 

Catholic Bishop Resigns Over Claims Of Celebrating Mass With A Pedophile

“To date, clerical abuse victims here have been let down, not just by the church, but also by the authorities.”

John McAreavey resignation
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.”

Priest Removed For Alleged ‘Inappropriate Contact’ With Girl

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 Casteix questioned 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.


Information from: (Los Angeles) Daily News, http://www.dailynews.com

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was the Archbishop of Boston when unpunished sexual misconduct within the Catholic Church surfaced, has died in Rome

the victims of sexual abuse were outraged because it gave Law a second career and a golden parachute that allowed him to stay close to the center of power in Rome and serve as a member or adviser in several influential Vatican departments.

Reported by Phillip Pullella~ Reuters

Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston, who died on Wednesday, resigned in disgrace after covering up years of sexual abuse of children by priests and whose name became a byword for scandal in the Catholic Church. 

The Vatican announced his death just before dawn on 20 December 2017.

via FTP

The telegram of condolences Pope Francis sent to the dean of the College of Cardinals was unusually short and bland compared to those for other cardinals before.

Francis said he was praying that the merciful God would “welcome him in eternal peace.” The pope did not mention that Law had been Archbishop of Boston and a brief Vatican biography made no mention of the circumstances of his resignation 15 years ago.

Law was Archbishop of Boston, one of the most prestigious and wealthy American archdioceses, for 18 years when Pope John Paul reluctantly accepted his resignation on Dec. 13, 2002, after a tumultuous year in church history.

Bernard Law

A succession of devastating news stories by Boston Globe reporters showed how priests who sexually abused children had been moved from parish to parish for years under Law’s tenure without parishioners or law authorities being informed.

“No words can convey the pain these survivors and their loved ones suffered,” SNAP, a victims’ group, said.

“Survivors of child sexual assault in Boston, who were first betrayed by Law’s cover-up of sex crimes and then doubly betrayed by his subsequent promotion to Rome, were those most hurt,” SNAP said in a statement.

Law’s resignation sent shockwaves through the American church and had a trickle down effect around the world as the cover-up techniques used in Boston were discovered to have been used in country after country.

Cardinal-Benard-Law-e1513795168425

 

The story of how the Globe team brought the scandal to light in a city where few wanted to cross the politically powerful church was told in the 2015 film “Spotlight,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture.

The situation in Boston turned out to be the tip of an iceberg of abuse and its cover-up, where churchmen preferred protecting the reputation of the institution rather than the innocence of children.

lll

Thousands of cases came to light around the world as investigations encouraged long-silent victims to go public, shattering the church’s reputation in places such as Ireland, and forcing it to pay some $2 billion in compensation.

 

“As Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Law served at a time when the church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences,” Law’s successor in Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, said in a statement.

Six months after his resignation, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office announced that Law and others would not face criminal charges.

After a period in a monastery in the United States, Law moved to Rome.

 In 2004 Pope John Paul appointed him to be archpriest of the Rome Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four major basilica’s of Christendom, whose gold leaf ceiling is said to be made from the first batch of the precious metal Columbus brought back from the Americas. He is likely to be buried there.

WireAP_e6b1cd6695204d9bb18d268c5799c624_12x5_992

In relative terms it was an immense fall from grace. Such posts are symbolic and ceremonial. But the victims of sexual abuse were outraged because it gave Law a second career and a golden parachute that allowed him to stay close to the center of power in Rome and serve as a member or adviser in several influential Vatican departments.

He also maintained the rank of cardinal and participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict in 2005.  Before he became ill, Law was a regular on the diplomatic circuit, attending receptions, including many in the gardens of the US Embassy to the Vatican.

While Law was an awkward presence at US receptions for a few years after his resignation, at Italian events he was treated with the same effusive obsequiousness bestowed on all cardinals – something Law appeared to enjoy.

 He always declined to talk about events in Boston. “I’m retired from that,” he told a reporter at one reception.
kkk
 Photo credit: The Boston Globe via Getty Images 

Cardinal O’Malley, Law’s successor, heads a Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sexual abuse in the Church.

But the credibility of the commission, which was formed in 2014, has been hurt by the resignation of two high-level lay members who have accused the Vatican of dragging its feet.

 The terms of most members expired recently and it is not clear what Pope Francis will do with it.

Last September, Francis, addressing the commission, said the Catholic Church had moved too slowly to confront abuse.

“When consciousness arrives late, the means to resolve the problems also arrive late. I am aware of this difficulty but it is reality and I say it plainly: We arrived late. The old practice of moving people around and not confronting the problem made consciences fall asleep,” the pope said.

Law was born on Nov. 4, 1931, in Torreon, Mexico, the son of a US Army official and a musician. He graduated from Harvard University and was ordained a priest in 1961.

His first assignment was in Mississippi, where he received death threats for championing civil rights. As bishop of Springfield–Cape Girardeau in Missouri, he opened a home for battered women and a center to help Vietnamese boat people.

Parish removes priest who asked middle school students during confession if they masturbated or watched porn

“I think he was trying to get them to really discern and be in touch with any sinful behavior they had,” McNeil said. “So I think it was a case of, from what we know right now, a case of trying to be too helpful.”

An associate pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church has been dismissed from the parish after asking middle school students during confession if they masturbated or watched pornography.

Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor and spokesman for the Archdiocese of Omaha, said the Rev. Nicholas Mishek, 26, is an inexperienced priest who was overzealous in his questioning and made a lapse in judgment. He has been removed from St. Robert Bellarmine, but the archdiocese will work with him to review the training he received in the seminary.

“There was this line of questioning that’s unacceptable, and he asked two questions that are particularly unacceptable,” McNeil said. “And parents reacted strongly, and should have, and we responded to that.”

 

Mishek was ordained in June and received a favorable report from the seminary, McNeil said. There are no prior complaints or incidents involving him, McNeil said.  

Parents at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic School received a letter Monday signed by Principal Sandra Suiter and the Rev. Steven Stillmunks, the parish pastor, outlining the incident that happened last week and the school’s response. The K-8 school is near 120th and Pacific Streets.

 

According to the letter, on Friday morning, a parent notified Suiter that Mishek had asked inappropriate questions of seventh- and eighth-graders during confession Thursday.  Several parents stepped forward with similar stories..

 

The letter states that during confession, Mishek asked seventh- and eighth-graders if they cheated, lied, watched pornography or masturbated.

It was later discovered that he had asked fifth- and sixth-graders “similar inappropriate questions” during confession Wednesday, though those questions were worded more vaguely, such as “have you ever viewed or watched inappropriate shows or videos?”

The letter says that within 10 minutes of the first parent complaint, Suiter reported the allegations to Stillmunks. He was traveling out of town but turned around to return to the parish and contacted the archdiocese.

By 1 p.m. that day, Stillmunks dismissed Mishek from his duties at St. Robert Bellarmine, a decision supported by Archbishop George Lucas, McNeil said.

“We are grateful to those parents who came forward and notified us in such a timely way,” Suiter and Stillmunks wrote in the letter. “Because of their quick response, we were able to take necessary steps immediately. We especially want to thank our brave students who knew this was inappropriate and voiced their concerns to their parents.”

Mishek did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The World-Herald.

A parent meeting is scheduled for tonight at the Mainelli Center at the church. Officials from the school and parish and the manager of the Archdiocesan Office of Victim Outreach and Prevention will attend.

Homeroom teachers talked to students in grades 5 through 8 to let them know whom they could talk to if they had any concerns or questions.  “In future days, additional conversations will take place with our students about the sacrament of reconciliation,” the letter said.  

McNeil said confession is not supposed to be an interrogation, and priests are trained to let whoever is confessing lead the conversation.

“There are parents who are Catholic who have experiences of their own with the sacrament of reconciliation who know questioning is not a usual or encouraged practice,” McNeil said. “The nature of those two questions, they thought that was a little personal and maybe too invasive.”

Students at Catholic schools may go to confession weekly, monthly or around holy holidays, McNeil said. Kids are often given a handout to prompt reflection, called the examination of conscience.

 

“I think he was trying to get them to really discern and be in touch with any sinful behavior they had,” McNeil said. “So I think it was a case of, from what we know right now, a case of trying to be too helpful.”

 

No decisions have been made about Mishek’s next assignment, and there’s no effort underway to remove him from the priesthood, McNeil said.

“There wasn’t a civil offense, not a canonical offense, not a criminal offense, none of that,” he said.

[written by Erin Duffy]