Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!
3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here
Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Churches, Police Fail Miserably to Protect Children - Today's USA P&P List
A police psychologist convicted of CSA
A police detective failed to investigate many CSA cases
Bishop of Phoenix sued for historical CSA
Round-up of the sorry state of Catholic dioceses and CSA
Billy Graham's grandson decries Protestant church response to CSA
LA County Sheriff’s Psychologist Convicted of
Sexual Abuse of Two Young Children
LOS ANGELES – A former LA County Sheriff’s Psychologist was convicted of sexually assaulting two family members, both under 10 years old.
Michael Dane Ward, 45, of La Cañada-Flintridge was found guilty of four counts of lewd act on a child, two counts of forcible lewd act on a child under 14, three counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger and one count of sodomy with a child under 10. Both of the two children testified against Ward in court leading to his conviction.
Los Angeles County District Attorney officials said that Ward may face up to life in prison for molesting the young boy and girl during his sentencing on October 19th. The sentencing comes approximately 2 years after the incidents that took place from October 2013 and November 2015.
6 of 14 counts dropped for former bishop,
sex abuse charges remain
Retired Bishop Thomas O'Brien stands accused of molesting a boy 35 years ago. Six other charges against him have been dropped, but the charge of sexual abuse remains. O'Brien had been the bishop of Phoenix for 21 years, but resigned after the diocese became embroiled in the sex abuse scandal and after he was arrested for a hit-and-run death of a pedestrian.
PHOENIX, Arizona - A few charges have been dropped against a former Arizona Roman Catholic bishop, but the former church official still faces sexual misconduct charges for allegations that he molested a young boy 35 years ago.
The Arizona Republic reported http://bit.ly/2wHVHSR Friday that a Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed counts of public nuisance, fraud, fiduciary fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress, leaving eight of the original 14 counts.
Retired Bishop Thomas O’Brien is accused of sexually abusing a boy on several occasions at parishes in Phoenix and Goodyear from 1977 to 1982. The Diocese of Phoenix says O’Brien denies the allegation.
O’Brien led the diocese in Phoenix as it became embroiled in a global scandal that rocked the Catholic church after allegations surfaced in Boston about pedophile priests going unpunished.
The bishop acknowledged in a 2003 immunity deal that he let church employees accused of sex abuse continue to have contact with children. Weeks after the deal, O’Brien resigned as bishop after he was arrested in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian.
O’Brien, who served as Phoenix’s bishop for 21 years, resigned in June 2003 after being accused of striking and killing 43-year-old Jim Reed with his car.
The bishop didn’t stop to help Reed or report the accident to police but told investigators that he didn’t realize he had hit a person.
He said he thought he had hit a dog or cat or that someone had thrown a rock at his car. Prosecutors said O’Brien tried to have his windshield fixed.
It was probably the cat that threw the rock!!!!
He was sentenced to probation and 1,000 hours of community service after being convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Tucson detective failed to properly investigate
dozens of abuse cases
By Caitlin Schmidt Arizona Daily Star
A Tucson police detective who resigned from the department last year failed to properly investigate dozens of child sexual and vulnerable-adult abuse cases, allowing “dangerous suspects” to walk free, newly released police documents show.
The Tucson Police Department’s office of professional standards began investigating Lisa Lopez in April 2016 after her supervisor suspected Lopez engaged in “serious investigative misconduct” during a vulnerable-adult case, according to documents from the investigation into the detective.
A comprehensive review of Lopez’s past cases revealed 36 cases were mishandled or “lacked a full investigation,” according to the report, obtained by the Star through an open-records request.
“It became very clear that Lopez intentionally and consciously made the decision to not properly investigate cases where children and vulnerable adults were victimized,” Lt. Eric Johnson wrote in his review of Lopez’s case. “She even admitted during an interview that she was aware one of the suspects in a case was still at large and was likely reoffending.”
“Ms. Lopez has no business having the authority and responsibility of a police officer,” Johnson wrote in the report, dated Sept. 23, 2016.
The investigation was completed in September — weeks after Lopez resigned — with the department’s chain of command deciding the 19-year veteran should be fired.
Silva said that while Lopez’s situation was an egregious example, issues like these are extremely rare.
“We really didn’t have any choice but to terminate,” he said.
“NO ACTUAL INVESTIGATIVE STEPS”
A review of the 30 vulnerable-adult and six child sexual assault cases showed Lopez violated general orders in nine categories a total of 72 times. The violations include untruthfulness; on-duty conduct; reporting requirements; authority of police officers; accuracy and timeliness; evidence handling; prohibited uses of property; code of ethics and department values; and obedience to general orders.
Lopez, who was a detective for 12 years, failed in multiple cases to record interviews with either victims, suspects or witnesses, and, in some cases, Lopez never conducted the interviews.
When there were recorded interviews, many times Lopez never placed the interviews into the case file, the report said. Investigators also found that in several cases, Lopez never entered any evidence into the system and in one case destroyed evidence that she didn’t think was of value.
It was even noted that Lopez appeared to take “no actual investigative steps” in some of her cases.
Lopez’s “complete lack of conscience and sympathy toward the most vulnerable” people in Tucson is unforgivable, Johnson wrote in his review.
“Her refusal to utilize basic investigative procedures all but guaranteed victims were likely to be further victimized, and very dangerous suspects were allowed to walk free and make this community a less-safe place to live,” Johnson wrote.
In one instance, Lopez took numerous missteps in a case involving the alleged molestation of a 5-year-old girl by her mother’s boyfriend, according to TPD documents. In April 2012, the child’s mother called police to say she saw her boyfriend inside of her daughter’s bedroom “playing,” and shortly after, the girl disclosed that the boyfriend had been molesting her every night.
Lopez was contacted by officers the night the report was made but didn’t respond to the scene, saying she’d be out the next morning, TPD documents show. When officers told Lopez there could be physical evidence in the victim’s bedroom, Lopez told the officers to tell the child’s mother to leave the bedroom “as is” and not touch anything.
The officer contacted a sergeant to express concern over not collecting the evidence and was told to take photographs and collect the items. At no time did Lopez submit any evidence in the case for forensic examination.
When confronted by investigators about why she didn’t respond to the scene the night the report was made, “Lopez took a long pause and then stated that she did not really remember the conversation because it was early in the morning,” the report said, adding that records show that officers arrived on scene shortly after 7:30 p.m. When pressed on the issue, Lopez said, “All I can tell you is that I made the decision I made.”
She told investigators she never submitted evidence for forensic testing because the Pima County Attorney’s Office never asked her to.
The night the report was made, officers also identified a second possible victim and reported this to Lopez, who said she would interview the 10-year-old child later. Investigators were unable to locate any documentation to show she ever spoke to the second victim. When investigators contacted the mother of the 10-year-old victim, they were told that Lopez contacted her a year after the incident was reported to police.
Although Lopez obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect, she failed to have it properly recorded with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and it was never entered into state and federal law enforcement databases. The report also shows that Lopez made no attempts to apprehend the suspect.
“As a result of the arrest warrant not being properly recorded, the suspect has not been apprehended for this offense for over four years, leaving him free to potentially victimize additional children,” according to the report.
Lopez told investigators she thought she had enlisted the U.S. Marshals Service help to track down the suspect, but when she was told the warrant was never entered, she acknowledged that she couldn’t have asked for the marshals’ assistance. Lopez said not having the warrant recorded was unintentional, the report said.
At the completion of the office of professional standards’ investigation, the case was turned over to a sergeant in the child abuse unit and an arrest warrant was issued last year. It’s unclear if the suspect has been apprehended, as his name was not listed in the report.
Two years later, Lopez was assigned to investigate another case involving the younger victim, but it was unclear from the report if the girl was talking about the 2012 case or a new incident. The victim’s mother told police her daughter had been spending time with a male neighbor and she had found them in bed together, after which she disallowed contact between the two.
Lopez didn’t conduct any interviews in the case, telling investigators she relied on the Department of Child Safety’s investigation to determine that there wasn’t a new incident, but never got a copy of the report or even the caseworker’s name.
During the nine months she had the case open, Lopez said she did nothing more than try to contact the mother and speak with DCS.
“She admitted she did nothing to identify the suspect” and “agreed in the interview that it would be easy for someone looking at her investigation to conclude that she did nothing” to further the investigation, the report said.
The Star could not locate Lopez for comment.
A SERIES OF FAULTY INVESTIGATIONS
Other flawed investigations, according to TPD investigators, include:
In 2015, Lopez was assigned the case of a 73-year-old group home resident who reported being tied down and beaten with a horse whip, but investigators were unable to locate any recorded interviews or even a case file for the investigation.
In 2016, Lopez was assigned the case of a 20-year-old man in a wheelchair whose school nurse observed what she thought were signs of a sexually transmitted disease. Lopez went to the hospital, but didn’t interview the victim’s brother who was “possibly a suspect or at least a witness” in the case. Investigators located a recorded interview with the victim, but “at no point does Lopez ask the victim any questions.” Investigators determined Lopez did not investigate the potential sexual abuse.
In 2014, Lopez was assigned to investigate the attempted sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl by a 17-year-old boy who was a resident at the girl’s group home. Although there is documentation that a Child Advocacy Center interview with the victim was conducted, Lopez never entered the interview into evidence and the case was closed due to the missing interview.
In 2015, a young woman told police she had been raped by her 20-year-old boyfriend when she was 15, and had a child as a result. Lopez conducted no interviews, despite previous cases from 2013 and 2014 “in which information was previously reported about the suspect getting the victim pregnant.” Her supplemental statement says there was “no physical evidence of assault” despite the fact that “there was a child conceived from the alleged assault,” the report says.
In 2013, a 15-year-old girl called 911, saying her father attempted to rape her, with a portion of the attempted assault captured on the 911 recording. Lopez documented in her report that she attempted to contact the father, but he was uncooperative. She wrote that she “will be” issuing a warrant for the man’s arrest. Investigators said while it appeared Lopez obtained the warrant, she never had it officially recorded in Pima County Justice Court. Two years later, Oklahoma Child Protective Services contacted authorities in Tucson regarding an 8-year-old boy who said he was sexually abused by his father when he lived in Arizona. The father was identified as the same suspect in the previous case.
In addition to concerns about Lopez’s work, investigators discovered she wasn’t following orders about when and where she was supposed to report for duty. Lopez had been primarily working from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office but was ordered by her supervisor to work from TPD headquarters instead.
“Concerns arose as to whether Detective Lopez was in fact working her scheduled 40 hours per week and what location she was working from,” the report said.
Police investigators tracked Lopez’s key card and login use at the Attorney General’s Office from Feb. 1 through April 22 and found six workdays showing no activity for Lopez, “likely indicating that she was not in fact at work on those scheduled days,” the report said.
The documents state that while her performance was not a direct result of failures by her supervisors, there were several issues that contributed to the situation. Those included that she did not work in close proximity to her supervisors, that her supervisors did not have direct knowledge of what Lopez was investigating, and that Lopez “was afforded the autonomy to conduct investigation with minimal supervision.”
Indeed. How did she last 12 years with such incredibly bad work habits and ethics? Someone should have picked up on it long before they did. This woman should be in jail.
Billy Graham’s grandson blames the Church
for protecting child sex abusers
By Tola Mbakwe
The grandson of famous US evangelist Billy Graham has been vocal about the horror of child abuse in the Church.
Boz Tchividjian is the head of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which investigates sexual abuse in Christian organisations.
In a recent interview with Vice.com he said it’s his life’s focus to expose sex abuse in the Church because churches usually protect the abuser at the expense of the victim.
There are dozens of posts on this blog that will confirm that, if you have any doubt.
He became more passionate about the issue when he started practicing law and served as chief prosecutor in the Sexual Crimes Division.
“There was no greater defender of children than Jesus,” he said.
Tchividjian suggested that child abuse scandals are worse in the Protestant churches than the Catholic Church.
He said that data gathered from top insurers of Protestant churches a few years ago showed that there were 260 reports a year of child sex abuse by church leaders or members of the congregation. Other data for the Catholic Church reported 228 incidents.
Tchividjian added: “If you just look at these numbers, they tell us that more children are being abused within Protestant churches than in the Catholic Church. One aspect of that is that there are way more Protestants and Protestant churches than there are Catholics.
“But for me, it's important to share that statistic when speaking with Protestant audiences so that they stop pointing their fingers at the Catholic Church and engage more with their own church.”
Tchividjian, who’s also a law professor at large evangelical school Liberty University, accused churches of not creating “safe spaces” for victims. He gave an example of Presbyterian pastor who preached numerous sermons on abuse.
The pastor told Graham afterwards she had ten women reveal they had been sexually abused as children.
“I think the reason they approached her was that in preaching about it from the pulpit, she created a safe space for them to talk about it,” he said.
“Too often victims are afraid to say anything because they're afraid of how people will respond.”
When asked how church leaders typically respond to the topic of sex abuse in the Church, he said: “There are some that respond very well. The younger generation of pastors seem to get this issue more and are willing to talk about it.
“But we, unfortunately, do have a lot of pastors who don't think it happens, and prefer to embrace a false narrative that makes them more comfortable.”
Tchividjian explained a need to educate church leaders about the issue and end victim blaming when victims come forward.
He said: “Telling the victim it was their fault because of how they were dressed or were acting, or forcing them to forgive the offender, just compounds the shame they are already going through.
“Shame is a big issue with male victims of sexual abuse. I've had male survivors tell me they didn't want anyone in the church to know because they thought that they would be labelled a future offender and everyone would keep their kids away, or they would be accused of being gay.”
He added that his work with GRACE has given him a “low view of the Church but also given him a much higher view of Jesus” and that’s how he keeps his faith.
Across the nation, priest sexual abuse cases
haunt Catholic parishes
In May 2003, Thomas O’Brien, then bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, admitted to sheltering at least 50 priests accused of sexual abuse, often shuffling them around to parishes across the state
O’Brien’s admission, released under an agreement with the county attorney, acknowledged he “allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct.” He also waived his own immunity should sexual misconduct allegations against him surface.
Thirteen years later, in a lawsuit filed last September, O’Brien — now bishop emeritus — was accused of sexually abusing a grade-school boy.
See story above for more information
In recent months, USA TODAY Network reporters at the Pacific Daily News have uncovered scores of allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam, where a former altar boy’s accusation last summer that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him in the 1970s has prompted other revelations.
For more information search this blog for 'Apuron'.
Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere in the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged.
The Phoenix suit names 60 other Roman Catholic priests or church employees, dating back to the 1950s and alleges a cover-up.
The diocese itself eventually exposed some priests as part of an agreement with Arizona prosecutors in the early 2000s. At least two of the priests fled the U.S. and remain at large, and a substantial number are now dead.
The 2003 agreement in O’Brien’s case brought major changes within the Catholic Church in the Phoenix area, including victim assistance and training on sexual misconduct for all diocesan staff and volunteers.
In Louisiana: Church’s response evolves
Accusations of sex crimes involving Catholic priests and children in Louisiana may date back seven decades, court records reveal.
The case of the Rev. F. David Broussard, who is expected in a St. Martin Parish court on Nov. 27, is the most recent. The 51-year-old former pastor in Breaux Bridge, La., while not accused of sexual contact with children, was charged in July 2016 with 500 counts of possession of child pornography after investigators say they found hundreds of images on his personal computer.
Broussard wrote a public apology after his arrest but pleaded not guilty to the felony charges in May. He remains free on $25,000 bond and is on administrative leave.
Former priest Mark A. Broussard (no relation to F. David Broussard), convicted in March 2016 of molesting altar boys in the neighboring diocese of Lake Charles in the late 1980s, was arrested in 2012 after a man wrote to Lake Charles Bishop Glen John Provost to reveal accusations against him.
Mark Broussard was sentenced in May 2016 to two consecutive life sentences for aggravated rape and 50 additional years for other sexual abuse charges.
The Lafayette-area cases were just two of many involving local priests and children. In 2014, a Minnesota Public Radio investigation uncovered a wealth of court-related documents tied to such incidents in the Diocese of Lafayette.
The link: the Most Rev. Harry Flynn, who was bishop both in Lafayette and in Minnesota, where sex abuse cases involving the clergy were uncovered. Those cases revealed that at least 15 Lafayette priests had sexually abused children.
The accused served in myriad church positions across the Lafayette diocese, including in small Acadiana towns such as Abbeville, where Gilbert Gauthe’s case drew nationwide attention in the 1980s. Gauthe admitted to raping or sodomizing 37 children dating back to 1972; in 1986, he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he was released a decade early. As many as 100 people may have been abused by Gauthe, according to bishopaccountability.org, a watchdog website.
The Catholic Church’s response today to accusations of sex abuse involving clergy members is much different than it was in the latter half of the 20th century, when priests might merely be reassigned to different parishes, evidence shows.
Bishop Provost turned over accusations against Mark Broussard to police; Bishop Douglas Deshotel cooperated with local authorities when F. David Broussard was arrested. The Diocese of Lafayette now says it marches in step with the Catholic Church’s mandates to protect children and since 2003 has enacted practices including criminal background checks and fingerprinting for clergy and others who have contact with minors.
In Delaware: Bankruptcy and new allegations
In 2002, as a child sexual abuse scandal in Boston’s archdiocese engulfed the Catholic Church, The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., began chronicling decades of child abuse, cover-ups and quiet transfers of priests from one parish to another.
By 2011, the Diocese of Wilmington and several religious orders throughout the diocese distributed more than $110 million to 152 adult survivors who were sexually abused by area Catholic priests.
Tens of millions more were paid in confidential settlements with dozens of other childhood rape survivors who had been abused in families, other churches, non-profit groups or in public, private or religious schools in Delaware, TheNews Journal found. Dozens of living and deceased priests were exposed as abusers.
The Wilmington diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2009, just hours before the start of Delaware’s first trial involving sex abuse by a Catholic priest. At the time, the diocese listed assets of as much as $100 million and liabilities of as much as $500 million.
But the victims had the law on their side. In 2007, Delaware passed the Child Victims Act, one of the toughest child abuse laws in the nation. It gave accusers two years in which to file civil suits that otherwise would be barred by statutes of limitation. Under the settlement terms, the church agreed to measures designed to prevent future abuse, such as having survivors address candidates for the priesthood and appointing an independent child protection consultant.
The Wilmington diocese emerged from bankruptcy in 2011, after it laid off employees, liquidated an emergency fund and sold properties, including the bishop’s home.
Since the two-year window closed in 2009, six additional plaintiffs have said they were abused as children during the 1970s and 1980s, says Wilmington attorney Thomas Neuberger, who represented many of the original victims.
Wilmington diocese spokesman Robert Krebs said the diocese has not settled any abuse claims since 2011. The diocese did ask Pope Benedict XVI to laicize, or formally remove from the clergy, the nine priests it had suspended because of abuse allegations. Four of the cases are still pending, Krebs said.
In Minnesota: Statute of limitations lifted
Minnesota Catholic dioceses are wrestling with new accusations of priest abuse after a 2013 state law temporarily lifted the statute of limitations to file civil actions. Under the law, victims age 24 and under as of 2013 have unlimited time to sue. Those over 24 had a three-year window that ended in May 2016; by that time accusers had filed more than 800 claims against churches, schools, the Boy Scouts and a children’s theater.
The heightened scrutiny led to the downfall of two bishops, and two Catholic dioceses — including the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis — filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piché resigned in 2015, days after the archdiocese was criminally charged with child endangerment over its handling of an abusive priest who ultimately went to prison.
The Duluth diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after a jury found it responsible for $4.8 million of an $8.1 million jury award to just one accuser.
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minnesota disclosed a list of 71 priests with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors, archdiocese spokesman Tom Halden says. Most incidents occurred from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s. The archdiocese says all men who were assigned there have been permanently removed from ministry.
The Diocese of St. Cloud, which covers a large part of rural Minnesota, is still working to resolve 74 claims, including 31 against clergy members, that were made during the three-year window, spokesman Joe Towalski says. Most claims are related to allegations from several decades ago.
In New York: Long-term loans pay out millions
New York accusers have filed 118 claims of abuse by Catholic clergy. The Archdiocese of New York has paid out more than $1.5 million to settle claims filed against six former Catholic priests from the Hudson Valley. The cases date as far back as the 1970s.
Seven men who say priests abused them when they were children filed claims and received individual settlements of $150,000 to $350,000.
Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the archdiocese, has called the 2016 compensation program “a sincere effort to try and help people achieve some measure of healing from what was done to them.”
The Diocese of Rochester published a list in 2012 of 23 priests accused of abuse and said all had been removed from public ministry. Bishop Matthew Clark, who has since left, had promised to update the list as new allegations of abuse arose and disclose the fates of four priests whose cases were still in progress. That never happened.
Doug Mandelaro, a spokesman for the Rochester Diocese, said no allegations have been made since 2012.
Two victims in Buffalo made their abuse allegations public in 2015, saying they were dissatisfied with how Bishop Richard Malone handled their cases.
Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham testified in a 2011 deposition that the victims of child-molesting priests are partly to blame for their own abuse. He apologized after the remarks were reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard in 2015.
In California: A big wake-up call
Uriel Ojeda, an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Redding, surrendered to the Sacramento Police Department on Nov. 30, 2011, after complaints he sexually assaulted a young teen girl in her bedroom when he worked in Sacramento that year. In 2013, Ojeda began serving an eight-year sentence at Avenal State Prison.
Diocese spokesman Kevin Eckery said Ojeda was removed from the priesthood and no longer receives money or spiritual support from the diocese. The victim and her family received counseling.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, which covers 20 counties from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Oregon border, came under fire in 2005 when 33 people accused 10 priests of sexual assault from decades earlier. The diocese settled the lawsuit, offering $35 million to victims one day before a civil trial was to begin.
Eckery said that case spurred the diocese to change their rules to include background checks and fingerprinting for priests and evaluating whether they are fit to work with children. “There’s no excuse for what happened,” Eckery said.
In Pennsylvania: Ongoing investigations
A Pennsylvania grand jury investigating sexual abuse by priests recently recommended charges against the Rev. John T. Sweeney of Greensburg, according to a statement by the state’s attorney general’s office. In July, prosecutors charged Sweeney with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, accusing him of using his position to force a 10-year-old-boy to perform oral sex.
A statewide grand jury is investigating six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses. Five dioceses confirmed they were served subpoenas.
A two-year investigation by the state attorney general’s office into the Altoona-Johnstown diocese found last year that at least 50 priests or religious leaders were involved in the sexual abuse of children.
Multiple grand jury reports have found that priests in the Philadelphia diocese sexually abused children — one 2005 report found abuse by 63 priests.
In Iowa: From uncooperative to excellent
As recently as 2015, at least one Iowa Catholic diocese was still dealing with the fallout from an abuse scandal that rocked the state in the mid-2000s.
In January 2015, Pope Francis removed Howard Fitzgerald, a veteran pastor who worked in central and western Iowa for decades, after an investigation revealed he sexually abused a minor decades ago. Fitzgerald was the fifth priest defrocked for sexual misconduct in the Des Moines diocese since 2003.
Independent auditors hired by the U.S. Conference of Bishops applauded the diocese encompassing Des Moines in 2004 for “the excellence and extent of Bishop Joseph Charron’s communications policy and practices.”
In a 2010 letter, Bishop Richard Pates said the diocese is committed to preventing sexual abuse, pointing out it notifies civil authorities when allegations arise and offers a victim assistance advocate outside the church.
But in contrast, the independent auditors left the Diocese of Davenport “because they were unable to verify whether or not it had adopted the mandated policies,” according to reporting by The Des Moines Register in 2004. At the time, diocese attorneys insisted on being present for auditors’ interviews with church leaders and employees.
Davenport’s diocese, with $4.5 million in assets, became the fourth in the nation to file for bankruptcy in 2006, following Portland, Oregon; Tucson, Arizona; and Spokane, Washington. Days later, Pope Benedict XVI appointed a new bishop.
The Archdiocese of Dubuque did not reply to a request for information on any current legal proceedings, but church representatives for the dioceses in Des Moines, Davenport and Sioux City said there were no pending cases involving priest sexual abuse.
“The bottom line in all of this is that the Catholic Church cares about children — all children — and wants to protect them,” Des Moines Bishop Pates wrote in 2010. “Jesus had a special place in his heart for them, and the church can be no less loving.”
Unfortunately, it is clear that far too many priests and even Bishops have no genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. This is where the Catholic Church has failed - in ordaining priests who know about Jesus, but who don't 'know' Him in reality.