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

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Several More Horror Stories Mostly from PA Inquiry Into Catholic Pedophile Priests

Pennsylvania Diocese removes priest accused of
child sex abuse
By The Associated Press

The Roman Catholic pastor of a southwestern Pennsylvania parish has been removed from ministry after the local diocese received what it calls a credible allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor.

Wednesday's revelation by the Greensburg Diocese comes amid growing fallout from a state grand jury report that accused a succession of church leaders of covering up abuse by 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s.

The Greensburg Diocese says the allegation against Monsignor Michael Matusak dates back almost 20 years. He's at least the third Catholic clergy member in Pennsylvania to be under investigation independently of the grand jury report.

The diocese says it relayed the allegation to state child welfare authorities and the county prosecutor.

The diocese says it's the only allegation it ever received against Matusak.

Several more Pennsylvania predator priests
part of child sex abuse report
By Laura Hayes laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

A teacher at Bishop McDevitt High School, Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, reported Father Augustine Giella in April 1987.

A girl had told the teacher that Giella watched her use the restroom and did other “wrong things” with the children.

Giella was at the time a priest at St. John the Evangelist in Enhaut, which would later be consolidated into the present Prince of Peace parish in Steelton.

The teacher reported the girl’s account to Father Joseph Coyne, who reported it to the Diocese of Harrisburg.

Monsignor Hugh Overbaugh, in an April 1987 memorandum, recorded the complaint, a second similar allegation from another girl and a third complaint of “acting improperly” toward another girl.

“Overbaugh concluded his memo, ‘Father Coyne was instructed to do nothing in the case until the matter had been discussed with diocesan legal counsel,’” the report read.

Astonishing! 3 accusations by 3 different girls and he is not removed from his position! The Monsignor should be held accountable.

These details were part of a sweeping report compiled by a grand jury who for the past two years has been investigating allegations of child sexual abuse within six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office released the report Aug. 14.

Giella is one of 301 clergy members of which the grand jury claims there are credible allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.

Giella remained at the Enhaut church until 1988 when he voluntarily retired. He continued to sexually abuse children until 1992, according to the grand jury report.

When Giella first came to St. John the Evangelist, the grand jury said he was embraced by a family. The daughters would go to the rectory to do chores for the priest and count the collection money. The report states that Giella became a “grandfather figure” who would bring  toys and gifts, take the daughters on trips and join the family during celebrations.

Giella sexually abused five of the eight daughters, according to the report.

According to the report, Giella was ordained in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey in 1950. He served in New Jersey for 29 years until he reached out to then-Bishop Joseph Daley to ask for assignment to the Harrisburg diocese. Giella reportedly wanted his own parish, which he thought was unlikely to happen in New Jersey.

Giella was first assigned to St. Joseph’s Church in Hanover before then being moved to St. John the Evangelist church in Enhaut.

After he left St. John the Evangelist, Giella reportedly moved back to New Jersey and the family continued to visit him. During the last of the trips, the report states that partially or fully nude photos of one of the children was found in Giella’s residence, and the child’s mother noticed that the child had been withdrawn. When asked what was wrong, the child shared her experience with Giella, according to the report.

The family reported it to the church and police, and in August 1992, Giella was arrested but later died while awaiting trial. According to the report, when police executed a search warrant at Giella’s home, they found a number of items including pubic hair, underwear, urine, used feminine sanitary products and explicit photos. According to the report, the diocese settled with the family for almost $1 million. 

Other women came forward to police, reporting of abuse by Giella.

The sisters told the grand jury about the challenges they faced as a result of the abuse — psychological, emotional and interpersonal damage. One of the sisters had a panic attack during the grand jury proceedings after seeing a man who resembled the priest.

The child’s mother, who didn’t know if Giella’s behavior was reported to the diocese, confronted Overbaugh. The grand jury report states that there was evidence that diocesan officials knew. During grand jury proceedings, the mother described the confrontation.

“Overbaugh stated, ‘I wondered why you were letting them go to the rectory,’” according to the report.

“If it does nothing else, this report removes any remaining doubt that the failure to prevent abuse was a systemic failure, an institutional failure,” the grand jury report stated.

The grand jury wrote that because of the coverup, most of the accused can’t be charged. “What we can do is tell our fellow citizens what happened, and try to get something done about it,” the report said.

The grand jury reportedly identified more than 1,000 child victims from the records from the six dioceses — Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — although officials say they believe the actual number of victims may be in the thousands.

The grand jury estimated that this is the largest kind of this type of grand jury report to date — the Philadelphia report identified more than 60 priests, and the Altoona-Johnstown report identified approximately 50.

In the Harrisburg diocese, the grand jury identified 45 offenders — most of the priests are identified by name, though some are identified by “Harrisburg Priest No. 1” or their names are redacted.

Of the 301 priests identified in the report, five have ties to churches in Middletown and Steelton:

• Giella served at St. John the Evangelist from 1982-1988.

• Father Jerry Kucan served at St. Mary’s in Steelton from 1961 to 1972 and again from 1979 to 1982.

• Father John Allen served at St. Ann’s in Steelton from 1978 to 1980.

• Father T. Ronald Haney served at St. James and Bishop McDevitt High School from 1964 to 1967 and St. Ann’s in Steelton in 1967 and again from 1981 to 1985.

• Father Salvatore Zangari served at St. Ann’s in Steelton from 1969-1973. Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary church in Middletown indicates on its website that Zangari served as an assistant from June to September 1951, although that is not noted in the grand jury report.

“We think it’s reasonable to expect one of the world’s great religions dedicated to the spiritual well-being of over a billion people, to find ways to organize itself so that the shepherds stop preying upon the flock,” the report reads.

Grand jury vs. diocese report

The grand jury’s report comes on the heels of a list of 72 clergy members and seminarians who have been accused of sexually abusing a child since the 1940s that was released by the Diocese of Harrisburg earlier this month.

There is some overlap between priests on the grand jury’s report and those identified by the diocese. Giella, Kucan, Allen, Haney and Zangari all appear on both lists.

Three other priests are on the diocese’s list, but not the grand jury’s. Father Frederick Bradel served at Seven Sorrows in Middletown from 1964 to 1966, and the diocese said he was accused of inappropriate behavior after his death. Father John Bolen served at St. James’ church in Steelton in 1926 and 1927 and was accused after his death of having sexually abused a child. Father William Haviland served at St. Peter the Apostle in Steelton from 1991 to 1995 and from 1990 to 1991 at St. John the Evangelist in Steelton, and accusations were made of him sexually abusing children both while he was alive and following his death. 

John Allen

According to the report, in 2002, a man reported that Father John Allen sexually abused him when he was a minor. Allen reportedly picked up the child along State Street in Harrisburg and sexually abused him numerous times.

The report states that the diocese had concerns about Allen dating back to 1970, and in 1991 he was sent to a center for an evaluation. The next year, parishioners contacted the diocese after they learned that Allen had been arrested by the Lancaster City Police after he reportedly solicited an undercover officer. According to the report, the parishioners said Allen invited altar boys to his room in the rectory.

Father Paul Helwig wrote a memorandum to then-Harrisburg Bishop Nicholas Dattilo stating that Allen had attended a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting in which the priest implied “that he was a pedophile and had an ‘obsession with young boys.’”

After the 2002 report, the diocese suspended Allen’s ability to publicly function as a priest.

And it only took the 32 years to act!!!

More men came forward, alleging sexual abuse by Allen. One man told the diocese that while he was a minor and later when he became an adult, Allen paid him for sexual acts. Another man reportedly told the diocese that while he was an altar boy and a minor, Allen made him play strip poker and later took the boy to his rectory quarters.

In 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine supported a diocese petition to dismiss Allen from the clergy, which was granted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

Father T. Ronald Haney

One evening, when Haney was at a home for dinner, the parents of a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy heard Haney tell the girl, “I guess you have heard about pedaphilia [sic],” according to the report.

On a second occasion, the mother was told by another parishoner said that Haney commented on the daughter’s buttocks. The second parishioner said that Haney put his hand on her daughter’s buttocks when he stopped by her home on Christmas Day 1994, according to the report.

The two women reportedly confronted Haney, and they told the diocese that Haney was embarrassed and hurt “and apologized profusely for the difficulties he caused them.”

Father Jerry Kucan

Kucan reportedly began regularly abusing one boy after he started serving midnight mass in 1974 when Kucan was stationed at St. Anthony’s school in Sharon, in the Diocese of Erie.

Kucan gave the boy a St. Christopher necklace and asked him to serve the morning mass before school. According to the report, the boy would be called out of class to meet Kucan and a brother in a room on the second floor of the school gym where the boy would be sexually assaulted.

In a letter to the Erie diocese in 2005, the survivor wrote that “Kucan told [victim] that if he ever told anyone about their relationship, [victim’s] mother would lose her job in the school kitchen and he would be kicked out of school.”

According to the report, Kucan was a member of the Croatian Franciscan Custody of the Holy Family. After the diocese received the survivor’s letter, then-Bishop of Erie Donald Trautman responded that he reached out to a priest with the Croatian Franciscans asking that they call the victim. Trautman reportedly included contact information for a Catholic Charities where the victim lived to help with his emotional issues.

The wife of a victim reached out to the church in 2007, saying that her husband and his cousins had been sexually abused at St. Anthony’s. The woman in a letter said that her husband had depression and later committed suicide.

The woman asked if she could see similar reports. Monsignor Robert J. Smith responded, according to the report, saying that he was sorry and included contact information for the order. Smith also wrote that they received two reports of incidents in the church. He said the second priest was removed from ministry following the report.

According to the report, a 2007 note states that a priest with the order told Smith that Kucan was taken out of ministry following the first report against him in 2005. The order reportedly settled with the victim.

Father Salvatore Zangari

The report stated that the Harrisburg Diocese received multiple allegations of “unwanted sexual misconduct” between Zangari and adult women between 1980 and 1986, and in 1986, Zangari was sent for an evaluation.

“The Institute relayed that Zangari reported he was ‘literally married’ for eight or nine years and had fathered a child,” the report said.

The diocese followed up on the information from the evaluation in 2002 because the report said they weren’t followed up on. At the time, Zangari reportedly denied being or saying that he was married.

Zangari reportedly did admit to having a child with a former student who had attended a school in Lebanon.

In 2002, Bishop Nicholas Dattilo issued a decree and penal precept stating, “Such admissions on the part of Father Zangari constitute full proof of his sexual misconduct with minors,” according to the report.

Zangari had retired in 1986, and his faculties to perform priestly ministry were removed in 2002.

Father John McDevitt

According to the report, McDevitt worked at Bishop McDevitt High School in the 1960s before transferring out of the Harrisburg diocese in 1982.

The report states that a man from Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Middletown had approached an individual whose name is redacted in the report. The man reportedly stated that McDevitt kissed him in a confessional at the high school.

A “sophisticated” coverup

In the press release, Shapiro called the cover up of the abuse “sophisticated” and it protected the church above all. “The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal.’ That is not our word, but theirs; it appears over and over again in the documents we recovered,” the report read.

They likened it to a playbook to conceal the truth or a script — use euphemisms like “boundary issues” instead of violent sexual acts or “sick leave” instead of either permanent or temporary priest removal; have investigations be conducted by untrained clergy or teachers and use untrained support staff for victims; use church-run psychological facilities that relied on self-reports, don’t supply information by the victims, and rely on a diagnosis, and if there wasn’t a diagnosis, return the priest to ministry; tell parishioners that the priests retired or were reassigned; continue to support accused priests with housing, transportation, benefits and stipends; transfer priests instead of removing; and either don’t or give delayed or “stripped-down” reports to police.

Bishops, the grand jury said, went to lengths to keep the reports a secret, and the report states that abuse complaints were kept in a “secret archive” to which only the bishop had a key.

“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all,” the report states.

In a press release, Harrisburg Bishop Ronald W. Gainer said he read the report with sadness, adding that they acknowledge the “sinfulness” of the harmers and the church leaders who did not respond appropriately.

“I want children, parents, parishioners, students, staff, clergy and the public to know that our churches and our schools are safe; there is nothing we take more seriously than the protection of those who walk through our doors. We send every and all complaints to the proper legal authorities. The safety and well-being of our children is too important not to take immediate and definite action,” Gainer said.

Grand jury recommendations

Two priests have been charged. John Thomas Sweeney, who was a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, pleaded guilty to indecent assault after he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy. Father David Poulson, of the Diocese of Erie, was arrested in May and charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors after he allegedly sexually assaulted boys.

“This isn’t to say that the church is cured of the scourge of child sexual abuse; these active prosecutions show that there are still priests abusing children in Pennsylvania,” the grand jury said. “But with better cooperation, they can be stopped sooner.”

The grand jury recommended eliminating the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse, creating a two-year window to give victims the chance to file civil cases, clarifying the penalties for continuing to fail to report abuse cases, and stopping non-disclosure agreements from preventing victims from going to law enforcement.

“If we learn nothing else from this and prior investigations, let it be this: that sexual abuse, in particular child sexual abuse, is not just a private wrong, to be handled ‘in house.’ It is a crime against society. We’re issuing this report to make that clear, and to push for action,” the report concluded.

Steelton, PA

School drops archbishop's name amid
child sex abuse report fallout

By MARC LEVY, Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Roman Catholic high school will shed the name of Washington's archbishop after he was cited in a sweeping grand jury report as having allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated while he was Pittsburgh's bishop.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday that Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl made the request to remove his name from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, and that school and diocese officials accepted it.

The sign out front of the suburban Pittsburgh school was discovered vandalized Monday, with red spray paint obscuring Wuerl's name as some Catholics called for his resignation or ouster, and a petition circulated to remove his name from the high school.

The 77-year-old Wuerl has defended himself, saying he acted to protect children, promptly investigate allegations and strengthen policies as understanding of child abuse evolved. He has said he will not resign.

In its statement, the Pittsburgh Diocese cited what it said was Wuerl's Aug. 16 letter: "In light of the circumstances today and lest we in any way detract from the purpose of Catholic education ... I respectfully ask you to remove my name from it. In this way, there should be no distraction from the great success of the school and, most importantly, the reason for the school — the students."

Wuerl was Pittsburgh's bishop from 1988 through 2006.

In one case cited in the grand jury report released Aug. 14, Wuerl — acting on a doctor's recommendation — enabled priest William O'Malley to return to active ministry as a canonical consultant in 1998 despite allegations of abuse lodged against him in the past and his own admission that he was sexually interested in adolescents.

In his appointment letter, Wuerl wrote, "At the same time I welcome you back to priestly ministry following your leave of absence for personal reasons. Your willingness to serve in this capacity and to be of assistance ... is a sign of your dedication and priestly zeal," the grand jury report said.

Or, it could be you completely misinterpreted that 'sign'?

Years later, according to the report, six more people alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by O'Malley, in some cases after he had been reinstated.

In another case, Wuerl returned a priest to active ministry in 1995, despite having received multiple complaints that the priest, George Zirwas, had molested boys in the late 1980s.

The Pittsburgh Diocese said "today, we would have handled the Zirwas case much differently" and pulled him from ministry, reported an allegation to law enforcement and presented information to an internal diocese board.

The move is part of the growing fallout from a grand jury report that accused a succession of church leaders of covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 children or teenagers by some 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s. The bulk of the cases cited in the report came before the early 2000s, the grand jury said, because most of the internal documents turned over by the dioceses concerned those cases.

On Monday, the University of Scranton, a Roman Catholic university in Pennsylvania, announced plans to remove the names of three bishops named in the report from campus buildings, saying it is acting in solidarity with victims of child sexual abuse.

Two weeks before the report was released, the Harrisburg Diocese said it would hold past church leadership accountable for the sexual abuse of children by priests and strip the names of bishops going back 70 years from church properties.

Baltimore Catholic school teacher under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of minor in '80s
Yvonne Wenger and Christina Tkacik
The Baltimore Sun

A former longtime teacher at a Baltimore Catholic school is under investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980s, according to the Xaverian Brothers.

The lay order of brothers has removed Brother Robert Flaherty from ministry while an investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office is ongoing, according to a statement by Brother Edward Driscoll, the congregation’s general superior. Flaherty was a teacher at Mount St. Joseph from 1972 to 1993 and from 2008 to 2010.

Flaherty was suspended last week from his teaching job at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass., where he worked from 1999 to 2007 and again beginning in 2010.

Xaverian Brothers sponsor both the Southwest Baltimore and Massachusetts school.

Detectives from the Baltimore police’s special investigation section opened an investigation in April into an allegation of abuse, according to police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert. A spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, Melba Saunders, said, “This is an open and pending matter and we cannot comment at this time.”

Driscoll said the brothers were informed by Baltimore police of the allegation and are cooperating with the prosecutor’s investigation. The allegations come as the Catholic church is reeling from a devastating grand jury report alleging that hundreds of priests abused up to 1,000 victims in Pennsylvania.

Mount St. Joseph’s President George E. Andrews Jr. said in a letter to the school community that the allegation does not involve a current or former student at the all-boys school, which is known for its athletics. The school learned of the allegation after city civil authorities notified the Xaverian Brothers, Andrews said.

Flaherty served as a Mount St. Joseph teacher both before and after he became a brother. Driscoll said Flaherty joined the brothers in September 1979, and after completing a year of training, made his vows in 1980. Flaherty taught in Kentucky from 1994 to 1999. Flaherty could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Xaverian Brothers is rooted in the Roman Catholic Church but is separate from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The brothers are members of a consecrated lay order. Sean Caine, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the church has had no prior reports of abuse by Flaherty.

At St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts, Flaherty helped establish the computer science department, according to a 2013 report on the school’s website. The article notes that Flaherty had been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Mount Saint Joseph High School, his alma mater. Flaherty was honored for his contributions as a football, ice hockey, basketball and baseball coach at Mount Saint Joseph, the piece says. He also has coached students at St. John’s.

Flaherty earned a bachelor’s of science in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech and a master’s in engineering mechanics from the University of Tennessee, according to St. John’s website. He also holds a doctoral degree in computer education from Nova Southeastern University.

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