Seattle Archdiocese pays $12M to settle sex abuse claims

“I deeply regret the pain suffered by these victims,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said. REALLY? He doesn’t regret the rapist clergy or his predecessors who facilitated the rapists. Is anyone else sick to death with these non-apology apologies? This kind of ridiculous contrition wouldn’t even hold up in a confessional. SHAME!

The Archdiocese of Seattle announced Tuesday it has paid $12.1 million to settle 30 claims of sexual abuse by members of two church-run schools in western Washington.

SartainThe abuse claims were made by students at schools run by the Christian Brothers, which is a teaching order that operated the Briscoe School in the Kent Valley and Seattle’s Bishop O’Dea High school, according to the Archdiocese.

“I deeply regret the pain suffered by these victims,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said in a news release. “Our hope is that this settlement will bring them closure and allow them to continue the process of healing.”

The archdiocese continues to operate O’Dea but the Christian Brothers are no longer involved. Archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni says the Briscoe School closed in the late 1960s.

The most recent cases in the proceeding are nearly 30 years old, with some dating back almost 60 years, according to the Archdiocese.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Seattle sexual abuse attorney Michael T. Pfau said the settlement will “put an end to an ugly chapter for the Archdiocese involving these two schools.”

“The Archdiocese, under the leadership of Archbishop Sartain, did the right thing and acknowledged the tremendous amount of pain and suffering that our clients, their families, and our community have endured,” the statement reads. “This settlement is the first step in allowing all parties to focus on the future. It also allows the Archdiocese to move beyond its partnership with the Christian Brothers, a relationship that led to the abuse of scores of children.”

The settlement was funded by archdiocesan insurance programs.

Pfau says the men will also receive settlement money from the Christian Brothers bankruptcy proceeding.

Complete Article HERE!

Diocese of Winona explains why it’s paying priest who admitted abuse

Curious that they have to “follow the law” when it involves paying a priest rapist, but not paying the victims of the priest rapist.

By Jerome Christenson

The Diocese of Winona has offered a public explanation of why it continues to pay pension benefits to a defrocked pedophile priest, a week after the revelation was made public by a law firm suing the diocese.Diocese of Winona

“Recently, there has been criticism of the Diocese of Winona for providing former priest, Thomas Adamson, with his pension benefits,” reads a statement released first to parishioners, then to the public.

“The provision of Mr. Adamson’s benefit is not discretionary or voluntary, it is required by law,” the statement continues.

Adamson is paid out of the diocesan Priest Pension Fund, created to provide retirement income and health-care benefits to retired diocesan clergy. A priest who has served the diocese and made contributions to the retirement fund for 10 years is vested in the plan, and his right to be paid benefits from the plan is protected by state and federal law.

According to the diocese: “The Diocese cannot elect to withhold vested pension benefits from employees even when the employee has committed misconduct. The Diocese of Winona strictly adheres to the legal obligations associated with the pension plan.”

Adamson, ordained a priest in 1958, continued in active ministry until 1985, after allegations became public that he had sexually abused boys in parishes where he had been assigned. In 2009 he was laicized — officially removed from the Roman Catholic priesthood — by Pope Benedict XVI on the recommendation of Bishop Bernard Harrington.

In a sworn deposition made public earlier this month, Adamson admitted to having sexual contact with at least a dozen boys over two decades of ministry, stopping only when one of his victims came forward publicly in 1984.

While Adamson never faced criminal abuse charges — the statute of limitations had expired — in addition to lawsuits currently before the court, he has been accused of sexual abuse in three civil suits settled out of court, and a fourth suit brought against the Diocese of Winona and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was decided in favor of the complainant.

Still, “Thomas Adamson’s laicization does not divest him from receiving his pension benefits,” the diocese states.

“The continued payment of Thomas Adamson’s pension benefits should not be viewed in any fashion as condoning or supporting the horrific crimes he has perpetrated upon children.”

Second priest defies Church of England to marry his same sex partner

Rev Andrew Cain puts wedding pictures on Facebook as first cleric to marry same sex partner stripped of permission to work as a priest

By Andrew Brown

A second priest has defied the Church of England’s official line to marry his same sex partner. On Saturday, the Rev Andrew Cain, vicar of St James church in West Hampstead, London, posted on Facebook pictures of his wedding to Stephen Foreshew.

Rev Andrew Cain, vicar of St James churchThe wedding took place as the first priest to marry his partner, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, confirmed that he had been stripped of the permission to work as a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

Church authorities face difficulties if they try to prevent clergy from contracting perfectly legal marriages.

Both church law and employment law offer protections. Cain, the London vicar, holds his job by the traditional freehold, which means it is almost impossible to dismiss him for doctrinal offences. If the matter goes to court, it will be difficult for the church to argue that its opposition to gay marriage is not doctrinal.

Pemberton, a former missionary, lives in one diocese but works in another, Lincoln, where he is employed as a hospital chaplain by the NHS. No hospital trust could legally sack him for his marriage. Nor does he require the permission of the bishop of Lincoln to hold the job. He is also employed as a “lay clerk” or professional singer in Southwell Minster [cathedral] but his employment there is also protected by laws against discrimination. Despite the measures taken by the church, he can still work as a priest in Lincoln and as a church singer in Nottingham.

What will be hard for both men – and for any other clergy whose same sex marriages become public – will be to find another job. The bishops have appointed the bishop of Norwich, Graham James, to maintain a blacklist of clergy who will not be considered for any future roles.

Priests in training or vicars who hold their jobs on time-limited contracts – as opposed to the older system of freehold which protects Andrew Cain – are much more vulnerable. They can be dismissed or their contracts dropped without obvious redress. Clergy are free to enter into civil partnerships, with the official justification that these need not involve sexual relations, which the church officially condemns outside of heterosexual marriage.

The wrangling over homosexuality has continued without progress for 30 years.

Most evangelicals condemn it, and a large grouping of African churches has used the Church of England’s relative tolerance as an excuse to break away from the Anglican communion. They are threatening to extend their schism to this country, with the help of a network based in an evangelical church in Battersea, south London.

To ward off the possibility of a breakaway, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called for “facilitated conversations” between the two sides in this country. But while surveys show that the great majority of churchgoers are indifferent or liberal on this matter, the committed campaigners on both sides are irreconcilable and bishops are privately dismissive of the chances of reaching any agreement acceptable to hardliners.

Complete Article HERE!

Lawmakers ask S.F. archbishop not to attend anti-gay marriage rally

By Lee Romney

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone has made no secret of his stance on same-sex marriage.

CordileoneAs chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage, he backed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution earlier this year that would ban such unions.
We ask that you will reconsider your participation and join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred. – Letter to San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone asking him not to participate in an anti-gay marriage event

And shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court declined to uphold California’s same-sex marriage ban last year, Cordileone predicted that the action would result in “a bitterly polarized country divided on the marriage issue for years if not generations to come.”

Now, as federal courts in state after state deem such bans unconstitutional — most recently, in Wisconsin last week — Cordileone has become a player in the very debate over polarization.

In a letter Tuesday, 80 lawmakers and faith and community leaders — among them Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee — called on Cordileone to cancel his planned appearance at a National Organization for Marriage march and rally in Washington, D.C., on J

If he attends as scheduled, they noted, he will be “marching and sharing the podium” with individuals who “have repeatedly denigrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

The letter then quotes other event participants who have likened homosexuality to incest and bestiality.

By standing alongside those participants and organizers, “you appear to be endorsing their troubling words and deeds, which directly contradict the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral teaching that ‘God does not love someone any less simply because he or she is homosexual. God’s love is always and everywhere offered to those who are open to receiving it,'” they wrote.

In addition to Newsom and Lee, signatories include state Assemblymen Tom Ammiano and Rich Gordon; state Sen. Mark Leno; and dozens of civil rights, gay rights and faith leaders from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego and elsewhere.

“Many people of faith who have different opinions on the question of civil marriage for same-sex couples have come together in respectful duologue and discernment to discuss those differences,” the letter states. “We ask that you will reconsider your participation and join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred.”

Both the letter and an online petition that calls on Cordileone to cancel his appearance and had amassed nearly 20,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon referenced the compassionate approach Pope Francis has taken toward homosexuality.

“We appreciate the many statements from Catholic leaders defending the human dignity of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, especially the recent words of Pope Francis: ‘If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?'” the letter said.

The archiodese did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The 2012 selection of Cordileone as San Francisco’s archbishop was dubbed the “Bombshell by the Bay” because he had been a key backer of Proposition 8.

The son of a commercial fisherman who is fluent in Spanish and Italian, he is known as a charming and brilliant defender of the faith and is a deep believer in a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But many gay and lesbian Catholics worried that they would be marginalized after Cordileone’s arrival. In an interview with The Times shortly before he assumed his lead post here, he said gays and lesbians who are in sexual relationships of any kind should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, the central ritual of Catholic life.

“If we misuse the gift of sexuality, we’re going to suffer the consequences,” he said, “and I firmly believe we are suffering the consequences.”

Complete Article HERE!

St. Louis Archbishop Didn’t Know Sex With Children Was a Crime

This person couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended upon it. How does he sleep at night?  What a scandal!


archbishop_robert_j_carlson-smallBy Erik Ortiz
The St. Louis archbishop embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal testified last month that he didn’t know in the 1980s whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children, according to a court deposition released Monday.

Archbishop Robert Carlson, who was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the time, was deposed as part of a lawsuit against the Twin Cities archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.

In a video released by the St. Paul law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Catholic archbishop is asked whether he had known it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.

“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson responded. “I understand today it’s a crime.”

When asked when he first realized it was a crime for an adult — including priests — to have sex with a child, Carlson, 69, shook his head.

“I don’t remember,” he testified.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing an alleged clergy abuse victim, also released documents Monday indicating Carlson was aware in 1984 of the seriousness of child abuse allegations. He wrote to then-Archbishop John Roach that parents of one of the alleged victims was planning to go to police.

Carlson’s role at the time was to investigate abuse claims. He admitted in his deposition that he never personally went to police, even when a a clergy member admitted to inappropriate behavior.

In last month’s testimony, Carlson responded 193 times that he did not recall abuse-related conversations from the 1980s to mid-1990s.

Anderson provided a report from a previous deposition in 1987 in which now-deceased Bishop Loras Watters said he advised Carlson to answer “I don’t remember” if questioned in court.

Carlson responded last month that he had “no knowledge of the discussion.”



Carlson left the Twin Cities in 1994, and eventually became St. Louis archbishop in 2009.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis said in a statement Monday that Carlson had given testimony “several times many years ago” about the same allegations, according to NBC affiliate KSDK.

“In this most recent deposition, while not being able to recall his knowledge of the law exactly as it was many decades ago, the Archbishop did make clear that he knows child sex abuse is a crime today,” the statement said. “The question does not address the Archbishop’s moral stance on the sin of pedophilia, which has been that it is a most egregious offense.”

The trial against the Twin Cities archdiocese is slated to begin in September.

Complete Article HERE!