Swiss Catholic Church Investigating 10 Abuse Cases

(Reuters) – The Swiss Catholic Church is investigating around 10 allegations of abuse by clergy, including some acts committed since 2001, making Switzerland the latest country to be hit by a wave of scandal sweeping Europe.

In a pastoral letter on Saturday, Pope Benedict apologized to victims of child sex abuse by clergy in Ireland and ordered an official inquiry there.

The Swiss Bishops’ Conference said the Pope’s letter confirmed the church in Switzerland had acted correctly in dealing with cases of abuse, and added that it had already worked together with victims to report abuse to the authorities.

“The letter supports the guidelines that the Church introduced for cases of sexual abuse in 2002,” said Conference spokesman Walter Mueller.

The Diocese of Chur, in eastern Switzerland, said it was investigating around 10 complaints of abuse. “Our primary goal now is to help the victims,” the bishop’s representative, Christoph Casetti, told national Swiss television station SF1.

The abbot of a monastery in the diocese said at least three of the 77 monks at Einsiedeln had committed acts of abuse since he took up office in December 2001, but no legal action had been taken in any of the cases.

Read moreSwiss Catholic Church Investigating 10 Abuse Cases

Irish Catholic Church Paid Child Sex Abuse Victim To Keep Quiet

Reports of settlement overseen by bishop of Derry adds to abuse scandals surrounding Catholic churches in Europe

The Catholic church in Ireland was today embroiled in another child abuse scandal after allegations that a victim was paid to keep quiet in a deal overseen by the bishop of Derry.

Bishop Seamus Hegarty was named as a party in a confidential civil settlement after a woman claimed she was abused by a priest for more than a decade, according to a report in today’s Belfast Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the claim was settled without admission of liability but with a payment of £12,000 to the alleged victim. The settlement between the archdiocese of Derry and the woman, who was eight when the abuse began, reportedly contained a confidentiality clause preventing her from discussing the case.

See also:

Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest (Bloomberg)

Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)

Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)

Benedict’s involvement ’shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)

Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)

RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)

Her ordeal allegedly began in 1979 and lasted for a decade before she revealed at her 18th birthday party that she had been repeatedly abused by the priest.

The allegation came as further developments in similar abuse scandals in Germany and Austria compounded the woes of Pope Benedict XVI. In Germany, the archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx, said Catholic bishops in Benedict’s home state of Bavaria felt “deep consternation and shame” at the reports of abuse.

Read moreIrish Catholic Church Paid Child Sex Abuse Victim To Keep Quiet

Catholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused

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Following recent reports about sexual abuse of children by Dutch priests, it now appears that some nuns also took advantage of their charges. Tuesday’s edition of newspaper De Telegraaf contains the story of Herman Harends, who says he was abused by nuns at a Roman Catholic boarding school he attended in the 1950s.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide and newspaper NRC Handelsblad published their report on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic church two weeks ago. Since then, more and people have come forward, saying they, too, were childhood victims.

Mr Harends and his two brothers attended a boarding school in the southern Dutch town of Tegelen.
“I have not spoken out before because it is a hard claim to substantiate,” he explains, “I’m not looking for atonement or apologies, most of the nuns have died.”

“The abuse by the sisters started when I was 11. When I was in the bath they played with my penis and tried to give me an erection … They would also put my hand under their robes and into their underwear.”

Read moreCatholic Church Child Abuse: Nuns Now Also Accused

Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest

Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)

Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)

Benedict’s involvement ‘shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)

Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)

RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)


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Pope Benedict XVI prays in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on May 15, 2009. Photographer: Yannis Behrakis/Pool via Bloomberg News

March 12 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI, during his tenure as archbishop of Munich, played a role in a decision to move a priest accused of sexual molestation to his diocese to undergo therapy, the church said today.

The priest was later reassigned by another church official and committed more abuse, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising said in a statement on its Web site. Benedict, at the time Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, “was involved” in a 1980 decision to move the priest, identified only as “H.,” from a church in Essen, Germany, to a rectory in the Munich region for treatment, the diocese said.

A former vicar-general in the church administration, Gerhard Gruber, subsequently allowed the accused priest to continue pastoral duties, during which he committed abuse and was convicted by a court in 1986. Gruber said in the statement that the decision to re-post “H.” was his alone.

“The repeated employment of ‘H.’ in pastoral duties was a serious mistake,” Gruber said. “I take full responsibility for this and I deeply regret that this decision led to offenses against youths — I apologize to all those who were harmed by this.”

A wave of allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has emerged in Germany this year, beginning at an elite Jesuit high school in Berlin, Canisius-Kolleg. The head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, last month issued an apology to more than 100 pedophilia victims, echoing Benedict’s statement that such abuse is a “heinous crime.”

Read moreChurch: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest

Chief Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Says Devil Is In The Vatican

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Don Gabriele Amorth is the chief exorcist at the Vatica

Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”, according to the Holy See’s chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon”.

He added: “When one speaks of ‘the smoke of Satan’ [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia.”

He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican “cover-up” over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead. “They covered up everything immediately,” he said. “Here one sees the rot”.

A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay’s relatives have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and the involvement of a fourth person who was never identfied.

Read moreChief Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Says Devil Is In The Vatican

Vatican Hit By Gay Sex Scandal

Vatican chorister sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for papal gentleman-in-waiting

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Pope Benedict XVI greets cardinals in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican. Photograph: Max Rossi/AFP/Getty Images

The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict’s household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

The explosive claims about Balducci’s private life have caused grave embarrassment to the Vatican, which has yet to publicly comment on the affair.

While Catholicism does not condemn homosexuality outright, its teaching is that homosexual acts “are intrinsically disordered”. The Catechism of the Catholic church states unequivocally: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Balducci was arrested on 10 February, suspected of involvement in widespread corruption. A senior Italian government official, he is alleged to have to steered public works contracts towards favoured bidders. He has not been charged.

It was during this investigation into corruption that wiretaps revealed his alleged sexual activity. In one conversation, Ehiem tells Balducci: “I saw your call when I was in the Vatican, because I was doing rehearsals … in the choir … in St Peter’s.” He then suggests Balducci meet a man who he describes is “two metres tall … 97 kilos … aged 33, completely active.”

Balducci is also a senior adviser to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, the department that oversees the Roman Catholic church’s worldwide missionary activities.

Read moreVatican Hit By Gay Sex Scandal

Poland: Priest checks fingerprints for mass attendance

WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish priest has installed an electronic reader in his church for schoolchildren to leave their fingerprints in order to monitor their attendance at mass, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily said on Friday.

Oddly Enough

The pupils will mark their fingerprints every time they go to church over three years and if they attend 200 masses they will be freed from the obligation of having to pass an exam prior to their confirmation, the paper said.

The pupils in the southern town of Gryfow Slaski told the daily they liked the idea and also the priest, Grzegorz Sowa, who invented it.

“This is comfortable. We don’t have to stand in a line to get the priest’s signature (confirming our presence at the mass) in our confirmation notebooks,” said one pupil, who gave her name as Karolina.

Read morePoland: Priest checks fingerprints for mass attendance

‘Systematic’ Sexual Abuse at Berlin Catholic School

Jesuit Priest Admits Molesting Youth

Systematic Sexual Abuse at Berlin Catholic School
Molest cases at Berlin’s Canisius College Jesuit high school, where “systematic” sexual abuse took place for years.

A priest last week admitted in a statement to SPIEGEL he had abused a number of pupils at an elite Berlin high school run by Jesuit priests. In recent days, around 20 former students have come forward alleging they were sexually abused by priests at the school. The director of Canisius College has described the years-long abuse as “systematic.”

Berlin’s Canisius College, a university-prep high school run by Jesuit priests, is one of the most elite schools in the German capital. Former students from the respected private school have reached the upper echelons of business, politics and society. For the past week, however, Canisius College has been at the center of a major sexual abuse scandall.

Last week, around 20 former students claimed they had been sexually abused by two teachers at the school, Wolfgang S. and Peter R. The abuse is believed to have been committed during the 1970s and 1980s.

‘Nothing To Apologize For’

After being contacted by SPIEGEL, one of the former teachers admitted he had abused some of his students. Wolfgang S., a former sports teacher and Jesuit priest, issued a statement to his victims stating it was “a sad fact that I abused children and young men under pseudo-educational pretexts.” The churchman, who today lives in South America, said that he had informed regional Catholic authorities in Germany in 1991 of his “criminal past.” He claims the Jesuit priests had known for 19 years about the multiple incidents of abuse.

Stefan Dartmann, the Catholic Provincial Superior for Germany, confirmed to SPIEGEL that the order has knowledge of the crimes that had been committed by Wolfgang S. at the time. Dartmann said a lawyer had been hired to investigate the files “to determine what, exactly, the Jesuits knew at the time and what consequences they drew.” Wolfgang S. left the order in 1992. Previously, he is also believed to have abused pupils at other schools, but he refused to comment on those allegations.

In addition to his time at the Berlin school, he worked at the Sankt-Ansgar School in Hamburg and at the Sankt-Blasien school in the southern Black Forest region from 1982 to 1984.

‘Intimate, Fatherly Behavior’

The then-director of the school, Father Hans Joachim Martin, said that S.’s “intimate, fatherly behavior” towards some schoolchildren had attracted his attention. S. was later forced to leave the high school.

S. also claimed he had told the Vatican about his misconduct. In his statement, he says that he had provided testimony to the Vatican with “unvarnished honesty.” And in South America, he had “again and again come into close contact with the torturers and victims” of the Pinochet dictatorship. “I was confronted with my mirror image as a tormenter of children,” he said.

Several victims expressed their outrage over the tone of his statement. In the document, dated Jan. 20, S. addressed “all the people who I abused as children and in their youth.” He added, “I’m sorry for what I did to you. And if you are capable, I ask you to forgive me.” But he also told SPIEGEL: “I have come clean about my past to God and the world.”

The second man alleged to have abused children at the school is a 69-year-old former religion teacher from Berlin, Peter R., who has disputed all allegations. SPIEGEL could not reach R. for comment by press time on Friday or on subsequent attempts on Monday. After his time at the school in Berlin, R. apparently worked as a pastor with young people in the state of Lower Saxony. He was reportedly the victim of a knife attack by a former Canisius College student several years ago.

Victim: Priest Ordered Me to Masturbate in Front of Him

After SPIEGEL hit the newsstands on Monday, additional details emerged in the alleged abuses.

One former victim who has accused Peter R. told SPIEGEL that he had had “several extensive talks” in 1981 with the school’s rector at the time, in which he spoke exhaustively about his sexual abuse. He said the abuse had taken place in a basement on the school grounds. He said the priest had repeatedly ordered him to masturbate in front of him. “Anyone who wanted to get any further in school,” the witness said, was forced to go through similar degradation.

Karl Heinz Fischer, the school’s rector from April 1981 to June 1989, confirmed to SPIEGEL that a student had reported Peter R.’s abuse to him during the first half of 1981. Fischer said he had immediately notified his superior, priest Rolf Dieter Pfahl, who was the Provincial Superior for the Jesuit Province of Northern Germany, of the allegations. Pfahl then called for Peter R. to be transferred. After the summer holidays in 1981, Fischer told SPIEGEL, Peter R. was no longer deployed in the classroom.

Read more‘Systematic’ Sexual Abuse at Berlin Catholic School

Pope Benedict XVI Summons Irish Bishops Over Child Abuse Scandal

Three decades? Sounds like the most horrible cult that ever existed.

And let’s not forget that the Roman Catholic Church has done much, much worse things in the past.


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(AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI has summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican for a meeting next month over a child sex abuse scandal that has shaken Ireland, a spokesman said Wednesday.

“The meeting comes in the context of the problems in the Irish Church,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP, referring to revelations that Roman Catholic authorities in Ireland concealed abuse of children by priests for three decades.

Read morePope Benedict XVI Summons Irish Bishops Over Child Abuse Scandal

Vatican declares unique copyright on Papal figure

Hilarious!

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Pope Benedict XVI


Vatican City, Dec 19, 2009 / 12:23 pm (CNA).- The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.

The statement cited a “great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father” in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff’s name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.

Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that “it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”

The declaration alludes to attempts to use ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to “attribute credibility and authority to initiatives” as another reason to establish their “copyright” on the Holy Father’s name, picture and coat of arms.

“Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff… and/or the use of the title ‘Pontifical,’ must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See,” concluded the message released to the press.

Source: Catholic News Agency