(AFP) — An 84-year-old Brazilian priest caught on camera in a sex act with a choirboy has been arrested and put in detention.
The 30-day detention was ordered by a judge to prevent the priest, Luiz Marques Barbosa, fleeing pending the outcome of a criminal investigation for pedophilia, a spokesman for the police unit in the town of Arapiraca said.
“As Father Barbosa was chaplain for Sao Paulo’s military police, he has the privilege of being detained in our barracks instead of going to jail,” the spokesman said.
Barbosa’s case, which adds to a pedophile scandal tarnishing the Catholic Church, came to light a month ago when a Brazilian television channel broadcast video footage of the priest receiving oral sex from a choirboy in front of a local church altar.
The incident scandalised Brazil, where 74 per cent of the 190-million strong population is Catholic.
The church official who initially said it was his fault that a paedophile priest was given succour in Pope Benedict XVI’s former diocese has broken ranks, alleging he was bullied into taking responsibility to protect the pontiff.
Gerhard Gruber was Joseph Ratzinger’s general vicar in Munich during the 1980s, when Ratzinger, now Pope, was Archbishop.
Ratzinger chaired the meeting which decided to offer paedophile priest Peter H., a safe haven in Munich. The priest was also given further positions of trust in the church, and was later convicted of further child abuse.
Gruber’s friends have told Der Spiegel news magazine that when the story came to light last month, he was under immense pressure to take responsibility for the decision in order to shield the Pope from accusations of having helped a paedophile.
The magazine wrote that he was urgently “requested” to take full responsibility in order to take the Pope “out of the firing line.”
He wrote in a letter to a friend that he had been faxed a statement that he was to make, though he had been given the opportunity to suggest changes.
Gruber issued a statement in March which said, “The repeated employment of H. in priestly spiritual duties was a bad mistake. I assume all responsibility.”
The Catholic Church in Malta was as devious as the Mafia in covering up years of sexual abuse against orphans, one alleged victim said ahead of the Pope’s visit to the Mediterranean country on Saturday.
Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Malta on his first overseas trip since a wave of paedophile sex abuse allegations engulfed the Church.
A group of 10 Maltese orphans, now in their late thirties, say they were sexually abused in the 1980s by the priests charged with looking after them. They believe hundreds of other Maltese boys and teenagers were also abused, but have been too afraid or ashamed to come forward.
“The Church on Malta is like the Mafia. It is very powerful, and people are afraid of it,” said Joseph Magro, 38, one of the alleged victims.
But seven years after they officially launched their complaint, the group claims they continue to face a wall of silence from the Church.
Among the accused is Father Charles Pulis, who still works in a Catholic-run institution adjacent to a boys’ school.
He is being investigated by a behind-closed-doors Church tribunal, which holds hearings only every four months.
“If a father abused his child like this, he would go straight to jail,” said a second alleged victim, who asked not to be named. “We want these priests to be punished as they used to punish us.”
The letter was written by Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos
The Vatican has confirmed the authenticity of a letter in which a cardinal praised a French bishop for not denouncing a paedophile priest.
The letter, originally published in the French press, was written in 2001 by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then in charge of clergy around the world.
A Vatican spokesman said the letter showed the wisdom of a 2001 decision to centralise the handling of abuse cases.
The case comes amid a continuing child sex abuse scandal engulfing the Church.
Allegations of abuse and cover-ups have emerged recently from countries across Europe as well as the US.
The letter from Cardinal Hoyos was addressed to the bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux in northern France, Pierre Pican.
Father Pican had just been given a three-month suspended prison sentence for not denouncing Rene Bissey, an abbott who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2000 for paedophilia.
“I congratulate you on not having spoken out to civil authorities against a priest,” wrote Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who at the time was prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Bishop Pierre Pican reveived a three-month suspended sentence
“You have done well and I am delighted to have an associate in the episcopate who… preferred prison to speaking out against a son-priest.”
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the letter confirmed “how opportune it was to centralise treatment of cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.
That step was taken in 2001 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – who headed the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time.
BELGIAN bishops have failed to punish any clergy over 300 complaints of paedophilia brought to their attention in the 1990s, claims a priest who helped many victims.
”We brought forward between 1992 and 1998 more than 300 complaints from victims of abuse committed by priests, but only 15 ended up with admissions” of guilt, Father Rick Deville told the Flemish dailies De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad yesterday.
”A priest accused would most often be moved, but was never punished,” he complained.
The proposed change would put “all Church institutions … at risk,” a letter from Connecticut’s Catholic bishops says.
Hartford, Connecticut (CNN) — A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.
Under current Connecticut law, sexual abuse victims have 30 years past their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. The proposed change to the law would rescind that statute of limitations.
The proposed change to the law would put “all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk,” says the letter, which was signed by Connecticut’s three Roman Catholic bishops.
Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer abused an estimated 2,000 boys for decades without sanction
When John Paul II died five years ago the crowd that packed St Peter’s Square for his funeral clamoured “Santo subito (Saint now)!” in a spontaneous tribute to the charisma of the Polish pontiff.
As the faithful marked the anniversary of John Paul’s death on Good Friday, however, he was being drawn into the scandal over child abuse in the Catholic church that has confronted his successor, Benedict XVI, with the worst crisis of his reign.
Allegations that the late pontiff blocked an inquiry into a paedophile cardinal, promoted senior church figures despite accusations that they had molested boys and covered up innumerable cases of abuse during his 26-year papacy have cast a cloud over his path to sainthood.
The most serious claims related to Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, an Austrian friend of John Paul’s who abused an estimated 2,000 boys over decades but never faced any sanction from Rome.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Groer’s successor, criticised the handling of that scandal and other abuse cases last week after holding a special service in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, entitled “Admitting our guilt”.
Schönborn condemned the “sinful structures” within the church and the patterns of “silencing” victims and “looking away”.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – who became Pope Benedict – had tried to investigate the abuses as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Schönborn. But his efforts had been blocked by “the Vatican”, an apparent reference to John Paul.
The Archbishop of Canterbury made the comments during an interview with Andrew Marr for the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week, to be broadcast on Monday. (Times)
The Archbishop of Dublin today said he was “stunned” to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury declare that the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility because of the child abuse scandal.
Diarmuid Martin, the second most senior Catholic in Ireland, responded to a rare breach of ecumenical protocol by Dr Rowan Williams in an interview with BBC Radio 4.
Mr Martin said he had “rarely felt personally so discouraged” as when he woke to hear Dr Williams’ comments. Those working to renew the church did not deserve the remarks, which “will be for them immensely disheartening and will challenge their faith even further”.
Dr Williams criticised the Catholic Church over its handling of the paedophile priests crisis and made plain his anger over the Pope’s plans for
It comes after Dr Williams said the paedophile priest scandal had been a “colossal trauma” for Ireland in particular as he commented for the first time on the crisis.
“I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who was saying that it’s quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now,” he told Andrew Marr for the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week, to be broadcast on Monday.
“And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility — that’s not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland.”
“Washington lobbyists haven’t funded my campaign, they won’t run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president”.
– Barack Obama
Today, President Obama announced that he will recess appoint Islam A. Siddiqui to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Siddiqui is a pesticide lobbyist and Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, an agribusiness lobbying group that represents Monsanto.
Following is a letter sent by 98 organizations to U.S. Senators in opposition to Siddiqui’s appointment, and a fact sheet about him.
The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Our organizations- representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups-urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.
Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.
In the October 2009 print edition of the UK Column, we reported in our article BBC Hides Truth of Girls Sexual Abuse Ordeal the shocking ordeal of Downs Syndrome girl, Hollie Greig, who was horribly abused by an Aberdeen paedophile ring, over a period of ten years. After investigating and planning a documentary, the BBC abruptly dropped the case, despite admitting that Hollie was a reliable and accurate witness. It is important to stress that both the police and qualified medical experts have described Hollie as a competent and entirely honest witness.
From the age of just six, Hollie was repeatedly sexually abused by her father, Denis Charles Mackie. Later, Mackie began sharing his daughter with a gang of paedophile swingers that has been operating in Aberdeen for many years. The identities of a further seven child victims are already known. There is no question that the gang are well-connected, efficiently organised and totally ruthless. Our frightening story is that they are protected by individuals of high standing within the Scottish establishment.
In 2000, after 14 years of terrified silence, Hollie eventually told her mother, Anne, about the abuses. Formal statements were made to Grampian Police, providing all the horrifying details and the names of the abusers. They included a senior Scottish Sheriff, a policeman, social workers, a nurse, a solicitor, an accountant, a fire officer, married couples and others. Some of the rapes were carried out at the homes of these individuals, including that of the Sheriffs sister. Other children were sometimes involved, including children of the paedophiles themselves.
The latest chapters in this astonishing and horrifying story about Hollie, and the seven other abused children, have taken place over the past few weeks. The key issues are a continued refusal by Grampian police to fully investigate the overwhelming evidence for the paedophile rapes, and a wall of silence by the Scottish establishment.
Whilst there has been some general Scottish media coverage, notably in The Firm and the Aberdeen Press and Journal, the media has been largely silent on what must be one of Scotlands worst top level paedophile scandles. A key figure in the press silence is the Lord Advocate, in her former role as Procurator Fiscal in Aberdeen, when in 2000 she is alleged to have effectively buried the case. Was this to prevent her associate and most influential member of the paedophile ring, Sheriff X, from being investigated, along with the other named members of the fifteen-strong rape gang?
Of all the sinister things that Internet viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography.
Heinous pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses — the malicious programs better known for swiping your credit card numbers. In this twist, it’s your reputation that’s stolen.
Pedophiles can exploit virus-infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they’ll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites.
Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer — and might not realize it until police knock at your door.
An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.
In a stunningly misguided program implemented by the British government, all children’s book authors who visit schools must register with a national database intended to protect children from pedophiles, and they must pay a fee to do so. Beginning October 12, 2009, the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) will require that all adults who work with children, including authors such as J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman if they make special visits to schools, will be required to register with the database for a fee of £64 ($105).
The Independent reports that as a result, several well-known authors will boycott schools in protest of the requirement. Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, and Quentin Blake have all publicly stated that they object to having their names listed in the database. Pullman, author of the popular fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, called the policy “corrosive and poisonous to every kind of healthy social interaction.” He eloquently adds, “This reinforces the culture of suspicion, fear and mistrust that underlies a great deal of present-day society. It teaches children that they should regard every adult as a potential murderer or rapist.” Anne Fine, the former Children’s Laureate for the U.K. and author of over 50 children’s books, labelled the requirement “government idiocy.” “When it [the VBS] becomes essential, I shall continue to work only in foreign schools, where sanity prevails,” she said. “The whole idea of vetting an adult who visits many schools, but each only for a day, and then always in the presence of other adults, is deeply offensive. Our children will become further impoverished by this tiresome and ill-considered scheme, and yet another gulf will be created between young people and the rest of society.”
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