Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Voice of the Faithful Focus, Sept. 23, 2016

Highlighting issues we face working together
                           to Keep the Faith, Change the Church

TOP STORIES

Pope’s sex-abuse panel scores awareness victory in Vatican
“Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Bishop Bede Heather ‘destroyed’ documents: Royal Commission
“The former Catholic Bishop of Parramatta Bede Heather has told a royal commission he destroyed documents relating to potential legal action against a paedophile priest. Bishop Heather told the public inquiry he destroyed documents because he was traumatized by a police search of his office as part of an earlier investigation into sexual abuse by clergy.” By Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald

Archbishop Hon to Pope Francis: Remove Apuron as head of archdiocese
“Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has urged Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron as head of the Archdiocese of Agana because of gravely serious allegations of sex abuse of altar boys. ‘I want you to know that I am in Rome to urge the Holy See to remove Archbishop Apuron as archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor,’ Hon said in his two-page statement.” By Haidee V. Eugenio, Pacific News Daily
 -- Vatican delegate urges Pope Francis to fire Guam archbishop over abuse, By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service

Council of cardinals continues discussions on selection of Catholic bishops
“The group of cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the Catholic church's central bureaucracy spent time in their latest meeting discussing how Catholic bishops around the world are selected, the Vatican's main spokesman said Wednesday (Sept. 14). Gregory Burke, the head of the Holy See press office, said the nine-member Council of Cardinals focused particularly on the role the Vatican's various global ambassadors, known as apostolic nuncios, play in helping select new bishops.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
 -- Church’s process for choosing bishops again under scrutiny, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, on CatholicPhilly.com

Pennsylvania seeks diocese records in broad sweep
“In compelling Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses to turn over as much as 70 years' worth of records on sexually abusive priests, the state Attorney General's Office is mounting what could be the most wide-ranging criminal investigation ever into the scandal in the United States. And if history is any guide - in particular, the history of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, which was the subject of the initial two-year grand jury investigation that mushroomed into the statewide probe - here are a few things to expect in the coming months or years …” By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on Philly.com

PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS

More on Pope’s sex-abuse panel’s victory in Vatican
 -- Pope’s anti-sex abuse commission extends its reach, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, on Cruxnow.com
 -- Pope’s sex abuse panel to help new bishops improve child protection, By Reuters on channel NewsAsia.com
 -- Papal commission steps up work to educate church about abuse, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
 -- Catholic Church to have a prayer day for sex abuse victims, By Agence France-Presse on Yahoo.com
 -- New report reveals breakthrough for Pope Francis’s sex abuse commission, By Gerard O’Connell, America: The National Catholic Review
 -- Pope Francis’ push to end sexual abuse, By CBS-TV
 -- The Catholic Church is taking a big step to curb sex abuse, By Antonia Blumberg, The Huffington Post

Another appointee to Vatican abuse commission leaves group, member reveals
“A member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse has revealed that one of her colleagues in the group has resigned his position. The resignation, previously not made public, means two of the pontiff's seventeen original appointees to the commission are no longer taking part in its work. Marie Collins, an Irish laywoman and member of the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, made the revelation in an NCR interview in response to a question about the status of fellow member Peter Saunders, who the commission put on a leave of absence from the group in February.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

WOMEN DEACONS

Women deacons, set in stone
“Those not predisposed to support women deacons in the present day often consider the initiative to be a recent, feminist, perhaps postmodern quest, an innovation unmoored from historical tradition. What often goes unnoticed in the discussion about women deacons, though, is how much of the ancient evidence comes from concrete archaeological discoveries. Advocates are not reading between the lines of history, creating things that aren’t there in the plain sense of some text. They’re not looking under every proverbial rock in hopes of finding a meager piece of evidence. No, the evidence for women deacons is on the literal rocks themselves, carved in marble or limestone, on chancel screens or tombstones.” By Michael Peppard, Commonweal

BISHOPS

Pope Francis to new bishops: Dispense mercy, don’t be ‘charming liars’
“Pope Francis told a group of recently appointed bishops that the world ‘is tired of charming liars’ and that they should embody mercy in their dioceses and not be whiners who promote their own ‘vain crusades.’ The pontiff also told them to be wary of seminarians ‘who take refuge in rigidity’ of practices. ‘There's always something ugly behind it,’ he said. Francis made his remarks Friday (Sept. 16) in a speech to newly appointed bishops who have been taking part in an annual Vatican orientation course on their new job.” By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

‘Baby bishops’ get a crash course in the realities of the Church
Pope Francis told newly appointed bishops last week, ‘The world is tired of lying spellbinders and ... 'trendy’ priests or bishops. The people sniff them out – they have God’s sense of smell – and they walk away when they recognize narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, auctioneers of vain crusades.’” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

“AMORIS LAETITIA”

Pope praises Argentine bishops’ guidelines on helping divorced, remarried couples
“Pope Francis thanked a group of bishops in Argentina for providing their priests with concrete guidelines for implementing the section of his apostolic exhortation on the family about circumstances in which divorced and civilly remarried couples might eventually be allowed to receive Communion. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano published an article Sept. 12 confirming Pope Francis wrote to the bishops of the Buenos Aires pastoral region thanking them for their document on criteria for applying what the pope wrote in Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’).” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
 -- Pope Francis on the correct interpretation of ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ By Andrea Tornielli, Vatican Insider
 -- Guidelines point to the intent behind Amoris Laetitia, By CathNews.com

ACCOUNTABILITY

Guam’s Catholic Church in crisis over child sex claims
“A Vatican administrator has urged Rome to remove the head of the Catholic Church in Guam over child sex allegations, warning the scandal could bankrupt the church in the deeply religious Pacific territory. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai was sent to Guam three months ago to investigate the accusations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who denies any wrongdoing. In a statement read out at church services across the island on Sunday, Hon said he had asked the Holy See to dismiss Apuron after the cleric refused to stand down voluntarily.” By Agence France-Press in Daily Mail

Abuse whistleblowers renew request for Vatican inquiry of U.S. bishops
“Eight months without reply, Catholic advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse have hit resend on their request for a Vatican investigation into the abuse policies of U.S. bishops. The Catholic Whistleblowers mailed a second letter Sept. 1 to the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, addressed to its prefect Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada. The brief one-page letter summarizes and refers back to another letter the advocacy group sent at the beginning of the year. That first letter raised concerns that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was not fully implementing its zero tolerance policy toward abusive priests, and as a result putting children and communities at risk while also creating scandal in the church.” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS

Key papal adviser on sex abuse says response becoming ‘concrete’
“A key member from the Philippines of Pope Francis' anti-sex abuse commission say the mood in the group is positive, and despite the absence of big splashy results, he insists real progress is being made, using his own country as an example.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors holds plenary
“The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) met in Plenary Assembly last week, September 8-11 focusing their attention on the three key areas of education, a Day of Prayer and the Holy Father's MOTU PROPRIO ‘As a Loving Mother,’ on the accountability of Church leadership. The Plenary also recognized the importance of digital technology and have announced the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will be going live with its own website.” By Vatican Radio (with full text of Commission’s press statement)

VOICES

Pope endorsement softens stance on divorced Catholics
“Pope Francis has issued a remarkable endorsement of major changes in the way priests approach Catholics who are divorced and remarried, in a move that could open the door to some of them receiving communion. The Vatican announced on Tuesday (Sept. 13) that Francis sent a letter to bishops in Argentina on 5 September in which he praised a document they had written that said priests could – in some cases – offer the ‘help of sacraments’ to Catholics living in ‘irregular family situations’ as part of a broader effort to support and integrate divorced and remarried Catholics into the life of the church.” By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

POPE FRANCIS

Pope announces prayer day for victims of sex abuse
“Pope Francis has announced plans for a worldwide day of prayer for the victims of sexual abuse, in line with a proposal from his child protection panel, reports AFP on Yahoo7 … A commission of experts which advises Francis on efforts to combat clerical child sexual abuse, said the initiative had been made by an abuse survivor.” By CathNews.com

COUNCIL OF CARDINALS

Going behind the scenes with Pope’s sounding board
“When one thinks of Angela Merkel, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin getting together on a semi-regular basis as members of the G8, it’s easy to imagine clashes between these strong personalities - and, of course, we don’t really have to imagine it, since some of those run-ins are well documented. A similar expectation of butting heads naturally comes to mind when thinking of Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinal Advisers, which since the first year of his election has been meeting to advise him on the reform of the Church’s governing body in the Vatican, the Roman Curia.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

WOMEN IN THE CHURCH

Are women within the Church getting paid the same as men?
“We need to ask ourselves if the pay rate or volunteer expectation of females within the Church is the same as a male. If the answer is ‘no,’ then is this morally acceptable, asks businesswoman Clare Burns in The Catholic Leader.” By CathNews.com

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS REFORM

Sex-abuse victims make new push to change Pennsylvania law
“With the fate of a child sex-abuse bill on the line in Harrisburg, clergy sex-abuse victims and their relatives told their stories Tuesday (Sept. 20) as part of a renewed push to change Pennsylvania law so victims can sue for decades-old attacks. A bill that passed the House in April would have, among other things, expanded the statute of limitations so victims age 50 and under could sue the men or women who abused them decades ago, as well as the institutions that supervised them.” By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com

Group walks to urge ending limitations on child sex abuse complaints
“State Sen. Joseph Vitale walked with a group of about 20 activists from Pennsylvania to the New Jersey's Statehouse Sunday to vocalize their opposition to the state's statute of limitations for civil actions related to sex abuse. The group also wants New Jersey to pass a pending bill that would eliminate the time constraints for legal actions. ‘We need to protect victims child sexual abuse and help them seek justice,’ Sen. Vitale (D-Middlesex), who is the primary sponsor of the legislation, said. ‘This will require changing the law and expanding the civil statute of limitations for this crime.’” By Greg Wright, NJ.com

CLERGY CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Allentown, Harrisburg dioceses, lawmaker says
“The Pennsylvania attorney general's office is looking into allegations of abuse by priests in the Allentown Diocese as part of a bigger statewide investigation, a lawmaker who was called to testify told The Morning Call on Thursday (Sept. 15). The Harrisburg Diocese also is under investigation … State prosecutors have been taking testimony in Pittsburgh for months in a wide-ranging investigation that started with a scathing March report detailing allegations of abuse by about 50 priests and other religious leaders in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and a cover-up by church officials.” By Steve Esack, Peter Hall and Matt Assad, The Morning Call
 -- Clergy inquiry includes six diocese, By Debra Erdley, TribLive.com
 -- Scranton Diocese part of grand jury sex abuse probe, By Steve Esack, The Morning Call, in Standard-Speaker
 -- Pittsburgh Diocese subpoenaed as part of grand jury probe into pries sex abuse allegations, By CBS-TV
 -- Pennsylvania representative expects shocking findings from clergy sexual abuse investigation, By Patricia Madej, Philly Voice
 -- ‘Catholic community enforces strict policies’: Church lobby group responds to news of investigation in priest abuse, By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com

The Royal Commission has exposed a Catholic Church culture in desperate need of change
“During his evidence to the royal commission Bishop Bill Wright made the observation that he felt concentrating on events of 30 years ago was not a useful exercise, and it is more important to understand what is happening now with regard to child abuse and protection. The Commissioner’s response was to state that the community had asked for a royal commission into organizations and that this be done in the public eye. Understanding the history of abuse is vitally important to the health of the current community. Let me explain why.” By Kathleen McPhillips, Commentary in the Newcastle Herald

Child sex abuse: Restoration of trust key to survival of Catholic Church
“Since its inception, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been a lightning rod for longstanding disillusionment with the Catholic Church. Among its critics, an impression seems to have formed that the Catholic Church has been exceptional among the institutions examined in regard to child sexual abuse and that it is, in fact, rotten to its core and in desperate need of root and branch reform.” By Chris McGillion and Damian Grace

Priest told victim’s father going to police would harm boy
“The father of a boy who was sexually abused by a priest was asked by a senior cleric not to go to police and told that to do so might be harmful to his child, the Royal Commission was told yesterday, reports The Australian. In evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the boy’s mother, Karolyn Graham, said she ‘was horrified and felt intimidated by the Church’ as a result. By CathNews.com

ARKANSAS

Transparency drives diocesan safe environment procedures
“When the movie “Spotlight” won the Best Picture Oscar earlier this year, some Catholics may have rolled their eyes given the movie’s true-story subject matter. Based on the Boston Globe’s uncovering of the priest sex scandal there and the archdiocese’s attempts to cover it up, it seemed to the uninitiated another case of Hollywood rewarding films that kicked around the Universal Church. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor was not one of those people.” By Dwain Hebda, Arkansas Catholic

Diocese reports sexual abuse by ex-priest
“Last month, the Diocesan Review Board and I met with and listened to someone who had been the victim of clergy sexual abuse as a youth in our diocese. We earlier had been contacted by a concerned family member and at that time ensured that a report was made to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and then began conducting our investigation.” By Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, Diocese of Little Rock, on DOLR.org

CONNECTICUT

Diocese, Holy Cross fight to keep abuse documents secret in ‘spotlight’ case
“Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport and the international Congregation of Holy Cross urged a judge Thursday (Sept. 15) not to make public hundreds of documents detailing how priest abuse was handled by bishops Edward Egan and William Lori … It’s been more than 10 years since the diocese paid more than $15 million to more than two dozen people who claimed they were abused by priests when they were children.” By Daniel Tepfer, Connecticut Post

Insurer doesn’t want to pay church to cover sex abuse costs
“An insurance company has appealed an order by a federal judge in Connecticut to reimburse the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford $945,000 for payments church officials made to settle sexual misconduct cases involving priests.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

IOWA

Iowa diocese: 5 more people allege abuse by priest
“The Sioux City Diocese says five more people have made allegations of years-ago sexual abuse by a now deceased priest. The Sioux City Journal reports that the diocese also confirmed Wednesday (Sept. 14) that it has reached a settlement with the man who first came forward with allegations against the Rev. Peter Murphy, who served in several northwest Iowa parishes from the 1950s through the 1970s.” By KCCI-TV

KANSAS

Catholic priest serving Baldwin and Lapeer suspended after visiting ‘inappropriate’ websites
“A Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has been suspended from ministry after a report he had visited ‘inappropriate’ websites depicting children, authorities said. The priest, identified as the Rev. Chris Rossman, pastor of Annunciation Church in Baldwin City and St. Francis of Assisi Church in Lapeer, was suspended Friday, pending the outcome of investigations by law enforcement and the archdiocese.” By Phil Anderson, Topeka Capital-Journal

MAINE

Maine inmate sues Catholic bishop over alleged abuse
“A Maine State Prison inmate serving a 60-year sentence for the 1986 murder of his grandfather has sued the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland for sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of two priests, dating back to the late 1970s. Jeffrey Libby, through his attorney Verne Paradie Jr., filed the suit Thursday in Cumberland County Unified Court, alleging negligence, sexual assault and battery, invasion of privacy, clergy malpractice and more. He is seeking unspecified damages.” By Eric Russell, Portland Press Herald

MISSOURI

Sealed lawsuit alleging St. Louis archbishop knew priest was danger to children set for trial
“Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer on Monday (Sept. 19) set a March 27 trial date for a civil lawsuit in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.” By Joel Currier, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NEW YORK

Abuse allegation from 30 years ago made against Dutchess pastor
“An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor dating from approximately 30 years ago has been made against Father Anthony Giuliano, the pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Pawling and St. Charles Borromeo parish in Dover Plains. A letter dated Aug. 31, addressed to members of the two parishes in Dutchess County, gave further details of the situation. The letter, which was written by Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh, the archdiocese’s vicar for clergy, said the allegation against Father Giuliano has been found credible, but it has not yet been substantiated and noted that Father Giuliano has denied it.” By Catholic New York

OHIO

Diocese, Franciscans pay $900K to settle child sex abuse claims
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, and a Pennsylvania-based religious order have agreed to pay $900,000 to settle 28 lawsuit claims of sexual abuse by a Franciscan friar. The Tribune-Chronicle of Warren reports a diocesan official confirmed the settlement regarding abuse claims made by victims of the late Brother Joseph Baker. Baker killed himself in 2013 after the diocese announced it had settled 11 claims made by people who said he abused them at Warren, Ohio, schools from 1986 to 1990.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

PENNSYLVANIA

Allentown Diocese priests and their crimes
“Other priests with ties to the Diocese of Allentown who have been charged with crimes: The Rev. Thomas Bender, sentenced to seven years' probation in 1988 for molesting a teenage Pottsville boy in the 1980s …” By The Morning Call

DA: Pastor of St. Ann’s in Emmaus downloaded child porn for ‘sexual gratification’
“The pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Emmaus is charged with possession of child pornography which he downloaded "for his own sexual gratification, the Lehigh County district attorney said Tuesday morning at a news conference detailing the investigation of Monsignor John Stephen Mraz. Mraz, a 66-year-old monsignor, is charged by county detectives with one felony count of possession of child pornography, one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility and a misdemeanor count of selling obscene materials. The charges list July 25 as the date of the offenses.” By Laurie Mason Schroeder, Matt Coughlin and Pamela Lehman, The Morning Call
 -- Should St. Ann parishioners have been told their pastor was being investigated over child porn, By Matt Assad, The Morning Call

How can Catholic church officials sleep at night?
“Bishop Ronald Gainer recently submitted a letter to the newspaper stating that his ‘heart aches’ for victims of sexual abuse. He apologizes ‘for the harm that has been inflicted on them.’ All well and good, Bishop Gainer. However, may we remind you that reconciliation is not as simple as saying you are sorry? It is also promising not to sin again by totally righting the wrong, not just partially.” By Jeffrey Blum, Commentary in York Daily Record

AUSTRALIA

Senior Catholic figure questioned by police over pedophile priest
“A senior figure in the Catholic Church has been interviewed by police over whether he and others failed to report paedophile ex-priest John Farrell to authorities, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard. Former vicar general of Sydney John Usher told the commission he gave a statement to officers from Strike Force Glenroe in May.” By Australian Associated Press in The Guardian

Abuse allegations too vague to report to police, Catholic Church official says
“A senior Catholic official has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse the information he had about a former priest's ‘wicked and criminal’ conduct was too vague to report to police. The commission heard Father Brian Lucas, the National Director of Catholic Mission, was interviewed on the ABC radio current affairs program AM in July 2012, after an ABC Four Corners investigation into the church's handling of allegations against Father John Farrell.” By Nicole Chettle, ABC News Australia

Victorian priest’s victims as young as 4
“A man who was molested by a pedophile priest has told a court how the clergyman preyed on him after coming into the family home offering ‘pastoral care’ following the death of the victim's brother. Robert Patrick Claffey, 73, pulled the boy onto his knee and after telling him it was okay to cry, began rubbing and fondling him.” By Agence France-Press on 9NEWS.com

Child sex abuse commission: Father John Farrell ‘abused children to show affection’
“Former Moree Catholic priest Father John Joseph Farrell ‘only fondled genitals as it was his way of showing affection’ a church official allegedly told the parent of an abused altar boy, a royal commission has heard. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking into the behavior of Father Farrell, who sexual abused altar boys in Moree in the 1980s, and how the Catholic Diocese of Armidale and Parramatta handled complaints about him.” By Mazoe Ford, ABC News Australia
 -- Bishop thought NSW priest was innocent, By Miranda Forster, Agence France-Presse, in the West Australian

Catholic Church aware of priest’s offences against children
“Senior members of the Catholic Church were first informed a priest had molested young boys in 1984 but he continued to move around parishes in NSW for almost a decade before being suspended, a royal commission has heard.” By Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald
 -- George Pell knew about child rape priest since 2002, By Sherele Moody, Northern Star

Principal who failed to report Francis ‘Romuald’ Cable to police labeled ‘coward and liar’
“A Marist Brothers principal who failed to report now-notorious paedophile Francis ‘Romuald’ Cable to police has been labelled a ‘coward’ and a ‘liar’ after claiming he could not remember visiting the home of a student who had hung himself. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is currently examining the response of the Marist Brothers to abuse reports against three brothers, including Brother Romuald, working in the Hunter.” By Christopher Knaus and Ian Kirkwood, The Canberra Times

Former Catholic priest charged with nine more child sex offenses committed
“Additional charges have been laid against a former Catholic priest over alleged historical child sex assaults in northern NSW. Strike Force Glenroe was established in July 2012 and comprises detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad and the New England and Barwon Local Area Commands to investigate alleged historical child sexual assault offences committed by a former Catholic Priest.” By Namoi Valley Independent

Survivors still picking up the pieces decades after abuse
“A notorious pedophile priest laughed while he watched boys as young as six years old have sex with one another. One of those boys, Scott Hallett, says he is scarred by what he was forced to do by NSW priest Vincent Ryan but, at the time, he did not realize he was being abused.” By Rohan Smith, News.com.au

GREAT BRITAIN, SCOTLAND & WALES

Priest wrongly accuse of abuse calls Catholic Church to account
“A parish priest falsely accused of child abuse has asked why Catholic Church authorities give any credence to anonymous allegations such as were presented against him. F. Tim Hazelwood, parish priest at Killeagh in east Cork, explained how ‘in May of this year I was successful in securing an apology and an admission that what was claimed about me was false, i.e. – that I was an abuser.’” By Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times

Survivors’ group ‘loses faith’ in child sex abuse inquiry
“A 600-strong survivors' group has lost faith in the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse, its leaders have said. Shirley Oaks Survivors Association told the BBC it would recommend withdrawing from the Lambeth strand of the inquiry because it was not ‘truly independent.’ Ex-inquiry chair Justice Lowell Goddard has said she was prevented from picking her own staff, and that civil servants were prioritized by the Home Office.” By Jake Morris, BBC News

GUAM

Child sex abuse statute of limitations bill passes
“All senators who were present during session today passed Bill 326. The legislation lifts the civil statute of limitations in cases involving child sex abuse. The legislation passed amid multiple allegations of child molestation accusations made against local clergy including Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Several men have come forward alleging Apuron molested them when they were altar boys at Mt. Carmel Church in Agat where he had served as a priest. These same men testified in support of the bill when it had its public hearing.” By Sabrina Salas Matanane
 -- New legislation to help uncover abuse in Guam’s Catholic Church, By Radio New Zealand
 -- Former AG says Bill 326 will destroy the church; proponents beg to differ, By Janela Carrera, Pacific News Center
 -- Clergy worried legislation could bankrupt Guam’s Catholic Church, By Krystal Paco, KUAM -TV

Concerns Vatican yet to start investigating Guam’s archbishop
“A deacon on Guam says he is concerning the Vatican does not appear to have begun investigating abuse allegations against the island's Archbishop. Five allegations Archbishop Anthony Apuron raped or molested altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s have now been made over the past year.” By RadioNZ.co.nz
 -- Catholic group defends Guam priest accused of child sex abuse, By Haidee V. Eugenio, Pacific Daily News, in USA TODAY

Former Chalan Pago altar boy says he saw sexual abuse by Apuron, Antonio Cruz in ‘64
“Church officials will investigate a report that Archbishop Anthony Apuron and another priest sexually abused an altar boy in Chalan Pago 52 years ago, according to a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Agana Monday night.” By Jojo Santo Tomas, Pacific Daily News

IRELAND

Irish priest: Sex abuse victims lost to suicide could have been saved
“One of Ireland's best known priests, who is one of six clerics in the Irish church censured by the Vatican in recent years, claimed that a number of women who were sexually abused by notorious pedophile Norbertine Fr. Brendan Smyth, later committed suicide because of their ordeal. In an interview with the Irish magazine, Hot Press, popular BBC radio presenter Passionist Fr. Brian D'Arcy, says he personally knew ‘young women, who took their own lives because of what Brendan Smyth did to them.’” By Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter