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The Bobster
09-07-2018, 06:37 PM
https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/09/07/late-cardinal-anthony-bevilacqua-accused-of-sex-assault-in-new-lawsuit/#comment-377592

Late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Accused Of Sex Assault In New Lawsuit
September 7, 2018 at 4:39 pm

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua is accused in a new lawsuit of sexual assault. The alleged assault happened in the 1980s while he was a bishop in Pittsburgh.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, the female victim claims then Bishop Bevilacqua visited St. Gabriel’s Church and school, took her behind a partition in the lunchroom and groped her chest.

Bevilacqua served as the archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 to 2003.

He passed away in 2012.

This lawsuit comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified more than 300 “predator priests” who allegedly molested more than 1,000 children in six state dioceses.

The Bobster
09-08-2018, 10:39 AM
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Bishop-Misconduct-Allegations-Kevin-Rhoades-492680831.html

Former Pennsylvania Bishop Kevin Rhoades 'Adamantly Denies' Misconduct Allegation
Kevin Rhoades served as bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese from 2004 to 2009. He was named bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in 2010.
Published at 7:52 AM EDT on Sep 7, 2018 | Updated at 12:09 PM EDT on Sep 7, 2018

A former Pennsylvania Roman Catholic bishop who now serves in Indiana has denied an allegation of misconduct.

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend told PennLive.com in a statement Thursday that former Harrisburg bishop Kevin Rhoades "adamantly denies" the accusation and that he "did nothing wrong." :rolleyes:

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo received the report last month. Rhoades hasn't been charged.

According to Chardo, the alleged male victim was around 18-years-old when the incident happened. Chardo says the individual died in 1996.

"The report alleged that they perceived the relationship as odd," Chardo said. "But they did not witness any inappropriate conduct," he added.

The allegation would land within the statute of limitations.

"We would stress that this is an allegation," said Mike Barley, a spokesman for the Harrisburg Diocese. "We will have no further comment until the investigation of the Office of the District Attorney is concluded," added Barley.

Rhoades began with the Harrisburg Diocese in 1983 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in York. He went on to serve as bishop from 2004 to 2009. Rhoades left Harrisburg and was named bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in Jan. 2010.

David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, believes Rhoades should step down while the investigation is underway.

"I urge Catholic officials in Indiana and Pennsylvania to aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes, misdeeds or cover ups, by Rhoades or other clerics," Clohessy said.

The accusation follows a landmark Pennsylvania grand jury report that claimed over 1,000 children in six Catholic dioceses have been abused since the 1940s.

The Bobster
09-13-2018, 02:34 PM
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/US-Bishop-Michael-Bransfield-Harassment-Probe-493141241.html

Pope Francis OKs Sexual Harassment Probe of Former Philly-Area Priest
Pope Francis authorized a fellow bishop to investigate allegations that Michael Bransfield sexually harassed adults
By Nicole Winfield
Published at 9:46 AM EDT on Sep 13, 2018 | Updated 5 hours ago

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop Thursday and authorized an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults, adding awkward drama to an audience with U.S. church leaders over the abuse and cover-up scandal roiling the Catholic Church.

The resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield was announced just as the four-member U.S. delegation was sitting down with Francis in his private study in the Apostolic Palace. Among the four was Bransfield's cousin, Monsignor Brian Bransfield, secretary-general of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Bransfield had been investigated for an alleged groping incident in 2007 and was implicated in court testimony in 2012 in an infamous Philadelphia priestly sex abuse case. He strongly denied ever abusing anyone and the diocese said it had disproved the claims. He continued with his ministry until he offered to retire, as required, when he turned 75 last week.

The Vatican said Francis accepted his resignation Thursday and appointed Baltimore Bishop William Lori to take over Bransfield's Wheeling-Charleston diocese temporarily. Lori said in a statement that Francis had also instructed him to "conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield."

No details of the allegations were revealed and his diocese said it had "no idea" where Bransfield was after the Vatican ordered him to live outside the diocese.

Lori set up a hotline for potential victims to call, said the Vatican had instructed him to make the investigation public, and vowed to conduct a thorough study into what he said were "troubling" claims against Bransfield, who was a major fundraiser for the Vatican via the Pennsylvania-based Papal Foundation.

The revelation was the latest twist in an incredible turn of events in the U.S. church that began with the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious U.S. cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teenage altar boy in the 1970s.

Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal in July after a U.S. church investigation found the allegation credible. After news broke of the investigation, several former seminarians and priests came forward to report that they, too, had been abused or harassed by McCarrick as adults.

The McCarrick affair — coupled with revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses — has fueled outrage among the rank-and-file faithful who had trusted church leaders to reform themselves after the abuse scandal first erupted in Boston in 2002.

Outrage has also been directed at Francis and the Vatican and has fueled conservative criticism of Francis' pontificate.

The head of the U.S. bishops conference, Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, had requested the papal audience last month following revelations that McCarrick had risen through church ranks even though the allegations of sexual misconduct were known in U.S. and Vatican circles.

DiNardo requested a full-fledged Vatican investigation into the McCarrick affair, and said he also wanted answers to allegations that a string of Vatican officials knew of McCarrick's misdeeds since 2000, but turned a blind eye.

A statement issued by DiNardo after the papal audience made no mention of his request for a Vatican investigation. It said that the Americans briefed the pope on the "laceration" that abuse has caused and that "we look forward to actively continuing our discernment together identifying the most effective next steps."

The statement also made no mention of the Bransfield investigation. McCarrick was a co-consecrator when Bishop Bransfield was ordained a bishop in 2005 and the two were active in the Papal Foundation, the big U.S. fundraising organization that McCarrick co-founded and which has funneled millions of dollars to the Vatican over the years.

Bransfield was president when the foundation was thrown into disarray last year over a revolt by its lay donors. They were incensed that the cardinals who run the foundation had agreed to a $25 million request from the Vatican to bail out a troubled Rome hospital. Under pressure, the cardinals pulled the plug on the funding mid-way through.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston spokesman Tim Bishop said Thursday he couldn't answer questions about Bransfield's whereabouts or whether he has an attorney.

"The Holy See has instructed him to live outside the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston," Bishop said. "I have no idea of his whereabouts."

The Vatican hasn't responded to allegations by its former ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis effectively rehabilitated McCarrick from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI over allegations McCarrick would routinely invite seminarians to his beach house and into his bed.

Francis has, however, responded to the overall scandal with a series of initiatives aimed at trying to convince the faithful that he "gets it" and is prepared to take measures to put an end to what he has called the "culture of cover-up" in the church.

On the eve of the U.S. audience, Francis announced he was summoning the presidents of bishops conferences around the world to a February summit to discuss prevention measures and protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

The surprise announcement was largely dismissed as a belated damage control effort by victims' advocates. Church historians questioned why such an urgent problem was being scheduled for discussion six months from now with the very bishops who are blamed for much of the scandal.

"Where are the laity and others who might provide both new and uncomplicit voices and insights into the process?" asked Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history at Syracuse University.

Even DiNardo's own record on protecting children has now come into question. On the eve of his audience with Francis, The Associated Press reported that two victims in Houston had accused him of not doing enough to stop a priest who was arrested this week on sexual abuse charges.

The archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday confirming that both alleged victims had come forward to report abuse by the priest, the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, one of them in 2001.

The delegation of U.S. bishops announced no plans to speak to the media after their audience.

The Bobster
09-13-2018, 02:43 PM
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/US-Bishops-Meet-Pope-493127281.html

Pope OKs Probe Into US Bishop Over Sex Harassment Claims
The McCarrick affair — coupled with revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses — has fueled outrage among members of the church
By Nicole Winfield
Published at 3:35 AM EDT on Sep 13, 2018 | Updated 3 hours ago

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop Thursday and authorized an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults, adding awkward drama to an audience with U.S. church leaders over the abuse and cover-up scandal roiling the Catholic Church.

The resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield was announced just as the four-member U.S. delegation was sitting down with Francis in his private study in the Apostolic Palace. Among the four was Bransfield's cousin, Monsignor Brian Bransfield, secretary-general of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Bransfield had been investigated for an alleged groping incident in 2007 and was implicated in court testimony in 2012 in an infamous Philadelphia priestly sex abuse case. He strongly denied ever abusing anyone and the diocese said it had disproved the claims. He continued with his ministry until he offered to retire, as required, when he turned 75 last week.

The Vatican said Francis accepted his resignation Thursday and appointed Baltimore Bishop William Lori to take over Bransfield's Wheeling-Charleston diocese temporarily. Lori said in a statement that Francis had also instructed him to "conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield."

No details of the allegations were revealed and his diocese said it had "no idea" where Bransfield was after the Vatican ordered him to live outside the diocese.

Lori set up a hotline for potential victims to call, said the Vatican had instructed him to make the investigation public, and vowed to conduct a thorough study into what he said were "troubling" claims against Bransfield, who was a major fundraiser for the Vatican via the Pennsylvania-based Papal Foundation.

The revelation was the latest twist in an incredible turn of events in the U.S. church that began with the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious U.S. cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teenage altar boy in the 1970s.

Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal in July after a U.S. church investigation found the allegation credible. After news broke of the investigation, several former seminarians and priests came forward to report that they, too, had been abused or harassed by McCarrick as adults.

The McCarrick affair — coupled with revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses — has fueled outrage among the rank-and-file faithful who had trusted church leaders to reform themselves after the abuse scandal first erupted in Boston in 2002.

Outrage has also been directed at Francis and the Vatican and has fueled conservative criticism of Francis' pontificate.

The head of the U.S. bishops conference, Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, had requested the papal audience last month following revelations that McCarrick had risen through church ranks even though the allegations of sexual misconduct were known in U.S. and Vatican circles.

DiNardo requested a full-fledged Vatican investigation into the McCarrick affair, and said he also wanted answers to allegations that a string of Vatican officials knew of McCarrick's misdeeds since 2000, but turned a blind eye.

A statement issued by DiNardo after the papal audience made no mention of his request for a Vatican investigation. It said that the Americans briefed the pope on the "laceration" that abuse has caused and that "we look forward to actively continuing our discernment together identifying the most effective next steps."

The statement also made no mention of the Bransfield investigation. McCarrick was a co-consecrator when Bishop Bransfield was ordained a bishop in 2005 and the two were active in the Papal Foundation, the big U.S. fundraising organization that McCarrick co-founded and which has funneled millions of dollars to the Vatican over the years.

Bransfield was president when the foundation was thrown into disarray last year over a revolt by its lay donors. They were incensed that the cardinals who run the foundation had agreed to a $25 million request from the Vatican to bail out a troubled Rome hospital. Under pressure, the cardinals pulled the plug on the funding mid-way through.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston spokesman Tim Bishop said Thursday he couldn't answer questions about Bransfield's whereabouts or whether he has an attorney.

"The Holy See has instructed him to live outside the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston," Bishop said. "I have no idea of his whereabouts."

The Vatican hasn't responded to allegations by its former ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis effectively rehabilitated McCarrick from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI over allegations McCarrick would routinely invite seminarians to his beach house and into his bed.

Francis has, however, responded to the overall scandal with a series of initiatives aimed at trying to convince the faithful that he "gets it" and is prepared to take measures to put an end to what he has called the "culture of cover-up" in the church.

On the eve of the U.S. audience, Francis announced he was summoning the presidents of bishops conferences around the world to a February summit to discuss prevention measures and protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

The surprise announcement was largely dismissed as a belated damage control effort by victims' advocates. Church historians questioned why such an urgent problem was being scheduled for discussion six months from now with the very bishops who are blamed for much of the scandal.

"Where are the laity and others who might provide both new and uncomplicit voices and insights into the process?" asked Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history at Syracuse University.

Even DiNardo's own record on protecting children has now come into question. On the eve of his audience with Francis, The Associated Press reported that two victims in Houston had accused him of not doing enough to stop a priest who was arrested this week on sexual abuse charges.

The archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday confirming that both alleged victims had come forward to report abuse by the priest, the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, one of them in 2001.

The delegation of U.S. bishops announced no plans to speak to the media after their audience.

The Bobster
09-18-2018, 08:56 AM
https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/09/17/8-pennsylvania-catholic-dioceses-sued-over-disclosure-of-sex-abuse-allegations/

8 Pennsylvania Catholic Dioceses Sued Over Disclosure Of Sex Abuse Allegations
September 17, 2018 at 3:49 pm

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Parents of children in the Roman Catholic Church and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy are suing Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses and their bishops to compel them to release information about allegations.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Pittsburgh comes a month after a statewide grand jury report detailed sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 priests over decades in six dioceses. The lawsuit alleges the dioceses haven’t met their obligations to report child sexual abusers under state law.

The grand jury report added that more than 1,000 children were allegedly molested and that the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands.”

An attorney for the two lead plaintiffs says the lawsuit does not seek any money, but instead asks for greater public transparency for parents about abuse allegations.

Several spokespeople for the dioceses say they cannot comment until they have seen the lawsuit. Messages left for several dioceses were not immediately returned Monday.