Incidence 22: Youth pastor, Christian camp director accused of inappropriately touching teen girls
- The long-time director of a Christian youth camp in Delevan is refusing to step down despite complaints that he inappropriately touched young women and girls at the camp and when he was a youth pastor in the 1990s at one of the area’s largest churches.
- The Chapel in Amherst said it cut ties with the Circle C Ranch following an internal investigation by a Texas lawyer that found Wayne Aarum had engaged in a “pattern of inappropriate behaviors,” such as stroking the legs and touching the clothed breasts and genital areas of young women and teenage girls.
- Circle C Ranch’s board of trustees said they did their own investigation. The board – which consists of Wayne Aarum, his brother, Wes, and Daryl Dekalb – posted a 34-page report on the camp’s website, along with a response to Norris’ report and various statements objecting to the Chapel’s actions.
- In one letter, the board accused the Chapel’s executive pastor, John Camardo, of defamation. The board also claims that the Chapel is attempting to use the women’s claims to generate controversy and take over the 315-acre rural camp that has been in the Aarum family since 1968.
(buffalonews.com, 7 April 2021) News Link
Incidence 23: More than 300 sex abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is facing more than 300 lawsuits tied to accusations of sexual abuse.
- The lawsuits stem from the New York’s Child Victims Act, which took effect in August 2019. It allowed victims who claim that they were sexually abused by members of the diocese to file civil lawsuits anonymously. It also stiffened penalties for their perpetrators.
(wxxxinews.org, 6 April 2021) News Link
Incidence 24: A Georgia church, kicked out of the SBC for allowing gay members, wants to make sure ‘everybody’s welcome
- Churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior would be deemed not to be in cooperation with the Convention said, The Southern Baptist Convention.
- On February 23, the SBC Executive Committee voted to remove Towne View for allowing LGBTQ people to become members of its congregation.
(usatoday.com, 4 April 2021) News Link
Incidence 25: Anglican bishop says church must acknowledge role in violence against women
- The Anglican Bishop of Jamaica, Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, used his Easter message to call for the Christian church in Jamaica to accept that some of its practices are used to justify violence against women.
- “We must acknowledge, as a church, the way in which some of our attitudes and teachings within the Christian community have been used to undergird the negative and violent attitudes and behaviour with which our women must now contend,” said Gregory, as he delivered a sermon at the St Andrew Parish Church this morning.
(jamaica-gleaner.com, 4 April 2021) News Link
Incidence 26:Catholic sex abuse claim: State Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Hattiesburg case
- A Forrest County judge erred when he dismissed a case of alleged sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, one attorney argued Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the Mississippi Supreme Court
- Attorney John Hawkins said state law provides for a case to proceed if it was brought within three years of the discovery of an injury even if the statute of limitations for when the crime occurred had already expired.
- Scanlon died in 1995 but his estate was named a defendant in the original case. The priest’s estate was dropped on appeal since the estate was dissolved and no longer available for prosecution.
(amp-hattiesburgamerican-com.cdn.ampprojectorg, 30 March 2021) News Link
Incidence 27:Pope grants German archbishop faulted over abuse ‘time out’
- Pope Francis has granted a “time out” to a German archbishop who offered his resignation after being faulted for his handling of allegations of sexual abuse in his previous diocese, church authorities said Monday.
- Hamburg Archbishop Stefan Hesse’s offer on March 18 followed the release of a report commissioned by his counterpart in Cologne which found 75 cases in which high-ranking officials neglected their duties in such cases.
(dtnext.in, 29 March 2021) News Link
Incidence 28: Indian bishop’s rape trial enters crucial stage
- On March 12 in Kerala’s Kottayam district, the court proceedings have entered a crucial stage for Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar who is accused of raping a former superior-general of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under him, multiple times between 2014-16.
(ucanews.com, 23 March 2021) News Link
Incidence 29: Priest denies assaulting bishop, accuses vicar general of lying
- Father Varghese Peter Palappallil has denied that he has assaulted his superior, Bishop Pius Thomas D’Souza of Ajmer, and accused the vicar general of spreading “baseless and motivated lies” and “imaginary stories.”
- “I have not assaulted bishop. It is totally a false story,” Father Palappallil told Matter India on March 13, three days after Bishop D’Souza suspended the 50-year-old priest from performing priestly duties and ministries.
(mattersindia.com, 14 March 2021) News Link
Incidence 30: Sexual harassment accused Kerala priest suspended after attacking Ajmer Bishop
- Father Varghese Palappallil, a priest from Kerala, was suspended from his priestly duties after he was accused of physically attacking Ajmer Bishop Pius Thomas D’Souza on March 10.
- Though Father Varghese has charges of sexual harassment levelled against him by a woman who belonged to the Catholic diocese of Ajmer, for which no disciplinary action was taken by the diocese, his assault on the Bishop led to his immediate suspension.
(thenewsminute.com, 13 March 2021) News Link
Incidence 31: Why challenge the practice of mandatory confession
- Some members of Kerala’s Malankara Orthodox Church have alleged that the sacrament had been misused for blackmailing and even sexual harassment of women parishioners
- Recently, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and the Kerala government and 11 Malankara Syrian Church bodies on a petition filed by three members of the church, challenging the practice of mandatory sacramental confession. The petitioners alleged that the sacrament had been misused for blackmailing and even sexual harassment of women parishioners.
- The provocation for the complaint came after five priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church were disrobed and arrested in 2018 for sexually abusing a woman after threatening to break the seal of confession. Her husband alleged that she was abused by the five priests for years. The woman was pressurised into sexual relations with the priests after she ritually confessed about having a premarital affair.
(thehindu.com, 26 February 2021) News Link
Incidence 32: Kerala HC rejects rape convict priest’s bail plea to marry survivor
- Robin Vadakumcherry, a former priest of the Mananthavady diocese in Wayanad in Kerala, was convicted by a POCSO court in Kannur in 2019 on charges of raping and impregnating a minor girl. He sought bail last year expressing desire to marry the survivor who has now attained the age of 18 and take care of their child.
- Citing earlier court orders, the HC maintained that a lenient approach cannot be taken when dealing with sexual offences. The court also pointed out that since the appeal against the trial court order convicting Vadakumcherry was still remaining and hence allowing him bail to marry the survivor at this point would amount to giving legal sanctity to the offence.
(deccanherald.com, 17 February 2021) News Link
Incidence 33: Illicit relationship in an old age home by Priest
- Hermines Home for the Destitute is a youth and old age home in Rosmiyapuram, near Panakudi, Nellai District. More than 30 destitute children and the elderly are staying here. It is administered by Joseph Isidore, a priest from KanyaKumari district. Rajammal, who hails from Mudumottanmozhi Kovil Street near Thisayanvilai, has been working as a cook in the archive for many years.
- In this case, it is said that there was an illicit relationship between Joseph, and Jayalakshmi, who works there. It is said that Joseph and Jayalakshmi were alone in a private room in the archive on the 25th and Rajammal saw it unexpectedly. After a dispute between them, Joseph Easy Thor and Jaya Lakshmi attacked Rajammal and Rajammal was admitted to Radhapuram Government Hospital. The incident has caused a great stir in the affluent area.
(polimernews.com, 30 January 2021) News Link
Incidence 34: Abhaya case: Kerala High Court admits convicted priest’s appeal
- The Kerala High Court on January 19 agreed to hear the appeal moved by Father Thomas Kottoor challenging the trial court verdict convicting him for the murder of Sister Abhaya. A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and M R Anitha admitted Father Kottoor’s appeal.
- In his appeal, Father Kottoor has submitted that the trial court’s judgment is based on “unconnected story circumstances culled out from unreliable solitary witnesses,” in a reference to key witness Adakka Raju.
(mattersindia.com, 20 January 2021) News Link
Incidence 35: Be in sync with Church’s stand, urges KCBC
- KOCHI: The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, in a statement issued here on Thursday, urged retreat gurus, orators and those active on social media with connections to the Church to ensure that their stand is in sync with the official stand of the Church.
- The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council statement comes in the wake of the comment by Fr Mathew Naickomparambil, a popular retreat guru, quoting a WhatsApp message, that Sr Abhaya died while running away from a thief. KCBC said all interference from those close to the church, be it retreat gurus, official organisations or other organisations of Christians, should be rational and in tune with the teaching of Christ.
- The council also condemned the dissemination of statements made by individuals as the stand of the church. The priest’s comments drew severe criticism on social media, with many terming the speech a move to exonerate the priest and nun who have been convicted in the sensational Sr Abhaya’s murder case
(ucanews.com, 15 January 2021) News Link
Incidence 36: Ministry roiled by late founder’s sexual misconduct scandal
- A posthumous sexual misconduct scandal involving the man who founded, in his own name, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has placed the global Christian organization in a wrenching predicament. It faces calls from within its own ranks to change its name, pay reparations to any victims and oust some top leaders, including Zacharias family members.
- Zacharias, a widely popular author and speaker, died of cancer in May at age 74. One measure of his stature in Christian circles: Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service, lauding him as a great evangelist “armed with intellect, girded with truth and love.”
(apnews.com, 4 January 2021)
Incidence 37: Pastor sexually exploits betrothed woman and tries to marry another for dowry
- Not long after a pastor from Kanyakumari sexually exploited a woman betrothed to him and dumped her later, another such incident has now come to light. A woman from an economically weaker family has accused a pastor of dumping her for dowry. The victim has accused Pastor Vijay, ministering as an assistant pastor in the Church of Glory, Tirunelveli of forcing himself on her on the pretext of marrying her.
- It took many visits to the office of the Police Commissioner to get the FIR filed as per the victim’s claims in her interview to the media. If the person who is entrusted with the duty of forgiving the sins of the laity commits such unforgivable sins, what kind of example would he be setting to the laity is the question that arises in the minds of the believers.
(hindupost.in, 1 January 2021) News Link
Incidence 38: Granville Gibson: Church dismissed sex priest abuse as drunkenness
- Church officials dismissed claims a priest was sexually abusing young men as “drunkenness”, a report has found. Granville Gibson was jailed in 2016 and again last year for sexual offences committed in the 1970s and 80s.
- In a review of how the Diocese of Durham handled complaints about Gibson, clinical psychologist Dr Stephanie Hill said a number of “red flags” were missed.
- The Bishop of Durham reiterated an apology made to the victims in 2016.
- Dr Hill carried out her review in 2017 but it has only now been published having been delayed by police investigations and the coronavirus outbreak.
- Gibson began as a Church of England deacon in 1971 and served in churches in Cullercoats and Cramlington before becoming a priest at St Clare’s in Newton Aycliffe between 1977 and 1985.
(bbc.com, 17 December 2020) (News Link)
Incidence 39: Tamilnadu: Women commission directs Loyola College to pay Rs 64.3 lakh compensation to sexual harassment victim
- In a suo motu decision, the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women has ordered Chennai’s Loyola College to immediately pay a compensation (with interest and without delay) of Rs 64.30 lakhs to former staff. The compensation covers remuneration for 81 months, damages for mental agony, unkind words of sexual harassment and for filing a false complaint against the victim.
- The Commission has also found that the victim has had a very good track record and that there was no reason for terminating her service and noted that the Loyola College has abruptly stopped her from work, deliberately.
- According to the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women, the donations that Loyola receives from alumni should be accounted for in a separate Alumni Funds account and the association has to be duly registered under the Societies Act.
(zeenewsindia.com, 23 December 2020) News Link
Incidence 40: Rape, murder suspected in Indian Christian woman’s death
- The mysterious death of a Christian woman in Punjab state three months ago has taken a new turn with her family demanding exhumation of her body, saying she was raped and murdered but police covered up the case.
- The family and some Christian groups plan to move Punjab High Court to exhume her body for a second post-mortem examination with experts.
- We believe a fresh post-mortem will be able to establish our charge,” said Minakshi Singh, general secretary of Unity in Christ, a forum of Protestant churches based in New Delhi.
(ucanews.com, 10 November 2020) (News link)
Incidence 41: Alleging sex abuse, 4 sue Vatican over handling of McCarrick
- “Popes chose to conceal and condone this conduct,” an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said. Four accusers of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick have filed a lawsuit against the Vatican, arguing it should be held liable for allowing the now-disgraced cleric to serve in multiple positions in New York and New Jersey when it knew of numerous allegations of sexual abuse against him.
- The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where McCarrick served as archbishop from the mid-1980s until 2000.
(thehindu.com, 20 November 2020) (News Link)
Incidence 42: Pope Francis vows to end sexual abuse after McCarrick report
- Pope Francis pledged Wednesday to rid the Catholic Church of sexual abuse and offered prayers to victims of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a day after the Vatican released a detailed report into the decades-long church cover-up of his sexual misconduct.
- The Vatican report blamed a host of bishops, cardinals and popes for downplaying and dismissing mountains of evidence of McCarrick”s misconduct starting in the 1990s. The report blamed St. John Paul II, however, for having appointed McCarrick archbishop of Washington in 2000, and made him a cardinal, despite having commissioned an inquiry that found he shared his bed with seminarians.
(outlookindia.com, 11 November 2020) (News Link)
Incidence 43: Vatican’s explosive McCarrick report largely places blame on John Paul II
- In an explosive report that calls into question the decision-making of three Catholic popes, the Vatican has revealed a series of institutional failures that led to the repeated promotion of now disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick despite rumors of his alleged sexual misconduct with young men as early as the 1990s.
- The executive summary of the expansive 450-page text suggests that John Paul may have been blinded by his own prior friendship with McCarrick in the 1970s, and by his experience in communist Poland, where authorities would sometimes level false accusations against bishops in order to try and damage the church’s reputation.
(ncronline.org, 10 November 2020) (News Link)