Houston Protest at Catholic Church

(Sept. 17, 2018)  A Houston protest at a Catholic church was attended by about a dozen people on  Sunday last week.   The Houston Chronicle reported that protesters handed out flyers at Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart downtown.  Their goal was to call attention to the church’s systemic child sex abuse problem.  The protesters were prompted anew following abuse by clergy reports that came from a Pennsylvania grand jury last month.

The protesters called on the Catholic Church to address abuse by clergy that was revealed in the Pennsylvania grand jury’s report.

Protect Our Children!

Churchgoers who left 9 a.m. mass were met with signs that read, “Protect our Children!” and “Speak Up, Speak to Police, Speak Out!”

The protest was led by SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“What we’re asking for is transparency,” said Michael Norris, leader of the Houston chapter.

Related:  Abuse by Clergy Lawsuit

A survivor of  sexual assault by a priest in Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Norris is also asking for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  He is asking for the removal of two diocesan priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

“You will find the same filth that we found in Pennsylvania right here in Houston, Texas,” Mr. Norris told the Houston Chronicle.

David Matthews of Matthews and Associates has represented survivors of sexual abuse by priests.  She said her boss encouraged her and other lawyers at the firm to attend and advocate to raise awareness.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she told the Chronicle.  “I had my first cases back in the late 2000s.  It doesn’t seem like things have changed much since then.  (I) thought things were better. And then you hear one more scandal breaks after another.”

Cardinal DiNardo under fire from Texas’ Catholic Victims

In a Texas Catholic Herald article dated Sept. 11, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Daniel Cardinal DiNardo wrote that he shares the anger and rage felt by survivors.  He asked for prayers to bring accountability to the church. He admitted failure, writing, “I realize in spite of the progress made in 2002 that we, the bishops of the United States, have failed you,” he said. “We can and must do better.”

But recent charges against a priest in Cardinal DiNardo’s jurisdiction suggest that he himself also may have failed to protect parishioners from an accused pedophile priest.

Houston Protest at Catholic Church

Cardinal DiNardo, who is leading a delegation to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis to discuss the church’s pedophile abuse crisis, has been accused by two Texans of not doing enough to stop a Houston-area priest who was arrested last week on sexual abuse charges.

Manuel LaRosa-Lopez was arrested last week by Conroe police.  He stands accused of fondling two people when they were underage teenagers while he was a priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe. He is charged with four counts of indecency with a child. Each count carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.

Mr. LaRosa-Lopez is the current pastor at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Richmond, and also the archdiocese’s episcopal vicar for Hispanics.

One of the alleged victims was flown by the church from the West Coast to Houston to meet with Cardinal DiNardo and the victims’ assistance coordinator for the archdiocese. They met at the archdiocese on the afternoon of Aug. 10, 2018.

The alleged victim shared with the Associated Press a copy of the notes he took.

Cardinal seemed Dismissive

“Cardinal seemed dismissive of situation,” the alleged victim’s notes read.  He also wrote down what he says is a quote from DiNardo: “You should have told us sooner.”

“It was a dismissive tone,” he recalled. “In the back of my head, I was thinking about his comment. I was so mad afterward.”

Both said they had believed their cases were too old to prosecute under statute of limitations laws. But in 2007, the Texas Legislature removed the statute of limitations for indecency with a child cases.  Montgomery County prosecutors say that change means their cases remain eligible to be prosecuted now.

SNAP has called for the Texas attorney general to investigate the Houston archdiocese and others for whether they covered up sexual abuse in their ranks.

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Texas Priest faces Sexual Abuse Charges

(Sept. 12, 2018)  A Texas priest faces sexual abuse charges in Montgomery County.   Conroe police say the alleged sex crimes with children happened over several years’ time, from the early 1990’s to the early 2000’s.

The priest was a former employee of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe.  The Conroe Police Department reported that he has been charged with four counts of indecency with a child. The police say they took two separate criminal reports which named Manuel La Rosa-Lopez as a person who victimized children.

Houston-Area Priest

While Montgomery police identified the accused man as an employee of the church, multiple online profiles and church websites identify Mr. La Rosa-Lopez as a priest who still works in the Houston area.  Mr. La Rosa-Lopez turned himself in to the Montgomery County Jail on Sept. 11, 2018.

Cardinal DiNardo relocated Priest after accusations

The Associated Press reported this afternoon that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has been accused by two people of not doing enough to stop Father La Rosa-Lopez from abusing children.

Both people told the AP they met with Cardinal DiNardo, one in August 2018, the other several years ago.  One of them said she was promised that Mr. La Rosa-Lopez would be removed from any contact with children.  She later discovered that the priest remained in active ministry at another parish 70 miles away.

The Archdiocese released the following statement today:

In 2001, a then-16 year old girl and her family notified this Archdiocese that Fr. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez had kissed and touched her inappropriately when he was assigned as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart in Conroe. We immediately referred this information to Children’s Protective Services for further investigation.

Father La Rosa-Lopez denied touching the girl inappropriately, and the girl’s family decided not to pursue the matter, relocating out of the country that same year. After an internal review, including presentation of the above allegations to the newly founded Archdiocesan Review Board in 2003, Father La Rosa-Lopez was permitted to return to parish ministry in 2004.

Following her return to the U.S., the Archdiocese, in accordance with our commitment to provide pastoral outreach, provided the young woman with counseling services for a period of time, until she decided to discontinue her therapy.

For the last 17 years, no other allegations of inappropriate conduct involving minors were presented against Father La Rosa-Lopez until 2018. During an interview in Houston on August 10, 2018, a 36 year old man formally presented an allegation to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston stating that Fr. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez sexually abused him from 1998 through 2001, when he was a high school student and Father La Rosa-Lopez was still assigned at Sacred Heart in Conroe.

The Archdiocese immediately reported this allegation to Children’s Protective Services as well. Father La Rosa-Lopez has denied these allegations of sexual abuse. . .  

. . . The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recognizes it clearly has both a legal and a moral obligation to address any incidence of abuse — sexual or otherwise — to God’s children.

Such behavior simply will not be tolerated. To anyone affected by any form of abuse by anyone who represents the Church, the Archdiocese deeply regrets such a fundamental violation of trust, and commits itself to eliminating such unacceptable actions.

States Rolling Back Statutes to Allow Victims Leeway

Many states are beginning to roll back statutes of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse more time in which to file a claim.  In many states, people who allege they were victimized as children by clergy or others have only until they turn 30 to file a lawsuit against their perpetrator(s).  Some states allow lawsuits to proceed against child sex abuse predators until the victim reaches 50.  But it is not unusual for a sexually abused person to come forward after age 30 or even after age 50.  Consequently, several states – such as Minnesota and others — have passed legislation allowing victims a new 3-year grace period of time in which to file a lawsuit against their alleged perpetrator(s).  In those states, a person can file a sexual abuse lawsuit at any age, in they do so in the newly granted grace period.

Pennsylvania state is considering such a move to grant long-reticent victims  a reprieve from their private suffering.  The state was rocked by a Catholic church scandal last month after a grand jury determined that more than 300 Catholic priests in one Philly-area parish had sexually abused more than 1,000 children, and quite possibly thousands more.

Abuse by Clergy Lawsuit

Our law firm is investigating priest abuse lawsuits in Texas, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.  If you or a loved one was abused by a Catholic priest or other clergy, contact us for a free, confidential consultation regarding an abuse by clergy lawsuit.

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Catholic Church pays $1 Million to settle Sex Abuse Claims

(August 6, 2018)  AP Million to settle Sex Abuse Claims">reported last month that a Roman Catholic order has agreed to pay $1 million to eight people who say they were sexually abused by two Massachusetts priests.  The victims’ attorney said the sex-abuse claims were brought to the attention of the Augustinians about a year ago, and the parties reached an out-of-court settlement during mediation.

En Español:  La iglesia catolica paga 1 millon para transar las demandas de abuso sexual

The Boston Globe reported that five men and three women were allegedly abused by the Revs. John Gallagher and Robert Turnbull in the 1970s and early 1980s, when the victims were 9 to 12 years old. Both the accused priests have since died.

Related:  Abuse by Clergy Lawsuit

A Cry for Help Ignored

One of the victims wrote about her abuse to the late Cardinal Bernard Law, said her attorney, Mitch Garabedian.  He said that letter proved the former archbishop of Boston knew of sexual abuse by priests.  Cardinal Law, who died last year, was also at the center of a sex abuse scandal while he reigned, and he is also part of the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report on runaway sex abuse by clergy.

The president of Road to Recovery Inc., Robert Hoatson, made the announcement regarding the  settlement outside St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Boston.  Mr. Hoatson, a priest sex-abuse survivor himself, said the settlement avoided bringing a lawsuit against the Augustinians. His nonprofit charity in New Jersey assists sexual abuse victims and encourages them to come forward with their stories.

Mr. Garabedian said three of his clients, now adult women, were abused by a former parish priest who also performed as a coach at St. Mary’s in Lawrence between 1973 and 1976.  Father Gallagher was a swim coach and basketball coach for CYO.  He abused young girls on the two teams in the rectory, and also on field trips, including one to Saratoga, New York.

Mr. Garabedian said five other people, now adult males, were abused by a priest who was also a teacher and an athletic equipment manager when the victims (then 13-14) attended Austin Preparatory School in Reading between 1977 and 1981.

“He would sexually abuse my clients (fondling and some digital penetration) at the Northmeadow Health & Racquet Club in Tewksbury, in the showers and in the swimming pool,” said Mr. Garabedian.  “He would also sexually abuse them in a room next to his classroom at Austin Prep.

He found it difficult to believe Father Turnbull’s supervisors did not know he was sexually abusing children, because rumors swirled about the priest among students.

“His supervisors turned their backs on innocent children,” said Mr. Garabedian.

Woman:  “This pain is still with me. . . ”

Mr. Hoatson said that one of Father Gallagher’s victims was sexually abused when she was attending fourth, fifth and sixth grade at the Catholic Inter-Parochial schools in Lawrence. Those schools were St. Mary, St. Lawrence and Holy Rosary. The woman gave details in the letter she wrote to Cardinal Law:  “Typically, Father Gallagher would have me and my friends with him for some reason: to paint the gym, to count out the money from collections, because he was our coach. . .  While the rest of the girls would be doing the work, he would call one of us to him.”

“As he sat facing the girls working, he would tell me to climb on his lap. This way I could not see the other girls. He would wrap my legs around him so that I was straddling him. He would push me very close to him. (and) would insist that I hug him tightly and kiss him.  (When) he finished with me, he would release me and call up another girl and repeat his act on her.”

Mr. Hoatson said the woman told Cardinal Law that it was her desire to see Father Gallagher punished for the pain he caused her.  “This pain is still with me and will be a part of my being forever,” wrote the woman in her letter.

Cardinal Law should have warned parishioners and the public about FatherGallagher, but instead he “participated in the coverup,” Mr. Garabedian said.

Catholic Church pays $1 Million to settle Sexual Abuse Claims

Instead of being disciplined and dismissed, predator priests such as Father Gallagher were shuffled from one parish to another, which is a claim that was also made by the recent Pennsylvania grand jury, which found that 300 Catholic priests had abused more than 1,000 children.

“The cardinal or archdiocese had an obligation to inquire as to why these individuals were transferred into the Archdiocese of Boston,” said Mr. Garabedian.  The church’s failure to have the pedophile predators screened, and to be forthcoming about their possible history of sexual abuse, he said, “is another indication of  how the Catholic Archdiocese has failed miserably to protect children.”

5,000+ Victims of Abuse by Clergy

Mr. Hoatson said that since forming in 2003, his organization has provided a range of support services to more than 5,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse and their families.

“I attend these public events as an advocate and to encourage other victims to come to me,” said Mr. Hoatson.   He knows the territory.   He was a victim of clergy sexual abuse himself as a child, and he later served as a Catholic priest for 14 years.

“We’ll do anything to help a victim get on the road to recovery,”  he said.

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Pennsylvania may change Priest Abuse Law

(Sept. 3, 2018)  Due to a grand jury report released last month which detailed sex abuse by hundreds of priests, Pennsylvania may change its law on the statutes of limitations for filing Pennsylvania priest abuse lawsuits.

En Español:  Pensilvania podría cambiar la Ley del Abuso Sexual de parte de los Sacerdotes

State lawmakers will soon vote on whether to eliminate Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for clergy sex abuse lawsuits, and whether to lengthen the time a victim has to file such a lawsuit.  Several other states — like Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Minnesota — have already restored victims’ expired rights to file civil lawsuits.

Even if such new law were passed by the Pennsylvania legislature, whether or not an alleged victim could file a sex abuse lawsuit would depend on several factors.  The grand jury lamented the fact that many of the 1,000 priest-abuse victims it estimated could not seek justice due to the passing of the statutes of limitations.  And there were likely thousands more victims, said the jury.

Current Pennsylvania Law fails Victims

Current Pennsylvania law allows child victims of sexual crimes to pursue criminal charges against their abusers until the victims reach age 50.  Victims can file civil lawsuits only until they reach age 30.  That law fails many people who, through shame and other personal reasons, don’t readily reach a point where they are ready to sue their perpetrators.  Many of the victims of pedophile priest George Epoch, for example, didn’t sue the church until the man was dead, decades after he had abused them.

A bill before the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives would eliminate the time limit for prosecutions and move the lawsuit ceiling to age 50.  A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who survived abuse himself also wants to give a temporary grace period to victims whose time limit to sue has already passed.

Similar bills have sat unsupported in the legislature in recent years, but House Majority Leader Dave Reed said last week that he wants to schedule this one for a vote in fall 2018.  Mr. Reed said in a web site statement:  “The actions revealed through the grand jury report are heinous and shameful.  (With) the timeliness of this report and its findings, the statute of limitations bill (is) primed for discussion in the House.”

The bill (SB 261) has sat in the House since last year after the Senate passed it unanimously.

Grand jury says lift prosecution limits

The grand jury report said last month that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania showed that more than 300 “predator priests” were credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

Pennsylvania may change Priest Abuse Lawsuit Law

The grand jury recommended the state eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecutions.  Members noted that “no piece of legislation can predict the point at which a victim of child sex abuse will find the strength to come forward.”

As it now stands, people for whom a statute of limitations has expired before any new law extends the window are generally out of luck.

A U.S. Supreme Court precedent constricts any extension of  criminal liability after a case’s statute limit expires, said Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor and CEO of think tank focused on ending child abuse and neglect Child USA.  That means that even if the Pennsylvania bill passed, a child victim age 51 or older when it became law would not be able to seek criminal charges.

Pennsylvania limits for prosecuting child sex abuse cases used to be five years for prosecution and two years for civil suits.  They increased in the 1990s, and again in the 2000s, eventually settling on 50 and 30.

The grand jury wrote that even those grace-period changes prevent many of the hundreds of victims detailed in the report from suing.

Lawmaker who survived abuse wants broader limits

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi has publicly shared his own personal account of being abused by a Catholic priest as an eighth-grader.

Mr. Rozzi wants to amend the Senate bill to provide a two-year window which would start whenever the new law would take effect.  In that time, any child sex abuse victim could sue an abuser, no matter how long ago the crime occurred.

The retroactive window for civil lawsuits “is the only avenue for these victims who are in the grand jury report” to get justice, said Mr. Rozzi to reporters.

In 2016, Mr. Rozzi gave the Pennsylvania House an emotional account of his rape by a priest in a rectory shower when he was 13 years old.  That story helped trigger the bill which the House unanimously passed, but which the Senate then defeated. The grand jury report says Graff died in a Texas jail in November 2002 while awaiting trial on suspicion of sexually abusing a boy.

Mr. Rozzi first told his story in 2009 after a second childhood friend of his killed himself. Both friends had also been abused by Graff, said Rozzi, a democrat.   He believes he has support in the House for his measure this year, but both chambers are controlled by Republicans.

Mr. Rossi vowed: “Expect that sometime in September, we will move a bill out of the House that has a retroactive window” for civil lawsuits.

Grand jury also recommends retroactive civil window

The grand jury also recommended a two-year civil lawsuit window to allow child victims whose statutes of limitations have expired to sue, the same measure which Mr. Rozzi proposes.

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Gay Lavender Mafia in the Catholic Church?

(August 29, 2018)  Is there a gay lavender mafia in the Catholic church?  According to a priest who has seen the culture from inside the church for several decades, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”  Sadly, the Church has even manipulated or blackmailed priests who have attempted to blow the whistle on the church’s homosexual / pedophile problems.  That’s the conclusion reluctantly reached by several honorable priests, including Father Edwin Palka.

Update: New NY Law Helps Sex Abuse Victims

Evil Homosexual Bishops  

Father Palka wrote earlier this month in the bulletin of The Epiphany of our Lord Catholic Church  that “evil” homosexual bishops set out to “punish, humiliate and blackmail” decent, God-fearing priests who threaten to blow the whistle on the gay “mafia” within the Roman Catholic church.  You can read Father Palka’s own words here; he used them trying to answer one of his own parishioner’s queries over the church’s pedophile problem:  Why don’t Priests blow the Whistle?

Gay Lavender Mafia within Catholic Church

Father Palka blows the whistle on the horrendous damage done by what he calls the gay “Lavender Mafia” within the church.  Father Palka helps shed light on why the sexual abuse crisis within the U.S. church has raged unchecked for decades, as was shown in the recent grand jury report from Pennsylvania.

Pastor of the Tampa, Fla. parish, Father Palka wrote:  “Many people still don’t (I believe most priests still don’t) understand just how evil the active homosexual or homosexual activist… priests and bishops are.”

Related: McCarrick tip of the Iceberg, Polish Priest  warns

He continued:  “Not understanding the extent of their depravity and wrongly thinking that they are simply ‘normal’ men who just struggle with their sexual desires and sometimes might fail to remain chaste but are really, truly repentant when it happens and strive to ‘confess my sins, do penance and amend my life, amen’, they cannot possibly grasp the hellish depths to which… [homosexual activist]… clergy will go to persecute, lambaste, punish, humiliate and blackmail anyone who stands in their way or threatens their way of life.”

Father Palka’s speaking out to answer his own parishioner was partly a result of the shocking grand jury report on pedophile priests released from Pennsylvania this month.  The jury determined that a culture of corruption deep within the church hierarchy has pointedly protected pedophile priests for decades.

How else can one explain the church’s decades-long problem of allowing pedophile priests to abuse young children, 80% of whom have been boys?  How else can one explain the steady promotions which have elevated the worst of the worst – like Cardinal McCarrick – into the highest upper echelon positions in the Catholic church?  How else can one explain the cathedral  mural commissioned by an infamous archbishop in 2007 that suggests a homosexual orgy which includes naked children?

The Catholic church has, for too many years, been able to flaunt its homosexual pedophile priests right in the faces of its parishioners.  So brazen have the upper reaches of the church hierarchy been that they now feel emboldened to simply paint perverted pictures right on the walls of a cathedral, right in front of God and everybody.

Perhaps nothing so clearly shows church elders’ disdain for their own parishioners and all things holy as Archbishop Paglia’s homoerotic mural.  We dare anyone to examine this “Art” Paglia commissioned in 2007, and not come to the same conclusions of world-renowned art critic Maureen Mullarkey.  The truth hides in plain sight in Archbishop Paglia’s world.

Related: Archbishop defends x-rated mural as evangelizing tool

Archbishop Paglia’s Malicious Mural

An International Association of Art Critics member, Ms. Mullarkey wrote in March 2018 that Paglia’s mural was a “true scandal” for the Church.  She called the mural an “out-and-proud” display that reveals not only a “creep,” but a much deeper problem within the Vatican under Francis’ leadership.

“Paglia’s narcissism — the urge to flaunt his liberation from the moral considerations he is pledged to honor — is stunning,” Ms. Mullarkey wrote.  “It is a finger in the eye of congregants who trust in a priest’s fidelity to his vows.  To place it in a public house of worship is treachery.  It is also a declaration of Paglia’s own trust in his immunity from reprimand.”

The Malice of Archbishop Paglia

Ms. Mullarkey wrote that the painting forces congregants to “peep through a keyhole at [Paglia’s] sexual inclinations — and suggested behavior.” (Paglia) disdains his own flock,”she wrote.  “He is taunting them. There is malice in that.”

She added: “The true scandal here is the basis — which goes unmentioned — of Paglia’s confidence that he could broadcast his sexuality on a cathedral wall without fear of censure.”

It is the kind of thing which a good attorney might like to enter into evidence in a clergy abuse lawsuit against the church for its harboring, protecting, and even promoting pedophile priests.

It’s instructive to consider Paglia’s punishment for flaunting his deviant art, which was paid for in part by the very parishioners who were subjected to it.  In 2012, he was promoted to archbishop and appointed president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Under the direction of Paglia, in 2016 the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a new sex-ed program that includes lascivious and pornographic images so disturbing that one psychologist suggested Paglia be evaluated by a review board in accordance with norms of the Dallas Charter, which are designed to protect children from sexual abuse.

A psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican, said his immediate professional reaction was that, “[T]his obscene or pornographic approach abuses youth psychologically and spiritually.  (As) a professional who has treated both priest perpetrators and the victims of the abuse crisis in the Church, what I found particularly troubling was that the pornographic images in this program are similar to those used by adult sexual predators of adolescents.”

That’s more evidence hiding in plain sight of church elders’ attitudes toward pedophilia, and of a systemic problem in the church itself, at the highest levels, that both encourages and rewards unspeakable depravity.

LBGT Politics obscure Criminal Behavior

Meanwhile, some of the LBGT community, which has a very strong political presence in the church, has become inflamed as the pedophile priest stories have been used by some to help promote the King James’ Bible stories that homosexuality is a sin.   But this isn’t about the sin of homosexuality, which we can argue about all we want but cannot legislate.  We cannot legislate human behavioral choices between consenting adults.  We can, and have, legislated behavior between adults and children.  This issue concerns a crime.   Pedophilia is a crime, against both Man and God, and offending priests who violate the trust of their parishioners must be held accountable.

The Church needs to be held accountable

Since church elders have shown themselves to be abject failures in ferreting out and dismissing beastly priests who abuse young children, law firms must be employed to hold these priests and the church accountable.  The church needs to be held accountable.  If you have been abused by a priest, click here for a free confidential legal consultation regarding a potential lawsuit.

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The Catholic Church’s Child Sex Abuse Problem

(August 24, 2018)  A grand jury report issued in Pennsylvania last week has brought the Catholic church’s long-running pedophilia problem back into the public eye. It is a problem that has sadly festered for decades, likely for centuries.  After a two-year investigation in Pennsylvania, the grand jury found that some 300 priests had molested at least 1,000 children, and likely thousands more, dating back to the 1940s.  That’s when the church first began keeping records on pedophile priests.

10,000 Children Report Priest Abuse

The Pennsylvania grand jury report issued this month comes 14 years after the Catholic church itself commissioned what became its own shocking news release back in 2004.   The church then found that more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations since the 1950s.  Those sex abuse cases involved more than 10,000 children, most of them young boys.

Related:  Pennsylvania Priest Abuse Lawsuit

What is the church doing to address its Pedophile Priest Problem?

Many victims of priest abuse and priest-abuse-victims’ advocates have, for decades, criticized the church’s criminal lack of leadership in addressing the problem.  In too many actual cases, church leaders, including the pope, have either ignored the problem, or else they have enabled abuser priests to continue unchecked in their positions of power.

Priest Abuse Lawsuits

Evidence discovered in priest abuse lawsuits has found that many pedophile priests have been moved from one parish to another, often without any rehabilitation or proper supervision, legal or otherwise.  In many of those cases, church elders pointedly failed to inform the offending priest’s newly-assigned parishioners that they’d been given an accused pedophile priest.  In many of those cases, the priest was found to abuse children at his new parish just as he had in the last which had driven him out.

The Pennsylvania pedophile priest report also noted that when local law enforcement was called in to report a sex abuser priest – because pedophilia is a crime – the local police often gave the priest a free pass in “deference” to the church.

The Pope – Words sans Action

The current Pope, Francis, has done what virtually all of his predecessors have done, talk tough about taking responsibility for sex abuse and ferreting out offending priests; but his actions, or lack thereof, and his reactions before and after the Pennsylvania report overshadow his words.

Pope Francis had even gone so far as to denounce accusers who had been deemed entirely credible in telling their sad tales of abuse at the hands of a priest.  In Chile, the pope’s criticism of a credible victim’s veracity recently led to his apologizing to priest sex-abuse victims not only for their abuse at the hands of a priest, but for the pope’s own heaping of scorn upon their personal accounts of that horrific abuse.   In many cases, so many abused people came forward with similar stories about the same priests that it was simply impossible for the pope, or anybody else, to discount their credibility.

NPR: Pope apologizes for mis-handling Chile Sex-abuse Sscandal

Mainstream slow to Reveal Truth

The mainstream media first began to acknowledge child molestation by priests in the 1980s, in the US and Canada, at least 30 years after the first victims’ stories began coming out in the 1950s.

By the 1990s, stories came out in Argentina, Australia, and elsewhere.  In 1995, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, stepped down after sexual abuse allegations rocked the Church there. Widespread priest abuse stories also began hitting the newsstands in Ireland at that time. By the early 2000s, the beasty priest genie was out of the bottle all over the world.

The Boston Globe newspaper (as seen in the 2015 film: Spotlight) exposed widespread abuse.  The Globe detailed how pedophile priests were shuffled around by Church leaders instead of being punished.  The story inspired priest-abused people across the US and the world to tell their  stories.

Endemic Church Sex Abuse

In 2009, a report found that sexual and psychological abuse was “endemic” in Catholic-run industrial schools and orphanages in Ireland for most of the 20th Century.

In 2017, a five-year Australian inquiry found “tens of thousands of children” were sexually abused in Australian institutions over decades, including churches, schools, and sports clubs.

In 2018, a former Vatican representative received a five-year prison sentence for child pornography crimes.  In addition, Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson resigned in 2018 after being convicted of concealing the child sex abuse crimes of another priest. In Chile this year, 34 Roman Catholic bishops offered to resign in the wake of a child sex scandal and cover-up.

The Catholic Church’s Child Sex Abuse Problem

NPR reports that under Pope Francis, a special panel has been set up to deal with the priest abuse issue, but it has faced setbacks, including high-level resignations.  In 2017, an Irish survivor of  priest abuse, Marie Collins, left the group, citing “stumbling blocks and hindrances”.

Sadly, that sounds like business as usual for the Catholic church and how it tackles (or fails to tackle) its long-running pedophile priest problem.

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Monsanto Faces 8,000 Roundup Suits

(August 24, 2018)  Monsanto faces more than 8,000 lawsuits over Roundup links to cancer, the head of Bayer announced yesterday.  Part of the IG Farben company convicted of helping Nazis commit war crimes, Bayer acquired Monsanto this summer in a $62 billion-dollar deal.  That marriage merges two companies which have made their fortunes largely by making and selling deadly chemicals.

Roundup Cancer Verdict: $289 Million

Roundup cancer litigation exploded in the public eye this month after Monsanto was hit with a $289 million jury verdict in California state court following a month-long trial.  Plaintiff DeWayne Johnson sprayed Roundup and Ranger Pro on California school properties. He is now dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which his lawsuit said was caused by his exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro.

World Health Organization: Roundup a Probable Carcinogen

Roundup lawsuits were spurred largely by a 2015 pronouncement from the World Health Organization that glyphosate – the only active ingredient named in Roundup, Ranger Pro, and other popular Monsanto poisons – was a probable human carcinogen.  Since that time, Monsanto has been shown in court documents  to have waged a worldwide PR campaign to discredit the WHO and any scientists or anyone else who dares suggest that glyphosate is carcinogenic.

Monsanto claims Hundreds of Studies show Roundup Safe

Monsanto claims incessantly that hundreds of studies have proven Roundup safe.  The problem is that virtually all of those “studies” were done by people on Monsanto’s payroll or by others financially beholden to the chemical giant from Missouri.  By contrast, the WHO refused to consider Monsanto’s own vested interest studies; the WHO considered only studies which were independent of Monsanto or its minions.

Monsanto EPA Collusion impugns EPA

Monsanto also endlessly repeats that the U.S. EPA has found glyphosate to be non-carcinogenic. The problem for Monsanto with that argument is that internal documents have shown some EPA officials either helping Monsanto or colluding with the company to delay or derail legitimate Roundup cancer studies.  The judge in the California trial allowed the jury to see some of that evidence which impugns Monsanto’s attempt to hide behind any EPA pronouncements.

Can Bayer erase the Monsanto Name from History?

Given the Monsanto moniker’s PR problem which Roundup lawsuits have brought to the forefront of the waking public’s mind, Bayer also hopes the acquisition will help erase the Monsanto name from the history books. Since most of Bayer’s crimes against humanity are further in the past than Monsanto’s, that ploy may work, eventually, given the enormously short attention span of most people today.

Bayer knows something about helping erase history; it knows something about helping erase people from history.  Bayer helped IG Farben erase the lives of millions of people enslaved in WWII concentration camps.  Bayer’s real history is no “conspiracy theory,” and neither is Monsanto’s.

Related:  10 Dirty Secrets you probably didn’t know about Bayer

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann

Meanwhile, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann told investors in a conference call that the 8,000 cases filed against Monsanto over glyphosate “is not indicative of the merits of the plaintiffs’ cases.”

Werner Baumann said Bayer/ Monsanto will vigorously defend against the lawsuits.  He also said the company plans to ask the judge who oversaw the trial of DeWayne “Lee” Johnson to overturn the verdict. If that doesn’t work, the company will appeal the verdict to appellate courts.

Mr. Baumann also repeated Monsanto’s endless argument that glyphosate safety is backed by hundreds of studies over decades.

The California state jury also found in the first and thus far only Roundup cancer trial that  Monsanto failed to adequately warn customers of risks associated with Roundup and its even stronger Ranger Pro products.   The jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice or oppression, and awarded punitive damages.

Monsanto Faces 8,000 Roundup Suits

CEO Baumann also said that another lawsuit alleging Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate causes cancer is set for trial in St. Louis this October.

Federal Court Cases
While most of the 8,000 cases against Monsanto for Roundup are pending in state courts, some 400 glyphosate cases are pending in a federal multidistrict litigation court set up in California.

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Mosanto hit by $289 Million Verdict in First Roundup Trial

(August 10, 2018)  Monsanto was hit by a $289 million verdict in the first Roundup trial yesterday.  A jury deliberated for nearly three days before awarding a former California groundskeeper the decision in the landmark trial.

Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson sued Monsanto in 2016.  He claimed Monsanto knew of health risks linked with Roundup and its even stronger Ranger Pro products since the 1990s.  That’s when studies began showing a correlation between Monsanto’s flagship product and lymphoma. Monsanto, however, downplayed the risks,  the lawsuit petition charges.  Monsanto also failed to put a warning label on its cancer-causing products.  Monsanto failed to warn Mr. Johnson, ruled the jury.  He thought it safe to use Roundup and Ranger Pro while he worked as a groundskeeper for a San Francisco Bay Area school district.

Mr. Johnson took the stand toward the end of the month-long trial.  He recalled being told during an optional pesticide training program that Ranger Pro was “safe enough to drink.”  Shortly afterwards, he said that a spray machine malfunction drenched him in the poison, despite his taking extra safety precautions in wearing a Tyvek bodysuit over his uniform.

After he was drenched, he noticed a nodule on the back of his leg, behind his knee. Other nodules quickly spread to his arms, legs, chest, face, hands.  Mr. Johnson was eventually diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  But he continued spraying Monsanto’s poisons anyway.  He didn’t know if the Ranger Pro had caused his cancer, and he didn’t want to lose his job.  An additional accident covered his back in the poison.

Mosanto hit by $289 Million Verdict in First Roundup Trial

Three different plaintiff’s experts testified earlier that Monsanto’s Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or that Monsanto misrepresented the safety of the products used by Mr. Johnson.

Toxicologist Dr. William Sawyer testified to the 16-member jury that 10 percent of Roundup’s only named active ingredient – glyphosate — can be absorbed through human skin, more than 10 times the amount Monsanto claims can be absorbed when one is using Roundup or Ranger Pro.  Monsanto claims users absorb less than 1 percent.

Another plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Chadi Nabhan — an oncologist and former medical director of the University of Chicago’s cancer center — testified that Monsanto’s products caused Mr. Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Dr. Chadi Nabhan told the jury that he had reviewed epidemiological studies and found that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  After reading thousands of pages of Mr. Johnson’s medical records and examining him, Dr. Nabhan said glyphosate was likely to blame for his cancer.  Dr.Nabhan discussed risk factors associated with cancer, including age, race, the patient’s immune system, viruses, and work history. He said the only risk factors that raised a red flag were Mr. Johnson’s race — because his subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, mycosis fungoides, is more prevalent in black patients  — and his glyphosate exposure on the job.

“There was exposure to an agent that has been determined [to be] a human carcinogen,” Dr. Nabhan testified.  “So nobody could logically exclude this as a substantial factor.”

Experts for Monsanto testified that hundreds of studies showed glyphosate was safe.  Plaintiffs countered that all of those studies were done by Monsanto employees, or else they were paid for by Monsanto, or they were studies that were of too short a duration to be definitive, or else their sample sizes were too small.

Monsanto experts also attacked the WHO, as Monsanto secretly did in the press and blogosphere across the world, for pronouncing glyphosate a probable carcinogen.  Monsanto’s lawyers and experts pointed out that the EPA and the European equivalent of the U.S. EPA had found glyphosate safe.

But in a glimpse behind the regulatory curtain, the jury also heard testimony concerning how a former EPA official, Jess Rowland, worked secretly at the behest of Monsanto to help kill a study over the safety of glyphosate.  Mr. Johnson’s lawyers also pointed out that the WHO looked only at independent studies not paid for by Monsanto in arriving at their conclusion that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen.

Monsanto vowed to appeal the verdict.

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Judge Sanctions Ford in Rollover Case

(August 4, 2018)  A state court judge sanctioned the Ford Motor Company in a rollover case in Georgia last month.  The Gwinnett County State Court judge in tiny Lawrenceville (Pop. 30,782) forbid the auto giant from challenging its fault in a wrongful death rollover lawsuit.  The judge levied several sanctions against Ford for conduct which he said forced a mistrial in an F-250 pickup rollover case in his court.

Related:  Ford loses Trademark Case against Texas Printer

The case involves two people who were killed when a 2002 Ford Super Duty F-250 Crew Cab pickup rolled over after a tire blowout.

Ford Caused Mistrial

“Ford intentionally, and after several warnings and admonitions, elicited testimony that forced this Court to declare a mistrial,” declared Judge Shawn Bratton.  He then sanctioned Ford for trial conduct over the 2014 truck crash deaths of Melvin and Voncile Hill.

The judge said, “Plainly, Ford willfully caused a mistrial in this case, in bad faith, and issue preclusion sanctions are appropriate.”

Judge Bratton’s order came in response to plaintiffs’ request for sanctions.  It bars Ford from challenging its liability as to design defect and failure to warn claims. Further, it sets up a trial focused on damages, which includes potential punitive damages against Ford.

The sanctions came three months after Judge Bratton declared a mistrial in proceedings over the rollover which killed the Hills as they drove along SR 49 in Americus, Georgia. During the April 2018 trial, the Hills’ family survivors claimed there was a dangerously weak roof in the couple’s 2002 Ford Super Duty F-250 Crew Cab pickup.

As he issued the sanctions, Judge Bratton said a Ford attorney, Huie’s Alan Thomas, willfully violated repeated court directives when he asked defense expert Dr. Thomas McNish to give his opinion on Melvin Hill’s cause of death.

Judge Bratton wrote: “The Court instructed Ford’s counsel, Alan Thomas, to explain to McNish, before his testimony began, that he would not be allowed to give specific cause of death opinions.  In clear disregard of the Court’s ruling, Mr. Thomas asked Dr. McNish whether he agreed with Plaintiffs’ expert’s opinion as to the cause of Mr. Hill’s death. Dr. McNish then opined, before the jury, the very testimony that the court prohibited — i.e. his opinion as to the cause of Mr. Hill’s death.”

Judge Bratton also noted in his sanctions ruling that Ford’s legal team violated earlier orders barring them from questioning the Hills’ seatbelt use or arguing any fault on the Hills’ part.

The judge said that Ford “deliberately injected the seatbelt use, as relevant, at least twice, before the jury,” and referred to a post-mortem toxicology report on Melvin Hill, “intimating that the results showed that Mr. Hill had alcohol in his blood.”

No Alcohol in Decedent’s Blood

Judge Bratton added:  “This example of Ford’s willful disregard of the Court’s orders in limine was particularly troubling, because the toxicology report showed that alcohol was not present in Mr. Hill’s blood.”

The judge also ordered Ford to pay more than $10,000 in jury-related costs, and he required Mr. Thomas to show why he should not be held in contempt of court. The order did, however, reserve ruling on plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees.

170 Ford F-250 Rollover Cases

One of the Hills’ attorney in the case said that he has never seen anything like Ford’s courtroom misconduct in his 41 years of trying some 200 cases.

Shortly after the mistrial, Ford unsuccessfully requested that Judge Bratton recuse himself from the case, while the Hills’ plaintiffs sought sanctions.

The Hills attorney said in an email to Courtroom View Network:  “There was no doubt that the rollover was ‘foreseeable.’ Ford admitted that, and also admitted it had been sued some 170 times when this same truck rolled over causing roof crush and deaths or injuries.  (There) was no doubt that the roof on these trucks is defective and dangerous.  Ford’s own conduct admits that.  Ford had a team of Ford engineers design a far stronger roof for this same truck back in 2004, because Ford knew this roof was too weak.”

Judge Sanctions Ford in Rollover Case

Ford promised to challenge the decision. “Unfortunately, this is the latest in a string of orders that defy the evidence and the record in this case,” Ford’s statement read. “Ford will pursue appellate review.”

The case is Hill v. Ford, 16-C-04179-S2.

Ford has faced several lawsuits over weak roofs in its F-250 and F-150 pickup trucks. The lawsuits typically charge that the weight of the frame and body in the Ford pickups is too much for the roof to bear in a rollover crash.  Roof crush results, and many people have been killed or maimed in such accidents.

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Cell Phone Cancer Link? Maybe.

Is there a Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuitcell phone cancer link?  The answer is, “Maybe.”  That’s the latest conclusion from a study on rats unfortunate enough to be recruited for it.  Most of the rest of us have also been recruited for quite some time, though many of us might not yet know it.

Related:  NBC News raises question to discount it

Brain tumors are typically slow growing.  They can take 20-30 years to develop, which is roughly the time most of us have been living with cell phones stuck to our heads.  Maybe we’re made of wood and no amount of radiation from the phones can hurt us.  Or maybe we should note that we are not made of wood, that radiation is real, and that we don’t know as much about it as we think we do, or as much as the people who call themselves scientists think they do.

Malignant Schwannomas

In Spring 2018, the National Toxicology Program (part of NIH) drafted a report on two long-running studies regarding cell phone radiation’s health effects. The researchers found exposure to high levels of radiofrequency radiation linked with a slight increase in the incidence of malignant schwannomas.  That is a rare type of tumor in nerve tissues near the hearts of male rats.

Researchers also found a radiation link with damage to heart tissue in both girl and boy rats. Mice had no similar effects.  Both mammal species’ entire bodies were exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation nine hours per day for up to two years. (Keep in mind, that is a comparatively tiny amount of time exposed considering the radiation most of us have been exposed to daily for decades now.  But you do the math, extrapolate, compare, and see what you think. Don’t forget to factor in so-called Smart meters and “Smart” appliances, cell phone towers, Wifi — some or all of which radiate most of us almost constantly — and  the rest of the radiation soup we’ve lived in for years.)

In May 2018, a panel of peer reviewers met for three days to discuss the rat and mice studies and determine conclusions.  The reviewers voted to increase the level of confidence in their findings.  They concluded there was a clear link between the radio frequency radiation exposure and the male rat heart tissue tumors. The National Toxicology Program must now decide whether to accept the panel’s recommendation before the final report is released.   (Cue the telecom industry lobbyists to discount any “negative” health conclusions of this study, or see NBC News above do it for them.)

The studies, the “experts” say, are far from conclusive. The studies have yet to be peer-reviewed,  but some of the findings are scary enough to warrant public discussion (if only the public could be made to discuss its failing health, beyond being forced to buy “health” insurance).

Two previous papers on the studies noted that “studies published to date have not demonstrated consistently increased incidences of tumors at any site associated with exposure to cell phone RFR [radio frequency radiation] in rats or mice.”  But the researchers felt that “based on the designs of the existing studies, it is difficult to definitively conclude that these negative results clearly indicate that cell phone RFR is not carcinogenic.”

So because no clear conclusion can be drawn that proves cell phones cause cancer, we are told not to worry.  Clearly, we will need many dead of brain tumors in the exact same area of the head before we will see “the experts” venture to draw any conclusion regarding the safety of cell phones.

This study does, nonetheless, raise the instinctual fears many of us have that holding radiation-emitting devices to our heads that heat them and alter our natural frequencies may not be healthy.

Devil in the Details

The studies exposed mice and rats to both 900 MHz and 1900 Mhz wavelength radio waves (each frequency being its own experiment) for about 9 hours per day.  The mad scientists torturing the rodents varied the strengths from 1 to 10 watts per kilogram. For comparison, the general limit the FCC imposes for exposure is 0.08 W/kg.  The absolute maximum allowed, for the extremities of people with occupational exposures, is 20 W/kg for no longer than 6 minutes. So the poor mice were being pretty severely blasted, perhaps to get at the truth of radiation; or perhaps to later say that people are not so severely blasted, so nobody can use this experiment as any sort of relevant comparison to human exposure. (We report, you decide).

In addition, it is worth noting that a recent investigation of cell phones has found that most are emitting dangerously high levels of radiation far beyond what their makers say they emit and far beyond the FCC limits for radiation exposure. (See that Natural News story here.)

NTP senior scientist John Bucher explained away the findings in just that fashion in a news release that accompanied the papers.  “The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies,” said Mr. Bucher.  “So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage.”

Mouse Tumors Match People Tumors

But in the next breath, Mr. Bucher also showed some comparison could be made with humans. “We note, however,” said he, “that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.”

As with most of these studies which try to use rat results to duplicate the experiences of human beings, no definite conclusions can be drawn, and the researchers recommend further testing. That testing is ongoing, of course, in the millions of humans living with radiation-producing cell phones closely tethered to their bodies and brains.

Cell Cancer Lawsuit

Our law firm is investigating possible links between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.  Call us for a free legal consultation if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with brain cancer following heavy cell phone use.

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  • Cell Cancer Lawsuit
  • Phone Cancer Lawsuit
  • Cell Phone Cancer Lawyer
  • Smart Phone Lawsuits
  • Cell Phone Cancer Link?  Maybe.

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