Portland archdiocese suspends priest for not promptly reporting hidden bathroom camera to police

Portland archdiocese suspends priest for not promptly reporting hidden bathroom camera to police

A hidden camera made to look like an electrical outlet was found in the bathroom of an Oregon church and a priest has been placed on leave for not reporting the incident for nearly a month.

The Archdiocese of Portland addressed members of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood, Ore. in a letter Thursday to explain that Fr. Ysrael Bien was placed on administrative leave, Oregon Live reported.

A camera that was designed to look like an electrical outlet was discovered in a men’s restroom in the church and reported to Bien in late April. But the clergyman did not notify police of the incident until May 20, the archdiocese said. The camera, which was attached to the wall with tape, is now missing.

“It is deeply troubling that well-established church protocols for the protection of parishioners were not followed,” the Archbishop Alexander Sample said in a statement. “Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been cause for prompt and decisive action.”



Hidden camera disguised as power outlet discovered in church bathroom, police say

Hidden camera disguised as power outlet discovered in church bathroom, police say

A parishioner discovered a hidden camera in the men’s bathroom of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, police said Friday.

The camera was disguised as a power outlet and positioned on the wall next to the toilet. It was found April 26 in a bathroom near the chapel, according to police.

The parishioner then handed the camera over to the church’s priest, said Sherwood Police Capt. Ty Hanlon.

Officers began investigating when the priest reported the camera stolen on May 20, Hanlon said. The device turned up missing before the priest could turn it over to authorities, he said.

Officers have done several interviews and searches during their investigation into the disappearance of the device. They have not identified a suspect.

Sean Brady, the HIA, and the all too familiar problem with organized religion

Sean Brady, the HIA, and the all too familiar problem with organized religion

Cardinal Sean Brady’s engagement with the HIA outlines a fundamental problem with organized religion: power and rank too often take precedent over a commitment to personal conscience.

While Cardinal Brady has tried to articulate it in a more sugar-coated way, what his conduct in relation to Brendan Smyth shows is that he was prepared to sacrifice his own sense of morality to preserve the power of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and enable himself to climb the Church’s ranking system through displaying an absolute commitment to orders.

Anyone with a steadfast sense of principle would have been appalled by the fact that the Church responded to widespread internal paedophilia with a power preservation strategy. Such a person would have dissented from the Church, and put the actions of somebody like Brendan Smyth on public record so that a process of scrutiny and change could take place.

Clergy like Sean Brady cannot lay claim to integrity because they placed the Church and their own personal standing within it over the sexual abuse of children. They were not outraged by a tremendous evil like the systematic sexual abuse of children to the point of taking clinical action that would potentially result in their own excommunication from the Church.


Sherwood priest suspended after hidden camera found

Sherwood priest suspended after hidden camera found

SHERWOOD, Ore. – A Sherwood priest has been placed on leave after he waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom to the police.

Father Ysrael Bien of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood was placed on administrative leave June 24, according to a spokesman for the church.

In a letter distributed to the church community, the Archdiocese explained that a hidden camera found in the men’s bathroom was brought to Fr. Bien on April 26. Bien, however, waited until May 20 to report the incident to Sherwood police.

The camera was made to look like a plug outlet and was put next to a toilet, according to Sherwood police.

“It is deeply troubling that well-established Church protocols for the protections of parishioners were not followed,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample. “Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been the cause for prompt and decisive action.”


An open letter from Father Bauer, and Archbishop Hebda’s response…

An open letter from Father Bauer, and Archbishop Hebda’s response…

As many of you will know by now, last Thursday Father John Bauer, rector and pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, published an open letter to Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens, and Father Lachowitzer. If you have only read media reports of the letter, but not the letter itself, I strongly encourage you to read it now by clicking here.

Apparently, by Saturday afternoon members of the media had received a short response from Archbishop Hebda, in which he notes that Father Bauer is a ‘respected pastor’ and a member of the College of Consultors, promises to consider the points he raised, and pledges to continue to meet with people to hear their concerns.

Which raises the question of who he has met with or plans to meet with. Before anyone asks, I can assure you that he has not met with me, nor has he expressed any interest in doing so. I also haven’t heard from anyone else indicating that he has met with them or requested to do so.

As a very wise woman reminded me last week, C.S. Lewis had the following to say about progress:

‘We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.’


Court Upholds $1 Million Priest Abuse Verdict, Rejects Church Challenge to State Law

Court Upholds $1 Million Priest Abuse Verdict, Rejects Church Challenge to State Law

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford. The 57-page majority ruling also shot down challenges from the diocese that the state’s expanded statute of limitations for bringing sex abuse claims was unconstitutional.

“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally in determining that the revival of child sexual abuse victims’ previously time barred claims serves a legitimate public interest and accomplishes that purpose in a reasonable way,” wrote Justice Richard Robinson.

Initially such lawsuits had to be filed two years after the victim reached the age of 18. Then in 1991, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to allow civil sexual abuse claims brought by victims until they reach the age of 35 years old. In 2002, during the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese scandal, lawmakers extended the age again, this time allowing plaintifs to file suit until they reach the age of 48.


Video urges church abuse victims to come forward

Video urges church abuse victims to come forward

KIMT News 3 – Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.

The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.

“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.

Anderson is one attorney representing 103 total victims so far who have come forward to make claims against their abusers. That does not include any other victims who may seek other representation.


Clergy Abuse Victims Call For Others To Come Forward

Clergy Abuse Victims Call For Others To Come Forward

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three victims of clergy abuse have made a video appeal for other victims to come forward.

An attorney for victims is asking a judge to order the video be played in all 216 Minnesota parishes on Sunday, July 12. Victims have only until August 3 to file a claim.

The original deadline was May of 2016. That was part of the law passed by the Minnesota legislature that temporarily waived the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. But because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, the deadline had to be rolled back to August 3.

The seven minute YouTube video features an appeal by three abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese.

“I used to be a victim but now I am a survivor you can be one too,” Marie Mielke said in the video. “I know it’s scary, but you are not alone.”


Ex-archbishop denies sexually exploiting woman

Ex-archbishop denies sexually exploiting woman

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was deeply troubled and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, aged 66, said in the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 years and he was 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said.

When she was aged in her 30s, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he claimed.

Mr Burke agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother-of-eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as bishop and archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.


Catholic Church ‘tipped off’ over child abuse priest

Catholic Church ‘tipped off’ over child abuse priest

A paedophile priest fled the country after a police officer tipped off the Catholic Church in Birmingham, a sex abuse victim has claimed.

The man said the officer passed on documents about 30 years ago which led to James Robinson being “spirited away” overseas. The priest was later jailed.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has always denied knowingly covering up the activities of paedophile priests.

West Midlands Police said claims about the officer were being looked into.

Abuse victim “Donald” campaigned for Robinson to be extradited from the US
The anonymous victim, known as “Donald”, was brought up in the Father Hudson Home for orphans in Coleshill, Warwickshire, where he was repeatedly abused by Father Eric Taylor, who was jailed in 1998.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent Peter Wilson said: “Robinson was Taylor’s protégé, a Roman Catholic priest working across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He was a serial child abuser.
“In 1985 he moved to America. Donald campaigned for his extradition.”