Good Advice is: Choose Your Man Carefully!
Or use Ctrl-W
27 Child Abuse News Articles
from 1st Quarter of 2017
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
3-28-17 'Swirl face' sexual offender in Vancouver after release
'Swirl face' sexual offender in Vancouver after release
Convicted paedophile Christopher Paul Neil has been released from custody and will settle in Vancouver. Dubbed "swirl face" due to efforts he made to disguise himself, Neil is classed a "high-risk sex offender". The 42-year-old Canadian was arrested in Thailand in 2007 following a global manhunt and a worldwide appeal for public information by Interpol. He has spent time in jail in both Thailand and Canada for sexually abusing young boys. Corrections officials from the province of British Columbia (BC) issued a public warning following Neil's release on Sunday. BC Corrections spokeswoman Cindy Rose said in a statement that Neil will be "subject to an intensive level of monitoring and supervision in the community". (Webmaster's comment: How does this brute only get 10 years for raping children?)
3-28-17 Tennessee couple tried to sell baby on Craigslist, say police
Tennessee couple tried to sell baby on Craigslist, say police
A Tennessee couple has been accused of trying to sell a five-month-old baby for $3,000 (£2,388) on Craigslist. Deanna Lynn Greer, 37, and John David Cain, 26 were arrested after allegedly handing their baby to an undercover officer in return for the money. They appeared in court on Monday and are being held on charges of aggravated child. The Greene County Sherriff's Office had been alerted to the advert on the online marketplace by another couple. Sheriff Pat Hankins said the undercover officer then contacted the couple and arranged to meet them outside a discount supermarket, where the exchange was made. "Can you believe this? We bought a baby. It makes my heart drop," the shocked officer told the Greenville Sun newspaper. Mr Hankins says the child is in state custody.
3-22-17 Robots could help children give evidence in child abuse cases
Robots could help children give evidence in child abuse cases
Even trained police interviewers find it hard to stay neutral when talking to children who have been abused. Could robots help collect better evidence? WOULD a child open up to a robot? A team at Mississippi State University is suggesting using robots to question children in investigations of child abuse. But not everyone is convinced. Children’s accounts are often vital evidence in cases of abuse. But even specially trained police interviewers can find it tough to stay neutral when talking to children. This can result in leading questions and bad evidence, because children can be very suggestible to saying what they think someone wants to hear. The stakes are high: poorly conducted interviews can lead to someone being convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, or a child being returned to an abusive environment. Cindy Bethel and Zachary Henkel at Mississippi State University say robots could reduce bias and lead to more reliable outcomes.
3-21-17 Oklahoma state senator 'to quit' over motel child sex charge
Oklahoma state senator 'to quit' over motel child sex charge
An Oklahoma state senator will bow to calls to resign after he was charged this month with several counts of child prostitution, his lawyer says. Senator Ralph Shortey has been facing calls to quit since when he was caught with a 17-year-old boy in a motel in Moore on 9 March. The FBI and Secret Service have joined in the investigation, and Mr Shortey's home was searched on Friday. The married father remains a salaried, voting member of the state legislature. Mr Shortey will resign on Wednesday, says his attorney Ed Blau. But even if found guilty of the child sex charges, he will still be eligible to collect his state retirement package. Last week the Oklahoma Senate voted unanimously to strip the 35-year-old of his privileges, including his office, his assistant and his parking spot. But Mr Shortey, who was first elected in 2010, is still able to vote on bills, unless he is formally expelled by his colleagues, or is convicted of a serious crime. After a closed-door meeting on Monday, lawmakers said they were considering additional actions to remove the Oklahoma City Republican from the statehouse. During the presidential primaries, Shortey served as Donald Trump's state chairman.
3-14-17 Teen suicide on the rise amongst Canadian girls
Teen suicide on the rise amongst Canadian girls
Suicide amongst young women is on the rise. When it comes to mental health, is gender the elephant in the room? In early 2016, five teenagers from Woodstock, Ontario killed themselves in just as many months, leaving not only their family but the community as a whole bewildered with grief. "Everyone was sitting on edge. For a while there, I think we all just sat there wondering when it was going to end," says Jenilee Ookcay, a community health worker. Across the country, suicide amongst teen girls and young women is on the rise, while male suicide in the same age group declines, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday. Health experts have long been concerned with the prevalence of suicide amongst young men. It has been called a "silent epidemic" and for good reason. In 2013, men were three times as likely to kill themselves as women, the latest data shows. (Webmaster's comment: Women are being assaulted by men at every turn. They are raped as children, as young women, as grown women, beaten at the least excuse, denied choices when it comes to marriage, when it comes to having babies, treated like slaves at home and at work, taught to obey males in all things, and treated like breed stock. No wonder they commit suicide!)
3-9-17 'Justin Bieber impostor' on 931 child sex-related charges
'Justin Bieber impostor' on 931 child sex-related charges
A man who posed as Justin Bieber online has been charged with more than 900 child sex-related crimes in Australia. The man, 42, masqueraded as the Canadian singer to gain explicit images from children, Queensland Police said. He was charged with 931 crimes, including three of rape, involving 157 alleged victims across the globe. Detective Inspector Jon Rouse called the allegations "frankly horrendous" and warned young fans of the singer and parents to be vigilant. "The fact that so many children could believe that they were communicating with this particular celebrity highlights the need for a serious rethink about the way that we as a society educate our children about online safety," said Mr Rouse.
3-3-17 Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse
Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse
Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda has revealed she is a rape survivor and suffered sexual abuse as a child. In an interview with fellow Oscar winner Brie Larson for The Edit, the 79-year-old also said she had once lost a job because she refused her boss's sexual advances. The star added she thought being a young actress now was "terrifying" because of female sexualisation. "You have to get naked so much. There is even more emphasis on how you look." Fonda said she "felt diminished" growing up because the men in her life were "victims of a [patriarchal] belief system". She also said she had been "brought up with the disease to please". "To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females - I've been raped, I've been sexually abused as a child and I've been fired because I wouldn't sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault; that I didn't do or say the right thing. "I know young girls who've been raped and didn't even know it was rape. They think, 'It must have been because I said no the wrong way'. "One of the great things the women's movement has done is to make us realise that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated and it's not right."
3-3-17 Tanveer Hussain: Indian athlete held over sex abuse in US
Tanveer Hussain: Indian athlete held over sex abuse in US
A snowshoe athlete from Indian-administered Kashmir has been arrested in the US on charges of sexually abusing a minor girl. Tanveer Hussain, 24, has been remanded in jail in Saranac Lake, New York, where he participated in the 2017 world snowshoe championship. Mr Hussain was initially denied a visa, but managed to travel after campaigning by US activists and senators. His attorney has entered a not-guilty plea for him. Saranac Lake police department said that the charges against Mr Hussain, which include endangering the welfare of a child, stem from him engaging in a "passionate kiss with the 12-year-old victim". "There was no accusation of force. The charges are a result of the age difference of the individuals," the AP news agency quoted the police as saying.
3-2-17 Zimbabwe bans the beating of children
Zimbabwe bans the beating of children
Zimbabwe's High Court has outlawed corporal punishment for children both at school and in the home. The ruling comes after a parent complained that her child in grade one, a class for six-year-olds, had deep bruises after a beating by a teacher. Linah Pfungwa said her daughter had been punished for failing to have her reading book signed by guardians as proof she had done her homework. The constitutional court will have to confirm the judgement. The BBC's Shingai Nyoka in the capital, Harare, says if upheld, it would transform the way parents have disciplined their children for centuries in the southern African country. Some parents are criticising the ruling, while rights groups says it is long overdue, she says.
2-28-17 Libya exposed as an epicentre for migrant child abuse
Libya exposed as an epicentre for migrant child abuse
The United Nations has warned that large numbers of children are still risking their lives to make the dangerous journey from Libya to Italy. Unicef says almost 26,000 children - most of them unaccompanied - crossed the Mediterranean last year. In its new report, Unicef says many children suffer from violence and sexual abuse at the hands of smugglers and traffickers. But they rarely report their abuse, for fear of arrest and deportation. The agency also says there is a lack of food, water and medical care in Libya's detention centres. The plight of children, many of them unaccompanied by parents, has become a tragically familiar part of the wider story of mass migration over the past two years. But while much has been said about the extreme dangers faced at sea, the privations experienced on land, especially in Libya, are less familiar. Unicef's latest report, A Deadly Journey for Children, documents - in sometimes horrific detail - stories of slavery, violence and sexual abuse experienced by huge numbers of vulnerable children making their perilous way to Italy. "What really shocked Unicef staff and me... is what happens to them [children] on this route," says Justin Forsyth, the organisation's deputy executive director. "Many of these children have been brutalised, raped, killed on this route."
2-24-17 The limits of Milo’s free speech
The limits of Milo’s free speech
Milo Yiannopoulos “finally went too far,” said German Lopez. The gay Breitbart News editor and professional “alt-right” provocateur had become an unlikely conservative hero over the past year by attacking feminists, transsexuals, black people, immigrants, Muslims, and Jews in the most sensationalist and vulgar way possible. His disdain for “political correctness” even earned him a key speaking role at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. That invitation, however, was withdrawn when a video surfaced in which Milo defended the idea of 13-year-old boys having “consensual” sex with “older men.” But why did it take something as awful as Milo’s advocacy for child molestation to topple him as a hero of the Right? This is a guy who claims he “went gay” so he “didn’t have to deal with nutty broads,” calls feminism “a cancer,” mocks transgender people as “gay men dressing up for attention,” blames “Islam, not radical Islam” for terrorism, and insists that the white Christian “patriarchy” should run the country. Conservatives defended all this bile as “free speech,” and even wanted to give Milo a platform to spout it at CPAC—until he offended them. Now, at least, we know where the lines of political correctness are drawn.
2-23-17 USA Gymnastics: Larry Nassar sexual abuse charges mount
USA Gymnastics: Larry Nassar sexual abuse charges mount
The Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar, who treated elite female US gymnasts, has been charged with sexually assaulting nine girls. On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed 22 counts of criminal sexual conduct, some involving girls younger than 13. He described Dr Nassar, accused of molesting gymnasts as he treated back and hip injuries, as "a monster". The doctor has denied allegations of abuse in the past. Dr Nassar has said he was carrying out legitimate procedures. He is already being held on a charge of possessing child pornography and faces trial over accusations he abused a girl repeatedly at her family home.
2-22-17 Human trafficking: Poor women and girls targeted in Albania
Human trafficking: Poor women and girls targeted in Albania
The trafficking of people into the UK is on the rise. The latest figures for 2015 suggest that 3,266 people were potential victims of trafficking, a 40% increase on the previous year. The largest number - 600 - came from Albania. The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti has been speaking to victims of trafficking in both the UK and Albania. In a women's refuge in southern Albania, the victims of trafficking and violence are mere schoolgirls, 10 or 12 of them eyeing us shyly and looking impossibly young. They all have tales of brutality and exploitation. Some of these children already have little children of their own, the products of the rapes they were subjected to. Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue. Media caption"Seya" said she was forced to sleep with several men a day for months. Seya was just 14 when she left a violent family home. She was sold into a trafficking ring by a man she thought was her boyfriend, and found herself in a terrifying network of underground crime, unable to distinguish between the pimps and their victims. She was forced for months to sleep with several men a day, and "international clients" who paid more at night. "I hate them," she said, speaking with remarkable composure for someone so young. "I want them to get the punishment that they deserve, because to be under someone's thumb, to do the things they want you to do for them... They steal your freedom - they use you, rule you - I don't know, it's very degrading." Seya's story is sadly far from unique. Albania is a small country in which trafficking - trading in human beings - took hold in the years after the collapse of communism in 1990.
2-21-17 Milo Yiannopoulos dropped over paedophilia comments
Milo Yiannopoulos dropped over paedophilia comments
Ultra-conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos will no longer speak at a US conservative conference and his book deal has been cancelled after videos surfaced in which he appeared to condone paedophilia. The footage showed him discussing the merits of gay relationships between adults and boys as young as 13. On Facebook, Mr Yiannopoulos denied ever endorsing paedophilia. He said one video had been edited to give a misleading impression. However, the American Conservative Union, which runs the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where President Trump is due to speak on Friday, said the apology was not enough. "We urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments," Matt Schlapp said in a statement. Book publisher Simon & Schuster said it had cancelled the publication of Mr Yiannopoulos's book Dangerous, which was due out in June, after "careful consideration". In the footage, Mr Yiannopoulos - a passionate supporter of Donald Trump and an editor at right-wing website Breitbart - seems to suggest the determining factor for paedophilia is whether the younger partner has gone through puberty. However at another point in the video he says the US age of consent, which is 16 to 18 years old depending on location, is "about right".
2-21-17 Children's sex book causes stir in Indonesia
Children's sex book causes stir in Indonesia
A children's book is at the centre of a controversy in Indonesia because it teaches children about masturbation. A photo of the book - I Learn to Control Myself, written by Fita Chakra - has spread across social media since Monday, sparking a discussion online about sexual education and igniting parents' anger. "Moms, please be careful when you buy a book for your kids. Check and re-check its content," wrote one user on Facebook. Another said: "If this book is about sex education, why is the description about it so detailed?" One page of the book, which has been widely shared online, depicts a cartoon boy lying on a bed. He is saying: "I cross my legs around a bolster tightly. For fun, I move my body up and down. Oh... it feels good. My heart is pounding, but I am happy." In another screenshot the child says: "I found a new play for fun. Sometimes, I put my hand inside my pants. I repeat, again and again." In a Muslim majority nation like Indonesia, casual conversations about sex among adults are considered taboo, let alone discussions between parents and children. But there is a growing awareness about the importance of sex education for children, in part to prevent them from being sexually abused. Despite this, the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has said I Learn to Control Myself is harmful for children and could lead to "sexual deviance"
2-17-17 USA Gymnastics: Larry Nassar faces trial for abuse claims
USA Gymnastics: Larry Nassar faces trial for abuse claims
A judge has ordered a former USA Gymnastics doctor to be tried on sex assault charges, as an accuser said he abused her during hide-and-seek. A 25-year-old woman testified that Larry Nassar molested her from the age of six until 12 during family visits to his Michigan home. Mr Nassar, 53, is accused by more than 60 former patients and athletes of sexual abuse during pelvic procedures. He is facing separate federal charges for possession of child pornography. Hundreds of US gymnasts allege sexual abuse. After testimony at a court in Mason, Michigan, Judge Donald Allen ordered Mr Nassar to stand trial on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13 years old. The accused, a sports doctor who treated US Olympic gymnasts, faces up to life in prison if convicted.
2-16-17 US actor Ashton Kutcher urges end to child sexual exploitation
US actor Ashton Kutcher urges end to child sexual exploitation
Actor and human rights campaigner Ashton Kutcher has urged US lawmakers to support efforts to help bring an end to child sexual exploitation. At a senate hearing on Wednesday, a visibly emotional Mr Kutcher said it was time for "society and government" to defend the vulnerable. He said that he had been exposed to things "no person should ever see". Mr Kutcher was speaking as chairman of Thorn, an organisation that develops software to locate victims of abuse. "The right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away, it's raped, it's abused, it's taken by force," Mr Kutcher, 39, said. He told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington that new technology was needed to prevent websites from carrying adverts promoting the sexual exploitation of minors. "Technology can be used to enable slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery," Mr Kutcher said, adding: "Can we build the tools that are better than their tools to fight what is happening?" He said that one of the tools his organisation had created, Spotlight, helped identify 6,000 victims in six months. It was developed after a 2012 survey found that 63% of underage victims were being bought or sold online.
2-13-17 Physically abused kids learn to fail at social rules for success
Physically abused kids learn to fail at social rules for success
Challenges adjusting from volatile to stable social rewards can lead to misbehavior. New lab experiments indicate that physically abused youth have trouble learning to make choices that consistently lead to a reward. This impairment of a basic form of social learning contributes to behavior problems known to occur among abused individuals, researchers say. Physical abuse at home doesn’t just leave kids black and blue. It also bruises their ability to learn how to act at school and elsewhere, contributing to abused children’s well-documented behavior problems. Derailment of a basic form of social learning has, for the first time, been linked to these children’s misbehavior years down the line, psychologist Jamie Hanson of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues report February 3 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Experiments indicate that physically abused kids lag behind their nonabused peers when it comes to learning to make choices that consistently lead to a reward, even after many trials. “Physically abused kids fail to adjust flexibly to new behavioral rules in contexts outside their families,” says coauthor Seth Pollak, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Youth who have endured hitting, choking and other bodily assaults by their parents view the world as a place where hugs and other gratifying responses to good behavior occur inconsistently, if at all. So these youngsters stick to what they learned early in life from volatile parents — rewards are rare and unpredictable, but punishment is always imminent. Kids armed with this expectation of futility end up fighting peers on the playground and antagonizing teachers, Pollak says.
2-7-17 Flight attendant shares story of saving trafficking victim
Flight attendant shares story of saving trafficking victim
When Shelia Fedrick saw a dishevelled girl sitting beside an older, well-dressed man on her flight, she was concerned. The teenager "looked like she had been through pure hell", the flight attendant told NBC, and the man would not let her speak to the girl. Ms Fedrick left a note for the girl in the plane's toilet - enabling the girl to explain that she needed help. It turned out the girl was a human trafficking victim - and Ms Fedrick's instincts had helped to save her. The pilot was able to inform the police, who were waiting when the plane landed. The 2011 incident on Alaska Airlines was reported in US media this week, as charity Airline Ambassadors seeks to train airline staff in ways to combat human trafficking. Airline Ambassadors' website says a trafficking victim may appear afraid of uniformed security, unsure of their destination and nervous. They may also provide scripted answers, and be wearing clothing unsuitable for their destination. Traffickers, meanwhile, might answer questions for the victim, observe the victim persistently, and may not know their name or personal information, Airline Ambassadors added.
2-6-17 Child abuse: 7% of Australian Catholic priests alleged to be involved
Child abuse: 7% of Australian Catholic priests alleged to be involved
An inquiry examining institutional sex abuse in Australia has heard 7% of the nation's Catholic priests allegedly abused children between 1950 and 2010. In one religious order, over 40% of church figures were accused of abuse. Over 4,440 people claim to have been victims between 1980 and 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told. The commission, Australia's highest form of inquiry, is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations. It has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy. (Webmaster's comment: Non-catholic religions are also involved, but that is another story that is hushed up.)
1-19-17 Mexican governor: Cancer children given water instead of chemotherapy
Mexican governor: Cancer children given water instead of chemotherapy
Mexican authorities are to investigate allegations children battling cancer were given "distilled water" instead of chemotherapy. An "in-depth investigation" will look into claims made by Veracruz governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares on Monday, the Ministry of Health said. He alleged fake medicine had been bought and used in state hospitals under his predecessor Javier Duarte. Mr Duarte has been on the run from the authorities since October. The former governor, who was elected in 2010, has not been seen since a week after he stepped down amid allegations of corruption.
1-16-17 Popular porn sites blocked in Philippines
Popular porn sites blocked in Philippines
Popular pornography websites XVideos, Redtube and Pornhub have been blocked by two ISPs in the Philippines. Customers of Smart and Sun Cellular said they could no longer access the sites on portable devices or desktop computers. Instead, users see a message saying the sites have been blocked because of anti-child-pornography laws. The Philippines government has not given any official explanation of why the sites have suddenly been blocked. However, the country's National Telecommunications Commission confirmed to CNN that it had ordered all the nation's ISPs to block access from 14 January. But social media chatter suggests customers using Globe and other ISPs can still access the sites. Pornhub recently reported visitors in the Philippines spent the longest average time on its site. The average viewing time in the Philippines was 12 minutes and 45 seconds, said Pornhub - about three minutes longer than the global average.
1-13-17 Pennsylvania school set maths homework on sex abuse of girl
Pennsylvania school set maths homework on sex abuse of girl
A US secondary school has apologised after setting a maths questions that asked students about a girl being sexually abused by family members. The homework asked: "Angelou was sexually abused by her mother's _______ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing." Pupils in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, were given an algebra formula with the assignment to solve the problem. Parents complained to Pennridge High School officials about the homework. A subsequent question in the same homework asked about a single mother who is trying to support her son by working as a pimp and a prostitute. It asked what was her other means of support, including another formula for the options, bookie, drug dealer and nightclub dancer. The questions were based on the life of the famed American poet Maya Angelou, but many parents complained the subject matter was not appropriate for young teenagers or a maths equation. The same assignment surfaced two years ago in a Florida school, sparking similar controversy.
1-11-17 FBI row over Geek Squad child abuse find
FBI row over Geek Squad child abuse find
The case centres on whether a Geek Squad worker searched for images of child abuse. Court documents suggest the FBI paid a Geek Squad technician who located images of child abuse on a customer's computer $500 (£412). Companies that carry out computer repairs are legally required to report such images, but a warrant is required for actively searching for material. Defence lawyers argue that the FBI was directing the technician to look for illegal activity. Geek Squad's parent company, Best Buy, and the FBI have denied any wrongdoing. Defence lawyers claim that the FBI had had eight "confidential human sources" in the Geek Squad, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story. The case has led online tech publication Network World - which declared the practice "unconstitutional" - to call for users to boycott Best Buy. The case stretches back to November 2011 when an image of a young naked girl was found on the hard drive of Californian doctor, Mark Rettenmaier. His lawyers want the case thrown out, arguing that the image was gleaned from an illegal search. The FBI claim that a later search of Dr Rettenmaier's iPhone found 800 images of naked girls. Defence lawyer James Riddet claimed in a court filing last month that "the FBI was dealing with a paid agent inside the Geek Squad who was used for the specific purpose of searching clients' computers for child pornography and other contraband or evidence of crimes". He wants to examine the relationship between the FBI and the technician - Justin Meade - in court, in a hearing scheduled for August.
1-10-17 Backpage.com ditches sex ads section after Senate inquiry
Backpage.com ditches sex ads section after Senate inquiry
A classified advertising website accused of being a "hub" for the sex trafficking of children has shut down its adult section in the US. The move followed the publication of a Senate report that claimed Backpage.com had "knowingly concealed evidence of criminality" by editing ads featuring words associated with child abuse. But the site says its freedom of speech rights have been violated. And it claims the ads had helped police track down missing children. Links on the site to its adult section now feature the word "censored" and direct users to a page that claims the business has been a victim of "unconstitutional government censorship." The adult section's closure had been unexpected. Last month, a judge dismissed a case in which the Californian authorities had claimed that Backpage's chief executive and two of its ex-owners had committed pimping offences and generated millions of dollars by hosting sex trade ads. The basis for the ruling was that US law states that website publishers cannot be held responsible for content created solely by their users. And on Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal filed by three women who had alleged Backpage was at fault because they had been sold as prostitutes via the site when they had been as young as 15. The UK and other international versions of Backpage.com continue to offer their adult sections.
1-4-17 Krishna Poonia: Athlete hailed for saving girls from molestation
Krishna Poonia: Athlete hailed for saving girls from molestation
Indian Olympian Krishna Poonia has called recent reports of sexual assaults in Bangalore "sickening", and described preventing a similar attack. She told the BBC she was in Rajasthan's Churu district on 1 January when she spotted three men trying to molest two teenage girls at a railway crossing. "I chased and caught of one of them, and then helped the girls file a complaint," she said. She added the incident showed that women were not safe even in busy areas. "I was shocked and horrified when I saw these men trying to molest the girls in front of so many people at a busy railway crossing. Nobody did anything until I got out of the car and chased them myself," she said. "The girls were traumatised and shaken after the incident. "The girls didn't even want to file a complaint because they were worried that their families would stop them from going out if the incident became public," she said. The athlete said however, that she was glad that "at least one family decided to file a case".
1-3-17 A child abuse scandal is coming for Pope Francis
A child abuse scandal is coming for Pope Francis
The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope's own making. Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers. In 2001, the Vatican instituted a massive reform in how it handled the cases of priests who abused children. The power to deal with these cases was taken away from the Congregation of the Clergy and the Roman Rota (the Vatican's Court), and placed in the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Subsequently, the volume and speed with which the Catholic Church defrocked abuser priests went up. This was Pope Benedict's legacy of trying to confront "the filth" in the Church. Recently, Pope Francis had the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, request an opinion from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, led by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, regarding the possibility of transferring competence to deal with abuser priests from the CDF back to Clergy and the Rota. Coccopalmerio's office responded with a positive answer.