Illinois AG finds 500 more Catholic clergy accused of abuse
By DON BABWIN and JOHN O’CONNOR
Thursday, December 20
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued a blistering report about clergy sexual abuse, saying that Catholic dioceses in Illinois has not released the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.
The preliminary report found that the church’s six archdioceses have done a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases did not investigate them at all or notify the state’s child welfare agency. Madigan’s office said that while the dioceses have disclosed 45 more names of those credibly accused, the total number of names disclosed is only 185 and raises questions about the church’s response to the crisis.
“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said in a statement. “The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors.”
The report does not include some key details such as when the allegations were made. It also does not accuse the dioceses of withholding the names of ‘credibly” accused clergy, only that the list of names of accused clergy is far longer than has been made public.
A Madigan spokeswoman said that the allegations date back decades and include some priests who are now deceased.
The Illinois disclosures are a new blow to the credibility of the church, which has struggled to contain the scandal amid mounting accusations of negligence. In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury report alleged that hundreds of priests abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in that state. The report prompted Pope Francis to call U.S. bishops for a retreat at a suburban Chicago seminary next month to debate how to respond.
Larry Antonsen, a Chicago leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Madigan is doing the right thing and needs to continue. He said Illinois should convene a grand jury with subpoena power, as in Pennsylvania.
“There’s more that needs to be done. The Catholic Church does not do a good job of policing itself, and you can’t expect them to do that,” Antonsen said. “It’s hard to know what to believe because so much of what they’re doing is in secret and not out in the open, but this is a step in the right direction.”
A leading attorney who has represented survivors of abuse called for the additional names of priests to be made public.
“The Illinois Bishops must release these names immediately so that survivors can heal and no other kids are harmed,” said Minneapolis-based Jeff Anderson.
Madigan’s office said the problems went beyond a lack of effort. In some cases, the report found, efforts were made to work against the accusers.
“When the Illinois Dioceses investigated an allegation, they frequently found reasons not to deem an allegation ‘credible’ or ‘substantiated,’” according to the report. Not only did Madigan’s office find a “pattern” of dioceses failing to substantiate allegations that came from one person, “The dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors’ stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors’ personal lives.”
Illinois church leaders expressed regret about the abuse, but pointed to steps they have taken to address what has become an international crisis.
Chicago’s archbishop, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, in a statement said that although he regretted “our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse,” the archdiocese has been a leader in dealing with the issue, including a policy since 2002 of reporting “all allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities.”
The Springfield diocese said that it reviewed paper files of clergy dating to its 1923 founding and provided Madigan’s office with documentation of each instance of abuse, regardless of whether it was deemed credible, according to a statement.
The Diocese of Joliet said in a statement that it took steps such as establishing in 1993 a review committee made up of people from law enforcement, social service agencies and others to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.
Madigan said her office’s findings make it clear that notifying authorities is critical, and pointing to instances when dioceses used personal information about people to discredit them and help them conclude accusations weren’t credible. “The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself,” she said.
AP writer John O’Connor reported from Springfield, Illinois.
LA bishop resigns 13 years after church learned of sex claim
By JOHN ANTCZAK and NICOLE WINFIELD
Thursday, December 20
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Alexander Salazar, following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a child in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday.
The Vatican announced the resignation in a one-line statement. It was the latest in a string of misconduct allegations against bishops to come to light this year, following the scandal of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington that exposed how bishops have largely avoided punishment for improper behavior.
Pasadena police recommended in 2002 that Salazar be charged with committing a lewd act on a child, but prosecutors declined to bring charges over a lack of evidence, Lt. Jesse Carrillo said. He had no further information.
The current archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Rev. Jose Gomez, said the archdiocese learned of the claim in 2005. Gomez said the archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Vatican office handling sex abuse cases.
Gomez said that office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, imposed precautionary measures against Salazar and that a further investigation by the archdiocese’s independent review board found the allegation to be credible.
Gomez said Salazar, 69, has “consistently denied any wrongdoing.” The archdiocese said it had received no other allegations against Salazar.
“These decisions have been made out of deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the church’s mission,” Gomez told the Los Angeles faithful in a letter. “Let us continue to stay close to the victim survivors of abuse, through our prayer and our actions.”
Gomez said the alleged misconduct occurred while Salazar was a parish priest in the 1990s and that the claim was never directly brought to the archdiocese.
Critics decried how long it took between the archdiocese learning of the allegation and Salazar’s resignation as well as the lack of details in the announcement, which called it an “early retirement.”
“It takes 13 years for LA Catholic officials to disclose this allegation and even now, they withhold key details about when they and the Vatican looked at it and purported(ly) took ‘precautionary measures’ against Salazar, which of course have rarely stopped more clergy sex crimes,” David G. Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in an email to The Associated Press.
The law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, which pursues litigation on behalf of alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, noted that Salazar’s name wasn’t included in archdiocese lists of credibly accused priests released in 2005, 2008 and this year.
“What does his resignation mean? Has he been laicized? Is he simply retired? What safety protocols are being imposed on Bp. Salazar?” the firm asked in a statement. “Why did it take the Vatican this long to act?”
The resignation comes during a year in which the clerical abuse scandal has exploded anew.
Hours after Salazar’s resignation was announced, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said her office found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s archdioceses have publicly identified.
In July, the pope removed McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, as a cardinal after a U.S. church investigation determined an allegation he groped a minor in the 1970s was credible. Subsequently, several adult seminarians said he pressured them for sex.
McCarrick denied the initial allegation and said through a lawyer that he looks forward to invoking his right to due process.
The scandal exposed the loopholes in how the church treats allegations against bishops, who answer only to the pope. Bishops have largely escaped the same scrutiny as ordinary priests in the decadeslong sex abuse scandal, and until recently they have rarely been sanctioned or removed for covering up for abusers.
Salazar was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and came with his family to the United States in 1953. They settled in Los Angeles, and he became a U.S. citizen at 18. He entered St. John’s Seminary in suburban Camarillo in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1984.
From the 1980s through early 2000s, Salazar served at several parishes before being installed as a bishop in 2004. He served as a regional bishop for San Pedro, one of five pastoral subdivisions within the archdiocese, until 2009 and since then had been vicar for the office of ethnic ministries.
A statement from the archdiocese said the accusation against Salazar was “reported directly to law enforcement in 2002 by a young adult alleging misconduct in the 1990s when Bishop Salazar was a priest and the alleged victim was a minor.”
The statement said the archdiocese was informed through a third party. Law enforcement investigated and recommended prosecution, but the district attorney didn’t file charges, the statement said.
The archdiocese said Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Los Angeles archbishop at the time, also reported the allegation to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“The congregation investigated and permitted Bishop Salazar to remain in ministry subject to certain precautionary conditions, which he has respected,” the statement said.
Mahony retired in 2011, his tenure tarnished by his handling of clergy sex abuse cases, and was replaced by Gomez, who publicly rebuked him.
By 2014, the archdiocese agreed to pay $720 million to abuse victims over the previous decade and released internal files showing Mahony shielded priests and ordered a surrogate to withhold evidence from police.
The archdiocese said Gomez requested a review of all allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors to update a 2004 report that listed accused priests.
Winfield reported from Vatican City. Associated Press reporters Brian Melley in Los Angeles and Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon contributed to this report.
Mutko resigns as president of Russian soccer federation
Wednesday, December 19
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned from the Olympics for life because of the country’s doping scandals, has resigned as president of the Russian Football Union.
The RFU says Mutko stepped down during Wednesday’s executive committee meeting. Russian soccer league president Sergey Pryadkin will serve as the RFU’s acting president until its conference in February.
Mutko played a leading role in Russia’s bid to host this year’s World Cup and was in charge of the country’s preparations for several years.
Last year, he stepped down temporarily as RFU president after the International Olympic Committee imposed the lifetime ban. But Mutko still remained closely linked with Russian soccer and attended national team training.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Does terrorism work? We studied 90 groups to get the answer
December 19, 2018
John A. Tures
Professor of Political Science, Lagrange College
John A. Tures does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The famous Christmas Market in Strasbourg, France, became the latest place to be struck by terrorists.
On Dec. 12, 2018, a gunman on a terror watch list named Cherif Chekatt yelled “Allahu Akbar” and opened fire on shoppers, killing five people and wounding 11, according to media reports. The attack was labeled terrorism by a Paris prosecutor.
The shooting grabbed headlines around the world. But do such terror attacks actually work?
I am a scholar of international relations. My students and I conducted an analysis of political groups around the world to answer this question.
Comparing terror groups with peaceful ones
We examined 90 political groups to determine whether terrorism works to achieve a group’s goals.
Half of the groups we studied used terrorism to achieve their ends, and the other half used peaceful means.
One example of a peaceful group was the Catalan movement in Spain that held a peaceful vote to support their declaration of independence.
We made sure the groups we designated as using terrorism fit the definition set out by expert Bruce Hoffman, who defines terrorism as “the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change.”
To choose the 90 groups, we identified 45 pairs of groups operating in the same country or region in relatively the same time period.
For example, in Chile during the rule of autocratic dictator Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990, people organized to end his rule.
One group, Chile’s Concertación, sought to bring Pinochet down using a referendum. Meanwhile, the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front opposed Pinochet with shootings, bombings, kidnappings and assassinations.
We found that only six of the 45 terror groups – that’s 13.3 percent – accomplished their broader goals; the others did not.
Meanwhile, among the 45 groups that chose not to use terrorism, 26 – or 57.8 percent – achieved their objectives, while 19 did not.
Short-term success, long-term failure
Many people see the few examples of when terrorism “works” as evidence that it is an effective long-term strategy.
For example, Hezbollah is a Lebanese terror group that, among other goals, opposed Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 with kidnappings, bombings and assassinations. The group claimed success in 2000, when Israel decided to end their long and expensive occupation of Southern Lebanon. However, the “victory” deserves greater scrutiny.
There is evidence that Israel’s withdrawal was more a result of domestic Israeli politics than anything Hezbollah did. Moreover, the region Hezbollah “controls” in Lebanon is the poorest, most economically backward and politically repressive place in the country, according to a report from The Atlantic magazine. It’s ruled more by fear of the terrorists than any sort of competence such leaders demonstrate to justify their legitimacy. Many Lebanese see Hezbollah as needlessly provoking Israel into attacks on their border.
It’s hard to call this a clear victory for terrorism. Terrorists may be adept at setting off a bomb or designing a suicide vest laden with explosives.
As political scientist Robert Pape points out in his book “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” they might even occasionally achieve a limited goal, as Hamas was able to undermine the fragile Israeli governing coalition in the next election, with a campaign of suicide bombings.
But when it comes to accomplishing broader strategic goals, such as destroying the entire Israeli state or forcing a complete Jewish evacuation of the West Bank, terrorists usually fail.
Terrorists can threaten modern nation-states into offering minor concessions, such as giving up a small piece of territory, forcing the resignation of a leader or promising to return to the negotiating table, Pape writes.
But nation-states are too militarily and economically strong to be overthrown by terrorists, or to surrender their own aims that they see as vital to national security, according to Pape.
Additionally, terrorists – if they participate in the democratic process – may well be shunned by voters when the fighting stops. Or, instead of achieving those lofty aims, they may achieve a hollow political victory at best, ending up with power over a failed state that could dissolve into anarchy.
Those who claim terrorism works typically point to Israel and the election of terror leaders Menacham Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.
This example ignores that the fact that it took decades for these leaders to eventually come to power, as Israeli voters repeatedly rejected them at the ballot box, in favor of more moderate candidates. For example, Begin lost eight elections before he finally won his first. Only when these former terrorists moderated their positions did they become acceptable to the public.
(Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)