Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Trial against former Fall River priest set to begin

Burlington, Vt. — [source]:

Three months after being socked with a $8.7 million verdict in a priest sex abuse case, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington returns to court this week to defend its handling of a rogue priest who allegedly molested altar boys.

Jury selection is set for Tuesday in a civil suit brought by a man who says Rev. Edward Paquette molested him when he was a student at Christ the King school in Burlington.

Paquette begin his career in the Diocese of Fall River, according to the diocesan spokesman John Kearns, who said Paquette was ordained as a priest to the Fall River Diocese in 1957. After that time, Kearns said, complaints were brought to Bishop James L. Connolly regarding “improper behavior.”

Kearns said that after a number of evaluations, the diocese in 1963 removed Paquette’s faculties, meaning he could no longer function as a priest.

Kearns said that at some point in the late 1960s, however, the Diocese of Fort Wayne, Ind., “against the strong recommendations of Bishop Connolly to not admit him,” the Diocese of Fort Wayne accepted him.

Kearns said he had no other information on Paquette following his service time with the Diocese of Fall River and was unaware of how he ended up in Vermont.

He said there have been no other allegations made to the Fall River Diocese against Paquette since his removal.

The Associated Press does not publish the names of victims of sexual assault without their consent, and the plaintiff does not want his name released, according to Jerome O’Neill, his lawyer.

The case is being tried in Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington, where a jury on May 13 returned the $8.7 million verdict in the case of a former Christ the King altar boy who said Paquette molested him dozens of times.

In that trial, jurors were told that church leaders knew Paquette had been the subject of molestation allegations before coming to Vermont and that he was hired anyway. The jury found that Diocesan officials had engaged in negligent supervision and ordered compensatory and punitive damages for the victim in that case.

The diocese, which faces more than a dozen other suits over Paquette, is appealing the verdict.

The suit going to trial this week, which was filed in 2005, claims Paquette “committed unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact” on the man and that the diocese should be held liable because it knew he had abused children elsewhere.

The man is still traumatized by the attacks, has lost earning potential and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, according to the suit.

Paquette, 79, of Westfield, Mass., is still a priest but has been barred from church work. He acknowledged in a 2006 deposition that he was “sexually involved” with boys while in parishes in Massachusetts, Indiana and Vermont.

Church officials weren’t commenting on the case Monday.

Thomas McCormick, a lawyer for the Burlington Diocese, did not return an e-mail message seeking comment. Gloria Gibson, a diocese spokeswoman, said: “It’s diocesan policy not to issue comments or statements before or during trials.”

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Sex Abuse | Leave a comment

Nun hangs at convent, father sniffs sex abuse


Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 12: A young nun killed herself in her room yesterday after leaving an alleged suicide note blaming the mother superior, prompting calls for a probe into “unsavoury” happenings inside convents.

Sister Anupa Mary’s father Pappachan, a cook at Catholic Bishop’s House at Kollam, 70km from the Kerala capital, claimed she had been sexually abused.

He said Mother Superior Albena forced his daughter, 22, to “go into her room to share her bed”.

Congregation Superior-General Boniface Mary welcomed an impartial probe but another nun said the mother superior was a different person, Sister Seeja.

Pappachan said his daughter — found hanging from the fan in her room at St Mary’s Convent, Port Kollam — was driven to the extreme step by the “callous” mother superior.

A nun at the congregation’s headquarters at Kollam said the nun had “never” given them any clue to her “alleged problems”.

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Bad Nuns, India | Leave a comment

Judge refuses to downgrade priest’s conviction

Aug 12, 2008 3:34 PM (15 hrs ago) AP

GREELEY, Colo. (Map, News) – A Catholic priest is due to be sentenced in October after a Weld County District Court judge refused to downgrade the priest’s conviction of indecent exposure.

Rev. Robert Whipkey was found guilty in June of jogging nude around a track at a high school. He had said he didn’t think anyone would see him and that he took off his clothes because he sweats profusely when exercising.

Whipkey’s lawyer argued in court Monday that the conviction was unconstitutional and should be downgraded to public indecency. Attorney Harvey Steinberg said Whipkey didn’t knowingly expose himself to members of the public.

Judge Timothy Kerns disagreed.

Whipkey faces a sentence up to 18 months behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000.

He remains on leave.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Catholic Church, Nakedness | Leave a comment

Archdiocese of Cincinnati lists inappropriate priest behaviors

AP Published: August 12, 2008 [Source]

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a detailed list of inappropriate behaviors for priests, saying they should not kiss, tickle or wrestle children.

The newest version of the archdiocese’s Decree on Child Protection also prohibits bear hugs, lap-sitting and piggyback rides.

But it says priests may still shake children’s hands, pat them on the back and give high-fives.

Victim advocates who have criticized the Roman Catholic archdiocese for its handling of abuse cases say they support the new measures as a step toward better protection of children.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond does not have a specific list of prohibited and acceptable behavior, said spokesman Steve Neill.

“I think in cases like this, common sense would prevail,” Neill said.

All workers in the Richmond diocese—including priests, laity and volunteers—must attend a three-hour training session to create a safe environment, said Maryjane Fuller, assistant director of the diocese office of human relations. The program teaches how to look for signs of sexual abuse and steps that parishes and schools can take to keep children safe.

Every year, the Richmond diocese is audited to make certain it complies with the national church’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Neill said.

Media General News Service writer Daniel Neman contributed to this report.

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Catholic Church, Celrgy Sex Crimes, Church Scandals, Sex Abuse | Leave a comment

Former Lay Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges Against Him

A former lay pastor at a Colorado Springs church pleaded not guilty to the sex charges against him. 51-year-old Jon Moore used worked at Lighthouse Baptist Church near Austin Bluffs and Academy.

He’s accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl over the course of about three years. Moore is charged with sex assault on a child by a position of trust.

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He’ll be back in court in October. Moore’s trial is scheduled for January 2009.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Sex Abuse | Leave a comment

Pastor now faces two rape cases

12 August 2008
Canaan Mdletshe

The KwaMsane magistrate’s court in Mtubatuba in northern Zululand yesterday postponed the rape case against a Zion Church pastor to next Monday.

The 37-year-old pastor is accused of raping two 11-year-old girls between 2004 and 2005. One of the girls, who is mentally deficient, became pregnant.

Both victims are related to the pastor and are members of his church.

It is alleged that the pastor raped one of the girls during a church service. She reported the incident to her grandmother, who reportedly did nothing because the pastor is a relative of hers.

It later emerged the girl was pregnant and the pastor allegedly confessed to having raped her. He paid a cow as compensation.

The pregnancy was aborted because of her mental condition.

The second allegation surfaced two weeks ago after a girl opened up to members of the Mpilonhle Community Organisation who had visited her school.

The pastor was arrested and will appear in court again next Monday for a formal bail application.

Local community leaders and some family members are angered by the incident. They have asked the court not to grant bail to the suspect.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Rape, South Africa | Leave a comment

Former Youth Pastor Ordered to Trial

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Aug 12, 2008 12:34 AM 

By Wendy McNew

A former Luzerne County youth pastor was back in court Monday, charged with inappropriately touching teenage girls.

Three of Brian Neiswender’s alleged victims took the stand for the prosecution.
“We feel very confident in the charges we have in this case and we feel very confident in our victims,” said Assistant District Attorney Nancy Violi.

The alleged victims testified between 2004 and 2006 while at private music classes and youth group meetings at Christ Community church Neiswender inappropriately touched them.

Neiswender’s attorney said he questions the teens’ testimony and wonders why it took so long for them to come forward.

“All of them having been friends, they have all said similar things.  I just think the testimony is incredible and is not believable,” said defense attorney Nanda Paliserry.

The prosecution’s key evidence is a taped phone conversation between Neiswender and one of the alleged victims in February.

Police said when asked if he felt bad because he got caught or because of what he did, Neiswender told the teen, “I am sorry because I hurt you.  I am sorry because I did it.”

The defense said that conversation means nothing.

“He didn’t say anything to hurt himself in those conversations despite the fact he didn’t know he was being taped,” Paliserry added.

Neiswender’s case is now set go to trail in Luzerne County.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Sex Abuse | Leave a comment

WWJB: What Would Jesus Buy?

Faith Can Mean Big Business With Items Like T-Shirts, Dolls and Mints

Aug. 10, 2008

Worship has a new look now that the Bible, God and church have become commodities. From the Bible Bar to Holy bottled water, to quench your spiritual hunger and thrust, some marketers are selling religious merchandise in the hopes of spreading their faith.

But this 21st century way of approaching the relationship between God and man is not what some are used to. The thought that consumers can buy a bobblehead Jesus to act as a co-pilot, or attend Florida’s Holy Land theme park when they’re looking to blend faith and vacation, troubles critics.

Christian commodities are big business.

“Turning everything religious into a little plastic toy can cheapen religion, trivialize it,” said Beliefnet.com editor in chief, Steve Waldman. “The other danger is that people will think that by wearing a “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt, that that by itself makes them a good Christian.”

Critics question if the commercialization of religion is really what Jesus would do, but even Waldman said he sees a way the God-related products could help spread the faith.

“One of the purposes of Evangelicalism is to spread the word. So, wearing a t-shirt or a bracelet that brings Jesus’ messages to other people is actually part of the faith,” Waldman said.

Behind the “Jesus Saves” hats and ties, the t-shirts and the candy, is someone who says they’re not in this to make money, but to spread their faith.

The people behind the products believe they are what Jesus would buy.

“All of our products are based on the scriptures, on the Bible. We believe that the core to everything that we’re doing is the Bible,” said president and CEO Bill Anderson, of the Association for Christian Retail.

And it all equals big business. At the International Christian Retail Show last month in Orlando, Fla., the product displays stretched so far, they would have filled eight football fields.

The sale of Christian books, bibles, music, and items falling into that more dubious category of “other” is a $4.6 billion a year business. But not everyone agrees that the best way to spread the word of God is with a shoe insole or a Testamint.

“We’re a candy company, but we’re really a message company. We use the candy as a vehicle to get the message out,” said a woman selling Scripture Candy.

But evangelicals are not alone in their kitsch. The Buddha was commercialized long ago, and the Pope John Paul II bottle opener is certainly not used for communion.

“Oftentimes, religion is viewed as judgmental, and it’s all about what a bad person you are, and it’s very forbidding. And so, things like this that have a sense of humor simply are making religion more accessible,” Waldman said.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Jesus Toys | Leave a comment

Jesus pencil toppers


They also make Jesus pencil toppers you can put on top of a pencil or pen to have Jesus accompany you to school or work. They come in packs of 5 are are a very inexpensive and fun option.

Fully “God” and fully pencil?!

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Fun with Jesus? | Leave a comment

Shaking Jesus on your dashboard


Accountrements is another company with a variety of different Jesus products. They make this Jesus figure you can attach to your dashboard. Again, this might offend some people, so have a careful look at it if you are thinking of giving this as a gift.

Is this the “Lord” and “God” of the Christians?!

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Fun with Jesus?, Jesus Toys | Leave a comment