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California diocese weighs bankruptcy over sex-abuse claims

By Ronnie Cohen SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton, California, is contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection after nearly depleting church funds available to settle sex-abuse claims brought against its clergy, the bishop said on Friday. The diocese, comprising 250,000 parishioners from California's Central Valley, is in line to become the 10th U.S. Catholic district to file for Chapter 11 reorganization under the weight of child molestation cases against priests.

Catholic diocese of Gallup, N.M., to file for bankruptcy

By Mary Wisniewski (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month to cope with mounting costs of litigation arising from claims of child sexual abuse by members of its clergy, the church confirmed on Tuesday. The Gallup Diocese, which includes several Native American reservations, would become the ninth U.S. diocese or archdiocese to file for bankruptcy protection since 2004 in financial fallout from child molestation cases against the church.

Sex abuse suit filed against Catholic church in Chile

Three men allegedly abused as boys by prominent priest Fernando Karadima in the 1980s filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Chilean Catholic Church. In the 450 million peso ($900,000) suit, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo accuse the church of negligence for initially ignoring their complaints about the priest. "We really want to establish the responsibility of the church," Cruz said. The compensation, if granted, would be donated to charity.

UN presses Vatican for details on child abuse scandals

The UN has called on the Vatican to hand over details in the cases of tens of thousands of children allegedly abused by clergy. The Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child published a detailed "list of issues" it wants Rome to address before Holy See officials go before the body next January. The list, published on the committee's website earlier this week, calls on the Vatican to give "detailed information" on cases of alleged abuse "committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns".

Singapore Catholic Church to probe sex-abuse charges

The Roman Catholic church in Singapore has vowed to investigate any charges of sexual misconduct by its clergy after an Australian woman claimed she was abused by priests as a teenager in the city-state. Singapore-born psychotherapist Jane Leigh, 36, said in an autobiography published last month that she had been sexually abused by two Catholic priests before she moved to Australia in 1995.

Landmark settlement between church and sex-abuse victims approved in Quebec

MONTREAL - A judge has signed off on a landmark agreement to compensate victims of sex abuse that occurred for decades within a Roman Catholic organization in Quebec. While walking away from news crews outside the courtroom, one victim said the grieving could finally begin. The $18-million mediated settlement, the largest in Quebec and one lawyers have said could even be the largest ever in Canada, was officially enacted as Quebec Superior Court Justice Claude Auclair signed the agreement Wednesday.

Austrian priest in major child sex abuse trial

A former Austrian priest and headmaster of a monastery boarding school went on trial Monday accused of sexually abusing 15 pupils and physically assaulting nine others. Prosecutors accuse Alfons Mandorfer, 79, now defrocked, of committing "sexual acts of differing intensity" on the boys between 1973 and 1993 both at the Kremsmuenster school and on foreign trips. His alleged victims were often vulnerable and had personal problems, prosecutors charge. He is also accused of whipping them, kicking them and threatening them with a pump-action shotgun.

Church defrocks Chilean priest for child sex abuse

A Chilean priest has been defrocked by his order for allegedly sexually abusing two minors, the country's Roman Catholic church said Tuesday. The church had investigated the allegations against the priest, Hector Valdes, in 2008, but a new probe was ordered four years later by the archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati. The second investigation found Valdes "guilty of the crime of sexually abusing two minors, and abuse of his ministry," the church said in a statement. Valdes "is hereby removed for life from exercising priestly ministry and the religious life," it said.

'Systemic' sex abuse at elite NY school

Students at one of America's most prestigious schools were abused by pedophile teachers for more than three decades but prosecutors are unable to file charges because the crimes happened too long ago, officials in New York said Friday. The Bronx District Attorney's Office said in a statement police had uncovered evidence of "systemic" abuse of pupils at the famous Horace Mann School, spanning a 34-year period from from 1962 to 1996. However no charges would be filed because of New York State's statute of limitations laws.

Pope seeks decisive action against sex abuse

Pope Francis directed the Vatican yesterday to act decisively on clergy sex abuse cases and take measures against pedophile priests, saying the Catholic Church's ‘credibility’ was on the line.The announcement was quickly dismissed by victims' advocates as just more talk.Clergy abuse victims have called for swift and bold action from Francis as soon as he was elected pope last month.Yet in his homeland, Roman Catholic activists had characterized him as being slow to act against such abuse in his years heading the Argentine church.The clergy child abuse scandals i
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