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US priest arrested in Philippines for sex abuse

MANILA (UCAN): An American priest, Father Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, was arrested on December 5 by Philippine police and immigration officials and United States (US) Homeland Security agents for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of boys over the last four decades.
 
The 78-year-old priest was detained inside the Catholic church in Naval, a town in Biliran province, in the Eastern Visayas region of the central Philippines.
 

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Pope calls meeting with world’s bishops on abuse prevention

VATICAN (CNS): Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said on September 14 that Pope Francis’ convoking a meeing of the heads of every Catholic bishops’ conference in the world sends “a very strong signal of a hearty commitment to defend dignity, to safeguard minors in the Church.”
 

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Pope ashamed by Church’s failure to listen to abuse survivors

VATICAN (CNS): In a letter to Catholics in Chile, Pope Francis expressed shame for the Church’s failure to listen and defend survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy.
 
Released by the Chilean bishops’ conference on May 31, the letter said that the time of “revision and purification” in the Church was possible through the efforts of abuse survivors “who, against all hope or painted as discredited, did not tire of looking for the truth.”
 

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The process of justice and injustice

The Avila sex bar in Calapandayan, Subic town, Zambales, has been closed with a steel gate since the hand of justice came to that place when we rescued young girls from sex slavery and the domineering  power of the owner, 49-year-old Arthur David Benjamin, of the United States of America (US), on 6 February 2013.
 








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A victory for children’s rights

After a French court acquitted a 30-year-old man of child rape after he had sexual relations with an 11-year-old, the public was outraged and rightly so. 
 
The judge ruled that unless it could be proven that he had used force or intimidation, it was not rape but sexual assault of a child and he could be sentenced to a much lesser penalty. 
 








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Behind the hollow headlines

MELBOURNE (SE): News of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty set to be celebrated on July 1 overshadowed the headlines in Australian newspapers on June 29 when police in Melbourne announced that George Cardinal Pell had become the highest ranking Church official ever to be charged with sexual offences.
 
A former archbishop of both Sydney and Melbourne, and currently the prefect for the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal Pell is to face the court in Melbourne on July 26.

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An unholy mess or a road to Rome

ROME (SE): Whether or not the former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, would return to Australia from his present posting in the Vatican to appear before a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which has now shifted its base from Ballarat to Sydney, has been an ongoing saga in the Australian media over recent weeks.

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