The Legionaries of Christ Roman Catholic order officially apologized for the "reprehensible" behavior of its founder, who was found guilty of sexually abusing children, and announced new leadership with hopes of rebuilding the organization.
"Today we acknowledge with sadness the initial incapability of believing the testimonies of the persons who had been victims of Fr. Maciel, the long institutional silence and, later on, the hesitations and errors of judgment when setting out to inform the members of the congregation and others. We apologize for these shortcomings, which have increased the suffering and confusion of many," the Catholic organization said in a statement published on Thursday, which was approved in a plenary assembly last month.
The Catholic order also announced the election of Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil as their new general director, and Fr. Juan José Arrieta, as vicar general. more >>
A California pastor has been accused of keeping two teenage runaways in his San Ramon church and having an unlawful sexual relationship with one of them.
Hyo Bin Im, 33, who is listed as the English ministry pastor at Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church on the church's website, was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and child concealment.
Authorities claim that Im kept two teenage females in his church and home in San Ramon and that he met at least one of them through the Salvation Army Korean Corps in San Francisco. According to San Ramon Police Lt. Tom LaRocque, the two girls had been missing from San Mateo County since the beginning of January. more >>
A grand jury has indicted a New York pastor on charges that he sexually molested three children a decade ago.
The Rev. Roy Harriger, 70, the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Hartland, was accused of molesting his son and daughter in December. According to those charges, the acts occurred between September 2000 and September 2001, when the children were between the ages of 7 and 9.
More than a dozen members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church have managed to recoup some of their losses, originally totaling nearly $1 million, in a civil suit involving Bishop Eddie Long and alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Ephren Taylor.
Thirteen former members of Long's Lithonia, Ga., megachurch recently reached a confidential financial settlement with the Christian minister, although neither he nor Taylor have admitted to any wrongdoing.
"I somewhat blame New Birth, because when this happened, instead of really showing us love, we were kind of looked at as outcasts," J.B. Bailey, one of the 13 victims who has recouped his money, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. more >>
The Roman Catholic Church has responded to a highly critical U.N. report demanding that it stop protecting child abusing clergy, by claiming it is doing more than any other international organization to combat the highly-publicized problem.
"Sexual abuse of a minor is a sin and a crime and no organization can become complacent about addressing it. The Catholic Church has certainly done more than any other international organization to face the problem and it will continue to lead in doing so," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a post following the publication of a report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The report, a follow-up to a U.N. panel which in January directly questioned Holy See representatives at a conference in Geneva about the Vatican's record on child sex abuse handling, demands that the Catholic Church "immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes." more >>
After banning media from courtroom proceedings Wednesday, Texas State District Judge Jean Boyd reportedly sentenced "affluenza" afflicted teen Ethan Couch, 16, to rehab in an undisclosed facility for causing the deaths of four people, including a pastor, in a drunken crash last summer.
Scott Gordon, a reporter for NBC 5, revealed the ruling and situation at the courthouse in a series of tweets on Twitter.
"Ethan Couch attorney says judge ordered Couch to rehabilitation facility. No minimum time. He won't discuss specifics," noted Gordon after the sentencing. more >>