A former pastor in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, suspended following allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenaged boy in the early 1980s, has died.
Bishop Frank Caggiano has agreed to meet with representatives of national and local victim support groups who Wednesday called for him to hire an outside firm to investigate two priests who have been accused in the past of sex abuse -- including a prominent former Greenwich pastor who has admitted he hid more than 40 years of abuse complaints. But Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said although she is willing to meet with Caggiano, she would prefer to do so after he agrees to the investigation. "History has shown that meetings don't always bear fruit, but actions speak louder than words," Blaine said.
GENEVA -- A sharply critical United Nations panel accused the Vatican on Wednesday of putting its reputation and interests above those of children who had been sexually abused by priests. It called on the Vatican to immediately remove all known or suspected molesters from their posts and report them to civil authorities.
Two and a half years after he was removed as pastor of a New Fairfield church for allegedly sexually harassing a female church employee, Monsignor Martin Ryan was appointed pastor of a Stratford Roman Catholic church. Ryan's appointment Saturday at Our Lady of Grace Church prompted numerous calls from parishioners who said they were shocked to learn that their new spiritual leader was a priest who not only had been removed from a prior job, but had previously been accused of molesting a teenage girl in Trumbull in the 1970s. In that case, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport agreed to pay a settlement to the complainant, even though Ryan denied the allegations.
They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators. The Rev. James Connell, in Sheboygan, Wis., is a member of Catholic Whistleblowers.
A suspended Catholic priest from Bridgeport suspected of trying to launder thousands of dollars a week in drug money through an X-rated sexual novelty store has indicated he will plead guilty next week to participating in a bi-coastal methamphetamine distribution ring. Monsignor Kevin Wallin, 61, faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison if he follows through with his plan to changes his plea to guilty on a single charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the powerful stimulate methamphetamine.
The files released last week by America's largest Catholic archdiocese revealed new and disturbing details about how church officials schemed to protect priests accused of molesting children. But was the scandal in Los Angeles really so much worse than in other places?
The Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport's St. Augustine Cathedral. Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport had continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest -- a day he was planning to fly to London on vacation. Now dubbed "Msgr. Meth" by some, Wallin seemed to live a life that easily could have been ripped from the script of "Breaking Bad," the popular AMC series about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal methamphetamine producer. At one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment. In his post-priesthood, Wallin, 61, bought an adult specialty and video store in North Haven called Land of Oz that sells sex toys and X-rated DVDs. Investigators believe the shop helped him launder thousands of dollars in weekly profits.
Increased public awareness of how child predators operate, along with better law enforcement and policies to protect children, may be helping to reduce child sex abuse despite this year's headlines about cases connected to institutions like Penn State, the Boy Scouts and the BBC. A recent report from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center found incidents of child sexual abuse have been declining in the U.S. for 20 years, with some statistics showing decreases as steep as 60 percent. The findings may be surprising given the high-profile cases in the news. But many of those incidents took place years, sometimes decades, ago. Ironically, experts say, publicity surrounding such scandals may help reduce the problem.