Monday, May 28, 2012


Catholic Church Hosts Haiti Conference; Abuse Victims and Child Protection Advocates Respond to the Sexual Abuse of 22 Haitian Children by U.S. Citizen, Douglas Perlitz, and the Failure of Catholic Individuals, Groups and Organizations, Including Fairfield University, The New England Jesuits, The Order of Malta and the Haiti Fund, Inc., to Protect the Children.

At a Washington, D.C. Press Conference, Haitian Journalist, Cyrus Sibert will describe the pain, suffering and abandonment of 22 child sexual abuse victims in Haiti. Boston Attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, will discuss the civil complaints filed in Federal Court in CT on behalf of these 22 sexual abuse victims.

Child protection organizations demand that Catholic church mission groups protect innocent children in Haiti
Groups want Haiti conference attendees to implement written child protection policies

Catholic Missionary groups must be held accountable for the protection of children in Haiti

"If You See Something, Say Something: Report Child Abuse"

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk press conference, clergy sexual abuse victims and advocates will urge:

-- Haiti conference attendees to implement written child protection and code of behavior policies, 
systems and procedures at their schools, hospitals, orphanages and other mission sites in Haiti. 
-- Anyone who has information or suspicions about child sexual abuse in Haiti to contact ICE/Homeland Security investigators
-- Employees and volunteers of NGOs in Haiti to familiarize themselves with the 2003 PROTECT ACT.
-- Conference attendees to review the information posted on and
-- Haiti conference attendees to review the criminal case, United States v. Douglas Perlitz.   
WHENFriday, June 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (across from Catholic University), 400 Michigan Avenue, Northeast, Washington, D.C. 20017.

WHO: At least six men and women who are victims of clergy sexual abuse crimes or advocates for abuse victims, including Mitchell Garabediana Boston Attorney who is an internationally recognized advocate for abuse victims, Cyrus Sibert, a Haitian journalist who exposed the sexual abuse of children at Project Pierre Toussaint in Haiti, as well as leaders of several child advocacy organizations.

WHY: Cyrus Sibert, a Haitian journalist and radio commentator first began publishing reports about the sexual abuse of children at Project Pierre Toussaint in late 2007. Sibert and the abuse victims were immediately called liars by members of the Catholic organizations who supervised the school and were threatened and intimidated by NGO and business leaders in the Cap Haitian community. Sibert will tell how these sexually abused, homeless street children were rejected and abandoned by the same Catholic individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States that had previously boasted and taken great pride in their association with Project Pierre Toussaint.

Boston Attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, wilI discuss 21 civil lawsuits previously filed in Federal Court in CT on behalf of 22 Haitian boys who were sexually abused by a U.S. citizen, Douglas Perlitz, while Perlitz was director of Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap Haitian, Haiti. The discovery process is ongoing in these lawsuits which name Perlitz and Perlitz's supervisors as defendants.

Perlitz, after pleading guilty in federal criminal court in CT in December 2010, is now serving a 19 year and 7 month sentence in a federal prison in Texas. 

Project Pierre Toussaint was founded, funded and supported by many Catholic organizations, including the Order of Maltathe Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, the Knights of ColumbusFairfield University,the New England Society of Jesus and the Haiti Fund, Inc., a Connecticut based non-profit whose ChairmanJesuit priest, Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J., was the long time Director of Campus Ministry at Fairfield University.

It is our firm belief that a presentation and discussion of the Perlitz case will provide conference attendees withthe most comprehensive learning experience and inside look at the ways and means by which these individuals and institutions failed to protect innocent children at their mission in Haiti due to a lack of checks and balances, systems, procedures and policies designed to protect children from sexual abuse. This landmark criminal case established legal and law enforcement precedents by which a U.S. citizen will be prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court for crimes committed against children, no matter in the world the crimes are committed. 
In addition, the information contained in the precedent setting civil lawsuits filed by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian on behalf of 22 boys who were sexually abused by Perlitz is intended to awaken and educate Haiti Conference attendees as to how Perlitz's supervisors failed to protect innocent and vulnerable Haitian children from repeated incidents of sexual abuse for many years. It is painfully obvious that safeguards to protect children, including policies, systems and procedures, were not in place.


Attorney Mitchell Garabedianhttp://www.garabedianlaw.com617-388-5252 (cell),
Robert Hoatson, President, Road to Recovery,
862-368-2800 (cell),
Becky Ianni, Washington D.C. Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
Paul Kendrick, Ignatius Group, http://haitionetable.blogspot.com207 838 1319 (cell),
Journalist, Cyrus Sibert, Cap-Haitian Haiti,
321 914 2743 (cell),
Michael Sweatt, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, http://www.nationalsurvivoradvocatescoalition.wordpress.com207 831 3791 (cell),

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shake your head when Bishop Richard Malone delivers his sermon about the poor at the Haiti Conference in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Malone spent $600,000 of church funds on his lavish living quarters. By shaking your head, you're letting Bishop Malone know that the same amount of money could be used to provide food, medicine and safe shelter for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Bishop Richard Malone is co-chair of the "Haiti: One Table, Many Partners" Conference.

When Bishop Richard J. Malone talks about the poor in his homily at the Haiti Conference in Washington, D.C., let him know he's a hypocrite by shaking your head in disapproval as he speaks.

Time and time again, we have asked Bishop Malone to begin each meeting held under Church auspices, at the parish or diocesan level, no matter what their purpose, with the agenda item: "How shall what we are doing here affect, involve or enable the poor?"

It goes without saying that spending parishioners' donations to purchase a much too large, much too expensive home for the exclusive and private use of Bishop Malone is a waste of valuable funds that could otherwise be used to establish programs and services that would enable the poor and needy. 

During the same 2011 time period that Bishop Malone was making renovations and purchasing new furniture, draperies and carpets for his new home, he cut diocese funding to Catholic Charities of Maine by $135,000, almost 20% less than the previous year (in which diocese funding was reduced by 7%).

In the book The Poor are the Church, Rev. Joseph Wresenski argues that the Church has no existence, much less authenticity, apart from the poor. The poor are the church, he says, and we are fully in the Church only when we stand with the poorest. 

Rev. Wresenski calls us all to see poverty in a profoundly different way, not just as destitution or oppression but as social isolation, an isolation created by all of us to the degree that we live apart from the poor.

Bishop Richard J. Malone of Maine lives apart from the poor in a $600,000, 4 bedroom, 3,000 sq. ft. home in an exclusive Portland, Maine suburb. 

In June 2011, Malone bowed to public criticism by moving after seven years out of his $1.2 million, 7,000 sq. ft, 7 bedroom, 5 bath mansion in Portland. The property taxes alone amounted to $20,000, more than many Mainers earn in an entire year.

Malone somehow kept a straight face when he explained to parishioners that he was "downsizing" to a 3,000 sq. ft. home. Malone lives all by himself in his new home. 

However, when Malone was forced to use his own money, and not parishioners' money, to buy a home for himself and his best friend, Rev. Paul Micelithey bought a small, single story, 840 sq. ft., 2 bedroom home on Cape Cod.

When Cardinal O'Malley downsized from his mansion in Boston, he moved into the Cathedral rectory in Boston. Malone could have done have done the same by moving into comfortable living space in the Cathedral rectory in Portland. 

For more information: Paul Kendrick, 207-838-1319

“Who is Bishop Richard Malone?"

In his role as head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland (Maine), Bishop Malone also serves as pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception parish in Portland.
For the past nine years, the Cathedral parish's web site has highlighted the parish's partnership with the parishioners of the Cathedral Church in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.  According to the web site, members of the Portland Cathedral send clothing, books, school supplies, etc. to the parishioners of the Cathedral in Cap Haitien. 
Problem is, it's not true. Nothing has been sent to Haiti by Cathedral parishioners in eight years, ever since Bishop Malone became bishop of Maine and pastor of the Cathedral. Michael Sweatt of Portland, ME will be attending the Haiti Conference. 
Last week, Mike asked Bishop Malone for an accounting of everything that has been sent to Haiti from Cathedral parishioners since Malone became bishop. Malone responded by removing the information from the Cathedral parish web site. 

The Poor Are the Church
A Conversation with Fr. Joseph Wresinski, Founder of Fourth World Movement

    Front Cover

    Twenty-Third PublicationsApr 1, 2002 - 191 pages

    Father Wresinski relates what he has learned from the poor, as well as his hopes and fears for the poor and for the Church. He traces the development of the Fourth World Movement, reflects on what it means to give priority to the poorest, and challenges readers to see poverty in a different way, not just as destitution or oppression but as a social isolation created by all of us. A serious, solid, and thought-provoking read.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Msgr. Ray East, Master of Ceremonies at the Haiti Conference in Washington, D.C., fought against extending the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse in Maryland.

How can we expect to hold people and institutions accountable for the protection of children from child sexual abuse in Haiti when Catholic bishops, lobbyists, lawyers and Catholic Conference officials in the United States are spending hundreds of thousand of dollars to kill legislation that will make children safer?

Msgr. Ray East opposes legislation to extend the Statututes of Limitation for Child Sexual Abuse.


Marci A. Hamilton: Killing abuse suit bill puts children at risk
Marci A. Hamilton


Under pressure from the Catholic Church, Maryland lawmakers shelved legislation to identify predators among us. With HB858, Maryland was part of a national movement to eliminate statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. This bill offered the hope of a “window” to allow claims previously barred.

Our legal system favors predators over the protection of children. By the time victims are capable of coming forward, the law lets predators escape through the statute of limitations — again and again.

Those predators now live and work near — often with — our children, but we do not know who they are because we keep the courthouse locked against victims.

Perhaps even harder to understand, the Catholic Conference of Maryland killed this bill through lies an misrepresentations about its purposes and effects.

Churches recently distributed handouts to area Catholics making outrageous and dishonest claims. They argued the legislation “targets” the church, even though its terms plainly cover all private institutions. This claim must be challenged — clergy members attack about 5 percent of victims in this country. The rest are attacked by family, family acquaintances, teachers, coaches, scout leaders and others. Those are covered by the bill as well. So let’s get to the truth: The church’s lobbyists concocted a false accusation of “targeting” when really they are keeping the courthouse locked against millions of other victims.

The hierarchy also claims the bill targets it because so many claims have been brought against the church in other jurisdictions. But hasn’t it just made the case for the bill? Don’t the numbers prove the need for the bill? The public impact is extraordinary. Window legislation revealed predators we could not have known otherwise.

We have had two windows so far. In California 300 perpetrators were identified who were unknown before. Delaware’s window opened in July, but in both states records proved the hierarchy continues to harbor an unconscionable number of secrets, and helped to identify predators in other states.

The church also misled about who really pays settlements for covering up child abuse. So far, 50 percent of settlements have been paid by the insurance companies to whom the dioceses were paying premiums for years.

The other 50 percent has been paid by sale of land unrelated to ministry. Schools weren’t shut down and services were not curtailed. Instead, the church sold office buildings, mansions and empty lots. Indeed, one would hardly expect Catholic Charities to be affected by any settlement given that a minimum of 70 percent of funds for the major Catholic services provider comes from local, state and federal taxes.

Predictably, the church’s lobbyists complained the bill applies only to private institutions and not to public. The Constitution divides private and public, and states have always treated the two as separate.

Here is what the citizens of Maryland need to understand: If the conference really cared about children, it would introduce a bill to apply the same principles in HB858 to public entities. I support such reform. But its goal in talking about equal treatment is to kill the bill, not to aid all children.

Finally, church lobbyists argue that reopening the statutes of limitations is unfair, because evidence gets stale and witnesses die. Those deficiencies undermine the victims’ cases. It only removes the bar to a lawsuit. It does not alter the burden of proof.

Nor does the church take responsibility for the fact that the statute of limitations ran out because it did not call police when it knew priests committed crimes.

We are all complicit in the national silent epidemic of childhood sexual abuse by legally protecting predators and endangering children. Maryland leaders failed to make this state a safer place for our children.

While the men of the Catholic hierarchy and their lobbyists toast one another for eviscerating HB858, Maryland parents will never learn about 90 percent of the predators in their midst, and incest survivors can only wonder how propaganda could push their interests off the table.

Marci Hamilton is a visiting professor at Princeton University and the author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do toProtect Its Children” (Cambridge 2008). She can be reached at

The Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary Public Hearing  go June 1 and click View Meeting for the complete Washington,  D.C. video hearing. It may take almost 1:50 to 2 minutes to start with:

It will take almost 1:50 to 2 minutes to start with:
Phil Mendelson, Chairman -- COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE JUDICIARY with introduction of council, and Procedures.

You can move about the testimony by watching the time on the bottom right hand corner. On the left hand corner you may drag the oval shape to the right of the green hand oval to the following times on the right hand bottom timer. 

5 min and 40 sec -- Panel 1: Mary Lou Lerry - Executive Director, National Center for Victims of Crime, Barbara Blaine - Executive Director - SNAP, Tim Healy - Survivor of clergy sexual abuse, and Vicki Polin - Executive Director, The Awareness Center.
31 min 45 sec -- Panel 2: Jane Belford, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Washington and Kevin B. Baine, Counsel, Williams and Connoly. 52 min and 50 sec -- Panel 1 answers counsel questions:
1 hr 35 min. and 45 sec. -- Panel 2 answers counsel questions.
2 hrs, 12 min and 15 sec -- Laura Hankins, Special Counsel to the Director, Public Defenders Office and 2 hrs, 19 min and 30 sec -- Patricia Riley, Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office followed by questions.
2 hrs, 41 min and 45 sec -- Vicki Polin - Executive Director, The Awareness Center, David Clohessy - National Director, SNAP,  Jeffrey Dion - Deputy Director for the National Crime Victims Bar Association and Ellen Reddy Public Witness.
3 hrs, 15 min -- Rev. Clark Lobenstine, Executive Director, Inter-Faith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, Rev. Monsignor Raymond East, Pastor St. Teresa of Avilia, Catholic and Rev. Monsignor St. Thomas More Catholic Church -- 3 hrs, 32 min, 30 sec, Rev. Clark Lobenstine relates he represent only 4 folks he  polled on a phone conference call for his position against Civil SOL.
3 hrs, 39 min and 10 sec -- Ted Thompson, Executive Director, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network, Steven Abrams - Survivor of child sexual abuse by a psychiatrist, Michele Booth Cole, Executive Director, D.C. Children's Advocacy Center, and Michael Nugent, Public Witness
4 hrs, 07 and 20 sec -- J, Robert Burgoyne, Public Witness, Helen Daly, Co-founder, Survivors Network US and J. Scott Sager, Co-founder, Survivors Network US and J. Scott Sager.
4 hrs, 22 and 45 sec -- Professor Marci Hamilton - Attorney, specialist in Constitutional law, First Amendment, Law & Religion, Joe Michael Donovan, Public Witness and Joe McMorrow, SNAP
4 hrs, 48 min -- Father Thomas Doyle, Public Witness, David Forwengler, SNAP, Alan Davis, SNAP and 5 hrs, 3 min and 53 sec. -- Charles Malineaux, Lay Catholic
5 hrs, 15 min -- Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Diaris Marie Jackson, Phd, Public Witness, Murray Levin - Public Witness, 5 hrs, 27 min. Judge Sheila Murphy, Public Witness,
5 hrs, 38 min and 10 sec.-- Francis Bacon, SNAP
5 hrs, 41 min 20 sec. -- Patrick Wall, Public Witness
5 hrs, 45 min -- Larry Dassen, Public Witness
5 hrs, 54 min 30 sec -- Lee Hoke, SNAP
6 hrs, 4 min -- Kevin Floyd, Public Witness
6 hrs, 8 min -- Claudia Vercollotti, Founder, Toledo Chapter of SNAP
6 hrs, 17 min -- David Rubenstein, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Village of Hope Lazarus Project


The Lazarus Project -- Village of Hope
VOH upper school beforeVOH upper school after




Prosecutors say that four child sexual abuse victims were identified, but Rev. Bollinger, an ECLA pastor,  was charged with sexually abusing two girls, ages 11 and 12.

Prosecutors said Rev. Bollinger met the victims, who were from Port-au-Prince, when they came to the Village of Hope, a sub-ministry of The Lazarus Project. A mostly Lutheran ministry, the Lazarus Project runs a vocational school and medical clinic. The Village of Hope school is for preschoolers through 11th-graders, 30 minutes outside of Port Au Prince.

Rev. Bollinger served as Executive Director of the Village of Hope from January 2004 to decemner 2009. It is horrifying to realize that this dangerous child molester had unlimited access to poor, orphaned and vulnerable, Haitan children for six years.

Experience tells us that many more children were sexually abused by Rev. Bollinger in both Haiti and in the United States.

When credible allegations of child sexual abuse were first made known to the Board of Directors of the Lazarus Project, board members did the right thing. Rev. Bollinger was removed immediately from his position with the school.

SECRETS DON"T PROTECT CHILDREN - Unfortunately, the Lazarus Project's board members kept the real reason for Rev. Bollinger's removal a secret.

Rev. Bollinger's bosses at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also kept the child sexual abuse allegations a secret.

Neither party warned communities in Haiti and the United States that Rev. Bollinger was removed from his position in Haiti due to credible and substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.

It's been almost two and one-half years between Rev. Bollinger's dismissal from the Village of Hope and his arrest by U.S. investigators on two counts of child sexual abuse.

Where has Rev. Bollinger been during this time?

Have innocent children been warned and protected?

And now, ELCA priests like Rev. Nancy Kraft and members of  the Trinity Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC are doing everything in their power to defend and protect the child molester and are all but outright calling the litlle girls liars who have reported their sexual been sexual abuse by Rev. Bollinger.

Check out Rev. Kraft's Blog. Click here.

URGENT - What can you do to help? Click here.

Here's The Lazarus Project's announcement that Rev. Bollinger will no longer be serving as Executive Director of Village of Hope:

Leadership Changes

The Lazarus Board of Directors regrets to make the following announcement: Larry Bollinger will no longer be serving as Director of Village of Hope. The Board has taken initial steps to begin the process of hiringa new director. In the meantime Debbie Berquist, who serves at Village of Hope as our Medical Director,has been named Interim Director of Haiti operations.

She will work closely with the Lazarus Project Board of Directors to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly during this transition period. Debbie, the staff and the board will need your prayers and support during this diffi cult time.

Because we believe Jesus Christ is the ultimate director of our work in Haiti, we are confident the many challenges and opportunities that lie along the path of those involved in spreading the Good News through service and offerings can be met and dealt with successfully. We now face an unexpected challenge, but with everyone’s prayers andcommitment we will continue the work with the enthusiasm and support needed to meet the every dayneeds and goals of the Lazarus Project.

Much has been done by many people over the past 14 years to solidify and expand the efforts of the growing number of American Christians who want to help make God’s presence felt among Haiti’s poverty-stricken masses. Leadership comes and goes, but we move on in the confi dence that God will provide for our every need in this ministry effort which, as has often been noted, is “not our ministry but His.”