In Washington, D.C., Capitol Police arrested 70 Catholic nuns and clergy Thursday as they held a nonviolent sit-in protest inside the Russell Senate Office Building against the Trump administration’s inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers. More than a dozen protesters stood in a circle, holding the photographs of migrant children who have died in U.S. custody, and reciting their names. The latest protests came as immigrant communities across the U.S. have prepared for reported ICE raids that were scheduled to begin last weekend but have largely not materialized.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban into law on Wednesday, effectively banning the procedure except in cases where a pregnant person’s life is at serious risk. The law does not make exceptions in cases of rape or incest and doctors could face 99 years in prison for performing abortions. We speak with Dr. Yashica Robinson, the medical director of the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, one of only three clinics left in the state that offer patients abortion services. She is one of only two abortion providers living and working in Alabama. Under the new Alabama law, she could spend the rest of her life in prison for doing her job.
But for many in the non-denominational church’s community, the apology fell short.
Though Mr Dempsey said the idea for the lesson was entirely his, other adults including Mr Ross were present throughout the encounter.
The mother of the 12-year-old boy who handled the steak knife, identified as Mandy, told local CBS affiliate WBNS she received a call from a friend who had seen video online and rushed to pick up her son.
“The guy that’s in there that’s getting spit on, turns around and he grabs the knife and he hands it right to my son”, she said. “I was very disturbed.”
Mandy told WBNS her son will not be returning to the church and that she has reported the incident to the local sheriff’s office.
While most members of the community expressed concern over the video, others rushed to defend both Impact City Church and Mr Dempsey, who said he has been a student leader for almost four years.
“Impact City has amazing pastors, an amazing congregation…and they do so much for the city of Pataskala”, one person commented on the apology video. “As wrong as this lesson was, if you look at the whole picture, it is a lesson of what Jesus went through.”
Holly Collier, who attended Impact City Church for two years said she was “broken-hearted” watching the video.
“It was a terrible judgment call,” she told the BBC.
Ms Collier said her daughter, Kelsey, 16, attended a summer camp led by Mr Dempsey two years ago.
“Jaddeus has a very pure heart”, Ms Collier said. “I honestly believe he had good intentions.”
Kelsey told the BBC that Mr Dempsey “is the most fun-loving guy you will ever meet.”
“Jaddeus and people in that church were always there for us…they’re the most understanding, least judgmental people you will ever meet”, she said.
“I don’t think someone should be judged just based on one mistake, that one mistake doesn’t define who he is.”
Kelsey said that three of her friends were at the church that evening, but none participated in assaulting Mr Dempsey.
“They didn’t take part in it”, she said. “It just blew their minds.”
According to a second post on the Impact City Church Facebook page, a formal review and investigation has now been launched by the board of directors.
“Our pastor is making himself available to meet personally with every student and their parents who were present at the student gathering on Monday”, the post read. “Our staff will be reaching out to these families as soon as possible.”
PORTLAND, Maine — Seven Jesuit priests who formerly worked at Cheverus High School in Portland were included on a list detailing “credible allegations” of sexual abuse of minors in a list released Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The list of 50 priests who served across the U.S. Northeast was released by the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church in a show of transparency.
William Cahill at Cheverus from 1950-1960, deceased.
Stephen Dawber at Cheverus from 1978-1984, deceased.
Joseph Dooley at Cheverus from 1954-1958, deceased.
Eugene Orteneau at Cheverus from 1978-1979, deceased.
Richard Roos at Cheverus from 1974-78, 1979-80, admitted abuse.
James Talbot at Cheverus from 1980-1998, incarcerated.
James Walsh at Cheverus from 1970-72, 1977-79, deceased.
All but two of the priests are dead. Richard Roos and James Talbot are the only priests who are still alive. Talbot was recently convicted of abuse in September after pleading guilty to abusing a nine-year-old in Freeport in the late 90s.
Talbot had previously served six years behind bars in 2005 after being convicted in Massachusetts. Under oath, Talbot admitted to victimizing 88 children over the years.
Also named on the list was Joseph Laughlin who served at St. Ann Mission parish in Princeton from 1977 to 1982 and died in 2013.
Founded in 1917, Cheverus is a Jesuit, college-preparatory high school located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
Officials from the Diocese of Portland released the following statement:
“The list issued by the Jesuits’ USA Northeast Province of those in their community credibly accused of past sexual abuse of minors is distressing. Though Jesuits who have served in Maine are under the authority of the Jesuits’ USA Northeast provincial, speaking for the Diocese of Portland, I hope that the release of the list provides continued healing and peace for victims/survivors everywhere. That none on the list are in active ministry offers some comfort but, as I have said, these stories of past abuse stain the reputation of the vast majority of Catholic priests who are men of great integrity. This would include the many faithful Jesuits who have served in Maine since the 1600s. Since the Diocese of Portland’s safe environment procedures were implemented in 2002, there have been no substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric in Maine, but we do not want to forget the hurt and pain this past abuse caused. The terrible harm of the past continues to give us the resolve to do all that we can to prevent such abuse from occurring again. As always, I encourage anyone who may have information about any case of sexual abuse of a minor by a Church representative to contact civil authorities and Michael Magalski, director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7836 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join me in praying for the victims/survivors of such abuse as we ask that God keep us faithful to the path we have set to see to it that the Church is a safe place for all.”
A satanic group has added its own statue to a series of displays in the government building of the US state of Illinois to mark the festive season.
Placed between a Christmas tree and a menorah, the four-foot sculpture depicts a snake coiled around an outstretched arm holding an apple.
It’s the first display sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Temple of Satan.
The state government said the temple had the same right as other religious groups to have a display.
“Under the Constitution, the First Amendment, people have a right to express their feelings, their thoughts,” Dave Druker, spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state, told the State Journal-Register. “This recognises that.”
The move has been criticised on social media by Illinois Family Action, an anti-abortion pressure group.
Satanic Temple monument added to Capitol rotunda displays
A display from The Satanic Temple-Chicago has been placed in the Statehouse rotunda, joining the Nativity scene to mark the Christmas season and the Menorah to mark Hanukkah.According to the Satanic…
Past decorations in the statehouse rotunda, in the state capital Springfield, have included a “Festivus” pole – a reference to a fictional holiday which was the subject of an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld.
What is the Satanic Temple?
Founded in 2012 in Salem, Massachusetts, the Temple of Satan describes itself as a non-theistic group that aims to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people”.
It says its uses satanic imagery to promote the separation of church and state and to campaign for “practical common sense and justice”.
It has 15 official chapterhouses in the US, the biggest of which is based in Michigan.
The temple was started by Harvard graduate Doug Mesner, known as “Lucien Greaves”, and an individual known as “Malcolm Jerry”.
In a speech, Mr Greaves said the group had had “thousands” of membership applications since the election of US President Donald Trump in 2016.
Earlier this year, members of a Satanic Temple placed a statue of Baphomet – a goat-like deity associated with Satanism – outside Arkansas’ statehouse during a First Amendment rally.
The group also settled a $50m copyright lawsuit against Netflix and Warner Bros last month over a statue of Baphomet used in the TV series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Crimes motivated by a victim’s religion constituted 20.6% of attacks, and crimes against a person’s sexual orientation made up 15.8%.
The FBI definition of a hate crime is a “criminal offence against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity”.
The 2017 data notes that about 5,000 of the crimes were directed against people through intimidation or assault.
Around 3,000 were targeted at property, which includes vandalism or burglary.
Crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arabs were not counted prior to 2015.
Crimes against Jewish Americans saw a notable increase of 37% over 2016.
Jews have long been the highest targeted religion, as the acting attorney general noted in his statement.
The new report comes a month after 11 Jews were killed by a gunman that burst into their synagogue in Pittsburgh as they prayed, marking the deadliest attack against Jews in US history. The suspect was charged with dozens of federal hate crimes.
Crimes against African Americans constituted 2,013 crimes, marking a 16% increase over the previous year.
Muslim individuals were the target of 18.7% of religiously motivated hate crimes, which was a drop of 6% from 2016.
What is the reaction?
Civil rights advocates say the numbers are vastly under-reported because of individual victims that choose not to come forward, and some police agencies that do not keep accurate statistics or do not contribute them to the study.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said the report “provides further evidence that more must be done to address the divisive climate of hate in America.
“That begins with leaders from all walks of life and from all sectors of society forcefully condemning anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hate whenever it occurs.”
Civil rights organisation the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) said the findings were “shocking” and “requires Congress’s full attention”.
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil liberties organisation, expressed alarm at the “increase of bigotry and hate”.
“This is the third year where we witness an increase in reported incidents of hate targeted at our most vulnerable populations. Between 2016 and 2017, CAIR-Chicago has received a 50% increase in reported incidents of discrimination,” said Deputy Director Sufyan Sohel in a statement.
“We can do better. We must do better.”
In his statement, Mr Whitaker said: “The Department of Justice’s top priority is to reduce violent crime in America, and hate crimes are violent crimes.”
“The American people can be assured that this department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these crimes and that we will vigorously and effectively defend their rights,” he continued.