Catholic Church Pays Sexual Abuse Settlement in CA, Removes Priest in WA
In a win for victims of clergy abuse, the Archdiocese of San Francisco reached a settlement Friday in the case against Joseph Pritchard for abuse committed while he was a priest at St. Martin of Tours in San Jose. The archdiocese will pay $16 million to 12 people who were sexually abused by Pritchard in the 1970s.
Just last month, the Archdiocese of San Francisco agreed to pay $21 million to 15 abuse victims in another settlement, with 10 of the victims in this case also abused by Pritchard. One lawsuit is still pending against Pritchard, and the Catholic Church still faces a host of lawsuits against other priests in both San Francisco and Oakland.
In Seattle, Archbishop Alexander Brunett announced Monday that the Vatican has approved the removal of yet another priest for committing child sexual abuse. The Vaticanís Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has agreed to the removal of James Gandrau, a retired Seattle priest and editor of the Catholic Northwest Progress, according to the Associated Press.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 7/11/05; Seattle Post Intelligencer 7/12/05; San Francisco Gate 7/10/05; Mercury News 7/9/05
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .