Monday, April 5, 2010

Legal Relic: California's Quest to Find a Cure for the Gay

     In yesterday's Los Angeles Times, Bonnie Lowenthal, who represents Long Beach, San Pedro, Signal Hill, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island in the Assembly, authored an op-ed that describes a little known provision in California law:
     Buried in California law is a provision requiring the state to seek a 'cure' for homosexuality. Believe it or not, California law requires health experts to find a cure for homosexuality. No joke: Welfare and Institutions Code Section 8050. We can delete this code. We will. But first, we should know how it got there.
     Click here for the full article in the Times and about how this cure-for-the-gay was the product of lies and homophobia that hopefully Californians of the 21st Century have overcome.

     Lowenthal is the author of Assembly Bill 2199, which would undo 60 years of libel against the gay and lesbian community and update California's laws.

Today's Breaking Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandals: Minnesota Priest Charged with Sexual Assault Is Working in India and Boston Priest Returned to Parish after Previous Abuse Allegation Is Hit with Another Allegation

     It's Easter Monday and the grace of the resurrected sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church tragically continues to flow over.  

     In 2006, the Boston Archdiocesan Review Board returned Rev. Charles J. Murphy to ministry, with access to children, saying that accusations of sexual abuse against him lacked credibility.  Cardinal Sean O'Malley lifted all restrictions on Rev. Murphy allowing him to return to ministry.  Now, another victim has come forward to accuse Murphy, who has, once again, been removed from ministry, but that doesn't matter to Murphy's parishioners.  Click here for the video of parishioners in Weymouth defending a the accused priest.  They echo the voices of Murphy's lawyers, who in 2006 accused those suing Murphy of trying to cash in on the sexual abuse scandal. 

     Here's the news from Minnesota and India.  Ravi Nessman of the Associated Press reports:
     A Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota is working in his home diocese in India and has no plans to return to the U.S. to face the courts, he and his bishop told The Associated Press on Monday.Church documents obtained by the AP show the Vatican was alerted to the accusations against the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul more than three years ago but, according to the bishop, the Most Rev. A. Almaraj, did not take any part in disciplining him. The priest has received only a minor punishment and is currently working in his bishop's office processing teacher appointments for a dozen church schools in the diocese of Ootacamund in southern India.  "We cannot simply throw out the priest, so he is just staying in the bishop's house, and he is helping me with the appointment of teachers," said Almaraj, the bishop of Ootacamund. "He says he is innocent, and these are only allegations. ... I don't know what else to do."
     What to do?  Let the priest stand trial in a court of law to determine whether he is innocent or guilty!

     I sat across a table from a man who sexually abused me and watched him lie under oath.  People lie, bishop Almaraj, especially bad people, who abuse children. 

Catholic Clergy and Laity Stand by Their "Unfailing" Pope on Easter

"You can't blame our pope.  Our pope is a beautiful pope." 
     This is the voice of a regular Catholic in the pew in Washington, D.C., from the first video embedded below.  This voice then goes on to blame the scandal on what Pope Ben inherited from John Paul II, who is on the fast track to sainthood.

     The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is not only a problem with the hierarchy, but also of the church-going laity.  Folks at the bottom of the Catholic power chain are turning a blind eye to Pope Benedict's participation in certain cases of reshuffling and/or refusing to punish sexually abusive priests

     They are echoing the words of Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., the hypocrite who thinks the Catholic Church knows what's best for children and parenting, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan, another aspiring American bishop hoping to make the college of cardinals.  I guarantee you that after the way they've been obediently defending the pope, they will be cardinals within a couple years.

     As I've said before, the Catholics in the pews, who continue to turn a blind eye to sexual abuse and the failures of those at the highest levels of authority in the church to properly deal with sexual predators, are now complicit participants in any future crimes committed and/or covered up by clergy in the name of holy dysfunctional Mother church's god.

Parishioners at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, D.C., support their pope.
 
Future Cardinal Dolan of New York supports his pope, while stroking his crosier.
 
One of the leading candidates to be the next pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, defends Pope Benedict's abuse record and calls him an "unfailing" leader.
 
Another case of the Vatican (under Pope Ben/Ratzinger) taking years to defrock a repeat-offending-pedophile-priest is exposed, this time in Tucson, Arizona.
 

Easter Bunny Violence and Childrearing Hypocrisy

     I don't get it.  Why do parents take their children and torture them by dropping them in the laps of unknown strangers dressed in frightening costumes?  Is this not a form a psychological violence?  Does it not violate the time-proven necessity of the stern warning that every child receives not to talk to strangers? 

     KTLA has a slide show of pictures of terrified children running from the Easter Bunny, from which this picture was taken.  I'm not sure if their intention was for us to look at these pictures and laugh along with the parents or to be repulsed. 

     So plopping your vulnerable, trusting child in the lap of a masked stranger, while you laugh and take pictures of the child's terror is okay, but if you are gay, you shouldn't be allowed to have children.

Decry and Deny: No Easter Apology from Vatican

     There was a break in tradition at the Vatican's Easter Mass.  No, the pope did not resign.  He didn't even apologize.  Instead, a Cardinal addressed the Holy Father and, on behalf of the 400,000 priests around the world (we can assume that includes the perpetrators of sexual abuse), said that all stood by the pope in the face of the "gossip of the moment." 

     The Vatican and Pope Benedict passed the opportunity to truly live their theology of death and rebirth by  taking responsibility for their actions, submitting resignations, and apologizing on Easter for their mishandling and cover-up of sexual abuse

     Instead, Benny used the bully pulpit to deny and decry.  He didn't mention the scandal at all during his Easter address, so concerned is he for the members of his flock who are angry, confused, and abused.  Instead, Benedict decried the evil secular culture of the world and prayed for Jesus to overpower this "culture of death."

     Shortly before the Mass started, with thousands of pilgrims filling a rain-swept St. Peter’s Square, [Cardinal Angelo] Sodano offered special greetings to the pope, wished him a happy Easter, and said the bishops and 400,000 priests around the world stood by him.
     "Holy Father, the people of God are with you, and do not let themselves be impressed by the gossip of the moment, by the challenges that sometimes strike at the community of believers," Sodano said.  Jesus spoke of courage in the face of tribulations, the cardinal continued, and he referred to the apostle Peter’s account of Jesus during the passion: "When he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."  Benedict rose to greet Sodano with an embrace, clasping his shoulders warmly and shaking his hand. Vatican observers said they could not recall such an appearance in past Easter celebrations in St. Peter’s.
     Leading the charge has been the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, which published a summary yesterday of comments over Easter weekend in support of Benedict from bishops around the world. The headlines said Benedict was the target of “crude propaganda’’ and a “base defamatory operation.’’
     “May the saving power of Christ’s resurrection fill all of humanity,’’ Benedict said, “so that it may overcome the multiple tragic expressions of a ‘culture of death’ which are becoming increasingly widespread.’’
     "Increasingly widespread," I couldn't have described the crimes that the hierarchy of the church has committed against the most vulnerable members of its "family" better myself. 

     Postscript:  I hope that the 400,000 priests that they claimed stood behind the pope didn't include those of us, who have left the decrepit and corrupt church.   After all, their theology claims that we are priests forever in the line of Melchizedek (this includes the pedophile-priests).