Showing posts with label Child Abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Child Abuse. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catholic Bishop Conlon Reinstates Priest Who Abused a 14-Year-Old, Because According to the Vatican That Was OK in the 70s

Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, chair of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops' Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, has once again shown that he and the bishops are failing to correct past mistakes and crimes surrounding the handling of sexually abusive priests.  The Vatican backs them up on this.


Bishop Conlon's spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune that the decision to reinstate Rev. F. Lee Ryan "had been difficult."  I wonder how difficult it's been for Ryan's victim to hear this news:
"He will not return to (full) ministry, but he is being permitted (a) very narrow ministry," the statement said. "This was a very difficult decision. I believe it respects the law of the Church and protects children."  (Chicago Tribune)
Father Ryan's (partial?) ministry that "protects children" will be visiting the homebound parishioners of two parishes in Watseka and Crescent City, IL.  Apparently in Bishop Conlon's universe, children don't live in the homes of sick people.  

Church officials said the man's complaint was assessed by a local review board, then sent to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Catholic officials in Rome decided that because of church law in the 1970s, which stated that 14 was the age of consent, Ryan did not commit a serious crime by the church's standards and could not be permanently removed from ministry, a spokesman for Bishop R. Daniel Conlon said.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests criticized the diocese for allowing Ryan to return to some of his duties as a priest.  "This is a shocking and dangerous move by Bishop Conlon," SNAP said, noting that the bishop leads the U.S. Catholic bishops' committee on sexual abuse. "What part of 'one strike and you're out' do Catholic officials not understand?"
Apparently, every part.

The age of sexual consent in the Vatican is 12.  Yes, 12, but there are some exceptions that bump it up to 15.  Here's a link to The Daily Dish that expounds upon this absurdity.

How convenient for the Catholic hierarchy that a U.S. District Court recently ruled that the Vatican is not the employer of Catholic priests.  The Vatican can't be held accountable in U.S. courts for its priests' perpetration of sexual abuse against minors.  But when it comes to reinstating sexually abusive priests, the U.S. bishops determine whether a crime really took place using the Vatican's outdated age of consent.  How sweet it is for the Catholic hierarchy to eat its cake.

Next up, reinstating those priests found guilty of child-porn charges before May 3, 2011.  That was the date the Vatican allowed the USCCB to apply the federal legal age defining child pornography (under 18) to local church law, as opposed to Vatican child-porn, which is under 14.  You can read about this in the bishops' inappropriately named Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catholic Bishop, Robert F. Finn, Found Guilty of Shielding a Pedophile Priest, But the True Winner in the Case Is the Catholic Church

Last week, a Catholic bishop was finally found guilty for covering-up sexual abuse. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City was found guilty of: 
failing to report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls. The counts each carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but Bishop Finn was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation. (New York Times)
It's about time that a criminal Catholic bishop was held accountable.  But in the long run, the Catholic Church won this case.

Win Number One.  The church's defense team avoided a long and drawn out, public trial by jury and its unrelenting media scrutiny.  NBCNews.com reports:
Lawyers for Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph released the following statement after the verdict:  "Bishop Finn is grateful that the court and prosecutor have allowed this matter to be resolved. This could have been a lengthy and emotionally difficult trial for all persons affected. The bench trial, with a stipulation of testimony, has avoided the need for live testimony from diocesan employees, parishioners and others. This process has also resulted in the charges against the Diocese being dismissed by the state. The diocesan process and procedures as previously existed failed to adequately identify the necessity to inform the Children's Division of Shawn Ratigan's behavior in a more timely manner. For this, the bishop is truly sorry."
Who wants to hear witnesses rehashing the dirty deeds of the bishop and diocese?  Who wants the media  printing testimony that details the process of how abuse allegations are covered-up, ignored, and kept from civil authorities?  The church can thank its god that the details of this case will now quickly sink into the Google Sea.

Win Number Two.  As indicated in the previous statement, the charges against the Diocese of Kansas City were dismissed.  How wonderful for the church.

Win Number Three.  The judge let Finn off easily; he should have given Finn the maximum penalty of one year in jail.  Finn protected a Father Shawn Ratigan for five months after learning Ratigan had taken pornographic pictures of hundreds of girls.  Finn didn't report the crime, even though he knew of previous accusations made against Ratigan.  Would not one month of jail time for each month that Finn kept information from civil authorities be justified?  The pedophile priest's crimes went unreported until church officials contacted civil authorities without Finn's permission.  How the judge didn't see this as grounds for a maximum sentence will remain on the judge's conscience.

Win Number Four.  The Catholic theology of forgiveness, confession, and a fresh start is strengthened.  Finn can now retreat to the confessional and release the guilt he carries for his actions, if he harbors any.  His courtroom apology indicates that he might not:  
Before being sentenced, Bishop Finn, 59, his jaw quivering, rose in court and said: “I am pleased and grateful that the prosecution and the courts have allowed this matter to be completed. The protection of children is paramount.” 
He added, “I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused.” (NYT)
According to Catholic theology, contrition is necessary for forgiveness to be granted during the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Finn's "apology" is not sufficient for the sacrament, because Finn displayed no contrition for his part in the crime and resulting scandal.  Finn said he was sorry for the hurt caused by "these events," not, I'm sorry that I protected this pedophile from civil authorities and in doing so betrayed the children this priest abused, their families, the people I've sworn to shepherd, and the society in which I present myself as a law-abiding citizen.  No.  Bishop Finn took the easy way out.  

He admitted being "pleased and grateful" -- pleased that he's not going to jail and can get back to his phony, "paramount" "protection" of children.  For that is his immediate future, as The Washington Post reports:
But even as he became the first U.S. bishop ever convicted in criminal court for shielding an abusive priest, Finn’s standing inside the church appears uncertain, and the subject of intense debate.  Should he stay or should he go? Finn has indicated that he wants to tough it out.
“The Bishop looks forward to continuing to perform his duties, including carrying out the important obligations placed on him by the Court,” Finn’s spokesman, Jack Smith, said in a statement to Religion News Service on Friday.
Pope Benedict XVI is the only one with the authority to force a bishop from office, and the Vatican said nothing on Friday about Finn.
While waiting for the pope to act or commit yet another sin of omission, Catholics throughout the Diocese of Kansas City will continue to pray before the "Real Presence" of their savior Jesus Christ at every Mass in the Diocese of Kansas City, "for our bishop, Robert."  

In spite of the church's wins in the Finn case, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has once again shown that it's incapable of responsible leadership when confronting the institutionalized culture of covering-up sexual abuse.
The point man on the abuse crisis for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Ill., was circumspect about Finn’s conviction.  Conlon, who recently acknowledged that the hierarchy’s credibility on abuse was “shredded” in part because of cases like Finn’s, said that he did not know the details of the trial. (The Washington Post)
Bishop Conlon is the chair of the USCCB's Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.  One would think he has a responsibility to be familiar with the details of the first case involving one of his brother bishops being tried for covering up sexual abuse.  For the Catholic bishops ignorance continues to be bliss, and ecclesiastical justice for the victims of sexual abuse is again cast into the sea.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Response to Father Benedict Groeschel's Apology

     I have another piece on The Huffington Post:
The condemnations and apologies have been forthcoming since Father Benedict Groeschel, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, told the National Catholic Register that some teenage victims of sexual abuse seduce their priest perpetrators. He also referred to convicted sex felon Jerry Sandusky as "this poor guy" before implying that Sandusky's victims should have spoken out sooner.
The National Catholic Register removed the interview from its website and posted an apology explaining the publication of Groeschel's "comment was an editorial mistake." In addition, the Register "sought clarification from Father Benedict," as if Groeschel's 468 word "comment" wasn't clear enough.

     Read the rest on The Huffington Post by clicking here.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oregon Priest Arrested for Sexual Abuse After Pursuing His Victim Dressed Only in His Underwear

In recent years, I've heard Catholics say, "I believe in the Catholic Church.  I mean, we're all sinners."  "The bishops have taken care of the sexual abuse crisis."  "The pedophiles have been weeded out.  They were just old priests, who went to seminary decades ago."  "Why won't the media leave us alone?  Can't we just move on?"  

No, we can't just move on.  Sexual abuse by Catholic clerics continues.  

Perez was arraigned in Marion County Circuit Court on Tuesday, appearing via video from Marion County Jail, wearing a black V-neck top with his hands secured in front of his waist. He faced allegations of first-degree sexual abuse, abuse of a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
Father Perez was arrested after he chased a twelve-year-old boy down the street at midnight wearing only his underwear.  The priest had told the boy's parents that he was taking him on a trip to the mountains.  Instead, the priest took the boy to his rectory, got the boy drunk, waited for the boy to fall asleep and then assaulted him.  Thankfully, the boy was able to run away and find help.

Father Perez is not the product of some seminary past.  Like me, he was ordained in 2002, which as you might recall, was when sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church was on the front page of nearly every U.S. publication.  We baby priests were under a great deal of pressure.  We needed to be the new life, the new hope that the church needed.  We needed to provide people with the assurance that our generation would change the abusive culture that had been exposed.  We would make things right.  

In 2002, Father Perez was interviewed by The Oregonian.  He was praised for being the only priest ordained by the Diocese of Portland that year.  The following excerpts from that article show how Mount Angel Seminary formed Father Perez well.  He knew the right things to say in order to distract Catholics from smelling the predator in their midst: 

The sex scandals trouble him, but Perez says he is confident bishops are dealing with the problems. His new duties come first... "There are rules. There are so many rules," he said, walking back to the parish. "They taught us at the seminary -- we are not supposed to touch. I don't have any problems with that. I know my boundaries."
Rev. Angel Perez, in 2002 (via  The Oregonian

The 2002 article provides an accounting of Father Perez's Mass of Thanksgiving -- the grand Mass newly ordained priests celebrate in their parish.  Again, Father Perez said all the right things:


The new priest's hands were shaking. In the cavernous sanctuary of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Corvallis, hundreds of college-town Catholics waited to hear what the Rev. Angel Perez would say. In heavily accented but fluent English, he assured them he would be a priest for all, not just for the Latino parishioners. I will need your help, he said. "I said to them, my faith is very strong," he recalls. "That even though we have these problems in the church right now, these sex scandals, I really believe the Holy Spirit sustains us.  God is with us," he said, and stopped to look at his notes. Silence. In the pews, he heard one parishioner applaud. Then another, and another, until they all were clapping. For a moment, the anxiety that accompanies a new Catholic priest in 2002 went away.
Ten years later, that anxiety lives on in the communities of Woodburn and the victim's hometown, Salem.  

After losing the boy to a couple of good Samaritans, who took the boy to the police, Father Perez went to the boy's home at two in the morning and told his victim's parents, "I am just one who serves in the church, and I have sinned; don't stop believing in the church."

I won't stop believing in the Catholic Church.  I still believe that it is incapable of protecting its children from its priests.

The police report goes on to state that Father Angel Perez refused to leave his victim's home until "the mother forgave him and 'gave him her blessing.'"  

How Catholic of him: Go to confession.  Be forgiven. Go out and sin again.  I can only hope that no other parents have granted this same "blessing" to Father Angel in the past.

Rev. Angel Perez, Today.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesus Was Just as Wrong about the Rapture as Quack Harold Camping

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

     Fundamentalist Christian and multi-millionaire Harold Camping's doomsday prophecy was wrong.  Again.

     We're still here. As if there was any doubt.

     Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired transportation agency worker in New York, said he had spent more than $140,000 (£86,000) of his savings on advertisements in the run-up to 21 May to publicise the prediction. After 1800 passed and nothing had happened, he said: "I do not understand why... I do not understand why nothing has happened. I can't tell you what I feel right now. Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here." 
     "I had some scepticism but I was trying to push the scepticism away because I believe in God," said Keith Bauer, who travelled 4,830km (3,000 miles), from Maryland to California, where Mr Camping's Family Radio is based, for the Rapture. "I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this Earth," said Mr Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver, who took the week off work for the voyage. 
     Other followers said the delay was a further test from God to persevere in their faith. 
     [Camping] has predicted an apocalypse once before, in 1994, though followers now say that only referred to an intermediary stage.
     How did other "mainstream" Christians respond?  According to the BBC, "Many Christian groups however dismissed Mr Camping's ideas, with some describing him as a 'false prophet.'"

     Here's the thing.  The "god is testing our faith" and "false prophet" arguments have been used by Christians for two-thousand years to justify the delay of the parousia -- $140,000 word for "the rapture," ArmageddonApocalypse Now (and Later), Judgement Day, the end of the world, eschatology or whatever you want to call it. 

     Mainstream Christians--you know, like Catholics--much like some of Camping's followers, believe that the world is in an "intermediary" stage.  But the Catholic Church has a fancy two-thousand-year-old "Tradition" to pimp up its explanation with "accepted" and "scholarly" theology.  

     Catholics believe in an "already, not yet" realization of their god's "Kingdom" here on earth.  Let me dust off my Master of Divinity from the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States to explain this.

     Jesus, his disciples, and Paul believed that the end of the world was going to happen in their lifetimes.  They instructed people to leave their jobs and families, to stop marrying and having children, and to give away all possessions.  This is in the scriptures --"the Kingdom of God [sic] is at hand," "Anyone who does not leave father, mother, sister and brother behind has no place in my Kingdom," and so on.  Harold Camping's doomsday claims were a time-tested Christian incentive to trick vulnerable people into draining their bank accounts and children's college funds or to leave their fishing boats rotting on the shores.

     Early Christians believed that the world would end within a generation of Jesus' death.  But, when it didn't, they had to revamp their eschatology.  The shock and fear of this realization is evident in the New Testament, as "believers" struggle to understand and accept the not-so-immanent coming of the "Kingdom."  Over the centuries the Catholic Church developed it's "already, not yet" understanding of the coming of the "Kingdom." When Jesus died and "rose" from the dead, the "Kingdom" was made known in the world, but was not yet fully realized.  That will happen when Jesus "comes again" and the end of the world.  

     There will be "false prophets" who will predict the end of the world, but believers should not give into the temptation to believe them.  (It seems the Church learned from the mistakes of its founders.)  All of this is one big "god is testing our faith" argument.  

     But today's mainstream Christians call Camping crazy.  They are revolted by these modern day quacks who predict the end of the world.   They need to take the "Kingdom come" plank out of their own eyes and look at the failed predictions of their Jesus and saints.

     Christianity has been wrong for two millennia about the end of the world.  One reason that Harold Camping made headlines is to justify the denial that Christians have about the inconstancies, fallacies, and failure of their own scriptures and savior.  If Harold Camping is a quack, then so was Jesus of Nazareth.

     I feel sorry not for the adults that were scammed by Camping, but for their children.  Frightening your children into believing the world will end, now that's child abuse.


     Perhaps instead of Harold Camping and his saved followers disappearing, it's time that the world's many gods disappeared.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia Suspends 21 Priests for Sexual Abuse, Is It 2002 Again?

     Here's the NPR report from Philadelphia  (My comments are interspersed.):
     The archbishop of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests connected to allegations of child sex abuse, the latest in a series of actions by the archdiocese to deal with findings in a disturbing grand jury report released last month. The grand jury report accused a monsignor, three priests and a parochial schoolteacher of abusing kids or failing to prevent abuse by others. It also said that as many as 37 priests remained in active ministry with allegations or reports of inappropriate behavior or sexual abuse of minors...    
     I'm  relieved that these 21 abusive priests in Philadelphia have been removed from ministry and will not have access to children.  But it's been over nine years since this iteration of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church broke into national headlines from Boston.  What took Philadelphia so long to act?
Cardinal Rigali, Serious about Pedophiles 
     Cardinal Justin Rigali said in a statement that he's sorry for the harm done to the victims of sexual abuse and is determined to work for a solution that deals effectively with the issue in the church.  Rigali added that he knows many people's trust in the church has been shaken, and that he prays that the efforts of the archdiocese to address these cases and re-evaluate how it handles such allegations will help rebuild that trust in truth and justice.
     It's been nine years since Boston and nearly 30 years since the media started widespread reporting of Catholic priests sexually abusing children in the early 1980s.  The church has had thirty years to, as Cardinal Rigali stated, "work for a solution that deals effectively with the issue in the church."  They have failed miserably.

     The Dallas Charter, which the US Catholic Conference of Bishops promulgated in June 2002, was touted as to be the church's greatest response to prevent sexual abuse, remove abusive clerics from ministry, and prove to the nation that they were trustworthy.  Since its implementation, this charter has been consistently ignored and violated by bishops throughout the nation.

     So today, when a story breaks that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has suspended 21 more priests due to allegations of child sexual abuse while leaving "as many as 37 priests with allegations" in active ministry, why anyone, Catholics included, would believe that the church is effectively protecting its children is beyond me.  

   Here's a bit more more the NPR article:
     The archdiocese's move is a "long overdue and welcomed step," says David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. But "it's only a very partial first step. It would be incredibly naive for anybody to think that a mere suspension of these men somehow signifies a new day in the archdiocese," Clohessy says. "Anytime a credibly accused child molester is publicly identified or suspended, kids are safer. However, it's crucial to remember that the grand jury found widespread fault and deceit and recklessness by church officials."
      But Patrick Wall, a former Roman Catholic priest who is now a canon lawyer in California, says the grand jury report and the moves by the archdiocese mark a historic moment. "This report takes it to another level because they go after the vicar for clergy — that person who has the authority of the Archbishop Justin Rigali to handle priest affairs and priest assignments, and that person now is being called to justice," says Wall, who has worked on priest sex abuse cases across the country.  He says the situation in Philadelphia could have ripple effects on litigation nationwide. "It really does change the face of things, because not only can we look to the bishop or the religious superior, but now we can specifically look at how different lower, midlevel managers could be charged with child endangerment," Wall says.
     We can only hope that some of the "princes of the Church" will finally face the criminal charges they deserve.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anti-Gay Christian Fundamentalist Rev. Grant Storms Arrested for Masturbating in Public Park while Watching Children

     Hypocrisy alert: Rev. Grant Storms, another outspoken, hate-spewing, anti-gay Christian cleric, goes down in a sex scandal involving children.  

     The Rev. Grant Storms, a Christian fundamentalist best known for his bullhorn protests of the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter, was arrested for allegedly masturbating at a Metairie park Friday afternoon...Storms told deputies that he was merely having lunch at Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., in his van when he decided to relieve himself using a bottle instead of using the restroom, an incident report said.
     But two witnesses said they saw Storms through the open windows of his van masturbating himself while watching children on the playground, the report said.
     Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices.
     And we gays are the ones they're calling pedophiles.

Rev. Storms, Masturbator,
and Possible Pedophile

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1997 Letter Exposes Vatican's Refusal to Report Pedophile-Priests to Irish Civil Authorities (and a Trip Down Memory Lane: Benedict XVI, the Slapping Pope)

     As Pope Benedict moves towards beatifying John Paul II, the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church continues to balloon.

     The latest news out of Ireland is that a 1997 letter from the Vatican reveals how the John Paul II/Ratzinger-led Vatican resisted the Irish bishops' adoption of mandatory reporting to civil authorities of pedophile-priests.


     A newly disclosed document reveals that Vatican officials told the bishops of Ireland in 1997 that they had serious reservations about the bishops’ policy of mandatory reporting of priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities.  The document appears to contradict Vatican claims that church leaders in Rome never sought to control the actions of local bishops in abuse cases, and that the Roman Catholic Church did not impede criminal investigations of child abuse suspects.
     A documentary to be aired tonight reveals the contents of the letter and also claims that, on at least two occasions, the Vatican stepped in and stopped attempts by Irish bishops to defrock abuser priests.
     Last month, details of one of those occasions was made public when a High Court order finally allowed the full publication of a previously censored chapter in the Murphy Report on the Dublin Archdiocese.  That revealed that when bishops made moves to dismiss paedophile priest Tony Walsh, the Vatican instead sought to send Walsh to serve 10 years in a monastery.
     Tonight’s RTÉ programme, Unspeakable Crimes, shows Walsh went on to abuse another child after a Church court recommended that he was laicised because Rome insisted on a long, drawn- out appeal of his case.
     Watch the documentary by clicking here and then clicking on RTÉ's January 17, 2011 episode of Would You Believe?  The revelation of the letter's content comes at 0:12:00.  The connection to Benedict XVI/Ratzinger comes around 0:23:00, when he refuses to defrock pedophile-priests in both Ireland and the U.S.A.  The documentary's lack of sensationalism is damning.

     "The letter is of huge international significance, because it shows that the Vatican's intention is to prevent reporting of abuse to criminal authorities. And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere," said Colm O'Gorman, director of the Irish chapter of the human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
     The January 1997 letter is from papal nuncio Archbishop Luciano Storero to the Irish hierarchy. It states that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, which oversees policies for the more than 400,000 priests around the world, said the bishops' new policy of mandatory reporting of suspected sex crimes by priests to police "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature."
     Storero (who died in 2000) wrote that canon law, which governs abuses and legal matters within the church, "must be meticulously followed" and any bishop who took actions that did not follow canon law would face the "highly embarrassing" position of being overturned on appeal in Rome. Such a result would be "detrimental" to the bishop in question, the Vatican warned.
     The letter closes with a stern admonition to the bishops that Vatican policies must be "meticulously" adhered to.
     How the folks in the pew can continue to disassociate themselves from the overwhelming evidence of their "Holy Father's" collusion in such heinous crimes against children and humanity is beyond me.

Postscript:

     And, in case you forgot, here's a news report from last spring on Benedict XVI's and John Paul II's protection of Legionaries of  Christ founder and serial pedophile, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado.  (At 4:00, watch Ratzinger/Benedict slap the hand of the ABC reporter that questioned him about Maciel.  How's that for humbly turning the other cheek?)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

South Carolina LGBT Youth Are Bullied at Twice the National Average

     Q Notes reports:
     South Carolina Equality, the Palmetto State’s LGBT education and political advocacy organization, has released a landmark survey of 1,000 LGBT residents. The survey exposes several needs and challenges currently facing the state’s estimated 117,000 LGBT citizens, advocates say, particularly among LGBT youth in the state’s public schools.
     Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents indicated they’d experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination in South Carolina’s public education.
     “The survey clearly shows that S.C.’s gay and transgender youth experience more than twice the average amount of bullying and harassment,” SC Equality Director Christine Johnson said in a release. “2010 saw a rash of teen suicides as a direct result of bullying. We should be more motivated than ever to enact legislation that promotes safe learning environments for all our children. We look to our elected officials to lead the charge against bullying.”
     The results of the survey are being distributed to all Palmetto State elected officials, including those in the legislature and the governor’s office.

Hypocrisy Alert: Pope Benedict to Beatify John Paul II, Patron of World Youth Day

     Hypocrisy news from the Vatican: Pope John Paul II, who protected pedophile-priests at the expense of Catholic children, will one day be the Patron Saint of World Youth Day.

     The Boston Pilot reports:
     The future Blessed Pope John Paul II will be the official spiritual patron of World Youth Day 2011, which will be Aug. 16-21 in Madrid.  The Vatican announced Jan. 14 that Pope Benedict XVI would beatify his predecessor, the pope who founded World Youth Day and presided over many of its largest gatherings around the world.
     Big surprise: Pope Ben, protector of pedophiles, will beatify, John Paul II, the pope who taught him how to protect pedophiles.  Dog bless the Catholic hierarchy!  And suffer the little children.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dutch Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal Report: Nearly 2,000 Victims

     An investigative panel in the Netherlands released a report this week showing that almost 2,000 of the country's four million Catholics have made complains of sexual or physical abuse against priests and bishops.

     The New York Times reports:
     “The Roman Catholic Church has not faced a crisis like this since the French Revolution,” Peter Nissen, a professor of the history of religion at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said of the growing abuse scandal...
      Asked in March on television about the hundreds of complaints already surfacing, one of the church’s most senior figures, Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, shocked the nation by replying not in Dutch but in German. “Wir haben es nicht gewusst” — We knew nothing — he said, using a phrase associated with Nazi excuses after World War II.
     “A lot of people perceived it as an affirmation of the culture of covering up cases,” said Professor Nissen, adding that it meant to many, “ ‘We should have known’ or ‘We knew but we didn't want to know.’ ”
     The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said that he had no comment and that the matter was in the hands of Dutch bishops.
     "In the hands of bishops," because that has worked so well in the past.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spanish Gay Couples Stage Kiss-In in Protest of Pope Benedict's "Intrinsically Disordered" Anti-Gay Politics


     Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn on Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions as he dedicated Barcelona's iconic church, the Sagrada Familia.
     It was the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticized the policies of Spain's Socialist government and called for Europe as a whole to rediscover Christian teachings and apply them to everyday life.
     As he headed to the church named for the sacred family, about 200 gays and lesbians staged a “kiss-in” to protest his visit and church policies on homosexuals, condom use and a host of other issues. Church teaching holds that gays should be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”.
     So, according to the Catholic Church and Pope Ben, this is "intrinsically disordered":

     But this is okay:

And this is sweet:

And this is properly ordered:

And this is just politics:

And this is way normal (and good for digestion):
(He's kissing dirt.)

And this is so 100% normal:

And this is in every conceivable way 
intrinsically ordered.

     P.S.  Here's iol News' short description of part of Pope Ben's blessing ceremony at Sagrada Familia.  Notice the proper order of things:
     During the ritual-filled dedication ceremony, Benedict poured holy oil over the marble altar and spread it across all four corners with his hands, an apron protecting his vestments. He then lit a brass incense burner on the altar as Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia looked on.  Afterward, four nuns dressed in black mopped up the remaining oil from the altar and placed fresh linens on it.
Image Credits:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Archbishop of Belgium: AIDS Is "Intrinsic Justice" for Gays; Elderly Priest Pedophiles Should Not Be Punished


     The head of the Catholic Church in Belgium has said that AIDS is “intrinsic justice” for homosexuality.  Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard also said that elderly priests found to have sexually abused children should not be punished.
     His spokesman Juergen Mettepenningen resigned over his boss’ remarks, AFP reports.
     Writing in a recently-released book on religious thought, Archbishop Leonard suggested that nature takes “vengeance” on those who “mistreat human love”.  He is also said to have called homosexuality a travesty of nature.
     Discussing HIV-positive people, he said: “When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn. And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance.  All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions,” the archbishop said, saying of AIDS, “this epidemic is a sort of intrinsic justice.”
     At a press conference, Mr Mettepenningen said of his former boss: “Monsignor Leonard at times acts like a motorist driving on the wrong side of a freeway who thinks all the other motorists are wrong.”
     Archbishop Leonard also courted controversy with remarks on Catholic priests accused of paedophilia.  Speaking on television last week, he said such priests should be spared punishment, which he termed “a sort of vengeance”.

Friday, October 22, 2010

President Obama's Hypocritical "It Gets Better Video" on LGBT-Bullying-Related Suicides

     The AP reports:
     President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" by the recent suicides of several young people who were bullied and taunted for being gay.  "As a parent of two daughters, it breaks my heart. It's something that just shouldn't happen in this country," Obama said in a video posted late Thursday on YouTube and the White House website.  It's time, he said, for Americans to dispel the myth that bullying is "just a normal rite of passage."
     "I don't know what it's like to be picked on for being gay. But I do know what it's like to grow up feeling that sometimes you don't belong," Obama said. "It's tough."  The victims of bullying can sometimes feel that they are responsible for the taunting because they're different or don't fit in with everybody else.  "But what I want to say is this: You are not alone. You didn't do anything wrong. You didn't do anything to deserve being bullied," Obama said.
     But, if you are gay, the Commander in Chief will fire you from serving in the U.S. military because you did nothing wrong.  Your love and your commitment aren't worthy of equal protection under the civil marriage laws supported by President Obama.  
"I'd kiss you, but you're gay."
    Here are the final words of the LGBT community's self-proclaimed fierce advocate's message to bullied children with my words in parentheses.  The full transcript is available by clicking here.
     The other thing you need to know is, things will get better. (When you are able to get someone in office that will stand up for equal rights for gays, lesbians and transgender persons.) And more than that, with time you’re going to see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength. (But not equal rights.)  You’ll look back on the struggles you’ve faced with compassion and wisdom. (And you won't vote for me 2012.)  And that’s not just going to serve you, but it will help you get involved and make this country a better place.  (For straight Christians, like me.)
     It will mean that you’ll be more likely to help fight discrimination – not just against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all its forms. (But I can't let the federal courts fight discrimination.  DOMA and DADT will remain in effect until a minority of homophobic senators and Jesus accept your "lifestyle choice," which is how my staff continues to talk about you in public, because you chose to be gay.)  It means you’ll be more likely to understand personally and deeply why it’s so important that as adults we set an example in our own lives and that we treat everybody with respect. (But your loving commitments are not equal to ours; but we respect them, such as they are.)  That we are able to see the world through other people’s eyes and stand in their shoes (Which is was I did when I lied to Lt. Col. Victor J. Fehrenbach's face, telling him that I would end DADT and that his military career wouldn't end.)  – that we never lose sight of what binds us together.  (Our 2500-year-old Judeo-Christian homophobia.  Bishop Gene Robinson and others like him don't count.)
     As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal (But no joint federal tax filing for you.)  and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness  (Unless the majority votes yours away.); to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves (Like my parents who were an interracial couple that couldn't be married because a religious majority thought it was a sin.). That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. That’s what America is all about. And every day, it gets better.  (Except for on Wednesday and a week ago Tuesday, when my administration fought to preserve discrimination rather than decry it.)
     I think I can truly say, with all seriousness, that the hope I had in Candidate Obama, who was the first major presidential candidate that I ever heard include "straight and gay" in a line of adjectives describing the various parts of our nation of equals, has been killed by President Obama.  

     I appreciate him speaking out against the bullying of any child, but he is blind to the reality that his recent political actions have struck a major blow to the progress of civil rights.  Children see this.  They see his actions.  They hear the news.  They hear the homophobic political commercials and sermons.  They need a president who will act on his words to end all discrimination against same-sex couples and homosexual soldiers.

     President Obama's video should be titled "It Get's Better (But Not on My Watch)."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns' Impassioned Speech on LGBT-Bullying-Related Teen Suicides

     Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns spoke last night about the recent string of LGBT-bullying related suicides.  He makes an impassioned plea to children considering suicide to not give up on life and then to parents and adults to make a difference and end the hate and the bullying.

     His impassioned speech is worth watching in whole.  (It brought me to tears.)  

     Just hold on. It really does get better.
     That's the message Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns shared in an emotional speech during Tuesday night's council meeting, saying his goal was to reach out to youths everywhere who are struggling with being gay.
     During a moving speech, Burns said it tears him up each time he hears about youths taking their own lives somewhere in America after being bullied because of their sexuality or simply struggling with it.
     Burns, who is gay, said he'd like to give his 13-year-old self -- who also struggled with being gay -- glimpses into the future.
     His younger version would see him meeting his partner, being loved by his parents, winning a City Council election, Burns said.
     "High school was difficult, coming out was painful," he said. "I want to tell any teen who is watching this, life will get better. ... Life will get so, so, so much better."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Study Reveals that 60% of Chicago Parishes Once Housed Pedophile Priests

     This sort of undermines the argument that sexual abuse by a small percentage of Catholic priests doesn't really impact that many Catholics.
     A new study conducted by three local advocacy groups paints a devastating picture of abuse by priests and other clergy within Chicago--showing that more than half of the Chicago Archdiocese's Catholic parishes have employed priests accused of sexual abuse.
     Reform groups Voice of the Faithful, African American Advocates for Victims of Clergy and Sexual Abuse and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) spent five years combing through data for the report--and they believe the number of unreported cases of abuse could make that percentage even larger.
     "Almost 60% of the parishes have had a publicly accused predator," SNAP founder and President Barbara Blaine said in a statement. "But the key word is 'publicly accused.' History, psychology and common sense tell us there are dozens and dozens of other offending nuns, seminarians, brothers, priests, bishops and lay employees who have molested or are molesting kids now whose identities are not known. And both groups of child molesters - known and unknown - have been at or worked at the 40% of the Chicago parishes that don't seem to have been affected."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Tragic LGBT-Bullying Related Suicide: Zach Harrington, 19, of Norman

     There has been another tragic suicide of a teenager, who was bullied for being gay.  Zach Harrington killed himself a week after witnessing a "toxic" city council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, where "concerned citizens" gathered en masse to hurl their hatred and homophobia, decrying LGBT persons as deviant, sinful, damned, etc. etc. etc.

     Here are some links to the story:

     The Norman Transcript: local new report of Zach's death and the fall-out of the council meeting.

     Qweerty: this post contains the video and partial transcript of the "toxic" council meeting.

     Zach's memorial page

     Rest in peace, Zach.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No Target, No Walmart: Where's a Gay to Shop?


     Now Walmart is selling an anti-gay children's book.  Where's a gay to discount shop?

     A children’s book written by the wife of anti-gay Standard of Liberty president Stephen Graham is being carried by over 100 Walmart stores. Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today’s Stampeding Sexuality by Janice Barrett Graham was written to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity, and the God-given sexual appetite,” according to Janice Graham in the book’s introduction.