Showing posts with label Child Sex Trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Child Sex Trade. Show all posts

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.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI Blasts Italian Premier for Having Sex with 17-Year-Old Prostitute

     You've got to read this hypocrisy to believe it.  Or you could just have faith in the Pharisaism of the Unholy Father.

     Premier Silvio Berlusconi came under mounting criticism Friday from the Catholic Church over his dalliances with young women, with the pope saying public officials must set good moral examples and Italian bishops planning to discuss the sex scandal.  Pope Benedict XVI didn't mention the scandal or Berlusconi by name. But during an audience with Rome's police chief and police officers, he said public officials must "rediscover their spiritual and moral roots."  "The singular vocation that the city of Rome requires today of you, who are public officials, is to offer a good example of the positive and useful interaction between a healthy lay status and the Christian faith," Benedict said, echoing more direct comments about the scandal a day earlier by his No. 2.
     Prosecutors have placed Berlusconi and three associates under investigation, alleging he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl nicknamed Ruby and used his office to cover it up. Prosecutors have said Berlusconi had sex with several prostitutes during parties at his Milan estate.
     Why a premier would need to pay for sex and with a seventeen-year-old girl is scandalous.  That said, the age of consent in Italy is fourteen (frighteningly low, by U.S. standards).  The age of consent rises to sixteen if the elder party is in a position of power over the minor (parent, teacher, priest--I'm not sure if premier is included, but it would make sense.).  However, the fact that Berlusconi used his office's power to cover it up is reprehensible and deserving of investigation and punishment if laws were broken.  But...

     When it comes to morally shaming the premier is Pope Benedict, who covered-up for priest-pedophiles and dragged his ruby slippers for years rather than remove the child molesters from positions of power, thus enabling them to rape and abuse uncounted children under their nations' various ages of consent, really the best moral judge?   Benedict's own Vatican was exposed for a prostitution sex scandal less than a year ago.   Of course, since they were renting out little boys, it was okay.

     Perhaps the true scandal is that that the media and Catholics throughout the world continue to give Pope Ben's words moral credence. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pedophile Ring Tried and Convicted in Portugal

     Needy children were supposed to receive help from this Portuguese institution.  Instead they were raped at sex parties, attended by a retired ambassador, famous television anchor, and others.  

     Six people were convicted of child sexual abuse in a Lisbon court on Friday, in a trial that lasted nearly six years and shocked people in Portugal and beyond.
     A three-judge panel found the defendants guilty of raping and sexually abusing minors at a state-run institution for needy children, and of running a ring for pedophiles. A seventh defendant, charged with allowing her home to be used for sexual abuse, was acquitted.
     The charges involved the rape and sexual abuse of 32 children who were residents of the home in Lisbon, part of a network of institutions for children called Casa Pia. The crimes took place in the 1990s, but they first came to light in 2002, when a former resident accused Carlos Silvino, a former driver and gardener at the home, of raping him.
     The accusation prompted others to come forward to say that they, too, had been raped and sexually abused. The allegations included accounts of sex parties attended by prominent personalities. The defendants included Carlos Cruz, a former star television anchor, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, and Jorge Ritto, a retired ambassador, who received a sentence of six years and eight months

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Interview with a Survivor of Sexual Abuse Perpetrated by a Catholic Priest

     Here are some highlights from a Huffington Post interview of one of the first victims of child sexual abuse by priests to come forward nearly a decade ago, suing the Roman Catholic Church.  Titled "The Man Who Brought Down the Catholic Church," the interview delves into the perspective and experience of abuse-survivor "Princess" and provides a window into the church's hypocrisy and lies from the perspective of one, who was deeply damaged by the church.

     On the explosion of sexual exploitation on all levels -- pornography, prostitution, etc. -- and the hypocrisy of the Marriott-owning Mormons.
     Yeah, the media always uses sexuality to sell products, and the one thing in this country no one wants to talk about is that children are sexual beings. People are very uncomfortable with that and would prefer to ignore that reality. Still, companies, mainstream companies, have long used children by exploiting them sexually. Think of Brooke Shields' ad ["Nothing comes between me and my Calvins."]. She was what, 14 in that ad? That was very controversial in 1979, '80. I think it's not new, but yeah, people don't look at how come when you check into any Marriott Hotel, you can see all this porn, and yet they're Mormons. They're very conservative, but they're making money in porn. Most hotel chains do that. No one wants to really address it. They want it to go away, they want to sweep it under the rug.
     On the Catholic Church's contrition and continuing lies:
     But I mean, the Catholic Church continues to this day to lie about what they know and what they allowed. These press releases the Vatican has been handing out the last couple of months just shows them all to be bigger liars than ever.  But I mean, if you think about it, priests, the Catholic Church, they're not supposed to be having sex, and yet they're giving advice about experiences they're not supposed to know about. Which sort of makes no sense.  I don't believe for a minute that they're sincere or sorry that these crimes have been committed, and continue to be committed. I mean, they had seven hospitals in the United States built in the 1960s housing pedophile priests. And yet in 2002, and up to today, they claim that they didn't know the extent of the problem.
     On the public's perception and/or indifference to sexual abuse:
     I don't think that people, in general, realize the long-term effects that it has on people. I think some people think just, okay, that happened 20, 40 years ago. Buck up, things happen. Be a man, or be a woman. I think one of the reasons they have that reaction is society. Nobody wants to talk about it, because most people know someone who's been sexually abused, and a lot know someone in their family, or whatever, that has sexually abused someone
     I don't think they understand it completely, the general public. I think a lot of people want it to go away because it's ugly. They don't want to look at it or hear about it, and I don't think they want to -- I don't think a lot of people want to be educated about the subject matter, just because it's so distasteful. People don't want to hear about children being raped and how that impacts lives down the road. And it's scary, and it could be their children. I know it's one of the reasons they should hear about it, but I think it's one of the reasons that makes them uncomfortable.
     For the entire interview, click here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Let's Call Father a Rapist, a Reflection on Sexual Abuse Headlines

     Why is it that when an adult forces another adult to have sex against his/her will we rightfully call it rape, but when an adult forces an underage teen or child to have sex, we call it sexual abuse?  

     For decades the news media has been trying to avoid "scandal" by watering down the language used to describe sexual crimes committed against children.  In doing so, the media has played into the passive veneration of religious figures.    For a reporter's take on this phenomenon, listen to the Freedom from Religion Foundation's interview of journalist William Lobdell.

     It's time to start calling these heinous acts what they are: rape, sexual assault, sexual violence, oral rape, vaginal rape, anal rape, impregnating a child with a child, conspiring within a pedophile ring of priests, scout masters, etc. to gang rape girls and boys.  By not doing so, we continue to deny the gravity of the crimes, favoring the perpetrators over the vicitms.

     Here's a recent example.

     Over the past few weeks, these two headlines made the Montreal Gazette"More legal woes for Quebec Catholic church" and "Que. priest facing more sex-related charges."

     The first of these headlines doesn't even mention the fact that the the poor Catholic church's "More legal woes" are the result of a serial rapist priest named, Father Raymond-Marie Lavoie, who has been accused by eleven victims, all his former students at Seminaire Sainte-Alphonse, in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.  In fact, five priests conspired to divide up the students, in order to beat them, rape them, and mentally berate them.  "More legal woes" for the poor church?  The story here is that a group of priests ran a pedophile ring out of one of their boarding schools and that the church is about to be sued in a class action lawsuit for harboring a pedophile ring.  Let's call it what it is!

     The second article refers to the eleven making the accusations in the previous article as "alleged young male victims," before later revealing that they were between 12 and 15.  Those are not "young male vicitms."  "Young male" makes me think of 18-22 year olds.  Rather, they are tweens, or boys, or pubescent children going through a confusing physical and emotional transition in their being that makes them vulnerable to sexual manipulation.  They were plotted against and deliberately manipulated by a pedophile ring of priests who then raped and tortured them mentally and physically.  

     Let's call it what it is.  Sexual abuse has become such a watered down term sounding more like a single groping rather than repeated rape.  There is no need to spare the Catholic church, the Boy Scouts, or whatever organization has been harboring these pedophiles, who trade children for sex.  Any leader in these organizations that has protected or deliberately blocked the removal of sexual predators, such as Pope Benedict XVI, is a co-conspirator in a pedophile ring.  

     The scandal is already present.  Let's not water it down, further enabling the denial that allowed these crimes to happen in the first place.

     A press release for a new book entitled i missed me after the terror, during the years of unbearable sorrow makes this same point and calls upon the adults of the world to do away with statute of limitations on sexual crimes perpetuated against children:
     According to a new oral and investigative journalism book addressed to Angela Merkel, Michele Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Alessandra Mussolini and Oprah Winfrey, parents, legislators, reporters and clergy are unaware cliches of "clergy child abuse" mask violent sexual assault of children, including rape, serial rape, gang rape, prostitution, pregnancy, kids giving birth, AIDS abortions, torture and murder. The book calls for an end to all civil, criminal, state and federal statutes of limitation for sexual assault of kids, tweens and teens.
     An expose and practical resource book, i missed me after the terror, during the years of unbearable sorrow: trafficking the holy Spirit, by Alan Allen (Trafford Publishing) provides documentation, interviews, testimony, church canon, healing resources, and a directory of clergy perps by state, country and diocese - to remove cliches to persuade reporters, the public, clergy and legislators to end all such statutes of limitation.
      Book Expose: 'DNA test suggests priest rapes and impregnates 11-year-old, priests gang rape another and nuns sexually assault kids, tweens and teens.'

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Italy, Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Vatican's Backyard

     The baldacchino is falling!  The baldacchino is falling! 

     Even in Italy, where Catholics have long bowed in silence to Holy dysfunctional Mother Church, the victims of rape by clergy are coming forward and demanding justice and accountability.

     The AP reports (My comments are interspersed):
     Victims of a Florence priest who was defrocked for sexually and psychologically abusing his young parishioners are now demanding that his bishops be held responsible for keeping his crimes quiet. The victims' appeal is the latest sign that clerical abuse in Italy, long so taboo that it was rarely spoken of much less acted on, is increasingly getting public attention and forcing the Vatican to confront the problem in its own backyard.
      Let's look at this another way: if you had a neighbor, who had a backyard full of rusted husks of vehicles, rotting trash piles, and waist-high weeds, would you believe this neighbor, if he/she claimed authority over the proper maintenance of backyards throughout the world?  But you'd trust a church who can't clean up after serial priest-rapists in its own backyard to tell the rest of the world how to handle sexual abuse.
     In a letter to the pope obtained Wednesday, 17 victims of Lelio Cantini said that his bishops — one in particular — should be forced from office for having allegedly tried to keep his crimes quiet. The case of the 87-year-old Don Cantini is one of the most explosive to have rocked the Italian Catholic Church. Victims who had stayed quiet for some 30 years emerged in 2004 to accuse him of creating a sect-like atmosphere in his Queen of Peace parish on the outskirts of Florence, where he allegedly subjected youngsters to sexual and psychological abuse.
     Initially, Florence's then-archbishop, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, moved Cantini to another parish for "health" reasons. But three years after the victims first went to the auxiliary bishop with complaints, Antonelli announced in 2007 that Cantini had been found guilty in a canonical trial of "sexual abuse against some girls from 1973-1987, false mysticism and control and domination of consciences," according to a diocesan statement.
     How many more girls did Father Cantini rape that were too psychologically damaged to come forward?  And, "domination of conscience"?  Isn't that what the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is all about?  Dominating the consciences of Catholics throughout the world, by prescribing the tenants of a well-formed conscience.  Pope Benedict and Cardinal Levada have been the last two heads of the CDF, and yes, they definitely are qualified to define the moral attributes of  Catholic consciences.
     No criminal charges were brought because the statute of limitations had expired. As his punishment, Cantini was forbidden from celebrating Mass in public and hearing confessions for five years, and was forced to recite a lengthy psalm every day and make a charitable offering, according to Antonelli's statement.
     Seriously, a lengthy psalm every day?  This is rape, over and over of helpless children, and a five year ban on public celebrations of Mass and reciting a lengthy psalm were Father Cantini's punishment?  Sounds like more of a penance than a punishment.  Say your prayers.  Say you're sorry.  God will forgive you, wash away your sins.  Go forth and sin no more, my holy priest.  

     This is how pedophile priests were handled for decades, maybe even centuries.  Then, consciences "well formed," they went on to rape more kids.
     In Verona, the bishop has been told by the Vatican to conduct a more thorough investigation into allegations that priests raped and molested dozens of deaf boys at a church-run institute.
     More deaf boys raped by priests?  The priests of Wisconsin and Verona do have something in common, after all.  They have been formed by a system to prey on vulnerable sinners, who need Father to gain access to god, forgiveness, and salvation.  If Father's sexual gratification gets in the way, no harm.  Jesus will forgive him, too.
     To date, no Italian bishop is known to have resigned for having shielded a pedophile priest.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The View Opens a Can of Whoopie Ass on Homophobic Bigot Mike Huckabee


     Why not continue to adopt the Christian way, like Christian World Adoptions.  They buy Ethiopian children from their parents and then sell them to Christian families in the U.S.A.  The children are told they are going on an exchange program, and don't realize until they get to the U.S.A. that the good Christians lied to them and never intended to return them to their families.  CWA made $5.2 million in 2008 trafficking Ethiopian children to the U.S.A.   (A video about this heinous hypocrisy is embedded at the bottom of this post.)

     The View's Whoopie Goldberg, Joy Behar, and even the more conservative Sherri Shepherd take Huckabee to task on his hypocrisy, Sherri telling him that as a Christian it's supposed to be about love, not hate. 



Watch CBS News Videos Online

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Pride for Gays of St. Petersburg

     The Christian leadership in St. Petersburg, Russia, is proudly waving their hatred and bigotry of gays.  In name of their Orthodox Christian god and their interpretation of the "Natural Law," a coalition of religious and nationalist groups has called for the the cancellation of St. Petersburg 2010 (gay) Pride festival.  Those calling for the god-inspired ban on free speech and freedom of expression include: Intellectuals of the Orthodox Church, Russian Imperial Movement, Movement For Faith and Fatherland, People's Cathedral, and the Imperial Russia Union.

     Here is the text of their hate letter, as reported by Gay Russia:
     “We are categorically against holding any public events, which in any way present a propaganda of sexual perversions.
     “Any parade is a demonstration - demonstration is a form of propaganda. As a result, a gay pride is a propaganda of homosexuality.
     “Love between a man and a woman exists only for one purpose – to give birth to a new life but gay pride is the propaganda of death
     "But why does no one remember that holding these actions grossly violates the right of the majority and is doubtful from the point of moral action?
     “After all, for the majority of our country and, in particular, for our city, homosexuality is an unacceptable deviation from the norm, a moral rejection and a disgust.
     “We are constantly told that democracy is the government of majority, but it turns out that the interests of the majority would be sacrificed to a handful of people with unnatural sexual orientation.”
     Here is a tragic fact that these gay-bashers have overlooked, when it comes to the downfall of St. Petersburg's morality.  St. Petersburg is one of the most popular sex tourism destinations for those seeking child sex slaves.  Knowing that, why are they rallying against a bunch of peaceful homosexuals and not against the people selling their precious children in the streets, alleys, and hotels of St. Petersburg?

     A 2007 article in the Japan Times by Cesar Chelala, M.D., reports [I added the bold for emphasis]:
     According to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Russia is now one of the main producers of pornography in the world, and registers a significant number of incidents related to child prostitution or child trafficking for sexual purposes.
     Although the real number is difficult to assess, experts believe that tens of thousands of children are involved in the production of pornographic materials in Russia today. These materials are frequently produced by small criminal groups, each fulfilling a specific task to keep the costs of production low compared to those of a regular startup business. The production and consumption of these materials are particularly pronounced in big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.
     According to experts, almost a quarter of the pornography on global Internet sites contains child pornography. Among these, almost 50 percent include child pornography from Russia. Nowadays, it is possible to buy videocassettes of child pornography at any railway station or in several stores in these cities.
     St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.
     It is really a travesty that the vindictive, wrathful, sadomasochistic, amegalomaniaciac "prophets" of the Old Testament god didn't have the sense for a commandment stating "Thou shalt honor thy children and protect them violence and abuse of all types, including sexual."  Instead, the Old Testament calls for the killing of cheeky children.  And Christians are surprised when people violencence to children?  Have they not read their own bible? 

     Of course, it's easier to ignore your child sex/porn trade and tourism and focus instead on the gays.  Shove them back into some dark, shameful closet, just like you do you do your teens.  You hypocrites!

But this is neither a demonstration npropagandanda?