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



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

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. 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Dan Savage on Sex, Religion, Bullying & His Catholic Seminary Experience

     If you don't have time for the whole interview, the first four minutes covers Savage's Catholic seminary experience, his moving beyond the beliefs and shame of that faith, and an incredibly honest priest (there are some) that surprised him when he came out.  Also, around minute twenty the conversation again turns to religion, including biblical violence against homosexuals.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stop Female Genital Cutting

     People commit numerous atrocities in the names of their gods.  One of the worst is the circumcision/mutilation of children and infants' genitals.  
     Here's a report and plea for help from Change.org:
Across parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the following scene is replayed over and over: A girl, often between 4 and 12 years old, is held down by three or four women while all or part of her external and internal genitalia is cut off.  
Complications from this brutal procedure can include severe hemorrhaging, infection, long-term difficulties with intercourse and childbirth, and even death.
Female genital cutting (FGC) reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
Urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to do all she can to encourage the governments of the countries where this practice takes place to put a stop to it.
More than 100 million women and girls worldwide are affected by different forms of cutting. Infibulation is the most severe form, where some or all of the external genitalia are cut, leaving only a very small opening for urination and menstruation.
The practice of female genital cutting is hard to talk about. But ignoring it only guarantees more suffering, and leadership from the United States would go a long way in urging the countries where FGC occurs to end this human rights abuse.
Nearly three million young girls are at risk of female genital cutting this year alone. Please take action and help save these girls from a lifetime of pain and suffering.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Catholic Lesbian Mothers of Preschooler Expelled by Archdiocese of Denver Respond

     After a child was kicked out of preschool at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Boulder, Colorado, because her parents are lesbians in a committed relationship, everyone from a woman raised by same sex parents whose children attend Sacred Heart to Bill O'Reilly condemned the Archdiocese of Denver's ousting of the student.  Now the parents of the exspelled preschooler are speacking out and they're defending their faith in spite of their church's discrimination.
Archbishop Chaput via Catholic Fire
     CNN reports:
     In a written statement, the women, who chose not to reveal their identities, described themselves as normal, hard-working people with a nice house and a dog - and as Catholics.
     "When we were allowed to have our children baptized ... we made a promise  to raise our children in the Catholic faith," they said. "We now feel like our attempts at fulfilling this promise are being undermined by the Church itself.  Perhaps our biggest objection to the school's decision is that we think that it is wrong to punish a child for who the child's parents are. We do not think that this reflects what Jesus would have done."
     The church has undermined many a promise, when it comes to the betterment of its children.  I think it's great that the student's mothers are putting up a fight , but how sad it is that they are fighting for a church that doesn't want them, or their child, as they are.

Archy Chaput via TLDM
     Here's the Archbishop of Denver's response to the situation:
     "The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are 'bad,' or that their children are less loved by God," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote in an article published in the Denver Catholic Register.  "Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman."
     Again, I have to ask, does this mean that the children of divorced parents, parents married outside the Catholic Church, parents that cheat, parents that swing, parents that masturbate, parents that use artificial contraception, and parents that had sex before they were married will also be expelled from the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Denver?  Archbishop Chaput you are a bigot and a hypocrite.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ex-Gay Christian Adam Hood Condemns Homosexuality while Wearing a Gold Ascot, What Is There to be Learned from This?

     Adam Hood, of the fundamentalist Christian group Recycle Your Faith, is the star of a recent set of videos about homosexuality being "one of the worst forms of depravity."  Hood is a self-proclaimed ex-gay, who was saved by Jesus and made straight by what he calls a miracle.  

     He delivers his message adorned in a gold ascot.
Image via Towleroad
     The first begins with the quote:
     A recent study shows that 92% of non-Christians ages 16-29 associate Christianity with being "anti-homosexual."
     Hood begins by saying that 100% of "outsiders" should view Christianity as anti-homosexual, because his bible is "so clear."  He speaks with pleasure and pride about how anti-gay his understanding of his god and his bible is.  

     Later, he goes into the typical "sin isn't right just because it feels good" Christian moralizing.  What he forgets is that according to Christian morals and scripture pride, judgment of others, and self-righteousness feel good, too, but indulging in these sins, while in a video wearing a gold ascot, is apparently okay.

     Here is an example of some of Hood's reasoning:
     [Homosexuality]'s a sin that God [sic] will damn.  If they stay in that sin, they will be damned to hell and rightly so, because they need to be quarantined because they will continue in their rebellion and try to bring that gangrene into heaven. God's [sic] not having it, okay?
     This type of thought in certain religious people and their religious institutions is the basis for all the anti-gay laws in the world.  If their gods will quarantine gays by dropping them into hell, then building their god's kingdom involves quarantining/segregating/burning gays here on earth.

     Hood also blames homosexuality on boys having been fatherless or sexually abused by a man, which are both myths.  There are plenty of homosexuals, who had loving fathers and/or were never sexually abused.  It sounds like he's going to one of my old Catholic counselors.  Also, very Catholic are his self-projected conclusions about what is natural and unnatural.

     Hood continues in a second video telling the story of his drug addiction, affinity for fame and wearing costumes, and his involvement in witchcraft, all of which took place while he was gay.  

     His conversion came when a homeless man read his mind and exposed his worries about going to hell.  This triggered a mental breakdown, during which orderlies were tying Hood down.  In that moment, he prayed and found peace in Jesus.  He was checked into a psych ward, where he believed that a possessed man in the next room was going to tear him apart.  When Hood "whispered" Jesus' name, the possessed man went mad.  Then, Hood became a "hardcore, on fire Christian" stating, "I mean martyr me for Jesus" Christian.  

     Hood admits that he had been on every drug you can imagine.  He never mentions detox and his mental breakdown as possible reasons for the mind reading power of the homeless and for possessed patients trying to silence his prayers.  No, it's all because he was gay.

     Hood then talks about the "miracle" of his god giving him "natural affection" for a woman.  Notice that he doesn't say "sexual attraction."  He talks about his first orgasm in his wife on their wedding night, how he screamed Jesus' name.  He talks about how much he loves women, loves his wife's body, and loves women physically.  But, he never says that he loves them sexually.  

Kate Winlet via WHYfame?
     I remember speaking like this, back in high school, college, and seminary, while trying to pass as straight.  As long as I talked about how much I appreciated the physical beauty of women's bodies, how much I verbalized that Kate Winslet was gorgeous, and how much I loved my numerous female friends, then I wasn't gay.  It didn't matter that, when it came to sex, I wanted men.

     Here is Hood's description of being part of the "gay community" and how it felt:     
     Probably at the lowest pit of my drug run, I ended up in the gay community in San Francisco, and, um, was a pretty well known club celebrity in the city, um, here in the city, and, um, dressed up everyday in the most extravagant wow costumes.  I felt like it was family.  You know, the gay community offered you celebrity.  It offered you affirmation, even men would pay attention to me.  Well, growing up my dad wasn't at home, I didn't have that.  But I didn't understand these things while I was in it.  I thought it was the rightest thing for me to be doing.  I thought that was who I was, and it was even righteous and holy.  I really did.
     This sounds just like my experience of seminary and priesthood, which promised me family/brotherhood, made me a parochial celebrity, inundated me with affirmation and the attention of men that I called "Father," and allowed me to dress up in extravagant costumes.  I was surrounded by people that assured me what I was doing was righteous and holy and believed that it was the rightest thing.

     In many ways, I see myself in Mr. Hood.  We shared the same struggle of trying to reconcile our homosexuality and religion.  Where he went down the dark rabbit hole of drugs that exists in a certain circles of the gay population, I went down the rabbit hole of sexual abuse, power, and manipulation in certain circles of the Catholic priesthood.  

     Our experiences of these cultures were tainted with pain and scandal, but that doesn't mean that every member of these groups is depraved or abusive.  I make strong statements on this blog about the hypocrisies and hatred that religious persons espouse, but I also know that not all religious people share these odious beliefs.  Sadly, Mr. Hood is not one of those people.

Here are the videos.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good Christian Men's Quotes on Women

     Here's a Sunday School lesson on what some venerated Catholic saints and revered Protestant reformers had to say about women.
     What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman... I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.     -- Saint Augustine
     Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.     -- Saint Augustine 
     Woman was merely man's helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God.     -- Saint Augustine
     As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power.     -- Saint Thomas Aquinas
     Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. ... Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good.     -- St. Albertus Magnus
     Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.     --Clement of Alexandria,Church father, venerated as a Saint until the 17th century
     If [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth--that is why they are there.     -- Martin Luther
     Woman was made for only one reason, to serve and obey man.      -- John Knox
     Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.     -- John Wesley
     A wife should submit herself to the leadership of her husband. Leadership in the church should always be male.     -- Southern Baptist Convention (2000)

Here are a few extra saintly quotes, concerning slavery and heretics.

On Dealing with Heretics
     It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word.     -- Saint Augustine, Treatise on the Correction of the Donatists,
     The Donatists were deemed heretics because they questioned the sacramental efficacy of corrupt priests.  In today's context, the Donatists would be asking the following: "Is a priest, who is a serial rapist and abuser of children or a bishop that enables abuse, really able to stand in the person of Jesus at the Mass and confer god's grace?"  Sounds like a reasonable inquiry considering the amount of harm some priests and bishops have done.
     If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy    -- Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
     Slavery is not penal in character and planned by that law which commands the preservation of the natural order and forbids disturbance.     -- Saint Augustine
On Astronomy and the "Virgin" Birth
     To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.     -- Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, Trial of Galileo, 1615

Sources:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proposition 8 Proponents' Attorney Argued Same Sex Marriages Will End Society

     The closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger were heard by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker yesterday.  The ruling will come later this summer.
Charles Cooper (via LGBT POV)
     The Los Angeles Times reports (My comments are interspersed.):
     Charles Cooper, attorney for proponents of the measure, told Walker that the “marital relationship is fundamental to the existence and survival of the race. Without the marital relationship, society would come to an end.”
     Because gays will destroy society?  Where have we heard that one before.  Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell, Rick Warren, Martin SsempaJim DeMint, Mike Huckabee, the American Family Association, the Vatican, the U.S. military, etc. etc.  Just last week in Ghana, an anti-gay protest of 3,000 marched in the streets claiming that the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah would befall their nation if they didn't outlaw homosexuality, the protest's leaders claiming that gays wear diapers.  

     As if heterosexual Christians aren't doing enough to destroy the institution of marriage themselves.  Yes, scapegoat the queers.  That's an original and time-tested strategy.

     But wait a minute, if the purpose of marriage is to ensure procreation, then how did human beings evolve, exist, and procreate long before the patriarchal version of the institution of marriage was created?  Every other species on earth procreates successfully without the "marital relationship."  Cooper's argument is completely flawed.  The human race survived and thrived long before marriage, and if Cooper's doomsgay prophesy manifests, the human race will continue to procreate.
         That relationship, he [Cooper] said, is between a man and a woman and its main focus is procreation and “channeling” the sexual behavior of heterosexuals into “stable, marital unions.”
     Once again, I have to ask, does this mean that divorce should be made illegal?  Define "stable."  Should we pass laws defining a stable marriage and only allow heterosexual couples in so-called "stable, marital unions" to have sex and procreate?

Judge Vaughn Walker (via SFGate)
     Walker continually pressed the sometimes flustered Cooper on just what marriage means and why the state should care about it. Why does the state regulate marriage, he asked. Do people get married to benefit the community? Why doesn’t the state just consider it a private contract?
     Walker: “Why is it that marriage has such a large public role? What is the purpose?”
     Cooper: “This relationship is crucial to the public interest.… Procreative sexual relations both are an enormous benefit to society and represent a very real threat to society’s interest.”
     Walker: “Threat?"
     Cooper: “If children are born into the world without this stable, marital union … both of the parents that brought them into the world, then a host of very important, very negative social implications arise.... The purpose of marriage is to provide society’s approval to that sexual relationship and to the actual production of children.”
     If the purpose of marriage is to "provide society's approval to that sexual relationship and the actual production of children," then society is doing a shitty job by permitting so many children to be born into families of pedophiles, rapists, drug addicts, embezzlers, child-beaters, religious fanatics, mentally abusive, neglecting, self-centered, overbearing, disordered, cheating, lying, etc. etc. parents.  Where are all the laws that define and monitor marriage stability, determining whether a couple can conceive?  On what planet does Cooper live?

      Those who adopt go through rigorous screening processes before being allowed to become parents.  Olson presented evidence of studies showing that adoptive parents are more likely to provide a stable, nurturing household than your average married couple. Perhaps we need to take the babies born to those deemed "unstable" by Cooper's standards and put them all up for adoption.  That's it.  Stable same sex couples may actually save the human race by adopting and raising the children of abusive, unqualified, and unstable heterosexuals, who don't live up to Cooper's standards.

     And what of our soldiers that die in action?  Should their children be taken from their single mothers and placed in "stable" homes that have one mommy and one daddy?  Where does it end, Cooper?
Ted Olson (via Advocate)
     Cooper took Theodore Olson, attorney for the gay and lesbian couples who filed suit against Proposition 8, to task for claiming that Californians could support the ban on same-sex marriage only “through irrational or dark motive, some animus, some kind of bigotry.”
     People's religious beliefs don't excuse their actions, especially in a country where there is freedom of and from religion. Voting to take away the rights of a group, who holds different religious beliefs, is unconstitutional. 

     As for the dark motive, animus and bigotry, were not an endless barrage of commercials financed by religious groups channeled into my living room in 2008 purporting scientifically disproved myths and stereotypes of homosexuals as deviants, who were trying to prey on children in the school systems?  If that's not animus and bigotry, what is?
     Olson’s viewpoint, Cooper said, “denies the good faith of Congress, of state legislature after state legislature and electorate after electorate.”  To which Walker responded: “If you have 7 million Californians, 70 judges and this long history, why in this case did you present but one witness? ... You had a lot to choose from. One witness, and it was fair to say his testimony was equivocal.”
      Equivocal:  equiv-o-cal,  \i-ˈkwi-və-kəl\  According to Merriam-Webster, this is the definition of equivocal:

a: subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse [an equivocal statement]  b: uncertain as an indication or sign [equivocal evidence]
     Ouch.

     To download the full transcript click here.  My favorite moment came when during Cooper's argument, he sounded flustered and stated something like, "I'm losing my voice."

     We could only be so lucky.
  
Here is Kate Kendell's optimistic response after witnessing the closing arguments.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pope Benedict Refused to Defrock Illinois Priest Convicted of Raping Boys

     What do you do with a Catholic priest, who is convicted in civil courts for raping children, serves a jail sentence, is released, but then refuses his bishop's demand to ask to be defrocked? Well, if you were Pope Benedict Ratzinger, working under Pope John Paul II in 1989, you sided with the child rapist, refusing the bishop's pleas for a defrocking.

     Yet another case of the Pope Benedict's failure to take action against a convicted child rapist has come to light.  The Associated Press has unearthed the case of Father Alvin Campbell of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, who lured boys into his priestly water-bed and raped them.  

     In 1989, then-Ratzinger refused Bishop Daniel Ryan's request to defrock the convicted child rapist, because canon law favored the rapist (Imagine that.), who refused to ask for laicization.  You know, because that corrupt civil system must have been wrong, and years and years of a church trial, in which victims needed to manhandled and bullied, was necessary to find out the real truth that would set Fr. Campbell free.

     Documents obtained by The Associated Press from court filings in the case of the late Rev. Alvin Campbell of Illinois show Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, following church law at the time, turned down a bishop's plea to remove the priest for no other reason than the abuser's refusal to go along with it. "The petition in question cannot be admitted in as much as it lacks the request of Father Campbell himself," Ratzinger wrote in a July 3, 1989, letter to Bishop Daniel Ryan of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.
     Campbell's misdeeds date back at least 15 years before his defrocking.  As an Army chaplain, he was reprimanded and ultimately left the service after abusing at least one boy, according to military and church correspondence. An Army letter in his file said he had exploited his rank and position as a chaplain "by engaging in indecent homosexual acts" with a child under 16 who had been under his supervision.
     Even so, Bishop Joseph McNicholas, then at the helm of the Springfield diocese, wrote to him, "Be assured that we will welcome you with open arms here at home." While church officials overseeing clergy in the military were alerted of Campbell's actions, and reference is made to the molestations in Ryan's letter to Ratzinger, it's not clear whether McNicholas knew.
     Campbell became a pastor upon his return to the diocese. In at least three instances after returning to diocesan work, he was forced to depart jobs as parish pastor or administrator "for reasons of health," a euphemism for sexual abuse used within the church that Ryan himself put in quotes. 
     After workers at a rape crisis center alerted authorities that they were treating one of Campbell's victims, police found he had been plying boys with video games, bicycles, watches and other gifts to get them to the waterbed in his second-floor rectory bedroom. Ryan sent Campbell to a New Mexico treatment facility after the arrest.
     Campbell was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 1985, after admitting to molesting seven boys during his time as pastor of St. Maurice Parish in Morrisonville, Ill. He was released in 1992 after serving about seven years for sexual assault and sexual abuse.
     Ryan apparently waited four years after Campbell went to prison, according to church files, before asking for the priest's defrocking. It's unclear what accounted for the delay...Ratzinger refused, citing Vatican policy, and told the bishop to proceed with a church tribunal.
     As for retired Bishop Ryan:
     Sass said Ryan, who lives in a nursing home outside the diocese, was unable to respond to questions. He retired in 1999 under a cloud of accusations of sexual relationships with male prostitutes [one of whom was a 15-year-old] and at least one priest; his successor found that he had engaged in "improper sexual conduct," allegations Ryan denied.
     To put it all in perspective, in 1895, when Father Campbell was getting out of prison, Bishop Ryan was paying a 15-year-old for sex.

      The reality is that there's sexual dirt on nearly every priest (the asexual ones are the only true celibates).  


     As long as the church continues to force its priests and religious into the unnatural state of celibate chastity, priests and religious will continue to masturbate, to have periodic or regular sex with people, and will remain stunted by guilt, shame, and compartmentalization, thus paralyzed from sexual and relational maturation.  

     This lack of maturity combined with sexual attraction, combined with a high stress job and combined with the lack of incarnate intimacy in a priest's life puts the vulnerable adults and children, who come to that priest for loving guidance and acceptance, in an extremely dangerous position.

     A celibate priest is a sexual time bomb, at some point, he will explode.  The question is: who's going to be on the receiving end of his shrapnel?

     Back to Pope Ratzinger's failure to act in the case of Fr. Campbell: 
     David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said that in Campbell's case "and hundreds like it, Ratzinger chose to put concerns about dangerous pedophiles and the church's reputation above concerns about children's safety."
     No shit.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mark Souder's Interviewed about Abstinence Only Education by his Mistress Tracy Jackson, a Duet of Hypocrisy

     Representative Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, who supports traditional values, like abstinence and traditional marriage, is falling hard.  He was caught in adultery with his part-time staffer, Tracy Jackson.  Lied about it, by saying he was missing votes in Washington, because he was at home caring for his sick wife.  What a great husband!  Right?

     Get this.  A few months ago, Souder made a video, in which he's interviewed about the traditional values that he supports, such as abstinence education, by Ms. Jackson, whom he was staffing at the time.  How's that for hypcrisy?

     TPM reports:
     Dubbed "Congressional Update with Congressman Mark Souder," the show hit on issues like intelligent design and fencing the border.  In the November 2009 abstinence video, Jackson introduces Souder this way: "You've been a longtime advocate for abstinence education and in 2006 you had your staff conduct a report entitled 'Abstinence and its Critics' which discredits many claims purveyed by those who oppose abstinence education."
     My favorite part is when Souder and Jackson talk about condoms.  You can sense the sexual tension between them.  The forbidden fruit of out-of-wedlock sex with god-forbidden artificial contraception was just too much to handle.

     At one point Souder goes off on the Democrats and critics of abstinence-only education saying "They blamed abstinence programs that they didn't have any experience in..."  Apparently, he didn't have any experience in abstinence either.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, Traditional Marriage Proponent, Resigns Amid Sex with Staffer Scandal

     Representative Mark Souder, a Republican Protestant from Indiana and supporter of traditional marriage, who on his website claims to be "committed to fighting the assault on American values," just got caught with his dick in a staffer.  Adultery, anyone?

     TPM reports:
     Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), a champion of abstinence education and traditional family values, will resign effective Friday after an affair with a female staffer in his district office, he announced today.
     He said in a statement that he "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff." And he blamed the atmosphere in Washington for forcing him to make the move:
     "In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."  The eight-term Indiana congressman is, of course, a vocal proponent of traditional family values. He has been married since 1974 and has three grown children.
     You know that poisonous media environment in Washington that he's attacking?  It was FOX News that broke the story.

     Not only did Souder "sin" by committing adultery, but he lied for months during his current primary bid about the affair.  Is he going to apologize for lying, too?

     Elected as a family values conservative as part of the Republican revolution in 1994, Souder survived a tough re-election challenge in 2008 and survived a contested primary two weeks ago.
     All the way through his election, Souder tried to knock down the affair story, calling it revenge politics at play. But the backroom chatter in Indiana and among the GOP on Capitol Hill became too much to survive. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was informed as late as Monday night that Souder would give up his post.
     Souder, 59, was absent from Washington most of last week, missing multiple votes and voting only on Thursday. While the rumors had been flying, Souder claimed that he was at home tending to his ill wife.
     In his statement, he added that by stepping down, his "mistake cannot be used as a political football" to undermine the causes he supports.
     Sorry, buddy, but you sticking your dick in a staffer and covering it by using your wife by saying that she's ill and your nursing her, while telling me that I'm immoral and can't have equal rights with partner of two and a half years, screams kickoff

     You are a hypocrite and a liar. You think you have the authority to tell other people what is right and wrong, but you can't follow your own measly ten commandments.  Enjoy retirement.

     I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation. The family plays a fundamental role in our society. Studies consistently demonstrate that it is best for a child to have a mother and father, and I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman.
     Traditional marriage equals the union of one man, his supposedly ill wife, and his part-time staffer.  I'm sure your children feel that they are benefiting from this experience.

     Just in case you forgot what traditional marriage is, here's a quick lesson from Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Catholic Priests Raping Nuns and Procuring Abortions for their Unwanted Offspring in Africa, Celibacy is Broken

     One wonders at the priorities of a man who failed to defrock a priest in Wisconsin who molested hundreds of children but acted so decisively in the case of one who married a consenting adult.

     In 1998, Sister Marie McDonald, a Roman Catholic nun, wrote her superiors about the situation facing women religious in the church.  Here are a few excerpts via the National Catholic Reporter:
The problem
1. Sexual harassment and even rape of sisters by priests and bishops is allegedly common. Sometimes, when a sister becomes pregnant, the priest insists that she have an abortion.  The sister is usually dismissed from her congregation while the priest is often only moved to another parish -- or sent for studies.
2. Many sisters become financially dependent upon priests who may ask for sexual favours in return.
3. Priests sometimes take advantage of spiritual direction and of the sacrament or Reconciliation to ask for sexual favours.
     McDonald goes on to state what she sees as causes of this phenomenon of abuse: celibacy/chasitity aren't cultural values, the inferior position of women in church and society, belief that nuns don't have HIV and are safe (also that sex with virgins cures AIDS), unjust salaries for nuns cause dependence on priests, nuns sent to Rome for studies has to exchange sexual favors with priests to find housing abroad, and the "conspiracy of silence" surrounding the issue.

     Not much has changed in the past twelve years, since McDonald put a voice to the abuse of women religious in the Catholic Church, as the Newsweek article indicates:
     According to the National Catholic Reporter, which made McDonald's memo public in 2001, Vatican officials did take steps to rectify the problem, but publicly, their stance was chillingly familiar. "The problem is known and is restricted to a limited geographical area," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Vatican spokesman at the time. This is an isolated incident, in other words; we've got it under control.
     Even as new cases of child sexual abuse by clergy emerge each day in Europe and the United States, abuse in the regions where Catholicism is growing fastest—Latin America, Asia, and, especially, Africa—are still largely ignored. In the West, the focus has been on the violation of minors, and on the role of celibacy in engendering this problem. In Africa, the problem is somewhat more complex. Though many good priests do adhere to their chastity vows, says the Rev. Peter Schineller, a Jesuit priest who has spent 20 years in Africa, sex between consenting or semi-consenting adults is commonplace. Transgression against chastity vows by priests run the gamut from harassment all the way to fathering children; it's not criminal necessarily, but it's certainly against doctrine. "The violations are huge," says Schineller. As the Roman Catholic hierarchy continues to crow over its success and vitality in the global south—the growth rate in Africa and Asia has been about 3 percent a year, twice the rate worldwide—the African church may put mandatory clerical celibacy to its harshest test yet.
     Sexual coercion is just part of the story. The 2001 investigation by the National Catholic Reporter uncovered three separate reports of sexual abuse of religious sisters by priests. The story described priests raping religious sisters and then paying for their abortions; sisters fearing to travel in cars with priests for fear of rape; sisters appealing to bishops for help only to be told to go away. "Even when they are listened to sympathetically," wrote McDonald, "nothing seems to be done."  (Click here for the rest of the article.)
     The Catholic Church's system of celibacy is broken, bleeding from its self-imposed sexual wounds.  Perhaps it's time to let this medieval system bleed out.

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.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

George Alan Rekers, Top Anti-Gay & Christian Activist, Goes Down in Gay "Escort" Scandal

    George Alan Rekers, Baptist minister, who is an anti-gay "scholar," NARTH board member, and founding member of the hate group, the Family Research Council, was caught in Miami returning from a ten day trip to Europe with a gay call-boy.  Welcome to the world of Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, and Roy Ashburn, good Christian George.

     (NARTH=National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.  So, maybe Rekers was just "researching" his online rental.)

     The pictures on the Rentboy.com profile show a shirtless young man with delicate features, guileless eyes, and sun-kissed, hairless skin. The profile touts his "smooth, sweet, tight ass" and "perfectly built 8 inch cock (uncut)" and explains he is "sensual," "wild," and "up for anything" — as long you ask first. And as long as you pay.
     On April 13, the "rent boy" (whom we'll call Lucien) arrived at Miami International Airport on Iberian Airlines Flight 6123, after a ten-day, fully subsidized trip to Europe. He was soon followed out of customs by an old man with an atavistic mustache and a desperate blond comb-over, pushing an overburdened baggage cart.
     That man was George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — the callboy's client and, as it happens, one of America's most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.
     Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. "I had surgery," Rekers said, "and I can't lift luggage. That's why I hired him." (Medical problems didn't stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)
     Yet Rekers wouldn't deny he met his slender, blond escort at Rentboy.com...Lucien confirmed it.
     Rekers has been one of the leading ex-gay therapy voices of the past three decades.  He works closely with James Dobson, who is known for his homophobia and Gospel According to Hate.  Rekers has been outspoken in opposition to gay rights and with such vehemence that now has been explained.  

     Rekers is a disjointed, closeted, and shame-filled gay himself.  It gets very difficult condemning yourself continuously throughout the decades.  Sadly, this kind of shame produces compartmentalization, denial, and loathing that leads to very dangerous and sometimes criminal behavior. (See the Catholic Church for examples.)

     The Miami News Times dug deeper and found what could possibly be a criminal scandal buried in the Rekers debacle:
     As a favor to Rekers, Lucien recently removed any wanton sexual descriptors from his Rentboy profile. Though he does admit Rekers "likes younger guys to hang out with," Lucien is protective of his erstwhile client. He describes Rekers primarily as a family man — one whose passion for oppressing homosexuals is dwarfed by his desire to help children. "You don't understand how much this guy honestly cares about taking care of kids," he says.
     Indeed, much of Rekers's activism over the past three decades — beginning with his 1983 book, Shaping Your Child's Sexual Identity — has been devoted to improving children's lives by educating them, protecting them from their own budding sexualities, and keeping them safe from gay adoptions — as he did by testifying as an expert witness in favor of gay adoption bans in both Arkansas and Florida.
     Well, it's a good thing Rekers isn't gay himself. Lucien tells us that Rekers frequently takes in foster children and that four years ago he adopted a 16-year-old boy. We found the boy, who is now Lucien's age, on Facebook. He declined to be interviewed.
     The priests, scout masters, and doctors who sexually abuse are always the ones who groom their communities to believe that they have such passion for helping kids.  Who knows what Rekers' does in his closets, but all the hints are there.
Image Credits:


Rekers by Towleroad

Rekers and Lucien by New York Daily News