POPE FRANCIS – LOOKING THE OTHER WAY

“THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS, AFTER THE CIRCLE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS, THE ENVIRONMENT THAT HAS THE HIGHEST PREVALENCE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE.                                                                           Inquiry into sexual abuse by French clergy.

Once again the Catholic church has lived up to its reputation for failing to protect the most vulnerable, refusing to report abusers and even knowingly placing children in contact with predators. France is reeling from the results of the report into child sexual abuse within the catholic church which revealed that 216,000 children were sexually abused over the past 70 years by 3,000 priests. The inquiry found the number of children abused in France could rise to 330,000, when taking into account abuses committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools.  

The head of the inquiry, Jean-Marc Sauvé stated “There has always been collusion between the church in France and the Vatican to protect perpetrators of abuse, the church is still in denial and shows contempt for the judicial process”.  Sauvé described the now familiar culture of negligence and cover up which concealed “deep, total and even cruel indifference” towards victims who sought justice. Internal disciplinary action was taken in only a handful of cases and criminal prosecutions were almost never brought; nine out of 10 people cannot get justice because the statute of limitations has passed or the perpetrator has died.

The 2,500 page report states the “vast majority” of victims were boys, many of them aged between 10 and 13 however nuns used crucifixes to rape little girls or forced boys to have sex with them. Two of those victims, Martine now 73, and Mireille, 71, were sexually assaulted by a priest when they were teenage girls in high school.  Martine commented “It brings on such terrible thoughts… For me, personally, I had to wait for my parents to die because otherwise  it was not possible to speak out.”

Marie was placed in a French Catholic boarding school, in the fifth grade. a nun would come to her class every day to choose a student to help her with Mass. “I was 11 and looked 9. She would choose me once every two or three times,” she recalls. “She would take me to her office, lock the door, and then draw the curtains. After which she would put me on her knees to make me read the gospel according to Saint Paul or another saint, while she squeezed me with one hand to her chest and pulled down my panties with the other hand. It terrified me and paralysed me.”  Persuaded by a friend to tell her parents, she was accused of lying and called a pervert. The abuse continued for a year.  “Marie” again told her mother about the abuse at the age of 35 but was still  not believed.

Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, (elected president of the Bishops Conference in France in 2019) told the press of his determination to support survivors “so that the refusal to see, the refusal to hear, the desire to hide or mask the facts, the reluctance to denounce them publicly, disappears”   Days later in an interview he rejected the Commission’s recommendation to require priests to inform police of any child abuse cases learned about during the sacrament of confession stating that – “The secrecy of confession is a requirement and will remain a requirement – in a way, it is above the laws of the Republic. It creates a free space for speaking before God.”  This is in line with Vatican guidelines released last year when pope Francis reconfirmed that any crime, including child sexual abuse, discovered during confession cannot be revealed and remains subject to “the strictest bond of the sacramental seal”

The comments made by the pope regarding the French report have a hollow ring:  “I wish to express my sadness and pain to the victims for the trauma they have suffered and also our shame, my shame at the Church’s too long failure to place victims at the centre of its concerns”

IT IS NOT ENDLESS PLATITUDES, EXPRESSIONS OF SADNESS AND SHAME AND REQUESTS FOR FORGIVENESS THAT ARE NEEDED, IT IS ACTION. FIRST TO ENSURE CHILD PROTECTION IS IN PLACE AND SECOND TO PUNISH THE PERPETRATORS. THE POPE COULD START BY ENSURING THAT DISCLOSURES MADE DURING CONFESSION REQUIRE MANDATORY REPORTING TO THE POLICE.

While 80% of people in France are nominally Catholic church attendance has fallen to 10%, a reflection that the sexual abuse scandals of recent years depict systemic, institutional corruption. The pretence of reforming ecclesiastical structures and attempts to blame a few rogue priests is neither acceptable or believable. An acknowledgement of error followed by an acceptance of consequences is as true for the bishops and the pope as it is for paedophiles.

AND SO IT CONTINUES…

 Germany’s Catholic Church  commissioned an investigation into decades of child sex abuse by clergy covering the time period from 1946. When it was published in 2018 it detailed 3,677 victims who had been abused by  1,670 priests. 

THE GERMAN REPORT ALSO CONFIRMED HOW CATHOLIC NUNS  HAD PEDDLED ORPHAN BOYS TO PREDATORY PRIESTS AND PERVERTS FOR DECADES.

Two lawsuits allege that orphaned boys living in the boarding houses of the Order of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer were sold or loaned for weeks at a time to perverts and pedophiles. The accusers state that as boys they were denied the opportunity of  adoption or fostering because selling them for rape brought income to the convent. Some of the boys were groomed to be sex slaves to perverts. The alleged abuse went on for years, with one of the males claiming the nuns even frequently visited their college dorms after they had left the convent. He said the nuns often drugged him and delivered him to predators’ apartments.

The report names various German businessmen and complicit clergy who “rented” the young boys from the nuns who ran a convent in Speyer, Germany during the 1960s and 1970s. Among the worst instances of abuse were orgies the young boys were forced to participate in before being returned to the convent where the nuns would then punish them for wrinkling their clothing or being covered in semen. The Order of Sisters of the Divine Redeemer did not answer multiple requests for comment about the allegations.

KARL HAUCKE,  63 YEAR OLD LEADER OF A VICTIM SUPPORT GROUP STATES THAT HE WAS ABUSED AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK BETWEEN THE AGES OF 11 AND 14, OFTEN BY MORE THAN ONE PRIEST.  HE WAS ALSO MADE TO RELATE HIS EXPERIENCES DURING WEEKLY CONFESSION  WHEN HIS ABUSER WOULD SAY “CONFESSION INCLUDES PENANCE… I’LL COME ROUND TO YOUR BED TONIGHT OR TOMORROW”

Survivors had demanded that Cardinal Reiner Maria Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne carry out an independent investigation, this was completed in January 2021 but the Archbishop  refused to release it stating that the report contained “inadmissible prejudices” against the Catholic church that were fed by scandals going on elsewhere.  The Archdiocese of Cologne will now release a revised and redacted edition. Archbishop Woelki’s attempts to silence the 560 page report  cited legal concerns that the perpetrators may have a right to privacy. This was  foiled when Haucke resigned from his victims committee post over the censoring and filed the law suit.

BISHOP KARL- HEINZ WIESMAN COMMENTED THE ABUSE REPORT WAS ‘SO GORY’ IT WAS TOO SHOCKING TO BE MADE PUBLIC. HE TOLD THE CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY KNA THAT HE HAD TAKEN A MONTH’S SABBATICAL TO RECOVER AFTER READING IT, SAYING: “I HAVE LIMITED ENERGY FOR THE BURDENS I HAVE TO CARRY”

It is difficult to imagine that the bishop’s burdens were heavier to bear than that of the survivors. In March 2021 lawyers were allowed to release segments to news outlets.  Bjorn Gercke, a Munich attorney from the law firm which conducted the investigation presented the report describing “poisonous files” in reference to documents detailing evidence of abuse by priests and the attempted cover up of the crimes. Cardinal Woelki was accused of protecting priests suspected of sexual abuse.  Cardinal Joachim Meisner his predecessor who died in 2017, was found to have compiled many pages of evidence on members of the clergy  referred to as  “Brothers in the Mist,” a  term referencing abusive priests. 

On September 24th 2021, Pope Francis accused  Woelki of ‘grave errors’ but decided that he should remain as Cologne’s archbishop, a decision which shocked many. The Vatican statement announced that the cardinal retains the popes confidence and will take a sabbatical until Lent 2022. The Vatican has cleared two other auxiliary bishops of Cologne, Bishop Puff will resume his office immediately, Bishop Scwaderlapp will carry out his ministry in Mombassa for one year before resuming his work in Cologne.

See: Letterstopriests

Vatican Cover Up

November 2020: After two years, publication of the  Vatican internal investigation into former Cardinal McCarricks sexual abuse, has revealed a cover up by bishops, arch bishops and 3 popes.

By the 1990s, there was growing evidence pointing to Mc­Carrick’s misconduct: A handful of seminarians confided in a New Jersey bishop, describing how McCarrick would devise ways to share a bed with them involving explicit sexual activity. Anonymous letters were also sent to various prelates, including Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, warning of McCarricks  “proclivity for young boys.” O’Connor, in several sympathetic notes, alerted McCarrick, apologizing for sending the information saying: “This stuff drives me crazy but I would want you to do the same for me.” The Vatican’s then-ambassador to the United States then “destroyed” his copies of the letter.

Pope John Paul ll  not only knew about and overlooked sexual misconduct claims against McCarrick but promoted him. Although informed in writing that McCarrick shared a bed with young seminarians over whom he had authority, the pope chose to believe Mc Carricks written denials in a letter in which he stated that he  had never had “sexual relations with any person”.  McCarrick was then appointed arch bishop of Washington in 2001.

A  formidable church fundraiser,  McCarrick gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in church money to powerful Catholic clerics over nearly two decades, including those in the Vatican charged with assessing the misconduct claims against him. From 2001, McCarrick sent checks totalling more than $600,000 to clerics in Rome and elsewhere, including Vatican bureaucrats, papal advisers and two popes, according to church ledgers and former church officials. Several of the more than 100 recipients were directly involved in assessing misconduct claims against McCarrick. Meanwhile speculation continues, regarding McCarricks involvement in the $200 million Papal Foundation, which apparently served as a secret slush fund for corrupt Vatican enterprises, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Predictably, the report states there was no evidence “that Mc­Carrick’s customary gift-giving and donations impacted significant decisions made by the Holy See regarding McCarrick during any period.”

Archbishop Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, warned Pope Benedict in 2006, concerning McCarricks activities. The Vatican vacillated and no penalties were levied, instead “the decision was made to appeal to ­McCarrick’s conscience and ecclesial spirit,” requesting that he keep a low profile and reduce travel in the church’s name.  Benedict requested that McCarrick “spontaneously” withdraw as archbishop of Washington after he reached the standard retirement age of 75. McCarrick ignored the request  amassing power and prestige and travelling the world. In 2008 Vigano again wrote to Benedict and included a letter from Richard Sipe, a former monk and practising psychotherapist, specialising in clerical sexual abuse. Sipe confirmed that McCarrick’s activities “had been widely known for several decades.” In 2009 or 2010 according to Viganò, Pope Benedict XVI then placed severe restrictions on McCarrick’s movements and public ministry, not allowing him to travel beyond the grounds of the seminary where he was living and not permitting him to say Mass in public. Referred to as “one of a number of senior churchmen who were more or less put out to pasture during the eight-year pontificate of Benedict XVI,” he found himself put “back in the mix” with the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

In 2018 Archbishop Vigano stated publicly that Francis subsequently removed Benedict’s sanctions and made McCarrick “his trusted counsellor,” even though Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. He knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.” In May 2014, McCarrick travelled with Pope Francis to the Holy Land, to Armenia to discuss Syria with Eastern Orthodox clerics, the Philippines to visit typhoon victims, China for discussions on religious freedom, Iran for talks on nuclear proliferation and also served as a Vatican intermediary for the U.S.-Cuba talks. The  state-approved Chinese newspaper reported that McCarrick travelled to China in Feb. 2016 quoting McCarrick as saying that the similarities between Pope Francis and Xi Jinping could be “a special gift for the world.”

McCarrick was only officially removed from public ministry by Pope Francis in 2018, when the position of both became untenable due to credible allegations of abuse, dating back to the 1970s and acknowledgement by several diocese, of previous out of court settlements. These required claimants to agree to gag orders. McCarrick, was defrocked by Francis after Vatican officials found him guilty of two charges: “Soliciting sex during confession and committing “sins” with minors and adults… “with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.” Pope Francis  ordered him to adopt a life of prayer and penance, he was provided with accommodation at a Capuchin Friary in Kansas with fees paid by the Catholic church. Following the failure of his Appeal, he relocated in 2020  to an undisclosed “secluded address away from public attention…to be closer to his family”.

THE LATEST INVESTIGATION INTO CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE  HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DAMAGE THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF THREE POPES, JOHN PAUL ll, NAMED A SAINT IN 2014, BENEDICT WHOSE DECISION MAKING IS CALLED INTO QUESTION AND THE MOTIVATION OF FRANCIS  IN THE REINSTATEMENT AND ELEVATION OF McCARRICK.

 

Predictably the report limits the culpability of Pope Francis, who instigated the investigation in 2018. The report states that Francis knew of rumours surrounding sexual conduct between McCarrick and adults but received no documentation of sexual impropriety until 2017 and was not aware of accusations of sexual abuse against minors until 2018. This is at odds with archbishop Viagno’s testament that Pope Francis removed sanctions and made McCarrick “his trusted counsellor,” even though Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator.”

Whichever may be true, responsibility for rectifying past errors surely rests with the appointed head of any organisation, government or in particular a church which claims its popes to be divinely appointed.

POST SCRIPT: A new lawsuit has been filed this year, alleging that McCerrick sexually molested an underage boy at a beach house on the New Jersey shore, that other priests groomed the young man and then introduced him to the bishop for sexual encounters at the property owned by the diocese of Metuchen. Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the plaintiff identified in court papers only as John Doe 14, said there were other boys who were abused, referring to “McCarrick’s sordid beach house child sex ring.”

For further details see:

Covering up the Cover Up – Cardinal Depravity

Bishps Aid Priests Instead of Victims

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEXUAL ABUSE COVER UP – Anglican Clergy

THE QUEEN IS THE SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, THE LARGEST CHRISTIAN DENOMINATION IN THE COUNTRY WITH OVER A MILLION REGULAR WORSHIPERS.

November 2020: The newly published Report on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse within the Church of England, gives a damning account of failure to respond to child victims and survivors of sexual abuse by people associated with the church. The report states that alleged perpetrators received more support than their victims, adding to the trauma already suffered. Attempts to report abuse were covered up by a church hierarchy who were often the very perpetrators. Safeguarding concerns were under reported with cases hidden, giving an inaccurate impression of the scale of the problem. In 2018, there were 2,504 safeguarding concerns reported to dioceses about either children or vulnerable adults yet there have been only 390 perpetrators convicted since the 1940s.

Offending clergy were supported and shielded by the most powerful people in the land including Prince Charles and Lord George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury who refused to  believe the allegations against Bishop Peter Ball, supporting him in the face of numerous allegations. In 2018 Carey was subsequently forced to resign after the UK Child Sex Abuse Report found that he had covered up allegations of sexual abuse within the church. 

  • Clerics benefited from deferential treatment, defended by their peers in an environment where power was invested without accountability to external or independent agencies or individuals.
  • The moral authority of clergy was widely perceived as beyond reproach by a naive public who failed to question their conduct. A tribal culture flourished where loyalty to peers exceeded consideration of the welfare or protection of children.
  • Members of a church hierarchy ignored reports of abuse, reintegrating abusers into church life, perpetuating further abuse.
  • Bishops ignored  safeguarding guidelines issued byThe House of Bishops, there is no requirement in canon law to require clergy to follow safeguarding guidelines  despite Ministerial guidelines to do so.
  • The Enquiry found that offending was repeatedly minimised and justified.

Reverend Ian Hughes was convicted in 2014 of downloading 8,000 indecent images of children, more than 800 were graded Category A level, the most serious, involving “penetrative sexual activity; images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism”. . It emerged during the hearing that The Bishop of Chester, Rt Reverend Peter Foster, declined to accept the seriousness of the offending of Hughes. He maintained his view, expressed in a letter to the President of Tribunals, that “many people who download child pornography believe it to be different from direct abuse of a child.” Forster had blocked a life-time ban from ministry being imposed on any minister jailed for pornography, recommending instead that Rev.Ian Hughes receive a 20 year ban.

  • Bishop Victor Whitsey was ordained in 1949 and was Bishop of Hertford, in the Diocese of St Albans, in 1971 and then Bishop of Chester, in 1974, a position which he held until his retirement in early 1982, despite 13 complaints made to Cheshire Constabulary about his serial abuse. In January 2018 an adult male disclosed to a vicar that he had been indecently assaulted by Whitsey as a child in the early 1980s. The safeguarding advisor was informed and also the Bishop of Chester Peter Forster who failed to undertake any enquiries. The complainant told the Enquiry that he had again informed Bishop Forster in 2002 when he was offered counselling but no further action was taken.
  • Further accusations were made against Whitsey by two males, stating he had sexually abused them as children between 1974 and 1981, during his time as the Bishop of Chester. A further 10 potential victims, including teenagers and young adults of both sexes were later identified.
  • In 1979, a 13 year old girl and her brother, both members of the church were invited to meet Whitsey during a time when her father (a vicar), had left the family home. The girl was left alone in a room with him for around half an hour, she described how he gave her a ‘body hug’ and told her that ‘men have urges’ telling her to sit on his knee, she was aware of his erection and recalled him quoting from the Bible ‘Suffer little children to come unto me” before stroking her through her clothes and ‘rubbing against me’. She was then ordered to leave the room and her brother was sent in. She did not disclose the abuse at the time as she ‘wouldn’t have known who to tell’ as the family were already being ostracized by the church because the family was splitting up. In April 2015, while attending the internment of her mother’s ashes with her brother at the church in Cheshire, they noticed Whitsey’s signature in the Book of Remembrance, her brother stated ‘That bastard abused me and she answered ‘Me too”.
  • Police enquiries showed that of 19 complainants, it was “clear that those who reported abuse had previously disclosed details of their allegations to the Church”.

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COINCIDENCE, CONSPIRACY OR CORRUPTION

For some, synergistic events are coincidental. Albert Einstein said “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”  In 2013 within hours of the resignation of Pope Benedict XV1, lightning struck the Vatican. The resignation is thought to be in response to the sexual abuse scandals about to engulf the church on the heels of  the recent financial scandals involving the Vatican Bank.

On May 13th 1981 St Peters Square Rome was filled to capacity as the faithful gathered to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the appearance of Mary, the mother of Jesus to three children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917,  which predicted the fall of the church due to the corruption of its priesthood. At the exact time the messages from Mary were being read out in Fatima Pope John Paul entered Vatican Square and was hit by 4 bullets in an attempted assassination.

So what were the Fatima messages and what was with held? Continue reading

BLAMED, SHAMED AND SILENCED – SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS BY PRIESTS

1994  A VATICAN COMMISSIONED REPORT CONFIRMED SEXUAL ABUSE OF NUNS BY PRIESTS IN 22 COUNTRIES…. IT WAS COVERED UP.

Sister Maura O’Donoghue, an Irish nun and medical doctor with 45 years experience, compiled a report into nuns being sexually abused by priests. The report based upon reliable disclosure by priests, doctors and others was never released.  Sister O’Donoghue had documented that sexual abuse of nuns by priests was taking place in Botswana, Burundi, Colombia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, the United States, Zambia, Zaire and Zimbabwe.  Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Religious Life was briefed on its content February 18th,1995 by Sister Donaghue. Details of that meeting and her report appear in the US weekly the National Catholic Reporter.

  • In the report she linked the alleged sexual abuse of nuns in Africa to the AIDS epidemic there, quoting one religious superior who was approached by priests requesting that sisters be made available for sex. When this was refused, the priests said they would have to go to local women and could get AIDS.
  • She referred to a 1988 incident in Malawi where 29 nuns in one congregation had been made pregnant by diocesan priests; when the women complained to the Archbishop, they were replaced.
  • A priest who took a nun for an abortion during which the sister died, officiated at the nun’s requiem Mass.

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FRANCIS RULES – Failing the ‘Zero Tolerance’ test

“HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US THAT THE VATICAN, WITH ITS SELF PROCLAIMED LAWS AND PROCEDURES, IS INCAPABLE OF PROTECTING INNOCENT CHILDREN FROM BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED”

In what may prove to be the final  lost opportunity to demonstrate his much vaunted ‘Zero tolerance policy’,  the new rules announced by Pope Francis to deal with sexual abuse by clergy, fall short of requiring that police be informed of any  allegation. Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer whose efforts to expose predator priests was dramatized in the Oscar-winning movie ‘Spotlight’, has commented:   “The new Vatican laws concerning the reporting of sexual abuse, continue the secrecy which has enabled clergy sexual abuse to exist, allows the Catholic Church to continue to ineffectively self-police and basically discourages victims from just calling the police,”  Anne Barrett Doyle, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org  stated “We would have been far more impressed if this new law required church officials to report to police and prosecutors instead,”  The new law does nothing to enact zero tolerance for child sexual abuse or for cover-up.” The problem, according to advocates, is that bishops remain as the investigators when local law enforcement should be in charge of the reporting process, as they are for all other alleged crimes. Continue reading

POPE FRANCIS – Message of Simplicity?

Those ruefully considering expanded waistlines and depleted bank accounts common in the aftermath of Christmas festivities might pause to reflect upon the  ambiguous nature of the Pope’s Christmas message.  Speaking from St Peters Basilica in Rome, Francis urged Christians to forgo the greed, hoarding and materialism of Christmas and to focus instead on its message of simplicity, charity and love. 

SURROUNDED BY THE OPULENT OSTENTATION OF A CHURCH OF UNPARALLELED WEALTH, HE SPOKE FROM A GOLDEN PULPIT, WATCHED BY PRINCES OF THE CHURCH RESPLENDENT IN GOLDEN ROBES, SEEMINGLY OBLIVIOUS TO THE INCONGRUOUS IMAGE OF BABY JESUS IN A GOLDEN MANGER.

 

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PEDOPHILE PRIESTS ABUSING DEAF MUTE CHILDREN

PRIESTS TAUGHT ‘SPECIAL SECRET SIGNS’ TO DEAF MUTE CHILDREN AS COMMANDS FOR SEX ACTS INCLUDING ORAL SEX AND  SODOMY.

Paedophile priests, teachers at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the deaf   in Italy and Argentina  designed  ‘special secret signs’ to initiate sexual abuse of boys, as young as 11 years old. The signs were designed to remain incomprehensible  to those who could understand sign language ensuring secrecy was maintained.The priests had no fear of being caught as  the children were deaf and mute and unable to call for help. Noone could hear the screams of those being abused. Guiseppe, abused for seven years from the age of 11 described how he could not at first understand the meaning of the signs  ‘Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.’   Priests would make one of the signs to indicate that a boy was taken to appointed rooms under the guise of ‘time out’ or to rest. ‘Sometimes you would see priests coming into the dormitory at night, or you would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened. You didn’t need to hear to know.’  Attempts by children to alert parents by writing letters failed because mail had to be given to the abusers making it possible to intercept the letters.

INTERNAL VATICAN INVESTIGATION FAILED TO PROTECT CHILDREN

AND ENABLED CONTINUED ABUSE.

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VATICAN CONCEALMENT AND INACTION

IN A VOTE CARRIED ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY BISHOPS PROMISED THAT THE CHURCH’S DAYS OF CONCEALMENT AND INACTION WERE OVER. CHURCH LEADERS VOTED TO REMOVE ANY PRIEST WHO HAD EVER ABUSED A MINOR AND SET UP CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARDS TO INVESTIGATE  CLERGY MISCONDUCT CLAIMS.

Sadly this vote was taken not in 2018 but in 2002 at a Dallas gathering of bishops. Little it seems has changed. While they imposed new standards that led to the removal of hundreds of priests, the bishops in Dallas specifically excluded themselves from the landmark child protection measures. They contended that only the pope had authority to discipline them, saying peer pressure and  public or private shaming euphemistically called “fraternal correction” would ensure their good conduct. Clearly they were wrong.

Such attempts to maintain internal control through the hierarchical process lie at the very heart of the scandals now engulfing the church.

When a vote was taken at the recent Baltimore bishops conference to recommend the Vatican make public the entire file of the disgraced Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Cupich took the floor stating that the bishops should vote down any such measure. Cupich a close supporter of Pope Francis, presented an alternative plan, in line with Vatican policies which would maintain the status quo ensuring any allegation against a bishop would be investigated through the Vaticans’ internal procedures. The surprise proposal is alleged to have been a collaboration with Cardinal Weurl whose resignation the pope was recently forced to accept, due to his alleged involvement in covering up the prolific sexual abuse of McCarrick. Continue reading

POPE SILENCES THE BISHOPS

POPE FRANCIS INTERVENES TO STOP BISHOPS VOTING ON NEW CHILD ABUSE POLICIES  AT  US CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

Many bishops see urgent reform as the only way to save the church in light of repeated scandals involving sexual abuse by priests. The agenda at the Bishops bi annual conference held in Baltimore on November 12th 2018, included proposals for a code of conduct for bishops and a lay panel to investigate claims of misconduct or negligence by bishops. These were the proposals.

  • A full investigation into how bishops allowed McCarrick to be promoted
  • Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s claims of a homosexual network acting within the hierarchy
  • Opening of confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops

Under canon law, only the Pope can hold bishops accountable and this proposal was apparently perceived as a threat by Francis who intervened to delay the vote.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, appeared bemused as he announced that the Holy See had insisted at the 11th hour that the bishops should not vote on their own proposals. Instead they must wait until after February when Pope Francis meets at the Vatican with the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world. Skeptics view this as a further means of delaying long needed action. Continue reading

BISHOPS AID PRIESTS INSTEAD OF VICTIMS

AUGUST 2018: PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSH SHAPIRO RELEASED HIS GRAND JURY REPORT LISTING MORE THAN 1,000 CASES OF CHILD ABUSE BY MORE THAN 300 PRIESTS  IN SIX PENNSYLVANIA DIOCES DESCRIBING  ‘WHOLESALE INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE THAT ENDANGERED THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN’

The report offered “a window into the conduct of bishops”… “and the crimes they permitted to occur on their watch”.  It included the involvement of Cardinal Wuerl  (mentioned more than 160 times) in covering up his role in allegedly concealing sexual abuse and the transfer of various homosexual predator clergy.  Weurl denied the accusations, however the Attorney General insisted  “Cardinal Wuerl is not telling the truth.’

 

Archbishop McCarrick’s sexual misconduct was first made public in 2008 by Richard Sipe, himself a former priest, psychotherapist and Clinical Mental Health Counselor specialising in the mental health problems of catholic priests. Sipe posted an open letter to then Pope Benedict XVI confirming that  he had knowledge of McCarrick’s misdeeds, including first-person testimonies and asked the pontiff to take action. McCarrick denied the accusation but Benedict placed him under sanction of  ‘house arrest’. When the scandal involving Cardinal Theodore McCarrick erupted in 2018, Weurl  again denied any knowledge or involvement in a cover up. However Robert Ciolek, who left the priesthood and later became an attorney, confirmed that an $80,000 settlement had been reached in June 2005 with three New Jersey dioceses over his allegations against Cardinal McCarrick and a teacher at his Catholic high school and a Pittsburgh priest who Weurl supervised at the time. The first page of the settlement agreement lists Wuerl among the numerous parties to the agreement. Following new “credible” allegations  that McCarrick had sexually abused an altar boy 47 years previously,the scandal surrounding the Pennsylvania Report, the resignation was now formally accepted by the pope.

Wuerl was then accused by former papal diplomat Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, of knowing about allegations that McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians, Wuerl made emphatic denials. Vigano responded:  “[He] lies shamelessly,” “I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several  occasions”.  Archbishop Vigano also stated that Pope Francis had personallyl ifted the earlier sanctions imposing ‘house arrest’ against McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI.   Continue reading

PRIEST SLAPS BABY DURING CHRISTENING

WHEN DOES SACRED RITUAL BECOME A CLOAK FOR ABUSE?

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the following videos is the willingness of parents to subject their children to questionable aggressive behaviour by some priests which would never be accepted in secular life. Parents standing by as their infant is slapped by the priest or obediently queuing in line with their children at the altar to receive the priests ‘blessing’ in the form of what can only be described as physical assault. Their deference to the priests in question demonstrates the effectiveness of religious indoctrination and goes some way to explaining how the sexual abuse by clergy could have continued unchallenged for so long.

The recent video of the baptism of a baby where an elderly priest slapped the crying baby has to be seen to be believed and understandably went viral before being removed by You Tube. The elderly French priest described the assault on French radio as ‘not that severe …somewhere between a caress and a slap’  saying that he was ‘just trying to calm the child down.’  Surprisingly, the parents of the child have accepted his apology for his ‘clumsiness‘. His bishop has  suspended him from all baptisms and marriage celebrations, describing the incident as ‘a loss of coolness that can be explained but not excused’. stating  that ‘a baptism can be long and the baby was crying a lot’...‘it is regrettable but understandable and great age certainly played a part’. Continue reading

ROOF FALLING IN ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

WHEN NEIGHBOURS COMPLAINED TO THE SWISS GENDARMERIE  OF THE NOISE  FROM ADJACENT VATICAN APARTMENTS, THEY ATTENDED AND FOUND A COCAINE FUELLED HOMOSEXUAL ORGY TAKING PLACE HOSTED BY CATHOLIC  CLERGY

 The apartment in question was once occupied by Cardinal Ratzinger prior to his election as Pope Benedict. The current resident is Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, secretary to Cardinal Coccopalmerio, Italian media has reported that Pope Francis had been made aware of Capozzi’s predilections before allocating the apartment. Three priests and a high ranking cleric within the Curia have individually stated that Cardinal Coccopalmerio 80, was present at the orgy when gendarmes entered but was instructed by the gendarmerie to leave immediately before arrests were made. 

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SEX, POWER AND THE VATICAN BANK

“Our laws don’t require us to tell you…we answer to God”

SCANDALS INVOLVING FINANCIAL ABUSES AT THE VATICAN BANK HAVE BEEN WELL AIRED FOR DECADES. POWER ABUSE TAKES MANY FORMS AND THE LINKS BETWEEN MONEY, POWER AND SEXUAL ABUSE ARE NOW BEING REVEALED.   

The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is in effect a privately held firm run by a CEO who reports to a committee of cardinals and the Pope. It is housed in a medieval fortress in Vatican City. The bank was founded by Pope Pius XII in June 1942 “to provide for the safekeeping and administration of movable and immovable property transferred or entrusted to it’.   The pope is the ruler of both the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The purpose of the IOR is stated to be:  to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church by way of protecting and growing its customer’s assets through specialised financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide’

THE BANK HAS BEEN ROCKED BY SUCCESSIVE FINANCIAL SCANDALS FOR DECADES.  A culture of secrecy and untraceable cash transfers made the Vatican Bank one of the world’s most notorious financial institutions. Since much of its money comes from collection plates, the IOR handles unusually large amounts of cash;  money is sent covertly to churches and voluntary groups in poor countries and failed states without functioning banking systems. Religious orders who own 85% of the bank’s funds had deposited around $3.1bn for safekeeping in 2013. They received around 1% in interest, however money invested in government bonds at an average of 3.3% generated profits of more than $70m for the bank.  Continue reading

VATICAN SWISS GUARDS – ARMED AND DEADLY

The Pontifical Swiss Guard (also known as  the Papal Swiss Guard) serves as the de facto military unit of the Vatican with responsibility for the security of the Pope.  An ecclesiastical state, Vatican City is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.  With  its 110 acres it is the world’s smallest fully independent nation-state.  Sovereignty is exercised by the Pope as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, he has absolute  executive, legislative and judicial powers within the city.  Vatican City has its own telephone system, post office, fire brigade, a radio station, its own banking system, an astronomical observatory, and a pharmacy.  In addition Vatican City has its own police force known as the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State which augments the Pontifical Swiss Guard during the Pope’s appearances,

While the Swiss Guards may appear to be no more than a quaint spear carrying medieval remnant, they are in fact an elite force of hand picked warriors selected for their courage and loyalty to the PopeThose who pass the rigorous selection process are sworn in by the Pope himself on May 6th each year. Continue reading

MORE CATHOLIC THAN THE POPE?

IS POPE FRANCIS A BENEVOLENT REFORMER TRYING TO DRAG THE CATHOLIC CHURCH INTO THE 21st CENTURY OR THE LAST POPE, PROPHESIED FOR CENTURIES, WHO WILL PRESIDE OVER THE FALL OF A CORRUPT CHURCH IN THE ‘END TIMES’?

For many, Francis is the long awaited ‘man of the people’ the personification of humility, taking the name in honour of St Francis of Assisi, the saint who rejected wealth for a life of poverty and simplicity. From the outset Francis demonstrated his intention to align with the poor by eschewing the trappings of the papacy; carrying his own bags and paying his own bills, favouring fiats and fords as opposed to the papal mercedes and choosing to live in a modest apartment rather than the papal palace. This along with initial promises to clean up the Vatican Bank, long mired in scandal and corruption, his statement that there would be zero tolerance of clerical abuse and his anticipated reform of the Curia were enthusiastically welcomed. A rock star persona rivalling even that of the much loved Pope John Paul ll resulted.. Continue reading

3rd SECRET OF FATIMA – Fall of the Church

HOW COULD THE 3rd SECRET WHICH IS SAID TO PROPHECY THE CORRUPTION OF THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE FALL OF THE CHURCH EVER BE PUBLISHED IN IT’S TRUE FORM BY THOSE WHO WE NOW KNOW PERPETUATED THE COVER UP OF CHILD ABUSE BY THE CLERGY OVER DECADES.

Recent events indicating the degree of corruption by many  priests including the  Vatican hierarchy, has reignited the question as to whether the 3rd Secret of Fatima was ever fully released.  Many of those who have read the message state that it was an advance warning by Mary the mother of Jesus concerning the corruption of the church by many in the priesthood, a consistent theme of Marianne appearances the world over.  The scandal of child sexual abuse by clergy which today threatens the very fabric of the church could never have been imagined in 1917. 

The Fatima message delivered by Mary in 1917 to Lucy aged 9, Franscisco aged 9 and Jacinta aged 6, was given in three parts, Lucy was entrusted with the part known as the 3rd Secret and instructed that this was not to be divulged until 1960 “when it will be better understood”.  Lucy entered a convent and lived a life of seclusion but In 1944, when she fell ill, her bishop insisted that she write the Secret message down as it was feared she might die.  Lucy resisted but on January 3rd, wrote it down on a single piece of paper, placed it in an envelope and sealed it, reminding the bishop that it was  to be opened after 1960 or on her death. In March 1957 Bishop de Silva noted that “the Secret is about 25 lines long and is written on a single sheet of paper with 3/4 centimetre margins on both sides” On April 4th 1957, the letter was placed in the  Vatican Secret Archives of the Holy Office ‘for safe keeping’.

Sister Lucy’s last interview, published without pre-authorization of the Vatican was in 1957 when she alluded to contents of the 3rd Secret… many nations disappearing from the face of the earth, the crisis in the priesthood, and the consequence of ignoring Mary’s message. Following this she was effectively under a ‘gag’ order from the Vatican; there is personal testimony that she was coerced into confirming the authenticity of the Vatican text released much later.  The Fatima Centre campaigned to free Sister Lucy from this imposition of silence, repeatedly asking the Vatican to allow her to publicly affirm or deny the various statements attributed to her regarding the Third Secret and the Fatima Message. This permission was never granted. Continue reading

FATIMA – MESSAGES and MIRACLES for TODAY

ARE MIRACLES A PRODUCT OF IMAGINATION, WISHFULL THINKING OR SIMPLY PHENOMENA WHICH CANNOT YET BE EXPLAINED BY SCIENCE?

The Fatima message given one hundred years ago is for today.   Intercession on behalf of humanity is a final attempt to warn of the compounded errors which inevitably culminate in disaster unless we steer a different course. The concept of Divine Intercession requires us to accept a consciousness beyond the human, an impossible idea for those who perceive human intelligence as the pinnacle of evolution.  If, however, we allow for the possibility of something greater than ourselves, we can investigate in a spirit of enquiry in order to decide whether or not to heed the message; this is an act of Free Will, something which can not be violated even by a divine intermediary. The Marian shrines of Catholicism commemorate the numerous reported occurrences of visitations and communication by Mary the mother of Jesus, over the centuries; the common denominator in all her appearances is the ‘tap of love’, the motherly reminder of mistakes and their consequences. Referred to as ‘Our Lady’, Mary is for catholics the epitome of motherhood, a divine intermediary interceding for mankind, asking that we acknowledge our mistakes and correct our conduct. The catholic themes of  ‘Prayer and Penance’ are somewhat incomprehensible for non believers, together they create a powerful catalyst, for prayer is an act of humility, a request for assistance from a higher source, while penance is the means by which our errors are corrected. Continue reading

POPE FRANCIS – DANCING WITH THE DEVIL

The ambiguous and enigmatic statement made by pope Francis  in the chapel of his residence at morning mass has left many stunned and bewildered.  It is not his reference to the devil as the ‘Great Accuser’ for this is a matter of individual faith and belief but rather the timing and the suggestion that bishops are somehow the victims in the current global focus upon the sexual abuse of children by predatory Catholic priests.

“IN THESE TIMES IT SEEMS LIKE THE DEVIL, THE GREAT ACCUSER, HAS BEEN LET LOOSE AND HE’S GOT IT IN FOR THE BISHOPS….AMONG US IS THE GREAT ACCUSER, THE ONE WHO WILL ALWAYS ACCUSE US IN FRONT OF GOD TO DESTROY US: SATAN.  HE IS THE GREAT ACCUSER.

‘The great accuser roams the world seeking how to blame’.  (A reference to Satan, first seen in the book of Job, in the Old Testament.  Attempting to sow division by making false accusations of sin, to expose sin in order to divide the faithful)  The great accuser ‘seeks to reveal sins, which people can see, in order to scandalize the people of God’  Francis said .  The ‘elites’ criticise bishops, while the people have an attitude of love towards the bishop. This is almost a special unction that confirms the bishop in his vocation’… ‘And when I enter into this logic of accusing, cursing and looking to do evil to others, I enter into the logic of the ‘Great Accuser’ who is a ‘Destroyer’, who doesn’t know the word ‘mercy,’ Francis said that instead of destroying others, Christians must look at themselves and accuse themselves so that they may reflect God’s mercy upon others.  Continue reading

‘SPOTLIGHT’ ON CLERICAL ABUSE

 

There is a danger that we become desensitised to the daily, horrific accounts of child sexual abuse, particularly those perpetrated by the clergy.  If we are ever to take appropriate action to defend children it is essential that we understand the level of depravity. This blog is offered in an attempt to give a voice to the individuals who have shown such courage in coming forward to tell their stories in order that others will not have to endure the same experiences.  One of the most harmful aspects of childhood sexual abuse is of not being heard or of not being believed. The least we can now do is to listen to them.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro alleged on CBS  that the Vatican knew about a cover-up involving sex abuse allegations against priests. Priests would go, bishops would go and lie to parishioners, lie to law enforcement, lie to the public but then document all of the abuse in secret archives that they would share oftentimes with the Vatican.”  Bringing the  perpetrators to justice is paramount but this is dependent upon the catholic church refraining from acting as a feudal monarchy which believes itself to hold a moral ascendency beholden only to its own law. Continue reading

A TRUE PRIEST- Sacked for telling the truth

JUAN CARLOS GAVANCHO assistant pastor in Santa Barbara California  preached a confrontational sermon about the current scandals in the church. Two days later he was told by his pastor to pack his belongings and leave the parish, his name has been removed from the parish website and he is now living in a hotel. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles Vicar for Clergy office informed him that he no longer has the right to say mass and he was refused another parish. He has been left  without a job, a home or financial support and may now be forced to return to Peru. 

SILENCING THE PRIESTS

Bishop Robert Barron has stated that ‘Contrary to rumours, Fr. Gavancho was asked to leave not due to the contents of his homily on Sunday August 26, but rather because of issues with his interpersonal relationships with parish staff and parishioners’.

In light of the current reports of countless abusive priests being not only allowed to remain in their parishes but sheltered and protected or discreetly moved to a new parish where the congregation remains uninformed the question arises

‘What is the criteria for removing a priest from office?’  Continue reading

‘ME TOO’ ?

A PLEA FOR THE ‘ME TOO’ MOVEMENT TO FOCUS ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE 

The legal definition of sexual harassment is ‘bullying or coercion of a sexual nature and the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favours’. This normally occurs between two adults, implying an element of choice by the perpetrator and the one being harassed e.g. a choice to move away, end all contact etc. The more serious ‘sexual assault‘  is an act in which a person ‘sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will’. Today as women all over the world stand together to oppose male oppression in any form, this is a moment to pause in order to gain perspective regarding the sexual abuse of minors where no consent is possible. Continue reading

COVERING UP THE COVER UP – Cardinal Depravity


REVEALING CARDINAL McCARRICK?

(First posted August 2018)

Cardinal McCarrick is the first cardinal in history to be removed from the priesthood  because of allegations of sexual abuse.  The open secret that he assaulted, or coerced seminarians and young priests during his time as a bishop and the allegations that he had sexually abused a teenage altar boy while serving as a priest in New York many years ago were found substantiated. Following the latest scandal Pope Francis accepted his resignation, McCerrick renounced his position in the College of Cardinals but remained a priest pending the outcome of a Vatican trial. 

Six  priests, former seminarians of the diocese of Newark have  recently come forward with allegations of a culture of depravity and abuse by senior catholic clergy in the diocese of Newark.

‘HIDE THE HANDSOME ONES’

 McCarrick’s reputation was apparently so notorious that there was a standing joke that when he would  visit the seminary they had to “hide the handsome ones” before he arrived.  A priest who worked with the archbishop for a number of years said:  “There were the ‘nephews,’ for sure,” he said. “He had a type: tall, slim, intelligent  – but no smokers.” Cardinal McCarrick would invite young men to stay the night in the cathedral rectory in central Newark where they allegedly shared his bed. One priest ordained in the early years of McCarrick’s term in Newark said that “a lot of people lost their innocence in the seminary.” Another priest told CNA that, as a senior seminarian and transitional deacon, young seminarians would come to him in tears. “They were just so scandalized by what they saw, these upperclassmen flagrantly carrying on with each other in gay relationships.”

John Monaco, one of two former seminarians at St. John’s making allegations this week, attended the seminary from 2014 to 2016,  is currently a graduate student in theology at Boston College.  An article posted online by the ex-seminarian led to an inquiry into allegations of “sexual deviancy and improper conduct” at the seminary. Fr. Desmond Rossi was a seminarian in Newark in the late 1980s.  He has publicly alleged that, in 1988, two transitional deacons sexually abused him.  Rossi, states that he told archdiocesan authorities about the assault and went before a review board.  He said that his story was “found credible, but nothing happened.”  Instead, he claims, the archdiocese turned against him for bringing the allegation forward.  “They tried to turn it on me,”  In 2004, the Archdiocese of Newark agreed to an out-of-court settlement of approximately $35,000 with Rossi, in response to his accusations.  One of the alleged abusers (identified by other priests as Father James Weiner) was left in active ministry in the Archdiocese of Newark until recently removed from his post due to the reopened enquiries.

‘YOU NEED TO TRY SOMETHING MORE GIRLY TONIGHT’

Fr. Weiner was known for his homosexual parties. One priest recalled that he attended a cocktail party, thinking he had been invited to a simple priests’ dinner. “I was led into the room to a chorus of wolf-whistles,” he said. “It was clear right away I was ‘on display.  Another priest told CNA that he was also invited to a party hosted by the priest. “They were all carrying big mixed drinks, pink ones, it was like something out of Sex in the City.”  He recalled that after asking for a beer, he was told by his host,  “you need to try something more girly tonight.” I was fresh meat and they were trying me out.”  “Everyone was getting loaded and getting closer on the couches, I wanted out of there,”  “Everyone kept calling me a ‘looker’ and saying they had to ‘keep me around’ from now on.” All three said they left quickly upon realizing what was going on.

One priest who studied during that period recalled being told, as a newly arrived seminarian, to lock his bedroom door at night to avoid “visitors….. I thought they were kidding – they really weren’t,” he said.  One Newark priest said that he had direct knowledge that  in 2014 Fr. Mark O’Malley was removed as rector of St. Andrew’s Hall, the archdiocesan college seminary, after an allegation that he hid a camera in the bedroom of a young priest at the seminary.  Several Newark priests told CNA that the same atmosphere existed under Archbishop John Myers, who led the archdiocese from 2001-2016. A priest commented “When I was sent for graduate studies I heard the jokes from guys from other dioceses‘what the world disdains, Newark ordains’  One said that priests living unfaithful lives are a scandal playing out “with the mute button on.”

Cardinal Wuerl (left) who succeeded McCarrick (right) as Archbishop of Washington in 2006 was named more than 200 times in the Pensilvania Grand Jury Report, criticized for his failure to act in dealing with allegations of abuse made against Cardinal Mc Carrick. Weurl denies any  knowledge of settlements related to sexual abuse or of any complaints about sexually abusive behaviour on the part of cardinal  McCarrick. 

 

 

 

THE POPE AND IRELAND

The Irish are living through what the Germans of 1945 called “Zero Hour”  the opportunity to create a new beginning by breaking with the past. The social reforms of the past thirty years including divorce, contraception, same sex marriage and the right to abortion, finally broke the grip  of  the Catholic church in Ireland yet faith remains strong. 

Pope Francis found a very different Ireland on his visit  to speak at the churches World Meeting of Families. During the first day of the trip he used a speech at Dublin Castle to express his shame at the Catholic church’s failure to adequately address the “repellent crimes” of sex abuse by clergy. At the shrine of  Knock there were  empty seats and crowds only three deep at the barriers as the pope begged for forgiveness.

Those who have seen their own families decimated by the sexual abuse by priests hoped for a declaration of concrete policies to expose the bishops and cardinals who sheltered and protected guilty priests. It did not materialise. Once again no mention was made of any policy to ensure that those accused of pedophilia or of protecting the abusers are handed over to the police along with all documentation past and present to allow full investigation through the legislative procedure.                                        Continue reading

Pope Francis and the paedophile clergy

“PRIESTS WERE RAPING LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS AND THE MEN OF GOD WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM NOT ONLY DID NOTHING – THEY HID IT ALL”

‘WE DID NOT ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER’ –  must rank amongst the greatest understatements in history.  While failure to act to protect vulnerable children is unforgivable, systematic cover up is on a different scale. In his response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing allegations of sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300 Roman Catholic clergy over 70 years, Pope Francis failed to mention their damning indictment that:  “The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” ….Several diocesan administrators, including the bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation or conducted their own deficient, biased investigation without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities,”  The report describes systemic abuse from the lowest to the highest level. After a two day silence Pope Francis released a three-page letter to – ‘The People of God’ calling on all members of the church to ‘pray and fast’ – “This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says ‘never again’ to every form of abuse.”  Some might think it offensive to suggest that  the ‘people of God’ require to fast and pray in order to awaken their conscience, for the ‘people of God’ are not the problem. It is the  ‘men of God’, the priests, bishops and cardinals who have  sheltered and protected the abusers within their ranks for decades with the full knowledge and support of the Vatican who must be held accountable. Continue reading

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES – Royalty Protecting Paedophiles

The much publicised sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has increased awareness of sexual abuse within other denominations including the Anglican church. Pedophilia is a complex psychosexual disorder which  involves sexual domination of minors, the worst abuse of power. Many of those who practice this aberration utilise  hierarchical power systems to avoid detection; perpetrators exist within  the Justice and legal systems and the police force, effectively impeding successful prosecution.  When the Crown Prosecution Service is investigating wrongdoing by a church hierarchy which is itself inextricably  linked to the State, as it is in the UK  (the Queen is Defender of the Anglican Faith) a virtually impenetrable web of denial and obfuscation can arise.

 A UK independent Inquiry heard that members of the establishment, including the heir to the throne, the then archbishop of Canterbury and a senior member of the judiciary along with many others, supported Peter Ball a Church of England bishop first accused of sexual abuse in 1993. An independent review of the case commissioned by the Church of England and published last year found evidence of collusion and a cover-up at the highest levels. Continue reading

VATICAN DUALITY

Questions have long been raised concerning the design of the Pope Paul lV Audience Hall unveiled in Vatican City in 1977,  some equating the sculpture behind the papal seat as resembling a demon. The word steganography ( from the Greek steganos (στεγανός) meaning “covered, concealed, or protected”) defines ‘that which does not attract attention to itself as an object of scrutiny’. Described as both an art and a science, ‘steganography’ is concerned with concealing the fact that a secret message is being sent, as well as concealing the contents of the message. The message whether positive or negative is subtle yet hidden in plain sight, subliminal, imperceptible to the conscious mind, ensuring that someone who is not specifically looking for it is unlikely to notice, yet once seen it can not be ignored.

Buildings and monuments of note have always provided the focal point of any community, sending a specific message in subtle and not so subtle ways. Cenotaphs remind us of the fallen, Courts of Law remind us of the consequence of our actions; in the past castles reminded potential invaders of our strength. Government buildings have largely replaced the palaces of a former power elite but continue to remind us where power is held.  Church architecture symbolises the spiritual relationship. Cathedral spires lift our eyes and the minaret of Islam and the bell tower of Christianity rose above the local community to call the faithful to prayer.  Religion is rooted in allegory, places of worship provide an unspoken message of form and symmetry which transcends the personal,  offerring shelter, refuge and a place to congregate. Secular or spiritual, buildings can inspire and caution us to obey the rules, a reminder of who or what has ultimate power and control.  Continue reading

CANADA’S CULTURAL GENOCIDE OF ABUSE

In 2015 Canada’s  5 year Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivered a scathing rebuke to the catholic church along with Protestant denominations entrusted with the care and education of  thousands of indigenous children for more than a century. The Canadian government formally apologised ten years ago for the colonial ‘assimilation policy’ later described as  ‘cultural genocide’ by the  Government Commission.  For decades children were forcibly removed from their parents and placed in Indian residential schools mainly under the care and control of the catholic church. Under a regime designed to strip them of every vestige of their  cultural heritage they were subjected to continuous and barbaric  sexual, physical, mental and emotional abuse. Children were stripped of native artefacts and clothing and forced to wear western dress, their hair was cut short and they were not allowed to speak their native language. Continue reading

PAPAL APOLOGIES – GENOCIDE LIST

 

“An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded”                                                     — Pope John Paul II 

Pope John Paul made many apologies during his pontificate, allowing the healing process to begin.

See: Canada, Child Abuse – Francis refuses invitation to apologise

Follow:  Letters to Priests

WE NEED ANOTHER MIRACLE

In a time when Catholicism has become synonymous with scandal, a reminder of the true essence of the church in its role of providing a message of hope and a link to something more.

In 1858  Bernadette Soubirous the 14 year old daughter of a miller, lived with her family in misery and squalor in the small town of Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrenees in Southern France. The family had become homeless after losing their mill and the only place left to them was a single room, formerly the local jail. Bernadette attended a convent–run school where she was considered a slow learner, illiterate; she was put in a “pauper’s class” with no fees to pay, in the company of 7-year-olds. Continue reading