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Renamed: The Handling of Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse and Cover-ups


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#1 LFC

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 03:52 PM

I remember being shocked and disgusted when it came out that dozens of priests molested children. That was oh so long ago and I had no idea how bad it really was.Turns out it's likely hundreds of sexual predators in the clergy in Pennsylvania alone.

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday that a landmark 900-page grand jury report about child sex abuse by Catholic clergy should be released as soon as Aug. 8 — but with some of the 300 predators’ names temporarily redacted.

A court battle has been underway for weeks over questions of fairness and transparency, with prosecutors and abuse advocates saying the results of an 18-month investigation must be released for justice to be done. Ten news organizations, including the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., and The Washington Post, joined in a brief urging the release of the grand jury report.

But people named in the report said that they have not had adequate opportunity to protect their reputations and could be severely harmed as a result.

The grand jury report comes after several other explosive ones in Pennsylvania targeting institutional sex abuse — in other Catholic dioceses and at Pennsylvania State, among other places — and is expected to be “sobering” and “rather graphic,” Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico said this month.

Erie is one of the six dioceses reviewed in the report. The others are Allentown, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.

On Friday, the Supreme Court said that the protection of one’s reputation is a fundamental constitutional right but that redacting some names was a fair compromise. The order says the report names more than 300 people who allegedly “committed criminal and/or morally reprehensible conduct.”

The report says the “grand jury will identify over three hundred ‘predator priests’ by name and describe their conduct in terms of ‘what they did — both the sex offenders and those who concealed them[,] . . . shin[ing] a light on their conduct, because that is what the victims deserve.’”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 05:08 PM

71 officials' names were released of the Diocese of Harrisburg alone.

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The Diocese of Harrisburg, one of the six under investigation in an upcoming Pennsylvania grand-jury report on clergy abuse, released a list of 71 church officials “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse Wednesday, according to Penn Live. The report includes “37 priests, three deacons, six seminarians, nine from other diocese and 16 members of religious communities,” Penn Live notes. The bishop responsible for the list’s release has ordered that the names of all former bishops dating back to 1947 be scrubbed from diocesan schools and buildings. During the announcement, he sought forgiveness from those “who are hurt and scandalized in any way by such reprehensible actions.” As The Daily Beast reported previously, the Harrisburg Diocese is one of the six that were investigated in a forthcoming 884-page grand-jury report on widespread sexual abuse. The results of the report have been mysteriously, repeatedly delayed—but are expected to be released sometime this month. One Pennsylvania House representative, who was sexually abused by a Pennsylvania priest as a child, told The Daily Beast that “This is going to be the worst grand jury report in the history of the United States, as it pertains to child sex abuse.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 LFC

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 12:53 PM

The report is at least as awful, and longer, than expected. At 1,356 pages it covers decades of abuse. We can only hope that anyone more recently abused will see this and have the courage to speak up and remove these evil men from society and put them in prison where they belong.

Here's one case. You had better have a strong stomach to read it.

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One of those alleged predators was Father George Zirwas, a priest at St. Adalbert’s on the South Side of Pittsburgh, who befriended a middle schooler, George, in the late 1970s.

George’s family encouraged the friendship, believing that Zirwas, whose first known assignment began in 1979, would be a “good influence” on their son. When Zirwas took George to meet with Father Francis Pucci, Father Richard Zula, and Father Francis Luddy, all of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, nothing seemed awry.

But that didn’t last long. At the rectory, the priests asked George to stand up on a bed and remove his shirt, then his pants—telling him that it would make his pose more consistent with that of Christ in a loincloth, the report says. They started taking pictures, then told him to take off his underwear, according to the grand jury. George, nervous, complied.

He wasn’t alone. When George testified in front of a grand jury decades later, he said that the photos taken of him were only part of a collection of pornographic pictures taken and shared by an “insidious pedophile community” of priests in the Pittsburgh area. He knew who else was involved, he said, because the priests gave golden crosses to groom their “favored” boys.

The grand jury noted that these crosses served a second purpose: “They were a visible designation that these children were victims of sexual abuse. They were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitized to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimization.”


Here's one of the higher-ups who the report says knew about the abuse and still moved priests around. He's now a Cardinal.

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Ninety-nine offenders were located in Pittsburgh, where George was allegedly forced to pose naked as Christ. The report is highly critical of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the current archbishop of Washington and former bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese. While he alerted the Vatican to some of the abuse, he’s also accused of repeatedly transferring known offenders to other dioceses.


He's now claiming he was trying to protect children. Color me skeptical. Did he go to the police? If not then he's a liar or somebody who is so bereft of morality that he doesn't grasp the meaning of the word "protect" or that child rape is a serious crime and a sin. Sick, sick, sick.

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Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Wuerl—who was accused of guiding abusive priests in Pennsylvania back into parishes when he was a bishop there—has defended himself, saying he tried to protect children during his time in the role. A Pennsylvania grand jury investigation released Monday alleges that more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children dating back to 1947. Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, is not accused of abuse—but the report does say he reassigned priests known to have a history of abuse to new parishes. The Archdiocese of Washington posted a new website Tuesday night defending Wuerl, saying: “While I served as Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and as our understanding of child sexual abuse increased, the Diocese worked to strengthen our response and repeatedly amended the Diocese’s safeguards and policies. The Diocese worked to meet or exceed the requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the reporting requirements of Pennsylvania law.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4 LFC

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 01:03 PM

Pope Frank disappoints. Is he gripped by the magnitude of the situation or trying to dodge it? It's not like he didn't know this was coming for over two weeks. If I knew it then he did too so he should have been prepared to apologize immediately.

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On Wednesday morning, Pope Francis stood in the window of the apostolic palace looking over St. Peter’s square and blessed the crowds that had gathered for the Catholic celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. He talked about saints and heaven and sent his prayers to the victims of the bridge collapse in the northern Italian city of Genoa the day before.

But the pope didn’t mention the latest horrific news revealed about his church: that a Pennsylvania grand jury had just handed down a damning 1,356 page account of rampant abuse that involved 1,000 kids, 300 priests and 70 years of silence. "We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this," the report began. But there was no sign Wednesday that Pope Francis was listening. He offered no prayer for the victims of his own churchmen who have been suffocated under a veil of complicity and shame for decades.


Meanwhile the U.S. Bishops offer a mealy-mouthed response.

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is the governing body of the American Catholic Church, issued its own statement on the matter, offering prayers “that all survivors of sexual abuse find healing, comfort and strength” but stopping short of calling the allegations crimes.

“The report of the Pennsylvania grand jury again illustrates the pain of those who have been victims of the crime of sexual abuse by individual members of our clergy, and by those who shielded abusers and so facilitated an evil that continued for years or even decades. We are grateful for the courage of the people who aided the investigation by sharing their personal stories of abuse. As a body of bishops, we are shamed by and sorry for the sins and omissions by Catholic priests and Catholic bishops,” the statement said.

"We are profoundly saddened each time we hear about the harm caused as a result of abuse, at the hands of a clergyman of any rank. The USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and the office of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection will continue to offer avenues to healing for those who have been abused. We are committed to work in determined ways so that such abuse cannot happen.”


As usual they are simply incapable of calling this out for what it is; crimes against children. It appears that Pope Frank has been falling short on this issue for a while.

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Marie Collins, a victim of clerical sexual abuse from Ireland who had been a member of Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors — and who resigned last year after three years on the commission over the pope’s “lack of action” to protect children — said the problem is a question of semantics.

“As long as any bishop still looks at a priest’s sexual abuse of a child as a ‘sin’ rather than a ‘crime’ nothing will change.” she tweeted after the Pennsylvania report came out. “It's not just America but the entire Catholic Church needs to examine itself,” she told The Daily Beast, reflecting a twitter tirade she has been on since the report came out. “They need to examine the internal culture which allows an unholy attitude of ‘hear nothing,’ ‘see nothing,’ and ‘say nothing’ to thrive.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#5 LFC

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 04:14 PM

It just keeps getting sicker at every turn.

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n Tuesday, CNN’s correspondent, Jean Casarez, sat down with Jake Tapper to discuss the “incredibly, disturbing” report that detailed decades of sexual assault cases from Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

“Now that it’s out, the details are incredibly disturbing,” Tapper said.

“The abuse is far too graphic to describe in details,” Casarez said. “But here is just one example: a priest sexually assaulted a little girl as he was visiting her in the hospital after she had her tonsils out. Grand jurors found that church leaders in every part of the state preferred to protect the abusers and institutions above all.”

She then detailed one case where a known sexual abuser asked for a recommendation to work at Disneyland.

“The report describes a priest who quit after being the subject of many child abuse complaints, but he asked for and received according to this report a letter of recommendation for work at Disneyland,” she said.


Interviewer: "You just got busted for molesting a pile of kids. What are you going to do next?"
Ex-Priest: "I'm goin' to DISNEYLAND!"
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 LFC

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 11:54 AM

Now the reaction is getting ugly. I believe the word used repeatedly here at TRS is "tumbrels" though in this case "lynching" might be more appropriate.

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A local priest is badly bruised after he was beaten until he passed out Monday. The priest says the attack was not random, but that he was targeted by someone filled with hate.

The attack on Father Basil John Hutsko happened at the Saint Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

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Father Basil Hutsko face is battered and bruised and his body is in pain.

The incident happened Monday around 9 a.m. when Hutsko was praying at the altar at the church.

At this point, Father Hutsko is not talking publicly, but did talk to CBS 2, as well as police.

“The subject yelled out ‘This is for all the little kids.’ I have enough there to say it’s a hate crime,” said Petruch.


There's still an open question whether this was a generic attack on the Catholic Church or this priest in particular.

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“Do you think that this person was targeted because of his past?” CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos questioned.

“We’re unsure of that. We’re looking into his past,” Petruch responded.

A fellow priest at the church says Father Hutsko has not been found guilty of any sexual abuse charges, but investigators are looking into his background.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#7 LFC

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 04:45 PM

George Weigel, in very beautifully written language, inadvertently and with zero self-awareness encompasses everything that is wrong with an institution like the Catholic Church.

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The depth of the challenges facing U.S. Catholicism are coming into painfully clear focus; but in facing those challenges, we must not give Satan cheap victories by denying how we think and who we are as a Church.

Sixteen years ago, in The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church, I argued that clerical sexual abuse had been facilitated in part by the breakdown of doctrinal discipline following Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on responsible family planning, Humanae Vitae. That breakdown involved rejecting what Paul VI taught about the reality of intrinsically evil acts: Acts wrong in themselves, which can’t be justified by a calculus of intentions and consequences. That rejection is now ricocheting around the world Church again and those involved should be asked a straightforward question: Is the attempted seduction of an eleven-year old boy by a trusted priest and family friend an intrinsically evil act? Yes or no?

Sure, George. There really wasn't that much of a problem prior to 1968. Comfort yourself with that fantasy. Sooooo, how about that treaty with Adolph Hitler? And then there's this...

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Responding responsibly to today’s crisis also means not fouling our own nest by denying all the good things that are underway in U.S. Catholicism, the living parts of which have embraced the New Evangelization and rejected Catholic Lite as an evangelical strategy. Shrill voices venting ideological spleen by decrying the entire American Catholic scene are demoralizing; they may unwittingly give the Evil One cheap victories. Truly righteous anger is focused anger, not online click-bait.

The "good things"? OK, sure Dick Cheney functioned outside of our nation's Constitution, helped drive us to start a war that ultimately killed over 100,000 human beings, sanctioned a program that tortured prisoners to the point of murdering over 100 of them, and on and on. But hey, his grandkids really love him and he's good to them!

George just doesn't get that this isn't the time when people are willing to listen to "yeah but look at the good things." And it sure as hell isn't time for a more hard-core version of Catholicism since we have seen over and over and over again that religious institutions like that tend to collapse into corruption. The nearly two millennia long rot isn't going to be handled properly behind closed doors by the bishops. I'm sorry that voices demanding justice sound "shrill" to your ears and I'm sorry that sunlight washing across your church is "demoralizing" but maybe, just maybe, you should show a bit of spine and fight against sin first rather than clearly worrying about your institution first. You sound just like the bishops who claim they were trying to make things better as they constantly made them worse.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#8 LFC

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:29 PM

Apparently some Catholic bishop wrote some letter accusing Pope Francis of knowing about some sexually active Cardinal (apparently not a child molester but I don't know all the details). This, of course, set Dreher off into a spittle-filled rant that pretty much blamed everything on the gays in the clergy. It really has to be read to be believed. Dreher believes that the downfall of the morality of the Catholic Church mostly started after Vatican II. For such a learned man it's a blind spot the size of a mountain. (And of course he'll never understand putting the power the church puts into the hands of men is almost guaranteed to end up as abuse of that power.) Here's a great comment by one of his readers that much more objectively discusses the rot that's in the Catholic Church.

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One of the enduring mysteries of the contemporary Catholic Church is why so many priests know about practicing homosexuals in the priesthood, but don’t do anything about it. An egregious example comes to mind from when I lived in New York City under Cardinal John O’Connor, and then Cardinal Edward Egan. A gay-friendly parish downtown used to hold pro-gay events all the time, many of which could not be justified in any authentically Catholic sense. I recall them once advertising an LGBT-oriented sex toy event in the church basement, though I can’t remember whether that was under O’Connor’s reign or Egan’s. It didn’t matter. That parish was going to do what it was going to do no matter what, and the chancery wasn’t going to stop it.


No mystery at all.

All sorts of prelates are likely dirty or compromised in some way or another; with active homosexuality (a particular bugbear for traddies) being only one of many activities that the men of the cloth are up to.

Financial shenanigans.

Heterosexual fooling-around.

Heterosexual abuse.

Drug and alcohol problems.

Ties to organized crime.

Ties to secular political organs (of a sort that are probably inappropriate for a prelate).

Blackmail.

Simple unbelief–bishops who think it’s all a bunch of hooey.

In other words, this is not all about the gays. Far from it. Active gay men in the priesthood and episcopate is certainly an issue for the Catholic Church (and due to the intersection between various church teachings, the celibacy requirement, and conservative cultural expectations for lay Catholic men to marry early, one that doesn’t affect either Protestantism or Orthodoxy anywhere near as much), but it’s the tip of the iceberg.

You write about the “lavendar mafia” as if that’s the whole of the corruption problems facing the church, or as though it is separable from other mafias (including the actual real-life honest-to-goodness Italian mob) that are found within the Vatican walls. But it’s not. It’s not just a bunch of gay priests (some abusing children or harassing seminarians, some not) protecting each other. It’s about the gays protecting the drunks protecting the wiseguys protecting the skirt-chasers protecting the bishops who don’t believe a word of the Bible, but have found that being a Bishop is a cushy gig. And vice versa, squared all around.

THAT is the story of the Catholic Church. A state of affairs that has long predated Vatican II, or Vatican I for that matter. The difference these days is most dioceses no longer have the power of the state or of powerful secular institutions (the media, corporations, etc). at their disposal, so dirty laundry is being aired that wasn’t aired before.

The story of corruption and vice has really nothing to do with liberal or conservative–other than each side blames the other, and asserts that their preferred positions (“No gays!” “Let priests marry!”) will automatically clean up the mess. The history of scandal in other Christian sects (many of whom do let priests marry and/or take a harder line on homosexuality) demonstrates it won’t–no earthly policy will solve the problem of original sin. (Such policies will likely reduce the number of Catholic prelates who are gay, but you’ll just be trading one set of sins for another, rather than increasing the holiness of the clergy. OTOH, some traditional Catholics act like being gay is the worst sin possible, so maybe they think this is an excellent trade-off).

So what of Vigano’s letter? What if it is indeed true? To be honest–it wouldn’t surprise me if it were (or at least much of it, if you strip out the overly-polemical allegations concerning various partys’ motiviations and the calls for resignations, and look at the factual questions concerning papal discipline of McCarrick).

Is it plausible that B16 heard of credible allegations concerning McCarrick, imposed a private penalty which was ignored, and then did nothing to follow up on the matter? Certainly. Would have been rather unwise of Benedict (unless he was under duress) to do so, but it is certainly plausible. And given that the Pope Emeritus is no longer Pope, whatcha gonna do?

Is it plausible that as soon as Francis stepped off the balcony for the first time as Pontiff that Vigano informed him of the allegations against McCarrick, at which point the new Pope did nothing? Absolutely! Is it also plausible that as soon as Francis was made Pope, there was a line of cardinals outside of his office, each leveling accusations against each other (many of which are true as the deep blue sea!), demanding that he Take Action?

This hasn’t been alleged publicly, but my assumption is that Francis has seen the often-rumored memo concerning corruption in the hierarchy, and knows that the Church has a serious problem, far greater than one perverted bishop, and one that straddles the ideological arguments that roil the various outside factions. Problems that were he to confront head-on, would require him to sack the entire Curia, much of the College of Cardinals, and goodness knows how many bishops and archbishops.

This isn’t a cancerous mole growing on the neck of the Church. This is a Stage IV tumor which has spread everywhere; no surgical excision is going to solve the problem, and blaming Benedict or Francis for failing to sack this guy or defrock that one, is missing the point. What is needed is not the surgeon’s knife, but aggressive radiation and chemo, and (since this is church) a whole lot of praying to boot. And even then the patient may not be saved.

So, this could be a nuclear bomb, one that leads to a catholic civil war, as all the knives that were at each others’ backs get plunged. Starting the war might be an advantage for traddies–if they could take down Francis and come out of the next conclave with one of their own as pope, they might be able to advance their agenda. (But they had one of their own with Benedict, and he ended up quitting on the job).

Or it could be radiation therapy–the first in a cycle of revelations that causes the dominoes to fall, as corrupt prelates of all stripes get unmasked, often in retribution. Like a dose of radiation or chemo, the patient is gonna get sick, and lots of people will lose their proverbial hair.

But if you think of this as an opportunity to get Francis, and are mainly concerned that canon law continues to reflect your ideological preferences, you’re missing the forest for the trees. The pope and the papacy aren’t the heart of the problem–and by that I mean all recent popes, JPII, Benedict, and Francis included.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#9 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:24 PM

View PostLFC, on 23 August 2018 - 04:45 PM, said:

I argued that clerical sexual abuse had been facilitated in part by the breakdown of doctrinal discipline following Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on responsible family planning, Humanae Vitae.

Two words: "Magdalene Laundries."
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Posted 28 August 2018 - 02:34 PM

More on the internal strife in the Catholic Church. All the chickens are finally coming home to roost and if they deal with it all openly my guess is that the organization will implode. Good. After so many years of horror and evil the promise that they'll do better in the future ring hollow without independent oversight by non-clergy.

As an aside I did not realize who the guy was who went after Pope Francis and demanded he step down. Let's just say that after being removed from his position as ambassador after finnegling the meeting between the Pope and Kim Davis (of all hateful people) his motives, if not his facts, are likely less than pure. He's basically a culture warrior. The humble part of being a Christian along with not casting the first stone seems to have missed him. This is just one more religious power struggle and I have no respect for either side.

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The latest claims come from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s former apostolic nuncio to the United States who is no big fan of Francis. The two have publicly differed on a number of topics, not least of all the pontiff’s tolerance for same-sex couples and his willingness to welcome divorced and remarried Catholics back to the church. Viganò is responsible for the ill-advised private meeting with anti-gay-marriage martyr Kim Davis when Francis visited America in 2015 and he has called the pope’s religious order a “deviated wing of the Jesuits.”

The Vatican’s former man in America says Francis is complicit in the now well-known widespread cover-up of clerical sex abuse in America—starting with McCarrick. He says the pope should lead the way and step down along with Cardinal Donald Wuerl and other prominent prelates tied to recent sex-abuse revelations in Pennsylvania involving more than 300 priests and 1,000 victims. McCarrick, who is a personal friend of Francis, did resign in June over “credible sex-abuse allegations.” Viganò now demands that the pope do the same.

“Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock,” Viganò wrote in a damning 11-page “testimony” submitted to the Roman Curia while Francis was in Ireland. “In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

While it is highly unlikely that the pope will resign on the recommendation of a man who is so clearly and publicly against him, it is as troubling a moment for Francis as it is for the American Catholic church at large.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#11 LFC

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 02:36 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 27 August 2018 - 06:24 PM, said:

Two words: "Magdalene Laundries."

I ran into this as well. It's long and nauseating at every turn. The Catholic Church really does just need to be shuttered. Should it be raised back up and reconstructed? I doubt it. I just don't see the very pillars of its foundation being a formula for transparency and accountability. Power corrupts and power over people's "immortal souls" corrupts as much as any other.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#12 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 04:53 PM

I recently bought a massive tome called The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. I've always loved books for dipping-into, and I've spent hours of my time dipping, just hooked[1]. After reading dozens of potted biographies and histories of heresies and of quarrels, it's become clear to me that as soon as the authors of the New Testament and their contemporaries had died off, the whole outfit started going downhill pretty quick. (In fact, even while the New Testament was being written: see Two Corinthians[2] and the Acts of the Apostles).

[1] Bookworms are simply compulsive Googlers before they had Google. There's nothing new under the sun!

[2] It's OK to call it "Two" Corinthians! It's OKAY! RIGHT? Anyone got a problem with that?
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#13 LFC

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 04:44 PM

The Mormon Church defends what any thinking individual understands to be a very, VERY bad idea; church officials interviewing children alone and behind closed doors. This is what you get when people believe they're doing their god's work. Common sense and reality don't enter into it. Either that or they know what would come out and they're trying to keep a lid on it just like the Catholics did for so long.

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A former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on a crusade to change the way church leaders speak to youth, reported KUTV.

Sam Young, staged a 23-day hunger strike calling attention to the church practice of “interviewing” children behind closed doors without anyone else present. The practice has raised questions about sexual abuse of children at the hands of powerful church leaders.

The LDS Church sees it as part of their work to guide, teach and inspire young LDS members. Children younger than 11 can be interviewed in preparation for baptism, but most times the young person is older.

“The elder Mormon man routinely sits alone in a closed-door conversation with a younger woman, or even a teenage girl, talking about, of all things, sex,” The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

Young posted a photo of a letter from the LDS church on Facebook telling him that there will be a “formal disciplinary council” meeting to address his campaign.

“This letter is a formal notice that the stake presidency will convene a formal disciplinary council in your behalf, the result of which includes the possibility of excommunication, disfellowshipment, formal probation, or no action,” the letter reads. “The reason for this council is that you are reported to have acted repeatedly in clear, open and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.”

It goes on to say that Young “encouraged others to vote opposed to Church leaders,” “organized more than one public action” when the church asked him not to.

His call to fast for children was posted on his page along with a request for LDS members to “speak out against a dreadful policy” and “work to heal countless kids who were severely wounded behind closed doors.”

“And what do you get? Excommunication!” the post read.

The church initially responded to the hunger strike saying that they have made changes to their practice since his petition. The updated guidelines say that youth and women can request that another person be present with the bishop. It also states that another adult is required to be in an adjoining room, foyer or hallway during such interviews.

Young called it merely a small improvement.

“This is another teeny tiny baby step. It does not curtail one-on-one interviews. It does not eliminate sexually explicit questions. We still remain the only institutional Christian church on the planet that subjects our children to this dangerous and damaging practice. It has got to stop,” Young wrote in response to the announcement.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#14 LFC

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 12:11 PM

Yet more coverage of the political intrigue, crimes, and ignoring of crimes that is endemic in the Catholic Church. There doesn't appear to be a real Christian among them. Sure all humans are fallible but this is off the charts ridiculous.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#15 LFC

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 12:16 PM

Meanwhile I'm starting to think Rod Dreher's sanity is now in freefall. This.

Quote

Yesterday I had a long, fruitful conversation with a priest who is also an exorcist. I agreed to keep his identity private, and our conversation — though he granted me permission to tell you this.

He told me that he hasn’t yet read The Benedict Option, but from what he knows about it, and from his work as an exorcist, he believes that it is necessary for all Christians today.

“All of us have to have a monastic aspect to our spirituality,” he said. “We have to have order, a structure that enables us to be pruned and become fruitful. It’s not about running away. We have to go to that place where the voice of the Lord is clear, it’s pure, and it’s true. That’s why we have to have monasticism in our lives.”

The exorcist went on to say that if it weren’t for the spiritual discipline, especially in his prayer life, that he imposes on himself, he couldn’t do the work he does. When you are in a “heavily demonic” place, e.g, in an exorcism, but not exclusively there, the spirit of confusion can be overwhelming. If you have not learned how to hear the voice of God, and have not developed the spiritual discipline to hold on to the truth no matter what people around you are saying, you’re going to be lost. We have to be especially careful not to fall for sentimental rhetoric, he said, which is how so many today lose contact with the truth.


Yes, he literally believes in demons and exorcism.

Quote

There are four general stages of an exorcism:
  • Pretense, in which the demon hides its identity
  • Breakpoint, in which the demon reveals itself
  • Clash, in which the exorcist and the demon fight for the soul of the possessed
  • Expulsion, in which God, working through the exorcist, casts out the evil spirit
In the Catholic Church, the pretense has been broken and is being broken daily. The Church is at the breakpoint; the clash has already begun in some places, and will both spread and intensify.

To be clear, I believe that this is literally what’s going on, but if you prefer to see this as metaphor, the fact remains that the spiritual battle cannot be avoided. There is no neutral position here. You are going to be drawn into it whether you want to or not.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#16 AnBr

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 02:33 PM

Perhaps we can convince him that tRump is possessed. wouldn't hurt to throw in the entire Repug leadership. Let him know that by supporting the Repugs he is serving Satan.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

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#17 Rue Bella

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 05:50 PM

Quote

In the Catholic Church, the pretense has been broken and is being broken daily. The Church is at the breakpoint; the clash has already begun in some places, and will both spread and intensify.

So the Catholic Church is possessed by the devil and needs an exorcism. Well, why not? As Mitt said "Corporations are people, my friend." In this case, close enough.
What is wrong with these people? ~ PG

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#18 LFC

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 12:58 PM

Ten states have ongoing investigations. For once Pennsylvania isn't bringing up the rear in being sane and responsible. Of course our current AG is a Democrat. Just sayin'.

Quote

A Pennsylvania grand-jury report released last month revealed rampant clergy abuse within the Catholic Church, where over 300 “predator priests” abused more than 1,000 victims over seven decades.

The 1,356-page report exposed rampant clergy abuse within the state, but pointed an accusatory finger at the rest of the country.

“For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away,” the report said. “Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”

In the wake of the harrowing report, ten other U.S. states have launched investigations into alleged clergy abuse and cover-ups. But while church and secular officials may have heeded Pennsylvania’s call to action, each individual state’s laws will determine what form their investigations take.


Some state AG's actually have their hands tied by local officials on this.

Quote

Louisiana’s lead prosecutor, Jeff Landry, publicly issued a statement on his limitations to prompt an investigation in his state where a quarter of adults identify as Catholic.

In the Pelican State, the attorney general’s office does not have the authority to launch a multi-parish investigation, though a local district attorneys could technically investigate themselves and then hand over individual cases to Landry.

“If any accusations are brought to my attention of this happening in Louisiana, my office and I will work with state, local and other officials to help find it, root it out, and working with local District Attorneys bring predators to justice,” Landry said in a written statement Friday.

Similarly, any investigations of criminal sex abuse in Indiana must begin at the local level with specific allegations against a person or organization, according to Melissa Gustafson, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney general’s office.

In Ohio, the attorney general would need a request from a local prosecutor even assemble a grand jury similar to Pennsylvania, Dan Tierney, the state AG’s spokesman, told The Daily Beast.

“To date, we have never been requested by any local authority to empanel such an investigative grand jury or to open any such criminal investigation on this matter,” Tierney said.


Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#19 LFC

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 01:08 PM

In response the Pope is pulling together some meetings. Whether they will be substantive and actually produce action or not remains to be seen. All of his predecessors disappointed on this topic in the past but I'm will to give Frank more benefit of the doubt than any other Pope in my lifetime but he has to produce.

Quote

Pope Francis has summoned top Catholic officials to discuss the escalating sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church.

The Pope will meet the presidents of the Catholic bishops conferences from around the world in the Vatican from February 21-24, the Vatican said Wednesday.

"The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has decided to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the 'protection of minors,'" the Vatican press office said in a statement.

The announcement comes amid growing criticism of the Pope's role in dealing with historical child abuse within the Catholic Church, and a day before he is scheduled to meet Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

DiNardo, of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, requested the meeting with the pontiff as the Catholic Church in the US faces clerical sex abuse scandals on several fronts.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#20 LFC

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 01:27 PM

Looking at the Proverbial (capitalization intentional) shit hitting the fan I had to take a look at what Dreher might be saying. He's over the moon because the man described as the longtime personal secretary to Joseph Ratzinger agrees with his ever more apocalyptic yammering about "the Benedict Option." (If you bother to read the whole thing you realize that the last Dreher article I posted where he's quoting an actual exorcist isn't a fluke. Either Dreher is in free fall from reality or he's already completely detached.) Yes, that Ratzinger. A man who was clearly complicit and up to his eyeballs in hiding the multiple crimes of pedophilia. Dreher clearly views this weak, vile little man as an inspiration.

Quote

Hello from Rome, where there was something of an earthquake this morning.

The De Gasperi Foundation held an invitation-only conference in Rome’s House of Deputies this morning, to discuss The Benedict Option. I gave a talk, and then gave the floor to Archbishop Georg Gänswein. He is the prefect of the papal household, but more importantly, is the longtime personal secretary to Benedict XVI. I was extremely curious to know what he would have to say about my book, as I have not hidden the fact that Benedict XVI is “the second Benedict of The Benedict Option.”

What Monsignor Gänswein said was nothing short of astounding.


After a bunch of translations that blabber on about the crisis with apparently zero awareness about Ratzinger's evil acts from this snapperhead Dreher finishes with this:

Quote

Here is a man at the pinnacle of the Catholic Church, a man who loyally served Pope Benedict XVI (and who now serves Pope Francis as head of his household), speaking in apocalyptic terms about the sex abuse scandal and the general loss of faith across the West. He praised my work on the Catholic scandal, and the work of independent Catholic journalists. He said that The Benedict Option is a prophetic work, “a marvelous source of inspiration,” and the source of the greatest consolation to him as he grapples with the meaning of the scandals.

Note well: my book is not a counsel of despair, but of hope, real hope! So says the longtime top aide to Benedict XVI. Now will you people who have set opinions about The Benedict Option without having read it actually open the thing?

My gratitude to Monsignor Gänswein — one of Joseph Ratzinger’s closest friends and colleagues — for his words about my book cannot be measured. The monsignor said in his talk that in reading the book, he got the sense that much of it was written in constant dialogue with Benedict XVI. Well, he’s right about that — but then, most of what I think and write is in some real sense a dialogue with that old monk living in the Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican.


Ooooo! The "pinnacle of the Catholic Church!" And one of Ratzinger's closest friends! Contrast this to Dreher calling for Pope Francis to step down because he supposedly knew about an openly gay and promiscuous Cardinal and you get an idea of what he really worships and what he thinks the real forces of evil are. In fact he has been frothing for months about homosexuality in the clergy but chose the picture below to accompany this latest article. Yes, that's a book by a thoroughly evil man who spent years protecting rapists who preyed on children. But oooooooh those gay priests having sex with each other! It makes his previous call for those who support equal rights to treat the gay bashers nicely because "Religion!" look deeply hypocritical. He has now become my poster child for the corrupting influence of ultra-conservative religion on the mind and, if you will, the soul. Which brings us back to one of my favorite quotes, this by Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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