Tag Archives: Catholic Church

Deaf And Mute Children Taught ‘Secret Signs’ For Sexual Abuse By Catholic Priests In Verona

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  • ‘Giuseppe’ was abused as a child by priests at the Antonio Provolo Institute
  • He described how he was unable to communicate what was happening to others, even via sign-language, because the signs were invented by priests 
  • 67 boys are named in documents Verona prosecutors say they will bring to trial

A deaf and mute victim of the historic sex abuse inside the Catholic church has revealed how he and his friends were taught secret signs for oral sex and sodomy at a learning institute in Italy.

The victim, identified only as ‘Giuseppe’, told The Daily Beast how the priests and monks at the Antonio Provolo Institute in Verona had started teaching him a string of sickening signs for things such as masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus, when he was just 11 years old.

The signs were designed to be incomprehensible to others, even those who could understand sign language, making it impossible for the children to accurately explain what was happening to them to their parents or the authorities.

Consequently, it took years before anyone could understand what he was trying to say, and even longer before he was actually believed.  

Giuseppe is one of 67 young boys named in court documents and detailing the alleged abuse at the Provolo Institute carried out by more than two dozen priests and brothers.

Verona prosecutors are planning to bring the case to trial in the coming months, having spent almost a decade investigating the allegations, The Daily Beast reported. 

‘I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,’ Giuseppe said

‘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.’ 

Speaking through an interpreter, Giuseppe explained that when he and his friends were given a sign by the priests, they knew they were about to be taken to special rooms, ostensibly for ‘time out’ punishments or to rest.  

The priests and brothers had no fear of being caught, he said, because everyone at the school was deaf and unable to hear the victims’ screaming.

Giuseppe also told The Daily Beast website that some of the boys tried to put the abuse into writing, but because they had to give external letters to their abusers to be mailed out, it is likely that their evidence was intercepted.

‘Of course we screamed and cried,’ he said. 

‘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.’ 

Giuseppe said his abuse lasted for seven years, only ending when he left the institute at age 18.  

Even when the allegations came to light, cover-ups and maneuvering began to protect the priests.

When allegations of abuse at the Provolo Institute first emerged in the mid-1980s, Father Nicola Corradi, now 83, was named as one of the perpetrators.

Rather than defrock him or turn him over to the police, the Bishop transferred him to the sister institution – The Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina – where he was able to carry out further acts of systematic abuse.

https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1/2018/10/01/10/4662058-0-image-a-35_1538385482526.jpgAuthorities in Argentina have also carried out raids at the Antonio Provolo Institute in La Plata, Argentina (pictured)

He was arrested in 2016 over allegations relating to the abuse of 22 deaf and mute children, spanning three decades. 

There are currently at least 60 civil trials taking place in Argentina against priests like Corradi.   

The decades-old and intercontinental scandal of sex abuse in the Catholic church has showed no signs of slowing down.    

In mid-September, two leading German media outlets reported that a study on sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Germany found that 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

Spiegel Online and Die Zeit said the report concludes that more than half of the victims were 13 or younger and most were boys. 

Every sixth case involved rape and at least 1,670 clergy were involved. Die Zeit wrote that 969 abuse victims were altar boys. 

The damning scandal has caused many within the church to call for a a shakeup of the system which fostered a culture of unchecked abuse for decades.

The German Catholic Church vowed to take a thorough look at its practices including the issue of celibacy.

And, just 48 hours ago, Pope Francis defrocked a Chilean priest, in a decision the Vatican has said ‘is for the good of the church’.

Francis invoked his ‘supreme’ authority to stiffen a sentence originally handed down by a Vatican court in 2011.

In a statement Friday, the Vatican said Francis had laicized 88-year-old Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was originally sanctioned to live a lifetime of ‘penance and prayer’ for having sexually abused minors in his Santiago parish. 

The ‘penance and prayer’ sanction has been the Vatican’s punishment of choice for elderly priests convicted of raping and molesting children, but it has long been criticized by victims as being too soft and essentially an all-expenses-paid retirement.

During a visit to Ireland in August, Pope Francis spoke of his ‘pain and shame’ at the ‘grave scandal’ of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church amid protests over the scandal. 

The pontiff said victims had a right to be outraged at the ‘repellent crimes’ against young people. For the victims, though, this isn’t enough.

‘They offer prayers and apologies and even money,’ Giuseppe told The Daily Beast website. 

‘But they can’t give us back our innocence. They can’t undo these terrible things.’

Source: By Miranda Aldersley | Mailonline

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Catholic Church’s third most senior cleric Cardinal George Pell – known as the ‘Vatican’s treasurer’ – is removed from Pope’s inner circle…

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Cardinal George Pell was unanimously convicted by an Australian jury on Tuesday of sexually abusing two choir boys in the country while…

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Australian Court Finds Cardinal George Pell Guilty of Sexually Abusing Children

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A Melbourne court has reportedly convicted the Vatican’s finance chief, Cardinal George Pell, of sexually abusing two choir boys in the 1990s when he was archbishop of Melbourne.

After more than three days of deliberations, the court handed down a guilty verdict Tuesday by a unanimous consent of the jury. If the verdict is confirmed, it will be the highest-ranking condemnation of a Church official for a crime of sexual abuse.

Last year, Cardinal Pell requested a dispensation from his duties in Rome to travel to Melbourne to defend himself against the charges against him, which he has always denied. The Holy See has not yet commented on the reports.

The trial has been kept under strict secrecy, after a judge placed a gag order on all press coverage of the trial in Australia. Now, however, several Australian media outlets have reported that Pell has been found guilty of all charges.

The gag order, which still remains in place in Australia, was reportedly granted to “prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice.”

Pell continues to maintain his innocence and will almost certainly appeal the decision.

“All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations,” Pell said last year. “News of these charges strengthens my resolve and the court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name and then return back to Rome to work.”

During the course of the trial, the cardinal has resided in a house of the diocese, although the Australian Church has noted that Pell personally paid for all the expenses of his defense.

The cardinal will face a second trial early next year on separate charges that he “sexually offended” two boys while playing games in a swimming pool in his home town of Ballarat, Victoria, in the 1970s when Pell was a priest in the area.

The prelate has always forcefully denied these accusations as well, and his lawyer, Robert Richter, said in 2017 that there is “voluminous” evidence to show that “what was alleged is impossible.”

Pell had been tapped by Pope Francis in 2014 to conduct a serious reform of Vatican finances, but met with increasing resistance as he began discovering large sums of money that had not been recorded in financial statements: 94 million euros in the Secretariat for State, later followed by nearly 1 billion euros in various other departments.

The Secretariat of State, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), and the Governorate of the Vatican City State reportedly resisted implementing tighter rules on transparency, compliance, and accounting, “largely because they might reveal corrupt practices or involve a loss of power among the so-called ‘old guard.’”

Source: by Thomas D. Williams | Breitbart

‘Wrong on so many levels’: Catholic Priest Paraded Through Town In Porsche Pulled By Children (VIDEO)

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©Carmel Saliba

A newly appointed parish priest is being accused of using his stature to put on a “ostentatious” public display, during which children were seen pulling a Porsche through the streets of a Maltese town with the clergyman inside.

Fr John Sultana, who this week was named the new parish priest for Gozitan community, Malta, was honored with a traditional parade by local followers. However, the pastor’s use of a rather luxurious vehicle and manner in which he was heralded into his new role has drawn widespread criticism.

Footage showing Fr Sultana standing inside a convertible Porsche as lines of children pulled the Porsche Boxster through the streets of Żebbuġ has been labelled by some as “crass” and unbefitting of a representative of the Catholic Church.

However, Fr Sultana has suggested that the incident has been blown out of proportion and he hit out at comments criticizing the event. A spokesperson for Gozo Curia, the Catholic Church in Malta, further added that the priest did not have a say in the finer details of the traditional priest parade.

The Catholic priest has found an ally in local counselor Sandra Grech, who defended Fr Sultana, adding that the “unique feast,” was welcomed by everyone in the town.

The joy has not been shared by people online, though. While the event has been explained as a tradition, commentators have lambasted the use of the car, as well as the fact children were filmed dragging the vehicle.

“The epitome of bad taste and crass ostentation,” said Facebook user Marlene Mizzi. “Disgusting, actually. What on earth were they thinking?”

A second commenters added: “This is wrong on so many levels.”

“What stupidity. Should have walked with the children,” another Facebook denizen added.

Another said that “people are too quick to judge, if something does not conform to their societal ideals, it is labelled as wrong and unorthodox.”

However same person admitted that “the Porsche might have been excessive.”

Source: RT

The Vatican Infiltration – Out of Darkness Into the Light

There exists a terrible scourge that infects not just the United States, but the whole world – a global network of human trafficking operations, some of which are controlled by rogue elements inside the Catholic Church. The US State Department estimates that today there are between 20 to 30 million slaves in the world. Government statistics indicate that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. This video series will expose some of these operations – bringing these sick crimes out of the darkness and into the light.

Forgiveness Is Overrated

“From the Pope down, we’ve been anesthetized with this mind-virus that in order to be good people we just put our head down, work hard, die poor, and let God do the judging. How convenient for power is that story? A little too convenient. Sold to “us by the same people who rape children and sit on a throne of stolen riches.

Journalist David Sirota has just published an excellent op-ed titled “America’s new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone”, which begins with the observation that “Enron executives were among the last politically connected criminals to face any serious consequences for institutionalized fraud.” Sirota goes on to remind readers how there was never any attempt by either mainstream political party to bring accountability to anyone responsible for monstrous offenses ranging from the disastrous invasion of Iraq to the ecocidal manipulations of fossil fuel plutocrats to the Wall Street plundering which led to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Sirota’s argument is solid: there is an aristocratic class which has successfully neutered all the institutional mechanisms which were meant to protect the powerless from the powerful. The government is bought and owned by the plutocrats and so is the media, as the continued forgiveness of unforgivable transgressions which those institutions have been bestowing upon the aristocracy clearly reflects. This means that the only thing left protecting the populace from the powerful is the populace itself.

A couple of years back I read a Shaun King article titled “Stop asking black victims of white violence if they forgive their victimizers”, about a bizarre trend in which the black survivors of police shootings and racially motivated terrorism were consistently finding themselves barraged with questions about forgiveness. King wrote about how “before her son, Philando, had even been buried, his body riddled with bullets from a Minnesota police officer, Valerie Castile was asked live on CNN if she forgave the man who shot him,” which is a truly demented thing to ask someone in such a situation. Why would a newscaster bring up forgiveness when a horrific injustice has just been inflicted and no measures of any kind have even been taken to rectify it?

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In response to the latest wave of sex scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, “masses of forgiveness” were held in August as a way to help the faithful in “healing” their distrust of the institution which has upheld itself as the highest moral authority in the world for two thousand years. “I beg forgiveness for these sins and for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family,” said Pope Francis at a Marian shrine in Ireland in response to the degradation and abuse inflicted upon the people of that nation by trusted Church officials.

The concept of forgiveness is a recurring theme in any abusive relationship, and necessarily so, because without extensive value being placed upon that concept there wouldn’t be a relationship. You wouldn’t have a battered wife, you’d have a story about how a woman’s boyfriend hit her one time and she grabbed all her stuff and split. You wouldn’t have a brainwashed and exploited cult member, you’d have a story about how someone met a group of people and left when things got weird. You wouldn’t have a major world religion consistently embroiled in horrifying scandals, you’d have people dismissing that religion and placing their energy and attention elsewhere. You wouldn’t have a society that constantly allows itself to be manipulated into consenting to abuse and exploitation by an aristocratic class, you’d have a people’s uprising in which the vastly outnumbered elites are shrugged off and replaced with a system which benefits humanity.

Forgiveness is overrated. There are only two types of people who consistently promulgate the importance of forgiveness: abusers and their codependents. The abuse can range from pedophilia and battery to war and ecocide, and the codependency can range from a wife saying she fell down the stairs again to a newscaster demanding to know when the mother of a son just gunned down by police will forgive his murderer, but the formula remains the same in each instance.

Anyone who goes around around telling everyone else how important it is to forgive is either an abuser or one of their brainwashed Stockholm syndrome victims. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, for your own benefit, when you are ready and only for freeing yourself from energetic entanglements. Those who have truly learned the value of authentic forgiveness don’t run around telling other people to forgive those who have wronged them, because they understand that you don’t need anyone else’s help or permission to forgive somebody, and you don’t even need anyone to change necessarily. If you really want to forgive someone so that you can move on and stop thinking about it, you can do so as long as they’re not doing the bad thing to you anymore. They don’t have to repent or admit to their wrongdoing or whatever; you can forgive them for being the thing they are just like you can forgive a man-eating bear for being a man-eating bear. If it would really benefit your inner peace and undo some mental chatter, you can zoom out and see that a human being’s behavior is patterned like the veins in a leaf, and that patterning rarely changes. You unknowingly walked into that person’s path as innocently as if you’d accidentally walked in front of a bus. Forgiving someone can just be letting go of the idea that they will change, or that they would’ve done anything different or would do anything different given the chance.

Once you’ve seen that though, you don’t let them back in your life, and you certainly don’t let them go on running the world. Man-eating bear be man-eating bear, man. You don’t let a man-eating bear hang around long enough to eat another one of your children, and you don’t let a neocon hang around long enough to destroy another middle-eastern country. You know what they do, you’ve seen what they are, and you don’t let them do it anymore. Being lulled into a state of inertia with hypnotic entreaties about forgiveness and how we’re all kinda fucked up and we all make mistakes and we’re all the same is just another psychologically abusive manipulation performed by the abusers and their codependents. Some people in the highest echelons of power right now have facilitated the most extraordinary barbaric crimes on a scale that even the worst serial killer in his most horrifying fantasies could barely bring himself to imagine. Our greatest mistake as a species right now is forgiving them.

One major way that sociopaths differ from normal people is that they don’t think about things in terms of feeling bad or feeling good about doing something, they just think about the consequences. If you don’t feel guilt, you don’t worry about feeling guilty. It literally doesn’t factor into your decision-making process. “Oh, I won’t do that again because I sure do feel bad about that million people I helped kill” is not a thought that ever goes through their head. If the consequences of Iraq were a butt load of profit and a regular spot on CNN with absolutely no downside whatsoever, no uncomfortable trip to the Hague, no endless prison sentence, no stripping of wealth, status and power, then of course they want to do it again and again and again and again and again. They will do it until they are stopped.

So America’s new aristocracy must be stopped, and the only way they can be stopped is to be held to account, right here, on earth, as soon as humanly possible. Allowing them to go on for even one more day is acknowledging that there are no consequences for evil, and when there are no consequences for evil, evil will reign.

And that’s where we are right now. Evil reigns, but it’s a simple matter of restoring justice to the earth by the people taking their power back and standing in judgement of these pricks and making sure they do not do this again. Passing judgement on someone is an idea that makes good people feel uneasy, and that’s deliberate. From the Pope down, we’ve been anesthetized with this mind-virus that in order to be good people we just put our head down, work hard, die poor, and let God do the judging. How convenient for power is that story? A little too convenient. Sold to us by the same people who rape children and sit on a throne of stolen riches.

I don’t buy it anymore, and neither should you.

***

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Source: by Caitlin Johnstone | ZeroHedge

The Catholic Church Is Breaking Apart. Here’s Why.

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Cardinal Donald Wuerl walks between rows of Catholic clergy as he leaves the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on February 20, 2016. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Pope Francis, Cardinal Wuerl, Theodore McCarrick, and the crisis of a church divided.

Consider what we know, and what has been alleged, about Pope Francis, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, and disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

For several decades, Father, Bishop, Archbishop, and eventually Cardinal McCarrick preyed sexually on the priests and seminarians serving under his authority. There are credible allegations he abused boys as young as 11. To the extent that this behavior was a secret within the American church, it was very badly kept. Between 2005 and 2007, three dioceses in New Jersey paid out large cash settlements to keep allegations of abuse by McCarrick quiet. As Bishop Steven Lopes said in a homily first reported by First Things, “I was a seminarian when Theodore McCarrick was named archbishop of Newark. And he would visit the seminary often, and we all knew.”

McCarrick ended his career as cardinal of the Washington, D.C., archdiocese and was succeeded by Archbishop Donald Wuerl, who arrived having just served as bishop of Pittsburgh. Wuerl’s former diocese has been in the news recently after the release of a grand jury report by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office outlining decades of abuse by priests in the state.

As Wuerl arrived in Washington in 2006, McCarrick retired to the Redemptoris Mater seminary and was later ejected and sent to the Institute of the Incarnate Word seminary, both of which lay within Wuerl’s jurisdiction. In or about 2009, Pope Benedict XVI placed McCarrick under some sort of sanction. (The exact nature of the sanction is still unknown, but it seems to have been something like house arrest. It is also unclear when, exactly, Benedict first learned about McCarrick or how much time passed before he acted.) Yet somehow Wuerl insists that he knew nothing about any of this until June 2018, when the McCarrick firestorm exploded into public view.

Wuerl’s defense is that he is not an evil man who looked the other way about the behavior of a known sexual predator, but merely an incompetent dolt. And Wuerl seems to think that being guilty of gross incompetence should entitle him to keep his job. A responsible leader of good character would have walked away in disgrace the moment he learned of these scandals. Wuerl’s first public comment on the McCarrick story was to say, “I don’t think this is some massive, massive crisis.” On literally the same day that the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released, Wuerl’s diocese launched a barrage of defensive propaganda in the form of a new website, “The Wuerl Record.” It was quickly taken down when it became clear that it was hurting the cardinal’s reputation rather than helping it. Then Wuerl called for a season of healing” with special Masses in his archdiocese. The best that can be said of Wuerl is that his crisis PR handling has bolstered the incompetence defense.

It was only after a month of trying to cling to his job that Wuerl said he plans to fly to Rome to discuss his future with Pope Francis. Francis has yet to say or do anything about Wuerl despite the fact that, as do all cardinals over the age of 75, Wuerl had a letter of resignation on file with the Vatican. Francis could have disposed of him in an afternoon without having to do anything more complicated than accept a pre-existing letter.

Those are the facts we know. None of them are in dispute.

Then there are the allegations: On August 25, 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published a letter in which he claimed that he had been party to several attempts to make the Vatican aware of McCarrick’s abuses over the years; that he had personally discussed them with Wuerl; and that Pope Francis—knowing full well all of the above—rescinded the house-arrest order of his predecessor, made McCarrick his “trusted counselor,” and, at McCarrick’s behest, began elevating certain bishops—such as Blase Cupich and Joseph William Tobin—to positions of power in the American church.

If true, this would mean that we have one cardinal who was a sanctioned sexual predator, (at least) one cardinal who turned a blind eye to this man’s crimes as they were happening within his jurisdiction, and a pope who didn’t just look the other way but took affirmative steps to help both the criminal and his enabler.

And if all of that is true, well, then what? The potential answers to this question aren’t very nice. They include: schism, the destruction of the papacy, and a long war for the soul of the Catholic church. Because the story of Theodore McCarrick isn’t just a story about sexual abuse. It’s about institutions and power.

The abuse itself is terrible, of course. We should say that out loud, because while the details are unspeakable they must be spoken of. Without the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, we would know much less about the evil inside the church. (It is also instructive to note that authorities within the church opposed the release of this report.) But individual priest-abusers aren’t catastrophic to the church in any structural way. Predators will always be among us. It is a human pathology from which not even priests are immune. But the remedy for predation is straightforward: Whenever and wherever such men are discovered, they should be rooted out and punished.

The institutional damage is done not by the abusers but by the structures that cover for them, excuse them, and advance them. Viewed in that way, the damage done to the Catholic church by Cardinal Wuerl—and every other bishop who knew about McCarrick and stayed silent—is several orders of magnitude greater than that done by McCarrick himself.

By way of analogy, consider the dirty cop. About once a week we see evidence of police officers behaving in ways that range from the imprudent to the illegal. It has no doubt been this way since Hammurabi deputized the first lawman. But while individuals might be harmed by rogue cops, the system of law enforcement isn’t jeopardized by police misbehavior. The damage to the system comes when the other mechanisms of law enforcement protect, rather than prosecute, bad cops. If that happens often enough, citizens can eventually decide that the system is broken and take to the ballot box to reform it. The laity have no such recourse with the church.

https://mediadc.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/6960544/2147483647/strip/true/crop/2959x2016+0+0/resize/2959x2016!/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmediadc.brightspotcdn.com%2Ffd%2Fcd%2Fac2a85e74a4db152ca6e9f5d5151%2Fwell.v24-03.2018-09-24.Last-1.Jonathan-Newton_WashingtonPost_Getty.jpgPope Francis gives Theodore McCarrick a hug following a service in Washington, D.C., in September 2015.Jonathan Newton / Washington Post / Getty

The Catholic church is unlike any other earthly institution. It is strictly hierarchical, with its ultimate power derived from the son of God. The head of the church—the successor of Peter—is elected to a lifetime appointment by his peers, and his authority over them is total. He can allow them to carry on sexual affairs in broad daylight, as Francis did with Father Krzysztof Charamsa, a priest who worked for years in the Vatican curia while living openly with his gay lover. Or he can drive them from the church, as Francis did with Father Charamsa after the priest made his situation public in the Italian media in 2015. He can make either of these choices—or any choice in between—for any reason he likes. Or none at all. Such is the supreme power of the vicar of Christ.

Yet the pope’s immediate subordinates—the cardinals and bishops—function like feudal lords in their own right. The bishop can preach in contravention of the teachings of the church, as Cardinal Walter Kasper does on the subject of marriage and infidelity. He can forbid the offering of both species of the Eucharist, as Bishops John Richard Keating and Paul Loverde once did in Northern Virginia. He can punish and reward priests under his care either because of merit or caprice—because the deacons and priests all swear a vow of obedience to the bishop (or cardinal) himself.

All of which is the long way of saying that there is no mechanism for a man such as Donald Wuerl to be dealt with by his peers. The bishop of Madison can fulminate against Wuerl all he wants to, as Bishop Robert Morlino did in late August. His fellow bishops have no power over him. The only man Wuerl is accountable to is the pope. And the structure of the church has no remedy when a pope is foolish or wicked.

In the weeks after the Viganò letter was published, Francis preached a homily in which he declared, “with people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction” the best response is “silence” and “prayer.” If this sounds like Francis believes the real villains in this mess are Archbishop Viganò and people who want to know what the bishops knew, and when they knew it, well, yes.

In another homily on September 11, Francis went further, saying that not only was Viganò the real villain, but the bishops were the real victims: They were being persecuted by the devil: “In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops,” Francis preached. And Satan “tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people.” (The Father of Lies—as he is referred to in the Bible—has not traditionally been regarded as the revealer of sins in Catholic thought, but this pope has never been known for having a supple mind.) Francis then offered counsel for his poor, suffering brother bishops: “The Great Accuser, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse.’ A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer.”

Other parts of the church hierarchy also seem to view themselves as victims. In late August, Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig decided to try to get to the bottom of the Viganò story by asking McCarrick himself. She went to the church-owned property where the former cardinal now resides and knocked on the door. Whatever representative of the church—God’s vessel for Truth and Light—lives there declined to answer. Instead, he called the Post to complain about her.

So what is to be done if the vicar of Christ is a fool who sides with bishops who enabled or hid abusers? Or is a wicked man who sides with the actual abusers themselves? That’s an excellent question and we’ll get to it.

The more immediate question is: Why would he do that? And the answer is simple: power.

The pontificate of Francis can, perhaps, best be understood as a political project. His election at the conclave in 2013 was—unbeknownst to the world at the time—the result of a campaign planned out in advance by four radical cardinals who saw then-cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the perfect vehicle for the revolution they wanted to launch within the church. (The story of how Cardinals Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Walter Kasper, Godfried Danneels, and Karl Lehmann formed “Team Bergoglio” is detailed in Austen Ivereigh’s worshipful biography of Francis, and even though the cardinals subsequently denied the account, their protestations are supremely unconvincing.) As the Catholic News Agency reported at the time, this politicking wasn’t simply a matter of bad taste: The apostolic constitution, Universi Dominici gregis, expressly prohibits cardinals from forming pacts, agreements, promises, or commitments of any kind. Oh well.

During his time on Peter’s throne, Francis has worked to dismantle many orthodox positions in an attempt to radically reorient the church toward—by total coincidence—the long-held preferences of those four radical cardinals. For instance: He has criticized Catholics for being “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. He has derided Catholic women for having too many children and behaving “like rabbits.” He sent a papal blessing to the lesbian author of the Italian version of Heather Has Two Mommies—a tract for children extolling the virtues of same-sex parenting.

All of this is in addition to his bizarre insistence that “never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake” and that the benefits of free-market growth have “never been confirmed by the facts.” (In case people didn’t get the message, Francis posed for pictures with a crucifix made of a hammer and a sickle.) Yet as bad as free market capitalism is, the pope insists “the most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” Which is a . . . curious view of our fallen world.

The most outré of the pope’s initiatives, however, have been his efforts to dismantle the restrictions on admittance of divorced and remarried Catholics to communion. For this, Francis convened a synod, attempted to ram through a change to Catholic teaching, and, when that failed, proclaimed via an apostolic exhortation that priests were free to use their discretion on the matter.

To non-Catholics, this may not sound like a big deal, but it is: Communion for the divorced and remarried is the first theological step to doing away with the concept of adultery. If such a change is accomplished, the Catholic church would eventually be forced to change all of its teachings on marriage, sexuality, and the family: Divorce, pre-, and -extra-marital sex would all then be sanctioned by the church.

And so would—crucially—homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Now maybe you like these things and maybe you don’t. Some Christian denominations embrace them. But the Catholic church has never sanctioned any of them and the entire revolutionary project of changing the church’s teaching on family and sexuality necessarily begins with communion for the divorced and remarried.

This project and the pope’s apostolic exhortation were serious enough that several cardinals sent the Holy Father a formal document, known as a dubia, asking if he truly intended to change Catholic teaching in a heretical manner, or if he had just made an honest mistake. Francis simply ignored them.

Which is his way. In his only conversation with reporters about the Viganò testimony, Francis declined to address the charge that he had known about McCarrick. Viganò’s letter, Francis said, “speaks for itself.” When it wasn’t clear what the Holy Father meant by this—Was Viganò’s account true? Was Viganò a mountebank?—Francis continued, saying, “It’s an act of trust. I won’t say a word about it.”

The pope’s favorite American cardinal is Blase Cupich, who heads the archdiocese of Chicago and has been the most persistent cheerleader for the Francis project in America. He has said quite a few words. Asked about the Viganò letter by a reporter, Cupich said it was a “rabbit hole” and “[T]he pope has a bigger agenda. . . . he’s got to get on with other things” such as “talking about the environment and protecting migrants.”

This was not a gaffe. A few days later, Cupich met with a group of seminarians who very much wanted to talk about the priest-abuse problem, the Holy Father, and this dark night of the church. Cupich told the group, “I feel very much at peace at this moment. I am sleeping okay.” Then came this, per the account in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The source said Cupich also told the group that, while the church’s “agenda” certainly involves protecting kids from harm, “we have a bigger agenda than to be distracted by all of this,” including helping the homeless and sick.

Which brings us, finally, to the question of what this “agenda” actually is.

It is difficult to disentangle the hundreds of cases of abuse in the church from the subject of homosexuality. No one wants to say, or even to insinuate, that homosexuality and abusiveness are one and the same, or that all, or most, or even a large proportion of gay men are abusers. Those statements are objectively false.

At the same time, the math is pitiless: According to our best data, a mammoth CDC study done in 2013, 1.6 percent of Americans identify as gay. Yet 80 percent of the abuse cases involve priests abusing other males. You can include all the caveats you like—maybe there’s selection bias, maybe the percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood is many times higher than 1.6 percent, maybe not all male-on-male abuse is perpetrated by men who would identify as gay. But the correlation is still high enough that it is impossible to ignore.

And despite the fact that everyone wants to insist that abuse by priests has nothing to do with homosexuality, it’s strange that the people who most want to open the church sacramentally to homosexuality are the ones strenuously ignoring the abuse. Priests such as Cardinal Cupich are certainly acting like they think there’s a linkage and that if the church were to crack down on abuse and the bishops who enabled it, it would somehow endanger their project.

https://mediadc.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/4ee3980/2147483647/strip/true/crop/2398x1599+0+0/resize/2398x1599!/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmediadc.brightspotcdn.com%2Fcb%2Fbe%2Fb720ffc54162b4b727f4a65e5297%2Fwell.v24-03.2018-09-24.Last-4.GiulioOriglia_Getty.jpgArchbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich. Giulio Origlia / Getty

And it’s not confined to the United States. In Chile, too, Catholic bishops have presided over a sickening culture of abuse and coverup. Confronted with charges of abuse, Francis stood by the Chilean bishop Juan Barros Madrid, saying of the allegations, “The day someone brings me proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?” This, despite the fact that Francis had been warned about Barros and there was a mountain of evidence against him. Barros was on Team Francis, which is what counted most.

In July, a group of 50 seminarians in Honduras presented Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga with a letter and corroborating evidence alleging a ring of homosexual abuse at the country’s largest seminary. Maradiaga’s response, per the reporting of Edward Pentin, was to accuse the seminarians of being “gossipers.” You can think of Maradiaga as the Donald Wuerl of Tegucigalpa. He is also one of Francis’s closest advisers.

Whether or not it’s coincidence, the American bishops in the most jeopardy now—McCarrick, Wuerl, Cupich, Tobin—are also the ones closest to Francis and most supportive of his desire to revolutionize the church.

There was a general sense among Catholics following the pontificate of John Paul II that the church had been jolted by an influx of orthodox young priests. In time, the thinking went, these men would climb and, eventually, they would stock the positions of power throughout the church. Thus the church would remain, at least for the medium-term, an orthodox institution.

But the election of Francis changed all of that. Even though the radical elements within the church were a small and aging minority, the progressives realized that the only person who really matters is the pope. That’s why they organized to get Francis elected. Since then they have understood that if Francis and his faction can find just a few score of like-minded priests to elevate, they can ensure that the current pope’s successor will share his ideological preferences.

The College of Cardinals is supposed to have 120 voting members; currently there are 124 members eligible to participate in the next conclave. That’s more than the cap should allow. Why? Because 75 of them—including Cupich and Tobin—have been appointed by Francis. Unlike his predecessor, Francis understands power. And because there are so few high-level progressives in the church, Francis understands that losing any of these men could endanger his succession, which could endanger his larger project. His confederates, in turn, understand that losing Francis himself at this moment could sink it entirely.

The chances of the church’s losing Francis, however, are slim. You cannot impeach a pope. And barring an unexpected return to our Heavenly Father, Francis will remain pope for the foreseeable future. Which leaves four possible pathways, none of which is attractive.

Some conservative Catholics, such as Princeton’s Robert P. George, have suggested that Francis ought to resign—especially if the Viganò letter is corroborated. This is an attractive idea and would align with the cause of justice. Anyone in the church hierarchy who knew, or should have known, about specific abusers in their midst should, at the least, be removed from any position of responsibility. They simply cannot be trusted. If you were to extend this view all the way to the bishop of Rome, there is a certain cleanliness to its logic—a sense that maybe the church could make a clean break and begin to make things right anew.

But it might be a cure worse than the disease.

In the last 600 years, only one pope has abdicated: Benedict XVI, the man who immediately preceded Francis. Two abdications in a millennium are an aberration. But two abdications in a row would have the practical effect of breaking the modern papacy. From here forward, all popes would be expected to resign their office rather than die in harness.

This expectation of resignation would, in turn, create incentives for the pope’s theological adversaries to fight and wound him, in the not-unreasonable hope that if they could make him unpopular, he could be shuffled out of the palace and they could try their luck with a new pontiff. Before you know it, you’d have polling data and opposition research and the papacy would become an expressly political office. No Catholic should yearn for this outcome.

The second option is capitulation. Catholics could shrug and give up. They could let Cardinal Wuerl live his best life and then slink off to a graceful retirement; they could make peace with Cardinal Cupich’s view that the church exists, first and foremost, to deal with global warming, or the minimum wage, or whatever else is trending on Vox.com. They could toe the dirt and accept sacramental same-sex marriages, even if it destroys the theology of the body. After all, times change. Religions change. And if you really trust in the Lord, then no change could come to His church without its being the will of the Father.

The third option is schism. There has been loose talk about schism since the early days of Francis’s pontificate. The conversation became less whimsical at the time of the synod and the dubia. It will become deadly serious if Viganò’s accusations are corroborated and Francis shelters in place. Even so, it remains one of those low-probability, extinction-level events that every Catholic should pray does not come to pass.

The fourth option is resistance. We are only at the current moment because the forces that conspired to elevate Francis refused, for decades, to leave the church, even though their desires were at odds with its teachings.

Despite the fact that the Catholic church rejected their preferences as false, the South American liberation theologists, the German cardinals who wanted to redefine marriage, and the American progressives who never met a social justice cause they didn’t like all hung on. Eventually they organized. And after a generation of orthodox papacy, during which time most American Catholics forgot that there even was a radical side of the faith, they worked together to elect Francis. Organization works, if you’re willing to play the long game and play for keeps.

So Catholics could starve bishops such as Wuerl, Cupich, and Tobin of funds. Not a dime for any church in any diocese headed by a bishop who refuses to root out abusers and their enablers.

The bishops who do care about these things could start organizing for the next conclave now, identifying potential candidates and laying the groundwork for the election of the next pope.

Then, when the pendulum eventually swings back—be it next year or 40 years from now—orthodox Catholics could take from these years a very sobering lesson about power. And with neither malice nor mercy drive men such as Cupich, Tobin, and Wuerl into the sea and purge the church of anyone who believes that climate change is a more pressing matter than the abuse of Catholics by the clergy.

None of these pathways is attractive; each leads to a church that is at best impoverished and at worst crippled.

Then again, the church survived Caligula, the bubonic plague, the Third Reich, the Gather hymnal, and the autoharp. It will survive McCarrick, Wuerl, and Francis, too.

But crucibles are rarely pleasant experiences for those inside them and a great many souls may be lost in the transition.

Those men will have much to answer for.

Correction, September 14, 2018, 3:05 p.m.: The article originally stated that a bishop “can forbid the offering of both species of the Eucharist, as Bishop Michael Burbidge does in Northern Virginia.” Bishop Burbidge does allow both species of the Eucharist, it was his predecessors, Bishops John Richard Keating and Paul Loverde, who forbid the offering of both species of the Eucharist. According to a statement from the Arlington Diocese: “Reverend Thomas Ferguson, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, [says that] Bishop Paul Loverde changed the policy to allow both species of the Eucharist to be allowed at Mass. The policy changed sometime between 1999 and 2004.”

Also, the article originally stated that Bishop Steven Lopes said “I was a seminarian when Theodore McCarrick was named archbishop of Newark. And he would visit the seminary often, and we all knew.” in the an interview with First Things. He made those remarks in a homily that was first reported by First Things.

We regret the errors.

Source: by Jonathan V. Last, digital editor of The Weekly Standard.

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Leaked Report Reveals Catholic Priests Sexually Abused Thousands Of Children In Germany

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Two leading German news outlets have leaked an explosive report on Catholic child sex abuse in Germany

 

 

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Obama said he was a community organizer and activist for the Catholic church

US President Barack Obama smiling as he meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Pedophilia: Nexus Of Church And State

Report: Pittsburgh Gov’t Officials Hid Catholic Pedophile Priest Crimes For Decades

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Local officials in Pittsburgh helped cover up a pedophile ring involving 99+ priests over fears that the abuse would cause “bad publicity” for the Catholic Church. 

According to a scathing report, the priests worked together in a predatory ring that existed for years in which they “manufactured child pornography, shared intelligence on victims and gave large gold crosses to certain boys to mark them as already being ‘groomed,’ for abuse.” 

Thefreethoughtproject.com reports: The accusations have been around for decades, and one of the earliest reports dates back to 1964 when a child attempted to report the horrific abuse he endured at the hands of a priest in his church, and former Beaver County District Attorney Robert Masters shut down the investigation and insisted that the church needed to handle it from within.

The church did handle it—by simply sending the accused pedophile, Father Ernest Paone, to a different diocese where he continued in his career and was later given direct access to young boys again. The accusations from 1964 were not the first time Paone had been called out either, and the report from Penn Live claimed that “church officials had extensive knowledge of Paone’s sexual conduct with children as early as 1962 and questions about his ‘emotional and physical health’ as early as the 1950s when he was in seminary.”

Unfortunately, Paone’s story is not unique, and the Catholic Church has a disturbing history of looking the other way and blindly reassigning pedophile priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children and choosing to continue to give them access to vulnerable children.

The latest grand jury report looks at six of the eight Catholic dioceses in the state of Pennsylvania, and it accuses more than 300 priests of engaging in sexually abusing children. That number does not even begin to cover the hundreds of other priests and church leaders who helped to cover up the abuse, in the name of “protecting” the Catholic Church’s image.

The report lists more than 1,000 victims, which is a low estimate, as there are likely thousands of victims whose pleas for help were never heard or were blatantly ignored by people in power. As the New York Times noted, the horrific abuse carried out by the priests was shown in a number of forms that affected both young boys and girls:

The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses and found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report said there are likely thousands more victims whose records were lost or who were too afraid to come forward. It catalogs horrific instances of abuse: a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out; a victim tied up and whipped with leather straps by a priest; and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a young girl and arranging for her to have an abortion.”

While the Catholic Church has since attempted to claim that the cases were isolated incidents, the report from Penn Live revealed that as many as 100 priests in Pittsburgh worked together and helped each other prey on young children. Early accusations of the pedophile ring occurred in the 1970s when a boy claimed he was introduced to a group of priests who told him to remove his clothes so that they could take photos of him and add those to their collection.

In addition to manufacturing child pornography, the priests have also been accused of using signals to show one another which boys had already been victims of sexual abuse and would be easy targets. The report claimed that they did this by gifting the victims with special gold cross necklaces.

The details of abuse are horrific but as uncomfortable as it makes many members of the public when they hear about the rampant abuse that has been ongoing for decades, it was that much worse for the helpless victims who had their innocence stripped from them and were ridiculed by their elders if they attempted to seek out help. This latest grand jury report serves as a semblance of hope that a small percentage of the victims may finally receive some form of justice.

Source: New World Order Report