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Irvine511 03-26-2010 12:29 PM

arrest the Pope
 
unbelievable.

Quote:

Memo to Pope Described Transfer of Pedophile Priest
By NICHOLAS KULISH and KATRIN BENNHOLD

MUNICH — The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested, raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church’s hierarchy.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope and archbishop in Munich at the time, was copied on a memo that informed him that a priest, whom he had approved sending to therapy in 1980 to overcome pedophilia, would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another parish.

An initial statement on the matter issued earlier this month by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising placed full responsibility for the decision to allow the priest to resume his duties on Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy, the Rev. Gerhard Gruber. But the memo, whose existence was confirmed by two church officials, shows that the future pope not only led a meeting on Jan. 15, 1980, approving the transfer of the priest, but was also kept informed about the priest’s reassignment.

What part he played in the decision making, and how much interest he showed in the case of the troubled priest, who had molested multiple boys in his previous job, remains unclear. But the personnel chief who handled the matter from the beginning, the Rev. Friedrich Fahr, “always remained personally, exceptionally connected” to Cardinal Ratzinger, the church said.

The case of the German priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, has acquired fresh relevance because it unfolded at a time when Cardinal Ratzinger, who was later put in charge of handling thousands of abuse cases on behalf of the Vatican, was in a position to refer the priest for prosecution, or at least to stop him from coming into contact with children. The German Archdiocese has acknowledged that “bad mistakes” were made in the handling of Father Hullermann, though it attributed those mistakes to people reporting to Cardinal Ratzinger rather than to the cardinal himself.

Church officials defend Benedict by saying the memo was routine and was “unlikely to have landed on the archbishop’s desk,” according to the Rev. Lorenz Wolf, judicial vicar at the Munich Archdiocese. But Father Wolf said he could not rule out that Cardinal Ratzinger had read it.

According to Father Wolf, who spoke with Father Gruber this week at the request of The New York Times, Father Gruber, the former vicar general, said that he could not remember a detailed conversation with Cardinal Ratzinger about Father Hullermann, but that Father Gruber refused to rule out that “the name had come up.”

Benedict is well known for handling priestly abuse cases in the Vatican before he became pope. While some have criticized his role in adjudicating such cases over the past two decades, he has also won praise from victims’ advocates for taking the issue more seriously, apologizing to American victims in 2008.

The future pope’s time in Munich, in the broader sweep of his life story, has until now been viewed mostly as a steppingstone on the road to the Vatican. But this period in his career has recently come under scrutiny — particularly six decisive weeks from December 1979 to February 1980.

In that short span, a review of letters, meeting minutes and documents from personnel files shows, Father Hullermann went from disgrace and suspension from his duties in Essen to working without restrictions as a priest in Munich, despite the fact that he was described in the letter requesting his transfer as a potential “danger.”

In September 1979, the chaplain was removed from his congregation after three sets of parents told his superior, the Rev. Norbert Essink, that he had molested their sons, charges he did not deny, according to notes taken by the superior and still in Father Hullermann’s personnel file in Essen.

On Dec. 20, 1979, Munich’s personnel chief, Father Fahr, received a phone call from his counterpart in the Essen Diocese, Klaus Malangré.

There is no official record of their conversation, but in a letter to Father Fahr dated that Jan. 3, Father Malangré referred to it as part of a formal request for Father Hullermann’s transfer to Munich to see a psychiatrist there.

Sexual abuse of boys is not explicitly mentioned in the letter, but the subtext is clear. “Reports from the congregation in which he was last active made us aware that Chaplain Hullermann presented a danger that caused us to immediately withdraw him from pastoral duties,” the letter said. By pointing out that “no proceedings against Chaplain Hullermann are pending,” Father Malangré also communicated that the danger in question was serious enough that it could have merited legal consequences.

He dropped another clear hint by suggesting that Father Hullermann could teach religion “at a girls’ school.”

On Jan. 9, Father Fahr prepared a summary of the situation for top officials at the diocese, before their weekly meeting, saying that a young chaplain needed “medical-psychotherapeutic treatment in Munich” and a place to live with “an understanding colleague.” Beyond that, it presented the priest from Essen in almost glowing terms, as a “very talented man, who could be used in a variety of ways.”

Father Fahr’s role in the case has thus far received little attention, in contrast to Father Gruber’s mea culpa.

Father Wolf, who is acting as the internal legal adviser on the Hullermann case, said in an interview this week that Father Fahr was “the filter” of all information concerning Father Hullermann. He was also, according to his obituary on the archdiocese Web site, a close friend of Cardinal Ratzinger.

A key moment came on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1980. Cardinal Ratzinger presided that morning over the meeting of the diocesan council. His auxiliary bishops and department heads gathered in a conference room on the top floor of the bishop’s administrative offices, housed in a former monastery on a narrow lane in downtown Munich.

It was a busy day, with the deaths of five priests, the acquisition of a piece of art and pastoral care in Vietnamese for recent immigrants among the issues sharing the agenda with item 5d, the delicate matter of Father Hullermann’s future.

The minutes of the meeting include no references to the actual discussion that day, simply stating that a priest from Essen in need of psychiatric treatment required room and board in a Munich congregation. “The request is granted,” read the minutes, stipulating that Father Hullermann would live at St. John the Baptist Church in the northern part of the city.

Church officials have their own special name for the language in meeting minutes, which are internal but circulate among secretaries and other diocese staff members, said Father Wolf, who has a digitized archive of meeting minutes, including those for the Jan. 15 meeting. “It’s protocol-speak,” he said. “Those who know what it’s about understand, and those who don’t, don’t.”

Five days later, on Jan. 20, Cardinal Ratzinger’s office received a copy of the memo from his vicar general, Father Gruber, returning Father Hullermann to full duties, a spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed.

Father Hullermann resumed parish work practically on arrival in Munich, on Feb. 1, 1980. He was convicted in 1986 of molesting boys at another Bavarian parish.

This week, new accusations of sexual abuse emerged, both from his first assignment in a parish near Essen, in northern Germany, and from 1998 in the southern German town of Garching an der Alz.

Father Fahr died two years ago. A spokesman for the diocese in Essen said that Father Malangré was not available for an interview. Father Malangré, now 88, recently had an accident and was confused and unreliable as a witness when questioned in an internal inquiry into the handling of Father Hullermann’s case, said the spokesman, Ulrich Lota.

Father Gruber, who took responsibility for the decision to put Father Hullermann back into a parish, was not present at the Jan. 15 meeting, according to Father Wolf, and has not answered repeated interview requests.




the man failed to report a horrific crime. he aided and abetted child abuse. lock him up.

corianderstem 03-26-2010 12:38 PM

What do you even say about this? It's so shameful, disgusting and appalling.

ShipOfFools 03-26-2010 12:43 PM

The Catholic Church has been covering this up for ages. This is, IMO, what happens when you try to make someone celibate, or go against nature.

Diemen 03-26-2010 01:58 PM

I can't decide what's more appalling, that an organization that is supposed to be populated by disciples of a loving, just God would be set up in such a way that its first instinct is to cover up any wrongdoing, or that the Church views child abuse as a sin, but not a crime.

Irvine511 03-26-2010 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diemen (Post 6707648)
or that the Church views child abuse as a sin, but not a crime.



bingo.

anitram 03-26-2010 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diemen (Post 6707648)
or that the Church views child abuse as a sin, but not a crime.

They're free to also think that the sky is yellow, but it doesn't make it so.

Pearl 03-26-2010 02:46 PM

I'm disgusted with this. I can't believe the Church cares more about standing by its celibacy rather than protecting children from monsters. It's honestly making me wonder if I should remain a Catholic or go join another church.

anitram 03-26-2010 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pearl (Post 6707681)
It's honestly making me wonder if I should remain a Catholic or go join another church.

I long ago stopped attending Church and contributing to it financially. I do make exceptions for funeral & wedding masses or baptisms (to me they are about respect for the deceased or the couple getting married or the baby being baptized and not about religious affiliation), and if I am visiting my parents over Christmas, I will go so as to not cause conflict in that regard. Plus I actually kind of like Christmas carols and the whole season.

But I've also felt no compulsion whatsoever to join any other church or religion; frankly I feel rather unburdened. And you can still have a rich spiritual life (if that is what you want) without institutional relationships.

That said I think some part of me will always understand Catholicism as a cultural concept given my ethnicity and the strong relationship that culture and church have in the country of my birth - even though I no longer live there and haven't lived there for almost 20 years.

Pearl 03-26-2010 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anitram (Post 6707689)
I long ago stopped attending Church and contributing to it financially. I do make exceptions for funeral & wedding masses or baptisms (to me they are about respect for the deceased or the couple getting married or the baby being baptized and not about religious affiliation), and if I am visiting my parents over Christmas, I will go so as to not cause conflict in that regard. Plus I actually kind of like Christmas carols and the whole season.

But I've also felt no compulsion whatsoever to join any other church or religion; frankly I feel rather unburdened. And you can still have a rich spiritual life (if that is what you want) without institutional relationships.

That said I think some part of me will always understand Catholicism as a cultural concept given my ethnicity and the strong relationship that culture and church have in the country of my birth - even though I no longer live there and haven't lived there for almost 20 years.

Same here. Even if I do leave the Church, part of me will always feel Catholic. I'll probably still get my ashes on Ash Wednesday and honor the Virgin Mary. I currently attend a faith sharing group at my church and if I do leave the Church, I'll probably keep going to those meetings simply because I like the people.

But with all the abuse going on and the cover-ups, I just can't find it in my conscience to continue attending its services and considering myself part of the institution.

It will be hard for my parents to accept me leaving Catholicism. When I first brought it up they flipped out. They said all other religions have their abuse problems, but the media doesn't report them because the media is anti-Catholic. :rolleyes: My parents, particularly my dad, tends to believe Catholicism is the one true church, a belief that I never held.

Vincent Vega 03-26-2010 04:40 PM

This is just one of a great number of cases that are currently uncovered. It started about a month ago when the principal of the Canisius College here in Berlin, a private school of the Jesuit order, made public the abuse of several dozen of children by two former teachers at that school in the 1980s and early 90s, who were later transferred to other schools and did the same there. The principal became teacher at that school in the late 1990s and often heard rumours. He then used about every chance he had, e.g. reunions of former students, to approach them and discretely tell them if something happened to them, or they knew about it, he would be there to make it public. He was then promoted to become the principal, and when he had enough information to feel save and go forward he did so.
Since then more and more abuse cases through priests, Catholic teachers etc. became public, some dating back to the 1950s, but some also committed very recently. I have no clue, but it most approach 100 victims or so. It's a lot.
The church is only very slowly becoming active in investigating, and this article, I think, also makes it pretty apparent what kind of parallel society that is we have here, called the Catholic church. They really think they are above law and can handle everything internally, and the leader of the German Bishop Conference a few days ago even admitted systematic cover-ups of priests who abused girls and boys.
The Pope sent out a pastoral letter a few days ago to Ireland, without a word on the cases being uncovered here or in Austria or in any other country. I don't think he truly cares the least bit.
The celibacy most certainly is one of the key factors, but the Catholic church is still denying it. Even more despicable. A German theologian is a strong critic of celibacy for more than two decades now. And about 20 years ago today's pope revoked his licence to teach Catholic theology for his views on the dangers of celibacy.

Pope Forgives Molested Children | The Onion - America's Finest News Source This Onion article, from 2002 and about the cases in the US, is pretty relevant again, and I cannot help but think that this is not even far from the truth as regards the real view by the Catholic church.

Jive Turkey 03-26-2010 05:43 PM

YouTube - The catholic boat

nathan1977 03-26-2010 06:48 PM

YouTube - THE LEAST OF THESE - apology

Best I can say.

AliEnvy 03-26-2010 07:14 PM

I repeat (from another thread recently):

Quote:

But I didn't and will not baptize my children into a church that would sooner protect its financial assets than its most vulnerable members (amongst many objectionable practices).

financeguy 03-26-2010 08:30 PM

YouTube - Joan Osborne - One Of Us

Billy Rotten 03-27-2010 11:40 AM

If the church is a disease, these are its festering, contagious sores.

Irvine511 03-27-2010 04:24 PM

deaf kids!?!?!?!?! what does it take??!?!?


Quote:

For Years, Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and DAVID CALLENDER

They were deaf, but they were not silent. For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly Father Murphy had done to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people.

This week, they learned that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, received letters about Father Murphy in 1996 from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, who said that the deaf community needed “a healing response from the Church.” The Vatican sat on the case, then equivocated, and when Father Murphy died in 1998, he died a priest.

“That man should have been in prison for a very long time, but he was lucky,” Steven Geier, one of Father Murphy’s victims, said Thursday. “What about me? I wasn’t supposed to touch girls. What gave him the right to be able to do that? Father Murphy constantly thought about sex with children, and he got away with it.”

Young victims of sexual abuse are often so confused, ashamed or traumatized that they wait years to report the violations. Some never say a word. One of the remarkable aspects of the Father Murphy case is that young victims began alerting the authorities in the mid-1950s, when sexual abuse was hardly even a part of the public vocabulary.

In his ranch house in Madison, where he lives with his wife, Ann, and two dachshunds, Mr. Geier said through an interpreter that he entered St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis., when he was 9. His father had helped build a Catholic church in rural Dane County, and his aunt was a nun. His family wanted him to get a good education in a Catholic school.

Mr. Geier, now 59, said that between the ages of 14 and 15, starting around 1965, Father Murphy molested him four times in a closet at the school. The priest, a hearing man fluent in sign language, said that God wanted him to teach the boy about sex but that he had to keep it quiet because it was under the sacrament of confession. Mr. Geier said he felt sick.

“First thing in the morning,” Mr. Geier said, “we took communion, and as he passed out the communion wafers, I thought about how many boys did he touch with those hands and all of the germs, all of the filth of his hands.”

Father Murphy may have molested as many as 200 boys while he worked at the school from 1950 to 1974, according to the accounts of victims and a social worker hired by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to interview him.

Mr. Geier said he first tried to tell the priest at his home parish in Madison, where he served as an altar boy, in 1966 when he was just 16. But the priest, he said, told him he did not want to hear about it, and to just forget about it. He told another priest while he was still a teenager, and yet a third priest years later, after he married.

That priest, the Rev. Tom Schroeder, 72, who led Masses for the deaf in Madison from 1970 to 1992, said in an interview Friday that he remembered Mr. Geier’s telling him about Father Murphy. Father Schroeder said that he told a nun, who told another nun who was a dormitory supervisor at St. John’s, but that the supervisor did not believe it and nothing ever came of it.

“I assumed that if enough people told her, she would finally believe it,” Father Schroeder said.

Internal church correspondence unearthed in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and given to The New York Times, which made it public it this week, included a letter from the Rev. David Walsh, who served as a chaplain for the deaf in Chicago, saying that teenage students at St. John’s had told him in the late 1950s about Father Murphy’s abuse.

Father Walsh said he told Archbishop Albert Gregory Meyer of Milwaukee, who sent Father Murphy on a retreat and then put him back in the school to undo “the harm he had done.”

In the 1970s, a group of former students who were in a vocational rehabilitation program in Milwaukee began telling their hearing supervisors about Father Murphy, a sequence of events reported in two articles in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2006.

Among the supervisors was John Conway, now the deputy administrator of workers’ compensation for the State of Wisconsin. Mr. Conway, the students and others collected affidavits from 15 to 20 former students about Father Murphy’s violations. They were granted a meeting with Archbishop William E. Cousins.

“In my extreme naïveté,” said Mr. Conway in an interview on Friday, “I told them the archbishop would take care of this.”

He said they were surprised to find the room packed with people, including several nuns and teachers from the school, two priests who said they were representing the apostolic delegate in Chicago, and Father Murphy himself.

Arthur Budzinski and Gary Smith, two more victims of Father Murphy, said in an interview last week that they remember seeing Archbishop Cousins yell, and Father Murphy staring at the floor. The deaf men and their advocates were told that Father Murphy, the school’s director and top fund-raiser, was too valuable to be let go, so he would be given only administrative duties.

They were outraged. They distributed “Wanted” posters with Father Murphy’s face outside the cathedral in Milwaukee. They went to the police departments in Milwaukee, where they were told it was not the correct jurisdiction, and in St. Francis, where the school was located, Mr. Conway said. They also went to the office of E. Michael McCann, the district attorney of Milwaukee County, and spoke with his assistant, William Gardner.

“A criminal priest was an oxymoron to them,” Mr. Conway said. “They said they’ll refer it to the archdiocese.”

Calls to Mr. McCann and Mr. Gardner this week were not returned.

Mr. Conway said it was only when they filed a lawsuit that the archdiocese removed Father Murphy from St. John’s and sent him to northern Wisconsin to live at his family’s summer house. The lawsuit was withdrawn. Mr. Smith, one of two of the plaintiffs whose cases were still within the statute of limitations, received a settlement of $2,000, he and Mr. Conway said.

Father Murphy continued working in parishes and schools, with deaf people, and leading youth retreats in the Diocese of Superior for the next 24 years.

A stor 03-27-2010 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pearl (Post 6707681)
I'm disgusted with this. I can't believe the Church cares more about standing by its celibacy rather than protecting children from monsters. It's honestly making me wonder if I should remain a Catholic or go join another church.

I have the same feelings. I only attend mass for spiritual reasons.

The above story makes me sick to my stomach.

A_Wanderer 03-27-2010 10:18 PM

How can any ethical person continue to support the Catholic Church?

A_Wanderer 03-28-2010 05:10 PM

Here is a supporter of the Church, blaming the families.

YouTube - Bill Donohue Blames Parents For Church's Child Sex Abuse

corianderstem 03-28-2010 05:12 PM

ugh, Bill Donohue. Isn't he pretty much considered the Fred Phelps of the church supporters?

ShipOfFools 03-28-2010 05:23 PM

I didn't watch the video, but anybody with common decency wouldn't blame the victims of child abuse. Where are their rights?

You see, THIS is why I'm a Unitarian Universalist, instead of a Catholic. I believe in God, but I don't believe in a God that hates sex...or women...or gay people...or children. I'm sure that God doesn't approve of what these priests are doing.

Pearl 03-28-2010 06:10 PM

Donohue is one of those types of Catholics that cry victim and discrimination whenever the Catholic Church is rightfully criticized. There are some Catholics who are turning a blind eye to these abuse cases because they see it as a leftist conspiracy to destroy the Church.

U2387 03-28-2010 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diemen (Post 6707648)
I can't decide what's more appalling, that an organization that is supposed to be populated by disciples of a loving, just God would be set up in such a way that its first instinct is to cover up any wrongdoing, or that the Church views child abuse as a sin, but not a crime.

Agree 100%.

Sexual abuse of children is one of the most serious crimes I can think of, and all the Church has cared about the entire time is their image. They have lost so many people, including my 80 year old Irish Catholic grandparents.

I never had much use for the Church, my mom was raised Catholic but didn't push it on me, and my Dad was raised Albanian Orthodox, taught Sunday school in his 20s to keep his Dad happy, but never believed in any kind of institutional religion. My parents are 2 of the best people I have ever met, and they often get compliments from numerous people for how classy they are and how well they have raised my brother and I. So I am not much for the notion that good parenting, good values, doing the right thing and respect for others needs the Church to develop.

I went to Catholic High School, loved it. I loved my theology classes and teachers, loved learning about the history of the religion, the disciples, the big guys like Augustine and Aquinas, the watershed events like Vatican II, etc. In fact, my favorite teacher in High School was a theology teacher, a guy who was about 15 years Bono's senior but looked almost EXACTLY like him and was a huge U2 fan. In fact, he introduced me to "40" and would often tell us stories of the 10 U2 shows he saw on the 1st leg of the Joshua Tree Tour. He is from South Philadelphia, was raised as a devoted Catholic and left in disgust in 2004.

I also went to Catholic College(though we were often jokingly called Catholic in name only, and I agree with that) not because I required it or was committed to Church or anything, just because I liked the campus, the location, the people, etc. I only took the required 2 theology classes in college and both were with the same GREAT guy(if you overlook the fact that he left the priesthood to marry SOMEONE ELSE's wife!). One of the classes was "work, capital and God" my junior year, all about how the Church views economic relationships as well as issues like immigration, poverty, etc. It was awesome, and I think one of the things that sets the Catholic tradition apart is its commitment to truly understanding the whole person and society in meaningful ways. Everything we read from the Bishops or others on economic thought was always well thought out, researched, etc.

Throughout high school and college, I never went to Church except for holidays, weddings, funerals, etc but learned to respect what the Church had to say on many issues. Catholic social teaching, just war, care and service to others, economic opportunity, etc. My freshman year of high school, January 2002 to be exact, was when the clergy sex abuse scandal first broke with a front page story in the Boston Globe. It started with the "big 2" so to speak of Fathers John Geoghan and Paul Shanley; Geoghan was strangled in jail and Shanley is still there. It only got bigger from there, and the net result in Boston was Cardinal Bernard Law, who had knowingly shuffled pedophiles around for years, resigning(late 2002) but being promoted to a better job at the Vatican. This enraged many people, myself included, and showed the Church as an institution for what they were. The fallout was brutal- many victims were traumatized all over again, the most prominent one committed suicide and attendance at Church plummetted never to recover.

This period of widespread sexual abuse revealed coincided with what I term the emergence of Church as political hack movement. Just when they were losing all credibility by enabling child molestation, they started to deny communion to public officials who did not want to outlaw abortion for all of society, despite their personal views on the topic and the 1st amendment's clear language on separation of Church and State. At the same time, the Church said nothing of politicans who openly opposed them on the death penalty, just war, economic justice, the list goes on.

This singular focus on sexual celibacy is in short, exactly the problem in the Church and as someone else said, it speaks to the ultimate futility of going against nature. The Church leaders do not even follow it themselves, and one could argue that the reason many are so sexually deviant in the Church is their insistence on celibacy. If the church cared about abortions being reduced, they would let priests marry, realize that Jesus said nothing about condoms, etc.

I still like what Catholic teaching has to say about alot of things, but the institution is dead to me. I have plenty of respect for many individual priests I know, and a few at my college helped me out greatly when my Dad passed away last year. I also like what Bono says about the nuns in Africa. So not everyone associated with the Church is bad, quite the opposite.

Christmas eve, I will still go up to Mass with my grandparents. They live in the Charlestown section of Boston, a neighborhood that is gentrified to a great extent but historically Irish Catholic. Catholics committed to the Church still exist in Charlestown to more of an extent than alot of other places. Even with family members in from the suburbs for the night, people who do not usually go to church joining for Christmas and the Church full as a result, going to Catholic Mass in Boston today is sad. The priest who is excellent and has known my family for years, has to preface the appeal for donations for health care for retired priests by saying all of the "good, sick and retired priests" emphasis of course on good. Then he goes on to say how the scandal should have been handled and was not. As the Mass ends, he always laments how if we had half of the attendance we had on Christmas eve every week, that would be unbelievable.

This is Boston, one of the most Catholic cities in the US. Go on a typical Sunday and its quiet, stark, sad, 1/5 full. The damage to the Church and to its devotees from sexual abuse is palatable. It can literally be sensed, touched, felt, etc in the Archdiocese of Boston. I would imagine a big reason why this is so is the widespread and continuing cover ups reaching now to the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Arrest the Pope? I doubt it will happen going on Law's precedent, but he should probably resign. I have never been a fan of him, and most Catholics I know who are more familiar with the Church than me have always strongly disliked him. Again, I have never been a real devotee of the Church and find some of their teachings absurd, but John Paul II was a great man and an inspiration to the entire world. This guy is an embarrassment at the time when the Church needs a savior.

financeguy 03-28-2010 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A_Wanderer (Post 6709044)
How can any ethical person continue to support the Catholic Church?

I wonder that myself.

corianderstem 03-28-2010 07:21 PM

I guess some people are able to separate the beliefs/faith from the church itself? I know I couldn't do it.

U2387 03-28-2010 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pearl (Post 6709741)
Donohue is one of those types of Catholics that cry victim and discrimination whenever the Catholic Church is rightfully criticized. There are some Catholics who are turning a blind eye to these abuse cases because they see it as a leftist conspiracy to destroy the Church.

This describes one of my friends perfectly.

An otherwise reasonable, normal guy once blurted out at dinner to me that he would have done the exact same thing as the Church given the circumstances.

I told him that is how you know your mind has been completely taken over by someone else and that he was out of his mind, making a statement that did not come close to reflecting his intelligence.

Well, everything with this guy is a conspiracy to destroy Catholics by the left. This completely ignores the fact that the down and out, discriminated against and beat upon Catholic is more than a thing of the past. Of course, there was a time, Irish, Italians, Poles, etc were viewed as threats because they were Catholic but if you look now, Catholics hold and have held some of the most prestigious positions in government, business, pop culture, the list goes on.

Donohue and others would be better staying silent as opposed to trying to defend what is completely indefensible from any standpoint whatsoever. They are digging their hole even deeper and they don't even realize it.

VintagePunk 03-28-2010 07:27 PM

I agree AW, FG, cori. I do feel for those who have a strong familial, cultural or spiritual connection to Catholicism though. Many must really be struggling to reconcile their connection to the church vs the damage done to the church by leaders who have let them (and society) down.

financeguy 03-28-2010 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VintagePunk (Post 6709828)
I agree AW, FG, cori. I do feel for those who have a strong familial, cultural or spiritual connection to Catholicism though. Many must really be struggling to reconcile their connection to the church vs the damage done to the church by leaders who have let them (and society) down.

I do still have some familial and cultural connections, but as a non-believer from the age of 20 or so and outright atheist from the age of 30 or so, any spiritual connection, such as it was, is long since gone.

Now that I think of it I will complete the necessary declaration to formally renounce membership of the R.C.C. tomorrow - it was one of my many New Year's resolutions that I didn't get around so far.

VintagePunk 03-28-2010 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by financeguy (Post 6709833)

Now that I think of it I will complete the necessary declaration to formally renounce membership of the R.C.C. tomorrow - it was one of my many New Year's resolutions that I didn't get around so far.

When you do, pretend that you're still all devout, and that their loss will be another church's gain. :wink:

Seriously though, what's involved in making this official? I didn't realize there's a formal process. : dumbatheist:

the iron horse 03-28-2010 10:08 PM

A Rebel from...

corianderstem 03-28-2010 10:10 PM

Child molestors being shielded by people who claim they act on behalf of that rebel from Nazareth.

PhilsFan 03-29-2010 01:07 AM

Sigh. I'm tired and don't feel like going into a long-winded post, but I understand exactly why people are Catholic and will continue to be Catholic after this announcement, and I won't lose any respect for them.

AliEnvy 03-29-2010 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A_Wanderer (Post 6709044)
How can any ethical person continue to support the Catholic Church?

Standing for something means giving up a lot of other things and opening yourself up to criticism. Most people aren't willing to do that, in general, and in particular when it comes to familial, cultural, social and community ties to their church. Those are the bonds that are the real glue of support.

corianderstem 03-29-2010 05:28 PM

A good editorial from Sinead O'Connor. All these years later, can people see why she tore up a picture of the Pope?

washingtonpost.com

deep 03-29-2010 05:30 PM

I knew why she did it at the time.

But, there was so much (unwarranted) love for JP II at the time, no one would listen.

A_Wanderer 03-29-2010 05:41 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKg4HLsu5gE

nathan1977 03-29-2010 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corianderstem (Post 6710003)
Child molestors being shielded by people who claim they act on behalf of that rebel from Nazareth.

I've yet to see anyone reference that rebel in this situation.

corianderstem 03-29-2010 08:34 PM

That was just my response to iron horse's totally irrelevant sentence fragment about our man Jesus, but I mean the priests are the voice of the church, not that anyone is claiming "Jesus made me do it," if that's what you're implying.

Irvine511 03-29-2010 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathan1977 (Post 6711360)
I've yet to see anyone reference that rebel in this situation.



it may well have been invoked in order to sway a deaf child to silence.

PhilsFan 03-30-2010 12:27 AM

Would this be an inappropriate time to quote David Cross?

Irvine511 03-30-2010 01:30 PM

apparently, it is an appropriate time to blame the gays.


https://towleroad.typepad.com/.a/6a00...c554fc0970b-pi

corianderstem 03-30-2010 01:44 PM

Oh, so if gay people molest kids, it's totally not a big deal. Got it.

Thanks, shithead. Now go fuck yourself.

BVS 03-30-2010 01:48 PM

:huh: HOLY WTF?!

While we're at it, can we arrest Donohue as well?

corianderstem 03-30-2010 01:53 PM

If you go around proclaiming you are the Head of the Catholic Church, the end-all, be-all when it comes to church doctrine, for hundreds of years, you're going to be held accountable for shit that goes down, regardless of whether or not you knew about it.

Surprise! You get to accept blame and shame, and not just tell people birth control is bad.

Irvine511 03-30-2010 02:00 PM

i'm confused -- did Mary consent?

The_Pac_Mule 03-30-2010 02:32 PM

I'm sure I'll get attacked and berated for this, but I guess I'll post it anyways.

Rev. James Martin, S.J.: How Could It Happen? Tracing the Causes of Sexual Abuse by the Clergy

Quote:

The terrible revelations of sexual abuse in Ireland and Germany have confirmed the reality that the abuse of children by clergy is not a phenomenon confined to the United States. Nor, as Kieran Conroy, the bishop of Arundel and Brighton in the U.K., stated recently, is the crisis a media creation. "It is real," he said. "It is a reality." Outrage among the Irish and German public is the predominant, natural and justified response. But buried beneath the shock and anger, especially for Catholics, however, is a searing question: How could this happen?

There is an important resource that may begin to answer this question: the detailed analysis of the roots of clerical abuse in this country, which was conducted by The National Review Board, the group of lay people who researched and reported to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2003. Some questioned the independence of the board, but I think that their situational analysis, carried out by committed and highly qualified lay Catholics, is accurate.

Looking at what the National Review Board viewed as the root causes of the crisis in this country may shed light on what happened in Ireland and Germany and elsewhere. On the whole, the board's analysis is about the most accurate and insightful that we have about the American situation. Of course, these are presented by the board as reasons, not excuses. There are no excuses for these crimes.
The board asked two main questions. First, Why did so many priests abuse minors in the U.S.? Second, how could the U.S. bishops have dealt with the issue so poorly, or not at all? Regarding the first question, as I far as I understand, roughly 4% of U.S. priests from 1950 to 2000 were accused of abuse. This is slightly higher than that in other professions, including those who deal with children, like schoolteachers. (Most abuse, most studies show, takes place within families). But any number is too high and leads to the question of how, especially in a religious organization committed to helping others and living out what Christians call Gospel values, this could happen.

The board answers how so many priests could have been abusive by looking at two causes. (Their responses are in boldface. My own comments follow their points.)

1. Improper screening for candidates in the past.

From many conversations with men who entered minor seminaries or religious orders in the 1940s and 1950s, I know that the entrance requirements were less rigorous than today. One priest explained to me that to enter his religious order one needed merely to submit a recommendation from another priest and meet with the local provincial. If the provincial gave his approval, the candidate was accepted.

Compare this to what I faced when I entered the Jesuit Order in 1988: a battery of psychological tests (which culminated in a lengthy psychological evaluation to the Jesuits), six face-to-face interviews, an eight-day retreat, as well as having to submit a comprehensive autobiography, recommendations from six friends and co-workers, a physician's examination, and so on.

Such procedures today -- and especially those put in place after 2002 -- help to begin to weed out those with any serious psychological problems, such as pedophilia. Tragically, they were not in place many decades ago, in this country or abroad.

2. Poor formation or training for candidates.

Once again, it should be noted how different priestly formation and training are today as compared with even 30 or 40 years ago. At least in the U.S., it is difficult for a man to reach ordination without substantial exposure to issues on sexuality, intimacy and chastity, as well as questions of sexual abuse and professional boundaries. In the past, however, a great many priests at the time of their ordination failed to receive adequate training or counseling in any of these issues, setting the stage for problems in the future.

The board's second question was: Why did the church leaders respond to the problem so poorly for so many years? Here is where the board's analysis is especially astute.

1. Some bishops and other leaders did not understand the broad nature of the problem, but treated it sporadically.

Like many other people, even well educated men and women, particularly if we are talking about the 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s, most of the American bishops simply did not grasp the terrible prevalence of in our society of such things as pedophilia, incest and spousal abuse. (Megan's Law, for example, was passed as late as 1996, a testimony to this fundamental lack of understanding of these things in American society.) The bishops were among those still in the dark about this dark side of human behavior, and simply were at a loss to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. The same was most likely true in Europe as well.

2. Many bishops put needs of institutional concerns above the concerns of the people. Historically, there is a deep antipathy to "scandal" in the Catholic Church.

In the church, where the community is seen as the "Body of Christ," that is, a visible representation of Christ's presence, and where Tradition is seen as one way that the Holy Spirit leads the Christian community over time, an attack on the church is often interpreted as tantamount to an attack on the faith itself. Similarly, the notion that the faithful needed to be "protected" from scandal (lest it lessen their love and respect for the church) made bishops less likely to admit even obvious problems with abusive priests. The horrible irony was that in protecting the faithful from "scandal" by concealing evidence of abusive priests, as well as shuffling them between parishes, some of the American bishops created the greatest scandal in the history of their church in this country. The Irish and German churches are also now seeing the fallout from "avoiding scandal."

3. The threat of litigation caused many to adopt an adversarial stance.

Protecting the church is, particularly for a bishop, much more than simply protecting the "institution." The financial losses that might be incurred from lawsuits were also (accurately) seen as losses that would damage the great many social services provided by the church: parishes, schools, hospitals, shelters. Some American bishops felt the need to protect this network of social-service agencies and so followed the advice of those lawyers who suggested adopting the most aggressive attitudes towards lawsuits. Sadly, those bishops failed to realize that those institutions, noble as they are, were not the only things that they should have been protecting.

4. Some bishops failed to comprehend the magnitude of the harm suffered by victims.
Needless to say, when some U.S. bishops failed to even meet with victims, a shockingly callous act, it was easy to ignore their suffering.

5. Many bishops relied too heavily on psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers when making decisions.

Even today, and even more so in the 1960s and 1970s, when many cases were first brought to light, many bishops turned to mental-health professionals who themselves held conflicting opinions about the treatability of pedophilia. Is it curable? Is it genetic? Can a man be placed in active ministry after treatment? What is the best type of treatment? Would being placed in active ministry help the man in his "cure"?

Bishops, hardly experts in these matters, often relied on flawed advice. Or they chose experts who told them what they most wanted to hear: that the man could be cured and returned to ministry. Still, it needs to be underlined that this does not excuse the bishop who moved the man who repeatedly abused and was just as repeatedly reassigned. One need not be a psychologist to see the stupidity of such decisions. And of course more recent decisions, say in the 1990s, are even more indefensible, given society's (and the psychiatric profession's) growing knowledge about pedophilia.

6. Many bishops avoided confronting abusive priests.

The simple inability to confront and deal with difficult situations, whether out of apathy, ignorance or fear of conflict, seems to have played a major role in the crisis. This is something that cuts across cultural lines, and may have even been worse in European countries.

7. Many bishops placed interests of priests above those of victims.

The image of the bishop as the "spiritual father," who protects and guides his priests has deep roots in the Catholic Church. Tragically, often overshadowed was the bishop's larger and more important role as "pastor" or "shepherd" of all of the people in his diocese. Even worse, the welfare those who were most vulnerable--young children--was often ignored.

8. Canon law made removal from ministry onerous.

The process of "laicization," that is, returning the priest to the "lay state," and stripping him of his rights as a priest (the ability to celebrate Mass, wear a collar, call himself "Father") is a cumbersome ecclesiastical process, designed to preserve the rights of the priests. Entering into it may have seemed overwhelming for some bishops. Indeed, Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, as reported this week by The New York Times, was forced to appeal directly to the Vatican to remove a notoriously abusive priest from ministry.

Those were the board's findings. I would like to add four more reasons that I note from my own observations over the years.

1.) Some American bishops, mostly elderly men, were themselves uncomfortable, for a variety of reasons--some personal, some cultural, some familial, some related to their formation--discussing any matters of sexuality, particularly homosexuality, as well as the more frightening topics of pedophilia and ephebophilia, and the terrifying prospect of child sexual abuse. Again, this may be even more pronounced in Ireland and Germany among bishops and clergy.

2.) Some bishops here were hampered by the inability to discuss the possibility that the scandal would lead to dramatic change in the church. If one fears a discussion of difficult church issues (celibacy, clerical culture, episcopal authority) one will naturally be more afraid of an issue that might provoke open up such discussions.

3.) Some bishops were unable to accept personal responsibility or their own sinful (sometimes criminal) actions. From the beginning of the crisis, many of the bishops seemed to confront the crisis in the manner of a C.E.O., rather than as a Christian pastor. Some seemed to have forgotten that an essential part of the traditional "sacrament of reconciliation" (that is, "confession") in the church is penitence: the need to make amends for one's sins. It is not simply enough to confess, to admit sinfulness, and to beg for forgiveness from God and the person you have offended. One needs also a "firm purpose of amendment" and the willingness to engage in some form of penance. But public penance, like the resignation of Bishop John Magee in Ireland last week--is too rare.

And of course, like anyone else, clergy are subject to the law of the land, and, if found guilty of crimes, should be be treated like anyone else.

Around the time that the scandals were breaking in the U.S., a Catholic sister I know said that the Christian response was at odds with what she called the "corporate response." Quoting from the parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke, she described what a Christian response from an offending bishop would have sounded like: "I have sinned against God and you, and I no longer deserve to be called your bishop. I will resign and spend the rest of my life praying for victims." Beyond any criminal penalties to be paid, such an action might have been understood by Catholics. Tragically, some bishops, the "teachers" par excellence in the community often ignored the treasures of their own Christian heritage

4.) When cases of abuse were raised prior to 2002, some bishops viewed the media as adversaries. Prior to the crisis, Cardinal Bernard Law said that he "called down" the power of God against The Boston Globe. Despite some lingering anti-Catholicism in the American media's coverage of the crisis (for example, their facile conflation of celibacy and pedophilia, the overlooking of abuse in other professions, and their stereotyping of all priests as abusers and all bishops as conspirators), the church needs to be grateful for the role of the media for revealing what the church itself was unwilling to confront. The "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," adopted by the U.S. bishops in their meeting in Dallas in 2002, would not have happened without the Boston Globe.

Those are but a few reasons for the causes of the sexual abuse of children by clergy in the United States, as a board of committed Catholic laypersons saw them. This may begin to explain how and why these sinful actions and awful crimes happened. And how and why these terrible crimes and grave sins happened in Ireland and Germany, and elsewhere.

BVS 03-30-2010 02:39 PM

Sorry Rev but you are 99.8% wrong.

The problem is the Catholic church. There are two things going on here. You've equated sex with shame for far too long, and you've created a safe haven for pedophiles.

This is not the media's fault, this is your fault.

The_Pac_Mule 03-30-2010 02:45 PM

Quote:

Sorry Rev but you are 99.8% wrong.

The problem is the Catholic church. There are two things going on here. You've equated sex with shame for far too long, and you've created a safe haven for pedophiles.

This is not the media's fault, this is your fault.
He didn't blame the media, in fact he said the church should be thanking it for uncovering this. And the catholic church is not a safe haven for pedophiles, at least not anymore. I think a lot of people forget that most of these crimes happened in the 60's and 70's. (Not all, most). Big changes have been made to how one can become a priest, and I'm sure that as time goes on and those who abused children die off, this will become a rare occurence that when it comes up will be dealt with the right way by the church.

BVS 03-30-2010 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Pac_Mule (Post 6712264)
He didn't blame the media, in fact he said the church should be thanking it for uncovering this.

I realize that, but he did try and point out the "lingering anti-Catholisism" in the media, he doesn't seem to realize that is a result of, and nothing else.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Pac_Mule (Post 6712264)
And the catholic church is not a safe haven for pedophiles, at least not anymore. I think a lot of people forget that most of these crimes happened in the 60's and 70's. (Not all, most). Big changes have been made to how one can become a priest, and I'm sure that as time goes on and those who abused children die off, this will become a rare occurence that when it comes up will be dealt with the right way by the church.

Has it gotten better? Maybe, hard to tell, you also have to remember that abuse victims can sometimes take a lifetime to deal with, open up about, etc... There have been plenty of cases in recent decades that still leads most of us believe the problem still exists.

The_Pac_Mule 03-30-2010 03:02 PM

Quote:

Has it gotten better? Maybe, hard to tell, you also have to remember that abuse victims can sometimes take a lifetime to deal with, open up about, etc... There have been plenty of cases in recent decades that still leads most of us believe the problem still exists.
Those who covered these things up thought they were protecting the church, instead they were damaging it (and people's lives). Today, bishops that would have tried to ignore it most likely wouldn't do the same thing today, because they know what would happen.


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