The Vatican

Pope says Catholic Church should not be judged by modern standards over sexual abuse scandal

September 28, 2018

 

The pope said the Catholic Church should not be judged by modern standards over the sexual abuse scandal. Pictured: A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantel as he leads the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Because until very recently it was just fine for priests to fuck children. Right? So back off, critics,

 

The pope said the Catholic Church should not be judged by modern standards over sexual abuse scandals as he refused to answer awkward questions in a carefully choreographed press conference on board the papal plane yesterday.

Heading home from a four-day tour of the Baltics, the pope’s spokesman said Francis would only take questions about the trip despite a bombshell report revealing that 3,700 children had been sexually assaulted by priests in Germany.
He did eventually get to the thorny topic and admitted that historic abuse by clerics in several countries was ‘monstrous.’
But he insisted the Church should not be judged by modern standards because attitudes towards abuse, which he said happens not just in the Church but in society generally, have changed dramatically over the years.

Catholic Church Releases New Molestation-Proof Altar Boy Uniform

September 26. 2018

 

 

VATICAN CITY—Claiming the vestments represent a vital step in ameliorating the church’s centuries-long history of addressing sexual abuse with subsequent cover-ups, the Catholic Church introduced a line of wrought iron molestation-proof altar boy uniforms Monday. “With these new impenetrable steel robes, Catholic altar boys can now serve the Lord and assist with Mass without the shame or fear of tempting otherwise pious clergymen,” a joint statement by senior Vatican officials read in part, explaining that the full-coverage metal loin-girdings are available to fit all sizes and ranges of youth’s suppleness and are guaranteed to spurn the fingers of any priest who attempts to violate its boundaries.

“The ceremonial six-inch-thick wrought iron vestments also boast a built-in alarm system; if the wearer is touched anywhere below the navel, a loud recording warns the offender to stay back in both the local dialect and High Latin. It is greatly hoped that with the implementation of these suits, we can finally spread the word of God in peace without the constant inconvenience and expense of shuffling priests from parish to parish after they’ve succumbed to the not-inconsiderable temptations of the younger members of our church.”

Vatican officials clarified that neither they nor the manufacturer were responsible for any priests who somehow figure out a way to get inside the suit with an altar boy.

 

Thanks to theonion.com for this story.

Sex Abuse Crisis Has Driven Young Catholics Away From The Church Says Pope Obvious XXVIII

September 26. 2018

 

Pope Francis gives a speech during an ecumenical meeting with young people on Sept. 25, 2018, at the Charles Lutheran church

 

Pope Francis on Tuesday acknowledged that young people are being driven away from the Roman Catholic Church because of the way it has handled the problem of clerical sexual abuse.

DUH!

Speaking to a room of young people during his trip to Estonia, Francis said the church needs to change its ways in order to regain the trust of future generations, The Associated Press reported.

“Many young people do not turn to us for anything (except butt sex and blow jobs) because they don’t feel we have anything meaningful to say to them.,” Francis told the ecumenical Christian gathering at a church in Tallinn, according to a translation from the Catholic News Agency.

The Catholic Church has for months been roiled by renewed calls for accountability regarding clerical sexual abuse. Around the world, victims, advocates, public officials and Catholics in the pews have called out senior church officials for not doing enough to hold accountable predatory priests and the bishops who cover for them. The scandal reached the highest levels of the church this August, when a former Vatican official accused Francis and other high-ranking clergy of covering up the sexual misconduct of a disgraced ex-cardinal.

Francis, who has yet to respond clearly to the accusations, told the gathered Estonian youth that he understands young people are shocked by the scandal and by other failings of the church.

Young people “are outraged by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation, by our unpreparedness to really appreciate the lives and sensibilities of the young, and simply by the passive role we assign them,” the pope said.

Spoiler alert – the pope is part of the problem,

Pope defrocks Chilean priest amid sex abuse scandal

September 18, 2018

 

Image result for Cristian Precht Bañados

Cristian Precht Bañados, now defrocked after spending so much of his time unfrocked.

 

 

(CNN)Pope Francis has expelled the Reverend Cristian Precht Bañados of Chile, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Santiago.

This is the first formal resignation the Pope has decreed since every bishop in Chile offered to step down in May over the country’s sex abuse scandal. The Chilean bishops’ offer was thought to be unprecedented in the modern history of the Catholic Church.

Precht had been suspended in 2012 from practicing within the ministry for five years after the Archbishop of Santiago ordered a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against him.
The Archbishop issued a statement at the time saying that “during the process were established verifiable reports of abusive behavior with adults and minors.”

Precht has not been charged with any crimes by Chilean authorities, but was not allowed to leave the country’s capital, Santiago, pending completion of the church investigation.

In a February 2013 statement, Precht denied “ever forcing anyone’s will, be it an adult or a minor, woman or man.”
He also denied the allegations earlier this year in a letter to the director of the Chilean newspaper La Tercera.
“I absolutely deny participating, in any way, in the acts which I’m slanderously being accused of,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I will defend my personal and clerical honor in every way I can and any time it’s violated.”
Precht was extremely popular in Chile and known for being a fierce defender of human rights during the Chilean dictatorship.
His defrocking comes as the Catholic Church continues to face criticism over its response to myriad allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic clergy over the years.

Pope Francis said last month that “no effort to beg pardon and seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient.” He has called for a meeting of the church’s top officials in February to address the scandal.

 

They apparently ran out of parishes to move him to.

Sex abuse claims rock Dutch Catholic Church

September 18, 2018

 

People in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have charged they were sexually abused by clergymen and lay people

 

The Hague (AFP) – More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic Church in a global abuse scandal.
Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported.
“Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have caused new victims in other parishes,” the Dutch newspaper added.
Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal told AFP the church could “confirm a part” of the report.
Other elements were based on anonymous information provided by a victims’ assistance unit set up by the church.
“The names of several bishops correspond to those named in a report commissioned by the Church in 2010,” the spokeswoman said.

Pope Opens His Door to Celebs Like DiCaprio And Attacks Sex Abuse Victims

September 15, 2018

 

Leonardo DiCaprio has met Pope Francis at the Vatican on January 28, 2016 to discuss their shared concern about the environment and give him a cheque to use on charity works 'close to your heart'. Photo by Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)

The pope doubled down against those who accuse clergymen of sexual abuse during a homily Thursday morning, saying that those who accuse bishops of sexual abuse are like Satan, “the Great Accuser.”

 

An Argentine woman who says she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a cleric in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires — where Pope Francis once served as the cardinal archbishop — said the pope ignored victims of sexual abuse while welcoming celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio with open arms.

The woman was one of six individuals who said they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and had written letters to Pope Francis — who was then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio — when he was head of the archdiocese to inform him of the abuses.

However, many of the victims said Bergoglio never responded to their complaints.

“I don’t expect anything from him; I don’t believe in him,” another female victim said.

“I suffered a lot and I’m very disappointed … Because the Pope did nothing when he was archbishop here. Everyone told me: ‘Write to him, he’s bound to reply.’ But nothing. I suffered, and now I’m very disappointed,” a third female victim said.

Even with these reports of sexual abuse in Francis’s diocese, the pope claimed in his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth that instances of sexual abuse by clergy members “never occurred in my diocese” and “in the diocese, it never happened to me.”

Around the same time the then-archbishop published his book, he commissioned a study calling victims of sexual abuse “false accusers,” claiming their accusations were just ways of projecting their own sexual desires onto accused priests.

As pope, Francis has not changed his views on victims of sexual abuse. The pope doubled down against those who accuse clergymen of sexual abuse during a homily Thursday morning, saying that those who accuse bishops of sexual abuse are like Satan, “the Great Accuser.”

“He receives all the celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio, and opens his door to them. And for us, not even a quick letter to say he was sorry,” one of the victims told an interviewer with the French news program Cash Investigation in 2017.

D.C. cardinal Donald Wuerl, resigns to avoid sex abuse investigation

September 14, 2018

 

Image result for Donald Wuerl

Donald Wuerl, trying hard to avoid  investigation  into sex abuse charges

 

And the beat goes on…

 

CNN)Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will travel to the Vatican “in the very near future” to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation, a spokesman said.

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented nearly three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. He said a decision about his future “is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward.”

“Our discernment here, I believe, has indicated the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this church,” Wuerl said.

Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur. A contingent of American bishops is meeting on Thursday with the Pope in Rome, but Wuerl is not among them, according to the Vatican.

At a recent meeting with the Pope in Vatican City, Wuerl said in his letter, the Pope asked him to consider the best course of action “as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight.”

Wuerl is facing increasing scrutiny both over what he may have known about abuse allegations against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington, and how he handled abusive priests while he headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Wuerl has “categorically denied” that any information about accusations against McCarrick was ever brought to him. He has also defended his overall record handling clerical abuse in Pittsburgh, even while acknowledging “errors in judgment.”
In his letter Tuesday, the cardinal wrote, “At issue is how to begin effectively to bring a new level of healing to survivors who have personally suffered so much and to the faithful entrusted to our care who have also been wounded by the shame of these terrible actions and have questions about their bishop’s ability to provide the necessary leadership.”

Francis plans to meet on Thursday at the Vatican with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Pope’s top adviser on clergy sex abuse.
Earlier this month, Wuerl acknowledged the turmoil surrounding his leadership — and the Catholic Church’s leadership — amid a slew of multistate abuse-related investigations.
Wuerl’s record has come under fire in the wake of a damning grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania. Wuerl is portrayed as having a checkered record of protecting predator priests.
In June, McCarrick was removed from public ministrybecause of a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.

McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults “decades ago” while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the current bishops of those cities said then. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.

Pope calls for silence, issues no denial of sex abuse cover-up charge

August 4, 2018

We think silence was the problem to begin with. We call for rage, not silence. And we call for Francis’ resignation.

 

Pope Francis has so far refused to respond to allegations made last month that he for years covered up sexual abuse allegations against a prominent US cardinal

 

Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Monday said “silence and prayer” were the answer to those seeking “scandal and division”, amid a barrage of attacks from ultra-conservative Catholics.

The pope has so far refused to respond to allegations made last month that he for years covered up sexual abuse allegations against a prominent US cardinal.

“With people who lack goodwill, with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: (there is nothing but) silence. And prayer,” Francis said during a service at St Martha’s, the boarding house where he stays.

Among some ultra-conservative Catholics, the pope is regarded as a dangerous progressive who is more interested in social issues than traditional Church matters.

His comments came after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, claimed in August that Francis ignored sexual abuse allegations against US cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano told the pope about sex abuser and cover-up artist ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013

August 26, 2018

And pope Francis, the Donald Trump of the religious world, originally claims ignorance then fails to deny the charge.

 

Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, seen in 2011, resigned as cardinal last month after a sex abuse investigation by the church d

Carlo Maria Vigano – The pope  knew all about McCarrick’s sex offences and cover-ups in 2013.

 

DUBLIN (AP) — The Vatican’s retired ambassador to the United States accused senior Vatican officials of knowing as early as 2000 that the disgraced former archbishop of Washington, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, regularly invited seminarians into his bed but was made a cardinal regardless.

The letter, an extraordinary j’accuse from a one-time Holy See diplomat, also accuses Pope Francis of being informed of McCarrick’s penchant for young seminarians in 2013 but of having rehabilitated him — a claim of cover-up against the pope himself.

The National Catholic Register and another conservative site, LifeSiteNews, published the letter attributed to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on Sunday as the pope was wrapping up a two-day visit to Ireland dominated by the clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Vigano, 77, a conservative whose hard-line anti-gay views are well known, urged the reformist pope to resign over the issue and what he called the “conspiracy of silence” about McCarrick. He and the pope have long been on opposite ideological sides, with the pope more a pastor and Vigano more a cultural warrior.

 

The board of directors of fuckthepope.com joins Vigano in calling for the pope’s resignation.

 

Ireland protests Francis’ visit – “Say Nope To The Pope”

August 25, 2018

 

Image result for nearly empty auditorium

The turnout to hear the pope say mass, while low, wasn’t this sparse but we wish it had been.
When free tickets for the mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis in Phoenix Park in Dublin were advertised, Mary Coll applied for two – one in her name and the other in the name of her birth mother, who gave her up for adoption in 1962.
But Coll will not be using the tickets. “This is my protest, not to go,” she said. Instead, she will drive from her home in Limerick to Tuam, where a vigil will be held at the site of a  at a former Catholic church mother-and-baby home. It contained the remains of up to 800 infants.
Coll got the idea of applying but not using tickets for the mass on Sunday from , a campaign of “silent and peaceful protest” against his visit. The group’s Facebook page has about 9,000 supporters.
Michael Stewart, one of the organisers, said the idea resonated with people “because it’s an effective form of protest”.
When faith fades: can the pope still connect with a changed Ireland?
“As Irish citizens, we were all entitled to a ticket to the papal mass if we wished. The taxpayer was funding this visit regardless of their faith, and that was the icing on the cake for many,” he said.
Half a million tickets were available to the public for the mass, with a further 45,000 for the papal visit to the Marian shrine in Knock.
“Why shouldn’t [people] claim their ticket and use it how they see fit?” Stewart said. “It seems that actively and deliberately not using their ticket was an appropriate option while we stand in solidarity with the excessive number of victims from this atrocious organisation.”
The board of directors of fuckthepope.com enthusiastically and unanimously endorses this powerful form of protest.

Vatican On Sex Abuse Report: ‘Listen, No Normal Person Is Going To Sign Up To Be A Priest’

August 18, 2018

 

 

VATICAN CITY—Following a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report on widespread sexual abuse of children by priests and a cover-up that spanned decades, the Vatican released a statement Friday saying “listen, no normal person is going to sign up to be a priest.” “Look, we ask an awful lot of ordained priests and make them follow all these bizarre rules, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we have trouble finding people who aren’t degenerate creeps,” said Pope Francis, adding that although the Vatican would encourage members of the clergy to stop engaging in child abuse, there ultimately wasn’t that much they could do since the Church’s mandate of celibacy and its tacit acceptance of child abusers “basically turns away all well-adjusted, reasonablepeople at the door.

” “It’s only gotten worse over the years because regular people would much rather have actual experiences in the real world than be cooped up in a rectory insisting that they’re married to God or whatever. We’d bet that if we relaxed the rules, reformed the power dynamics, and allowed priests to marry and have sex, we wouldn’t be overrun by monsters who can’t function in normal society, but we’re not going to do that, so it’s just going to be a bunch of freaks and deviants from here on out. Honestly, the way the Church currently operates is pretty much designed to appeal only to sick fucks who know they’ll get away with moral atrocities, if you think about it.” Vatican officials also defended priests who have been accused of child abuse over the past several decades, saying that at this point, given all of the available information, only an incredibly negligent parent would allow a child to be associated with the Catholic Church in any way.

Thanks to theonion for this realistic assessment of the state of the priesthood.

New waves of sex abuse scandals continue to plague Catholic Church

August 13, 2018

 

Image result for sex abuse of boys by priests

 

With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy.

In Chile, prosecutors have raided church offices, seized documents and accused leaders of a coverup. In Australia, top church figures are facing detention and trials. And in the United States, after the resignation of a cardinal, questions are swirling about a hierarchy that looked the other way and protected him for years.

The church has had more than three decades – since notable abuse cases first became public – to safeguard victims, and itself, against such system failures. And, in the past five years, many Catholics have looked to Francis as a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility.

But Francis’ track record in handling abuse is mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution.

Analysts who have studied the church’s response to sexual abuse, and several people who have advised the pope, say the Vatican has been unable to take the dramatic steps that can help an organization get out from under scandals – and avoid their repetition.

“Each new report of clerical abuse at any level creates doubt in the minds of many that we are effectively addressing this catastrophe in the Church,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, warned last month. Failure to take action, O’Malley said, “will threaten and endanger the already weakened moral authority of the Church.”

Francis is credited with some meaningful moves. Last month, he accepted the highest-level resignation to date when Theodore McCarrick stepped down from the College of Cardinals. The former archbishop of Washington and longtime church power broker is accused of sexually abusing adults and minors. He faces a church trial in which he could be defrocked entirely.

But the pope has also had notable missteps. During a January trip to South America, he drew widespread criticism by saying he was convinced of the innocence of Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up the acts of a notorious abuser.

Francis sought to recover from that episode by sending two investigators to Chile, apologizing for his “serious errors” in handling the crisis and making a reference – unprecedented for a pope – to a “culture of abuse and coverup.” He invited Chilean abuse victims to the Vatican. He also called Chile’s 34 bishops to Rome, where, according to a letter that was leaked to the Chilean media, he accused them of failing to investigate possible crimes and destroying evidence. The bishops offered to step down en masse. So far, Francis has accepted five of those resignations.

Yet the church has struggled with a more comprehensive effort to close the chapter on sexual abuse.

Whereas transparency is typically advised, the church remains quiet about its investigations and disciplinary procedures. It does not release any data on the inquiries it has carried out. A proposed tribunal for judging bishops accused of negligence or coverup was quashed by the Vatican department that was supposed to help implement it. And, rather than being fired and publicly admonished, offending church leaders are typically allowed to resign without explanation.

“The church doesn’t like removing bishops,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and a senior analyst at the Religion News Service. “Bishops are vicars of Christ in their diocese. They’re not just McDonald’s franchise owners or local managers that can be fired by the CEO. And the church has always been reluctant to give in to political pressure to remove them.”

Francis has called on churches to maintain a “zero tolerance” policy and warned about the “sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power.” But the Vatican declined to distribute to bishops conferences suggested guidelines, drawn up by the commission advising Francis on sexual abuse, for how to respond to abuse complaints and cooperate with civil authorities.

Even when the Vatican does take action, resolution comes “at a very glacial pace,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, who was among the Chilean abuse victims who met for several days with Francis this past spring.

Cruz said he tried to tell the pope bluntly that a deeper shake-up was still needed. He specifically mentioned Francisco Javier Errazuriz, a member of the pope’s powerful nine-member advisory Council of Cardinals, who victims have long said ignored their abuse accusations and tried to discredit them. Errazuriz has denied wrongdoing.

“[The pope] asked us to give him time to act,” Cruz recalled. “He said, ‘I have to pray about this and let the Holy Spirit guide me on what I have to do.’ ”

Meanwhile, in the wider world, the cultural ground is shifting, and other forces are taking the lead on accountability.

A separate movement fighting abuse and harassment in the workplace has helped spread awareness about victims while diminishing skepticism about their stories.

At the same time, law enforcement agencies have been pursuing abuse cases in countries that once treated the church with deference. In Australia, some state and territory governments are even going after one of the church’s most sacred tenets, and are on the verge of enforcing new laws requiring priests to report child abuse that they learn of during confessions. In the United States, the Catholic Church is bracing for the release of a 900-page grand jury report into sex crimes across six dioceses in Pennsylvania.

There have been competing calls within the American church for how to strengthen oversight of the hierarchy. Church leaders in Albany and Atlanta took the notable step of suggesting the involvement of expert laypeople, either to investigate or chart reforms.

“I think we have reached a point where bishops alone investigating bishops is not the answer,” said Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. “We bishops want to rise to this challenge, which may well be our last opportunity considering all that has happened.”

A similar conversation, about how to strengthen the response to abuse, has played out for several years in the Vatican – particularly within the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Francis created a year after he became pope. But little has come of the commission’s ideas.

In 2015, Francis approved its proposal of a tribunal, placed within the Vatican’s powerful doctrine office, that would assess cases of bishops accused of concealing or neglecting abuse. The tribunal, though, was never created. Four former members of the commission, as well as outside analysts, say the idea was thwarted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Some outside analysts say the objection could have been on legal or logistical grounds.

In an interview published last year with the Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, then the head of the doctrine office, said the Vatican already had the “tools and legal means” to handle cases. Vatican watcher Marco Politi said congregation members and others in the Vatican hierarchy were also concerned about opening a “Pandora’s box.”

“This would mean hundreds of cases that would then bounce back to Rome with a huge media impact,” said Politi, author “Pope Francis Among the Wolves,” a papal biography. “It would signify the beginning of hunting season on culprits.”

In turn, Francis used another method to bolster accountability of the church hierarchy, issuing an apostolic letter that made it clear that bishops could be removed from office for negligently handling sexual abuse. But under the current system, any of five different Vatican congregations can be involved in investigating bishops, depending on the accused person’s role and affiliation within the church, and also on whether he has been accused of coverup or abuse. Coverup cases are handled by the same congregations that help to appoint bishops.

“It’s a potential conflict of interest,” said Davide Cito, a canon lawyer at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. “That’s absolutely an issue.”

The stalled effort to launch the tribunal prompted the resignation from the commission of Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor. Current and former members of the commission said that they are not given data and information on abuse-related cases being handled by the Vatican. Krysten Winter-Green, a former commission member who was a longtime counselor for abuse victims, said they were up against a “domain of secrecy.”

“The crime in the Catholic Church remains causing scandal, not covering up,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the site BishopAccountability.org, which tracks sexual abuse cases. “Bishops all over the world are not being forthcoming.”

Go to Top