Pope during Easter vigil: Reject the ‘glitter of wealth’

April 22, 2019

Could anything be more ironic? The pope, the master of bling, telling people to reject glitter. We here at are laughing our collective asses off.

Image result for vatican gold

“Sin seduces; it promises things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but leaves behind only solitude and death,” the pope said.

Calif. Priest Arrested for Thirty Counts of Child Sex Abuse

April 20, 2019

A San Francisco Bay Area priest has been arrested on 30 counts of child sexual abuse, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday.

Fremont priest Rev. Hector David Mendoza-Vela was arrested last week, according to the sheriff’s office and the Diocese of Oakland. He was later booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he remains in custody.

The alleged abuse involving one child took place over an 18-month period beginning in 2016, according to the sheriff’s office. Mendoza-Vela was working at St. John’s Catholic Church in San Lorenzo at the time before being transferred to Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fremont.

“While we do not have all the details, the alleged behavior is in clear violation of the Diocese’s code of conduct and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Bishop Michael Barber wrote in a letter to parishioners of the Corpus Christi Parish.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Agrees To Record $8 Million Settlement Over Teen’s Abuse

April 17, 2019

Juan Ivan Barajas of San Gabriel, California, earlier pleaded guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction and was senten

Juan Ivan Barajas,, child rapist

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to an $8 million settlement with a teenager who was sexually abused by a teacher at an all-girls Catholic school in 2016.

The settlement is the largest amount the Los Angeles Archdiocese has ever agreed to pay a single victim of sexual abuse, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday, and possibly the largest per-survivor award ever paid by a U.S. Catholic diocese.

The perpetrator, Juan Ivan Barajas, was an athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School, according to the LA Times. The victim’s lawyers said that Barajas began targeting the girl in April 2016, when she was a 15-year-old freshman. When Barajas’ wife discovered evidence of abuse on his cellphone in July 2016, he kidnapped the teen and took her to Las Vegas.

After five days on the run, Barajas was arrested by police. He later pleaded guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction and was sentenced to six years in prison.

The victim’s lawyers contend that even before Barajas began targeting their client, the high school and the archdiocese had received numerous complaints about his inappropriate behavior with minor female students. Some of those complaints from coaches and parents stretched back to the 2014-2015 school year, the lawyers said.

On Tuesday, the archdiocese said it recognized the “serious harm” done to the teenager and hoped the settlement would allow her to “heal and more forward with her education and lifetime goals.”

“The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life,” the organization said in a statement sent to HuffPost.

Ex-Pope Benedict blames hippies for clerical sex abuse

April 12, 2019

Former Pope Benedict XVI (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Rellandini)

Really?!? Hippies are to blame? And the abuses prior to the 60s?

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI says the sexual revolution of the 1960s is to answer for child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. The former pope wrote in an essay that “absence of God” was behind acts of pedophilia.

Former Pope Benedict XVI has blamed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal on the 1960s sexual revolution, growing secularization and weak church laws that protected priests in an essay published Thursday.

“Among the freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to fight for was this all-out sexual freedom … Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ’68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate,” he wrote in the 6,000-word essay for Klerusblatt, a German monthly magazine for clergy.

“Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God,” he wrote, noting failed attempts to include a reference to God in European Union treaties as a negative example of Western secularization

Benedict, born in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, cited the appearance of sex in films in the ’60s in his native Bavaria and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries “which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate.” He also attributed it to failures in moral theology in that era.

Abuse scandals in Ireland, Chile, Australia, France, the United States, Poland, Germany and elsewhere have seen the Church pay out billions of dollars in damages to victims and close parishes, with many cases dating back decades before the 1960s.

The Vatican has been embroiled in the scandals. Most recently with the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, who was sentenced to six years in jail for abusing two boys in his native Australia.

Benedict, who in 2013 became the first pope in six centuries to resign, also faulted church laws that protected accused priests.

He wrote that during the 1980s and 1990s “the right to a defense (for priests) was so broad as to make a conviction nearly impossible.”

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict led reforms of those laws in 2001 to make it easier to remove priests who abused children.

He took a hard line against clerical sex abuse as the Vatican’s conservative doctrine chief, and later as pope, defrocking hundreds of priests accused of raping and molesting children.

Benedict wrote in the introduction to the essay that Francis and the Vatican secretary of state had given him permission to publish. The Vatican also confirmed it was written by Benedict.

Writing in the Catholic Herald, associate professor of theology at The Catholic University of America Chat Pecknold praised the essay as a necessary word from “the voice of a father” that accurately identified an absence of God as the reason for the crisis.

But other church analysts said the essay was both flawed in content and exacerbated existing divisions in the church that have emerged between supporters of Francis and Catholics nostalgic for Benedict’s doctrine-minded papacy.

“It is catastrophically irresponsible, because it creates a counter-narrative to how Francis is trying to move ahead based on the 2019 summit,” Church historian Christopher Bellitto told The Associated Press in an email. “The essay essentially ignores what we learned there.”

Villanova University theologian Massimo Faggioli said the essay was thin in its analysis, which effectively attributed the scandal to the sexual revolution. He said it excluded key cases, such as the Legion of Christ founder’s pedophilia, which began long before then and involved abuse in one of the most rigorously orthodox, conservative religious orders.

“Everything we know in the global history of the Catholic abuse crisis makes Benedict XVI’s take published yesterday very thin or worse: a caricature of what happened during in the Catholic Church during the post-Vatican II period with all its ingenuities and some tragic mistakes,” he tweeted.

“This is an embarrassing letter. The idea that ecclesial abuse of children was a result of the 1960s, a supposed collapse of moral theology, and ‘conciliarity’ is an embarrassingly wrong explanation for the systemic abuse of children and its coverup,” Brian Flanagan, a theologian at Marymount University in Virginia, tweeted.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

A special government inquiry on child sex abuse in Germany has demanded more dialogue on the subject after presenting its findings in Berlin. More than 80 percent of victims who spoke to the inquiry were women.

Pope Francis issues sweeping sex abuse legislation 29.03.2019
At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

Fuck Ratzinger and fuck the current pope.

Women Sexually Abused By Catholic Nuns Speak Up: She Told Me It Was ‘God’s Love’

April 12, 2019

Sister Eileen Shaw (pictured above) was 21 years older than Trish Cahill when they first met in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

The woman introduced herself as Sister Eileen Shaw, telling Cahill that she was out on a walk from her nearby convent.

“She’s nice to me, which was confusing,” Cahill recalled.

The two struck up a conversation, Cahill said, which led to an invitation for the teen to play guitar at an upcoming Mass. That invitation led to more special treatment, private phone calls and private trips.

In fact, this strange encounter on the lawn was just the beginning of a long period of grooming and emotional manipulation, Cahill said. She didn’t realize until much later that the 12 years of history she had with Shaw was not a relationship ― but sexual abuse.

“She stole from my body, my mind and my soul,” Cahill, now 66, told HuffPost. “The woman was a thief who did not keep her vows.”

For over a year, the Roman Catholic Church has faced a reckoning over the crime of clerical sexual abuse. Catholics are once again demanding answers about bishops’ mishandling of abuse allegations, after high-profile scandals in the U.S., Australia and Chile toppled prominent figures. In response to this renewed call for transparency, Pope Francis acknowledged for the first time ever this February that nuns have been victims of sexual abuse by priests and bishops. Nuns from across the world have come forward to share their stories and demand change.

But stories like Cahill’s, about nuns being the perpetrators of sexual violence, have largely been lost in this new wave of accountability. Although abuse allegations against “women religious,” meaning nuns and Catholic sisters, are rarer than allegations against priests or monks, Cahill and other survivors of nun abuse are convinced that there are more stories out there. But because of gender stereotypes about female perpetrators of abuse, it is much harder to see the broader picture.

As survivors push more states to extend their statutes of limitations for child sex abuse cases, experts believe more of these stories will start coming to light.

“Why are they not coming out?” Cahill mused about fellow survivors of abuse by nuns. “They don’t have any other survivors to see what’s happened. They’re the only one.”

“The boys thought they were the only ones for a hundred years,” Cahill added. But now, she said, “the girls think they’re the only ones.”

N.J. Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Assault After Victim Calls Clergy Abuse Hotline

April 11, 2019

Middlesex County Prosecutor photo of Rev. Thomas Ganley.  The state attorney general's office said the 63-year-old priest was arrested Jan. 16, 2019  on aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault charges. Ganley pleaded guilty on April 9, 2019 to a child sexual assault after a victim called the state's clergy abuse hotline.

(TRENTON, N.J.) — A New Jersey priest has pleaded guilty to a child sexual assault dating back almost three decades.

The charge against the Rev. Thomas Ganley was the first sexual assault case brought by the state’s clergy abuse task force, which was established last September. Ganley was charged in January, just two days after the victim had called the state’s clergy abuse hotline.

The 63-year-old Ganley most recently was a parochial vicar at St. Philip and St. James Catholic Church in Phillipsburg.

Prosecutors say Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge when the alleged assaults took place between 1990 and 1994. They say the victim was between the ages of 14 and 17.

Bishop in India Charged With Raping Nun Over a 2-Year Period

April 10, 2019

NEW DELHI — The Indian authorities on Tuesday charged a bishop with repeatedly raping a nun in the southern state of Kerala, the first case of its kind in the country and a development that comes just weeks after Pope Francis acknowledged a continuing problem with sexual abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church.

Vijay Sakhare, the inspector general of police who oversaw a monthslong investigation, said Bishop Franco Mulakkal had been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period starting in 2014. The bishop, who faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, has denied the accusations.

The filing of charges on Tuesday “enters the annals of history as a rarest of rare incident, when a bishop is going to face trial in a court based on the complaint of a nun who is a subordinate to him,” read a statement from Save Our Sisters, a group of members of India’s Roman Catholic Church.

The charge sheet includes statements from 83 witnesses, including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns, the group said in its statement.

Nuns have tried for years to call attention to sexual exploitation in the Catholic Church. They have recently stepped forward to accuse clerics of abuse in India and Italy, as well as in African and Latin American countries.

But they have also struggled to move the conversation forward among church leaders. In November, the International Union of Superiors General, the organization representing the world’s Catholic women’s religious orders, said a “culture of silence and secrecy” was partly to blame.

The number of people who have no religion has risen 266 per cent – one third of the population – in three decades

April 5, 2019

  • People with no religion accounted for 23.1% of the U.S. population in 2018
  • By comparison, Catholics make up 23% and Evangelicals account for 22.5%
  • The three are now statistically tied as the largest religious groups in America
  • Meanwhile, mainline Protestant Christianity has seen a 62.5% decline in believers since 1982, to now account for just 10.8% of the U.S. population

The number of Americans who identify as having no religion has risen 266 percent since 1991, to now tie statistically with the number of Catholics and Evangelicals, according to a new survey.

People with no religion – known as ‘nones’ among statisticians – account for 23.1 percent of the U.S. population, while Catholics make up 23 percent and Evangelicals account for 22.5 percent, according to the General Social Survey.

Those three groups now represent the largest the religious groups in America.

This graph illustrates the shift in religious ideologies since 1972, with a sharp decline in the number of mainline Protestant Christians and a dramatic uptick in the number of people with no religion. Known as 'nones' those religion-free Americans are now statistically tied with Catholics and Evangelicals as the largest religious groups in America

The survey has tracked a broad swath of American trends since 1972, offering comprehensive insight into the evolving face of religion over more than four decades.

Ryan Burge, a political science professor at Eastern Illinois University who analyzed the data, said that experts have several theories about why the number of ‘nones’ has risen so dramatically in recent decades.

‘One of them is that many people used to lie about what they were,’ he told ‘Many people were (always) atheist or non-religious, but it was previously culturally unacceptable to not have a religion in America.’

Catholic priests burn Harry Potter books in Poland

April 2, 2019

Warsaw (AFP) – Catholic priests in Poland burned books they say are sacrilegious this weekend, including tomes from British author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of fantasy novels.

“We obey the Word,” priests said in a Facebook post showing photographs of the public book burning and quoting Biblical passages from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament.

One passage exhorting believers to destroy the enemies of God includes the command to “burn their idols in the fire”.

The post, on a page run by the Catholic “SMS from Heaven” evangelical group, stirred controversy and has gone viral.

Photographs show three priests carrying a basket of books and other items, including an African-styled face mask through a church to an outside fire pit.

Priests are seen saying prayers over the fire pit where other items, including a book from the Twilight vampire-themed fantasy romance series, a ‘Hello Kitty’ umbrella and a Hindu religious figurine, are also burning.

One of our board members was lured into satanism by a Hello Kitty umbrella. True story.

Father Jan Kucharski, the priest in the Gdansk parish where the book burning took place, told the news website on Monday that they had burned items “linked to the occult and magic.”

“Aside from the books, there were talismans and amulets. Parishioners brought them to put things in order” as part of spring cleaning, added the priest, who is also listed as an exorcist on the Gdansk diocese official website.

The burning took place in front of his church after Sunday mass.

Kucharczyk dismissed comparisons to the cultural censorship of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany.

“We know what’s harmful to our faithful so that’s why we held an event like this. I’d even call it evangelical,” he told

“I’d like to believe this is a joke… Seriously? Are people burning fantasy literature in the 21st century in some kind of sick ritual?!” one Facebook user said in a comment underneath the post.

“It’s hard for me to believe that we’re so backward!” the user added.

Other Facebook users, however, backed the book burning.

“Get rid of everything that does not please God and see how your life will change,” one person posted.

Launched in 1997, the Harry Potter series of books spins an epic tale of good and evil focused on the adventures of the eponymous bespectacled young wizard as he struggles against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.

It has sometimes drawn criticism from religious and conservative circles for what they say is its focus on witchcraft.

This latest incident comes as Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church struggles to deal with the fallout of revelations about paedophilia among priests that are unprecedented in this overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Last month, the Polish episcopate admitted for the first time that nearly 400 of its clergy had sexually abused children and minors over the past three decades.

That reflected findings published in February by a charity focused on sex abuse in the church.

A survey published in the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Monday suggested that 64 percent of Poles want a secular state, with 29 percent opposed and seven percent without an opinion.

The poll was carried out March 5-11 by Kantor Millward Brown on a random representative sample of 1,500 adult Poles.

Chilean Priest Under House Arrest, Investigation for Sex Abuse

April 2, 2019

A Chilean Justice ordered an investigation Friday into alleged sexual abuse crimes by priest Tito Rivera in the Cathedral of Santiago in 2015.

Over the next five months, the investigation is due to be carried out during which time the accused will be subject to nighttime house arrest from 10pm to 6am and will be prohibited from leaving the country, as determined by the 13th Santiago Warden’s Court.

The resolution comes after the regional prosecutor of O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias, in charge of the investigations for sexual crimes committed within the Chilean Catholic Church, asked the Justice to formally impute Rivera.

The priest will be investigated for allegedly abusing a man, Daniel Rojas, in 2015, in a bedroom of the cathedral of Santiago, the heart of Chile’s Catholic community. Rivera’s priesthood has been suspended for 14 years due to several complaints in the canonical justice regarding alleged sexual abuse acts committed against minors.

Daniel Rojas, 43, denounced that in 2015 he went to the Cathedral and met with Rivera to request monetary aid for his daughter who suffered a severe urinary tract infection.

According to Rojas, the priest offered him a glass of water that allegedly contained a drug and then sexually abused him in one of the dormitories in the religious compound. Rojas also said that after confessing to Archbishop Ezatti, the Archbishop gave him 30,000 pesos (approximately US$45) and advised him to pray for his rapist.

Pope Francis announced Friday that all Vatican staff and diplomats from the Holy See abroad could receive jail sentences and fines if they are found to be covering up sexual abuse of minors. So far, 219 are investigated by the National Prosecutor’s Office of Chile. A total of 158 cases of sexual abuse against 241 people, 123 of which were infants at the time of the events..

Düsseldorf cardinal suspended after second sexual harassment allegation

March 26, 2019

Düsseldorf cardinal suspended after sexual harassment allegations

A prominent cardinal in Düsseldorf has reportedly been placed on leave due to an allegation that he sexually assaulted an adult clergyman in 2012.
The same cardinal was reportedly reinstated by the church after undergoing ‘therapy’ following similar allegations in the 1990s.

Cardinal Ulrich Hennes, who serves as the city dean for Düsseldorf, has been suspended from his role due to sexual assault allegations.

Archbishop of Cologne Rainer Maria Woelki placed the cardinal on compulsory leave due to the pending allegations, with RP Online reporting that the man underwent a church-administered ‘therapy’ program in relation to the sexual molestation of a teenager in the 1990s.

The report casts doubt on the effectiveness of the church’s ability to self regulate and prosecute allegations against clergymen, particularly as a report completed at the end of the therapy process found that the Cardinal could return to work “without conditions”.

A spokesman for the church said that Hennes was “committed to therapy, which was then completed” in the 1990s, with the church deciding to reinstate him to his position.

Hennes denied the allegations to RP Online, while also confirming that he was not a flight risk. “I am innocent”, he said. “I have no reason to flee (Düsseldorf)”.

Archbishop Woelki said that Hennes was entitled to the presumption of innocence, but sought to reaffirm the church’s commitment to tackle sexual misconduct in its ranks.

“We do not tolerate any form of sexual assault and consistently follow the relevant instructions and suspected cases,” says Cardinal Woelki.

As reported by The Local in March, the Catholic Church in Germany promised to urgently confront sexual abuse scandals amid allegations that victims had been “stonewalled”.

The guidelines of the German Bishops Conference require that members of the clergy be suspended for the duration of the process after allegations have been made.

Hennes was made city dean of Düsseldorf in 2016, a role which requires him to act as a representative of the bishop in the city.

Irish bishop raped his own niece when she was just five and faced another two accusations of child sexual abuse before his death

March 24, 2019

Bishop Eamonn Casey, the Irish Bishop visiting Sydney in August 1981
  • One of the women was paid out under the Residential Institutions Redress Board
  • Additionally, a second settlement was confirmed by the Limerick Diocese 
  • His niece, Patricia Donovan, now 56, said: ‘It was rape, everything you imagine

Deceased Bishop Eamonn Casey faced at least three allegations of child sexual abuse before he died – with two high court cases being settled.

One of the women who have accused him was his niece, while another received a settlement under the controversial Residential Institutions Redress Board.

Documents obtained by the Irish Mail on Sunday confirmed the Redress settlement, and a second settlement was confirmed by the Limerick Diocese when the MoS directly asked them.

Patricia Donovan, the niece of the late Bishop Eamonn Casey has claimed she was raped and sexually abused by him from the age of five for more than a decade.

Speaking for the first time, his niece Patricia Donovan, now 56, said: ‘It was rape, everything you imagine. It was the worst kind of abuse, it was horrific. 

‘I stopped being able long ago to find any words in the English language to describe what happened to me. It was one horrific thing after another.’

The Irish Mail on Sunday can also reveal that two other complaints of child sexual abuse related to incidents in the 1950s and 1960s.

Ms Donovan, who lives in England, brought her allegations to police in the UK in November 2005, and later to gardai.

Limerick detectives travelled to the UK to take a statement from her in January 2006, but by August of the same year, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that no charges be brought on 13 sample allegations.

But in the course of seeking documentation relating to her case, Ms Donovan received case notes that confirm that Bishop Casey made a Redress board settlement with a woman in 2005.

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