Archive for August, 2017
August 29, 2017
Abdullah el-Faisal, wants Muslims to kill non-Muslims like cockroaches and accept the deaths of women and children as “collateral damage” and to “learn to fly planes, drive tanks… load your guns and to use missiles”.
Isn’t religion wonderful?
A radical Muslim cleric who influenced one of the July 7 London bombers has been arrested after officers in the US caught him allegedly trying to recruit jihadis in an undercover sting operation.
Abdullah el-Faisal, who was deported to Jamaica from Britain in 2007 after serving a sentence for soliciting murder and causing racial hatred, is now facing extradition to New York.
According to the Manhattan district attorney, el-Faisal offered to help an undercover officer travel to the Middle East and join Isil.
El-Faisal, who was arrested on Friday in Jamaica, was a mentor of Jermaine Lindsay, who detonated a bomb on a Tube train near King’s Cross, killing 25 passengers.
He was arrested after a month long sting carried out by an undercover New York Police Department officer who communicated with him by email, text and video chat.
El-Faisal, 53, was sentenced to seven years after becoming the first person for a century to be prosecuted under the 1860 Public Order Act.
Lindsay, also from Jamaica and also a convert to Islam, attended at least one lecture by El-Faisal and listened to tapes of his sermons. During the preacher’s trial, he was heard telling audiences to kill Hindus, Jews and other non-Muslims like cockroaches”.
El-Faisal arrived in the UK in 1992 and married a British biology graduate, establishing himself as a lay preacher at Brixton Mosque, often preaching to crowds of up to 500 people.
His preaching came to the attentions of police when tapes of his sermons were found in the car of a suspected rapist in Dorset in late 2001.
During subsequent searches of specialist Islamic bookshops and El-Faisal’s rented house in Stratford, East London, police found other recordings in which he exhorted young Muslims to accept the deaths of women and children as “collateral damage” and to “learn to fly planes, drive tanks… load your guns and to use missiles”.
He told young British Muslims it was their duty to kill non-believers, Jews, Hindus and Westerners, urging them to adopt a “jihad mentality”.
He also promised schoolboys that they would be rewarded with “72 virgins in paradise” if they died in a holy war.
The jury watched a video of El-Faisal after the Sept 11 attacks telling up to 150 young Muslims that the Koran justified attacking “kaffirs”, or unbelievers.
Now, to all the Muslims who say ‘this is not my Islam’ we say, “Are your religious beliefs any less insane than his?” Think about it.
The problem is not this religion or that religion. The problem is religion.
August 30. 2017
The horror of this crime defies belief.
The fresh heart of a one-year-old girl, identified as Success Ime, has been discovered in a church at 3, Okon Edak Street, off Atamunu, Calabar in Cross River State.
The General Overseer of the Ministry, a Reverend, has been arrested for allegedly using the girl for ritual.
It was gathered that other fetish items, including goat heads, dead chicken, male and female effigies, wooden boat, crafted camel among others, were uncovered by men of Uwanse Police Division.
The grandmother of the victim, Mrs Arit Ime, told journalists that at about 3a.m. yesterday, they heard banging on their door, following which two masked men entered their room at 8, Okon Edak Street.
She said: “We were sleeping and at about 3a.m. when two men, who were fully masked, entered and started ransacking the house. They told us to lie face down or we will be shot.
“Initially, we thought they were robbers not knowing that they came for my little girl, Success, who was just one year and six months old.
“They took off with her, after which we raised the alarm. In the process, some of our neighbours made phone calls to the Police and one of them was apprehended.
“But as we speak, little Success is nowhere to be found. Part of the items we were told that was discovered included a fresh heart of a little child and we have no doubt that it is hers.”
When contacted the Police spokesman, Irene Ugbo, told newsmen that that the matter was now a murder case and that seven persons, including the General Overseer of the church had been arrested.
No names or photographs of the killers were available.
Ugbo said: “We have arrested seven people, including one Reverend. We discovered a shrine in the church as well as other fetish items, including a fresh human heart, believed to be that of a child.”
Marcin Nurek, wasting no time getting to his priestly duties as a sex abuser
August 28. 2017
BOONTON, N.J. — A priest in New Jersey is accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl and allegedly telling her, “You’re sexy,” less than five weeks after he was ordained.
Rev. Marcin Nurek was arrested Aug. 3 in Boonton and charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Nurek put his hand under a girl’s skirt and touched her buttocks, officials said. The girl is between 13 and 16 years old.
He allegedly told the child, “You’re sexy,” the Daily Record reports.
Nurek came to the U.S. in 2015 from Poland, and was ordained to the priesthood on July 1 of this year, according ot the Diocese of Paterson.
He was set to begin his assignment this month at St. Catherine of Siena in Mountain Lakes, N.J., the diocese said. But that has been “concluded” in the wake of his arrest.
Additionally, the diocese said, Nurek has been placed on administrative leave and his faculties have been revoked.
August 28, 2017
Arnel Lagarejos, setting a fine example for priests everywhere
A priest who heads a Catholic school was arrested on Friday night as he was allegedly taking a 13-year-old girl to a motel in Marikina City.
Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos, 55, underwent inquest proceedings on Saturday afternoon for alleged violation of the Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act following his arrest around 6:30 p.m. on July 28 near Blue Wave Mall on Sumulong Highway in Barangay Sto. Niño.
A report to Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, Eastern Police District director, said a joint team from Marikina police and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) caught Lagarejos in his sport utility vehicle (SUV) with the minor.
He allegedly came to know the girl, an out-of-school youth, through a 16-year-old gay “pimp,” who was also arrested that same night.
The arrests were made based on information from the girl’s mother, who earlier alerted the Marikina police.
In an interview, the city police chief, Senior Supt. Roger Quesada, said Lagarejos initially described himself as a self-employed man when arrested but later admitted he was a priest during questioning.
Lagarejos, who remained in detention as of press time, refused to be interviewed by reporters.
Quoting statements from the mother and the arrested gay teenager, Quesada said Lagarejos was caught as he was about to take the girl to a motel on Sumulong Highway.
Seized from the gay teenager was his smartphone containing text messages purportedly about his transaction with the priest for the girl.
Sapitula said barangay officials and social workers had actually spoken with the girl a day before the entrapment.
The girl then said Lagarejos actually brought her to a motel for the first time in June and warned her “at gunpoint” not to let other men “book” her.
Based on the suspect’s LinkedIn account, Lagarejos is the current president of Cainta Catholic College (CCC) and former parish priest of the Our Lady of Abandoned Parish also in Cainta.
His credentials, which are also listed in the CCC website, include a doctorate degree in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Ironic, yes?
During the entrapment operation, Quesada said, the girl’s mother and a police team waited at the spot where Lagarejos was expected to meet with the pimp.
When the priest arrived in his SUV, he was joined in the vehicle by the gay man and the girl. The gay man later got out after receiving P500 from Lagarejos.
The priest then drove off with the girl but was later stopped by the arresting team along Sumulong Highway.
Tens Of Thousands Riot In India – At Least 29 Dead And Over 200 Injured After Rape Conviction Of Hairy Bling Guru
August 26, 2017
Isn’t religion wonderful?
His rape conviction led to violence on Friday leaving at least 29 dead and more than 200 injured, according to VK Bansal, chief medical officer at the state-run Panchkula Civil Hospital.
Mobs of several tens of thousands rampaged in response, setting fire to government buildings, attacking railway stations, petrol stations and television vans in towns across the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, witnesses said.
Dozens of cars were burning in Panchkula town while a bloodied body lay in the middle of a road. About 500 army soldiers were deployed to restore order.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
August 29. 2017
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for rape, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation announced Monday.
August 23, 2017
God must have told him it was okay.
A leader of a New Mexico military-style Christian sect is facing dozens of child sexual abuse charges in a case that authorities say is connected to widespread abuse by the religious commune.
Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in the remote community of Fence Lake was charged with 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child.
It seems that all the aggression was directed at children.
Sect members Deborah Green, Joshua Green and Stacey Miller also face various charges ranging from child abuse, bribery and not reporting a birth.
All four were arrested on Sunday.
A former member, Maura Alana Schmierer, said on Monday that she’s been trying to draw attention to the New Mexico group for years. Schmierer added that she had been interviewed by investigators recently about the group.
‘I’ve been trying to expose them for years,’ said Schmierer, who left the sect in the late 1980s.
Schmierer sued the sect for mistreatment and forcing her to give up legal custody of three of her children. A judge in 1989 awarded her $1.08 million.
The group fled California and later resurfaced near El Paso, Texas, and then in western New Mexico.
The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps based in New Mexico describes itself as a group that is ‘aggressive and revolutionary for Jesus’.
Sheriff Tony Mace told KOAT-TV that his office began investigating the group last year after two members claimed they had escaped the commune in the sparsely populated area of mostly ranchland.
He said those who escaped told deputies that Deborah Green and Stacey Miller allowed Miller’s 12-year-old son to die of the flu in 2014.
Miller faces one count each of intentional abuse of a child age 12-18, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth.
Joshua Green, whose relationship to the other Greens is unclear, is charged with not reporting the birth of his son to the state.
In a statement published on their website, the group said the allegations ‘are totally false’ and similar to others the group has faced over the years.
‘We don’t know who all the accusers are, but the accusations are just re-runs of old lies that have been investigated and shown to be malicious attacks against a legitimate ministry, time and again,’ the statement said.
Deborah Green and her husband James are the ‘generals’ who command their army to spread Christian ideals throughout the world, according to the group’s website. Deborah, who also goes by the name Lila, faces one count of intentional child abuse resulting in death.
The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps describes itself as a group that is ‘aggressive and revolutionary for Jesus’ and provides a free spiritual ‘ammo pack’ to anyone who writes. We’re guessing that the ‘ammo pack’ includes candy bars and condoms.
August 23, 2017
William Aitcheson, a priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, announced his leave of absence in an editorial for the Arlington Catholic Herald.
“When I think back on burning crosses, a threatening letter, and so on, I feel as though I am speaking of somebody else,” he wrote. “It’s hard to believe that was me.”
The 62-year-old said he had joined the Klan as an “impressionable young man” who was “in no way practising my faith”.
According to the Washington Post, Mr Aitcheson was a leader of the Robert E Lee Lodge of the Maryland Knights of the KKK in the 1970s.
The group, which boasted about a dozen members, was allegedly planning to bomb the homes of black people and the offices of the NAACP in Prince George’s, Maryland.
Police officers who searched Mr Aitcheson’s home at the time found nine pounds of black powder, weapons and bomb parts.
“While 40 years have passed, I must say this: I’m sorry,” Mr Aitcheson wrote. “To anyone who has been subjected to racism or bigotry, I am sorry. I have no excuse, but I hope you will forgive me.”
No, we will not forgive you. You have been and probably still are a vile, racist pig. Pricks like you rarely change.
Mr Aitcheson credited his change of heart to “a lot of soul searching” and a return to Catholicism. He was ordained in 1988 and served at churches in Nevada, Maryland, and Virginia, according to church officials. He most recently worked as an assistant to the pastor at St Leo the Great in Fairfax City.
“We must condemn, at every opportunity, the hatred and vile beliefs of the KKK and other white supremacist organisations,” he wrote on Monday. “What they believe directly contradicts what we believe as Americans and what we, as Catholics, hold dear.”
The priest’s admission comes on the heels of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where members of the KKK and other hate groups rallied to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. Three people were killed and dozens were injured in connection with the event.
Mr Aitcheson said the rally reminded him of his time in the KKK – a time he would have preferred to forget. But he warned readers against erasing past mistakes from their memories.
“[W]hile I firmly believe God forgave me — as he forgives anyone who repents and asks for forgiveness — forgetting what I did would be a mistake,” he wrote. “Those ‘mistakes’ have emboldened me in my journey to follow the God who yearns to give us his grace and redemption.”
You made a ‘mistake’? Wearing mismatched socks is a mistake. Joining the KKK and planning to blow up people and buildings is something entirely different. It’s terrorism.
August 21. 2017
‘Bring back Bronze-Age religion’, he said. ‘It’s better than science.’
Bryan Fischer, looking down his nose at you. Yes, you. Because he has the truth and great hair and you don’t.
Even the Church of Satan wants nothing to do with this one.
Centuries ago, celestial events such as eclipses evoked deep superstition.
For some people, that’s still the case today as a Christian radio host claimed that Monday’s total eclipse of the sun may be a “message” from God.
Bryan Fischer, host of a Christian radio show called “Focal Point,” said the Bible states that the sun and moon serve as “signs.”
The message from god is, ‘Send money to Bryan Fischer.’
Then, he attempted to interpret those signs like a fortune teller.
“This is a metaphor, or a sign, of the work of the Prince of Darkness in obscuring the light of God’s truth,” he wrote, adding:
“Satan, and those who unwittingly serve as his accomplices by resisting the public acknowledgement of God and seeking to repress the expression of Christian faith in our land, are bringing on us a dark night of the national soul.”
Fischer, whose radio show claimed to be “the home of muscular Christianity,” called on his followers to “fight the darkness that we may return this nation to an unapologetic acknowledgement and embrace of the God of the Founders and his transcendent standard for human behavior as enshrined in the Ten Commandments.”
He included a disclaimer that he did not, in fact, receive a “revelation from God” related to the eclipse but his post was instead “an effort to ponder this sign in the heavens and speculate as to its possible spiritual implications.”
Fischer’s attempt to paint a normal celestial event as some kind of message from God drew laughs from critics online, including the Church of Satan:
Yes, let’s get the word out that Christians like yourself see Satan in nature and science.
However, Fischer is hardly alone among evangelicals in seeing the eclipse as a possible warning from a deity.
Earlier this month, Anne Graham Lotz ― leader of AnGeL Ministries in North Carolina and daughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham ― also warned the eclipse could be a signal of darker things.
“The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate. While Belshazzar and his friends partied, they were oblivious to the impending danger. Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed.” So watch out, Trump.
Lotz said she doesn’t view the eclipse as “celebratory” as a result.
“While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something,” she wrote. But it’s anybody’s guess what the fuck that is.
Christian Post columnist Rev. Mark H. Creech wrote that he was “inclined to agree” with Lotz.
Yeah god, give us a sign but on no account tell us what it means,
“Is it a sign from the heavens calling upon our nation to turn from its sins and to Christ or suffer the consequences? I don’t really know,” he wrote. “What I do know, however, is that we would be wise to treat it as though this very well may be the case.”
August 20, 2017
It has been the policy of FuckThePope.com since our inception to refrain from involvement in politics in our posts. It is only because Donald Trump has decided to aid and abet nazis and white supremacists that we are now breaking with that policy to state our absolute abhorrence at the stance he has taken.
Our Board of Directors includes minorities who would be exterminated, given half a chance, by the miscreants and thugs whom Trump has described as ‘very fine people’. We stand with the immigrants, the Jews, the blacks, the LGBT community and all other groups threatened by this trend of hatred and white nationalism that is taking hold in the very institutions that exist to protect us from the horrors of racism, fascism, and intolerance.
We urge Donald Trump to resign the presidency. He has abdicated both political and moral leadership. His actions and beliefs constitute a clear and present danger to the very fabric of our society.
We urge every person in our great and wonderful country to loudly and clearly voice their opposition to hatred and intolerance in all its forms.
To be silent is to be complicit.
from the Board of Directors
August 17, 2017
A prestigious Christian school in Tennessee is under fire for allegedly doing nothing after a male student reported that he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by four older classmates.
On Aug. 4, the mother of the male student sued the school in a civil lawsuit and is seeking $30 million in damages. The lawsuit, obtained by HuffPost, claims that during the 2014-2015 school year the young boy (named only as John Doe), who was in 6th grade at the time, was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by four male 8th-graders.
Brentwood Academy “failed to exercise its authority and capacity to institute corrective measures to prevent and stop the harassment, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and/or bullying of students,” the suit reads.
Brentwood’s Director of Communications Susan Shafer told HuffPost that the school “denies all the allegations made against it and its employees.”
According to the lawsuit, when Doe reported the behavior to Brentwood’s headmaster, Curtis Masters, Masters told the 12-year-old boy that he “needs to turn the other cheek,” that “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason,” and that the school had “talked about cameras in the locker room, but until then, [Doe] can change in my office.”
Brentwood Academy, located right outside of Nashville in Williamson County, serves grades 6-12 and describes itself on Facebook as a school “dedicated to nurturing and challenging the whole person ― body, mind, and spirit ― to the glory of God.”
According to the lawsuit, Doe was sexually assaulted on five separate occasions by the same four upperclassmen. The first incident took place at an after-school football party where the four 8th-graders allegedly “restrained Plaintiff John Doe and placed their attacks on his face and their scrotums on and/or in his mouth,” the suit reads.
The last four incidents that the lawsuit describes took place in January and February of 2015. According to the suit, the boys would take turns guarding the doors in the boy’s locker room while the others would forcibly penetrate Doe’s mouth and buttocks. The suit also states that there were other male students in the locker rooms that witnessed each of these incidents.
″[The boy] would place his penis before John Doe and forcibly penetrated it into the mouth of Plaintiff John Doe without consenting claiming ‘eat it, eat it, eat it, open your mouth, accept it,’” the lawsuit reads.
One of the four students reportedly bragged about sexually assaulting Doe, telling the basketball team that he “fucked that boy up the ass and stuck a Gatorade bottle in him.” The lawsuit claims that the same boy who boasted about assaulting Doe also bragged that he ejaculated on the victim.
The suit says that when Doe’s mother found out about the assaults from another parent at the school she went to a private Christian counseling center called Daystar Counseling, which was founded by a former Brentwood employee.
The counselor she met with reportedly advised her to not report the assault, telling her: “Reporting this may not be the best thing to do. This isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.” (yeah, they handle things like this by covering them up) The Tennessee code requires counselors to report any information of suspected child abuse or neglect.
In an Aug. 10 statement, Daystar Counseling said the lawsuit’s allegation that the counselor did not immediately report information of child abuse is false.
“The allegations that Daystar did not properly comply with state law requirements for reporting abuse are false,” the statement reads. “When we became aware of inappropriate activity in 2015, we responded immediately and thoroughly, cooperated fully with the authorities, and took appropriate action based on what we knew.”
Doe’s mother ultimately took her son to a pediatrician who then called the Department of Child Services.
On April 20, 2015, Doe’s parents met with headmaster Curtis Masters and the middle school director Nancy Brasher (who served on the Daystar Board of Directors and currently sits on its Advisory Board, a spokesperson for Brentwood confirmed to HuffPost).
According to the suit, Masters chalked up the assaults to “boys being boys” and added that “he could not investigate each of those and run a school.” In a meeting a day prior to the April 20 discussion, Brasher allegedly “accused Plaintiff John Doe of being at fault for not reporting it.”
On Aug. 10, six days after the civil suit was filed, Brentwood issued a statement regarding John Doe, disputing the lawsuit’s timeline of events and calling its allegations “completely untrue.” The statement was written by Masters to the “BA family” of students and parents:
Much has been false reported in the media, citing allegations that are completely untrue. At no point before or during the investigation in 2015 did I (or anyone on our staff to my knowledge) hear any allegation of rape. When we heard of inappropriate activity, we responded immediately and thoroughly, door-aerate fully with the authorities, and took appropriate disciplinary action based on what we knew. Certain allegations in the lawsuit and highlighted in the media are not factual, will be disputed, and our defense will be vigorous. Certain statements attributed to me are simply not true. Because of our policy not discussing details of a lawsuit, I cannot elaborate on additional details.
Shafer elaborated to HuffPost: “BA [Brentwood Academy] intends to vigorously defend itself and pursue all legal options. We want to be clear: at no time before or during investigations of misconduct that were conducted by Brentwood Academy was the school aware of any accusations of rape.”
According to the lawsuit, the assaults have “inflicted anxiety, stress, depression, emotional harm, post-traumatic stress disorder, physical harm” on Doe along with “fright” and “shame.”
Although sexual assault in grades K-12 are shocking, they are unfortunately not uncommon. A recent report from the Associated Press revealed that among children in the K-12 age range, those between the ages of 10 and 14 (namely those in their middle school years) were the most likely to experience sexual violence. Boys made up the majority of the perpetrators in all these offenses.
Doe’s lawyer Roland Mumford said in a statement last week that he hopes this lawsuit will protect other children from going through what Doe did: “We hope this will help protect children in private school where Title IX does not apply.”
August 17, 2017
HE CARRIED HIS DOUBTS and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?
With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest’s clerical collar.
“Only the principals know for sure,” she said, “but this may be your father.”
Jim Graham studied the picture. Those were his eyes, his nose, his mouth. Then he skimmed the obituary of the priest, the Rev. Thomas Sullivan, a cleric who had graduated from Boston College and trained for the priesthood in Tewksbury.
If a life can have a crystallizing moment, for Jim Graham that 1993 meeting was it, discovering that his father might have been a Catholic priest, rather than John Graham, the distant man who raised him with scarcely a kind or comforting word.
Jim Graham couldn’t know in that moment that the stunning secret which had seemed his alone was not that unusual. By any reasonable measure, there are thousands of others who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests, though most are unaware that they have so much company in their pain. In Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small — indeed, virtually anywhere the church has a presence — the children of priests form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect, a Spotlight Team review has found.
Their exact number can’t be known, but with more than 400,000 priests worldwide, many of them inconstant in their promise of celibacy, the potential for unplanned children is vast. And this also comes through loud and plain: The sons and daughters of priests often grow up without the love and support of their fathers, and are often pressured or shamed into keeping the existence of the relationship a secret. They are the unfortunate victims of a church that has, for nearly 900 years, forbidden priests to marry or have sex, but has never set rules for what priests or bishops must do when a clergyman fathers a child.
The church likewise makes no formal provision for the support — emotional and financial — of the mothers involved, or their children, allowing priests who father children to treat their secret offspring as a crisis to be managed rather than a life to be nurtured.
Sometimes, these sons and daughters are young when they learn of their father’s identity, and first feel the absence of a true paternal presence and bond.
“All I ever wanted was for him to take me out in public for an ice cream and say, ‘I’m so proud of my daughter,’ ” said Chiara Villar, a 36-year-old suburban Toronto woman who has known that her father was a priest since she was a toddler, but was told to refer to him outside the home as an uncle. “I just wondered why he couldn’t be my dad, so I started to take the blame on myself.”
Others, like Jim Graham, make the discovery as adults. For a few, the knowledge comes as a relief, the answer to years of longstanding doubts and troubling questions. But many others are shattered by the blunt truth, and their feelings of disillusionment and abandonment can lead to lives scarred by sundered relationships, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Many find their faith in the church itself broken, as they recognize that an institution held out as a beacon of moral truth has countenanced, or looked past, priests who father children but shun a father’s responsibilities of support, attention, and love.
August 15, 2017
Which legally should make them complicit.
Why would Denis Hart give a shit about your children’s safety? He’s got his bling.
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represents all Roman Catholic clergy in the country, said Tuesday that he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession.
“The laws in our country and in many other countries recognize the special nature of confession as part of the freedom of religion, which has to be respected,” Archbishop Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
His comments came a day after religious institutions across the country were forced to defend the secrecy of confession after Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a sweep of legislative and policy changes, one of which would require priests who hear about sexual abuse in the confessional to report it to the authorities. The 85 recommendations were aimed at reforming Australia’s criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to sex-abuse victims, the commission said.
“There should be no excuse, protection nor privilege in relation to religious confessions,” the report said. “We heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.”
Continue reading the main story
Archbishop Hart responded on Tuesday, saying: “I think priests are men who are very carefully trained. Priests in my diocese in Melbourne are very conscious of the difficulties of the present situation.”
He continued, “We want to be faithful to God and faithful to our vows, but we do want to be responsible citizens, and we’re totally committed to that.”
Except that we’re okay with people molesting and raping your children. Especially when it’s other priests doing the molesting and raping.