Archive for June, 2018
June 30, 2018
Good. Leave the kids out of this and other religious cults.
Numerous commentators have raised concerns about a proposed bill currently in the California Senate, Assembly Bill 2943. The bill would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act to prohibit “sexual orientation change efforts.”
Most discussion of the bill has focused on its potential ban on Bible sales. It seems much more likely that the bill will make religious education programs the target of “death by litigation.”
The proposed bill states: “The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful:…Advertising, offering for sale, or selling services constituting sexual orientation change efforts to an individual.”
AB 2943 is based in part on California Business and Professions Code. Section 865 defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” Section 865.1 provides, “Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age.”
Bill Bans ‘Any Practice’ that Proclaims Christian Doctrine
Unlike this section of existing law, AB 2943’s definition of “sexual change orientation efforts” is not limited to “practices by mental health providers,” and its prohibitions are not limited to minors. AB 2943 defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
The bill’s only express exclusion from “any practices” are “psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.”
Thus, under AB 2943, “any practice,” except certain psychotherapies, would qualify as an unfair and deceptive business practice, so long as it is intended as part of a sale of goods or services. There is no guidance as to what qualifies as “seek[ing] to change an individual’s sexual orientation.”
This Easily Includes Catechism Classes
Under these broad and ill-defined terms, “any practice” could include Catholic catechism classes, commonly known as CCD, in which every Catholic child who attends public school must participate to make First Communion and Confirmation. Parents pay for their children to attend these classes, so they are purchasing a service. The purpose of these classes is to teach the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to teach the students to live in accordance with the church’s teachings.
The catechism is very clear on the church’s position on homosexuality in three sections:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
To the extent the issue of human sexuality is raised in a CCD class, the catechist is obligated to tell the students what the church’s view on homosexuality is. That would certainly qualify as attempting to “change behaviors” in the context of sexual orientation. Sections 2357 and 2359 of the catechism expressly call on persons who are attracted to the same sex to refrain from such behaviors by living a life of chastity, and Section 2357 states that “under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved.”
The students in CCD classes for First Communion can range from ages 7 to even 12, for children whose parents failed to enroll them in second grade. Confirmation classes have students who are between 15 and 16 years old. Classes for children who were not baptized and seek to be baptized into the church at a later age can include students up to 17 years old.
Given these age ranges, questions about the church’s position on marriage, sexuality, sexual orientation, cohabitation, and divorce will most certainly arise. If the teacher performs his or her duties accordingly, he or she is obligated to refer to sections 2357-2359 of the catechism and, if AB 2943 is in place, expose the parish to a potential lawsuit.
This Law Could Also Ban Christian Schools
The potential risk that parochial schools, particularly high schools where issues of sex and sexuality are a major part of students’ lives, will be ensnared by AB 2943 is also high. Parents at these schools pay tuition and are therefore paying for services and goods. The mission of Catholic schools, like CCD classes, is to educate students in the teachings of the Catholic Church, including Sections 2357 to 2359 of the catechism.
AB 2943 would force teachers at these schools to choose between fully and freely teaching the full catechism, thereby exposing the school to a potential lawsuit under AB 2943, and censoring the portions of the catechism taught to avoid litigation. AB 2943 would chill any discussion of the church’s position on homosexuality and homosexual acts in religious education classes, including debate among students regarding the merits of that position.
More than 10 million adults in California identify as Catholic. There are 306 parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles alone. There are also hundreds of Catholic elementary and high schools all over California. AB 2943 would chill the religious freedom of Catholics to study and examine the tenets of their faith.
AB 2943 is impermissibly vague and broad. As drafted, it will impinge on the First Amendment rights of numerous religious groups. Many religious education programs will self-censor due to potential lawsuits. Those who refuse to do so risk being sued out of existence or into submission.
AB 2943 is not yet law and is currently still in committee. Perhaps with sufficient opposition, it will never become law. The bill is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee. A hearing on the bill is set for July 2, 2018. The Senate Appropriations Committee meets every Monday at 10 a.m. in Room 4203. The committee’s mailing address is State Capitol, Room 2206 Sacramento, CA 95814.
June 28, 2018
We here at fuckthepope.com have recently received dozens of emails asking why we don’t have any positive posts about the pope. Rather than send out dozens of emails in response we decided on a public post to clarify our position.
The name of our site is FuckThePope.com not GeeThePopeIsWondeful.com That should settle it.
June 28, 2018
Steven Michael Guidry, child molester
MORROW, La. – A Catholic priest is behind bars after admitting to plying an underage boy with alcohol and molesting him.
Father Steven Michael Guidry and his attorney reported to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office on June 13 and confessed to giving alcohol to the minor before sexually assaulting him.
The assault occurred at Guidry’s home when the victim was 16-years-old.
An investigation into the sexual assault began on May 21, according to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz.
Guidry surrendered on June 14 and was booked into the St. Landry Parish jail on charges of molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
His bond has been set at $21,500.
June 22, 2018
We think that without the clergy the child porn industry would disappear almost overnight.
Vatican City (AFP) – A Vatican court on Saturday jailed for five years an Italian priest who worked as a diplomat for the Holy See’s Washington embassy, for possessing and sharing child pornography.
Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella pleaded guilty on Friday, the opening day of the court hearing, saying he had gone through a “personal crisis” and felt “useless” as a counsellor at the embassy. So, he wanted to look at pictures of adults fucking children ?!?!?!?!.
The 51-year-old told the three lay Italian judges at the tiny courtroom in the Vatican City that he had started looking at child pornography online on Tumblr in July 2016 and exchanged pictures with other users.
The Vatican gendarmerie said more than 40 pornographic photos and videos, some showing sexual contact between adults and pre-pubescent children, were found on the priest’s mobile phone.
The US State Department had told the Vatican last August that an embassy diplomat may have violated the law with child pornography pictures.
The Vatican did not answer an official request to lift his diplomatic immunity, State Department sources said, and the priest was recalled to Rome last September.
He was placed in custody in April after an inquiry had been opened.
Canada also issued an arrest warrant for Capella on suspicion of downloading child pornography from inside a church in the Ontario town of Windsor.
Faced with a growing number of cases worldwide and repeated criticism for the way the Catholic Church has handled the scandals, Pope Francis brought in new legislation in 2013 covering child sex abuse and pornography and sentences of up to 12 years for priests.
In one of the latest scandals, the Chilean church has been rocked by accusations of wide-scale covering up of child abuse during the 1980s and 1990s.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
June 24, 2018
Carlo Alberto Capella has been sentenced to five years in prison.
May 21, 2018
Theodore McCarrick, smiling when he thought he had gotten away with rape and abuse.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Vatican has asked retired Washington, D.C., Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to cease public ministry after finding he was credibly accused of sexually abusing a teenager almost 50 years ago, the archdiocese and McCarrick said on Wednesday.
McCarrick is among the highest-ranking of the more than 6,700 U.S. Roman Catholic clerics to be accused of sexually abusing children since the church’s sex abuse scandal broke in 2002, according to BishopAccountability.org, a private group that tracks the allegations.
McCarrick, 87, was accused of sexually abusing a teenager when he was a priest in New York, he said in a statement. He said he was innocent, but an investigation by the Church found the allegations to be credible and substantiated, the archdiocese said in a statement.
“The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is to refrain from any public ministry or activity until a definite decision is made,” the archdiocese said. McCarrick said he would follow the Vatican’s instruction.
“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through,” McCarrick said in a statement.
The clergy sex abuse scandal erupted in Boston and rippled around the globe as abuse was found in many countries, costing the church billions of dollars in settlements and undercutting its moral authority.
May 15, 2018
All of the active Catholic bishops in Chile offered to resign in the wake of the scandal.
In Argentina ,the pope’s home country, where many of the bishops are personal friends of the pope, Francis effectively shut down investigations into child sex abuse by the clergy.
Police in Chile raided the offices of the Catholic church in two cities Wednesday, seizing documents related to a sex abuse scandal that has led to the resignation of three bishops and bruised the Vatican’s reputation in South America.
Police targeted the Santiago Ecclesiastical Court and the bishop’s office in Rancagua in the O’Higgins region in central Chile. 14 priests in the region are accused of performing sexual acts on minors, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutor Emiliano Arias led the raid in Santiago.
“In Chile, we are all subject to common justice,” he said, according to the AP.
The raids are the latest chapter in a long-running scandal surrounding the suspected sexual misconduct of Catholic clergy in Chile.
For years, Chilean Bishop Juan Barros was accused of not reporting a pedophile priest, his mentor Rev. Fernando Karadima. And for years, Catholic leaders including Pope Francis defended the bishop. As recently as January 2018, the Pope visited Chile and said there was “not a shred of evidence,” against Barros, NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reported.
Then the defense began to crack.
Later that month, the Vatican sent its top sex crimes investigator to Chile to look into claims of abuse. Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu produced a 2,300-page report on allegations that bishops in Chile were silent as priests raped and molested children.
In April, the Pope acknowledged he had made “serious mistakes” in his handling of the sex abuse scandal in Chile and summoned the country’s bishops to Rome to discuss it, Sylvia reported.
All of the active Catholic bishops in Chile offered to resign in the wake of the scandal.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis began accepting those resignations, starting with Barros and two others. The Pope previously met with abuse victims and asked for their forgiveness. Vatican Correspondent Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter told NPR that was an extraordinary move, adding “to meet with abuse victims who described the meetings with him as incredibly personal – that he asked for forgiveness on his own behalf and really kind of fell on the sword and said how wrong he had been.”
The raids came as Scicluna and Bertomeu returned to Chile for what the Vatican described as a mission to “advance the process of reparation and healing,” according to Crux.
The Vatican’s investigators Scicluna and Bertomeu met with prosecutor Abbott to coordinate their response to the sex abuse scandals, Reuters reported. Abbott said church and civilian authorities would create a system to protect victims who lodge complaints, according to the Associated Press.
June 13. 2018
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Freedom Party of Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders will hold a competition of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, it said on Tuesday.
The party said the plan to hold the competition in the party’s secure offices in Dutch Parliament had been approved by the Dutch Counter-terrorism Agency NCTV.
Cartoons depicting Mohammad have provoked violent responses in the past.
Here is our submission featuring Mohammed and his 9 year old wife, Aisha.
In 2015, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the French secularist satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had printed cartoons of the Prophet. In 2005, the publication in a Danish newspaper of a dozen cartoons depicting the Prophet led to violent protests across the Muslim world.
Wilders’ Freedom Party is the leading opposition party in parliament after coming in second place in elections last March. He has called for the Koran to be banned, and says Islam is a totalitarian faith.
“Freedom of speech is threatened, especially for Islam critics,” Wilders said in a statement. “We should never accept that. Freedom of speech is our most important freedom.”
American cartoonist Bosch Fawstin, winner of a similar contest in Garland, Texas, in May 2015, has been asked to judge the Dutch contest, which will be held later this year.
Stephen Ward, child predator
June 11, 2018
A Florida PE teacher has been arrested after he allegedly sent sexual text messages to a 14-year-old girl.
Stephen Ward, 69, has been charged with using an electronic device to seduce/solicit/lure a child.
Ward, who works at Stetson Baptist Christian School in DeLand, has also been charged with using a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
Authorities said the text messages were discovered by the victim’s mother, who called the police at 1.19am on Saturday.
The messages between the victim and Ward, who is also a volleyball coach at the school, were sexually suggestive, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Ward also wrote about performing sex acts on the victim, police said.
The victim told deputies at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office that she had been in a relationship with Ward for two weeks.
But the victim said that she and Ward never had any physical contact.
Ward was arrested on Saturday night and is being held on a $10,000 bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone else who had inappropriate contact with Ward to contact the VCSO Child Exploitation Unit at 386-323-3574.
June 8, 2018
W. Thomas “Tom” Faucher, claimed that he wanted to rape and kill children
The 72-year-old inmate’s body looks frail, but his mind and voice are sharp and clear.
His demeanor reads more stunned victim than shamed perpetrator.
His tone is burdened, not broken.
The Rev. W. Thomas “Tom” Faucher, best known as Father Faucher, is clad in a maroon jail jumpsuit and sitting in a wheelchair at the Ada County Jail. He uses a wall phone to communicate with a reporter on the other side of the glass partition.
“I get probably six or seven letters or cards every day almost from supporters,” he says of his life behind bars the previous 10 weeks. “And I have the newsletter. Now, did you get your copies of the newsletter? There’s now 15 editions of it.”
The retired Roman Catholic priest is in the fight of his life. Faucher talked exclusively to the Statesman several times, including during a May 7 jail visit, though on his attorney’s advice he declined to discuss the charges that landed him behind bars.
His legacy as a good shepherd for nearly a half century has been marred by allegations that he collected and traded images of children being sexually abused, and that he talked in chat rooms about wanting to rape and kill children. Investigators said they found the illicit drugs LSD, ecstasy/MDMA and marijuana during a Feb. 2 search of his church-owned home in Northwest Boise.
Prosecutors say he had more than 2,000 child porn images and videos on his computer and cellphone. Most of the 24 charges against him are felonies, carrying a maximum penalty of 275 years in prison.
Faucher is a native Boisean with deep and wide roots across Idaho; the allegations against him hit the Catholic community hard. It prompted some of those who were abused by Catholic clergy to contact the Statesman, including one alleged victim of Faucher himself.
Others have offered Faucher support.
“It is fair to say that hundreds of people are supporting Father Faucher because they have been touched and helped by him, his message, his homilies, his good works,” wrote Mike Ellsworth, a longtime friend. “These are people of every background, nationality, religion and profession.”
After an investigation into past abuses within the Diocese of Boise, the Statesman found that during a four-decade period in Idaho at least two bishops, eight priests — including Faucher — and five other church members became aware that the Rev. James McSorley was sexually abusing children.
None of them called police.
Since Faucher was arrested in February, two men have told authorities that he molested them as children decades ago. Diocese of Boise officials said they never received any allegations of abuse by Faucher before he was arrested. No charges have been brought in those cases, and it’s unlikely they will because state lawmakers’ removal of the statute of limitations for most child sex crimes in 2006 wasn’t retroactive.
A man who is now 41 and was a sixth-grader at Sacred Heart School in the mid-1980s told the Statesman that he didn’t tell anyone about Faucher’s abuse at the time because he was afraid of getting into trouble.
“I was hoping someone would piece it together without me possibly getting into trouble,” he said. “I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t think I should have to.”
June 3, 2018
“I just want to start by grabbing your little butt.”
(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, an attorney said Thursday, making it the second-largest U.S. payout in the priest abuse scandal.
Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson said the settlement was reached with the survivors and the archdiocese and includes accountability measures. The money, a total of $210,290,724, will go into a pot to pay survivors, with the amount for each survivor to be determined.
Anderson said a formal reorganization plan will now be submitted to the judge, who is expected to approve, and then it will be sent to the survivors for a vote. Anderson expected they will readily approve it.
The archdiocese is planning to make a statement later Thursday.
According to the website BishopAccountability.org, which tracks clergy sex abuse cases, this is the largest payout among the Roman Catholic archdiocese and dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection. But the largest payout of any kind came in 2007, when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled clergy sex abuse cases with 508 victims for $660 million.
The Minnesota Legislature in 2013 opened a three-year window in the statute of limitations that allowed people who had been sexually abused in the past to sue for damages. That resulted in hundreds of claims being filed against the archdiocese and led it to file for bankruptcy in 2015.
The bankruptcy case proceeded slowly as attorneys argued over how much money the archdiocese should have to pay. The archdiocese reported its net worth was $45 million. But attorneys for the victims maintained that the archdiocese’s true worth was over $1 billion, counting assets of its 187 Roman Catholic parishes, as well as schools, cemeteries and other church-related entities. Victims’ attorneys said those assets should be used to make more money available for victims.
Last month, a federal appeals court affirmed a 2016 decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel that the parishes and other nonprofit entities were independent, meaning their assets could not be tapped in the bankruptcy case. Last December, Kressel rejected competing reorganization plans filed by the archdiocese and a creditors’ committee and ordered both sides back into mediation.
At least 15 Catholic dioceses or archdioceses across the country have filed for bankruptcy, including three in Minnesota, as they sought to protect themselves from growing claims of sexual abuse by clergy members. A fourth Minnesota diocese, St. Cloud, announced its intention to file in February but didn’t immediately set a date.