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Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Doctrine of Demons: The Pope, The Vatican and The Sex Abuse Scandals - Part 5



Pope Put Off Punishing Abusive Priest
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Laurie Goodstein and Michael Luo - April 9, 2010
The priest, convicted of tying up and abusing two young boys in a California church rectory, wanted to leave the ministry.
But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.
That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.
As the scandal has deepened, the pope’s defenders have said that, well before he was elected pope in 2005, he grew ever more concerned about sexual abuse and weeding out pedophile priests. But the case of the California priest, the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, and the trail of documents first reported on Friday by The Associated Press, shows, in this period at least, little urgency.
The letter that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later pope, wrote in Latin in 1985, mentions Father Kiesle’s young age - 38 at the time - as one consideration in whether he should be forced from the priesthood. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said it was wrong to draw conclusions based on one letter, without carefully understanding the context in which it was written.
“It’s evident that it’s not an in-depth and serious use of documents,” he said. Earlier Friday, Father Lombardi suggested that the pope would be willing to meet with sexual abuse victims.
But John S. Cummins, the former bishop of Oakland who repeatedly wrote his superiors in Rome urging that the priest be defrocked, said the Vatican in that era, after the Second Vatican Council, was especially reluctant to dismiss priests because so many were abandoning the priesthood. ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/10/world/europe/10pope.html


John Paul backed praise for hiding abuse: Cardinal
REUTERS [Thomson-Reuters] - By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor - April 17, 2010
A former Vatican cardinal who congratulated a French bishop for hiding a sexually abusive priest has said he acted with the approval of the late Pope John Paul, a Spanish newspaper reported on Saturday.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Vatican official in charge of priests around the world when he praised the French bishop in 2001, dragged the Polish pope into the controversy during a conference in the Spanish city of Murcia.
His comment came after a Vatican spokesman indirectly confirmed that a 2001 letter to the bishop posted on a French website on Thursday was authentic and was proof the Vatican was right to tighten up its procedures on sex abuse cases that year.
By invoking John Paul, Castrillon Hoyos appeared to up the ante in a subtle Vatican power struggle over who was to blame for past failures to deal effectively with the abuse cases whose revelations in recent months have shaken the Church.
"After consulting the pope ... I wrote a letter to the bishop congratulating him as a model of a father who does not hand over his sons," the daily La Verdad quoted Castrillon Hoyos as telling the conference on Friday, to a round of applause from the assembled prelates, priests and lay people.
"The Holy Father authorized me to send this letter to all bishops in the world and publish it on the internet." ...
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63G1SH20100417


Bishop, 73, in Belgium Steps Down Over Abuse
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Elisabetta Povoledo - April 23, 2010
ROME - The longest-serving bishop in Belgium resigned Friday after admitting to sexually abusing “a boy in my close entourage” many years ago, becoming the latest cleric to quit in a spreading abuse scandal. …
In a statement issued by the Vatican on Friday, Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the bishop of Bruges since 1985, said that the abuse had occurred “when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop.”
“This has marked the victim forever,” he said.
The bishop said that he had asked the victim and his family several times to forgive him, but that the wound had not healed, “neither in me nor the victim.” A recent media storm merely deepened the trauma, he said. “I am profoundly sorry,” he said.
This week, in a rare public comment directly addressing the issue of abuse, Pope Benedict XVI promised that the church would take action to deal with the crisis. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/world/europe/24vatican.html


Future Pope’s Role in Abuse Case Was Complex
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Katrin Bennhold - April 26, 2010
VIENNA - As Pope Benedict XVI has come under scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases, both his supporters and his critics have paid fresh attention to the way he responded to a sexual abuse scandal in Austria in the 1990s, one of the most damaging to confront the church in Europe.
Defenders of Benedict cite his role in dealing with Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna as evidence that he moved assertively, if quietly, against abusers. They point to the fact that Cardinal Groër left office six months after accusations against him of molesting boys first appeared in the Austrian news media in 1995. The future pope, they say, favored a full canonical investigation, only to be blocked by other ranking officials in the Vatican.
A detailed look at the rise and fall of the clergyman, who died in 2003, and the involvement of Benedict, a Bavarian theologian with many connections to German-speaking Austria, paints a more complex picture. …
There are indications that Benedict had a lower tolerance for sexual misconduct by elite clergy members than other top Vatican officials.
Unlike John Paul, his predecessor, Benedict has as pope apologized and met with sexual abuse victims. But while he often, as a cardinal, used his clout to enforce doctrine and sideline clergy members whose views diverged from his own, he seemed less willing at that time to aggressively pursue sexual abusers. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/europe/27vienna.html

Belgian Catholics Remain Anguished by Abuse
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Steven Erlanger - September 19, 2010
BRUSSELS - There were 32 worshipers at noontime Mass in a side chapel of the soaring Cathedral of SS. Michael and Gudula, which dates from the 11th century. A third of the faithful were African; there were two nuns and a police officer. ...
[The] sermon before a thin crowd seemed an obvious demonstration of the anguish of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, staggered by a sexual-abuse scandal that has already affected 475 victims. There have been 19 suicide attempts, 13 of them successful, by Belgians abused by clergy members.
The country’s longest-serving bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned in disgrace when the nephew he abused for 13 years finally moved to expose him, and the reputation of a former archbishop, the liberal Cardinal Godfried Danneels, has been badly damaged by his effort, caught on tape, to allow the bishop to retire quietly.
The new archbishop, the conservative André-Joseph Léonard, chosen by Pope Benedict XVI over the objections of Belgium’s bishops, released a graphic 200-page report into the abuse scandal prepared by a child psychiatrist, Peter Adriaenssens, who worked with the hundreds who came forward after the bishop resigned.
Last week, the archbishop promised to open a center for victims and vowed that new cases will go to the secular law enforcement authorities. But he made no apology and asked for more time to fashion a comprehensive response, disappointing many. The vivid suffering of the victims, he said, “makes us shiver.”
But the “shiver” has been more like an earthquake for the Belgian church, affected by decades of abuse from those meant to uphold the highest moral standards. It is another blow to the “universal church” in its European heartland. Charges of priestly pedophilia and church cover-ups have recently spread to continental European countries like the Netherlands, Austria and the pope’s own Germany, after some in the church once argued that such abuses were mainly confined to countries like the United States and Ireland.
Hundreds of Belgian Catholics have already sent letters asking to be debaptized, said Jürgen Mettepenningen, the spokesman for Archbishop Léonard. “This is one of the most difficult crises for the church in its history,” he said. “This is a crisis of moral authority, of moral credibility” for a church that preaches morality to others. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/world/europe/20belgium.html


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A Doctrine of Demons: The Pope, The Vatican and The Sex Abuse Scandals - Part 4

UN Judge: Pope Should be Prosecuted at International Criminal Court for "Crimes against Humanity"
CATHOLIC FAMILY AND HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE - By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. - April 8, 2010
In London last Friday, a high ranking United Nations (UN) jurist called on the British government to detain Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit to Britain, and send him to trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity.”

Geoffrey Robertson touted his status as a UN judge in an article he published last week, in which he argued that jurists should invoke the same procedures that have been used to indict war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic, to try the Pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church, who he said is ultimately responsible for sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

Robertson is one of five select jurists in the UN’s internal justice system responsible for holding UN officials accountable for corruption and mismanagement. His article was published in both the United States and Britain and reported on by the Associated Press.

Professor Hurst Hannum of the Fletcher School at Tufts University told C-Fam's Friday Fax that it would be a “real stretch” to use the ICC, since that court’s jurisdiction is mainly reserved for crimes during war. More likely, Hannum said, is that Robertson and likeminded experts would invoke the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” so that national courts all over the world could detain the pope whenever he stepped foot on their soil. Critics say the principle, already used in practice, is a violation of sovereignty as it is enshrined in the UN Charter.

Yet Robertson insisted that the ICC could be used as long as the Pope’s sovereign immunity was waived and as long as jurists can show that the sex abuse scandal was carried out on a “widespread or systematic scale,” in a similar way that child soldiers were used in the wars in Sierra Leone and the way that sex slaves are traded internationally. …

Robertson, a tort lawyer, argued that prosecution at a higher level of the Church is necessary to get more money for victims of clergy sexual abuse in cases where dioceses have gone into bankruptcy. He specifically pointed out the fact that the diocese of Los Angeles has already paid $660M in damages and Boston has paid $100M.

One prominent law professor told the Friday Fax, “Without in any way minimizing the seriousness of the alleged offenses of Catholic priests, it would be a grave mistake to the laws of human rights to permit a trivializing of the responsibility to protect, and to play into the hands of American contingency-fee lawyers.”

Another human rights lawyer told the Friday Fax that the article could be part of a broader campaign. Robertson has long campaigned to strip the Holy See of its permanent observer status at the UN, and has publicly referred to the Holy See “the world’s largest NGO.”

When a campaign was launched to oust the Holy See from its status in 1999, UN Member States rallied around the Vatican, and in 2004 the General Assembly voted unanimously to expand that status. It is unclear whether UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon knew about Robertson’s leanings before appointing him to his current position.

This article reprinted with permission from www.c-fam.org

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/apr/10040810.html



Pope hesitated to defrock priest
LOS ANGELES TIMES [Tribune Company] - By Mitchell Landsberg and Victoria Kim - April 9, 2010
When he was the church's chief enforcer of doctrine 25 years ago, Pope Benedict XVI declined to immediately defrock a California priest who admitted to child sexual abuse, saying he needed more time to consider the impact of the case on "the good of the Universal Church," according to a letter released Friday.

The 1985 letter to Bishop John Cummins of Oakland is the latest document to shed light on Benedict's handling of the sexual abuse crisis in his earlier career, when he was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and headed the Vatican office that ultimately assumed full responsibility for such cases. In it, he acknowledges the "grave significance" of the charges against the priest, Stephen Kiesle, who had pleaded no contest to charges of molesting two boys in 1978. But Ratzinger said he needed more time and information, in part because of the "detriment that [defrocking] can provoke with the community of Christ's faithful."

It would be another two years before the Vatican relented to the request, which apparently came on Kiesle's initiative. …
By itself, the Vatican letter suggests that Ratzinger was reluctant to act hastily in such a grave matter as defrocking a priest, something that is rarely done.

Church critics said it was part of a pattern by the Vatican of seeming more concerned about the church's reputation than about the trauma of sexual abuse victims, about whom Ratzinger says nothing in the document. ...
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pope-letter10-2010apr10,0,1421147.story


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





A Doctrine of Demons: The Pope, The Vatican and The Sex Abuse Scandals - Part 3

Papal preacher apologizes for Jewish remarks
REUTERS [Thomson-Reuters] - Editing by Jon Hemming - April 4, 2010
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict's personal preacher apologized to Jews on Sunday after he compared attacks on the Church and the pope over a sexual abuse scandal to "collective violence" against Jews throughout history.
"If -- and it was not my intention to do so -- I hurt the sensitivities of Jews and victims of pedophilia, I am truly sorry and I ask for forgiveness," Father Raniero Cantalamessa said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.
He also said the pope was not aware of his remarks and that the pontiff heard them for the first time along with everyone else in St. Peter's Basilica on Good Friday.
"Not only did the pope not inspire me but, like everyone else, heard my words for the first time like everyone else during the liturgy in the basilica," he said.
Cantalamessa, speaking with the pope sitting nearby, said Jews throughout history had been the victims of "collective violence" and drew comparisons between Jewish suffering and attacks on the Church. …





Vatican deputy led cover-up in US abuse case: report
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - April 5, 2010
The current Vatican number two, and not Pope Benedict XVI, bore the main responsibility for inaction in the scandal of a US priest accused of molesting deaf children, a German magazine said Monday.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- who was the deputy chief of the Church's moral watchdog when it was headed by the current pope -- played the role of a "brake" in the affair, the Die Zeit weekly said.
Benedict has faced criticism over claims that, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he failed to take action despite being alerted twice by the archbishop of Wisconsin to claims that Reverend Lawrence Murphy had abused 200 children.
But Die Zeit, citing a copy of Vatican documents, said that at a crisis meeting arranged by the Vatican in 1998, it was Bertone who raised numerous obstacles against internal disciplinary proceedings against the US priest.
It said Bertone warned it would be difficult to deal with Lawrence's case when it would have to be "treated in absolute secrecy", while there would also be trouble gathering evidence "without enlarging the scandal".
He also wanted to "avoid a scandal for his boss", the weekly said, citing a summary of the meeting. ...
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.8ffe222a5e285c85451afd276cb9fe1c.311&show_article=1



Priest Charged in U.S. Is Still Serving in India
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Laurie Goodstein - April 5, 2010
A Catholic priest who has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota six years ago is still working in his home diocese in India despite warnings to the Vatican from an American bishop that the priest continued to pose a risk to children, according to church documents made public on Monday.
The documents show that the American bishop warned the Vatican that the priest was accused of molesting two teenage girls whose trust he gained by promising to discuss their interest in becoming nuns.
A county attorney in Minnesota is seeking to extradite the priest from India in a criminal case that involves one of the girls, who said the priest had forced her to perform oral sex and had threatened her and her family.
The case took place during the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, who has recently come under fire for his role in cases of sexually abusive priests in Germany and Wisconsin. ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/europe/06church.html



Catholic bishop in Norway dismissed due to sex abuse
ECUMENICAL NEWS INTERNATIONAL - April 7, 2010
Oslo -- Former Roman Catholic bishop Georg Müller, who abruptly left his post as Bishop of Trondheim in Norway on 8 June 2009, was dismissed due to his sexual abuse of an altar boy 20 years ago, the Vatican has said. Müller's dismissal was confirmed to journalists on 7 April by Vatican spokesperson the Rev. Federico Lombardi. The Catholic bishop of Oslo, Bernt Eidsvig, had earlier announced the dismissal in a press release. Eidsvig has been acting bishop of Trondheim since German-born Müller, aged 58, left. Eidsvig said the matter had not been publicised earlier because the person abused had not wanted it made public, and had requested anonymity. [642 words, ENI-10-0233] ...
http://www.eni.ch/news/item.php?id=3968

FAIR USE NOTICE This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.



A Doctrine of Demons: The Pope, The Vatican and The Sex Abuse Scandals - Part 2

Abuse Scandal’s Ripples Spread Across Europe
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Katrin Bennhold, Nicholas Kulish and Rachel Donadio - March 24, 2010
MUNICH - The fallout from the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church settled across Europe on Wednesday, as prosecutors said they were weighing criminal charges against a priest suspected of molesting children in Germany, and Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of a bishop accused of mishandling allegations of abuse in Ireland.

The possibility of criminal charges emerged from new accusations against a priest at the center of the child-molesting scandal rocking the church in Germany. On Wednesday, church officials in Munich said the priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann - whose transfer in 1980 to an archdiocese led at the time by Benedict, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, has drawn the pope himself into the nation’s child abuse controversy - had been accused of molesting a minor as recently as 1998.

The latest revelation comes as church officials in northern Germany say they have “credible evidence” of at least two other cases of sexual abuse committed by Father Hullermann in the 1970s, adding to a trail of accusations that suggest a pattern of abuse over two decades.

During that time, church officials repeatedly transferred Father Hullermann to new parishes and allowed him to work with children, even after a 1986 conviction for sexually abusing boys.
Father Hullermann has not returned repeated calls and hung up without comment when reached briefly on Wednesday. ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25church.html



Pope May Be at Crossroads on Abuse, Forced to Reconcile Policy and Words
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Rachel Donadio - March 25, 2010
ROME - Even as Pope Benedict XVI, faced with a sexual abuse scandal spreading across Europe, has called on victims to come forward and urged clerics to cooperate with civil justice, those strong words are running up against the complexities of his past.

“He is at a crossroads,” said Marco Politi, a veteran Italian Vatican journalist. “What’s extraordinary is that the scandal has reached the heart of the center of the church. Up to now it was far away - in the States, in Canada, in Brazil, in Australia. Then it came to Europe, to Ireland.

“Then it came to his motherland,” Mr. Politi added of Benedict’s native Germany. “Then it came to his diocese, and now it’s coming to the heart of the government of the church - and he has to give an answer.”

Last weekend, in a heartfelt letter to Irish Catholics reeling from reports of decades of systemic sexual abuse, Benedict apologized but did not discipline any church leaders who had covered up abuses, fueling growing anger in Ireland. …

As archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982, the future pope approved the transfer to Munich for psychiatric treatment of a priest who had sexually abused boys. The priest, the Rev. Peter Hullermann, was quickly returned to pastoral work with children. This month, a subordinate took responsibility for the decision, although internal church documents show that Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was copied on a memorandum informing him of the transfer. Benedict has not addressed the issue. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/europe/26vatican.html



Memo to Pope Described Transfer of Pedophile Priest
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Nicholas Kulish and Katrin Bennhold - March 26, 2010
MUNICH - The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested, raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church’s hierarchy.

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

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

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

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

The future pope’s time in Munich, in the broader sweep of his life story, has until now been viewed mostly as a steppingstone on the road to the Vatican. But this period in his career has recently come under scrutiny - particularly six decisive weeks from December 1979 to February 1980. ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/europe/26church.html



For Years, Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Laurie Goodstein and David Callender - March 26, 2010
They were deaf, but they were not silent. For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

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

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

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

“First thing in the morning,” Mr. Geier said, “we took communion, and as he passed out the communion wafers, I thought about how many boys did he touch with those hands and all of the germs, all of the filth of his hands.” ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/us/27wisconsin.html



Only God Can Fire Pope Benedict After Scandals
Irish Singer Sinead O'Connor and Journalist Christopher Hitchens Call for Investigation
ABC NEWS [American Broadcasting Companies, Inc./The Walt Disney Company] - By Susan Donaldson James - March 26, 2010
As outrage mounted over the latest Catholic Church sex scandal, writer Christopher Hitchens called for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI, and singer Sinead O'Connor said the pope should face a criminal investigation.

Protesters rallied outside the Vatican, angry that an office under his command had stopped the prosecution in 1996 of Wisconsin priest Lawrence Murphy, who admitted molesting 200 boys at a school for the deaf where he worked for 20 years. ...

The Vatican continued to be rocked almost daily about new revelations. The New York Times reported today that the pope when he was archbishop of Munich was included on a memo about a priest he had sent to therapy for pedophilia was returning to pastoral work. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys.

French bishops have sent the pope a letter saying they are ashamed of priests who committed "abominable acts" by molesting and raping children.

And the conservative group Legionaries of Christ issued a statement today apologizing for the behavior of the group's founder, Marcial Maciel, who was determined by a church investigation to have molested seminarians and fathered a child by a woman with whom he had a long affair.
Those would be devastating scenarios for most world leaders, but not for the pope.

Experts in canon law say only a heavenly bolt of lightning can take the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from power as the supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church. ...

"He is really accountable to no one, and that is the history," said former priest Richard Sipe, author of the 1990 book, "A Secret World" about the priesthood. "There have been a pope or two who have resigned, several hundred have been murdered, but it's a very stable organization from the top down. What other monarchy do you know that's lasted for 2,000 years?"

"He is untouchable, there is no question about that," Sipe said. ...
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/pope-benedict-fired-growing-sex-abuse-cover-ups/story?id=10200682

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

A Doctrine of Demons: The Pope, The Vatican and The Sex Abuse Scandals - Part 1

Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican
THE TIMES of LONDON [News Corporation/Murdoch] - By Richard Owen in Rome - March 11, 2010
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".

He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true - including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."
He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead. "They covered up everything immediately," he said. "Here one sees the rot".

A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay's relatives have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and the involvement of a fourth person who was never identfied.

Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors. ...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7056689.ece



 
Vatican officials defend pope on abuse
ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Frances D'emilio - March 13, 2010
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland. It also insisted that church confidentiality doesn't prevent bishops from reporting abuse to police.

The Vatican's campaign to defend the pope's reputation and resolve in combatting clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected pedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there.
Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential. …

Associated Press writers Melissa Eddy in Berlin and Eliane Engeler in Geneva contributed to this report.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/13/AR2010031300790_pf.html



Pope Offers Apology, Not Penalty, for Sex Abuse Scandal
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell - March 20, 2010
VATICAN CITY - Faced with a church sexual abuse scandal spreading across Europe, Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday apologized directly to victims and their families in Ireland, expressing “shame and remorse” for what he called “sinful and criminal” acts committed by members of the clergy.

But the pope did not require that Roman Catholic leaders be disciplined for past mistakes as some victims were hoping, nor did he clarify what critics see as contradictory Vatican rules that they fear allow abuse to continue unpunished. ...

But even that decision raised questions among many who wondered what the investigators might unearth beyond what the Irish government found in two wide-ranging and scathing reports released last year. One report found systemic abuse in church-run schools; another said the church and the police in Ireland had systematically colluded in covering up decades of sexual abuse by priests in Dublin. ...

Last week, a psychiatrist who treated a priest decades ago in a German archdiocese run by the future pope said he had repeatedly warned that the priest, who was accused of sexually abusing boys, should never work with children again. The priest was re-assigned to parish work almost immediately after his therapy began, and one of Benedict’s deputies at the time has taken responsibility for that decision. Less than five years later, the priest was accused of molesting other boys, and in 1986 was convicted of sexual abuse. …

“I find that deceitful because we know that this is a global and systemic problem in the global church,” said Colm O’Gorman, the co-founder of a victims’ group who said he was sexually abused by a priest as a teenager in Ireland in the early ’80s. “It’s all about protecting the institution and, above all, its wealth.”

“The greatest contribution the pope could have made was to stop the abuse of victims, and he’s not even done that,” he added. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/world/europe/21pope.html



Pope slams Irish church, no Vatican blame in abuse
ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Nicole Winfield and Victor L. Simpson - March 20, 2010
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI rebuked Irish bishops Saturday for "grave errors of judgment" in handling clerical sex abuse and ordered an investigation into the Irish church but did not mention any Vatican responsibility.

In a letter to the Irish faithful read across Europe amid a growing, multination abuse scandal, the pope doled out no specific punishments to bishops blamed by victims, and Irish government-ordered investigations, for having covered up abuse of thousands of Irish children from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Ireland's main group of clerical-abuse victims, One in Four, said it was deeply disappointed by the letter because it failed to lay blame with the Vatican for what it called a "deliberate policy of the Catholic Church at the highest levels to protect sex offenders, thereby endangering children."

"If the church cannot acknowledge this fundamental truth, it is still in denial," the group said.
The letter directly addressed only Ireland, but the Vatican said it could be read as applying to other countries. Hundreds of new allegations of abuse have recently come to light across Europe, including in the pope's native Germany, where he served as archbishop in a diocese where several victims have recently come forward. One priest suspected of molesting boys while the future pope was in charge was transferred to a job where he abused more children. …
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100320/D9EICMPG0.html



Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys
NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Laurie Goodstein - March 24, 2010
Top Vatican officials - including the future Pope Benedict XVI - did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit. ...

The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal. …

The New York Times obtained the documents, which the church fought to keep secret, from Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, the lawyers for five men who have brought four lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The documents include letters between bishops and the Vatican, victims’ affidavits, the handwritten notes of an expert on sexual disorders who interviewed Father Murphy and minutes of a final meeting on the case at the Vatican.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest. …
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html?pagewanted=all


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