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Gerald T. Slevin, Update–Criminal Charges of Vatican Child Abuse Cover-Up


From the link: http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2012/04/gerald-t-slevin-update-criminal-charges.html

Gerald T. Slevin, Update–Criminal Charges of Vatican Child Abuse Cover-Up

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jerry Slevin continues to be vigilant about what’s happening with Catholic church officials and the child abuse cover-up, from a legal standpoint.  He has just sent another outstanding statement, this one about SNAP’s filing last week of new charges updating their previous filing of criminal charges against the Vatican with the International Criminal Court, for the Vatican’s internationally orchestrated cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
Here’s Jerry’s statement:
SNAP, the international victims advocacy network, filed on April 11, 2012 with the International Criminal Court (ICC) a 19 page letter (“New Charges”), plus supporting documentation, updating  SNAP’s  prior September  2011  original  charges ( “Original Charges”).
The New Charges, include additional evidence supporting SNAP’s allegations against Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) and three top Vatican subordinates, Cardinals Bertone, Levada and Sodano. SNAP alleges this Vatican clique for years has been, and still is, orchestrating a worldwide criminal cover-up by Catholic bishops of  priest child sexual abuse, including acts involving  systemic rape, sexual violence and torture, of hundreds of thousands of defenseless children. These collectively would constitute “crimes against  humanity” under the ICC treaty.
After SNAP filed the Original Charges, almost 500 additional victims from over 60 countries contacted SNAP with new allegations that SNAP has added to the Original Charges. The New Charges (accessible by clicking here) also contain brief and clear updates, with citation links, concerning other recent relevant developments since the Original Charges, including:
(1) September 2011: The issuance of the scathing and devasting report, “In Plain Sight”, by Amnesty International Ireland, concerning the recent  history of priest sexual abuse of children  in Ireland and of the Irish government’s “hands off” approach until recently  to the Catholic Church hierarchy’s and priests’ appalling misdeeds;
(2) October 2011: The indictment of Cardinal Justin Rigali’s protégé, Opus Dei Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, for failing to report a child pornographer priest, and the April 5, 2012 court decision denying Finn’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges;
(3) November and December 2011: The issuance in Ireland of the sordid remainder of the Cloyne Diocese Report and the results of governmental audits in six additional Irish dioceses, all confirming in varying degrees a familiar pattern of abuse and bishops’ cover-up;
(4) December 2011: The issuance in the Netherlands of the massive Deetman report indicating tens of thousands of Dutch children had been sexually abused by priests over several  decades, supplemented by reports of several children being castrated following their reporting that they were sexually abused by clerics;
(5) January 2012: The publication of several articles highlighting the escalating  reporting of priest abuse of children in Poland and the special difficulty of getting governmental officials to confront the entrenched Polish Catholic hierarchy on priest abuse issues;
(6) March 2012: The publication by a former Legion of Christ priest of evidence of special canon law favoritism by the Pope and Cardinal Bertone towards admitted sexual deviant, Fr. Maciel, of Mexico;
(7) March-April 2012: The unprecedented ongoing  Philly criminal trial of a former top aide to Cardinals Bevilacqua and Rigali and the almost daily revelations of a decades-old cover-up, including document shredding by bishops and another  bishop’s admission under oath that  the important priest personnel decisions were always made by the Cardinals. The trial is establishing that a similar cover-up pattern was followed over a half-century by three different Cardinals with episcopal experience from five dioceses in four states, as well as in Rome. Each of the three Cardinals had close ties to the Vatican. The common cover-up pattern is indicative of at least policy coordination with Rome and, in some instances even, of direct coordination, as SNAP has alleged to the ICC generally with respect to the Vatican clique. This is discussed in more detail in my April 13, 2012 article about the Philly trial, accessible here.
(8) February-April: In New York, District Attorneys in the State Capitol, Albany, area have banded together to tighten up significantly the handling of claims of child sexual abuse by priests. In Milwaukee, a Federal bankruptcy judge has to date ruled against releasing massive records relating to priest child abuse in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Generally, the US bishops’ latest annual report confirms a rise in overall priest child sexual abuse claims, including some  additional new claims, as well as the continued failure of some bishops to follow even the weak US bishops’ child protection guidelines.
In addition to the foregoing, the New Charges also spell out clearly the long standing directives to the bishops from the Vatican to resist adopting mandates that Catholic bishops must promptly report priest child abuse claims to the police.
Finally, the New Charges crisply summarize the effort of senior US bishops and their highly paid apologists and attorneys to retaliate against SNAP, apparently for filing criminal charges against the Vatican clique with the ICC. The recent appointment of a woman and a mother as the new ICC lead prosecutor may be giving the Vatican clique some sleepless nights about SNAP’s ICC case. The New Charges will likely only increase the retaliatory efforts against SNAP.
The protections from prosecution  surrounding the pope have been extensive to date, but they may eventually prove to have been in vain. The pope runs a tight ship, perhaps a throwback to his teenage German military service in the dangerous days at the end of World War II. For more infomation on this, please read the comments under, “An Opportunistic Pope,” “The Pope at the Masters” and “Kids, Women and Bishops Beware,” accessible by clicking here.
The International Criminal Court, or the ICC, is structurally independent of the United Nations and the World Court, and was established as a permanent tribunal at the Hague, Netherlands, a decade ago by an international treaty now ratified by over 120 nations that are annually assessed to support the ICC’s staff of over 500 professionals, as described here.
The ICC’s  special focus is on handling crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes that, for various reasons, cannot readily be tried elsewhere, as in this case involving the Vatican. Given the geographical and chronological scope of the Vatican clique’s alleged crimes against humanity, there appears to be clear ICC juridiction over the Vatican clique if the ICC prosecutor decides to pursue the criminal case fully. Decisions to pursue criminal prosecutions frequently take a long period to evaluate, given the voluminous facts and documents, etc., sometimes taking over a year just for the decision to prosecute.
A new lead ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, presently Deputy Prosecutor, takes office  in a few weeks. She has been an advocate on behalf of African victims of violence, including those in Rwanda, and is a mother with two sons, one of whom reportedly  lives currently in the United States.  For more on Mrs. Bensouda, please see this recent Irish Times article.
Ironically, as the pope is increasingly engaged in a war against women’s rights  as part of his US efforts to replace Barack Obama, the pope’s fate may now be decided initially by a woman ICC prosecutor in a case led by a woman, Pam Spees, a no-nonsense and very competent international human rights attorney, with her excellent professional colleagues and experienced staff at SNAP’s legal advocates, the Center For Constitutional Rights, an exceptionally successful and highly regarded human rights advocacy group based in New York City and described more fully here.
For 300 years, the early Church generally prospered and grew under and obeyed  Roman law applicable to all Romans, including bishops. For most of the next 1,700 years after Constantine’s virtual takover of the Church hierarchy, the imperial Church hierarchy have mostly made their own rules as an unaccountable hierarchical monarchy and frequent player in European power politics. The power politics ended substantively in 1870  when the Papal States were lost to Italian populists, but the pope still clings to the fantasy that the Vatican is a sovereign nation and player yet in power politics. Of course, the hierarchy has personally benefited, and continues to benefit, greatly from the monarchical structure, which is mainly why it  fights so fiercely to maintain its power and wealth.
Almost 150 years later, the pope is still resisting becoming accountable to the international rule of law that applies to almost all other world leaders and nations. The ICC  and European financial regulators will likely soon change that permanently.

Cross-posted on Open Tabernacle, 16 April 2012.

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Griffin: An amazing journey of forgiveness


from the link: http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x826304444/Griffin-An-amazing-journey-of-forgiveness#axzz1rTgg3box

Griffin: An amazing journey of forgiveness

Cambridge —

Michael Mack is a man of many credits as a writer and theatrical performer. Now age 55, he has also accomplished two things in the spiritual realm that rank as unique in my experience.

First, despite suffering sexual abuse as a boy at the hands of a Catholic priest, he is now an active member of the church and values its spirituality. All the other victims of clergy abuse I have known have distanced themselves from this faith community, most with continuing and understandable anger.

Michael’s second achievement strikes me as even more remarkable. He has forgiven the priest who violated him.

In a long interview with Michael, I found his account of both events fascinating. The violation took place when he was 11 years old, the forgiveness when he had reached middle age.

Incidentally, the reason for our being in touch was a scheduled performance of Michael’s one-person play “Conversations with My Molester – a Journey of Faith.” It was to be staged at the playwright’s parish, St.Paul’s in Cambridge.

Just before sending this column off, I actually saw the play along with an unexpectedly large audience. We found it spellbinding. Adding to the meaning of the occasion, an official of the Archdiocese of Boston responsible for overseeing child protection, Barbara Thorp, was present and took part in the discussion at the end.

The sexual violation of the boy Michael took place in Brevard, North Carolina, a small town in the western part of the state. Because their mother was ill, he and his siblings spent a year living with their aunt and her family there, rather than back home in Washington D.C.

The boy loved his parish church in North Carolina and envisioned himself becoming a priest someday. He soon became close to the pastor, the person who took Michael to his first basketball game, and acted toward him like a “surrogate dad.”

One day, the boy wandered into the church basement and sat down to play the piano. Then the priest appeared and invited Michael to come to the rectory. Once in this house, the priest brought the boy into a room, closed the door, and took advantage of the child’s innocence.

Days later, the priest left the parish and Michael, too, moved from Brevard soon afterward. “I left that day confused,” he recalls. “I felt that something big had just happened — something not right.”

Later, as a teenager, he was to experience something much worse, what he calls “self-loathing.”

As to the priest who assaulted him sexually, Michael lost complete contact with him for decades. But when he moved to Boston some 10 years ago, Michael made an astounding discovery.

The priest was also living in Massachusetts, not too far away in the orbit of Worcester. Though not defrocked, he was no long performing priestly ministry.

Michael’s repeated efforts to reach the priest were ultimately connected with a spiritual change in Michael’s heart. He had been moved to forgive the priest for what he had done.

As I listened to Michael’s story, I felt moved by his sincerity and his spiritual courage. He had managed to offer forgiveness to someone who, behind the full force of priestly status, had done him terrible harm.

Michael tells of going to the priest’s funeral. It was his first time in many years back in a Catholic church. There the man who had violated him and others was extolled as a good priest. Despite his forgiveness, Michael found it bizarre to hear his molester praised.

However, Michael does suggest the spiritual complexity of it all. “Nothing is ever completely forgiven,” he says. “I see it as a life-long journey.”

Richard Griffin of Cambridge is a biweekly columnist in GateHouse Media New England publications. His e-mail address is rbgriff180@aol.comand he welcomes your comments and questions. Richard’s Web site and blog is richardbgriffin.com. There you will find an archive of more than 800 of his columns as well as other material.

Parishioners supporting St. John Valley priest in wake of unspecified allegations


Parishioners supporting St. John Valley priest in wake of unspecified allegations

From the following link: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/04/news/aroostook/parishioners-supporting-st-john-valley-priest-in-wake-of-unspecified-allegations/

By Julia Bayly, Special to the BDN
Posted April 04, 2012, at 5:57 p.m.

Father James Nadeau and the congregation of St. Louis Catholic Church today will celebrate Mass in the Main Street building. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KATE COLLINS)

FORT KENT, Maine — Parish and community members rallied Wednesday behind the Rev. James L. Nadeau whose sudden leave of absence from his post as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish took his flock by surprise.

The voluntary leave was announced late Tuesday by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Maine attorney general’s office, which is conducting an investigation of unspecified allegations against the 51-year-old priest.

“I am very saddened by this whole thing,” Norma Landry, past chairwoman of the St. John Vianney Parish Council, said Wednesday morning. “Nobody really knows what is going on [and] in times like this I always turn to prayer.”

The allegations and subsequent leave taking by Nadeau could not have come at a worse time for the parish’s practicing Catholics.

This past Sunday marked the start of Holy Week, the most important span of days in the Catholic calendar, culminating with Easter this Sunday.

“Holy Week is what we wait for all year long,” Landry said. “This is the start of our faith and for this to happen this week is really sad.”

Neither Bishop Richard Malone nor the officials with the attorney general’s office have commented on specifics of the allegations.

“In order for the investigation to proceed unimpeded Father Nadeau has taken a voluntary leave of absence,” Malone said in a press release issued Tuesday. “The Diocese is cooperating fully with the Attorney General’s Office.”

“As in any investigation, it’s important to respect the presumption of innocence,” Brenda Kielty, spokeswoman for the Maine attorney general’s office, said in the same release. “It is also important not to jump to conclusions about the nature of the allegations.

When reached Wednesday, Kielty said her office does not comment on investigations.

Malone already was scheduled to celebrate the Mass of the Oils on Wednesday night and will keep to that schedule.

In the absence of Nadeau, the diocese plans to assign a priest temporarily to the parish to meet the spiritual needs of its members.

St. John Vianney Parish comprises St. Louis Catholic Church in Fort Kent, St. Mary Catholic Church in Eagle Lake, St. Charles Catholic Church in St. Francis and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Soldier Pond.

“The temporary priest will serve all those churches,” Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese, said on Wednesday. She did not know exactly when a temporary priest would be selected or how long he would be needed.

“We have no idea how long that will be, but he will be on assignment for as long as needed,” Bernard said.

Parish staff and members of the St. John Vianney Parish Council would not comment on the allegations Wednesday, and office workers at the rectory were unsure where Nadeau was on Wednesday.

“We all love him,” Doris Daigle, longtime parish community member, said Wednesday afternoon at a local restaurant. “He has done so much for this parish.”

Daigle worked for Nadeau in 1987 when he was a vicar assigned to Fort Kent.

“He was wonderful to work for and was very good to me,” Daigle said. “With these allegations it is important as Christians we not judge.”

Her friend Joan Dow, who works at Mercy Home, an Eagle Lake care facility, said the entire town of Eagle Lake is behind their priest.

“I was blown away by all this when I heard about it,” said Helen Nadeau of Fort Kent. “It has got to be a mistake.”

All three women agreed Nadeau’s main concern was for his parishioners, a feeling echoed by Landry.

“I was chair of the [parish] council during the big flood of 2008,” Landry said. “All he wanted during that time was to make sure his flock was OK.”

A newly renovated St. Louis Church received major damage in May 2008 when the St. John and Fish rivers overran their banks in one of the worst floods in Fort Kent’s history.

“He was more about ‘what can I do’ than ‘what can be done for the church building,’” Landry said. “He is simply a wonderful human being for all ages — he reaches to the young, to the old and to the medium.”

As a show of support, parishioners scheduled a special saying of the rosary Wednesday afternoon at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Fort Kent.

The impromptu rosary was just one indication of the community’s faith in their priest, Daigle said.

“My grandchildren came up from downstate to get baptized by Father [Nadeau],” she said. “That should really tell you something.”

 

Bangor Daily News

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/04/news/aroostook/parishioners-supporting-st-john-valley-priest-in-wake-of-unspecified-allegations/