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Catholic Church ‘will not pay’ child sex victims


Catholic Church ‘will not pay’ child sex victims

Poland’s Catholic Church has said it will not pay compensation to victims of priests who sexually abused children.

From the link: http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/catholic-church-will-not-pay-child-sex-victims-245295.html

Rev Jozef Kloch said in comments aired by Polish Radio 1 that responsibility for compensation lies with the perpetrator.

Kloch was reacting to a €47,500 claim made by a 25-year-old victim against his parish and local church authorities after they failed to reach a settlement. The claim could now be taken to court, in what would be Poland’s first such case.

“The Church will not pay compensation to victims of paedophile priests,” Koch said. “The wrongdoer should do it.”

Earlier, Bishop Wojciech Polak, secretary of the Episcopate, apologised to the victims and also offered psychological and therapeutic support.

Some 27 priests have been convicted in Poland of abusing children. Polish prosecutors are also co-operating with the authorities in the Dominican Republic who are investigating allegations that two Polish priests there, including a Vatican envoy, abused boys.

The church’s refusal to pay the compensation has opened the door to legal action by the male plaintiff, identified only as Marcin K, who was molested as a child.

A Catholic priest was last year sentenced to two years behind bars in the case, but his diocese refused to be held financially liable.

“The parties did not arrive at an agreement. The door is now open for a civil lawsuit,” said Slawomir Przykucki, a court spokes- man in Koszalin, northern Poland, after the mediation hearing at the court failed.

“The Church does not feel it bears responsibility in this case. Priests operate independently in their parishes. The parish, diocese and the Church as a whole are not legally liable,” Krzysztof Wyrwa, a lawyer representing Church authorities in Koszalin told Poland’s public TVP Info news channel.

But human rights lawyers have disagreed with the reasoning.

“It’s not possible for the Church hierarchy, whose parishes and diocese are legal entities, to escape responsibility for the behaviour of a person who is part of this hierarchy,” said Artur Pietryka, a lawyer with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

In an unprecedented move, Polish Church leaders apologised last week over alleged paedophile priests, as prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic began inquiries into two high-profile suspects.

Authorities are looking for Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, 65, a Pole who served as a papal envoy in the Dominican Republic’s Santo Domingo for around five years during which he is alleged to have had sex with teenage boys.

Authorities on the Caribbean island nation are also seeking Wojciech Gil, a 36-year-old priest suspected of raping several young boys while serving there.

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The first domino to fall in the Roman Catholic Church’s child rape and abuse scandal in the South and Central American countries. This is just the beginning, and stories will begin to break like they did decades ago in the USA, then Europe and Australia.


The first domino to fall in the Roman Catholic Church’s child rape and abuse scandal in the South and Central American countries. This is just the beginning, and stories will begin to break like they did decades ago in the USA, then Europe and Australia..

The first domino to fall in the Roman Catholic Church’s child rape and abuse scandal in the South and Central American countries. This is just the beginning, and stories will begin to break like they did decades ago in the USA, then Europe and Australia.

Bishop accused of abuse

2013-09-22 09:54

Lima – Pope Francis has removed a Roman Catholic bishop in Peru who an influential former prelate says is suspected of sexually abusing minors.

Gabino Miranda, 53, was removed as part of the new pope’s “zero tolerance” policy against abuse, the Reverend Luis Bambaren, the retired former Peruvian bishops’ conference chief, told reporters on Friday.

Miranda is only the second bishop known to have been removed in recent times by the Vatican over sex abuse allegations.

The Reverend Percy Quispe, spokesperson for the archdiocese of Ayacucho where Miranda was assigned, confirmed his removal to The Associated Press on Saturday.

He said Miranda departed in July but did not specify the reason.

Miranda had since 2007 led the youth ministry of Peru’s bishops’ commission. He was a close associate of the powerful Cardinal Juan Cipriani of Lima, sharing membership in the conservative Opus Dei organisation.

In bad taste

The regional prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Friday that an investigation had been opened into Miranda but did not specify the subject.

Cipriani expressed displeasure with Bambaren on Saturday in a radio interview from the Vatican, where he was to meet with the pope on Monday. “I don’t think it’s in good taste for a retired bishop to have made an accusation that is somewhat exaggerated or at the very least strong.”

Bambaren, an 85-year-old Jesuit, did not return AP phone calls seeking comment and Quispe said the archbishop of Ayacucho, Miranda’s former superior, was traveling abroad and could not be reached.

The Vatican also did not respond to AP requests for comment on the case.

Opus Dei issued a statement on Friday saying that Miranda “denied any crime having to do with minors” but said it had very little information about his situation. Attempts to reach Opus Dei officials to try to determine Miranda’s whereabouts were unsuccessful.

Miranda had spent his career in Peru’s Quechua-speaking southern Andes.

Allegations of abuse

Earlier this month, the Vatican confirmed that its ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, had been recalled and removed from his job amid a Vatican and Dominican investigation into allegations of abuse.

For decades, bishops have been virtually untouchable when it comes to Vatican discipline as they function very much as kings in their own diocesan fiefdoms.

The most prominent bishop to have been removed for alleged abuse was the archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groer, two decades ago.

 

– AP

The Dark Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI


The Dark Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

By Matthew Fox     Posted: 02/20/2013 12:32 pm

From the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-fox/the-dark-legacy-of-pope-benedict-xvi_b_2720313.html

The pope has chosen to step down, the first pope in seven centuries to do so. As a Christian, I witness his legacy, and that of his predecessor, with profoundly mixed feelings: outrage over the crimes committed against the people of God, and relief that the masks covering the corruption of the papacy have at last been removed.

I see that the 42-year reign of the past two popes has so destroyed the church we once knew that now the Holy Spirit can give birth to a community far more attuned to the revolutionary Gospel of Jesus than the current and dying structures ever could be. More than ever, we recognize the warning of historian Lord Acton after Vatican Council I defined papal infallibility: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

We have witnessed how Cardinal Martini on his deathbed, issued a damning call to action to a church “200 years behind the times.” We have witnessed the retaliation of the past two popes against theologians and pastoral ministers who have dared to dissent for the sake of social justice, eco-justice, gender and gender preference justice: 105 and more have been and continue to be hounded, silenced and expelled.

So as one of these dissidents, speaking now from outside the Vatican’s punitive reach, I offer a short list of some of the issues for which history will hold Ratzinger accountable, both as cardinal and as pope (I offer page numbers of my study on his life and papacy in my book, “The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Crusade Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved,” to see the backup evidence).

  1. His silence for years about the notorious pedophile priest Father Maciel, who was so close to Pope John Paul II that he was often invited on the papal plane — and who sexually abused dozens of his seminarians, had two wives on the side and sexually abused his own children. Fr. Maciel was not fully investigated until 2005 even though a New York bishop reported his actions to Ratzinger’s office in 1995 (125-130).
  2. His attacks while head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly “Office of the Holy Inquisition”) on theologians and pastoral leaders the world over who dared to do their job which is to think (they are listed on page 238-241 but the list keeps growing).
  3. His (and his predecessor’s) bringing back the Inquisition and dumbing-down the church,  educing theology to 1) a catechism and 2) agreement with the dictates of the pope and his curia. History does not remember Torquemada as a theologian; neither will they remember Ratzinger as one.
  4. His unrelenting attacks on base communities and Liberation Theology even though this movement, like the civil rights movement of the U.S., was the most Christ-like movement for democracy and justice and freedom in centuries (41-62).
  5. His (and the previous pope’s) promotion of neo-fascist sects as the new “religious orders,” including Opus Dei, which is now embedded in places of great power including the financial headquarters of E.U., the U.S. Supreme Court, the CIA (especially under George Bush the first), FBI and the U.S. mainstream media (106-124).
  6. His and the previous pope’s support for extreme right wing groups from Maciel’s Legion of Christ to Communion and Liberation to Opus Dei (130-144). Opus Dei members are being placed as bishops and cardinals in Latin America and now in North America: Los Angeles, the biggest North American diocese, is run by an Opus Dei bishop. Likewise the diocese of Kansas City, whose bishop is convicted of covering up for a predatory priest but refuses to step down.
  7. His destroying the integrity of the canonization process by eliminating the role of “devil’s advocate” in pointing out the shadow side of the candidate. With this obstacle out of the way, Ratzinger pushed through the canonization of the founder of Opus Dei, Fr. Escriva — a recognized fascist who praised Hitler — faster than any saint in history (106-125).
  8. His covering up the scandal of pedophile clergy and putting the image of the Catholic church ahead of the rights of young children in the U.S., in Ireland and elsewhere. The recent HBO film “Mea Maxima Culpa” tells the facts about some of these horrors and how the buck stopped with Ratzinger (134-174).
  9. His public disrespect for other faiths and disavowal of religious ecumenism. Ratzinger as pope managed to insult Islam, Judaism, all Protestant churches (saying they are not churches) and the mind-body-spirit practice of yoga. As cardinal he presaged this anti-ecumenical attitude, unbelievably calling the globally revered Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, “the anti-Christ” (260).
  10. His absolute reaffirmation of a “morality” of sexism (no women priests ever; Catholic sisters in America are now being subjected to inquisitions as theologians have been; priests who support women are dismissed — but pedophile priests are not!).
  11. His un-Christlike diatribes against gay persons, borne out in not one but two documents: his ignoring scientific research on homosexuality has created another Galileo moment in church history.
  12. His irresponsible positions against condoms even in an age of AIDS and against birth control in a time of excessive human population on a crowded planet. His positions on sexuality are all about St. Augustine’s antiquated ethics and not anything Jesus ever taught.
  13. His interference in the presidential election of 2004, wherein Ratzinger instructed American bishops that any “Catholic politician” (i.e. Kerry) who did not denounce gays and abortion could not receive communion. This resulted in three states having very unusual Republican votes from Catholics — if just one of them had had a more normal Catholic vote, Kerry, not Bush, would have been president.

With such a track record as this, Father Ratzinger is right to retire. Unfortunately, because he and his predecessor appointed only yes men as cardinals, one should not expect any improvement in the next pope.

Instead, we should recognize that history has passed the papacy by. Now is the time for the Holy Spirit to push the restart button on Christianity — both Catholic and Protestant versions — so as to strip down to the essence of Jesus’ teaching and the Cosmic Christ tradition.

Christianity can be rebuilt without basilicas on our backs but mere backpacks. Travel lightly. Walk humbly. Do justice. And peace will follow.