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Enough is enough, time to march and demand the arrest and prosecution of ALL Pedophile Pimps of the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult


Enough is enough, time to march and demand the arrest and prosecution of ALL Pedophile Pimps of the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult

By Frank J LaFerriere
January 31, 2016
1:35 p.m.

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There comes a time when all good and decent human beings on the planet stands up as one voice and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

For far too long, the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult of Pedophile Pimps, Pedophile Priests and Nuns and the Parishioners who stand up and defend them, have gotten away with their CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD!!!

For far too long, we have given this disgusting, degenerate, evil, demonic cult, chance after chance, to clean up their acts, to put their Pedophile Pimps like all of the following, on trial for their parts in their crimes of covering up and protecting and defending their degenerate pedophiles and child abusers.

POPES: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis

CARDINALS: Adam Maida, Agostino Vallini, Angelo Scola, Angelo Sodana, Bernard Francis Law, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Dominik Duka, Donald Wuerl, Franc Rode, Francis George, Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, George Pell, Godfried Danneels, Hans Hermann Groer, Humberto Mederios, John Cody, John Krol, John Wright, Joseph Bernardin, Juan Luis Cipriani, Justin Rigali, Keith O’Brien, Leonardo Sandri, Luis Antonio Tagle, Marc Oullet, Norberto Rivera, Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Patrick O’Malley, Peter Turkson, Pio Laghi, Raymond Burke, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, Richard Cushing, Roger Mahony, Sean Brady, Sean O’Malley, Silvio Oddi, Tarcisio Bertone, Thomas Winning, Timothy Dolan, Vinko Puljic, Wilfred Fox Napier, William Levada…and many others.

ARCHBISHOPS: Andre Richard, Anthony Sablan, Blase Cupich, Charles J Chaput, Denis Hart, Desmond Connell, Diarmuid Martin, Edwin O’Brien, Ernest Leger, Francisco Xavier Martinez, Frank Little, Harry Flynn, Jerome Hanus, Jerome Listecki, John Charles McQuaid, John Clayton Nienstedt, John J Meyers, John Roach, Jose Horacio Gomez, Jose Luis Mollaghan, Luciano Storero, Mario Conti, Paul Richard Gallagher, Peter Gerety, Peter Sartain, Rembert Weakland, Robert Carlson, Silvano Tomasi, Theodore McCarrick, Valery Vienneau, William Edward Cousins…and many others.

BISHOPS: A.J. Quinn, Andrew Cozzens, Angel Simon Piorno, Anthony O’Connell, Antonio Sarto, Arturo Manadin Bastes, Bill Wright, Carl Mengeling, Christopher Coyne, Christopher Foster, David M O’Connell, David Zubik, Donald Kettler, Edward Cullen, Eugene Larocque, Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, George H Guilfoyle, George Leo Thomas, Gerard Frey, Giampaolo Crepaldi, Henry Kennedy, Howard Hubbard, James Garland, James Hoepner, James Kavanagh, James Murray, James Timlin, James Wall, John B McCormick, John Cunningham, John Doerfler, John Magee, Joseph Cistone, Joseph Devine, Joseph Imesch, Joseph McFadden, Joseph V Adamec, Jozef De Kesel, Juan Barros Madrid, Kenneth Povish, Kierran Thomas Conry, Laurence Glenn, Leo Clarke, Lorenzo Bellomi, Louis E Gellineau, Luis Guillermo Elchhorn, Marcelo Cuenca, Marco Antonio Ordenes, Maurice Schexnyader, Michael Bransfield, Michael J Sheridan, Michael Jarrell, Michael John Browne, Michael Malone, Partick Cooney, Peter A Libasci, Peter Conners, Pierre Pican, Raphael Michael Fliss, Raymond Lahey, Richard Malone, Richard Sklba, Robert Finn, Robert L Whelan, Robert Rose, Rogello Livieres, Roger Vangheluwe, Ronald Gainer, Ronald Mulkearns, Sanchez Sorondo, Seamus Hegarty, Terry Drainey, Thomas Curry, Thomas Dupre, Thomas J Tobin, Thomas V Daily, Timothy McDonnell, Vincent Leonard, William Lynn, William Murphy, Willie Walsh, Wilton Gregory, Wojciech Polak…and many more.

Each and every one of the individuals above, have overwhelming, clear and convincing evidence against them, that they protected their cult of pedophiles, by moving these dangerous predators, who brutalize, and rape, body, mind and soul, hundreds of thousands of children and teens throughout the world. They violated NUMEROUS International, Federal and State laws. As signatures of the United Nations Conventions Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, they have thumbed their noses at these laws, again and again, believing that because they are the leaders of this cult, that they are above the law and no one can make them pay for their crimes.

In around 2002, the various Attorney Generals of the states, all gave the Roman Catholic Church a break. Instead of criminal prosecutions, they and the church agreed to clean up it’s acts, stop attacking the victims and make sure all of their pedophiles are no longer protected. Yet, the Roman Catholic Church have broken this agreements again and again and again and again. The states Attorney Generals who made these deals with the devils, should far by now realize, that the Roman Catholic Church did this to protect themselves from their leaders ending up in prison, that they NEVER had any intention of abiding by these agreements.

We can show, with overwhelming evidence and proof, that many predatory, perverted, pedophile priests are still raping children in the United States and in other countries and that in fact, their Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops protected them and moved them around. Now we can show these dangerous pedophiles stomping grounds are in Central and South America. We can prove this, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

The following stories on my blog proves this:

South America has become a safe haven for the Catholic Church’s alleged child molesters. The Vatican has no comment.

Chilean court asks Vatican for records in abuse case

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

We can show that Pope Francis, as usual of their Popes, only talks a talk. His actions belie his participation in the continued protection of the leaders who covered up these crimes, despite his words, in an address to the Bishops in Philadelphia when he stated:

“The crimes and sins of sexual abuse of minors cannot be kept secret any longer. I commit myself to the zealous watchfulness of the church to protect minors, and I promise that all those responsible will be held accountable.”

Yet, in the case of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, knowing that Wesolowski did in fact rape children in the Dominican Republic. Stating he was going to prosecute him, Francis brought him to the Vatican and left him his freedom, for over two years, without lifting one finger to prosecute him. It was only after the UN Committee Against Torture kept calling Francis out on this, that he decided to act, but interestingly enough, two days after Francis stated he was finally going to hold trial for Wesolowski, he was found dead in his room, rather convenient eh?

Francis has also elevated a known protector of pedophile priests, Juan Barros to the position of Bishop. Despite the fact that decent Bishops, priests and parishioners begged him not to do so. Francis elevated him anyway, even touching off a riot in Chile and now Barros has to walk around with armed guards.

That he absolutely  refuses to abide by the demands, as signatures of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That he is still protecting, contrary to his own vows and promises, Cardinals such as Bernard Law, George Pell, Justin Rigali and many other of these Pedophile Pimps at the Vatican under their sovereign immunity laws. He has NOT prosecuted any of the American Cardinals, such as Timothy Dolan, Roger Mahony, Donald Wuerl and far too many others, against whom there is again, overwhelming evidence they participated in not only the cover ups, but also attacks against the victims. Particularly using loudmouth, drunken, bully Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

This can be shown with the following stories that are in my blog:

Pope Francis Concealed His Actions Against Two Prelates. Now Both “Whereabouts are Unknown.”

The strange disconnect between Pope Francis’ words and actions about sex abuse

Pope Francis Defies UN on Torturing Children

There should be NO Statute of Limitations against this crime of rape and abuse of children, nor should these criminals be able to also hide behind sovereign immunity laws, to get away with their crimes. To allow such laws, to where criminals who rape children, who destroy their lives, especially when it is done, by religious priests, pastors or ministers, or to have their crimes covered up and protected by their Popes, Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops, is a slap in the face to ALL victims of the crimes of rape and abuse, especially when those crimes are perpetrated against children. It also makes the Justice system a joke.When victims and survivors finally have the guts and strength to speak out against the crimes committed against them, and the pain and suffering they went through, while hiding these crimes that were perpetrated against them, because the priest raping them, controlled them through the horror and fear of hell? That is an especially monstrous kind of evil. All victims and survivors deserve the right to justice, deserve a right to see those who harmed them, raped them and destroyed their lives, see those who committed these crimes against them, pay for those crimes. To do anything less, makes a mockery of the Justice system. We may as well just throw out all statutes and laws against the rapes and abuses of children, because in essence? That is what is already been done.

Then this churches habit, of attacking the victims, having their mouthpieces, branding them as liars, gold diggers, out looking for a payday from their church. Or with the likes of disgusting Bill Donohue, who actually said in the courtroom to my face, “If a 15 year old did not stop what was happening to him? Then that means he not only wanted it, he enjoyed it and he is a homosexual because of it.” Or all the other trash talk that Bill Donohue spews from his drunken mouth against us.

Or when we are called the seducers of our rapists.

Or when “Father” Richard Ross stated;””I don’t have much sympathy for people who somehow couldn’t stop whatever happened,” Richard Ross told the Joliet Herald-News. “I’ll take all of these people who were abused, and I’ll abuse them with a baseball bat. You can quote me on that.”

These are absolutely disgusting attacks against the victims. To take Ross’s and Donohue’s statements, just please explain to us, what would have happened to us, if we had punched our rapist priests? Why it would have been us who would have been charged and prosecuted, for assault and battery on a cleric. No one would have believed myself, if I had punched out “Father” Leon Gaulin, “Father” Joseph Desmond and the blond haired priest who spent that night raping me at St Thomas More parish in Durham NH. I had been brought there by a police officer because my father and I had gotten into a fight. I was a troubled youth already. Imagine if I had punched them all out? I would not have been believed that because I beat the snot out of them, that I was doing so because they were raping me. Especially in 1975. No one really knew about this massive problem in the cult of Pedophile Pimps and Priests yet. No, I would have been arrested and charged with assault and battery, prosecuted and thrown into YDC in Manchester, probably til I was 18.

All of this, the continued cover-ups and protection of pedophile priests, especially down in South and Central America, the continued protection of ALL the Pedophile Pimp Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops, the continued denial of justice to the victims and survivors, hiding behind the statute of limitations and the sovereign immunity laws SCREAM that these must be dealt with, because the Church of Pedophiles refuse to seriously do so.

"Saint" Peter Damian

“Saint” Peter Damian

Yet, what can you expect, from a cult, where they ruled the world at one time and to even dare speak out, or disagree with them, got you an invitation to the Inquisitional Court, where you were tortured and put to death?

We can also show, these are a long running crime with this cult. The very words of one of those they declared a Saint, Peter Damian, echos throughout the centuries, when he stated in an admonition to the Cult in 1049:

“Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.”

It is time, it is time for all good and decent human beings to take a stand. To march, to protest, to stand up to this continuing disgusting, demonic, evil behavior by those who dare proclaim how they are the protectors and defenders of children, especially with their stances on contraception and abortion, and then turn around and be responsible, for the brutal rapes, enslavement, beatings, tortures and murder of children, on a mass scale, for hundreds of years, against children. This is pure and sheer hypocrisy of its highest form.

The Industrial Homes, the Industrial Schools, the Magdalene and Good Shepherd Laundries, the Women’s and Children’s Homes, the Churches run High and Middle Schools, were actual places of pain, suffering, horror and nightmares, for many who as children and teens went to them. We can far prove that in all of these institutions, incredible crimes against children were perpetrated. The Church should be held accountable. They ALL, from Pope Francis, to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to each and every Cardinal, Bishop and Archbishop named above, should in fact, be treated just as we treated the Nazi leaders during the Nuremberg trials. Just because they happen to be the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, should NOT allow them to get away with their incredible crimes against humanity and the children of the world.

They do not deserve one ounce of respect. They do not deserve one ounce of decency. They are literal scum in my eyes. Even worse than their proclaimed Satan. For they go around, proclaiming themselves the Holy Men of God, with the power to forgive sins, or not and send you straight to hell. They go around proclaiming how they are the leaders of the One True Church of Jesus Christ. Yet, they are nothing more than the worse sub-humans on the planet. These are NOT Holy Men of God. These are NOT the leaders of the church of Jesus Christ. These are evil, degenerate, psychotic, freaks, who deserve nothing more, than arrest, prosecution and upon conviction? The death penalty. For their crimes this is what is demanded. Far too many victims of their cult have committed suicide because not only of their rapes, but the continued brutalization against them perpetrated by this disgusting cult. They should in fact, be charged with First Degree Murder, for each and every victim, who blew their brains out, or hung themselves or killed themselves in other ways.

To see this Pope and the others, worshiped and adored, by their pew polishers, and having them call them the leaders of the church that their Christ founded? To even declare Pope John Paul II a Saint, when they damn well KNOW he covered up and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the evils of Marciel Marcial and Hans Hermann Groer? Is disgusting to say the least. It is pure evil, to proclaim any of them holy. It is truly a slap in the face to the one they proclaim to follow, Jesus, who stated, it would be better for you to hang a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child. And they, NONE of them, deserve one ounce of forgiveness from ANY victim, for they have NOT repented of their crimes against us and continue to this day to commit crimes against children and teens in the same fashion.

It is also high time, that our United States Attorney General, our States Attorney Generals who made these compacts with the devils, stand up for the victims and prosecute them. It is time for the United Nation to get off their asses and prosecute the Popes, and others at the Vatican for their violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture. To not do so, sends a message to them, that they can continue to commit these crimes and cover them up with impunity.

It is time to stop fearing the cult of Pedophiles. It is time to stop being afraid of them, for they are NOT gods, they are NOTHING but criminals, hiding behind their cult church to get away with their crimes. It is time to make them FEAR US, arrest them, prosecute them and upon conviction? Give them the death penalty. Anything less, would again, be a slap in the face to each and every victim, survivor, suicide victim and the justice system.

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Frank J LaFerriere
January 31, 2016

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Support the victims not the victimizers


Frank LaFerriere: Support the victims not the victimizers

Published Date Thursday, April 24,2014
From the Link: http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49465:frank-laferriere-support-the-victims-not-the-victimizers&catid=73:letter&Itemid=428

To the editor:

If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization…though there are others….that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it’s membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.

While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?

There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.

There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.

1. All credibly accused leaders, from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, George Pell, and many others, against whom there is overwhelming evidence, through commission reports, grand jury testimonies and the churches own documents, must be fired. They must be arrested and prosecuted. We do this to other criminals, we demand this of any rapist or those whom cover up the rapes and abuses of children. They may be leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, but these men are criminals and deserve to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims deserve their day in court and justice for the crimes committed against them because of these leaders actions.

2. Abide by the Pledge to Protect, Promise to Heal charter all of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States signed. All attacks against the victims must stop. We are not responsible for our rapes, we did not enjoy being raped. We are not homosexuals because we were raped by a male priest. We are not liars, gold diggers who are out looking for a payday from the Roman Catholic Church.

We are your sons, we are your daughters, who want justice, whom want those who perpetrated these crimes against us punished, whom went through one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences a human being can go through. We trusted these priests and nuns and they destroyed that trust with their evil crimes against us. We were raped, we were beaten, we had our souls, our hearts stolen from us, we had our bodies destroyed and abused. We did not deserve this, we were not willing participants and we refuse to remain silent while those whom are responsible for these crimes against us go free while we still remain trapped inside the prisons they created for us.

3. No matter what….put your children before your leaders. Protect and stand up and defend your children….not the leaders whom committed these evils against us. Your children should come first. Stand up for the victims of these crimes, whom are your own children. You may know one. Again, we are your sons, your daughters, your nieces and nephews, your God children, whom you vowed and promised to protect and defend.

I started going back to church. I even started photographing St Annes, an incredibly beautiful place of worship. I had no choice though, I had to stop because I felt like such a hypocrite. Far too many of us whom were victims still see those responsible for these evils against us in their positions as if nothing in the world is wrong. We victims are still being attacked, by people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. We are still being attacked by parishioners whom have called me a liar to my face and how dare I spread lies and rumors and false accusations and gossip against the leaders. Well, sadly, I am not spreading lies, rumors and false accusations, these statements I have made can all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law if it were allowed.

Yet while these leaders whom perpetrated these crimes against us are still in power, I cannot in good conscious go into the church. I cannot be part of a church where the leadership covered up the crimes of child abuse, child rape and put the church before the children and are still in power, for that makes me a hypocrite in my eyes.

I would love to go on a regular basis to St Anne, to be among the other worshipers, some of whom I made acquaintance and even friends with, especially Fr Kyle, but I cannot, for while the wolves are still in control….someone must stand outside the door for the defense and protection of the children and the victims.

Sin is one thing…sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance from the sin. There has been no true repentance among the leadership whom covered up these crimes. There have been staged acts of contrition, but no true repentance. For if they are to truly repent they must also submit to prosecution for the crimes they committed. They must not hide behind their robes of religion. If they seek to make laws for man like they do, they also must submit to the laws of man and be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. No one, not even religious leaders, should be allowed to get away with crimes against children. They should not be above the law!

When it comes time to the crimes of the rapes and abuses of children and teens and the cover up of these crimes by the leadership…only justice in a court of law, where the victims may have their day in court to see those responsible for the crimes against them be tried and if found guilty sentenced to prison…that is true justice. The Roman Catholic Church promised this to victims and to prosecuting attorneys…but have failed to deliver on this promise. Instead they still fight the victims and hide behind the statue of limitations to deny justice to the victims. Ask yourself is this true justice? If you were raped would you say this is true justice?

In closing whom do you think Jesus Christ will stand up for in the end?

Those whom perpetrated these crimes against children and teens…or the children and teen victims?

Here is a clue: “For it would be better for you to tie a huge boulder around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.”

Well the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church did a lot more than harm a hair on the head of a child. Whom are you going to stand besides? The ones Jesus Christ would stand up for? Or the ones He would toss into the pit of hell for their evils against children?

Frank LaFerriere, Berlin

SNAP blacklists 12 cardinals for pope; Cardinal Timothy Dolan on list


SNAP blacklists 12 cardinals for pope; Cardinal Timothy Dolan on list

ROME (CNN) – A group representing survivors of sexual abuse by priests named a “Dirty Dozen” list of cardinals it said would be the worst candidates for pope based on their handling of child sex abuse claims.

Their presence on the list is based “on their actions and/or public comment about child sex abuse and cover up in the church,” the group said.

The list includes Roman Catholic cardinals from several countries.

SNAP, the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, said as it released the list Wednesday that its accusations were based on media reports, legal filings and victims’ statements.

The 12 cardinals on SNAP’s list are:
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Cardinal Dominik Duka
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga
Cardinal Patrick O’Malley
Cardinal Marc Ouellet
Cardinal George Pell
Cardinal Norberto Rivera
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri
Cardinal Angelo Scola
Cardinal Peter Turkson
Cardinal Donald Wuerl

The cardinals named on the list have not yet responded to the move by SNAP.

But when asked about it by CNN, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said: “We believe it is not up to SNAP to decide who comes to conclave and who is chosen … cardinals can decide themselves without asking SNAP for advice.”

Monday, SNAP also called for some of the older cardinals to remove themselves from the meetings held before the election of the new pope, arguing that some have been accused of complicity in protecting priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Cardinals from around the globe have been summoned to Rome to take part in the process of choosing the next pontiff, after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last week.

As of midday, 113 of the 115 cardinals eligible to elect the new pope are in Rome, according to Lombardi. To be eligible to be a part of the group, a cardinal must be under the age of 80.

The two cardinal-electors who are not yet there are Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, who should arrive later Wednesday, and Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Vietnam, who is arriving Thursday.

No date has yet been proposed for the secret election, or conclave, to select the former pontiff’s successor.

‘Silence didn’t work’

SNAP is intentionally focusing on candidates with a realistic chance of being named pope, its executive director David Clohessy said Wednesday as the group released its list.

“The single quickest and most effective step would be for the next pope to clearly discipline, demote, denounce and even defrock cardinals and bishops who are concealing child sex crimes. We think that’s the missing piece,” he said.

The new pope should order each bishop around the world to hand over “every piece of paper he has on proven, admitted or credibly accused child-molesting clerics to law enforcement,” Clohessy said.

Barbara Dorris, victims’ outreach director for SNAP, said: “The short answer is we’ve tried silence, silence didn’t work, so we have to speak out. We have to do everything we can to get this information out there.”

The Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of child sex abuse scandals in recent years — and the new pope will be under pressure to deal more effectively with a crisis that has undermined public confidence in the church.

SNAP says it believes it is vital to look at how the world’s bishops have handled claims of abuse by priests because the crisis is far from over.

“This scandal, we believe, has yet to surface in most nations. It’s shameless spin and deliberate deception to claim otherwise. It’s tempting to reassure the public and the parishioners by making this claim. But it’s also irresponsible,” a statement on SNAP’s website said.

“Clergy sex crimes and cover-ups remain deeply hidden in the vast majority of nations (where most Catholics live), and has really only become widely known — and barely addressed — in the U.S. about a decade ago and in a few European countries even more recently.”

Media leaks concern

A news conference scheduled by American cardinals for Wednesday, following media briefings on Monday and Tuesday, was canceled at short notice.

Asked if the Vatican had told the American cardinals to stop their daily media briefings, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica suggested that the details of what was discussed in the general congregations were not meant to be publicized.

“It’s not up to Father Lombardi or myself to tell them what to do,” he said. “It could be that among themselves they realized that there are different ways and different methods of getting things out.”

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said via e-mail that the U.S. cardinals were committed to transparency and had wanted to share “a process-related overview of their work” with the public “in order to inform while ensuring the confidentiality” of the general congregations.

“Due to concerns over accounts being reported in the Italian press, which breached confidentiality, the College of Cardinals has agreed not to give interviews,” she said.

In total, 153 cardinals gathered Wednesday at the Vatican for a third day of meetings, known as general congregations, before they set the timetable for the election.

The cardinals spoke about new evangelization, restructuring of the church hierarchy, or curia, and the need for good governance of the church, Lombardi said.

A five-minute limit has been imposed on cardinals speaking at the meetings, although the microphone is not being switched off if they run over the time allowed.

The cardinals have decided to meet twice Thursday, in the morning and afternoon, in order to “intensify the rhythm of work,” Lombardi said.

Video shown at a Vatican news conference showed workers preparing the Sistine Chapel for the secretive conclave.

An elevated floor is being put in place to protect the elaborate mosaic tiling, said Lombardi, where seats will be placed for the cardinals.

The Sistine Chapel and its ornate ceiling by Michelangelo are normally a must-see for tourists in Rome, but it was closed to the public beginning Tuesday afternoon to allow for preparations to take place.

 

 

Cardinal Mahony Defends Record in Italian Paper


Cardinal Mahony Defends Record in Italian Paper
From the link: http://ktla.com/2013/03/06/cardinal-mahony-defends-his-record-in-italian-newspaper-article/#axzz2Ms54eR62

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles staunchly defended his  record on dealing with sexual abuse in the church in an interview published by  an Italian newspaper Tuesday.

Mahony, who has been criticized for moving predator priests from posting to  posting, told Corriere della Sera that “after 20 years, people are talking  about  abuse as if we had not done anything. However, since 2002, we have had  our  program Protecting the Children, in which we illustrate procedures and the  guidelines of our zero-tolerance policy that allows no possibility, for  example,  of anyone found guilty of abuse of minors working for the  diocese.”

Mahony, who in recent months has refused requests for interviews with the Los  Angeles Times, was publicly rebuked in February by current Los Angeles  Archbishop Jose Gomez in connection with his handling of sexual abuse  cases.

The cardinal, who is in Rome ahead of the conclave to elect the successor to  former Pope Benedict XVI, described to the Italian paper his approach to abuse  in earlier years, saying: “I had not understood the real nature of the problem,  that people who commit abuse — not only in the church — continue to commit  their  crimes. These things were not so well understood then as they are  now.

“Anyone who looks at the psychiatric and psychological literature then will  see that I applied the professional approach suggested for all institutions. We  tried to follow the best practices of the period.”

Mahony said he subsequently set about building a network of safeguards  against abuse, including the hiring in 1994 of a retired judge to head a Sexual  Abuse Advisory Board for the Los Angeles archdiocese.

“My rather painful mistake was to not apply the work of that committee to  previous cases. I was more focused on new cases. However, that was an error I  completely rectified in 2002,” Mahony said.

Mahony said that after a meeting of bishops in Dallas that year, he hired  ex-FBI agents to investigate abuse accusations, and instituted background  checks  on applicants to work with children in church institutions.  Fingerprinting had  been undertaken for a decade, he added.

He said he would be seeking to share his experience of tackling abuse with  fellow cardinals attending the conclave.

Los Angeles Times

 

Elderly sex offender priest to be released from prison on Thanksgiving


Elderly sex offender priest to be released from prison on Thanksgiving

Dalson Chen
Oct 03, 2012 – 5:30 PM EST
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2012 – 6:22 AM EST

From the link: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/10/03/william-marshall-released-from-prison-thanksgiving/

Rev. William Hodgson Marshall makes his way to the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. in this June 2011 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)

Rev. William Hodgson Marshall makes his way to the Superior Court building in Windsor, Ont. in this June 2011 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)

Convicted sex offender Rev. William Hodgson Marshall will be out of prison in time for Thanksgiving.

The 90-year-old disgraced Basilian priest and former Windsor high school teacher will be released from custody next Monday — having automatically qualified for statutory release under federal law after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

“He is not a free man,” said Greg McCullough, one of Marshall’s Windsor victims.

“He’s free in the sense that he can walk the streets, but he’ll never be free. He’s a cowardly person who was protected by various people … when they knew full well what was going on.”

Marshall was sentenced in June 2011 to two years in prison for sexually abusing 16 boys and one woman at Catholic high schools across Ontario.

The incidents happened in Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor over more than three decades — from 1952 to 1985.

In Windsor, Marshall was a teacher, sports coach and eventually principal at Assumption and Holy Names high schools.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

As of late July, Marshall was being held at the Joyceville Institution in Kingston.

Rev. Timothy Scott, a spokesman for the Basilian Fathers, said that Marshall will be residing with the Congregation of St. Basil after his release.

“We have indicated from the beginning that once he had completed the custodial sentence, we would be providing a place for him to live in prayer and penance to the end of his life,” Scott said.

Although Marshall has not been formally defrocked, Scott said Marshall has voluntarily written a letter to Pope Benedict asking to be “laicized” — removed from the clergy.

“He will have no function as a priest,” Scott said.

Asked why the Basilian Fathers have chosen to open their doors to Marshall, Scott replied: “We think it’s better that he live in this environment rather than being out in the street.”

“He has no income. He would wind up being a charge on the state,” Scott added. “It would seem better for all concerned that he live with us, quietly, in a retirement facility, for the rest of his life.”

Marshall suffers from debilitating health problems, including cancer.

The Basilian Fathers have headquarters in Toronto, but Scott wouldn’t disclose the city where Marshall will be residing.

In Windsor on Wednesday, McCullough said he doesn’t believe Marshall is truly penitent.

“Of course not,” said McCullough, now 69. “He is a sociopath.”

“I can forgive the actions — but I can’t forgive him.”

McCullough said there wasn’t social support or understanding for abuse victims at the time of Marshall’s offences at Assumption.

“There were no avenues I could go to,” McCullough said.

“My granddaughter is 10, and she already knows there are places she can go if a teacher, a coach, or the guy on the corner does something unusual. But that was not my luck when I was growing up.”

Regarding Marshall’s letter to the Pope, McCullough said: “That’s fine. He doesn’t resemble any Catholic priest that I had at school.”

Although Marshall will be out of custody, his legal troubles aren’t over. He’s still facing charges in connection with the sexual abuse of two boys in Saskatoon in the early 1960s, and several of his victims have launched lawsuits against him and the Basilian Fathers.

Conditions that have been imposed upon Marshall’s release include: avoiding any location where children are present; reporting any relationship with an adult who cares for children; and avoiding all contact with the victims and their families.

–with files from Jason Warick, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

 

Victims: Pope Benedict Protects Accused Pedophile Bishops


Victims: Pope Benedict Protects Accused Pedophile Bishops

By  BRIAN ROSS , RHONDA SCHWARTZ and ANNA SCHECTER April 15, 2008

From the link: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4656143

Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.

Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.

Even as he told reporters on his flight to America that he was “deeply ashamed” over the church sex abuse scandal, Pope Benedict was accused by victims of protecting some 19 bishops accused of sexually abusing children.

“As a Catholic, I have to sadly conclude that he is not serious about ridding the church of corrupt bishops,” said Anne Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a group tracking public records involving the bishops.

According to the group, of the 19 bishops “credibly accused of abusing children,” none has lost his title, been publicly censured by the Vatican or referred for criminal prosecutions.

“The sexual corruption in the Catholic church starts at the very top,” said Doyle.

Pope Benedict told reporters on his flight this morning from Rome to Washington, D.C., he would do everything possible to avoid a repeat of the scandal. “We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry,” he said, according to Reuters.

While the church has moved to expel accused priests, critics say the higher-ranking bishops have been given favored treatment. “The attitude of the bishops towards the victims and the families of sexual abuse and predatory clergy is drop dead,” said Michael Wegs, of Marion, Iowa, one of nine former high schools students who said they were abused at a seminary in Missouri by former Palm Beach, Fla. Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell.

When the allegations were made public, Bishop O’Connell admitted at least two cases of abuse and was allowed to resign. He now lives on the beautiful, sprawling grounds of  the Trappists Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina.

“He deserves to be in jail,” said Wegs, his accuser. “I don’t think there is any justice because he is allowed to travel, go where he please. He’s still a bishop, and he’s living among priests in the hierarchical structure; he is a top dog despite the fact that he’s a sexual predator.” Wegs says O’Connell has failed to even apologize to his victims.

Bishop O’Connell did not return phone calls from ABCNews.com seeking comment, but church officials say he and other bishops have been punished appropriately. “You cannot put on clerical attire, and you cannot service in a public way in ministry,” said Austin, Texas Bishop Gregory Aymond, chair of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Protection of Children and Young People.

“That is a very, very significant consequence, and I would say a significant penalty,” said Bishop Aymond, who conceded the accused bishops maintain their title. “Priests and bishops remain priests and bishops forever, regardless of what happens to them or what they do,” said Bishop Aymond.

But victims groups and church critics say the pope can and should do much more to punish the bishops and finally resolve the scandal.

Before he became pope, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he was in charge of monitoring cases of pedophile priests and was directly involved in deciding what punishment, if any, would be administered to priests and bishops.

“Priests who abuse children can be removed from the priesthood, but they do not remove bishops, they do not remove cardinals,” said author Jason Berry who has been tracking the sex abuse scandal and produced a documentary film on the subject, “Vows of Silence,” which premiered in New Orleans last night. “The problem is the power structure. There is no accountability,” said Berry.

Berry says the pope’s decision to have the Los Angeles archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, accompany him on his trip proves the point. “Why would you want someone in your entourage” like Roger Mahoney, asked Berry.

“This man has overseen a great many cases in which priests were moved from parish to parish. His diocese has paid over $660 million in settlements. And yet this cardinal has refused to release the files on these priests who have abused children,” Berry said.

Cardinal Mahoney did not return calls from ABC News seeking comment.

 

 

Pope Benedict’s Legacy Marred by Sex Abuse Scandal


Pope Benedict’s Legacy Marred by Sex Abuse Scandal

By  RUSSELL GOLDMAN  Feb. 11, 2013

From the link: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/pope-benedicts-legacy-marred-sex-abuse-scandal/story?id=18466726

Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.

Pope John Paul II is seen giving his blessing to Father Marcial Maciel in 2004. Maciel has been accused of sexually abusing children, including his own, in a lawsuit. He died in 2008.

When Pope Benedict XVI resigns at the end of this month, he leaves behind a Church grappling with a global fallout from sex abuse and a personal legacy marred by allegations that he was instrumental in covering up that abuse.

As the sex abuse scandal spread from North America to Europe, Benedict became the first pope to meet personally with victims, and offered repeated public apologies for the Vatican’s decades of inaction against priests who abused their congregants.

“No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse,” the pope said in a 2008 homily in Washington, D.C., before meeting with victims of abuse for the first time. “It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention.” During the same trip to the U.S., he met with victims for the first time.

For some of the victims, however, Benedict’s actions were “lip service and a public relations campaign,” said Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota lawyer who represents victims of sex abuse. For 25 years, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Vatican office responsible for investigating claims of sex abuse, but he did not act until he received an explicit order from Pope John Paul II.

In 1980, as Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger approved plans for a priest to move to a different German parish and return to pastoral work only days after the priest began therapy for pedophilia. The priest was later convicted of sexually abusing boys.

In 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger became head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the office once known as the Inquisition — making him responsible for upholding church doctrine, and for investigating claims of sexual abuse against clergy. Thousands of letters detailing allegations of abuse were forwarded to Ratzinger’s office.

A lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a victims’ rights group, charges that as head of the church body Ratzinger participated in a cover-up of abuse. In an 84-page complaint, the suit alleges that investigators of sex abuse cases in several countries found “intentional cover-ups and affirmative steps taken that serve to perpetuate the violence and exacerbate the harm.”

“Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, either knew and/or some cases consciously disregarded information that showed subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes,” the complaint says.

Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican’s lawyer in the U.S., told the AP the complaint was a “ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes.”

In the 1990s, former members of the Legion of Christ sent a letter to Ratzinger alleging that the founder and head of the Catholic order, Father Marcial Maciel, had molested them while they were teen seminarians. Maciel was allowed to continue as head of the order.

In 1996, Ratzinger didn’t respond to letters from Milwaukee’s archbishop about a priest accused of abusing students at a Wisconsin school for the deaf. An assistant to Ratzinger began a secret trial of the priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, but halted the process after Murphy wrote a personal appeal to Ratzinger complaining of ill health.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II issued a letter urging the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to pursue allegations of child abuse in response to calls from bishops around the world.

Ratzinger wrote a letter asserting the church’s authority to investigate claims of abuse and emphasizing that church investigators had the right to keep evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the alleged victims reached adulthood.

Ratzinger became upset — and slapped Ross’s hand — when ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross asked him a question in 2002 about the delay in pursuing sex abuse charges against Maciel.

But by 2004, Ratzinger had ordered an investigation of Maciel, and after becoming pope, he ordered Maciel to do penance and removed him from the active priesthood. After becoming pope Benedict spoke openly about the crisis, but he was repeatedly accused of having participated in a coverup.

In April 2010, Benedict and other officials were accused by members of BishopAccountability.org of covering up alleged child abuse by 19 bishops.

At the time, the Pope told reporters he was “deeply ashamed” of the allegations of sex abuse by his subordinates and reportedly said, “We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry.”

Several other accusations followed from alleged victims around the world, prompting Benedict to make a public statement later that month from St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. In his speech, he said the Catholic Church would take action against alleged sexual abusers. The Pope described a tearful meeting in Malta with eight men who claimed to have been abused by clergy there.

“I shared with them their suffering, and with emotion, I prayed with them,” said Benedict, “assuring them of church action.”

In 2010, he personally apologized to Irish victims of abuse.

“You have suffered grievously, and I am truly sorry,” the pope wrote in an eight-page letter to Irish Catholics. “Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.”

But for those who advocate on behalf of the victims, the pope’s words did not go far enough.

“Tragically, he gets credit for talking about the crisis,” said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP.  “He only ever addressed the crimes and never the cover-ups. And only in the past tense, which is self-serving.  Sex crimes and cover-ups are still happening.”

Clohessy called the meetings the pope had with victims “symbolic gestures.”

“This controversy that has reached even the highest office of the Vatican won’t go away until the pope himself tells us what he knew, when he knew it, and what he’s going to do about it,” said the Rev. Richard McBrien, a Catholic priest and professor of theology at Notre Dame University.

Lena, the Vatican’s U.S. lawyer, declined to comment on charges that Benedict had participated in a cover up, but said the fact that two major cases against the Church in U.S. courts, including the Murphy case, had “been dismissed by the plaintiffs themselves, speaks volumes for the strength and integrity of those cases.”

Shame on you for cheering the Pope


Shame on you for cheering the Pope

My letter to the Editor that appeared in the Berlin Daily Sun on Friday March 1, 2013

http://berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44628%3Ashame-on-you-for-cheering-the-pope&catid=73&Itemid=428

To the editor: I am not too happy today watching the crowds cheer this man who helped cover up Marciel and the others who raped children. So I thought I would ask you to post this as a letter to the editor PLEASE
Shame on you for cheering this man
I’m watching the crowds cheer on Pope Benedict XVI as he celebrates his last day as Pope on GMA. Every time I see him he makes me sick. Sure hang onto Jesus Christ, who was loved by god who gave his life for us. Sure. I gave my life too. I gave it to your priest the night he raped my body and tortured my mind, heart and soul.
This leader whom you are cheering on today, knew about Marciel. He knew about the others. Twice, once as the head of the Doctrine of Faith and again as the Pope, he had a chance to show us all he was truly sorry and repentant for the evil he and so many others helped perpetrate against innocent children and clean house and make sure that those responsible for their heinous crimes against children, paid for those crimes. Instead he waited three years to even think of acting on one perverted, degenerate priest and another I will not even get into because it sickens me so much. He did absolutely nothing REAL to put an end to the suffering of the victims of priest rape, which what we need is true and honest justice, he only perpetuated the cover ups by doing nothing more than having some priests lay prostrate as a sign of repentance and then offer a few letters and statements of apologises. The Church was supposed to really start helping the victims. Ask any victim today still dealing with the Roman Catholic Church and you will hear different. Two, three years later, and still waiting. Still hoping, meanwhile we still pay our bills for our therapy, still watch the crowds cheer on these people in praise, love and adoration and still wonder when we will even get a measure of justice and maybe recompense for our shattered lives. All the while these leaders who helped perpetuate this evil still get fatter and fatter, driving their high priced limos, going into their million dollar churches, hoping on jets to Rome to go vote for the next Pope who will again offer empty words and promises to us victims of his degenerate, twisted priests.
Then you have the people who helped covered up some of the biggest child rapist rings in the United States, alot of them going to vote for the next pope? Cardinals Timothy Dolan, William Leveda, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, Anthony Bevilacqua, John Krol, Richard Cushing, George Pell, Humberto Medeiros, and so many more, plus Bishops Bill Wright, Robert Finn, Edward Cullen, and too many more to name, plus the over 3,700 named priests, nuns and brothers/priests from orders JUST IN THE UNITED STATES, who all participated in this incredible cover up and evil of the rape and torture of children??? You can in fact find these names on Bishops Accountability and their Database of Accused Priests. Look at the lists. Read their crimes. Read the police reports of the crimes. Tell me this does not sicken and disgust you. Yet then tell me these people who did this to your own children, have a right to hear the crowds praise their name?
Wow, if I were Parishioners of the Roman Catholic Church and I could not understand why people would be pissed at YOUR CHURCH, YOUR POPE, YOUR CARDINALS, YOUR BISHOPS, YOUR PRIESTS AND NUNS AND YOU PARISHIONERS…….I would say I needed my head examined.
Instead of demanding long ago this Pope and all the rest of these criminals resign and submit to prosecution for their crimes, you hid your head in the sands and then offered this den of people who covered up the crimes of rape of your very own children, praise, worship, adoration, cheers, love, and forgiveness. What right do you have to forgive them when they have not repented of their sins and when you are in fact not the ones who should be doing the forgiving here. It is we victims of these sick and twisted degenerate priests and those leaders who covered it up who should be doing the forgiving.
And your Cardinal Roger Mahony having the unmitigated gall to tell us victims he forgive US because we victims are mad at him because we are still suffering, steal dealing with the stall tactics, still dealing with the circus that is their way of investigating and bringing to justice those who harmed us? Yeah right and I got a nice bridge to sell ya.
So all you Parishioners go ahead and cheer and sing praises to Pope Benedict XVI, who covered up for Marcel Marciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ. A plagerizer, womanizer, pederast and drug addict, whom when the Pope was head of the Doctrine of Faith as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had a duty and responsibility to defrock and kick this evil out of his church and have him prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. but did absolutely nothing, even given warning after warning by his Bishops and others that something must be done about Marciel. Even after two years the Pope tells the Bishop that he needed more information and at least another year to investigate. This is just one priest that he was responsible for, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as Pope Benedict XVI to make sure never harmed another child, but no, he put the church before the children, and you are cheering him?
The ones you should be cheering today? Are all those who managed to survive the horrors we went through at the hands of your priests, not the ones who made sure these crimes continued because they damn well did in fact put the church before the children of the church.
Shame on you for cheering on this man today, or anyone associated with the cover ups of the crime of child rape and shame on you if you do not speak out and demand these men resign and submit to prosecution for their crimes.
Frank LaFerriere
Berlin N.H.

Pope Benedict ‘complicit in child sex abuse scandals’, say victims’ groups


Pope Benedict ‘complicit in child sex abuse scandals’, say victims’ groups

Pope Benedict XVI ‘knew more about clergy sex crimes than anyone else in church yet did little to protect children’, say critics

  • Ian Traynor in Brussels, Karen McVeigh in New York and Henry McDonald in Dublin
  • guardian.co.uk, Monday 11 February 2013 15.04 EST

From the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/11/pope-complicit-child-abuse-say-victims

For the legions of people whose childhoods and adult lives were wrecked by sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the Roman Catholic clergy, Pope Benedict XVI is an unloved pontiff who will not be missed.

Victims of the epidemic of sex- and child-abuse scandals that erupted under Benedict’s papacy reacted bitterly to his resignation, either charging the outgoing pontiff with being directly complicit in a criminal conspiracy to cover up the thousands of paedophilia cases that have come to light over the past three years, or with failing to stand up to reactionary elements in the church resolved to keep the scandals under wraps.

From Benedict’s native Germany to the USA, abuse victims and campaigners criticised an eight-year papacy that struggled to cope with the flood of disclosures of crimes and abuse rampant for decades within the church. Norbert Denef, of the NetworkB group of German abuse victims, said: “The rule of law is more important than a new pope.”

Denef, 64, from the Baltic coast of north Germany, was abused as a boy by his local priest for six years. In 2003, Denef took his case to the bishop of Magdeburg. He was offered €25,000 (then £17,000) in return for a signed pledge of silence about what he suffered as a six-year-old boy. He then raised the issue with the Vatican and received a letter that said Pope John Paul II would pray for him so that Denef could forgive his molester.

“We won’t miss this pope,” said Denef. He likened the Vatican’s treatment of the molestation disclosures to “mafia-style organised crime rings”.

That view was echoed by David Clohessy in the US, executive director of SNAP (Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests), an organisation with 12,000 members: “His record is terrible. Before he became pope, his predecessor put him in charge of the abuse crisis.

“He has read thousands of pages of reports of the abuse cases from across the world. He knows more about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups than anyone else in the church yet he has done precious little to protect children.”

Jakob Purkarthofer, of Austria’s Platform for Victims of Church Violence, said: “Ratzinger was part of the system and co-responsible for these crimes.”

Under the German pope, his native country, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria were rocked by clerical sex-abuse scandals, triggering revulsion at the clergy in Europe just when Benedict saw his mission as leading a Catholic revival on a secular continent.

Before becoming pope, there were also major scandals in the US and Ireland at a time when Pope John Paul II had put the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in charge of dealing with them.

A combination of deep rancour and disgust over the crimes and disaffection with the conservative ethics of the Catholic hierarchy has nudged the church in Austria towards schism, with rebel priests leading an anti-Vatican movement of hundreds of thousands, dubbed We Are The Church.

“He should have come clean about the abuses, but was not really able to change anything fundamentally,” said Purkarthofer. “The resignation is a chance for real change, perhaps the best thing he could have done for the church.”

While also intensely critical, some Irish victims of the seminaries, convent schools, and church-run orphanages gave the pope the benefit of the doubt, but lamented that not enough action had followed Benedict’s expressions of remorse in the spring of 2010.

“When the pope issued his pastoral letter to the people of Ireland we welcomed it,” said one Irish campaigner. “Because of the sincerity of the words in that letter from the pope in the name of the church. He said he was ‘truly sorry’ and accepted that our ‘dignity had been violated’.

“So we went on to meet the group of bishops in Ireland thinking that this would be a new era. But what we got instead were pastoral platitudes and special masses offered up.”

The fallout from these scandals continues to reverberate. Next Monday campaigners for justice are to protest in the ancient west German city of Trier when the country’s church leadership gathers. Last month a church-sponsored inquiry into the abuses collapsed in disarray amid recrimination between the clergy and outside criminologists involved in the examination.

A similar situation persists in Austria, where a church-led inquiry into the abuse and compensation has degenerated, in the view of activists, into a smokescreen. In Belgium, where the head of the church nationally had to resign and then made matters worse by going on television to plead innocence while admitting “intimacy” by having boys in his bed, there are parallel frustrations with the partial nature of the church’s openness.

A couple of years ago US activists sought to file a criminal suit against the Vatican at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, while victims’ associations responded to the current drama by demanding an international commission be set up to examine Catholic paedophilia, independent of the church.i

Clohessy said a big question for Benedict’s successor is “what he will do in a very tangible way to safeguard children, deter cover-ups, punish enablers and chart a new course.

“There are 30 bishops in the US [who] have posted on the diocese websites the names of predator priests. The pope should require bishops to do that and to work with secular lawmakers to reform archaic sex abuse laws so that predators from every walk of life face justice.”

John Kelly, one founder of Ireland’s Survivors of Child Abuse group and a former inmate at Dublin’s notorious Artane Industrial School, which was run by the Christian Brothers, said Benedict had resisted their demands to properly investigate and disband religious orders tainted by sexual and physical abuse

“In our view, we were let down in terms of promises of inquiries, reform and most importantly of all the Vatican continuing not to acknowledge that any priest or religious bodies found guilty of child abuse would face the civil authorities and be tried for their crimes in the courts.

“I’m afraid to say Pope Benedict won’t be missed as the Vatican continued to block proper investigations into the abuse scandals during his term in office. Nor are we confident that things are going to be different because of all the conservative Cardinals he appointed. For us, he broke his word.”

The Austrian campaigner called for church files on paedophilia to be opened and generous compensation for the victims.

Denef pointed to the discrepancies between the response in the US and in Europe, insisting that clergy suspects must be brought before the law.

“From our point of view, Ratzinger did nothing to support the victims. Instead, perpetrators and serial perpetrators were protected and moved to new jobs,” he said.

“Victims in the US have been compensated sometimes with more than a million dollars and the personal files of the perpetrators were put on the internet. But the victims of sexual violence by the clergy in Germany had to settle for a few thousand euros, often conditional on pledges of silence and no more claims.

“We demand from German politicians that this concern [the church] is no longer beyond the rule of law. That’s more important than waiting to see whether a new pope will be more reactionary than the old one.”

• This article was amended on 13 February 2013 because the original attributed quotes from Norbert Denef, of NetworkB, to Matthias Katsch. Katsch is not a member of NetworkB. The original has also been amended to correct the description of NetworkB. It is not a “group of German clerical-abuse victims” as the original said, but a group of German abuse victims.

NSS draws international attention to UN report that berates USA on its lax approach to clerical child abuse


NSS draws international attention to UN report that berates USA on its lax approach to clerical child abuse

Posted: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:26

From the link: http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/02/nss-draws-international-attention-to-un-report-that-berates-usa-on-its-lax-approach-to-clerical-child-abuse

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has expressed deep concern to the US Government about its failure to properly deal with “sexual abuse committed by clerics and leading members of certain faith-based organizations and religious institutions on a massive and long-term scale amounting to sexual slavery or servitude of children”.

Concerned that the failure of the US authorities to prosecute the sexual abuse, the UNCRC has urged them to investigate all cases of “sexual abuse of children whether single or on a massive and long-term scale, committed by clerics”.

The condemnation (shown in full below) was made as part of a cyclical five yearly review of states by the committee, and followed evidence given by the National Secular Society focussing on the Catholic Church.

NSS executive director, Keith Porteous Wood, commented: “$2 billion has been paid out to abuse victims in compensation by the Catholic Church in the US indicating a massive scale of abuse. Yet very few clerical perpetrators have been convicted and only one official has been convicted for facilitating the abuse. Hundreds, if not thousands, of clerics have wrongly escaped justice due to the continuing secrecy of the Church and the issue being almost ignored by law enforcers.

“That so many perpetrators have escaped scot-free is yet a further abuse of the victims whose whole lives have often been ruined as a result.

“Pope Benedict has been responsible since 1981 for the policing of the Church, and with it, child abuse, and many think, as I do, that no one is more culpable than he is. He has hushed up abuse accusations to protect clerics, the Church’s reputation and funds. He has obstructed secular justice rather than encouraged it. We can only hope that his successor opens the secret files and treats victims with the respect they deserve.

“Prosecuting authorities have some very awkward questions to answer, and not just in the USA, and I hope they too take to heart the UN’s stinging criticism, where they mention “inaction and/or corruption”.

“I acknowledge that child abuse in religious institutions is not confined to the RC Church, but there is no doubt that it occurred within the RC church at a much greater level than any other religious institution.”

What the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded (Word doc):

35. The Committee is deeply concerned at information of sexual abuse committed by clerics and leading members of certain faith-based organizations and religious institutions on a massive and long-term scale amounting to sexual slavery or servitude of children and about the lack of measures taken by the State party to properly investigate cases and prosecute those accused who are members of those organizations and institutions.

36. The Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to investigate all cases of sexual abuse of children whether single or on a massive and long-term scale, committed by clerics, to issue clear instructions to all relevant authorities to actively prosecute those cases and to engage in a dialogue with faith-based organizations religious institutions and their leaders, in order to enlist their active and open collaboration to prevent, investigate and prosecute cases. The State party should also draw the attention of law enforcement authorities to the sanctions that may be imposed on them in case of inaction and/or corruption.

The NSS’s involvement in this was reported around the world after the story was taken up by Reuters.