Techniques used by the Catholic League to suppress criticism of the Catholic Church
Editor’s note: The following has been adapted from Chapter 15 of N4CM Chairman Dr Stephen D Mumford’s seminal book, The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (1996).
The Catholic League was founded in 1973 by Jesuit priest Virgil Blum. William Donohue assumed leadership in July 1993. Since then, the membership has grown from 27,000 to 200,000. According to Donohue, the League has “won the support of all of the U.S. Cardinals and many of the Bishops as well…We are here to defend the Church from the scurrilous assaults that have been mounted against it, and we definitely need the support of the hierarchy if we are to get the job done.” Thus it can be considered an arm of the Church. It supplements or replaces priest-controlled organizations of the past described by Paul Blanshard and George Seldes. The League apparently has a single mission: suppression of all mainstream criticism of the Roman Catholic Church.
According to Donohue, it is fortunate that, “the Catholic Church is there to provide a heady antidote to today’s mindless ideas of freedom.” He is a strong advocate of the Church’s positions on restriction of the freedoms guaranteed by the American Constitution and condemned by popes for nearly two centuries, especially those regarding the press and speech. He informs us that: “the Catholic League is there to defend the Church against its adversaries.”
There are many recognizable principles governing the behavior of the League. One is revealed in a vicious 1994 attack against the New London newspaper, The Day, for an editorial critical of the Catholic Church: “What is truly ‘beyond understanding’ is not the Catholic Church’s position, it is the fact that a secular newspaper has the audacity to stick it’s nose in where it doesn’t belong. It is nobody’s business what the Catholic Church does.”
A second basic premise is the League’s commitment to canon 1369 of the Code of Canon Law: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.” Canon law is the law of the Catholic Church. All criticism of the pope or the Church is in violation of this law in one way or another. This chapter will make clear that the League follows this canon to the letter and demands that all others conform—or pay the price for their violation.
Another principle is aggressive action. Says Donohue, “I defy anyone to name a single organization that has more rabid members than the Catholic League. Our members are generous, loyal and extremely active. When we ask them to sign petitions, write to offending parties and the like, they respond with a vigor that is unparalleled…We aim to win. Obviously, we don’t win them all, but our record of victories is impressive.” To justify this stance, he identifies with Patrick Buchanan’s resistance to the “Culture War” against the Catholic Church: “We didn’t start this culture war against the Catholic Church, we simply want to stop it.”
Donohue also justifies the League’s aggressive behavior by claiming that it is culturally unacceptable for nonCatholics to criticize the Catholic Church. “Perhaps the most cogent remark of the day,” he asserts, “came from the former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, who politely remarked that his mother always advised him not to speak ill of other religions. It is a lesson that apparently few have learned….Non-Catholics would do well to follow the advice of Ed Koch’s mom and just give it a rest. Their crankiness is wearing thin.” This cultural norm is widely accepted in America, to the enormous benefit of the Vatican. What role, one wonders, did the Catholic Church play in its adoption? Certainly, in the case of population growth control, its consequence has been catastrophic.
The Catholic League strongly discourages criticism of the Church, especially attacks by the press. Says Donohue, “It does no good complaining about Catholic bashing if all we do is wait until the other side strikes.” Prevention of such publications is of the essence. Yet Donohue is convinced that this is not censorship: “The press and the radio talk shows asked me if the Catholic League was engaging in censorship by responding the way we did. As always, I informed them that only the government has the power to censor anything.” This is patently untrue.
Another tenet enunciated by Donohue:
“I think it is a gross mistake to give elevation to fringe groups. Our basic rule of thumb is this: the more mainstream the source of anti-Catholicism, the more likely it is that the Catholic League will respond….The mainstream media, after all, have the credibility and influence that the fringe lacks, and they are therefore much more likely to do real damage.”
“When major universities, TV networks and government officials engage in Catholic-baiting, it is a far more dangerous situation than the venom that emanates from certifiably fringe organizations.”
“When an establishment newspaper such as the Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale] offends, it cannot be ignored.”
Donohue goes on to explain the Sun-Sentinel example. On February 9, 1995, it ran an ad, paid for by a Seventh Day Adventist group, which claimed that the Catholic Church is seeking to create a New World Order to take command of the world and that the Pope and the Catholic Church were in a league with Satan.
“Accordingly, the Catholic League contacted the radio and television stations in the area, the opposition newspaper, and the nation’s major media outlets registering its outrage and its demands. We demanded nothing less than ‘an apology to Catholics and a pledge that no such ads will ever be accepted again.’ We added that ‘If this is not forthcoming, the Catholic League will launch a public ad campaign on its own, one that will directly target the Sun-Sentinel.’”
“What exactly did we have in mind? We were prepared to take out ads in the opposition newspaper, registering our charge of anti-Catholic bigotry. We were prepared to pay for radio spots making our charge. We were prepared to buy billboard space along the majority arteries surrounding the Fort Lauderdale community. Why not? After all, …we are in a position to make such threats….This is the way it works: if the source of bigotry wants to deal with lousy publicity, it can elect to do so. Or it can come to its senses and knock it off. In the event the anti-Catholic bigots want to bite the bullet and stay the course, we’ll do everything we can within the law to make sure that they pay a very high price for doing so.” It goes without saying that anyone critical of the Vatican, or the hierarchy, or the Roman Catholic Church is, by definition, an anti-Catholic bigot—including Catholics themselves.
One final element makes clear the objective of the Catholic League—protection of the papacy against all criticism. Writes Donohue, “It is the conviction of the Catholic League that an attack on the Church is an attack on Catholics.” He offers no rationale to support this theory. Obviously, millions of liberal American Catholics would disagree outright, for it is they who have been attacking the Church.
“Throughout American history, the job of combating anti-Catholicism fell to the clergy, and especially to the Archbishops. But times have changed….The type of anti-Catholicism that exists in American society today is fundamentally different from the genre that marked this country’s history from the outset. From colonial times to the election of John F. Kennedy as President of the United States, anti-Catholicism was vented against both individual Catholics and against the Catholic Church itself. But over the past 30 years, it has become evident that most of the Catholic-bashing centers on the institution of the Church…”
The hierarchy cannot be effective against criticism of the institution because they are the institution. Thus, the hierarchy has had to call on the laity to protect the institution in this way. In 1971, the League’s founder pointed out, “If a group is to be politically effective, issues rather than institutions must be at stake.” In other words, the laity, if left to their own devices, will not defend the institution but they will defend their interests as individuals. Hence, the League has adopted this principle and has convinced its members that “an attack on the Church is an attack on Catholics.” In this way, the institution is successfully using individual lay Catholics to shield it from all criticism.
The Church and Its Image
The Catholic Church in America has good reason to be intensely concerned about its image and any criticism. Donohue cites a 1995 study, “Taking America’s Pulse,” undertaken by the National Conference (formerly known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews). Despite the almost complete suppression of all criticism of the Catholic Church in America, a majority of non-Catholic Americans (55%) believe that Catholics “want to impose their own ideas of morality on the larger society.” The survey also found that 38% of non-Catholics believe that Catholics are “narrow-minded because they are too much controlled by their Church.” Obviously, there is a highly receptive audience in this country for any justified criticisms of the Catholic Church. If the floodgates ever opened, it is unlikely that the Church would be able to close them again. Only too well understood by the hierarchy, and the Catholic League, this perhaps explains their unmitigated intolerance for criticism.
Methods of the League
Donohue has cited many of the methods used by the League, including some we have already mentioned. “We specialize in public embarrassment of public figures who have earned our wrath and that is why we are able to win so many battles: no person or organization wants to be publicly embarrassed, and that is why we specialize in doing exactly that…” Elsewhere he writes, “The threat of a lawsuit is the only language that some people understand. The specter of public humiliation is another weapon that must be used. Petitions and boycotts are helpful. The use of the bully pulpit—via the airwaves—is a most effective strategy. Press conferences can be used to enlighten or, alternatively, to embarrass.” “Ads taken out in prominent national newspapers are quite effective.”
But probably the most effective means of suppressing criticism of the Catholic Church through the press is a constant “in your face” attack of local newspapers. In a 1995 report on the Massachusetts Chapter of the Catholic League, it is noted that the president and the executive director had been on the attack, “appearing in the media more than 600 times” in the previous five years. In a single state, 600 times in five years! It is no wonder that newspapers in Massachusetts are very reluctant to print any criticism of the Catholic Church, no matter how justified, given this constant barrage of punishment.
Intimidation of the media leadership and of our government by the League is achieved through the wide distribution of frequent news releases, its monthly newsletter and an annual report. Individual attacks are often announced through widely distributed press releases which are bound to capture the attention of members of the press.
Success of the League
The Catholic League has been remarkably successful in achieving its goals. Donohue rightfully gloats: “One of the major reasons why people are giving [donations] is the success the Catholic League has had.” As noted earlier, membership grew from 27,000 to 200,000 in the first two years after Donohue took control. He continues, “We have had a string of victories and we have also had an unprecedented degree of media coverage. We don’t win every fight but our overall record is quite good. Our presence on radio and TV, combined with coverage in newspapers and magazines—both religious and secular—is excellent.” “We’ve been featured on the television program ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and received front page coverage from national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.” The number of apologies and promises it extracts from the nation’s newspapers, TV networks and stations and programs, radio stations, activist organizations, commercial establishments, educational institutions and governments is most impressive.
The suppression of all criticism of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy is the goal of the Catholic League. The visit of the pope to the U.S. in October 1995 was a major media event. Given all the gravely serious problems faced by the Church and the enormous amount of dissent by American Catholics, as well as the growing hostility from non-Catholics as a result of the Church’s interference in American policy making, one would expect wide coverage of these realities in the media during his visit. Instead, it was treated as a triumphant return.
The Catholic League believes that it played a major role in this great public relations success—and with good reason. In August 1994, it launched a campaign to intimidate the press in an astounding advance warning to media professionals preparing for the pope’s visit to New York in late October. A letter signed by Donohue announced a press conference to be held just prior to the pope’s visit that will present “10′s of thousands of petitions from active Catholics” that have been collected over the past year. What else but intimidation of the press is the intent of this campaign?
The November 1995 issue of the League’s journal, Catalyst, is headlined, “Media Treat Pope Fairly; Protesters Fail to Score.” Donohue writes, “By all accounts, the visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States was a smashing success. Media treatment of the papal visit was, with few exceptions, very fair. Protesters were few in number and without impact. From beginning to end, this papal visit proved to be the most triumphant of them all.” A month later he writes, “The relatively few cheap shots that were taken at the Pope by the media in October is testimony to a change in the culture.” And of course the desired “change in the culture” is the elimination of criticism of the pope and his hierarchy. The Catholic League is succeeding on a grand scale far beyond what all but a handful of Americans realize.
Intimidation Prevents Criticism
It is clear from Donohue’s own words that prevention of any criticism is the goal of the League and that intimidation is its means of achieving this end. In a fund-raising letter mailed in December of 1995, Donohue appeals for funds to hire more staff: “We could have done more….We could have tackled other issues, thereby adding to the number of people who will think twice before crossing Catholics again.” From the League’s 1995 Annual Report: “It is hoped that by …[attacking critics], potential offenders will think twice before launching their assaults on Roman Catholicism.” This statement also makes it clear that it is the protection of the institution that is the goal, not protection of individual Catholics.
It appears that the most aggressive and extensive attack in League history was one directed at Disney for its release of the movie, “Priest.” In an editorial, Donohue forthrightly says that the purpose of the intensive attack on Disney is the prevention of the production of such critical movies in the future: “Our sights were set on what might be coming down the road, not on what had already happened.”
The advice given by Ed Koch’s mother—do not speak ill of other religions—has been a national ethic for nearly all of this century. This ethic, inherent in our culture, has served to suppress nearly all criticism of the Catholic Church. As a result, until its political activities were unveiled with the implementation of the bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities in 1975, the Church had been relatively immune from mainstream criticism. Because this ethic has served the Catholic Church so well, the Church may very well have played a major role in its inculcation into our culture. With its political activity becoming increasingly evident, critics are more than ever convinced of the need for public criticism of the Catholic Church.
However, this ethic does not protect the Church from dissent within its confines which has been growing since Vatican Council II in the 1960s, and most remarkably in recent years. The American media, to avoid flying in the face of American culture by ignoring this dearly held belief, have occasionally provided a forum for this protest. The dissenters have been a significant source of criticism. The Catholic League has not overlooked this problem—indeed, it takes it very seriously. All criticism is targeted from whatever source, including members of the Church.
For example, on January 22, 1995, CBS’s “60 Minutes” broadcast a segment by Mike Wallace on the Catholic dissident group Call to Action. The Catholic hierarchy did agree to appear but dictated terms that were unacceptable to CBS. Then, according to Donohue, the Catholic League sent two letters to executive producer Barry Lando and issued the following press release on January 25:
“The entire Call to Action segment was, from beginning to end, an exercise in intellectual dishonesty and journalistic malpractice. The decision to give high profile to the Catholic Church’s radical fringe was pure politics, and nothing short of outrageous….Allowing extremists an uncontested opportunity to rail against the Catholic Church distorts the sentiments of most Catholics and provides succor for bigots. There is a difference between reporting dissent, and promoting it….‘60 Minutes’ made clear its preference, extending to the disaffected a platform that they have never earned within the Catholic community….This is propaganda at work, not journalism.”
This press release, of course, was received across America as a powerful warning to others to steer clear of Catholic dissidents. The Catholic League then launched a national postcard mailing campaign directed at Lando personally: “…we are angered over the way you continue to present the Catholic Church….We are tired of having our Church viewed from the perspective of the disaffected.”
In another example, the League attacked the October 5, 1995 edition of “NBC Nightly News” with Tom Brokaw for providing a platform for Catholics for a Free Choice and Dignity. The League’s press release included the following:
“The media do a great disservice to Catholics and non-Catholics alike when Catholics for a Free Choice and Dignity are presented as though they were genuine voices in the Catholic community. The effect of such misrepresentation is to promote dissent rather than to record it. As such, it is irresponsible for the media to allow itself to become willing accomplices to public deception.”
The continuous intimidation is bound to have its desired effect. The April 22, 1996 issue of the New Republic magazine criticizes the League’s annual report as indicative of the League’s “paranoia.” The New Republic completely misses the point. One need only look at the language used in the League’s attacks. It is not defense. It is intimidating language. The report is an offensive weapon used to silence critics of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic League focuses it attention on five types of institutions: media, activist organizations, commercial establishments, educational institutions and governments. Donohue attributes the League’s success, in part, to its ability to stay focused. The League’s 1994 and 1995 annual reports alone offer 350 examples of League attacks.
As one surveys its material, it becomes evident that all criticism of the Church or anything that places the Church in a negative light is deemed anti-Catholic, despicable and impermissible. The Church is simply above all criticism. The Catholic League obviously rejects America because it rejects what America stands for, including the freedoms of speech, expression and the press. This stand taken by the Catholic League is consistent with nearly two centuries of Catholic teaching on these matters and we should expect nothing different.
Intimidation by Catholic institutions over the past hundred years, has resulted in a populace woefully ignorant of the threat to American democracy and security posed by the Church. This intimidation has made it possible for the Church to go unchallenged.
Dr Stephen D Mumford is the founder and president of the North Carolina-based The Center for Research on Population and Security. His principal research interest is the relationship between world population growth and national and global security. This interest, pursued for over four decades, first developed during a tour of military duty in Asia, where he first recognized the linkage between political stability and population pressures. He obtained his master’s in public health and his doctorate in population studies from the University of Texas. Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, Dr Mumford has introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.
End Of The Catholic League?: Conservative Host Interviews, Decimates Bill Donohue
That was October 2004. By January, 2005, “Crossfire” was fired. Canceled. Kaput. Gone. Dead. In large part because of Stewart.
This week, Catholic League president Bill Donohue penned a disgusting statement in response to the terrorists who slaughtered 12 people in Paris, mostly members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. In his commentary, Donohue blamed the editor-in-chief, for his own death.
NCRM attacked Donohue for the gross and ugly attack, as did several others.
Yesterday, Donohue was interviewed by longtime conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. For those unfamiliar with him, he is a law professor at the same school as the Chairman of the National Organization For Marriage, and has frequently had NOM Chair John Eastman on his show. Hewitt is a very conservative Roman Catholic, and has a strong social media following.
Donohue no doubt assumed he was walking into friendly territory.
He was not.
“Bill, I’ve often agreed with you over the years, because like you, I’m an orthodox Catholic, went to confession on Saturday, Mass on Saturday night,” Hewitt, about a minute into the interview, told Donohue. “I don’t believe, except maybe perhaps vis-à-vis Dennis Prager, I’ve committed any mortal sins in the interim, so I think I’m in good standing with the Church right now. And I have to say I’m appalled, and I’m embarrassed, and I’m urging you to rethink this.”
And then it really went south.
“You blamed the victim before their bodies were cold,” Hewitt accused. “Everyone listening to this show believes that you are blaming the victim before their bodies were cold. It’s deeply embarrassing to me as a Catholic.”
Hewitt also accused Donohue of being a “bully,” of “lying,” of being an “embarrassment” to Catholics. He said Donohue’s comments on the attack on Charlie Hebdo are a “scandal on the church.”
The entire 23-minute audio is below. You may think you won’t listen to it all, but you will. It’s like a train wreck, a car wreck – you can’t help but listen because it’s just so bad, for Donohue.
Is this the end of the Catholic League? No. But it’s likely the beginning of the end.
Just as when a better journalist, Jon Stewart, destroyed “Crossfire,” the better Catholic, Hewitt, has destroyed the Catholic League. He has exposed it as very un-Catholic, un-Christian, and nothing more than a money-making charade. And it’s about time.
THESE ARE CRIMES, NOT SINS, GET IT RIGHT ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!
By Frank J LaFerriere
Dear Roman Catholic Church,
When YOU assholes call what you all did to us? When YOU call crimes such as child abuse, child rape, child slavery and yes, child murder just sins? YOU lessen the impact of these crimes.
Get it through your sick and twisted disgusting heads right now.
1. Raping children is a CRIME.
2. Covering up the rapes of children is a CRIME.
3. Enslaving children in your Magdalene Laundries is a CRIME.
4. Murdering children and victims, by their suicides, is a CRIME.
5. Gang raping and gang beating children, like you all did in your Industrial Homes, like the one at Artane, is a CRIME.
6. Standing up and defending these kinds of CRIMES makes YOU an accomplice.
Asking for victims of your crimes to forgive you is WRONG!!! We did absolutely nothing wrong, YOU DID. Why should we even accept YOUR FAKE APOLOGIES when YOU STILL blame US and attack US for your crimes against US? Why do YOU feel we should forgive YOU when you continue to do the following against us:
1. DENYING US JUSTICE FOR THE CRIMES YOU COMMITTED AGAINST US.
2. BLAMING US FOR THE CRIMES THAT WERE COMMITTED AGAINST US.3. ATTACKING US AS THE EVIL ONES FOR STANDING UP AND CRYING OUT ABOUT THE CRIMES YOU COMMITTED AGAINST US.
4. DECLARING US THE EVIL ONES FOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE CRIMES COMMTTED AGAINST US BY YOUR PSYCHOTIC PEDOPHILE PIMPS, YOUR PSYCHOTIC PEDOPHILE AND ABUSIVE PRIESTS, YOUR PSYCHOTIC PEDOPHILE AND ABUSIVE NUNS.
5. USING YOUR SCUMBAGS PSYCHOS LIKE BILL DONOHUE OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE TO INSULT AND DENIGRATE US.
You all deserve to be arrested for your crimes against us. You all deserve to pay for your crimes against us, including the murder of us. For when ANY victim of your pedohiles have committed suicide, that is murder and YOU should be charged for it.
YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE CALLED HOLY MEN OF GOD. YOU DO NOT DESERVE DIGNITY AND RESPECT. YOU DO NOT DESERVE ANYTHING LESS THAN TO BE CALLED FOR WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE….
YOU ARE DISGUSTING CHILD RAPISTS. YOU ARE DISGUSTING PEDOPHILES. YOU ARE DISGUSTING PEDOPHILE PIMPS. YOU ARE DISGUSTING CHILD MURDERERS.
YOU HAVE RAPED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN. YOU HAVE ENSLAVED THOUSANDS MORE IN YOUR LAUNDRIES. YOU HAVE BEATEN AND TORTURED AND BRUTALIZED THEM. YOU HAVE DESTROYED THEIR LIVES. YOU DO NOT DESERVE PRAISE AND WORSHIP FOR THIS, YOU DESERVE CONDEMNATION AND OSTRASIZATION FOR THIS. YOU DESERVE TO BE ARRESTED AND TRIED AND UPON CONVICTION FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD, EXECUTED FOR YOUR CRIMES. NO GREATER CALL FOR A DEATH PENALTY PUNISHMENT THAN THE BRUTAL RAPES, BEATINGS, ENSLAVEMENT AND MURDER OF CHILDREN THAT YOU ALL HAVE DONE AND ARE GUILTY FOR SHOULD BE CALLED FOR. YOU DESERVE TO BE EXECUTED ACTUALLY, IN MY OPINION USING THE VERY TOOLS OF THE INQUISITIONS THAT YOU USED TO EXECUTE OTHERS!!!
Each and every one of the following named individuals, have overwhelming, convincing and clear evidence against, that they were in fact, Pedophile pimps, in that they moved dangerous pedophile priests, from one parish to another, covering up for the rapes and abuses of children by these disgusting pedophiles and then they raped and abused even more children.
THERE IS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE AGAINST EACH AND EVERY FOLLOWING NAMED INDIVIDUAL, THEY PLACED THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, ITS PEDOPHILE PRIESTS AND NUNS, IT’S PSYCHOTIC, ABUSIVE PRIESTS AND NUNS, BEFORE THE SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN.
There is clean and convincing evidence, against each and every following named individual, that they are part of the larger organization, The Roman Catholic Church and that worldwide, have committed atrocities and crimes against the children of the world and humanity that are overwhelming provable:
About 35,000 children and teenagers who were orphans, petty thieves, truants, unmarried mothers or from dysfunctional families were sent to Ireland’s network of 250 Church-run industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s up until the early 1990s. For six decades, priests and nuns terrorised boys and girls in the workhouse-style schools with sexual, physical and mental abuse.
This does NOT include the crimes against children and humanity, where ever these Roman Catholic Churches institutions were found, from Belgium, France, Italy, Australia, New South Wales, Germany, United States, Canada, and the world over.
EACH AND EVER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING PEDOPHILE PIMPS SHOULD BE ARRESTED AND TRIED FOR THEIR
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD!!!
Pope Emeritus Benedict
Cardinals: Adam Maida, Agostino Vallini, Angelo Scola, Angelo Sodano, Anthony Bevilacqua, Bernard Law, Dominik Duka, Donald Wuerl, Franc Rode, Francis George, Francisco Javier Errazurtz Ossa, George Pell, Godfried Danneels, Hans Groer, Humberto Mederios, John Cody, John Krol, Joseph Bernardin, Juan Cipriani, Justin Rigali, Keith O’Brien, Leonardo Sandri, Ludwig Mueller, Marc Ouellet, Norberto Rivera, Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Partick O’Malley, Peter Turkson, Raymond Burke, Richard Cushing, Roger Mahony, Sean Brady, Silvio Oddi, Tarcisio Bertone, Thomas Winning, Timothy Dolan, Vinko Puljic, Wilfred Fox Napier, William Levada.
Archbishops: Andre Richard, Anthony Sablan, Charles J Chaput, Denis Hart, Diarmuid Martin, Ernest Leger, Frank Little, Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Harry Flynn, Jerome Hanus, Jerome Listecki, John Charles McQuaid, John Clay Neinstedt, John Meyers, John Roach, Jose Horacio Gomez, Josef Wesolowski, Luciano Storero, Mario Conti, Peter Gerety, Peter Sartain, Pio Laghi, Rembert Weakland, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, Robert Carlson, Silvano Tomasi, Theodore McCarrick, Valery Vienneau, William Cousins, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello.
Bishops: Peter Anthony Libasci, A.J. Quinn, Andrew Cozzens, Anthony O’Connell, Antonio Sarto, Bill Wright, Carl Mengeling, Christopher Foster, David M O’Connell, David Zubik, Donald Kettler, Edward Cullen, Eugene Laroque, Gabino Miranda, George H. Guilfoyle, George Leo Thomas, Gerard Frey, Henry Kennedy, Howard Hubbard, James Garland, James Hoeppner, James Kavanagh, James Murray, James Timlin, John B McCormack, John Doerfler, John Magee, Joseph Cistone, Joseph Devine, Joseph Imesch, Joseph V Adamec, Kieran Thomas Conry, Kenneth Povish, Laurence Glenn, Leo Clarke, Louis E. Gelineau, Marco Antonio Ordenes, Michael Bransfield, Michael Jarrell, Michael John Browne, Michael Malone, Patrick Cooney, Patrick Cotter, Peter Conners, Raphael Michael Fliss, Raymond Lahey, Richard Sklba, Robert C. Evans, Robert E. Mulvee, Robert Finn, Robert Rose, Roger Vangheluwe, Rogello Livieres, Seamus Hegarty, Thomas Curry, Thomas Daily, Thomas J. Tobin, Vincent Leonard, William Lynn, Wilton Gregory, Wojeciech Polak, Maurice Schexnayder.
Catholic child abuse analysed
Andrew Brown Blog
Saturday 21 May 2011 03.12 EDT
The John Jay Institute report on the child abuse scandals in the USA has been published. It will surprise and discomfort all sides
The big report of the independent criminologists of the John Jay institute into child abuse in the American Catholic church has now been published. There is something in it to upset everyone. For a start there are many cases of child abuse – and though the report does not go into this – there was a great deal of covering up done. But we knew that. What’s new in the report is the detailed examination of the causes and of the statistics involved.
The pattern that the investigators have to explain is a steep rise in cases of child abuse though the sixties and seventies, followed by a steady decline but a simultaneous rise in reports of earlier incidents in the late Eighties and early Nineties. That, too, has declined towards the present day.
This is an unusual pattern both of reporting and of offending. For comparison I have extracted from the government’s web site the Swedish figures for sex crimes against children under 15 and they show no decline at all since 1991. I’ll come back to those later.
The other notorious and unusual thing about the American Catholic cases is that the great majority of them involved boys – something like 83%. The secular pattern is entirely different.
There are three popular explanations for the figures, depending on your view of the Catholic church: if you are a liberal Christian you are inclined to blame celibacy; if you are a conservative, you blame it all on gays; and if you’re not a Christian at all you just assume they are all rotten, always have been, and still are.
I don’t think this last explanation stands up, for two reasons. The first is that even at its height child abuse was a pretty uncommon crime. The John Jay Institute helpfully compares the number of reported offences with the number of confirmation candidates, to get a rough figure of reported assaults per 100,000. This will tend to overestimate the frequency, because obviously a priest has access to many more children than just confirmation candidates. But it is a consistent measure by which to compare year with year.
So in 1992, when the worst was over, the rate was 15 incidents of reported abuse per 100,000 confirmations. By 2001 it had dropped to of 5 incidents of abuse per 100,000 confirmations in the Catholic Church. There was a similar drop in American society as a whole but less steep and from a consistently higher rate.
For comparison, the Swedish figures for reported sex crimes against all children under 15 was 142/100,000 children in 1992, and 169/100,000 in 2001.
These figures suggest that during the 1990s a child in Sweden, possibly the most secularised country in Europe, was between 10 and 30 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than an American Catholic was by his priest. Even making allowances for the considerable margin of error that must be built into these figures, it’s clear that what went on in US Catholic churches was terrible but rather less terrible than what went on at the same time in many other places where Catholicism was not involved. If the US Catholic church is a hotbed of child rape, Sweden is an awful lot worse. (Just to be clear here, I think the idea that Sweden is a dangerous country for children is entirely absurd.)
I picked Sweden for comparison largely because I know my way round the crime statistics there. But the US government figures quoted in the John Jay report show also that Alaska has a rate of reported child abuse that dwarfs Sweden’s – 788/100,000 in 2001, or 140 times the incidence of reported child abuse in the US Catholic church at the same period. So there is nothing uniquely rotten about the American Catholic church.
The second reason is sociological. The statistics do show a clear and steady decline in reported cases for the last 30 years, even though much of the reporting did not come in until long after the event. If you want to believe that the level of crime has stayed steady while the number of reports has dropped, you would have to come up with some reason why American Catholics (unlike Alaskans or Swedes) would become less likely to report a crime in a period when the social stigma for doing so has almost disappeared and in some cases considerable financial compensation has been on offer.
Which leaves the other two hypotheses. Was it the fault of the gays? The argument in favour is that the victims were overwhelmingly boys and the perpetrators exclusively men. But the John Jay study rejects this, on two grounds. The first, again, is based on the decline in the number of reported incidents. That coincides with what most people agree has been an increase in the number of gay men in the priesthood. So if gay priests were the problem, you would expect the figure for reported assaults to rise, as they did in Sweden and Alaska. This hasn’t happened.
Nor is it the case that men who had had sex with other men before training for the priesthood abused boys in any greater numbers than men who had had sex with women before.
“Priests with pre-ordination same-sex sexual behaviour were significantly more likely to participate in post-ordination sexual behaviour, but these priests were more likely to participate in sexual behaviour with adults than minors. Same-sex sexual behaviour prior to ordination did not significantly predict the sexual abuse of minors.”
But gay priests of this sort, if they did abuse, showed a marked preference for male victims.
So perhaps it was celibacy, after all. The trouble with this theory is the same decline in incidence of abuse as was noted before. That was not accompanied by any relaxation in the celibacy rules. It’s possible that the discipline of celibacy has simply collapsed in the USA. But the report doesn’t suggest this; nor, for that matter does anecdotal (or any other) evidence.
Which leaves the “Woodstock” hypothesis: that it was all the consequence of rapid social change. The combined impact of the sexual revolution outside the Church, and of the Vatican II reforms inside simply broke down the traditional self-discipline of the priesthood along with much of its traditional authority. This is the hypothesis that the report itself favours. But there is a subtlety with this view: if it were only the morals of the surrounding society which made a difference, then – again – the incidence of abuse would hardly have gone down. American society is not more sexually puritanical now than it was in 1975. So, the report argues, it was the impact of the sexual revolution on men who had not been trained to withstand it which was the decisive factor.
Two controversies remain. The first is the report’s definition of “paedophile” as someone who only has sex with children under 10. By this definition, less than one in twenty of abusing priests were paedophiles. But it’s clear from the figures that there were a lot of abusing priests who did not much care whether their victims were pre-pubescent or not. Nearly one in three of the multiple offenders had at least one victim who was 12 or younger as well as one who was older than 15.
The second is the response of the authorities. This has been historically feeble and sometimes much worse. But that’s a subject for another post.
A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Hey Leon, you pedophile psycho!!! How has been your life you disgusting piece of shit? Oh I know how your life has been. The investigator for Peter Hutchins told me quite a bit about your sorry ass.
Gee…like I know, unlike myself, you never missed one single meal, or had to worry where your next meal came from. Myself? Sometimes I had to dive into dumpsters and eat canned cat food.
I know how you NEVER had to worry about a roof over your head. While I have slept under bridges, houses, in parks, being homeless sometimes for months at a time.
We’re your dreams sweet Leon? Did you ever dream or have a nightmare about what you and the others did to me that night? I know now there were others with you Leon. I know why you gave me that drink of water. Funny how I do not remember pretty much anything after that…but I know something more horrifying happened to me at the hands of you and other priests that night. Did you dedicate me to the service of Satan? Did you sacrifice my soul on your altar? Is that why I felt I was a demon afterwards, so much so that I took the name of Damien from The Omen movies as my name? Why Leon, does Desmonds name stick in my head? Was he there? Did he rape me too along with a few others? I remember Desmond from St Charles. So tell me Leon, did you all seriously have to destroy everything about me that night? Do you feel proud of all the pain, suffering, horror that you brought and caused in my life?
As for myself Leon, I wish you could experience some of my nightmares, where I am in hell, being gang-raped by priests, and the very demons of hell. Typically Leon they end with you. See you now have the face of a demon, but I know it is you. You come over, rip off my dick and eat it. I feel EVERYTHING in these nightmares Leon. I sure wish you could experience them like I do.
WE KNOW YOU DID IT LEON GAULIN…WE KNOW IT. I KNOW WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL YOU RAPED ME, THAT EVERYTHING I SAID YOU DID TO ME THAT NIGHT, THAT NIGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO KEEP ME SAFE FROM HARM, THAT YOU FORCED ME INTO DOING THINGS THROUGH YOUR FUCKING PERVERSE USE OF YOUR PSYCHOTIC RELIGION. YOU RAPED ME LEON GAULIN, YOU SUCKED MY DICK TO SUCK THE DEMON OUT OF ME, YOU FORCED ME TO SUCK YOUR DICK TO TAKE YOUR SACRED SACRAMENT AND THEN YOU RAPED ME ANALLY WHILE FORCING ME TO DO PENNANCE WHILE YOU THREATENED ME WITH THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY IF I TOLD ANYONE ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL HEALINGS.
YOU PROVED YOUR DAMN GUILT THE MOMENT YOU DISCONNECTED YOUR PHONE AND PUT YOUR HOUSE UP FOR SALE IN MAINE AND LEFT FOR FLORIDA WITH YOUR HUSBAND, ESPECIALLY RIGHT AFTER THE INVESTIGATOR SAW YOU.
Here is my whole point of this Leon Gaulin and St Thomas More parish and all of you there, and to the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles along with that nasty, disgusting Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League.
ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOUR ACTIONS HAVE CAUSED ME? I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE!!! I DON’T WANT THE NIGHTMARES, I DON’T WANT ALL THIS EVIL YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO ME AND SCREWED MY LIFE WITH. I AM NOT THE DEMON, I AM NOT THE SATAN, I AM NOT THE ONE WHO WILL BE BOUND TO YOUR HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY. NO, NO MORE YOU LOW LIVES….NO MORE YOU SCUM….NO MORE YOU PEDOPILES, YOU DEFENDERS OF PEDOPHILES AND YOU WHO DARE CALL THEM HOLY MEN OF GOD!!!! NO MORE DO YOU FREAKING UNDERSTAND ME!!!
ALL OF THIS, ALL OF THIS EVIL YOU BROUGHT INTO MY LIFE, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL OF THIS TORMENT, ALL OF IT…..NOW BELONGS TO YOU LEON GAULIN, TO YOU THE OTHER PRIESTS OF ST THOMAS MORE WHO PARTICIPATED IN MY RAPE, ALL OF YOU PARISHIONERS OF THAT PARISH WHO STAND UP AND DEFEND THEM, ALL OF YOU PEDOPHILE PIMPS, LIKE CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ET AL, AND YOU BILL DONOHUE OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE….ALL OF THIS IS NOW YOURS!!!!
YOU WILL ALL NOW SUFFER JUST LIKE I HAVE BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS AGAINST ME. YOU ALL WILL NOW RECEIVE ALL THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOU CAUSED ME IN YOUR LIVES. ALL OF IT…..AND ALL THAT GOOD YOU ALL GET? THE BEING FED, HOUSED AND NEVER HAVING TO WORRY AGAIN ABOUT THOSE THINGS? NOW COME TO ME.
ALL OF THIS EVIL NOW RETURNS TO YOU ALL A HUNDRED FOLD. A THOUSAND FOLD. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE NIGHTMARES I HAVE. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE GUILT, THE PAIN AND THE EVIL I HAVE….IT NOW ALL BELONGS TO YOU. IT NOW ALL BELONGS ON YOUR HEADS, ON YOUR HEARTS IN YOUR SOULESS BODIES.
I CURSE AND CONDEMN YOU ALL, UNDER THE POWER OF RIGHT AND GOOD AND BEAUTY!!! I CURSE ALL OF YOU FOR STEALING MY LIFE AND GIVING ME ONE OF INCREDIBLE PAIN AND SUFFERING. I CURSE ALL OF YOU WITH THE VERY SAME THINGS YOU ALL DID TO ME. ALL OF THIS EVIL IS NOW YOURS…A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD…AND IT IS NO LONGER MINE. I REFUSE IT, I REJECT IT, I SEND IT ALL YOUR WAY, NEVER TO RETURN TO ME EVER AGAIN IN THIS LIFE OR ANY OTHER.
YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND…BY THE POWER OF LIGHT AND RIGHT…..YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND BY MY OWN POWER OF BEING MY OWN GOD!!!! I SEND THIS TO ALL OF YOU, TO YOU LEON GAULIN AND TO YOUR DISGUSTING PRIESTLY PSYCHOPATHS WHO RAPED ME THAT NIGHT. I SEND THIS TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF MANCHESTER…FOR DENYING ME MY RIGHT TO JUSTICE. I SEND THIS TO THEIR LAWYER….WHO USED A DISGUSTING LAW TO AVOID PAYING FOR THE CRIMES OF RAPE AND TORTURE AGAINST ME. I SEND THIS TO BILL DONOHUE AND CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN AND ALL THE REST OF THE PEDOPHILE PIMPS OF THE UNHOLY CHURCH, WHO KNOWINGLY COVERED UP THESE CRIMES AND PROTECTED AND DEFENDED THE RAPIST OVER US.
I RETURN ALL OF THIS EVIL TO YOU ALL, A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD, FOR IT IS JUST AND RIGHT FOR ALL THE LIVES YOU HAVE RUINED. FOR ALL THE CHILDREN RAPED, BEATEN, BRUTALIZED, FOR ALL THOSE YOU MURDERED, THROUGH YOUR FOUL DEEDS AND CRIMES. FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF SUICIDE WHO KILLED THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF YOUR CHURCHES DISGUSTING ACTIONS I CONDEMN YOU ALL.
YOU STAND CONDEMEND BY THE LIGHT AND THE POWER OF A GOD YOU HAVE NO CLUE OR UNDERSTANDING OF. FOR I AM THAT GOD, AS ALL OF US ARE, AND I STAND IN THE LIGHT, NOT THE DARKNESS AS YOU DO AND I CONDEMN YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD!!!!
YOU STAND CONDEMNED, UNTIL YOU ADMIT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND YOU PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES!!!! OR WHEN YOU DIE? YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT HELL IS REAL AND THAT IS WHERE YOUR SOULS WILL BE UNTIL YOU ADMIT THERE WHAT YOU DID WRONG AND PAY FOR IT. THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL YOUR SOULS BE RELEASED FROM THIS CURSE, THIS CONDEMNATION OF ALL OF YOU.
FOR I AM THE LIGHT, I AM NOT THE EVIL YOU ALL ARE….AND I NO LONGER ACCEPT YOUR JUDGEMENT OF MY BEING SO. I THROW THIS BACK AT ALL OF YOU, WITH POWER AND MIGHT AND LIGHT THAT NONE OF YOU CAN EVER OVERCOME OR DEFEAT. FOR YOU ARE CURSED BY THIS LIGHT, BY THIS POWER BECAUSE OF YOUR EVIL AGAINST CHILDREN AND AGAINST MANKIND. YOU ARE JUDGED EVIL BY THIS LIGHT AND AS SUCH, YOU MUST PAY FOR YOUR EVILS AGAINST THE WORLD.
YOU CANNOT OVERCOME THIS. THIS BELONGS TO ALL OF YOU AS YOUR KARMA. FOR AS YOU SOW….SO SHALL YOU REAP.
YOU SOWED HORROR, YOU SOWED PAIN AND SUFFERING, TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US AS CHILDREN AND TEENS AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN. NOW IT IS TIME, FOR ALL OF THIS HORROR, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING OF MILLIONS FALL ONTO YOUR SHOULDERS. ONTO YOUR HEADS AND INTO YOUR LIVES.
SO BE PREPARED LEON GAULIN AND ALL THE REST. CAUSE HELL IS COMING FOR YOU. PAIN AND SUFFERING WILL BE YOUR LOT. YOU ALL WILL LOSE EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR….JUST LIKE YOU ALL DID TO US. YOU ALL WILL PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST US. YOU WILL KNOW THIS WITH A FRIGHTENED HEART AND YOUR DEAD SOULS WILL KNOW IT TOO. YOU KNOW IT NOW.
SO ONE MORE TIME…..
ALL THE EVIL THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME, ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL THE HORROR, ALL THE NIGHTMARES, AND THAT OF THE MILLIONS OF OTHERS SO HARMED BY YOUR DISGUSTING PEDOPHILES…..NOW LEAVES ME AND MY LIFE AND THEIR LIVES AND COMES TO YOURS LEON GAULIN, AND ALL THE REST OF YOU. FOR IT IS NO LONGER MINE OR THEIRS….BUT YOURS.
SO MOTE IT IS….SO MOTE IT BE!!!!
Lies, Damn Lies, and Catholic Church Funded Statistics Part II
It was encouraging to learn today that German researchers working with catholic officials to produce the latest, supposedly independent, supposedly research based support for Vatican lies about endemic child rape by catholic religious have had enough and pulled the plug on the project.
The German Bishops’ Conference confirmed that it has ended cooperation with the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN) which had been investigating sexual abuse cases committed by employees of the Catholic Church, citing the lack of trust.
“The relationship of mutual trust between the bishops and the head of the institute has been destroyed,” the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, explained on Wednesday morning, saying that constructive cooperation had become impossible.
“Trust is vital for such an extensive project dealing with such a sensitive issue.”
In an interview with public broadcaster “Deutschlandfunk,” Christian Pfeiffer, the head of the KFN institute accused Church officials of hampering his team’s research efforts by continually attempting to intervene in and control the investigation. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper he spoke of censorship.
In 2011, the German Bishops’ Conference had authorized the KFN to launch an investigation into sexual abuse cases. This followed reports of abuse at several Catholic schools across Germany, claiming that children had repeatedly been abused.
The team of experts around Christian Pfeiffer consisted of retired prosecutors and judges and was allowed access to personnel records on Church employees going back more than a decade.
The investigation was to determine how such abuses came about, how the Church had dealt with them in the past, and what conclusions could be drawn to prevent new cases.
This followed a spate of allegations in 2010 of abuse of children by priests and other Church employees and the subsequent criticism of the Church’s slow response.
The Catholic Church officially apologized to the victims in March of 2010, and offered victims 5,000 euros ($6,546) each in compensation. During a visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI – who was the Cardinal of Munich from 1977 to 1982 – met with victims of abuse as a step towards reconciliation.
Only recently German bishops were crowing about a new self study posing as proper research, whose methodology sounded frighteningly similar to the seriously flawed and misleading John Jay study from the US. I searched fruitlessly for additional details about this German study, or even a copy of the research itself, but there was nothing to be found beyond a media release.
Know we know why.
Sticking to the successful Vatican mind games as trialled on the largely unsuspecting US public, parishoners and politicians, German bishops were clearly intending to buy and then exploit another expensive work of deception to smear and undermine victims and those telling the truth about this important issue.
Unfortunately the German researchers the bishops hoped to buy, the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN), were either smarter or have more professional integrity than the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Or perhaps they simply have more humanity.
After all we are talking about prostituting their ability and expertise to protect dangerous, sanctimonious criminals who consider themselves entitled to rape and sexually exploit as many defenceless children as they can get their grubby hands on. At the same time protecting the equally abhorrent criminals who enable and coverup these crimes.
It is entirely possible that bishops misled both the John Jay College and the KFN about their intentions for the work they were commissioning. Catholic bishops find it almost impossible to speak directly or clearly, or to be honest about what they are really up to. They cannot be up front on any topic, far less one as threatening to what is most dear to them – their own careers, and the power, wealth and influence of the institutional church – as the child rape epidemic they can no longer hide.
Avoiding nasty details, sticking to inspiring sounding cliches which are the opposite of reality, impenetrable vagueness, circular reasoning, euphemisms and mental reservation are all so ingrained that most bishops would struggle to communicate clearly if their life depended upon it.
Their stock in trade is saying a lot, while conveying little, and committing to nothing.
Except when blaming others or listing where others have gone wrong and how everything will be so much better if only everyone would blindly obey instructions from the pope and bishops.
It is entirely possible that, when commissioning this work, the bishops claimed they would be completely open and transparent. That they did not intend to hold anything back or hide any details. That they would “co-operate fully”, a favourite claim. And that they were truly interested in finding out the truth and would not try to manipulate or edit the final report to produce a desired result.
If they did claim any of these things, and they have made these claims so often in relation to law enforcement, judicial inquiries, and court proceedings, then, as has happened consistently in all those situations, they lied.
But inevitably, whether misled, naive, or somewhat complicit, at some stage the researchers, both in the US and Germany, would have realised just how little the bishops meant any claims to reveal all details or to want truth, instead of support for their excuses and distractions.
The John Jay College produced not one but two reports based on flawed and incomplete data, which have been consistently misused as representing incidence of abuse. That misrepresentation has been allowed to spread widely, uncorrected, leading the more outrageous apologists, and even bishops, to claim that catholic churches are the safest places around for children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The second report, based on the same data as the first report, took full flight into cloud cuckoo land. It blamed the Woodstock generation for a sudden flowering of abuse, despite the fact child rape has actually been rampant in the catholic church for two millennia. This report also claimed there is no discernible difference between abuser priests and non abuser priests, despite the significant and deliberate underreporting of known abuse by bishops trying to coverup the problem. There was no difference between abuser and non abuser populations because so many abusers were included in the reportedly non abuser population. The second report also arbitrarily diverged from the official, widely used definition of paedophilia, lowering the age range significantly in order to claim the majority of priests were not in fact paedophiles. And perhaps the most dangerous fiction of all was that the abuse is all in the past, based on a tapering off of reports in recent years. This claim directly contradicts the original report, which noted that only a minority of abuse is reported within a short time frame, and the majority of victims take decades to report, making it impossible to draw reliable conclusions about current abuse rates at this time.
Clearly the German bishops have finally revealed enough of their deception and their dangerously evil intentions that the German researchers have decided they cannot be a party to the report the bishops wish to buy.
It is common practice for research to be commissioned by commercial interests specifically in order to mislead. To give them an advantage against competing messages. Bias, in all its forms, can be used to frame questions that deliver required responses, and data can be carefully selected to exclude information that does not meet the client’s needs. Biased research can usually be easily spotted based on its methodology. But we must assume the bishops went further than just bias.
That they wanted KFN to put the appearance of truth on lies.
Lies that subvert efforts to improve child protection. Lies that keep child rapists out of jail and free to re-offend.
It seems that the researchers at KFN, unlike those at John Jay College, are not prepared to prostitute themselves for the church’s thirty pieces of silver.
Not when children’s safety is at stake.
I sincerely hope Australia’s Royal Commissioners, when appointed, read about this sorry episode.
So they can know what they are up against in the search for the truth of this issue.
The Real Role of the Media in the Catholic Child Rape Tsunami
The paedophile protecting Pope and his seriously creepy Vatican spokespersons try to paint the role of the media in the reporting of the Catholic Church child rape tsunami as a conspiracy.
They can’t quite make up their minds who exactly is behind their fallacious nonsense of a persecution. The culprit, according to those who try to usurp the role of victim in order to take the focus off their own guilt, changes with the wind. Or with their prejudices.
The PR finger of blame has been pointed at jews, homosexuals, atheists, the media themselves, liberals, intellectuals, those who disapprove of priestly celibacy (not that many of them are actually celibate), and just about anyone who doesn’t mindlessly repeat the Catholic Church’s outrageous lies.
The Pope and his cabal have the gall to expect the media not to investigate widespread and systemic crimes committed by those who claim to be above reproach. Above questions. Above the law. And certainly above taking responsibility for their own actions.
They consider breaking the previously inviolable code of silence about the sordid underbelly of the Catholic Church to be a crime, one far more serious than child rape.
And they expect the public to accept this special treatment, just because they are wealthy, powerful and give themselves impressive sounding titles.
The Church has shrieked long enough and loud enough about the bias of the media in refusing to print only their version of events, preferably without fact checking, without alteration, and especially without comments from anyone other than Church spokespersons or apologists.
But there is another side to this “conspiracy”.
Imagine being subjected to years of terrifying abuse by someone who pretends to be a living embodiment of goodness. An all-powerful adult who can do no wrong. Who everyone you know respects and admires. Who you are not permitted to criticise.
Imagine being forced to endure devastatingly traumatic experiences that you are not allowed to accept as real. If you tell anyone the horrible truth, you will be treated as a liar. Yelled at, insulted, physically punished, or forced to submit to more sexual abuse. In some cases threatened with death, or with the death or disgrace of your entire family.
Imagine that you or someone else manages to reveal there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing terrorising defenceless children.
And nobody does anything about it.
Everyone acts as if it’s all okay. That you have no reason to complain, or to want it to stop. Or that it never happened.
And they treat you as if you are the one who did something wrong. And are just making it worse by wanting to talk about it, heal from it, or stop others from having to go through it.
And they act as if the monster who taught you first hand about real evil is holy, worthy of respect, perfect even. And has done nothing wrong.
Then imagine that the media want to hear your story and that of other victims. They listen to you, take you seriously and don’t accuse you of lying.
They check the facts and find other victims, or corroborating evidence. Evidence that makes you feel for the first time in your life that you were sane all along and it was the environment you were raised in that was insane.
And people and events make sense for the first time in your life.
And you discover that in the real world good people do exist and evil people are prevented from harming children.
And you are allowed to tell the truth of your own experience. Because you lived it.
That is the role of the media in the Catholic Child Rape Tsunami.
To give a voice to the voiceless and hope to the powerless.
To hold the powerful accountable for the secret evil that flourishes in the absence of transparency, responsibility and accountability.
And to initiate change so that it can never happen again.
The media are not perfect. They probably have their own agenda, and one eye on circulation or ratings.
But unlike callous Catholics they do not treat the victims of hideous crimes as a threat which must be eliminated. They hear our stories and are touched by our suffering, not angry at us for speaking out.
And they are the victims’ only hope of stopping the abusive Catholic Church from continuing to sacrifice innocent children to “the good of the universal church”.
Because the Catholic Church are still covering up, still re-abusing victims, still protecting their criminal mates, still exposing children to dangerous predators. Still putting children last while claiming to be doing everything to protect them.
Everyone who believes in truth, who believes children should be protected not sacrificed, should join me in saying to the world media reporting this important issue, “Thank you and keep up the good work”.
Catholic church opens Commission hearing with a slap in the face for survivors
Last week survivors, many of whom had travelled long distances, crowded into the hearing room for the historic first Royal Commission hearing into how the Catholic Church handles child sexual abuse. Many lasted only until the well paid Church lawyer first opened his mouth. What emerged was so offensive, so deliberately designed to undermine and to harm survivors, that it prompted a mass walkout and a flood of tears in the foyer.
I absolutely agreed with their actions and was equally as offended, but decided to stay to hear what other tricks the trained monkey would pull.
Below is a transcript of that low point of the legal profession in Australia. I have added my translation of each section, for those who do not have the benefit of a lifetime of suffering at the hands of callous and deceitful church officials. The lawyer who uttered these carefully crafted passages was Peter Gray SC.
This is a searing and decisive moment in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Well, we certainly never thought this day would happen, especially after all our efforts to prevent it.
The sacred place of children, their innocence and their trustfulness is central to the Christian tradition and to the Catholic faith.
The punters love this fantasy stuff about innocence and trust. It keeps the focus on what they like about religion, and not on our behaviour.
Many will remember from their own childhoods the ageless words from the Gospel of Mark:
First let me throw in the obligatory quote from the bible – takes the high moral ground immediately and undermines both victims themselves, and the tendency to support them.
Let the little children come to me; do not
stop them; for it is to such of these that
the kingdom of God belongs.
Isn’t that clever of us, taking the very quote seen so often on signs outside this and other hearings and using it against those pesky victims. Though of course we prefer a different translation, to avoid that unfortunate word, “suffer”.
And again from Mark, driving home the point:
Whoever causes one of these little ones who
believe in me to stumble, it would be
better for him if a great millstone were
hung around his neck, and he were cast into
Now, if the first verse hasn’t slapped victims hard enough, here’s the second to really undermine them. Plus the millstone bit makes us look like we take this issue seriously.
The Catholic Church comes before this Royal Commission acutely aware of its failures in this fundamental part of its mission.
I guess denial is really no longer an option, is it?
For many Catholics, the realisation that some Catholic priests and religious, of all people, have betrayed the trust of children and their parents by abusing them in sexual ways has been almost unbearable.
Let’s get Catholics thinking about their own suffering and not that of victims.
The further bleak realisation that such behaviour was sometimes covered up, with wrongdoers protected while victims were disbelieved or treated coldly, has made an already disgraceful situation even worse.
Oh yeah, these days we have to refer to this aspect as well, but we can get away with going pretty soft, because understanding of our cover-up is still limited.
For the vast majority of priests and religious, dedicated and selfless and innocent themselves and truly faithful to their vows and their vocations, the revelations of recent decades have been heartbreaking.
Pow. Two of our most effective excuses. “Good” priests, and non abuser priests as victims. We’re going hard on this because it is so effective at distracting from what happened to victims. And we get it in first to leave many minds less inclined to listen to rubbish about victims.
But for the victims and their families, the effects have obviously been, and continue to be, shattering and devastating. Terrible wrongs have been done to them. Complex, ongoing damage has been caused, the real extent of which may not, even now, be fully appreciated.
We don’t usually go here because it creates sympathy for victims, not us. But if we want to pull off the “we have changed” con, it is unfortunately necessary to sound a bit better informed than previously on the effects of abuse.
A great poet and priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins, found words which capture something of this nightmare:
No worst, there is none …
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
We position Hopkins as an authority, then use his quote to soften the facts of our criminal coverup, while demonstrating that we get this i.e. no further action needed.
I will say something in a moment about the way in which the church intends to participate in and contribute to the work of the Royal Commission. But first, let me repeat the unequivocal commitment made by the leaders of the Catholic Church in Australia. It is on page 1 of our written submission to the Commission. It is in the following terms:
The leaders of the Catholic Church in Australia recognise and acknowledge the devastating harm caused to people by the crime of child sexual abuse.
Much as it hurts, we are going to have to state the bleeding obvious, which we have studiously managed to avoid doing until now.
We take this opportunity to state:
1. Sexual abuse of a child by a priest or religious is a crime under Australian law and under canon law.
2. Sexual abuse of a child by any church personnel, whenever it occurred, was then and is now indefensible.
3. That such abuse has occurred at all, and the extent to which it has occurred, are facts of which the whole church in Australia is deeply ashamed.
4. The church fully and unreservedly acknowledges the devastating, deep and ongoing impact of sexual abuse on the lives of the victims and their families.
5. The church acknowledges that many victims were not believed when they should have been.
6. The church is also ashamed to acknowledge that, in some cases, those in positions of authority concealed or covered up what they knew of the facts, moved perpetrators to another place, thereby enabling them to offend again, or failed to report matters to the police when they should have. That behaviour, too, is indefensible.
7. Too often in the past, it is clear, some church leaders gave too high a priority to protecting the reputation of the church, its priests, religious and other personnel, over the protection of children and their families, and over compassion and concern for those who suffered at the hands of church personnel. That, too, was and is inexcusable.
8. In such ways, church leaders betrayed the trust of their own people and the expectations of the wider community.
The words stick in our throats, unused as we are to honesty on this topic, but that just shows how damaging and irresponsible those blasted victims really are, selfishly promoting their own interests, no matter the damage it causes the church.
9. For all these things the church is deeply sorry. It apologises to all those who have been harmed and betrayed. It humbly asks for forgiveness.
We’ve said sorry about this so many times. Once more through gritted teeth changes nothing. They can force us to say it but they can’t force us to mean it.
The leaders of the Catholic Church in Australia commit ourselves to endeavour to repair the wrongs of the past, to listen to and hear victims, to put their needs first, and to do everything we can to ensure a safer future for children.
We commit ourselves to nothing specific, just a lot of PR friendly concepts, all heavily qualified. Naturally, there is no means for anyone to measure success or even track if we actually do anything. The imbeciles fall for this one every time.
When this Royal Commission was announced, the leaders of the church – that is, the bishops and religious leaders from all around Australia – appreciated that this Commission would be, as it is, a watershed in church history and, indeed, in Australian history. They realised that the issue of abuse within the church is so fundamental and so serious that at least three things needed to happen.
We knew this damn commission would be bad. That’s why we undermined all efforts to hold one for so many years.
First, the church must, wherever possible, speak with one voice at the Commission.
We need to tightly control the message. Individuals could say anything, even, God forbid, the truth.
Second, any of the old ways that still remained, shrouded in secrecy, defensiveness or damage control, must be renounced.
Yeah, the Vatican’s really going to let us break with the long tradition of coverup. I should be a stand up commedian.
Third, the church should seize the opportunity provided by the momentous circuit-breaker of the Royal Commission to renew itself, to look closely at the ways in which it has responded to the issue both in the past and up to the present time, and to do so with humility and openness and generosity of spirit.
If we really have to do this, we are going to bury some smelly old skeletons, and bury them deeeep. They’ll never come back to haunt us.
As to the second and third of these, time will tell, and the community will ultimately be the judge.
As time passes, everyone will forget about any commitments we make now.
As to the first, let me say something about the Truth, Justice and Healing Council. The council was established in February this year by the peak body of bishops, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, known as the ACBC, and the peak body of religious, Catholic Religious Australia, known as CRA. It is the council which will represent and speak for the many dioceses and religious institutes which have authorised it to do so.
The Catholic Church in Australia is not a single discrete entity or thing. It is made up of people in complex and disparate groupings, the millions of lay people, as well as the priests and bishops and religious. There are some 34 dioceses and over 180 different religious orders and congregations.
Each individual diocese and each individual religious institute is basically autonomous and independent of every other. For example, no archbishop or bishop has any authority or control over any other bishop.
Not surprisingly, to achieve a consensus amongst so many different and independent people and bodies and groupings has, in the past, often been difficult, but on this issue, that of the tragedy of child sexual abuse, differences of view have been put aside.
Good luck with finding anyone ultimately responsible, or tracing the chain of command. We have centuries of practice in dodging responsibility, amateurs.
The first major demonstration of that approach was the development of a uniform national protocol for responding to complaints of this kind. I will say something about that shortly.
The second is that the Truth, Justice and Healing Council has been brought into existence. Every diocese and well over 100 orders and congregations have authorised the ACBC or CRA to represent and act for them in the engagement of the church with the Royal Commission.
The ACBC and CRA have, in turn, delegated that authority to the council.
For practical purposes, therefore, the council will ordinarily speak for the whole church, its dioceses, its religious institutes, its priests and religious in the Royal Commission. All of them are united in their support for the principles stated in the commitment which I reiterated at the beginning of these remarks.
Talk to the hand.
Let there be no doubt about the attitude and approach of the church to the work of this Royal Commission. The church, through the council, intends to cooperate with the Commission fully, without reservation.
Of course, co-operation only applies to in front of the cameras. Behind the scenes we’ll fight as hard as ever to prevent the truth getting out.
Tens of thousands of documents have so far been produced from all around the country. Witnesses have been and will be made available. Bishops and archbishops and religious leaders will participate as the Commission may require.
We are going to bury you in paperwork and delay this baby till we can convince you that all the current office holders are too old or too dead.
The council’s aim is to do everything in its power to ensure that the Royal Commission has available to it from the church all the material that it needs for the work it seeks to do, so as to ensure that a light is shone on dark places and times and events – in the words of St Augustine nearly 2,000 years ago, to flood the path with light to ensure that nothing is concealed or covered up in respect of what church personnel did or failed to do, and so to give the victims and also the church itself a better chance to heal. In that way, in the end, something good may be able to emerge from the awfulness and suffering which have occurred. If it does, it will be the victims and their families who will have brought that about.
Another biblical reference. Another fine sounding but impossible to measure or assess PR objective. Don’t we sound like we are open and honest about this? All without actually having to be open and honest. Brilliant stuff.
Stay safe everyone.
Just Like in Hunger Games, the Church is killing our children
The catholic church, when faced with the choice of protecting itself or preventing children from being raped, has consistently chosen to sacrifice the children.
Usually without a second thought.
This is not a claim without evidence.
There is ample proof.
In recent years there have been official, properly investigated judicial reports proving this to be the case in diocese after diocese, country after country.
And when innocent children dare to speak out about the atrocities inflicted on them by the unquestionably “holy” representatives of this most “compassionate” church, how are they treated?
In the most abhorrently vicious manner possible.
In the manner most likely to exponentially compound their distress and their harm.
In the manner chosen specifically to bully them into silence.
There is even a church law which expressly forbids them or anyone else ever saying anything publicly about what happened to them.
Too bad if speaking out and acknowledging the harm done to them is necessary to their recovery.
In fact, everything the catholic church imposes on victims of their carefully protected rapist colleagues could have been calculated to harm us, to deny us healing and recovery, to silence us and to drive us to an early grave.
Australia’s highest ranking church official gloats in private about “getting rid” of victims, while publicly pretending to be “doing everything possible” to help us.
It is no surprise to survivors of the Church of Child Rape that the numbers of innocent children who could not stand both their original abuse and the constant re-abuse by church officials are horrifyingly high. If this matter were ever properly investigated by more than a single police detective in one small area of one state, we all know the numbers of children killed by the catholic church would not stop at dozens. It would not stop at hundreds.
The catholic church hierarchy are happy when child sexual abuse victims put an end to our worthless lives.
This is the perfect solution for them.
The evidence is buried with our abused bodies, and everyone scratches their head over what could have caused such a senseless waste of a valuable human life and its boundless potential.
But now a Victorian police detective has unearthed details of at least 40 suicides from a handful of rapist priests, with just two of them responsible for more than 20 deaths.
I’ll tell you what caused the death of those 40 innocents, and the countless others who have been successfully covered up.
The catholic church killed them.
And the Victorian Government is currently considering a clear recommendation from their own inquiry which makes it perfectly clear that the only reasonable, humane, just, civilised thing to do would be to properly investigate the cause of these deaths, and the treatment of all victims of child sexual abuse by this most self serving organisation.
To not hold a Royal Commission is to say, we care about kids who die from drowning (around 50 per year nationally), we care about kids who die from traffic accidents (more people die from suicide than from traffic accidents each year, and most of them are kids or young adults), but we could not give a damn about child sexual abuse victims, because that would involve uncovering some very unpalatable truths about a very powerful and wealthy organisation which pulls the strings on most political puppets in Australia.
So Premier Baillieu and Attorney General Clark, are you human beings or puppets of the Church of Child Rape?
CLERGY SEX ABUSE TRANSPARENCY ACCORDING TO CARDINAL GEORGE
January 20, 2014
The leadership of the Archdiocese of Chicago has a mediocre to poor track record in responding to reports of clergy sexual abuse and their honesty with the public. Cardinal George’s recent statement to the archdiocese (January 12, 2014 in The Catholic New World) does nothing to change this pattern. This statement was issued to prepare the archdiocese for the release of the files of thirty priests confirmed as sexual abusers. His statement is defensive, misleading and insulting in addition to the fact that it does not reflect the reality of the key issues. A significant part of the statement is devoted to the defense of his mishandling of the Dan McCormack case. The McCormack files are not among those released!
In 1982 the parents of a minor boy reported that former Fr. Bob Mayer had sexually abused their teenaged son. This was under Cardinal Cody’s watch. They reported the abuse to the archdiocese and in return were intimidated and even threatened with excommunication by the chancellor at the time, Fr. J. Richard Keating, who later became the bishop of Arlington VA. In 1988 they finally settled for a measly $10,000.00 that didn’t even cover their legal costs. The boy’s mother was not about to succumb to the scare tactics nor was she buying any of the dishonest mumbo-jumbo served up as excuses for their deliberate neglect. She went on to found the Linkup which quickly became one of the two most influential victim support organizations in the world.
Knowing about Mayer’s track record Cardinal Bernardin who had by then succeeded Cardinal Cody, gave him two more assignments as a parish associate and in 1990 made him pastor of a parish in Berwyn IL. During this period the archdiocese received other allegations and ordered Mayer not to be alone with anyone under 21. The infinite wisdom of the archdiocese in imposing this restriction was apparently not infinite enough.
In 1991 Mayer was charged with sexual abuse of a minor girl. When confronted by the angry parishioners, the auxiliary bishop dispatched to deal with the incident lied to them about Mayer’s background. In 1992 Mayer was sentenced to three years in prison. He has since been laicized.
Cardinal Bernardin died in 1996 and Cardinal George replaced him in April 1997. He was ordained bishop in 1990 and served first as bishop of Yakima WA and then as archbishop of Portland OR. Both Portland and Yakima had their share of sexual abuse problems during George’s time. Equally important, he was a member of the U.S. bishops Conference during the years they started to at least talk about clerical sexual abuse. During those years George and his fellow bishops received numerous documents from the conference headquarters that provided detailed information about clergy sexual abuse and the serious risks it posed the Church. He was also present, at least presumably, when a variety of outside experts addressed the assembled bishops on the very serious nature of sexual abuse of children. These included Fr. Canice Connors, at the time President of St. Luke Institute; Dr. Fred Berlin, Johns Hopkins University, on diagnostic concepts, treatment and ethical considerations; Dr. Frank Valcour, psychiatrist at St. Luke Institute on expectations of treatment; Bishop Harry Flynn on care of victims; Jesuit psychiatrist James Gill on priests, sex and power and Fr. Steve Rossetti on the parish as victim. During this period Pope John Paul II addressed his first public communication of clergy sex abuse to the U.S. bishops and that same year, 1993, the bishops established their first committee to deal with the problem. The claim voiced by the Cardinal and his auxiliary, Francis Kane, that “had they known then what they know now they would have handled the allegations differently,”has become a mantra for bishops when they are confronted with their disastrous actions. It’s also so worn out that one would think the conference spin-doctors would come up with a fresh excuse.
If Cardinal George read any of the numerous documents sent by the conference and if he was awake for even part of the lectures given at their annual meetings he would certainly have known the serious nature of clergy sexual abuse. So what is it they did not know “then” that they know now? It’s fairly obvious.
They did not know that their duplicitous defenses and paper-thin excuses would gain them no traction. They did not know that the deference and unquestioned credibility they had taken for granted had eroded. They didn’t know that the victims and their attorneys would not be intimidated or put off by the endless legal delaying tactics. In short, they didn’t know they’d be caught! That’s what they didn’t know then that they surely know now.
The Cardinal has apparently not learned that the excuses from the bishops’ playbook have gone moldy. He invokes clericalism but applies it to the offending priests, claiming that it causes them to try to avoid accountability for their actions. That’s not clericalism, its just plain fear. The cardinal is smart enough to know that the truly egregious examples of clericalism are not provided by the perpetrating priests but by the arrogant bishops and cardinals who insist they are above accountability and entitled to twist the truth to suit their own purposes.
The next excuse, deemed not only historically and sociologically invalid, but actually ludicrous, is borrowed from the second John Jay Report. He tries to shift the blame to the social and cultural trends of the seventies and eighties as if these trends cause sexual dysfunction or hierarchical arrogance.
The Cardinal’s statement really breaks down and falls apart when he gets to his version of the Dan McCormack story. He claims the plaintiff’s attorneys “fashioned” the story and distorted facts that would “mitigate the charge of archdiocesan neglect.” The lawyers didn’t have to do anything to demonstrate archdiocesan, i.e., the Cardinal’s negligence. His documented actions do a sufficient job of doing that without any outside help.
McCormack was first arrested in September 2005. It’s true that the police questioned him but what the cardinal does not tell his readers is that his priest-personnel representative, who was called by McCormack from the police station, was also a civil attorney who told McCormack not to cooperate with the police investigators. He was released but if his ministry was restricted and if he was put under monitoring, this existed only in the Cardinal’s imagination.
The archdiocesan review board eventually received the results of the internal investigation, which came up with sufficient information to allow the board to make a solid recommendation to the Cardinal that McCormack be removed from the parish for the protection of children and not be put back in pastoral ministry. The Cardinal says, “no one involved in investigating the allegation, not even the review board that struggled with their justified concerns, told me they thought he was guilty.” This is nonsense. It was no one’s job to assess guilt or innocence especially the review board. The sole issue was suitability for pastoral ministry and probability that the allegation was true. On that the board members were clear. Guilt or innocence would be determined later.
Against the review board’s urging Cardinal George retained McCormack as pastor. He also kept him on as a regional dean. On January 20, 2006, he was again arrested and it was determined that more children were harmed, primarily because of Cardinal George’s arrogance and willful negligence.
On January 28, 2006 the review board sent the Cardinal a letter. Portions of it tell the real story. “The media statements that the board was unable to reach a decision because they did not have access to the alleged victim or his mother (Sun Times, January 25, 2006), and ‘after the family made the accusation in August, the Archdiocese’s Office of Professional responsibility referred the allegation to the Independent Review Board (Tribune, January 24, 2006), imply that we as a board chose not to act. Clearly this is not the case.”
Contrary to what the Cardinal would like people to believe, the review board made clear recommendations: “These included removing Rev. McCormack from St. Agatha’s and suspending him from ministry pending further criminal investigation.”
The board presented their recommendation to the Cardinal on October 17, 2005. Instead of heeding them he returned McCormack to his pastorate. When questioned about his action at the time of McCormack’s second arrest the Cardinal and the archdiocesan spokesperson came up with a convoluted and obviously misleading story that tried to spread the blame to the archdiocesan process, misunderstandings about national policies and canon law and finally lack of information. In a 2013 deposition he said, concerning the review board, “They gave me that advice, yes, I thought they had not finished the case investigation.” All pure nonsense. The review board’s letter tells what really happened: “Our recommendations were presented to you on October 17, 2005….You chose not to act on them, and now we have a situation that reflects very poorly, and unfairly, on the board.” As to George’s excuse that he thought the investigation was incomplete, the review board saw it much differently: “We resent the media implication that the Professional Review Board did not find Rev. Daniel McCormack to be a threat to the safety of children. These reports do not accurately reflect the situation, and we take offense at the lack of truth telling.”
In the second to last paragraph the Cardinal claims that the money for the multi-million dollars in settlements came from revenue “entirely separate from regular donations or investments.” He then says that the sale of unused properties has provided funds for the settlements. Where exactly does he think the money came from to buy the properties?
Attorney Jeff Anderson knows the detailed history of the Chicago archdiocese’s response better than anyone else. His summary of why things happened the way they did applies to Cardinal George and his predecessors: We see this as a long-standing pattern of top officials of the archdiocese making conscious choices to protect their reputation and to protect the offenders,” he said. “That means conscious choices were made to imperil the children over the years.”
It goes without saying that the Cardinal and the archdiocese would have been much better served had he said nothing. But he didn’t remain silent. The McCormack fiasco was not the result of confusing or bungled procedures, incomplete information. It was the result of the Cardinal’s arrogance, his over-riding concern for his and the Church’s image and worst of all, his disdain for the victims. The attitude that underlies the Cardinal’s statement is not unique to him. This attitude, painfully evident wherever clergy sexual abuse has been reported throughout the Church, shows that the bishops in general have a long, long way to go before their actions began to match up with their promises.