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Author Topic: Pope under pressure as abuse claims sweep Church in Europe  (Read 29319 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 14, 2010, 04:37:31 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/13/AR2010031300790_pf.html



Vatican officials defend pope on abuse

By FRANCES D'EMILIO
The Associated Press
Saturday, March 13, 2010; 7:32 PM



VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland. It also insisted that church confidentiality doesn't prevent bishops from reporting abuse to police.

The Vatican's campaign to defend the pope's reputation and resolve in combatting clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected pedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there.

Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential.

Germany's justice minister has blamed the directive for what she called a "wall of silence" preventing prosecution.

Skeptical about the Vatican's handling of abuse, a U.S.-based advocacy group for abuse victims, Survivors Network of those Abused for Priests, urged faithful to bring candles and childhood photos to vigils outside churches, cathedrals and German consulates across the U.S. this weekend to remind people to "call police, not bishops" in cases of suspected abuse.

But the Holy See's so-called prosecutor for clergy sex abuse cases, providing some of the first statistics about his office's handling of allegations, decried what he called "false and defamatory" contentions that Benedict had promoted a "policy of cover up."

At the Vatican, rules on handling sexual abuse were "never understood as a ban on making a complaint to civil authorities," Monsignor Charles Scicluna told Italian bishops conference daily Avvenire.

But Irish bishops have said the document was widely taken to mean they shouldn't go to police. And victims' lawyers in the U.S. say the document shows the church tried to obstruct justice.

Scicluna contended that in countries that do not oblige bishops to go to authorities with allegations of abuse, "we encourage them to invite the victims to report these priests."

The Maltese prelate said the pope had taken on the "painful responsibility" of personally deciding to remove those priests involved in "particularly grave cases with heavy proof."

Those cases amounted to about 10 percent of some 3,000 cases handled by the Vatican in the last decade, what Scicluna described as a small fraction of the 400,000 priests worldwide, and cover crimes committed over the last 50 years.

Clergy in another 10 percent of the cases were defrocked upon their own request, said Scicluna, adding that among them were priests in possession of pedophilia-pornography or with criminal convictions.

Meanwhile, the scandal swirling around Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, escalated with the first public allegations of abuse of choirboys during some of the 30 years he ran the boys' choir in Regensburg. Thomas Mayer told Germany's Der Spiegel weekly that he had been sexually and physically abused while a member of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir through 1992.

The pontiff's brother led the group from 1964 to 1994. Previously reported cases of sexual abuse date back to the late 1950s.

Mayer charged in Spiegel that he had been raped by older pupils. Spiegel quoted him as saying that pupils were forced to have anal sex with one another in the apartment of a prefect at the church-run boarding school attached to the choir. The Regensburg diocese has refused to comment on the report.

The Vatican spokesman, speaking to Vatican Radio and Associated Press Television News, defended Benedict.

"It's rather clear that in the last days, there have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.

"For any objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed," Lombardi said, reiterating his statement a day earlier noting the Munich diocese has insisted that Benedict wasn't involved in the decision while archbishop there to transfer the suspected child abuser.

Lombardi told The AP that "there hasn't been in the least bit any policy of silence."

"The pope is a person whose stand on clarity, on transparency and whose decision to face these problems is above discussion," Lombardi said, citing the comments by Scicluna, who works in the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which was long headed by Benedict before his election as pontiff.

"To accuse the current pope of hiding (cases) is false and defamatory," Scicluna said.

As Vatican cardinal in charge of the policy on sex abuse, the future pope "showed wisdom and firmness in handling these cases," Scicluna said.

He said in the first years after the 2001 directive, most of the 3,000 cases came from the U.S., where dioceses across the nation were rocked by allegations by priests and systematic cover-ups by hierarchy and drained by hefty lawsuits by victims.

Only about 10 percent of the case dealt with "acts of true pedophilia," Scicluna said, while 60 percent of the cases involved priests who were sexually attracted to male adolescents. Some 30 percent of cases dealt with heterosexual abuse, he said.

How the Vatican has handled the cases since the 2001 directive provides "a very important signal to all the bishops of the church to face these problems with the required seriousness, clarity, rapidity and efficiency," Lombardi said.

The Catholic church in Switzerland has become swept up in the scandals. Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung quoted a Benedictine abbot, Martin Werlen, as saying that the Swiss bishops conference and various dioceses are investigating allegations after 60 people came forward to say they were victims of abuse by priests.

Shortly before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger denounced what he called "filth" in the priesthood, but so far hasn't directly commented on the cases in his homeland.

He has promised to write a letter soon to faithful in Ireland about decades of systematic abuse in church-run schools, orphanages and other institutions in that predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, where Benedict served as archbishop from 1977 to 1982, says that a working group, established last month after allegations of abuse in a church-run school, would be expanded to include an external, independent legal office.

---

Associated Press writers Melissa Eddy in Berlin and Eliane Engeler in Geneva contributed to this report.

© 2010 The Associated Press
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 06:40:35 PM »

Robb, what do you hope to discuss by posting this?
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 07:56:47 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 08:10:11 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

We are the Catholic Church.

Anyway, don't kick them while they're down.  Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 09:39:36 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

We are the Catholic Church.

Anyway, don't kick them while they're down.  Lord, have mercy!

I was just stating my belief about the institution itself. I do pray for them most of my family is RC.
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 09:40:43 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

We are the Catholic Church.


I keep forgetting what my Priest said when I converted. "You are still Catholic just not Roman"
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 10:25:21 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

We are the Catholic Church.

Anyway, don't kick them while they're down.  Lord, have mercy!
Amen. Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 11:13:59 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

This is helpful.  Roll Eyes   Thanks for your support.
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 11:33:09 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

This is helpful.  Roll Eyes   Thanks for your support.

Vlad's comment is extremely gratuitous. Let me rephrase it for my friend papist:

"The Orthodox Church is such a joke I'm glad I'm not in it, it is corrupt to the core, and the latest string of abortionist clergy playing patriarchs proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the OC willing to deal with these things or will the orthodox church continue to be known for its laxity on such issues (not to mention others I will not bring up)?"

 Much better no papist ? Grin

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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 12:03:33 AM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

This is helpful.  Roll Eyes   Thanks for your support.

Vlad's comment is extremely gratuitous. Let me rephrase it for my friend papist:

"The Orthodox Church is such a joke I'm glad I'm not in it, it is corrupt to the core, and the latest string of abortionist clergy playing patriarchs proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the OC willing to deal with these things or will the orthodox church continue to be known for its laxity on such issues (not to mention others I will not bring up)?"

 Much better no papist ? Grin



The main problem with your rephrasing is that none of the Patriarchs have been shown to have PERFORMED any abortions.  Many Roman priests, on the other hand, have been shown to have molested children, so much so that it seems an epidemic.  Not that there haven't been child molesters in other denominations, but certainly not quite (we pray) to the extent the Vatican has had to worry about. 

The culture of secrecy regarding these actions is very disturbing, as is the fact that many of these priests are often moved from one parish to another where they are allowed to prey on children yet again.  These priests should be defrocked and handed over to the secular authorities, and placed in solitary confinement for their own safety (that is to say, out of the regular prison population, where a child molester doesn't have a good survival rate).  While I would be open to the idea of a molester being given as good as he gave (and may our Lord forgive my moments of vindictiveness), the fact of the matter is he is often dealt far worse in the general prison population. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 12:12:03 AM »

Quote
The culture of secrecy regarding these actions is very disturbing

Like when massive numbers of Orthodox women undergo abortions and no priests even comment on this issue, even though the world population of Orthodox is dying out because of it even?

Quote
These priests should be defrocked and handed over to the secular authorities

They will be. BUT I just want you to know something: I personally know the case of a Roman Catholic priest who was defrocked under a synod for an alleged case of sexual misconduct, and even jailed for two days.

He was innocent.

The enemies of the Church rejoice with such accusations, they relish it. The Nazis used such propaganda against the RCC in fact to try to make it "look bad" after racism was condemned in an encyclical by pius:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mit_brennender_Sorge#Nazi_response

The gates of Hell will not triumph over the Apostolic church...be it my Greek, Roman, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopan brothers.
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 12:31:45 AM »

There are plenty of priests willing to decry the worldwide abortion problem, abortion is a problem that is wide-spread no matter what denomination, whether Orthodox, Baptist, or Roman.  Abortion, however, is not illegal in most countries.  Molestation of children is certainly illegal here in America and most nations of Europe.  And let's not forget, the Roman priest is not supposed to be engaging in sexual behavior AT ALL.

They will be. BUT I just want you to know something: I personally know the case of a Roman Catholic priest who was defrocked under a synod for an alleged case of sexual misconduct, and even jailed for two days.

He was innocent.


Yes, people should not be quite so quick to believe every allegation of molestation, but this goes for many people, not just the RC's.  Judgment and wisdom are needed in these cases.  But once guilt has clearly been established then correct action needs to be taken.

Quote
The enemies of the Church rejoice with such accusations, they relish it. The Nazis used such propaganda against the RCC in fact to try to make it "look bad" after racism was condemned in an encyclical by pius:

Paging Godwin, Godwin, can you report to the thread please?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law

Quote
The gates of Hell will not triumph over the Apostolic church...be it my Greek, Roman, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopan brothers.

If we're willing to include Rome in the Apostolic Church, we might as well throw Anglicans in with the mix too, at least in my opinion.  Their recent innovations are certainly no worse than the many additions of Rome to the Apostolic faith over the past millennium.  Just saying, in interests of fairness and all.  If you're going to be ecumenical might as well make it a fair ecumenism.  (but that's another thread for another time).
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 12:40:03 AM »

Quote
If we're willing to include Rome in the Apostolic Church, we might as well throw Anglicans in with the mix too, at least in my opinion.  Their recent innovations are certainly no worse than the many additions of Rome to the Apostolic faith over the past millennium.  Just saying, in interests of fairness and all.  If you're going to be ecumenical might as well make it a fair ecumenism.  (but that's another thread for another time).

Anglicanism is restructuring itself at a rapid pace, soon the episcopalian feel of it will disappear and it will be just another uniate branch. The COE does consider certain Lutherans as Apostolic by the way (and does not rebaptise them). Luther was a Vicar General you see and certain Lutherans kept record of their Apostolic succession.

Claim rescinded by poster...  -PtA
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 12:52:54 AM »

As for liberal Parishes and pro-abortion clerics, When I was in college I had a girlfriend who attended a different parish from myself. When she asked why I would not go to her parish, I responded, "Its the most liberal parish in the diocese." To which she replied, "Its not like they are performing abortions in the parking lot." All I could say was, "Well played."
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 12:57:53 AM »

As for liberal Parishes and pro-abortion clerics, When I was in college I had a girlfriend who attended a different parish from myself. When she asked why I would not go to her parish, I responded, "Its the most liberal parish in the diocese." To which she replied, "Its not like they are performing abortions in the parking lot." All I could say was, "Well played."

Good one Papist  laugh

I apologize for my zeal and for digging up dirt on other Christians. Remember: Brothers fight with infinitely more bitterness than strangers. The Church everywhere has its sinners, here's my position, the one of the COE:


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Is the Church holy, even though she has within her sinners?

Yes!  Individuals who sin, but will seek purification through repentance and receive absolution from The Church will not prevent The Church from being “holy unto the Lord” she is a bride pure and trusting before Him. But, the unrepentant, by the visible act of The Church and her authority and by the invisible judgement of our worshipful God; are cut off from the body of The Church.  And, so she is in respect of these, kept holy unto Him. “Those who are without God, judgeth, therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person . . . ” (I Cor 5:13) And, again, “ . . .nonetheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal the Lord knows them that are His.  Let everyone that names the Name of Christ depart from iniquity!” (II Tim 2:19) Please remember that humankind cannot make The Church holy, neither can humankind make The Church unholy.  The Church is holy, because Jesus Christ IS the head of The Church, and the Holy Spirit IS the soul of Church.
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 01:11:32 AM »

Quote
If we're willing to include Rome in the Apostolic Church, we might as well throw Anglicans in with the mix too, at least in my opinion.  Their recent innovations are certainly no worse than the many additions of Rome to the Apostolic faith over the past millennium.  Just saying, in interests of fairness and all.  If you're going to be ecumenical might as well make it a fair ecumenism.  (but that's another thread for another time).

Anglicanism is restructuring itself at a rapid pace, soon the episcopalian feel of it will disappear and it will be just another uniate branch. The COE does consider certain Lutherans as Apostolic by the way (and does not rebaptise them). Luther was a Vicar General you see and certain Lutherans kept record of their Apostolic succession.

Like I said, another thread for another time, it's just something that slightly irks me, having spent ten years discerning that the Episcopal Church no longer has any claim to such succession.  But then, I feel the same way about Rome.  It's why I'm going Orthodox.  As for the non-Chalcedonians, I am nowhere near educated enough to discern anything, and willing to leave such judgment to my betters.

I will, however, say that the last nail is not yet in on the Anglican coffin, and that the current problems affecting the mainline denominations might bear some interesting fruit within the next century or so.  Just not soon enough for me.

Quote
Claim rescinded by poster...  -PtA

I have not heard of this on any of the anti-monastic sites I've visited, very surprising, it seems like something they'd jump on.  Any documentation?  If true, then I believe the perpetrators should also be handed over to the authorities.  They can be kept in the general population of the prison, as they won't be anywhere near as at risk as a child molester.  

Just to clarify: I'm not attacking the Roman church, but the way they've handled this goes beyond any good-ole-boy network one is likely to see in any entrenched authority structure.  We are all human and make mistakes, but this kind of blatant disregard for the parishioners (and children at that) seems to indicate that certain people believe themselves to be above human. We can play the "you did this, no you did that" game all day, but nothing approaches the monstrous scale of this particular problem.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 08:32:15 AM »

It is a time to abolish  the mandatory celibacy !!!
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2010, 01:03:19 AM »

The COE does consider certain Lutherans as Apostolic by the way (and does not rebaptise them). Luther was a Vicar General you see and certain Lutherans kept record of their Apostolic succession.

Interesting...

So your church does not consider Luther's alterations to the apostolic faith to be so great so as to have caused a loss of grace in their Mysteries?
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2010, 11:32:36 AM »

As we approach Pascha,  I am saddened by the trials and tribulations faced by our brothers and sisters within the Church of Rome which are indeed grave and serious. We should remember all of them in our prayers asking that they be given the strength, courage and wisdom to remain faithful in spite of the current difficulties and to overcome them- whether they be self-inflicted by the collective actions of their hierarchy or not. Given the pious love of  the Theotokos expressed by so many Roman and Eastern Catholic faithful, we should pray to her for her assistance and intercession on their behalf in these times of need. With Christianity under threat across the globe, now is not the time (if ever there is such a time) for any of us feel superior as we must  deal with our own house and any human frailty within her structure. Lord, Have Mercy. Kyrie Eleison. Hospodi Pomiluj!
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2010, 12:55:38 AM »

I'm sure that the Catholic Church isn't going to collapse simply because of the scandals caused by some of her members.  I don't think there has ever been a religious organization in the world which has gone under because of the personal wrongdoing of those in it (If that were the case then there would be very few religions left int he world).

If I were Pope Benedict then I would seriously consider making a public apology for all these wrongdoings and start publically punishing those bishops who were responsible for them in the first place.  For instance, the entire RC Irish hierarchy needs to be axed and replaced with a new crop of bishops immediately.  Same goes for every other RC diocese which has been in the thick of these scandals.  B XVI needs to pull a Tony Quinn, "Shoes of the Fisherman" speech in front of St Peters this Easter and let people know that he means business in cleaning things up in the RCC.

If something like what I've described above doesn't come to pass soon then a lot of Catholics are going to feel very hurt and disappointed in their leadership.  I do not think that there will be a mass abandonment of RC's from their Church, but I do believe that the level of trust that is needed between the leadership of any religion and its members in order for things to function properly will be seriously impaired.  How can the Pope expect any Catholic too take their Church seriously if that Church treats them with such disrespect?
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2010, 01:21:46 AM »

Well, this happened four years ago, but the same issue was one of the catalysts behind one high-profile conversion. He named as his Orthodox patron saint, Benedict of Nursia, also honouring the Pope of the church he was leaving...

http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2006/10/orthodoxy-and-me.html

A bit about the late Fr. Richard Neuhaus and Dreher's faith path here:
http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/01/richard-john-neuhaus-damon-lin.html
http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/01/richard-john-neuhaus-near-deat.html
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2010, 09:30:19 AM »

It is my sincerest hope that Pope Benedict XVI is not tainted by this scandal which has afflicted the Roman Church and most particularly the Roman Church in the West. I would also never desire any other church to be afflicted with such sins within their own clergy. It is truly sad.

When I ask myself should I leave her because so many are corrupt... I recognize the level of personal pride which must be present to presume that I am not corrupt. I don't 'know' the temptations of other but only 'my own'. I can't look into the past and witness if every claim of abuse it legitimate. I can only pray that I never fall in to such wickedness and persevere in the Faith.

Far too many revel in the sins of others as a means of elevating themselves above their own shortcomings. Many Catholics, in the West particularly, has not taken their faith seriously for a long time and allowed such vice to fester and grow to the point that we no longer see holiness within her ranks. Is this 'proof' that she is without grace or is this 'proof' that those within her lack the will to use the graces she's been given? I don't think that any of us are in the positions to answer that question. I can only hope that I will be truth and walk humbly and in the fear of the Lord so that on the faithful day I will stand before that Dreaded Judgment Seat and be given Mercy.

Saint Michael the Archangel, Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly prayer;
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
By the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits,
Who wander through the world For the ruin of souls.
Amen.
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2010, 10:50:05 AM »

It is my sincerest hope that Pope Benedict XVI is not tainted by this scandal which has afflicted the Roman Church and most particularly the Roman Church in the West. I would also never desire any other church to be afflicted with such sins within their own clergy. It is truly sad.

When I ask myself should I leave her because so many are corrupt... I recognize the level of personal pride which must be present to presume that I am not corrupt. I don't 'know' the temptations of other but only 'my own'. I can't look into the past and witness if every claim of abuse it legitimate. I can only pray that I never fall in to such wickedness and persevere in the Faith.

Far too many revel in the sins of others as a means of elevating themselves above their own shortcomings. Many Catholics, in the West particularly, has not taken their faith seriously for a long time and allowed such vice to fester and grow to the point that we no longer see holiness within her ranks. Is this 'proof' that she is without grace or is this 'proof' that those within her lack the will to use the graces she's been given? I don't think that any of us are in the positions to answer that question. I can only hope that I will be truth and walk humbly and in the fear of the Lord so that on the faithful day I will stand before that Dreaded Judgment Seat and be given Mercy.

Saint Michael the Archangel, Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly prayer;
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
By the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits,
Who wander through the world For the ruin of souls.
Amen.

The two parishes that I have been a part of in my life are both dedicated to the Archangel Michael. Thank you for sharing that beautiful prayer.
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2010, 10:52:19 AM »

Meanwhile, here's a couple of conservative Catholic bloggers who have their finger on the pulse of the ongoing Legion of Christ scandal and the late founder Marciel. (They're also not fans of the Medjugorje "apparitions"). Just imagine the abuse story filtered through the lens of a secretive, cult-like charismatic/traditionalist religious order.

http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2010, 03:31:00 PM »

I'm sure that the Catholic Church isn't going to collapse simply because of the scandals caused by some of her members.  I don't think there has ever been a religious organization in the world which has gone under because of the personal wrongdoing of those in it (If that were the case then there would be very few religions left int he world).

If I were Pope Benedict then I would seriously consider making a public apology for all these wrongdoings and start publically punishing those bishops who were responsible for them in the first place.  For instance, the entire RC Irish hierarchy needs to be axed and replaced with a new crop of bishops immediately.  Same goes for every other RC diocese which has been in the thick of these scandals.  B XVI needs to pull a Tony Quinn, "Shoes of the Fisherman" speech in front of St Peters this Easter and let people know that he means business in cleaning things up in the RCC.

If something like what I've described above doesn't come to pass soon then a lot of Catholics are going to feel very hurt and disappointed in their leadership.  I do not think that there will be a mass abandonment of RC's from their Church, but I do believe that the level of trust that is needed between the leadership of any religion and its members in order for things to function properly will be seriously impaired.  How can the Pope expect any Catholic too take their Church seriously if that Church treats them with such disrespect?
I think that the end of the Catholic Church is just wishful thinking on your part.
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2010, 04:56:01 PM »

I never had any "wishful thinking" about the end of the rCC.  If you read my comments then you'll see that I stated that it will not.  However, I do believe that a lot of sincere and devout Catholics may be hurt and even loose some faith in the ability of the RC hierarchy to govern if these scandals are not seriously addressed soon.


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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2010, 04:58:37 PM »


A lot of Catholics like to bash Rod Dreher for his conversion to Orthodoxy as supposedly being "insincere" because it was motivated mainly because of the abuse scandals in the RCC.  I don't believe that its right to judge anyone as to why they convert.  Perhaps Dreher may have intitally come over for this reason yet has discovered much more about the OCC then he thought when originally joining.
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2010, 05:09:28 PM »

It is my sincerest hope that Pope Benedict XVI is not tainted by this scandal which has afflicted the Roman Church and most particularly the Roman Church in the West.
Yeah, that's what we would hope for. But unfortunately, the front page article in today's New York Times (March 19, 2010) seems to indicate something different. And of course, there have been scandalous reports from Tradiitional (preVatican II) Catholic groups about a previous post Vatican II Pope.
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2010, 05:58:23 PM »

This piece in the National Catholic Reporter (not exactly a BXVI ally) offers some insight in to Benedict's last decade in dealing with this (including as Cardinal in 2001).

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/will-ratzingers-past-trump-benedicts-present
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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2010, 09:59:07 PM »

May the Lord have mercy on all involved!
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2010, 01:33:56 AM »

Well, according to this article in MacLean's (more or less Canada's version of TIME magazine), Roman Catholic priests are actually far less likely to molest children than your average non-priest male.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/01/the-truth-about-priests/


I'm Orthodox, but I did find this article interesting. And while I've always been disgusted by these sex abuse scandals and consider it a heinous crime that must absolutely be dealt with by both civil and religious authorities (and am offended that they have traditionally not been dealt with), at the same time I am pretty tired of the secular world (because I am surrounded at work and largely in life by those who consider religion, especially Christianity, something of an abomination) focusing on one issue and one issue only. At least where I am from, many people consider Christianity of all kinds something of a disease for some reason or another. The only reason I don't hear any rants about Orthodoxy is that not many people know about it.

So while I understand the frustration by posters here on this issue, at the same time we have to watch out - we can easily be painted by the same brush (different colour of paint perhaps).
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2010, 01:48:36 AM »

Well, according to this article in MacLean's (more or less Canada's version of TIME magazine), Roman Catholic priests are actually far less likely to molest children than your average non-priest male.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/01/the-truth-about-priests/


I'm Orthodox, but I did find this article interesting. And while I've always been disgusted by these sex abuse scandals and consider it a heinous crime that must absolutely be dealt with by both civil and religious authorities (and am offended that they have traditionally not been dealt with), at the same time I am pretty tired of the secular world (because I am surrounded at work and largely in life by those who consider religion, especially Christianity, something of an abomination) focusing on one issue and one issue only. At least where I am from, many people consider Christianity of all kinds something of a disease for some reason or another. The only reason I don't hear any rants about Orthodoxy is that not many people know about it.

So while I understand the frustration by posters here on this issue, at the same time we have to watch out - we can easily be painted by the same brush (different colour of paint perhaps).
The only reason the media has any concern with sex abuse in the Catholic Church is because it has an axe to grind against her. If they were so concerned about children's safety, they would rail against the public school system where child molestation is more frequent (FAT CHANCE).
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2010, 02:33:13 AM »

Well, according to this article in MacLean's (more or less Canada's version of TIME magazine), Roman Catholic priests are actually far less likely to molest children than your average non-priest male.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/01/the-truth-about-priests/


I'm Orthodox, but I did find this article interesting. And while I've always been disgusted by these sex abuse scandals and consider it a heinous crime that must absolutely be dealt with by both civil and religious authorities (and am offended that they have traditionally not been dealt with), at the same time I am pretty tired of the secular world (because I am surrounded at work and largely in life by those who consider religion, especially Christianity, something of an abomination) focusing on one issue and one issue only. At least where I am from, many people consider Christianity of all kinds something of a disease for some reason or another. The only reason I don't hear any rants about Orthodoxy is that not many people know about it.

So while I understand the frustration by posters here on this issue, at the same time we have to watch out - we can easily be painted by the same brush (different colour of paint perhaps).
The only reason the media has any concern with sex abuse in the Catholic Church is because it has an axe to grind against her. If they were so concerned about children's safety, they would rail against the public school system where child molestation is more frequent (FAT CHANCE).

Agreed. You know the Boy Scouts are starting to face some trouble for this.
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2010, 03:28:22 AM »

Well, according to this article in MacLean's (more or less Canada's version of TIME magazine), Roman Catholic priests are actually far less likely to molest children than your average non-priest male.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/01/the-truth-about-priests/


I'm Orthodox, but I did find this article interesting. And while I've always been disgusted by these sex abuse scandals and consider it a heinous crime that must absolutely be dealt with by both civil and religious authorities (and am offended that they have traditionally not been dealt with), at the same time I am pretty tired of the secular world (because I am surrounded at work and largely in life by those who consider religion, especially Christianity, something of an abomination) focusing on one issue and one issue only. At least where I am from, many people consider Christianity of all kinds something of a disease for some reason or another. The only reason I don't hear any rants about Orthodoxy is that not many people know about it.

So while I understand the frustration by posters here on this issue, at the same time we have to watch out - we can easily be painted by the same brush (different colour of paint perhaps).
The only reason the media has any concern with sex abuse in the Catholic Church is because it has an axe to grind against her. If they were so concerned about children's safety, they would rail against the public school system where child molestation is more frequent (FAT CHANCE).
That may be part of it, but this disgusting criminal and perverted activity is incompatible with the priestly function of being a moral guardian. 
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2010, 12:17:38 PM »

"You must answer for it before God"

"... and before properly constituted tribunals."

19 March 2010

The text of the Pope's pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland, on the scandal of sexual abuse against minors on the part of priests

by Benedict XVI

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1342563?eng=y
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2010, 01:19:29 PM »

The issue, as I see it, is not whether the clergy have a greater or lesser predisposition to commit heinous moral offenses than does the general population. The issue is the response by the governing authorities of a particular discipline - be it the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, athletic coaching associations, volunteer academic mentors, academia etc....We Christians expect a higher standard from our religious leaders - regardless of denomination - and such a standard must be demanded. That being said, the societal response as a whole to sex crimes has changed dramatically over the past quarter century so - be it from the criminal justice point of view, the civil litigation point of view, the human resources/personnel point of view etc...That trend is a good development and the Catholic Church and all Christianity has to come to terms with the issue and address it properly. We Orthodox should not delude ourselves into thinking that we are somehow immune from such shortcomings among our own. We need to pray and work for a solution that protects all of God's most vulnerable souls.
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2010, 02:01:25 PM »

As I see it, the Church is to be a haven of safety in an unstable world, but instead it is turning out to be a dangerous place where laity are held to higher moral standards than clergy. It seems to me the Church is more concerned with preserving its image than weeding out child molestors. Whatever happened to the concept of the Church being light and salt to the world? Maybe it's high time for the Church to allow married priests-that would surely be far more righteous than pedophilia? I truly fail to understand why the priesthood must remain celibate but clergy abuse is permitted? Wouldn't it at least be worth a try to humbly, in a spirit of caring for the safety and spiritual well-being of its members, allow priests to marry?


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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2010, 02:24:20 PM »

As I see it, the Church is to be a haven of safety in an unstable world, but instead it is turning out to be a dangerous place where laity are held to higher moral standards than clergy. It seems to me the Church is more concerned with preserving its image than weeding out child molestors. Whatever happened to the concept of the Church being light and salt to the world? Maybe it's high time for the Church to allow married priests-that would surely be far more righteous than pedophilia? I truly fail to understand why the priesthood must remain celibate but clergy abuse is permitted? Wouldn't it at least be worth a try to humbly, in a spirit of caring for the safety and spiritual well-being of its members, allow priests to marry?[/color]
How does allowing for married priests combat pedophilia?  As I understand the numbers, those convicted of abusing children sexually are just as likely to be married as single.



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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2010, 02:36:34 PM »

As I see it, the Church is to be a haven of safety in an unstable world, but instead it is turning out to be a dangerous place where laity are held to higher moral standards than clergy. It seems to me the Church is more concerned with preserving its image than weeding out child molestors. Whatever happened to the concept of the Church being light and salt to the world? Maybe it's high time for the Church to allow married priests-that would surely be far more righteous than pedophilia? I truly fail to understand why the priesthood must remain celibate but clergy abuse is permitted? Wouldn't it at least be worth a try to humbly, in a spirit of caring for the safety and spiritual well-being of its members, allow priests to marry?[/color]
I'm sorry, but pedophilia is not solved by marriage. As a close member of my family was molested by a married man, I can assure you that a wife does not remove these terrible temptations that pedophiles encounter.

Furthermore, if it were simply a matter of sex, the priests would have affairs with women, not molest children.

In the Orthodox Church a married man has the option of being ordained, but a man does not have to be married to be ordained. Are we to suddenly be wary of our Hiermonks because they have chosen to be chaste? No!

It is not that the Catholic Church has a higher percentage of pedophiles than the rest of society (as has already been pointed out), it is how the Church has chosen to handle the pedophiles that is the issue.

Rather than throwing stones as to how "we are so much better than the Catholic Church because we allow married men to become priests," we should be praying for the abusers, the victims, for everyone involved. The wounds of sexual abuse run deep; sometimes for generations.

Also, if anyone spends some time on pokrov.org, you will see that abuse has occurred in the Orthodox Church.

Rather than criticize, let us educate ourselves to be aware of the signs of abuse, help those who have been abused, and have the courage to report to the authorities the abusers.

May the Lord have mercy on us all!



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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2010, 02:45:21 PM »

I agree, and am horrified by the cases I've read about in the Orthodox Church. It seems many of these people are simply not truly born again, if they are hurting young children in this manner. I have been horrified and shocked by the sexual abuse that goes in monasteries and am appalled that the young men don't just leave and report them, or refuse to participate-fleeing as did Joseph of old from Potipher's wife-it makes me wonder how a christian who has read the Bible would allow themselves to participate in such sin.

I think there needs to be greater accountibilty and parents need to be more vigilant about allowing their children to be alone and unsupervised with priests or any other outside party.



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« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2010, 03:00:16 PM »

The issue, as I see it, is not whether the clergy have a greater or lesser predisposition to commit heinous moral offenses than does the general population. The issue is the response by the governing authorities of a particular discipline - be it the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, athletic coaching associations, volunteer academic mentors, academia etc....We Christians expect a higher standard from our religious leaders - regardless of denomination - and such a standard must be demanded. That being said, the societal response as a whole to sex crimes has changed dramatically over the past quarter century so - be it from the criminal justice point of view, the civil litigation point of view, the human resources/personnel point of view etc...That trend is a good development and the Catholic Church and all Christianity has to come to terms with the issue and address it properly. We Orthodox should not delude ourselves into thinking that we are somehow immune from such shortcomings among our own. We need to pray and work for a solution that protects all of God's most vulnerable souls.

This trend in the media doesn't have much to do with public accountability and high moral standards for Christians by the outside secular societies. These stories are what most other news stories are about these days: drama and sensationalism. People love the thrill of a dirty story, and this is the stuff chatty gossips have wet dreams about. 

"What an opportunity to be shocked and horrified! What an opportunity to excuse myself from the antiquated moral standards of a dying faith! What a chance for me to finally triumph over my nagging conscience and excuse myself from the pain of deification! I'm so much better than those holier-than-thou robe-clad monsters!"

Schadenfreude!

I'm not saying that public outrage and accountability isn't a good thing, all I am saying is that most people simply relish the opportunity to shake their heads and wag their fingers. Whenever a story like this is sandwiched between No 'Star Search' deal for Paula Abdul and Joan Jett has advice for Lady Gaga, I highly doubt that this is brought to us for little more than our own entertainment.
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« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2010, 05:59:41 PM »


It is not that the Catholic Church has a higher percentage of pedophiles than the rest of society (as has already been pointed out),

Maybe not, but I think a decent argument could be made that the Catholic Church has a higher percentage of pedophiles in positions of authority and power than the rest of society has.

I'm not trying to bash the Catholic Church, but just think sometimes as Christians, particularly within circles of Christianity that have most of their beliefs/leadership in common (Catholic-Orthodox) we are way to quick to rationalize or in this case downplay issues as serious as these are. The idea that the abuse problem is SOLVED by ending celibacy is absurd, I agree.  However the counter argument that celibacy has NOTHING to do with the abuse I believe is equally absurd. I think the demands of celibacy attract a certain "type" of individual to the priesthood. Not because celibacy is evil, but just due to the fact how the system currently works, and protects people.


Quote
Rather than throwing stones as to how "we are so much better than the Catholic Church because we allow married men to become priests," we should be praying for the abusers, the victims, for everyone involved. The wounds of sexual abuse run deep; sometimes for generations. Also, if anyone spends some time on pokrov.org, you will see that abuse has occurred in the Orthodox Church.

Pokrov is just the tip of the iceberg I fear. Indeed, Orthodoxy is certainly NOT free from ANY of these issues at all. However there are a lot more celibate priests/hieromonks and Bishops in Orthodoxy than we sometimes believe or are lead to believe. Again, I'm not blaming celibacy, monasticism or anything like that, but I do think there is some relationship between celibacy and the abuse both in the RCC, and in EOy. Not that celibacy CAUSES a person to sin in this manner. I would never say that. But that the structure of the system attracts people prone to this sin. I don't want to do away with monasteries, nor do I hate celibate priests, or the Catholic Church, but I think the Pope's stance that the 2 issues are essentially totally unrelated is pure fantasy. Maybe because he is deep down optimistic about human nature, and I'm pessimistic. So maybe it's just a clash of world views. I dunno.


As for EOy, there are probably a lot more sexually abusive priests in Orthodoxy than anyone would probably imagine. But the secretive fashion, protection of one's friends and centrality of power all makes this appear non existent to most Orthodox. Just as it appeared non-existent in the Catholic Church until about 15 years ago when these stories started to have the light of day cast upon them. If and when this light is cast upon the Orthodox Church, I think people will be shocked by how deep this problem runs. Maybe in the end it's just a power issue and really isn't about "sex" at all. Why do they do it? Why do people in power and authority do anything of this sort? probably because they feel they can get away with it. And until the Church (both East, West, Catholic-Orthodox, and even certain Protestant Churches) open up their ranks to the light of day, the problem won't go away.

I fear though all this will just take another 100 yr sweeping under the rug. By then though, I don't imagine the Church being as credible or as influential as it is now. But as I said i'm a pessimist so it's probably not wise to listen to me...LOL!



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« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2010, 06:14:38 PM »

The Catholic Church is such a joke I am glad I got out of it it is corrupt to the core and this latest string of gay child molesters playing Priest proves it. I often ask myself is there one honest Bishop in the RC willing to deal with these things?

If you believe the Orthodox Church ISN'T corrupt to it's core then can I have a pair of your rose colored glasses?

Orthodoxy might not have exactly the same problems as the Catholic Church does, (though there is a lot of overlap), but it's problems, corruption and sinfulness is not any "better" than Rome's. As far as honest Bishops, the same could be said of our Church too. Where are they? Every time we find one they either are "convinced" to retire, or in the end the power gets to them and they end up no better than anyone else.

IN their defense, Bishops both RC and EO have a hard job, made harder by their own temptations and by the amount of power that is thrust upon them. The Church is so big at this point, that it might just be impractical for any one man to take on the role of a Bishop. In the end, it might actually be smarter, more merciful, and in fact better for the Church if Bishops weren't in charge of a Diocese for what amounts to a lifetime, which is just too much time IMO for man to be given that power.

Unless we've got a boatload of Hobbits somewhere more resistant to the lure and power, we've got to come up with some other (improved, but not drastically altered) mechanism/system of structuring and governing the Church. (but that's a different issue and totally Off Topic)

I find myself in a weird place of criticizing the Catholic Church on their handling and diagnosis of these issues, but also defending it because there is no easy fix.

But in the end don't be fooled, just because EOy hasn't had this stuff plastered on CNN doesn't mean it doesn't exist and happen, even on a regular basis.



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« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2010, 10:15:50 PM »

But in the end don't be fooled, just because EOy hasn't had this stuff plastered on CNN doesn't mean it doesn't exist and happen, even on a regular basis.
This is just a question. Among married Eastern Orthodox priests, would you say that the number of child abuse cases is roughly comparable to the number found in the celibate Catholic clergy or different? I ask this question, because when Catholics talk about celibacy and the priesthood, they invariably bring up the statistics for the married Evangelical or Jewish clergy and claim that the figures are roughly comparable or even more for the married clergy of some of these groups.
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« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2010, 11:32:06 PM »

Text deleted by moderator to make post compliant with Moratorium on Discussing Homosexual Conduct  -PtA

While I do not believe that celibacy is a major factor in pedophilia, I still think that the RCC's demands that all her priest embrace this lifestyle goes against human nature.  Celibacy is an extremely difficult callingwhich can only be embraced effectively by those who are very spiritually advanced.  Monks and Nuns live in communities of constant prayer, self discipline, and contemplation which help them follow a celibate lifestyle with less difficulty then those who must live and work in a more wordily environment, like parish priest.  Furthermore, a wife and children are not a hindrance to a priest being able to relate to and serve his people, but it is an extremely humanizing factor in helping the clergy to understand and communicate more effectively with his flock.  The priest wife is also a way for women to relate more closely to their priest.  Also, being married and having to raise kids also helps the priest understand what we the laity have to go through in our daily lives and maybe make him more sympathetic to family issues.


 You have been warned before of the Moratorium on Discussing Homosexual Conduct.  This formal warning will therefore last for the next three weeks.  If you continue to violate the moratorium, you will incur harsher sanctions upon yourself, to include post moderation, muting, or banning.

If you think my action wrong, feel free to appeal it via private message to one of the global moderators, Fr. George or Veniamin.

- PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 12:16:02 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
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