Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Opus Dei Pope #2-Benedict XVI lands in Washington, DC amidst pedophile-priests' victims protests

Opus Dei-Pope #2, Benedict XVI the criminal pope finally lands in America in his first and last visit before he goes to join John Paul II in the depths of Hell. This was the protest by SNAP. Unfortunately SNAP don't listen to me and put this placard which all Americans would understand immediately.

Victims - Attackers - Responsible Leaders

Pearl Harbor - 3,000 victims - 170 planes - Admiral Yamamoto

WTC & 9/11 attacks - 5,000 victims - 19 Muslims - Osama bin Laden

USA Priest Pedophilia - 12,000 victims - 5,448 priests - John Paul II + Benedict XVI + Opus Dei (the new Roman Catholic Trinity!)


For immediate release: Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, board chair emeritus of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (414-429-7259)

(In the first of what will likely be several remarks about the church’s ongoing child sex abuse and cover-up crisis, on the plane this morning, the Pope said he’s ‘ashamed’ of the scandal and will work to prevent it in the future.)

Promises don’t protect kids. Action protects kids.

The Pope has established a worldwide policy on saying mass in Latin. He has not established a worldwide policy on child sex abuse. Three years into his papacy, Benedict has done essentially what John Paul II did - make a few vague, brief remarks about the continuing crisis, and nothing more.

It’s easy and tempting to continually focus on the pedophile priests themselves. It’s harder but crucial to focus on the broader problem - complicity in the rest of the church hierarchy.

Fixating on or condemning the ‘bad apples’ (predators) doesn’t fix the ‘barrel’ (a secretive, self-protecting clerical culture overseen by largely timid, passive, secretive, compromised bishops, who often still refuse or delay suspending predators, calling police, telling the truth).

Weeding out dangerous pedophiles is tough. Punishing deceptive supervisors is easy.

Dangerous pedophiles won’t be deterred by punishment. Secretive supervisors, however, WILL be deterred.

But punishing high-level colleagues is more difficult than chastising low-level predators.

Sadly, regardless of good intentions, there will always be predators who gravitate toward ministry. The question is “How quickly can we identify and oust them?” In many institutions, that happens quickly. In the church, it happens slowly. The reason, in part, is that virtually no bishop suffers negative consequences for shielding predators, stonewalling prosecutors, shunning victims, and deceiving parishioners.

Until that changes, predatory priests will continue to be removed after molesting 33 kids, instead of after molesting 3 kids.

We’re way beyond the point at which an apology, a nice gesture, a few soothing words, and vague promises will be meaningful. None of these safeguard kids. Action protects kids.

(SNAP is holding a vigil today, Tuesday, from 4-7 p.m. in Washington. Details below or at SNAPnetwork.org)

(Isely and other victims will be available for interviews today at the Hilton Gardens, 815 14th Street NW, in Washington DC)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Mary Grant (626-419-2930)


Catholic clergy molestation victims to hold 3 hour vigil

As Pope lands, they gather where recent pedophile priest lived

Despite credible sex abuse reports, accused predator was kept working for 2 years

Then, even after being suspended, priest abused a 3 and a 6 year old boy in 2004-05

Case shows that little has changed despite bishops’ reform promises, group believes

SNAP says church officials “often ignore” the pledges they made & remove pedophiles slowly


Holding childhood photos at a at a sidewalk vigil as the Pope lands in America, clergy sex abuse victims will hold a sidewalk vigil outside a Washington DC Catholic church where a pedophile priest who committed very recent child sex crimes worked.

Just last week, the priest was sued for molesting a three year old boy and six year old boy in 2004-05.

Evidence obtained in a previous civil suit shows that church officials
— transferred the predator and kept him in ministry despite clear abuse reports,
— knew he was “a threat to kids” for more than 20 years, yet kept him in ministry until 2005, and
— failed, during a recent police investigation, to notify police about reports of a 4th victim.

Tuesday, April. 15, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Outside St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, 630 E Street SW, Washington DC (202 544 7863)

Several clergy sex abuse victims including national leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Last week, a new child sex abuse lawsuit was filed charging that Fr. Aaron (”A.J.”) Cote sexually abused two very young Springfield Massachusetts brothers in 2004-05, after numerous reports going back to the 1980’s about Cote’s inappropriate activities with children

In fact, when another teen reported being recently abused by Cote in 2003, church officials quietly transferred the priest out of state, and assigned him to youth ministry without warning his new parishioners (the precise pattern bishops promised they would no longer repeat).

Finally, in 2005, when a Washington DC family filed a civil molestation lawsuit against Cote and his supervisors, he was suspended from active ministry.

Church authorities also refused to tell police about a teacher who was in touch with yet another young victim of Cote’s.

Last year, the Washington family settled their 2005 civil child molestation lawsuit against Cote and his superiors for $1.2 million.

Thirty pages of previously-secret documents show that Catholic authorities were worried and warned about Cote’s excessive drinking and his disturbing interest in children even during his seminary days. They considered not ordaining him. Yet they kept transferring Cote to new parishes until Rains sued in 2005.

Cote, a Massachusetts native who is now 56, has worked in
– Peru (where records show church officials received at least four separate complaints about Cote’s involvement with children, including sexual conduct)
– Massachusetts (where he was sent after the reports in Peru)
– Ohio (where he was also accused of molesting a boy in the Columbus diocese and Cote was reported to church officials in the 80’s)
– Rhode Island (where he was transferred to a Providence parish after the DC family reported his abuse). &
– Maryland (where he worked at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda and Mother Seton Church in Germantown).


Attorneys Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell) and Michael Dowd (212 751 1640 office) represent the Cote victims.


Barbara Blaine president 312 399 4747 cell, Peter Isely 414 429 7259, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish Says:

April 15, 2008 at 9:01 pm
Pope Benedict XVI should say something substantive about the continuing problems with all things sexual in the Church along with the violations of celibacy, finanicial mismanagement, treatment of women, etc., etc., but in all likelihood he will not.

The statements that are said to have come from the pope on his flight from Rome talk about the church’s sexual abuse problems as if they had been properly handled and are now over, yet there remain predator priests who have not been removed from the priesthood, bishops who are known sexual predators who are still accorded titles of respect along with others in the hierarchy who enabled and facilitated the continuation of abusive behavior. They remain in place or have continued their climb upwards.

The problems within the church are systemic and will have to be addressed sooner or later.

Unfortunately, clericalism is all too alive and well at the highest levels of church governance.

The Church’s sexual abuse scandal is no more about homosexuality than it is about heterosexuality.

It is about the abuse of power by priests, true sociopaths without either character or integrity aided and abetted by bishops who, as we have found out from a number of Grand Jury investigations including the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, knowingly transferred them from parish to parish and diocese to diocese with utter disregard for the welfare of children.

It really gets to be quite wearing to hear the same old “Blame the Victims,” and “Blame the Greedy Lawyers,” songs when millions of dollars have been spent by bishops and dioceses playing “Real Hardball” in the state courtrooms intimidating real victims of childhood sexual abuse.

We Are The Church, We Are The People of God and we should be leading the parade in doing the right thing by the victims. The institutional church should be pro-active rather than reactive.

It has only been since 2002, because of the public outrage that new policies and procedures have been put in place by the USCCB. Child abuse laws were violated with utter abandon again and again and there is a way to go in addressing the underlying systemic problems not just here in the United States but all over the world.




2 Responses to “Must Read: Condemning ‘bad apples’ (priest predators) doesn’t fix ‘barrel’ (clerical culture)”

Thomas Says:

April 16, 2008 at 12:46 am
The institutional Church is cracking at the seams and these putrid apples unfortunately cannot be completely cast away because the master gardener still sees them as beholding to the eye. It is not the fault of the laity that there are too few priests, corruption in the ranks, molestation of the innocent, prolific lying, squandering of church funds, antagonization of Catholic women and vocal priests et.al, or coveteousness of what is not theirs, and the list goes on. Catholics can have friends and associations who are or are not Catholic. They can join clubs that are not Catholic and if a certain club or organization is called Roman Catholic WomenPriests…why can’t a woman be a member and Catholic too. If there is something about the title “priest” that is offensive to the hierarchy of the Church of Rome, well then maybe they should consider changing their title. We are Christian Catholics, Jesus Christ was the first High Priest in our religion. As Christians, we all belong to community; it is the Jesus Club but we do not call it that. That is too simplistic, we want to be more than club members…we want a more dignified title…we are Christians! The Apostles were close associates of Christ. They did not go to seminary, nor were they learned men. It was the spirit of God who descended upon them at Pentecost that made them priests as well as their association with the Christ. If you remember, the flames did not come down upon just mortal men, there were at least 2 women present and from that time on, they too evangelized!

Besides Christ, what if the most important priest from that senaro was not a man? Even in the Old Testament there was consecrated bread but the bread of the New Testament was different. A priest consecrates bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ But no one does it like a woman once did…because of the union of Mary and the Holy Spirit, the Word became flesh and blood…and that first sacrifice in the history of Christianity was the greatest gift ever given…it was her son too which she helped to form and consecrate, to be given up for the forgiveness of sinners. Of course, we don’t call Mary the Mother of God a priest, Co-Redemptorist will suffice but then again, I am sure that title needed Vatican approval.

The Church is going bankrupt in the USA and the institutional leaders still want to greedily hold onto power and control. Our great-great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents, and our own parents have been robbed! Never in their wildest dreams would they ever have imagined that the houses that they built to glorify God, lesser houses than Solomon, would be turned into rubble. The only way to prevent further devastation is for the faith communities to take back their churches and withhold financial support while they become decentralized. This way, the church proper cannot have ownership of what is not theirs and belongs to the people. If they need to pay off sexual abuse penalties, let it come from Rome! Sell off the treasures of Rome and be done with it! It will be the Christian conscience that will assist to save and reorganize our Church. What we have is ineffective, how else are we to label it. I believe that it is the courts of the land that will need to speak for the American Catholics before any more houses of God are lost!

Forgive me Father for I have sinned, but you have told me to always tell the truth, to not be like the others because for ever coin there is a flip side. Like Cain you have marked me with my peace and redemption coming only at the end, through grace…when I once more must touch the wounds of Christ my Brother!

For those who have travelled through darkness, and have seen the face of God! God Bless Your Servant, Maria Alvira Cassier (The Heroine of Vesuvius).


Pope’s U.S. Itinerary Angers Some Critics
by Tovia Smith

Listen Now [4 min 5 sec] add to playlist

Weekend Edition Saturday, April 12, 2008 · Representatives for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests are threatening protests during Pope Benedict’s visit to the United States next week. The critics are particularly angry that he is not visiting Boston, the archdiocese at the center of the scandal.


Papal Visit Provokes Array of Protests

The Associated Press
Sunday, April 13, 2008; 12:46 PM

NEW YORK -- Pope Benedict XVI may not see them or hear them, but aggrieved Roman Catholic activists hope his U.S. visit this week will help them draw attention to issues ranging from the ordination of women and gay rights to sex abuse by priests and the Vatican ban on contraception.

The groups have planned vigils, demonstrations and news conferences to press their causes as the pope visits Washington and New York. On Monday evening, the eve of his arrival, supporters of women's ordination will host what they are calling "an inclusive Mass" at a Methodist church in Washington, presided over by Catholic women _ including two who were recently excommunicated.

"We cannot welcome this pope until he begins to do away with the church's continuing violence of sexism," said Sister Donna Quinn, coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns.

Participants in the service will include Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath, who were excommunicated last month by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis because they were ordained as part of a women-priest movement condemned by the Vatican.

"In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women have been innovative, courageous and faithful to the church," said Aisha Taylor, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference. "They continue to make a way where is none."

Gay Catholic activists, who plan to demonstrate Tuesday along the papal motorcade route in Washington, have compiled a list of statements by Benedict during his career which they consider hostile to gays and lesbians. These include forceful denunciations of gay marriage and of adoption rights for same-sex couples.

"He has issued some of the most hurtful and extreme rhetoric against our community of any religious leader in history, and we want to call him into account for the damage that he's done," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA.

Duddy-Burke said she hopes the protests will be coupled with celebration of the gains made by gay Catholics in America in recent years. She cited the growing number of parishes welcoming openly gay members and the dozens of Catholic colleges that now have gay-straight alliances.

Another gay Catholic group, New Ways Ministry, hosted a news conference at which speakers conveyed what they would tell the pope if they had the opportunity. The speakers included Gregory Maguire, author of the best-selling novel "Wicked," who along with husband Andrew Newman is raising three adopted children as Catholics in Massachusetts, the only state to allow same-sex marriages.

"We invite you to spend a day, a meal, a weekend with us," Maguire said in his message to the pope. "We don't want to serve as a poster-family for gay Catholics. ... We will just be ourselves, in all our confusion, aspiration, need and joy."

Another divisive issue being raised this week is the Vatican's ban on contraception. Gay rights groups and others say the ban undermines programs promoting condom use to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In a conference call Monday organized by Catholics for Choice, four Catholic theologians will be examining the impact of the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which defined the Vatican's opposition to artificial birth control.

"Catholics wonder why there's this huge disparity between what the hierarchy says we should do in regard to contraception and what Catholics on the ground actually do," said Catholics for Choice president Jon O'Brien.

He termed the ban "a great tragedy ... a policy that lacks compassion and understanding."

Asked about the prospects that Benedict might reconsider the ban, O'Brien replied, "I do believe in miracles."


Pope Won't Attend White House Dinner

The Associated Press
Saturday, April 12, 2008; 12:19 AM

WASHINGTON -- Guess who's not coming to dinner? Pope Benedict XVI.

President Bush and his wife, Laura, will host a White House dinner in honor of the pontiff Wednesday evening. U.S. Catholic leaders from around the nation will attend. The menu will offer Bavarian-style food in recognition of the pope's German heritage. It's even the pope's 81st birthday. But he won't be there.

"He's on a very ambitious official schedule," Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush's chief of staff, said Friday. "He'll be meeting with U.S. bishops that night" at a university in Washington.

Bush and his wife will go to Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday to welcome the pope on his arrival for his first visit to the United States since he was elected in 2005.

On Wednesday, there will be a formal welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Attendance estimates range from 9,000 to 12,000 guests.

"This probably will be the biggest number that we've had on the South Lawn," McBride said. "We had just over 7,000 for Queen Elizabeth II" in May 2007.

White House planners, who have been working on the event since about September, are anxious about getting the large crush of people through metal detectors and in position for the splashy ceremony at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday. If there is a light rain, the ceremony will continue. If there's a downpour, the official delegations will be moved inside and the outdside event will be canceled.

Bush and the pontiff will make remarkds at the 30-minute ceremony, which will include the U.S. and Holy See anthems, a hymn by a vocalist, spiritual and patriotic music and the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have been invited to the South Lawn to show the spirit of America.

Afterwards, the president and the pope will meet in the Oval Office.

For many American Catholics, the most distressing church-related issue of recent years has been clerical sex abuse. Thousands of molestation allegations have been filed against Catholic clergy, and dioceses have paid out more than $2 billion in claims since 1950.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests, said his advocacy group would not be mollified even if the pope meets privately with abuse victims.

"Extraordinarily few Catholics and victims will be moved in any way by gestures, words, tokens," Clohessy said. "It's as plain as day that three years into his papacy, Benedict has done literally nothing to protect the vulnerable or heal the wounded."

Clohessy said his group will make use of the papal visit to press for tough disciplinary action against bishops who covered up abuses by their priests and to urge pre-emptive steps by the Vatican against abuse by priests in other nations.

Clohessy expressed disappointment that the pope was not visiting Boston, where the scandal burst into the national spotlight in 2002.

"Showing a willingness to visit the epicenter of the crisis _ that would have been one gesture that might have been effective," Clohessy said.

Voice of the Faithful, a Boston-based reform group which emerged from the scandal, placed a full-page ad last week in The New York Times, costing more than $50,000, to air its call for a transformation of the church.

The ad urged Benedict to meet with abuse victims, oust bishops who covered up abuse and promote a greater role for lay Catholics in running their parishes.

The extent to which the pope addresses the varied grievances during his trip remains unknown. But the Vatican's envoy to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, said any dissent that might arise was regrettable.

"Even in the Catholic church, nobody has the right to instrumentalize the visit of the pope to serve their personal interests," Sambi told the National Catholic Reporter. "The problem is that there are too many people here who would like to be the pope ... and who attribute to themselves a strong sense of their own infallibility."


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