Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Benedict XVI welcomes Anglicans and mauls Anglican assets

Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei are so hypocritical in silencing the Jesuits like Jon Sobrino who work with the poor and censoring his book Jesus the Librator. And

Benedict and the Opus Dei - who covered-up the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army have "embraced" the Anglicans in order to seize their financial and prime-land assets. Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei are the only Catholics who serve both God (Escriva) and mammon (money). The Vatican Trinity is at work again in their deceptive schemes to achieve the WORLD DOMINATION AGENDA of the Opus Dei.

Vatican’s Come-Hither to Anglicans: A Theological Scandal

By Mary E. Hunt
October 22, 2009

While the Catholic Church is touting its warm welcome to conservative Anglicans, it’s also a simple union of those who reject gay and women’s ordination.

The Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams share a moment in spring of 2008. Photo: ACNS Rosenthal.

The Vatican’s new scheme to lure unhappy conservative Anglicans into the fold might have caught the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams off guard, but Catholics are not surprised by anything Rome does to shore up its market share. Conservative clergy, whose opposition to the ordination of women and LGBTQ people motivated them to split from the Anglican Communion, are now welcome to switch to Catholicism.

Let history record this theological scandal for what it is. Touted by Rome as a step forward in ecumenical relations with a cousin communion, it is in fact the joining of two camps united in their rejection of women and queer people as unworthy of religious leadership.

A forthcoming Apostolic Constitution will spell out the details: Anglicans against ordination of women and LGBTQ people (like Bishop Gene Robinson, for example) are in full communion with Rome. Why bother, then, with individual conversion requirements or superfluous paperwork? These Anglicans can even make the transition as congregations or whole dioceses if they choose. They will be Catholics, but like the Eastern Rite Catholics they will do it their way. They can bring their own smells and bells and their Book of Common Prayer; even their own priests and bishops who will head the “Personal Ordinariates” which will function like dioceses. Come as you are, welcome to discriminate to your heart’s content in the name of God.

Rome changes not one whit on the arrival of the dissident Anglicans. It keeps in place its celibate clergy while welcoming married Anglican men with gusto. I predict more than a little consternation in the Roman ranks on that score. Current policy allows Lutheran and Episcopal married priests to jump the fence with the family in tow. Yet Roman Catholic men who wish to marry, never mind Roman Catholic women who might even agree to celibacy, are prohibited from being ordained. No Roman Catholic official seems to be able to say in a straightforward way why this is the case. They mumble something about tradition and certain distinctions. But the rhetoric is increasingly thin as they defend the indefensible against their own practice. It is not pretty.

Rome maintains its liturgy and theology wholly intact. Theological education stays the same, with the addition of small formation groups for Anglican candidates for the priesthood who can appreciate their own “patrimony” while also getting a good dose of Roman thought. In no way does the Vatican engage the issues that led to the English Reformation in the sixteenth century. Rather, Rome pretends to be flexible and modern about all this, gracious and accommodating like a fox. When the property fights begin, I predict the niceties will give way to some serious struggles and we will see just how accommodating Rome can’t be.

Denominations are businesses, after all, and as such they pay as much attention to the bottom line as to their teachings. Maybe more so. In this case, the low-hanging fruit is British Anglicans who have not figured out how to reorganize themselves in light of their denomination’s changes. Early word from the US group led by the Rev. Martyn Minns of Virginia is that they are in fine shape, thank you, setting up their own structures so they will not need to convert.

One wonders how long they can resist Rome’s charms. Imagine the real estate opportunities as US Roman Catholic churches close and conservative Anglicans need buildings. Think of the brilliant solution to the priest shortage as guaranteed-to-toe-the-line Anglican priests replace the Roman boys as they die off and/or think for themselves. Conjure the sight of high mass with a raft of altar servers and incense so abundant it makes parishioners forget there ever was a Vatican II. For the more “Catholic” among the Anglican dissidents, it is a marriage made in heaven. But the more evangelical of the conservative Anglicans may well consider it their worst nightmare.

What is to prevent other denominations from following Rome’s lead? For example, what if the Anglican Communion set up a Catholic wing where those Roman Catholics who believe in the ordination of women and same-sex loving clergy could be Anglicans of the Roman Catholic Rite? The Mennonites might create a Catholic rite for those who follow them on peace issues, resulting in Catholic Mennonites. I doubt it. It is more likely that Rome might decide that one does not even have to be Christian; that discrimination against women and gays is enough of a common bond to create some Catholics of the Muslim rite, for example. The permutations are endless but the result is the same: a perversion of everything the ecumenical movement has stood for in the last hundred years. Ecumenical Christians have tried to learn about one another’s traditions and find positive places of agreement—not little pockets of shared prejudice.

I feel sorry for Rowan Williams if he did not know what he was up against when he engaged in bilateral relations with Rome, only to be subject to its treachery. Beleaguered on all sides in his own communion, he now presides over the potential exodus of some of his members who will find in the new dispensation a comfortable place to live out their outmoded ideas of humanity. I only hope Williams and company are consoled by the fact that they are in good company among ecumenical colleagues who respect one another’s traditions, understand the dynamics of internal struggles, and resist the temptation to profit from one another’s problems. Rome, on the other hand, is in a class—however low—by itself.


Vatican seeks to lure disaffected Anglicans have caught the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams off guard

by The Associated Press

Associated PressBritain's Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, left, from the Anglican church listens as Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, unseen, from the Roman Catholic Church speaks during a news conference in London, held in reaction to the announcement of a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Catholic Church, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2009. Pope Benedict XVI has created a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Catholic Church, responding to the disillusionment of some Anglicans over the ordination of women and the election of openly gay bishops.

Associated Press

Cardinal William Levada, right, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, flanked by Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, speaks at a news conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. The Vatican has made it easier for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church, responding to the disillusionment of some Anglicans over the election of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions. Pope Benedict XVI approved a new church provision that will allow Anglicans to convert while maintaining many of their distinctive spiritual and liturgical traditions, Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, told a news conference Tuesday.

Associated Press

Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams from the Anglican church speaks during a news conference in London, held in reaction to the announcement of a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Catholic Church, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2009.

Pope Benedict XVI has created a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Catholic Church, responding to the disillusionment of some Anglicans over the ordination of women and the election of openly gay bishops.

VATICAN CITY October 20, 2009, 09:31 pm ET

The Vatican announced Tuesday it was making it easier for Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism — a surprise move designed to entice traditionalists opposed to women priests, openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The decision, reached in secret by a small cadre of Vatican officials, was sure to add to the problems of the 77-million-strong Anglican Communion as it seeks to deal with deep doctrinal divisions that threaten a permanent schism among its faithful.

The change means conservative Anglicans from around the world will be able to join the Catholic Church while retaining aspects of their Anglican liturgy and identity, including married priests. Until now, disaffected Anglicans had joined the church primarily on a case by case basis.

"The unity of the church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows," said Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in announcing the decision.

The spiritual leader of the global Anglican church, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, was not consulted about the change and was informed only hours before the announcement. He nevertheless tried to downplay the significance and said it wasn't a Vatican commentary on Anglican problems.

"It has no negative impact on the relations of the communion as a whole to the Roman Catholic Church as a whole," he said in London.

The decision could undermine decades of talks between the Vatican and Anglican leaders over how they could possibly reunite. Although Levada insisted such discussions remain a priority, the Vatican move could be taken as a signal that the ultimate goal of ecumenical talks is to convert Anglicans to Catholicism.

Still, the decision confirmed Pope Benedict XVI's design of creating a unified, tradition-minded Catholic Church — a goal he outlined at the start of his pontificate and has been steadily implementing ever since.

This drive also involved a recent move to rehabilitate four excommunicated ultra-conservative bishops, including one who denied the full extent of the Holocaust, in a bid to bring their faithful back under the Vatican's wing.

Levada made the announcement hours after briefing Williams and Catholic bishops in London about the decision. Notably, no one from the Vatican's ecumenical office on relations with Anglicans attended; Levada said he had invited representatives but they said they were all away from Rome.

Austen Ivereigh, a former adviser to the Catholic archbishop of Westminster, called the Vatican announcement historic because it allowed for the "gradual absorption into the Catholic Church of huge numbers of Anglicans," who are conservative in their theology and liturgy.

Until now, Anglicans had been allowed to join the church primarily on an individual basis. With the new provision, groups of Anglicans from around the world will be able to join new parishes headed by former Anglican prelates, who will provide spiritual guidance to Anglicans who wish to be Catholic. Called personal ordinariates, they will be established within local Catholic dioceses.

The new provision also allows married Anglican priests and even seminarians to become ordained Catholic priests — much the same way that Eastern rite priests who are in communion with Rome are allowed to be married. However, married Anglicans cannot become Catholic bishops.

A model for the future exists in the United States, where a handful of such parishes function — including three in Texas — thanks to a 1980 Vatican decision to accommodate Episcopal faithful and priests who wanted to convert. These parishes use a Vatican-approved Book of Divine Worship, based on the Book of Common Prayer, that includes Catholic and Anglican rituals, said Monsignor William Stetson, who manages the initiative.

The new entity is also modeled on Catholic military ordinariates, special units of the church established in most countries to provide spiritual care for members of the armed forces and their dependents.

In addition, within the Catholic Church there are ancient communities in the Middle East and others in Eastern Europe that follow different rites and allow married priests while remaining loyal to the pope.

The new model doesn't create a new rite, but rather an Anglicanized liturgy within the Latin rite.

Levada said Tuesday's announcement was in response to many requests that have come to the Vatican over the years from Anglicans disillusioned with the progressive bent of the Anglican Communion. Some have already left and consider themselves Catholic but have not found an official home in the 1.1-billion strong Catholic Church.

Levada declined to give exact figures, though he said 30 to 40 bishops had been in touch, accounting for a few hundred would-be converts.

One group, known as the Traditional Anglican Communion, has publicly stated its desire to join the Catholic Church. The group, which split from the Anglican Communion in 1990, says it has 400,000 members in 41 countries, although only about half are regular churchgoers.

"This is a moment of grace, perhaps even a moment of history, not because the past is undone but because the past is transformed," the group's leader, Archbishop John Hepworth said in a statement welcoming the Vatican decision.

Anglicans split with Rome in 1534 when English King Henry VIII was refused a marriage annulment.

Since then, the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopalian Church in the United States, has fashioned itself as a kind of big tent of fellowship with a wide variety of worship styles and theological outlooks that include Anglo-Catholics.

It's not known how many Anglicans consider themselves Anglo-Catholic. However, the biggest impact of the Vatican announcement is likely to be felt in England, where the Church of England has been involved in a bitter battle over whether female priests can become bishops. British Anglicans opposed to the ordination of women simply leave and join the Catholic Church.

The announcement is likely to have far less impact in the U.S., where many Anglo-Catholics left the Episcopal Church more than a decade ago. More recently, four theologically conservative Episcopal dioceses and dozens of individual parishes broke away and formed a rival church in North America.

Still, no one expects a sudden mass exodus out of the Anglican Communion because of the Vatican announcement.

"We're not talking floodgates," said Paul Handley, editor of the Church Times a London-based weekly that covers Anglican affairs.
"There are a significant number of people who remain loyal Anglicans who will be seriously (tried) by this," he said, adding that they may want to remain part of the Church of England but will "feel increasingly exposed if their friends start disappearing to Rome."

Some Anglo-Catholics who have not yet left the Anglican fold could choose to stay for a variety of reasons, including a desire to avoid lengthy and expensive battles over parish property. Others may oppose the ruling that married Anglicans cannot become Catholic bishops.

The Rev. Christopher Stainbrook, pastor of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, an Anglo-Catholic parish that is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, said it was far too soon to know the implications for his parish or others like it in the U.S.

Indeed, Levada made clear that the next step — publication of the pope's Apostolic Constitution outlining the new provision — would be the start of a lengthy process of consultation with Catholic bishops around the world about how to implement the change.

Still, Stainbrook and other traditionalist Anglican groups were elated by the Vatican announcement.

While some Anglicans will want to remain in the Anglican Communion, others "will begin to form a caravan, rather like the People of Israel crossing the desert in search of the Promised Land," said two traditionalist Anglican clerics in Britain, Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet and Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough.

The Anglican Communion has been divided for decades over interpreting the Bible on many issues, including ordaining women. But the rift blew wide open in 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
Williams has struggled ever since to keep the church from splitting, frustrated by moves by churches in the United States, Canada and elsewhere to bless gay relationships.

At least four conservative U.S. dioceses and dozens of individual Episcopal parishes have voted to leave the national denomination, with many affiliating themselves with like-minded Anglican leaders in Africa and elsewhere.
Associated Press writers Rachel Zoll in New York and Gregory Katz and Robert Barr in London contributed to this report.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mary Hunt on Vatican's Come-Hither to Anglicans: A Perversion of the Ecumenical Movement

I'd like to add another article to the list I compiled yesterday of valuable commentary about Benedict's embrace of Anglican dissidents. Mary Hunt published a brilliant statement yesterday at Religion Dispatches, entitled "Vatican's Come-Hither to Anglicans: A Theological Scandal."

Though lots of centrist types are trying to dance around the misogyny and homophobia that are driving Benedict's warm welcome of Anglican dissidents (and more on that below), Hunt is unambiguous about what this initiative is all about:

Let history record this theological scandal for what it is. Touted by Rome as a step forward in ecumenical relations with a cousin communion, it is in fact the joining of two camps united in their rejection of women and queer people as unworthy of religious leadership.

As she also notes, the way in which Rome has proceeded with this announcement is a betrayal of the Anglican communion and of ecumenism--a stab in the back to Rowan Williams and the worldwide Anglican communion, which does not place the Catholic church in an admirable moral light:

The permutations are endless but the result is the same: a perversion of everything the ecumenical movement has stood for in the last hundred years. Ecumenical Christians have tried to learn about one another’s traditions and find positive places of agreement -- not little pockets of shared prejudice.

I feel sorry for Rowan Williams if he did not know what he was up against when he engaged in bilateral relations with Rome, only to be subject to its treachery. Beleaguered on all sides in his own communion, he now presides over the potential exodus of some of his members who will find in the new dispensation a comfortable place to live out their outmoded ideas of humanity. I only hope Williams and company are consoled by the fact that they are in good company among ecumenical colleagues who respect one another’s traditions, understand the dynamics of internal struggles, and resist the temptation to profit from one another’s problems. Rome, on the other hand, is in a class, however low, by itself.

I highly recommend Mary Hunt's article, and encourage readers to read the entire text.

Meanwhile, I'd like to note that Jamie L. Manson, whose National Catholic Reporter piece about the recent Roman initiative I recommended yesterday, is under heavy attack at the NCR blogsite on which she published her fine statement. I have to say, I anticipated this attack.

I've noted a troubling tendency of male critics to pile on when a younger woman writer makes a courageous statement like this at the NCR site. Even one of the big names of American religious journalism, a figure not known for his sympathy for gay causes and gay rights, has logged in to question the credentials of Jamie L. Manson.

Which tells me that her truth-telling has hit a nerve--and I intend to try to contact her to tell her that and to offer her support. It's fascinating that many male religionists, including big-name and purportedly "objective" ones, seem unable to hear this kind of plain truth spoken by women, and, in particular, by younger women writers. The old boys' network is clearly rattled when women get out of their places.

I wonder why that is.

African nuns tell Vatican they want more influence: Shut-up Opus Dei-Pope!

To the Opus Dei, all nuns must submit to the authority of the Opus Dei-Pope and they must parrot the writings of John Paul II (whose books they authored). But nuns in Africa and elsewhere in the world do not live in the ivory towers and palace of the Vatican amidst luxury and pompous daily ceremonies. Benedict and the Opus Dei are so filthy rich that they are out-of-touch-with-reality and so they silence all the Jesuits and Jon Sobrino who speak for the poor. Now the nuns are also speaking out against the hypocritical and mythical infallibility of the Opus Dei Pope Benedict XVI.

African nuns tell Vatican they want more influence

By Nicole winfield (AP)

VATICAN CITY — African nuns told a Vatican meeting Friday they want more of a say in running the Catholic Church on the continent, saying they have special talents and shouldn't be left to clean churches and mend vestments.

Women also have an important role to play in forging reconciliation in Africa's many tribal and ethnic conflicts — the main focus of the 3-week-long Vatican meeting on Africa, said Sister Pauline Odia Bukasa of Congo.

"We, your mothers and religious sisters, ask you — our fathers and bishops in this church-family — to promote the dignity of women," she said, requesting in particular greater emphasis on educating young girls.

Sister Felicia Harry of Ghana was more blunt, saying African nuns didn't want to usurp priests' powers but wanted to be part of the church's decision-making process.
"As well as teach catechism to children, decorate parish churches, clean, mend and sew vestments, we religious women in Africa would like to be part of various parish councils," she said, according to a summary of her remarks to the closed meeting.

The role of women in the church has been a recurring topic of discussion among the 300 prelates at the meeting, which is hearing testimony from bishops around the continent about their particular problems and advice from colleagues and Vatican officials on how to deal with them.

Ghana Bishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi said the Vatican needed to address a particular issue that many African priests face concerning polygamous marriages: A woman who married a man who then took other wives isn't allowed to receive certain sacraments because she is in a marriage that the church cannot bless.

He said when the women have walked away from such marriages without the consent of their husbands, "the church has been cited for injustice, insecurity, breaking up families, fomenting disunity and destroying social cohesion," he told the synod in asking for some special exemptions from Rome so such women can participate fully in the sacramental life of the church.

In addition to the role of women, the synod has addressed issues that are increasingly of concern to the broader church: how to deal with the rapid spread of Islam and Pentecostal churches, which are increasingly drawing away many Catholics.

Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Nigeria said it seemed the aggressive proselytizing of many neo-Pentecostal communities "aims at bringing down the Catholic Church both in her influence as well as in the number of her faithful."

"This intention is captured in the way some of them refer to the Catholic Church as the dead church," he said, urging the Vatican to reach out in particular to young professional Africans who are increasingly targeted by the new churches.

While such problems are universal, a purely African problem has also been raised: tribal and ethnic conflicts within the African church hierarchy.

Bishop Albert Vanbuel of the Central African Republic said recent months have seen increasingly bitter divisions between priests, bishops and laymen fueled by tribal and ethnic divisions.

"Our church is called on to show a witness ... of reconciliation, justice and peace, and above all of communion," he said.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

Few US diocese willing to pay for Benedict XVI witch hunt on US nuns

So Benedict XVI and the Opus Dei want to seize the financial assets of the American nuns -- by ordering them to submit to them like parrots and slaves. To the Opus Dei, women are second class citizens. But the American nuns are too well educated to become subservient to those Latin black gowned Opus Dei eunuchs. Those American nuns fight for justice like the Jesuits and Jon Sobrino. And the Opus Dei have silenced Jon Sobrino, now it is the American nuns' turn to be investigated, notificated and silenced. The Opus Dei are the worst news in the Catholic Church.

Few dioceses admit willingness to pay for visitation

Oct. 26, 2009
By Judy Gross
* Women

© Joseph Cortes |

Just two of 61 U.S. archdioceses and dioceses contacted by NCR said they would dip into local church coffers to support the Vatican's controversial visitation of U.S. women religious congregations.

NCR called and e-mailed every archdiocese in the country, as well as a sampling of 29 dioceses across time zones. Twenty-two archdioceses responded to the inquiry, while only seven dioceses did. Many refused to comment, while others cited the difficult economy as a reason they would not contribute to the three-year visitation process, which the Vatican estimates will cost $1.1 million.

Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, has asked the U.S. bishops to support the three-year study. "I am asking you, my brother bishops, for your help in offsetting the expenses which will be incurred by this work for the future of apostolic religious life in the United States," Rodé said in a July 14 letter to every U.S. bishop. If every one of the 178 Latin rite dioceses contributed equally, the tab would be nearly $6,200 each.

"There are several orders that have their roots in our archdiocese and the archbishop, Joseph Kurtz, has communicated his desire to cooperate with this visitation," said Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the Louisville, Ky., archdiocese. In addition, said Price, "it is customary that expenses related to initiatives of the Holy See ... are shared by the U.S. diocese."

This sentiment was shared by Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester, according to spokeswoman Colleen Gudreau. "We cooperate with all church activities," she said.
Custom notwithstanding, several dioceses indicated they will pass on this collection. "We have no vested interest in this, as we have no institutes of religious in this diocese, so I see no reason to contribute," Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Ore., told NCR.

"We are not going to be able to contribute," said Los Angeles archdiocesan spokesperson Tod Tamberg. The archdiocese, he said, is facing tough financial times. "I'm calling from a cubicle in a rented warehouse the diocese used to own. We've had no pay raises for clergy or staff in two years."

Meanwhile, Deacon Jake Arellano of the Pueblo, Colo., diocese said, "We do not have the funds to support this. We are settling 26 clergy abuse cases and we are a mission diocese. We are hurting."

Others, such as Omaha, Neb., Archbishop George Lucas, are keeping their decisions private. "He hasn't made a decision and he won't discuss it when he does," said a spokesperson for Lucas.

Likewise, Jim Goodness, spokesman for Newark, N.J., Archbishop John Myers, said, "The archbishop makes these decisions privately."

In Chicago, archdiocesan spokesperson Colleen Dolan said, "Cardinal Francis George does not discuss his personal correspondence between the Vatican and himself."
Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk "has not responded to Cardinal Rodé," according to spokesperson Dan Andriacco.

No response or "no comment" came from the archdioceses of Washington; Denver; Hartford, Conn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Galveston-Houston; New Orleans; St. Paul-Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Boston; San Francisco; Anchorage, Alaska; and Indianapolis.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan's spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, said he asked three chancery staff about the Rodé letter, and "nobody knows what I am talking about."

In the Baltimore archdiocese, communications director Sean Caine sent a recent column by Archbishop Edwin O'Brien by way of response. "I cannot help but see some reactions on the sisters' part which were very similar to those on the part of formation and seminary personnel at the announcement of both prior visitations," wrote O'Brien. "Why us? Why now? Why the secrecy? Have we done something wrong?"

He continued, "In time, once the process gained momentum, most of the seminaries accepted the visitation and in the end even found it most beneficial. I hope and pray the same will be said about the current visitation."

Judy Gross writes from Tallahassee, Fla.
If and when pressed by Rome,

Submitted by John Chuchman (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.

If and when pressed by Rome, those wishing a red hat will, indeed, stuff the coffers.

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So much for the touted
Submitted by John Boos (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
So much for the touted solidarity in the Church, even when some dioceses are "hurting".

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Interesting how bishops
Submitted by Dr. Art C. Donart (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Interesting how bishops figure it is their decision alone whether or not to support this witch hunt withour money! My stance is: "No say; no pay."

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I would also ask a simple
Submitted by Charles Bolser (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.

I would also ask a simple question. Seminaries, Womens Religious Congregations, and others have some obvious need for oversight and evaluation for the purposes of correction, renewal, etc. Who evaluates the Curia and the college of bishops, which includes the Pope? Checks and balances are seen as important and necessary, but why is this process always one way - and that is from the top. Good managerial practices include evaluation of the entire organization - even the Roman Catholic Church. When those on top of the pyramid forget to listen to the entire community and hold themselves accountable to the CHURCH - then we get into deep trouble. Why, for instance, have the bishops not been evaluated and held accountable for their responsibility for the expansion of the sexual abuse crisis? Why do the bishops hold themselves above and apart from the wider commuinity? They appear to act like the congressmen and senators who pass laws for everybody but themselves, but even these politicians have to place their names up for re-election on a regular basis. Unless of ccourse, they are acting as an oligarchy, choosing their own successors and beholden to no one.

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I could not have said it
Submitted by Pat Joyce (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I could not have said it better. Coodos to the writer. Everyone, even the bishops should be held accountable to the people they serve..the other denominations do.11

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I am informing my parish that
Submitted by Ron B. (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I am informing my parish that ALL monies donated by me are to remain within the parish for specific parish needs. Nothing to the bishop or Rome! Nothing until they rid themselves of their arrogance and insensitivity to our real needs - married clergy and openness to ordained women. Nothing! CRS and Covenant House certainly will get something when I have it. Nothing until this insulting "investigation" is cancelled!

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Me too :)
Submitted by Marie N (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Me too :)

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Good luck. The only way to
Submitted by nancy in fort worth (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Good luck. The only way to ensure that none of money goes to Rome is to not give the parish the money in the first place.

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"Married clergy and openness
Submitted by Michael B (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
"Married clergy and openness to ordained women" constitute real needs? Apparently Ron B has decided what the Church's "real needs" are, and many Americans agree with him. On the other hand, many Americans, and most Africans, don't. Ron B complains about Rome's "arrogance." Well, his little letter sounds utterly arrogant to me.

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Why would any diocese want to
Submitted by Ivan07 (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Why would any diocese want to pay for this 'visit?' If Rome feels as though it is needed, then let Rome pay for it!

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STAY ON IT, NCR. Help us to
Submitted by Craig B. McKee, Hong Kong (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
"NCR called and e-mailed every archdiocese in the country, as well as a sampling of 29 dioceses across time zones."

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Amen to that! and...please
Submitted by Lena (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Amen to that! and...please support NCR's work!

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$1 million could feed a lot
Submitted by BronxLady (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
$1 million could feed a lot of hungry people; seems like they could do it for less. Also, the Vatican ought to have enough money to self-finance its studies.

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"Also, the Vatican ought to
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
"Also, the Vatican ought to have enough money to self-finance its studies."
Ah, no, that's why they're so interested in those wealthy Anglicans!

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a message should be sent,
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
a message should be sent, enthusiastically, telling the vatican the 'inquiry' is unnecessary, disrespectful, and seen by many laity as a witch hunt that will yield no Christ-like result either for the personnel that come from Rome or for the American religious who are so very deserving of every positive tribute that can come from the vatican.....further, to the 'vatican'... : if you want the trip, break open your own copious piggy bank and pay for it....... -

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The "Private" decicions and
Submitted by Googie (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
The "Private" decicions and "no comment" responses to the individual dioceses is exactly what I'm doing when I hear any further requests for donations of any kind from my parish that may find their way into the coffers supporting the visitation. More accurately, I won't participate further in this closed, secretive "pay, pray and obey" mentality.
Where do these bishops think the money comes from other than from contributions? Any money they EVER receive isn't theirs to cloak in secrecy. It is generously given to them. They have an obligation to disclose where every penny goes. I've said it before, I'm done, put a fork in me. Ludicrous...

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One reason the Bishops may
Submitted by Stevie (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
One reason the Bishops may not have paid is because the have not had time to consider it. They are too busy completing a SECRET questionnaire about women religious sent to them by the Vatican. This is to be a confidential matter but several good bishops let the cat out of the bag.

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Stevie: Is the bishops
Submitted by dennism (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Stevie: Is the bishops questionairre different from the one that went to the Sisters? If so, can you share it?

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I think that we have much in
Submitted by essay writers (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I think that we have much in common with O'Brien

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I have two thoughts on this.
Submitted by Pat Mertz (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I have two thoughts on this. 1)This would be a great chance for dioceses and archdioceses to publicly stand up for the sisters who work in their diocese (which apparently is not happening anywehre), and 2)$1.1 million could go a long way in works of justice.

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2 very good thoughts--I
Submitted by sr. ellen zak (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
2 very good thoughts--I agree!

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Dear Pat Metz, I doubt that
Submitted by Stevie (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Dear Pat Metz,
I doubt that bishops will stand in solidarity with women religious since some of the bishops called for this visitation/inquisition. Naturally, we won't know who they are because everything surrounding the visitation is SECRET, SECRET, SECRET. Those who have no personal power use SECRECY...this power is an illusion but don't tell those in authority they might SECRET of course.

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Let us hope that when the
Submitted by Sheila Croke (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Let us hope that when the Vatican officials discern the lack of interest and support for this "visitation", they will permanently retire this suggestion that reflects poorly on the source.

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Why should a very small
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Why should a very small diocese be billed the same amount as a HUGE ARCHDIOCESE? It is like a man who has a large flock of sheep taking a lamb from the table of a poor man. It is an unwelcome charge for an unwelcome process. At least be fair in assessing charges.

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Rome has never been on the
Submitted by nancy in fort worth (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Rome has never been on the side of fairness when it comes to internal matters. They really don't practice what they preach.

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The only way to ensure the
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
The only way to ensure the bishops do not contribute to the fund is for us to withhold all contributions to our churches until the bishops unequivocally state they will not contribute to this witch hunt. Money is the only weapon we have and money is what is most important to the hierarchy, just behind power. There are many woman's religious orders that could use our money toward their retirement funds.

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As for bishops keeping their
Submitted by Rachel (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
As for bishops keeping their decision to fund or not to fund secret, they owe transparency to ALL the people of their diocese...afterall, it's the people's money, not the bishop's.
The secrecy just oozes and drips from this entire "visitation".

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Of course, the diocese should
Submitted by patricia p. normile (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Of course, the diocese should not pay for this inquisition! Good for the
decision makers in this cause.

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"There are several orders
Submitted by Joseph Jaglowicz (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
"There are several orders that have their roots in our archdiocese and the archbishop, Joseph Kurtz, has communicated his desire to cooperate with this visitation," says a spokeswoman for the Louisville archdiocese.
I'm not surprised.
Kurtz chairs the U.S. bishops' marriage committee, and, if the draft "pastoral" letter on this subject is any indication, he shares the general ignorance of his fellow hierarchs on the subject.
About a year after his arrival in Louisville, he told all parishes to install (or reinstall) kneelers.
Kurtz also was scheduled to speak before the Opus Dei regional meeting in Chicago earlier this year (this trip was discreetly mentioned in the archdiocesan paper). So far as I know, we've learned nothing of his remarks, etc. at this event.
It would seem that Kurtz is like virtually all of his fellow hierarchs: not from the local see he manages, an ecclesial "suckup" to Rome, ad nauseum.
And the institutional crap continues......

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My understanding is that, if
Submitted by Sam Weller (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
My understanding is that, if the bishops do not help to underwrite the cost of this debacle, then the entire cost will somehow be charged to the religious congregations. Have I missed something? I have never read anything indicating that the Vatican has any intention of paying for this witch hunt.

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Just because a diocese didn't
Submitted by TNCath (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Just because a diocese didn't respond to your request or is not contributing does not necessarily mean that the bishop of that diocese does not support the Apostolic Visitation. Whether or not diocese contribute or not, the Apostolic Visitation will take place. Sorry. This is a non-story.
I can't wait for your next attempt at sabotaging the process. Maybe your next story's headline will be "Nun Bites Bishop as Bishop Writes Check for Apostolic Visitation"?

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Follow the money: No
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Follow the money: No funding; no visitation.

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Praise God! The Spirit is,
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Praise God! The Spirit is, indeed, moving throughout our land.

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Wow! Will the hierarchy of
Submitted by Gabrielle Azzaro (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Wow! Will the hierarchy of the Catholic church never cease to amaze us? How dare the Vatican ask dioceses to pay for the visitation when it is the Vatican that has asked for the inquisition?! Diocese have nothing to do with religious women! Some diocese probably don't even have any congregations left in them any more! These men really are brazen in carrying their power - not true authority, but power - to the limit! I hope all the bishops tell them to find another source of income for this lame excuse of an inquiry to find out about the "quality of life" of religious women.

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I completely concur wih
Submitted by Elizabeth Fitting (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I completely concur wih "anonymous" who said: "The only way to ensure the bishops do not contribute to the fund is for us to withhold all contributions to our churches until the bishops unequivocally state they will not contribute to this witch hunt. Money is the only weapon we have and money is what is most important to the hierarchy, just behind power. There are many woman's religious orders that could use our money toward their retirement funds."
In addition, I would add that this is a wonderful opportunity to let the Vatican know where we, the laity, stand on how their assumption that we shouldn't have a voice in decisions or the direction of the Church. Maybe they will finally begin to listen to what we want in our church besides a return to a pre-Vatican mentality with its rules,regulations, censures and secret investigations. Money talks.

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Does any one else find this a
Submitted by JH (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Does any one else find this a strange line:
-Meanwhile, Deacon Jake Arellano of the Pueblo, Colo., diocese said, "We do not have the funds to support this. We are settling 26 clergy abuse cases and we are a mission diocese. We are hurting."-
And it is the sisters who are being investigated? Huh?

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I just sent in my check!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I just sent in my check!

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I would like to see NCR do
Submitted by Rev. Louis Arceneaux, c.m. (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I would like to see NCR do some exploring about this "confidential" questionnaire sent to bishops about religious women. What is this all about?

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I suspect the money will be
Submitted by Northcountry1 (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I suspect the money will be coming--secretly. Notice the conservatives in Chicago and Newark don't discuss anything when it comes to money. They live a life of secrets. Rode must be regretting his announcement of asking for the money. This won't happen again. Back to the secrets. And to complete the circle of secrecy---the report will be secret. Kafka where are you now that we need you? So some day something will happen to the nuns. But they will be sworn to secrecy.

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I'm sure I speak for many
Submitted by Chris Cudmore (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I'm sure I speak for many Australian Catholics who are similarly offended by the "visitation" and the request for alms to fund the unwanted intervention.

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Oh Lord that the arrogant
Submitted by Edie HuntAnonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Oh Lord that the arrogant hierarchy living in luxury on yhe backs of the faithful, rich and poor, would only follow in Christs Footsteps and not that of the greedy, worldly, selfish, profligates that abound everywhere.

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How much money are Catholics
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
How much money are Catholics wasting by supporting the livelihoods of worldly-minded women's religious whose loyalties to the Church and belief in Jesus have been replaced by pure ideology? The Catholic faithful trust women religious as representatives of the Catholic Church, but it seems that nothing could be farther from the truth. The only reason, no doubt, that many women religious remain Catholic in name is so that they can suck their livelihood from the ever-trusting faithful.

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Submitted by Chris Smith (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Yes, WITHHOLD ALL MONEY, not one penny should go for this degrading and humiliating witch hunt of our women Religious. It would be like funding a far right political group like the" BIrchers" because this entire campaign is nothing but a political witch hunt and a very shameful one at that. This really needs to receive as much attention in the media as possible. Follow the money, NCR and you will find more than you expect.

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Being a Chicago Catholic, I'm
Submitted by Kathmary (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Being a Chicago Catholic, I'm not at all surprised by the comment
"In Chicago, archdiocesan spokesperson Colleen Dolan said, "Cardinal Francis George does not discuss his personal correspondence between the Vatican and himself."
However, I think that since monies sent from the archdiocese to the Vatican would be coming from the parish collections, he needs to be a little less arrogant and a little more open.

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I once attended a parish
Submitted by Victoria Martin (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
I once attended a parish meeting in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where the pastor put the question to the Laity as to whether their parish should contribute to the appeal by Cardinal Roger Mahony to donate to cover the costs of the clergy sexual abuse lawsuits. I'm very proud to say those good people voted, "NO".
Now we have the Vatican City State asking the "People in the Pews" to pay for an investigation of, probably, the hardest working people in the Catholic Church; our Women Religious. It is an insult to these Good Women of the Church who, through their self sacrifice and devotion, are the only thing left that is good about our church.
I agree that the male Clergy, the Bishops and the Cardinals of the Church are more in need of a "cleansing" than the Roman Catholic Women Religious.

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Where's the TRANSPARENCY with
Submitted by Dr. Dale (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
Where's the TRANSPARENCY with OUR money Archbishop John Myers?? Please respond. Here's your opportunity to catechize. Are you truly a shepherd of your flock or a wolf in sheep's clothing? I'm not holding my breath and your silence will speak volumes.

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For once some bishops are
Submitted by jakecarm (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
For once some bishops are responding to Rome the way they should. It's the Vatican's idea to do this idiotic "investigation"; let them pay for it.

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No money for Rome's witch
Submitted by Paula Nettleship (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
No money for Rome's witch hunt. The $1.1 million would be better spent on the nuns who have served us selflessly, working for pittance.

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The bishop brothers have been
Submitted by Augusta Wynn (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
The bishop brothers have been asked to pay for the investigation of their religious sisters by the very men who have led us into the clergy sex abuse crisis, and Bishop Wester thinks it appropriate.
Too bad Bishop Wester doesn't send the money directly to the nuns themselves, to help them in the care of their elderly. Too bad all the bishops don't do the same.
Too bad Bishop Wester "cooperates with all church activities." You think there might be some he'd be ashamed of.

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What a sad day it is when the
Submitted by Elizabeth A. (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
What a sad day it is when the Church, the clergy in Rome, does not know when to honor the ones who have done so much work for the church, the women religious congregations, and now are after the money of the poorest of the poor, the ones who still feel that the church needs to be supported in order to get the benefits from the faith they hold dear. I do not get it.

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It is revelatory that our
Submitted by outsidethebox (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
It is revelatory that our fearless leaders have nothing to say beyond "No comment".

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There are enough ultra
Submitted by Eddie (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
There are enough ultra conservative, one issue, folks in the pews to finance the whole damn inquisition. Let them pay for it.
Where are the Bishops going to get the $$$$'s to cover the cost of this travesty? 'Right out of the collection basket.
Whatever I contribute goes directly to help schools, soup kitchens and struggling parishes run by Good Sisters and several wonderful Priests and Brothers in destitute parishes.

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As a chapter leader for CTA
Submitted by Pete Anderson (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
As a chapter leader for CTA Columbus, OH, we have been looking for another place to meet after our local Bishop (Fredrick Campbell), deprived us of our previous meeting space at the Ohio State University's St Thomas More Newman Center, and I am finding a tremendous feeling of reluctance from the Catholic community in the mid-Ohio region. I guess I can sum up my sense that 'It is very difficult to be a Progressive Catholic these days.'
I agree with what one person wrote "No say, No pay".

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History finally brought an
Submitted by Denis Quinlan (not verified) on Oct. 27, 2009.
History finally brought an end to the era of the divine right of kings - or so we thought. What can be said with regard to the arrogant and demeaning response of the bishops when people raise honest and proper inquiries about the expenditure of church funds? After all the money came from the people, did it not? Yes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What happened to the ideal of servant leadership? It was to have been one of the legacies of Vatican II, or so we thought.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Benedict XVI Bigot-rustling is the Pope’s latest insult to Rowan Williams

Bigot-rustling is the Pope’s latest insult to Rowan Williams

By Terry Sanderson

Of course, in a strictly secularist sense, the NSS should not concern itself with the internal machinations of religious organisations. If the Pope wishes to stab the Archbishop of Canterbury in the back (in a wholly ecumenical sense, of course) then that’s nothing to do with us. If the Pope wants to change the rules of his club so that he can steal personnel from the opposition, that’s his business. Let them slug it out, betray each other, lie and steal from each other. Or, as Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper put it “The Vatican’s welcome ... is a Trojan horse. It appears to enhance Christian goodwill while inflaming the doctrinal battles between and within the two churches.” As long as they don’t try to involve the state in their hostilities, they can rip each other to shreds as far as we are concerned.

But wait a minute. The state is involved in this. We have an Established Church, the head of which is also the head of the State. So when the Roman Rat plays such a comprehensively dirty trick on Rowan Williams, we all have to consider whether there are constitutional implications.

Since the Holy See is at once both the government of the Catholic Church and also of the State of the Vatican City, any bishops who sit in the House of Lords who decided to opt for Rome would owe allegiance to the Holy See, which, when wearing one of its hats, is a foreign government.

In other words, because there’s an established church at this end and a church-state at the other, the constitutional implications could be enormous. If half of the Church of England is going to end up under the Vatican umbrella, then can it really remain “by law established”?

After all, the Church of England was created with the sole purpose of thwarting the authority of the Pope. Now that the Pope has moved his tanks on to the lawn of Lambeth Palace, it is time for the whole constitutional arrangement to be urgently rethought.

The Church of England must now be disestablished – and soon. If it is not, there could be a constitutional crisis that may bring the whole shambolic house of cards tumbling down. This week’s events have left it in tatters under the leadership of a man who is clearly incapable of the job.

In his anxiety to keep the “Anglican Communion” intact, Rowan Williams abandoned his own humane, liberal instincts and threw in his lot with the worst elements of bigotry within his flock. They have now rewarded him by conniving with the “Holy Father” to pile on the humiliation. The fact that the Vatican didn’t tell the Archbishop about its plans until a week before they were announced indicates just how irrelevant they consider him to be. Or, as one commentator put it: “The faces of many Church of England bishops have turned as purple as their cassocks.”

But let’s step away from this nasty piece of Machiavellian cunning and take a look at the bigger picture.

The Catholic Church in Britain is dying on its feet. And rightly so. The Church of England is already on life support, but it continues to twitch. Both institutions provide a playground for some of the most gruesome and horrible people you could ever wish to meet (particularly if you are a child).

They argue endlessly and violently over which bell to ring and which language to say their prayers in. They spend their lives bowing down to the bones of a dead girl and pretending that a biscuit is actual flesh and that wine is really (that is, literally) blood. They swan about in their ridiculous costumes, which were originally designed to intimidate simpletons, a trick that still seems to work among politicians.

The Catholic priesthood claims to disown its own erotic nature in order to remain “pure” – and yet endless court cases show many of the “fathers” to have been wallowing in a pit of unimaginable sexual depravity. They concoct elaborate lies to sustain their “teachings” (“There are tiny holes in condoms through which HIV can pass”), they care little for the death, destruction and suffering their senseless dogmas create in the developing world. They are more concerned about the damage the child abuse crisis has done to the Church than about what it has done to the people they tortured. As Matthew Parris said in The Times: “The more reactionaries Pope Benedict can gather around himself and his Church, the faster the whole thing will sink under the weight of its own weirdness.”

And yet, throughout history, the Vatican has managed to convince those in highest authority that it is entitled to unique and unquestioned respect. Politicians and diplomats bow down to these monsters and let them get away with murder (quite literally sometimes). Whatever corruption the Vatican is involved in (and it has been involved in every conceivable immorality in its time) no-one in high secular authority (the UN, for instance) dare point the finger and ask for an explanation.

Through forming alliances with some of the worst dictators and tyrants the world has ever seen, the Vatican has managed to gain for itself a small patch of land where no international law can intrude, where no inspections take place, where no questions have to be answered. And from that protected base it stretches its poisonous tentacles around the world.

We need to ensure that the bigots and reactionaries that infest those few acres in Rome do not get a grip on Britain. We can begin by disestablishing the now-defunct Church of England and establishing a secular constitution that will put an end to the Vatican’s political ambitions once and for all.

See also:
Oliver Kamm on Divisions of the Pope

And the Daily Mash puts the whole thing in perspective
Fri, 23 Oct 2009


Divisions of the Pope

Oliver Kamm is a leader writer at The Times. Subscribe to a feed of this blog at:

« Race and reaction | All Posts | Griffin and Nuremberg »

October 21, 2009

Divisions of the Pope

The Times leads today on an extraordinary piece of diplomacy by the papacy:

"As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome. Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church."

I'm an outsider on this, and I'm unmoved by the observation in our leading article that the position of the Church of England has been dangerously weakened. But it is interesting that the position of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain is as confident and assertive as I can recall. The Church was in a deep malaise in the 1970s, under Cardinal Heenan and some mediocre lieutenants. Very little of the reforming ideas of the Second Vatican Council permeated British Catholicism. Things are different now, when the ethos of the papacy is different. Catholicism has reversed its steady decline, and the influx of traditionalist Anglicans is plainly designed to hasten that revival.

Not just an outsider: I'm a non-combatant. I wish to see moderate religion, which makes its accommodation with science and secular education, supersede absolutist forms of it. But my position is that of the fine American social critic Susan Jacoby: "I do not regard 'moderate religion' as a threat to freedom of thought, but that does not make moderate religion rational."

One of our guest columnists today regrets the "weaken[ing of] the Church of England, at a time of real embattlement with radically secularist agendas now under way".
Secularism is the separation of civic and religious authority, and the consignment of religious beliefs to the realm of private conscience rather than public policy. I strongly favour it, and therefore am entirely unfazed by the declining authority of the Established Church. Bring it on.

And that leads me to the humiliation of Catholics by Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry. The description is not mine but that of Andrew M. Brown, a Catholic columnist for the Telegraph, who writes:

"I have just witnessed a rout – tonight’s Intelligence Squared debate. It considered the motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, opposing the motion, comprehensively trounced Archbishop Onaiyekan (of Abuja, Nigeria) and Ann Widdecombe, who spoke for it. The archbishop in particular was hopeless.

"The voting gives a good idea of how it went. Before the debate, for the motion: 678. Against: 1102. Don’t know: 346. This is how it changed after the debate. For: 268. Against: 1876. Don’t know: 34. In other words, after hearing the speakers, the number of people in the audience who opposed the motion increased by 774. My friend Simon, who’s a season ticket holder, said it was the most decisive swing against a motion that he could remember."

I was there too, and it was as Brown describes it (though he misremembers the disastrously evasive words used by the Archbishop, on being asked a tough question: "that's the wrong question"). If you read on, you'll see that he refers to the Archbishop's being "discomfited", a word that is often misused but is right in this case - it means "routed", not merely "rendered uncomfortable". It will be broadcast at some point on BBC World, and is worth watching for the most unequal rhetorical contest I've ever seen. I have to feel sorry for Ann Widdecombe, whom I disagree with on almost everything apart from her defence of Classics but whose willingness to speak her mind merits respect.

But Brown's honest account veers into futile lament at the end:

"It was a gripping evening’s entertainment but a little discouraging for those of us who are Catholics. I found myself wishing, one, that the Catholic debaters would for once not content themselves with offering pettifogging excuses but instead actually own up to some of the charges, and, two, I wished that there still existed a great Catholic apologist like Chesterton or Belloc, someone who was not only brave and prepared to square up to the Hitch, but was his intellectual equal. Surely there is someone today who could do that?"

Hitch is a great guy, but Brown has severely underestimated the problem here. It's the intellectual paucity of the case not of the people. I'm a great admirer of Chesterton: I have a signed photograph of him above my desk, and treasure a signed edition of his collected poetry. But he would have been hopeless too in this debate. At the height of his prowess as a Catholic apologist, the Catholic Church ensured the triumph of fascism. As the late Adrian Hastings, a Roman Catholic priest and theologian, noted in his History of English Christianity, 1920-2000, 2001, pp. 168-9:

"So Mussolini got his way. Italian democracy disappeared under the pressure of murder, the administration of castor oil and the Vatican's decision to back him. It is clear in retrospect that the only force strong enough to have held Fascism in check would have been whole hearted Catholic commitment to democracy, including a willingness to co-operate with Socialists. Pius XI was interested in neither."

Chesterton was unconcerned. He wrote a terrible book, The Resurrection of Rome, recounting how impressed he was on meeting Mussolini. And as another admirer of Chesterton (unlike me, a theist), Martin Gardner, has written (The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, 1985, p. 348): "Whenever he touched on science (as in his essays deriding evolution), he revealed an ignorance exceeded only by that of his faithful friend Hilaire Belloc."

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That's OK, Oliver. Continue on your happy secularist way.
Islam is about to give the spiritual waste land that is modern hedonist Britain, a rude shock. Fry, Hitchens and other Catholic haters will long for the day when they could take cheap pot shots at Catholicism.
If only these fools knew that Christianity is their only hope against the coming onslaught.

Posted by: Brendan Marshall | 21 Oct 2009 16:40:54
That's OK Brendan. Continue on your happy christian way while Hitchens et al denounce Islam even more than popery.
We secularists believe in freedom of religion, does catholicism now support that? Maybe, but when Iran demanded Rushdie's muder the pope condemned... Rushdie!
Hindus, Pagans, Zoroastrians, yes even Christians can be fine. But please, no more immune from criticism than Atheists.

Posted by: Christopher | 21 Oct 2009 17:49:47
Those who engage in the contests about which religion is ‘better’ always puzzled me.
Are they so stupid that not to notice that they undermine one of the main arguments regularly advanced in support of religion, namely that religion is the depository of morality?
If you must decide which religion is better, you obviously must use a moral standard that is extraneous to (any) religion. But by doing so, you contradict your basic premise.

Posted by: Consider | 21 Oct 2009 18:12:01
It is, I think, worth noting that Brown, whatever his denominational affiliation of origin, is in fact agnostic verging on atheist (or possibly vice versa) in his present actual thinking. He is, however, consistently unpersuaded that the rhetoric of many of his fellow non-believers is as rational or as rigorous as it is presented to be either by its advocates or their camp-followers.

Posted by: Doug Chaplin | 21 Oct 2009 23:48:56
Confusion of Browns here. The one who writes for the telegraph is Andrew M. Brown. He is indeed a catholic, or at least a protege of Damian Thompson's. I am neither, and don't use any of my middle initials. I edit, and blog at, the Guardian's religious web site.

Posted by: Andrew Brown | 22 Oct 2009 11:08:18
Thanks for that. I wasn't confused between you and your namesake, but by dropping his middle initial I have inadvertently caused it. I shall restore it in the text.

Posted by: Oliver Kamm | 22 Oct 2009 11:25:57
If Chris Hitchens is said to have dominated the debate, we can conclude one fact: the opposition wasn't very good. One question emerges: If Catholicism is so intellectually vacant, as Oliver claims, then why are atheists, such as Dawkins totally reliant upon Catholic theology for their intellectual conclusions?

Posted by: Tony Francis | 22 Oct 2009 16:50:25
Oh Lord, Francis is resurrected.

Posted by: peteralexander | 23 Oct 2009 09:28:35



THE Pope has made an audacious bid for eight million worshippers in a move that has infuriated Anglican manager Rowan Williams.


Experts say the transition should be easy as they all believe in the same impossible shit

Pope Benedict has promised the incoming flock greater freedom to oppress anyone that confuses or frightens them and will unveil his multitude of new signings in St Peter's Square next month.

The Pontiff said: "They are a great bunch of guys and it will be a real boost to have them on the team. They bring with them years of experience in arranging jumble sales and hating science.

"And now they have the opportunity to not only help us pay off all the people we abused, but they'll also get access to our state-of-the-art range of pointy hats."

The new flock will begin training with head liturgical coach Archbishop Charlie Reeves once their applications for worship permits have been approved by the International Tribunal Of Churches.

Reeves said: "I'll be getting the cones of incense out and then we'll do some work on the basic sacraments, followed by half an hour of chin-ups and a quick game of leapfrog."

Anglican boss Williams has hit back by offering an undisclosed sum for millions of Muslims disaffected by 'racist beatings, constant explosions and the exquisite agony of denying yourself a bacon sandwich'.

But Pope Benedict feels his expanded crop of worshippers will see the church triumphant when the two denominations meet at the Last Judgement.

He added: "Unlike other religions, we can offer the best facilities for fidgety Anglicans who love to obsess over where people put their cocks."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Is Benedict XVI in Rome Investigating U.S. Nuns? (Sister X's Letter) Part 1 & 2

Benedict XVI investigted Jon Sobrino and then silenced him. Now he is doing it to the nuns -- in order to silence them and then seized their properties -- which Opus Dei will use for its WORLD DOMINATION Agenda.

Why Is Rome Investigating U.S. Nuns? (Sister X's Letter) Pt.1

By BirchBricker

"I have been a religious sister for more than thirty years, part of a community that has been active in this country for over a century, and whose work centers on teaching and health care. Our order belongs to an umbrella organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 95 percent of U.S. Catholic women’s congregations.

Thanks to recent Vatican actions, the LCWR has garnered a few headlines. In February the Vatican announced it would conduct a three-year “visitation” to assess the “quality of life” of American sisters. A month later, the president of LCWR received a letter from Cardinal William Levada, formerly archbishop of San Francisco and now head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), informing her that there would also be an investigation, or “doctrinal assessment,” of the Leadership Conference itself. Certain problems, Levada explained, needed to be addressed. As it turns out, these have to do with the LCWR’s alleged failure to express sufficiently rigorous doctrinal compliance with several recent church documents. Evidently, the Vatican is concerned that the LCWR has not been forthcoming about the magisterium’s teachings regarding the ordination of women, the relation of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions, and the “intrinsically disordered” nature of homosexual acts.

The Vatican’s visitation—conducted under the auspices of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL)—does not assess the “quality of life” of cloistered orders of Carmelites, Benedictines, Dominicans, or other communities devoted to the monastic contemplative life. Neither does it assess international congregations with members working in the United States whose central motherhouses are outside this country. Rather, the visitation exclusively targets active women religious whose centers and houses of formation are in the United States—women educated here and trained for religious life here, women who work with major health-care and educational institutions in this country, and who collaborate with one another financially on ministerial projects such as peace and justice ministries.

Why are American sisters being singled out? One widely shared area of concern, of course, is the dramatic drop in vocations in recent decades. Forty years ago, there were 180,000 vowed sisters across the country; today there are fewer than 60,000. Yet the number of priests has also dropped precipitously during the same period, leaving more than 10 percent of parishes without resident pastors. Why isn’t the priest shortage the subject of a visitation? And during the same period U.S. bishops have presided over a sexual-abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic community more than $2 billion and the episcopacy much of its moral credibility. So why no visitation for the bishops?

I want to offer my own view, as an ordinary member of a congregation that belongs to the LCWR, of what is happening to American sisters.

Let me begin by saying that I want to believe in the good will of the institutional church. An essential part of my commitment to Christ is a belief in the holiness of the church; that is what I professed when I took my vows. For me, religious life outside the structure of the institutional church is hardly imaginable. I love the church. I love its vision of God, its Scriptures and sacraments, its heritage, its tradition of faithful change, its saints and thinkers. I believe in its mission and future.

Yet my reaction to the visitation, and especially to the prospect of “doctrinal assessment,” contains more than a little skepticism. While I’m glad for a chance to “let Rome know the truth” about our lives and our devotion to Christ, I can’t help suspecting that those behind these initiatives are not primarily interested in the quality of my spiritual life. To put it bluntly, I feel that American women religious are being bullied. The fact that the visitation is apparently being paid for by anonymous donors, and that the leaders of our communities will not be permitted to see the investigative reports that issue from it, does not engender trust. And indeed, the dynamics of the visitation and investigation so far have been experienced by women religious as secretive, unfriendly, and one-sided.

The implicit accusation underlying the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR is that its leaders are not Catholic enough in the church’s eyes. Having lived, worked, and prayed with these women for decades, I find this suggestion both insulting and absurd—so absurd, in fact, that one wonders whether the investigation is actually meant to undermine confidence in women’s leadership of their own congregations. Canon law, as well as the constitutions of our congregations, ensures that vowed members can freely elect our own leaders, rather than have them imposed on the community by a bishop. Like those in other vowed religious congregations, I have acted on the belief that democratic governance of my community is ultimately guided by the Holy Spirit. In helping me choose our leadership, I have relied on my knowledge of my sisters’ gifts and my history of prayer and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Yet Cardinal Levada now informs me that the doctrinal integrity of those leaders is questionable...."

Part 2

"... The threat of disciplinary action makes it difficult for women religious to speak out on this topic. That is why I am writing anonymously. I happen to trust my local bishop and thank my lucky stars for him. But what if a bishop from some other diocese, or an American cleric at the Vatican—or a bishop on a USCCB committee who wanted to make a show of doctrinal orthodoxy-decided to target me for what I have written? This has happened to other sisters. In the current climate, would my bishop be willing to violate the tacit norm that bishops “don’t criticize one another in public” by intervening to defend me? I don’t want to put him in such a position.

And that’s not the only worry. When a bishop wants to go after an individual sister—to “make an example of that nun”—he often has some Vatican office write a letter to the superior or the president of her congregation, pressuring the leadership to “do something.” The rule is judgment first, evidence later; and if the women in leadership don’t do something to punish the allegedly wayward sister, the Vatican will move against them. It’s a form of collective punishment, and the threat keeps rank-and-file women religious silent on controversial topics—such as the visitation. And so with a few notable exceptions, such as Sisters Joan Chittister, OSB, and Sandra Schneiders, IHM, the rank and file has been silent about the visitation since it began nine months ago. Members don’t want to say anything that will draw down the Vatican’s wrath on their leadership.

Cardinal Levada has delegated the work of doctrinal assessment of the LCWR to Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio. Bishop Blair seems a genial man; yet his dissertation for his doctorate at the Angelicum in Rome was titled “Masculine and Feminine Symbolism in the Church: A Reappreciation of the Marian/Feminine Dimension.” I’m sorry, but I tend to get nervous when bishops start expatiating on the symbolism of the eternal feminine. Bishop Blair was also a member of a bishops’ committee that was scheduled to meet at the University of Notre Dame last year, but moved the meeting off campus to protest a performance of The Vagina Monologues. Suffice it to say, most bishops are good and well-meaning men; still, it is the rare bishop who has any real understanding of the lives women actually lead.

Let’s back up a bit and ask: Where did the impetus for the visitation and investigation originate? During a visit to Rome last April, several officers of the Leadership Conference put this question to Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of CICLSAL, and were informed that the initiative had been suggested by American members of the curia, some U.S. bishops, and some members of religious communities. Cardinal Rodé told LCWR officers that “concerns” had been expressed on issues ranging from living arrangements to the lack of new vocations to the public positions some women religious take on topics such as women’s ordination, homosexuality, and abortion.

In early August, the Vatican made available the twelve-page Instrumentum laboris that outlined the visitation process. The document’s provisions are not reassuring. For instance, no women representatives of American congregations are slated to speak to Cardinal Rodé; nor will any be allowed to read a draft of the report submitted to him by the appointed “visitator,” Mother Mary Clare Millea, ACSJ. Thus, no congregational president will have the chance to qualify the report’s evaluation or dispute its conclusions—or even to see a list of the American cardinals and bishops who recommended the study in the first place. Such secrecy does not create a climate in which the church’s pastoral outreach can be effectively communicated; and one suspects that Rome’s interventions will hardly promote vocations to women’s religious communities.

There are other concerns. Being a pontifical institute, rather than a diocesan congregation, carries the privilege of self-governance, which protects women religious from a local bishop’s intrusion into their internal life and governance. Or, it’s supposed to. Ominously, the visitation initiative calls for a willingness on the part of visitation team members to make a public profession of faith and take an oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See. The visitation decree instructs the apostolic visitator to “seek information from those diocesan bishops” where the sisters’ “general houses, provincial houses, and centers of initial formation are located.” That reinforces the suspicion that some diocesan bishops, still trying to reclaim the moral authority lost in the sexual-abuse scandals, want to assert personal and jurisdictional authority over women religious. Some women’s communities, to be honest, also worry about designs bishops might have on appropriating their properties..."

Benedict XVI can sell Vatican to end world hunger: Comedian

comedian Silverman suggests selling the Vatican to end world hunger

Thu Oct 15, 8:12 AM
The Associated Press

ROME - Comedian Sarah Silverman has a new proposal for ending world hunger: Sell the Vatican.

In a new profanity-laced monologue making the rounds on YouTube in time for UN World Food Day on Friday, Silverman suggests that it's time for the pope to "move out of your house that is a city" and use the proceeds to feed the world's poor.

"On an ego level alone you will be the biggest hero in the history of ever!" she exclaimed. "Sell the Vatican. Feed the world."

The Vatican clearly has no plans to follow suit. On Thursday, a spokesman declined to comment. But the Catholic League, the U.S. Catholic civil rights organization, denounced Silverman and cable broadcaster HBO for her "obscene" and "filthy diatribe."

In a statement, it noted that such an attack would never have been levelled against, say, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem or the state of Israel and added that the "Catholic Church operates more hospitals and feeds more of the poor than any private institution in the world."

Yet the Rev. James Martin, culture editor of the Jesuit magazine America, says Silverman may be onto something. In an online article, Martin noted that Jesus himself told his followers to sell what they had and give it to the poor.

"Of course Pope Benedict XVI could not 'sell' any of the treasures of the Vatican, the same way that your local archbishop couldn't sell off the cathedral at a whim; they are not his, they are the church's," Martin wrote. "And the church is not simply the hierarchy but the entire people of God."

But he added: "Still, perhaps Ms. Silverman, in her postmodern, potty-mouthed way is on to something. Like Jesus was. Sell the Vatican? Well, maybe not everything but perhaps a statue or two?"

For the record, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which just released its annual report on the state of world hunger, says global food output will have to increase by 70 per cent to feed a projected population of 9.1 billion in 2050.

To achieve that, poor countries will need $44 billion in annual agricultural aid, compared with the current $7.9 billion, the Rome-based FAO said. Overall, an annual net investment in agriculture of $83 billion is needed to feed the world.
Even if the pope were to sell the Vatican, it wouldn't be enough.

In 2004, the Vatican disclosed that the Holy See's real estate was worth 700 million euros, or about $908 million at the time. That doesn't include St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which the Vatican termed priceless and valued at a symbolic 1 euro.

While the Vatican's artistic holdings are obviously worth millions, the institution itself doesn't bring in a lot of cash. In 2008, it ran a C0.9 million ($1.28 million) deficit, the second year of losses. Revenues were C253.9 million and expenses C254.8 million.

The Vatican began publishing its finances in 1981, when Pope John Paul II ordered financial disclosure to debunk the idea that the Vatican was rich.

Silverman, who is no stranger to religiously and racially charged slurs, gained international attention with her 2008 "The Great Schlep" campaign in which she exhorted Jews to go to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Benedict XVI and Roman Polanski and clergy abuse

Benedict XVI and Roman Polanski have 3 things in common: fame, fortune and lots of famous supporters. Benedict XVI has the Opus Dei supporting him and his crime of cover-up of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army and Roman Polanski has the Hollywood celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg supporting him in The View.

Roman Polanski and clergy sexual abuse

Andrew Hamilton October 02, 2009

Roman PolanskiWhen I see media headlines about child abuse, my response is like that of a family I know, where one of the siblings is a publicly notorious criminal. When his crimes or even similar ones receive publicity, they feel humiliated. They accept the humiliation, as the price you pay even for indirect association with villainy, but they do not welcome it. That is how I, as a priest and so part of a group that has been identified with the abuse of children, react when there are more headlines about abuse: in weary resignation. If you do the crime, you — and those associated with you — do the time. I simply hope that the news item that reminds me of my humiliation might help someone, somewhere, who has been abused.

So it was in the last few days that I read of the reaction to Roman Polanski's detention and possible extradition to the United States to face an old charge of sexual abuse of a minor.

As the Polanski case was unfolding this week, Vatican United Nations Observer Archbishop Silvano Tomasi was reported to have claimed that few Catholic priests had abused children, that these were mainly gay, that there was as much abuse in other religious groups as there was among Catholics, that the vast majority of children were abused by relatives, and that there was as much abuse of children in other churches as by Catholic clergy.

Furthermore, he said, the Catholic Church had put its house in order. The implication was that the focus on child abuse in the Catholic Church was disproportionate and discriminatory.

Assuming the Vatican official was rightly reported (something not to be taken for granted), I believe he missed all the things that matter. The consistent spirit of anything we write about sexual abuse must surely be one of compassion for the human beings who are affected by it. Those who are abused, primarily, but then those who are wounded through their relationships with the victims of abuse: their family, friends, wives, husbands, children and — if our compassion stretches so far — the abusers, so often themselves once victims of abuse.

They are the people who matter, and what matters is that they are recognised and that others do not suffer as they did. This must be the focus of those who speak on behalf of groups among whom abuse has taken place.

The focus of Archbishop Tomasi's reported remarks was not on the human reality of abuse, nor on its direct and indirect victims. The comments seemed directed at saving the reputation of the Church as a public institution. And their spirit was less one of compassion than one of judgment. They asked who was to blame for abuse, both within the ranks of Catholic clergy and in the wider world.

It was an exercise in the transfer of blame, and one potentially damaging to priests who are homosexual. Certainly the remarks did not highlight what matters — the humanity of those affected, and compassion.

Nor are they likely to be effective. I doubt whether Catholics by their own words can redress the damage done to their reputation or establish that they have set their house in order. The only effective words will be spoken by those whose lives have been hurt by abuse. When they speak in gratitude and affection for the way in which they have been heard, compassionately received and healed by representative Catholics, their words will count.

All that said, the arguments made by Archbishop Tomasi are important, provided our focus remains on attending to the victims of abuse, and not on transferring blame.

To understand abuse and the experience of those who have been abused we must understand its extent and causes.

Tomasi's own account does not seem internally coherent. If he is right in claiming that abuse is common in many churches and religious groups, and most common in families, it seems highly unlikely that the sexual orientation of abusers is a determining factor. Abuse is likely to have more to do with abusive experience, sexual immaturity and with attitudes to power. But these are all opinions that call for methodical investigation.

His criticism of the focus on the Catholic Church also raises interesting questions. But the central question is not about how fair media coverage has been to the Catholic Church, but how helpful it is to those intimately and indirectly affected by abuse.

In my opinion the public reporting of abuse committed by religious officials has been necessary and helpful in changing attitudes to the abuse of children. I am less convinced, however, that the focus on monsters and punishment, and the repetitive treatment of abuse exposed and dealt with in the courts is helpful. It focuses on blame rather than on compassion, and hinders understanding.

In this respect the story of Polanski is telling. The case for his avoiding extradition has generally received a sympathetic hearing despite the seriousness of his admitted crime. The same sympathy is not generally shown to religious officials who have been tried for less serious acts committed just as many years ago.

I do not say this to complain about double standards, still less to argue that Polanski should be pardoned. What is significant in his case is that there is space to ask difficult questions about whether it is in the public interest to pursue and publicise crimes committed long ago. But the public conversation about sexual abuse in churches has been focused on blame and punishment and had been more resistant to inquiry.

The compassionate are often criticised for being out of touch with reality. In these questions, as elsewhere, they may actually be more in touch than their critics with what matters.

Andrew Hamilton is the consulting editor for Eureka Street. He also teaches at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne.


Roman Polanski rape case: Child abuse activists call for boycott, quick extradition

Child-abuse activists are calling for the quick extradition of film director Roman Polanski so he can be held accountable for the rape he committed more than 30 years ago.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Joelle Castrix, a regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), held a press conference outside the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to show support for Polanski's extradition and to urge people to boycott movies and TV shows made by Polanski and those who back him, namely Martin Scorcese and Woody Allen.

Castrix said Polanksi is getting special treatment because of his position in the film industry:

Child molesters can be rich and famous, but they also need to be held accountable.”


Victims group boycotting against Roman Polanski and supporters

Daily News Wire Services
Updated: 10/01/2009 08:29:29 AM PDT

Roman Polanski
The organization that champions victims of predatory priests staged a demonstration in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday and announced a boycott of the work of Roman Polanski and those who support his bid to avoid extradition to the United States.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, best known as SNAP, charged that entertainment industry figures speaking out for Polanski since his arrest in Switzerland Saturday are helping to enable the crimes of current child predators.

The 76-year-old Polish-French director was arrested by Swiss gendarmes at Zurich Airport as he flew in to attend the Zurich Film Festival, where he was to have received a lifetime achievement award.

The arrest came in response to a warrant issued by U.S. federal authorities at the request of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

In 1977, when Polanski was 44, he lured a 13-year-old girl to actor Jack Nicholson's home on Mulholland Drive, saying he wanted to take photographs of her for the French edition of Vogue. He gave her champagne and part of a Quaalude and forced her to have sex.

After he spent 42 days in a prison hospital ward for a mental evaluation, a deal was worked out for him to plead guilty and be sentenced to time served. Polanski pleaded guilty, but, fearing that a judge was going to reject the deal and send him to prison for 50 years, he fled the country.

U.S. authorities have 60 days to file a formal request for extradition with Swiss authorities.

Polanski's lawyers have vowed to oppose it.

Dozens in the film industry have called for Polanski's immediate release, including directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Woody Allen, Costa- Gavras, Pedro Almodovar, Fatih Akin, Walter Salles and Wong Kar Wai, actress Debra Winger and producer Harvey Weinstein, founder of Miramax Films and now head of The Weinstein Co.

"Since his arrest and the announcement that he will be extradited to the U.S., some entertainment figures have expressed sympathy for him," SNAP said in a statement.

"These public statements of support ... makes teenagers who are being victimized now feel intimidated and hopeless, thus staying silent and enabling their predators to keep hurting them and others."

SNAP said three or four victims of abuse by Catholic priests will take part in the demonstration, joined by relatives and other members of SNAP, which describes itself as a self-help organization.

Many of Polanski's backers, including French government ministers, have pointed to the suffering in his life, including his family's persecution by the Nazis and the slaying of his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and her fetus in the Manson Family murders.

"While sympathetic to Polanski's painful childhood and his wife's murder, SNAP feels that's irrelevant, as is his victim's personal decision to forgive him," the SNAP statement said.

"What matters most, SNAP feels, is that a child predator is kept away from kids and that criminals learn they can't simply hire smart lawyers, make themselves popular, flee the country and get off scot-free."

Polanski lawyers Tuesday filed papers with the Swiss Federal Criminal Court seeking his release, and the court said it would make a decision in the next few weeks. If it rules against him, he will have the option of asking Switzerland's highest court, the Federal Tribunal, to overturn the decision.

To date, the support for Polanski appears to have been more widespread in Europe than in the United States, where at least one entertainment industry figure has spoken out against him.

"Thirty years have not dimmed my memory of the crime for which this man was convicted," Paul Petersen, the former "Donna Reed Show" star and now president of A Minor Consideration, a nonprofit watchdog group for child performers, said in remarks published in the Daily News Tuesday.

"Hollywood may have forgiven Mr. Polanski," Peterson said. "I have not."


French govt drops public support for Polanski


London (ANI): The French government has withdrawn its support to film director Roman Polanski, who is currently held in Switzerland, after a campaign for his release was shunned by many leading European political and cultural figures. The foreign minister of France had asked the Swiss government to free the 76-year-old director, who was arrested in Zurich last Saturday, on a US arrest warrant for having unlawful sex with a teenaged girl in the late 1970s.

!France had made the appeal because Polanski holds a hold a duel citizenship of France and Poland. However, the French government has changed its stance now. "We have a judicial procedure under way, for a serious affair, the rape of a minor, on which the American and Swiss legal systems are doing their job," government spokesman Luc Chatel was quoted by the BBC, as saying.


Roman Polanski and His Supporters No Better than OC Pedo-Priests and their Apologists

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
Thu., Oct. 1 2009 @ 8:17AM

I'm glad to see that prominent Catholic church sex-abuse victims advocate and Orange County resident/native Joelle Casteix is publicly criticizing the perverted director Roman Polanski and his apologists.They remind me of those ghouls, many Mater Dei High graduates, who offer every sort of excuse for an admitted rapist, who say forced sodomy was just a misunderstanding, who throw going-away parties for pedophiles, who prop up molesters with cushy jobs, who say the victim wanted it so that makes schtupping an underage teen okay, who give standing ovations to kiddie fiddlers. Wait a minute: did Polanski ever work for the Diocese of Orange?

Straight up, folks: fuck Roman Polanski. Fuck his supporters. May they get the karmic equivalent of what Polanski's character did to Jake Gittes in Chinatown Yeah, Chinatown! It was a cool movie, right? That makes everything okay!.

See trailer of Chinatown


Albino Luciani says:

First of all, I have to agree, as a MURDERED POPE, that the WAY to get at rape and sodomy supporters of Roman Polanski is hit them where it hurts, their pocket-book$.

Whoopi Goldberg, formerly welfare mom 'Carolyn Johnson', is a prime example of the double standard HOLLYWOOD TRASH crowd.

Just yesterday, 9/30/09, yet again, on The View, to grab ratings, Whoopi was saying Roman's child rape and assault, that he fully admitted to, was "different" than than of child rape and sodomy from others, like the 140,000 documented sexual assaults on kids in less than 30 years, just in the USA, Rog "Mahal" Mahony, Tod 'Gay Boy' Brown, and the USCCB (Unremoved Sexual Criminal Cabal Bishops), as well as Beppe 'Red Shoes' Ratzinger, Bill 'Darth' Leveda, Bernie Law (less), Christian 'Kiddie Porn' Schonborn, Noberto 'Kidnap & Kill Them At The Airport' Rivera, Claudio 'Lie With Statitics' Hummes, Tarscio 'Rump Ranger' Bertone, Ray 'Han'M High' Burke, etc., and the Roman "La Cosa Nostra" Pedo Curia have and continue to cause.

OK, Polanski, did not cause at least $4.5 BILLION in stolen laity offetory plate dollars, just in the USA, to cover up the curia caused crime sprees, thus far, that remain ongoing and unprosecuted, but let's call a SPADE A SPADE please (no racism intended Ms. Goldberg - funny you don't look Jewish?).

The common foundation is MONEY & POWER.

Want to hurt these 'holier than thou' criminals in Hollywood (Goldberg or Mahony), cut off their revenue (if not their heads, figuratively or literally). for other daily verified & vetted reporting on the pedo curia cult in the entertainment business (religious or useless celebriety unwashed tripe).

Just today, 10/1/09, at this above suggested empirical web site, is a most interesting article on the IOR (aka VATICAN BANK).

Do not be fooled loyal Naval Gazing Readership, this is about MONEY & POWER....your money for their power.

Cut off their money, or as St. Peter Damien correctly asserted: "STOP DONATING LAITY", and they FALL from power, back to the scum pool they emerged from in HELL.

There is no middle ground, you are either financially contributing to proven and documented global criminal degenerates, or you are not.


Fiat Lux & Veritas!

Albino Luciani,

Posted On: Thursday, Oct. 1 2009 @ 8:28AM

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish says:

I agree with Joelle Casteix and other spokespersons from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

There should be a total boycott of Roman Polanski films as well as a boycott of his apologists in the entertainment industry and anyone else who support him.

As far as Whoopi Goldberg is concerned, she has lost all credibility and is a disgrace with her comment that Polanski's actions "weren't rape-rape." She is sexist and does nothing much for her race either.

I wonder how Whoopi Goldberg would view Polanski and what she would be saying if the raped and sodomized young girl was a black child?

Boycott every single one of them.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Victims' Advocate
New Castle, Delaware
Posted On: Thursday, Oct. 1 2009 @ 9:15AM

Albino Luciani says:

"sux2bu" (Short we suspect for 'SUCKS TO BE YOU') apparently, you are trying to chum the race card, when the issue REMAINS the criminal activity that goes unpunished of Hollywood degenerates, of all shapes, ages, sexes, creeds, races, colors, etc., as well as the Pedo Curia pretending to be the solution, when they are the PRIMARY CAUSE!

Over 15% of the Roman Catholic Clergy globally (documented) are/were child abusers domestically and globally (not the .5% to 1.5% touted by the pathologicall lying curia).

The pedo curia's racketeering, kidnapping, deliquenting, obstructing justice, embezzlements, endangering, defrauding, aid & abetting, enabling, extorting, murdering of hundreds of thousands of children, with no punishment to themselves, at laity cost in the tens of billions of documented dollars, domestically and globally, remains among the top crime sprees of the past millenia, right up there with The Inquisition, Nazi Genocide, Communist Purges, and other demonic acts against humanity, including the noise and visual pollution daily churned-out by the defenders of self admitted criminals like Roman Polanski.

Until heads roll, literaly or figuratively, like overtly guilty Mahony, Brom, Brown, Barnes, Leveda, Cummins, Steinbock, Ryan, Quinn, McGrath, Garcia, Curry, Rivera, Soto, Walsh, Blaire, etc., in California, Roman Catholic Pedo Curia Central, nothing will improve or change for the better.

Ergo, the laity are leaving in documented droves, parishes closing locally and nationally in massive record numbers, while revenues plummet...maybe this a a good coming from the incarnate unchecked EVIL?

Who need cross-dressing pedo demons in self-made buildings of Mammon, falsely representing The Almighty, when "God Is Everywhere", expect the long ago sold off souls, to The Devil, of the above names?!

As a MURDERED POPE, I would like to say I will pray for your soul 'sux2bu', but somehow I do not think it will help, I hope I am wrong on this last point.


Albino Luciani
Posted On: Thursday, Oct. 1 2009 @ 4:07PM

truths says:

The Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has sent a message to all children and young adults that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW! Thank you to team of investigators and prosecutors in Los Angeles.

Polanski has been arrested based on his plea of having sex with a minor child back in 1977. Imagine how many Catholic priests and employees of religious institutions also confessed to sexual misconduct with minor children, BUT, in the name of God and freedom of religion, these individuals will never have to face arrest and incarceration. Where are these sexual monsters today? Mexico, Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Europe, France, Australia, South Africa, etc. etc.

One has to wonder if Cardinals Bernard Law and William Levada will ever face extradition to the United States based on failures to report crimes relating to sex abuse, conspiracy and RICO statutes. Extraditing employees of religious institutions to the United States would set a valuable and life-long precedent, but most important, our children could witness history in the making... that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!!!!

Posted On: Thursday, Oct. 1 2009 @ 9:16AM

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