imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Latest Pedophelia Scandal Rocks the Vatican

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Apr. 06, 2010 at 3:36 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

The latest scandal has longstanding roots

Latest Pedophelia Scandal Rocks the Vatican - by Stephen Lendman

Lest anyone think members of organized religions are above reproach, take note.

In his new book "God and His Demons," Michael Parenti confronts both Old and New Testaments saying:

"The god of the Holy Bible - so much adored in the United States and elsewhere - is ferociously vindictive, neurotically jealous, intolerant, vainglorious, punitive, wrathful, sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sadistic and homicidal. As they say, it's all in the Bible. Beware of those who act in the name of such a god. Were we to encounter these vicious traits in an ordinary man, we would judge him to be in need of lifelong incarceration at a maximum-security facility. At the very least, we would not prattle on about how he works his wonders in mysterious ways."

In fact, 'biblical Jesus qualifies quite well as founder and forerunner of an intolerant Christianity."

Leaving child molestation implied but unaddressed, the Bible deals with sexuality in broader terms, including incest, adultery, homosexuality, and rape - children vulnerable to all except adultery.

Jesus also preached love your enemies and return good for evil, a message saying child molesters deserve forgiveness, not punishment, that's an open invitation for pedophiles, an epidemic now raging in the Catholic church but one with longstanding roots.

In his Pastoral Psychology Volume 45, No. 4, 1997 article titled, "Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: An Historical and Contemporary Review," Paul Isely said:

"Although the recent revelations of clergy sexual abuse (13 years ago) suggest an unusual and recent epidemic among the Catholic church, the historical record suggests this difficulty has plagued the church over the centuries." Though times change, human nature doesn't, and when constrained by celibacy vows, it's expressed in other ways.

Isely said while criminal and civil cases successfully challenged church negligence, judicial decisions tend "not (to) hold churches (or the Vatican) liable for the sexual acts of their clergy."

Further, despite high-profile press coverage and litigation, earlier "research on priest offenders is virtually nonexistent, (and) claims of unprecedented treatment success with clergy offenders has not been supported by published data. Given the recidivism rates of sex offenders, the Catholic church should reconsider its policy of placing known sex offenders back into active ministry" - a longstanding practice by transferring them to another diocese or country, giving them a fresh crop of kids to abuse....and get away with it.

In 2004, John Jay College of Criminal Justice's (JJCCJ) Professor Karen Terry et al published a report commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, based on Catholic diocese surveys. It learned that under age 18 child molestation occurs in:

"more than 95% of dioceses and approximately 60% of religious communities. Of the 195 dioceses and eparchies that participated in the study, all but seven have reported" at least one case of an offending priest. "Of the 140 religious communities" surveyed, only 30 reported none, but not reporting them doesn't mean they didn't happen. Given the reluctance of victims to come forward, it's virtually certain many other incidences took place.

Covering the period 1950 - 2002, study findings included:

-- diocese and eparchy allegations made against 4,692 priests and deacons "for incidents that took place while these men were serving in ecclesiastical ministry;"

-- religious community allegations made against 647 priests; dioceses reported another 282 for a grand total of 929;

-- all regions averaged from 3 - 6% of priests accused;

-- over 80% of victims were boys, mainly aged 11 - 17;

-- over 10,000 children were harmed;

-- these estimates don't "describe the extent of the problem;" more important is the incidence of sexual abuse and how many priests were accused annually;

-- the most prevalent abuse period was 1960 - 1984, lower subsequent numbers reflecting the declining percent of priests ordained annually; and

-- most important is not knowing the number of abuse cases never reported and not reflected in survey results.

A Global Problem

Priest child abuse accusations occur globally, especially in Europe, North and Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines, areas with large Catholic populations. Cover-up is commonplace, Ireland one of many examples revealed by the 2009 Murphy Report stating:

"The Commission has no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities. The structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up. (In addition), State authorities facilitated that cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes."

The report held four archbishops culpable, but top Vatican officials share responsibility, including Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, Jean Paul II, and others before him - complicit for decades of cover-up to put Church interests ahead of child safety and well-being, the unacknowledged Church policy today.

Pope Benedict XVI

When he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2001, he opposed reform, John Allen saying in his biography titled, "Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith:

"Ratzinger today believes that the best antidote to political totalitarianism is ecclesial totalitarian-ism. In other words, he believes the Catholic Church serves the cause of human freedom by restricting freedom in its internal life, thereby remaining clear about what it teaches and believes."

As cardinal and pope, he opposes liberal morality, including ordaining women, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, diluting top-down authority, and Vatican II's softening of traditional orthodoxy on salvation outside the Church, ecumenical relations, and liturgical rites, saying two forms functioning together is impermissible.

Nationwide Scandals in America

In America alone, scandals hit many dioceses, several declaring bankruptcy, including Portland, Oregon, Tucson, Spokane, Washington, Davenport, Iowa, Fairbanks, Alaska, San Diego, and Wilmington, Delaware. Boston considered it, but sold assets to avoid it. In July 2007, AP reported that the Los Angeles Archdiocese announced a 0 million dollar settlement to about 500 plaintiffs, "by far the largest payout in the church's sexual abuse scandal." The Catholic News Service at the time cited 0 million.

Other large payouts included 0 million in 2004 by the Orange, CA Diocese for over 90 claims, Boston agreeing to pay - 0 million or more for 552 cases, Covington, KY a similar amount for 360 claims, and numerous smaller ones throughout the country to settle claims that keep mounting.

Earlier Scandals - Hidden Canadian and American Holocausts in Church-Run Schools

The grassroots Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada reveals the 1880s through the 20th century systematic rape, torture and murder of tens of thousands of Aboriginal children in church-run residential schools. According to its Secretary, Kevin Annett, a former United Church of Canada minister until fired and expelled for exposing these ugly truths:

"The government and the multinational corporations wanted the Indian land, and so native children from as young as three years old were forcibly taken from their families and sent to residential schools (including Catholic ones), where they underwent 'acculturation' programs. Between fifty and one hundred thousand ended up dead, murdered by the church and the government."

In charge were Catholic, Anglican, and United Church of Canada authorities complicit with the federal government.

In his book "Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools," Ward Churchill documented America's hidden holocaust, begun under Captain Richard H. Pratt (a former prison warden), architect of US residential schools as superintendent of the prototype Carlyle, PA Indian Industrial School in 1879. His objective - "kill the Indian, save the man" in every child, but he and others did both for five generations.

Half the children didn't survive, the result of extreme cruelty, torture, beatings, systematic rape and other sexual abuse, malnutrition, disease, forced labor, no contact with family members or cultural traditions, and despair-driven suicides. Survivors were permanently scarred, one in 2000, Sharon H. Venne, saying:

"Genocide is genocide, no matter what form it takes and no matter what you call it."

Canada adopted America's model. In both countries, genocide never stopped. It's hidden on reservations plagued by broken promises; extreme poverty and neglect; low life expectancy; epidemic disease levels; high levels of alcoholism, suicide, infant mortality, unemployment, and incarceration; stolen resources; and lost lives in the name of progress - genocide as jurist Raphael Lemkin defined it:

"the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group" that corresponds to other terms like "tyrannicide, homicide, infanticide, etc." (It) does not necessarily mean the destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings....It is intended....to signify a coordinated plan (to destroy) the essential foundations of the life of national groups" with the intent to eradicate or substantially weaken or harm them. "Genocidal plans involve the disintegration....of political and social institutions, culture, language, national feelings, religion, economic existence, personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and" human lives.

In legal terms, the 1948 Genocide Convention used the same definition, binding principles today, but systematically violated by America, Canada and numerous other nations with impunity.

Milwaukee - Epicenter of Today's Crisis

On March 26, New York Times writers Laurie Goodstein and David Callender headlined, "For Years, Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest's Abuse" saying:

About 200 boys at Milwaukee's St. John School for the Deaf "were deaf, but they were not silent" about decades of Father Lawrence C. Murphy's abuse. Then and later "They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly (he) did to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people."

We now know then Cardinal Ratzinger got letters about him in 1996 from Milwaukee's Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, saying the deaf community needed "a healing response from the Church." He did nothing, "then equivocated, and when Father Murphy died in 1998, he died a priest" instead of in prison where caught and convicted lay felons are sent.

Marquette University Professor of Moral Theology Daniel C. Maguire's March 28 consortiumnews.com article headlined "Why Pope Benedict Must Resign," saying:

Despite a "lifetime of child rape, (Father Murphy was buried) with full priestly honors. Pope Benedict XVI now faces a major hypocrisy test. He has been accepting resignations from bishops around the world who failed to take action against priest rapists. It is now no longer in dispute that he himself is guilty of the same criminal negligence...."

A secular official would be forced to resign and face criminal prosecution. His ecclesiastical obligation is to do it. "He has no moral right to hide behind Vatican walls." Today's "perfect storm" includes the pope, "a Vatican cardinal, two members of the Papal Apostolic Delagature, three Milwaukee archbishops, and (what's usually overlooked) the collusion of the local police and District Attorney."

Except for the press, especially the Milwaukee Journal, perhaps none of this would have come out. Yet the Vatican remains in damage control, AP reporting on April 1 it's "lash(ing) out against sex abuse coverage," in particular The New York Times for some rare journalistic integrity, notably on Laurie Goodstein's March 24 article headlined, "Vatican Declined to Defrock US Priest Who Abuses Boys," saying:

"Top Vatican officials - including the future Pope Benedict XVI - did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church...."

Instead of acting, Ratzinger and other officials' "highest priority was protecting the church from scandal," no matter how many boys were harmed. Better them than the church, the way it's been for centuries.

On April 2, Goodstein and Susan Saulny headlined, "Exiled Pedophile Priest May Have Continued Abuse," saying:

According to interviews with victims and new church documents, Father Murphy "also used his family's lakefront cottage as a lure in his sexual advances, bringing youths from the school (and the Northwoods region) into his home beginning at least in the early 1960s."

Times spokesperson Diane McNulty added:

"The allegations of abuse within the Catholic church are a serious subject, as the Vatican has acknowledged on many occasions. Any role the current pope may have played in responding to (or covering up) those allegations over the years is a significant aspect of this story," and a serious black mark on his name and position as head of the church.

Yet as Professor Maguire states:

"....the Vatican is still engaged in cover-ups of these crimes by attacking the press, trying to kill the messenger" and conceal a scandal that's a "public relations disaster." Calling criminal priests "only a few bad apples - and the failure to report the crimes to law enforcement - is the (real) scandal," especially with a culpable pope.

Protecting the church, not its victims, is a criminal offense. Enforced celibacy (a "gift of the Holy Spirit") is also at issue for letting perversions replace natural sex and cause harm to thousands of young children, not priests who prey on them without accountability or public penance for their crimes. Nor Ratzinger, as cardinal or pope, for directing cover-ups from the top and getting bishops to order kids to keep quiet or be excommunicated.

When he headed the influential Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the church's department charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith, Ratzinger was nicknamed "God's pit bull" for his role as enforcer. He cracked down on liberal challenges to conservative Catholicism, and in 2001, sent an updated version of the notorious 1962 Crime of Solicitation, asserting strict instructions to cover up sex scandals. It was so secret that bishops were ordered to keep it locked in a safe at all times, and say nothing.

Ratzinger also introduced a new Exclusive Competence principle, ordering all child abuse allegations handled by Rome. Former Vatican lawyer Father Tom Doyle explained it saying:

"What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen. When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of (them) in the next place. This is happening all over the world."

Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, Goes Public

On April 3, AP reported Williams (speaking out for the first time on Ireland's Roman Catholic church scandal), telling the BBC (for airing April 5 on its "Start the Week" program):

For "an institution (to be) so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly....losing all credibility - that's not just a problem for the church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland, I think." He added that church officials protected child abusers for decades in many countries, choosing to sacrifice children to preserve their credibility.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Authority to Prosecute the Pope

The ICC is empowered to prosecute individuals for crimes of genocide, war, against humanity, aggression, abortion, homosexuality, and sexual slavery, very likely including pedophelia. As a result, according to ICC authority, Brigham Young Professor Richard G. Wilkins, offending priests and church officials are liable to criminal prosecutions under the Court's mandate, including the pope.

The ICC complements national judicial systems, but may act when they don't. Some experts believe the Vatican is a state, the pope its head. Others like noted jurist, UN Justice Council member, and president of the Special Court in Sierre Leone, Geoffrey Robertson, told the AP on April 3:

"The Vatican is not a state. It was a construct of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini."

Robertson believes it's time to challenge the pope's immunity, Britain's the place, and said so in a London Guardian April 2 article headlined, "Put the pope in the dock."

He wrote:

"Legal immunity cannot hold. The Vatican should feel the full weight of international law. (Pedophelia is) a crime against humanity. The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state - and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action - cannot stand up to scrutiny."

Robertson's argument is powerful, expert, important, and convincing, and imagine the possibilities if high church officials and the pope are prosecuted - long indeed though the odds.

Their predecessors aside, might George Bush, Dick Cheney, all culpable Bush administration officials, Barack Obama and all of his, then find themselves in the dock for high crimes so severe and so many it would take volumes of indictment material to list and explain, and perhaps years for full accountability, let alone for a start to make equitable restitution.

A Final Comment

Because this scandal is longstanding, widespread, and in the open, the church worries most about losing its moral authority. Its main concern should be top to bottom reform, new leadership, and a changed mindset that compromised priests and complicit officials, including the pope, be fully accountable for crimes demanding punishment.

No longer are cover-ups, ducking the issue, defending the indefensible, forgiveness, or immunity permissible, nor should judicial authorities allow them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://prognewshour.progressiveradionetwork.org/

http://lendmennews.progressiveradionetwork.org/

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
"scandal"? Meyer London Friday, Apr. 09, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Local News

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Elder Aliyah to Israel, Like Abraham and Sarah O18 6:35PM

Politoscope plurivalent O17 6:59AM

Paraphysique du microcosme macrocosme O15 6:44AM

September 2018 Honduras coup update O15 3:31AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:34AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:23AM

Paraphysique de l'ubérisation O13 7:56AM

22 Ways Trump Has Increased US Deficit By 4 to 5 Trillion Dollars O12 10:34PM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Plus d'hôpitaux, à bas les aéros O12 6:38AM

When Banana Ruled (documentary) O11 3:00AM

Outstanding Report By RAMOLA D &Dr.Tomo Shibata O10 9:17PM

Dark Clouds Gather on Horizon for Financial System, Warns International Monetary Fund O10 1:51PM

Fbi pure evil & immorality O10 5:39AM

Reality Check: Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence is a Big Lie O09 7:40PM

Voiceless Animals: 2018 Candidates They Oppose O09 7:01PM

IMF Lowers Global Growth Projections and Raises Concerns of Financial Crisis O09 3:27PM

Canitie, l'inhumanité vieillit O09 7:13AM

L'anarchie en quelques exemples O07 6:50AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy