The bishops renewed their obsessions

The AP reported the other day on the meeting of the US Conference of Catholic bishops.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops meeting Wednesday renewed their focus on abortion and gay marriage under Pope Francis.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to make only limited revisions to a guide they publish every presidential election year on church teaching, voting and public policy. The bishops also reaffirmed their fight for broader religious exemptions to laws recognizing gay marriage and a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers provide health insurance covering birth control.

[Read more...]

Frank and the devil

Cool headline in the Telegraph -

Decline of religious belief means we need more exorcists, say Catholics

Well of course they do. Jobs for the boys, eh?

Then there’s the subhead -

Decline of religion in the West has created a rise in black magic, Satanism and the occult

Oh it’s our fault? I beg to differ. [Read more...]

Abuse at the hands of the brothers who had been entrusted with their care

Amanda Banks at the West Australian tells us how the Catholic church in Western Australia dealt with abuse victims. With generosity and remorse and eagerness to make amends? No. With self-interested self-protective fighting and coercion.

The Catholic Church and Christian Brothers fought a class action by abuse victims from WA orphanages at every turn, using their strong legal position to open settlement negotiations with the offer that the men pay their costs.

By “the men” she means the abuse victims – so the church opened negotiations by demanding that the victims pay the church’s costs. The victimizer opened negotiations with a demand that the victims pay costs. [Read more...]

You’re in good hands with the Vatican

From last week – Cardinal George Pell is leaving Australia for a new job in the Vatican, and for a good-bye present he told a royal commission that priests should be insured against being sued for child sexual abuse. Elizabeth Farrelly is…shall we say, taken aback.

Our man in purple, our alpha priest, moral paragon. Our Vatican princeling, just days from taking up his dauphindom in Rome: he said that? He dropped this fissile solipsism on our public debate and left, smacking the dust from his hands like, we’re done now, right?

For this was no dinner party throw-away. The cardinal – fully frocked, schooled and premeditated – breathed his proposition into the stone tablets of a royal commission. He wanted it recorded and kept. Forever.

But insurance? Does he think child sex is some unavoidable occupational hazard? [Read more...]

Clergy aren’t obliged to tell magistrates

A week ago the Italian Bishops’ Conference published guidance saying that they don’t have to report suspected sexual abuse of children to the police.

Fair enough. They agreed it among themselves, so it’s none of anyone else’s business, right? That’s democracy.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the guidelines published Friday reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations.

Victims have long denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by shuffling pedophile priests around while keeping prosecutors in the dark. Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law. [Read more...]

Improper use of social media

A word of advice for schoolteachers: don’t ever seek a job in Cincinnati Catholic Archdiocese schools. You’d have to sign a contract that makes you their slave.

The Archdiocese has a new contract for teachers, one that’s twice the size of previous contracts, to accommodate the many things it tells you not to do.

The contract for the 2014-15 school year explicitly orders teachers to refrain “from any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect discredit on or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals.” It goes so far as to ban public support of the practices. [Read more...]

Strong bars on strong cages

Jennifer Collins at Religion News reports on Ireland’s little problem with Catholic saturation of the public state-funded schools.

The Catholic Church runs 90 percent of primary schools in Ireland. The rest are mainly Protestant, and about 4 percent are managed by the nonprofit Educate Together, which is nonsectarian.

The arrangement is unsettling to some parents who have little choice in where to send their children. [Read more...]

Special tickets

There’s a hearing on institutional responses to child sexual abuse in the Catholic church going on in Sydney now. It started off with a bang on Monday

Victims of child abuse and their supporters walked out of a public hearing at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse after the Catholic church’s legal representative quoted the Bible in his opening address.

Peter Gray, representing the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council began his opening statement by quoting a passage from the gospel of Mark, prompting cries of shock and disgust in the hearing room.

“Many will remember, from their own childhoods, the ageless words from the gospel of Mark,” said Gray.

“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such of these that the kingdom of God belongs.” [Read more...]

Cardinal Dolan caught lying about the church funds

Timothy Dolan again. Remember Timothy Dolan? Former archbishop of Milwaukee? Now archbishop of New York? Also a cardinal?

The Timothy Dolan who whined and complained, in March 2010, about the unfair and meany way journalists would keep reporting on the Catholic church’s habit of protecting priests who rape children. He seems to have removed that post from his archepiscopal blog now, but the Internet archive still has it.

So Friday’s headline, only the most recent, stings us again:  “Doctor Asserts Church Ignored Abuse Warnings,” as the psychiatrist who treated the criminal, Dr. Werner Huth, blames the Church for not heeding his recommendations.

What adds to our anger over the nauseating abuse and the awful misjudgment in reassigning such a dangerous man, though, is the glaring fact that we never see similar headlines that would actually be “news”:  How about these, for example?

–    “Doctor Asserts He Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since Dr. Huth admits in the article that he, in fact, told the archdiocese the abusing priest could be reassigned under certain restrictions, a prescription today recognized as terribly wrong; [Read more...]