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...]

The cardinal tripped and fell below the standards

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, after saying “I never!!” for several days, has given a delicate admission that he was sexually…well he doesn’t say exactly, apart from admitting that it wasn’t quite the done thing. Well he’s a Catholic priest, and a high-ranking one, you can’t expect him to just come right out and say he fucked goats or had affairs with slabs of liver or raped children in the confessional. [Read more...]

One final verdict

Frank Bruni wrote a pretty blistering op-ed in the NY Times last week on the Catholic church’s funny way of veering between theocracy and secularism depending on which is most convenient at any particular moment. He pointed out things that don’t get pointed out nearly often enough, especially by hyper-respectable newspapers like the Times.

On the one hand, he notes, you have the bishops shouting about contraceptive coverage in health care plans, and on the other hand, you have lawyers for a Catholic hospital chain arguing that fetuses aren’t persons. And then you have those pesky child-raping priests…

We’ve been getting a fresh and galling peek into that with the court-compelled release of documents from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which engaged in a pattern of willful blindness and outright cover-up so egregious that the current archbishop, José Gomez, took the shocking step last week of publicly reprimanding his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony.

The documents show that Mahony and his lieutenants repeatedly failed to report allegations to law enforcement officials and urged accused priests to leave or stay out of the state, lest they face prosecution. They decided, in short, that the church’s representatives and reputation mattered more than justice: that the church could hold itself above laws that governed everybody else. [Read more...]

Like many others

Janet Heimlich casts a cold eye on a bishop’s “apology.”

You know what’s coming. We could all write the “apology” in our sleep.

“I wish to acknowledge and apologize for those instances when I made decisions regarding the treatment and disposition of clergy accused of sexual abuse that in retrospect appear inadequate or mistaken.” Curry added, “Like many others, I have come to a clearer understanding over the years of the causes and treatment of sexual abuse, and I have fully implemented in my pastoral region the archdiocese’s policies and procedures for reporting abuse, screening those who supervise children and abuse prevention training for adults and children.”

Uh huh. In retrospect. In retrospect they appear inadequate or mistaken. As Janet says, that’s no apology. [Read more...]

Heed the warning of the Holy Father

LeftSidePositive pointed out yesterday that when Catholic archbishops prate of freedom of conscience they are bullshitting, because they don’t believe in or promote other people’s freedom of conscience to have nothing to do with Catholic rules.

This needs to be mentioned more often.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on religious freedom last April. It is of course that kind of bullshit from beginning to end. [Read more...]

Yes, it is a sin

Cristina Odone is worried. What’s she worried about? She’s worried that Ireland is planning to change its abortion law – to legalize abortion when it’s necessary to save the woman’s life – on the basis of a mistake about what happened to Savita Halappanavar. Oh noes!

I’m a Catholic but I believe abortion has to be legal. Yes, it is a sin; and yes, there are women who use it as contraception. But the risk of having a long roll call of tragic deaths like Savita’s is too cruel to contemplate. Like divorce, abortion should be available, but reserved as a last-resort nuclear option – and when the mother’s life is in danger is precisely such a scenario.

The Irish U-turn over Savita’s death worries me, though. Is this the right result based on the wrong premise? [Read more...]

Shut up and obey

In writing that post I turned up this item from The Catholic Phoenix a couple of years ago. It’s special.

Denys Powlett-Jones is commenting on the leaking of the bishop’s infamous letter to Catholic Healthcare West by the Arizona Republic.

It is also no surprise that it is C(INO)HW who has decided to fight this one out in the media, and not the Bishop. Phoenix Catholics already know that our shepherd is not in the business of publicly correcting the dissent, disobedience, and scandal that are as much a part of the Church in Phoenix as they were of the Church of Corinth in St Paul’s day. Our Man in the Mitre is a vigilant shepherd, but he always works quietly and personally with tough cases, as a good pastor should; when nasty stuff in Olmsted’s diocese goes public, it’s always the wayward sheep that are doing the bleating. [Read more...]

The bishops really do mean it

Jen Gunter is also disturbed by what the Irish bishops said.

Terminating a pregnancy is “gravely immoral in all circumstances.” All circumstances includes 17 weeks and ruptured membranes. Unless I misunderstand the meaning of “all,” then Irish Catholic Bishops also view ending a pregnancy at 17 weeks with ruptured membranes and sepsis, either by induction of labor or the surgical dilation and evacuation (D & E), to be “gravely immoral.” [Read more...]