Bishops marked tardy

A dog ate the bishops’ homework.

Most of the bishops’ conferences around the world have missed a Vatican deadline on drawing up anti-abuse guidelines, it emerged yesterday.

But Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s top investigator of clerical sex abuse, said that without counting Africa “more than half of the conferences responded” to the May deadline.

Or even better, you just decide not to count any of the late ones, and that way you can say all the conferences responded to the deadline. Dropping all of Africa just to get to more than half seems inefficient.

More than 4,000 cases of sexual abuse have been reported to the doctrinal office over the past decade, the office reported earlier this year. Cardinal William Levada, former prefect of the CDF, said those cases revealed that an exclusively canonical response to the crisis had been inadequate and that a multifaceted and more pro-active approach by all bishops and religious orders was needed.

Ahhh that’s a tactful way of putting it. A less tactful way of putting it would be to say that trying to deal with child rape by hiding it from the police was both criminal and immoral. (I love the idea that actually informing the police of the rape of children by employees is a “multifaceted and more pro-active approach” – it makes it sound like a motivational meeting, or a retreat to a spirit lodge with sauna attached.)

Bishops’ conferences have been encouraged to develop “effective, quick, articulated, complete and decisive plans for the protection of children”, bringing perpetrators to justice and assisting victims, “including in countries where the problem has not manifested itself in as dramatic a way as in others”, the Vatican said in November 2010.

Bishops’ conferences have been encouraged to do what they should have been doing all along and treat crimes as crimes, assault as assault, child rape as child rape. Golly gosh gee wow, how impressive.

 

A custody fight

NPR’s god-besotted religious affairs reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty shyly points out that bears shit in the woods and the Catholic church is not the most liberal institution in the world. She’s very careful about it but even she can’t hide the scary.

Perceiving its core beliefs to be under threat from popular culture, the White House and even Catholics themselves, the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are pushing back.

She sure does give it her best shot, though. Here, Vatican, take this handy excuse with you before we spell out how you are “pushing back”: you are doing it all because you perceive your core beliefs to be under threat from popular culture, the White House and even Catholics themselves. No one can blame you for pushing back under those circumstances. [Read more...]

Radical cooties

Lisa Miller in the Washington Post takes a look at the Vatican’s way of using the epithet “radical feminist.”

Members of the Vatican hierarchy are using the word “feminist” and even “radical feminist” the way third-graders use the word “cooties.” In April, the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 57,000 nuns nationwide, of allowing “radical feminist” ideas to flow unchecked in their communities. In 2008, after launching an investigation against American nuns (the results of which have not yet been released), Cardinal Franc Rode told a radio interviewer that the nuns are suspected of “certain irregularities,” a “secular mentality” and “perhaps also a certain feminist spirit.” [Read more...]

Go, and report child rape no more

Good to see the Catholic church learning (however slowly) from its mistakes.

The Italian Bishop’s Conference (CIE) has issued guidelines on child  protection that inform its bishops that they are ‘not obliged to report illicit  facts’ of child abuse to the police.

In their new five page document which advised Italian Bishops on how to deal  with paedophilia they failed to focus on one of the most important and obvious  means of combating the crime – informing police authorities.

Instead the document read: “Under Italian law, the bishop, given that he  holds no public office nor is he a public servant, is not obliged to report  illicit facts of the type covered by this document to the relevant state  judicial authorities.”

Not learning from their mistakes after all, then.

Publishing the norms

For a comic interlude (with uncomic implications and underpinnings, but never mind that for now) – the Vatican goes public with its formerly sekrit and super-technical Roolz for authenticating authentic sightings (or apparitions, as it helpfully calls them) of “the Virgin” Mary.

The “Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations” have been in use since 1978, but until now had been available only in Latin, never officially published and only circulated among bishops and specialists.

Ya specialists, who have had like years and years of specialist training in how to tell the real apparitions from the fake ones.

The Vatican document has now been translated into English and other languages to aid bishops in the “difficult task of discerning presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or … extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin,” Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Vatican doctrinal office, wrote in a companion letter last December that was published only recently on the Vatican website.

Kind of mean not to help the poor bishops until now. Poor guys, sitting in their studies, taking a break from excommunicating nuns who fail to prevent abortions to save the life of the pregnant woman and telling secular legislators what to do  – taking a break, I say, to sift through the stack of tortillas and pieces of toast and open jars of Marmite on their desks to figure out which twin has the Toni, and not having a Vatican document in their own language to assist. It’s sad.

The norms mandate that the local bishop must conduct a “serious investigation” to ascertain, with “at least great probability,” whether the Marian apparition effectively took place.

The rules also require an evaluation of the “personal qualities” of the alleged seer, including his or her “psychological equilibrium,” “rectitude of moral life” and “docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority.” The contents of the “revelation” must be “immune” from theological error, and the apparition must bear “abundant… spiritual fruit,” such as conversions.

The contents of the revelation must be immune from theological error? How do they arrange for that to be the case? Show your work.

You need to have leaders who have learned the hard way

Cardinal Brady is still at the same old stand – saying he won’t resign despite new disclosures of his failure to pass on names and addresses of children being abused by Brendan Smyth.

The Catholic primate of all-Ireland has said that he will not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC’s This World programme.

It found Cardinal Sean Brady had names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

However, he did not pass on those details to police or parents. [Read more...]

It’s always priorities, isn’t it

Ah the Catholic church in Ireland - always shameless, always brazen, always ignoring the harm it does to other people while demanding infinite respect for itself. This time it has its mitres in a knot because a broadcaster said it had fucked things up in Ireland. Yes, and?

The Communications Office of the Irish bishops has demanded a full apology and retraction from radio presenter Ray D’Arcy after he told listeners “the Catholic Church, in many ways, has fucked up this country”…

Catholic communications chief Martin Long has demanded that the station and presenter retract the “insulting” and “offensive” comment on air tomorrow.

Oh has he. Has he really. The Irish bishops who concealed child rape and transferred rapist priests instead of reporting them to the police, thus enabling them to go on raping. The Irish bishops at the head of an organization that for generations imprisoned women in laundries to do slave labor for decades – an organization that made those women raise their children for three years and then hand them over to the “mother superior” and sign an oath “never to attempt to see, interfere with or make any claim to the said child at any future time.” The Irish bishops at the head of an organization that imprisoned the children of parents with no money for the sake of the cash the state paid them; an organization that starved the children and tortured them emotionally and physically. Those Irish bishops.

How fucking dare they.

H/t Robin.

We have ways of making you silent

It gets worse – the castration story.

The Toronto Star reports

The Deetman Commision, set up by two Catholic bodies, the Conference of Bishops and the Dutch Religious Conference, concluded last year that tens of thousands of children had been abused by Catholic clergy in the Netherlands since 1945.

The commission was set up by two Catholic bodies, one being the Conference of Bishops. [Read more...]

We’re here to help you

More from that bottomless file, The Evil Deeds of the Catholic Church. This time it’s in the Netherlands.

Government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while being looked after in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions, local paper the Limburger reported on Monday.

The NRC reported on Saturday at least one boy under the age of 16 was castrated to ‘help’ his homosexual feelings while in Catholic church care in the 1950s. [Read more...]

Hands off

The Vatican has issued a report on priestly child rape in Ireland. The Vatican is happy to see “the deep faith of many men and women” despite all this brouhaha about child rape. The Vatican knows what to do moving forward: it is to have “deeper formation in the content of the faith for young people and adults.”

And there’s another thing.

 Since the Visitators also encountered a certain tendency, not dominant but nevertheless fairly widespread among priests, religious and laity, to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the Magisterium, this serious situation requires particular attention, directed primarily towards improved theological formation. It must be stressed that dissent from the fundamental teachings of the Church is not the authentic path towards renewal.

That’s the important bit. The power and authority of the (all-male, all celibate) priests and bishops. It’s the male celibate priests and bishops who do the Magisterium, and nobody else is allowed to touch it.