An unprecedented and scathing report

A UN committee has come down on the Vatican like a ton of bricks over the Magdalene laundries, RTÉ reports.

The UN committee on the Rights of the Child said the Catholic Church had not yet taken measures to prevent a repeat of cases such as the Magdalene scandal, where girls were arbitrarily placed in conditions of forced labour.

In an unprecedented and scathing report, the UN also demanded the Vatican “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to civil authorities. [Read more…]

It sounds very beautiful and appealing

More on top-down authority versus everyone else.

On obedience. Last week Sister Pat Farrell said what she thinks obedience is.

But the word obedience comes from the Latin root meaning to hear, to listen. And so as I have come to understand that vow, what it means to me is that we listen to what God is calling us to in the signs of our times.

This week the bishop said what he thinks of that. [Read more…]

The church’s authentic interpretation

The authentic interpretation that tells them they’re allowed to protect child-raping priests at the expense of the children they rape.

On Saturday night Tracey Pirona hugged her husband as she has done many times before, and reassured him: “We’ll get through this.” On Sunday morning she found the letter she had feared for years, and rang police.

John Pirona, 45, of Belmont North, a victim of one of the Hunter’s most notorious paedophile priests, has not been seen or heard from since then. “The longer this goes on the worse I feel about what the outcome’s going to be,” Mrs Pirona said.

Mr Pirona’s letter, with the final words “Too much pain”, leaves no doubt the pain is the sexual abuse he suffered at a Catholic high school and the ugly secrets the church knew, but did nothing to stop.

Mr Pirona, a NSW Fire Brigades officer, was sexually assaulted by the priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in 1979. He was 13. In a statement to police in 2008 he described the school as brutal, where he feared being bashed if people knew he had been abused.

“Every day to me was just survival,” Mr Pirona said. A court case confirmed he was sexually assaulted several years after the school principal, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and the late Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Leo Clarke, knew the priest sexually assaulted young boys.

In other words the bishop and the principal just left the students hanging there like so many carcasses, for the priest to select at his leisure.

Yet the priesthood continues to think it has the authority to tell nuns what to do.


It will be dialogue, but not dialogue

Yesterday it was the Vatican’s turn to explain the Deep Rifts between the priests and the sisters. Terry Gross talked to the bishop of Toledo (Ohio, not Spain), Leonard Blair, who is the one who assessed the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and found them very very wanting.

Along with Archbishop Peter Sartain and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, he will be working with the nuns of the LCRW to make sure the group is aligned with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. [Read more…]

Unreasoning awe

One from the “how did I miss this?” file – Tony Blair is gobsmacked that it was government policy not to appoint a Catholic as ambassador to the Vatican.

The former prime minister tells a BBC Northern Ireland documentary – to be broadcast from Wednesday 17 February – that the policy of banning Catholics from the post was “stupid”, “ridiculous” and “discriminatory”.

Really? Is it discriminatory not to appoint a lobbyist for cigarette manufacturers to a health-related job? Is it discriminatory not to appoint a murderer to run a domestic violence shelter? [Read more…]