Catholic sex abuse cannot just be swept under the carpet.
Knocking other Christians is not one of my favourite pastimes. I too have my sins. But abuse of children is so horrific that paedophiles who do such things need to be named and shamed.
Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air, isn't he? Describing it as a satanic mass, he has opened the door that will surely lead to the beginning of healing the great pain caused by paedophilic priests.
And by describing priestly celibacy as man-made he has certainly allowing a conversation on the whole subject, as it is being described; Pope Francis is obviously open to discuss anything, something his predecessors certainly weren't.
I believe all Christians need to continue to pray for the Vatican; a man clearly touched by God is at the helm and perhaps we will soon see the end of the ghastly practice of enforced celibacy; it has led to a millennium of Catholic sex abuse.
My next novel is centred on the first married pope to be elected to the Vatican; it's a long book and I hope will not be still born.
It's a particular sad day for Catholics when Cardinal George Pell, the third most senior cleric in the church, was convicted of child molestation and sentenced to six years in prison by a Melbourne court.
Research suggests that only 8% of clerics are involved in such grave misdemeanors, but wonders if that isn't just the tip of the iceberg.
Are vows of celibacy not instrumental in turning good men into sexual predators?
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski
Archbishop Wesolowski has been recalled to the Holy See from the Dominican Republic amid claims of child abuse. But the UN committee on the rights of children wants to know why he hasn't been handed over to the DR police and why it would appear that the archbishop is being shielded by the Vatican.
So, Anglicans, too...
Feb, 2013: Rev Robert Coles was jailed for eight years for sexually assaulting young boys, in the Church of England parish south of England.
May, 2013: A jury has found the Very Right Rev Gordon Rideout of indecently assaulting 34 children, and attempting to rape two girls in his parish south of London.
Both men are in their seventies. The assaults occurred some forty years ago, but only recently came to light.
What we do in the dark, when all is revealed, it will be "shouted from the roof tops."
Cardinal puts foot in mouth. Twice.
The world is used to men who, speaking off the cuff, put foot in mouth. After all, a recent American president perfected the art.
More recently, in March, 2013, speaking to the BBC, Cardinal Napier made an appalling gaffe, presumably in defence of some of this colleagues:
"Paedophilia is actually an illness - it is not a criminal condition."
He said he knew at least two priests who had been abused as children and became paedophiles.
“Now don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don’t think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged.”
This after Napier had been responsible for drawing up a written protocol on child abuse and sexual offences for the Southern African Bishops’ Conference.
Under intense pressure, he eventually apologised to all those children who had been sexually abused by Catholic priests.
"I cannot be accused of homophobia because I don't know any homosexuals."
This after lashing out the US for laying down that no aid would be forthcoming to countries that refuse to distribute condoms and legalise homosexuality.
Whilst one does wonder at what's behind US aid being linked to such sensitive matters, particularly as condoms are freely available in SA, and same-sex marriage is already legal, the Bishop's furious reaction does reflect on his thinking and position.
Methinks, like George Bush the man needs a speech writer. My Eminence, have you heard this definition of prejudice: Being down on someone you're not up on.
Perhaps it's time the good cardinal met a few gay people. They are about..! Especially in the Church.
Two German lawyers have initiated charges in the International Court against Pope Benedict accusing the Catholic Church of crimes against humanity. In particular they raised the Church's attitude regarding paedophile priests, charging the Church with the establishment and maintenance of a worldwide system of coverup of the sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests and their preferential treatment, which aids and abets ever new crimes.
Pray for the Pope. Only he can undo the heresy of Pope Gregory VII who in 1074, in excommunicating all married priests, and preventing the marriage of Catholic priests for a thousand years, is the underlying cause of the wave of Catholic Sex Abuse and paedophilia, in particular, that is bringing the Church to its knees.
One wonders whether he made it when he finally was confronted by St Peter at the pearly gates. Methinks not...
To cast the first stone...
"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
It will no doubt anger some of my Protestant brothers and sisters, but I would like to come out in defence of Roman Catholic priests. It in no way absolves them of the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases, but the root cause of the Catholic Church sex scandals lies not with the individual priests but with Pope Gregory V11.
"It was in 1074 that an ambitious man named Hildebrand, who had become Pope Gregory VII by irregular means the previous year, excommunicated all married priests."
And with 1000 years of Popes who should have known better, but through their silence have become part and parcel of the Catholic Church sex scandal. Will Pope Francis be the man to break with the scandalous Roman Catholic sex rules that have brought the whole of Christendom into such shame?
Let us pray for the man. It's a heavy burden to admit that for a thousand years you and your forebears have missed the plot, and to return to the Catholic tradition of the first millennium. To the honest and godly tradition concerning Christian marriage.
The alternative? More and more revelations of predatory Roman Catholic sex abuses cases.
If you are a Christian, would you commit yourself to pray for this man every day, whether you are a Catholic or not? I'm going to - he's the man who could save the Roman Catholic church. And Christendom. It's that important.
"The wicked are wicked, no doubt, and they go astray and they fall, and they come by their desserts: but who can tell the mischief which the very virtuous do?"
William Makepeace Thackeray
At a mass at St Peter's, Rome, the Pope has called for young people to consider joining the Catholic church. The last years have seen a decline in the number of priests by more than 50%, especially in Europe.
"Fearing loss of freedom," he declares has resulted in young people being afraid to listen to the Lord's voice.
Could it be, rather, that a fear that celibacy might result in a call of the human body to Catholic sex abuse?
How far should Christians go in "detaching themselves from everything" in their affirmation of their God. They don't deny themselves food, drink and shelter... the God-given sexual drives too?
America has had its series of Catholic Church sex scandals, and the recompense that it is now paying (estimated at three billion dollars) is threatening to break the financial back of the Church. At least six American dioceses have filed for bankruptcy.
Just one diocese, Burlington in Vermont, has put up for sale its administrative building and 26-acre leisure facility, Camp Tara Holy Cross on Lake Champlain, needing a further loan for its 18 million dollar payout to 26 victims.
In 1996 an advisory committee of Irish bishops drew up a new policy that included mandatory reporting of suspected paedophiles within the priesthood to the police.
In response, Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul's chief representative to Ireland wrote to the Bishops expostulating a shade too loudly that their policy of 'mandatory reporting' gave rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature.
Critics interpret this as a deliberate intervention on the part of the Vatican to dissuade the Irish bishops from turning paedophilic priests over to the police. In effect a cover-up...
August 2012: A BBC investigation after gathering information from one of Scotland's finest boarding schools, Ft Augustus Abbey school, obtained evidence of wide-spread sexual abuse, and cover-up by the headmasters; the school, now closed, was run by Benedictine monks.
"It's a bitter, and most shaming and distressing that I must confess that in an abbey school a small number of consecrated and ordained monks physically or sexually abused children in their care," said Bishop Hugh Gilbert.
March 2010: Addressing the victims of abuse, the Pope Benedict wrote: "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry."
"Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated... I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel." He said those guilty of abuse must "answer before God and properly constituted tribunals for the sinful and criminal actions they have committed".
Ireland has had its problems. In the last few months three bishops have resigned after the way in which they shielded paedophiles became public knowledge. One of them was Bishop John Magee, private secretary to three popes...
Update (5 June 2010) Top-level Catholic sex probe in Ireland: Archbishop of Westminster, Murphy-O'Connor, must deal with official reports of decades of rape, coercion and sexual abuse by predatory clerics whose activities, in the words of one report, were "obsessively" concealed by the church hierarchy.
"... two scathing Irish government reports released last year revealed decades of systematic sex abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children and a widespread cover-up of the problem."
"Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out."
In my own country, over 100 Dutch priests ...
Institute Magdala: "At least 100 priests in the Netherlands have a clandestine relationship – sexual and serious – with a woman. Accepted in small circles it includes withal younger and old priests alike."
Reported in daily newspaper Spits (Monday 14.08.2006)
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"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks (heeds) not his own counsel."
This week Belgium's longest serving bishop, Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned, confessing publicly:
“When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment.”
Yes, Bishop, hang your head, you've brought the whole of Christendom into disrepute, and the most beautiful town in Europe, but it's your Pope who is really to blame... that's where the buck should stop.
Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, archbishop of Belgium, said:
"Mistreating the deep nature of human love always ends up spawning catastrophes at all levels."
And that's precisely what Pope Gregory VII did.
Austria has also been rocked by its Roman Catholic sex abuse cases. Cardinal Hans Groer was forced to resign as Archbishop after it came to light that he had molested young boys at a monastery in the 1970's.
Bishop Georg Mueller has resigned after admitting that he, a Roman Catholic priest sex abused a minor.
A senior Roman Catholic priest in Mthatha, South Africa, has been
arrested for allegedly raping a 20 year old man, the national prosecuting authority said on Monday, 2011.
The priest, 68, a foreigner, was arrested on Sunday and applied for bail in the Mthatha magistrate's court, said regional spokesman Luxolo Tyali.
The priest arrived in South Africa towards the end of 1998. He runs a youth home which offers street children a way to live together and further their education.
What are we to say in conclusion? That the hundreds of people who have recently come forward, accusing priests of raping and sexually abusing them whilst the Bishops, knowingly, turned nothing more than a blind eye, have all lied?
Or is this just the tip of the iceberg of what has been happening for a thousand years since the reign of Pope Gregory VII?
Is it that the Roman Catholic church attracts young men with a tendency to paedophilia?
No! Rather, surely, it is the Catholic sex rules, the forbidding of young men to enjoy their God given instincts and rights, that has turned some of them into sexual perverts. And where does the buck stop? With the Popes, each and every one of them since that great heretic, Pope Gregory.
These scandals are not going to go away. Gradually all will be revealed; from every corner of the globe cases of Catholic church sex abuse are going to come to light. They will be shouted from the rooftops.
A married priesthood, or at least with the option to choose marriage should they so wish, is to my mind the only way forwards in ending the satanic mass of catholic sex abuse.
And it will surely continue until a Pope has the courage to overthrow a millennium of shame, a thousand years of Catholic sex abuse, and return to the godly tradition of the first millennium; a married priesthood. Will it be Pope Francis?
Or will the church simply slide into oblivion under a mire of
Catholic church sex scandals? Is it any wonder that for three straight
years the Vatican has declared a financial loss. Will they soon be selling off the Vatican treasures to pay for law suits?
Which Pope is going to have the balls, excuse the language, to overthrow the tradition of a thousand years. Let us pray that it will be Pope Francis.
Alleluia; we are indeed seeing a new openness to discuss anything including priestly celibacy. An end to Catholic Christian hypocrisy on the subject may be in sight.
NEPOTISM @ Catholic sex abuse
noun: Favouritism shown to relatives and friends, especially in business or political appointments.
ETYMOLOGY: From Italian nepotismo, from Latin nepos (grandson, nephew). Ultimately from the Indo-European root nepot- (grandson, nephew) that is also the source of the words nephew and niece.
The word originated from the practice of popes in the Roman Catholic Church to confer important positions to their sons. Since a pope had taken the vow of chastity, his son was euphemistically called a nephew.
A Word a Day
AIDS - an inherent justice?
"I do not see AIDS as a punishment, at most a sort of inherent justice..."
Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard
Me'thinks the Bishop is not strong on lateral thinking! This kind of Pharisaical self-righteous comment adds nothing to the debate on HIV-AIDS. Those spouses infected by an unfaithful partner, Bishop? Those newly-born infected by their mothers? Have you considered them?
When you've got your own house in order, dealing with Catholic sex abuse, then we'll take you seriously, my Eminence! That's where the inherent justice is happening.
I rather like the Collins definition of hypocrisy: the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc, contrary to one's real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety.
Useful links @ Catholic Sex abuse
It goes without saying that human sexuality, with all its quirks, provides much food for thought for the enquiring mind.
Sex, good or evil? Should we be ostriches and bury our heads in the sand? After a profound dream, this is the book I wrote. Only available as an ebook.
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