Update on AUGUST 29, 2018 AT 2:27PM
Cardinal on Molestation: “The Environment & Social Justice More Important to Us” BY BEN MARQUIS
The scandalous sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy has wracked the Catholic Church for decades, but it has taken on a new urgency in light of information that has come out over the past few months — including a horrific grand jury report that found church leadership worked to protect over 300 pedophile priests in Pennsylvania alone.
A whistleblower recently emerged, formerly from the top ranks of church leadership, and accused other top Catholic leaders — including Pope Francis — in a scathing open letter of knowing about and covering up the sex abuse scandal for years. That whistleblower is former Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was the top diplomat from the Vatican before he was let go by Francis in 2016. Vigano accused the pontiff and others of caring more about liberal social issues than the sexual abuse of minors or conservative Catholic traditions, and called for Francis to step down as pope.
Of course, some in the Catholic Church have pushed back against Vigano’s assertions, including the archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who ironically seemed to confirm some of Vigano’s accusations even as he attempted to dismiss them.
“The pope knows we have a bigger agenda,” Cupich said in an interview with WGN-TV. “We have to speak about the environment, about the poor, we have to reach out to people who are marginalized in society. We cannot be distracted at this moment.” In essence, the cardinal just declared that environmental and social justice issues were at the top of the church’s agenda, and implied that the scandalous sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy was little more than a distraction.
Sorry, Cardinal Cupich, but saving spotted owls and whales ranks far lower on the priority list than saving innocent children from molesters and rapists … at least in our book. To be sure, caring for the poor and reaching out to marginalized members of society, as well as caring for the environment, are laudable things in and of themselves.
But, again, those things pale in importance compared with ensuring vulnerable children aren’t abused by authority figures in the church. Outing and preventing that sort of despicable abuse must be a top priority for the church going forward, if it hopes to survive this growing and ongoing scandal with any credibility.
Many of Vigano’s accusations centered around Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, formerly the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., who has been accused of sexually abusing minors for decades. Vigano pointed to McCarrick and McCarrick’s replacement — Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who has also been implicated in the sexual abuse scandal — as being “king-makers” for Cupich, and said those two were “united by a wicked pact of abuses by McCarrick and a cover up of abuses by others.”
Of that particular charge, Cupich replied, “I did not have any pre-knowledge about this. I think that my record across 20 years as being a bishop would indicate that had I had any information about anybody who was abusing children or anybody else, I would have acted on it. So, the answer is a straight-forward ‘no.’” “As someone who is supposed to be so focused on changing things with regard to the church’s sex abuse policy, how could you not know?” WGN’s Dina Bair asked the cardinal. “All I know is that this knowledge was not given to me in any way,” Cupich said about the actions of McCarrick, who has been shown to have been the source of payoffs and subject of complaints dating back to the 1980s. The cardinal suggested the people around McCarrick had been “groomed” to be supportive of the cardinal and automatically disbelieve any “rumors” that may spring up against him.
“What are people to believe right now?” Cupich said of the ongoing scandal. “I think they have to look at what is happening in their own local church. “We are proud of the way we’ve handled this situation. We are transparent. We have given all of our documents over to authorities. We have the safest child protection program in this city, in this dioceses, and I would dare anyone to come forward and try to match what we have.”
Again, sorry, cardinal, but the church is only being “transparent” now that the scandal has been exposed more than ever before. Furthermore, the suggestion that environmental and social justice issues are of greater importance than protecting innocent minors from sexual abuse isn’t going to help much in convincing people that the church has handled this situation properly, or will do so in the future.
But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Miscellaneous quotes ….
“Human weakness is not an excuse for moral failure. A pastor is someone called by God to stand before the people in Christ’s stead.” (Based on 2 Corinthians 5:20)
“They like to use those fancy words. They don’t like to say “raped,’” he said. “They say “misdeed,’ “inappropriate touching,’ “mistake.’ That’s insulting. I’m not a mistake.”
“From my childhood I had been intended for the clergy. This prospect hung like a dark cloud on my mind.” Nikola Tesla
“One of the duties of fortitude is to keep the weak from receiving injury; another, to check the wrong motions of our own souls; a third, both to disregard humiliations, and to do what is right with an even mind. All these clearly ought to be fulfilled by all Christians, and especially by the clergy.”
“If all Church power vests in the clergy, then the people are practically bound to passive obedience in all matters of faith and practice; for all right of private judgment is then denied.” Charles Hodge
“Clergy sexual abuse and misconduct (including spiritual abuse) is wrong. It is the pastor’s (or any other person in the role of authority) responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries.”
‘Men of God hid it all’: Church protected more than 300 ‘predator priests’ in Pa., grand jury says … go here for Report https://goo.gl/C1jSWo
More: Harrisburg Catholic diocese names priests accused of sexual abuse More: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigns amid sex scandal More: Church pastor, board resign amid sexual misconduct investigation
Pope Francis’ historic letter
Pope Francis released a first-of-its-kind letter today mourning the Catholic Church’s “atrocities” and failures to protect children from abusive clergy. Why it matters: The Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal is global, with victims and coverups from Australia to Chile to Ireland and the United States.
Details from Reuters’ Philip Pullela:
- “[T]he pope appeared to be launching an appeal for all Catholics to face the crisis together and not let it tear the Church apart.”
- “In his letter, the pope referred to the suffering endured by minors due to sexual abuse at the hands of a ‘significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.’”
- “The Vatican said it was the first time a pope had written to all of the world’s some 1.2 billion Catholics about sexual abuse. Past letters on sexual abuse scandals have been addressed to bishops and faithful of individual countries.”
- In Francis’ own words: “We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death.”
What they’re saying:
- “More actions, less words,” said Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org. “He needs an effective discipline process for bishops and religious superiors who are known to have enabled abuse.”
- Irish abuse survivor Colm O’Gorman: “He says the church must condemn the crimes of clerics who abused, and seek forgiveness for its own ‘sins’… And again, fails to acknowledge the plain fact of the Vatican’s willful cover up of those very crimes. Of their facilitation of them.”
- Read Pope Francis’ full letter
- Pennsylvania AG says cardinal “not telling the truth”
- WashPost’s Karen Tumulty: “Why am I still a Catholic?”
It’s hard to answer that with any degree of certainty, because the research out there is pretty minimal. If you accept the general statistic that one in four women and one in six men will have been sexually victimized before they turn 18, then you have to acknowledge that those same people are inside of our churches and faith communities. So if you had 100 men and 100 women in your church, 20.5 percent of your church would be survivors of child sexual abuse. How does the issue of sexual predators within Protestant churches compare with the massive scandal the Catholic Church as endured? A few years ago, data was gathered from some of the top insurance providers for Protestant churches. It was found that they received 260 reports a year of minors being sexually abused by church leaders or church members. Similarly, the John Jay Report on the Catholic Church came up with 228 credible accusations by priests.
Not Protestant but … Instances of Child Sexual Abuse allegedly perpetrated by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A history 1959-2017 —– 316 pages detailing abusers and circumstances. —–
Sexual abuse is not (just) a “Catholic problem” Posted on September 24, 2016 (Mennonites)
Anna Groff is chair of the Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention and the executive director of Dove’s Nest: Faith Communities Keeping Children and Youth Safe. It’s a reality in every faith community, she writes. This quote pushed us and we were able to reflect together on the need to remember that sexual abuse is among us as Mennonites. We have victims — known and unknown — within our own congregation.
Take for instance the allegations of sexual abuse in several Hasidic Jewish communities, where young boys were routinely abused at religious schools and community gatherings. These children weren’t able to come forward with their allegations for years because they feared being cast out from the religious community for accusing one of their “holy” leaders of such a despicable crime. When the boys finally did come forward the rabbis were tried in an ecclesiastical court, much like the Catholic priests who were accused of similar crimes. These courts exonerated the rabbis of their crimes and halted efforts to pursue secular justice against the offenders.
Allegations of physical and sexual mistreatment in Koranic schools sometimes prove more difficult to tackle than Islamic militancy. October 09, 2005|Brian Murphy | Associated Press Writer In Pakistan there are many allegations regarding sexual abuse of children in Islamic religious schools called madrassas. This abuse of children is not widely discussed by the victims, as the religious community routinely shuns those who come forward and “dishonors” their religious leaders.
A fourth man has accused Bishop Eddie Long, a popular Georgia megachurch pastor, of abusing him sexually when he was a teenager. Spencer LaGrande, 22, filed suit against Long and his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and, like the other three alleged victims, accused the powerhouse pastor of forcing him into a sexual relationship while treating him to trips around the world, travel in private planes and stays in luxury hotels.
Stop … Stop
This … all of it … has gone on “Ad Nauseam.”
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