In the Name of the Father I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”

– Joseph Ratzinger


Most people will agree that there are genuinely loving and humanitarian peoples working under the auspices of the world religions.  While it could be said that “God’s Works” take place throughout our world in a variety of well-meaning forms, this gargantuan structure of monotheistic belief continues to inject a conditional love through its doctrinal legislation and which requires fear and fanaticism to maintain its power base.

We have the skeletons of morality once clothed with a spiritual sustenance that organised religion has now masked with dogma and “double-speak,” something we have become accustomed to in everyday life. The signs of ponerology become no less applicable here than it is at the core of present-day politics. While many sincere people work within global religions these hierarchies have been contaminated at the outset by the same pathological influences, the symptoms of which are characterised by the prevalence of sexual abuse and authoritarianism.The religious ideas dominated by pathological individuals – whether they are abusing children or the collective consciousness – In Łobaczewski’s words: “… become both a justification for using force and sadism against non-believers, heretics, and sorcerers, and a conscience drug for people who put such inspirations into effect.” [1]

The Bible, so revered and respected as “God’s Word” while offering spiritual succour and comfort for many of us, has also been the cause of centuries of untold suffering and death. Clearly, regardless of the crucifixion myth which existed in pagan rituals long before the Church of Christianity, Jesus – whether a person or a group of individuals – did exist and their teachings represented a pivotal moment of hope in the fortunes of humanity. Consequently, endless “copy and paste” hijacks on the original texts were developed over time, where fallible, priestly officials grafted, chopped and reformed original folk wisdom to fit the political agenda of the passing centuries.Though the original jewels of spiritual wisdom can still be found, the Bible has stood for the power brokers as a deformed instruction manual on how to hoodwink the masses; far removed from the original teachings where a gnostic oral tradition took precedence.

The Old Testament Bible stretches back to the priestly Levite scribes of Deuteronomy, a racist, separatist and gratuitously violent ideology grafted onto a disparate collection of religious doctrines, which came to be known as Judaism. All that arrived after the Nazarene “man of righteous”, was an inquisitorial system of control that has overseen massive bloodshed around the globe for the last two thousand years. It is this backdrop that has allowed networks of child molesters to abuse children within the “sanctity” and cover of the Church.™

What better place for paedophiles to hide than within the strictures of a hierarchical, religious corporation?

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According to the first comprehensive national study of the prevalence of sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Church, some 4 per cent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950 to 2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor. It was further discovered that over 95 per cent of the dioceses and 60 per cent of the religious communities were affected. [2] Though rigorous and wide ranging, this study cannot ascertain the full extent of sexual abuse within the Church.

Released in Washington on February 27, 2002, the John Jay study was commissioned by the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board, which released its own report at the same news conference on the causes of the clergy sex abuse crisis that has continued to rock the church for the past four years. The review board named by the bishops and composed of prominent lay people, is monitoring compliance with the U.S. bishops’ policies to prevent clergy sex abuse. The study concentrated on providing suitable statistics about the nature and scope of the crisis. The findings were shocking.

Over 4,392 clergymen – most of whom were priests – were accused of abusing 10,667 people. Sex-abuse related costs totalled $573 million, with $219 million covered by insurance companies. With child sex abuse more prevalent among diocesan clergy, of the total clergy accused, 929 were religious priests. The Church authorities’ response to persistent claims of abuse was to build a wall of silence and send the accused clergy for medical evaluation and treatment. While no action was taken against 10 per cent of priests accused, only 6 per cent of the allegations saw priests reprimanded. After this “tap on the hand” they were promptly returned to ministry. From other studies and reports it is clear that this secret preferential treatment had been taking place for many decades. What we have were – and still are – members of the Catholic Church who are high priests of paedophilia.

According to the study, 81 per cent were males, ranging from 11 to 14, representing over half of the total victims in this age group. Most of the victims were adolescents though with 22 per cent of the victims under 10 years old. Homosexual child molestation and pederasty seems to be more prevalent within the Church than the higher statistical evidence of young girls being abused in society as a whole. Commensurate with the cunning of the sexual predator, the family unit presented the most frequent opportunities for abuse, where priests used the religious emblem of trust to gain access to children. Tragically, up to 7 per cent of these children had a prior history of abuse and thus easily targeted again by those in which they had placed that trust – the professed messengers and mediators of God.

Though comprehensive enough, this belies the fact that it can only include those who chose to reveal these crimes. As the authors stated, the data from the 1990s had not been recorded as well as the natural time lag of victims not reporting their abuse. Priests to this day are being protected and many victims are unable to find the courage to come forward. They also admit that the financial costs are likely to be far higher: “14 per cent of the dioceses and religious communities did not provide financial data and the total did not include settlements made after 2002, such as the $85 million agreed to by the Boston Archdiocese.”

The study was based on detailed questionnaires returned by 195 of the 202 dioceses, Eastern eparchies and other ecclesial territories tied to the United States. This 97 per cent compliance was “an extraordinarily high response rate,” said the study. Regarding action by civil authorities, the study said that: “3 per cent of all priests against whom allegations were made were convicted and about 2 per cent received prison sentences.” This alone should give us pause for thought regarding the Churches professed “tough stance” on their in-house child molesters.

While news of the abuse was beginning to seep out, Pope John Paul II was doggedly holding onto power supported by the faithful, secure in their belief that he was a symbol of freedom and compassion around the world. Looking at the facts of his tenure this belief proves to have little connection to reality.

The Vatican corporation acts as lawmaker, prosecutor and judge, which is tied irrevocably to its own survival, jealously guarding its hold on power. Human rights are an anathema to such a monolith which seems to be reflected in Vatican City itself which has the highest crime rate in the world. Though the resident population is only just over 800, more than 600 crimes are committed there each year. [3] Presumably, to be the spiritual example so many imagine it to be, this would require far too many adjustments and reforms that, if implemented, would eventually bring the whole edifice crashing down. This is probably why the European Council’s Declaration of Human Rights has yet to be signed by Vatican officials. Wojtyla decided it would be a good thing to preach about human rights and the due process of the law while ensuring that such a process was frozen within his own dominion. It is easy to place the Virgin Mary on a Gold encrusted pedestal while ignoring the rights of women around the world. Condemning birth control and refusing the ordination of women is a classic contradiction and symbolic of the Catholic doctrine.

Pope John Paul was big on a re-Romanization and return to “traditional values.” He moulded and shaped the episcopate discarding some of the more congenial and inclusive wording of the Vatican councils in favour of total obedience. The net result of these values is unending fear, misery and suffering born from those utterly divorced from reality and compassion while theologically claiming the reverse. Wojtyla’s papacy, like his predecessors in the 11th and 16th centuries, served to add to the schizophrenia of the Catholic Church still further, creating more of an obstacle to the prospect of hope, freedom and diversity among Christian churches. A serious lack of new priests taking up their posts is symptomatic of millions worldwide who have become tired of its hypocrisy. The scandal of high–level sexual abuse alone is enough to understand why.

With the embodiment of contradictions that Karol Wojtyla represented, we go to the hand-picked Pope Benedict XVI a.k.a. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was affectionately known as “the enforcer,” “the panzer cardinal” and “God’s Rottweiler.”

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Fabio Pozzebom/ABr – Agência Brasil | Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, Brazil. (wikipedia )

The quality of compassion that merited these nick-names was on show when he attempted to add to his own brand of healing for Christians and Muslims. Rather than providing inspiration towards reconciliation, the Pope effectively sowed the most objectionable propaganda suitably glossed over by much of the MSM.

The Guardian reported that: “The Vatican last night said Pope Benedict XVI had not intended to offend when he quoted a 14th-century Christian emperor as saying the Prophet Muhammad had introduced only ‘evil and inhuman’ ideas into the world.” [4] It is precisely because Ratzinger knew of the delicacy of the issue that he chose such an inflammatory passage to quote. Knowing that he represents the religious arm of the “War on Terror” sideshow, he could not however, be as brazen as Bush in his loathing of Islam, so opted for a sneaky insertion under the pretence of faith and reason.

Joseph Ratzinger’s Neo-Conservatism is sourced from a colourful past which included a brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service on an anti-aircraft unit in the German army. His Nazi youth history and his insistence “that it was impossible to resist” the regime at the time, is not the primary reason for the scepticism from many that he embodies the milk of Catholic kindness. His vocal declarations of intent have the same overtones of fascism that so swept him off his youthful feet decades before. [5]

Perhaps it was this same spirit of “resistance” that led the UK Observer to report in April 24, 2005 about the upstanding qualities of the new Pope and how he was busy “obstructing” the sex abuse inquiry by ordering bishops to keep the allegations secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. By doing that, the clergy knew that they could keep the evidence secret for 10 years and by that time the children would be adults, thus leaving the Catholic hierarchy free to make merry with the communion wine and reminisce about the good old days. The lacklustre inquiry was finally lumbering into action after the growing revelations of enormous systematic and institutional sexual abuse was beginning to breach the boat. Ratzinger was tasked with keeping the doors firmly closed:

The letter is referred to in documents relating to a lawsuit filed earlier this year against a church in Texas and Ratzinger on behalf of two alleged abuse victims. By sending the letter, lawyers acting for the alleged victims claim the cardinal conspired to obstruct justice.

Daniel Shea, the lawyer for the two alleged victims who discovered the letter, said: ‘It speaks for itself. You have to ask: why do you not start the clock ticking until the kid turns 18? It’s an obstruction of justice.’

Father John Beal, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America, gave an oral deposition under oath on 8 April, 2004 in which he admitted to Shea that the letter extended the church’s jurisdiction and control over sexual assault crimes.

The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church’s opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims. [6]

The firmly zipped mouths outside the public domain makes one wonder what secret documents are still locked away in the Vatican vaults marked “for the Pope’s handlers only”.

In the 1990s the child abuse scandal began to affect cracks in their secrecy. Whether by conscious intent or by a natural excess, an August 2003 report also from The Observer obtained an “explosive” document which revealed just how corrupt the Church had always been. The 40-year-old confidential document, which lawyers called a “blueprint for deception and concealment” came from the secret Vatican archive and clearly showed the seal of Pope John XXIII. The letter was sent to every bishop in the world with instructions to enforce a policy of “strictest” secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse.

In other words, it was a cover-up of monumental proportions.

Members of the Church were being asked to lie and if they did not do so, they would be threatened with excommunication:

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.’

The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called ‘Crimine solicitationies,’ which translates as ‘instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation’.

It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the ‘worst crime’, described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with ‘ youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)’.

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases ‘in the most secretive way… restrained by a perpetual silence… and everyone… is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office… under the penalty of excommunication’

Texan lawyer Daniel Shea…said: ‘these instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment’.

British lawyer Richard Scorer, who acts for children abused by Catholic priests in the UK, echoes this view and has described the document as ‘explosive’. He said: ‘We always suspected that the Catholic Church systematically covered up abuse and tried to silence victims. This document appears to prove it. Threatening excommunication to anybody who speaks out shows the lengths the most senior figures in the Vatican were prepared to go to prevent the information getting out to the public domain.’ Scorer pointed out that as the documents dates back to 1962 it rides roughshod over the Catholic Church’s claim that the issue of sexual abuse was a modern phenomenon. […] [8] [Emphasis mine]

With an effective embargo on revealing the truth of these crimes mandated directly from the Pope, they were allowed to flourish unabated to the present day. The fact that special attention was given to extreme predatory behaviour: “with ‘youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)” suggests that their in-house investigations involved a great variety of chronic abuse previously unimagined.

As well as protecting the perceived sanctity and authority of the Church, it may have also served as a double layer of immunity that would ensure investigations stayed within the upper echelons of the cardinals’ clique, thus rendering them null and void.

 

Molestation by Ordination

In the city of Seattle, Washington State, U.S., Rev. James McGreal became the subject of four lawsuits shedding light on the number of victims the archdiocese allowed the priest to abuse. The Church was forced to pay out over $7.87 million to the victims. McGreal, who served in at least 10 parishes and two hospitals in the archdiocese between 1948 and 1988, was considered an extremely dangerous sexual predator. Although around 20 men sued the Church, filed court records say that McGreal admitted to his therapist that he molested “hundreds of victims.” [9]

Until his death in 2014, the former priest who was removed from the ministry in 1988 resided in a Missouri home for “troubled Priests,” (named “Club Ped” by victims of the abuse) the fees of which are being paid for by the Church.  So, if you’re a practicing Catholic or a part-time sinner and you give the odd donation to your local Church, indirectly, you are funding the protection and suitably comfortable lodgings of priestly paedophiles.

The defrocked priest John Geoghan was “one of the worst serial molesters in the recent history of the Catholic Church in America. For three decades, Geoghan preyed on young boys in a half-dozen parishes in the Boston area while church leaders looked the other way. Despite his disturbing pattern of abusive behaviour, Geoghan was transferred from parish to parish for years before the church finally defrocked him in 1998.” [10] A child rape charge and many civil claims were pending before Geoghan was strangled to death in 2002, although he was meant to be in “protective custody.” Allegations have surfaced that prison guards were complicit in his murder. The fact that the man who killed him was serving a life term for killing a gay man only increases the likelihood of complicity regarding his death.

geoghan_220

John Geoghan

The late Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham “allegedly befriended and then abused at least 50 boys over a 29-year career as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese, even as archdiocesan officials ignored numerous complaints against him.” [11] The Rev. Paul R. Shanley “ran a ‘street ministry’ in Boston in the 1960s and ‘70s, taking advantage of youths who came to him for guidance.  Finally, the Rev. Ronald H. Paquin “is the only Boston-area priest who has admitted guilt in a criminal molestation case, and is serving 12 to 15 years in prison for rape. He also has acknowledged molesting several boys during his ministry at parishes in Haverhill and Meth.” [12]

His “eminence” Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston on December 13, 2002, whereupon Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Law to several authoritative positions in Rome and the Vatican City, just to show how well he understood the concerns of the abused. It is this Cardinal that proved to be the catalyst of further investigations into the abuse taking place due to his unwillingness to seek justice on behalf of the victims. Over 50 priests signed a letter declaring no confidence in Law and asking him to resign – something which had never before happened in the history of the Church in America. The Archdiocese was forced to close 65 parishes before Cardinal Law stepped down from service.

A recent Grand Jury in Philadelphia came to some damning indictments regarding the “immoral cover-up” in the Philadelphia Diocese, leading to “excoriation” of prominent priests. In September of 2005 the Grand Jury concluded that Church officials allowed hundreds of sexual assaults against children to go unpunished and protected the priests who committed the crimes. Cardinals Anthony J. Bevilacqua and John Krol were accused of widespread corruption which included: “‘burying’ abuse reports, ignoring warnings about abusive priests, and shuttling offenders from parish to parish, where some found new victims.” (Bevilacqua died in 2012 aged 88).

The newspaper article continued:

“Sexually abusive priests were left quietly in place or ‘recycled’ to unsuspecting new parishes – vastly expanding the number of children who were abused,’ the grand jury concluded.”

The hierarchy ‘excused and enabled the abuse’ for decades, the grand jury said in a 418-page report, while demonstrating “utter indifference to the suffering of the victims.’”

The grand jurors, who spent three years investigating, concluded that Krol and Bevilacqua were more concerned with protecting the reputation and legal and financial interests of the archdiocese than the children entrusted to its care.

“In its callous, calculating manner, the archdiocese’s ‘handling’ of the abuse scandal was at least as immoral as the abuse itself,” the grand jury stated in its report.

Yet the panel recommended no criminal charges, saying it was thwarted by the statute of limitations and a church hierarchy that keep silent about the abuses until it was too late for prosecutors to make a case.

The archdiocese angrily denounced the grand jury report as incredibly biased and anti-Catholic.”

In a blistering 70-page response, the church officials and lawyers called it “a vile, mean-spirited diatribe.” [13] [Emphasis mine]

The actions of the Philadelphia archdiocese do mirror a similar intent to stymie investigations of abuse claims across the North Western states of the US. These “orders” are indeed as “immoral” as the abuse itself, yet forms part of the Vatican tradition of secrecy. As the District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham pointed out in a rebuttal of the Church’s denial, it contained: “all too familiar denials, deceptions and evasions” that she said had characterized the church’s handling of the abuse crisis. The Philadelphia Inquirer further reported:

“The truth, as horrifying as it is, is now out in the open. We believe it will help survivors heal.” The grand jury report was startling in its expression of sheer outrage and striking for the depth of detail of the abuses. “What we have found were not acts of God, but of men who acted in His name and defiled it,” the grand jury said.

The grand jury concluded that at least 63 priests – and probably many more – abused hundreds of victims over the past several decades. […] …the grand jury found that many victims were abused for years and that many priests abused multiple victims, sometimes preying on members of the same family.

According to the report, victims of the abuse included an 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by a priest who took her for an abortion when she became pregnant; a fifth grader who was molested by a priest inside a confessional; A teenage girl who was groped by a priest while she lay immobilized in traction in a hospital room;  a priest who abused boys playing the roles of Jesus and other biblical characters in a parish passion play by making them disrobe, don loincloths, and whip each other until they had cuts, bruises and welts; another who falsely told a 12-year-old boy his mother knew of the assaults and consented to the rape of her son and a priest who offered money to boys in exchange for sadomasochistic acts of bondage and wrote a letter asking a boy to make him his “slave.” The latter priest is still in the ministry.

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Cardinal Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua

If we were in any doubt as to the culpability of the Church hierarchy, Cardinal Bevilacqua proved to another example of the Elite who was perfectly happy to allow known abusers to remain in ministry despite receiving copious warnings about their behaviour. When the clergy under his care abused repeatedly after finding more victims in their new assignments it was reported that: “church officials did not call police to report assaults against children, even in cases in which priests admitted the attacks.” When the Cardinal was asked by the grand jury as to why the Church had not informed the police:

 “‘Bevilacqua told the grand jury that the law did not require them to.’”

‘That answer is unacceptable,” the grand jury said. ‘It reflects a willingness to allow such crimes to continue, as well as an utter indifference to the suffering of the victims.’”

The grand jury also observed that as recently as 2002, Bevilacqua and his representatives knowingly understated the extent of sexual abuse within the church.

[…] There was evidence of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, and corruption of minors.

But in all cases, the panel said, the abuse happened years, if not decades, ago, and the statute of limitations on any crimes had expired.

The panel said it had considered charging the archdiocese with endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, victim/witness intimidation, hindering apprehension, and obstruction of justice. But again, it said, the statute of limitations on any crimes had expired.

So the panel was left with what it described as ‘a travesty of justice, a multitude of crimes for which no one can be held criminally accountable.’” [14] [Emphasis mine]

It seems by August of 2006 the Philadelphia archdiocese was still failing to take adequate steps to address the problems of sexual abuse in their parishes. Keep quiet and “suffer the little children unto thee.” That is exactly how the Church intends it to be.

Since the grand jury investigation and the discovery that archdiocesan files contained accusations against 169 priests the archdiocese only posted on its website the names of 57 priests whom it acknowledges as abusers. Why did the archdiocese choose to believe that there was not enough evidence to take action against the abusers? As Sorensen and McCartney the former prosecuting lawyers state: “It is troubling – and telling – that the church has not revealed the names of many accused priests or explained why it has evidently kept them in ministry,…” [15]

Moreover, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the archdiocese had “failed to lend full public backing to a set of legislative proposals that would lift the statute of limitations on all future sex abuse and expand the definition of who must report abuse to authorities.”

True to form, it seems the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was “quietly opposing the bills.”

 

See also: The New York Catholic Church Paid Lobbyists $2.1 Million to Block Child Sex-Abuse Law Reform

 


Notes

[1] op.cit. Lobaczewski (Political Ponerology; p. 274)
[2] The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States A Research study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
[3] ‘Vatican crime rate ‘soars’’ BBC News, 8 January, 2003.
[4] ‘Muslim anger builds over Pope’s speech’ Agencies, Guardian Unlimited, September 15, 2006.
[5] ‘Papal hopeful is a former Hitler Youth’ The Sunday Times, April 17, 2005. | “‘Resistance was truly impossible,” Georg Ratzinger said. [his brother] “Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis and another told us not to worry as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy.” “Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. “It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others,” she said. “The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice.”
[6] ‘Pope ‘obstructed’ sex abuse inquiry’ – Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret – by Jamie Doward, The Observer, April 24, 2005.
[7]  ‘Vatican told bishops to cover up sex abuse’ – Expulsion threat in secret documents – by Antony Barnett, The Observer, August 17, 2003. See original 1962 Vatican document at http://www.theguardian.co.uk.
[8] ‘Washington: Church Settles Abuse Suits’ The New York Times, September 12, 2003.
[9] Abuse in the Catholic Church – ‘The Geoghan Case.’ The Boston Globe Spotlight Investigation “2003.
[10] Ibid. ‘The Birmingham Case.’
[11] Ibid. ‘The Shanley Case.’
[12] ‘Grand jury harshly criticizes Archdiocese for hiding clergy sexual abuse’ The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sep. 21, 2005.
[13] ‘An ‘Immoral’ Cover-up’ By Nancy Phillips and David O’Reilly, The Philidelphia Inquirer, September 22, 2005.
[14] ‘Letter: Church failing on sex abuse’ Two former prosecutors told Cardinal Rigali that children remain at risk because steps have been inadequate. By David O’Reilly, The Philidelphia Inquirer, August 6, 2006.
[15] Ibid.

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