A prominent cardinal resigned in disgrace. Grand jurors accused hundreds of Catholic clerics of secretly abusing children. A former Vatican ambassador urged the Pope himself to step down.
It was enough for New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan to call it the Catholic Church’s “summer of hell.”
The cardinal may have been overly optimistic.
In fact, the church’s hellish year began in January, when Pope Francis forcefully defended a Chilean bishop he had promoted. He later had to apologize and accept the bishop’s resignation.
But the clergy sex abuse scandal shows no signs of abating, with a federal investigation and probes in 12 states and the District of Columbia in the works.
The Pope has convened a meeting of bishops from around the world in Rome next February 21-24, saying he wants the church to tackle the scandal together. But lay Catholics and law enforcement officials appear to be losing patience with the church’s hierarchy.
“The Catholic Church cannot police itself,” said Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general, in announcing that Catholic leaders had withheld the names of 500 clergy members accused of abuse.
The church’s institutional crisis was mirrored by individual soul-searching, as American Catholics questioned whether to stay in the church. 2018 saw parents challenging priests at Mass, prominent Catholics urging the faithful to withhold donations and parents worrying whether their children are safe in the sacristy.
One Catholic historian called it the church’s greatest crisis since the Reformation in 1517.
Here’s a guide to how the Catholic Church got to this point in 2018:
The Pope began the year with an apology to sexual abuse survivors in Chile, where he aroused anger by saying he had seen no “proof” against Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused of covering up for an abusive priest.
Francis’ top adviser on the issue, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, called the Pope’s comments “a source of great pain” for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.
Barros denied the accusations and the Pope continued to defend him, even as he sent the Vatican’s top sex abuse adviser to Chile to investigate the allegations.
The Pope had received a letter from a Chilean abuse survivor in 2015, saying that Barros had witnessed a priest molesting teenagers, according to the author of the letter and another source. The news raised questions about whether the Pope had read the letter and what, if anything, he did about it.
In a dramatic reversal, the Pope admits he made “grave errors” in handling the accusations against Barros. After reviewing his investigator’s report on Chile, Francis said his previous comments were based on a “lack of truthful and balanced information.”
The Pope later meets with three Chilean survivors of sexual abuse, including Juan Carlos Cruz, who says Francis told him, “I was part of the problem. I caused this and I apologize to you.”
Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell stands trial on multiple counts of historical sexual abuse in his native Australia. Pell is the most senior figure in the Catholic Church to face criminal charges for alleged assault.
Also in Australia, Archbishop Philip Wilson is convicted of covering up sexual abuse, though his conviction was later overturned.
All of Chile’s 34 bishops offer to resign, after a three-day emergency summit at the Vatican. The simultaneous resignation of all the bishops in a single country is thought to be unprecedented in the modern history of the Catholic church. The Pope would later accept the resignation of seven bishops, including Barros.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington and an influential voice in the church and international politics, is removed from public ministry by Pope Francis after a church investigation finds an allegation that McCarrick sexually abused a minor in the 1970s “credible and substantiated.” McCarrick said he had “no recollection” of the alleged abuse.
McCarrick is also accused of sexual misconduct with adults “decades ago” while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the bishops of those cities said. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said, raising questions about how McCarrick rose through the church’s ranks despite rumors about his conduct.
McCarrick has not commented on those allegations.
After more media reports accuse McCarrick of abusive conduct with seminarians and a young boy, Pope Francis demotes him from the College of Cardinals, a rare step. McCarrick is ordered to lead “a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”
Pope Francis accepts the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson, the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to be convicted of covering up sex abuse.
A sweeping report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania accuses more than 300 “predator priests” of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947. Though most of the accusations date back decades, before the church instituted new protocols, the report plunges the church into crisis, as Catholics across the country express outrage.
Two days later, a Vatican spokesman calls the alleged abuses detailed in the Pennsylvania report “criminal and morally reprehensible.”
Pope Francis pens a letter “To the People of God,” in which he apologizes for the Catholic Church’s failure to protect children from abusive clergy. “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
The Pennsylvania grand jury report prompts law enforcement officials in other states to begin investigating the Catholic Church. Eventually, 12 states and Washington, DC, would announce probes of varying scope.
During a visit to Ireland, where government reports have found widespread abuses by Catholic clergy, the Pope says the failure of church officials to address “these appalling crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community.”
In an 11-page “testimony” released to conservative Catholic media, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, accuses Francis of ignoring his warnings about McCarrick’s conduct and calls on the Pope to resign.
The Pope declines to answer Vigano’s accusations, telling journalists to dig for the truth.
New York’s attorney general issues civil subpoenas for all eight Catholic dioceses in the state to investigate how they handled accusations of clergy sexually abusing children.
New Jersey’s attorney general forms a task force to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy and any attempted cover-ups.
Vigano unveils a new charge against Francis and other high-ranking Vatican officials: that they have told untruths about the Pope’s controversial meeting in 2015 with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to sign same-sex marriage certificates.
The Vatican announces that Pope Francis has summoned leaders of national bishops’ conferences from around the world to Rome to discuss the clergy sex abuse crisis, an unprecedented step in the history of the church.
Pope Francis accepts the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield and orders an investigation into allegations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults.
A week after meeting with Pope Francis in Rome, leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops say they intend to adopt new policies to hold bishops accused of abuse or cover-ups accountable
More than 46,000 Catholic women sign an open letter asking Pope Francis to answer Vigano’s charges. Francis and his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, remain silent on the matter.
A report from Germany’s Catholic bishops admits to “at least” 3,677 cases of child sex abuse by the clergy between 1946 and 2014.
The sex abuse scandal sends the Pope’s approval ratings among Americans to a new low, according to Pew Research Center survey.
Michigan authorities seize records from every Catholic diocese in the state as part of an investigation into possible sexual abuse by clergy
Under pressure to respond to Vigano’s allegations, the Vatican says Pope Francis ordered an investigation last year into the accusations against Archbishop McCarrick, adding that the results will be released “in due course.”
Pope Francis accepts the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, after the Pennsylvania grand jury report accuses the former Pittsburgh bishop of mishandling clergy sex abuse cases.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia subpoena records from every diocese in Pennsylvania, the first federal investigation of that size into the abuse of children by priests and the cover-up of those crimes by Catholic leaders. The same federal prosecutor tells every Catholic diocese in the country not to destroy records pertaining to child sexual abuse.
Attorneys general in Washington, DC, and Virginia launch investigations into the Catholic Church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse.
A bishop in New York is removed pending an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a minor. The bishop denied the allegations.
The Vatican dramatically intervenes in the US Catholic bishops annual meeting, instructing them not to adopt new policies to hold bishops accountable for misconduct and failing to protect children from sexual abuse.
Law enforcement officials in Texas raid the offices of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, looking for files related to a priest accused of abusing a minor. DiNardo’s diocese said it is cooperating with the investigation.
An Australian court overturns the conviction of Archbishop Philip Wilson, saying there was reasonable doubt that he covered up the abuse of children.
Pope Francis removes three cardinals from his small council of advisers. Two have been the subject of allegations relating to sexual abuse or covering it up.
Four Jesuit regional provinces in the United States reveal that at least 230 Jesuits had been credibly accused of abusing minors since the 1950s. A fifth province will release its list of abusive clergy in January.
Illinois’ attorney general says the state’s six dioceses have failed to disclose accusations of sexual abuse against at least 500 priests and clergy members.
In a speech to the Vatican curia, Pope Francis tells priests who abuse minors to turn themselves in to civil justice authorities and “prepare for justice”
That video and article says it all.
Pope Francis and I have one thing in common – we both say and believe that the RC thing is utterly corrupt.
NOEL TREANOR’S NEW TOILET
An Armagh priest sent the pic below and said it is a pic of Noel Treanor’s new toilet in Chateau Noel.
51 replies on “CORRUPTION”
” Francis has taken the strongest stand against it……”, Well that’s some lie!! He re-instated abusers whom Benedict had restricted; never mind his surrounding himself with a coterie of known homosexual abusers. But sure, he’s a leftie, so the like of this “journalist” has to give him a by-ball. It is truly shocking this mendacious character conspired to wangle the see of Peter. Coprophilia. Coprophagia – he’d know all about that.
The default position for every Roman Catholic parent about Roman Catholic priests and religious is clear: assume they ALL are paedophiles/ephebophiles…and keep kids AWAY from these stinking perverts!
Oh, for the days of the Spanish Civil War! The Spanish republicans, of the 1930s, knew exactly how to deal with these perverted Christ-betrayers. 😆
You once wanted to be one of them so your words are very hollow indeed and your stance is hypocritical and shallow. Sums you up perfectly
The “Magna Carta Composite” emanates from “the Wing” in the late 80’s early 90’s.
The puppet master is undoubtedly a priest and it is a small group of clerics and ex clerics – smart asses – homosexualists – masters of sarcasm – sh*t-stirrers and mischief makers, who are at one in the amused contempt with which they regard almost everyone else.
Some of this composite, who are all pals and who holiday, etc., together, you would think twice about leaving your teenage son or grandson alone with.
What “MC” and it’s puppet master is doing is simply being outrageously offensive and stirring sh*t. It would be better for folks to just ignore it’s tiresome, continuous and predictable interjections.
The thing to remember – “MC” is more than one person. “It’s name is legion” (Mark 5:9) and it is a “shape shifter”. It can be anything the puppet master wants it to be. Don’t play it’s trolling little games 😉
We’ve heard all this from you before, your communist friends were the feind’s of hell and MURDERED thousands of priests and religious, but thanks be to God they were trounced and Spain was saved and consecrated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
@11:18am – the “Composite” has some cheek to talk about ephebophilia. Yes, they spend a lot of time with each other – also ringing, texting, emailing all day – tittering and laughing like the bunch of pansies they are.
Biggest crisis since th reformation. Course it is. So get reformin hi. Like thauld throne Ya sure it’s not a commode. Wonder who empties it but. Hope whoever sent pic in ain’t full of schyte. Don’t look like it’s in a bathroom but
Excellent summary and rundown of the abuse mess within the Church. The meeting next month in Rome will probably be another talking shop. Will Amy be going? Maybe his Scruff priest will accompany him.
Just never stops. How is this church still standing? They have taken the message of Christ and threw it out the window. When will the Irish bishops step up to the plate? No matter what Francis says in February they will nod their heads and pay lip service. Then when they get home it will be business as usual. See nothing hear nothing and more importantly they will say nothing. There’s no way they will give up their cosy lifestyle. Francis may as well piss in the wind. Bet the bishops wont be paying for their own travel and accommodation, their fine wines and expensive food. Just another PR exercise. Yawn yawn yawn
Quite so. A continual merry-go round of pointless meetings and conferences. Anybody know a bishop who just stays put and manages his diocese? What possible use could Treanor have been in the Near East? Anthony Fisher was in Washington for the March for Life while his own diocese of Sydney is in deep crisis not least owing to the recent conviction of his predecessor.
10.38: Tell us how your ignoramus comment helps in any constructive dialogue about serious issues? Tell us – otherwise, take your puny brain from your back***e!
Touched a nerve Reverend @12.29?
12.42: Why do you assume all commentators are clerics? I’m not but my comment at 12.29. The comment of 10.38 is crap.
A piece in NCR today on the Detroit Seminary puts the touchy feely allegedly Sapphist Sister who has just been forced out at the age of 84 into perspective. I am wondering now whether she has just been ousted by the rabid new Right who seem to have a grip on the seminary. Worth noting that the scourge of homosexuals, Archbishop John Nienstedt was Rector there, and there appears to be a cadre of staff members hot on all the usual touchstone issues – you know the kind of stuff: Humanae Vitae as prophetic, and you can guess the rest … gays bad, capital punishment good. According to them, Francis is a dangerous liberal. On what exactly? I hardly recognize the Church any more, for the first time in my life feel ill at ease in a church building, and given the level of nonsense and toxicity rarely feel able or willing to acknowledge my Catholic identity.
Could you have made your comment without the word ass….or was backside an educated ( clerical style ) word?
1.38: I’m not a cleric!! The comment at 10.38 is superfluous and silly: rather infantile and not conducive to intelligent dialogue.
Pat, has Delia caught up with you yet? She’s raging.
No sign of her yet???
She’s a real fagoholic.
Corruption ? We are not far away, certainly in places like the USA, where secular authorities are on the point of seeing the Church and its antics in respect of abuse and cover-up, as corrupt organised crime. I would not be surprised if states began to treat the Church like that. We have already seen states beginning to demand records, instigating investigations, and producing reports. Attorney Generals will see the same web of deceit, corruption and illegality in the Church and its diocese as it does in other organised crimes – not necessarily financial (although I’m sure a close forensic investigation of Church finances would reveal some interesting things), but certainly criminal abuse of young and vulnerable, abuse of authority and position, collusion, lying, frustrating the course justice. I don’t think my view is that far fetched. Watch this space.
All these Bishops will be in Rome without any shame and as if nothing ever happened. I hear +Elsie is not looking forward to it after his humiliation at the abuse enquiry recently. Poor Elsie was wounded by that encounter and has remained very quiet ever since.
Elsie’s humiliation was long overdue.
Poor love 🤣
Elsie will be in Rome bold as brass and dining in her favourite Trattoria near the English College. Nothing ever phases that one. Driven to the steps of the plane and business class with BA – what’s not to like? The abused will not be featuring much on Elsie’s mind. She will be her usual savvy self in front of the media.
+ Vinny doesn’t go through the public entrance at the airport. Always the VIP route. Well, Prince of the Church ? I do think, however, that the IICSA experience has humbled him immensely. It has been a real shock to the system. He is pretty quiet at the moment. But, he’s a confident and suave individual, and I think he will bounce back and ensure that his last few years in Westminster are not characterized by his humbling, his breakdown, and the loss of his confidence. He will want to be remembered as more robust and rising about all this. As to how he will be treated in Rome, well, I suspect that Rome is not keen on bishops and cardinals who bring with them the whiff of scandal, failure and abuse. + Vinny is the figurehead of church in E & W that has not got a good track record in this area, and much of it now in the public domain. I don’t think that is going to be viewed very favorably in Rome. He could find himself a little cold shouldered. He won’t like that. Still, a little spaghetti carbonara, saltimbocca romana, some nice wine and some decent cheese with convivial company will be a little relief for him.
2.20: The same spaghetti carbonara, saltimbocca romano, nice wines, cheeses and convivial company seem to be pretty familiar to you – porky pig!! A daily staple I guess…
Elsie has attended Guido Marini’s infamous drinks receptions in the past. Marini does a mean vodka martini and only the select few get invited.
It seems to me reading all of this is that all the clergy do in Rome is only eat, drink and have a jolly time. Who pays for it – us the laity that’s who!! One, two, three, baaaaaaaaaa.
+Elsie denied a cover-up, but I suppose the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will be the judge of that when the final report is published.
Yes indeed, Elsie didn’t look all that convincing and you could tell she was very uncomfortable with the questioning.
Elsie isn’t used to having to justify herself to anyone else. For that alone IICSA is worth it. These people really think themselves beyond reproach and a good hard slap from an independent investigation is exactly what they need.
Elsie has never gone through a public entrance in her life. She’s been notorious for years, even before she became archbishop of Birmingham, when she invented her own title in North London, she used to look through you if she thought you weren’t useful to her. Who would have thought in the heady days of the early nineties that this forum would be available to publish what people really think of her.
It’s about time you bunch of vicious queens lay off +Vinny. He probably knows who you are and you clearly have a nasty agenda against him. Some of you are just jealous bitches and trash. You’ll get what’s coming to you so don’t be enjoying too much g & t’s tonight – spiteful hoors.
How do people who claim to believe in and preach the Gospel, prey on and rape children? And how could those in very senior positions in the church conceal the abhorrent crimes and not be held to account?
Instead of protecting children, church authorities protected paedophile priests and religious in order to protect reputations and their assets. This pattern of cover up and protection of the church has been in every country abuse has been studied.
This is an appalling abuse of human rights. The sooner senior church officials are brought to justice the better. Talk shops , inquiries and reports have gone on for years. Time for legal action against senior clerics.
This clerical corruption is destroying the Church.
They neither believe in the Gospel, nor do they preach it. This is why dirty, rotten, Roman Catholic priests can prey on children and rape them; they just don’t care about anyone or anything, except pleasuring themselves.
From the early centuries of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church has progressively inclined away from Gospel teaching. It is an evil institution, and you shouldn’t be surprised that it has given itself over so thoroughly to moral corruption.
The forthcoming meeting in Rome of the heads of bishops’ conferences will be a monumental waste of time (and of the laity’s money, since none of those travelling there, executive class, are in paid employment, but sponge off others) and a gross deception. The institutional RCC cannot police itself; and it has no real desire to do so.
Everyone who contributes financially, or in any other way, to this evil institution is morally complicit in its vile criminality.
Call them all the revolting names you want MC and be as deeply offensive as you possibly can – the thing is people are not falling for it anymore. Same old boring tiresome provocative Magna.
5.16: Vile, hate filled invective. You poor sod! Contemptible words.
Magna and his anonymous responder are both wrong, in different ways. They preach it but don’t believe it in my humble opinion. I agree with Magna that the second oldest profession attracts shits. I have come across people in it who weren’t shits, but always compromised by their dependence on the institution.
I have since professionally met many members of the oldest profession, and would rate them way above most clergy for simple human decency.
I tell ye now, the Moneyglass heifer is fit to be tied this night! Bulling she is!
She can scarcely contain herself in thon parochial house in Poleglass. Incandescent with fury and walking the floors is she; and what she’s not sayin about Pat Buckley isn’t worth saying.
I tell ye, there’s a bit of snow falling this evening but none of it is landing on Poleglass parochial house. It’s evaporating as soon as it hits, such is the heat coming off Big Bedelia’s tongue.
Who needs solar panels? She could power the whole district with her wrath! 🐂🔥💥 🤯 🤣🥳
Leave Big Dr Delia alone! Yiz shud all be ashamed of yerselves so yiz shud.
Thon big crater out busy all day choppin legs and arms aff and savin lives in the Royle Hospital and all yousuns can do is make a laff affaf her.
And then she comes home til give Aidan his backle and get him down fer the night and all this carry on waiting on her on the internet?
Yiz shud all hing yer heads in shame so yiz shud. We don’t appreciate dacktars haf enuf and the things the has til go threw!
Tell her to fag off, Bp Pat.
By the sounds things, Bp Pat, you’ll have to do a “Westminster – A Summary” sooner or later.
Give him her due, Bp Pat, +Elsie used to be great with the queens before he was forced to abolish the Soho Masses.
The revolting old queer, Damian Thompson, described the services as “an embarrassment.”
That is an EXCELLENT suggestion! Probably not much interest to Irish readers, but the Ordinariate is also fair game. They claim to be ultra-trad, but, far from bringing the so-called riches of their Anglican heritage, do whatever takes their fancy and like to celebrate the Tridentine Rite where possible. One of their number, Father John Hunwicke, announced on his blog that he inserts the name of his “bishop” Keith in the Canon of the Mass. Keith Newton is not a bishop, though he dresses as one, and in any case is not the bishop of the diocese in which the Mass is being said. Even the SSPX pray for the local ordinary, so in Westminster that would be Vincent. Nit-picking, maybe, and leave them to fester in their own irrelevance, but goes to show the toxic factionalism within the Church. And if you think this blog gets nasty, you should see the bile and vitriol the “trads” come out with. Sodomy is of particular interest to them – you probably get the picture.
12:29. Not an ignoramus post. A factual post but then again you probably subscribe to the’alternative facts’ syndrome. Now maybe you should keep ur head up the RC church’s arse for all the sense you talk
10.26: You prove my point. Intelligent dialogue or discussion is not tolerated on this blog. We all know the problems with the Church – and they are very serious – but repetitive negative comments solve nothing. Any time anyone comments intelligently on this blog is ripped apart. I’d still like to read your solutions beyond the soundbytes!!
Delia is indeed on the warpath!! She is spitting blood. She’s gonna kill dead things. Poor Aidan is afraid to open his mouth and has hidden all the bread knives in case she cuts his tallywackle off!
10:56. Lets talk solutions. How about starting with honesty and integrity. The RC church although vast in numbers is dwindling day by day. One has to ask why. This may be for a variety of reasons. However my belief is that the main reason is lack of honesty-surely a fundamental and integral component of the Christian message. Solution no. 1 -Honesty. Honesty entails revealing, exposing all the corruption/abuse that exists Now let’s look at justice. The RC church, instead of hiding behind their veil need to provide victims with justice by giving up the abusers. It’s the Christian thing to do. Solution no 2. Justice. Finally let us look at Christianity. In order to justifiably be called a Christian church you have to preach the message of Christ and live the message of Christ. This will entail moving out of their expansive mansions, using their vast wealth for the poor, stopping the greed, the lies and the cover ups. It will also entail the expulsion of those not living the Christian message. These solutions are not sound bytes. They are common sense. However I fear they will never happen as the corruption, greed, power grabbing is too deeply rooted
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