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FIRST POLISH BISHOP ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE

Bishop accused of sex abuse test case for Church in Poland

Paulina Guzik Feb 14, 2020 Crux

The first accusation of sexual abuse against a Polish bishop will serve as a testing ground for the Church’s new commitment to fighting sexual abuse, and how it manifests itself both locally and at the Vatican.For decades, Bishop Jan Szkodoń was a significant figure in Krakow, the archdiocese of St. John Paul II and the spiritual center of Poland. From 1979, he was the spiritual director of the seminary for over a decade, until he was consecrated bishop in 1988. He was known for his deep spirituality and artistic sophistication – he even painted and wrote poetry. The only complaint one would hear about him was about the length of his homilies: Most faithful could barely keep their eyes open. But overall, in church circles and among the faithful, he was one of the “good guys.”Unexpectedly, on Feb. 10, a year before his retirement, a young civil servant and mother accused him of abusing her in 1998, when she was a 15-year-old girl. In an article published by the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza’s investigative unit, Monika (not her real name) claims she was often a guest at the bishop’s apartment, and “Whether summer or winter, he always felt hot” – she recalled. “He took off his cassock and his shirt, remained in tank top and trousers, and unzipped trousers halfway.”Then, said Monika, Szkodoń encouraged her to undress, touched her breasts, thighs and bit her ears. “Monika, God has sent you to me. He wants to teach me tenderness through you,” he allegedly told the girl.The day before the Polish paper published its report, Szkodoń released a statement declaring his innocence: “These accusations violate my good name, which I intend to defend.”
If the bishop is found guilty by the Vatican, he could be the first Polish bishop not only to be removed from office, but also expelled from the priesthood.Mixed reactionsMonika never told her family about the allegations; her parents were proud that such an important church figure dedicated time to their daughter, not suspecting there was anything more to her visits to his apartment than pastoral care. Now that she has made the story public, the family is as shocked as the rest of the city.The archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jędraszewski, did not release an official statement. His spokesperson informed the media that Szkodoń left the archdiocese for an undisclosed location and that “the archdiocese was not aware of the accusations that the bishop is facing.”However, his predecessor as archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, did not keep silent. In a statement released a day after the accusations, the longtime personal secretary of John Paul II said that “the allegations hurt many people for whom Bishop Jan is an authority, a father and a friend. We are all expecting the allegations to be thoroughly and quickly explained.”
Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Primate of Poland and Delegate for Child Protection of the Polish Bishops’ Conference took a different approach.“Any information of that kind brings pain to the Church,” he said at a press conference on the pastoral healing needed for church sex abuse survivors. “It is a call that we shall always care about – the safe environment for children in the Church. And it is a call for each and every one in the Church.”“The case is shocking and saddening,” Father Piotr Studnicki, head of the Child Protection Office of the Polish Episcopal Conference, told Crux.He said the Wyborcza report is “painful reading,” adding, “we are awaiting the results of the investigation with patience and care.”The Vatican ambassador’s roleMonika didn’t use the diocesan path of investigation. In May 2019, she reported the case directly to the Vatican embassy, called the Apostolic Nunciature (she also reported to the state prosecutors in August, public officials started an investigation, but they had to close it because of the statute of limitations).
“The first letter in this matter arrived at the Nunciature on May 27, 2019 and was forwarded to the Holy See the same day,” the embassy said in a Feb. 12 statement.Nevertheless, it took eight months for church investigators to listen to the alleged victim: Monika was asked to testify only in January 2020.
During that time, Szkodoń was performing his duties as an auxiliary bishop of Krakow. On the day of her deposition, on January 23, 2020, the papal nuncio to Poland, Italian Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, met with Monika personally.However, some have complained about the timeline of events.“After all the papal declarations saying that the concern for victims is a priority for the Church, the real pace of dealing with those matters at the Vatican congregation is nothing but obstructive,” wrote Zbigniew Nosowski, chief editor of Wieź quarterly and one of the founders of a helpline for survivors of sexual abuse.Many in Poland see the woman going to the media as a desperate move. She had been waiting for so long without any information from the Vatican or the Nunciature that she decided to go public with the case.“Communications – meaning informing the reporting person what is the state of the matter – is a crucial thing for those who report cases of sexual abuse in the Church” – Studnicki told Crux.“We owe it to the survivors – they need to know whether anyone is already working on their case,” the priest added, suggesting that a simple note on what is currently happening to the case may help a lot.2019 was a year of reckoning on clerical sexual abuse for Poland, after the documentary “Tell No One” recounted the extent of the problem in the Church.
An earlier version of this article said Monika was asked to testify in December 2019. It was January 2020. It also misidentified the date of the apostolic nuncio’s meeting with Monika. We apologize for the error.

PAT SAYS

The prosecution of an RCC Polish bishop is a BIG development.

It needed to happen.

We need an Irish bishop in the same position.

When bishops appear in handcuffs on the way to court the RCC sexual abuse crisis will have turned a corner.

CANADA

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ACP AND CHURCH STRUCTURES.

Church structures in Ireland ‘not fit for purpose’

by Sarah Mac Donald The Tablet

St Brendan’s Cathedral, Loughrea
Photo: John McElroy/Irish Catholic Bishops

A member of the leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has paid tribute to the German bishops for their national synodal procedure, and its aim of passing resolutions on church life in Germany.

In his address, “What does it mean to be Catholic today?” Fr Roy Donovan said the German bishops were willing to take strong leadership roles within the overall Church and “face conflict constructively”.

At the Mercy Justice Centre in Dublin on Monday evening at an event hosted by the lay reform group We Are Church Ireland, he praised the German synodal procedure for putting the reform issues of power, compulsory celibacy, sexual morality and women “openly on the table”.

The parish priest of Caher­conlish and Inch St Laurence in Co Limerick lamented the Irish bishops’ focus on their own diocesan systems and said they had “no sense that we need to follow the German example of a two-year ‘binding synodal path’.”
Fr Donovan highlighted that people across Ireland are beginning to see that “our systems, structures, parishes are no longer fit for purpose”.

Diocesan structures had been put in place in the twelfth century, while the country’s parishes had their roots in the Middle Ages. “The faith we now have developed in the nineteenth century.
This nineteenth century Roman Catholicism entailed a profound pacification of the laity – keep people happy with all kinds of devotions,” he said. He claimed that the Irish Church has too many dioceses and churches. “We have too many celebrations of Masses on Sundays with small gatherings. We have reached a crisis point,” he said and suggested that one of the Irish Church’s problems was “holding on to what we know”.

“A lot of priests are saying ‘sure it will see me out’ and continue to work out of the old model. There is not enough appetite for change which would require major reversals.”

Bishop Dermot Farrell of Ossory has said the Irish Church needs “a bold creative response rather than fleeing from the reality of the distressful present.”
Speaking to Religious gathered for a celebration of World Day of Consecrated Life, he said: “Our Lord is the Lord of risk. Bold decisions must be taken today, even if it is painful to do so, and we risk making the wrong decision. Otherwise we die of irrelevancy.”

PAT SAYS

I have no time for the ACP – so called Association of Catholic Priests.

They are a crowd of clerical complainers and disappointed bishops.

As far as they are concerned a priest – especially one of their members – can do no wrong.

I was only at one of their conferences. I went to see what they were like.

They are such good Christian’s that they didn’t speak to me.

They are verbal liberals – all talk and no action – all cackle and no egg.

I have more radicalism in my little finger than have the whole ACP bunch together.

They want to radical and save their cosy clerical lives.

At the conference most of them were hunched together is most gay cliques.

THE SOLUTION

The solution to the Irish church is this:

Restrict bishops, priests and religious to pastoral work only.

Put all power, authority and finance in the hands of elected lay people – including the schools.

Restrict all clerics to ministry and Sacraments.

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AMY WANTS TO SEND IRISH PRIESTS TO THE AMAZON FOR 5 YEARS.

AMY MARTIN’S ANSWER TO THE SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS IN THE AMAZON IS TO SEND IRISH PRIESTS THERE FOR FIVE YEAR STINTS!

Has Amy forgotten that all over Ireland now there is a shortage of priests with parishes closing and amalgamating?

People everywhere are warning that with no priests there will be no Mass – and therefore there will be what many are calling a “EUCHARISTIC FAMINE”.

There are really only two solutions to these problems:

1. Let priests marry.

2. Ordain women.

MARRIED PRIESTS

The ones Jesus Himself called into ministry were MARRIED MEN.

For the first 1200 of the church priests married!

There is really no Biblical or Traditional precedent for not ordaining married men

The fact that Benedict has allowed all these married ANGLICAN VICARS to be ordained hammers the nail home.

WOMEN PRIESTS

One of the main duties of the priest is to preach the RISEN CHRIST.

The first witness and announcer of the Risen Christ was a……….WOMAN. That’s right!

The Apostles did not know Jesus had risen until a WOMAN told them!

Mary Magdala.

Another main duty of the priests is to sacramentally give the Body and Blood of Christ to the world.

Who was the first person to bring the Body and Blood of Christ into the world?

It was another…………WOMAN!

Mary, the mother of Jesus physically and literally gave the world the Body and Blood of Christ.

She could do it literally – but the past and current clerical misogynists say she cannot do it SACRAMENTALLY!

Laughable!

Woman’s Body – Francis Croak

Did the woman say,

When she held him for the first time in the dark of a stable,

After the pain and the bleeding and the crying

‘This my body, this is my blood’?

Did the woman say,

When she held him for the last time in the dark rain on a hilltop,

After the pain and the bleeding and the dying,

‘This is my body, this is my blood’?

Well that she said it to him then,

For dry old men,

Brocaded robes belying barrenness,

ordain that she not say it to him now.

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VOTIVE MASS FOR ABUSED SEMINARIANS AND PRIESTS

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON: The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the lord.

Opening Prayer:

Let us pray:

O God, who has led your people with good and noble pastors we pray today for all those seminarians and priests who have been abused in any way. In their distress lead them to call upon you and to believe that you will heal all their wounds through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 12: 1 – 3

Those who abuse priests and seminarians.

You are always righteous, LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? 2You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. 3Yet you know me, LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter! The word of the Lord.

PSALM:

Response: Out of the depts I cry to you O Lord.

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, [a]Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,


And [b]in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.


O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

SECOND READING: Hebrews 10: 32 – 36

A call to perseverance

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,

“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”

And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
 And I take no pleasure
 in the one who shrinks back. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.. The word of the Lord.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION:

Alleluia, Alleluia,

Give the me the man who stands firm when trials come.

Alleluia.

GOSPEL Matthew 5: 1- 12

True and false prophets.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  Blessed are those who mourn,
 for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
 for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
 for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Gospel of the Lord.

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL:

  1. Lord, we remember the church you founded which has been spoiled over many generations by men who did not have true faith in you. We ask you, Lord, to send your Holy Spirit as you did on the first Pentecost and bring your people once again out of human slavery into the freedom of the sons and daughters of God. Lord hear us.
  • Lord, we pray for all those seminarians and priests all over the world who are being abused, whether sexually, mentally, emotionally, at the hands of those men who are supposed to form them in your likeness. Free those seminarians from every tyranny as your freed your people from Egypt. Lord hear us.
  • Lord, take the hard hearts out of bishops and other members of the Catholic hierarchy and give them hearts of flesh, so that they might cease to abuse all those subject to them. Lord, protect your people from all wolves in sheep’s clothing. Lord hear us.
  • Lord, we pray for those seminarians and priests who have been led astray by others and have adopted a lifestyle incompatible with your teaching and the dignity of man and woman kind. Lord, help them to find you again in prayer and faith. Lord hear us.
  • Lord, we pray all seminaries throughout the world. We ask you to free these seminaries from the spirit of evil and sin that has enveloped them as a result of false teachings and unfaithful formators. Lord, cleanse the seminaries as you cleansed the Temple. Lord hear us.

PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS:

Look, O Lord, upon the offerings which we bring before you in faith and love. We pray today for all abused seminarians and priests and we ask you to make your pastors holy in your sight. Amen.

COMMUNION ANTIPHON:

“The disciples went forth and preached God’s Word to all.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION:

O God, Father of all who makes us sharers in the One Bread and the one Spirit, look upon the abuse suffered by all those who you have called to serve you. Free them from their oppression O Lord and lead them on the path that leads to you. Amen.

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POLAND REACTS TO CHURCH ABUSE.

In the early hours of a February morning, three men dressed in black, carrying a ladder and ropes, slipped through the quiet streets in the northern Polish city of Gdansk. They decided to do what the city council had refused to. It was still dark, only hours before the opening of a Vatican summit on child abuse. The men slung a rope around the clay neck of a high-up statue and pulled hard until it toppled over, breaking away from its stand and crashing to the ground.

The toppling of Jankowski was a step towards forcing the government and clergy to reckon with the problem of child abuse in the Church. But what really forced everyone to take notice was the 2019 documentary Tell No One. The film shows victims who are now adults confronting elderly priests about the abuse they suffered decades earlier, and details how priests accused of paedophilia were transferred to other parishes where they could continue working with children.

Within a week of its YouTube posting, the film was viewed more than 18 million times. It has transfixed one of Europe’s most deeply devout countries, where 87 per cent of the population identify as Catholic. The case of Father Pawel Kania, which features in the film, illustrated a pattern of cover-ups similar to other Catholic child abuse cases, from Boston to Dublin. Kania was detained by Church authorities in 2005 for trying to seduce children and possessing child pornography. Rather than punishing him or reporting him to the authorities, the Church relocated him to a parish in the city of Bydgoszcz, where he carried on working with children.

The real extent of child abuse in Poland’s Catholic Church is unknown. In March, data compiled by the Church’s statistics institute and child protection centre for the first time revealed that over the last three decades, 382 clergymen were reported for sexual abuse involving 625 minors, more than half of whom were under the age of 15. And less than half of all victims reported it to the police. But according to Jesuit Adam Zak, the Polish episcopate’s coordinator for child protection and youth: “This is still only the tip of the iceberg.”

“With each story that I heard, I understood that I was working on something much bigger than what the Church told us,” says Tomasz Sekielski, the director of Tell No One. “For years, the Church claimed that paedophilia in the Polish clergy does not exist,” he said. The filmmaker hoped he could “break the conspiracy of silence”.

And that he did. In the two weeks that followed the documentary’s release, 150 people who said they were abused by the clergy contacted Have No Fear, an organisation that offers victims of child abuse counselling and legal help. “As people started speaking, more and more stories came out. It seemed like no one was paying attention before,” says Wojciechowicz. The writer kept his story hidden for decades. “Jankowksi was a very important person for us. A guy like that couldn’t be doing what he did to me. I couldn’t speak about it, because fighting communism was more important,” he says.

The film has sparked what Jacek Kuchaczyk, President of the Institute of Public Affairs, one of Poland’s leading think-tanks, has called a “grassroots revolution” that is interrogating the Church’s place in public life. As the former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk said, “The Church has lost the ability to act as the conscience of the nation,” citing the paedophilia scandal. Questions about the future of the Church are “polarising society”, says Kuchaczyk. A significant portion of society argues that the Church wields too much power in Poland, and calls for a separation between government and clergy, while others see the Catholic faith as a key element of national identity, whose influence must be protected.

With 40 per cent of the public attending church weekly in Poland, religious practice remains at levels that Western Europe has not known since the 1950s. Until recently, Wojciechowicz carried on attending church, despite the abuse he had endured.“It wasn’t because I believed in God, I went because it’s our Polish way,” he says.

In turn, “[PiS] promises to introduce all the Church’s policies and its rhetoric reflects that used by bishops,” says Kucharczyk. PiS has favoured Catholic positions on religious education in schools and defends the country’s strict abortion laws. In November, a new law was introduced banning sex education from the national curriculum and treating it as “paedophilia”; any person found to be “encouraging” sexual behaviour in a person below the age of 15 could get prison time. Instead of sex education, children are given “Preparation for Family Life” programs, based on ideas of family, marriage and Christian morality. Access to the morning-after pill – or, as it has been rebranded, “the early abortion pill” – was restricted in 2017, and now requires a prescription. The “threat” of LGBT rights featured prominently in the ruling party’s campaign, with officials and some Catholic leaders branding the community as “paedophiles” and a “rainbow plague”. Meanwhile, local councils announced their decision to make their municipalities “LGBT free.”

In 2012, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, a former president of the Episcopal Conference, blamed divorced parents and feminists for abuse by clergy – as well as saying that children had lured priests.

The Church and government have turned the allegations on its head, and allegations are conflated with homosexuality,” said Kucharczyk.
Rather than damaging support for PiS, Kucharczyk argues the scandal “indirectly benefited” PiS and has “cemented” the alliance between the party and the Church. Twisting the accusations has allowed PiS to legitimise their own anti-LGBT rhetoric. This in turn has helped mobilise the defenders of the Church to vote for PiS. PiS remains Poland’s most popular party, thanks to a strong economy, generous welfare payouts, low unemployment and a fragmented opposition. This is reflected in the party’s victories in both the October general election and May’s European Parliament elections.

The child abuse scandal has “failed to translate into a political revolution”, but there is a newly strengthened critical force in Polish politics, says Kucharczyk. While he says it is currently relatively small, he expects it to grow. Robert Biedroń, head of the centre-left party Spring, has for months denounced the close ties between the Church and government as “pathological” and called for their strict separation. “The special treatment of the Church should not mean anymore that we tolerate things like paedophilia,” said Biedroń. Grzegorz Schetyna, leader of Civic Platform, the main opposition party, chimed in: “Who raises a hand against Polish children, raises a hand against Poland,” he said, referencing Kaczyński’s earlier statement.

The scandal has undoubtedly impacted attitudes towards the Church. A 2018 Pew Research Center study of religious practices found that there was a 23 percentage point difference between young adults and older people in how important religion is in their lives – the largest gap of all 45 countries surveyed. According to a June survey by the government-controlled CBOS agency, the public’s approval rating for the Church dropped to a 24-year low, with just 48 per cent of citizens viewing its activities asl positive, while the number of young believers had dropped from 81 to 63 per cent in the space of a decade. Even though attendance at Mass is generally strong, just a quarter of Poles aged under 40 go weekly.

Anger at the Catholic Church has even resulted in violence. In June, a man stabbed a priest in the western city of Wrocław after discussing the clerical sex abuse scandal. A month later, another priest was beaten up in Szczecin, in the country’s north-west. “Ever more frequent attacks of hatred against believing people and priests” are a “growing concern for Church officials,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan.

The Church has won a battle, but not a war,” says Kucharzcyk. He predicts that in the long term, political parties affiliated with the Church will decline in popularity. Wojciechowicz, the writer who was abused, believes that the more the ruling party back the Church, the louder people will speak about the abuse. “If I were content with my reality, I wouldn’t have bothered to tell my story,” he says. “But I see this horrible alliance between the Church and government and it makes me so mad.”
Wojciechowicz is committed to raising his voice. He tells me that he is speaking at an event the week after our interview to raise awareness about the trauma caused by child abuse. He says: “The most important thing is that people are now listening.”

This article was brought to you by New Humanist, a quarterly journal of ideas, science and culture. To support our journalism, please subscribe.

PAT SAYS

The backlash for abuse in Poland is well underway.

Countries like Ireland and Poland are set to be very anti Catholic and very anticlerical.

FINTAN MONAHAN HAS RESPONDED TO MY EMAIL ADVISING ME TO REFER ANY INFORMATION I HAVE TO THE GARDAI AND HEALTH SERVICES.

Fintan Monahan

I wrote to Phonsie recently also to thank him for the swift and transparent copy of my Waterford file.

Phonsie

Dear Patrick,

Please excuse my delay in replying to you.​

I wish to thank you for your email and I am glad that you were pleased with the prompt and thorough response to your request for the contents of your file.​

My kind regards,

+ Cullinan

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RELIGIOUSNESS LINKED TO IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV.

EurekAlertAdults living with HIV in Washington, D.C., were more likely to feel higher levels of emotional and physical well-being if they attended religious services regularly, prayed daily, felt “God’s presence,” and self-identified as religious or spiritual, according to research published online Jan. 29, 2020, in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.By contrast, patients living with HIV who had the lowest levels of quality of life and more mental health challenges were privately religious, potentially eschewing organized religion due to fears about being stigmatized or ostracized.“These findings are significant because they point to the untapped potential of encouraging patients living with HIV who are already religious to attend religious services regularly. Scientific evidence suggests that religions that present God as all-powerful, personal, responsive, loving, just and forgiving make a difference in health-related quality of life. By contrast, belief systems and religions that see God as punishing, angry, vengeful and distant and isolate members from their families and the larger community do not have health benefits or contribute to health-related quality of life. People who identify as spiritual also benefit from improved overall health-related quality of life,” says Maureen E. Lyon, Ph.D., FABPP, a clinical health psychologist at Children’s National Hospital, and senior study author.“In general, patients living with HIV have reported that they wished their health care providers acknowledged their religious beliefs and spiritual struggles. Additional research is needed to gauge whether developing faith-based interventions or routine referrals to faith-based programs that welcome racial and sexual minorities improve satisfaction with treatment and health outcomes,” Lyon adds.More than 1 million people in the U.S. live with HIV, and in 2018, 37,832 people received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017, the Washington, D.C., region recorded one of nation’s highest rates of new cases of HIV: 46.3 diagnoses per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.A research team that includes current and former Children’s National faculty wanted to learn more about the degree of religiousness and spirituality reported by people living with HIV and the interplay between religion and health-related quality of life. They recruited patients to participate in a clinical trial about family-centered advance care planning and enrolled 223 patient/family dyads in this study.Fifty-six percent of patients were male. Eighty-six percent were African American, and their mean age was 50.8. Seventy-five percent were Christian.
The researchers identified three distinct classes of religious beliefs:Class 1, the highest level of religiousness/spirituality, applied to people more likely to attend religious services in person each week, to pray daily, to “feel God’s presence” and to self-identify as religious and spiritual. Thirty-five percent of study participants were Class 1 and tended to be older than 40.Class 2 applied to privately religious people who engaged in religious activities at home, like praying, and did not attend services regularly. Forty-seven percent of study participants were Class 2.Class 3 participants self-identified as spiritual but were not involved in organized religion. Nearly 18 percent of study participants were Class 3, the lowest overall level of religiousness/spirituality.Class 1 religiousness/spirituality was associated with increased quality of life, mental health and improved health status.“Being committed to a welcoming religious group provides social support, a sense of identity and a way to cope with stress experienced by people living with HIV,” Lyon says. “We encourage clinicians to capitalize on patients’ spiritual beliefs that improve health – such as prayer, meditation, reading spiritual texts and attending community events – by including them in holistic treatment programs in a non-judgmental way.”
What’s more, the research team encourages clinicians to appoint a member of the team who is responsible for handling religiousness/spirituality screening and providing referrals to welcoming hospital-based chaplaincy programs or community-based religious groups.“This is particularly challenging for HIV-positive African American men who have sex with men, as this group faces discrimination related to race and sexual orientation. Because HIV infection rates are increasing for this group, this additional outreach is all the more important,” she adds.In addition to Lyon, study co-authors include Biostatistician Jichuan Wang, Ph.D., and Yao I. Cheng, MS., both of Children’s National; and Lead Author Katherine B. Grill, Ph.D., the former clinical coordinator for this randomized clinical trial who is currently an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.PAT SAYSIt’s interesting that this science based approach found that being religious helps.people to cope better with HIV.I hope those people being helped are spiritual as well as religious?But that does not surprise me because I believe that having a spirituality helps everyone with any and every challenge in life.Of course an atheist may find themselves by their philosophy of life.HIV has not been a terminal illness for years since the discovery of the ANTIRETROVIRAL drugs. HIV has no affect on longevity anymore.It is a perfectly manageable condition and people living with it are living well into their 80s.The oldest HIV patient I know is 84 and cycles everyday and plays moderate squash games twice a week.Thank God for the gifts of medicine and science.Thank God for the gift of spirituality.

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PRIESTS WHO STEAL OLD PEOPLE’S MONEY AND POSSESSIONS.

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THE OTHER DAY I HAD THE FOLLOWING EMAIL FROM A NORTHER IRELAND CATHOLIC:

Dear Bishop Pat,

I am writing to you because my grandmother was a parishioner of Saint Peter’s and I know for a fact that her and her friend were robbed effectively by various priests in Saint Peters. I know for a fact that it was not you as relatives remember you going to Saint Peters as caring compared to the others.

There names were Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx and Xxxxxx McXxxx and they lived in the Lower Falls and were extremely religious.

Xxxxx

I replied:

Father McKinley?

Xxxxx replied:

YES

I replied:

He fooled many old ladies out of their money

Pat.

20200122_1436335942471374564646241.jpg

Vincent McKinley was a gambler and gamblers can go through a lot of money.

The way it worked was that he asked these old ladies to lend their parish their savings and it would be returned to their relatives when they died – but not to tell the family about the “loan”.

The money was never returned 😦

WILLS:

There was a long standing practice in Ireland for priests to encourage old people to leave their money and farms to the parish or parish priest. Some of the old people thought it would get them into Heaven when they died. In many cases children and other relatives were done out of money and land that was rightly theirs.

Maybe readers will know of such cases?

I dont think it happens just as much these days – but probly does still happen.

I know priests who have been left money and land by widows with the family members being displaced.

ANTIQUES:

I know of one Down & Connor parish priest who specialised in visiting old people’s houses and coveting possessions like old valuable clocks and antiques. Often the old person would say that they would leave it to him in their will. But the priest would say: “I’ll take it now in case your family do not honour your wishes” and off he’d go to the car withy the item he coveted.

There is a book or a Ph.D thesis to be written on the topic of priests, money, wills and possessions.

I know that priests were not the only ones to take advantage of people.

But I think its particuarly bad when a priest goes after old people’s possessions.

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DIARMUID MARTIN SHOULD MAKE PARTING PUBLIC STATEMENT.

IN 8 WEEKS TIME DIARMUID MARTIN TURNS 75 AND WILL OFFER HIS RESIGNATION AS ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.I THINK ITS VERY IMPORTANT THAT HE MAKES A PARTING PUBLIN STATEMENT ABOUT IRISH SEMINARIANS, SEMINARIES AND SEMINARY STAFF.He should address the following points:1. He could call for the urgent closure of Maynooth.2. He should announce his total lack of confidence in Fathers Mullaney and Collins.3. He should repeat his lack of confidence in The Irish College Rome.4. He should say whether sexually active seminarians should be retained in seminary.5. He should say if he supports the Church’s universal law of celibacy.

SEMINARIAN 1960s

SEMINARIANS TODAY

What do readers think?

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20 OF 39 DUTCH CARDINALS BISHOPS AND AUXILARIES COVERED UP SEXUAL ABUSE.

Agence France-Presse

More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed on Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic church in a global abuse scandal.

Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported.
“Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have caused new victims in other parishes,” the Dutch newspaper added.

Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal said the church could “confirm a part” of the report.

Tens of thousands of children abused in Dutch Catholic institutions, report says

Other elements were based on anonymous information provided by a victims’ assistance unit set up by the church.

“The names of several bishops correspond to those named in a report commissioned by the church in 2010,” van Roosendaal said.

Most of the accused clerics have since died, and the statute of limitations has expired in all cases, she added. Those still alive declined to comment, NRC said.
Meanwhile in France, a priest has been charged with sexually abusing four siblings, now aged 13 to 17, his lawyer said.

The family brought the complaint against the 64-year-old priest, whose parish is in the central Cantal region. All four siblings were said to be in the church choir.

The lawyer, Komine Bocoum, did not say when the alleged offences were said to have taken place.

US cardinal accused of concealing abuse pulls out of Dublin event

Local bishop Bruno Grua said his diocese was “shocked by these unspeakable acts”.
They are the latest in a slew of assault allegations against the Catholic church spanning several continents.

People in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have charged they were sexually abused by clergymen and lay people, in what German Archbishop Georg Gaenswein has called the church’s “own 9/11”.

In August, Pope Francis declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman in the US.

On Wednesday, the German Catholic church said it was it was “dismayed and ashamed” by decades of alleged child sex abuse by priests.

PAT SAYS

Abuse is the worst prob0lem.

Cover up is co abuse.

Both should be criminal offences with serious sentences.

The civil authorities should stop letting clerics off the hook

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MAYNOOTH PROBLEMS HAVE NOT GONE AWAY.

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In the summer of 2016 the Maynooth / Gaynooth scandal broke and filled the pages of Irish newspapers for many weeks.

Diarmuid Martin took all his seminarians out and sent them to Rome.

The other Irish bishops all closed ranks and kept Maynooth afloat.

They hoped we would all forget what happened and they thought that it would soon be back to business as usual.

Some changes were made. Father Tom Surlis was appointed “rector” of the seminary to succeed Fanny Mullaney when he goes next year.

Lately Amy Martin announced that a new purpose built seminary will be built.

The old seminary may well become halls of residence for the lay students of the secular Maynooth University.

BUT

Maynooth has not changed at all – when it comes to sex and homosexuality.

There are still priests and seminarians at Maynooth sleeping around with each other and others – and there are still victims of what Diarmuid Martin called “strange goings on”.

ENTER DAVID DYSKY AND AIDAN O BRIEN:

Two Kilalloe seminarians are reported to have suffered sexual and personal trauma at Maynooth.

It is said that the bishop, Fintan Monahan, knows all about these matters.

It is said that he got the two young men psychological help.

It is said that a Maynooth priest was involved in there matters.

What has happened to these young men is nothing short of horrific

It is claimed that one young man had a very scary encounter with a priest in a toilet cubicle. He later rang his parents who went to the Kilalloe Vocations Director Fr Iggy McCormack who is also the president of St Flanan’s College Ennis to ask for protection for their son?

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FR IGGY MC CORMACK

The bishops are still covering up the ongoing Maynooth scandals.

AND

What is the real story behind Paul Prior’s departure from Maynooth?

MY EMAILS TO FINTAN MONAHAN AND AMY MARTIN – YESTERDAY

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Dear Fintan,
Many people are worried about the above two young men and their treatment and experiences at Maynooth.
People believe they were sexually exploited by a Maynooth staff member and other seminarians.
As a result they have been deeply traumatised.
It is a common belief that you knew and know all about these matters and have not done the right thing with regard the young men and the Maynooth perpetrator.
I do not expect you to do anything just because I write.
But I wanted to put my concerns on record for when this story does break publicly – as it will – your lack of action will be known to all.
Pat Buckley

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Dear Eamon,
Over a couple of years now I have been receiving report after report about your seminarian ……………………………….
I have never met the young man and have nothing against him.
However, he seems to have dug himself deeply into a hole of homosexuality with Maynooth staff, priests, other seminarians and lay men.
Other seminarians told me he is being “protected” by Father ………………..
If that is correct, you may not be receiving honest reports about him?
Other seminarians say he was involved in the Kildorerry altar sex incident in Cloyne.
If true, he obviously needs a lot of help.
If he is ordained in this state he poses a very big threat to Armagh in the future.
I would ask you to carefully investigate this matter.
Pat Buckley