A leading voice in Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and the founder of Hong Kong Watch says Pope Francis has been “badly wrong” in his handling of China.
Benedict Rogers, a Catholic convert and CSW’s East Asia team leader, writing in Foreign Policy magazine, cites public figures such as Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who last month wrote a letter to the Chinese ambassador in London comparing the situation of Uighur Muslims in China to the Holocaust.
She pointed to similarities between what is reportedly happening to the Uighurs and what happened in Nazi Germany: “People being forcibly loaded on to trains; beards of religious men being trimmed; women being sterilised; and the grim spectre of concentration camps.”
Mr Rogers writes: “Van der Zyl is just one of many faith leaders to speak out against the atrocities being committed in Xinjiang. But one voice has been strangely absent – that of Pope Francis, ordinarily a powerful advocate for the oppressed. His silence speaks to the dangers of the deal made with China by the Vatican – and demands that others in the church speak out.
“Before van der Zyl’s letter, there was the decision by Jewish News to highlight the discovery of 13 metric tons of Uighur hair – with “Nazi resonance” – on the front page of the newspaper.”
The letter was followed by a Twitter thread by the widely respected former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who wrote: “As a Jew, knowing our history, the sight of people being shaven headed, lined up, boarded onto trains, and sent to concentration camps is particularly harrowing. That people in the 21st century are being murdered, terrorised, victimised, intimidated and robbed of their liberties because of the way they worship God is a moral outrage, a political scandal and a desecration of faith itself.”
Mr Rogers notes that so far, no major Muslim authority has come out in condemnation of the Uighurs’ plight, nor has Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, Mr Rogers says: “It is Francis’s silence that shocks me most. Almost every Sunday, as he prays the Angelus, he rightly references some injustice somewhere in the world. He has spoken often in the past not only of the persecution of Christians around the world but of the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar; the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and Nigeria; and religious freedom for all.”
In his article, Mr Rogers linked Pope Francis’ silence on China to the 2018 agreement between the Vatican and Beijing on the appointment of bishops, the renewal of which is currently being negotiated.
Rogers calls for Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis “to wake up, review their position, cross the Rubicon, and say enough is enough.”
Meanwhile Bitter Winter magazine reported on 30 July that the Chinese Communist Party is offering monetary rewards to those who report the presence of home churches in their communities. Rewards in the “incentive” programme have swelled to up to 100,000 renminbi (£11,000), the magazine said.
A pope dedicated to human rights has said nothing on China, thanks to a secret deal with Beijing.
Once again we see the silence of the.pope and Vatican in the face of a 21st century holocaust.
Francis’s silence is morally evil.
It is a mass SIN OF OMMISSION on his part.
But you see the Vatican is not, fundamentally of God.
It is a vastly rich multi national company that wants to”trade” in China and is receiving major financial pay backs from China.
The Vatican does not care about the loss of a hundred lives here or a thousand lives there – especially when they are not paying RCs.
The Vatican stood by and allowed 6 million jews die from 1939 to 1945.
They will turn a blind eye to Chinese atrocities to further their own end in China.
They are no better than the atheistic Chinese government.
The announcement, signed by Pope Francis, stresses that baptisms must use the approved formula in order to be valid.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, baptises a catechenumen, 11 July 2020, Bavaria, Munich Lino Mirgeler/DPA/PA Images
The Vatican’s doctrinal experts have advised that certain baptisms may need to be redone, after clarifying that baptisms using an adjusted formula are not valid.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican body in charge of overseeing doctrinal issues, responded to a question on baptism yesterday.
The questioner asked whether baptisms were valid when administered using the form of words: “We baptise you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.” There have been recorded instances in some Christian Churches of that form of words, or one similar to it, being used.
In their response, the CDF clarified that the only acceptable formula for baptism is “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
This means that anyone who was baptised using a different form of words should be considered not to have received the sacrament yet.
In some cases, this will mean that baptisms will need to be redone. Although the doctrinal office generally emphasises that baptisms “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” are valid, this is not universally the case.
In one notable example, the CDF previously ruled that Mormon baptisms, despite using the correct formula, are invalid due to the non-trinitarian theology of that religion.
According to the announcement, the modifications to the baptismal formula were introduced to “to express the participation of the family and of those present”, as well as to “avoid the idea of the concentration of a sacred power in the priest to the detriment of…the community”.
The traditional formula, was, however necessary, in part so that participants “recognise with absolute clarity the gesture of Christ in the ritual action of the Church”.
When an individual priest or layperson administers the sacrament of baptism, the document states “it is really Christ Himself who baptises”.
The response, approved by Pope Francis, goes on to emphasise that the parents, godparents, and community already have a significant role in the sacrament – but that this does not justify a change in the baptismal formula.
It’s hard to understand how saying WE instead of I maked baptism invalid.
The intention of the minister is to do what the Church does – to baptise.
Anyone can baptise – be the minister of baptism.
And if we believe God is present, as we do, does God not know what we mean and release the grace of baptism on the baptised?
Is this not an example of Phariseeism?
JOHN PAUL LYTTLE ONGOING CONCERNS.
The word from Portsmouth diocese is that Bishop Philip Egan is concerned that John Paul Lyttle is not staying where the bishop told him to stay.
The blog has also received some information of people being concerned about other matters in the Channel Islands where JPL is from.
This follows a complaint from a young police detective working in Reading where he is also a parishioner and a church volunteer.
JPL told the young man: “I watch porn, I wank and I’m horney all the time”
He was encouraging the young man to stay overnight in the presbytery as the PP was away.
I think Egan had made a great big stick to beat his back with by ordaining JPL hastily.
The “dumb ox” himself, St Thomas Aquinas, in a 15th century depiction
Massive daily calorie intake, overconsumption of meat, fat and salt, a dearth of fresh fruit and vegetables and a falling life expectancy due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and increased vulnerability to infectious diseases. No, I’m not talking about the UK government’s renewed focus on diet, body weight and exercise brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic but a medieval monastic obesity crisis.
As will be apparent from my earlier columns, I think there’s evidence that shows that late medieval monasticism was vibrant and remained religiously and socially relevant until the Dissolution of Henry VIII. But I’m more than prepared to put my hand up and concede there’s more than a grain of truth in the modern stereotype of corpulent Friar Tuck-like monks.
It’s a literary topos that goes right back to the Middle Ages, the eponymous monk of one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales described as “a lord full of fat”.
In fact, concern about over-consumption at the refectory table is apparent in the influential Rule written by St Benedict for his monastery at Monte Cassino, near Naples, in the early 6th century.
“Above all, let overindulgence be avoided,” says chapter 39, which also specifies that, for most of the year, monks were to dine just once a day, their repast consisting of a choice of two dishes and a pound of bread. The consumption of meat, meaning the flesh of quadrupeds, was an unnecessary luxury and strictly forbidden in the refectory.
However, monks soon started to capitalise on the regulation’s various vagaries and inconsistencies.
For instance, poultry, being two-legged, rapidly found its way onto the monastic menu, and a stay in the infirmary became something to be looked forward to and sustained as long as possible thanks to the better diet enjoyed there.
All this was too much for the back-to-basics reform movements that emerged in the years 1100. New Orders like the austere Cistercians insisted on a literal interpretation of St Benedict’s Rule and for much of the year dined on fare that would meet the approval of many a modern-day vegan. Cistercian monks were also required to undertake manual labour, therefore burning calories, building muscle and staying fit.
But even the Cistercians found it difficult to adhere to the strict letter St Benedict’s writings. A single daily meal just wasn’t practical or sufficient, even if supplemented by a light supper at harvest time.
This was especially the case for monasteries in frigid northern climes, where more frequent dining provided essential calories, warmth and comfort.
By the late 13th century, Benedictine monks were enjoying three square meals a day: a breakfast of bread and ale; a substantial two-or even three-course midday dinner; and an evening supper.
This multiplication of meals was partly due to a general improvement in overall living standards in the late Middle Ages, but also reflected the social origin of monks, who were, for the most part, were from well-off families. They expected to be well fed and a padding of fat reflected their high social status, a reverse of the situation today when obesity is often a consequence of poverty and widely stigmatised.
The construction of special meat refectories called “misericords” allowed monks to circumvent St Benedict’s prohibition on eating the flesh of quadrupeds in the communal refectory.
The surviving financial accounts from monasteries such as Battle, Westminster and Whalley show that by the 15th century, massive amounts of money was being spent on the monks’ food. At Westminster it came to around £11 per monk per year, equivalent to the salary of a then well-paid parish priest.
Monks at richer monasteries were consuming enormous numbers of calories.
Today, a well-built, reasonably active man requires about 3000 calories a day to maintain his body weight.
It’s been estimated that the plates loaded in front of the Westminster monks contained up to 7000 calories on feast days (in every sense of the word) and no fewer than 4000 calories on days of “abstinence”.
Whether the monks actually scoffed such enormous amounts of tucker is open to question, and it’s likely that abundant leftovers were destined for the abbey’s servants and the doles distributed to the poor at the abbey’s gates.
The scraps from the tables of Westminster Abbey may have been very tasty and substantial indeed. But even after taking this redistribution into account, the sedentary monks (manual labour had long since disappeared from their daily routine to make way for additional study time) were consuming more than enough to pile on excess pounds.
Largely devoid of fresh fruit and vegetables, and containing substantial amounts of saturated fats, protein and salt, the food eaten by monks had inevitable consequences for their health. If the evidence from 15th-century Westminster is anything to do by, an unhealthy diet contributed to a substantial fall in life expectancy, which slumped by about ten years over the course of the century.
The excavation of monastic cemeteries has uncovered the remains of monks suffering from degenerative bone disease caused by obesity.
Analysis of the remains revealed that many had dropped dead in early middle age, and it’s therefore probable they succumbed to heart failure, stroke or diabetes.
Doubtless, diseases associated with obesity also made monks more vulnerable to the epidemics of viral illnesses, such as the mysterious “sweating sickness” that swept through late medieval and early Tudor England.
It’s also clear that monks were regularly in need for the medieval equivalent of a packet of Rennies. Monastic manuscripts are full of recipes for indigestion remedies and the meat-rich diet enjoyed by an abbot of Muchelney was probably the cause of his bad base of constipation that required treatment with an enema inserted in his “fundament”.
But overconsumption is only part of the story. There are numerous instances of monks and nuns complaining about their bland, meagre victuals.
Spare a thought for the poor canonesses of White Ladies Priory, whose total annual income wasn’t much more than the yearly food allowance of a single Westminster monk. The ladies must’ve had a very frugal board indeed.
And nor did excess body weight necessarily undermine respect for the monasteries. Medieval sources explicitly refer to the heaviness of St Thomas Aquinas. That didn’t stop him being esteemed as one the greatest philosophers and theologians all time.
It’s a salient reminder that BMI isn’t an indicator of worth.
Both this article and the BBC 4 three part series on the English monasteries are very interesting.
The BBC series is, I think, on YouTube.
It seems that everything started off very idealistically and then deteriorated as wealth and influence grew.
I suppose that’s what happened to the whole RCC?
Traditionally I had always thought Henry V111 destroyed the monasteries as part of his opposition to Rome.
But it looks as if the monasteries were hot houses of financial and sexual corruption.
And the RCC today is as utterly corrupt as it ever was.
Father Alessandro Maria Minutella. (Credit: Screen capture.)
ROME – In Cervantes’ famed novel Don Quixote, the lead character is a deluded noble who imagines himself a knight and lives in a chivalric world of his own imagination. The story has proved so popular it’s even given us a word, “quixotic,” to mean someone who’s unrealistic, impractical, driven by unattainable ideals.
If Cervantes were alive today and living in Italy, he wouldn’t need to dream up such a figure. All he’d probably need to do is to follow around Father Alessandro Maria Minutella.
Minutella, who’ll turn 47 in September, is a Sicilian priest who was declared excommunicated latae santentiae by Cardinal Corrado Lorefice of Palermo in 2017, for the crimes of “heresy and schism.”
He’s a fierce traditionalist who now aspires to lead what he calls the “Catholic resistance,” forming a “small remnant” who spurn the “false Bergoglian church” (a reference to Pope Francis’s given name) and declare their allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI (who, of course, has never solicited such a following.)
“I’m just an instrument, a simple donkey of Mary,” Minutella has said of his position. “I am not afraid of Bergoglian contempt and the shame it merits, in order to make those souls who wish to be saved aware of the anti-Christian nature of this absurd messianism.”
Here’s his ten-point indictment of Francis.
Permitting communion for the divorced and remarried in Amoris Laetitia
Indifference to Marian dogmas
Stressing mercy to the exclusion of judgment
A document on human fraternity signed by Francis in Abu Dhabi, which he asserts reflects “religious syncretism”
Neglect of mission (in the sense of making converts to Christianity)
Neo-Arianism, effectively denying the divinity of Christ
Rehabilitating Martin Luther and Judas Iscariot
Calling clerical celibacy into question through the Amazon synod
Idolatry of the “Pachamama,” an Amazonian fertility figure, during the synod
This past Sunday, Minutella brought his act to Rome.
Under a tree along a street named for one of the early popes, Minutella spent four and a half hours celebrating the old Mass, delivering catechesis, offering a homily and leading prayers and the singing of psalms.
He drew a crowd described by one sympathetic observer as in the hundreds, including people “of all ages and social classes, all wearing masks and practicing social distancing,” drawn by word-of-mouth in traditionalist Catholic circles.
The Rome event was part of a barnstorming tour of Italy that will also take Minutella to the regions of Veneto, Piedmont, the Marches and Tuscany. To be clear, Minutella is nobody’s fool. He holds a doctorate in the history of Christian dogma from Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University, having written his dissertation on the eschatology of famed Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. When it was published in book form, it was even reviewed favorably by L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.
However, Minutella’s inspiration isn’t restricted to the theological classics. He also claims to receive private revelations, which initially caused the Archdiocese of Palermo to order him to silence in 2015. It didn’t really take hold, as Minutella went on to publicly accuse Pope Francis of heresy in the wake of Amoris Laetitia.
In 2017 he was removed as pastor of his parish, leading to the excommunication decree a year later, at a time when Minutella was advising his followers – 43,000 on his Facebook page – not even to enter churches where pastors remain loyal to Francis, in order to avoid doubts about the validity of the sacraments. To those who object that they don’t have access to priests such as Minutella but still want to go to Mass, he’s unyielding.
“The Mass is very important, but it’s even more important to conserve the faith in its integrity,” he said.
However, Minutella’s revolution is mostly virtual, since it’s really only archconservative media and sites in Italy that are paying any attention. The powerful Italian bishops’ conference, CEI, hasn’t even bothered issuing a public statement about it, probably because even assuming all 43,000 people who follow Minutella on Facebook are in lockstep with him – and some likely follow him just out of curiosity, others for something akin to opposition research – that’s still only about .08 percent of Italy’s total Catholic population.
Granted, there’s a swath of Catholics who would share at least some of Minutella’s diagnosis. A few are admirers of Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who’s probably closest to Minutella’s position, having not only called for Francis’s resignation but also recently appearing to reject the Second Vatican Council. A much larger and more diverse cluster of conservative opinion would take issue with this or that decision made by Francis, while likely also finding things to appreciate. All of that, however, is a world away from embracing open revolt and rushing for the barricades.
Yet while Minutella may be tilting at windmills, he shows no signs of abandoning his quest. Recently, he issued an open challenge to theologians, academics and even bishops sympathetic to the pope to join him in a roundtable discussion, on the condition that a neutral moderator be found to guide the discussion.
How productive such an exchange might be is open to question, but there’s no doubt it would be entertaining — another instance, perhaps, of life imitating art, in this case with Cervantes as the one who probably ought to be flattered.
Follow John Allen on Twitter at @JohnLAllenJr.
It is true that the current RCC is divided into a Pre Vatican 11 camp and a Vatican 11 camp.
We see this everywhere now, especially in the context of the numerous Extraordinary Mass groups.
The RCC has, nominally, 1 3 billion members.
A lot of them go nowhere.
Those who do go, do the Novus Ordo.
And then a rump do the Latin Mass thing.
I suppose divisions are always difficult for everyone?
Personally, I am firmly on the English Mass and liberal side.
I dont really know where Francis is.
That’s a Jesuit trick – not to let anywhere know where they stand.
Take a look at some of the queer leaders of one the world’s most influential organized religions.
BY JACOB OGLES FEBRUARY 02 2018 THE ADVOCATE
While the Roman Catholic Church has long condemned homosexual acts as sinful, history nevertheless shows many of the church’s leaders engaged in same-sex love. There is evidence that of the 266 popes in history, nearly a dozen were gay, bisexual or, in one case, transgender. The following includes Catholic popes, cardinals, and archbishops who faced rumors or accusations of unorthodox orientation.
1. Joan (est. 800) As the story of Pope Joan goes, the female religious figure was born in Mainz, Germany, and arrived in Athens disguised in men’s clothes before joining the priesthood. She made her way to Rome and rose to the level of cardinal in the church before being elected as pope. But Joan, considered by some scholars to be the first and only trans pope, apparently did not live a life of celibacy. She would be found out when she went into labor in the third year of her papacy, according to the records of Martinus Polonus. By some accounts, her son would go on become the bBishop of Ostia and have his mother, kept in isolation post-scandal, interred there. In other accounts, she was killed immediately upon being found out. It’s unclear if the story of Pope Joan should be considered a medieval urban myth, but hundreds of chronicles tell the story of the ninth-century church leader.
2. John XII (955-964) This church leader would model his papacy on the rule of Roman Emperor Elagabolus, a potentially transgender libertine, and would host gay orgies in the papal palace, according to historian Wayne Dynes’s Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Historians say John also had mistresses, making him the first bisexual pope.
3. Benedict IX (1033-1045; 1047-1048) Considered by many to be the first “primarily homosexual” pope, Benedict would be accused of turning the Vatican into a “male brothel,” according to researcher Lynne Yamaguchi Fletcher. The debauchery actually led to his being deposed as pope in 1045 after Bishop Benno of Piacenza accused him of “many vile adulteries and murders,” according to historian Ernst Ludwig Dummler, but he quickly returned to power after Benno and other critics were expelled. Indeed, he would be driven from and returned to power multiple times before his excommunication in 1049.
4. Boniface VIII (1294-1303) King Philip IV of France, an enemy of the pope, would dispatch spies to gather information on Boniface, and based on reports from Roman aristocrats, he would publicly accuse the pope of sodomy, according to Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II.
5. John XXII (1316-1334) While there’s less bountiful evidence than with other popes, John XXII made the list of gay popes included in Noel Garde’s 1964 tome Jonathan to Gide: The Homsexual in History.
6. Paul II (1464-1471) This pope’s immediate predecessor, Pius II, once suggested that Paul, at the time an archpriest at the Vatican Basilica, be called Mary Pietissima, according to Platina’s Lives. This may have been an insinuation about a predisposition toward fancy clothes and fine things, or it could have been a intimation of the church leader’s homosexuality, the latter of which earned Paul II ink in Arno Karlen’s Sexuality and Homosexuality.
7. Sixtus IV (1471-1484) The Sistine Chapel was named for this popular pope, and the arts patron employed famous queer artists including Botticelli. But Sixtus, born Francesco della Rovere, also would be known for favoritism, including elevating his male lover (and nephew) Petro Riaro to Cardinal, according to Louis Crompton’s Homosexuality and Civilization.
8. Alexander VI (1492-1503) Known to modern audiences for his portrayal by Jeremy Irons in The Borgias, Alexander VI has generally been regarded by history as the most morally bankrupt pope in the church’s history, thanks among other things to the wild orgies over which he would preside. He was believed to have sired at least eight illegitimate children, but the Florentine friar Savonarola also accused the pope of having same-sex affairs. Alexander had Savonarola killed, but upon his own death, the church would deem the pope too scandalous and violent a figure to be buried at St. Peter’s Basilica.
9. Julius II (1503-1513) Prevailing sexual mores didn’t bind Julius II, who infamously issued a dispensation to Henry VIII to marry the previously wedded Catherine of Aragon. More personally revealing, the bisexual pope was the first known to contract syphilis, and he reportedly fathered children by at least one mistress. In 1511, the church brought charges against the pope of committing lewd sex acts with male prostitutes.
10. Leo X (1513-1521) Dissatisfaction with Leo’s practice of allowing the faithful to pay for sins to be forgiven contributed to Martin Luther writing his 95 Theses and starting the Protestant movement. The controversial pope also would have to deal with scandal about his sexuality, with an anonymous pamphlet circulated in Rome alleging Leo has taken multiple gay lovers. Historians Francesco Guicciardini and Paolo Giavini both recorded observations supporting the assertion, the latter noting the pope’s banter with chamberlains and young noblemen.
11. Captain General Pier Luigi (1537-1547) Believed to be the illegitimate son of Pope Paul III, Pier Luigi Farnese was named as Captain General of the Church. In that post, he would keep a regiment of male lovers and use Roman police to keep tabs on men who refused his advances. He also would be plagued by accusations of raping bishops and other clergy in the Vatican. Eventually, he was stabbed to death Caesar-style by a conspiracy of enemies who hanged his body from a window of the plaza at Piacenza.
12. Julius III (1550-1555) The pontiff before his papacy reportedly fell in love with 15-year-old Innocenzo and maintained a suspicious relationship with him. The boy would become a servant and lover to then-Cardinal Giovanni Maria del Cicchio Monte, who would raise Innocenzo to the level of cardinal after his lover became the pope.
13. Cardinal Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte (1550-1567) At around age 18, the favorite of Pope Julius III would be named Cardinal Nephew and serve effectively as the papal secretary. But after the death of Julius, he would return to a criminal history. Pope Pius IV had Innocenzo arrested after he killed two men in 1559, and he was banished from Rome. He would be accused in 1567 of raping two women in Brevia and be sent to a monastery, according to historian Miranda Salvador. He was eventually allowed to return to Rome but died in 1577 in disgrace.
14. Cardinal Carlo Carafa (1555-1559) The nephew of Pope Paul IV, the Italian cardinal likely had a relationship with a young man named Ascanio that would be immortalized in a poem by Joachim du Bellay. Pro-French opponents of the cardinal would allege other same-sex affairs as well that would be reported to the pope, who would eventually exile his relative. In 1567, new Pope Pius V would rehabilitate Carafa and allow him to be entombed by his uncle.
15. Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart (1803-1807) The Cardinal of York would be recorded in history as the last Stuart pretender to the English throne. Writer Guiseppi Gorani reported that the cardinal showed little discretion about numerous affairs with men. “His palace seemed to me to be filled with young men of a very comely appearance, dressed as abbots,” Gorani wrote. “This led me to suspect that this Royal Eminence could have the taste with which some of his brethren are accused.”
16. Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman (1939-1967) The cardinal, who was archbishop of New York at the time of his death, was surrounded for years by rumors of his homosexuality, with biographer John Cooney stating he interviewed at least four individuals with personal knowledge of Spellman’s leanings, according to journalist Michelangelo Signorile. And biographers of notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover say he had a file documenting the cardinal’s sex life.
17. John XXIII (1958-1963) Credited with modernizing Catholic dogma with Vatican II, the ’60s-era pope has frequently been compared to Pope Francis as having a socially progressive outlook for his time. The Gay Sunshine Interviews, Vol. 2 suggested that the more tolerant view of homosexuality decreed by John may have stemmed from his sexual orientation.
18. Paul VI (1963-1978) The 20th-century pope faced written accusations from professor Franco Bellegradi, a Vatican insider at the start of Paul’s papacy, that rumors of homosexuality circulated while he served as archbishop of Milan. Bellegradi says that Paul, then Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, had been caught by police at night in street clothes while in “suspect company,” and more specifically, that he maintained a long relationship with a male actor who colored his hair red and who would later visit the pope’s Vatican apartment freely.
19. Archbishop Rembert Weakland (1977-2002) The Wisconsin archbishop resigned from the church in 2002 amid allegations he’d used $450,000 in archdiocesan funds to pay a sexual harassment settlement. In 2009, he would come out in a memoir as gay.
20. Archbishop Juan Carlos Maccarone (1996-2005) The Buenes Aires-born Maccarone became Bbishop of Chascomus in 1996 and then was nominated as bishop of Santiago del Estero in 1999. But the Argentine church leader would become embroiled in scandal in 2005 when a video surfaced of him engaged in sex with another man. The scandal led quickly to the archbishop’s resignation.
21. Cardinal Keith O’Brien (1985-2013) The archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh was accused in 2013 of having sexual relationships with four younger priests, including a relationship that went on as recently as 2009, six years after he became a cardinal, according to reports in The Scotsman. After a church investigation, O’Brien resigned the duties of cardinal in 2015.
That 21 is only the top of the pile of course.
I suppose it just shows you that homosexuality in the priesthood is far from new.
The big difference of course is that we now have a very educated population and a very large and fierce international media.
Plus, of course, there is a massive difference between consulting adults having sex and older men having sex with minors or vulnerable adults.
Mind you, I imagine many popes, cardinals, bishops and priests in history were into minors.
There were certainly enough teenage cardinals about.
What is a priest worth? Latest Ted McCarrick news says it depends on the lawsuit
Catholicism, Julia Duin, Lawsuits, Sex, Sexual abuse, Vatican
There’s a book out there asking: “What is a Girl Worth?” Written by former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, it asks who is going to tell little girls that the abuse done to them years ago was monstrously wrong and that it actually matters that their perpetrators are punished.
There also needs to be a book asking “what is a priest worth?”
For two years now, we’ve been looking at the news reporting about the sex scandal that surrounded the now-former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and how “everyone” knew he was dallying with seminarians and sharing beds with them at his New Jersey beach cottage back in the 1980s.
After the news about McCarrick broke on June 20, 2018, it took the MSM a month to get all the major details together — and still they missed a few. This New York Times piece says the sexual activity that McCarrick carried on with his protégé Robert Ciolek stayed above the waist. The paper hinted in the next paragraph that another seminarian or young priest involved with McCarrick had endured far worse sexual abuse, but unless you knew how to read between the lines, you missed it.
But the late Richard Sipe, a Benedictine priest-turned-psychotherapist, had posted on his web site 10 years beforehand accounts of very R-rated sexual activity McCarrick foisted on his underlings. Many journalists read it, but we didn’t know how to prove it. At the time, the church attitude I picked up was that nothing happened at that cottage and that the seminarians and young priests involved should get over it.
The thought that some could be scarred sexually for life never occurred to anyone. Who could they talk about this with? Who’d believe them? Because of what had been done to them, they were abandoned to mull over some very dirty thoughts while at the same time berating themselves for not fighting back.
Finally, last week, a bunch of media, including a consortium of New Jersey newspapers, reported a juicy lawsuit against McCarrick that threatens to expose some of the nastier details. Written by Newark Star-Ledger reporter Ted Sherman on the NJ.com site, the story was worth the wait.
He is known only as “Doe 14.”
Raised in a devout Catholic family, he attended St. Francis Xavier in Newark and Essex Catholic in East Orange in the Archdiocese of Newark, participating in church and youth activities.
And by the time he was a teenager, his lawyers say he was being groomed for a role in what they called a “sex ring” involving then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick, the 90-year-old now defrocked and disgraced former cardinal who was cast out of the ministry last year over decades-old sexual abuse allegations.
In a lawsuit, they charged other priests served as “procurers” to bring victims to McCarrick at his beach house on the Jersey Shore, where he “assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” and that they were paired with adult clerics.
At this point, allow me to note that I wrote something similar two years ago here at GetReligion, quoting from the Sipe website and other documents I had amassed about this scandal. I even named names of some of the priests involved, although I didn’t realize it was at the level of a “sex ring.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, attorneys for the now 53-year-old victim serving as the plaintiff in the lawsuit detailed a sordid, predatory scheme of sexual abuse involving McCarrick and other members of the clergy involving at least seven children, including Doe 14, that they said played out over dozens of years…
According to the lawsuit, much of what allegedly transpired occurred at a Sea Girt beach house that has been the focus of other complaints involving charges of abuse by McCarrick of seminarian students, who he allegedly would bring down to the Jersey Shore.
“McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal sexual behavior and whisper, ‘It’s okay,’” said Anderson.
Sherman mentioned names of other accused priests who participated in the abuse. For this story to come out in New Jersey is sweet revenge, in that I know folks at the Star-Ledger were aware of the rumors a decade ago. Like me, they were stymied by the victims’ refusals to go on the record.
Because the press conference (see the above video) was virtual, lots of media were listening. Be sure to look at the video, as it has a photo of the beach house; the first time I’ve seen what it looks like. I actually drove to Sea Girt, the New Jersey town in which it’s located, back in 2009 in a fruitless search for the address.
The Washington Post gave us an organized list of the accused:
The accused clerics aside from McCarrick are: the Rev. Anthony Nardino, Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, the Rev. Gerald Ruane, the Rev. Michael Walters and the Rev. John Laferrera. They were all priests in Newark. None could be reached for comment Wednesday.
Ruane, Walters and Laferrera are on Newark’s list of credibly accused clerics. Hewitt and Ruane are deceased, the list says. Hewitt is on the list of credibly accused clerics from the Christian Brothers, the order to which he belonged, according to a ProPublica investigation of accused clerics. Hewitt was the boy’s principal at the time the abuse occurred, the suit alleges.
The New York Post was also at this July 22 confab and included a ripe quote from the attorney representing the victims.
(Jeff) Anderson said decades of alleged sexual abuse have been covered up by the Catholic Church.
“All of it cloaked in papal power,” he said.
Which takes us to the next shoe that needs to drop, which we’ve been waiting for a long time. Tmatt reminded us earlier this month that a long-delayed Vatican report on McCarrick — and how church officials ignored the open secret of his sexual predilections for years — still has yet to come out.
Justice delayed is justice denied, right?
What is a priest worth? What is a seminarian worth? As reporters probe further, we’re learning that, for far too many officials in the Catholic Church, they weren’t worth much. Then, this National Catholic Register editorial points to one of the biggest questions that continues to loom over this scandal:
… After all this time, Catholics in the United States are still waiting for answers about which Church leaders, here and in Rome, knew about McCarrick’s scandalous situation but failed to take meaningful disciplinary and preventive actions — and possibly even facilitated and abetted his meteoric rise to prominence.
That’s far too long to wait.
The question, of course, is this: Who were the bishops and cardinals who lifted McCarrick high into church leadership? And what about the bishops and cardinals that McCarrick brought to power?
McCarrick had as many courtiers as many kings and popes.
It was all based on money, power, influence and SEX.
McCarrick had other men, lay men, religious and priests who actually went out and procured young males to pleasure McCarrick.
They say priests similarly brought young men to the Catican to “service” Pope Paul V1?
When the Nazi leaders appeared at Nuremberg after the Nazi atrocities of World War 11 one of the major defences offered was that they were obeying orders.
That defence was not accepted – and rightly so.
Because, there are times when obedience is criminal and immoral.
So, these obedient agents of Hitler were sentenced to death or very long prison sentences.
Many totalitarian systems throughout history have insisted on the total obedience of their followers. And much evil has come from that obedience.
The Roman Catholic Church is a 1700 year old totalitarian system that has insisted on total obedience and much evil has resulted – The Crusades, the Inquisition and the Counter Reformation, to name three.
Hitler killed 6 million plus in 6 years.
I wonder how many millions have been killed in Roman Catholicism in 2000 years? And all in the name of obedience!
In 1943 in the Poor Clare Orphanage in Cavan a fire broke out during the might.
The nuns refused to allow the fire fighters to rescue the girls in case they saw them in their night attire.
35 children and 1 adult burned to death as a result of the nuns crazy obedience to Catholic teaching on modesty and chastity.
The Irish author Flan O’Brien wrote a verse about the tragedy:
In Cavan there was a great fire.
Judge McCarthy was sent to inquire.
It would be a shame,
If the nuns were to blame.
So it had to be caused by a fire.
The Four Cardinal Virtues are – Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.
The Seven Virtues are – Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and Humility.
So there are at least ELEVEN virtues mentioned in Christian history before you get anywhere near obedience. So, obedience, is not WAY UP THERE as a virtue at all.
The classic study of obedience was made by Stanley Milgram of Yale university between 1961 and 1963.
He was trying to understand and explain the German’s obedience to Hitler.
They measured the willingness of volunteers to perform acts against their conscience by inflicting painful electric shocks on people – the strongest of which would have caused death.
The vast majority of the volunteers obeyed the orders.
As humans, but especially as Christian’s we need to carefully consider where we stand on obedience.
In Acts 5:29 we are told: “Obedience to God comes before obedience to men”.
And that I instruction is backed up in the Bible in the books of Ephesians, Samuel, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, James, Genesis, and many others.
So we should view every order we are given, and every decision we make, in the context of our primary obligation to Hod and God’s will.
In the Book of Daniel we see King Nebuchadnezzar ordering Shadrac, Meschac and Abednego to worship him instead of God.
They refused and are thrown into a great fire. But the King sees God walking in the fire with the three and immediately pulls them out of the fire and promotes them to high office.
The moral of the story is:
Obey God and thrive.
Obey voices opposed to God and perish!
One of my all time political heroes is Tony Benn. His favourite hymn was Dare to be a Daniel.
Dare to be a Daniel Dare to stand alone Dare to have a purpose firm Dare to make it known
Standing by a purpose true Heeding God’s command Honor them, the faithful few All hail to Daniel’s band
Many mighty men are lost
Daring not to stand Who for God had been a host By joining Daniel’s bandD
Many giants, great and tall
Stalking through the land Headlong to the earth would fall If met by Daniel’s bandD
Hold the Gospel banner high On to vict’ry grand Satan and his hosts defy And shout for Daniel’s band
Dare to be a Daniel Dare to stand alone Dare to have a purpose firm Dare to make it known Dare to make it known