Pope Francis offered his “heartfelt thanks” in a lengthy speech on Friday to members of the media who helped expose sexual abusers within the ranks of the Catholic clergy.
In his yearly address to members of the Roman Curia, the pope publicly thanked “those media professionals who were honest and objective and sought to unmask these predators and to make their victims’ voices heard.”
“Even if it were to involve a single case of abuse (something itself monstrous), the Church asks that people not be silent but bring it objectively to light, since the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth,” Francis said.
The pope himself has come under fire in recent months for a lack of transparency regarding his own conduct in the case of disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of serial homosexual abuse of seminarians, priests, and laypersons for decades.
In late August, the former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, accused the pope of having rehabilitated McCarrick despite knowing of his abuse.
Cardinal McCarrick enjoyed a “long friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio” and played an “important part” in his recent election, the archbishop claimed in an 11-page affidavit, which led the pope to continue using McCarrick as a trusted aide in the naming of American bishops even after learning of his misdeeds.
“McCarrick was part of a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who exploiting their favor with Pope Francis manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy and in the Church at large,” Viganò wrote.
When journalists questioned him about the truth of these and other allegations, the pope refused to answer and has maintained his silence ever since while lashing out at his accuser as an agent of Satan because of his attempts to reveals others’ wrongdoing.
“It is true, we are all sinners, we bishops,” the pope said in September, but the Great Accuser “seeks to unveil sins so that they may be seen, to scandalize the people.”
In his address Friday, Francis praised the “heroic example” of the martyrs and countless good Samaritans but said that their witness cannot “make us overlook the counter-witness and the scandal given by some sons and ministers of the Church.”
He said:
The Church has for some time been firmly committed to eliminating the evil of abuse, which cries for vengeance to the Lord, to the God who is always mindful of the suffering experienced by many minors because of clerics and consecrated persons: abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse.
Comparing abusive priests to King David, the pope said that these men “perform abominable acts yet continue to exercise their ministry as if nothing had happened. They have no fear of God or his judgement, but only of being found out and unmasked.”
“Today too, there are many Davids who, without batting an eye, enter into the web of corruption and betray God, his commandments, their own vocation, the Church, the people of God and the trust of little ones and their families,” he said. “Often behind their boundless amiability, impeccable activity and angelic faces, they shamelessly conceal a vicious wolf ready to devour innocent souls.”
The pope also reiterated the commitment of the Church to root out the evil of sexual abuse.
“Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case,” said the pope.
“To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” he said.
“Remember the words of Christ: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea,’” he said.





Rev. W. Thomas Faucher speaks to the Idaho Statesman from the Ada County Jail about how he would like to be remembered in the community and what will happen after his trial.

The Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, a longtime priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise who pleaded guilty to five felony crimes, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Faucher, 73, was accused of amassing thousands of child porn images and videos on his home computer — and pleaded guilty in September to sharing some of those images online. He apologized in the courtroom ahead of his sentencing at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise on Thursday.

“This is the crime that has the potential for both immediate and long-lasting consequences,” 4th District Court Judge Jason Scott said. “… I think there is a legitimate risk to the community.

“I am deeply sorry that I was and have been connected to that in any way,” Faucher told the judge in a statement that lasted about 17 minutes. Faucher said he was deeply struck by the victim impact statements and that he knows child pornography is not a victimless crime.

“I was one really sick puppy. I screwed up big time … I feel so much remorse and anger,” Faucher said at his sentencing.

Ruth Brown@RuthBrownNews

He wants to build a future making up for what he’s done. He would like to meet with victims and apologize to them and give lectures on the evils of child pornography.

“There are many people who will benefit if I am no longer in jail,” Faucher said, explaining that he’d like to help others. “There are no people who will benefit if I am in jail or in prison.”

A thinner and more frail-looking Faucher was wheeled into the courtroom in his Ada County jail uniform just before 9:30 a.m. At least 30 people, including some members of the Diocese of Boise, plus local media were packed into the windowless fifth-floor courtroom — some watching cried while others left the room as a local detective described in graphic detail the images and child pornography found in Faucher’s possession.

Thomas Faucher appears before Fourth District Judge Jason Scott to be sentenced after being found guilty of multiple felonies, including possessing and trafficking child pornography among other charges Thursday at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho.

Darin Oswald

Diocese officials told the Statesman Wednesday that they will seek to have Faucher defrocked. They reiterated that in a press release after the sentencing:

“The volumes of shocking information that the law enforcement investigation uncovered reveal the heinous nature of child pornography and the tragic impact upon its victims,” the release says. “While we cannot begin to fathom what brought Faucher to the point that he was able to enter into this evil and dark world, we are thankful for the efforts of the law enforcement community in doing what it can to protect our children from these crimes.”

Investigation took a toll on police

The prosecutor called Garden City police officer Detective John Brumbaugh to the stand on Thursday. Brumbaugh, who’s been on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for five years, said he received a cybertip that involved two images sent from that was linked to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church website.
In the months that followed, Brumbaugh said, his investigation looked at chats and emails that showed Faucher was “actively seeking interests with gay men, satanic interests” and the rape and killing of minors. He also described the contents of the images police found on Faucher’s cellphone, computer and Dropbox account: more than 2,500 files that were sexually exploitative or pornographic with young-looking subjects. The files were described by police as violent, disturbing and torturous, some involving children crying.

“The volume of [images] was something I haven’t come across,” detective said. He’s talking about how the extreme nature of the images affected him and others that investigated.

Other images include live animals being abused. Files of children and adults being set on fire. The detective is listing a variety of forms of very graphic abuse.

In online chats with a person called “Bruno,” Faucher expressed a desire to have sex with boys, Brumbaugh said. Faucher said he had “satanic desires,” an attraction to 6-year-old boys and that “the thought of killing someone does begin to excite me,” according to the detective.

Brumbaugh also said Faucher’s online conversations about shared child pornography include the Catholic priest talking about fantasies, including the sexual abuse of altar boys and babies, and saying that he liked a video of a boy being being beaten to death.
“The volume of [images] was something I haven’t come across,” Brumbaugh said, and added that the extreme nature of the images took a toll on himself and others involved in the investigation.
As Faucher solicited more videos of young boys, he wrote that he felt “wonderful indifference,” Brumbaugh told the courtroom.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, whose office oversees the task force that investigated the crimes, said in a press release that the sentencing is a reminder of how challenging this work can be.
“Today’s sentencing brings to close one of the most difficult cases the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit has ever investigated,” Wasden said. “As those in the courtroom today are now aware, the nature of the evidence uncovered was extremely disturbing. I want to publicly say thank you to the ICAC staff for their extraordinary professionalism and dedication to their mission in the face of inherently difficult work. ”

Other images the detective said the investigation found included depictions of black slavery, which Faucher spoke about using racist language, as well as images of Faucher urinating on a cross and canon law book. Faucher also wrote that he urinated in the wine for Mass at least once, Brumbaugh told the courtroom. Faucher talked to “Bruno” about betraying canon law, then blaming it on his age and illness, Brumbaugh said.

Faucher bragged to Bruno about how easy it had become to lie: “It felt good to lie for no good reason except to do it … Most of the time, I just make a new reality and believe it as long as it suits me.”

“It felt good to lie,” Faucher wrote in one of the conversations, the detective said.
Faucher later told Brumbaugh that no one else had access to his email account, the detective said. Brumbaugh also said there was no evidence that someone had remote access to Faucher’s computer nor evidence of a virus on the computer.

‘It shakes the community’

Ahead of the sentencing, special prosecutor Kassandra Slaven asked for a 30-year prison sentence, including 20 years before Faucher would be eligible for parole. She also requested a no-contact order be put in place with all minor children.

An evaluation concluded Faucher is on the upper end of the risk to reoffend and is less amenable to treatment, Slaven said, adding that he was diagnosed as a pedophile. She argued that his status as a Catholic priest is an aggravating factor.

“It shakes the community. It shakes the members of the Catholic Church,” Slaven said. “… He portrays himself as a victim and is not at all accountable for his actions.”

Faucher’s defense attorney, Mark Manweiler, had called for probation and sex offender treatment instead of prison time.
Manweiler said the evidence does not support that Faucher looked at all of the images on the computer. He also said that although Faucher looked at, possessed and shared child pornography, “He’s never sexually abused any child.”

Earlier, the Statesman reported that two men came forward to church officials and prosecutors to accuse him of sexually abusing them when they were children several decades ago; no charges have been filed in those cases. The defense said Thursday any accusations made now should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

“Tom isn’t a good person. He’s a wonderful person” who’s helped hundreds if not thousands of people, Manweiler said. He also read from a letter of support from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who said Faucher has helped his family.

Manweiler emphasized what he says caused Faucher “to get into this world of Satanism and pornography”: that the priest of 45 years went from a position of power “to all of the sudden being nothing” and “he couldn’t handle it.” Manweiler said it was a combination of rejection by church officials, alcohol abuse and loneliness that caused Faucher to stray into Satanism and child porn.

Faucher has lost 47 pounds since he’s been in jail and has a life expectancy of about 5 more years, the defense says. He also has brain damage and alcohol-induced dementia.

Charges against Faucher

Prosecutors have said they found more than 2,000 photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse on Faucher’s computer and phone. They said he spoke in online chat rooms about having a desire to rape and kill children; his attorney previously said at least one of those conversations was Faucher “role playing” with an author in Brazil.

He was charged with 21 counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child, one count of felony possession of a controlled substance (LSD) and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (marijuana and ecstasy). He pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of sexually exploitative material, two counts of possession of sexually exploitative materials and one count of drug possession.

Diocese spokesman Gene Fadness told the Statesman Wednesday that church officials haven’t seen evidence that Faucher has taken full responsibility for his actions. In pleading guilty to five of the 24 charges against him, Faucher said that he didn’t remember sharing child porn with others because he had alcohol-induced depression and dementia.

The diocese evicted Faucher while he was being held in the Ada County Jail, and they had the house exorcised before selling it.



The Oratory Larne Last Night


I cannot remember ever meeting anyone with the name Emmanuel until I came to Belfast in 1978 at the age of 26.
Then, all of a sudden, I met a whole lot of Emmanuel’s on the Fall’s Road.
The Belfast people have a habit of shortening names – especially complicated names like Emmanuel.
So all the Emmanuel’s I met in Belfast were called “Bap” – Bap McAreavey, Bap Dundon, Bap Stitt.
I have never been able to work out how you get Bap out of Emmanuel.
So, I did what many people do these days – I searched the meaning of Bap on the internet and I found:

• Your name, Bap, creates an independent, determined, and persevering nature.

• You desire to work on your own or at least where you are making your own decisions.

• You enjoy working with your hands and can be resourceful and inventive along practical lines.

• Being much focused on your pursuits, at times you overlook the personal considerations and attentions that create understanding and companionship with others.

• This name causes you to suffer with self-consciousness in new situations and an inability to be diplomatic when situations warrant.

• You are loyal in friendships and express candidly.

• You enjoy outdoors activities with a few close friends.
Health Analysis
• Tension could affect the eyes, ears, teeth, or sinuses. Frequent head colds or headaches.
So, there you go – someone out there is an expert on the name Bap – and I am wiser today that I have been for over 60 years.

We meet today to remember and be with the most famous Emmanuel ever – our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was indeed independent, determined and persevering.
He did work on His own and made His own decisions – doing the will of His Father and in companionship with his disciples.
He enjoyed working with His hands as he was a carpenter.
He was focused on his pursuits and some people liked Him and others hated Him.
I don’t think He was self-conscious in new situations and he was not always diplomatic.
And I don’t think He suffered head colds in the nice warm climate of Israel

We know that from the point of view of the Bible and our Christian faith, Emmanuel means “God is with us”. The prophet Isaiah used it 700 years before Jesus came when he told the leader of his people, Ahaz who was under military siege, that God was with him.

We who believe in Jesus, hopefully, are aware at all times, the good times and the bad times, that God is with us?
But, of course, it probably becomes more important to us, that God is with us in the bad times when we feel “under siege.
For each person those sieges differ:
We might be sick or have a loved one who is sick?
We might be struggling financially?
We might be experiencing problems in our families and relationships?
We might be suffering with depression or anxiety?
We might be experiencing loss or grief?
We might be trapped in an unbearable job or an unbearable marriage?
We might be living with painful memories or harbouring an oppressing secret?

There are so many forms of suffering and pain that are possible.
We see it everyday on our television screens.
And therefore, it is more important than ever that we have a reason to have hope.
St. Peter said in his first letter:
“But in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to defend yourself to anyone who asks you for the reason that you have the hope you have”.
And the reason that those of us who are gathered here today have hope is because we believe in Emmanuel – we believe that God is with us.
That does not mean that our lives will always be easy.
But it does mean that, easy or hard, our lives will always have meaning.
The great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said:


Our WHY is Jesus Christ – Emmanuel.
He will see us through any, and every HOW.
Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who work with her father. She helped many Jews escape the Nazis and when she was caught she was sent to a concentration camp. The wrote the following poem to express how and why she never lost hope and hope in God.


“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colours
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”

― Corrie ten Boom

I don’t know about you? But I trust the Weaver more than I trust myself.




San Diego Seminarian Receives Justice as Jury Convicts Abuser Priest

Bishop Robert McElroy ordered Father Juan Garcia Castillo be removed from ministry permanently following the conviction for sexually assaulting one of the San Diego diocese’s seminarians.

Article main image

San Diego, Calif. — A California priest was convicted Monday of sexually assaulting a seminarian. After his conviction, Father Juan Garcia Castillo will be listed on California’s sex offender registry, and could face up to six months of incarceration.

During a week-long trial, the San Diego seminarian assaulted by Father Castillo testified that the priest approached him Feb. 4 in a restaurant bathroom and groped his genitals twice.

The assault followed a night in which Father Castillo took two seminarians to a bar and restaurant after an event at St. Patrick’s Parish in Carlsbad, where the priest served as parochial vicar. The seminarian said they had several drinks, and that Castillo encouraged him to drink to excess.

The seminarian testified that he went to the bathroom sick after midnight, and that Father Castillo approach him from behind and groped him.

In September, a spokesman for the Diocese of San Diego told CNA that the diocese had not publicly commented on the allegations because “we need to see what happens to the criminal case because the issue of consent is so important and if it’s not clear, we wait for that to get made clear.”

Father Castillo’s defense did not address consent, but instead denied that contact between the men was sexual.

The priest told jurors Dec. 14 that when he touched the seminarian, he was trying to put pressure on the man’s stomach in order to help him stop vomiting, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Father Castillo told jurors he put one hand on the seminarian’s back and then “tried to put my other hand on his stomach.”

“My mom always put pressure on my stomach to calm down, stop the vomiting. That’s what I was taught as a kid,” he said. Father Castillo added that he might have “accidentally” touched the seminarian’s genitals, but that he couldn’t recall.

Father Castillo sent text messages to the seminarian after the incident, offering apologies, but not specifying what the apologies were for, San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Father Castillo told jurors he was apologizing for encouraging the seminarian to drink to excess. However, in one exchange, a seminarian accused the priest of “sexually com[ing] on to seminarians.”

Father Castillo responded: “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

A jury decided Dec. 17 that Father Castillo’s contact constituted misdemeanor sexual battery. He is expected to be sentenced within a month.

Father Castillo, who is also known as Father Juan Gabriel Castillo, is a member of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, a religious community of priests also known as the Eudists. The priest, 35, was born in Honduras, and in 2011 was ordained a priest at St. Patrick’s Parish by Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego said that “upon reviewing the facts regarding the allegation of sexual assault against Father Castillo, the diocese of San Diego removed him from ministry in the diocese immediately and permanently.”

According to the Tribune, the bishop said, “We are deeply saddened by the victimization of one of our students, and the damage to society and the Church that it represents.”


It’s good to see, at last, that a powerless seminarian has had the priest who abused him brought to justice

There are a number of Maynooth seminarians who need to bring cases against Irish priests against and bishops.

Hopefully this case will spur them on to approach the Gardai and the courts.




Pope Francis tells Curia: ‘Spare no effort’ in bringing abusers to justice
Courtney Grogan/CNA
21 December, 2018

Pope Francis strongly condemned clerical sex abuse in his annual Christmas speech to the Roman Curia Friday, promising that the Church leadership will never again cover-up abuse or treat such cases lightly.
“Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case,” Pope Francis said in Vatican’s City’s Apostolic Palace on December 21.
“It is undeniable that some in the past, out of irresponsibility, disbelief, lack of training, inexperience, or spiritual and human short-sightedness, treated many cases without the seriousness and promptness that was due. That must never happen again. This is the choice and the decision of the whole Church,” he continued.
The 40 minute address to the cardinals and members of the Roman Curia largely focused on the “scourges of abuse and infidelity.”
The pope delivered a decisive message to those “consecrated men, ‘the Lord’s anointed’, who today “abuse the vulnerable, taking advantage of their position and their power of persuasion.”
With his hands visibly shaking as he read from his prepared text, the pope addressed abusive clergy directly, telling them to prepare to face justice.
“To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice,” Pope Francis said.
“Remember the words of Christ: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals! For it is necessary that scandals come, but woe to the man by whom the scandal comes!’” he added.
The pope chose to focus his Christmas address on the struggles the Church faced in the past “turbulent” year. “This year, in our turbulent world, the barque of the Church has experienced, and continues to experience, moments of difficulty, and has been buffeted by strong winds and tempests,” he said.
Francis outlined what he perceived to be the different reactions from Catholics around the world in response to the sex abuse crisis.
“Many have found themselves asking the Master, who seems to be sleeping: ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ Others, disheartened by news reports, have begun to lose trust and to abandon her. Still others, out of fear, personal interest or other aims, have sought to attack her and aggravate her wounds. Whereas others do not conceal their glee at seeing her hard hit,” he said.
“Many, many others, however, continue to cling to her, in the certainty that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against her,’” he added.
The pope also thanked the journalists who shed light on the cases of sex abuse within the Church, “who were honest and objective and sought to unmask these predators and to make their victims’ voices heard.”
“Even if it were to involve a single case of abuse (something itself monstrous), the Church asks that people not be silent but bring it objectively to light, since the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth,” Francis added.
He urged, “Please, let us help Holy Mother Church in her difficult task of recognizing real from false cases, accusations from slander, grievances from insinuations, gossip from defamation.”
In a possible indication of the scope of the Vatican’s February meeting to address the abuse of minors and other vulnerable adults, the pope said that the Church must confront the root causes of sexual abuse, both within itself and in the wider society.
“The Church will not be limited to healing her own wounds, but will seek to deal squarely with this evil that causes the slow death of so many persons, on the moral, psychological and human levels.”
“An effort will be made to make past mistakes opportunities for eliminating this scourge, not only from the body of the Church but also from that of society. For if this grave tragedy has involved some consecrated ministers, we can ask how deeply rooted it may be in our societies and in our families,” he commented.
At the February meeting, the heads of all of the international bishops’ conferences “will question, with the help of experts, how best to protect children, to avoid these tragedies, to bring healing and restoration to the victims, and to improve the training imparted in seminaries,” Francis said.
Pope Francis said he wanted to “stress the importance of a growing awareness that should lead to a duty of vigilance and protection on the part of those entrusted with governance in the structures of ecclesial and consecrated life.”
“The strength of any institution does not depend on its being composed of men and women who are perfect (something impossible!), but on its willingness to be constantly purified, on its capacity to acknowledge humbly its errors and correct them; and on its ability to get up after falling down,” he said.
The pope used the Biblical story of King David to analyze the sins of “abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse.”
“Today too, there are many Davids who, without batting an eye, enter into the web of corruption and betray God, his commandments, their own vocation, the Church, the people of God and the trust of little ones and their families. Often behind their boundless amiability, impeccable activity and angelic faces, they shamelessly conceal a vicious wolf ready to devour innocent souls,” he said.


No one can reasonably disagree with Francis’ words to the Roman curia.

But we know that the vast majority of paedophiles would never hand themselves over to the police.

So Francis needs to put his money where his mouth is and:

  1. Dismiss ex cardinal McCarrick from the clerical state and make him a layman.
  2. Do the same to Pell if his conviction stands.
  3. Excommunicate all clerical child abusers. If you can be excommunicated for becoming a bishop without Rome’s permission surely you can be excommunicated for sexually abusing a child?
  4. Make crimes against children one of the most serious crimes in canon law.
  5. Set up national tribunals consisting of prosecutors, policemen, judges and social services to conduct investigations into accused bishops and priests.
  6. Hand over all files on bishop and priest abusers to the police.

When Francis does these things we will know he is serious.

Words are just too easy without accompanying actions.

Angel Boligan / El Universal, Mexico City

The Pope Didn’t Go Far Enough in Urging Predatory Priests to Turn Themselves In
BY HEMANT MEHTA – Friendly Atheist

In a speech made this morning to Vatican administrators, Pope Francis urged priests to do what the Catholic Church has proved incompetent at doing: Weed out the abusers in their midst. He told predatory priests to “convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”
That might be great advice if anyone actually took the threat seriously. But if the priests didn’t follow the “Don’t rape kids” rule, it’s hard to imagine they’re going to fall in line with the whole “Turn yourselves in” approach.
It didn’t help that the pope also used his speech to go after critics of the Church who called out the abuse beyond merely reporting on it.
The pontiff also suggested that some critics of the Church are taking advantage of the scandals to inflict additional damage on it.
“Others, out of fear, personal interest or other aims, have sought to attack [the Church] and aggravate her wounds,” he said. “Others do not conceal their glee at seeing her hard hit.”
Dude. The critics (hello) who condemn the Church’s inaction aren’t throwing victory parties. We’re angry and appalled and infuriated that a giant crime ring has been able to continue functioning all because it’s dressed up in religion. If we weren’t talking about the Catholic Church, an organization with this many credible allegations of abuse and people at high levels covering it all up would’ve been shut down decades ago.
At no point did the pope go into detail about how individual churches would be punished for not being fully transparent with government officials investigating them. He didn’t say the Church was changing the intractable doctrine that leads priests to groom children instead of finding partners their own age. He didn’t call for a change in Vatican guidelines that call for bishops to turn abusers in to civil authorities only if the local law requires it.
Instead, he just claimed the Church would “never again” cover up sex abuse by religious leaders… which implies that, yes, they covered up sex abuse by religious leaders up until this very moment.
Keep in mind this comes the same week we learned that the discrepancy between abusers reported by the Church and abusers being investigated by law enforcement in Illinois was more than 500. While not all 500 will turn out to be credible allegations, it’s hard to imagine all of them will turn up nothing. Which means the cover up is still going on.
The speech might have been useful a few decades ago. Right now, it’s quite literally the least he could do. It was the equivalent of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake admonishing Donald Trump. We hear the words, but we see no meaningful action to back it up. At some point, the rhetoric itself just becomes a running gag.






Tony Walsh possibly ‘most notorious clerical child sexual abuser’ in Dublin

Murphy report said it was ‘likely that he has abused hundreds of children’

Tony Walsh’s abuse of one boy in Ballyfermot from 1978 to 1983 was so extreme that he was sentenced in December 2010 to a total of 123 years.

Patsy McGarry The Irish Times

Updated: Wed, Dec 19, 2018, 16:38

Former priest Tony Walsh, who was jailed on Wednesday for indecently assaulting a boy 35 year ago, was described by the Murphy Commission as “the most notorious child sexual abuser” to have come to its attention.

“It is likely that he has abused hundreds of children,” its 2009 report said.

It also found that Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese did not report child sexual abuse allegations against Walsh to the Garda for 17 years after it first received such a complaint about him.

The report also revealed that in 1989 it had been suggested in the archdiocese that Walsh, then an admitted (to the archdiocese) child sex abuser, be appointed to the regional marriage tribunal, which dealt mainly with annulments.

This was not done but, as the Murphy report put it, there were then “two known abusers . . . in the regional marriage tribunal . . .”

Those were Fr Ivan Payne and a priest referred to as ‘Fr Cicero’ in the report.

The commission investigated how clerical child sexual abuse allegations were handled in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese between 1975 and 2004.


Walsh’s abuse of one boy in Ballyfermot from 1978 to 1983 was so extreme that he was sentenced in December 2010 to a total of 123 years.

Five of the 13 counts, for buggery, attracted sentences of 10, 12, 14, 16, and 16 years each. The remaining counts, for indecent assault, brought sentences ranging from four to nine years. As Walsh was to serve his sentences concurrently, 16 years was the maximum time he would spend in jail for those crimes.

Four years were suspended as a psychologists report said it was unlikely he would offend again. It was the most severe sentence ever imposed on a clerical child sex abuser in the State.

According to that boy’s victim impact statement, prepared by psychiatrist Prof Ivor Browne, Walsh raped him with his wrists tied to his ankles as he lay over a coffee table at the presbytery in Ballyfermot, which the then priest shared with Fr Michael Cleary and his housekeeper Phyllis Hamilton.

The boy was “crying loudly” and “hysterical”.

Walsh, who had turned up the music to drown out the boy’s cries, took “about an hour to calm me down. I then went home,” the boy said. This assault led to one of the 16-year sentences.

Another incident took place at Enniscrone, Co Sligo. About 50 children from the Ballyfermot were taken there by Walsh and three other priests, including Fr Cleary. Walsh took the boy to the sand dunes where he raped him. Sand caused the boy to bleed, so Walsh brought him to the sea where he washed the blood off and saltwater stung the child’s wounds.

The boy was also raped by Walsh in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Afterwards Walsh wiped him with “a purple sash (stole) he had with him”. When Walsh picked up his jacket “a small receptacle for holding Holy Communionwafers fell out of his pocket”.

He brought the boy back to the presbytery in Ballyfermot, “put on Elvis records . . . and gave him a glass of Coke”.

He then showed him “a Bible with pictures of Hell and said if he told anyone he would burn in hell and never go to heaven. Then he let him go home.”

One evening the boy told his mother an edited version of what had been happening. She went to the presbytery and knocked, accompanied by the boy’s aunt. Phyllis Hamilton answered and denied Walsh was inside.

The mother insisted he must be in as his car was there. They thought they had seen him at a window. Hamilton went inside, and Walsh came to the door.

He denied everything.

As Prof Browne puts it, in the victim impact report, “then knowing the game was up, Walsh stopped abusing D altogether and terminated their relationship”.

Walsh spent eight years trying to stop his trial, exhausting the judicial review process. He failed. He had failed similarly in another case in 1997. Then, after another round-the-houses judicial review process, also under free legal aid, he pleaded guilty and served time.

Denied all charges

However, he forced the December 2010 trial, denying all charges. The jury found him guilty, unanimously, after just 94 minutes and on the 13 counts.

Tony Walsh was born in 1954 and ordained in 1978. Even as a seminarian in Dublin’s Clonliffe College, as emerged years later, he abused children and at the home of another abuser, Fr Noel Reynolds, to whose house he had a key.

In July 1978, two days after Walsh took up his first appointment as a curate in Ballyfermot, a complaint was received in Archbishop’s House that he had sexually abused an eight-year-old boy. That was alleged to have taken place in June 1978 at Fr Reynolds’s house.


The next complaint was in 1979 when a mother went to the parish priest of Ballyfermot, the late Canon Val Rogers. Fr Cleary was despatched to educate the woman’s son on male sexuality. In 1985, Canon Rogers admitted this case had been “hushed up”.

Sometime between 1980 and 1982, there were complaints to Archbishop’s House about Walsh’s abuse of young girls at a summer camp.

In June 1985, Walsh began attending a psychiatrist. In October 1985 of that year, he denied indecently assaulting a young girl earlier that month.

Even after he was moved to the Westland Row parish in the south inner city in February 1986, complaints kept coming from Ballyfermot. A housekeeper at his house in Ballyfermot said there were always children there and on one occasion, she saw two boys coming from his bedroom.

In January 1987, the housekeeper at Westland Row claimed to have found underwear of hers in Walsh’s room. She also found condoms and syringes and said “a number of boys had slept overnight in his bed and a boy from Ballyfermot had been visiting”.

Walsh denied all of this and protested he did not know what condoms looked like. In April 1988, a woman alleged her son was in Westland Row with Walsh. The following month, parents claimed Walsh had interfered with their daughter.

Once a fortnight

In May 1988, Walsh admitted to then chancellor of the Dublin Archdiocese Mgr Alex Stenson that over the eight years he had been in Ballyfermot, “he was involved with boys about once a fortnight”.


It was then 10 years after the first complaint about him was made to the archdiocese. Walsh was sent to the Stroud treatment centre in England. He returned to Dublin in November 1988 and was appointed chaplain at a hospital for older people.

He signed a contract of good behaviour with the archdiocese and nominated Fr Cleary as his spiritual director. He continued to receive counselling.

In August 1989, there were complaints about his dealings with a boy at Dublin’s All Hallows College. Walsh was returned to Stroud.

Management there notified the archdiocese that Walsh intended accompanying the All Priests’ Show (with whom he had a spot doing an Elvis impersonation) on a UK tour.

He was refused permission.

In April 1990, then Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell and Msgr Stenson gave Walsh until May 1st to decide on either dismissal from the priesthood or voluntary laicisation. Archbishop Connell also formally ended Walsh’s public ministry.

In March 1991, there were further reports of Walsh’s contacts with children. The Dublin bishops decided to begin canon law proceedings against him. In August 1991, and for the first time, a parent complained to gardaí about Walsh’s attempt to pick up her son.

Psychiatric hospital

The following month, Walsh was ordered by Archbishop Connell to go to the St John of God psychiatric hospital in Stillorgan. The night before he did so, he attempted to pick up another boy and gardaí were alerted.

Walsh returned to Stroud in January 1992 where he posed in nearby streets as a priest counsellor at the clinic and agreed to babysit for a family. By chance, the father of that family found out who he was.

Back in Dublin, in July of that year, he befriended a 15-year-old boy. One of the boy’s parents contacted gardaí, who contacted the archdiocese. More parents complained about Walsh’s activities in December 1992 and again in May 1993.

In August 1993, a Church tribunal in Dublin decided Walsh should be defrocked. The following October, he appealed this to Rome.

While that appeal was in train, he abused a boy at the child’s grandfather’s funeral in west Dublin. The boy’s mother contacted gardaí, alleging Walsh had also abused her son a year earlier.

In late 1994, there were media reports about this.

Early in 1995, Walsh admitted to gardaí that he abused two boys in the 1980s. He was charged in connection with his abuse of the boy at the funeral in 1994 and sentenced later to 12 months. It was the first of many such sentences.


In May 1995, the archdiocese provided gardaí with other complaints about Walsh.

Meanwhile, Rome decided on Walsh’s appeal. It rejected his laicisation, decided he should remain a priest but also spend 10 years in a monastery.

That November, Archbishop Connell petitioned Pope John Paul to dismiss Walsh from the priesthood.

In January 1996, Pope Benedict XVI, then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, issued a decree confirming Walsh’s dismissal.

Acknowledging the role of the archbishop, subsequently cardinal, in this, the Murphy report said it was he who decided to have Walsh laicised “and he pursued this course in spite of the advice and, indeed, interference of his judicial vicar (Msgr Gerard Sheehy) and in spite of the Roman Rota (Appeal Court).”

In December 1997, Walsh was sentenced to consecutive terms of six years and four years for assaults on six boys. On appeal, this became six years. He was in prison until 2001 on that occasion.

He was sentenced to 16 years in that December 2010 case. In 2013 he pleaded guilty to two more cases and in 2015 was convicted by a jury in relation to the sexual abuse of a girl.

In July 2016 he was jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix.



I was in Clonliffe Seminary, Dublin for one year – 1972 – 1973.

As a very young man he was unremarkable. I am shocked at his depravity as he abused over 200 children.

To rape a child is unspeakably evil. To rape a child with a crucifix is not only depraved – its satanic.

There is no punishment short of the death penalty that  would be severe enough for the crimes Walsh committed. But we do not have the death penalty. 

By the looks of it he will be out of prison in 2022?

He will then be 68.

I don’t know how any doctor can say he will not reoffend. 

There has to be an argument for keeping people like Walsh locked away from children?

Oh! And it is a shame that it took the Archdiocese of Dublin 17 years to report Walsh to the proper authorities.





Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Alexander Salazar over his “misconduct” with a minor, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
The case is the latest in a litany of child-sexual abuse scandals to have rocked the Roman Catholic Church of 1.3-billion followers around the world.
The Vatican said an investigation by the archbishop of Los Angeles had found suspicions about Salazar’s behaviour to be “credible”.
A letter from the archbishop, Jose H Gomez, read that in 2005 he had been “made aware of an allegation against Bishop Salazar of misconduct with a minor” during the 1990s when he was serving as a parish priest. The allegations were investigated by the police but not prosecuted, Gomez said.
He said that since Salazar was a bishop when the allegations were made, he had passed the issue to the Vatican “which conducted an investigation and imposed certain precautionary measures”.
Salazar “consistently denied any wrongdoing”, Gomez said, and after obtaining permission from Rome, he had put the matter in the hands of the archdiocese’s “independent clergy misconduct oversight board”.
“The board found the allegation to be credible and I submitted its findings and recommendations along with my own votum to the Holy See to make its final determination as to Bishop Salazar’s status,” he said.
“These decisions have been made out of deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the church’s mission. Let us continue to stay close to the victim-survivors of abuse, through our prayer and our actions.”



A longtime Bronx bishop has resigned after accusations of sexual abuse.
Bishop John Jenik, of Our Lady of Refuge in Bedford Park, reportedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with a teenage boy in the 1980s.
Jenik says he never abused anyone, but Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the allegation is both credible and substantiated.
“This is sad, this is sad for all of us, it’s sad for the victim and I sure appreciate that victim coming forward and accepting my invitation for all victims to come forward,” Dolan said. “It’s certainly a sad day for Bishop Jenik, it’s a very sad day for the people of Our Lady of Refuge parish who love him and cherish him.”

The bishop’s resignation comes as the New York’s Attorney General’s Office continues its investigation into clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
In a letter addressed to parishioners last month, Jenik wrote that he is asking the Vatican to review the matter and ultimately prove his innocence.



By DON BABWIN and JOHN O’CONNOR 20.12.2018
un-Times via AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued a blistering report about clergy sexual abuse, saying that Catholic dioceses in Illinois has not released the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.
The preliminary report found that the church’s six archdioceses have done a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases did not investigate them at all or notify the state’s child welfare agency. Madigan’s office said that while the dioceses have disclosed 45 more names of those credibly accused, the total number of names disclosed is only 185 and raises questions about the church’s response to the crisis.
“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said in a statement. “The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors.”
The report does not include some key details such as when the allegations were made. It also does not accuse the dioceses of withholding the names of ’credibly” accused clergy, only that the list of names of accused clergy is far longer than has been made public.
A Madigan spokeswoman said that the allegations date back decades and include some priests who are now deceased.
The Illinois disclosures are a new blow to the credibility of the church, which has struggled to contain the scandal amid mounting accusations of negligence. In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury report alleged that hundreds of priests abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in that state. The report prompted Pope Francis to call U.S. bishops for a retreat at a suburban Chicago seminary next month to debate how to respond.
Larry Antonsen, a Chicago leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Madigan is doing the right thing and needs to continue. He said Illinois should convene a grand jury with subpoena power, as in Pennsylvania.
“There’s more that needs to be done. The Catholic Church does not do a good job of policing itself, and you can’t expect them to do that,” Antonsen said. “It’s hard to know what to believe because so much of what they’re doing is in secret and not out in the open, but this is a step in the right direction.”
A leading attorney who has represented survivors of abuse called for the additional names of priests to be made public.
“The Illinois Bishops must release these names immediately so that survivors can heal and no other kids are harmed,” said Minneapolis-based Jeff Anderson.
Madigan’s office said the problems went beyond a lack of effort. In some cases, the report found, efforts were made to work against the accusers.
“When the Illinois Dioceses investigated an allegation, they frequently found reasons not to deem an allegation ‘credible’ or ‘substantiated,‘” according to the report. Not only did Madigan’s office find a “pattern” of dioceses failing to substantiate allegations that came from one person, “The dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors’ stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors’ personal lives.”
Illinois church leaders expressed regret about the abuse, but pointed to steps they have taken to address what has become an international crisis.
Chicago’s archbishop, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, in a statement said that although he regretted “our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse,” the archdiocese has been a leader in dealing with the issue, including a policy since 2002 of reporting “all allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities.”
The Springfield diocese said that it reviewed paper files of clergy dating to its 1923 founding and provided Madigan’s office with documentation of each instance of abuse, regardless of whether it was deemed credible, according to a statement.
The Diocese of Joliet said in a statement that it took steps such as establishing in 1993 a review committee made up of people from law enforcement, social service agencies and others to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.
Madigan said her office’s findings make it clear that notifying authorities is critical, and pointing to instances when dioceses used personal information about people to discredit them and help them conclude accusations weren’t credible. “The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself,” she said.


It is now emerging that more and more bishops have abused minors and others before they became bishops and after they became bishops.

It is also becoming clear THAT EVEN TODAY the RC institution is not willingly admitting the size of the problem – and not fully co-operating with the civil authorities. 


We can be quite sure that Irish bishops have abused minors, seminarians and young priests.

The only Irish bishop publicly accused of abuse to date was Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin.


McQuaid was accused in John Cooney’s book – of abusing a teenager in Dublin.

There were also two other reports of young men reporting McQuaid to the Gardaí over sexual abuse and the Gardaí “LOST” the files. 





Catholic Churches Are Releasing Names of Accused Priests, But It’s Not Enough
Rick Snedeker/Godzooks blog

There’s good news and bad regarding the Catholic Church’s continuing clergy sex-abuse scandal.
The good news is that American bishops are beginning, independent of papal direction, to publicly release lists of priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse crimes, particularly against children.


The bad news is that it’s not as simple as it sounds.

As the Catholic Church faces a wave of federal and state attorney general investigations into its handling of sex abuse, bishops around the country have struggled with how to react. Some have locked down defensively. Others are waiting on guidance from the Vatican, which instructed American bishops last month to wait on taking any collective action until the new year.
But dozens of bishops have decided to take action by releasing lists of the priests in their dioceses who were credibly accused of abuse. And they are being released at an unprecedented pace.
Terry McKiernan, co-director of, which tracks sex abuse cases, counted “at least 35” dioceses releasing such lists. That’s nearly double the number released in one year since 2002, when the first one was independently publicized by the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona.
“We’ve never seen this kind of outpouring before,” said [McKiernan]
The lists are coming out on the heels of a stunning grand jury report released in August by Pennsylvania’s attorney general, which laid out in wrenching detail sex assaults against more than 1,000 victims by more than 300 priests. Similar investigations sprouted in more than a dozen other states. A nationwide federal probe also appears likely, as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in November notified every diocese in the country not to destroy documents regarding their handling of child sexual abuse cases.
The disclosures have trickled out week by week — 10 names in Gaylord, Mich.; 28 in Las Cruces, N.M.; 28 in Ogdensburg, N.Y.; 15 in Atlanta; 34 in San Bernardino, Calif., among many others. All 15 dioceses in Texas have agreed to release lists. Last week, the leaders of two major Jesuit provinces, covering nearly half of the states, released the names of more than 150 members of the order “with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”
This is all welcome news for victims. Yet, as always, the devil is in the details, one of which is accused priests’ strong argument that they are not receiving due process to submit evidence and fairly argue in their own defense. The names of such protesting priests were redacted in the recent Pennsylvania filing.
Another key reason that bishops have been so wary in the past to release such lists is the tedious, inexact difficulty in deciding which allegations of abuse are really “credible,” and good-faith worry about ruining priests’ reputations and lives mistakenly. Also, to be frank, far too many bishops and other church leaders have simply covered up accusations and quietly moved abusive priests from parish to parish to avoid official notice.
For example, in a small Arizona town where I worked as a news reporter in the 1970s, a local Boy Scout leader and a local priest were accused of pedophilia. The priest allegedly abused a boy who had been sent to him for counseling by his parents after the youth revealed he had been abused by the scoutmaster. The scoutmaster was ultimately convicted of victimizing seven boys. I could not find conviction and sentencing reports in a Google search, but I recall from the time that the scoutmaster received a lengthy prison sentence and the priest was reportedly reassigned to a seniors parish in Florida.
But the new diocese lists reveal alleged abusers who have long been under the public radar, most but not all of them already deceased by now. And the lists, however expansive, do not necessarily include everyone victims were assaulted by. A former bishop’s assistant in Buffalo, New York, recently claimed that the list put out by his diocese held only 42 accused priests’ names, when its internal list contained more than 100. So, while encouraging to many people, the lists are not being received with unanimous praise. However, diocese officials say names can still be added to the lists.
Still, many appalled by the relentlessly unfolding church scandal believe the only way true justice will be served is if investigations are fully implemented by secular law enforcement agencies with the power to subpoena Church records and officials, not self-policing, which has been a human and public relations disaster for the faith.
If there’s anything positive from these lists coming out, it’s that all priests should know they’re being watched and that they will be exposed. Whatever cover-ups used to be in place are slowly being eradicated. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s so much better than it used to be.


“Thank you to readers who have sent us additions and corrections. We are preparing improvements based on your advice. This database was last revised on September 11, 2018 at 1:10 p.m. Dublin time. So far, we have twice revised the entry for Gerard Cleere and added entries for:
• Br. Edward Bryan CFC
• Fr. Arthur Carragher CSSp
• Fr. Camillus Donovan OCSO
• Br. Vincent Downey SG
• Fr. Gerry Kearns
• Br. Thomas McCarry CFC
• Br. Diarmuid Ó Luanaigh CFC
• Fr. Terence Rafferty
• Br. James Treacy CFC
• Fr. Andrew Allen OP
• Br. Stephen Allen CFC
• Fr. Ronald Bennett OFM
• Fr. Dominic Savio Boland OFM Cap
• Fr. John Brosnan
• Br. Edward Bryan CFC
• Fr. John Calnan
• Fr. Michael Carney
• Fr. William Carney
• Fr. Arthur Carragher CSSp
• Canon Martin Clancy
• Mr. Gerard Cleere
• Fr. Donal Collins
• Br. Christopher Cosgrove FMS
• Fr. Patrick Crowley
• Fr. Daniel Curran
• Fr. Tadhg Daly OMSH
• Fr. Con Desmond FSC
• Fr. Daniel Doherty
• Fr. James Donaghy
• Fr. Camillus Donovan OCSO
• Br. Vincent Downey SG
• Fr. James Doyle
• Br. Seán John Drummond CFC
• Canon Peter Duffy
• Fr. Michael Dunn
• Br. Donal Dunne CFC
• Br. Paul Farrell CFC
• Fr. Malachy Finnegan
• Fr. Seán Fortune
• Fr. Bernard Gallagher
• Fr. Donal Gallagher CM
• Fr. Martin Greaney
• Fr. Eugene Greene
• Fr. Jim Grennan
• Fr. Gus Griffin CSSp
• Br. Brendan John Halpin CFC
• Br. John Hannon OFM
• Fr. Patrick Hughes
• Fr. Gerry Kearns
• Br. Joseph Keegan OFM
• Br. James Kelly CFC
• Br. Patrick John Kelly CFC
• Fr. Peter Kennedy
• Br. Robert Keoghan OFM
• Fr. Christopher Kilkelly
• Fr. John Kinsella of Dublin
• Fr. Eugene Lewis WF
• Br. Vincent Lewis OCSO
• Fr. Donncha Mac Cárthaigh MSC
• Fr. Patrick Maguire SSC
• Br. Francis Patrick Mallon OSM
• Fr. Henry Maloney
• Fr. Francis Markey
• Fr. Patrick McCabe
• Fr. John McCallum
• Fr. Gerard John McCallion OCSO
• Br. Thomas McCarry CFC
• Fr. Francis (Frank) McCarthy
• Fr. Paul McDaid
• Fr. Patrick McDonagh SDS
• Fr. Paul McGennis
• Br. John McKenna CFC
• Fr. Tom McNamara
• Fr. James McNamee
• Fr. Michael Gerard McQuillan
• Fr. Vincent Mercer OP
• Fr. John Molloy
• Fr. Michael Molloy
• Fr. Henry Moloney CSSp
• Fr. Harry Moore
• Fr. Michael Mullins
• Fr. James Murphy of Ossory
• Fr. James Murphy of Cork and Ross
• Fr. Thomas Murphy
• Mr. David Murray
• Fr. Thomas Naughton SPS
• Fr. Denis Nolan
• Fr. Oliver O’Grady
• Br. Diarmuid Ó Luanaigh CFC
• Fr. James J. O’Malley
• Fr. Ivan Payne
• Fr. James Prunty
• Br. Dennis Quirke FC
• Fr. Terence Rafferty
• Br. James Redmond FC
• Fr. Noel Reynolds
• Fr. Andrew M. Ronan OSM
• Fr. Brendan Smyth O Praem
• Fr. Joseph M. Steele CSSp
• Fr. Joseph Summerville
• Br. Maurice Tobin CFC
• Br. James Treacy CFC
• Fr. Tony Walsh
• Fr. Brendan Wrixon”




Courage – A Roman Catholic Apostolate

Courage is an international apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons with same-sex attractions.


Move beyond the confines of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ
With the endorsement of the Holy See, Courage now has more than 100 Chapters and contact people worldwide, over 1500 persons participating in its ListServs, and hundreds of persons per week receiving assistance from the main office and website. It has become a mainstream Catholic Apostolate helping thousands of men and women find peace through fellowship, prayer, and the Sacraments.

In helping individuals gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Church’s teachings, especially in the area of chastity, Courage extends the Church’s invitation to a life of peace and grace. In chaste living, one finds the peace and grace to grow in Christian maturity.

Resources to help you grow in Understanding


The Five Goals were created by the members themselves when Courage was founded. The goals are read at the start of each meeting and each member is called to practice them in daily life. Here are the Goals in their entirety.
To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. ( Chastity )

To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. (Prayer and Dedication)

To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone. (Fellowship)

To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life, and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships. (Support)

To live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model) VIDEO FROM PAISLEY DIOCESE WEBSITE



The notion that you can PRAY AWAY BEING GAY is a very distorted notion and can lead to people suffering great damage.

Our sexuality is an absolutely fundamental part of who we are and if we fail to acknowledge and integrate it is any way we are going to end up being mentally and emotionally skewed in some serious ways.

Homosexuality is neither a problem or a disorder.

It is a perfectly normal sexual orientation and is seen, not only in humans, but in very many species.

To deny one of our basic human drives and instincts generally leads to neurosis and sometimes to psychosis.


The Roman Catholic Church is screwed up on sex in general and on homosexuality in particular.

This is seen by cardinals, bishops and priests condemning homosexuality in public and practising all kinds of kinky homosexuality in private.

If you want some good examples of PRAY AWAY BEING GAY – just look at Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop Neinstedt etc, etc.

In fact I think that all forms of therapy that pretends to convert gays into heterosexuals or even into celibates, should be made illegal – because they7 are abuse.

Chastity does not always mean abstaining from sex. It means always enjoying sex in the context of love, intimacy, respect, consent and life enhancement.



By: Robert Hutchison




Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St Paul and Minneapolis has said that until “all open allegations are resolved,” his predecessor, Archbishop John Nienstedt, is not free to exercise public ministry in the archdiocese.
Archbishop Hebda released a letter to the faithful of the archdiocese to clarify the status of the prelate. The 11-member Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board, which addresses allegations of clergy misconduct, was consulted and recommended that Archbishop Hebda publicly clarify that Archbishop Nienstedt, like any priest facing similar allegations, is not free to engage in public ministry in this archdiocese until pending allegations are resolved.
Archbishop Hebda said he agrees with the recommendation. The restriction took effect on December 13.
“While this may cause some pain, my hope is that this decision prompts further action by those with authority over Archbishop Nienstedt to resolve this question,” Archbishop Hebda said in the letter, which also announced new steps the archdiocese is taking to minister to clergy sexual abuse survivors.
The action “is not intended to convey an indication or presumption of guilt,” Archbishop Hebda said.
The clarification of Archbishop Nienstedt’s local public ministry restrictions refers to a 2014 investigation into allegations that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with adults as a priest in Detroit and Rome, and as a bishop of New Ulm. Archdiocesan leaders engaged two separate law firms in the investigation.
Archbishop Nienstedt, who resigned his position as leader of the Archdiocese St Paul and Minneapolis in June 2015, has maintained that he is innocent of the allegations.
The investigation was forwarded to the US nunciature but has not been made public.
“As far as I know, any effort by the Vatican to further address the allegations was suspended in June 2015 when Archbishop Nienstedt resigned his office,” Archbishop Hebda said in the letter. “Thus, the matter remains unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public. I share the frustration that is felt by them, and believe this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations against bishops.”
While the 2014 investigation involved allegations of sexual misconduct with adult males, the letter pointed out an allegation against Archbishop Nienstedt involving minors surfaced only after his resignation.
The allegation was made not to the archdiocese but to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. It became public in 2016 when the relevant documentation was released by Ramsey County.
At that time, Archbishop Hebda, who has led the archdiocese since Archbishop Nienstedt’s resignation, shared the released materials with the nunciature.


According to the allegation, Archbishop Nienstedt, as bishop of New Ulm, undressed in front of two teenage boys at a hotel during World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. The three had been caught in a rainstorm, and, according to the allegation, Archbishop Nienstedt invited the boys to his room, where Archbishop Nienstedt undressed and then the boys undressed in front of him before putting on hotel robes as they waited for their clothes to dry.
The individual said that at the time he felt uncomfortable with the situation, and that he told his mother about it when he returned home because he thought it was inappropriate.
According to Archbishop Hebda’s letter, Archbishop Nienstedt denies the situation occurred.
The restrictions on Archbishop Nienstedt’s local ministry reflect the approach archdiocesan leaders would take with any priest facing similar allegations, Archbishop Hebda said. “My opinion is that this allegation needs to be fully addressed before a definitive resolution of Archbishop Nienstedt’s suitability for ministry can be made,” he said.
After serving as bishop of New Ulm from 2001-2007, Archbishop Nienstedt was appointed coadjutor archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis in 2007 and became its archbishop in 2008.
He resigned in June 2015 after the Ramsey County attorney charged the archdiocese for failing to protect children in the case of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who has been convicted of abusing three boys in 2010-11.
When the charges against the archdiocese were dismissed in 2016, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office publicly released documents related to their investigation of the archdiocese. Among them was a summary of a December 29, 2015, interview with an individual who described the World Youth Day situation.
In the letter, Archbishop Hebda, who has led the archdiocese since Archbishop Nienstedt’s resignation, said he has been repeatedly asked whether there are restrictions on Archbishop Nienstedt’s ministry.
“My answer has always been that although I do not know of any, I am the wrong person to ask: bishops report to the Holy Father, not to each other. I have no general juridical authority over Archbishop Nienstedt or any other bishop outside the archdiocese,” he said. “I can, however, exercise some control over the types of public ministry permitted in this archdiocese,” which led him to restrict Archbishop Nienstedt’s local ministry.
Archbishop Nienstedt has continued to exercise ministry outside of the archdiocese, most recently concelebrating the December 4 funeral of Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin.
From 2016 to 2018, he was a contractor with the California-based Napa Institute. The institute announced on August 15 that the archbishop would no longer be serving it.
The local restrictions put in place by Archbishop Hebda have no effect on Archbishop Nienstedt’s ministry outside of the archdiocese.
In the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he resides, Archbishop Nienstedt, at the request of Archbishop Allen Vigneron, has already agreed “to abstain from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit.”
That agreement was made public by the Detroit Archdiocese on October 24.
In a December 14 statement, Archbishop Nienstedt called Archbishop Hebda’s decision to remove him from ministry “appropriate,” given the archdiocese’s protocols, “even though I am not currently practicing public ministry in the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis.”
“I welcome an investigation into this allegation, as I have welcomed all impartial investigations into allegations made against me,” he said. “At the same time, I do deny the veracity of this allegation. That being said, I don’t want to speak poorly of the men making these accusations.”
He continued: “It’s also difficult to defend myself because these allegations are of the ‘he said, he said’ nature. It is my word against the accusers and, as much as they seem to want to discredit me, I don’t want to harm them. I am relieved, however, that Archbishop Hebda will be sharing the 2014 archdiocesan investigation to an independent review board. I welcome an impartial look at the facts and the opportunity to defend myself.”
In his letter, Archbishop Hebda emphasised his strong support for an independent, national lay-led review board to address misconduct allegations against bishops. The structure was one of the items the US bishops discussed but – at the request of the Holy See – did not move to vote on during their fall meeting in Baltimore.
“In order to fully address bishop accountability, the Church needs a national board empowered to act, much as our well-respected Ministerial Review Board has been empowered to address allegations involving our priests and deacons,” he said. “The Church cannot fulfil its mission without public trust.”
Archbishop Hebda hopes such a structure could definitively address the allegations against Archbishop Nienstedt. He said he would share the entire 2014 archdiocesan investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt with such a review board, and that until it is created, he will continue to advocate for it.
“In this way, my hope is that resolution of the allegations against bishops and any additional investigation can be handled in a way that is fair to all and worthy of public trust,” he said.
“I share the disappointment of many that more progress has not been made at the national and international levels to address bishop accountability,” he continued. “It is my prayer and hope that the February meeting Pope Francis is convening with bishops from around the world produces tangible results.
“We need a review board at the national or regional level … with the authority and credibility to investigate allegations of misconduct against bishops and make fitness-for-ministry recommendations to the Holy Father.”
Archbishop Hebda released the letter as the archdiocese nears the end of a nearly four-year process of reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. In January 2015, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of mounting claims of clergy sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s.
In the end, 453 claims were filed against the archdiocese during the claim-filing period, most of which were related to suits brought against the archdiocese during a three-year-lifting of the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims in Minnesota.
In May 2018, the archdiocese announced it had reached a $210 million settlement, and the reorganisation process is expected to be completed by Christmas.
In the letter, Archbishop Hebda outlined several additional efforts the archdiocese is taking “to change the culture that fostered the clergy abuse crisis,” including a new position in the archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment that aims to “ensure that the voice of survivors of clergy sexual abuse will be regularly heard within archdiocesan leadership,” he said.
He also reiterated that any survivor who at any time entered into a confidentiality provision with the archdiocese is released from that provision. He also restated his willingness to meet with any survivor who would like to do so.
Archbishop Hebda also said that plans are underway in the archdiocese for “spiritual outreach” in 2019 that will “include opportunities, both at the parish and archdiocesan levels, for reparation, spiritual renewal and prayers for healing.”
Maria Wiering is editor of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


I think that it is fairly clear that poor Archbishop Nienstedt finds it difficult to keep his honourable member in his trousers when it comes to men and boys.

It is not satisfactory that Rome and Pope Francis have not made a decision about Nienstedt’s future. He cannot minister in his own diocese but he can minister in every other diocese in the world if the local bishop does not object. The problem is that there are men and boys everywhere and Nienstedt seems to have an addiction.


The RC’s World Youth Day celebrations seem to have deteriorated into a Sex Fest that allows gay bishops and priests access to young men and boys.

We know that Irish priests have been involved – one with an Armagh farmer’s son – and priests from many Irish dioceses are having gay sex at these events – especially priests from Armagh and Meath – not to mention the gay seminarians.

I doubt if the new bishop of Meath will be minded to rein in his actively gay priests.

Add to that the massive clean up of condoms from public spaces after the event.

It is also quite obvious at this stage that sex – especially gay sex – is the biggest issue facing the RC institution.

Almost every day now we hear of a new cardinal, archbishop, bishop, priest or seminarian being caught with their trousers down.