Who monitors the guys making rules?


Cardinal Becciu — Pope Francis

A Vatican judge has ordered 10 people, including an Italian cardinal, to stand trial for alleged financial crimes.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu has become the highest-ranked cleric in the Vatican to be indicted over charges that include embezzlement and abuse of office

The 73-year-old cardinal, who denies wrongdoing, was forced to resign last September, but retains his title.

The charges relate to a multi-million-dollar property purchase with Church funds in London…

Cardinal Becciu was a close aide to Pope Francis and previously had a key job in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, which manages the Church’s donations.

No doubt he will receive a just and speedy trial. If for no other reason than to sort the embarrassment. To the Vatican. To everyone.

UK’s senior Catholic admits to sexual misbehaviour – and resigns


It’s good being the Cardinal

Keith O’Brien, once UK’s senior Catholic leader, apologises and vows to play “no further part” in public life of church.

The cardinal who until recently served as Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader acknowledged unspecified sexual misbehaviour and promised to play “no further part” in the public life of the church…

O’Brien initially rejected the claims, saying he was resigning because he did not want to distract from the upcoming conclave which is due to pick a new pope.

But on Sunday, the Church of Scotland issued a statement quoting O’Brien as saying that there had been times “that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal”.

Followed by apologies and…I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic church in Scotland.”

The admission was short on details. O’Brien gave no clue as to what exactly his sexual misbehaviour consisted of, but the confession comes as the Roman Catholic Church prepares to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy on Thursday…

In an interview with the BBC, O’Brien said celibacy should be reconsidered because it’s not based on doctrine but rather church tradition and “is not of divine origin”.

Maybe there’s a chance he learned something about the realities of life.

Of course, it’s just as likely he was using his position of authority to sexually exploit parishioners. Hopefully, the truth will out.

Grand jury indicts priests, teacher, monsignor for sexual abuse

Eight years after the American-clergy sex-abuse controversy erupted, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams yesterday lobbed a bombshell into the still-simmering scandal.

Williams announced the grand-jury indictment of one of former Archbishop Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s top aides for allegedly endangering children by shielding pedophile priests from detection and shuffling them into unsuspecting parishes where they could continue the perversions of which they are accused.

It’s believed to be the first time a high-ranking Catholic official has been accused of being criminally accountable for covering up priest abuse.

Monsignor William Lynn, 60, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. As Bevilacqua’s secretary for clergy, he was the Archdiocese’s personnel director and responsible for investigating reports of priest sexual abuse from 1992 until 2004.

Grand jurors had aimed even higher, saying that Bevilacqua may have been involved in the coverup.

“We do know that over the years Cardinal Bevilacqua was kept closely advised of Monsignor Lynn’s activities, and personally authorized many of them . . . [but] we cannot conclude that a successful prosecution can be brought against the Cardinal – at least for the moment,” they wrote in their 124-page report…

Lynn, now parish priest at St. Joseph’s, in Downingtown, faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted…

Advocates for abuse victims celebrated the indictments.

RTFA for the history of abuse, priests sharing victims, passing them around through the ranks – and the inevitable coverup.

The worst any of these thugs suffered was being defrocked. A delightful medieval term that matches the out-of-date mindset of the church leaders who feel they and their acolytes are above secular law.

Tapes reveal Belgian Cardinal stonewalling sex abuse


The colorful Bishop Vangheluwe before he resigned
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Leaked tapes of Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Danneels urging a victim not to reveal he was sexually abused by a bishop are some of the most damaging documents to emerge in the scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.

The tapes, made secretly by the victim and published in two Belgian newspapers on Saturday, show the former primate of Belgium exhorting him to accept a private apology or wait one year until the bishop retired before making his case public.

Their meeting took place on April 8, at a time when the Vatican was under fire for allegedly covering up similar abuse cases by priests in other countries and shocking abuse claims dominated the news in several European states…

“From everything he says, it’s clear that his only aim is to avoid having the case made public so many years after the facts. It is containment, nothing more,” De Standaard wrote in a commentary accusing Danneels of lacking any compassion…

The Belgian tapes stand out as a rare verbatim record of how a leading Catholic prelate tried to persuade the victim, a 42-year-old nephew of Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, to keep the case quiet…

In their one-on-one meeting, the victim says he feels a duty to report the case to the Church hierarchy and asks Danneels to help. The cardinal responds by urging him not to go public.

“The bishop will resign next year, so actually it would be better for you to wait,” the cardinal says. “I don’t think you’d do yourself or him a favor by shouting this from the rooftops.”

The man pleads for help but Danneels, 77, who had stepped down as Brussels archbishop in January, says he cannot discipline Vangheluwe or inform higher authorities, including Pope Benedict…

Anyone surprised? Anyone shocked?

Cardinal says sex abuse is only “petty gossip”. Oh?

A senior cardinal has said the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by “petty gossip” about child sex-abuse allegations. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, made the remark in an unusual message of support to Pope Benedict XVI during Easter Mass…

The Pope did not did not mention the scandal directly in his Easter address…

The Vatican’s public relations strategy so far has been to blame the media – particularly the foreign media – for exaggerating the problem…

Sound familiar?

The Vatican has in the past consistently played down the extent of clerical paedophilia.
Its spokesman has been engaged in a major damage control operation. He has to try to convince the world that policies now in place are adequate to tackle the problem and ensure that clerics who commit these crimes are properly tried in the civil courts as well as punished by Church authorities…

With the Church already under pressure over the abuse allegations, the Pope said his faith would help give him the courage to deflect “petty gossip”…

The Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, stepped up its defence of the Pope in its Sunday edition, publishing messages of support from around the world and denouncing the “slanderous attacks and the defamation campaign surrounding the drama of abuse by priests”.

The strategy and tactics of the Dark Ages aren’t especially likely to win any battles against transparency in the 21st Century. Not for institutional religions. Not much longer for the corrupt and powerful who rely on institutionalized religion to defend their hold on power.

Mexican Cardinal says Gays and transsexuals can’t enter heaven

A Roman Catholic Cardinal told homosexuals and transsexuals today they would never get into heaven, prompting a rebuke from the Vatican itself.

“Transsexuals and homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it’s not me who says it but St. Paul,” said Mexican Cardinal Javier Barragan…referring to one of St. Paul’s epistles…

“One is not born homosexual but they become that way. This is for various reasons: education, for not having developed their identity during their adolescence, maybe they are not guilty but by going against the dignity of the body they certainly will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

“Everything that goes against nature and against the dignity of the body offends God,” he added.

Aurelio Mancuso, president of Italy’s main gay rights group, Arcigay, said Barragan’s remarks were part of the Church’s “ridiculous theories about sexuality and the dignity of the person…”

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the website should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking “on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality…”

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful but homosexuality in itself is not.

Like, uh, it’s OK to breathe – you just shouldn’t breathe air. The Catholic Church may be infallible. Doesn’t mean they have to make logical sense.