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UN presses Vatican for details on child abuse scandals


The UN has called on the Vatican to hand over details in the cases of tens of thousands of children allegedly abused by clergy.

The Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child published a detailed “list of issues” it wants Rome to address before Holy See officials go before the body next January.

The list, published on the committee’s website earlier this week, calls on the Vatican to give “detailed information” on cases of alleged abuse “committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns”.

The committee said it wanted to know what measures the Church has put in place to ensure clergy members accused of sexual abuse were cut off from contact with children.

It has also asked what support has been given to victims of sexual abuse by the Holy See.

Moreover, the UN has requested details where kids “were silenced in order to minimise the risk of public disclosure” and what measures the Vatican has taken to prevent further abuse.

The UN has long raised concerns about the ongoing paedophile priest scandal, but the committee’s list represents its most far-reaching request for information about the cases.

Pope Francis has vowed to “act with determination in cases of sexual abuse”.

His predecessor Benedict XVI was the first pontiff to apologise to victims.

However, campaigners have argued that Vatican words outstrip action when it comes to tackling the widespread problem of abuse and subsequent cover-ups.

The list also includes questions about other issues, including its labelling of kids born outside wedlock as “illegitimate”.

It also asks about physical abuse, forced labour and degrading treatment suffered by girls in the Magdalene’s laundries run by Catholic Sisters in Ireland from 1922 to 1996.

via UN presses Vatican for details on child abuse scandals | GlobalPost.

New Pope’s humility ‘getting on everyone’s tits’ admit cardinals


The new Pope, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been charming the media and public alike with his easy-going approachable manner and simple lifestyle, but this same absence of bloated pomp and crazed hubris is allegedly ‘wearing bloody thin’ among his colleagues at the Vatican

‘It was all a bit of a novelty at first,’ admitted Cardinal Sergio Venturi, dripping in signet rings and flanked on either side by the Swiss Guard. ‘The first thing he did when he was elected was to get an OAP pass for the municipal pool. We all thought it was rather sweet in a third world kind of way.’

‘But it gets to you after a while; we had the Dalai Lama over last week and where did His Holiness want to hold a banquet in his honour? Only ‘Il Harvestore’ again! There I was, having to explain to Tibetan Buddhism’s supreme spiritual leader about the concept of an unlimited salad bar.’

‘And if your esteemed guest wishes to visit the Ice Cream Factory for afters, order yourself a bloody crème brulee; don’t just sit there nodding benignly while the fourteenth incarnation of the Bodhisattva picks off his marshmallows.’

Another Vatican insider who wished not to be identified went even further: ‘The Holy Roman Church has a long tradition of sickening excess and sociopathic power-brokering. We have toppled whole kingdoms on a single Pontiff’s whim. Anything that stood in our way we crushed under our heel. Il Papa has got this glorious heritage and basically he’s pissing it up a wall. Ungrateful, or what?’

The Head of the Worldwide Catholic Church – or ‘Acting Chairperson’ as His Holiness has taken to calling himself – was unavailable for comment at time of going to press. He was said to be ‘lending a hand with an ecumenical Meals on Wheels service. Or something equally crap.’

via New Pope’s humility ‘getting on everyone’s tits’ admit cardinals | NewsBiscuit.

Kenny Snubs Pope’s Message


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In a move that will be interpreted as yet another distancing of Enda Kenny‘s Government from co-operation with the Holy See, the Taoiseach has failed for the first time to issue a statement this year in response to the Pope’s message for World Day of Peace on January 1.

The practice of a statement from the Taoiseach in response to the Pope’s message has been customary for decades.

However, 2013 now marks the first year a Taoiseach has failed to do so, The Irish Catholic can reveal.

Traditionally the Taoiseach welcomes the Pontiff’s message in accordance with previous years while highlighting important human rights issues. This has been the norm for former Taoisigh up until this year when the practise mysteriously ceased.

The Department of the Taoiseach refused to say why Mr Kenny stopped the long-running practice.

In response to a question from The Irish Catholic, a spokesman for the Taoiseach said: “It is not common practice for leaders to issue their own responses” to the Pope’s message, “nor is there an expectation to do so”.

However, this is contradicted by the fact that this is the first year that no statement was made.

In fact, Mr Kenny made such a statement last year which endorsed Pope Benedict’s New Year message.

In that statement the Taoiseach called for Ireland to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the same council that in 2007 criticised Ireland’s failure to clarify its abortion laws, reiterating “its concern regarding the highly restrictive circumstances under which women can lawfully have an abortion in the State”, regretting “that the progress in this regard is slow”.

In this year’s peace message, Pope Benedict insisted that “the killing of a defenceless and innocent being will never be able to produce happiness or peace”.

His message comes at a timely moment in Ireland as the Catholic hierarchy is set to bring its concerns about proposed legislation for limited abortion directly to the Government politicians.

via Clerical Whispers: Kenny snubs Pope’s message.

via Clerical Whispers: Kenny snubs Pope’s message.

The Catholic Church is a Criminal Enterprise – Matt Taibbi – Taibblog – True/Slant


The Holy See’s reaction to both stories has been swift. An unsigned editorial this week in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano attacked the New York Times by name, accusing the paper of willfully ignoring the “truth” of Ratzinger/Benedict’s record and of attempting “to instrumentalize, without any foundation in fact, horrible episodes and sorrowful events uncovered in some cases from decades ago.” The media, it continued, showed a “despicable intent of attacking, at whatever cost, Benedict XVI and his closest collaborators.”

Earlier in the week, New York’s archbishop, Timothy Dolan, used his blog to dismiss the New York Times reports and defend the pontiff’s record by arguing that authorities outside the church also are culpable. Stories about sexual abuse by priests were “fair” if “unending,” he wrote. But he condemned the media for portraying child sexual abuse “as a tragedy unique to the church alone. That, of course, is malarkey.”

via A pope with a problem – latimes.com.

Anyone who’s interested in losing his lunch should read the above-mentioned blog entry by New York archbishop Timothy Dolan in defense of Pope Benedict; the archbishop’s incredibly pompous and self-pitying rant is some of the most depraved horseshit I’ve ever seen on the internet, which is saying a lot.

One expects professional slimeballs like the public relations department of Goldman Sachs to pull out the “Well, we weren’t the only thieves!” argument when accused of financial malfeasance. But I almost couldn’t believe my eyes as I read through Dolan’s retort and it dawned on me that he was actually going to use the “We weren’t the only child molesters!” excuse. Dolan must have very roomy man-robes, because it seems to me you’d need a set of balls like two moons of Jupiter to say such a thing in public and expect it to fly. But this is exactly what Dolan does; he bases his entire defense of the Church on the idea that others are equally culpable. The relevant section of his piece:

What adds to our anger over the nauseating abuse and the awful misjudgment in reassigning such a dangerous man, though, is the glaring fact that we never see similar headlines that would actually be “news”:  How about these, for example?

–    “Doctor Asserts He Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since Dr. Huth admits in the article that he, in fact, told the archdiocese the abusing priest could be reassigned under certain restrictions, a prescription today recognized as terribly wrong;

–    “Doctor Asserts Public Schools Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since the data of Dr. Carol Shakeshaft concludes that the number of cases of abuse of minors by teachers, coaches, counsellors, and staff in government schools is much, much worse than by priests;

–    “Doctor Asserts Judges (or PoliceLawyersDistrict Attorneys, TherapistsParole Officers) Ignored Abuse Warnings,” since we now know the sober fact that no one in the healing and law enforcement professions knew back then the depth of the scourge of abuse, or the now-taken-for-granted conclusion that abusers of young people can never safely work closely with them again.

The most revolting part of this response is the last bit about how “no one knew… back then” the depth of the scourge of abuse, or the fact that child molesters cannot be allowed near children ever again once caught. Dolan is trying to get us to focus on the 1962 case, but the truth is that as recently as this last decade, the Church’s doctrinal office elected to proceed with church trials for less than 10% of the 3000 cases of abuse reported to them between the years of 2000 and 2010.

And just a few days after this blog entry of Dolan’s, the Times would come out with another story indicating that the current Pope, then a Cardinal named Joseph Ratzinger, seems to have quashed an effort to bring a serial child abuser named Lawrence Murphy to a church trial. The inaction of Ratzinger’s office resulted in Murphy being allowed to die “in the dignity of the priesthood,” which was his wish as expressed in a letter to then-Cardinal Ratzinger in January 1998.

So while schools, parole officers, judges, lawyers and therapists may have been deficient in their understanding of child abuse back in 1962 (although I’m sorry — it could have been 1562, if someone molested my child and was allowed back in the priesthood, I’d be reaching for an axe), the Catholic church is alone among all of them in continuing to not get it since then. Despite massive public scandal over the course of what now is decades, they continue to deflect and shield child molesters as a matter of institutional routine. The ugliest part of the New York Times story wasn’t even the involvement of Ratzinger in this mess but the fact that three successive archbishops failed to do anything about Murphy, a man who apparently molested upwards of 200 children.

(And not only did he molest these children, but he clearly was not forthcoming about his crimes when examined by experts in sexual abuse . In the notes of one such expert there is a telling notation: “Denies sexual contact with anyone not named in outside complaints, i.e. admits to sexual contact only with those accused of!” The expert included that exclamation point, too.)

So this monster who was known to the highest authorities in the church to bea monster was allowed to die an active priest who was allowed to work with children for 24 years even after he was exposed, until the end of his life. For Dolan then to lay all this off on 1962 mores is disgusting all by itself and totally disingenuous.

But even worse — what does Dolan’s whiny deflecting and excuse-making say about the church as an arbiter of ethical values? These pompous assholes run around in their poofy robes and dresses shaking smoke-filled decanters with important expressions on their faces and pretending to great insight about grace and humility, but here we have the head of the largest Diocese in America teaching his entire congregation that when caught committing a terrible sin, the appropriate response is to blame the media and pull the “All the other kids were doing it, too!” stunt!

I was raised Catholic but stopped going to church at the age of 12. I was a complete idiot at that age with regard to almost every other area of human knowledge, but even I knew back then that the church was a scam. There are good and decent people working as individual priests, but the institution as a whole is a gang of cheap charlatans preying on peoples’ guilt feelings (which of course are cultivated intentionally by the church, which teaches children to be ashamed of their natural sexuality) in order to solicit a lifetime of contributions.

When I see a Catholic priest chanting his ridiculous incantations and waving his holy smoke over someone’s gravesite or at a wedding, the vibe I get is exactly the same as the one I get watching a plumber groan and moan and babble gibberish about all the different things wrong with your kitchen pipes, when in reality all he had to do was replace a washer. It’s the same as picking up your car after an oil change and listening to the mechanic rattle off a list of charges totaling thousands for the nineteen extra things he looked at under your hood, just out of concern for your safety… And when you protest, no, there was nothing wrong with my alternator, I’m not paying for that, he tries to bullshit you — oh, yes there was, trust me, if we hadn’ta fixed that, your car woulda died on the highway within a week.

That’s all the church is. They’re a giant for-profit company using predatory salesmanship to sell what they themselves know is a defective, outmoded, basically unnecessary product. They’ll use any means necessary to keep their market share and if they have to lie and cheat and deflect and point fingers to keep the racket going, they’ll do it, just like any other sleazeball company.

But I think it’s time we started considering that what the church is is even worse than that. It’s possible we should start wondering if the church is also a criminal organization that in this country, anyway, should be broken up using RICO statutes.

One of the few areas where I agreed with George Bush was in the notion that a country providing safe haven to terrorists should itself be treated as a terrorist organization. Morally this isn’t a difficult one to figure out; a country that keeps house for a bin Laden and doesn’t assist other countries in trying to catch him is a rogue state, one that should be booted out of the community of nations.

We don’t permit countries that harbor terrorists to participate in international society, but the Catholic Church — an organization that has been proven over and over again to systematically enable child molesters, right up now to the level of the Pope — is given a free pass. In fact the Church is not only not sanctioned in any serious way, it gets to retain its outrageous tax-exempt status, which makes its systematic child abuse, in this country at least, a government-subsidized activity.

Somewhere underneath all of this there is a root story that has to do with celibacy. The celibate status of its priests is basically the Catholic church’s last market advantage in the Christian religion racket, but human beings are not designed to be celibate and so problems naturally arise among the population of priests forced to live that terrible lifestyle. Just as it refuses to change its insane and criminal stance on birth control and condoms, the church refuses to change its horrifically cruel policy about priestly celibacy. That’s because it quite correctly perceives that should it begin to dispense with the irrational precepts of its belief system, it would lose its appeal as an ancient purveyor of magical-mystery bullshit and become just a bigger, better-financed, and infinitely more depressing version of a Tony Robbins self-help program.

Therefore it must cling to its miserable celibacy in order to keep its sordid business scheme going; and if clinging to its miserable celibacy means having to look the other way while children are serially molested by its sexually stunted and tortured employees, well, so be it.

If you look at it that way, the church’s institutional behavior is far worse than is commonly believed. It’s not just a matter of an intractable bureaucracy responding too slowly or too insensitively to some scattered accidents of fate. This is more like the situation of a car company that continues selling a cheap but faulty brake system because it has calculated that it stands to make more money selling the cars than it does to lose in lawsuits. The only difference is, a car company can fix the brakes if it wants to. What the Catholic church is selling is by definition faulty. It can’t change, or it will be out of business. So even if not changing means kids will be continue to be molested, it doesn’t change.

I think Chris Hitchens said this once, and I agree with him; if I were a person that made that kind of moral choice, I think I’d have to kill myself. But these guys not only don’t kill themselves, they go out in public ranting about how wronged they are and how they’ve been fucked over by the evil New York Times for airing out their dirty laundry. Again, I admire the balls, but seriously, they must know the game is almost up. Sooner or later people are going to catch on, the state is going to make a move, and there’s going to be a hell of a lot of church property going up for auction along with the seized Escalades of DEA-busted drug dealers. Or maybe not in this lifetime — but one can only hope.

via The Catholic Church is a Criminal Enterprise – Matt Taibbi – Taibblog – True/Slant.

via The Catholic Church is a Criminal Enterprise – Matt Taibbi – Taibblog – True/Slant.

Irish Government to urge citizens to pray for Vatican help


The Vatican City is purported to be the richest city in the world.

Many Catholics in Rotten Island now wonder why the Vatican does not dip into its coffers to help the country financially. Bear in mind even during the poorest of times we as a nation gave generously to the church.

So far, the Vatican has failed to respond to this state of affairs.

To bend the ear of the Vatican Minister of Lined Pockets and Thievery Wolf Howlin will shortly inaugurate a campaign of prayer. He also hoped that the blessed Merkel might intervene on our behalf. Sure, what is the harm in a few Hail Marys and Our Fathers – it will cost you nothing?

A committee with an open-ended budget has been set up to examine tenders for rosary beads.

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