Australian cardinal ‘guilty of child abuse’, media censored


This July 2016 video says about itself:

Les Tyack says he saw a naked George Pell expose himself to three young boys in the Torquay surf club changerooms in the late 1980s. Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations levelled directly against Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, the ABC’s 7.30 program has revealed.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Media in Australia can not report anything about ‘the country’s biggest story’

Cardinal Pell, the third man of the Vatican, is thought to have been found guilty in Australia of abusing two altar boys. We do not know whether that is true, because Australian media are being censored about the trial.

“Everything about this trial, including the charges, is kept secret”, says correspondent Robert Portier in the NOS Radio 1 news. “This is due to a publication ban that the judge imposed on Australian media.”

“There are two cases against Pell, both about abuse of children, and the judge does not want the two different juries to be influenced by publicity from the other one”, says Portier. This case was about the abuse of two altar boys. He is said to have forced them into oral sex in the back of a cathedral.

‘Biggest story’

“You can imagine that Australian media are not happy with the publication ban. “It’s the nation’s biggest story”, a frustrated Daily Telegraph shouted on its front page”, says Portier. The Herald Sun also revolted and made three-quarters of its front page black with the word “censored” above it.

Many Australians are therefore dependent on social media because of the ban on publication. “It is of course a bit of a weird discussion, because in 2018 you can get that news in all possible ways.” News media outside of Australia are not covered by the ban and they publish sparingly about the case. “In Australia, the cardinal was trending on all social media, so Australians really know something about it”, says Portier.

The case is followed closely because Pell has such a high position in the Catholic Church. “He was archbishop in Melbourne and is a cardinal, he can not go any higher

except by becoming pope

and he actually belonged to the top three in the Catholic Church”, says Paul van Geest, professor of church history. “He was a kind of Minister of Economic Affairs in the reforms in Vatican City and was therefore very visible.”

According to the professor, Pell has been accused of sexual abuse since the 1990s, even before he was a bishop. “And when the abuse within the Catholic Church became notorious his name was always mentioned, yet he was spared because he was so high in the Catholic Church.”

The cardinal has always strongly denied the accusations. On 19 January he will hear what his punishment is.

From the Daily Telegraph (the British paper, not the Australian one), 12 December 2018:

Pope removes two cardinals linked to sex abuse allegations from his inner circle

By Josephine McKenna, Rome

Two leading cardinals allegedly linked to sexual abuse have been dismissed from Pope Francis’ inner circle.

Australian Cardinal George Pell and Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz have been removed from the so-called C9 Council of Cardinals, an advisory body set up by Francis, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

Cardinal Pell, appointed head of the Vatican’s economic secretariat by the pope in 2014, has taken a leave of absence to fight allegations of historic sexual misconduct in Australia.

He is still officially in charge of Vatican finances, a position considered one of the most powerful in the Catholic hierarchy.

Francisco Errazuriz Ossa has been accused of covering up allegations against abusive priests in Chile. …

The Catholic Church has been hit by a series of child abuse scandals in recent years in countries including the US, Ireland, Chile and [Iceland], with widespread allegations of cover-ups against clergy, including the pope himself.

Mr Errazuriz … was archbishop of Santiago from 1998-2010.

He has come under fire in recent months amid claims that he hid the crimes of Chile’s allegedly abusive priests including Fernando Karadima, who has been accused of a string of child sex offenses going back to 1984.

[Rupert Murdoch‘s] News Corp’s Miranda Devine says police are ‘hunting Catholics’ after George Pell charges. Columnist launches attack on Victorian police chief as force insists investigation of cardinal followed usual procedure for allegations of historical sex offences: here.

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Dutch Jehovah’s Witnesses suspect of sexual abuse


This 29 May 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Tonight on A&E: Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Cover Ups. ‘Cults & Extreme Beliefs’

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Police raids at seven buildings in the Jehovah’s Witnesses abuse case

There were police raids at seven premises last month in the context of the investigation into sexual abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses. The public prosecutor confirms this after reporting by RTL News.

The raids took place in, eg, Emmen, in the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In addition, two community buildings – so-called kingdom halls – and four dwellings of the religious community were searched.

Police were looking for documents of internal ‘lawsuits’.

Internal trials

Jehovah’s Witnesses has an internal system for treating cases like abuse. A complaint arrives at a special committee, after which a procedure is started that is not public.

Possible perpetrators are tried by the society and not reported to the police. Reports of cases are not shared with law enforcement.

At the beginning of August, Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to hand over a document to the Public Prosecution Service in which the confession of a perpetrator in a child abuse case is said to be.

Religious homophobia in Dutch Zeeland


This 2013 video from the USA says about itself:

Televangelist Pat Robertson made homophobic remarks regarding same-sex couples, saying gay couples make him want to vomit. Watch a clip in the video.

Televangelist Pat Robertson responded to a viewer question on his Christian Broadcasting Network show “The 700 Club”, saying there should be a vomit button so that he could press it every time he sees a photo of a same-sex couple kissing on Facebook.

Unfortunately, in Dutch Zeeland province there are not only beautiful birds, but there is also ugly religious homophobia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

22 of the 33 churches in Tholen

former island in Zeeland; in the Dutch ‘Bible belt’.

strongly protest against the hoisting of the rainbow flag and the Sunday opening of a number of tourist shops. In a full-page advertisement in the local Eendrachtbode paper they write that the “Christian norms and values on Tholen are pushed aside”.

The municipal council of Tholen last month agreed with the hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day, the day that LGBTQ people can come out for their orientation. …

According to the church councils, of [fundamentalist Calvinist] congregations, there can be no other relationship than that between a man and a woman. The hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day goes “against the Biblical creation order.”

Ultra-orthodox rabbi blames gays for anti-Semitic massacre


This 30 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

🇺🇸 ‘Leave Pittsburgh’: Protesters greet Trump after synagogue attack | Al Jazeera English

The US president has paid tribute to the 11 people killed in a shooting attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Donald Trump visited the scene – as the first funerals were held for victims targeted by a right-wing extremist on Saturday.

But there’ve been protests against the visit with calls for Trump to denounce white nationalism. Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi reports from Pittsburgh.

From Jewish daily The Forward in the USA:

Orthodox Rabbi Blames Pittsburgh Shooting On Gay Parents’ Bris

November 4, 2018

By Aiden Pink

A prominent Orthodox rabbi said the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was caused by the circumcision ceremony of a gay couple’s son that he believed took place on that day.

“This is a brit milah [ceremony] in a Conservative [in Jewish religion, a moderately reformist tendency] shul [synagogue] and the two men adopted the boy and did the brit milah, and you wonder why there was a massacre?” asked Rabbi Mordechai Aderet during a taped sermon last Sunday, which has been viewed more than 11,000 times on Facebook.

“I’m not sorry for this disaster”, he added. “You attend a brit milah of two men?”

The widely-spread story that the massacre took place during a brit milah, let alone the brit milah of a gay couple’s son, is not true, according to Pittsburgh Jewish community members.

Aderet also said that Jews should not attend vigils for the victims, who were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue, affiliated with the Conservative movement.

“Somebody came over to me and told me today that he got an email that people should go gather someplace here in town to give the Shema for those 11 people who got killed”, Aderet said. “And I still said, I heard it’s a Conservative shul, I heard people drove on Shabbat, and I don’t think people should join these things.”

He also opposed people saying Psalms, or Tehillim, for the dead, as is customary in Jewish tradition.

“This is not Tehillim, this is spitting in Hashem’s [God’s] face. And you like it or you don’t like it, that’s the emet [truth],” he said, adding, “Those people do not let Moshiach [the Messiah] come. If you don’t go on the straight… thing, Hashem won’t bring the Moshiach.”

He connected the Pittsburgh incident to the 2016 massacre of 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, for which Aderet said he also opposed saying Psalms. He called the Pulse victims “sinners” and “trash.”

Aderet previously made news in 2010 when, according to the New York Jewish Week, he stormed in uninvited to a Jewish child’s first birthday party and screamed at those in attendance for engaging in mixed dancing. He allegedly said that those who remained at the party would be cursed with “illness, bankruptcy and tragedy for eternity”, according to a document signed by witnesses.

Our columnist argues that white supremacy can’t be untangled from anti-Semitism.

Stop Saudi war on Yemen, Dutch religious groups say


This 29 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi Atrocities: America Has Blood On Its Hands

TYT’s Eric Byler spoke with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war activist group Code Pink, about the weapons deals between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that magnify the death toll in Yemen, and human rights abuses against the Saudi people.

Various Dutch religious and philosophical groups have called on the Dutch government to help to stop the war in Yemen.

The groups include the National Council of Churches, the orthodox Jewish community, the Muslim board for contacts with the government, the Buddhist Union, the Hindu Council and the Humanist Union.

According to Dutch NOS TV, 1 November 2018 (translated):

They also want that “creating famine as a weapon of war should stop” and that a “safe humanitarian corridor should be created for the supply of food and medicine to the hungry Yemeni people“, as stated in UN resolution 2417 (2018).

Reform rabbi Awraham Soetendorp took the initiative for this letter to the government.

See also here.