Catholic hierarchy cover-up of child abuse


This video from the USA says about itself:

Abuse Documentary: The Shame of the Catholic Church | Retro Report | The New York Times

31 March 2014

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?

Read the story here.

From the New York Daily News in the USA:

EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform

ALBANY — Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.

The Catholic Conference, headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.

All told, the conference spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying from 2007 through the end of 2015, state records show. That does not include the conference’s own internal lobbying team.

Filings show the lobbyists were retained, in part, to work on issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.” Other issues included parochial school funding and investment tax credits.

“They are willing to spend limitless money in order to basically keep bad guys from being accountable for their actions,” said Melanie Blow, chief operations officer of the Stop Abuse Campaign. “I think they’re doing it because they don’t want to have to pay out settlements.”

Added Kathryn Robb, an advocate and survivor who says she was abused by her brother as a 9-year-old: “If they need to spend that much money on lobbying, clearly, then, they have some pretty big secrets to hide.”

While a far cry from the millions in lobbying top special interests spend in Albany each year, advocates for child sex abuse survivors say the $2.1 million spent likely represents a worthwhile investment to the Catholic Conference if it can continue to block legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases and open a one-year window to bring lawsuits for victims who can no longer sue under current law.

The Catholic Conference has argued that opening a one-year window to revive old cases could ultimately bankrupt the Church.

The firms the Catholic Conference chose is also telling.

Wilson Elser has long been Albany’s biggest lobbying firm. The firm represented the Catholic Conference from at least 2007 through the end of 2015 and was paid more than $1 million during that time, according to online filings with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

After several key people either left the firm or reduced their responsibilities, the Church did not renew the contract with Wilson Elser for 2016, sources said.

Wilson Elser, which was being paid $10,000 a month by the Catholic Conference, had no comment.

In its place, state records show, the Catholic Conference hired another prominent firm, Greenberg Traurig, which it is paying $6,000-a-month. The lobbyist from the firm representing the Church is Michael Murphy, who used to be an assistant counsel for the Senate Republicans.

The Senate GOP opposes the one-year “lookback” window that Democrats are calling for.

The Catholic Church, some Orthodox Jewish groups, and other private entities oppose legislation by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) that would eliminate the time limit that prohibits adults who were victimized as children from bringing civil cases after their 23rd birthdays.

Another top firm, Patricia Lynch & Associates, whose namesake had close ties to now disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by the Catholic Conference in 2009. Lynch’s firm for many years was ranked in the top 3 of well-paid lobbyists.

Lynch’s hiring by the Catholic Conference came after the Assembly passed different versions of the Child Victims Act four times from 2006 to 2008. The measure never came up again for a vote after Lynch was hired.

“Once Ms. Lynch lobbied for the Catholic Conference, Mr. Silver’s support for our bill ended, and the bill did not come out of the Assembly’s Codes Committee … which as speaker, he controlled,” John Aretakis, a former lawyer and an advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, wrote in a scathing letter recently to a judge handling Silver’s recent criminal sentencing.

State lobbying records show the firm’s contract with the Catholic Conference was terminated earlier this year, not long after Lynch was outed in court papers as having had an affair with Silver.

Silver was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison after his conviction on federal corruption charges.

Lynch, whose firm was being paid $7,500-a-month, would only say her contract with the Catholic Conference was ended by “mutual consent.”

Sheinkopf, meanwhile, has had close ties with Gov. Cuomo, the former leadership of the Senate Democrats when they were in control of the chamber, and even the Senate Republicans.

Like the others who were hired by the Catholic Conference, he would not discuss the specifics about what he does for the $5,000-a-month he is being paid.

“They like me,” he said. “They think I’m smart.”

In an email, Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust wouldn’t comment directly on his organization’s lobbying efforts. He also would not comment on the reasoning behind why specific lobbying firms were chosen.

Also from New York: ‘Tyrant’ priest sued for vile rants at High School in Staten Island, ‘unleashed a constant stream of inappropriate remarks’: here.

Pope Issues New Decree to Deal With Pedophile Priests — But Victims Are Skeptical: here.

Trump adviser miraculously ‘stops’ tsunamis, ‘heals’ cancer


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump‘s Christian Policy Adviser Stops Tsunamis & Heals Cancer

30 May 2016

Last week, Time reported that Frank Amedia, a televangelist, had recently organized a meeting between Donald Trump and Hispanic evangelicals. The magazine noted that Amedia was the Trump campaign‘s new “liaison on Christian policy.”

Read more here.

Noam Chomsky on the Middle East


This video from the USA says about itself:

Chomsky: Saudi Arabia is the “Center of Radical Islamic Extremism” Now Spreading Among Sunni Muslims

17 May 2016

As Saudi Arabia continues to fund fighting in Syria and Yemen, Noam Chomsky says it is “the center of radical Islamic extremism.” Chomsky adds that the U.S. ally is “a source of not only funding for extremist radical Islam and the jihadi outgrowths of it, but also, doctrinally, mosques, clerics and so on, schools, you know, madrassas, where you study just Qur’an, is spreading all over the huge Sunni areas from Saudi influence.”

This video from the USA says about itself:

Noam Chomsky on Syria Conflict: Cut Off the Flow of Arms & Stop Bombing to Stem the Atrocities

17 May 2016

Today, the U.S. and Russia co-chair a meeting of the 17-nation International Syria Support Group aimed at easing the five-year conflict with a death toll that has reached close to half a million people. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country.

Syria is only one of a number of ongoing deadly conflicts in the Middle East. Last year, a record 60 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes, becoming refugees. For more on these conflicts and the rise of ISIS, we continue our conversation with internationally renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Noam Chomsky.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a major reason in the development, a primary reason in the incitement of sectarian conflicts, which have now exploded into these monstrosities,” says Chomsky. He has written over 100 books, most recently, “Who Rules the World?” Chomsky is institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than 50 years.

British ex-abbot, suspected of child abuse, arrested


This 14 May 2016 video is called Accused UK priest held in Kosovo.

From the BBC today:

UK priest wanted over sex abuse claims held in Kosovo

1 hour ago

A British former Catholic priest wanted over child sex abuse allegations has been arrested in Kosovo, local police sources say.

Lawrence Soper was being hunted over sex offences allegedly committed at St Benedict’s School in Ealing where he taught in the 1970s and 80s.

He was arrested in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012.

After teaching at St Benedict’s, Mr Soper became abbot of Ealing Abbey, which had founded the school and supplied monks to teach there. …

In June 2010, a man then in his 40s made an allegation of sexual assault at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London, that was also attended by actor Andy Serkis and comedian Julian Clary.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain today:

In March 2011, F[athe]r Soper was believed to have been living in a monastery in Rome and was due to return to London to answer bail.

However, he failed to show up, sparking an international search.

Homophobic American preacher arrested for child pornography


This video from the USA says about itself:

Anti-Gay Pastor Arrested For Child Porn

13 May 2016

An anti-gay pastor in Arkansas is in a lot of trouble. He has been arrested on 70 counts of child porn. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Katie Halper, and Jimmy Dore, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Meet Dave Reynolds. He’s the recently fired pastor of the Cornerstone Bible Fellowship in Sherwood, Arkansas currently facing 70 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing child pornography.

He’s also vehemently antigay.

The 40-year-old pastor, who has preached that marriage is between a man and a woman and that all homosexual activity is a sin, was arrested this week after police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a social media account in Sherwood was storing pages and pages (and pages and pages) of images of kiddy porn.

The account allegedly belonged to Reynolds.

In March, Reynolds informed elders at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship that he was under investigation for child porn possession. When they asked if he had engaged in viewing the material, Reynolds told them he had “not knowingly done so.”

Read more here.

United States pro-peace priest Daniel Berrigan, RIP


This video from the USA says about itself:

RIP Father Daniel Berrigan: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Antiwar Priest & Poet

2 May 2016

We spend the hour remembering the life and legacy of the legendary antiwar priest, Father Daniel Berrigan. He died on Saturday, just short of his 95th birthday. Berrigan was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism.”

Along with his late brother Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the antiwar and antidraft movement during the late 1960s, as well as the movement against nuclear weapons.

He was the first Catholic priest to land on the FBI’s most wanted list. In early 1968, Father Daniel Berrigan made international headlines when he traveled to North Vietnam with historian Howard Zinn to bring home three U.S. prisoners of war. Later that year, Father Dan Berrigan, his brother Phil and seven others took 378 draft files from the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland. Then, in the parking lot of the draft board office, the activists set the draft records on fire using homemade napalm to protest the Vietnam War.

They became known as the Catonsville Nine and invigorated the antiwar movement by inspiring over 100 similar acts of protest. It also shook the foundation of the tradition-bound Catholic Church. Then, in 1980, the Berrigan brothers and six others began the Plowshares Movement when they broke into the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, hammered nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood onto documents and files. They were arrested and charged with over 10 different felony and misdemeanor counts, and became known as the Plowshares Eight.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “It was the Happiest Day of My Life”: Martin Sheen Recalls His Arrest Alongside Father Dan Berrigan.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called Dan Berrigan in His Own Words: Antiwar Priest Speaks About 9/11 in Democracy Now! Studios in 2002.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called Friends Remember Fr. Dan Berrigan: “He Said He Didn’t Believe in Heroes, He Believed In Community”.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called In 2006 Interview, Fr. Dan Berrigan Recalls Confronting Defense Secretary McNamara over Vietnam War.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “The Cause is the Heart’s Beat”: See Father Berrigan Recite His Poem “Some” in 2006.

This 2 May 2016 video from the USA is called “His World Was Always Filled with Such Beauty”: Frida Berrigan on Her Uncle, Priest Daniel Berrigan.