All Chilean bishops resign in child abuse scandal


This video says about itself:

Vatican Defends Appointing Chilean Bishop Accused of Hiding Abuse

31 March 2015

The Vatican on Tuesday strongly defended its appointment of a bishop in Chile despite protests by critics who have accused him of covering up sexual abuse. Juan Barros was installed on March 21 as new bishop of Osorno as supporters holding white balloons and opponents carrying black ones shouted at each other during the ceremony in the city’s cathedral. The appointment outraged some parishioners, national legislators and abuse victims who said Barros had protected one of the nation’s most notorious pedophiles and asked Pope Francis to rescind it. Critics in Chile say Barros was aware of and helped cover up abuse by Father Fernando Karadima, 84, who was a mentor to a number of younger priests, including Barros.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

All Chilean bishops offer resignation due to abuse scandal

All 34 Chilean bishops have submitted their resignation to Pope Francis. They resign because of the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church in Chile. Francis still has to accept the resignation of the bishops.

One of the bishops [Monsignor Juan Barros] is accused of covering up child abuse by a pedophile priest. Francis dismissed these accusations as slander, but after a storm of criticism, he changed that and talked to victims of sexual abuse.

Dutch right-wing cardinal attacks Pope Francis


This 2009 video about the extreme right within Swedish Roman Catholicism says about itself:

SSPX – The Swedish Crusade and [Holocaust denying] Bishop Richard Williamson (Pt 3)

Sten Sandmark left the Church of Sweden to avoid to have to bless homosexuals. Now, he instead joined with right-wing extremists and Holocaust deniers of the ultra-conservative clerical Brotherhood SSPX. The goal – to make Sweden Catholic again.

As vicar in Oskarshamn Sten Sandmark did for 30 years service in the Swedish Church. But when the church’s synod decided that gay couples would have the blessing of the Church, it was enough for him.

“I do not know if I can be in solidarity with the Swedish Church on the grounds of this decision”, he said in an SVT interview after the opt-out. The move by Sten Sandmark was bigger than many people imagined. That he chose to convert to Catholicism is no secret. Few know, however, the people he is with now.

The former vicar chose to turn to the most controversial society within the Catholic world – the ultra-conservative clerical Brotherhood SSPX, or the Society of St. Pius X as it is called in English. SSPX is [was; until 2009] since 20 years back banned by the Pope and the Vatican because of its extremely conservative stance. The founder of the SSPX, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, has several times been controversial for his intransigent attitude towards other religions and against immigrants.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Cardinal Eijk: Pope is not clear and endangers the unity of the church

Something strange is happening here. Under conservative predecessors of the present Pope Francis I, right-wingers like Eijk used to say again and again: the Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy, but a hierarchy. The pope represents God on earth and has absolute power. Roma locuta, causa finita: once the great pontiff in Rome has spoken about some issue, then Roman Catholics lower in the pecking order should not dare to have views different from the pope’s. If there is any danger to the unity of the church, then it is 100% the fault of rank and file left-wingers; never ever of the right-wing pope.

However, now Cardinal Eijk, presto! suddenly blames Pope Francis for endangering unity in the church.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, Cardinal Eijk, strongly criticizes Pope Francis on an American Catholic website …

The reason for his article is a conflict in the German Catholic Church. An overwhelming majority of German bishops want to allow under conditions the Protestant marriage partners of Catholics to receive the Eucharist: bread and wine that is said to have been changed in the body and blood of Christ by the words of a priest.

Seven German bishops are opposed to the participation of Protestants, because it would go against the ecclesiastical doctrine. They presented the matter to the Vatican. It ruled that the German bishops must talk about it again and come to a unanimous verdict.

Completely incomprehensible

Eijk calls this answer “completely incomprehensible”. According to him, the ecclesiastical doctrine is very clear; the Eucharist may hardly ever be handed out to non-Catholics, and then only if it concerns members of an Orthodox Christian church. Protestants are not included in that. Eijk thinks that Pope Francis should leave no doubt about that.

For the same reason, the Pope, according to Eijk, must discipline some cardinals who speak out openly for the religious blessing of homosexual relationships, “something diametrically opposed to the doctrine of Christ, that marriage is only possible between a man and a woman”.

At the end of his letter, Eijk almost accuses the pope of deceiving. He notes that bishops and the pope do not know how to preserve and pass on the Catholic faith in the right way. That reminds him of an article from the catechism, the book in which the doctrine of the church is set forth. It says that the church before the return of Christ on earth will go through a final trial. In that, the faithful are exposed to “religious deception that seems to offer mankind a solution to their problems, in exchange for apostasy from faith”.

In dog-whistle theological language, Eijk here basically suggests that Pope Francis I is supposedly a tool of Satan.

Australian Cardinal Pell, Vatican #3, on trial for sexual assault


This video from Australia says about itself:

Cardinal George Pell ‘Exposed’ Full Story

28 July 2016

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.

After a winged northern cardinal singing beautifully, a non-winged Australian cardinal in not so beautiful news.

From daily The Age in Australia today:

Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on historical sex assault charges

By Adam Cooper & Tom Cowie

1 May 2018 — 10:19am

George Pell will be the most senior Catholic leader to face a jury after being committed to stand trial on multiple historic sexual assault charges.

In a decision that will ring loud through the Vatican and around the religious world, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the man who a year ago oversaw management of the Vatican’s finances was on Tuesday committed to stand trial on half the charges he faced, involving multiple accusers.

However, magistrate Belinda Wallington struck out a series of serious charges at the start of her ruling, finding there was insufficient evidence for him to be convicted by a jury.

Ms Wallington committed the 76-year-old on charges against multiple complainants, involving alleged sexual offending at a swimming pool in the 1970s in Ballarat, where the accused man was then working as a priest; and at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1990s, when he was the then Archbishop of Melbourne. …

But the magistrate ruled the evidence of the other accusers was credible enough to be believed by a jury, that there was no evidence they had colluded in what they told police, and that their allegations were not contaminated by media reports, most notably a television interview on the ABC’s 7.30 program. …

Cardinal Pell had his bail extended and is due to appear in the County Court on Wednesday, when a judge will set a date for his trial. …

Flanked by up to 40 police officers, Cardinal Pell had arrived at the court in a white sedan just after 9am. He wore a dark coloured suit and white shirt and clerical collar.

The police separated the cardinal’s path from the public as protesters arrived with laminated signs reading “every child deserves a safe and happy childhood”.

Dutch right-wing bishops sabotage Pope Francis I


This video from the USA says about itself:

Conservatives Rage Against Pope Francis

23 September 2015

Pope Francis has been extremely open and outspoken on a number of different issues that touch on society, values, and politics. This is not sitting well with the right wing, who value the opinions of the owner class over religious leaders. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (Think Tank), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down.

“Pope Francis quietly but forcefully made his priorities clear during his first full day in the United States on Wednesday, urging in a pair of speeches a renewed emphasis on tackling global poverty, confronting climate change, caring for migrants and providing a welcoming church that is pastoral rather than doctrinaire.

President Obama welcomed the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with the fanfare of trumpets and a show of solidarity, escorting him onto a red-carpeted stage at the South Portico of the White House and praising his moral authority that “comes not just through words but also through deeds.””

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Francis, loved by the people, controversial to the church leadership

by Robert Chesal
Foreign affairs editor

He is still very popular. In five years time, Pope Francis has won many hearts for his humour and social engagement. But his unorthodox style has also sown division within the Roman Catholic Church. In the Netherlands too. …

But the high expectations that Francis has raised now threaten to turn against him. The last few months there has been a lot of criticism from the victims of sexual abuse by priests. In January, Francis got much criticism when he accused Chilean victims of slander. Before that, there were already writings on the wall when two victims, a Briton and an Irishman, resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

For Raymond Lelkens, himself a victim of the Jesuit-based Canisius College in Nijmegen, enough is enough. “Initially, the pope seemed to be different, but gradually it became clear that little has changed, beautiful words are spoken, but transparency is still lacking and protecting the organization remains priority number one.”

Though women’s rights activists are milder about Pope Francis, their patience may be near its end as well.

“I would like to say to him: give women leadership positions in the Vatican.” Laetitia van der Lans, theologian and communication advisor for Dutch parishes, is still enthusiastic about Francis. But according to her, he has to put his money where his mouth is.

“He’s talking about female genius, so go ahead in practice, and I’m not even talking about female priests, let women co-manage, not just in communication and culture.” With a more feminine church, the church may tilt the whole picture.”

‘Heresy’

Others in the church community want the pope to be less carried away by social pressure. The retired Brabant parish priest Cor Mennen even went so far as to accuse Francis of spreading heresies. He did so as co-signer of a letter to the pope by conservative clergy and theologians.

“Francis gives the impression of leaving the door ajar for gay marriage, and he translates his love of the poor into a left-wing political course, with support for Cuba and negotiations with the communist regime in China. Instead, he should maintain unity and spread Christian doctrine”, says Mennen.

So, according to Mennen, apparently the task of popes is to enforce unity based on the ‘Christian doctrine’ of Cuba-hating, China-hating and poor people-hating Donald Trump.

Fiery opposition to Francis also comes from the church leadership itself. Led by Cardinal Wim Eijk, the Dutch bishops’ conference keeps the Pope literally at a distance. Attempts to organize a papal visit to the Netherlands, which started in 2013, have been stopped by Eijk. With great tensions as a result.

Why the Dutch church leadership hates the idea of a visit by Francis is not certain. But sources within the church think it has to do with a difference in vision about the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Eijk, and many Dutch bishops with him, are said to be advocates of a church where everyone strictly adheres to the rules, even if that leads to a smaller church. That is in contrast to Francis, who has a vision of an open and hospitable church where everyone is welcome.

From 1970 on till Pope Francis, conservative popes filled vacancies in Dutch dioceses with right-wing bishops; still prevalent in the Dutch hierarchy. Quite some of these bishops practiced and/or covered up clerical child abuse. The most notorious one of these conservative newly Right Reverend gentlemen was the late Bishop Gijsen; the church admitted his child abuse only after he had died.

Prude Spanish priest censors picture of saint


From Dutch NOS TV today about this picture:

‘Too sexy’ painting of apostle removed from Spanish church

A painting of the apostle Saint James (Santiago) was removed from a church in the Spanish town Membrilla because it was supposedly be too ‘sexy’. In the painting, the apostle wears a tunic and a bare thigh and two bare knees can be seen.

Painter Antonio Ximénez is furious and asks the parish priest for explanation, writes the radio station SER. He demands that the painting be shown again or returned.

Gift

The 87-year-old artist made the painting years ago, commissioned by the previous parish priest, a friend, and donated it to his birthplace. He now lives in Miami.

Does this priest know that in most crucifixes in Roman Catholic churches, Jesus Christ wears only a loincloth?

Many pictures intended for churches, by Hieronymus Bosch and other ancient painters, show completely naked people. Does this priest know?

Where was this priest when his fellow clergy in Spain and elsewhere abused children sexually, and the church hierarchy covered that up?

Where was this priest when a right-wing Spanish politician condoned rape?

Where was this priest when a right-wing Spanish archbishop condoned rape?

Especially for that priest-censor, this music video.

The video is called Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy (Original Mix – 2006 Version).

Clerical child abuse in Argentina


This 22 February 2017 video from Italy is called “We abused deaf children, we were at least ten”, the confession of Provolo’s priest.

From Associated Press today:

Clerical sex abuse disclosures skyrocket in pope’s Argentina

By LUIS ANDRES HENAO and ALMUDENA CALATRAVA

CASEROS, Argentina (AP) — Karen Maydana says she was 9 years old when the Rev. Carlos Jose fondled her at a church pew facing the altar. It was her first confession ahead of her first Holy Communion.

She blames the trauma of that moment in 2004 for a teenage suicide attempt. And yet she never spoke about it publicly until this year. After hearing that two women who attended her school in the Argentine town of Caseros were allegedly abused by the same priest, she joined them as complainants in a case that in July led to his arrest for investigation of aggravated sexual abuse.

“Unfortunately, there are many of us. But speaking about it now also gives you strength to carry on,” Maydana, 22, said. “I have a 9-year-old niece who’s receiving her Communion this year, and this is not going to happen to her.”

The allegations are part of a growing trend: While Pope Francis struggles to make good on his “zero tolerance” pledge to fight clerical sex abuse worldwide, victims in his native Argentina are denouncing abuses in unprecedented numbers. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that the number of clerics publicly identified as alleged sexual abusers has increased dramatically in the last two years.

Experts attribute the spike to a cultural shift as victims feel more emboldened to denounce abuse, prosecutors are more inclined to investigate complaints of even decades-old abuse, the media are increasingly aggressive about reporting them and courts are willing to hand down stiff sentences.

“It’s a domino effect,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a U.S.-based group that compiles a clergy abuse database.

In the U.S., confidential files on hundreds of pedophile priests have been released either through civil litigation, settlements or court order. The contents have revealed that top church officials worked behind the scenes to control the sex abuse scandal and keep it from authorities as well as parishioners.

“What is really remarkable here is that the survivors in Argentina don’t have the same powerful legal tools that we see in other countries,” Barrett Doyle said. “And yet, we’re still seeing the significant increase in cases.”

The AP compiled a list of 66 priests, nuns and brothers who have been accused since 2001 of abusing dozens of people, most of them children. The figures were gathered from testimonies by victims, judicial and church documents, and local media reports corroborated in conjunction with the BishopAccountability.org database. The number of new reports remained in the single digits each year from 2000 to 2015. But since the start of last year, victims have named 21 more, most accused of decades-old abuse.

“In Argentina, the abuse crisis is just beginning,” said San Francisco Bishop Sergio Buenanueva in Cordoba province, who leads a church council on clerical abuse. “I’m sure the Argentine church is going to face increasing numbers of these disclosures.”

To deal with the expected increased caseload, he said the church is planning to create its first comprehensive database of clerical abuse. Buenanueva also recently returned from the Vatican, where he met with members of Francis’ sex abuse advisory commission to discuss prevention policies for Argentina, including training of clergy to detect potential abusers and victims.

Abuse survivors are taking action too. Maydana, and her schoolmates Mailin Gobbo, 29, and Yasmin Detez, 25, recently visited the church and adjacent school they had attended to describe to journalists what had happened, saying they hoped it would help protect children. Four other women have joined their case since they reported the priest to law enforcement.

“I don’t care about exposing myself as long as it leads other people to talk,” said Gobbo, who decided to speak publicly after the birth of her daughter.

The priest is accused of abusing Gobbo and Detez at a pool and at their school.

“He’d make me sit on his lap and ask me if I had been naughty while he kissed my neck and fondled me,” Detez said while Gobbo shed tears next to her.

Jose has told the court he is innocent and said the statute of limitations has expired in any case. He is appealing the arrest order.

Some of the accused remain in the ministry. In several cases, no canonical or judicial investigation was carried out. Some were probed and dismissed. Others, especially in recent years, have led to arrests and convictions.

A court in Entre Rios province this year sentenced a Colombian priest, the Rev. Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing four boys, one of them 10 years old. It was one of the stiffest sentences handed down to date against a pedophile priest in Argentina.

“I feel satisfied with the sentence,” said Alexis Endrizzi, 18, who was molested by Escobar when he was 12. “It sided with the victims.”

Two other priests are awaiting trial on pedophilia charges after they were accused this year in the same small province.

In one of the most shocking cases, prosecutors say at least 20 children at the Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children in Mendoza province were abused. Some of the victims say they were molested by an Italian priest, the Rev. Nicola Corradi, who also had been accused by some of the dozens of abuse victims at the Provolo’s school in Italy but never faced justice there. Corradi, now elderly, was formally charged by Argentine prosecutors in November and is under house arrest awaiting trial in Argentina. Corradi’s attorney declined to comment on his client’s plea or any other detail of the case.

Advocates of priestly abuse victims question how Francis could have been unaware of the allegations against Corradi since he was publicly named by the Italian victims starting in 2009 and most recently in 2014.

One of the cases that has festered for years is that of the Rev. Hector Ricardo Gimenez, who had been detained after several abuse complaints in 1985 and 1996, but was freed by the courts.

In 2013, Julieta Anazco led other women in publicly confronting Gimenez as he celebrated Mass at a hospital chapel, accusing him of abusing her and many others as children decades before.

“He’d jump into the shower with the excuse of washing us,” said Anazco, who went on to become president of the Survivors’ Network of Ecclesiastical Abuse.

The Archbishopric of La Plata Archbishop said in a statement to the AP that the church had found Gimenez guilty of previous abuses and that he had been banned from ministerial duties, a common church sanction for elderly priests accused of abuse.

It also said that Archbishop Hector Aguer had met with Anazco in 2015, heard her complaints and “shared the cruelty of these crimes and the importance that no one guilty of them remains unpunished.”

Anazco’s criminal complaint initially was dismissed, but was later reopened and remains pending, according to her attorney.

The AP tried to reach Gimenez, who is in his eighties, at the nursing home where he now lives in the city of La Plata but he declined to comment.

No official numbers on clerical abuse have been published by Argentina’s church, government or its judicial system, and the issue is still something of a taboo.

But Pope Francis tried to break the stigma by phoning Rufino Varela after he revealed that he had been abused as a child by a priest at a school that Argentine President Mauricio Macri also attended. Other students at the school told the AP that they suffered abuse by the same priest, who has since died.

Francis has pledged “zero tolerance” for abuse, but he has also said he never had to confront the issue as archbishop of Buenos Aires, where he served from 1998 to 2013. Recently, he has acknowledged that the church was “late” in recognizing the scale of abuse and the damage it wreaked on victims, and said the practice of cover-up and moving pedophiles around was to blame.

Many Argentine victims of abuse say they feel abandoned by the church.

“You realize the complicity, the cover-up of the church hierarchy that goes all the way up to the Vatican,” Anazco said.

Associated Press writers Nicole Winfield at the Vatican and Paul Byrne and Victor Caivano in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.

The war against Pope Francis. His modesty and humility have made him a popular figure around the world. But inside the church, his reforms have infuriated conservatives and sparked a revolt. By Andrew Brown.