Belgian monks accused of human trafficking


This 2015 video is about the 18th century library of the Saint Stephen Augustinian monastery in Ghent in Belgium.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Monastic order in Ghent accused of human trafficking

Today, 09:17

The Public Prosecutor in Ghent wants to prosecute the leadership of a convent of the Augustinian Friars for human trafficking. According to the Belgian TV channel VRT, the three suspects, including the abbot, in recent years had lured twenty men from Africa and Asia to their monastery under false pretenses.

They supposedly would be trained to become priests, but they were not trained and had to work for free instead, is the charge. “They were forbidden all that time to leave the convent.” …

The three clerics are suspected not only of trafficking human beings and social fraud, but also of forgery. The twenty victims were from Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Vietnam. In two weeks’ time it will be decided whether the case will go to court.

See also here.

No women priests, Pope Francis says


This video says about itself:

Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Women, LGBT People

29 September 2013

Pope Francis has excommunicated an Australian priest from the Church for his liberal values and activism. Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly supports LGBT rights, marriage equality and women’s ordination, three big no-nos in Catholic tradition.

Read more here.

In some respects, Pope Francis I is an improvement compared to his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

However, on some issues there is unfortunately no progress.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Pope: women will never be priests

Today, 21:05

Pope Francis precludes that women can ever be priests. He did that in a conversation with reporters aboard his plane on the way back to the Vatican after a visit to Sweden.

A Swedish journalist remarked that Francis was welcomed in Sweden by the head of the Lutheran church, a woman, and asked him if he thought that women could occupy such high positions in the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis then said that Pope John Paul II had spoken the last word about that. He pointed that out in an apostolic letter in 1994, refusing to open the priesthood to women.

Everlasting

“But is that forever, forever?” asked the journalist. The response of the pope then was: “If we carefully read the Letter of Saint John Paul II, then it is going in that direction.”

According to the Vatican this is an unshakable part of Catholic tradition. Jesus deliberately chose only men as apostles, is the position. That was logical according to the standards of the time, say proponents of female priesthood.

Francis has said that women can not be ordained, but supporters hope that a future pope will nullify that decision.

Discussion

In August, the pope set up a committee to investigate the role of women deacons in the early days of Christianity. It gave advocates of equality hope for a greater role for women in the Catholic Church in the future.

This blog reported in 2013:

New questions are emerging about the role of women in the early Christian church after the Vatican this week unveiled recently restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome.

Some say the paintings depict women serving as priests during Christianity’s beginning centuries.

Women in antiquity could be priests in most non-Christian religions.

‘Structural sexual abuse in Dutch Roman Catholic Church’


This video says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover up in USA

16 November 2014

The Pope [John Paul II] played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

24 October 2016

The [Dutch] Roman Catholic Church has paid victims of abuse cases so far nearly thirty million euros in damages, reports daily De Limburger.

A complaints committee that investigates the abuse in the Catholic Church received 3678 reports of abuse. …

Certainly three hundred people have had to deal with exceptionally serious abuse. They will be compensated up to 100,000 euros.

Structural abuse

Stevens, chairman of the complaints committee, says in De Limburger that most provincial superiors of religious orders will pay the compensation. “Two or three provincial superiors do not want to pay. We are still working on a solution.”

According to Stevens one may speak of structural abuse in the Church. “Not all church officials have done wrong. But the fact that there are so many perpetrators does justify to speak of structural abuse at that time.”

FORMER SOCCER PLAYERS HAVE COME FORWARD ALLEGING SEXUAL ABUSE AT ENGLISH SOCCER CLUBS Investigations have been launched into “pedophile activity in youth teams, which victims say has gone unreported for decades.” [Reuters]

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.

Clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands cover-up


This video from the USA says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover-up in the USA

16 November 2014

The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Deetman intimidated abuse victims to prevent investigation by parliament”

Today, 00:53

Wim Deetman has intimidated board members of an organization that stands up for victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to prevent a parliamentary inquiry. This reports Argos radio.

Deetman was chairman of the commission of inquiry into abuse in the church.

The commission was set up by the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. Wim Deetman is a Christian Democrat Appeal party politician.

In December the final report of the Deetman commission was published. It showed that tens of thousands of children were abused between 1945 and 1981 at Catholic seminaries and boarding schools.

Compelling way

A few months later, four members of the victims’ organization KLOKK had a conversation with Deetman. He asked the four people “with binding effect” not to ask for a parliamentary investigation.

A parliamentary inquiry was initially a mandatory requirement by the victims. Two weeks before the meeting KLOKK wrote that there was “every reason” to urge a parliamentary investigation.

Emails

However, the board members gave in to the request by Deetman. Board member Annemie Knibbe: “Deetman actually wanted to force us to do no parliamentary inquiry”. Argos also says it has emails showing that Deetman had already long before pressured KLOKK to abandon the requirement for a parliamentary investigation.

Deetman said to have threatened to stop investigating if KLOKK survivors would keep insisting on parliamentary inquiry: here.