POLITICAL observations & opinions

Posts Tagged ‘pedophile priests and their enablers’

* first American BISHOP found GUILTY of failing to report child sexual abuse … 2 years probation is not nearly enough but it’s a start … LMW: Bishop Finn still can’t face personal responsibility. He says he is “sorry for the hurt these events have caused.” WRONG! He should be saying he is sorry for the hurt HE CAUSED.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 7, 2012

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first American bishop criminally charged in the clergy sex abuse scandal was found guilty Thursday of a misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse, a conviction that extends the struggle of Roman Catholic leaders to restore trust in the church.

Bishop Robert Finn was acquitted on a second count. He received two years of probation, but that sentence was suspended and will be wiped from his record if he adheres to a set of conditions that include mandatory abuse reporting training, setting aside $10,000 in diocese money for abuse victim counseling, and instructing all diocesan agents to report suspected criminal activity involving minors.

Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph were each charged with two misdemeanor counts of failing to report suspected child abuse to the state. Prosecutors said they dropped charges against the diocese, and the judge is expected to sign off on that Friday.

The bishop, dressed in his traditional black garb, sat calmly throughout the hearing, even as he heard the verdict. He apologized before being sentenced, saying, “I truly regret and am sorry for the hurt these events have caused.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/kansas-city-bishop-convicted-of-shielding-pedophile-priest.html

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LMW Comment …

Bishop Finn still can’t face personal responsibility. He says he is “sorry for the hurt these events have caused.” WRONG! He should be saying he is sorry for the hurt HE CAUSED.

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* the Catholic Church hierarchy is engaged in a purposeful coverup to keep priests who have sexually abused children out of jail … these are the same old men who want to prevent Catholic and non-Catholic women from having access to birth control

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 12, 2012

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These are the men who enable and protect priests who sexually abuse children. When will we begin to put these criminals who obstruct justice and keep our children at risk in prison?

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NBC4 reports (2/12/12) …

  • Some 200 Catholic priests suspected of sexual abuse are living undetected in communities across California, according to an attorney who represents hundreds of plaintiffs who sued the LA Archdiocese for molestation they say was inflicted on them by priests and clergy of the church.
  • “Many if not all these priests have admitted to sexual abuse,” Boucher said. “They live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools and daycare centers.”
  • In 2007 the LA Archdiocese reached an unprecedented $660 million settlement with many of the plaintiffs without admitting any wrong-doing.
  • It also agreed to let the courts decide which of the case-related church files should be made public, including those identifying alleged and admitted predators.
  • But according to Boucher and court documents, the Catholic Church has since engaged in a cover-up.

Church officials allowed priests suspected of sexually abusing children

to retire, flee the country or hide in rehab clinics

until the statute of limitations on prosecution ran out.

  • “What the church did is take these guys and send them off to facilities where they treat pedophile priests without ever alerting police,” Boucher said.
  • “By enabling these priests to be hidden for so many years the church protected them from being prosecuted.”

read the entire article at … http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/LAWYEREDPriests-Accused-of-Molesting-Children-Hiding-in-Plain-Sight-139132424.html

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* UPDATED 2/1/12 Bevilacqua dies … UPDATED 1/31/12 … Bevilacqua is ruled “competent to testify” … he is the one who should be held to account … he is the “enabler” who allowed his priests to ruin the lives of countless children

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 31, 2012

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UPDATE … TOO LATE TO TESTIFY NOW

Retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died Tuesday night (1/31/12) at his suburban residence. 

How convenient !!!

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Cardinal Bevilacqua ... he is the one who should be held to account ... he is the "enabler" who allowed his priests to ruin the lives of countless children

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UPDATE 1/31/12

Lawyers in the Philadelphia Archdiocese child sexual abuse case faced off in court Monday.

The Judge upheld her previous ruling that retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua is competent to be a witness.

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/33308

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/philly-judge-finds-church-cardinal-competent-15472883#.Tygu1lxSS6o

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UPDATE 1/25/12

  • City prosecutors want to include accusations against dozens of priests when Monsignor William Lynn stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges in March. Most of the cases stem from a 2005 grand jury report that blasted church officials for keeping 63 problem priests on the job — but yielded no criminal charges.
  • Now, prosecutors are pushing to include about 30 of those cases in Lynn’s trial. Lynn served as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004.
  • Prosecutors say the 61-year-old Lynn kept priests in ministry and around children despite explosive allegations in secret church files. Those files are now in prosecutors’ hands — and some of them are being aired in court.

Defense lawyers argued Tuesday that Lynn took orders

from Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and several bishops

above him in the church hierarchy. 

  • They said prosecutors should have indicted the archdiocese and others if they wanted to attempt a broad conspiracy case.

read the entire article at … http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/24/philly-judge-weighs-church-sex-abuse-evidence/

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LMW COMMENT …

I couldn’t agree more with the defense attorneys. Indict the whole rotten bunch of them, starting with the Cardinal and including every single person in the hierarchy who kept transferring priests and giving them access to new victims.

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the Associated Press reports (1/23/12) …

  • Prosecutors on Monday accused the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of being an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a clergy sex abuse case and said the Roman Catholic Church fed predators a steady supply of children.
  • The comments came in a key hearing before the March trial of a high-ranking church official, a priest and a former priest.
  • Monsignor William Lynn, 61, is charged with conspiring with priests and church officials to keep priests accused of sex abuse in ministry and parishioners in the dark.
  • Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti compared the accused priests to live bombs that Lynn left in a room without defusing.
  • “You’re (still) on the hook” if the bomb later explodes, Cipolletti argued.
  • Lynn faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted. The archdiocese is paying his legal fees.

read the entire article at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/prosecutors-philly-archdiocese-is-unindicted-co-conspirator-in-clergy-sex-abuse-case/2012/01/23/gIQAbqvRLQ_story.html

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LMW COMMENT …

  • This is the most important case in the entire Catholic Church sexual abuse matter.
  • It is the only case that goes after the managers of the church – the monsignors, bishops and cardinals – who are the truly guilty as enablers of sexual attacks on children and in covering up the horrible acts of the priests within their jurisdiction.
  • If this case succeeds, the rest of the Catholic hierarchy will be at immediate risk.
  • If prosecutors have the courage to put the bishops and cardinals in jail, and this problem will be well on its way to being solved.

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* Pope Ratzinger says all institutions should be held to the same standard in preventing and reporting sex abuse … I agree … It’s time to arrest and convict the bishops, cardinals and popes who have participated in the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 29, 2011

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send this man to prison, along with all of the bishops and cardinals who have enabled sexual abuse by covering up and transferring the sick priests who have abused children

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Francis X. Rocca writes in the Washington Post (11/28/11) …

  • Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from New York state that “all other institutions” in society should be held to the same “exacting standards” as the Roman Catholic Church in preventing and reporting sex abuse.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/pope-others-should-be-held-to-same-abuse-standards/2011/11/28/gIQA692f5N_story.html

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LMW COMMENT …

  • Pope Ratzinger is absolutely correct.
  • All institutions should be held to the same standard in preventing and abusing sex abuse.
  • In the case of the Catholic Church, this should mean charging and convicting the bishops, cardinals and popes who have participated in the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests.
  • Unfortunately, I haven’t heard this as part of the Pope’s message.

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* Everything that’s wrong with the Catholic Church’s sickness regarding the criminal sexual abuse of children by priests and the criminal cover-up of such abuse by the Church hierarchy is epitomized in the case of Cardinal Law.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 22, 2011

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Mark Arsenault writes in the Boston Globe (11/22/11) …

  • Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the former Boston archbishop, has retired from his post in Rome as archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, ending a 50-year career indelibly stained by the perception he covered up the crimes of pedophile priests.
  • Law resigned as Boston archbishop in 2002 amid growing criticism over his handling of child sexual abuse cases. Advocates for victims were outraged in 2004 when Pope John Paul II gave Law his highly visible post at the basilica.
  • Nearly 10 years after his resignation in Boston, Law’s name still sparks intense criticism; child advocates were infuriated earlier this month over reports of an 80th birthday party planned for him in Rome.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/11/22/cardinal_bernard_law_retires_from_post_in_rome/

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LMW COMMENT …

Everything that’s wrong with the Catholic Church’s sickness regarding the criminal sexual abuse of children and the criminal cover-up of such abuse is epitomized in the case of Cardinal Law.

This despicable man should have been in prison for his crimes,

not given a plush retirement in Rome. 

There is no way I can adequately express my disgust for the Cardinal and for both Popes who protected him and who cared no one whit for the lives he ruined.

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* Priest abuse victim in Miami awarded $100 million … they’re coming after you, Pope Ratzinger … do you think there’s enough art in the Vatican to settle all the claims that are on their way?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 11, 2011

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  • A civil jury in Miami awarded a record $100 million to Andres Sousana, who alleged that he was drugged and raped by a Roman Catholic priest when he was 14 years old.
  • Reverend Neil Doherty, who is currently retired, awaits a criminal trial in jail.
  • Jeff Herman, Sousana’s attorney in the case stated, “It sets a standard. Now we know what a jury thinks about these cases. No. 2, it sends a message that we hope will protect other children.”
  • In total, 26 people have accused Doherty of sexual abuse.
  • According to the Miami New Times, 36 priests have been accused of sexually abusing minors in the Archdiocese of Miami.
  • the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court jury’s verdict, which includes $90 million in punitive damages, is among the largest nationwide against an individual priest.
  • The lawsuit did not name the Archdiocese of Miami, which has been targeted by numerous other lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse by Doherty and other priests.
  • A separate lawsuit filed on Susana’s behalf against the archdiocese was dismissed because it came after the statute of limitations had passed, but Herman is appealing that ruling.

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/miami-priest-abuse-case-victim-awarded-100-mllion_n_1088641.html

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LMW COMMENT …

  • It’s time to get the enablers. The ones who hide criminal abuse and transfer the pedophiles to another parish where they can do the same thing again.
  • And it’s time to end this nonsense about statute of limitations. A crime is a crime. If you can prove the crime, you should be able to make the guilty party pay. And in these cases, it is the Church even more than the individual priests who are the guilty ones.
  • The Church will not stop their awful behavior and cover-up until the bishops, cardinals and popes begin to face criminal charges.

Let’s see … $100 million x 36 priests = $3.6 BILLION.

And that’s just in the Archdiocese of Miami.

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* motions filed in Philadelphia pedophile case … this is the first criminal case to deal with the enabling of sexual attacks on children by the Catholic Church hierarchy … if this case is won, the whole Catholic Church structure of enabling such conduct may well fall … this trail may lead all the way to the Vatican … as it should!

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 29, 2011

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 AP reports (10/28/11) …

  • Prosecutors seeking to convict four Roman Catholic priests and a teacher in a pedophilia case want to use evidence of other sexual assault complaints and priest transfers in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
  • They filed a motion Friday to include relevant conduct at the high-profile trial, which is scheduled for March.
  • Monsignor William Lynn, 60, is the first U.S. church official charged with child endangerment and accused of transferring predator priests who then abused more victims. 
  • Two priests, an ex-priest and a teacher are charged in the same case with raping two boys.
  • Prosecutors hope to show that Lynn had a pattern of transferring known predators and that priests “had the opportunity and cover” to abuse minors.

They also want to show the jury broad evidence

of the archdiocese’s handling of sex-abuse complaints,

to try to prove the complaints were ignored,

enabling predators and exposing them to new victims.

read the entire article at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/philadelphia-prosecutors-seek-to-prove-pattern-of-priest-pedophiles-transfers-at-march-trial/2011/10/28/gIQAseYzPM_story.html

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* a step in the right direction … Kansas City Bishop Robert W. Finn indicted on charge of failing to report sexual abuse by a priest under his jurisdiction … send a few bishops, cardinals and popes to prison and this criminal conspiracy of the Catholic Church against children will end

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 16, 2011

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Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn

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see also …

* when Pope Ratzinger and his colleagues in the Church hierarchy are held to account for their criminal cover-up of sexual abuse by pedophile priests, then and only then will the Catholic Church regain the moral standing that so many Catholics desperately wish it to have

* new Irish report condemns Catholic Church for concealing abuse … plan to make it a crime to withhold knowledge … LMW: making bishops, cardinals and the pope himself criminal defendants is the only way to resolve these matters … the corrupt Church will not deal with the problem on its own

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 A. G. SULZBERGER and LAURIE GOODSTEIN write in the NYT (10/14/11) …

  • A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse…

the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals

that the leader of an American diocese

has been held criminally liable

for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

  • The indictment of the bishop, Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by a county grand jury was announced on Friday. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls as recently as this year. They pleaded not guilty.
  • The case caused an uproar among Catholics in Kansas City this year when Bishop Finn acknowledged that he knew of the photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. During that time, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, is said to have continued to attend church events with children, and took lewd photographs of another young girl.
  • A decade ago the American bishops pledged to report suspected abusers to law enforcement authorities — a policy also recommended last year by the Vatican. Bishop Finn himself had made such a promise three years ago as part of a $10 million legal settlement with abuse victims in Kansas City.
  • If convicted Bishop Finn would face a possible fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to a year. The diocese faces a possible fine of up to $5,000.
  • Bishop Finn sent Father Ratigan to live in a convent and told him to avoid contact with minors. But until May the priest attended children’s parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted an Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion, according to interviews with parishioners and a civil lawsuit filed by a victim’s family.
  • The new indictment released on Friday said that Bishop Finn and the diocese had reason to suspect that Father Ratigan might subject a child to abuse.
  • It cited “previous knowledge of concerns regarding Father Ratigan and children; the discovery of hundreds of photographs of children on Father Ratigan’s laptop, including a child’s naked vagina, upskirt images and images focused on the crotch; and violations of restrictions placed on Father Ratigan.”
  • Bishop Finn said in his statement on Friday that he and the diocese had given “complete cooperation” to law enforcement.

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/us/kansas-city-bishop-indicted-in-reporting-of-abuse-by-priest.html

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LMW COMMENT …

I have been saying for years that the only way to deal effectively with the criminal behavior of Catholic priests is to arrest, convict, and incarcerate the bishops, cardinals and the pope who refuse to deal with the problem and indeed, continue to enable the hideous sexual abuse of our children all over the world.

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* when Pope Ratzinger and his colleagues in the Church hierarchy are held to account for their criminal cover-up of sexual abuse by pedophile priests, then and only then will the Catholic Church regain the moral standing that so many Catholics desperately wish it to have

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 22, 2011

a small sampling of the abusers and their enablers

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AP reports (9/22/11) …

  • Pope Benedict XVI warned Germans of the danger of ignoring religion as he began the first state visit to his homeland Thursday, seeking to stem the tide of Catholics leaving the church while acknowledging the damage caused by the clerical sex abuse scandal.
  • (Pope Ratzinger) told reporters on the plane that there needs to be an examination of why people have been leaving the church recently, and the part that the abuse scandals played in the phenomenon.
  • “I can understand that some people have been scandalized by the crimes that have been revealed in recent times,” he said. There both “good and bad fish in the Lord’s net” and Catholics have to live with scandal, he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-visit-german-homeland-expects-protest-130447697.html

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LMW COMMENT …

Pope Ratzinger may understand many things but they don’t seem to impact his disgusting attitude and behavior. I find him personally responsible for encouraging, allowing and perpetrating the Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by its priests, a cover-up which is by many accounts still on-going. Catholics would not “have to live with scandal” if Pope Ratzinger did his job, even at this late date.

By covering up disclosure of sexual abuse and then re-assigning the pedophile abusers to new parishes, the bishops, cardinals and popes in the church hierarchy must be seen as condoning and even encouraging a continuation of the criminal behavior that ruined so many young lives.

What the Church bosses did is properly called obstruction of justice.

It is a criminal offense.

Those men who obstructed justice should be brought to trial and if proven guilty, should be sent to prison. Then, and only then, will the Church regain the moral standing so many of its adherents desperately wish it to have once again.

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* Are Catholic priests ever right to break their sacred vow on keeping confessional secrets in sexual abuse cases? … there are extremely strong views on BOTH sides of this question

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 1, 2011

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The Belfast Telegraph reports (9/1/11) … 

  • One of the most difficult questions facing a Catholic priest is to decide whether or not to give the police and state authorities the information he has obtained in the confessional box.
  • This looming conflict between a priest’s conscience and the demands of the state has been created by the Republic’s justice minister, Alan Shatter, who intends to introduce legislation which would compel priests to pass on information from all their sources in order to assist child protection.
  • The Irish government’s intention to take such sweeping action follows a blazing row between the Taioseach, Enda Kenny, and the Vatican in the wake of the Cloyne report.
  • This report revealed that the diocese’s former bishop, Dr John Magee, had failed to follow the child protection rules established in 2009 and did not pass on to the authorities allegations of child sexual abuse in Cloyne.
  • Many people would argue that there is no question about it – priests should do everything they can to protect children.
  • If that means that a Catholic priest, after hearing confession, must pass on the name of someone who has admitted child sexual abuse – or the identity of someone else involved in abuse – then so be it.
  • However, Fr O’Kane is clear where his duty lies. He says: “In a criminal matter, a priest may encourage a penitent to surrender to the authorities voluntarily. However, this is the most that a priest can do. We cannot directly, or indirectly, disclose the crime to anyone.”

read the entire article at … http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/sacrificing-secrecy-may-be-the-only-moral-choice-16043404.html

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