Philly grand jury recognizes the truth

Too many times victims are re-victimized by the victims advocate. The Philly grand jury clearly understands why church sponsored advocacy doesn’t work.

“….the present process is burdened by misinformation and conflict of interest. The Archdiocese’s “victim assistance coordinators,” for example, mislead victims into believing that their discussions with the coordinators are protected by confidentiality. That is not the case. In Pennsylvania, licensed rape counselors are indeed required by statute to maintain confidentiality, like lawyers. The church’s victim assistance coordinators, however, are not licensed counselors to whom the statutory mandate applies – and they do not keep victims’ statements confidential. They turn the statements over to the Archdiocese’s attorneys, who of course have an ethical obligation to protect their client from potential civil and criminal liability.”

Their recommendation:

“First, experience now demonstrates that programs for aiding victims of clergy sex abuse cannot be operated by the church itself. Victims should be assisted by the state Victim Compensation Board, or by a completely independent non-profit organization that is not subject to Archdiocesan control. In either case the church must provide the necessary funding. The church, through its lawyers, is of course entitled to defend itself against civil or criminal claims; but it can no longer try to play both sides of the fence with its victims.”

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Cardinal Law leaves Rome!

“The Vatican says the Pope accepted Law’s resignation from Saint Mary Major Basilica.” Did his birthday party upset the leaders in Rome? Was it too much bad press? I would have thought that Rome was immune to bad press by now. But maybe not?  Read the whole article here:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/11/21/disgraced-ex-boston-archbishop-cardinal-law-leaves-rome-job/

Penn State vs. the Catholic Church

In the article quoted below, author Charles P. Pierce – a writer for Esquire and a frequent commentator on NPR – is scathing in his response to Penn State football players praying for the  rape victims of  Jerry Sandusky.  This is something that can’t be prayed away, he suggests. Why? Because the rape of children is too awful. The Penn State scandal has thrown light on yet another institution in which there is a culture of deceit and a cult-like loyalty to “the company” or “the brand.”  Victims in the Catholic Church are aware of this kind of culture and of the rewards passed to those who defend it at their expense and at the expense of morality and adherence to civil law. But that other people “get it” came as a surprise to me. The author seems to be a man with a biblical sensibility and a deep understanding of the psychological as well as physical violence of child-rape.  He also has an understanding of the hollow and even horrific religious notion that such crimes can be “prayed away.”

Thank you Mr. Pierce.

“The Brutal Truth About Penn State”

The problem can’t be solved by prayer or piety — and it’s far more widespread than we think

By Charles P. Pierce
NOVEMBER 14, 2011

“…The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children. That is all they are about. The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the possibility that people lied to a grand jury about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the likelihood that most of the people who had the authority at Penn State to stop the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky proved themselves to have the moral backbone of ribbon worms….

There will now be a decade or more of criminal trials, and perhaps a quarter-century or more of civil actions, as a result of what went on at Penn State. These things cannot be prayed away. Let us hear nothing about “closure” or about “moving on.” And God help us, let us not hear a single mumbling word about how football can help the university “heal.” (Lord, let the Alamo Bowl be an instrument of your peace.) This wound should be left open and gaping and raw until the very last of the children that Jerry Sandusky is accused of raping somehow gets whatever modicum of peace and retribution can possibly be granted to him. This wound should be left open and gaping and raw in the bright sunlight where everybody can see it, for years and years and years, until the raped children themselves decide that justice has been done. When they’re done healing — if they’re ever done healing — then they and their families can give Penn State permission to start.”

Cardinal Bernard Law partying in Rome with the “good ol’ boys.”

Party Boy in Rome

“Who, me?”

VATICAN CITY — (As reported in the Boston Herald on 5 November 2011) Cardinal Bernard Law was treated to a lavish birthday party, the company of high-ranking clerics and even the music of a mariachi band in a four-star Italian hotel. Bernard Law’s guests rolled up in Vatican Mercedes sedans and left singing the praises of the fallen prelate, promoted to his Vatican post after decades of covering up clergy sex abuse back home in Boston….

For the complete post visit blog, Another Voice.

For Boston Globe article click here.

Amnesty International Accuses Catholic Church of Torture

On Irish Central bloggers have responded to the Amnesty International claim with denial and outrage. But they aren’t, weren’t victims. Here is the response of a victim:

Blood sacrifice

A priest gave me my first orgasm before I was old enough to know my body

A priest tore my vagina with his fingers preparing me for planned penetration

A priest gave me fifty years of recurrent nightmares

A priest ripped my faith from my heart and peace from my mind

This behavior was criminal – physically and spiritually

And I am still treated for Post Traumatic Stress disorder, like a victim of war

My mind is still tortured; my faith is in shreds; my hope has been stolen.

Don’t tell me this wasn’t like torture; isn’t torture.

International Criminal Court in The Hague receives case against Pope

Abuse Victims Ask Court To Prosecute the Vatican

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN, New York Times. 
Published: September 13, 2011

Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.

 

Collateral damage

“Collateral damage is damage aside from that which was intended.”

There are many ways in which collateral damage has been and continues to be caused by the bishops of the Catholic Church as a secondary effect of its treatment of victims:

  • When the Church acts like a sexual offender, re-abusing innocent victims in its attempt to avoid more court cases and settlements
  • When bishops attempt to silence victims through lies (by applying the doctrine of “mental reservations”), intimidation, or threat of prosecution for court costs
  • When they protect, defend, and re-assign credibly accused and even admitted sexual offenders who cannot be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations
  • When they refuse to follow the guidelines they themselves have

… when they do any of these egregious things, they hurt not only the victims, but many, many others.  

First of all there are the victims families, whose trust in the Church and in God is violently assaulted not so much by the original abusive behavior of one sick priest but by the ongoing systematic, cold-blooded, legalistic, un-Christian, sometimes illegal behavior of the organization which purports to be led by God’s representative and to be Christ’s presence in the world.

Then there are our friends, our co-workers and our clients, these people all become personally, if indirectly, exposed to the evil perpetrated by the Catholic bishops and the  Vatican . They all become part of the collateral damage. If they remain faithful to the Church they will feel a conflict of loyalties, and may find it necessary to cut us out of their lives. If they are family this will cause a fracturing of the family unit. On the other hand if they are Catholics and remain faithful to us, they may find their support of and participation in the Church becomes untenable and their faith in God questionable.  They may, like us, suffer spiritual trauma.

What happens when you rip the soul out of someone’s life? What happens when you destroy someone’s hope in a loving God? What happens when you tear someone from their support community, from their rituals of comfort and consolation, renewal and restoration? What happens when you emotionally or physically lock someone out of their spiritual refuge?

What happens is that people die — from the inside out.

Their soul shrivels, their hope disintegrates, their sense of belonging evaporates. It feels as if the hand of God that was holding them through life’s trials and losses is withdrawn, and they can fall into an abyss of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, relationship-destruction, self-destruction.

There have been many physical deaths among the community of victims and victims’ families, but there are many more spiritual deaths. One aspect of survivor support needs to be a spiritual outreach of some kind. We need to find ways to foster hope, dialogue about our understanding of God, share rituals of renewal and enrichment. We need to combat the spiritual death that is part of the collateral damage of the sexual abuse crisis.