Tag Archives: abuse

So much for “it was a thing of the past”: Active Clergy Criminal Cases

With the beginning of the clergy sex abuse and cover-up criminal trial in Philadelphia, as well as the recent guilty plea from Orange County (CA) priest Denis Lyons, I wanted to post a list of all of the currently active clergy criminal cases in the United States. If I have missed any, let me know. All of these are for sexual abuse or conspiracy to commit abuse, except for Fr. McCloskey in Albany. He was charged with fleeing from the police, reckless driving and auto theft.

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Filed under Background Information, clergy abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse

The Real Horrendous and Nefarious Crime? Not Calling the Police

It’s papal trivia time!

In light of the recent explosion of media coverage about the clergy sex abuse scandal, revelations about the inaction of bishops to stop offenders, and the full-scale global cover-up of the rape of hundreds of thousands of children, let’s take a little quiz.

Name the Pope who insisted that all clerics who molest children be turned over to civil authorities and forced to live a life of penance at a monastery far away from children?

A)   Pope John Paul II (1978-2005)

B)   Pope Benedict XVI (2005-present)

C)   Pope Pius V (1566-1572)

The winner?  C.  Apparently, someone got it right 438 years ago.  And that was the last time anyone thought about calling the cops.

Church documents show that the crime of bishops, priests, deacons, and religious raping and sodomizing children has been known and understood by the Roman Papacy for at least a millennium.  Pope Saint Pius V (1566 -1572) referred to the crime against children in his Constitutions of August 30, 1568 as horrendum illud scelus: that horrendous crime.

And then he did something revolutionary:  He demanded action to keep kids safe.

Pius V sought to reform the criminal depravity and moral laxity of the clergy by instituting penalties that bishops, abbots, and superiors of religious orders could invoke on the cleric.  Pius V states:

§1. “Clearly it is known to the Lateran Council that clerics who have been caught sinning against nature with children must be cast out from the clergy or forced to lead a life of penance in the Monasteries.

Funny, he doesn’t say anything transferring a priest to a new location where people won’t know about his past …

In light of the recent developments of Gilbert Gauthe and Oliver O’Grady being loose in society, it probably would be prudent to follow Pope Pius V second point and place the 4,392 clerics mentioned in the John Jay Study in Monasteries without schools.

§2. “But lest the contagion of such a disease grow stronger, we have concluded in Council that the Clerical defendants of this nefarious crime must be punished severely, that for those who do not shudder at the damnation of their souls the avenging secular sword of civil laws may surely deter them.”

Pope Pius V concluded in the sixteenth century that punishment must be severe and the offending clerics turned over to civil authorities.

The Church, according to Professor Henry Charles Lea’s History of the Inquisition, did call the police.  Clerics were handed various punishments including a life of rowing in the gallows and even death.

With the punishments available today, if the bishops followed the leadership of Pope Saint Pius V, many clerics would have only scarred one child instead of the dozens each priest perpetrators has.  Somewhere between the 16th and 20th centuries, the bishops stopped turning clerics over to civil authorities.

§3. “Therefore, we intend to pursue more fully now and with more vigor what has already been decreed in this pestilence, and we deprive any Presbyter and any other Clerics, either diocesan or religious, of whatever grade, rank, office or privilege who commit so dire and unspeakable an act.  Those demoted by Ecclesiastical judge or Bishop should be immediately delivered to the secular power to receive punishment.”

Pope Saint Pius V is clear: Call the police and turn the cleric over to civil authorities.  For the United States bishops or William Cardinal Levada of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to claim they did not understand the gravity of the problem or what to do until 1984 is lavender lunacy.  And a downright lie.

The penalties and procedures to stop bishops, priests, deacons, and religious that permanently sexually scare children have been available for centuries.

So, what is the horrendous crime today? The bishops and priests and not calling the police.

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Filed under Background Information, canon law, catholic, clergy abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse

Your Tax Dollars May Be Supporting Abusers: The Problem of Government Support of Catholic Charities

The sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Roman Catholic Clerics is the most damaging financial event in over two centuries. Not since Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) turned over the Papal States (central Italy) and disbanded the Papal army in the 1860s has the Church lost so many assets. Just recently, the bishops of California settled for in excess of 1.8 billion U.S. Dollars with national totals closing in on $4 billion.

But they shouldn’t be surprised … The 1985 Doyle/Peterson/Mouton Report warned the bishops of $1 billion worth of exposure.

What should concern the average American are the billions of Federal and State government dollars given to Catholic Charities for social services.

Yes, your tax dollars.

We can only hope that taxpayers and the government will take notice.

Just think: what will happen when society FINALLY makes the connection that the same bishops covering-up the rape of thousands of children are taking millions of tax dollars for Roman Catholic orphanages, day care centers, and social service centers?

Even when many of these places were the backdrop for decades of sexual abuse.

The 2007 Official Catholic Directory, the official communication between the United States Bishops and the I.R.S. for tax exception purposes, claims the following number of facilities and children under their care:

Residential Care facilities of Children (Orphanages): 986
Total assisted annually: 60,861
Day Care and Extended Day Care Centers: 1,231
Total assisted annually: 115,190
Special Centers for Social Services: 3,007

Total assisted annually: 27,887,358

I can only imagine what a federal inquiry would uncover.

If there were one policy change I suggest for the new president, congress, attorney general, and all state governors it is this:

Get out of the business of supporting the Roman Catholic Church through grants to Catholic Charities and related services.

There are other groups who can perform the same task with equal professionalism. No quantity or quality of good done by Catholic Charities personnel can cancel or forgive the criminal conduct condoned by the U.S. Bishops.

And I wonder: what is the legal liability for the government when children are abused in Catholic programs funded by tax dollars?

Many civil lawyers and government attorneys will rightly claim that the government tort claims act will stop or hinder such claims. Legally, I am sure that is correct.

But I believe that good does conquer evil. I also believe that the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults is an age-old reality in the life of the Catholic Church that will likely continue.

And the government should and must get out of the business of supporting the Catholic Church.

Finally: It is hard to believe that the Archdiocese of Chicago paid for the Defenbaugh report but it is a nice summary of how the post Dallas 2002 system still doesn’t protect children.

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Filed under Clergy Sex Abuse