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Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church - Religion - Nairaland

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Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 12:35am On Feb 25, 2011
With stories like these, do people still wonder why the institution of the Catholic Church is considered evil by some of us?

The Independent:
Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries

By Frances Kennedy in Rome


The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.

In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

The US article was based on five documents, which senior women from religious orders and priests have presented to the Vatican over the past decade. They describe a particularly bad situation in Africa. In a continent devastated by Aids, nuns, along with early adolescent girls, are perceived by some as safe sexual targets. The reports said that the church authorities had done little to tackle the problem.

The Vatican reports cited countless cases of nuns forced to have sex with priests. Some were obliged to take the pill, others became pregnant and were encouraged to have abortions. In one case in which an African sister was forced to have an abortion, she died during the operation and her aggressor led the funeral mass. Another case involved 29 sisters from the same congregation who all became pregnant to priests in the diocese.

The reports said that the cultures in some African countries made it almost impossible for a young woman to disobey an older man, especially one seen as spiritually superior. There were cases of novices who applied to their local priest or bishop for certificates of good Catholic practice that were required for them to pursue their vocation. In return they were made to have sex. Some incidents of sexual abuse allegedly took place almost within the Vatican walls.

Certain unscrupulous clerics took advantage of young nuns who were having trouble finding accommodation, writing their essays and funding their theological studies.

Forced to acknowledge the problem, the Vatican has tried to play down its gravity. In a statement issued yesterday the Pope's official spokesman, Joaquin Navarro Valls, said: "The problem is known and involves a restricted geographical area. Certain negative situations must not overshadow the often heroic faith of the overwhelming majority of religious, nuns and priests".

One of the most comprehensive documents was compiled by Sister Maura O'Donohue, an Aids co-ordinator for Cafod, the London-based Catholic Fund for Overseas Development.

She noted that religious sisters had been identified as "safe" targets for sexual activity. She quotes a case in 1991 of a community superior being approached by priests requesting that the nuns be made available to them for sexual favours.

"When the superior refused the priests explained they would otherwise be obliged to go to the village to find women and might thus get Aids."Sister O'Donohue said her initial reaction to what she was told by her fellow religious "was one of shock and disbelief at the magnitude of the problem".

While most of the abuse happened in African countries, Sister O'Donohue reported incidents in 23 countries including India, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines and the United States.

She heard cases of priests encouraging the nuns to take the pill telling them it would prevent HIV. Others "actually encouraged abortion for the sisters" and Catholic hospitals and medical staff reported pressure from priests to carry out terminations for nuns and other young women.

O'Donohue wrote in her report how a vicar in one African diocese had talked "quite openly" about sex, saying that "celibacy in the African context means a priest does not get married, but does not mean he does not have children."

The head of the Vatican congregation for Religious Life, Cardinal Martinez Somalo, has set up a committee to look into the problem. But it seems to have done little beyond "awareness raising" among bishops.

More recently, in 1998, Sister Marie McDonald, mother superior of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa, put together a paper entitled The Problem of the Sexual Buse of African Religious in Africa and Rome.

She tabled the document to the Council of 16, made up of delegates of the international association of women's and men's religious communities and the Vatican office responsible for religious life. She noted that a contributing cause was the "conspiracy of silence".

When she addressed bishops on the problem, many of them felt it was disloyal of the sisters to send reports.

"However, the sisters claim they have done so time and time again. Sometimes they were not well received. In some instances they are blamed for what happened. Even when they are listened to sympathetically nothing much seems to be done" One of the most tragic elements that emerges is the fate of the victims. While the offending priests are usually moved or sent away for studies, the women are normally chased out of their religious orders, they are then either to scared to return to their families or are rejected by them. they often finished up as outcasts, or, in a cruel twist of irony, as prostitutes, making a meagre living from an act they had vowed never to do.

One of the few religious in Rome willing to talk about the report was Father Giulio Albanese, of MISNA, the missionary news agency. "Missionaries are human beings, who are often living under immense psychological pressure in situations of war and ongoing violence. On one hand it's important to condemn this horror and it's important tell the truth, but we must not emphasise this at the expense of the work done by the majority, many of whom have laid down lives for witness" said Fr Albanese "The press only talks about missionaries when they are killed, kidnapped or are involved in something scandalous" he added.

As the Vatican digests the unpalatable evidence of how their own priests are ruining the lives of their sisters, many Catholics hope a strong message may come from on high. With the American bishops, the Pope spoke in clear terms about paedophile priests, telling them this was a scourge that had to be faced. Some now hope that he may be equally courageous in denouncing an evil which has been covered by silence and shame for too long.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 12:38am On Feb 25, 2011
How different is the behaviour shown in the above report and other reports from that of a criminal syndicate that actively suppresses evidence of crimes?
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:40pm On Mar 17, 2011
Finally these criminals are being brought to justice. How's this story below for a crime worthy of life imprisonment with hard labour and no no possibility of parole?

The New York Times:

Avenging Altar Boy.

The district attorney is burning a eucalyptus-spearmint candle on his desk.

“I think the press looks down upon the D.A. drinking Jack Daniels during the day,” R. Seth Williams says with a broad smile, “so I light my little stress-relief candle.”

It’s understandable if the former altar boy at St. Carthage in West Philly needs to light a votive. The 44-year-old Catholic, who still attends Mass with his family at the same church, now called St. Cyprian, is the first U.S. prosecutor to charge a church official for a sickeningly commonplace sin: Endangering children whom the Roman Catholic Church was supposed to protect by shuffling craddle-robber priests to different parishes where they could find fresh prey.

Williams, the first African-American elected district attorney in Pennsylvania, was an orphan given up by his unwed mother. He was put into two foster homes before he was adopted at 20 months old by a Catholic family.

“I grew up treating the hierarchy of the church kind of like rock stars,” he said in his 18th floor aerie, where he keeps a small iron crucifix and a cross fashioned from Palm Sunday fronds. “If you’re going to meet the cardinal, you’re supposed to kiss the guy’s ring, all this stuff. But it is what it is. I wish I knew the Latin translation for that.

“There’s no get-out-of-jail-free card for raping, sodomizing, groping, doing anything wrong to kids.”

Msgr. William J. Lynn, who served from 1992 to 2004 as the secretary of clergy reviewing sexual abuse cases for then-Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, appeared in court Monday. He is charged with felonies for allegedly helping the cardinal cover up molesters and transferring them to other parishes.

“It was a conspiracy of silence to ensure the church’s reputation and to avoid scandal,” said Assistant District Attorney Evangelia Manos.

Monsignor Lynn, a round, ruddy man in black priest’s garb, sat silently in court behind his two lawyers — paid by the archdiocese — as a cheering squad of priests and parishioners watched.

Lynn’s co-defendants sat beside him: a rabbity-looking Rev. James Brennan, 47, charged with raping a 14-year-old boy named Mark in 1996 in his apartment; and the unholy alliance of a priest, the sepulchral Charles Engelhardt, 64, a defrocked priest, Edward Avery, 68, and a former Catholic schoolteacher, Bernard Shero, 48 — all charged with raping or sodomizing the same 10-year-old altar boy 12 years ago.

Lynn’s lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, told reporters that the charges against his client were “a stretch” and that he was pleading not guilty.

And Richard DeSipio, one of Brennan’s lawyers, went on the attack against his client’s accuser, now 29. “Their witness is in prison in Bucks County for stealing his sister’s credit card and using it,” DeSipio told Mensah Dean of The Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s a convicted liar.”

On a local radio show on Tuesday, Brennan — a priest suspended by the church in 2006 — said he was uninterested in a plea deal, and his lawyer continued to paint the accuser as troubled.

Even with a global scandal that never seems to stop disgorging disgusting stories, the Philadelphia grand jury report is especially sordid.

It tells the story of a fifth-grade altar boy at St. Jerome School given the pseudonym Billy. Father Engelhardt plied him with sacramental wine and pulled pornographic magazines out of a bag in the sacristy and told the child it was time “to become a man,” the report says.

A week later, after Billy served an early Mass, the report states that Engelhardt instructed him to take off his clothes and perform MouthAction on him. Then the priest told the boy he was “dismissed.”

“After that, Billy was in effect passed around to Engelhardt’s colleagues,” the report says. “Father Edward Avery undressed with the boy, told him that God loved him,” and then had him perform sex. “Next was the turn of Bernard Shero, a teacher in the school. Shero offered Billy a ride home but instead stopped at a park, told Billy they were ‘going to have some fun,’ took off the boy’s clothes, orally and anally raped him and then made him walk the rest of the way home.”

Billy fell apart and turned to heroin.

The report says Brennan knew Mark from the time he was 9. When he was 14, the priest arranged with Mark’s mother for a sleepover. “Brennan showed him pornographic pictures on his computer, bragged about his joystick size and insisted that Mark sleep together with him in his bed.” Then the priest raped him as he cried, according to the report.

Mark also fell apart and attempted suicide.

Out of the church’s many unpleasant confrontations with modernity, this is the starkest. It’s tragically past time to send the message that priests can’t do anything they want and hide their sins behind special privilege.

In Seth Williams’s city, the law sees no collars, except the ones put on criminals.

What sort of monsters would do this? Rape children, pass them around and cover up this crime while moving these priests around? Giving them ample opportunity to repeat these horrific acts?
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:47pm On Mar 17, 2011
And here is an interview with the district attorney on the case above.

[flash=400,400]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL_bLoT1kxY?fs=1&hl=en_US&amp[/flash]

And some wonder why people are against the use of their funds to bring the head of such an organization to their country. When will Catholics and other sympathizers learn that some of us also care about their children and are doing these things to protect them too.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by cultey(f): 9:10pm On Mar 17, 2011
You guys really have to read this!!!

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-624489.0.html
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by UyiIredia(m): 10:11pm On Mar 17, 2011
"Judge your fellow man with common sense"

- Uyi Iredia
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by Nobody: 11:44pm On Mar 17, 2011
So the catholic church is evil by admittng to a wrong done by some part of her not all. "Who is without sin should be the first to throw a stone". We are humans and are bound to make mistakes, so if apologising makes one evil then we all are evil. Don't you know that you have bad priest, bishops and popes but is that what would make the church fall? No. There are elements of the devil who are bound to see the church fall but it can NEVER fall. @ poster, I don't blame you if I were in your shoes I wud do thesame but lets pray and do good because we don't know who is right and who is wrong until the last day
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:42am On Mar 18, 2011
Uyi Iredia:

"Judge your fellow man with common sense"

- Uyi Iredia

Huh? what do you mean by this? I hope you know that Judges are not picked simply because they demonstrate "common sense", they're picked due to their expertise besides, "common sense" is not so common.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:50am On Mar 18, 2011
lucenzo:

So the catholic church is evil by admittng to a wrong done by some part of her not all. "Who is without sin should be the first to throw a stone". We are humans and are bound to make mistakes, so if apologising makes one evil then we all are evil.

I'm sorry but where did you see the Catholic Church actually just apologize for the crimes that their senior members have been repeatedly covering up? At the same time, they've been systematically putting more children at risk of these monsters.


lucenzo:

Don't you know that you have bad priest, bishops and popes but is that what would make the church fall? No. There are elements of the devil who are bound to see the church fall but it can NEVER fall.

Don't be so sure about that. You may research on the gradual loss of power of the Catholic Church in Europe and Latin America but as usual, Africa generally comes in last.


lucenzo:

@ poster, I don't blame you if I were in your shoes I wud do thesame but lets pray and do good because we don't know who is right and who is wrong until the last day

Oh no. We do know who is wrong and who did no wrong. It is wrong for an adult To Molest a child. And the child that was raped has done nothing wrong.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 7:36am On Mar 22, 2011
Research shows that Catholic Priests (at least in the U.S.) are 100 times more likely to be child sex offenders. You may wish to know this to know which way to run when one suspects that their child being accepted as an altar boy starts behaving strangely.

Before you're deceived that it is a homosexual problem, research also shows that homosexuality and homosexual paedophilia are almost mutually exclusive i.e one generally does not occur with the other.

References: A nice summary of the problem here
The non-overlap of homosexuality and paedophilia here
The scope of the problem of paedophilia in the Catholic Church here

Do not be deceived by people who would systematically cover up such a wide scale problem.
Be informed.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by vescucci(m): 10:45pm On Mar 22, 2011
I don't hate Catholics but they really have a problem. I think celibacy is unnatural but the problem is that sometimes, due to societal pressure, gay people think they'll find solace in the Catholic Church (and in celibacy) before primal instincts start to rage. I don't have the statistics but I can bet the percentage of heterosexual molestation is minimal. Another thing that worries me is that I'm very sure we're only learning of a few of many occurrences. A molested person is ashamed and will rarely ever make things known. And there's also the probable threat of hell, you know. Just for good measure.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by alexleo(m): 1:42pm On Mar 23, 2011
@poster ,
the question here is have you given your life to Jesus? If you have not , then you and those priests you are talking about are travellers alike on the highway to hell. Pls do first thing first - give your life to Jesus today.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:43pm On Mar 23, 2011
vescucci:

I don't hate Catholics but they really have a problem. I think celibacy is unnatural but the problem is that sometimes, due to societal pressure, gay people think they'll find solace in the Catholic Church (and in celibacy) before primal instincts start to rage. I don't have the statistics but I can bet the percentage of heterosexual molestation is minimal. Another thing that worries me is that I'm very sure we're only learning of a few of many occurrences. A molested person is ashamed and will rarely ever make things known. And there's also the probable threat of hell, you know. Just for good measure.

Heterosexual molestation was estimated to be at about 30 to 40% but from the research I linked above, it was about 20%. My other link there was to demonstrate that homosexuality is quite different from homosexual paedophilia.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:45pm On Mar 23, 2011
alexleo:

@poster ,
the question here is have you given your life to Jesus? If you have not , then you and those priests you are talking about are travellers alike on the highway to hell. Pls do first thing first - give your life to Jesus today.

Oh? Have the priests not given their lives to Jesus? Or have you banned them from doing so? I suspect that you'll be joining me in this hell that you speak of.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by vescucci(m): 10:25pm On Mar 23, 2011
thehomer:

Heterosexual molestation was estimated to be at about 30 to 40% but from the research I linked above, it was about 20%. My other link there was to demonstrate that homosexuality is quite different from homosexual paedophilia.

Those are way higher than I expected. Maybe it has nothing or very little to do with homosexuality after all. There'll be a wariness in heterosexual interaction that will pale in comparison when you think of homosexual ones. So, in effect there might be as many straight sexual predators as there are gay ones.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 6:39pm On Mar 24, 2011
vescucci:

Those are way higher than I expected. Maybe it has nothing or very little to do with homosexuality after all. There'll be a wariness in heterosexual interaction that will pale in comparison when you think of homosexual ones. So, in effect there might be as many straight sexual predators as there are gay ones.

Yeah it doesn't. Though the Catholic institution would like us to think otherwise.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by 2buff(m): 7:02pm On Mar 24, 2011
thehomer:

Oh? Have the priests not given their lives to Jesus? Or have you banned them from doing so? I suspect that you'll be joining me in this hell that you speak of.

The priests did not give their lives to Jesus. God doesn't care about rituals, he cares about hearts. Their lips may have said stuff pertaining to given their lives to Jesus, but not their hearts. Their hearts are obviously cruel.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:20pm On Mar 24, 2011
2buff:

The priests did not give their lives to Jesus. God doesn't care about rituals, he cares about hearts. Their lips may have said stuff pertaining to given their lives to Jesus, but not their hearts. Their hearts are obviously cruel.

So according to you, Catholic priests would join us in hell?
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by 2buff(m): 8:23pm On Mar 24, 2011
God is not a respecter of persons. The priests guilty of these acts, if they do not repent before they have to stand before God, God would have to do what He has to do. Same conditions apply to you.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 8:43pm On Mar 24, 2011
2buff:

God is not a respecter of persons. The priests guilty of these acts, if they do not repent before they have to stand before God, God would have to do what He has to do. Same conditions apply to you.

How should they repent?
Meh I'll take my chances. Who knows, hell's a pretty big place and if one were to say commit a sin at the wrong time and dies at that time not having a chance to repent, they may still join these priests in hell.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by 2buff(m): 8:47pm On Mar 24, 2011
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 10:25pm On Mar 24, 2011
2buff:

Read thoroughly http://www.three-peaks.net/annette/Repentance.htm

What's it about? Could you please summarize it?
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by 2buff(m): 10:26pm On Mar 24, 2011
It's an answer to your question.
thehomer:

How should they repent?
Meh I'll take my chances. Who knows, hell's a pretty big place and if one were to say commit a sin at the wrong time and dies at that time not having a chance to repent, they may still join these priests in hell.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 9:11pm On Mar 25, 2011
2buff:

It's an answer to your question.

Maybe you can e-mail the article to the Catholic church and forward copies to their dioceses around the world.
Re: Yet Another Scandal In The Catholic Church by thehomer: 2:48pm On Mar 26, 2011
And here, we have the usual suspects settling payments for their usual crimes.


US Jesuits agree to school sex abuse pay-out

An order of US Catholic priests has agreed to pay $166.1m (£103.3m) to hundreds of Native Americans sexually abused by priests at its schools.

The former students at Jesuit schools in five states of the north-western US said they were abused from the 1940s through the 1990s.

Under a settlement, the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, will also apologise to the victims.

The order had argued paying out abuse claims would cause it to go bankrupt.

"It's a day of reckoning and justice," Clarita Vargas, who said she and two sisters were abused by a priest at a Jesuit-run school for Native American children in the state of Washington, told the Associated Press.

"My spirit was wounded, and this makes it feel better."

The province ran schools in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Most of the alleged victims were Native American. Much of the alleged abuse occurred on Native reservations and in remote villages, where the order was accused of dumping problem priests.

"No amount of money can bring back a lost childhood, a destroyed culture or a shattered faith," lawyer Blaine Tamaki, who represented about 90 victims in the case, said in a statement.

The pay-out is one of the largest to date in a series of sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church.

Reference: link

Please note the number of victims who came forward.

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