Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vatican Exorcist Claims Devil Is in the New York Times

     Do you recall how just three weeks ago, Father Gabriele Amorth, self-proclaimed exorcist of the Roman Catholic Church, claimed that the devil is in the Vatican?  Guess where he's saying good old Satan is now?

     Seriously, guess.

     You're correct!

     The Catholic News Agency reports:
     Noted Italian exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, commented this week that the recent defamatory reporting on Pope Benedict XVI, especially by the New York Times, was “prompted by the devil.”  Speaking to News Mediaset in Italy, the 85-year-old exorcist noted that the devil is behind “the recent attacks on Pope Benedict XVI regarding some pedophilia cases.”
     So, the devil is in the Vatican and the devil is attacking the Vatican from outside.  Satan is everywhere!  

     Or, maybe Amorth is off his meds again.  No, he's just your everyday opportunist that's using the pain of victims, the ignorance of some folks in the pews, and the sexual abuse scandal to sell his book. 

Happy Easter, Fr. Gabriele!

Pope's Preacher Compares Media's Coverage of the Vatican's Mishandling of Sexual Abuse to Holocaust

     Good Friday didn't pass without the Vatican using its savior's death and its holiday-enlarged audience to strike back at the news media, who've been critical of Pope Benedict's handling of sexually abusive priests

     Let me introduce you to the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, official preacher of the papal household since 1980, a Franciscan  in the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor, and the guy who leads the pope in meditative prayer.  He also just used Good Friday to compare the media's covering of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church to the Nazi's extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.  Seriously.

     The New York Times reports:
     Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, took note that Easter and Passover fell during the same week this year, and said he was led to think of the Jews.   “They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence, and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms,” said Father Cantalamessa, who serves under the title of preacher of the papal household. Then he quoted from what he said was a letter from a Jewish friend he did not identify.  “I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world,” he said the friend wrote. “The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”

     Here are some responses to the Vatican preacher's comparison of the the attacks on sexually abusive clergy and the bishops who covered for them to the annihilation and extermination of 6 million Jews in the Nazi-led Holocaust.  (Via the Times.)
     A leading advocate for sexual abuse victims in the United States, David Clohessy, called comparing criticism of the church to persecution of the Jews “breathtakingly callous and misguided.”  “Men who deliberately and consistently hide child sex crime are in no way victims,” he said. “And to conflate public scrutiny with horrific violence is about as wrong as wrong can be.”
     Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, who was host to Benedict at the Rome synagogue in January on a visit that helped calm waters after a year of tensions, laughed in seeming disbelief when asked about Father Cantalamessa’s remarks.  “With a minimum of irony, I will say that today is Good Friday, when they pray that the Lord illuminate our hearts so we recognize Jesus,” Rabbi Di Segni said, referring to a prayer in the traditional Catholic liturgy calling for the conversion of the Jews. “We also pray that the Lord illuminate theirs.
     Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League in the United States, attributed the remarks to ignorance, not malice. “You would think that a senior priest in the church would have a better understanding of anti-Semitism than to make this hideous comparison,” he said.
     What Triduum tirade will the Vatican provide on Holy Saturday?  Don't you just love the Catholic high holy days?

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Non-Defrocked Serial Pedophile Rev. Murphy Continued to Molest Boys after Removal from Deaf Boys School

     The Wisconsin sexual abuse case, in which the Vatican refused to defrock serial pedophile-priest Lawrence C. Murphy, is getting worse for the Vatican.

     The New York Times released documents showing how the bishops of Milwaukee and Superior tried to have Murphy defrocked.   These documents include a letter from a "penitent" and pleading Murphy to then-Cardinal Ratzinger begging to be spared because it had been over two decades since he's abused [200] deaf boys.  The Vatican (Ratzinger) refused to defrock Father Murphy because of his good conduct since 1974 and to "favour [sic] the good of souls and avoid scandal."

     Now there is proof that Murphy lied and the Vatican (guided by Ratzinger and their late 1990s, increased scientific knowledge of how sexual abusers operate) let him off the hook.

     Victims are now coming forward from the "good conduct," post-1974 era of Murphy's banishment to his lake house in northern Wisconsin. 

     In fact, around Boulder Junction, in high school religious classes and preparation for the sacrament of confirmation, in sleepovers at his cottage and fishing excursions, Father Murphy interacted freely with children until his death in 1998, never having been punished by the church or local criminal authorities in Milwaukee, according to documents and interviews with people in the area.
     Donald Marshall, who is 45 and lives in West Allis, Wis., said in an interview last week that he was molested by Father Murphy in 1977 or 1978, when he was 13 or 14, a few years after Father Murphy was sent to live in Boulder Junction.
     Mr. Marshall had been sent to the juvenile detention center, the Lincoln Hills School for Boys, for burglaries he said he committed. He said Father Murphy sometimes served at the school as a chaplain, and he met the priest at a dining room table one night. When he got in a fight with some other inmates, Mr. Marshall said, he was sent to a “security cottage” and put in a cell alone, behind a solid steel door with a high window.
     Mr. Marshall said that Father Murphy visited him there, that they sat on the bed talking, and that the priest tried to put his hand down the boy’s pants. Mr. Marshall said he resisted, and as soon as Father Murphy left the cell, the teenager told a security officer, who called the superintendent of the center. The superintendent interviewed him twice to make sure he did not change his story. But Mr. Marshall said the superintendent told him that they had had previous complaints about Father Murphy, and that the priest’s superiors had been told.
     Another accusation, from a former altar boy at a church in Boulder Junction, surfaced in a letter written to a bishop, Raphael M. Fliss, in the Diocese of Superior, covering the Northwoods region. The accuser, now a teacher, came forward in 2002, at age 52, stating that Father Murphy had sexually abused him at his lake cottage. It is not clear whether Father Murphy was still working in Milwaukee when he met the second accuser, who is believed to have been from the Northwoods.  “I want you to know that Father Murphy molested me many times at his cottage in Boulder Jct since I was a little, na├»ve, deaf boy,” wrote the man, whose name had been redacted in the document received by The New York Times.
     Welcome to the punishing world of Lawrence Murphy, known sexually abusive Catholic priest.