Saturday, April 24, 2010

Senior Belgian Bishop Resigns Admitting Sexual Abuse, Irish & German Bishops also Resign

     A manage a tois of Roman Catholic Bishops in Europe resigned this week because of their participation in the abuse of minors and/or the cover-up of cases of abuse.  Pope Benedict remains enthroned in the Chair of Peter.

Bishop Mixa, Criminal

Bishop Moriarty, Criminal

     The New York Times reports:
     The longest-serving bishop in Belgium resigned Friday after admitting to sexually abusing “a boy in my close entourage” many years ago, becoming the latest cleric to quit in a spreading abuse scandal.     
     Having a "close entourage" of boys should have been the first clue.

     In a statement issued by the Vatican on Friday, Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the bishop of Bruges since 1985, said that the abuse had occurred “when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop.”      
     Here's a picture of Vangheluwe from those days so long ago, when he was a "simple priest" enjoying the company of young boys and in Pope John Paul II's entourage.

     “This has marked the victim forever,” he said. The bishop said that he had asked the victim and his family several times to forgive him, but that the wound had not healed, “neither in me nor the victim.” A recent media storm merely deepened the trauma, he said. “I am profoundly sorry,” he said.
     The resignation came 10 years after the church in Belgium set up a commission to look into complaints of abuse that frequently seemed at loggerheads with the church leadership.
Bishop Vangheluwe,
Boy Entourage Aficionado
     How convenient that Vangheluwe waited until he was retirement age to resign.  Must we all wait for abusive clerics to reach retirement age before they take responsibility for their actions?  As for you never healing from your "wound" of having abused a boy, Bishop Vangheluwe: good!  May you bleed for years to come, man of god.

Homophobic Boy Scouts' Sexual Abuse Scandal

     Well the Catholic Church isn't the only Christian organization covering up the sexual abuse of minors.  The Boy Scouts of America has been hiding their pedophiles for years as well.  Yes, that's the same Boy Scouts that had their right to discriminate against homosexauls upheld by the United States Supreme Court (Boy Scouts v. Dale, 2000). 

     Click here to find out how youth can tell the scouts that they disagree with their discriminatory policies.

     The Boy Scouts of America were ordered Friday to pay $18.5 million in a lawsuit that has focused new attention on the secret files the Scouts keep to document claims of sexual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers.
     Known variously as the “perversion files,” the “red flag files” and the “ineligible volunteer files,” the documents have been maintained for more than 70 years at the Scouts’ national office in Texas. Yet even after scores of abuse cases against the Scouts in recent decades, the case here is one of the few times that substantial portions of the files have been made accessible to a jury.
     In Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday, a jury found the Scouts liable for $18.5 million in punitive damages in a case brought by a man who was sexually abused by an assistant troop leader in the early 1980s, when the man was about 12. The verdict was by far the largest ever against the Scouts in a jury trial. The jury could have ordered the Scouts to pay up to $25 million. The same jury last week awarded the man, Kerry Lewis, $1.4 million in compensatory damages.
     The BBC reports:
     When he was aged 11 or 12, Mr Lewis was abused in Portland by a former assistant scoutmaster, Timur Dykes. Dykes, now 53, was later convicted three times of sexually abusing boys, and served time in prison. The jury found that Dykes had been allowed to associate with scouts despite admitting to a BSA official in 1983 that he had molested 17 boys.
Photo from BBC.  Cartoon from Rudy Park.

Bolivian President Evo Morales Believes Eating Chicken Makes Men Gay

     President Evo Morales of Bolivia made one of the most ignorant homophobic statements recently stating that eating chicken makes men gay and causes them to go bald.
     Evo Morales told a conference on climate change: "The chicken we eat is loaded with female hormones. So, when men eat it, they tend to deviate from their manhood." He added that he only eats non-genetically modified chicken to avoid becoming gay or effeminate.
     The president of the Argentina Homosexual Community campaigning organisation, Cesar Cigliutti, told AFP: "It's an absurdity to think that eating hormone-containing chicken can change the sexual orientation of a person.  "By following that reasoning, if we put male hormones in a chicken and we make a homosexual eat it he will transform into a heterosexual."
     I hate to tell you this, Evo, but wearing a rainbow banner and clothing yourself in golden jewelry also makes you gay.

Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Law, with Racial Profiling Language

I was a stranger and you did not take me in.
-Jesus Christ

     Why is it that if laws are passed protecting LGBT persons from discrimination in the workplace or at the marriage altar, conservative Christians claim that it is the Christians that are being discriminated against, but if conservative Christians pass a law that requires police in Arizona to detain people who look like illegal immigrants (i.e. people of color or who look like Muslim terrorists) that is called a protection of people's rights and a "matter of safety"?

     Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.
     Hispanics, in particular, who were not long ago courted by the Republican Party as a swing voting bloc, railed against the law as a recipe for racial and ethnic profiling. “Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe,” a statement by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said, predicting that the law would create “a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions.” While police demands of documents are common on subways, highways and in public places in some countries, including France, Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.
     And we're back in the U.S.S.R., courtesy of the Republican/Tea Party that calls President Obama and the democrats Socialist Commies.
     Ms. Brewer acknowledged critics’ concerns, saying she would work to ensure that the police have proper training to carry out the law. But she sided with arguments by the law’s sponsors that it provides an indispensable tool for the police in a border state that is a leading magnet of illegal immigration. She said racial profiling would not be tolerated, adding, “We have to trust our law enforcement.”
     Even before she signed the bill at an afternoon news conference here, President Obama strongly criticized it.  Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active-duty service members in the Rose Garden, he called for a federal overhaul of immigration laws, which Congressional leaders signaled they were preparing to take up soon, to avoid “irresponsibility by others.” The Arizona law, he added, threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."
     Senator John McCain is busy searching for the next right wing issue that he can use to campaign against his former self.

Sinead O'Connor Tells Rachel Maddow that Pope Should be Criminally Investigated

     Rachel Maddow interviewed sexual abuse victim-survivor Sinead O'Connor last night about the sexual abuse crisis plaguing the Catholic Church.  The video is embedded below. 

     Here are a few quotes from O'Connor in the interview:
     The Vatican is a 15th Century organization. It's a medieval organization, and what we're seeing here is a battle between medieval thinking and 21st century thinking.
     Whoever was involved in the cover up in child abuse and therefore endangering children should be fired.  The pope should be fired or should stand down. There should be a criminal investigation of the Vatican and of the Pope.
     We need to have it [the church] run by people who actually believe in god.
     Rachel Maddow gives a quick summary of the major sexual abuse cases that have been tied to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI over the past few months.

Maddow's interview of Sinead O'Connor.

Patron Saint of Pedophiles: Pope John Paul II Blocked Investigation into Austrian Cardinal Groer, Abuser of 2,000 Boys

     Pope John Paul II, who is on the fast track to sainthood, did not take action against a dear friend of his, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who sexually abused an estimated 2,000 boys.  John Paul was aware of the abusive situation and blocked the investigation and never punished the serial pedophile. 

    How's that for saintly virtue?  Saintly virtue, yes, for the Patron Saint of Pedophiles, or the Patron Saint of Pedobear.

     When John Paul II died five years ago the crowd that packed St Peter’s Square for his funeral clamoured “Santo subito (Saint now)!” in a spontaneous tribute to the charisma of the Polish pontiff.  Allegations that the late pontiff blocked an inquiry into a paedophile cardinal, promoted senior church figures despite accusations that they had molested boys and covered up innumerable cases of abuse during his 26-year papacy have cast a cloud over his path to sainthood.

     The most serious claims related to Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, an Austrian friend of John Paul’s who abused an estimated 2,000 boys over decades but never faced any sanction from Rome.
     The Groer affair became public in 1995 when former pupils of an elite Catholic school accused him of sexual abuse.  After an outcry, Groer was replaced and made the prior of a convent. He was never punished and issued only a vague apology in 1998 before retreating to a nunnery where he lived until his death in 2003. Some of his victims were offered “hush money” from the church.  Michael Tfirst, 54, one of Groer’s victims, claims to have reported the abuse to highranking church officials from the 1970s onwards. He says the church paid him £3,300 in 2004 under a contract that obliged him to keep quiet.  “There is no question that Ratzinger knew all the details of reports on abuse within the church, as there is no doubt that John Paul, his superior, took part in a massive and systematic cover-up,” Tfirst said.
     John Paul was expected to be beatified in October but the process may be delayed. A French nun who appeared to have been miraculously cured of Parkinson’s disease through his intercession has reportedly been found to be suffering from a different illness.

     Giancarlo Zizola, a leading expert on the Vatican, said the church officials who had gathered documents and questioned witnesses about John Paul’s suitability for sainthood had examined “negative” aspects of his papacy, including his handling of abuse cases.  “There’s no chance of Benedict delaying the beatification because of the abuse scandal,” Zizola said. “On the contrary, I expect he’ll accelerate it.”
The Face of a Criminal Cleric Protected by a Pope
Image from the Times Online