Tag Archives | Catholic Church

Catholics Outraged Over German Cartoon

Scott Roxborough writes in the Hollywood Reporter:
Blowing Jesus

COLOGNE, Germany — A German cartoon mocking the Catholic Church has sparked holy outrage among believers here who say it incites hatred against the Pope and the Catholic faith.

The caricature, published in the Good Friday edition of satire magazine Titanic, shows a priest apparently having oral sex with a crucifix of Jesus on the cross.

The crucifix cartoon is a barbed commentary on recent revelations that 250 people in Germany were sexual abused at Church-run schools in the past decades. The scandal has shaken the German Church. A recent poll said Germans’ trust in the Catholic Church had fallen to 17% from 29% in late January and approval ratings for Pope Benedict have dropped from 38% to 24%.

The German Press Council reported that some 100 formal complaints have been filed since the magazine came out, a level of protest not seen since 2006, when German newspaper Die Welt reprinted the infamous Danish Mohammed cartoons.

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Future Pope Stalled California Pedophile Priest Case

GILLIAN FLACCUS writes in the AP:
Pope Benedict

LOS ANGELES — Four years after a California priest and convicted child molester asked to be defrocked, his bishop pleaded with the future Pope Benedict XVI to remove the man from the priesthood. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, urging caution.”

Consider the good of the Universal Church,” Ratzinger wrote in a 1985 letter to Oakland Bishop John Cummins. “It is necessary for this Congregation to submit incidents of this sort to very careful consideration, which necessitates a longer period of time.”

Two more years would pass before the Vatican acted on the Rev. Stephen Kiesle’s request to leave.

A copy of the letter, typewritten in Latin and signed by Ratzinger, was obtained by The Associated Press. It constitutes the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

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Legal Immunity Cannot Hold: The Vatican Should Feel the Full Weight of International Law

Priest in CuffsGeoffrey Robertson writes in the Guardian:
Well may the pope defy "the petty gossip of dominant opinion". But the Holy See can no longer ignore international law, which now counts the widespread or systematic sexual abuse of children as a crime against humanity. The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state — and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action — cannot stand up to scrutiny. The truly shocking finding of Judge Murphy's commission in Ireland was not merely that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions but that the church hierarchy protected the perpetrators and, despite knowledge of their propensity to reoffend, allowed them to take up new positions teaching other children after their victims had been sworn to secrecy.
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Face of Evil: The Priest Who Abused Over 100 Deaf Boys For 24 Years

Evil PriestAndy McSmith reports on the Independent:

Father Lawrence Murphy was a man with charm and social skills. Small of stature, he was a lively, sociable, charismatic Irishman, who also had the rare ability to communicate fluently in sign language. Watching him conduct a service with his hands is said to have been more moving than if words had been spoken.

He was the mentor and spiritual guide to hundreds of vulnerable boys — and one thing they learnt from him is that there are some disgusting individuals in the adult world who gratify their sleazy appetites without a thought for others. Father Murphy was a predatory paedophile whose crimes were all the more revolting for the helplessness of his victims. The pupils at St John’s School, St Francis city, Wisconsin, were deaf. This was a boarding school, so there was no escape at nights from the vile priest who had power over them.

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Christopher Hitchens on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher': The Pope is a Criminal (Video)

Christopher HitchensHere's Christopher Hitchens discussing the "petty gossip" as the Pope puts it on Real Time With Bill Maher. A longtime critic of how the Catholic Church has handled abuse allegations, Hitchens believes the current Pope was actually involved in the cover-up before he took the top job. Hitchens also contends that the Pope is subject to criminal prosecution due to his involvement in the latest sex scandal.
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Pope Benedict Accused of Ignoring Pleas to Stop Priest Who Molested 200 Deaf Boys

Seriously?!? WTF. This Pope Benedict/Star Wars Emperor meme that’s been on the ‘net for years is starting to really make sense. Richard Owen writes in the Times:

Pope & Emperor ComparisonPope Benedict XVI was drawn deeper yesterday into the clerical sex abuse scandal that has begun to overwhelm the Roman Catholic Church, when he was accused of personally failing to take action against a serial paedophile.

The Pope was blamed directly for ignoring repeated pleas by senior American churchmen to take action against a priest who had molested up to 200 deaf boys.

Father Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at the St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974, starting as a teacher and rising to director, allegedly molested scores of pupils, preying on his victims in their dormitories and on class trips.

But instead of being defrocked and the police called in, it is alleged that Father Murphy avoided justice and remained a member of the Church after a key intervention by the Pope — then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

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On Satan’s Trail

Richard Owen joins Father Gabriele Amorth on the hunt for Satan and survives to tell the tale, in the Times:

“Are you afraid of the Devil?” The world’s most famous exorcist levels his gaze at me and then smiles.

“No, it is he who is afraid of me. I work in the name of the Lord. Poor Satan.”

Poor Satan?

“Oh yes. The Evil One shouts and makes noises, but we are made in God’s image, we have the Holy Trinity on our side. There is no need to be afraid of the Devil unless we give in to his temptations.”

We are in the infirmary of the Society of St Paul, the order of Father Gabriele Amorth, in the shadow of St Paul’s Basilica, Rome. The Vatican’s chief exorcist was taken to hospital last autumn with a blood infection and is now convalescing — “they found nothing serious”. Perhaps it was the Devil who laid him low.

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Pope Benedict Under Fire for Transfer of Suspected Pedophile Priest in Germany

This latest scandal involves not just the pope’s inner circle, but the head honcho himself. NICOLE WINFIELD writes on the AP via Yahoo News:

Pope BenedictVATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he penned instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.

The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977–1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.

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