Tag Archives: Pope

Sexual abuse is apparently fine

The Washington Post gives us the news one hour ago. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html) gives us: ‘Private letters indicate the Vatican imposed, but didn’t enforce, restrictions on former cardinal McCarrick‘, the setting here is that “an aide to former cardinal Theodore McCarrick released excerpts from emails and letters laying out how the Vatican tried to quietly sanction McCarrick years before he was defrocked for sexual abuse“, so this was not in the short run, this is not a small matter, the Washington Post has additional articles on this in 2018, and it gets to be worse when we consider that clerical abuse expert Richard Sipe published excerpts from the 2005 and 2007 settlement documents in 2010. Yet I am still in another phase. You see most of us got the wakeup call through the movie Spotlight (2016), we had heard rumours left, right and chapels, but the fact on just how big and large the problem is has not made it to mainstream media to the degree that it should had. How can I as a Catholic, remain Catholic when I am confronted with: “send reported abusers for mental health counseling; reassign them to pastoral work regardless of what a professional recommends (i.e. restriction of access to minors); allow them to work again unsupervised; wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“, which we got from Richard Sipe in May 2010. And it gets worse when you consider: “The trouble is that it is sealed within the system. Few of the seminarian/priest victims will talk on record. They have everything to lose. Sexually active priests who have no intention of being celibate do everything to cover their tracks“, so according to the release evidence (excerpts from court cases) and the amounts settled was a lot; basically, all the funds that the people hand over for charity, for the church, for the needy. From that amount around $4 billion regarding cases that go back up to 35 years, the largest amount $600 million regarding 221 priests to dress the wounds of well over 500 victims. Whilst none of these clerics are in prison, these people give us lectures on humanitarian aid and the suffering in places like Saudi Arabia? How hypocrite can we get?

So as Newsweek, who was the source gave us one part, they also gave us BishopAccountability, who is actively ‘documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church‘ give us the additional “We document settlements involving 5,679 persons who allege sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. These survivors are only one-third of the 15,235 allegations that the bishops say they have received through 2009, and they are only 5% of the 100,000 U.S. victims“, the realisation that this is from the last 10 years and that it involves over 15,000 allegations, as i see it a large prison holding up to 25,000 priests called ‘Concilium Vaticanum locum seorsum‘ (Vatican Isolation Location) is required, build at the expense of, as well as funded by the Vatican. I reckon that in the end it is a cheaper way to resolve the issue, when we set these beasts in prison for 5-15 years, things might look up. How acceptable do you find the notion of: “wait for another report of offence; repeat the cycle; cover it all up“? How will you see this when it involves your child or a relative you were close to?

In all this the lamest of all reasons is seen with: Adult men make less instantly sympathetic victims than children, and the alleged incidents involving McCarrick are less headline-grabbingly horrifying“, so why is the DA not doing his/her job? Crimes were committed, hundreds of times, over and over again, yet we see no convictions, we see no culling of the acts by these priest. When you see all the evidence stack up with a failing to convict and as I see it: “before the 88-year-old simply passes away in seclusion“, is not a verdict or punishment, it is merely a stage of house arrest with optional benefits.

The only thing it does is leave us with the clarity that ‘abuse is fine‘, which is weird, because I know it to be 100% wrong, so why are people sitting on their hands? Why are people trivialising the fact that globally thousands of victims were created and the Catholic Church did next to nothing? At present there are 22 US senators who are Catholic, and how many of them have been active towards the prosecution of these clerics?

Even as lawmakers have passed a bill that would force priests to disclose information about child sexual abuse that they hear in the sacrament of Confession, we see in the Catholic sun that Archbishop José H. Gómez, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was “deeply disappointed”, which we cannot accept, that feeling of disappointment is a mere 15,235 allegations too late, a stage where we see that there are up to 15,235 victims in the US alone and for the longest time priests would cover for one another and more upsetting higher elements in the Church were part of the cover-up. It is when we consider the CruxNow (at https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/08/24/what-new-jersey-bishops-now-retired-knew-about-mccarrick-settlements/) and we take notice of “The Metuchen Diocese made settlements of $53,333 and $100,000, where one (2006) was regarding a former priest who said he had been abused by McCarrick and others. This priest submitted the first known written complaint about McCarrick“, this puts Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski in the firing line, yet we also acknowledge that he also reported the offenses to law enforcement, yet what actions were taken are not known to me at present. Yet this indicates that at least a Cardinal or higher had to be aware of it as early as 2006, giving us 13 years of danger to more victims. However, to get back to Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, you see Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington was never informed of the settlements according to the Catholic News agency. It gives questions when we read: “Cardinal Wuerl said last week that he was never informed that those settlements had been reached“, it leaves the actions of Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski open for debate and investigation. The fact that Richard Sipe personally wrote a letter to Benedict XVI in 2008 stating the hazard that is Theodore Edgar McCarrick (source: New York times, 2018) supports the view that the events were known in the very top of the Vatican, and as such, how can we remain comfortable as Catholics? I certainly do not feel comfortable at all.

When we realise that the Vatican was informed again in 2000 and 2006, yet in the end nothing was done for decades, that is the larger evil in all this and it is right there within the Vatican. The fact that according to news that McCarrick lives currently at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas and not in prison is really beyond me, the fact that the Washington Post gave us three hours ago that the Vatican imposed restrictions, but did not enforce them (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/private-letters-indicate-the-vatican-imposed-but-didnt-enforce-restrictions-on-former-cardinal-mccarrick/2019/05/28/dc3ca440-814f-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html), gives rise to additional issues on several levels, yet if there is hope to be seen it does not come from the very top, but from the other side as Rev. Anthony Figueiredo, it is also in that article that we are made aware of “Cardinal Wuerl has previously stated — and he reiterates again — that he was not aware of any imposition of sanctions or restrictions related to any claim of abuse or inappropriate activity by Theodore McCarrick“, this ‘revelation’ is not about Cardinal Wuerl but on Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski, consider where McCarrick went, what kind of a danger he would optionally be to the people there; it is my personal view that the bishop created a dangerous place of intentional harm by keeping quiet, how Christian is that? How Christian are we when we merely accept that there is no prosecution to a lot more members of the clergy?

When we see: ‘Why ‘moderate’ Muslims need to speak loudly against terror‘, yet we also see that we do nothing against the Vatican on these transgressions, where is the greater evil, in the Vatican or in Mecca? Most Christians would consider Mecca to be ‘evil’ yet as we allow for the Vatican transgressions, can we even tell what evil is and what it looks like?

In the 80’s I knew what evil was and what it looked like. I felt like a proud Catholic going up against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah. Today I am still against the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, yet from those days I am not certain that my mind was playing for the right team, as such my mind wanders all over the place. What do you do when you learn after half a century that would have played for the wrong team? I know that Christians were never innocent, there is plenty of evidence that they wiped at least 17 civilisations from existence, the fact that Catholics are optionally to be seen as an internal cancer that is destroying itself from within is far more dangerous. If we are here to give rise to a better soul and the messenger cannot be trusted to protect our soul, where are we left?

If sexual abuse is fine, and we are no longer able to tell the falsehood of that, how doomed are we really? It is at this point that I recollect (in reality I searched for this) the Quran, specifically Taha 20:102: “The Day when the trumpet shall be blown, and on that day we shall gather the sinners together, blue-eyed (- the spiritually blind ones)“, to be honest ever since I saw Spotlight (2016) I have felt like a blind man, when you fear the people you would easily trust, how deep is the trouble that Christians face and how utterly wrongful has the Vatican reacted to all this, and how many more mistakes will they willingly make to let it all go away under cover of denial, settlement and ignorance towards the victims that they created?

I wonder if we learn the truth of that in time, all of us.

 

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The fools errant

At times we all like to poke a little fun at government officials. Not in a vile way, like throwing a pie in the face of Theresa May, but one of those gestures one does to see if anyone was paying attention. A fine moment from my side was in October 1981, when I discovered a box in the archives. A box overlooked, forgotten. It was filled with envelopes. So when I read the little blighter, my eyes lighted up like little sapphires, the demon in my head grabbed the pitchfork, stabbed it in my brain and shouted to my inner-self and shouted: ‘Do it pussy! Be a man, and show those Major Wanker and Captain Caveman characters that they are asleep at the wheel‘. And so in October 1981, the Dutch Defence education garrisons (their edition of Sandhurst and so on) received the financial updates not in the usual progressive ‘Ministry of Defence’ brown envelopes, but in envelopes with the same colour stating ‘Ministry of War’. I believe we should all get a wakeup call every now and then. Perhaps it made them laugh, perhaps it made them question the events of that day, yet the chances are that they never even noticed it. Just my little frolic with chaos, no harm intended, and unless they got a paper cut from that envelope, my mission was a complete success.

So as some consider this to be a fool’s errant, immature, or even degenerate. Consider how Duncan Lewis feels when gets to deal with people like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, people you don’t want to have to deal with on any given day. Those two have a reliability factor that is lower than the reliability of a water heater turning milk into quality butter. It just ain’t gonna happen. The issue is seen in The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/31/asio-chief-says-radical-sunni-islam-creates-terrorists-not-being-a-refugee). Their attack is at “people become terrorists because they adhere to a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam, not because they are refugees“. There is enough evidence but I will get to that soon enough. What is a little upsetting that “former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis was tiptoeing around the subject“, now the important word is ‘former‘, perhaps he is trying to get serious politics again, yet decided to take the silly road to get there. The quote “Hanson later told 2GB the response from Lewis at estimates was “not what the Australian public want to hear”” gives us more to roll our eyes against. The article gives us a few other parts and ends with: “He said he had no intention of appearing contemptuous of Hanson’s line of questioning: “The point I am making is we need to stick to the facts.”“. To that I would suggest that her existence is mere contempt to life in general, but that might just be me.

It is the ‘stick to the facts‘ that needs adherence and rightly so. In this article we see a gem that I have never considered before, mainly because of two reasons. The first is that I have no way of seeing the different versions of Islam in a person, when a Muslim passes me; I have no way of telling. For the same way, if another Australian or Brit passes me, I cannot tell if they are Catholic, Church of England, Protestant, Lutherans, Agnostic or Atheists, they all smell roughly the same, and according to certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, they all taste like chicken.

So it is my surprise that the media at large, with ‘stick to the facts‘ have never done a proper big data analysis of the known acted terrorists and which school of Islam they belonged to. The article implies that even the dim witted Pauline Hanson has never gone in that direction. Is that not interesting? In my view, I think that such an analyses would be of great interesting importance, yet in equal measure we must understand that the Islamic population of Australia comprises a mere 2.2%, so we might find a much better significance when we analyse a certain political party against the chances that they resort to discrimination. I mean, from a personal point of view, why anyone would try to abolish The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the first place is more than a small mystery. Now, as I started my story with my little demon issue, I need to take a look at Duncan Lewis too. With former director David Irvine we could go with: ‘The man looks like a librarian, what does he know about field intelligence?‘ we got none of that on current director Duncan Lewis. His rank is Major General, held numerous posts all over Europe and still looks like he could take on Anthony Mundine before lunch and get in a few decent punches. The only opposition between him and me might be that I outrank him at present through seniority (I have been a citizen for much longer than he has). Yes, that was a little funny!

So when we get back to the facts, we have two issues. The one is the extreme Sunni-Islam issue. Not the mention of it, but the mere fact that I have never seen anything in the media looking at that part. In equal measure, we have not seen any details on any of it in the European escalations in the UK and France. In addition, there is one part of Australian exposure as our exposure tends to be mostly Indonesian, Pakistani and Philippines as I currently see it. I will admit upfront that I have no idea how the different schools of Islam propagate over the Muslim nations, but the fact that we see a revelation in a short Guardian piece and nobody jumps on it, showing clear data in opposition, or a windbag response that this is not what Australians want to hear, I state: “Can we get clear data on this?” I think the people have a right to know and as I see it Director Lewis was not really tiptoeing around any issue, he was giving a fact. Now the Guardian gave us elements, yet when we consider: “Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis, was tiptoeing around the subject. “Asio has to command the confidence of the Australian community, and that’s why you’ve got to be open and upfront about these things”“, I agree, which is why I am not stating that Director Lewis is wrong or incorrect, merely that we would like to see a decent amount of evidence, not just a local view, but projected against the global numbers and theatres of events. Is that such a strange concept, more important, why did none of these so called journo’s (read: Andrew Bolt) show either in opposition evidence of the incorrectness of Director Lewis, or in support of the comment ‘be open and upfront‘. I can tell you now, that in order of priority, the Australian population at large has three priorities. Get wasted, get laid and get high. So as for the ‘gobsmacking’ and upfront view, the two jokers in this farce majeure as I would call it are the elected Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt.

Another part is “We have had tens of thousands of refugees come to Australia over the last decade or so and a very few of them have become subjects of interest for Asio and have been involved in terrorist planning“, which is something we all have seen to some degree. One of my classmates was a refugee, she was proud to be a student, proud to be a graduate and the first in her family history to have completed a tertiary education. This is where we see the bulk of the refugees, to build a happy and healthy family and a decent prospective future, which is pretty much the dream of the bulk of all 8 billion people on this planet. When we see this against Andrew Bolt who according to a source stated of some former event: “The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms. I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms“, that whilst even a simple search Bing.com (Bing of all places) on page 1 gives us a few examples. And when we look beyond ABC, we get even more options. So what was the ‘sceptical view‘ in all this? A view Andrew could relate to? Perhaps an intentional way to filter data, so that no exact match would be found? I am at a loss, so as we see him doing some tiptoe event around climate-change, or is that around Coral bleaching? Anyway, it seems to me that the only one not doing the tip toe, the tap dance or the jive is the one, the only, the Duncan Lewis himself!

In all this Pauline Hanson is even more of an issue, she should know better and if not, she has no business being an elected official. The one thing that sets her apart is that as the Ginger Neanderthal, she might think she has something in common with Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, yet the latter two have qualities like wisdom, cute and endearing. Elements that Pauline Hanson clearly does not seem to have in my personal opinion. So as the Sydney Morning Herald claims that “Counter-terrorism experts have overwhelmingly backed spy boss Duncan Lewis“, I feel that I have to add that on a global level data analysts, the refugee volunteers at the refugee camps and immigration specialists will all come to the very same conclusion that the Spy boss is right. Is that not interesting too? On a planet so diverse, people in groups so far apart in acts and responsibility on their different workplaces would come to the very same conclusion? As we see these numbers we are confronted with the figurative notion that the chances of finding a Wall Street trader with integrity is larger than finding a terrorist in a refugee camp. When the numbers sway to such a degree, how lost was the cause of the opposition to Duncan Lewis in the first place?

As I see it, if she had done her homework properly she might have propelled forward through meaningful dialogue, but that is the flaw in my reasoning, when a view is as extremist as One Nation, meaningful dialogue would never have been on her agenda. It is reflected in the Sydney Morning Herald quote “some acknowledged he and Senator Hanson may have been talking at cross-purposes” (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/if-asio-dont-know-nobody-knows-terror-experts-back-spy-chief-over-pauline-hanson-20170530-gwg2hu.html) yet, again as I personally see it, she might have been intentional about the cross-purposes of this and in finality when we consider the global response and the expertise at that table, it would have been far better for Tony Abbott not to get involved in this to the degree he did, which is a tactical flaw on his side for certain.

So as I end my fool’s errand in all this, we need to consider the quote from Greg Barton “Lewis is seeing a much bigger and clearer picture than any of us,” Professor Barton said. However, “he should have unpacked more of what he was saying”, so as not to imply there was “zero connection at all” between migration and terrorism“, which is only partially correct from my point of view. I agree that stating more regarding any available statistics as Sunni versus other extremism, he is also correct that ‘zero’ is an undesired number as it tends to be statistically flawed, yet that invokes a long ongoing debate (wasting the time of EVERYONE) between ‘too insignificant’ and ‘zero’, terms the politicians hide behind at a moment’s notice, yet offer it on the table at the blink of an eye to make other people waste their times.

As for my next fools errant in the classification of ‘prank‘, I will take my copy of a Vatican work order, make a really close representation of the autograph of the man in the white outfit in the Vatican, and watch the reaction of the security guard in the Sistine Chapel as he reads that I have been ordered to paint the ceiling white. I’ll just sit back relax and watch chaos unfold, the next Aprils Fools day is 305 days away and I cannot wait that long, because that is how I roll!

It will be my homage to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who decided to paint the roses red.

 

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