Catholicism Ethics News

Revelations of US cardinal sex abuse will force pope’s hand

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. The retired archbishop of Washington, D.C. has been removed from public ministry over allegations he sexually abused a teenager while a priest in New York more than 40 years ago. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via AP, File)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Revelations that one of the most respected U.S. cardinals repeatedly sexually abused both boys and adult seminarians have raised questions about who in the Catholic Church hierarchy knew — and what Pope Francis is going to do about it.

If the accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick bear out — including a new case reported Friday involving an 11-year-old boy — will Francis revoke his title of cardinal? Sanction him to a lifetime of penance and prayer? Or even defrock him, the expected sanction if McCarrick were a mere priest?

And will Francis, who has already denounced a “culture of cover-up” in the church, take the investigation all the way to the top, where it will inevitably lead, given that McCarrick’s sexual misdeeds with adults were reportedly brought to the Vatican’s attention years ago?

RELATED: Priests, celibacy and sex

The matter is on the desk of the pope, who has already spent the better part of 2018 dealing with a spiraling child sex abuse, adult gay sex and cover-up scandal in Chile that was so vast the entire bishops’ conference offered to resign in May.

And just Friday, Francis accepted the resignation of the Honduran deputy to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is one of Francis’ top advisers.

Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, 57, was accused of sexual misconduct with seminarians and lavish spending on his lovers that was so obvious to Honduras’ poverty-wracked faithful that Maradiaga is now under pressure to reveal what he knew of Pineda’s misdeeds and why he tolerated a sexually active gay bishop in his ranks.

The McCarrick scandal, too, poses the same questions, given it was apparently an open secret in some U.S. church circles that “Uncle Ted” invited seminarians to his beach house, and into his bed.

While such an abuse of power may have been quietly tolerated for decades, it doesn’t fly in the #MeToo era, even though there has been a deafening silence from McCarrick’s brother cardinals about what they might have known and when.

“There is going to be so much clamor for the Holy Father to remove the red hat, to formally un-cardinalize him,” said the Rev. Thomas Berg, vice rector and director of admissions at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, the seminary of the archdiocese of New York.

Recounting how the McCarrick scandal has demoralized seminarians and priests alike, Berg said the church needs to ensure that men with same-sex attraction simply don’t enter seminaries — a position recently reinforced by Francis in reference to both the Chilean and Italian churches.

And Berg said the church needs to take action when celibacy vows are violated.

“We can’t effectively prevent the sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by clergy while habitual and widespread failures in celibacy are quietly tolerated,” he said.

McCarrick, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Washington and confidante to three popes, was ultimately undone when the U.S. church announced June 20 that Francis had ordered him removed from public ministry. The sanction was issued pending a full investigation into a “credible” allegation that he fondled a teenager more than 40 years ago in New York City.

The dioceses of Newark and Metuchen, New Jersey, simultaneously revealed that they had received three complaints of misconduct by McCarrick against adults and had settled two of them.

The New York Times on Friday reported details of another alleged victim, the son of a McCarrick family friend identified as James, who reported that he was 11 when McCarrick first exposed himself to him. From there, McCarrick began a sexually abusive relationship that continued for another two decades, the Times quoted James as saying.

McCarrick has denied the initial allegation of abuse against a minor and accepted the pope’s decision to remove him from public ministry.

Asked Friday about the latest revelations in the Times, a spokeswoman said McCarrick hadn’t received formal notice of any new allegation but would follow the civil and church processes in place to investigate them.

Francis could take immediate action to remove McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, said Kurt Martens, a canon lawyer at the Catholic University of America.

He recalled the case of the late Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who recused himself from the 2013 conclave that elected Francis pope after unidentified priests alleged he engaged in sexual misconduct. In 2015, after a Vatican investigation, Francis accepted O’Brien’s resignation after he relinquished the rights and privileges of being a cardinal.

O’Brien was, however, allowed to retain the cardinal’s title and he died a member of the college.

“I think that is totally unsatisfactory,” Martens said, noting that just as the pope can grant the title of cardinal, he can also take it away. “O’Brien resigned, the pope accepted it. Isn’t that the world upside down that someone picks his own penalty?”

O’Brien was never accused of sexually abusing a minor, however, as McCarrick now stands.

The stiffest punishment that an ordinary priest would face if such an accusation is proven would be dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization.

The Vatican rarely if ever, however, imposes such a penalty on elderly prelates. It also is loath to do so for bishops, because theologically speaking, defrocked bishops can still validly ordain priests and bishops.

Not even the serial rapist Rev. Marcial Maciel was defrocked after the Vatican finally convicted him of abusing Legion of Christ seminarians. Maciel was sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer — the likely canonical sanction for McCarrick if he is found guilty of abusing a minor in a church trial.

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Nicole Winfield

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  • Pope Francis was pope when Cardinal Law died in the comfort of his sumptuous Vatican City apartment last year, a wanted criminal effectively shielded from international law. Pope Francis could have “evicted” him from Vatican City at any time. He didn’t. What makes anyone think Francis’ treatment of Cardinal McCarrick will be any different? Dr. Phil is fond of saying, “the best predictor of future behavior is immediate past behavior.” If he’s right that does not augur well for this case.

  • Time to clean out the stables of these man-boy-chasing girl-clerics. The buggery and filth.

  • There was another same sex attracted bishop booted this morning, part of Maradiaga’s man-love-boy club; his name was Fasquelle.

    There will be plenty more…but they will share one thing: a trail of young men whose lives they’ve destroyed or severely damaged.

  • We can count on Pope Francis. After all, he has shown us over and over that “zero tolerance” means…means…means…

  • Buggery? Really? Do you live in the U.K. where people actually use that word? That’s not a word you hear on this side of the pond.

  • We’re too busy digesting the daily tawdry spectacle of a president who indulges in adultery to pick up any more words that end in “e-r-y.”

  • McCarrick is what the press wants to talk about because it’s now old news.

    That will keep our mind off of the latest same sex attracted bishops caught in their predatory behavior, today’s story comes from Honduras, one of Maradiaga’s “closest confidants”. I’ll bet.

    I am very happy that this cleansing is underway and I don’t care how high it goes..and it will go high. “Who am I to judge” could be given new meaning.

  • The last thing in the world that the left leaners want to be forced to attend to is the number of same-sex attracted predatory/abusing priests and prelates who get outed…..they would love to change the topic to the Trump channel.

    McCarrick is old news.

    Today, Bishop Juan Pineda Fasquelle was outed; he preyed on young men.

    There will be more…the Spellman (he was a light walker) gang is still alive…there’s a long train of them.

    I can’t wait for phone camera pictures taken at parties to get out on the internet. Clean them out.

  • Re: “And will Francis, who has already denounced a ‘culture of cover-up’ in the church, take the investigation all the way to the top, where it will inevitably lead, given that McCarrick’s sexual misdeeds with adults were reportedly brought to the Vatican’s attention years ago?” 

    In a word … no. In two words … hell no. In three words … no, not ever. In four words … no way, no how. In five words … 

    Well, you get the point. 

  • Why are you so fixated on gay people? All the straight people I know couldn’t give a fig.

  • Yes, but conflating specific cases of sexual abuse with homosexuality in general is as absurd as conflating specific cases of sexual abuse with heterosexuality in general. The two are in no way connected and yet you seem determined to make a connection. So again I ask, what is this fixation of yours all about? It’s unnatural.

  • The more you type the more you appear to be obfuscating.

    The prelate was gay (part of the Spellman mafia)…abused men over a long period of time…was promoted, and the Church looked the other way.

    The question is why don’t we look at the real truth….most clerical abusers are same sex attracted. ..and they aren’t going after “boys”; they’re going after pos-pubescent males.

  • So connecting the dots, calling things as they are, and showing similarities between events is obfuscating.

    But changing the subject cheaply and pushing Trump is not.

    Now that’s a post-rational mind.

  • Some of those young men may just be unhappy that they no longer have access to the Roman Church’s gravy train. Not everyone involved with gay priests & bishops is a victim. Many are willing participants.

    Minors are a different story and each is a case unto itself. Young boys are all victims, some older boys are victims, others like older men or any attention at all.

  • I suspect you’re right. Good point. A lot of fragile sorts entered the seminary, perhaps some prone to wanting gravy trains.

  • Don’t worry. The USA Supreme Court is packed with Catholics who will be aggrieved about this and transfer all the punishment to you.

  • If you mean literal buggery, anal intercourse, the latest anonymous surveys of men who have sex with men (MSMs), show that barely 30% of gay men indulge in buggery.

  • Not gay. same sex attracted, as you yourself have commented many times. Unless, of course, you are trying to conflate gay people who aren’t predators with catholic priests who are?

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. Clear them all out.

    Where I disagree is the conflation of gay men with these so called men of god.

    But look at what you have done. Spellman, Fasquelle, McCarrick, Maradiga. FOUR higher ups in your precious church. Among a host of others. Let’s not forget Faucher, who was arrested yesterday as the possessor of thousands of horrific pictures and videos of children being molested and hurt. Did his bishop have a clue? Enough of one that they exorcised the demons from the house.

    What are we to conclude from this spate of priests, bishops, and cardinals? As far as I know, you can’t be a priest without a vocation, a literal calling from god. The church exercises its discernment to determine who actually has a vocation.

    Here’s what we can conclude. Pick at least one. Let me know if I missed any options.

    God calls predators and child molesters to the priesthood. OR

    God doesn’t care if his priests are predators or molest children. OR

    They aren’t his priests, and the Catholic Church is not his church, and he has nothing to do with it. OR

    God doesn’t call priests to the priesthood. OR

    The church’s process to determine who has a vocation is completely bogus. OR

    There is no god.

  • Please cite one decision reflecting a Catholic bias on the part of a Supreme Court justice.

    The late Justice Scalia drove Catholics nuts because he refused to rule in accordance with his beliefs but instead followed the law.

  • The article refers to McCarrick as “one of the most respected U.S. cardinals”.

    By whom?

    In DC he was a consummate politician, an obstacle to reform, underhanded, unctuous, and an enemy to orthodox Catholic bishops, priests, and laity.

  • For crying out loud, Elagabalus, with two exceptions every president since Herbert Hoover has been involved in adultery.

    Please grow up.

  • The article appears to be about an undercover gay prelate.

    What the h-ll do you expect the conversation to be about, playing mahjong?

  • You have zero problems conflating when it serves your purposes.

    The fixation is at your end of the conversation.

  • You do realize that was the “solution” the diocese which got sued was using for predator priests?

    They sent them to St. Luke’s in Silver Spring, MD, for the “cure”.

    Of course the head of St. Luke’s was a closeted homosexual and the “cure” turned out to be worse than the disease.

  • So hetero men can break out of their one-track stereotypes about MSMs and be more imaginative about what they think MSMs do together.

  • What one-track stereotype might you be thinking of?

    It reminds of the story about two fellows talking, Sam describing his amorous conquests in graphic detail, using his hands to illustrate, summarizing “I know exactly two hundred different positions!”

    Tom responded “Wow! I only know one position: male on top, female on bottom.”

    To which Sam exclaimed “That’s two hundred and one!”

  • ::groan::

    Sadly, in my experience, most people, especially men, react to gay/bi/don’t identify men negatively because in their minds they only picture them capable of one specific erotic expression.

  • Oh for every four flakes, I can think of 40 good men, giving it their all.

    Judas probably would have felt right at home with some of these types.

    There is a God and we’re not it. You didn’t invent yourself, and you can’t logically be the effect of an infinite causal chain.

    So you have to set logic aside to hold to your depressing dream.

  • We’ll let the great British term stand for the general case.

    I served in Iraq…and the second time back we learned all about “Man love Thursday”. Disgusting practice of the Iraqi soldiers.

  • Perversion is Perversion, regardless of one’s reaction to it.
    Remember; and be forewarned of the sins crying to Heaven for Vengeance.

    Unnatural, Perverted Acts are givens.

  • So now, it is Trump’s fault?
    So logical I cannot comment, other than get help for TDS!

  • Pope Francis (who is liberal and therefore protected by the media) will probably withdraw McCarrick’s red hat, to their great fanfare. But McCarrick will not be Laicized; he cannot for the last 8 years vote for a new pope; and he is 88 – so who really cares at this point?

    The whole thing will be twisted into a feather in liberal, PopeFrancis’ cap. That’s my prediction.

  • Some sins are criminal acts committed against nature itself.
    No matter how much perverts deny it .

  • Thank you Ms. Winfield for writing this and to RNS for posting it. Time for the truth!

  • It’s interesting he’d reply to me even though I’ve blocked him. I see a reply from “This user is blocked” but that’s all. Really, it’s all for the best — nothing he ever posts is worth reading. 

    That he keeps replying to me, even though I’ve blocked him and can’t see any of his ridiculous dreck, just goes to show how childish he is. Not that it’s surprising for his ilk to be immature: Fierce religionism is, itself, a form of perpetuated and propagated infantilization. 

  • The word Buggery is “potent” as you say, but “Yank” isn’t. But I’m not offended.

  • This is another consequence of the sexual revolution that impacted Vatican II and has led to the destruction of the church from within.
    It’s interesting that for 50 years as thousands of catholic schools and parishes have closed (due to poor formation of young Catholics), the homosexual underground within the priesthood and hierarchy of the church have thrived; all the while preying on boys and seminarians. They actively recruited homosexuals for the priesthood and over time covered up their own actions to the detriment of the souls and church they were charged to care for.
    Purge them all. Purge every last one of them and their wretched ways. March them out of the front doors of the church and defrock them in public. Humiliate and destroy them; for this will be nothing compared to their day of judgement.

  • “when celibacy vows are violated.” When did he get married? Historically in general and currently in the Church a vow or promise of celibacy means he won’t get married. It is assumed that ALL unmarried people will be Chaste.

  • This creepy McCarrick and his light footed followers would have been shut down early if the seminaries were attracting real men.

    A confident 18 year old would have dropped that flake to the ground at one of these vacation homes that McCarrick used to prowl about seeking the ruin of souls.

    My son’s all would have had him reeling and whimpering into a fetal position and that would have been an early end to this hedonist’s reign.

  • Your problem is 1000 years old, at least. Chaucer, Boccaccio, St. Peter Damien, the pietist order, and onand on and on and on. And your idea of what the problem is is completely wrong—One more time trying to blame gay people for the horrible perversions of your church, Refusing to take any responsibility for what your church has wrought.

    Look at my list above. THAT is reality for you, not some imaginary conspiracy of “those people”. YOUR church claims that a priesthood requires a vocation. YOUR church claiming it has the power of discernment. YOUR church ignoring the problem hiding it away. YOUR church pretending that someone like me, who has never molested a child in my life, and would cut the balls off anyone who tried it with my nephews or godson, is somehow at fault. YOUR church looking the other way. THE ENTIRE HISTORY of your church, wealth, war, murders, complicity AND sexual abuse, leading down to the present day.


    But certainly not new.

  • Ben, i shouldn’t have replied directly to your post but started a new thread.
    The wickedness of pedophilia and assaults on seminarians needs to end. More so, the cover up by the leadership of the RCC need to be exposed and punished as well.
    As you and I talked before – if you want to be gay; I don’t care. I’ll even go as far to say if your gay and are a good priest – I’m good with that as well. I will say that if any priest acts out sexually in either a heterosexual or homosexual way; then your done.
    There is a current of evil that runs through the church in this regard. It needs to be stopped.

  • We’re 100% in agreement if that is your position.

    On the other hand, I’m sick to death of the conflation of homosexuality with abusers, perverts, and molesters, of gay people in general being blamed for the depredations of pedophiles, child molesters, homosexual-hating homosexuals, sexually confused individuals, sex-and-power abusive priests, and the lying enablers throughout the priesthood that enable them. And all of this happening while we are told just how holy and special the church is, how it represents god, goodness, faith, and morality.

    Here is the perversion of this church. The last official castrato, Alessandro Moreschi, retired from the Sistine Chapel in 1913, though some historians suspect that Domenico Mancini, who sang in the papal choir until 1959, was a secret castrato. If I remember, moreschi was castrated in the 1890’s for the musical pleasure of the pope. Thousands of boys were over the years.

  • I decided to track down where this notion of “sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance” came from. According to Wikipedia, it is based on the scriptural passage of the Lord’s admonition to Cain upon Abel’s death from Genesis 4:10:

    “And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”

    The list of sins that supposedly pertain to that passage were first drafted, rather arbitrarily, in a Roman Catholic Catechism of 1649, a text with no author other than the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

    Thankfully I do not answer to the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

  • Agree. There’s no place in God’s house before any of that; or anywhere else in society for that matter.

  • It is always useful to remember that the purpose of the RC hierarchy is to improve on what God and Jesus have told us. For example, Jesus was probably completely unaware that He could not enter the Host unless it contained gluten. Fortunately, Cardinal Sarah set Him straight on what He was permitted and not permitted to do. That is why it is so important to worship the Church first, and God and Jesus a distant second (if even that).

  • Homosexuality has been observed in every species of the animal kingdom. It is therefore entirely natural.

  • That’s it?

    Here we have a predatory homosexual cleric who prowled around ruining MANY souls for years and you retort with that?

  • Maybe you don’t understand the parable in the bible about the effect of bad leaven. Leaven is tiny…and look at its effect.

    This predatory homosexual cardinal, ruined the lives of so many while the lavender mafia looked on.

  • Right, Bob, anyone who points out anything wrong or “sinful” (hmm…) in the RCC is anti-Catholic.

    What a silly person you are. And so transparent.

  • Cancer has been observed in every species of the animal kingdom. It is therefore entirely natural.

    You certainly have a real knack for setting yourself up.

  • The purpose of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is dealt with in Chapter II of this document:

    I pass it on for those who actually are interested in knowledge and not your shovels of snark and snide.

    The reason why gluten-free flour cannot be used in the Eucharist, and not just in the Catholic Church, is that it is no longer wheat flour and therefore invalid matter.

  • It actually has a longer and more complex history, but you make it plain that facts are not of interest to you.

  • I don’t doubt that your priests, bishop and cardinals do damage. You responded to the story with a ridiculous rant about “real men”. Obviously, you’re insecure in your masculinity when you question the masculinity of others.

  • I’m still waiting on your “facts” that Mitt Romney has said anything on the record remotely critical of Vladimir Putin since 2012. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for you to produce any more “facts” relating to the above comment.

  • Oooo… “predatory homosexual”…. “lavender mafia”…. No doubt you have the biggest erection ever right now.

  • You weren’t reading the posts, then.

    I just didn’t post it to you.

    The reason is simple: facts disappear with you into a black hole never to be seen again.

    For example, I just corrected you for the fifth time on the “ensoulment” nonsense, attributing to the Catholic Church teachings it never taught, and characterizing personal opinions of this or that theologian as “teachings”.

  • So… people you disregard as incompetent, confused human beings have this kind of power over you? OK.

  • Thanks for responding, finally. I applaud Romney for his tweet but he must have done it from one of those quiet rooms in which he urged Republicans to speak about income inequality since this is the first I’ve heard of this. Still, credit where credit is due.

  • I’m a born-again Christian, but that won’t stop me from dedicating these thoughts to my Catholic brothers and sisters.

    “I am still a Catholic despite the sex abuse scandal because I have come to know the love of God that ‘saved a wretch like me.'”
    – José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles.

    “People Still Convert To Catholicism Despite Abuse Scandals”.
    – Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe’s religion columnist.

    “I have huge misgivings about staying involved in the church after the scandals but I believe in the gospel message of love and the connection with God it provides.”
    – Fiona Flynn, mother and progressive Catholic activist for gay rights.

    “Despite the disaster that envelops [them, the] Catholic laity … far from denying [the] crisis, absorb it and lament it, while still maintaining Christ’s peace at the core of their beings. Their assessment of this tragedy, abiding good will, and determination to remain Catholic inspire me to continue as a priest in our flawed institution.”
    – Joseph Nangle, Franciscan priest and associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace.

  • Good ‘ol Pepto-Bismol had helped you stop vomiting, though, right? Wasn’t that how you got off “the vomit train” as social media went viral over the firing of the president of American Atheists, David Silverman, after allegations of financial conflicts and sexual assault?

  • At any rate, does being “insecure in [one’s] masculinity” give the right for the other to make advances? Speak from the bowels of experience, pretty please.

  • Isn’t that, “Your ignorant perversion is Bigotry”?

    No, wait. Isn’t that, “Your bigotted perversion is Ignorance”?

    No, wait. Isn’t that, “Your perverted ignorance is Bigotry”?

    Yeah yeah yeah go with Option Three there.

  • What of it, Elagabalus, a.k.a. 3rd-century “Roman emperor [who per the same Wikipedia] has been characterized by some modern writers as transgender or transsexual”? All it says in Genesis 19:1, 4-5 is:

    “Two angels came to Sodom in the evening … Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter … call[ing out] ‘Where are [they]? Bring them out to us that we may know [yada in Hebrew] them.'”

  • What is this junior high school debate society? You seem unable to stay on a point and insert these inane comments to play pretend.

    I don’t regard McCarrick as incompetent, but instead, an abject intrinsically disordered, immoral predatory homosexual who put himself first at every turn. He clearly aspired to power and influence.

  • Your comment reveals an interior disorder; please clean up after yourself after you’re done. Those YMCA rooms are used by many others.

  • McCarrick and these other predatory types have done grave damage. Please leave the amateur Freud to people who have at least an undergrad degree.

  • Power is the sole purpose of your religion, so at least give the man that credit. Who are you in this equation? An internet troll with a fixation on homosexuality.

  • Stop what? We have this pathetic homophobe writing the most hateful comments, but you think I’m the annoying one??

  • McCarrick is an example of Judas, one with issues (in his case using power to satisfy his sexual perversions) that rose so far above the normal interior struggles that all humans are asked to deal with.

    He gave into his lust in such a way that it took hold of him and he used power to satisfy himself, not love others as God wanted him to do.

    The will began to serve the flesh and clouded the intellect’s apprehension of the matters.

    Many are today doing the same; in some cases they use words, not power to corrupt others and to diminish everything they touch.

  • Oh so you’re saying McCarrick’s victims were all being “insecure in [their] masculinity” (which you accused brother Thomas Aquinas 2015*** of being around here at St. RNS) when he decided to stalk on them. And then what happened? Continue speaking from the bowels of experience, pretty please.

    But who’s doing a McCarrick now, though, on Thomas Aquinas 2015*** is what I’d like to know from you.

    ***Not to confused with Thomas Aquinas 1225 up to Thomas Aquinas 1274.

  • Oh so now you want pre-contractual reassurances. No worries, you’ve got’em, Boss. You want Psychology Today to sign on that, too? Alrighty then and here you go:

    “1. Catholic clergy aren’t more likely to abuse children than other clergy or men in general. … 2. Clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church can’t be blamed on celibacy. Not having sex doesn’t make children the object of one’s desire. … 3. Clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church can’t be blamed on homosexuality. … 4. Clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church can’t be blamed on an all-male clergy. … 5. Almost all of clergy sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church that we hear about in the news are from decades ago (usually the 1960s and 70s). … 6. Most clergy sex offenders aren’t pedophiles. … [But, to] be very clear: The sexual victimization of children by priests (or by anyone for that matter) is inexcusable. Church officials protecting offenders rather than victims is also inexcusable. … [And] if someone (or some group) has empirical data that can contradict the six points mentioned above, please present it, and let it be subjected to academic peer review. We all may have particular beliefs and perspectives about the causes, contexts, nature, and scope of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, but we should be informed by empirical quality data and reason.”

    Source: Thomas G. Plante, “Six Myths About Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: There’s more fiction than facts in Catholic clergy sexual abuse discussions”, Psychology Today, March 24, 2010.

  • Well, you certainly are not one to mince words! Straight-talk does save time, it seems

    That’s really the 800-pound clergy-gorilla in the RCC, and all other Christian groups too. Homosexuality.

    Christians generally don’t wanna talk about this issue face-to-face in mixed company, because people will get real angry and relationships will crash & burn). Also we don’t like these media stories. Yet “stuff” unavoidably winds up on the weekly RNS headlines (because we won’t deal with the problem), and then it’s 800-lb gorilla time again.

  • Your homophobia is an 800-lb gorilla, which will crush your entire worthless religion like a bug.

  • “One more time trying to blame gay people for the horrible perversions of your church.”

    Or more correctly, one more time trying to blame horrible perversions in a church on the horrible perverts that perpetrated them.

  • One hates to point it out

    but your relentless nonsense more or less demands it.

    For your information, the church (and not just the Catholic component) freely admits it is a Pilgrim church, journeying through life replete with sinners, saints, and everything in between, and that some will fail to run the race, including the high and mighty.

    Btw, “castrato” is not particularly associated with “perversion”. The condition arises naturally in some, and it became quite the rage beginning in the 16th century in classical music.

    After the unification of Italy in 1861, castration for musical purposes
    was officially made illegal and in 1878 Pope Leo XIII prohibited the practice and later Pius X forbade their participation in church music to eliminate one of the incentives for doing it.

  • As you know, O Mouth of Bob, I usually don’t bother reading your trash, let alone answering it. But this one…

    “Btw, “castrato” is not particularly associated with “perversion”. The condition arises naturally in some, and it became quite the rage beginning in the 16th century in classical music.”

    I’m glad you don’t associate cutting off the balls of boys for the pope’s musical enjoyment a perversion. Says worlds about you,

  • As you know, O Mouth of Bob, things are special on BobWorld, and I really don’t bother with you too much. Answering you is almost as toxic as reading you.

    But for once you agree with me, and I have to compliment you.

    “Or more correctly, one more time trying to blame horrible perversions in a church on the horrible perverts that perpetrated them.”

    We’re absolutely in agreement here. You should perhaps explain that to your fellow travelers on these very pages, as they prefer to conflate gay people in general with the perverts who perpetrate these crimes within the church. That is their intention, and you have justified it. My point has consistently been that.

    Now, if you want to talk about those higher ups in the church, who enable these perverted child molesters, though not necessarily having their own hands down the cookie jar’s pants, the institutional response to whom has been pretty poor, that one I think we can “lay”— tee hee— right on the presbytery’s doorstep.

  • I have no idea what you’re talking about. But when a man obsesses about what a “real man” is, they have problems.

  • As you know, O Mouth of Ben, things are special in Sodom on the Bay, and while you claim you really don’t bother with me too much, I spend a fair amount of time reading your responses.

    What I have justified is that human beings are prone to sin, or if you prefer “bad actions”, and that since all organizations – including religions – are rife with human beings, all organizations are rife with sin, or if you prefer “bad actions”.

    If one finds homosexual acts, one looks for homosexuals.

    If one finds heterosexual acts, one looks for heterosexuals.

    I do not believe you’re going to able to make a case that on average given equal populations of each, you’re going to find bad actions among heterosexuals are more common than among homosexuals.

    What is probably worth noting is that one of your favorite targets, Christianity, calls for people to be better then themselves and to aim high. So it has at least the potential to bring out better in people. Hedonism, on the other hand, doesn’t.

    As a result we see Christian charities, hospitals, homes for the aged, and the like

    while we never see such things amongst the hedonists

    which seems to say something about, given human proclivities, which has the better impact on average on human society.

  • “A … scholar or not”, but I am, actually, I’ll take that pop quiz now, then.

    TRUE OR FALSE: As Idan Dershowitz, “a real Jewish scholar”, claims in “The Secret History of Leviticus”, New York Times, July 21, 2018, “before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.”

    FALSE: Heterosexual and homosexual acts of prostitution are found throughout ancient Near East history. Male and female prostitutes fornicated with male worshippers in ancient Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Cypriotic, Corinthian, Carthagian, Sicilian, Libyan, and West African temples. In fact, oral-genital and bestial forms of sexual activities were performed on behalf of these temples, with both the prostitutes and the patrons acting as surrogates for the deities of eroticism.

    Source: (1) William Naphy, Born to Be Gay: A History of Homosexuality, Tempus, 2006. (2) Norman Sussman, “Sex and Sexuality in History,” The Sexual Experience, edited by Benjamin J. Kaplan, Harold I. Freedman, Alfred M. Sadock, Williams & Wilkins, 1976.

  • Actually it says worlds about what you find titillating.

    Of course, since your goal was muck throwing rather than fact finding and dissemination, it was completely in character.

    The origin of castrati was not with the popes.

  • Who is talking about the ORIGIN, O Mouth of bob? I’m not. As always, when you have no argument, you simply change the subject.
    Done for the day, dear. I will go back to ignoring you.

  • Well, I disagree and I’m not “moving on”. Mr Thomas Aquinas is a disturbed closeted homosexual. They are legion in the Catholic Church

  • That did not work out at all well for you, did it?

    There’s certainly nothing sinister or titillating about hiring a singer, and since you’re not concerned about origins, whatever point you thought you were making evaporated.

  • Plante is a Catholic apologist who has an obvious bias. He doesn’t know any more than the average person about about the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

  • That’s a fact.

    Nothing will happen to McCarrick, he has it on too many other bishops and cardinals. No one wants to open up those cans of sin, but we need to.

  • Your comment is a great example of one of the cancers that occur. St Peter Damian laid it all out.

  • TRUE OR FALSE: “[The] misconduct on the part of [David Silverman] can’t justify, or have any other effect on, [other atheists’] own misconduct”.


    TRUE OR FALSE: “[The] misconduct on the part of [Theodore McCarrick] can’t justify, or have any other effect on, [other Catholics’] own misconduct”.


  • TRUE OR FALSE: “The article you’re reading concerns McCarrick’s misconduct.” 


    TRUE OR FALSE: “Introducing Silverman’s misconduct into this discussion is irrelevant.” 


    On top of that: The old Catholic apologists’ objection that “there’s sexual misconduct all over the place too; in other sects, in public schools, at corporations, and in government” does not constitute permission for the Catholic Church to ignore what goes on within its ranks. It also does not constitute a prohibition on anyone criticizing the Church for the Church’s various evasion strategies, e.g. priest shuffling

    To be as clear as possible: The Catholic Church is responsible for its conduct and the conduct of its employees and agents. That it does not deal with it well, is the point here. That other people behave unacceptably or illegally, or that other people/groups/agencies/etc. are sometimes guilty of misconduct, has no bearing on the Church’s own clear failings in this regard. It’s irrelevant — because we all know, two wrongs don’t make a right:

    Oh, and “whataboutery” is no defense, either:

    Nothing Silverman did, or didn’t do … or said, or didn’t say … is relevant here. It’s just not — regardless of whether or not you wish it to be. 

  • TRUE OR FALSE: “Introducing [fierce religionism … a form of perpetuated and propagated infantilization], into this discussion [by PsyCop to patrick a day ago] is irrelevant.”

    TRUE. & LOL.

  • Wait, what? “[You] see [you] hit a nerve” upon realizing for the first time in your life as a transgender that “heterosexual and homosexual acts of prostitution are found throughout ancient Near East history”?

    Or is it that “[you] see [you] hit a nerve” upon realizing for the first time in your life as a transgender that “male and female prostitutes fornicated with male worshippers in ancient Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Cypriotic, Corinthian, Carthagian, Sicilian, Libyan, and West African temples”?

    Or is it that “[you] see [you] hit a nerve” upon realizing for the first time in your life as a transgender that “oral-genital and bestial forms of sexual activities were performed on behalf of these temples, with both the prostitutes and the patrons acting as surrogates for the deities of eroticism”?

    And it’s all “good”?

  • I hope you realize that this work has had essentially zero purchase among biblical scholars.

    Scholars get published writing that 1+1=3.

    The reasons are fairly simple. Dershowitz claims that “before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex – whether between men or women – were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.”

    That’s actually a datum that supports it was a revelation.

  • FALSE. Religionism was relevant to that discussion, as was infantilization (because all religionism is a form of it). Kind of like your infantilism, right now. Waaaah wah waah, little baby. 

  • TRUE OR FALSE: Catholic apologists are so desperate to look for anything and everything to justify the mafiosi-inspired criminality of their hierarchs, they’ll celebrate the misconduct of others. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: “Two wrongs make a right” thinking remains fallacious, even if Catholic apologists love throwing it around. 


  • Fine, fine. Fine by me. So I’ll retake that pop quiz, then; even though the score card now stands at:

    Christian 1 : 0 Atheist

    TRUE OR FALSE: “[The] misconduct on the part of [David Silverman] can’t justify, or have any other effect on, [other atheists’] own misconduct”.


    TRUE OR FALSE: “[The] misconduct on the part of [Theodore McCarrick] can’t justify, or have any other effect on, [other Catholics’] own misconduct”.


  • So sad to read those statements. Of course, it makes some sense. There are people who still love Trump despite all we know about him.

  • Do you seriously see an equivalence? You know that “American Atheists” is not some influential, dogmatic institution that rules people’s lives like the RCC? There was not some big scandal to defraud the people and put them in harm’s way. In fact, when sexual assault allegations and financial conflicts came up they fired the guy. I will sit back with my popcorn and wait until the RCC take similar action against a priest in these cases. Heck, they oppose the criminal prosecution of their priests ALL THE TIME. Yet, of course, the only way the priests could ever be absolved of any sin (for the sake of his soul) is to serve jail time. You have to be truly contrite and the only way to do that is to accept the real-world consequences.

  • TRUE OR FALSE: HpO is no “Catholic apologist”, but rather simply a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation; and PsiCop doesn’t know his atheism nor the atheism movement, of which he and his hero David Silverman are still a part of.


    TRUE OR FALSE: The score is now Christian 1 : 0 Atheist.


  • Let’s try this again.

    TRUE OR FALSE: Injecting Silverman into a discussion of the R.C. Church’s faults is a distraction intended to make it appear there’s nothing wrong with the Church. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: This appeal to others’ misdeeds in an attempt to justify the misdeeds of one’s idols, is fallacious. 


    What part of this is not clear to you? 

  • Re: “TRUE OR FALSE: The score is now Christian 1 : 0 Atheist.” 

    Uh no, the answer is FALSE. Your distractions, intended to make it seem as though there’s nothing wrong with the R.C. Church, are exactly that — distractions. Nothing Silverman did, nor any of my discussions with anyone else, have the slightest bearing on the fact that the R.C. Church has done many things it should not have, and deserves critique because of that.

    You keep plowing the same fallacious ground, over and over and over again, and you continue doing it despite my having called you out for doing so and having posted links explaining precisely how and why your reasoning is invalid and illogical. 

    I have no idea how or why your petulant, repeated forays into irrationality and fallacy constitute a “win” for yourself. It’s childish just to spew all kinds of distracting and irrelevant blather, then pronounce yourself the victor — without actually having earned a victory. 

  • Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca, you are simply a despicable bigot and homophobe. Your case is hopeless and you are stuck in your ways, so hopefully you’ll die soon, along with your religious delusions.

  • Seriously does anyone expect that one pope with this type of institutional structure will stop the culture of clerics having sex with boys and young men? This has been going on since before the Reformation with even some popes accused of indulging. The issues include human nature (not a good part) , covering up the acts, and the institutional structure of the Roman Church. Without an open transparent governance, it will remain rip for all kinds of abuse.

  • Re: “… and PsiCop doesn’t know his atheism nor the atheism movement …” 

    I’m not an atheist. I’m an agnostic — and an Apathetic Agnostic, at that. Moreover, I have nothing whatever to do with Silverman. I’ve never belonged to his organization, never donated to it, nor have I ever had even the slightest thing to do with it. 

    There’s no way for you to hang his misconduct on me. Period. End of discussion. I now you want to, very much, but that’s illogical. 

    Re: “TRUE OR FALSE: The score is now Christian 1 : 0 Atheist.” 

    FALSE. There is no score for “Christian” because you haven’t even come close to saying anything consequential enough for review. ALl you do is distract with your whataboutery and “two-wrongs” reasoning — which for the millionth time are illogical, and unacceptable coming from a supposedly-mature adult. 

    To be even more clear as to what this article is about … and not some other article you read about Silverman or some other comment I made elsewhere to someone else: 

    TRUE OR FALSE: The Roman Catholic Church claims to be sacred and holy, and an arbiter of morality in the world. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: The Roman Catholic Church knowingly promoted, multiple times (and up to the level of Cardinal) a cleric who had been accused of sexual assault. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: Promoting a known sexual assailant to the highest echelon of the Vatican (other than Pope or head of a congregation) contradicts the presumed high morals of the Church. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: Neither Silverman nor PsiCop had anything to do with the decisions the Church made which led to this self-contradictory result. 


    TRUE OR FALSE: HpO cannot logically use Silverman’s misconduct, or anything PsiCop ever said to anyone else at any time, to justify what the Church did. 


    If there’s anything about this you don’t understand … don’t expect any further clarification. I’ve already laid out the R.C. Church’s stinking hypocrisy and shown how and why your attempted justifications for it are irrelevant and fallacious. 

    That will remain true, no matter how often you say anything to the contrary. You can either be mature enough to admit it, or remain the infantile, religionistic dolt — who sees nothign wrong with a priest, then bishop, then archbishop, then cardinal assaulting seminarians — that you appear to be. Your choice. 

  • Given the number of Catholics who routinely either don’t attend church or give little or no regard to their church’s teachings, the notion of an “influential, dogmatic institution” does not appear to hold water.

    No, it is NOT necessary to serve jail time to be absolved.

  • If you don’t serve jail time you haven’t reconciled with those harmed. It is part of paying the price for the crime.

  • Canon Law does not require serving jail time.

    That is because what is called the temporal punishment can be paid in other ways.

    Nor is their per se a requirement that you “reconcile… with those harmed”.

    You are required to the extent possible to make recompense, but for a variety of reasons that may prove impossible.

  • Always fascinating how religious people can make up rules that get them out of normal justice. Such cowards- though I will give them credit for coming up with it!!

  • And you & your rabbis got all that from Leviticus. Impressive.

    And from Idan Dershowitz’s “The Secret History of Leviticus”. Doubly impressive.

  • No, I got that because it’s obvious, unless you think all sex is ritual prostitution. And Yes, the rabbis know more about Leviticus than you do. Deal with it. The only thing I got from Dershowitz’s article is that it triggered you. #winning

  • This problem is not just confined to the United States. In Australia, the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, was convicted of covering up child sexual abuse and sentenced to 12 months detention. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have asked for him to be sacked, and “The Executive of the National Council of Priests of Australia (NCP) has “wholeheartedly” endorsed the appeals for Archbishop Philip Wilson to resign, and have called on the Pope to intervene.”

  • What part of “I’m not an atheist” did you not comprehend the first few times I explained it to you? How boneheaded can you be? 

  • I’m not an atheist. And the score is more like: PsiCop 200, Christianist -9,762.

    You still have no idea that the misdeeds of others doesn’t grant one’s own organization license to misbehave. That was established by logicians long ago. But you never heard of this basic principle … usually known as “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    You can’t claim to “win” when you’re too childish to comprehend that. 

  • “Comprehend”? As in mutual understanding & all that good stuff? You’re in the wrong place, buddy I mean “bonehead”!

    Latest Update … Christian 4 : 0 Atheist.

  • Again, and to repeat: What part of “I’m not an atheist” do you not understand? Is there something wrong with you? There must be. You’re acting even more childish than before. 

  • Raise your hand, everybody, if you wanna segue to the next level in this video game designed by Arbustin called “[Is] all sex … ritual prostitution”? Anybody? Going once, going twice. Sold to this here All-Sex Apologist for Rabbinical Judaism!

    Oh well done, son, well done, Son of Abraham, Isaac and Judah. You’d make the Moses of Leviticus so very proud.

  • It is almost as old as sin itself, which we grapple with daily and most difficult to see oneself as such? The battle is spiritual, powers and principalities not of this world, but of this world? There is a brother on the west coast who has a deliverance ministry and I have witnessed God’s power working through him. This sin can often be there even before conception in the womb it can also take place by infiltration, the Good News is that our bondage can be broken thru Christ, even the victory over death itself, praise God.

  • I’m not an apologist for anything. And it’s Abraham, Isaac and *Jacob.* Need to go back to GRU school, I mean Vacation Bible School?