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  1. Paddy+Ferry says:

    It is worth remembering tonight what Fr.Tom Doyle shared (below) with us back in 2014 and I know he was presenting evidence long before that as well.

    From what I have read over the years I think there can be no doubt that Pope John Paul II was the ultimate architect of the policy of denial and cover up which was aimed solely at protecting the institution and had scant regard, if indeed any at all, for the suffering of the innocent victims. And now, he is a saint. In one of his reflections today in America, the Jesuit magazine, Fr. Jim Martin uses the word “disgusting”. I do hope nobody comes on this site to try and dismiss or minimise the significance of this as has happened on other occasions.

  2. Iggy O Donovan says:

    I have read a great part of the McCarrick report.
    To think that as a young man in Rome I stared at many of these guys in reverential awe, above all John Paul.
    A feeble effort is made to exculpate him on the grounds that in Poland he had experienced the Communist authorities using false allegations as a weapon against the Church. The difference is that the allegations against McCarrick came not from “Godless” Communists but from fellow Catholics.
    As for the CDF. I will send them a Christmas gift – a copy of Tony Flannery’s book.

  3. Joe+O'Leary says:

    450 pages? It’s more than Viganò and his gang may have bargained for.

  4. Sean+O’Conaill says:

    This is all as it should be – the spotlight on the clay feet of a celebrity saint – as a means of reminding us that at any given moment the safety of any child depends not upon the distant rock-star pope but the adults nearest the child.

    So celebrity itself is an idiocy – as proven by the abusive licence it gave to the DJ Jimmy Savile. And parenting is more important than Paping given that there are so many children and only one pope.

    But let’s not go on too long about celebrity saints. That need for comeuppances can be a problem too, of cherished resentment – when we all have the same problem basically – too great a need for the approval of others and a tendency to forget that always no one is unloved, not even the man whose clay feet are in the spotlight at the moment. That could be on the papal job description from now on, given the Petrine prototype.

    And the symbolic irony of the shepherd’s crook is starker still. Fortunately it could also be a portable question mark when wielded by a bishop – and yet in an instant be carried in front of him by any parent close at hand, or any member of the parish child-safeguarding team. I remember Ian Elliott saying ‘we are all equally responsible’.

  5. Eddie+Finnegan says:

    I am sure that, just as Rome has a decardinalisation process transforming Cardinal McCarrick to Mr McCarrick, but hopefully not back to ‘Unk’ or ‘Uncle Ted’, they should also have a decanonisation cum depontification liturgy. Unfortunately, under pressure from the Santo Subito Brigades, they forgot to think in centuries.

    But I think your final shot across some unidentified commenter’s bows was a bit unworthy and unnecessary. I’m sure that anyone who wishes to contribute an opinion on this or any other posted topic should feel free to do so.

  6. Eddie+Finnegan says:

    If any of you are into absurdist metatheatre, I have Six Truly International Characters in Search of a Linguistically Flexible Author:

    Il Santo
    Maciel Degollado

    Pirandello, Beckett, Ionesco all find it too absurd to touch. Any takers?

  7. Joe+O'Leary says:

    On Church Militant one poster, asked if he had read the Report, sublimely replied: “We read commentary by people who did read it (at least I did so I don’t have to do it myself). Vatican experts like Damian Thompson and Edward Pentin don’t consider it truthful. Saying the report is truthful is like saying the election results from Philadelphia were not tampered with.”

    Now the instinct to demonize is pouncing on St John Paul II, but reading the Report it’s clear that though he received advice about potential embarrassment due to McCarrick getting backrubs from seminarians, he regarded this as a mere foible and accepted McCarrick’s repeated protestations: “I have never had sexual relations with any person, male or female, young or old, cleric or lay.” Papal Secretary Dziwisz received such a statement and passed it on to his boss. It could well be true that McCarrick never had sexual relations, but the compensation was eccentric and inappropriate affective attitudes perceived by others as creepy and interpreted as sexual overtures. No doubt the Pope was aware of far more blatant and explicit behavior among high-ranking clerics (of which F. Martel’s must-read book gives a shocking account) and thought that rumours about McCarrick’s past would fade away.

  8. Joe+O'Leary says:

    It’s odd to me that EVERYONE knew about McCarrick’s quirks, yet these adult seminarians continued to flock to his parties, one wonders why. His behaviour, of which he himself spoke publicly, seems to have occasioned “admiratio” (raised eyebrows) rather than “scandal.” Certainly JP2 dropped the ball with more serious offenders such as Maciel, but I don’t see why the revelations about McCarrick should occasion the demonizing wave that demands John Paul II’s name should be taken off buildings, etc.

    There was some suspicion that the phrase “sexual relations” might have been Clintonesque, as not covering ANY sexual activity, but this suspicion was brushed aside, and JP2 was “convinced of the truth” of McC’s denials. “Tell McCarrick that I believe what he said and I am still a friend.”

  9. Joe+O'Leary says:

    I spoke only once in my life to Henri de Lubac, SJ, a few days after JP2’s election. “What do you think of the new Pope?” “I think very highly of him,” and then, turning to our Jesuit host, “Did you see that rubbish from Tincq in Le Monde about ‘the cult of personality’?” By that little phrase the great theologian unwittingly lit a lamp in my mind which was never extinguished! The “Santo subito” chant orchestrated by the cultic Comunione e Liberazione at JP2’s funeral was the acme of the cult of personality.

  10. Joe+O'Leary says:

    The Vatican Report demolishes Viganò by quoting him in bold type on pp. 341-2, note 1006. All the preceding documentation, especially the letters from Cardinal Re and others in 2008-9 urging that McCarrick keep a low profile, makes it easy to show that Viganò’s claim of 2018 that Pope Benedict XVI had “imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance” contained six false statements.

  11. Joe+O'Leary says:

    The Report says: “the indications were not “sanctions”; they were not imposed by Pope Benedict XVI; McCarrick was never forbidden to celebrate Mass in public; McCarrick was not prohibited from giving lectures; Cardinal Re did not impose on McCarrick “the obligation” of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance; and McCarrick remained free to conduct activities, including travel, with the permission of the Holy See, including the Nuncio.”

    Someone on Facebook tells me: “My former bishop, my colleagues were invited to his shore home (paid for by diocese) and there was always just one too few beds”. This was in the late 1980s. “Few were invited and one would have no reason for rancor that the boss has taken an interest in you. I knew people who worked for him and respected them greatly. I didn’t think much of it at the time but it wasn’t me so I really don’t know. It didn’t click for me till some years later.”

    It looks as if it didn’t click for McCarrick himself either, who only later denounced it as indiscreet and stupid. Looks like he had worked out a system for enjoying affective intimacy, skinship, or a sort of “third way” as Jesuits of the time used to say, while avoiding clear sex acts (as he repeatedly insists).

  12. Eddie+Finnegan says:

    OK Paddy@13 & NCR. If they can’t decanonise him, remove his name from schools and seminaries. Leave it on a few airport terminals – he kissed enough tarmac in his 27 years to deserve that much.

  13. Kevin Walters says:

    Paddy+Ferry @13 From the Article given via the link

    “Suppressing the late pontiff’s cult would not mean telling people they need to throw away their relics or their medals — people could still practice private devotion to him. But for abuse victims, their advocates and many others, John Paul’s memory is no longer a blessing. It should not be celebrated in public”….

    “ Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12.

    Was not this a mocking by the forces of Darkness to the reality of Popery in ‘The Year of Four Popes’
    As Pope Frances assisted by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI officiated in the ceremony of the canonization of Pope John XXIII & Pope John Paul11 on 27 April 2014 (Divine Mercy Sunday)

    Three days prior to the canonization of JP2 and Pope John XIII the image in the link below was circulated by the media to the majority of mankind, Christians and others would have looked at it, for its significance.
    Prior to the collapse of this structure, with the statue (Image) of Jesus attached (nailed) to the cross (tree) we would have seen that it was significantly different to what we are accustomed to seeing, as normally in the representation of the Crucifixion, we would see Jesus held high between heaven and earth with the top (crown) of the tree directed upwards to heaven, with his beloved Son Jesus Christ in total obedience submitting to our Fathers Will.

    But on this representation we see the cross (Tree) was initially bent acutely downwards, now seen fallen, with shattered ‘broken’ body parts of Jesus Christ ‘scattered’ upon the earth, while noting that it fell upon a young disabled man, crushing and killing him. Scrutinize the details of this image than scrutinize it again and understand.

    If you still do not understand consider this.
    Journalist and others in the media do not just use words to convey information, especially that which is covertly directed towards the powers of darkness. And this can be seen in the photo of the fallen crucifix, which fell upon a disabled man and killed him. As we see a stake/lance conveniently placed, as in, the side in the body of Christ, with the finger (authority) of God separated from His body, now laying upon the earth, accompanied by two black, obscure figures stood to the side of a Temple/monument, looking down upon the said broken image of Christ, and by implication His church, with the shattered stone, representative flags/tablets of the Commandments, broken, as in made worthless, also the steps (Degrees of advancement/involvement) leading up to the Temple/monument, with the symbolic (Separated) foot of those who refuse to take part, etc.

    Was this mocking justified?

    Yes! if you consider that The elite within the Church refused to look at themselves with the penetrating eyes of Truth in regards to the abuse crisis cover up, and acknowledge its historical culture within the Church, in their own self-righteousness they staged a jamboree before all of mankind, to project their own sacrosanct image of themselves, in an act of arrogance before God, by making two of their own a personification of themselves, an intellectualized Pharisaical IMAGE of worldly goodness (Beauty).

    It was the same jamboree they gave to mankind a decade previously in bestowing on the Church the present Divine Mercy Image, a self-serving blasphemous image a worldly image of themselves. As they paraded (Swaggered) themselves in Rome before mankind in the canonizing process, it is fair to say that Pope Francis and his Bishops would have been fully aware of the tens of thousands of derogatory articles and comments on the Canonization of John Paul 11 over the previous years and especially those made by the victims and their families of the child abuse scandal. Was not their pain enough reason to delay the Canonizations of these two popes and facilitate the justifiable concerns of so many families and organizations that have assisted victims; their concerns were total disregarded, why?

    As Pope Francis and his Bishops callously continued with the Canonization process which only Pope Francis had the authority to stop, he and the Bishops would have been fully aware, that victims who have been traumatized need closure, and this closure for the majority of the abused and their families can only be achieved by the perpetrators or their accomplices (those who facilitated The Papacy to cover up this scandal) showing TRUE contrition for what they have done.

    The canonization of John Paul 11 before the world media by Pope Francis and the Bishops was an act of emotional violence on those who have been abused and their families, by having to watch (relive) and see again the hypocrisy of so many of the elite in our Church who the majority of mankind believe contrived in the cover up and then to be seen participating in bestowing its highest Honour on the one man, who so many believe could have averted the untold suffering of so many innocent and vulnerable victims, this action has to call into question the integrity of the leadership of the Church and to some degree our Shepherds who stood by and permitted this act to happen.

    The REALITY is that all who serve Truth/Love can see this act for what it was. It is comparable to Pontus Pilate who by washing his hands in public separated his public responsibility (High Office) from his personal self, while he murdered innocence. To his compatriots he would be still seen as a man of Honour. It now appears, that his example is been taught to the laity, in these words, “Personal Holiness has nothing to do with one’s responsibility held in high office”. The Church has now through the authority of Pope Francis washed its hands in public in regards to the cover up of the child abuse scandal, as it has now attempted to separate the responsibility of those who hold high office from the man himself.

    It will not wash.

    Rather than embrace the wounded Christ and suffer for the cause of Truth, Pope Francis, with his Bishops, were prepared to act in callousness and use the authority of the Holy Spirit (Truth) to belittle and inflict further pain on these who cry out for justice from Gods holy church on earth.

    It now appears that ‘honourable’ (Worldly) men in the Church will now be able to confer Sainthood on each other, as from now on an IMAGE of personal holiness will suffice.

    For me this was a defining moment for Pope Francis, I had hoped to see an heroic and impatient struggle for renewal (and still do) in seeing a man holding the bright flame of Truth (Love) before all of mankind, by stopping these contentious Canonizations in confronting CLERICALISM and embrace the failings of the papacy (Cover up of the child abuse scandal) under John Paul 11. Teaching by EXAMPLE, in being prepared to suffer (in Joy) for the Truth, embrace the wounds (Sufferings) of Christ and in so doing ask all of us to do the same, be an EXAMPLE, serve and be prepared to suffer for the Truth in humility, acknowledging our own human frailty and in so doing expose the evil that enslaves mankind, our own sinfulness.

    How can our shepherds ask (lead) the flock to embrace humility? There is only one way they must vigorously embrace it themselves and to do this they have to confront the trappings of Clericalism, that spider that has caught so many in its web of deceit and arrogance. The True Divine Mercy Image (One of Broken Man) has the power confirmed by God within its self to bring the arrogance of Clericalism to its knees and draw the Church into a new splendour.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  14. Joe+O'Leary says:

    Why did JP2 not listen to Cardinal John O’Connor’s warning in his letter of 28 October 1999? Well, JP2 was not a good listener, ever. He found it easier to dialogue with non-Christian religions that with loyal Catholics whom he decided were liberals or lefties.

    But maybe O’Connor’s letter was not strong enough. He writes to the nuncio about “a good friend and a devoted servant of our Holy Father” and says “I have seen his extraordinary contributions at first hand and believe that he has untiringly advanced the cause of the Church for many, many years”

    O’Connor was indeed very friendly with McCarrick, though he had scolded him in 1990 about his beach house, causing McCarrick to “knock it off.”

    This is what he tells Nuncio Montalvo in his letter: “1. After Archbishop McCarrick was appointed as Ordinary, it was said that he would frequently invite male visitors for dinner and to stay overnight. Usually they shared a bed, although there were sufficient guestrooms. Archbishop McCarrick referred to the visitors as neighbors or cousins. They were not cousins since he had no siblings. This did not become known outside the house, but it was a cause of concern for those who live there. 2) The Archbishop frequently visited the house and often arranged for seminarians to visit. The arrangement was for seven seminarians, six of whom shared the guestrooms and one of whom shared the bed with the Archbishop. This became known and was a source of joking among the clergy.” 3) “A young priest from Metuchen received much attention and accompanied the Archbishop at least once on a trip to Puerto Rico. This priest subsequently left the priesthood. 4) “Both the priest psychologist and the psychiatrist seem convinced that the priests or priests (sic) in treatment were victimized, willingly or unwillingly, in their inappropriate relationship with the then Bishop McCarrick, while Bishop of Metuchen. I must confess that I did not really find my discussion with the priest psychologist or the findings of the psychiatrist to be definitely persuasive. At the same time, I could not dismiss their findings, because of the gravity of the allegations.” … 6) It is reliably reported that the various events and behavioral activities described above have changed completely, and that no similar events have occurred in recent times. Nonetheless, rumor and gossip about these earlier activities persist among the clergy, many of whom feel that there has been little interest in them or in the diocese.

    O’Connor also enclosed anonymous letters received. He gives a character sketch of McCarrick: “A certain context might be provided concerning Archbishop McCarrick’s referring to visitors as neighbors or cousins. It is widely understood that the Archbishop was an orphan, with no living relatives. Nonetheless, he seems to be very close to what appears to be a highly well-adjusted family whom he always refers to as his cousins, although it is alleged that he has no living relatives. I remember while we were both in New York dining in their home with him many years, seems to stay when visiting there. A similar situation seems to prevail, that he may call someone that he feels close to “brother” or “cousin”, not in any way to be literal, but to express a closeness in relationship and to feel part of a blood-related family, although such is not the case.”

    After much praise of McCarrick’s work he goes on to ask “whether there is any relationship between this seeming need to travel outside the Archdiocese and his apparently having put his former alleged inclinations behind him. This would be difficult to determine. It is quite conceivable, however, that he has, by way of this travel, put all of his energies into Church business, in part as a way of displacing the use of that energy in the kinds of inappropriate activities described above.

    “What, then, would be my overall assessment at this moment? With deep regret, I would have to express my own grave fears and those of authoritative witnesses cited above, that should Archbishop McCarrick be given higher responsibility in the United States, particularly if elevated to a Cardinatial See, seem[] sound reasons for believing that rumors and allegations about the past might surface with such an appointment, with the possibility of accompanying grave scandal and widespread adverse publicity. It has been my personal experience over many years that the truth is very difficult to determine in such complex cases. Obviously, however, while charity must prevail and the benefit of the doubt always given to the “accused”, the good of souls and the reputation of the Church must be seriously considered and the potential for scandal given equally serious consideration. I can not, therefore, in conscience, recommend His Excellency, Archbishop McCarrick for promotion to higher office, should this be the reason for your inquiry concerning him at this time. On the contrary, I regret that I would have to recommend very strongly against such promotion, particularly if to a Cardinatial See, including New York. Nevertheless, I subject my comments to higher authority and most particularly our Holy Father. I would support unconditionally any appointment of our Holy Father, including an appointment to the Archbishopric of New York, and give every assistance to anyone appointed, including Archbishop McCarrick. At the same time, I consider it a grave obligation to recommend to higher authority, including our Holy Father personally, against such an appointment.”

    Note that the letter makes no reference to children or minors (contrary to NCR’s libelous insinuations), that the Cardinal is more worried about scandal than about alleged “victims” or “survivors” who had not in any case come forward, that he characterizes the Cardinal’s former behaviour as “inappropriate” rather than “abuse,” “molestation,” or “sexual harassment,” and that he leaves the matter fully in the Pope’s hands.

  15. Paddy+Ferry says:

    Kevin@15, I still think that having Francis as our Pope has been a miracle and that is despite his failings. After all he only human and I am sure Francis would the first to say he is definitely not infallible.

    And, of course, I was very happy to see Pope John XXIII canonised. He was responsible, after all, for Vatican II which Fr. John O’Malley called in his excellent book, “What Happened at Vatican II”, the end of the long middle (dark) ages. It was also a genuine template for real reform and renewal in our church if John Paul II and Ratzinger had not decided to do everything in their power to neuter it all. You may have read Fr.O’Malley’s book, Kevin but if you haven’t I would strongly recommend to you.

    However, when you say:
    “Yes! if you consider that the elite within the Church refused to look at themselves with the penetrating eyes of Truth in regards to the abuse crisis cover up, and acknowledge its historical culture within the Church, in their own self-righteousness …”

    I have to wholehearted agree. Very well put, Kevin.

    And, when you say:

    “It was the same jamboree they gave to mankind a decade previously in bestowing on the Church the present Divine Mercy Image.”

    Again, I agree. Mary McAleese’s famous words come to mind again.

    Of course, it was not Sr. Faustina herself who did the painting. They realised her painting skills were limited so they got a professional in to do it.

    In one of his pieces during the lockdown –the first lockdown– Seamus spoke around the time of the feast of Divine Mercy of how that gaudy painting always annoys him. Then he apologised for, maybe, going over the top. I always meant to say “No Seamus, you were spot on because it annoys me too”.

    I have a particular reason for being annoyed. We had a Polish priest in our parish some years ago who put up the image without any consultation with the parish. The week before it appeared in the church we had a Parish Council meeting at which I was present and he never mentioned his plans.

    So, I am annoyed every time I see it. It is up permanently.

    The previous year, another Polish priest, a much wiser, more sensible man, asked the parish did we want it put up permanently and we didn’t. So, it didn’t go up.

    Another piece of proof, if proof were needed, that parachuting someone from a different culture into a position of power in a parish can be a very unwise initiative.

    Kevin, I always enjoy reading your contributions.

    Keep well.


  16. Kevin Walters says:

    Thank you Paddy @ 17 for you friendly comment.

    “Of course, it was not Sr. Faustina herself who did the painting. They realised her painting skills were limited so they got a professional in to do it”

    The point that I have been trying to make over many years is that the true Divine Mercy Image can only be painted by Sr. Faustina herself whatever her skills, for me this is the whole point of the revelation given to her in these words:

    “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription, “Jesus, I trust in thee”. I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world.”

    As only she can ‘see’ the wonder of His beauty (which no artist however accomplished can hope to capture) Sr Faustina (Now St) acted immediately in ‘singular pure intent’, to paint/draw the said painting, manifesting ‘the depth of her love for God’ to the request given to her, by Our Lord Himself. Obedience to God is essentially love of God. Sadly, the learned have compromised her action, as we do not have her Painting /drawing/effort (Giving God His due) in its brokenness, venerated throughout the world.

    All simple hearts know that when looked upon honestly this flawed/broken image is a self-reflection, immediate and self-evident of Sr Faustina’s heart before God, as it corresponds with the internal reality of all of us.

    So, His will was manifest by the actions of Sr Faustina, as she immediately accepted, and acted upon it, with singular pure intent, to paint/draw the said picture. The Church states that Private Revelation is only BINDING on those who receive it, assuming of course that they are of sound mind, and have accepted within their heart, that they have received a message from God, requesting them to do something, as the recipient would feel obliged to fulfil that request, and in the case of Sr Faustina, she acted immediately to His request.

    Logic says that if the given Revelation was accepted and endorsed by the Church, which it was, then the acknowledged request attributed to Jesus, contained within that revelation, would oblige the Church also to accept that request.

    The Church fulfilled her obligation to God’s request, by promising that the said Image would be presented to the faithful for veneration throughout the (Churches of the) World, with the inscription “Jesus I trust in thee”. So Yes, we now have a picture in God’s house on earth with this inscription, but it is not the painting/picture/image requested by God.

    “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

    — Catechism of the Catholic Church 2147
    Promises made to others (in this case the faithful) in God’s name engage the divine honour, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God’s name and in some way to make God out to be a liar. (1 John 1:10)

    Actual words attributed to God (His Name) by the Church that contain a request which the Church has endorsed and acted upon, must not be misused, distorted or twisted in ways that impugn the character of God and then be used by man for his own ends, to do so, would be to say that God was made for man, not man for God, in effect the elite within the Church would be conspiring with the Devil.

    “You may have read Fr. O’Malley’s book, Kevin but if you haven’t I would strongly recommend to you.”

    No, I have not read his book I will consider reading it although I cannot remember the last time that I read one apart from scripture especially the Gospels.
    Thank you once again Paddy for the kindness that you have shown me over the years, while I have been posting.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  17. Paddy+Ferry says:

    Thank you, Kevin. You have enlightened me this evening and I now know more about Sr. Faustina and Divine Mercy and it’s significance than I had ever known before.

    However, Kevin, cynicism has now, sadly, become my most common default position.

    Goodnight and God bless you, Kevin.


  18. Eddie+Finnegan says:

    Indeed Paddy@19, I’ve often felt that a surfeit of visionary mysticism requires an antidote of healthy cynicism. Usually these delicate visionaries with peculiar messages, verbal or visual, curated by overly credulous or opportunist clerics, need to be viewed through a reversed telescope rather than a kaleidoscope. And why couldn’t JPII have found the Black Madonna of Czestochova sufficient? Black madonnas may be a bit of an iconic cliché, but at least it has a bit of history about it. Similarly re Mayo: Knock’s enough – we don’t need Achill as well!

  19. Paddy+Ferry says:

    This piece below appeared in last week’s Tablet. The institutional Church in England and Wales and its leaders were fortunate that the McCarrick report was published on the same day as the IICSA report so there was less publicity than there would normally be.

    “Over and over again, they say their original trauma was exacerbated by their insensitive treatment at the hands of safeguarding officials.”

    This reminds me of how similar commissions of enquiry at home, for example the Redress Board process, also exacerbated the original trauma suffered by the children when they appeared before the Board as adults. Remember, for example, Michael O’Brien’s five or was it seven highly paid barristers “trying to make a liar of me”. That for me was the most memorable example but there were many others as we witnessed in RTE’s Redress – Breaking the Silence. On that programme the editor of the Irish Times told us how the Religious Orders hired the most expensive legal firm in the country, I presume, to make liars of people like Michael.

    You would think that people of good will–or can we say those with even a passing regard for Gospel values–would not want to inflict further hurt and injury on those whom they knew had already suffered so much. Wouldn’t you?

    Voices of survivors
    The safeguarding protocols and structures have been there since 2002; but 18 years later, in the week the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) released its report on the Catholic Church, we publish a Letter with 23 signatories. “Every effort has gone into protecting the reputation and resources of the Church, and providing care and support for our abusers,” they write, “while neglecting us, the victims and survivors”. It is a damning verdict. Catherine Pepinster, former editor of The Tablet, has been listening to survivors’ stories. “Over and over again, they say their original trauma was exacerbated by their insensitive treatment at the hands of safeguarding officials.” The survivors are angry, and they are entitled to be. They blame “a dysfunctional Church and poor leadership”, and when the IICSA report was released on Tuesday it had harsh words for Cardinal Vincent Nichols. As our leader this week concludes: the Church stands shamed. Compassion is at the centre of the Gospel. That the structures were there but leadership and compassion were lacking is a lamentable conclusion

  20. Paddy+Ferry says:

    I share the link below to Fr. Thomas Reese SJ having his say in the Jesuit magazine America on the hurried canonisation of JPII in light of the McCarrick Report.

    He mentions at the end of his article the canonisation of Josemaría Escriviá which I have always thought completely devalued the idea of canonisation and sainthood long before John Paul himself was canonised.
    I nearly became a member of Opus Dei in my early, innocent student days in Dublin. They had a place off Stephens Green — Hume Street, perhaps, certainly on that side — where we used meet. However, despite my innocence and naivety, I still had the presence of mind to decide that this was not my idea of Christianity.

    However, it was one of my best friends in our Medical/Dental year, Conor Donnelly, who introduced me to Opus Dei and Conor was ordained to the priesthood after graduating as a doctor. I often wonder where Conor is now. The last heard of him he was in the Philippines.
    If anyone knows of him please let me know.

  21. Kevin Walters says:

    Many Web Sites and newspaper article are proclaiming that Pederasty, within the Priesthood is its current most serious problem, augmented presently by former Cardinal McCarrick, as here we see the corruption of young men, who presumably entered the Priesthood, intending to live the celibate life. Some of whom may have acknowledged having homosexual tendencies, especially via the secrecy of the Sacrament of Confession, easy prey to be groomed/ensnared/corrupted by the likes of Cardinal McCarrick, who possibly was ensnared also as a young seminarian, many years ago.

    Not all priests are Christian as I can testify, as I have witnessed many times, over the last thirty-five years, actions that incorporate intimidation, duplicity, gesture, implied talk, murmurings and symbolism, no (Worldly) lawyer or civil agency can expose what these evil men use, while smiling, as they are the tools of the Evil One.

    Homosexual rings of corruption are the fruit of these manipulative men, but they are not necessarily homosexual themselves, but they are depraved and have existed since the early formation of the church. And they work to undermine what is left of the faithful by any means possible.

    So, it is fair to say what we are now seeing is only the tip of the iceberg, as these onward flourishing manifestations of evil, emanate from a large mass of spiritual corruption, and this corruption is Satanic in nature. It is clearly evident that this evil is held together by a spider’s (Controlling Mind) web of corruption.

    Understandably many are calling with varying degrees of intensity, for a cleansing of the church, which is creating an atmosphere of fear/anger/hatred, if this continues unabated it will grow, creating a culture of fear, manifest as intolerance/bigotry towards all with homosexual tendencies (practicing or not) resulting in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Sadly, many have been devoured, principally because there appears to be no one to turn to within the Priesthood, who can be trusted, as all are compromised to some degree by the self-serving structures (Circles) within Clericalism, in permitting evil to reign these words are apt,
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    So yes ‘It is a time of purging and purification, a time of repentance and forgiveness, a time of pruning for new growth.’ But how do you separate the Wheat from the Chaff? You cannot, as the wheat and the weeds must grow together until harvest time. What are we to do?

    Only a new spiritual awakening, one that bears witness to the Truth in humility, can liberate those who have been ensnared within these circles of corruption, which encompass an unfaithful docile priesthood, that turned a blind eye to corruption, with its many different faces, there can be no self-righteous pointing fingers in this situation.

    It could be said the Church needs an Amnesty within herself. I believe this can only come about by looking at/embracing the ‘gentle’ cleansing grace of humility publicly; if she did so, the church would grow rather than stagnate.

    The cleansing that has to take place needs to start at the top, as Our Lord Himself via the true divine Mercy Message/Image one of Broken Man, has exposed the reality of a self-serving elitism embedded in Clericalism, emanating from arrogance before God and mankind. This exposer of hubris by divine intervention, demands a counter response by those who would be faithful before His inviolate Will (Word). And this can only be done in humility, as a humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its short comings, and in doing so confers authenticity, as it walks in its own vulnerability/weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind.

    It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth) first, before any other.
    “God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart” and neither will the faithful. The leadership has nothing to fear, no matter how compromised, as the cleansing grace of humility (full ‘open acknowledgement of past failings/sins) is the communal bond of love that holds His flock together.

    “I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world.”
    Venerate the true divine mercy Image one of Broken Man/Church, in this given humble pray. “Jesus I trust in thee.”
    Please consider reading further information relating to the True Divine Mercy Image/Message via the link

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  22. Joe+O'Leary says:

    The NCR article could have been written by assembling every meme that’s been circulating for decades. The author shows no knowledge of the McCarrick Report. “John Paul II, confronted with the most damaging scandal the church faced in centuries,” (NOT in the McCarrick Report), “ignored the disturbing warnings from victims” (NOT in the McCarrick Report) “and from bishops entrusted with the care of the flock” (Cardinal O’Connor warned of potential scandal from his friend McCarrick’s past “inappropriate” behaviour with seminarians; not clear if the Pope received any other warning) “and instead embraced the adulation and counsel of serial predators” (not clear if he knew them to be such; even the many who knew of McCarrick’s odd behaviour had not identified him as a “serial predator”).

    “In doing so, he became not a figure of the courage that he persistently demanded of others, but the highest profile example of a corrupt hierarchical culture responsible for perpetuation of the abuse disgrace.” In fact, John Paul reacted to the brewing abuse disgrace in 1993: “I fully share your sorrow and your concern, especially your concern for the victims so seriously hurt” by the sexual misconduct of some clerics, the Pope said in a letter dated June 11. The letter was prefaced with a quotation from Matthew 18:7, “Woe to the world because of scandals!” (Wasn’t it just about then that the issue became public? In all the fuss about Bishop Casey in 1992 I don’t remember anyone talking about abuse of minors.)

  23. Paddy+Ferry says:

    Joe, you will never stop !!

  24. Joe+O'Leary says:

    Paddy, just trying to be fair and rational, qualities in which our society is in short supply.

  25. Kevin Walters says:

    Joe+O’Leary @ 25

    “In fact, John Paul reacted to the brewing abuse disgrace in 1993:”

    He may have reacted in 1993 which confirms his understanding/awareness of this evil within the Church but sadly he appears not to have followed through with concrete action.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  26. Paddy+Ferry says:

    Kevin, I completely agree with you. Now, Joe knows all this as well as anybody –infact, I’m sure much better than anybody — so why does he still continue to try to defend the indefensible?

    There is no question at all in my mind that Pope John Paul II was the main architect of the policy of cover up and denial and there surely is no need to go over all the evidence again.

    But his actions –inactions–in the clerical child sex abuse scandals is only one reason why JP11 did not qualify for sainthood, in my view. The other big reason was the fact that he bullied priests, theologians, bishops, archbishops and even religious orders during his pontificate. Everybody who contributes on this site will know all the examples and details.

    And, finally, my final reason –I was about to say main reason, but they are all main reasons — why he should not have been canonised. He appointed so many right wing types to lead dioceses that lead to the destruction of what enlightened bishops and archbishops had set up during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. There are so many examples but I always think of the late great Dom Helder Camara in Recife and Olinda in Brazil. There he appointed Jose Maria Cardoso Sobrino — spelling might not be correct — who was Opus Dei, I think, and he destroyed virtually everything the great Dom Helder had established. I remember reading about this in an article written by Peter Standford in the Catholic Herald many years ago. As Peter discussed what had become of his archdiocese Dom Helder’s eyes filled with tears and he cried, Peter told us. However, great man that he was, he would never say a negative word about the Pope. I actually spoke to Peter about all this when we had him in Edinburgh a couple of years ago to speak at an Ecumenical Commission event and later at an Edinburgh Newman meeting.

    I have mentioned a few times on this site how, 17 years ago, when our new Polish dental nurse arrived in our practice I had her in tears when I expressed my reservations about her Polish pope. Well, how the times have changed. Now she tells me how right I was and also that family and friends at home in Poland are now asking the question if canonisation can be rescinded. My goodness, how the times have changed! Dziwisz seems to be a hated figure in Poland. Polish society is completed divided between those who support the right wing populist government and those who do not. The government is supported by the Catholic Church because it plans to enshrine in legislation the homophobic and anti LGBT sinful attitudes of our church.

    Her family in Poland no longer practise. There is a perception in Poland now that priests are among the most wealthy in Polish society. And people know that clerical child sex abuse has been covered up.

    I didn’t mean to spend Sunday morning writing all this.
    So, Joe, please stop it.

  27. Joe+O'Leary says:

    Paddy, you say I “defend the indefensible”. But you do not say what “indefensible” you think I am defending. That is a very irresponsible way to write.

    When I defended Pell (in terms later entirely upheld by the Australian judges) you made a similar insinuation.

    For the record, this time I am merely pointing out that in the McCarrick Report there is no basis for the claim that John Paul II put children in danger. If you have read the report, you should be able to point to the relevant passage that substantiates this allegation against the pope. If you find it I will certainly not defend him.

    In both cases you seem to presume that in defending the hated churchman from one factually false accusation I am “defending” everything “indefensible” that they ever did.

    The feebleness of your allegation on this particular point of fact is clear from the laundry list of other alleged crimes of John Paul II which have no real bearing on it. You might as well claim that Pell was guilty of the alleged sexual offending because he was instrumental in making a mess of the new translation of the Roman Missal.

    The more general accusation that JP2 was the “architect of the cover-up” seems hard to square with the letter he wrote to the US bishops in 1993 and with his entrustment of cases to Cardinal Ratzinger and the CDF. I do not have the expert insight you attribute to me (and to Kevin) and given the difficulty of the issue I would not be surprised if JP2 made many mistakes. But I really do not know of the hard evidence that he did nothing to follow through on his declarations of 1993. But even if he is guilty of every single crime or mistake charged against him, that still does not mean that his promotion of McCarrick showed him careless about putting children in danger.

    Ironically, and sadly, there seems to be a longer paper trail following Pope Francis on this front. The Francis-haters who swear by Viganò and see their critics as defending the indefensible may have the last laugh, as the John Paul II haters are now.

  28. Kevin Walters says:

    Thank you, Paddy, for your comment, you are probably aware that I left school hardly able to read or write, today perhaps I would be classed dyslexic. I know virtually nothing what so ever about Opus Dei or anything about the list of celebrated named Bishops, prelates, etc., that you have named. While my knowledge of Vatican II is what I have personally experienced over the last seventy years. Most of my Christian knowledge emanates from listening to the Gospels and sermons given in relation to them, while reflecting on His Word within them.

    As stated in my Post @ 15
    “Pope Francis and his Bishops would have been fully aware of the tens of thousands of derogatory articles and comments on the Canonisation of John Paul 11 over the previous years and especially those made by the victims and they families of the child abuse scandal; was not their pain enough reason to delay the Canonisations of these two popes and facilitate the justifiable concerns of so many families and organisations that have assisted victims; their concerns were total disregarded, why?”

    So, I believe it would have been prudent for His Canonisation to have been delayed.

    John Paul himself did not ask to be Canonised rather we see internal politics at play which Pope Francis himself consented to; yes, pressure was most probably put on him by the elite within the Hierarchy but without Pope Francis’s consent we would still be waiting for Pope John Paul’s Canonisation.

    Pope John Paul most probably trusted his close friends/associates within the hierarchy while apparently showing little regard to the sufferings of the vulnerable within the flock. Similar to what Pope Francis did in giving his consent to Pope John Paul’s canonisation.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  29. Joe+O'Leary says:

    I notice both on this and on the notorious Buckley blog that actual abuse of minors is now a vanishingly rare activity among the Catholic clergy, and has been for decades.

    Instead we hear endless rants about “homosexual corruption”.

    Sometimes this can be constructed as denouncing abuse of authority or of power, but mostly it extends much wider, in what I would see as a homophobic direction (even if it is mostly conducted by people struggling with their own “homosexual inclinations”).

    Yes, the priesthood may now be called “a gay profession”, but, no, this is not a reason for branding all gay priests as corrupt and painting them as members of some vast Satanic gay conspiracy. I would say the situation is a very simple one. A great number of priests are gay men, and as such may be involved affectively or physically with other men in ways that some might find inappropriate or scandalous.

    The repeated shrill cries to “leave the priesthood” if you are gay are born of a strange utopian ideal of what priests were and should be. The church envisaged by those who raise the hue and cry is a devotional huddle, dedicated to extreme right positions, which ironically has been shown again and again to produce secretive and tormented gay subcultures. This turns out to apply especially to the new movements of JP2 and the traditionalist cenacles of B16. The whistle has been blown on all this by three gay men, Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa, “La primera piedra” (“The First Stone”), David Berger, “Der heilige Schein” and especially Frédéric Martel, “In the Closet of the Vatican”. All three claim that the cure for hypocrisy is a more accepting and relaxed attitude to gayness.

  30. Paddy+Ferry says:

    Kevin@ 31, I wasn’t aware of any of what you have just shared with us but thank you for sharing it.

    I completely agree with you, Kevin, that it would have been so much more prudent to have delayed the canonisation of John Paul II.

    Joe@30, I will reply properly to you when I have a reasonable window of time.

    However, I am in total agreement with everything you have written @32.
    One of our first conversations on this site was shortly after David Berger made his sensational revelations and you had to point out to me that he was, in fact, a lay theologian and not a priest as I had thought.

    I have not read Frédéric Martel’s book — perhaps at Christmas if I have finished Tony’s new book by then. Dentists are back at work over here too so the time-to-fill days of idleness are over. However, Paddy Agnew made us all aware of what goes on inside the Vatican long before Martel’s research.

    Joe, you are surely aware why the abuse of minors by clergy is now a vanishing rare activity. Parents are now on their guard and most would be reluctant to leave a child alone with a priest. That is such a sad, sad state of affairs and it grieves me to have to say it.

  31. Joe+O'Leary says:

    It’s indeed a terrible state of affairs, but it reaches beyond the clergy. Any man or even any adult is not trusted alone with a child. Male babysitters in Japan, even highly qualified ones, are no longer trusted by parents. And the disappearance of minors from the landscape of the clergy is fully matched by their disappearance from the gay world. Though always viewed, at least by the savvy, as “jail bait,” under 18s are now rigidly excluded from all gay premises.

    Should all this be seen as a wonderful development based on deeper insight? Or is it laced with irrational paranoia, damaging to all?

  32. Sean+O’Conaill says:

    “There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
    Lord Acton 1887 – in the same letter that insists that power tends to corrupt.

    Charles Dickens said it slightly differently in his account of his travels in Italy: priests are not holy ex officio.

    That nevertheless Dickens observed Catholic clergy accepting, and even expecting, treatment of themselves as walking saints, in Rome was the context in which he made this remark. Sophisticated Catholic friends would agree with his observation, he said – implying that the same Catholic friends would nevertheless not be spreading the same sophistication to the unsophisticated. Clericalism is still the elephant we cannot discuss in the Irish Catholic church, or call out and ask to lumber off and find a billet somewhere else.

    As late as 2020 this has not been said, directly, to the Catholic people of Ireland by any bishop, and the rejection of lay deference to Catholic clergy clearly called for by the Ryan report of 2009 has not even yet been stated as a requirement for the safe working of the child safeguarding system. We lay people have not even yet been told that individually, to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults and ourselves, we must firmly believe we are the sovereign responsible owners of our own consciences, and must not allow that sovereignty to be disregarded or bluffed into quietude.

    Delay in ‘getting real’ is all surely a hangover of the abiding influence of Pope John Paul II and his heady extollation of the ordained ministry in Pastores Dabo Vobis (1992), even though Tom Doyle insists that the Pope was made fully aware in the mid-1980s of what ordained pastors had done to Catholic children in Louisiana.

    So again in 2019 Pastores Dabo Vobis was recycled in a Down and Connor pastoral letter reeking of the same clericalism. How ordained priests should behave is always how they will behave – it is implied – and without the instruction of the ordained pastor we benighted lay people would never understand our own priesthood.

    Really? So why was it that in 1994 Irish bishops did lumber into action on child safeguarding? Had the baptismal call to action never reached the parents who had brought those prosecutions against Brendan Smyth? Had the bishops grassed on themselves?

    And when did it ever happen that an Irish alumnus of Maynooth ever looked forward to telling his parishioners about the need to inform themselves about and activate their own priesthood?

    I steered well clear of all papal jamborees in 1979 because I was repelled by the pope’s clear endorsement of his own celebrity cult – so evident in Maynooth and Galway. It didn’t matter that already his awesome aura repelled honesty about the impact of Humanae Vitae on honest communion here. What mattered was that he had come to Ireland and wasn’t it marvellous.

    No, it wasn’t. He missed an opportunity to tell every Catholic schoolgoer that when it came to protecting the weakest among them, e.g. from bullying, they themselves would obviously be more effective vicars of Christ. He just loved being pope, and strengthened and copper-fastened the paternalism that Cardinal Conway had said goodbye to in 1966 by teaching Irish bishops to be quiet in his presence.

    And still, therefore, we are occupied by the same affliction – the biggest tank that ever sat on anyone‘s front lawn.

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