Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eleventh Good Friday intercession for sexual abuse victims

Deutsche Bischofskonferenz: 31.03.2010: Besondere Fuerbitte am Karfreitag fuer Missbrauchsopfer

Special prayers on Good Friday for abuse victims
The person responsible for dealing with the problems of sexual abuse on behalf of the German Bishops Conference, Bishop Stephan Ackermann (Trier), has invited the members of the German Bishops' Conference to insert special prayers into the Good Friday liturgy. "Given the current situation of the problem of sexual abuse within the Church, I have submitted this proposal," said Bishop Dr. Ackermann. The Good Friday liturgy has traditionally contained ten great intercessions. Into these prayers this year a petition "can be inserted" for children and adolescents, "to whom among the people of God, in communion with the Church, great injustice has been done, who have been abused and injured in body and soul," the prayer text states. " Holy Week is a call to repentance and prayer," Bishop Ackermann said.
We publish here the text of the additional year's Good Friday Prayer, consisting of an intercession, an invitation to prayer and a final prayer.

) Deacon (Priest: Let us pray for children and young people,
to whom among the people of God, in communion with the Church,
great injustice has been done,
who have been abused and injured in body and soul,
we pray also for the perpetrators
who have sinned badly against the young people
who were entrusted to their care and custody.
(Deacon: Kneel- all rise.)

Priest: Almighty and everlasting God,
your Son himself became a victim
of injustice and violence,
because of our sins he was wounded to the heart.

Let your love, your comfort and your strength
be near to all those to whom a great injustice has been done
and have suffered deep emotional wounds,
come near to them, heal their wounds and strengthen their faith,
To the guilty give insight and remorse,
willingness to repent and the determination to
make amends for past misdeeds.
send your Holy Spirit to all of us as Counsel,
so that we stay on the path of thy Commandments,
resisting evil, and deciding to do what is good.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Legal defence of the Pope in the US

Vatican offers 3 reasons it's not liable for abuse|

VATICAN CITY — Dragged deeper than ever into the clerical sex abuse scandal, the Vatican is launching a legal defense that the church hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him deposed.
The case was filed in 2004 in Kentucky by three men who claim they were abused by priests and claim negligence by the Vatican. Their attorney, William McMurry, is seeking class-action status for the case, saying there are thousands of victims across the country.Court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren't employees of the Vatican, and that a 1962 document is not the "smoking gun" that provides proof of a cover-up.
The Holy See is trying to fend off the first U.S. case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children.
Pope Pius VII, the last Pope to be placed under actual duress by the secular authorities.   Pope Pius IX was a self-imposed prisoner in the Vatican after the fall of the Papal States. 
"This case is the only case that has been ever been filed against the Vatican which has as its sole objective to hold the Vatican accountable for all the priest sex abuse ever committed in this country," he said in a phone interview. "There is no other defendant. There's no bishop, no priest."
The Vatican is seeking to dismiss the suit before Benedict XVI can be questioned or secret documents subpoenaed.

Celibacy rebels put under pressure

DIE RHEIN-NECKAR-ZEITUNG IM WEB - Heidelberg: Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch setzt Zoelibat-Rebellen unter Druck

The "Heidelberg Petition" which calls for the abolition of celibacy for Catholic priests meets with tremendous resonance. In only two weeks, several thousand Catholics have signed the petitions for the Pastoral Area of St. Christopher (Wieblingen, Pfaffengrund and Eppelheim). Even four Roman Catholic priests now openly declare their solidarity with the petition. Now,

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch tries to stop the rebellion at the grassroots level: Father John Brandt and parish organiser, Daniel Saam have been emphatically told by the Freiburg Ordinariate "to refrain in future" from promoting this petition. "
Therefore, no more posters hang in the Catholic churches in Heidelberg West, the stacks of petitions have disappeared. Only an unhelpful request for "understanding" remains on the homepage of the Pastoral Area of St. Christopher, instead of inflammatory words blaming celibacy for the catastrophic shortage of priests in the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Freiburg expects that the number of parish priests of today will go down from 600 today to less than 200 in 2030.

"Despite this dramatically declining number of priests, the Church with the celibacy requirement places a thin bottleneck on access to the ministry," the "Heidelberg Petition” states. Their basic argument: If young men who felt called to be Catholic priests could marry, the Catholic Church would no longer suffer from a shortage of priests. "We urge the leaders of the church, no longer place a higher value on the commitment to celibacy than the availability of the Sunday Mass."

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Book to read on the abuse crisis


Recommended by Father Finigan

And also

Monday, March 29, 2010

Closing liturgical abuse at the 2010 Los Angeles Religious Education Conference

How many liturgical abuses can people spot!?

Especially grotesque

The cover shows the consecration of Cardinal Mahoney's new cathedral.

Early sighting of stealth priestess

irst female Lutheran minister in America administers communion at a Catholic Mass in 1970.
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After the abuse scandals, EU takes action on child pornography.

Kindesmissbrauch: „Dunkle Ecken des Internets aufrauemen“ - Europaeische Union - Politik - FAZ.NET

Article from Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

One of the of the central concerns of home affairs is to ensure the safety of individuals and to defend his fundamental rights and freedoms. Many people are rightly concerned that governments could take action in the interest of safety with over-regulation in response to various types of threats - from terrorism to cyber-hate speech -.
The European Union has been at the forefront, despite the current threats in our globalized world, of anchoring individual rights and freedoms in our political architecture. One of the greatest achievements of the Lisbon Treaty is the fact that the ECHR is now an integral part of EU law. Therefore, we must always carefully examine the legislation as to how it affects the freedom and security of our citizens.
The way forward belongs to member states
Against abominable child pornographic images, which are still circulating on the Internet, we need to take further action. The Commission shall submit a draft directive on this Monday, which should clear away at least within the European Union the dark corners of the Internet and criminal images of child abuse.
Firstly, the lives of innocent children are at stake. Hiden behind the images on the Internet is the worldwide fate of abused children. Child abuse is an extremely serious crime. Therefore, we must - even if many of the pictures originate beyond the EU borders, do all we can to protect innocent children.
Secondly, it is a sad reality that today a large number of images in circulation show child abuse. If we do not act, then the potential users of such web sites, viewing such images over time could possibly see them as normal.
Thirdly, we must act at European level in order to close the loopholes that are inevitable if each Member State on its own tries to block access to these sites, which are usually located in third countries.
The Commission proposes to follow the example of some Member States where this is already happening and to introduce national mechanisms to block access to child pornography. Member states should decide for themselves how they can best achieve this goal You could, for example, encourage internet service providers to develop voluntary codes of conduct and guidelines in order to deny users access to child pornography websites. Or empower the competent police and judicial authorities in law to demand internet service providers to block the use of such sites.
No substitute for the removal of the source
The proposals also contain important safeguards to ensure that legislation is not too frivolous, and the purposes for which it applied. Thus, for example, access will only be prevented if demonstrably illegal child abuse images is made publicly accessible. Users will then be informed why their access is denied. In addition, the content providers will have the ability to appeal against unjust decisions which are in their opinion unjust.
When it comes to regulation of the Internet, citizens' initiatives raise the question of the right to freedom of expression. Images of child abuse may not be considered under any circumstances to be a legitimate expression. When children are humiliated, this is a clear violation of their fundamental rights. Europe must therefore commit themselves with all their strength to the protection of children.
Of course, the access lock is no substitute for the obligation of States to take action to remove child pornography images at the source - even though we are all aware of the practical difficulties of implementation and the provider is physically in most cases outside EU jurisdiction.
The Commission has made many efforts, resolutely combat this threat to our society and its fundamental rights. Now it is at the European Parliament and the Member States to decide on the approach of the European Union.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Private screening of a pornographic movie organised for 100 nuns

This screening of "Helga and Michael" on the "sexual education of a couple" took place in Paris in 1969.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Good news in a dark world

Return of Latin Mass

Sean M. Connolly attended his first traditional Latin Mass when he studied abroad at the American Institute for Roman Culture in Rome.

After hearing much about the old rite that was at the spiritual heart of his grandparents’ generation, the College of the Holy Cross student visited the Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini (the Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrim Church), a 16th-century house of worship where the Mass is celebrated exclusively in Latin.

He said he immediately fell in love with the worship service — struck by its solemnity, its piousness, and its elaborate trappings.

“I felt like I was denied, for years, something that was very special,” said the 21-year-old Westchester, N.Y., resident. “It is such a beautiful liturgy.”

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Bishop denounces smear campaign against the Church

Bischof Mueller prangert Hetze gegen Kirche an | RP ONLINE

Bishop Muller denounces smear campaign against the Church

Regensburg (Mc) The Bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, in his  Sunday sermon denounced parts of the reporting into child abuse in church institutions as evidence of prejudice and anti-clerical agitation. Mueller, who is responsible within the Catholic German Bishops' Conference for Ecumenism and is valued highly by the Pope, dismissed the allegation of a systematic cover-up by leaders of the church of attacks. He condemned the attempt to bring into disrepute the entire Catholic Church and its institutions.

Mueller  alleged that anticlerically minded forces have chosen the Regensburg cathedral choir as a victim: "A showpiece of the Diocese of Regensburg is being dragged through the mud." Criminal energy is being used to produce  deliberately distorted images. Meanwhile, the mood was so heated that Domspatzen (the choir of the Cathedral) were being publically mobbed. Reporters besieged their high school and troubled parents, because they did  not free their children from the supposed "quagmire of sexual violence and systematic humiliation." Claims that he compared in part to the reporting of abuse cases with the clerical propaganda of the Nazis, were rejected by Bishop Muller's spokesman yesterday as "far fetched." The bishop was merely in a sermon dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the Catholic Women's League recalling  the courage of women in 1941 against the inhuman Nazi ideology, and currently calls for fidelity to Faith and Church.

Cathcon comments
"This morning,  Cardinal Walter Kasper distanced himself from the views expressed by the bishop of Regensburg. On Bavarian Radio Kasper said that  the Catholic Church should not point the finger at others. "We want our own house in order,"- from the Hamburger Abendblatt.

The Head of the Central Committee of German Catholics, Alois Gluck has expressed similar sentiments. 
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Full list of the abuse cases in Germany and some more details

Kirche arbeitet mehr als 250 Verdachtsfaelle auf

Church is considering more than 250 suspected cases
Hamburg (dpa) - The Catholic Church in Germany brings to public attention more and more victims of sexual abuse. Since the revelation of abuse by clergy of students at Canisius College in Berlin in late January became known nationwide, there have been more than 250 suspected cases.
This is according to a survey by Deutsche Presse-Agentur of the 27 dioceses. Mostly they are cases of criminal acts from the 50s to the 80s long subject to the statute of limitations.
The Jesuit Order’s lawyer Ursula Raue now already knows of about 160 suspected cases alone, in institutions of that order. In many places, old files are being reconsidered. In many cases, victims have approached the Church leadership under the seal of secrecy. Problems arise from anonymous accusations and speculation – these don’t allow a proper investigation and generate a climate of mistrust, it is said. Even outside the Catholic Church abuse cases have been reported at schools.
BERLIN: In the 70s and 80s, two Fathers are said to have abused students at the Canisius College. 61 victims have been reported up to now.
ROTTENBURG-STUTTGART: 14 priests are under suspicion: seven priests of the diocese, four of whom are already dead, and seven religious. A former pastor at St. Pius X in Oggelsbeuren is under care for dementia and can no longer be investigated.
FREIBURG: The Archdiocese has rejected cover-up allegations against the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch. While working as a personnel officer in the archdiocese, he is said to have moved according to the TV show "Report Mainz" and the "Badische Zeitung in 1991, a priest, who abused at least 17 children and teenagers into early retirement. In 1995, the priest took his own life.
REGENSBURG: Two priests who died long ago abused students at the cathedral choir-boarding school. A former high school student from a school in Metten run by Benedictine monks made accusations of abuse against a monk. The diocese wants to provide an interim report on Monday.
Munich and Freising: numbers are not provided. Cases have been notified in the Benedictine monastery of Ettal and the Missionary Benedictine Abbey of St. Ottilian. Then there is the case of the priest from the diocese of Essen who was given a second chance when the Archbishopric of Munich, was held by the current pope, Joseph Ratzinger,. The priest was suspended a few days ago because he had not complied with the requirement to stop working after a previous conviction with young people.
Passau: A Capuchin monk is said to have abused several seminarians the mid-80s when director of a former Study Seminary in Burghausen (Cathcon- think this was a Junior Seminary).
EICHSTÄTT: A priest has been suspended in the district of Ansbach, because he allegedly sexually abused a minor in 1971 as a student assistant in the boarding school of the Regensburg cathedral choir.
BAMBERG: At the Aufseesianum boarding school in Bamberg, abuse occured. The two suspects are dead.
AUGSBURG: At the Marist boarding school in Mindelheim an teacher is supposed to have abused at least 10 to 15 boys. A brother of the Community was dismissed in 2007 after many years as headmaster, without the parents being informed the students about the real reason. He was convicted of sexual abuse. Allegations also relate to a former home of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Augsburg. In addition, a priest made public a case eleven years afterwards under pressure from the diocese itself.
WÜRZBURG: Two priests have been suspended. One of them is a Franciscan Minor, said to have molested children in the 70's in a boarding school of the Order located in Bonn. At the same time there are charges against the 76-year-old from his time in Würzburg, where he has lived since the late 70s. Several other allegations that children have been sexually abused in other Catholic institutions, are currently being reviewed.
FULDA: There are at least six cases. The diocese does not want to comment on that. It apologized that a priest in Großenlüder had been merely transferred for his actions in 1990. Then he had further contact with children. In 1995 he was convicted of sexual abuse in ten cases with a two years suspended imprisonment.
LIMBURG: Ten suspected cases. In mid-February a priest was suspended. He confessed that in the 90s he had sexual contact with boys in the Westerwald. The Koblenz prosecutors said nothing could be done because of the statute of limitation. The priest was most recently chaplain to two Catholic schools in Königstein im Taunus. In the case of a church employee dismissed in early 2007 the Frankfurt prosecution are investigating.
MAINZ: In a boarding school in Bensheim, a social worker , who ran the boarding school from 1973 to 1979 abused the children. Three victims have made themselves known. The suspect has completely disappeared.
SPEYER: Two Fathers of the Hiltrup missionaries have confessed for abuse at the Johanneum school in Homburg. They were dismissed from all offices. In two earlier cases, the perpetrators are already dead. A Franciscan priest confessed after harassment allegations from an altar boy in December 2009. The Landau prosecutor has discontinued proceedings against him. The Church's investigation is still ongoing. A parish priest is said to have sexually abused a boy in the 60s.
TRIER: no details. On 29 March, the Diocese plans to submit an interim report,. The Coblenz prosecutor dropped on Thursday a case against a Catholic priest and one former teacher of religion because of the statute of limitations. He admitted that from 1985 to 1987 to abusing three 17 - and 18-year-olds.
COLOGNE: The Bonn prosecutor investigated the caretaker of a parish. The man was suspended from duty and banned from the place. The sexual assaults at the Aloysius College in Bonn will not be examined by the archdiocese, but by the Jesuits. The prosecutor case is investigating a priest who lives now in a nursing home in a case that is not covered by the statute of limitations.
AACHEN: In the 50s, religious at the Catholic boarding school and home in Overbach who worked as teachers, are said to have misused three children. A priest is under suspicion of sexual abuse 20 years ago. The clarification of a number of other possible cases is only just beginning.
MUNSTER: 50 old cases are to be examined. Affected are 15 defendants, most of whom have already died. Several more recent allegations of abuse have already been processed: From 13 defendants who allegedly abused childeen between 2002 and 2010 children, five are considered to be guilty "unacceptable behavior." Their files are held by the public prosecutor and they were suspended from duty. In the southern part of the Diocese, seven suspected cases from 1930 to 1980 are examined.
ESSEN: More than a dozen elderly people have claimed that they are victims of sexual abuse by priests. Exact figures, the diocese cannot give until the cases can be classified.
PADERBORN: The head of the Archiepiscopal Boarding School for Boys, the Aloysianum in Werl is said to have abused two former pupils.
Hildesheim: There are allegations against four priests. Two of them are implicated as Jesuit priests in the scandal at the Canisius College in Berlin. An accused priest is retired. A parish priest in Wolfsburg has been suspended from duty. Other allegations relate to cases of already deceased clergyman whose number the Diocese will not provide any details about. The number of victims is far more than a dozen.
OSNABRUECK: In a former boarding school of the Marist Fathers in Meppen, at the end of the 60s, minors were subject to sexual abuse. The public prosecutor stopped an investigation against a religious in a male order because of the statute of limitations.
HAMBURG: Two suspected cases have been forwarded to the prosecutor. Earlier, four former students of the St. Ansgar School made allegations.
Dresden-Meissen, Gorlitz, Erfurt, Magdeburg: no known cases
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Abuse in Regensburg Domspatzen: Priest relieved of office

Nachrichten - Oberpfalz & Bayern - Bayern/Oberpfalz aus der MZ :: Mittelbayerische Zeitung ::

The Bishop of Eichstätt Gregor Maria Hanke has suspended Father Sturmius Wagner, Dietenhofen-Großhabersdorf (Ansbach) with immediate effect from his pastoral duties. The priest is said to have sexually abused a minor during his time as a student assistant in the Regensburg Cathedral choir boarding school in the school year 1971/72, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Regensburg announced on Wednesday.

Father Wagner. conceded on Tuesday in the press release wrong doing during his work in Regensburg, and asked the Diocese of Eichstätt to accept his resignation from the parish of Dietenhofen-Großhabersdorf and release him from the exercise of priestly services.

Sturmius Wagner worked from April 1970 to February 1972 in the boarding of the Regensburg Cathedral Choir as a student assistant. The mother of a student at that time reported that Wagner did not keep the necessary distance from her son. As a consequence, his task was ended at the cathedral choir, even if the allegation of sexual assault was not public. The Diocese of Regensburg in recent days has received concrete information about sexual abuse of a student in 1971. The Diocese of Regensburg is currently reviewing this information and now the prosecutor has been informed about the process.

The case came to light as a result of investigative journalism by Stern.  Wagner had shown films and magazines of a dubious nature to an 11 year old chorister studying at the school.

The Bishop preaches at Mass for dedication of the new church with Sturmius Wagner

Sturmius Wagner

Born in Amberg and since the end of April 2004 Parish Priest of the Parish of St. Walburga Dietenhofen-Großhabersdorf. Born in 1948, ordained in 1978 in Eichstätt, a member of the Ecumenical Commission of the Diocese, a founding member of the Association of Christian Churches in Bavaria. Wagner worked as a chaplain in Nuremberg-Reichelsdorf and in the pilgrimage church of Maria Bruennlein in Wemding
before he took over the Parish of Pfraunfeld and the office of the Deanery Youth Chaplain in the deanery of Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen.
The next place he worked was Wassertrüdingen. In the mountain town of Hessel Wagner was for almost fourteen years parish priest before he - at the request of Eichstätt Bishop Walter Mixa – took over as successor to Father Bernhard Kroll in Großhabersdorf.

Cathcon- Bernhard Kroll was himself suspended after he took part in a Protestant communion service at the Ecumenical Church Day in 2003.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feast of St Patrick


Criminous clerks

Constitutions of Clarendon

The Constitutions of Clarendon were a set of legislative procedures passed by Henry II of England in 1164. The Constitutions were composed of 16 articles and represent an attempt to restrict ecclesiastical privileges and curb the power of the Church courts and the extent of Papal authority in England. In the anarchic conditions of Henry II's predecessor, Stephen, the church had extended its jurisdiction in the void. The Constitutions were claimed to restore the judicial customs observed during the reign of Henry I (1100–35), while in fact they were a part of Henry II's larger expansion of royal jurisdiction into the Church and civil law, which was the defining aspect of his reign.

The Constitutions' primary goal was to deal with the controversial issue of "criminous clerks," or clergy who had committed a serious crime but escaped justice via ecclesiastical courts by "benefit of Clergy". Unlike royal courts, ecclesiastical courts were more sympathetic to clergy. An ecclesiastical case of murder often ended with the defendant being defrocked (dismissed from the priesthood). In a royal court, murder was often punished with mutilation or death.

The Constitutions of Clarendon were Henry II's attempts to rein in the problem by claiming that once the ecclesiastical courts had tried and defrocked clergymen, the Church could no longer protect the individual, and convicted former clergy could be further punished under the jurisdiction of secular courts. Thomas Becket, then the Archbishop of Canterbury (1162–1170), resisted Henry II's Constitutions, especially the clause concerning "criminous clerks." Becket claimed no man should be placed in double jeopardy. As a result, Henry II exiled Becket and his family. Bishops were in agreement over the articles until the Pope disapproved and then Becket repudiated his arguments. A bitter quarrel resulted, leading to Becket being murdered on 29 December 1170. After this Henry felt compelled to revoke the two controversial clauses which went against canon law. However, the rest stayed in effect as law of the land.

Cathcon comments
Henry II used the controversy to extend his jurisdiction over the Church- the moderns would side with the Church over the use of the death penalty.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Church has covered up"- Bishop speaking for German Bishop's Conference

Bishop Ackermann: The Church has covered up

Koblenz Lack of any idea of education in the past, guilty clerics, cover-up: With these clear words the person appointed by the Catholic Church to deal with the abuse scandal, Bishop of Trier Stephan Ackermann, places his own institution in court.

Every day we get new reports of sexual abuse or the abuse of power in religious institutions. What guilt has the Catholic Church brought upon herself?

First, it must be stated that the perpetrators are guilty. Simply to say at no great length that it is the system that is the problem would not do justice to the problem and excuse the perpetrators to an unpleasant degree. But of course those who bear responsibility and are in this sense guilty as superiors have brought guilt on themselves and have not dealt with the incidents and the abuse in the senses of education and future prevention.

Has the Catholic Church been guilty of cover-up?

From our findings, which we now have, there has been cover-up. We now have to take painful note. There where there was no real desire to explain and offenders were simply transferred, we must admit in a whole series of cases that there has been cover-up.

Are there dioceses who dealt too leniently with the perpetrators?

First, one must say that looking back over the past decades, indeed, all dioceses are somehow affected. I have learned in the discussions in recent days, that we too had one eye on protecting the perpetrators. And if you ask for clemency, this is again the perpetrators perspective. What can one say: Our considerations on the matter were false. A false regard for the reputation of the church, for certain institutions, for reputation.

Why is it that these abuses are now known after decades? Is this the responsibility of the entire system of the Church, in the power structures?

That these cases are now known, on one hand, is due to the fact that Father Mertes, the Rector of the Canisius College in Berlin, a courageous ecclesiastic came forward. Secondly, many victims due to the enormous publicity and from the resulting experience that they are not alone are now encouraged to speak, after decades, of their personal destiny.

What will the round table produce?

I am sure that at this round table, we can make the substance of the abuse problem in its full extent even more apparent and that there are other perspectives, primarily in the area of prevention. The various social institutions which are active in the field of children and youth, must work together more closely here.

Will there be new focal points, new aid for the victims?

I have already announced that we want to set up a hotline for those affected - victims, perpetrators maybe also -. This will be available from 30 March. In addition, there will be officials in the various dioceses and religious communities who will be the first contact when it comes to notify certain cases.

How qualified and how neutral will the staff be on the hotline?

It will be staffed with qualified men and women from our parishes - with psychologists and therapists who know how to deal with the issue of sexual abuse.

How much do you want outside expertise to understand the issue thoroughly?

We have used external expertise in drawing up the guidelines in 2002. In 2003, the Vatican invited people to a conference on sexual abuse. 95 percent of the participating experts are not Catholic. And if we revise our guidelines, once again, we will call on experts from outside. I have received as a representative of the Episcopal Conference has a number of offers from people who are willing to contribute their expertise to it.

Will the Church change the training of priests?

I will take any case with the trainers in seminaries contact, taking the elements in the training under the microscope and to improve this. But I would like to emphasize that the vast majority of cases, which are now known to be in the 60's, 70s or 80s happened years ago. At least since the 80s, psychology is a standard element in the training of priests.
There are criticisms of the Pope that he has not clearly expressed himself on the abuse cases.

Now, the Vatican have announced a pastoral letter to the Irish bishops on this topic. Is this level not too formal, to do justice to the discussion?

One does the Pope wrong, if you convey the impression that he would not be clear on this issue. If one looks at the events in America, which became known 2002, the current Pope was in charge as prefect of the Congregation of Faith and has driven a very significant price. This he does with the Irish bishops, too. That they are twice been to the Vatican, which shows how strongly the issue has become a top priority. Perhaps the Papal letter will analyse the abuse problem in a broader sense.

Will not the "German" Pope make a personal statement on the situation in Germany?

The Pope is above all, the pope of the universal Church. But the Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference was in the Vatican and the pope has spoken with him about the problem. And he has been publicised the reaction of the Pope and clearly points out that the Pope encouraged this path of investigation.

You argue that the victims are not seeking compensation but that they are pleased to finally be able to talk about their fate. Where do you get the assurance that it will not eventually just be a matter of compensation?

I got many responses giving the sense that the question of money is not in the foreground. But the question of compensation is of course under consideration. We need for the pastoral help of people funding for therapeutic services. We will continue to do so. And also you have to talk about whether there can be a form of tangible or intangible recognition for the victims. It is important to us that this recognition of the injustice which these people suffered is just and equitable. We do not want to be held ransom for certain amounts.

How do you see your very special role of – in secular terms - Chief Investigator?

This concept is not true. The investigation lies with the local representatives of the dioceses. My role is that of coordinator on the basic questions that all dioceses have to address: the revision of the guidelines, the discussions with the experts, contact with those who train priests, the establishment of the hotline.

And what do you see as your tasks this year?

This year, we will revise the guidelines and resolve the question of compensation. And I am optimistic that all cases which are reported to us will also be clarified. I do not pretend to predict what the Roundtable will produce during the year. There, the Catholic Church does not sit alone.

Do you think that the Catholic Church has gained its reputation back then?

We will try as best we can to win the trust again. One must note that we are serious about the investigations. But trust one can only seek as a goal when you trust yourself.

What connection do you see between the sexualization of our society and the abuse of children in all educational areas?

The discussions in recent weeks have shown that it does not lie in certain morality. In institutions with different orientations abuses have occurred. But the fact that many crimes have come to light so late, is due to the closed systems, whether in Catholic institutions, in non-religious boarding school or even in the family.

Does it depress you when the subjects of abuse and celibacy are discussed in the same breath?

Yes, it saddens me because there is no causal link. By the way, not only the bishops say that, but also non-religious experts. A sexual disorder originates in the past. It will not be triggered by a promise that is given by a grown man. And it saddens me because it questions the witness and the total life of the Catholic priest.

Do you welcome celibacy being discussed seriously in your church now?

If the discussions lead one to approach the subject of sexuality and sexual morality in a deeper way, then I welcome that. I see very well the problems that we have as Catholic Church is a demanding sexual morality, but we must recognize that the lives of married couples and celibates do not always proceed in the correct way. I would consider it important to be able to provide helpful answers.

How is the central pillar "of celibacy" for the equilibrium of the Catholic Church?
Celibacy is not a dogmatic statement of faith.

Put another way: would the system collapse without the celibacy of the Catholic Church?

Undoubtedly, the face of the church would drastically change. I am opposed to simply saying: "Let priests marry." If a priest does not marry, it would be very quickly surmised that something was wrong. Also, it is a fallacy that more people go to church just because the pastor may marry. In the context of the renewal of faith, this question would not produce anything. "

Hullermann, the Munich priest, now suspended, pictured during his ministry

The post-Vatican II Church broke down barriers.... between paedophiles and children

The Parish of Garching says goodbye to their Parish Priest

He preached at his final Mass in dogerell verse and rejoiced in being a priest "who could be touched". At the reception afterwards,

"For more than 300 altar boys in the parish community Florian Welter confirmed that Hullermann had succeeded in creating a young church and his love for the liturgy will be sustained to the young generation . Welter said goodbye to Hullermann  as a pastor, man and friend. An altar delegation handed over a plaque with photos and signatures of all Garching's servers."

He subsequently returned for the celebrations of the Parish's Fiftieth Anniversary in 2008 or 9- on the left in both cases. 

But still in 2009, despite having been appointed a Tourism Chaplain (this newsletter describes the work including a Children's Mass in the mountains- he gives a talk about being married to the Church!) and been told to stay away from children, he was presiding at a Youth Mass in Bad Toelz.

Part of the parish team- fourth from the left standing.

Pictures of the Youth Mass- Happy Hour with God's Power.  Hullermann at far left in first picture which is a detail of the second. 

A newsletter reported, "Many will remember this Mass for a long time"- and says that he celebrated the Mass again- implying that he had done so at least once before.

Little wonder on Sunday in Bad Tölz, there were disturbances at the Sunday Mass.

Hullermann was due to speak at a Tourism Conference last Friday- somehow suspect he did not make the appointment.

As the Archdiocese suspended him yesterday - the competent administrative and technical supervisor of Hullermann, Monsignor Josef Obermaier resigned as well. "As head of the Pastoral Care Unit of the Archdiocese, he assumes the responsibility for serious errors in the operation of his supervision." Obermaier offered his resignation to Archbishop Reinhard Marx on Monday afternoon, which was accepted the latter.

Hullermann has been suspended for violating the conditions

The Archdiocese has now appointed an independent investigator to go through all the personnel files of the Archdiocese.

And the Bavarian Justice Ministry has set up a forum which will meet after Easter "to combat violent and sexual crimes in educational institutions in Bavaria. Alongside the Justice, Social, Culture and Environment Ministries, the Catholic and Lutheran churches, other educational and youth institutions, victims' associations and experts will participate. All agencies involved in anti-abuse work should have the opportunity to contribute with their experience and their expertise."

Map showing the extent of the scandal across Germany.

In 1937, Goebbels started a campaign in Germany against the Catholic Church alleging sexual abuse of children- not aware of one case being proven.   But after the Council, it is a rather different matter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Church in ruins


Dramatic image of post-Conciliar decline on cover of SSPX Belgium newsletter.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"Marriage is not for Adam and Steve"- priest apologises

Article in the Daily Telegraph

Petition in Support of the Pope- reaches 20000 signatures-BIG THANKYOU to one and all


Pope's brother apologises for administering corporal punishment

Ratzinger: Papstbruder entschuldigt sich fuer Ohrfeigen - Missbrauchsskandal - FOCUS Online

The former head of the Regensburg Cathedral choir, the Pope's brother Georg Ratzinger has apologised for abuses during his tenure. And he admits that he has boxed pupils around the ears.

He has repeatedly slapped pupils during rehearsals "but almost always with a bad conscience" had, "said Ratzinger, the" Passauer Neue Presse newspaper on Tuesday. The slaps had been "simply the way of reacting to failures or deliberate refusal perform well." Some educators used a "certain roughness" in those days. But he was relieved when in 1980 corporal punishment was prohibited by the legislature. "I have conformed to this ban most strictly." It was a "good development that the renunciation of slapping was based on a through knowledge."

He was aware that the then director had often dealt out very violent blows for a trivial cause, "said Ratzinger. Students had told him on concert tours what had happened to them. "But their reports have not been made to me in such a way, that I thought I ought to do something." He himself at that time had no options of intervening. The boarding school was an independent institution. The director had gone into retirement in1992 because of public criticism of his teaching methods. "Today, of course, judges totally different," said the 86-year-old, who from 1964 to 1994 was on the staff of the cathedral of Regensburg. Any brutal approach to law is perceived as horrible. "If I had known how excessively violent he was, then I would have said something at that time." He condemned what had happened and asked the victims for forgiveness

The newly reported cases of sexual abuse in the famous choir "had never been discussed". There had been silence, but not just in the church. " society in general was like that." Ratzinger affirmed that his brother, Pope Benedict XVI. was very sympathetic to all the victims. He could now only appeal to those responsible for abuses and condemn the acts. "Moreover, he can ask consistently for the way of respect and reverence for human integrity."

Archabbot of St Peter's in Salzburg resigns in abuse scandal

Salzburger Erzabt gesteht Missbrauch - Missbrauch durch Geistliche - › Panorama

Victims turned to Ombudsman, priest offers resignation
Salzburg - Salzburg, the Abbot Bruno Becker has offered because of sexual abuse 40 years ago of someone who was a minor at the time offered the competent religious superiors his resignation. Immediately after the crime he had sincerely apologised to the person concerned. He still regretted the incident profoundly and apologised profoundly, he said in a press release late Monday afternoon.

At the time the deed, he was 24 years old and not yet a priest. Since this unfortunate event and in all his pastoral work there had been no single incident of this kind either directed to this individual, or other persons, the cleric stressed.

Archbishop informed

After the election of the Abbot of St. Peter, the person concerned turned in the fall of 2009 to an ombudsman . In an meeting on 22 November 2009 in Vienna, where was also the ombudsman, and another confidant of the accuser were present, once again he asked those concerned to pardon him for the incident over 40 years ago and expressed his sincere remorse, the press release stated. The Abbot had been informed of this incident, including Archbishop Alois Kothgasser.

As reported, the Roman Catholic Church in Austria after the announcement of recent abuse cases has drawn some initial conclusions. In the Spring General Assembly in St. Polten in Austria of the Episcopal Conference a unified system of oversight has been commissioned, reported Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. A project is to develop proposals by the summer.

In the wake of reports of hundreds of abuse cases in Germany, it was revealed that in the previous year in Austria seventeen abuse cases have been started against Catholic schools and parishes in Austria. According to the spokesman of the Archdiocese of Vienna, Erich Leitenberger, there were 2009 in the Archdiocese of Vienna eight cases, two cases in each diocese of Graz, Innsbruck, St. Pölten and one each in Linz, Salzburg and Eisenstadt. (red, DER STANDARD, print edition 9.3.2010)

Monday, March 08, 2010

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We need our Faith!


"After 114 years ministering to the spirtual needs of generations of Lorain families, St. Joseph Catholic Church closed its doors yesterday after a final Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Lennon, of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

It was the last of several church closings or mergings in Lorain County ordered by the diocese due to falling memberships and financial pressure, according to Robert Tayek, a diocese spokesman.

But yesterday's emotional service, on the third Sunday of Lent, drew sadness and criticism from many members of the congregation, founded in 1896 by German immigrants at 317 W. 15th St., Lorain.

More than 200 parishioners filled the pews and two lines of folding metal chairs at the rear of the church for the 75-minute service. No babies cried during the Mass, but many older members shed tears as they recalled happier times at St. Joseph."