Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sale ends an era for 170-year-old parish - Baltimore Sun

Sale ends an era for 170-year-old parish - Baltimore Sun:

"A renowned city architect designed St. Peter the Apostle Church 170 years ago. Irish laborers dug the foundation by hand, donating their labor to build it. And its early parishioners spared no expense in adorning their house of worship. They installed an elaborate white marble altar, with a life-size statue of the church's patron saint towering over it, and placed intricately carved angels at the sides of the tabernacle."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Abuse in Admont Abbey: Cardinal Schönborn as "accessory"?

Christoph Kardinal Schönborn auf dem Bruder-Ko...Image via Wikipedia
Missbrauch in Admont: Schönborn als "Mitwisser"? «

The Klasnic Commission (the church established commission investigating sexual abuse) rejected a compensation claim for a student of Admont, although there are witnesses and a confession which has now been taken back. Critics accuse the Church of cover-up.

An abuse charge against Admont now brings trouble for the Klasnic Commission: Although there are witnesses and a confession which has now been taken back, the Commission has rejected compensation for an alleged abuse victim, reports the Ö1 Morning Journal. The criteria for compensation are unclear, critics say.

A now 57-year-old who wants to remain anonymous says that, as a teenager at the boarding school, he was severely beaten and seriously injuredby two Fathers of Admont Abbey. He was raped, flogged and beaten unconscious, forced to have cold showers and to stand on a cold stone floor. He suffered permanent hearing damage among other problems. The man turned to the Klasnic Commission, which established a causal relationship "between the sexual assault suffered and the psychological consequences described." However, there was no money.

The alleged victim found the decision incomprehensible. A witness confirmed the allegations to Ö1, as well as the medical and psychiatric reports. One of the accused priests had admitted to the news magazine "profil", in March 2010, to be "the man responsible for the hearing impairment" . "I suffer, must live with it and ask for forgiveness." Later he would revoke his confession.

"Complicity and inaction"

The Platform of the Victims of Ecclesiastical Abuse raises serious allegations against Cardinal Schönborn and the Bishop of the Diocese of Graz-Seckau, Egon Kapellari, accusing them of "complicity and inaction". Schönborn and Kapellari were informed in 2010 about the priest, but he was not dismissed. The Klasnic Commission is just "another instrument of the Church cover-up".

The Abbey contests the Ö1 report about the sexual assault and speaks only of a single slap. The Klasnic Commission has stated that it had examined the case several timesand rejected it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Belgian police raid every diocese in the country

Belgique : nouvelles perquisitions dans des évêchés wallons |

'via Blog this'

Apologies- late breaking news- only just back online.

Belgium: new searches of Walloon bishoprics
After a series of searches in the Flemish bishoprics on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 January, it was the turn of the Walloon Dioceses of Tournai and Namur to be raided on Wednesday by the Belgian Federal Police, under the leadership of the Brussels Investigating Magistrate, Wim De Troy.

Each time the police took away the "personal files" of priests whose names appear in about 200 testimonies from victims and 87 legal complaints in the possession of Judge De Troy.

"We are at an important phase of Operation Chalice," the name given to the investigation which has been undermining the Belgian Church since the spring of 2010, said one of the magistrates and spokesman for the federal prosecution service, Lieve Pellens . "We are looking for fundamental material," she added.

Judge De Troy is not trying to find evidence against pedophile priests, a task which is the responsibility of local prosecutors, but to see whether their superiors showed themselves "culpable" in failing to act or protecting abusers when they were informed of these facts.

The former bishop of Bruges, Monsignor Roger Vangheluwe, who resigned in April 2010 after admitting sexual abuse of a nephew, who was a minor, in the 1980s, was especially cited by de Troy, according to the Flemish newspaper De Standaard . The former bishop, who has fled abroad to an undisclosed location, cannot be prosecuted for acts he himself has committed, as he is now protected by the statute of limitation.

But according to De Standaard, he has until recently protected the priests of his diocese, even to the extent of sending small sums of money to an alleged victim and threatening "consequences" if she spoke.

Desperate to make history with the investigation
The Belgian Church hoped to have turned the corner last week by launching a public information campaign, setting up a network for victims and with the statement that all cases of sexual abuse are to be systematically sent to the court authorities. Last December, it had already agreed to offer compensation of between 2500 and 25000 euro to victims of sexual crimes prescribed by law.

"We have no objection at all to when justice does its job as long as judicial norms are met. This time, the method of search is more normal and investigators have behaved in a more correct manner", confided Ferdinand Keuleneer , counsel for the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels to La Croix.

Recalling that the Church authorities have pledged to cooperate fully with the ongoing criminal investigation, he was surprised, however, by the need for a spectacular new operation and placed the matter on public record when he said "the Church of Belgium would certainly forwarded these records to the court if the latter had asked him."

"The Church authorities have recognized clearly that the structures of the past were neither appropriate nor effective in the fight against pedophilia, but it is another thing to want to demonstrate that there was failure to assist persons in danger. Wim De Troy seems to be desperate to make history with the investigation", he said in criticism to La Libre Belgique .

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Parish priest admits to 280 incidents of sexual abuse

Pfarrer gesteht 280 Fälle von Missbrauch -

A priest who is accused of sexual abuse of children in 280 incidents has admitted the truth of the allegations before the District Court of Braunschweig. Defenders of the 46-year-old said at the trial opening on Thursday, that the allegations were true in their entirety. According to prosecutors, the accused had previously admitted in a five-hour interrogation just a small number of the allegations. Victims are three boys who had met the priest during First Communion preparation. The children stayed sometimes in the rectory of the cleric in Lebenstedt in the Salzgitter and and spent holidays together with him in Disneyland Paris, on the Usedom and in Salzburg. The penalty for the actions of the parish priest will be jail of between two and fifteen years. DAPD

Cathcon- today also the Belgian Church has formally apologised for its scandalous inactivity in response to sexual abuse. Long overdue, too little, too late. The Catholic Church claims to be mother and teacher of all nations in matters of faith and morals. Since the Council, it has turned a blind eye and then covered up for sexual abuse by her clerics.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saving crocodiles is not the supreme law of the Church

Among the "guests" at today's general audience was an endangered Cuban crocodile, who "met" the Pope as Rome's Bio Park zoo celebrates its centenary.

The croc, only about two feet long, will be returned to Cuba about the time that the Pope visits the island nation next spring.

The Cuban crocodile population only survives on a small area of the island.

Benedict XVI continues to emphasize the need for respect for for creation.

Was the Crocodile called Castro by any chance?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Archdiocese deliberately confusing

Local News Reports on Possible Church Closings in Phoenixville - Phoenixville, PA Patch

Parishioners complained that they can’t get a straight answer from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia concerning the possible closures. The reporter stated that the news station contacted a representative from the Archdiocese who said, “There are no concrete plans to close either church,” and said a study is underway to look at the effects of priest shortages and demographic changes.

Apologetics- for re-configuring parishes


Saturday, January 07, 2012

One of the few journalists civilised enough to use Latin

Questions at Hadron Collider: just ask the Child in the manger - Mail Online - M E Synon's blog:

"If you are lucky enough to go to a Tridentine Rite Latin Mass on Christmas -- and plenty of both Catholics and non-Catholics do -- listen for what I think is the most mysterious line in the service, from the Psalms: In splendoribus sanctorum, ex utero ante luciferum genui te. In the brightness of the saints, from the womb before the day-star I begot Thee.

The day-star is how man measures time. 'Before the day-star' means before time. Ex utero ante luciferum genui te.

Which rather supports the suspicion I've had since the Large Hadron Collider got going: all those scientists under that mountain in Switzerland are asking questions about the wrong side of the big bang... the big question is not what happened just after time got going, but what happened just before. "

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A guest blog by myself for The Times of London

A Catholic in Kuwait: behind a paywall for those not already subscribed.

A previous blog attracted the comment that "I did not realise that people like Christopher Gillibrand still existed"!


The Belgian Church’s “mea culpa”

from - Vatican Insider

Long overdue. I sat in the public gallery when first Cardinal Danneels and then the Archbishop gave evidence to the Belgian Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. Danneels, one can suspect, was being economical with the vérité
as he presided over the Church over the years of scandal. But I was horrified, when the Archbishop came to give evidence when he said that he liked to say provocative things in order to get people into dialogue. It was so inappropriate in the circumstances, I just felt sick.

His press officer, who has written a great book on Nouvelle Theologie, albeit that he agrees with the movement, subsequently resigned when the Archbishop just kept on provoking, while the Belgian church tried to avoid her obligations to the victims.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Cardinal and German Muslims in spat

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany rejects accusations of Cologne's Cardinal Joachim Meisner, that the representatives of Islam in Germany would not disassociate themselves from anti-Christian violence in Africa. "Cardinal Meisner is either taken in by extremist agitators," said the chairman of the Central Council of German Muslims, Aiman ​​Mazyek to the "New Osnabrück newspaper" according to a preliminary report. "Or did he speculate without the knowledge of his church community."

Mazyek said that the Central Council of German Muslims had released on Boxing Day, an unambiguous statement on the attacks on Christians in Nigeria. "Just recently, we have jointly declared that the Koran itself clearly forbids attacks on churches, synagogues and mosques during war ," he said. From a church leader he expects fairness. "Besides, I am still waiting from him for a condemnation of terrorism in Nigeria - and the Christian organization akhwat Akwop" said Mazyek. They were responsible for killing 20 Muslims during prayer for Ramadan and in the past year alone, set five mosques and 50 houses on fire.

A ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’?

A ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’?

The Orthodox have been planning a Council for fifty years- given the disasters of the post-Conciliar times in the Catholic Church, they would do well to just call the whole thing off.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Muslim fight for Catholic churches

Duisburger Muslime kämpfen für katholische Kirche - Region | DerWesten

In the north of Duisburg, the Catholic Diocese wants to close five or six of their churches - including, possibly, St. Peter and Paul in Marxloh. As a result, there is interest from the association of the neighbouring Merkez Mosque: "Regardless of whether its a church or mosque - it's about a house of God," said the association chairman Mohammed Al.

Vigils, protest letters - if the bishop closes churches, protest is planned. The Ruhr diocese has long previous experience. But now Muslims have set their sights on the threatened Catholic Church. Muhammed Al finds that only logical: "Regardless of whether its a church or mosque - it's about a house of God. This affects us just like our Catholic friends, "says the chairman of the association of the Duisburg Merkez Mosque, the largest in Germany

Since the founding of the mosque association in 1984, there has been close contact with the Catholic community of St. Peter and Paul. He was "very distressed" therefore, when he heard from the local parish priest, Michael Kemper that the church may be closed. He has written to the bishop, with a request to "consider all options for maintainance." It would be "unfortunate if a church is closed only for financial reasons."

On closure, there is no way around it
After closure in the first large wave about five years ago, the Ruhr diocese wants to let go other churches in the north of Duisburg. Nothing had been decided, but there is no way around, says Pastoral Councillor, Michael Dörnemann. In Duisburg-Marxloh, only 19 percent are Catholic. Five, maybe six churches are at stake. The large parish of St. Norbert with the Peter and Paul parish could be absorbed into a neighboring parish. For weeks, resistance has been met - even against the style of the bishop, who has flouted with a "binding proposal" all other closure scenarios of the parish.

Besides the loss of a home for a - shrunken - parish, there are fears thatof the end at Peter and Paul in Marxloh of a piece of successful integration in a problem district. "It would be fatal," says Father Kemper. Muhammed Al is at least satisfied that the diocese has responded and assured him "we would explore all possibilities."

Bishop Overbeck has made the north of Duisburg clearly a top priority: On Tuesday, he wants to visit all the affected communities himself.

Cathcon- the parish website indicates a thriving parish.  There are other agendas here which are less than public.