The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


How have the Episcopalians handled abuse cases?

posted by jmcgee

According to this blogger — a clergywoman in the Episcopal church — the answer is decidedly mixed. 

From Rev. Ann Fontaine, over at Episcopal Cafe:

EPISCOPAL_SHIELD_BEST.jpgWe have our own history of the abuse of power, secrecy, and denial. It was not until the ’70s and ’80s that these abuses were finally addressed by the Church and the General Convention began work on revising the canons and to encourage dioceses to provide procedures and training.

Women clergy began to hear the stories of child and youth sexual abuse by clergy in the late 70s and early 80s. Women had only been ordained since 1974. A few women across the denominations met to compare notes. In the meantime lawsuits were beginning to emerge when the church would not respond to the suffering. The insurance companies were getting worried about providing liability insurance when churches knew about abuse and passed a priest on to another place. While I was serving on the Executive Council from 1985-91, Ellen Cooke, Treasurer, reported to the Presiding Bishop and the Council that something needed to be done both for pastoral and fiduciary reasons.

General Convention began to act. In 1985, a resolution passed to request Dioceses to conduct workshops on recognizing child sexual abuse. In 1991, a Committee on Sexual Exploitation was established. During this period several women clergy and some attorneys who had been providing legal counsel for abuse victims/survivors developed training for Bishops and other leaders to teach the church about the issue and how to deal with perpetrators and victims/survivors. It was clear that TEC did not have canons or procedures to guide this work, so several of us proposed a resolution for the next General Convention.

The bishops did not think the time was right for this action but we pressed ahead. The women of the Episcopal Church – Episcopal Women’s Caucus, Episcopal Church Women, Daughters of the King, and others mobilized to lobby both Houses and to talk their bishops about the importance of immediate action by the church. Abuse victims/survivors came to testify, often the first time they had told their stories in public. 1997 saw a number of resolutions including the revision of Title IV (disciplinary canons) passed. (The history of resolutions is here.) The Bishop’s Pastoral Office led by the Rt. Rev. Harold (Hoppy) Hopkins was a key supporter of funding, education, developing training and facing the issues of abuses and exploitation.

In 2009 another revision of the Title IV canons was passed to set up a procedure that is more like the professional standards of conduct in other professions. The original revisions were based on the Military Code of Justice that while providing a way to deal with abuse and exploitation have proved very difficult to use.

Since the days of these early cases the work to stop abuse in the Episcopal Church has a mixed record. In my work as a member of committees proposing and acting on guidelines for action and as a advocate for those who have suffered abuse and exploitation, I see the Episcopal Church is currently doing much better work but with areas that are still lacking.

Read more at the link for a fuller explanation.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 7:48 am


>>>Women clergy…
That’s where I stopped reading.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 8:02 am


Sex Abuse Allegations of Chassidim
http://en.gloria.tv/?media=67191



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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:02 am


Thanks for posting this thoughtful piece by Ann Fontaine, someone that I consider a friend. While Ann and I do not agree about everything, we do continue to walk together in community and hope. Is that not what is asked of us by our God?
As for women clergy, there is something to ponder here, despite what many may say. That does not mean to just do it- but if we cannot discuss it, we cannot discern it. That is always very sad to me. The Holy Spirit moves where She will and I imagine that we will all continue to be surprised.



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ds0490

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:06 am


Cannoli:>>>Women clergy…
>That’s where I stopped reading.
But of course, that didn’t stop you from commenting, did it. Ignorant twit.



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Sophia

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:28 am


Cannoli: if you hadn’t stopped reading you would have seen the most important thing about this piece: that the female Episcopal clergy, like those in other mainline Protestant denominations, are the ones who have courageously and prophetically led the way in responding to this grave evil. They are a major reason that it and other mainline churches have been decades ahead of the Roman Catholic church of responding appropriately to clergy sexual abuse. (Though an additional reason is the fact that not having to pretend you have never made a mistake makes it easier to admit and fix it when you have).



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ForSure

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:30 am


“CENTRAL NEW YORK: Bishop Should Be Investigated Following Arrest of Pedophile Priest” http://tinyurl.com/yh8efbj
Ascension Episcopal School has been served with a lawsuit concerning a sex scandal between a former faculty-member and a student. The female employee resigned and is no longer employeed at the school, the student she’s accused of having sex with is a 14 year old girl. http://tinyurl.com/y3r2sku
“Another Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Episcopal Diocese Of Texas” http://tinyurl.com/y2p469x



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Eugene Pagano

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:33 am


t seems that the Episcopal Church, which combines a hierarchy with some lay participation in governance, woke up to the problem before America’s Roman Catholic bishops—and without the impetus of a gigantic scandal like the RCC had in 2002. (Disclosure: A cradle Roman Catholic, I attend the Episcopal Church.)



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Deacon Norb

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:41 am


>
Fran has made an assertion that is not at all “off-the-wall” and does have some human cultural context to it. In Byzantine and Orthodox traditions, that person of the Blessed Trinity that Western Christians call the “Holy Ghost/ Holy Spirit” is better known as “HAGIA SOPHIA” — translated into English but probably not all that accurately as “Holy Wisdom.”
The primary cathedral at the major center of Orthodox Christianity in Istanbul (equivalent to our Saint Peter’s in Rome), is known as “HAGIA SOPHIA.”
In Greek, that noun is grammatically feminine. Most feminine personal names also end in “A.” Our Hispanic families do use “Jesus” as a given name for boys but use “Jesusa” for girls. In Italian, it is Mario versus Maria; in English we can think of “Paul versus Paula” or “Robert versus Roberta.”
Now back to the “Holy Spirit”; throughout Western Christianity to this very day, the given name of “Sophia/ Zoysia, Sophie” is only given to girl-children.
Perhaps it has become important for our “Western Church” to acknowledge the spiritual gifts and insights of our Orthodox/Byzantine Christian family members.
Thanks, Fran, for reminding me of this wonderful insight!



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:52 am


>>>As for women clergy, there is something to ponder here, despite what many may say.
>>>What “many” say?
How about what Pope John Paul II, using his full authority as the successor of Peter has said? Evidently, that doesn’t mean much to you feminists?
>>>In the Church’s latest statement on this matter, Pope John Paul II, using his full authority as the successor of Peter, states categorically that the Church cannot — not will not, but cannot — ordain women, now or in the future. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sets it out clearly, quoting the decree Inter insigniores:
>>>Only a baptized man (vir) receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord Himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.
__________________________________________
ds0490
When you have something of substance to say, I will respond substantively. Otherwise, you appear to be (and likely are) a dolt.
_____________________________________________________
Sophia
This piece was a product of the far left militant homosexual promoting Andrew Sullivan writing at his website. If you don’t know who he is, google him. Once again he’s attempting to undermine the practices of the Catholic Church to suit his own anti-Catholic agenda. I’m not interested in what he or the “Rev.” Ann Fontaine write. I see enough of that kind of garbage from posters right here at this site.



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 10:33 am


My oh, my!
Holy Cannoli,
I disagree with Rod Dreher on most things because he is a racist and a gay-bashing, hateful man.
I read him faithfully because he has something to say.
I find B16 an appallingly poor choice for Bishop of Rome, agreeing entirely with his elder brother that he lacks the people skills needed for the job.
I’d be willing to be good money, though, that I read and follow his commentary (in Latin, German, Italian and English) quite a bit more closely than you do – because he has a brilliant mind.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin G. Scalia will almost always decide a case differently than I would. Our viewpoints are diametrically opposed – which is interesting as we are both strict constitutionalists. He is also, without a doubt, he is among the most brilliant justices ever to sit, with the departure of Justice Stevens he is the only remaining Justice of whom it must be allowed, he is a genius.
Gerard Nadel and I don’t see eye to eye on the Catholic church’s position on gay marriage. Does that make him any less bright than me? No. Had he chosen just a very slightly different field of the natural sciences, he’d have two Nobles by now.
If I, a yellow-dog Democrat, a gay man married and faithful to the same man all of our now over 25 years together and a firm Protestant can acknowledge the wisdom all of those folks above have to offer, you, dear sir, can man up enough to read what a woman has to say.
Remember – had you in 1138 said the Catholic church should forbid marriage to priests and demand of them celibacy, you would have found yourself up on doctrinal charges…and the argument brought against you would have been the unchanging and forever valid position of the Catholic church on the matter.
Look – hate me, hate women, blame the victims, the Jews and the Masons as much as you like. As long, however, as you are afraid to confront what those of us who disagree with you have to say, you are clearly not certain of your own position. Worse, you are in danger of the sin of hubris.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 10:42 am


Sorry Panny,
I don’t read your repetitive, anti-Catholic, pro-homo lunacy either.
Ta-ta
http://couragerc.net/



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Conservative

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:19 am


Panthera:”Gerard Nadel and I don’t see eye to eye on the Catholic church’s position on gay marriage. Does that make him any less bright than me?”
Well, um, yes. His position is based on Scripture and 2000 years of tradition while yours is based on your own feelings and agenda.



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Dana MacKenzie

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:23 am


Interesting piece, Deac, thanks.



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Conservative

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:33 am


Any church that allows an openly gay “bishop” function as in New Hampshire does not deserve our attention. That is why many are crossing the Tiber.



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:41 am


Conservative said:
Panthera:”Gerard Nadel and I don’t see eye to eye on the Catholic church’s position on gay marriage. Does that make him any less bright than me?”
Well, um, yes. His position is based on Scripture and 2000 years of tradition while yours is based on your own feelings and agenda.
end quote
Conservative, do you realize what you just wrote???!!!
Try again.



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Klaire

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am


Fran, are you even aware that the Holy Spirit is the spouse of the Virgin Mary, subsequently the implications of making the spouse of Mary “she?” I’m sorry , but pseduo feminists are bad enough, but I have ZERO tolerence for the misguided feminists of our Holy Church.
I’m sorry to say I find many of your post dangerous. Last week you tried to convicne us that the Catholic Church was oppresive, which couldn’t be possible being that it would make it imcompatible with human dignity.
And if you are also hinting at women priests (not sure if you are or not), God help you Fran when you think you know more than a Holy Pope who has spoken infallable on this topic.
As scripture reminds us, the Holy Spirit is given only in obedience.
As for the credibiltiy of the EC, any church that puts openly gay homosexuals as Bishops is a church to run from, not take advice, and are complicit in the problem of a morally bankkrupt society.
Andrew Sullivan, the guy who first called for Pope Benedict’s “resignation?” Imagine this coming from him; I’m shocked!



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Chris

posted April 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm


I agree with Klaire. Fran’s statement makes a hash of authoritative Catholic teaching. Why call yourself Catholic if you don’t agree with the core teachings of the faith? I remember Fran writing that she saw herself as a “defector in place.” I’ve heard others — mostly radical feminists — call themselves that. Women’s ordination is simply not possible in the Catholic Church. Those who attend these ceremonies or participate in them excommunicate themselves. As for Deacon Norb’s comment, he needs to go back to Deacon School and study the statements of the popes.



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm


I find it fascinating that people who are perfectly willing to demand the “exact” letter of the Bible when it suits their needs (as in arguing against human status for Negroes or gays) then turn around and demand we ignore Aramaic when it doesn’t suit their needs.
Ruach Ha Kodesh is feminine. No argument is possible.
Honestly – do any of you conservative Catholics even bother fact checking? Or do you just chose the most hateful position possible and proceed to impose it upon the rest of us?



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Conservative

posted April 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm


Panny, I do think you know what I meant. It is quite obvious who is brighter. BTW it isn’t you.



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm


Dear Conservative,
Oh, I was quite certain you meant to be insulting.
You just have trouble with negative adverbs, coordinating conjunctions and coherent sentence structure.
As do I, but then, I never claimed to possess any command of rhetoric or didactic skill.
Has it occurred to you that your nastiness is not exactly winning the rest of Christianity over to your side in this matter? We’re pretty heavily focussed on the victims of rape and preventing further rapes.
You, unfortunately, seem to be doing your very best to elevate ad hominem attacks to a new level.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm


Panthera,
Thank you for your kind words. Just a Nobel nomination would be a dream come true ;-) However, these days, I’m using my Ph.D. to explicate the mountain of scientific data that all supports the pro-life teaching of the Church. In other words, while I’m making the CDC, NIH data more accessible to the layperson and showing the link between breast cancer and abortion, breast cancer and oral contraceptives, the utter uselessness of condoms (CDC says as much) against most STD’s, I’ve alienated myself from most of my community.
http://www.gerardnadal.com
I keep the focus tight: no gay or sex abuse polemics. I leave that to Rod Dreher.
Additionally, I tackle Eugenics and Euthanasia,
As for the matter of Protestant clergywomen rooting out sex abuse, yes they have been a driving force. However, an insurance industry report from five years ago assessed the protestant problem as worse than the Catholic problem. That made the papers for all of one day. There’s the anti-Catholic bias. That the people paying the settlements assessed Protestantism’s problem as worse than ours only five years ago should bleed some of the puffed up triumphalism from their assertions that Protestant clergywomen have come riding into town and cleaned up the lawlessness.
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2007/06/18/80877.htm
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286153,00.html
According to the insurance industry, Protestantism’s sewer remains backed up. I dearly love the Protestants for not being comparably outraged at that insurance industry report, and sacrificing their own children in order to maintain the pressure on Rome so that my children enjoy enhanced security. It is truly sacrificial love. But I don’t want my children being kept safe at the expense of others.
Still, I guess it’s the thought that counts.



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ds0490

posted April 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm


“That is why many are crossing the Tiber”
Right into the welcoming arms of the Holy Catholic Pederast Church. Makes sense to me.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted April 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm


I found it interesting that this came up.
Here in Boston all people involved in a parish from priest to janitor to volunteers who might have anything to do with children must fill in a “CORI” form so that any criminal record they have might come to light.
Recently at our city interfaith clergy meeting we had a discussion about what each parish is doing to thwart abuse.
Interestingly it was a woman Episcopal pastor who was the most adamant that her parish would NOT “CORI” their parish workers or volunteers. But Not because she thought it was a bad idea. But because she was afraid of lawsuits and because the Episcopal diocese– which had asked her to do the “CORIS”– told her that she would get no support from the diocese if her parish was sued over use of the “CORIS.” Instead of seeing this as a problem, she saw it as an example of the virtue of local parish control.
Incidentally, in past years her parish–before she came–had more scandals than any other church in the area. However,typically, none of it got coverage beyond our city or in the 7 mile away Boston Globe.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted April 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm


I should have had the word “Catholic” and “per order of the Archdiocese” in the second sentence.



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm


The knee-jerk response from the “defenders of the faith” will be to say the BBC is biased, of course.
Still, I believe all conservative Catholics who believe whatever the Vatican tells them to believe must now cease their lies about this being a purely homosexual problem and begin to concentrate on all the victims – including the girls.
Was about time…



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Conservative

posted April 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm


They are crossing the Tiber because they are sick of moral relativism and the pro-gay and pro-choice agenda being pushed by so-called Christian “churches”.
Deacon John good post. Very revealing but I am sure some here will defend her decision. I didn’t see this on the front page of the Times either.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm


>>>I am sure some here will defend her decision.
We can expect that on a public message board.
Regrettably, it’s not only the frustrated feminists on the net who advocate for pretend priests and who refer to Spiritus Sancti as “mama’. From my city of “peace and justice up the wazzo”, we have this latest gem from one of the Cardinal Archbishop’s darlings which demonstrates very clearly the results of a failure to exercise proper discipline.
Sure, they fly to Rome to pay a required visit to the Pope every 5 years, the ad limina. But, once back home, its business as usual.
In this clear case of public defiance along with numerous other examples, Fr. Pfleger is way past the point of simple discipline. Instead, Cardinal George gives him an award.
Two more years before retirement. We hope.
http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2010/04/caught-on-video-pflegers-heresy.html



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Conservative

posted April 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm


Interesting and sad, Holy. Pfleger is a loose cannon and he should be disciplined immediately. He is already in schism so what is George worried about. Reminds me of that nut George Stallings.



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cathyf

posted April 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm


Actually, HC, if you had bothered to read it, you would have seen that in the people working hardest setting up structures and procedures were Episcopalian laywomen. Catholics have laywomen too, you know. There have been a couple of high-ups in the Vatican who have speculated that the Catholic Church would have done a better job at responding to the problems if there had been some lay women and women religious scattered about in positions of authority who would perhaps have spoken up.
And Pope Benedict has an explicit policy that he would like to appoint more women to Vatican positions appropriate to laypeople.
(Myself, I think that’s probably a bit naive. I don’t happen to believe that women are inherently “better” at dealing with these issues.)



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Panthera

posted April 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm


Very much worth reading, especially the comment from B16.
Cathy – my experience has been that women tend to be a bit more focused on the important things and less on the cover up when the shan hits the fit…so to speak.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm


Actually, cathyf, I’m not interested in what “Rev’. Ann Fontaine has to say about anything related directly or indirectly to theology. Perhaps I’d change my mind if she had an interesting recipe to share.
xxoo
—————————————————————
Panny, since you’re here anyway, I have a question. I haven’t seen it in a couple of weeks so could you tell me if Kate is still on “Dancing With the Stars”?



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Klaire

posted April 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm


If women are so good at dealing with sex abuse issues, why does most of the family abuse (which is where most abuse occurs) remain “secret?”



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cathyf

posted April 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm


As for any “special insights” that women might bring, that’s not the way I would have called it. If anything, I would expect that men who had been hearing confessions for a few decades would be the ones who would be better at this.
That’s one of the things that kind of disturbs me about the “the bishops were naive” excuse. It seems to me that priests, of all people, would be a lot more aware of the just how much trouble sin gets people into. Unless of course the argument is that bishops are lousy priests…



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ds0490

posted April 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Gerard Nadal

posted April 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm


Panthera,
Time to take your own medicine my friend. The instance of heterosexual abuse of girls is so small a part of this that if the homosexual dimension were removed, this wouldn’t even have appeared on the radar. This IS a homosexual issue Panthera, and you need to be an Apostle to your OWN community.
You need to challenge your homosexual community and ask why it is that gay men became Priests and raped boys in such number.
You need to ask why this issue is so lopsidedly homosexual.
You need to ask what it is in these gay men that has led them to commit such unspeakable atrocity.
You need to do the very things you decry as absent in the Catholic heirarchy.
Of course, you’ll be hated for it. You’ll be called a dupe, a shill, a sell-out, a Roman sympathizer…. Welcome to our world.
Yes Pantehra, rape is a violent act. But men orally sodomizing boys is a homosexual vehicle for their violence and hatred. Heterosexual men simply don’t unite with boy’s bodies.
Gay men raped little boys!!! That was your community’s contribution to Catholicism, and so long as you deny or minimize that reality, my friend, you abandon the moral high ground and do the very thing you hate the Bishops for having done.
You can’t sit and scream “what about the girls?!?!”, who represent less than 5% of this mess and expect to be taken seriously while denying that this is not a homosexual problem. I expect more from you, given the moral clarity you expressed regarding the Bishop’s failures.



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cathyf

posted April 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm


Gerard, you are exaggerating. Girls represent about 18-20% of victims. (Given that in the general US population of underage sex abuse victims, the split is 70% girls to 30% boys, your point still stands that the ratios are very different. But getting the numbers wrong only weakens your argument.)



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Mordred08

posted April 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm


Gerard Nadal:
“This IS a homosexual issue”
“gay men became Priests and raped boys”
“men orally sodomizing boys is a homosexual vehicle for their violence and hatred.”
“Gay men raped little boys!!!”
And every time a gay person gets murdered, you people shake your heads and wonder “Why oh why would anyone do that?” That is, when you’re not saying that they got what they deserved when you think we don’t hear you.



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blueenigma

posted April 14, 2010 at 11:58 pm


According to the report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the number (based on collected data by survey of dioceses in the United States), is significantly more than 5%.
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/incident3.pdf
GENDER OF ALLEGED VICTIM
Gender Count % of Total
Male 8,499 80.9%
Female 2,004 19.1%
Transsexual 2 .0%
Total 10,505 100.0%



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 12:12 am


Hey Mordred,
Stay on topic. Gay men became Priests and raped boys in disproportionate numbers. Stop dissembling. Gay men became Priests and raped boys in disproportionate numbers. Get it? Gay men became Priests and raped boys in disproportionate numbers. That’s the point. Gay men became Priests and raped boys in disproportionate numbers.
That other gay men have not risen up as one voice united against this monstrosity is pretty disquieting. Actually, you do yourselves a grave disservice in denying the patently obvious, which is the fact that gay men became Priests and raped boys in disproportionate numbers.
So tell us Mordred why this is so.
What sort of blackness is there in the gay community that targets children. When I worked with teens in Times Square for seven years, I dealt with hundreds of boys who had been raped as prepubescent children, none having reported the perp as a Priest. What gives here Mordred? I buried teenage boys from Covenant House who died of AIDS in the 1980’s, infected and reinfected by the hundreds of gay men who solicited sex from them for the princely sum of $15.
Before you cast stones at the Bishops the gay community has some answering to do for mighty filth in its own backyard. The more you guys attack the Church, the more we’re going to hold your community to account. When I see gays chant “shame, shame, shame” and shake their fists at St Patrick’s Cathedral as they pass by during their annual parade, I see the faces of the boys who are no longer with us because of gay male predation. I think of the thousands of boys who are victims of predation by gay men who infiltrated the Priesthood.
And then I wonder if these people shouting “shame, shame, shame” ever notice that their hypocritic chant reverberates back at them off of the walls of the Cathedral.
Take care what you wish for Mordred. People have begun to look at the root causes of this crisis. The Bishops are but one root. The gay community is the central root, from which all others stem.



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cathyf

posted April 15, 2010 at 12:46 am


Nah, Gerard, the bishops would be more like water and fertilizer to the plant…



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 1:33 am


cathyf and blueenigma,
Thanks for correcting the numbers. My point still stands. 2,000 girls over a 50 year period is 40 girls per year. Each one a tragedy.
Still, in terms of critical mass for the news tsunami, that represents less than one girl per State, per year. That would mean that the bulk of dioceses would never have had an abused child at all, or one per decade at worst. It was definitely the homosexual clergy who put this over the top, especially men such as the late Rev. John Goegan, with victims into the hundreds.
Good adjustment to the analogy Cathy.
Panthera and Mordred,
If we want to get at root causes, then the numbers speak for themselves. This is a predominantly (81%) homosexual problem. That’s YOUR share in this guilt-by-association game that you play. These Priests were obviously more faithful to their homosexuality (expressed such as it was) than to their Catholicity and Priesthood (perverted such as they were).
Yes Panthera, each rape ultimately an act of violence, but 81% committed by gay men targeting young boys, using homosexual sex as the vehicle for destroying prepubescent children’s lives.
Give up the denial gentlemen and become a part of the solution by helping assess what’s going on in the gay community with men targeting boys, and I mean the targeting that extends far beyond that committed by gay Priests. What of the thousands of men who solicit young boys on the streets? I buried some of those boys who were paid an extra $10 to perform oral sex without a condom. They were paid by calculating men who could see the discoloration of their lips from the crack pipes, and knew that the extra $10 meant 2 extra vials of crack in the late ’80’s. It was also a death sentence.
Please spare me the lectures about the Bishops’ failings. Coming from gay men who pretend that they live in the Garden of Eden, it turns my stomach. I spent 7 years in the trenches. The phony outrage, the selective outrage, the denials are literally nauseating. We’ll hold our Bishops to account. You get going on your own backyard.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 7:53 am


Very interesting and well written, Gerard. You’ve put a lot of time and an heroic effort into your work. Much respect.
You ask:
>>>What sort of blackness is there in the gay community that targets children.
I believe you know what it is and so do they although it’s nearly impossible for them to admit it and that “it” goes far beyond a “disordered lifestyle.” Are they lost? I would say, with few exceptions, most are especially today when they receive the constant approval from their cousins in the media and their enablers which includes money grubbing legislators and the judiciary.
“But when God abandons a person to his own devices, then everything is turned upside down. thus not only was their doctrine satanic, but their life was too….How disgraceful it is when even the women sought after these things, when they ought to have a greater sense of shame than men have” Chrysostom: Homilies on Romans, 4.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 7:59 am


Correction:
The reference should be Chrysostom’s Homily #4 on Romans 1.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another.”



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Panthera

posted April 15, 2010 at 9:25 am


Gerard,
Nobody is so lost as is he who refuses to open his eyes – any gay man who claims the gay world is free from any wrongdoer is purposefully lying. I personally have invested considerable time and effort in promoting safe sex on campus.
I have led my students in getting tested and donating blood (we don’t have the stupid US rules which let every drug user arise from the gutter and stumble in to give filthy, contaminated blood while prohibiting a man who has done nothing more than once kissed another man on the lips from giving blood).
Every single one of my Kriminalromane written since 1987 has emphasized the importance of monogamy and faithfulness…
And yet we see an alarming increase in the number of homosexuals and heterosexuals becoming HIV positive, especially in the US.
To the extent that gay men pretending to live in straight relationships (especially black men “on the down low”) are involved, this is especially reprehensible.
We’ll no doubt have other opportunities to talk. Until then, let’s hope the Catholic church finds some solutions to prevent this from ever happening again and hope that victims of any form of sexual violence, regardless of where committed and by whom may be helped.
Gerard, one of the things which conservative Christians who, like yourself, act out of love seriously need to consider is just exactly why there is so much tolerance, patience and acceptance for those in your ranks who have plenty of hatred and scorn yet no charity in their hearts among your peers. The damage they do, both to my human and civil rights is as nothing compared to the harm they do to our Christian faith.
I can plead Christ’s cause till I’m blue in the face (looks great with the freckles, let me tell you). B16 can speak of God’s mercies or justice at every mass…but just look at the hatred coming from so many on your side of the debate. They’re winning no one over to Christianity, no one.



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Conservative

posted April 15, 2010 at 9:58 am


Since when is speaking the truth equal to hatred? Jesus spoke the truth, was he speaking hatred? If you criticize homosexuality, you are a homophobe. If you criticize our messiah the president, you are a racist.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 10:06 am


>>>I can plead Christ’s cause…
You are self-absorbed, pitiful and well beyond the point of simply being a liar. You’re delusional if you think you can “plead” anything other than your obsession with mansex.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 10:31 am


Panthera,
I challenge you to help clean up the pedophilia arising from the gay community and you respond with promoting safe sex on college campus? Then you challenge Rome to prevent this from ever happening again!
I’m afraid the preventitive medicine is not to your liking, but Rome must prevent the ordination of homosexual men, given how lopsidedly homosexual the nature and mode of abuse has been. That’s cutting off the root of the problem. Are there some homosexually oriented men who would live their vows honorably? I’m sure there are, but because the drum beat has been kept up so hot and heavy, I think you will agree with me that a logical measure is to cut off the supply of the bulk of pedophiles. That would be the gay men.
I make the distinction between pedophiles (those who molest prepubescent children) and pederasts (who have sex with older teens).
In the cases involving girls, all that I have read have involved sex with older teens, mostly 16+
Most of the boys have been early teens, 14 yrs and younger, and prepubescent children. Thus, Panthera, the very worst offenders are the gay Priests. They simply cannot be allowed to be ordained. That will stanch the flow.
I know you don’t want to hear that, but you can’t have it both ways. The gay community has held high carnival over this issue, getting their digs in at every turn and being relentless with the heirarchy. Fine. We’ve heard you.
Accountability and proactive measures. That’s what you have been calling for my friend and now we have taken stock of the situation. This is largely gay men who have infiltrated the Priesthood and molested children not even into puberty. The numbers are galling. The solution is clear. We cannot afford the risk in ordaining any more gay men, the source of the bulk and severity of the pathological and diabolical malignancy in the Priesthood.
Rome may well resort to laicizing any known homosexual clergy if this doesn’t cease. Trust me when I tell you Panthera that this is a growing chorus among ordinary Catholics who take a live and let live approach to gays in all other circumstances.
Your community has hoisted itself on its own petard. Don’t accuse Rome of homophobia for taking the most logical and prudential course of action. Getting Bishops to resign is purely cathartic. Cutting the pipeline for gay pedophiles, who account for 81% of the victims, is the long-term solution. And yes, regrettably many good men with a homosexual orientation and a chaste heart will suffer for the sins of the evildoers.
If you’ve got a more workable solution than promoting safe sex among college kids, I’m all ears.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 10:43 am


Panthera,
“I have led my students in getting tested and donating blood (we don’t have the stupid US rules which let every drug user arise from the gutter and stumble in to give filthy, contaminated blood while prohibiting a man who has done nothing more than once kissed another man on the lips from giving blood).”
Putting on my microbiologist’s hat for a moment. The CDC has never accepted blood from IV drug users. It has actually changed its position on donations from men having sex with men. MSM can donate if the last sex act is more than one year old. This has been revised CDC policy for several years.
I know your disdain for America stems from the lack of openness to gay marriage, but keep that in check and don’t let it creep into unrelated areas. ;-)



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Panthera

posted April 15, 2010 at 11:14 am


Good Morning, Gerard –
Well, for you it’s morning. I’ve got an evening of diagnostics ahead of me. The administration has known for two years now that this is my last full year and they still haven’t noticed that it takes two years to have a new faculty member certified (wonder if our court fools will get the joke).
I don’t think the Vatican will listen to the common Catholics on this issue any more than on other issues. I understand your frustration, just, injustice towards the majority because of a few is not fair. That is why I always try to bear in mind the difference between people like Holy Cannoli and B16…
We probably can’t get much further on this thread, the noise from the penny stinkers is making any serious discussion difficult. There will be other opportunities – and hopefully they will have more to do with angels/pin/head of/dancing.
By the by, it is still illegal in most states for gay men to donate blood, the definition in the eight Rocky Mountain States is, in fact, any sexual contact with another man, ever, after 1978. And, yes, that is defined as even a simple kiss.
You are a scientist, the people making the decisions, however, are not. And, yes, several documentaries in the last years have shown that the non-IV prohibitions are commonly ignored. Understandable, if appalling – the blood shortage is acute.
All the best my dear sir – I am overjoyed to hear that your son is progressing. I try hard to stay abreast of the field as it relates to dyslexia, which has some minor relation to autism vis á vis manipulation of abstracts. The more we learn the more we have to throw out our previously held observations. A good thing.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 11:37 am


>>>The more we learn the more we have to throw out our previously held observations. A good thing.
It’s not always “a good thing”, Panny.
>>>I always try to bear in mind the difference between people like Holy Cannoli and B16…
xxxoooxxx



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Panthera

posted April 15, 2010 at 11:49 am


Holy Cannoli,
That was the most unchristian thing you have ever said. I demand immediate apology to Gerard Nadel else I shall report you to both the Deacon and beliefnet.
Yes, you are permitted to attack me as a gay man on beliefnet. No, you are not permitted to use children suffering disabilities to further your attacks.
Gerard and his wife have made enormous sacrifices and invested countless energies and resources in the health and well being of a child whom they know must outlive them and go through life with a serious disability.
How dare you misuse this child’s suffering to further your own hateful intent!



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Conservative

posted April 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm


“I don’t think the Vatican will listen to the common Catholics on this issue” says Panthera. Are they supposed to????? The structure of the church as intended by the Lord himself is hierarchical. I wasn’t aware that the laity made all the decisions.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm


Holy Cannoli,
I’m not sure I get what Panthera is outraged about regarding your comments and my son. I must have missed something there.
I appreciate your defense of the Church and the Magisterium. However, the taunting of Panthera, though his lifestyle and agenda be anathema to ours, is tantamount to sinning against charity. I have been as brutally straightforward with him on the merits as anyone here at BN. However, Panthera is our brother. Jesus was torn apart as much for his sins as He was for yours and mine.
When I was a seminarian (before my wife kidnapped me) one of my professors told us that the sexual sins are the most humiliating, but the sins against charity are the most damning.
Panthera is our brother, equally loved by the Father. He is a son of God first and foremost, who also happens to be gay. I address him with the dignity of the former, which allows me to address the issues of the latter in a civil and constructive manner. If you feel our brother is lost, then pray for him. The mockery needs to stop. It’s sinful.
Panthera,
Continue the conversation and simply do not respond to mockery. It’s an uncharitable distraction that takes from the substance of the discussion. And thank you for your defense of me, though I’m not sure I saw the offending statement. Could you two have been speaking of different issues?



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm


Gerard,
I rarely openly criticize Catholic posters on public boards even when I may not be in perfect agreement. Heresy is different but that doesn’t happen too often.
>>> However, the taunting of Panthera, though his lifestyle and agenda be anathema to ours, is tantamount to sinning against charity
Thanks Gerald but I and my confessor, not you, will be the judge of whether or not I am “sinning against charity.”
>>> Panthera is our brother, equally loved by the Father.
You may consider him to be your brother, but he is definitely not mine.
Matt 12: He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
>>> The mockery needs to stop. It’s sinful.
Actually, what needs to stop are the anti-Catholic rants, the mockery and his defense for his depraved behavior. A responsible person would not settle onto a board where he has no business unless that person was a hater, a bigot, a lair, and a self-absorbed disruptor. All of these characteristics are on display every day by this individual.
Look, I defend those people and things that I love. If those people or things are attacked, I respond in kind. That’s my way. Evidently you are part of the touchy feely, hand holding, why can’t we all get along crowd. I’m not. Your touchy-feely way of dealing with this enemy of the Church is a prime example and it disgusts me although, before now, I was silent.
Gerald from time to time I’ve encountered your type who offer me basically the same kind of criticism as yours. I laugh at you as I laughed at them.
In response, the following was prepared long ago and taken from one of my favorite little books. I know you haven’t read it but I think you might learn something from it so I’ll post it again. In closing, it would be better if you ignored my posts in the future. I’ll do the same with yours.
Pax tecum.
————————————————
St. John the Baptist calls the Pharisees a “race of vipers”; Jesus Christ, Our Divine Savior, hurls at them the epithets “hypocrites, whitened sepulchres, a perverse and adulterous generation.” St. Paul criticizes the schismatic Cretians as “always liars, evil beasts, slothful bellies.” The same Apostle calls Elymas the magician a “seducer, full of guile and deceit, a child of the devil, and enemy of all justice.”
The Fathers of the Church exercised the same vigorous castigation of heresy and heretics. The gentle St. Bernard did not honey his words when he attacked the enemies of the Faith. Addressing Arnold of Brescia, the great Liberal agitator of his times, he calls him in his letters, “seducer, vase of injuries, scorpion, cruel wolf.”
The Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, forgets the calm of his cold syllogisms when he hurls his violent attacks against William of St. Amour, and his disciples; “Enemies of God, ministers of the devil, members of antichrist, ignorami, perverts, reprobates!”
Did St. Francis de Sales, purr softly over the heretics of his age and country? With the enemies of the Faith he preserved neither moderation nor consideration. Asked by a Catholic, who desired to know if it were permissible to speak evil of a heretic who propagated false doctrines, he replied: “Yes, you can, on the condition that you adhere to the exact truth, to what you know of his bad conduct, presenting that which is doubtful as doubtful, according to the degree of doubt which you may have in this regard.”
In his _Introduction to the Devout Life_, he expresses himself again: ‘If the declared enemies of God and of the Church, ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry ‘wolf’ when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him.”
————————————————
One more little piece of advice, Gerald. If you keep feeding the sick puppy, he’ll keep throwing up on the carpet.



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Panthera

posted April 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm


Gerard,
I really am sorry to see you come under such attack. I guess there’s no further need for me to illustrate the depth of his hatred.
Holy Cannoli, you obviously have not got a clue just who, exactly, Gerard is and what values he stands for.
Although we disagree on three very hotly debated topics within the Christian body – gay marriage, abortion rights for women and torture I would entrust him with my dogs.
I am very glad he is my brother in Christ and deeply thankful to him for his willingness to engage with those of his fellow Christians with whom he doesn’t see eye to eye. That is the true test of one’s faith, not the blind rejection of all those with whom one disagrees.
Then again, you don’t seem to have much idea just exactly who Jesus was, either, much less what he stands for and for whom he died.
You should be ashamed of yourself. Deeply.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm


Holy Cannoli,
Touchy feely? Did you read my posts here???
John says that anyman who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar. He also asks how we can say we love the God whom we can’t see, but hate the brother who we can see???
Glad I disgust you. Print this entire thread and bring it to your confessor. I haven’t yielded one single millimeter to Panthera. I just refuse to objectify him. If his homosexual behavior imperils his soul, your lack of charity will be your equal undoing. If your confessor isn’t challenging you to learn how to love without sacrificing your orthodoxy, then you are being badly deceived.
Lent evidently did nothing for you.



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cathyf

posted April 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm


I’m afraid the preventitive medicine is not to your liking, but Rome must prevent the ordination of homosexual men, given how lopsidedly homosexual the nature and mode of abuse has been. That’s cutting off the root of the problem. Are there some homosexually oriented men who would live their vows honorably? I’m sure there are, but because the drum beat has been kept up so hot and heavy, I think you will agree with me that a logical measure is to cut off the supply of the bulk of pedophiles. That would be the gay men.

Actually, when it comes to logical effectiveness, that would only be #2 on the list. The number one most effective policy would be to exclude all victims of abuse from any church position.
One of the things that I hear when being ranted at by those excoriating the Church for sexual abuse is that they are demanding that the Church change its teachings about sin — specifically the teachings which say that Christ’s death and resurrection redeemed even pederasts and pedophiles, and that their repentance can allow them back into God’s grace. I believe that this is actually one side of a coin, and the other side is a Gramscian campaign to destroy the concept of personal responsibility for sin. In the case of pederasts, it is the absolute certainty that no one tempted to do such things could ever or has ever successfully refrained from carrying it out. Therefore when a bishop moved a seemingly-repentant priest to a new position, trusting his promises never to do it again, the bishop did not just make a bad bet and take too big a risk. Instead, he was an active accomplice to the next crime, because it was not just a risk that the priest would do it again but a certainty. (This is one of the things which makes the Murphy case so interesting. Apparently Murphy was brought to the attention of authorities — prosecutors and bishop — in 1974. The prosecutors couldn’t prosecute, but the Church removed him from ministry, and he went to live in his mother’s lake house. And despite what a priori was a completely inadequate response, it turns out in retrospect that Murphy apparently did not abuse anyone for the rest of his life. Even though he seemed unrepentant, he still seemed capable of behaving himself if he decided to.)
Another piece of the Gramscian world view is the argument over whether homosexuality is “inborn” or “chosen”. In traditional moral systems, especially Christian, the correct answer is “so what?” In Christian morality the definition of a desire vs a behavior is that desires are never chosen and actions always are. And the question of whether a particular acting on a desire is virtuous, sinful, or neither is a totally independent question of where the desire came from. I think that a key to that fallacy is that many desires are universal, whereas others only affect a small subset of us. It’s only the things that tempt a small subset where the question isn’t obviously absurd — nobody argues about whether the desire to steal or lie or eat ice cream is inborn or chosen, because we pretty much all have those desires, and we know that the morality of lying, stealing and ice cream eating has to be determined based upon other things.
The accusation that homosexuals cannot be allowed around teenaged boys because any homosexuals attracted to them will not be able to control themselves and prevent themselves from abusing them is actually a first cousin to the argument that homosexuals are born that way and can’t help themselves. And both arguments are pretty much destroyed by the existence of happy, well-adjusted celibates (heterosexual or homosexual) who live out their vocations faithfully. And another cousin to that argument would be the notion that victims must grow up to be abusers, so all victims are dangerous. Again, the existence of survivors who live upright and moral lives is a great affront to those who become abusers and want to believe that it’s not their fault…



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm


I’m weak. I read your post when I said I would not.
Your theology is weak, Gerald and you’re lacking in both common sense and logic.
>>>John says that anyman who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar.
Other than you and the anti-Catholic, self-absorbed narcissist, who said anything about hate? The Strawman fallacy. It’s called Logic, Gerald. Try it sometime.
>>> Print this entire thread and bring it to your confessor.
You print it out and bring it to someone with basic common sense and have them explain to you what I’ve written.
>>> If his homosexual behavior imperils his soul, your lack of charity will be your equal undoing.
Judging the state of my soul? You ought to spend more time with the Doctors, the Fathers and Scripture and less time entertaining militant homosexuals who hate, lie about and mock the Church you claim to serve.
>>> Lent evidently did nothing for you.
HaHaHa
I’m amused by the way you “love your neighbor even when he’s busting your chops” phonies respond when you get your own toes stepped on a little.
Btw: You don’t actually disgust me. A better word would be “nauseate.”
Pax tecum



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm


Cannoli,
If you want dueling scriptures, or patristics, bring it on. Jesus tells us not to condemn, in that He will use the same standard on us as we use on others. That doesn’t mean we can’t witness the truth or discern. It’s what you do with that discernment and witness that counts.
As for patristics, Thomas Aquinas tells us, and this is a foundation stone of moral theology taught in the most orthodox seminaries, that there exists in some people’s lives past abuses, past maltreatment and factors which mitigate and even ameliorate completely the subjective guilt imputed for objective sin. From that one applies the principle on judgement in paragraph one above.
I lived with guys like you in the seminary who used scripture and tradition as clubs to beat people into submission in the same uncharitable ham-handed way you do here. You demand that people get in line as a precondition for your charity and civility. In this you are like the Pharisees. Jesus ate with the sinners and drank with them. They converted because they experienced His love. You and Caiaphas have much in common.
I’ve been absolutely lethal on the gay community and their involvement in this atrocity. This thread shows that. I haven’t given Panthera or Mordred an inch of breathing room. I have been relentless and remorseless. I’ve said things here that you will not find having been said by any Bishop in the Church, so incendiary have the comments been. That said, I find no reason to cross the line into mockery.
Put your big boy pants on Cannoli. Your faith can’t be so brittle that it can’t withstand their slings and arrows. Welcome to the developing persecution of the Church. These are the good old days. It’s going to get far worse. FYI, it’s common knowledge over at my pro-life blog that I’ve received death threats there for witnessing the faith, for witnessing the truth contained in the scientific literature. I haven’t let those threats stop me, or turn me into the sort of bitter and punishing individual that you are.
Pax



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm


>>>If you want dueling scriptures, or patristics, bring it on.
You didn’t even acknowledge the quotes I posted earlier and now you want me “bring it on”? You’re a phony.
>>>I lived with guys like you in the seminary who used scripture and tradition as clubs to beat people into submission in the same uncharitable ham-handed way you do here.
So, your ability to judge others began some time ago, eh? Grow up, George. You’re wrong, I proved you were wrong by direct quotes from scripture and the Fathers and you are too full of yourself to admit it.
>>> You and Caiaphas have much in common.
You and the militant homosexual/ anti-Catholic disrupter have much in common as well. In fact, why don’t you both go to a nice homo-promoting board where he can be among his own, express his hated for everything Catholic without any resistance and you can practice your “charity” with the enemies of the Church and Christ. It’s a win-win for the both of you.
>>> That said, I find no reason to cross the line into mockery.
One again, grow up George. This is an internet message board. If an individual chooses to REPEATEDLY be disrespectful, REPEATEDLY lie, REPEATEDLY mock the Church, the Holy Father and Catholics, he ought to be prepared for the consequences of HIS INAPPROPRIATE ACTIONS. This individual is rude, mocking, a liar, a bigot, a heterphobe and on and on. Even if this were not a Catholic board, he would still be ostracized for what is obviously unacceptable behavior.
This is not rocket science, George. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s called respect and this individual has very little and you are wrong for trying to defend him and for playing into his “I am the victim” garbage.
>>> Welcome to the developing persecution of the Church.
Unlike you goody two shoes types, I am nobody’s doormat. If you want to play smash mouth, wonderful. I’ll play. But, don’t expect me to roll over because of some foolish modernist notion that it’s the most “charitable” thing to do.
I posted numerous quotes earlier from Scripture and the writings of the Fathers. Predictably, you ignored them. The reason you ignored them is because they destroyed the notion that the heroes of the faith and even Christ Himself were weak sissies. They were not.
>>> I haven’t let those threats stop me, or turn me into the sort of bitter and punishing individual that you are.
You don’t know what I am, who I am or what I do or have done. Despite that fact, you have judged me several times on this very thread. I would strongly suggest that you study the scripture and then let’s see if you’re still willing to judge me.
>>> St. John the Baptist calls the Pharisees a “race of vipers”; Jesus Christ, Our Divine Savior, hurls at them the epithets “hypocrites, whitened sepulchres, a perverse and adulterous generation.” St. Paul criticizes the schismatic Cretians as “always liars, evil beasts, slothful bellies.” The same Apostle calls Elymas the magician a “seducer, full of guile and deceit, a child of the devil, and enemy of all justice.”



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm


Pax tecum, Georgie.



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cathyf

posted April 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm


Ok, just because I’m pedantic about these things, there are also some problems with interpreting the John Jay statistics the way that seems obvious.
First of all, statistics about the abused are not the same as statistics about the abusers. Just to construct an example… Suppose 9 men each abuse 1, 2 or 3 girls for a total of 18 girls. And one man abuses 82 boys. Then 82% of the victims are boys, but only 10% of the perps committed homosexual abuse. The John Jay study has some cross tabs on things like this, but the more attenuated you get about the data the smaller the sub-samples get, and so the less you actually believe the statistics.
Secondly, there is the question of how the John Jay statistics were affected by false claims of abuse. American dioceses and their insurers have paid out $3 billion in claims, and a lot of it without even the slightest investigation as to whether the abuse claimed was even remotely plausible. Now you can make an argument that this is the correct outcome — that it’s just money, after all, and it’s better to get ripped off by 99 con men than to make one real victim suffer further by questioning his story. But, if that’s the case, then you need to understand that an inevitable side effect is that your database of “victims” is mostly a database of con men. In fact, we really have NO IDEA what the ratio is between true victims and con artists in the John Jay database, and I certainly have no ideas as to how you could even go about estimating such a thing. If you think about it, what we’re doing is simply assuming that the con men and the real victims have the same age and gender distribution. But that’s just an assumption, and a pretty far-fetched one. After all, making a false claim of sex abuse against someone is a heinous crime, and with virtually every other heinous crime we can observe that the perps are overwhelmingly male.
This is not to say that the the sex abuse problem is not a problem of homosexuality, just that the data has some inherent problems.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 6:22 am


Cathy,
A well reasoned comment, thank you. Personally, I’d rather see all the claims be false than to find one single child abused.
Holy Cannoli,
Your appalling nastiness to Gerard is inexcusable. There is nothing Christ-like in your behavior.
Why on earth all these childish names? His name is Gerard. Not Georgie, not Gerald, not Jerry or any of the others you purposefully use.
Such hatred and such venom frighten me – this is exactly the face of the Catholic church which young girls in trouble and young homosexuals so very often encounter.



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Raquel

posted April 16, 2010 at 7:34 am


Wow, just reading this comment thread makes me feel ill to my stomach. I was not raised Catholic but my whole life I felt a deep attraction and pull towards the Catholic Church and faith. I would go to mass and feel at home.
But what is going on here is exactly the reason that I hesitate to convert. These hate-filled and judgemental behaviors from those who claim to be believers is very disturbing to me. And then add to that the whole sexual abuse of children scandal, it is all to much for me to handle. Sex abuse happens, and it is horrible. But the way the church tried to cover it up and moved the priests around only to allow them to abuse more children is sickening. And these comments being posted here are so cruel, and mean sprited. How can you claim to be a Christian while saying these things?
I just can’t take such hypocrisy when it is coming from what is supposed to be the one true and apostolic church and its believers. It all makes me so sad. And I think that God would be very ashamed of this whole mess. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way that I do, but it makes me feel sort of lost. Sad and lost because I feel that there is nobody to talk to about all this, who can I trust to guide me?



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Reaganite in NYC

posted April 16, 2010 at 8:43 am


Dear Raquel,
Best wishes and our prayers to you as you discern the right course of action to take. As you have probably gathered from participating on this blog, the Catholic Church is a very large, extended family. Sometimes the cousins and uncles get into arguments … and some harsh words are exchanged. It happens.
We are a family, too, where each of us must daily commit to fight off the effects of original sin and try, instead, to “put on Christ.” None of us are perfect and, sadly, each of us at one time or another (if not daily) do not always mirror Christ in the best possible way. But I think most of us try.
You conclude by saying “I feel that there is nobody to talk to about all this.” I understand.
Let me suggest that you close your computer screen for a while (i.e., take a break from blogging) and search out someone (“a real live person”) in the Church locally with whom you can simply “talk.” Perhaps over a cup of coffee … or a cup of gentle mint tea :-) Our priests, deacons and nuns at most parishes are overworked but I’m sure if you contact a local parish you can schedule time for them to talk with about your journey in faith. If you live in Queens or the NYC area, perhaps Deacon Greg can help you locate the right person in your neighborhood or near where you work to discuss your concerns and thoughts.
Good luck and God Bless You in your journey of faith!



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Conservative

posted April 16, 2010 at 8:50 am


It seems to me this blog would be a far more Christian place if it were not for the vicious anti-Catholic comments especially from those who are not even Catholic. No one is who non-Catholic is expected to understand or embrace our faith but we who are Catholic do not tolerate demeaning our faith or our Pope.
What is even more remarkable is the comments from so- called Christians who promote ideas that are contrary to anything Christian. Sometimes we Catholics get our back up, but is simply to defend what we believe.



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hlvanburen

posted April 16, 2010 at 9:48 am


“No one is who non-Catholic is expected to understand or embrace our faith but we who are Catholic do not tolerate demeaning our faith or our Pope.”
Perhaps a liberal application of the Golden Rule is in order here, then. If you wish people to respectfully engage you in questions about your faith and the leadership thereof, maybe you (and other like you) and model that behavior by being less accusatory in addressing beliefs that you disagree with but that others hold every bit as near and dear as you hold yours.
Is that too much to ask?



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hlvanburen

posted April 16, 2010 at 9:56 am


“I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way that I do, but it makes me feel sort of lost. Sad and lost because I feel that there is nobody to talk to about all this, who can I trust to guide me?”
Raquel, I want to echo Reaganite’s words. A message board where people can post behind pseudonyms is hardly a good place to make a judgment about anything as important as a conversion to a religious faith. It is human nature that drives many of us to be able to say things in a forum like this that we would never say in a place where we could be readily identified. The thought of someone coming up to me on the street downtown or at my place of employment and saying, “Henry…I can’t believe you said that the other day” is a natural and appropriate governor on my actions.
Reaganite’s suggestion has excellent merit. If the Catholic faith holds an appeal for you, please do yourself the service of speaking to someone in person who is familiar with it. Perhaps contacting a Catholic friend who you trust, and having them recommend a priest or nun to whom you can talk would be a good starting point.
Clearly there is something speaking to you as you attend services in the Catholic churches. You owe it to yourself to explore that and, if you find a priest and parish that you can call home, take that step and convert.
But whatever you do, please do not make your final judgment regarding something this important based on the words you read here or on any similar forum.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm


Raquel,
When the High Priest came to arrest Jesus, Peter cut off his servant’s ear with a sword. Such has been the proclivity to defend the faith from the very beginning. Jesus’ advice to Peter was that all who live by the sword will die by the sword, and is consistent with the other scriptural exhortations I have posted here. Zeal for one’s faith may never trump the imperative toward charity.
Some never seem to get that, but then this is true of every religion. There is great love in the Church, and as others have said, we are a big extended family who often quarrel. You should remember that even among the Apostles they argued over who would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. James and John’s mother came to Jesus asking that He seat her boys to his right and His left in the Kingdom.
He settled the matter by washing their feet at the Last Supper, telling them that the greatest must first humble himself to be the servant of all, that He was giving them an example that they needed to follow. Some come to the realization of what that means faster than others.
Hatred and intolerance have been with us from the beginning, and will be with us until the end of time. It would be tragic if you allowed the intolerance of others become a stumbling block for yourself, keeping you from the grace of the sacraments. At the Council of Trent the Church Fathers distilled for us the theological principle of Ex Opere Operato, which means that the validity of the sacrament and the flow of grace from the sacrament is independent of the personal sanctity of the Priest. Being true there, it is all the more applicable to internet message boards. And as a matter of fact, as someone mentioned above, this particular forum provides anonymity for others to speak words here that they probably woldn’t speak elsewhere.
I agree that Deacon Kandra could easily point you in the right direction and help to facilitate the fruition of the great work begun in you by the Holy Spirit.
God Bless.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm


Raquel,
I think it is a very good thing for you to see that there are people in the Catholic church who are driven by hatred. When you know there are such people in a church, you won’t be alarmed when you encounter them.
You will find equally hateful people in any Christian denomination and, though I am loath to speak of other faiths, I strongly suspect in other faiths and beliefs as well.
The nastiness you see reflected here is not, however, all that there is to Catholicism. It is most certainly not all that there is to Christianity.
Yes, we are in the middle of a very emotional, very angry fight over the human and civil rights of gays in the Christian body of faith right now.
Yes, many people will try to enlist your aid for their cause.
None-the-less, all of this is not relevant to your finding a spiritual home which “fits”. If the Catholic church is where you are most able to serve God, then that is where you need to be.
Whatever you decide – may God bless you.



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hlvanburen

posted April 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm


LOL..OK, now I know that the world is going to come to an end. Reaganite, Gerald, Panthera and I actually agreed on something.



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hlvanburen

posted April 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm


My apologies…it is GERARD, not GERALD. Errant fingers of middle age!



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Conservative

posted April 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm


“If you wish people to respectfully engage you in questions about your faith and the leadership thereof, maybe you (and other like you) and model that behavior by being less accusatory in addressing beliefs that you disagree with but that others hold every bit as near and dear as you hold yours.”
I think this is a Catholic deacon’s blog. I would not expect any non-Catholic to come here and question anything, belittle anything or demean any Catholic leader. I would hardly do that on a Muslim, Jewish or whatever blog.
I also would not expect people to applaud life styles that in direct conflict with Catholic and most normal Christian’s beliefs.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm


Conservative.
Fortunately, it is the Deacon’s decision which holds and not yours regarding who may and who may not comment.
Rod Dreher does pick and choose, he permits racists to post yet routinely kicks people off his blog who are non-conservative.
It’s their decision, not ours. There are three possible solutions for you to pursue.
1) Ground your own blog and forbid all Christians and Catholics who don’t share your world view to participate.
2) Go away.
3) accept that the Deacon may know something you and I don’t and try to learn from his blog.
My choice is #3. I’d recommend the same to you but for the fact that if I say today is Friday, you’ll allow as it is not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nor yet the weekend rather than agree with me.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm


Panthera,
Conservative raises a valid point that I would invite you to consider. I don’t think it’s a secret that you disagree with the Church on matters pertaining to her abiding teaching regarding sexual morality. On this, you make yourself very clear, as is your right and obligation in an open forum between intelligent people of good will.
However, your commentary often takes the very castigating tone that you decry in others. The Church is not wrong in her teaching, grounded as it is in scripture and tradition. You may have a differing interpretation of scripture and tradition, but you gain a more receptive audience if you prescind from Catholic teaching in the same manner you would prescind from an orthodoxy as a paper-presenter at a scientific conference.
It’s the respect factor. What I’ve said to Cannoli applies equally to you and me. The perceived rightness of our beliefs does not relieve us of te imperative to civility and charity. That’s a tough one to swallow at times, especially given the physical violence that you have endured and the sequellae carried both bodily and emotionally. Look both to the cross and the resurrected Christ. He carries the nail prints and lance wound into eternity, not with malice, but with love. So must we all.
I think it would be a mistake to take Deacon Kandra’s silence to be tacit acceptance or approval of the tone and tenor of your comments. Deacon Kandra is a cleric in the Church, and one who by all that I have seen is faithful to the Magisterium. Were I to hazard a guess, I would say that his relative silence is more a manifestation of charitable forbearance.
You can, and should, imitate that example in your approach as well. I don’t approve at all of the kind of defense of the Church put forth by Cannoli. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13,
“I can speak with the tongues of angels, but if I have not love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.”
Panthera, do your part to reduce the cacophony here. I know you well enough to know that you’re capable of it. Poking your finger in people’s eye here could well provoke an unstable visitor who does not comment to go out and commit violence against a fellow-gay.
Prudence and charity are never wasted.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm


Well spoken, Gerard.
It’s easy to unleash my fury when people attempt to set aside what the natural sciences have taught us of God’s world, especially considering the ill-use to which they have put their beliefs.
Yes, my patience is finite but that doesn’t excuse me from trying.
I suspect the Deacon tears his hair out left and right alternately over the fury of my attacks and the hatred of the “defenders of the faith”.
I always thought Catholic dogma was in agreement with the rest of Christianity that God judged, not us. Did I overlook something? My evilness extends back through the centuries, but I might have been busy seducing Richard Löwenherz or Lee when some other conclusio was reached. I wish I were only joking…
One of the greatest risks a group encounters when they become too selective is, of course, that they lose perspective. I don’t think anyone will argue that this is the problem here.
Again, though, you’re right – just because I have been beaten, my husband nearly killed and I have seen my parents suffer from attacks by people like some here doesn’t mean I have to stoop to their level…it is a base indulgence, especially when they so foolishly apply their stereotypes about Europeans and gays.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted April 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm


Panthera (1:44 PM): “Rod Dreher does pick and choose, he permits racists to post yet routinely kicks people off his blog who are non-conservative.”
Does he? I’ve been following Rod’s blog for close to three years now and I’ve seen NO EVIDENCE to support the assertion you have made.
Rod (who’s favorite brand of politics apparently — at least for the time being — is something described as “Red Toryism”) is very difficult to pigeonhole into conventional left-right categories. Some of the things Rod writes annoy me greatly, but I very much appreciate his curiosity and intellectual honesty. Part of what makes following Rod interesting is the sense that he — and we — are on something of a wild and unpredictable ride.
In any event, both Rod Dreher and Deacon Greg have been unfailingly indulgent of all of us who seek to comment on their blogs. So much so that commenters sometimes overlook how rambunctious, fractious and upsetting we must sometimes appear to the occasional lurker or newcomer to these blogs. Which is why Raquel poignant’s post of this morning should serve as a valuable “wake-up call” to all of us who blog here.



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hlvanburen

posted April 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm


“I think this is a Catholic deacon’s blog. I would not expect any non-Catholic to come here and question anything, belittle anything or demean any Catholic leader. I would hardly do that on a Muslim, Jewish or whatever blog.”
Then I guess this might be a good time to inquire of the Deacon how he views this issue. For what purpose does he blog here, and what parameters does he wish to set for those who comment here.
After all, it is his blog.



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Conservative

posted April 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm


As I said I would not invade a Jewish, Muslim or any blog and belittle what they hold dear. To come here and inflict your contentious opinions and approval of what is diametrically opposed to Catholic belief is to say the least upsetting. If you are doing it to rattle cages, you succeed. If you are trying to convert me or others, you never ever will. If you are trying to convince me that homosexual behavior is somehow fine in God’s eyes, it won’t happen. So continue your rants against the Church and her beliefs. Continue your belittling and disturbing insults. The Church will be around long after you and I are long forgotten.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm


Convert you, Conservative?
What part of innate, immutable characteristic isn’t clear to you?
The only aspect of your nature I would gladly change is your knee-jerk mentality towards any and all who disagree with your interpretation of God’s will.



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Conservative

posted April 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm


My interpretation of God’s will comes from 2000 years of interpreting the Word of God and the Church’s clear teaching over the centuries. If you think the Church will change according to your whims or the latest agenda pushed by your ilk, not gonna happen.
Whatever Scripture passage or teaching of Christ you think justifies your behavior, cling to it. I haven’t seen it. And like many in your cult, you think because Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality, he approved it, think again. There are lots of things he didn’t mention.



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Panthera

posted April 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm


Conservative,
The Catholic church is not God nor is she aught but a mortal institution striving to better know God’s will.
Hate to break it to you.
It is, however, worthy of note that the Catholic church has not always taken the stands on gays, abortion, marriage and celibacy which you seem to think are now permanent.
The Catholic church is a great deal more capable of growth and change than you know, I’d suggest you spend some time actually learning history.
It matters not, ultimately: If B16 decided to endorse gay marriage tomorrow, you’d have a new hate-on by Sunday at the latest…and be certain that it, too, was eternal Catholic dogma.
Goodness, doesn’t anybody around here bother following church affairs pre-12 century?



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Conservative

posted April 17, 2010 at 7:40 am


Hate to break it to you, Panny but Catholics don’t believe the church is either a mortal institution or established by humans. It was established by Christ. If you have ever read St Paul you would hear him refer to the church as the Body of Christ.
To say that the church ever endorsed homosexual behavior is ludicrous. As ludicrous as B16 as you call him endorsing it. Hell will freeze over before that. Until the militant agenda started, no one even shrinks endorsed it either.



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Raquel

posted April 17, 2010 at 9:00 am


Dear Conservative and Holy Canoli,
I am not sure if you are referring to me when you state that non-Catholics have no business posting to this blog or reading this blog. I believe Conservative used the term “invading”. Isn’t this blog supposed to be for everyone? You say that no one who is not Catholic is expected to understand or embrace the faith. But maybe that is why we are reading this blog. We want to understand and embrace, but we have questions. Is questioning not allowed? How are we supposed to grow in Christ and in our faith if we don’t? I don’t think that I was being demeaning or accusatory in my earlier posting either. Don’t you want to welcome people into your church and faith? Isn’t that what Jesus wanted? Aren’t we supposed to love our brothers, even if they are sinners or homosexuals or whatever? I understand hating the sin and disagreeing with certain sexual choices, by why attack with such viscioussness? I read what you said about Panthera not being your brother, but aren’t we supposed to treat everyone with kindness?
Thank you to those who suggested I contact a Catholic friend who can suggest a priest for me to talk to. It is very intimidating to just walk up to a priest and ask questions, or even to do so over the phone. And I am scared to bring up some of my doubts. This whole abuse scandal has shaken my beliefs in a major way. Not my faith in Christ, but my faith in the Church’s leadership. And for someone new to exploring the faith it is important to be able to question the leadership and their behavior and decisions. It is important for me to believe that they are tending to their flock and not just protecting themselves. I wanted to read this posting because I am too afraid to ask any Catholics about this subject because most get very upset and think that it is an attack. When really it is just that we need reassurance and help with understanding.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 17, 2010 at 9:27 am


Good morning, Raquel,
There have been numerous individuals on this thread who have already made thoughtful responses to your first post. Why are you interested in what I have to say?
I will be happy to give a more substantive response after you answer my question.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm


Hi Raquel,
You needn’t fear talking with a Priest about your concerns. However, some Priests are generally more accessible and personable than others. Those who actively participate in our education program for converts, The Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) are Priests who routinely field such inquiries. You can ask Deacon Kandra for some suggestions. Also bear in mind that Deacons are members of the clergy, having undergone 5 years of seminary education and receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A great many Deacons are directors of parish RCIA programs and are equally (and in many instances, better) qualified and disposed to address all of your questions and concerns.
Were you to encounter a grumpy or dismissive Priest regarding the scandal, I would gently invite you to consider how outraged these good men are at what has been done to the Priesthood by the pedophiles, and the horrific and demoralizing reality that it is the honorable Priests remaining who must weather the storm of outrage and suspicion for crimes they never committed. Many are shell-shocked, beleagured, demoralized.
How many women do you know, Raquel, that either dated or married a guy who treated them with the suspicion, scorn, and contempt that actually are the reactions stemming from a past love that has soured. It isn’t fair, is it? The woman asks, “What have I done?? I’ve done nothing but love you!”
That’s the injustice being experienced by the honorable men remaining.
As for some of the vitriol that you have seen here, I won’t lie, you’ll see some of that in the Church. You see it in any religion. There comes a time in our spiritual lives when we become truly aware of our own sinful nature-the particulars of our unique failings as human beings, and we beg God’s mercy and forgiveness. We beg for the grace to get beyond our defects, some of which have become written into our character through habit.
We don’t receive that grace unless we are willing to suspend our condemnation of others for their defects in character. You’ve seen some people here who have not cleared that hurdle yet, or at least not cleanly. Welcome to human nature and the Holy Catholic Church, which was not founded as a museum for saints, but a repair shop for sinners.
When I was a boy in the 1960’s, my dad used to listen on the radio to the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale of New York’s Marble Collegiate Church. I remember him speaking once of a farmer who had endured torrential rains that turned his farm into mud several feet thick. His tractor and other equipment sank into the mud. Rather than look down at the mud and despair, as his wife was doing, he admonished her to look up at the sun instead, the sun that would soon dry out the mud and help restore life on the farm.
I ask you today to not get caught up in the lack of charity in some, and criminal conduct in others. Look up at the Son, the source of grace which inexorably dries up the mud. He has moved to purge His Priesthood, to restore it to its beauty. Pope Benedict is doing, and has done, a splendid job. Ignore the vitriol. Time spent on it could be better spent reading scripture or spiritual classics.
God Bless.



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Raquel

posted April 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm


Mr. Nadal,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on my questions. I had never really thought of it in such a way. I am sure that most clergy members are outraged and angry about what a few men have done that has so badly damaged the church, it’s members, and its reputation. I can understand that it is hard for them to weather this storm and deal with people’s suspicions, questions, and anger. Sometimes we forget that they are human just like us and they are struggling with this as well. I will keep this in mind, and I believe that I will do as you suggest and reach out to some Catholic friends for suggestions on a priest that I may be able to contact.
Holy Canoli,
I am interested in what you have to say because I am interested in what everyone posting has to say. I am trying to understand more about the faith and its followers. By posting here aren’t we all asking for people to respond to our comments? I am not sure what your question is for me but I will do my best to answer it.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm


Raquel,
In your first post you wrote:
>>> I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way that I do, but it makes me feel sort of lost. Sad and lost because I feel that there is nobody to talk to about all this, who can I trust to guide me?
Numerous people have taken time to ‘talk’ to you, to give you solid advice and to give sound recommendations to guide you which is exactly what you asked for.
But now, shifting direction, you write:
>>>I am interested in what you have to say because I am interested in what everyone posting has to say.
Sorry, Hon. You’re story doesn’t pass the ‘smell test.’
I didn’t buy your line from the getgo and I buy it even less now. I believe you are a poser, your story is contrived and, furthermore, I believe you are an alias of an alias of another poster.
Like all trolls, you’ve got what you wanted, attention. But, you’re not getting any more of mine.
Ta-ta



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Raquel

posted April 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm


I am not an alias of an alias of another poster. I am not a poser or a troll. I am a 29 year old female who grew up in a very strongly Catholic community in rural Colorado but was not raised as a Catholic. Heterosexual by the way. And my entire life I felt I would convert someday up until the last few years when I began to have questions and doubts.
Of course I am interested in what everyone has to say, that is why I am reading this blog. I didn’t know there was a smell test that I needed to pass. And I will be following the advice of those who posted thoughtful comments such as Mr. Nadal and Reaganite. And most likely I won’t be posting any more comments. I feel sorry for you. I hope you can someday understand that not all people who have questions about your church and beliefs mean to insult you. Some of us just have genuine questions and concerns. And what we are hoping is that the answers will lead us to grow closer to God, fellow believers, and his church.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm


Raquel,
Part of the art of being comfortable in your own skin is not feeling compelled to respond to the ugliness coming from lost souls such as Holy Cannoli (aka ‘boy pastry’). The rich irony here is that boy pastry acts like the very troll he accuses others of being by the appalling disconnect between his professed faith, and civility reserved only for those who look like what he beholds in the mirror. He is hardly the poster boy for Catholicism. A rancid pastry, exposed to too much of life’s heat. They tend to curdle.
The triumphalism of boy pastry’s ‘Catholicism’ is a defense not of the faith, but what that faith is being made to make up for that is lacking in his life. A quick read of the saints finds very little triumphalism, the vanquishing of the enemies of Christ. The greatest enemy of Christ is the zealot who becomes a stumbling block for those seeking answers to their doubts, the areas where faith is most needed. That’s why Jesus was so harsh on the cold and punishing Pharisees, whom He said dragged many souls to hell with them.
Boy pastry is wrapped up in possession of the truth with a vengeful edginess. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that humility IS truth. Boy pastry’s issues are not theological. That’s just a sideshow.
Be at peace in your quest. Sexual abuse is an issue that has pervaded every single institution of society, all at greater rates than in Rome. It’s all around us. The job of the faithful Catholic is to witness the gospel of Jesus joyfully and lovingly, so that others are envious of that ‘peace which surpasses all understanding’ of which St. Paul speaks. They will be irresistibly drawn to Jesus through our lived witness, and not by our zealous sneering at their infidel ways.
God Bless.



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Panthera

posted April 18, 2010 at 8:48 am


Gerard,
I think you summed up the Christian position very nicely – this is the reason JPII allowed as how other Christian churches could also lead people to God.
What you wrote is called “humility” and, when applied, is the Catholic church at her best.
Raquel, I’m pretty much through with posting on this forum for awhile. My life is more than a bit busy right now – I’m running our business, teaching part-time and covering a competitor’s business who is stuck in America right now and can’t get back to Europe.
Whether this is a deep honor and statement of trust on his part or being backed up against a wall and needing someone with the certifications and licenses to keep things going, my responsibility is to help him out as best I can.
I may end up selling our business to him when we leave…so this is not entirely selfless charity.
I mention this because it means I might miss an answer of yours.
On a very basic, very fundamental level, your attraction to the Catholic church is a good thing. No, I personally am not going over to Rome. That doesn’t change the fact that I am 100% in agreement with Gerard regarding what the Catholic church does have to offer, especially to an adult who has the brains and life-experience to embrace the Catholic church with open-eyes.
The advantage of engaging this church right now is that you are seeing her at her very worst and most vulnerable. If you can still find a spiritual home here, now, then I don’t think much else can happen to upset you.
I have no idea why some people have been so unpleasant to you. Don’t ignore them, regard Holy Cannoli as one of the criteria you will apply to any given parish you might be considering. How does the priest, how do the other members deal with people who approach their Catholicism as he does?
A small suggestion, if you don’t mind.
Go to one of the charitable houses and ask to speak to the Mother Superior or the priest responsible for that house.
These people live their Catholic belief every day.
They will not only be happy to advise you, they will also be in a position to guide you to a parish which is good for people in your position and steer you away from one which might be less appropriate.
All the best and may God bless.



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memyselfandi

posted April 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm


Jesus God Almighty.
This thread is revolting.
One thing has become stunningly clear, however.
Holy Cannoli = Satan



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