The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Priest cleared of sex abuse charges for second time

posted by jmcgee

It happened in the Archdiocese of Boston:  

Parishioners and priests at St. Francis Xavier Church say they’re happy to have the Rev. Charles Murphy back after he was cleared of sexual-abuse allegations for the second time in less than five years.

g12c00000000000000043af97bfa338963e758e05b7a0977a3ea9d6dcaf.jpgBut it’s still unclear whether the 77-year-old priest will return full time to the congregation, which held prayer meetings to support him while the last allegations against him were being investigated.

Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Boston, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley will meet with the Rev. Murphy to figure out what he will do next.

“In the very near term, the cardinal and Father Murphy will sit down to discuss the next steps and how he will continue to serve,” Lynch said.

O’Malley restored the Rev. Murphy’s senior-priest status on Tuesday after an advisory board that investigates allegations of abuse by priests found insufficient evidence to support a 53-year-old South Shore man’s allegation that the Rev. Murphy molested him four times in the early 1970s. Murphy was a priest at St. Agatha’s Church in Milton at the time.

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who represented the Rev. Murphy’s accuser, said his client is considering filing a civil suit against the priest.

“My client feels re-victimized,” Garabedian said.

He said the Ardiocesan Review Board was biased toward the church when it cleared the Rev. Murphy. The nine-member board, which includes a rabbi, a priest, a social worker and a judge, makes recommendations to Cardinal O’Malley. One seat on the board is currently vacant.

Garabedian said he has represented more than 750 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese, including a Rockland woman who accused the Rev. Murphy of molesting her when she was a girl and he was working at the Boston School for the Deaf in Randolph.

Those allegations were part of a 2004 lawsuit filed by 18 former students who said the Rev. Murphy, another priest and 13 nuns physically and sexually abused them or turned a blind eye to their mistreatment between 1946 and 1977.

Continue at the link.

UPDATE:  Comments for this thread are closed.



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ray

posted October 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm


dcn ray…will you be preaching this weekend on “Respect Life Sunday?”



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nnmns

posted October 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm


Ok, so a church committee found insufficient evidence to support the accusation. It would be interesting to know, but I doubt we ever will, how this compares to the process in a court trial. And there’s the much larger 2004 lawsuit. A more complete story would include the info at “Continue at the link.”, where we learn the lawsuit was withdrawn.
So there’s clear suspicion the priest was doing bad things but apparently insufficient proof. He could be innocent or guilty but he hasn’t been proven guilty.



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pagansister

posted October 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm


I sincerely hope he wasn’t/isn’t guilty. Apparently he was accused more than once. 18 allegations in 2004 is A LOT of former students. Perhaps at 77 he could retire, or not be given an assignment where children are involved. Precautions never hurt.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm


Yes, Ray. I hope to post my “Respect Life” homily Saturday morning. Dcn. G.



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Goodguyex

posted October 2, 2010 at 12:08 am


Another 40 year old story about people with one foot in the grave.



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 7:55 am


Goodguyex,
I believe that justice is an eternal good, one without a statute of limitation.
Your acerbic comment would lead me to believe you feel otherwise.
Should, then, this older man live with unproved charges hanging over his head indefinitely? Or, should his guilt be proved, however late, the first step in redress (at least that is my ‘personal interpretation’ of Christian behavior when having transgressed) being acknowledgment of that guilt be denied?
You’re going to be confronted with stories of child-abuse within the Catholic church for the next several decades, instead of seeking to bury the horrible facts, it might be better to let light shine in and cleanse the sin.
We all have the example of Austria and Germany to guide us in what happens when an institution is permitted to deny wrong doing.



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BobRN

posted October 2, 2010 at 11:02 am


We don’t know all of the details of the matter, and we’re not going to get them from a lazy press whose idea of investigative journalism is to make a couple of phone calls. Jack Anderson, where art thou?
The advisory boards that review allegations made against priests were a demand placed on the Church in light of the 2002 revelations. Even though most dioceses already had them in place, the Church was faulted for not having them in place. Go figure. Now, even though it includes non-Catholics and law professionals, whenever the outcome doesn’t satisfy Church critics, the review board is reduced to a “church committee” and a tool to assist the Church in covering up abuse. I suppose every allegation should be reviewed and given credence, then perhaps the critics will be happy, but I doubt it. Yes, I suppose it would be interesting to know how this compares to a court trial. Happily, the Constitution protects the privacy of individuals, and the Church is no more obliged to submit internal processes to public review than is the NY Times, the Boston Police Dept., or the human resources department at Wal-Mart. The public schools are, though we all know how interested they are in reform. BTW Panthera, how’s the situation in Europe after the revelation of years-long child abuse by employees of the state schools?
The results of the review board have no bearing on whether or not the alleged victim seeks redress via the civil courts, which seems to be the plan. Oh, but don’t hold out much hope for serious punishment for Fr. Murphy, even if he’s found guilty. In a recent case here in Knoxville, a priest found guilty of abuse back in the 70s got two years probation – not one day in jail. When the bishop found out, he did everything right: he confronted the priest, who admitted his guilt, the guy was removed from the priesthood (he was already retired, so there was no need to remove him from ministry), the authorities were informed, etc… The victim himself suggested Knoxville as a model for how to respond to abuse allegations. Yet, it was the civil authorities who, as they often do, dropped the ball on this own. So now this convicted abuser is walking the streets of east Tennessee. As I’ve said before, it’s rarely about protecting the children.



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm


BobRN,
Discussing Europe as a single entity is a bit like saying South Carolina and California are the same because they are both member states of the US.
I can only speak with certainty for Germany and the Netherlands. In those countries, teachers and, indeed, anyone who works with children, is subject to very stringent background checks. I worked in secondary adult education professionally, at the graduate level with some undergraduate courses. Because I also taught refugees voluntarily (a joint effort of several churches, including the Catholic church), I was screened quite thoroughly and approved.
The Catholic church in Western Europe has a vastly different focus than in the US – spreading God’s love and welcoming all are far more in the forefront. Even Poland is far, far, enormously far away from the US focus on where monies and resources are invested.
But then, our abortion rate is enormously lower, our unplanned pregnancies are orders of magnitude lower, our elderly, orphans and widowed are treated with Christian care and respect. There is a tremendous debate ongoing among Cardinals on just how to approach committed gay relationships and the State raises the funds the Catholic church needs to pay for alternatives to abortion for any woman who so desires. Our conservative Catholics don’t countenance the actions carried out by your culture warriors, they are too busy helping women in trouble, aiding the poor, the sick, the elderly, the orphans. Somehow, following Christ’s direct commands has a far higher priority in Western Europe than it seems to have in the US.
The natural sciences are given far higher status here than in the US in general. I had colleagues who taught at a Jesuit university not too far from my own faculty who approached evolution and natural selection exactly as I do.
Bob, I know you asked the question partially to get a dig in on my clear preference for Europe to the backwards lifestyle of American Christianity here in Dixie. The simple truth is, Catholicism is far more than the culture wars of the US. There is no acceptable excuse for the decision of American Catholics such as the Knights of Columbus to spend more on the culture wars than on aiding the elderly, widows and orphans – their very Catholic and completely Christian charter.
I don’t know whether this man is guilty or not. If you look at what my hounds think of me, I’m a pretty decent guy. If you based your opinion of me on what many of your fellow conservative bloggers think, I’m the anti-Christ or at least a close companion. How can we leave this priest with such a blemish on his record, merely because it is bad publicity? It seems worse than unjust for those who ‘defend’ the Catholic church at all cost to set a term limit to justice in the hope of silencing those who seek to set aright the damage done to countless children.



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cathyf

posted October 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm


Precautions never hurt.

pagansister, I am simply appalled at this attitude. It’s the sure sign that we’ve crossed the line into a witch hunt when it is impossible for an accused to be innocent. “Precautions never hurt” — like when you weight the accused witch down with stones and throw her in the pond — if she floats, she’s a witch and you execute her, if she sinks (and drowns) well she was (past tense) innocent so you’ll give her a Christian burial.
The practice of journalism is one of Deacon Greg’s particular interests, so let’s look at this article as to what it says as opposed to what the journalist would like for you to believe:

18 former students who said the Rev. Murphy, another priest and 13 nuns physically and sexually abused them or turned a blind eye to their mistreatment between 1946 and 1977.

So, according to the story, the accusation against Murphy is something between repeated sexual assaults of 18 different children on one end of the spectrum, and on the other end, the failure to act on the knowledge of other people’s crimes which he could only have gotten through comic-book-superhero superpowers of mind reading, x-ray vision, etc. As anyone who was ever a kid knows, kids get away with a lot of stuff — big and small — in school. Sometimes the adults know exactly what’s going on, and choose to look the other way, while other times the adults don’t have a clue. Later, if kids and adults compare notes, it’s perfectly normal for the kids to be quite mistaken as to knowing which ones the adults did or did not know anything about. There is a qualitative difference between the accusation “Father X beat me with a belt and raised huge welts” and “Father X knew that Sister Y was beating me and did nothing to stop her.” If Father X was holding the belt, then Father X knew whether or not he was beating the child. On the other hand, if Father X was in his office on the other end of the complex when the beating happened, and Sister Y successfully intimidated the child into hiding the existence of the beating (by, you know, threats of more beatings), then the (now grown-up) child is simply speculating that Father X knew about the beatings and looked the other way. Clearly the author of the story, Christian Schiavone, wants you to believe that Murphy was accused of something heinous, but what Schiavone actually wrote is carefully ambiguous as to whether Murphy was even accused of something that a reasonable person would find a reasonable accusation.
As pagansister points out:

Apparently he was accused more than once.

Yes, he was accused more than once — by the same lawyer. By the lawyer who would have gained a huge amount of information about Fr. Murphy’s activities and whereabouts between 1946 and 1977 during the course of the first lawsuit. By a lawyer who stands to gain a substantial financial reward if the accusations against Fr. Murphy are found credible. I mean use some logic here: if you were going to construct false accusations against someone, would you choose someone that you knew a lot about, or someone that you knew nothing about? Imagine that you trumped up charges against some random priest whose name you found in the diocesan directory — and then it turned out that in the time frame in question the priest was not born yet, or was on the other side of the planet on a missionary assignment, or in a coma in the hospital. Of course it’s a far better strategy to pick someone you know a lot about. The fact that there have been two accusations doesn’t help us find the truth about who is telling the truth and who is lying.
As Panthera correctly points out, we’re “going to be confronted with stories of child-abuse within the Catholic church for the next several decades.” And the hard truth, that nobody seems to want to face, is that in many of these cases we will never know — in this life — whether the accused is guilty or innocent. Especially in cases 40, 50, 60, 70 years old where the accused and any witnesses are all either dead or senile or simply memories have faded. Where the nature of the crime is such that it is completely believable that victims would keep the crimes a secret for decades, leaving us with no contemporaneous evidence one way or another. Yes, there are lots of cases where the perpetrator admits to the abuse. There are cases where a witness just happened to interrupt a crime in progress, or saw physical evidence that it happened. But those “easy” cases don’t help us know the truth in the “hard” cases. Sometimes all we know is that someone is lying, but not who. It’s even possible that no one is lying — in these “he/she looked the other way” cases, we will sometimes have evidence that the person knew about abuse, but other times the victim will sincerely believe that this happened inside the other person’s brain, and and the victim is simply wrong.
So, pagansister, you were a kindergarten teacher. Suppose 25, 30, 35 years from now a former student accuses you of sexually abusing him/her. Can you prove that you didn’t? You tell us that you followed the rule never to be alone with a child — decades from now, can you prove that you weren’t lying to us? Suppose the accusation is that the aide abused the child while you “looked the other way” and further suppose that the aide is dead and can’t defend herself or even shed any light on occurrences at all.
When they take away your pension, and throw you out of the retirement home that you live in, and you are forced to live in a filthy rat-infested SRO and share the filthy bathroom with the hookers and meth addicts on the hall, are you still going to agree that “precautions never hurt” ?



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Gerard Nadal

posted October 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm


Pagansister,
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” is God’s manner of addressing the monstrosity of “precautions never hurt”.



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm


Gerard,
For a change, I don’t have a dog in this fight, so forgive me for climbing up onto my soap-box here.
When this whole disaster was still reeking to the heavens last year, many highly conservative Christians were saying that all homosexuals should be kicked out of positions of power within the Catholic church purely to be safe rather than sorry.
If I recall correctly, you also took that position.
I fail to see the difference between the two.
Now, it may well be that this man is culpable of serious, grievous sins. I don’t know. I do recall the witch hunts and the Spanish Inquisition with Auto de fé quite well. You can’t have it both ways.
How do police forces handle such situations with their officers when accused of misusing or abusing their authority?



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cathyf

posted October 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm


Nah, Panthera, I think you’re wrong to take the whole “the problem is homosexuality” thing as anything other than a diversionary tactic.
So you’ve got some creepy middle-aged “spiritual director” who uses the confessional to con some naive 16-yr-old into dropping out of school so she can do menial labor in the Opus Dei house. And every time he passes her down on hands and knees scrubbing floors, or sweating over laundry, he gets a hard-on from the pleasure of exercising such power over another human being, especially a sweet nubile one. Of course he’s going to seize on “the problem is homosexuality”! And when people like you and your friends engage the argument, you are just helping the perps who are engaged in various and sundry heterosexual abuse in their campaign to change the subject!



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm


cathyf,
As so often, you make a valid point.
It’s quite true that many in the Catholic church saw the opportunity to use homosexuals as scapegoats to avoid having to deal with the problems of abuse. It is also a sad truth that for many – as we read here in the comments nearly every day – abuse of women is discounted nearly completely by those same people.
It puzzles me, to be honest. The Catholics I know like my father and my husband, the many good and honorable Catholics in Europe aren’t like these people one so often encounters here in the US.
That said, I do think it is important not to let Gerard get away with too much. Fond as I am of him, and as much as I respect his and his wife’s commitment to their family situation, sometimes he needs to have somebody with a good memory around.
We now have another dead youth. These culture wars have a price.



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BobRN

posted October 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm


No, Panthera, my question was not a dig at your preference for the enlightened ones of Europe versus us money-focused Neanderthal Catholics here in the U. S. You might want to sit down for this, but it’s not all about you. You brought up the failures of the Church in Austria and Germany, which is why I addressed the question to you. What about the failures of the state?
My question was to bring attention to the constant, constant, constant, constant … focus of our esteemed press, both here and in Europe, on the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, to the near universal neglect of the horror of the situation in secular and other non-Catholic institutions, such as public schools, military, police, private Protestant and Jewish schools, not to mention the Muslim world, even though the reality is that the situation has been much worse in non-Catholic institutions. Also, the decision to refuse to report on the improvements the Catholic Church has experienced in response to the reforms adopted, especially in light of the fact that other institutions, like the public schools, continue a policy of cover-up rather than reform. Also, the hatchet job done by the press on Pope Benedict XVI, trying to connect him with the cover-up, in spite of the lack of evidence.
I speak of the confirmation of abuse that took place over decades at the Odenwaldschule in Germany, the charges against the Jugendamt, the government youth welfare office in Germany, of taking children out of the homes of perfectly fine families so state agencies can make a profit exploiting these children, not to mention their persecuation of homeschooling families (I’m sure you know that homeschooling was made illegal in Germany in 1938, and you don’t have to be reminded who was chancellor of Germany at the time), the cases of abuse in the over 450 children’s homes in the former East Germany that everyone is now ignoring ever happened, the case of Casa Pia, a state-run network of homes and schools that cared for over 4,000 children in Portugal, six of whose leaders were just convicted of child abuse, the increase of violence against against children by teachers in state nursing schools in Italy, the accusations against British soldiers, and others, serving as UN peacekeepers carrying on sex for aid programs and supplying various international brothels in Africa and Eastern Europe with sex slaves. The fact that you mention none of these cases suggests that you don’t know about them, which wouldn’t be a surprise given the amount of press they’ve received, or lack of press. None of this, by the way, even brings up the extensive abuse reported in sports and other youth organizations in Europe.
Just FYI, teachers and church volunteers here in the US go through extensive background checks, as well. Maybe that’s one of the reasons cases of abuse have decreased so rapidly in the Church in America. Gee, wish the same could be said of public and private schools in Europe. Most research on the question reports that abuse is on the rise.
Your remark that your friends who teach at Jesuit schools in Europe teach evolution is a red herring, since evolution is taught with the natural sciences at Catholic schools and universities in the US. Do you have even one example of a Catholic university in the US that teaches creationism? But when have facts ever gotten in your way when you’re on a roll criticising the Church?
Your complaint that the Knights of Columbus spends more on the culture wars than on charities to the needy is a bald faced lie. Your complaint against the Knights has nothing to do with how much money they spend on charity, but on their refusal to dissent from orthodox Catholic teaching on homosexuality. For those who would like to know, in 2007, the KoC contributed $145 million to charitable causes and another 68 million volunteer hours. Over the last decade, the KoC has contributed $1.28 billion to charitable causes and donated 612 million volunteer hours. Does any other organization come close? Oh, but none of that counts, since they don’t tow Panthera’s line on gay marriage and abortion.
The last paragraph in your response to me makes no sense at all in relation to my previous comment. I think you’re getting me mixed up with other commenters, which you’ve often done in the past.
It really does take a lot of energy to keep an even temper. I really need to stop with the blogging, or my blood pressure is going to get the best of me. I’ve tried and tried to be even handed and respectful, but the lies, red herrings and abuse railed against all things Catholic by those who assume a snotty, superior attitude toward anyone who defends the truth … Geez, it’s just getting to be too much for me.



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cathyf

posted October 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm


Panthera, maybe you can help me out here… On a Friday night two weeks ago I took the three 7th & 8th graders to the convenience mart where we collected donations and handed out tootsie rolls for the KofC drive for the mentally retarded. I noticed that my neighbors are not the least bit hesitant to pay gas-station prices for beer and cigarettes on a Friday night, and were very generous with the donations, too. (I’m wondering if I should bring my girls back there to sell girl scout cookies in the spring…)
So my question — what side of The Culture Wars am I on?



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm


BobRN,
I’m currently back in Europe, enjoying being a full-fledged person with all my rights and frankly, yes, our society does function quite a bit better – we have fewer divorces, fewer abortions, less child abuse and civil rights for all.
Yes, our educational system does do a better job of teaching the natural sciences. Through the years, I taught quite a few Americans who studied abroad and, frankly, their knowledge of the basics in the sciences was not where it should have been, especially regarding the culture war issues.
Yes, the focus of the Christian body here is quite different from that in the US. The focus is more on helping the poor, the elderly, the widowed, the orphaned and less on stripping people of their rights.
If you want to go into history fine – but then you have to accept my bringing up Pius XII and the Inquisition.
I think you should take a look at the Knights of Columbus and their current spending reports before you take too firm a position. Why on earth would I make such a firm statement unless I could back it up?
I grant you that the media is often unkind to B16. He lacks the common touch which Ioannes XXIII or JPII had. The humanity of his written work doesn’t come across in his German, either. Unfortunately.
That said, since when were we Christians called to care what the media think about us? You might note that I have been defending the principle of in dubio pro reo on this thread.



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Panthera

posted October 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm


cathyf,
I think that’s great. A good thing for you to do. The KoC currently is spending more on fighting gay marriage than on the activities for which they were chartered. That is a fact.
I think I’ll call it quits for the night. Our focus on this thread should have been whether someone is innocent until proved guilty or, at least, so I understood it.
For what it’s worth, I’m sleeping in the same bed room my ancestors have slept in since the seventeenth century. With two cats who somehow always seem to know when I’m going to be back home and a very deeply snoring mongrel puppy who our gardener insists likes coffee as much as I do. We’ll see in the morning about that.



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RomCath

posted October 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm


Well Benedict’s passion certainly comes through on his homilies in every European country he has visited. They are all online. Europe is secular and post-Christian which is why the “culture wars” have won there. I somehow doubt JPII with his “common touch” would be jumping up over same-sex “marriage”. And by the way, both were non-Italian Europeans!
Now the Druids, all 350 of them, have gotten status as a religion in England. But let’s all bash the K of C now! Hope they quadruple what they spend on same sex marriage. As one of them it makes me proud.
How come I never hear what Muslims think of same-sex marriage or homosexuality in general? Or the Orthodox?



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pagansister

posted October 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm


appalled kathyf:
Let’s put it this way, he has once again (2nd time) been found innocent of the allegations, but if I understand correctly, not in a civil court, but in a church review (correct me if I’m wrong). Actually, right now, there are no religious men/women leaders I’d want my grandchild alone with, not just Catholic. I wouldn’t want my grandchild alone with him. Just me, being cautious. As to the witch trials etc. Plenty of Catholic murders/burnings done to folks who just didn’t happen to be Catholic, never mind whether they were witches or not. Not here to discuss the violence committed by probably most if not all religions in the world over time, including rape and molestations of children, both male and female.
For too many years, centuries, priests were “revered” as so special that parents innocently trusted these religious men with the very lives of their children. Toooo much power given to them—children feared to tell their parents if something happened, and many (by no means all) didn’t believe a child if they mentioned “touching” etc, by those revered men. Some of the nuns too, were feared and from stories of some of my Catholic friends, mistreated children. The power that priests and nuns held over children(and some adults) to me was unbelievable. It was, IMO, almost worship, as those hallowed folks “worked for GOD”. I’m in no way implying that all or most priests (or nuns) fell into the category that I’ve talked about above, but 1 was too many. Other faiths have had their ministers, Rabbi’s etc. too who have taken advantage of children. But this is about the RCC at the moment.
How would I prove my innocence if 25, 30, or 35 years from now if accused? I’ll probably be dead, since in 35 years from now I’ll be anywhere from 90 to 100, so I’m not going to worry about it now. It will be up to the accuser to prove I did it. They too would be rather old and should have brought up the accusation very much earlier. Not too smart if they wait 25-35 years.



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pagansister

posted October 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm


BTW, kathyf. If they took away my RC pension, which is REALLY low (I didn’t teach in a Catholic school for the money, believe me!) it wouldn’t make much difference. It is less than $200 a month.
Panthera: Not enough words to fully express the tragic death of the Rutger’s student. (or the deaths of the other boys who couldn’t go on because of their mistreatment.)
RomCath: Yes, the Druids are legit in the UK. Pretty cool, huh?



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cathyf

posted October 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm


Well, PS, 25 years ago (in 1985) no priest would ever have imagined that he could find himself penniless and evicted from his home at 81 years old because he could not prove himself innocent of accusations from 1959. In 1985 every priest would think that “It will be up to the accuser to prove I did it.” Because innocent-until-proven-guilty has always been a core American value — especially in those cases where it is practically impossible to prove oneself innocent.
I found your final paragraph rather chilling… Do you have any concept at all that the Dallas Accords, which are now Church law worldwide, put the burden of proof entirely upon an accused priest to prove his innocence, but only after he has been stripped of his home and livelihood, cast out from the priesthood, rejected by his bishop and fellow priests, and left totally at the mercy of the charity of others? That the church has paid out millions of dollars to some accusers without even asking for detailed accusations, let alone any evidence whatsoever that the “accusations” were true? That the Church is prohibited from saying “you should have brought this up very much earlier” even when not bringing it up earlier has the real and tangible effect that the accused has simply no way to defend himself because of the passage of time?



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BobRN

posted October 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm


Panthera,
“The KoC is currently spending more on fighting gay marriage than on the activities for which they were chartered. That is a fact.”
No, that is a lie.
As has been famously said, I think by Daniel Patrick Moynahan, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts.
Before you start making such firm claims against the Knights of Columbus, you might want to make sure your sources aren’t lying in order to score political/social points.
Full disclosure: while I have been inducted into the Knights of Columbus, I’m not an active member and haven’t been to a meeting or paid my chapter dues in over five years. I am not currently involved in the chapter at my new parish and have no intention of becoming involved. I have no emotional attachment to the organization. But, Panthera’s lie cannot be allowed to stand.
According to Jesse Zwick, the author of the report published by the Washington Independent accusing the KoC of giving more to anti-gay marriage causes than to it’s own charities, the Supreme Council of the Knight of Columbus contributed $1.4 million dollars to the National Organization for Marriage in 2009 to fight gay “marriage” initiatives. Zwick goes on to write, “The NOM donation eclipses what the Knights’ Supreme Council spent on some of its own charitable programs – such as its new effort supporting food banks or its total spending on education initiative – in the same year, much to the outrage of some observers, including Catholic groups.”
Note: Zwick is talking about the KoC Supreme Council, not the KoC generally, which you, Panthera, fail to point out.
Note: Zwick says that the KoC Supreme Council spent more on anti-gay “marriage” initiatives than on “some” of its own charitable programs. This is not the same thing as spending more on anti-gay “marriage” initiatives than on “those activities for which they were chartered.” To be clear, Zwick reports that the KoC Supreme Council spent $1 million on education, which is more than the $1.4 million that went to NOM. But, that does not include all of the KoC Supreme Council giving for that year, only their giving for education.
In fact, Zwick writes waaaaaay down toward the bottom of the article, “The Supreme Council’s total spending on community projects in 2009 (which includes soup kitchens, homeless shelters, well drilling projects, and other forms of relief worldwide) totals approximately $3.5 million – an amount that exceeds its giving to anti-gay marriage proposition campaigns, but not by much.”
This last jab is, in fact, a lie. The KoC Supreme Council gave $3.5 million to community projects and $1.4 million to anti-gay “marraige” campaigns in 2009. To get to the “not by much” claim, Zwick had to combine the amount given by the KoC Supreme Council to anti-gay “marraige” campaigns over two years, not just one.
In point of fact, the various worldwide chapters of the Knights of Columbus gave $151,105,867 to various charities in 2009. The Supreme Council of the KoC gave $34,627,530 to various KoC chapters around the world to supplement the charitable giving of the local chapters.
The $1.4 million given by the KoC Supreme Council to the NOM represents 0.04% of the total given by the KoC Supreme Council in 2009 and 0.009% of the total charitable giving by the Knights of Columbus in 2009.
Given your lack of devotion to the facts regarding this matter, I can only imagine what you would do with the Inquisition and Pope Pius XII. The bottom line is, Panthera, you’re an ideologue and an elitist. You cannot possibly imagine that those who think differently than you have half a brain in our thick, Neanderthal skulls. You can’t answer the questions I asked in my previous posts, so you ignore them and change the subject. You regularly whine about being victimized by those who comment on this blog, but are quick to spew out your own vile against any and all who dare cross you.
Well, have at it. This is the only blog to which I post comments, and I’ve decided I spend way too much time at it. I have better things to do than knock my head against this wall.



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cathyf

posted October 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm


Everywhere that I have lived, the Knights’ major fundraiser is the tootsie roll campaign for the retarded and developmentally disabled, while the minor fundraisers are Lenten fish fries for the local Catholic school. Things which don’t even seem to have made the radar in the Zwick piece, which looks at the Supreme Council and basically ignores the local chapters where all of the action is.



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Daniel

posted October 3, 2010 at 7:40 am


Is it too much to HOPE that the Catholic hierarchy will actually stop swimming in Denial River, wise up, own up to all these sexual abuse & misconduct charges,& make some attempt ( No matter how small & superficial ) at at least partial compensation for the people that have been victimized by these ” Men of God ” ?
If the accused had been a Baptist, Seventh – Day Adventist, LDS, etc., the press would be having a FIELD DAY & there would be at least 9 kinds of Hell to pay for such misconduct.
I can understand why Anne Rice left the RC church now. If I were Catholic I would have beaten her to it.



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 7:48 am


BobRn
I appreciate your frustration. However that is exactly what the pot stirrers here want to do. It is the same in politics. Anyone who is not a left winger is uneducated, uniformed, racist, homophobe etc etc. Only the progressives are intelligent. No one else is entitled to an opinion. Freedom of speech is only for them, no one else.
The K of C is free to spend their money however they feel it is needed. They also do a lot of pro-life work. But again that is maligned because it does not fit in the agenda of the progressives.
In the end, I think authentic Christians are required to continue to point out the lies that are put out by those who claim to be Christians but who really don’t have a clue.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 8:14 am


BobRN,
I thank you for posting the facts. Yes, I limited myself to the Supreme Council in the US and it is my fault for not making that clear.
Still, the charter was for, exactly what, again? Oh, right, those are just words from that silly Jewish Rabi, good ‘ol whatsisname. Nobody important.
All that is accomplished in devoting so much time and energy into the culture wars is that we drive people away from Christian mercy.
I regret, tremendously regret, that the Catholic church covered up and denied so much of the evil done to children for so very many years. Placing the onus on old men who have neither the mental nor the financial resources to defend themselves is a reaction of equal injustice.
It is also absurd to demand of a sexually abused man or woman that they achieve the equanimity within a given number of years to confront their rapist or abuser.
I think there is a connection between the culture wars and the manner in which these cases of abuse and those accused of abuse were, have been and now are being handled. The hypocrisy of those who revel in these rapes as evidence of the moral hollowness of Rome are also doing harm to the Christian faith.
RomCath said:
Well Benedict’s passion certainly comes through on his homilies in every European country he has visited. They are all online. Europe is secular and post-Christian which is why the “culture wars” have won there. I somehow doubt JPII with his “common touch” would be jumping up over same-sex “marriage”. And by the way, both were non-Italian Europeans!
endquote
What on earth? First, you obviously haven’t got a clue as to ‘Europe’ or you would say we are secular and post-Christian. If you define Christianity as following Christ’s words (you know, all that blah-blah about the poor, the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the elderly, the ill and all that other social-justice nonsense that silly Jewish Rabi kept spouting on about) then it would not be hard to make the case Western Europe is more Christian than is America. As for secular, RomCath, have you ever actually read the US Constitution and Amendments? I mean the real document, not the tea-bagger comic book version.
RomCath said:
Now the Druids, all 350 of them, have gotten status as a religion in England. But let’s all bash the K of C now! Hope they quadruple what they spend on same sex marriage. As one of them it makes me proud.
endquote
When the Druids start to violate their charter, I imagine they will also come under criticism. Thank you for stating plainly that you want the KoC to quadruple spending against human and civil rights.
RomCath said:
How come I never hear what Muslims think of same-sex marriage or homosexuality in general? Or the Orthodox?
endquote
I don’t know why you haven’t heard something you have yet to have heard. Proving the non-existence of a negative is beyond me.
More to the point, I expect nothing good from Muslims. From Christians, I expect Christian behavior.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 8:20 am


…’or you would NOT say we are secular and post-Christian’. My mistake, sorry.
RomCath, as it is you and not the progressives who is stripping people of their rights, I find your contention absurd.



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 8:54 am


“RomCath, as it is you and not the progressives who is stripping people of their rights, I find your contention absurd.”
First, what you consider rights are quite different than what people of faith consider rights. There is no such right to redefine marriage. But just stick to your agenda and focus on the social justice issues and never mind the morality part of the Gospel–icky things like sins.
Second, you dont think Europe is post-Christian and totally secular? HA! There are thousands of articles–just google it. The churches are empty.What do you think the last two popes have talked about everywhere they went in Europe?
Your vulgarity does not become you.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 9:16 am


Churches empty?
People of faith are defined exclusively as those who think exactly as you do?
Ignoring social justice is not a sin?
Your religious views trump the Constitution and Amendments thereto?
I’ll take the genuine Christianity of Western European Christians over your hate driven agenda any day, thank you very much. Since when do we define love of and duty to God in terms of numbers of people who only practice their Christian beliefs when it is socially advantageous? Oh, and our church was quite full this morning, thank you.
We disagree on quite a few culture war issues, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think you aren’t a Christian. It’s not my place nor is it yours to judge.
I take sin quite seriously. It is interesting that you attack my monogamous marriage while openly supporting Republican candidates who have all and/or are now committing adultery.
The US is a constitutional republic and not a theocracy. Your personal religious views must not be the basis for discrimination.



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Goodguyex

posted October 3, 2010 at 9:33 am


Panthera writes ”
Goodguyex,
I believe that justice is an eternal good, one without a statute of limitation.
Your acerbic comment would lead me to believe you feel otherwise.”
You know I believe here is a hell. I know you do not. Therefore that question is closed.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 10:17 am


Goodguyex wrote:
You know I believe here is a hell. I know you do not. Therefore that question is closed.
endquote
Assuming you meant “there” and not “here”, you’re still wrong. Of course I believe there is a hell.
Do you really think Christ’s redemption is limited only to heterosexuals Catholics Goodguyex?



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 11:32 am


One of the problems which arise from such accusations is that the stain remains, regardless of how often the person so charged has been found innocent.
Back when I taught freshmen, I had access to all their files. I never, not once, used that access randomly because I felt it would bias me against a student – either to their advantage or disadvantage. It would be nice if people such as Father Murphy could be extended such anonymity.
This is not possible.
What solutions are there to this problem? I certainly understand pagansister’s feelings on the matter. Although I worked with young adults, the same sense of in loco parentis as a responsibility to protect one’s charges against all harm is present in me, too.
There was never a year without at least one male professor being involved with a young female student. Those times when I sat on the ethics committee (because I had missed a meeting and had been sentenced to service in abstentia)and the charges had been proved, I always voted for dismissal.
Always.
When the matter was one of whispered accusations without proof, I always voted for retainment. I then did my very best to never discuss the matter again and came down hard on any colleague who did gossip further.
I think there are a few passages in the New Testament which apply to our discourse. With the Deacon’s indulgence (they are brief):
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24)
“Love your neighbor as yourself,” “There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm


Yes, Panthera, the churches are empty. The majority of Europeans have dismissed Christianity in practice and in fact–it is post-Christian and secular. Not only Catholics, but all. Do you read? Have you never read how many Anglicans practice their faith in England–a faith which allows just about anything BTW. You think Europe is still Christian in any sense. PLEASE! Even the Episcopal Churches here are empty and they allow anything too.
My personal religious views are how I live my life. You cannot separate the values of the Gospel from how you live and act and who your are. Of course you can and do, but that is not the norm.
And again your vulgar term for the Tea Party is disgusting. I expect more decency from you.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm


RomCath,
Which of us lives between Europe and the US – you or me?
I think I am in a better position to see how folks here in Western Europe live their lives than you are.
What I do see in the deep South is a very loud, very in-your-face assertion of your brand of Christianity – inseparably tied to conservative politics, filled with hurrah-patriotism and built on the premise of showing love of God through hatred towards those who disagree with you on your very convenient selection of ‘sins’ to rile against.
Frankly, we have enormously fewer abortions, far less poverty – especially among orphans and widows, much better treatment of the elderly and a lower divorce rate (gay or straight) than you do.
We even provided one of the most brilliant (if not the most personable) popes of the last several centuries for the entire world.
Every single thread which presents you with an opportunity, you attack me. It must be obvious by now that you aren’t going to drive me away. As best I can tell, you have contributed little to the discussion pertinent to this thread, but invested quite a bit of venom in attacking me.
Wouldn’t it just be better to accept that you and I will never agree on anything and leave off derailing all the Deacon’s thoughtful threads? You could place a post at the start of each new thread saying: “No matter what position Panthera takes, even if he is 100% in alignment with the teachings of the Church, let it be known, I really don’t want him here”. I could then respond with a biblical text or Latin quote from a Doctor of the Church and we’d consider the matter mutually settled.
What about it?



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm


Panthera,
It seems now you have even infuriated Bob. Ever think it is you?
Now you are taking credit for Europe giving the world a pope? What a stretch. I guess you mean JPII who would probably vomit reading about how wonderful even the divorce rate is among gays! lol
Europe is post-Christian–google Benedict’s homilies–he is a European. I don’t think he is taking delight in the fact the churches there are empty. And yes, Church is the only place a Catholic can receive the Eucharist.
As for the thread, he was cleared. Get over it.
I know no one but God could drive you away. Your arrogance would never allow it. I see you never even acknowledge your vulgarity.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm


RomCath said:
Panthera,
It seems now you have even infuriated Bob. Ever think it is you?
endquote
I very much am sorry for upsetting BobRN and I have apologized to him. I do so now, again. Bob, I’m sorry that I was rude to you.
RomCath said:
Now you are taking credit for Europe giving the world a pope? What a stretch. I guess you mean JPII who would probably vomit reading about how wonderful even the divorce rate is among gays! lol
endquote
First, I claim no such credit. Second, I certainly did not mean JPII, rather B16 – who grew up not far from where my family has lived for centuries. Third, you are so far out of alignment with JPII’s statements on dealings with homosexuals it ill befits you to discuss vomiting. Fourth: ‘lol’? This is all a joke to you?
RomCath said:
Europe is post-Christian–google Benedict’s homilies–he is a European. I don’t think he is taking delight in the fact the churches there are empty. And yes, Church is the only place a Catholic can receive the Eucharist.
endquote
Europe is by no means ‘post-Christian’, at least not as you mean the term. I am better treated as an openly Christian man here than anywhere in the South in the US. Considerably. B16 was making reference to remarks made by the German chancellor who, quite correctly, did not include personal religious belief in a secular statement and he was addressing his remarks to a group of Bishops and Archbishops, not the laity. Try to get your insults straight, do, please.
RomCath said:
As for the thread, he was cleared. Get over it.-
endquote
I have spent this entire thread arguingin dubio pro reo. What part of that don’t you grasp? Of all your many nasty statements to me over months past, this one stands out. I AM IN AGREEMENT with the Deacon’s position here! Does that mean you must now oppose this?
RomCath said:
I know no one but God could drive you away. Your arrogance would never allow it. I see you never even acknowledge your vulgarity.
endquote
Frankly, I doubt God finds much amusement at our discord. If I may be so bold, I strongly suspect it angers him that our inability to have a civil discourse drives others away, especially non-Christians.
Vulgar, moi? In what manner, vulgar? Did I make the post saying it was good thing to forbid abortions because the number of women dying of coat-hanger attempts in allies would be less than the number of aborted fetuses? Did I decry someone here a non-Christian because they voted Democratic? Did I rail against the indefinitely postponed beautification of a Pope who may well not have done what he could have to aid Jews? Did I debase the words of Ioannes PP. XXIII because he happened to be the first breath of fresh air in the Vatican for many, many years?
No, I did not. Cite references or withdraw the insult.



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BobRN

posted October 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm


I want to apologize to all for my outburst last night.
I have no troubles with those who disagree with the Church and her teachings and are able to engage respectfully in a conversation on those differences.
However, the gratuituous attacks on the Church, the willingness to set aside facts in order to push an anti-Catholic agenda, the demand that the Church conform herself to an individual’s personal take on faith or morals, the expectation that Catholics commenting here be willing and able to defend every position taken by every member of the Church, the exploitation of the combox to attack anything and everything Catholic, as well as the general hostility that describes so many of the “conversations” that take place here … well, after a while I guess we each have to decide if participation in this blog is helping or hurting our spiritual life. For now, I’ve decided that it’s not helping, and may be hurting.
For that reason, I’m moving on. There are better, more necessary things I have to do with my time. I’ve wasted too much of it here.



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Panthera,
I am not going to engage any further. This is the last word.
Your vulgarity was the reference to the Tea Party as tea baggers. I am sure you know what it means and it was totally out of line on this blog.
As for JPIIs statements on dealing with homosexuals–are you implying he would condone the behavior and/or your living arrangement? Please let me know the citation.
I for one cannot wait for PIus XII to be canonized. There are many books out there defending him and the actions he did and did not take.
And the old “coat hangers in the back alley”–no let’s just keep killing unborn babies as long as it is safely done. Today is Pro Life Sunday in the US–is it in post-Christian Europe?
Are you denying now that Benedict has spoken numerous times about the seculariztion and loss of Christian roots in Europe? Google his homilies.
Sorry to hear Bob’s withdrawal. He was one of the sanest people on here. But I know exactly where he is coming from.



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm


RomCath,
Goodness – enlighten us all, please. English is not my native tongue, whatever meaning you assign to the term is foreign to me.
It doesn’t surprise me a bit that you take the position you do on Pius XII.
Nor am I surprised at your disregard for the lives of women killed during illicit abortions.
JPII underscored a very different approach between heterosexual and non-heterosexual Christians than you take. Here a brief excerpt:
Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.
No, I did not nor have I ever said JPII or any other pope for that matter has said it’s OK to be in a committed, monogamous, lifelong, true, loyal, faithful marriage. You, however, are so far out of line with the behavior the Catholic church require of you that it is truly frightening – both in regards to me as well as towards everyone who doesn’t share your political views.
I hope BobRN returns, although we disagree on some issues, he at least is capable of basic discourse. Do you really think that your position of attack is going to encourage one single person to adopt your views?



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pagansister

posted October 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm


chilled kathyf:
Why would I know of the Dallas Accords?
Since a priest can’t marry he doesn’t have the help of a spouse or children for financial help. Thus 25-35 years from now, if alive and they can find me, someone wants to spread a lie about mistreatment, so be it. 2 children and a husband will support me. Like I said, not even in my mind as a problem. Why that is “chilling” to you, I don’t know. I think I understand where you are coming from, but with the rules that were already in place when I started teaching at the school, (before all the abuse cases came to the surface—not being alone with a child with doors closed etc) things were covered well. To my knowledge no teacher at the school has ever been accused of mistreatment of a child.(school is over 85 years old). Don’t expect it to start now. The church is over 100 years old, and again, to my knowledge, no priests from there have been accused of molesting a child/children.
Priests were given toooooo much access to children alone, because of the misplaced trust placed in them. They were accountable to no one—the stories are “chilling” that have come from some of the boarding schools, etc. They were “revered” wrongly. So some of them took the opportunity to prey upon the innocent. I expect more rather than less incidences will come to light before it’s over. Just getting started overseas.



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quantumfoam

posted October 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm


This country is on an immoral pathway and any hint of a scandal is fodder for enemies of Christianity. There are plenty of immoral atheist ambulance chasing lawyers that are trolling for anti Christian cases of any stripe. That is why it is so difficult to adjudicate these cases. On the one hand jurors are always sympathetic to the underdog. Certainly in cases of sexual abuse the accuser usually has the advantage. Sexual abuse is a crime that may not kill the abused but it sure can make their life a living hell.I believe that sexual criminals are not punished enough and the entirety of sexual crimes needs a complete study and consequent overhaul.If any one is tried for a sexual crime and is found guilty and later evidence proves he is innocent. That would also be a horrible event. The Catholic Church must be very proactive in convincing the public that they are purging the church of the bad element that is evidently still deeply imbedded in the church on a high level. Otherwise the church will continue to decline.Christianity must survive as it is the only hope for humanity. We can see what happens when churches lose strength. Political rot is as deep in Washington as it is in Mexico. The political establishment is doing all it can do to destroy religion and establish a permanent political ruling class filled with people that believe they are so much smarter than the (little people),



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cathyf

posted October 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm


The Catholic Church must be very proactive in convincing the public that they are purging the church of the bad element that is evidently still deeply imbedded in the church on a high level.

What is this evidence?



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Panthera

posted October 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm


Quantumfoam said:
The political establishment is doing all it can do to destroy religion and establish a permanent political ruling class filled with people that believe they are so much smarter than the (little people),
endquote
I know I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree, but could you please restate this, that I might better understand it?
Thanks.
Cathyf,
There are several sets of victims in our culture wars. Father Murphy is certainly one. The boys and girls (the girls are so often ignored in all these discussions) who were preyed upon by religious authorities bear deep scars. That student teacher in Oregon – by all accounts brilliant and competent who was accosted by a fundamentalist Christian parent first for dressing formally – which, apparently meant he had to be subversive, and then was fired after the parent couched his fourth grader to question the teacher so as to ascertain his sexuality is another. All those children and young people – the official count is now at six – who killed themselves in the last days and weeks of this new school year because of the hatred and abuse foisted on them are also victims.
These are all highly emotional, painful situations and the deep, every widening chasm between a set of Christians who feel themselves to be under attack from those of us who want equal rights and those of us who feel your side will stop at nothing to destroy us (I really don’t think this is stated to strongly) is making it very hard, indeed, to communicate.
But communicate we must because these problems aren’t going to go away – you’ll win in the short term on abortion, we’ll win on civil and human rights, but the conversation among us as Christians who see God’s Will differently can only lose unless we figure out a new direction.
I appreciate your efforts at maintaining a conversation, truly I do.



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RomCath

posted October 3, 2010 at 9:01 pm


“Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.
I figured you couldn’t understand basic English since you so often misread the Bible. I agree with the above statement when the homosexuals cited are striving to live chaste and celibate lives in accord with Christian morals. NOWHERE will you find any Catholic document from the Vatican or the USSCB condoning gay marriage. It mentions UNJUST discrimination not JUST–get that part?
As far as PIUS XII–I am certainly not the only one who wants him canonized or his cause would never have been opened. As a non-Catholic you have no say about it anyway or worry about it. Try showing him the same Christian love and comapssion you expect.
Still no apology for the vulgarity.



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Panthera

posted October 4, 2010 at 2:34 am


RomCath,
As I am unaware of the ‘vulgarity’ you imply, how can I have:
a: Been vulgar
or
b: Apologize for a transgression of which I know not?
Given your knee-jerk defense of all political groups to the right of the Democrats (and your insistent attacks on the Democrats and anyone to the left of the Republicans), it ill becomes you to hold yourself up as the defender of a group of people whose behavior is antithetical to Christ’s demands of us regarding the poor, the elderly, the widowed, the ill, the orphaned.
Actually, I don’t find one word about having to toe your line to be treated with respect. Paul, in fact, had some rather firm words on getting along together as Christians when in disagreement over matters which one or both sides consider to be indisputable. I can’t recall ever reading anything in any genuine Christian church which suggests he was wrong.
You are quite right, I am not responsible for Pius XII. Some very serious questions have been raised regarding his actions and non-actions during a 12 year period. I find myself not the least bit surprised by your position here.
Again, and yet, again: Wouldn’t it just make more sense to simply agree that we shall never reach any consensus at all on those aspects of Christianity, never mind American Catholic culture, ditto, well practically anything? Having agreed on this, simply to make note of this disagreement and to let the matter go? You could simply address two words to my comments on any thread: Non placet.
Everyone here would know (how could anyone here possibly not know?) the depth of your dissatisfaction and that would be that. I would do the same.
Just a suggestion…



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Panthera

posted October 4, 2010 at 3:15 am


RomCath,
I’m going to ask Deacon Kandra to intercede here. With now six dead children and teen-agers, it is time to put your contention that it is OK to be nasty to gays who aren’t, in your terms, ‘repentant’, to the test.



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