English Bishop to Pope Francis on Child Abuse: Accountability & Supervision Required For Priests…

English Bishop to Pope Francis on Child Abuse: Accountability & Supervision Required For Priests…

Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis

22nd August 2018

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City


Most Holy Father,


I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.

I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it by developing its own Directory for Clergy.

As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.

Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.

In Corde Iesu

+Philip

Bishop of Portsmouth

Read report appending the above letter here

Comment

Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed.  At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people.  Will the Pope take up his suggestion though?  And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests?  How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle.  They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment.  How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or,  as the saying goes, is it never too late?  

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,      pray for us! 

Comments (113)

  • crofterlady

    Reading the link to Life Site News the statement that Bishop Egan “is remarkable” as a fearless man among the English Bishops etc., filled me me outrage at the rest of them. They ALL should be fearless in the face of abuse and sin.

    Having said that, I agree with this good and faithful Bishop that there should be some ongoing formation for priests. Once they leave the seminary they seem to be a law unto themselves and rarely called to account. I say this because they are obviously not reeled in when they frequent public houses and worse, and generally lead un-priestly lives. I’m not saying all priests do these things but I’ve certainly witnessed a good few who did.

    We all need discipline in our lives and I would have thought that the old rule of a priest being obliged to offer Mass daily, holidays or not, and the faithful recitation of the breviary would go a long way to instilling some order into priests.

    Another thing, priests are now encouraged to treat their vocation as a job like any other. They even have a day off! Parents don’t get a day off, do they?! Well all I can say is, if it IS only a job, it’s a bloomin easy one, fed, watered, no real responsibilities and a nice rest home on retirement irrespective of the lives led! On the other hand, IF a priest is a true man of God he will be hardworking and dedicated. I’ll finish by saying that I have known some wonderful holy priests and may God bless them.

    August 24, 2018 at 10:17 am
    • Margaret Mary

      Crofterlady,

      I agree about the other bishops. I also think Bishop Egan will have a lot of stick to take from the other bishops who will be furious with him. Some of them are pro-homosexual as we saw on the other thread about Bishop Doyle.

      I also note your words about being a law unto themselves once they leave seminary but they’re a law unto themselves during seminary as well. If the seminaries were strict, like they used to be, half of them wouldn’t have made it through.

      August 24, 2018 at 11:00 am
    • Dano

      And just why shouldn’t a priest visit a public house. Are these places of ill repute or what? if so surely no Catholic should enter their doors.I note you often frequent them yourself, when you’ve witnessed a good few priests doing likewise. So what is it about the Pub,that you can cope with, but will corrupt a Priest?

      August 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm
      • Athanasius

        Dano

        It is really a matter of prudence and wisdom. The black worn by the priest signifies his death to the world, hence it is out of place for a priest to be seen drinking in a bar. It may not affect you personally but some souls are scandalised to see the ordained drinking in public bars. It also gives the enemies of the Church further cause to accuse the clergy of hypocrisy. No priest should make a habit of drinking in public houses.

        August 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm
  • gabriel syme

    We know from the statistics that the vast majority of abuse has been homosexual predators preying on post-pubescent, sexually mature young men and boys.

    The John Jay report identified that ~80% of crimes in its remit met this description and the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report identified that ~60% of crimes in its remit fit the bill.

    And so this is clearly the fall out from the failure of Bishops to prevent the ordination of homosexual men on a large scale, as is a policy of the Church.

    And so I wonder what +Egan (whom I believe is a good Bishop) hopes to address with the kind of talking shop the modern Church loves to lose itself in?

    Surely the answer is simply for Bishops to do their jobs properly? This is the same answer which would resolve so many problems of the modern Church.

    While Francis has paid lip service to the policy of not ordaining homosexuals, his record tells a different story, with his failure to act on the dossier about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, his protection of homosexuals like Monsignor Ricca and promotion of homosexuals like James Martin.

    August 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm
  • Therese

    Well, I don’t buy the statement that bishops don’t have too much supervision of the priests in their dioceses. It’s my experience that they come down hard and fast on those priests who try to take a traditional approach. Bishops have a great deal of power, and are given a great deal of respect by priests, and it is their solemn duty to keep a watch on those priests under their authority and care.

    August 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm
  • mike hunter

    You are quite wrong about homosexual predators – and your comment betrays a deep misunderstanding of the difference between homosexual men versus paedophiles who prey on young men/boys.
    Please do not spread this calumny in ignorance. I am not gay but it is wrong to peddle this nonsense.
    Gay men are attracted to other MEN.
    Paedophiles are interested nearly exclusively in children. They will have a very narrow specific band to prey on – e.g girls between 3-5 or boys 7-9 – there is very little crossover.
    Homosexuals are not the problem – paedophiles are.

    Beyond that is the issue of complicity – other priests and bishops are well aware of what is going on but choose to turn a blind eye – either laziness, not wanting to diss a colleague, trying to preserve the reputation of an institution or the church itself or sympathy with the offender’s proclivities.
    It i this inexcusable tolerance and cover up that must be eradicated.

    Launching a pogrom against gay priests or other gay men is a smokescreen, is totally unfair and discrimnatory, and will do nothing to address the problem – but maybe that is the intention?

    Please face up to the fact that it is ‘straight’ men far away who make up the vast majority of paedophiles.

    August 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm
    • Athanasius

      Mike Hunter

      You will be well aware of the difference between paedophiles and pederasts, but I’ll remind you of the definitions anyway.

      Paedophiles prey on pre-pubescent children, say, up to 12 years old. Pederasts prey on pubescent youth from 12 years upwards. By far the majority of sexual abuse cases in modern times are of the latter category, mainly men preying on pubescent boys, pederism not paedophilia.

      It strikes me as very odd that the media and the so-called experts never speak of pederism. Every case of men abusing boys is called paedophilia, and this, I believe, is done deliberately to cover up the homosexual element in the matter of abuse.

      Now I ask you: What is a sexual attraction of men to adolecent boys (young men or youth) if not a homosexual attraction?

      Check out the history of the ancient Greek and Spartan cultures, as well as others of the period, and you’ll find that pederism was rife at the highest levels in society and accepted. What this demonstrates is that we are not talking here of some kind of strange illness of our time that only a handful suffer from, but rather of a recurring theme of filthy behaviour by men who live immoral godless lives. Unless and until our society gets to grips with this truth I’m afraid the sexual abuse of minors will only increase. The liberal blinkers need to come off and our society needs to return to its God and His moral laws.

      August 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Mike Hunter,

      I agree with you that we need to be careful with what we say – accuracy is important – but the facts speak for themselves. Here is a breakdown of the pennsylvania victims by gender and age.

      https://lifesite-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/made/images/remote/https_s3.amazonaws.com/lifesite/PA_grand_jury_report_stats_1_645_408.png

      From: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/majority-of-predator-priests-were-gay-and-abused-male-teens-pa-grand-jury-r

      We can see that same-sex abuse targeting adolescents / teens (pederasty) was by far the dominant type of abuse and the scandal would be reduced by orders of magnitude were it not for this category. We have seen the same pattern elsewhere.

      Some of these victims may be minors in law, but physically they are post-pubescent – i.e they are sexually mature, with adult bodies. The conclusion is unavoidable.

      That the media continually and deliberately misrepresents the abuse of teen boys – some of whom are old enough to marry or join the army – as ambiguous “paedophilia” shows that they engage in their own form of cover-up over these tragic cases.

      And you make a good point that the issue is two-fold, in that as well as the abuse there was also the usual failure to properly deal with it.

      I think there are many factors there but, with men like Cardinal McCarrick – himself revealed as a homosexual abuser of teen boys and seminarians – in charge, we can understand that a pederast priest is hardly likely to be punished by a pederast prelate. There is a network of them, covering up for one another.

      Cardinal O’Brien was another – while he was not an abuser, he was an active homosexual. I would bet money that more such men lurk within the College Of Cardinals. I would even bet I could name some of them.

      And so we can see the problem is deeply ingrained, going right to the top of the Church, and will be very difficult to eradicate. But it must be accomplished.

      August 24, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    • Petrus

      Mike Hunter,

      Whilst I agree that not all homosexuals are paedophiles or pederasts, it’s just a plain matter of fact that any kind of fornication between two males is homosexual behaviour.

      August 25, 2018 at 9:58 pm
    • Deacon Augustine

      It is bloody-minded nonsense to suggest that it is heterosexual men who abuse adolescent boys. What have you been smoking???

      August 25, 2018 at 11:04 pm
      • editor

        Smoking? Me? It’s called Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut… (say nothing… 😀 )

        August 25, 2018 at 11:47 pm
  • RCAVictor

    Sorry, I don’t buy this as remarkable, commendable, or anything else except yet another attempt by a bishop to circle the wagons, allow him and his peers to police themselves, and once again avoid the consequences of their filth. They are incapable of policing themselves, apparently, but they are very capable of covering up their crimes and the crimes of their priests. “Do penance and grow in holiness” has quite a hollow ring to it, as if that would satisfy the victims of these perverts. I’m not even sure that would satisfy God’s justice. St. John of the Cross wrote much of his remarkable work whilst in prison. How about doing penance behind bars, bishops and cardinals?!

    That aside, we all know how these “Synods” work, from bitter experience. They are manipulated to achieve a pre-ordained outcome. No doubt said outcome, if such a “Congress” occurs, will be to put the suspicion and blame on laity, instead of where it belongs….that is exactly what happened with the last go-round in 2002. The fraudulent VIRTUS program was universally mandated for US laity who come into contact with minors in parish life – as if it was the laity who were doing the abusing!

    Notice also the failure of Bishop Egan to mention the overwhelmingly homosexual origins of these scandals (as Gabriel Syme already pointed out), and his failure to refer to the homosexual culture of the clergy.

    And the Church doesn’t already have volumes written on “the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision”? Hogwash.

    I will say that this bishop seems sincere, but his thinking and his solution is strictly in-house and institutionalized – i.e. this is yet another form of clericalism, and a diversion. The hierarchy will once again get to bunk into their choice hotel suites, sit in their comfy conference chairs, sip their Perrier, have sanctimonious discussions and make toothless resolutions?

    Give me a break! Go make your worthless resolutions from a jail cell!

    August 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Bishop Egan is one of the few (50% in fact) of bishops with a reputation for orthodoxy in England and I have it on good authority that he is not well- regarded or kindly treated by his brother bishops (and no doubt, certain of his modernist clergy), so I’d say hold fire there, we do have better targets!

      I suppose, like me, you’d want to see a bishop actually making rules for his own clergy, tightening up the lax lifestyles and so on. However, having met and “discussed” priesthood and Church crisis with some of the modernists both north and south of the border, I can tell you, the bishop who is first to make that move, will find life in the fast lane is more than a little dangerous…

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WS44rzmohSo/T0ZZEOU3-dI/AAAAAAAGCZs/DH5Am5wTFq4/s1600/Humor+Car+accidents+funny+picture+(202).jpg

      Talk about cross-contamination – I think we’d be looking at cross-incardination on an industrial scale, as those priests, accustomed to living freely, doing what they want when they want, seek softer, if not greener pastures …

      Still, somebody has to take the lead. I’ll be right there behind him (at the cliff edge) – just name that Bishop!

      August 25, 2018 at 11:58 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Editor,

        Glad to hear that Bp. Egan is orthodox…but I’ll bet you a box of cherry liqueur-filled chocolates that some faithful bishops will be the next scapegoats/rolling heads to quiet down the renewed eruption of this scandal and divert attention from the real problem.

        16 years ago, it was (in the USA at least) the faithful who became the object of suspicion rather than the homosexual clergy, and it was the faithful who were universally mandated to take the fraudulent (and childhood innocence-destroying) VIRTUS program if they came into regular parish contact with children under 18. Not homosexual, abusing priests, mind you: laity.

        Well, that’s not going to happen again, because there is too much laity outrage. So what will be the alternative? A few show trials, a few resignations, and lots of switch-and-bait. That is, orthodox bishops will become the targets instead of the guilty bishops.

        So if anyone seriously thinks that the bishops, cardinals and this LGBT-enabling Pope are going to police themselves and fix this, I have some swamp land in downtown Glasgow I’d like to sell them. No, it’s going to be up to civil prosecutors to bring these evil men to justice.

        August 26, 2018 at 3:04 am
  • mike hunter

    It saddens me to see comments here and elsewhere in the blog that are basically in denial about the issue. The sort of “nuns would never do that” or “people are doing it for the money” or “I knew someone at that school and they never mentioned it to me.”

    It is exactly because of this sort of denial and refusal even to think that “that nice Fr X would never do anything like that.” Paedophiles don’t have a brand on their foreheads, many are perfectly nice people to the rest of us – it is folly to think you would know one when you see one – or do you believe they all skulk around in flasher macs and hats?

    I have seen first hand the often brutal treatment inflicted by nuns and priests – all in the name of discipline and justified by the “word of god.” It is all too easy to overstep the mark when you feel that god is behind all that you do. Delusions of grandeur and the fact that this kind of power will tend to corrupt anyone. But it is this abject denial of even the faint possibility that the saintly clergy or nuns could ever do wrong that is to blame. They are human and subject to the same temptations and crimes as anybody else – much as one might like to think otherwise.

    It is far too easy to write it all off as journos paying for stories and other gossip lie that – this is all anecdotal with NO evidence for it at all. Shame on those who would rather allow these predators continue with their nefarious behaviour rather than root it out.

    Of course it must all be done on evidence and no-one should be accused or punished in the absence of reliable evidence. But the problem is real and sweeping it under the carpet is immoral, unchristian, ungodly and makes people party to these dreadful crimes.

    August 24, 2018 at 3:15 pm
    • Therese

      Mike Hunter

      I am deeply suspicious of people who say that they have “seen at first hand” etc without providing any evidence. Why should I believe you? Name names, times; be specific. If you are speaking the truth then the perpetrators of such outrages should be punished. It is all too easy to make statements like that, and I’m afraid that, as I do not know you and cannot make a judgement as to the veracity of your statement (unless you provide evidence to support your claim), then I take leave to doubt it.

      August 24, 2018 at 5:37 pm
    • Athanasius

      Mike Hunter

      What I find suspicious is the vast number of people coming forward to make complaints decades after they were allegedly abused by priests and/or religious. Now I can understand that this may happen in very rare cases but it is not normal that so many people have remained silent for so long until financial compensation became a factor. What is further abnormal is that our justice system entertains testimony that may may be swayed by the compensation lure.

      For example, at the height of the sexual abuse allegations against priests in Ireland shops were actually displaying notices reminding people that they could receive compensation if they were abused by a priest or religious as a child. One priest of very good standing said that he spoke with a man who admitted to having made a false claim for which he received 80,000 Euros.

      It is not usual for historical complaints to be heard in our court system for the obvious reason that it places undue bias in favour of the complainant and makes it very difficult for the accused to offer a defence. That’s why we always had a statute of limitations in this country, it was to protect the accused person from false claims that could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt due to lack of real evidence. Now they are accusing dead priests and nuns and getting rewards for it. That’s not justice, it’s vengeance!

      One other factor is that they are claiming abuse against priests and religious for corporal punishment that was the norm at the time of administration but is outlawed today. This is unacceptable revisionist justice which is no justice at all.

      In fine, while I accept that abuse of children has most certainly taken place by priests and religious, as it has much more frequently within families and in the public sector, I refuse utterly to entertain the ridiculous notion that so many priests and religious abused minors.

      The Magdalene Sisters claim has already been debunked, though you would never know it. As for Smyllum, the police investigated several times and found no real evidence of criminal activity, yet now it is revealed that several elderly nuns have been arrested on historical abuse charges. It’s all so very abnormal, like there’s an agenda against the Church by her secular enemies. Why else would they offer money for testimony? That just doesn’t happen in other cases.

      August 24, 2018 at 7:27 pm
    • editor

      Mike,

      I was once asked to read a chapter in a book written by a former pupil at the same secondary school as myself, run by the Sisters of Mercy.

      The chapter was packed with blatant falsehoods. The Sister whom she targeted was a gentle, kind nun and I have yet to meet anyone who experienced anything else at her hands. That liar, the author of the book, had been a badly behaved pupil called in with her father, apparently, to try to resolve the problem of her disruption of lessons. The chapter in the book was her way of taking her revenge.

      So, don’t believe everything you read in either a newspaper of a book. I experienced nothing but kindness and good teaching first hand from the Sisters of Mercy. Yet, reading that baloney, people will be misled into thinking at least one of them was cruel and nasty. A total falsehood.

      August 26, 2018 at 12:05 am
  • Deacon Augustine

    There is ongoing formation for his clergy already although it is not arranged directly by him. One such formation session was going to be led by the organization known as “Quest” until a couple of deacons I could mention put their orr in and stopped it.

    August 25, 2018 at 11:01 pm
    • editor

      Deacon Augustine,

      I’m stunned that a bishop with the orthodox/traditional reputation of Bishop Egan didn’t know about Quest. That’s just incredible. Point my head to the nearest oven…

      August 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Once he was informed about it he knew and he acted pretty sharpish on it. More than I could say for many of them.

        Problem is even an orthodox bishop has to delegate a lot of day-to-day stuff like arranging formation sessions for clergy and there is no way of guaranteeing that senior clergy will think with the mind of the Church on anything.

        August 25, 2018 at 11:09 pm
      • editor

        That’s why a clued-in bishop like himself needs to be sharp as a razor and very careful about who he appoints and to whom he delegates this sort of thing. Tell him I’m available if he’s looking for an all round Personal Assistant to run the diocese. No problem. I’m looking up flights right now…

        August 25, 2018 at 11:25 pm
  • Deacon Augustine

    I agree with the letter as far as it goes, but more talking shops and initiatives are really quite unnecessary. The remedies for these appalling crimes already exist in Canon Law – even the mealy-mouthed 1983 CIC.

    The problem lies in the fact that Pope, Cardinals, bishops continually fail to exercise justice in the Church by applying the law as it was intended. They hold Canon Law in contempt and rant on about mercy as though it was opposed to justice. Their constant failure to govern the Church in justice is not merciful to the weak and vulnerable who always end up being the victims of their unwillingness/inability/incompetence to exercise the munus of governance.

    If they can’t or won’t govern the Church in justice then the whole damned lot of them should get out.

    August 25, 2018 at 11:20 pm
    • editor

      I have long said exactly the same thing about the remedy being there already in Canon Law to deal with abusers and dissenters (usually one and the same) alike.

      Yet, the bishops would sooner hit the headlines with this or that enquiry – up here we had the humiliation of having a former moderator of the Church of Scotland heading an enquiry into the Catholic clergy child abuse allegations. They’d sooner that humiliation than simply invoke Canon Law – I wonder if they actually KNOW Canon Law, REALISE that there are penalties spelt out for misbehaving (to put it mildly) clergy.

      August 25, 2018 at 11:31 pm
  • RCAVictor

    How about this for a bombshell…nuclear bombshell, in fact:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-us-nuncio-pope-francis-knew-of-mccarricks-misdeeds-repealed-sanction

    August 26, 2018 at 3:13 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor

      I came in to post this on the papal visit to Ireland thread, so I’ll go ahead and do that now. Doesn’t hurt to have it on more than one thread given the gravity – a former nuncio calling on all responsible for covering up McCarrick, including Pope Francis, to resign. That’s progress!

      August 26, 2018 at 7:59 am
    • Deacon Augustine

      RCAV, well done, you beat me to it. Also why are people ignoring “Don Mercedes” and all the other abusers who Frankenpope has enabled?

      I reckon the MSM will ignore all this because he is doing their job of destroying the Church for them.

      August 26, 2018 at 11:39 am
    • gabriel syme

      RCAVictor,

      I must say the timing of this news is absolutely devastating, as if ++Vigano / others waited for Francis to make the customary statements against abuse during his Ireland visit and then…….BOOM!

      Now a Bishop Strickland from Texas has stated he finds the allegations credible:

      https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2018/08/bishop-stricklands-public-statement-to-the-diocese/

      August 26, 2018 at 10:31 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Cardinal Cupich has released a statement defending himself against Archbishop Vigano’s testimony:

      https://www.archchicago.org/en/statement/-/article/2018/08/26/statement-of-cardinal-blase-j-cupich-in-response-to-the-testimony-of-former-apostolic-nuncio-to-the-united-states-carlo-maria-vigano

      It seems quite a weak statement. It attempts to mount a defence based on:

      1) The Archbishop has two events (Cupich’s promotions) mixed up in terms of order. This seems quite inconsequential in the grand scheme.

      2) ++Vigano says the nuncio did not recommend Blase Cupich for the Chicago job and his appointment was a shock. He says Blase Cupich’s appointment came from gerrymandering by corrupt Cardinals Wuerl, Maradiaga and McCarrick.

      All Cardinal Cupich says in response is that he had never discussed his appointment at length with the Nuncio. He laments the comparison between ++Vigano’s polite congratulations at the time of the appointment, to his present tone.

      3) He then defends his comments on abuse by saying they are informed by the John Jay report. He says a person with same sex attraction is not more likely to commit abuse than anyone else. But the real talking point is surely that the majority of cases DID have a same-sex nature, so he seems evasive here.

      I hope ++Vigano, whose testimony was released at a perfect time – in terms of going off like a bomb – also discussed his action with others first, to prepare a combined response.

      Most people would be glad to see the back of Francis, by any means – if its a scandal, so be it. Let us not forget he has already selected ~50% of the current Cardinal electors for the next conclave.

      Francis seems very stubborn to me and who is to say that he would not insist on going on as Pope, in order to fully stack the conclave? Even if failing to step down would devastate what was left of the Church’s credibility?

      August 26, 2018 at 10:55 pm
  • Athanasius

    I see the news channels are already trying to downplay Archbishop Vigano’s testimony by saying that there are no records of conversations between himself and Pope Francis or any other senior prelate in the matter of Archbishop McCarrick. This should tell everyone that the media is less interested in the abuse of young people than in keeping the liberal Pope in place. Pope Francis seems to make a habit of not only protecting homosexual clergy, he even promotes them. I think he should be forcefully encouraged to abdicate over this scandal.

    August 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm
  • Helen

    Words defy me. Here are we trying to teach our boys to be chaste and these devils are strangling their innocence. I refuse to pray for them and I hope they all rot in hell!

    August 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    • Athanasius

      Helen

      I understand your anger but I’m sure you don’t seriously desire any soul to end up in Hell. Praying for sinners such as these is an act of heroic charity that we are not excused from. The is no sinner and no sin too great for God’s mercy provided, as Our Lady asked at Fatima, there are people to pray and offer penance for them.

      August 26, 2018 at 5:35 pm
  • Therese

    Helen

    Athanasius is right. “Forgive us our trespasses as WE forgive those who trespass against us.” We must never desire another soul to suffer eternal damnation, however much they may deserve it. They should receive punishment in this world, in the hope that they will escape eternal punishment. Remember, Christ died for them just as much as He died for us.

    August 26, 2018 at 5:45 pm
  • RCAVictor

    Here’s my sketchy attempt to put some puzzle pieces together:

    1. Cardinal Ratzinger is a pretty good chess player (FACT).
    2. He as Benedict ordered a dossier on the Lavender Mafia, aka “filth” (FACT).
    3. There was widespread speculation that he resigned after reading said dossier, perhaps because he thought the filth was too pervasive and powerful (“wolves”) for him to defeat (SPECULATION).
    4. He resigned knowing that this would allow the network of debauchery to come out into the open and rise to power (SPECULATION).
    5. He reasoned that this network would expose itself and destroy itself by its own hubris and corruption (SPECULATION: CHESS MOVE).
    6. Said network of debauchery has indeed risen to power, and is now fully exposed (FACT).

    Which leaves the question: what next?

    August 26, 2018 at 7:10 pm
    • Lily

      RCA Victor,

      What a great move (LOL!) to use CHESS to explain the riddle of homosexuality within the Vatican and wider Church.

      “What next” is the question of the hour following the bombshell from Archbishop Vigano. I’m doubtful if all those involved in cover up with resign, not without pressure from the civil/criminal courts, but we can always hope!

      August 26, 2018 at 8:48 pm
  • Athanasius

    RCA Victor

    Can I just clarify one point in your post, it is that Benedict XVI abdicated. The office of the Papacy is a monarchical, not democratic, one, which is why Benedict declared that he was “renouncing” the papacy. I just want to make that clear to the many Catholics out there who believe the media and the Modernist clerics who are trying desperately to portray the papacy as a CEO’s position. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ not Chairman of a Board of Directors.

    As for the other points you make, it is true that Benedict XVI was shocked by the “filth” in the Church. He was defrocking 800 clerics a year because of it. It was he who fought to unmask Marcial Maciel, and he also moved a number of bishops for covering up abuse. Yes, Benedict was fully aware of the problem and tried very hard to address it.

    There is no question that he was being seriously hampered in his determination to rid the Church of this ecclesiastical “filth”, which reaches very high up into the Curia. Sadly, though, I don’t think he had the stomach for the fight. The “wolves” made his Pontificate very difficult, to the extent that he exercised his papacy almost as a hermit in the Vatican. They leaked all kinds of scandals to the press to bring pressure to bear on him and he broke and ran from the wolves.

    The timing of his abdication is somewhat suspicious in that it was perfectly opportune to give the St. Gallen group their last throw of the dice at a conclave before they became ineligible by age to vote., As we now know to our great sorrow, Francis was elected, a man who speaks very vehemently in public about the need for zero tolerance for priest abusers, yet who not only eases punishments laid on them by Benedict but also promotes them to higher office in the Church.

    I’m just in the process of reading The Dictator Pope and I am appalled by the actions of this Pope in relation to abusers and those who cover for them. He is certainly no Benedict XVI when it comes to facing down the “filth”. In fact, it seems he has promoted a few filth-mongers who are known at least to have covered up for others.

    Given the latest revelation of Archbishop Vigano, a revelation that is perfectly consistent with Francis’ ignoring of other claims by other people in the Church, I think it is right that he should be asked to abdicate the Papacy. Francis has done enough damage to the Church, it’s time he stepped down with a view to spending the remainder of his life in prayer and penance.

    August 26, 2018 at 7:49 pm
    • Lily

      Athanasius,

      Listening to Pope Francis’ talks in Ireland over the weekend, I doubt very much if he would take to a life of prayer and penance. I get the feeling he’s a very worldly pope, remembering some of the things he said – such as to the mother of ten children “do they make you angry?” (right up putting people off having large families, even though he added limply that large families were good) and his comment about husbands and wives who never fight being “boring”.

      Worldly people don’t generally appreciate prayer and penance, so I doubt if he’ll go for that.

      August 26, 2018 at 8:51 pm
      • Athanasius

        Lily

        I agree. I was particularly taken aback when he told married couples that could argue as much as they like so long as they make up at the end of the day. No inducement to practice the virtue of patience, then!

        August 26, 2018 at 9:23 pm
    • RCAVictor

      Athanasius,

      Yes, thanks for that clarification. Believe it or not, I was trying to think of the correct word but I couldn’t – maybe because it was right before my Sunday afternoon nap (14th nap after Pentecost) and I was rapidly fading out…

      I would love it if you would post a review of Dictator Pope when you’ve finished reading it. I don’t know if that book supports my take on Francis, but it seems as though he was elected by the Lavender Mafia (i.e. the same shady characters in the dossier), he surrounds himself with them, and he promotes them and their agenda. In other words, he is their man 100%.

      As for Benedict, what makes me think his fleeing from the wolves was not quite what it appeared to be, I also recall his strange attempt to recapture a part of the Papacy when he said something like he had kept the “contemplative” part but renounced the “active” part. What was he trying to tell us with that bizarre novelty?

      August 26, 2018 at 11:03 pm
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        I loved your “14th nap after Pentecost” remark. It seems we have the same post-Pentecost requirement.

        The Dictator Pope does more or less back up what you’ve said, quite shockingly at times, but it has to be read for full effect. A review by me would not even begin to touch on eye-openers one gets from a full read of this work. I would advise everyone to get a copy.

        As for Benedict claiming that he would retain the contemplative part of the papacy: I think that statement was more an attempt to salve his own conscience than having any real meaning. It was a typically cryptic announcement from a renowned conciliar reformer. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

        August 27, 2018 at 1:02 am
  • Athanasius

    Apologies for the appalling grammar in the above post. I must learn to slow down and review comments before posting. The above looks like it was written by a tattie muncher.

    August 26, 2018 at 7:56 pm
  • Frankier

    With all due respect to Bishop Egan but there have been enough congresses, synods, abuse victims meetings, etc., etc. There needs to be a period of time set out, a year even, during which anyone who feels they have been abused gets invited to step forward. After that: too late!

    They need to separate the genuine cases from the mercenaries. It’s high time, for the sake of the innocent Catholics out in the wide world who suffer at their works because of this, that it is brought to an end. These are the “victims” who never get a mention.

    When/if the accusers do come forward, inform them to go to the nearest police station, accompanied by their lawyer and make their report. The Queen would hardly be approached for the abuses perpetrated by her armed forces. The police are the people to report a crime to.

    To my mind, there are too many now coming out of the woodwork because it seems like money for old rope. This is not fair on those who were genuinely abused. After the accused have been found guilty in court they (victims) can then go for the miracle cure – the cash.

    The amount of compensation should also be determined by the courts.

    It is galling to think that a large percentage of the money donated to the Church in the weekly collections has been used as hush money. I, personally, visit comparethemarket.com every time my car and house insurance is due to get the best deal, and yet I give as much to the Church as to both of these companies combined.

    Questions should also be asked of (certain) victims, those who were adults when molested, as to why they allowed it to happen. Where it did happen. And were they dragged from their home to the scene of the crime. Why, out of the thousands abused, were there not even a handful of parents, carers, parishioners or even members of the public who noticed something suspicious about their parish priest being in the company of young boys, especially over a number of years.

    There are too many questions that seem to be out of bounds in case they cause offence or are seen to be condoning it. It is time someone had the courage to ask them.

    As my wife often wonders, why didn’t more mothers notice, when washing their children’s underwear, the signs that they were being molested. It would hardly need Sherlock Holmes to
    spot the DNA.

    As for the Irish: if they want to know who was really responsible for the abuse, I suggest that they should invest in a mirror. Failing that, have a decko in the phone book.

    August 26, 2018 at 10:17 pm
    • Athanasius

      Frankier

      You are absolutely right to raise the points you do. The problem is that the clerical abuse issue is not really about justice, never has been.

      First of all, no true justice system would allow testimony that may well be tainted by the lure of financial compensation, a factor that would clearly prejudice any criminal case. Nor would any true justice system permit historical accusations to be brought before the courts due to the obvious time lapse and its detrimental effect on demonstrable evidence (hence the once-fair statute of limitations). This is especially relevant in cases where the accused is now deceased and cannot defend himself. In these cases it is clear that justice is not the object, vengeance is. I have no idea how such trials as these are supposed to arrive at a verdict beyond reasonable doubt.

      As far as the media is concerned, it is only interested in child sexual abuse insofar as it gives them another weapon with which to assault the Catholic Church, which they hate. This is quite obvious from the exposure they give to clerical sexual abuse versus the much larger abuse statistics within families and in society in general. It is clear that the media operates by anti-Catholic bias and they did their work to great effect in Ireland, whose Catholics are now more or less nominal, if not outrightly hostile to the Church’s moral teaching.

      One thing that is really annoying me right now is their use of the misnomer “survivor” to describe those who claim to have been abused. A survivor is someone who escapes the peril of death, so it is a completely out of context term, unless we factor in the emotional impact the use of such a term has on the scandalised masses. People who escaped the horrors of concentration camps are “survivors”. People who were sexually abused are victims.

      August 27, 2018 at 12:41 am
  • Helen

    Well, thank you folks, and pray for me because I would still consign these perverts to hell and hope they rot there.

    August 26, 2018 at 10:36 pm
    • Frankier

      Helen

      I agree wholeheartedly and I would have those who looked the other way join them.

      August 26, 2018 at 11:17 pm
  • Frankier

    I see there was a remembrance service in Ireland at a “mass grave” in a field where the bodies of 800 women and children were buried. Whisper it! It was beside a convent where there were wicked nuns. Shhhh.

    Where I come from, it is called a cemetery. People who die get buried there but I haven’t heard any rumours from the locals about it. Mind you, there used to be a convent about 5 miles away
    but I reckon that would be close enough to get a rumour going.

    I might even nip over to Ireland to see how to go about it.

    I suppose, however, you could call any cemetery where no one could afford a headstone a mass grave in a field.

    August 26, 2018 at 11:14 pm
    • Spiritus

      Frankier

      that “remembrance service” was at the site of a former mother & baby home run by The Bon Secours sisters. It has long since fallen derelict, and the nuns are long gone; however the whole business arose out of a claim that hundreds of women, infants and young children were buried in a “mass grave” consisting of a septic tank. I don’t believe it! I think that a far more likely scenario is that those poor unfortunates were actually accorded a decent burial, albeit in a mass grave, which is not unusual in cases of high mortality such as plague,famine, etc. Some 50 or so years ago a housing estate was built over the ground where the home and burial sites stood, and it is possible that the builders disturbed the remains and were responsible for them being recently discovered in said septic tank, where they may have been deposited during the construction. I have no evidence to back this theory however.
      I find it difficult to believe that nuns and other religious would care so little as not to accord Christian burial to the dead. This was in the days before penecillin and proper healthcare, and high infant and post natal mortality was fairly common. The whole matter is being used to insult the Catholic faith. There is a caricature cartoon & mention of the whole business elsewhere on the blog.. I think it is under to thread dealing with “write a letter to Pope Francis” which deals with the Congress on the Family here in Ireland on 25th/26th August.

      August 28, 2018 at 11:26 pm
      • Spiritus

        Gabriel Syme on August 21st posted the relevant caricature in addition to a blog post regarding the hypocrisy of media outlets and politicians in condemning events in the past when high rates of poverty/disease/mortality resulted from circumstances and living conditions at that time, yet same media turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to grave neglect and lack of the will to ensure that no individual/family/child are homeless, hungry or otherwise neglected.

        August 28, 2018 at 11:35 pm
  • Deacon Augustine

    Vigano’s testimony will fall on deaf ears and Frank will carry on with his destruction. You can’t force a pope to abdicate against his will except for the case of heresy – and then you would need a clear majority of cardinals and bishops to get behind the charges. Its not going to happen in today’s Church because most of the bishops are cowards or heretics themselves..

    No, I believe Frank’s time is not up yet and nor should it be. He is the right pope at the right time to achieve enough destruction in the Church and have the papacy relegated to its rightfully demoted place in the grand scheme of things. I am sure he is all part of God’s plan to rid the Church of its idolatry and gangrenous flesh before the Church is reborn to new life and new fidelity with God. He is at one time the ultimate fruit of Vatican II and the punishment for Vatican II. But by the time he has finished, the Church of Vatican II will have lost so much credibility, manpower and money that it will fade away into irrelevance.

    August 27, 2018 at 12:06 am
    • Athanasius

      Deacon Augustine

      There’s much wisdom in that assessment!

      August 27, 2018 at 12:52 am
    • RCAVictor

      Deacon Augustine,

      Funny you should mention “ridding the Church,” we got a sermon this morning on God’s “narrowing” in response to the corruption of His people; for example, the narrowing of the Jewish priestly classes to the Levites. And I believe Pope Benedict spoke of a “smaller Church” in the future, though I don’t remember if he was referring to the Third Secret.

      August 27, 2018 at 3:57 am
  • Elizabeth

    Interesting. My son came back from Mass yesterday saying that their (Benedictine) priest had given an excellent sermon on the same theme.

    August 27, 2018 at 10:45 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor and Elizabeth,

      I’m always concerned when I hear this argument about a “smaller Church” given that Our Lord’s last words on this earth were to go out into the whole world baptising etc.

      If it is true that – as looks likely – the Church will become much smaller, that means that Our Lord’s other words, in the form of a [terrifying] question about when He returns, must be addressed: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Given the context of his remark – vengeance, justice – the idea that at Christ’s Second Coming He will find a small Church, is not a good thing. Far from it. I’ve heard modernists preaching this often, the implication being – as one priest put it some years ago, and this to explain/excuse/write off the falling attendance figures – that this “smaller, leaner, purer Church” will be better.

      No, it won’t. And it will anger God greatly, given that His manifest will is for the “whole world” to be baptised. Nor can we say, without qualification, that this smaller Church is a sign of God’s anger, as if God has caused the disintegration of the Church. He sent His mother twice, 17th century (Quito) and 20th century (Fatima) to warn us of precisely this crisis, and yet pope after pope has ignored the remedy given to us by God Himself.

      So, heads will roll at that Second Coming, as warned in the context of Christ’s question “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth?” A smaller Church is a sign of failing to do God’s will – literally. It is absolutely of no comfort to anyone, but should strike fear into our hearts. Just how small will it be before Our Lord’s Second Coming?

      August 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Editor,

        I’m guessing, from your post, that you presume a smaller Church would be something static, and would no longer fulfill Our Lord’s command. However, a smaller Church – in my possibly, though unlikely mistaken opinion 🙂 – would be one that is pruned of dead and corrupt wood, i.e. members who no longer function as members, but as enemies. This pruned Church would thus return to its traditional mission: to obey Our Lord’s command to evangelize the world, unencumbered by the modernists, Satanists, homosexuals, and God knows what other kinds of vipers, who are currently concealed in her bosom.

        Besides, as I think Hilaire Belloc pointed out, the so-called Reformation actually was one of those prunings, as it removed those who did not believe in the Real Presence. But said pruned Church went on, reinvigorated, to re-evangelize (without the benefit of any “New Evangelization”) the world, obeying Our Lord’s command.

        That said, I agree with your concluding statement: a smaller Church is a sign of failing to do God’s will. Sure enough, God’s will was locked in a drawer in 1960, disobeyed, denied….and even mocked.

        August 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I read your closing paragraph with relief. For one awful moment, I actually thought I’d been wrong … 😀 Silly me. Much too humble for my own good.

        Adding the link with Fatima, is the icing on the cake…proving, beyond any reasonable doubt, that, yet again… drum roll… editor got it right!

        https://permareperterras.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/edinburgh-military-tattoo-marching.jpg

        August 28, 2018 at 8:12 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Editor,

        On second thought, I don’t think it was Belloc who said that about pruning, I think it was Rev. Michael Muller in “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” However, in order to be certain, I would have to sift through my huge collection of books, some of which haven’t even been colored in yet….

        August 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        “…my huge collection of books, some of which haven’t even been colored in yet….”

        Priceless!

        All the more so, because the rest of the bloggers will think you’re kidding 😀

        And there will be others who’ll think you can’t spell “coloured” ! It’s the way I tell ’em… 😀

        August 28, 2018 at 8:17 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Elizabeth,

      I saw a tweet about an American Priest who had called for Cardinal Wuerl to resign during his homily, and the congregation stood and applauded him!

      I dislike clapping at mass, but will make an exception here!

      August 27, 2018 at 10:23 pm

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