My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
Four days after Vice President Joe Biden posted on social media a photo of himself officiating at a same-sex wedding, three U.S. bishops criticized “a prominent Catholic politician” for sowing confusion about Catholic teaching on marriage “and the corresponding moral obligations.”
On Monday, Biden, a Catholic, posted to his Twitter account a photo of himself presiding at the wedding ceremony of Brian Mosteller and Joe Mashie, two longtime White House staff members and friends of the vice president.
On Friday afternoon a short post titled “Faithful Witness to Marriage” appeared on the website of the U.S. bishops’ conference blog that did not mention Biden by name but said:
“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same-sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics. What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.”
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The blog was written by Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Buffalo, N.Y., Bishop Richard Malone*, chair of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
They continued: “Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’ Laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed. Such witness is always for the sake of the common good.”
Referencing Francis’ address to Congress last September, the bishops then quoted from their voter teaching guide “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” that “Catholic politicians in particular are called to ‘a heroic commitment’ on behalf of the common good and to ‘recognize their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate [them].’”
They concluded by asking for prayers of Catholic leaders in public life, that they gracefully fulfill their responsibilities and “offer a faithful witness that will bring much needed light to the world.”
The U.S. bishops have been front and center in the country’s marriage debate in recent years as first state legislatures and then court decisions began overturning existing state laws that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.
According to the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, 58 percent of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage — up 15 percent since 2008 and behind only white mainline Protestants among religious communities. Overall, 55 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, while 37 percent oppose it.
Before the wedding Monday, Biden had never officiated at a wedding. NBC News Washington reported that Mosteller and Mashie asked Biden to officiate their wedding, and the vice president agreed and obtained temporary certification from the District of Columbia. The ceremony was held at the Naval Observatory, the official residence of the vice president.
Biden first made public his support of same-sex marriage in 2012.
The tweet, which as of Friday had garnered 49,000 retweets and 160,000 likes, particularly sparked uproar among pro-life Catholics. On Thursday the Lepanto Institute circulated an open letter it and leaders of other pro-life groups wrote to Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, asking whether the vice president excommunicated himself through his participation in the wedding.
On his blog Wednesday, canonist Edward Peters wrote that canon law does not include any rules that would excommunicate someone for officiating a same-sex wedding, but suggested canons exist that could be used to block the vice president from receiving the Eucharist.
Full article: https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/not-naming-names-bishops-denounce-biden-role-same-sex-wedding
A mother who is an Anglican priest says her church showed no compassion once she reported her son had been abused by a man training to be a priest.
The woman, using the pseudonym CKR, said Bruce Hoare, archdeacon in charge of ordinations at Morpeth College near Maitland, laughed when she told him a 28-year-old theology student had given her 13-year-old son a wind-up figurine of a man thrusting his penis into a sheep.
And she said Bishop Roger Herft, now Archbishop of Perth, “berated” her when she complained the diocese had not recorded her son’s sex assault complaint against the trainee priest.
CKR’s son CKU also gave evidence at a royal commission on Thursday and said he reported to police in 2002 about being groomed, shown pornography, molested and hounded by Ian Barrack when he lived with his mother at St John’s College in Morpeth in 1997.
Morpeth College was a seminary where Anglican clergy trained and has been referred to at the commission as “Satan’s Playground” because of the high number of pedophile priests who studied there.
Barrack was jailed for two years in 2005. CKR said from the time she went to then archdeacon Hoare with the complaint about the offensive toy she was treated badly within the diocese.
She said Hoare, later defrocked for having group sex with a teenage boy, did not seem to find the toy offensive and only changed his demeanour when she expressed her “revulsion at a toy showing an act of bestiality”.
He told her he would show it to Bishop Herft and later gave her back the toy and told her to return it to Barrack.
CKR again went to Mr Hoare when in 2002 CKU disclosed the full extent of the abuse by the trainee priest.
She had meetings with Bishop Herft, someone from DoCS and a policeman and assumed the matter would be pursued through the diocesan professional standards process.
CKR learned in 2003 from a woman chairing the committee dealing with sex abuse allegations no record of her son’s complaint had been made.
She was also told that Bruce Hockman, the diocese’s business manager, had said at a meeting with Bishop Herft and other senior officials “Oh, we don’t have to worry about this case. It’s not going to get to court.” The diocese later sent her son $2000 as a gift when they heard he was going to travel overseas.
CKR took civil action which took years to settle.
“Throughout the entire ordeal I have felt that the Church has never acted fairly, compassionately or pastorally”, she said.
CKR said from the time her ex-husband, also a priest, studied at Morpeth in 1979-1981 there were rumours of sexual activity including that some of the would-be priests preferred young boys.
On Monday solicitor Keith Allen, former trustee and member or the diocesan council in Newcastle, will continue evidence he started on Friday.
He is being questioned about an apparent conflict of interest where he was advising the diocese and a solicitor making a claim against the diocese.
Full article with links: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/32241596/church-stopped-keeping-problem-priest-list/#page1
The archbishop of Guam told church investigators to contact those who say they were sexually abused by clergy after learning this week that another former altar boy accused a priest of molesting him decades ago.
Leo B. Tudela, 73, gave emotional testimony about the abuse he says occurred in the mid-1950s during a hearing Monday at the Guam Legislature. He urged senators to support legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits against those who sexually abused children. It’s now two years.
It comes after three former altar boys and the mother of another filed a $2 million libel and slander lawsuit against former Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and the archdiocese, saying they were called liars when they raised allegations that Apuron sexually abused boys in the 1970s.
He has denied the abuse and not been charged with any crime. The Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai as a temporary administrator after the allegations surfaced.
The legislation introduced by Guam Sen. Frank Aguon would allow people to file civil actions against those they say abused them regardless of when it occurred.
After Tudela’s public testimony, the Catholic Church issued a statement saying Hon directed church investigators to speak with Tudela and others who have raised allegations of sexual abuse.
Hon also has revised the local church’s policies on sexual misconduct and included steps to take when allegations are made against an archbishop.
Tudela, who lives in Hawaii, told lawmakers that his parents sent him from Saipan to a Catholic school in Guam and that he was abused twice.
He said the first time was in 1956 when he was 13. He said he was woken up at the monastery late one night and molested by an unordained man belonging to a religious community.
After reporting it, Tudela was transferred to a rectory in a different village to stay. There, he said a priest who also taught at the Catholic school he attended molested him late one night.
Tudela said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that he has not heard from church officials and directed further questions to his lawyer.
The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they are victims of sex abuse, but Tudela gave his testimony at a public hearing.
Full article with links: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20160805_ap_1877a0eb5c744bcd991e8f51ef3704b6.html
A onetime “altar boy of the year” who was raped by one of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s most notorious abuser priests said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput this week canceled a face-to-face meeting with him because he told the media about it.
John Delaney, raped by the Rev. James J. Brzyski when Delaney was a boy, said he was to have met Archbishop Charles J. Chaput this week. A archdiocesan spokesman would not confirm a meeting had been scheduled because Chaput "considers these meetings to be private." Slideshow icon SLIDESHOW
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John Delaney, 45, said it would have been his first meeting with any top bishop, decades after first being raped at age 11 at St. Cecilia Parish in Northeast Philadelphia.
He said he had planned to tell Chaput that he was unhappy that the prelate helped defeat a measure to loosen the state statute of limitations on abuse cases, a change victims had sought. While under pressure from church and insurance industry lobbyists, the Pennsylvania Senate late last month quashed the proposal.
“If [Chaput is] a guy who can stop a bill that can decide my fate,” Delaney said, “he should be able to sit in a room with me and be man enough to talk about it.”
He said he had expected to meet with Chaput next Monday.
In a statement Wednesday, archdiocesan spokesman Ken Gavin did not confirm or deny that a discussion with Delaney had been in the works because Chaput “considers these meetings to be private.”
“Neither he nor the archdiocese publicizes or politicizes meetings with abuse survivors,” Gavin wrote. “Reciprocity in that regard is set forth as a clear expectation to all parties before any meeting is scheduled. If anyone were to turn a meeting of this nature into a public or political event, it would not be in keeping with the spirit of a pastoral encounter.”
He added, “If a victim has been promised a meeting, it will take place in due time and provided all parameters are respected.”
Delaney, who now lives in Tennessee, was among an estimated 100 children abused by the Rev. James Brzyski in the late 1970s and 1980s, soon after Brzyski was ordained.
Delaney testified about his experience before a Philadelphia grand jury, which in a three-year probe turned up allegations against 169 priests over several decades in the five-county archdiocese.
That grand jury’s report in September 2005 vilified archdiocesan leaders for concealing what they knew about attackers in order to skirt scandal and legal liability.
Brzyski “was one of the archdiocese’s most brutal abusers – emotionally as well as physically,” the grand jury wrote. “Had they cared, archdiocesan managers could have acted to stop Father Brzyski from ruining the lives of innumerable children.”
Despite a trove of damning personnel documents from archdiocesan files, the probe produced no criminal charges – in large part because of Pennsylvania’s statutes of limitations.
The legislation would have allowed lawsuits against private institutions for past child sex attacks. Victims up to age 50 would have been eligible to sue.
Chaput fought the bill with church leaflets, pulpit speeches by priests, and, according to some lawmakers, rebukes for their supporting the measure, which passed the House with near-unanimity in April. The Senate eliminated the retroactivity piece. The bill is back in the House, its fate uncertain.
Delaney, a self-described former “bar brawler” and “bad guy” who fought years of alcohol and cocaine addiction and spent time in prison, said he was angry and requested the meeting with Chaput. The archdiocese has been paying for his therapy and other trauma care for the last seven or so years, he said.
At first, he said, the archdiocese’s victim assistance officials warned that Chaput would not speak about pending legislation. Delaney said he insisted there be no such restrictions on the conversation and they agreed to that.
On Monday, Delaney said he was asked to choose a date for the meeting – July 18 or 20. He chose July 18. The archdiocese agreed to pay for his airfare from Tennessee, he said.
He has been “very public” about his ordeal for years, Delaney said, so he told a local online news reporter about his planned meeting. A story appeared Tuesday.
That night, Delaney said, a victim services official told him that “due to the article that came out,” the meeting was off.
“She spoke with the bishop and the bishop said the meeting was supposed to be pastoral and not a media or publicity event,” Delaney said.
Delaney said the goal of a meeting with Chaput was “personal satisfaction that he saw my face and got to hear what I had to say.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput issued a letter July 14 updating the faithful of the Philadelphia Archdiocese on the status of a bill that proposes to lift the statutes of limitation on civil lawsuits of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.
The letter in English and Spanish was dated for this weekend, July 16-17, and sent to all priests and deacons in the archdiocese via email along with several supporting documents showing the long-term effects of child sexual abuse for adult survivors and numerous resources to which abuse victims in Philadelphia, its four suburban counties and statewide may turn for help.
Another document (in English and Spanish) in the package detailed the church’s assistance to victims of clergy sexual abuse, both in implemented policies and financial assistance of some $18 million over recent years.
Also included was information to help the clergymen offer pastoral care to survivors of child sexual abuse in their parish.
The archbishop’s letter describes House Bill 1947’s “potential to devastate our parishes, schools, and charitable ministries” because of civil lawsuits that could be filed against private institutions such as Catholic parishes and dioceses in the state if the bill were to become law. The House bill was approved in April.
The Senate approved an amended version of the bill last month that “stripped retroactive provisions of the bill pertaining to the civil statute of limitations covering sexual abuse” because the Senate Judiciary Committee had determined such provisions were unconstitutional, according to the letter.
The Senate bill will be considered in the House of Representatives, which “we expect will take place in the fall,” the archbishop wrote.
He invited parishioners and clergy to “join in praying for all of our elected officials who work hard to serve our communities each day.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the bishops of Pennsylvania, this week also provided its own detailed update on the status of HB 1947.
Rep. Mark Rozzi D-Berks
All are welcome to join us Monday afternoon in Philly!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT: Rep. Mark Rozzi to address church leaders callous disregard for victims at Monday news conference
WHEN: Monday, July 18, 2016, 1:30 PM
WHERE: Outside front entrance, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 1723 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Directions – Nearby Parking
CONTACT: Charlie Vaihinger
House Democratic Communications Office
HARRISBURG, July 15, 2016 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, announced today that he will be joining with victims and advocates for a news conference next week to discuss the callous disregard and disrespect church leaders have recently shown to victims of child sex abuse.
The news conference, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, will focus on the recent death of victim Brian Gergely and the cancellation of a scheduled meeting between victim John-Michael Delaney and Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Participating in the news conference will include:
• Marci Hamilton, University of Pennsylvania Fox Distinguished Scholar
• John-Michael Delaney, victim of notorious Rev. James Brzyski
• Patrick Conlin, whose meeting request with the bishop of the Diocese of Allentown was denied.
• Victims featured in You Have the Power video; and
• Advocates and community leaders supporting Statute of Limitation reform for child sex abuse
Additionally, Rozzi said he intends to discuss the status of House Bill 1947, a statute of limitation reform bill from which the Senate stripped his retroactive amendment, which was overwhelming approved by the House in April.
CONTACT: Charlie Vaihinger
House Democratic Communications Office