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As McCarrick scandal spreads, top US cardinal urges stricter abuse policies

Pope Francis, right, talks with the head of a sex abuse advisory commission, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, of Boston, as they arrive for a special consistory in the Synod hall at the Vatican on Feb. 13, 2015.  (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(RNS) — Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Pope Francis’ point man on clergy sexual abuse, is calling for an assessment of standards and clearer procedures for bishops accused of misconduct.

O’Malley’s forceful call Tuesday (July 24) comes in response to ongoing news reports that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, sexually abused a number of boys and men.

Last month, the Vatican suspended McCarrick, saying he had been credibly accused of sexually abusing an altar boy decades ago. Since then half a dozen other victims have come forward with allegations the archbishop abused them, too.

“(W)hen charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse,” O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, wrote in a statement.

As the head of a papal commission on clergy sex abuse, O’Malley is perhaps the most senior critic of the church’s response to the decades-old scandal. He has long pushed for bishops to be held accountable if they shield priests suspected of sexual abuse. He is also a close adviser to Pope Francis.

O’Malley laid out three specific measures the church should take:

  • A “fair and rapid adjudication” of accusations against bishops.
  • An assessment of standards and policies of the church “especially in the case of bishops.”
  • A communications campaign to make Catholics more aware of the process for reporting allegations against bishops and cardinals.

Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Sept. 23, 2015. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via AP)

“Failure to take these actions will threaten and endanger the already weakened moral authority of the Church and can destroy the trust required for the Church to minister to Catholics and have a meaningful role in the wider civil society,” O’Malley wrote.

O’Malley was brought in to lead the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 after the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who was accused of covering up for dozens of priests who had sexually abused minors.

Tim Lennon, president of the board of directors of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, said O’Malley’s words were a start.

But Lennon added: “It’s taken 30 years to the point where we get a prince of the church to criticize another cardinal. It amazes me that the U.S. Conference of Bishops doesn’t rise up and bishops take on those bishops that have problems or are covering up.”

O’Malley has been railing for tougher sanctions on bishops for at least four years, ever since Missouri Bishop Robert Finn was convicted in 2012 for failure to report concerns about a priest who had child pornography on his laptop.

“Obviously, there has to be consequences,” O’Malley said when his papal commission called for more serious accountability.

To some extent, the Vatican has responded. In 2014, it defrocked archbishop and papal diplomat Jozef Wesolowski for allegedly abusing boys in the Dominican Republic. He died shortly before he was to stand trial before a Vatican tribunal.

Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was forced to resign in 2015.

The church may also be feeling pressure as secular authorities have moved to hold bishops accountable. Earlier this month, Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson was sentenced to 12 months in detention for failing to report the repeated abuse of two altar boys by a pedophile priest.

Meanwhile, the pope’s finance chief, Cardinal George Pell, also an Australian, faces trial in his home state of Victoria on decades-old child sex abuse allegations.

But in other ways, the church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis has been uneven.

Two abuse survivors named as members of the pope’s commission on clergy sex abuse stepped down, frustrated by the reluctance of some in the Vatican Curia to implement recommendations or cooperate with the work of a commission.

Earlier this year, the pope defended a Chilean bishop who sex abuse victims said had covered up the abuse of a diocesan priest. The pope later apologized.

In his statement, O’Malley also defended himself against accusations he did not personally follow up on information sent to him in 2015 by the Rev. Boniface Ramsey suggesting McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians. O’Malley said he did not receive the letter.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

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  • Purge them all; every last one of them who commit crimes or those who protect them. Defrock them in public and prosecute them.
    Then, address the homosexual issue in the church.

  • “an assessment of standards and clearer procedures”

    The Roman Catholic hierarchy is not lacking in assessments. Endless assessments is what they do best. Where the Roman Catholic hierarchy does have a lack is in integrity and backbone.
    Fortunately, a lack of integrity and backbone is exactly what will be needed for effective leadership of the “smaller, holier Church”.

  • Alwayspuzzled is not lacking in assessments.

    Endless assessments of others and those he/she/it dislikes are the stock in trade.

    Fortunately, a lack of evidence in support building any sort of argument restricts the damage to gullible kindred souls.

  • I’m comfortable letting this boil for a long while.

    This soiling energy will take the wind out of any more radical Modernist (upper case) plans of Francis and his mostly lavender leaning mafia.

    It boiled over because of a left leaning, high flying, ladder climbing, homosexual cardinal who preyed on soft seminarians.

    And that is what is good to reflect on.

  • Neither are you Bob. You certainly don’t lack in unfounded assessments of others. You should be careful about accusing others of what you so blatantly do yourself!

  • I agree, you can analyze/assess a situation to the point that nothing gets accomplished.They need well defined procedures for dealing with the issues.

    More importantly however, they need to change the basic belief that becoming a priest transforms the man and he can no longer sin!

    That is what is at the core of the church’s problems.

  • “they need to change the basic belief that becoming a priest transforms the man”

    Exactly!!!

  • You might want to point out one of my “unfounded assessments of others”.

    For example, I pointed out you confuse the natural law with the physical/scientific laws. You objected. I quoted your post in its entirety.

    Yes, I can be quite acerbic with people who engage in acerbic assessments.

  • “They” need to deal with their own internal matters, and you need to stick to something you know something about.

  • All good things on earth come to an end, God has bid the institution adieu. The last Day is upon man. This is why he changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

  • The church is responsible for the men it brings into the priesthood. Unfortunately, those in the church who should be responsible to clean up the dirt are the very same ones who rolled around in the dirt with their fellow seminarians.

  • Congratulations. You managed to pack a lot of nastiness in that brief message, not to mention a lot of fiction. That’s quite an accomplishment.

    Clerical child abuse isn’t about ideology. Both liberal and conservative priests have perpetrated it and bishops of both persuasions have exacerbated the problem with legal maneuvering, stonewalling and cover-ups.

  • The moral of the story in any situation involving child abuse, whether it takes place in a church setting or not, is to report it to the legal authorities and let them investigate. Don’t bother reporting it to the diocese. They’ll be notified soon enough.

    Never assume anybody with a vested interest in covering something up will properly handle it. Never.

  • There is no such belief that priests can no longer sin. That said, I will agree that the deeply rooted culture of paternalism within the Catholic Church is a major problem and has greatly exacerbated the clerical abuse crisis.

  • At this point — close to two decades after the Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” reports on priestly pedophilia in the Boston archdiocese — how is it even possible for this to still be a question? Why wouldn’t the R.C. Church already … long ago! … have changed its policies, purged itself of abusive clergy at all levels and enablers in the hierarchy, and referred them all for prosecution in their jurisdictions? Why is this something that continues to be discussed? What further need of discussion or review can there be? 

    Face facts: The Church knows what it needs to do. It knew what it needed to do, over 15 years ago. The hierarchs have had all that time to get off their robed backsides and fix their Church. But … they haven’t. They’re still talking, still reviewing, still mulling things over. The time for all that expired years ago — yet they’re still at it, as though it’s all news to them. 

  • As I said the other day, in a comment to which no one responded except the Usual Suspect, it’s clearvthat the process of discernment, by which the church claims that it can tell who actually has a vocation, a calling from god…

    …Is completely bogus.

    That is what I would be looking at, but it’s not my church or my priest. That questions that I would look at in any other situation are not the ones that you and Aquinas would look at.

  • Re: “More importantly however, they need to change the basic belief that becoming a priest transforms the man and he can no longer sin!” 

    I’m not sure the Church teaches that priests are incapable of sin. What I’m aware that they teach, is that nothing a priest does can ever invalidate his ordination. Once a priest is ordained, he remains forever ordained … and in turn a cog in the machinery of the Church, which must protect him at all times and without regard to whatever he may have done. 

    The really laughable part of it is, this doctrine is the result of the Church’s opposition to a 4th century northern African “heresy,” Donatism. You see, after the Roman Empire began tolerating Christianity in 313, some puritanical Christians in the Carthage region objected to “lapsed” clergy (i.e. traditores, or clergy who’d given up to the Romans during the 18 months or so of Diocletian’s persecution) returning to their offices once the coast was clear. These purists decided that the traditores had gone too far by denying Jesus and thus could never be clergy again. They could return as laymen, after a grueling penance, but that was all. Others in Carthage objected to this puritanism, leading eventually to two separate Christian churches — one Donatist, the other not — in northern Africa. 

    Now, the Roman church (along with virtually the rest of Christendom) opposed the Donatists, considering their position too harsh. The R.C. Church’s specific position became what I stated above: That nothing a priest ever does, can invalidate his ordination or prevent him from remaining a priest. The only way out, officially, is voluntary resignation … but even then there’s a kind of canon-legal fiction in place which presumes the priest to still be ordained, but just not pursuing his sacred office. Or something of the sort. The Donatist sect, as entrenched as it became over the next couple centuries, didn’t last. It, and all the other Christian groups in northern Africa, were defeated and overwhelmed by the Muslim conquest, and Christianity there was more or less wiped out by the early years of the 8th century. 

    So the whole priestly-pedophilia scandal can, arguably, be viewed as a relic of this 4th century controversy in opposition to a “heretical” Christian sect which has been gone for well over a thousand years. It would be hilarious, and great fodder for a comedy, if not for all the abuse this scandal entailed. 

  • Your technical description is correct. My explanation puts the explanation in common parlance!

  • Well, to be honest, I agree you weren’t far off. Sorry for my pedantry and elaboration, but I think people really need to know how truly horrific this situation is, and how dysfunctionally hidebound the R.C. Church is to its past. It’s so committed to not granting Donatists — who by now are dead for over a millennium! — any slack, that they’d knowingly permit priests to prey on children (and in the case of McCarrick, seminarians). The whole thing is inexcusable … but it’s how the Church operates, and even those within it who understand this history can do nothing to change it. 

    I’ve said it before, and will say it again, it’s up to the laity to coerce change within the Church. They have the ultimate power over Catholicism — via the collection plate. If the Church is starved for money, it will have no choice but to capitulate. In this case, my guess is a council (Vatican III, perhaps?) would have to be convened to alter this doctrine. It can be done, and it IS possible to force this on the Church. But it will take the involvement of a majority of the laity to do it … and I don’t see it happening, sad to say. 

  • Interestingly a pedophile priest, at least in theory, is still “in persona Christi” when celebrating the Eucharist. One would think that Jesus might be a little puzzled by this, but He is not allowed to question or overrule the Church.

  • It is still amazing to me that public people (like clergy, teachers, coaches, cops, etc,) ever conclude that they can do sexual stuff with minors and not have the story get out. Maybe a root problem is that certain people in these positions were just too dumb to ever be hired into them. That’s just a practical wonderment of mine. On the spiritual side, we might ask why the Catholic Church and several others have not more-or-less collapsed over these kinds of revelations. Maybe that would be a certain dumbness built into the attendees. Net, net, more Jesus, less church would help us all.

  • “it will have no choice but to capitulate”

    When the last priceless painting in the Vatican’s art collection is sold.

  • “…Pope Francis’ point man on clergy sexual abuse…”
    ____________________________

    Now there’s a laugh. For at least 15 years, they have had data on hundreds of complicit bishops who protected abusers, mistreated victims and probably perpetrated abuse as well. O’Malley has scored no points.

  • Maybe, maybe not.
    Just because one is called doesn’t mean one will stay truthful to their vows; after all, we are human.
    In addition, those charged with the discernment and admittance process may not have the best intentions of the church at heart.

  • Don’t worry…
    As with you, Christ will pass judgement on all who have defiled his church and the faithful.

  • Shhhh…. don’t bring that up here. The counter-parties on these pages that oppose the RCC as it is don’t think there’s a problem with that.

  • “Maybe, maybe not. ” Always the case. But still…

    “Just because one is called doesn’t mean one will stay truthful to their vows; after all, we are human. ” Also alwaysthe case. But you would think god would not be calling people to the priesthood since he knows they will not remain faithful.

    “In addition, those charged with the discernment and admittance process may not have the best intentions of the church at heart.” Speculation at best. So these are just more of the same– more faithless priests who do not keep their vows, who were “discerned into the priesthood”. How far back does it go, and when does it stop?
    And thus, the same objections I made in that unanswered posting still apply.
    BTW, this isn’t any kind of an attack. But the questions are not being answered.

  • TRANSLATION: “Why can’t those girly, soft-headed losers stay in the closet, like ME???”

  • I know. And I do.
    I also hope that the Holy Spirit cleanses the evil that lurks below the surface of the priesthood and the Curia.

  • I’m not sure that would be enough. While it’s true the Church — its many parishes & dioceses, and the Vatican especially — owns a lot of assets, especially in real estate, it also has employees and expenses, which creates a cash flow vulnerability. In other words, it’s asset-rich but cash-poor. This is what has driven a lot of diocesan bankruptcies. 

    So yeah, they can sell paintings off and crap like that … but it will only give them a little more time (a very little bit), and can’t stave off their inevitable financial doom — assuming the laity is willing to bring that doom down upon them. 

    Besides, that the Church could uses its assets to hold out a little longer, doesn’t constitute any rational or valid excuse for lay Catholics who know what’s wrong with their Church and what they must do to force it to change, to put off doing so. 

    Sorry to say, though, I think all this is a moot point. Not enough of Catholicism’s laity is willing to aim the weapon of collection-plate starvation at their Church. Many don’t think it’s their job to make their Church change; many others think the whole scandal is cooked up by the media and plaintiffs’ lawyers; still others are simply afraid of their Church and won’t oppose it for any reason. More’s the pity. 

  • You want to work the argument backward to a point; but you never go all the way to the end because you are fearful of the conclusion.
    God created man. God gave man free will. Man disobeyed God resulting in original sin. As I mentioned to you before, we are all broken, sinful creatures who always chose the pleasures of the world over God.
    I don’t know what it’s like to be called to the priesthood- maybe I am too filthy to be worthy.
    I do know that each person called is still a man; still with free will; still able to fall further away from God.
    I would hope that God sends his grace to them for strength; but I don’t know. You expect perfection from God. He gave us that chance once; and we blew it.
    I’ll try to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge.

  • Imaginary spirits aren’t capable of cleansing anything. If the “Holy Spirit” were the least bit competent, it would have done so hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The evil is all yours. It’s your Church, you helped create it, you help maintain it, and it’s not going away.

  • Re: “As with you, Christ will pass judgement on all who have defiled his church and the faithful.” 

    That ship has already sailed. He’s had a little under two millennia to deal with “all who have defiled his church and the faithful” — but hasn’t so much as lifted a finger, in all that time, to do anything about it. Even if he were to put an end to it, now, that cannot logically change the nearly two millennia of defiling that’s already gone on in his name. 

    So I’m betting, if he exists, he doesn’t really care all that much. I mean, he can’t. Hence, I don’t expect any “judgement” … of me (for what, I have no idea, I’ve never “defiled” anything in my life) nor of anyone else. 

  • I’m not fearful of the conclusion at all. I don’t believe that conclusion has validity. And free will and original sin are not an excuse unless you do buy those conclusions. On the other hand, my conclusions are simply valid questions that can be answered.

  • Yeah, faithless priests with original sin who acted upon their free will to do harm to others….

  • Re: “You defile with your thoughts and words daily.” 

    So I “defile” … er, uh … what, exactly? And how, exactly, do I do that … “daily”? Just wondering what the mechanism is and how it works. 

  • No need to apologize. Your explanation was actually helpful. I think that anytime we can help people gain a more thorough understanding of the issues we win. Or at least we take a step forward!

    I agree that the only thing that will really get the church to change is when they start hurting financially. Which they actually are. Many smaller churches have closed across the country over the last several years as their numbers decline. The growth is now in third world countries but even that growth has slowed down and as those countries get more wired and connected and the people better educated those numbers will begin to decline.

  • Discernment means leveraging all of what God has given oneself to determine His will..so that you can conform yourself to His will for you.

    That’s a more demanding definition than the latte crowd likes.

    That means, using Scripture, authoritative interpretation of Scripture (the Church’s Magisterium), using one’s intelligence, using the people that God put into one’s life, and also the design of one’s body! “I am a male”.

    This isn’t emancipating enough for the latte crowd.

  • You confuse a few things.

    A grown man chasing another grown man into bed is homosexual predation; it’s not child abuse.

  • Keeping the money and power flowing, watered well by the self-assurance that you are god’s BFFF is more important than just about anything.

    A scandal in the church is far more important than abused kids. Blaming the people who are not responsible is easier than dealing with the people who are. Pretending it is a “homosexual” problem when it obviously is a Catholic problem provides a nice hot house for the flowers of whataboutism.

    Never questioning what you have convinced yourself should never be questioned is far more comfortable than asking the obvious questions: why does the god who knows everything and everyone call deeply corrupt and disturbed men to the priesthood, and how does the church verify that he has needed called them? I posed that question a few days ago, and the only answers I have received are nonsense about free will and corrupt processes.

    Of course the process is corrupt. That much is obvious. We just disagree about the source of corruption.

  • Will you ever just admit that you hate and despise gay people? Because THAT comment shows nothing but hate and despite.

  • And you seem confused about the definition of “predation,” which sex between consenting adults is not.

    In any event, the topic at hand is child abuse. If you want to use it as a springboard for indulging your biases against gay people, that’s your business. Just don’t expect others to play along.

  • The seminarians weren’t willing.

    The topic at hand is McCarrick, and his homosexual bullying.

    Seminarians aren’t children.

  • The only person who has shown hate is homosexual Cardinal McCarrick who forced himself upon grown men.

    Forcing people to into sexual situations is an act of hate.

    Clean up your criteria; they’ve been sullied by life style defense.

  • O’Malley knew about McCarrick..all American Cardinals and most American bishops must have known about this fruited cleric.

    O’Malley is tyring to have it both ways.

  • Correction..McCarrick’s prey were seminarians; seminarians aren’t children. They’re men. This was prolonged, ongoing, repeated homosexual assault.

  • McCarrick is your topic but the article itself is broader than that. And some seminarians, by the way, are minors.

    I will agree with you insofar as people in positions of power pressuring subordinates and others in weaker positions to have sex with them is always wrong, whether the victim is an adult or a minor, male or female.

  • You have no basis to claim that the process of discernment is completely bogus.

    Only if a claim was made that every ordinand automatically became a saint and never committed a sin was made, which it is not.

    Jesus selected 12, and one was a traitor.

  • Since you’re speaking from outside it, how you know what would get the church to change?

  • The culture of paternalism dates to the Old Testament and Jesus Christ.

    If it’s a major problem you’re in the wrong church.

  • I love to hear “the process is corrupt” from a guy who advocates what you advocate.

    It makes me believe the process is better than I believed.

  • The Modernist forces want to blur the very clearn and pinpointed problem with this Cardinal.

    They want it to be about “power”
    about “men”
    about “priests”
    about “the hierarchy”
    about “celibacy”.

    But this is about a homosexual bully, satiating himself on grown men.

  • Of course given his age, anything McCarrick did was long ago.

    If it did what it needed to do 15 years ago, it would have zero impact on what McCarrick did.

  • https://pantheon-live.religionnews.com/2018/07/20/church-of-england-to-test-aspiring-clergy-for-skill-aptitude-and-narcissicism/

    “Anxiety about the quality of those who aspire to become
    clergy is rooted in the series of child sex abuse scandals that have
    emerged from Anglicanism’s mother church over the past 20 years.”

    Apparently the Church of England’s claims to moral authority are fatuous as well.

    In fact any church which has sinners at all must be a failure.

  • This is what you said:

    “A grown man chasing another grown man into bed is homosexual predation.” My husband of 16 years would disagree.

    There is no context about the cardinal in your comment, no context of the church, no context of force, no context whatsoever EXCEPT your opinion about gay men.

    Own it or apologize for it. Your choice.

    Or don’t. Also your choice.

  • Of course. At least you have admitted it, however obliquely.

    Something about the two greatest commandments comes to mind…

    But obviously, not to you.

  • The context for my comment IS THE ARTICLE itself, which focuses McCarrick, who was a homsexual bully preying on young men, forcing himself into bed with these softies.

    A good seminarian, a man eventually worth priesthood, would have bloodied the nose of the cleric.

  • Bullies come in a lot of forms, gay and straight, lay and ordained. I daresay there were plenty in the Church even before Modernism.

    Frankly, you seem a bit obsessed with this topic. I’m not, so I’m moving on. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  • Sure, and this article is about a particularly contemptable homosexual CARDINAL named McCarrick.

    The article could have been about the particularly contemptable homosexual BISHOP named Juan Pineda Fasquelle!

    What will tomorrow’s news bring?

  • That’s all been explained before. It is catholic priests who are committing he offenses. It is catholic priests that have enabled it and covered it up. Just because a man molests boys doesn’t mean he is homosexual, much less a gay man in the usual sense. As I pointed out to a few of the more virulent homophobes here…

    The Boy Scouts banned anybody gay for decades,and yet they still had a molestation problem. They covered up that molestation problem in true Roman Catholic style. All of that is documented.

    So, who was doing the molesting? Not gay men such as myself— not that I have the slightest interest in teenagers, not that I wouldn’t cut the balls off of any man who tried anything with my nephews or my godson. It was Men who identify, and are identified by their church, their communities, their wives, and their children, as heterosexual.

    Homosexually inclined men– they’re not gay and proud, but twisted with the self hatred inculcated in them by the church– join the church not to find other such men, but to escape their sexuality altogether, the pressures of society and family, a self claimed prison where they will be safe– from themselves. The men who are pedophilia oriented do the same thing, for the same reasons.

    I’m certain that most priests, gay or straight, are good people, at peace with themselves and the celibacy requirements. But we’re not talking about them, but of men who loathe themselves, who have never dealt with their sexuality, except to try to repress it. It’s called coming out, and if you joined the church to escape yourself, you haven’t done it.

    It’s bad enough, the damage these men do to themselves, the church, and their direct victims. But their indirect victims also suffer: the gay men who don’t hate themselves, who aren’t twisted and perverted by self loathing and shame, who don’t act out their frustrated sexuality on underage boys, or apparently like Cardinal McCarrick, hitting on other priests. And the priests who are good men, who aren’t perverts.

    Gay men are damaged another way– blamed for the damage these self loathing closet cases do, blamed for the child molestation that horrifies us just as much as it does anyone else. And almost worse? Lumped in the same category as these perverts. “Oh, they’re homosexuals. That’s how they all are.”

    No. We’re not. That’s just another story you (a generic you, Aquinas, The Usual Suspect, sandimonious) keep telling yourselves to justify what you have done to us for centuries. We have the evil hypocrisy of the cardinal, railing against the sinfulness of happy, out gay men, while conducting his personal sex crusade from deep within the vestry. We have roger Mahoney, incensed that people blame him for decades of abuse coverup in Los Angeles, as of he were personally responsible. he’s the victim, or so he says. We have that Canadian archbishop, arrested and imprisoned for child porn, while wailing about marriage equality in Canada. We have the Belgian archbishop who saw nothing wrong, as he so charmingly put it, with “taking comfort with children.”

    It isn’t homosexuality that has corrupted your church, but your church that has corrupted homosexual men, turning them in to homo-hating-homos. Child molesters find a safe haven there, both because of access to children, and people like Mahoney, who believe that a scandal in the church is of greater importance that the destruction of the innocence of children.

    It isn’t homosexuality that has corrupted your church. It’s your church that has corrupted itself.

  • So your whole rant is really about how much despise a caricature of what you think are liberals? So using your intelligence really isn’t on your list at all.

    BTW, I am most assuredly a man. Got a weenie, a healthy sense of my masculinity, and everything. The last person that attacked me on the street for being gay is probably still hurting. I certainly hope so.

  • I only skimmed it quickly, as I have a few other things to do today.

    But what I did read confirms exactly the point I have made continually. Blaming all homosexual men for the depredations of SOME same sex attracted and/or pedophilic individuals— deliberately conflating the two— is a great wrong. It’s a lie, it’s slanderous, and it harms innocent people.

  • I was afraid my post was too heavy for you.

    Now I see in your comments words like “weenie,” and your many comments all make more sense. Public school is out for the summer.

    Real men don’t use words like “weenie” and “everything,” leaving us a (too) obvious conclusion.

  • classic. Love the comments “sexual abuse is about power”. These idiots were lobotomized by 1970 era sociology claptrap.

  • That was and remains part of Canon Law for as long as there has been Canon Law.

    Dioceses which observed it, e.g. Lincoln, Nebraska, had no lawsuits, got rid of priests with problems, and had full seminaries.

  • Good thing you didn’t join it.

    So, back to a religious conversation and off your anti-religious ranting.

  • What, exactly, would be his reason to apologize?

    You never apologize for your anti-Catholic and anti-religious ranting.

    Are you better than he is?

  • You’re wasting your time with rockchalkwombat.

    He is all about “civility”.

    Black and white makes him break out in a rash.

  • It can’t be sold. Since it priceless, a price could not be set on it.

    Anything else?

  • Everyone ordained a priest is an “alter Christus” when performing the sacraments.

    Jesus would endorse this since otherwise those seeking the sacraments would have to be able to do Vulcan mind melds to determine the worthiness of the priest.

    This was settled several centuries ago.

    Of course to know that you would actually have to have some knowledge of the topic, which you don’t.

  • Religion is doing swell in the USA, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

  • Honey, you are the one with the rather juvenile sense of what it is to be a man, let alone your personal bogey men, “liberals” and “homosexuals”.

    My use of the Word weenie was intentional to underline that. Real men don’t use the word? That was my entire point. Real men do. I just did.

    As for “everything”? Does that include quiche?

  • Isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy involved with McCarrick’s predation ?

    Something about emulating Jesus ?

    Instead the Church was emulating Je$u$….

  • No, instead, individual souls gave in to vices and sins.

    Why didn’t one seminarian have enough self-possession and confidence to punch one of these priests, supervisors?

    What sort of soft chested men are being taken into the seminaries?

  • Human motivation is similar whether you are an Atheist or a Catholic or Evangelical Christian. This applies to corporate entities such as a church or a business.

  • I disagree.

    Some people live a life of hedonism and others are aesthetes who forego pleasure for the sake of the finer things. Some people find food irresistible, and others diet to near starvation.

    You have absolutely no idea at all about the ethos within the Catholic Church or how its doctrines and disciplines interact with its hierarchy and faithful.

  • Not a sparrow falls but god knows about it.

    Yet the sparrow still falls.

    So what on earth is the possible use of god knowing?

  • It’s of no use to anyone at all. But the Chrishuns love saying it nonetheless. Their god, you see, is bigger and badder and knows more than any other god. It’s a kind of bragging along the lines of “oh yeah, well my god can beat up your god.” 

  • They display their “ethos” and how their doctrines and disciplines interact with its hierarchy and faithful every day with their words and actions. You can learn alot about people and institutions from what they say and what they do!

  • Somehow I do not get an impression that the Catholic Church is an institution you have a great deal of insight into.

  • PsiCop asks, “Why wouldn’t the R.C. Church already – long ago! – have changed its policies, purged itself of abusive clergy at all levels and enablers in the hierarchy, and referred them all for prosecution in their jurisdictions?”

    Because, as Parker12 correctly indicated, your suggestion would automatically mean having to take some painful & serious large-scale action on the homosexuality issue. Totally intertwined. There would be a very sharp & heated falling-out. Churches would split, people would leave, there would be a war in front of the media. And even Pope Francis might have to fess up to being an enabler.

    It would be a hot radioactive mess, and that’s what a LOT of Catholic leaders wanna avoid.

  • Re: “Because, as Parker12 correctly indicated, your suggestion would automatically mean having to take some painful & serious large-scale action on the homosexuality issue.” 

    Not so. Not even close! Homosexuality =/= criminality. The two are not equivalent … no matter how fiercely you despise homosexuals. 

    Re: “It would be a hot radioactive Chernobyl, and that’s what a LOT of Catholic leaders wanna avoid.” 

    I disagree that the R.C. Church addressing criminals and criminality within its ranks will cause the sort of meltdown you claim. However, if that’s what results from it — that’s still no excuse for not getting it over with. Let’s get that meltdown underway already! 

  • I believe you’ve been given the answer many times in the past.

    Free Will.

    Last Judgment.

    It is probably worth pointing out to the folks who read Religion News Service to actually get news about religion, and perhaps discuss it, that there is a JoeMyGod contingent on board whose sole and only purpose is to carp at and ridicule religion and “religionists”.

  • Jesus would throw them out of the temple using a whip, like any real man would.

    Jesus was perfect God, and perfect man.

    Someone is always trying to turn Jesus into Buddah.

  • So you are saying that religious people have no morals, and would rather avoid a scandal in the church than deal openly with a serious sexual abuse— not homosexuality— issue?

    We are certainly in agreement there.

  • So, when the victim is a child, or a client of the privileged and powerful clergy member, it’s about mutual consent? Ethical standards of care with clients i not claptrap. Again, you’re a disturbed, obsessed, closeted, insecure freak with God know what skeletons in your dank closet.

  • But since there was no resurrection, all this verbiage is a waste of time as the Pope has no Jesus/god authority as none exists.

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