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Pope OKs study of Vatican archives into McCarrick scandal

Pope Francis prays during an audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has authorized a “thorough study” of Vatican archives into how a prominent American cardinal advanced through church ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians and young priests, the Vatican said  in its first response to explosive allegations of a cover-up that is roiling the papacy.

The Vatican said it was aware that such an investigation may produce evidence that mistakes were made, when evaluated with today’s standards. But it said Francis would “follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead.”

Saturday’s (Oct. 6) statement did not address specific allegations that Francis himself knew of sexual misconduct allegations against now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and rehabilitated him anyway from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis has said he would not say a word about those allegations, lodged by a retired Vatican ambassador.

Depending on the scope of the investigation, Francis’ actions may be found to have been inconsistent with what he now considers unacceptable behavior by a bishop. However, the study refers only to documentation, a potentially limiting constraint, given the McCarrick scandal apparently involves private, verbal communications that might not have paper trails in Vatican archives.

“Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for bishops who have committed or covered-up abuse in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable,” the statement said.

The Vatican knew as early as 2000 that seminarians complained that McCarrick pressured them to sleep with him. The Rev. Boniface Ramsay, a professor at a New Jersey seminary, wrote a letter to the Vatican in November 2000 relaying the seminarians’ concerns after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington.

St. John Paul II still went ahead with the nomination and made McCarrick a cardinal the following year. McCarrick resigned as Washington archbishop in 2006 after he reached the retirement age of 75.

Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation as a cardinal in July after a U.S. church investigation determined that an allegation that he groped a teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible. Since then, another man has come forward saying McCarrick molested him when he was a young teen and other men have said they were harassed by McCarrick as adult seminarians and young priests.

The scandal has created a crisis in confidence in the U.S. hierarchy, since it was apparently an open secret that McCarrick, now 88, would invite seminarians to his New Jersey beach house, and into his bed.

Faced with a loss of credibility, U.S. bishops announced they wanted a full-scale Vatican investigation into how McCarrick was able to rise through the ranks, despite his misconduct.

Francis’ own papacy was thrown into turmoil in August when retired Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò accused Francis and about two dozen Vatican and U.S. church officials of covering up for McCarrick and said Francis should resign.

In his 11-page denunciation, said Benedict imposed “canonical sanctions” on McCarrick in 2009 or 2010 that prohibited him from traveling or lecturing for the church or celebrating Mass in public. Viganò said he told Francis on June 23, 2013, about the sanctions and that McCarrick had “corrupted a generation of seminarians and priests.” But he said Francis effectively rehabilitated McCarrick and made him a trusted counselor.

The public record, however, is rife with evidence that McCarrick lived a life devoid of any sanction from 2009 onward.

Given the uncertainty of whether sanctions were ever imposed, or if Benedict merely asked McCarrick to keep a low profile, there may be little or no documentation in the Vatican about actual sanctions, and a study based solely on documents may not uncover what actually transpired.

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Nicole Winfield

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  • Not worth the time it took to state, if he knows the archives have nothing in them regarding McCarrick!

  • TRANSPARENT SECRETS?! Yeah, right. Nice try, but nobody thinks so – even if there’s any or no significance to the timeline of the selective opening thus far, of the Archivum SECRETUM Apostolicum Vaticanum:

    (1) “2002 (effective from 2003): Documents from the historical archives of the Secretariat of State (Second Section) pertaining to the Holy See’s relations with Germany during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (1922–39). The reason for this exceptional action was ‘to put an end to unjust and thoughtless speculation.'”

    (2) 2012: “One hundred documents held in the Vatican’s Secret Archives are now [March 1, 2012] on display in Rome for the first time. Read our list here of six standouts [including] … Court documents from the trial of the Knights Templar … [A request for] the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon … Documents from Galileo’s heresy trial”.

    (3) “2018: Pope Francis ordered the Vatican Archives to open documents which would assist in a ‘thorough study’ concerning the sex life of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was accused of sexually molesting seminarians and having homosexual affairs with young priests.”

    Source: (1) and (3) Wikipedia, “Vatican Secret Archives”, last updated October 6, 2018. (2) Nick Squires, “Vatican Secret Archives: 6 of the most intriguing documents in church history”, Christian Science Monitor, March 1, 2012.

  • The Vatican knew as early as 2000 that seminarians complained that McCarrick pressured them to sleep with him. The Rev. Boniface Ramsay, a professor at a New Jersey seminary, wrote a letter to the Vatican in November 2000 relaying the seminarians’ concerns after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington.

    St. John Paul II still went ahead with the nomination and made McCarrick a cardinal the following year.

    Oops. Sounds like opening those archives could prove incendiary for the reputation of Saint John Paul the Great.

    Is there such a thing as a decanonization process for saints, I wonder?

  • Someone(s) in the Vatican had received and read one or more communications containing allegations about McCarrick.

    St. John Paul II was Pope at the time.

    Your intense dislike for him notwithstanding, the evidence that he was aware of the allegations against McCarrick is non-existent.

    McCarrick does represent a failure in observing the prohibition against ordaining homosexuals.

  • An independent investigation, fully funded by the Vatican but with no Vatican control or influence over staffing or operations, would be credible. One more internal investigation is just a continuation of the shell game.

    The hierarchs are very intelligent men. Yet they seem unable (or unwilling?) to grasp that every year fewer and fewer people are willing to be part of their shell game. Or maybe they just don’t care, as long as there are a few of the faithful who still psychologically need to be fooled by the hierarchy’s shell game.

  • Did Pope Francis, in his days as a cardinal, knowingly shield clergy child abusers from justice by shuffling them from one diocese to another? In Italy and Argentina, detectives are looking into it.

    Follow along with this sickening account from the Daily Beast.

    Sixty-seven young boys … have been named in court documents and were allegedly abused by more than two dozen priests and brothers at the Provolo Institute [a school for the deaf in Italy], according to Verona prosecutors who have been investigating the allegations for nearly a decade and who plan to bring it to trial later this year.
    The Beast recounts what happened to one boy, Giuseppe, who was born deaf and mute and whose parents surrendered him to the Church-founded Provolo school.

    When [Giuseppe] was 11, a monk who worked at the institute as an educator started teaching “special secret signs” for things like masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus. “I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,” Giuseppe explained in an exclusive, and very emotional, interview in Rome. “Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.”

    From that point on, Giuseppe said through his interpreter — often using fast and somewhat violent sign language as tears ran down his face — priests and the brothers would give a sign to the young boys and then take them to special rooms Giuseppe says were used for “time out” punishments or as resting areas. He said that because everyone was deaf at the school except those who worked there, no one could hear the screams and cries of the young boys when the abuse took place.

    Giuseppe said that on several occasions he and others tried to write down what was happening, but because their letters and notes were given to the priests and brothers to be mailed…
    … those missives never made it out.

    For Giuseppe, the abuse continued until he was 18 and he could finally choose to leave. Meanwhile, dozens of other children at the Provolo Institute were treated to the same abuse. Giuseppe recalls that…

    … “Sometimes you would see priests coming into the dormitory at night, or you would see friends with tears rolling down their faces and you knew exactly what had just happened.”
    Luckily for some of the Provolo padres whose pedophile exploits were the subject of whispers in Catholic circles, the Verona institute has a sister school in Mendoza, Argentina. In a now-familiar pattern, some of the abusers — most notably a priest named Nicola Corradi — were quietly shipped off to Mendoza, only to start their sexual assaults on children all over again.

    It spiraled further from there, and this is where Pope Francis is possibly involved:
    Julieta Añazco was one of those victims at the [Argentinian] Provolo Institute. She says she was first abused by Father Ricardo Giménez, who worked at the institute. He first attacked her when she was just seven years old, she says, when the two were in a tent being used as a confessional at a Catholic youth festival. The abuse went on for three years before her parents found out and filed a complaint. Giménez was then transferred by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, under the direction of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
    Añazco and other students from the Provolo Institute say they repeatedly requested a meeting with Bergoglio, but that he ignored them. Shortly after he became Pope Francis, the group wrote a letter to his Vatican address in which they again laid out what had happened in Argentina on his watch. This time, the pontiff got right on the case and assured the victims that a sweeping investigation was underway.

    Just kidding. The Pope’s stony silence continued.

    The Holy Father has since only apologized for church sexual abuse in generic, non-specific terms, and he continues to stubbornly sidestep the issue when asked about it by journalists.

    Most likely, some victims will receive secular justice, considering the investigations that are underway in both Verona and Mendoza. The Church, meanwhile, is still turning a blind eye, excelling in nothing so much as denial if not outright obstruction.

  • HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
    Or Rather, Smart Move There, Buddy I Mean Francis!

    “It is obvious that not all the documents of the Holy See are immediately placed in the central archives. What goes into them – apart from what is sent to them by the Holy Father – is the older part of the documentation for which there is no longer room in the individual archives of the departments of the Roman Curia (the Secretariat of State, Sacred Congregations, Tribunals, Offices, etc.) or of the Representations of the Holy See in the various countries. For particular reasons, or because they do not yet lack space, the following bodies do not send documents regularly but only from time to time: the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, the Sacred Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Eastern Churches, for the Evangelization of Peoples (‘de Propaganda Fide’), for Catholic Education, the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, the Pontifical Masters of Ceremonies, and, obviously, the de￾partments recently established by the Holy See. The Secret Archives have not as yet received any great part of the historical archives of the Sacred Congregations for the Clergy, or of the former Congregation of Rites. They contain, however, as accessory material, the archives of certain aristocratic families and various other collections. With the continual arrival of fresh material the Archives have grown enormously and continue to do so.”

    Source: Martino Giusti, “The Vatican Secret Archives”, Archivaria, Number 7, Winter 1978 . Original version in It Vaticano e Roma cristiana, Citta’del Vaticano, 1976.

  • An inquiry limited to documents is suspect. If the documentary review is the starting point for interviews, it could be useful.

    But, any observer of the RCC will believe it when he actually sees a searching, thorough, and public inquiry, and not before.

  • Bill, I think JPII, BXVI, and Francis were/are all part of the blind hierarchy who refused to believe what they were seeing and, even if they saw it, didn’t know what to do about it. JPII was utterly blind about sex abuse – maybe he could only see it as sin and not as crime. BXVI did some good work, at least in creating a framework for stopping abuse that was occurring in some countries – mainly Western cultures. But he did not see the need to deal honestly and with love towards those who were abused in the past – leaving it up to bishops , who uniformly chose to try to keep the past as hidden as possible while extolling their efforts to prevent future abuse. What is creating so much anger now is finding out the truth about the past, at least in countries like the U.S., Australia, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, etc. God only knows how bad it was and still could be in some other places.

    Francis – I think he really never got it about the effects of abuse on those abused until he became Pope. In other words, I suspect he was as bad at handling it as any bishop in almost every other country. But I also think Francis is capable of learning far more than his predecessors and of acting on what he learns far better than the nothing JPII did and the beginnings BXVI made. One more point – Francis is having to deal with many he long considered his equal and his friends – an emotional tie he must try to overcome.

    Francis is right about the evil of the “clerical culture” but I do wonder if he has the courage to declericalize that culture. Schism is a real possibility. Big, big changes need to be made in basic beliefs about “ontologically changed” and celibate priests, about the “teaching authority” of bishops, about views of sex and sexuality. But mostly the Church needs to bring into its structure the voices, thinking, experience of the laity (especially that of women and married people), and empower the laity as co-leaders. The hierarchical structure may have worked well in the times of divine right kings. But this is a time of a more educated and informed people who are empowered to form communities, laws, and nations. We see all this disfunction in a beloved institution and want to help, not just sit around pretending we are too stupid to have any ideas.

    There is an interesting and provocative post over at Questions from a ewe on “Requesting a private discussion with the pope.” It clearly makes the point about the closed culture of the Church that just denies and deflects any “outsiders” voice. Check it out if you haven’t yet seen it.

  • I well aware of that. Google St. Peter Damien.

    There is always my favorite: the castration of pretty boys with good singing voices for the musical pleasure of the popes— so they said. The last one was in the 1880’s, I think.

  • Can you imagine these old, crinkly more likely fat – perhaps obesely so, twink chasing clerics?

    It’s repulsive to think about. These are truly repulsive “men”. And evil as well, lost in their distorted and disfiguring sensuality.

    And what’s worse is that none of seminarians had the nads to drop them with left hook?

    What sort of frail, gay-curious seminarians are we attracting. It’s creepy to think about.

    Who else are creepers in hiding?

    Can the Vatican reach out and jail these degenerate cardinals and bishops, and priests…like the two found in car in Miami doing each other?

    They should be put on a bread and water diet in a Vatican brig for 30 days, with a “discipline” left in their solitary cell.

  • I agree, ATF. I also think Francis is being unfairly blamed for mistakes made by “Saint” John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI, which he has inherited — and that the agenda of this nasty attack goes well beyond dealing with the abuse crisis, and is about the one percent in the U.S. trying to muzzle Catholic social teaching (and the gospel).

    Could not agree with you more about the evil of the clerical culture and the need to declericalize the church — and I share your reservations about whether Francis can and will undertake that project. I have bookmarked the Questions from a Ewe post, which someone else had recommended to me, and will read it — and appreciate your mentioning it.

  • Thanks for inviting us to share your lurid imaginings, ThomasA, but I think I’ll take a pass.

    Do you mean that you imagine these clerics you abhor as old and crinkly and obesely fat like Thomas Aquinas?

  • I certainly hope that the archives cause some questions to be raised.

    I find the position of the US bishops to be disingenuous. So, they “announced they wanted a full-scale Vatican investigation into how McCarrick was able to rise through the ranks, despite his misconduct.” Well, each of them should look into the mirror for an answer. I cannot believe that there was a single bishop that did not know that abuse was happening — maybe not McCarrick’s specifically )although I imagine a good number of them knew or suspected), but about abuse in general. And each tof them permitted it to continue through their own inaction. So, it’s not just Rome that bears responsibility, but each of them. Each of them supported the toxic atmosphere created by JP2 and B16.

    It’s also incredible that they suddenly want an investigation now that a Pope has actually decided to take steps to curb some of the cover-up. You know that I’m no cheerleader for Francis, but the timing of their outrage is so telling.

  • “The Vatican knew as early as 2000 that seminarians complained that McCarrick pressured them to sleep with him. The Rev. Boniface Ramsay, a professor at a New Jersey seminary, wrote a letter to the Vatican in November 2000 relaying the seminarians’ concerns after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington.

    “St. John Paul II still went ahead with the nomination and made McCarrick a cardinal the following year.”

    So much for the vaunted “Sainthood” of JPII.

  • Let’s say for sake of discussion that JPII was unaware of allegations about McCarrick. It is not unreasonable to presume that JPII — being the authoritarian pope he was — created and maintained an atmosphere of intimidation that effectively stopped anyone from informing him about widespread clerical sexual abuse and episcopal malfeasance. God help any whistleblower contemplating revealing any information that would “scandalize the faithful” or otherwise discredit Holy Mother Church.

  • ” Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys….”
    “Mr. Budzinski’s friend Gary Smith said in an interview that Father Murphy molested him 50 or 60 times, starting at age 12.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html

    “….most were Native Americans abused as children at Jesuit-run missions and boarding schools across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. About 200 of them were molested by Jesuit priests in Alaska, where the clergymen held powerful positions in remote villages. ”

    https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/03/northwest_jesuits_will_pay_166.html

  • “Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for bishops who have committed or covered-up abuse in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable,”

    “No longer”, hence abuse, its cover-up, treatment of guilty bishops, and enabling clericalism have all been acceptable and has been tolerated up till now, QED.

    How far this is removed from even the slightest form of true repentance!

  • This McCarrick “investigation ” is a ploy !

    Who at this point cares !

    This investigation crap is meant to shift the focus from the real problem – the criminal conspiratorial collusion of popes, cardinals, bishops and priests in the rape and sodomy of children….

  • “pressured them to sleep with him”

    What pressure would result in future priests consenting to engage into homosexual activities, which goes against their vows of celibacy, against the RCC sexual ethics laws, as well as against the explicit Old Testament command to men to not have sex with a man?

    What pressure would result in future priests to agree to put a single person’s sexual request above sacred vows, RCC canon law, and God’s commands?

    .What does it tell us about these seminaries and their teachings?

  • The Catholic Church continues to grow at near exponential rates.

    Yet you seem unable or unwilling to grasp that.

  • Arthur Jones writes today,

    “On Jan. 14, 1985, I wrote a four-page, 4,000-word article in Forbes magazine about the management of the Catholic Church, ‘the world’s oldest and largest multinational enterprise.’ The article was headlined: ‘Managing the Lord’s Work.’ …

    The Forbes story detailed the tightness and closed nature of the management, as well as AIM’s key Vatican advice to its own members: ‘Full authority for the top men once chosen.’

    The Church-in-Rome’s managerial closed shop, limited to selected male clerics, was at the root of the pedophilia crisis. Not for what it permitted, but for what the Church-in-Rome (pope, College of Cardinals, Curia and senior archbishops and bishops), i.e., the church bureaucracy, fostered: an exclusive Old Boys Club based on a rigid class system.”

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/what-happened-catholic-church

    And, of course, he knows whereof he speaks. He has been studying and writing about these matters for decades.

    A tight, closed top-down system of management that provides full authority for the top men once chosen. A managerial closed shop limited to selected male clerics: these are exhaustively studies aspects of the current governance system of the Catholic church, which has — as Jones says — led to the pedophilia crisis.

    And yet flying in the face of these facts, and the wll-known propensity of Saint John Paul the Great to rule the Vatican with an iron hand, assisted by his orthodoxy watchdog Cardinal Ratzinger, who demanded that all abuse reports be sent directly to him and obssessively kept meticulous notes on all of them, there are still people who want to claim, ludicrously, that Saint John Paul the Great did not know McCarrick’s history when he 1) appointed him archbishop of D.C. and 2) made him a cardinal.

    Go figure. Stupidity defeats itself every day in the week.

  • Of course …. given your distaste for ”manly men”, hatred for St. John Paul II, and wistful thinking about the Catholic Church some day endorsing same sex physical congress.

  • You managed to get some form of “culture” in there four times.

    No, the Catholic Church will not be adopting the model of the Episcopal Church.

  • Wow!

    New flash: people sin.

    You do as well.

    Some of them are officials in schools, governments, and churches.

  • Karl Marx studied and wrote for decades.

    Did that make him correct?

    Yes, everyone understands that you have a deep abiding hatred for St. John Paul II:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/bilgrimage/bilgrimage_james_alison_on_homosexuality_among_the_clergy_the_anatrella_and_mccarrick_stories_and_th/#comment-4025740332

    Among other things he torpedoed any hope that the Catholic Church would in any way endorse same sex physical congress, something in which you had a longstanding interest in seeing happen.

    You also have stated your dislike for “manly men” sufficient times to make it your motto.

    Poor Francis.

    Poor Bill.

  • ABOLISH THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS, ‘YO, C’MON!

    If you’re a Pope one day and sexual abuses are happening everywhere under your watch, wanna know what ya gonna do? NOTHING. Like all the Popes before you, including John Paul II & Francis, you too will do nothing, lest you blaspheme, defy, nullify “the sacrament of Holy Orders”, knowing that:

    (1) “Ordination [of even sex criminals still] imprints an indelible sacramental character.”

    (2) “This share [of even the sex criminals] in Christ’s office is granted once for all.”

    (3) “Someone validly ordained can, for grave reasons [of sex crimes], be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but [notwithstanding his sex crimes] he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense, because the character imprinted by ordination [even upon sex criminals] is for ever. The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently [despite his history of sex crimes].”

    (4) “Ultimately Christ [still] acts and effects salvation through [even the sex crime-guilty] ordained minister … ‘What flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains dear and reaches the fertile earth … The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light [such that] if it should pass through defiled beings [like sex criminals], it is not itself defiled.'”

    Source: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1597, 1582-1584, sub-quotation from Augustine of Hippo, another messed-up dude.

  • In other news, entitled, “Learning from the Best of All Saints”:

    (1) “John Paul II was a firm supporter of the Legion of Christ, and in 1998 discontinued investigations into sexual misconduct by its leader Marcial Maciel, who in 2005 resigned his leadership and was later requested by the Vatican to withdraw from his ministry.”

    (2) “In 2002, Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, the Catholic Archbishop of Poznań, was accused of molesting seminarians. Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation, and placed sanctions on him, prohibiting Paetz from exercising his ministry as bishop. These restrictions were lifted in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.”

    (3) “In 2004 John Paul II recalled Bernard Francis Law to be Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. Law had previously resigned as archbishop of Boston in 2002 in response to the Catholic Church sexual abuse cases after Church documents were revealed that suggested he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. Law resigned from this position in November 2011.”

    Source: Wikipedia, “Pope John Paul II”.

  • Protecting The Sacrament of the Holy Orders at all costs ain’t “stupidity”; it’s Catholicism at all costs.

  • Protecting The Sacrament of the Holy Orders at all costs ain’t “criminal conspiratorial collusion”; it’s Catholicism at all costs.

  • Protecting The Sacrament of the Holy Orders at all costs ain’t “outright obstruction”; it’s Catholicism at all costs.

  • Protecting The Sacrament of the Holy Orders at all costs ain’t “the hierarchy’s shell game”; it’s Catholicism at all costs.

  • Oh bob! Bobbobbobobobobobobob! Bob! can I call you bob, bob?

    It has only been 187 of your idiotically bobvious and not particularly smart comments since the last time I responded to one of them. I’m beginning to think I’m boring you, or boboring, or something. Oh wait! I’m not responding to your bobliviousness. So you must be boring me!

    And in This case, I made a reference to CATHOLIC PRIESTS “bobbing” the genitalia of small boys. Get it? BOBBING. It’s a legitimate use of the word BOB, as in molesting boys and bobbing them.

    Meanwhile, as more and more and more and more and more of your church scandals come to light, involving priests having sex with pretty much anything that moves, but specializing in small boys and not so small boys— did I mention it was CATHOLIC PRIESTS CALLED BY GOD TO THE PRIESTHOOD HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY BOY CHILDREN,because I don’t want to leave anything out— you once again catch the ultimate case of whataboboutism, grandly announcing the bobliviously bobvious That “everybody sins”. Except that not “everybody” sins by molesting children.

    Hurray for SIN LEVELLING! everyone sins! See! CATHOLIC PRIESTS MOLESTING BOYS AND EACH OTHER! nothing to see here! Look over there! HOMOSEKSHALS! Rainbow flags! Sinsinsinsisnsinssisn.

    Bobbbobobobobobobobb! Can I call ya bob, bob?!?!?!? Here’s a newsflash for ya, bobobobob. Occasionally you have something smart and informed to say. But otherwise, as far as I can see, your couldn’t deconstruct a helium balloon with a bag of nails. Once again, your comments boil down to…

    I AM BOB, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.! HEAR ME ROAR, YA BIG POOPY HEAD!

    Now, off to a lovely vacation with my wonderful husband and our extended family, not one of whom are infected with your nonsense, or who even know you exist.

    See ya 200 comments down the line.

  • No is the answer to that, according to The Catechism of the Catholic Church 828:

    “By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. ‘The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.’ Indeed, ‘holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal.'”

    Unless, of course, the Catholic “Church [no longer] recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her”, permanent canonization is here to stay, well, forever.

  • Wow, sounds like you could use a vacation; or a medication adjustment.
    I’d recommend you taking a good book along to read, such as: the law of judicial precedent- but it probably would be better for you to tune the world out for a a while.
    Have fun.

  • Re: “Is there such a thing as a decanonization process for saints, I wonder?” 

    No, because the Church can’t make mistakes. 

    Or so it says. 

    Supposedly. Somehow. In some way. I guess. 

  • Re: “….and sexual assault of seminarians by homosexuals.” 

    and was covered up by the hierarchy. (There, I fixed your “fix.”) 

  • Thank you for the rant, B O BIG POOPY HEAD.

    Sorry to point out that sin remains sin, even if it is your favorite activity, and that a fan of naked leapfrog is hardly the one to poke his finger in other people’s eyes.

  • The ordinary component of the Church CAN make mistakes.

    Canonization, however, can not err.

    Oh, and Bill Lindsey can err. His axe to grind with St. John Paul II involves that Pope squishing some of his cherished hopes into a pulp.

  • He’s rather perturbed that the public through the political process is slowly making it clear that Obergefell v. Hodges marked the high point of that particular silliness.

  • Everyone sins!!!!

    Hurray for sin levelling!!!

    Everyone sins!!!!

    See!!!! No one is better than anyone else! We’re all sinners here!

    Everyone sins!!!

    Look over there! don’t look over here!

    Everyone sins!!

    Yeah, Bobobobobobobob! Can I call ya bob, bob? Everyone sins. But ONLY SOME OF US CALLED BY GOD TO THE PRIESTHOOD, AND ONLY SOME OF US MOLEST BOYS. GIRLS, AND PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING THAT MOVES.

  • Irrelevant. They were hierarchs in what is, supposedly, God’s holy Church. Gay or straight … or tall or short; black or white; long-haired or short-haired; all of that is of no concern whatever. What they are, are hierarchs who run God’s holy Church. 

    Period. End of discussion. 

  • Oh, but if they had the brain he had.

    Nothing worse than imagining crinkly old creepers still trying to creep wondering what happened to their life.

    St Thomas didn’t have that problem.

    How goes your own retrospective, old man?

  • No it isn’t – it IS the problem. The issue you and others don’t want to address is what was the internal politics of the church during the last 50+ years that led to the scandal and cover up.
    There were clearly a number of homosexual and pedophile issues that existed that were overlooked by all – yet no one has asked why.
    The issue often mentioned is the influence of homosexuality throughout the Curia and seminaries that intentionally recruited homosexual seminarians.

  • I read the NCR article today and find it makes enormous sense. Jones asks a critical question: “…faced with the past 33 years of clerical sexual abuse and cover-up at the highest level of the institution, it is reasonable to ask: How in God’s name had the community Jesus Christ founded come to this?”

    And then he gives an answer that he argues very well: “There are two answers: First, Emperor Constantine, and next, the living examples of famed English Catholic Lord Acton’s dictum: ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.”

    What may have been an effective form of organization for the time and to carry out the mission given to Jesus’ followers in those times – doesn’t work any more. There is nothing sacred about the organizational form of the Church – what is sacred is the mission. With those raised Catholic leaving the faith in the tens of millions because the faith as it is taught doesn’t make sense and as it is practiced does not feed the soul – we need to recognize the ancient shape of the imperial/hierarchical/patriarchal organization is not suitable to today. We need to take a new look at what Jesus really taught and how it has been interpreted, given how much culture, society, knowledge has changed.

    Is the Catholic Church the teacher of Jesus message or is it an idol to be worshipped all on its own?

  • Re: “No it isn’t – it IS the problem.” 

    Wrong. Criminality and cover-up are the problem. If you don’t accept that, then you are part of the problem because you tacitly approve of the criminality and cover-up, and that makes you complicit (morally if not legally). 

    Re: ” The issue you and others don’t want to address is what was the internal politics of the church during the last 50+ years that led to the scandal and cover up.” 

    Irrelevant. Criminality and cover-up are criminality are criminality and cover-up. You’re trying to make it something other than that by pretending that homosexuality “caused” it. It didn’t. Criminality and cover-up are caused by sociopathy. You Church is riddled with sociopaths. 

    For you to deny this reality only makes you complicit with their behavior, as I explained above. 

    Re: “There were clearly a number of homosexual and pedophile issues that existed that were overlooked by all – yet no one has asked why.” 

    There’s no reason to ask because none of that BS is relevant. That you’d hurl it at me only makes you complicit in the criminality and cover-up. 

    Re: “The issue often mentioned is the influence of homosexuality throughout the Curia ….” 

    Stop with your childish irrelevant bellyaching about gays. They exist — even if you’d prefer they didn’t. There’s nothing you can ever do about it, either. Your railing and fuming over them cannot, and will never, magically make them go away, either. 

    All they do is expose you as an infantile whiner and as a cog in the machinery of the Church that allowed criminality and cover-up to run amok in the Church for decades. 

    Oh, and I now suspect you’re a closeted self-hating gay. Like Ted Haggard and George Alan Rekers (among others). 

  • Ok. Let’s expose the cover up, the underlying homosexual and pedophilia tendencies of some priests and hierarchy, bring the seminaries back to the catechism and get out all of the unholy pedophile and homosexual priests and those who covered it up.
    Pretty simple – yes?

  • Ok. Let’s expose everyone and end this once and for all. Let’s remove all homosexual and pedophile priests, those in the hierarchy that condoned, ignored and covered up their behavior; and reform the seminaries and convents to teach orthodox theology and the catechism of the church.
    Agree? Thought so.

  • Re: “Let’s remove all homosexual and pedophile priests, those in the hierarchy that condoned …” 

    Getting rid only of “homosexual” priests is NOT going to get rid of ALL the criminals. It will also NOT get rid of their protectors in the hierarchy. 

    Again, you’re obsessed with gays, for no good reason. 

  • Your hatred for the Catholic Church and Catholics is well-known.

    It does not support your position.

  • You sure have some strong opinions for a non-Catholic.

    In fact, you’ve presented yourself as some sort of agnosti-anti-theist.

    How do you get a vote?

  • The National Catholic Report talks to over 60 ex-Spirit of Vatican II types as it winds down to the nubbing of superannuated former flower children.

    Of course it makes enormous sense … to you.

  • There are unhealthy men in the church; you seem more concerned with the hierarchy than the actual problem.

  • Like I said, you’re more concerned about the hierarchy than the criminals.
    I would prefer to purge both.
    The problem is, the closer we get to the problem within the priesthood, the more uncomfortable you get.

  • Re: “Like I said, you’re more concerned about the hierarchy than the criminals.” 

    The hierarchs allowed the criminals in, and enabled them. Without their assistance there’d have been little or no criminality. But with their help, the Church became Mafia-like. 

    Re: “The problem is, the closer we get to the problem within the priesthood, the more uncomfortable you get.” 

    That’s what YOU are doing. YOU are the one who’s too close to the hierarchs and too unwilling to admit they might have done anything wrong. YOU are the one who assumes homosexuality is the cause of this, when it’s not — sociopathy is, and by their actions the hierarchs have proven to be as sociopathic as the most abusive priests. 

    Oh, and all your railing and fuming and screeching about gays in the Church, cannot and will never magically explain things like priests having children out of wedlock, and in at least a few known cases, pressuring women to get abortions (as revealed in the PA grand jury report, among other places). So yeah, please, keep blustering and raging over gays … it leaves at least half the Church’s problem blissfully untouched. 

    As I said, I now strongly suspect you are, yourself, a closeted, self-hating gay. I actually pity you. A solution, of course, is available to you, if you want to take it up, which is to grow up, accept reality, and stop defending an indefensible Church by making its scandal into something it’s not. 

  • Bobbobobobobobob! bob! can I call ya bob, bob?

    My “well known hatred for the Catholic Church?”

    For once we are in total agreement. When you, as in YOU, o Mouth of Bob, have absolutely nothing to say to address my comment about SIN LEVELLING, it is a great idea just to change the subject to an imaginary hatred of your church.

    After all, why should you be any different than your church?

  • Awwwwww, bob! Still obsessing in your head over whatever it is you imagine my sex life to be.

    In your head.

    Imagining!

    Obsessing!

    Keep thinking about it, bob. Keep thinking about it. And when you don’t have a thing to say to address my comment about the priests in your church who molest little boys, and big boys, and each other, and pretty much anything that moves, and then covers it up, and as Poop Francis did yesterday, blame the whole thing on the Devil…

    Be sure to make a comment about whatever it is you imagine my sex life to be.

  • Dude. I thought you are on vacation?!
    I’ve been extremely clear about my position on that. I am for gutting it and rebuilding it; but, we can talk about that later.
    Go enjoy your vacation.

  • Thank you. I am enjoying my vacation with my family very much. But right now, I’m having my morning coffee and this is the place where I can enjoy A little bit of religion and a little bit of politics.

  • You can suspect all you want, but you’d be incorrect.
    I’ve laid my case out numerous times: defrock every unholy priest, bishop and cardinal who perpetrated pedophile or homosexual acts or condoned, ignored or covered them up. I stand corrected and include the heterosexual priests who did many scandalous deeds as well.
    There is a problem in the priesthood that is a result of poor recruiting for the seminary that was perpetrated by the hierarchy.
    I am not afraid to bring the issues to light and directly address them; it seems you are afraid to do so or you have an agenda to feminize the priesthood.

  • Re: “I’ve laid my case out numerous times …” 

    Yawn. Catholic apologetics and anti-gay rhetoric don’t impress me, no matter how many times you post it. 

    Re: “… defrock every unholy priest, bishop and cardinal who perpetrated pedophile or homosexual acts or condoned, ignored or covered them up.” 

    And your sanctimonious rage over gays has what, if anything, to do with that? 

    Re: “I am not afraid to bring the issues to light and directly address them; it seems you are afraid to do so or you have an agenda to feminize the priesthood.” 

    I have no idea what you’re talking about re: “feminizing the priesthood.” I do know you keep raging and fuming and blustering and hollering about gays in the Church, but your weird, unhealthy obsession with gays doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere. Oh, and my desire that the Church accept responsibility for what it did, including all the justice-obstructing hierarchs turning themselves in, confessing to obstructing justice, pleading guilty to it, and accepting appropriate sentences, has nothing to do with whether or not the priest is “feminized.” 

    So please, by all means, keep yammering about gays in the Church and your so-called “feminized” priesthood (whatever that might be). All you’re doing is further convincing me you’re just a pitiable, closeted, self-hating gay Catholic. 

  • somehow the question is where is your hatred of sin, Bob ? i know there are sins you condemn strongly . but the abuse of children ? that is not hatred of the church . even critics who don’t care for the church do us a favor in holding our feet to the fire .

    after it is totally stopped, there must be clear and defined rules to see that such as the above don’t happen again . francis is making more progress than predecessors but its not done yet . 20, 30 years down the road of public scandal and it is not done yet .

    that should not be just anyone’s position . it should be the demand of us all .

  • Im not here to impress you.
    I’m just looking to clean up the mess left by those men who like to touch kids and other men.
    Pretty simple.

  • Just pointing out one of the problems. Sorry you condone the sexual assaults of seminarians that occurred.

  • Who said I did? I’ve been clear: I want all criminals in the Church prosecuted. That would have to include the hierarchs whose obstruction of justice enabled the rest of the criminals to get away with their abuse. 

    You’re the one who would, if you were able, allow the abuses to continue, by leaving in place all the hierarchs whose policies and activities encouraged the abuse in the first place. You approve of them and their mafiosi-style tactics. Unless the hierarchs are removed and punished, and the Church’s operational policies fundamentally altered, the abuse will just continue. 

  • The “at all costs” is precisely the problem. That’s why the RCC has implicitly condoned thru enabling the rape and abuse of children for generations.

    Far better for the RCC to fade away than the abuse continue.

  • Anne Rice in her early career before Interview with a Vampire, wrote a well researched book about the castrati in Europe It is titled ‘Cry to Heaven’. It’s fascinating. The last castrati was recorded in a live performance in the mid 1920’s. He was the only castrati known to be recorded.

  • RCC is the model for never “fad[ing] away [despite] the abuse continu[ing]”. My Evangelical people of faith is adopting that same model as we speak, what with “the abuse continu[ing]” therein. Remember: RCC were the very “wolves” apostle Paul had warned the Ephesian church elders about. Meaning: they’ll last forever until the fulfillment of the Revelation Prophecy, which by then will encompass Evangelicals, Atheism, Hinduism, you name it. Sorry to be the bearers of horrific news here, buddy. But I hear you, and thank you for your views. Hang in there.

    And now a word from our Sponsor:

    “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:27-32)

  • Your post about my comment as expressed on Shea is inaccurate. However, as Mark has at last blocked me, I would appreciate your not putting me in the position of having to see your opinions of my views there without being able to respond to them. Of course, I cannot impose this on you and would not if I could. (I never blocked anyone but spammers when I had a blog, though I sometimes halted discussions if they got too vicious.) I am asking you for it as a courtesy to me and this method was the only one I could think of to do so.

  • I have never blocked anyone but once. I have no tolerance for vicious anti semites and more than I do for vicious homophobes, and so that person was blocked.

    If you can see my comment, you can respond to it.

  • Mark has blocked me from reception on CAEI at all. As I don’t suppose it would be fair to hijack this site to talk about other things, I won’t try. If I ever open a new blog, or re-open my old one again (it was called The Other World but it’s closed down and, I think, inaccessible), I’ll let you know. It was a culture blog, though and I didn’t use it for polemics, which I thought were unhealthy for me. I rather wish I had stuck to that view, with regard to comments, but there you are now, as the Irish say….

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