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Acknowledge your courage
It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.
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If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.
Together, we can heal one another.
SNAP urges archbishop of Washington to forbid Vatican official who endorsed coverup from leading mass in DC
Dear Archbishop Wuerl:
We urge you to forbid a controversial church official who clearly endorses law-breaking and irresponsible behavior from leading a mass in your archdiocese this weekend.
You know all of the disturbing facts about Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a former Vatican official who is coming here in just a few days:
Giving him the honor of leading this mass is problematic in two ways. First, it rewards wrong-doing, and that in turn encourages future wrong-doing. Second, it rubs salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of millions of hurting Catholics and thousands of hurting victims.
- He thanked and congratulated a French bishop, in a letter he wrote in 2001, for hiding a sexually abusive priest.
- He allegedly was authorized to send that same letter to bishops across the globe.
- He defended his 2001 letter just days ago at a conference in Spain, arguing that the French bishop couldn't tell police about a predator priest because he learned about the crimes in the confessional. The French bishop himself, however, contradicted this claim, admitting that the priest admitted his crimes in a normal conversation, which is not a privileged communication according to church rules.
- He now claims, without providing any evidence, that he wrote the letter endorsing the French bishop with the approval of the late Pope John Paul II.
- He has expressed no remorse for his letter or his deceptive comments.
- He has made similarly hurtful comments about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in the recent past.
- It should go without saying that Castrillon-Hoyos' words and deeds are very hurtful to clergy abuse victims, Catholics, and anyone who cares about kids.
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Vatican official who praised felon bishop for obstructing justice for rapist-priest to lead US high mass honoring pope; SNAP protests
"I congratulate you for not denouncing (a convicted, rapist priest) to the civil administration." -- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos
According to a SNAP national press release issued earlier this morning, on April 24, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in northwest Washington, Castrillon Hoyes is scheduled lead a “Solemn Pontifical Mass” at the shrine’s high altar. The mass is considered an historic event since it will be the first of its kind since the Basilica was founded. The shrine is considered “America’s Catholic Church” and is the largest church in North America.
Castrillon Hoyos proudly claimed that his praise of the felon bishop Pierre Pican of the Bayeux-Lisieux, convicted of withholding evidence about a convicted priest rapist in his diocese, was approved by previous pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II in a letter the cardinal was instructed by JPII to send to all French bishops.
Later today, SNAP will conduct a news conference via teleconference protesting the high mass by Hoyos.
Read the full press release on the SNAP National Website ...;
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European press reports priest who "took the fall" for Ratzinger was pressured; SNAP President respondsIn a letter to a friend, seen by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Gerhard Gruber wrote that he was “begged” in numerous phone calls and after receiving a prepared statement by fax for him to sign. The magazine said Gruber expresses unhappiness in the letter at being given the sole blame in public.
"Last month media reports claimed that in 1980, Pope Benedict, as Archbishop of Munich, had mishandled the case of paedophile priest Fr Peter Hullermann. The priest was moved to Munich for “therapy” in 1980 after abusing a boy. The psychiatrist dealing with his case warned he was not to be allowed work with children.
Hullermann was reassigned to parish duties in Munich within weeks of arriving there. The priest reoffended and in June 1986 he was convicted of the sexual abuse of other minors and given an 18-month suspended sentence. When this emerged last month, Gruber assumed total responsibility, thus seeming to absolve Pope Benedict."
In a press release issued today, SNAP President Barbara Blaine responded concerning the reports of the letter from Gruber that he was coerced:
"This is a very serious and troubling allegation which directly implicates top Catholic officials in very recent deceit. An independent investigation is needed to get to the bottom of this. If even now high ranking church staffers are lying to protect one another from criticism, that bodes ill for any real internal church reform." -- SNAP National President Barbara Blaine, earlier today.
Read the stories:
In the German publication Der Speigel ...
In the German publication The Local ...
In the Irish publication Irish Times ...
Read SNAP's full response ...
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Church in "worst credibility crisis since the Reformation" says theologian Hans Küng in open letter to all RCC bishopsLegendary catholic theologian Hans Küng, in an open letter to the Roman bishops of the world published Friday, strongly indicts Benedict XVI for making worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church.
In Küng's open letter to the bishops of the world, he claims that the pope and his administration (the "Roman Curia") is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of sexual abuse and child rape perpetrated by priests.
"And now, on top of these many crises comes a scandal crying out to heaven – the revelation of the clerical abuse of thousands of children and adolescents, first in the United States, then in Ireland and now in Germany and other countries. And to make matters worse, the handling of these cases has given rise to an unprecedented leadership crisis and a collapse of trust in church leadership." -- Hans Küng
Read the full story in the Irish Times ...
Read "Shot across the papal bow" on the Voice from the Desert Website ...
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German news reports that Ratzinger's German fall guy may be ready to reverse on taking blame for reassigning predator priestIn a report from Malta today, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, citing German news outlet Der Speigel, reports that Gerhard Gruber, the cleric who took blame away from then Munich Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger for reassigning a predator priest, may be ready to change his story.
"In statements released both by the Munich archdiocese and by the Vatican, Gruber said that he had been responsible for personnel decisions and that Ratzinger was not informed of the details of the Hullermann case.
"Now, however, Der Spiegel is reporting that Gruber has privately told friends that he felt pressure to act as a “scapegoat.” According to the account, he was sent a fax with the details of the statement already prepared and felt pressure to sign off on it.
"Der Spiegel does not cite any sources for its account. Asked about it tonight, (Vatican spokesman) Lombardi declined comment because he had not yet seen the article."
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Cardinal claims John Paul II approved praising felon bishop for witholding rapist priest information from policeCardinal Dario Hoyos, retired head of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy - the office in charge of priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church -- has claimed that Pope John Paul II approved a letter signed by Hoyos praising a French bishop convicted of shielding a convicted pedophile-rapist priest.
Reporting from Malta today, NCROnline's John Allen writes:
"In Spain, a defiant Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, now 81 and retired, insisted that he had the approval of Pope John Paul II when he sent a letter to a French bishop in 2001 applauding him for not reporting an abuser priest to the police."
Speaking at a press conference in Spain earlier today, Hoyos said:
"After consulting the pope, I wrote a letter to the bishop, congratulating him as a model of a father who does not turn in his children," he added.
"The Holy Father authorised me to send that letter to all bishops in the world and we posted it on the Internet," he added in a reference to Pope Benedict XVI's predecessor, John Paul II who died in 2005.
Read the full story in the NCROnline today ...
Read the press conference report in the Times of India today ...
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Vatican confirms Congregation for Clergy official's letter praising bishop convicted for shielding priest rapist from justiceAn Associated Press and Reuters story published yesterday reports that four days after a bishop was convicted for shielding a priest-rapist, the bishop was praised by a high ranking Vatican official in charge of priests and bishops.
Priest Rene Bissey was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2000 for raping 11 minors in the 1990's. In 2001, the priest's bishop was convicted for shielding him. Four days later, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then the head of the Vatican office in charge of priests, praised the convicted felon bishop for his acts. Hoyos lauded French bishop Pierre Pican of Bayaeux-Lisieux for risking prison time to defend one of the Vatican's "son-priests."
"I congratulate you for not having turned in a priest to the civil administration, and I am delighted to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all the other bishops of the world, will have preferred prison rather than to turn in its son-priest." -- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy, 2001.
Hoyos is the Vatican official who conducted the talks that led to the January 2009 decision to readmit four excommunicated bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X to the Church. One of those re-admitted bishops was Richard Williamson, convicted yesterday, April 16, 2010 in Germany for denying the Holocaust.
"We know what will happen next: The Vatican will either ignore this incredibly revealing and disturbing letter, or try to explain it away in some bizarre way. None of the world’s 5,000 bishops will chastise the Cardinal. No Vatican official will either. When pressed about this, church managers will gently try to distance themselves from this irresponsible move and claim that abuse is now handled differently in the church." -- Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director, Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests."
Read the Reuters News story ...
Read the AP story in the Taiwan News ...
Read the "Embarrassing letter" story in the Ethiopian Review ...
Read "Bishop sentenced for not exposing paedophile priest" in The Tablet ...
Read the outrageous story and SNAP's full response on the SNAP national Website ...
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Ellie Laks, a lifelong lover of animals, founded the Gentle Barn Foundation a decade ago and has given a permanent home to over 14 species of animals that were rescued from abuse or neglect.
After rehabilitating the animals, the Gentle Barn brings them together with abused and troubled adults and teenagers for therapy.
"Abused people, animals find healing in each other" on the Voice of America Website ...
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Pope speaks up on sex abuse: since church is "under attack from the world ... it is necessary to repent"; SNAP respondsAn AP article in today's Washington Post reports that the pope, in an apparantly impromptu sermon, broke his silence on the worldwide outcry concerning sexual abuse by priests.
"But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins ... we realize that it's necessary to repent ..." -- Benedict XVI
"Factual disclosures are not 'attacks' and 'penance' protects no one," said Mark Serrano, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the U.S. group.
"When the Pope can't bring himself to utter the words 'pedophile priest' or 'child sex crimes' or 'cover-ups' or 'complicit bishops,' it's hard to have faith that he is able to honestly and effectively deal with this growing crisis," Serrano said in a statement.
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All 32 UK Catholic bishops denounce Vatican's Bertone for statement linking paedophilia to homosexualityA statement from Marcus Stock, general secretary to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said there was no empirical data to conclude that paedophilia had anything to do with homosexuality. His statement bears the authority and approval of all 32 Catholic bishops in England and Wales.
His statement bears the authority and approval of all 32 Catholic bishops in England and Wales.
This strong resistance, together with that of the French Government, to Vatican second-in-command Tarcisio Bertone's attempts to blame the church's systemic pedophilia on homosexuals is oddly resonant with the protests of Gay rights campaigners and victim support groups worldwide who also denounce this latest Vatican insult.
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AP investigation finds 30 more convicted or credibly accused priest molesters, transfered and still working for the churchLate yesterday, a shocking new Associated Press investigation found that 30 child molesting Catholic clerics are now working in new countries for the church, often near kids, despite having been convicted or having faced credible child sex allegations in a previous country.
"A priest who admitted to abuse in Los Angeles went to the Philippines, where U.S. church officials mailed him checks and advised him not to reveal their source. A priest in Canada was convicted of sexual abuse and then moved to France, where he was convicted of abuse again in 2005. Another priest was moved back and forth between Ireland and England, despite being diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy with boys." -- Associated Press
It is not unusual practice in the church for predators such as these to be quietly shipped from more wealthy nations to the Third World, where kids are even more vulnerable.
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"Holy" See forgives "satanic" Beatles, "degenerate" homosexual Oscar Wilde, and "dangerous" heretic Galileo; maintains icey silence on Harry PotterIn the midst of global outrage at the true depth and breadth of the horrendous sexual abuse of children by priests, subsequent diabolical coverup by pope and bishops, and the violent verbal abuse of society and "the press" by the deeply corrupt Roman Catholic hierarchy under Joseph Ratzinger -- aka Benedict XVI -- comes a ludicrous moment, darkly comic in the face of the profoundly tragic. Jim Watkins of The Huffington Post says that this farcical timing "could well be the worst attempt ever to change the subject!"
The official Vatican news outlet, L'Osservatore Romano, has added the Beatles to the Holy See's long "forgiveness" list of notorious 'evil secularists," once condemned by the morally aloof Roman church. The absolution was given to honor the 40th anniversary of the break-up of the Fab Four.
"This Beatles-is-beautiful revelation in the face of ongoing allegations of sexual abuse by priests worldwide is sadly illustrative of the Vatican’s handling of the matter. Irrelevant. Disconnected. And once again, decades too late." -- Commentary, ChronicleHerald.ca
Similarly, Wilde, who was once sent to prison for acts of "gross indecency" with Lord Alfred Douglas and later converted to Catholicism, and who was regarded by the Roman Church in the century since his death as a "dangerous degenerate and dissolute nonconformist" -- was just last year given Roman Catholic absolution as well. L'Osservatore published the holy office's turn-around saying that Wilde was "one of the personalities of the 19th century who most lucidly analyzed the modern world in its disturbing as well as its positive aspects."
But despite the ludicrous "forgiveness" of these notorious sinners, there is still this kind of memorial to commemorate:
"You want to talk anniversaries? Here’s one for the Catholic Church: 20 years ago, the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, N.L., was closed for good. That was 1990. The allegations of sexual and physical abuse by Christian Brothers and staff dated back to the 1950s. The official coverups started in earnest in the mid-1970s." -- Chronicle Herald
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