Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Vatican's Gig Is Up In Ireland

Prime Minister Enda Kenny made it abundantly clear that Ireland will no longer let the Vatican have its way with the Irish. The Prime Minister reclaimed his people from the dark side of the Vatican and the Irish government is in the process of removing the Vatican's last bastion of control over its citizens by secularizing  its educational system. Currently the Catholic Church runs 90% of the schools in Ireland.

Prime Minister Kenny hit the mark most politicians ignore: the Vatican has powerfully positioned itself on the backs of its voiceless laity, holding it hostage for political diplomacy and financial greed.

In an unprecedented smoke and mirrors tactic, the Vatican has convinced unwitting heads of state that it is a country. The implication being there are citizens of the Vatican.  The truth of the matter is, there are no Vatican citizens other than the Catholic hierarchy. Members of the worldwide Catholic Church do not reside in the Vatican; they are citizens of countries around the world. Those countries have rules and consequences for breaking the rules. Protecting children tops the list.

The Vatican didn't bank on those tortured and abused children growing up, voting and having a voice heard round the world. Thank God for the Irish!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Peter Pence Pockets Pinched

The Holy See is back in the black primarily due to record ticket sales at Vatican museums and the Vatican Bank kicking in US$79.9 million for charitable works.

The bad news for the Vatican and the Catholic Church is the US$22 million lost in the Peter Pence Collection, the account held for donations from worldwide lay members earmarked for charitable work. In previous years, the United States accounted for 26% of those donations.

The Vatican did not give an explanation of why losses were so high in the Peter Pence Collection but one can guess it has to do with the faithful whose eyes and ears have been opened to the Church's hypocrisy and arrogance in handling thousands of scandals involving Church clerics and hierarchy.

Following Catholic procedure of no transparency, the Vatican did not issue the report at a press conference so there's no more information.

Consider this: In June 2010, the grassroots group, Send the Bishops a Me$$sage, launched a national campaign urging parishioners to re-direct their donations from the Peter Pence Collection to non-church charities.  The group believes using money is the only way to communicate dissatisfaction with Church officials.

Send the Bishops a Me$$age brings up an issue of interest on its website:
  • "Lay Catholics have no rights. They are to pray, pay and obey...Lay Catholics have no elections, recall procedures or impeachment processes that allow them to replace those in authority."
Pope Benedict XVI's pumped up campaign efforts to bring back the lapsed Catholics may get them to pray and obey but will he get them to pay?

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Roman Catholic Church wants us to believe it's rid its ranks of pedophile priests and all the cover ups have been uncovered but more bombs are dropping daily.

This week Dan Rather Reports on HDNet aired an investigation of the Los Angeles Diocese protecting, harboring and ultimately abetting yet another LA pedo-priest at the same time Cardinal Roger Mahoney declared his "zero tolerance" policy on child molestation. The program Dan Rather Reports: All Is Not Forgiven will air again Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 12:00PM ET on HDNet.

Meanwhile in Chicago, Judge Jeffrey Lawrence issued a statement all but calling the Jesuits liars after reviewing testimony and granting plaintiffs punitive damages in their case against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus.

The Kansas City Diocese is being sued for violation of federal child pornography laws.

The list keep growing. The financial awards to plaintiffs keep growing. The lies and denials of the Catholic Church keep growing. An finally the concerns of the insurance companies making all those payouts for defense lawyers and settlements are growing.

The U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Company, insurer of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, has petitioned the federal court there to absolve it from five new civil cases filed against the Catholic Church. In short, the insurance company is fed up paying claims for child molestation. Certainly that petition has grabbed the attention of the Catholic hierarchy. Will the Vermont decision, if granted, open the floodgates to other insurers ultimately leaving the Catholic Church alone to pay for its sins?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mark Grisanti: An Open Letter of Thanks

Dear Senator Grisanti:

Thank you for not allowing your religion to stand in the way of your representation of the civil rights of all your constituents.

Your vote assenting to civil unions was courageous in the face of the strong arm tactics put forth by the Catholic hierarchy in New York to influence your vote.

The bishops' decision to play schoolyard games and employ fighting words in retaliation speaks volumes about the intent of the Catholic Church to take its 21st Century Crisade off the battle field into the voting booth.

It should not come as a surprise to them that not every American citizen wants to be a Catholic. Representatives such as you are keeping us free from that religious yoke one vote at a time.

My sincere thanks,

Maryjane Churchville


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Lady of Perpetual Protest and the Krumm

Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director of SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests) is standing outside of Sts. Simon and Jude Church in Orange County, California, this morning trying to raise awareness among parishoners of the upcoming trial of accused pedo-priests, of Gus Krumm and Alexander Manville.

So far this morning Ms. Casteix and her group have been asked to remove themselves from church property where it is alleged the two accused pedo-priests are residing.

She has taken a post on Magnolia Avenue in front of the sign soliciting parents to sign their children up for the 2011-12 school year at Sts. Simon and Jude's Catholic School. A school that knowingly harbored these pedophile priests among its students.

So far the reponse from parishoners has towed the Catholic line: ignore the information coming from outside the Church. It boggles the mind that parents can ignore criminal behavior by their clerics and send their little ones off to the game of Catholic Pedophlie Roulette.

Opus Dei: A Catholic Way

One has to admit that religions worldwide have some interesting albeit kinky practices to reach a spiritual connection with God but the Catholic organization, Opus Dei, tops the chart.

Opus Dei was founded by Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, a Spanish priest and author of The Way, which has sold more than 5 million copies in 50 languages.  Both Escriva and Opus Dei are polarizing subjects in the Catholic Church. His beatification by Pope John Paul II (himself a controversial candidate for sainthood) stirred concerns of Escriva's support of the Franco regime in Spain and the fundamental practices of his organization. His mantra, "Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sacrified be paid...Glorified by pain!" (From: The Way, Josemaria Escriva) pretty much sums up his mission of work and sacrifice.

ODAN (Opus Dei Awareness Network) a group of former members of Opus Dei, makes tranparent some of the more disturbing aspects of Opus Dei's practices of corporal mortification for self sacrifice and atoning for sins, namely the daily use of the cilice and the weekly use of the discipline.
  • Cilice: a spiked chain worn around the upper thigh for two hours each day leaving small prick holes in the flesh.

  • Discipline: a cord-like whip used on the buttocks and back once a week.

All this done in secrecy, of course.

These handy devices can be purchased on the web at Prices range from $39.00 USD for the 1 mm silver cilice with a suede tie to $475.00 USD for the 3 link 2mm gauge full leg cilice of pure hand wrought silver. The "beautiful black leather" carrying case sells for $24.00 USD.

The disciplines range from $30.00 USD for the hemp piece with seven tails - one for each of the deadly sins- to $49.00 USD for the chain metal discipline hand made by Italian nuns.

Opus Dei is currently educating Catholic students at five schools in the United States: The Heights School and Oak Crest in Washington, D.C.; The Montrose School and Northridge Prep in Boston, MA and The Willows Academy in Chicago, IL

Rumor has it that Madonna, the icon of 80's rock, spent 90 minutes in the Opus Dei office; hopefully doing recon for her next project. One should be wary of a guy who preaches: "Deny yourself. It is so beautiful to be a victim." (from The Way, Josemaria Escriva)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Catholics and the Baby Business

Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, a Benedictine run Catholic College, broke ground for its on campus pregnancy and aftercare maternity home called Room at the Inn. The Catholic organizers tout it as the first college-based maternity center in the nation.

I read the press release with a chilling reminiscence of another era of Catholic run homes for pregnant girls, the Magdalene Laundries, The Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers' homes. The girls at these homes were forced to raise their children for a year or two and then hand them over for adoption. The lifelong pain and anguish of their experiences is captured in two books, Ann Fessler's The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe v. Wade and Mike Millote's Banished Babies: The Secret History of Ireland's Baby Export Business.

Yes, it's a different time. And yes, Catholic organizations reach out to those in need; but a Catholic college with a maternity home attached? What gives here? Catholic dogma still forbids sex outside of marriage; labeled a mortal sin. Catholic charities have historically run maternity homes for unwed mothers creating enormous profit centers for the Catholic Church. Those numbers have dwindled severly since Roe v. Wade and, as Catholics would put it, a secularization of society.

The college contends the maternity and aftercare facility will allow girls to continue their education. A noble mission. But what is going to happen to the children and the mothers after the two year period when they leave? Will the babies leave with their birthmothers?