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?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Buddha and the Pope

Now we can all play at being the Pope. We can bully, wage war, lie, cheat and keep deep dark secrets while virtually having fun.

Cheyenne Erlich, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation guru and his world wide band of mysterious gamers at SGR Games, LLC launched their online game "Vatican Wars" on Facebook last week. The Holy Grail is to become the Pope and make changes to the hot button Catholic practices of abortion, same sex marriage, ordination of women and the use of birth control.

You just know the eyebrows are being raised at the Holy See but not a peep has been heard. It could go either way for the Catholic Church. The opening page of the site contains disclosure that SGR Games, LLC has no relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican or the Holy See.

SGR Games, LLC was named after Saint Genesius of Rome who is said to be the patron saint of actors although the legitimacy of his sainthood is a matter of controversy in the Church.

It could very well be that this Tibetan Buddhist is helping to open the eyes of the world to the real Church or this Vassar graduate did the this game will we conquer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Catholic Mirror of the Wall: Catholic League Condemns Victim Advocates

Last week Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights drew on an aged old Catholic practice reminiscent of the Inquisition. He condemned victim advocate organizations Snap (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests), NSAC (National Survivors Advocates Coalition) and by essentially labeling them witch-hunters.

Mr. Donohue seems to have a disconnect about who the victims are here - we're talking about young children in the care of men and women of God. The imbalance of power is so enormous as not to be believed. These children carried the shame, betrayal and Catholic secret throughout their lives until compassionate groups reached out to offer help. The Catholic Church did, and still does, almost nothing to heal the wounds inflicted by its demonic clerics.

We ask: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who would Bill Donohue call if his child were sexually abused by the parish priest?"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Pope and the Pew

The cat's out of the bag and Pope Benedict XVI has done something about it. Unfortunately I'm not referring to the sexual abuse crises of the Catholic Church to which the Church took roughly nine years to react. It was the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that really got the attention of the Vatican.

In 2008 the Pew Forum published results of its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey identifying the Catholic Church as the denomination experiencing the greatest loss in membership as a result of affiliation changes. The study further indicates "These losses would have been even more pronounced were it not for the offsetting impact of immigration." (See

The study's summary of major religious traditions in the U.S. had the Catholic Church in the number two spot with 23.9 per cent of the U.S. population behind Evangelical Churches with 26.3 per cent of the population.

So the Pope dug in his heels and resurrected Pope John Paul II's appeal for a new evangelization. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI announced his creation of a pontifical council charged with pumping up the membership specifically targeting inactive Catholics, or as he described them, people " through a progressive secularization of society and a kind of eclipse of the sense of God." (Vatican City, Catholic News Service, June 28,2010)

Taking the lead from the top Church, the Catholics are looking for men and women whose lives have been personally changed by Jesus and who can find the words to share their personal stories with others.

The Church has also implemented the nifty corporate practice of merging with smaller entities, i.e. welcoming the conservative Anglican Church of America into its fold.

But beware, this "new evangelization" has a far greater reach. Pope John Paul II's initiative declared that "The new evangelization calles for a clearly conceived, serious and well organized effort to evangelize culture." (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 1970)

U.S. Catholic bishops and organizations have rallied to that call with unprecedented grassroots political organization, taking the crusade off the battlefield into the voting booth. Their mission to "evangelize culture" has them in the pulpits, on line and in the media spotlight lobbying for Catholic agenda dignities to the extent that eyebrows have been raised as to their crossing the line of federal laws regulating non-profit organizations.

Bishops are using corporate bullying tactics to pressure Catholic politicians into towing the Catholic Party line by refusing sacraments to those who don't vote according to doctrine. Unwittingly, or not, the Church has a clamp on the U.S. Supreme Court with five Catholic Supreme Court Justices out of its nine members.

All this high profiling to garner new members while flying in the face of international accusations of the Church's crimes against children worldwide seems to be working.

The National Council of Churches 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches listed the Roman Catholic Church in the number one position with 68.5 million members and reported growth of .57 percent; however, according to the NCC, ten of the 25 largest churches did not report updated figures (News from the National Council of Churches, February 14, 2011). It's interesting to note that the Catholic Church found the time in 2010 to compile this report; but has ignored the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for fourteen years....onward Christian soldiers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do Vatican Guidelines Protect Guilty Priests?

Whew! Finally the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to accept revisions to its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that include child pornography as a crime against the Church. A day late and a dollar short for Kansas City but progress nonetheless. Interestingly, the vote was not unanimous. Five bishops dissented and four abstained. No word on who or why yet; and considering most of the discussions prior to the vote went on behind closed doors we may never know.

In May 2011 the Vatican circulated a letter to all bishops worldwide asking that they develop guidelines that establish clear and coordinated procedures to combat sexual abuse. The U.S. Conference put guidelines into effect in 2002 in response to the endemic allegations against priests originating in Boston under the guidance of Cardinal Bernard Law.

Here's what some of the top guns on the issue are saying about the those guidelines:
  • "...a weak, vague and largely unenforceable set of guidelines, We have yet to see a single Catholic employee, from custodian to cardinal, disciplined for breaking any part of the charter." David Clohessy, Director of SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests)
  • "The charter has served the Church well...the Bishops' Conference does not have the power to sanction church officials, and that when followed as written, the charter is effective.." Bishop Blase Cupich, head of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young  People
  • "The Vatican letter likely will cause bishops' conferences worldwide to create policies that preserve the power of the bishops to handle allegations of clergy sexual abuse, and that allows priests with admitted or established allegations to remain in ministry." Terence McKiernan, President,
So why spend all that time and energy creating and debating a document that essentially has no teeth to protect our children and yourth? Consider the following:
  • positive press image
  • paper trail for litigation
  • palliative posturing for the faithful
Reminder: This all comes on the heels of Amnesty Internationl's Annual Report 2001: The State of the World's Human Rights citing the Vatican's refusal to comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requirement to file reports on its efforts to protect the rights of children. Member countries must file reports initially two years after acceding to the convention and then every five years. The Vatican's report is fourteen (14) years overdue.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Book No Pope Would Want You to Read is filled with hard hitting truths tracing the Catholic Church's scramble for power and money using the veil of its self created religion.  The content goes beyond the smash TV series The Borgias and trumps all up to the minute media coverage of molestations and cover-ups. The Catholic Church serves as the template for today's corporate greed and world wars waged in the name of someone's god.

This site is to keep the dialogue going long after you've read the book...because we know the Church hasn't curbed its appetite nor positioned itself for an act of contrition evidenced by its US Conference of Catholic Bishops and local pastors violating US federal law by lobbying against amendments for federal funding of abortions, civil unions, euthanasia, health care reform and reporting of sex offenders. This practice takes the crusade off the battle field and into the voting booth.

Today that conference will convene in Bellevue, Washington, with an interesting line up on the agenda:
  • vote on revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (adopted in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crises; revised in 2005)
  • debate and vote of physician assisted suicide
  • present efforts of the USCCB on the Defense of Marriage
  • report on Anglicanorum coebitus, the Vatican guidelines allowing communities of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church
  • vote on two liturgical items pertaining to the Spanish translation of the Roman Missal and a collection of prayers for major feasts in Spanish speaking countries.
It's taken the Catholic Church nine (9) years to reach a decision on how to deal will clerical sex offenders; it's going to debate and vote on what is already in place as doctrine about suicide and marriage and it's coups de grace - implementing the big corporate practice of buying up the little guy to increase numbers. They're on the move and the pulpits will be buzzing this Sunday.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Welcome to our first post

Best selling author Tim C. Leedom and co-author Maryjane Churchville announce the release of  their latest investigative work, The Book No Pope Would Want You to Read.
 View our trailer at: pope