Pope Francis covered up McCarrick abuse, former US nuncio testifies

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by Frodo, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

    BREAKING: Vatican Source: Pope dismissed Cdl. Müller for following Church rules on abuse cases
    Maike Hickson

    August 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, together with his much-experienced three CDF priests, was dismissed by Pope Francis because they all had tried to follow loyally the Church's standing rules concerning abusive clergymen. In one specific case, Müller opposed the Pope's wanting to re-instate Don Mauro Inzoli, an unmistakably cruel abuser of many boys; but the Pope would not listen to Müller. In another case, the Pope decided not to give a Vatican apartment to one of Müller's own secretaries, but to the now-infamous Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, in spite of the fact that someone had warned the Pope about Capozzi's grave problems. The Vatican source also said that it was known to several people in the Vatican that some restrictions were put on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, and he thereby confirms Viganò's own claim.

    When LifeSiteNews reached out to this very trustworthy and well-informed Vatican source, asking him about the then-breaking Viganò story and the archbishop's allegations that Pope Francis knew of McCarrick's habitual abuse, he answered: “Cardinal Müller [as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)] had always decidedly and most sharply followed up on these abuse cases, and that is why he was dismissed, just as his three good collaborators [the three CDF priests] were also dismissed.”

    In my follow-up with this source, he again explained that Cardinal Müller, as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had always been loyally following the Church's laws with regard to abuse cases, for the handling of which the CDF is responsible. According to the source, Müller also “resisted” Pope Francis in 2014 when he wanted to re-instate the serial molester of boys, the Italian priest Don Inzoli, allowing him to perform some functions of the priesthood. In opposition to Müller, “the Pope decided differently,” the source continued. That is to say, Pope Francis did not follow Cardinal Müller's advice.

    In 2012, Inzoli had been found guilty by an ecclesiastical court of abusing boys as young as 12 even in the confessional. He was then suspended a divinis, barring him from all priestly functions. The historian Henry Sire says in his book The Dictator Pope that in 2014, the Pope “followed an appeal by Inzoli's friends in the Curia, Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Vito Pinto” and he reduced the priest's penalty to a “lifetime of prayer.” Inzoli, however, was then also ordered “to stay away from children, [while] giving him permission to celebrate Mass privately.” In 2015, however, as Michael Dougherty reported, Inzoli was already participating again at a conference on the family in Lombardy, Italy. This scandalous case only came to public because an Italian court tried and sentenced Inzoli to four years and nine months in prison, a grave public fact that the Vatican could not responsibly ignore. Inzoli was found guilty, in 2016, of more than “a hundred episodes,” explains Henry Sire. In response to this shocking news, “the Vatican initiated a new canonical trial.”

    As Dougherty also commented, it is obvious that the Pope bypassed the CDF, and with it Cardinal Müller, when dealing with abuse cases: “In any case, on abuse, the justice dealt out by Müller's CDF seems to be too harsh for the pope and his allies. And so, the pope hopes to render the CDF irrelevant in these cases.”

    It is interesting to note that Cardinal Müller himself was dismissed by Pope Francis without any advance notice at the end of June 2017, only one month after the cardinal had for the first time publicly criticized the Pope. In a 25 May interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo, he had confirmed publicly an earlier report which first was published by Marco Tosatti, according to which the Pope dismissed three of Müller's best CDF priests, and this again without any prior notice or explanation. “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave,” are the Pope's explicit words as reported by Tosatti.

    Müller himself commented on 25 May upon this sudden dismissal of some of his best collaborators with the words: “This is true that I am in favor of a better treatment of our officials in the Holy See, because we cannot only speak about the social doctrine and we must also respect it, and the Pope himself said we (have) some old behaviors of the courts and I am absolutely against this treatment.” The German cardinal added that “we can dismiss only people if they make a mistake and the criteria for our collaborators in our Congregation must be the orthodoxy and the integrity of moral and priestly life and the competence in the matter and other 'criterias', must speak Italian or we need people of different languages and cultures.”

    It was the first time that Cardinal Müller publicly rebuked the Pope, and it was not about himself, but about the sudden dismissal of three of his best collaborator-priests at the CDF.

    Henry Sire comments in his book on this event, as follows:

    It was rumored that Francis intended to revert competence for sex abuse cases from Cardinal Müller at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Rota and Congregation for Clergy. Instead, Francis merely changed personnel. He summarily removed two Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith staffers in charge of handling sex abuse cases (declining to give any reasons to Cardinal Müller) and then dismissed Müller himself as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in July 2017.

    Quoting Associated Press' Nicole Winfield, Sire shows that Inzoli was not the only case where Pope Francis showed mercy toward grave offenders:
    Winfield wrote that “two canon lawyers and a church official” told her the pope’s emphasis on “mercy” had created an environment in which “several” priests under canonical sanctions imposed by the CDF had appealed successfully to Francis for clemency through powerful curial connections. The unnamed official noted that such appeals had rarely been successful with Benedict XVI, who had removed over 800 priests from ministry.

    The above-mentioned well-placed source in the Vatican also confirmed that there were several curial members in high-ranking places who knew about the restrictions placed on McCarrick under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. So, if they knew, Pope Francis himself also knew.

    Lastly, let us consider a story that came to LifeSiteNews from another well-informed source in Rome. This source wrote to LifeSiteNews a few days ago as follows:
    Cardinal Müller tried to get an apartment for one of his secretaries at the Palazzo del Sant'Ufficio where the Congregation for the Faith is also located. There was an appartment free, and the cardinal put in a request for his secretary. But then there came from the guest house Santa Marta, from the pontifex, a note personally informing Cardinal Müller that this apartment is not available for his secretary because Cardinal Coccopalmerio needed it for his secretary Luigi Capozzi. And that is how it happened.

    As the source candidly continues, “that was the same apartment which – in the summer of 2017, and after complaints from neighbours – was raided by the police, in order to end a homo party with large amounts of cocaine, which Capozzi himself – at the Palazzo del Sant'Ufficio – had organized for his homosexual friends.”

    This source thus tells us that it was Pope Francis himself who made sure that a homosexual secretary of his friend Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio would obtain a privileged apartment in the Vatican. As LifeSiteNews had reported at the time, it was this same Cardinal Coccopalmerio who, in 2014, had spoken about the “positive elements” in homosexual relationships.

    As our other well-placed source in the Vatican assures us, “Pope Francis had been informed by someone about Luigi Capozzi's problems, but he gave him anyway the apartment.”
    Agnes rose likes this.
  2. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

    BREAKING: Pope knowingly gave Vatican apartment to gay priest later caught in cocaine-fuelled orgy

    ROME, Italy, August 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis gave a Vatican apartment to a priest who was later caught hosting a drug-fueled homosexual orgy in that same apartment despite being warned about the priest’s grave problems, a highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview.

    It was Francis himself, the source said, who made sure that a homosexual secretary of his friend Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio would obtain a privileged apartment in the Vatican.

    Cardinal Coccopalmerio, then president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators and ardent supporters, had spoken in 2014 about the “positive elements” in homosexual relationships.

    Monsignor Luigi Capozzi (left) is secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio (center) who is a close collaborator with Pope Francis.

    Vatican police arrested Coccopalmerio’s secretary Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, in a raid last year after they broke up the cocaine-fueled homosexual party in the Vatican apartment next to St. Peter’s Basilica.

    Vatican gendarmerie had conducted the raid on the homosexual orgy after tenants in the building complained repeatedly about constant traffic of visitors at all hours of the night to the building - which was used by various high-ranking churchmen, including prefects, presidents and secretaries to the Roman Curia.

    LifeSiteNews’ source in Rome said that then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) Cardinal Gerhard Müller had tried to get an apartment for one of his secretaries at the Palazzo del Sant'Ufficio, where the CDF is also located. There was an apartment free at the time of Müller’s inquiry, and the cardinal submitted a request for his secretary.

    But then, the source said, Pope Francis informed Cardinal Müller via a personal note that this apartment was not available for his secretary because Cardinal Coccopalmerio needed it for his secretary Luigi Capozzi.

    “That was then the same apartment which – in the summer of 2017, and after complaints from neighbors – was raided by the police,” the source said, “in order to end a homo party with large amounts of cocaine, which Capozzi himself – at the Palazzo del Sant'Ufficio – had organized for his homosexual friends.”

    LifeSiteNews had inquired with another well-informed Vatican source about the then-breaking Viganò story and the archbishop's allegations that Pope Francis knew of Archbishop McCarrick's serial abuse of seminarians and priests.

    In the course of the discussion of Vatican handling of sexual abuse claims, the source stated that the pope had been made aware of issues with Capozzi, however, he let him have the apartment anyway.

    “Pope Francis had been informed by someone about Luigi Capozzi's problems,” the source said, “but he gave him anyway the apartment.”

    Confirming Viganò's claim of prior restrictions placed upon then Cardinal McCarrick, that initial source also told LifeSiteNews as well that several people in the Vatican knew about the restrictions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI.

    The source said further that Francis’ abrupt dismissal of Müller as CDF prefect in June 2017, along with Francis’ earlier similarly abrupt removal of three CDF priests, stemmed from disagreements as to the handling of abuse cases.

    Word of the pope obtaining a privileged Vatican apartment for the homosexual secretary of his friend while having been told of concerns with the priest comes as the pontiff continues to decline comment on the bombshell Viganò testimony implicating the pope and several senior prelates in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians and priests.
  3. Tanker

    Tanker Powers

    Wow, it's all just flooding out isn't it? They can't stop all the skeletons from bolting out of the closets. It's almost supernatural ;)
  4. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

    Most definitely supernatural!
  5. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

  6. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    Bergoglio sounds Latino eh?
  7. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

    The following is from the Moynihan Letters.

    The most important point below would seem to be the question Vigano asks: "What happened to the white box filled with documents that Benedict XVI handed over to Pope Francis in March of 2013, after his election?" Vigano asks journalists to ask Vatican officials for some explanation of the contents of that box.

    Interviewed by the RAI Vaticanist Aldo Maria Valli, the accuser of the Pope defends his declarations (link)

    La Repubblica
    29 August 2018

    VATICAN CITY - Three days after the publication of the dossier against Francis it is the former nuncio to Washington Carlo Maria Viganò in person who speaks on the blog of the RAI's Vaticanist Aldo Maria Valli: "I do not act for revenge. I just want the truth to emerge."

    Monsignor, how are you?

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano: Thank God very well, with great serenity and peace of conscience: it is the prize of truth. Light always wins over darkness, it can not be suppressed, especially for those who have faith. Therefore I have a lot of trust and hope for the Church.

    How do you judge the reactions to the publication of your memorial?

    Vigano: As you know, the reactions are opposed. There are those who no longer know where to draw the poison to destroy my credibility. Someone even wrote that I was hospitalized twice with compulsory treatment (TSO) for drug use; there are those who imagine conspiracies, political plots, plots of all kinds, etc., but there are also many articles of appreciation and I have seen messages of priests and faithful thanking me, because my testimony was for them a flicker of new hope for the Church.

    What is your answer to who in these hours objects that you would have reasons of personal rancor against the Pope and for this reason he would have decided to write and spread the memorial?

    Vigano: Perhaps because I am naive and always think about the good for people, but above all I recognize that it is a gift that the Lord has given me, I have never had feelings of revenge or resentment in all these years when I was I test from so many slanders and falsehoods on my account.
    As I wrote at the beginning of my testimony, I had always believed that the hierarchy of the Church would find in itself the resources to heal so much corruption. I also wrote it in my letter to the three cardinals instructed by Pope Benedict to investigate the Vatileaks case, a letter that accompanied the report I gave them: "Many of you," I wrote, "you knew, but you kept silent. At least now that you have had this task from Benedict, have the courage to report with fidelity what has been revealed to you of so many situations of corruption."

    Why did you decide to have your testimony published and distributed?

    Vigano: I spoke because now corruption has reached the top of the Church hierarchy.

    I appeal to journalists: Why do not they ask what happened to the case of documents that, we have all seen, was delivered to Castelgandolfo by Pope Benedict to Pope Francis? Everything was useless?
    It would have been sufficient to follow my report and the transcript that was made of my deposition before the three cardinals in charge of the investigation of the Vatileaks case (Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi) to start doing some cleaning in the Curia.
    But do you know what Cardinal Herranz replied to me when I called him from Washington, given that it had been a long time since this Commission was appointed by Pope Benedict without ever being contacted?
    Then we used to speak using the familiar "tu" form and I said: "Do you not think I have something to say about the question of my letters, published without my knowledge?"
    He replied: "Ah, if you really want to."

    What responds to those who claim that she would be the "leaker," or one of the "leakers," at the origin of the Vatileaks case?

    Vigano: I the leaker? As you saw with my testimony, I usually do things in the light of day!
    I at the time had already been in Washington for some months and I certainly had other things to think about.
    On the other hand, it has always been my habit to immerse myself completely in my new mission. So I did when I was sent to Nigeria: I did not read the Italian news anymore. So much so that when, after six years, I was called back to the Secretariat of State by St. John Paul II it took me a few months to realize where I had fallen back, even though I had been in the Secretariat of State for eleven years from 1978 to 1989.

    What do you answer to those who say that you were removed from the Governorate office you held, and that this also causes feelings of rancor and a desire for revenge?
    Vigano: As I have already said, rancor and revenge are not feelings that are part of my make-up. My resistance to leaving my job at the Governorate was motivated by a deep sense of injustice for a decision that I knew did not correspond to the will that Pope Benedict himself had manifested to me.

    Cardinal Bertone, in order to send me away, had committed a series of serious abuses of authority: he had dissolved a first commission of three cardinals that Pope Benedict had appointed to investigate the serious accusations made by me as secretary general and by the vice-secretary general, monsignor Giorgio Corbellini, abuses committed by Monsignor Paolo Nicolini; in place of this commission of cardinals he created a disciplinary commission, changing the composition the institutional commission of the Governorate to make it up. Before even creating this commission, he had summoned me to tell me that the Holy Father had appointed me nuncio to Washington; despite all that, the said disciplinary committee decided on July 16, 2011 to dismiss of Monsignor Paolo Nicolinibut he abusively annulled that decision, preventing it being published. In doing so, he had prevented me from continuing in the work of ending the corruption in the management of the Governorate.

    How do you respond to those who say you were fixated on becoming a cardinal and claim you now attack the Pope because he did not make you a cardinal?
    Vigano: I can say with all sincerity before God that I actually renounced becoming a cardinal.

    After my first letter to Cardinal Bertone, which I sent to the Pope to do what he thought best, Pope Benedict called me and received me at the audience on April 4, 2011 and he immediately told me these words: "I believe that the task in which you could best serve the Holy See would be president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See instead of Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.

    I thanked the Pope for the trust he showed me and added: "Holy Father, why do not you wait six months or a year? Because, if you promote me now, the team that has trusted me to heal the situation at the Governorate will be immediately dispersed and persecuted" (as indeed happened).
    I also added another topic. Since Cardinal De Paolis had recently been appointed to heal the delicate situation of the Legionaries of Christ (Cardinal De Paolis had consulted me before accepting this assignment), I told the Pope that it was better for him to continue to hold an institutional position that gave greater authority to his person and his action with the Legionaries.
    At the end of the audience the Pope told me again: "However, I remain of the opinion that the place where you can best serve the Holy See is as President of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs." Cardinal Re can confirm this news.
    So I renounced the cardinalate for the good of the Church.

    How do you answer those who involve your family inheritance, calling it a multi-year battle with large economic interests?

    Vigano: On March 20, 2013, my brothers had prepared a press release, to which I then opposed the publication in order to avoid involving the whole family. Since now the accusation of my brother Don Lorenzo continues to be repeated, namely that I lied to Pope Benedict when I told him of my concern about leaving because I had to take care of my sick brother, I decided to make public the statement. From reading it, it becomes evident that I felt a serious moral responsibility to take care of and protect my brother.


    The interesting fact about this article is that it reveals that Tosatti called Vigano and suggested that it was time, in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, for Vigano to make a statement. In this sense, it seems possible that the idea to issue the "Testimony" came from Tosatti, and that Vigano took up the idea and prepared the text in the middle days of August out of a sense of shock at how many cases of sexual abuse had been revealed.
  8. SgCatholic

    SgCatholic Maranatha

    Also from the Moynihan Letters:

    Journalist who helped pen pope bombshell says author wept (link)

    Wed, 29 Aug 2018

    NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
    ROME (AP) — An Italian journalist who says he helped a former Vatican diplomat pen his bombshell allegation of sex abuse cover-up against Pope Francis says he persuaded the archbishop to go public after the U.S. church was thrown into turmoil by revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

    Marco Tosatti said he helped Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano write, rewrite and edit his 11-page testimony, saying the two sat side-by-side at a wooden table in Tosatti's living room for three hours on Aug. 22.

    Tosatti, a leading Italian critic of Francis, told The Associated Press that Vigano had called him a few weeks ago out of the blue asking to meet, and then proceeded to tell him the information that became the basis of the testimony.

    Vigano's document alleges that Francis knew of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual misconduct starting in 2013, but rehabilitated him from sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed. The claims have shaken Francis' five-year papacy.

    Vigano called for Francis to resign over what he said was complicity in covering up McCarrick's crimes. There is ample evidence, however, that the Vatican under Benedict and St. John Paul II also covered up that information, and that any sanctions Benedict imposed were never enforced.

    Vigano has kept largely quiet since the bombshell testimony Sunday, and his whereabouts are unknown. As a result, Tosatti's reconstruction provides the only insight into how the document came about.

    Tosatti, a longtime correspondent for Italian daily La Stampa but who now writes largely for more conservative blogs and newspapers, said after their initial meeting a few weeks ago, Vigano said he wasn't prepared to go public.

    They had been acquaintances, not friends, and Vigano said he needed to settle some personal matters before proceeding.

    [The lines below seem to be the moment when Vigano conceived of writing and publishing his "testimony."]

    But Tosatti said he called him after the Pennsylvania grand jury report published Aug. 15 alleged some 300 priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses abused more than 1,000 children over the past 70 years, and that a sequence of bishops had covered it up.

    Tosatti said he told Vigano: "I think that if you want to say something, now is the moment, because everything is going upside-down in the United States.

    He said 'OK.'"

    The two then met at Tosatti's Rome apartment. Initially, Tosatti thought Vigano would give him an interview, but then Vigano decided to put his thoughts on paper.

    "He had prepared some kind of a draft of a document and he sat here by my side," Tosatti told the AP from behind his desk, pointing to the wooden chair to his right. "I told him that we had to work on it really because it was not in a journalistic style."

    Tosatti said he persuaded Vigano to cut claims that couldn't be substantiated or documented "because it had to be absolutely waterproof." Tosatti said Vigano was "deadly serious" the whole time, and that both emerged physically and emotionally exhausted.

    Tosatti said Vigano was well aware of the implications of the document and what it took for a Holy See diplomat to reveal secrets he had kept for years.

    "They are brought up to die silent," Tosatti said of Holy See diplomats. "So what he was doing, what he was going to do, was something absolutely against his nature."

    But he said Vigano felt compelled to publish out of a sense of duty to the Catholic Church and to clear his conscience.

    "He enjoys a good health but 77 is an age where you start preparing yourself ... he couldn't have a clear conscience unless he spoke," Tosatti said.

    Document in hand, Tosatti then set out to find publications willing to publish it in its entirety: the small Italian daily La Verita, the English-language National Catholic Register and LifeSiteNews and the Spanish online site InfoVaticana.

    All are conservative or ultraconservative media that have been highly critical of Francis' mercy-over-morals papacy.

    The English and Spanish publications translated the Italian document and all agreed on a Sunday morning embargo, coinciding with the second and final day of Francis' trip to Ireland, where the Catholic church's sex abuse and cover-up scandal dominated his trip.

    Tosatti said Vigano didn't tell him where he was going after the article came out, knowing that the world's media would be clamoring to speak with him.

    As Tosatti accompanied Vigano to his door, he bent down to kiss Vigano's ring — a sign of respect for Catholic bishops.

    "He tried to say 'No.' I told him 'It's not for you, it's for the role that you (play) that I do it,'" Tosatti said. "He didn't say anything. He went away, but he was crying."
  9. Jarg

    Jarg Archangels

    This is huge, so much material for journalists!
    Carol55 likes this.
  10. Jarg

    Jarg Archangels

    This story is quite good and fun!


    Catholics face a painful question: Is it true?

    A young Catholic friend called me as soon as the news broke about Pope Francis. “Is it true?”

    I told him I didn’t know. It might be, I said. An anxious, pained tension filled the silence on the line. “No,” he groaned, finally, “not him.”

    It was the same horrified pulse of denial I felt when I first read the allegations against Francis, whom I, like many young Catholics, have dearly loved.

    Last weekend, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as a top Vatican diplomat to the United States for five years, released an 11-page documentalleging that Francis lifted sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for alleged sexual abuse. Viganò’s scorched-earth indictment pins blame for the crisis on several liberal-leaning members of the Catholic Church, and pointedly takes aim at Francis himself, calling on the pope to resign along with all the cardinals and bishops who allegedly covered for McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington.

    There’s plenty more in Viganò’s testimony, and quite enough in his personal history with Francis, to suggest that this move is the result of a coordinated conservative effort against the pope. In fact, this is transparently the case: Viganò reportedly consulted with conservative American lawyer Timothy Busch during the writing of his missive; Busch’s conservative think tank, the Napa Institute, is hosting a conference next month on “a deep and authentic cleansing of American Catholic life.” Thus, much of the coverage of Viganò’s allegations has focused on their political content.

    But that leaves the painful question: Is it true?

    Opinions columnists and editors are wrestling with their faith after the Pennsylvania report on clergy sex abuse. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

    The claim that Francis lifted sanctions placed on McCarrick by Benedict is, theoretically, verifiable. Somewhere between the papal nunciature here in Washington, where McCarrick would have been informed of any sanctions, and the Vatican, where Francis would have learned of them, there must be some paper trail lending credence to one version of events or another.

    Yet nobody — neither Viganò nor Francis, nor detractors on either side — has produced a single scan. Viganò has submitted no corroboration; Francis announced Sunday aboard the papal plane that he doesn’t intend to “say a word about it.” There have been all kinds of reports and editorials from outraged clergy and laypeople commenting on the grossly political nature of the scandal now unfolding. Silence and uncertainty are kindling for such bitter infighting. We could know the truth. So why don’t we?

    In his statements on Viganò’s testimony last Sunday, Francis invited journalists to use their skills and capacities to draw conclusions about the matter. And so, on Monday morning, I began to try.

    When Francis recently sanctioned McCarrick because of new allegations of sexual assault, McCarrick essentially went into hiding, disappearing from public life, per papal orders, and adopting a low profile. I was tipped off, however, about where he has apparently been living and reasoned that if anyone would know whether Benedict handed down sanctions against McCarrick, it would be the man himself.

    So a little before 9:30 on Monday evening — likely a little later than is fair to an elderly man, I admit — I knocked on his door. I was dismissed by another person, via a muted conversation through a windowpane, but left a note and a business card. Hearing no word, I returned Tuesday afternoon and found my card still on the windowsill where I had left it. I suspected my efforts to contact the former cardinal might not be getting through, and so resolved to try a little more persistence this time, waiting on his doorstep for roughly an hour, with a letter I had brought.

    But it seems my contact information had made it to authorities: After I left, a representative from the Washington archdiocese called my editor to complain about my presence. I was surprised to learn I had caused sincere alarm — I don’t present an imposing figure, and nobody ever so much as opened the door to ask me to go away — but my insistence, the ringing and knocking, had clearly inspired fear.

    I regret that. I don’t ever want to cause anyone any fear. Yet I can’t ignore the emails and calls and letters I receive daily from vulnerable, shaken Catholics asking: Is this true? They deserve — we deserve — an answer, no matter how embarrassing or painful or damning the truth may be for countless members of the hierarchy.

    The church, in all its beauty, has historically imagined itself as a mother; Pope Francis has been especially fond of emphasizing this facet of its identity.Prelates, please listen to a woman who has given birth: Real love requires sacrifice. There are those among you who know the truth. Tell it now. It will hurt, no matter what it is. But it is the only loving thing you can do.

    Mary's child and gracia like this.
  11. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Yes, the press smells blood. They are all just doing their part after all...


    Josh Shapiro is the ‘bar mitzvah boy’ leading the charge against Catholic clergy abuse in Pennsylvania

    The first days of November 2016 were a tense time for America, for Pennsylvania and for Josh Shapiro, a Democrat running for attorney general in a state that looked like it might go red.

    Looking to succeed a corrupt member of his own party who had resigned in disgrace, Shapiro might have been expected to spend every second of the campaign’s final days trying to get out the vote.

    But on the Friday before Election Day, he was in a second-grade classroom at the Perelman Jewish Day School in suburban Philadelphia talking to the students about civics and supervising a mock election that pitted kazoos vs. rockets.

    Five days later he narrowly won the attorney general race, even as the state went for Donald Trump, the Republican, for president.

    This month, Shapiro made a name for himself nationally, compiling the extensive report on sex abuse in Pennsylvania’s Catholic churches. The 18-month investigation names at least 300 priests accused of child sex abuse, includes testimony by more than 1,000 victims, and accuses senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican of a “systematic cover-up.”

    But even as the national and even global spotlight has swung his way, he’s at the Jewish day school all the time giving lectures or watching his kids play soccer and basketball. Friends and acquaintances of Shapiro say his success isn’t surprising, that he’s a straight shooter who has kept his feet on the ground even as his star has risen — and remains rooted in a Jewish community that helped shape his values and sense of service.

    “For me, when you boil down all the teachings and all the rituals, fundamentally, Judaism is teaching that none of us is required to complete the task, but neither is any of us free to refrain from it,” he told the Philadelphia Jewish Voice in 2008. “It is really what guides me in my public service, and what that means, then, is that we don’t have a requirement on us to solve every problem, but we are also not permitted to sit on the sidelines and leave someone else do it for us.”

    Shapiro has also stayed in touch with classmates from his own days at Jewish day school — some of whom have gone on to work under him or remain connected to his political career. He married his high school sweetheart, and two of his four children attend his alma mater in suburban Philadelphia, now named the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy.

    “He has a fond sense of his past and his relationships,” said Jennifer Groen, a friend from childhood who is now a senior administrator at Barrack and saw him there this month.

    “He cares very much about the people he grew up with,” she said. “Everything he’s doing now is a continuation of what he’s been.”

    Shapiro, 45, has caused reverberations globally with the 900-page report on the Catholic Church. It has sparked calls for reform in the Pennsylvania church and beyond. Fallout from another sex scandal in the Catholic Church has even led to demands for the resignation of Pope Francis.

    “I put the full force of our office into this investigation,” Shapiro told The New York Times on Monday. “The notion this is just something that happened a long time ago, and that we need to move on, is exactly the wrong response. Child rape is child rape, whether it happened in 1970 or it happens in 2018. There is no excuse for allowing it. And there is no excuse for covering it up.”

    (Shapiro’s office said he was unable to speak with a JTA reporter before this week’s deadline.)

    Shapiro had an early start in politics and activism. His mother was active in the movement to free Soviet Jewry, and he followed her lead, setting up a pen-pal program with Soviet Jewish teens when he was in the seventh grade. He was flown out to Cleveland to speak to the Jewish community about the cause.

    In high school at what was then the Akiba Hebrew Academy, Shapiro also took a leading role in the mock 1988 Democratic convention and was active in Students Against Drunk Driving. His one political setback as a teen — the only election he ever lost — was as Akiba’s student president. (The winner, who campaigned on bringing an ice cream machine to school, was Ami Eden, the CEO of 70 Faces Media, JTA’s parent company.)

    “He’s honest, he’s genuine, he’s smart, he’s competent, he’s all the things you wanted to see in a student leader — which he was — and even more in this day and age we want to see in the leadership of government,” said Sharon Levin, now Barrack’s head of school, who had Shapiro as a student in three history classes.

    She added that “Josh was an excellent basketball player — by Akiba standards.”

    Shapiro may have understood how low those standards were when he tried out for the non-scholarship Division III team at the University of Rochester, only to be cut. Instead he ran for student government, serving as school president during his sophomore year. He would take various jobs on Capitol Hill while earning his law degree at Georgetown at night.

    After moving back to the Philadelphia area, he was elected in 2004 to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, flipping the seat from red to blue. Against the backdrop of the state’s reputation for corrupt government, he campaigned on transparency, a moderate image and promises to pass legislation.

    They have remained dominant themes throughout his career, down to the clean-cut image he presents. Shapiro’s parted hair, smooth face and rimless glasses looked so formal that Neil Oxman, his former political consultant, would call him a “bar mitzvah photo.”

  12. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    “His inclination to always be around others and help others is a natural draw to see him move into the world of politics, from his first election for the statehouse back in 2004, when he wore through a number of pairs of shoes” knocking on constituents’ doors, said Shapiro’s younger brother, Adam.

    Two years after his election, he engineered a coup, recruiting a moderate Republican to be the speaker of a statehouse with a slim but fractious Democratic majority. Shapiro took the newly created position of deputy speaker. From there he was elected commissioner of Montgomery County, in suburban Philadelphia, and then to the attorney general’s office.

    “He was running on a platform of ‘I’m going to put the attorney general’s office back together again,’” said Dan Segal, chair of Philadelphia’s Jewish Community Relations Council. “What was important to the Democrats is that they won with the cleanest person. He’s just totally clean.”

    Shapiro’s focus on fighting corruption may be why criticism of him appears relatively muted. Opponents in the primary and general elections for attorney general pointed to instances of him granting county contracts to companies shortly before or after receiving campaign donations from their executives.

    “Josh Shapiro does not practice what he preaches. His rhetoric does not match his conduct,” said John Morganelli, a primary opponent in 2016, according to the Morning Call. “He runs around with ethics and integrity on his sleeve, but where is that same standard when it comes to his own conduct?”

    Such allegations haven’t dogged him. And a lawyer for the Catholic officials named in the report on sex abuse told JTA that he had no comment on Shapiro’s personal conduct in the case but rather was focused on its content.

    Shapiro has consistently taken liberal positions. In 2005, he publicly supported same-sex marriage. In the 2008 Democratic primary, he was an outspoken supporter of Barack Obama, defending the candidate from criticism over his relationship with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He recently obtained an injunction in federal court to stop the 3-D printing of guns.

    As attorney general, Shapiro has gone up against the president multiple times. He got an injunction against Trump’s order that birth control not be covered under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as it is known. During the waves of bomb threats against Jewish centers last year, he attended a meeting with Trump and other attorney generals; it was Shapiro who told the media that Trump suggested the bomb threats were a false flag effort to “make others look bad.”

    “I really don’t know what he means, and I don’t know why he said that,” Shapiro told a reporter at the time. (A Jewish Israeli man was arrested for making the majority of threats.)

    “There’s a lot the president does that I disagree with, but I’m not some congressman that just opines all day about stuff,” he told The Times. “My job is to adhere to the rule of law and make sure the law is being followed.”

    And in a climate where Democrats are becoming more critical of Israel, Shapiro is vocally supportive. Last year he spoke at a gala dinner for StandWithUs, a pro-Israel group that regularly defends Israel from criticism from the left. He spent part of his senior year of high school in the country with his class, and his daughter is doing the same thing now.

    That history may be one reason why his friends in the Jewish community want to see his career keep advancing. Like nearly any politician, Shapiro has been coy about his ambitions. But if he does run for office — perhaps governor of Pennsylvania — there’s at least one constituency he can count on.

    “I would love to see him as our next governor,” Levin said. “I would love to see him as the first Jewish president of the United States. … I and everyone else here would sign onto his campaign.”
    DeGaulle likes this.
  13. Mac

    Mac "To Jesus, through Mary"


    We are here.
    Booklady, Heidi, Blizzard and 7 others like this.
  14. Mac

    Mac "To Jesus, through Mary"

  15. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    Indeed, the most Italian pope since John Paul I, all of forty years ago.

    These people have fully embraced the world. Racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia, all broadly interpreted to cover every possible situation, are their only sins. It is the ultimate satanic pharisaism, because nobody can avoid the charge of guilt.

    There was a great essay in The Catholic Thing yesterday. It made the point that the Neros of the Vatican were pursuing their objective of normalising their own sexual perversions under the guise of a World Meeting on Families, while the plight of hundreds of millions of faithful members of persecuted Catholic families throughout the world were effectively ignored. These people consider it worse to call out an Islamist than for the latter to kill a Christian. This is their 'morality'. That and their obsession with the esoteric global warming craze, even as a ship taken out to observe the 'disappearing' Arctic ice has had to be abandoned due to getting ice-bound. Oh, and they love the poor, you know. We never had as many well-fed people in the world in all of history. That's due to a capitalistic approach to agriculture and, you know, capitalism is evil too. We must aspire to be like Venezuela. Rant over...for now.
    Booklady, Carol55, Agnes rose and 3 others like this.
  16. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    Would any male care to enter a dark room with any of these creatures?
  17. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    Know your enemy.
    Mary's child, AED and gracia like this.
  18. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Let's be honest Fr James Martin needs to build no bridges -- I don't think he is attracted to women.
    gracia and DeGaulle like this.
  19. SteveD

    SteveD Archangels

    Agnes rose, sunburst, Mac and 4 others like this.
  20. Sam

    Sam Powers

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