Posts Tagged ‘ The Catholic church ’

Frank says they’re sorry but…

Aug 27th, 2018 8:15 am | By

I wrote my column for The Freethinker yesterday. I wrote it about the pope’s visit to Ireland. The whole subject makes me rather cross.

The sentimental view of religion is that it makes people good, meaning kind and generous and compassionate. If that were true, surely there wouldn’t have been such an enormous gulf between how the Sisters of Mercy (oh the irony of that name) saw their administration at Goldenbridge and how the survivors saw it. Surely, surely, a religion talented at making ordinary people peculiarly kind and loving would not come up with physical and verbal abuse of captive children seized from impoverished mothers as an example of its holy work.

Also, religion is supposed to be timeless

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Lax in enforcing church doctrine

Nov 16th, 2017 9:29 am | By

Speaking of eccentric Catholic priests like Father Greg Boyle who care more about their oppressed and overwhelmed parishioners than they do about Vatican dogma, I’m reminded that Seattle had an archbishop like that thirty years ago…and that the Vatican sent an enforcer to suppress him.

Ever since the Vatican crackdown on Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen last summer [i.e. 1986], Patrick Jankanish has been coming alone to Sunday mass at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church.

“My wife was a convert {to Catholicism} before we were married nine years ago,” Jankanish told a visitor, adding that the couple has been deeply involved in the vigorous social justice program of the Jesuit parish on fashionable Capital Hill.

To the Jankanishes, Hunthausen

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The quality of mercy

Feb 26th, 2017 11:54 am | By

Say you have a thieving banker or a fraudulent investment wizard. Should they be punished or should they be treated with mercy?

There are arguments either way, but I think few would argue that they should go right on being bankers or investment wizards. Having to find another line of work seems quite compatible with mercy.

But Pope Frankie doesn’t see it that way.

Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted

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No gurlz

Nov 2nd, 2016 6:02 pm | By

So the pope got chatty on the plane back from Sweden, where he’d gone to celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation, so have a good laugh about that before we proceed.

A journalist for the Catholic News Agency was there to catch the pearls of wisdom as he dropped them. The hot news flash is that he said the church isn’t budging its shiny little ass on the question of women priests. That’s still a big No and always will be, the affable theocrat said.

During a press conference Tuesday aboard the papal plane from Sweden to Rome, Pope Francis said the issue of women priests has been clearly decided, while also clarifying the essential role of women in the

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Oct 29th, 2016 11:33 am | By

Ah the priorities of the Catholic church. When it’s about compensation for victims of child-raping priests? Then it’s bankruptcy, or transfer of funds to the protected Cemetery Account, or a quick trip to Vatican City. But when it’s legalization of marijuana? Money is no object!

The Boston Archdiocese is pouring $850,000 into a last-minute effort to defeat a state ballot measure to legalize marijuana, calling increased drug use a threat to the Catholic Church’s health and social-service programs.

“It reflects the fact that the archdiocese holds the matter among its highest priorities,” archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said of the donation. “It’s a recognition that, if passed, the law would have significantly detrimental impacts on our parishes, our ministries.”

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A clampdown on increasingly varied uses for ashes

Oct 26th, 2016 3:16 pm | By

Ah, the Vatican, and god-botherers in general, inventing ridiculous intrusive rules based on their reality-defying beliefs, and then trying to insist that everyone obey them. Like the Vatican saying omg no you may not scatter someone’s ashes or fling them off the top of a building or put them on your bookshelf next to Ray Monk’s biography of Bertrand Russell. Why mayn’t I? Well because it gets death all wrong. The Vatican is the authority on death, as any fule kno. Death isn’t where you stop being alive and begin to decompose, it’s the gateway to eternal life dootdeedoo.

Strict new Vatican guidelines forbid a list of increasingly popular means of commemorating loved ones – from scattering ashes at

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An individual Bishop in his diocese

May 13th, 2016 3:24 pm | By

About Sister Carol Keehan again, the President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association who put out an evasive (to put it politely) statement on the ACLU / MergerWatch report on the mess of Catholic hospitals. I did a follow-up post about her pointing out she’s not all bad, because she supported the health care bill despite opposition from the bishops. But a reader reminded us I’d been harsh about her before, which prompted me to look it up, and here’s the press release dated January 31, 2011:

WASHINGTON (January 31, 2011)—In response to questions raised about the authority of the local bishop in the interpretation and implementation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

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Fraternity rules

May 1st, 2016 9:48 am | By

The priest Mafia strikes again.

A priest, originally from County Tyrone and now based in the United States, claims he has been “frozen out” of the Catholic Church after calling the police to investigate a fellow clergyman who had shown child-porn images to 14-year-old parishioner.

Fr John A Gallagher (48), from Strabane, Co Tyrone, is now living in a holiday home belonging to one of his friends and parishioners. He says the locks on his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the Diocese of Palm Beach, FL. Gallagher says he was told by the Catholic Church to put a pedophile priest on a plane back to India rather than cooperate

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An ambitious and capable young priest

Mar 3rd, 2016 9:47 am | By

David Marr at the Guardian Australia suggests that George Pell kept shtum about those child-rapey priests because if he hadn’t he would have remained an obscure priest instead of wafting to the glorious elevation of cardinal.

Had young Pell made it his business to find why the paedophile Father Gerald Ridsdale was being shifted from parish to parish in the 1970s – in later years by a committee on which he himself sat – he might well be living the twilight years of his career not in Rome but the seaside parish of Warrnambool.

From Pell’s evidence on the second day of his Roman cross-examination there emerged a picture of an ambitious and capable young priest who decided, early on,

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Catholic leaders are warning women

Feb 17th, 2016 11:24 am | By

From a few days ago, the bishops telling women never mind about Zika and microcephaly, we still forbid you to use contraception, you whores.

As the Zika virus spreads in Latin America, Catholic leaders are warning women against using contraceptives or having abortions, even as health officials in some countries are advising women not to get pregnant because of the risk of birth defects.

After a period of saying little, bishops in Latin America are beginning to speak up and reassert the church’s opposition to birth control and abortion — positions that in Latin America are unpopular and often disregarded, even among Catholics.

Often disregarded, but not always? They should be universally disregarded, because what business is it of … Read the rest

Eppur si muove

Aug 29th, 2015 9:54 am | By

Well color me surprised – a Catholic institution has budged. A Catholic institution has responded to public outrage, and thought again, and held a meeting, and budged. A Catholic institution has reversed itself on a homophobic policy. Stone the motherfucking crows.

The St. Mary’s Academy board voted Wednesday night to change the school’s policy on hiring gay employees after facing backlash over the administration’s decision to rescind a job offer to a gay counselor.

Students and high-profile donor Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, had earlier condemned the choice not to employ 27-year-old Lauren Brown.

In response, administrators brought the board together and recommended members vote to expand the hiring policy.

No doubt they didn’t want to lose the … Read the rest

Though not proven

Apr 19th, 2015 11:30 am | By

In one Irish diocese there were more than 100 accusations that priests had sexually abused children over a 40 year period, the Irish Examiner reported last year.

The review of the Dublin Archdiocese by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church found that allegations were made against three more priests in the last year, bringing to 101 the total of diocesan priests accused of abuse since 1975.

Concerns about 40 of them arose in the past 10 years. Of those, four were convicted in the criminal courts and 23 were found to involve concerns that were credible, although not proven. In those 27 cases, the diocese substantially restricted or terminated their ministries.

The diocese acted on … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Abortion was just one front in a wider religious war

Aug 26th, 2014 12:41 pm | By

Fintan O’Toole provides some background on Ireland’s appalling “Pro-Life” amendment to its constitution.

The most successful single issue movement in the history of the State, the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC), was established in January 1981 by 13 organisations: the Congress of Catholic Secondary School Parents’ Associations; the Irish Catholic Doctors’ Guild; the Guild of Catholic Nurses; the Guild of Catholic Pharmacists; the Catholic Young Men’s Society; the St Thomas More Society; the Irish Pro-Life Movement; the National Association of the Ovulation Method (“natural” contraception endorsed by the Catholic church); the Council of Social Concern (COSC); the Irish Responsible Society; the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children; the St Joseph’s Young Priests Society (young Catholic priests, that is); and the

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Like a trucking company

Aug 21st, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Cardinal Pell is another one vying for the Zero Empathy Remark of the Year Award.

Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia’s first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.

Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a ”trucking company”. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ”I don’t think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.”

What’s wrong with that analogy? Well let’s see…

  1. The Catholic church doesn’t pick up passengers along the
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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Those defections do not have legal effect

Aug 21st, 2014 11:26 am | By

J P O’Malley learns that the Irish Catholic church will not let you leave.

From aged 12, I had no belief, whatsoever, in the concept of a divine being.

By the time I was in my 20s, I was a militant-atheist.

And after my close reading of the ‘Ferns’, ‘Murphy’, and ‘Ryan Reports’, I was fully convinced that this was not an organisation I wanted to be associated with in any way.

It came as a huge surprise to me, then, last October, after I wrote to Reverend Fintan Gavin, the assistant chancellor of the Dublin Dioceses, asking if I could formally leave the Catholic Church, to be told that it was impossible.

There’s this 1983 Vatican “law,” you … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The bishops renewed their obsessions

Jun 14th, 2014 11:50 am | By

The AP reported the other day on the meeting of the US Conference of Catholic bishops.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops meeting Wednesday renewed their focus on abortion and gay marriage under Pope Francis.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to make only limited revisions to a guide they publish every presidential election year on church teaching, voting and public policy. The bishops also reaffirmed their fight for broader religious exemptions to laws recognizing gay marriage and a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers provide health insurance covering birth control.

That’s what they do. That’s what they’re preoccupied with. That’s what they care about. That’s their raison d’être. Not love, not … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Frank and the devil

May 20th, 2014 9:09 am | By

Cool headline in the Telegraph -

Decline of religious belief means we need more exorcists, say Catholics

Well of course they do. Jobs for the boys, eh?

Then there’s the subhead -

Decline of religion in the West has created a rise in black magic, Satanism and the occult

Oh it’s our fault? I beg to differ. I think you can see it rather as a common taste for made-up spooky stuff, that can go either with religion or with black magic and the rest of the silly menu, or even, adventurously if not orthodoxly, both.

The decline of religious belief in the West and the growth of secularism has “opened the window” to black magic, Satanism and belief in

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Abuse at the hands of the brothers who had been entrusted with their care

May 2nd, 2014 11:11 am | By

Amanda Banks at the West Australian tells us how the Catholic church in Western Australia dealt with abuse victims. With generosity and remorse and eagerness to make amends? No. With self-interested self-protective fighting and coercion.

The Catholic Church and Christian Brothers fought a class action by abuse victims from WA orphanages at every turn, using their strong legal position to open settlement negotiations with the offer that the men pay their costs.

By “the men” she means the abuse victims – so the church opened negotiations by demanding that the victims pay the church’s costs. The victimizer opened negotiations with a demand that the victims pay costs.

Slater and Gordon lawyer Hayden Stephens has told the royal commission

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

You’re in good hands with the Vatican

Apr 10th, 2014 5:45 pm | By

From last week – Cardinal George Pell is leaving Australia for a new job in the Vatican, and for a good-bye present he told a royal commission that priests should be insured against being sued for child sexual abuse. Elizabeth Farrelly is…shall we say, taken aback.

Our man in purple, our alpha priest, moral paragon. Our Vatican princeling, just days from taking up his dauphindom in Rome: he said that? He dropped this fissile solipsism on our public debate and left, smacking the dust from his hands like, we’re done now, right?

For this was no dinner party throw-away. The cardinal – fully frocked, schooled and premeditated – breathed his proposition into the stone tablets of a royal

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Clergy aren’t obliged to tell magistrates

Apr 4th, 2014 11:23 am | By

A week ago the Italian Bishops’ Conference published guidance saying that they don’t have to report suspected sexual abuse of children to the police.

Fair enough. They agreed it among themselves, so it’s none of anyone else’s business, right? That’s democracy.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the guidelines published Friday reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations.

Victims have long denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by shuffling pedophile priests around while keeping prosecutors in the dark. Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law.

Well of course only where required by law. You don’t expect them to do the right thing even … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)