Monday, June 28, 2010

Consiglieri Sodano greets Don Benedicto at this year's Vatican Easter Mass.

I'm not trying to divert good conversation from yesterday's blog by posting again today. I do feel compelled to publish the following two articles because they demonstrate just how far Catholicism in it's Vatican face has sunk. Thanks to Bill Lindsey for the first article and TheraP for the second.

Made in his own image: The Catholic Church faces another scandal
The Independent - Peter Popham - Monday, 28 June 2010

There is a cruel paradox in the career of the man who, in September, will become only the second pope in history to visit Britain. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in April 2005, he set about purifying the Catholic Church and returning it to its core values. He also pledged to get his charismatic predecessor, John Paul II, canonised as quickly as possible.
But as a new church scandal exploded last week, hard on the heels of the paedophilia storm, this one involving allegations of massive corruption at the heart of the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict's papal career risks being eclipsed by the dark shadow of John Paul's legacy.

Nobody doubts that the Pope would like the church to be a cleaner, leaner, quieter, purer institution, purged of paedophile priests and greedy careerists; he said as much again last week. But this man, who proposes himself as a new broom and wags his finger at those who take a permissive, typically Italian view of venality, has been at the heart of the church for half a lifetime. All these people are his old colleagues. If this is Sodom, he has been a citizen in good standing for 40 years.

Take the man at the centre of the latest storm, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. Aged 67, he was born on the outskirts of Naples and was raised speaking the gritty local dialect, incomprehensible to outsiders. Referred to by Italian newspapers as "l'impresario di Dio", "God's wheeler-dealer", today he is the much-beloved archbishop of the same city: an impressively fat, prosperous looking prelate, who likes nothing better than immersing himself in his crowds of Neapolitan fans, slapping backs and kissing babies. Neapolitans affectionately call their archbishop "O'guapo", local slang for "the boss" – the kindly mafia capo whom people go to with their problems instead of phoning the police. But although no one is accusing him of complicity with the city's fearsome Camorra mafia (Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, a book about the Camorra, leapt to his defence), the crimes of which he is accused are of a type which any mafioso would understand.

Sepe, who is still very young for a cardinal, received spectacular promotions from John Paul II which climaxed when he was given the job of running the church's Jubilee celebrations in 2000. A showman after the late-Pope's heart, he threw a carnival such as Rome has not seen since the days of Nero, and was rewarded for his success with the juicy job of running a church agency called Propaganda Fide, with a Roman property portfolio said to be worth €9bn (£6bn).
Now prosecutors claim that he sold property from that portfolio to a top politician at half its market value in return for his agency receiving special favours from the government. In classic clientelismo style: you scratch the politician's back, and he scratches yours. Except that in this case the alleged perpetrator was one of the most illustrious figures in the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict, Vatican watchers say, spotted Cardinal Sepe's frailties early on, which is why, in 2006, he unceremoniously removed him from Propaganda Fide – a job that an incumbent would normally expect to hold indefinitely – and packed him off home to Naples.

The cardinal denies that version of what happened as flatly as he denies the corruption charges. Last week he said of the change in his fortunes: "The Holy Father asked me with great insistence to stay in Rome, but my heart was beating for Naples." But apropos of his legal difficulties, he also speaks darkly of enemies "who wanted to strike me, both inside and outside the church".
It is hard to think of two men of God more different than Sepe and Ratzinger: the meaty, glad-handing Mediterranean man of the people, and the ascetic, book-loving Bavarian introvert. In a church regulated according to the Pope's wishes, it's also hard to imagine a man like Sepe obtaining much preferment. But the uncomfortable fact for Benedict is that the two men have one vital thing in common: both of them were chosen and promoted by John Paul II. And it is over his ambiguous legacy that an epic battle is now being fought behind the closed doors of the Vatican.

He may be physically slight, but this Pope is no pushover. Once, when a CNN reporter pursued him with an awkward question, he slapped him on the wrist rather than answer. As John Paul II's "enforcer of the faith" for nearly 30 years, he was ruthless in purging anyone and everyone with whom he disagreed – liberal theologians, those who lobbied the cause of gays in the church, the propounders of liberation theology, and easy-going Catholics who wanted the church to get on closer terms with other faiths. Anyone who he thought was trying to muddy the pure waters of faith with modern ideas was in deep trouble.

Since becoming Pope, he has kept up the hard line, favouring the return of Latin and of priests who turn their back on the congregation during Mass, the end of guitar-strumming populism, and the fashioning of a church that might have fewer members but is purer and less contaminated by the secular world. But Pope Benedict is meeting fierce resistance from within the church, in particular from some senior churchmen like Cardinal Sepe – those most lavishly favoured by John Paul II. Skeletons are tumbling out of the cupboard.

First it was the nightmare of priestly paedophilia: early this year, lawyers acting for US victims of paedophile priests accused Benedict of having been complicit in the cover-up of the crimes, and of having shown no sympathy for the victims. Since then, the Pope has been rowing back hard. En route by air to Lisbon last month he made the announcement that indicated a radical change of tack on the paedophilia crisis. During the flight, he told reporters: "Today the greatest persecution of the church does not come from outside, but from the sin inside the church itself. The church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice."

He has subsequently reinforced the message and, for the first time, offered humble apologies to the victims. He seems to be winning the public relations battle. But if we believe him to be sincere, he now finds himself in a very difficult situation. He is, according to one Vatican expert, "surrounded by people who share his politics and his conservative theology, but who don't share his views about paedophilia". He will also have to come clean about how his own views have changed. And he has so far shown no sign of being prepared to take either of those steps.
The Pope is a sort of monarch, but his power is severely constrained by the men who were his colleagues when he was still a cardinal. Within the Curia, the church's governing body, Benedict is surrounded by old men like himself who have been together for many decades. All of them, we can assume, have plenty of dirt on all the others.

All these men share broad agreement on the big doctrinal issues facing the church. Arch-conservatives all, like John Paul II, they are united in believing that no concessions should be made to the changing times – no movement on abortion, contraception, stem cells and the other "sanctity of life" issues; nor on the stigma attached to homosexuality, the rules on celibacy or the ban on women priests. They are also united in believing that the church is under siege from the godless compulsions of modern consumer society. The church's enemies, they agree, are without.
But on the question of priestly paedophilia, several are very vulnerable. One of them, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, has been one of the most powerful men in the church for decades. From 1990 to 2006, this fleshy son of a Piedmontese politician was Pope John Paul II's secretary of state, the most important post in the Vatican below the pontiff. Relieved of that job by Benedict he is now, aged 82, dean of the College of Cardinals and still has great power. But he has been tainted by the current scandal. Particularly problematic are his relations with a veritable monster of the modern church, the late Mexican prelate, Marcial Maciel.

Maciel was the founder of a highly conservative order called the Legion of Christ, but it has gradually emerged over the years – particularly since his death in 2008 – that he was much else besides: a morphine addict for decades who sexually abused his own seminarians, fathered several children by two mistresses, and then went on to abuse and rape those children.
Yet Maciel was greatly favoured by John Paul II, remaining persona grata at the Vatican until nearly the end of his life, and Sodano, like other senior members of the Curia (though not Ratzinger) received large cash gifts from him. Sodano repaid Maciel generously by killing a Vatican investigation into his misdeeds in 1998.

Another close ally of Benedict, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the man who replaced Sodano as secretary of state and is much mocked in Vatican circles for his alleged lack of brain- power, has also been badly tarnished by his friendship with Maciel. In 2004, when he was Archbishop of Genoa, he wrote a preface to a book-length interview with Maciel entitled "My Life is Christ", in which he praised "the frankness of one who lives his mission ... with his sights and his heart fixed on Christ Jesus".

Benedict is not tainted in the same way. But although he obtained Maciel's removal from the Legion of Christ in 2006, critics accuse him of featherbedding this dreadful man right to the end. Jason Berry, the American Catholic journalist, who has done most to expose Maciel's crimes over the years, argues that until Benedict sacks Sodano and Bertone, the Maciel shadow will still hang heavy on him. (I too have made this point. Until Benedict does something about Sodano and Bertone, reform is all smoke and mirrors.)

The problem for the current Pope is that he was there, in the inner circle, throughout the years that Maciel was John Paul II's favourite. And – according to the damaging testimony of a former cardinal – he also went along with the prevailing attitude of his fellow cardinals towards priestly paedophilia in general.

It emerged in April that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a Colombian who for 10 years was in charge of the Vatican department that supervises the clergy, wrote in 2001 with gushing approval to the Bishop of Bayeux, who went to jail rather than give French authorities information about a priest who had raped a minor. "I congratulate you for not turning in a priest to the civil administration," he wrote. "I am delighted to have a colleague ... who ... has preferred prison to turning in his son-priest."

The Vatican confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which had been posted on a French website. But then Castrillon Hoyos himself added a crucial detail. In a radio interview he said the letter was the outcome of a high-level meeting of cardinals at which Ratzinger had been present. "It was a meeting of cardinals," he told RCN radio. "Therefore the current Pope, who at the time was a cardinal, was present."

If the Pope wants to purge paedophilia from the church he must confront the compromised figures within the Curia and dismiss them. But whether that is politically possible is an open question. Sodano, Bertone and friends will fight like tigers to retain their privileges. There is also the question of whether Benedict has the personal, managerial talents to pull it off. When I asked one German expert on the Vatican for his assessment, he merely laughed. "No he doesn't," he said. "He's just a professor!"

When Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope five years ago, he was seen as a figure who would guarantee continuity after the 26-year reign of the Polish Pope. After all, it was John Paul II who had persuaded Ratzinger to leave his job as Archbishop of Munich and come to Rome to be his chief doctrinal advisor.

With the death of John Paul, the Catholic Church lost its greatest communicator, the man who had travelled more than any pope in history, who inspired eastern Europe's revolt against Communism and enjoyed enormous popularity even among non-Catholics. At his funeral thousands chorused, "Santo subito!" – "Make him a saint immediately!" He is not a saint yet, but he is on the fast track. And, in death, he remains a focus of devotion.

Nobody expected Cardinal Ratzinger to be able to replicate that performance, this introverted, book-loving German with his grand piano, cats and fondness for archaic vestments. But he was seen as the right man to protect Wojtyla's heritage and steer him safely towards sainthood.
Instead the chickens of John Paul's papacy are coming home to roost – the poisonous legacy of Maciel, one of whose brutalised sons spoke about his bizarre and hideous childhood for the first time last week, and all the other paedophile cases that festered during his long reign. And now the alleged venality of Cardinal Sepe has added more pollution to the air.

Both Maciel and Sepe were highly favoured by Pope John Paul II. Their worldliness resonated with the extrovert ex-actor and footballer; for him they brought vitality and energy into the church, not to mention a great deal of money. And he didn't care to look too closely at what else they brought.

Pope Benedict XVI would like the Catholic Church to be very different from the one that ballooned out of all proportion under John Paul, purer, more beautiful, more austere. But far from moulding the church in his own image, he now risks having his own heritage fatally compromised by the sins of the Holy Father. Tasked with fostering John Paul's legacy, he risks being flattened by it.


This next article brings the answer to a question I posed back in April when Cardinal Schoenborn discussed the actions of Cardinal Sodano. I wrote then that if Benedict was serious about reform, we know by how the Vatican eventually reacted to Schoenborn. Now we have the answer:

Vatican Rebukes Austrian Cardinal
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 28, 2010 Filed at 12:02 p.m. ET

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican issued an unprecedented public rebuke Monday of a leading cardinal who had questioned the church's policy of celibacy and openly criticized the retired Vatican No. 2 for his handling of clerical sex abuse cases.

In a statement, the Vatican said only the pope can make such accusations against a cardinal, not another so-called prince of the church. (I wonder which Canon Law says only a pope can make accusations against a cardinal?)

In April, Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, accused the former Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, of blocking a probe into a sex abuse scandal that rocked Austria's church 15 years ago.

Schoenborn also accused Sodano of causing ''massive harm'' to victims when he dismissed claims of clerical abuse as ''petty gossip'' on Easter Sunday.

Schoenborn has been a leading figure in the abuse crisis, forcefully denouncing abuse, presiding over service of reparations for victims and openly calling for an honest examination of issues like celibacy.

Schoenborn's comments about Sodano were remarkable in that they were directed at Pope John Paul II's No. 2, who has already come under fire for his alleged stonewalling of a Vatican investigation into the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who was found to have abused seminarians and fathered at least three children.

Sodano still wields enormous influence in Vatican circles as the dean of the College of Cardinals.
Such a public and formal reprimand of a cardinal is extremely rare -- particularly for one like Schoenborn, who has long been close to Benedict, his onetime professor, and is seen as a possible papal contender himself.

The Vatican on Monday sought to clarify Sodano's ''petty gossip'' comment, noting that the pope himself had used the same phrase a week earlier, referring to the need to have ''courage to not be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinions.''

The phrase, and Sodano's repetition of it, had sparked widespread criticism that the Vatican simply didn't appreciate the significance of the clerical abuse scandal. It suggested that the pope himself and his collaborators believed that the hundreds of reports that were flooding in of children being raped and sodomized by priests, and the questions that were being asked about the Vatican's handling of such cases, were mere gossip, not serious crimes.

The Vatican said that interpretation was ''erroneous,'' although it didn't explain what the pontiff or Sodano meant by the phrase. The Vatican said both men felt compassion for victims and condemnation for those behind the abuse.

The Holy See issued the statement after Schoenborn met with the pontiff in a private audience Monday. The audience was then broadened to include Sodano and the current Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The Vatican communique said Schoenborn had wanted to ''clarify the exact sense of his recent comments'' concerning celibacy and Sodano. It said Schoenborn ''expressed his displeasure for the interpretations.''

When asked by The Associated Press for further comment, Schoenborn's spokesman said the cardinal would not be available for an interview. (How utterly surprising.)

Previously, cardinals who have stepped out of line questioning church policy or doctrine have quietly issued their own mea culpas.

Schoenborn made the comments April 28 to a select group of Austrian journalists. The comments were later summarized by the Catholic news agency Kathpress and picked up by media around the world.

In the discussion, Schoenborn blamed Sodano for having blocked an investigation of sex abuse allegations against the late Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer.

The scandal surrounding the late Vienna archbishop broke in 1995, when a former student at a boy's seminary in the town of Hollabrunn alleged that he abused him repeatedly in the early 1970s. Other accusations followed. Groer stepped down shortly after the first allegations surfaced -- officially due to old age. He died in 2003 but never admitted any guilt.

Schoenborn, who succeeded Groer as Vienna archbishop, said the pope -- known then as Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- had immediately pushed for an investigative commission when abuse allegations against Groer arose.
However, he said, others in the Vatican -- described by Schoenborn as the ''diplomatic track,'' meaning the secretariat of state, a clear reference to Sodano -- did not let this happen.
His comments were intended to defend the pope at a time when Benedict himself was coming under fire for his handling of abuse cases both during his time as archbishop of Munich and as the head of the Vatican's doctrine office.

The Vatican statement Monday recalled that ''in the church, only the pope has the competence to deal with accusations against a cardinal; other instances can have a consultation function, but always with the necessary respect for the people involved.'' (I guess the necessary level of respect means ignoring what ever crimes Cardinals commit.)

In other comments on April 28, Schoenborn was quoted as saying the quality of a gay relationship should be taken into greater consideration, the church needed a new perspective on the remarriage of divorcees, and it was no secret the Vatican government was ''in urgent need of reform.''


So much for reform of the Vatican. So much for the voice of Cardinal Schonborn. So much for meaningful change in Catholicism under Benedict.
Dan Brown's fiction had it all wrong. Mario Puzo's fiction seems much closer to the reality. I am beginning to wonder if the real target in the Belgium raids isn't Cardinal Daneels. I can't help remembering that Cardinal Schonborn's original musings were over Sodano's protection of the late Cardinal Groer. It seems the Vatican does not like it's Cardinal Princes treated like actual human beings much less criminals. Since the Vatican tends to loudly protest and project the most when it is has the most to fear I can't help but wonder why the Belgium raid has generated so much fear that this weekend was the time Benedict felt compelled to call Cardinal Schonborn to task. Anyway it's a sad day all the way around.


  1. Vatican: Siege Mentality.

    Things must really be cracking up now!

    One wonders why the Schoenbron smackdown comes now... after 2 months percolating out there. No cardinal allowed to criticize another cardinal. Hmmmm.... So is there something else out there that might provoke criticism? Something in Belgium perhaps? Or events in Italy, to which Colleen points.

    Seems to me Schoenbron is being used as an example.... maybe as a warning. I can only hope some other cardinal arises, willing to risk criticizing a fellow cardinal. Who might be ready to do that? Beats me...

    Plus, it seems clear now that the Vatican can never investigate itself. Cardinals aren't allowed to do that. Only the Pope. And how can the pope possibly be in charge of an investigation? God knows, the pope does not want the civil authorities presuming to do that either!

    Events are heating up! Time to throw everything at the Vatican, I'd say. If they feel under siege, let it rip!

  2. Interesting that they seem only to have reprimanded him for his criticism of Sodano and not for his other comments.

    Of course the assertion that only the pope can make accusations against a cardinal is ridiculous, but when is the last time the Vatican has said anything about the powers or prerogatives of the pope that wasn't ridiculous? This is just the latest drop in an already very full bucket.


    Supreme Court clears way for abuse victims to sue Vatican! Refuses to hear Vatican's argument over international jurisdiction!

    Here's some:

    The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson to sue Pope Benedict on behalf of sex-abuse victims when it refused Monday to hear the Vatican's appeal of an Oregon lawsuit.

    Anderson, who specializes in filing abuse suits against the Roman Catholic Church, called the decision "the biggest breakthrough in the movement's history."

    "This is huge. Really, really huge," he said. "We've kicked down the iron gates that they've been hiding behind for all these years."

    In declining to hear the case, the court upheld an appeals court ruling that the Vatican can be sued for sexual abuse if church officials knowingly reassign priests who have been accused of such acts in their previous parishes. The Vatican appeal had argued that the U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction over the Rome-based church.

    Anderson predicted that now he can eventually depose Pope Benedict.

    "I won't start with him; I'm going to work my way up," he said. "But this ruling gives me the ability to depose anybody within the organization who has knowledge about the events."

    Yes, things are gonna crack up! Looks like they're not above the law after all...

  4. This Reuters quote is even more explicit:

    (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider whether the Vatican has legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

    Hold onto your hats, folks!

  5. Time:

    The Pope vs. Belgium: A Bad Fight for the Vatican?,8599,2000204,00.html

    Belgium is not the only country where the Catholic Church is in a crisis. But against a backdrop of a general decline in churchgoing and a specific scandal over sex abuse, the attempts by the Belgian Catholic Church and the Vatican to reassert their authority may backfire. "People will ask why the Pope feels the need to intervene in the affair of a sovereign state. They will ask if it's normal to leave this investigation to what is basically a private organization," says Marco Martiniello, a politics lecturer at the University of Liège. In the current, febrile climate surrounding the Catholic Church, the Pope may find it best to cease his complaints and simply let Belgian justice run its course.

    Beginning to fit together...

  6. I am actually surprised the Supremes refused to hear this case, especially given all the conservative Catholics currently serving on the court.

    It does appear the Vatican is finding out it's diplomatic status is not what it once was what with Belgian Police tramping through Cardinal's residences and US lawyers given the green light to sue in US courts. Bad day all around for Don Benedicto.

  7. What makes this decision even more intriguing is it involves an Irish priest belonging to a religious order. It's about transferring a known abuser from Ireland to the US under the auspices of a religious order that answers to the Vatican. It's a tighter line of authority than if it involved an American diocesan priest. Plus it has the transfer across international borders angle which really opens up a nasty can of worms.

  8. Hmmmm..... orders that answer to the Vatican.... maciel? Ah... the possibilities here...

    Vatican power is appearing to be a house of cards when it comes to civil powers!

  9. Many nations pay attention to the decisions of the highest courts of the land in other nations, taking their cues from them.

    So, sure enough, news of the Supremes' decision today is now affecting how Ireland may also view the Vatican's prior claims to immunity:

    From the Belfast Telegraph:

    The Irish government is studying the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court which could have major implications for Ireland's relations with the Vatican in the cover-up of paedophile clerics.


    Until now, the government and Irish courts have dismissed clerical child abuse claims on the grounds that the Holy See is an independent State with diplomatic immunity recognised by Ireland.

    "Previous attempts to make the Papal Nuncio in Dublin appear in the High Court to answer charges of collusion with paedophile cleric Sean Fortune were declared inadmissible.

    This special status caused uproar last year when the Murphy Report into the cover-ups in Dublin complained that neither the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, nor the Papal Nuncio in Dublin, answered its queries."

    Personally, I think the smack-down of Schoenbron today was a smoke-screen for this news from the Supreme Court (assuming that the Vatican had some advance warning.. which I bet they did.)

    Like I said earlier today, the Vatican appeared to have a "siege mentality" - and no wonder!

  10. "People will ask why the Pope feels the need to intervene in the affair of a sovereign state."

    ...the Vatican has been doing such 'interfering' since 325AD...:p

    ....contrary to the teachings of that "Jesus' they use as a corporate logo.

    I was not aware of the Supreme Court decision until now....GREAT!!!!!

    Also I note with great interest that the Belgian raids were practically ignored by the US press. Kudos to Belgium for having the GUTS to just raid the bastards!

    Look....if you can legally justify 3AM raids on illegal immigrants (who are usually poor & defenseless), and drug dealers (who are small-time players of no account), .....then My comment is this:

    Dear US Federal law enforcement;


    You know damned well that key evidence will be found - somewhere. Even if they have started midnight paper shredding parties.......

    Also, raiding the Papal Nunciature in Washington AND the Permanent Observer to the UN would be in order. As 'secret records' are known to have been shunted to those places.

    Diplomatic immunity my *&^!!!! There is solid pretext for such search & seizure when 'diplomats' are breaking local laws. Or obstructing justice or otherwise involved in criminal conspiracy.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  11. Anon Y. Mouse:

    Here's my thinking. All cases of clerical pedophilia should now go to the FBI. Priests were moved around. Thus interstate. And you've got the Vatican in charge. And no immunity. So why go to local law enforcement when you could simply get the FBI to do the raids?

    P.S. It wasn't a decision by the Supremes. They simply refused to hear the case, which meant they deferred to the lower court decision. But that deference to the lower court is a good as gold. It means that will have the POWER of a Supreme Court review - both here and abroad. It's gonna put a huge "lock" on the Vatican.

    I recall all that writing about the lawyer the Vatican had and how he was going to ensure the Vatican got its "diplomatic immunity". Didn't work! Time's are a changing....

  12. I have nothing to add to the discussion--but the word verification?? "Pardn"


  13. I guess the Belgium raids were precipitated by an ex member of the Archdiocesan abuse board.

    ""The former head of the commission, Godelieve Halsberghe, said in an interview with a Flemish newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, that she had gone to the authorities after receiving a call from a man who did not identify himself and warned her in French to “watch out” for herself and to secure the documents she held on about 30 cases she had handled during her tenure at the commission, from 2000 to 2008.""

    This is getting more and more like the Mafia all the time. Now we even have clandestine informants. Maybe that's why I get the feeling some very guilty rats are beginning to abandon the sinking Vatican ship to save their own skins. Benedict's belated attempts to assert his authority will most likely only spur on more rats to abandon ship. Benedict sounds and looks pathetically in over his head.

  14. TheraP -

    Yes- clerical abuse cases should have been turned over to the FBI en masse....decades ago. Remember: the founder of the Servants of the Paraclete warned Pope Paul VI in 1965 of the abuse epidemic & routine priest shuffling.

    ..which he had been aware of since the 1940s!

    And, since the abusers were shuffled across international lines (either to the missions as a dumping ground, or in education), Interpol should be involved.

    When I express this to many Catholics I am called....'satanic'.....'in need of confession'....'a sinner/heretic/blasphemer'...etc.

    I will repeat: no normal human in control of his/her God-given mental faculties would react that way. This is the result of mental conditioning; otherwise known as Mind Control.

    Yes, I understand the SCOTUS ruling;I just did not express myself properly:p

    The Belgian govt.would NOT have conducted such raids if they did not have good reason to do so.

    It is also interesting to note that Belgium was the first (and only?) Western nation to label Opus Dei officially as "a Cult".

    It should thus come as no surprise that you will find consistent disdain & hatred for Belgium in conservative Catholics sites/blogs.

    Note also.....Daneels has long been personally linked with Opus Dei.

    Anon Y Mouse

  15. "It wasn't a decision by the Supremes"

    True. Diana Ross had nothing to do with it......


    Some years ago - and I cannot now recall the source or contexts - someone told me that, while a student in a DC University (presuamably either CUA or Georgetown), he recounted the following (my paraphrase):

    "I saw rooms piled high with stacks of document files & boxes of papers. They were in temporary storage there. What I was told is that they were records of clerical sex abuse cases. From all over the US. We were not supposed to see this - it was an accident. But were told they were to be transferred either to Rome or some place with diplomatic immunity. The information on this was quietly imparted to a limited group. And this was in the 70s..."

    There has been enough independent confirmation of shipping such documents to secure locations - or within Nunciature property - to cite this as plausible reality.

    If this is true as stated, then those privy to verifiable information about it would likely be under the same 'threat' as Godelieve Halsberghe. Be they cleric or lay.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  16. Anon Y Mouse:

    "Note also.....Daneels has long been personally linked with Opus Dei."

    Linked by whom, exactly? This is slanderous. Danneels is one of the most progressive thinkers in the College of Cardinals.

  17. Yes, what I read is that the police thought some documents were being hidden. And that right now they are combing through the documents which they seized and comparing them with the ones this informant had in her possession - to see if the "official" ones have "missing pieces". The other thing I read is that they view this case as having two halves. One half relates to the abusers of the children. And the other half to those who knew about the abuse and did not protect the innocent, those they had reason to know were in danger.

    So clearly the judicial authorities in Belgium are after the enablers! And that makes me wonder again about the pope's "smack-down" of Schoenbron... for are there some honest bishops, for example, or cardinals, who know about other dishonest ones? Are they at the point of coming forward? (If only to save their own skins?)

    Plus, if some people are literally freaking out about the seized documents and the loss of their anonymity, isn't it more likely it's the "enablers" who are scared to death they will be outed? All the more so, now that Belgium has a green light, via the US Supreme Court - and probably the "Supremes" too, morally at least. ;)

    Then, taking this one step further, what if Interpol is provided reason to become involved? For what if there is evidence in the seized documents which links to other countries, maybe even back to the Vatican itself? And what if within the hierarchy itself there are cardinals who would go to the authorities themselves? Ratting on their fellow cardinals? For we know of one case where the Vatican had a dossier of a cardinal (?) who was an alcoholic and preyed upon seminarians. So, if there was one, there might be others. And if documents could be copied (kept in personal files for just such a moment by one cardinal maybe) and given to authorities (at an opportune moment)...

    This is all getting very much like the mafia or like espionage or something as mentioned above. But we KNOW the Vatican has tomes of terrible deeds - they didn't throw out the annals of the Inquisition! So... where is this all leading?

    Yes, Benedict is looking more pathetic, inept, and impotent by the day. He got himself appointed pope - and is not up to the job - and is presiding over a collapsing Vatican... like a balloon losing air. I almost feel sorry for him, a pathetic old man, completely out of his depth, utterly unable to "see" while imagining he has a clear vision of the rest of us all in a secular fog, far from the reign of God. Oh, how mistaken he is!

    And I sincerely apologize for my many comments (especially yesterday - but the news came pouring in - and cried out for analysis and exclamation!

  18. I have stated repeatedly since Boston blew in 2002 that we would never get to the bottom of the abuse scandal without the intervention of both the FBI and Interpol. I stated this because if these organizations actually went after the information with the same zeal as the Boston Globe, their access would yield far more information. Information which would most certainly involve other agencies other than the Roman Catholic Church.

    Belgium's scandal in the nineties involved all sorts of well placed people cooperating in a pedophile ring, all making the assumption their protection lay with their status. Anyone who thinks the Vatican is immune to this kind of thing is truly drinking the Kool Aid.

    I'm sure Benedict went after Schonborn because Benedict has been 'motivated' to go after Schonborn. Reminded perhaps of why he was elected pope and what happened to one of his predecessors.

  19. Cardinal Brady and Cardinal Martin have been criticizing each other in Ireland.

  20. "Linked by whom, exactly? This is slanderous. Danneels is one of the most progressive thinkers in the College of Cardinals."

    At the moment I cannot provide a link for the assertion that Daneels is linked to Opus Dei....but it is true. It is also irrelevant as to whether he is a literal members (like Schoenborn) or a Cooperator/Collaborator. It's all the same.

    One must bear in mind the following: Opus Dei can & has used elements on the Right AND Left to its advantage. Both the witting & the useful idiot. In the same manner that the US infiltrated & used Left wing Anti-Vietnam groups & Civil Rights groups against themselves.

    Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was very 'friendly' with Opus Dei as well. That may be a hard concept to deal with....but try. Remember: he was the first chairman of the entity which is now the USCCB. If he was a GENUINE Liberal, he would never hold that post. Or only as a useful idiot.

    The key concept is that of: Control

    The best way to win a war is to control both sides. That is also called a Strategy of Tension.

    For a Cardinal to play the part of a Liberal (and live....) he must be an actor. As if he is a genuine anti-fascist of the mind of Christ, he would share the end of Archbishop Romero.......

    In plain English: a vast game is being played,in multiple dimensions.

    Anon Y. Mouse