Vatican Issues New Rules on Responding to Sex Abuse – It’s ok to rape little children, but you will burn in hell if you ordain a women as a priest.

Standard

VATICAN CITY — In its most significant revision to church law since a sex abuse crisis hit the United States a decade ago and roared back from remission in Europe this spring, the Vaticanon Thursday issued new internal rules making it easier to discipline priests who have sexually abused minors.

But in a move that infuriated victims’ groups and put United States bishops on the defensive, it also codified “the attempted ordination of women” to the priesthood as one of the church’s most grave crimes, along with heresy, schism and pedophilia.

In its revision, the Vatican doubled the statute of limitations in abuse cases from 10 to 20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday and added possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults to the list of crimes handled by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In a statement, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the changes were a sign of the church’s commitment to addressing child sex abuse with “rigor and transparency.”

But the revision fell short of the hopes of many advocates for victims of priestly abuse: It does not contain measures to hold bishops accountable for abuse by priests on their watch, nor does it require mandatory reporting of sex abuse to civil authorities even in countries where it is not required by civil law.

Instead, the changes codify as law special procedures that allow the Vatican to try priests accused of child sex abuse using faster juridical procedures rather than full ecclesiastical trials, making such procedures the rule, not the exception.

“This a very important step from the point of view of canon law,” the Vatican’s internal prosecutor, Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, said at a news conference at the Vatican on Thursday, his first public appearance since the sex abuse crisis erupted this spring.

“But a document is always a document. It does not solve all the problems,” added Monsignor Scicluna, who oversees all abuse cases brought to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith. “It is a very important instrument, but it is the way you use the instrument that is going to have the real effect on the church.”

For years, bishops complained to the Vatican about confusion over how to handle sex abuse cases. In 2001, Pope John Paul II issued a document saying all credible allegations of abuse by priests should be reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But the document was not widely diffused, and the confusion remained.

In April, the Vatican for the first time published online guidelines that it said it advised bishops to follow in handling abuse, including reporting all cases to the Vatican and to civil authorities in countries that require mandatory reporting of crimes. But those guidelines do not hold the force of law.

Critics immediately said the revisions announced on Thursday did not go far enough.

“History has shown that church abuse policies are rarely followed. But even if these new guidelines are obeyed, their impact on the ongoing crisis is likely to be insignificant. Defrocking a predator, by definition, is too late,” SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement.

Bishopaccountability.org, which tracks cases of sex abuse by priests cases worldwide, said the changes “amount to administrative tinkering of a secretive internal process.”

“Given his authority, Benedict could implement meaningful change,” the group said in a statement. “He could direct bishops to report every allegation of child sexual abuse to the police, regardless of whether civil law requires them to do so. He could threaten punishment of any bishop or church official who enables or fails to stop a child-molesting priest.”

It added, “It’s disturbing that the new rules merely will extend the statutes of limitations rather than eliminate them altogether.”

Many victims have said they did not feel able to come forward until long after the abuse took place. In extending the statute of limitations for cases from 10 to 20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday, Monsignor Scicluna said the Vatican would retain the ability to lift the statute of limitations on a case-by-case basis.

Monsignor Scicluna also attempted to blunt the impact of the Vatican’s linking of the attempted ordination of women with grave crimes like pedophilia.

“Sexual abuse and pornography are more grave dealings, they are an egregious violation of moral law,” he said. “Attempted ordination of women is grave, but on another level; it is a wound that is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacramental orders.”

Yet in what appeared to be an acknowledgment of concern among American Catholics, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was expected to hold a news conference on the issue later on Thursday.

The revision announced on Thursday codifies a 1997 ruling that made attempting to ordain women as priests a crime punishable with excommunication.

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, an American priest with the Maryknoll religious order, said that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent him an excommunication letter within two months after he participated in a ceremony ordaining women, but that the Congregation had taken years while it considered the requests of bishops to defrock pedophiles.

“What I did, supporting the ordination of women, they saw as a serious crime,” Father Bourgeois said. “But priests who were abusing children, they did not see as a crime. What does that say?”

He added, “It’s leading to this ever-deepening crisis in the church in which so many people have left or are questioning how they can stay.”

For more than two decades, polls have showed that large majorities of American Catholics favor allowing women to be ordained as priests. The latest poll of American Catholics by The New York Times and CBS News, released in May, showed that 59 percent favored ordaining women, while 33 percent were opposed.

Laurie Goodstein contributed reporting from New York.

Advertisements

Abuse Took Years to Ignite Belgian Clergy Inquiry – This man is still free. Not a single priest or bishop in Belgium went to jail for raping thousands of children.

Standard

NY Times

WESTVLETEREN, Belgium — Behind an aggressive investigation of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Belgium that drew condemnation from the pope himself lies a stark family tragedy: the molestation, for years, of a youth by his uncle, the bishop of Bruges; the prelate’s abrupt resignation when a friend of the nephew finally threatened to make the abuse public; and now the grass-roots fury of almost 500 people complaining of abuse by priests.

The first resignation of a European bishop for abusing a child relative came unexpectedly on April 23. At 73, the Bruges bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, Belgium’s longest-serving prelate, tersely announced his retirement and acknowledged molesting “a boy in my close entourage.”

The boy, not named, was his own nephew, now in his early 40s.

The nephew’s story, pieced together through documents and interviews with him and others, shows that the nephew, acting after years of torment and strong evidence of church inaction, finally forced the bishop’s hand when the friend sent e-mail messages to all of Belgium’s bishops threatening to expose Bishop Vangheluwe.

For nearly 25 years, the nephew said, he sought to alert others that he had been molested by his uncle. Abuse started when he was 10, according to a retired priest, the Rev. Rik Devillé, who said he had tried to warn Belgium’s cardinal, Godfried Danneels, about the Bruges prelate’s abuse 14 years ago, but was berated for doing so.

It is not known whether Cardinal Danneels or others notified the Vatican, itself mired in allegations of inaction on sexual abuse, about the case at the time.

The Vatican accepted the bishop’s resignation as the scandal erupted in April but said nothing about the case until the Belgian police raided church properties in late June, an act that Pope Benedict XVI called “deplorable.” Now Belgium is unique in that civil authorities seized the documents that the church might have used to pursue its own investigations, apparently placing long-shrouded cases in the public realm.

Over the years, the nephew — who still does not want his name used publicly — channeled his rage into creating art: giant screaming images in gnarled wood or a montage of a boy being crushed by a mattress.

The resignation for sexual abuse sent waves through the Catholic hierarchy in Flanders, the northern Dutch-speaking part of the country, where religion is a powerful cultural influence.

Bishop Vangheluwe, who retreated to a Trappist monastery, remains under investigation by the Belgian authorities in perhaps another child sexual abuse case and accusations that he concealed such complaints lodged against others.

A public pledge by Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels that the Bruges resignation marked an end to cover-ups prompted more than 500 people — mostly men — to come forward in just two months.

“For the first time there is a generation of men who are telling that they were sexually abused by men,” said Peter Adriaenssens, a psychiatrist who led an internal church commission on sexual abuse but resigned last month after the police confiscated all his case files. Mr. Adriaenssens noted that many boys were beaten by parents who disbelieved their complaints. There was, he said, a “silencing of society.”

With so many new potential victims, the police staged extraordinary raids last month, holding bishops for nine hours at the church’s Belgian offices in Mechelen while scouring the premises for hidden material. They drilled into a cardinal’s crypt and confiscated computers and documents, searching for proof that the church had concealed evidence.

Bishop Vangheluwe’s nephew remains reluctant to speak extensively about what happened. “I’m scared, and the church has a lot of power,” he said, standing near a wooden image of two heads, one with a mouth carved wide into a scream.

Father Devillé, who was alerted to the bishop’s behavior by a friend of the nephew but had no direct contact with the abused youth, said: “For the nephew, it was impossible to say anything. He didn’t want anyone else to know because there was great pressure in the family to keep silent.”

Father Devillé said the abuse continued for about eight years. When he confronted Cardinal Danneels in 1996, he said, the cardinal listened impatiently, glancing frequently at his watch. Weeks later, Father Devillé received a letter from the cardinal. “Stop making unfounded public accusations against the church and its functionaries if you don’t have proof,” it read.

Under Belgian law, a sexual abuse victim can lodge a criminal complaint for only up to 10 years after turning 18. The church contends that Bishop Vangheluwe cannot face prosecution because the case is too old.

Cardinal Danneels, who was questioned for 10 hours last Tuesday by the police, said through his lawyer that he did not recall Bishop Vangheluwe’s name mentioned in connection with abuse.

Mr. Adriaenssens, who specializes in working with sexual abuse victims, said he believed that the turning point for the nephew came when a 12-year-old niece took home a holy card with a message from the bishop presented as a remembrance of her confirmation.

“It was a little card with a nice picture on the front and inside text from him on the importance of a healthy childhood,” Mr. Adriaenssens said. “This made him enraged.”

A meeting was arranged in April between the nephew, his family and the bishop of Bruges. But the family was infuriated that the retired Cardinal Danneels was the only other cleric present. They were expecting the newly appointed archbishop to attend, according to Mr. Adriaenssens, who said the family feared that the church was maneuvering to “silence” it.

Those suspicions were rooted deep because Belgian church officials failed to cooperate with child abuse cases stretching back over many years, according to Godelieve Halsberghe, a retired magistrate who led the internal church commission from 2000 to 2008.

In those eight years, Ms. Halsberghe said, she dealt with 33 cases, with 15 or 16 outstanding when she retired and the other half resolved with compensation for the victims, generally tens of thousands of euros. Church officials said only four cases were left outstanding. They also said that all cases notified to them after 2001 were passed on to the Vatican in accordance with rules set then by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, named pope in 2005. She said she dealt only with the Belgian church.

By April 19 this year, the e-mail messages from the nephew’s friend had reached all of Belgium’s bishops. A day later, Mr. Adriaenssens received news of a call from the nephew making a formal complaint to the commission hot line about his uncle. Mr. Adriaenssens called the bishop.

“This is your first moment to be a real priest,” Mr. Adriaenssens said he told him after the bishop admitted responsibility. Within an hour of calls to other commissioners, the view was: The bishop had to resign.

Now Belgian prosecutors and investigators must sort the hundreds of complaints that have emerged since.

Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck said his nation was living through a period of soul-searching similar to what followed the scandal over Marc Dutroux, who was arrested in 1996 and eventually convicted in the kidnapping, torture and sexual abuse of six girls, including four who died even though the police searched his home while some victims were imprisoned there.

“How can you explain that so many people didn’t go to police, didn’t go to justice?” Mr. De Clerck asked.

Mr. Vangheluwe is abiding by an agreement with the conference of bishops that he cannot grant interviews while living in St. Sixtus Abbey here in Westvleteren.

At vespers on Thursday, he stood out among 24 monks in homespun black and white robes. Holding a prayer book turned to Psalm 99, he was a stooped figure in gray trousers, a light short-sleeved shirt and sandals.

After prayers, half of the monks left; Mr. Vangheluwe stayed for an optional 10 minutes of silent contemplation.

Check out this article written by a delusional bat shit crazy loon of a cunt. She encourages acts of vandalism and violence against atheists. And then she cries about her rights as a christian that is not upheld by the “liberals”. Another good example of how religion eats away at your brain. Vandalism for jesus. By god, it’s their right as fundies!!!!!

Standard

Chrissy Satterfield, Miss Northeast California 2006 Talent: Oral/Vocal

My kind of vandals

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=175413

Now this airhead writes articles for WorldNetDaily. Ha-ha!!!!!!! Fundieville!!!!!!