MacKillop banished after uncovering sex abuse


MacKillop banished after uncovering sex abuse

Updated 11 hours 38 minutes ago

Mary MacKillop was banished from the Catholic Church for five months.

Mary MacKillop was banished from the Catholic Church for five months. (

Mary MacKillop, the nun who will soon be Australia’s first saint, was excommunicated by the Catholic Church because she discovered children were being abused by a priest and went public, the ABC’s Compass program can reveal.

In 1871, after only four years as a nun, she was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and turned out onto the street with no money and nowhere to go.

MacKillop’s cause for sainthood began in 1925 and has had the tireless backing of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the order she founded.

On October 17, MacKillop’s canonisation by Pope Benedict XVI will be a momentous occasion for Australia’s 5 million Roman Catholics.

But these new revelations show there were some in the church who set out to destroy the order that put her on the path to sainthood.

While serving with the Sisters of St Joseph, MacKillop and her fellow nuns heard disturbing stories about a priest, Father Keating from the Kapunda parish north of Adelaide, who was allegedly abusing children.

They told their director, a priest called Father Woods, who then went to the Vicar General.

The Vicar General subsequently sent Father Keating back to his home country of Ireland, where he continued to serve as a priest.

Father Paul Gardiner, who has pushed for MacKillop’s canonisation for 25 years, says Father Keating’s fellow Kapunda priest Father Horan swore revenge on the nun for uncovering the abuse.

“The story of the excommunication amounts to this: that some priests had been uncovered for being involved in the sexual abuse of children,” he said.

“The nuns told him and he told the Vicar General who was in charge at the time and he took severe action.

“And Father Horan, one of these priests, was so angry with this that he swore vengeance – and there’s evidence for this – against Woods by getting at the Josephites and destroying them.”

Father Horan was by now working for Adelaide’s Bishop Shiel and urged him to break the sisters up by changing their rules.

When MacKillop refused to comply, she was banished from the church at the age of 29.

“Mary was not excommunicated, in fact or in law. She submitted to a farcical ceremony where the Bishop had … lost it,” Father Gardiner said.

“He was a puppet being manipulated by malicious priests. This sounds terrible but it’s true.”

Five months later Bishop Shiel was gravely ill and dying. From his deathbed he instructed that MacKillop be absolved and restored.

A statement from the Sisters of St Joseph says the events of September 1871 have “been comprehensively documented”.

“There were several factors that led to this painful period for Mary and the sisters,” the statement said.

“The reasons for Mary’s excommunication have been written about and commented on in the public domain since that time. This is consistent with the information contained in the Compass program.”

In 2009, 100 years after MacKillop’s death, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson publicly apologised to the Sisters of St Joseph for Mary’s wrongful excommunication.

“On behalf of myself and the archdiocese I apologise to the sisters, especially to the sisters for what happened to them in the context of the excommunication when their lives and their community life was interrupted and they were virtually thrown out on the streets and that this was a terrible thing,” he said.

ABC’s Compass program containing the revelations and the story of Mary MacKillop’s life will screen on Sunday October 10 , a week before the historic canonisation ceremony.


List of Hitler quotes — he was quite the vocal Catholic


Category: CreationismHistoryReligion
Posted on: August 23, 2006 4:25 PM, by PZ Myers

Douglas Theobald passed along an interesting collection of quotes from that atheist evolutionist, Adolph Hitler. It’s particularly interesting the he outlawed atheist and freethought groups in 1933.

It’s a long list of quotes, so I’ll tuck it below the fold.

475 Belgian church abuse cases


475 Belgian church abuse cases

2010-09-10 21:30

Brussels – A Belgian Catholic Church-backed commission on Friday published a report revealing hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by clergy and church workers, and 13 suicides by abuse victims.

The commission said it had received 475 complaints in the first six months of this year from alleged victims or their families.

Most were related to charges of sexual abuse committed between the 1950s and the late 1980s by Catholic clergy, but also by teachers of religion and adults working with youth movements.

It noted that one fact in particular showed “the extent of the negative effects: the high number of suicides”, the report said.

The commission received 13 reports in which “the person concerned died by suicide and this in relation to sexual abuse by a cleric”, it said, adding that another six victims said they had attempted suicide.

All congregations involved

The 200-page report which contains testimonies from some 124 anonymous “survivors” – as the victims of the alleged abuse are called – reveal that the sexual abuse for most victims began at age 12, although one was two years old, five were aged four, eight aged five and ten aged seven, the report said.

While the description of the alleged sex molester is often imprecise, where verification had been made 102 were found to have been members of some 29 religious orders, the report said.

“We can say that no congregation escapes sexual abuse of minors by one or several of its members,” the report’s authors wrote.

Two-thirds of the alleged victims were male, it also noted.

The commission headed by a psychiatric specialist in paedophilia, Peter Adriaenssens, said it received most of its testimony after the forced resignation in April of the bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, who admitted having sexually abused his nephew between 1973 and 1986.

Seized files

A woman in the report testified that she was abused at age 17 by a priest and tried to seek help from a bishop in 1983.

“I told him ‘I have a problem with one of your priests’. He told me: ‘Ignore him and he will leave you alone’,” she said.

The commission concluded that the victims deserve “a courageous Church which is not afraid to confront its vulnerability, to recognise it, to co-operate in finding fair responses.”

The commission members resigned en masse in June after their files were seized in raids by Belgian judicial authorities.

Judges subsequently struck off from admissible evidence the fruits of that search in June at the offices of the church commission.

On Thursday a Belgian appeals court deemed raids on the church headquarters in Brussels and at the home of its former top cardinal disproportionate, and ordered that the material seized be returned with prosecutors unable to use it.

The country’s current archbishop, Andre-Joseph Leonard, said after the decision was made public that “it is in everyone’s interests that the fundamental rules of law are respected.”


A Call for Earthly Justice Holding the Catholic Church accountable for its crimes.


Fighting words

A Call for Earthly Justice

Holding the Catholic Church accountable for its crimes.

By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, at 11:16 AM ET

Reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s extraordinary and limpid new work Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (a history informed by a general, if Anglican, sympathy for its subject), I came across the following passage from Cardinal John Henry Newman’s classic statement of belief, his Apologia Pro Vita Sua:

The Catholic Church holds it better for the Sun and Moon to drop from Heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die from starvation in extremest agony … than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse.

In a few days, Joseph Ratzinger will make one of the most portentous voyages of his papacy, landing in Britain to announce the beatification of the author of those remarkable words. I am not writing about Catholic dogma today, and in any case do not have the space to discuss the hysterical, totalitarian fanaticism of Newman’s statement, coming as it does from a learned man celebrated for his relative “moderation.” I thought I would simply ask how the church would emerge if anything remotely like Newman’s criterion were to be applied to it.

As we have recently been forcibly reminded, the Roman Catholic Church holds it better for the cries of raped and violated children to be ignored, and for the excuses and alibis of their rapists and torturers indulged, and for a host of dirty and wilful untruths to be manufactured wholesale, and for the funds raised ostensibly for the poor to be paid out in hush money and shameful bribery, rather than that one tiny indignity or inconvenience be visited on the robed majesty of a man-made church or any limit set to its self-proclaimed right to be judge in its own cause.

Earlier this year, as Roman Catholic authorities from Ireland to Germany to Australia to Belgium to the United States were being confronted with the fallout of decades of sexual assault and subsequent denial, I asked a simple question in print. Why was this not considered a matter for the police and the courts? Why were we asking the church to “put its own house in order,” an expression that was the exact definition of the problem to begin with? Why had almost no offending priest or bishop faced justice, and even then usually after a long period of protection from the church’s own “courts”? I followed this up with a telephone call to Geoffrey Robertson, a British barrister with a second-to-none record in international human rights cases. (If it matters, the last time we had both cooperated was in a campaign against the British Act of Succession, an archaic piece of legislation that explicitly discriminates against Catholics.) This was one of the best dimes I have ever dropped. After a group of generous humanists and atheists agreed to pay his extremely modest fee, Robertson produced a detailed legal brief against the papacy and has made it widely available for the use of all interested or aggrieved parties. Titled The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, it has just been published in the United Kingdom by Penguin Books. (It will be available in the United States in October.)

As if almost timed to coincide with its publication, and with the impending arrival of Ratzinger on British soil, the recent disclosures of the putrid state of the church in Belgium have thrown the whole scandal into an even sharper relief. Consider: The now-resigned bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, stands revealed by his own eventual confession as being guilty of incest as well as rape, having regularly “abused” his male nephew between the ages of 5 and 18. The man’s superior as head of the Belgian church, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, has been caught on tape urging the victim to keep quiet. A subsequent official report, commissioned by the country’s secular authorities, has established that this level of morality was the rule throughout the hierarchy, with the church taking it upon itself to “forgive” the rapists and to lean upon their victims. Very belatedly, a few months ago, the Belgian police finally rose from their notorious torpor and raided some ecclesiastical offices in search of evidence that was being concealed. Joseph Ratzinger, who had not thus far found a voice in which to mention the doings of his Belgian underlings, promptly emitted a squeal of protest—at the intervention of the law.

Robertson’s brief begins with a meticulous summary of the systematic fashion in which child-rape was covered up by collusion between local Catholic authorities and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, an office that under the last pope was run by Ratzinger himself. (So flagrant was this obstruction of justice that many senior Catholic apologists have now started to blame the deceased pontiff in an effort to excuse his deputy and successor, all the while continuing to put forward Pope John Paul II as a candidate for sainthood!) The brief continues with a close examination of the Vatican’s claim to be a state, and its related claim that statehood confers legal immunity on the pope, even in gross cases of abuse of human rights. Without undue difficulty, Robertson shows both claims to be laughably void and based, furthermore, on a history of disgraceful collaboration with dictatorship and sheltering of wanted criminals.

Cardinal Newman himself was rather dubious about the late-19th-century proclamation of papal infallibility. He also asked to be buried in the same grave as his lifelong companion, Ambrose St. John. The Catholic authorities have now rudely disinterred the bodies, finding nothing that had survived decay or could serve as a relic. This is grotesque enough, but not as grotesque as the air of persecuted innocence that they wear when confronted with their obscene offenses. Now at last there is a careful guide to legal redress, which can be taken up either by a victim or by a prosecutor and used to bring a man-made outfit, and its chief executive, within the rule of law. The sun and moon don’t need to fall and the species doesn’t have to die in agony in order to expiate this sin—a little application of simple earthly justice is all that is required. Will it really continue to be withheld?

Help us name our new Muslim Gay Bar


Muslim Imams who are promoting the construction of a new
mosque near Ground Zero, claim it’s all about strengthening the
relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque – after all, if they buy the land and follow the law, I will support their effort.

Which is why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.
I’m going to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only men of the West, but also to Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated right next to the proposed mosque, on an adjoining vacant lot.

This is not a joke. I’ve already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.
As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It’s an effort to break down barriers and reduce the deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.

My bar will be especially friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. Also, the bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance!

Bottom line is, I hope the mosque builders will be as open to my bar, as I am to their mosque. After all, the plea for tolerance driving them to build next to Ground Zero, is no different than mine. My place, however, will have better music.

I could use your help in selecting one of the proposed names. Please let me know which one you like.

The Queer’an


Mohammie’s Retreat

Jihad Me at Hello

Allahu Gaybar

The Sphinx-ter

Queer Eye for the Jihad Guy

The Homo Side Bomber

Jihad’s and Rods

Weapons of Ass Destruction

Allahs in Wonderland

Midnight at the Oasis

Mecca inn & out

SCUD Marks

Khomeini Men, Kholittle Time   (my fave)

Mo’s Hole

Allah Akbar and Grill

From another website:

From RevereRidesAgiain:

Turban Cowboy

Suspicious Package


From Dag:


From Pastorius

Allahu Gaybar

From Spike:

Toss my Saladin

Mecca Hynie Ho

Allah’s Crack Bar

and finally,
The Camel’s Toe
(lets not forget the lesbians)