Friday, December 19, 2014
In Gallup, New Mexico the local catholic diocese made public a list of priests who were “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children between 1951 and 2013. This diocese includes Apache, Navajo and Coconino counties – the sad details of abuse of American Indian children by catholic clergy is well known. The list includes over a dozen other clergy and a layperson, but it does not outline any criminal charges, sanctions or how many children were sexually-abused.
Six of the accused priests are deceased. This release of abuser names follows the usual pattern of the church: crimes made public when it is too late to do anything about it. One Arizona lawyer, Robert Pastor explained what “credibly accused” meant to the church: the accused would be prosecuted by the church, not the civil authorities and this was just a way to justify hiding pedophile priests.
A spokesperson for the church had only sketchy details of any “punishment” – some priests were removed or later left the priesthood. Others were later found to be working in different dioceses. Some offenders were sent for rehabilitation –even though the psychiatrists know that pedophiles are never cured.
Barbara Dorris, outreach coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that this disclosure was a step in the right direction but said: "It feels like they only do the bare minimum and only when forced…They have had years to do outreach, to try to find these persons who have been hurt, to perform with law enforcement to get to the truth in these instances, and yet what they have carried out is extremely tiny." She said that many priests whose names were on the list are still alive "and, we fear, still have access to kids."
EJ Montini, a columnist for azcentral.com writing about the release of names asked how could it have taken so long and whether other dioceses are still covering up. He related the facts about Rev. George Bredemann, a local priest who in 1989 pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted child molestation and, according to prosecutors, acknowledged 15 other child victims.
To show what is wrong with the attitude of the church, after Bredemann's admission the local Bishop O'Brien said, ''I'm saddened that this has happened to a priest in the Diocese in Phoenix.'' Said Montini, “I noted at the time that his excellency the bishop was confused. That nothing had happened to the priest. It had happened to little boys.” Montini says that according to victim advocates there has never been a full accounting. “There might never be such a thing, not in this life, anyway. I'd guess, I'd hope, however, that for pedophile priests there is a special place in hell,” said Montini.
BishopAccountability.org has an extensive list of Publicly Accused Roman Catholic Priests, Nuns, Brothers, Deacons, and Seminarians in the United States – see if your diocese is listed.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
My wife had surgery in a catholic hospital because her surgeon only operated there and she was in a lot of pain. It was a trauma for me. I had to listen to religious music for 4 hours. I sat there reliving the deadly torture I had from nuns and priests. I noticed where the donations of faithful parishioners go: there was a huge atrium with a waterfall, mountains, real trees, rocks and a life-size nativity set up. While waiting I heard some nurses talking about holy water – that if kept in the home it would ward off evil. More likely it is enriching the pockets of companies like this one:
“Catholic owned and operated from the company's owners, to product buyers, to our marketing staff, and our warehouse employees. Due to our ecumenical nature as Catholics, it is not a requirement that our employees be Catholic. However, being faithful members of the Catholic Church enables us to better support you and your gift-giving needs. Selling online since 2001, The Catholic Company has since been nationally recognized as being a leader in online retail with several awards in customer care and technology”.
So it’s a big business for something that should have no commercial pressure on us. God should bless the water not men – especially not those who are pedophiles or those who support and enable them.
Then, because my wife was not well enough for us to stop off at our local inexpensive pharmacy, we had to use the hospital pharmacy. I said I only had $20 on me and they took it all. In keeping with the holiday spirit (they had none) they refused to give us a partial prescription for the pain medicine and I had to pay for 40 pills. When it was time to leave they were in a hurry to get us out even though my wife was throwing up. This was after she took one of the same pills that had been prescribed and after my wife told them she couldn’t tolerate that medicine. They said it was the only type they prescribe – too bad for her. The hospital is just a money making machine and doesn’t care how they get the money.
Many people are telling me about their experiences with mean and greedy clergy – if you have an experience to relate please share it with all of us. You can also reach me on twitter @georgebarilla.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Vatican's economy minister Cardinal George Pell says hundreds of millions of euros were found "tucked away" in Holy See department accounts. None of it appeared in the city-state's balance sheets. By their own admission "It was impossible for anyone to know accurately what was going on overall," said Pell.
This is the same Cardinal Pell of Australia who did not believe that there needed to be an Australian Royal Commission investigating clergy sex crimes and cover ups. This is the same Cardinal Pell who, when a boy spoke up about being raped by a priest -- called the victim’s statements "irresponsible and untrue." This is the same Cardinal Pell who refused to hand over documents about child sex crimes by Catholic officials, to the Royal Commission and stonewalled the the UN Committee Against Torture. So Pope Francis picked a real loser to straighten out Vatican finances.
Pell went on to say that overall Vatican finances were in better shape than previously believed. "It is important to point out that the Vatican is not broke ... the Holy See is paying its way, while possessing substantial assets and investments." We can see from the photo of Pope Francis where some of this excess money goes to – the Vatican kitchen and the Pope’s dinner plate.
At this time of year especially, the Pope should be thinking about sharing all of this excess money with hungry and homeless people and not celebrating this windfall over a seven course meal.
Friday, November 28, 2014
The Newburyport, MA news reported that Richard McCormick, 73, a priest who at one time was in a position equivalent to that of a bishop, was found guilty of five counts of child rape, incidents that took place at a summer camp in Ipswich operated by the Salesian order on the grounds of the former Sacred Heart Retreat during the early 1980s.
Lawrence Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup said McCormick “preyed on and exploited the vulnerability of a young boy who was in his care,” leaving him with lifelong scars. Judge Rup said that the victim’s testimony shows that the effects of abuse are permanent.
Everyone saw the man, now 44, cry as he remembered being put in a storage closet by McCormick who repeatedly raped him during two summers in 1981 and 1982. The victim said, “The only thing that matters now is he can’t do it to any more children.”
The convicted McCormick showed little reaction to the sentence, which will be carried out in the state prison in Walpole and if he is still alive by then it will be followed by 10 years of probation. I hope this is a message to the rest of the rapist priests that justice will be served.
Monday, November 10, 2014
All week we’ve been hearing about the excommunication of a pedophile Argentine priest as if it was a great step forward in Pope Francis’ policy for crimes against children. The priest, Jose Mercau sexually abused four teenagers and was given a 14-year prison sentence after he admitted his crimes. Instead he went to jail for 15 days in 2011 and then was sent to a monastery and got out last March – why so soon? So now he is excommunicated – how does that help the children he abused? Why was this covered in the media like it was some kind of miracle?
Not everyone thinks it was such a wonderful gesture by the Pope: "The church still has a long way to go," Sebastian Cuattromo, director of the advocacy group Adults for the Rights of Infancy, told the Associated Press. Francis' policies "are being carried out because of the long fight by the victims," said Cuattromo, who was sexually abused by a priest at age 13.
This is just more “smoke and mirrors” because the long history of the catholic church and its popes shows that much gets said but little gets done. So the pope met with victims of abuse from Ireland, Germany and Britain and he begged forgiveness for the church – how did that help? "Over the past 2,000 years, two popes have met with about two dozen clergy sex abuse victims. Very little has changed," Mary Caplan, a leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement sent to NBC News. "A dozen popes could meet with 100 victims, and very little will change. These meetings are public relations coups for the Vatican and a distracting placebo for others."
So priests are defrocked, excommunicated, sent to monasteries, where in most cases they just continue what they were doing – those let loose in the streets are unsupervised and God help the children.
It’s going to take much more work on the part of the church and the pope before children are truly safe. Pope Francis, get off your golden chair and send all the known clergy rapists of children to jail where they belong!
Saturday, November 1, 2014
This is an excerpt from the book “Smothered”, what I wrote about my abuse by a priest and nuns:
“There is no time limit on trying a murder case. There should be no time limit for bringing a child rape case to justice. If murderers get life imprisonment or the death penalty, pedophile rapists (and those who cover up their crimes) should get the same punishment because it is the same as killing the child – it is a death sentence for the victim – a living death or for many suicide stops the pain.”
What the sexual abusers of children do to their victims causes so much pain and suffering: physically and psychologically that they can’t function in society – it is carried in their minds and touches all of their relationships. It lasts a lifetime. Many survivors can’t tell anyone about their physical and mental pain and they don’t get treatment – they suffer silently, commit suicide, or they just die. You or someone you care about may be one of the survivors who went through the pain and suffering but remain silent.
We need you to speak out -- there are many ways to do so. If you have physical problems like I do -- with my shoulder that hurts because the nun knocked me off the bench – tell your doctor how you were injured. If you have emotional problems say where they came from. Recording what the abusers did and who they are identifies them for the world. Talking on blogs like this one spreads the message.
We need to speak as one voice to the senators, congressmen and other politicians and lobbyists. We need to tell them not to take vatican money (our money) to pass laws like the statute of limitations that eliminates the only chance that survivors have to get any justice in the courts. The vatican insists that it is an independent country so why is a foreign country creating U.S. laws
If the pope can recruit defenders of pedophilia, we can recruit defenders of children. We can fight with our votes and our voices. We can make their crimes visible to the world and to the law makers. We can change the laws that hurt victims. Voters have to find out how politicians voted on laws like having a statute of limitations that keep victims from testifying. Don’t vote for them if they are not helping the survivors or protecting our children. An article in the Daily Progress, Virginia, January 2011 quoted Grier Weeks, executive director of the National Association to Protect Children: “It’s a sad day when pedophiles and their enablers have paid lobbyists and victims have to beg for justice.”
Why do we let nun and clergy pedophiles run rampant in our churches and schools? The church gets to us through our faith: We believe in God. The pope and his minions take advantage of our faith and use God falsely – they hypnotize and blind us by hiding behind God in order to rape our children, to get our money and use it to defend pedophile rapists. They don’t realize that God is everything, that they are nothing and will be destroyed by their own evil. “No false gods” is their motto, but the vatican thinks they are gods. God knows of their arrogance: they pretend to be God’s translator but they have their own agenda. If they tamper with our faith in God they lose.
God had a reason for me to survive the deadly, fierce abuse: to halt them in their tracks, expose them, shed light on their perverted acts, take the battle right up to the pope in evil central and destroy their evil way of life. I hope others like me will speak out. We will use the media to expose them. They are nothing without our money and support -- they are worthless. We won’t have any kindness or mercy for them – they had none for us. The power in us, the survivors, is greater and more courageous than the lies of the pope and church for 2000 years. There will be a glorious victory for us. We outnumber the evil perpetrators and we can stand together to stop them – we can win the battles and win the war.
We are shining the light on evil: child abusers in the church and in society can’t hide from the truth. The world is better off without the pope and his brand of religion that deceives us in the name of God. Nothing lasts forever and their time has passed. We don’t need the church if it separates us from God. All we need is God in our hearts.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
For years in the 1970s and 1980s pedophile priest Eric Dejaeger victimized Inuit (Eskimo or native people living in artic regions in the U.S. and Canada). The 67-year old Dejaeger who was previously defrocked but not locked up – has been found guilty on 24 of 68 charges against him. His crimes were horrific: 24 counts of indecent assault, one of unlawful confinement, two of buggery, three of unlawful sexual intercourse, one of sexual assault and one of bestiality according to CBC News in Canada. Dejaeger’s victims were 12 boys, 10 girls and a dog he raped in front of two children. Most were between the ages of eight and 12, with some as young as four and as old as 18. So God’s creatures as well as children are fair game for rapist priests.
Dejaeger had escaped to Belgium in 1995, hiding there illegally. He was sent back to Canada in 2011 through the efforts of Lieve Halsberghe, one of several human rights activists who helped track down Dejaeger in Belgium. She said that the victims “showed extreme courage to face this monster after so many years and so much suffering.” The victims were afraid that no one would believe them --their parents did not believe them when they tried to tell them that they were forced to watch Dejaeger rape a dog.
Many of us want to know how Dejaeger got away with such abuse for so long. He used the same tactics that all rapist priests use: cajoling them with treats and using food to control poor and hungry kids. He directly assaulted them: one witness told of being taped to a bed and raped from behind as a child. Dejaeger also threatened them with “hellfire or separation from their families” if they told on him, according to CBC News.
Dejaeger had originally spent 5 years in prison on earlier charges but in 1995 he avoided a second set of charges when he fled to Belgium. He will be sentenced in January 2015.
Why is it so easy to commit these crimes and get away with them? It is because the catholic church follows the Doctrine of Discovery. In the 15-century papal bulls (laws) gave representatives of the catholic church permission to seize lands of Indigenous Peoples (native Americans, including in Canada) and to colonize their lands. The result was the wiping out of native languages and cultures.
The popes of the Roman Catholic Church encouraged the kings of Portugal and Spain to conquer “undiscovered” lands, enslave their non-Christian populations and steal their possessions and resources. The doctrine even gave Europeans the right to kill or enslave people who refused to convert to Christianity. This agreement among European nations stated that whichever nation arrived first had the right to explore, colonize and steal the land’s resources. The non-Christian indigenous (native) peoples did not have the right to own the land, only to occupy it.
It’s not just the church that follows this law. The Doctrine of Discovery has been on the U.S. legal books since 1823, when it was approved by a Supreme Court decision. It was still being used in 2005 in a land case against the Oneida Indian Nation of New York who was required to pay property taxes on native lands it had bought back from the city of Sherrill, N.Y.
How can so-called civilized religious organizations and countries stick to a law that blessed the massacre of millions of native people? The U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues called for Pope Benedict XVI to revoke and renounce this doctrine in 2006, calling it: "racist," "morally condemnable" and "socially unjust" -- but there was no response. As recently as last week, Pope Francis was also ignoring requests to stop these practices. Why does it continue? Because Pope Francis and the rest of the catholic church want access to native people, children and animals for their evil and greedy practices. We have to stop them.