|Fewer and Fewer|
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The catholic church is on the way out. Attendance and number of churches has been declining for many years – faster since the pedophile priest cover-up was headline news in the Boston Globe in 2002.
In the U.S., of all the major denominations catholics have seen the largest decline in members. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for each person who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. From 2007 to 2014, 3 million people left the catholic church. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. “Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin. Numbers of catholics are also shrinking around the world in Europe and Australia.
There are some interesting statistics about the slippery slope the church finds itself sliding down.
If ex-Catholics were counted as their own religious group, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
If it weren’t for the many Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin American, the American Catholic Church would be shrinking even faster (CNN 2012). However, according to a Pew Research Center report, many catholic Latin Americans have left the church to become protestant. This is why the Vatican chose Pope Francis (from Argentina) – to keep Latin Americans in the catholic church.
In a study in the Trenton, NJ diocese some of the top reasons for leaving were:
Ø The sex abuse crisis -- the church’s inadequate response to clergy sex abuse, refusal of bishops to list pedophile priests on the diocese’s website and non-support of the effort to lift the statute of limitations for survivors seeking justice in the courts. Some of those responding said they had been victims of sexual abuse by church leadership.
Ø Dissatisfaction with the priest – words used were: “arrogant,” “distant,” “aloof” and “insensitive”
Ø Uninspiring sermons on Sundays -- messages from the priest, did not relate or “speak to” them. And whenever the church wanted to raise money, they dropped the sermon and talked about donations.
Ø The church hierarchy was too closely tied to conservative politics. People felt that the church should stay out of politics; it should certainly not threaten politicians.
Ø The status of women -- the church is too involved in American politics relating to family planning, women’s rights, not allowing women to become ordained.
Some other statistics:
Ø A 2014 survey in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, found 4 major reasons for leaving: Not happy with Church doctrine, losing interest in the faith and Mass, church sex scandals or feeling unwelcome or judged by the Church.
Ø Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing.
Ø 10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics.
Ø 79 percent of those born or raised catholic and who are no longer catholic or have any religious affiliation of any kind, made their decision by age 23 – this means that there will be no one to fill the pews in the coming decades
Each of us has personal reasons for leaving the church. On this blog I have talked often about the reasons that I left. If you (the reader) are leaving the church or have left it, let me know why. It may be for some of the reasons above, or you may have other reasons to share with me and other readers.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? Part V. Bishop Hubbard’s Damage Control. A in a five part weekly series on catholic church crimes
Paying for his sins using our money
Bishop Hubbard, who led the 400,000-member Albany diocese from 1977 and retired in 2014, denied that he ever broke his vow of celibacy. So to have an “independent” opinion, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese's Sexual Misconduct Review Board hired Mary Jo White. Ms. White, a law partner in the 500-member firm of Debevoise & Plimpton in Manhattan, was paid $770 an hour and that did not include her staff billing. How could she be independent if the people she investigated paid her salary?
After four months (at $770/hr.) White released a 200 page report. White’s investigation was only of Hubbard – it did not look at the many accounts of other Albany diocese priests who were sexually abusive or were homosexuals. No surprise: she concluded that there was no credible evidence the bishop was guilty of homosexual activity, or broke his vows of celibacy, or had sexual relations with anyone. The diocese got a $2.2 million bill for services rendered – and the Catholic faithful of the 14-county Albany diocese paid for it. But there is too much evidence that White’s report was a white wash and a cover-up. There are too many people who know the truth.
In addition to the Minkler case, White’s investigation was focused on claims by Andrew Zalay, who released his brother Thomas' 1978 suicide notes, one of which refers to a relationship with "Howard" and calls him the bishop. Thomas Zalay died after setting himself ablaze in his parents' home. White also discredited this account. But what about people who actually knew Minkler? – like Bob Linde:
“The case speaks for itself. Hubbard took three million out of Catholic funds, and hired Former U.S. Attorney White (A Close Friend) to show that he was not a pervert. We know he is, and together with Father Nolan (who worked for Hubbard) is responsible for the death of Father John Minkler for trying to expose Hubbard and his cronies.
I knew Father John Minkler and talked with him on regular basis. I also know his sister Patty and am in touch with her from time to time. He was the Chaplin at the VA Hospital in Albany, sent there to be away from Hubbard. John Minkler helped me get my partial pension from the Military – he helped me in many ways and we talked often. He was a good man, and loved life too much to commit suicide and I don’t believe that he did. I talked to him a couple days before and he was going to call me again. He did want to expose Hubbard as homosexual. He was under a lot of pressure from exposing the sexual activities involving Hubbard and his priest. A few days later he was dead from an overdose. Michelle Bolton was an editor at Albany Times Union, and lost her job over this story. She told me that she would, but ran it anyway.”
Also said Bob, “Minkler and others knew that there was a gay bar in Utica NY where Hubbard and other clergy met quite often. Lesbian nuns also participated. Did you know that Hubbard is on the sex offenders list on the bishopaccountability.com website?”
From the bishopaccountability.com website:
“On 2/15/2004, Minkler was found dead at his home in Watervliet NY, three days after being identified as the author of a 1995 letter to Cardinal John O’Connor alleging doctrinal violations and sexual misconduct by Albany bishop Howard Hubbard, and one day after diocesan officials announced that Minkler had met with them and stated that he was not the author of the letter. The day after Minkler’s death, Stephen Brady of the organization Roman Catholic Faithful released to reporters a set of handwritten notes by Minkler dated 1/9/2001. He said Minkler had given him the notes three years earlier, along with a copy of the 1995 letter, which, Brady said, Minkler had written. Minkler's 2001 notes named more than a dozen Albany priests allegedly guilty of sexual misconduct, including Rev. Gary Mercure, who at that time was an active pastor but who was convicted in 2011 of raping two boys in the 1980s. In June 2004, former US attorney Mary Jo White released a report that Hubbard commissioned in February. White’s report found Hubbard innocent of the allegations in Minkler’s 1995 letter and 2001 notes but did not mention the allegations against Mercure and others.”
Justice is not served here
Why is it so difficult to get justice for children murdered and abused by priests and nuns in New York State? Could it be that high political figures in the state are very friendly with the catholic church? Governor Andrew Cuomo was criticized in 2011 by a consultant to the Vatican’s highest court, who said that the governor should be denied communion because he lives with his girlfriend with no sacrament of marriage.
Hubbard, leader of the Albany diocese and a member of the executive committee of the New York State Catholic Conference, made his comments at a news conference after meeting with Cuomo at the Executive Mansion to discuss the state budget, same-sex marriage and other issues. Question: Why does Hubbard get to discuss these issues with a politician when there is supposed to be separation of church and state? Hubbard said, “And when it comes to judging worthiness for communion, we do not comment on either public figures or private figures. That’s something between the communicant and his pastor personally. It’s not something we comment on.” Although bishops in other states want to deny communion to elected officials who disagree with church teachings Hubbard said that NY bishops are not like them.
Hubbard appeared with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York (known for his cover-ups of pedophile priests), and several other high-ranking bishops who had lunch with Mr. Cuomo at the Executive Mansion. A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said: “The governor enjoyed his lunch meeting with Archbishop Dolan and the bishops from the Catholic Conference. He looks forward to continuing to work closely with them during his administration.” (my emphasis) So the bishops socialize with Cuomo and other politicians in the Executive Mansion. The State of New York belongs to the catholic church. As long as there is no separation of church and state where is the equal opportunity for Jews and Muslims and other Christian denominations to add their beliefs? Or is it a closed club?
Our job, in addition to stopping the rapists and murderers and those who cover up for them in the catholic church is to get rid of these politicians who support them. We can vote them out of office. We can stop giving our money to the catholic church who views us as cash cows to pay their lawyers to keep them out of jail. Let’s do this now – while people like Bob, Bill, Papay, me and others around the world who know and remember their crimes and are fighting to stop these heartless, cold-blooded criminals who murder children and hide behind God.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015
Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? Part IV. No Justice in New York. A five part weekly series on catholic church crimes
|Bishop Howard Hubbard, Albany, NY Diocese|
Why do investigations of murdered children go nowhere in New York? Answer: Bishops and District Attorneys
We have evidence, witnesses, and articles in the press – yet there is no justice for Gilbert, for me and my brother Frankie, for all the other children tortured and murdered. Why? Because catholic church hierarchy – like bishop Howard Hubbard -- ignore, refuse to cooperate, cover up for priests that rape children and are themselves suspects in cases of child abuse, homosexuality and abuse of power.
Hubbard uses church funds to avoid homosexual label
There were longstanding rumors, protests and accusations of sexual misconduct and homosexual relationships between Bishop Hubbard and minors for many years -- but he was not removed from office – only his reputation suffered. Then in 2004, so-called “independent investigators” paid for by the Albany Diocese (by Hubbard) cleared Hubbard of allegations of sexual misconduct. What did Hubbard do? The reporter who told the story, Michelle Bolton at the Albany Times Union lost her job -- she told Bob that she would, but she ran it anyway.
On Feb. 15, 2004, 57 year old Rev. John Minkler's body was found by his sister on the kitchen floor of his Watervliet apartment, lying face down on a blanket. An unidentified bottle of prescription drugs was found by Minkler's side, along with a suicide note. Albany County Coroner Herman Thomas would not say what the autopsy reports specifically showed; saying only that it was a suicide.
Three days before his death, Minkler was identified in a television news report as the author of a 1995 letter to then New York Archbishop John O'Connor detailing "a ring of homosexual Albany priests" including Bishop Howard Hubbard’s alleged long-term homosexual relationships with two younger priests.
Minkler died two days after he signed a statement for the Albany Diocese saying he was not the author of the letter. The letter also included a description of many other local priests said to have had homosexual relations with adults and children.
The day after Minkler's death Hubbard said that Minkler came of his own free will – “… he told me that he did not author the letter, and he wanted to be with me face-to-face and to assure me that he had not written anything to Cardinal O’Connor about me…and he did not know how his name got associated with the letter."
Stephen Brady, head of the Illinois-based Roman Catholic Faithful, contradicted Hubbard and said Minkler had been working with his lay group for at least three years in order to document homosexual misconduct and abuse among Albany priests, including Hubbard. Brady told Albany’s Times-Union that the priest left him a voice mail message asking for advice the day before his death.
Brady said that Minkler authored the 1995 letter and sent him a copy of it in 2001.
Paul Likoudis, news editor for The Wanderer, said Minkler called him shortly after signing the affidavit and said that contrary to Hubbard’s claim, he was summoned to sign it. Likoudis said Minkler explained that the affidavit was already made out and he was told to sign it.
In an hour long phone conversation with Fr. Joseph F. Wilson of the Diocese of Brooklyn that same evening Minkler told him: "the bishop made me lie." Wilson said Minkler wanted advice on how to smooth things over with his bishop and told him he had talked with at least one other priest and a lay canon lawyer for more advice that same evening. "Not exactly the actions of a man who’s planning to commit suicide," said Fr. Wilson.
Likoudis also said that Minkler, was a former secretary to Cardinal O’Connor and was asked by him to prepare a report of clerical corruption in the Albany diocese because O’Connor was trying to remove Hubbard. Likoudis told a crowd of 500 Roman Catholic Faithful a week after Minkler’s death that for 13 years Minkler had been a trusted source of inside information in the Diocese of Albany.
Minkler wasn’t the first priest associated with Roman Catholic Faithful to die under mysterious circumstances. In 1998 Fr. Alfred Kunz, an accomplished canon lawyer helping expose homosexual corruption in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois was murdered at his rural Wisconsin parish. His throat was slit by a razor blade, and he bled to death before his body was discovered the next morning. Although the subject of one of the most extensive FBI investigations in Wisconsin history, the murder of Fr. Kunz remains a mystery. Less than two years after his death Springfield’s Bishop Daniel Ryan resigned after Frank Bergen, a former male prostitute, identified the bishop as one of his regular high-paying clients for 11 years, going so far as to describe in detail the bishop’s private residence. Bishop Ryan, like Hubbard, persistently denied that charge and others for years.
Regarding Minkler’s death, "We don't accept the findings of the coroner," said Phillip Kiernan, who headed the Coalition of Concerned Catholics of the Albany Diocese, a conservative group that has taken Hubbard to task for the ills of his diocese. "I'm a traditional Catholic, but this has a smell to it," Kiernan said. "Father Minkler had heart and stomach ailments. But now I'm beginning to wonder, because this looks like a cover-up."
It did look suspicious: the coroner confirmed the suicide by telephone from his home after he was called by a reporter but made no official statement on the case. The
Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne was also called at home but said he was not aware of the autopsy results. Why didn’t the coroner tell the district attorney? Why did the toxicology results take two months after Minkler’s death?
Fr. Wilson who had spoken to Minkler after signing the "disclaimer" said he was interviewed by two private investigators working for Mary Jo White, the lawyer hired to investigate Howard Hubbard (see below). They told Wilson, "Well, we've interviewed a number of people who spoke to Father Minkler from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, and they all say what you're telling us: he was in good spirits, none of them were concerned for his state of mind. So between, say, 9:30 PM Saturday and early Sunday morning, something happened to change things."
Victims’ rights advocates have criticized Bishop Hubbard for his opposition to the U.S. bishops "zero tolerance" policy adopted by the national conference in 2002. That policy states that any priest who has had sexual contact with a child—even if only once—be removed from ministry immediately and permanently. Bishop Hubbard defended his stance in the name of "compassion and forgiveness" for first time offenders. So is it his policy to allow one child to be raped for each priest rapist?
Many Catholics in the Diocese of Albany and beyond have also been critical of Bishop Hubbard for further reasons, not the least of which is promotion of a homosexualist agenda within the Catholic Church. For example, in 1991 the bishop defended his practice of ordaining known homosexual priests, telling the Times Union: "I believe the Church has a responsibility to all its members…I don’t think gays or anybody else should be excluded from the ministry. [What about murders or child rapists?] Indeed, I think we have a responsibility to reach out to them with sensitivity and compassion" (Feb. 22, 1991).
How did bishop Hubbard, with a reputation for defying church policy, advocating for homosexuals in the church and ignoring the pleas of families with tortured and murdered children get to keep his position until 2014 when he retired? He did it with damage control and friends in high places. We will see how high his influence went in Part V of this series next week.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? Part III. The Evidence – Investigator Papay. A five part weekly series on catholic church crimes.
Gilbert’s case is still active. His brother Bill hired a private investigator to work on the case. The evidence he uncovered was ignored by police and the district attorney.
For many years Augustine Papay Jr., a retired NYC Homicide Detective and a licensed Private Investigator in Port Jervis, New York has been investigating the death of Gilbert Bonneau. Gilbert was born December 19, 1944. He was placed at St. Colmans Orphanage on January 30, 1948 to September 30, 1949. He and his two brothers Ernest and Daniel were re-admitted to the home on August 30th, 1950. Gilbert died on November 28, 1953 from injuries he sustained at st. Colmans Home.
Papay said, “My findings are supported by factual findings, which are corroborated by clear and convincing evidence. Both the police investigation and my own investigation uncovered evidence of widespread abuse by nuns, and a consistent pattern of vicious physical assaults on children.”
Papay believes there was denial with cover-up of numerous abuses and at least three deaths at st. Colmans. “Children were very often beaten to within an inch of their lives. They would be kept hidden in their horrible conditions in a secret infirmary deep within the bowels of this home and left to their fate in that they either got better or didn’t get better”, said Papay. Children were very often beaten unconscious – like they beat me constantly at st. agnes and I would wake up and not know how long I was unconscious. Papay found that these children were taken to the hospital only when they were beyond help. They were always unconscious or comatose and near death when they arrived at the hospital. Is it a coincidence that I was comatose when the nuns at st. agnes sent me to the hospital? No! The nuns’ methods were the same everywhere.
Papay found that Gilbert Bonneau was viciously assaulted by a nun with a wooden blunt instrument, and was bleeding from the head. An unidentified nun then took Gilbert to the infirmary and suffocated him with a pillow because he would not stop crying (what Bob Linde, the witness to Gilbert’s death saw – see Part II of this series). Gilbert was later removed to Albany Hospital Emergency Room in a comatose state, where he died from "asphyxia due to compression of the neck and chest" several hours later. The Death Certificate listed the cause of death as Meningitis and Cause Unknown. (There are different reports of what he died of).
Papay first believed that the Colonie, NY police department and Albany DA’s office did everything they could to rule out any wrongdoing – but he found just the opposite. Documents recorded in the Colonie Police investigation -- like the shoddy autopsy report from 1953 -- states the autopsy was performed hours before the actual time Gilbert died. Certain damning pieces of information were not taken into evidence.
Papay found conflicting information about Gilbert: the nuns said he was active and aggressive and did not get along well with others. His friends remembered him as a good friend who shared his food and tried to prevent beatings by throwing 2x4s that the nuns used as weapons on them into the bushes. Maybe he was murdered because he was defending the other children and trying to help them.
Until 1978, Gilbert's family believed he died of natural causes, as listed on his medical records. The autopsy report mentions swelling of the brain, pneumonia, liver degeneration, collapsed lungs (that can indicate suffocation) and a bacterial infection possibly caused by meningitis. A woman, identified only as Marian Maynard phoned one of the brothers in 1978 and said she had seen Gilbert, 8 years old, beaten to death with a stick by sister Fidelia. Records provided by the nuns say that Fidelia left the children's home 3 years before the boy's death but that a girl with the last name of Maynard was at st. Colmans when Gilbert was murdered. Since then, every path the family has pursued in search for the truth has led to a dead end. The District Attorney at that time, Sol Greenburg, advised the family that he would conduct a Grand Jury investigation into Gilbert’s death. Papay said that absolutely no evidence exists to suggest that such a hearing ever took place.
A prescription slip found in Gilbert’s file said that the st. Colmans doctor saw Gilbert on Nov 28,1953 and recommended immediate medical attention and evacuation to a hospital. A former FBI handwriting analyst concluded that the prescription slip was originally dated Nov 27th and that someone had deliberately changed the seven to an eight. So Gilbert was never brought to the hospital in time to save him. This prescription slip was never even collected as evidence by the Colonie police. Mr. Papay has it under lock and key.
The three documented questionable deaths at St. Colmans are Andrew Reyda 1943, Gilbert Bonneau 1953, and Mark Longale 1963. Susan Robertson, author of The Throw Away Child witnessed the severe beating of Mark Longale by sister Regina just 10 years after Gilbert’s death. Mark was also removed to the Albany hospital in a comatose state -- his cause of death is listed as appendicitis. Another boy, Andrew Reyda, died 10 years before Gilbert from pneumonia. An eyewitness saw 5 year old Andrew lying on the floor in the boys’ bathroom unconscious with what appeared to be a cranberry like material protruding from his rectum – most likely his guts beaten out. His family never found his grave -- the church had no record of the burial. Susan Robertson made numerous attempts to give a sworn statement to Albany authorities but they said that there was no evidence for further investigation. Another boy, Raymond Koenig, was seen getting his head smashed into a brick wall by the same nun who beat Mark Longale to death. He later went into the hospital for cranial surgery and died.
Papay believes that Bob Linde’s eye witness testimony is the most important in the entire investigation. Bob has tried many times to be formally interviewed and make a sworn statement but the Colonie police have to this day, denied him the opportunity and the DA at the time, Paul Cline, was not interested. The current DA, P. David Soares has repeatedly refused Gilbert’s family their written requests and continues to cite what Papay calls, “inconsistent and irrelevant conclusions from the 1995 investigation that have since been disproved”. The reason for this refusal is clear says Papay since it is known that the DA’s attorney Robert Roach regularly represents and defends accused pedophile priests for the Albany Diocese.
Guilt of the church
Where is the justice for Gilbert, where is the justice for me and my brother Frankie, where is the justice for all the other children like Bob Linde who were maimed and murdered by the catholic church? The homicidal nuns may be dead but what about those who gave them their orders and didn't care what they did? The real criminals are the bishops, cardinals, all the way up to the pope. They are going to keep hearing about Gilbert and me and my brother and Bob and countless others whose lives were ended or ruined. They can’t get away with it anywhere there is a cell phone, camera, reporter or witness. When politicians, lawyers, judges and law enforcement do their job for the victim and not for church hierarchy with deep pockets, children will be safer.
What happened at st. colmans, and st. agnes together with the fate of many others tortured and murdered at other catholic homes shows a pattern of abuse – the same torture, the same murder weapons. How many of these catholic concentration camps exist in the United States and all around the world? Until the laws are changed worldwide so that catholic schools and homes can be investigated and watched and shut down, children will continue to suffer and die. Read Part IV. next week: Why investigations of murdered children go nowhere in New York (and elsewhere).
Friday, April 17, 2015
Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? Part II: Quest for Justice. A five part weekly series on catholic church crimes.
Bob – witness to Gilbert’s murder: “I and many others are constantly reminded of what it means to be beat half to death. To this day, I have some of the worst nightmares anyone could imagine. Just the other night, I woke up screaming, and thinking that the nun that smothered Gilbert was on top of me. The Nightmares still come, and as I get older they seem to come much more often. Many times I wake up screaming. These nightmares about Gilbert often linger after I wake up for about a couple minutes. It's like I can't shake it out of me. My landlady wanted to evict me because of the many nights of the screaming.”
“In 1997 through 2012 I was very active working on the case. I approached Bishop Howard Hubbard, head of the Albany diocese. I have written over three hundred letters, and emails. I have received over 200 threats to stop, and 18 death threats. All because I will not rest about Gilbert's Murder. The threats had to originate from the Bishop’s friendly priests. I was getting hang ups almost daily. One sounded like it came from a detective because he quoted something almost exactly as what Colonie Police said to me. He said ‘You’re just another dysfunctional SOB that has come out of St. Colmans’. One call was from a woman who told me ‘You just don't know who you’re f--king with, do you?’—and she hung up.”
“I became very close with Gilbert Bonneau’s brother, Bill Bonneau and his brothers Pat and Danny. I try to visit them when I can and go to Gilbert’s grave. The last time I got inside the door of St. Colmans, and before I could get around, they had security throw me off the property. I have been to the lie detector twice. Both times I was shown to be truthful, but none of it is good in court. Please don't think that The Fight for Justice for Gilbert has ceased. Dear God, my Friends, please continue to pray that we get into that courtroom soon.”
Bob’s testimony is perhaps the most important in the entire investigation. It was very difficult for Bob to talk about Gilbert’s murder. It was even more difficult for him to talk about the abuse that he endured. He spoke to me because he wanted everyone to understand what the nuns and the church did to him. When I asked what happened to him at st. colmans he said:
“Rape, beatings that you only read about, and these days they put people in prison for those kinds of beatings. The nuns gave the most horrific beatings, knowing that if you told anyone YOU would be the liar, and we would get another [beating]. I am crippled to this day, and have a morphine pump implant, because of a certain Sister Cecelia who liked to jam a small club into my spine, and when I finally fell to the ground, she would kick any place I couldn't cover with my hands and arms. One nun hit me in the head with a brick which broke my nose, which still gives me trouble today. These are quotes when I asked Bishop Hubbard for help concerning the permanent scars, and disfigurement,” he said, "Nuns are not considered Clergy". Therefore there was no help, nor did he feel any responsibility for what Nuns did. That includes Murder. I am not thrilled to be bringing this stuff to the surface. I hope some good for all victims can come out of this.”
A brother’s memories
Ernie Bonneau, Gilbert’s brother (since deceased): “When Gilbert’s story came out in 1995, bishop Hubbard met with two former residents of st. colman's home who witnessed the severe stick beatings of Gilbert. With this information Hubbard chose to do nothing and remain silent. The other death was Mark Longale who was also severely beaten by a nun named sister mary regina, leading to his death. Susanne Robertson who witnessed Mark’s beating (and wrote a book about it) also told Hubbard what she saw – but he again did nothing. Hubbard just walked away from little innocent Murdered children.
“In 1995 the so-called Police investigations of my little brother’s wrongful death at St. Colman's was nothing but a corrupt one. The Police turned over their investigations to the Albany County District Attorney in 1996 and the corrupt DA failed to do anything about my little brother’s death. On my little brother’s 1953 autopsy report it states he had swelling of the brain and 2 collapsed lungs and in my opinion this surely ties in with the pillow smothering. At my expense, with a Court order, I had my little brother exhumed in 1995 for a second autopsy. There was evidence still left of collapsed lungs, which would indicate smothering, and not the meningitis that the doctors phonied up to protect the nuns. All of the doctors’ certificates, such as the death certificate have been proven to be altered”..... Ernest, A Survivor
There was so much evidence but no one listened. Why? See Part III. The Evidence, next week.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? A five part weekly series on catholic church crimes
|Frankie and George Barilla|
Part I. Murdered and tortured children
Gilbert Bonneau was killed by a catholic nun – of the Sisters of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at st. colmans home in Watervliet, New York. This “home” – is just 137 miles north of st. agnes in Sparkill, New York where I was smothered close to death by catholic Dominican nuns. Children died and suffered at the hands of these criminals -- like my brother who committed suicide and others who turned to drugs and alcohol to block what these devils disguised as God’s representatives did to them.
Gilbert can’t tell what happened but Bob Linde, the witness to Gilbert’s death survived and Gilbert’s brother remembers. I survived and I remember what happened to me and my brother. Together we will expose the church and make sure that the tragic stories of the victims – dead and alive are told. Help us stop the perpetrators from torturing and murdering children – if you know about such abuse or any abuse of children by such criminals hiding behind religion – any religion -- let us know. We want justice.
Murdering children in catholic-run homes, orphanages and convents is not a single incident -- it is a practice that nuns and priests do often and get away with. In just a small area of New York State I came close to death by smothering and my brother committed suicide, Gilbert Bonneau was beaten and smothered to death (witnessed by a severely beaten child); Mark Longale at the same home as Gilbert was beaten to death. Is it a coincidence that Gilbert and I, both born in 1944, were both smothered with a pillow by a nun? I believe that this is the method by which they killed many children because it didn't leave any marks on the victim. The nuns wanted to be sure they could blame the death on something other than themselves. No one questioned the mother superior who told police that the child died in his sleep or “fell” and hurt himself.
Gilbert’s brother Bill, his brother Ernie (now deceased) and Bob, who is still alive and the witness to Gilbert’s murder fought since 1995 to get justice for Gilbert. Bill says, “Living in an area controlled by the Catholic Church has been difficult for my late brother and now myself to get this done.”
Gilbert’s Death: Bob the Witness
Bob is 72 years old. Bob says, “I am still praying for some kind of Justice for Gilbert Bonneau. He was my friend.”
Bob: “At age fifty-six I got a computer as a gift. I was disabled, couldn't work, and I was all alone. I learned how to use it and found that I could post messages about what I had wanted to say for fifty years – that I witnessed Gilbert’s death. The message I posted asking for information was answered two years later by Ernie Bonneau, one of Gilbert’s brothers. I couldn't believe it! His brothers had launched a very large campaign in and around Albany, New York, including exhuming Gilbert’s body to find out how he really died, before they ever got to know him as a brother. There was a sham of an investigation into Gilbert’s death but it went nowhere. I couldn’t believe that nothing was done about Gilbert’s death. There were two more deaths by “natural causes” after Gilbert. I wanted to help.”
What Bob Saw
“My memories of St. Colmans will always be fresh in my mind. Realizing the penalty for perjury I swear what I saw from 10 feet away is true. At age 8 Gilbert did not die of natural causes. Gilbert was beaten so bad that he had to be in the infirmary; his pain was so bad that he could not stop screaming in pain. I was in that infirmary after one of my beatings -- the only other child there. A row of four iron beds were immediately to the right of the door. I was in the fourth bed up against the wall. I knew not to scream. Gilbert Bonneau was in the first bed just inside the door -- he couldn't stop screaming, he was beaten so bad in the playroom that he had blood all over his face, and shirt, and arms. I watched as a nun came in, determined to put a stop to Gilbert’s screaming, one way or another. She went into a state of rage -- shouting at Gilbert to shut up. She saw me watching her and told me to face the wall, if I knew what was good for me.
But I was determined to see what was going on, so I took a peek, and I saw what ended Gilbert’s screaming forever: She pulled a pillow from underneath Gilbert’s head and forced it over his face -- pressing with all her strength to suffocate Gilbert into a state of unconsciousness. I quickly turned back to the wall. I was so scared; I peed in my bed (which got me another, but lighter whipping). A few days later I was at Gilbert’s funeral.”
“Remember: No little boy that is eight years old dies of "Natural Causes", as was stated by Albany Catholic Diocese. The beating was witnessed, and the MURDER was witnessed -- but they all got away with murder. If you said anything in those days, you would end up the same way. This failure at justice stinks to high heaven, which I don't think many of the nuns that I knew were going to make that trip.”
“Those nuns struck fear in all of the kids, and that's how they controlled us. Beatings were an exhibition, except when they resulted in fractures, and of course deaths. Remember that those nuns were young themselves, and given all that power, they abused it, and us. Gilbert was so afraid, and hurt, that he wet the bed, and that always resulted in beatings. When we tried to hide his wet sheets, Katherine Fredette, a worker who grew up at Colmans punched us around, and then Sister Cecelia would have a go at us. Fredette was mean -- she hung me by my ankles down a three story laundry chute, threatening to drop me – I saw her hang a soiled pair of underwear over a boy’s face, and rubbed it in, in front of everyone.”
Bob said: “Remember that the abuse not only came from the nuns. Gilbert and I were both altar boys, and the regular priest was father Flynn who sexually abused both Gilbert and me. Sometimes it would be before mass, and sometimes after. [me and my brother Frankie were raped by a priest – another coincidence?] So much pain came from that place [Colmans] that many of us have been affected by it our entire lives. What gives the bishops and cardinals, the right to deal with a pedophile within their own ranks? This is a felony, and must be turned over to the district attorney for indictment. It is like a bunch of murderers bonded together, and when one kills someone, they don’t call the police, they deal with it internally. How can we get this obvious miscarriage of justice straightened out? It is a crime!”
“Our suffering from the beatings still bothers us, but Gilbert's suffering, KILLED HIM. He was my Friend. We slept next to each other in the main dorm. Please don't ever forget this little eight year old boy who always shared a slice of old toast with me when he got it, and I shared with him when I could get it. He went into St. Colmans as a little boy who
needed care, and he came out in a little white pine coffin with his altar boy gown on, dead.”
The quest for justice for Gilbert, for me and my brother Frankie and for all the countless numbers of children murdered, raped and tortured by clergy and nuns will not stop. We can’t bring back the dead children or take away the pain of those who lived but we can tell the world who did it and make it a safer place for children. Part II of this series of weekly posts shows the courage and determination of those who want justice done.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Those of us who have been sexually abused by predators hiding behind religious smokescreens often feel alone. The 2015 SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) conference puts an end to that isolation. It is a place where survivors and their families and advocates meet to share our experiences, learn from each other or in workshops and lectures and are united in our efforts to stop the abuse. Join us this summer, we welcome you.
What is SNAP?
SNAP is an independent, confidential network of survivors of religious sexual violence and their supporters who work to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and prevent the abuse. We expose predators and those who shield them. We build policies and practices within secular and religious organizations that protect children now and in the future. We share our stories and empower others to confront the truth. Together, we find healthy mechanisms for healing. We educate ourselves and our communities about the effects of abuse. We speak in a unified voice to bring about change by exposing the malignant actions of abusive religious ministers and the church officials who shield them. For over 25 years, SNAP has led the movement to expose the truth.