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.
Friday, March 6, 2015
An anonymous reader (AR) told me how he or she felt about getting a catholic “education.” Some of you who went to catholic schools and others like me who went for religious instructions have a good idea of how AR feels.
I agree with AR that the Catholic Church leadership knew exactly what they were doing through their nuns and priests --the psychological damage was done by design. “The Catholic Nuns and Priests taught young people not to think, ----- but to follow their directions blindly!” said AR.
They prevented the children from reaching their ultimate level of success. “It is like being locked in a closed room with no way to escape -- the Catholic Philosophy of life stifles the creativity of the individual for the welfare of the Catholic Corporation,” said AR.
Here is AR’s experience:
Many people have wasted their lives because they were never taught "how to think," and in the process, design a life based on their own goals, and their own talents, skills and abilities. The Catholic Church destroys creativity and molds people into non-thinking robots. It makes them "slaves" of the Catholic Church! As a young person, I lived this life with my parents. ---- Somehow I managed to break free from this indoctrination, but the damage is still there in the form of missed opportunities.
Throughout my life I was always fighting the "under dog" battle. I always had to work harder than other people to get the same rewards, and I blame this on the poor quality education I got in a Catholic School. If I had NOT been manipulated into a "mickey mouse" way of thinking who knows where I would be today? YES, I am very thankful
for what I have, and for what I accomplished, but there is a side to me that feels that I have not reached my ultimate level of success. I feel like a race car on the track that has yet to put the "pedal to the metal!"
What the Catholic Schools did to young people is criminal. Psychological damage is just as devastating as physical damage! The Nuns and Priests got into the heads of people, and sold them a "bill of goods" that stated that they were somehow "unworthy!"
QUESTION: If God does not make "junk," how can his creation be
"unworthy?" Too bad all the nuns who taught me are dead! I would love to have the opportunity to "tell them off!"
I have a good idea of what AR means. When I went to religious instructions (for about 4 years) the room was dark, the nun walked around telling us in a loud, harsh voice about venial sins, mortal sins – that we were all going to hell – that we were all no good. There was never talk of a God who loved us. We weren’t even allowed to go to the bathroom. After my early history of abuse by nuns and priests I thought I was in hell with devils.
In spite of his negative experience with the nuns, AR has written A Daily Inspirational Concept that should hang on the wall where we can see it every day:
“If you think better, --- you will live better! ---- If
you want to add value to your life, take care
of every moment! ---- If you "learn to think better"
you will live better! ---- Thinking is the force
behind your daily actions! ---- Thinking determines
what you accomplish on a daily basis. ---- What
you accomplish determines your destiny! ---- And
it all starts with your "thinking!" ---- YES, you can
think your way to "success," and you can think
your way to "failure!" ---- The choice is yours!
There is "GREATNESS" in you, if you take the
time to discover it! ---- You can be "positive" or
"negative" in life! ---- You can believe "I Can," or
you can believe "I Can't!" Either way you are right!
Thank you AR.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Last year (2/22/14) I wrote about Newark Archbishop John J. Myers spending his weekends at his 4,500-square-foot home on 8.2 wooded acres at the end of a private drive in the hills of Hunterdon County, NJ. At that time he was building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition to his $800,000 home, with property taxes of $18,695. He really needed the extra room for a 28-foot by 28-foot gallery and a "wellness room" with a hot tub and a 14-foot by 7-foot Endless Pool. This is where he will retire. Myers’ spokesman, Jim Goodness, admitted that money for the addition will come from the sale of other church-owned properties – like churches and schools and from donor contributions.
At that time a parishioner, Joan Rubino, was furious when told about the work on the home. Rubino, who who regularly contributed to the archbishops’ appeal for funds — called Myers a "hypocrite." She said, "To ask people to make sacrifices and then to live in a sumptuous residence, it makes me very annoyed. Isn’t there a better use for this money? In plain English, I feel like people are getting screwed."
This year, more parishioners were angered by revelations that the archdiocese was spending $500,000 for renovations adding to an already big expense. The parishioners pledged to keep withholding donations to the annual appeal in protest and demanded that the archdiocese sell Myers’ now 7,000-square-foot house. They want to know how their donated funds are spent. The archdiocese confirmed that contributions dipped last year compared with the year before. Good job! The faithful are finally waking up.
So the Archdiocese of Newark has changed the name of its main fundraising drive. Instead of the Archbishops’ Appeal it has been renamed “Sharing God’s Blessings Appeal” – although Myers doesn’t seem to be sharing his blessings with anyone. One pastor said that many priests think that parishioner discontent with Myers and his retirement home would affect their fundraising – they might not meet their quota.
Goodness denied that parishioner dissatisfaction with spending on the house played a role in renaming the fundraiser. (With a name like that he must be honest). “It’s really an appeal by the church for the people of the church. I wouldn’t call it a re-branding, but re-accentuating the purpose of the appeal,” said Goodness.
Other dioceses are also putting distance between fundraising drives and church hierarchy. The Diocese of Trenton changed the name of its bishop’s appeal this year to the Catholic Appeal because they did not want people to think that the fund was only for use by the bishop. Richard Arnhols, the pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Bergenfield, said about a half-dozen families withheld donations last year over concerns about Myers’ retirement home. Back in 2003, the Boston Archdiocese changed the name of its annual fundraiser after Cardinal Bernard Law resigned because of his ties to the nationwide clergy sex abuse scandal.
Goodness now says that they will be transparent about what they do with donations: Half of what is collected will be used for” immediate parish needs” – I wonder if that includes fees to lawyers and payments to victims of pedophile priests. The balance he says will be invested in long-term endowments for retired priests, tuition assistance at Catholic schools, training for seminarians and retraining for parish staff. Not anything for parishioners in need or good works? Let’s hope that all parishioners realize that their intended kindness is funding greedy church employees’ rich lifestyles.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Catholic Archbishops/Cardinals defy Pope Francis and live like kings: Catholic Nun says: “scandalous”
Ten archbishops in U.S. major cities live in homes worth more than $1 million – a lot more. CNN had a hard time finding out what the homes cost because most of them are tax-exempt. There are also hundreds of retired and active Catholic bishops in smaller cities – some of them live as well and all of them better than those of us who have to pay property taxes and meet mortgage payments.
I wrote last year about how Newark parishioners pay for Archbishop John Meyer’s luxury retirement home (2/22/14 post) but there are others with more lavish lifestyles. It’s not just in the U.S. either: German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst – known as "The Bishop of Bling" was fired by Francis after spending $43 million to remodel his luxurious home – but we won’t know about others outside the U.S. until the media uncovers the statistics.
Pope Francis' modest sitting room in the Vatican guesthouse where he lives
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York tops the list with this 15,000-sq.-ft. neo-Gothic mansion (see photo above) estimated at least $30 million. Situated on New York’s pricy Madison Avenue, it is filled with thick red carpets and priceless antiques. Dolan lives there with three other priests.
Chicago's Cardinal Francis George lives in a $14.3 million mansion with 19 chimneys located on 1.7 acres of prime real estate in Chicago's ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood. George’s private quarters are on the top two floors and he shares the residence with two bishops and a priest. Three nuns take care of the cardinal and his mansion (is this their calling?) – the nuns live in a 5,800-square-foot nearby coach house.
Cardinal Francis Georges' mansion costs $14.3 - does that include the coach house?
Cardinals Dolan and Georges' excuses for living this way are that they need offices and room for guests and a place to hold fundraisers (to get money to support their lifestyles?). Why can’t the homes or money from their sale be donated to the poor – maybe the guests should be the homeless and money should go to abused children.
Where else do our donations go? In addition to the cost of these royal residences, there are live-in assistants, housekeepers, gardeners, chauffeurs and cooks to pay. Is this lifestyle necessary in order for these “men of God” to help the poor, feed the hungry, repair the damage done to abused children?
Here are some other archbishops living “high on the hog”:
Archbishop Thomas Wenski: Miami, 5,350-sq.-ft. six-bedroom, six-bath house, over $1.38 million -- lives with his secretary, a priest, and has a tiki hut and pool in the backyard overlooking Biscayne Bay.
Does Archbishop Wenski need to pray in a tiki hut?
Archbishop Robert Carlson: St. Louis, MO, 11,000-sq.-ft. castle-like mansion, worth $1.4 million, shared with his priest-secretary. Two nuns live on the property and cook and clean – what a great way to save money – free maids! Carlson also has a house in Estero, Florida worth $327,500 – a winter retreat?
Archbishop Carlson doesn't waste our donations -- the nuns cook and clean his castle
Archbishop William Lori: Baltimore, MD, 11,500-square-foot building, worth about $1.24 million, lives with his priest-secretary and the rector of the Baltimore Basilica.
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller: San Antonio, lives in a 5,000-sq.-ft. home, worth $1.1 million which includes a courtyard, a private chapel, a fireplace and a wet bar (for Communion wine?).
Archbishop Jose Gomez: Los Angeles, 26,000 sq. ft. rectory, worth $7 million, living with six priests.
The list goes on. There are no plans for moving any of these archbishops or other clergy out of their luxury accommodations. We keep supporting them so why should they worry?
Sister Sally Butler is a Catholic nun who ministers in Brooklyn, NY housing projects and has clashed with bishops over their response to the church's sexual abuse scandal. She says that Catholics are a generous lot, but expect their donations to pay for missions like feeding the poor, training priests and educating students, “not keeping up multimillion-dollar estates”, she said according to a NY Times article. "It's scandalous!" said Butler, 83.
This misuse of funds --often from people who can’t afford it but want to do good works -- is truly scandalous. When will the catholic church stop lying to us? Add financial abuse to physical, emotional and sexual abuse that criminals in the church use against those of us who trusted them. Don’t believe all the talk about great reforms in the church – it’s still business as usual.