Germany: Catholic Church Abuse Hotline Overrun Amid New Allegations

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Images of abuse victims displayed on Wednesday in Berlin by the victims’ group SNAP.

A hotline set up by the Catholic Church in Germany to counsel victims of sexual abuse was overrun on its first day, with almost 4,500 calls. Further allegations have continued to emerge even as Chancellor Angela Merkel says the church is taking “necessary measures.”

It was a much criticized idea. Earlier this month, Germany’s Catholic Church announced that it was planning a hotline for sexual abuse victims to call should they be in need of counselling or advice. Given the ever-increasing wave of abuse allegations being levelled at clerics in Germany this spring, however, many critics doubted whether victims would phone up the organization that was responsible for their suffering in the first place.

The critics were wrong. On Wednesday, the first full day of the hotline’s operation, fully 4,459 people phoned up — far more than the therapists hired to man the phones could handle. Indeed, they were only able to conduct 162 counselling sessions, ranging from five minutes to an hour in length. Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn’t prepared for “that kind of an onslaught.” Zimmer insisted, however, that those who leave a message will be called back.

Read moreGermany: Catholic Church Abuse Hotline Overrun Amid New Allegations

Sinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act (Times)

Catholic Church quietly expelling and punishing children, homeless (Irish Central)


Years after her controversial ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance, the Irish singer is still at odds with the Catholic Church, saying it must come clean about sexual-abuse allegations.

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During an appearance on TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” Irish singer Sinead O’Connor tore a papal photo. (NBC-TV / October 5, 1992)

Reporting from Bray, Ireland – She shot to fame 20 years ago with her shaved head, chiseled cheeks and haunting rendition of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Then she gained notoriety when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on American TV, calling him “the enemy” and urging people to fight child abuse.

Sinead O’Connor is still singing. And she’s still speaking out against abuse — only now her 1992 stunt on “Saturday Night Live” almost seems prescient as the Roman Catholic Church faces a growing catalog of complaints about child sexual and physical assault by priests in her Irish homeland and across Europe.

Such mistreatment was rampant here in Ireland, going back decades. By 1987, the Irish church was alarmed enough that it took out an insurance policy against future lawsuits and claims for compensation stemming from sexual-abuse allegations.

This past weekend, Pope Benedict XVI issued a “pastoral letter” apologizing to the flock in Ireland for the church’s past failures. He did not outline any disciplinary action against the bishops who many here say covered up priestly misdeeds, though on Wednesday he accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee, who had been accused of failing to report suspected pedophile priests to police. The pope also pinned no blame on the Vatican itself for a culture of secrecy that critics say it deliberately fostered.

O’Connor, now 43 and a mother of four, spoke to The Times on Tuesday at her seaside home in Bray, south of Dublin, about the abuse scandal.

Do you feel the pope’s letter was enough?

It’s a study in the fine art of lying and actually betraying your own people. . . . He starts by saying that he’s writing with great concern for the people of Ireland. If he was that concerned, why has it taken him 23 years to write a letter, and why did he or the last pope never get on an airplane and come to meet the victims in any of these countries and apologize?

The letter sells the Irish [church] hierarchy downriver by stating again and again that the Irish hierarchy has somehow acted independently of the Vatican. . . . The documents are there to prove that that’s a lie. . . .

If you were the boss of a company and some of the employees of your company were known to sexually abuse children, you would fire them instantly. You would also go instantly to meet the people who had been abused and profusely apologize and offer your help in any way whatsoever to deal with this. . . . That has never happened.

As a cardinal, the pope wrote an order in 2001 demanding that abuse cases be dealt with in secret. But doesn’t the directive also mention cooperating with civil authorities?

Read moreSinead O’Connor: ‘There Should Be A Full Criminal Investigation Of The Pope’

Pope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act

See also:

Pope faces fresh claims of child sex abuse cover-up (AFP)

Victims: Vatican Accused Of Ignoring Reported Sex Abuse (WISN)

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests:

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday.


Pope ‘failed to act’ on US sex abuse claims

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the Paul VI hall for his weekly general audience at the Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI (AP)

The sex abuse scandal enveloping the Catholic Church moved closer to Pope Benedict XVI today with revelations that in the 1990s the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from a number of American bishops pleading with him to act.

Internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Ratzinger, warning him and other top Vatican officials that failure to act could embarrass the church, have been unearthed as part of a lawsuit, according to The New York Times.

The case, against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, involves the Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who worked at the St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974, starting as a teacher and rising to director.

He allegedly molested up to 200 pupils, preying on his victims in their dormitories, on class excursions and even at his mother’s country house.

According to The New York Times, in 1996 the case was forwarded to the the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office which decides on canonical trials, which Cardinal Ratzinger led at the time.

The cardinal apparently failed to reply to two letters about Father Murphy from Rembert Weakland, then Archbishop of Milwaukee

Read morePope failed to defrock an American priest who molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from American bishops pleading with him to act

Church: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest

Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry (Times)

Pope will struggle to survive abuse scandal (Irish Independent)

Benedict’s involvement ‘shows extent of cover-ups’ (Irish Independent)

Sinead O’Connor: I’d help Jesus to burn down the Vatican (Irish Independent)

RIGHTS-GERMANY: ‘Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests’ (IPS)

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe (AP)


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Pope Benedict XVI prays in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on May 15, 2009. Photographer: Yannis Behrakis/Pool via Bloomberg News

March 12 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI, during his tenure as archbishop of Munich, played a role in a decision to move a priest accused of sexual molestation to his diocese to undergo therapy, the church said today.

The priest was later reassigned by another church official and committed more abuse, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising said in a statement on its Web site. Benedict, at the time Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, “was involved” in a 1980 decision to move the priest, identified only as “H.,” from a church in Essen, Germany, to a rectory in the Munich region for treatment, the diocese said.

A former vicar-general in the church administration, Gerhard Gruber, subsequently allowed the accused priest to continue pastoral duties, during which he committed abuse and was convicted by a court in 1986. Gruber said in the statement that the decision to re-post “H.” was his alone.

“The repeated employment of ‘H.’ in pastoral duties was a serious mistake,” Gruber said. “I take full responsibility for this and I deeply regret that this decision led to offenses against youths — I apologize to all those who were harmed by this.”

A wave of allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has emerged in Germany this year, beginning at an elite Jesuit high school in Berlin, Canisius-Kolleg. The head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, last month issued an apology to more than 100 pedophilia victims, echoing Benedict’s statement that such abuse is a “heinous crime.”

Read moreChurch: Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest

Pope Benedict XVI Summons Irish Bishops Over Child Abuse Scandal

Three decades? Sounds like the most horrible cult that ever existed.

And let’s not forget that the Roman Catholic Church has done much, much worse things in the past.


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(AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI has summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican for a meeting next month over a child sex abuse scandal that has shaken Ireland, a spokesman said Wednesday.

“The meeting comes in the context of the problems in the Irish Church,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP, referring to revelations that Roman Catholic authorities in Ireland concealed abuse of children by priests for three decades.

Read morePope Benedict XVI Summons Irish Bishops Over Child Abuse Scandal

Vatican declares unique copyright on Papal figure

Hilarious!

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Pope Benedict XVI


Vatican City, Dec 19, 2009 / 12:23 pm (CNA).- The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.

The statement cited a “great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father” in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff’s name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.

Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that “it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”

The declaration alludes to attempts to use ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to “attribute credibility and authority to initiatives” as another reason to establish their “copyright” on the Holy Father’s name, picture and coat of arms.

“Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff… and/or the use of the title ‘Pontifical,’ must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See,” concluded the message released to the press.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for NEW FINANCIAL ORDER With ‘Real Teeth’

A New World Order … but, but, but that ‘was’ only a conspiracy on the internet. Wake up!

‘Blessed are those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.’


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July 7 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI called for a new financial order with “real teeth” as Group of Eight leaders prepare to discuss ways out of the worst recession since World War II.

“Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,” he wrote in a letter to Catholic bishops worldwide published today. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.” The 150-page encyclical, the third of his papacy, is titled “Caritas in Veritate” in Latin, or “charity in truth.”

The pope’s reflections on capitalism were two years in the making and publication was held up when the credit crunch crippled the world economy. Benedict said last month the crisis shows “how the economic and financial paradigms that have been dominant in recent years must be rethought.”

The German-born pontiff touched on many themes that will be discussed by the leaders of the largest economies, including “protection of the environment.” He called for a “reform of the United Nations, economic institutions and international finance so the idea of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.”

Meeting Obama

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The pope will have his first meeting with President Barack Obama at the end of the three-day summit, which starts tomorrow in L’Aquila, Italy. He received Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso at the Vatican today, while Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will meet tonight with his Japanese counterpart to discuss the G-8 agenda and the financial crisis.

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Benedict, the head of the world’s smallest state, also spoke out in his encyclical on globalization’s benefits and risks.

Read morePope Benedict XVI Calls for NEW FINANCIAL ORDER With ‘Real Teeth’

Knights Templar heirs in legal battle with the Pope

The heirs of the Knights Templar have launched a legal battle in Spain to force the Pope to restore the reputation of the disgraced order which was accused of heresy and dissolved seven centuries ago.


Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and Last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is lead to the stake to burn for heresy Photo: GETTY

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion).

Read moreKnights Templar heirs in legal battle with the Pope

Weak dollar sends Vatican into the red

The Vatican has blamed a weak dollar for pushing it into its first loss in four years by undermining the value of dollar-denominated donations by the faithful.

Annual accounts published this week show the Holy See fell into the red last year, recording a loss of €9.1m (£7.25m).

The US currency has fallen sharply against the euro since the start of last year, hitting the Holy See in the pocket as its expenses are incurred in euros. Much of the Vatican’s income comes from donations by Catholics around the world. The US was the largest single contributor to Peter’s Pence – the collection used by the Pope for charitable donations – sending almost $19m (£9.5m).

But the shortfall attributed mainly to the weak dollar was mitigated by a rise of €4m in property income. The Holy See is a major owner of property all over Rome and was criticised last year for raising rents and threatening to evict tenants.

Earlier this year, the Vatican released a new list of mortal sins which included “accumulating excessive wealth”. (Then the Catholic Church will go to hell for sure. Maybe the Holy See needs a divine bailout one day. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreWeak dollar sends Vatican into the red