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Thread: Italian Exorcist: Devil Made NY Times Attack Pope

  1. #1
    Atypical is offline

    Italian Exorcist: Devil Made NY Times Attack Pope

    Raw Story

    A spate of recent news reports alleging cover-ups of child sex abuse by priests was "prompted" by Satan, says a prominent Italian exorcist.

    Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's chief exorcist, told Italian media this week that a New York Times report alleging that Pope Benedict XVI ignored reports of sex abuse at a Wisconsin school for the deaf was the work of the Devil.

    That story asserted that the Pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, ignored repeated warnings from bishops that a Wisconsin priest, Father Laurence Murphy, may have molested as many as 200 boys at a school for the deaf.

    "There is no doubt about it. Because he is a marvelous Pope and worthy successor to John Paul II, it is clear that the Devil wants to 'grab hold' of him," Amorth said, as quoted at the Catholic News Agency.

    Father Amorth added that in instances of sexual abuse committed by some members of the clergy, the devil “uses” priests in order to cast blame upon the entire Church: “The devil wants the death of the Church because she is the mother of all the saints.”

    The exorcist went on to note that Satan tempts holy men, "and so we should not be surprised if priests too … fall into temptation. They also live in the world and can fall like men of the world."

    Amorth made similar assertions several weeks ago, before the allegations about Father Murphy became public. At that time, the Pope was being criticized by some over allegations that, as Archbishop of Munich, he tried to hush up allegations of sexual abuse by priests in his diocese.

    In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Amorth said the German sex abuse scandal, along with several other scandals and a Christmas Eve attack on the pontiff by a mentally unstable woman, "were proof that the Anti-Christ was waging a war against the Holy See," the Daily Telegraph reported.

    Amorth also asserted that the Pope is a fervent believer in the practice of exorcism. "His Holiness believes wholeheartedly in the practice of exorcism. He has encouraged and praised our work," Amorth said.

    In 2006, Amorth asserted that Hitler and Stalin were both possessed by the Devil.

    Amorth also condemned the Harry Potter novels for creating a "false distinction" between good and bad magic; all magic "leads to the Devil," Amorth stated.

    _______________________________

    So no "human" is to blame?

    What vicious bullshit!

  2. #2
    Atypical is offline

    Another Attempt to Deflect Blame

    BBC

    Pope's Preacher Compares Abuse Row to Anti-Semitism

    Pope Benedict's personal preacher has compared criticism of the pontiff and Church over child abuse to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.

    The Rev Raniero Cantalamessa was speaking at Good Friday prayers in St Peter's Basilica, attended by the Pope.

    In his sermon, he quoted a Jewish friend as saying the accusations reminded him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism".

    His comments angered Jewish groups and those representing abuse victims.

    Father Cantalamessa said Jews throughout history had been the victims of "collective violence" and drew a comparison with recent attacks on the Roman Catholic Church.

    He read the congregation part of a letter from a Jewish friend who said he was "following with disgust the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope...

    "The use of stereotypes, the shifting of personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," he quoted from the letter.

    Father Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, is the only person allowed to preach to the Pope.

    The BBC's David Willey, in Rome, says the comments show the Church is continuing to defend itself rigorously and outspokenly against accusations of having systematically covered up cases of sexual abuse by priests in recent decades.

    Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi later contacted the Associated Press news agency to say Father Cantalamessa was not speaking as a Vatican official.

    He said such a comparison could "lead to misunderstandings and is not an official position of the Catholic Church".

    But Stephan Kramer, general-secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, described the remarks as offensive and repulsive.

    "So far I haven't seen St Peter's burning, nor were there outbursts of violence against Catholic priests," he said.

    "I'm without words. The Vatican is now trying to turn the perpetrators into victims."

    Peter Isely, spokesman for the US victim support group Snap, said the sermon had been "reckless and irresponsible".

    He said: "They're sitting in the papal palace, they're experiencing a little discomfort, and they're going to compare themselves to being rounded up or lined up and sent in cattle cars to Auschwitz?

    "You cannot be serious."

    Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, of the American Jewish Committee, called Father Cantalamessa's comments "an unfortunate use of language".

    "The collective violence against the Jews resulted in the death of six million, while the collective violence spoken of here has not led to murder and destruction, but perhaps character assault," he said.

    Pope accused

    The Roman Catholic Church has been embroiled in fresh allegations of child sex abuse by priests, most recently in Germany.

    The Pope has been accused of failing to take action against a suspected abuser during his tenure as archbishop of Munich - a claim the Vatican strongly denies.

    Critics also say that when he was head of the Vatican office dealing with sex abuse, he did not act against a US priest who is thought to have abused some 200 deaf boys.

    Thousands of pilgrims are in Rome for the Easter rituals.

    Following the service at St Peter's Basilica, the Pope went to Rome's Colosseum for the Way of the Cross procession commemorating Christ's crucifixion.

    During the procession, the Pope spoke briefly about the evening's religious observances before blessing the crowd, prompting cheers and some shouts of "Long live the Pope".

    On Saturday, he is to lead an Easter vigil service in St Peter's and on Sunday he is due to deliver his traditional Urbi et Orbi - to the city and the world - message and blessing.

  3. #3
    Atypical is offline

    ** Yes, Why?

    Why Are Pedophilia-Hiding, Child-Abusing Church Fathers Allowed to Write Laws About Women's Bodies? **

    The moral authority granted the Catholic Church in the secular world is the most repellent aspect of the current crisis.


    April 3, 2010 Katha Pollitt

    My favorite moment of the whole child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was when Father Klaus Malangré suggested that Peter Hullermann, the redoubtable German pedophile priest, might be sent to work in a girls' school. No boys, no molestation. Or, in churchly language, no occasion of sin. Problem solved! Plus, the good father would spend his life warding off female cooties. Malangré must not have heard about priests -- and they do exist -- who abused both male and female children. Nor had he learned the lesson of Watergate: the cover-up is worse than the crime.

    The church has yet to learn that lesson. There is a positively Nixonian smarmy truculence in the response of church hierarchs to the ongoing scandal, which now involves Pope Benedict XVI himself. On Palm Sunday, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan urged worshipers at St. Patrick's Cathedral to show "love and solidarity for our earthly shepherd now suffering some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob and scourging at the pillar, as did Jesus." On his blog, Dolan explains that what gets Catholics angry is not just the molestations themselves but also that "the sexual abuse of minors is presented as a tragedy unique to the Church alone." Oh, really? Does the name Mary Kay Letourneau mean nothing to him? This man needs to read the tabloids, which have for years featured an endless parade of molesting teachers, doctors, dentists, therapists and scout leaders. To go by the news, looking at child pornography on one's office computer is so common, it's a wonder anyone finds the time to abuse real kids. At this late date I doubt anyone is unaware that the sexual abuse of children is a widespread phenomenon.

    The difference is, when other professionals who work with children are caught out, justice takes its course. People are fired. Licenses are lost. Reputations are ruined. Sometimes jail is involved. No human institution is perfect, and it would be foolish to suggest that incidents are always investigated and that abusers who don't happen to be priests are never protected by colleagues or superiors. Still, it's probably safe to say that if a principal was accused of overlooking a child molester in his classrooms or recycling him to other schools, nobody would compare his suffering to Christ's.

    And nobody would be asking for his views about sex, reproduction, women, homosexuality or healthcare either. The moral authority granted the Catholic Church in the secular world is for me the most repellent aspect of the current crisis. In the succinct words of Jodi Jacobson, editor of RHRealityCheck.org, "Why is a pedophilia-ridden, pedophilia-hiding, child-abusing Church allowed to write laws controlling women's rights?" To which one might add: what gives a church in which celibacy is equated with holiness, in which males have almost all the power, the right to a place at the table where laws are made about women's bodies? The same institution that has dealt so indulgently with its ordained pedophiles had no problem excommunicating a Brazilian mother who sought an abortion for her 9-year-old daughter, raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather, or pushing for laws in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Chile banning abortion even to save the woman's life.

    Most Catholics take a flexible view of the church's teachings on sexuality. They use birth control -- how else could Italy, Spain and Poland have among the lowest birthrates in the world? They divorce and remarry, use condoms to prevent STDs, undergo in vitro and other banned fertility treatments and even have abortions. Yet there were the bishops, holding the whole healthcare reform bill hostage to their opposition to abortion rights, advising on the crafting of language right in the halls of Congress. And as Jacobson details, it was the Conference of Catholic Bishops that worked alongside Republican Congressmen Chris Smith, Joe Pitts and Mike Pence to insert last-minute language denying HIV-positive women access to contraceptives and favoring abstinence-only-until-marriage policies in the 2008 President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

    There isn't much that non-Catholics can do to force the church to abandon its 2,000-year-old misogynistic ways. We can't force it to ordain women and married men, or value a woman's life over a fertilized egg, or see homosexuality as something other than, in Pope John Paul II's memorable words, "intrinsic moral evil." Catholics themselves will have to do that, whether by leaving the church in numbers large enough to get the bishops' attention or by organizing within it, like Catholics for Choice, Women-Church Convergence or the international group We Are Church. But certainly the rest of us can demand that the Obama administration, Congress and government generally stop catering to the Vatican. The bishops can't even make their own flock obey their outmoded and cruel rules and regulations, so why should they exercise power over the entire country? The United States should not have an ambassador to the Holy See in Rome any more than it has an ambassador to the Diocese of Canterbury or the Satmars of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And if the church wants to interfere with the making of laws, it should lose its tax-exempt status.

    In February Bishop Margot Kaessmann, the first woman to head the German Protestant Church and a much-admired public figure, was caught running a red light while intoxicated. There was a lot of sympathy for her, even in the conservative media, which disagreed with her liberal and antiwar views, and she received the support of the church's governing body. Nonetheless, within four days Kaessmann resigned, saying that her moral authority had been so compromised she could no longer do right by her high office. Maybe Pope Benedict and his bishops could learn something from her example.

  4. #4
    Atypical is offline

    More Evidence Emerges That Pope Benedict Helped Shield Pedophiles Before He Became Po

    Huffington

    The abuse cases of two priests in Arizona have cast further doubt on the Catholic church's insistence that Pope Benedict XVI played no role in shielding pedophiles before he became pope.

    Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that as a Vatican cardinal, the future pope took over the abuse case of the Rev. Michael Teta of Tucson, Ariz., then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood.

    In another Tucson case, that of Msgr. Robert Trupia, the bishop wrote to then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who would become pope in 2005. Bishop Manuel Moreno called Trupia "a major risk factor to the children, adolescents and adults that he many have contact with." There is no indication in the case files that Ratzinger responded.

    The details of the two cases come as other allegations emerge that Benedict – as a Vatican cardinal – was part of a culture of cover-up and confidentiality.

    "There's no doubt that Ratzinger delayed the defrocking process of dangerous priests who were deemed 'satanic' by their own bishop," Lynne Cadigan, an attorney who represented two of Teta's victims, said Friday.
    The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, called the accusations "absolutely groundless" and said the facts were being misrepresented.

    He said the delay in defrocking Teta was caused by a hold on appeals while the Vatican changed regulations over its handling of sex abuse cases. In the meantime, he said, cautionary measures were in place; Teta had been suspended since 1990.

    "The documents show clearly and positively that those in charge at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ... have repeatedly intervened actively over the course of the 90s so that the canonic trial under way in the Tucson diocese could dutifully reach its conclusion," Lombardi said in a statement.

    In the 1990s, a church tribunal found that Teta had molested children as far back as the 1970s, and the panel determined "there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys."
    The tribunal referred Teta's case, which included allegations that he abused boys in a confessional, to Ratzinger. The church considers cases of abuse in confessionals more serious than other molestations because they also defile the sacrament of penance.

    It took 12 years from the time Ratzinger assumed control of the case in a signed letter until Teta was formally removed from ministry, a step only the Vatican can take.

    Teta was accused of engaging in abuse not long after his arrival to the Diocese of Tucson in 1978. Among the eventual allegations: that he molested two boys, ages 7 and 9, in the confessional as they prepared for their First Communion.

    Teta was removed from ministry by the bishop, but because the church's most severe punishment – laicization – can only be handed down from Rome, he remained on the church payroll and was working with young people outside the church.

    In a signed letter dated June 8, 1992, Ratzinger advised Moreno he was taking control of the case, according to a copy provided to the AP from Cadigan, the victims' attorney. Five years later, no action had been taken.
    "This case has already gone on for seven years," Moreno wrote Ratzinger on April 28, 1997, adding, "I make this plea to you to assist me in every way you can to expedite this case."


    It would be another seven years before Teta was laicized. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Teta was ordered defrocked in 1997. But Teta appealed, and the appeal remained on hold until the new regulations took effect in 2001.

    "Starting in 2001, all the appeals that were pending were promptly taken up, and Teta's case was one of the first to be discussed," Lombardi said.
    But this still took time, he said, because the documentation that had been presented was "especially voluminous." The sentence was upheld and in 2004 Teta was laicized.

    The case of Trupia shows the fragmented nature of how Rome handled such allegations before 2001, when Ratzinger dictated that all abuse cases must go through his Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

    Before then, files were sent to varied Vatican departments, as they were in the case of Trupia. Moreno suspended Trupia in 1992, but again faced delays from the Vatican in having him formally removed from the church.
    Documents show at least two Vatican offices – the Congregation for the Clergy and the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church – were involved in the case at least as early as 1995.
    Moreno pleaded with the Congregation for the Clergy to do something, writing, "We have proofs of civil crimes against people who were under his priestly care" and warning Trupia could "be the source of greater scandal in the future."

    Ultimately, the case landed in Ratzinger's office.

    On Feb. 10, 2003, a day after the Arizona Daily Star reported that Trupia was living in a condo near Baltimore, driving a leather-seated Mercedes-Benz with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror, Moreno wrote to Ratzinger again.

    Sick with prostate cancer and the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease, Moreno was approved for early retirement by Pope John Paul II.
    Before he was replaced, the bishop wrote Ratzinger yet again. Moreno's replacement, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, sent similar requests to Ratzinger and his subordinates.

    "My experience – and as I've looked at the records in our serious cases – the Vatican actually was prodding, through the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and Cardinal Ratzinger, to try to get this case going," Kicanas said.
    Finally, in August 2004, Trupia was laicized.

    "The tragedy is that the bishops have only two choices: Follow the Vatican's code of secrecy and delay, or leave the church," Cadigan, the victims' lawyer, said Friday. "It's unfortunate that their faith demands that they sacrifice children to follow the Vatican's directions."

    Trupia's former attorney, Stephen A. Shechtel of Rockville, Md., said Friday that he never dealt with the church on his client's behalf and that Trupia was aware he would be defrocked and didn't fight it.

    Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Moreno's replacement, defended the Vatican's handling of the Arizona cases, citing the prolonged process of internal church trials that he acknowledged could be "frustratingly slow because of the seriousness of the concerns."

    Kicanas said suggestions that Ratzinger resisted addressing the issues of sexual abuse in the church were "grossly unfair."
    "Cardinal Ratzinger, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was always receptive, ready to listen, to hear people's concerns," Kicanas said. "Pope Benedict is the same man."
    ___
    Associated Press writers Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Ben Nuckols in Baltimore contributed to this report.
    Last edited by Atypical; 04-03-2010 at 11:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Atypical is offline

    US Cardinal Protected Child Abusing Priest: Document

    Raw Story

    US Cardinal William Levada, a staunch defender of Pope Benedict XVI in the paedophile priests scandal gripping the Vatican, reassigned a US priest and alleged child molester in the 1990s without warning his parishioners, court documents showed.

    In a sworn testimony in 2006 about his time as Archbishop of Portland, Oregon (1986-1995), Levada said he decided to reassign the offending priest after he underwent therapy.

    "The abuse in question had happened 20 years before, or so... the recommendation of the therapy was that he was not at risk for re-abusing and that it would be prudent to reassign him... and prudent also to put conditions that would make sure that he would not be overstressed to do some inappropriate behavior," Levada testified.

    A transcript of Levada's lengthy testimony on his decision in the mid-1990s was provided to AFP by a lawyer of the victims of pedophile priests in Oregon state.

    Levada now heads the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was chosen for the post by his predecessor and then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who as pope now has come under criticism for failing to act against priests accused of child abuse in his earlier post as chief Vatican enforcer of Catholic doctrine and morals.

    In the testimony, Levada was asked if he had warned parishioners about the Oregon priest's past -- inappropriate sexual behavior with teenagers in the 1970s. He answered no.

    "I took what I believe to be the prudent step of giving complete information to the pastor of the parish... and assigning him as the supervisor to (the priest) who (would) have weekly or regular meetings with him and so forth," the Cardinal said.

    Levada added that it was his judgement at the time "that I took the steps that were appropriate and warranted to make sure that my reassignment of (the priest) was entirely responsible."

    Despite objections, Levada said he did not warn the parishioners about the priest's past because it could have impacted the man's work and caused him embarrassment.

    Much of the testimony presented at a Portland bankruptcy court came amid abuse accusations leveled against Roman Catholic priests in the United States and around the world.

    The Church in Oregon filed for bankruptcy "the day that the first trial was supposed to start, the first child abuse trial, that was in July 2004," Erin Olson, a lawyer representing some 20 victims of child abuse seeking compensation, told AFP.

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