The barrage of clerical perversion accusations has shaken the confidence of the world’s billion Roman Catholics. But underlying the sex scandals a more sinister drama is playing out in Rome. Vatican observers are warning that the Roman Catholic Church, a once monolithic religious presence and global voice of moral authority is in free fall. They also argue that no human being on earth will escape “unimaginable” repercussions if she fails. Some suspect that the present media spotlight, tirelessly scanning for paedophiles in cassocks, serves a double purpose. It not only smears the image of the Church and erodes public confidence in its religious mission but also provides a smokescreen behind which the schismatic factions beaver to consolidate a power base to change unpopular (to them) doctrines and disciplines. Conservative church leaders are having to contend with near intractable problems on two fronts; to generate an effective response to the would be reformers spreading virulent religious schism within and systematically destabilising the Church, and to steady the faith of millions of believers rocked by really serious scandal magnified by the world-wide media feeding frenzy.
Catholics are so fixated by endless news flashes about clerical turpitude that many have become habituated to the sense that their holy Church is now irredeemably corrupt and has become a thing of shame. At the same time the modern day Vatican Jeremiahs fear they are failing to alert the world’s bishops to the extent of the wider catastrophe. The magnitude of this sex scandal cannot be exaggerated; it is not just about homosexual predators, but that these homosexuals are alleged to be priests; and worse, that the same priests, once objects of respect, even veneration, are accused of violating pre-pubescent infants on an industrial scale. These intolerable “revelations” provide a handy smokescreen for what some theologians believe is the even greater scandal, the death of the Church, and the resulting moral and civic chaos affecting entire nations.
Incidentally it is a note of the Church’s Divine guarantee that she will not only be hated by the world but also betrayed from within, ref. Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver.
The schism which is the most powerful ever to have threatened the Universal Church happens also to be the biggest news story in history. Amazingly the media worldwide, blinkered to anything other than salacious gossip, ignores the probable death throes of the 2,000 year old mother of Christianity, the oldest organisation on earth.
SPOTLIGHT THE BIGOT’S SUB-PLOT IN A DODGY PAEDO-MOVIE
by Bill Donohue, Editor of Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights.
The movie “Spotlight” is bound to spark more conversation about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, much of what the American public knows about this issue is derived from the popular culture, something this film will only abet. Therefore, the time is ripe to revisit what the actual data on this subject reveals.
When the Boston Globe sent the nation reeling in 2002 with revelations of priestly sexual abuse, and the attendant cover-up, Catholics were outraged by the level of betrayal. This certainly included the Catholic League. The scandal cannot be denied. What is being denied, however, is the existence of another scandal—the relentless effort to keep the abuse crisis alive, and the deliberate refusal to come to grips with its origins. Both scandals deserve our attention.
Myth: The Scandal Never Ended
When interviewed about the scandal in 2002 by the New York Times, I said, “I am not the church’s water boy. I am not here to defend the indefensible.” In the Catholic League’s 2002 Annual Report, I even defended the media. “The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times covered the story with professionalism,” I wrote.
Scandal II was external, the result of indefensible cherry-picking of old cases by rapacious lawyers and vindictive victims’ groups. They were aided and abetted by activists, the media, and Hollywood.
A decade later things had changed. In the Catholic League’s 2011 Annual Report, I offered a critical assessment of the media. “In a nutshell,” I said, “what changed was this: in 2011, unlike what happened in 2002, virtually all the stories were about accusations against priests dating back decades, sometimes as long as a half-century ago. Keep in mind that not only were most of the priests old and infirm, many were dead; thus, only one side of the story could be told. Adding to our anger was the fact that no other institution, religious or secular, was being targeted for old allegations.”
It became clear that by 2011 we were dealing with two scandals, not one. Scandal I was internal—the church-driven scandal. This was the result of indefensible decisions by the clergy: predatory priests and their enabling bishops. Scandal II was external, the result of indefensible cherry-picking of old cases by rapacious lawyers and vindictive victims’ groups. They were aided and abetted by activists, the media, and Hollywood.
AMERICANS are waking up to a journalist who almost single handedly has taken on the suffocating anti-Christian and anti-Faith media fanatics. Bill Donohue’s Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights has not only kept the spotlight on the bigots of broadcasting but has also exposed the ease by which organisations whose main objective is to destroy religion can bully small organisations out of existence by mounting vexatious legal actions funded by secretive wealthy “foundations” . In most other nations judges would make this impossible by identifying and throwing out mischievous (vexatious) attempts to misuse the law. The most glaring cases recently have been the Obama encouraged legal onslaught on the world famous Little Sisters of the Poor who operate in the most deprived and poverty stricken communities. Obama’s shame has been exposed in the success by which the poor nuns are being harried in the courts because they refuse to betray their Christian morals and consciences by engaging in the aborting of babies.
Here is a recent selection of Donohue’s exposes
It is so fitting that the least friendly administration to religion in history would invite a collection of pro-abortion nuns, Catholic gay activists, assorted dissidents and religious rebels to attend Pope Francis’ visit to the White House September 23.
These include gay Catholic blogger Aaron Ledesma; Catholic gay activist and Church critic Nicholas Coppola; and Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of the Catholic dissident group New Ways Ministry, who in 1999 was barred by the Vatican from working in ministry to homosexuals. Coppola and Gramick were both invited by GLAAD, which says the White House invited it and LGBT leaders to attend.
Vivien Taylor, who identifies as transgender, not only scored an invite, but was told to bring some friends. He is—including members of Dignity, a Catholic dissident group, and other “transgender and intersex people.”
Also attending is Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who left his wife of 14 years for his male partner, then last year “divorced” that partner.
Also on hand will be Sister Simone Campbell. She is the leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” who actively campaigned for Obamacare with its blatant pro-abortion provisions. We doubt an invitation is on the way to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns being targeted by the administration for remaining true to their Catholic faith and refusing to comply with the pro-abortion mandate. We don’t expect to see them there.
Catholic-baiting is nothing new in Washington. Back in 1994, the Clinton administration’s own Ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn, wrote that he was “embarrassed” by the “ugly anti-Catholic bias that is shown by prominent members of Congress and the administration.”
President Obama, however, has taken it to a new level. From inviting an aggressively anti-religious atheist organization to the White House; to trying to force Catholics, like the Little Sisters, to violate Catholic moral teaching; and now, to this attempt to exploit a papal visit to promote an agenda that is offensive to faithful Catholics, he has shown a religious intolerance that is mind-boggling.
How they plan to prevent Americans from meeting Pope Francis.
Poll after poll shows that Pope Francis is universally popular these days, with millions of Americans—of all religions or no religion—clamoring for an opportunity to welcome him when he arrives on our shores next week. Two groups—the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State—are predictably unhappy about that, and doing all they can to limit the public’s access to the pope.
Americans United is unhappy that the city of Cape May, New Jersey is planning to broadcast the pope’s September 27 Mass from nearby Philadelphia at the Cape May Convention Hall. The city, which has waived charges at the Convention Center for other non-profit events, organized this one in conjunction with the Cape May Ministerium, a group of clergy representing different denominations. “It’s a great opportunity for the city of Cape May to showcase itself,” and to “make that available to people who can’t attend in person,” said Cape May’s attorney. No matter, says Americans United; they’ll sue if the event takes place.
FFRF got similarly exercised about New York City’s giveaway of tickets to see Pope Francis in Central Park September 25. This, the group said, made New York City appear “to be endorsing Pope Francis’ sectarian religious message.”
FFRF is also in high dudgeon over Pope Francis’ scheduled meeting with inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia September 27. As prisons are “public-supported,” the group complained, the pope should not have been invited to meet with inmates; nor should inmates have been permitted to hand carve a chair to present to the pontiff, even though they volunteered to do so.
Freedom From Religion is an apt name for this group. Obviously they care nothing for the Freedom of Religion of those who are incarcerated.
Bill Donohue spotlights flawed journalism of the New York Times
“We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice in many, many women.” Those are the words of Hillary Clinton. Which is why she must be as dumbfounded as I am to read the op-ed by Jill Filipovic boasting how abortion brings about “positive feelings of relief or happiness.” You can just hear it said, “Break out the booze—my baby is dead.”
Filipovic is an unemployed writer who provides not a single shred of evidence to support her delirious conclusion. When I submit op-ed ads to the New York Times, I am routinely asked to provide proof for my contentions. I’m fine with that—I always have the data. Then why was this piece printed when the author simply asserts that “research shows” women are happy following an abortion?
In 2011, the British Journal of Psychiatry published “the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature.” It measured anxiety, depression, alcohol use, marijuana use, and suicidal behavior. It found that “the overall experience of abortion led to a staggering 81% increased risk of mental health problems across all the variables.” Studies done in the U.S., Finland, Denmark, and Canada have come to similar conclusions.
In addition to these five mental health problems, post-abortion syndromes include such emotions as guilt, feelings of numbness, avoidance of children or pregnant women, inability to bond with present or future children, eating disorders, fear of infertility, and nightmares. There is no post-abortion syndrome called elation. And they all remember the anniversary of the aborted child’s due date, or the date of the abortion.
Project Rachel was founded as a Catholic ministry to reach out to women who have had an abortion. Filipovic ought to talk to these women. She would learn that “breaking out the booze” only occurs when post-abortive women opt to self-medicate.