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JUDAS PRIEST: Open Letter To Archbishop Chaput


PHILADELPHIA  SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS: We were disappointed in how Charles Chaput responded to abuse claims as the archbishop of the Denver archdiocese, especially his work to defeat statute of limitations reform in the Colorado legislature. We suspect that the fears held by church leaders in Philadelphia of similar reform are one of the reasons that Chaput was promoted. However, his past record is not as important as the tone he will set for the future. After years of cover-ups perpetrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia deserves better. Survivors of abuse do not deserve to see their perpetrators protected and criminal actions justified with shady legal tactics. They deserve justice. Chaput should comply with the recommendations of the Philadelphia grand jury reports and fully support legislation that would reform the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania. And he should immediately remove and discipline current employees of the Philadelphia archdiocese involved in enabling and covering up these sex crimes.It is not enough to stand on a podium and talk about things to be done. Chaput should do everything within his substantial power to ensure that these enablers are brought to justice and that survivors have the chance to expose their predators so that children today and in the future can be kept safe. MORE

RELATED: In March, Rigali suspended more than two dozen priests pending an archdiocesan investigation. Gina Maisto Smith, the former Philadelphia prosecutor who is leading that investigation, said after the news conference that her team expected to continue its work despite the change of archbishops. With her findings still months away, she said, it appears that it will fall to Chaput to decide whom among his priests to dismiss and whom to restore to ministry. MORE

RELATED: Grand Jury Report Slams Philadelphia Archdiocese For Covering Up Widespread Child Rape

IRISH TIMES: In language never before used by a top Irish government leader, prime minister Enda Kenny yesterday accused the Vatican of downplaying or “managing” the rape and torture of children in order to uphold its own power and reputation. […] The revelations of the Cloyne report had brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture, he said. “It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order. Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. And in doing so, the Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Same Shit, Different Asshole

PREVIOUSLY: Two More Priests Put On Shit List

PREVIOUSLY: 3rd Man Files Abuse Lawsuit Against Archdiocese

PREVIOUSLY: Archdiocese Suspends 21 Priests Pending An Investigation Into Widespread Child Abuse Allegations

PREVIOUSLY: Priest Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Cardinals Rigali And Bevilacqua For Covering Up Child Rape

PREVIOUSLY: Glenside Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse

PREVIOUSLY: Richard Dawkins, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”. Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998. The Pope was embroiled in new controversy this weekend over a letter he signed arguing that the “good of the universal church” should be considered against the defrocking of an American priest who committed sex offences against two boys. It was dated 1985, when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases. Benedict will be in Britain between September 16 and 19, visiting London, Glasgow and Coventry, where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian. Dawkins and Hitchens believe the Pope would be unable to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest because, although his tour is categorised as a state visit, he is not the head of a state recognised by the United Nations. They have commissioned the barrister Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens, a solicitor, to present a justification for legal action. The lawyers believe they can ask the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate criminal proceedings against the Pope, launch their own civil action against him or refer his case to the International Criminal Court. Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said: “This is a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims popefinal1.jpgto silence.” Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, said: “This man is not above or outside the law. The institutionalised concealment of child rape is a crime under any law and demands not private ceremonies of repentance or church-funded payoffs, but justice and punishment.” MORE

RELATED: Ms. Costello, now 48 and on disability because of arthritis, says that Mr. Kiesle — who was ordained as a priest in 1972 — first playfully invited her to sit on his lap, part of a youthful demeanor that he fostered, she said, including wearing purple tennis shoes in church. “He was considered to be the Pied Piper,” Ms. Costello recalled in an interview. “He was a kid. And who doesn’t like a big kid?” But Ms. Costello says Father Kiesle’s touching and tickling soon progressed to fondling her chest and genitals. “He told me the devil was inside me,” she said, adding that the priest sometimes cast his actions as an exorcism. “I always knew that I was uncomfortable and that it wasn’t right.” Her account came on the same day a priest in Massachusetts used his sermon to condemn the church’s handling of the broader sexual abuse scandal, describing some in the clergy as “felons” and suggesting that Benedict resign. Nearly a decade after the abuse described by Ms. Costello, Father Kiesle was convicted in 1978 of tying up and molesting two boys in another California church rectory. But he was not defrocked until 1987 — despite concerns voiced to the Vatican over several years by Bishop John S. Cummins of Oakland. MORE

RELATED: “We must personally and collectively declare that we very much doubt the veracity of the pope and those of church authority who are defending him or even falling on the sword on his behalf,” said the priest, the Rev. James J. Scahill of St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow. “It is beginning to become evident that for decades, if not centuries, church leadership covered up the abuse of children and minors to protect its institutional image and the image of priesthood.”MORE

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