Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Catholic Church Heirarchy's Perverted Values

In the wake of the release of Archdiocese files that have conclusively shown that Cardinal Roger Mahony and his minions actively protected predatory priests and deliberately kept law enforcement officials in the dark about serial child rapists a cat fight has developed between Mahony and his successor Archbishop Jose Gomez who stripped Mahony of his public duties - although Mahony remains a cardinal and a "prince of the church" entitled to great deference and to vote in electing the next Pope.  The arrogant and vain Mahony is REALLY pissed that that Gomez has publicly announced that he was stripping the cardinal of any public role in the local church.  Indeed, Mahony has hurled back "Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors."

While I have ZERO sympathy for Mahony - who belongs behind bars in my view - what he says about Gomez is true.  And most of the rest of the Church hierarchy.  NO ONE in the hierarchy gave a damn about the victims of abuse.  Indeed, they still don't.  Their sole concern is the PR damage being done which shows the moral bankruptcy of the entire senior Church leadership.  This damage needs to continue full bore to the point where some of the sheeple in the pews will finally open their eyes and stop financially supporting the criminal enterprise known as the institutional Church.

One other thing that is stunning has been shown by the newly released documents: while nothing was done to stop or punish child rapists, the Church was swift to act when non consequential - at least in real world terms - Church rules were broken by priests.  All of which further underscores the hypocrisy  and moral bankruptcy of the peevish old men who flounce around in dresses demanding respect and deference from the ignorant and gullible.  A piece in the Los Angeles Times looks at the swift and sure punishment that was meted out for violations of Church rules even as nothing was done to known sexual predator priests.  Here are some highlights:

The archdiocese of Los Angeles learned in the late 1970s that one of its priests had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy so violently that he was left bleeding and "in a state of shock." The priest said he was too drunk to remember what happened and officials took no further action.

But two decades later, word reached Cardinal Roger M. Mahony that the same priest was molesting again and improperly performing the sacrament of confession on his victim. The archdiocese sprang to action: It dispatched investigators, interviewed a raft of witnesses and discussed the harshest of all church penalties—not for the abuse but for the violation of church law.

"Given the seriousness of this abuse of the sacrament of penance … it is your responsibility to formally declare the existence of the excommunication and then refer the matter to Rome," one cleric told Mahony in a memo.

The case of Father Jose Ugarte is one of several instances detailed in newly released records in which archdiocese officials displayed outrage over a priest's ecclesiastical missteps while doing little for the victims of his sexual abuse.

The revelations emerged from 12,000 pages of the once-confidential personnel files of more than 100 priests accused of abuse.  .  .  .  . The files also suggested that the attempts to protect abusers from law enforcement extended beyond the L.A. archdiocese to a Catholic order tasked with rehabilitating abusers.

"Once more, we ask you to PLEASE DESTROY THESE PAGES AND ANY OTHER MATERIAL YOU HAVE RECEIVED FROM US," the acting director of the order's treatment program wrote to Mahony in 1988 in a letter detailing therapists' reports about a prolific molester. "This is stated for your own and our legal protection."

The order, the Servants of the Paraclete, closed the New Mexico facility where many Los Angeles priests were sent amid a flood of lawsuits in the mid-1990s. A lawyer for the order declined to comment, but indicated in a 2011 civil court filing that all treatment records were destroyed.
Mahony disregarded the order's advice, and therapy memos are among the most detailed records in the files.

In some cases, the behavior that drew the greatest ire of the hierarchy involved breaking church rather than criminal laws. After first learning of Michael Baker's abuse of boys in 1986, church leaders sent the priest to therapy, then returned him to ministry believing his word that he would stay away from children.  Yet in 2000, information that Baker was performing baptisms without permission set off a new level of alarm among the church's top officials. They discussed launching a canonical investigation, and for the first time in Baker's checkered years with the church, officials raised the prospect of contacting police.

The church fought all the way to the state Supreme Court to keep many of the records secret. The archdiocese abandoned a plan make the documents public with the names of the hierarchy blacked out only after media organizations, including The Times, sued in court. The judge sided with the media, but in many of the documents posted online, Mahony's name and that of his top aide on abuse in the 1980s, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, are still redacted.  Asked about the redactions, a lawyer for the archdiocese, J. Michael Hennigan, pledged to "fix it."  "It was our intention to always release the Cardinal and Bishop Curry's names when they appeared," he wrote in an email.

There's much more in the article, but suffice it to say, it reveals a putrid cesspool.  How any moral person can continue to attend a Catholic and put money in the collection plate defies logic.  These men are monsters and until they are driven from power and their positions, financially supporting the Catholic Church makes one an accessory to their crimes.

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