Despite the crocodile tears of Pope Francis and other high Catholic hierarchs - some of whom looked the other way to protect predators - the Catholic Church leadership remains a moral cesspool. Sex abuse of children and youths continue literally across the globe and far too many bishops and cardinals put "protecting the Church" and predators above the rights and lives of abuse victims. Among the stories about sexual abuse by priests today, two stand out. One involves police raiding Bishop Joseph Cistone's residence, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan offices and St. Mary's Cathedral in Saginaw. Why? Because authorities grew frustrated with Bishop Cistone and the diocese's failure to cooperate in investigations of sexual abuse allegations. Here are highlights from ABC News 12:
A contingent of law enforcement officials from multiple agencies raided Bishop Joseph Cistone's residence, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw offices and St. Mary's Cathedral in Saginaw.Police obtained the three search warrants that were being executed as part of the investigation that started Feb. 25 with the arrest of the Rev. Robert DeLand.
Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner said Cistone and the diocese have not lived up to promises to support investigators looking into sexual abuse allegations against DeLand and other church officials.
The second story focuses on the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo under pressure disclosing the names of 42 priests facing allegations of sex abuse, including 27 priests whose names had not previously been linked in public to molestation complaints. The Buffalo News has details:"Contrary to the statements from the diocese and the bishop that they would fully cooperate with law enforcement, they did not," Gaertner said. "Therefore, it was necessary for law enforcement to utilize other investigative tools, including search warrants."
Bishops for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo refused to acknowledge anything about priests who were accused of molesting minors.
Bishop Richard J. Malone altered course Tuesday morning by disclosing the names of 42 priests facing allegations of sex abuse, including 27 priests whose names had not previously been linked in public to molestation complaints. The diocese joined about 30 other dioceses in the country that have disclosed the names of clergy accused of sexual misconduct.
Most of the priests on the list were never prosecuted on criminal charges or sued in civil courts. Some of the priests were quietly removed from ministry under the guise of early retirements or medical leaves. The diocese on Tuesday did not provide any information about the specific allegations against each priest, or disclose where the living priests are residing.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo News has this:
Malone was in the state Capitol lobbying with other Catholic bishops from across the state against a provision in the proposed Child Victims Act that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue dioceses decades after the alleged abuse occurred.
These two stories are just part of the dozen plus stories from around the world that my Google search agent delivers to me each and every day.
But what are the Conference of Catholic Bishops focused on? Not cleaning their own ranks of enablers and abetters of sexual predators or cleansing the priesthood of predators or justly compensating victims of abuse. No, their focus is on backing a proposed federal law that would legalize discrimination against law abiding LGBT citizens under the ruse of "protecting religious liberty." It's enough to make one want to vomit and certainly explains why the younger generations are walking away from Catholicism (and organized Christianity in general). Here are highlights from blogger friend Joe Jervis' blog:
Via press release: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave their strong support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the U.S. Senate:
“We welcome and applaud the recent reintroduction of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The USCCB has been vocal in support of the legislation since its inception. FADA is a modest and important measure that protects the rights of faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
“The Church will also continue to stand for the ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in public life without fear of government discrimination. We are pleased to support the First Amendment Defense Act, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”
What of the civil rights and religious freedoms of those with differing beliefs? To the bitter old men in dresses, they simply do not matter. Only the beliefs of modern day Pharisees deserve protection. The hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy is staggering.