Voiceless Victim

A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse speaks out for those who can't speak for themselves

Category Archives: Pope Francis

Getting it is not an accomplishment. Getting rid of it is. When’s that going to happen?

I am reposting here in full an excellent editorial written by Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) about the disgraceful performance of the Vatican’s paedophile protectors in front of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on January 16, 2014.

Bishop Charles Scicluna at the UN, the face of Vatican compassion for children they knowingly exposed to rapists

Bishop Charles Scicluna at the UN, the face of Vatican compassion for children they knowingly exposed to rapists

EDITORIAL

 “The Holy See gets it,” Msgr. Charles Scicluna, declared before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at a meeting in Geneva, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“Getting it” is not an accomplishment.

Getting rid of it is.

Not only is “getting it” not an accomplishment, it’s not an “ah hah” moment, it’s not even Christianity.

Getting the rape and sodomy of children is basic humanity.

Raping and sodomizing children is criminal.

Luring children into situations where you can rape and sodomize them is criminal.

This is not a complex theological argument.

Getting it is when Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO packs a moving van after being removed from his office.

Getting it is extraditing a Polish archbishop to Poland to answer Polish authorities’ questions about being a sexually abusive priest/archbishop — one who is being investigated in the Dominican Republic and Poland. Getting it is not saying you will deal with the matter with your own courts.

Getting it is releasing the documents. They are the place where the truth lives.

Removing Finn, extraditing Weslowski, releasing the truth doesn’t take commissions, papal or otherwise.

They take a Pope.

The Vatican has had one for over 2,000 years. In some years, it’s had more than one.

You can “get” this intellectually or emotionally – your choice – but out of basic humanity the journey is not a long one, the road is not laden with obstacles, the distance from Point A to Point B is short.

Getting this is simple.

Adults under no circumstances should rape or sodomize children. Period.

People who are in authority over those who rape and sodomize children shouldn’t harbor the people who do it, provide the needs of life for them, shuttle them into safe places, or hide them.  If they do, they are complicit in the rape and sodomy of children.

This is doubly, if not triply true if you are a religious institution which claims 1.2 billion members and you have a sign out that says you know the way to the moral life and you are exporting it.

It is inherently true if this religious institution also has a sign out that proclaims the priests of its largest rite as well as the professed men and women religious in the outfit don’t have sex, period – not with anybody, least of all by raping and sodomizing children.

If Catholics and the world at large accept the “we get it” explanation along with the rest of the Vatican representatives’ testimony before the UN Committee as to what is good and right and proper and what needs to be done for justice to be had in this crisis — it’s outrageous.

What the Vatican ”gets” is that the world is catching on to it and it had no other viable defensive option than to appear before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

The world is catching on, make no mistake about this, because of the courage and the dedicated hard work of the survivors.

Here we applaud the heavy lifting that is done by SNAP.

And when you are causing the world to “grill” in unprecedented fashion one of its most powerful institutions, that’s some lifting.

The Vatican representatives ducked and dodged and deflected in the testimony before the UN.

We make available for you at the end of this editorial the text of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,’s address as the Vatican Information Service presented it.

We call your attention to the Vatican’s characterization that Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, was at Geneva as part of a periodic reporting event, — not as a player in an historic, unfiltered sit-down-and-answer-questions about your record on the sexual abuse of children for all the world to see and hear.

Routine event as the Vatican Information Service tried to characterize it in its official record? Nothing could be further from the truth. Seems in cover-up, as in war, truth is also the first casualty.

The catalyst for this particular committee “grilling” as news reports told the world, was the failure of the Vatican to provide required annual reports as a signer on the UN Treaty of the Child. The failure existed for 11 years. Some periodic reporting.

We will give the Vatican this: along with Tomasi whom they could have sent alone, — they did send Monsignor Scicluna and to his credit Scicluna went. Scicluna knows where the bodies are buried and it was a high level risk to send him. He worked for Joseph Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He knows what’s in those records at the Congregation.

One has to wonder as Scicluna sat there being grilled by civil authorities if he thought that his former boss in the Congregation of Faith, should have been sitting there taking the heat or at least feeling it radiate at the other end of a video conferencing camera within his Vatican castle.

Catholics, we do hope, will not be hoodwinked by this performance and add insult to injury to survivors by being sucked into another re-run of “it’s history.”

Pope Benedict XVI had every opportunity on any day of the week, any moment of the day or night, during nearly the entire papacy of Pope John Paul II  and the entirety of his own papacy to clean house of sexual abusers, to move the backlog of laicization cases still gathering dust in the Congregation, to remove abusive and cover-up bishops, to release Vatican documents, to order bishops and cardinals and congregations to release documents, to order bishops, cardinals and congregations to release names, — to come clean.

He didn’t do it.

That’s a choice, a clear choice, not a failure or a deficiency in “getting it.”

The sitting pope had scandal on his mind, too, as his representatives were on the hot seat in Geneva.

Said Pope Francis, it is reported, in his homily:

“But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know…We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money…. The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity?(emphasis added). Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! ‘But, I wear a medal,’ ‘I carry the Cross ‘ … Yes, just as those who bore the Ark! Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those from whom scandals come … And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests.”

We added the emphasis to the  phrase “ priests, bishops and laity” because we believe there should be howls of protest from the laity – who never see the light of day in parallel references with priests and bishops when it comes to anything else in the Church but they are lumped into the shame of scandals in equal proportion.

This is insulting.

Yes, there are lay people who have been on parish or school staffs that have abused –they have been prosecuted in vastly higher numbers than priests and bishops who have abused and covered up abuse , no comparison — and after being accused they have not been given hiding places and financial underpinning by the Church — nor had their bail paid by the Church. There are lay chancery officials who have covered up but their known number does not rise to anywhere near equal portion to the known number of priests and bishops who have abused and covered up and who had and have the power to end this crisis but fail to end this crisis. Same holds true on the financial scandal front.

This largest crisis in the Church in the last 500 hundred years has not been caused by  lay people. Good grief.

Getting it is not an accomplishment.

Getting rid of it is.

When’s that going to happen?

Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

TEXT of the Vatican Information Service report:  

Vatican City, 16 January 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke this morning before the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). He presented the Holy See’s periodic report on this issue.

ARCHBISHOP TOMASI BEFORE COMMITTEE OF CHILD RIGHTS: HOLY SEE AND ITS INSTITUTIONS ARE COMMITTED TO DEFENCE OF INVIOLABLE DIGNITY OF EACH CHILD

Vatican City, 16 January 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke this morning before the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). He presented the Holy See’s periodic report on this issue.

“The protection of children remains a major concern for contemporary society and for the Holy See,” the prelate said. “… Abusers are found among members of the world’s most respected professions, most regrettably, including members of the clergy and other church personnel. …”

“Confronted with this reality, the Holy See has carefully delineated policies and procedures designed to help eliminate such abuse and to collaborate with respective State authorities to fight against this crime. The Holy See is also committed to listen carefully to victims of abuse and to address the impact such situations have on survivors of abuse and on their families. The vast majority of church personnel and institutions on the local level have provided, and continue to provide, a wide variety of services to children by educating them, and by supporting their families, and by responding to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Egregious crimes of abuse committed against children have rightly been adjudicated and punished by the competent civil authorities in the respective countries.”

“Therefore, the response of the Holy See to the sad phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors has been articulated in different ambits. On the level of the Holy See, as the Sovereign of Vatican City State, the response to sexual abuse has been in accord with its direct responsibility over the territory of Vatican City State. In this regard, special legislation has been enacted to implement international legal obligations, and covers the State, and its tiny population.”

“On the international level, the Holy See has taken concrete action by the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. In 2000, the Holy See acceded to the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, as well as the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The Holy See then promotes and encourages these international instruments.”

“At the same time, the Holy See as the central organ of the Catholic Church has formulated guidelines to facilitate the work of the local Churches to develop effective measures within their jurisdiction and in conformity with canonical legislation.”

“Local Churches, taking into account the domestic law in their respective countries, have developed guidelines and monitored their implementation with the aim of preventing any additional abuse and dealing promptly with it, in accordance with national law whenever it occurs. … The result of the combined action taken by local Churches and by the Holy See presents a framework that, when properly applied, will help eliminate the occurrence of child sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel.”

The Permanent Observer explained that “the Holy See’s ‘Periodic Report on the CRC’ is divided into four Parts: Part I deals with general considerations, including the nature of the Holy See as a subject of international law. Part II responds to the concluding observations of the Committee to the Holy See’s Initial Report, and, in particular, questions concerning reservations; the Committee’s four principles and the duties and rights of parents, the education of girls, education about health, and education on the CRC. The Holy See also discusses the principles it promotes concerning the rights and duties of the child within the context of the family. Part III presents the international contributions of the Holy See in advancing and promoting basic principles recognized in the CRC on a full range of issues pertaining to children (e.g., the family, adoption, children with disabilities; health and welfare; leisure and culture; and special measures to protect children, including questions pertaining to sexual abuse, drug addiction, children living on the streets and minority groups). Finally, Part IV addresses the implementation of the Convention in Vatican City State.”

“In the end, there is no excuse,” the prelate repeated, “for any form of violence or exploitation of children. Such crimes can never be justified, whether committed in the home, in schools, in community and sports programs, or in religious organizations and structures. This is the long-standing policy of the Holy See. … For this reason, the Holy See, and local Church structures in all parts of the world, are committed to holding inviolable the dignity and entire person of every child—body, mind, and spirit.”

“Pope Benedict XVI,” the prelate concluded, “speaking to the Bishops of Ireland in 2006 had these important words to say: ‘In the exercise of your pastoral ministry, you have had to respond in recent years to many heart-rending cases of sexual abuse of minors. These are all the more tragic when the abuser is a cleric.’ … Likewise, Pope Francis clearly … undertook new action and has announced the creation of a Commission for the Protection of Minors, with the aim of proposing new initiatives for the development of safe environment programs for children and improving efforts for the pastoral care for victims of abuse around the world.”

Stay safe everyone.

VV

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Does Papal Pretender Deserve Person of the Year? No Way Jorge

The announcement that Time Magazine had declared Pope Frank, the Paedophile-Protector-in-Chief, their Person of the Year for 2013 left all of us who are not either brain dead, brainwashed or irretrievably corrupt completely speechless.

Pope frank on time

Surely this would be the joke of the new century, if it were not so terribly tragic.

The subsequent announcement that this old man in an old fashioned, baggy white dress and retinue of silly hats and caps, has been declared Esquire Magazine’s Best Dressed Man of the Year is simply ridiculous beyond belief.

Even more bizarre is that The Advocate, a gay magazine, declared the leader of this vehemently anti-gay, though largely homosexual, religion as their Person of the Year, too. Despite recent carefully crafted murmurings of a softening of the traditional hate filled hard line against gays, there is simply no way Francis of the Facade is any friend to openly gay men, or their interests.

The vatican’s new, and no doubt highly paid, PR supremo, Greg Burke, a member of the catholic cult Opus Dei, and a former Fox News staffer, is clearly no stranger to the tricks used to spread ultra conservative, orthodox religious spin. The information that the cunning Mr Burke is also a former Time employee makes a little more sense of Time’s puzzlingly inappropriate award.

It is easier to accept that a sleazy Vatican employee pulled in all his favours from his very good friends and former colleagues at Time than that otherwise seemingly intelligent editors came to this decision without inducements or prompting. Of course the publishers at Time, and the other magazines, no doubt enjoy the controversy and spike in readership that such a stupid choice generates. And it seems they really don’t care about any loss of credibility amongst those still in possession of a brain. Or perhaps they’ll have moved on to a new job before any fallout is felt.

This pope has done absolutely nothing to eradicate the epidemic of child rape destroying the lives and threatening the very existence of hundreds of thousands of the most innocent and vulnerable in this world. This man, Jorge from Buenos Ares, who claims infallibility and holiness, and demands slavish adoration and unquestioning respect in the face of a crime wave that puts the mafia, his collaborators, to shame, has done nothing, has achieved nothing, that justifies in any way a fraction of the media attention thrown away on him.

Far less an honour stolen from the truly deserving but less grasping.

Why do the mindless adore Francis the Fake?

Well, it’s certainly not for his good looks.

pope frank cartoon 3

Benny the Rat could not help but look as evil as his actions, even after a makeover. Foolish Frankie looks dorky, he smiles, and tries very hard to come across as benign, even human.

Sure, the puppet master Burke has regularly staged deliberately heart tugging photo opportunities as part of the media profile makeover to soften the image of this head of the world’s wealthiest criminal organisation. But why can so few people understand how cynical this carefully constructed facade, designed to please, distract and mislead, really is?

Cringe worthy stuff from the paedophile protector in chief

Cringe worthy stuff from the paedophile protector in chief

The fact that an immensely rich and supremely powerful world leader, who could do so much good at the stroke of a pen, but chooses not to act, is not as bad an habitual criminal as his predecessor, is not any reason to declare him person of the year.

This latest papal pretender is more of a clean skin than the master of clergy child rape enabling and coverup, Ex-Benedict the former Holiness, who these days makes good use of the specious claims of Vatican city to be a nation state, hiding out for the rest of his life from law enforcement.

But now that the latest heartless narcissist, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has swapped pink for white and is firmly ensconced in the ostentatious arms of Vatican gold, at least away from the cameras, he cannot help but be just as culpable as all his fellow popes. Unless he does something to change the centuries of tradition whereby unimportant children of lay catholics are thrown under the wheels of the solid gold gravy train driven by Vatican Inc.

Has anyone seen any evidence of Francis implementing actual change, not just more weasel words?

pope x 2

Has the warm, caring fantasy of humility and change meant F1 has finally revealed the full details of these crimes, or thrown open the carefully hidden secret files, ordered cardinals to stop obstructing justice and assist local law enforcement, removed known dangerous sexual predators from their hiding places in the bosom of mother church, or introduced real child protection measures, not just the appearance of change.

Anyone deserving the title of human being, let alone person of the year, would do at least that.

Not So Very Frank Francis can’t quite manage what most of us would do without hesitation, and in a heartbeat, but he has announced another fake body to look into this issue. A committee paid for and controlled by the catholic church, despite any nonsensical claims to “independence”.

If such a committee were to actually be independent, it should be made up of and seek input from survivors, whistleblowers, uncorrupted law enforcement and law makers, and those who have worked to rebuild lives destroyed by centuries of papal inaction. The funding of an independent committee would be completely independent of church hierarchy. And any results would never be filtered through church officials, or only released once rewritten to their satisfaction. There is zero possibility of Faker Frank’s Fake Committee looking anything like that.

Genuine investigations have been conducted and are being conducted throughout the world by properly qualified, suitably empowered and truly independent investigators.

There is no additional need for the criminals to investigate themselves. The very notion itself is preposterous. There is no societal need for the Vatican to swamp the media with their lies. This deluge has been going on for centuries, and it is these very lies that have allowed the crimes to continue, and have prevented the operation of justice.

There is no need to hear the Vatican’s excuses and misdirections on this subject once again, even after supposedly “expert” contributions. Because the only “experts” the Vatican consults, or listens to, are those who say what they have been instructed or paid to say.

There is no knowledge gap in this area that requires addressing by those committing the crimes. Plenty of people and institutions have first hand experience and decades of understanding of what is really going on, what the cause is, and how to prevent it continuing. These are people who live in the real world and have no trouble facing difficult concepts such as truth, reality and the crimes committed by catholic clerics.

The only stumbling block is the fanatical secrecy of the catholic church, and the criminality of their actions in protecting and enabling child rapists to escape law enforcement and continue to rape children.

The catholic hierarchy misuses respect for religion and the religious belief of millions of catholics as a justification to get away with pretending not to be criminals, while continuing to commit their crimes. 

And the cowardice of many politicians and law enforcement officials, manipulated, threatened or corrupted by catholic church officials to neglect their duty to enact and enforce laws that protect children rather than dangerous but powerful predators, means that, as required, catholic criminals are treated as above the law, and so continue to flout it.

Any Vatican conceived and controlled facade of an investigation is hardly going to address that aspect, let alone resolve it.

The apologists pumping out the catholic hierarchy’s propaganda would have us ignore this crucially important issue and instead bathe in the reflected glow of Friendly Frankie. Yet what could be more important than the safety of our children?

Only childless, self absorbed, sexually dysfunctional yet sex obsessed, developmentally delayed little boys in the bodies of grown men, who are spiritually dead yet pretend to talk with their invisible friend while playing dress ups and participating in canabalistic rituals, could fail to understand that so completely.

What do vatican PR spin masters under the instructions of Burke want to distract us with? What do they promote as more important than saving children from being raped repeatedly by dangerous men claiming the authority of god?

The media circus that is the cult of Francis the Humble.

How things have changed

How things have changed

pope frank bells and smells 2

Or the winner of my award for Con Job of the Year.

The man once took a bus, when he could have taken a limo.

No limos here

No limos here

Give the man a Nobel peace prize.

The man makes it known he is staying in a hostel, when he has a free room in a gold encrusted palace.

Really? He actually sleeps there? He doesn’t sneak back through the secret passages at night and luxuriate in silk sheets and solid gold toilet?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man do other things in a similar vein?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man in the midst of such greed make significant changes?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man do these things because they were the right thing to do, and not perform them for the cameras and announce them in media releases?

And even if Frankie the Fixer did actually do what is claimed for him, why does he not donate any savings to the poor, or to victims of his vicious policies?

If some good came of his choices, other than truly spectacular PR victories, then it might in some way, any way, be meaningful.

Oh, the symbolism

Oh, the symbolism

But he does not and it is not.

This obscenely wealthy pope, who hoards countless billions in cash and property, and could fill a dozen world class museums with his priceless art treasures, makes a few token gestures, makes a few vague comments, and continues with evil policies, while refusing to act to prevent so much suffering in the world, much of which is easily in his power to prevent.

Those who seek, or even accept without seeking, great power of any kind, have great responsibility to use that power wisely and for the greater good. Popes have almost unlimited power of every kind, and could single handedly make this world a safe place for children. Could institute effective programs to offer every child shelter, an education, health care and enough food to eat.

But they see only that any sharing of their wealth, any use of their power, except to shore up their own power and add to their own possessions, means less wealth and less power for themselves. These empty, soulless men grasp desperately to posses everything, but can never fill the gaping hole in themselves. Because they are filling it with the wrong thing. They stridently claim spiritual superiority, but are spiritually bereft and the ultimate materialists. Nothing, not even the enslavement of the whole world to their bidding, and the pouring of the whole wold’s resources into their coffers will ever satisfy them.

No amount of deceit, no amount of crime, no amount of corruption or destruction of the innocent is repugnant or wrong to them, if it is in the pursuit of their own wealth and power.

And so the deceit of Francis The Great Pretender should be seen as business as usual.

Yet it stings.

How can so many be fooled by this paper thin nonsense?

The tiniest application of logic or thought to this tomfoolery makes the whole rotten edifice crumble before your eyes.

pope frank smirk

Yet one picture of a goofy looking, smirking hypocrite makes people feel safe and that everything will be okay after all. That these self described good, holy men could not really be pretending, could not really be evil monsters preying on us and our children in every possible way.

Well they are.

pope frank not impressed

And it is time to grow up.

It is time to investigate the comforting lies and find the real truth.

And if that truth is even worse than expected, and it is, it is time to face it.

Because there is only one thing worse than facing such a horrible truth.

And that is by ignoring the problem, allowing it to continue.

Stay safe everyone.

VV