Saturday, March 13, 2010

Child Abuse Claims Sweep Catholic Church in Europe/Associated Press Article

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK Associated Press Writer

"The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be touched next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.".....

"Vatican Speaks as Abuse Details Emerge" Article in New York Times

"Vatican Speakes as Abuse Details Emerge"

By Rachel Donadio and Nicholas Kulish/New York Times

"In the interview, Monsignor Scicluna also addressed accusations that the Vatican was obstructing justice by imposing secrecy on reports of abuse.
In 2001, Benedict, who was then in charge of Vatican investigations of abuse allegations, sent a letter to Irish bishops counseling them to forward all cases of abuse of minors to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where they were to be subject to secrecy."....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thomas Doyle: Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis Cannot be Solved by Pope and Bishops but by Systemic Renewal of Body of Christ/People of God
More Reflections from 25 Years of Experience
Thomas Doyle
March 10, 2010
I recommend that all Catholics who are trying to understand the ramifications of the clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church read the thought-provoking essay by Fr. Thomas Doyle.

His conclusion hits the nail on the head.
"All the pope has to offer is talk…more words, more meetings, more silly press releases and the promise of a special pastoral letter. The “problem” is not going to be fixed by the pope, the bishops or anyone who works for the institutional Church. Why? Because they are the problem. The light at the end of the long tunnel will remain way out of reach until the very system that produced the dysfunctional clerics and their equally dysfunctional bishops is ended and somehow replaced with not another monarchy but something that one can readily identify with the Body of Christ. "

Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse by Priests Hold Vigils in 30 U.S. Cities on March 13th-14th, 2010

UPDATE: Clergy sex group holds vigils and distributes leaflets in over 30 US cities
Details including exact addresses and times included below
They express “sorrow” for victims overseas Catholic scandal is “erupting” in 4-5 European nations
“It’s a global crisis demanding a secular solution,” organization says SNAP:
“Governments should do independent inquiries, like Ireland has,”
Victims urge everyone who “saw, suspected or suffered clergy crimes to “speak up.”
Holding signs, candles, and childhood photos at sidewalk vigils in over 30 US cities, clergy sex abuse and their supporters will react tothe growing Catholic sex scandal in Europe. Specifically, they will– express their sorrow for the pain of victims in Germany, Ireland, Austria and
The Netherlands,– praise those victims for starting to speak up in large numbers in recent weeks, and– urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police (not bishops).They will also urge governmental officials – in the US and Europe – to– conduct independent probes into cover ups of clergy sex crimes in Catholic schools and dioceses, and– reform archaic, arbitrary, “predator-friendly” laws that protectpedophiles and supervisors who employ, hide and transfer them.

WHEN Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 (See exact times and locations below)

WHERE In front of chanceries, cathedrals, churches and government buildings in CA, CT, DC, FL, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NY, OH,PA, RI, TX, and WI. (See details below.)
WHO Clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP,the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (,along with their loved ones and concerned Catholics

Just hours ago, reports out of Germany claim the Pope himselfknowingly allowed a predator priest to remain in ministry, where atleast one other child was abused.A few weeks ago, Vatican officials were forced to address the clergysex abuse and cover up crisis that is spreading like wildfire acrossEurope. Scores of media accounts are appearing and hundreds of victimsare coming forward in Germany, Ireland, Austria and the Netherlands.Just yesterday, the Pope met with the head of the German Catholic church over scandals breaking there. In Italy, law enforcement wiretapshave revealed charges of a gay prostitution ring using at least oneseminarian and operated by two Vatican insiders. The Pope’s brother is embroiled in a controversy over accusations of sexual abuse in awidely-known church choir which he headed for 30 years. In Ireland and The Netherlands, the Catholic hierarchy is planninginternal surveys about the numbers of predator priests. But American victims feel independent in investigations by secular authorities (as was done in parts of Ireland and in the US by several grand juries) are much more likely to expose the corrupt church leadership and to deter future recklessness, callousness and deceit. German and Austrian church officials are talking about revamping their internal child sex policies. But US victims believe churchpolicies are essentially meaningless and that it’s much more effective to reform outdated secular laws which bishops exploit to escape responsibility for hiding and moving predators.
Two weeks ago, the AP reported “While the focus of the sex abusescandal in the Catholic church centered on the United States for several years, abuse scandals have in recent years (also) erupted inthe Philippines, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Canada and elsewhere.”Exact locations and times of
List of Vigils of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests are listed below:
CA - Rancho Mirage, Sunday, March 14 at 3:00 PMWhitewater Park, 71-560 San Jacinto Drive (Major Cross streets are HWY 111 & Bob Hope Drive) Contact: Dave Price, 760-219-3635
CA – Los Angeles, Sunday, March 14 at 10:45 AMCathedral of Our Lady of Angels, 555 W. Temple St (at N Grand) Contact: Carlos Perez, 818-723-8016
CA – Oakland, Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 PMThe Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (Between 21st & Grand) Contact: Melanie Sakoda, 925-708-6175
CA – San Diego, Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 12:30 PMCathedral of St. Joseph, 1535 Third (corner of Third and Beech) Contact: Paul Livingtson, 619-677-7133
CA – San Francisco, Sunday, March 14 at 9:00 AMSt. Mary Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street (Between Ellis & Geary) Contact: Melanie Sakoda, 925-708-6175,
CT – Hartford, Sunday, March 14 at 11:30 AM St. Joseph Cathedral, 140 Farmington Ave (corner of Farmington and Sigourney) Contact: Beth McCabe, 860-335-8187 & Kathy Rector, 860-384-4372
DC – Washington, Saturday, March 13 at 6:30 PMIrish Embassy, 2234 Massachusetts Ave. N. WE Contact: Becky Ianni, 703-801-6044 & David Lorenz, 301-906-9161DC –
Washington, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PM German Consulate, 4645 Reservoir Rd. NW Contact: Becky Ianni, 703-801-6044 & David Lorenz, 301-906-9161
FL – Miami, Sunday, March 14 at 10:30 AMSt. Mary’s Cathedral, 7525 NW 2nd Ave Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003
FL – Orlando, Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AMSt. James Cathedral, 215 N Orange Ave. (at Robinson St.) Contact: Robert Keane, 386-676-0298
FL – Palm Beach Gardens, Sunday, March 14 at 1:30 PMSt. Ignatius Cathedral, 9999N Military Trail Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003
FL – St. Augustine, Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AMCathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, 38 Cathedral Place Contact: Kristine Ward, 937-272-0308
FL – Venice, Saturday, March 13 at 4:15 PMEpiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave West Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003
IL – Chicago, Saturday, March 13 at 1:00 PMGerman Consulate, 676 N. Michigan Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747IL –
Chicago, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PMHoly Name Cathedral, 730 N Wabash
Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050
IL – Peoria, Sunday, March 14 at 11:15 AM The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 607 NE Madison Avenue (at Hancock St) Contact: Jeff Jones, 815-985-9441
IL – Rockford, Sunday, March 14 at 10:00 AMSt. Peter Cathedral, 1243 N. Church St. Contact: Kate Bochte, 630-768-1860
IL – Springfield, Sunday, March 14 at 9:30 AMImmaculate Conception Cathedral, 241 E. Lawrence Contact: Jeff Jones, 815-985-9441
IN – Fort Wayne, Saturday, March 13 at 6:00 PMImmaculate Conception Cathedral, 1100 South Calhoun Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050
IN – South Bend, Sunday, March 14 at 9:30 AMSt. Matthew, 1701 Miami Street Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050
KY – Louisville, Saturday, March 13 at 5:15 PM to 6:45 PMCathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. 5th St. (between Muhammed Ali and Liberty) Contact: Colleen Powell, 502-479-0246
MA – Boston, Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 PMFederal Building, 55 New Sudbury St. Contact: Ann Webb, 617-513-8442 & Robert Costello, 781-414-1178
MD – Baltimore, Saturday, March 13 at 12:30 PMOffice of the Chancellor, 320 Cathedral Street Contact: Dave Lorenz, 301-906-9161 & Frank Dingle
MI – Detroit, Sunday, March 14 at 10:30 AMBlessed Sacrament Cathedral, 9844 Woodward Ave Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747
MO – Columbia, Sunday, March 14 at 11:30 AMSt. Thomas More Newman Center, 701 Maryland Ave., (corner of Turner Ave.)Contact: Judy Jones, 636-433-2511
MO – St. Louis, Sunday, March 14 at 6:00 PMSt. Louis Cathedral, 4431 Lindell (corner of Lindell and Newstead)Contact: Peggy Fitzpatrick, 314-845-9438
NC – Charlotte, Saturday, March 13 at 5:00 PMSt. Patrick’s Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Road, EastContact: David Fortwengler, 704-562-4529
NY – New York, Sunday, March 14 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMSt. Patrick’s Cathedral, 5th Ave. & 49th St. Contact: Mary Caplan, 917-439-4187 & Glen Echevarria, 646-763-4260
OH – Columbus, Sunday, March 14 at 11:15 AM-12:30 PM Across the street from St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral, 212 E Broad St Contact: Carol Zamonski, 614 447-2084
OH – Dayton, Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AMSt. Joseph’s Church, 200 2nd St. Contact: Ginny Hoehne, 973-726-9360
OH –Toledo, Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 PMHoly Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Ave Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747
PA – Philadelphia, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PM – 1:30 PMSt. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 100 E Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA 19096 Contact: Karen Polesir, 267-992-9463
RI – Providence, Saturday, March 13 at 11:00 AMCathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, One Cathedral Square Contact: Ann Barrett Doyle, 781-439-5208 & Ann Webb, 617-513-8442
TX – San Antonio, Saturday, March 13 at 1:00 PMSan Fernando Cathedral,115 Main Plaza Contact: Barbara Boehland, 210-725-8329
WI – Madison, Saturday, March 13 at 9:45 AMDiocese of Madison- Pastoral Center, 702 South High Point Road (at Donofrio Dr.) Contact: David Clohessy, 314-566-9790
CONTACT Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003), David Clohessy (314-566-9790), Peter Isely (414-429-7259)

"Church Abuse Scandal in Germany Edges Closer to Pope" New York Times

March 12, 2010
"BERLIN — A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese made “serious mistakes” in handling an abuse case while the pope served as its archbishop. "

Pope John Paul asked Forgiveness for Discrimination, Pope Benedict Should Take Next Step Towards Full Equality

On March 12, 2000 Pope John Paul II asked God's forgiveness for the sins of Roman Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities.

It is time for Pope Benedict to take fresh innitiatives to foster the full equality of women in the church, and to affirm the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Movement as a special gift to Catholics worldwide of a renewed priestly ministry in a inclusive Catholic Church where all are welcome.

Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: "Father, where are the womenpriests?"

This morning a woman from another area of the country,who was aware of the Florida ordinations, called a parish in the Southwestern Florida area and asked: Where are the womenpriests? (as if a local parish is keeping a list handy for distribution)The answer from the parish put her in contact with Judy Lee,a Roman Catholic Womanpriest, who ministers to the homeless in the Ft. Myers community.
Can you imagine the local pastor when he found out about this inquiry, scratching his head and saying, what will be next a call asking:
"What time does the womanpriest preside at Mass?"

The message is womenpriests are here to serve the people especially the millions of Catholics who feel rejected and alienated by their church. Now people are getting the message. Thank God!

To locate a womanpriest close to you:

Eighty percent of parish workers are women. I have no doubt that some of these dedicated women have priestly vocations, including nuns. Most of these women have degrees and pastoral experience serving communities. Roman Catholic Womenpriests ordain qualified women after they complete our preparation program.

So let's stop complaining about the shortage of male, celibate priests, call some qualified women forth to serve and rejoice. Change always comes from the grassroots.

Then when someone calls the local parish, looking for a womanpriest, the phone will be referred to the local womanpriest who is standing by--- ready, willing and able to serve you! Bridget Mary Meehan

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vatican Alarmed by Implications of Church Abuse Scandal in Germany for Papacy

March 10, 2010
Church abuse scandal reaches pope's brother
Vatican officials have been unable to hide their alarm about the possible implications for the papacy. "While there has been no suggestion of wrongdoing by Benedict, the launch of an inquiry by German Catholic officials after his brother admitted he slapped children years ago is stirring Vatican fears of a major crisis for the papacy."
The pope has been working on a letter to be read to Catholics in Ireland, where a government report detailed decades of physical and sexual abuse in church-run schools. The letter is expected to be released shortly.

"WJWD:What Jesus Wouldn't Do" Call to Action News Release

March 10, 2010
Media Contact:Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director, O: 773.404.0004 x262

Nicole Sotelo, Communications Director, O: 773.404.0004 x285
WJWD: What Jesus Wouldn't Do
(Chicago) Call To Action stands in solidarity with those who over the last month have experienced a series of oppressive actions by the Catholic hierarchy over sexual identity. In Washington DC, Catholic Charities discontinued its foster care services so that it could avoid placing children with loving same gender couples. Additionally, Catholic Charities, rather than give healthcare benefits to same gender couples, cut off all future healthcare benefits to spouses, gay and straight alike. Equally disturbing is the decision by some church leaders to bar a child from a Catholic school in Boulder, CO solely because the child's parents are two women.

"We as a church may debate about what Jesus would do," says Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action, "but I think we know what he would not do. Jesus would not deny people healthcare, he would not cease foster care services for vulnerable youth and he certainly would not deny education to a child.
"Jesus said 'Let the little children come to me.' He didn't say 'Let the little children of some parents come to me.' It is appalling that a church that prides itself on caring for children and vulnerable populations would harm children by using them as pawns in political power plays.

"Catholic Bishops are already half way down this slippery slope of their own making. Will they next deny food to a woman and her children in the bread line because of who the mother loves? The behavior of Catholic leadership is contrary to all that Christ stood for and is offensive to Catholic families-gay and straight alike.

"May we Catholics remind the bishops of their own teaching: "There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing, the right freely to choose their state of life and set up a family, the right to education,... the right to act according to the dictates of conscience and to safeguard their privacy.... (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #26)."
"It may be difficult to know what Jesus would do in some situations, but we firmly believe he would not be putting people's well being at risk. We only hope the Bishops could do likewise."
For more information, see:
"Citing same-sex marriage bill, Washington Archdiocese ends foster-care program" (Washington Post, February 17, 2010)
"Same-sex marriage leads Catholic Charities to adjust benefits" (Washington Post, March 2, 2010)
"Catholic School Rejects Child Because of Lesbian Parents" (The Denver Channel, March 7, 2010)
Call To Action (CTA) is a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society. An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 53 local chapters, CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just its appointed leaders. Visit our website at
Visit our website at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Vatican and Church Abuse: Pope's Brother Ignored Allegations of Physical Abuse
Pope's brother: I ignored physical abuse reports
By MELISSA EDDY and ALESSANDRA RIZZO Associated Press Writers
BERLIN (AP) -- "The pope's brother said in a newspaper interview published Tuesday that he slapped pupils as punishment after he took over a renowned German boys' choir in the 1960s. He also said he was aware of allegations of physical abuse at an elementary school linked to the choir but did nothing about it."

"The Vatican moved to defuse criticism after the German justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, said Monday that a Vatican secrecy rule has played a role in a "wall of silence" surrounding sexual abuse of children. She cited a 2001 Vatican document - drawn up by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - requiring even the most serious abuse cases to be first investigated internally."

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Women's History Month"Catholic Bishop Seeks To End Discrimination" on WMNF News/Tampa/Florida

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Bishop Olivia Doko- Ordination in California on Feb. 27,2010

RCWP community gather around
Bishop Olivia Doko (center with pastoral staff)
after her ordination

Bishop Joan Houk prepares to anoint
head of Olivia Doko

Gospel book is held over
Olivia Doko's head in ordination rite in
Presentation of Gospel

Over 100 people were present to celebrate Olivia Doko's ordination as a bishop of the western region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests on February 27, 2010 in San Jose, California. Bishops Regina Nicolosi, Joan Houk and Andrea Johnson presided at the ordination of Bishop Olivia Doko.

Video links on youtube:
RCWP Priest Kathleen Kunster Gives Witness to Olivia's Call to Serve as Bishop
Examination of Candidate
Laying on of Hands
Presentation of Gospel
Eucharistic Liturgy

Reflection on "Holy Ground" by J. Patrick Mahon

The readings for the Third Sunday of Lent provide opportunities for numerous reflections. We attended a workshop with Sister Miriam Therese Winter. On the way home, we worshipped at the Mary Mother of God Community with Bridget Mary Meehan. Obviously, my reflections today will be influenced heavily by the wonder-full teachings these Spirit-filled women shared with us.
In the first reading, Moses experiences the Divine. Paradoxology kicks in as Moses observes something quite remarkable—a burning bush that does not burn the bush. The bush burns and it does not burn. This is paradox, holding opposites together, living with the opposites without trying to resolve the dilemma in favor of one of the other. Sister Miriam Therese Winter speaks of quantum spirituality. We do not live according to paradigms—patterns for understanding, order and control. We live in paradox. We live with mystery we cannot reduce to one factor or another. We live in the Divine. The Divine is mystery to be embraced not a problem to be solved.
Second, experiencing the Divine, Moses is told to remove his shoes. We stand on holy ground. Holy ground places us in the presence of the Divine. In a reflective homily, Bridget Mary Meehan asked us, "What do we have to remove in order to experience the Divine? What patterns are keeping us from experiencing Holy Ground—the presence of the Divine in our lives? What is keeping us from being present to the Presence?" What in us is in need of healing so we can enter more fully into the experience of Divinity? Lent is time to take off our shoes and seek healing.
Paul issues some stern warnings about conduct and watching out so that we do not fall like some of our forebears have. Paul's fear-based warnings which reduce religion to morality are out of sync with Jesus in the Gospel. Here Paul, the former Pharisee, is into the fear-based patriarchal religion of command and control, pay and obey.
Did Paul not read that the farmer relented and did not cut down the unfruitful tree? This is the Divine that Jesus shows us—infinite mercy, love and compassion. Merton's mercy beyond mercy beyond mercy beyond mercy. What did the merciful farmer do? He ordered the gardener to refurbish the soil, fertilize and water the barren tree. He ordered TLC for the suffering, struggling tree. He gave the tree time to recover from whatever was causing it to be unfruitful. Divinity showers us with love. The Divine is patient and kind. The Divine Mercy falls upon good and evil alike just like the sun and rain—free gifts from a Loving God.
We stand on holy ground. We enter into prayer for healing so that Jesus, the Divine Physician, might heal us and bring us to new resurrected life.
In our quantum universe, Love is the energy flowing forth from the Creator. The implosion of the original stardust which rushed forth to create life at the Creator's command continues to morph into new life today. This Energy is God with us but always beyond us. Paradox and mystery again.
Jesus promises to give us new life—new energy—in abundance. Jesus wants us to have everything we need. The Resurrected Jesus is Life. The Resurrected Jesus is the Divine Energy. The Resurrected Jesus is Love. His energy vibrates throughout the universe and in our innermost being. All ground is holy ground because the Divine is surging through it. God is everywhere and God is nowhere (now-here). Isn't paradox wonderful?
God reveals God's name to Moses. Names are dangerous because, when you can name something, you have some control over it. The Divine is beyond all names but we need names to appreciate the diversity in the Divine. Merton read Gilson's History of Medieval Philosophy. He gained a new insight into the God who was searching for him (even though he thought he was searching for God). Merton then understood Divinity as the Ground of Being. But, again, if God is being, then God is no-being. The Divine is "I AM." The Divine IS, we ARE.
To expand upon Merton, we live in a quantum paradise and we do not even know it. Look for the burning bush, takeoff whatever you need to take off, and stand on the Holy Ground of Divine Being. Come to the water. Come to new life.

J. Patrick Mahon, peace and justice activist who supports the ordination of women.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests: Here Comes Everybody: Community as Celebrant of Eucharist

A member of our community sent me a link to the "Open Tabernacle-Here Comes Everybody" blog. I was quite impressed by the dialogue on our Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement. The author provided a historical framework, which I think is quite important:
"In the very early Church, there was no distinct, set-apart clerical elite. Even as there emerged distinct roles for deacons and bishops, their roles were markedly different to those we know today. “Deacon” took their title from the Greek for “to serve”, while bishops were “overseers”, leading small local teams – with the emphasis on team work and leading. Worship was in small congregations, led by its own members, who were not professional clergy. "
"Over the centuries that followed, by a gradual process the bishops began to reserve for themselves an increasing degree of power over the rest of the Church, while the bishops of Rome asserted increasing claims to authority over the other bishops (a claim that was for a long time vigorously contested, particularly by the Eastern church.) "
"Here comes Everybody" could be the motto of the RCWP movement too!
In his book, the Future of Eucharist, Bernard Cooke observes that a new understanding of the resurrection in the Vatican ll church has broadened the church's understanding of "real presence" and helped people to appreciate Christ's dynamic presence in the believing community. According to Cooke, while individuals may have specific functions within the gathered assembly, the entire community performs the euharistic action (p. 32) If this is so, then the gathered assembly is the celebrant of Eucharist. It is the community that "does" the Eucharist, not the presider alone.
This is the reason that at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community's liturgies, the gathered assembly extends hands in blessing and recites the words of consecration with the presiders, not the presiders alone. This is also the reason that we invite the community to participate in a "dialogue homily." At our celebrations, our motto is "here comes' everybody" and, of course, this means all are welcome to receive Eucharist at the banquet because Christ's love embraces all.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP