Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vati-Leaks Links

Individual subtitles:

Friday, May 25, 2012


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Catholic Cardinal (Dolan) Says Church Is Willing to Let Poor People Starve Rather than Give in to Contraception Mandate/ Jesus Would Weep at Threat to Abandon Poor and Most Catholics Will be Appalled!!

"Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made it very clear that he doesn’t like President Obama’s contraception mandate. And apparently, he and the Catholic Church are prepared to let poor people starve to death if President Obama doesn’t give in to their demands.
In an appearance on Martin Bashir on MSNBC on Tuesday, Dolan said that the Church would abandon Jesus’ effort to help the sick and feed the poor in protest of the contraception mandate that only applies to insurance companies and not the Church itself.
'If these mandates kick in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate,” Dolan said. “As part of our religion — it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. We’d have to give it up, because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by — guess who — the federal government.'”
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Cardinal Dolan, Jesus would weep at your callous threat. It appears that you are willing to abandon the central mission of compassion for the poor at the heart of the Gospel in order to get your way on the birth control mandate.  Most Catholics will be appalled at this political ploy!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

"My Second Encounter with Bill Lynn" by Eileen McCafferty DiFranco/Philadelphia Archdiocese Sexual Abuse Trial

Ten years ago, I was a member of a support group for one of the survivors mentioned in the 2005 Grand jury report. Our group had invited Lynn to a meeting to explain to all of us how Nicholas Cudemo could remain a priest when the archdiocese knew he had sexually abused a long list of adolescent girls on a regular basis.

I decided that I would take a personal day today and see how Bill was making out now that lawyers rather than private citizens were asking him how men who committed horrific crimes against children could remain in ministry as priests in good standing under his watch. 

I arrived early and just spent some time looking around the courtroom.The lawyers were up front busily preparing for the day. A large group of mostly women came into court. I heard that they were Lynn's family. There were perhaps 10 observers and many media people. For those of you in Philadelphia, I saw local reporters Vernon Odom, Pat Sirococi, and Terry Ruggles. I was told that there were people from the national news and I later saw one of the women on the CBS national news.

There was a large man sitting in front of me. When three priests walked in and sat in front of him, he patted one of them on the back. An elderly man asked if I were a sister. That was a first for me. I didn’t want to tell him what I really was and upset him. ( I’m a Roman Catholic Womanpriest.)

The trial began with a court attendant announcing, “Cease all conversation.” A young female defense lawyer interrogated Lynn's secretary and tried to get the court to hear how "frustrated" Lynn was with this job of Secretary of the Clergy. That was stricken from the record. She labeled Lynn a "workaholic" who worked at the AD office all week and then said mass and heard confessions on the weekend. He took really good notes, she said.

When the defense called Lynn to come to the stand, people rather gasped. One of the reporters told me that I had picked the right day to attend. Lynn stated his credentials; ordained in 1976, assigned to only two parishes before he zipped right up the clerical ladder to become the Dean of Men Students at St. Charles Seminary. in 1984, a mere eight years after ordination, well before the age of forty. I had to chuckle about the men part. Were there any females at the seminary except for the cleaning staff and the librarian? As dean, he arranged activities and schedules. One must wonder if he knew anything about the seminary swimming pool, but I'll get to that later. In 1991 he became the Vicar of Administration, reporting to Msgr. Molloy, now deceased, and Bishop Cullen. There he did quite a bit of paperwork, innocuous, he made it seem, as the paper made its way past his desk, to Molloy, then Cullen and Bevilaqua. I had this vision of never ending piles of paper making their way up and down the stairs and into secret archives and mysterious safes which held secrets that Lynn et al didn’t want to share.

Lynn said that the first time he was involved in an abuse case, he traveled with Molloy to Exton, a high end suburb located a substantial distance from the seminary. A boy made an allegation of inappropriate touch against a priest, whose name I didn't catch. The priest made the boy undress before him. In one case, he took the boy to the pool at the seminary, had the kid take off his trunks and wrap a towel around himself. Then the priest pushed the kid into the pool while holding on to the towel while the kid fell naked into the pool.

Now, most of our suburbs in the Delaware Valley have numerous swim clubs and most parents in these same suburbs can afford to belong. So, one wonders why the priest took the kid all the way ( As I said, Exton is pretty far from the seminary) to the seminary to swim. One must wonder how many other boys were taken to swim at the seminary by priests and one wonders who was in charge of monitoring pool use.
The Lynn became Secretary of the Clergy after Bevilaqua changed the configuration of the office. His duties as secretary were impressive: he was a pastor to the priests, ( I thought the bishop did that.), he assessed priestly needs, settled living disputes, monitored admittance to the seminary, handled the retirement of priests, and handled sex abuse cases. Having even one of these jobs would be daunting, especially when he still exercised his ministry on the weekends. He looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy and sounded like Superman.

After lunch, I headed back to hear Bill Lynn raked over the coals by the DA. “Did you,” the DA asked, “Ever hear the scripture verse about hanging a millstone around the neck of one who harms children?” Lynn said he did. “Did you put the needs of priests above the needs of children?” (Get ready to run for the hills, kids) Lynn said no. “Did you ever lie to people?” “No,” Lynn said, who hesitated and then added, maybe once to Mark Berkowitz.

Well, Lynn told a big fat lie earlier in the day when he testified that a pastor named Joseph Graham was part of an aftercare treatment plan for a Father Avery, who was coming out of a nine month hospital stay. Avery was also on trial until he pled guilty to sexual abuse right before the trial began. According to the 2011 Grand Jury report, the pastor denied even knowing he was on the team. Eventually, the team did meet, a year after Avery arrived at the parish. Today, Lynn repeatedly stated that the pastor was part of the aftercare team and was aware of everything that was going on. Someone lied either today or last year. Isn’t it a crime to lie under oath?

We also heard today in court that Avery was doing a good job being a hospital chaplain via letters written by his therapist to Lynn, which made it seem as if Lynn was right on top of things. We were also led us to believe that a Father Kerper, an outsider from either Boston or New Hampshire, was harassing Father Avery who was just trying to be a good priest. While we listened to glowing reports of Avery’s progress in chaplaincy and Father’s Kerper’s taking all the mass spots at St. Jerome Parish, the 2011 Grand Jury report stated that Kerper complained to Lynn that Avery was ignoring parish work and making arrangements to DJ 25 out of 31 Saturdays. Lynn knew those glowing reports the jury heard about were untrue.

As the DA pounded Lynn with accusations that he did not protect children from abuse, Lynn insisted that he had little to no power to do anything beyond removing a priest who admitted to molesting children. All power was vested in the cardinal. Lynn, a grown man of 61 said, “The will of God works through the bishop.” (Bevilaqua) Lynn, therefore, could only do what the bishop wanted, told, and allowed him to do. In other words, Lynn was only following orders. He could not and would not to do otherwise, even when innocent children were being raped and sodomized.
Lynn, his voice shaking a bit, said that he really truly believed that he was doing his best – given the parameters of his job and his obedience to the cardinal- to help children.

I thought about Lynn and his power and his one admitted lie. Ten years ago, I had personally reported to Lynn that Cudemo still presided at mass at his victim’s geographic parish in spite of Lynn’s promise to our group that this practice would cease. Lynn’s exact words to me? “I told that pastor that I would take away his parish if it (Cudemo’s presiding at mass) happened again.”

Lynn let us in the support group believe that he had the power to remove men from ministry. Was he lying to us? That would be his second lie. Was he lying at the trial today when he said he had no power to remove men from ministry unless they confessed when he led us believe that he could? That could be lie #3. The 2005 Grand jury reported that the pastor Lynn allegedly threatened with removal was never told anything about Cudemo’s problems. Was that lie #4? Shall we go on?
How many other lies and liars and secret files are stashed away in the archdiocesan office that thinks it does the will of God when it knowingly places innocent children in harm’s way?

Eileen McCafferty DiFranco
May 23, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"The Vatican Lays A Cunning Trap For American Nuns" by Mary Johnson/Huffington Post/ If Reformers lived in St. Joan of Arc's time, we'd be "crispy critters" for crossing hierarchy!

Conservative Bishops Court the Disdain of Catholic Women/LA Times/ check out great cartoon!!,0,834728.story

"America’s conservative Catholic bishops are so worried that some woman in their employ will get access to birth controlthat they have filed 12 lawsuits against the federal government. What they are failing to see is a much bigger challenge that should have them truly worried: the independence of Catholic women.
At issue in the lawsuits is the Obama administration’s pending regulation that would require church-run institutions, like universities and hospitals, to provide coverage for contraceptives as part of any employee healthcare package. The Roman Catholic Church, of course, condemns birth control and equates some contraceptive methods with abortion. This dispute erupted in February and spilled over into the Republican presidential primaries, onto the floor of Congress and, notoriously, into a three day Rush Limbaughrant in which he labeled a pro-contraceptive woman a slut.
When Republicans saw that siding with the bishops was causing them to rapidly lose ground with female voters, they tried to change the subject. And once the Obama administration massaged the regulation to mandate that insurers, not employers, provide contraceptive coverage, the brouhaha seemed to die down.
But now it's back. The insurance loophole is not big enough for the consciences of some bishops and leaders of Catholic institutions to pass through. Women who work for them will still be getting contraceptives as a benefit of their employment. Conservative bishops have been very vocal in their condemnation of the Obama administration and they are organizing a “Fortnight for Freedom” to run from June 21 to July 4 in which they plan to highlight threats to religious freedom -- which they consider the contraceptive mandate to be.
Out of 195 Catholic dioceses in the U.S., though, just 13 are going to court. In all those nonlitigating sectors of the church, there are thousands of Catholics, including quite a few bishops, who think the lawsuits are not only premature, but that the conservative bishops have turned this into a partisan, anti-Obama crusade.
In California, church leaders are complaining that, before anyone rushed to court, the dispute should have been addressed by the entireU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Reportedly, lawyers for the California bishops have sent a letter to the national bishops’ group that calls the lawsuits “ill-advised” and “imprudent.”
Moderate priests and bishops are refraining from participation in the “Fortnight for Freedom” because they see it as too tainted by pro-Republican election-year politics. While they share some of the concerns about contraceptive coverage, they believe the issue has been hijacked by right-wingers in the church.
So, there is revolt in the clerical ranks. And if the conservative bishops don’t see that as a problem (and, since they have so successfully stifled progressive Catholic voices in recent years, they may not), they should think about all those Catholic women who are weary of old, unmarried men telling them how to be holy. The undisputed fact that the vast majority of Catholic women use birth control suggests that the bishops are defending a prohibition that seems absurd to most of their parishioners."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Father Doesn't Know Best" by Maureen Dowd in New York Times/ Neither do the Bishops in the Contraception Debacle

"Your parents spill a few secrets as they get older.One night at dinner with my mom, I ventured that the rhythm method had worked well for her, given that there were six years between my sister Peggy and my brother Kevin, and six more between Kevin and me. She arched an eyebrow. “Well, sometimes your father used something,” she said. My parents were the most devout Catholics I’ve ever known. But my dad came from a family of 16 in County Clare in Ireland, and my mom’s mother came from a family of 13 in County Mayo. So they balanced their faith with a dose of practicality. After their first three kids, they sagely decided family planning was not soul-staining. So I wasn’t surprised to see the Gallup poll Tuesday showing that 82 percent of U.S. Catholics say birth control is morally acceptable. (Eighty-nine percent of all Americans and 90 percent of non-Catholics agreed.) Gallup tested the morality of 18 issues, and birth control came out on top as the most acceptable, beating divorce, which garnered 67 percent approval, and “buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur,” which got a 60 percent thumbs-up (more from Republicans, naturally, than Democrats)...The poll appeared on the same day as headlines about Catholic Church leaders fighting President Obama’s attempt to get insurance coverage for contraception for women who work or go to college at Catholic institutions. The church insists it’s an argument about religious freedom, not birth control. But, really, it’s about birth control, and women’s lower caste in the church. It’s about conservative bishops targeting Democratic candidates who support contraception and abortion rights as a matter of public policy. And it’s about a church that is obsessed with sex in ways it shouldn’t be, and not obsessed with sex in ways it should be.The bishops and the Vatican care passionately about putting women in chastity belts. Yet they let unchaste priests run wild for decades, unconcerned about the generations of children who were violated and raped and passed around like communion wine..."

Bridget Mary's Reflection
It is shocking that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church continues to get away with such a travesty of justice the global sexual abuse cover-up and the treatment of women as second class citizens.  It violates their consciences, the bishops claim to provide contraception coverage for their employees, but how about the Catholic and non-Catholic women who work for the institutional church whose freedom of conscience and reproductive health and well-being are at stake. If the Catholic Church uses tax dollars, then it should provide health care to all including contraception coverage. If the bishops were the ones bearing and raising children, you better believe contraception would be covered, and there would not be large families either! And, of course, this is a non-issue for married priests and women priests- which is exactly what the Catholic Church needs now- a dose of reality therapy. The real issue here is the bishops' political agenda and sexism!  Freedom of religion applies to all , not just to the U.S. Catholic bishops. Wake-up gentlemen, it is the 21st century and women's equality is a justice issue!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"God's Generosity in Human Fertility" by Judith A. Cox

            The following is simply a 70 year old lifetime Catholic’s opinion except for the historical information at the end.
            God has generously given to human beings great insight into human sexuality, specifically fertility.  All God gives us is good but could be used for bad purposes as promiscuity. 
This insight is called contraception.  In the Catholic Church, contraception has become the Galileo of our time.  Catholics believe that they are the children of God, but it is time they see themselves as adult children who have responsibilities.  In this context, those married couples who use contraception and invitro fertilization (a special gift from God to those who cannot conceive naturally) to manage their fertility should be commended for not accepting the condemnation of the institutional church. Could it be that instead of being “intrinsically evil” as the institutional church claims this is, be instead God’s sharing of wisdom to help married couples be responsible for their children?
 99% of Catholic married couples of childbearing age use some kind of contraception to help them space their children and determine how many they will have.  This is particularly significant for those couples who have been advised by doctors that their genetic match will produce only severely debilitated children or that bearing more children will cause severe physical, mental or emotional damage to the mother.  Financial difficulties as loss of job can be another significant reason to use contraception as this could cause extreme distress trying to provide for the current family needs.
            Therefore, these faithful Catholic couples who have well formed consciences and are knowledgeable about the gift from God of contraception, pray about it and make the best decision for their families, children and their marriages.  They recognize that God gave them free will and responsibility to do the best they can given their individual circumstances.  Using currently available means of contraception to be responsible for the family should not be considered “intrinsically evil” as stated by law of the Catholic institutional Church.
            It is interesting where this law began.  Below is a brief explanation of its origins.  Suffice to say, celibate males who made this law without the input of Catholic married couples or women who have a lived experience with fertility, should not have the right to dictate to those who live the experience.
History of Contraception and the Catholic Church
            A Pontifical Commission on birth control was set up by Pope John XXIII to get an independent source of information to be used at Vatican II council. When Pope Paul VI became pope, the commission became a papal secret and all of its findings were handed over to Paul VI who could use or suppress it as his discretion.  Sessions were held from 1963 to 1965.  The vote of the theologians on the commission was 15 to 4 against the claim that contraception is intrinsically evil.  The vote of the larger group was 30 to 5 against accepting that contraception is evil.  After having presented 16 Bishops with their findings, the climactic vote was 9 to 3 for changing the church’s position on contraception.  Pope Paul VI ignored all this and wrote Humanae Vitae and condemned contraception. Polls of Catholics registered an instant noncompliance with the encyclical. Paraphrased from Papal Sin by Gary Wills
            Vatican II encouraged Catholics to see the church (faithful people) as a body with a “supernatural sense of faith.”  The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church teaches that the body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief.  The people of God exercise the sense of faith or sensum fidei, when they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.  If this sense of faith as an instinctive sensitivity and discrimination is valid for reception of doctrines and practices in to the body of the church then that same sense of faith is also valid for nonreception.  Paraphrased from Lay Ministry by William J Rademacher.
 Could the 99% of those who are Catholic today and refuse to accept the hierarchal stand against contraception be validly expressing this nonreception as the sense of the faithful?
Submitted by
Judith A Cox
Bridget Mary 's Reflection:
Thank you Judith for expressing the wisdom from people in the pews on the birth control issue. Pope Paul VI should have listened to faithful Catholic couples and the majority of the Commission before he mandated the rule against artificial birth control. It is obvious that the Spirit speaks through you and the millions of Catholics who have experienced God's generosity in human fertility! The Spirit speaks through the people of God, not just the hierarchy. It is obvious that 99% of Catholics who follow their consciences on birth control reflect the sense of the faithful, not the Pope! Come, Holy Spirit, fall afresh on our church, the people of God! Renew us and transform us as we celebrate Pentecost this Sunday!

More YouTube Videos of Ordination of Roman Catholic Women Priests by Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests- Ormond Beach Ordination of Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell

  1. Ormond Beach Ordination Part1.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com10 May 2012 - 12 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Part 1 ...
  2. Ormond Beach Ordination Part2.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com10 May 2012 - 14 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Part 2 ...
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  4. Ormond Beach Ordination Part6.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com14 May 2012 - 7 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Part 6 ...
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    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Part 4 ...
  6. Ormond Beach Ordination Part9.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com14 May 2012 - 13 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. The Mass ...
  7. Ormond Beach Ordination Part8.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com14 May 2012 - 4 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
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  8. Ormond Beach Ordination Part3.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com12 May 2012 - 14 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
    The ordination of two new women priests into the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Part 3 ...
  9. Ormond Beach Ordination Part7.mpeg - YouTube

    youtube.com14 May 2012 - 10 min - Uploaded by MWARCWP
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    youtube.comNew5 days ago - 1 min - Uploaded by rathdowney5856
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    Special thanks to Ruth Derrow, for filming and posting these videos of Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell's ordination as Roman Catholic Women Priests