Catholic Issues

“Grand Jury Report Debunked“ by Bill Donahue

by Steve Ray on August 17, 2018

For the the sake of objectivity, I am posting this interesting critique of the recent Pennsylvania Report on sexual scandal in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. It is written by:

Bill Donohue, Ph.D.
President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
August 16, 2018

“Unlike most commentators and reporters, I have read most of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. The purpose of this statement is to debunk many of the myths, and indeed lies, that mar the report and/or interpretations of it.

Myth: Over 300 priests were found guilty of preying on youngsters in Pennsylvania.

Fact: No one was found guilty of anything. Yet that didn’t stop CBS from saying “300 ‘predator priests’ abused more than 1,000 children over a period of 70 years.” These are all accusations, most of which were never verified by either the grand jury or the dioceses.

The report, and CBS, are also wrong to say that all of the accused are priests. In fact, some were brothers, some were deacons, and some were seminarians. How many of the 300 were probably guilty? Maybe half. My reasoning? The 2004 report by the John Jay College for Criminal Justice found that 4 percent of priests nationwide had a credible accusation made against them between 1950-2002. That is the figure everyone quotes.

But the report also notes that roughly half that number were substantiated. If that is a reliable measure, the 300 figure drops to around 150. During the seven decades under investigation by the grand jury, there were over 5,000 priests serving in Pennsylvania (this includes two dioceses not covered in the report). Therefore, the percent of priests who had an accusation made against them is quite small, offering a much different picture than what the media afford.

And remember, most of these accusations were never substantiated. Importantly, in almost all cases, the accused named in the report was never afforded the right to rebut the charges. That is because the report was investigative, not evidentiary, though the report’s summary suggests that it is authoritative. It manifestly is not.

The report covers accusations extending back to World War II. Almost all the accused are either dead or have been thrown out of the priesthood. For example, in the Diocese of Harrisburg, 71 persons are named: 42 are dead and four are missing. Most of those who are still alive are no longer in ministry.

There are some cases that are so old that they are unbelievable. Consider the case of Father Joseph M. Ganter. Born in 1892, he was accused in 2008 by an 80-year-old man of abusing him in the 1930s. Obviously, nothing came of it. But the priest was accustomed to such charges.

In 1945, at the request of Father Ganter, a Justice of the Peace interviewed three teenage males who had made accusations against him. Not only did they give conflicting stories, the three admitted that they were never abused by Ganter. But don’t look to the media to highlight this case, or others like it.

Myth: The report was warranted because of the on-going crisis in the Catholic Church.

Fact: There is no on-going crisis—it’s a total myth. In fact, there is no institution, private or public, that has less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors today than the Catholic Church. How do I know?
Over the past two years, .005 percent of the Catholic clergy have had a credible accusation made against him.

No one knows exactly what the figure is for other institutions, but if there were a grand jury investigation of the sexual abuse of minors in the public schools, people’s heads would explode—it would make the Catholic Church’s problems look like Little League. But no district attorney or attorney general has the guts to probe the public schools….”

For the whole article, click here.

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If you don’t like this post, or think I’m pointing fingers, then read below under the line of asterisks *******

By Stoyan Zaimov

“Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois reportedly paid $3.5 million in lawsuits over the sex abuse of two developmentally disabled boys.

The evangelical megachurch, which recently saw its entire elders board resign over unrelated accusations that former lead pastor Bill Hybels sexually abused women, made the payments in the lawsuits over several years, court records obtained by The Chicago Tribune show.

One payment of $1.75 million was apparently made into n February, while another one of $1.5 million was made last year.

Former Willow Creek volunteer Robert Sobczak Jr., now 24, pled guilty in 2014 of abusing an 8-year-old with special needs at the church, alongside an older boy not connected with the church. A year earlier, he admitted to sexually abusing another disabled boy at the church, believed to have been 9 years old.

Willow Creek said that the experience was “heartbreaking,” and insisted that it has made changes….”

For the whole article, click here.

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Because several people misunderstood my reason for posting this thinking I was pointing fingers, I will explain why I posted it.

Catholics need to realize that this is not a Catholic-only issue. It is a human issue and actually worse in Protestant churches, among the rabbis and even worse in public schools.

I come from the Protestant world. I have every right to comment on it because I experienced it. I have a close relative who at 12 years old was sodomized by a married Baptist deacon. I could multiply the stories…

I am not in anyway pointing fingers but reporting the news and helping people understand the bigger picture. I don’t want Catholics to leave the Catholic Church to join a Protestant group thinking they’re going to solve the problem by doing that or that the problem is due to a celibate priesthood.

So if you don’t like my article, don’t read it. But for those who think it’s a Catholic-only problem, it may help them understand the bigger picture. I have lived in both worlds and I love being a Catholic.

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About Witholding Funds from the Church

by Steve Ray on August 16, 2018

There has been a lot of discussion about withholding funds from the Church as a way of speaking out against bishops who have not done their job and been bad shepherds, protecting bad shepherds. I have suggested it is something we should think about especially if we know of abusers or those who facilitate abusers.

The Catholic faithful are very frustrated because they have little or no control over the hierarchy. And when many in the hierarchy have done (and are doing) such a terrible job of managing the flock and protecting it I understand, like Ed Peters commented, that we want to find some way to act and to put an end to the nonsense. The question keeps arising, “What can we do?”

I personally will not withhold finances or support from my parish nor my bishop (and archbishop) because the priests I know locally I believe to be exceptional and my bishop as well. But if I had good reason to believe otherwise or if my bishop was Wuerl…

Canon Lawyer Ed Peters has written an excellent article discussing this topic, especially from a Canon Law perspective. I suggest you read it here.

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Mega-church Mania: One Mom’s Observations (she’s a good writer) and Observations from the Early Church

August 10, 2018

Mr. Ray, My eldest daughter invited me to my grandson’s ‘dedication’ at her new place of worship.  Worship? Sorry. Her new place of…..well, the giant Olympic-sized structure that, after being directed in by police/traffic officers, upon entering, reminded me of a mall.  Oh and by the way, I didn’t witness any worship. My 1st thoughts were…”Wow! […]

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

August 7, 2018

I am reposting this because of the huge response two years ago. Thought it would be helpful again for many people who have lost their spouse. My dad died almost eight years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. […]

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Courageous Homily on Humanae Vitae and former Cardinal McCarrick – a must listen

July 30, 2018

It is sad when you have to send around a homily because it is so exceptional. This kind of truthful and powerful homily should be standard fare at every parish on every Sunday. Sadly it is not, so people like me have to get excited when they discover such a hard-hitting homily. And we send it […]

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Cardinal McCarrick Resigns as Cardinal

July 28, 2018

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-07/pope-francis-cardinal-mccarrick-resignation.htmlhttps://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-07/pope-francis-cardinal-mccarrick-resignation.html

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Are we too conservative for our own good?

July 9, 2018

Conservatives are conservative by their very nature. But we must get over being so conservative and start being real and vocal Conservatives. Conservative silence is no longer acceptable. We are in the middle of a cultural war! If we stand idly by, our grandkids will someday ask, “What did you do Grandpa? Where were you […]

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Farewell, “Catholic” Spain and Secular Europe… While in the United States…

June 4, 2018

Scary statistics from Europe – percentages of people who claim no religion. The big surprise is… Spain, where atheists, agnostics, and those without religion are now at 30 percent of the population and have reached that level in a very short time. To measure how overwhelming secularization has been in Spain, it should be enough […]

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Sola Scriptura and the Canon of Scripture

May 23, 2018

Sola Scriptura and the Canon When non-Catholics are asked to provide biblical support or their belief that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer, they usually cite 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which states that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful”. However, they somehow miss the fact that the two verses […]

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A Quick Reply to Question about Cremation and Scattering the Ashes

May 15, 2018

I was asked a question about Catholics, cremation and the scattering of ash. Here is my brief answer: The whole issue of cremation goes back to the Romans. They denied the bodily resurrection so they often burned the body and if they were rich they put the ashes in urns and put them in the […]

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Should the Vatican Sell its Treasures…

February 5, 2018

… to feed the poor? Geez, I used to say that myself in my former life as a Protestant – when I was an anti-Catholic. Actually, if you added up all wealth and property of the Protestant churches and organizations it would FAR exceed that of the Vatican or all the individual dioceses around the […]

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Did the Church Ever Support Slavery?

January 25, 2018

By Steve Weidenkopf   September 18, 2017 Many years ago I attended a conference organized by a national Catholic organization on the topics of marriage and human sexuality. One of the speakers was a professor from Creighton University who, in the middle of his talk on contraception, launched into a long tangent about how the Church had […]

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Cardinal Burke on Confusion in the Church, “Perhaps we have arrived at the end times”

December 3, 2017

by Paolo Gambi posted Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of […]

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Catholics Doing Street Evangelism? Yes, and Growing Fast! Join them!

November 23, 2017

 Cities across the country are now set up with Catholics evangelizing in the streets. And the phenomenon is growing. Many are converts, some have been Catholics all their lives – but all are excited and can’t keep it quiet any longer.  They are training new recruits. It is fun and fruitful. It is blessed and […]

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Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev has a warning for the West

October 26, 2017

By Elizabeth Scalia | Sep 25, 2017 “Before 1917 nobody ever proposed that the collapse of a centuries-old Christian empire would happen…” Participating in a London conference on the topic of “The Christian Future of Europe,” Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the External Relations Departments of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, spoke on September […]

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