Breaking News: Judge Sarmina Rules To Allow Prior Bad Acts


Common Pleas Judge  Teresa Sarmina ruled today that the clergy sex abuse allegations are relevant to the upcoming trial of Monsignor William Lynn and can be introduced.

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62 Responses to “Breaking News: Judge Sarmina Rules To Allow Prior Bad Acts”

  1. Good news!!!

    • AMEN, SW, but there is more to be done.

      Judge Sarmina has now maximized the pressure on Lynn to cop a plea. She must not accept a plea deal, unless the Philly AD releases it secret abuse files and Bevilacqua’s video deposition and the full court proceedings and filings are made publicly available. Otherwise, only a junior manager is punished while two cardinals and likely numerous other AD officials will forever get away with multiple “soul murders” of defenseless children. Moreover, future abuse will not be sufficiently deterred by limiting the case to Lynn.

      Incidentally, so far Judge Sarmina does nor seem intimidated by Chaput’s ally, Bill Donahue’s blustering and blistering criticism of her statement about the widespread public knowledge of the Philly AD’s child abuse record. Bill seems to think blind justice requires a blind, deaf and dumb judge.

      Bill’s imprudent remarks only help the DA’s case.

      • Jerry,

        I’m elated about the news, but what you said is the very thing I’m concerned about.

        I don’t want any pleas. I want all the ugly truths to be out. I want everything publicly disclosed.

        In our diocese, as we speak, there is a case that I know the diocese will want to settle behind closed doors. The victim (and family) want it to go to trial, but I think the diocese will drag their feet, pay their attorneys enormous sums of money, while all along they know they will settle…perhaps to keep the victim in more turmoil? I don’t know.

        The victim (and family) are determined. They won’t be bullied and the diocese doesn’t know what to do with them. It’s almost comical.

      • Thanks for that info, SW.

        The Philly AD does not want to disclose its files or have the pre-trial record, including Bevilacqua’s video testimony, publicly disclosed.

        Both Seth Williams and Judge Sarmina must reject anything less than full disclosure or a full trial– no matter what. If they fail to do so and let Lynn, under pressure from the Philly AD, plea without full disclosure, then Williams and Sarmina would have failed Philly citizens.

        It is imperative that neither Judge Sarmina nor Seth Williams facilitate the Philly AD’s secret conspiracy, since thousands of defenseless Philly children remain at risk.

        Judge Sarmina’s gag order and sealing Bevilacqua’s testimony would then have only benefited the Philly AD mainly. Judge Sarmina would then also have denied Philly citizens’ their right to observe an open presentation of the evidence.

        We must continue to press for the complete transparency our democratic process is founded on.

      • Absolutely, Jerry!

      • I remain thrilled by the gag order. Shortly after the GJ reports some of the accused and attorneys went on local radio shows talking about the cases and of course as so often happens,I think it was one of the attorneys who took to victim bashing. The gag order might keep us in the dark a little until trial but I would rather have this play out in a criminal court – I am 100% for the gag order.
        Sandusky’s lawyer today is pulling some stunts about those victims. I wish they would have a gag order in that case also.

    • Wouldn’t it be a good idea as well to press for House Judiciary Chair Ron Marsico to let House Bills 832 & 878 out of his drawer and into discussion by his committee?

      Adding pressure on Archbishop Chaput, the other bishops in Pennsylvania and the PA Catholic Conference would keep them on the defensive.

    • Kathy, I got your point on the gag order the last time you made it, and it is a fair one. Judges can manage attorneys, however, by contempt warnings, etc. Judges do it everday and it works fairly well, without broad gag orders that deny the public’s constitutional right to know what evidence has been proferred. My big fear at this point is that Lynn will cop a plea and the gag order will never be lifted nor the Philly AD’s files opened.

      Will just getting Lynn’s conviction be sufficient? It isn’t for me. Philly citizens and all Catholics are entitled, and need, to know the full cover-up details to enable them to protect their children, especially whatever evidence has been produced in a public trial.

      If Williams and Sarmina let Lynn cop a plea and not disclose everything, we all will have been had and the Philly AD, Bevilacqua, Rigali, et al., will have succeeded in furthering their cover-up. At that point, it would be too late to object to the unusual gag order.

  2. There is a God, and Judge Sarmina is His messenger (angel.)

  3. Praise the Lord! This is answered prayer!. She is a smart judge and angel of God.

  4. A major, major development. Down side is it almost guarantees an appeal if the prosecution wins at trial.

    • Maybe, Jerry Slevin please give us your take on how this could affect the chances for a successful appeal.

      • dw13, I will thank God if we ever get to worrying about an appeal. So far, Lynn has neither been tried nor pled guilty. Lynn is just one malefactor here, and not the most important. While his conviction would have some impact, the more significant result would be to get the Philly AD’s secret files opened, as well as Bevilacqua’s video testimony and the complete pre-trial proceedings made publicly available. The public are entitled to know what Bevilacqua’s and Rigali’s full invoilvement were in this long standing criminal conspiracy.

      • Jerry it is helpful to get your lawyer perspective on all this. Thanks!

  5. Great news!

  6. “prior bad acts” = concealment, conspiracy, aiding and abetting.

    When you’ve spent 41 grueling years attempting to open the eyes of the faithful to the truth, the judge’s ruling, today, is nothing short of cathartic.

  7. Hooray!! Could this possibly be a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel? Prayers continuing!

  8. Excellent now everyone in the ‘chain of conspiracy’ will be exposed, hopefully the DA will subpoena ‘rigali’ as he had a part in this. It will be a tremendous victory when one of the accused ‘flips’ and tells the truth !

  9. Reading this I keep thinking of the quote from Matthew that Susan has posted on the right column.

    Thanking God for Judge Sarmina. May the truth all come to light!

  10. it is interesting that while in Rome, there is a worldwide convocation of church leaders to address child molestation issues, it is in Philadelphia, that it is actually happening. And it is the court system in Philadelphia that is doing the accountability number.

    I think we are all grateful to Judge Sarmina for allowing somewhere around 22 or 24 of the previous molestation cases to be heard by the Lynn jury ( I think the prosecution wanted 30, but who wants to quibble, at this happy moment).

    What strikes me as so substantive about this decision, is that ‘prosecutorial passes’ to diocesan officials, including bishops, have been the name of the game, nationwide and the zero tolerance, so often touted by the bishops as a national agenda, is pierced, when you read the 2005 and 2011 Grand Jury reports and discover that local hierarchy only told diocesan Review boards, what they wanted them to hear, or held offending clergy accountable by a standard so high it had no US legal equivalent.

    Thank God for the Philadelphia DA’s office in both 2005 and 2011. Thank God for those fine citizens who served on both Grand Juries and said it gave them no pleasure at all to come up with the conclusions they did, many were church going, but it must be done.

    Thank God for the media, personally I think God has been working through them, for a long time. Are they perfect, no, are they our best shot at the truth, you better believe it.

    It is a good day for innocent children in Philly and everywhere!

    • I’m just wondering what impact if any , this will have worldwide.
      I don’t believe this gathering in Rome has nothing to do with whats happening in Philadelphia either.
      Australia has had a pretty smooth ride so far, with only one or two politicians standing up to be counted. A pity more lawyers didn’t do the same. Our Human Rights and NGO”s have also failed, with all their energies supporting the Australian Bishop’s Conference on the refugee’s flooding our shores as a distraction.
      For example, look at the indifference of our Ambassador to the Vatican found on The Herald Sun website, Fell at the last hurdle over clerical abuse, then click on Image and the story of Chrissy and Anthony Foster who lost one daughter to suicide the other severely brain damaged, due to clerical abuse.

  11. Yes, Joan, it is a GREAT DAY for INNOCENT CHILDREN IN PHILLY, and, everywhere.

  12. God bless Judge Saramina. It is to courageous civil leaders like her that the best hope for true resolution of the sexual abuse cirisis in the RCC.

    Alas, I am pretty sure that the lawyers for Lynn will do something–a plea deal–to get this story out of the public eye.

    Now that we have the USCCB ready to fight against providing contraception options to its employees–AS IS THE LAW–I have no doubt that they will continue to do what they can–and cost is no issue–to continue the cover up of the shame of their mis management of those their employees. The fact that their employees violated children and vulnerable adults means nothing to these bishops.

    My sincere hope is that somehow the Catholics who actually practice artificial contraception will somehow repudiate the bishops on this contraception issue. I cannot believe that thinking people will continue to allow these men to use their powerand their money (our money) to continue

    • Elizabeth, around 98% of sexually active Catholics apparently use atificially contraceptive means. The injunction not to do so is NOT the “perceived wisdom of the faithful”, anything but. Which to some degree accounts for the reduced attendance, nationally and locally in Catholic schools.

      Employees in Catholic institutions, Catholic Charities, catholic health care system et al are often NOT catholic and may well wish to have health care that provides contraceptive options. As may those 98% Catholics. These options may well be necessary for medical reasons, as well.

      However, the blog topic is Judge Sarmina’ s decision to allow jurors in the Lynn trial to hear a substantial amount of data about previous Archdiocesan behaviour relative to the exposure of innocent children in the Archdiocese to sexual molestation. A topic that deserves a whole LOT of attention. Proably better to just keep to the topic at hand.

  13. I AM SO HAPPY, I OVERNITED MY PERSONAL LETTER TO JUDGE SARMINA LAST THURSDAY AND IN THE LETTER GAVE HER SEVERAL INSTANCES OF MY RELATIONSHIP WITH LYNN AND WHY IT WAS IMPERATIVE TO GO BACK INTO HISTORY AND HOW IT PLAYED OUT IN MY PERSONAL INTERACTIONS WITH LYNN. I TOLD HER TO PLEASE CONSIDER GOING INTO THE PAST AND ALLOWING IT TO SPEAK ITS TRUTH. I am sure my plea reached her heart. I wish I could show my letter to all on the blog but am concerned that legally it might come back to bite me. If anyone would like to see the letter i wrote please email Kathy and she will contact me. By the way, thank you all for your support of me conerning some insensitive remarks that were made towards me. This forum continues to bring me such comfort. Horray! FOR JUDGE SARMINA!!!

    • Hooray for you, Vicky!! God is working thru you to help bring the truth to light and to help clean up the Church. Bless you for your strength and eloquence. Certainly your words made an impression on the good Judge Sarmina and hopefully be instrumental in the future of the church.

      • Vicky-I agree with everything mimzy wrote. I’m keeping you in my prayers. Thank you for your courage and for speaking up.

  14. Today we read a lot about the crisis in leadership in the Catholic Church. Today we are burying one of our leaders. What kind of leader was Bevilaqua? He was like all of the other leaders in our Church, which is why he came to be a leader in the first place, and which is why there is a crisis.

    The leaders in our Church are “transactional leaders.” They work within their organizational culture following existing rules, procedures and norms. They can be counted on to maintain tradition, and to foster the cultural groupthink. They are not “transformational leaders” who change their culture by first understanding it, and then realigning the organization’s culture with a new vision and a revision of its shared assumptions, values and norms. (pretty much from an article I Googled)

    If you ask me, knowledge of these leadership styles would glaring bring to light how the culture of the priesthood impedes good leadership. The clergy, then, would be forced to intellectually reconcile the two. Instead, however, we are indoctrinating seminarians, limiting their knowledge, suffocating their critical thinking skills, stifling their awareness of new methods, and perpetuating the insidious culture that acts to arrest competent leadership.

    Which is why we will be reading about “bad leaders” and the crisis in leadership for decades, if not centuries, to come.

    • Thanks, Hadit, for that insightful and helpful analysis. While transactional church leaders deserve much blame, I am increasingly convinced that many Catholic scholars do as well. Key myths that the hierarchy rely on can be debunked by available historical and exegetical analysis.

      Apparently, whether due to timidity, cupidity or possibly even stupidity, few Catholic scholars seem willing to analyze these myths honestly and thoroughly. While there is some indication this is changing, it is changing too slowly. What Jesus mandated and what the hierarchy does are irreconciliable.

      • Jerry,

        The thirty year, transactional papacies of John Paul II and Benedict have done nothing but aggressively oppress, threaten and attack scholars and theologians, deeming works that exhibit “fresh thinking” as dissenting or unorthodox. Truly, the papacies have led to a “dead time” in the history of Catholic, scholarly thinking.

  15. Transactional leadership is getting a lot of ‘play’ in Rome this week, as noted in both NCR articles and Abuse Tracker. And 550 folks who have filed claims in Milwaukee are experiencing the same deplorable situation.

  16. I haven’t looked through all of the links in this thread…so my apologies if this is a repeat.

    What can you say to this?

    http://news.yahoo.com/retired-cardinal-criticized-abuse-comments-173802814.html

    • SW the contrasts this week from Rome to Egan and especially to Milwaukee, are almost unbelievable.

      According to the NCR, lots of John Allen, the Symposium is finally focussing on listening to victims. Levada’s understanding has ‘evolved’. The hierarchy is very concerned. Third World bishops are meeting behind closed doors. An Irish woman victim asks that bishops be held accountable, et al.

      Meanwhile your link details the appalling statements of Cardinal Egan and Peter Isely just sent me, Father Connell’s statement, today, relating to the 550 filed abuse claims solicited by the Diocese of Milwaukee, that the diocese is busy attempting to disallow.

      http://03409bc.netsolhost.com/snapwisconsin/2012/02/07/statement-by-the-reverand-james-connell-february-7-2012/

      I wouldn’t have believed such gross contrasts possible, but indeed they are, right now, right here in this world, today!

  17. Yesterday my little one came home from school. She had 4 hearts and was supposed to bring one back to school with a good deed written on it each time she did a good deed. We talked about doing good for alittle . Then she said “if you do bad stuff it breaks your heart and you get a crack in it” These simple words really hit me. “yes(I thought) when you do bad stuff you eventually break your heart, Jesus’s heart and others hearts” I talked alittle more about what this meant but I thought to myself sometimes things are that simple. Anyway here is some inspiration for those going thru a tough time remember faith, hope and love……………

  18. A question…

    I have read innumerable articles over the last couple of days that pertain to the sexual abuse summit under way in Rome. NONE say or infer that Benedict is there in person for the scheduled events and speakers. Have I missed something??? Am I correct?

    We are talking about a top-down organization, having the worst history of child sexual abuse in the history of the world, and having the worst history of covering it up. If the hierarchy intends to affect its history and project a sincere resolve to change it, it would seem that Benedict’s presence at the summit is crucial. After all, in the end and when push comes to shove, all other members of the hierarchy will be obedient to him.

    If Benedict is not at the summit, he should be fired. Truly, a “last straw” in terms of inept leadership and PR.

    • He does not plan to attend.

      • Shocking and insulting! A mockery of the summit’s purported intent.

      • Hadit, Why wasn’t the Pope in attendance?

        His presence would add gravitas to the meeting, indicating that the problem was out of control. That’s the last thing the PR men in the Vatican want.

        Last month, the Costa Concordia (Italian cruse ship) ran aground off the coast northwest of Rome. What happened after the ship began to sink shows the true colors of its captain. He didn’t want to be in attendance when his ship went down.

        Ben 16 and the ship’s captain have a lot in common. What do you think?

      • Except on the Costa Concordia, other passengers saw people in turmoil and tried to help.

        In the rcc…the parishioners listened to their captain and bailed ship right along with him.

        It’s just recently parishioners are in row boats looking for survivors. Still many stand on shore with their captain.

        I see some striking similarities.

    • SW, the Pope has sent “messages of concern”…. For a full run, courtesy of John Allen, of this weeks Symposium stories, see link

      More reporting from John Allen in Rome:

      Roman Notebook
      Scandal triggered by U.S. nuncio just won’t die, Feb. 6
      Strokes for Sant’Egidio and Dolan, Feb. 6
      Yet another Vatican financial scandal, Feb. 8
      Vatican sex abuse summit
      ‘Don’t wait for the media to make us act’, Feb. 6
      Victim reports ‘death of respect’ for church leaders, Feb. 7
      Demand for accountability ‘legitimate’, Feb. 7
      Expert blasts denial on global dimension of crisis, Feb. 7
      Penance and a spirit of ‘Never Again!’, Feb. 7
      Reassessing the media’s role, Feb. 8
      Prosecutor decries ‘deadly culture of silence’, Feb. 8
      ‘Bishops must be held accountable’, Feb. 8
      $2.2 billion and 100,000 victims in U.S. alone, Feb. 8
      We don’t want to repeat U.S., Irish mistakes’, Feb. 9
      A ‘new baseline’ for the church, Feb. 9

      • All those John Allen citations mentioned above are found in this article and can be easily accessed…I am no fan of his….but there’s lots of coverage:

        http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/vatican-abuse-summit-we-dont-want-repeat-us-irish-mistakes

      • Besides the obvious reasons why anyone would be bothered by the summit, “messages of concern,” etc., I am frustrated that more people aren’t taking the safety of children seriously.

        I don’t want them to avoid more mistakes and mishandlings. I don’t want them to look to the horrific cases and see where things could have been done differently. Sure, it’s helpful…but it’s reactive. They will forever be in a state of putting out fires instead of preventing them in the first place. They need to focus on the PRIORITY of guarding children no matter what. It will cost them…but, it will be nothing compared to what everyone (especially the victim) is paying for now. They won’t have to be worrying about mishandlings and how they could avoid more mistakes if they kept child protection and safety as the PRIORITY. Proactive vs. Reactive. They will continue to be in the latter (which is always more costly, with the victims paying the highest) until they quit all these expensive, ridiculous summits.

        Do they really need to have a big meeting about how not to rape kids? This summit is more about legal tactics and what works against victims and what doesn’t. They all need to be on the same page so they can continue to drive the nails.

      • SW as always you are right ….prevention of abuse, proactive priority of children and their safety, not all this reactive drama, and no I don’t think they needed this ‘global’ symposium. Personally, I would have loved it if the Pope had made and enforced a rule that any bishop that knowingly passed on predators was fired and that all cases of alledged molestation were to be immediately handed over to civil authority, and anyone bishop who did not do so,within 24 hours was also fired.

        Some accommodation would have to be made in Third World countries, preferably by a very independent entity, perhaps UN based.

        Instead, you have a lot of pious blathering.

      • Joan,

        They wouldn’t have any bishops left if they fired them for the reasons you stated. And the people firing them would have to have the moral authority to do so in the first place and how can that happen? Can’t fire people for doing the very things the superiors of guilty of as well, right?

        Am I the only one who believes this summit is for an agenda that isn’t made public? Like legal maneuvering/posturing?

        To educate the bishops about sexual abuse of children and the handling of it, they didn’t need to fly the hierarchy across the globe to do it.

        Anyone who has ever had to deal with institutional garbage knows what I’m talking about…the meeting before the meeting, as some would say.

      • SW, I just posted this on another blog in answer to Jerry’s well made point about that the Church could manage the abuse situation if they really wanted to….see what you think of my fantasy….and losing our present hierarchical structure would be bearable!

         1 0 Rate This
        Actually Jerry, I have this ongoing fantasy, that, if serious about the abuse situation, instead of one Papal Envoy, and using the US as an example, there would be at least ten of these guys, in the US whose job description would be a regular rotational run through the several hundred US dioceses and visits to each diocese to learn what was REALLY happening abuse wise. AND it needs to be done world wide!!!

        These additional envoys would meet with the local ordinary AND local law enforcement, social services, the DA, and the media, to say nothing of meetings with Survivors groups and groups that work to protect children from abuse.

        Right now, one each in KC, Milwaukee, and Philly come to mind!

        It would also be necessary to vastly increase …in the many hundreds…the folks in the ‘Holy Office’ ( I think it’s only ten folks who work on abuse issues specifically). In my organizational fantasy the hugely increased Holy Office staff would coordinate, world wide and often with those many many Papal Envoy’s relative to ‘their learnings’ and the appropriate actions that should then ensue.

        It’s called ‘monitoring’ . Folks who are serious about change, do these kinds of things!

      • Joan, your papal management ideas are very interesting, but how about this simpler alternative?

        As bishops turnover, their successors would be selected, and are removable, by local Catholics. Important matters would be voted upon by a majority vote of the world’s bishops.

        This conforms to Jesus’ mandates and worked well for three centuries until Constantine, for his imperial purposes, imposed by force of arms a top-down, coercive and punitive hierarchical structure that still haunts us.

        The bishop of Rome would be selected for a single 10 year term by the world’s bishops. He could also be removed by the same bishops.

        Now that Constantine and his European monarchical successors are gone, we could adopt this new structure at any time, if the self-interested and self-perpetuating hierarchy finally got some religion, either by divine intervention or lay Catholic pressure.In the Internet era, this stucture could be readily implemented and maintained.

      • I’d love it Jerry..your historically fine thoughts are great!

        BUT, if that doesnt happen and we are stuck with the present ‘operating procedures’ then mine was a current ‘operating procedure’ modification/fantasy!

  19. Talk about another woman judge, this time in Milwaukee.

    I just got through suggesting that Milwaukee was a matter of huge concern abuse wise. The diocese is in bankruptcy and was required to solicit abuse claims with a deadline last week

    Close to 600 claims were filed and the very Diocese that had requested these filings, then set about busily to disallow well over 500 of them.

    Peter Isely just sent me the following data…it should be a comfort to many :

    “Milwaukee bankruptcy judge’s ruling will allow vast majority of the 570 victim claims to go forward against Archdiocese

    A survey of 350 of the claims reveal at least 100 newly identified sex offenders who committed over 8,000 acts of child sex assault
     
    70 of the newly identified are priests not listed on the archdiocesan so-called “official list” of child molesting clerics
     
     
    In a stunning moment today in Milwaukee federal bankruptcy court, attorneys speaking on behalf of at least 350 victim/survivors stated that at least 100 never before publically identified child sex offenders working or volunteering in the archdiocese over the past several decades have committed over 8,000 criminal sex acts against children or minors.  The sheer magnitude of these numbers and the extent of these crimes constitute a public and child safety crisis.
     
    The numbers were revealed today as Judge Susan V. Kelley ruled against a motion by the archdiocese that would have thrown out the vast majority of the 570 victims claims that have filed into the bankruptcy court.  In other words, nearly all  of the 570 victim claims will  be moving forward through the bankruptcy process. ”

    There is hope, you guys!

    • That is great news, Joan. If I understand correctly what is happening in Milwaukee, however, the diocese has few assets left to pay these claims because NY’s Archbishop Dolan, when he was bishop in Milwaukee, reportedly squirreled much of the diocese’s free assets into the separate diocesean cemetery corporation. Unless the judge reverses this as a “fraudulent transfer”, which she may yet do, the victims may get little. Bishops and their lawyers have many snares to re-abuse victims sadly. So keep on praying.

      • Sadly, Jerry, I fear you may be right…if memory serves there was, supposedly, only a million dollars available for victims…let’s hope your ‘fraudulent transfer’ point is addressed….was there not an NCR article about ‘funding the dead’….relative to this case?

        But in some ways, this one feels a lot like a ‘tipping point’….8000 abused folks….the very good offices of both Peter Isely AND Fr Jim Connell, the working together for several years of both victims and Fr Jim…I think and God knows , I pray, that ‘ the times are achanging’.

    • Joan, keep your chin up, please. Times are certainly “a changing”. It would have been inconceivable in our youth for Catholics to stand up and challenge their bishops. But, thank God, they are doing so increasingly worldwide.

      Rome wasn’t built in a day and it won’t be dismantled quickly. But it is being dismantled now, brick by brick, day by day, and we may be able soon to free Jesus’ Spirit once again!

      • Jerry, $ 55,600,000 moved to the Milwaukee Diocesan cemetery fund by Dolan in 2008, I believe….the NCR, bless their pointed heads, have reported recently on this matter. Thank God for this media and a 24/7 news cycle!

        http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/victims-caught-milwaukees-shell-game

      • Jerry,

        I like your idea (earlier post.) “As bishops turnover, their successors would be selected, and are removable, by local Catholics. Important matters would be voted upon by a majority vote of the world’s bishops.

        The problem is that changing the power structure of the RCC would be harder that removing al-Assad from his position as leader of Syria.

        In the case of the Church, there is one sanction that would work; cut off the money supply. What frustrates me is that the sheep will not do it. I’m convinced that I will never live long enough to see the monarchy become democratic in any way.

        Many of the most influential RCC leaders love power far more that they love God or children, i.e., Rigali, Chaput, Dolan, Egan.

      • Do We Have A Church In Schism?

        Mark Day: “You don’t believe the Vatican is capable of reform?”

        Matthew Fox: “Obviously, it can’t be reformed. I’m looking at it theologically. I believe the Holy Spirit is behind the movement to kill the Vatican as we know it—to kill the structure of the Catholic Church, to bury it, so we can start over. It’s about pushing the restart button. Just look at the right wing religious sects favored by the last two popes: Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, and the Legionaries of Christ. No, the Vatican is not reformable. It’s a boy’s club, a bully’s club.”

        http://www.catholica.com.au/gc2/occ2/086_occ2_100212.php

      • Dr who 13, I realize how much pressure from the faithful it will take to return to the consensual Church structure that Jesus and his disciples intended– where all bishops are again selected by local Catholics. But Rome cons Catholics by saying a consensual structure is “unCatholic”. Mystical bull !

        Local Catholics generally selected their own bishops for 300 years until Constantine used his military power to commandeer the Church.

        Constantine and his successors have been gone for over a century. Catholics must now demand by all available means that we go back to the consensual, non-military and non-punitive structure Jesus intended.

        It is important that Catholics know that the original Church had a consensual structure for centuries, and can have it again.

  20. Everything seems to be coming to a head in our world at the same time with the RCC. Once again Nero….but this time the Pope…….fiddles as Rome burns!

    Over twenty years ago a very wise and wonderful nun told me that her favorite book was “Joshua” by Joseph Girzone. I expected to read a book following the teaching of the church as I knew it. Instead, I was engaged in a fictional yet wonderful parable of Jesus coming back two thousand years later. When you ask the question “What would Jesus do?” this wonderful book makes it all so clear.

    At a time when I find myself so often on the verge of tears, I am reminded to pick up “Joshua”, take a deep breath, read, believe, hope, and no longer support an institution that has used Jesus to promote so much wrongdoing in His name. It reminds me to let my conscience be my guide.

    • Donna Marie, I heard about the “Joshua” books over 20 years ago after I had gotten a certificate to teach religion issued by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I went to the local Catholic store and asked for the book. I was referred to the Manager who told me that a priest came in the store weeks before I was there and when he saw “Joshua” by Joseph Girzone on the shelf, he loudly demanded that they be removed immediately, or else! I don’t know the standing of the particular priest, but I guess the management was intimidated by the threat and the implication of a radical change in their customer list, so they removed the books. I got them elsewhere and used them when I taught my Confirmation classes. I find them to be right on the mark and in line with how the majority of Catholics I know feel about the Church. The books make it clear that Jesus would not recognize “His” Church, but that the real church, the faithful, have a responsibility to move back to our roots. Jesus taught justice tempered by love, and authority tempered by responsibility. I miss that.

  21. Donna Marie. You have said it all! I was 60 yrs a rc.( convert at 12). We left in 2001 when we knew all we had heard, from the religious in our family, that they had told us over the yr.s(that we wouldn’t believe) was true. It’s gotten worse every single yr. with the hieraracy doing exactly what they want as always. This is an institution for men, by men and for them to do what ever men want , under the auspisies of Jesus . What a Blasphemy !.., I’m glad God knows our hearts or we would all be in the dark with these, IMHO, hideious people.

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