Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Three Philadelphia priests and a parochial school teacher were charged Thursday with raping and assaulting boys in their care, while a former official with the Philadelphia Archdiocese was accused of allowing the abusive priests to have access to children, the city’s district attorney’s office said.

Belief in god =/= morality. Hope they all rot in jail.

"Victims of sexual abuse by clergy may find this news deeply painful," Rigali said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Screw you.

The boy told his parents, who confronted Brennan. The priest denied the allegations, according to the grand jury report.

The boy “suffered depression, dramatic weight loss, and drug and alcohol addiction,” according to the grand jury report.

"Ultimately, he committed suicide," the report said.

yourfaith-deactivated20101012 asked:

If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Benedict XVI intended and acted to help criminals escape from justice, then do so. I am a friend of the truth.

The disagreement between religious and non-religious cannot be used to marginalize the reality that abuse transcends a presence or lack of beliefs.

Indeed, let those who are best prepared to assist victims do so.

There can be no denial that those who receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders are under the same temptations and frailties as any other man. I simply believe that we were created for infinity; this includes dealing with those who would abuse others as if there were no tomorrow. This generation of Catholics must concretely work so that those individuals who have and would betray the priesthood are immediately removed, and receive just punishment from the state.

The fruit of this work can only come from further revision and correct implementation of canon law, and the efforts of the laity to serve as a watch-dog of even the national bishops conferences.

As an aspiring medical professional, canon lawyer, and possibly priest, thank you for your time.

Ryan brought the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who today is Pope Benedict XVI. Ryan asked Benedict to forcibly remove Campbell from the priesthood.

In a personally signed letter, Ratzinger, citing Canon law, said he couldn’t defrock Campbell without Campbell’s permission – and instead suggested a local church trial, which would have taken years. It would be three more years before Bishop Ryan could persuade Campbell to request his own defrocking.

McCormick was speechless when he read the letter that kept his abuser an ordained priest.

“I think common sense should supersede Canon law,” McCormick said.

I am not surprised. This is nothing new. Nobody should give a rat’s behind for “cannon law”. Who cares? Isn’t doing what is right the important thing here? (Hitler, for example, was never excommunicated. But if you are a women priest, summary excommunication.) Common sense is not common at all.

You said:

The disagreement between religious and non-religious cannot be used to marginalize the reality that abuse transcends a presence or lack of beliefs.

I never stated that child abuse was found only in the Catholic priesthood. Such a complaint is a straw man distraction. The point was that the leaders of the Catholic Church decided that the institution came before the victims. Both in words and in actions, starting with Mr. Ratzinger.

For example:

“The case then languished for four years at the Vatican before Ratzinger finally wrote to the Oakland bishop. It was two more years before Kiesle was removed; during that time he continued to do volunteer work with children through the church.”

Ratzinger also noted, says the report, that any decision to defrock Kiesle must take into account the “good of the universal church” and the “detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke within the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly considering the young age.” The priest was 38 at the time.

Read more:

Notice how the priest still had access to children FOR 2 MORE YEARS with the knowledge of the Church. With Ratzinger’s personal knowledge!!! His position in this debacle is morally indefensible. As a self proclaimed friend of truth you should recognize these facts for what they are.

You said:

The fruit of this work can only come from further revision and correct implementation of canon law, and the efforts of the laity to serve as a watch-dog of even the national bishops conferences.

What? The only way to actually protect children is to recognize that cannon law does not supersede secular law. Never has, never will. Cannon law is totally irrelevant (unless you live in the Vatican). It is not so much modification of cannon law that is needed. Again, who cares? What needed to be done was implement secular law. As in calling the Police. As in not moving pedophiles around parishes when they got caught. As in not letting them have access to children after knowing what evils have such pedophiles done. How hard can that be? Where is the supposed Christian morality of the self proclaimed vicars of Christ? Please…

If hiding crimes and exposing children to abuse (FOR 2 YEARS) for “the good of the universal church”, is excusable, then anything is.  And don’t get me started on how Cardinal Law was sheltered by the Vatican after the scandal, and how he covered for pedophile priests, was known in Boston.

I’m sorry but as a man of good conscience I could never have any association with such a corrupt institution. Much less admire leaders whose contrition only comes after they cannot hide the facts any more. I will never be able to do such and neither should anyone who actually cares for truth.

Please become a medical professional. It is truly an infinitely better choice.

In reason:

yourfaith-deactivated20101012 asked:

I make only a friendly suggestion: perhaps the most effective prevention of pedophilia in the Catholic Church would be a complete, comprehensive, constructive, and systematic critique of the official laws of the Church regarding child abuse (See "Normae de gravioribus delictis,"

Surely canon lawyers were involved in the recent modifications of the norms, but Church laws could be more effective if there were a concerted effort from respected secular lawyers to assist in further revision.

Such an effort would hopefully be brought on by the public, if criticism were more focused on improving efforts of current crime prevention.

In any case, thank you for reading, have a good day.


The best prevention would be to punish those responsible for molesting kids and the individuals that enabled/hid them. Actions usually carry more weight than words. Wouldn’t you agree?

Why would anyone trust an individual that claims to represent god on earth in spite of not having any evidence in favor of it? BTW, did you know that is just one of Pope’s official titles? Why would people still keep trusting and supporting such an institution when plenty evidence is available to the contrary? If anyone wants to stop pedophilia in the catholic church the first step would be to stop supporting the same church that enables it. Wouldn’t you agree? Isn’t it obvious?

Efforts right now are focused on where the church did not focus on for DECADES, on the victims. It is my opinion that in an ideal world the type of secular lawyers that would be involved in such cases would be known as prosecutors.

Remember, a mayor component of crime prevention is deterrence. The one thing that can only come by punishing those responsible. The second component is compensation to the victims. Just the thing that a literal army of catholic lawyers are fighting tooth and nail against at courts all over the world right now.

At the end of the day personal attachment to the particular myth and superstition of the catholic church should not overpower our sense of morality and shared humanity. History has shown the folly of such a blindly trusting, i.e. faithful, attitude.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Take care.
In reason:

Are the fundies imploding? Look at this summary of their own assessment of the status of the evangelical priesthood:

Another article reveals even more telling statistics based on a survey of 1,050 evangelical Pastors (note these are evangelical pastors not liberal pastors):

  • 89% considered leaving the ministry at one time.
  • 57% said they would leave if they had a better place to go—including secular work.
  • 77% felt they did not have a good marriage!
  • 75% felt they were unqualified and/or poorly trained by their seminaries to lead and manage the church or to counsel others. This left them disheartened in their ability to pastor. 
  • 71% stated they were burned out, and they battle depression beyond fatigue on a weekly and even a daily basis. 
  • 38%  said they were divorced or currently in a divorce process.
  • 30% either has an ongoing affair or a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner.
  • 23% said they felt happy and content on a regular basis with who they are in Christ, in their church, and in their home!

The same article also gives the following research distilled from Barna, Focus on the Family, and Fuller Seminary.

  • 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • 50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
  • 80 percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 40% of pastors polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

I imagine it’s a high-stress job. These people are actually intelligent, and relatively well-educated…and their job requires standing up in front of crowds every week, and dealing one-on-one with others frequently, and telling them a line of foolishness.

It’s an interesting complement to Dan Dennett’s work on priests who don’t believe — the statistics tell us something about the frequency of doubt, while Dennett’s stories tell us what’s going on in their heads.

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Monday will make its most detailed defense yet against claims that it is liable for U.S. bishops who allowed priests to molest children, saying bishops are not its employees and that a 1962 Vatican document did not require them to keep quiet, The Associated Press has learned.

WTF?? You gotta be kidding me. Priests ARE NOT employees of the Vatican? Please…