St. Crispin’s Day

Today, 25 October, is the Feast of St Crispin.

It is also the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years War between France and England.  It was an English victory despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the French forces that engaged a tired English army.  A turning point in the war, Agincourt represented the beginning of a series of English victories. That moment in history was captured in Shakespeare’s play, Henry V.

Where am I going with this little Cliff Clavin moment today?  Within the play, Henry V, King Harry gives a rousing speech to motivate his beleaguered army in the face of overwhelming odds against the French that day.  I see parallels to the struggle of survivors of clerical sex abuse against overwhelming odds with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and it’s apologists and supporters.  The likes of Senator Joe Scarnati and Catholic League President Bill Donohue come to mind.

While we survivors are vastly outnumbered, and the Catholic Lobby can spend obscene amounts of cash to curry favor (that they do not deserve at any price) with politicians, we can find some comfort in King Harry’s speech to his rag-tag army in the field.

Words have meaning. They can inspire, they can dissuade. For me, this passage from King Harry is my motivational. It helps me to stay engaged in the struggle to force the Catholic Church to admit the truth they adamantly deny.

KING: What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters (the Bard will forgive me) need to stay the course and finish this fight.  I will ask you once again, are you with me?  Are your hearts in the trim?

Take it, brave York. Now, soldiers, march away:
And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!

RCC Playbook III – The Church is the Real Victim!

The Church is the Real Victim

There is nothing more offensive to me personally as the defensive tactics embraced by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  In this installment of the “Playbook,” we will take a look at how the RCC spins the sexual crime crisis to make the RCC look like the victim.  Ignore the RCC  sex crisis, banking crisis,  involvement in murders and kidnappings, Vatican leaks, gay witch hunts, reprimand of nuns to deflect attention away from the sex crisis, loss of parishioners, the arbitrary closing of parishes, insensitive detached and out of touch leaders.  Ignore it all!   The real victim here is Catholicism.   (Adjust your sarcasm dials and buckle in.)  And the ALLEGED victims of sexual abuse are the source of all the woes of the church.

1. Alleged Victims are hell-bent on the destruction of the church.  The hierarchy of the church and the ultra-conservative groups that support it are painting the goals of survivors being solely focused on the destruction of the church.  They contend that we will not be placated until the Bishops’ Chryslers, their summer houses, and their extravagant lifestyles are destroyed.   They want to tell the faithful that victims of abuse want to tear down schools and churches, destroy parishes and bankrupt the church until god (lower case intended) is banished from society.

Groups like the Catholic League spit out statistics in support of such claims on a regular basis.  Those statistics, for the most part, are unsubstantiated.  When I wrote to the point of contact at the Catholic league to fact check a particularly virulent rant from Bill Donohue (Catholic Hater in Chief), there was just no reply.  I guess when you are spinning propaganda to support your local Archbishop the truth is not required.

2. The media is picking on the Catholic Church.  You hear this everywhere a church leader or the head of some ultra-conservative church organization or group of church apologists get together in front of a microphone. This is all a vast left-wing conspiracy. The best article I have read in this vein is by John P. Martin called “Church scandal hits close to home.” The article stands on its own merit.  I first read this article while keeping up with Susan Mathew’s Blog,  Catholics4Change.  It first appeared on Philly.com.

Bloggers Note:  Do you think if the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and it’s shills would be getting negative media attention if they were not so wholly inept, involved in protecting predator pedophiles, running corrupt banking systems, punishing nuns for doing good work, covering up kidnappings of teenagers and funding the extravagant excess of the princes of the church?

3. Trial Lawyers are keeping this issue alive!   If you read the Catholic apologists’ blogs and press releases from groups like the Catholic League, you would discover that the “scandal” is being perpetuated by the likes of Jeff Anderson and Marci Hamilton. Their spin is that the trial lawyers and scholars are trying to keep the scandal alive for their own personal enrichment.   “There is really good money in those settlements.”    Anyone look at the stable of lawyers, PR guys, media consultants and risk management types in the employ of various dioceses, religious orders and Catholic organizations lately?  By some accounts, the cost of defending Monsignor Lynn ran upwards of $11 Million!  I think, in fact, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is keeping Trial Lawyers (and PR guys and media consultants) alive.  Just a thought…

4. These crimes are the work of homosexuals bent on the destruction of the church.  Let’s just blame it on gay priests.  I have covered this before.  Simply put, just before you are gay, does not mean you are a pedophile.    The church would like you to believe that the “gay subculture” in the priesthood is from where this deviant behavior emanates.   But, if this was true, can someone explain to me about the priests who have preyed on girls?  You see, with the excuse generators that operate in many of the Chancery buildings around the world it is really true that the devil is in the details.  I would imagine that there are gay priests in the church who are doing God’s work and looking after parishioners without trying to slide their hands inside an altar boy’s cassock.

5. The behavior of these pedophiles is a direct result of the excesses of Vatican II and the liberalization of Catholicism.  Once again the boys in the curia are counting on the gullibility of parishioners that blindly follow their roman collared handlers.    People, if there are documented cases of pedophilia in the church dating back before Vatican II, which ran from 11 October 1962 until 8 December 1965, how can blame the “liberalization of the church”?  Put down the church bulletin and the letter from the bishop on the annual fund drive and think.  Canon law has articles covering crimes against children by clergy going back hundreds of years.   This crisis is not a post-Vatican II product.  This kind of behavior and the cover-ups by the church have been going on for centuries.  It is built into the fabric of the clergy to protect their institution and avoid scandal at all costs.   Even if it is at the expense of a child.  The big difference today is that we have social networks that can reveal the true nature of those who will commit heinous crimes against children and those institutions that will protect those predators.

The next installment will cover the methods employed by the bishops of the church to keep priests one step ahead of the sheriff or two steps outside of the jurisdictions that could prosecute them.

William Donohue, Catholic Hater in Chief!

The bar must be open!
The always coy Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League.

I am just amazed at the antics of the President of the Catholic League, Mr. William Donohue.  The more I read and watch the more I am convinced that the Catholic Court Jester has hijacked the press podium for the Catholic Church in the United States.  In addition to his latest rants on Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the all-out assault on Nuns who made the mistake of thinking and seeing the world through a lens not necessarily endorsed by a bunch of old men at the Vatican,  this guy seems to be declaring war on the survivor community at large (Remember, we are not all card-carrying members of SNAP).

I am sure he is going to say that I am a godless, liberal, money seeking, “alleged” victim.  He is a bully, and that is what bullies do.  But for the record, I generally a  conservative who was brought up in an Irish Catholic family in New York and Pennsylvania. The difference, well one of many, between Billy and me is that I don’t blindly support the Catholic Hierarchy.  I also don’t make a living kissing the ass of the Archbishop of New York, amongst others.

Bill has a habit of running his mouth without verifying content beforehand. His rant on the front page of the Catholic League (which, surprisingly, not the governing body for Diocesan secondary school athletic teams) about SNAP is an excellent point in case. The YouTube Video and the accompanying “paper” on his undercover expose of the SNAP convention last year struck me.

If you read his epistle, you will notice this article lacks any definitive substance to back up his assertions.  He relies on character assassination and belittling individuals instead of engaging in thoughtful discourse. All his attacks are meant to divert attention from silly little annoyances like nuns with brains, trials in Philadelphia, Bishops who lie and protect predators, vast numbers of Catholics leaving the church.

Why don’t we take a stroll through the epistle of St. Billy to the world concerning the SNAP Convention.  It is about 9 pages of ranting and raving, but I recommend you take a look to get a glimpse into this guy’s mind.  In a nutshell, everyone is at war with the Catholic Church.  EVERYONE!   My contention, based on my 16 years of Catholic confinement education, is that the war is not being waged on the Catholic Church, it is being waged on the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  You know, the people who have been covering up and deflecting attention away from the sexual abuse crisis that has been going on for decades, centuries even!

Bill sent undercover Catholic League operatives to the convention to infiltrate the organization.  He did so because there is “nothing so salient than the precarious state of the due process for priests.” He calls these undercover operatives who have impeccable credentials who were there.  Who were they?  He can’t reveal his sources, just wink and go along with their “impeccable credentials.”

Bill then delves into the meat of his “treatise,” character assassination.   Since Bill’s arguments tend to be emotional and unsubstantiated, he resorts to the tactic in the debate that is a clear indication of a weak position argument, attack the individual.  (I was Jesuit trained, that is what I was taught).

His targets were William Spade, a former District attorney from Philadelphia.  He dismisses Mr. Spade because he has an “eclectic” relationship with the Catholic Church.  Let’s not discuss the ongoing criminal case, and Grand Jury reports about organized Roman Collar Crime and the cover-up of criminal activity in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Let’s not confuse evidence of criminal activity and conspiracy because the person speaking has an “eclectic” relationship with the Catholic church.  Despite the veracity of the message, the person delivering it is just not to Bill’s tastes.

His next target is Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota attorney who has been involved in litigation on behalf of victims. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I am not a client of Mr. Anderson.)  He was raised a Lutheran!   MY GOD!  He became a Catholic!  SAY IT AIN’T SO! Then he became an atheist! (Seems like a natural progression to me.)  Bill then goes on to call Mr. Anderson a “Hippie” (page 3) and makes a comment about his “diminutive 5’4″ ” stature.  BILL DONOHUE HATES SHORT PEOPLE!  Bill also makes mention that Mr. Anderson is a recovering alcoholic.  BILL DONOHUE HATES RECOVERING ALCOHOLICS!   So what we have learned here is that short recovering alcoholics are not to be believed. Of course, Mr. Anderson is only in this racket for the money.  I understand completely.  Just like the law firms and public relations firms on retainer with American Dioceses who have made billions defending the indefensible on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy.  Ask your Diocese about the amount of your donations that goes to lawyers, public relations firms and mouthpieces to attack, humiliate and demean victims of predator priests.  (I will wait while you email your Bishop, Chancellor, Diocesian Comptroller…)

You can also take a moment here and understand his underlying theme that all victims of sexual assault at the hands of Catholic religious are out for only one thing… a big fat payday! (time to reach for the sarcasm meter key, it is right next to the “any” key on your keyboard) Yes, I plan on getting rich off of the fact that a Catholic Priest took a shine to my hot 13-year-old ass.  As he was slapping me around, threatening me, telling me the lie that my mother approved of my “visits” and that God thought this activity was alright, I was thinking that 40 years down the line I would be getting a big ass payday!  Keep drinking Bill, you may actually see this post as proof of concept.

Bill Donohue is the face of the Catholic laity.  If you are a Catholic and you are not screaming for this moron’s head, you are allowing the rest of the world to believe that zealots and clowns are protecting the faith.  Good men and women must be in short supply in the pews (oh, I forgot, Catholics are fleeing the church in droves) or they have stupidly clung to the lies of the Bishops that “all is well.”  Bill Donohue is the personification of the Catholic faithful, whether they like it or not.  This guy is proof to the world that Catholics are asleep at the switch.

If you want to have a conversation Bill, give me a call.  I doubt your style of personal attack would survive very long against a Jesuit trained survivor.   Bring it on Billy!  Bring your buddy Dolan along.  Leave the nuns alone, they are way out of your league (Catholic or otherwise).   It will be a battle of the wits, and I will be fighting a half armed man.

You know what they say about grumpy Irish men who rant on and on about how horribly they or their causes are being treated!   Oops, there I go rereading the Catholic League playbook.