Awaiting Details of the Bishop’s Fund and End of the Year Reading

There are only a few days left until the Diocese of Scranton releases the information on the Bishop’s Victims Compensation Fund.  I am confident that Bishop Bambera will over-promise and under-deliver to victims and their families. If you plan to make a claim against the Diocese of Scranton, watch their news release page for information.  I expect the lies and blame deflection will flow from Bill Genello’s office as soon as the details of the “Independent Survivors Compensation Program” ooze out of the Chancery on Wyoming Avenue.

Look for requirements that will disqualify as many people with credible accusations as possible.  If you were raped/molested/harmed by a priest in a religious order teaching in a Diocesan school, you might be out of luck.  The Bishop will probably flick that booger towards the religious order and ignore that the crimes were committed within his curia.  As in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, they will probably offer you the services of an attorney to help you navigate the rules of the fund.  Please be aware, that the attorney being paid by the Diocese will not have your best interests at heart.  If the Diocese is paying the bills, the lawyer is working for the Bishop and not for you.  I strongly recommend that you get your own legal representation, working for your interests and yours alone.

The best bet in Pennsylvania is to enact legislation that opens a civil litigation window, sweeps aside the need for confidentiality agreements, and forces institutions like the Catholic Church to comply with laws protecting children and vulnerable adults.  All victims should have the right to bring a claim in front of a judge.  The format of the compensation funds is stacked to favor the Dioceses.

I have been reading some articles linked from sites like Catholics4Change.org or sent in from readers of this blog (thanks Barb!).  I am going to offer you some links to spike your outrage or just leave you shaking your head at the myopic idiocy of Church leaders.

Abuse Talking Points Interrupt God’s Word 

Can victim funds help heal wounds of Pa. church sex abuse scandal?

NY archdiocese issued suitability letter for priest under abuse investigation

Catholic abuse victims face new obstacle | Editorial

Business as usual in the Catholic Church

Ticking time bombs in the church

Cardinal Wuerl, despite stepping down due to abuse scandal, presides over grand Basilica Christmas Mass

The Cardinals and the Bishops are ending 2018 full of deceit.  I hold out little hope for change when the clock strikes midnight tonight, and we charge headlong into 2019.  Over the last ten years writing on this blog, I have always been in awe of the Church Hierarchy’s ability to be unfeeling, uncaring, unchristian buffoons.  I don’t think they will disappoint in their stupidity in the new year.

BISHOP BAMBERA SHOULD RESIGN WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!

 

Prophecy

I had a conversation with a Victims Assistance Coordinator from the Diocese of Scranton in August.  She is a very kind woman named Joan Holmes.  She has consistently reached out to me since my initial notification to the Diocese of the events that occurred when I was 13 years old.  While I still think that the position she holds within the diocese has more to do with collecting information on victims and less to do with assisting them, she has been very helpful to me in a number of ways.  She is the only person in the Diocese that I have had consistent, albeit infrequent contact.

What struck me during the conversation was her use of the word “prophet”.  She told me that I was speaking truth and that is what a prophet does.  In looking up the word in the dictionary I found the following:

NOUN  1.  somebody who interprets divine will: somebody who claims to interpret or transmit the commands of a deity 2.  somebody predicting the future: somebody who predicts the future “prophets of economic doom” 3.  advocate of something: somebody who advocates a cause or idea 4.  inspired leader: somebody considered to be an inspired leader or teacher [ 12th century. Via French and Latin < Greek prophētēs “somebody who speaks beforehand” < phētēs “speaker” ]

I certainly do not see myself as a conduit for a deity.  That would require me to have faith that one exists. The Catholic Church has proven to me that you should not take on faith anything that they say.   I may be able to see myself in the third definition, an advocate for a reform of the legal system to protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual crimes and the follow-on cover-ups in the Catholic Church. I keep going back to what Joan told me. Her view was that a prophet is someone who tells the truth. If that is so, why aren’t the Bishops of the world prophets? Why hasn’t the Catholic Church been an institution that supports prophets and the truth? Why have they been such an astounding failure at telling the truth? Why do we keep seeing the cycle of discovery, denial, contrition, deflection and distance played out as the game plan from the Bishop of Rome down the line?

Lets see how revelation of sexual crimes plays out in the latest hotbed of the sexual crime crisis in the Catholic Church.  I suspect it will be just as it has been  in Boston, Los Angeles, Ireland, Germany, and Belgium to name but a few. The story breaks and the first thing we hear is that the cases are isolated and that the church itself is innocent (denial). Then comes the uproar and a contrite bishop comes forward to say that he knew nothing of the abuse but now that it is made public that the church will support victims and take action against the perpetrators. Then the tide turns, Bishops or their mouthpieces begin to point out that the sexual abuses are a reflection of society, that these men are sick, gay, or that other institutions have similar problems. This is not an isolated Catholic problem! Finally, they try to put distance between themselves and the victims. They play the “we are protecting the confidentiality of the victims” card.  That loosely translates to trying to silence the victim through any means available. Or they just get nasty and start the campaign, usually through people like Phil Donahue, that paints survivors as money hungry opportunists looking for a quick score at the expense of the poor parishioners that support the local dioceses.  As we are seeing with the reports coming out of Europe in the past few days, we have an instance of the same playbook being taken out and put into action in a different city/country.

I recommend the pope  be decisive and end this debate once and for all.  He should go on tour. “The Pope Benedict XVI Last Apology Tour”. We could have satin jackets made up, collectible plates and spoons, maybe some T-shirts. I bet red shoe sales would go through the cathedral ceiling!  In each city the local Cardinal can warm up the crowd and get them whipped up in a frenzy, tell them that new processes are in place and that the problems of the past are in the past. Groupie nuns can go crazy at the front of the crowd trying to get their pictures taken with the MAN.  “Benny 16” is seriously “the goods”, he is happening, he is a rock star! When they finish the 3 month 71 city tour, the Holy See can claim that all is well and that a return to normalcy is the way to go. There is only 1 small problem. The status quo for the church included priests who committed varying degrees of sexual crimes on innocents while the hierarchy of the church shielded the predators from prosecution to save the Holy Roman Church from scandal. The problems of the past are not in the past. We see new allegations every week. We hear of new victims coming forward after years. We hear of very senior clergy admitting to abuse. One, a Bishop,  even has admitted to abusing his own nephew.

The truth, which seems to be completely lost on the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, is that victims are victimized over and over because the church does not have any idea on how to fix the problem. Even if they did, they do not have the will to fix the problem. Society must enforce established secular laws on institutions like the Church and force them to comply to the standards of decency and the rule of law. (Is it me, or is the previous sentence a real head scratcher? We have to force the church to be ethical, do the right thing and protect innocent children and vulnerable adults.) If they do not comply, they need to be sanctioned. They need to be punished. They need to pay a dear, real price for their complicity and obstruction in the protection of predators and the isolation of victims. They can’t be sanctioned for arrogance by anyone but the people partially filling the pews on Sundays.   

Warning! I am beating the drum again. We need to enact legislation in each state that does not currently have it, to pass laws that will allow victims to seek redress for their grievances against the men and women who committed crimes against them and the institutions that supported, shielded and protected them from being turned over to civil authority.  Criminal behavior should be met with societal sanctions. (Again scratching my head because this all seems just all too obvious, even though it is not really playing out that way in the real world.)

I do not want to be a prophet. I do not want to be the guy in the blogosphere that is screaming at the top of his lungs about the injustice and stupidity in all of this. I do not want to be the one standing up for the other survivors. But, until the Bishops start being prophets and telling the truth, I have no other choice. Until Catholic Institutions lay bear their sins and seek real penance for the wrongs they have inflicted on the victims and their families, I cannot be silent. Until the Bishops, from Benedict on down, open the files on the predators and open the doors to those who are paying an incredible price for being the targets of pedophiles I have to be one of the voices that is shouting out.

How screwed up is it that we need prophets to show us that the direction the church is taking the faithful is the wrong way?  How many other voices are willing to join in?  What, exactly, are you doing?

Bishop “Nicky the Don” DiMarzio of Brooklyn

By:  Michael Baumann

Bishop “Nicky the Don” DiMarzio, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn, New York is staying true to his support of those things that are neither Catholic nor Christian.  The New Jersey transplant and “wannabe mobster”,  has decided to record a political phone message in support of Assemblyman Vito Lopes who is in the midst of a tough reelection campaign. Taking a strong political stand and putting the tax exempt position of his Diocese at risk, the Bishop is supporting a proponent of many issues that are  in direct opposition to Catholic positions.

“Nicky the Don” is openly supporting the Assemblyman Lopez who was instrumental in defeating an attempt in the New York State legislature to pass window legislation that would allow adult victims of sexual abuse as children to seek a civil remedy for the crimes committed against them.  The Bishop, obviously a great man of god, opposed the bill because the Diocese is potentially still harboring pedophile priests who preyed on children and would have faced law suits for protecting the predators instead of handing them over to authorities. This is all a matter of political payback.

Nicky has decided to prostitute himself by supporting Vito Lopez.  Mr. Lopez has championed the rights of gay couples to marry and supported the liberalization of abortion laws in New York State.  Both of these issues are obviously high on the list of issues that the patriarch of the Catholic Church in Brooklyn embraces even though they are not supported, as a rule, by the Catholic Church.   It must be nice for the Bishop to be able to pick and choose which moral issues he can embrace and which ones he can cast aside as politically inconvenient.

“Nicky the Don” is showing his true colors as a bishop who would subjugate the official policies of the Catholic Church to his own political agenda.  That agenda is focused on making sure that justice is denied to people who were abused (sexually, physically, and mentally) at the hands of Catholic priests over the years.  He is showing just how beholden he is to those that supported his desire to derail justice to victims of priests by supporting the same legislators who support killing the unborn and permitting same-sex marriage.

Bishop DiMarzio shows a moral and ethical defect in supporting a man who champions patently un-Catholic and un-Christian policies.  Yes, the Bishop is comfortably in bed with the devil so he can have his cake and make his flock choke on it.

All of this is more proof that this worm of a cleric is nothing more than a New Jersey carpet bagging hood who is more interested in his own personal advancement than standing up and supporting the bedrock issues upon which the church is built.  What a great example he sets!   In effect, he is telling his flock in Brooklyn that his example is one of religious bankruptcy and personal vanity.

This from the same Catholic leader who threatened to shut down the parishes and schools in districts where support for the New York Child Victims Act and opposition to abortion and gay marriage are hallmarks of the Catholic populace.   Do you need more proof that this is yet another example of a spiritually deficient Catholic leader?

I guess for Bishop DiMarzio the initials “WWJD?” stand for “Who Wants Jelly Donuts?”  He doesn’t seem to know or care how his “savior” would want him to lead his flock.  He is just another morally and ethically corrupt hack.

Support the New York Child Victims Act.  Sign the petition here.

Diocese of Brooklyn – Organized Roman Collar Crime Syndicate.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Darth Vader

The Catholic Church seems to be able to universally choose to do absolutely the wrong thing on a regular basis. It amazes me that so many bishops, who claim to be intellectuals and men of god, can be so devoutly focused on maintaining their status at any cost.  Parishioners be damned, it is all about the bishops and their cronies.  I have no doubt that Governor Frank Keatings nailed it correctly when he made the assessment that the Catholic Church acts in a manner more reminiscent of La Cosa Nostra.  You know, the mob, the mafia, organized crime.

A case in point can be found in New York.  The New York Catholic Conference, a holy and pious group of Catholics who do the bidding of the Archbishop of New York and the Bishops of the other Diocese in the Empire State, have been behaving badly.  As noted in Kay Eberling’s Blog City of Angels 5:  Hope 2009 and documented by the New York Times and other news sources, opponents of the New York Child Victim’s Act bussed in 3 busloads of supporters to counter-demonstrate against Victims of Priest Sexual Crimes. At the behest of the Bishop of Brooklyn, Bishop ” Nicky the Don” DiMarzio and a low life, bottom feeding, pedophile supporting City Assemblyman named Vito Lopez brought in their minions (obviously a political favor returned for some other sleazy deal) to shout down the supporters of the Act that will come up for review again in Albany in the fall.

What is the most galling is that the Lopez’s minions, many of whom did not understand what they were counter-demonstrating against, chanted and began pelting the victims of pedophile priests with coins.  That would be a battery for those legal watchers out there.  One report even had a pastor, a catholic priest, pushing a victim aside when that individual tried to engage him in a discussion.  Shocking! A catholic priest getting physical, say it isn’t so!  Where were the police? Perhaps he would have been one of the first to be exposed as a pedophile should the bill pass.  No wonder he was so upset. One can only speculate at why these priests would support assault and battery on victims of sexual crimes perpetrated by priests.

Bishop “Nicky the Don” DiMarzio must miss New Jersey.  I am sure he gets all misty when he watches reruns of the Sopranos from his palatial digs on Prospect Park West.  Nice neighborhood!  I know this because I grew up in Park Slope. We won’t delve into the controversy surrounding the removal of the long time principal of  St. Saviour Elementary School, where I went to school from grade 1 to grade 7 here (maybe later so you get a more rounded picture of how sleazy Nicky the Don can be).   Obviously, the vow of poverty is overlooked for a New Jersey gangster wannabe  priest that ended up climbing the corporate ladder in the Catholic Church.  I wonder if he is paying Vito Lopez off in alter boys?

What has been documented is that Bishop “Nicky the Don” DiMarzio has threatened to close parishes and schools in the districts of New York lawmakers who vote in favor of the New York Child Victim’s Act.  Great threat Nicky! Mama DiMarzio must be so proud back in the old country, New Jersey.  How does that play out?  You intend to punish innocent parishioners and school children if you don’t get your way with the lawmakers?  This is obviously a great and benevolent Shepherd to the flock in Brooklyn.  Funny, when I was a kid in Brooklyn, we wouldn’t tolerate some thug from across the Hudson threatening our neighborhoods and families.  I guess when the thug is wearing a roman collar, it is alright to turn the other cheek.  Let me tell you from experience, turning your other cheek near a Catholic priest may be a very dangerous and painful thing.

You have to wonder why “Nicky the Don” is so afraid of this legislation.  He says it will bankrupt the Diocese.  Even though that theory has been debunked in California and Delaware where similar legislation was passed, the bishop clings to this excuse.  What is more likely, is that “Nicky the Don” understands the extent of the pedophile problem in the Diocese of Brooklyn as well as in the other diocese in the Evil Empire State.  He knows that there are a great number of priests, perhaps some close to the bishop who have indulged in their perversion for little boys or little girls.  He knows that there are priests that have taken advantage of vulnerable adults.  He knows that his “good deal” will be negatively impacted if it becomes public knowledge that he has supported pedophiles and put children at risk by not taking appropriate action to deal with pedophile priests.  That action can only be handing them over to the criminal justice system.   He knows and he has decided to lie, cheat and misrepresent to avoid having to tell the truth and face the parishioners in the Diocese.  He is a thug and he is being supported by the spineless assemblymen who are getting sweetheart deals to vote against the bill. Ah, New York politics at its best.

If the bill were voted down on it’s own merits, I could live with that.  If it is voted down because of a smear campaign by the Catholic Roman Collar Crime Machine run out of the Chanceries in Brooklyn, Manhattan and points north and west, that would be a sin.  Something with which the bishops are intimately familiar.

Tell me Nicky, if you have the stones, why do you support priests that rape children?  Why are you so afraid of a law that protects children and allows for some justice for those who have been victimized by priests, nuns, teachers, scoutmasters, etc?  Are you really that threatened by the truth?  Do you have any idea of the damage done by the 5-9% of the priests that decide that they get off on sexual crimes against children.  Tell me Bishop, how many pedophiles are you protecting?  What do they have on you?

How can this thug be called a Bishop? Is there not one priest in the state of New York who will put faith, service, compassion and the truth ahead of the bishops’ calls for threats, treachery, and lies?  The Cardinal wants the bill to fail, given his track record of supporting pedophiles in the midwest and in Connecticut, it isn’t a surprise. I wonder if he is wringing his hands over the decision of the courts to release documents that will prove that the Bishops lie as a matter of corporate policy.   New York needs to open its eyes to the carpetbaggers in their churches.  These men are perpetuating the climate that allows your children to become the victims of the pedophiles in your midst.

Abuse thrives in an atmosphere of secrecy.  It is time to understand that concept and take action.

Support passage of the New York Child Victims Act and let the truth come out.  It will be painful, but it is the only way for the changes that are required to keep our kids safe.  Let the pain be visited on those who committed the atrocities or those that supported them.  You will be surprised to see the support that these monsters had, all the way up through the Archbishops, past and present.